American Legion WS

I saw that the WS was being shown on TV, so I turned over to watch. I'm totally shocked how poor the quality of play is. Both starting pitchers are topping out at 74-75, and 1 of them has a no hitter thru 5 innings. Is this really the level of play in most leagues? These are all rising juniors thru outgoing seniors. Just curious, not meaning to offend anyone.

Original Post

I was thinking the exact same thing watching this game. I played legion two summers ago and I feel the competition was better then as the norm in state and regionals seemed to be in the mid 80s off the mound. I think people are starting to see that travel ball and college development teams are the better way to go in order to improve as a player and move on to the next level. At this point in amateur baseball, I don't know how anyone can recommend legion over travel ball, college development teams, or even your local select team.

Well, we are here at the ALWS.  My son plays for Bryant Black Sox.  Not sure which game you were watching.  Both our pitchers today pitch in the mid to high 80s.  Both are college pitchers.  Saw lots of exciting plays made on both sides.

Very different, exciting atmosphere than the showcase stuff (yes, we do that too, and yes, my son would love to play baseball in college).  Today was Military Appreciation Day, free admission to vets and active duty military.  A special presentation before the first game today honored Medal of Honor recipient Don Ballard, who threw himself onto a grenade to save fellow soldiers.  Thankfully, that grenade didn't detonate, so he was here today to be honored for his bravery.  Kinda puts the game in perspective.

Many of these boys play baseball in college.  Many of these boys played in high school, but it ends there.  But all these boys play because they love to play.  I know we aren't doing this for all the scouts and college recruiters here (not even sure there are any), but this TEAM wants to win a ALWS Championship! 

Texas 2 Sons posted:

I saw that the WS was being shown on TV, so I turned over to watch. I'm totally shocked how poor the quality of play is. Both starting pitchers are topping out at 74-75, and 1 of them has a no hitter thru 5 innings. Is this really the level of play in most leagues? These are all rising juniors thru outgoing seniors. Just curious, not meaning to offend anyone.

That's average for highs schools.  And many travel teams.  Not every kid throws 80-90.  

Golfman25 posted:
Texas 2 Sons posted:

I saw that the WS was being shown on TV, so I turned over to watch. I'm totally shocked how poor the quality of play is. Both starting pitchers are topping out at 74-75, and 1 of them has a no hitter thru 5 innings. Is this really the level of play in most leagues? These are all rising juniors thru outgoing seniors. Just curious, not meaning to offend anyone.

That's average for highs schools.  And many travel teams.  Not every kid throws 80-90.  

Not sure where that's average for HS, especially Varsity. We might have faced a couple of pitchers that were below 80 this year in our district, but they were 77-79. Most were 80-85, but 3 or 4 threw 87-90. Even in select, most pitchers threw high 70 's to high 80's.

As far as the game I saw, don't remember which teams were playing. I do know the majority of the kids had full beards. All 4 pitchers I saw threw about the same speed, with the closer for the winning team hitting 77. I saw curve balls at 57-58. It's the 1st game I've ever seen in Legion ball, and since it was in the WS I assumed they were 2 of the best. But I did ask if this was normal and I didn't mean to offend anyone. 

Good luck to your son MomLW and his team.

I'm watching the Nebraska - Massachusetts game. The five of the first seven hitters for Nebraska are playing college ball or committed. Three are Big 12 players. The last game Massachusetts faced a Long Beach State commit from Nevada. Two of the first four Massachusetts hitters play or are committed to ranked D3's. The players come rom multiple high schools. One of them won the state championship. I don't know how many of them are on the team. 

I would say as a whole the quality of Legion ball has declined significantly over the years due to travel ball. There are still some areas where it's relevant. But when you get to the ALWS level a lot of the kids play travel and enough Legion to be qualified for the post season. 

My son played Legion following his senior year of high school. He wanted to work on strength training and getting in some ball. The quality of ball wasn't good until sections and states. He saw kids he knew or knew of from travel at sections and states. 

