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A Dad's Dream Come True


Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Tue May 9 14:14:16 2006


Hi All

Some of you long time readers of the board may remember posts from Jesse Cohen regarding his son's hitting. He sent us a video of Ben's swing for analysis and we have been in constant contact since. Ben has not only developed into a great athlete, but he is also a fine young man. What has impressed me the most is that he never let his small size deter him from his baseball goals.

I shipped Ben's first Swing Review Analysis May 6, 2002. I have been so pleased with the progress updates from Jesse. Ben was 13 years old and in the eighth grade, 5 Ft. tall and weighed 80 lbs. when I analyzed his swing four years ago. Jesse said that since Ben was 9 years old he had always "played up" in baseball because he had a savvy understanding of the game and impeccable defense. Although he worked very hard year-round on his game and hitting, his swing and smaller size limited him to mostly infield hits where he could use his great speed.

Below is an email from Jesse I would like to share with you.

Jack Mankin
##

(Jesse Cohen's story of his son, Ben)

A Dad's Dream Come True

Jack- I am too excited and grateful not to send you this communication. My son Ben just completed the college application process and baseball here in the east is approaching the mid point of the high school season.

As of today, Ben's team is 12-0. He is currently hitting .524 (22/42), with 9 extra base hits, 10 rbi, 21 runs, 7 walks and 10 stolen bases. I have attached a photo of him taken this past Saturday during the second round of the County Tournament game. He was 3-4, but more importantly, after allowing the opposition to tie the game on an error in the top of the seventh, Ben led off the bottom of the seventh with a triple off the center field fence and scored two batters later with the winning run. The picture was shot by a friend of mine just after contact. I thought you would enjoy seeing it!!

The only fault I can find is that perhaps there should be a little less angulation to the line of his bat through his left side and also there could be a little flex to his left knee. I have watched a lot of major leaguers and they do manage to keep some flexion in their lead knee. I must admit, I find it hard to do and if you have any tips on how to accomplish that I would love to hear how!!!

Ben also decided that he will be attending Duke University this coming fall. He was accepted and offered a very nice academic scholarship there. He is planning on trying to walk onto the baseball team in September. There is an opportunity there that ordinarily wouldn't present itself. First, while there are six ACC teams in the Top 30, Duke is second to last in the conference. There is a new coach this year who cleaned house in order to build from the ground up. There will be only 12 returning underclassmen in Sept. and the coach has recruited 10 players which still leaves 3 openings for the travel squad and 7 openings for the overall roster. Ben is going to spend the next four months after the high school season, lifting, running and working out in addition to playing some ball to get ready for the challenge of trying to make the Duke squad.

Again, I know you are a modest man, but I am sincere when I say that if I hadn't come across your material by chance several years ago, I don't think Ben would be where he is today. I can't thank you enough.

All the best!

Jesse Cohen
Livingston, NJ

PS I know academics means a lot to you as well. Ben is an honor society student, finished #5 in his class, got 1530 on the SATs, took 16 AP/honors courses, is an all state oboist, won the school's music award and student-athlete award and was selected to deliver the benediction at next months graduation. As nice a player as he has developed into, it wasn't baseball that got him into Duke!!!!!

BTW, I was working with a high school freshman on his swing the other day. He is a pretty good player who I think will be a D1 pitcher in a few years actually. In fifteen minutes, I was able to increase his bat speed 12% just by pointing out a few things! Another member of my son's team was in my basement two weeks ago who had bat speed of 69 mph. After 20 minutes of work with him, we were able to get him to 75 mph repeatedly. What else is there to say? It's almost like magic.


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