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Ep. 61: The Player, The Scout, The Hitting Coach with Micah Franklin | A Baseball Podcast

Geoff Rottmayer March 16, 2020 4


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The Player, The Scout, The Hitting Coach with Micah Franklin

Welcome to The Baseball Awakening Podcast, where we dive into the raw, unfiltered, unsexy side of player development

Guest Bio:

Micah Franklin, 15 Year Professional Baseball Players, 8 Year Professional Scout for the Diamondbacks and Mariners, and Current Hitting Coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Summary:

On this episode, Host Geoff Rottmayer sits down with Micah Franklin

Show Notes: In this conversation, Micah talks about:

  • His professional career and what it took to have a career as he did.
  • His belief system and how the game humbled him.
  • The feelings he felt when he made it to the big leagues. 
  • He playing career overseas.
  • Transition into becoming a scout. 
  • Becoming the hitting coach.
  • The importance of vision plays in hitting.
  • Developing and coming up with an approach.
  • Meditation and how it goes into player development. 
  • The difference between an A swing and a B swing.
  • How to start working on timing while hitting and how important timing his in hitting.
  • The importance of being on time. 
  • Developing the relationship and trust with players before making drastic changes. 
  • and much more.

Website: www.baseballawakening.com

Facebook: Baseball Awakening Podcast

Twitter: Baseball Awakening Podcast

Instagram: The Baseball Awakening Podcast

Email Address: geoff@baseballawakening.com

Transcribe

Geoffrey Rottmayer
On today’s show we did now with Mike Franklin, a former professional player, a former Scout, and a current hitting coach, and we’re talking about it all.

Intro
Welcome to another episode of the baseball awakening podcast where we dive into the raw, unfiltered unsexy side of player development. Get ready for some knowledge bombs with your host, Geoff Rottmayer.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Welcome to the baseball podcast.

Hey, I’m sitting down with Mike Franklin. Mike enjoyed a 15 year professional career to include playing Japan, Korea and even had a short stint in the big league from there he went on discovered a diamond back and the Mariners would lead them to what he doing now as the minorly hitting, hitting code for the diamond back. Micah. How are you sir?

Micah Franklin
Great, how’s it going, Geoff?

Geoffrey Rottmayer
I’m doing great. You know, I know you’re down there in Arizona, and you’re working hard trying to get guys ready for this coming season. So, you know, we appreciate you taking the time to talk with us. You know, Michael, when I read up on you, you know, you’re a guy who’d done a lot of things in this game, you know, a 15 year career, which include playing in the big leagues for a little bit, you know, playing from overseas, then that got you into scouting and now you’re hitting coach. So let’s kind of get into you know, a little bit of everything of what you’ve done. But let’s just start with you kind of taking us through everything that you’ve done in baseball leading up to what you’re doing now.

Micah Franklin
Yeah, yeah, I got to wear a lot of hats. Throughout my career, which enough play 15 years, mostly minors overseas and absolutely love baseball. I left it for five years went into the I call it the real world and working in ran a couple of businesses. With my family in New York and came back to Arizona, got back into scouting, did that for eight years, and had a little, a little it’s going on and in a coaching and, you know, talk to the Diamondbacks. And fortunately, Mike Bell got me a job offer me a job. And here I am.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
That’s awesome. So let’s go back to your kind of your playing days. You know, so you were a got to after high school, third round of maps. Talk about that, you know, what, what goes into being able to be a guy that’s in the high school and being drafted in the third round, and, you know, going to go play pro ball. Well, I mean, what what has to happen for that for that to happen?

Micah Franklin
Well, you know, I love baseball from the time I was just a little kid, you know, playing out in streets. strikeout playing in the park playing, all we did was Play, play play, and, you know, imitating all the hitters back in the day whether it was Joe Morgan, Willie j, you know, whoever it was and we’re sitting there pretending I’m not hit or you know, I mean Reggie Jackson and all these all these great hitters and then all of a sudden you start realizing at a certain age that hey, you know what, I’m good, you know I’m bad. And when that clicks in man it clicked in for me. And it clicked in differently for everyone that clicked in for me when I was a freshman in high school. I played on the varsity team and I realized that hey, you know what? I’m getting some interest here. I’m gonna I got a chance to go play pro ball and I knew a couple players. Harvey Pulliam was right before me got drafted third round with the Kansas City Royals. He went right into pro ball and so that was my focus from day one. I mean, When I realized that freshman year I wanted to go play pro ball.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Very cool. So how do you I mean, what’s your thought process at that point? How did you know what you need to do? And what you need to work on for that to become a reality, even though you had a lot of a lot of abilities already, but how did you know what you need to focus on to get better and make the reality?

Micah Franklin
No, that’s a great question. I and now I’m coaching, especially the younger kids. Everyone’s like, what do I need to focus on to get better? You know, I believe in myself so much that I was so naive, I didn’t think I needed to do anything to get better. I bet. You know, I believed I was the best. And I didn’t realize until I was in pro ball, um, the deficiencies I had, that I needed to work on and really, really focus on. I just went out there every day and believed I was the best player on the field. And there’s something said for that. Belief is in strength, it in your mind is huge. And that that really was I didn’t think I needed to get better at anything.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Yeah, no, I mean, everybody I’ve talked to that had a chance to play at the level that you play that, that said the same thing. It’s all it’s all about the belief. So how does how do you develop that? Or that’s something that you develop?

Micah Franklin
Um, you know that that was something that came that I was best player on the field, in my mind. Yeah. A lot of times that was true. And if it wasn’t true, I wouldn’t know because I really, I really didn’t believe the best player. I mean, I have a story I remember. After my first at bat in the major league, I hit a line drive Rico Brony jumped up and snag it snow cone dip. I walked back into the dugout, I remember winning against it in their lineup shield railay for Brad Jordan, I walk by demand is gonna be too easy for me. Little did I know it’s not that easy, but that The mind you know that I had I was the best person out there. So it is such an amazing thing when you believe in yourself.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Yeah, no, I agree so so now you’re you’re you’re you’re playing pro ball. And this is where you said you started to kind of define, you know what you need to work on what were some of the things that and what would kind of the game plan to get you to kind of work on things?

Micah Franklin
Well, quickly, you get into pro ball. And you realize that these guys are really good too. And you get humbled, you get humbled quickly. And you talk to people you trust, you know, and that’s why in pro Boy, you got to trust people in amateur Boy, you got to trust people in life. You have to trust people. I met people that I trusted and When you’re humble, it’s amazing. You’ll listen. And you’ll listen. And you’ll believe in them. And they believe in you. And it goes from there.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Whenever you get to, whenever you get to that level, and everybody use me, everybody kind of think that everybody has everybody’s best interests. And there’s that trusting the hottest How does one know who to trust? I mean, that could be at the the amateur level as well is, you know, everybody appeared to have my best interest, but really, maybe not everybody does. So how do I know who to trust who not to trust?

Micah Franklin
That’s awesome. That’s a great question. Um, and it’s hard because sometimes the person that sounds like they’re out there for you is really not at all. The person that can tell you the truth, even when you don’t want to hear that Truth, but they can do it in a way that you know, they’re there for you at that person, that person, you know, they care for me, I don’t want to hear that. Because it’s too easy to go to the next person right next to you telling you what you want to hear. Right? But the person giving you that hard talk, but giving it to you in a way that you don’t want to kill them. That guy, okay.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
So what, uh, though you’re in the you’re in the minor league right now, and you’re learning what it’s like to be you’re learning how to be a professional at 18 years old, when you got there. What was that, like? I made the transition of getting away from home and trying to learn how to be professional trying to learn, you know, done playing baseball to I love to do but there’s still that transition of how to how to live and what it means to be a professional. So what what was that process like and, and did anybody kind of help you and guide you through that process?

