Does anybody know if big league pitching coaches keep stats on how relievers do following certain starting pitchers to see if a pitcher does better following starters with certain deliveries that for whatever unknown reasons about their different deliveries gives him an advantage following that pitcher. Of course it would only matter for a few batters until they get acclamated to the new man but it could mean the difference in getting out of an inning unscathed or loosing the game. Kingsman

Original Post

Just a guess, but I would think lower level hitters (high school and below) would tend to be more effected by seeing pitchers with different deliveries than an MLB hitter would. Again just a guess.

Thank you for your response, but your insight does not answer my question.   It seemed to me  since  deliveries and release points and stuff can be so different somebody  would have thought to keep up with how certain relievers do following certain starters, if there was anything consistant that some relievers do better following certain starters  than other starters even if just for the next couple of batters.  Somebody knows if they do or they don't keep figures on that. 

I am sure if they wanted to know this ( MLB) has the data to compile such.   They certainly use anything they can to get an edge.  However, major league hitters can adjust pitch to pitch . Bring in a side arm guy after an over the top flamer...... if the batter has trouble with side arm pitchers he is going to have trouble any time he faces that type pitcher regardless of when he enters the game.  IMHO

My grandson has not pitched in a while but wants to find out what he still has thinking about using it to get to college.  When he thinks he is back up  to par he plans to get some of the better high school hitters together to test himself against them,  Some of the baseballs he uses to practice are 4 or  5 years old. It ocurred to me these might not have as much life in them as new balls to make it look like they are not hitting the ball as hard against him as they may be. We want the truth. Does anyone know how fast and how much baseballs deteriorate if they are being stored indoors?  Kingsman

Kingsman posted:

My grandson has not pitched in a while but wants to find out what he still has thinking about using it to get to college.  When he thinks he is back up  to par he plans to get some of the better high school hitters together to test himself against them,  Some of the baseballs he uses to practice are 4 or  5 years old. It ocurred to me these might not have as much life in them as new balls to make it look like they are not hitting the ball as hard against him as they may be. We want the truth. Does anyone know how fast and how much baseballs deteriorate if they are being stored indoors?  Kingsman

So, the life of a 5 year old baseball is probably not on the list of important things to consider if your grandson is wanting to be recruited to play college baseball.  If you want the truth, I'd like to suggest your son get some new game quality baseballs to run his test, analysis and conclusion on his ability to get some of the better high school hitters out.  College showcases, camps, etc are going to be using new game quality baseballs when evaluating pitching/hitting/fielding talent not 5-year old baseballs.  Good luck! 

In 2017 when you first asked for advice, he was (at least) in ninth grade. That means he is (at least) a rising senior.

This was the advice given by a senior poster back in 4/17:

"First things first.

He hasn't played in a long time.

Get him signed up for whatever school, travel, or rec team he can get on.

See how he stacks up and whether he still likes the game."

By your last post, he hasn't done anything baseball-wise in the over two years since your last topic. 

Now, onto your questions.

During pre-HS years, one of the family pursuits was MILB; S and I (dragging M and D along) would arrive in time to stand outside the stadium and snag BP HRs. Over the years and hundreds of games, we collected hundreds and hundreds of balls. By the time he hit HS, the earliest balls were well over five years old. Never had an issue with old balls; so, no, the age of one's balls is irrelevant (now, if the balls got wet/waterlogged that is different).

You specifically said "he want[s] the truth."

Here's the truth: THERE IS NO WAY HE CAN USE BASEBALL "TO GET TO COLLEGE." PERIOD. FULL. STOP.

First, he clearly has no love or desire to play baseball (even at the HS level). Second, he has no baseball skill set to offer. Third, he has no measurables. Fourth, HE DOESN'T PLAY BASEBALL AND HASNT SINCE LITTLE LEAGUE. Fifth, he has taken no lessons to develop his skills. Sixth, you don't seem to want to understand that of 430,000 HS players, 38,000 go on to play college NCAA baseball - and your grandson isn't even one of those 430,000. These aren't odds stacked against him; a power ball lottery ticket has a better chance.

Look, this may come off as harsh, but it's an absolute insult to not do anything in baseball - not play, not take lessons, not ANYTHING - and think he can somehow, someway use baseball to leverage his way into college. (Also, there is no demonstrated understanding of how hard HS players must work just to have a whack at college ball; much less what it takes to play CB.)

He wants the truth? Become a fan, support the HS team, get good grades in college, play catch with his son or daughter when the time comes. 

You guys are  all so great, You even remember me back several years. 

Gooseegg  wrote:

You specifically said "he want[s] the truth."

Here's the truth: THERE IS NO WAY HE CAN USE BASEBALL "TO GET TO COLLEGE." PERIOD. FULL. STOP.

