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Baseball U New Jersey Staff

John Wells - CEO / Founder of Baseball U     Email: JohnWells@BaseballU.net

John founded Baseball U in the winter of 2006. Since that time 119 Baseball U Alumni have been drafted that have played for Baseball U and over 650+ players have went on to further their education in college. What started out as one team in 2007 has now grown to over 50 teams in 4 different northeast states.

Has acted as an Associate Scout for over 17 years for the New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros and the Seattle Mariners. John has been coaching baseball since 1989 and in 2001 and in 2002 became the first manager to win back to back ACBL Championships with the NJ Colts in his first and only two years as their head coach.

In 2002 John joined the Brookdale Community College staff where he worked with the pitchers and ran the offense as their Third Base Coach. During his time at Brookdale under Head Coach Johnny Johnson, John helped coach the team to 5 World Series appearances in 8 years as an assistant coach.

His relationship with college coaches only continues to grow and it is important to him to not only help place a player in college but make sure it is a well rounded fit in both the academics as well as baseball end for both the player and the school.

Baseball U has been invited to the largest amatuer baseball scouting event ran by Perfect Game USA in the PG WWBA World Championships in October held in Jupiter, Florida every year since the organization started.


Dennis Van Pelt - Director of Player Development / Coach      Email: DennisVanPelt@BaseballU.net

Dennis is entering his 10th year as a member of the Baseball U staff. His indepth knowledge of the game has helped the program become one of the top baseball organizations in the country. During his time with Baseball U he has coached at every level in the organization helping develop the players skills as well as knowledge of the game.

Most recently Dennis was named to the Radford University Athletics Hall of Fame.

He was the former Head Coach at Manasquan High School as well as Long Branch High School.

Dennis was drafted twice during his high school and college playing days. In 1990 he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles out of Long Branch High School where he was inducted into the Long Branch HS Athletics Hall of Fame, but choose to attend the U of Kansas to play football where he sustained and injury and transfered to Radford University to play baseball. At Radford he was an All Big South selection and was drafted by the Aneheim Angels.

His college and professional baseball experience bring valuable information to the players and parents seeking the same goals for their son.


Kyle Slate - Organizational Pitching Instructor / Coach

 Kyle, also a former player of Coach Wells, played on the inaugural Baseball U team in 2006, where he became the first U player ever selected in the MLB Draft. He was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2007. While attending Christian Brothers Academy, Kyle broke school records in ERA and Strikeouts leading CBA to record-setting seasons. In 2007, he was named 1st Team All-State, All-Shore, a Shore Conference Pitcher of the Year. Kyle has spent the last 9 years, training and developing middle school and high school level ballplayers across the state of NJ.


Alan Socolow - Coach / Camp Coach

Alan was an outstanding baseball player at Ocean Twp High School team that won several championships. Alan attended Rutgers University.


Paddy Matera - Infield Instructor / Camp Coach

Paddy was also a former player of Coach Wells at both Baseball U and Brookdale CC. Paddy was an All Region player at Brookdale where he then went on to play at Lynn Univeristy where he helped them win a National Championship at the NCAA DII level. Paddy spent some time with the Cleveland Indians and spent many years playing for the Camden RiverSharks as well as the Newark Bears in the Atlantic League. Paddy played his high school baseball at Toms River North.

Rich Palase - Infield Instructor / Camp Coach

Rich who was also a player at Baseball U brings extensive knowledge to the infielders. Rich was drafted by the Seattle Mariners out of Lynchburg where he led the team in several offensive categories. In high school rich attened Moore Catholic in Staten Island.

Skip Deitz - Catching Instructor / Camp Coach

"Skip" brings a new exciting branch to the catching training to Baseball U. Not only will Skip be working with the catchers he will be bringing the catcher / umpire relationship to the workouts. Skip a former West Point Graduate where he lettered 4 times has been umpiring NCAA Baseball for 20 years. He has umpired in CWS Regionals 5 times, and has umpired in the ACC, A10, Big 10 and MAAC Conferences. He will bring to our catchers the mechanics and relationships that umpires look for at the next level. Prior to him attending West Point he was a First Team All Shore Catcher as well as First Team NJ HS All-State.

Ryan Cohen - Camp Infield Coach

Ryan played his high school baseball at Toms River East before attending Brookdale CC where he played baseball. Ryan also coached at Brookdale CC as well as Toms River East HS.

Justin Trochiano - Infield - Hitting Instructor / Camp Coach

Justin a former Baseball U player attended Monmouth University where he was a four year infielder for the Hawks. Another Shore Conference Alum where he attended Marlboro High School.

Ryan Wells - Camp Coach