Micah Franklin
Well, you know, that was a hard process for me. Again, I was a cocky little kid out of San Francisco. And I had to get humbled. I believed that was the best. And I walked around like I was the best. Well, not everybody liked the guy that walks around so confident and cocky and there’s a there’s a fine line. There’s a fine line believing yourself and maybe being insecure. Maybe some of that belief was insecure, who knows. But that was hard for me. It was hard to I went to Kingsport, Tennessee. 18 year old kid out of San Francisco and you know, those steps are not easy for any kid. And it’s still that way today. It’s hard for to go from 18 years old and now you’re paying your bills. You’re you’re a professional you’re playing every day. You have to be at the field at this time. You have to do this at this time. And Up until that point, you pretty much do what you wanted to do. You know, you’re the guy, every kid is the guy who’s in professional baseball. And now all of a sudden, you have no people telling you, you got to do this. You got to do that you’re going out there on the field and you’re playing against you’re competing against people who are just as good as you are. Maybe you’re a little better, maybe they’re a little better. And you’re not the dude anymore. And that’s a transition. Yeah.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
So when I look at your, your kind of your, your career number one record number, why there’s obviously a lot of factors to it, but you, you put up the numbers, man, and then you produce so you know, when we look at you know, you got to go to the big leagues and in 97 for a few games. Well, what was that like? I mean, we’ll do like going out there producing and then finally getting that call up to the big leagues.

Micah Franklin
It was absolutely amazing. I was so lucky. My dad passed Now that he happened to be there, my mom was there. And my beautiful wife my oldest daughter’s here. The moment I came out of the clubhouse and let them know that they while Jackie actually GM happened to be in town they let me know I was going to the big leagues It was amazing I had a clue the night before one of my really really good friends really was was willing to be gay who kind of kind of mentioned that they heard that I’m coming up so I go to the ballpark next day No one’s saying a word to me you know manager isn’t there is a you know a lot of things happening up there just keep keep battling keep you know keep doing your thing that after the game happening, have pretty decent game that day. And he walked by my my locker about three times. I’m like, man, I must change your mind. Wow. So I was like, Whoa, and then he finally on the third thing. You know, third time when he’s walking back today, Mike come here. And they called me in and it was is unbelievable is a dream come true? Everything I dreamed everything I worked for Just get me and it was like wow this is amazing

Geoffrey Rottmayer
yeah they always say that getting there is hard but staying there it’s harder you know when we look at you you know you they they look like you got you got them back down what would that whole thing like what was uh you know you’re there you finally feel like you’ve arrived and then they and then you’re not you’re not there again

Micah Franklin
wow yeah is no lie but that one isn’t there I don’t say easy but easier and staying there is wow. Yeah, I didn’t need to stay very long. I did okay, I didn’t get to stay very long. There’s some really good players up there and sometimes need to be in the right spot right time. Things have to go your way. And, you know, they went my way because I got opportunity to go up there I can I can be a little down that I didn’t stay as long as I wanted to. But I was fortunate enough here after that I went to Iowa and played with the Cubs and AAA and then went to Japan and went overseas. At that time the opportunity to go overseas and make money from my family was was you know, the deciding factor but it was awesome going out there and I wish I just stayed is my one thing I wish I could stay a little longer. Yeah.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Though what was overseas like? What was the transition from you know, the, the caliber, the language, the culture, all that stuff and now you’re in a in a new place. Well, what was that like?

Micah Franklin
I was so excited to be over there is a culture is amazing. Japan is absolutely amazing. The people are amazing. The country is just a wonderful place. Playing there the time when I played there is 99 you had to form hitters. And you get to foreign teachers. And let me tell you one know about pressure. It’s pressure from the time you took batting practice in spring training, those reporters are out there. And they’ll let you know how many balls you hit out that day. You didn’t feel good enough the next day in batting practice. It’ll be in the papers and it is no joke. Yeah, it is serious.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
So what was the difference? Micah occupied in looks like you played in Korea as well.

Micah Franklin
Yeah, diseases in Korea. Doesn’t it before to that? Three. That was another amazing experience. Again, I wore a lot of hats, organizations organization, so I loved every single one of my stop. It was a story of you know, my chapter, my book not done but another chapter in my life. And Wow, what an experience that was. I’m really fortunate. You know, I got blank Korea for two seasons. Japan, two seasons late, intimately. And winter ball two seasons we went to Caribbean series there. You know, I got to play Mexico for two winters played in Venezuela. You know, baseball has been really really good to me and I absolutely love baseball right back. So you know, experiences have been great.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Very cool. Let’s jump over to the the scouting I’d like to get into more you know what you’re doing now the hitting up above let’s just kind of go through your journey. The scouting, talk about that what was that transition like going from being a player and you know, having a successful night career run and then now you’re jumping over to the other side? And you know, evaluating players what was the What was that like? And then how did how do you think maybe you the Playing career and the people you were around kind of helped you with that transition?

Micah Franklin
Um, definitely, I absolutely love scouting. Scouting is awesome. It takes a person a while to really get get their own little feeling niche for for scouting because you can go out there right away your first years and and you have biases we all have biases and you have to get rid of your biases and you have to look at it with the lens, you know, when you’re looking at players, it’s their raw you know, I came in saw some amateurs and I saw some young rookie players Mike trout, those guys his first year when he got drafted by his heirs first year, you seen these players and they’re so raw and they’re so young and you dream and it’s pretty cool to go back in the room you write your report and you dream with those players and you follow them along their career. It’s pretty cool but definitely playing has helped have an idea. You have a Rolodex least I’m old so we talked about Rolodex is now you just go on your phone. Scroll but you know of all the players you start remembering Hey, you kind of remind you this guy he kind of moved like that guy and you can you dream along with them. So there’s no question scouting is is an awesome awesome job is an arc it’s hard long days and some long nights

Geoffrey Rottmayer
yeah so how do you I’ve could you you mentioned it a little bit earlier you know you have to take the the the player development or the the coaching lens off and turn it over to the the evaluator lens. You know that that’s got to be tough sometimes. When you look at a guy today, if we did a few things with him. A few things could happen. So how do you mean with that without a tough transition or was that tough for you to do or were you able to kind of get that right land on and make them good value

Micah Franklin
Yeah, no, I think when you’re when you’re looking at it that lens you’re looking at the tools. You know, you’re seeing how those tools you can see how it will grow. You know, fortunate enough to, you know, seeing Cody Bellinger is 1617 years old and saying, you can see it. You saw the way the body moves. It was free. I promotable you understood that. Hey, look at the dad clay clay. I mean, woman bloodlines former big leaguer, the body strong, really strong. Well, Cody’s a little, little smaller, but he’s strong. You can see how that’s gonna grow. You see how he moves on the field. And you can envision now when he goes into player development, how they’re going to help them along the way. So you kind of put those two together, you take off the lenses and say, Hey, you can’t be the one to do the player development. But you can say I know how player two development is going to to take this young man is going to help him I think that’s what helped about being a player especially at high school going through a couple of standard spring trainings at the lower levels longer and understanding how much player development really takes into account of the body and a player and can really mold that player

Geoffrey Rottmayer
the the the scouting nowadays the you know, maybe maybe maybe they did whatever you were doing scouting the the technology and the data and all that stuff. What are your thoughts on on all that from from a scouting side of things?

