Flatground

Flatground Sports

About Us

Mission & History

At Flatground Sports, we unite amateur athletes, parents, coaches, and sport professionals in an inclusive ecosystem. We provide resources for success and support philanthropic causes. Our platform levels the playing field by offering exposure and education to all, while serving as a one-stop-shop for sports enthusiasts. We empower individuals to pursue their athletic dreams and foster a thriving community while providing a limited number of private services.

History

Flatground Sports burst onto the scene in 2019, fueled by the vision of Rob Friedman, also known as Pitching Ninja. The genesis of Flatground stemmed from Friedman’s firsthand experiences navigating the recruitment maze with his son, ultimately inspiring the creation of two Twitter powerhouses: @FlatgroundApp for pitching prospects and @FlatgroundBats for hitters.

Just months after launching the platforms, Friedman forged a strategic alliance with Josh Rudd – better known as J. Rudd Scout – a notable figure in the social media sports arena. Together, Friedman and Rudd set out on a mission to revolutionize the landscape of college recruitment and professional scouting. Their brainchild, the “Independent Scout” program, sparked a nationwide wave of enthusiasm and participation. Today, thousands have followed their lead by creating boutique recruiting services.

As the years unfolded, Flatground Sports emerged as a beacon of innovation and accessibility in the realm of sports recruitment. Their commitment to transparency and community engagement propelled Flatground Sports to global recognition, fostering connections between players and programs around the world.

In 2020, amidst the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, Flatground Sports rose to the occasion, leveraging its platform to fill a void in the sports community. While traditional avenues of engagement faltered in the face of lockdowns and cancellations, Flatground Sports seized the opportunity to lead the charge in the podcasting world. With multiple shows airing daily, Flatground became a source of inspiration and entertainment in uncertain times.

Luke Little catapulted onto Major League Draft Boards with the help of Flatground. He was later drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the fourth round of the 2020 MLB Draft and made his MLB debut in 2023. “With the help of Flatground, I was able to reach my dream of playing Major League Baseball. I’m not sure that would have happened without those guys,” said Little.

By 2024, Flatground Sports had evolved into a multifaceted organization, welcoming Gabe Alfaro as Director of Scouting and Jake Robbins as Chief Strategy Officer. This expansion paved the way for the launch of a groundbreaking website, providing the baseball community with an unprecedented platform for connection and collaboration.

Looking ahead, Flatground Sports remains committed to pushing the boundaries of innovation and inclusivity. With plans to expand into additional sports, including softball, Flatground Sports continues to redefine the standards of recruitment and scouting.

United by a shared passion for sports and community, Flatground Sports has attracted a diverse array of collaborators and stakeholders, each contributing to the collective mission of shaping the future of sports recruitment and scouting. As the journey unfolds, Flatground Sports stands poised to remain at the forefront of innovation, ready to lead the charge into the next chapter of its storied history.

Our Team

We recognize the community as the most important part of our team. Flatground Sports isn’t just a platform; it’s a living, breathing entity powered by the collective energy and passion of its community members. As the engine behind Flatground, our community is the driving force that propels us forward, shaping every aspect of our platform. From avid sports enthusiasts to seasoned athletes, our diverse community brings together a wealth of knowledge, experiences, and perspectives, enriching the platform and fostering a vibrant ecosystem where everyone has a voice. Built by the people, for the people, Flatground thrives on the continued involvement and contributions of our dedicated community members who inspire us to innovate, grow, and redefine the boundaries of sports engagement. Join us on this exhilarating journey as we continue to elevate the sports experience together.

ROB FRIEDMAN – Founder & Senior Advisor

In 2019, Rob Friedman created Flatground with the aim of leveling the playing field for high school recruits and pro prospects by providing free exposure and education. Friedman, recognized by the alias PitchingNinja, is a prominent American baseball analyst and social media figure acknowledged for his pitching gifs and videos shared on X (Twitter). Renowned for his contributions to baseball recruiting and scouting through social media, Friedman serves as an analyst for Major League Baseball, Peacock, Fox Sports, NESN, and ESPN. With experience coaching High School baseball and holding a law license, Friedman also established the geolocation software company Digital Envoy. As of January 2023, his PitchingNinja Twitter account boasted approximately 425,000 followers, earning recognition as “one of baseball’s most famous social media accounts” and among the “more formidable accounts in the baseball world.” Additionally, Friedman’s PitchingNinja YouTube channel garners over 140,000 subscribers. He continues to serve Flatground as an owner and Senior Advisor.

