The Southeast Collegiate League has a legion of coaches, managers, and training facilities that may help their brand take a meteoric rise.
In Jackson Mississippi and Baton Rouge Louisiana a new league will begin play for its inaugural season on June 8th 2020. The young franchise is no ordinary organization with typical small-time coaches and weekend warriors.
Major League veterans will oversee day to day operations. In Jackson, a gentleman that is heavily involved in coaching and development has had important roles. Chris Snopek is an Ole Miss grad and a former infielder for the Chicago Whitesox and Boston Redsox. He spent 6 years in the professional system and 4 seasons with a major league franchise. Snopek's involvement is accompanied by other MLB veterans as well.
Scott Copeland is another former MLB player that is heavily involved in the Southeast League. Copeland was a journeyman pitcher that has seen action in multiple countries and continents. Copeland’s pedigree started as a Southern Miss Golden Eagle. He was drafted to the Baltimore Orioles farm system and saw starts for the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets and Washington Nationals. Copeland also has experience pitching in the KBO in Korea and the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League. Fresh off his stint as a professional pitcher for the Nationals in 2018. Experience in the modern game is something Mr. Copeland can offer to the pitching roster of the Southeast organization.
No player involved in Southeast summer baseball has more name recognition than the two-time world series champion, Ryan Theriot. Theriot plays a huge role on the Baton Rouge side of the newly appointed Southeast league.
The former middle infielder had amassed 7 MLB seasons. He played for the Chicago Cubs and Boston Redsox. In his last two seasons, Theriot garnered back to back rings with the Saint Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants. Ryan Theriot has not forgotten his roots. The former LSU Tiger and Baton Rouge native has a passion for the game. Theriot is loyal to his hometown. Instead of propping his feet up on a yacht in retirement he is grinding through workouts and developing players. Theriot is exerting himself and his business for the love of the game.
“People can trust that there will be professionals working with their kids.” One conversation with league commissioner Corey Hough is all that's needed to understand why they should be taken seriously. “We go to work and try to provide the best opportunity for these players to be seen,” said Hough.
With all the talk of condensed scheduling, commissioner Hough has a unique intent. “We focus on the player experience to make sure that they’re taken care of for 2 months, not just the 3 days to play games,” Hough emphasized that the most important factor was for their players to return to school in the fall healthier than when they arrived.
The logistics for the Southeast Collegiate League follow a familiar recipe that other deep south clubs have taken advantage of. Almost every player signed so far lives within 100 miles or less of the facilities. Fan interest will be important in the future, but this year the mission is to establish a name as a top talent development hub for prospects. The optimal facility connections add another special ingredient to the Southeast’s gumbo.
"P360" is a baseball training facility in Mississippi. Players on the Mississippi side will have access to elite batting and pitching proving grounds that are involved with the league.
“Traction” speed and strength sports performance is Ryan Theriot’s business on the Louisiana side. Traction offers an elite opportunity for strength and agility conditioning. Players that have 2 months of access to these facilities will gain a sizable advantage for the upcoming season.
With other leagues shut down in many parts of the United States, there are many opportunities for collegiate prospects in the south. For commissioner Hough, the Southeast Collegiate League looks poised to be one of the elite summer leagues already; before they have even played a live game.