Staffed and Coached by Qualified Non-Parent Professionals

The New England Ruffnecks strive to find qualified baseball people to work with nearly 90 players in our system. Our coaches are all non-parents, virtually all with professional baseball and/or advanced collegiate backgrounds.  Most importantly, they are educators and advisors committed to the development of amateur baseball players. They provide mentorship and role models for aspiring student-athletes.  Our Advisory associates, Strength and Conditioning colleagues, and Medical Staff are comprised of major league scouts, former MLB trainers, conditioning coaches, college coaches, and an experienced orthopedic referral system for our players.  The Ruffnecks program is committed to expanding the network of resources for our constituents.  In the past several years several of our coaches have moved on to jobs with Major League organizations: In December 2009, Devitt Moore (Ruffnecks – 2009) was appointed an area scout for the Seattle Mariners.  Duncan Webb (2005-2006) has been a minor league instructor and coordinator of the Latin American immersion program for the Boston Red Sox since 2006.  John Birtwell, a Harvard graduate, and a former pitcher in the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics organizations served in 2010 as the NY-Penn League Single A pitching coach for the Florida Marlins.

Steven W. August: Director

AugustSteve August founded and directs the New England Ruffnecks. Steve was with the Boston Red Sox from 1990 to 1998. He served as Traveling Secretary from 1990 to 1995 and became the Assistant General Manager and Director of Baseball Operations in 1996 where he worked on player contracts and managed all of the major league operations of the Sox. Following his tenure with Boston, Steve served as an associate scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1999 to 2000. In 2000 and 2001 Steve co-directed the Baseball Division of Wolfe Associates, which was one of the top baseball and hockey agent businesses in the country.  He also directed the former Hit Dog program in 2001 and 2002.  In 2003 former Red Sox slugger Mo Vaughn closed the Hit Dog program.  Steve immediately ensured continuity by founding the New England Baseball Club and the Ruffnecks as a 501-c-3.  In nearly a decade the Ruffnecks have become one of the most distinguished and nationally recognized College Development Programs of its kind.  In 2010 Steve was awarded the John Mocny Award for Distinguished Service by the Continental Amateur Baseball Association.  In 2011 the Ruffnecks were named CABA Program of the Year.  He is also the founder of the Northeast Baseball Alliance (NEBA), a group dedicated to the cooperative efforts among Northeast developmental baseball programs.

Steve Zerdelian: Coach 13U Ruffnecks

Steve Zerdelian is a long-time fixture around youth baseball in Massachusetts. He is a devoted teacher of the game, and in addition to his role with the Ruffnecks, serves many young players as the President of the Baystate Baseball – Tournament of Champions summer travel program in Eastern Massachusetts. In 2002 Steve co-founded the Eastern Mass All Stars, a program designed to develop talented 12 year olds through clinics and a team experience. His qualifications also led to his involvement with the United States Baseball Stars, a team of 12 year olds that traveled to the Dominican Republic in 2007 & 2008. Steve has long given unselfishly of his time to youth baseball. He coached in the Belmont Little League program beginning in 1996. Dedicated, tireless, and well respected, Coach Z is a regular fixture around all Ruffnecks activities, coaching in the high school Winter Workouts as well as serving as a regular coach for the 13U Ruffnecks.

Kevin Graber: Coach 15U Ruffnecks

Kevin Graber skippered the 15U Ruffnecks for the first time during the 2012 season. “KG” brings a comprehensive and impressive baseball background to the Ruffnecks program. Coach Graber began his college career at Winthrop University in South Carolina before transferring to the College of Saint Rose in his home town of Albany, NY. He played professionally in several Independent Minor Leagues and became the youngest manager in all of professional baseball when he led the Southern Minnesota Stars. Graber served as an assistant at Amherst College while he earned a Masters degree at the University of Massachusetts. He currently serves as Associated Dean of Admission at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA with his wife and three children.

Kirk Fredericks: Heach Coach 16U Ruffnecks

Kirk Fredericks has been a part of the Ruffnecks since 2007, during which time he has served both College Prospect teams, the 16U and 18U Ruffnecks.  Coach Fredericks is a noted teacher of the game and provides a cohesiveness in communication between the staffs of our two “College Prospect” teams.  He is a graduate of Springfield College where he was the captain and led the team to the Division II College World Series. He has also distinguished himself as one of the premiere high school baseball coaches in Massachusetts as the Head Coach at Lincoln-Sudbury. During his tenure he has captured 11 consecutive league titles and won three state championships (2005, 2007, 2011).  In 2011 He was named by the Boston Globe as the Division I HS Coach of the Year.  He was honored by the National High School Baseball Coaches Association as the 2011 New England Region Coach of the Year.  He is a member of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Tournament Committee, and is the ex-president of the Massachusetts Baseball Coaches Association.

John Toffey: Head Coach Seniors

The Ruffnecks program was lucky to add John Toffey to the coaching staff in 2015.  Toffey manages the Ruffnecks “Senior” team.  His knowledge of the recruiting process and his steady hand contribute to the experience for the oldest Ruffnecks roster.  Toffey served for six years as the head baseball coach at Salisbury School in Connecticut, where he led the program to national prominence.  He has coached at the collegiate level, guiding the 2014 Martha’s Vineyard team in the FCBL to the championship series.  He currently serves as associate director of admission at Cheshire Academy, where he is also the head baseball and head hockey coach.  Coach Toffey understands the Ruffnecks culture, as his younger brother, Will Toffey, played in the program in 2013.  Toffey and his wife, Jessica, live on campus at The Winchendon School in Massachusetts.

