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My son is a current LHP sophomore and plays on his HS JV team.  The HS is a Div 1 4a school that was in the CIF semi finals last year and plays in a very competitive league and schedules always schedules top CA teams ( Orange Lutheran, Harvard Westlake, JSerra, etc. ) as non-conference games, so the area is in no shortage of top talent in this area and I'm very proud he is out there competing at this high level.


A little about my son....he's currently about 5'8, 140 lbs, 15 yrs old and is a great student.  His GPA is currently 4.32 weighted and 4.0 unweighted.  I have always been very realistic with him through all his years of travel ball and making the trip to Cooperstown, and instilled in him that he's gonna make his $ because of his grades and not baseball (given the realistic odds).  His fastball currently sits at about 70 and tops out at about 73, with his change up at about 63-64.  I'm still hoping he grows more these last two years and with his squats and long toss, he can get his velocity up to the high 70s by his senior year.


I know playing for a D1 is gonna be out of the question, so if he decides to go to UCLA or UCSB, it's gonna be as a student, but my question is are there some places/D3 schools out there that he may be able to play at being a slower crafty lefty?  So far this Spring, he's made 8 appearances and in 10 innings of work, his ERA is under 2, his WHIP at .075 and his BAA is .071, so although he isn't the 6'2 flamethrower, he's effective at what he does.


If he keeps up this work will it be worth my time to look into some good academic D3/D2 schools?  Locally, there is Occidental, etc, but I know he has interest in Hopkins, and both UCSD and Colorado School of Mines (both D2) schools.  He's gonna tryout for a local scout team in the fall and I am looking to send him to the Stanford Camp or Trosky Camp next summer after his Jr. year.  Thanks for all your help.

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In the context of most D3 academic schools.......If your screen name reflects his desires, his future academics and baseball team will most likely be determined by continued strong GPA and future SAT/ACT scores.  Top academic schools recruit their baseball players through academics.  Occidental and Hopkins are examples, but there are more such as the NESCAC conference.  So, he'll want to be one of the best baseball players to get the coaches "tip", and have the best grades to get the Admissions Committees approval.  Sorry, I don't have practical knowledge of D2.


If you scan, you'll notice an abundance of D3 schools on the east coast.  If you think you are headed in the D3 direction for academics and baseball, it wouldn't hurt to familiarize yourself with those schools and how they recruit.


Good luck!

Check the on-line rosters of the teams that you mentioned (Oxy, UCSD, CSM, etc).  Height and weigh don’t tell the whole story, but it should give you an idea of what’s typical.  Of course, focus on the LHPs.  You might also find profiles for some of those kids on the Perfect Game site, and that will list their pitching velocity.


Also, use the Perfect Game site to see the recent classes who committed to schools that he is interested in.  The “College Commitments” list will link you to player profiles, and their velocities and sizes.


I would also suggest that you check out the club-level baseball at his D1 schools of interest.  Many have very competitive teams, and that might be another way for him to enjoy baseball while carrying a demanding academic load.


On a humorous note, if his academics are extremely strong…

Thanks always, great advice.  Speaking to a local ex scout who runs a Connie Mack and scout team here in Socal, said that there is college baseball out there for everyone if they are realistic, so I've always tried to keep things in perspective.'re not gonna hurt my feelings.  Like I've said, I've never told my son or thought he would ever make $ playing baseball.  He's always fought through not passing the eye test, but he's still growing and has gotten where be has cause he works hard and coaches love his work ethic and he gets the job done.  He'll be pitching for Varsity this summer in tournaments and hopefully can make the team in the Fall.  As for waiting...I just dont want to get to next summer and not looked into anything.  Everyone says you can never start to early. Its not like im contacting coaches, but instead im just getting educated.

Im not like a lot of these dads who says their son is in the mid 80s/90s and is going to USC/Stanford or getting drafted, I was just trying to get educated from the people with knowledge on this board. Thanks for your advice though.

AcademicsFirst- Good thought process. I apologize if I came off as blunt, I've just seen a lot of people in your position going way overboard in relation to the process.


I've seen 96 mph fastballs in D3 baseball and 75 mph fastballs in D1 baseball. The only thing you can do as a player is work as hard as you can to be the best you can possibly be, both in the classroom and on the field. Once the time comes, getting a gauge of where you stand is easier than some think. If you get yourself into the right environment, the individuals observing will be forthright with their evaluations.


Best of luck, keep us updated.

Participation in the SoCal Scout league along with acceptance and attendance at the better Stanford camp (and/or a PG event) will give you both a real good idea where he stacks up.  I've heard that statement about "there's a college for every player" before and I don't really agree.  Realistically, the average player will finds it very surprising how competitive even most D3's and NAIA's are.  Many decent/average HS players (not saying your son is), have to be willing to travel to the far reaches to find the armpit programs in order to get a chance to play.  Also, there are many decent players who are not as academically gifted as your son who have to scratch off D3's and NAIA's because they don't qualify for academic $$ and can't afford to pay the high tuition.


Another point of reality - a FB that sits low 70's will not get much of a PG rating or attention otherwise, regardless of how effective he is in HS.  Here is something else he will have to deal with as he works to improve his velo - HS hitters tend to struggle with P's that throw above OR below the typical HS velo range, say 75-83.  So, once he improves to 75 or so, he may find himself LESS effective.  He will have to rely even more on movement, location and mixing smartly.

You included D2 in your question.  Pull up some D2 schools in CA.  Do some cross-checking of the roster names.  You will be hard-pressed to find many players who were not at least HS 1st team All-League if not All-State caliber.  Lots of really good players in CA for the colleges to choose from.  Not trying to discourage, just letting you know what you are up against and what he'll need to work at.

