SPRING BAY, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Brock Till is an old school baseball player in a new school softball world.
The former Bradley standout opened The Hit Lab six years ago with the goal of helping produce top softball hitters throughout central Illinois. And he’s doing it with using analytics.
“It’s science, it’s technology. Video has made everything come to light,” said Till. “A lot of the ways I was taught to do things, old school, so to speak, has changed with technology.”
Till spent six years in the Reds organization and year with Tampa Bay as a pitching prospect. He roomed with former Reds star Joey Votto and got as high as AAA.
Now he’s teaching hitters about exit velocities and launch angles, stuff he never considered in his playing days. Till uses cameras, computers and programs to break down the swings of his clients, who are mostly high school players.
“I can show them the first time they were in here, they hit 50 the ball miles an hour. Over time they see the exit velocity go up,” explained Till. “We’re focusing on launch angles. We are working on angles to get the ball in the air and the gaps.”
Till’s daughter Kaidance is a sophomore star at Metamora. But he has clients from other central Illinois schools come to his facility in Spring Bay for hitting lessons.
They often train together, even during the season. It’s another way he says the game has changed since his playing days.
“It’s a lot different from when I was playing. I didn’t want to talk to anybody. Stay out of the way,” Till said with a smile. “Now they push each other.”