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Hi folks,
I've researched this topic here, and there are a few posts, but the information is mostly older so I'm looking to gain some insight from those who might have fairly recent experience with Headfirst and/or Showball showcases. The ones we're entertaining specifically are the Headfirst West and Showball Head Coach Academic camps, both being held in late June this summer.

My son is a 2019 C, 28 ACT, 3.5 GPA and has been communicating with a few coaches/schools that will be at both of these events (D3). We're leaning toward Headfirst at this time because of a couple of reasons:

1) The ACTUAL coaches he's been emailing with are listed to be at this one.
2) There seems to be much more baseball i.e. three games instead of two & 10-12 hours per day as opposed to 4-6.

They are relatively close in price and both are a long trip for us so travel and accommodations would be very similar.

I would very much appreciate any insight anyone has to offer!

https://showballbaseball.com/c...-showcase-camp-2018/
https://www.headfirsthonorroll...l-west-ca-session-2/

Original Post

I'll start.

Not sure that travel and accomodations would be so similar. On the plus side for HF, hotels around Woodland are not too expensive.  On the minus side, it's not easy finding non-stops to the Sacramento airport, so you may find yourself flying into OAK or SFO, which could mean a 2+ hour drive to the venue.  SF State (Showball) is close to both airports, but hotels will be more expensive.

My 2017 did HF at a different Sac area venue almost 2 years ago, and it was a great experience. Very well run, lots of reps, lots of very engaged coaches. I could quibble about a few things, and I could bitch about the heat and lack of shade, but overall it was a very solid and I'm glad we went.

Looks like Showball knows what they're doing too, and at a glance their list of coaches is more interesting. But the venue only has one field.  That's a bit concerning in terms of reps. OTOH Woodland has 3 fields, and that's concerning in terms of getting eyes on your player.

As long as the coaches you want to see are there and know to look for your kid, you probably can't go wrong.

 

JCG - Thanks so much for the insight! Direct flights for us are not really an issue because they're not really an option unless we're going to Dallas, Memphis, Atlanta, St. Louis or Houston. There's a running joke where we are that to get to Heaven you'd have to go through Dallas so I'm not too concerned about getting to Sacramento without a connection. The tip about the hotels though is definitely something to consider. Also, I don't suspect the heat in Sac is going to phase us too much considering what summer baseball is like in our area :-)

The number of fields is definitely a factor so we'll just have to make sure to stay in touch with our coaches of interest and hope for the best. Again, I appreciate the input!

I'll chime in here to say my 2019 son did both HF (August in NY) and Showball Head Coaches (November in FL).  They were both fantastic, professional and well managed.  I agree with JCG, you won't go wrong.  

A few observations from my son's experience:

1) My son was noticed at both events, with follow-up from coaches (again, you can't go wrong)  

2) HF was a mix of RCs and HCs whereas Showball was ALL head coaches.  In many cases, my son was seen by the RC at HF and the HC at Showball so they both got to know him a bit.  With the four schools who seem most interested in him, the HC is the one communicating with him most (I don't know if that's good or bad).

3) Coaches seemed more accessible at HF than Showball, however and son was able to talk to more coaches at HF, whereas Showball had a session where they could go talk to coaches the first day but not as many opportunities to have time to talk

Good luck to your son!

 

At Showball you play a double header on the second day, on one adjacent field you have half the coaches watching you, then in the next game you switch fields and are playing with the other half of the coaches watching you.  All Coaches see you play in a game.  It's a faster pace, not much standing around for anyone.  Very efficient.

At Headfirst all the coaches will not necessarily see you play in a game.  They're all divided on four fields playing at the same time, they'll rotate.  Even if a coach is aware you're there, you could be playing when he's assigned on the field in another game.  They'll normally leave for a few minutes to watch you, but no guarantee you are up to bat and get a solid hit at that time, or getting a ground ball at your IF postion.  Less probability of seeing game actions being seen by the school you're really interested in.  If somehow a coach is really really interested in you, via video or being previously seen, he will make sure he sees you no matter what.

I thought coaches were equally accessable at both venues.

HF has more D3 coaches.  Showball has one summer and now, a fall event where there are all HC's attending.  

HF might have had a bit more refinement to it, and Showball sacrificing some of that in order to move everybody along efficiently. You want your game actions to be seen, my preference was Showball.

Edit: Yale's Frawley only goes to Headfirst. Amherst's Hamm prefers Showball.

corrected Frawley goes to HF

Last edited by Gov

Tequila - is your son taking the ACT again?  The D3’s offer support through admissions, it will be helpful with the higher academic ones for his ACT  to be near the middle 50 % of accepted ACT scores.  Ex:  Johns Hopkins is 32-34, coaches make it clear they need a min 32 to get their support (there are exceptions in certain years). Not sure what level D3 your son is thinking about.  

 

Gov posted:

At Showball you play a double header on the second day, on one adjacent field you have half the coaches watching you, then in the next game you switch fields and are playing with the other half of the coaches watching you.  All Coaches see you play in a game.  It's a faster pace, not much standing around for anyone.  Very efficient.

