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Can I ask a few question? Are there live BP rounds? And what are your son's strengths? I have a 2021 OF as well and the recommendation for him was to showcase power/measureables (i.e. just mash) during BP and then focus on his approach/play within himself during games.  That advice was based on the fact that he naturally hits for power with a smooth lefty swing but it was important to show that he also has a great approach at the plate in game situations. It seems to be working...he just hit grand slams on back to back days at East Coast Pro and the first one was on a 10 pitch at bat because they restart the count after a walk. The exit velo on the second one was 107 (sorry if this is bragg-y but it just happened yesterday so I'm still a little fired up! LOL) but I think if he had been worried about measureables and not good QABs he might have overplayed his at bats. So to bring it back, IMHO BP is where you want to focus on measureables and the game is where you want to show what makes your son special as a hitter. The only thing I would avoid is showing off how well he walks...unless the reset the count after a walk and he still gets a chance to hit.  

I like the approach of going big in BP and being smarter in game ABs, but it really depends on the situation.  My 2021 son played on a travel ball team this summer where playing time was equal.  The team's goal is to get kids recruited; not so much to win games.  So while my son typically gets 3-4 ABs per game (he's a 1/2 hole type), I knew he wouldn't get that many this summer.  I knew he'd have games where he'd get 1-2 ABs.  The vast majority of prospective coaches are seeking big bats these days.  Even from their 1/2 hole guys.  While you want to be smart with your ABs, BBs and HBPs garner almost no one's attention.  Coaches are not there to watch your OBP over the 1, 2 or 3 days they're there.  Look to damage in every AB or some other player will.

I believe the rules are that if the P walks you, he then has to throw one more FB next pitch. So, as much as I agree that the RC's are not looking for walks, a batter can't be swinging at unhittable pitches, either, and the P's are looking to spin their nastiest breaking stuff that they can.

 

My 2018 couldn't do anything at SB, but at Headfirst he had six hits, all singles. Since he is a smaller, speed guy, those hits made sense with the overall package he had to offer as a player, and he got plenty of interest. In other words, not everyone is built the same, so there is no correct answer. As a matter of fact, 2018 heard one coach sigh(at Headfirst) about "Showcase fly outs", with the implication being he had seen way too many of them, and wanted to see balls in play.

   Line drive doubles in the gap, or even hard line drive outs, are never a bad thing. Squaring up the ball is what they want to see. If it results in a HR, great, but unless you are some hitting prodigy they are not common, especially in a situation where you will see very few pitches, and fewer strikes.

Last edited by 57special

BP is important. If you show in BP, that will get the attention of most coaches, who will then seek you out for live at bats vs a pitcher. Bombs are nice but not at all necessary. My son is an OF....The camp/showcase that he was recruited out of (and also received a ton of calls/texts on the way home from coaches) went this way:

1. Showed a strong arm during OF defensive drills. 

2. Solid 60 time   

3. BP - 2 rounds...hit majority hard line drives to the middle of the field. Loud contact with bat speed and balance. Took a big cut on the "comin out" pitch, but otherwise just stroked very hard line drives.

4. Live action  - Only 2 at bats. Both were vs D1 caliber pitchers. First at bat hit a hard grounder to second base on first pitch. Second at bat, worked the count full and hit a hard one-hopper to shortstop.  

This was a one day invite only camp with approximately 40 college coaches (many head coaches) in attendance. Scholarship offers/campus visits came immediately afterwards from coaches he had been in contact with and several who had seen him for the first time. Moons and stars aligned - he performed but was also very lucky...it was the summer before senior year. If you need a link to the video of his performance PM me. 

Good luck to you and your son.

  

Last edited by WestCoastPapa
@LuckyCat posted:

If you have a speedy top of the lineup kid, is it worth showing a bunt to first?

I'll disagree with @Danj, but with the qualifier below.

Son was at a showcase early summer before senior year. Coaches from 2 schools recruiting him ( both in son's top 3-5) were coaches assigned his dugout for his showcase game. The two coaches are conversing much of the game. When son is on deck, one of the coaches  walks over to him and says , "I want you to lay down a bunt for me." Son shows some hesitancy and mentions the dreaded 1-1 start for the count. Coach says, "well, you do have three at bats." After lining out his first AB, son lays down a bunt on first pitch to third in 2nd AB and legs it out. He steals second on next pitch and scores on a hit.  After a congrats, the coach says, "you know you could have winked at me when you reached first. ". There was a happy ending as both schools offered the next month.

 

@Ripken Fan posted:

Son was at a showcase early summer before senior year. Coaches from 2 schools recruiting him ( both in son's top 3-5) were coaches assigned his dugout for his showcase game. The two coaches are conversing much of the game. When son is on deck, one of the coaches  walks over to him and says , "I want you to lay down a bunt for me." Son shows some hesitancy and mentions the dreaded 1-1 start for the count. Coach says, "well, you do have three at bats." After lining out his first AB, son lays down a bunt on first pitch to third in 2nd AB and legs it out. He steals second on next pitch and scores on a hit.  After a congrats, the coach says, "you know you could have winked at me when you reached first. ". There was a happy ending as both schools offered the next month.

 

So you CAN bunt your way to college!

Ripken Fan, allow me to go a layer deeper on this.  You and plenty others will absolutely find examples that go against the point that I and others are making.  There are exceptions to every rule.  Let me put it this way.  What would Vegas advise?  We all know that answer.  For the majority of coaches and programs, they're there to see and hear loud, pretty balls being driven hard.

Having said that, my son's skills sets fall into the minority.  He's small and relies on high AVGs and OBPs.  He plays to his skill sets.  Not because he wants to or because that's what most coaches want to see, but because he largely has to.  For those like my son, there are far less coaches/programs out there that value what he brings.  Not zero, but less.  He was fortunate to find one, but from a math perspective, it was much harder.  But, in 2020, if you want to cast the widest possible net, then you're not trying to finesse your way through ABs.  You need to crush the ball as much as you possible can when at a showcase.  They can be outs of even fouls, but they need to be crushed.

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