Is there any hope?

I've been a lurker for a little while now, finally signed up since it's seems to be time for my 2020 to figure out his baseball future and there is a ton of info here. Having read a lot on here, it would seem that if a kid isn't 6'2" and 200 pounds, throwing 350mph, running a sub-5.0 sixty, showing consistent 4-digit exit velos, at 12 years old...and doesn't come from a family that can drop 6-digits into travel expenses/showcases, and isn't from the sunny areas of the country, then he might as well quit baseball and take up recreational stamp collecting.

Realistically, does a kid with the following attributes have a chance of anything better than bar-league softball?

He's 15 years, 3 months old. 5'11, 205 pounds; Bats left, throws left; outfield velo (best): 82, infield (best) 80; LHP with very good off-speed stuff and good movement on his 75-78mph FB; exit velo (average): 86, (best): 95. Ran a 6.9 sixty, 3.9 home-to-first. (Measurements are the averages from 3 different tryouts and are independent)

Should I start preparing him to have his dreams crushed and heart broken, or is there any hope?

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Original Post

Sure there's hope.

No one on here knows how your kid is going to progress. No one on here know how far along he is in his physical development. Is he going to be 5'11" 205 at age 20? Or will he be 6'4" 230? Will he add 2 mph per year on to his fastball (that's the average that the PG numbers go up per grade), which would have him topping out at 82 mph as a rising senior? Or will he add 5 or 6 mph per year?

Based on the numbers you provided, the exit velo and running times are very good. In fact, a 3.9 HTF time for a left-handed hitter is 80-grade speed (see www.fangraphs.com/blogs/scouti...0-80-scouting-scale/).  So based on that, sure there's hope.

Hahaha... welcome to the posting side.  Just from the numbers, he has plenty of time and plenty of potential.  There is certainly a chance that he may end up fitting at a level other than D1, but hopefully you have found here, by now, that there can be some very good baseball played at other levels and it certainly doesn't necessarily crush the dream. 

I'll just get this out of the way right now...  MAKE SURE YOU BOTH ALLOW YOURSELVES TO FULLY ENJOY THE HS EXPERIENCE !!!

Well to start with he is a plus MLB runner, home to first. Not plus for a 15 year old, but plus by Major League standards.  It sounds like he is ahead for his age, but still a ways to go.

It doesn't make any difference where you are from if someone recognizes the talent.  How much it will cost... very little to a small fortune depending on how you go about things and the extent of your son's talent. We see lots of great prospects every year that live in poverty.   Yes. there is hope.

4T2,

Lots of hope.  You are just getting started.   Frankly he's got a lot of work to do just like any 15 year old with college baseball aspirations.   The metrics you've provided are just a guide.   I've seen lots of talented kids at 15 years old kids with higher metrics blow their chance by not working hard and I've seen many 15 year old kids with lesser metrics "want it more" and turn it on to play in college and beyond.   Two things I can tell you with certainty.....nobody has a crystal ball and it takes a lot of hard work to get into college baseball and even more to stay in college baseball.    Recruited = skill + passion + persistence + exposure + luck.

One very important thing that you failed to mention was his academic profile.   Academics can give some recruits a boost & access to some schools they never thought possible, and they can also be a recruits down fall.

Good luck! 

Fenway pretty much said it all in his post. I would only add that a lefty that can get outs is a highly sought commodity in College baseball.

Make sure to find your boy a good pitching coach. If you're not sure where to find that, start at the local universities or Jr Colleges. Take a drive over there and go to the baseball dept and ask around. A good pitching coach can help your son's game and most importantly his health / Arm care.

And YES there is plenty of hope

There are a lot of talented high school baseball players who will not play big time D1 college baseball. But there is plenty of opportunity to have a quality college baseball experience. There's also an opportunity to use baseball to get into a college that might otherwise not be a possibility.

Welcome 4T2.  This is a great site!   

There is always hope.  But, a player better work his butt off in the meantime trying to be the best he can be on and off the field, in and out of the classroom, to play at the next level.  What ever level that may be.

"Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard."

IMO those are above average #s to have at 15 years old, and I am always a little skeptical when someone throws home to first times like that out, that is blistering. Depending on where you live, if this kid has this size, speed and measurables you are likely a know commodity in your area. 

We played 14U USA baseball in 2015 with a kid who had about the same build as your son, ran a 6.9 sixty and was the bell of the ball. Two years later he is slower and being passed by many players. Advice: Keep your foot on the gas. 

Thanks, everyone. The boy isn't really all that fast, but the numbers are what I was given. I suspect that the home-to-first time is being measured differently. It wasn't game-timed, it was the silly fake-swing-then-run. He has decent speed for his size, but he is not a rabbit. He's always been willing to put in the hard work, so we'll see how it goes.

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4T2 posted:

I've been a lurker for a little while now, finally signed up since it's seems to be time for my 2020 to figure out his baseball future and there is a ton of info here. Having read a lot on here, it would seem that if a kid isn't 6'2" and 200 pounds, throwing 350mph, running a sub-5.0 sixty, showing consistent 4-digit exit velos, at 12 years old...and doesn't come from a family that can drop 6-digits into travel expenses/showcases, and isn't from the sunny areas of the country, then he might as well quit baseball and take up recreational stamp collecting.

Realistically, does a kid with the following attributes have a chance of anything better than bar-league softball?

He's 15 years, 3 months old. 5'11, 205 pounds; Bats left, throws left; outfield velo (best): 82, infield (best) 80; LHP with very good off-speed stuff and good movement on his 75-78mph FB; exit velo (average): 86, (best): 95. Ran a 6.9 sixty, 3.9 home-to-first. (Measurements are the averages from 3 different tryouts and are independent)

Should I start preparing him to have his dreams crushed and heart broken, or is there any hope?

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My son's best friend is a 2017 middle infielder.   Just committed to a good d2 program this last Thursday.  He was your prototypical late bloomer   Didn't even start for varsity this past spring.   Although he was a pretty decent player      Played this summer after graduation in a pretty good league and had a great summer season.   Garnered some low level d1 and d2 and juco attention.  And secured a spot at a d2 with some athletic and academic money.    He's 6 foot tall  weights 160 soaking wet.  runs a 7.2    A year ago he was 5-10 150.   So.  I think there's plenty of hope and it's far from too late for your son  !    

Is there any hope for what?  Major league baseball via the draft?  Major D1 scholarship to a top 25 baseball school? Any opportunity at a level higher than high school baseball?

Forgetting MLB at the moment, college recruiting equals two things - talent plus exposure.  Missing either ingredient ends your son's career at the high school baseball level.  Words posted on a website are not enough to get things done.  You need to get the young man in front of college decision-makers and use the feedback he gets to determine the  level that might be a good fit for him.  He's young enough such that this feedback can be used to improve things over the next few years to make a significant difference with future recruiting efforts if he applies himself accordingly.  For example, a 6.9 sixty time is impressive but a 6.8 or a 6.7 is even more impressive.  He has time to improve things. 

Remember that what you see today may be vastly different from what your son may become four to eight years from now if he finds the right program.  From what you've posted, your son already seems to have the numbers to justify getting an offer at the next level.  None of us here however can determine if an offer will be forthcoming (by the words you have posted) nor can you if you don't get him exposed to the right people.  You have the power and the time to answer your questions directly and thus, find the most suitable landing-spot for your son after high school.

 

 

Heading into his sophomore year, he's a tick under a 3.0 student. Like many, the high school scene was a bit overwhelming. He has not yet taken the SAT or ACT. I have made him aware that his grades will be more important than his ability, with respect to college baseball. Ultimately, that responsibility falls on him. 

As far as exposure, he tried out for and was accepted by a much higher profile program for 2018. This, along with camps/showcases, will ostensibly cover the exposure aspect. My support (and wallet) are known commodities...he will have to supply the drive and work.

