We are proud to have assembled a world class team of coaches and experts who have both the knowledge and experience of playing the game at the highest levels.
Owner, Professional Scout, Developer of Swing Rehab Program
Rick has had an illustrious career in America’s favorite sport. He was drafted by the New York Yankees in 1989 and played with the world’s most famous baseball team until 1993 as both an outfielder and an infielder.
He then founded the St. Louis Pirates, a nationally recognized College Development Program, in 1996. The program started as a fall season program with a goal of promoting area high school players to college and professional scouts. The program was so successful that it grew into a year-round institution in 2006. Due to the program’s efforts, hundreds of student athletes have received college baseball scholarships and many have gone on to play the sport professionally.
Now, thanks to Rick Strickland’s Elite Swing Performance you have the opportunity to develop your world class talents too.
Catching, Hitting, Defense
Jake Depew grew up and attended high school in Granite City, Illinois, playing baseball for his father, Daren Depew. After committing to the University of Louisville, he chose to sign with the Tampa Bay Rays after being drafted in the ninth round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. In 2013, he threw out 39 of 64 would-be base-stealers for the Rays. Jake continues to play minor league baseball and works with catchers and hitters at Sandlot Elite during the offseason.
Catching, Hitting, Defense
Coach Huck attended Oakville High School in St. Louis, Missouri, accepting a scholarship to play for the Hilltoppers at Western Kentucky University. As the first Hilltopper ever chosen by the Athletics, Huck was in stellar form during his senior campaign, leading WKU in virtually every offensive category. He was named First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference and garnered Player of the Week honors three times, a league high. He was also named finalist for the Gregg Olson Award on June 3rd, an honor given to college baseball’s “Breakout Player of the Year.” He led the Sun Belt in home runs and slugging percentage, and was .367 at the plate in 2013, with a team high 56 RBI. He also led the Hilltoppers in runs (43), doubles (16), total bases (136), and on-base percentage (.469). Huck ended his career with a 13 game hitting streak, recording multiple hits in 9 of his last 11 games. He went on to the Oakland Athletics in the 27th draft round at pick number 821.
Vallandingham attended Mascoutah High School, hitting .427 with seven home runs and 34 RBI as a senior. He spent 2 years playing for Neil Fiala at Southwestern Illinois College, hitting .353 with 5 home runs and a 29 RBI as a sophomore, with 11 doubles, five triples, and 13 stolen bases. He was named First-Team All-GRAC player, before receiving a scholarship to Illinois State University in Bloomington, Illinois. There, he made 8 starts in 15 appearances, racking up 7 hits in 31 at-bats, with two doubles, on triple, and three RBI. In 2014, Vanllandingham transferred to Lindenwood University for senior season. Marshall started working for Sandlot Elite following his final year of playing college and has become an understudy and Rick Strickland and the Swing Rehab Program. He is an emerging star when it comes to teaching the hitters.