First, he clearly has no love or desire to play baseball (even at the HS level). Second, he has no baseball skill set to offer. Third, he has no measurables. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Fourth, HE DOESN'T PLAY BASEBALL AND HASNT SINCE LITTLE LEAGUE. Fifth, he has taken no lessons to develop his skills. Sixth, you don't seem to want to understand that of 430,000 HS players, 38,000 go on to play college NCAA baseball - and your grandson isn't even one of those 430,000. These aren't odds stacked against him; a power ball lottery ticket has a better chance.  While this is correct. It would also be true of  Sandy Kaufax who never played baseball at all till he went to college on a basketball scholarship if you know his story. I remember the 1963 World Series very well.

Look, this may come off as harsh, but it's an absolute insult to not do anything in baseball - not play, not take lessons, not ANYTHING - and think he can somehow, someway use baseball to leverage his way into college.

I appreciate your frankness. But in the interest of time I did not tell the whole story as it was not part of my question.

First, pitching is a phenomena that is not computerizable. 2 guys with the same stuff, same speed of fast ball. One gets batters out, the other one gets knocked around. One has been working all his youth to be good,….the other just picks up the glove and goes out there and gets people out.  Pitchers are born not made. Guidance is important but a coach can’t create with lessons what isn’t there.

My grandson never has really been a fastball pitcher as many great pitchers were not. There have always been plenty of pitchers faster than him when he played.  But they didn’t get people out like he did. He finished little league with a ratio of batters to hard hit balls of 12-1. When you factor out hits off pitches he was experimenting with  he determined didn’ t work for him and quit,  and hits off broken and wrong deliveries you can see in videos when he gave them up back when we didn’t even know what a correct delivery was for him, his real ratio was 20 or 25-1. He has one overhand delivery that he just used on 2 travel ball games that never gave up hard hit ball at all no matter what he was throwing.  One game was one of his 3 no hitters.

When I say hard hit balls I don’t mean hits. A liner to center field or third is an out but still a hard hit ball you can judge how they may be getting to your pitcher. A weakly hit ball that finds ‘where they aint’ is a hit but the pitcher did his job.

If he were half that good now at the high school level that would still be 10-12 to 1.

I have monitored major league, college and high school pitchers since I discovered this about him and the best pitchers at any level are rarely better than 4 -1 over a whole season, most of the best between 3-4, some not even 3. If he really turns out to be 10-12 to 1  against quality high school hitters. If he were only a third or a fourth that good against college hitters he is as good or better than any scholarship pitchers on the Ole Miss Rebels or any other  college  team and could certainly get a scholarship when they try him out.

He is a fantastic athlete. When he quit baseball he became a pole vaulter. This last year, his junior year, he set a new state 4A record by a foot, 14 ½ feet, won  the state gold medal and wound  up the top vaulter in Mississippi in  all classes for 2019. He long jumped in street clothes enough to have been one of the 8 state finalists this year. He is going to do that also his Sr year.

He will get a scholarship in track and field, but he wants to be an architect and that is very expensive and those are only partial scholarships. He needs another sport to give him a full ride. We believe baseball can be that and that is why we want to find out what he has really got against some good high school batters. If he is still 10-12 to 1 against them, if he showed to be even half that good with college hitters in a try out, he would be the best pitcher that team has ever had ready to take a team to a conference championship somewhere.

It is sort of bold to tell a college baseball coach,  “Bring on  your best hitters and let me show you how I can consistently get them out”. But that is basicly what he has to do  if he is going to get that other scholarship. And I believe he can do it IF it turns out he is that good.  So you see I am not as crazy as I may sound part of the time.

 

Absolutely nothing he did in Little League is measurable and quantifiable towards high school baseball. It’s laughable to think anything anyone did in LL has  any relationship to determining college prospects.   Comparing  him to possibly being Sandy Koufax is comical. If you think a fastball doesn’t matter you’re uninformed and delusional. Which great pitchers other than knuckleballers didn’t have a fastball?

You want him to play a second sport to gain more scholarship money? You want a former Little Leaguer to get a baseball scholarship? There are only 11.7 for the entire team. A lot of all everything high school players only get 25%. The few college baseball players who play two sports usually are only receiving a ride from their other sport.

Maybe he can dress as the team mascot and pole vault over the dugout for between inning entertainment.

To use an old phrase ... Where’s the camera? Where’s Allan Funt? Am I on Candid Camera? 

 

Last edited by RJM

Just a thought.  Find somebody to catch a bullpen and post up some video.  There have been plenty on this forum that have been through the recruiting process that would give an honest assessment of whether or not he might could play at the next level. 

Chasing90 posted:

Just a thought.  Find somebody to catch a bullpen and post up some video.  There have been plenty on this forum that have been through the recruiting process that would give an honest assessment of whether or not he might could play at the next level. 

Good idea.  While you're at it, tweet the video to @PitchingNinja.

