EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) – Cody Decker isn’t shy about his aspirations and plans for the Sun City baseball scene
“It’s going to take things here in El Paso to the next level,” Decker said.
After retiring from professional baseball last summer, Decker dove head-first into his new gig with the Border Youth Athletic Association, with eventual plans to build a large facility in Santa Teresa. He’s enlisted some major league help; former MLB pitcher Joe Beimel and Decker’s UCLA teammate Brent Dean have moved to El Paso full time to tutor the city’s ballplayers.
They each have a wealth of experience; Beimel played pro ball for 20 years, 13 of them in the Major Leagues. Dean played professionally for nine years, in the minors and independent leagues.
“The moment this opportunity came up, my first thought was that I would love for Dean and Joe to join me, because I know it would be a game changer here,” said Decker.
Beimel and Dean opened a similar facility in Los Angeles in 2018, with fantastic results. But, they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to expand their business and El Paso was an obvious choice.
“It’s been an amazing experience so far working with some of the players,” said Dean. “There’s players here who don’t realize how good they are or how good they could be with the proper programs and the right experience.”
El Paso has long been under-recruited, but the trio is looking to transform the city’s scene on the diamond.
“We saw that not a lot of kids were signing D1 scholarships and getting the chance to go to college so we wanted to come in here and change that culture,” said Beimel.
The program uses advanced technology and analytics, and players are already seeing results.
“It’s the greatest feeling ever getting to learn from all the lessons they’ve learned and all the challenges they’ve had they can pass on to us,” said Eastwood infielder Joshua Ruiz.
They’ve done it at the highest level and they’re helping guys trying to reach the highest level, like Baltimore Orioles top-30 prospect and Americas graduate Darell Hernaiz.
“They know their strength and conditioning so they’ll get me ready for the long season,” said Hernaiz. “I think I’ll become a better ballplayer because of it.”
For Beimel, Decker, Dean and all of El Paso, it’s a match made in heaven.
“There is such untapped potential in this city and they’re welcoming the challenge,” said Decker.