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Hello All-

I'm a 2021 RHP with the dream of playing at the next level. People tell me I have the talent to pitch at the next level, and I believe I can as well, with hard work and a little bit of luck. I throw 84 as a sophomore in HS, I have a sharp breaking ball and a pretty good changeup. I also have a feel for pitching and the game. However, I don't play travel. It's not possible for my family, as it is too expensive and my parents are too busy for that kind of commitment. I'm a hard worker, always been. I believe in getting to the next level the old fashioned way, however, it is hard to play at a D1 school without travel. Yes, please, I know it is. Don't tell me that travel is essential to playing at the next level, etc. I've been told this for a long time, and have been offered spots on elite level teams. I would do much of anything to be able to play on these teams, as they'd take my recruiting to another level. But it doesn't work for my family and me, and I accept that. I just need to work a little (a lot, actually) than the next guy. Any advice? I would appreciate it a lot.

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One benefit pitchers have in recruiting is velocity doesn’t change regardless of where it’s thrown. 90 on a radar gun is 90 regardless of where it’s thrown.  What is lost is how you emotionally handle facing quality hitter after hitter lineups and maybe having a bad day.

Work on increasing velocity. If you hit a velocity in demand someone (coaches, umpires) will pass on the word. The problem is control of the recruiting situation is not in your control. However, if successful colleges around you will notice.  You can get invited to larger travel tournaments as an extra guest pitcher to play free. All you have to do is get there. Do an individual showcase. It’s a one time charge.

Don't lock your mind into D1. Lock your mind into finding a quality college educational, baseball and social environment. There’s a lot of quality ball played at every level. At 84 you’re already college baseball material at some level.

Good luck.

A 2021 RHP throwing 84 is definitely on track to play college baseball.  

Is there somewhere that you can have your velocity taken on video?  You could use that to send to colleges.  A PBR showcase is a relatively inexpensive way ($175) to validate your velocity, as well, which also can be sent to colleges.  Depending on where you live, it might not be expensive to travel to a PBR Showcase.

Also there are a number of travel teams that happily take on subs to pitch in bigger tournaments.  If you are willing to travel to pitch 3-4 innings that would be a good way to pitch in front of scouts, would only take up a weekend or two and would be at no cost other than travel expenses.

Ultimately you will need to keep working hard to increase your velocity.  How tall are you?  84 from a 5'9" Soph with a full beard is less projectable than 84 from 6'1" skinny kid with plenty of room to grow.

thanks for posting your questions here, you will likely get some good advice.

Swagg....THIS from RJM: Don't lock your mind into D1. Lock your mind into finding a quality college educational, baseball and social environment. There’s a lot of quality ball played at every level. At 84 you’re already college baseball material at some level. 

ALSO....believe it or not but at my son's high school games this year we have had numerous local JUCOs, D1 and  D2 coaches there (one senior was offered and accepted  last week from JUCO and another has been offered but not accepted yet), we even had the head coach of an SEC team at one of our games....on a cold weekday night.   YOU NEVER know who is in the stands watching.  

baseball_swagg posted:

Hello All-

I'm a 2021 RHP with the dream of playing at the next level. People tell me I have the talent to pitch at the next level, and I believe I can as well, with hard work and a little bit of luck. I throw 84 as a sophomore in HS, I have a sharp breaking ball and a pretty good changeup. I also have a feel for pitching and the game. However, I don't play travel. It's not possible for my family, as it is too expensive and my parents are too busy for that kind of commitment. I'm a hard worker, always been. I believe in getting to the next level the old fashioned way, however, it is hard to play at a D1 school without travel. Yes, please, I know it is. Don't tell me that travel is essential to playing at the next level, etc. I've been told this for a long time, and have been offered spots on elite level teams. I would do much of anything to be able to play on these teams, as they'd take my recruiting to another level. But it doesn't work for my family and me, and I accept that. I just need to work a little (a lot, actually) than the next guy. Any advice? I would appreciate it a lot.

Swagg, I was thinking the same thing as RJM with his comment...

"What is lost is how you emotionally handle facing quality hitter after hitter lineups and maybe having a bad day."  Recruiters want to know that you can and want to see you compete against strong competition, up and down a lineup, not just face a few decent hitters in the average HS lineup.

You can most likely play at the next level from a skill set standpoint as a P if you are throwing 84 as a HS soph.  But, the question will become how aggressively will you be recruited?  And by who?  The answer to your question is "absolutely".  But you have to have the skill set and a good plan.    

