Our Pro Contributors – Free baseball instruction from the pros

PBI features 100’s of pages of free baseball instruction, exclusively from the pros

Though PBI was founded by Doug Bernier, it was always meant to be a platform where MLB & MiLB players, coaches, trainers, and scouts could share their wealth of knowledge as pro baseball tips free to the public. The following are people who have contributed free pro baseball instruction to this site…

Wally Joyner, Detroit Tigers Hitting Coach & former MLB All Star
free baseball instruction from MLB coaches and players at Pro Baseball Insider

Guest contributor – Wally Joiner, current Hitting Coach for the Detroit Tiger

Wally Joiner is currently the hitting coach for the Detroit Tigers.

Before that, Wally played Major League baseball for 16 years with 4 different teams:

  • California Angels (1986–1991)
  • Kansas City Royals (1992–1995)
  • San Diego Padres (1996–1999)
  • Atlanta Braves (2000)
  • Anaheim Angels (2001)

Joyner was the starting first baseman in the 1986 All-Star Game, becoming the first rookie to be voted into the All-Star Game by the fans, and tied for first place in that year’s Home Run Derby.

Contributions to Pro Baseball Insider from Wally Joyner:

  • We are preparing for our up-coming Q&A with Wally right now!  You can submit a question for possible inclusion, and win a prize if your question is selected.  Just visit this Facebook post and leave your question, or Tweet it with #AskWally.
  • Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss Wally’s tips for hitting coming next week.
Derrick May, St. Louis Cardinals Hitting Coordinator & former MLB Outfielder
free baseball instruction and pro tips from MLB & MiLB players, coaches, trainers and scouts

Derrick May
St. Louis Cardinals Hitting Coordinator
10 ys MLB outfielder

Derrick May is the Hitting Coordinator for the St. Louis Cardinals (2011 – present).  Before that he spent 6 years as a hitting coach in the Cardinals organization, and 17 years playing professional baseball, including 10 years in the Major Leagues.

Derrick May was the #9 first round pick in 1986 Chicago Cubs.  He played outfield in the big leagues for 10 years:

  • Chicago Cubs (1990–94)
  • Milwaukee Brewers (1995)
  • Houston Astros (1995–96)
  • Philadelphia Phillies (1997)
  • Montreal Expos (1998)
  • Baltimore Orioles (1999).

He also played three seasons in Japan, from 2001 until 2003, for the Chiba Lotte Marines, for 17 total years playing professional baseball.

May batted left-handed and threw right-handed. After signing to play football/baseball at Virginia Tech. He was a .271 hitter with 52 home runs and 310 RBI in 797 Major League games played. In Japan, he hit an additional 59 home runs in just three seasons, batting .274.

Derrick May is the son of the late major league outfielder Dave May. His brother, David May, Jr., is a Major League scout for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Original pro baseball tips from Derrick May:

Subscribe to our monthly update if you want to be notified of new content additions.

Billy Wagner, Closing Pitcher, 7 time All Star
Pitching & coaching tips from MLB great, Billy Wagner

MLB great, Billy Wagner

Billy Wagner, a 7x All-Star pitcher, had his first major league appearance with the Houston Astros in 1995. He went on to play for the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox and retired from the Atlanta Braves in 2010.

  • With a total 853 games pitched, he has 1,196 strike outs and an ERA of 2.31.
  • What’s even more impressive is he is one of only 5 MLB players over 400 saves in their baseball career.
  • On June 11, 2003 he pitched a combined no-hitter and was awarded the NL Rolaids Relief Man of the Year in 1999.

Original contributions to PBI; Pitching tips from Billy Wagner

Juan Pierre, MLB Outfielder, 25th all time base stealing
Juan Pierre, Philadelphia Phillies outfielder, pro contributor of Free pro baseball instruction for Pro Baseball Insider.com

Photo by Chris Nelson

Juan Pierre is a left-handed outfielder who played in the Major Leagues for the Philadelphia Phillies, Colorado Rockies, Florida Marlins, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago White Sox.

