Welcome to EM Speed and Power Training
There is a new athlete on the field, on the court and on the pitch today. That athlete trains harder, smarter and more effectively than at any time before in the history of sports. This new wave of athletes are faster, stronger, more explosive and healthier than any athletes to come before them .. decisions on the field are made at hyper speed and opportunities to make great plays arise because the speed of the game has increased. At EM Speed and Power we are literally making the field, the court and the pitch smaller because our athletes are pushing the envelope of speed, explosiveness, strength, reaction and blowing by opponents that have previously been able to stop them. Welcome to the future of performance training, welcome to EM.
Virginia tops the Baseball America rankings for February 24th with Florida State and South Carolina jumping spots to get into the top 3. Biggest drop? Mississippi State, from 7 to 18 … it’s early, but and the deck continues to shuffle.
Team W-L Last Week Previous Ranking 1. Virginia 6-1 4-0 1 2. Florida State 6-0 3-0 4 3. South Carolina 7-0 4-0 5 4. Oregon State 5-2 2-2 2 5. Cal State Fullerton 4-3 2-2 3 6. North Carolina State 5-1 5-0 6 7. Louisiana State 7-0 4-0 8 8. Vanderbilt 7-0 4-0 9 9. Oregon 7-0 4-0 11 10. Louisiana-Lafayette 7-1 4-0 14 11. Clemson 5-1 3-0 13 12. Rice 6-2 4-1 15 13. Cal Poly 6-1 3-1 22 14. Miami 4-3 2-2 16 15. Texas 5-3 3-1 18 16. Texas Christian 6-1 4-0 19 17. Indiana 2-5 1-2 10 18. Mississippi State 4-4 2-3 7 19. UCLA 4-3 2-2 12 20. Louisville 5-2 3-1 20 21. Alabama 4-2 2-1 21 22. North Carolina 3-3 2-2 17 23. Texas A&M 6-1 3-1 24 24. Arkansas 6-0 3-0 25 25. Florida 5-3 3-2 23
USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll – February 25, 2014
The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference. Current 2014 records are shown, first-place votes are in parentheses.
Rank Team Record Points Previous 1 Florida (20) 16-0 788 1 2 Tennessee (10) 13-0 776 2 3 Arizona State 17-0 728 4 4 Oregon 14-1 672 6 5 UCLA (1) 16-0 645 8 6 Michigan 12-2 627 7 7 Washington (1) 13-2 625 3 8 Kentucky 13-2 559 5 9 Florida State 13-1 535 10 10 Arizona 13-1 509 14 11 Alabama 12-3 472 9 12 Baylor 12-3 414 15 13 Texas A&M 12-4 358 12 14 South Alabama 11-1 349 19 15 Stanford 14-3 332 13 16 Nebraska 9-5 328 11 17 Missouri 7-3 315 16 18 Georgia 12-1 290 17 19 Minnesota 12-1 232 21 20 Oklahoma 10-5 202 18 21 Tulsa 13-2 159 22 22 LSU 12-5 146 23 23 Notre Dame 10-3 114 24 24 Louisiana-Lafayette 9-5-1 74 20 25 Auburn 13-1-1 57
Others receiving votes:
USC Upstate (44), Northwestern (21), Hofstra (6), California (5), Cal State Fullerton (4), DePaul (4), McNeese State (3), Mississippi State (3), Lipscomb (1), Louisville (1), Texas (1), UAB (1).
No. 25 Texas (8-9)
The newest EM location is opening Tuesday, February 4th in San Marcos, near San Diego in sunny Southern California! Thanks to our loyal, fast, agile and explosive customers, EM keeps answering the bell and growing into the places that you live and work. We will be doing more ‘scheduling’ in this location so, just call to let us know when your first workout will be. From then, we will talk about the schedule that works for you.
We can’t wait to see you San Diegans! Stay Classy!
To schedule your first workout, call 909-483-9000.
The ABD Spring League (ABDSL) is an Independent High School Spring League based out of Southern California endorsed and supported by Colleges & Universities.As a league, we encourage players to go the traditional route of playing High School baseball first. The ABDSL administration does not recruit high school players to play in the league.The Independent ABDSL is a TRUE ALTERNATIVE venue for High School Teams and individual players who make the choice on their own due to: Being cut, eligibility issues, transfer issues, home schooling, red-shirting…, etc..
There will be many reasons why players and high school teams will participate in The Independent Alternative Wood Bat Spring League in 2014. Just one or two of the features below may be the reason. When you add them all up, the league becomes an outstanding TRUE ALTERNATIVE venue for High School and College Red-Shirt Freshman Baseball players who wish to play and develop in a Competitive Wood Bat Baseball League during the Spring Season.
