Spring Team for HSers! The PROSPECTS

So glad you are doing this. I know that Texas has a lot of giant sized high schools, where a lot of talented kids don't make the team for one reason or another. For those talented kids that need something more competitive than Little League it is nice that they have this option.  The point is to keep playing and improving, stay sharp, and remember that you are playing a long game, in that unless you are a true stud player you probably aren't going to get a lot of attention from colleges (if that is your end goal) based on what you do as a junior or younger. If you are good and/or projectible, you will get attention from carefully selected and targeted showcases and college camps. Just because a high school coach wasn't able to recognize your potential, or just didn't have the roster space, it doesn't mean you have to stop playing a game you love at a high level. (You can tell I'm speaking from the heart on this one - my son is very much in this boat, a kid trying to make the jump to varsity who is on the bubble. We live in Northern California, a bit too far to join the Prospects, but we may be looking around here for a similar program.) Good luck this season!

Play in real high school games? Darn! My kids played in fake high school games for the high school. I like the idea for kids who don’t make the high school team. I hate the condescending attitude of the people selling it. The attitude is right up there with those who believe only travel matters and high school ball is a joke.

NORCALBBDAD, Appreciate the kind words and encouragement.  I hope you do find a spring team/program.  All sports are competitive here in NTX.  Baseball suffers from a limited budget and limited capacity (compared to football) at the schools and thus really talented players do not make a squad.  Nothing to do with the kid or his talent level, but when a Coach only has 18-20 spots on a roster....sadly good talent gets cut.  I have several HS Head Coaches that coach summer ball in my club and they share it is agonizing cutting players number 21 or 22 and maybe the only reason is he is already 2 deep at SS or 3rd or C, etc.  The Prospects is for those players and yes we play REAL baseball games whereas the alternative is what....???  Not playing at all is the case most times until summer.  I am not satisfied with that alternative.

 

To RJM, you clearly have no appreciation for what this program does for those kids and parents that got cut.  And, yes there are schools here that do not have a baseball program.  Given an opportunity to play in the spring versus doing nothing is a blessing they cherish.  Feel free to dig a little deeper into this program and others.

I like the idea...but a few things. 

$650 is wild. And that is just the deposit, I don't know the final cost. I'm all on board with the idea, but it's not a blessing or part of a good cause when you charge that much. It's a business that is profiting off guys looking to play somewhere. Again that's fine, do your thing, but your program isn't doing a good deed, they're supplying a good to consumers.

Second. Why even have tryouts? Is it about doing a good thing by including guys that got cut or is it about having the most talented players? 

I don't know where PABASEBALL is (Pennsylvania, perhaps?), but our public school's baseball booster club fee is $1,000, and I've heard they are $1,500 at the next school over.  Both JV and V pay that, and our JV only plays 9 games.  $650+ doesn't sound out of line at all.

catching22 posted:

I don't know where PABASEBALL is (Pennsylvania, perhaps?), but our public school's baseball booster club fee is $1,000, and I've heard they are $1,500 at the next school over.  Both JV and V pay that, and our JV only plays 9 games.  $650+ doesn't sound out of line at all.

It's not the charging that is a problem. It is the fact that he is charging $650 as downpayment (could be more) to play against makeshift homeschool teams. That is not "real" HS baseball. There is no locker room, there are no rivalry games, no state championship and the money isn't being put back into the program, it's lining somebodies pocket. And I could live with all that, but not when they try to pass it off as doing good for the guys in the community who didn't get their chance. I have no problem with them doing their thing. I have a problem with them calling the opportunity a blessing. 

I appreciate all the feedback, even the negative.  I have been running this program as is for 5 seasons and now entering its 6th and the evidence and feedback from the players and parents is my motivation.  Yes, it does cost money to run the program, and factor in I have to rent the fields they play on and hire the HS grade umpire crews that run the games.  There are a number of variables that go into this program and yes, they cost money to do so and do so effectively.

And I will proudly add that we have had a number of Prospects play for us a season, tryout for their HS squad the following year and make the team.  We have also had many Prospects not play a single game for their HS and are now playing in college.  At the end of the day, the Prospects provides an opportunity that is not otherwise there.

