Prep Baseball Report

2020 Scout Day Spotlight: Michigan Red Sox/College Connect

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer

Follow @pbrmichigan

2020 Scout Day Spotlight: Michigan Red Sox/College Connect

This is part of a series of stories on summer baseball organizations that "partner" with Prep Baseball Report. The PBR Scout Day is scheduled for Jan. 25.

Organization Name: Michigan Red Sox/College Connect
Year organization started:
How many current teams and what levels (15u, 16u, etc):
15 current teams 10 – 18u
Influential coaches past and present:
Mark Sackett, Nick Swanson, Dominic Downs, John Judge, Reichl Mayne, Adam Bodary

Top Prospects

  • Conner McCormack, Bloomfield Hills HS, 2020, Grand Valley State University Commit
  • Amare Snowden, Roseville HS, 2023
  • Brady Birchmeier, New Lothrop HS, 2022
  • Johnny Stepek, Walled Lake Northern HS, 2021
  • Aamir Mitchell, De La Salle HS, 2023
  • AJ Craven, Hartland HS, 2020, Concordia University
  • Ashton Nowak, Gabriel Richard HS, 2022

Notable Alumni

  • Jake Lowery – Michigan State University
  • Sterling Sharp – Drury (MO)/Miami Marlins
  • Colin Kaline – Florida Southern College/Detroit Tigers
  • Jesse Heikkinen – Michigan State University
  • Brandon Eckerle – Michigan State University/Detroit Tigers
  • Andrew Sohn – Western Michigan University/St. Louis Cardinals


We – at Michigan Red Sox/College Connect Baseball – pride ourselves on being a college preparatory program with high academic standards and an emphasis on player development. The Sox/Connect board of directors believe in a strong correlation between achievement in the classroom and player success on the field. As leaders in player development, we emphasize the importance of preparing both the mind and body off the field – so players are ready to succeed on the field. Our staff understands that being prepared doesn’t just happen, so we supply our athletes with the premier instruction, equipment, programs and knowledge they’ll need to achieve their goals – and take their skills to new heights.

How has the program grown?

The Michigan Red Sox Baseball organization was founded in 1999 out of Birmingham -- with a primary focus on the development of each player. Our player development programs incorporated the experience of our entire coaching staff, as well as the most advanced teaching methods developed nationally – Doyle Baseball, Driveline Baseball, Baseball Rebellion, Rapsodo and K-motion.

Since then, the Sox organization has grown from a single team into numerous ranging from ages 9u-22u. Our Motor City Power Fall Baseball Program developed as we welcomed players from outside travel organizations across the state of Michigan -- competing in the Fall through the midwest and beyond. The purpose of this Fall Baseball Program is to allow players to be exposed at numerous colleges throughout the midwest. Through our sustained standard of excellence and success, we moved our collegiate team -- the Royal Oak Leprechauns -- into the prestigious Great Lakes Collegiate Baseball League.

In 2013, we created our first college showcase team, Michigan College Connect. Since then, College Connect has grown within the organization and community, with the reputation as being our elite level teams  We currently have 14u, 16u and 18u College Connect teams and starting in the 2020-2021 season, all high school aged teams will fly under the banner of Michigan College Connect and all youth teams will be Michigan Connect.

How has PBR been helpful?

As an organization, Michigan Red Sox/College Connect Baseball is constantly looking for better ways to help our athletes fulfill their dreams of playing collegiately. Since its inception, PBR has established itself as the preeminent leader in Michigan for promoting amateur baseball players. So, PBR has provided comprehensive year-round coverage and exposure for all our players and connected us to college programs across the country. PBR has also promoted a higher level of competition between players and travel organizations, allowing athletes to see how they stack up against the best of the best in the state of Michigan. The manner in which we develop and expose our players is vital to our overall goals as an organization. PBR provides us a platform for viewing and comparing statistics and numbers that helps us design individualized programs to maximize the abilities for all our players.

Plans ahead

Michigan Red Sox/College Connect Baseball is continuously looking to innovate and provide premier instruction to all our athletes. As we look to the future, our goal is to offer the most high-end pitching development program offered in the state of Michigan.

With the help of our lead pitching instructor, Dominic Downs – the only Driveline Certified Pitching Instructor in Michigan – we developed a comprehensive six-month training program designed to maximize throwing velocity, increase mobility and strength and decrease overall stress on the arm. Dominic is looking to advance his own knowledge by becoming Driveline Certified in Pitch Design. He is also in charge of programming our pitchers with the intent of maximizing their potential through proper individualized programming. In order to expand our reach and the number of pitchers we train, Adam Bodary will be seeking Driveline Certification over the next year. Adam has coached and instructed pitchers in the organization since 2012.

Red Sox and College Connect teams will play across the midwest, as well as down South, in well-known tournaments such as PBR, Perfect Game, Black Swamp, Pastime, Ultimate Strike Zone and several more.

With the use of Driveline’s TRAQ software, coaches and instructors throughout the organization will program kids properly on a day-to-day basis to maximize our player development system.