Student Sports of Southern California announced the Top 100 and Hot 100 Watch List softball players in the Nation yesterday. The list of 2015 players was completed yesterday and the 2014 just before that. Here are names of So Cal Athletes that made the 2015 National list and the schools they will be attending. The number next to their name is their National Ranking. We have only listed the athletes from the Southern California area.
1. AMANDA LORENZ FLORIDA – EM Athlete (pictured)
3. SYDNEY ROMERO OKLAHOMA - EM Athlete
4. MARSHAYLEE KNIGHTEN OKLAHOMA - EM Athlete
5. TAYLOR MCQUILLIN ARIZONA - EM Athlete
7. BROOKE VINES STANFORD
8. ALYSSA PALOMINO ARIZONA - EM Athlete
10. RACHEL GARCIA UCLA - EM Athlete
13. NATALIE PETERS MICHIGAN - EM Athlete
15. KALEY WINEGARNER STANFORD - EM Athlete
16. FAITH CANFIELD MICHIGAN - EM Athlete
17. BRIANNE TAUTALAFUE UCLA - EM Athlete
18. BRITTNEY FINNEY OKLAHOMA - EM Athlete
21. PAIGE HALSTEAD UCLA - EM Athlete
34. MORGANNE FLORES WASHINGTON - EM Athlete
36. PAULINA ANASIS NORTHWESTERN - EM Athlete
40. TAYLOR BECERRA ASU
42.. ALI WESTER NOTRE DAME
46. KENNEDY CLARK SOUTH CAROLINA - EM Athlete
53. KYLIE LUNDBERG OKLAHOMA
55. KOURTNEY SHAW CAL
56. TAYLOR ROWLAND TENNESSEE - EM Athlete
57. ABBY LOCKMAN TENNESSEE - EM Athlete
60. FALE AVIU OKLAHOMA - EM Athlete
61. HAILEY HILBURN UTAH - EM Athlete
66. MELISSA ROCHFORD NOTRE DAME
70. BRIANNE BETSCHEL OHIO STATE - EM Athlete
72. KATYA DUVALL OHIO STATE - EM Athlete
74. ALLY DICKMAN UTAH - EM Athlete
77. HILARY EDIOR ARIZONA
79. BRIANNA CASSIDY NEBRASKA
82. RHIANNA RICH UNCOMMITTED - EM Athlete
89. ZOE CASAS FLORIDA STATE - EM Athlete
94. OLIVIA SANCHEZ BYU - EM Athlete
96. ASHLEY ROSS BOSTON COLLEGE - EM Athlete
99. MCKAYLA MARTIN AUBURN - EM Athlete
To view the entire list visit studentsports.com
If you have trouble viewing the video CLICK HERE
Kevin Millar and Chris Rose of MLB Network’s Intentional Talk interview Matt Davidson about his recent trade, while the guy he was traded for, Addison Reed, video bombs (and guest stars) the segment. Filmed remotely at EM Speed and Power Training in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.
TRAINING SPOTLIGHT: EM SPEED & POWER TRAINING
If you’ve followed softball closely over the past year or two, especially in Southern California, you’ve seen the EM logo somewhere.
And if you were paying attention yesterday you saw that we put up our first of what will be a weekly series of videos tied into EM Speed & Power Training.
So what is “EM” and what does it stand for? More importantly, what does it do?
The group included Ed’s daughter, Paige, a 2015 shortstop headed to UCLA (who we profile below), her Explosion teammate Carly Thomas, a senior outfielder who’s signed with Illinois plus several college standouts: Ashley Carter, an outfielder who just graduated from Cal State Fullerton, senior shortstop Cheyenne Coyle of Arizona State, senior pitcher Jessica Hall from UCLA, junior infielder Emilie Valadez from UNLV and freshman catcherKirsten Mack of Missouri.
That video interview will be coming in the next week or two, but back to the backstory of the seven year old company.
Ed worked in the manufacturing business and retired several years ago. However, as he helped his son, Ryan, currently a senior pitcher at the Univ. of Indiana, and other athletes work out at a park, he drew a following and soon was forced to set up a facility for athletes to work out in.
The company was originally called “Explosive Methods,” a training reference, but Halstead explains that whenever he got a package, the delivery person was hesitant “thinking we were building bombs.”
“I shortened it to EM, which some people think is for my name and my wife Mari’s, but it was just the shortened version of the original name.”
