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Becoming a Coach in Professional Baseball

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  • Becoming a Coach in Professional Baseball

    I've always been curious how coaches in the pros get their jobs. I know that besides minor league managers, pitching, and hitting coaches there are roving infield, outfield, baserunning, bunting, catching instructors for each organization.

    I would assume that the majority of coaches in professional baseball also played professionally and established connections while playing that allowed them to coach after their playing days. Are there minor league coaches out there that never played professional baseball?

  • #2
    I've wanted to know this too...

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes there are coaches that have not played professionally. The real point is how well can you manage a team ... lineups, plays and all that good stuff. The people who reach professional ranks will generally have an easier time of "breaking through" because the fact that they have been at that level but its not impossible. Its like a player with a great body that gets drafted out of high school vs a kid who goes to college and has to proove himself .... same idea.
      “If there was ever a man born to be a hitter it was me.” - Ted Williams
      "Didn't come up here to read. Came up here to hit." - Hank Aaron

      Comment


      • #4
        Hey Sid

        Im kind of in the same boat I guess. I never even played high school or college ball but I can throw very good BP and im trying to get a job as a bullpen catcher or BP pitcher. I always grew up playing catcher but stopped a few years ago but have been playing baseball ever since. I have always thrown great BP and never really thought about trying to do it as a job. But the more and more I threw to different friends they kept telling me how well I throw BP. Now I have been throwing for a high school in san diego and to college players and some minor leaguers and a few independent guys. Like everyone else said its all about who you know to get you in. One of the coaches at the school has an uncle who is Tye Waller who is the bench coach for the A's and he saw me throw BP a few weeks ago and told me he liked the way I throw and that I should become a bullpen catcher cuz they make more money and its a full time job. So he told me he is going to talk to some people for me and see where he can get me in at on a MLB team. And im only 25 so I have plenty of years ahead of me. Just ask around to people in the game and people know good contacts all over the place. Soon I will be throwing BP to some of the Padres since I have met some people who are good friends with them. Just work hard and good things will happen for you.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by padresfan2007 View Post
          Now I have been throwing for a high school in san diego and to college players and some minor leaguers and a few independent guys. Like everyone else said its all about who you know to get you in. One of the coaches at the school has an uncle who is Tye Waller who is the bench coach for the A's and he saw me throw BP a few weeks ago and told me he liked the way I throw and that I should become a bullpen catcher cuz they make more money and its a full time job. So he told me he is going to talk to some people for me and see where he can get me in at on a MLB team. And im only 25 so I have plenty of years ahead of me. Just ask around to people in the game and people know good contacts all over the place. Soon I will be throwing BP to some of the Padres since I have met some people who are good friends with them. Just work hard and good things will happen for you.
          This is the way it's done.

          Start from the bottom, be good, and make friends with someone a few levels up. Hopefully they'll bring you with them when they move up.

          Also, when the Giants were in town I got to see BP 4 days in a row. It was kind of funny to see how many guys threw BP and who they were. I counted a couple of coaches, a bullpen catcher, and even a trainer.
          Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

          I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by sid17 View Post
            I Are there minor league coaches out there that never played professional baseball?
            Almost none. There may be a rare exception of someone who was a college coach. Others who never played pro ball may be sons of the general manager,owner, or manager. You get the picture.

            Independent professional leagues are different though. Someone w/o pro ball experience might have a shot.

            Or you could coach in a summer college league. Even that is not an easy job to get. But if you want to be an assistant coach in Staunton, Virginia and be willing to live in the concession stand you might get lucky.
            "Thank you for repeating your opinion again for the umpteenth time, we had almost forgotten how important it is....to you. "

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            • #7
              Hey Chris

              Yeah its funny that the MLB team have like 3-5 guys who throw BP each day. Each round is usually thrown by a different person like you said coaches bullpen catcher an actual BP pitcher. Pretty much anyone on the coaching staff that can throw will some point during the season since we know its so long and they hit everyday. Its an amazing job and super fun to be on the field throwing even tho you do have pressure of tons of people watching you haha. But its good times and I hope I catch my break soon and hope the baseball gods have been watching over me.

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              • #8
                I would imagine it would also be hard to earn the respect of some players if you coach professionals but did not play professionally. For example, say you played infield in college and throughout your playing days you learned as much as you could about playing the infield, and you're great with the fungo. You get a job as a roving infield instructor for a major league club's farm system.