Micah Franklin
I think there’s there’s always a blend. You got to have a blend of everything. One one way isn’t the right way. The right way is the right way. My way is not the right way. No, it’s that I’m always right and wrong. So if I’m wrong, I need to get on the right way again, you know, so There’s some good technology out there that can then help us. But there’s also you need the understanding that, you know, there’s outliers, there’s also, throughout the years of technology, we make things better. And maybe the first blend may be here, the second or third version may even be better. So we have to remember that when we get into scouting, that we just cannot go on technology alone, because especially if you’re talking about a 17 year old kid, 18 year old kids who still there, you know, DNA is still growing. Yeah, we don’t know the final product here. And you got to be able to take some past history of players who maybe were like that type of player, we can use that technology to say, hey, how this body moves, things like that. I remember this kid at that age was moving and hitting the ball like that, and now, all of a sudden at 22 is, you know, 23 Winning MVP you know, so there’s a blend of both and we can’t be stuck with one or the other. We got to blend them.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Yeah. So you mentioned a couple of times you know how the body moves Can you can you kind of elaborate on that? You know, for the people that are listening You know, when you when you say how the body move what is what does that mean?

Micah Franklin
I think it’s really interesting. I think it’s something that’s a little bit more scientific now and we have great people that that have really opened my eyes. I always we would always look at a hitter and say, with both the move well now we know a little bit more so we can go into the technology and understand and it’s the ology of movement of the body. That it’s not so much of a guessing game. Oh, yeah, he looks like it or sometimes we used to say tight players, you know, um, maybe that’s why Mike trout tell so late You know, obviously it came from Jersey and cold freezing in the spring. People want to see him, but maybe he didn’t wasn’t as loosened as hyper mobile, some other players whose bodies moved right. So now we have a better understanding of of that. And that’s a technology that is just deeper thinking into something versus an old way of thinking, or just a new way of thinking if that makes any sense.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Yeah. So what would you if you could define how, what an ideal way someone would move? Well, how would you explain that?

Micah Franklin
The ideal way would be at the end of the season. They have great numbers. I mean, everyone has different DNA. So it’s gonna be ideally for that person. You know, I’m extremely dyslexic, and I believe that helped me in sports. It’s helped me in my business world. It’s helped me in scouting and helped me in coaching because You know, if you say, hey, add two numbers that that add up to four, one day I might say three plus one another day, I might say two plus two Another jam, I say four plus zero. There’s there’s different ways to get to the finish line. And there’s different people, everyone’s different. So when we start saying, This is the only way we’re in trouble, yeah.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Yes.

Micah Franklin
Cool. So a little bit more about scouting.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
In today’s times, the way the games kind of evolving or changing a little bit, what would be from a scouting point of view, what would be an absolute that a kid needs to? I mean, they obviously need to develop all their tools. But what what would be something that a kid would be like, Okay, this is really where I need to work on for me to be able to get to this level.

Micah Franklin
Right? Well, if we’re an amateur kid, In your position player hitting is going to be number one. Yeah, you know, um, great defensive player but can’t hit is tough. We can find we call those diamonds I’m hitting is going to be number one without a doubt, if you’re a pitcher, size and in velocity, you know, is what gets you drafted, unfortunately. So after you get drafted, now you can hit. Now you have an approach, you know, do you have a pitch mix if you’re a pitcher, so it keeps going from there, but if you’re just going to say, I’ve never you know, sat in a draft room or sat around the room in the boardroom or talking and putting up a board of players and talking about players and go, Hey, this guy can’t hit it goes right to man, this guy can hit he’s a hitter, then they start talking about positioning obviously makeup. That’s a questionable one because whose makeup is the best, you know, the like you know, at the end I was called out, be careful. That’s like having a menu. That’s the person who decides to make up, you know, around the room that could have a great makeup. But that person doesn’t like that type of person, his bias comes out. And if you’re 18 years old, guess what we’re going to grow. You know what? I wasn’t the greatest makeup kit at 18. Some people would say, but one thing I did, I went out there and competed my butt off. I was trying to kill that other team. So maybe that brought me to the person I am today that I was able to sit here and talk to you today.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Very cool. So can we talk a little bit about and I think there’s some some confusion out there. The difference between the swing and the difference between hitting. So you guys are looking for guys that can hit. So can you talk a little bit about the difference?

Micah Franklin
Yeah, yeah. On the scouting we’re talking about on the scouting side, right on the other side. Yep.Okay, on the scary side a kid has a really really good swing, but he can’t hit the ball it’s really tough um it kind of goes together usually good in the amateur world good swings and good results come come together you know you don’t find too much sleep in my in my journey looking at a lot of amateur kids most amateur kids are good anyway we’re looking at them they could have flaws and have a good upper body and strong arms and still take advantage of lesser competition. So that would be a guy with really good results but a bad swing and now we’re breaking that down and then we have good swings and good results. So there are good results with bad swings and we have to say the an outlier figured out why the having so much success.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Okay, cool. So again from the scouting side, what would be what would be like the absolute when you when you look at a kid Okay, that’s a Good swing.

Micah Franklin
Well, again, we go back to body movement. is kinetic chain looking good? Is he way off? Or is it just an arm swinger? Or is he I mean, the lower half he’s not over rotating, rotating perfectly balances just in control of himself. body moves Well, he can sync up, you know, it’s a it’s I always think the field careful with fail because it’s a field because you know what I’ve seen it so many years of what, what it looks like. And then now I’m learning and I’m going last couple of offseason I’m learning every day, I’m gonna learn something from you today talking to you. And my ears are open, my mind is open to not thinking I’m right. But let’s get the right answer. You know, so when we talk about the perfect swing, you know, I want to be careful to when I answer that question, because I don’t know the perfect Wait, right? Um, you know, we can put them on a K best for date we can pick winner and that might say it’s the perfect swing. But let’s see the results of the game will also tell us what’s perfect swing, right?Yeah, it all comes down the game. Yeah.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
So one more thing on the scouting side for we jump over to QA we can talk about yada, yada, yada. Okay, awesome. Well good. Yeah, no, I’d be I let the How about how about vision, you know, something that I’m real big on in my in my place is really just honing in and trying to get guys to understand how the eyes work and how the eyes help them with the swing and what they’re, you know, picking up the ball and stuff though. I you know, can you talk a little bit about the division side of things and how important it is?Yeah, isn’t this huge? Um, you know,

Micah Franklin
mostly, I mean, studies have been done so many studies have been done vision. Professional Baseball players are great. But for the most part really, really good vision, we’re talking about milliseconds. When you’re talking about milliseconds, you got to have good vision. Right? Yeah, we got to decide what the what the hit what’s the swing, when it swing, you know, you got 125 milliseconds to gauge a pitch 9095 pounds an hour. So, you know, let’s talk about blink and take 300 400 mils. So, first of all even know what a millisecond is. I’m just quoting a sports is science hidden. You know, when they did the scientist, he talked to us, you know, yes. So, if we don’t Calm down, relax, make sure we see the ball. We’re, we’re at a loss right there. So, you know, how do we help vision there’s a lot of different ways, you know, tracking pitches. Using actually technology definitely has helped there. But you know, it does start with seeing the ball. Yeah, yes, you balls gonna be hard to hit. Yeah.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Yeah, no, I’m not that the thing that calmed down and relaxing it, I think is a really big part of that process because you know the you know we hear about performance anxiety and that’s another real thing and you know the performance anxiety you know your your thoughts are going a million miles you’re breaking more and all that can get in the way of the vision and the budget do what it needs to do based on what the tone is. So the no i think that that that’s a huge part where you brought up the, the calming down the relaxing part in and in that the you know, that’s, that’s easy, that’s not easy to relay and easy for guys to really understand. At some point they start to understand it and have a routine to help them with that. But ya know that that part that relaxing the common part? You know, how do you how do you help guide to that? Like, what do you what, what kind of your cue for that?

