New at this and kinda freaking out

Hey there folks!  Such a great forum!  I just found it and have been perusing all the conversations and am incredibly impressed!  I was drawn here because I have 2 14 year olds who as I'm told "will go far".  To me this means nothing as I grew up not playing ANY sport or being able to be involved in any.   That being said, I have seen my boys grow leaps and bounds, and now that they are getting ready to enter HS I wanted to be able to help guide them as best as possible.   They are twins (obviously) both 6'2" (ish) 200 lbs LFP, 1B.  They have a different enough mechanics to where they pitch very differently.  Fast ball in the high 60, low 70.  Currently they are playing Travel here in so cal and have a Batting Average of .430. 

They are great kids who love the game and look forward to their time playing in HS.  Any thoughts, suggestions or recommendations you wise folks might have would be greatly appreciated!  Keep up the good work!  I look forward to seeing you in the forums!

For size comparison here's a pic with them with their Travel Coach.

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Original Post

Welcome.

Those are some big boys.  You probably already know this, but they are going to eat you into the poorhouse in the next couple of years.

Baseball-wise if they are both lefties playing basically the same position, is playing time an issue?

It's kind of a unique situation. In order to keep getting better, they need to be playing - but it would seem to be at the expense of each other. 

Eating me out of house and home is putting it mildly!  LOL, I will say that luckily they are both getting good play time as they will each start a game in a tournament and then get rotated through 1st base.  Also if they aren't in the field, they will usually still end up in the lineup for their hitting.

I would find a quality pitching coach with a good reputation. At their size it’s time to start refining their mechanics as to optimize their velocity. With their size at their age they should start getting a lot stronger soon. Get the mechanics right and velocity should fall into place with the right training.

Welcome to the site.  Only advice is that you put this site squarely in front of your "favorites"... you can find a wealth of information on any one of the hundreds of topics and issues you will be navigating in the coming years.  In addition to perusing conversations, you can search past threads and, of course, start new ones.  You found the site at exactly the right time as it relates to the age/grade of your sons.

While just about every topic and scenario has been discussed here, I think you have presented a first...  never heard batting averages presented as "they" have a batting average of...  

Thanks guys!  Love the responses and feeling of community, I did a little chuckle since I do use "they" a lot and its actually for a purpose.  It can get a little frustrating but they are so close in batting averages and Velocity that I'm just used to lumping them together!  As for a pitching coach, we have one that we like, but hes a little flaky, however right now their travel team has a pitching coach they use and I have seen tremendous growth out of them this last year.  I have been thinking of finding a solid pitching coach as soon as travel finishes up here.  Anybody have any recommendations in So-Cal (Long Beach) area?

Hahaha....

Lesson #1 - good luck finding a pitcher/pitching coach that isn't "a little flaky".   

Seriously though, not sure you could be in an area with more pitching resources.  You may want to look into the JC ranks.  There are often many very well qualified P coaches on coaching staffs (often the HC) and they have the time and willingness to work with kids for a reasonable fee and can often use their facility bullpen mounds.  Another thought is to consider seeking out a lefty.  In addition to extra flakiness, he will be able to relate more specifically to how a LHP should attack batters, differences in pick moves and other peripherals such as need/lack of need for slide step, etc., etc.

Of course there is also an abundance of training facilities/ travel orgs down that way and most have qualified P coaches.  Others here will have more specific direction in that regard.

Welcome to the site.  You are going to get valuable suggestions here from many experienced contributors.  You mentioned this:  I was drawn here because I have 2 14 year olds who as I'm told "will go far". 

I started hearing this about my son when he was 11 or 12 yrs old.  It was extremely difficult for me to refrain from believing, acting, and decision making year after year based on what others tell me.  For me the reason was pretty simple, baseball is a game that son can enjoy participating in, prevent him hopefully from "getting into trouble", and gave us the opportunity to be together as a family during trips.  We didn't put pressure on him to excel and if the time came where he got tired of baseball then we would hang up the cleats.  Several travel teams wanted him but he stayed with his better than average travel team because those were his friends and teammates since 9 years old. 

