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I was just curious about what anybody thinks about 13 and 14 year olds that you have seen playing select ball that were standouts that seemed to fizzle out by high school. I had always heard that some kids that were huge standouts getting passed up by other kids that never were standouts. I know this is a strange age for kids. What about kids that are even getting tv exposure and magazine articles written about them as next big phenoms. Is this premature or usually pretty accurate. Just curious.
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It varies. Robert Stock got the coverage, etc. and was a 12yo phenom. He was a phenom at 13 and played varsity at 14. He's one of the best players in one of the best HS leagues in the country at 15.

We've got the kid who won the LLWS US championship playing in our Pony league. It'll be interesting to see how he turns out. He's always been a big kid but it remains to be seen if he'll keep growing. His fastball doesn't seem to be up much from last year, but he has improved as a pitcher. I'm pretty sure he'll be at least a good HS player.
Last edited by CADad
It goes both ways. he kids taht are bigger at the younger ages tend to fizzle out quicker. Not just tall, but mature (shaving, etc.) Those are the ones that usually get passed up. But, some of them keep growing and end up studs. 13-14 is in most cases a bit too early...The kids that aren't as big but are more fundamentally sound and can play with the big boys usually end up being the studs when they grow.
Interesting subject...Many players do continue to be phenoms...but I also think that a number of players do peak early due to a number of factors.

- early physical development, the best and biggest 8th grader hasn't grown and the other kids who were just OK or only played Little League past him by.

- practice, practice, practice again leads to early success but again as other kids develop skills he doesn't shine.

- lose interest in sport due to parents driving them nuts

-Injury, arms are shot by high school due to overuse and abuse.

-the kids have been treated like stars since they were 10 and don't think they need to work at the game to continue success...or they can'y handle it when they have to compete for a starting position when their Dad isn't their coach any longer.
I've seen too many parents thinking that their 12 yr old or for that matter 14 yr old, project their kid as D-1 players who don't make it through HS ball or be marginal...

There are always some that are strong all the way through but it seems that by their Jr/Sr year I hear about what a stud a kid was when they were younger.
As my son(s) entered HS ball, one of the more interesting things I noticed about parents was the frustration of many whose son's were 12U superstars (no matter where they played) being relegated to the bench...passed up by someone they never expected.

The phrase "how could Joe be starting ahead of my son?...doesn't this coach know that Joe has never been better than ours" was uttered in various forms many times at our HS games.

Now of course there were studs who remained studs and duds who remained duds...but the "change" is hard for many to accept.
Change is hard for everyone to accept unless it is for the better. Kids develop at different levels and at different times. It is a fact that sometimes the better player at 12 is not one of the better players at 18. This can happen for several reasons. Maybe the kid was more phyically mature for his age earlier. Maybe the kid quit working at the game or never learned how to work at the game. Maybe he lost focus or decided that he liked other things more. Some kids have a desire and love of the game at a young age and it only grows stronger. And some dont have it early but develop it as they get older. I could go on and on. You never know who will develop and who wont. The bottom line is things can change in a hurry. Dont get to high and dont get too low.
Just let me add this. Several years ago I was at a local rec league game checking out some of the local kids. There was this local "phenom" playing for one team and the pitcher for the other team was a tall skinny lhp that was not throwing very hard. This was a 13-15 year old rec game. The fence was about 300'. Well the "phenom" that everyone kept telling us about hit three hr's off the tall skinny lhp. He really strutted his stuff going around the bags. Lets see the "phenom played one year of JV ball and was cut as a Soph and never came back out. The tall skinny LHP is playing for the Rome Braves after being picked in the 2nd round of the draft in 2002 out of our HS program. I guess no one really cares about that night now do they.
I call it the all star syndrome. They start catergorizing these kids at an early age. i once saw a kid witha t shirt T ball allstar. Must have ben 5 yrs old. Look at Little league . Get the in house league done so we can "pick" our tournament team. Kids who do not get "picked" do one of 2 things stick it out or just stop playing because in many cases it is the same kids fom 9 years on. Many times it is not so much baseball ability but just physical strength. The kid is 12 years old and 5'10'' 200 pounds.

My son just completed his college eligibility walkd on as a freshman. I look back and remember Little league when he did not get "picked" as a tournament player because he was 4 foot something. We chuckle and say whatever happened to so and so.
My son played Little League to play baseball not for the All-Star team.

As far as the adults thats another story.

The most fun I had was when our Little League put a team together for a tournament. They did not have anyone to coach it so I did long as the I could let anyone who wanted to play no matter what their talent could be on the team. It was the most fun I had ever coaching.
I recall our 12 year LL Travel team---nearly half of them did not play HS ball--of the 15 my son was the sole player to play college baseball-- not because he was necessarily better but rather because he had the "drive" and the others didn't

Folks, from my experience, the kids who have the desire and drive are the ones that continue on regardless of size

You state that your son played LL ball for just for the fun of it not to make the All-Star team.

