How long can he hit and pitch?

CaCo3Girl,

Birdman14's son was a unicorn (an exception) that earned a two-way player opportunity at the D1 level.  Very, very few are given the opportunity and can hold onto that opportunity.  His son did, and was very good at it.

High school is a different matter entirely.  The best hitters hit regardless of position.  Accomodations are made for primary pitchers that can hit in high school.  My oldest son played 1st or DH as they needed his bat.  He was the 3 or 4 hitter his junior and senior high school years and was an all district DH.   He did not bat once in college.  His head coach had 17-18 position players that (presumably) hit better than my son and practiced hitting every day.

Good luck!

fenwaysouth posted:

CaCo3Girl,

Birdman14's son was a unicorn (an exception) that earned a two-way player opportunity at the D1 level.  Very, very few are given the opportunity and can hold onto that opportunity.  His son did, and was very good at it.

High school is a different matter entirely.  The best hitters hit regardless of position.  Accomodations are made for primary pitchers that can hit in high school.  My oldest son played 1st or DH as they needed his bat.  He was the 3 or 4 hitter his junior and senior high school years and was an all district DH.   He did not bat once in college.  His head coach had 17-18 position players that (presumably) hit better than my son and practiced hitting every day.

Good luck!

fenway, 

I hope all is going well! Sorry I don't get around here as much lately.

While my son's situation might have been a "unicorn," most of the middle to lesser D1 conferences have a player or 2 doing what my son did, or at the very least pitching and DHing  (you might even say the college DH rule is somewhat promoting this strategy). My son still did all the hitting and pitching required, he just did some of it on his own time. This was much easier in his first 3 years when he was a relief pitcher only. When he was a weekend starter, it was pretty brutal.

I also remember that a team in the conference your son played in, had their top pitcher doing the same thing. He is currently playing AAA with the Yankees organization, as a hitter.

My point is that on my son's team there were not 17 or 18 other guys that hit better than him.  And while it is unusually, it does occur with certain coaches who are open to it. I wouldn't want to discourage a player from pursuing this if the opportunity presented itself and it was what he wanted to do.  

Would I recommend having my son do it again? That is a completely different question...

There are about 1,000 D1 baseball players each season. To list the handful who pitch and hit is anecdotal. If there are fifty players each year doing both it's still just 5% of the players. Yes, it's possible. But it's unlikely. In high school it's not unusual for the best player to be the best player and best pitcher.

Chances are no one remembers Bert Roberge unless they're an older Expos or Astros fan. He pitched for both teams. He pitched for UMaine when they went to the CWS in the 70's. I played college summer ball with him. Back in high school and Legion he was an incredibly dangerous hitter. He got to college and never swung a bat again. He didn't even DH or pinch hit in college summer ball. He was focused on pitching. Being young at the time I was shocked an alledgedly  intelligent and successful (college) coach would take the bat out of the hands of such a good hitter. 

On the flip side a Legion teammate who threw in the low 90's (back in the 70's) never pitched once he got to college. He was that dominating of a hitter. He got to AAA quickly before a couple of injuries did him in. 

This is kind of Rod Serlingish. Imagine the concept of time and space. If the Yankees would have added you to a trade for Rod Carew you would have been starting for the Twins the following June night. Instead you step in a pothole getting out of your car at the airport the day of your September call up. You break your ankle and start your physical decline. 

RJM posted:

There are about 1,000 D1 baseball players each season. To list the handful who pitch and hit is anecdotal. If there are fifty players each year doing both it's still must 5% of the players. Yes, it's possible. But it's unlikely. In high school it's not unusual for the best player to be the best player and best pitcher.

Chances are no one remembers Bert Roberge unless they're an older Expos or Astros fan. He pitched for both teams. He pitched for UMaine when they went to the CWS in the 70's. I played college summer ball with him. Back in high school and Legion he was an incredibly dangerous hitter. He got to college and never swung a bat again. He didn't even DH or pinch hit in college summer ball. He was focused on pitching. Being young at the time I was shocked an alledgedly  intelligent and successful (college) coach would take the bat out of the hands of such a good hitter. 

