Vince Vannelle was no slouch.
An All-American closer at The University of Arizona, the Cincinnati native pitched well in the 2021 NCAA Division Tucson Super Regional and The College World Series in Omaha.
On draft day, he sat at home like an unpopular co-ed, desperately waiting for the hot jock to invite her to the prom.
As the draft rounds ticked by, Vince became more anxious. He would take anything, even a post-draft free-agent deal.
The phone never rang.
It appeared his dreams of playing professional baseball had ended.
Vince knew he was a good pitcher. He had proven it at the highest level of college baseball. Heck, he was an All-American! But at 5’10” and sitting 88-90 with his fastball, pro teams didn’t seem interested.
An average person would have given up, gotten a “real job,” and lived the rest of their lives reminiscing about the glory days of an illustrious college career.
But Vince is not an average person.
In November of 2021, he reported to The ARMory and asked, “What do I need to do to play professional baseball?”
We did our research.
Looked up and analyzed his pitch data.
Called coaches who knew him.
Spoke with former teammates.
Our assessment was that if he wanted to kick the door down, he needed to add 5 mph to his fastball, improve his breaking ball and develop a better change-up.
Vince spent the next five months crushing his individualized training plan. He would fly down from his home in Charlotte and work out on-site daily for a couple of weeks. He would return home and train remotely in his garage for a while, then come back to The ARMory for another 2-3 week segment.
“My entire life, I’ve been the underdog. It’s nothing new. It’s been the same at every level since little league. It’s never been about proving others wrong. It’s about proving myself right. I just need a chance.”
As his movement efficiency improved, his velocity ticked upward … 92, 93 … then 95!
The Track Man data showed some elite Induce Vertical Break numbers, and his breaking ball was becoming a bona fide banger.
On February 24th, we sent Vince’s Track Man data and this video to all 30 clubs.
On February 25th, The Chicago White Sox called.
I pulled Vince off the training floor and gave him privacy in our conference room.
Ten minutes later, he emerged in tears.
“I just got signed. I’m a professional baseball player.”
The Chisox emailed the contract to Vince.
Our CFO/COO, Amy Marsh, reviewed the details, Face-Timed Vince’s parents, and we celebrated as he signed.
It was one of the most fulfilling days of my coaching career. Vince’s radiant smile reflects the joy of a dream realized after a lifetime of relentless pursuit.
Vinced started the year in Arizona in the ACL. Within two weeks, he was in low A Kannapolis, and by the end of the season, he had moved up AA Birmingham.
Vince is back on the grind with his eyes on AAA or even the big leagues by next year.
We couldn’t be happier for him.
Vince’s story is inspirational, but it’s not unique.
Between 2021 and 2022, ten other ARMory guys signed free-agent contracts with MLB organizations after we called to recommend them.
If you’re a professional baseball player, or a college guy dreaming of becoming a professional baseball player, do what Vince did.
Get started on the customized training process that will revolutionize your career so you can live your dreams!
Click on the button below, or call 866-787-4533 to learn more about our incredible SAVAGE Pro Off-Season Training Program.
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Randy Sullivan, MPT, CSCS CEO, Florida Baseball ARMory