My son had been playing with one team through his 11th year. Because that team was made up of twelve 12 year olders and just three 11 year olders the team needed all new players. The coach and the sponsor decided not to field the 12 year old team as the 12's moved up to the Seniors.

My son, than had to be picked up by another team in the draft, which allowed a completely new team that had never competed before at the majors to draft him. The coach brought all of his minor leaguers up to play their first year at the majors. My son was the only 12 year older on the team. They ended with a losing record. None-the-less my son was given the starting pitcher's job for the 12 year old All-Stars.

This was because the year previously when he had pitched for the All-Stars team the year before, he helped them win a championship. On that occasion it was for the district championship game of the 12 year old majors, he was 11 at the time.

The game was tied at the end of 7th and the umpires called the game due to darkness. So the next day the pitcher from the previous day, started and the game, went into the bottom of the 10th inning with our team ahead by one run. Then with two outs he loaded the bases.

The coach, then brought in my son. With the bases loaded and two outs, and the stands jam packed with people screaming, you could've cut the tension in the air with a knife. My son takes the batter to 3 and 2 where the batter then fouls off several pitches. Now the place is quiet as a church mouse, and no one is saying a word. My son winds up throws the pitch and there is a collective roar as the ball is grounded to the backhand side of 3rd. The 3rd baseman fields the ball going away toward the foul line turns and throws off balance to get the runner at first...great play, game over, we win the championship.

Next day the newpapers had headlines extolling the play by the 3rd baseman, not a single word about my son. We got calls most of the day from people who were just dismayed that my son had being so dismissed by the league for his effort. My son didn't care, his comment was that he was more concerned they had misspelled his teammates name, and he wandered whether his teammate would get full credit for such a great play. He said, "well Dad he did save my butt."

My son says he doesn't care about awards (All-Stars), etc. He's the one that plays because he loves the game. He gets awards and we put them in his trophy case where they collect dust.

He just won a game ball in his last tournament, didn't even mention it to me until I asked him if the team was getting anything like ribbons, pins, or trophies. I'm the one, I must admit, that keeps track of them. He doesn't even look at them. I guess I'm the one that takes a certain amount of pride in his accomplishments.

But should a parent want his son to play All-Stars, yes; is it worth it to have your son playing? You betsha, if not but just for the memories. When it's over each pin, ribbon, trophy will bring back those instances of sheer and stark terror, and also those of great joy.

My point is, if your son loves baseball enough just to want to play, and he's good enough to be invited to play All-Stars, let him do it. It is a great chance for him to compete at the highest level of his age group.
Last edited by Ramrod
Ramrod, (as I re-read this I'm rambling,,but so be it)

I agree...My point which may not have been clear was that he loves to play the game. Sure he wants to make the All-Star team and get the accolades but he was playing to play for the fun and love of the sport.

The year I coached the "other" tournament team in the earlier post... my son was on the All-Star team. I coached the other team because of the love of the game the other kids had who wanted to keep playing. Some "All-Star" parents drive themselves and their kids crazy worrying about who makes it who doesn't, the politics and the rest of the B.S.

I am always proud and happy for him because it was his accomplishment. I've just seen too many parents live through their kids and drive them crazy.

At Team One South Mac Seibert from the Devils Rays spoke about parents and kids at the showcase. I don't recall his exact wording but he got his point across.

1-Does a win or loss effect your relationship with your child.
2-Does your child's performance effect the way you speak or feel about your child. (I could be a little off on this one).
3- Is it your dream or your child's dream.

<<<At Team One South Mac Seibert from the Devils Rays spoke about parents and kids at the showcase. I don't recall his exact wording but he got his point across.

1-Does a win or loss effect your relationship with your child.
2-Does your child's performance effect the way you speak or feel about your child. (I could be a little off on this one).
3- Is it your dream or your child's dream.>>>

I understand what Seibert is trying to say, but it isn't always as simple as those questions.

It is my opinion that God has given each one of us certain talents. In each family the members each have talents that they first display through their own set of interest. Most parents recognize this in their children, but every parent knows that if you don't help guide, direct and yes, push your child, most of them are not centered enough to stick with any one thing long enough to get good at it.

Then you have the problem that what ever they settle on, whether it be playing the flute, or the clarinet, or playing starts to become part of them and part of their identification to others around them.
They get discouraged and it is our job as parents to buck them up. That doesn't mean you're trying to run their lives, but it does mean that you respect them enough to help them overcome their fear of failure. It is one of the most prevalent reasons why children quit an activity...fear of failure.

So now I am not disagreeing with Seibert as much as defining my position with the simple parameters he's set down as warning markers.

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