How competitive is your HS league and is it in a fairly well populated area or remote?  You say no travel... do you plan on doing a few showcases?  Is there Scout ball anywhere near you (usually very inexpensive but good exposure)?  Can you play in a more localized short travel season?  Can you take advantage of an occasional fill-in invite for free?  What is your plan to contact recruiting coordinators and how will you be seen by them?  Do you have a P instructor or other mentor that is connected and can be an advocate for you with college recruiters?  Do you have a target school list?  Do you know what your college major will be yet?  Are your parents supportive of the idea of you pursuing playing baseball in college?  Are they the least bit familiar with the current recruiting environment for doing so?  Answers to these types of questions will allow you to put together a plan for yourself to play at the next level.  

Also, what is stopping you from doing some side work (umpire youth games, cut lawns, etc.) in order to pitch in some money to participate occasionally in travel and/or smartly chosen showcases?  

PS - Sorry, Swagg, I know you answered some of those questions via PM a while back.  But, they are primarily to ask and answer to yourself to help put/keep a focused plan in place.

Last edited by cabbagedad

How to get recruited without travel? Short answer: Be so much better than the competition around you that you don't need it. 84 is good. 88 gets you noticed. 

What you should be doing is trying out/reaching out to travel teams in your area and find out about their team and schedules. If offered a spot call them up and say thanks, I can't afford to pay this right now but I will gladly do the local tournaments or come pitch if you ever need a guy.

Talk to your HS coach. Hey do you know any travel teams I might be able to guest pitch for this summer? 

Also, don't let the price tag scare you off. The higher the level of travel, oftentimes the cheaper is it to play. Plus if you are talented enough, I'm sure a coach can find you rides/hotel rooms to the tournaments. One of the best players on our team last summer did not pay a dime except for his meals. Always drove out and stayed with a coach/player. And that not only got him an offer, but most likely drafted as well. Programs need players to commit to keep their thing going. More commits = more talk and publicity. 

If none of that works. Workout all summer, increase velo and start saving some money for next year. 

Last edited by PABaseball
3and2Fastball posted:

A 2021 RHP throwing 84 is definitely on track to play college baseball.  

Is there somewhere that you can have your velocity taken on video?  You could use that to send to colleges.  A PBR showcase is a relatively inexpensive way ($175) to validate your velocity, as well, which also can be sent to colleges.  Depending on where you live, it might not be expensive to travel to a PBR Showcase.

Also there are a number of travel teams that happily take on subs to pitch in bigger tournaments.  If you are willing to travel to pitch 3-4 innings that would be a good way to pitch in front of scouts, would only take up a weekend or two and would be at no cost other than travel expenses.

Ultimately you will need to keep working hard to increase your velocity.  How tall are you?  84 from a 5'9" Soph with a full beard is less projectable than 84 from 6'1" skinny kid with plenty of room to grow.

thanks for posting your questions here, you will likely get some good advice.

Thanks for the input. Showcases are for sure a big target on my list and plan on attending a few this summer (I also have gotten a ton of college camp invites, camps held specifically by the coaching staff at a school, are these a chance to get seen or just cash for the program?). 

I am currently 6'3" and weigh at 165 lbs, yes I do have room to fill out, I'll be in the gym this summer for sure.

PABaseball posted:

How to get recruited without travel? Short answer: Be so much better than the competition around you that you don't need it. 84 is good. 88 gets you noticed. 

What you should be doing is trying out/reaching out to travel teams in your area and find out about their team and schedules. If offered a spot call them up and say thanks, I can't afford to pay this right now but I will gladly do the local tournaments or come pitch if you guys are ever a need a guy.

Talk to your HS coach. Hey do you know any travel teams I might be able to guest pitch for this summer? 

Also, don't let the price tag scare you off. The higher the level of travel, oftentimes the cheaper is it to play. Plus if you are talented enough, I'm sure a coach can find you rides/hotel rooms to the tournaments. One of the best players on our team last summer did not pay a dime except for his meals. Always drove out and stayed with a coach/player. And that not only got him an offer, but most likely drafted as well. Programs need players to commit to keep their thing going. More commits = more talk and publicity. 

If none of that works. Workout all summer, increase velo and start saving some money for next year. 

