This Ranch Guy Gained 24 mph in 3 Years and Got a D1 Power 5 Scholarship

by Randy Sullivan

During the winter of 2016, a young 8th grader named Camden Minacci checked in at our physical therapy clinic for rehab after surgery on his right forearm.

Cam was a baseball player, but this was not a throwing injury.

You see, a few weeks prior, Cam had been playing in a basketball game in one of those gyms with the short baseline area and a door under the basket. On a breakaway, he tried to use the brick wall as his brakes, and this happened (shown with the approval of Cam and his parents).

It was one of the most horrific injuries I had ever seen.

Both bones in his forearm were snapped in half. Doctors reset the bones and held them together with two metal plates and twelve screws.

After collecting his medical history and reviewing his x-rays, I performed his initial physical therapy assessment. It was a relatively straightforward evaluation, but Cam and his parents, Mike and Carli, were worried about the possibility that he might never be able to throw a baseball again.

According to Mike and Carli, Cam was not a standout player – far from it – but he loved playing baseball and would be devastated if he weren’t able to continue pursuing his dreams of playing in high school and college.

It was clear to me that Cam’s injury would not be “career ending.” But in my opinion, this young righty had a problem that reached beyond his current rehab plan.

You see, according to the family’s report, Cam’s was primarily a pitcher, and his top velocity to that point had been 68 mph, far below that of his peers.

The Minacci’s were rightfully concerned that Cam’s injury might widen that gap even further – a consequence that would be the death of Cam’s fledgling baseball career. However, the problem was not the injury itself. The primary threat to Cam’s career was his lack of velocity and lack of a clear plan to overcome this obstacle.

He was slated to enroll the following year at Jesuit High School. Jesuit Baseball is a perineal juggernaut here in Tampa. They have a rich history of churning out MLB and Collegiate caliber talent, including Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers, Jr. If he was going to have any hope of sniffing a spot, even on the JV team, Cam needed to gain some velocity.

I asked Cam and his family to trust our process and pledged that we would to do everything in our power to help him make the changes he needed to become a high school pitcher. I explained that with the right training, anyone can improve and if he was disciplined in executing his plan, college baseball was not out of the question.

We worked for six weeks in our Physical Therapy clinic to restore the range of motion and motor control his elbow, wrist, and hand, and after a return visit to the orthopedist, Cam was cleared to throw.

Things started slowly, but the good news was that he reported no significant pain as he progressed through his customized return to throwing protocol, all the while engaging in an aggressive SAVAGE Strength and Conditioning program. As the training continued, Cam’s arm action and lower half efficiency improved steadily.

After six weeks of throwing and conditioning in our nightly on-going training classes, Cam was ready for his first velo push day. He was elated to see that his hard work was paying off. In less than two months, he had gained nearly six mph. Most importantly, he was pain-free.

Inspired by his initial results, he kept working… and working… and working. He was at The Ranch® so much that people began to view him as part of the landscape, like a piece of furniture.

On any given afternoon, you could see a shirtless Cam locked in and vigorously working his plan. He got stronger, his overall athleticism sky-rocketed, and his velocity followed. More importantly, he remained pain-free, and found more connection and synergy in his delivery.

It wasn’t long before Cam eclipsed the 85 mph threshold. In the 9th grade, he tried out for and made the Jesuit High School JV team. Cam was happy to be on the team, but he wanted more. So, he did what he always does — he worked. Cam made the Varsity team as a sophomore and was able to compete well with his fastball rising to the upper 80s.

He continued working, tweaking his training plan, and honing his skill until it was time to go out on the summer travel ball circuit. When he touched 90 at a tournament with over 30 college programs in attendance, his recruiting experience changed rapidly. After visiting several schools, Cam accepted a scholarship offer and verbally committed to attend Wake Forest University.

Cam’s Minacci’s rise from overlooked, underdeveloped, and injured 8th grader to becoming a legit “dude” has been one the most inspirational stories in Florida Baseball Ranch® history.

His peak velocity has improved from 68 to 92 mph in just over three years, and he has developed plus command, a wicked slider, and a sinking/running changeup that combine to make him one of the most dominating pitchers in his age group.


All of that is indeed impressive, but the most endearing part of Cam’s story is the role model and the beacon of encouragement he has been to others along the way.

Cam is one of those guys who genuinely finds his joy in the accomplishments of those around him. He celebrates the success of every fellow Ranch student as if they were his own. He has been a Ranch culture leader who is always quick to lend a hand or a word of encouragement to a younger or less talented student.

His perpetually positive attitude and relentless work ethic are infectious. Any time he’s on the floor training the energy level of the entire group is elevated.

On top of all that, Cam is a fantastic student, and he just completed a mission to the Dominican Republic with his church.

Motivated by Cam’s success, six of his fellow Jesuit teammates are now active Ranch Guys and making similar gains. Kudos to Jesuit Baseball Coach, Miguel Menendez for allowing his pitchers to work with us during the fall season.

I can’t wait to see the payoff for these guys after training with us all winter.

Guys like Camden Minacci make this the most incredible job in the world. Every time I see him and all of the other Ranch Guys who visit our facility regularly, it reminds me how blessed I am to do what I do.

24 mph in just over three years?

For some, that may seem unrealistic, but gains like that are not uncommon here at The Florida Baseball Ranch®. They happen so frequently that we’re no longer surprised. We’re always thrilled, but never surprised.

And with the right individualized training plan, they can happen for anyone, including you.

There are three simple ways to access our services:

Our 5 days per week, 5-6 hours/day Complete Game Winter Training Programfor pitchers and hitters begins on Dec 17th and runs through Jan 18th.

Our next SAVAGE Weekend Training Camp for pitchers and hitters is happening on Nov 10th and 11th. Registration will close on Nov 6th, so hurry!

Schedule a Precision Strike, One-Day, One-On-One Evaluation and Training Session (about 4 hours) by calling us at 866-787-4533.

We’ll see you at The Ranch.

Get Here. Get SAVAGE!


Randy Sullivan, MPT, CSCS
CEO, Florida Baseball Ranch

 

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