Derek Johnson spends most his days tweaking arm actions and working to get the most out of young players at the highest level of baseball. It wasn't too long ago that the Milwaukee Brewer's pitching coach was just a kid from central Illinois. His journey from sandlots to major league stadiums took a few stops not too far from here.
After his playing days, Johnson found his place as the pitching coach at Vanderbilt University, one of the nation's top baseball schools. He spent 11 seasons in Nashville, helping 13 players reach the majors, including Boston Red Sox starter David Price. After having success at the college ranks, major league teams took notice of Johnson's expertise, and came a-callin'.
After three seasons with the Cubs, Johnson was offered the opportunity to be the pitching coach for the Brewers, where he remains today. Johnson and the Brewers try to advance to the World Series this week against the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.