Thanks so much for the advice. Anytime I can get good input is a plus. What do you think of college camps held by a school (such as a Clemson camp, or Tennessee for example)? Are they to pay the coaches or a legitimate way to get seen? I feel it depends on the school and the level of interest, but that's me.

cabbagedad posted:
baseball_swagg posted:

Hello All-

I'm a 2021 RHP with the dream of playing at the next level. People tell me I have the talent to pitch at the next level, and I believe I can as well, with hard work and a little bit of luck. I throw 84 as a sophomore in HS, I have a sharp breaking ball and a pretty good changeup. I also have a feel for pitching and the game. However, I don't play travel. It's not possible for my family, as it is too expensive and my parents are too busy for that kind of commitment. I'm a hard worker, always been. I believe in getting to the next level the old fashioned way, however, it is hard to play at a D1 school without travel. Yes, please, I know it is. Don't tell me that travel is essential to playing at the next level, etc. I've been told this for a long time, and have been offered spots on elite level teams. I would do much of anything to be able to play on these teams, as they'd take my recruiting to another level. But it doesn't work for my family and me, and I accept that. I just need to work a little (a lot, actually) than the next guy. Any advice? I would appreciate it a lot.

Swagg, I was thinking the same thing as RJM with his comment...

"What is lost is how you emotionally handle facing quality hitter after hitter lineups and maybe having a bad day."  Recruiters want to know that you can and want to see you compete against strong competition, up and down a lineup, not just face a few decent hitters in the average HS lineup.

You can most likely play at the next level from a skill set standpoint as a P if you are throwing 84 as a HS soph.  But, the question will become how aggressively will you be recruited?  And by who?  The answer to your question is "absolutely".  But you have to have the skill set and a good plan.    

How competitive is your HS league and is it in a fairly well populated area or remote?  You say no travel... do you plan on doing a few showcases?  Is there Scout ball anywhere near you (usually very inexpensive but good exposure)?  Can you play in a more localized short travel season?  Can you take advantage of an occasional fill-in invite for free?  What is your plan to contact recruiting coordinators and how will you be seen by them?  Do you have a P instructor or other mentor that is connected and can be an advocate for you with college recruiters?  Do you have a target school list?  Do you know what your college major will be yet?  Are your parents supportive of the idea of you pursuing playing baseball in college?  Are they the least bit familiar with the current recruiting environment for doing so?  Answers to these types of questions will allow you to put together a plan for yourself to play at the next level.  

Also, what is stopping you from doing some side work (umpire youth games, cut lawns, etc.) in order to pitch in some money to participate occasionally in travel and/or smartly chosen showcases?  

PS - Sorry, Swagg, I know you answered some of those questions via PM a while back.  But, they are primarily to ask and answer to yourself to help put/keep a focused plan in place.

Thanks so much for all the input! My league is relatively solid, in a conference where there have been quite a few D1/college ballplayers, however, they got in front of coaches at travel tournaments. There are quite a few great schools within an hours drive as well. Honestly, just getting on each schools radar and getting that relationship is the toughest thing for me. The recruiting rules don't help, but I will be eligible to contact this upcoming July. Unfortunately, I don't have much help with my recruiting, I have had to learn as much as I can about recruiting. That is why this site is very helpful. My parents are extremely supportive, but they can only do so much to help. 

Does your HS team have a radar gun?  When you can consistently sit high 80's you need to get that on tape along with the radar gun reading.  You need tape from behind home plate which shows the verified velocity on the gun as well as a good view of the movement on each pitch.  Get some tape from the side  so your arm action can be viewed.  Pull together a clip that is less than 60 seconds and send it to the schools you are targeting.  Also, make a shorter clip of 10/20 seconds and post to flatground on twitter.

If you can swing the cost of a PBR showcase even better....if you get to high 80's at 6'3" you will be all set.

Weight room is important too, but finding a  baseball/pitching workout is  critical - try to find a workout that focuses on enhanced mobility, core and lower body strength.

baseball_swagg posted:

Thanks so much for the advice. Anytime I can get good input is a plus. What do you think of college camps held by a school (such as a Clemson camp, or Tennessee for example)? Are they to pay the coaches or a legitimate way to get seen? I feel it depends on the school and the level of interest, but that's me.

I would say stay away from the camps unless you are throwing 90+ or were personally invited by the college coach (either directly or thru a trusted baseball contact). 

2019 went to a camp at a school he should've had no problem playing at. He hit 90. Problem was there were 150 kids at the camp. Coaches got bored and stopped paying attention after the 4th scrimmage. Head coach left for the day 2 hours earlier. He threw the hardest at the camp and nobody was watching. No follow up email, nothing. 

