“Ask Sam” – Your Baseball Questions Answered By MLB Coach Sam Perlozzo March 2015

Ask Sam Perlozzo - Twins

Welcome to the latest “Ask Sam.”

I’m Sam Perlozzo and I’m the minor league infield and baserunning coordinator for the Minnesota Twins. A former manager and coach at the major league level, I am also one of Professional Baseball Instruction’s Major League Advisors. Each month, I answer your baseball-related questions.

Inside BaseballBefore we get into this month’s questions, I want to remind you about something brand new that I’m involved in and very excited about. Fellow PBI Advisor Leo Mazzone and I have teamed up with former MLB players Roy Halladay, Dave Magadan, Jody Reed, Tom Foley and others on a new website called Inside Baseball. We offer the world’s largest online library of baseball training videos with proven advice and training methods designed to help baseball players of all abilities improve their game. I hope you’ll take a few moments to check out the website; there’s a lot of excellent information there.

Now, let’s get to your questions. And remember, if you have something you’d like to ask? Email me directly – AskSam@baseballclinics.com.

Q: Sam – With spring training underway, how do the pros practice as a team – do they set up stations and work on skills, do they use any special training equipment? And how does that change during the season – do teams even practice beyond pre-game batting practice? Also, how do you teach pros to focus and handle the excessive negativity of the fans in other stadiums? Thanks, Phil.

Spring Training drillsA: Well Phil, that’s a lot of questions! We start with an exercise and conditioning program led by our team’s strength and conditioning coaches. Each minor league team has its own strength and conditioning coach along with a trainer. That usually lasts about 30 minutes. The Twins built a hill outside the clubhouse where they go through numerous drills up and down this hill. Quite different. From there, each team breaks to its perspective field where they loosen their arms.

We then gather into specific groups (Infielders, outfielders, catchers, pitchers) and go through a series of specific work or drills for that particular area. When that is done, we all gather together and then go team fundamentals (bunt plays, pick-offs, defense of 1st & 3rd, etc.) Those two areas could last for over an hour or more. Then we go into batting practice for each team. Sometimes pitchers have to pitch so that could take longer.

Mets spring training

Photo courtesy NY Daily News

At the end of the day we go through a running program along with stretching. So as you can see it is a lot of work to get done each day. After a week we start playing games against other organizations each day until its time to break camp and start our seasons.

When the season starts, we have daily BP along with ground ball work etc. In the minor leagues, managers and coaches have days to work on specific drills but not daily. I am the infield/base running coordinator, so when I get to down for a four game series, I have guys out early for specific skill issues that may need cleaned up. And other coordinators do the same (hitting & pitching) and other organizations have even more. So as you can see, our guys get plenty of work besides playing games almost every night.

As far as the negativity from other stadiums, we all go through that and we try to just keep our focus on the game. Sometimes it becomes out of hand but most places have security and they help against really rude people. Concentration is our main focus and adversity is part of all of our lives. It is how we handle it that allows us to get to the level we want. They why we call them Big Leaguers!! Thanks for the interest, Sam.

Q: Hello Coach. I have a 19 year old son who pitched in high school. He is now a freshman in college and recently had a Division 1 school evaluate him on his pitching. The coach followed up with us and said his velocity averaged about 76 mph and he needed to be in the mid 80’s or higher for D1 consideration.

1. What is the reality of he attaining the mid-to-upper 80’s at this juncture?
2. Could he gain more than 10 mph on velocity?

pitcherI personally don’t think its doable some players are just not meant to pitch beyond high school and believe he has a better chance focusing on being a third baseman, a position he also played in high school. By the way, he’s 6’2″ 185lbs w/speed; runs 60 yds in 6.5 seconds. How can I convince him otherwise or should I continue to support his dream. I’ve encouraged him to look at lower division schools if he wants to continue to pitch but her refuses to look at those possibilities. Thanks for your answer, George.
A: George, I would think as age 19 your son should be throwing harder than the mid 70’s. That doesn’t mean he can’t increase his velocity, but it will take some time and it doesn’t sound like he has that luxury at this time. If he really wants to pitch he should go to a smaller school where they may have the patience to see if his velocity does get better. He could get lost at the D1 school and eventually lose out on some baseball experience. Sounds like he is quite the competitor. There are some ML pitchers out there who don’t throw much harder than him but they are really great at locating their pitches with movement. Usually when a veteran at the end of his career tries to hang on, he becomes a “trick” pitcher, just trying to get the hitters to bite on his off speed pitches. That eventually catches up to them and they don’t last.

My advice is to talk him into a smaller school, pitch or play 3rd base for two years, see how it goes and if it gets a lot better then maybe he can transfer to a D1 school and get his wish. Playing the game is a great learning experience. And getting an education is a must. He wont be sorry for doing any of that!! Good luck, I hope it works out. Let me know, Sam.

Q: Sam, I am a 14 year old baseball player. My community says that I am very good. So I was wondering if I should get someone like a scout to follow me and watch my game. My dream is to player in the pros. I hope you can answer! Thanks, Vinny.

High school baseball showcaseA: Vinny, I’m sure your community knows what they are talking about! But let me fill you in on a few things that will help put you at ease. You are still young and scouts, even though they may see you, wont get serious until you graduate from high school. That is the first time you would be eligible to be drafted. If you are passed up in that draft then you would have to go to college and work to improve your skills until the scouts think you are good enough to be taken into the pros.

Major League scouts don’t miss too many kids. I doubt you will have to contact anyone. If you are really that good they have a way of finding that out and you will be scouted. One thing you may do when you get a little older, is to try and find out if there are any try-out camps in your area, and see if you can attend. There are also travel teams that you could hook up with and you will surely get looked at.

So keep up with what you are doing, do some research, play on as many teams as you can, and I’m sure you will continue to do well and hopefully achieve your dream of reach the pros!! Good Luck, Sam.

Thanks again for the great questions. I always enjoy talking baseball with people. Send your questions to me via email at AskSam@baseballclinics.com.


  1. Brad Constant says:

    Is it against the rules for any other position player to use a catchers glove.

  2. Nei Meischeid says:

    What percent of MLB games does a team steal 5 or more bases?

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