LESSONS - ABOUT


Espinosa Baseball is dedicated to teaching baseball technique and to helping aspiring players reach their athletic goals. All of our private instruction is driven by video analysis. We offer lessons in hitting, pitching, and catching, as well as infield and outfield play.

We teach the same fundamentals to an eight-year old player as we do to a professional player. The art is in modifying and challenging the players as appropriate!

These baseball and softball skills are taught in private and group lesson formats, indoor and outdoors, as well as through the use of our On-Line Academy. We also have hitting, pitching, and infield programs designed for out of area players during school breaks.


Hitting

Our Hitting Curriculum can be broken down into five General Areas:

  • Develop a strong mechanical base, identify and correct hitting faults
  • Develop rhythm and timing
  • Develop good pitch recognition and directional hitting skills through both blocked and randomized feeding
  • Develop and practice in-game hitting skills through “Challenge Rounds”
  • Chart progress through use of video and objective data

 

Additionally, it is important to develop individual hitting plans based on factors such as:

  • Age and experience level
  • Seasonal timing: In-Season, Off-Season, Pre-Season, Pre-Tryout or Showcase event
  • Hitters strengths and weaknesses based on past and recent successes
  • Individual makeup of the student, including learning style

 

The ability to hit against high level pitching will be the single most important factor that will determine most player’s chances of playing at the next level!

It is an exciting challenge that we are proud to embrace with our students day in and day out!

 

Pitching

Contrary to the general trend of “Velocity Training,” our belief is that pitcher velocity is achieved through:

  •  Mechanical Development: An efficient, stress-free and repeatable motion, including the creation of a strong and stable base, good rhythm and timing, an efficient weight transfer with good forward direction toward the plate, clean and loose arm action, and a long arc of deceleration
  • Physical Development: Age-appropriate strength, flexibility, agility, aerobic and anaerobic training
  • Arm Care:  Proper and consistent Warm-up and Cool-down protocols, a common sense approach to throwing and pitching volumes, limited reliance on breaking balls in game situations, and proper nutrition, sleep, and rest

Our approach may not be earth shattering or feed the obsession of our velocity hungry baseball society, but it is natural, balanced, user-friendly, and designed to provide long-term benefits.

Our Pitching Lesson Training includes the following components:

  • Video Analysis to identify mechanical faults
  • The development of a Prioritized Plan with the goal of tracing pitching inefficiencies at their root
  • The implementation of a Practice Plan consisting of drills designed to correct pitching faults, most of which can be easily practiced between sessions at home
  • The development of a Second Pitch
  • The development of Pitching Strategies and patterns that best suit the individual’s strengths
  • Objective Feedback, including pitch charting and analysis
  • The development of Proper Warm-up and Cool-down Techniques

HIGH SCHOOL PLAYER: ONE KNEE BRACE-UP DRILL

 

Fielding

Infield Play:

Joe Espinosa addresses coaches at the 2017 World Baseball Coaches Convention at Mohegan Sun

The job of any infielder is to get outs for his team. “Make the ordinary play extraordinary well” and also “Make the extraordinary play ordinary!”

These are done through the building of a strong foundation, repetitive practice and attention to detail.

Lessons are organized into three general categories:

  • General Infield Technique
  • Feet
  • Field
  • Funnel
  • Footwork
  • Fire
  • Follow
  • Position Specific Techniques
  • Positioning
  • Throwing angles and lanes
  • Feeds and turns
  • Tags and relays
  • Blocked, Random, and Game-Speed Practice Sessions
  • Balls hit “AT”
  • Glove side
  • Backhand side
  • Slow Rollers
  • Bunts

The opposing team offense presents us with multiple challenges. We must have a technique and be prepared for each and every challenge!

Professional Infielder working with Joe Espinosa, November, 2016: DP turns on “bad feeds” outside the right shoulder

High School Player working on same technique

Please check out our website, created with Marlins Infield Coach, Perry Hill: www.goldglovedefense.com

 

Outfield Play:

Our Outfield Curriculum is organized into four major components:

  1. Setup and anticipation
  2. Getting good reads and taking good routes
  3. Achieving best fielding position for throwing and non-throwing situations
  4. Proper footwork and arm action

 

Our emphasis during the indoor winter off-season is on developing proper footwork and throwing mechanics. The emphasis shifts toward drills that promote proper tracking, game situation play, and the development of arm strength and accuracy during the outdoor season.

 

Catching

The three Major Skills:

  • Receiving
  • Blocking
  • Throwing

These skills require catchers to be able to move smoothly and powerfully from a stance to the ground or to their feet efficiently and repetitively. Hip strength and flexibility are a must!

Our catching program is based on SQUAB program (Speed, Quickness, Agility, Balance) developed by Kevin Schnal  (Coastal Carolina Catching Coach). The program is physically and mentally demanding and challenging and covers all aspects of catcher development. Catchers are taught personal routines that they can integrate into their team regimens.

Our use of the SQUAB has dramatically benefited our catchers over the two-year period we have implemented it.

Thank you, Coach Schnal and CONGRATULATIONS on winning the 2016 NCAA Division I World Series!!!