Vero Beach, Florida: Over the past few years, historic Dodgertown has served as the host for numerous Baseball Factory events. This year will mark the final year as the storied spring training home of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In what will be one of the final events held at Dodgertown, players from across the country enjoyed a great weekend of baseball at the Dodgertown Select Training & Competition, November 7 – 10.
On day one of Dodgertown Select Training & Competition, players and parents arrived at the complex for introductions and welcome meetings. Activity picked up fast on Saturday, as players began the morning with a throwing program followed by position specific defensive instruction. Rotations through speed and agility training, batting cages, infield and outfield drills and situational instruction rounded out the morning activities. After lunch, players split into four teams and moved through two sessions of batting practice followed up by a hitting instruction seminar. For the remainder of the afternoon the four teams competed in seven-inning scrimmage games. Players and staff then broke for dinner before beginning the evening rotations. Teams travelled together for rotations through the weight room, batting cage, core room and agility room before completing their first day of training and competition.
During the morning hours on Sunday, players moved through similar instruction from the previous day beginning with a throwing program and position specific defense. Before breaking for lunch, players rotated through Rick Sofield’s legendary “situational field” instruction. The afternoon brought the “tour of the bases,” base-running segment followed by a seven-inning scrimmage game for all four teams. Parents who attended the event joined their sons after dinner to hear Rick Sofield give his life skills presentation.
Rick Sofield served as the field coordinator for the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Dodgers and Montreal Expos and is a former AAA Manager for the Colorado Rockies. Sofield also coached at the college level serving as the Head Coach for the University of Utah and the Assistant Coach at the University of South Carolina. Rick currently is the head coach at the University of South Carolina - Beaufort. Sofield is a former first round pick in the major league draft for the Minnesota Twins and boasts three years of big league playing experience. Rick serves as a Special Advisor to Baseball Operations at Baseball Factory and is a key motivational speaker at various Player Development events.
Evening rotations followed Sofield’s speech, with infielders and outfielders taking some time in the weight room and batting cages while pitchers and catchers met with Coaches Reggie Harris and Ronnie Nedset. Harris is a former first round pick by the Boston Red Sox in 1987. He made it to the big leagues by age 21 and spent six years with five teams at the Major League level. Nedset scouted for the Pittsburgh Pirates and served as a bullpen catcher at the big league level with the Milwaukee Brewers and Detroit Tigers.
Both coaches had some great insight to provide to our pitchers and catchers. Reggie and Ronnie spoke to the group about the mental side of pitching as well as the importance of the relationship between a pitcher and catcher. After fielding questions, the coaches dismissed the group to the batting cages for the remainder of the evening.
Great weather continued into Monday as players spent the morning throwing and moving through the position-specific defensive instruction stations. Dodgertown Select Training & Competition concluded with the players taking the field with their respective teams for a final six-inning scrimmage game. In the facility, we know as Dodgertown, beautiful weather treated the players who trained hard, competed to their best ability and enjoyed an overall great weekend of baseball. The Baseball Factory would like to thank the players for all their hard work over the weekend and we wish them the best as they continue to work towards reaching their goal of playing college baseball.