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Thread: Little League

  1. Of course we aren't going to do the $3000 tournament. I was actually happy with the showcase as I think $200 was a little pricey but it was reasonable compared to many other showcases. I paid for him to go to one showcase and although it was only $45 all he got to do was throw 8 pitches.

    The Under Armour showcase had one scout from the braves and another from the Nationals their along with a college coach or two. They let the boy's do many things. It was actually only $99 but I paid another $100 to let him do two positions. So at $99 it was fair...... as long as you don't buy into the money bagging they promote and promote it they do. I felt all along if it was legit then Under Armour could just sponsor all the kids... the amount of money they would spend would be small but alas it's all about making money. It's sad....

    I think one of the things that disappoint me most is the way people seem to be making money off of kids and baseball. In my opinion it's an ugly part of our sport especially when it comes to making money off of kids.

    At this point I know my boy isn't getting drafted and he probably won't play college ball unless maybe at a Juco level.... which would be fine by me.

    I'm just glad that after all these years he still loves the game and is still playing. I've seen so many kids, good players, come and go that have either gotten interest in other sports or lost interest in sports altogether.

    My boy has two years left and I'm going to try my best and enjoy it. That's the bottom line.

    Sparks,

  2. I did want to share something with all of you that isn't so much about baseball but about my boy:

    This past Tuesday was one of the worst days of my life. I'm so proud of my boy I could bust.

    When he moved in with us at the age of 6 he was a sickly child and only weighed 49 pounds. He was sad and scared all the time. Soon after he came to live with us I got him a dog. He had been sleeping with my wife and I because he was scared to sleep by himself. But when this little puppy came to live with us she slept with him in his bed every night. It was a way for him to learn to sleep in his own room and get over the fear. It was such a small thing but things had been so bad before we got him that he was terrified of almost everything.

    So this little dog helped him grow up and she became part of the family.

    She had been very sick for a couple of weeks so I finally broke down and took her to the vet. It was bad news..... he advised us to put her down.

    This past Tuesday my boy picked her up in his arms and we took her down to the vet. This tough 17 year old broke down like a new born baby. This little dog had been his world for almost 11 years. She was his strength when he was sickly and scared...... she was for all purposes the only safe thing he's ever known in his life.

    When we got her to the vet somehow the little dog knew and wouldn't get out of the car. My boy couldn't stand it and seeing him hurting was more than I could bare. I loved our dog but I knew she was in a lot of pain..... I worried about my boy.

    I don't think I've ever felt that much emotional pain before. Seeing your kids hurting just rips your guts out.

    Somehow he got the strength to get her out of the car and he and I went into the room with the vet as he put her down. I still hear the screams my boy screamed..... it was like a part of him had died. My God it hurt seeing him in so much pain.... i would just as soon someone take a knife and cut off my arm.

    He held her in his arms as she faded away and he wouldn't let go of her. The vet suggested I let him be alone with her.

    30 minutes later he came out of the room.. he was silent but I swear and came out of that room a man.

    As soon as we got home he went to the back yard and dug her a grave. He didn't' want any help..... he wanted to do it alone.

    I know that's the hardest thing he's ever had to do and I'm so proud of him. Many people wouldn't be able to face things and might have just let the dog suffer and die. He did the right thing and faced it.

    I don't tell little Sparks I love him..... I grew up in a home where men do don't things like that.... I told him I loved him that day.

    Sparks,

  3. #1243
    That's a great post.

    The great thing is you rescued him from a terrible situation so he could have a stable home.

  4. This is a short story I wrote about my father and my favorite Christmas.
    Happy Holiday's everyone......

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00..._-OtWqb1GE7C1P

  5. Here we are..... things are winding down. My boy begins his Jr. year as a baseball player.
    Hard to believe I started this thread when he was 10 years old.

    My have the years have passed.

    Our first game is in a little over two weeks. They have moved my boy to catching because our starting catcher went down with a season ending injury while playing football.

    My boy has the heart and a big arm to play behind the plate but will need to work hard on his defense. Still it's a good position for him. The bad part is he's the best pitcher on the team (in my opinion) and I'm not a big fan of catching and pitching. Hopefully the coach will keep an eye on him and his arm.

    We had our first practice game the other night and I was pleased. Each pitcher pitched two innings. My boy faced the top of the lineup and faced the minimum of 6 batters striking out 5 of them and one had a week grounder to short and was thrown out. He had a good outing for our first practice.

    He's still small at around 5' 10" and throws somewhere in the mid eighties. He's been clocked at 84 I think he's probably hitting about 86 to 88 on a good day.

    With his size he's probably not going to play after H. school.

    I'm so glad after all these years he still loves the game. Lord knows it's been a joy watching him not only play the game but grow "through" the game.

    till next time......
    Sparks

  6. #1246
    Sparks,

    I would watch to make sure the coach doesn't use your grandson to catch and pitch in the same game.

    Maybe even talk to the coach if your grandson believes it wouldn't put him on a blacklist.

