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Reply to "Can non Travel Players Get to the Next Level?"

baseball_swagg posted:

Hello All-

I'm a 2021 RHP with the dream of playing at the next level. People tell me I have the talent to pitch at the next level, and I believe I can as well, with hard work and a little bit of luck. I throw 84 as a sophomore in HS, I have a sharp breaking ball and a pretty good changeup. I also have a feel for pitching and the game. However, I don't play travel. It's not possible for my family, as it is too expensive and my parents are too busy for that kind of commitment. I'm a hard worker, always been. I believe in getting to the next level the old fashioned way, however, it is hard to play at a D1 school without travel. Yes, please, I know it is. Don't tell me that travel is essential to playing at the next level, etc. I've been told this for a long time, and have been offered spots on elite level teams. I would do much of anything to be able to play on these teams, as they'd take my recruiting to another level. But it doesn't work for my family and me, and I accept that. I just need to work a little (a lot, actually) than the next guy. Any advice? I would appreciate it a lot.

Swagg, I was thinking the same thing as RJM with his comment...

"What is lost is how you emotionally handle facing quality hitter after hitter lineups and maybe having a bad day."  Recruiters want to know that you can and want to see you compete against strong competition, up and down a lineup, not just face a few decent hitters in the average HS lineup.

You can most likely play at the next level from a skill set standpoint as a P if you are throwing 84 as a HS soph.  But, the question will become how aggressively will you be recruited?  And by who?  The answer to your question is "absolutely".  But you have to have the skill set and a good plan.    

How competitive is your HS league and is it in a fairly well populated area or remote?  You say no travel... do you plan on doing a few showcases?  Is there Scout ball anywhere near you (usually very inexpensive but good exposure)?  Can you play in a more localized short travel season?  Can you take advantage of an occasional fill-in invite for free?  What is your plan to contact recruiting coordinators and how will you be seen by them?  Do you have a P instructor or other mentor that is connected and can be an advocate for you with college recruiters?  Do you have a target school list?  Do you know what your college major will be yet?  Are your parents supportive of the idea of you pursuing playing baseball in college?  Are they the least bit familiar with the current recruiting environment for doing so?  Answers to these types of questions will allow you to put together a plan for yourself to play at the next level.  

Also, what is stopping you from doing some side work (umpire youth games, cut lawns, etc.) in order to pitch in some money to participate occasionally in travel and/or smartly chosen showcases?  

PS - Sorry, Swagg, I know you answered some of those questions via PM a while back.  But, they are primarily to ask and answer to yourself to help put/keep a focused plan in place.

Last edited by cabbagedad
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