From No College Offers to Top D2 in NE10 Conference

College baseball wasn’t on Zach’s mind until he got to his senior year of high school. At this point he hasn’t played in a varsity game until he reached his senior season. His freshman through junior year he was undersized, had a choppy swing, below average speed on the bases, and lacked arm strength in the field. However, in his junior year of high school Covid hit and he saw this as an opportunity, making the best out of a bad situation. He would spend hours in his garage and on the field working to fix his swing, his fielding, and on his arm strength. He also took the opportunity to put on 15 lbs and was even fortunate enough to grow 3 inches in the process. He even started taking hitting lessons with one of his local hitting coaches – who was the same coach that cut him from his middle school baseball team – and really started to move in the right direction. He ended up hitting just shy of .400 his senior season and made all conference as the team’s shortstop.
The same hitting coach reached out to a college coach in the area and was willing to give him a shot, but made no promises that he would see any playing time. Taking a chance, he decided to play baseball at a JUCO in Connecticut, UConn Avery Point. He started his college career weighing in at just 165 lbs but managed to find a way into the starting lineup. Zach slashed .317/.422/.439 in his two years and it was now time for him to transfer out and find a new home. He is now playing at the number one ranked school in the NE10 conference for 2024; Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, waiting for his Junior season to start back up in the spring.

Original Assessment

Coming into house Zach expressed more of a pushy swing than a rotational swing, exhibiting a little bit of a one piece swing (as seen below). This caused inefficient sequencing throughout the swing which could result in his low exit velocity and struggle to pull the ball in the air properly. We also noticed that his current weight was relatively low considering his size, and his strength numbers in the gym weren’t where they needed to be on top of that.

Zach Mascaro First Swing

K-Vest Data

While using K-Vest we were able to verify that his body was out of sequence and he showed improper timing throughout the swing. His pelvis was over coiling compared to his torso, forcing his pelvis to rotate much farther creating an improper timing for loading separation in the swing. We also found that he was expressing too much torso forward bend at heel strike, making it difficult for him to adjust to pitches higher in the zone.
This caused Zach to have more of a one piece swing as he wasn’t giving his body enough time to sequence properly and accelerate each segment one piece at a time. This created a lack of adjustability in his swing and also limited the amount of power that he could create throughout the swing

Batted Ball Data

In his batted ball data there were a few things that stood out to us:

  • His peak exit velocity was relatively low
  • He didn’t have the ability to drive the ball far
  • He has very good control of the barrel
  • Makes plus contact + great vision at the plate

Blast Data

  • His average bat speed was low
  • Peak bat speed was low (69.6)
  • This caused a low expected peak exit velocity; and evidently a low peak exit velocity

Post Assessment

Through capturing how the body, bat, and ball moves throughout his swing we could make a clear plan going forwards. Through his batted ball report we were able to see that he was best at hitting pitches up in the zone, which also matches his attack angle through the zone. From knowing this we knew that landing at high pitch posture was a must, making sure that he was always ready to hit his best pitch. With that we decided to also get him to have more of a neutral load between his pelvis and torso so we could improve the timing of his separation throughout the swing. It was also a must for him to gain bat speed along the way so he could hit the ball harder and gain more production from his at bats

New K-Vest Data:

Through specific drill work we were able to get Zach to have more of a neutral load allowing his pelvis to gain more ground at first move. This was huge as it allowed him to be more rotational, thus letting his swing be more adjustable, but it also helped improve his bat speed as he was able to move efficiently.
After putting in the work for the past two months his batter ball numbers increased all around the board
  • Peak Exit Velocity 96.3 mph (+5.3 mph)
  • Average Exit Velocity 85.6 mph (+3.4 mph)
  • Peak Distance 356 ft. (+35 ft)
  • Peak Bat Speed 73.6 mph (+4 mph)
  • Average Bat Speed 68.7 mph (+3.4 mph)
This was all done without access to bat speed trainers (as he trains outside of the facility) or any other tools we have in house and he was still able to make major strides forward. However, it doesn’t just stop there. Another huge improvement that he made was found in the gym. He now stands at 185 lbs (20 added pounds) and increased strength along the way. His front squat went from 225 to 310lbs and his bench press went from 185 to 240 lbs. It’s safe to say that he doesn’t want to leave anything on the table by the time his spring season comes around.

