I have a 2025 LHP who is 13 y.o. 5ft 10in/160lbs. (probably will get to 6ft 2in); sits 73-75; max 78. pretty good control and command. excellent student. Wants to go to a high academic D1. Do you think there is any benefit to having him go to a perfect game showcase next year as a 14y.o? I suspect he might be 80+ by then. Can he get on a radar of some sort that early? Or is it just a waste of money until he is in high school. Thanks.
If you believe he’s going to be good enough try to get on the radar to be invited to this event next year. He’ll have to be in the 80’s. The top pitcher in the class ahead of him (‘24) is 5’10” 175 and throwing 88. But, how soon would you want your son to commit? There are pros and cons to really early verbals. More of the pros are in the coaching staff’s/recruiting college’s favor.
Your son hasn't entered the 8th grade, I wouldn't worry about radar readings of any sort. Until your son starts missing high school bats I wouldn't worry about the radar gun at all. Unless he is a can't miss prospect who is hovering around 90, his velo won't matter much in the eyes of recruiters until he is 16.
The only benefit of getting him at a showcase of any sort before he hits 85 or is heading into his senior year is getting the credit card points.
offering a comp (a year ahead you), for your consideration ...
I have a 2024 LHP/1B and we do NOT have any plans to attend a Showcase in 2020, even as tempting as all those "you don't want to miss out" invite emails are.
A few factors that I considered, 1) "not ready to perform" - COVID-19 shutdown my son's sports and most of his sports training for three months - he is still not ready to show peak performance measurables that he would want (need) to show, 2) "radar during tournaments" - we live in eastern PA and, as such, get to regularly play PG tournaments in NJ/NY with his travel team - he gets on the radar with PG through tournament play, and 3) "dad hates to waste $" - IMO, Showcases are an unnecessary expense until my kid physically matures to near his adult height and completes at least one year of high school, especially as we would need to spend extra $ on air-travel to get him to a top-talent event in FL. At his age, I think my money should still be invested in his development.
BTW, we did have plans to participate in an in-state PBR event earlier this summer - which would have provided verifiable measurables at a much lower cost with a lot less travel, however, he had not yet seen any live game play, and when my son tried to rush from 0 to 80 after the twelve week COVID shutdown, all he got out of it was a sore arm. I sure hope this pandemic ends soon!
good luck with your 2025.
Never go to a PG showcase until you already have D1 measurables. There is no "getting on radar"; there is only having the numbers that coaches are looking for. If you to go PG and put up inferior numbers (no matter what your age), those numbers will stay on your profile and you will then feel obligated to pay for another showcase later. Why waste the money now? You may discover that there was never any need to do it at all.
HA schools recruit starting in the fall of junior year. They need to see grades and test scores. If you have the numbers then (height and velo, grades and test scores), you can send them directly to those schools.
Edited to add: or, better yet, by summer before junior year, you will have reputable HS or travel coaches who will contact colleges for you.
I recently read an article (local paper behind a paywall so I can't link it) interviewing the University of Hawaii coach about the shutdown and recruiting. he was saying that this time of year is usually dedicated to filling his recruiting lists once he's found out which guys left after being drafted and which recruits signed instead of enrolling. Because of the shortened draft, his staff is starting early at looking at 2022's (jrs) instead of in the fall when he usually starts with the JR class.
this is a non HA mid major that plays in a pretty good baseball conference and they don't even start looking at recruits until their JR year.
LHP at P5 rides 87-89 touching 91 has touched 93 once officially. He never went to a showcase except PBR to be eligible for PBR futures game. Played in a lot of PG events. If your son is 80 and has very good control and multiple pitches he can play for free at almost any PG tournament event as a pickup pitcher. Teams are always looking for LHP's. Son played 14,15,16,17, and 18 WWBA when he was 14. Was 82/83 with great control and 4 pitches. You do not have to go to showcases to be seen. Contact schools and play at the PG tournaments.
But whatever you say on the PG message board better be true. If you exaggerate, word will get out and your son will be hurt more than helped. If he truly is only touching 80 by then there is no reason to do showcase or PG message board. 83 is a different subject with very good control and offspeed.
Others might disagree, but I would wait as long as possible before introducing your son to the radar gun culture. I don't think 8th graders need to be chasing measurable velo.
Thank you all for the great advice
I’m different because I use radar readings with almost all my students. It is a motivator and helps you see progression. I’m also different in getting out there because my son got first big offer in summer before 9th grade year and was being recruited during the summer before 8th grade year. Did not commit until summer before junior year but began recruiting early. It really depends on what level son is wanting to play. Higher levels recruit earlier.
Is anyone using the DK smartball with pitch tracker for their player development?