TORRE BASEBALL TRAINING BLACK SOX
PRO BASEBALL OPPORTUNITIES
In our 16th year, 2017, things took off more than ever. We signed more guys into the Atlantic League/Frontier League and Pacific Association than we ever have. Things were off to a good start when one of my most loyal and tenured clients, Mr. Tyler Clark, was signed at a game catching against a 19U Prospect team from Canada by the first base coach of the game who was also the Pitching Coach for the Lancaster Barnstormers, who we would later schedule a Spring Training game with. In 2018, we already have 4 Atlantic League Spring Training games, doubling the 2017 slate.
Man that was easy. And then things just started happening. But the best part isnt and wasnt the signings. It was the performances. Especially in the Pecos League were guys needed to shine. Brandon Torres hit .300 and broke a franchise record for walks. Aaron Stubblefield hit .340 and moved up to the Salina team, and AJ Flores hit over .400. John Giakis tore up the league, Gavin Lavallee had a consistent season, and players like Jesse Remington pitched his way to a complete season and into the Frontier League by the end of the season and resigned in 2018. Top Pecos League players also included Garret Baker, Dominick Zaher, Yuta Okazaki, but before 2017 was over we are already helping a handful of the top players in the league, including Louis Martini and Morgan Blatnik. But enough about the shrubs ( and we didnt even cover the Pacific Yet)
Oh and by the way, Joe Winkelsas has been fired and no longer works for TBT. Watch out Kids!
Players started becoming established and no joke-we have some of the best guys in the league, young guys, who are on their way up. Ryan Lashley signed on with Southern Illinois and played the whole season, and Cameron Monger was signed twice because of his Black Sox connections, and we started moving on players with more experience. Skylar Janisse and Brian McKenna had awesome entire seasons in the Frontier League after bouncing around shady situations they were presented with in the past. Mckenna's hard work and dedication to this process is 2nd to none in IndyBall. Janisse could be one of the top Frontier League arms this year. Aaron Brill was promoted from the Pacific Association to the Frontier League in August and almost won a Championship with former teammate both with the Black Sox and with Felecian College, Jack Fowler, who spent time with the Gary Railcats and the Florence Freedom all summer. Alex Fishberg pitched in the Frontier League and won a Pacific Association Title himself, defeating Juan Espinosa and DJ Sharabi in the Championship Game in Sonoma. Speaking of Gary, Randy Santiesteban, who signed in 2016, continued on his way up and became an every day infielder for Greg Tagert before he was injured and Jack Fowler signed on for his 2nd season there.
You know things are going right, when in Spring Training in Florence, Tim Adleman, Cincinnati Reds Pitcher who stopped by the Black Sox briefly in 2012, got tickets for me and Drew to watch him pitch right down the road in Cinci. In October 2017, I attended a Bullpen and provided a catcher for JP Ricciardi at Citi Field, creating another connection and a deeper part in the Mets invite only workouts that will take place in St. Lucie in March that we attend. We attended the Frontier Draft, Can-Am tryouts, Pacific Association Spring Training with all 4 teams, and left more players on the tour than we ever did. It was an awesome effort from Drew Rosario and guys like Matt Eshelman, Justin Black and Bobby Orozco, who didn't even sign on the trip, but I thought were some of the top contributors. Guys who I thought deserved it didn't get jobs. Guys who ate up innings in Spring TRaining and at-bats retired before, during or after the season...
I also threw more players off the team than ever, turning away money and often times left handed pitching. I can't deal with you being on you're phone in an American Association dugout during the game. Or your mom calling me and telling me you are an only child and deserve to be treated better than that. Or that you don't like the fact that the "coach" (or the Godfather of the Grind, you jerk) was taking BP or playing in a game. I don't want to hear it when you aren't selected to play vs the MLB clubs or in front of the big time scouts...that's just how it goes...it's a very specific and delicate situation and what you need to know is that my reputation is on the line with my Coaches every day and we need to do certain things at certain times to make things happen, otherwise we wouldnt have these opportunities. We have pretty much always made the right choice and best choices for the guys. I do my very best day in and day out for these guys.
Also, Simon Coached in the Can-Am League, making that the 5th league he has Managed and Coached in since 2012. Dennis Pelfrey almost won the Championship in Florence with the Freedom and several Black Sox players that he signed along the way. And as for myself, I Coached my first season of Pro Ball since 2012, when i Coached 3B for Aaron Miles in the Pacific Association and the Pittsburg Diamonds.
There is no other story like this, no other Staff, no other Road Warrior Tour. If you want to get on this train, it never stops, just see when it rolls through your town, or pack up your horse and meet us. We're the the one's that they told you to run from, we may not be for everyone, and if you don't like, just play better.