With the ability to see objective feedback, Zach is fully bought into the process. He explained to
me that having the data “helps him buy in 100% because it’s just objective evidence. I feel like
hitting is so subjective nowadays because everybody has their own viewpoint. And for me I’m
kinda a headcase so I tend to question if I’m getting better or not. But this gives me objective
evidence that what we’re doing is working and I’m getting better and I’m starting to feel a lot
better as well.

He will have an exciting season to say the least. With plus speed on the bases and with his newly added power at the plate combined with his plus contact should make for an exciting season to say the least.

Train at Bobby Valentine's Sports Academy

By Tyler Restivo

Revolutionizing Sports Training: Embrace the Future with BVSA

Personalized Baseball and Softball Training

In the world of sports, the quest for excellence is endless. At BVSA, we understand that achieving peak performance isn’t just about what happens on the field; it’s about how you prepare for it. That’s why we’re excited to introduce a game-changing solution for baseball and softball online training.

Training for sports like baseball and softball has traditionally been about time on the field, practice sessions with coaches, and physical conditioning. However, in today’s fast-paced world, where accessibility and personalization are key, these methods alone aren’t enough. Athletes need flexible, tailored training that fits their unique needs and busy schedules.

We’re thrilled to unveil our innovative training platform – a revolutionary tool designed to transform how athletes train and improve. This platform isn’t just another training app; it’s a comprehensive ecosystem of personalized coaching, expert feedback, and professional insights.

Upload your training videos and receive detailed, personalized feedback from Frank Ramppen. Based on your videos, our coaches will provide customized drills to target specific areas of improvement.

You can monitor your development with a user-friendly interface that tracks your growth and milestones. Gain exclusive access to training content from MLB players, including their practice videos and personal drills.

This platform isn’t just about improving your swing or pitching technique; it’s about providing holistic development for athletes. Whether you’re miles away or on a tight budget, we bring top-notch coaching to you. This platform democratizes high-level sports training, making it accessible and affordable for everyone.

At BVSA, we’re committed to providing the best resources for our athletes. Our new training platform is a testament to this commitment, offering a blend of technology, expert coaching, and professional insights to help you reach your full potential.

We’re on the cusp of a new era in sports training, and we invite you to be a part of it. Stay tuned for more details, and get ready to experience training like never before.

Nominate Your Star for the First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Blog Article: Nominate Your Star for the First County Bank Athlete of the Month

The First County Bank Athlete of the Month is more than just a title; it’s a celebration of dedication, perseverance, and the spirit of sportsmanship that defines our athletes at BVSA. Each month, this recognition shines a spotlight on an individual who exemplifies these qualities, both on and off the field. As we open up the nomination process for this prestigious award, we invite our community to participate actively in celebrating the achievements and inspiring stories of our athletes.

Why Nominate for Athlete of the Month?

Recognition of Hard Work and Talent: This award is a way to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and exceptional talent of our athletes. It’s not just about performance statistics; it’s about the effort, improvement, and the heart each athlete brings to their sport.

Inspiration for Others: Recognizing athletes inspires their peers and younger players. It shows them the value of commitment, encourages them to strive for excellence, and highlights the rewards of dedication.

Building a Supportive Community: By nominating someone for the Athlete of the Month, you’re contributing to a culture of support and recognition within BVSA. It’s an opportunity for coaches, parents, and fellow athletes to come together and celebrate the achievements of one of their own.

Spotlight on Success Stories: Each athlete has a unique journey. This recognition allows us to share these stories, offering insights into the diverse paths athletes take towards success and the different challenges they overcome.

How to Nominate

Fill Out the Nomination Form: We’ve made the nomination process simple and accessible. Just fill out the accompanying form with details about your nominee. Remember, the more information you provide, the better we can understand the athlete’s journey and achievements.

Share Specific Achievements: Whether it’s impressive statistics, significant improvement, outstanding leadership, or overcoming obstacles, share specific details that make your nominee stand out.

Personal Stories Matter: If you have a personal story or anecdote that illustrates the nominee’s character or achievements, include it. These stories bring nominations to life and help us understand the impact the athlete has had on their team and community.

Encourage Others to Participate: Spread the word! Encourage coaches, teammates, and family members to participate in the nomination process. The more voices we hear, the more we understand the profound impact these athletes have.

Your Role in Shaping the Future

By participating in the nomination process for the First County Bank Athlete of the Month, you’re not just recognizing an individual’s achievements; you’re helping to shape the future of our sporting community. This is your opportunity to spotlight the hard-working, inspiring individuals who embody the true spirit of BVSA. Let’s come together to celebrate their journeys and uplift the athletes who make our community proud.

