January 22nd, 2021

Prairie Baseball Academy names pitching coaches

By Herald on September 2, 2020.

Prairie Baseball Academy pitching coaches Dustin Molleken (left) and Rhett Feser address the pitchers before practice Tuesday afternoon at Canola Field. Herald photo by Dale Woodard

Dale Woodard
Lethbridge Herald
Dustin Molleken’s baseball resume is a who’s who of high-profile, reputable names.
Rhett Feser threw the championship game for the Prairie Baseball Academy back in 2017.
So go ask PBA head coach Todd Hubka how pleased he is with his two new pitching coaches.
The PBA unveiled Molleken and Feser prior to practice Tuesday afternoon at Lloyd Nolan Yard.
As for the PBA alumnus’ sparkling resumes? They come as advertised.
“His first reference was Larry Walker,” said Hubka of Molleken, whose last played at the PBA in 2003. “The second reference was Ernie Whitt, the third reference was Greg Hamilton who is the Junior National Team head coach. The assistant general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates was another reference. And then there’s his playing career on top of that with four organizations and a year in Japan. For us to have someone like that to help these kids out and help the coaches, we’re pretty excited.”
Feser, meanwhile, was the winning pitcher in the PBA’s Canadian College Baseball Conference championship game in 2017.
“He’s one of those hard-nosed type of guys and I think the kids are going to love him,” said Hubka. “The analytic side of things, he’s into that stuff, spin rate and all those sorts of things the kids want to learn about now. He’s more into that stuff than Dustin, so I think we have a good mixture of old school and new school. It should be good.”
Molleken was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2003 and spent seven years with that organization and another two years with the Colorado Rockies.
After spending one season in the NPB of Japan with the Nippon Ham Fighters, he returned to the MLB in 2013 with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2013-14 and the Cleveland Indians in 2014-15.
Molleken made his MLB debut on July 4, 2016 with the Detroit Tigers, posting two strikeouts in two innings.
He also played internationally for Canada, winning a gold medal at the Pan Am Games in 2013.
“I’m very honoured to be back here,” said Molleken. “I was here 18 years ago as a player and now I’m here 18 years later as a coach. It’s an awesome feeling to be back. It all started here for me 18 years ago. I got signed out of here and started my career 18 years ago and I’m happy to help these guys here.”
Feser played professionally in Europe and Australia before returning to Canadian soil.
Feser product of Unity, Sask.,  will also bring a new-school approach the PBA pitching staff.
“There is a lot of exciting new technology and techniques for training. I bought into it a couple of years ago so I’m ready to teach these kids and maybe help them out with any resource I can bring.”
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