Thanks Texas2Sons, we can always use luck on our side!  I wasn't offended.  I am at the games, and they aren't announcing velos here.  I just know what our pitchers throw, so I'd be surprised if you were watching us.  I haven't watched the other games.  

 

RJM posted:

 

I would say as a whole the quality of Legion ball has declined significantly over the years due to travel ball. There are still some areas where it's relevant. But when you get to the ALWS level a lot of the kids play travel and enough Legion to be qualified for the post season. 

 

Somewhat agree. What you say about AL is also true about a number of summer teams (weak travel teams too). Pennsylvania, Minnesota,and parts of New England are still competitive in American Legion . I remember watching a player my son played against during one Legion 4th of July tourney. Quite a player 2 HRs , 6 RBIs in the game- captain of his Legion team. Turns out son would play against him in college as well. Player was all conference and drafted in late round this year.

Team that knocked out son's team in state tourney  had 6 D1 players (including 5 pitchers). Legion ball never hurt son's recruitment (though he supplemented his exposure through showcases which targeted specific schools).  I would agree though that some teams at the bottom end are very weak, and often times have trouble fielding adequate numbers needed to compete. The top teams (with the best pitching) usually advance, though you can see an occasional upset.

Undeniably, TB has severely weakened Legion in many States.

However, beyond that:

Every August--when Little League and Legion, etc., are on TV--people are baffled by the fact that community-based teams (which draw from a very limited geographical area) are noticeably inferior to teams that pick and choose from a wide geographical area. 

freddy77 posted:

Undeniably, TB has severely weakened Legion in many States.

However, beyond that:

Every August--when Little League and Legion, etc., are on TV--people are baffled by the fact that community-based teams (which draw from a very limited geographical area) are noticeably inferior to teams that pick and choose from a wide geographical area. 

I think many of these people are more baffled they draw so well. People can relate to Pennsylvania vs New Jersey or South vs West. They can pick a team. People can't relate to the Bombers vs the Bashers. It doesn't mean anything to them. 

I love things like Legion ball.  I hope it and the others like it survive...and thrive.  At a Durham Bulls game the other night, I sat next to an elderly gentleman, a veteran, who is an officer in the Legion baseball chain.  Delightful man - just loves to run some of the tournaments and get to know the kids.  He had a story about many of them.  Just good ole' Americana.  I'd go to a Legion game over a travel game as a fan, any day.

And I know I'm swimming upstream here, but I remain thankful that our sons stayed in community ball (mostly PONY) as long as they did.  Both through 9th grade, at least part time.  Our younger one even went back to it (Palomino) after his senior year in HS - as recommended by his soon-to-be college coach.

'Its just important for you to have fun this summer,' is what he said when we asked if he would be placed in a college summer league.  Advice might have been different for a hitter?  I don't know.

Yes, community ball isn't as good, especially when you get to HS.  But its still your friends, its fun, its your home town and you can still improve as a player.  And at least in our sons' cases, it did no long-term damage.

Just how I feel - and they feel too.

Texas 2 Sons posted:

Currently watching Arkansas VS NC. MomLW I believe this is your son's team (Arkansas).  This is a lot better game than the 1 I saw yesterday. What position does your son play?  Arkansas pitcher is throwing 81-84, with a nice CB.

My son was DH in this game.  That was a good game!  Pitcher is a 2019, and we are excited to see him progress like this - he's becoming a lot more confident.  

Texas 2 Sons posted:
Golfman25 posted:
Texas 2 Sons posted:

I saw that the WS was being shown on TV, so I turned over to watch. I'm totally shocked how poor the quality of play is. Both starting pitchers are topping out at 74-75, and 1 of them has a no hitter thru 5 innings. Is this really the level of play in most leagues? These are all rising juniors thru outgoing seniors. Just curious, not meaning to offend anyone.

That's average for highs schools.  And many travel teams.  Not every kid throws 80-90.  

Not sure where that's average for HS, especially Varsity. We might have faced a couple of pitchers that were below 80 this year in our district, but they were 77-79. Most were 80-85, but 3 or 4 threw 87-90. Even in select, most pitchers threw high 70 's to high 80's.