Email: [email protected]

JOSH RUDD – President & CEO

Josh Rudd, a South Florida native, has dedicated his life to mentoring youth, advocating for positive change in education and sports, and engaging in philanthropy. Despite early adversity, including the loss of his father before high school graduation, Josh pursued his passion for empowering others. His academic journey at Florida State University and mentorship under Coach Mike Martin shaped his leadership approach. As a teacher and athletic director, he excelled in inner-city schools, earning recognition as Teacher of the Year. His involvement in youth camps and coaching, notably with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, laid the foundation for impactful contributions to baseball. Transitioning to recruiting, Josh guided numerous clients to college commitments while advocating for player welfare, notably through the #ArmCare movement. Committed to philanthropy, he spearheaded initiatives like Project 21 and Teens With Trauma. Currently, as an international instructor and president of Flatground Sports, he continues his mission to empower unsigned prospects. Living in North Carolina with his family, Josh’s dedication to mentorship, education, and philanthropy underscores his unwavering commitment to nurturing future generations.

Email: [email protected]

GABE ALFARO – Vice President & Director of Scouting

Hailing from the vibrant city of Miami, Gabe Alfaro is a pivotal figure in the sports scene, juggling multiple roles with finesse and passion. As the Vice President and Director of Scouting at Flatground Sports, he’s the driving force behind identifying and nurturing top-tier talent, shaping the future of the game. With roots deeply embedded in NCAA Division I athletics, Alfaro’s journey from player to coach has bestowed upon him invaluable insights that fuel his scouting prowess. Beyond the confines of Flatground, Alfaro extends his expertise to MLB operations, where his knack for talent evaluation and strategic thinking continues to make waves. With an unwavering commitment to excellence and a relentless drive to push boundaries, Alfaro stands as a beacon of professionalism and innovation in the sports industry.

Email: [email protected]

JAKE ROBBINS – Chief Strategy Officer

Jake Robbins, the Chief Strategy Officer of Flatground Sports, brings a wealth of experience and insight to the team. Born and raised in Charlotte, NC, Jake’s journey in baseball began with a promising commitment to North Carolina State University, although he ultimately pursued a professional career after being drafted by the New York Yankees in 1994. Over the span of 14 years, Jake showcased his talent across various Major League Baseball teams including the Yankees, Braves, Rockies, Indians, Reds, and White Sox. Following his playing career, Jake transitioned seamlessly into coaching, accumulating 17 years of coaching experience spanning travel and showcase baseball as well as high school programs. Notably, his coaching prowess has seen 34 of his players ascend to the MLB ranks and has facilitated over 500 college commitments, underscoring his commitment to nurturing talent and fostering success in the world of baseball. As the Chief Strategy Officer of Flatground Sports, Jake continues to leverage his expertise to drive strategic initiatives and shape the future landscape of the sport.

Email: [email protected]

Testimonials

REGRET NOT SIGNING UP SOONER

“If you want your child to play college baseball, the team at Flatground will get them exposed and committed – Plain and simple. Their database of coaches throughout the nation is very lengthy and the rapport they have with each of them is impressive. Flatground is a no-nonsense program that truly cares about the players they represent. The only thing I regret is not signing sooner!”

– Vincent Rodriguez

TALK TO FLATGROUND

“Flatground Sports and its team of advisors were instrumental in guiding my son and our family through the college recruiting process. Their expertise helped my son secure a commitment to a Division I program that we believe will shape his future positively. Anyone who has navigated this journey understands the importance of having knowledgeable assistance — someone who comprehends the nuances and can ensure your son is noticed by the right people and engages with the appropriate coaches. I wholeheartedly felt that the team at Flatground had my son’s best interests at heart, steering him towards making the most informed decision possible. If you have a son with aspirations of playing baseball beyond high school, I strongly encourage you to at least have a conversation with Flatground Sports. I cannot thank them enough for their invaluable support.”

