One such opportunity will take place Saturday, when Matt Diaz, a free agent who most recently played for the Atlanta Braves, hosts a camp with college and minor league players at the East Cobb Baseball Academy.
Designed for players ages 6-15, the camp will focus on agility training and batting mechanics. It will also provide role-modeling, leadership and simulated game situations.
The one-day camp will run from 8 a.m.-3 p.m., and registration is $95. The camp will be limited to only 60 entrants, allowing each player to get individual training from athletes and coaches. Lunch is included, and campers will be able to get autographs.
“There are several youth camps hosted across the state, and Matt partnered with the East Cobb Baseball Academy because of their fantastic facilities,” said the camp’s director, Dan Everett of Everett Sports Marketing. “With the weather turning cold, East Cobb Baseball was the perfect location because of their indoor facility and field space to accommodate the coaches, athletes, players and equipment.”
A 10-year major-league veteran, Diaz played 51 games for the Braves this past season as an outfielder, missing much of the season with various injuries. He batted .222 with two home run and 13 RBIs.
In addition to his six-plus seasons as a Brave, Diaz has also spent time with the Tampa Bay Rays, Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates.
A career .291 hitter with 45 home runs and 225 RBIs, he’s had the most success as a Brave, batting .299 with 43 home runs and 194 RBIs.
Diaz’s best season as a Brave came in 2007, when he batted .338 with 12 homers and 45 RBIs. He also hit .313 in 2009 with 13 homers and 58 RBIs.
Taken by Tampa Bay in the 17th round of the 1999 draft, Diaz led Florida State to two College World Series appearances, including the ’99 championship series. He was named a first-team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association that year.
Players can register for Saturday camp online at www.everettsm.com or by calling (864) 350-1222.