PINE ISLAND, Minn. - The coronavirus pandemic left Minnesota baseball players without a season this past spring. Thanks to remote training from the Rochester Batting Cages & Training Facility, players never had to miss a beat. The sole purpose of the facility is to make better athletes while developing a passion for America’s pastime.
“There were a few years there where baseball numbers were really down and Rochester high schools were having a hard time finding nine guys to play on the varsity team, there was no JV, ninth grade was starting to get whittled down and we didn’t like to see that,” Mitchell Brown said.
That’s when Jeff Miline decided it was time to take action and open the Rochester Batting Cages & Training Facility in Pine Island. Next up, Brown launched Velocity Baseball Training.
“We wanted to see the kids have an opportunity to train and have a place to go to continue to feed their passion for the game,” Brown said. “That was kind of the idea of Jeff opening up Rochester Batting Cages and Velocity Baseball came a few years after that.”
Brown, a Rochester native, spent seven years playing professionally in the minor leagues. He says his team includes multiple coaches with professional experience that expose athletes to training and teaching unheard of in small-town America.
“We’re coming up with trying to find creative ideas for these kids to learn implicitly and just have fun. They think they’re working hard and having fun. Really, they’re learning new skills – acquiring new skills and taking that with them on the field.”
In addition to local athletes, Velocity Baseball continues to draw players from all over Minnesota.
“Overall, the numbers have been pretty consistent. We’ve had a lot of kids that outside of their regular baseball schedule – they never quit training. A lot of these kids are having really good success,” Brown said.
Velocity Baseball Training will host a free training seminar on Oct. 10 from 10 a.m. to noon. They’ll provide an overview of the program. You can RSVP here.