At the VBL all star game last Sunday, my league vice president title (which means I pray daily for the health of the league president) got me the job of being host to the five inductees into the VBL Hall of Fame-former players, former pros, and officials now retired , and in hanging with the VIP's I heard 3 hours of wonderful baseball stories. There were 30-40 scouts present and it was enlightening to talk with them about what I can pass on to our players.  We provide our players 2 month 24/7  health club memberships and every morning (well, late morning), the coaches are at the field for "early work"-BP, ground balls, fly balls, bullpens, whatever a player needs.  Some guys really take advantage of the opportunities and work their rears off. Others don't. We have some players that might have lifted weights once or twice all summer, and some that sleep through early work every day.  Those guys are wasting their time if their goal is pro ball. To the players out there, it  takes work, lots and lots of hard work. And it's not occasional hard work, it's committing to a lifestyle of dedication to becoming the best athlete and ballplayer that you can be.  Nothing less will get you there.     We have a speedy outfielder that is the epitome of effort-he sprints everything. Everything. He had an infield hit in the all star game but what 2 scouts told me impressed them more was his come-backer to the pitcher that he absolutely sprinted out and came within an eyelash of beating the pitcher's throw, on a ball that many players  would jog out at best.    Our guy attracted attention not just because he has speed, but more importantly he works hard every minute, and would have never even considered not going all out on  a simple come-backer.                                                           Effort is free-everyone can give max effort, if they have the desire.  And scouts do notice effort. One told me that there are so many talented kids, they don't need to waste time on those that aren't max effort because  they have lots of prospects that are. Dog a ground ball and a line gets drawn through your name. Really.     And scouts do ask about work habits.                                                        Bottom line: if a player is going to spend two months playing summer ball, don't just go to play-go with the goal of getting better and better and better. Lift, run, stretch, throw, take all the BP you can, pitchers have a myriad of drills they can do that don't tax their arms, take the extra ground balls-work so hard that you make the coaches tell you to back off so you don't wear down  (we've done that a few times).  It's all about opportunity and effort. Summer ball is a great opportunity, but the effort is up to the players, and only max effort AND opportunity will get these guys where they want to go. 

Original Post

Good post!  

I think the coach's  goal of sending players to summer league is all about getting  extra work in,  which includes the things you mentioned.  It's not always about at bats, more innings. 

It's also about facing new challenges. A starting pitcher now a reliever, a position player trying out a new position, etc., etc.

How about this one....lol   Son heads to summer ball as a college reliever/DH with the intention of being a starter this summer..and hopefully get a few AB's.   Throws 4 innings opening day and some lingering elbow soreness from his spring season (nothing really awful...just tight) shows up.  We figure, heck, might as well find out.  Got it looked at...fortunately no issues...and his shoulder being tight is actually what was causing most of the issue.  Anyway...14 days off until he even starts to ramp it back up.....in the meantime, his bat (which was very, very good in HS) has magically come back around.....hitting .388, batting cleanup and named the starting DH in the League All-Star game.  2nd on the team in doubles, 2nd in RBI's in half the AB's and 8 K's in 61 AB's.   He has tried to get back on the mound, but I think the desire has just left him lol.  He was a hitter that pitched in HS...and I think that the thrill of having a bat in his hand is back.  He is  continuing to throw, but says that after the long layoff he just doesn't see any chance of being ready to go before the summer ends...(3 weeks) so he's just gonna stick to the bat for now.  It will be real interesting to see what happens come fall.  His college team is ridiculously weak offensively and defensively.  He was an all state SS in HS, but could easily transition to corner OF or 3B if it will help him crack the everyday lineup.   Gonna be an interesting fall I think.  Hope everyone else is enjoying their summer as much as me....it's been great seeing him back at the plate everyday. 

I figured I would be the one who bumps this up in 2019.  Son is heading off to his first collegiate Summer wood bat league experience, and I am sharing the OP comments with him.  He doesn't know what to expect, but the importance of recognizing he needs to work as hard or harder than he has been during the regular season.  The whole package of going to a completely different environment to play baseball and living with a host family for six weeks will be a great life experience for him.

The game reps on the mound are easy for him to get excited about, but the rest of the time how he carries himself with the team and coach and host family are going to be just as important.  No doubt his college pitching coach will be following up with the Summer league coach to get a report about the things that are not in his pitching line.

Wish there was a way to make this thread automatically bump up every May!

