idk how scientific this is, but a hitting instructor told me (this guy played at a p5 and has great track record with hitters for what it's worth) that my son can subtract 250 points from his batting average at the hs he plays at (highest classification in Oklahoma) and generally that's what he could expect to hit in the Big 12...for example, if his hs batting average was .480, subtract .250 and he could expect to hit .230 in the Big 12....like I said, not scientific but a general guide per him

2022 grad posted:

I think hitting for average is important, but it just doesnt seem the carry weight in recruiting.   Someone could say they hit .490 in HS, but as we all know,  pitching faced varies throughout the country.   He can hit .545 at the USA 15u Championships and go 5 for 8 as a Sophmore at the AZ Fall Classic and not get any buzz.  It just doesnt seem to draw attention like a bomb or throwing 90.  In fact, how does a recruiter judge hit for average when all they see are a few at bats and are told u cant trust HA stats?

2022 grad, you are correct but, first, you have to differentiate between hitting for average in HS or having a high BA for a showcase event and as I and others have stated, having the tools to be a good college level hitter.  The RC's are not looking for a guy to go 5 for 8 (although it can be a good indicator) at an event.  They are looking for the right mechanics and approach that allows them to barrel the ball against good pitching with good stuff.  A player can go O fer the event and still gain attention.  

This said, you are also correct that a guy that hits bombs or throws 90 will be far more likely to gain immediate attention.  A player doesn't "luck" into doing those things successfully.  Sometimes, a hitter will have a good event but it takes RC's seeing him a 2nd, 3rd, 4th time and confirming with references that they are seeing what they think they are seeing.  Your player is fortunate, though, that he has the speed tool.  Next to throwing 90, that is a tool that will show up with regularity over the course of an event.

cabbagedad posted:
2022 grad posted:
...what tools are the most important vs least important? With what little experience we have thus far, hitting for average is not a big one, hitting for power and throwing speed seem to be weighted heavy.  What do others think?

Actually, for a speed guy, the ability to get on base (assuming he learns how to master the use of his speed) will be the most important.  His focus for this particular tool will just be to become a good hitter against college level pitching with a good eye, good pitch selection and the ability to get the barrel on the ball.   This will result in putting the ball firmly in play regularly and limiting K's.  Walks will, in turn, take care of themselves and his speed will help maximize turning those balls in play into hits.  Power is less important here because he can turn singles into doubles by stealing second and otherwise disrupting opposing pitchers.  A speed guy with true gap power is double bonus. 

The focus SHOULD NOT at all be to work for walks as part of an OBP strategy.  This will backfire more often than not against decent college pitching.  It doesn't take long for scouting reports to catch up to that and the hitter will find himself behind in counts and struggling sooner than later.  

He will need to be effective at preventing extra bases taken defensively, so the routes, glove and arm need to be decent - sounds like he is well on his way there.

Some (not most) college coaches will persuade a speed guy to hit the ball on the ground.  This is something to investigate when the time comes as this is just a minor adjustment for some hitters but can be a very difficult one for others.

Btw regarding hitting on the ground make sure you don't smash the ball into the ground. It is ok for faster, smaller hitters to have a little lower launch angle but still it should be aiming for low liners maybe leaning a bit more towards grounders than fly balls. That low liner/GB approach like lemahieu does creates high babips but smashing the ball into the ground 10 feet in front of home is very bad.

So while I'm more of a launch angle guy I can understand coaches who want to eliminate flyballs above 25 degrees for weaker hitters (hitters in mlb hit like .120 on balls above 25 degrees that are not homers) but also make sure you don't slap the ball into the ground, the goal still should be low liners and deep one hop grounders, not choppers.

Best is of course if you drive the ball hard in the air and if you do that even old school coaches will leave you alone, the guys who get told to hit grounders are guys who hit weak sliced 200 foot fly balls.

