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Recruiting coordinators  and pro ball scouts don't really care about HS ball stats......but a red flag goes up if they DIDN'T play HS ball. Your son doesn't want to be 'That Guy' . It creates suspicion and can make your son look like a tourney kid who is an 'I guy'

He's a baseball player and he attends High School.  So, keep it simple.......Play on your High School team

Welcome to the site!

Disclaimer... I'm a HS coach.

If he is as well connected and talented as it sounds, it most likely won't matter in his college recruiting process and any pro interest.  But, as others said, it might.  Still, to me, that's not a reason to decide to continue playing HS baseball.  If his HS program is only one step back from his summer program, that's not that bad, really.  I guess I'd have to hear just how bad.  Only you and he know the specifics.  Does he have his HS friends playing on the HS team?   Is he putting off the "i'm too good for that" vibe or are there serious issues like complete opposite teaching with no flexibility for a great player getting solid outside instruction?  Does he not recognize and appreciate the many special aspects of HS ball as compared to travel, showcase and eventually college ball?  Even if the team is not good, there are an abundance of things special with HS ball that he won't get anywhere else.  Obviously, it would be difficult for the coaching to measure up to what he is getting outside of HS.  So what.  

I've said it here several times on this same subject... playing for your school while it is still somewhat of a game and not a job, everyone pulling for the same goal without necessarily having an eye on the next level, playing for community/cross-town rivalry, learning how to really be a good teammate often in less-than-ideal conditions, becoming a team leader, helping your school program improve/gain pride and respectability, etc., etc.  HS games are a great, fun environment for him to actually put all his hard work into games, even if not the competitive level of summer.

Travel is largely to be seen by colleges.  College is a full time job.  If he loves baseball, what is so bad about the HS program that he feels he shouldn't be part of the things I refer to?  I suppose in some cases it can be that bad.  Like I said, only he and you know if that is the case for him.

I'd be careful, though, about calling summer travel "the real deal".  For many on the HS team, HS is the real deal and whether he speaks it or puts it off as his air, that wouldn't be good for anyone.  Knowing when to show a bit of humility is yet another lesson that can be learned.

Last edited by cabbagedad

I don't know that my son is learning a ton about baseball from his HS baseball. His team was not very good his freshman and sophomore years, but was better last year and hopefully will be still better this year. His coach is a nice guy, but not the best baseball coach in the world.

What he's learning from HS baseball is how be a leader, how to bring kids along who may not be as talented or as motivated as he is, and how to work respectfully with a wide variety of people. And every time he has an at bat or throws a pitch, it's good for him.

I think it's been well worth it.

My daughter attended a high school that had a 32 game losing streak during the two years before she played. No one remembered the last time the team had a winning record. She was part of four straight conference championships.

When my son got to high school baseball had seventeen losing seasons in the previous twenty years. He played on two conference champions and a second place finish. 

Both these programs remained quality programs after they left. They were proud to be part of a new, winning tradition. That said, their travel teams got them to college softball and baseball. But they did demonstrate playing high school sports they could time manage and balance academics and athletics.

I think the program doesn't matter much if he does well in showcases. However I would definitely advice against quitting the last year. HS season is short and he still has enough time to play showcases or travel in the summer and fall.

It doesn't have to be that way but some college coaches could see not playing the last HS year as a character flaw or a case of too much entitlement/being a "diva". Maybe he could explain that but I wouldn't take that chance. Just play those 3 or so months, be a good teammate and have fun and then get back to work in the summer and fall showcases.

Last edited by Dominik85


I've walked a mile (probably more) in your parental shoes.  Play high school baseball would be my advice.  It gives your son different and new experiences than he can get with his travel team. 

Here's the funny son got to choose his high school.  He could have played for the best team in the district (1.5 miles from my house) with the best high school coach in the state in my opinion.  He didn't.  Yes, it was painful at times.   Once the travel and showcase season rolled around, he was always very excited to play a higher level of baseball and get the exposure we thought was necessary. 

Good luck!

Travel baseball as the boys get older becomes a business...the sense of team is marginal, the "free agent" market is constantly changing rosters, friends come and go and come back is all about me and what is best for me. I am fine with all of that, it has its place - so be it.

HS baseball is just fun, it is your boys you grew up with, your community, your school. There should be very little pressure from what you have stated, enjoy it. It is 2.5 months or whatever and then back to the travel circuit. You most likely will get nothing from it but it will and should be lots of fun.

The OP sounds like I did back in the day..... I had one that struggled with this.  Will he feel the same way in college.   You know not wanting to play in college so he can focus on the "real" team pro ball.   See how that sounds, feels, comes off?

I can assure you as good as he is and I don't doubt that, there are others as good or better... I have had many many P5 coaches to Special asst. to the GM tell me that character is very very very important.

So I get it, HS ball can suck at times, especially for the more talented player on a sub par team.  Sounds like an excellent opportunity to show RC's and scouts what your made of.

If you play HS ball you may not gain a ton , but who cares you have the other guys working with him.  If you don't play then you open the door for speculation as to why he is not playing, diva, injured etc.... 

