I coach JV at a 3-A high school (1200 kids). Over the past few years one thing I have enjoyed doing is after my JV game is concluded I go up to the press box and watch the varsity game. I often have my radar gun with me and discreetly take readings during the game.
I can confidently say the average high school pitcher that I see tops out somewhere between 72 and 78. Sophomore's playing varsity tend to be the 72 to 74 range and juniors and seniors anywhere from 75 to 78. It is a very rare occasion that I see any velocity 80 or higher.
But once in a while I will see a kid hitting 85. And I can guarantee you that is a kid who puts a lot of time in, studies the game, and works very hard to hit that number. Most of our kids where I teach and coach do not play year around. They are 3 to 6 months players at most. That being HS season, then Legion ball then put the glove away at the end of July and not take it out again until high school tryouts next spring.
Do you think the shorter baseball season has any effect on the velo? I have to say it sounds on the low side.
The shorter baseball season definitely has an effect. But it is a self-imposed shorter baseball season due to distractions here like surfing, fishing, hunting, or simply partying at the beach. I believe that those types of distractions are why our county, located in the Outer Banks, always struggles to produce college bound athletes. In our entire baseball program of 40 players currently on varsity and JV, 2 have played PG events. That's a bumper crop this year! I'd say most years we have zero kids with PG profiles.
That being said, my high school baseball program has produced one first round draft pick in the last 10-years who was a starter in last fall's World Series. And our county arch rival also produced a #1 pick (#1 PICK) a "few" years ago when he was drafted by the Yankees out of high school with a record signing bonus. I'm sure some of you will remember him or remember hearing on the radio that his career had come to an end.
It goes without saying that neither of these two players were distracted by the beach and surfing! They were "down east" coastal country boys who could flat out play ball. Cut from the same cloth as fellow Tar Heel staters Mad-Bum and Josh Hamilton.
And for the record, they were were both 90+ off the mound in HS.
Fascinating story here about the rise, and fall, of one of our county legends Brien Taylor: