Stories of Late-Blooming Pitchers

Hi Y'all

With a slow day, I thought I'd ask if any of you had uplifting stories of late-bloomers that pull it all together late in HS.

Mine started older than most, but could throw, and so seems to have always been behind the curve. He was always little, and was usually only on the team because of his pitching. Fast forward to today and he has now sprouted to 6 2, and 145 lbs (sopping wet). Put a ball in his hand and he looks like an athlete, but he does not have the grace of the kids who stand out of the crowd. He's working hard to get stronger and add velo. Would love to show him stories of kids like him who have come out of the lower levels of the pack to made it to the next level. 

TIA

Original Post

My son was an ok pitcher through his junior year and even the first couple of games his senior year.  Was never considered the ace of any team he pitched on in high school or club ball.  He was probably 6'3 165lbs. He had been told he might be a decent small D2 pitcher, but wasn't going to be a D1 pitcher.

His senior year, something just clicked (he found what focus means to a pitcher).  His team ended up winning the state championship and he made honorable mention all-state.  He received a scholarship to play at a small D2 school, where he was red-shirted, but left after his freshman year. His velo at the time was 86-88 T89. He came home to play for a JUCO his sophomore year and really worked hard in the weight room and with weighted balls.  He added 20-25 pounds of muscle and grew another inch. He started his JUCO season getting converted to a closer, despite being a starter his entire life,  and made the most of it.  His fastball jumped to 88-90 T92, he led the NJCAA in saves and made second team All-American. 

This coming year he will be at a very good D1 hopefully as the closer.

 

Clueless... 

You said..  "he has now sprouted to 6 2, and 145 lbs (sopping wet). Put a ball in his hand and he looks like an athlete,.."

If he is a 2019 who is 6'2" and athletic with a ball in his hand, he shouldn't need any stories.  Most would kill to be 6'2" as a soph.  He's still young enough that anything can happen. 

I've told the story recently of a pitcher that came out of our HS program... threw a grand total of 7+ innings and hit .091 as a sophomore (playing most of the season at JV), was decent but not a standout as a junior (3.2 ERA in a typical Calif. HS league), then outstanding as a senior.  He got late attention at a D1, still took a while to fully develop his velo, excelled as a redshirt sophomore, and was drafted in the second round last month with a very healthy signing bonus.

As far as the soph to jr to senior progression in HS, this player's path is quite typical.  I would say, on average, the players who eventually contribute to V as starters (and go on to play at some college level) take a path very similar.  I could cite countless examples.  Early development is the exception, not the norm.  

Four of our pitchers this past year ...

1 - was in JV prior (soph) year, couldn't throw strikes.  With a lot of work wound up 10-1 as a junior with an ERA around 2.00 for a playoff V team.

2. - a senior who was decent as a junior but was all arm and was always sore for 4+ days after a start.  With a lot of work, completely retooled, became our go-to ace, arm stayed healthy and fresh, was recruited by and will be attending a very competitive D3.

3. - a junior who came back into baseball after sitting a year to play football.  With a lot of work, was brought up to V and became our #3 starter by end of season... was very successful, also with a low 2's ERA.  With a lot of work, he stands to be one of our top 2 rotation guys next spring.

4. - a junior, got about 14 IP as a soph, gave up a lot of hits and walks.  Worked pretty hard to develop, only to have an injury prevent him from getting more mound time.  He is already working really hard and I have no doubt that he will be a top arm for us as a senior and more than capable of taking his skill set to the next level as a P or as a position player.

Thanks Cabbage... he will love to hear the encouragement and mild chastising in your post!  

All he seems to hear are the stories of the studs getting D1 interest while he is still trying to get the gears (and the limbs) working together. He is loving the height, and while I'm a runt, my brothers are 6 4 and 6 6, so he keeps looking at them for more growth.

Thanks PA... we are at Coastal for a tournament this weekend, so hopefully some of that karma will rub off on us 

Thanks again, y'all are great!

cluelessDad2019 posted:

Thanks Cabbage... he will love to hear the encouragement and mild chastising in your post!  

All he seems to hear are the stories of the studs getting D1 interest while he is still trying to get the gears (and the limbs) working together. He is loving the height, and while I'm a runt, my brothers are 6 4 and 6 6, so he keeps looking at them for more growth.

