BPA is proud to announce the expansion of its college prep program, welcoming AZ National Baseball Academy to the organization, to now operate in Arizona. Established in 2016, AZ National Baseball Academy was founded by 11-year MLB veteran Cody Ransom. Based out of Chandler, Ariz., AZ National fields teams from 9u to 18u, as well a summer collegiate league team.
Expanding from one nine-year-old team to presently providing instruction and opportunities for baseball players over a 10-year age range, Ransom views joining BPA as the next step in the evolution of providing Arizona baseball players with elite instruction and exposure opportunities.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity,” Ransom said. “We’ve know about BPA for a while, we’ve had a relationship with Russ (Pratt)…it’s going to be great for us and for the future of our kids in high school in helping them get into college.”
The excitement is shared by BPA founder Jared Sandler.
“I am really excited to announce and welcome AZ National to the BPA Family,” Sandler said. “For me, anytime we expand to a new location, it’s all about the people and nothing else. We feel Cody is the ultimate baseball guy; his extensive playing and coaching career and most important;y his approach to coaching and teaching the game, are a perfect fit to bring BPA tradition to Arizona.”
The principles BPA was founded on and the continued drive to develop players and help them find their best next-level fit, were qualities in line with AZ National and how Ransom shaped the organization over five years.
“(Our goal) is for players to be educated on the process, on what it’s going to take to reach the next level. We focus on informing on how to get exposure, proper way to email schools, what showcases and tournaments do what and how.”
In addition to the teams, Ransom, a big leaguer with the Giants, Astros, Yankees, Phillies, Diamondbacks, Brewers, Padres and Cubs, operates One Performance, created around helping develop an all-around great student-athlete.
Retiring in 2016 after 18 years in professional baseball, Ransom says he never desired to be a coach once his playing days were over, instead wanting to just be a dad. But after coaching his then nine-year-old, forgoing asking for dues or fees in focusing on simply creating a place for players to play and learn the game, Ransom found his next baseball life.
“It’s a responsibility to give back on the youth side,” Ransom says of founding what was then Cody Ransom Baseball Academy. From initially having the single 9u team, adding an 11u team, to now having players in the program from development to college prospect, after five years of tireless work, moving forward under the BPA organization, Ransom says”I know this is what’s best for the kids.”
In coming together, giving BPA a presence in two of the largest baseball hotbeds west of the Mississippi, Sandler says the relatively short distance made AZ National the perfect extension of the BPA Way.
“Our two locations being an easy car ride apart adds training opportunity for players in both locations to play and compete against each other, as well as team up and play together.
“I couldn’t be happier with the direction BPA is going and this is an awesome addition!”
With the addition of AZ National, BPA is now able to beyond its California roots and now serve the southwest and the southeastern United States. Earlier this year BPA formally became being the high school-aged organization of the Mississippi-based Yalobusha Giants.