Top Pick Academy

Top Pick is more than a travel team program it is a Player Development Academy. The Academy approach begins at 10U and will continue to develop athletes through 17U.

We are looking for goal driven athletes that want to improve and aspire to play in high school, college and beyond.

Upon making a Top Pick travel team you are also a member of the Top Pick Academy. Our commitment to training and development of our travel team players will begin in the fall and go through the end of the travel season in July. Top Pick Academy is led by a dedicated Travel Team Program Director focused on guiding coaches to set age specific skill expectations and individual player goals. The Top Pick Academy adheres to a comprehensive plan that follows a progression specific for each age level. Top Pick Academy travel players will be instructed by tenured trainers and coaches dedicated to getting players to reach their highest potential.

TOP PICK PLAYER DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY PROFESSIONAL INSTRUCTORS AND COACHES

BRIAN KANE

Director of Travel Teams 

Kane begins his third year running the travel program at Top Pick Athletics. The former Wheaton Central High School standout attended the College of DuPage, where he helped lead the Chaparrals to the NJCAA World Series and then transferred to play at Texas Lutheran University. Following his college career Kane became a part of the Elgin Community College staff working with the pitchers and helping Coach Angelo in recruiting efforts. 

Coach Kane believes in the players and coaches of the program and is excited to see the program progress in the coming years.

#Culture #Grind #ATD

BILL ANGELO- LEAD INSTRUCTOR

Head Coach Elgin Community College

Coach Angelo begins his 27th season at Elgin Community College in 2024. He enters the season with 791 career victories, six Region IV titles and five NJCAA World Series appearances. 

Under his leadership more than 150 players have moved on to four year programs and continued their baseball careers. Coach Angelo brings enthusiasm to the field every day and believes hard work and passion are the recipe for success not only on the baseball field but in life. He recruits not only solid baseball players but young adults that show high character off the field. Angelo enters his second season of working with our Top Pick Athletes.

RALPH RISKE- LEAD INSTRUCTOR

Hitting Coach Elgin Community College

Coach Riske begins his 17th year at ECC for the Spartans. His knowledge and ability to work with all types of hitters separates him from your every day hitting coaches. This is his second season at TPA working with all ages.

Coach Sullivan begins his 2nd winter at TPA. He attended High School at St Francis Prep (Wheaton) where he was an All State SS. Following his prep career he went on to play at Central Michigan University where he was a four year starting 2B in the MAC. Coach Sullivan works with our INF group and brings a ton of energy for every practice.

Former All Big East player at the University of Notre Dame joins the TPA coaching staff this winter. As a prep he won a State Championship while at Andrean (IN) High School and graduated as one of the most prolific hitters in Indiana state high school history….established three career state records for total hits (202), doubles (65) and RBI’s (183) while also being named the 2009 Prep Baseball Report Player of the Year.

RYAN RICHARDSON

Former starting SS at St. Charles North HS, Elgin Community College and Michigan State University. Was named 2010 Daily Herald Player of the Year.

JOSH LATIMER

Current Dekalb High School Head Coach and former collegiate standout at Southern Illinois University is back for another winter of working with our programs pitchers. Coach Latimer’s enthusiasm and knowledge of the game is unparallel.

Coach Larrison will continue working with our pitching staff this winter. The former West Aurora standout played collegiately at the University of Evansville where he was a Baseball America Freshman All-American. Later he was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2001 draft by the Detroit Tigers, playing 8 years of professional baseball and logging over 700+ innings on the mound. Currently he coaches at his alma mater West Aurora High School as their pitching coach.

JEREMY MORTON

Former college player at Elgin Community College and Purdue Northwest, Coach Morton will be working with our winter training and coaching a team during the summer months. Currently Coach Morton is the top assistant at his alma mater Dekalb High School.

AUSTIN LOVELADY

Former college player at Elgin Community College

BRAD MEDGYESI

Coach Brad played collegiately as a SS at North Central College. Having worked with over 100 collegiate players over the past 20 years, Medgyesi has established himself as a premier hitting instructor in the Chicagoland area.

DEREK ANGELO

Former Elgin Community College player and current Aurora University player.