So friends son who is a 2027 and is typically a 3b/ss was asked if he would play 1b as there is an opening there. There is a backlog at those other spots. He is probably better than the other kids at those spots, but friends son is 6’2 and athletic enough to play anywhere most likely. This will all also potentially get him on the field as a freshman at a big school. Is there any downside to this? He plays both 3b/ss/p for his summer team.
Replies sorted oldest to newest
If it gets him on the field and learns one more infield position, definitely go for it in my humble opinion. The more spots you can play the better chance you have to get on the field. My 2023 who is a PO in college now played MIF until he hit a growth spurt and was 6'4" by junior/senior year and he ended up being a corner infielder. His senior year he was our ace and when our lefty pitched, he was the first baseman. Outside of that he played third. Now during fall and summer travel his coach would move him back and forth between third and SS depending upon who was pitching.
Who is "asking" him to play 1B, high school or club? I've never heard of a high school coach asking, only telling. IMO, you do whatever it takes to get At Bats. My son was a C in high school, but coach wanted his bat in the varsity lineup sophomore year and moved him to 1B. In my biased dad opinion, son was a measurably better C than the starter, but that kid was an established leader on the field. Son ended up staying at 1B with his high school team through senior year. However, he continued to play C for his club team, and was recruited as a C. And, he would have gone to college as a C if not for a knee injury (he played 1B at a D3).
Just be aware that 1B can be the toughest spot on the field to earn. Not only are you competing with all the corner guys, and the DH, but most of the lefties on the team (including pitchers in some cases).
Good point, I'm not so sure he is asking versus stating we'd like to see you there. I guess the kid could say no.
This is a teachable moment in the player’s career. FWIW I think this is especially important in HS, where the whole thing is about playing with friends and competing. He’s only going to stay on the field at 1B if he hits well, and if he hits well he is a hitter who plays where the team needs him. Congrats to him for having a chance to contribute as a freshman.
Hmm, let’s sort this out. Varsity at new position as a freshman. Or JV at a preferred position. Do I really need to continue?
It’s going to have zero effect on his travel or college recruiting experience. A friend’s son was an All American shortstop soph year. He was a first round pick junior year. He played first freshman year because the existing shortstop didn’t sign and returned for senior year.
I seem to remember hearing a rumor that you had to be seen playing multiple infield positions in order to be considered for the Collegiate National Team. Not sure if that was true, but I did see many players designated SS rotate through all of the infield positions at the Cape.
I coached my son from 13 to 16u (kids were fifteen) in travel ball. The smartest thing I did was moving my son around to whatever position the pitcher came from (our catchers didn’t pitch). Everyone was talented. I figured he could handle it. It would cause minimal disruption for everyone.
He was the middle school shortstop and became an all conference high school shortstop. His 17u team moved him to center. His high school coach decided to do the same. There was an adequate shortstop coming up from JV.
My son was recruited for college ball as a outfielder who could play infield. His first starting position? Second base. Once winning a starting position mid freshman year he was always in the lineup somewhere. By the time he finished playing he had played seven positions. His teammates nicknamed him Zo after Ben Zobrist.
Don’t worry about position. Worry about being in the lineup.
I'd say he should be happy to play varsity as a Freshman, even if he sat for half the games. My one bit of advice is that he should learn to really play first base and not just be a guy playing there because he's athletic enough to. Worst thing for an infield is a "just another guy" at first base. Understand that in a coaches mind, and basically every one whose a baseball person, if the ball bounces within the semi circle that can be drawn while in your stretch, it's basically considered the first baseman's fault if he does not come up with it. not a bad throw by the shortstop, third baseman or 2nd baseman, but the first baseman's fault for not getting it.
Take pride in playing one of the more important positions in the infield and become the best first baseman the teams ever had. Learn your defensive responsibilities before the coach has to teach them.
Dad of 3;
As a former 1b, In studied the great 1b and found books on the position.
1. Watch the range of your 2b, is he quicker to his right or to his left?
2. Know the strength of the rf and CF arm to establish your "cutoff" position.
3. Always remind your pitcher if you are playing behind the runner.
4. Practice a "full stretch" on low throws. Does the SS throw rise or sink?
5. Remind your teammates the # of outs.
6. Hold the runner by taking 1/2 the bag forcing his slide outward.
7. Charge the batter on a bunt situation.
8. Enjoy the challenge to learn.