Have him ask the MLB coaches that he goes to for lesson's see what they say.

HS coach here as well.  If your son has talent and comes across as mature and humble when talking to coaches he will be fine.  Overall it is frustrating to play for a lesser team but there are so many things to get out of it than just baseball.  The college coaches will know he plays for a bad HS team and they will want to see how he handles that obstacle - does he show up everyday ready to compete, how does he treat his inferior team mates, how does he handle the losing and things like that.  It helps the college coach figure out what his mental make up is.  

He can still land at a high level prestigious college program without playing HS baseball but is the lessons learned he will miss worth it?


Where shall I begin. I picked the school district to live in for academics.Had no kids at the time. Never giving sports a thought. How was I to know that I would have 3 sons who were athletes and sports was all they cared about being at a small D4 school. Fast forward. My oldest son did everything your son is currently doing. He did not play middle school baseball only travel ball. He was recruited to play high school ball by private catholic schools that were D1 some of the best in my state. His high school program was a joke IMO. He however did not want to leave to go to another program. He wanted to play with his high school friends for once. He had his private lessons, he had his travel team, he had invites  to all PG and many more. He wanted to prove if you are good enough you will be found from everything you participate in. He was right. He broke every record in high school which still stands today. He was the leader. He helped the kids, he even helped the coaches. He was a starter as a freshmen that pissed off many parents that were very verbal about it. He didn’t care. His CHARACTER is what he cared about as that’s what scouts want to see ( besides good grades and good act scores). They did show up to a few high school games believe it or not. He did get many D1 college offers. He did play in college and was drafted to MLB where he is today. Please implore your son to play high school baseball. He will be sending a huge red flag IMO if he doesn’t. Who does he think he is? Tell him to look at his baseball hero’s who played in MLB. They all played high school ball with the exception of international kids that come over in their teens. Good luck!!!

For the love of the game!!⚾️⚾️⚾️


Good advice here.  My 2019 has experienced a number of challenges with HS ball and most likely will not receive a fair opportunity to play as he would in a different program.  The level of competition is generally acceptable and we play some quality opponents as our State goes - but there are other issues with our particular program.  I have often considered whether he should just let it go and focus on training and summer.  In some extreme circumstances, that may be best.  But our son decided that he will not let these issues deprive him of the HS baseball experience.  You only get 4 years LOL.  He decided to keep his head down, keep pushing, take advantage of whatever opportunity he is afforded (if any), and use it as an opportunity to at least practice and get sharp for summer ball.  I would err on the side of playing.  Maybe he could set some personal and team goals to try to keep his head in the game.  Best of luck!

Robrod posted:

I have a son (2020 year) who has had private hitting/fielding/pitching coaches for many years.  Some free, some not... but all are top notch.  These are men who have played Major League Baseball, each for several years and one has even coached at that level.  They teach baseball 'the right way' and are often hitting/pitching/fielding coordinators still employed by MLB organizations for Rookie, winter and spring pro ball. 

He plays Travel ball for a highly regarded Pro Scout team and is on some scout watch lists (whatever that means).   So he's talented but I have no delusions that he'll be an early round draft candidate but he does have interest from D1s...... Problem is, his high school program is simply not very good.  He recently stated that this is his last year playing HS Baseball and that he'd rather spend the time working with coaches, getting stronger and refining skills for his 'real' season (travel ball - perfectgame, prospectwire, USA Baseball etc.).  I won't get to details but lets just say he's not challenged by the program and it's like taking two steps forward (summer) and one step back (HS).  

I'm concerned by his statement.  I don't want him to be labelled a quiter (although he won't be quiting mid-season, he'll stick it out) or arrogant $#@! who's thinks his stuff don't stink.  I don't want scouts and recruiters looking down on him for this decision...   I come from an era where you stick it out, go the traditional route, etc.  Even though I really don't know the traditional route....  So I'm having an open mind.

What are the pitfalls of taking this route?

What are the alternatives?  It seems to me that HS baseball is necessary.

Please advise.




To me, the bolded statement is the real issue.  He's got to figure out how not to take a step back in the spring due to the weak HS program.  The best way, IMO, is for him to own the process of getting better and not place blame on the HS program.  Be the hardest worker during HS practice and take the opportunity to be a leader.  Continue to work out with his hitting coach and fielding coach in the evenings (if need be, put your foot down with the HS coach on this point, rather than quit).  Hit the weight room during lunch a couple times a week - continue to get bigger and stronger.  Do yoga on the weekend.  Work on speed.  The one area that he'll need to adjust in the summer is hitting the better pitching - it may take a few games to get his timing down but he'll be fine.

Back when dinosaurs ruled the earth I played high school ball. One year we were 10-1 when I pitched and 1-8 when I didn’t. I was often pitching out of error induced jams. My pitch counts had to be high (not an issue then). It never dawned on me to quit. My teammates were my friends. I felt an obligation to make it the best season possible. 

As a parent of a 5yo and newborn we selected a school district based on academics. The high school stunk at all but country club sports. It all changed as my kid’s classes got to middle school and high school. Not just because of my kids. But they were part of it. 

Last edited by RJM

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