THE HISTORY OF SLEDGEBATS
In 2005, legendary Major League Baseball super scout George Genovese asked a group of successful MLB players, all of which he had drafted and signed, to help solve a new challenge and scouting problem. Mr. Genovese had watched thousands of high school and college hitters with power become single hitters after transitioning from aluminum to wood bats. George was also frustrated by seeing so many players underperform when they moved into professional baseball. Hitters became hard to judge because the newly engineered and designed aluminum and carbon fiber bats inflated the appearance of success. Batting stats didn’t separate the average hitter from the elite. George wanted a strategical advantage in drafting and needed a way to identify real hitters. During this meeting, George challenged each of us to solve this particular scouting challenge.
Our team at Sledgebats has over 100 years of MLB service time as hitters and over 75 years as MLB scouts. We also have coached and trained thousands of high school and college athletes. Many of these great ballplayers continue to play in professional leagues at every level. The list of MLB & MiLB players who train with Sledgebats continues to grow every season. It’s not from advertising. Our player’s improvements and impressive stats, drives the best players in the world to use our hitting products.
As a team, we compiled a list of what we really know. Coaches should understand this list came from our own personal experiences. Below is the top five things we all agreed on during these discussions that helped us make it to the MLB as hitters.
1) Changing the uniqueness of a player’s swing is not always very successful.
2) Most hitters bat speeds cannot be dramatically improved beyond average.
3) Making contact on the sweet spot, improves the chances for hitter’s success.
4) Great hitters developed a consistent swing plane and consistent impact points.
5) Ball exit speed is a combination of bat speed and impact force during contact.
So our next step was to compile a list of training equipment we used during our careers, with detailed discussions of function and results gained if any from each item. We listed training tools that helped and those that did nothing. The challenge was to engineer and manufacture training equipment exclusively for hitting improvement. This equipment must dramatically improve results seen and felt by athletes and coaches.
We also demanded our training equipment and hitting tools be extremely durable and easily transportable while providing instant visual feedback to the player or coach regardless of age. Additionally, each of our products needed to supplement good instructors and coaching mentors, or replace them when athletes are training alone, during hitting drills and practice sessions. These requirements became our focus and our team developed working solutions on paper.
Within 6 months, we had produced unique training aids and hitting tools while documenting results and feedback during testing. At the same time helping hitters improve. We noticed immediately that each players swing plane improved while they also started to develop strength and improved perfect contact. These three critical items for successful hitting and the benefits gained by each training tool remained our focus. Refinements were made which included additional products to fulfill the needs of an athlete at any age or team level. After years in product development, field testing and documentation, our resulting product line of baseball and softball swing training equipment is second to none. Results seen always tell the complete story.
Since 2010, the original Sledgebats team of MLB & MiLB players and scouts remain responsible for leading this company. Today, hundreds of Sledgebats are in use by MLB and MiLB players. Our professional athlete’s seasonal results include MLB All-Stars, Silver Slugger Award winners, MVP’s in both the NL and AL leagues and World Series Champions. Now the volume of players using Sledgebats drafted in the last five years is extensive. Our collegiate players include All League, All-Americans, NCAA National Champions and USA National team members. Our high school players and teams include League Champions, State Champions, National Champions, All-American Awards, State players of the year, First round MLB and NFP draft picks, USA National Team selections, and Golden Spikes Awards and finalists. Our Sledgebats trained athletes continue to receive scholarships to top colleges in each collegiate division. Our youth players and teams have won many League Championships, State Championships, League All-Stars and the Little League World Series National Championship. The list continues to grow.
Sledgebats is a proud sponsor of MLBPAA free clinics, the APBPA and the MLB Urban Youth Academy. Each year the Association of Professional Ball Players of America, founded in 1924, presents The Sledgebats Award to a young MiLB player selected by their Hall of Fame Board of Directors. The owners of Sledgebats are lifetime members of these organizations. Our team continues to this day, focused on creating training tools to help all ages of hitters become their very best.
Sadly our friend, baseball scout and mentor, George Genovese passed away in 2015 at 93 years of age. For ten seasons, his input guided our product development process. He made sure our hitting equipment and Sledgebats training programs were the absolute best. He loved the fantastic results coming from the players he scouted and signed to contracts that trained with our Sledgebats. “Hitters Are Made” was the first thing said by George to players on his Saturday and Sunday scout teams. He coached this club for over 30 years in Southern California. Ballplayers from all over the country came to display their skills and maybe one day, play professionally. He signed players to SF Giants contracts each year, but only after he knew they were ready to compete. His “Hitters Are Made” cry was pounded into our young baseball dreaming hearts. It’s now proudly on the Sledgebats logo & shirts worn by MLB and MiLB players and by our team of dedicated baseball and softball loving employees.