On the flip side a Legion teammate who threw in the low 90's (back in the 70's) never pitched once he got to college. He was that dominating of a hitter. He got to AAA quickly before a couple of injuries did him in. 

This is kind of Rod Serlingish. Imagine the concept of time and space. If the Yankees would have added you to a trade for Rod Carew you would have been starting for the Twins the following June night. Instead you step in a pothole getting out of your car at the airport the day of your September call up. You break your ankle and start your physical decline. 

Your point about anecdotes is spot on. But with 298 D1 baseball programs, aren't there about 10,000 each year? (it makes your point even more so -- it's probably like 1% that are two-way players)

Watching Nebraska play lately I noticed besides Jake Meyers they have started using Luis Alvarado and Ben Miller to pitch. Both are upperclassmen who have been position players who haven't pitched before. So I guess one would assume they are either later bloomers or the pitching staff isn't coming along as anticipated? Although Alvarado is getting into the 90's.

I guess I wouldn't make a very good collage coach, but if I had a kid who pitched and played the field equally well and at a high level I don't believe I'd discourage him by making the workload untenable. I mean scholarship wise it seems the idea situation.

2019Dad posted:

I think Joes87 got the theme right. It depends entirely on how good you are. It's working for this kid:

www.gocards.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=31

How good you are is nice, but saying that "It depends entirely on how good you are.", is simply not the case.  As some have mentioned, a lot of coaches don't care how good you can hit, if you are one of their "dudes" on the mound.  Pitchers are so valuable that they cannot afford to lose their top guys to an injury at the plate, or on the base paths.

rynoattack posted:
2019Dad posted:

I think Joes87 got the theme right. It depends entirely on how good you are. It's working for this kid:

www.gocards.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=31

How good you are is nice, but saying that "It depends entirely on how good you are.", is simply not the case.  As some have mentioned, a lot of coaches don't care how good you can hit, if you are one of their "dudes" on the mound.  Pitchers are so valuable that they cannot afford to lose their top guys to an injury at the plate, or on the base paths.

If there are coaches who never make an exception -- every single pitcher is a P.O., no matter what -- then I agree with you. If the coach sometimes makes exceptions (even if only rarely), then it does in fact depend on how good you are. At my son's HS every single pitcher on varsity this year is a P.O. However, there was a two-way player in the class of 2016, and also one in the class of 2014, so it's possible -- and if it's possible, then it depends on how good you are.

A former teammate of my son's is a position player at a Pac12 school, and he also is used as an occasional middle reliever. One of the starting pitchers there DH's when not pitching. Another teammate of my son plays CF for a JC and is committed to a D1 for next year. He is also his team's closer.

It doesn't happen a lot, but it does happen. Not sure I would want that to happen at that level though. Keeping your swing and your glove in shape and also  getting in your pitching work, not to mention academics - that's a lot to handle.

So to go back to the original question - how long can he continue to hit and pitch?  You (the OP) should have a pretty good idea of what goes on at your school on varsity.  Does the coach have players doing both?  It was soph year for our 2016 where they started transitioning him to PO for our HS.   He started the pre-season with varsity as a PO, went back down to JV to pitch and play infield, batted third at the start of the season.  Gradually they converted him to PO, it started by DHing for him when he pitched and ended with him on varsity as a PO for the sectionals.  And then wham, he was a PO the rest of his HS career.  We had only 1 player who did both on varsity the last two years.  It's just the way our varsity coach prefers to do it.  

 

Yes MK I know the varsity program at the high school lets some pitchers hit.  My question was for college.  

I told my son it depends on the college.  His reply was "well they have to let SOME pitchers hit, half the MLB pitchers hit, they can't all stop hitting"....hehehe he's a fairly logical kid.

Not to be a wise guy but there are about 300 D1 teams.  At about 30 players per team, that makes the number of D1 players closer to 10,000.

To answer the question posed, if a guy can hit/pitch like Tim Hudson, Micah Owings, or Sean Doolittle, for example, did in college - they can continue in both roles all through college and sometimes on into the pros.  Rick Ankiel was a pitcher who became a pretty good hitter after his pitching ended in the pros.

