Junior Developing as a Pitcher

So, my 2020 has not focused much on pitching (he's mainly played infield corners and loves to hit).  He does pitch on his high school team (on Varsity since freshman year) and less so on his summer team (he usually comes in when they need to mix things up or are running out of arms), but he hasn't really trained much as a pitcher.  He switched to a new summer team for this year and has been going to their off-season pitcher trainings when he can sprinkle them in between basketball practice/games and he's been surprised to see that he's sitting at 84-85mph.   His pitching coach likes what he sees and thinks he has the potential to bump that up with more work/growth as the season progresses.  He's lost about 10lbs since basketball season started and hasn't been able to lift/strength train since then either, so he's now about 6'4" and 184lbs, but once basketball is over, he will get back to lifting and not burning as many calories, so his goal is to get back up to 195lbs over the next couple of months.

He did not showcase as a pitcher at any of the events he attended last summer and we are starting to think maybe he should consider that for this summer.  We are going to see how things progress over the HS season, but wondering if it's too late to showcase as pitcher for the first time as a Junior and what measurables would we want to see before doing so (88-89? or would it need to be 90+)?  

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Sounds like he has a big frame which is great!  I would say that no, it's not too late at all - might work to his advantage that it is the first time he's showcased and he is in the high 80s.  I'm assuming he is a RHP?  Even if so, I don't think he needs to be consistently over 90 as a Junior to showcase but others may disagree.  There's still time, but for mid to lower DI he needs to be seen this summer??  Best of luck!

88-89 and that size would get him interest from Mid majors at the least, even into the fall of senior year. Always is nice to hit the magic 90mph, though. Keep in mind that he will also have to prove that he can pitch. A local kid(6'4", 215) didn't latch on to a mid major D1 till late winter of his senior year. He could really pitch, as well as have nice velo.

Plan on Showcasing this summer and early fall, and hope for the best. "Sitting" at 84-85 is no small thing...usually means that you've topped out around 87-88. Or is 84-5 the highest he's been gunned?

I would try to work an invite to Area Code. Even if he doesn't make the team there will still be 50+ coaches there paying very close attention to the uncommitted players. 

Other than that, have your travel coach get in contact with some schools and explain the situation - Never really pitched, and this is where he is at already. Could be in the 90s once he really gets into it -

Just don't wait until August/September. Almost no money available and most have their classes set. His schedule should be June/July heavy.  

Qhead posted:

Sounds like he has a big frame which is great!  I would say that no, it's not too late at all - might work to his advantage that it is the first time he's showcased and he is in the high 80s.  I'm assuming he is a RHP?  Even if so, I don't think he needs to be consistently over 90 as a Junior to showcase but others may disagree.  There's still time, but for mid to lower DI he needs to be seen this summer??  Best of luck!

Yes, he's an RHP.

57special posted:

88-89 and that size would get him interest from Mid majors at the least, even into the fall of senior year. Always is nice to hit the magic 90mph, though. Keep in mind that he will also have to prove that he can pitch. A local kid(6'4", 215) didn't latch on to a mid major D1 till ate winter of his senior year. He could really pitch, as well as have nice velo.

Plan on Showcasing this summer and early fall, and hope for the best. "Sitting" at 84-85 is no small thing...usually means that you've topped out around 87-88. Or is 84-5 the highest he's been gunned?

He's been consistently throwing 84-85 the last few weeks.

cabbagedad posted:

How much interest has he been getting as a position player?

He began showcasing last summer as a rising Junior, so hasn't had a ton of exposure.  Mostly DIII interest last summer/fall and of course they indicated it was still early in recruiting cycle for them.

2020Hopeful posted:
cabbagedad posted:

How much interest has he been getting as a position player?

He began showcasing last summer as a rising Junior, so hasn't had a ton of exposure.  Mostly DIII interest last summer/fall and of course they indicated it was still early in recruiting cycle for them.

Well, based on that limited info along with his size and current velo, I would say odds are best that he gets actually recruited (as in offered some athletic $ and at least a one year roster commitment, barring behavior/injury issues) as a pitcher. 

So, a question he will have to ask himself is, assuming that is the case, is he willing to give up on the thought of playing every day as a position player in college and does he have enough passion for being a college PO to put in the necessary work over the next 5-6 years.  A useful exercise, if he hasn't already, is to talk to as many recent/current college P's as he can and ask them what that life is like. 

Either way, that's exciting! 

84/85 is good, considering it’s February and he should get stronger as the season goes.  

Yes, velo is king, but since he’s maybe logged less innings, also concentrate on his mechanics and a repeatable delivery.  Since he won’t be hitting mid 90s yet, with his frame, colleges will be focusing on his projectability just as much as his current velocity.  If the mechanics are sound, with clean arm action, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Good luck!

Seems to depend where you live and/or the school you're going for. My 2020 is a RHP that is 84/85 right now, 6'1", 200lb, would never call him athletic, but consistently goes to the gym, and has that pitchers build so to speak. He has a D1 offer from a NE school and interest from others. I'm sure if we were in the south or west this would not be the case. 

So, I think you have a couple challenges in front of you, and it has nothing to do with your son's abilities.  The biggest is the D1 recruiting timeline is not on your side.  So, I agree with NYCDad.  I think it is going to depend on what schools you are targeting and their levels.   I do think it would be a tremendous longshot for most D1 schools at this time unless your travel coach or someone "in the business" can get him in front of the right people at the right time, and he demonstrates something extraordinary on the mound.    Possibly he has other attributes that make him "marketable" (ie...high grades, high SATs) to some of the D1 schools that require that combination (Ivy, Patriot, etc... are still recruiting), but most traditional D1s aren't going to go out of their way to see a guy who wants to switch from position player to pitcher in the middle or end of their recruiting timeline.     They've already got a list of guys who have that experience and want to play college baseball.

Where the timing may work out for you would be with other levels such as D3.   There may be others that fit but I'm familiar with D3.  There is good and bad there.  So, the good news is the D3 recruiting timeline is ramping up.  The bad news is there is no money.   Others may have suggestions about D2, JUCO, etc....

As always, JMO.  Good luck

Great feedback everyone, thank you!  Will be interesting to see how things progress.  I think one big question for him will be if he is willing to give up hitting to pitch...We'll start to get some clarity in the next few weeks as the HS season gets going.  It's coming up quick!  Tryouts Mon/Tues and then kicking off with a Jamboree on March 9!

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