Great article posted on featuring one of Slammers past players, Yankee’s Greg Bird giving credit to his coach, Slammers Coach John Cronican.

Bird credits John Cronican, a youth coach he had when his family moved to Colorado from Tennessee, for helping his development as a hitter. Bird’s biggest takeaway from Cronican: go the other way.

“He saw so many pitches on the outside part of the plate − especially a big strong guy like him − that there was no sense trying to pull the ball,” Cronican said. “He just needed to hit it the other way. I’m a big believer that it’s harder to learn how to hit the ball the other way with confidence than it is to pull the ball. It’s easy to pull the ball once you know how to hit the ball the other way.”

Those early lessons paid off.

“He really understands barrel to the ball,” Cronican said. “He just has a natural ability to get the barrel of his bat to the ball no matter where it is or what speed it is.”

Bird played on Cronican’s travel teams from age 11-14. When he was 12, they added a player named Bryce Harper to the roster and went undefeated. Sometimes, when Harper pitched, Bird caught him. “He threw the ball really, really hard,” Bird recalled. “It was fun.”

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