For those contemplating the Showcase circuit, my 2019 just finished attending HF and SB events in California. My humble takeaways and observations:
Sacramento Headfirst was busy, full of talks, and longish ones for how hot it was. Talks were helpful but more about keep trying, don't give up, blah, blah, blah. My son is over those, wants to just get to work. The video stuff HF now offers we ignored. By this point for a rising senior interested in d3, the coaches want to see the kids in person. If contacts with videos haven't already been made by now, in my opinion, new video for a 2019 isn't going to help much. 2020 could be an entirely different matter, but if you're already filming your kid, and you or they can handle imovie, you can make your own video. HF Showcase the first morning included throwing velo, 60, fielding exhibition, BP round, and hitting velo off a T, all watched by all Coaches. Then one game in the afternoon of the first day, and two games on the second day. (Prior years each kid had four games: exhausting by end of second day). Time in between games to walk around and seek out coaches. Hardest part of event was getting son to approach coaches. Fun times HS kid turns into monk who's taken a vow of silence. Unreal.
Showball: very fast paced format. Showcase like HF (and probably every other event) in the morning and early afternoon of first day, followed by a half hour where there's a meet and greet with HC's. This worked way better for son than HF approach because EVERYONE was doing the same thing at the same time. Would have helped if it had been a little longer period of time, but son got to meet the coaches he wanted to meet and reinforce his interest. They were polite, or super encouraging depending on school, and all coaches he talked to said they'd make sure they watched him the next day. Day 2 had two games, with a couple hours between. relaxed but fast paced format. Stunningly beautiful day. 75-80, no clouds, nice, cooling breeze. Coaches umpired as they did at HF. Half as many coaches at Showball, but all HC's. Can talk to them if you're assertive, but not as easy as the meet and greet format. Good mix of Ivy's and "high" academic d3s.
Both events had batters start 1-1, and if you walk on the first aB you're supposed to only get fastballs after that.
Twice as many coaches at HF as at Showball, but the Showball event had a much higher proportion of high academic schools. Frustrating that you can't get all the ivies in one place in the early summer. I'm not sure what spots will be left in August when they do all meet together for a showcase in SoCal.
Son's clear favorite was Showball, but he hit better there, so take that for what it's worth. Happy to try to answer any questions.
PS, old adage here that you will know when they're interested is a cliche but completely accurate. Six UVs initiated by coaches, all D3. (Send us your transcripts, scores, we want to do a pre read asap and get you on campus, etc. etc.). No D1 conversation other than son saying, "Hi, my name is Mickey Mantle. Watch me run." D1 Coaches: "Nice to meet you. Good luck."