At Headfirst all the coaches will not necessarily see you play in a game.  They're all divided on four fields playing at the same time, they'll rotate.  Even if a coach is aware you're there, you could be playing when he's assigned on the field in another game.  They'll normally leave for a few minutes to watch you, but no guarantee you are up to bat and get a solid hit at that time, or getting a ground ball at your IF postion.  Less probability of seeing game actions being seen by the school you're really interested in.  If somehow a coach is really really interested in you, via video or being previously seen, he will make sure he sees you no matter what.

I thought coaches were equally accessable at both venues.

HF has more D3 coaches.  Showball has one summer and now, a fall event where there are all HC's attending.  

HF might have had a bit more refinement to it, and Showball sacrificing some of that in order to move everybody along efficiently. You want your game actions to be seen, my preference was Showball.

Edit: Yale's Frawley only goes to Showball.  Amherst's Hamm prefers Showball.

Gov my 2019 was at Headfirst in New York last August and Coach Frawley was there - I attended a recruiting info session were he led the discussion.  I remember him b/c he is very outgoing and has a dynamic personality.  Not sure about any other session of HF, but he was there for our session.

Gov posted:

Tequila - is your son taking the ACT again?  The D3’s offer support through admissions, it will be helpful with the higher academic ones for his ACT  to be near the middle 50 % of accepted ACT scores.  Ex:  Johns Hopkins is 32-34, coaches make it clear they need a min 32 to get their support (there are exceptions in certain years). Not sure what level D3 your son is thinking about.  

 

Hi Gov, he took the ACT again a couple of weeks ago, will take it in April, and probably one other time based on what those results turn out to be. D3 programs of immediate interest for him right now include Pomona-Pitzer, Chapman, and Trinity (CT). He's got some D2s (and a couple of mid-low D1s) he's looking at, and even had coach communications with, as well but it seems the overall fit keeps coming back to higher academic D3. We've got his requirements/preferences pretty locked in, from an overall desired experience perspective, but suffice it to say that high ranked liberal arts schools in, or near, a metropolitan area are very high on the list. Thanks for all your insight!

Qhead posted:
Gov posted:

At Showball you play a double header on the second day, on one adjacent field you have half the coaches watching you, then in the next game you switch fields and are playing with the other half of the coaches watching you.  All Coaches see you play in a game.  It's a faster pace, not much standing around for anyone.  Very efficient.

At Headfirst all the coaches will not necessarily see you play in a game.  They're all divided on four fields playing at the same time, they'll rotate.  Even if a coach is aware you're there, you could be playing when he's assigned on the field in another game.  They'll normally leave for a few minutes to watch you, but no guarantee you are up to bat and get a solid hit at that time, or getting a ground ball at your IF postion.  Less probability of seeing game actions being seen by the school you're really interested in.  If somehow a coach is really really interested in you, via video or being previously seen, he will make sure he sees you no matter what.

I thought coaches were equally accessable at both venues.

HF has more D3 coaches.  Showball has one summer and now, a fall event where there are all HC's attending.  

HF might have had a bit more refinement to it, and Showball sacrificing some of that in order to move everybody along efficiently. You want your game actions to be seen, my preference was Showball.

Edit: Yale's Frawley only goes to Showball.  Amherst's Hamm prefers Showball.

Gov my 2019 was at Headfirst in New York last August and Coach Frawley was there - I attended a recruiting info session were he led the discussion.  I remember him b/c he is very outgoing and has a dynamic personality.  Not sure about any other session of HF, but he was there for our session.

Oops - typo and apologize!!  Frawley goes to HF, Hamm goes to Showball.

Similar question for my son's summer schedule. He is a 2019 P/corner IF. 6'2", 195. Low 80's FB, w/good control and secondary stuff. Pop in bat (86 exit velo). 1560 SAT 4.0 GPA, 1520 PSAT (perfect score). He is late getting on the recruiting scene due to an arm injury last year. He had surgery last Sept and went to the Harvard camp a few weeks ago and is back to form playing HS ball this spring. We are in PA but booked for HF in CA June 26-27. It will be part baseball, part college visits, part family vacation. Looking to fill out the rest of the summer with showcases/camps and not currently playing on a team other than potentially Legion to stay in shape and sharp. Thoughts on that approach?

Considering the following showcases/camps:

- Showball, ASBA Academic in July, Perfect Game Academic in FL, Duke's Camp in August, Baseball America (Top 96), maybe HF again on Long Island in Aug

Appreciate any thoughts from those who have been there before. 

2019&21 Dad posted:

Similar question for my son's summer schedule. He is a 2019 P/corner IF. 6'2", 195. Low 80's FB, w/good control and secondary stuff. Pop in bat (86 exit velo). 1560 SAT 4.0 GPA, 1520 PSAT (perfect score). He is late getting on the recruiting scene due to an arm injury last year. He had surgery last Sept and went to the Harvard camp a few weeks ago and is back to form playing HS ball this spring. We are in PA but booked for HF in CA June 26-27. It will be part baseball, part college visits, part family vacation. Looking to fill out the rest of the summer with showcases/camps and not currently playing on a team other than potentially Legion to stay in shape and sharp. Thoughts on that approach?

