IF Dad "No matter how hard we try as parents, it is problematic for us to understand how much better our son's need to be to compete once they get beyond HS. (again, leaving out that top tier of players who have challenges but perhaps different ones in many ways at top tier programs.)"
Ain't that the truth! With my only baseball player now a HS senior, I am following former teammates and opponents who are in freshman through junior years of college. Especially among the pitchers it's astounding how many kids who were really, really tough at-bats in HS have struggled mightily in college. There are a few who go the the other way, but not many.
Also, 2019, I'd count on those numbers climbing. For example the top incoming freshman RHP at Cal was throwing mid-upper 90's last spring, yet if you looked him up on PG you'd see him at 93 before senior year of HS.
Yes, of course. Many, many of these kids threw harder their HS senior springs, and/or the summer after senior year of high school. And then when they got to college, too.
The perspective was a little different -- essentially, how hard do you have to throw to get recruited at X university? Since NLIs are largely signed in Nov. of senior year, I focused on the velo when they were rising seniors and senior fall (though I know that some of these kids may be walk-ons who didn't sign an NLI . . . ).
Realistically, I would throw out the bottom one or two -- who knows what special circumstances may have led to an individual being on the roster? -- and then focus on the mid-point. Just by way of example, if your goal is Virginia, you probably need to be touching 91-92 senior fall . . . if your goal is William and Mary, more like 87-88 . . . But folks can use the information however they'd like (obviously). I just thought it might be useful to others.