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Valid Reasons for Pre-Adolescent Playing Up?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by JJA View Post
    TG,

    I do have to add that on a very rare occasion - less than 5 times in my coaching career - I have come upon players that were so much better than the other kids that for safety reasons they should be playing up. For example, I had a 11 year old girl who could throw 56 mph in a rec league whose overwhelming speed made it very probable that she could injure some of the 10 year old, inexperienced hitters she was pitching against.

    Unfortunately, many dads use this as an excuse because they want their kids to play up for selfish reasons, even though their kid is usually just a good player and not as special as the dad thinks it is. It's really rare for safety to be a factor, but on occasion I've seen it.

    -JJA
    56 at eleven in rec ball isn't that fast. In 11/12s we had a handful of kids throwing 70. In rec ball I find the biggest safety issue is the harm a skilled player might impart on a weak player because the player is that weak. In preteen rec, when my son was up I implored the opposing coach to keep his second baseman alert. He injured a couple in 7/8s and 9/10s.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by tg643 View Post
      56 at eleven in rec ball isn't that fast.
      Maybe this was softball?

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      • #18
        Originally posted by bbrages View Post
        Maybe this was softball?
        Given girls typically hit their height at twelve or thirteen and the best pitchers are in the 60s, 56 isn't overwhelming. I still see the issue being the untalented player more than the talented player.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by tg643 View Post
          56 at eleven in rec ball isn't that fast. In 11/12s we had a handful of kids throwing 70. In rec ball I find the biggest safety issue is the harm a skilled player might impart on a weak player because the player is that weak. In preteen rec, when my son was up I implored the opposing coach to keep his second baseman alert. He injured a couple in 7/8s and 9/10s.
          70 mph for 11/12 is very good. This was on a 46 ft mound? If so, that is the equivalent to 92 mph MLB pitch. Was this a LLWS contending area?

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          • #20
            Originally posted by MD Diamond Sports View Post
            70 mph for 11/12 is very good. This was on a 46 ft mound? If so, that is the equivalent to 92 mph MLB pitch. Was this a LLWS contending area?
            When my son was eleven, talent-wise they were better than the team that won states and proceeded to the regional final. A poor manager was selected based on tenure. He got out coached. When my son was twelve they lost sections to a LLWS participant. We know many of the families. They said the only team at states and regions better than his team was theirs and the team they beat in the region final.

            Five from his 11yo season are now playing D1 ball. His 12yo team was more athletic than baseball skilled. Only five played high school ball. All played a high school varsity sport. Two are now playing D1 ball.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by tg643 View Post
              56 at eleven in rec ball isn't that fast. In 11/12s we had a handful of kids throwing 70. In rec ball I find the biggest safety issue is the harm a skilled player might impart on a weak player because the player is that weak. In preteen rec, when my son was up I implored the opposing coach to keep his second baseman alert. He injured a couple in 7/8s and 9/10s.
              Yeah, it was a girl in softball. 56 mph in rec ball actually is overwhelming against the vast majority of 10 year olds given she was only 42 feet away. It was hard getting a girl to actually be able to catch her. And I come from an area/league that has produced many college softball players on scholarship.

              I would argue the same thing about 70+ mph in little league. I've never seen it in our league (best is upper-60's) and anything in the mid-60's is basically unhittable for the vast majority of little league major hitters. If you're in the 70's, I consider that a dangerous situation and you should be playing elsewhere. JMHO.

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

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              • #22
                Originally posted by JJA View Post
                Yeah, it was a girl in softball. 56 mph in rec ball actually is overwhelming against the vast majority of 10 year olds given she was only 42 feet away. It was hard getting a girl to actually be able to catch her. And I come from an area/league that has produced many college softball players on scholarship.

                I would argue the same thing about 70+ mph in little league. I've never seen it in our league (best is upper-60's) and anything in the mid-60's is basically unhittable for the vast majority of little league major hitters. If you're in the 70's, I consider that a dangerous situation and you should be playing elsewhere. JMHO.

                -JJA
                When my son was twelve we had a kid throwing 75 on our league team. His control was anywhere between thr pipes. My son was the only one who could catch him. In all-stars sections the kid threw a no hitter with sixteen Ks, seven walks and five HBP. There was only one fair ball hit. They got one out at home on a wild pitch.

                The last time my son caught him in LL all-stars, when the game was over he said, "Thank God I don't have to go through that hell again." He was black and blue on his arms after the game. My son knew his future was at short. It turns out it was center by high school. The pitcher was a dud by high school. Never acquired any control and didn't get past 82. Didn't grow much after LL.

                When my son was eleven the above kid was at 70. So was a 6'2" kid (in LL) who is now a college WR, a kid who is pitching in SEC. a kid who is pitching in the Big East and another kid who is playing outfield in the Big Ten. My son was only at 65.