Thanks PA... we are at Coastal for a tournament this weekend, so hopefully some of that karma will rub off on us 

Thanks again, y'all are great!

Please be sure to read  (have him read) what I added to my post as well since your reply.

cluelessDad2019 posted:

Hi Y'all

With a slow day, I thought I'd ask if any of you had uplifting stories of late-bloomers that pull it all together late in HS.

Mine started older than most, but could throw, and so seems to have always been behind the curve. He was always little, and was usually only on the team because of his pitching. Fast forward to today and he has now sprouted to 6 2, and 145 lbs (sopping wet). Put a ball in his hand and he looks like an athlete, but he does not have the grace of the kids who stand out of the crowd. He's working hard to get stronger and add velo. Would love to show him stories of kids like him who have come out of the lower levels of the pack to made it to the next level. 

TIA

The height and weight doesn't matter at this time, what does is his how his velo is progressing and what pitches he throws for strikes.

Which you never mentioned.

I wasn't really looking to turn this thread into that type, but for the record, he's always been a high control, ground ball machine. velocity is mid-70s, but with lots of range 72-77 (a mechanical issue we are working on). Best secondary is a CU that gets swings and misses when he gets extension, and ground balls when its not right on. CB breaks down and out to the righty. He can throw them all for strikes. He's started a driveline program with his travel team a few weeks ago, and we'll see how that affects his velocity development through the Fall and Winter.

Make no mistake, we totally realize he is velocity challenged, and that he's not going to be judged by his change up ;-)

I could tell many stories about late bloomers. Have seen a lot of them over the years.  Not just seniors in HS but several that developed in college. Kids that threw mid 80s as seniors and mid 90s a couple years later. Kids unrecruited and undrafted out of HS, only to attend junior college and end up pitching in the Big Leagues.

While the late bloomers do happen, it is much more ordinary to see the top underclassmen in HS, become the top seniors in HS.

Typically late bloomers are pitchers and most share certain traits.  Tall and skinny, even tall and overweight, very good quick arm action, the ability to spin the baseball, etc., are all signs of future development.  

Have also seen position players that blossom late in HS or in college.  It's a little harder projecting them.  But a good example would be Scott Schebler (Cincinnati Reds Outfielder) 

Friend's son wasn't a college prospect. He was a mop up puss throwing pitcher junior year in the upper 70's in a strong high school league. Senior year he's throwing about 82/83. With great command he's all conference. Along with his great grades he's recruited to a top academic D3. By senior year of college he's grown five more inches and added 10 mph to his fastball. He's drafted and spends three years in the minors until an arm injury ends his career.

I'm not sure what Steven Strasburg did in high school. His nickname was Slothburg. He wasn't recruited. He went to his local college, SDSU. By junior year of college he was the most hyped, closely watched and highest paid prospect in baseball history.

PGStaff posted:

...While the late bloomers do happen, it is much more ordinary to see the top underclassmen in HS, become the top seniors in HS... 

As the dad of one confirmed late bloomer (and a probable second one in the pipeline), that's easy to explain.

Late bloomers face a mountain of obstacles in middle school and high school that tend to weed most of them out at a higher rate. Fair warning: this sounds brutal and bitter.  But I assure you that everything on this list has been experienced by my 2016 or my 2022, sometimes both.

  • Fewer opportunities to play - in our experience, very few coaches at that level can connect the dots to see what the ceiling of a player really is.  They can't see past what they can do right now.  So the late bloomers get cut, a lot.  Or if they do make the team, they ride the pine because a coach isn't willing to risk having them on the field, so he goes with the more physically mature players.  Both of mine largely rode the pine during their 13U year.  Both got cut from all the "elite" local travel teams for their 14U year.  I was fortunate enough to find a bad team with a good coach for my 2016.  Hoping I just found something similar for my 2022.
  • They get labeled as not being hard workers - The problem is actually that because they are behind developmentally, they don't get the same results from their hard work because their bodies are still changing, which often undoes all the work they put in.
  • They get encouraged to quit by teammates/classmates - "Jeez you suck! Why are you even here?"
  • They get "slotted" in their program - Poor or inconsistent performance by a late bloomer is hard for some coaches to get over in later years. The coach becomes so accustomed to focusing on the half-empty part of the glass that he doesn't notice that the glass was actually a 5-gallon bucket and it's only about a quart shy of overflowing.  They still lock in on that empty part of the vessel.  
  • Abuse by teammates, part 2 - The same "chosen ones" that were telling them to quit when they were younger suddenly view the new and improved version as a threat when the late bloomer surpasses them physically, especially since "everyone" knows that the late bloomer didn't work as hard as they did (see above). To them, the late bloomer doesn't deserve success, so they ostracize him and isolate him.  This is especially true when the late bloomer was cut or left on JV in earlier years.  (This is probably the worst part.)
  • They don't get the same level of "push" or advice from coaches - Again, since they formed low expectations early on, they not only don't see them as contributors to their program, they also don't see them furthering their career after graduation.

