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St. Pierre Pitches In With Young Hurlers

A DeMatha Catholic High graduate is an instructor in the top-rated farm system of the Kansas City Royals.

As a young boy Bobby St. Pierre lived with his parents in Riverdale. They later moved to Upper Marlboro and then to Calvert County.

But St. Pierre came back to the Route 1 corridor near his hometown as a student at in Hyattsville.

While making the drive from Calvert County, St. Pierre played baseball and football at DeMatha under two former veteran Stags' mentos—Charlie Sullivan and

After that St. Pierre played both sports at the University of Richmond, where he was drafted by the New York Yankees in 1995 after pitching in college for the Spiders.

While he never made the majors, St. Pierre now aids young pitchers who have a chance to play in the big leagues.

He recently finished his fourth season as the pitching coach for the Burlington (NC) Royals in the Appalachian League—a short-season league filled with young players and a farm club of the Kansas City Royals.

The Royals had the top-rated minor league system before the 2011 season, according to industry leader Baseball America.

“I am happy with the organization and the direction it is going,” St. Pierre said. “The young kids we have are getting there [to the big leagues] and starting to make an impact.”

Scott Sharp, director of minor league operations for the Royals said, "We like putting our young pitchers with [St. Pierre]. I played against Bobby when he was at Richmond.”

One of his pitchers this year with Burlington was Eric Cantrell, who was drafted by the Royals out of George Washington last year.

“We talk a lot about how to approach guys and how to pitch in certain situations,” Cantrell said of his work with St. Pierre. “Now [pitching] is more of the mental part of the game.”

St. Pierre, an all-star pitcher in the Class A Florida State League in 1996, lives with his wife and young son on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. He is involved in a baseball recruiting camp at Georgetown that conducts clinics for young players in the winter.

St. Pierre's playing career ended after pitching in the minor leagues with the Yankees and Cleveland Indians, and also in the independent Atlantic League with Newark.

This year, under St. Pierre, Burlington had a team ERA of 5.00 and the Burlington Royals were 24-44 overall in the Appalachian League.

“We did not have a good year with wins and losses,” he said of Burlington. “The pitching staff as a whole got better.”

"We are not concerned about wins and losses," said Sharp, who grew up in Carroll County and was a minor league catcher with the Reds. "We are concerned about the innings each [pitcher] gets. The coaching staff is not judged on wins and losses."

Cantrell, who played at Oakton High in Northern Virginia, was 0-5 with an ERA of 4.53 on the season, though he had an ERA of 3.42 in August.

“It was tough for him to be in a short season this year,” St. Pierre said. “He got stronger and better as the year went on. It was a mental hurdle for him to get over."

And helping young pitchers get over hurdles, be it mental or physical, is a big part of the job for St. Pierre.

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