Skip to main content

Hi all looking for some answers an help!
my son is 15yr old he plays travel team an he is a Freshman in HS an just wondering should we start doing showcases I know he wants to play College ball but not sure if he is to young, should we just wait maybe till he is a sophomore??  PBR is having a showcase soon where we live (Chicago) wanting to know if it's a good idea to sign him in for that. Any advices help, tips are very much appreciated it.  

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

When my son was a HS freshman, one person said he should do a PBR showcase that year, and then every year afterward.  So he did one.   His numbers were not good enough to be of interest to any D1 college coaches (which is the only level that recruits that early), and the travel coach pointed out that now his unimpressive numbers were publicly available and he would have to do another showcase to improve them.  Which he did.  His friends were also doing them, so there was also some peer pressure.  Much money (and time) was spent, with no result.

The things that are measured at showcases are 60-yard running time, exit velocity (how hard you hit the ball), throwing velocity (infield or outfield), and, if you're a pitcher, fastball and other pitch velocities.  You also get a short writeup.

You can measure all these things yourself, with the help of a coach with a radar gun (travel coach?), and then you can decide whether it's worth getting them done officially by PBR.  If his size or numbers would be interesting to a D1 coach right now, then go ahead and do a PBR showcase now.  Otherwise, spend the money on something else, and wait to do a showcase until he has something to show.

I’ve been out of the mix a while since my son was a ‘14, but I would weigh the cost verses what you are expecting to achieve.

If your son can demonstrate something that’s well above his age group peers (arm strength, exit velo or speed) then it might be worth it. If he blends into group, then I’m not sure there will be any benefit.  As @anotherparent says, documenting a skill that’s average or below average might be a detriment.

Only D1’s look at 15yos given they have something to show of interest. When my son was fifteen he was 5’11” 135. He did a local college showcase. He wasn’t interested in the schools attending. It’s was inexpensive. But it gave him experience with showcasing, an understanding of where he stood in the moment and some metrics. By the end of the summer he was recruited by 17u teams.

Unless a kid is a top prospect stud don’t do showcases to throw spaghetti off the wall to see what sticks.

Understand your target market. You want to do showcases where the right schools are in attendance. Make a business plan. Execute it. Step one to understanding your target market is hearing it from an experienced baseball person.

Good luck.

Last edited by RJM

You and your son will want to view a showcase event as both a developmental experience and for the measurable outcome.  My son's first showcase (before doing a PBR event) was at a local academy attended by mainly local DIII coaches that had no interest in recruiting a 14 yr old.  It was low (lower) cost, 20 minutes drive from home, and the outcome measures were only shared with players and coaches in attendance - not part of the permanent public social media record.  It was a baseline developmental experience.  Helped prepare my son for the next level of showcasing with PBR.

IMO, your son (and you) should have a good understanding for how good his 5-tools are, before jumping into a PBR event.  How does your son think he compares to https://www.prepbaseballreport...nois/2022statleaders ?

Maybe he is ready for it ... maybe he is talented enough to get an invite to your PBR state games this summer?
Certainly, only go to a winter pre-season showcase event if he has been preparing and training for it, do not go into it cold.

Last edited by mjd-dad

In my experience one of the hardest things for us to do was to wait until your sons Jr year.  We could afford it and he wanted to do the showcases.  It also seamed like all of his teammates and other serious players were doing them.  My son did one every spring & again every fall in high school through Jr year.  Looking back I think IF he had waited it probably wouldn't have made much of a difference.  I do however think there was value in the experience of learning how to manage a showcase and the pressure that comes with it.  One of the benefits was it helped us to really measure his progress and see how he stacked up with other guys his same age.  His growth over the years was impressive and I think it made him even more projectable to coaches.  One thing we didn't do was buy a radar gun for him (he's a pitcher).  I often wonder if we shouldn't have spent the money on a radar gun (instead of showcases) and then measured his progress ourselves.  His HS & fall coaches didn't really ever pull out a radar very often.  I supposed we could have asked to borrow a radar gun.

Good luck either way!

If two of his teammates (on the travel team?) are already committed, then you should talk to the travel coach about recruiting, and where he sees your son fitting, and what you should do in the way of showcases.  We didn't know how it worked, and it took me pretty much to senior year of HS to figure out that we should have been asking the travel coach a lot more questions.

If two players on the HS team have committed as sophomores, it was not because they did showcases, it was because they already had the skills that top D1 colleges want.  The showcases verified that.  If a coach (HS or travel) is telling your son that he should do a showcase, then do one.  If it's his friends doing them and you have the money, then go ahead, keeping in mind that his posted numbers will be on PBR's site until you do another one.

Advice that is often given on this site is, first make the varsity team at your HS, then worry about showcasing.  Although that too depends on your high school's level of talent.

PBR publishes the results of all of their events, by state, so you can get a feel for what kind of stats the top performers in that area are putting up. I can see where it might be difficult to find a local resource/coach who has a pocket radar or who would help a parent identify their kids metrics, but it sure is worth asking around before dropping $300, just to have an idea going in. Maybe high school coach?

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.