Rockets to Compete in Black Bear Classic

Below is an article from Prospect Select involving their highly anticipated “Black Bear Classic” taking place in South Carolina. The Rockets are excited to compete in the quickly expanding event and to have an opportunity to play in front of elite southern schools.


Written by Luis Perez on Monday, March 30, 2015

In it’s second installment the Black Bear Classic seeks to lure high-level competition not only across the Carolinas but the nation. This month the Easton Rockets (FL) agreed to terms that will bring one of the most feared teams in the nation to compete in the 2015 Black Bear Classic from June 25th -28th in Greenville, SC.

The Easton Rockets originated as the Palm Beach Rockets back in 2009. At that time the Rockets were a one-team program and it stayed that way until the original group of kids graduated in 2013. In 2014 they changed their name to the Easton Rockets and began to expand the organization into what it is today. The Easton Rockets compete within the 15U, 16U. 17U and 18U age groups.

The Easton Rockets is under the guidance of Brian Kaplan (GM and Coach) who played college baseball at the University of Notre Dame under Paul Mainieri and Brian O’Connor. He also is the Co-Founder of Cressey Sports Performance (Jupiter, FL) and currently serves as the Head Coach at Benjamin High School.

Brian Kaplan’s Easton Rockets staff includes (playing careers in parentheses):

•       Spencer Dickinson (FSU, St. Petersburg College and Cincinnati Reds)
•       Max Rios (Northwood University, Frontier and Can American League)
•       Corey Cooke (Northwood University)
•       Christian Wonders (Palm Beach Atlantic and Georgia College)

All serve as either Head or Assistant coaches in High Schools throughout the Palm Beach area.

The Easton Rockets pride themselves on their unity and approach towards what summer ball should be all about, “The goal should never be to get seen, the goal should be to create something worth seeing, If that phrase makes sense to you then the Rockets is the right program for you”, states Brian Kaplan. The quote speaks volumes of their unified accomplishments throughout the year, yet the individual accomplishments have become inevitable. “I think the entire roster of the first team set a precedent and it will always have a special place in the organization. There were 16 players on the roster and 15 of them are currently playing college baseball, those are the types of numbers we try to replicate each season. Our group of seniors this year was equally impressive with 12 of the 13 moving on to college baseball including 2 potential first rounders and 4 of the starting 9 on the #1 High School team in the country. All Rocket players have not only learned what makes them a successful high school player but they are learning the baseball IQ and student-athlete work ethic necessary to thrive at the next level”, stated Kaplan.

An organization with so much success in the recent years turned to the Black Bear Classic as a stop in their summer tour due to, “The competition and well run events. If our players truly want to make it to the next level then they will want to compete against the best right now and find out how they stack up. We get an opportunity to play multiple tournaments in Florida throughout the summer and we pride ourselves on being one of the elite programs in our state. Playing in the Black Bear Classic will give our program a chance to compete against some of the best programs on the east coast. Prospect Select does a tremendous job of drawing not only the best teams and colleges, but go the extra mile to run a very well organized and scouted event. One of our core teachings in the Rocket organization is that our players should learn about all of the great opportunities that colleges have to offer. We are very fortunate to base our program out of south Florida where there are an abundant amount of competitive programs, but we really push our players to explore and see what possibilities they may find outside of their area. Playing in the Black Bear Classic gives our guys the chance to be seen by great universities outside of our area and hopefully that can open up some new doors”, explained the General Manager of the Easton Rockets Brian Kaplan.

The process to becoming an Easton Rocket is a unique one as explained by Kaplan, ”We have a slightly different approach to putting our rosters together and it begins with our annual tryout. Every January before high school season begins we have an invitation-only workout to build on our rosters from the previous travel ball season. We do not have tryouts during the months of November-December; we have a firm stance on our young athletes getting away from the baseball fields to devote time to other sports and/or strength training. At the workout our plan is to focus on the development of our existing talent and add a couple of players where we see fit. We also do not allow radar guns, early-mid January is the time of year when our arms are slowly building back their strength and endurance and we will not sit back and watch pitchers cause damage to themselves. The invitation-only workout has been our game plan from the very beginning and it has lead to a family-like atmosphere between past and present Rocket players. Our guys know once they put on a Rocket jersey we are 100% committed to helping them achieve their dreams of playing college baseball.

Easton Rocket players receive full access to the Cressey Sports Performance in Jupiter, FL, a gym that has become the ultimate training tool offering a personal assessment and individualized programming to help players understand what a year-round plan should entail.