  7. #1247
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    If he's throwing in the mid 80's there's a place for him in college baseball. He's definitely D2 or D3 material. If he can consistently hit 85, has good control and command and has a quality second pitch he can pitch at a mid major D1.

    I am absolutely not a fan of pitchers catching. He should never swap positions on the same day. If he catches first his legs won't be 100% which could affect mechanics and therefore his arm. If he pitches first he shouldn't be making hard throws from the catching position after cooling down from pitching. Be very careful. I've heard some Texas high school baseball coaches have a football mentality approach to coaching baseball if they coach both sports.

  8. #1248
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    Quote Originally Posted by tg643 View Post
    If he can consistently hit 85, has good control and command and has a quality second pitch he can pitch at a mid major D1.
    I know a guy that fits this profile, and he didn't get a sniff from a D1 last year. And his curveball looks like it's from a cartoon.
    efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

  9. #1249
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    Song, did the kid do anything to get "on the radar"? how about his grades/GPA? Granted size matters. Just curious.

  10. #1250
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    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    I know a guy that fits this profile, and he didn't get a sniff from a D1 last year. And his curveball looks like it's from a cartoon.
    I got the information from a Phillies scout at a mid major game a few years ago. He said there are plenty of pitchers at mid majors who consistently hit 85 with good command. Command is the key. At 85 a mid major pitcher better be hitting spots.

    I did a lot of investigating regarding pitching in college. There was a point in time where I wasn't sure if hitting or pitching was the better choice for my son. For those of you with young kids my son hit .340 and made all conference (his glove at short had some influence) soph year at a large high school. I wasn't convinced he had the swing or bat speed for any level of D1 ball. He was cruising at 84 on the mound as a closer.

    It was after a winter of having his swing reconstructed by a pro scout, working with a pitching coach and speed coach that changed everything. He hit .524 junior year, ran a 6.7 sixty (now best time 6.55) and threw 87 off the mound.

    He was 5'11", 160 soph year. Senior year he was 6'1", 170. Soph year of college he's 6'2", 190 and still growing. Last time we had his knee and shoulder checked the doctor said the growth plates haven't closed.
    Last edited by tg643; 02-03-2013 at 10:16 AM.

  11. #1251
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    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    I know a guy that fits this profile, and he didn't get a sniff from a D1 last year. And his curveball looks like it's from a cartoon.
    That's been my experience as well. We had an all-city left hander who hit 88 on the gun and he had to go the JC route, namely because his parents didn't have the resources to market themselves as TG correctly advocates. I agree with TG that if you get enough exposure with showcases that eventually someone will offer you a partial scholarship or preferred walk on position if you're at 85 with good control, but it isn't easy. There are a lot of guys throwing 85, so it's hard to separate yourself from the pack. Hit 90 on the other hand, and you can have a prison record and someone will give you a chance.

  12. #1252
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJA View Post
    That's been my experience as well. We had an all-city left hander who hit 88 on the gun and he had to go the JC route, namely because his parents didn't have the resources to market themselves as TG correctly advocates. I agree with TG that if you get enough exposure with showcases that eventually someone will offer you a partial scholarship or preferred walk on position if you're at 85 with good control, but it isn't easy. There are a lot of guys throwing 85, so it's hard to separate yourself from the pack. Hit 90 on the other hand, and you can have a prison record and someone will give you a chance.
    Yep, especially where they play is geographically.

    Not trying to start a "better baseball in "X" part of the country" thing.....simply a matter of population density of the various areas and a numbers crunching thing.
    In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

  13. #1253
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJA View Post
    That's been my experience as well. We had an all-city left hander who hit 88 on the gun and he had to go the JC route, namely because his parents didn't have the resources to market themselves as TG correctly advocates. I agree with TG that if you get enough exposure with showcases that eventually someone will offer you a partial scholarship or preferred walk on position if you're at 85 with good control, but it isn't easy. There are a lot of guys throwing 85, so it's hard to separate yourself from the pack. Hit 90 on the other hand, and you can have a prison record and someone will give you a chance.
    Re: Exposure

    A kid consistently to hitting 85 with command who goes to a major showcase and gets D1 prospects out will be pursued by mid majors. Most of what my son faced at showcases was 87-92. It's noticeable when a kid is throwing slower. It's also very noticeable when he's frustrating the hell out of major conference prospects.

    My son's team would bring a few extra pitchers to East Cobb to prevent overuse. One year they brought an 82 mph lefty with one of the nastiest curves you've ever seen. The kid went three up, three down twice. The guys who whiffed fishing walked back the dugout talking to themselves. He got an Ivy offer. His primary exposure was through Head First and Select Fest. But his East Cobb success was a closer.

  14. #1254
    Sparks a ton of this will fall on you. One thing we've experienced in Fla. is that the state is saturated with talent. So a college coach calls, pumps you up a little, gets you to apply find out how much academic aid you get, and then start from there. Nothing wrong with that, I'd do the same if I were them. You will have to market. I created a youtube page with some swings, some home runs, some doubles, singles, and some slo-mo swings. Recently posted up a few defensive clips. Then we started to target some schools he'd be interested in sending emails, etc.