RJM posted:

There are about 1,000 D1 baseball players each season. To list the handful who pitch and hit is anecdotal. If there are fifty players each year doing both it's still just 5% of the players. Yes, it's possible. But it's unlikely. In high school it's not unusual for the best player to be the best player and best pitcher.

Chances are no one remembers Bert Roberge unless they're an older Expos or Astros fan. He pitched for both teams. He pitched for UMaine when they went to the CWS in the 70's. I played college summer ball with him. Back in high school and Legion he was an incredibly dangerous hitter. He got to college and never swung a bat again. He didn't even DH or pinch hit in college summer ball. He was focused on pitching. Being young at the time I was shocked an alledgedly  intelligent and successful (college) coach would take the bat out of the hands of such a good hitter. 

On the flip side a Legion teammate who threw in the low 90's (back in the 70's) never pitched once he got to college. He was that dominating of a hitter. He got to AAA quickly before a couple of injuries did him in. 

This is kind of Rod Serlingish. Imagine the concept of time and space. If the Yankees would have added you to a trade for Rod Carew you would have been starting for the Twins the following June night. Instead you step in a pothole getting out of your car at the airport the day of your September call up. You break your ankle and start your physical decline. 

The injury aspect  is important too. Shohei otani wants to hit when he gets allowed to play on mlb. He can really hit, he does strike out but he has huge pop and last year had a 1000 ops in like 350 at bats in Japan. 

 

Japan is considered  about AA to AAA level and anyone who posts a 1000 ops at AA in his age 21 season is a serious hitting prospect.

So otanI could probably be at least an mlb average hitter as a part time hitter  but as a team giving him 350m for 12 years are you really  going to risk an injury to a once in a generation talent level pitcher to get about league average bat production?  A healthy ace pitcher is worth much more than an average bat if you are a coach you prefer your minimum salary average hitter getting hurt running the bases over your ace.

I think eventually even otani will need to decide. He should probably chose pitching, I think as an out fielder he will be OK, play below average defense with a 260 average due to a lot of Ks and 25 to 30 bombs which is a solid player but as a pitcher he could be syndergaard or kershaw.

Otani wont be deciding. He will be told. The MLB interest is as a pitcher. He won't be playing a position or EEven players like Bumgarner don't DH. At best they infrequently PH.

What does happen in the minors when pitchers have to hit is L/R and R/L pitchers are turned around hitting wise. A team would rather have a .200 L/R pitcher bat left all the time and hit .090 rather than risk getting drilled on his throwing arm by a pitch.

CaCO3Girl posted:

I told my son it depends on the college.  His reply was "well they have to let SOME pitchers hit, half the MLB pitchers hit, they can't all stop hitting"....hehehe he's a fairly logical kid.

Just to keep your boy on his toes... more than half of the NL pitchers are relievers, and those guys very rarely get to hit. Also, NL teams only put pitchers up there because they have to. They understand that most pitchers can't hit major league pitching. They could even pick up a pitcher via trade or free agency who hasn't picked up a bat since high school. So, the NL pitching thing doesn't really factor into whether or not you hit in college.

HST, I wouldn't do or say anything to discourage him. Let him keep working hard at both.

I don't know of any two way college players in WI/IL/MN even among the D3's and JUCO's.  Doesn't mean there aren't any, I just don't know of any

in high school around here there are plenty of them.

i will say that high schools in this area don't necessarily bat their 9 best hitters.  I have seen plenty of glove first SS and 2B's who have no shot at college ball and barely hit .200 in high school, starting over the kids who can hit but are defensive liabilities.  Those good hitting stone glove kids better be the best in their school among those types of players because there is only one DH

 

Miracles do happen. My oldest is a weekend starter on his college team. Went deep into yesterday's game. He's DHing today. Hasn't batted in a game since HS!  4+ years ago. Squaring it up surprisingly!

He's the only 2 way player on his team...if you could call him that. Opposing pitcher is batting and playing 1B today. He's legitimately a 2 way guy and the only one on their team. 

It's funny that I've seen Hail State, Florida and Tennessee use two-way players this year.  

Does anyone think that only two players drafted in the top ten rounds not signing has something to do with it? Maybe teams don't have the normal pitching depth that they're accustomed to?

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