Seven years after it was founded, EM Speed and Power training has worked with close to 35,000 athletes now and includes among its clients noted SoCal teams like the Corona Angels, Firecrackers and the OC Batbusters, which is led by Mike Stith who is tied into the Anaheim EM facility, one of the five located in Southern California. The others are the Rancho Cucamonga headquarters, which surpasses 30,000 square feet, and locations in Pasadena, Chino and Corona.
EM has 30 employees and a strict screen and training process for its trainers, some of whom have worked with major colleges like USC and professional organizations like the New York Mets.
As I spoke to the seven softballers, they mentioned that the key to EM was they felt motivated by the trainers and that it was like being part of a family.
“Here, you drive yourself to be the best you can be,” explained Cheyenne. “I’ve seen players in college who will cut reps—instead of doing eight they’ll only do six. EM gives you the mentality to do your sets and then do one more.”
Ed says a location will be opening soon in San Diego and that he has a 10 year plan to grow the business even further.
“We’re here to help the athlete be the best he or she can be,” he explains. “Our trainers have to be on top of it, if an athlete gets injured or doesn’t get everything out of a workout then we’ve failed, but what’s rewarding is seeing how they drive themselves and each other and tell others about the atmosphere here where they can become the best they can.”
Note: we’re happy to announce we’ll be having regular video content provided by EM Speed and Power Training to help softball players everywhere learn how to improve their game.
- See more at: http://www.studentsports.com/softball/2013/12/19/daily-update-12-19-13/#sthash.YrZCxuxN.dpuf
By Steve Adams [December 16 at 1:04pm CST]
The Diamondbacks announced that they have acquired Addison Reed from the White Sox in exchange for third baseman Matt Davidson. MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert first reported that the trade was on the verge of happening (on Twitter).
Reed, 24, has saved 69 games for the White Sox over the past two seasons, posting a 4.20 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 126 1/3 innings in that time. Sabermetric stats such as FIP (3.38) and SIERA (3.33) feel that Reed’s ERA should have been substantially lower in that time. The Diamondbacks will control Reed through the 2017 season and he is not arbitration eligible until next offseason, making him a highly affordable piece to add to the back-end of their bullpen.
Davidson, 23 in March, made his big league debut in 2013, slashing .237/.333/.434 with three homers in 87 plate appearances. The 2009 supplemental-rounder entered the 2013 campaign ranked as Baseball America’s No. 88 overall prospect and MLB.com’s No. 77 overall prospect. Davidson delivered on that praise by slashing .280/.350/.481 with 17 homers in 500 plate appearances prior to his promotion to the big leagues. He is controllable through the 2019 season and can’t reach arbitration eligibility until at least the 2016-17 offseason.
Reed will step into the ninth-inning role for the Diamondbacks, relegating J.J. Putz and Brad Zieglerto setup duties. Arizona GM Kevin Towers has added some youth to his bullpen while shedding the salary of Heath Bell over the past week.
Davidson, meanwhile, can fill a long-term need for the White Sox, ideally solidifying third base for the South Siders for years to come. White Sox third basemen batted .249/.294/.352 last season, so Davidson should eventually displace the projected platoon of Conor Gillaspie andJeff Keppinger. He will join an increasingly young core for the White Sox consisting of Avisail Garcia, Adam Eaton and Jose Dariel Abreu.
Arizona’s acquisition of Mark Trumbo last week (a trade on which Towers and White Sox GM Rick Hahn also lined up) pushed Martin Prado back to third base on a full-time basis for the Snakes, likely leading to the belief that Davidson had become expendable (Prado is under contract for three more seasons). The White Sox could look to the free agent market to add any number of closer-types available, or they could elect to stay in-house and use flamethrower Nate Jones in the ninth inning.
NCAA.orgLaboratory tests show that flat-seamed baseballs travel about 20 feet farther than raised-seamed balls.
DI committee changes to flat-seamed baseballs for 2015 championshipGreg Johnson | NCAA.comLast Updated - Nov 5, 2013 17:07 EST
The Division I Baseball Committee will move to the use of a flat-seamed baseball for its championship, starting with the 2015 Division I tournament.
Currently, raised-seamed baseballs are used in the Division I Baseball Championship.
Committee members made the decision to change to a flat-seamed baseball after research conducted this fall by the Washington State University Sport Science Laboratory showed that flat-seamed baseballs launched out of a pitching machine at averages of 95 mph, a 25-degree angle and a 1,400 rpm spin rate traveled around 387 feet compared to raised-seamed baseballs that went 367 feet.
On the NCAA’s behalf, the Washington State University lab evaluates and certifies baseball bats used in NCAA competition for compliance with bat performance standards.
In the flat-, raised-seamed baseball research, the speed and angles used in the testing were chosen because they are the conditions when typical home runs occur in Division I baseball competition.
Due to variables (individual bat speed, wind direction, whether the ball is stuck on the bat’s “sweet spot,” etc.) that can impact the distance a baseball can travel, not every trajectory hit with a flat-seamed ball will travel exactly 20 feet farther than a raised-seamed ball, but a 20-foot average difference is an approximate representation of what can be expected.
The NCAA’s official supplier of championship baseballs, Rawlings, also conducted testing of the flat-seam balls in its own research lab. That research was consistent with the findings in the WSU lab.
“We anticipate that this will moderately increase scoring but not take it back to the days where we were dealing with outrageous scores that looked more like football scores,” said Dennis Farrell, who is the committee chair and the commissioner of the Big West Conference. “We want to get the game back to what is a reasonable amount of scoring and defense.”
While the distance the baseball travels is increased due to less drag on the baseball, the health of and safety of the players will not be compromised. The core of the ball and the bat-exit speed will not change.
“We are always sensitive to student-athlete safety issues,” Farrell said. “According to the data we were presented with, those concerns are alleviated. The rationale behind making this change is hoping it will allow certain balls hit at certain trajectories to carry farther.”
Committee members were spurred to look at the research after becoming concerned with diminishing offensive numbers in the Division I Baseball Championship, particularly at the Men’s College World Series site in Omaha.
In the 2013 MCWS, there were only three home runs hit in TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, which opened in 2011. The first year of the new home of the MCWS also marked the year that the bat standards changed to make metal bats perform more like wood bats.
The bat standards were designed to protect pitchers and fielders from increasing bat-exit speeds and to bring balance to the game that was trending heavily toward the offense.
In 2011, there were nine home runs in the MCWS, and in the second year in the park, 10 homers were hit. By contrast in the last year at Rosenblatt Stadium in 2010, 32 homers left the park. Similarly, across all of Division I regular season baseball, offensive performance – batting averages, runs scored and home runs – has been on the decline in recent years.
The difference in the height of the seams between the two baseballs is small. The flatter-seamed ball has a seam height of .048 inches compared to .031 inches for a raised-seam ball. This flatter seam height is consistent with the balls used in minor league baseball, yet still higher than what is used in major league baseball.
The flat-seamed baseball may make it more difficult for pitchers to throw breaking pitches, but college baseball coaches feel their pitchers will be able to adjust over time.
A survey conducted by the American Baseball Coaches Association showed 87 percent of the respondents wanted to change to the flat-seamed baseball. Around 80 percent of the nearly 300 Division I baseball coaches responded to the survey.
The coaches were also asked questions pertaining to game excitement and home runs. Seventy-two percent thought the game needed more excitement and 69 percent believe Division I college baseball needs more home runs.
“The numbers from the survey means the coaches are making a strong statement,” Farrell said. “Even the coaches of programs that have traditionally strong pitching were in favor of going to the flat-seamed baseball.”
Check out these upcoming Baseball and Softball Camps powered by EM CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
The infamous EM Sweatshirts keep you warm and dry for those early morning workouts, or if you are trying to develop some style (you know who you are), this could help. Wearing an EM Sweatshirt is not only a great choice, but as you can see (above), it makes people very happy (like Coach Matt and Ashley). Fleecy on the inside and soft on the outside, this EM Sweatshirt material was made by a microbiologist and enables more aerodynamic and athletic positions promotes a clear complexion and whiter teeth in 5 days …. ok, not really, but it will give you some style and keep you warm.
See EM Athlete Addison Reed get his 40th save of the 2013 season for the Chicago White Sox
Toronto Blue Jays All Star Pitcher Steve Delabar, Arizona Diamondbacks Nate Adcock and Miami Marlins Stephen Shackleford came to EM to visit and talk about this last season in baseball with EM Athletes. All these MLB pitchers use the Velocity Plus throwing program to help them reach and maintain the level of arm strength and arm speed needed to excel at the Major League Level. Through the night there were videos from HBO Sports featuring Bryant Gumbel and Q and A sessions with stories about pitching to Robinson Cano, A-Rod, Jeter and more. Altogether a great night of stories, education and opportunities for all EM athletes and Parents. Thanks to friends of EM Steve Delabar, Nate Adcock, Stephen Shackleford and Joe Newton for sharing the stories and helping our baseball and softball players understand more about the demands and training techniques of the Professional level of sports.
OAKLAND — Daric Barton was in the dugout when the A’s won the American League West last year but admits he felt a bit like an outsider crashing a party.
Sunday, however, Barton not only was on the field when Oakland repeated as division champions, he was right in the thick of the victory and at the center of the midfield celebration.
