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App State Baseball Hires Meinhold as Pitching Coach

App State Baseball has hired Ricky Meinhold as the program’s pitching coach, head coach Kermit Smith announced Monday.

Over a 13-year coaching career, Meinhold has worked across nearly every level of baseball, coaching collegiately, in Minor League Baseball, in Major League Baseball, as well as internationally – highlighted by a stint as assistant pitching coach for the New York Mets.

“After our first conversation, it was clear who our next pitching coach needed to be,” Smith said. “Ricky and I connected on a number of different levels from our belief on family to the development of pitchers. I am as excited about his mentorship of our student-athletes as I am of his ability to develop our pitchers. Hillary, Carter and Charlie will make a great impact in the Boone community. We just hit an absolute home run with Ricky and his family.”

Born in St. Louis, Mo., and raised in Springfield, Mo., and Campbell, Calif., Meinhold most recently served as the pitching coach for the University of Missouri. Prior to a one-year stint with the Tigers, Meinhold served as the Director of Pitching for the Lotte Giants of the Korean Baseball Organization. Under his leadership, the Giants’ rotation recorded a 3.55 ERA, good for third best in the league, after finishing eighth place or worse in ERA in the previous five seasons.

“What a journey this has been. Since the first conversation with Kermit, I felt a strong connection through our beliefs in not only pitching and baseball, but leadership, family and faith,” Meinhold said. “I am excited to help bring the vision to reality in continuing to build a program that not only competes for Sun Belt Championships consistently, but Omaha as well.

“My family and I are excited to serve these student-athletes, the University and the Boone Community. Thank you to Coach Smith, Director of Athletics Doug Gillin and Deputy Athletics Director Jonathan Reeder for their confidence in me to lead this pitching staff. We can’t wait to get started.”

Meinhold spent eight seasons working in a variety of capacities for the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets organizations. In 2019, Meinhold was hired as the Mets’ pitching coordinator where he was charged with creating and implementing all pitching programs, philosophies and development initiatives across all levels of the organization – blending experiential data with data-driven programs. In 2021, Meinhold was promoted to Assistant Major League Pitching coach, leading the Mets’ staff to post a 3.90 team ERA that ranked ninth in MLB and fifth in the National League.

Previously, in six seasons with the Cardinals, he worked in the organization’s scouting department, where he provided the front office with player evaluation reports to assist in the organization’s player transactions, from domestic and international amateur scouting to domestic and international professional scouting. Also included in his responsibilities were advance scouting projects in the regular season and postseason. He also assisted with pitching development in the Cardinals throughout the entire organization creating systems and processes still used today. Additionally, he served as a mentor for coaches within the Cardinals’ Minor League system. Meinhold previously worked for the Cardinals during the 2014 season as an assistant coach for the High-A affiliate Palm Beach Cardinals in the Florida State League.

Before working in player development, Meinhold served as a pitching coach and pitching evaluator for Team USA’s 17U and 18U programs. He led the most successful 18U pitching staff ever assembled for international play in the 2017 WBSC World Cup, as the staff posted a 0.47 ERA on their way to winning a gold medal. The team included current/former MLB pitchers Ryan Weathers (San Diego Padres, 1st Round) and Matt Liberatore (Tampa Bay Rays, 1st Round, St. Louis Cardinals). Among the nine pitcher-only members, all have been drafted and are currently playing professional baseball.

A 2009 graduate from Drury University (Springfield, Mo.), where he was a baseball and basketball student-athlete, Meinhold went on to play three years of professional baseball as a left-handed pitcher. He began his coaching career at Lindenwood University, where he was part of the program’s transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II.

In 2011, Meinhold was hired as the pitching coach, recruiting coordinator and assistant athletic director at Division II Coker College, where he also earned his master’s degree in 2013.

Meinhold and his wife, Hillary, have a son, Carter, and a daughter, Charlie.

 

What they’re saying about Meinhold…

“I have known Ricky several years now through my association with USA Baseball and our professional and college baseball circles. Ricky is very professional, experienced, knowledgeable, hardworking and up on the latest technology and fundamentals to improve App State’s pitching staff. He has a great ability to relate to the players, instill belief and confidence, and is a great competitor. Every player he teaches, develops, improves and competes. App State Baseball got a winner and a truly talented and passionate pitching coach to help them win the Sun Belt Conference and compete with the very best.”

-Jack Leggett

Clemson Head Coach 1994-2015
Manager 18U USA National Team 2018-2019
ABCA Hall of Fame 2014

“From the moment we first hired Ricky here at the Cardinals, we knew he had a tremendous ability to combine new-age pitching technologies and data analytics with relatable pitching philosophies. Ricky’s rapport with players and staff alike has always been a high-quality trait for him. Ricky and his wife, Hillary, are tremendous parents and will fit in well within the App State community. Congrats to Coach Smith in hiring a gem in Ricky Meinhold.”

-Matt Slater
St. Louis Cardinals, Special Assistant to the General Manager, Player Procurement

“First and foremost, Ricky Meinhold is a man of high character and integrity. With an impressive resumé in both college and pro baseball, Ricky is on the cutting edge of pitching data and analytics metrics. However, Ricky also has the unique ability to teach and communicate effectively. App State Baseball has just become a cut above the rest of the league competition in the Sun Belt Conference.”

-Kevin Burrell
Chicago White Sox, Scout