Navigating the Unpredictable Path to the Big Leagues: Insights from Arsenal USA Founder, Joe Barth Jr.

Joe Barth Jr., “The Hit Doctor”

In the world of amateur baseball nowadays it’s very hard to predict who will make it to the big leagues and who won’t. Velocity and hitting home runs along with better training and physical conditioning programs have made it unpredictable. Arsenal USA founder Joe Barth has had close to 300 MLB players over the years between his Hit Doctor, Brooklawn Legion, and Gloucester Catholic stars yet he has seldom predicted MLB status for many of his students because he knows how difficult it is to make it to the big leagues.

“Over the years I have been fortunate enough to have coached many great ballplayers and I thought for sure that quite a few of them would be big leaguers someday. The problem is the game is tough on players, particularly pitchers, and you never really know if someone is going to be successful in the majors until they get there. I’ve had first-rounders who got hurt and didn’t ever make it and I have had guys like Davis Schneider who made it against all odds. Davis was a baseball junkie. All he ever did was play hard every practice, every game, and hit, hit, hit!  Oh, and one other thing Davis did was win, win, win!

At any rate, I stopped trying to make predictions quite a while ago but I have to admit I think I finished with a bang! I thought Shawn Doolittle would make it and I knew Troutie would make it but obviously, it was hard for anyone to predict he would be one of the greatest ballplayers of all time. I have to admit my son Bob, who is now a Director for Perfect Game, called it when Mike was 16!

Joe Barth Jr., the Hit Doctor speaking to players at Arsenal tryouts at Campbell Field
Joe Barth Jr., the Hit Doctor speaking to players at Arsenal tryouts at Campbell Field

As always what happened at our showcases and camps, the last player to showcase was oftentimes the best there. The last guy I said would be a big leaguer just made me look good for a change!  I had the pleasure of coaching Joey Loperfido from early on through high school. He was a skinny little guy who had a sweet swing from the beginning. Joey was one of the first guys to participate in our Player Development Program from an early age through Haddonfield HS. He graduated from high school, tore it up at Duke U, and signed with the Houston Astros. Somewhere along that journey Joey finally grew and filled out to the point that he was smashing homeruns at a record pace when he got called up this week by the Houston Astros to play left field. He quickly made the highlights on ESPN with a spectacular catch and throw to nail a runner at 2B.

Joey Loperfido joins Mike Trout and Davis Schneider as poster boys for everything we hold dear: stay focused, work hard on the field and in the weight room, be a great teammate, be a team guy, and help your team win!! Loyalty, Integrity, and Commitment!

I have great respect for the many professional scouts who identify future big leaguers as their job. I realize no one can do that job as well as they do. I also realize that player identification is a difficult task nowadays and that someone who doesn’t do it every day will never be as good at it as the guys who get paid to do it.

Same thing for umpiring. Kick me the next time I question an umpire. Anyway, you heard it here—I will never predict super stardom nor yell at umpires again.

But man you should see our young kids!”

This humility in forecasting serves as a valuable lesson for aspiring baseball players and enthusiasts alike. It underscores the importance of resilience, adaptability, and continuous improvement in navigating the unpredictable path to the big leagues.

With the program offering of Arsenal USA Baseball and The Hit Doctor USA the players go beyond mere training. This system equips individuals with the knowledge to maximize each player’s unique strengths. Explore our extensive library of drills featuring insights from some of the nation’s top baseball coaches, covering a wide range of topics essential to the game. Plus, experience the renowned Hit Doctor Lesson, widely regarded as one of the top baseball training programs in the USA.

Elevate your game with us!