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Thoughts on kids moving from AA to AAA baseball...

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  • Thoughts on kids moving from AA to AAA baseball...

    First post here, lots of great stuff to read on here. thanks. I wanted to get some feedback from anyone that has kids playing baseball for an organization that fields multiple teams at different skill levels. My son plays for a AA team and has for the past three seasons. He's not the best player on the team but I would say he is in the top three of four players on the team.
    Does your baseball org let kids move up in level say from the AA to AAA team. Our group has tryouts but then the kids on the AA team have to stay at the same level.
    The only way for my son to move up is to leave and go to another group and try to make that team. Soccer clubs freely move kids up and down skill level teams while staying at the same age group. Was just wondering if any baseball teams are doing that also.

  • #2
    It doesn’t matter what your organization does. Or what another organization does. You should do what is best for your son’s development. If he should be up a level find him a place to be at that level.

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    • #3
      I see reference to AA, AAA, and Majors, and other designations. I always assume that refers to their usssa level. In our state, maybe 10-15 percent of teams are majors, 15-20 are AAA, and the rest are AA, with a scant few A. There is significant overlap, and most tournaments give the opportunity to play above or below your “level”. Is this not how it is elsewhere?

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      • #4
        I have to regularly play against a program that runs AA, AAA, and a majors level team per age group, and they shift their rosters around to drop their majors players into the lower teams to try to win at times. They are also notorious for exploiting grade level exemptions to throw older kids at us. The majority of teams I play against run just one team per age group so it’s not an issue.

        Our local tournament directors will upgrade your whole team if you win too much, but sometimes it goes for months with some overpowered team playing AA and killing everyone. Within my sons program, they don’t shift AA to AAA but will shift by age, an 11 AA playing a tournament for the 12 AA team, especially at World Series time with big needs for pitching.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nib View Post
          I see reference to AA, AAA, and Majors, and other designations. I always assume that refers to their usssa level. In our state, maybe 10-15 percent of teams are majors, 15-20 are AAA, and the rest are AA, with a scant few A. There is significant overlap, and most tournaments give the opportunity to play above or below your “level”. Is this not how it is elsewhere?

          yes that is how it is in most states. I was more wondering whether kids from the same program are able to move up a level within that program and play on the AAA team if they are able to play at that level

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          • #6
            The summer/fall org that my nephew plays with moves them up or down based on skill and specific tournaments. They have A, B, and sometimes C teams. This summer he's technically still 14U eligible, but he plays on the 15U and 16U teams...basically they tell him which team he's playing on from week to week.

            Originally, his whole youth team joined the org and thought they would stay together, just come in under the org name. That didn't happen. The players got split up based on skill and projection to either the A, B, or C, and that hurt some feelings. My nephew is the only kid from the youth team still playing for the org.
            Ty Cobb-"Every great batter works on the theory that the pitcher is more afraid of him than he is of the pitcher."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by atlantabravesfan View Post


              yes that is how it is in most states. I was more wondering whether kids from the same program are able to move up a level within that program and play on the AAA team if they are able to play at that level
              when we've played in these organizations, it's rare to move between teams unless they're losing players. Sometimes lesser players move down, but I've never seen someone move up or flip with another player. Easier to try out fresh and place there. If you're unhappy, them move one, but realize the grass isn't always greener.....

              To be honest, I usually don't see much difference in the quality of individual players between AA and AAA, just that AAA has more quality players i.e. the top AA players could easily play AAA, but the bottom AA players may be closer to A level.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mobius75 View Post
                They are also notorious for exploiting grade level exemptions to throw older kids at us. The majority of teams I play against run just one team per age group so it’s not an issue.
                I forgot about the grade level exception. That explains why our team, 13u, was playing in a 14u tournament against a team that had some 15 year olds on the roster. I was trying to figure out how they had 15 year olds on the roster but were still a 14u team.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bluedawg View Post

                  when we've played in these organizations, it's rare to move between teams unless they're losing players. Sometimes lesser players move down, but I've never seen someone move up or flip with another player. Easier to try out fresh and place there. If you're unhappy, them move one, but realize the grass isn't always greener.....

