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Vaughn has joined Perfect Game as a special assistant, and will work to identify talented players in parts of the country where economic status is holding kids back from playing.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/20...s-mo-vaughn-red-sox/

** The dream is free. Work ethic sold separately. **

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During our Area Code games, I invited the RBI team to play in the AC games.

The Pro scouts always selected the players. No player paid a "fee to play"!

Each team played 5 games, hit with wood bats, 300 scouts and 250 College Coaches attended.  Each year the American National Team was selected to play the National HS Teams from Japan and Korea.

"The rest is history"!

Bob

I have no doubt that PG was founded based on good intentions. But as it has grown, and successfully brainwashed all of youth baseball to believe that it’s necessary to participate in their business model, they have evolved into just another shameless corporation that values profit over all else. At this point in time PG is more bad for the game than good.

@adbono posted:

I have no doubt that PG was founded based on good intentions. But as it has grown, and successfully brainwashed all of youth baseball to believe that it’s necessary to participate in their business model, they have evolved into just another shameless corporation that values profit over all else. At this point in time PG is more bad for the game than good.

@adbono - I believe your first two points are valid.  Yes, PG was founded on good intentions and it has grown.  Brainwashed is a strong word.   Americans have a strong fear of missing out and I believe FOMO is the driver to the travel teams need to attend PG events.   This isn't brainwashing.   This is the travel teams setting unrealistic expectations of PG, and making a buck (or three) in the process. 

I believe PG had a lot of assistance from travel coaches and handlers making a fistful of dollars from (FOMO) and providing a way for the many travel and showcases teams pitching PG events.   Are you lumping PG together with the travel coaches and handlers?  If so, that is not fair.    I'm not going to put this all on PG.  They are providing a service plain and simple.  If somebody doesn't like their service or what they charge then take your money elsewhere.   My oldest son played in many of their tournaments 15 years ago before the travel baseball money grab that I witnessed in 2011.  PG was professionally run back then.  Based on this thread, I'm not understanding why they are more bad then good today.   Profit is a good thing as it allows a business to innovate and re-invest into its people and business.   What is it that they are doing that you feel the need to call them out?  Please help me understand.   

Thanks and JMO.

@fenwaysouth, I agree with you that brainwashed is a strong word. But I stand by it. FOMO is no different than brainwashing. It’s a mental condition created by a false reality that PG had a big hand in creating. And 15 years was a long time ago. The PG of today is ranking 9 year olds - both individually and as teams. Tell me how that is good for the game. PG hires HS kids (that have no idea what they are looking at) to record times at their showcase events. How is that good?? PG publishes social media posts about players at their events that are written by non baseball people. These posts declare kids to be D1 this or that and the people writing the posts are not qualified to make that determination. But the players and parents hang their hats on it - which creates unrealistic expectations. How is that good for the game. I can tell you with 100% certainty that no college coaches care what a HS players’ PG rank is. Yet PG is all about rankings. Tell me how that is good. A veteran MLB scout once told me “those who can’t scout measure.” And that’s the perfect description of PG. They aren’t good enough to scout so they measure everything they can think of and then try to convince the public that those measurements are more important than they actually are. How is that good? And if that isn’t bad enough they call themselves scouts and the public believes it. PG is a bunch of pretenders. Tell me how that is good. You can’t tell me that any of those things are good for youth baseball. And I haven’t even brought up the unnecessary cost involved of attending their events. PG was founded by a baseball guy but he sold out a couple of years ago and the new ownership group is only concerned with money and they are fleecing inexperienced parents. Again, not good for the game in any way. I will give you the point that a lot of travel ball orgs contribute to the problem. As do PBR, VTool, etc. It’s going to take better educated consumers in order to change things so that is my purpose in calling them out - to better educate new members of HSBBW that may have not yet figured out the landscape of youth baseball. Is that enough for you or would you like more?

The problem with youth baseball starts long before PG events. It’s starts with academies getting parents to believe talent can be purchased. Legitimate talent can only be refined.

A memory I’ll never forget was standing on the deck at a party with the dads talking about the FASST (fitness, agility, speed, strength training) training their prepubescent twelve and thirteen year old sons were taking. I bit my lip and refrained from asking how it was helping. My son did FASST after hitting puberty at age fifteen. At that point it really helped.

I can’t count how many times in how many youth sports gullible dads told me if my son didn’t get involved with a certain training he would fall behind. He didn’t. He went the furthest of anyone in his class.

