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Hi All –
Not sure if anyone has any experience with this, or if there are any HS coaches out there. Here is the situation. My son is a freshman in HS. Tryouts for the baseball team this week. It’s a pretty competitive program at his school and they normally get 75 – 100 kids going out for 28 positions. For the most part my son is a position player. He is saying he is going to primarily tryout as an outfielder as about 90% of the other kids have indicated they are primarily infielders. Over the last couple of years he has played mostly 1st base and left field. Splitting his time between both of them. In addition he has done some pitching in the past. In LL he was the primary pitcher on his teams. Last year in travel ball he only pitched 8 innings; pitching occasionally whenever the coach felt like he needed someone in relief but did not want to “waste” one of his primary pitchers. I think his ERA for the 8 innings pitched was 0.2. Anyway, one thing we noticed with his coach was that he had a tendency to stick with what he knew and as our son hadn’t pitched for him in the past he would go to one of his past pitchers whom he had worked with for a few years. We went into the season knowing this about the coach so it wasn’t a major issue for my son.

Fast forward to HS tryouts. My son is now debating whether or not to tryout as a pitcher as well as a position player. My general thought on this is that if he shows he can also be used as a pitcher, though not his primary position, then it wouldn’t hurt him. In fact if the coach knew he had a player which could fill in in an emergency situation then it may help him make the team. On the other hand, it could look like desperation, a kid looking for anywhere to fit in. I have suggested to my son that he go talk to the coach and ask him how he feels about this, but 14 YOs aren’t necessarily reliable so Im guessing he will get nervous and not do this. Anyway, does anyone have any insight on to how they would handle this situation?
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I am not a HS coach, but I have no problem with your son trying out as a position player and pitcher. A team could always use quality pitchers. First of all, if it helps him make the team, he will still have time to prove himself as a position player as well. What ever event my son is going to, he always lists himself as a RHP, middle infielder. Especially as a freshman, it is not time to decide on one or the other. Let him try out as both and let the chips fall where they may.

Last year, my son was a freshman. Tried out as pitcher and where ever else the team needed him basically. He wound up pitching varsity and playing position on JV. This year, he is on varsity as a pitcher and position player. He grew up playing mostly short and second. Played a little third and outfield. Well, this year on varsity, the SS is a junior who has already commited to Clemson and the 2nd baseman is a senior who wants to play 2nd. In the two games and one scrimmage we have played, he has pitched in two of them and played 3rd, right field and DH'd. The more versatile you are, the better your chances. I would have him let the coach know he plays first as well. You just never know.
I run a travel/showcase team and we look for "pitchers only" to be our mound staff BUT , and this is a key element for us, we like the position player who tells us "Coach, I can give you a few innings here and there when needed. I prefer to be in the field but I can help out on the mound."

This enables us to have a few arms that can eat up innings in games were we are getting blasted or we are blasting the other team and save the arms of our starters.

Any coach who cannot see players like your son as a plus are blind
I would have to agree with RZ1 and TRhit that the more positions he can play the better chance he will have to be in the lineup. That is really what he should be looking at, get his foot in the door play where he may need him. He can not be shy at this point, tell him to hustle every chance he gets that will get him a conversation with the coach at some point.

This will be the best time, first impressions last forever, good luck to your son.
Thx everyone. It appears that my thoughts seem to line up with everyone else's. Hopefully things work out for him and he makes the team. Hes a pretty solid player. Good in the field, good at bat, smart on the base path. He does lack a little speed, but its not terrible.

He's been working hard. He has been conditioning / weight lifting 2 to 3 days a week since football ended. He has also been working out with a hitting coach since November and attending a HS tryout prep camp since Jan 1st.

I think he's done what he needs to to prepare, so we'll see what happens.
If he can catch, that's a big plus. When my kid tried out for HS, he caught quite a bit in his LL days but not when he moved to the big field. In Legion, he was mostly a RF, CF and SS. Despite that, he still could handle it and liked catching. His freshman year, he told his coaches he can catch. In his sophomore year, even though he was an OF (did some pitching at the sub-varsity), he caught about 25% of all the games he started in out of necessity. There was no back up catcher and my son went to the coach again to let him know he can fill in. By time he made varsity, they had two catchers but he could've caught varsity if they needed him.

It can only help if a player can play multiple positions.

Also, hs coaches have singled out his hustle and his attitude on more than one occasion including an opposing team head coach. One of the team parent's captain came up to me one day during a game and asked if so-and -so was my kid and I said he was and he said that he was fun to watch because he plays hard and has a great attitude. These types of things can give a player an edge during competitive tryouts.
Last edited by zombywoof
IMO, most of the good players that are dual positon players are the ones that get the nod at the end of the year for the All Star Teams and the All State Teams because when they represent their Region or State not only does the coach need alot of pitchers but other positions they can play as well comes in handy.So go for it in both positions and rock their boat!! Good luck!!
I've always encouraged my boys to learn to play as many positions as possible and to let the coaches sort it out. There were many folks that told me it would be a problem if he didn't "own" a position. One of the HS coaches knew my older son from having coached him pre-HS and, when my son filled out for form with the requested 2 positions he was going to tryout for, the coach grabbed it and in big letters wrote OR ANY OTHER POSITION WE NEED HIM...I gotta believe that can't hurt.

While some of the positions were only in scrimmages, he's played every single position but 1B in his first two season in HS. I'm glad he's been able to give the coaches a reason to put him on the field...I doubt he will see the mound for the rest of his HS career (unless he walks up there to talk to the pitcher) with the pitching that's there, but the coaches know he's an option if they need it.

Maybe that's a utility player, but I think lots of folks consider a utility player to be a backup. That same coach told me that my son was just one of those kids he always wanted on the field and my son's flexibility made it work because he knew he could put him where it worked best for the team...I have no idea if or where he'll play at the next level(s), but I do know he'll raise his hand if the coach ever asks if anyone has experience playing "X". Or, he'll be at ease if the coach asks him to go out to "Y" position.

FWIW, it looks like he'll be at SS this season...

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