By Ashley Crosby, Director of Social Media
I first heard about Eric Cressey a few years ago when a friend of mine, who happened to be the strength coach for one of the Cape League teams, excitedly spoke about his trip up to Hudson to tour the facility.
It took me a few years before I had the pleasure of meeting him—surprisingly—at my old stomping grounds of Dudley Hawkins Field (“The Hawk,” to all you Vanderbilt Commodore fans) during the (first) Stanford vs Vanderbilt series back in late February. As it happens, he was there to cheer on a number of players he trained over the years—many of whom I knew from their time playing on one of the many Cape League fields.
“He’s a Cressey kid,” I heard during my “vacation” at Vandy, while hanging out in the baseball weight training room with the strength coaches for both Vanderbilt and Stanford. I looked over to see Tyler Beede diligently running through his own program, and was well aware it meant Beede had his own program to follow that the strength coaches didn’t mess with at school.
It took me no time after that to make the trip to Hudson myself.
Cressey’s place, a 15,000 square foot facility, is a mecca for baseball players looking for training advice, a competitive edge, or help coming back from an injury. Cressey first opened a smaller version of the facility with co-founders Tony Gentilcore and Peter Depuis back in 2007. Since then, they’ve moved and knocked down walls to create an open space that includes two pens to pitch from, an enormous weight room floor, a stretching area, offices, and even a “lounge” area for players to hang out.
At Cressey Performance, the philosophy is to treat the players individually as athletes, but collectively as part of what they call the CP Family (check out the hashtag #CPFamily and you’ll see what I mean). Each player goes through a detailed assessment and is given an individualized program. For players who have been around CP for a while and understand the system, Cressey will send updated programs in a “long distance consultation” situation. Along with Beede, former Cotuit Kettleer Adam Ravenelle (Vanderbilt) has also been with Cressey since his high school days, something that seems to have worked well for the fourth rounder, who notched a save against Virginia Monday night in game one of the championship series in the CWS.
You can also see the connection between the Cape League and CP while walking around the facility. At noon, when they open for the day, players start to filter in and immediately take to the foam rollers to loosen up. Johnny Magliozzi (Florida), a former Falmouth Commodores pitcher now playing in the NY Mets farm system, stopped by to chat with Cressey, Gentilcore, and Mike Reinold (who swings through once a week to do a little rehab work with some of the players) while I was there. Cressey was excitedly talking about the then-upcoming draft and all the guys he was hoping to see drafted.
A few days later, eighteen of his “CP Family” members were drafted in the first week of the MLB Amateur Draft.
Five of them were Cape Leaguers as well.