Cranbrook minor baseball keeping warm over winter

Cranbrook minor baseball keeping warm over winter

Bandits head coach, local professional baseball player looking to keep sport heated over cold months

The World Series may have wrapped up and baseball season in the Kootenays is still a long ways away, but the Cranbrook Minor Baseball Association hasn’t gone into hibernation.

After wrapping up a fall Bandits’ travel-team in October, a variety of training programs and one-on-one instructions are being offered through the association for the remainder of fall and winter.

In town during offseason, professional baseball player Zach Johnson — who has played for top clubs in Germany and Australia — is lending a helping hand to Cranbrook Bandits head coach Paul Mrazek in offering indoor training sessions to young ball players in the area.

Mrazek is leading group indoor agility and conditioning training sessions at Pinewood Elementary on Mondays and the Mount Baker Secondary gymnasium on Fridays. The hour-long sessions are drop-in, but with prior communication required.

The Friday sessions are open to Jr. Babe aged baseball players and take place from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. while Mondays are broken up into seven to 10-year-olds between 5:30 and 6:20 p.m., 11 to 13-year-olds between 6:30 and 7:20 p.m. and anyone above 14 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Johnson, meanwhile, is holding one-on-one skill development sessions on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. in one hour sessions at Highlands Elementary.

Most recently playing for the Mainz Athletics in the Baseball-Bundesliga, Johnson is a formidable hitter, and has put up a 0.335 batting average and a 0.687 slugging percentage, over two seasons and 68 games in Germany.

Any players interested in group training or in one-on-one sessions are asked to contact either Paul Mrazek (yanzek@shaw.ca) or Zach Johnson (zedjay7@gmail.com).