Buck Thomas - Coach Buck is considered the best hitting coach and college placement advisor in the country, with over 800 collegiate placements, 96 MLB draft picks, as well as 22 MLB players and counting.
A true coach of the entire game, serving both MLB/MiLB as hitting consultant and mental focus advisor year round. He has produced and coached many of todays top players including, Kris Bryant, Kevin Gausman, Greg Bird, Shane Victorino, Will Middlebrooks, Yasmani Grandal, among others.
Jeff Pentland (Senior Hitting Advisor) - Jeff Pentland is an alumnus of Arizona State University where he was a two-way player. As a pitcher, he had a 32-12 win-loss record and 2.25 ERA for his collegiate career, which is still top 10 at ASU. He spent three seasons (1969-71) in the Padres organization, mostly playing first base.
Pentland started his coaching career in 1975 and hasn't stopped since. He coached at ASU from 1983 to 1992 before joining the Marlins minor league staff. He became the big league hitting coach in 1996 and then went on to work with the Cubs from 1997 to 2002. He held four other big league hitting jobs including the Royals (2003-05), Mariners (2005-08), Dodgers (2008-2010), and Yankees (2015).
He has taught and been around some of the greatest hitters in recent history such as Barry Bonds, Adrian Beltre, Alex Rodriguez, Raul Ibanez, Andre Ethier and others! He has an immense amount of knowledge that he is excited to give back to the next generation as he serves as our senior Hitting Advisor.
Rick Sweet - Coach Sweet is an alumnus of Gonzaga University where he caught for the Bulldogs from 1973-1975. He was drafted in the 3rd round by the San Diego Padres in 1975. He spent 6 seasons with the Padres Organization and made his Major League Debut April 8th, 1978. He also played with the New York Mets and the Seattle Mariners , making his last MLB appearance on October 2, 1983.
Since retiring he has had a long career as a bullpen coach, scout, minor and major league coach, and minor league managing. He has coached with the Mariners, Astros, Expos, Padres, Tigers, Reds, and currently the Brewers organization where he is the Manager of the AAA Skysox. He serves as our senior catching instructor.
Kimera Bartee - Coach Bartee is a former MLB outfielder and alumnus of Creighton University in Nebraska. He was a part of Creighton's NCAA college World Series appearance in 1991.
In 1993, Kimera was drafted in the 14th round by the Baltimore Orioles. He made his Major League Debut with the Detroit Tigers on April 3rd, 1996. He played for the Tigers, Reds, and the Rockies; making his final MLB appearance on August 1st, 2001.
Since retiring from playing professionally, Coach Bartee has been the field coach for the Delmarva Shorebirds, a manager with the State College Spikes, and just finished his 9th Season as the Outfield/BaseRunning/Bunting coordinator for the Pittsburg Pirates. He will be the Pirates first base coach beginning the MLB season in 2017.
Alan Zinter - Coach Zinter is an alunus of the University of Arizona where he was the 1989 Pac-12 Player of the Year and a member of the Baseball All-American Team. He was a First-Round draft pick that same year as a catcher for the New York Mets, where he eventually moved to first base.
He played in the minor leagues for 14 years. As well as the Dominican and Japan before getting called up with the Houston Astros in 2002 and made his final MLB appearance with the Arizona Diamondback on October 3rd, 2004. He continued to play in the Minor Leagues until he began his coaching career in 2008 with the Diamondbacks Organization. He has been a hitting coach with Diamondbacks, Indians, and the Astros organizations. He is currently with the San Diego Padres as their Big League Hitting Coach.
Alonzo Powell - Coach Powell is a former MLB outfielder who was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 1983. He played on the Expos and the Mariners from 1987-1991. He then played 7 years in Japan for the Dragons and the Tigers from 1992-1998. He was the first foreign player to win 3 straight batting titles, hitting .324, .355, and .340 from 1994-1996. He was also a two-time Central League All-Star.
He began his coaching career as a hitting coach for the Chattanooga Lookouts from 2002-03, and the Manager of the Single-A Dayton Dragons 2004-05. In 2006 he was the Seattle Mariners minor league hitting instructor, and in 2007 he was named the hitting coach for the Tacoma Rainiers. On May 9th 2010, the Seattle Mariners announced that he would serve as the team's hitting coach and in 2011 he was hired in the same role by the San Diego Padres. Since December 2015, Alonzo has been the Houston Astros hitting coach. He serves as one of our hitting instructors.
Todd Takayoshi - Coach Takayoshi has held several player development positions with MLB clubs. He started with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and worked in their player development department for 10 years. In 2012 Takayoshi joined the LA Dodgers where he worked for three years to then join the Cincinnati Reds player development department in late 2015; he currently works for them. He serves as one of our hitting instructors and a special player development advisor.
