Rising Stars

Over the years, we have posted hundreds of our students on our website who have gone on to achieve success at higher and higher levels. We are very proud of them—and proud of the good effort they have put in to "hit their potentials."

With due respect to all our students around the country, from here on, we can post only a few of the many deserving hitters who make the headlines and turn the heads of scouts and recruiters. We wish we had enough "real estate" on our server to include them all!

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Jocelyn Reyes
12
Joliet, IL
 Jake,

Just wanted to send you a couple photos from one of my most dedicated students, Jocelyn Reyes, a 12 year old fastpitch softball player from the Chicagoland area. Her father, Jaime, sent me these of her in action this past weekend where she batted well over .500 with a home run, triple, multiple doubles and singles sprayed all over. She had completed the program last winter and recently came in for a tune-up to prepare herself for a tournament. In my lessons I preach hard work and continuous homework (drills) at home is what separates the good hitters from all the rest. I know for sure Jocelyn puts in work because of the communication I have with her father on just about a weekly basis. Again, just another example that your system does work at the fast-pitch softball level as well as the baseball level. Getting certified through Epstein Hitting was the best decision I made since I began coaching youth sports. Thank you Jake, and your father Mike, for all the knowledge you have given through your certification weekends and support thereafter.

Julio Liceaga
Epstein Certified Instructor(8/2013)
815-355-5272
Joliet, Illinois


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Olivia Gott
17
Weston, FL
 

"This one was a monster—you can see the left fielder just stood there and watched. I can't find much wrong with this swing.... on-plane early, exended pretty good, stayed back......(she has been working hard !!)I had two dads (strangers) come up to me and ask me who taught her to swing like that !!

After almost 4 years of battling softball coaches who think they know everything, we are finally getting the last laugh. BTW, this is just one of 3 this weekend. All freakin' monster bombs, one of 'em into a 15 mph wind.  

Please show to Mike and say thanks....." — Mike Gott

 

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Peyton Williamson
11
Longview, WA
 

Dear Jake:

Peyton hit the first nine home runs of his baseball career this 2013 season after
taking private instruction from you at Mike Epstein Hitting in Highlands Ranch, CO.

You taught him "Hit Your Potential in Just 7 Days" when he was ten in preparation
for his eleven-year-old season in Cal Ripken Baseball.

Peyton was 4' 10" tall, weighed 105 pounds, and used a 30" - 20 oz. aluminum bat.
He batted .609 in the regular season.

Yours truly,
Erik P. Williamson

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MO Rawlings Prospects Academy Team
13U
St. Louis, MO
 Mike and Jake,

I coach the top 13U Rawlings Prospects team in St. Louis and I am also an Epstein Certified instructor with Balls 'n Strikes here, owned by Aaron Jaworowski, whom I know Jake knows because he played with him at the University of Missouri.

We are the top-ranked team in MO/KS and 14th in the Nation…so it is a direct tribute to your teaching system because it is the only training method they know and work on.

Anyway, check out the attached stats from the 13U USSSA MO/KS State Championships this past weekend and it will prove that your system does indeed make a difference. I do the hitting training for all the players on my team and they come to me for private hitting instruction. When you look at the tournament summary specifically, we scored 19 more runs than the next best hitting team and this includes teams that are in the top-10 in the nation.

BTW, we also won a berth to play in the 13U USSSA Elite 32 World Series that will be at Disney in Florida the week of August 3-10, where the top 32 teams in the US play and all games will be shown on the ESPN network. (We are playing at their complex.) Could you send me a logo that is sizable so I can add that to our banner for that week and I can show you guys off? 

Warm regards, — Mike Killian

Mike's note: Good luck to you guys! Mike Killian has been an Epstein Certified instructor since 2010. He can be reached by clicking on  "Find an Epstein Certified instructor" page listed under [Instruction].

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Holly Frampton
20
Pine Valley, NY
 

Frampton Named Second Team All-American

FAIRMONT, W.Va.
-- Fairmont State senior outfielder Holly Frampton was named to the 2013 Daktronics All-America second team.

She is the first softball player in school history to earn All-America honors. She was the only player from the WVIAC to earn All-America honors in 2013.

Frampton, the 2013 WVIAC Player of the Year, led the Falcons to the WVIAC regular-season championship and a spot in the WVIAC Tournament championship game. The Corning, N.Y., native notched a .411 batting average on the year. Her 18 homers established a new school record and she finished the season among the top 15 in NCAA Division II in that category. Her 0.38 home runs per game was sixth-best nationally. She was second in the league with 49 RBI and was the best in the league and ninth in the country in slugging (.879).

Mike's note: Congratulations, Holly, from all of us at Epstein Hitting! No one has worked harder for the success you have achieved!
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Bailey Hemphill
14
Lafayette, LA
 
Bailey Hemphill named Louisiana 4-A MVP as a Freshman!
Jake: I just wanted to send you an e-mail thanking you for everything and letting you know that the instruction and hard work has paid off. Bailey had an amazing freshman year in high school in which she batted .595 with 16 home runs and 57 RBIs in 27 games played. Her team won the Louisiana State Class 4A championship and we just received word that she was named to the First Team Class 4A All State team as catcher. The crown to it all was that she was voted the Most Valuable Player in Class 4A. She has spent a lot of time in the cage working hard to reinforce what she learned in her visits with you up in Colorado. Both she and I really appreciate your teaching technique and manner. It couldn't have been more enjoyable and we look forward to future "refresher" visits with you. Thanks again.Mark
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Holly Frampton
20
Pine City, NY
 Holly Frampton named WVIC Player of the Year

PRINCETON, W.Va. -- Holly Frampton was named Player of the Year and Fairmont State's softball program took home all four major postseason awards given out by the WVIAC, the league announced today.

