2019 Pirates Rookie Ball Pitching Coach Seeking Opportunity Overseas
Name: Eric Minshall
DOB: July 12, 1974
Date Available: January 25, 2020Pro
Positions (alt): Youth Coach
Eric Minshall is a coach who spent 2019 in a role developing pitchers for the Pittsburgh Pirates rookie league affiliate, Bristol of the Appalachian League. Eric has a proven track record of effectively developing pitchers at both the pro, college, and high school levels. He has experience with the cutting edge technologies being used with pitchers namely the Rapsodo pitch tracking units and the Motus arm sleeves. Eric would be a great addition to any club looking for a battle-tested coach who can bring a pitching staff to the next level. Eric is also open to a head coaching position.
My coaching philosophy is as follows:
- Set clear expectations.
- Be organized.
- Communicate with players on their level.
- Continually research trends, philosophies and new methods. (Stay current)
- Have a great attitude every day.
- Master the fundamentals.
- WE over ME mentality.
- Pursue the What, Why and How.
- Coach positively. Stay away from negative behavior.
Here is some helpful information about me and my coaching philosophy:
My biggest strengths are my ability to communicate and collaborate. Gaining trust with players by learning what motivates them and learning who they are as a person. Collaborating with them on what will make them successful as a player and grow as a man. I have been very fortunate my entire life in that I am able to easily connect with people. This has served me well as a coach and as a person.
My teaching methods are always evolving. I would simply say I am a different coach to each player. Each needs something different from me and it is my job to have the skills, abilities and tools to get the best out of each player. With some players I am very hands-on, helping them manipulate their bodies, gain “feel” by helping them move in a more efficient way. With other players, they need more of a cerebral approach. They need to talk their way through their process.
Over the last several years there has been more of a technical edge to my methods. Pitch shaping and design with instant feedback. The use of Rapsodo, Trackman, Motus sleeve and super slow-motion video. The players are coming to me with better questions and ideas. I have adapted and made myself into a very tech-savvy coach who can explain and teach in many different ways. I feel there is no pitcher on a staff that I can not reach. I am a strong communicator and quickly find ways to build a strong, trusting relationship with players. I own and operate a pitching academy in West Chester, Ohio. We have become a leader in the industry and have a large following in the pitching community. Operating the academy has given me a tremendous opportunity to work with throwing athletes from all age groups. This has helped my process to teach athletes from all different skill levels.
The following are my philosophies on certain aspects of the game:
- Mechanics: I like an athletic delivery that has a solid lower half foundation. I like to
see a delivery that is linear and rotational at the same time. Can you control your
center mass, staying back while moving forward? Is the baseball being released at
late launch to execute pitches?
- Long Toss: I am a big advocate of long toss. I believe it promotes a healthy arm,
maintains velocity and is an important part of a throwing program.
- Weighted ball programs: I am a weighted ball believer. Having used the majority of
Driveline’s methods for 7 years with zero injuries and very successful results, I am a
believer. However, I do not believe weighted balls are for everyone. I approach each
pitcher with an eye toward individualization. Sometimes weighted balls are not a tool
I use for a particular pitcher.
- Game planning: This past season being able to use TruMedia every day to help
game plan was a big step forward for me. Using the heat map data, videos of
opponents AB’s and video of our pitchers executing sequences significantly helped
our staff and the catchers develop throughout the year. I spent an extra 2-3 hours
per day on game planning and we saw significant results in development.
- Velocity: As velocities rise and become more important to the pitching game it’s
important to understand velocity as part of your arsenal. Trackman and Rapsodo
data can help you identify areas to place your fastball and develop pitches to tunnel
together. I believe higher velo also helps offset your breaking ball and changeup.
Making it harder to ambush pitches with greater velo separation.
- Command: Command is extremely important. Without it, you are essentially
pitching like a shotgun blast and hoping for results. (Jumbo Diaz comes to mind)
Being able to have command of both sides of the plate and work off of a consistent
tunnel will increase your weak contact and swing and miss rate. I heavily promote
command training in the throwing program each workday.
Here are some of the technologies I have used in player development:
- Trackman Data: I used TrackMan data this season to help teach one of our priority
pitchers who was a consistent 95-99 mph with his FB. I was able to show him where
he could throw his fastball at the top of the zone with an impressive 37-40% swing
and miss rate due to a 2600+ spin rate coupled with 97+ velo. He previously only
worked down and away. I was able to get him comfortable working just above the
hands in leverage situations and show him the triangle method. Later in the season, I
was able to show him how he could tunnel his slider off of those pitches in the zones
he could command. Our P360 reports showed he had excellent execution and was
pitching in the 95th-100 percentile for his current level and the next level.
- Rapsodo: I have used Rapsodo extensively for three years and logged over 200
pitchers into the database. When I first began using Rapsodo I found that players
were getting real-time feedback and helping understand what the baseball actually
was doing coming out of their hand. As we have developed over the years, that has
now enhanced the development of pitches with a real “filth factor” by zeroing in on spin
efficiency and axis. How can I make a slider break with a better and more useful spin? This
season I had an international player who was told to scrap his curveball and develop
a slider. Through patient use of Rapsodo and slow-motion video, we were able to get
a better feel on a grip and understand a good throwing pattern. We used the Rapsodo
to provide excellent feedback. This player needed a pure low-efficiency spin, lateral
movement slider to work off his fastball. Not just a slider that looked good to the eye.
