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Black college baseball

Posted by: nyhittingacademy (nyhittingacademy@aol.cm) on Tue Oct 7 03:30:54 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Black college baseball's uncertain future: But Harlem's NYHITTINGACADEMY is out to change that.

Black college baseball's uncertain future: But Harlem's NYHITTINGACADEMY is out to change that.
Youman Wilder of Harlem's NYHITTINGACADEMY bringing baseball back to Harlem

by Chris Baldwin:

Youman Wilder looks over his baseball academy from af ar as he looks at batting practice, the founder of the only year round baseball academy in Harlem is barking out instructions to Julian Mc Williams who he has instructed for 4 years and who is about to attend Ohio University this upcoming fall on a baseball scholarship.

McWilliams is a 6 ft 2 slim cobra like looking player, he hits line drives all over the Colonel Young baseball field on Harlem's 145th street.

On this hot summer day where the temperature is hovering around 90 degrees,Wilder is running wind sprints with his 2 young pitchers sophomore Juan Lamar Santos and junior lefty Victor Del La Cruz.

The three are talking and laughing, even through it is a hot New York City day,
Wilder keeps the practice tight and well managed, which is tough seeing that there are over 25 kids at this practice.

Peter Kidd who is taking ground balls at Shortstop is a slick fielding Shortstop who covers Shortstop as if he was Derek Jeter.

Kidd who is smooth on the infield then starts to hit and hits solid line drives to right and center field and then takes the field for more infield practice.

The infielder is one of the most improved players in the academy,he recently earned a baseball scholarship to Chestnut Hill College in Pennsylvania.

Then Wilder gets the entire group together and there is complete attention to his every word.
The groups split out to infielders and outfielders, with pitchers going on another field for 50 pitch off the mound session.

The infielders are Cladis Robinson, Mike Antonio Jorge Toribio and Peter Kidd at Shortstop,
Julian McWilliams at 2ND base and Morgan Phillips at 3rd base along with Arial Polanco.

As the infield sessions start its like an well oiled machine, McWilliams shows his quick hands and solid foot work around 2ND base

as Cladis Robinson shows range and poise,Kidd is smooth and accurate,

and Polanco at 3rd base is throwing bullets to first,

then there is 14 year old 6 ft 175 lb freshmen Morgan Phillips who at 14 years old
already has a major league throwing arm.

Polanco throws a seed to first and the 14 year old Phillips matches him with a dart.

The atmosphere is friendly but competitive, Mike Antonio who at 6 ft 1 and just coming off winning the
New York City P.S.A.L Championship at the power house George Washington H.S which was ranked in the top 5 in the nation takes Toribio to the side and they discuss how to attack a certain ground ball

Toribio then takes the next ground ball and the 14 year old smoothly guns to first chest high.

Antonio may be the next draft pick to come out of the Harlem based academy, the junior's glove work and strong arm and line drive hitting has made him a serious candidate for the 2010 MLB baseball draft.

The catcher is 15 year old Justin Guerre who is a blond hair,blue eyed 6 ft inch 210 lb power hitter with a strong throwing arm, Guerre throws with an ease and confidence that even impresses the old timers who are looking at the practice in the shade on the benches of the park.

There are over 50 people looking and just marveling at these young kids who are putting on a show in this Harlem park.

Jesse Richards says he comes out every day once he See's the practice starting,
"These kids are so wonderful,and they are always respectful

you don't hear these kids cussing and fussing, they come out here and just practice and they are really good, what that young man has done putting this baseball academy together in Harlem is what these kids need and we need more men like him"

Zachary Donalds,Willie Joseph,Bob Scott all in their mid 70's and serious baseball fans, say that they are out here daily and always look at the academy,

Donalds says it rained last week and we stayed in and all we talked about was how we wanted to come down here and see the daily practice.

Scott says that Wilder knows what he is doing, I played ball in the old Negro Leagues so I have seen how the game is supposed to be played, Coach really knows what he is doing, and you can=2 0tell his kids respect him, cause they lesson.

The NYHITTINGACADEMY is the brain child of Youman Wilder, who after playing ball at

Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn and then out in California and then played pro ball in Mexico and
The Dominican Republic.

Wilder decided to open the academy after he start working with then 14 year olds McWilliams and
Fernando Frais.

Frais would go on to become an All-American and was recently featured in Sports Illustrated, and in June was selected in the Major League Baseball draft by the Washington Nationals.

The Harlem based academy had 2 MLB draft picks exactly 4 years after it started.
Fernando Frias and Jean Carlos Rodriguez,(10th Round Philadelphia Phillies)

Wilder decided that he wanted to bring real quality instruction to Harlem and Inner City baseball players

He stated to me on a break I really want to put every future senior I coach in an Historical Black College in the future,
one of the things he insist on with his seniors is that they all must include an HBC when looking at schools to play.

I want to put kids in the Historical Black Universities, its so sorely needed, and I was so proud when
Paolo Glaude a well built speedster who excepted a scholarship at Historical Black College Alabama A&M committed to the A&M program.

Wilder stated that I don't brow beat my kids on what schools to go to,

I think some kids are not made for every college they want to go to, but I do insist that there be a visit to an HBC, its something that as a coach and seeing the HBC"s struggle to stay afloat that I must support,

so by having this academy and making these kids aware of the Southern's or Bethune-Cooke-Man's and Prarie View's , and these schools are DI and DII quality schools is paramount to keeping baseball in the HBC's

I have Latino kids who were born in the Dominican, and they hear about HBC's and now they say hey maybe
I want to go there, and some of my kids who are African-American who would have never thought of going to an HBC now really take seriously their visits to the HBC's

Glaude and Malik Wylie throw from right and center field respectfully, Glaude is a powerful well built figure with a strong arm and Wylie is quick in center field as he and 15 year old outfield Alexis Arillo take turns throwing to 3rd base.

Wylie who may accept an baseball scholarship at local Division I college New York Tech, hits the ball hard as he Toribio and Wilder go through the round after round of batting practice.

Toribio hits the ball with confidence and surprising power for a 5 ft 10 145 lb fourteen year older,

he is followed by fellow freshmen Morgan Phillips whose swing is quick and powerful and who almost takes a pitch out of the Colonel Young Park, the ball lands at around 340 ft away from home plate.

I asked Wilder about Phillips and he said that, he had great potential, but he is only 14, he is talented but he has to grow into what he will be,

right now he can out play kids his own age because he is so more advance, but he has to stay focused and hungry, if that happens the sky is the limit.

There is so much baseball talent in New York, and we are here in Harlem, yet we have our Latino kids who are from the Bronx and Washington Heights.

I mean baseball rules up there, and I walk through there all the time and I have parents and fathers asking me about the academy.

We have grown from just 3 or 4 kids to now having over 40 kids and I have to limit each year to just taking in 5 kids.

Wilder who runs the academy on a small budget is committed to bringing the next generation of
African-American and Latino ball players to HBC's.

I am here for the long run Wilder states,its tough,
I mean its time consuming and I have to stay on the grind,

I am on my kids about school and classes, all players must maintain a 80 GPA , there are no exceptions.
books before baseball.

I run this year round there is no off-season, in the winter we are in the gym and doing strength and conditioning, and if the weather is over 35 degrees we are out doors.

We only take in 5 new players per year, and the academy is $100 for year round instruction and scholarships are given as well.

There is also private baseball instruction.

T he academy is online at NYHITTINGACADEMY@MYSPACE.COM

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Posted by NYHITTINGACADEMY at 12:16 AM 0 comments
Labels: Black college baseball's uncertain future: But Harlem's NYHITTINGACADEMY is out to change that.


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