New England Baseball Club Medical Staff

BJ Baker: Trainer and Strength and Conditioning

B.J. Baker was a staff Athletic Trainer and the Conditioning Coordinator for the Boston Red Sox from 1994 – 2002. He developed, presented, and integrated the in-season and off-season programs for all Minor and Major League players in the Red Sox system. During Spring Training and the regular season, B.J. traveled with the Sox and was instrumental in the day-to-day preparation and execution of the various maintenance programs. He also served as a trainer at Harvard University and Cornell University.

Mr. Baker serves the Ruffnecks program as a “go-to” certified athletic trainer and physical therapist.  He maintains an office and treatment rooms in our own private Facility.  He is one of the founders or Pure Performance Training, a personal training service for adults and athletes of all ages.

BJ has been a featured speaker for high schools and colleges as well as state and national professional conferences. Topics have included:

* Strength and Conditioning and Baseball;
* Training the Throwing Shoulder;
* Sports Nutrition;
* Myths Associated with Resistance Training and Baseball.

BJ earned a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Physical Education/Athletic Training (Magna Cum Laude) at Cortland State University, and a Master’s of Science (MS) in Physical Education and Exercise Science (with a concentration in Sports Medicine) at Ithaca College. He also holds certifications as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and as a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) from the National Athletic Trainer’s Association.

Dr. Andrew W. Chapman: Orthopedic Surgeon

We welcome Andrew W. Chapman, MD as the newest member of the New England Ruffnecks team. Dr. Chapman is originally from the Boston area and received his undergraduate degree from Kenyon College and a Masters Degree from Harvard University. He then went on to receive his Medical Degree from the Boston University School of Medicine and completed both his surgical internship in General Surgery and an Orthopedic Surgery residency at the UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester. He also served at the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics in Salt Lake City where he was one of the team physicians for the University of Utah. He was then lured back east to work with Dr. William Morgan and the Boston Red Sox as one of the team physicians.

Dr. Chapman is currently team physician for the Worcester Tornadoes professional baseball team of the Can Am League. Additionally, he serves as team physician for Newton North, Brookline, Arlington, and Arlington Catholic high schools. Dr. Chapman is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, the Arthroscopy Association of North America, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, the Massachusetts Orthopaedic Association, and the New England Orthopaedic Society. Dr. Chapman’s special interests include sports injuries and arthroscopic surgery of both the shoulder and knee.

Sam Sturgis – Athletic Trainer

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Julie Nicoletti – Nutritionist

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New England Baseball Club Advisory Staff

Matt Noone: Head Coach, Babson College

Matt Noone is the Head Baseball Coach at Babson College in Wellesley, MA. He is a graduate of Princeton University where he was captain of the baseball team. He is also a graduate of St. Sebastian’s School. Coach Noone has also served as the manager of the Bourne Braves in the Cape Cod League. For the past two seasons he has assisted the Boston Red Sox during the summer as a batting practice pitcher. Matt advises the New England Ruffnecks program in matters of college counseling and recruiting, as well as in matters of overall program development.

Ray Fagnant: Scout, Boston Red Sox

Ray Fagnant is the Boston Red Sox Northeast Regional Scouting Supervisor, responsible for New England, New York, New Jersey and eastern Canada. He has served in the scouting department for the Sox since 1993. He holds a B.A. from Assumption College and an MBA from the University of Connecticut. Ray played professionally in the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox organizations as a catcher from 1987 to 1992. In 1999 he served as the American League bullpen catcher at the All-Star Game in Fenway Park. An active scout who spends as much time counseling college bound players as he does signing them to professional contracts, Ray is currently the Head Coach of the Boston Red Sox East Coast Professional Showcase Prospect Team, which competes in Wilmington, NC during the summer. Among the numerous professional players Mr. Fagnant has scouted and signed are Lou Merloni, Brian Rose, Carl Pavano, Manny Delcarmen, Craig Hansen, and Pittsburgh RHP Marty McLeary. Ray was also the recipient of the “George Digby Award” as Boston Red Scout of the Year in 2002 and 2006, the only two-time winner of the award in the Sox organization.

Matt Hyde: Scout, New York Yankees (Former College Coach)

Matt Hyde is the Area Scout for the New York Yankees. His territory is New England, New York and Pennsylvania. Matt is a graduate of Phillips Academy and the University of Michigan, where he earned 4 varsity letters. He went on to coach at Michigan from 1997 – 2000 and joined the Harvard University coaching staff from 2001 – 2005. Coach Hyde has also worked in the Cape Cod League and conducts outstanding clinics in the Boston area. Matt assists the Ruffnecks program particularly with our older players by helping to maintain the best contacts in showcases and elite tournaments where college recruitment and professional scouts focus their attention.

New England Baseball Club Advisory Board

The program also has a Parent Advisory Board of volunteer parents and an Executive Board comprised of the Director, alumni parents, and several current supporters. Their mission is to help with the overall direction, communications, and fundraising efforts of the program, and to provide counsel and feedback as necessary. Their roles are invaluable to the growth of the program.