As far as the game I saw, don't remember which teams were playing. I do know the majority of the kids had full beards. All 4 pitchers I saw threw about the same speed, with the closer for the winning team hitting 77. I saw curve balls at 57-58. It's the 1st game I've ever seen in Legion ball, and since it was in the WS I assumed they were 2 of the best. But I did ask if this was normal and I didn't mean to offend anyone. 

Good luck to your son MomLW and his team.

Depends on the level of high school ball. Across all levels, the average is most likely 73-75. For example I gun all pitchers we play. In the past three years, we've faced exactly 7 pitchers who topped out at 80 or above. That's it. One was 89/90. The rest all at 81-84. we're 3A in Colorado which is around 300-600 enrollment-wise.

MomLW posted:
roothog66 posted:

Mom, does your son play for Bryant? We moved from Bryant when my son was in elementary school. 

Dalton is a 2018, right?  If your son played baseball in Bryant, we are playing with some of his former teammates now. 

He mostly played with Benton kids when we were there. We were in the Bryant school district, but you know how weird the district lines are between Bryant and Benton. I have a lot of photos of those kids somewhere, including Dylan Hurt pitching on the sidelines when he was 2yo. Good to see them do well after getting the shaft last year.

Watched Bryant's game against North Carolina. Obviously a talented and well-schooled team, but we were also were impressed with the energy and fungo abilities of their assistant coach. I think it was Dylan's brother Ozzie Hurt.  Also fun watching Ms. America (from AK) competing with Ms. NC to see which could hug the most ball-players. :-) Oh, and the firing of the Civil War canon was really neat.  These are the kind of things you can't appreciate just catching the feed on watchESPN.

T_Thomas posted:

Watched Bryant's game against North Carolina. Obviously a talented and well-schooled team, but we were also were impressed with the energy and fungo abilities of their assistant coach. I think it was Dylan's brother Ozzie Hurt.  Also fun watching Ms. America (from AK) competing with Ms. NC to see which could hug the most ball-players. :-) Oh, and the firing of the Civil War canon was really neat.  These are the kind of things you can't appreciate just catching the feed on watchESPN.

Come on, man! You gave us Arkies a nice compliment ant then confused us with Alaska. 

T_Thomas posted:

Sorry - too dang many "A" and "M" states and too lazy to fire up the google machine.  I'll remember AR for a few minutes at least.

LOL! No harm done. You're not the first and you won't be the last. People just assume Arizona gets AR. 

As for the fungo-ing  -  They were doing pregame in-out in right field, the kind travel teams use when they cannot get the whole field.  Noticed then that this guy was pretty good.  Most coaches struggle to just get the ball somewhere in the vicinity of the chosen fielder, but he was moving the infielders fronthand then backhand and banging out majestic fly balls moving the outfielders in different directions each time.  He never mis-hit a ball in the entire routine.  But at the end was when he got my attention. As the fielders were taking their "slow-roller to home and in" instead of throwing to a catcher, they threw it back at the fungo coach and he peppered the ball to the next guy in line. Some of these throws were in the zone, but several were head or shoe-top height, and he hit perfect slow rollers to guys about fifty feet away every time.  And, the grand finale  -  the stovepipe fly to the catcher.  But he did it with a wrinkle.  As the last guy came in for his roller, he carried the ball in little closer, but still probably 15 feet away, and tossed it to the coach underhanded.  Coach tracked the toss and adjusted his swing to hit the ball straight up about a hundred feet.  Really cool to watch.  I've seen a ton of baseball games, but never seen anyone even attempt that routine - much less actually pull it off.

Ha ha!  For everyone's information, AK is abbreviation for Alaska, AR is abbreviation for Arkansas.  Everyone outside of Alaska and Arkansas get this confused constantly.  I think a lot of people think AR is Arizona, which is AZ.    

Thanks, T Thomas!  Ozzie is the coolest.  He played at UA Fort Smith, and is now coaching there.  

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×