 

Thankfully, 2016 was determined enough to push through this.  That determination also got him through TJ surgery and rehab.  He's now 6-7 250 and about to start his R-Fr year at a JuCo (despite his glowing 6.5 PG rating).

Jury is of course still out on 2022.  But so far he appears to be doomed to the same path - he's already able to check off the 1st three bullets.

I recollect a speaker we (corporation) had at a President's Club. His story netted out ... if you're happy where you are what does it matter how you got there as long as you didn't harm anyone. If you faced any adversity it probably helped make you stronger and made you more resolved to meet your goals. Your JuCo son made it. 

Most people face adversity at some point in their lives. They just don't tell others. They're too busy figuring out how to beat and working at beating the adversity. Most successful people failed on the path to success. 

Great Thread.  Anyone remember reading to their kid “Leo the Late Bloomer” ?  I think about that book when I look at my LHP.  But here is the thing… its eally hard to know that he is a late bloomer until its all over. Regardless,  what I love about him is that he has never quit.   Despite riding the pine, being overlooked by coaches along the way, and told he won’t ever accomplish much on the filed,  he didn't quit.  To me — if nothing else — the process has taught him an incredibly valuable lesson:  NEVER, EVER GIVE UP.  

Will he bloom at his D3 program or along the way over the next four years as keeps playing in baseball?  God knows. I hope so for his sake.  But if not, he has seen that his hard work has opened doors that would have been closed otherwise (getting into a good academic school).  As a parent — the bigger goal here it to hope your kid adopts values and habits that will serve them well throughout their life.  

I know a pitcher who was just average in high school and on his local travel team. But, he was very good by his senior year of high school and had several good outings for his showcase team between his junior and senior years of high school Consistently threw well in bullpens with a high 80's fastball and a decent curve. 

Went to a local D2 and the coaching staff changed up some things with his delivery and by the spring of his freshman year he was hitting 93 on his fastball in games and added a sinker and a slider. Had some dominant outings in his freshman season including a 1 hitter. Transferred to a JUCO to become draft eligible after his sophomore season.  Didn't perform well at the juco and suffered an arm injury. Is back at the D2 and hasn't pitched due to arm problems and surgery. I doubt he will pitch again.

Kind of an odd example, but he did blossom from an average high schooler, to a very good pitcher by his senior year of HS, and to a very good collegiate pitcher as a freshman, even though it was just for one year. 

I don't know -- I almost want to reject this label and notion of late bloomers.  Part of the problem is that all kids develop differently.  Some get teeth sooner, some walk sooner, some read sooner, some hit 90 mph on the radar gun earlier.  The issue is that most never hit 90, clearly.  But, also, most give up along the way...

The kids who are taller, stronger, physically more developed SOONER often have an advantage in most sports.  So is a late bloomer a late grower?  Or is a late bloomer one who consistently improves until they reach "that" level (starting, hitting certain measurables, not riding the pine, not getting cut, whatever)?  

One son (2014) was a 5'10 140 lb freshman soaking wet.  When he graduated he was 6'5" and 190.  I know the coaches in 9th grade would have loved to have known he was going to get that big. 

Twoboys posted:

I don't know -- I almost want to reject this label and notion of late bloomers.  Part of the problem is that all kids develop differently.  Some get teeth sooner, some walk sooner, some read sooner, some hit 90 mph on the radar gun earlier.  The issue is that most never hit 90, clearly.  But, also, most give up along the way...

 

So it isn't that they are "Late Bloomers" it is that they are "Non-Quitters"?

No matter what you call them, they definitely exist.