Great conversation, IMHO the answer all of the above.  We need to get on a zoom call vs text threads.

The work done by Keep Playing Baseball 2023 College Baseball State By State Participation Overview , outlines some of the data points that we believe student athletes and parents to review once their aspiring athlete gets into high school.

Organizations like PG, PBR, Five Tools, etc are providing a service, the good, the bad and the ugly.

With the changes to the recruiting process, it will be very interesting if parents pivot from this model for players under 16u

@adbono posted:

@fenwaysouth, I agree with you that brainwashed is a strong word. But I stand by it. FOMO is no different than brainwashing. It’s a mental condition created by a false reality that PG had a big hand in creating. And 15 years was a long time ago. The PG of today is ranking 9 year olds - both individually and as teams. Tell me how that is good for the game. PG hires HS kids (that have no idea what they are looking at) to record times at their showcase events. How is that good?? PG publishes social media posts about players at their events that are written by non baseball people. These posts declare kids to be D1 this or that and the people writing the posts are not qualified to make that determination. But the players and parents hang their hats on it - which creates unrealistic expectations. How is that good for the game. I can tell you with 100% certainty that no college coaches care what a HS players’ PG rank is. Yet PG is all about rankings. Tell me how that is good. A veteran MLB scout once told me “those who can’t scout measure.” And that’s the perfect description of PG. They aren’t good enough to scout so they measure everything they can think of and then try to convince the public that those measurements are more important than they actually are. How is that good? And if that isn’t bad enough they call themselves scouts and the public believes it. PG is a bunch of pretenders. Tell me how that is good. You can’t tell me that any of those things are good for youth baseball. And I haven’t even brought up the unnecessary cost involved of attending their events. PG was founded by a baseball guy but he sold out a couple of years ago and the new ownership group is only concerned with money and they are fleecing inexperienced parents. Again, not good for the game in any way. I will give you the point that a lot of travel ball orgs contribute to the problem. As do PBR, VTool, etc. It’s going to take better educated consumers in order to change things so that is my purpose in calling them out - to better educate new members of HSBBW that may have not yet figured out the landscape of youth baseball. Is that enough for you or would you like more?

Gotcha, and thanks for the reply.  I'm still not crazy about the word "brainwashing" but I get your point.  Yes, this is clearly not the PG my oldest son grew up with 15 years ago.   Back in that time, a PG ranking had street cred.  He got his first exposure to an Ivy coach at a PG event, and it meant something as they stayed in touch over the following 18 months during his broader recruitment.  It appears PG has fallen off the cliff in terms of respectability in today's youth baseball world.

Non-qualified personnel ranking 9 year olds and their teams is just weird & creepy stuff.  As you stated, this new business model is very different when Jerry ran a very respectable business.   We can agree on this.  We can also agree that the travel ball orgs contribute to the problem, and better educated parents/consumers is key to change.

Thanks for the data points.

@fenwaysouth posted:

Gotcha, and thanks for the reply.  I'm still not crazy about the word "brainwashing" but I get your point.  Yes, this is clearly not the PG my oldest son grew up with 15 years ago.   Back in that time, a PG ranking had street cred.  He got his first exposure to an Ivy coach at a PG event, and it meant something as they stayed in touch over the following 18 months during his broader recruitment.  It appears PG has fallen off the cliff in terms of respectability in today's youth baseball world.

Non-qualified personnel ranking 9 year olds and their teams is just weird & creepy stuff.  As you stated, this new business model is very different when Jerry ran a very respectable business.   We can agree on this.  We can also agree that the travel ball orgs contribute to the problem, and better educated parents/consumers is key to change.

Thanks for the data points.

The challenge do parents go to become educated

It’s not hard to get educated. When my daughter became a college prospect the process was very removed from when I went through recruiting thirty years earlier. I attached myself to one of her teammate’s dads. His daughter was a prospect. His two older daughter were playing college softball.

Step one for my son was joining this site. Softball created the recruiting model baseball adopted. I had to learn the “where” for my son. I also went to college games and asked parents how their son got from high school to college ball. Most parents love to talk about their kids.

I agree with Fenway. My son was “discovered” in two more regional, less expensive showcases. He played on a team that participated in PG tournaments. PG was well respected at the time. What PG did for my son was prove to him he belonged on the field with P5 prospects.

i put discovered in quotes because teams that mattered didn’t find my son. He was presold to colleges coaches by his travel coaches.