Frampton’s powerful bat led the Falcons to the WVIAC regular-season championship and a spot in the WVIAC Tournament championship game. She garnered a .411 batting average on the year, ranking third in the conference. Her 18 homers established a new school record and she ranks among the top 10 in NCAA Division II in that category. She was second in the league with 49 RBI and was the league's best slugging .879. Her award marks the second time that a Falcon picked up Player of the Year honors in the WVIAC.

Mike's note: Mark Frampton, Holly's dad, has been an Epstein Certified hitting Instructor since 2008. His contact information can be found here.
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Chris Andritsos Home Run
16
The Woodlands, TX
 

Chris Andritsos Named to Collegiate Baseball HS All-American First Team!

From the Collegiate Baseball News: "The sophomore from The Woodlands HS (TX) has been a key player this season for his team. With games yet to play, he was 6-1 with a 2.00 ERA, 42 strikeouts, 9 walks in 35 innings. He was hitting .387 with 13 home runs, 10 doubles and 47 RBIs."

"Jake: Your boy is kicking ---The Woodlands is 14-0, he's hitting .568 with 6 HR's and a ton of RBIs, and that doesn't include the 3 HRs he hit earlier in the scrimmages.
Their 1st district game was Tuesday, and Chris went 4-4 with a HR from the 3 hole. Not bad for a sophomore.... Just wanted to give you an update. Hope to see you guys soon! Tell your dad howdy! Thanks for all y'all have done,  James"

Update: The Woodlands, Texas is ranked No. 1 in the latest Collegiate Baseball National High School poll after bolting out of the gates with an 18-0 record and No. 1 ranking in the Texas HS Baseball Coaches 5A poll. The Woodlands is hitting .324 with 19 homers and 37 doubles in 18 games; Chris Andritsos has led the way, belting 11 home runs with 33 RBI.

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Kent Corso
17
San Antonio, TX
 Hi Jake and Mike,

It's Bob Corso from San Antonio. Thanks, Jake, for providing Kent's sign-in credentials. Watching the voiced-over video from his trip to your facility in Colorado helped get Kent back in the envelope again and his hitting really took off. He won the HR Derby at the Texas vs. The World tournament in Dallas. His team also won that tourney; Kent hit .375 and hit the go-ahead-to-stay "bomb" in the 5th inning of the semifinals. Keep doin' what you're doin'! It's working for Kent!

Texas Tigers Head Coach Phil Larsen and High School Division Bombski Home Run Derby Champion, Kent Corso (left) of O’Connor High School. The Texas Tigers' home run slugger dropped 8 bombs on his way to the Texas Bombski Home Run Derby High School division championship.
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Kristen Carsello
16
Plantation, FL
 Jake, My dad thought that you'd really enjoy this picture. I'm currently leading my elite travel team with a .571 batting average. This was my last hit, a double in the gap. I really appreciate learning how to hit the Epstein way. I really squared this one up. — Kristen Carsello

Mike's Note: Danny Carsello, Kristen's dad, is an Epstein Certified Hitting Instructor.
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Rilkey Norman
7
Arlington, TN
 First Home Run for my seven year old son. He now has two that cleared 150’ fences with one being 25’ high that all the kids call the "Green Monster." This is Riley’s third year in 7U baseball and I have only seen or heard of six HRs over this fence.
 
This would not have happened if I would not have found Epstein Hitting.
 
Thanks for all you do!! —Doug Norman
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Joel Michael Presley
7
Valdosta, GA
 Jake, Just wanted to drop you an email. It's been about 6 months since we got your DVD and books. Before, Joel Michael was always a consistent hitter, but had to use a light bat and rarely hit for power. He was a base-hit hitter and used his speed to beat the throws to first.

Well, now he's using his speed to beat out the throws coming in from deep in the outfield to 2nd or 3rd!!!

This is from the game last night, he went 4/4, 2 singles, 2 doubles. He is 12/14 on the fall season through the first 4 games. Batting .857, leading the #2 batter on our team by over .200 points!!  BTW, the two outs, on the 12/14, one was a roped line drive right at the shortstop. The other was a foul/fly ball that he mishit. The look on the opposing coach's face said it all!!! PRICELESS!!!  This was a shot to deep left-center.

Sincerely, Rusty Coan, Head Coach, Leather Busters


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Holly Frampton
19
Pine City, NY
 

Holly Frampton signs with Fairmont State

From The-Leader.com Sportspage (Corning, NY):


After graduating from Corning West, where Frampton was one of the most feared hitters in Section IV, she walked on to the Division I program at Stony Brook University. Before ever getting on the field, she realized it wasn’t going to work on Long Island, so she transferred to Corning Community College in January 2009.

To that point, she wasn’t thrilled with the idea of playing ball back in the Crystal City.

"I’ve been playing since I was six or something. Every year it’s just gotten a bit more time consuming,” she said. “When I came back from Stony Brook, I was thinking, do I even want to play for Corning. Stacy (Johnson) said I’d be a big help and she made me realize I don’t have a lot of time left to keep playing competitively.”