Stephen Strasburg actually pitched in the WWBA Championship in Jupiter for the Braves Scout Team before his senior year in HS.  I remember watching him there and he was actually good.  Topped out in the low 90s and could spin the ball.  The body was very soft, almost sloppy looking, but the arm worked well.  Once he got to college, San Diego State with Tony Gwynn as the coach, he really went to work on his body.  The results were amazing.

Twoboys posted:

I don't know -- I almost want to reject this label and notion of late bloomers.  Part of the problem is that all kids develop differently.  Some get teeth sooner, some walk sooner, some read sooner, some hit 90 mph on the radar gun earlier.  The issue is that most never hit 90, clearly.  But, also, most give up along the way...

The kids who are taller, stronger, physically more developed SOONER often have an advantage in most sports.  So is a late bloomer a late grower?  Or is a late bloomer one who consistently improves until they reach "that" level (starting, hitting certain measurables, not riding the pine, not getting cut, whatever)?  

One son (2014) was a 5'10 140 lb freshman soaking wet.  When he graduated he was 6'5" and 190.  I know the coaches in 9th grade would have loved to have known he was going to get that big. 

I think by definition he was a late bloomer. I don't think it's necessarily referring to actual age but instead, the biological age when the body is ready to put on man muscle and the growth plates fuse. 

My son's travel team has some really good players. Some of them have grown man muscle definition and others look like q-tips with ball caps because their bodies aren't there yet.  

I remember watching the PGAA a few years back and they talked about a kid who was 79 as a sophomore and 93 at the AA game.  That's my definition of a late bloomer. 

Thanks to all of you for contributing to this conversation. My take away is that it is possible to be a late bloomer (we've got the tall and skinny down ), but the deck is stacked against you in so many ways. If you can survive the attrition and succeed as a late bloomer, then it reflects on your commitment, your determination to see this thing through, and to do it all in the face of significant head winds. I'm hoping that no matter how this all turns out for Jr., that he will have learned that without all of these things there is little chance for success at achieving high goals unless you are truly gifted. BUT, even without these gifts, hard work and dedication can make good things happen, and that goals worth striving for are achievable. There is a shorter proverb in here but its failing me now.

Have a great weekend y'all

cluelessDad2019 posted:

Thanks to all of you for contributing to this conversation. My take away is that it is possible to be a late bloomer (we've got the tall and skinny down ), but the deck is stacked against you in so many ways. If you can survive the attrition and succeed as a late bloomer, then it reflects on your commitment, your determination to see this thing through, and to do it all in the face of significant head winds. I'm hoping that no matter how this all turns out for Jr., that he will have learned that without all of these things there is little chance for success at achieving high goals unless you are truly gifted. BUT, even without these gifts, hard work and dedication can make good things happen, and that goals worth striving for are achievable. There is a shorter proverb in here but its failing me now.

Have a great weekend y'all

Best wishes to you guys!

Image result for never ever give up

i have a handful of t-shirts with this logo that I give to my students who have conquered a problem that seemed insurmountable. I only give them out every 2-4 years so the bar is pretty high. I'd give one to my son, but it would just sit in the bottom of his T-shirt drawer ;-)

Had no idea where to post this and did not want to start a new topic for just my son....so this topic seemed like best fit. I wanted to share my son's (2018 RHP) story for no other reason then to give hope to the late blooming pitcher and his parents.Our circumstances are probably different then most but it still came down to finding someone who believed in my son and had the knowledge and skills to help him develop.

Our son was not necessarily late developing in terms of his physiological development. However, he was most definitely a late bloomer in terms of pitching including consistent top velo (without arm problems), command, along with mental skills needed to play D1 baseball. My son had always been good enough to play on a local competitive travel team during his youth ball days but NEVER had success on the mound. This carried over to HS where he spent little time on the mound due to poor command (I am talking about 7IP with 19BB and a 17.00 ERA as a frosh). Just to be fully transparent, he did start in CF/RF and had the opportunity to play a lot of baseball. However, I had enough experience to understand that his inconsistency at the plate would eventually catch up to him so we continued to try and work on developing him as a pitcher. It was slow going at best.