It's significantly different now, from what I understand.  Colleges don't really go to tournaments anymore (unless they are the big tournaments).  Again, based off what I am learning, it seems the way now is through the camps the college puts on and it starts with an email to the prospective school with some video and measurables.   After that they may come out and see you play.  With the portal, a lot has changed.  Not much need for the colleges to go out to tournaments.

I personally think the showcases have their purpose.  One is to see where you fall in relationship to your peers.  This gives you a decent idea of what type of schools you might want to target.  Again, measurables don't mean you can play.  You have to be able to play as well.  I know several kids that have gotten noticed and have gotten offers after they attended the PBR state games.  It also seems like it comes down to who you know as well.  Hopefully summer team coaches and hs coaches have connections...

Are you asking where they go to get educated or whether or not they will bother to get educated? My guess is, no, they will not opt to get educated. PG could disappear tomorrow and parents would line up to give their money to someone else.

It is a little bit of both.

Note, this is not a Showcase, travel ball, etc issue.

If the fundamental objective is to become more knowledgeable.

Funny, the other day I went to a scrimmage, introduced myself to a parent (mother).

Gave her a flyer, after my pitch, met her husband.

His response, "We have NCSA do all the work for us".

My response:

"Where does NCSA get their knowledge of a team roster management from?"

It is a little bit of both.

Note, this is not a Showcase, travel ball, etc issue.

If the fundamental objective is to become more knowledgeable.

Funny, the other day I went to a scrimmage, introduced myself to a parent (mother).

Gave her a flyer, after my pitch, met her husband.

His response, "We have NCSA do all the work for us".

My response:

"Where does NCSA get their knowledge of a team roster management from?"

This is a perfect example and very typical

@Consultant posted:

During our Area Code games, I invited the RBI team to play in the AC games.

The Pro scouts always selected the players. No player paid a "fee to play"!

Each team played 5 games, hit with wood bats, 300 scouts and 250 College Coaches attended.  Each year the American National Team was selected to play the National HS Teams from Japan and Korea.

"The rest is history"!

Bob

Bob, the single best event my son went to, (2x) was the Area Code tryouts. - It was free and still is. He did not make the team but there were always ~75 coaches/scouts in the stands.

Second was the Arizona Fall Classic Academic game: which was free.

Third was a Scout Team in SoCal that was not free but I think was $750 at the time and included the Arizona Fall Classic tournament.

Fourth was a local team put together by some local "Dad coaches" for the USA National tournament (with a bunch of good players) who went out and beat the pants off of a bunch of expensive fancy "academy" teams. (I think we ended up second in the tournament) Our only cost was jerseys.

Fifth: There was a SoCal High School tournament every Spring break (don't remember its name) and there were always college coaches there and I know a couple of college coaches made it to some games where my son pitched. ...also free except for the room and board for my son.

This was a while ago, but there are cost effective ways to get exposure if you work at it. 

BTW my son did one PG event as a Soph and we only did that to get an idea on where he fit in the competitive player landscape.

@Consultant posted:

BOF;

Do you remember Mike Brito, Dodgers scout and radar gun operator. He was one of our "advisors" for the Area Code Games. A good friend.

Bob

@Consultant Bob, any Dodger fan older than 45 would remember Mike.

Great memories! You should be so proud of what you have done for amateur baseball. Your legacy lives on through the Area Code Games. In this day of "academy teams, travel teams, influencers, PG tournaments, etc., etc....", all of this does not matter, the only thing that shines through is talent. Sure there are now the "area code try out series" ...caveat emptor, but in the end, if you have talent a professional scout will see you, and you will get invited to the try out.  There will be tons of professional and college scouts at these events and they are FREE.

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Everything said above is pretty much true.  However, I don’t blame PG as much as gullible parents.  PG has an amazing marketing department that does a helluva job making every parent feel like their son has elite stuff.  My son started getting those invite only showcase offers at 12u I think.  Luckily I never wasted any money on it, but damn if it didn’t peak my interest.  They might have even sent it after he was an all tournament pitcher or something (along with 30+ other kids) in a tournament.  But it’s really not too different from the canned emails from colleges to come out to their camp, where the only personalized part is the kids name before the pitch to come to their camp begins .  

if you are a really truly top top talent PG is nothing

If you are very high talent but not top couple rounds out of HS good it is certainly worthwhile

if you aren't in the above it is highly overrated.

From that point is about the perceived value to you and your family budget, where your organization chooses to play and the experience provided...the rest is just whining in the background.

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