I was thinking the same thing as I read the reply.  Baseball and track are both spring sports and no way any college baseball coach lets a guy do both.  Plus unless your grandson is going out of state hardly no in-state schools give scholarships for baseball in Mississippi.  I wish him well but you understand every kid or parent on here that has a kid pitching you just slapped in the face when you said it does not take much effort to pitch well.  It is one the hardest skills in sports in my opinion and I have coach most sports.  To think a kid can take off for 5 years and come back and be college level is ridiculous.  Especially if he is not a flame thrower.  To quote stats from Little League to show his effectiveness is also ridiculous.  That is like comparing grapes to watermelons.  If you can make a ball move at all in LL, you can be effective.  But in college or even HS you better be more than a one trick pony.  Good luck.

Baseball is not the solution to your grandson's financial dilemma. Only basketball and football offer full college scholarships. Regardless of your grandson's skills or interest in baseball, (1) most baseball scholarships are not full scholarships, they are more likely 25%; (2) performing as a scholarship athlete in college, plus being a student, is more than a full-time job, you have to be 100% committed to the sport, and (3) doing an architecture degree is extremely time-intensive, and coaches at schools with scholarship players discourage their players from doing that kind of major.  You can look at the rosters of baseball teams with scholarships and see what the players are majoring in - it's not architecture.  So, even if he still can pitch like he did in LL, it's not going to help him with his goals.

Kingsman, first, congratulations on a smart and talented grandson. 

You seem to be big into deductive reasoning.  But, there are serious flaws with some of your number extractions.  If your grandson had a 20 or 25 to 1 ratio of hard hit balls in LL, you cannot deduct that he will have nearly half of that at the college level. The funnel from LL to college is far more exponential than that, as is the constant curve of improvement of both pitchers and hitters.  

Scholarships - in baseball, it is extremely rare for a player to get a 100% scholarship.  In order to do so as a pitcher, you must exhibit top tier measurables and proven in-game consistent success against top-tier college level hitters.  You must have already proven you are capable of withstanding the rigors of a lengthy season and many innings on the arm without fatigue.  I won't discount the very remote chance that your grandson can somehow come into a college game and, as you describe, get a few guys out if he follows the right type of starting pitcher at the right time with the right arm angle.  But that is absolutely 100% not the type of pitcher that they give significant scholarship money to.   They only do so for the proven studs who they know they can count on for extended use. The norm for baseball scholarships is much closer to 25% and the type of pitcher you describe, if successful, is much more likely to be a non-scholarship player.  Add on top of that the participation in track & field, creating commitment challenges for both coaches as well as scheduling conflicts, and the odds are zero.

You say a pitcher is born, not made.  Yes, you have to have a certain level of natural gifts to succeed.  But, the days are long gone where a college level pitcher is performing purely with his natural abilities.  Every successful college pitcher today has gone through extensive pitcher-specific training to maximize his abilities, usually well before entering his first year of college.  Is it possible for your son to make up some ground?  Sure but not enough to warrant a full scholarship up front and particularly not if he doesn't come into the equation with a base of high velocity to start with. 

You are severely underestimating the talent level and abilities of college hitters.  They face plenty of different arm angles and they are generally VERY good at barreling the baseball.  Do some arm angles give some players fits still?  Sure, but only a few and only when combined with some combination of excellent movement, location and/or velo.

And, with track, how will he address the overlap of seasons, practice and training times, let alone handle both along with a rigorous academic schedule?  BTW, although he excelled in HS as a pole vaulter, his current vaulting height will not even come close to putting him at the competitive level at the higher college ranks.  So, he will need to fully commit to continued improvement on that front in order to maintain the scholarship he was offered for that focus.  He is far better off looking to supplement the payment of tuition through other means.  I'm sure this "specialty pitcher" thing is fun to talk about with him, but if you want reality, it's just not.

Please do keep us informed... this is possibly the king of stories when it comes to something we would LOVE to be proven wrong with.

 PS - sorry, I was putting this together while the few recent posts were made... some repeat of same message.

Last edited by cabbagedad

It would also be true of  Sandy Koufax who never played baseball at all till he went to college on a basketball scholarship if you know his story. I remember the 1963 World Series very well.

i don’t know where you got your information. Koufax played high school baseball. He was better at basketball. He started college on a basketball scholarship and walked on for baseball. This was before overlap in college sports seasons and year round training. 

In his one year of college ball Koufax struck out 50 in 32 innings with his 93 mph fastball. Throwing 93 in the 50’s was really bringing it. Throwing that hard was what made his vicious curve so effective. 

Last edited by RJM

Kingsman, rather than trying to mine a dry hole, let me try an alternate idea.