Johnson, who just finished her 14th season as coach of the Red Barons program, has put 13 players in NCAA scholarship programs – and several more who continued playing at higher levels.

“If you didn’t see her play, you missed out. If you didn’t see her in the batter’s box, you missed out,” Johnson said. “The kid’s the real deal.”

Frampton was voted the MSAC Player of the Year this season, made two all-conference teams and was on the NJCAA Division III All-American list as an outfielder.

Johnson believes it was no accident.

“I’m driving off campus after practice and she’s running. She’s got her iPod in and she says, ‘Well, I didn’t work hard enough today,’” Johnson said. “She’s a good kid who has worked hard. Some people think you get opportunities like this. Holly didn’t get this, nobody handed her this, she put in the hours and earned this. She deserves everything she’s gotten.”

The Fighting Falcons could use some help after finishing 20-23 this season. Head coach Rick Wade called Johnson and said he needed two things: an outfielder and someone who could hit.

Jackpot. Frampton, who turned down at least a dozen other offers, was sold.

“I knew I wanted to get out of state. West Virginia was appealing because it was far, but not too far, she said. “The climate is pretty much like New York and when I looked at it online, it was everything I hoped for.”

Frampton obviously made out well for choosing to play for the Red Barons, while the program gets another positive public relations boost. As for the coach, Johnson got a lot more than that out of Frampton’s tenure.

Mike and Jake: We found out yesterday that Holly is a unanimous All-American pick....in fact, she was voted/rated as the top outfielder in the nation at the Jr College level..... — Mark Frampton

Mike's Note: Colonel (Ret) Mark Frampton is an Epstein Certified instructor in Pine City, NY.

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Dillon Haupt
19
San Diego, CA
 

Dillon Haupt named West Coast Conference Rawlings Player of the Month

April 12, 2012
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Junior catcher Dillon Haupt of the 19th-ranked University of San Diego baseball team has been named the West Coast Conference Rawlings Player of the Month, the conference office announced Thursday morning.

Haupt, a 6-5 junior from San Diego, had a monster month for the Toreros, as he helped pace San Diego to a 17-4 record and a perfect 5-0 mark in the WCC. Haupt led the team's offense as he went 24-for-68 (.353) with five doubles, one triple, four home runs and 23 RBI. He was slugging at a .632 clip, and had an on base percentage of .483. Haupt had one of his best games in a Torero uniform in the first game at Lipscomb, as he went 4-for-6 with a double, a home run and four RBI. Haupt also began the San Francisco series in stylish fashion, ash he went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. Haupt recorded six multi-hit games in March, five multi RBI games and recorded at least one hit in 11 of the 20 games.

Haupt Signs with Division 1 USD

April 17, 2011 - Dillon Haupt, the Olympian’s sophomore catcher out of Mira Mesa High School has signed to play at USD next season. Haupt is hitting .342 this season, adding 38 RBI in 30 games played, which puts him third in the state. He is also tied for the state lead with seven home runs. Haupt was named PCAC Athlete of the week for the week of March 21.

As a freshman, Haupt hit .351 with 31 RBI in 36 games. He was also named to the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference All-League team.

Proud Dad's Note: Dillon was rewarded for his tremendous season when the six coaches in the PCAC voted him Player-of-the-Year for the conference. He finished the league schedule batting .319, while leading the league in home runs, RBI and slugging percentage. He also threw out 14 runners as the starting catcher in all 25 games for the Olympians this year. — Steve Haupt

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Brett and Mike
19
San Diego, CA
 

Jake - Brett finished real strong and won the PCAC batting title for all games—and came in 2nd for the conference-only games. He definitely couldn't have done it without you. Thanks and hopefully we'll see you this summer. — Geoff Balkan

Mike's Note: Brett plays at San Diego Mesa College.

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Matt Beaty
17
Dresden, TN
 2012 UPDATE:

Hello Mike & Jake, Just a word to let you know that Matt Beaty, your former student and "Rising Star," had a great freshman year at Belmont University. The Bruins won the Atlantic Sun Conference and are playing in the NCAA Regionals at LSU on 6/1/12.

Matt led the Bruins this year in HR (7), Triples (5) and RBI (46). Thanks for your knowledge and support.  — David Beaty


Mr. Epstein,
 Matt was a 2004 Mike Epstein hitting camp attendee in Chattanooga. This is a short clip from his 2010 HS video. He has signed with Belmont University in Nashville,TN. Had a great season with the Kansas City Royals Fall League. Thank you for your direction at an early age. Dave Beaty, 
Director, Dresden Park and Recreation

Mike's Note: See below photo of Matt last year when he hit 19 home runs.
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Meredith Owen
18
Stetson University, DeLand, FL
 Meredith hit her first HR yesterday in her 4th collegiate plate appearance. It was a towering 2 run shot that landed 10 rows up into the left field bleachers and reminded me of some of her brother Hunter’s shots. The pitch was an up and in fb or rise ball. She said she was thinking fast hands and hit it where it was pitched. — Doug Owen

Mike's Note: Meredith was the 2010 Mississippi High School Softball Plaer of the Year. We expect great things from her as her college career unfolds. The video on the left of Meredith is from one of our hitting camps in Jackson, MS in 2008. She's another keeper!
Meredith's bio: http://www.gohatters.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=14600&ATCLID=205069759
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Amy Weinberg
18
Bryant University
 Mike and Jake -