– Dave McKernan

LEAVE IT TO THE EXPERTS

“When it comes to certain tasks in life, it’s best to leave them to the experts: beekeeping, steeplejack work, snake venom milking, and college recruiting. Let me be clear: if you want your student-athlete to find the perfect fit in a college, trying to navigate the recruiting process on your own isn’t the way to go. Partnering with an expert will save you time, money, and a lot of frustration. While we initially had a good start, working with the team at Flatground Sports, led by experienced advisors, allowed us to streamline the process, avoid unnecessary expenses, and engage only with coaches who were the right academic and athletic fit for our child. The result? A happy family and a successful commitment to a great program. No matter where you currently stand in the recruiting journey, the connections, honesty, and industry credibility of Flatground Sports will undoubtedly help you and your student-athlete reach your goals.”

– Beverly Buchman Williams

THERE FOR US 24/7

“I want to express my gratitude to the team at Flatground Sports, particularly for their invaluable assistance in maximizing my son’s college recruiting journey. As a former Division 1 baseball player with professional coaching experience, I initially believed I had the know-how to guide my son to the highest level of college play. However, by the end of my son’s sophomore summer, it became apparent that we needed expert assistance. Thankfully, a friend introduced us to Flatground. From the outset, the team provided candid assessments of my son’s potential and offered invaluable insights into what it would take for him to realize his dream of playing at the collegiate level. Their guidance proved priceless as multiple offers began to roll in. Flatground’s expertise truly shone during the negotiation and decision-making process, providing us with guidance that we could never have navigated alone. As a parent, providing the best opportunities for our children’s success is paramount, and partnering with Flatground afforded us precisely that. If your child dreams of playing college baseball, I highly recommend reaching out to Flatground Sports. Their knowledge, experience, and commitment to honesty will greatly enhance your college recruiting experience.”

– Richard Romano

FLATGROUND IS THE BEST. NOT EVEN CLOSE.

“Flatground Sports and its team of experts were an absolute game-changer for us. With no-nonsense efficiency, they swiftly guided our child to a school that perfectly matched his academic and athletic needs. What sets Flatground apart is their deep expertise and genuine care for their clients. In an industry rife with questionable recruiting companies and advisors, Flatground’s team shines as the best choice, bar none. Their understanding of the recruitment process extends nationwide, ensuring no stone is left unturned. With all the necessary tools at their disposal, the team maintained constant communication, ensuring our son felt supported every step of the way. Even if your child is already in contact with coaches, Flatground’s involvement is invaluable. They make things happen.”

– Yudany Fernandez

SAVED US TIME & MONEY

“Flatground Sports and its team of advisors were instrumental in helping my son achieve his lifelong dream of playing college baseball. Their honesty and support every step of the way were invaluable. They ensured my son stayed motivated during his lowest moments and focused during his best times. From coach communication to video creation to social media presence, Flatground guided us through the entire recruiting process, making sure our efforts were well-directed. They expertly navigated the plethora of camps and showcases, ensuring we didn’t waste resources on ineffective ones. While my son received support from his high school and travel coaches and dedicated countless hours to his craft, Flatground’s impact on his recruitment journey was undeniable. Thanks to team at Flatground, my son’s commitment to college baseball became a reality.”

– Melissa Piedra

NON-TRADITIONAL APPROACH

“We are immensely grateful to have had the support of Flatground Sports and its team of advisors throughout the tumultuous journey of the college baseball recruiting process. Their comprehensive understanding of the intricacies, coupled with an extensive network, proved invaluable. What sets Flatground apart is their dedication to truly knowing the athlete as an individual, understanding their current abilities, and recognizing their potential for the future. Through personalized coaching and guidance, they navigated each step alongside our son, encouraging him to believe in himself and explore non-traditional paths when necessary. In the midst of uncertainty, Flatground provided unwavering support, patiently guiding our family and offering reassurance during challenging moments. Their tireless efforts in communicating with coaches nationwide culminated in our son securing a spot at an outstanding D1 baseball program. Baseball recruiting presents challenges for all involved, but investing in Flatground was undoubtedly the right decision for our son’s collegiate aspirations. Their personalized approach, persistence, and humor along the way ensured a fantastic outcome for our entire family.”

