Former MTSU diamond star Tyler Burnett spent Tuesday throwing live batting practice to current Siegel High School junior Nick Hardesty.
Boro Baseball Academy’s Tyler Burnett helps local baseball player Kyle Brown, 12, with his stance during practice June 28 at Golden Bear Court in Murfreesboro. (Photo by M. Willard)
During the session, Burnett gives Hardesty lessons about how to become a better hitter at the plate. He hopes to use the recently opened Boro Baseball Academy as a teaching tool for the young baseball players around the area.
“I need to get better, and it will help me stay in shape and get valuable work in,” Hardesty said before taking his place in the cage.
Hardesty is learning from one of the best local players in recent history.
Burnett is the owner of the Boro Baseball Academy, which opened earlier this month, and has put together a staff that has also enjoyed success from the youth level to all the way to the majors. Each of them has valuable experience in all aspects of the sports from pitching, hitting, and speed and agility.
Burnett has a long list of accomplishments. He played shortstop at Oakland High from 2004-07, was 2007 District 7AAA MVP, Region MVP and All-State selection, was a three-year starter at MTSU; was drafted in 2010 by the Houston Astros, and was named 2010 New York-Penn League All-Star and League Champion
Burnett has partnered with a who’s who of some of the best local players in recent history.
Riverdale pitcher from 2003-06 Coty Woods spent one season as a MTSU closer, was drafted by Colorado Rockies in 2009 and is currently playing Double AA ball in Tulsa, Okla.
Burnett’s Patriot teammate P.J.Polk played outfield from 2004-07 at Oakland, was a three-year starter at Tennessee, was drafted in 2010 by the Detroit Tigers, and was 2010 New York-Penn League All-Star.
He also partnered with former Oakland High pitcher Jason Sharber (1997-2000), who was named 2000 Gatorade Tennessee High School Player of the Year, before signing to play at Vanderbilt, but decided to go pro after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2000. He played for the 2002 Carolina League All-Star and League Champions.
Each of them hope to use the BBA to pass on the helpful knowledge to the future stars of the sport, especially since all of them are from around the Rutherford County area. They hope to attract local players and teams from all playing levels, ranging from youth to high school.
“I think it’s very helpful, since we know all of the high school coaches and we know how everything goes around here,” Burnett said before he started the instruction time with Hardesty.
The indoor facility itself is located on Golden Bear Court, near Daymar Institute, and has three batting areas competed with the most up-to-date equipment.
Also, the 5,200-foot area has just added turf and a mound for pitchers to learn the different throwing motions.
Last week, Burnett spent time at the BPA state tournament at Barfield Crescent Park trying to get the word out to the coaches and players that were in town.
“The response has been good,” Burnett said. “This facility is bigger and newer than anything the area has seen before. We just want to get people to see the facilities and realize how good it is.”
One of his fellow instructors, pitching coach Sharber, wants the players just to improve their skills and feel comfortable while doing it.
“It’s going to be a huge deal and advantage to have a place like this,” Sharber said. “The attitude we keep in here is if you are not comfortable, you are not going to learn.”
Rutherford County has been blessed in the past few years for having some of the best baseball competition in the state. The BBA wants to help keep the success going in the future.
“You just cannot beat it,” Burnett said. “District 7-AAA baseball has been the best district in the state. It has been the SEC of high school sports not just in baseball. It’s incredible how good this area has been. We want this district to get better and help these kids get college scholarships.”
Besides teaching each of the students how to become better players, the staff also wants to teach them life lessons including dealing with adversity.
“If you want to be successful at any sport you got to keep at it,” Sharber said. “You just cannot just get to a certain level and then take off for a few months. I just hope to pass on a little commitment, and dealing with adversity. On the pitching mound, you deal with a lot of different emotions. You are alone on the mound. A lot of my lessons are mental. I just want to teach my guys the right way mechanically, but also how to compose themselves on the mound when it is at its worse.”
For more information about the BBA, including prices and setting up an instruction time with Burnett and his staff, log on to borobaseball.com.