Made in Idaho: Idaho Baseball Academy

From home school to home run, the academy training the next stars of the diamond
Posted at 9:33 AM, Apr 21, 2023

MERIDIAN, IDAHO — While so many Treasure Valley sports fans believe there's football season followed by "the rest of the year," one local business is quietly cranking out all-star baseball players from a spot that's so centrally located, it's almost easy to miss. For this week's Made in Idaho, we take you inside Idaho Baseball Academy.

As you drive into downtown Meridian just as Main Street and Meridian Road converge, you may have seen a warehouse-looking building and not thought much of it. But inside, future stars of the diamond are being made.

"Idaho Baseball Academy is a training facility for students between 8 and 20 who want to work on their skill set for hitting, pitching, fielding, catching," said owner and head coach of Idaho Baseball Academy Marcus Trujillo.

Out of high school in Southern California, coaching wasn't even a thought for Coach Trujillo, who was still playing ball on a scholarship to Indiana Tech.

"Played there for two years, went to the World Series there, which was in Lewiston, so that got me familiar with Idaho," said Trujillo.

He ended up loving the Gem State so much, he moved here in 2008 with real estate aspirations, but noticed something about the baseball scene.

"When you're in California and you get an extra three months out of the year for good weather, compared to kids here who miss out on those three months. Well over five years, you're talking about a lot of time they miss out on reps," said Trujillo.

With his eye on changing that, he started building onto his home.

"I started with an outside cage outside of my house. I had a little separate three-door garage that we'd kind of work in and out of. But really I started outside," said Trujillo.

And suddenly, he found himself balking at real estate as he started lining up a few students onto his own home plate.

"My girlfriend at the time would say hey, when you come in the house after a lesson, you're so much happier! And I was! I was!" exclaimed Trujillo.

In 2010, Idaho Baseball Academy was officially born, but after eight years at his house and a growing roster, he needed a new home run.

"I needed a bigger place, we started forming teams so I needed to do something for the winter cause as you know, in Idaho, the weather isn't the best in October to February," said Trujillo.

In 2018, their current location became the academy's new home.

"The space to allow us to do more drills with the kids has been really beneficial for their development," said Trujillo.

Since the move, the academy has enrolled hundreds of athletes, started a few traveling club teams, and began the Catching a Dream program to help select-families financially.

"We started this program so that kids, if they earn the right to be on the team, that they can go to the tournament and be supported, at least by Idaho Baseball Academy and Catching a Dream to help them with their goals, even if their families couldn't afford it," said Trujillo.

For kids attending Idaho Baseball Academy, they might not immediately recognize the impact it might make on their lives. But for Coach Marcus, his Made in Idaho dream has certainly made a difference in his own life.

"There's nothing like watching students, when you saw them when they were this big, and then when they're grown men out there doing stuff on the baseball field, it's a very humbling field and it makes me happy," smiled Trujillo.