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  • Sparks, size is an issue unfortunately. My nephew’s showcase numbers (at catcher) rivaled the best in the nation but he’s listed at 5’7” 160. He was told by several DI schools that the only reason they didn’t offer him a scholarship was his size. He ended up going to a DII school, which was disappointing for him considering his talent, but he’s still playing college ball. I want to say he’s got a full ride but I don’t know for sure. One scout told him if he distinguished himself at DII there was a possibility of getting another look from a DI, but they weren’t willing to take a chance on him right out of high school. We shall see…

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    • Sparks, he's a freshman. The most value of the showcase for him now is to acclimate himself to the process and establish that he belongs in that milieu. Sure, some early maturing freshman may get logged into a coach's "let's check him out later" list and your boy may not now be on those lists. But not making the list is not a disqualifier, and those lists are so preliminary as to be almost worthless.

      Those numbers will disappear into the ether by September. If you're thinking he'll get a full ride from a D1 school 3,000 miles away.... well, that's a longshot in any case. And those guys aren't going to be downloading numbers from one showcase's web site into a giant database to pull up two years from now and decide that the youngster isn't worth anything because two years before he had 'mediocre' numbers.

      I think the key is for him to establish a local reputation -- and it sounds like he already has -- and let the word of mouth build slowly. He can start figuring out what schools he may be interested in and start contacting coaches by email or filling out their online forms -- if they have one. Maybe he can put up a YouTube video of his greatest accomplishments. And those coaches now aren't going to be asking for 'audited' (i.e., showcase confirmed numbers) right now -- so you can tell 'em whatever numbers that you've found to be accurate.

      Right now he's right where he needs to be baseball-wise, especially for a pitcher-catcher. (I.e., footspeed isn't so critical.) Focus on keeping the grades up. Take a deep breath....
      sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

      Comment


      • Ursa,

        Thanks,

        Always great to hear from you....
        Sparks

        Originally posted by Ursa Major View Post
        Sparks, he's a freshman. The most value of the showcase for him now is to acclimate himself to the process and establish that he belongs in that milieu. Sure, some early maturing freshman may get logged into a coach's "let's check him out later" list and your boy may not now be on those lists. But not making the list is not a disqualifier, and those lists are so preliminary as to be almost worthless.

        Those numbers will disappear into the ether by September. If you're thinking he'll get a full ride from a D1 school 3,000 miles away.... well, that's a longshot in any case. And those guys aren't going to be downloading numbers from one showcase's web site into a giant database to pull up two years from now and decide that the youngster isn't worth anything because two years before he had 'mediocre' numbers.

        I think the key is for him to establish a local reputation -- and it sounds like he already has -- and let the word of mouth build slowly. He can start figuring out what schools he may be interested in and start contacting coaches by email or filling out their online forms -- if they have one. Maybe he can put up a YouTube video of his greatest accomplishments. And those coaches now aren't going to be asking for 'audited' (i.e., showcase confirmed numbers) right now -- so you can tell 'em whatever numbers that you've found to be accurate.

        Right now he's right where he needs to be baseball-wise, especially for a pitcher-catcher. (I.e., footspeed isn't so critical.) Focus on keeping the grades up. Take a deep breath....

        Comment


        • Wow

          Today we began playing in a Legion tournament. Boy oh boy did I see some good players today....wow. It really humbles you. I guess like most of us we think our kids are pretty good but most of the time they aren't as good as we "think". Today I saw some real baseball players. Every kid looked like they could run a 4.3 forty and it seems all of them hit the ball to the fence with "power".

          Our first game was this morning so my wife and I went back home as our next game wasn't until 8pm tonight. My boy stayed to help run the scoreboard. He called me and said some kid hit a ball over the center field fence that cleared the cars and hit the band trailer. I have no idea how far that is but my goodness it has to be 480ft or more. Our fence is 370ft dead center so for a ball to clear the fence and the cars parked about 25 feet behind that and then clear the parking lot and hit the band trailer? My goodness......Oh my goodness.