First collegiate at bat for Bryant University (Northeast Conference), Amy hit a three-run HR, hitting out of the 3 spot as a freshman. — Stephen Weinberg

Mike's Note: We have used Amy as a hitting example since she was 15 and attended one of our hitting camps (see video on left). Her success comes as no surprise and we look forward to many more productive at-bats from her in the games to come. Go Amy!
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Matt Beaty
16
Dresden, TN
 
Here is Matt Beaty. A 2004 Mike Epstein Hitting Camp attendee who walloped 19 HR in his junior year at Dresden High School in West Tennessee. During the Exposure Showcase at Middle Tennessee State University in July, he hit 4 HRs...with a WOOD bat.

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Connor McKay
17
Aurora, CO
 

McKay’s bat powers Kansas to 2-1 weekend record

March 12, 2012...Freshman center fielder Connor McKay hit the go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the 14th, helping freshman pitcher Robert Kahana earn his second win of the season. McKay hit a crucial home run in Kansas’ comeback bid against North Dakota on Wednesday... [Coach Price] has seen significant improvement in McKay’s approach at the plate.

“His plate discipline has been a lot better the last four or five games,” Price said. “He’s not chasing the breaking ball out of the zone and he’s not swinging at the first pitch regardless of what’s being thrown. He’s made some great adjustments.”

McKay continued his power surge into the Saturday evening matchup with Minnesota...McKay hit a grand slam to give Kansas a 7-4 lead. The Jayhawks would tack on two more runs in the game to earn a 9-4 victory over the Golden Gophers.

“My swing has felt good, and I’m seeing the ball real well,” McKay said. “My coaches and teammates have supported me through this and allowed me to grow into the player I want to become, and right now my swing is just working for me.”

McKay’s grand slam was his third home run in four games and his fourth overall on the season. Even with the sudden success at the plate, McKay is still adjusting to the grind of an everyday player at the college level.

“Every game coach gives me a chance to play, I get an opportunity to learn and get better,” McKay said. “Even the games that I’m struggling out there, I’m still learning how to overcome that adversity to and make changes.”
 
Jerry McKay


McKay Picked for All-American Baseball Game at Wrigley Field

Connor McKay of Regis Jesuit High School was selected to play in the Under Armour All-American baseball game that will be played on August 15 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The game is a showcase of the nation's top talent. Thirty six players were selected.

Connor hit .429 with a team-high 10 home runs and 32 RBIs in his first season at Regis Jesuit after transferring from Ponderosa HS.

The game will be televised by the MLB Network.

Congrats to Connor!

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Meredith Owen
17
Jackson, MS
 

Meredith Owen Honored As Top 2010 HS Fastpitch Player In Mississippi

Meredith posted a 36-1-1 record on the mound, with a 0.37 ERA, and 303 strikeouts in 187 1/3 innings.

She was just as impressive at the plate, batting .633, with 17 doubles, 4 triples and 8 home runs. She struck out once all season.

'Nuff said. Scroll down toward the bottom of the page for more information on this extraordinary, Stetson University-bound player.

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Meredith Knox
21
Anderson, NC
 

I thought this was an interesting picture of my daughter making a throw from shortstop. It looks very similar to a rotational swing. You can see the torque by the wrinkles in her jersey. I taught her rotational hitting years ago from your “How To Hit Your Potential in 7 days” CD. She is a senior in college now. Thanks for all the advice over the years!  - John

Her current stats (as of 4/7/2010):
 
BA       .433
2B         10
3B         1
HR         7
SLG.     .773

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Alexis Bush
14
Fair Lawn, NJ
 

Hi Guys,

 

Starting her freshman season out with a bang. (A 250' bang, that is.) She got all of this one at spring training in Disney last week. Thanks for everything, Tom Bush

Mike's Note: Alexis is a "Rising Star" in progress. She was an attendee at our Cherry Hill, NJ, camp this past winter, and turned everyone's head. Only 14, she has the power and eye-hand coordination of an 18 year old. Couple those attributes with a great hitting technique and you have a star in the making. It will be fun following her carrer!

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Bunker Hill Community College Bulldogs
Boston, MA
 Mike & Jake,
 
Once again, I am thrilled to report that your techniques have taken our program to new levels of success.  Last year's team was committed to the core movements and proprietary drills taught using the Epstein Hitting System.  I cannot express my thanks for all of the support Epstein Hitting has provided to our program.
 
The starting nine players posted a staggering .412 team batting average and BHCC was ranked Number Two in the country in team batting (.387). BHCC averaged 9.75 runs scored per game.
 
In this coaching staff's first season, BHCC won it's first Massachusetts Community College Athletic Conference (MCCAC) State Championship.

I was concerned moving into the Bulldog's 2009 Fall season as most of our sophomores moved on and our team had a healthy number of freshman players, but we started them off immediately with the Epstein Hitting System drills and after playing all four-year schools during our Fall season, the numbers again speak for themselves:
 
Team Batting Average:  .351
Team Slugging Percentage:  .498
 
I am very encouraged going into the 2010 Spring campaign with these numbers.  Each player is working hard and developing a great swing using your techniques. — Ray McDonald, Assistant Baseball Coach 
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Evan Pickett
18
Kelso, WA
 Jake and Mike,

Having worked with your videos for about 18 months prior to your hitting camp, it gave us all a better understanding of rotational hitting. Combining the video program with the camp put all the pieces together and I believe we accomplished so much more at the camp than starting cold. Evan ended his 2009 season with 15 home runs, 6 triples and 8 doubles. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but Epstein Hitting has given us a solid foundation from which to build. Thanks again and we look forward to a follow-up camp.