Micah Franklin
Yeah. Well, we talk about it. Now we’re getting a little bit more into it. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. I’ll just go back and forth. No worries. Okay. So, believe me they both win. Yeah, I’m coaching with scouting. When I’m scouting with Coach. Yeah, well, you know, I talked about a thing. I use inner computer for my hitters. What’s our inner computer, you know, and we’re talking about our mental approach timing, and then we worry about mechanics, you know, so, when we start with an inner computer, it, my dad’s a professional. I’ll get into the amateurs in a second. So for our professional guys, we send information on the pitcher the night before. So they know the pitch mix. They know You know what this guy throws percentage wise velocity wise video of the pitcher so they’re already in their mind their computer is already starting to process that so they’re in these modes that to handle these these these issues about vision and coming down so then they walk into the ballpark the next day and it’s on the board we put even more information up and we careful they look whatever they want to look at we’re not dumping it you have to look here, but they get the information when they need you know, they figure out their approach what they need to look out the information then we have a loop of the picture on so all that starting to calm down then we go about the day, you know their body movements start maybe two o’clock and drills that they need to focus on to get their body movement in the right position. Now we go into four o’clock four o’clock practice time, more game practice. What they’re going to see him again So they’re not freaked out. Again, all this is common, we have meditation sessions for players. Then we go in, you know, I call it our rules, the lower levels, you know, the fourth hitter, I have him get his, you know, for any of that moment, have them start getting his batting gloves on his, you know, Shin foot protector, his elbow protector, every protector, they got their thumb protect, it’s got a million protectors, you know, it’s amazing how many protectors they got to have. So get that out of the layer. So by the time the third hitters, you know of that situation. He’s standing by me and that ns computer’s really kicking in all the stuff all that all the information you would put into like a real computer system sits in his little head of the computer just like a processor and we put in files, you know, a swing between fast balls like this fast balls like that. Remember when you saw that a pitcher and they start processing what this guy likes to do when he likes to do it, how he likes to do it, what he reminds of them, and they go through this process in their head. So by the time they go up on the object now it’s just in a computer’s completely engaged in his time in the picture. You know, clear he’s free, he might have two three things he likes to think of and he remembers those things that calmed them down. then by the time he walks up to the plate from that batter’s box, he doesn’t even think about this. It’s just something that clicks in without him even thinking about it. What’s the situation haters man, oh, first one out, just hit a face at the right fields. The bag went from first base first and third downs first and third. The infield plane doubleplay depths, your dig corners are in situ, like services like those are clicking in his head without him actually even focusing on that because he’s focusing on one or two things. Three things that he tells himself, it’s time to stay relaxed. Now he’s relaxed, he’s able to handle that situation, his visions better He’s able to control the moment he can control himself. His inner computer allowed that versus freaking out as soon as he gets in the box and now he’s processing all that stuff and thinking about all that’s too late. Yeah,

Geoffrey Rottmayer
man you killed it there you got a there’s a couple things I’d like to elaborate on. Let’s start with let’s go back to the approach you know we’re on the coaching side so when you when you when you get a kid, you know that 18 years old, he showed up the pro ball for the first time, more than likely doesn’t really have a maybe he does a refined approach. How do you start working with a guy to kind of develop that and start thinking about, you know, maybe what type of hitter he is.

Micah Franklin
But that’s awesome. And I’m glad Yeah, let’s let’s go back on that interview. We’ll get deep into it. We want to do an approach. First thing we need to do because these kids come in, they may have an approach and it works in the amateur 18 year. Facing way lesser competitors and they are. And that approach may need to be tinkered a little bit and changed a little bit at this level because because maybe they, you know, don’t go out it as serious as they need to because approaches is a very important thing for a hitter. And you really can’t start talking about an approach with a hitter until you have a relationship and trust with that hitter. So once you establish the trust, now we start going through an approach. We start talking to the hitter, what kind of hitter argue, he tells me what kind of hear you and then when I have enough to trust, I can go to our computer and punch in numbers, and I can show him Hey, where do you like to pitch he says, I like your middle end. I said that’s interesting because I can show you right here your little ad not as well middling but middle of the way your Really good. You know, it’s how we start understanding who he is as a hitter. You know, they don’t really know who they are yet, right? They’re, they’re figuring that out. And we can help them along the way. But at the same time, they have to, they have to find out who they are as a hitter. So it’s a combination, we go about it together, we can’t rush that process. And believe me, it’s not something I all automatically came up with. This is just trial and error. There’s some mistakes I’ve made about the random rush that process turn, the more you rush, the longer it’s going to take, you know, the players got to come to those, who he is and what his approach is that we can help them along the way. And we can give him the information that he needs. But ultimately, he’s going to come up with his approach.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Very cool. I love how you said you know, you started off with you got to get the relationship in the trust first, you know, cuz a lot of people just want to jump in and start helping guys Without even developing that, and then really, maybe the attention good but the player doesn’t understand that they want that that relationship in that trust it much it we don’t maybe not realize that, but I love how you started off with that.

Micah Franklin
Yeah, I think I started off with it because I’ve done it the wrong way before. Sure. You know, and, you know, you learn it and you’re you learn, you get better every day, I want to get better out here. I want to be better every day. And I’m here I use the word my word. Everyone should have a word for coaching, you know, what is my word so because so many people in my life has helped me to get to where I am right now. And I want to help so bad that sometimes I sit back and let that process happen. And these are, you know, I made mistakes along the way plenty of mistakes. And the reason now I’m talking about trust and relationship and all that because you know, I might have had the relationship and the trust but maybe I would have bought it a little too fast and maybe To sit back a little bit more, yeah. And that go that go deeper than just baseball. Without a doubt, without a doubt, I need to know what where did it come from? Yeah. What’s his upbringing? What’s his story? You know? How can I be influenced in his story, his chapter, this chapter of his life because the way we have it, we got a player for a month, two months, three months, five months, six months, and they’re gone, they leave us. So I’m just a chapter in his story. And you know what, I want that chapter to be awesome. You know, I don’t want that chapter to be just miserable for him. You know, put a quote this this weekend doing a coach clinic I hate to call it he said, Never be your, your players last coach. You know, at the end of the day, I’m there for him. He’s not there for me. I’m there for him. Right. And that’s, that’s that that’s something I gotta I go by every day and try to Try to remember because we as coaches we get excited right you know fall into the trap we need to fix we need to fix and I’m guilty as anybody.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Sure. So if you had to like did you kind of generalize you know without but they don’t know somebody yet but just kind of a general like here the guideline of how I would help them on develop their approach, what would you what would what would that kind of what would that kind of look like

Micah Franklin
so after we talked about the relationship we got to trust you know, that you know, we talked about where they hit the ball, the bass where they you know what pitches they hit best, you know, if they’re struggling or not struggling, how’s their mental their mental strong, the timings a little off all the time, sometimes it takes, you know, at a batter to have pitches or to to get into time it well. We’re going to have to start with some timing drills to make sure they’re starting on time. So that’s one of his approaches. You know that in the day when he comes to the ballpark, things like that. You know, what does he like to think about when he’s in the box. So that might be something he thinks about, Okay, um, meditation process. There’s, there’s not just go to the cage, I want you to hit five swings this way and five swings that way. And then you do that every day that that, that that might be what he needs at that moment that’s, you know, not really set in stone that that can be a living a living approach. But I like to have certain things, be careful with superstitions or approach, I kind of had a mix of both, you know, when you go into the on deck, there’s an approach there. There’s an approach of the day how you walk into the clubhouse, how you like to start that approach. So we got about three or four different approaches every day. You know, we always say hey, have your have your, you know, have your approach have your What do you do to get yourself in the right mental frame and there’s a lot Okay, like to come in the clubhouse a little early and you like to sit you like to relax a little bit then go into the training room. So there’s different spots of approaches for me that are key.Very cool. And, you know,

Geoffrey Rottmayer
you know, how much does the, you know, a coach may be having some experience and that really matter coming to, you know, in terms of, you know, being able to relate in that sense.