          My boy pitched the game this morning but he may as well have been pitching against the Braves. He actually did pretty good and gave up 7 runs in 5 innings against a monster good team. I have no idea how fast he was throwing but I swear he had to have hit 85mph on one pitch. His arm was fresh and the ball was just jumping out of his hand. Didn't matter though....he could have thrown 100mph and those boys could pound it.

          Of course the two games we played we got pounded. Our Legion team is made up only of our freshman school players from school. The Legion teams we are facing are 17 years and under are true legion teams that are stacked with talent. That's ok of course.....our coach wants us to play against the good teams to help us improve.

          But we did learn something very important. We aren't very good.... there are lots of areas our team needs to improve and just playing against that kind of talent gives our kids an idea of what they have to do.

          Sparks

          Comment


          • Sparks,

            That's why few freshman really pitch or even play at the varsity level. They're simply not ready physically to play against good 17 and 18 year olds. Put it this way. What chance will an incoming freshman have against your son 3 years from now when he's a senior?

            As for these monsters, it's actually interesting. Almost all decent players at 17 and 18 can eat 85 mph pitching for lunch. It's nothing more than BP unless the guy has exceptional control and/or outstanding second/third pitches. However, as velocity goes up, production goes down exponentially. If guys can hit 88 or so, production starts falling off noticeably, especially so if a guy has control. Guys at 88 are usually all-league here in So-cal, and we play in an awfully strong area with lots of guys who get drafted, absolute monster players like you describe.

            As pitching crosses that magic 90 mph mark to 92 or so, then many of the best hitters can't hit the good fastball consistently. Pitching usually dominates. I've seen it at a lot of the showcases. Guys who can throw in the 90's dominate for the most part. It takes a very exceptional hitter to be able to handle someone in 90's. Some of the high profile all-CIF guys, the best in southern California, simply struggle against that type of pitching.

            So Sparks, as our advice has been all season, simply relax. Have your son work on arm strength, try to get him to the high 80's. If he's throwing in the low to mid 80's at 15 he should be able to get to the high 80's. Add some control and some other pitches, and soon he'll be able to handle guys who look unbeatable today. If he can cross that magic 90 mark, in 3 years it will be some dad of a freshman who will make that same "Wow" comment about your son.

            It's ALL about improvement, year to year improvement, knowing where you're trying to go and figuring out how to get there.

            Good luck - JJA
            The outcome of our children is infinitely more important than the outcome of any game they will ever play

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            • JJA

              Very good post......very good.

              Sparks

              Originally posted by JJA View Post
              Sparks,

              That's why few freshman really pitch or even play at the varsity level. They're simply not ready physically to play against good 17 and 18 year olds. Put it this way. What chance will an incoming freshman have against your son 3 years from now when he's a senior?

              As for these monsters, it's actually interesting. Almost all decent players at 17 and 18 can eat 85 mph pitching for lunch. It's nothing more than BP unless the guy has exceptional control and/or outstanding second/third pitches. However, as velocity goes up, production goes down exponentially. If guys can hit 88 or so, production starts falling off noticeably, especially so if a guy has control. Guys at 88 are usually all-league here in So-cal, and we play in an awfully strong area with lots of guys who get drafted, absolute monster players like you describe.

              As pitching crosses that magic 90 mph mark to 92 or so, then many of the best hitters can't hit the good fastball consistently. Pitching usually dominates. I've seen it at a lot of the showcases. Guys who can throw in the 90's dominate for the most part. It takes a very exceptional hitter to be able to handle someone in 90's. Some of the high profile all-CIF guys, the best in southern California, simply struggle against that type of pitching.

              So Sparks, as our advice has been all season, simply relax. Have your son work on arm strength, try to get him to the high 80's. If he's throwing in the low to mid 80's at 15 he should be able to get to the high 80's. Add some control and some other pitches, and soon he'll be able to handle guys who look unbeatable today. If he can cross that magic 90 mark, in 3 years it will be some dad of a freshman who will make that same "Wow" comment about your son.

