2020.2023dad posted:... Sadly we've reached a tipping point in baseball where HS programs are just for fun; but since you can't do both at the same time, there's a conflict. ....
I certainly do not see that we've reached that tipping point with baseball. The majority of top HS age players still play baseball for their HS. Yes, of course, a legitimate travel team in a given area will typically be slightly more competitive than the average HS in the area. This only stands to reason. The travel team is likely to be made up of a handful of the best from each of the area HS's.
Most HS age players that want to play "just for fun"? My observation is that a good many of them are getting cut by their HS programs or getting passed by with PT because so many of their peers are playing both HS and travel ball and working extra on their game outside of the normal HS team practice time and working the hardest with every rep at those practices.
Tying this in to my other post... At the moment, I do not have clear separation between my 6th best guy and my 13th best guy. Each game, penning the lineup requires some deep digging. We had a big league game yesterday. We were playing a team with a LH ace and a lineup that can hit any pitching. I have a good LH hitter who doesn't move well. Looking at his recent offensive production and his history against this ace, I was set on replacing him in the lineup. The few days leading up to the game, he pushed even beyond his normal strong efforts. He is the only kid that finished outfield drills in a full sweat. He refused to back down on any hitting rep, whether it be cage swings, front toss, on-field, whatever... clearly determined to create separation where there was none or where it was tipping against him. I reluctantly took out my eraser and penciled him in. He carried that determination into the game... among other things... game winning RBI.