Allow me to introduce myself as a career educator. My job is to identify, develop, and bring out the best in individuals. My favorite side job has been coaching and leading my son’s travel baseball team for the past nine years. I have had the best spot in the world to watch him and kids like Max Horner do what they love, while helping them develop into some high level baseball players.
I worked in sales a few times before I got my teaching license. I graduated from Purdue University with a degree in communications and marketing, so I know what it takes to try and sell a person on a product or an idea. The problem was, that I never really found anything I believed in or loved to sell. I hated the idea of trying to sell someone on something for the sole purpose of padding my own pockets. That is why I wanted to get into the world of teaching and coaching. I wanted be able to impact people’s lives and help them reach their potential.
It is also why I am writing this message now. I know what Max has to offer a baseball program at the next level. I know how important continuing his baseball career beyond high school is to him. So, I’ve come full circle because it is my goal to help sell anyone that isn’t sure or isn’t convinced about who Max is as a ballplayer, that they will be missing out on landing a great person who happens to be a really good baseball player.
So, before I get into things, let me clarify what Max is not:
- Max is not a freak athlete. He’s not going to run a sub 7 second 60 yard dash or put up an exit velocity of 100 MPH. However, he will run anything down in the gaps, steal a base when needed, and doesn’t get overmatched by a good fastball.
- Max is not a launch angle guy. He looks to hit balls line to line and shorten up when he has to. He will take the elevated pitch over the fence, but he’s not looking to lift everything.
If you’re still reading, then let me tell you what makes Max special and why I’ll go to battle with him any day with him in our outfield and middle of the lineup against any team in the country:
- Max is a leader. We had a good team at the youth levels, but we took off at 14U when Max joined because of his leadership. He has the ability to communicate with his coaches and all of his teammates when needed. He is the first voice in any team huddle, and he is often the last voice. ALL of his teammates respect him because he respects them and the game. He knows when a teammate needs to be picked up or when they need to be left alone.
- Max is a tremendous teammate. Some leaders are not the greatest teammates, but Max genuinley cares about everyone on our roster. When he comes into your program, he will get to know everyone. He will learn from the upperclassmen while working to mold his classmates into future leaders. Max will pick up all of the baseballs when asked, but he’ll help someone else when he isn’t asked. He doesn’t let his own success overshadow a teammate that might be struggling, but he also doesn’t let his struggles bring down the team. https://twitter.com/YourGoshenNews/status/1516902808624283654
- Max is one heck of a hitter. https://twitter.com/JukeboxTooly/status/1516396220494880771 He has hit in the middle of our lineup since he joined our team 4 years ago. He hit in the middle of his high school lineup as a sophomore and started as a freshman. https://twitter.com/canesGL2024/status/1546895061627146242 He uses the entire field as a hitter with a short, compact swing. He always hits the ball where it is pitched, which makes him a tough out. He struck out 8 times in 97 plate appearances the summer of 2022 with a .414 BA and 1.089 OPS. When he faces high velocity, he will shorten up and simplify his swing. He had multiple 94 MPH exit velos in the fall at the Canes Scout Weekend. https://twitter.com/PBRIndiana/status/1576580632964399104
- As Max has become more and more committed to the weigh room, his power is starting to emerge. He had 4 home runs during his high school season. https://twitter.com/maxhorner11/status/1517987996762521600 A number of balls that went for doubles last season will be home runs in the future with his added strength. https://twitter.com/maxhorner11/status/1518739924006150145 Max has always been a consistent doubles hitter, and he doesn’t try to hit home runs. However, he has a good amount of balls short hop the fence. If a coach wanted to slightly tweak his swing to get a little more consistent launch, Max could be a guy that hits between 5-10 homeruns a year at the college level.
- Max is a plus defender. While he is not a sub 7 second 60 yard dash runner, he can go get a baseball. Max rarely takes a wrong step or inefficient route in the outfield. He is positioned well and captains our outfield. He makes sure that his corner guys know where he is playing and helps position them accordingly as well. Max’s arm continues to gain strength with an outfield velo of 84MPH, and he knows which base to throw the ball to in all situations. Max does not give teams extra bases by making over-aggressive throws from the outfield.
I am putting this together because I believe Max is still undervalued as a recruit in the 2024 class. I am willing to stake the reputation of our organization behind this kid. I would ask you to speak to the director of our organization, Brian Blondell, about Max. (email@example.com or 574-310-3924) You would also get high praise on him from our assistant coach and player at Indiana Wesleyan University, Tyler Bortone. (574-855-8423) Another point of contact would be longtime assistant coach, Tim Trenerry (574-339-6105) whose son is commited to Purdue University.
This kid will always have a special place in my heart, and I will fight for him to play at the school of his choice at the next level. If you decide to bring him on board, I know you will look back on what a great decision and addition that was for your program.
Mike Gallo Head Coach Canes Great Lakes