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Any kid with a strong arm can find a spot on a travel team

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  • Any kid with a strong arm can find a spot on a travel team

    Hypothesis: Any kid with a strong arm can find a spot on a travel team.

    What do you think?

  • #2
    I'll take him
    efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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    • #3
      I'm not even talking about being able to pitch effectively. I just mean a kid who can fire the ball across the diamond without being hopelessly wild.

      Being able to throw a baseball fairly hard (I'm not talking about 99th percentile velocity) means the kid is reasonably athletic and has had some level of practice beyond just the team practices. And those are good indicators, to me, of a kid who has a chance at a higher-than-rec level of play.

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      • #4
        "Any kid can find a spot on a travel team" Fixed it for ya.

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        • #5
          I guess to your point to make a travel team that isn't just looking for a check. A lot of coaches like a project. You can't really teach arm strength, speed, or size. A lot of coaches would take a project over a no upside kid in a try out.

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          • #6
            In my experience, a kid with a strong arm will also have either speed or size or both.

            Not every fast kid can throw hard, though... Nor every big kid.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bbrages View Post
              Hypothesis: Any kid with a strong arm can find a spot on a travel team.

              What do you think?
              It would depend on the age and available talent. I would answer yes for a community based travel team. For USSSA Majors I selected kids with arms who could play.

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              • #8
                Not every kid with a strong arm can hit a baseball.

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                • #9
                  the younger these kids are found, great athletes that may not be great baseball players, the better. Once they are too old, it is difficult to mold them, but I have personally seen these kids grow into very good baseball players. It often takes years

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fly996 View Post
                    Not every kid with a strong arm can hit a baseball.
                    Yeh..my 11 year old.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bbrages View Post
                      Hypothesis: Any kid with a strong arm can find a spot on a travel team.

                      What do you think?
                      Around where I live, there are many, many travel ball teams that are at a similar level to the rec team my son played for this year. So getting selected for a travel team at the AA level is really not a big deal around here. He just joined a travel team for the summer that in my opinion is not quite as good as his rec team was (to be fair, our rec league is pretty good).

                      If you specified AAA level or higher travel team, though, that would be a completely different story. For example:

                      My son has historically been the smallest or 2nd smallest guy on every team he has ever played on. Yet he typically can out throw all but 1 or 2 players on every team (and typically the 1 or 2 that can pitch or throw significantly harder are 50-100 pounds heavier than he is). He regularly throws people out at home from right field and he is a lefty who pitches well, comparing favorably to pitchers 50+ pounds heavier than he. Yet - there is absolutely no way he could make a AAA team around here, because his hitting is mediocre, he is not a very fast runner, and simply put, he physically trails all the other kids around him, being close to the youngest part of the age cutoff (March) and a bit behind on the developmental curve. All that could change a few years from now when he's 17 but for now he is not in the same league as a AAA player.

                      On a AA team he is fine - valued for being one the top pitchers on every team he is on. Even on some AA teams, he has spent more time on the bench than most of his teammates, coming in to pitch regularly, and to play right field occasionally.

                      So no - having a really good arm is not good enough - at least not if you're young, small, light, and physically trailing your peers. Not in my son's case, anyway.


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                      • #12
                        I think early on (through about U12), arms are generally the biggest bottleneck as kids develop. This combined with fielding that is still under development and weaker kids in the outfield, kids hit the ball on the ground and have a favorable chance of getting on base. Balls in the air are extra base hits. As skills get refined, ground balls are more easily fielded for outs and doubles and triples previously hit in the air are now routine fly outs. So in that regard, I'd say any kid who can hit, can find a place on a good ball team. Kids that hit and throw are found by premium teams.
                        Josh Greer
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                        • #13
                          The big difference between the "throw" tool and the "hit" tool is that hitting is a lot harder to judge. Can he hit fastballs? What about really hard fastballs? Can he adjust off-speed? Can he adjust his swing to cover the whole zone? How is his eye? His mental approach? Is he only good in the cage?

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                          • #14
                            Nope. had a kid with a real gun for the past 4 seasons. From 11u-13u, best bet was to have him at first and hope he didn't throw the ball to anyone -it was generally about 10 ft off -either high, low, or to the side -basically unpredictable. He was touching 70 at an early age but could never dial it in, and worse, would never work on it. A very frustrating situation. We occasionally pitched him just to scare the other teams sometimes. Decent hitter though. By 14u, he got a bit better, but not accurate enough to pitch. So I'd take accuracy any day over velo (assuming accuracy with decent speed).

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                            • #15
                              I'm not saying any kid who throws hard can be a good pitcher. I'm saying it's a good indicator of being able to play at some level higher than rec.

                              Or maybe the opposite is what I'm talking about. Take a rec team and look at the kids who fall well below the average in velocity. These kids probably aren't going anywhere. IMO. IME. NAHAY, YMMV, BRB, LOL, TTFN, etc...

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