Fast forward to Feb, 2017 when we were approached by a recruiting service (1-man shop) after my son threw at local PBR event where he was 87-88. We were told he was on the cusp of being a D1 RHP and that it would depend on how he showed in spring 2017. My son worked his tail off, training at a local facility that was Driveline based and we even set him up with remote lessons from a very reputable pitching coach. There were a couple of games where he really shined but still inconsistent and his velocity was not improving. We were told by the same recruiter that D2 was probably best option. As the season progressed, we were told that most D2 schools (and some D1's) that had expressed interest were no longer interested or going to go the JUCO route for players. It was then that we were informed JUCO was going to be a better option. We flew out to a top 10 JUCO program where he received an offer this past summer. He was really excited about the baseball opportunity but less then thrilled with the academics. 

It was right about this time that we were connected with a pitching coach who I had never heard of but that had been highly recommended by a parent that I trusted. I could go on and on about this guy but will keep it short and say that he transformed my son in a very short period of time. He told my son that he was a D1 pitcher and to turn down the JUCO offer. I was just a little stressed but my son bought in right away and turned down the offer. He then turned down another offer the following week. I sent the new pitching coach video clips and he quickly diagnosed a timing problem. He started working with my son right away. This work also included mental training along with personal/athletic goal setting, etc. He made weekly video clips of progress. It was amazing to watch. My son even started waking up in the morning and making his bed first thing! After just 4 weeks, my son was pitching in front of a Power 5 powerhouse where he was 90-91 and touched 92 with great command. This occurred in early September. They liked him a lot but unfortunately he was going to have to wait around and hope that they lost a commit (they will for sure lose one to draft). He obviously wanted to look for other opportunities and ended up with another opportunity to throw in front of another powerhouse Power 5 program who was still looking for 1-2 arms for 2018. 

To keep this from turning into a novel...my son accepted the offer. It is definitely reaching for the stars but he has a new found confidence and if he continues to progress as he has over the last couple of months, he will fit in just fine. If not, he will know that he reached for the stars and can walk away with very few regrets!

There is more detailed info to his story so feel free to ask questions if you have any. Not sure we will have the answers but will do our best. 

I wish nothing but the best for all the hard working, dedicated HS ball players (especially the 2018's)out there right now who are fighting for a late opportunity.  Keep working hard and know that regardless of outcome, you are building a skill set that will help you long after the game ends!

 

 

 

The best story I've heard in this vein is Justin Verlander, who pitched at Goochland HS in Virginia.  Goochland is only about 23 miles from where my son went to high school, but in a much more sparsely populated area, and so they played against smaller schools and not ours.  Plus he was 7 years older than my son, so for those reasons I never actually knew of Verlander when he was local and never saw him in person.

What I've been told is that he was stick thin coming up.  There were lots of people who talked about how hard he threw, but that was largely based on being upper 80's as a junior.  His senior year, he had mono or something like that, and his velo capped out around 89.  He had committed to ODU but was interested in pro offers.  The tale told to me was that he was ready to sign for 200k but MLB teams weren't ready to pay that for where he was in June 2001.

Three years later, he was healthy as a horse and much larger and stronger.  I remember he came to Richmond to go head to head with Justin Orenduff, a low/mid 90's sinker baller at VCU.  The local paper covered it and reported with amazement on the number of pro scouts and RADAR guns in evidence.  Verlander topped 100 at times that day.  Not long after, he was the # 2 overall pick by the Tigers.

And the rest, as they say, is history.  (And much more verifiable, I might add!)

BTW we don't get to see him around here much any more.  He built his parents a mansion overlooking the James River, and he visits them on occasion.  Last time around, I think Kate Upton got more attention than he did! 

coachld posted:

.... My son even started waking up in the morning and making his bed first thing! After just 4 weeks,.. 

 

Great story Coach and I was totally buying in until this part...   that there is some seriously dangerous hypnotism voodoo stuff.  

Really, though, congratulations!  

Midlo Dad posted:

 Justin Verlander.....

BTW we don't get to see him around here much any more.  He built his parents a mansion overlooking the James River, and he visits them on occasion.  Last time around, I think Kate Upton got more attention than he did! 

Midlo Dad, Apparently on one of those home visits Verlander shopped at the local Dicks Sporting Goods.  He was very gracious and allowed a photo op with one of my son's friends (who btw is VERY tall since Justin is 6'5"!) 

Image may contain: 2 people

 

So I'll bite.

