Specializes in Pitching & Video Analysis
Standing 6’6”tall in his sophomore year at Summerville High School in Toulunne, CA, Caleb Balbuena recognized his potential to become a professional athlete. Due to a knee injury, Caleb’s choice was limited to baseball and he embraced the sport as a varsity pitcher for three years. Though his height and size presented significant challenges, Caleb’s passion and determination bolstered him to a professional career in baseball that spanned more than a decade.
Upon graduating high school at 6’7”, Caleb threw 70 to 75 mph, unsure of how to maneuver his body to gain maximum speed. “I was a big guy with long arms and long legs who didn’t have the rhythm or timing to deliver the ball with any kind of velocity. As a tall pitcher, it never really felt as if I was using my entire body.”
At Modesto Jr. College, Coach Dale Mead took an interest in Caleb. Through drills and bullpen warm-ups, he was the first of many to teach Caleb the value of body mechanics. After transferring to Cuesta College in San Luis Obisbo, Caleb was simultaneously awarded a full ride to Long Beach State and selected by the Orioles in the sixth round of the 1997 amateur draft. Feeling he had more to learn, Caleb headed to Long Beach to discern the mental side of baseball from Coach Snow and well known sports psychologist, Ken Ravizza.
Winning the Big West Tournament landed Caleb’s team in the College World Series, the highlight of his college career. “The road I took to get there was probably a lot different from others—going from a small town high school to pitching in front of thousands of people, especially since I still had reservations about my place in baseball.”
In 1998, Caleb played for the Seattle Mariners minor league team where he remained until 2001, subsequently playing for a series of independent ball clubs and sustaining an injury that would become the turning point in his life. Caleb received Tommy John Surgery, highly common among collegiate and professional baseball pitchers. The procedure replaces a ligament in the medial elbow with a tendon from another part of the body.
After the surgery, Caleb underwent a Biochemical Analysis where cameras hitting different centers on the body reveal plains of motion to determine the angle of your arm, tilt of your head, arc of your throw—detecting trouble spots to correct faulty mechanics. He went on to study with the National Pitching Association in San Diego where they emphasize education, mechanics and positive mental attitudes. “I learned what was necessary to deliver the ball more efficiently using the body. Throw after throw, pitch after pitch, I began to discover how to get the power that I always knew I could create. After years and years of training, I finally felt cohesion between what my mind wanted to do, and how my body performed.”
In 2004, Caleb started with the Kansas City T-Bones organization as a pitcher, appearing in 21 games before his contract was purchased by the Colorado Rockies. His coaching career began in 2008, including the past two years as pitching coach for the Kansas City T-Bones. Caleb also served as Manager of the Harlingen Whitewings of the UBL.
“The instruction I offer is unique and hinges on one-on-one teaching that gets to the core of the issue, rather than administering a quick fix. Everyone has a story, and at one point in my story, I topped out at 98 mph. The use of biomechanics and the understanding of one's body coupled with hard work are the foundations of what I teach. All I need is one chance to prove that you WILL get better.”