MEET OUR PRO STAFF
baseball + softball
Owner, former Pro player, Hitting instructor, FIELDING INSTRUCTOR, Speed/base-stealing instructor, motivational speaker, MLB scouting ties
Known in the papers as 'Mr. Automatic' in high school, Mike Just was All-State in NJ after hitting .523 for St. Joseph Regional in Montvale, NJ, then earned All-Big South Conference and All-State honors for the State of VA at D1 Liberty University where he hit .379 with 94 hits (single season hit record for Liberty.) Mike also received the single season assist record with 175 assists in a single season at second base. According to NCAA, Mike was ranked 12th in the nation in hardest to strike out and earned a national record in fielding as a four year D1 starter only committing 10 errors in four years at second base.
Mike signed professionally with the River City Rascals in the Frontier League where he received the Team Batting Title. He was then solely traded for 5 players to the Fargo Moorehead RedHawks in the Northern League where he received Rookie of the Year honors. The Houston Astros then purchased Mike’s contract where Mike hit .350 in Spring Training. He later played for the Newark Bears and then for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs where he earned the Atlantic League All-Star game MVP with the game winning hit off of former Mets/Yankees closer Armando Benitez.
Mike opened Just Hits Baseball and Softball Training facility in the fall of 2009 and has trained hundreds of players to earn collegiate status and dozens to receive pro status. Most recently, this past June, Mike’s client Aaron Sabato of Rye Brook, NY was taken 1st overall pick by the Minnesota Twins and signed for 2.75 million. Mike also trains clients of all ages some of which have gone viral to one million plus views making MLB network and ESPN. Mike is also a professionally published author of "Just Baseball" (foreword written by World Series MVP Scott Brosius) which is sold at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Target.
As a former scout for the Atlanta Braves, Mike has ties to an MLB scouting director, agents, and many more connections in his network. He is also a sought-after motivational speaker for schools, opening day ceremonies, pro fields etc. Mike has a process model for training specific to Just Hits that is math and physics based and it works. He truly cares about his players and their development and matures them into highly skilled and deeply principled athletes. Mike is dedicated and committed to their success on and off the field and the improvements are astronomical.
Coach Rusty was a standout youth and High School middle infielder / pitcher who avidly follows the Yankees who he came to love from his Bronx raised father, a former semi-pro catcher who was a contemporary and friend of Phil Rizzuto. When Rusty’s son Ben, who learned to switch hit at 3, began organized 9U baseball he also began regular weekly and later twice weekly hitting instruction at Just Hits. When Ben’s Town Rec and Town Travel teams needed coaches, Rusty jumped at the chance to get back inside the fence to work with younger players at the beginning stages of baseball instruction. As Ben continued to develop into a top town player, they were both recruited to join a new regional club program, the Grizzlies, for their inaugural 2013 season.
The Grizzlies hit the ground running with 10U and 11U teams of talented, competitive regional players attracted by Grizzlies founder Ryan Webster, a dynamic and popular area club coach. With Ben playing middle infield and pitching on both 10U and 11U teams and Rusty working closely with Ryan, the Grizzlies enjoyed early program success which in turn attracted an additional wave of top talent that resulted in program continuity that lasted through the years until the teams aged out after 15U. Along the way, the Grizzlies played in only the most competitive AAA Club leagues and tournaments, continuously challenging the teams as preparation for the highest levels of competition in High School and beyond. In fact, ten of the twelve younger Grizzlies team will be on college rosters in Spring ’23!
All through these years (9U-15u) and then through his High School years playing at Don Bosco, Ben continued instruction at Just Hits with Coach Rusty attending, observing carefully, asking questions and learning the Just Hits hitting progression. So much so that at one of Ben’s last sessions with Mike before leaving to play at Eastern U, Mike mentioned that Rusty would make a great addition to the Just Hits staff. Rusty took Mike up on his offer and brings with him thorough hitting knowledge and the competitive on field coaching experience of more than 500 AAA Club and 200 Rec and Travel games highlighted by an impressive level of success…
Grizzlies teams combined record 303-194 (.610) Younger team 174-86 (.669)
10 Tournament Championships:
(Disney/ESPN, Sports at Beach, Diamond Nation, Baseball Heaven, BCCC, TagEm, Rock, NY Elite 2xs)
13 Tournament Runner-Up
Cooperstown All Star Village 2016 – 6th/48 (Best team not from Cali)
(Skills Competition – Defensive Team Relay 1st Place)
5 League Championships (USABL AAA, BIGS League)
Coach Rusty pitched his 12U Little League team to an undefeated season with the help and support of his catcher and childhood friend actor Tim Daly.
Pitching & Catching instructor
Coach Rouse, a four-year collegiate starter in softball (pitcher and catcher), team captain and Dean's List scholar is exceptionally skilled at instructing her players in proper mechanics. She's immersed herself in the sport she loves coaching a travel team and as an assistant softball coach at a nearby high school. Coach Rouse has an amazing personality that creates a fun atmosphere for training. She brings great depth of knowledge from both sides of a hitter's perspective.
baseball + softball
Pitching & Hitting instructor
Coach Mattson has 50 years of combined playing, instructional & coaching baseball & softball experience for players of all ages and skill levels. Ken grew up playing ball in the Bronx through high school before moving to Sam Houston, TX where he excelled as a varsity player. He was offered a private workout and tryout with both the NY Yankees and NY Mets in the Spring of 1980's and finished his career in the Met Leagues throughout the 80s when he turned his career into coaching. Coach Mattson organized the NJ Juggernauts, the Park Ridge Gators and other programs.
Ken was recently named the NY Yankees 2018 Youth Summer Camp Staff and Pitching Instructor and also holds Upmire certifications with ASA and Bergen County.
Pitching & Hitting Instructor
Jesse Fikslin was the kid who “played up” from the start. As a 9 year old competing against 11 year olds, it well equipped him for the next levels. Jesse quickly rose to join a densely talented club team and then had to scratch and claw his way into the line-up. Jesse worked hard to overcome adversity and became one of the rare two-way players in both high school and college!
Jesse attended Wayne Hills High School (where he became teammates with Eli Sayad) and stood out athletically as well as academically. Jesse’s high school successes turned some heads at collegiate levels. He had interest shown from different divisions but wanting to two-way at the next level, felt that Albright College would be the best fit for him. He received playing time all four years as both a hitter and a pitcher and excelled academically on the Dean’s List & Honor Society.
After graduating, Jesse became a Behavior Therapist for young children with disabilities as well as Guitar Instructor, club coach, and other career choices. His knack for teaching shines through his career decisions.
Jake Charnitsky has always been a student of the game. Physical and mental preparation gave him an advantage over pitchers and his production as a hitter showed this. Jake studied the minutia of the game to acquire a more competitive advantage. That mindset well suited him for a perfect fit when he started to train with Mike Just regularly back in 2017 through 2021. Through Mike’s tutelage and Jake’s ability to absorb, they made a solid team.
As an athlete, Jake was always versatile, but at one point, he faced serious adversity in his baseball career. This is what drove him to find out how to have success in a very unforgiving game. Through diligent practice and study, he developed a passion for the game of baseball, and strongly believed and still believes in the power of skill development. As a varsity player for Indian Hills, Jake posted a .355 batting average with an impressive .569 on base percentage. Jake currently attends Ramapo College.
Jake’s dedication to young players’ success, genuine passion for helping others, and knowledge from Mike regarding the mindset and swing is what makes Jake an excellent instructor today.