A few of his many accomplishments include (1) Having the most stolen bases of any active player, and currently is 26th all time; (2) has more than 2,000 hits in the Major Leagues (3) leading the national league in steals for 2004 and 2006 and the American League in 2010; (4) “On May 9, 2006, Pierre robbed the San Francisco Giants’ Barry Bonds of a career 714th home run, which would have tied Bonds with Babe Ruth for second on the all-time list, by catching the ball right before it topped the fence.” – Source is Wikipedia

Pro baseball tips:  Juan Pierre’s contributions to Pro Baseball Insider include:

  1. Bunting Tips
  2. How to Steal Bases,
  3. 1 tip to increase speed when stealing,
  4. How to steal 3rd base

Subscribe to our monthly update if you want to be notified of new content additions.

Matt Treanor, MLB Catcher
Pro contributors of free pro baseball instruction for PBIMatt Treanor was drafted out of high school in 1994 by the Kansas City Royals. He spent ten years in the minor leagues before making his major league debut with the Marlins in 2004. Since then, he has also spent time with the Detroit Tigers, and Texas Rangers, and is currently with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Matt Treanor”s contributions to Pro Baseball Insider include:

  1. (1) Catcher’s Stance 1 – How to protect signs to the pitcher
  2. (2) Catcher’s Stance 2 – Blocking Situations
  3. (3) Catcher’s Stance 3 – No one on base

Read more about Matt Treanor: Wikipedia; Baseball-Reference; Dodgers MLB

Jim Thrift, Baltimore Orioles scout

Jim Thrift, Baltimore Orioles scout

Orioles scout Jim Thrift is a 28 year veteran of professional baseball, with experience in coaching, managing, and player development (Pirates, Mets and Reds) as well. Currently he is a scout for the Baltimore Orioles, having worked in the amateur, pro, and international divisions.

Scout, Baltimore Orioles: January 2009 – Present (4 years 6 months)
Major League Advance Scout-2009-2011
Amateur Scout-No Fla-2012

Scouting/Player Development, Cincinnati Reds, 1993 – 2008 (15 years)
Minor league baserunning instructor
HItting coach Triple A Indianapolis Indian-1994-1997
Coordinator Team Offense-Minor Leagues-1998
Coordinator Research and Development-Pro Scout-1999-2000
Extra Coach-Major Leagues-2001
Major League Scout-AL East/NL East-2002
National Crosschecker-Amateur Scouting-2003
East Coast Crosschecker-2004-2007
Pro Scout-Minor League Manager-GCL-2008
Minor league manager/Hitting Instructor; New York Mets; October 1989 – October 1993 (4 years 1 month)
Hitting/Baserunning Instructor-FIL-1989
Manager-Kingsport Mets-Appy League-1990
Manager-Pittsfield Mets-1991-1992
Minor League Instructor/Manager; Pittsburgh Pirates; May 1986 – October 1988 (2 years 6 months)
Minor League Coach-GCL-Baserunning/Hitting-1986
Minor League Coach-Carolina League/GCL-Manager FIL-1987
Manager Princeton Pirates-Appy League-1988
See Jim Thrift’s contributions:
Pat Dean, MN Twins starting pitcher

Starting pitcher for the Minnesota Twins AAA affiliate, the Rochester Redwings.  Pat Dean shares some awesome pitching tips in the following free videos:

  • What age I started throwing a curveball
  • Proper pitch grips – 2 seam fastball, 4 seam fastball, slider, changeup
  • Game strategy for pitchers – how to get the hitter out
Ryan Lavarnway, MLB Catcher

Ryan Lavarnway is a professional baseball catcher in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. He has played in the Major Leagues with the Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, and Atlanta Braves.

  • Lavarnway attended Yale University where he studied philosophy and played baseball for the Yale Bulldogs. In 2007-2008 he set multiple single season records, and also became the Ivy League’s all-time leader in home runs.
  • Lavarnway was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 6th round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft.
  • Two-time Boston Red Sox Minor League Offensive Player of the Year
  • Lavarnway made his Major League debut with the Boston Red Sox on August 18, 2011.
  • He started a key game in the September playoff race, hitting two home runs and four RBIs in an essential victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
  • 2013 – Lavarnway spent over half of the season with the big league club and on the Red Sox playoff roster, earning him a World Series title and ring.
  • Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic in 2016, where he went 5-12 with a two run home run, and will play in the 2017 World Baseball Classic in South Korea in March.

