Meet the Instructors

Blake Blasi   Jim Foltz   Jose Amado   Kevin Hooper

Blake Blasi

  • Switch Hitter
  • 2 Time First Team All MVC
  • 2 Time First Team All Tournament MVC
  • 2 Time All American
  • 2000 Third Team ABCA All American
  • 2000 MVC Player of the Year
  • Missouri Valley Conference All -Centennial Team
  • 8th  All Time WSU Career Batting Average (.383)
  • 10th Round Draft pick – Chicago Cubs (2000)
  • 5 year minor league career – Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals

 

Jim Foltz

Jim Foltz is entering his second season as the Wichita Wingnuts Bench Coach in 2015.  Jim played his high school ball at Goddard High and then went on to play at Bethany College.  While at Bethany he pitched, as well as played third base and the outfield.  

Foltz has a long history of guiding youth in the surrounding Wichita area.  His coaching career started in 1986 as an assistant coach at Goddard High.  He continued as an assistant until 1995 when he became the head coach at Goddard High.  Foltz was the head man from 1995-2004.  During this time he guided the Lions to four State Tournaments, winning the State Championship in his final year in 2004.  Jim coached many players that went on to play at the college level including Chad Ogden, former WSU Shockers Tyler Weber and Travis Banwart,  and current Major Leaguer Derek Norris.  Prior to joining the Wingnuts in 2014, Jim served as Athletic Director and Assistant Principal at both Goddard High School and Maize South Middle School.  In his first year with the Wingnuts, Foltz helped guide them to an American Association record 73 wins as well as winning their first Championship. Jim is a two time Kansas High School Coach of the Year award winner.

Jim will be available for pitching, hitting and fielding instructions at RBI. 

 

Jose Amado

Jose Amado is entering his fifth year as the Wichita Wingnuts’ hitting coach.  During his 14-year playing career, Amado compiled a .308 batting average over 4,531 at bats that included three seasons in the Mexican League and two at the Double-A level.  Amado totaled more base hits (1,387) than games played (1,220) in his career, and owns a lifetime .373 on-base percentage.

Under Amado's direction the Wingnuts have led the league in hitting three out of five years, finishing 2nd and 4th in the league the other two.  Amado has also helped produce three American Association League Batting Champions in his tenure.  

Jose's focus will be on hitting instruction.   He can also teach fielding, as well as base running.  

 

Kevin Hooper

Kevin Hooper is a former Major Leaguer who enjoyed a 10-year playing career in professional baseball.  When Hooper retired at the end of the 2008 season, the former Shocker had won three championships, spent parts of two seasons in the Major Leagues, and totaled 1,116 base hits.

Hooper was a four-year star at Wichita State University, and helped the Shockers reach the College World Series in 1996.  When Hooper’s college career ended in 1999, he was selected by the Florida Marlins in the 8th round of the 1999 draft.  Hooper shot quickly through the minor leagues, reaching the Triple-A level with the Calgary Cannons in just his third full season in 2002.  Hooper played six seasons at the Triple-A level.  Hooper finally reached the Major Leagues in 2005 when he was called up by the Detroit Tigers.  Hooper returned to Toledo in 2006 and earned another call to the Big Leagues later that season.  Hooper finished his playing career as the shortstop for the Wichita Wingnuts in their inaugural season in 2008.  Hooper went on to win the American Assoication batting title with a .373 average that ranked 40 points ahead of the second place finisher.   The 40-point margin is the largest by a batting champion in American Association history.  

Hooper is set to begin his seventh season managing the Wichita Wingnuts in 2015.  With Hooper at the helm, the Wingnuts have won 5 division titles and have reached the American Association Championship the past 3 years, winning the championship in 2014.  The overall record for Hooper and the Wingnuts since 2009 is 363-229 (.613) , making him the winningest manager in the American Associaiton.  Since Hooper took over as manager, the Wingnuts have sold the contracts of 25 players to Major League organizations, while featuring 30 All-Stars, the 2009 American Association Player of the Year, the 2009 American Association Right- and Left-Handed Pitchers of the Year, the 2012 American Association Pitcher of the Year, the 2013 American Association Player of the Year, and the 2014 American Association Player of the Year.  Hooper has also been named American Association Manager of the Year three of his six years.  

Kevin will be heading our instructional staff at RBI.   Hoop has not only worked with professionals, but he has provided instruction to numerous youth in the area during his off seasons.  He will be available for individual lessons as well as working with teams.  He specializes in hitting, fielding, and base running.  Hoop will also be part of the coaching clinics we will be offering.