Tom Pickett
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Jen Fisher
Head Coach, Metro State College
Denver, CO
 Metro State College's softball team, in its second year of existence and with no seniors on its roster, won the RMAC regular season and tournament championships to reach the NCAA Tournament. The Roadrunners finished with a record of 40-12 overall and 29-7 in the conference for head coach Jen Fisher.  The team tied the NCAA Division II record for home runs in a season with 98 and will return all 15 of its letterwinners for the 2010 season.

Mike's note: Kudos to Metro State Head Softball Coach Jen Fisher, one of the nation's brightest up and coming women's fastpitch coaches. Coaches using our rotational hitting system now hold the NCAA Division I and Division II home run records!
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Casey Landis
8
Norristown, PA
 Casey is hitting just over .700 in about 75 at bats for his travel team. Eight actual home runs over a fence.  We played over half our games on fields without fences or fences that were over 240’. He has around 22 doubles and 10 triples (most of these shots over 210’). Even his ground balls are not able to be fielded by the infielders.  He was actually intentionally walked. Unheard of and ridiculous for an 8 year old. In a tournament for another team he had 4 homeruns in 6 at bats; two in one inning as they batted around. Thanks, Matt

Accompanying note from Epstein Certified Instructor, Mike Creciun:
Mike and Jake: I received this email and photo from a father of an eight year old I taught this past winter. I was very worried taking on an eight year old, but his father was sure he could do it. He looks pretty good. — Mike C.

Mike's note: Mike Creciun is a four-year Epstein Certified Instructor located in Norristown, PA. He can be reached under the "Instruction" menu on our homepage.
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Dakota Lovins
11
Avondale, PA
 

Thought I'd let you know how Dakota did this year in Little League. During the regular season he led his team in hits and average, batting almost .700.

He also led his team in doubles and triples (no home-runs by anyone) and managed to only strike out only once the entire season. He made the All-Star team and proceeded to go 7 for 10 and led the All-Star team in hitting as well as extra base hits.

I am not saying that his swing is perfect, but the basic mechanics are visible even in an All-Star Little League playoff game with lots "on the line." What more could a dad ask for? Many thanks!

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Samantha Findlay
University of Michigan Alumnus
Joliet, IL
 

Hi Jake and Mike —

Samantha Finley is going to be on ESPN TV Monday at 10:00pm. She will be participating for the Taco Bell Legends Celebrity Softball during the All-Star game week in St. Louis. The softball professional league flew her out there to be in this event. Everybody is talking about her (Epstein) swing. She leads the pro league in home runs and RBIs. Her dad  has 7 kids on his 12u that went through learning the Epstein technique and they're doing great. Ijust wanted to let you know. — Bob Wilson

Mike's Note: Samantha is an Epstein Certified Instructor and can be reached under the  "Instruction" menu on our website.

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Olivia Fimbres
16
Fontana, CA
 Hi Jake and Mike -  Just wanted to share this pic with you guys. My daughter, Olivia, has been on a tear of late. Here is one of 3 HR's she hit in a tournament in Boulder, Colorado last week. I can tell you that without the knowledge that I have obtained through both of you she would not be where she is today. Looks like so far that Colorado State (among others) is very, very interested in her. But we will see in the fall. 

Thanks to both of you.  — Adam Fimbres

Mike's note: Adam is a three year Epstein Certified Instructor and can be reached on our website.
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Mike Lubanski
17
Collegeville, PA
 

Mike Lubanski named 2009 Gatorade Pennsylvania State High School Baseball Player of the Year

According to Gatorade, the annual award program is "now in its third decade of celebrating the nation’s best prep athletes, the Gatorade Player of the Year award has become the most prestigious accolade in high school sports.  The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one award-winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states...
 
Lubanski has been excelling on the national circuit throughout his high school career, and his athletic accomplishments include a Perfect Game USA 2009 Top 250 High School Prospect ranking, Top Prospect Team honors at the Perfect Game USA Atlantic Coast Top Prospects, Northeast Top Prospects, and National Underclassman Showcases, All-Tournament Team honors at the AAU Junior Olympics National Championship, All-Performance honors at the SelectFest College Prospect Showcase, and a 2009 Rawlings Northeast All-Region Team preseason selection. 
    
Lubanski—who will continue his education and baseball pursuits at Wake Forest University—was ranked as one of the top ten catchers at the Perfect Game National Showcase in Minneapolis, MN in 2008, and was one of just approximately 150 players from across the nation to compete at the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars (Cary, NC) and the East Coast Professional Baseball Showcase (Lakeland, FL).  He was a First-Team All-InterAc selection this past season, and helped lead Malvern Prep to its second state tournament title in the past three years. 
    