A comment on the "make shift homeschool" teams, you have no clue how those programs are run and the fact they produce some of the best baseball around this area.  Do some research.  A couple of these programs can take on any powerhouse program in the city.  Because of  school classification and sanctioning (i.e. UIL, TAPPS, etc.) they cannot.

Appreciate as always the feedback and comments.  I learn from each.

PABaseball posted:
catching22 posted:

I don't know where PABASEBALL is (Pennsylvania, perhaps?), but our public school's baseball booster club fee is $1,000, and I've heard they are $1,500 at the next school over.  Both JV and V pay that, and our JV only plays 9 games.  $650+ doesn't sound out of line at all.

It's not the charging that is a problem. It is the fact that he is charging $650 as downpayment (could be more) to play against makeshift homeschool teams. That is not "real" HS baseball. There is no locker room, there are no rivalry games, no state championship and the money isn't being put back into the program, it's lining somebodies pocket. And I could live with all that, but not when they try to pass it off as doing good for the guys in the community who didn't get their chance. I have no problem with them doing their thing. I have a problem with them calling the opportunity a blessing. 

My sentiments exactly when I posted my initial negative response.

PABaseball posted:
catching22 posted:

I don't know where PABASEBALL is (Pennsylvania, perhaps?), but our public school's baseball booster club fee is $1,000, and I've heard they are $1,500 at the next school over.  Both JV and V pay that, and our JV only plays 9 games.  $650+ doesn't sound out of line at all.

I have a problem with them calling the opportunity a blessing. 

Huh.  I would have thought that having the opportunity to play baseball would always be considered a blessing, but since the term wasn't used until after your initial post about this not being real baseball, I'm pretty sure that it's not that one word that has you so bothered.  Whatever; if it's not for you, don't send your son out for a tryout.

FWIW, I know several players or alumni of these alternative HS teams; one is expected to starting on a P5 team this (his sophomore) season.  Several are playing in college.  Others play for elite summer teams and either didn't make their HS JV teams as freshmen or don't want to play for their HS coaches.  I personally am glad there is an alternative to sitting around and waiting for May (and my son made varsity as a freshman, so this isn't sour grapes talking).

catching22 posted

Huh.  I would have thought that having the opportunity to play baseball would always be considered a blessing, but since the term wasn't used until after your initial post about this not being real baseball, I'm pretty sure that it's not that one word that has you so bothered.  Whatever; if it's not for you, don't send your son out for a tryout.

FWIW, I know several players or alumni of these alternative HS teams; one is expected to starting on a P5 team this (his sophomore) season.  Several are playing in college.  Others play for elite summer teams and either didn't make their HS JV teams as freshmen or don't want to play for their HS coaches.  I personally am glad there is an alternative to sitting around and waiting for May (and my son made varsity as a freshman, so this isn't sour grapes talking).

The term was used in the initial response from the original poster to RJM. Not my word, and I'm not bothered either. Making observations and pointing out flaws I found. Like I said, I like the idea, I don't like some of what is associated with it.

That being said. If my son could not make his high school JV team that $650 would be going towards a tutor and not a team fee as a future in the sport would not be in the cards. 

I'm not sure where a some people are from but my son goes to a high school that has 2,800 students. My high school had barely 1,000. There are four similar size high schools within 10 miles of my home.  This is a VERY competitive baseball area. Lots of kids playing travel ball, lots taking lessons, working with trainers, getting better. The selection process for the baseball teams are VERY competitive.  Every year, there are five or six good, solid baseball players that get cut from the teams, and even once in a while a senior who played as a junior.

During the high school baseball season, ALL of the travel ball programs close down their upper division. If you are a freshman in high school or above, and you get cut, your only option is Little League baseball, which has an upper division, but I think even that is starting to whither. If you are a competitive player, Little League just doesn't have the level of competition you want.  A program like this, that practices often, that has good coaches, and plays against teams that practice as much as you do and are playing at a higher level than recreationally, is a real benefit to kids in that situation. No one should expect this program to be free though.

I hope that none of you find yourselves in that situation, where your son gets cut, but still loves the game, and has a chip on his shoulder about getting cut, is determined to make the team next year and doesn't want to swallow his pride and play Little League with the weekend warriors. But if you do, I hope you have a program like this in your area.

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