What Type of Player is a Fit: The Collegiate League of the Palm Beaches
Author: Jeremy Plexico
Over the past couple of years we have been trying to come up with a way to help develop baseball players, and help them attain their ultimate goal of becoming the best players that they can be. This is a huge challenge because players today are pulled in so many different directions prior to attending college. Should they go to this event or that event, which showcase, which camp, which team should they play for, how should they train, should they take lessons, and the list goes on and on. Once they settle on the college of their choice, deciding how they will spend their summer is another very important choice.
As a former college coach I routinely had to make the following decision for each player; Would _______ benefit more from playing in a competitive league this summer, or from training and getting stronger. Many times I would have players that needed to go play in the summer, but they were tired, and I had to sacrifice additional innings and at bats, for them staying and working out to get stronger. For example if I had a freshman who I knew needed to pitch in the summer but he pitched 45 innings during the spring season, he may have to sacrifice playing summer baseball due to fatigue and fear of injury. This amount of innings may not seem like much but they come after he competed during his high school season, went straight to summer ball (high school), and then his body experienced the roller coaster ride of a Fall practice season for the first time as a collegiate freshman (All of this while trying to make a team, and earn innings). Another common example is a player who needs to add strength to allow him to make the necessary jumps to contribute to his particular school at a larger capacity the following season. Although playing baseball is clearly important, he knows that without adding strength and becoming more physical, he can’t stay healthy over the long grind of a full collegiate season.
Many times, players that fall into both of these categories would have to make the decision to strictly work out and not compete in any live games over the summer. The ultimate concern is that they wouldn’t be able to workout at the desired level while still playing games. One of the primary goals of The Collegiate League of The Palm Beaches is to afford college coaches the luxury of not having to make that choice. Not only do we want to attract players based on a high level of play on the field, we want them to know they have the ability to make physical gains that will allow them to go back to their particular school a better all around prospect and contribute in a larger role.
To help us achieve this goal, all players participating in the CLPB will have the option to train under the guidance of Cressey Sports Performance. Not only will they be able to get in the gym and have hands on training with the Cressey staff, they will have they ability to learn state of the art techniques and training methods to take back with them to their particular college. All players participating in the league will also be given a screening at the beginning of the season to discover any deficiencies that need to be addressed over the course of their training sessions.
We have a passion to create an environment where athletes can not only have a great experience in the CLPB, but also leave here as a player that can help his school win more games.
WEST PALM BEACH — Thunder rumbled over the busy construction site of the new spring training baseball stadium south of 45th Street, punctuating the end of a rainstorm that stopped work for about 10 minutes Wednesday morning.
“It’s the baseball gods saying, ‘Get it done,’’’ quipped Palm Beach County Commissioner Shelley Vana.
Five months from its scheduled opening, the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is still a massive work in progress. But after taking a 30-minute tour of the site, Vana said she was confident the $144 million facility will open in January, as the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros have promised.
“You’re going to be open by 2017, right?’’ Vana asked Doug Utt, a general manager of Hunt Construction Group, as they rode around the 160-acre site in a golf cart with a reporter.
“Absolutely. No ‘ifs,’ ‘ands’ or ‘buts’,’’ replied Utt. “I’m excited. I’m already making plans to bring my family to the first game and eat a hot dog.’’
There could be one possible ‘but’ — the weather or, to be exact, a hurricane. The teams are closely watching the tropical weather systems approaching Florida over the final three months of hurricane season. Even if a tropical storm struck West Palm Beach, the teams should finish on time, Utt said.
“It would have to be something pretty catastrophic” to force the teams to delay the opening another year, he said.
With little margin for error, the teams are working on backup plans just in case the facility isn’t ready by January.
Astros President Reid Ryan spoke to an Osceola County Stadium official in late July about extending the team’s lease there for 2017 in case of a significant delay in West Palm Beach.
”They’ve just got to be prepared for the worst-case scenario,’’ said Don Miers, Osceola County’s director of sports and events facilities, who spoke to Ryan.
The Nationals this past year negotiated a right to extend their contact with Space Coast Stadium in Brevard County for 2017 “if due to unforeseen circumstances” the West Palm Beach stadium wasn’t ready, said Art Fuccillo, a Nationals partner.
That extension clause was negotiated months before construction started at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, which broke ground in November, he said.
“At present the project is rounding second base and sprinting for home as fast and as hard as we can. We expect to be safe at home,’’ Fuccillo said. “The county, the teams and the contractors are all working together and all have one definitive goal — 2017.’’
Astros General Counsel Giles Kibbe said: “Obviously it’s always been a tight schedule but we feel like we are going to get the job done on time.
“Am I a little nervous? Yeah, but I’ve always been nervous about it. It’s a hard job.’’
Vana, who is running for property appraiser, said she always thought the facility would be done on time. But she said she had a greater comfort level after touring the site, where more than 250 workers are simultaneously in action on the main stadium and the practice facilities for both teams.
The second level of the stadium is taking shape. The seating bowl is coming together. The main field is a constant flow of heavy equipment.
Grass is already growing on at least two of the Nationals’ six practice fields. Grass should be blooming on all 12 practice fields by October, Utt said.
“I say it’s going to happen,’’ Vana said. “They said ‘yes’ and I believe them. They’re really cranking here.’’