“Ask Sam” – More Of Your Baseball Questions Answered By Sam Perlozzo

Philadelphia Phillies 1B coach and PBI advisor Sam Perlozzo answers your baseball-related questions. Do you have a question for Sam? Ask it here – AskSam@baseballclinics.com.

Here’s the latest from the “Ask Sam” mailbag:

Q – Sam – I’m a Phillies fan here in central New Jersey and VERY excited about the Cliff Lee deal! Everyone had Lee penciled into the Yankees rotation. Did you have any sense that the Phils were going to get involved? And how much of a difference do you think he’ll make this season? – Eric, Somerset NJ

AEric, I never put anything past our organization. In the short two years I have been with Philly I have seen the desire, brains, and guts to go out and make this team a winner. Ruben Amaro is not afraid to pull the trigger and our group of investors give him the resources to make it happen.

I was not surprised that we ended up in the deal for Cliff Lee. All the players and coaches expressed how much we had missed him this year. And a tribute to the organization and all the city of Philadelphia that he liked it so much in just a short period of time. His family had fallen in love with the Phillies and that’s easy to do. They have the knack of knowing what makes it click for not only the players & coaches , but also to the fans.

There is always a period of time when you feel you can win and they are giving us every opportunity to cash in on it….Go Phils!! – Sam

Q – Sam , My name is Ahmed. I’m 18 years old and a freshman at college in Providence, Rhode Island however my home is Fair Lawn, New Jersey. I’m 5 foot 10 and 210 lbs. I have been playing baseball all my life with hopes of making it to the major leagues someday. I’m open to all criticism and I learn from my mistakes. Due to injuries during my high school career (that have been surgically repaired successfully) I don’t have any stats worth looking at. All I have is my heart, love, and dedication for the game.

Unfortunately after I had what I believed the best tryout of my life, I was cut from my college team, simply because I wasn’t going to beat anyone one out especially the recruited players according to the coach. I was devastated. I’ve battled back from my 3 surgeries, and physical therapy just to hopefully play competitively again, and I’m still in the gym 3 times a week and working on my swing so that I can be ready for my next tryout. I have emailed so many coaches in and around Rhode Island and unfortunately, they either have not gotten back to me, or they are asking for ridiculous prices that I simply can’t afford. I have found 0 club teams for 18 years and older and nothing for spring baseball that I wish to play. I want to play competitvely, and I want to showcase my talent to scouts because I know I have talent to back myself up.

My main question is….Is this the end of my baseball dream? It’ll be a hard pill to swallow but I need an answer from a true professional….truth is I simply don’t think I have a chance with the already recruited players at my college, and I don’t know how much money I can pay to play for training or club teams. Please, if there is anything, any information or advice that you can give me, any league, club, training, ANYTHING that can help me get any closer to my dream, i’ll be greatly greatly thankful.

A – Ahmad, it sounds as though you certainly have the desire, the next question is do you have the talent. I am at a disadvantage from that standpoint but I’ll see if any of what I have to say may help. You are most definitely not too old to play baseball and think it is over for you. You just need to find someone or something that allows you to showcase your talents. One thing I would certainly do is contact Major League Baseball and find out about any and all tryout camps they may be holding in your area. They are free and scouts with be there to see what you have. I know how it works at certain places that have already made a commitment to their recruiting class so you should not take that as a barometer of your skills. The 2011 dates have not been announced yet, but you can check out last year’s information here – http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/about_mlb/tryout_us.jsp
I do know this, Ahmad – you must have at least one good skill to progress to pro sports (strong arm, running speed, power,fielding skills, good hitter, etc). Most teams will take a second look at you if they see one of those skills. They always feel they can help you get better in the other areas. So I would suggest you evaluate yourself, and then if you know you have it, then do everything possible to get seen. Keep your head up, there is time. Best of Luck! – Sam

Q – Sam, I’m running a baseball camp for 5th-8th grades for my senior project. The project is supposed to help me with my future goals, and since I want to be a baseball coach one day I would like to run a camp. So I was wondering what general information I need to know to run a camp and what drills would be good for these young kids? – Carow

A – Carow, that is a nice idea to hold a camp for kids. Since there is a limited amount of time in a camp and you want to cover everything, then you should stick to the basics of the game. By that I mean baseball is made up of hitting,fielding,throwing, & running. So I would set up four stations with each one of these areas being covered and rotate the kids through the stations. Give each station a time limit, and at the end of the program, have a question & answer session for whatever they feel the need to ask. Keep everything basic since they are so young and don’t make the time at each station too long as to lose their attention. And just as importantly, try to keep them involved as much as possible.

This is not an easy project and you will need some help. If you are the only person, then you can run the whole group through the stations yourself and you may have to give them a short break after you are halfway through. Like I said, stay basic and let the Q & A at the end be your venue for individual problems. Best of Luck in your clinic!!

Drill ideas:
Hitting – Tee hitting, soft toss hitting into a net
Running – Have kids run to bases and make turns
Fielding – Usually rolling balls to them can do the trick
Throwing – Playing catch with each other, covering proper arm angles and grip on the ball


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