2020 Scout Day Spotlight: Sluggers Sports Academy


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer

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2020 Scout Day Spotlight: Sluggers Sports Academy

Organization Name: Sluggers Sports Academy
Year organization started: 2013
How many current teams and what levels (15u, 16u, etc): 15 teams ages 9u-18u
Influential coaches past and present: Coach Tim MacKinnon, Coach Rob Hamly

Top Prospects 

  • Myles Beale, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, 2020, Northwood
  • Ben Coble, Caledonia, 2020, Albion College
  • Tyler Zomerlei, Hopkins, 2020, Aquinas College
  • Luke Braselton, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, 2020, uncommitted
  • Joey Coble, Caledonia, 2021, uncommitted
  • Ryan Dykstra, Grand Rapids South Christian, 2020, uncommitted

Notable Alumni

  • Ez Tehennepe - Currently at Calvin College
  • Colt Wolfe- Calvin College, Independent League
  • Isaiah House- Cornerstone University
  • Brendan Gossman- Concordia

Goals/Philosophy 

Sluggers Mission: Focusing on our four guiding principles to train young athletes at an amplified level of technological training along with appropriate nutrition, strength and condition that will allow them to perform at a higher level. We will not only train at a high level but expand their mental capacity for understanding the game.

Sluggers Guiding Principles: Technical Analysis, 360 Degree Training, Player Safety & Collegiate Preparation.

How has the program grown?

The program has grown from a single team in a basement to a growing organization that places a premium on being a complete athlete. From one instructor/owner to today having a staff in excess of 30 that includes coaches that have played and coached at all levels from Little League to Professional Baseball. The driving principle of the organization is cutting out the extras and supplying only what will help our players improve. We choose to adapt to the ever changing game of baseball and that has led us to teaching the game with a mixture of old-school mentality and cutting-edge technology to ensure improvement in our players.  

How has PBR been helpful?

PBR has been a great partner and is a key to our players getting recruited. It is the first choice in showcases for Sluggers. We suggest that all of the players we have interested in playing at the college level to first attend a PBR event to start the recruiting process. As I mentioned, this is the senior year for our first core group and coming from our PBR event last year we had six players earn high rankings in the state of Michigan. We expect five of the six to be competing at the college level next season. We used the ranking of PBR to help promote our athletes to college coaches and recruiters. We are also gaining interest from players and coaches in the area that see our event listed on PBR's website and not sure if they would have found us without PBR.

Plans ahead 

Last year was a pilot year for our Sluggers Select program and with the positive results we had last year we are expanding the program and we will have a 16U & 18U Select team in 2020.  Those teams will be competing at the University of Michigan, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Grand Park in Indianapolis and Grand Valley State University.