Talent field keeps growing for Crystal Lake Cardinals
The Crystal Lake Cardinals have produced Major League Baseball talent for nearly three decades. With a new partner in tow, they want the next decade to be even more successful.
The not-for-profit organization recently signed with Phenom Illinois and is holding tryouts for it various teams from July 17 to 26. The Cardinals offers teams ranging in age from 13 and under to college level.
“We decided to go with Phenom baseball because they are an excellently run organization based out of California,” Dalton Lundeen, tryout coordinator for the Cardinals, told the McHenry Times. “(They) have been able to help athletes get to college and be able to go to the best tournaments around the U.S. They bring with them sponsorship opportunities and a brand name known for outstanding behavior on and off the field.”
A native of Streamwood, Lundeen is himself a byproduct of the Cardinals program, pitchig at Valparaiso University and later drafted in the 30th round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers. He played one season in the Gulf Coast League on the Tigers West ball club.
Lundeen said that the biggest plus of the Cardinals program is the travel and competition it provides.
“Our goal is always the development and improvement of our athletes,” Lundeen said. “The guys I get to work with truly care about the kids in our program and trying to make them better players. We offer full offseason training taught by our coaches Ty Marotz, who played professionally for 10 years, and Nate Sopena, who is a current scout for the St. Louis Cardinals. There are also former Division 1 players (that stop by). Most recently, we purchased a HitTrax machine, which acts as a virtual simulator that measures how hard you hit the ball, at what angle. It can even be adjusted for a Major League stadium.”
And then there’s the Nest, a 10,000-square-foot training facility that offers six 70-foot pitching and hitting tunnels, two ATEC pitching machines, a weight room, a locker room and offices.
With the new resources at their disposal, the Cardinals look to be fielding many more MLB players in the future.
“Several of our players are already committed to big Division 1 colleges, and from what I have seen at our younger age levels, there is so much potential in our program,” Lundeen said. “The players that have been drafted is a testament to their work ethic. The training and coaching they received definitely has had an impact on them, but those guys spend extra hours alone at our facility. They work with our coaches to help them reach their goals. I believe we give them the tools for success, but they get the credit for getting to where they are now.”
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1306 Village Rd
Crystal Lake, IL - 60014