Ryan’s extensive course on catching is coming soon, summer 2017.  Be sure your on our email list for the announcement!

Deck MecGuire, Pitcher,

Professional baseball instructor - free tips from the pros


He has pitched professionally for the Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland Athletics, LA Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, and Cincinnati Reds organizations.

Amateur – After graduating from Deep Run High School outside Richmond, Virginia, McGuire played college baseball at Georgia Tech.

While at Georgia Tech, McGuire was named to the 2009 All-America First Team by Collegiate Baseball, the 2009 All-America Second Team by Baseball America, the 2008 Freshman All-America First Team by Collegiate Baseball, and was the 2009 ACC Pitcher of the Year.

Draft – Deck McGuire was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the first round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft.

Lee Tressel, NY Yankees AAA Strength & Conditioning Coach
Lee Tressel, NY Yankees AAA strength coach

Lee Tressel, Strength coach

Lee Tressel is currently the strength and conditioning coach for the New York Yankees AAA affiliate the Scranton Railriders, where he has been the strength coach for 6 years now. He spent the 2008 season in a similar position with the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate in Trenton, N.J. Prior to working in Trenton, Tressel served as the Yankee’s Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coordinator. During off seasons, Tressel works as a private strength trainer at a sports specific facility in Tampa, where he trains elite athletes ranging from youth to pro.


Jeff Juden, MLB Pitcher

Jeff Juden, former Major League pitcher

Question: Who was the last pitcher to start a regular season game in the 20th Century for the New York Yankees?

Answer: Jeff Juden – – who took the ball on the final day of the 1999 season after spending much of eight seasons in the big leagues with seven Major League clubs in addition to the Yankees.

Right-handed pitcher Jeff Juden was drafted by the Houston Astros in 1989 and made his MLB debut in 1991. A 6’8”, 285 pound right hander, Jeff is one of the tallest players ever to put on a Major League uniform. Between 1991 and 1999, he played with Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Montreal, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Anaheim and the Yankees. He was 5-0 in 1996 and 11-6 in 1997. Used as both a starter and reliever during his career, Jeff struck out 148 batters during the 1998 season.

Pitching tips from Jeff Juden:

Cole Leonida

Free catching instruction from the pros

Cole Leonida is a defense-savvy catcher with 6 years playing for the Washington Nationals organization.  

He has generously provide 7 videos on the basics of catching.  

It’s a free email course on catching fundamentals, taught by Cole himself.

 Click here to enroll!

David McCarty, Former Major League outfielder & 1st baseman

David McCarty is a 1st baseman/outfielder who spent 15 years playing professional baseball, and of those 11 years in the Major Leagues. He was drafted in the 1st round by the Minnesota Twins (3rd overall) and went on to also play for the Giants, Mariners, Royals , Rays, Oakland A’s and finally 3 years with the Boston Red Sox before retiring.Now David leases and sells office and industrial properties in the East Bay, buying and selling investment properties with Lee & Associates of San Fransisco.

He has recommended the Potocki-Lupski foundation, which is dedicated to helping those with Potocki-Lupski syndrome achieve their full potential as humans beings with a unique perspective and impact on this world.

See David McCarty’s advice: Should baseball players go pro out of high school

Chris Collabello, Minnesota Twins, 1st Baseman
Chris Collabello encourages younger baseball players with advice about hitting

Minnesota Twins 1st base Chris Collabello

Chris Collabello has a highly unique story. After 7 years in the independent leagues, he finally got a shot to play with the Minnesota Twins.

After being named the 2013 International League’s MVP and Rookie of the Year, Chris finally debuted in the Major Leagues in May 2013 with the Minnesota Twins. It is a truly inspiring story of perseverance and personal triumph.

Anthony Slama, Pitcher, Minnesota Twins
Anthony Slama, Pitcher, Minnesota Twins, contributor of free pitching instruction to Pro Baseball Insider.com

Anthony Slama, Pitcher, Minnesota Twins

Anthony Slama: Drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 2006 out of the University of San Diego, Slama signed his professional contract after completing his college degree in 2007.