Last edited by cabbagedad

Great points Cabbage...haha, if his velo stays where it is for the next two years, I'll be the first one telling him to go get his degree from Berkley or UCLA.  He works out weekly with Trevor Bauer's pitching coach he had when he was in HS, so we'll see how his strength and velocity increases this next year.  In the meantime, I'm just thankful he doesn't NEED baseball to get into a good College.  Playing baseball would just be an added bonus.

I want to be completely honest with the poster about the number and odds for the "crafty lefty" pitcher in top academic baseball.  The very high academic school my son plays for has only one.  That player only does late inning mop up work and gets hit very hard.  For that matter, we have a 6'3" lefty who throws north of 85 who is a weekend starter and gets hit very hard if his breaking stuff isn't on.  So here are the odds at our school.  The coaching staff recruits nationally for only 6 "tips" per year to bring to admissions.  They start with 1500 names that they think are academically in the ball park.  In the four years of my son's involvement they have used only 1 slot for a crafty lefty.  Thats one crafty lefty in 6000 names and that kid is used sparingly if at all.


We played Johns Hopkins in this last weekend series.  No pitcher, for either team, through less than 83.  Every pitcher's fastballs got hit hard.  All the kids on both teams had nearly perfect HS academic records.  Hopkins has a crafty lefty on their staff who grew up close to here.  He plays sparingly.  He was All-State in HS and throws smoothly in the low 80s with all kinds of junk.  He is a senior at Hopkins and this is the first season where he has had any meaningful work.  He is still a bit player on their staff. 


I haven't seen an effective crafty lefty at this level all season.  Someone in the stands at yesterday's game (we were getting beat by a crafty righty of all things) said that crafty lefties are the "UFO's of college baseball..You here about them but you never see one yourself".


I feel bad when parents get the wrong idea about Centennial Conference and NESCAC baseball.  At 15 every kid should just be working on getting better and becoming the best HS player they can be.  Test yourself over the summer against the best competition in your age group but understand that there are thousands of kids just like your kid.  Thats good news and bad news.  The good news is that there are so many kids in the pack that there is a lot you can do to separate yourself.  The bad news is obvious.  The reality is that this fan hasn't seen an effective high seventies lefty in the three years my son has been playing at this level.


Thanks craftyshortstop.....great info from someone who is currently watching heir son play D3 baseball.  He still has two more years left, so we'll see where his velo ends up but I'm assuming if he get into the low 80s, he may get some looks being a lefty and with his grades.


if sure he'll go to a good University, join a fraternity and have just as good a time. ....remembering that most of these HS and college players will never make a living playing baseball.  Good luck to your so this season!



You're getting a lot of good advice here. A good reality check. Your son is not "projectible". He's a grinder.


You seem to be doing all the right things to give your son the best chance to figure out where he belongs. Your son's academics will open doors for him.


For the "grinders", at some point it becomes a matter of how hard he is willing to work. Web is a "grinder". He surpassed more physically gifted players because he was willing to out work them.


Don't give up on college baseball. His road is just going to be tougher than the more gifted players.

Thanks webs dad and you are definitely right.  He's always fought the battle of being a smaller kid even back through playing Pony ball, so it's nothing he isn't use to.  Hoping he can grow another 3-4" in the next year and a half, which would put him at 6'.


He's playing on a Connie Mack team this summer, besides for playing on his Varsity summer team, so he'll go up against some solid hitters all summer long, which should help him.


Yeah, that's what I love about this site...such great information on this site and you just can't beat the wealth of firsthand knowledge.

Originally Posted by AcademicsFirst:

..Hoping he can grow another 3-4" in the next year and a half, which would put him at 6'. ...




I know you commented on the reaching 6' partially in jest but be careful with that.  I had that type of dialog with my son and it took him longer than it should have to accept his height and focus totally on what he can do with what he has instead of what he can't do because of what he doesn't have.  If sub-6' is likely to stick, keep pointing out the players who have flourished who are in the same boat... guys who never, for one minute, let it stop them.  It sounds like he is a battler and competitor.  When things get really tough against the best of competition, having not even a seed of doubt will be a difference-maker for him.


Of course, if you or your wife are 6'4", never mind. are absolutely right.  It's kinda funny because he always tells me you grow when you sleep, so he try's to get as much sleep as he can, which usually means going to bed earlier than I thought he would.  


But we really don't talk about height too much.  He knows it will be what it is...and no, I'm 5'10 and his mom 5'7, so we didn't get that lucky.  He eats very healthy and he try's to have a protein shake once a day after practice, so the rest will be left up to nature.



All good posts here. I know of a crafty lefty here in CA that 2 years ago max'd out 78 at a PG Showcase listed at 5'8" 140 lbs. Our travel team faced him several times over the years & struggled to make solid contact.He is now listed at 5' 11' 175 lbs. & I'm told he sits mid 80's. and is still known as a crafty lefty. He committed to a DI  high academic school this past November. I'm sure grades had a lot to do with it, but being a crafty lefty did as well. 

My point is that your son needs to focus on the things that he can control, grades, hard work and mental toughness.

Stanford camp, Head first & Showball in CA are great camps. Get him on a solid travel team and make the rounds this summer. 

My LHP started his sophomore year. That included making coach contact, in person("Hi I'm a LHP & wanted to introduce myself") & email(Subject Line: 2013 LHP).

My son was never turned away & was always welcomed. Good luck to you and your son! 

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