Considering the following showcases/camps:

- Showball, ASBA Academic in July, Perfect Game Academic in FL, Duke's Camp in August, Baseball America (Top 96), maybe HF again on Long Island in Aug

Appreciate any thoughts from those who have been there before. 

Based on my 2017's experience, he would have had plenty of good D3 options had he done just one event, so yes, I think your approach can work fine. (And obviously even Roy Hobbs can have a bad weekend so scheduling more than one event is wise.)

2019&21 Dad posted:

Similar question for my son's summer schedule. He is a 2019 P/corner IF. 6'2", 195. Low 80's FB, w/good control and secondary stuff. Pop in bat (86 exit velo). 1560 SAT 4.0 GPA, 1520 PSAT (perfect score). He is late getting on the recruiting scene due to an arm injury last year. He had surgery last Sept and went to the Harvard camp a few weeks ago and is back to form playing HS ball this spring. We are in PA but booked for HF in CA June 26-27. It will be part baseball, part college visits, part family vacation. Looking to fill out the rest of the summer with showcases/camps and not currently playing on a team other than potentially Legion to stay in shape and sharp. Thoughts on that approach?

Considering the following showcases/camps:

- Showball, ASBA Academic in July, Perfect Game Academic in FL, Duke's Camp in August, Baseball America (Top 96), maybe HF again on Long Island in Aug

Appreciate any thoughts from those who have been there before. 

How is his baseball skill?  Any PG grade, or accolades via PBR?  He's got the grades, and nice size for being a P or corner IF, how's the glove?  How's the speed?  Keep getting the exit velo stronger and becoming a better hitter.  Spring HS ball should get him good reps, but the downtime between that and showcases could be concerning due to not seeing decent pitching to hit against.  The showcases will have Pitchers of all levels - 80-92FB, he has to make sure he's timed up so that he gives himself a chance while in front of the college coaches. 

 Has he been on a competitive summer club team?  While grades are great, don't forget these are baseball coaches trying to recruit the best possible players for their college.  Whether it's Harvard or Amherst, they want players, that happen to have the grades and scores.

Does he work with a throwing guy?  With his size and weight along with refined mechanics should make him more projectable.  There's time for him to continue to refine.

I think multiple HF camps (June and July) could be good, giving himself repeated chances in front of the same coaches.  Duke Camp in August as an incoming senior is very late for a power conf college, unless he's RHP throwing 90+ with command, or a great glove corner launching bombs out of the park.  Duke picks up their last cherry picks at the PG WWBA and similar tournaments where the prospects are high level late bloomer pitchers, or high level hitters hitting advanced pitching. Same for other high academic D1's.  Georgetown and Columbia were still looking for two power hitting corner players at the PG WWBA and the Showball HC event the past July.  Harvard held off making some formal offers until their early August Camp.  The Ivy camps always have 4-6 other college coaches attending (normally D3's and Patriot D1's).  Princeton HC feeds some players he likes but has no room for to GTown HC.  

You need to find a way to stay in top baseball shape in between showcases.  Def more thoughts on this, but gotta run, hopefully no typos here.... 

 

 

tequila posted:
Gov posted:

Tequila - is your son taking the ACT again?  The D3’s offer support through admissions, it will be helpful with the higher academic ones for his ACT  to be near the middle 50 % of accepted ACT scores.  Ex:  Johns Hopkins is 32-34, coaches make it clear they need a min 32 to get their support (there are exceptions in certain years). Not sure what level D3 your son is thinking about.  

 

Hi Gov, he took the ACT again a couple of weeks ago, will take it in April, and probably one other time based on what those results turn out to be. D3 programs of immediate interest for him right now include Pomona-Pitzer, Chapman, and Trinity (CT). He's got some D2s (and a couple of mid-low D1s) he's looking at, and even had coach communications with, as well but it seems the overall fit keeps coming back to higher academic D3. We've got his requirements/preferences pretty locked in, from an overall desired experience perspective, but suffice it to say that high ranked liberal arts schools in, or near, a metropolitan area are very high on the list. Thanks for all your insight!

Have your son find out directly from Pomona HC what showcases or camps he'll be attending, same with Trinity (HC is awesome).  Pomona coach very direct with his academic requirements.  With Trinity your son is good now.

Gov posted:
2019&21 Dad posted:

Similar question for my son's summer schedule. He is a 2019 P/corner IF. 6'2", 195. Low 80's FB, w/good control and secondary stuff. Pop in bat (86 exit velo). 1560 SAT 4.0 GPA, 1520 PSAT (perfect score). He is late getting on the recruiting scene due to an arm injury last year. He had surgery last Sept and went to the Harvard camp a few weeks ago and is back to form playing HS ball this spring. We are in PA but booked for HF in CA June 26-27. It will be part baseball, part college visits, part family vacation. Looking to fill out the rest of the summer with showcases/camps and not currently playing on a team other than potentially Legion to stay in shape and sharp. Thoughts on that approach?

