July 17th, 2024

Mavericks hosting all-star baseball clinic

By JAMES TUBB on June 26, 2024.

jtubb@medicinehatnews.com@ReporterTubb

The Medicine Hat Mavericks players and coaches will be working with what could be the next generation of Mavs.

The team announced Monday the start of an all-star clinic, targeted to all-star level players aged 11-18. They’re hosting two days of camps, July 3 and 10, with sessions broken down into different skills of the game – catching, hitting, pitching and infield – taught by coaches and players.

It’s a players camp that owner and general manager Greg Morrison has wanted to do for some time and is looking forward to getting underway.

“We work with the kids most of the year and it’s nice for them to hear a new perspective,” Morrison said. “A lot of it is similar fundamentals but I’m excited to get them in front of the players, as much as the Mavericks coaching staff, and see some of those guys that are in their early 20s and how they move and demonstrate some of those drills.”

The clinic is separated into different time slots on both days, 12:30-1:30 p.m and 1:40-2:40 p.m., and players have the choice of which session they want to attend.

The Mavs have always worked privately with teams in skill development and have taken part in the Western Canadian Baseball League’s new Viterra Kids camp that is targeted to the beginner level of baseball player.

But the passing on of skills to players at the advanced and all-star level is something they haven’t done yet.

The inclusion of head coach Kevin Mitchell, who knows pitching, assistant coaches Cody Henderson and Chad Martin, who know catching, Morrison, who knows hitting from his years of professional baseball, and players currently donning the red and white, is expertise Morrison says they all wanted to share.

“The middle infield, for example the proper footwork for flipping a double play, slow rollers, rather than just the traditional right, left field, right, left, throw basics,” Morrison said. “Then on the hitting side of it, I plan on integrating some of the more mental aspects of the game and hitting approach, not just mechanics.

“It’s been a long time coming and it’s unmatched in regards to our ability to use our great facility and get that high level of different aspects and the highest level of those coaches.”

Morrison is looking forward to the younger players getting a chance to learn from a player like infielder Johnny Vulcano and how he plays the game. He says how Vulcano fields his position and how he was taught is just a small lesson that will go a long way at the youth level.

“Johnny had a professional player who coached him at that right age, and that’s what a lot of it comes down to is that professional approach of how to stay through the ball,” Morrison said.

Morrison can remember lessons he learned at a young age that played a role as he worked his way through the pro levels. Expertise passed on to him from his dad, as well as Wayne Schlosser and Joe Eisenmann, an athletic development guru from Michigan State University, has stuck with him and inspired his path as a coach.

“(Eisenmann) told me, ‘Mo, see how deep you can let that ball get to before you attack it as a hitter,” Morrison said. “At 16, it just took me to the next level of letting the ball get deep and let your quickness of your hands do the work.

“So there’s these little things that I’ve tried to pass on for the last 20 years and that’s what I’m really excited to is to have that amount of time in a small setting.”

Morrison says they will have enough players and coaches to ensure the ratio with the clinic attendees is low to allow more one-on-one learning.

Interested baseball players can find the form to sign up on the Mavs’ social media.

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