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Reply to "Evaluating pitchers"

I am overwhelmed at the response  from so many people. Even in disagreement sometime I appreciate the intent of everyone.

I will try to address all the comments needing response in one  reply:

First, he will be a senior graduating in 2020. As a pole vaulter his goal is to set a new state record for all high school athletes in the state beyond 16 ft 6 ¼ in. He is at 15ft now in practice. So he has several years to improve to be competitive in college competition before he finishes there.

As to pitching, in no way did I intend to disparage anyone working on improving as a pitcher. It is the most difficult position….it is 60% of your defense…one man. It takes a special person to be able to do it. The focus, the pressure is all on him constantly. Many had the capacity and control to be good pitchers, but they did not have the temperment and nerves for it. My grandson found long ago he has that temperment. He was fantastic as a reliever. I don’t know how many times he came in with the game on the line only 10 or 12 years old and shut the other team down.  This is why pitchers are born and not made.  And I have observed the pitchers on the high school team were for the most part the same ones who were the pitchers in little league. And up against my grandsons records they are just as effective…or ineffective now as they were then. No reason to think my grandson would not be just as effective now as he was then and do just as well once he gets back into pitching form since a blazing fastball never was his ace in the hole even though he is not slow by any means and he could get faster if he were working at it. When he cranks up I am scared to catch him anymore.

To clarify someone’s math: 20-25 to 1 was about what he was in little league…when the other winning pitchers were 6 or 7 to 1 then. Now in high school I find they are not any better than 3-4 to 1…and still the best the high school team has and are winners. As I said, I have monitored major league, college and high school pitchers and the best pitchers at any level are rarely better than 4 -1 over a whole season, most of the best between 3-4, some not even 3.  Half as good for him now at high school level would be 10-12 to 1. If the other high school pitchers are about half as good a record now as THEY had in little league,  Why is it unreasonable to believe my grandson would be also?....And that would be 10-12 to 1 against good high school hitters. More than twice as  good as anyone else on the high school team. And if he was a third or a fourth that good at the college level he would still be as good as the best pitchers on the college team and he would have his scholarship just like they have theirs.

Time elapsed since he last pitched is meaningless. He has pitched to me on and off over the 5 years since he competed. But one name debunks the importance of this: Sandy Kaufax, who was arguably the greatest pitcher of all time, went years without picking up a baseball in his supposedly forming years until he began in college….and he WAS a fast ball pitcher too! If you got it , you got it. If you aint you aint. I agree if he succeeds it will be one of the most amazing success stories of all time in pitching but that is what I believe can happen until the results prove me otherwise.

Yea, a fastball can be important but some of you may remember Stu Miller. He died at 87 in 2015. His fast ball was in the 80’s …about what my grandson would get up to but he led the American league twice in saves.

Some wanted to see video. I could get that but don’t think it would tell much. The only real test is what good hitters do with you no matter what it looks like on film. The ball does move around a lot in catching him;  and some hitters is what  he needs to get together to find out what he really has…or doesn’t. 

Conflicts between track season and baseball, sure. But if he is as good as we think he might be, he would be the best pitcher on most college teams. Are they going to not give him a scholarship and keep him off the team when he would be the best they’ve got just because they have to share him with another sport? The athletic director may have something to say about that with a potential representative to the US olympic team at his college and a boy who can take you to your conference baseball championship. Conflicts can always be worked out…or another school will work them out if one doesn’t .

And if the athletic dept can’t get him a full ride on two sports, there are ways to lean on those who control the grant money to get things done.  You all know it happens in every sport every season when a college needs somebody bad enough.  I am not telling you anything you don’t know. IT ALL COMES DOWN TO HOW GOOD YOU REALLY ARE AGAINST YOUR COMPETITION AND ANYTHING CAN BE SOLVED THAT GETS IN THE WAY OF YOU GETTING HIM.

I don’t know what it is about his pitching that makes him a great pitcher. But he has shown he is and would be. I hope we will find out this year.