The kid has pitched since he started playing but with him it was always the hit tool. 8,9,10,11 he saw pitching coaches. Mostly 8,9,10 as we were seeing a guy who liked him and did hour long lessons for $25. Results were mixed. One day pretty good another horrendous. At 11 his prowess at the plate landed him on a pretty good team. We were playing Super NIT majors. Needing pitchers he would help with pool play. His coach was the first one, even though it was still hot/cold, that said he just might be a pitcher. His HS coach, who had pitched in collage, was the next one. We had a conversation the kids freshman year about his hitting during which he said there was something about the kid. He looked liked he belonged on the mound. How he reached that conclusion as the kid walked batter after batter IDK. Actually I do. The kid did look the part, minus the control. Freshman year not good. Sophomore year better but.... lead the team with lowest OBA and highest ERA, if that tells you anything. Jr year marked improvement. Sr year he was almost unhittable, by HS strike zone standards. But it was a matter of called pitch would be high and inside and the pitch might be low and outside. A strike but not where it was suppose to be. That and generous zones by the umps. That said he was pretty dam good.

I'll add this here. The pitching coach at 8,9,10 taught the kids a change-up and the curve. A lot of the kids struggled to control them and didn't throw then often, especially the change-up. The kid, not being to concerned about pitching, didn't care about the results and continued to throw them. And you know what, he became pretty dam good with them. Really dam good actually. Also, he hasn't seen a true PC in five years. He took "pitching lessons" as part of a hitting/pitching/fielding workout he's done over the winter the last few years but they were bullpen sessions with a little guidance at most.

Now here's where it gets interesting. The kids hitting got him noticed by DI schools. He signed with one for his hitting although they knew he could pitch. Now they have a pretty good team. In a power five conference and won the regular season title last year. So into fall practice I'm talking to him and of course ask how things are going. He says hitting pretty good, pitching really good. Like I mean really good. Like I'm embarrassing people in practice he says. Awesome you'd think. Well not so much. Not for a kid who doesn't in any way, shape, or form want to be a PO. They're still playing him in the field but won't let him throw. Like he'll catch the ball in the outfield and go to throw it in and the coaches will have a cow. "No throwing". So here I am. With a kid at a pretty darn good DI program. Doing well both on the mound and at the plate and stressing about it. Granted only because the mound is going better than at the plate, but still....

SomeBaseballDad posted:

So I'll bite.

The kid has pitched since he started playing but with him it was always the hit tool. 8,9,10,11 he saw pitching coaches. Mostly 8,9,10 as we were seeing a guy who liked him and did hour long lessons for $25. Results were mixed. One day pretty good another horrendous. At 11 his prowess at the plate landed him on a pretty good team. We were playing Super NIT majors. Needing pitchers he would help with pool play. His coach was the first one, even though it was still hot/cold, that said he just might be a pitcher. His HS coach, who had pitched in collage, was the next one. We had a conversation the kids freshman year about his hitting during which he said there was something about the kid. He looked liked he belonged on the mound. How he reached that conclusion as the kid walked batter after batter IDK. Actually I do. The kid did look the part, minus the control. Freshman year not good. Sophomore year better but.... lead the team with lowest OBA and highest ERA, if that tells you anything. Jr year marked improvement. Sr year he was almost unhittable, by HS strike zone standards. But it was a matter of called pitch would be high and inside and the pitch might be low and outside. A strike but not where it was suppose to be. That and generous zones by the umps. That said he was pretty dam good.

I'll add this here. The pitching coach at 8,9,10 taught the kids a change-up and the curve. A lot of the kids struggled to control them and didn't throw then often, especially the change-up. The kid, not being to concerned about pitching, didn't care about the results and continued to throw them. And you know what, he became pretty dam good with them. Really dam good actually. Also, he hasn't seen a true PC in five years. He took "pitching lessons" as part of a hitting/pitching/fielding workout he's done over the winter the last few years but they were bullpen sessions with a little guidance at most.