Lubanski joins Malvern Prep alums Ben Davis and Josh McKinley--two former First Round draft picks--to earn the State Player of the Year award.  Mike Lubanski's older brother, Chris, was the 2003 Gatorade National High School Baseball Player of the Year, and the First Round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals that same year, and currently plays in Triple A for the Omaha Royals of the Pacific Coast League.  Mike's younger brother, Joe, is a rising Junior at Malvern Prep.

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Adrian Gonzalez
San Diego Padres
San Diego, CA
 

Gonzalez finds going to a bigger bat was well worth the weight

By Tom Krasovic, Union-Tribune Staff Writer
Monday, May 18, 2009

Excerpt from the full article:

Hitters for many years have gravitated toward lighter and shorter bats, though the hitters themselves have gotten bigger and stronger.
 
“I would logically think it would be just the opposite,” said former A's slugger Mike Epstein, a coach to professional and amateur hitters and an advocate of bigger bats, "if married to [a]suitable [hitting] technique."

Epstein, in an e-mail, said hitters of previous eras tended to use bigger and heavier bats. He said his friend Ted Williams used a bat the same size as Gonzalez's. Dick Allen, a star slugger in the 1960s and '70s, wielded a 36-inch, 38-ounce club.

“Please don't mistake what I am saying here: Bat speed is important, very important,” Epstein said. “But only if the player's bat is the longest and heaviest he can personally use effectively.”

When considering a bat, hitters of Gonzalez's ilk are like master chefs, taking into account a variety of ingredients. Among those cited by Gonzalez are a hitter's type of swing, his ballpark, the lineup in which he plays and the power/control tradeoffs.

Sitting in the Padres clubhouse Saturday, black bat in hand, he expounded on why he went against the grain, so to speak, of smaller and lighter. “Everybody's unique,” he said. “Everybody's got to find out what works for him. It helped me, a lot. It allowed me to be more of a power hitter."

“Did it take away (batting) average? Maybe,” said Gonzalez, whose .304 batting average in 2006 also included above-average luck, according to some statistics. “You swing through more fastballs, especially up in the zone, so you may strike out more. It's definitely harder to check your swing with this bat. There's definitely a downside to it. I might strike out more.

“But with this bat, I use it because it helps me to be the type of player I need to be here.”

Mike's note: This season Gonzalez already has 15 home runs, an average of one per 9.5 at-bats, which also is first in the majors. His .629 slugging percentage is fifth in the league. 

Mike's note: Those who find this excerpt interesting, will also enjoy my article "What All Hitters Need To Know About Wood Bats." Click here to read it.

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Dillon Haupt
17
San Diego, CA
 

Dillon Haupt Nearly Sweeps 2009 San Diego High School Awards


Update (6/12/09):
Ok, guys, almost a clean sweep of the post season awards:

  1. 1st team all CIF (Apparently just missed being the CIF Player of the Year)
  2. Eastern League Player of the Year
  3. 1st team Eastern League
  4. Union-Tribune Player of the Month for May
  5. Mira Mesa High School Biggest Bat Award, MVP, and Captain 
He has a bunch of scholarship offers on the table. I don't know how many times I can thank you but it'll never be enough. Where he'll be playing we're not sure but we are sure he'll be playing, thanks to you guys and his hard work.

Talk to you soon. — Steve


Update (5/25/09): I just wanted to give you an update on Dillon. As of tonight, he leads San Diego County in RBIs with 36 and is one behind the homerun leader with 8. He hit two tonight. He is batting somewhere around .571 with 20 doubles and 3 triples to go along with the 8 homers. He isn't really getting pitched to anymore and walks at least twice a game. Unbelievable year. The adjustments you made our last visit have taken him to a whole new level. Three of his homeruns have been over 450'.

Thank you guys again for all you do. He quotes your "effortless power saying" all the time because everyone says he isn't even swinging hard. The ball is just absolutely jumping off his bat. Jake, getting him to slightly come forward before the swing and getting the back knee moving towards the front, gets his hips through so fast that his bat speed is ridiculous.

Hope you guys are well. Thanks again. This game can be really fun. — Steve Haupt
 
Update (5/15/2009): Dillon is doing so well, the San Diego Union-Tribune ran a feature article on him. "Dillon credits private hitting coach Mike Epstein for much of his success. 'He changed my swing a lot,' " Haupt said. “Also, I appreciate the coaches here being patient with me. I struggled a bit early on before I broke through last year.” Read the full article.

Mike's note: Dillon's appreciation of his coach havng patience with him during his learning curve are a key to his success. Hitters need time to burn in new muscle memory and make the personal adjustments necessary to compete. We hear too many instances where this is not the case; players are asked to be "perfect" overnight. Sadly, Mother Nature doesn't work that way. I salute Dillon's coach for making the "good and welfare" of his players a number one priority.

Mike's note
We appreciate the parents that send us periodic updates on the progress of their youngsters. Many of our students really do great—like Dillon—but we don't get the "news" to congratulate them....

 

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Eastern CT State University
Willimantic, CT
 Hi Jake,

I was on your website and I wanted to share with you, that Eastern has used your drills starting in 2006 and really the numbers speak volumes.  We do your 3 drills from the video every day and for pregame. It has worked for us and the players really believe in the technique. I have worked with the New England Riptide pro softball team as well and taught the drills to a few players. They really took off in a short period of time. If you would like any more info on our performance and what we do, shoot me an email. 

Again, the numbers speak for themselves and I want to thank you for helping us get there. 

