IMG_2644.jpg

FS21 STAFF AND COACHES

freddy diving.jpg

FREDDY SANCHEZ

Co-Founder, President

Coach Freddy spent 12 years in Major League Baseball as an every day starter.  Drafted by the Red Sox, then traded to Pittsburg where he won the 2006 NL Batting Title as well as multiple MLB All-Star appearances and 2 World Series rings with the SF Giants.  His knowledge of the game is extensive and his ability to share his wisdom and expertise is second to none.  Since retiring from the MLB, he's been coaching youth baseball and resides in Chandler, AZ with his wife Alissa and their children, Evan, Ryan and Maddie.

MHY at UA.jpg

MICHAEL YANKE

Co-Founder, CEO/GM

His professional experience includes C-level management of multiple companies in automotive and technology in addition to an international professional sports league with live TV production reaching 100,000,000+ annual views.  In the sports industry, Michael has managed the payrolls of 150+ players and worked with global brands such as Under Armour, Wilson, Nokia, Subway and Ford.  He created the Arizona Warriors Baseball/Fastpitch club in the Fall of 2017, the teams grew to more than 175 players.

Scott.jpg

SCOTT HAIRSTON

Outfield/Hitting Coach

Scott has 10+ years playing experience in MLB for teams including Diamondbacks, Padres, Mets, A’s, Cubs and Nationals. With infield and outfield experience as a starter in the big leagues, Scott’s ability to bring a well-rounded knowledge of the game to players is extremely high.  His outfield training goes well beyond anything players below the pros ever receive.  He's also a baserunning expert that breaks down how to run bases like the best players in the world do.

jack 2.jpeg
7b4ceb_035edb973f53480d8739cf18e2837619~mv2.jpg

JACK WILSON

Infield, Defensive Strategy, Scouting Advisor

Jack spent 11+ seasons in Major League Baseball and was an All-Star and exceptional defender on the field.  He earned a Silver Slugger award the same year he made his All-Star debut.  His professional experience at shortstop is highly regarded and after a career where he played for the Pirates, Mariners and Braves, he went back to his hometown high school in Thousand Oaks, CA to coach the program he grew up in.  As head coach of the high school program, Jack’s team consistently ranked within the top 10 nationally numerous years.  Many of his players have gone to play D1 ball and with Team USA.  He's even had MLB draft picks come straight out of his high school program.  When he's not watching his son play for GCU, you'll find him at some practices turning double plays with Freddy.

SCOTT SCHNEIDER

Pitching and Arm Program Coach

Scott Schneider is a former professional pitcher and started his coaching career in 2008. Currently, he’s coaching professional baseball for a MLB organization (pitching and rehab) while residing in Gilbert, AZ. Scott has coached at every level from the highest level of pro ball to high school and youth.

 

After playing 4 years of Division 1 baseball at Virginia Commonwealth University and Norfolk State University, Coach Scott was selected by the Anaheim Angels in the 2000 draft. He went on to pitch 9 years professionally and in 2006 set league records for Saves in a season and Game Finishes.

 

After Coach Scott finished playing baseball he went back to school and proceeded to earn a Bachelor’s Degree from ASU with Summa Cum Laude honors and a Masters of Science in Management from ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business. He also has certifications from Driveline in Coaching Fundamentals and Pitch Design, as well as the OnBaseU Certification.

 

Coach Scott's coaching philosophy is a guided self-discovery approach of the individual as they grow through their developmental process. There isn’t a set way to succeed, and the process is an ongoing ever changing journey. He’s a body mechanics guru, understanding where and how to help players make fundamental changes to increase velocity and accuracy, while maintaining a foundation of long-term care and potential. Coach Scott will lead all arm development at FS21 in addition to the pitching program of the organization.

Steve Lerud Topps.jpg

KEVIN SWEENEY

Outfield and Hitting Coach

Kevin Sweeney has coached for more than 20 years and is a former All-American and MLB prospect.  He resides in Tempe, AZ and has worked at players at every level.  After retiring from baseball, Kevin became a wealth management expert and continues in the financial industry, working with many players in the professional ranks in asset and wealth management.

As a NCAA D-II player, he was All-Region from 1994-96 and Second Team All-American in 1995 as an outfielder.  He was the home run leader for 2 consecutive years in the Cape Cod League, 1994 and 1995.  In the minors, he recorded a season batting average of .426 in 1996.  

In 1996, Sweeney was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks and rose to earn the 1996 Organizational Player of the Year, the first ever for the D'backs.  Our own Scott Hairston earned the same award in 2002.  An unfortunate playing injury sidelined Kevin and him speed was never the same, ending his professional playing career.

 

Kevin's experience brings a perspective of intense work ethic.  As a "late-bloomer" he knows the time, energy and drive it takes to succeed to the highest level.  This is a great asset to our players to help them understand the importance of trusting the process dedicated to the "grind."

 

STEVE LERUD

Head Coach - High School Ages, Catching Coach

Steve Lerud spent 13 years in professional baseball as a catcher after being drafted out of high school by the Pittsburg Pirates in 2003 as a third-round selection. Once retiring from pro ball, Steve joined the Chicago Cubs minor league coaching staff, where his roles included Head Coach within the club.  He spent three years as a coach, two of which was Head Coach for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Advanced A – Player Development League).

Off the field, Steve has spent time in the agency side of the baseball business, also as an advisor to players, and consults with innovation in the sports industry.

Steve and his wife welcomed their first child in the last year and now live full-time in Arizona.  When not on the field, Steve operates his consulting business and works to help former pro players advance in life after baseball.

Steve Jackson copy.jpg

STEVE JACKSON

Catcher and 1B Coach

Coach Steve grew up in the Pacific Northwest (parts of Montana, Washington, and Oregon).  He played junior college baseball at Spokane Falls before heading to the University of Portland where he played two years for coach Chris Sperry. 

 

He was drafted by the Oakland Athletics and spent 6 years in their organization as a 1st baseman and Catcher.  He has worked with all levels of athletes from Major leaguers to youth players and is passionate about teaching players how to respect and play the game. 

 

Now living in Gilbert, he is married to his high school sweetheart and they have two boys that he has the honor of coaching on a daily basis.  He's also a Captain for Chandler Fire Department.

Coach Steve's experience on and off the field brings an additional leadership asset to our players.  Post-baseball, his ability to work hard and reach high levels of his profession show how dedication and perseverance pays off.