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Probability based on real data of youth player making it to HS, NCAA, etc.

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  • Probability based on real data of youth player making it to HS, NCAA, etc.

    I've seen numerous threads here and discussion elsewhere on the web. Always thought a lot of it was anecdotal and/or hyperbole as opposed to purely based on the numbers. Being a numbers guy, I've collected together numbers from a variety of sources and interestingly, found that:
    http://www.hsbaseballweb.com/probability.htm
    Is either significantly out-of-date, or perhaps was never accurate to begin with. I don't really know as I didn't have access to old data.

    So here are the sources I draw data from, as well as in some cases estimates on my part to make all the data match up by age cohort:

    https://www.aspeninstitute.org/blog-...-youth-sports/

    http://engagesports.com/blog/post/14...ics-and-trends

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/...hool-baseball/

    http://www.scholarshipstats.com/baseball.html

    I will post my data in reply to this, to keep it as a separate, clean post. May take more than a few minutes as formatting charts is pretty time consuming with forum software like this.
    Last edited by JoeG; 10-08-2018, 01:01 PM.

  • #2
    Phase Age # Players
    T-ball 5 300,000
    6 400,000
    Coach Pitch 7 600,000
    8 650,000
    Kid Pitch 9 700,000
    10 700,000
    11 650,000
    12 550,000
    Big Field 13 350,000
    14 250,000
    HS Fresh 15 130,000
    HS Soph 16 120,000
    HS Junior 17 120,000
    HS Senior 18 120,000
    NCAA Fresh 19 9,800
    NCAA Soph 20 8,500
    NCAA Junior 21 8,100
    NCAA Senior 22 7,700
    Other Fresh 19 10,000
    Other Soph 20 8,500
    Other Junior 21 2,400
    Other Senior 22 2,000
    Last edited by JoeG; 10-09-2018, 07:39 PM.

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    • #3
      So now the commentary. First off - making HS is far easier than I have been led to believe over the years. I had been under the impression that around 1 player on a typical rec league team of 12 will make it to HS, among 10-year old players. This is wrong.

      To some extent this is a reflection of declining participation in youth baseball. Fewer players means less competition for the number of HS spots available, which may have declined a little, but not nearly as much as youth baseball participation over the past couple decades.

      To get specific: On average, 1 out of every 5.4 10-year olds playing baseball will make their HS team. So on a typical rec team of 12-13 players, 2 of them will be on the HS team 5 years later.

      However, the odds are actually a bit better than that for those with an undying love of baseball. Why? Because players quit. I have no stats on it, but I've seen many many players quit the game over the years for many different reasons. For some, it may be lack of success. For others, they end up not liking various aspects of the game, or develop a love for other interests that pushes out baseball. Without stats, I can only make a wild guess, but maybe half of that team of 12 rec players at age 10 will drop out for lack of interest/enthusiasm for the sport.

      This means that among kids who are totally in love with baseball and won't ever quit the game until they are no longer allowed to play, the odds are really closer to about 3 to 1 they will make the HS team even if you known absolutely nothing about the kid in terms of athletic ability, baseball skills, where they are in their physical development, etc. For those who are having some success in the game, the odds are even better, even before you try to make projections of how they will physically develop by the time they are in HS.

      Now how about chance of making an NCAA team, or any college team, at age 19?

      Odds are much lower, but again not as low as I expected.

      Taking that same 10 year old team:

      9800/700,000 = 1.4% for NCAA

      and

      19800/700,000 = 2.83% for any college baseball program at all

      Again - you can roughly double those odds if you're certain the player will never lose interest in the game.

      In other words - among the 10-year old players who are totally in love with baseball (hard to imagine they will ever give it up), there's about a 5.5% chance they will play on college baseball team. That is far, far higher than I would have expected.

      However, if you drill down into more detail, the odds can go up or down.

      Is it a lefty who pitches well? Odds improve.

      Is it a big, non-mobile right-handed slugger who can't field well anywhere except a passable first base? Odds decrease a bit.

      Etc.

      Anyway - feel free to make your own conclusion from the numbers. Just thought people might want to see these updated numbers, as most things on the web are woefully out of date.
      Last edited by JoeG; 10-08-2018, 01:03 PM.

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      • #4
        Aside: What motivated me to put these numbers together?

        My surprise and to some extent shock at the caliber of player that can make the Freshman HS teams around here. I am seeing many low skill players make the team - players that I know personally. To some extent this is a conscious choice by some local HS teams to not be very selective at the Freshman level and then weed them out later as they see first hand how they do. I have heard this stated specifically about both my son's HS and another, bigger local HS.

        At least around here, making it onto the lowest level of HS baseball teams is easy, for anyone with the enthusiasm/dedication to play the game for many years before HS.

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        • #5
          By any chance, are you a numbers guy...?
          I don't like my balls to smell like pickles.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bolts-Baseball View Post
            By any chance, are you a numbers guy...?
            What do you think?

            My training is in Engineering/Computer Science. I've done a lot of financial analysis in my career. But even without that background - yes, I'm a numbers guy.

            Piecing together the above chart was trivial, and am frankly surprised nobody else has done it given the numerous discussions people have about the topic.

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            • #7
              You ever play baseball, Joe...?
              I don't like my balls to smell like pickles.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Bolts-Baseball View Post
                You ever play baseball, Joe...?
                Just a couple years of youth baseball as a kid. I was more into Ultimate Frisbee.