Considering the following showcases/camps:

- Showball, ASBA Academic in July, Perfect Game Academic in FL, Duke's Camp in August, Baseball America (Top 96), maybe HF again on Long Island in Aug

Appreciate any thoughts from those who have been there before. 

How is his baseball skill?  Any PG grade, or accolades via PBR?  He's got the grades, and nice size for being a P or corner IF, how's the glove?  How's the speed?  Keep getting the exit velo stronger and becoming a better hitter.  Spring HS ball should get him good reps, but the downtime between that and showcases could be concerning due to not seeing decent pitching to hit against.  The showcases will have Pitchers of all levels - 80-92FB, he has to make sure he's timed up so that he gives himself a chance while in front of the college coaches. 

 Has he been on a competitive summer club team?  While grades are great, don't forget these are baseball coaches trying to recruit the best possible players for their college.  Whether it's Harvard or Amherst, they want players, that happen to have the grades and scores.

Does he work with a throwing guy?  With his size and weight along with refined mechanics should make him more projectable.  There's time for him to continue to refine.

I think multiple HF camps (June and July) could be good, giving himself repeated chances in front of the same coaches.  Duke Camp in August as an incoming senior is very late for a power conf college, unless he's RHP throwing 90+ with command, or a great glove corner launching bombs out of the park.  Duke picks up their last cherry picks at the PG WWBA and similar tournaments where the prospects are high level late bloomer pitchers, or high level hitters hitting advanced pitching. Same for other high academic D1's.  Georgetown and Columbia were still looking for two power hitting corner players at the PG WWBA and the Showball HC event the past July.  Harvard held off making some formal offers until their early August Camp.  The Ivy camps always have 4-6 other college coaches attending (normally D3's and Patriot D1's).  Princeton HC feeds some players he likes but has no room for to GTown HC.  

You need to find a way to stay in top baseball shape in between showcases.  Def more thoughts on this, but gotta run, hopefully no typos here.... 

 

 

Thanks for your well thought out reply Gov. To answer your questions, he has played on several high quality travel teams and had success so I think the baseball talent is there for a D3/Patriot (maybe Ivy). But his playing time and showcasing has been significantly hampered by injury. He did a PBR event last Jan '16, where he got his exit velo, but the injury hurt his arm velo #'s. He is a good fielder and getting faster although not fast (7.6 60). He has worked with a pitching coach and has very good mechanics according to one nationally known pitching guy. We were thinking Legion could be a relatively inexpensive way to help him stay ready between showcases, but you raise a good point as to the quality of pitching he may see there. 

Thinking once he is in top form in May we do a recruiting video and send it out to targeted schools with email telling them where he will be in the summer. Meantime keep training/refining/prepping and playing somewhere ahead of HF in June. Then do at least one or two more high academic showcases after that in the summer.  Does it make sense to do the PG Academic the week before the HF CA? Seems like PG's value is more in getting the numbers than about coach exposure. Just not sure that warrants spending $2k to go down there. 

As for schools of interest, he seems to favor technical schools (MIT, CalTech, Pomona/Mudd, U. Chicago) over Ivy's, and definitely wants the academic side to drive the process. 

2019&21 Dad posted:
Gov posted:
2019&21 Dad posted:

Similar question for my son's summer schedule. He is a 2019 P/corner IF. 6'2", 195. Low 80's FB, w/good control and secondary stuff. Pop in bat (86 exit velo). 1560 SAT 4.0 GPA, 1520 PSAT (perfect score). He is late getting on the recruiting scene due to an arm injury last year. He had surgery last Sept and went to the Harvard camp a few weeks ago and is back to form playing HS ball this spring. We are in PA but booked for HF in CA June 26-27. It will be part baseball, part college visits, part family vacation. Looking to fill out the rest of the summer with showcases/camps and not currently playing on a team other than potentially Legion to stay in shape and sharp. Thoughts on that approach?

Considering the following showcases/camps:

- Showball, ASBA Academic in July, Perfect Game Academic in FL, Duke's Camp in August, Baseball America (Top 96), maybe HF again on Long Island in Aug

Appreciate any thoughts from those who have been there before. 

How is his baseball skill?  Any PG grade, or accolades via PBR?  He's got the grades, and nice size for being a P or corner IF, how's the glove?  How's the speed?  Keep getting the exit velo stronger and becoming a better hitter.  Spring HS ball should get him good reps, but the downtime between that and showcases could be concerning due to not seeing decent pitching to hit against.  The showcases will have Pitchers of all levels - 80-92FB, he has to make sure he's timed up so that he gives himself a chance while in front of the college coaches. 

 Has he been on a competitive summer club team?  While grades are great, don't forget these are baseball coaches trying to recruit the best possible players for their college.  Whether it's Harvard or Amherst, they want players, that happen to have the grades and scores.