“There’s nothing that tops today,” said Barton, who went 3-for-3 with a homer and a walk in the A’s 11-7 victory. “I feel like I’m more part of the team. I feel like I’ve done something to help the team win. So this is a great time in my life.”
The A’s have a lot of rags-to-riches stories in their clubhouse, but Barton may be “tops” among them.
Acquired in a 2005 trade with St. Louis, Barton has been in the organization longer than any player on the roster. But it appeared he was at the end of the line with the team this season after being designated for assignment twice, once at the end of spring training and again early in May when he hit .143 in a brief stint as an injury replacement.
When he went unclaimed, Barton stuck with the organization and kept plugging away at Triple-A Sacramento, waiting for one more chance. When he was finally recalled on Aug. 26, he returned a different player.
Starting 20 of the last 27 games, Barton has hit .319 (23 for 72), played a flawless first base and has been a major part of their September run to the finish line.
Now, it appears he will be part of the 25-man roster for the first round of the playoffs. Asked directly if Barton would be on the postseason roster, manager Bob Melvin said, “I don’t see how he can’t.”
Barton said he isn’t worrying about it.
“I’m thankful for being here this second, this day,” he said. “I’m going to embrace what we’ve got going on right now, and worry about what happens later, later.”
Said Melvin, “You could ask him, but in June, he’s probably thinking, ‘I’m not going to be part of this thing.’ But now, he’s not only part of it, he’s a big part of it. When he was called upon, he definitely was ready.”
General manager Billy Beane maintained that as long as Barton didn’t go elsewhere after he was outrighted, he was going to have a place in the organization.
“He’s always had the advantage of the G.M. being a big fan of his,” Beane said. “I think he has all the skills that sometimes don’t necessarily show up in the boxscore — he’s a tremendous defender, he’s a good baserunner, he’s got a great eye at the plate. And he’s really grown up a lot. To see him contribute and be part of these last few weeks has been great and satisfying for all of us in the organization.”
So what changed?
“It’s more off the field,”
Beane said. “Daric has really matured. He had a hard time when he was younger handling things when they didn’t go right. He’d get frustrated with himself. Now he’s taking things and accepting that it’s not always going to be perfect.”
Barton confirmed that he has a new mind-set.
“I take it day by day,” he said. “Whatever happened in the past happened in the past. I live for today, and today’s been a great day. I couldn’t ask for a better day, especially with the ending we had here.”
Barton said he’s glad he hung in with Oakland. He said there was never a doubt that he would as long as the door was open to him.
“This is the only place I know,” he said. “This is where I’m comfortable, this is where I want to be. I couldn’t ask for anymore.
“I am proud of myself,” he added. “I realize the player I am now and I have all the confidence in the world in myself. If I just stay with my approach and just be me, I think I’ll be just fine.”
Aleah Macon, an EM Athlete during high school and well into her 2010 WCWS Championship year, will be giving pitching lessons out of EM Rancho. To contact her please call 909-483-9000.
Macon went 4-0 with two saves, a 2.95 earned run average and 41 strikeouts in 38 innings over 17 games (all in relief) … recorded a win in relief against Florida on May 22, retiring the only batter she faced … picked up her fifth save as a Bruin on April 15 at Arizona State, tying her for third in UCLA history, as she retired the final two batters of the contest with one strikeout … tossed 2 2/3 frames of scoreless relief on April 16, striking out four and giving up two hits … tossed a career-best 8 2/3 innings in an April 8 win against Stanford, striking out eight and giving up a run and five hits … struck out six Cardinal in 5 1/3 innings on April 10 … picked up a win against Loyola Marymount on April 6, striking out four and giving up four runs and two hits in three innings … pitched in all three games in relief against Oregon State … threw two scoreless innings on April 1, striking out one … also pitched a scoreless frame on April 2 and retired the only batter she faced on April 3 … tossed an inning of relief in the first game of a March 29 doubleheader against UC Santa Barbara, fanning two and giving up one unearned run and one hit … earned a save on March 4 against BYU, striking out four in three innings and allowing a run, three hits and two walks … also recorded her first at-bat as a Bruin versus BYU and struck out … made her season debut on Feb. 23 at Cal State Northridge, tossing one scoreless inning of relief, striking out two and walking one … pitched two more hitless innings of relief against Tennessee on Feb. 26, fanning four and giving up two walks … earned the win in relief on Feb. 27 against Northwestern, giving up one unearned run in one inning with a strikeout and two hits allowed.