Anthony made his major league debut for the Minnesota Twins on July 21, 2010, against the Cleveland Indians.

He worked one inning, striking out two in finishing a victory. Anthony compiled a 2.49 ERA with an 11.8 K/9 ratio in 8 minor league seasons. A four time minor league all star, Slama was the Twins minor league pitcher of the year in 2008 with a 1.01 ERA in 71 innings while striking out 110 batters in the Florida State League. Slama was a participant in the 2010 MLB Futures Game held at Angel Stadium.

The Pitch Professor, free professional pitching tips and instruction

Check out pitchpro.com!

Anthony is currently pitching for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the independent Atlantic League, and is the main contributor for The Pitch Professor providing free pitching instruction from professional players. He is available to schedule pitching lessons in the Southern California area.

Pro Pitching tips: Anthony Slama’s contributions to Pro Baseball Insider include: (1) How to Throw a Changeup; (2) More coming soon – be sure to subscribe to pitcher’s updates!

Updates for pitchers

We will be adding more pitching instruction and tips soon. Join this list if you would like a monthly summary of new pitching video, interviews, and other pro pitching tips.
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PJ Pilittere, Catcher
Former catcher for the Diamond Backs and NY Yankee's organizations, and current coach for the NY Yankees, PJ Pilittere is a content contributor for Baseball-Insider.com. He provides free baseball instruction for catchers, as well as offers individual lessons and critiques to players.

PJ Pilittere was drafted in the 13th round by the NY Yankees in the 2004 first year MLB draft. A tremendous defensive catcher that was the Eastern League Midseason All-Star for the AA Trenton Thunder in 2008. He has been in AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre for the past three seasons.

PJ played his college ball at Cal State Fullerton from 2001-2004. During that time the catcher/first baseman hit a career .320 with 9 home runs and 110 RBI’s. He helped the Titans reach the College World Series three times and helped lead them to the school’s fourth national championship in 2004.

In 2003 PJ earned himself a spot on the CWS All-Tournament team. Over 4 season behind the plate and at first base with the Titans, he compiled a .993 career fielding percentage and a perfect 1.000 in 2003 splitting time with former teammate Kurt Suzuki.

PJ loves baseball and is very good at what he does, after the 2011 season he accepted a coaching position with the NY Yankee organization. We are fortunate to have such a knowledgeable and hard working person contributing to the website.

Read more about PJ Piliterre: Baseball-Reference.com; Interview with PinstripeAlley.com; The Baseball Cube;

Kevin Wilson, fielding & hitting
ex pro baseball player contributes hitting tips to Pro Baseball Insider

Kevin Wilson, KW Baseball

After signing with the Chicago White Sox out of the University of Cincinnati, Kevin spent 6 years playing professional baseball for numerous teams. Upon retiring as a player, Kevin immediately got into coaching.

Kevin is the founder of Kevin Wilson Baseball. For the last 11 years he has been a private hitting instructor for players in MLB, MiLB, NCAA and High School. He also travels the country speaking at clinics and coaching symposiums. To contact Kevin or learn more, check out Facebook.com/KWBaseball.

What the pros say about Kevin:

“K-dub and I clicked from the start. I knew he was knowledgable about hitting and I could rely on him to be my eyes when I was at bat. He has the gift of communication. He was willing to listen to what I had to say and adjust his theories to my ability. It wasn’t a “my way or the highway” relationship. Kevin is passionate and has a wealth of knowledge that can help any player from the big leagues to rookie ball.” – Mike Lamb (Houston Astros 2005 World Series)

Bill Sandillo, 15 years pro coaching and front office

Bill Sandillo

Bill Sandillo signed with the Cincinnati Reds in 1986, but his playing career was hindered and cut short by injury. After moving into coaching and front office capacity, Bill now has 15 years experience in professional baseball with 7 teams – including a world championship during his time with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Currently, Bill is CEO of Predator USA, and the founder of the National Coaches Certification Association.

Sandillo shares his personal experience in professional baseball in Should Baseball Players sign out of High School

Eric Farris, MN Twins outfielder
Pat Dean, MN Twins pitcher
Kevin Russo, Infield & Outfield
Professional baseball player Kevin Russo is content contributor for baseball-insider.comKevin Russo was selected out of Baylor University in the 20th round of the 2006 first year player MLB draft by the New York Yankees.