Micah Franklin
I think, I think extremely important to be honest with you. And it doesn’t mean that someone who doesn’t have that experience can’t eventually get that chair but it’s gonna take them a little longer and that’s okay. It’s kind of like in scouting world if you guys never played Scout, or don’t run in there and tell everybody you know it takes time, because third, there are days where I can feel my hitter in the box and know what he’s going through because Guess what? I’ve been there. I’ve been one for 20 I’ve been one for 20 I’ve been seven for seven, I’ve been over 20 there’s days where, you know, you’re so bad that if you fell out a boat in the middle of the ocean, you’ll hit a rock, you know, in that baseball, and that’s where, hey, we know, we know we’re gonna go through that that roller coaster during the during the season, we’re gonna have ups and highs and we just write them out in the quicker we can get rid of those lows, by being mentally strong and keeping your approach and in sticking with it, you’re going to be fine. And you need someone I think, who understands that doesn’t mean that someone, we can’t talk to them and that they’ve never been through that and walk through that and can understand it. They can feel it, but it really is important. For me, I think and I always talk about we have swing coaches, and then we have hitting coaches. Yeah, I’m both Both I do swinging with people during the third season we do both but man offseason I do a lot of Swing Coach. I’m so good at a big Swing Coach. Oh amazing, Robert. Man, I flip a bottle. I take a video and I edit it. Awesome. Yeah. Man, I mean, you got a 97 on the black. One luck. No one likes getting coaches when they’re doing good. Yeah, because they’re good and it should be because they did all the work. They’re good. Right? Let me tell you when they’re not hitting, hitting coach’s fault, man, you’re doing something wrong. We got to fix it. I always laugh about it. We only do that so you don’t get the good boy. Yeah. There’s two different things when you’re a hitting coach especially maybe swing coaching at two o’clock, three o’clock. We’re getting by them. We’re doing some drills to help them by dp time it’s time to pay. We’re preparing this guy to hit tonight in the game. Yeah, we need to we need to wrap it up a little bit we need to complete we need to do some drills for him to hit tonight so he can be successful in the game. His first pitch of the game can’t be that first time he saw a reaction of 95 in a slider and occurred in on that said that’s got a that’s a hidden coach’s job it’s my job to be accountable to have my hair prepared to hit Yeah. So

Geoffrey Rottmayer
you know i’m sure you deal with this a lot down there in the Miami level. The guys who are not mentally tough guy that can make it through that don’t get don’t last very long do they?

Micah Franklin
know they don’t? Unfortunately, don’t. And you know what, the kids are different today. And as coaches. I have to be different. I have to be better. You know, it’s much easier Maybe a topper coach and say, Hey, we’re doing this drill that you can’t do. You can’t handle it. You can’t. You’re not even playing the big leagues. Let me tell you, it’s not that but you know what? That works. But it’s also not the way the kids grew up today. So, we have to, we have to be positive with the kid and we have to do everything we can to get them to understand you need to be mentally tough. I say it all the time hitting is mental approach timing. If you’re late, you must compensate. And then we worry about mechanics. Well, kids today are not mentally tough. They want to go right to mechanics and they want to feed right away. Yeah, you know, yeah. This is something that we deal with a lot. A whole lot. Yeah, you know the difference between a big leaguer double and a triple Ace, not that big. Right? It really isn’t that big, but that one who can distantly get a hit or two more a month. That’s it. Yeah. All right. So you you mentioned you were talking about timing, throw timing.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Can we talk about that a little bit? Let’s talk about timing the, you know, what is like, let’s just talk about what it is and then how do we work on that?

Micah Franklin
Okay. So, timing is extremely important. Once we’re off on our timing, and usually it’s not that we’re early. It’s usually we’re late. Right? And, and we have to say, if you’re late, you must compensate. And you will break down that kinetic chain when you’re late. It’s just a common thing. Our natural body self organizes, and we always talk about self organizing, self organizing is outstanding. Sometimes it’s bad when we’re late. And we have to self organize just to hit the ball and we break down. It’s great that we’re able to go ahead and organize and still be able to hit the ball. But when you’re late, you’re not going to get usually your best results out of that. So timing we have to actually practice that. We have to practice being on time and being calm because we talked about vision earlier. You know what, when you’re on time you’re early, your visions a little better, you’re calmer. When you’re late, you freak out, you know, it’s like, man, I got a point. You know, I got a couple appointments today. I got an eye doctor in a in a in a doctor visit today. And if I’m waiting, I’m freaking out. Oh, God, I gotta rush. I gotta rush. But if I’m early, you know, I got a cup of coffee. Maybe I’ll do it. All right. The same thing in here. We have to be so we have to as coaches. We it’s our responsibility. I was talking about accountability of us to get that hitter on time and we have to, we have to do drills during the day BP and things like that, that that are for that.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Yeah. How much of that is tied to the dusty in the ballpark?

Micah Franklin
Yeah, you know, that’s a great question. I’m, I’m not a doctor, but I can I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express. You know, but but I know for years, I mean 27 now and in watching hitters that have better there’s hitters that either ball with their eyes, their eyes connect to their brain the brain sends signals to their limbs and their body of where it needs to get to to hit the ball. And, you know, we talked about it. I got to set where that falls right down the middle, you know, on our computer system. I’m sure everyone is different, but where they tell us the pitches are right down the middle, horizontal vertical, right down the middle fastball in the major league. This is every level minor league major league with less than two strike. hitters hit way better. You know what? 95 better Yeah. Average slugging 773 eggs and below 95.2. Now with two strikes This is the same exact ditch to strike same brackets right down the middle fastball, it drops all the way down to 274 with a 499 slugging at 773 to 499 It’s a huge difference in exit velocity drop down to miles now so we know that if you’re losing milliseconds because you’re not in hit to take your and take the hit your vision freaked out just a hair you know there’s there’s so much that goes into that so right away we mentally have to be strong our mental goes into our timing or timing goes into our relaxed or inner computer goes into all of it. It’s not one thing Oh, he got better vision he got what we do know that certain hitters with better vision better millisecond can hit a pitch right down the middle with lesson two and then if there another guy he has to go to the outside Half hit that hits just as well, where the other guy does it, you know, so he has to focus on his approach, what pitches does he hit, you know, now the other guy may be just as good when he’s focusing only on a pitch middle away, instead of middle down the plate and he can hit it just as good as the other guy who can hit both pitches. But sometimes DNA plays a factor. And sometimes we can make a little bit better on vision. Yeah,

Geoffrey Rottmayer
very cool. So you mentioned earlier about a swing in between Can you can you elaborate on that a little bit?

Micah Franklin
Yeah, um, heck, I like Aisling. A swings are fun when a swing work in the pitches where they want to and they hit it good. They’re happier. There’s a time I think for big swings, you know, especially with two strikes, nanosecond base to one count, we got to be swinging on a pitch middle away and we send it in the right center. It’s outstanding. Or you throw up your a sling and you can’t actually hit that pitch with a swing. So this is where approach really comes in. You know, I kind of wandered off on approach, but we talked about controlling the zone and knowing what you hate. Good. What are you looking for football? 1234567 is it three four, is it 345 is it five, six, but we’re looking for a pitch, we understand what we can do with each pitch. We don’t swing at balls, we swing in strikes, we swing at our strikes. And sometimes Guess what, that pitcher has the ball in their hand and we don’t get to go 123 hit one to two. Sometimes he takes 12345 to get to the plate and you’re off by just a hair. But you still able to put a really good D swing on it. You know, and that is the adjustability. It’s not putting a ball on a tee and always having the same exact swing time that’s just not unfortunately that’s just not how it here with the baseball.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Right. Awesome. So you also mentioned cover time on meditations. Can you can you talk about that a little bit? You know, I’m a big believer in it. Um, but can you talk about the the benefit of it for baseball, but the hitter You know, I think meditation could be really important. It can be a important part of the puzzle. So can you talk a little bit about that and then the benefits on it?