Led the Bruins with a 1.50 earned run average, tied for first with three saves, was second with 109 strikeouts and third in wins (13-1 record), innings pitched (88.2) and opposing batting average (.211) … tied for 28th in the nation in saves … ranked tied for second among Pac-10 players in saves, third in ERA and eighth in opposing batting average … went 5-0 with a save in the postseason with a 3.00 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 28 innings … picked up victories in both games of the Women’s College World Series Finals against Arizona (June 7-8) … tossed two shutout innings of relief in the Finals opener, striking out three and allowing two hits and a walk … started the National Championship clinching contest, striking out seven in 4 1/3 innings and giving up six runs, six hits and three walks … started the Super Regionals opener against Louisiana-Lafayette on May 29 (5 IP, 0 ER, 4 K, Win) and the WCWS opener versus Florida (June 3) … pitched in all three games of the Regionals … struck out a season-high 12 and gave up one earned run in a complete-game victory over Fresno State in the Regional Championship game on May 23 … fanned five and allowed two earned runs in seven innings in a win over San Diego State (May 22) and tossed 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief against Saint Mary’s (May 21), striking out three and only giving up a hit and a walk … fanned at least seven on seven occasions … threw 24 consecutive scoreless innings from March 5-28 … struck out 11 and gave up one earned run in a complete-game win at Loyola Marymount (March 28) … tossed a four-hit shutout against UNLV on March 27, setting down seven … pitched back-to-back, complete-game blankings of UTEP (March 6) and CSU Bakersfield (March 21) … did not allow an earned run in her first 15 1/3 innings as a Bruin (Feb. 13-20) … tossed five scoreless frames in a win against Cal Poly on Feb. 19 … struck out nine in wins against UC Santa Barbara (Feb. 17) and Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 24) and fanned eight in a triumph against Colorado State on Feb. 26.
Played for the University of Washington in 2008 … was named honorable mention All-Pac-10 and selected to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team … went 17-16 with a 1.93 earned run average in 40 appearances and 29 starts, striking out 262 (sixth-best single-season mark in Washington history) in 224 2/3 innings … held opponents to a .203 batting average, adding 22 complete games and five shutouts … posted nine games with double-figures in strikeouts, including a career-high 12 on three occasions … tossed a five-inning, no-hitter against UMKC on Feb. 15 … had two singles in 13 at-bats (.154).
UPLAND HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Upland High School in Upland, Calif. … as a senior, was named All-CIF, Baseline League MVP, Daily Bulletin Female Player of the Year and Quakes High School FPOY, which is presented by the local minor league baseball team, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes … was a four-time all-league selection … tossed six straight no-hitters and one perfect game as a senior … named team MVP three times and team Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year twice … coached by Bubba DeJournett … played club with Corona Angels … was a member of the 2009 23-U National Champion team and finished second at the 18-U Gold Nationals in 2008 … also played for an ASA National title three other times with her club squad.
Born Aleah Ashanai Macon on March 22, 1989 in Los Angeles … parents are Unyaa and Ron Macon … is an only child … chose the sport of softball because of its competitiveness and how close the games are … favorites include L.A. Laker Kobe Bryant, actor Pooch Hall, the TV show “The Game” and singer Beyonce … biggest athletic thrill was winning 23-U Nationals … hobbies include going to the movies, dancing and singing … favorite class is math … majoring in women’s studies.
Aleah Macon’s UCLA Pitching Statistics
YEAR ERA W-L APP GS CG SHO/CBO SV IP H R ER BB SO 2010 1.50 13-1 23 14 10 4/1 3 88.2 71 30 19 27 109 2011 2.95 4-0 17 0 0 0/1 2 38.0 31 20 16 16 41 Totals 1.93 17-1 40 14 10 4/2 5 126.2 102 50 35 43 150
Aleah Macon’s UCLA Game Highs
INNINGS PITCHED 8.2, vs. Stanford (4/8/11) STRIKEOUTS 12, vs. Fresno State (5/23/10)
Minnesota Twins turn triple play with Indiana teammates
Mark Ambrogi, USA TODAY Sports 5:58 p.m. EDT June 12, 2013
(Photo: Melina Vastola,USA TODAY Sports)
Hoosiers Ryan Halstead, Aaron Slegers, Dustin DeMuth all drafted by Twins
The two pitchers and one infielder also are roommates at off-campus apartment
Indiana makes its first-ever College World Series appearance Saturday vs. Louisville
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Pitcher Ryan Halstead is the jokester and, by his own admission, the messiest. Pitcher Aaron Slegers tends to be more serious. Infielder Dustin DeMuth describes himself as laid-back.
They are Indiana teammates.
And roommates at an off-campus apartment.
And, all three were drafted by the Minnesota Twins last week.
“It was totally by coincidence,” said Twins scouting director Deron Johnson.