Does he work with a throwing guy?  With his size and weight along with refined mechanics should make him more projectable.  There's time for him to continue to refine.

I think multiple HF camps (June and July) could be good, giving himself repeated chances in front of the same coaches.  Duke Camp in August as an incoming senior is very late for a power conf college, unless he's RHP throwing 90+ with command, or a great glove corner launching bombs out of the park.  Duke picks up their last cherry picks at the PG WWBA and similar tournaments where the prospects are high level late bloomer pitchers, or high level hitters hitting advanced pitching. Same for other high academic D1's.  Georgetown and Columbia were still looking for two power hitting corner players at the PG WWBA and the Showball HC event the past July.  Harvard held off making some formal offers until their early August Camp.  The Ivy camps always have 4-6 other college coaches attending (normally D3's and Patriot D1's).  Princeton HC feeds some players he likes but has no room for to GTown HC.  

You need to find a way to stay in top baseball shape in between showcases.  Def more thoughts on this, but gotta run, hopefully no typos here.... 

 

 

Thanks for your well thought out reply Gov. To answer your questions, he has played on several high quality travel teams and had success so I think the baseball talent is there for a D3/Patriot (maybe Ivy). But his playing time and showcasing has been significantly hampered by injury. He did a PBR event last Jan '16, where he got his exit velo, but the injury hurt his arm velo #'s. He is a good fielder and getting faster although not fast (7.6 60). He has worked with a pitching coach and has very good mechanics according to one nationally known pitching guy. We were thinking Legion could be a relatively inexpensive way to help him stay ready between showcases, but you raise a good point as to the quality of pitching he may see there. 

Thinking once he is in top form in May we do a recruiting video and send it out to targeted schools with email telling them where he will be in the summer. Meantime keep training/refining/prepping and playing somewhere ahead of HF in June. Then do at least one or two more high academic showcases after that in the summer.  Does it make sense to do the PG Academic the week before the HF CA? Seems like PG's value is more in getting the numbers than about coach exposure. Just not sure that warrants spending $2k to go down there. 

As for schools of interest, he seems to favor technical schools (MIT, CalTech, Pomona/Mudd, U. Chicago) over Ivy's, and definitely wants the academic side to drive the process. 

If he is targeting the schools you listed, if given the chance and supported by the coach should really consider going ED. My son verbally committed to CMS (Mudd) but did not get accepted. His scores were higher than your sons so just a heads up.   

RoyHobbs9 posted:

When is it best to attend headfirst or showball?  After Sophmore year or after Junior year?  I have a 2020 grad that will most likely want to attend a good academic school.

For D3 summer after Junior year.  For D1 it's better to get on their radar earlier, if possible.

JCG posted:
RoyHobbs9 posted:

When is it best to attend headfirst or showball?  After Sophmore year or after Junior year?  I have a 2020 grad that will most likely want to attend a good academic school.

For D3 summer after Junior year.  For D1 it's better to get on their radar earlier, if possible.

If your son is a position player try to get to one of the Ivy camps summer and fall of his incoming Junior year (if he's interested and capable of playing Ivy).  Two days with all the coaches seeing skills and game actions.  Then go to the fall Junior year HF, Showball, or AZ Fall Classic, the Ivy coaches attending will have all ready seen you and actually know you.  Helpful for position players.

Concur with JCG if looking at D3's.  If D3 academics are of interest initiate emails with them spring HS junior year...albeit a bit early, but they'll start getting to know you, and they'll seek you out when they see you at the June HF camps. 

Last edited by Gov
2019&21 Dad posted:
Gov posted:
2019&21 Dad posted:

Similar question for my son's summer schedule. He is a 2019 P/corner IF. 6'2", 195. Low 80's FB, w/good control and secondary stuff. Pop in bat (86 exit velo). 1560 SAT 4.0 GPA, 1520 PSAT (perfect score). He is late getting on the recruiting scene due to an arm injury last year. He had surgery last Sept and went to the Harvard camp a few weeks ago and is back to form playing HS ball this spring. We are in PA but booked for HF in CA June 26-27. It will be part baseball, part college visits, part family vacation. Looking to fill out the rest of the summer with showcases/camps and not currently playing on a team other than potentially Legion to stay in shape and sharp. Thoughts on that approach?

Considering the following showcases/camps:

- Showball, ASBA Academic in July, Perfect Game Academic in FL, Duke's Camp in August, Baseball America (Top 96), maybe HF again on Long Island in Aug

Appreciate any thoughts from those who have been there before. 

How is his baseball skill?  Any PG grade, or accolades via PBR?  He's got the grades, and nice size for being a P or corner IF, how's the glove?  How's the speed?  Keep getting the exit velo stronger and becoming a better hitter.  Spring HS ball should get him good reps, but the downtime between that and showcases could be concerning due to not seeing decent pitching to hit against.  The showcases will have Pitchers of all levels - 80-92FB, he has to make sure he's timed up so that he gives himself a chance while in front of the college coaches. 

