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Are kids allowed to pitch and play a position on their off days? Do the pitchers hit.

It is my understanding that ours does neither. This is not an issue with my son, but is with his friend. He is easily the best pitcher in our 2013 class and many would think better then any in the 2012 class. He probably will not even tryout as a pitcher. He is also our best SS and maybe the best hitter.

Just curious how it works at other schools.
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I think you are going to find a wide variety of answers to your questions. It's really something that comes down to philosophy and needs of the team.

When I was head coach my better positions players were usually my pitchers so they had to hit, pitch and field. If they pitched on a Monday, with a heavy workload, and we had a game on Tuesday the pitcher from Monday would either just DH or try to hide them at a position that probably wouldn't require much throwing. But there would be the occasional player who could pitch on Monday and play SS on Tuesday and I think some of that can be attributed to how in shape they were based on how much they throw and run.

I would try to get them courtesy runners when they were on base but my more athletic pitchers would have the choice and most of the time they chose to run.

I had a few guys who were just pitchers only but that was because they were terrible hitters or terrible fielders.

So overall I let the needs of my team and skill of my pitchers determine how I used them.
The problem isn't the games. It is practice. It is tough to pitch 80 pitches and then make the required throws in practice from short or third, especially, but even the other positions. You could say don't practice, but then you risk sending a kid into the games unprepared, which is not good for anyone.

But sometimes the kids is just too good all around to make the choice.
Last edited by jemaz
It depends on the available talent. Ours is a large classification high school. Last year of the three starting pitchers only one could hit. He played center when he didn't pitch. Of the two primary relievers one came from a position and the other only pitched. The reliever who came from a position had to get in his warmups between innings, then come from the position if needed.

This coming season with two starters graduated, and the two relievers moving up to start along with two new primary relievers coming up from JV, only one of the starting pitchers will hit. Right now it's unclear if he'll play short or center when he doesn't pitch. The coach told him this week he may want an every day shortstop.
Last edited by RJM
I don't think there are exceptions, but I guess we will see. Last year's #1 pitcher, only pitched in high school. I was told he hit 5 HR in 18 summer games. He went to a D1 school as a pitcher.

This is a really large school and the coach has put together a great program. I don't even know if I disagree, I'm just glad my son doesn't have to chose either, or in high school.

I did not know if this was common?
We are in a competitive, heavily recruited market. Our H.S. fields three teams. The Head Coach uses the Freshman, J.V. teams as his minor leagues and begins training/positioning early. Like the football program, once you've reached Varsity you've learned the system (or position) their way. Thus he know's what he has and the player knows his role. Pitchers, don't play other positions nor do they ever hit (DH always employed). Pretty much the same as any successful Major College or Pro organization handles things. I'm not saying it's right or wrong .... it just is! He's been in three state finals since coming four years ago(won two). And that, from his perspective, is what he was hired to do. By the way, If you don't earn a starting role, you are very unlikely to see playing time. A pinch runner is used, the DH (the best non-playing hitter) and one reliever (two starters) are the only players to see the field once Region play begins.
Last edited by Prime9
quote:
Originally posted by Will:
What is the big deal? You mean to tell me that in this day and age a baseball player in high school is so fragil he can not pitch and play somewhere else?
I don't believe this is the issue at all. Some large school programs are so deep in talent pitchers only pitch unless they are hitting studs. In the case of my son's high school there just happens to be some kids who focused more on pitching when maybe they realized they're not good hitters.
Will, I'm not so sure it has to do with being fragile. I think it could be a couple of reasons. One being that the kid has learned (by whatever means) that his future is pitching and thus decides to only be a Pitcher. Another would be the size of the HS and how many tryout/play. In our HS, we NEED our Pitchers to play another position when not on the bump. We need his glove and bat mostly, and hope he doesn't have many ground balls hit to him during the game!
Last edited by YoungGunDad
quote:
Same with ours. It's a small school, and I don't know of any players in the coming season that are pitchers only


Same here...Small school, the better players all have large roles. #1 catcher is #2 pitcher, #1 pitcher is #1 SS....Our problem is filling catcher and SS when those players are pitching...

The idea that the pitcher can't play the next game has never come up...it's unthinkable at our level...
Do you think is benifits he kid to be from a small school, thus having the option to do everything?

Does a 15 / 16 year old kid really know which path he should head down if he is very good at both?

I've watched this kid for three years playing with and against my son, and I could not tell you which he should chose.
quote:
Originally posted by NP13:
Do you think is benifits he kid to be from a small school, thus having the option to do everything?

