Brett Balkan - Hitting Director
Rising from the ranks of Carlsbad youth baseball, Brett was the 2 year varsity starting shortstop at Carlsbad High School. From there, Brett was offered the opportunity to continue playing at San Diego Mesa College. While waiting his turn to start at shortstop, Brett played left field as a freshman and hit .260. After a discussion with one of the player’s parents, it was suggested Brett attend a 3 day hitting clinic at the Epstein hitting academy in Colorado.
Brett embraced the rotational hitting principals and technique taught by the Epstein’s and had a break out sophomore year at Mesa College. After hitting .260 as a freshman, he hit .384 as a sophomore and earned 1st team All-Pacific Coast Athletic Association Conference and 1st team All-American honors. He won the batting title for highest average in the conference after the regular season (.384). Additionally, Brett was honored for his defensive abilities, by earning the prestigious Rawlings Golden Glove for the best defensive shortstop for the 3 state western region (California, Oregon, Washington). After the conclusion of Brett’s sophomore year he earned a division 1 scholarship to Cal State University, Northridge in the Big West Conference.
While battling through several injuries Brett finally healthy, had a successful senior year at Northridge earning All-Big West recognition while hitting .285 for the season and .329 in the tough nationally recognized Big West Conference. As the Northridge starting shortstop, Brett again demonstrated his defensive prowess by committing only 4 errors in 212 chances over 56 games. Balkan was named "All-Big West Honorable Mention" and received the team “Best Defensive Player” award.
At the conclusion of his college eligibility, Brett had a desire and drive to continue his baseball career professionally. He signed onto play with the Raton Osos of the Pecos League in July 2014. He completed their season hitting .412 in 14 games. In 2015, Brett signed with the Roswell Invaders in the Pecos League and enjoyed a successful season with the Invaders. He earned the starting shortstop position, hitting .316 over 65 games with 16 doubles and 26 stolen bases helping the Invaders to the Pecos League playoffs and winning the 2015 championship.
Brett’s outstanding defense and offensive contributions gained notice from the American Association of professional baseball clubs. Brett’s contract was purchased and he was promoted to the Sioux Falls Canaries where he started and competed in the last 38 of 40 games in the season. Brett posted an average of .242 with 6 doubles and 4 stolen bases. He committed 2 errors in 152 chances at 2b and 3b, a .988 fielding percentage. Brett signed an extension for the 2016 season and through a couple trades Brett ended back playing for Roswell.
In 2016, Brett returned to the Roswell Invaders and started at shortstop once again. He posted a .340 batting average, 3 HRs, and a .467 OBP. He also had a fielding percentage of .972.
In 2017, Brett won the starting shortstop position for the Utica Unicorns. He led the league in on base percentage (.434), and hit by pitches (13). Third in league in batting average (.309). Tied for fourth in stolen bases (12). Tied for fifth in runs (33). On the defensive side of the game, Balkan led all shortstops in fielding percentage, while committing just 6 errors in 200 total chances. Balkan, was a 2017 starting All-Star and finished as a league MVP finalist.
In 2018, Brett joined the Bakersfield Train robbers of the Pecos League of Professional Baseball as an assistant coach. He was the hitting, infield and mental strength coach. After a month into season, Brett was activated to start at shortstop, which he did for 47 of the remaining 50 games. He posted a .363 batting average, .481 on base percentage, while adding 47 runs, 19 rbi's and 2 home runs. Balkan was tied for the team lead in runs (47) and doubles (10). Balkan was named to the 2018 All- Star team, second professional all-star selection of his career. The Bakersfield Train robbers would go onto win the Pecos League Championship. In 7 post season games, Balkan posted a .484 batting average, .561 on base percentage, scored 9 runs, drove in 9 runs, and hit a championship home run. Brett Balkan was named the "post season" MVP, while also awarded with the regular season MVP.
Brett has been a hitting instructor and baseball coach for 8 years. Currently, works at the University of Arizona in their admissions department and runs Balkan Hitting. He received a Bachelor's degree in Communications (2014) from Cal State University, Northridge and a Master's degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration (2019) from the University of Concordia, Irvine.