It is mostly a money maker and they will invite kids they are highly interested in so they can get a look and talk to them while they're on campus. 

PBR seems to be a good money saving option. Email some schools you are interested in and think you can play at and see where they will be this summer. 

My son played 19U Legion after his freshman and Sophmore years,  only played travel ball after his junior HS season.  His Sophomore year, he made the All Legion team and invited to a free showcase, where he had College’s reach out.  Admittedly, they were “lesser” schools,  but it was interest.  Plus, we’ll never know if that was also the start to the D1 interest he received, invite to Area Code Games tryout, etc.

If you are able to play Legion this summer, I would reach out to your town’s representative.  Let him know you want to play at the next level, gain exposure and see what options are out there.  I’m sure he’ll want to promote you as it’s good for your Legion team.

I would not stay away from camps, even if not throwing 90.  But find ones that have multiple schools and those that fit for you.  Many schools work with each other and you should be able to find some with 8-10 schools present.  My son went to one of these this past summer and eventually received 2 mid-D1 offers from schools at that camp and interest from a few more D3.  Now, the offers only came after they came out to watch him pitch in games for his travel team.

UCONN has a 2019 commit who only played Legion ball, so it happens.

Good luck!

baseball_swagg posted:
PABaseball posted:

How to get recruited without travel? Short answer: Be so much better than the competition around you that you don't need it. 84 is good. 88 gets you noticed. 

What you should be doing is trying out/reaching out to travel teams in your area and find out about their team and schedules. If offered a spot call them up and say thanks, I can't afford to pay this right now but I will gladly do the local tournaments or come pitch if you guys are ever a need a guy.

Talk to your HS coach. Hey do you know any travel teams I might be able to guest pitch for this summer? 

Also, don't let the price tag scare you off. The higher the level of travel, oftentimes the cheaper is it to play. Plus if you are talented enough, I'm sure a coach can find you rides/hotel rooms to the tournaments. One of the best players on our team last summer did not pay a dime except for his meals. Always drove out and stayed with a coach/player. And that not only got him an offer, but most likely drafted as well. Programs need players to commit to keep their thing going. More commits = more talk and publicity. 

If none of that works. Workout all summer, increase velo and start saving some money for next year. 

Thanks so much for the advice. Anytime I can get good input is a plus. What do you think of college camps held by a school (such as a Clemson camp, or Tennessee for example)? Are they to pay the coaches or a legitimate way to get seen? I feel it depends on the school and the level of interest, but that's me.

Most camps are fund raisers for the program. If the head coach and assistant in charge of recruiting don’t stay to watch you’ve wasted your time and money. The only camps you want to do are prospect camps and labeled as showcases. While a college may host the showcase there will be lower level colleges in attendance they don’t consider threats to steal prospects.

What you need is a connected person (coach, instructor) to promote/presell you to college coaches so they’re coming to see you.

Get a 15 second video of you pitching with a radar gun in the frame.  Send to @flatgroundapp on twitter.  Say something like this "2021 RHP 6'3" 165lb in (Cleveland OH etc.)  Tops at 84.  Looking for chance to prove myself in local area.  Suggestions welcome."  And then hit the weightroom.

Then follow up on the responses to learn what you can, perhaps get a guest spot for free in local tournaments.

Hi Swagg. There has been a great amount of information shared in this thread already but I'd check out the following website if you haven't already. https://keepplayingbaseball.or...o-if-money-is-tight/. These guys provide quite a bit of well-organized information on this topic, and at no cost. In addition to this board, they're one of a handful of resources that I found most valuable through my son's journey. Good luck!

Last edited by tequila

6'3" & throwing 84.  You are definitely a D1 prospect over these next few years.  I also really applaud you for taking the initiative on your recruiting path, that is great to see.

One way or another you are going to need to be seen by the college coaches, in person, before they will offer.  Opinions differ re Camps, but in my opinion things have changed in terms of Camps being a viable part of recruiting and not just a money maker.  

Another route you can take towards a D1, if you don't have any offers by August or Sept of 2020, is to consider going the Junior College route for a few years to develop more.  With JUCOS you can arrange to just go & tryout while you are still in high school, at no cost. The rules are much more loose.

Send me a pm.  I see you are in NC.  Maybe can help you with some information since I live on the SC/NC border.  There are some teams that would help you out just to help you get seen.  Not all travel teams are in it for the money.   Most of the big boys still love baseball and helping kids get to the next level, even if they don't make money off it.  They make enough off the rest to help some.

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