Chris Sheff - An alumnus of Pepperdine University where he became a National Champion in 1992. He was drafted in the 10th round by the Marlins. He has spent 10 seasons in Pro Ball with 4 different teams.
After his playing days, he soon turned to coaching where he quickly made a name for himself. He was named National High School Coach of the Year and went on to win 5 consecutive state championships at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, NV. He serves as a special hitting advisor to all of our instructors.
Derrin Ebert - Coach Ebert is a former MLB pitcher who played one season as a relief pitcher with the Atlanta Braves in 1999. He attended Hesperia High School and was taken in the 18th round during the 1994 draft.
Ebert is currently a pitching coach in the Cincinnati Reds organization. He spent the last two seasons as the Pitching Coach for the Dayton Dragons and will return for the 2017 season. He serves as our Senior Pitching Instructor.
Kanekoa Texiera - Hawaiian-born Texiera attended Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu and Saddleback college in Mission Viejo, CA. He was drafted in the 31st round by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2004, but declined. He was then selected by the White Sox in the 22nd round in 2006 and debuted that season with the Bristol White Sox, before being promoted to the Kannapolis Intimidators. In 2008 he split time between Class A Winston Salem and AA Birmingham Barons.
In 2009 he made the Opening Day roster for the Seattle Mariners after a strong Spring Training performance. In 2010, Texiera was claimed off of waivers by the KC Royals. He recorded his first career win on June 15th, 2010 and his last MLB appearance was on September 6th, 2011.
Since retiring he has become a pitching coach in the Atlanta Braves Organization. He serves as one of our Pitching instructors.
Khareth Bartee - Khareth is a native of Omaha, Nebraska and a graduate of Omaha Central High School. He was a three-year letter winner and he led the Eagles in batting average, runs batted in, and stolen bases in his last two seasons at Central. Through those efforts, he was able to earn a full scholarship to Creighton University.
Khareth played one season at Creighton before transferring to Iowa Western Community College, where his team was ranked as high as 11th in the nation for D1 JUCO's. During his time at IWCC he hit .367, stole 36 bags, and had 69 RBI's, which earned him All Regional IX Honors. He then went on to sign a professional contract with the Kansa City Royals.
After finishing up his baseball career, Khareth went back to Creighton University and earned his Bachelors degree in Marketing. He now resides in Phoenix, Arizona and is excited to teach the great game of baseball to a new generation of players.
Will Middlebrooks - Will Middlebrooks is a native of Greenville, Texas and attended Liberty-Eylau High School. As a junior, he helped Liberty-Eylau win the Class 3A State Championship in 2006. He was named to the Class 3A All-State First Team and Class 3A Player of the Year by the Texas Sport Writers Association. In November 2006, he committed to attend Texas A&M University on a full scholarship to play baseball and football for the Aggies.
Middlebrooks was drafted in the 5th round by the Boston Red Sox. He spent 4 years in their farm system before making his debut in 2012. In 2013 he became a World Series Champion. Middlebrooks played with Boston until he was traded to San Diego in 2014 and then went on to join the Brewers Organization for a couple of years.
During the off-season, Middlebrooks signed a contract with the Texas Rangers. He serves as one of our Hitting Instructors and senior advisers.
Jake Elmore - A native of Pleasant Grove, Alabama, he attended Wallace State Community College (2006-2007) before transferring to Arizona State University. He was taken in the 34th round of the 2008 MLB draft by the Diamondbacks Organization.
Elmore made his Big League Debut in 2012 with the Diamondbacks before joining the Astros in 2013. Since then, he has spent seasons with the Reds, Rays, and Brewers. He serves as one of our instructors and senior advisors.
Jim Miller - A native of New Jersey, Miller played High School ball in Florida. He pitched at two colleges before being drafted in the 8th round by the Rockies in the 2004 draft.
Miller Spent the past 12 seasons in Pro Ball before playing independent ball in 2016 where he didn't allow a run in 25+ innings. He has played for numerous teams during his Big League career including the Rockies, Orioles, A's, Yankees, and now the Twins who recently signed him to a minor league contract. He serves as one of our instructors and senior advisors.
Taylor Cole - Played for Coach Buck for 4 years at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was drafted by the Dodgers in 2007, and the Diamondbacks in 2008 but he declined. He went on his mission for two years and joined the Blue Jays in 2011 and has remained in their organization. He pitched the 2016 season with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats. He serves as one of our Pitching and Mental Focus Instructors.