 Has he been on a competitive summer club team?  While grades are great, don't forget these are baseball coaches trying to recruit the best possible players for their college.  Whether it's Harvard or Amherst, they want players, that happen to have the grades and scores.

Does he work with a throwing guy?  With his size and weight along with refined mechanics should make him more projectable.  There's time for him to continue to refine.

I think multiple HF camps (June and July) could be good, giving himself repeated chances in front of the same coaches.  Duke Camp in August as an incoming senior is very late for a power conf college, unless he's RHP throwing 90+ with command, or a great glove corner launching bombs out of the park.  Duke picks up their last cherry picks at the PG WWBA and similar tournaments where the prospects are high level late bloomer pitchers, or high level hitters hitting advanced pitching. Same for other high academic D1's.  Georgetown and Columbia were still looking for two power hitting corner players at the PG WWBA and the Showball HC event the past July.  Harvard held off making some formal offers until their early August Camp.  The Ivy camps always have 4-6 other college coaches attending (normally D3's and Patriot D1's).  Princeton HC feeds some players he likes but has no room for to GTown HC.  

You need to find a way to stay in top baseball shape in between showcases.  Def more thoughts on this, but gotta run, hopefully no typos here.... 

 

 

Thanks for your well thought out reply Gov. To answer your questions, he has played on several high quality travel teams and had success so I think the baseball talent is there for a D3/Patriot (maybe Ivy). But his playing time and showcasing has been significantly hampered by injury. He did a PBR event last Jan '16, where he got his exit velo, but the injury hurt his arm velo #'s. He is a good fielder and getting faster although not fast (7.6 60). He has worked with a pitching coach and has very good mechanics according to one nationally known pitching guy. We were thinking Legion could be a relatively inexpensive way to help him stay ready between showcases, but you raise a good point as to the quality of pitching he may see there. 

Thinking once he is in top form in May we do a recruiting video and send it out to targeted schools with email telling them where he will be in the summer. Meantime keep training/refining/prepping and playing somewhere ahead of HF in June. Then do at least one or two more high academic showcases after that in the summer.  Does it make sense to do the PG Academic the week before the HF CA? Seems like PG's value is more in getting the numbers than about coach exposure. Just not sure that warrants spending $2k to go down there. 

As for schools of interest, he seems to favor technical schools (MIT, CalTech, Pomona/Mudd, U. Chicago) over Ivy's, and definitely wants the academic side to drive the process. 

Does it make sense to do the PG Academic the week before the HF CA? Seems like PG's value is more in getting the numbers than about coach exposure. Just not sure that warrants spending $2k to go down there. 

There's no guarantee which coaches will be at PG Academic - I'd reach out now and find out if the targeted colleges will be there.  If your son can post some good numbers it will obviously help him; he can attach the PG write up in emails and he'll automatically gain exposure with other colleges, but those colleges may not be schools he's targeting.  If going high academic you need to execute target marketing. 

It would help you to know your sons baseball capability - get some feedback, perhaps an assessment by his club coaches, or a scout.  This would serve as a sanity check when you're trying to guide your sons recruiting plan.     

There's a member here who had his son go to the PG Academic incoming Junior and incoming Senior summers - Harvard HC was there and saw him both times and called him immediately after the second camp to recruit him.  He plays for Harvard now, but just one story. 

I'd prefer to spend the $2k now, toward speed instruction, skill refinement, and developing an unmistakable monster bat.   

 

Also the Pg Academic showcase has been scheduled during the SAT subject tests for the past few years, kind of ironic but made it not feasible for many top academic kids.  

Good advice on this thread so far.  Also FYI HF splits up into teams once the "showcase" part is over after the first half day.  Your son gets two games each day (with specific pitching rules and only 5 batters er inning no matter what to speed things along), so he will be sitting around when the other set of teams are playing their games.  It is not a great time to talk to coaches during that down time as they are busy with the games going on then.  The best time to approach coaches is during a game if lucky enough to have them in your dugout or on the field, or right after the game if lucky enough to have them watching your game (those watching sit behind a screen behind home plate).  

comments above seem accurate to me.  Have done both Showball and HF in the last year with my 2019.  Our experience with HF was there were coaches available to talk between games, just not all the coaches, all the time.  Showball was a little more challenging getting with the coaches but I think that's because HF practically forces the kids to engage.  Their booklet is very helpful, too.  Showball does use a second field that in SF apparently will be only a few minutes away from SF State for the overflow. Coaches stay put; kids rotate.  So all kids should be seen, just not at the same time.  I think the early games especially on the second day are better attended at each event than the last games.

Liked both events, though son preferred Showball. He thought the second day of HF was exhausting.  Two notes that may reinforce what's above.  Go to the event where most of your target schools will be, and let them know you're coming a few weeks ahead of time. Especially helpful to include a video, and then have your kid seek these coaches out at the events.  I've had a few great conversations myself with coaches at these events, but I've only tried to talk with coaches of programs my sons are NOT interested in.

final note: give your kid at least one full day off between events if possible. These things are stressful for the kids, it's usually very hot, and there are few shady spots at each field.