              It's ALL about improvement, year to year improvement, knowing where you're trying to go and figuring out how to get there.

              Good luck - JJA

              Comment


              • JJA

                Our coach has all of our baseball players who are Sophmores and up, going through an intense conditioning program this summer. It's called Next Level around here. It's very expensive but somehow our kids are going through it free. (My wife and I wouldn't have been able to afford it).

                Anyway, I have very high hopes for this program. It's supposed to work directly on baseball related activities. Quickness, strength and agility.

                I don't stay for the workouts but when I pick my boy up all of them are just about dead....lol. First day I went to pick him up 3 of the kids were throwing up and the rest of them looked like they wanted too.

                Thank goodness for this program. Our coach is requiring our kids to do this so it forces my boy to do it. I've had problems getting him to workout.....

                So, I have high hopes for this. Before the program he was running a 5.3 forty (best time). I'm hoping they can get him to at least a 4.99 or so....he should be faster than what he is. They say this program will increase velocity on their fastball..... I don't care so much about that as my boy is throwing just as hard as he needs too right now. I would like his arm stronger though to help prevent injury.

                Once the program is finished in 6 weeks I'll try to update the improvements (if any) my boy has made.


                Sparks

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                • Sparks, my youngest kid is one year older. You sound like me last year The V kids will finally seem slower and smaller a year from now. JJA is absolutely right. Keep getting faster.
                  efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                  • Homerun

                    It's been a difficult summer for my boy (and us). His Legion team is getting spanked by everyone we play....most games we lose by 20 or more runs.

                    My boy has been down and on top of that he's been working so hard with the summer workouts that he is just sore and tired.

                    Well, today the baseball "gods" smiled at us.

                    Today my boy hit his first homerun on a Varsity field. It wasn't a cheap homerun either.... it was legit. It really lifted his spirits and gave him a shot in the arm that he needed.

                    Our summer season will end next week and to be honest....well.... it's time to end. We have a season ending tournament next week and the season will be over.

                    My boy wants a break and I think he needs one.

                    It's just so great that he hit a homerun today to lift his spirits.

                    Sparks

                    Comment


                    • Video

                      I have a video of my boy hitting his first homerun. It's not great quality as I was standing right behind homeplate.

                      One thing you my notice is how quite it is..... You'll hear me after he hits it and it's still quite. Nobody could believe he hit a ball that far.....

                      One touch of class too.... you'll see the other teams catcher give my boy a high five as he crosses the plate..... Wow oh wow what a touch of class.

                      Anyway, here's a link to the video I put on Youtube.
                      http://youtu.be/OlEJwlORvZs


                      Sparks

                      Comment


                      • Last night we had our first season ending tournament. As usual we were dominated by the other team. Final score 21 to 2.

                        My boy was about the only bright spot....going 2 for 3 hitting one hit being a good hard clean double.

                        For some reason our new young coach decided to pitch our youngest player on the team and it was 7 to 0 after the first inning. He kept him in another inning with similar results. Later on with the game out of hand and the score being 20 to 1 at the time...... for some crazy reason he brings my boy in to pitch. I understand that he needed a pitcher just to get us out of the game but my goodness.... My boy pitched the last out of the 5th inning and closed the game in the 6th inning. (mercy rule). He gave up one unearned run and struck out 3 of the 4 outs he was brought in to get.

                        I just don't get it......why he didn't start my boy in the biggest game of the year is beyond me. He wants my boy to pitch tonight..... I guess that will be ok.... he only pitched a little over one inning so maybe it will be alright. I don't know the rules on pitch counts and stuff.

                        Anyway..... my boy has been saying for weeks that he's ready for the season to end and wants a break. Now, after hitting a homerun last weekend he wants to play more....lol.

                        Unless we win tonight it will be out last game until school ball starts next year. We are a long-shot to win (saying we are a long-shot is being kind.....we don't have a chance). We are playing older kids who are true legion teams. We are a 9th grade school team trying to compete with 17 year old's and under Legion teams who are from several schools and are the better players at their schools.