High school came around and I was anxious about him making the team, being able to get in a few games, becoming a semi regular, starting 9, excelling, etc.  Point is I took it one step at a time, never expecting the next step to come (but gladly accepting it), and little pressure on son (I hope) to play, learn the game, and have fun being a kid.  

Playing in college didn't enter my mind until half way through Jr. year in HS, you go to college to get an education and if lucky enough to have the expense reduced a little by baseball then great (IMO).  Son had a tremendous college career playing baseball and my thoughts were still the same, get drafted anywhere of the 1000 slots just to say he was the first person in our family history to be a pro for at least 1 day.  As it got closer to draft day my thoughts changed to be in top 500, then top 10 rounds, then top 5 rounds.

My apologies this is so long winded.  Take home message is this.  Do whatever you can to give them the opportunities to succeed and fail on their own.  Take what other say/expect as interesting comments but try not to shape your boys into becoming something that may not be in their cards.  I would guess with twins the competition among themselves is more intense than I had with my brothers.  Let them and your family enjoy these times together in high school since it will be over faster than you can imagine.  If they are truly good enough to advance to the next level they will without the issue being forced.  Above all, sit back, enjoy the game and ride, and trust in the process, trust in him.

Welcome Andrew.  Nice to have you here.  Are your kids still growing or are they close to done early?  14 year olds throwing high 60's/low 70's is a little behind the pace in terms of being an early prospect, but in some ways I think that is a good thing.  Lots of arm injuries in the Baseball world.  Tons of arm whip & high velocity, too early & too often can be a recipe for disaster if kids aren't properly prepared, and even sometimes if they are.

the suggestions for finding a good pitching coach is a good one.  

According to the Doctors they haven't even slowed down growing and the growth plates are still "wide open".  Their path in baseball has been interesting.  They played little league through their 12 year old year, never having a pitching coach, or really being pushed.  It was only when they decided to take on travel ball that they made the real decision to push themselves.  I've always said that as soon as they aren't having fun anymore, we are done playing.  And I mean that.  They are getting stronger every day and the doctors project them to be about 6'8" for whatever that is worth.

Ill give my 2 cents on non-baseball items.

Focus on maximizing their academic credentials: they should take the hardest cirriculum possible which each can succeed (i.e., mostly "A's"), accept no less effort in the classroom then you would accept on the diamond (and express pride on academic successes), set up a meeting with your school guidence counselor to begin understanding the whole college process (and if GC isnt helpful, consider hiring a private GC), monitor their grades/homework (we had a system called Edline which allowed us to get the unadulterated info and not rely upon the kids version of school) and address all learning issues as they arise (disability, tutors, whatever), look at your finances to get a feel for your ability to pay (some colleges have very generous financial aid - especially for families with multiple kids in college).

The better the grades (and scores) the better the options.  Its never too early to begin to understand and prepare.

I know a great PC in SC - but he's in the San Diego area.

Welcome. I can attest that this site is a treasure chest of info. My best advice is to 1. Never let them get complacent on their development and give them ownership of it and 2. Make sure your Costco/Bjs/Sam's Club membership is in good standing with those 2 feeders

Velo is low for kids that size and age.  You have gotten good advice from others about finding a good pitching coach - and I second that.  I will also state the obvious - they need to get in better physical condition in order to reach their potential.

For kids that size, upper 60's, low 70's is probably not going to generate many, if any looks as a pitcher, especially in a baseball hotbed like Socal.   I assume they are sophs to be?  My son was 5'2 and maybe 120 at that time and was upper 70's.  His small size actually probably kept him from getting serious looks, even though his velo was good for his age.  6'2, 200+ and throwing upper 60's will do the opposite....they'll see a big kid who has no arm strength and wonder why.  A 10-12mph jump in a year is going to take some work...but realistically that's what it's going to take to be taken seriously by the time they are 15/16U.   I'd worry as much about a good workout/training regimen as I would a pitching coach...at least for the time being.   I don't think a pitching coach can realistically gain you more than 4-5 mph, but not having seen your sons throw if their mechanics are just awful, maybe he can coax a little more.  Arm strength is going to be the big factor....again, if it's me, I'd work on that first, then worry about pitching coach this fall/winter.

