Tournaments | Story | 7/1/2020

ECB Astros 15U Continuing Tradition

Brett Greenberg        
Photo: Dylan Cupp (Perfect Game)
MARIETTA, Ga. – The 2020 East Cobb Astros 15U team is filled with D-1 commits and top players in their respective classes. The universities to which they have committed include Mississippi State, UGA, FSU, and Auburn. The Astros are led by Head Coach Dennis Jordan, who has been coaching in the ECB Astros organization for over thirty years. 

This team features three top 100 players for the 2023 class in the United States, all of which are the number one ranked player for their respective position. Dylan Cupp is a shortstop out of Cedartown, Ga. committed to Mississippi State. Robbie Duvall is a catcher out of Lawrenceville, Ga. who is currently uncommitted and Jake Hembree is a LHP out of Hiram, Ga. committed to UGA. 

Cupp, Duvall, Hembree and several other top prospects who have been playing for the ECB Astros for many years have had continued success year in and year out. It comes as no surprise that this team is sitting at twenty-five wins and only ten losses on the year. Coach Jordan says he has a great relationship with many coaches at the collegiate level, which allows for his players to get early looks. When asked what has allowed his team to have four D-1 commits at only 15-years-old, Coach Jordan says the players put forth the effort to be successful and also have a sense of pride in playing for the Astros organization. The Astros organization has seen several former players go on to play in the major leagues. Coach Jordan also says his players look up to players such as Dansby Swanson for the way he comes back to East Cobb and is still around the Astros organization. Understanding the Astros history and understanding the importance of playing for the players in the past is a big point of emphasis in Coach Jordan’s coaching philosophy. 

When players commit to play a sport at a collegiate level, they often get a big head and often believe the verbal commitment is official. On this team, each player who is committed and/or being highly recruited knows that the work is just beginning. Coach Jordan, who knows the ins and outs of baseball, says he takes an old school approach when addressing this issue.

“I coach high school as well, so I really understand how the college coaches go about their business,” said Coach Jordan. “My players understand that the real work begins now and there will be no room for egos on a college roster.” 

The Astros have a rich tradition of producing top D-1 talents every year, so I asked Coach Jordan to name a few players to look out for this summer:
1. Michael Mullinax: “Mullinax is a guy who is hitting .480 for us this summer but is now injured. He’s a great hitter and only 14-years-old as well.” 
2. Antonio “Tone” Anderson: “Tone is another 14-year-old who should be getting more offers soon. He’s hitting in the three-hole for us and is hitting in the high .300s.”

This team was one of the few who were not affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the quarantine as great a degree as others. With the facilities here at the East Cobb Complex, players in the Astros organization are able to have access to several cages and multiple bullpens. Coach Jordan says his players were able to get into the facility whenever they could, which allowed them to be better prepared for this summer. 

“We started practicing and playing scrimmages in early May,” said Coach Jordan. “At two months now, we are where we want to be from a pitching and hitting standpoint.” 

The Astros’ are now in full swing and this is the time to bare down for the final month of the season and get better in certain aspects of the game before heading into the high school season. Coach Jordan says he wants to see his players improving upon the little things, which, for example, includes understanding that moving a runner over for the benefit of the team is greater than individual stats. Fifteen-year-old players are still learning about all aspects of the game, something in which Coach Jordan takes great pride in. He also teaches the players about aspects of life and how to go about life correctly.

“These kids are still 15 years old and some are only 14,” said Coach Jordan. “I am trying to make these players understand that when they make mistakes, they need to learn from them.” 

“I tell my players that there have been plenty of top players will all the tools to be successful but end up with nothing,” said Coach Jordan. “I want my players to accept failure because that tells me they can deal with adversity and want to learn, which are valuable attributes to have in life.” 

For the past 24 years, Coach Jordan has been at the helm of the East Cobb Astros 15U squad and says he is extremely blessed to be in this position. He comes from a baseball-oriented family, so it is no surprise that he has been coaching for 30+ years. He says he enjoys coaching 15U because this is when his players start to, “understand what life is,” and he tries to make the, “best individual,” in each of his players. 

“The wins will come, the life lessons are what are important,” said Coach Jordan. 

The East Cobb Astros 15U finished pool play 5-0 while allowing only nine runs and scoring 41, earning them a spot in the bracket. Bracket play of the 2020 15U WWBA National Championship begins Wednesday, July 1st and concludes Friday, July 3rd with the championship being played at 10:15 a.m. on Field 1 at the East Cobb Complex in Marietta, Georgia. 
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