Good Luck!

 

Tequila,

Getting back to your original post...if your target schools are mostly at HF and your son has recent communications with them then I would confirm that they will be at HF.   Take a quick count and base your decision on the quality of target schools and quantity.  Then I would follow Smokeminsides advice of informing them you will be there and include a video and any milestone updates to the coaches.  At the end of the day both of these showcases have recruited many folks on this board.  The differences are slight but you have to pick who is best for you and your son.   As always,, JMO

Recruited = Passion + Skill + Exposure + Persistence + Luck

Last edited by fenwaysouth

Thanks Fenway and Smokem...all good advice and I really appreciate it. We ended up registering for the HF camp but I really don't think we would have gone wrong either way. Primary schools of interest are at both so I ended up having to simply make a decision which I based on a pros/cons comparison we put together. In a perfect world, we could do both but the budget has its limits :-)

Thanks again for everyone's feedback on this. It's been very helpful!

2019&21 Dad posted:

 

Considering the following showcases/camps:

- Showball, ASBA Academic in July, Perfect Game Academic in FL, Duke's Camp in August, Baseball America (Top 96), maybe HF again on Long Island in Aug

Appreciate any thoughts from those who have been there before. 

My son (2020 RHP) went to the Oct 2017 Duke camp. He enjoyed it and it was a great chance to see how a D1 athlete lives (my boy raved about the weight room), but it didn’t offer much in the way of exposure,  Yes, coaches watch the games, but there are a lot of kids there with widely varying skill levels.  Players do not get written evaluations or other formal feedback. For the money, it was a very good experience (we didn’t need plane tickets to get to Durham), but I wouldn’t think of it as an element of your recruiting strategy. 

The October Duke camp had coaches from 8 or 10 schools, which was great; but most were D2 and D3 schools and not high-academic, so not likely a match for kids aiming for Duke.

My son was a rising sophomore and not throwing 95 mph, so I can’t say how Duke treated kids it was actually recruiting. Kids were divided into teams and a coach assigned to each. My son’s team’s coach was from a N Carolina D2.  My son liked his coach, but he wasn’t from a school son is interested in.

Duke coaches were watching every game, as were coaches from other schools. They were writing down radar gun readings for the Ps, but didn’t tell my son (or any others, so far as I know) what the readings were.

In October there were rising 9th graders who weighed about 90 lbs pitching to 6’2” HS upperclassmen (and vice versa), so it’s a mixed bag. My son said he didn’t get any useful coaching feedback, but it may be he just didn’t want to talk with me about it. And it rained, which eliminated some games/activities.

Camp was well run and fun. I think it was good to let my son play in a showcase-type environment for college coaches before he does the real thing. The players did timed runs, etc., but they didn’t get any kind of report on their results.  

If a Duke coach personally requests that your kid attend, then it might have some recruiting value. Otherwise, it’s a fun weekend, your son might learn a few things and can see a Power 5 team’s baseball facilities and also view a bit of the Duke campus...  It was worth the $250 or so we paid to do it once, but I probably wouldn’t do it again unless at a much smaller school that my son was targeting or a school that asked to see him at their camp. 

Good feedback on the Duke camp. Son said he wouldn't want to play at Duke (or any top D1 really). He wants to play ball, but wants to focus more on the academic side as a Physics, Math or Engineering major. So that's putting us looking at top D3 academics or maybe Ivy's. So we'll do HF in CA in June, and probably Showball in July in NY. Beyond that we'll see what interest is there and if we go to individual school camps or other academic camps/showcases.

If focused on D3 only, HF and Showball are both great camps the summer before Senior year.  Find a way for the targeted D3 to see you more than once. Find out which specific camps and showcases the targeted D3 will attend. My 2018 was focused on Ivy's, but had a few targeted D3's as backups.  The D3 he committed to saw him 4 times (PG WWBA, Chicagoland Showcase, two Showball events).  This D3 HC knew my son was seeking Ivy, so he was patient, it was good my son made an effort to get to know the targeted D3 HC's.  This paid off when it came to August when the Ivy's weren't quite panning out. (my son is a MIF)

If a position player is focused on D1 high academic schools: the summer and fall of incoming Junior year are critical to be seen.  A position player needs more time to get reps and display game actions.  If you are focused on a couple of Ivy's, attending their two day camps the summer or fall of Junior year could be helpful. After the individual camp the coaches will have a very good idea of your abilities, and know who you are. Then, if you attend the Junior year Nov HF or Showball Camps a few months later they'll likely seek you out (assuming your abilities are a possible fit).  After Nov Junior year you'll know if you're being recruited by an Ivy. 

Attending a HF or Showball your incoming summer as a Junior will also compliment, just know that it may be difficult to display your game actions. (How many innings can go by without a ball hit at SS or 2B)  If you have a BIG bat you'll get noticed, period.  If your club team is not playing tournaments that will draw your targeted schools, do not be uncomfortable about missing a club tourney - go to a HF or Showball.

