For any parent of a high-school student aspiring to play baseball in college, my son and I have had firsthand experience with HeadFirst, Showball, and PTW showcases, as well as recruiting services provided through Baseball Factory (and their events) and PTW.  My son will be playing college baseball as a 2020 recruit, and I'd be more than happy to share our experiences with others with sons aspiring to play college baseball.

Original Post

It’s always good to have additional experience aboard with another perspective. But I wonder if you’ve spent any time reading this board before joining. 

Last edited by RJM

Welcome. We have members here who's sons are playing, or have played, SCIAC baseball. This is a great community to share experiences.

Based upon my, and also my son's, experience we ranked PTW's a runaway first, with HeadFirst second, and Showball a fairly close third.  All three really favor pitchers (my son is a 2-way player), but PTW's setup of NOT starting with a 1-1 count both gives the hitter a better opportunity to hit, while also making it more realistic for the pitcher. PTW also has all of the players on just one field, so all of the coaches can see each player. The Showball academic coaches camp also had their simulated games on just one field, while Headfirst had 4 games going on at once.

PTW also had players fielding their positions during BP, which gave them addtional opportunity to display their defense above and beyond the typical 4 to 6 balls hit to each player during the normal defensive segment of the showcase. And PTW used laser timing on their 60's, eliminating the potential inaccuracies of hand-timing.

With all three, the coaches were, naturally, most interested in rising seniors.  The fact that PTW had a much smaller number of players than HeadFirst or Showball at the three different PTW events my son attended made it easier for him to attract attention.

That being said, I think all 3 are probably worthwhile experiences for rising juniors, allowing them to be seen by coaches.  Of course, the best route is to attract interest during these events as a rising junior, then target the camps of the individual schools in which there is mutual interest prior to your senior year.

Congrats.  Your son is going to a heck of a great school.  What other schools were in the mix, and why that one over the others?  More about the academics or about the baseball program?

JCG posted:

Congrats.  Your son is going to a heck of a great school.  What other schools were in the mix, and why that one over the others?  More about the academics or about the baseball program?

Did I miss where he said what school? 

Eokerholm posted:
JCG posted:

Congrats.  Your son is going to a heck of a great school.  What other schools were in the mix, and why that one over the others?  More about the academics or about the baseball program?

Did I miss where he said what school? 

His bio.

JCG posted:

Congrats.  Your son is going to a heck of a great school.  What other schools were in the mix, and why that one over the others?  More about the academics or about the baseball program?

There were probably 15 or more schools that were recruiting him after having seen him at his 3 showcases this past summer, almost all  D3 high-academic schools (Swarthmore, Haverford, Vassar, University of Chicago, Washingon & Lee, Washington University, and others).  He has a D1 arm, speed, and defense, but D3 size (5'-8", 155), and had a few D1 schools that expressed interest (University of Richmond being his favorite) without offering any athletic scholarship money.

He wanted to go to a great academic school where the weather's nice (which eliminated most of them!), and play--not sit on the bench for a year or two--for a team whose coach had connections with competitive summer leagues, as he has the aspiration and work ethic to see if he can play beyond college.  Seems like Pomona is a great school with a well-connected head coach, and is located in an area in which the weather is great for playing baseball outdoors year-round! Just wish it was a little closer to Nashville!

 

He wanted to go to a great academic school where the weather's nice (which eliminated most of them!), and play--not sit on the bench for a year or two--for a team whose coach had connections with competitive summer leagues, as he has the aspiration and work ethic to see if he can play beyond college.  Seems like Pomona is a great school with a well-connected head coach, and is located in an area in which the weather is great for playing baseball outdoors year-round! Just wish it was a little closer to Nashville!

Baseball Dad Tn - Our journey was quite similar to yours almost down to the number of schools with "interest" (and so many that are the same schools you listed).   While I do hope my son will play quickly vs sitting initially, as he most certainly would have in D1, he's going into next fall with the mindset that he needs to go take a job from entrenched upperclassmen and Freshman who also think they will play right away.  There are no guarantees and many of the top d3 programs are littered with kids like ours.  I am sure your son will go in with the same mindset and not sit on the bench but thought I would fire off this comment.  