Now here's where it gets interesting. The kids hitting got him noticed by DI schools. He signed with one for his hitting although they knew he could pitch. Now they have a pretty good team. In a power five conference and won the regular season title last year. So into fall practice I'm talking to him and of course ask how things are going. He says hitting pretty good, pitching really good. Like I mean really good. Like I'm embarrassing people in practice he says. Awesome you'd think. Well not so much. Not for a kid who doesn't in any way, shape, or form want to be a PO. They're still playing him in the field but won't let him throw. Like he'll catch the ball in the outfield and go to throw it in and the coaches will have a cow. "No throwing". So here I am. With a kid at a pretty darn good DI program. Doing well both on the mound and at the plate and stressing about it. Granted only because the mound is going better than at the plate, but still....

A good problem to have! Just make sure he's drafted by a National League team so he at least gets to hit every fifth day!

cabbagedad posted:
coachld posted:

.... My son even started waking up in the morning and making his bed first thing! After just 4 weeks,.. 

 

Great story Coach and I was totally buying in until this part...   that there is some seriously dangerous hypnotism voodoo stuff.  

Really, though, congratulations!  

 My thoughts exactly but whatever he is doing must be working. Need to try and motivate myself to do the same! Maybe I will end up being the next "The Rookie."

keewart posted:
Midlo Dad posted:

 Justin Verlander.....

BTW we don't get to see him around here much any more.  He built his parents a mansion overlooking the James River, and he visits them on occasion.  Last time around, I think Kate Upton got more attention than he did! 

Midlo Dad, Apparently on one of those home visits Verlander shopped at the local Dicks Sporting Goods.  He was very gracious and allowed a photo op with one of my son's friends (who btw is VERY tall since Justin is 6'5"!) 

Image may contain: 2 people

 

 Verlanders agent has been his mentor. He is a regular guy. He is engaged to Kate Upton, a die hard Yankees fan now an Astros fan.

MrBumstead posted:
PGStaff posted:

...While the late bloomers do happen, it is much more ordinary to see the top underclassmen in HS, become the top seniors in HS... 

As the dad of one confirmed late bloomer (and a probable second one in the pipeline), that's easy to explain.

Late bloomers face a mountain of obstacles in middle school and high school that tend to weed most of them out at a higher rate. Fair warning: this sounds brutal and bitter.  But I assure you that everything on this list has been experienced by my 2016 or my 2022, sometimes both.

  • Fewer opportunities to play - in our experience, very few coaches at that level can connect the dots to see what the ceiling of a player really is.  They can't see past what they can do right now.  So the late bloomers get cut, a lot.  Or if they do make the team, they ride the pine because a coach isn't willing to risk having them on the field, so he goes with the more physically mature players.  Both of mine largely rode the pine during their 13U year.  Both got cut from all the "elite" local travel teams for their 14U year.  I was fortunate enough to find a bad team with a good coach for my 2016.  Hoping I just found something similar for my 2022.
  • They get labeled as not being hard workers - The problem is actually that because they are behind developmentally, they don't get the same results from their hard work because their bodies are still changing, which often undoes all the work they put in.
  • They get encouraged to quit by teammates/classmates - "Jeez you suck! Why are you even here?"
  • They get "slotted" in their program - Poor or inconsistent performance by a late bloomer is hard for some coaches to get over in later years. The coach becomes so accustomed to focusing on the half-empty part of the glass that he doesn't notice that the glass was actually a 5-gallon bucket and it's only about a quart shy of overflowing.  They still lock in on that empty part of the vessel.  
  • Abuse by teammates, part 2 - The same "chosen ones" that were telling them to quit when they were younger suddenly view the new and improved version as a threat when the late bloomer surpasses them physically, especially since "everyone" knows that the late bloomer didn't work as hard as they did (see above). To them, the late bloomer doesn't deserve success, so they ostracize him and isolate him.  This is especially true when the late bloomer was cut or left on JV in earlier years.  (This is probably the worst part.)
  • They don't get the same level of "push" or advice from coaches - Again, since they formed low expectations early on, they not only don't see them as contributors to their program, they also don't see them furthering their career after graduation.

 

Thankfully, 2016 was determined enough to push through this.  That determination also got him through TJ surgery and rehab.  He's now 6-7 250 and about to start his R-Fr year at a JuCo (despite his glowing 6.5 PG rating).

Jury is of course still out on 2022.  But so far he appears to be doomed to the same path - he's already able to check off the 1st three bullets.

Wow that post just about sums up my son's path as a 2022.  He is small delayed in growth.  He is the one the other kids try and tell how to play.  He just ignores it and keeps on truckin on. 

Thanks for posting this.

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