– The Sobol Family

WE COULDN’T BE HAPPIER

“Flatground Sports and its team of baseball experts provide invaluable support for navigating the college baseball recruiting process. As a current high school coach, I’ve witnessed firsthand the exceptional service provided by Flatground’s advisors. They have crafted a comprehensive recruiting system that empowers student-athletes to take control of their own recruitment journey. The advisors ensure accountability and tirelessly work to connect aspiring athletes with the colleges that best suit their needs and aspirations. Thanks to Flatground’s dedication and expertise, my son has found the perfect fit for his college baseball career. If you’re facing challenges in the recruiting process, I wholeheartedly endorse Flatground Sports and its team of advisors. Their guidance and support make all the difference.”

– The Decker Family

PARTNERS

At Flatground, we’re dedicated to enhancing our community by partnering with top-tier brands. Our affiliates undergo rigorous vetting, ensuring only the highest quality collaborations. If you’re keen on joining our ecosystem, reach out to us at [email protected].

Pitching Ninja

THE Place for everything pitching. Rob Friedman, also known by the moniker PitchingNinja, is an American baseball analyst and social media personality known for his pitching gifs and videos on Twitter and for creating social media resources for baseball recruiting and scouting. He is an analyst for Major League Baseball, Peacock, Fox Sports, NESN and ESPN.
pitchingninja.com

The Juco Baseball Blog

The Official Home of Junior College Baseball. From Scouting, Recruiting, Recent Stories, Rankings, and anything else you can think about that can relate to Junior College Baseball
thejbb.substack.com/

Pocket Radar

Pocket Radar’s technology is currently being utilized for player development and scouting at the highest levels of the game. Their Smart Coach Radar provides free access to their ever-evolving software companion app and when paired with the Smart Display provides immediate feedback to players while training in bullpens or inside the cages.
pocketradar.com

StatStak

The operating system for sports businesses, not hair salons. Fully customizable to your brand, terminology and workflows. StatStak adapts to you – no more forcing square pegs in round holes. Simplified, complex team fee schedules, add-ons, and payment plans made easy. Automatic splitting and transfers as money settles.
statstak.io

Jaeger Sports

Jaeger Sports is a Southern California-based organization specializing in Training Programs that integrate both Mental and Physical Skills in order to prepare the entire athlete, body and mind, for the practice or performance environment. Our mission is to ensure that every athlete has an opportunity to reach their full potential and enjoys the process along the way.
jaegersports.com

KiloGear

KILOGEAR is a line of innovative wearable micro-weighted gear and apparel that is based in science and is safe, comfortable and proven. Their gear is strategically designed, tested and approved by doctors, elite trainers, engineers, professional and Olympic athletes from around the world with the focus of strengthening the body while helping the body burn more calories naturally. KILOGEAR is proven to increase strength, speed and explosiveness of athletes while helping them become more injury resistant.
kilogear.com

Major League Mindset

Brandon Guyer is a former 7 year MLB player turned Mental Strength coach on a mission to empower ballplayers with a mindset and mental tools that enable them to consistently show up as the best version of themselves, both ON and OFF the field. Next level confidence. Next level performance. Welcome to Excellence.
brandonguyer.com

D1 Graphics

Elevate your brand with D1Graphics, the premier creative agency for leading sports organizations and athletes. We deliver consistent, high-quality content without the hassle of hiring freelancers or committing to long-term contracts. Looking to transform your online presence in the sports and recruiting industry? D1Graphics is your go-to partner.
d1graphics.co/

CHARITY & NON PROFIT

At Flatground, we believe in using our platform to foster positive change in the world. That’s why we proudly collaborate with reputable charities and non-profits, supporting their vital missions. Each organization we partner with is carefully selected, reflecting our commitment to making a meaningful impact. Interested in joining forces with us to make a difference? Contact us at [email protected].


37 million Americans have kidney disease — that’s 1 in 7 people. Those who live with this isolating illness can tell you how it touches every area of their lives: from their physical and mental health to their jobs and relationships. AKF is the only organization ensuring that every patient has access to the health care and support they need, at every step of their disease.


Teens with Trauma (TWT) is committed to equitable access to high-quality mental health care for teenage survivors of sexual abuse. Through trauma-informed and evidence-based therapy, TWT empowers survivors to reclaim their power and rewrite their stories. Their supportive environment prioritizes the well-being and growth of their therapists, ensuring effective care that makes a lasting difference in the lives of courageous young individuals.