Yankees News: Chase Whitley Known As a Teacher Prior Joining The Yankees


They say that you always have to start somewhere in order to get where you want to go, and New York Yankees right-hander Chase Whitley would say that he definitely agrees with that statement.

Prior to becoming a member of the Yankees, only a few know that Whitley actually was a teacher, and still is. During the last six years in the off-season, he would spend part of it providing one-on-one pitching and hitting lessons at the Excel Baseball Academy in Oxford, Alabama. Coming from a small town in Alabama called Ranburne, with a population of about 409, Whitley definitely has enjoyed making that 30 minute drive to the academy everyday to teach what he loves. In fact, he recently converted a barn into a baseball facility on his family property, where batting cages and pitching lanes were built. He saw about 40 players a week this past off-season, and it certainly brought him a lot of joy.

What has been interesting and has made the experience a lot more fun to him, is that he is well aware that the athletes he teaches know that he is a member of the Yankees, and they have all watched him on the big screen. However, they still treat him the same way that they did six years ago.

“What’s funny is, these kids — especially the ones that I’ve seen grow up over the years — they could care less that I was on national TV,” Whitley told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. “They still treat me the same. A kid may come in and say, ‘Oh my gosh, he played for the Yankees. “Before you know it, they’re messing around, and they don’t care who I am.”

Whitley has the academy to thank in terms of him being able to fulfill his dream and reach the big leagues. He was doing everything he could to get his name out, from posting advertisements on Facebook about his skill set to enlightening people at his local church about how he could provide lessons. This was all so someone could finally pick him up and realize what raw talent he has.

Finally after some long days and years, he got drafted by the Yankees in the 15th round and the rest was history. Whitley owes some thanks to Matthew Maniscalco, who helped found the academy in 2003, and made it to Triple-A with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2007. Every little bit of work helped Whitley, and it all became worth it when he made his major league debut on May 15, 2014 at Citi Field against the New York Mets.

Whitley proved this past season that he is able to step up in big situations, and he could give the team a quality performance each start. With his rookie season under his belt, high expectations are laid out for the 25-year-old, as the season is set to be under way in just eight weeks.

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