So, take a moment to fill out the nomination form. Your input is invaluable in helping us recognize and honor the outstanding athletes among us. Let’s celebrate their achievements together!

Jack Conway – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

BVSA Athlete of the Month February 2022 - Jack Conway

Bobby Valentine’s First County Bank Athlete of the Month for February is eighteen-year-old, Jack Conway. Baseball is not just a game for Jack, it is a lifestyle. You would have to go back 16 years (when BVSA first opened their doors) to where Jack first fell in love with the sport. All the way back from the age of two, Jack was hooked.

Jack plays the game with great passion and tenacity, while at the same time, spending hours and hours analyzing statistics, history, and current and former players alike. You could call Jack a utility player, but only in the greatest form of the phrase. He is a utility player in the sense that he plays numerous positions, and plays them extremely well. He is the definition of versatile. He wants to learn about every position, and thrives on getting better and better at each and every one.

When Jack was twelve years old, he realized he had a great opportunity to play this game at a high level. Since then, it’s been full steam ahead, working relentlessly to accomplish his goals. Coach Anthony Conte had this to say; “Jack and I had our first session on June 6, 2014 and WOW has it been such a fun journey watching him grow into the young man he’s become! Jack is one of those athletes that comes in, listens, applies, and works his tail off to achieve his goals. He’s one of the few local athletes I know who wakes up before school to hit the gym so he can dominate the rest of the day! Fun to work with someone who knows how to work, compete and still be one of the kindest people in the room.”

Not only is Jack a work horse on the field and in the cages, but he also is a tremendous student at Darien High School, where he will finish this past semester with a 4.0 GPA. He is still considering all of his college opportunities, but the plan is to major in Business. Wherever he ends up, he is confident that baseball will be in his future plans.

As a mentor and a role model to so many kids in his community, from baseball to church and town organizations, Jack continues to share his knowledge of the game, and the lessons he has learned throughout this journey. Baseball is so much more than just a game or a sport to Jack, it is something that has helped mold him into the outstanding young man he is today.

We here at BVSA want to congratulate Jack once more on earning this honor of First County Bank Athlete of the Month for February. His dedication and commitment to the sport speaks volumes, but the life lessons and the impact he is able to make on so many kids is truly remarkable, and why we all choose to be a part of this great game. We are beyond excited to see where Jack goes from here!

The BVSA Experience: 16 Years of Excellence


As Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy enters its 16th year of training and educating young athletes in Fairfield County, we challenged ourselves to answer this question: what makes BVSA so special?

While our excellent team of coaches and expansive facility on Largo Drive in Stamford stand out among other baseball training facilities in the area, it all starts with the man whose name is on the front of our building. 

Bobby Valentine is recognized as one of the world’s brightest baseball minds, which has been developed over a storied history of playing and coaching baseball at the professional level. Bobby has interacted with and learned from many of baseball’s most iconic names at every level of the game throughout his career, yielding a plethora of knowledge that has helped shape the trajectory of professional athletes in both Major League Baseball and Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League. 

In 2006, Bobby realized his dream to share this lifelong insight with the youth of his beloved hometown, opening the first Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy on 72 Camp Ave in Stamford. As Bobby opened his own training academy, his mission was to ensure that only the best knowledge and skills were passed down to the community’s athletes.

That mission led to the creation of BVSA’s unique curriculum, derived straight from Bobby’s lifelong experiences around the game of baseball and faithfully passed down to everyone who has entered our building ever since.

The purpose of this curriculum is to provide professional-level instruction that is unified across our brand, and having this system in place has made BVSA successful in maintaining a high level of instruction over the past 16 years.

Every BVSA coach has been educated in this curriculum and delivering Bobby’s distinctive knowledge along to our students. This means any time you step into the BVSA facility, you’ll receive the same high-quality instruction, whether you are working with Bobby himself or the most recent coach added to our staff.

Rather than an environment where each coach instructs his or her individual students using their own teaching methods, BVSA has created a team of unified coaches, which has helped us retain the highest level of coaching throughout our many years in business.

Most recently, our team first mentality has allowed us to persist through the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re proud to announce that despite shutting our doors for 3 months during the early days of the pandemic, we were able to retain all of our staff members and have been able to emerge stronger than ever.