He was able to recreate a solid pro slider by consistently getting good data feedback.
- High-Speed Video: I have been using one form or another of slow-motion video
since 2000. The advance in technology in the slow-motion capture realm has been a
big boost for performance coaches. Getting players to see how they actually perform
vs how they think they perform has been incredible. I was able to work with one of
our starting pitchers in extended spring. He was sitting 89-90 mph with good
command but he was very late with ball/glove separation and struggled to have any
semblance of a smooth, athletic delivery. I received permission to take him to our
performance center, review slow-motion video on the big screen and walk him
through what he was doing. He was in disbelief but quickly was all in to fix the
issues. Within two weeks he had a good feel on how to stay connected to the
rubber, work inside the “box” and keep symmetry through his delivery. He found
great success. He started throwing a consistent 94 and was moved up to our low-A
affiliate where he pitched successfully for the rest of the season.
This season I had the great pleasure of working with hungry and moldable pitchers in extended spring as well as short season rookie ball. The collaboration between all departments was impressive. I routinely met with strength staff to help identify areas for improvement. We went over the details of their movement screens and compared that data against what we were seeing in bullpens and live games. We spent a considerable amount of time working through player improvement plans.
One specific example: We had an international player who was a very large man. He stood 6’8, had a great frame and a very positive attitude. I had noticed that he was having difficulty getting into his lower half and maintaining a hip hinge. Working through the data of his movement screen we saw that his core was very weak and that his leg strength was below average. I had also noticed during PFP’s that he struggled to get down to properly field a ball. We checked with medical to see if there were any prior conditions or injuries. None reported. The strength team prescribed a very well thought out plan and put it into place. Within 4 weeks we started seeing very positive results. He was carrying his glute load much better and this helped him kinetically up the chain. He was previously 89-91 and now was 91-93 with an excellent down angle. I was fortunate enough to have him on our short season roster and he continued to improve. I repeatedly received excellent reports from our strength staff concerning his work ethic and improvement.
On a consistent and regular basis, I collaborated with our Mental Strength department to help our players who were having anxiety and performance issues. During short season we had a priority player with high potential who was sabotaging himself on the mound. Self-doubt, thoughts of mechanics, the game speeding up were all on his mind.
Through collaboration and positive reinforcement, we were able to get him to a place where fear was not a factor. HE WAS IN CONTROL. We eliminated the thoughts about mechanics and were able to get him to visualize the result. Within two starts he became the pitcher we all believed he could be. He needed a better mental routine, process and inner belief system. The mental exercises became a ritual and we found that other players were coming forward to seek assistance based on our priority pitcher’s success.
I have many more examples of working with pitchers to help them achieve success. I am also proud of the way our pitching staff culture provided an environment for learning, competition, and accountability. I believe this is one of the main reasons that we made the playoffs and had a staff full of men who refused to lose.
I am a collaborator and I excel at getting different departments and skillsets on the same page. I have experience with analytics, technology, public speaking and a solid history of collaborating with strength and conditioning staff. I am very familiar with functional movement screens and the ability to interpret what a pitcher needs to improve his functionality.
I am very well organized and I possess outstanding communication skills. I have extensive experience in implementing pitching development programs.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
|2003-2018||Head Coach and Dir of Baseball Operations||Southern Ohio Elite 17/18u Travel Team||Travel Baseball, High School||Head Coach and Dir of Baseball Operations for Collegiate Summer League team for 7 years. Coordinated all rosters, recruiting, travel arrangements, scheduling and game management.|
|2000-2002||Catching & Outfield Coach||Archbishop Moeller High School||High School||Catching and Outfield Coach for Nationally Ranked Archbishop Moeller High School. Coordinated pro scouting efforts.|
|2013-2018||Associate Head Coach||Miami University Hamilton||NAIA College||Assoc Head Coach, Recruiting Coordinator, Pitching Coach. Recruiting, fund raising, develop practice plans, pitching development, travel coordinator, academic liaison. Rapsodo, Motus Sleeve and strength/conditioning methods all introduced.|
|2019||Pitching Coach||Pittsburgh Pirates||Pro (Rk+)||Pitching Coach for Rookie Advanced Bristol Affiliate. Finished 4th in the Appalachian League in ERA. Developed several priority pitchers. Record number of pitchers promoted to next level. Trackman, Rapsodo, TruMedia and Motus technology.|
Eric would be a tremendous asset to any baseball organization. He is bright, competent and forward thinking. He is a life time learner who is very current with the best practices of todays top pitching minds. He is sincere, genuine and honest. Players like him.
Highly recommend Eric as a potential coach for any level of baseball.
Overseas goals: Experience new cultures and meet new people, Use my knowledge and experience to help grow the game globally, Gain coaching experience
Playing Preferences Europe (Summer), Canada (Summer), Asia (Summer), New Zealand (Winter), Latin America (Winter)
Living preferences: Living on my own, Living with teammates with my own private bedroom, Living with a host family
Return home: I can stay as long as it takes to complete a season
Prior engagements: None
Recent injuries/illnesses: None
Traveling with a companion: No