I appreciate the responses from everyone! It is easy to despair and consider the post-high school dream unattainable when reading the stats of so many unbelievably talented kids.

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MidAtlanticdad hit the nail on the head.  There are three high quality D3 baseball programs in Wisconsin if he wants to stay in state. 

UW - Whitwater, LaCrosse and Stevens Point are all powerhouse baseball programs that are consistently nationally ranked and have lots of D1 level players on them due to the limited D1 opportunities in the area. 

If you want to check out the level of play of the top D3 teams in the country then plan on going over to Appleton where the D3 CWS will be held next year. (last year there)

 

4T2 posted:

I appreciate the responses from everyone! It is easy to despair and consider the post-high school dream unattainable when reading the stats of so many unbelievably talented kids.

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There is a decent level of competition in college baseball for every competent high school player willing to put in the work. What stops a lot of kids is not understand how much work putting in the work really is. It's really about wanting it. 

A friend's 5'9 160 son was an all conference high school pitcher throwing about 80. He had a successful college career pitching for a ranked D3. More importantly his pitching got him over the top to being admitted to one of the top academic colleges in the country. 

4T2 posted:

Heading into his sophomore year, he's a tick under a 3.0 student. Like many, the high school scene was a bit overwhelming. He has not yet taken the SAT or ACT. I have made him aware that his grades will be more important than his ability, with respect to college baseball. Ultimately, that responsibility falls on him. ...

Well, when it comes to grades, yes and no ("that responsibility falls on him").  As a HS coach (and parent), I have seen a very wide range of parenting approaches to HS academics.  In most instances, leaving the schoolwork responsibility 100% up to teenagers is a recipe for failure.  It is my observation that constant parental monitoring, clearly stated expectations, making sure the student knows he has access to resources, consequences for falling below agreed upon acceptable levels, etc., are critical.  The student, of course, is  responsible for doing the actual work but parents better be fully engaged.

Just making him aware that his grades are important won't cut it.  I have had too many parents say to me later in a student's HS years... "well, I told him grades are important...  he just didn't listen."   AAAARRRGGGGHHHHHHH !!!!!

Freshman year can be a jolt for many.  How the parent reacts to assure that the kid gets back on path is really crucial at this time as is future diligence.  Just when you think you have them on a good course, you're sure to get thrown a nasty curve.  

I'll 3rd cabbage's post on grades! In Texas, there were 3 academic tracks to graduation. Every Aug, I had the kids write down a detail of what they wanted to achieve/accomplish in each subject. And then, periodically throughout the year, we'd compare those goals to results. It taught them to be accountable to themselves, to be realistic, organized & efficient with their time. They knew top 10% was guaranteed admission to State Schools, so that was a good motivator. Good prep for heading off to college. 

I love the sentiment that grades are more important than baseball but lets not kid ourselves.  Without the baseball skills it does not matter about the grades.  Grades are a disqualifier - not a qualifier.  What's been posted about this young man having a near 3.0 ought to qualify him assuming he's willing to work a heck of a lot harder to maintain that average in college.  Of course, that is the one million dollar question.  Is a young man who is border line a B/C student in high school have what it takes to make that stick in college?  I am guessing if he loves the game with all his heart, the answer is yes.

SanDiegoRealist posted:

I second cabbagedads post above. I know a player with lights out skills in MIF - grades are below 2.5 and he gets interest from D1 programs but as soon as they see his transcript - "click"

But I'll tell you, there are more kids than you can imagine with 3.75's and 30 ACT's that can play....  and the showcases they go to, the coaches want baseball players.

Where's the meeting ground?  

ClevelandDad posted:

I love the sentiment that grades are more important than baseball but lets not kid ourselves.  Without the baseball skills it does not matter about the grades.  Grades are a disqualifier - not a qualifier.  What's been posted about this young man having a near 3.0 ought to qualify him assuming he's willing to work a heck of a lot harder to maintain that average in college.  Of course, that is the one million dollar question.  Is a young man who is border line a B/C student in high school have what it takes to make that stick in college?  I am guessing if he loves the game with all his heart, the answer is yes.