                  To be honest, I usually don't see much difference in the quality of individual players between AA and AAA, just that AAA has more quality players i.e. the top AA players could easily play AAA, but the bottom AA players may be closer to A level.
                  yeah, that's what I figured but wasn't sure. My son likes the program and the facilities but has asked about moving up but I told him that was not an option as far as I knew.
                  That he would have to move to a totally new group if he wanted to try and play at AAA level

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by atlantabravesfan View Post

                    yeah, that's what I figured but wasn't sure. My son likes the program and the facilities but has asked about moving up but I told him that was not an option as far as I knew.
                    That he would have to move to a totally new group if he wanted to try and play at AAA level
                    this can be a really tough decision. We've done both. I think ultimately, my son preferred playing with friends at a lower level than moving up to playing with kids he may or may not know/like. Depends on age and other things of course. I'd say around 11/12 U people start moving around quite a bit though

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bluedawg View Post

                      this can be a really tough decision. We've done both. I think ultimately, my son preferred playing with friends at a lower level than moving up to playing with kids he may or may not know/like. Depends on age and other things of course. I'd say around 11/12 U people start moving around quite a bit though
                      my son is moving up to 11U, the jump to a bigger field and to a AAA may be a bit much, may make him wait until next year
                      I' ve had plenty of people tell me by 12 they need to be on a AAA team to even have a chance to play high school ball but who knows how true that is.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by atlantabravesfan View Post

                        my son is moving up to 11U, the jump to a bigger field and to a AAA may be a bit much, may make him wait until next year
                        I' ve had plenty of people tell me by 12 they need to be on a AAA team to even have a chance to play high school ball but who knows how true that is.
                        Your son’s high school prospects will not be determined by what team he plays in 12u. Chances are most of the kids who play high school ball in your area played AAA or Majors at twelve. Most kids want to play to the highest talent level they can compete. But if the talent is there it doesn’t matter where a kid plays at twelve.

                        I’ve had this argument many times over the years. Inexperienced parents think kids make high school teams because they play travel. Kids play travel and make high school teams because they are talented. But not all AAA 12u players will play high school ball. Or 14u AAA players.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Generally, AAA teams are pretty good from top to bottom (maybe one or two weaker players), and when you play in AAA tournaments, any team can beat any other team. Often the 1 seed will lose in the first elimination game to the 8th seed that will go and win the whole tournament. For AA teams, there are decent ones that can complete with AAA teams, and there are truly horrible ones. The biggest problem with AA tournaments, in my opinion, is that you will have a few throwaway games where the competition is real bad. This can be okay every once in a while (give new kids a chance to pitch, for instance), but not too many of these are good IMO.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You should get your kid to where he will receive the best coaching and he enjoys the kids that he is playing with. Practice is more important then games so I would evaluate your options that way. If you feel that those things are equal, pick the team that plays the best competition. I know in our area there are many different organizations and tournaments, AAU, USSSA, Perfect Game, Nations Baseball, Top Gun etc. etc. Teams tend to play mostly with one organization but dip into the others so they aren't playing the same teams all the time. I know our team plays the best competition that we can find within driving distance each time we play. As others have said the I really don't think AA vs AAA matters. Maj is a little different around here, but mostly each level here is defined by pitching depth. AA teams usually have 1 or 2 good pitchers, AAA teams usually have 2-3 and Major teams have 4 really good pitchers. That helps them survive the championship days. Position player depth is a little better at the Maj level but to tell you the truth a lot of the Major teams sacrifice defense for hitting which translates better to tournament ball than it does to high school ball.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              in our organization/age group we have a team that competes at the majors level and a team that competes at the AAA level. most tournaments around here are a mix of AAA/AA (and even A), with lopsided pool play games and sunday brackets that pretty much aligns with classification: an AAA bracket, AA bracket, etc.

                              for the most part, as others have stated, there is a lot of overlap between individual talent level between Majors/AAA and AAA/AA. its not uncommon for us to move kids around as needed to account for injuries/absences or whatever. every youth team at every classification has their impact kids, their solid kids, and their bubble kids. i don't see the point of being a bubble kid on a higher level team, which i think is what jett was getting to. its not like being on a better travel ball team is going to help that kids chances in HS. if anything (imo), he might be better off a level down, so long as the coaching and competition is good.

                              there are probably 10-12 or so 12u kids in my sons grade playing AAA or better. not all of them are going to make varsity, obviously. we are in a large classification school that has won their section every other year going back a decade. none of the juniors who made it the last couple years were late bloomers or kids who were on crappy teams at 12. they were always the good baseball kids. one town over, however, the school is 1/2 the size and the solid AA kids have a much better shot at playing for school there.

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