So I'm not sure where to post this as I'm a new member. My question is my son who is a 2022 grad but will not turn 15 until August of 2019 plays both for his high school and tournament teams. The problem is for high school he pitches and plays shortstop, for tournament he pitches and plays outfield.

He has a great fastball (mid 80s) but is an inconsistent pitcher,so is not used often. My real question is where would you showcase him when his position constantly changes? And does anyone else have this problem? Also, where he is younger than most 2022 grads, how will he look next to them?

Thanks!

Original Post

I guess my frustration is that he is not able to really excel at any position when he is constantly swapped around the field. I know I can showcase multiple positions but it's usually pitcher +1. As far as his age goes, we continue to see huge 15 yos at tournaments. At 14, he's 6'2", 160 and seems small in comparison. I'm just wondering if they'll see his birthdate and realize he is younger and whether that's a pro or con.

Welcome to the site.  Unless he has been getting early attention from big D1 schools, it's a little early to be worrying too much about that.  The benefits of showcases at this point would be to get comfortable with the format, get some unbiased verified measurables posted and hopefully get a look at a broader scope of good players so he has a better idea of what he will be competing against when the recruiting efforts become more serious.  As he works on refining his skill set, it will become more evident what position/s he will want to showcase next year and the year after.

The experience and ability to play multiple positions will benefit him going forward.  He has good height - this will also play in his favor as someone who is "projectible".  Don't worry about the "young for his grade".  He will either be a player or he won't.  Colleges won't care about it much.    They will just care about whether he is good enough to help them win.  The concern would be more if he was particularly old for his grade.  This would make it more likely that he has already physically matured and won't continue to grow and develop.  Either way, no sense in worrying about controlling something you can't control.  Make sure you don't get too far ahead of yourself - enjoy the HS years!

Also, be aware that you can search any topic on this site.  You have found a tremendous resource at the right time!

6'2 160 is not small at all for a freshman. In fact that is very big. I'm not sure where you would be seeing a lot of kids that make him look small. 

But once you enter HS age doesn't matter anymore. All that matters is graduating class. No coach is going to care about his age. There are plenty of "young" kids with summer birthdays. Would being a grade lower help? Yeah probably, but it's just something you deal with at this point. 

What your son needs to do is decide which position he wants to play and either tell the coach or find a new team. I'm assuming he plays SS on HS because he's the best player. I'm assuming he plays OF on travel because he's either not an infielder or that is where the coach sees him playing at the next level. That is for him to decide, but to say he can't excel is an excuse. He plays SS for 3/4 months and then OF for another 3/4 months. That is plenty of time to get used to each position, which I'm assuming he knows how to play both at this point. Most of the improvement is made in the offseason anyway. 

For now 6'2 and mid 80s will get a lot of attention on the mound. Unless your son kills the ball and has a smooth glove I would just be sending him as a pitcher to the showcases. 

 

Honestly, if you throwing mid 80s at 14 years old he will get a write up at the showcase, even if he doesn’t land a strike. Does it mean anything? not yet. It’s a good experience and it helps them become more relaxed when they are put on the spot to perform.  They will usually note  projection but 6’2 at 14 isn’t small. My son grew later and we viewed it as a positive. If he could hang when he was smaller, he would be just fine when he grew.

My strong advice would be for a player to call himself a SS for as long as possible.  Coaches always believe that a SS can be moved to any position.

My son has a teammate who was a SS through 13U.  At 14U he started splitting time equally between SS, 2B and 3B.  As a 10th grader he was exclusively a 2B.  As an 11th grader he was exclusively at 3B.  Yet in PG and PBR lists he is listed as a SS.

My 2022 is almost in the same boat, including turning 15 in August. In school ball he plays 2B or SS. He is not a SS....In travel he plays 3B and pitches. What has gotten him attention is FB velo, but for showcases he will do both. I think in the end he'll end up being a PO, but for now he's going to hit until he can't. 

If your 14yo is mid 80s you may start to get attention from schools. My sone had video of him hitting 85.4 over the winter, and got some attention from schools that didn't care if he knew what a baseball bat was....

6'2, 160 at 14 with a mid-80's fastball makes this a simple answer...at least initially.  He'll get SERIOUS interest if you're at a quality showcase...and as others have said, it doesn't matter if he can throw a strike or not.   Realistically, if he gets much taller, the odds of him being a SS are going to get slimmer and slimmer.  A 6'5 kid with a cannon in college is going to be 1) a pitcher or 2) an outfielder....assuming he can bat.   I wouldn't worry too much about where he plays in the summer, at least for this summer.  By next summer if he's upper 80's, he'll know real fast if colleges are even going to consider him being anything other than a pitcher

6’2” 160 throwing mid 80’s at fourteen is very projectable as a D1 pitcher. Maybe stockier, more filled out kids look bigger. But your son has great size for his age. There will be college coaches envisioning him throwing 90 in a couple of years. 

My son was more interested in being a position player than pitching. He was a varsity shortstop until the travel team moved him to center. In individual showcases he did both the infield and outfield drills and played anywhere in scrimmages. In tournament games he played center. In college he played seven positions over his career. 