Several years ago at our Area Code tryouts at Texas Christian U, a LHP 6'5 was throwing 85 mph. I tried to place him on a team, since he was not selected for the Rangers team.

He returned home to Houston, added 10 miles to his "fastball" and was a 1st round draft.

"True Story"

Bob

adbono posted:

Velo is low for kids that size and age.  You have gotten good advice from others about finding a good pitching coach - and I second that.  I will also state the obvious - they need to get in better physical condition in order to reach their potential.

Welcome Andrew. You have gotten some good advice but I think the above is 100% spot on.

Apologizing in advance if my advice is too direct, I know sometimes people don't like to hear what's really on people's minds. 

Keep in mind that big isn't always better and they are at a point in their development where they need to get in better physical condition. That should be #1. They also need to learn other positions, and have their own identity for the game if they will play together. They are behind the curve for their age in pitching, which doesn't always work for everyone. At that age mine was a bit over 6ft, 145lbs, and hitting 80+ going into HS. 

My suggestion is to find a reputable center as suggested, this summer is an excellent time to begin. 

Most of all, stay focused in the classroom.

Welcome aboard! My big lefty just finished his collegiate career. I could show pictures of him at that age and he could be a brother. Tall and thick are only good in the baseball world if you throw hard (90+) or hit bombs. My son did neither. However, he did manage to get scholarships(DI & DII) and play 4 years of collegiate baseball throwing 215 innings with 35 starts.

It's hard to change your DNA, but you can maximize your gift. Work hard in the class, get great test scores ACT & SAT and become a fierce competitor. Get them on a training and diet regimen. The better their grades and scores, the more opportunities they will have to keep playing.

Good luck on the journey. There many HSBASEBALLWebers on here that help with that journey. Feel free to PM me if I can help along the way. 

Just curious -- do the twins play other sports?  If they are going to be 6' 8" and are quick at all you might have a couple of OT's on your hands.  There's a heck of a lot more scholarship money available for those guys.

I will take a stance that your sons are just completing 8th grade since you said they were looking forward to HS ball.

And it looks like they aren't shaving yet.  That is good

Find a good gym/workout program/baseball pitcher specific trainer.  I can't stress this enough.  Son went to "where the other players were working out" in 9th grade and got his first injury.   I squashed that workout place and got him to go to another that was sport specific.  It makes a difference.

I've been on the boards for about 10 years and there was a poster quite a while back that also had twins.  As you read through the posts, you will learn about 'counters' in scholarships, and this poster had an interesting situation where both boys were going to the same school but only one was getting a scholarship.  This helps the team in "counters", and may not reflect negatively on the one son's abilities at all, and could help you in a big way.  I know of a similar situation with brothers on the same team.  All that is a bit down the road, but thought I would just mention it.

And welcome!  

Wow guys thanks so much for all the great advice!  I guess I should have clarified that yes, they are in 8th grade, moving into their freshmen year this coming school year.  I am aware their Velo isnt what it probably should be for their size, so I do want to find them a good trainer.  They are currently working on their speed and agility with an excellent trainer, sadly he doesnt do pitching too   .  Once again, thanks for all the advice and words of encouragement!  Im ready for this ride!

keewart posted:

I've been on the boards for about 10 years and there was a poster quite a while back that also had twins.  As you read through the posts, you will learn about 'counters' in scholarships, and this poster had an interesting situation where both boys were going to the same school but only one was getting a scholarship.  This helps the team in "counters", and may not reflect negatively on the one son's abilities at all, and could help you in a big way.  I know of a similar situation with brothers on the same team.  All that is a bit down the road, but thought I would just mention it.  

http://community.hsbaseballweb...ons-and-scholarships

Velo is a strange animal.  As many have stated, your boys' velo isn't where it needs to be, but it can be improved.  I've always said, "you can't teach size", and your boys definitely have that going for them.  

