Reply to "When was/is it important to be on a high level team?"

roothog66 posted:
pabaseballdad posted:

I would bet that at least half of the 9 year olds on "the best" 9 year old travel teams never set foot on a high school baseball field.   So forget about that.  Keep him playing, make it fun.    My opinion is the summer after 9th grade, then if college baseball is still his goal, get on a team that gets exposure, has a coach or organization that has contacts and goes to tournaments where they'll be seen.    before that, just make sure he's learning and having fun.

During the offseason (because this idea has come up before), I looked at the 9yo rosters from on USSSA from my son's 9u season. Just looking at the top six teams in the state, almost all were on JV or varsity rosters last season as freshmen. In fact, looking at the roster of my son's 9u team, every single player will play varsity as a sophomore. All but my son and another kid are on the same 4A team. My son moved and will play varsity elsewhere and the other kid played varsity on this team last year as a freshman, but moved out-of-state in the off season. I think you will find, across the board, the rosters of top 9u teams are made up of rosters of kids who will play high school ball at something around a 90% clip or above.

I did the "reverse" of this exercise recently, where I looked at the playing history of the two JV squads at son's 6A school. The results were surprising to me. Many players, way more than I expected to see, had either no history at younger ages 8-12u (presumably rec) or primarily AA experience. However, the overwhelming majority played at least AAA level USSSA beginning at age 13.

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