My 2021 pitcher has recently secured an offer and committed to his dream school. My question is how much should he pitch over the next few years including high-school and summer ball to hopefully minimize arm injury, but also keep improving?  My initial thought is to let the high school season  volume dictate the summer volume. He plays at a successful high school program that will be playing good competition over the next 2 years. 

Longtime follower first time poster. Thanks for all the advice over the years. 

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Sounds reasonable. Also depends on his metrics and makeup. I know some would say he should just train in the summer and not play, but it depends on the kid, some kids need to get better at actually being on the mound and competing. Depends on his metrics and where he needs to be going into his college.

My 2020 that committed last month has pretty much shut it down. He's going to the last few summer team tournaments because this is his last summer. But just going to hang out. Our HS plays fall ball. He is already talking with his coach about not throwing in the fall. His plan is, he went back to going hard in the gym, and he won't pickup a ball until last week of October at which point he'll start arm care, and eventually throwing. Will be on a mound starting in Jan to be ready for the HS season.

As of now his plan along with hi college pitching coach is to work out next summer (throwing and lifting) throw to live batters, but now play any real games, and be ready to come into the fall.

I agree with enjoy the high school season, compete and let the workload dictate summer use. Chances are the travel roster will be similar to this summer. Those are his friends too. Pitch some for the work. But don’t overdo it. 

Agree.....play HS....and the fact that they play good competition helps.  He'll be playing against guys a year older than him, which will also help get him ready for college.  I wouldn't take the summer off....but agree that workload could be determined by HS innings.  A good pitcher can always find a place to throw some innings in the summer, even if he's not on a team.

I think it depends.  My son didn't play fall ball at all last year, but was set to play quite a bit this summer to both improve and to be seen at some of the elite invitationals. We will shut him down again later in the fall and will limit his pitches in the spring.  I think last year we said 65 in March, 75 in April, 85-90 in May and in playoffs end of May to June he was at 110 almost every outing.  If your son is a possible draft pick, he will need to continue to be seen and scouts will reach out to ask where they can see him over the summer.

dadof2ballplayers posted:

 My initial thought is to let the high school season  volume dictate the summer volume. He plays at a successful high school program that will be playing good competition over the next 2 years. 

Your initial thoughts are correct. Throw normally for HS, take a small break before the summer season and play summer by ear based on innings. 

What I would be doing now is looking for the strongest travel team he can play for this summer as a PO and getting him used to better competition. Getting him used to seeing college hitters regularly. Even if it's only for guest playing. At this point he should really only be going 3-4 innings for the lengthier tournaments and throwing 5 or 6 for the weekend tournaments. It's not going to be HS where wins and losses really matter all that much it's about getting work and getting better hitters out at this point. 

PABaseball posted:
dadof2ballplayers posted:

 My initial thought is to let the high school season  volume dictate the summer volume. He plays at a successful high school program that will be playing good competition over the next 2 years. 

Your initial thoughts are correct. Throw normally for HS, take a small break before the summer season and play summer by ear based on innings. 

What I would be doing now is looking for the strongest travel team he can play for this summer as a PO and getting him used to better competition. Getting him used to seeing college hitters regularly. Even if it's only for guest playing. At this point he should really only be going 3-4 innings for the lengthier tournaments and throwing 5 or 6 for the weekend tournaments. It's not going to be HS where wins and losses really matter all that much it's about getting work and getting better hitters out at this point. 

He has been contacted by some of the higher profile teams for next year. That’s what got me thinking about how much do you let him pitch after a possible heavy high school load. Will just have to see if they would be willing to be flexible with how much he pitches for them if he goes that route.

BASEBALLHS  mentioned the draft that’s a good point to. He has measurables just would need to keep developing and the only way to do that is to pitch against quality competition. Thank you for the advice. 

dadof2ballplayers posted:

He has been contacted by some of the higher profile teams for next year. That’s what got me thinking about how much do you let him pitch after a possible heavy high school load. Will just have to see if they would be willing to be flexible with how much he pitches for them if he goes that route.

BASEBALLHS  mentioned the draft that’s a good point to. He has measurables just would need to keep developing and the only way to do that is to pitch against quality competition. Thank you for the advice. 

The higher the profile, the lighter the workload. My 2019 was in a similar position to yours and I was asking the same questions. Heavy spring workload as is the case with most college commits and he wanted to dial it back in the summer. Joined a high profile travel program. Hit the top tournaments and don't think he went over 85 pitches once. They have depth, arms, and the bats to end plenty of games quick. You join these teams to get pro looks, get used to pitching with other big time pitchers, and throw against the top bats while taking it easy on the arm. Really a win win, usually cheaper as well. Sounds like he's on the right path.  

I will say this.son committed in November of sophomore year. School saw him pitch 4 times the next two years between both HS and some high profile PG events. Verbal commitments basically ended any and all interest from other D1 schools. So just remember, if you don’t keep showing that your kid is developing the way they hoped and it comes down to one scholly between 2 kids, you could get left out. I just think you keep doing what you’ve been doing and hope your kid continues to develop.

I would echo pieces of what the others have stated.  Son committed right before junior year of HS. He committed to training in fall and backed the innings way off.  Pitched at Jupiter twice and maybe a couple times a month.   Summer was facing as much high end competition he could find   He went to his college ready to contribute from day 1 and because of that may break the career appearance record as a senior.  