Micah Franklin
Yeah, again, it goes with my my numbers that start in mental yards with mental and and meditation is for everybody. It’s not just baseball. Yeah, true. What we need to be, we need to be in a good state of mind, our mental state of mind and be good and there’s no harder job for me in life in sports that I know about is being a hitter. You know, when we talk about we break You’re down to 25 milliseconds and seven milliseconds. You gotta have mental mental game. And we have a great mental strength department they came in last year and, you know, we go in and coaches go in in the morning, then the players go in we, we have sessions with the players during the year coaches during the year to get ourselves completely relaxed, to get our thoughts in the right direction. And and this helps us on hectic days, helps us on calm, it helps us on every day we have we need to be mentally strong, we need to be calm, meditate, relax, and be in that right frame of mind.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
And can you can you talk about what that process looks like?

Micah Franklin
Well, everyone’s gonna have a different process. It’s going to be for mine as a coach. We have a We have a process we go out in the morning with our guys and we sit back, we turn the lights down, get a nice comfy spot, have a nice beautiful streaming music going through. And we just we disappear into this nice flotation mode. You know, we have words going on and, you know, I want you to be as free and loose as can be and whatever we need for us, you know, our hitters, you know we’re coming up, I gotta be careful because we’re coming up with ideas and different things that we’re putting together where they can actually focus on that perfect pitch they have that feeling they have that they actually talk to, to our main mental strength people about and they put a whole program together for them. Same with our hitters, you know, they visualize they can see it in, in their having it played through them. Have that process that they go through what their mind is thinking about that a couple of key words. So, again, I don’t want to go too much into what we do here. I don’t have to prove it to say that, but it’s a little deeper than, hey, we just close our eyes and do this, right. Everyone has their process, you know, and you figure it out. There’s a million different ways to do your meditation and you figure out what works for you. Again, there’s so much that we have to do that. It’s individualized now that we used to just put everybody in a room everyone do this. Well, again, I go back to I’m extreme dyslexic. Well, for me, learning was different. And I used to have to think outside the box. And I love the forward thinking that’s going on in today’s game. Yeah, because I didn’t learn the same way as someone else. And we all learn differently. Yeah,

Geoffrey Rottmayer
I know. No, you have that on base view certifications as well. had that helped you? What would kind of the biggest takeaway from it that you felt?

Micah Franklin
Oh, without a doubt, um, I got an introduction. So we had the class in Arizona last year, not go class. And we went to on base you and we had the strength coaches, and we had hidden coaches there. And a strength coach did a cave us and then he did a screening in the end. Then they said, pick a hidden coach, and I just happen to be sitting in front of them. And let me tell you, I’ve never actually experienced a hit or like this in my life. He had his ankles were just tore up at bad stability. He was all arm swinger and no, knees were bad. Hips stiff click move. No, IR No, er, I mean, he pretty much, you know, shouldn’t be playing baseball. It’s swinging. I sat there and was like, how do I fix this swing? trying to think of all his bodies and everything eventually I came up with the answer my man Jacob Cruz came up with a better one right away so a scissor obviously he version it can lead to it if he first he can’t do it he burrs address he can’t do both but he can do one of them if he thought about it hard enough so we put them into but right there opened up my mind that hey I got it I gotta get better you know so I dug into that a little bit my looked at our players I talked to our trainers and our and our strength coaches more this year. And I’m doing that again this offseason. So on base he was huge for me to really open up my eyes of to another world.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Very cool. So, so have you found yourself you know when you’re when you’re working with a guy going, Oh, we can’t do that. But maybe this like I’ve gotten to that point yet or? Definitely,

Micah Franklin
definitely. And I know better questions to ask. Maybe a strange friend or another friend. Hey, Get internal rotation is struggling, he can’t get out, you know, he just can’t. Okay. So but right away, you know what he can do. So this is the best way hyper mobile guys, you know, it’s hard for him to stability and they got a strength and certain core thing, how do I get him to stretch, you know, and I get that fast you’re working better maybe tighten them up, you know, I can figure out a way to move his body to actually tighten it to make them easier or he likes to be a bigger movement. He needs a bigger movement, you know? So, so that definitely has helped me relate to the hitter better without a question instead of sitting there and say, Okay, I know what it’s supposed to look like. So let’s try it here. Let’s try to do what it’s supposed to look like. It’s a quicker process without a doubt.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
So let’s talk about the swing a little bit. What are your thoughts on near what are your beliefs on the swing?

Micah Franklin
Well, we started to ground is he Is the balance is the creating force is the over rotating? if these things are an issue then we got it. We got to get them. We got to fix these things. I’m a big believer. If so things are going good. He’s a little bit of an outlier. I’m not trying to make a perfect hitter you know, hitters The result? I’m always I focused more on on his bats are they good? Or is he on time? Is his body pretty much in the right place? Is he creating force is not overrated. All right, we’re good. You know, his his hands coming through fine bat path is fine. We’re good. And that’s pretty much on the swing. We’re not getting I’m not a big guy getting overly crazy about a swing as long as those those my checklist is good. Yeah, we’re looking at is he swinging at the right pitches because you know what i can we can Put them in get them all the best on them and all these numbers are great in batting practice his numbers are great. Well, as soon as the first pitch in the game comes in ladies what any compensate is not great anymore. Great five o’clock hitter. Yeah, but the able to do it in calm control the situation in the game to be able to be in a position we can have flaws mechanically, but your mental game is strong. Explain it the right pitches you’re going to probably have success.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Yeah, I agree with you on that one the swinging at the right pitch part. I mean, if you swing at a bad pitch your swings gonna fall apart. And that’s what I tell our guys all the time when you’re coded the jumping all of you Well, you swung in a bad pit. No, No wonder your swing fell apart. You know?

Micah Franklin
Without a question. You know, I’m a big I like self organizing, especially on drills. I love having different kinds of drills out there. One of my favorite is just a simple if the hitter rolls the ball on the front All sides are against the foul ball, he loses the rest of this round. It’s amazing, those swings, right pitch. Or those they’ll go their path correctly because they they want their swings. They don’t want to lose their swings. Yeah. And it’s amazing. We allow hitters to do that more versus we tell them the right swing. Okay, they’re pretty good hitters at this level, you know, even at the amateur level, give them a little tip here, there, they find a way to turn your body organized pretty well to what they need to do, not what we’re telling them. Right. That’s later on time. Exactly. Being on time, and in mental and on time. It’s the key. Yeah. And then, hey, let’s focus on the process. You know, I was we got talked about the process, you know, what, what is what is good? You know, I mean, getting ahead is a good process over results equals results, you know, I mean, let’s focus on quality at that we need at the right time. pitches even if you got out. It’s all right. You get your job you’re supposed to if you fail the odds are you’re gonna be successful you continue to do that. Now,

Geoffrey Rottmayer
I like that like that when you said you know what, what’s good they didn’t they didn’t know what good they don’t they don’t always know because like you said, you know you can barrel baseball hit it hard right centerfield. He caught it. That’s still good.