Does a 15 / 16 year old kid really know which path he should head down if he is very good at both?

I've watched this kid for three years playing with and against my son, and I could not tell you which he should chose.
It will matter more what his showcase team coach does with him. In many parts of the country high school baseball is nothing more than twenty games often played under poor weather conditions.
Last edited by RJM
This actually pretty simple IMO.

Regardless of how big or small the school is if a kid is talented at both hitting and pitching he will hit when he pitches and he will play the field when he's not pitching. High school baseball has enough days off that I don't think arm fatique would be an issue when doing both. I have seen this at my son's school with no problems.

If a talented pitcher can't hit he won't and he probably won't mind.

This all seems to work itself out pretty quickly so I wouldn't worry too much about it.
Last edited by fillsfan
quote:
Originally posted by NP13:
Do you think is benifits he kid to be from a small school, thus having the option to do everything?

Does a 15 / 16 year old kid really know which path he should head down if he is very good at both?

I've watched this kid for three years playing with and against my son, and I could not tell you which he should chose.


If he wants to do both (pitch and play), and he is that talented, I'm pretty sure his Coach will give him the opportunity, regardless of the school size!
Coaches can spot talent and they usually have heard if a kid has/can pitch some.

The player too, often makes those choices. He may not want to pitch and or "Pops" may prefer that he doesn't want Jr. to risk arm injury at this young age (again, elbow and shoulder growth plates not yet closed).
I think it is the rare high school would as a matter of policy not have any pitchers hit and/or play a position when not hitting.

Sure, some pitchers at my son's HS did not hit. But if they were in the top nine hitters, their bat was in the lineup when they were not pitching.

There might be some programs that have so many studs that pitchers don't hit, but I think they are rare.
You also don't know if you are going to pitch or play a position after high school so why limit yourself. Players abilities change all the time, drives me crazy when a kid or more likely their parent says "he's only a pitcher or he's only a catcher or he's only a shortstop". Self defeating. My son was signed as a center fielder and is now the No. #1 pitcher on his team. His coaches did not even know he pitched until halfway through his first fall when he said "just let me throw a bullpen". The kid that only played short growing up is the left fielder and on and on. And he would be a better left fielder if he's have played bit there growing up.
NP13 ...

I'm curious what our panel of Scouts think about a slight twist to your question. They often have to choose which of the two paths to send a recruit down.

I know there was a 1st round choice last year that demanded he be allowed to work at both through his trek in the minors. I guess he wasn't ready to choose. Oriole outfielder, Nick Markakis just inked his 1st big contract ... $60 mil. He was scouted by 26 other MLB teams at Young Harris College (JUCO), They ALL wanted him as a pitcher. It would appear Baltimore got it right. Micah Owings still holds the all time Prep Home run record in Georgia, played both ways at Georgia Tech, made it to the bigs with Arizona as a pitcher. His hitting received more attention than his pitching and was even used as a pinch hitter. He is fading as a pitcher .... maybe Arizona got it wrong???

As a parent and or a player, you wonder about that choice as many can do both well. But which one will they take off at?? Mine has the best arm, and has always, to this stage, been the best hitter. Even up through College recruiting, all have elected to not mess with their for sure 3-hole hitter, even though I think he has the "proto-typical" pitchers body and arm! I would hate to flip that coin.
Last edited by Prime9
FWIW, Owings left GTech because they wouldn't allow him to be a two way player. Weiters only pitched when they needed a closer in tight games, and near the end of his college career, although he had a powerful arm, he was very hittable because he only threw a FB down the middle, he was not a pitcher.

Where you continue to play after HS might dictate your position and the coaches needs, but after HS, it becomes more specialized, jack of all trades and master of none doesn't work. Personally, I wouldn't want my player to be one of those. I am glad others made the decision for him to be a PO.

There are very, very few who can excel at both past the HS level, and most likely very few of our players will ever get that chance.
At our HS, there is typically a rotation.

For example, if you pitch on Tuesday, you may or may not hit based on how you're hitting. On Wednesday, you will DH if you're a hitter. They don't want you out throwing in the field if you just pitched. On Friday, you play your field position and could hit or get DH'd for based on how things are going.

The whole thing rotates based on where you are in the hitting or pitching rotation and what happens the next day (never play the field the day after pitching). Of course this is a big school with a 20+ man roster, so they have the luxary of having lots of talented players and the non-luxary of them all requiring some playing time.

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