In 2009, he was added to the Yankee’s 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft, and made his major league debut on May 8, 2010. Since then, Russo has shared time between the majors and the New York Yankee’s Triple A team in Scranton, PA.

As a collegiate he helped lead the Bears to a 2005 College World Series appearance. Russo received All-Big 12 conference Honorable Mention in 2005 and was named to the 2006 preseason All-Big 12 Conference team by Baseball America.

His senior year in high school in Boulder, Colorado he was CO-All State running back with Lendale White.

Russo skyrocketed through the minor leagues hitting very successfully at every level. Even though he came up as a second baseman he has worked on his game to become a tremendous 2nd baseman, 3rd baseman, and outfielder.

Positions: Outfield, Second Baseman, and Third Baseman

Read more about Kevin Russo: Wikipedia; Baseball-Reference.com; MLB.com; MiLB.com; ESPN.go.com

Jonathan Van Every, Outfield
Former Red Sox outfielder Jonathan Van Every is a content contributor for Baseball-Insider.com, providing free baseball instruction for outfielders.

Van Every was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 2000, and signed with the team in 2001. Until 2007, Van Every remained in the Indians organization. His best season in 2004, he hit .276 with 21 home runs. He was an Eastern League All-Star in ’05..

Following the 2007 season, Van Every became a minor league free agent. The Boston Red Sox signed him to a minor league contract for the 2007 season.

Van Every’s major league debut was with the Red Sox on May 14, 2008, when he started in center field. His first major league hit was against Daniel Cabrera. His 1st major league home run was hit in April 2009 against the Cleveland Indians. Fun fact – the next day, Van Every pitched the final two thirds of the 8th inning agains the Tampa Bay Rays.

Van Every spent 2009 and part of the 2010 season with the Pirate’s triple A team, the Indianapolis Indians, until he was traded back to the Red Sox on April 24. Although an outfielder by trade, Van Every was again called on to pitch – striking out one batter, and giving up a two-run home run to Mark Teixeira. On May 31, the Sox traded Van Every back to the Pirates in exchange for catching prospect Josue Peley.

Read more about Jonathan Van Every: Wikipedia; Baseball-Reference; SoxProspects.com; or see photos of Van Every

DJ Mitchell, Pitcher
Professional baseball instruction and free baseball tips

DJ Mitchell’s contributions to Pro Baseball Insider include: (1) Types of pitches

Kevin Whelan, Pitcher
Kevin Whelan’s contributions to Pro Baseball Insider include: (1) Types of pitches
Lance Marks, Infielder

Lance Marks was drafted in the 3rd round out of high school in 1990 by the Atlanta Braves. He spent five years in the Atlanta Braves minor league system, playing 1st and 3rd base, before vision problems ended his baseball career. Currently Lance is a Senior Web Graphic Designer at TransUnion Interactive.

See pro baseball tips and advice from Lance: Should baseball players go pro out of high school?

John Ellsworth, MA – Sports psychology
John Ellsworth, MA – Master Mental Toughness Coach, baseball mental coachingJohn holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Sports Psychology and is presently a doctoral candidate in the field. John brings a multifaceted approach to the mental aspects of sports and health. Combined with his experience in Clinical and Applied Sports Psychology, John has extensive experience teaching, and mental game coaching athletes in professional, college, high school, and middle school sports. In addition, John’s personal experience playing at the minor league level in the late 70’s is testament to his ability to apply the concepts he teaches; perseverance, belief in the self, and mastery of the mental game.

John is available to consult and counsel with athletes at all levels, sports teams, coaches, families, and organizations. He is also available for workshops and invited talks and can be reached at www.protexsports.com.

Please contact Sarah Bernier at Sarah(at)probaseballinsider.com if you have any questions about this page.

About Author

If you have any problems, please contact Sarah(at)probaseballinsider.com. Doug Bernier (Minnesota Twins) & wife Sarah co-founded Pro Baseball Insider (PBI) together. PBI is a platform where professional baseball players can donate their knowledge free to the public. For help, please email Sarah(at)probaseballinsider.com or use this form: Contact PBI.

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