Micah Franklin
Exactly. Exactly. I got it. I got a guy that we still did it today. He sent me his quality a bath every night. A couple of guys actually. They send me their quality of bats. You know, again, process over results equals results, period. You know, let’s not focus on did I get a blooper that fell in? Yeah, let’s focus. Did I win at the right pitch? With my mind correct. Did I have my correct box? Was I calm? Okay, I can’t control the rest. No baseball is the only the only sport we don’t have the ball in our hand. As a hitter, we do everything right and we can get out. We can do everything wrong and get a hit. You know that that’s the end all we need to focus on. What was our quality about what was our process up there? Good. We have the right approach. Alright, we did that. We’re good. We can’t we cannot control anything else. At the end of the day. We did everything we’re supposed to do. Now we had we can handle these situations now. Now all of a sudden, over three going up in the ninth inning. We’re not over three. We’re actually two for three. I had a great quality at bats today. Yeah. So now number three would have been a winning run a second. I’m doing good. Now go up there over three thinking yet three lines drives and thinking you’re doing terrible. It’s gonna be tough.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Very cool. I love it. So you mentioned a couple times too about over rotating. That that’s a big problem at the amateur level, and maybe even Baby that level two? What you know what is over rotation and how to how to guide how you explain the guy Look, man. You know, you’re you’re rotating too much, you know?

Micah Franklin
Yeah, yeah, that’s something I think even as me as a player I didn’t understand the way that hips, pelvis everything worked your body work the kinetic chain work. I was think I had to over rotate and swing so hard to hit the ball and it’s funny. Little, just a little bit. And then probably now I’m gonna go out with a couple of guys who plan things and they’re going to hit and I’m going to watch them and they did the same thing and we focus the first thing we do, we put a board out, you know, and we work on to get them direction, not over rotating e version in with their ankles. You know, a lot of hitters ankles are it’s amazing how many people have foreseeability on their ankles, you know, it really is you know and being able to have the balance the body positioning in the right part and understanding how to stop yourself you know we’re getting going but how do we stop? Yeah, you know, stop that that that from over rotating and that’s hard and those are drills that we do a lot focusing on a lot because direction with with your hips not over rotating your body is you know that’s key to hitting really you know what I was calling five three killers you know your five three because you’re over rotating around the third baseman get a lot of work today. A lot of work you know, it really is true. If we focus on on having our bat bat correct our body correctly. direction. Direction direction direction is key. Yeah,

Geoffrey Rottmayer
so so with that someone who’s listening, that can be mean about direction what a direction

Micah Franklin
That’s big. I mean, for our guys, if you took the board have the balls coming right down the middle, you hit it right back up the middle. All right, where’s our direction? You know, where’s our body and where’s your spine headed? We don’t following it is your your head all the way looking out the left field your spine following that. You’re saying I’m on direction I can take it, put a board down and you know, just use is make sure hips are working correctly taking out too much other stuff is in get his body under control is a million different ways I don’t like to get too much into when we go on mechanical ways of doing it because everyone’s got their way of doing it. And they’re all right. None of them are wrong. a million different ways. And it’s also each other. Yeah, so I can say these things and then I go out today and I’m gonna do some totally different for hyper mobile guy. You know what I mean? So yeah. So first This guy, the tight guy, or this guy learns this way this guy learns that way. So, you know, maybe I actually take the guy and have him so over rotated, and throw pitches where he’ll just continue to roll over hit or hit his inside foul that I need to do a drill and and so I show him, Hey, I’m gonna throw this ball in the inner half, right on that white line in between home plate and the white line in the batter’s box and I need you to stay through it and hit the left field and hit the correct way so that his body was self organized this direction form. And so there’s a lot of different ways that we can do that. But we need to have the correct path, the correct understanding. And there’s a million different ways of doing it. I can go on Twitter and find so many good people showing different ways of doing it and we can find people showing the wrong way of doing it. Right. And then everyone wants to Twitter and tell this guy that’s wrong. This is wrong. That’s right. Is that no, no And that’s why I say a little bit away from mechanics when I start talking because you know what someone’s gonna hear. I got a better way to you know what? That’s great. That’s great. So yeah, we all got our ways in, in my way is not right in my way is not wrong and his way is not right. I bet if we put them together we have even a better way.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Right? I agree. So what about what about? Oh man did notice time? You took a little bit time? Yeah, I got a little bit. Okay, cool. Um, let’s talk a little bit about routines. Very important. How do you help a guy kind of? I mean, I think they all start to understand that they need one. And really like having one better than not having one even for the bad one. But how do you how do you start working with a guy to start thinking about routine and maybe what works for them and being aware of what’s working for them and what’s not working and what they need to be doing to get ready for games.

Micah Franklin
Yeah, you know, my routine goes right there with my approach, you know, and I kind of I kind of put both of them together. Okay, no, we have to approach it at when we go to the park at two o’clock. It was everything to me as a game, you know, at the end of the day, how do we how do we go about being successful for the game? Well, we have, here’s, here’s my approach at one o’clock in the day, this is how I’m gonna go about this. Just like in the box. When I’m in the box, I want to be thinking about how it’s how it’s gonna be for that game. So I’m successful. I’m not freaking out. I’m relaxing. I’m calm. So, you know, my routine. You know, for a player. Everyone’s going to be different. You know, one guy gills in there. He likes to come to the ballpark right before he got to be out on the field. Well, that’s what he likes to do. You know, and he goes into the cage, like to take about four or five points as a checklist of what he likes to only one, no problem. You know, that’s what he needs. Then he goes batting practice, game like batting practice, whatever it is right before the game goes, he goes in there, he might have a 3030 round, he might have controls only like sliders, whatever you like. That’s his routines. But it’s very important that they do that. Not a superstition, but actually do that routine. Because it puts them in the right frame of mind that goes on the mental it goes on the medicine, meditation, it’s all part of their day goes on their approach their approach, you know, for that round, and that’s kind of why I go routine and approach a little bit together because what’s his approach in that in that drill that he’s doing? What’s his was that his routine? What’s his approach in the Okay, family did that he’s in the right frame of mind. We need them in the right frame of mind which all goes into mental. So now he has routine. The younger level, we kind of give them a routine, you know, because they really don’t have one yet they can take that can vary. A guy doesn’t Want to stand right next to me? No problem because we explain why he likes to be in this spot. That’s a little bit too precision. But as long as his thought process is correct, no problem. Again, that routine puts him in the right mental frame of mind. And it goes on deck right from frame of mind, he goes to the place that is routine, where he stands in the box, what he does, it’s all part of the routine of the day. It’s all part of their approach to the day. It’s all mental, to help them be on time to help their vision. Hopefully all that just allowed the mechanics to click in without them thinking about it.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Yeah, no, I love how you combine that because when I think a pro jump making more mental that and then going through routine mindlessly. Could you see that a lot of guys just they’re going through the routine, but the mind’s not there.

Micah Franklin
With without a doubt, I mean, but if we focus, so if we only let’s just assume that, let’s take everything else out. Let’s take approach timing, mechanics, everything out. But our mental part was there, we would still have an approach. We’d have timing. It would have our mechanic, right. It’s the mental out and you probably don’t have any of those other things. Yeah. No, I love it.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Oh, man Dishman grain. Let’s just kind of wrap up a few cuz I don’t want to take up too much more of your time. If you were me and you were interviewing yourself, what would you have asked that I didn’t have.