 

By age twelve LL was getting real easy. He couldn’t wait for all stars to start.  I started asking my son (without it being pressure) “Where those LL hits or all star level hits?” For example, fly ball off the fence for a double would have probably been run down and caught in all stars. 

My son continued to initiate this conversation post game at dinner of middle school, high school and travel games. He referred to them as “legitimate” hits. Quails add to the average. But they don’t get a player to the next level. This evaluation of his hits and line drive outs kept him honest on how he was really hitting the ball. 

cabbagedad posted:
2022 grad posted:

I think hitting for average is important, but it just doesnt seem the carry weight in recruiting.   Someone could say they hit .490 in HS, but as we all know,  pitching faced varies throughout the country.   He can hit .545 at the USA 15u Championships and go 5 for 8 as a Sophmore at the AZ Fall Classic and not get any buzz.  It just doesnt seem to draw attention like a bomb or throwing 90.  In fact, how does a recruiter judge hit for average when all they see are a few at bats and are told u cant trust HA stats?

2022 grad, you are correct but, first, you have to differentiate between hitting for average in HS or having a high BA for a showcase event and as I and others have stated, having the tools to be a good college level hitter.  The RC's are not looking for a guy to go 5 for 8 (although it can be a good indicator) at an event.  They are looking for the right mechanics and approach that allows them to barrel the ball against good pitching with good stuff.  A player can go O fer the event and still gain attention.  

This said, you are also correct that a guy that hits bombs or throws 90 will be far more likely to gain immediate attention.  A player doesn't "luck" into doing those things successfully.  Sometimes, a hitter will have a good event but it takes RC's seeing him a 2nd, 3rd, 4th time and confirming with references that they are seeing what they think they are seeing.  Your player is fortunate, though, that he has the speed tool.  Next to throwing 90, that is a tool that will show up with regularity over the course of an event.

The right mechanics can be a bit subjective with the recruiters/scouts, but the consensus on those I know and have spoken to, they don't use the box score. They are all eye test. The metrics just back up the eye test. If Hunter Pence was being recruited today, I am not sure he would get an offer from UTA. 

From a P5 HC. The first paragraph is how he evaluates MIF fielding. The second is applicable to evaluating all fielders. (FWIW)

"Quickness, foot speed, sure handedness/actions/arm strength."

"I can see arm strength don't need a radar gun, stop watch tells us speed, ball in game exposes lack of range or quick twitch, catching the ball consisten tly and with ease is an eye test thing for me as well."

At the 2019 PG National Showcase there were 16 kids under 6.5 (mostly OF). There were 75 kids under 6.75. About 200 guys total were timed. All rising seniors.
I'm assuming he throws left? IMO, he needs to showcase in the outfield or as a pitcher. Worst case, I would put him out there with no reps just because that's where he belongs. However, I would try to find someone who can hit balls to him on a regular basis (2-3 times/wk). In HI, he could do that all winter, right?
MidAtlanticDad posted:
At the 2019 PG National Showcase there were 16 kids under 6.5 (mostly OF). There were 75 kids under 6.75. About 200 guys total were timed. All rising seniors.
I'm assuming he throws left? IMO, he needs to showcase in the outfield or as a pitcher. Worst case, I would put him out there with no reps just because that's where he belongs. However, I would try to find someone who can hit balls to him on a regular basis (2-3 times/wk). In HI, he could do that all winter, right?

Can he really showcase as a 2022 pitcher w fb75?  My 2023 who was 5ft7 125lbs in june threw 75 at a pg event and no one in his travel org thinks hes a pitcher. 

He's a righty.  And yes, that's the dilemma,  his team has him at first and pitcher, his measurables better suit him as a CF/OF.  He practices, plays and trains all year round, but 90% is with the school, thus first and pitcher.  I just gotta make the time to work OF separately with him.

