Very few things in life can beat the sound of a hard hit fastball over the fence for a homerun. It adds excitement and joy to the game. Like rally caps, walk off hits, and nachos at the ballpark. This year Raul Guillermo, a Catcher for Elite Squad, has gotten to experience this sensation 4 times. He is one of the league leaders in HR’s and has had an impressive start to the season with a .323 average, and 10 hits.
Raul, a Miami native, found success at St. Brendan High school and then decided his senior year to leave. He found himself drawn to Elite Squad run by Richie Palmer. Where they would play JUCO schools and other homeschool teams. The experiences and training given by the Elite Squad staff and coaching morphed Raul into the powerful hitter he is today in the CLPB.
The interview with Raul was a fun and fascinating experience. I learned a lot and left having more respect for him and what baseball means. Below is our conversation:
What is your family’s history with baseball?
Guillermo: Some baseball families have an older brother or younger brother or a dad that plays baseball. It’s a funny story, my Dad and Grandpa never played baseball. I’m the first one in my family to play baseball. My Grandpa and Dad were racing champions in Go-Karting. My dad was a 7 time state champion in Florida.
What drew you into baseball?
Guillermo: My great grandfather from my Mom’s side and my Grandpa from my Dad’s side. They were both born in Cuba. A young memory I have as a kid, was when my great grandfather was sitting in front of his tv during his last couple of days. Watching the Yankees play, I decided to dedicate my game to him after that.
What do you think is helping with the amount of Homeruns you hit this season?
Guillermo: Training from Lance Burns. Lance Burn’s Elite is an amazing trainer. Re-route performance at Team Sousa 2, it’s a combination of them both. Lance Burns is a great football guy and so I have that football strength, from a football training program. Re-route helps with the baseball aspect.
What are you working on for the rest of the season?
Guillermo: My approach and keeping the same approach. Keep putting hardwood on the ball. Prep myself for fall ball and spring ball.
Do you have a baseball slogan or mantra?
Guillermo: Yes, I learned this from Tito Rodriguez, who is Pudge Rordiguez’s brother. I have sat down and had conversations with him and Pudge personally. It’s called “The anticipation of the game”. So, anticipation of the game is you gotta have a feel of the game. He taught me that about catching, and I implemented it my freshman year of college into my hitting. Anticipating is when you know if the runner is gonna go or not. Sit there, be calm. You always gotta think 3 pitches ahead in the game. If you sit back or wait. You’ll already find yourself 3 pitches behind. You always gotta stay ahead.