                However, I've learned a bunch about the game over the past 10 years, and I've been head coach of 3 rec teams, assistant coach of others, and just generally keep trying to learn as my son goes through the system.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bolts-Baseball View Post
                  You ever play baseball, Joe...?
                  Not sure if you're trying to imply anything - maybe my ability to qualitatively evaluate a young player's future prospects? It's probably not very good, and distorted by who my best friend was at the age of 4-10 when I was growing up.

                  He was an incredibly talented athlete. Best at any sport he ever tried. Was obvious to everyone he'd become a professional athlete. And he did (after setting records at U. Penn as Halfbalk in his senior year).

                  So every single kid, including my own son, does not measure up. It's shocking to see all these kids making HS teams who don't even seem very good to me. But perhaps my standards are way off given that I happen to have grown up with a kid with off-the-charts athletic talent.

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                  • #10
                    Maybe... To be honest, I just think your questions and comments are just plain odd...

                    Keep learning... Good luck with your son!
                    I don't like my balls to smell like pickles.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Joe - I think it's common at the Freshman HS level that a lot of the kids aren't really that good but there is a lot that plays into that. For instance, school size. Our HS is very big, biggest in our conference. Every year, they take 30 freshman (A and B teams) out of anywhere usually between 45-60 kids that tryout. Still the Varsity coach gets bombarded when kids are cut for the first time because little Johnny has played travel ball for 3 years and was giving a Game Day MVP award, etc...

                      Even out of those 30, there are many that aren't really very good. Other schools in our conference will only have anywhere from 20-25 kids tryout and sometimes that varies - so at the freshman level, they usually take everyone. These lesser kids will usually get weeded out in a year or two - or at least at our school they do. In fact - at the Varsity level, there are kids that are usually cut or that sit the bench and play only JV that would make and start/play at other schools in our conference.
                      Last edited by Ratt; 10-04-2018, 12:08 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ratt View Post
                        Joe - I think it's common at the Freshman HS level that a lot of the kids aren't really that good but there is a lot that plays into that. For instance, school size. Our HS is very big, biggest in our conference. Every year, they take 30 freshman (A and B teams) out of anywhere usually between 45-60 kids that tryout. Still the Varsity coach gets bombarded when kids are cut for the first time because little Johnny has played travel ball for 3 years and was giving a Game Day MVP award, etc...

                        Even out of those 30, there are many that aren't really very good. Other schools in our conference will only have anyway from 20-25 tryout (sometimes varies on each side of that) - so at the freshman level, they usually take everyone. These lesser kids will usually get weeded out in a year or two - or at least at our school they do. In fact - at the Varsity level, there are kids that are usually cut or that sit the bench and play only JV that would make and start/play at other schools in our conference.
                        Ah - thanks for that. That helps me understand how these numbers are possible.

                        One number that I only had from one source was the number of seniors playing baseball HS. I strongly suspect it's wrong - it was from hsweb. By being so high, it forced numbers for Fresh to be lower than what seems intuitively correct to me.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The numbers have variables. The son of a 6’2” professional athlete has far greater odds of playing high school baseball than a 5’7” professional flutist. We had three youth leagues feeding one high school. Of the 144 boys who played 7/8 rec ball when I was the commissioner 6 eventually made high school varsity. However, since making varsity was so competitive eleven players from my son’s junior year went on to play college ball at some level. In soccer, everyone but my son went on to some level of college soccer. There were kids in our large high school who had no shot in hell at ever making varsity in any sport. They transferred to small privates where body count has a bearing in making teams and played varsity.

                          I never considered the odds for for my kids to make any levels of sports. They were raised on if you want it work hard for it. Genetically it didn’t hurt to have former college athletes for parents and a family tree full of former college athletes. To be honest I a,ways believed my kids could play a college sport IF they wanted it badly enough. A lot of people have no grasp of how much work is involved in getting to college ball and then staying there.
                          Last edited by JettSixty; 10-04-2018, 01:26 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Looking at your chart, approx 500,000 HS kids and 20,000 post HS kids. So if you're in HS... look around at each team and out of 25 guys, 24 are done in HS.
                            Last edited by songtitle; 10-04-2018, 01:42 PM.
                            efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JoeG View Post

                              Not sure if you're trying to imply anything - maybe my ability to qualitatively evaluate a young player's future prospects? It's probably not very good, and distorted by who my best friend was at the age of 4-10 when I was growing up.

                              He was an incredibly talented athlete. Best at any sport he ever tried. Was obvious to everyone he'd become a professional athlete. And he did (after setting records at U. Penn as Halfbalk in his senior year).

                              So every single kid, including my own son, does not measure up. It's shocking to see all these kids making HS teams who don't even seem very good to me. But perhaps my standards are way off given that I happen to have grown up with a kid with off-the-charts athletic talent.
                              At a high school game one of the parents asked if my son also dominates 17u travel games. I responded he’s just another player on the roster. Everyone is reasonably equal. The dad was shocked. I invited him to come with me to a local scout league game after the high school season.

                              We played in a large high school league in a large state. Being one of the top teams in the league we always faced the better pitching. Most pitchers were 85+. A handful of D1 prospects were 87-90. In the scout league all pitchers were 87-92. The dad was shocked at what he saw. My son was just a player who comfortably fit in after he was accustomed to seeing him dominate high school games.

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