In our 15th year in existence in 2016 we blew up the tour, and played almost 30 spring training games in 5 different leagues. We had players finally start to accumulate their pro experience and get to a higher level. Guys like Bobby Orozco and Ryan Calby who had been around the Black Sox since 2013 and 2014 were being promoted to the American Association. I could continue on and write the novel if players signed here but I think what people reading this really need to do is do their research and type the names of the signed players on my teams into the computer and see what their stats and numbers were and why they went so far. Look at their path and what they had to go through to get there. In 2016 and 2017 the scams were the Kentucky Derby, the fake league starting up in Georgia that some players paid to go to. These things popping up in Cuba and all over the place, trying to get the same shitty players to spend their same money on not getting a contract....we took advantage and dropped some players in there as places to rest. For example Joe Jones and Joey Randazzo hid out in the George Thorogood Kentucky league, and Randazzo ended up signing with Pittsburg in the Pacific Associaiton and Jones signed with Joplin and is invited back for 2018. Randazzo will need shoulder surgery because the league, run by "former MLB guys" Deleon and some other guy named Juan who sent me dirty texts from Matty Holems phone, needed pitching. Either way, both guys signed and we took advantage of the situation except for that surgery situation for Joe.
In its 14th year in existence, the 2015 Black Sox signed over 50 players to professional contracts in leagues around the country. The Black Sox were undefeated in 5 Pacific Association games after a 4 game American Association trip that included games against the Sioux Falls Canaries, Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks and Joplin Blasters. In 2015, not one Black Sox or TBT Torre Baseball Training player was told to go to the Ozark, Heartland, Mount Rainier or ECBL* because Joe Torre knew that these "professional leagues" would not happen. They coordinated workouts and arrangements to accommodate players** throughout the season organizing housing and tryouts for released players. Some players did however, attend those leagues that folded or where players did not get paid. Plenty of prospects wasted valuable time and their families invested money into organizations that would never succeed or further their careers. We are your second chance at professional baseball and our goal is to help players in chasing their dream by giving them the best assistance and advice possible.
The idea for The Black Sox Pro League*** for the players started in 2015, when Joe Torre and Joe Winkelsas unfolded and saved the scam that was the "Myrtle Beach Winter League". After just a day at camp, the two discovered that the funds and money for the camp were not present and that the league was a sham. The two fought to save the program and helped 22 of the 40+ players sign professional contracts in 2015. Many of the players from the league ended up staying with the Black Sox down in Florida for the next two months, and several attended our spring training trip.
In 2013, the Sox played their first Professional Spring Training games opposing the Newark Bears and used the games to sign players to professional contracts. In 2014, the Sox hit the road for the first time as a professional traveling team and went 4-1-1 in the IBL (Ohio-Michigan based) and signed half the team en route to signing 20+ players on the year. Joe was invited back in July to play 2 games with the Adrian Pioneers for their playoff run. He had a chance to be part of the American Association by the end of the summer but a pitch that broke his finger opened the door for another young Northeast player, Frank Salierno, to sign with the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks. Torre was at Salierno's first series in Pomona NY.
* Before meeting Joe Torre in Myrtle Beach, Joe Winkelsas had a "managerial position" in the ECBL worth more than $50,000. He was also offered the same amount to Coach in Missouri but Torre knew that things were too good to be true. Torre helped Winkelsas obtain his first professional coaching job in the American Association with the Sioux Falls Canaries.
** In 2015, Torre went as far as to rent apartments to players, pick up traded and released players from the airport and take them directly to the stadium. Steve Rogers was picked up from Newark airport and dropped off in Rockland NY to play vs the Boulders. Players such as Derrick Pyles (LS4) stayed for days on air mattresses as they planned out their next moves.
*** South Florida has been a stop on Torre's tour of playing and Coaching Professionally since 2008. The Having not played in high school or college, Torre needed a way to get 450 at-bats and play a grueling more-than-big-league schedule that included 213 games one year. The opportunities presented on this trip are a culmination of his experiences and connections that have been built over Torre's career and are available to the players in the program.
The Black Sox Baseball League was created as a competitive league for players who have or are looking to obtain contracts to play professional baseball in 2016. The purpose of the league is to guide professional grade players to the destination that will allow them to advance their professional career.
Our players understand the game within the game, and most of them have a plan, and better yet, have contracts and spring training invites year after year. There is a chess game inside the dirty game of independent and professional baseball.
We will tell you the hard the truth. We won’t send you to leagues that doesn’t exist or somewhere where you will sit and not get the at-bats or innings that you need to prove yourself so that you can move on to a higher level.
There is no time for players to adapt to the speed of the professional game in spring training or in the middle of the season. Players need to be slowing the game down, and most importantly, understand the different philosophies that vary depending on what team, league or manager you may be playing for.
Our professional coaches work with players on the specific skills and tweaks to their game that they individually need. Our Power Arm Program helps pitchers and throwers bring up their velocity while focusing on mechanics and injury prevention.
- 3- Games a week - Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
- Games against Other League Teams
- Games against Professional Teams during their Spring Training
- Games against other Academy's
- Workout days are Tuesday and Thursday
- Batting Practice
- Power Arm Program
- Hitting Mechanics
- Fielding Mechanics
- Pitching Mechanics
- Showcase Skills
- Mental Training