Greene, Grissom and the Hagerty Way
Hagerty High School in Oviedo (FL) has only existed since 2005. Since that time, the schools baseball program has produced a long list of MLB Draft picks. Among those picks, four of those players currently play in the majors. Those big leaguers include: Zach Eflin (Phi), Ryan Mountcastle (Bal), Riley Greene (Det) and Vaughn Grissom (Atl). Jeff Driskel pursued football and became an NFL quarterback, though he was a standout baseball player as well.
What’s the “secret sauce” at Hagerty? A closer look reveals there a number of important factors contributing to the program’s success.
The Class of 2019
If you’re a Detroit Tigers fan, you are quite familiar with Riley Greene. He was selected as the number five overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. Since then, he’s been seen, offensively speaking, as the the future of the franchise. Greene was ranked the #2 overall prospect on MLB Pipeline prior to being called up to the big leagues on June 18. On a side note, Greene was on track to make the Tigers Opening Day roster prior to a foot injury during Spring Training. Tigers fans are very eager for offensive weapons and they are hoping Riley Greene can be that kind of impact player.
What some may not realize is that his high school teammate, Vaughn Grissom, has followed a similar trajectory. Atlanta Braves fans have become quickly acquainted with Grissom’s talent. Legends on Deck’s David Conde gave Grissom (as hard as it was for him as a Mets fan) the “LOD MLB Rookie of the Week” honors. Grissom, an 11th Round Pick, would move quickly through the Braves minor league system and jump directly from the Double-A Mississippi Braves to Atlanta. He would debut on August 10th and park a two run home run over the Green Monster at Fenway Park.
What are the chances that two baseball players from the same high school, graduating in the same year, would find their path to the majors in the same season? Riley Greene and Vaughn Grissom are living out this story.
I recently spoke with the Head Coach of the Hagerty Huskies, Mike Sindone. We discussed the recent MLB debuts of Riley Greene and Vaughn Grissom, as well as the program at large. Some of the biggest contributing factors to the overall success of the program is the commitment the alumni have to the program and baseball culture in the city of Oviedo. Sindone told us that guys like Greene, Grissom and others are eager to come back and be a part of it.
“They like to come back in the off-season for workouts. We try to leave them alone to their thing, but they are always eager to share their knowledge with our current players. They talk hitting with our coaches. Heck, we are learning from them now! The baseball culture is just different at Hagerty. I’ve never really asked, but I think it just feels like home to them. It’s a special place and it’s hard to describe how incredible it is to be here.”
Hagerty Huskies baseball has also been a beneficiary of some elite coaches. Jered Goodwin (2008-2016) went on to coach at Florida International (FIU) and is currently the National Scouting Director at Perfect Game. Matt Cleveland (2017-2019) went on to coach at University of Miami and is currently Head Coach at Spruce Creek High School (Port Orange). Mike Sindone joined on as Head Coach in 2020 and formerly served as an assistant in 2014. He also coached Greene and Grissom during their FTB (Florida Travel Baseball) summer and fall seasons. He identified early just how special these two player are.
“When I was named Head Coach, they (Greene and Grissom) were the first two players that called. I still seem them as the same guys playing the game they love, just on a little bigger stage.”
“One of many, but a major reason I applied for the Head Coach position when it opened was the culture built by the Head Coaches before me. I’m proud to carry that torch here everyday. The way we have run our program has been consistent. It all goes back to the way we practice. The training, the repetition. We give it our all and we have a lot of fun doing it.”
The Hagerty Way
By any measure, having multiple players from the same high school playing MLB at the same time should peak any baseball enthusiast’s curiosity. The Hagerty program has played themselves into two state finals, but has yet to capture a state championship. Given their success in producing MLB talent, a state title can’t be far away. The future looks bright for Riley Greene, Vaughn Grissom and their alma mater.