Thanks for all the great feedback. Granted, I may not know all that you guys/gals know, particularly at this level of play, that's why I sought out this site so I can get the info/advice I need. ...
Cabbagedad, I only know that basic stats. Nick and I are going to review your questions and get answers. We are very interested in the feedback: good, bad or indifferent.
Your words were encouraging. And,despite having the same advice for Nick that many of you gave, he was not receptive to it. I'm a mom. What do I know? I told him what the vast majority of you have advised. He went to practice at 530am with a smile on his face and determination to prove he should play.
We will also seek out a high-caliber club team.
Nick's Mom, to be honest, I anticipated that you would not have many of the answers (although I thought you would have a few). I presented those questions for several reasons. Coach May is right in the fact that it won't change the coach's current assessment of your son. But I sensed from your opening post that there is probably a significant gap of awareness of the skill sets your son possesses and what the coach is looking for at the HS level. Those questions were formed with the intent of letting you know that most HS varsity starters are working hard in the off-season to hone their skills. Most are playing with decent club programs and tracking their measurables so that they know specifically where they stand and what they need to work on. Many are attending the better showcases so they have a better feel for where the bar is when it comes to better players in the area and region. I'm not saying that your son has to do all these things. Confidence is good but some humility via awareness can go a long way.
Little League coach feedback isn't really relevant at this point. That was several levels ago and the funnel continues to narrow. Good private instruction is great but keep in mind that it is in their best interest to communicate lots of positive comments.
Agree with others that it was the right question to ask at the wrong time. I will add... a coach looks for all players to embrace their role. Your son said "I am not a scrub.." to the coach. That could be seen as disrespectful to the fact that the coach has chosen for him to be a member of the team in some role. It is important for all players to embrace their role in order for the team to be successful, even if that role is keeping the book, helping with runners and creating positive atmosphere on the bench. I know that was not his intent but, again, just for awareness.
Nine plate appearances in what I would guess would be late inning non-critical situations or starts against lesser opponents are not what should be used as your measuring stick. As others mentioned, his PT is earned primarily by what coaches see with the hundreds of daily reps, daily attitude, speed, arm strength, power, game awareness and ability to execute at the current level.
I would caution against putting much thought or stock into the posts that suggest your son is sitting because he may have a bad coach who is not evaluating your son fairly or properly. Even if true, it is not where your son needs to be focusing his efforts in order to earn that PT he desires. His focus should be on getting so much better that he leaves no doubt.
Lastly, you mentioned your son was not receptive to some of the advice. So, he may feel he is not getting a fair shot. To put what others have said in a different way... he can either whine and mope about the injustice and make things worse or he can come to grips with the fact that it is this coach who he must impress with his play and attitude and put every effort possible into accomplishing this.