                The team that won states when my son was eleven had two kids throwing 70+. One recently signed out of high school for 1.3M. The other is catching in the Big East. The team that won states when he was twelve had three 70+. Two are pitching in the Big South. One was a dud by high school.
                Last edited by tg643; 01-04-2013, 08:06 PM.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                  The only valid reason I see is to play with his friends in his grade. If these are the kids he competes with in gym and on the playground there's no reason not to play baseball with them.
                  Thanks for the feedback everyone. Once again there is a lot of great advice from people who have been there before, but I think tg643's post probably put it in perspective best for me. Our schools use September 30th as the cut-off date, and my son is an early July birthday, so maybe half the kids play Bronco and the other half play Mustang at the most. It seems to me like more kids, or at least the kids my son is friends with play Bronco. I intend to layout the pros and cons as suggested and let him make up his own mind. I'm sure he'll choose to play up. He's become very mentally tough due to his initial struggle with the game. Hell, just playing up and doing decent this season will be seen as a win by me considering where he started. I think it'll provide the right balance of challenge and fun he's looking for.

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                  • #24
                    My son was in the same situation with a July 1 birthday. Almost all the kids in his class at school were already 9, while my son was still 8. His friends did not have a choice but to play 10U while my son could have played 8U or 10U. He made the decision to "play up" with his classmates and it was the right decision for him. He had a lot of phone, got to pitch a little and played catcher a lot and ended up making the all-star team as the youngest player in the league. Every kid is different, so the right decision for each kid will be different. I know a couple kids who could have played up with their classmates and chose not to and I think they have regretted not playing with their classmates every year a little bit. In the years when they are not with their classmates, they appear bored or less interested and become harder to coach. Eventually they will have to "play up" with their classmates when they reach school ball.
                    WAR EAGLE!

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                    • #25
                      Once a kid hits middle school it's not playing up any more. It's about making the team or not. High school is 18/19U ball even if you're fourteen all season. My kids have mid July and mid May birthdays.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                        When my son was twelve we had a kid throwing 75 on our league team. His control was anywhere between thr pipes. My son was the only one who could catch him. In all-stars sections the kid threw a no hitter with sixteen Ks, seven walks and five HBP. There was only one fair ball hit. They got one out at home on a wild pitch.

                        The last time my son caught him in LL all-stars, when the game was over he said, "Thank God I don't have to go through that hell again." He was black and blue on his arms after the game. My son knew his future was at short. It turns out it was center by high school. The pitcher was a dud by high school. Never acquired any control and didn't get past 82. Didn't grow much after LL.

                        When my son was eleven the above kid was at 70. So was a 6'2" kid (in LL) who is now a college WR, a kid who is pitching in SEC. a kid who is pitching in the Big East and another kid who is playing outfield in the Big Ten. My son was only at 65.

                        The team that won states when my son was eleven had two kids throwing 70+. One recently signed out of high school for 1.3M. The other is catching in the Big East. The team that won states when he was twelve had three 70+. Two are pitching in the Big South. One was a dud by high school.
                        Sounds like the story of a team I coached. I had a kid throwing 75 at 12. In the TOC, he struck out 16, walked only 2 and only 2 balls were put in play, which we made an error on one of them. We lost 2-1. Both runs were scored on passed balls because my catcher was struggling with catching him that day. Runner on first both times, got passed balled all the way around. Funny thing was, their pitcher had 14 K's and we scored our run on a passed ball. Not a very offensive day.

                        At the end of the game our catchers index finger and palm were swollen and black and blue but he didn't say anything.
                        Last edited by HYP; 01-05-2013, 12:21 PM.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by HYP View Post
                          Sounds like the story of a team I coached. I had a kid throwing 75 at 12. In the TOC, he struck out 16, walked only 2 and only 2 balls were put in play, which we made an error on one of them. We lost 2-1. Both runs were scored on passed balls because my catcher was struggling with catching him that day. Runner on first both times, got passed balled all the way around. Funny thing was, their pitcher had 14 K's and we scored our run on a passed ball. Not a very offensive day.

                          At the end of the game our catchers index finger and palm were swollen and black and blue but he didn't say anything.
                          Pitching is usually the difference in a winning team 12U and younger vs. those that are just "good".....hell, guess that could be said about any age group for that matter.

                          Our 12U Bronco team had four pitchers throw 72+ with our #1 topping out at 75 (he was 92+ last year in HS and signed with one of the best SoCal D1 programs).....only thing, all but one could pound the strike zone.

                          This team went 46-3 enroute to their only loss in PONY tournament play in the final game of the WS, even though it was a double-elimination format.....go figure.
                          Lost a lot of respect for PONY baseball after their decision, just because they only had local TV broadcasting for that final "championship" game. Travesty IMO.
                          In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by mudvnine View Post
                            Pitching is usually the difference in a winning team 12U and younger vs. those that are just "good".....hell, guess that could be said about any age group for that matter.

                            Our 12U Bronco team had four pitchers throw 72+ with our #1 topping out at 75 (he was 92+ last year in HS and signed with one of the best SoCal D1 programs).....only thing, all but one could pound the strike zone.

                            This team went 46-3 enroute to their only loss in PONY tournament play in the final game of the WS, even though it was a double-elimination format.....go figure.
                            Lost a lot of respect for PONY baseball after their decision, just because they only had local TV broadcasting for that final "championship" game. Travesty IMO.
                            The best defense is 10-12 strikeouts per game.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Posts deleted - Back to baseball please.
                              "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                              - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                              Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

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