How were his grades and scores? While you noted that a track scholarship would not cover enough financially, there is a certain level of college which give more in financial aid per recipient in the form of grants than other powerhouses give to athletes. Since he's the top pole vaulter in Mississippi, even though not top ten nationally, if he has the grades and scores, track may be the way to approach those schools.

Now, since he has already graduated, matriculating in 2019 isn't possible; but 2020 could be possible.

This could allow you to leverage a budding asset (PV) rather than leveraging no asset.

 

Last edited by Goosegg

The entitlement to not only a scholarship, but a full rude is bizarre. Kids getting drafted by MLB teams are only getting 30% rides. But you want to use baseball, a sport he has not played in years, to get free tuition. 

I would see where track takes me and if that doesn't pan out head to a juco where he can still major in architecture, probably compete in track and field and most importantly do it at a fraction of the cost.

Going to a college and telling the coach to give you his best is not even an option. A school like Ole Miss has 8k kids who want to do the same thing. They don't have time for that. Email goes straight to trash. 

I am overwhelmed at the response  from so many people. Even in disagreement sometime I appreciate the intent of everyone.

I will try to address all the comments needing response in one  reply:

First, he will be a senior graduating in 2020. As a pole vaulter his goal is to set a new state record for all high school athletes in the state beyond 16 ft 6 ¼ in. He is at 15ft now in practice. So he has several years to improve to be competitive in college competition before he finishes there.

As to pitching, in no way did I intend to disparage anyone working on improving as a pitcher. It is the most difficult position….it is 60% of your defense…one man. It takes a special person to be able to do it. The focus, the pressure is all on him constantly. Many had the capacity and control to be good pitchers, but they did not have the temperment and nerves for it. My grandson found long ago he has that temperment. He was fantastic as a reliever. I don’t know how many times he came in with the game on the line only 10 or 12 years old and shut the other team down.  This is why pitchers are born and not made.  And I have observed the pitchers on the high school team were for the most part the same ones who were the pitchers in little league. And up against my grandsons records they are just as effective…or ineffective now as they were then. No reason to think my grandson would not be just as effective now as he was then and do just as well once he gets back into pitching form since a blazing fastball never was his ace in the hole even though he is not slow by any means and he could get faster if he were working at it. When he cranks up I am scared to catch him anymore.

To clarify someone’s math: 20-25 to 1 was about what he was in little league…when the other winning pitchers were 6 or 7 to 1 then. Now in high school I find they are not any better than 3-4 to 1…and still the best the high school team has and are winners. As I said, I have monitored major league, college and high school pitchers and the best pitchers at any level are rarely better than 4 -1 over a whole season, most of the best between 3-4, some not even 3.  Half as good for him now at high school level would be 10-12 to 1. If the other high school pitchers are about half as good a record now as THEY had in little league,  Why is it unreasonable to believe my grandson would be also?....And that would be 10-12 to 1 against good high school hitters. More than twice as  good as anyone else on the high school team. And if he was a third or a fourth that good at the college level he would still be as good as the best pitchers on the college team and he would have his scholarship just like they have theirs.

Time elapsed since he last pitched is meaningless. He has pitched to me on and off over the 5 years since he competed. But one name debunks the importance of this: Sandy Kaufax, who was arguably the greatest pitcher of all time, went years without picking up a baseball in his supposedly forming years until he began in college….and he WAS a fast ball pitcher too! If you got it , you got it. If you aint you aint. I agree if he succeeds it will be one of the most amazing success stories of all time in pitching but that is what I believe can happen until the results prove me otherwise.

Yea, a fastball can be important but some of you may remember Stu Miller. He died at 87 in 2015. His fast ball was in the 80’s …about what my grandson would get up to but he led the American league twice in saves.

Some wanted to see video. I could get that but don’t think it would tell much. The only real test is what good hitters do with you no matter what it looks like on film. The ball does move around a lot in catching him;  and some hitters is what  he needs to get together to find out what he really has…or doesn’t. 

Conflicts between track season and baseball, sure. But if he is as good as we think he might be, he would be the best pitcher on most college teams. Are they going to not give him a scholarship and keep him off the team when he would be the best they’ve got just because they have to share him with another sport? The athletic director may have something to say about that with a potential representative to the US olympic team at his college and a boy who can take you to your conference baseball championship. Conflicts can always be worked out…or another school will work them out if one doesn’t .

And if the athletic dept can’t get him a full ride on two sports, there are ways to lean on those who control the grant money to get things done.  You all know it happens in every sport every season when a college needs somebody bad enough.  I am not telling you anything you don’t know. IT ALL COMES DOWN TO HOW GOOD YOU REALLY ARE AGAINST YOUR COMPETITION AND ANYTHING CAN BE SOLVED THAT GETS IN THE WAY OF YOU GETTING HIM.

I don’t know what it is about his pitching that makes him a great pitcher. But he has shown he is and would be. I hope we will find out this year.

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