2022 went to a showcase with one of the large national showcase companies.  He is a PO so we were only there to pitch.  The venue was a brand new private all turf field, including an all turf mound.  We were told no spikes at check in which is ok, not optimal but ok.

As the catcher's finished up and they started to set up for the pitchers to throw on the field I noticed the mound was covered with one of those heavy mats like you often see protecting the batter's box during BP.  For those not familiar, about an inch of heavy foam rubber with turf glued on the top.  It was longer and narrower than a hitting mat and and it stretched from the rubber to the point where the brown mound turf met the green infield turf.  After the pitchers started to take the mound and throw, the staff had to constantly adjust the mat as it was sliding down the mound under the kids feet.  This effected some kids more than others, the bigger kids that were throwing hard looked to have the most issues.

My son said when he took the mound the mat was pulled up and covering the rubber except for about an a one inch strip of the back side of the rubber.  So he was basically just pitching off a lumpy piece of turf.  After his 15 or 20 throws the mat had slid down toward home enough to expose the entire width of the rubber and several inches of turf between the edge of the mat and the rubber. 

So through his alotted pitches the conditions varied from:

1. Pitching off a raised mat covering the rubber.

2. Rubber exposed but standing on a raised mat in front of but taller than the rubber.

3.  Increasing distance between the raised mat and rubber but not enough room for his foot on the mound.

4.  Finally on his last couple of pitches standing on the actual mound toeing the rubber but still landing on this ever sliding mat with his stride foot.

He could feel it give and slide under his plant foot on every pitch.  As expected, it really jacked with his mechanics and his results.  He was pissed when he came off the mound.  I was pissed as soon as I realized that's what he would be pitching from and more pissed after the results. 

This was his first ever showcase and it was not a great experience.  Is this kind of thing common?  Am I out in left field to expect at minimum a stable surface with game like conditions for a paid pitching showcase?

Original Post

Sounds like the mat was being used because weather might have been a little wet? Certainly not an optimal situation, but these organizations will never cancel events due to weather, they are beholden to the dollar...condition s be damned. So you get stuck with the result. If showcasing in winter, I would go to either an indoor showcase or somewhere in AZ!

Conditions vary widely.  At one showcase my son did much worse than expected at the 60.  We both suspected the distance was off.  I started to look at the other players who ran, and many of them had other showcase times posted.  Every single player that I could find, over 20, ran slower at that showcase than what was timed elsewhere.  Fast forward about 5 months, the same organization had another showcase.  Son posted his personal best at this one.  I did the same analysis...virtually every kid there posted a personal best that day.

Call the organization and demand a refund or credit towards another event. I understand weather issues happen, but if the weather was bad enough to prevent them from using the mound then it was bad enough to cancel the event. Call and play hard ball. They will likely give you credit towards another event because A. It makes the customers happy. B. Your son will likely do better at another event and if he ever goes to college or pro ball they can put his name on the site. And C. They know the mound sucked and they knew people would call complaining but they would rather give 10 unhappy parents their money back than everybody their money back which is why they continued under the conditions anyway. 

This is part of the reason I never paid for the showcases. I know they are worried about the $ and not the results, they will never cancel and a poor performance in front of schools you're interested in makes a bigger impression than a good one. 

Ps. Wear the metal spikes anyway, nobody will tell you to take them off and if they do your son can tell them he didn't know it was turf and wore sandals. I don't think mine has ever worn non-metal cleats to any baseball game since he hit the big field. Nobody has ever said anything, it's just done to prevent everybody from wearing metals. 

I think what bothers me is the safety aspect.  My son is a big boy and is throwing hard, having an unstable surface under his landing leg is not a safe situation.   

As for weather, we had some rain on Friday but it's been sunny and windy since then and it's turf so mud isn't an issue.  I think the venue pushed them to protect the mound but it created an unsafe and poor performing surface.

PABaseball posted:

Call the organization and demand a refund or credit towards another event. I understand weather issues happen, but if the weather was bad enough to prevent them from using the mound then it was bad enough to cancel the event. Call and play hard ball. They will likely give you credit towards another event because A. It makes the customers happy. B. Your son will likely do better at another event and if he ever goes to college or pro ball they can put his name on the site. And C. They know the mound sucked and they knew people would call complaining but they would rather give 10 unhappy parents their money back than everybody their money back which is why they continued under the conditions anyway. 

This is part of the reason I never paid for the showcases. I know they are worried about the $ and not the results, they will never cancel and a poor performance in front of schools you're interested in makes a bigger impression than a good one. 

Ps. Wear the metal spikes anyway, nobody will tell you to take them off and if they do your son can tell them he didn't know it was turf and wore sandals. I don't think mine has ever worn non-metal cleats to any baseball game since he hit the big field. Nobody has ever said anything, it's just done to prevent everybody from wearing metals. 

I have seen them numerous times at Lakepointe make players take their metal cleats off.  One kid had nothing else and they refused to let him pitch.  Dad pitched a fit and was escorted from the facility.  The director showed him clearly it was on everything.  I do not like turf mounds and I think it affects the speeds because neither turf shoes or rubber cleats work good on them in damp conditions. 

Just to clarify, the turf was dry.  The bullpen where my son warmed up had the same turf mound with no mat on top and he said it was great and not slippery in any way.  Again, I think the venue being new is probably making them use this mat to protect the mound.....the equivalent of grandma's plastic slip covers over the couch to keep it nice🙄

I’m not going to defend the Showcase organizer because  as someone else so accurately stated “they are beholden to the almighty dollar and weather conditions be damned.” But every pitcher should always bring multiple sets of footwear to any event where they will throw. Metal cleats, plastic cleats & trainers should be in their travel bag at all times. This applies to bullpen practice sessions as well. You never know what the mound conditions will be and it’s part of the pitchers job to be prepared. 

adbono posted:

I’m not going to defend the Showcase organizer because  as someone else so accurately stated “they are beholden to the almighty dollar and weather conditions be damned.” But every pitcher should always bring multiple sets of footwear to any event where they will throw. Metal cleats, plastic cleats & trainers should be in their travel bag at all times. This applies to bullpen practice sessions as well. You never know what the mound conditions will be and it’s part of the pitchers job to be prepared. 

Yep, had that covered.  This issue was the unsecured mat sliding under the pitchers when they planted their front foot.  No shoe type would fix that.  Bottom line, they didn't provide a mound with a rubber for a paid pitching showcase.

A bit of an update.  After getting no response today I checked their site for event updates.  During the event they had a display showing the velo in real time and I have a video I shot from the stands showing a higher number on their gun than what they posted to his profile.  What a joke.

Took my son to a national showcase out of state where we specifically researched ahead of time would be played on a dirt mound instead of turf. Son was scheduled to start the first "game" for his 3 innings. Skies opened up during his warm-up, and the game was postponed several times until finally being pushed to early the next morning. The mound was still a muddy mess and no amount of quick dry was helping. Worse, his report from the showcase did not consider the subpar mound conditions as both his control and velo were impacted.

Not saying all this to complain… just to share that crap happens sometimes to even the best laid plans. Best thing to do is find another opportunity and try again, maybe with a different scouting service though. There are more than one.  

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