Nobody said it was more important, but I will say if you aren't a draft prospect it is more important to me, his Dad, that he put his priorities in order. If grades get you into a better school, mission accomplished. If you develop more while in college and become a draft prospect, you earned it. But I hope there isn't a parent on here with a "C's get degrees" attitude. 

RJM posted:

C's get degrees doesn't cut it. College professors hand out B's (3.0) like candy at Halloween. If a student doesn't get 3.3 or better he's not separating himself from the pack.

Do college coaches care about the grades beyond passing exams easily enough to stay eligible? What is the benefit of an A student for the college coach compared to C student as long as he passes the exams?

I'm not saying grades aren't super important, just asking what interest an athletic recruiter has in their student athlete being good at school?

Kids who are very successful academically and have a positive baseball experience are much more likely to contribute to the program after graduation. Just like the kids who go pro. Teams need a mix of outstanding ballplayers, outstanding students who are solid ballplayers and solid leaders who can provide team glue whether they play or not. Remember only nine or ten can play at a time and you may have 18-20 position players counting 2-ways. A lot of this depends on the school.

Ted22 posted:

Kids who are very successful academically and have a positive baseball experience are much more likely to contribute to the program after graduation. Just like the kids who go pro. Teams need a mix of outstanding ballplayers, outstanding students who are solid ballplayers and solid leaders who can provide team glue whether they play or not. Remember only nine or ten can play at a time and you may have 18-20 position players counting 2-ways. A lot of this depends on the school.

In addition, coaches prefer players who will remain NCAA eligible.

Dominik85 posted:
RJM posted:

C's get degrees doesn't cut it. College professors hand out B's (3.0) like candy at Halloween. If a student doesn't get 3.3 or better he's not separating himself from the pack.

Do college coaches care about the grades beyond passing exams easily enough to stay eligible? What is the benefit of an A student for the college coach compared to C student as long as he passes the exams?

I'm not saying grades aren't super important, just asking what interest an athletic recruiter has in their student athlete being good at school?

Coaches care the most about players being eligible. They don't want to spend time worrying about players being eligible. There's an assumption playing a college sport could knock a GPA down a point. It's why in recruiting coaches look for 3.0 or better. They assume it could lower to 2.0 in college. But there is a talent/GPA sliding scale. But Nuke Laloosh isn't  getting any college offers.

Coaches also care about APR. So do AD's and college presidents. A low APR could cost them their job (unless they're winning national championships).

Dominik85 posted:
RJM posted:

C's get degrees doesn't cut it. College professors hand out B's (3.0) like candy at Halloween. If a student doesn't get 3.3 or better he's not separating himself from the pack.

Do college coaches care about the grades beyond passing exams easily enough to stay eligible? What is the benefit of an A student for the college coach compared to C student as long as he passes the exams?

I'm not saying grades aren't super important, just asking what interest an athletic recruiter has in their student athlete being good at school?

I would think coach's also want their players/students to remain eligible for their academic scholarships as well (assuming they qualified initially). I can think of a bunch of reasons I'd rather have "A" students on my team vs. the "C" students that just slip by eligibility requirements.

You show me 2 kids with the same type of athletic skills vying for the same roster spot and I'll pick the one with the better grades/test scores all day long! Are excellent academic chops required to play college ball, no....Will they separate you from the other kid with the same athletic ability? Absolutely!

Dominik85 posted:
RJM posted:

C's get degrees doesn't cut it. College professors hand out B's (3.0) like candy at Halloween. If a student doesn't get 3.3 or better he's not separating himself from the pack.

Do college coaches care about the grades beyond passing exams easily enough to stay eligible? What is the benefit of an A student for the college coach compared to C student as long as he passes the exams?

I'm not saying grades aren't super important, just asking what interest an athletic recruiter has in their student athlete being good at school?