Diana Pepin
Head Softball Coach
Eastern Connecticut State University
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David Towarnicky
20
Appalachian State University Boone, NC
 March 15, 2009: David Towarnicky was the catalyst of both scoring stanzas for Appalachian State, as he led off the fifth with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly, then closed out the ASU scoring with a two-run blast in the seventh. The junior first baseman was just a double shy of hitting for the cycle and finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and three runs.
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Katie Moosic
15
Hummelstown, PA
 March 14, 2009: Here's a great photo of Katie Moosic hitting a home run. It doesn't get much better than this. Way to go, Katie!

Mike's note: Katie's dad, Frank, is a long-time Mike Epstein Certified Hitting Instructor living in Hummelstown, PA. His contact information can be found under Instruction>Find an Instructor>Then click on the state of Pennsylvania.
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Willamette U. Baseball Team
Salem, OR
 Willamette University achieved a .308 team batting average last season and returns seven of its top 10 hitters. The Bearcats led NCAA Division III in home runs per game (1.65 avg.), after blasting 66 homers in 40 contests. WU ranked 25th in the country in team slugging percentage (.518) and also achieved 66 doubles, nine triples and 114 extra-base hits. Senior first baseman Kyle Stalker is back to lead the team on offense. He ranked first in Division III in home runs per game last spring with 22 homers in 39 games (0.56 per game). He finished second in the nation in runs batted in per game (1.62) and was seventh in slugging percentage (.844). Stalker was named Northwest Conference Player of the Year and was chosen Third Team All-America by the American Baseball Coaches Association. He established WU single season records for home runs and runs batted in (63). He also holds the school record for career home runs (36).

Mike’s note: “Mike, Five years ago you came to Salem, Oregon, to give a presentation for North Salem High School at Willamette University. I was the Head Coach at Willamette, and you allowed me to observe your weekend camps. I resigned my position last September for a number of reasons, but I have been meaning to tell you that when we adopted most of what you advocated at that time, we had the nation’s top home run hitter and we also led the country in home runs as a team. Our guys finally figured it out.”

Matt Allison
Assistant Baseball Coach
Menlo College
Atherton, CA
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Hunter Owen
 

5/22/2009:

Owen Named to 2009 ABCA/Rawlings Div. III All-America Team

MT. PLEASANT, Mich. -- Senior outfielder Hunter Owen of Millsaps College picked up his second national honor of the week as he was selected to the 2009 ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division III All-America Team on Friday.

The Jackson native became the first Major in school history to be named a three-time D3baseball.com All-American on Wednesday and now is a three-time ABCA All-American.

5/20/2009:

Owen Earns 2009 All-America Honors for Third Time

APPLETON, Wisc. -- Senior outfielder Hunter Owen capped off a stellar four-year career on Wednesday, as he was named to the D3baseball.com All-America Team. Owen becomes the first player in school history to be named a three-time All-American.

In starting all 44 games, Owen hit .387 on the year with a team-best 56 runs, 13 homers, 43 walks and a .755 slugging percentage.  He also added 60 hits, including two run-scoring hits in a 12-5 loss to No. 7 Carthage College in the NCAA Regionals, to become the seventh player in Millsaps history to join the prestigious 200-hit club.

In all, Owen closes his Millsaps career with a pair of school records, including 41 home runs and 186 runs driven in.  He also finished his career tied for first in doubles (55) and total bases (387), second in walks (123), third in batting average (.382), fourth in stolen bases (65), t-fourth in hit-by-pitches (40) and seventh in hits (201).
Update (2/15/09):

Senior Hunter Owen's walk-off home run on the first pitch he saw from Teddy Smoyer in the bottom of the 10th sent Millsaps to a thrilling 2-1 Sunday. Owen's bomb to leftfield in 20 mph winds blowing straight in from center was the game-winner and the 30th home run of his career (third all-time at Millsaps).

Mike's Note: Hunter's dad, Doug, is a five-year Epstein Certified Hitting Instructor residing in Jackson, MS. You can contact Doug on our Certified Instructors' page.

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Justin Byrd
17
Arapahoe HS - Littleton, CO
 

Update (6/06/09):

Justin Byrd Named to 2009 Colorado 5A All-State First Team

Update (4/28/09):

Jake and Mike,
...want to give you the final 2009 regular season numbers for Justin:

G AB R H 2B HR TB  SLG OBP 
19 58 22 31  12  7  64 1.103  .614

He had a terrific senior year and ended up leading the team in almost every important category. With one more double and one additional hit, he would have broken the all time school records for doubles and on-base percentage. (He already owns the RBI record) We'll have to see where he ends up in the final State numbers. It's pretty certain he's got the top average for the big-school catchers.

So anyway, you guys have been the best! In retrospect, putting him through the 7-Day instructional course before he started high school was one of smartest baseball decisions we've ever made. Thanks for so patiently helping him learn to hit with a "big-time" swing. —Rick

Update (3/25/09:
Just a quick update on a pretty auspicious start...in the first game of the spring, in his first 5 at bats against Ralston Valley HS, Justin went 4 for 5 with 3 consecutive home runs. He hit one to right center, one to center and a huge one to left center. Nothing like getting his Junior year off to a fast, confidence-building start, huh? It never would have happened without your patient and outstanding instruction. Thanks, Rick

Update (11/18/08):

I honestly do not believe that until Justin began hitting instruction with you three years ago that he had even a remote chance to get a baseball scholarship to some college - let alone a Division 1 school like Cal-Berkeley! I don't know how to thank you enough. - Rick Byrd

Justin is pictured with Mike at his official signing. Coincidentally, Mike is an alumnus of Cal-Berkeley.  

