By: Brandon Vickrey
Crestwood, Ill. – Dec. 26, 2017 – The MCL has gained yet another experienced, qualified manager as the Crestwood Panthers have appointed Isaac Valdez to lead their team for the 2018 season.
Valdez owns over 15 years of experience leading, motivating and mentoring teams and players. He has owned and operated Around the Horn Baseball/Fastpitch Training Academy since 2010 and is entering his fourth season as the recruiting coordinator and assistant coach at Harper College.
“Now that I have been done playing for a while, I enjoy teaching and coaching in-game strategy,” Valdez said. “I love everything about the game. This is another opportunity to extend my passion for baseball after the college season ends. I’m looking forward to working with the talented young men who will be playing for the Panthers this summer.”
In addition to his recruiting duties, Valdez is in charge of hitters at Harper. After he implemented a hitting program for offseason and in-season training, the team’s batting average rose from .201 to .293 in one season.
Before beginning his current ventures, Valdez was the Director of Membership Sales for the BullsSox Training Academy from 2005-2009. He worked with major league and minor league players in preparation for offseason training, conducted clinics for coaches and created and implemented membership packages for baseball and fastpitch customers.
Valdez also served as the Director of Player Development for White Sox Amateur Sports from 2006-2009, working with the ACE program and as an associate scout. He coached the White Sox scout team in Seattle in 2007 and over 70 percent of the players on that team have been drafted since.
“I was very fortunate to work side-by-side with some of the White Sox major league coaching staff members during my time in the organization,” Valdez said. “I also learned a great deal about scouting and evaluating from National Crosschecker Nathan Durst. I absorbed as much information as possible and grew as a baseball coach through all of the influences I had in the organization.”
Expect Valdez to manage a team that features an aggressive style in all facets of the game. He is excited about the challenge of putting together the Crestwood roster leading up to the season.
“I’m fortunate to have a lot of friends in baseball and people I can reach out to for help in building this roster,” he said. “I plan to put together a very competitive team. I’m thrilled for this new opportunity.”
Valdez is a native of Chicago and graduate of St. Laurence High School, where he is a member of the Sports Hall of Fame. He played collegiately as a shortstop and third baseman at Kishwaukee College.
“I want to assist a very talented group of players in their development this summer, and also guide the players to become great people in society after their baseball careers,” he said. “I’ve dedicated my life to baseball and I can’t imagine doing anything else. I love what I do.”
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