He won't get college looks as a 1B, you are correct.   He's very fast and moving to CF makes sense but I just watched a speedy 2B transition to CF for the same reason you are mentioning (wouldn't get looks at 2B).  His issue is he did it this summer with a travel team and he's a 2020.  Great fielders can make the transition HOWEVER he looked so uneasy out there.  Great CF you can just see, great first step, track everything down, strong arms, leaders...  If he can't get reps often and soon D1 will pass you by quickly (unless his 60 drops another .25 which it really might given his age).  On pitching speed kids develop at different times.  Do not take him off the mound!  Pitchers get recruited in large numbers vs other positions.   If your D1 dreams fall through his arm could get you into a great D3 baseball program too.  

2022 grad posted:

He's a righty.  And yes, that's the dilemma,  his team has him at first and pitcher, his measurables better suit him as a CF/OF.  He practices, plays and trains all year round, but 90% is with the school, thus first and pitcher.  I just gotta make the time to work OF separately with him.

Interest as a RHP will be tougher (than LHP). Did you mention his velo? It really sounds like speed is his best tool right now, so whatever it takes to get him up to speed as an OF. Physically he's in a good place with his size and speed. Now keep getting faster and stronger and hit the ball hard. Simple.  

2022 grad posted:

BballHS, he hasn't been able to play both positions in school, they only have him at 1st and pitcher.  In practice he can try to take some OF reps, but not if it interfered with IF reps.  With travel teams and showcases,  we have had him play his primary position but I'll probably start listing CF as his primary, even though he has a very rudimentary skill set there.  I just need to get him more reps there.

Is there a reason he isn’t playing in the outfield for school?  Sometimes it takes more than writing ”OF” on a player survey to get a coach to pickup on the desire. Your son should attempt to talk to his coach.  I mean the high school coach will play him where he needs him. My son gets stuck at first for high school, a position he hates and will never play in college, the coach knows this  but when they don’t have anyone else that can make the picks he can, that’s where he plays. (Plus he’s fairly tall and left handed)  
Point being a “Coach, I’d like to earn some time in the outfield, what do I need to do?” could help your son’s situation a lot.  

Plenty of college baseball players never played outfield until they arrived at college. If a kid can hit, is athletic and has speed it’s not going to derail recruitment as an outfielder. It all starts with, “ Can you hit?” If so, there’s a place for you somewhere on the field. I’ve seen catchers turned into outfielders. The switch that amazed me was an outfielder with a cannon for an arm turned into a catcher at a ranked program. He had never caught before college. Then there’s Posey. He was a shortstop/pitcher.

Gunner, he won't come off the mound, the school will pitch him either a little or a lot, one way or the other he'll pitch.  Mentally, he fits pitcher well. Physically, OF.  Team need, first base.  He throws 80 OF to infield, high 70's pitching.  His strength is hitting for average and speed (he has decent power).  

Lefty, he is working to take some reps in the OF, not sure how much he will get to.  Your advice is good, we'll keep working on it.  I think he is hesitant because he wants to be on the field and the need is first base, there is a senior in CF that would be tough to start over.  Short term he may play first base this year and move next year.

RJM, I agree.  There seems to be 2 opinions, one that if you show the speed, the college will figure they can teach you the rest, the other is that the coaches want to see you take good paths to the ball, etc.  In what little he has played in OF, he's thrown out 3 guys at home plate and made some decent catches, but he has also taken bad paths to the ball and gotta bad jumps.  Still yet, overall from what I can tell from all the feedback, we should continue to work the OF because in the long run, it will likely better serve him well.

2022: Where does your son usually bat in the lineup? It's unfortunate that your travel team and HS team are closely intertwined. One year, son was primary 3rd baseman at his HS. He did not fit the profile at all. As a statistics teacher, I couldn't understand why your best defender with the most range was at a position that has fewer "chances" than SS and 2B. We had joked that he was the fastest third baseman in the state. Coach felt that was the need and I guess the player at SS wasn't as versatile. Son could also cover the bunt better, but how many bunts are there? His hardest decisions were based on how many balls should he cut off the SS (often shorter throw). Coach told him to get all that he could. Son was still also "unstated" captain of the infield.