                        Anyway, it will be sad to see baseball end.

                        Sparks

                        Comment


                        • Season ends

                          Our season ended last night and as usual we lost.

                          Thank goodness the season is over...... my boy saved his worst game for last. He was terrible. I as very disappointed in him last night.

                          He struck out his first at bat and he let that single at bat ruin his night. He got an attitude and moped around the field and basically played like a 5 year old because he was mad at the umpire. What I can't get him to understand is he had a good night at the plate....although he didn't get a hit he had three at bats and got on base 2 times. One walk, one hit by a pitch and one strike out.

                          But no............ he had to have this attitude and he made error after error on defense because he was mad at the umpire.

                          I thought he'd grown out of this..... I know one thing.....his Varsity coach would have yanked him off the field and set his butt down.

                          Disappointing way to end the year.

                          Sparks

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                          • ehhh, in a few weeks, all will be forgotten. The Spring will bring new enthusiasm.
                            efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

                            Comment


                            • Sparks,

                              If I've learned anything after all my years of coaching . . . it is that no matter what level we're at (below college ball), and no matter how much we are amazed at and/or think of how these young men have developed/learned to play this game . . . we must remember that they are still kids, as they continue to learn how to handle success and deal with failure.

                              One positive I think he learned (or will soon learn) is that as soon as you drop your head in disgust or anger, that dang baseball will find you. What separates the men from the boys is the player's ability to put the past behind them and play in the present.

                              Hopefully he'll have a coach point it out to him when/while it happens, or you can make him aware of it . . . as once you're aware of it, you'll be surprised at how many times it actually happens.

                              Last summer I had an incoming freshman playing 3rd, he booted a ground ball, and hung his head. From the 3rd base dugout I told him, "Hey Xxxxx, better pick up your head cuz you're gonna get one right back at ya."

                              No kidding, two hitters later (while he was still moping) he gets another ground ball hit to him. He looked as though he was sorta surprised by it, and while he managed to field it, he hurried his footwork and throw . . . and sailed it over the 1st baseman's head.

                              Now he was REALLY down and upset at his play, so I called time and went out to "talk with the pitcher" . Called the infield onto the mound in the guise to get them to "regroup" and "get the out".

                              On the way off the field, I walked with the 3rd baseman and told him that, I had faith in his ability or he wouldn't still be there, but that if he continues to let his emotions get the best of him, then the "baseball gods" will find him again, and he'll boot or sail another on. M last words off the field were, "If I were you, I'd be ready for another test".

                              That made him force a little smile (I think sort of in disbelievement) as he went back to his position. Well as luck would have it, a screaming line drive was hit right at him and he fields it cleanly for the final out of the inning.

                              As he came off the field wide-eyed (amazed that another ball "found him" and in the way it did), all I did was shrug my shoulders and raise my eyebrows . . . point made. Was I lucky at how things played out? Sure, but as I said before, "you'll be surprised at how many times it actually happens" . . .

                              So don't let his play or attitude disappoint you too much. It's all part of his learning cycle . . . not only on the baseball field, but also in life.


                              Again, thanks for allowing us to follow his (and your) journey,
                              mud -
                              Last edited by mudvnine; 07-08-2011, 11:04 AM.
                              In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by mudvnine View Post

                                Now he was REALLY down and upset at his play, so I called time and went out to "talk with the pitcher" . Called the infield onto the mound in the guise to get them to "regroup" and "get the out".

                                On the way off the field, I walked with the 3rd baseman and told him that, I had faith in his ability or he wouldn't still be there, but that if he continues to let his emotions get the best of him, then the "baseball gods" will find him again, and he'll boot or sail another on. M last words off the field were, "If I were you, I'd be ready for another test".
                                I like how you handled that situation. I'm going to have that one ready when the need arises (which will probably be in our first game in the Fall season).

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