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Just looking for opinions:
Take a high school that has varsity, JV, and freshmen baseball teams in their program.
Tryouts are complete and the varsity team has been selected. The roster has 4 or 5 seniors, 7 or 8 juniors, and 3 or 4 sophomores and freshman combined.
The program still has 4 or 5 juniors who are very good. In fact, if it were about winning, these juniors would make the JV team and most of them would probably start.
But the question is, since there are already 7 juniors on the varsity team, should the rest of the juniors be cut to better develop the sophomores and freshmen?
Obviously, this is a hypothetical, but knowing the information you have, where do you lean? It’s not easy and I’m glad I’m not a coach.
Again – Do you cut these juniors and maximize the development opportunities for the sophomores and freshmen? Or do you keep the juniors and give them one more chance to prove themselves?
I will go first:
My opinion, since they are juniors and not seniors…..I would keep the best ball players. If they were seniors they are what they are. If they can’t make varsity at that point, there is no tomorrow, no matter what their skill level. But juniors can still get better. Why not give them another season at JV? An average major league ball player spends at least 3 years in the minor leagues in his early 20s because they get better. Why do we assume a 16 or 17 year kid can’t get better? I understand this could mean holding some kids on the freshman team that a coach would normally want on the JV. It seems like allowing some older kids to have another year to try to prove themselves is worth keeping a few freshmen on the freshmen team where they still get to play anyway.
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I would look at it from a System Level. For intance, lets say that you have a senior 1st baseman and one of the junior and sophomores you have are 1st baseman. If you know the junior will be better than the sophomore next year and help you win games keep them. However, if the sophomore will be as good or better at the end of the year then cut the junior. To often as coaches we allow kids to sit around our programs because we keep wanting to give them 1 more year to develop, I too am guilty with that. Then they reach their senior year and what do you do with them?
Thanks IEBSBL. Yes, obviously it's as hypothetical as they come. It comes down asking yourself what is gained by ending that junior's HS career. I think the coach would have to be certain of two things. 1-The kid he's cutting can not and will not help his team. 2-The kids below have at least a chance to do so. But, would you agree, if either one of these two things are in question, you have to keep that junior?

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