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Quinn Salmon
 

Quinn Salmon named to the 2008 SCAC Baseball All-Tournament Team

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Holly Tankersley
 Tankersley's solo homer propels upstart La.-Lafayette past Florida 

OKLAHOMA CITY — Holly Tankersley (left) hit a solo home run to center field off NCAA wins leader Stacey Nelson in the eighth inning Thursday as Louisiana-Lafayette opened the Women's College World Series with a 3-2 upset of top-seeded Florida.

Tankersley, who hit her 22nd home run of the season, became the first player to hit a ball into the new 34-foot tall outfield bleachers at Hall of Fame Stadium. She reached for a pitch tailing away on the outside part of the plate and drove it into the front row of the stands.

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Kevin Sandberg
 

Sandberg Hits 20th Round Tripper

Senior Kevin Sandberg tied the school record with three home runs in his final home game at Jackson Field, including his first career grand slam. Sandberg now has 20 home runs on the year and now ranks 12th in NCAA Division I with 0.42 round-trippers per game and is 16th with his total of 20.
Sandberg Does It Again
Senior Kevin Sandberg broke both the career hit and RBI records in the final series at home against Texas-Pan American. He now has 235 hits and 183 RBI. He also owns the records for at bats (738), doubles (55), total bases (425) and is second in home runs (43) and tied for fourth with 157 runs scored and 101 walks.

Update (5/10/2009):
One year later and Kevin is still dominating his conference:
GREELEY, Colo.—Senior Kevin Sandberg went 4-for-5 with three home runs and nine RBIs (one away from his school record) in his final home game to lead Northern Colorado over Texas-Pan American in Greeley. Sandberg hit a solo shot in the second inning, then followed with the first grand slam of his career in the third and hit a two-run homer in the eighth. His final home run gave him a school single season record-tying 20. 

Kevin Sandberg Named to All-Independent First-Team

June 3, 2008: GREELEY, Colo. — In a vote by the head baseball coaches and sports information directors of Division I Independent baseball teams, Northern Colorado junior Kevin Sandberg was named to the 2008 All-Independent First Team. Sandberg (Aurora, Colorado) earned First-Team honors as the designated hitter/utility player. He hit .332 on the year, leading the club with 22 doubles and 11 home runs. His 22 doubles ties for third all-time at Northern Colorado and he now has 44 for his career, which is tied for second on the career charts. He also paced the team with 58 RBI and had a slugging percentage of .600, playing in 52 of the team's 54 contests. This is Sandberg's second honor as he was also an honorable mention selection in 2006.

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Meredith Owen
15
Jackson, MS
 

Meredith Owen Honored As Top 2010 HS Fastpitch Player In Mississippi

Update (5/20/09):
Meredith Owen named to Mississippi All-State HS Softball First Team
Jackson Prep, P/IF, Junior

Was 31-7 on the mound for the Lady Patriots last fall and batted .618 with 19 doubles, two triples, 12 homers and 49 RBIs.

Update (8/25/08):
Through 14 games of High School fast pitch ball this fall, Meredith is 30 for 45 with 3 HRs, 14 doubles and 0 K’s.  Many of the doubles have hit the fence on the fly or bounced over it. It is amazing how hard she is hitting the ball.  The SEC schools here are already looking at her. - Doug Owen

Update (9/10/08):
Meredith hit her 11th HR of this fall season yesterday, a walk-off grand slam. Including summer travel ball, she has hit 19 HRs this year. Meredith has been asked to play with the Germantown, TN Red Devils Gold team next summer (2009). This team won the NAFA u-18 “Elite” national tournament in Sulphur, LA this year.

Update (12/11/08):

Meredith was recently offered a full ride to Stetson University. ($40,000/year) and she just committed yesterday. She is very excited. It is a dream come true for her. The coach loves the way she swings the bat and her success at the plate this year had a direct part in all of this (at $40G a year she will be making more than most minor leaguers). Thanks for everything. - Doug Owen

Update (12/28/08):
Congratulations to Meredth on her acceptance of a softball scholarship to Stetson University!!

Mike's note: Doug Owen is a five-year Epstein Certified Hitting Instructor located in Jackson, MS.

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Amy Weinberg
15
Pleasant Valley, NY
 

Mike and Jake,
 
I wanted to let you know that Amy has tried out for -- and made! -- one of the East Coast's premier 18U ASA Gold teams, TNT GOLD (she's still only 15).
 
At the tryout, Amy was hitting in a cage.  After two swings, the coach stopped the practice and told his team to watch Amy swing, particularly the way she was keeping her hands inside the ball and the position of her back elbow.  The coach said she has some of the best hitting mechanics he has ever seen, and this is a man who has coached for years at the top level of softball.
 
This is due to the training she received at your hitting camps and, primarily, eight months of working with Joe Espinosa in Danbury.  We can't say enough good things about Joe.
 
I just wanted to let you know how well your system works!! -Stephen Weinberg 

Mike's note: Joe Espinosa is a four-year Epstein Certified Hitting Instructor located in Ridgefield, CT.