It is just so much easier to work with local school and our coaches have the connections west coast too. The east and southeast just seems very foreign...hence the research questions. We know the coaches around here that won't take a second look at a kid who isn't 6'4"... and we know to cross them off but we also know the games being played talking to one kid to get to another on a roster that type of thing. Here we feel we know the layout and in the end my son wants to play at the most competitive program he can. His grades are fine and test scores will be too...from the reading I think he is just a stones throw below the Ivy so most other academics will be ok.
Thanks again for all the detail...I've gotten great perspective and really appreciate you taking the time.
Your son sounds similar to my son in many ways. He is not tall (6'1"), was a contact pitcher who could carve up college hitters. One of the things he learned very quickly is that unless you are throwing 95+ you won't be blowing it by college hitters....unless you set up pitches. There are recruiting coaches at showcases and events that recognize sequencing, control, command and value it highly. My son was an afterthought by a couple ACC and SEC schools. While my son was capable of touching 90, these power conference starting pitchers were always throwing 90+ on fastballs, and relievers were 95+. Big difference in our recruiting experience between ACC/SEC and Ivy, Patriot League, or other high academic schools in terms of what they were looking for and what mattered most to them,
One of the biggest challenges is where you live. There is tremendous baseball supply in California, and not enough demand to meet the supply. If your son is a "stones throw" below high academic schools, then your son could have many options if he plays his cards right and understands how recruiting at those levels works. I strongly encourage you to research high academic schools on your own as you continue to listen to the advice of your high school/travel coaches. Essentially, this is what I did many years ago. I discovered his travel coaches have their own ideas and network of college coaches that mostly did not fit my son's thoughts about college and college baseball. We learned we had leverage with high academic schools and an abundance of options once we figured out what we wanted and who was looking for it. JMO.
Best of luck going forward!