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Sparks Journey from Little League to College

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  • tg643
    replied
    The PG site breaks down things like how many at the event hit 90. The reason 2012's were there is they are now focusing on the possibility of getting drafted next week. With the right offer they will pass on college. Two showcase teammates of my son passed on college when offered 1.5M and 1.3M. They were both committed to ranked programs.

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  • Encinitas
    replied
    Saw some 90+ guys this weekend at PG 18U in Ft. Myers. However also saw many hovering in the 84-87 range who were nonetheless very effective against teams with as many as 13 D1 commitments. I was really surprised at how many 2012s were playing. In any case I didn't get a sense that 85 was BP pitching. Sure if it was laid up right down the middle, but many of these guys locate well, have good off-speed and deceptive speed. At least in this state almost every big name 2013 was there, meaning the kids signed with Fla., Fla. State, UCF, Clemson, South Carolina etc. I'll check the blogs but I am not sure how many hit 90. The kid from IMG who is committed to Stanford was above 90.

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  • tg643
    replied
    There are plenty of high schoolers throwing 90 across the country. There aren't many thowing 95. Lance McCullers Jr is hitting 100 in high school. 85 at D1 mid majors is very common. There are also plenty of mid 80's in D3. They are just pitchers who developed late. A friend's son went off to a D3 throwing 82. He left/signed throwing 92.

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  • shake-n-bake
    replied
    Point is that 85 works even in the SEC, ACC, PAC12, etc. Especially now with the bats. If a kid is skilled and especially if he can sink the baseball and keep it in the ballpark, he can pitch in major D-1 with 85 mph velocity.

    I went to a lot of D-1 games this year (hopefully going to a few more!). When you see teams like St. Mary's, or University of Portland, or U. of Seattle you're going to see a higher % of pitchers in that 85 or even below range. However, it's still very common to see the big schools with the same pitchers (velocity wise). I saw one kid from Oklahoma who threw 98. That was what I found shocking. There's nowhere near as many kids on the high end as one would think.

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  • tg643
    replied
    I don't want to get into semantics definitions. There are two speeds scouts and coaches look at, cruising speed and max speed. When I use the word throw I'm not defining the pitcher as someone who just stands on the mound and flings the ball.

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  • shake-n-bake
    replied
    Big difference between "throwing" 85 and "pitching" 85.

    My son's been to pitching camps at two colleges (both of which are in this year's field of 64). I heard their pitching coaches both say nearly word for word the same exact thing. They've got numerous types of pitchers - power arms, sinker/slider pitchers, pitchers who use deception and are great first time through the lineup, pitchers that throw 95, and others that top out at 85. They like them all, so long as they can get outs.

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  • tg643
    replied
    There are many pitchers in D3 to mid major D1 cruising at 85. It's the major conference pitchers who throw harder. 85 is good for a high school junior to be. With growth along with the right pitching and physical training he could be up to 88 by next summer. My son had 4 mph added to his high school velocity with a mechanics change he wouldn't make when I told him. Typical kid. I had to pay someone $90 an hour to tell my son what I knew.

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  • skipper5
    replied
    Originally posted by JJA View Post
    Sparks,

    As you will find out fairly shortly, 85 mph is basically batting practice for the best hitters.
    For some perspective, it's important to note that 85mph 16u pitching--while apparently unremarkable in California, Fla., etc.--is very rare up here in the frozen north.

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  • JJA
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
    I did notice one thing in this tournament. Most all of the good pitchers threw just as hard as my boy. Seems they all throw in the 82mph to 85mph range. Some only throw a fastball and get by with it for a couple of innings. I think what separated my boy from a few of the other pitchers was his curve ball.
    Still, it looked to me like 85mph was some kind of magic number.
    Sparks,

    As you will find out fairly shortly, 85 mph is basically batting practice for the best hitters. There are very few really good college pitchers in the 85 mph range. They have to have something else exceptional to get by (great curveball, change, etc.). The magic number is 90 mph. If your boy can hit 90 mph, even once, that's usually a ticket to someone's college program. I've known kids that were signed basically for that number. One tryout, one 90 mph, they were signed on the spot. It's amazing the big difference going from 85 mph to 90 mph does. There are lots of great hitters at 85 mph, a LOT fewer at 90 mph. I've seen some high school guys look like Barry Bonds at 85 mph that couldn't hit 0.100 off the guys in the 90's.

    That's why he needs to keep working, and keep working hard to see if he can hit 90 mph. High '80's is even a lot better than mid-80's. These last few mph really do matter.

    Good luck - JJA

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  • tg643
    replied
    The good thing your son learned was there are many more out there with the same level of ability. Therefore if he wants to take it to the next level after conquering high school ball, it's going to take a lot of work and mental focus. Don't give up on showcases. Select the right ones. I always asked for a history of what colleges have attended in the past. Never fall for "We've invited ......" Anyone can be invited even by a clown. It doesn't mean anyone shows up. When the time comes I can help you with the processs if you would like.

    I went to the website. If you look around the website it talks about showcasing and Knights players who have signed NLI's and/or gone pro. But this is with their 17U teams. The word showcase does not appear in the description of the 16U tournament your son's team participated. I'm guessing the word showcase got passed around based on the reputation of the sponsoring program rather than the actual tournament. It's not the first time I've heard of this happening.
    Last edited by tg643; 05-29-2012, 10:11 AM.

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