With the Hoosiers’ first College World Series appearance starting Saturday against Louisville in Omaha, the players resist talking much about whether they’ll stay at IU or enter the pros. But the potential exists for them to go from their apartment across from Memorial Stadium to the same minor league team in the Twins’ organization.
“I remember coming into this situation at IU and being the only person (on the team) from Arizona and not really knowing anyone,” said Slegers, who’s from Scottsdale. “It would be really cool for possibly the next step knowing someone going in.”
Said Halstead, from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., of the draft: “It was shocking, but at the same time it’s pretty awesome. For now, we’re just worried about Omaha first. After that we’ll make our decisions.”
Aaron Slegers, drafted by the Twins in the fifth round, has managed to stay healthy this season. “For me this year, the key has been just staying out of the training room,” he says.(Photo: Melina Vastola, USA TODAY Sports)
Slegers, a 6-10 right-hander, was picked in the fifth round. He has a 9-1 record and was the Big Ten pitcher of the year.
Johnson said he has “the highest ceiling” of the three roommates and is “fairly athletic for his size and has the ability to be a major league starter.”
DeMuth, who’s hitting .389, was drafted in the eighth round. Johnson said he was the best athlete left when the Twins chose him, adding, “Hopefully his power will develop as he gains strength later in life and grows into his frame. He can really run. He’s got a good arm. There is a chance he can play some second base and third base and possibly outfield, too. We liked his versatility.”
The Twins took Halstead, a right-handed reliever, in the 26th round.
“We took a gamble on him and maybe we’ll get something,” Johnson said. “That’s what you get in the later draft rounds. He has a big fastball. If he works on honing his craft and develops a secondary pitch, he maybe can become a pretty good big leaguer.”
The players have the option of not signing with the Twins and returning to IU. They would then be eligible for the 2014 draft. IU coach Tracy Smith said he hasn’t discussed the decision with the players.
Eventually, Smith said, “We’ll sit down and talk with those kids and families and see what is going to be the best thing for them. I can tell you their focus is on winning games. I’d love to see them to go play pro ball, but I’d love to see them come back.”
DeMuth acknowledged the appeal of being a pro, but added, “If we all come back (here) we’ll be excited for next year.”
Reliever Ryan Halstead went in the 26th round to the Twins. He leads the Hoosiers with 11 saves.(Photo: Melina Vastola, USA TODAY Sports)
DeMuth, from LaPorte, Ind., said the roommates get along well despite different personalities. He felt that connection immediately as a freshman.
“They were down-to-earth, cool guys,” DeMuth said. “It was a no-brainer to me who I wanted to live with for the next years. … There have been a couple of fights here and there. At the end of the day, we love each other.”
DeMuth isn’t sure he saw the College World Series in the team’s future as a freshman. But he began to see it as a possibility after the team finished strong last season.
COLLEGE BASEBALL: Good weird fun
“The confidence flowed over to this year,” DeMuth said. “We knew we had a great team and knew we could make it far in the postseason. We’ve done that so far, but we’re not satisfied.”
The Hoosiers have advanced this far in part because Slegers has been healthy. A junior academically, Slegers is listed as a redshirt sophomore because he suffered a season-ending forearm injury after one game in 2011. Slegers was limited to five relief appearances in 2012.
“For me this year, the key has been just staying out of the training room,” Slegers said.
Now the friends and roommates want to trade apartment life for an extended hotel stay in Omaha.
“No one has the mindset of calling it quits and cashing out,” Slegers said. “It’s a ‘we’re going to win every day’ sort of thing.”
Mark Ambrogi also writes for The Indianapolis Star.
PHOTOS: SUPER REGIONALS
PHOENIX — Less than a month after being named the Most Valuable Player at the All-Star Futures Game, EM Athlete Matt Davidson’s future is now as the D-backs called up the 22-year-old third baseman from Triple-A Reno on Sunday.
Despite arriving at Chase Field just 40 minutes before first pitch against the Mets, Davidson got called into action early when Cody Ross was carted off with a dislocated right hip after running out a grounder to end the first inning. Davidson came on to play third base and singled to left field in his second at-bat of the game.
“Honestly, it was probably the best thing because I didn’t have any time to think about anything,” Davidson said. “I mean of course I was nervous, but I would’ve been a lot more nervous waiting all day to start, so getting thrown in there was nice.”
Davidson found out about his promotion on Saturday when Reno manager Brett Butler removed the third baseman from the game in the fifth inning. He then took the earliest flight to Phoenix, landing in the Valley at 11:30 a.m. MST for the 1:10 p.m. game.