Son looked forward to his summer travel (Legion)team where he would be back to SS (or sometimes CF when injuries caused a lineup juggle). He was getting his "extra looks" from showcases he did (Showball, HF, Top96) where he would always bring an OF mitt along with his MI one. He would attend many "bang for buck" showcases where there were high #s of schools attending which he had previous contact. Versatility is beneficial if it fits the measureables. A 6.4 running singles hitter, high OB%, high SB rate playing 3B was questionable. For him though he still had these other fielding opportunities, and he was back to MI his senior year HS.  Best of luck to your son getting these "additional" opportunities to supplement his time at 1B/P.

I think I mentioned before to have your son's HTF time recorded by a "Third party." . It was helpful for my son. His HTF time was recorded late in college recruiting cycle (once by Baseball Factory and another by a college/pro showcase.

 

Ripken Fan posted:

2022: Where does your son usually bat in the lineup? It's unfortunate that your travel team and HS team are closely intertwined. One year, son was primary 3rd baseman at his HS. He did not fit the profile at all. As a statistics teacher, I couldn't understand why your best defender with the most range was at a position that has fewer "chances" than SS and 2B. We had joked that he was the fastest third baseman in the state. Coach felt that was the need and I guess the player at SS wasn't as versatile. Son could also cover the bunt better, but how many bunts are there? His hardest decisions were based on how many balls should he cut off the SS (often shorter throw). Coach told him to get all that he could. Son was still also "unstated" captain of the infield.

Son looked forward to his summer travel (Legion)team where he would be back to SS (or sometimes CF when injuries caused a lineup juggle). He was getting his "extra looks" from showcases he did (Showball, HF, Top96) where he would always bring an OF mitt along with his MI one. He would attend many "bang for buck" showcases where there were high #s of schools attending which he had previous contact. Versatility is beneficial if it fits the measureables. A 6.4 running singles hitter, high OB%, high SB rate playing 3B was questionable. For him though he still had these other fielding opportunities, and he was back to MI his senior year HS.  Best of luck to your son getting these "additional" opportunities to supplement his time at 1B/P.

I think I mentioned before to have your son's HTF time recorded by a "Third party." . It was helpful for my son. His HTF time was recorded late in college recruiting cycle (once by Baseball Factory and another by a college/pro showcase.

 

All last year he hit lead off.  Before that he was typically the 3, 4 or 5 hitter. Yes, we dont have HTF by third party, only the 60 (seemed like all the showcases he attended measured the 60).  He did get time in CF at the Fall Classic and did well, I think we will continue to focus on OF for showcases.  Thanks for the insight.

As a HS coach, you have to do what it takes for your team to win.  One year I had a LH catcher and LH shortstop in certain situations.  We played a top team in the state and the coach laughed when we were warming up before the game.  The LH catcher threw out three runners trying to steal and they finally stopped.  The LH SS made two great plays up the middle that he never thought were possible by a LH SS.  They were both nominated for all-state at the end of the year.  The catcher made first team all-state mainly because of thrown out numbers and led the state in stolen bases.  He ended up going to college as a CF where he played most of his senior year when we finally got a freshman who could catch.  He still came in and caught the big games.  The LH SS was all-state as a LHP but played SS and caught when he wasn't pitching.  The coach who had laughed when we played them was their biggest supporter at the all-state meeting.  They won him over.  He said I never thought I would say a leftie was one of the best SS's I've ever seen coaching this game.  They both are playing college now as CF/LHP and LHP/DH.  You do what you have to do in HS.  Travel ball and college should be different.  I still don't see disadvantage of LH catcher.

57special posted:

I'm with you on the LH catcher. Not so much on LH SS.

I would never advocate LH SS.  It was a had to situation and he had to work long hours and  be very athletic to do it.  But he only had 2 errors all year.  When the ball was hit toward third he had to catch it going by him and spin backwards.  Good arm makes up for bad mechanics. 

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