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Royals manager Ned Yost developed app to teach baseball strategy

Ned Yost’s game
Ned Yost’s game

Add this to the list of things you never thought you’d see in a sentence:

Royals manager Ned Yost developed an app during the offseason.

True story.

During last week’s FanFest, Yost said that his game (“Ned Yost’s Baseball Academics”) took a giant leap forward.

“We just got on the Apple app (store on Jan. 27),” Yost said. “We’ve been on Google and Android.”

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Yost described the game as “a baseball IQ test.”

On your phone or tablet, you will be given the option of playing any of the nine defensive positions on a baseball field.

The game then fires off different scenarios, and you’re supposed to touch the base where you’d throw the ball.

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A few examples if you were playing shortstop:

▪ Runner on first, one out: You’d touch second base.

▪ No outs, no one on: You’d touch first base.

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“You’ve got 30 seconds to answer as many as you can,” Yost said.

There are different levels and things get progressively more difficult. Is the infield in or back? Is the ball hit to your left or right? Is the runner fast, medium or slow? Is it a scenario in the first six innings or the last three?

“With nine positions, we have over 110,000 different scenarios, Yost said. “It just teaches kids to think, teaches them to think quick and where to properly throw the ball. Even college coaches said, ‘I would make my kids do that.’”

Yost said the game was launched at the American Baseball Coaches Association Convention in Orlando where he said it won Best of Show.

The genesis for the idea came about four years ago, Yost said, when he was teaching the Royals outfielders to throw to the correct bases.

“It’s the one thing you can’t practice on the baseball field (each day),” Yost said. “You’re too busy taking groundballs, taking batting practice. You can’t. Kids are so interactive now and this is a game that they play. It’s competitve, because you’re always trying to see how many you can get right in 30 seconds. Plus you’re learning.”

Here is the description from the App Store:

“Let Baseball Academics and major league baseball manager Ned Yost teach you the mental game of baseball! Choose any position on the field and train your brain on where you should throw the ball when it’s hit to you. Let your coach teach you the physical game of baseball while we teach you the mental game! You’ll learn to make the right decision based on what bases are occupied, how many outs there are, inning, the score and many more crucial game variables! Baseball Academics is the learning app that plays like a game!”

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/pgrathoff

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