“It was insane, I didn’t sleep at all last night,” Davidson said. “It’s a dream, I still haven’t taken it all in. It’s just amazing, I’m so excited to be here. It’s definitely a little bit different with the third deck, it’s a beautiful ballpark here.”
Even with the short notice, Davidson’s parents were able to make the trip and attend the game Sunday. He said he’ll be giving the ball he hit for his first Major League knock to them.
Sunday marked the latest accomplishment over a whirlwind few weeks for Davidson. He hit a two-run homer in the Futures Game on July 14 to win the game’s MVP award and then, just a day later, he took home the Triple-A Home Run Derby title. Ranked by MLB.com as Arizona’s No. 2 prospect and the No. 70 prospect in all of baseball, Davidson hit .278 with 16 homers and 68 RBIs in 108 games for Reno this season.
“He’s been good, he’s a developing kid and he’s got some pop,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. “He’s developed as a fielder as well. As you guys know, he had a great Futures Game and did well in the Derby. He’s just maturing, he’s got a lot of ability, we’ve known that for a while, it’s just taken some time for him to mature.”
With Eric Chavez and Ross both lost to injuries Sunday, Davidson could be a mainstay in the lineup moving forward, potentially splitting time with Martin Prado at third base.
“We’ll have to evaluate it,” Gibson said. “I’ve been playing Prado in the outfield some so he could see some more time out there, but we’ll definitely give Davidson some reps. I don’t know if I’ll play him every day, but he will definitely get a lot of playing time.”
Blue Jays middle reliever Steve Delabar was content with coaching high school baseball in Kentucky in 2010. He had given professional baseball his best shot, despite not getting above Single-A ball in five seasons with the Padres and playing in two independent leagues in 2009 before fracturing his right elbow and requiring the insertion of nine screws and one plate.
“I was content with what I had done,” Delabar said. “I was ready to move on, get into teaching and coaching and thought that was going to be it and I was going to move on from the game as far as playing.”
As a coach, he was introduced to a revolutionary throwing program called “Velocity,” created by former pitcher Tom House. The program involves using a weighted ball to improve shoulder strength and is geared toward an individual pitcher’s needs.
“I would not be here if it wasn’t for that program because my velocity would not be up and being 27 [years old] and throwing if I’m not in the big leagues or pro ball then I’m not successful. To be throwing 95, 96 [mph] at 27, that’s a different story.”
The program has been featured on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” and the results for Delabar show in the statistics. He is 5-1 with a 1.71 ERA, having struck out 58 in 42 innings, spanning 38 outings.
Besides the raw numbers, there is the velocity.
Delabar throws his fastball 71.3 percent of the time and it averages 94.9 mph, which places him just outside the Top 25 in fastball velocity among AL relievers. His slider averages 86.2 mph and his split-fingered fastball is thrown at an average velocity of 87.6 mph.
“The program is designed for the individual,” Delabar said. “It keys on your specific need and it attacks the weakest link that you have in your arm. It attacks it and it rebuilds it. So it stabilizes the shoulder works on internal and external rotation and in the process you also gain arm strength and arm speed.”
Like any coach, Delabar wanted to see how it actually worked and something unprecedented occurred. His velocity had spiked considerably, going from around 89 mph to the 95 mph and 96 mph.
“The guy that I worked with back home brought it to me in 2010 and he goes, ‘Hey man, we got this program,’” Delabar said. “‘You’ve never going to believe it but we’re getting crazy results from it.’ So being a coach at the time, I was like, ‘Hey, I was like I want to improve our players, I want to improve their game.’
“I want to have the best pitchers in the area and I want to beat everybody. So I want to improve our pitchers and I said, I want to do it because I want to teach it. I want to learn everything there is to know about it and I was like, ‘I’m going to teach this program.’ Sure enough, I started going through it and my numbers just starting, jumping, jumping and jumping.”
It wasn’t just a one-time event and eventually a scout from the Mariners was dispatched and a little over a year later, Delabar was getting his first win in Sept. 2011 against the Yankees.
“I was able to track what was going on and I was able to see the numbers so I could see my numbers going up,” Delabar said. “And I was ‘All right, this is different than what it used to be.’ So that’s about that time when we called a scout and said, ‘Hey, you might want to come check this out.’”
Nearly two years later, he is at the All-Star Game after edging out Yankees eighth-inning guy David Robertson and beating three other relievers in the Final Vote competition and sitting at a table opposite Mariano Rivera telling his story to anyone who inquires.
- See more at: http://www.metro.us/newyork/sports/mlb/2013/07/16/al-all-star-game-notebook-steve-delabar-on-his-incredible-journey/#sthash.bR83YIW0.dpuf