Bay Area businessman and former professional baseball player Charles Scott has converted a former furniture warehouse in northwest Fresno into his newest baseball and softball training facility.
Scott, founder of Future Prospects Baseball in Marin County, has invested more than $300,000 in the new business that he says will satisfy everyone from the professional athlete to the youth baseball player.
Inside Future Prospects Baseball Central Valley are eight extra-large batting cages carpeted with indoor turf and major league-grade pitching machines that can hurl a baseball from 40 to 100 mph.
Located at 5125 N. Gates Ave., just behind the Costco on West Shaw Avenue, the 12,100-square-foot building also includes two pitching bullpens, one that has real clay mounds and is major league length. There also is an area to sharpen batting skills.
The cages also can be moved to allow teams to practice fielding or to have a coach or player pitch batting practice.
"We have built a place that meets not only the standards of professional athletes and high-level players but one that can also be used by kids in Little League," Scott said. "We wanted to create an environment where everyone would be proud to come and be a part of."
Scott, who played baseball professionally for nine years and was a baseball scout, said Fresno was a natural spot to expand his business.
"As a scout, I know that there is a tremendous amount of talent down in the Valley." he said. "And people are just crazy about baseball here."
Open for a little over a month, Future Prospects Baseball Central Valley already has attracted the attention of professional and college athletes including Fresno State's Jordan Brink and Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Sean Halton, a Fresno High School graduate.
Monthly membership is available for individuals at $139 and $650 for teams. Non-member drop-in rates for the batting cages start at $14 for 15 minutes up to $40 for an hour. Bullpen rates are $20 for 30 minutes and $35 for an hour.
Future Prospects is open Monday through Friday from 3 to 10 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Shakes and sit-ups
The new 80/20 Nutrition Bar in downtown Fresno is serving up shakes and fitness to customers.
The business is at 1807 Broadway St. It takes the place of the former Revive Cafe, which has consolidated into Organic Fresno on Parkway Drive.
The 80/20 Nutrition Bar sells Herbalife meal-replacement shakes in flavors such as chocolate, mint chip and cookies and cream. Customers also get an energy tea with aloe, which helps the body absorb nutrients, the owners say.
"It's a mix of Starbucks and a Jamba Juice," co-owner Silvestre Arias said.
The other part of the business focuses on fitness. The owners offer a fitness challenge that includes free bootcamp sessions downtown three times a week and weight-loss tracking.
All three owners have backgrounds in sports or coaching. Len Olmos continues to run his personal training business Body Maintenance Fitness Plus out of a former carriage house at 2131 San Joaquin St. His son, Mario Olmos and Arias, are both longtime soccer players who grew up in Fresno and graduated from San Francisco State University.
Bee business reporters Bethany Clough and Robert Rodriguez contributed to Word on the Street. It was compiled by Clough. The reporter can be reached (559) 441-6431, firstname.lastname@example.org or @BethanyClough on Twitter.