It’s been a minute since I wrote a blog. The last few weeks have been full of fun things, crazy things, and downright stressful things. But I have been saving my first blog of the new year for something that was truly special. And I have the perfect story for you.
Now, more than ever, inspirational stories seem to have a greater impact. And for myself and a large contingent of people, sometimes stories in sports seem to be some of the most relatable. So when I heard the news about a Holy Spirit (NJ) and Wagner grad going from a local men’s league to the Phillies, I felt like I had to share it with anyone that is willing to read it.
Meet Mike Adams. Mike and I actually have a personal connection via my roommate Joe Ravert (shout out Accountant Joe), and I have been following his story for a few years. Mike and Joe played pro ball together for the Rockland (now NY) Boulders, and went through the grind of a pro ball season as roommates together. Joe had developed a pretty good relationship with Mike over their year of being roommates in Rockland, and had always told me how Mike had an absolute rocket for an arm and would creep up to 94 occasionally.
Once Joe and Mike went their separate ways after Rockland, I had heard that Mike had opened up his own training facility with another local stud, Ed Charlton. As Mike told me during the interview, he and Ed wanted to build a safe haven for players of all ages to come to learn, train, and achieve their goals. In a time where there is a tech and data revolution in baseball, Ed and Mike saw the need to educate and help the younger generation (and their generation as well) learn how to best utilize this technology and data to help them achieve their goals.
Enter Baseball Performance Center. Established in 2017 and located in Pleasantville, NJ, BPC has been churning out top D1 recruits and draft picks faster than any other facility I have ever seen. Two twenty-somethings parlayed their pro baseball experience and entrepreneurial spirit into an absolute powerhouse in less than three years (as evidenced by the picture below).
Let’s recap. Two local guys start a tech-driven baseball facility helping hundreds of local players maximize their talent. Heck of a story, right? It gets better.
Through his work with BPC’s clients, Mike began throwing again. He had stayed active in a local men’s league, the Atlantic County Baseball League, but began to heed to the advice he was giving his clients and started focusing on his mechanics and throwing bullpens. That 94 he had thrown in the Can-Am League had started to creep up. A few weeks and he was up to 96. Mike knew there was more in the tank.
Once the numbers started to creep up, Mike continued to utilize technology to maximize his body and his skillset. Bullpen after bullpen, the TrackMan continued to flash higher. This sudden resurgence of velocity had people talking. Can Mike get back to pro ball? Is he too old to get back into this? How hard can he end up throwing?
— Mike DeCicco (@decicco108) January 18, 2021
Well, the world found out earlier this week. 98.3 mph. A guy who had retired years ago, who has created an extremely successful training facility to help others achieve their dream of playing pro ball, had just surpassed 98 miles per hour in front of scouts from a number of MLB teams. One of those teams in attendance was Mike’s hometown team, the Philadelphia Phillies.
Mike told me in our interview that after the 20 pitch bullpen, both the Yankees and Phillies were in hot pursuit. Fortunately for Mike, his favorite team came back quickly and offered him a professional contract.
Let’s recap again: A local guy start a tech-driven baseball facility helping hundreds of local players maximize their talent. This local guy then uses the same methods he teaches his players to improve himself. Those methods work better than ever expected, and the local guy ends up getting signed by the local MLB team to live out every single kid’s (and adults) dream. Playing professional baseball for their favorite team.
There is zero doubt in my mind that we will see Mike throwing cheese at Citizens Bank Park in the very near future. Being a few years older than the typical Rookie, Mike will most likely get the chance to start the year at AA – clearing a quicker path to the Show. And for a team like the Phillies who have been looking for bullpen help for years, this local flamethrower may just be the perfect option to pair with newest-Phillie and amazing beard-haver Archie Bradley.
Congratulations Mike. Thanks for inspiring the next generation of a ballplayer. Can’t wait to watch you in South Philly mowing down the Mets.