 

Which school did your son choose?  Thanks for your response--yes, my son is also going in with the mindset that he is going to show and prove that he should be in the staritng lineup as a freshman.  At his size, he knows he can't be judged as equal to the players with D1 size--he has to be noticeably better than them.

For Gunner and Baseball Dad, my son is right now experiencing what you have described is in your sons' futures. He is a freshman at a decent D3 program, in a tough conference, competing with two other freshman and a returning sophomore for his position and, unfortunately, it looks like he's not winning out. He's determined to stay in there, grind, and take his opportunities where he can get them but, at 5'11"/180, he is smaller than the others and sort of fell in the program's lap at the last minute, due to injury late in the HS timeline. My point there is that he wasn't one of this HC's heavily recruited players so was probably at the bottom of the board from the get-go. My son went into this with eyes wide open, as he really liked the school and wanted to be there with or without baseball, but there is no way to really know what it's going to be like until you're in it. It's tough for me to be a spectator to it all from afar but he's got quite a few other interests and activities going on so I'm sort of secretly preparing myself for the end of baseball (though he has not indicated much in that direction). I've mentioned before out here that everything after his injury has been gravy, so I really have no complaints, but it will be a tough bit of news regardless. The only advice I can really give is to provide positive feedback/support to them no matter what the situation or outcome. They're learning a lot about themselves, and life, during these times and hopefully your son will have a coaching staff that's open to discussing where they stand at any given moment. This is an invaluable quality to avoid any stringing along. At least in my son's situation, being a catcher, they're probably never going to tell him "yeah, you'll probably never start" because they can never have enough guys to catch pens but if he knows where he stands he can make the most informed decisions for his future. Transparency in a coaching staff is critical! Best of luck!

Tequila, I'm sure I'm speaking for the majority on this board when I say I'm pulling for you and your son.  Just another mountain for him to climb!

CTbballDad posted:

Tequila, I'm sure I'm speaking for the majority on this board when I say I'm pulling for you and your son.  Just another mountain for him to climb!

Thanks CT! I don't want to detract from this thread but felt I had something to lend due to my son being at the place in the journey that is a year from where the other folks mentioned, and similar school/program situations.

It’s impossible to know the situation until you arrive at school and see what other players are there. Every player arrives with the “I’m the one attitude.” My son returned soph year thinking he was the starting second baseman. He was the second half of freshman year against right handed pitching. In the fall he wasn’t expecting to see an all conference JuCo transfer at his position. My son was moved to another position.

Last edited by RJM

Hey Baseball Dad

Baseball Dad TN posted:
JCG posted:

Congrats.  Your son is going to a heck of a great school.  What other schools were in the mix, and why that one over the others?  More about the academics or about the baseball program?

There were probably 15 or more schools that were recruiting him after having seen him at his 3 showcases this past summer, almost all  D3 high-academic schools (Swarthmore, Haverford, Vassar, University of Chicago, Washingon & Lee, Washington University, and others).  He has a D1 arm, speed, and defense, but D3 size (5'-8", 155), and had a few D1 schools that expressed interest (University of Richmond being his favorite) without offering any athletic scholarship money.

He wanted to go to a great academic school where the weather's nice (which eliminated most of them!), and play--not sit on the bench for a year or two--for a team whose coach had connections with competitive summer leagues, as he has the aspiration and work ethic to see if he can play beyond college.  Seems like Pomona is a great school with a well-connected head coach, and is located in an area in which the weather is great for playing baseball outdoors year-round! Just wish it was a little closer to Nashville!

Baseball Dad,

My son plays in the same conference as Pomona.  Here's another thing to be ready for...two of the east coasters came home with my son for the Thanksgiving break.  We took them out surfing and they said "I'm never going back home"!  It was like twenty something degrees back home. 

You're probably right!  Although some of the East Coast schools were very impressive, and the coaches of the teams were great, the weather in Southern Cal was defiinitely a real plus for Pomona. Nashville's pretty nice, but I am thinking that he might choose to spend Thanksgiving Break on the beach with some of his teammates!

With a Junior at a HA D3 -- The best thing I can offer to this thread is this:  There is nothing given to any player.  It is all earned.  What you did in high school and what you demonstrated in a showcase or at a camp means nothing.  All that did was get you through the door. What was said/promised during recruiting means zilch.  That goes for D1s, D2s and D3s.  

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