    In your case that is important, but really at the end of the day, his velocity will sell him. I went over and watched Ohio State play Army two years ago when the teams were all down in fla, and OSU had their scouting reports on the dugout (this was an open park, like a travel ball park with only chain link dugouts). Army, a D1 had one kid who could hit 90. I walked around, most of the schools were what I'd call mid-major in the sport of baseball (OSU is not mid-major but the big10 is arguably in baseball if that makes sense). I only saw a couple of kids breaking off 90. This is purely anecdotal. Each team likely has guys hitting 90 and I was just looking at a moment in time, but the point is there could be space available if he can cruise at 85. If he touches 85 on his best pitch but cruises 81-82, he can still play, just ramp down the expectations about what level. 85 might be too hard to go D1 it might not, it really depends who. Here in Fla. a JUCO coach said the basic stock RHP that goes to the JUCO camp (besides stars) is cruising at 82-84 and there are TONS of them. At that point he's got to look at off-speed, location etc, I mean how do you differentiate?

    So to me if you are getting consistent readings at the speeds listed with many types of guns, he can pitch in college, it's just a matter of where.

  15. #1255
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    Quote Originally Posted by tg643 View Post
    A kid consistently to hitting 85 with command who goes to a major showcase and gets D1 prospects out will be pursued by mid majors.
    We could be having some miscommunication on this thread based on max speed vs cruising speed. College coaches are concerned with max speeds only.
    Last edited by songtitle; 02-03-2013 at 04:16 PM.
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  16. #1256
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    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    We could be having some miscommunication on this thread based on max speed vs cruising speed. College coaches are concerned with max speeds only.
    I know what colleges coaches and pro scouts look for. But I asked the Phillies scout specifically how many mid major D1 pitchers are throwing consistently only in the mid 80's. He told me there are plenty with good command and a quality second pitch consistently at 85 with their fastball.
    Last edited by tg643; 02-03-2013 at 08:46 PM.

  17. Season is about to begin....

    My boy was told today he will be the opening day starting pitcher.

    It's exciting and a little sad I guess.... now that he's a Jr. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can honestly say nothing has brought me more joy than sharing this game of baseball with him.

    They had a team banquet with a guest speaker the other night. The coach introduced each player and when my boy came up he said he would be the #1 pitcher on our team and starting catcher. He even said my boy has the ability to play after HS if he keeps his grades up.

    College is such a big dream.. wow......I do fear his size will be a factor though. At 5' 10" 170lbs his college options may be limited...... but who knows.....it's ok to dream.

    I'll be sure and update the thread as the season goes along.

    Sparks

  18. #1258
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparksdale View Post
    It's exciting and a little sad I guess.... now that he's a Jr. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can honestly say nothing has brought me more joy than sharing this game of baseball with him.
    Sparks, its been great for us that you've shared this with us over the years.
    "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
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  19. #1259
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    Sparks,

    Congrats on the notoriety you son is receiving for his HS baseball career, it a proud and rewarding for both player and parent.....but as a coach and parent, it always bothers me when I read something like this....
    Quote Originally Posted by Sparksdale View Post
    .....he said he would be the #1 pitcher on our team and starting catcher.
    I don't want to rain on your parade, or sound like that "black cloud", but I saw this first hand with a jr. at our HS years ago, who already had a scholarship to a Big West Conference D1 school, who also was the "#1 pitcher on our team and starting catcher", who never finished that jr. season, had surgery on his arm, and was never the same after that.

    He did go on to play for that D1, even pitched in relief in the CWS at Rosenblatt, but was plagued with arm problems all four years. Was drafted in the 34th round, but only pitched two innings of Rookie ball, and then according to an article, "He gave up two runs in two innings in those games. However, at that time, he decided he was done. Arm problems haunted him, and he requested his release."

    Seemed like such a shame, when there were other kids who were able to step in and catch when he was out for the season....why didn't they just start them there, and possibly have saved a kid's arm for the long haul?

    Again, not to be the black cloud, or to sound like I'm trying to pooh-pooh your son's excellent accomplishments, those are still outstanding, but I feel it a bit of an obligation to say something, when I read something like that, and have witnessed an almost identical, unfortunate situation.


    Best wishes of an excellent and healthy season for your son,
    mud -
    In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

  20. #1260
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    1) Congratulations to your son for his development over the years.
    2) Pitching and catching would scare me to death. Is the coach also a football coach?
    3) if a kid is good enough size doesn't matter.
    4) There are more college baseball opportunities than the major conference games you see on tv. The Idea is to find a quality education and baseball experience regardless of the level.
    5) if money and grades have been an issue check out JuCo programs for the first two years.
    6) Do not wait for him to be discovered by colleges. Be proactive.
    7) Has he taken the SATs? If not, it's time to get in the first try before summer ball.

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