Hard work is the key!  

I second another poster's thoughts earlier that throwing hard early can be an issue, because coaches will overuse your kid.  Ryno played on a lot of very talented teams, and until HS, he was never more than the 3 - 5th guy.  The boy who was an absolute man child was overused, and he didn't pitch much after Freshman year.

By the way, I had heard rumors that Ryno had touched 90 before, but I personally had never seen it on a gun.  This weekend against Michigan, Ryno hit 90 a bunch of times, and also hit 93 at least 5 times.  (That was according to the B1G Network Broadcast.) He only threw high 70's as a Freshman in HS, low 80's soph., low to mid 80's Jr., and mid to semi high 80's Sr. year.  As a Freshman/Sophomore at JC, he touched 90, and now he is 88-93, so Velo can steadily improve with HARD work, and a good PC.  

Good luck to your boys!

rynoattack posted:

Velo is a strange animal.  As many have stated, your boys' velo isn't where it needs to be, but it can be improved.  I've always said, "you can't teach size", and your boys definitely have that going for them.  

Hard work is the key!  

I second another poster's thoughts earlier that throwing hard early can be an issue, because coaches will overuse your kid.  Ryno played on a lot of very talented teams, and until HS, he was never more than the 3 - 5th guy.  The boy who was an absolute man child was overused, and he didn't pitch much after Freshman year.

By the way, I had heard rumors that Ryno had touched 90 before, but I personally had never seen it on a gun.  This weekend against Michigan, Ryno hit 90 a bunch of times, and also hit 93 at least 5 times.  (That was according to the B1G Network Broadcast.) He only threw high 70's as a Freshman in HS, low 80's soph., low to mid 80's Jr., and mid to semi high 80's Sr. year.  As a Freshman/Sophomore at JC, he touched 90, and now he is 88-93, so Velo can steadily improve with HARD work, and a good PC.  

Good luck to your boys!

Ryno that is great to hear about your son's progress w/ velo.  My LHP is a HS Junior and sits low 80's and hits mid.  Working hard so I guess there is hope!

Ryno, 

A lot has to do with maturity, you know hormones, physiology and stuff like that.

Not until son had a full beard did he throw his hardest.  Age is just a number.

For some it just works that way and folks after remember everyone is different.

Best of luck to him and purdue!

 

TPM posted:

Ryno, 

A lot has to do with maturity, you know hormones, physiology and stuff like that.

Not until son had a full beard did he throw his hardest.  Age is just a number.

For some it just works that way and folks after remember everyone is different.

Best of luck to him and purdue!

 

By the time I could grow a decent beard it was gray. At 63 it’s still my only gray hair. So I don’t have a beard. Maybe I still had increased velocity coming in my 50’s when my beard started coming in fuller.

RJM posted:
TPM posted:

Ryno, 

A lot has to do with maturity, you know hormones, physiology and stuff like that.

Not until son had a full beard did he throw his hardest.  Age is just a number.

For some it just works that way and folks after remember everyone is different.

Best of luck to him and purdue!

 

By the time I could grow a decent beard it was gray. At 63 it’s still my only gray hair. So I don’t have a beard. Maybe I still had increased velocity coming in my 50’s when my beard started coming in fuller.

Yes but we didnt have all those antibiotics the kids injest in their food these days!

Get them in the gym and eating right. They’ll have opportunities just based on size. However as many others have said, they need to build their bodies and work on maximizing their abilities.  Don’t worry about college so much right now until they have tools to get interest with. Either smashing balls out of the park, throwing 85+, or running sub 7 60’s. 

At the d1 level 1st basemen are expected to be pretty mobile and athletic on top of hitting home runs. 

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