Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar

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July 18, 2019  

Drew Saylor- MiLB Manager and Hitting Coordinator, Pittsburgh Pirates

July 18, 2019

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During this episode of Ahead of the Curve, I interview Drew Saylor, Player Development and Assistant Hitting Coordinator with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Drew provides listeners with an inside look into recruiting and communication strategies, how he is able to maneuver between both of his job roles, how to train players to get their mind and body in sync to respond in game situations, and what it takes to improve timing and rhythm as a hitter.


Episode Highlights:

  • How did Drew Saylor get involved in baseball and coaching?

  • Drew Saylor discusses his dynamic relationship with his wife.

  • What were some of the first things he did when he got hired?

  • How are some of the recruiting conversations like when you are a new hire?

  • What are the unique tasks of having two different roles within the Pittsburgh Pirates organization?

  • How can you maximize communication for development from a macro and micro level?

  • What are ways Drew addresses hitting issues?

  • How is the communication successfully executed with players?

  • How can players be trained to develop timing and rhythm?

  • What are ways to help players learn to adjust to various situations in the moment?

  • What are ways to get players excited about training and implementing competition into their training?

  • Which books have had a strong impact on Drew Saylor?

  • What are things that are done in training that his players love?

  • Which additional resources have benefitted Drew Saylor?

3 Key Points:

  1. Being transparent and vulnerable add to being a trusted leader.

  2. Coordinators aren’t just problem fixers. They are also a higher-level form of overall support and feedback.  

  3. It’s not about trying to speed up your swing. It’s about trying to give yourself more time for your A-swing to get the contact.

Tweetable Quotes:

  • “A lot of what we’ve done is create the culture, create the relationships, and then now we are trying to build out how we view and how we evaluate our people.” – Drew Saylor (10:00)

  • “A lot of what I’ve done as a leader is be able to go, ‘Hey I’ve failed this way. I have messed up this way. I have fallen short of the mark this way,’ and have those transparent moments.” – Drew Saylor (12:15)

  • “For me, what I’ve tried to accomplish as a coordinator is to not lose that feel of that day-to-day.” – Drew Saylor (14:08)

  • “One of my big goals is spending time with the hitting coaches and with the managers, and say, ‘Hey, how is the chemistry of the club? What are some of the hot spots? How can I support you?’” – Drew Saylor (17:19)

  • “I like to think about failure as moving forward.” – Drew Saylor (19:42)

  • “It really starts with their ability to, swing at something they can hit hard.” – Drew Saylor (22:14)

  • (Timing) “I think that when players are not necessarily on time, or they don’t have the ability to get on time, one of the first questions that we try to ask them is, ‘When are you starting?” – Drew Saylor (33:13)

  • “When the idea comes from within, there is more investment. But you’re also helping the player indirectly think through a batting process of their swing.”– Drew Saylor (36:25)


Resources Mentioned: