Matt Kosteniuk is a Competition and Development certified coach through Baseball Canada. Matt grew up in Saskatoon and played his minor baseball in the Blue Jays zone. In 18U, Matt played for the Saskatoon Sundevils and brought home a bronze medal from nationals in 2006.
The following year, at the age of 17, Matt started his coaching career with the 15U AAA Blue Jays. After two years with the Blue Jays, Matt moved on to the 18U AAA ranks and joined the Saskatoon Diamondbacks as an assistant coach. In 2010 Matt took over the Diamondbacks program full-time and developed a year-round program that focused on getting players into college programs.
Since then, the program has sent 15 players to US and Canadian Colleges. Matt is a consistent contributor to the Team Saskatchewan coaching staff and was a part of the silver medal-winning 2015 Canada Cup team. Matt also coaches the Saskatoon Baseball Academy which was started in 2014.
Look up, get up, but never give up
Owner Operator of Going Yard Baseball Academy
Coach Draeger played his minor baseball in Saskatoon for the Saskatoon Rays, the Saskatoon Red Sox and the Saskatoon Giants, winning 7 provincial titles along the way. He played college baseball at Williston State College in North Dakota, where he helped win a conference title in 2009. Coach Draeger then graduated to play NCAA D2 at Bluefield State College in West Virginia. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and gained accolades as an Academic All-Conference and All American student. In his senior year, he was the recipient of the Senior Scholar-Athlete Award.
Coach Draeger is proficient in all disciplines of coaching but specializes in catching and hitting technique. He is an NCCP Certified Coach and has completed the baseball specific Competition Development Course offered in Orlando, FL.
He began his coaching experience with the Saskatoon A’s 18U AA program in 2014. He has coached with the Fall Baseball Program since 2012. Coach Draeger began coaching individual lessons, group lessons and teams at Going Yard Baseball in 2014. He was also an assistant coach to Greg Brons for the Saskatchewan Baseball Academy from 2014 to 2018. In 2019, he became the head coach as the program changed names to the Going Yard Baseball Academy.
Marshall played his minor baseball career in Saskatoon in the Blue Jays Zone. Once he reached the 18U division, he had a successful career with the Saskatoon Cubs 18U AAA team and was a representative for Team Saskatchewan from 2005 through 2009. Once Marshall had concluded his 18U AAA career, he attended Colby Community College in Kansas from 2009 to 2011. After the 2011 season, he moved to the University of Central Missouri to finish up a bachelor's degree in Physical Education and Coaching, while maintaining a role as a strong starting pitcher on the baseball team.
From 2008 to 2013, during the summers, Marshall would come home from school to play for the Moose Jaw Miller Express in the Western Major Baseball League (WMBL). Marshall has always been known on the field for his determination, focus, and ability to make pitches when it mattered most. His inviting smile and mild manner demeanor off the field make him an excellent fit at the Going Yard Baseball Academy.
Brody is originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He had a successful 18U AAA career primarily as a catcher with the Saskatoon Diamondbacks, who at the time, were coached by Matt Kosteniuk. When Brody graduated, he attended the Prairie Baseball Academy. It was here that Brody found his passion for pitching and decided to make the transition. Brody worked hard at his craft learning the biomechanics of pitching at the Texas Baseball Ranch. From there, Brody delved deeper into mechanics and moved for 6 months to train at the renowned Driveline Baseball facility in Kent, Washington.
After Driveline, Brody traveled to Brisbane, Australia to compete in an Australian winter league. In the Summer of 2023, he worked as the pitching coach for the Swift Current 57's in the WCBL. In the Fall of 2023, he finished a 3-month internship with Dynamic Strength Training in Houston Texas.
Brody is now at home continuing to train and work at Going Yard, sharing his pitching and weight training knowledge. One lesson with Brody and you will see his passion for the art.
Andrew Albers grew up and played his minor baseball in North Battleford Saskatchewan. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 12th round out of high school but chose to attend the University of Kentucky instead of signing a professional contract. He played for 4 years at the University of Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference, arguably the best Division I college baseball conference in the country. Albers was drafted again after his senior season, this time by the San Diego Padres in the 10th round. He quickly signed with the Padres, however, his career hit a roadblock when he had Tommy John surgery and was released shortly after.
He played a year of independent baseball in Quebec with the Quebec Capitales before latching on with the Minnesota Twins organization in 2011. There he worked his way up the system and made his major league debut for the Twins on August 6th, 2013 where he threw 8 1/3rd scoreless innings in his big league debut. Albers proceeded to have MLB stints with the Blue Jays (2015), the Mariners (2017), and multiple years with the Twins (2013, 2016, 2021). He also played in the Korean (2014) and Japanese (2018-2020) major leagues.
He has represented Canada’s National team 3 times at the World Baseball Classic and 7 other times in tournaments such as the Pan Am games and Premier 12.
Now that his playing days are over, Albers has embarked on his coaching career here at Going Yard. In addition to being a new member of our staff, he will be part of the Canadian Junior National team coaching staff, as well as coaching the newly formed Saskatoon Berries baseball club in the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) this summer.
Connor Sparks is originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Sparks began his minor baseball career in the Saskatoon Athletics zone. Once in High School, he split his time between the Saskatoon Cubs, Team Saskatchewan, and Junior Team Canada. Sparks was a part of back-to-back National Championships with Team Saskatchewan before being drafted in the 26th round of the MLB draft to the Milwaukee Brewers. Sparks decided to instead commit to the baseball program at Sacramento State University. He spent 2 years at Sacramento State before an unfortunate shoulder injury ended his playing career. After 1 year at the University of British Columbia, Sparks returned home to Saskatoon and joined the staff at Going Yard Baseball.
Sparks has been a great addition to the staff, his youth and passion for the game bring excitement to the facility.