Micah Franklin
What would I do? man you got everything you did you hit on it. Maybe some of the drills. You know my favorite part is is my drills that I do to get hitters ready for the game. It is not the swing part of the game. I’m not that’s not my favorite part at all. You know, I wake up in the morning on the season I look at the videos from the night before I get to the park about 11 1130 I love that part of it. Getting to the park game planning for the The game the night really starts well before the game that day starts days before that, but just recapping refreshing it was the pitchers tip DFS like this. What is the ball do that? What does he have carry? So does he use in simple terms does he have carry? Does he have run into this thing? What is he like, bro? How does he throw it? Where’s the tip, and then putting a lesson together that day on the field, you know, maybe we’re facing the left. So maybe I’ll have a change the BP pitch, you know, a little off to the left hand side and then behind that picture, maybe we’ll have the curveball slider machine coming in from a lefty because they don’t get to see that as much. And then we’ll have next one, then they’ll do it that way to strike drills. With with they don’t know who’s gonna throw at 123, the BP pitcher either let the ball go or the per book on just that part of it with the drills, and then again, going back we talked about the trust and the relationships that they would actually do the drill with out, you know, being upset that they’re not they’re just hitting homeruns and BP that’s not helping them.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Right? What? I’m just curious what when you say the two to two strike drill? Well, what does that look like?

Micah Franklin
Curious? Well, to strike joke could be any drill, it could be just one pitcher on the mound don’t map the butt. We I like to set up where there’s bp pisser say, you know, he’s reaction time about 9091 92 miles an hour to be order whatever. And then you have machine behind the BP picture. And I say you are me, and I’ll have the machine and so and curveballs and you know, the arm goes and one ball comes out and it’s either her ball or basketball and they gotta they gotta get it in plays basketball comes it gotta they gotta hit that and if not the offseason come they gotta stretch out and stay with it. Interesting, tough, tough drill. In once they figured that drill out, man they have confidence go in the game. Don’t worry about hitting with two strikes, you know, because they get with the strike before it’s not the newest thing for them. It’s not all of a sudden Oh to strike, they’re gonna freak out. I’m gonna relax the pitch right down the middle and go ahead and do my similar thing. I’m not gonna chase because I’ve been in this situation before. Yeah, you know, we focus on on what pitches to hit. I’m not going to roll over a pitch because I’ll lose my swing. Well guess what in the game now they won’t go after that pitch hopefully because they know what happens if they go after that pitch we practice

Geoffrey Rottmayer
well, what are your thoughts onpracticing no hidden curveball, but enough cuz I feel like you know, yeah, we get a ton of fastball and we can hit the fastball. That’s not the hardest bit to hit. Like for us we like in my play pleat. Wing we we hit a lot of curveballs, lefty and righty, so what are you what are your thoughts on that?

Micah Franklin
I actually like incredible. I mean, we probably have five days a week at least, if not more. More, but we do a mix of it. So here we have two pages are on and we’re on a page a day one page is going to be a fastball so they go right from the fastball with the BP pitcher reaction to about 95 or sometimes we’ll throw tennis balls in there like 110 hundred and 15 because the kids that like hitting fastball that 100 miles an hour 95 miles an hour with with baseball, but tennis balls to them all day long, so that the next case will be curveball machine, and they’re hitting curveball, and I like hangers, I don’t and sometimes we throw or throw to throw a nasty one they should take and then we’ll throw hangers. The reason why hangers because we want those hit out. We want them to get a nice side turn they get the body in the right position. They got to stretch it out. It’s a great pitch and they got to see it because right now in today’s game, a lot of speed. Yeah.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
So when you when you got the machines that up, you know growing super fast what the what the trigger to get Gotta be on time because you see that a lot and you can see it on the internet. Guys set up a machine super fast and everybody just lay in there just compensate and all kinds of stuffs happening. So if they’re like a trigger for you to say, Hey, you know, make sure you start here so you can be on time.

Micah Franklin
Yeah, you know, what’s really worked with me is I actually give them the answer sometimes, and then hopefully they pick up on it. So I think now when I go now they go ahead and get their loads gonna shoot and swing and they start thinking, Oh, okay, I was late. I got it. Yeah.Yeah, I think we do. We do go. Yeah. Go now. Yeah.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Cool. All right. Well, cool. So let’s just what would be like, some of your biggest resources that you know, some of the people that you can learn from?

Micah Franklin
Oh, I’ve learned from so many people. I’m really gonna talk about my my biggest influence in my life was willing to eat. I met him and every offseason, we would get together I’d go to drive up to his house and we would hit every single day. And just talk and it was absolutely awesome. It through the people I’ve met through him, there’s so many people I’ve met through my life, you can say, okay, who’s the biggest he’s deaf. He’s the biggest important it starts and stop willing to give everyone else through the way it could have been a clubhouse guy. You on the phone right now to everyone that that built the person I am today. You know, obviously you talk about your parents. Of course they are. My wife has been amazing. She’s been through this ride with me in my life of baseball the whole time. So you just learned in every part of your life so a lot of people go straight to baseball. It’s like, Well, you know, the journey through life. Isn’t isn’t all. Only What a baseball person can tell me it’s, it’s through, you know, living through being a parent of three, three kids, three of my daughter’s that, you know, you know, my oldest now is in the replay operator in New York, the commissioner office so, you know, it’s every day is influence I’m with people right now, young coaches that just came in, you know we got someone who just got it man he’s so fresh in into listen to him because he’s you know instead of sitting there go I gotta learn but now I want to learn from think about what what it’s like to be, you know fresh and green you know so there’s so many influences. You know, getting a play for manager like toning the roots was amazing and things like that. So, my whole life has been a journey and it’s been amazing.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
That’s awesome. You know, I you know, one thing you said, you know the conversation that you would have with Willie McGee, you know, I grew up in Water Florida. So I went around, you know, my high school coach Darnell cold and you know, they were they’re all together down there. And I never really, you know, I was the high school guy with China and I kind of felt like I knew it all to you know, kind of that age, but I never really appreciated the conversation that I had with them and really take it in so, you know, with the conversation with someone like a William Magee with a you had and I know I’m going over time but I what what I mean the conversations are always the most valuable part rather than just maybe you’re taking a few drover Kip from them. What type of conversation do you have with someone like a Willie McGee in terms of trying to help you develop it the player or the person too?

Micah Franklin
willing willing to let you know you remind you, you know, I’m saying you know, I’m faithful doesn’t need me. I need baseball. Yeah. And and he remind you of how lucky we are Have this game and go out there every day and give it everything you have. treat people the way you want to be treated. And in the kind of person he is when you’re around him, you want to give everything you got. Yeah, he’s just an amazing person. I don’t know anyone who ever said a bad word, but when, I mean, there is no there’s no bad words about him. And it just gives you that. I met him at the right time of my life when I needed that guidance that I needed somebody to humble me and and, and he was the guy he was there for me. You know, God’s gonna my way, man. I I’m sure I drove him crazy at times because I thought, you know, and it was great to stay. I went up to the Big League. He took me my wife, my daughter, we stayed at his place and as I drove in every day with him, you know, we’d go eat lunch, they will have you Smith or Joe Morgan is unbelievable. The people. I got to mean just just because of the person he is? Yeah, so we’ll get, you know.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Very cool. Well, Micah awesome conversation. I really appreciate what you shared with us, and I appreciate your time.

Micah Franklin
Definitely, it’s been it’s been fun man. Thanks a lot for having me. I really appreciate you reaching out and wanting to hear anything I have to say I’m really really blessed. honored that, that you you know want to want to do that when they Thank you.

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Download now: Ep. 61: The Player, The Scout, The Hitting Coach with Micah Franklin | A Baseball Podcast

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Geoff Rottmayer

Geoff Rottmayer is the owner of Athletic Mission Baseball Academy, a training facility in Tulsa Oklahoma. Geoff also host The Baseball Awakening Podcast, which was developed to provide content to the baseball community straight from the source. In addition that that, Geoff, is helping coaches and professional start their own podcast and find their own voice.

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