Unless your son is consistently driving the ball as a hitter and has the potential to run a sub seven sixty I would lean towards pitcher. He has the size and the fastball.

My 2023 has only attended one showcase and it was as a pitcher & 1st base. All of his throws during the position portion of the showcase were from 1st to 2nd, and his infield velo was clocked at 70 mph. He can throw much harder than 70 mph (FB clocked at 80 MPH). Should he identify as a middle infielder or 3rd base at the next event so that he has the opportunity to get his infield velo up?

Sonny R posted:

My 2023 has only attended one showcase and it was as a pitcher & 1st base. All of his throws during the position portion of the showcase were from 1st to 2nd, and his infield velo was clocked at 70 mph. He can throw much harder than 70 mph (FB clocked at 80 MPH). Should he identify as a middle infielder or 3rd base at the next event so that he has the opportunity to get his infield velo up?

Not a bad idea but depends on the event.  Most used to lump IF's (except maybe 1b's) and have them all throw from SS for IF velo so it wouldn't matter in that instance.  It's possible that this is changing?  BTW, what was his P velo for that event?

Still, and again, no hurry for a 2023.  The single best thing to do to improve his velo readings is wait a year or two 

Cabbagedad: He has 3 pitches he throws with any regularity; FB (79-80), Slider (74-75), and a change (72-74). He started throwing a sinker/2 seam in practice and flat surface but only used it a few times in a game. He’s about 6’0”/180 lbs and growing.

Sonny R posted:

Cabbagedad: He has 3 pitches he throws with any regularity; FB (79-80), Slider (74-75), and a change (72-74). He started throwing a sinker/2 seam in practice and flat surface but only used it a few times in a game. He’s about 6’0”/180 lbs and growing.

Cool!  Promising for the future.  Time to relax and enjoy for you... time to work hard and enjoy for him.

cabbagedad posted:
Sonny R posted:

Cabbagedad: He has 3 pitches he throws with any regularity; FB (79-80), Slider (74-75), and a change (72-74). He started throwing a sinker/2 seam in practice and flat surface but only used it a few times in a game. He’s about 6’0”/180 lbs and growing.

Cool!  Promising for the future.  Time to relax and enjoy for you... time to work hard and enjoy for him.

Well, shoot, you got me started ...

As a side note, he may want to keep in mind as he develops... just a bit more differential between FB velo and changeup velo would be advisable.  There are a few easy ways to knock the CU velo down a tick without showing less arm speed/effort. 

And, IMO, if he isn't above-average sharp with each of the first three pitches you mention, I think he would benefit far more by focusing on honing those rather than start tinkering with a fourth.  Three looks is plenty to keep hitters honest and adding a forth or fifth just takes away from efforts to dial in those three, particularly at that very formative age.  A sharp, confident pitcher is going to be more effective more consistently than a pitcher with a bigger bag of tricks.  

 

The old saying still applies " if you hit....they will find a position for you."  Playing multiple positions can be an advantage as it gives a coach options defensively while keeping a bat in the lineup.  My son was RC's number 2 choice on th board for his natural position.  With Son also playing 2 other positions the RC made a decision to extend an offer anyway with the knowledge that so long as he shows progress with the bat he would have an opportunity to compete at position A, B, C and DH.  

In college 99.9% of the time a player will be recruited at a position or pitcher not both. Your 2022 will need to decide where he has the best opportunity.  If it is at a position, most recruits are not evaluated on their defense skills alone however many are evaluated just on their offensive skills.  I may lean toward showcasing the outfield since there are more opportunities to play one of the three spots on the field rather than just one infield spot.

Just my opinion.  

I agree. I think playing multiple positions is better for your frosh. Regarding age, my kid is November born 2022 and younger than some of the 2023. His measurables (baseball but more importantly grades) are in the 2022 group. For me personally, while it is nice to be the older stud, being younger put a chip on my kid's shoulder and that motivated him to work harder

ExhaustedMom posted:

So I'm not sure where to post this as I'm a new member. My question is my son who is a 2022 grad but will not turn 15 until August of 2019 plays both for his high school and tournament teams. The problem is for high school he pitches and plays shortstop, for tournament he pitches and plays outfield.

He has a great fastball (mid 80s) but is an inconsistent pitcher,so is not used often. My real question is where would you showcase him when his position constantly changes? And does anyone else have this problem? Also, where he is younger than most 2022 grads, how will he look next to them?

Thanks!

EM:

Welcome to the Board. Your son is still young and should continue to play multiple positions as long as he can and as each team he plays sees fit. Some showcases allow for multiple positions, usually for not much more $. My son was recruited for and received offers playing both MI and CF. He made it a point to keep both OF and IF mitts with him.  He was often asked by colleges which position he would play, and he would answer he can and would play either, but felt he had the instincts of a MI.  The slot of the school where he would land recruited him as an "athletic MI who can play OF." So versatility is good.

 Your son's MPH is good for his age- in the long run I think his bat (or lack of) will dictate his focus (pitching or non pitching). A pitching coach (like my son had a hitting coach) should help with his consistency, should pitching be his route.

As for the age thing, I don't think it really matters. Good luck to your son.

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