                When you're instructing players on how to play the infield at the professional level, I would imagine some of them would think something along the lines of "what does this guy know about being a great infielder, when he himself could never do the things he's trying to teach me?"

                I think it's interesting to compare baseball and coaches at the highest level in other sports in this regard. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think every current major league manager played professionally at some level before becoming a coach. Compare this to the NFL. Take Josh Mcdaniels, head coach for the Broncos. According to his wikipedia page, he played college football as a wide reciever at a division 3 school. Bill Belichick and Mike Tomlin are other examples of head coaches who never played past the collegiate level.

                I guess what I'm getting at is, do you have to have "been there, done that" before instructing people how to do it?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sid17 View Post
                  When you're instructing players on how to play the infield at the professional level, I would imagine some of them would think something along the lines of "what does this guy know about being a great infielder, when he himself could never do the things he's trying to teach me?"...
                  I guess what I'm getting at is, do you have to have "been there, done that" before instructing people how to do it?
                  No, but many people believe this.

                  This was the big rap against Rick Peterson when he was with the Mets.

                  I know at least Billy Wagner voiced it out loud.

                  http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/mets/...WbAFEh4RM2SkYK
                  Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

                  I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would imagine it would also be hard to earn the respect of some players if you coach professionals but did not play professionally. For example, say you played infield in college and throughout your playing days you learned as much as you could about playing the infield, and you're great with the fungo. You get a job as a roving infield instructor for a major league club's farm system.

                    When you're instructing players on how to play the infield at the professional level, I would imagine some of them would think something along the lines of "what does this guy know about being a great infielder, when he himself could never do the things he's trying to teach me?"

                    I think it's interesting to compare baseball and coaches at the highest level in other sports in this regard. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think every current major league manager played professionally at some level before becoming a coach. Compare this to the NFL. Take Josh Mcdaniels, head coach for the Broncos. According to his wikipedia page, he played college football as a wide reciever at a division 3 school. Bill Belichick and Mike Tomlin are other examples of head coaches who never played past the collegiate level.
                    The MLB teams do nothing to add to the credibility, of coaches either, whether or NOT they played. When you are paying a guy a buck, buck-fifty to work with players whose AVERAGE salary is $3M, there IS going to be a disconnect.

                    Further, the reality is that MOST MLB coaches were journeymen, not star, players themselves. I would think it would be pretty natural for an MLB hitter to dismiss them as someone who played, but wasn't good at it. So how much respect does he "deserve?"

                    Most of all, I think that by a time MLB players get to the majors, they are pretty much not going to listen to anyone, other than MAYBE a player who is better than they are. This is a defense mechanism instilled when the guy was in HS ball or so. The ones who listen will have a hard time getting to higher levels. Because they will have to - nature of the beast - listen to about 10 different guys between HS, travel, college, and low level minor ball (often in several organizations with differing philosophies).

                    I know for a fact that one player selected to the US National softball team - with EXTREMELY impressive NCAA credentials - was told from day one of training camp that her swing had to "be fixed." MAJOR changes. For four tournaments in a two-month season.

                    Look at what goes on just around this board. No agreement whatsoever, total divergence of opinion. How could ANYONE listen to 10 different "experts" on hitting between the ages of 14 and maybe 25 and get anywhere? I think the guys who get to the top of the pyramid are either very lucky in that they are exposed to only a couple of guys - and good ones at that - or they tune out at a pretty young age. If the later, they aren't all of a sudden going to tune back in later.

                    Regards,

                    Scott

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                    • #11
                      Besides acquiring more knowledge through more years of playing, I would imagine the best advantage former professional players have when getting jobs coaching in the pros is the connections they make while playing. I seems to me like at times at that level it's not so much what you know, but who.

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                      • #12
                        Most importantly, it's safer for the person doing the hiring to only hire former MLB players.
                        efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yeah

                          Yes Sid its all about who you know in the MLB. I have learned that from where im coming from and from what im trying to accomplish by getting a job in the MLB. Its interesting to talk to different people about what you want to try and do in the MLB. You will be surprised with who people know by just talking to friends about it. Keep it up and work hard and it will pay off. I pray the baseball gods are watching over me.

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