C.J. Stewart has built a reputation as one of the leading professional hitting instructors in the country, working with rising Major League Baseball stars such as Jason Heyward (Atlanta Braves), Dexter Fowler (Colorado Rockies) and Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh Pirates). A former professional baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization and area scout for the Cincinnati Reds, Stewart has crafted Diamond Directors Player Development into one of the game’s best resources for hitters. So, what’s his take on the game? CJ gives us the lowdown.
What is your baseball background?
Professionally, I played for the Chicago Cubs, which was my dream team as a kid. I played college ball at Georgia State and DeKalb College (currently Georgia Perimeter) under the leadership of Coaches Mike Hurst and Tom Cantrell, respectively.
How is Diamond Directors different from any other instruction in the marketplace?
We have a proven methodology called AT-BATS™, which I created based on years of failures and successes I’ve had with training clients. Because we have this methodology, we’re able to provide consistent, duplicable results for our clients.
Kind of like, two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese…?
Being an Atlanta native, I’m more of a Chick-fil-A guy myself, so more like, the Chick-fil-a sandwiches in Atlanta taste just like the ones in Orlando because they have a methodology.
You currently work, and have worked, with a lot of pro clients. What role have you played in their success?
The Diamond Directors Training System allows me to provide my clients, amateur and pro, with what they need, when they need it. Some of my pro guys are working on swing customization, while others are working on swing maintenance. Since I’ve worked with some of them since their amateur years, we’ve gone through many different stages of development as they’ve gone through weight loss/gain, playing through and recovering from injuries, etc.
One of your most notable clients is Jason Heyward. Can you tell us a little more about your relationship with him?
I’m very proud of the success that Jason is having in baseball, but it isn’t a surprise for me. Jason is very driven. Since the beginning of our relationship, when he was 14, he knew he wanted to play Major League Baseball. As a professional, it was my job to provide a blueprint on how he could make that happen. In addition, I was a part of a team that included a professional strength trainer, because if he’s not physically able to do the things I’m asking him to do, then we don’t hit consecutive back to back bombs on opening day for the Atlanta Braves.
What do you want to accomplish at D-BAT?
What attracted me to D-BAT was the owner, Casey Cavell. His overall goal is to provide everyone who walks through those doors with a person who has the professional experience to yield results. I share this sentiment. Our collaboration will make sure we do just that for the community.