Probably not the perfect forum for this one.  But, wanted to come as close as possible for the proper placement.

How many times have you seen a kid not make the freshmen baseball team and then later make the JV or Varsity team later after his freshmen year?

I’ve only heard of this once.  Met a kid (who was just about to start his D3 career).  He was a LHP.  Asked him (at that time) about his MS and HS experience.  He told me that he never made the MS team.  I was surprised.  Then he told me that he never made the HS team as a freshmen or sophomore.  I asked “How was that all possible?”  His answer:  "I was small and slow in MS and I couldn’t hit for bleep.  Pretty much the same deal when I got to HS.  Then, in the summer after my sophomore year, I grew 6 inches.  (He was 6 feet tall when telling me this.)  Tried out for HS team my junior year and made it as a pitcher."

Is it as rare as it seems - to make the HS team after not making the freshmen team (assuming they have a freshmen team)?

BTW, he didn't pitch in a game as a freshmen at D3.  And, only pitched 3 innings as a junior.  Not sure if he's hanging in there as a senior now?  Knowing him, I bet he's still grinding it out.  Kid doesn't know the meaning of the word quit.


Original Post

Yeah, it's probably as rare as it seems.  Pretty simple, really.  If a kid doesn't make it on one of the HS rosters as a freshman, he already wasn't good enough to make the cut to begin with and then he starts falling further behind every day the HS team practices, which is pretty much five days a week for 5-7 months.  That's a lot of reps and progression that has to be overcome, even with extra instruction, training, etc. 

I would guess that most of the exceptions are usually kids that go to big, deep powerhouse HS's and decide to transfer to smaller/less deep schools or, as you describe, kids that grow a lot and become pitching projects.

During HS years, I think baseball more than most sports requires daily reps and regular play (or at least situational simulation) to really advance, barring the few exceptionally gifted.

I also thought of it this way:  For freshmen, you only have to beat out other freshmen to make the team.  It's not like you have to beat out every ball player in the school.  And, if you can't do that, it's really uphill when you have more kids to compete against.

I would think the only kid who doesn’t make the freshman team and goes on to make varsity is a real late blooming pitcher who comes up with velocity. 

If a kid can’t swing the bat well enough to make the freshman team chances are he doesn’t develop a varsity quality swing later.

Lorenzo Cain is an exception. But he was an untapped potential world class athlete. Cain wasn’t cut in high school. He picked up baseball in high school. He was way behind the baseball skill curve when he started playing.

At our high school it was rare for a kid on the freshman team to ever make varsity. Most kids had it figured out by high school and moved on. The best freshmen played JV. Some kids who didn’t make the middle school team played for the freshman team. They were typically LL juniors kids where freshman ball wasn’t overwhelming for them. 

One of my 16u travel kids went to a high school that made freshmen play for the freshman team. His father told me it was brutal to watch. When my son was a freshman I thought JV ball was hard to,watch.

can-o-corn posted:

Not freshman but my at son's school you could make JV as an eight grader.  We had 2 first round draft picks and future major leaguers cut as eight graders.

Some inexperienced coaches make team selections based on size. Many kids grow a lot between 8th and 9th grade. My son was 5’4” in 8th grade. He was 6’2” in college.

This happened to my son. Mid June B-day so he was young for his grade. 5’4” freshmen year & chubby. He was devastated. V competitive HS. Senior &Junior @ his position are playing @ ACC school. He absolutely busted his tail. He got no sympathy from his older brothers. Made the team soph year. Was told by V coach that most on the team are not making it to next level. He continued on getting stronger and faster. Everyday at gym @ 5:30 am.  He makes the cut. Grows to 6’ by junior year.  Senior year starter. Came home for Xmas break and he’s 6’2” and still going. Playing for a D3 school and loving life. 


Throwing velocity: senior yr 79mph   Fallball 87

Truthfully, it sucks for a kid recruitingwise to be a late bloomer. Everyone knows the reasons. It does harden and sharpen the boys who dont quit. The love of the game has to drive them on. Good luck


My son goes to a big high school with a well-respected baseball program.  More than one state championship, the majority of the varsity roster committed to play college ball, half of them at D1, a kid or two (or three) drafted every year, a couple of first rounders over the years.  At this school, I have seen experienced travel ball players not make the JV team their freshman year and then with hard work and persistence make it to JV their sophomore year or to varsity their junior year.  I have seen a kid who did not make the team at all (tried out twice) and go on to play D3 ball.  I have also seen kids get cut their senior year who have been playing serious travel ball since they were 8.

Our large public has a Freshman A and B teams. Fairly large rosters. No middle schoolers. They try not to cut anybody, but the ones they do cut are often offered trainer or stats positions with the teams, and will help out at practice, and are welcome to try out for teams in later years. Talented Freshman usually go up to JV, as opposed to the Sophomore team, which is reserved just for them. It is extremely rare for a Freshman to play Varsity. The last one I know of was over 30 years ago. He was a first rounder, and was voted the best player in the state as a Senior. 

  Our HS BB program makes their share of mistakes, but IMO they've got this one right. Allows kids to keep playing at some never know if that short, dumpy, Freshman kid who can't field is going to turn into a crafty LHP reliever three years later. Conversely, you don't know if that Freshman star is going to stop growing, developing, or take up drugs/girls/another sport.

Unfortunately, our school system prohibits freshman teams so its JV or nothing.  Combine that with a high concentration of great baseball players in the area (thanks to East Cobb Baseball, 6-4-3, Team Elite, Georgia Jackets, Georgia Bombers, etc. ), and some good players aren't going to play for their high school as freshman.  This is especially true for the late bloomers who haven't hit puberty yet.

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