Having this strong curriculum at our core has allowed us to easily adapt our methods of instruction to match these times. In the event that one player’s coach is unavailable, another coach is able to step in and easily provide the same high-quality instruction with which our students are very familiar. 

Additionally, as Bobby Valentine’s archive of baseball knowledge continues to grow, our curriculum evolves to stay ahead of the times. Each person who comes through our building has contributed something special to our program, and we value the ability to integrate our coaches’ unique experiences into the teachings of our entire staff.

Our team is also well versed in using advanced motion tracking technology and metrics to reinforce the concepts we teach. In our facility today, you’ll already find slow-motion video, radar guns, hitting performance metrics, and motion feedback programs. 

As the number of digital performance programs grows, we are continuing to research a variety of new technologies and are excited to continue implementing these state-of-the-art systems into our instruction.

While our curriculum has evolved over the course of 16 years, and will continue evolving in the future, our mission to provide the young athletes of Stamford and our surrounding area with professional-level instruction has stayed tried and true since we first opened our doors in 2006.

As proven over 16 years, BVSA’s curriculum and team first mentality has helped bring the best out of thousands of young baseball and softball players, and with these aspects of training at our core, we’re prepared to continue pushing the bar of athletic instruction for many years to come.

Connor King – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

“Connor is one of the most exuberant and fun kids to be around in any setting at BVSA. From baseball to our All Sports Clinic, nobody is ready to learn while at the same time having a blast doing so more so than Connor. To top it all off, he has such an unique personality that sets him apart from his peers. He really is a pleasure to coach and be around, and there is definitely a bright future ahead!”
Justin Virgulak, BVSA Facility Director


Bobby Valentine’s First County Bank Athlete of the Month for January is nine-year-old Connor King. Connor is simply everywhere, constantly on the move. He started his 2021 playing for the BVSA Fury 9u team, and then continued into the summer with Darien Little League. He played for the Darien AA summer travel team in the Friendship League where he competed against teams throughout Fairfield County. Heading into 2022, he’ll be playing for the Darien Blue Hawks 9U-A team and he could not be more excited.

Connor throws lefty and hits both righty and lefty. You read that correctly. He is probably the first switch hitter in the history of little league. The craziest part about it is that when you watch him hit from the right side and then the left side, you would not be able to tell which side is his natural side. He is THAT good and THAT comfortable from both sides of the plate. He is definitely a must see at BVSA. When we asked him about how he got into switch hitting, he said one day he just simply mixed up his left and his right and accidentally started hitting the other way. If only it were that easy for the rest of us.


“Connor brings positive energy to every practice and game, and always puts in the maximum effort to improve. He has taken huge strides in all aspects of the game, especially with his must see switch-hitting ability.” 
Matt Diurno, Coach/Instructor


When Connor is not playing baseball, you can find him on the ice. He plays for the Connecticut Junior Rangers 2012 Elite team, competing against the best teams in the country all year round. If not on the ice, he is on the lacrosse field playing for 2Way and the Greenwich Warriors.

Across all three sports, Connor is known for his work ethic, his coachability, and his overall positive attitude. He prides himself on being a good teammate and a good playmaker, and his selflessness is remarkable to say the least, especially at such a young age.


“Connor gets it in a way I’ve never seen most high school players understand. What I mean by “it” is a couple of different things. He comes into BVSA wanting to improve in all aspects of the game, both as a player and as a teammate. He demonstrates to other nine year olds, as well as to his little brother, the near impossible balance of hard work, fun, and some messing around with friends and coaches, and then how to put all three together. He carries himself with such a high level of respect, kindness, and genuine happiness. He is always just smiling and happy to be a part of a game he so clearly loves.” 
Joe Wanderlingh, Instructor 


Connor’s favorite teams include the New York Yankees and the New York Rangers, and he particularly enjoys watching Aaron Judge take the field and Adam Fox on the ice. In the classroom, he loves reading and math. He somehow finds the time for hobbies on top of the three sports, and those hobbies include reading, fishing, and golf. When he grows up, his dream is to become a three sport professional athlete. If anyone can accomplish that, it is definitely Connor. 

We here at BVSA want to congratulate Connor once more on earning this honor of First County Bank Athlete of the Month for January. Both the commitment and the love for so many things at such a young age is impressive and flat out remarkable to say the least. Combine that with the respect and care Connor has for everyone, from his coaches, to teammates, to teachers, to his little brother, Chase, and it is safe to say we are beyond excited to watch Connor grow both on and off the field.