As a parent it could be helpful if you have an objective assessment of your sons playing ability and measurables.  Does his playing ability, measurables, and physical size project to mid D1?   Are his academics in line with the expections of admissions for his targeted high academic college?  If your son wants to play OF for an Ivy, is he running sub 6.9, does he have a strong bat. Could be a wake up call that he's not ready for a particular camp or showcase.  It's better to deploy funds toward improving speed and strength, refine skills, strengthen the bat.  Delay attending an incoming Junior HF or Showball until Nov of his Junior year.  That 6 months could be valuable in adding speed, strength, and improving the bat. Attending a HF event is $995 plus airfare and lodging - could be $2500 spent.

If you're a PO seeking D1 high academic - Such a tricky thing to keep a healthy arm. Attending a July HF or Showball in July, or waiting for October's AZ Classic, and/or a Nov HF or Showball...  Could be better to rest then re-ramp back up in the Fall for Oct and Nov events.  It's also a chance to refine mechanics and regain some strength from a long hot summer.  Plenty of members here with kids pitching for Ivy's, they can tell you about velocities that are recruited.     

Duke Camp: my son also went the Fall of his Soph year.  He had a good MIF glove, average bat, solid gamer on the field, 5'6 140lbs wet.  It was inexpensive, fun, he got a feel for where he stood.   While his glove was complemented, his arm strength, speed and bat were not at the level to stand out among over 150+ kids.  Even if you go Junior year, HC Pollard is trying to be a top power 5 baseball team, he's looking for serious stand out talent.  Duke will invite players they've identified from previous months tournaments (PG WWBA or Music City Classic).  We saw 3-4 players pulled to the side, parents included.  I would have preferred to spend the $1500 toward an instructor who could truly strengthen sons bat.  This could be a good camp if you really want Duke, but do you have the stuff that Duke wants at the time you attend their camp?

If we were to do this all over again:

Summer Incoming Junior year: 

  • Attend either July HF or Showball Camp 
  • One or two Ivy Camps (August)
  • Keep up with summer club tournaments to continue facing advanced pitching
  • Hopefully the club team is playing a tournament where some of the Ivy's will attend (all Ivy's were at the PG WWBA, as well as a few of the high academic D3's).

Fall Junior year:

  • Attend one or two other Ivy camps (Sept - Oct)
  • AZ Fall Showcase (Oct)
  • November HF or Showball

Incoming Senior summer:

  • June HF and July HF or Showball (may miss a club tournament)

Note: Summer before Senior year: few Ivy's and GTown's were still seeking BIG bat corner position players (saw this at July HC Showball event, Georgetown and Columbia) 

Last edited by Gov
Mudnyeri posted:

The Duke Camp was a good one.  We did get a written report on all the measurable data.  I'm in NC, so it wasn't too expensive.  The data was good since it showed my 2020 what he was up against.  They had some really good ball players there. 

We thought it was good as well.  Now, a few years later I'm thinking: would I do it again?  If we were living within a reasonable driving distance (4-5hours), I would, even if he was a Soph. Son had a great experience. 

I'd prefer to do it again if son was a Junior and if his measurables and abilities would stand out.  Sub 6.9, throwing and exit velo's at 90, plus capable of impressing with a bat.  If you can play and have those measurables they'll be watching.  

My 2019 son did Duke camp summer before 9th grade and again winter of sophomore year. (By the way he loved Duke and the camps and got great feedback from them). While he was definitely noticed and even was told by Head Coach and RC that he would hear from them, by the middle of son’s sophomore year they had 10 commits from his class.  Unless your son becomes a rock star between soph and junior year, I wouldn’t spend much time with Duke after sophomore year. They tend to be in the early recruiting bucket. Not quite as much as some of the other ACC and SEC schools, but they will have moved on for juniors with the exception of star standouts. And if you’re a parent of a frosh or soph and Duke is high on their list, get to them now. Don’t wait. 

Midwest Mom posted:

My 2019 son did Duke camp summer before 9th grade and again winter of sophomore year. (By the way he loved Duke and the camps and got great feedback from them). While he was definitely noticed and even was told by Head Coach and RC that he would hear from them, by the middle of son’s sophomore year they had 10 commits from his class.  Unless your son becomes a rock star between soph and junior year, I wouldn’t spend much time with Duke after sophomore year. They tend to be in the early recruiting bucket. Not quite as much as some of the other ACC and SEC schools, but they will have moved on for juniors with the exception of star standouts. And if you’re a parent of a frosh or soph and Duke is high on their list, get to them now. Don’t wait. 

Concur. If your skills and abilities will stand out, go.  Son had a teammate who was 5'11 180 lbs as an 8th grader, throwing 86, he stood out.  Grades didn't.

Duke is also located in a hot bed of talent, tons of teams to watch to pick up talent.  They might recruit a few players from their camps out of the 150-200 that attend.  

 

Last edited by Gov

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