Injuries for a pitcher are almost impossible to figure IMO.  Son’s teammate who was the 81-82 mph sidearmer lost an entire season in college to TJ.  

Your son should know his arm and what he needs.  I think adequate rest between outings is most important vs how many times he throws. 

As the parent of a 2016 D1 LHP that had major shoulder surgery his freshman year in college , You don't wanna do what my son did.

He threw way too much prior to college. He was also a max effort guy, so he not only thew a lot of baseballs, he threw them as hard as he could

Shoulder surgery is potentially career ending. Fortunately , he has recovered but it was tough.  Rehabilitation was 18 months. And even then, he didn't really feel right until closer to the 2 year mark.

My suggestion is you talk to the pitching coach at the school he's committed to and map out a throwing / arm care program that gets him enough work and keeps him healthy until he arrives on campus. Ask the pitching coach about any HS pitch count / inning limits and subsequently relay this information in no uncertain terms back to the HS coach. You do this. Not the player. Health issues are one of the few issues where a PARENT talks to the HS coach. And pitch counts always come from the parents. It takes the heat off of your son for having to dictate something to his coach and also keeps your son from feeling like he'll be perceived as soft

If he's a 2021 MLB draft prospect, he will want to do Area Codes, Jupiter, PG Nationals. Other than that , there is no reason to do any sort of travel ball stuff. Maybe a few innings with a college summer ball team the summer before he leaves for college in 2021

Son committed in late summer as a rising senior.   He only did one PG event (Jupiter in the Fall) after he committed as a favor to his travel coach.   He shut it down in October as he always did.   He resumed throwing in December (no mound work until January) with his  usual winter pitching camp (10 week program) and then pitched his last high school season in the Spring.    D1 college pitching coach sent him a suggested workout routine that included band work, yoga, etc..   Son needed to work ($$$), workout and play baseball over the summer.   American Legion baseball made sense for him and gave him pitching reps as well as plenty of opportunities to hit and play the field..in other words...enjoy baseball with guys he'd only played against previously.   I believe he pitched once a week and he was on a pitch count of 80.   Once Legion was over (early August) he did long toss with me for a couple weeks, threw a bullpen then headed off to college.  

 

Somewhat related. my son's 2020 team played their last local tournament of the summer this past weekend. Between kids that are committed, and kids missing because they were attending college camps, we had quite the hodge podge lineup. Kids pitching that hadn't pitched in years, POs in the OF and batting. My son has shut it down for the summer, but still showed up to the support the team. Made sure to wear shorts so the coach couldn't bat him ;-). Good times....

fenwaysouth posted:

Son committed in late summer as a rising senior.   He only did one PG event (Jupiter in the Fall) after he committed as a favor to his travel coach.   He shut it down in October as he always did.   He resumed throwing in December (no mound work until January) with his  usual winter pitching camp (10 week program) and then pitched his last high school season in the Spring.    D1 college pitching coach sent him a suggested workout routine that included band work, yoga, etc..   Son needed to work ($$$), workout and play baseball over the summer.   American Legion baseball made sense for him and gave him pitching reps as well as plenty of opportunities to hit and play the field..in other words...enjoy baseball with guys he'd only played against previously.   I believe he pitched once a week and he was on a pitch count of 80.   Once Legion was over (early August) he did long toss with me for a couple weeks, threw a bullpen then headed off to college.  

 

Son followed the same schedule over the years, with the October-Dec shutdown being the most important.  We (OK, I) decided no legion this summer, although we strongly considered it.  Son threw pre-game and just sat in the dugout to hang with his buddies instead.

Playing catch with him now.  Dang, it's a lot scarier than it was a few years ago and it's pathetic how my long toss throws don't reach him on a bounce & roll...

CTbballDad posted:
fenwaysouth posted:

Son committed in late summer as a rising senior.   He only did one PG event (Jupiter in the Fall) after he committed as a favor to his travel coach.   He shut it down in October as he always did.   He resumed throwing in December (no mound work until January) with his  usual winter pitching camp (10 week program) and then pitched his last high school season in the Spring.    D1 college pitching coach sent him a suggested workout routine that included band work, yoga, etc..   Son needed to work ($$$), workout and play baseball over the summer.   American Legion baseball made sense for him and gave him pitching reps as well as plenty of opportunities to hit and play the field..in other words...enjoy baseball with guys he'd only played against previously.   I believe he pitched once a week and he was on a pitch count of 80.   Once Legion was over (early August) he did long toss with me for a couple weeks, threw a bullpen then headed off to college.  

 

Son followed the same schedule over the years, with the October-Dec shutdown being the most important.  We (OK, I) decided no legion this summer, although we strongly considered it.  Son threw pre-game and just sat in the dugout to hang with his buddies instead.

Playing catch with him now.  Dang, it's a lot scarier than it was a few years ago and it's pathetic how my long toss throws don't reach him on a bounce & roll...

CTbballDad,

Tip of the cap for trying to long toss with him.   Call me lazy, but I stopped trying to do that many moons ago.   My lazy Dad method required two buckets.   One bucket full of balls, and the other bucket empty.   Once my son emptied his bucket, he'd run over to swap his empty bucket with my full bucket.   My only job was to catch the balls with my first baseman's mitt.  This was the extent of my skill set.  ;-)

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