Karl Kobler, the Baseball Factory and Sonoma County

Posted by: Staff Writer Eric Branch

Before writing a story about Cardinal Newman outfielder Karl Kobler I had never heard of the Baseball Factory.

For those of you who are similarly clueless, I’ll fill you in.

The Baseball Factory, based in Columbia, Md., and founded in 1994, is a company that helps guide families through the recruiting process, offers instructional camps, player evaluations and also organizes high-level showcase tournaments across the country.

Kobler, who signed with UC Davis, used the Baseball Factory and received counsel from academic, recruiting and baseball advisors, went to a four-day camp in Florida and also played in a few showcase tournaments.

Kobler is hardly alone. According to its Web site, the Baseball Factory has placed over 20,000 players in college programs. Its staff includes former New York Mets general manager and current ESPN analyst Steve Phillips and former major league outfielder Doug Glanville.

After learning a little about the Baseball Factory, I was surprised I hadn’t heard of it before. But, then again, given the relatively few number of Division I prospects in Sonoma County, maybe I shouldn’t have been too shocked.

Kobler isn’t the only player from the Empire to sign with a Division I program, but there aren’t too many others so far.

Casa Grande pitcher Matt Nadolski signed with San Diego State in November and Cloverdale’s Mitch Delfino will play at Cal next year. Delfino, who was offered a scholarship by San Jose State, won’t officially sign with Cal because of the federal grant money he can receive at the school.