Chris helps lead operations here at Bardo's and is also one of our top hitting and fielding instructors. He played professional baseball for nine years with the Kansas City Royals and Washington Nationals as a shortstop. He brings with him years of professional experience and prides himself in giving simplistic, personalized, and expert instruction to players of all ages.
We sat down with Chris to ask him a few questions on his playing career and his thoughts on evaluating players.
You had a nine year run as a professional baseball player. What are some things you have learned during your playing career that you try to incorporate into your lessons?
The most important thing I’ve learned is how to interpret information to players. There are many instructors that know what they want a player to change in their mechanics, but few can explain well enough for a player to understand and even harder to execute. I’ve had many coaches in every aspect of the game and the best ones were the ones that could break down what needed to change in a very basic matter.
You are known for your fielding and have been named the “Best Defensive Infielder” in the Kansas City Royals organization multiple times. What is one good piece of advice you could give to infielders?
That’s an easy answer, bend your knees! It’s such a simple change that can make a HUGE difference. Bending your knees puts you in a better position to move, adapt to the ball, a better angle to see the ball, and it cleans up other issues you may have with your hands, like not getting them far enough in front of you body. I noticed that players have a tendency to bend their back and not their knees when they field.
In your career you’ve been an All-Star twice, been recognized by a few publications, and have won a AA championship. What are you most proud of?
I’m proud of all my accomplishments during my playing days. Individual achievements are great and they are fun to have, but there really isn’t a better feeling then winning a championship. It’s a five game series, but that championship series is a bit of a reflection on what the whole year was like. Nothing seems to matter; stats, mistakes, and accomplishments mean absolutely nothing. Playing in a championship is the best part of baseball.
What are some benefits of playing professional baseball that not many people would think of?
One of the bonuses of playing professional baseball that no one talks about is all the places you get to live. I’ve lived in 10 states and I’ve lived multiple places within those states. It’s the type of life experience that few get to have and it has molded me into the person I am today. Experiencing different cultures and people within the United States has shaped me in so many ways.
You do infield and hitting lessons at Bardo’s. What are the differences between the two when it comes to evaluating players?
Besides the fact that they are two different skills, I evaluate the lower half first. You can’t hit without a solid foundation and you can’t field without one either.
Book a lesson with Chris.