Academy notebook

Some athletes find the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, Presented by Toyota, because it's close to home or because a friend has been participating in the free camps or even because their high school team plays there.

November 30th, 2018

Some athletes find the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, Presented by Toyota, because it's close to home or because a friend has been participating in the free camps or even because their high school team plays there. But the road to the Academy was a bit different for Colin Moore. 

 

Like the Academy, the Moore family is relatively new to the area, having recently relocated from Portland, Oregon. 

 

As baseball fans, the Moores were following the story of Hunter Greene, a product of the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, California, who was drafted No.2 overall by the Reds in 2017. So when Colin's dad, David, found out about the Texas Rangers Youth Academy, he was ready to make something happen for his son. 

 

"We were ecstatic that a program like that existed here. I started following (the Academy) on Instagram, and then they put a post up saying 'hey, we're getting ready to start fall ball in two weeks.' And I was like 'oh my god, we've been wanting to do that,'" David recalled. "I reached out via Instagram, and they said we could still sign up."

 

So the Moore family started making the over 40-mile trip from their home in Celina, Texas, to the Academy each Saturday for Colin to participate in the RBI fall league.

 

"I really enjoy working with Coach Taylor and Coach Sosa and defense because that's where I need the most strength. When I hit, I feel like that's probably the best thing that I do on the field. They've really helped me in the outfield and the infield," Colin said of the experience. (Video of Colin discussing his time at the Academy is available here: https://www.mlb.com/video/rangers-youth-academy-moore/c-2519774683

 

For David, the decision to have his son play at the Academy is about more than just the baseball skills he's gaining.

 

"I wanted him to have the experience of playing on a very diverse team, which just rarely happens. It just doesn't just because of the dynamics of the sport, the cost," David said. "This gives us a great opportunity to work in a world of diversity, both from an ethnicity standpoint, but also socioeconomics. Not everybody's going to ride up in Range Rovers. That's more realistic of the real world and that's the experience I wanted him to have."

 

An eighth grader at Rogers Middle School, Colin played football for his school this year and also recently tried out for the basketball team. But the 13-year-old, who is already 5'11, says baseball is his favorite sport. And he's setting some goals. 

 

"My personal goal, in the short term, would be just to make varsity baseball in high school. And then my long term would be to go to MLB," Colin said. 

 

His time at the Academy is helping with that.

 

"It gives me a lot of exposure to higher levels of baseball, like high school and Major Leagues. And it also helps me with my techniques and fundamentals," Colin said.

 

David describes baseball as a vehicle for his whole family. Even Colin's mom, who never played a sport, loudly cheers for her son from the stands.

 

"It's such a great thing that this facility is here just to do multiple things," David said. "The tutoring, all the other things that go along with this facility, so it's not just baseball. It's life lessons."

"Super grateful and thankful for this program. Very happy to be a part of it," he added.

 

Positive Coaching Alliance Athlete Workshop

 

On Thursday, November 29, the student athletes attended the Positive Coaching Alliance Workshop at the Academy to learn about becoming triple impact competitors -- with the goal of improving themselves, their teammates, and the game as a whole. 

 

Topics ranged from bouncing back from mistakes to providing constructive criticism for teammates to advancing the values of sportsmanship.