Son graduated last weekend....and is going to be an assistant coach for the summer league team he played on the past 3 years.  He's actually decided he'd like to have a career in baseball and had an interview/offer today that might allow him to do just that.  He's going to take the weekend to decide and let them know.  I told him when he was starting college that he wasn't "office" material lol.  I think he's starting to think the same way.  Can't wait for him to get started

Backstop22 posted:

I figured I would be the one who bumps this up in 2019.  Son is heading off to his first collegiate Summer wood bat league experience, and I am sharing the OP comments with him.  He doesn't know what to expect, but the importance of recognizing he needs to work as hard or harder than he has been during the regular season.  The whole package of going to a completely different environment to play baseball and living with a host family for six weeks will be a great life experience for him.

The game reps on the mound are easy for him to get excited about, but the rest of the time how he carries himself with the team and coach and host family are going to be just as important.  No doubt his college pitching coach will be following up with the Summer league coach to get a report about the things that are not in his pitching line.

Wish there was a way to make this thread automatically bump up every May!

Thank you....Good Timing!

I am extremely happy with the Summer Ball team my son is playing with (15U). He tried out last Spring, made it and played Fall ball- the boys surprisingly mesh very well together, like they have known each other for years. None of the coaches have sons on the team. And they are all about getting the boys better, not winning. The boys all go to different HS and when there teams played each other it was like mini reunions.

The coaches say if we win games that's a bonus, but we are out to get them ready for the next level and pushing them to be better ball players. This Summer is lots of tournaments and games, the goal for next Summer (if the boys stick together) is showcase tournaments. Coaches say we have good ball players but they aren't showcase ready and that's what we want to get them too.

We will play some Nationally ranked teams this Summer and some older (16U and 17U teams) we are a Silver team and will play some Gold teams as well but the coaches and the boys look at it as challenges. The boys have the right mind set and determination to push themselves to the next level and (BONUS) all the parents are on board with this. Its like a dream team

Mine is heading to first summer at Northwoods when his college season comes to an end. I'm hoping his college coaches will give him some idea of what they expect, but I was impressed that he has a list of what he wants to work on.

On the point about innings, that's a little bit of his goal — he wants to be more consistent and he feels like having some regular innings will help him put into practice everything he has learned during his college career so far.

It will be interesting to see how it all works out. Thanks for all of those who have shared about summer ball and will continue to do so, it's nice for first-timers to have that expertise to refer to.

 

New team this summer (15u).  Boy is a little nervous having left a very solid team he was with for three years but that doesn't have a real recruiting/college support plan in place.  New team is all about development, academic performance, showcases, and helping find the right next level for the boys who are interested in playing in college.  He's planning on working hard in the gym and on the field.  Should be a fun and interesting summer!

Iowamom23 posted:

Mine is heading to first summer at Northwoods when his college season comes to an end. I'm hoping his college coaches will give him some idea of what they expect, but I was impressed that he has a list of what he wants to work on.

On the point about innings, that's a little bit of his goal — he wants to be more consistent and he feels like having some regular innings will help him put into practice everything he has learned during his college career so far.

It will be interesting to see how it all works out. Thanks for all of those who have shared about summer ball and will continue to do so, it's nice for first-timers to have that expertise to refer to.

 

Iowamom23,

keewartson played for the Lacrosse Loggers several summers ago.  He had a blast, had a few blips with his host family, but it all worked out.  Many players come and go during the summer for many reasons.  One of my son's hs player friends hated it and left mid season (of course, he wasn't playing well).  Lots of scouts.  Try to get to some games!  

Mine is headed to the Expedition League, which was a brand new league last year with 8 teams that added two more this year to make it a 10 team league.  There is some serious mileage between all of the small towns from Nebraska to the Dakotas to Wyoming and even across the Canadian border.  Looks the teams have players from all levels of college baseball in the Midwest and West.  I have no idea about the quality of play in a new league like that, but at least he will make some new friends in the college baseball world and get to play with wood bats again.

He doesn't know what to expect, but like Iowamom noted, it is all about getting innings on the mound.  I presume he will be a reliever, as he is late arriver due to the quarter system the UC schools follow.  But it should be a great life experience for him.  Will be a big climate shock to go from San Diego to the Summer heat of Nebraska, and the bus rides through farm country will be a nice change from gridlock in SoCal.  And living with a host family from the Midwest and hopefully remembering his manners will be good for his character!

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