Coaches know that not every kid who plays for them is going pro and they know that if the kids in their programs aren't learning, they will have problems.

First D1 camp my son went to, one of the coaches visited with us afterward. First words were, you can play at the D1 level. Second, what's your GPA? Son told him it was a 3.2 and he said not bad, but if you can get to a 3.5, we will really be able to work with you.

Same coach is now a head coach at a D2 and just offered my son a baseball scholarship. He and his coaching staff meet with every player on the team every other week to talk about their classes, how they are doing, what they are studying. He says it does two things — first, makes it clear if you are going to class and paying attention, and second, helps the kids learn to talk to adults.

His mantra every time we see this coach is that his job is to develop good men, not just good baseball players.

That mantra is one of the reasons this school is still in our mix.

Just a comment about the SAT/ACT, and I recognize this may not apply to everyone. My 2019 and I sat with an IVY HC last winter after attending his camp.  It was a pre-arranged meeting.  He advised us to have son take the SAT/ACT asap so we would have a baseline score to work from and time to improve (if necessary). Was it a little self-serving on coach's part? Of course. But son took it in May as a sophomore, got the (good) result in June and was able to use the score to market himself this summer to several high academics, two of which offered. Turns out it was great advice for us and it's nice to know that admissions has already blessed the score. Taking the test early allows you time to get help on the subjects needing improvement before a re-test and/or to narrow your target list of schools. I guess my point is that with all the discussion about getting or keeping good grades, it also might not hurt to take a standardized test on the early side.  Again, just my humble opinion.    

BaseballinCT posted:

Just a comment about the SAT/ACT, and I recognize this may not apply to everyone. My 2019 and I sat with an IVY HC last winter after attending his camp.  It was a pre-arranged meeting.  He advised us to have son take the SAT/ACT asap so we would have a baseline score to work from and time to improve (if necessary). Was it a little self-serving on coach's part? Of course. But son took it in May as a sophomore, got the (good) result in June and was able to use the score to market himself this summer to several high academics, two of which offered. Turns out it was great advice for us and it's nice to know that admissions has already blessed the score. Taking the test early allows you time to get help on the subjects needing improvement before a re-test and/or to narrow your target list of schools. I guess my point is that with all the discussion about getting or keeping good grades, it also might not hurt to take a standardized test on the early side.  Again, just my humble opinion.    

Good point. My son took it fairly early just as "practice" and did okay. Took it again and raised two points, and I'm hoping he can get another two when he takes it the final time in October.

Teaching Elder posted:

Somehow from the tone of the OP's post, I have trouble believing that he's legit.

The process can be daunting for those entering high school who don't have good information. Another daunting aspect for some is getting to high school and realizing you're not the top shelf stud you were in 14u.

Teaching Elder, I can assure you that I am legitimately bewildered by the potential "next steps" in his baseball life, and that although he has been a standout player at every level, I recognize that the world is a huge place with a lot of baseball players in it. Because of these factors, I started researching...and found that there are so many players with almost unbelievable measurables that I started to legitimately wonder if he really even stood a chance of playing beyond high school. Did I use some hyperbole in describing the metrics I felt he was competing against? Absolutely. But given his success so far, and the measurables he has, and comparing them to those others, it seemed to me that he may not stand a chance at the next level. He has always been a very good hitter--took him out of LL after 11U because even at the district tourney, they wouldn't pitch to him. He's played "up" a year in travel ball ever since and has always led the team in just about every offensive category. He's crazy strong. He has always been a very effective pitcher, but not always with the K (velocity an issue?). At the highest-level-competition tournament of which he's been a part (in Mesa, AZ last year), he got the win in the championship game, going 5 innings on 44 pitches, giving up 1 run (2K, 1BB). He induces soft contact, even without overwhelming velocity.

In short, his game performance appears excellent. His measurables, on the other hand, appear pedestrian at best in comparison with the next-level candidates. Because of this shortcoming, I was legitimately wondering: Is there any hope?

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