I'm not sure if this is the right board to pose this topic, but since this one gets the most traffic and the subject fairly general, it seems appropriate.
Growing up all ever wanted to do was pitch, so that's pretty much all I did. Every day I'd throw and work on my mechanics with my dad. I got pretty good at it too. At 12 years old I was clocked consistently in the low 70's, and it wasn't because I was big(only 4'10").
Going into high school I hadn't grown much. I was 5'1" my freshman year. And hadn't gained any velocity since little league, still low 70's. I no longer could overpower hitters, so I had to learn how to pitch. I had great control and good to great slider, 2 seam, and circle change. Any way, I played quite a bit of travel ball the fall of freshman year(probably too much), and going into my freshman season was having elbow pain. I didn't think much of it and thought it was only tendonitis, so I pitched through it. Halfway through the year I was midway through a game when my shoulder popped. I couldn't pitch through this pain so went to an orthropedic surgeon and found out that I had fractured my growth plate in my shoulder.
This sidelined me for a few months, but after rehab, I was back to playing travel ball. Again my elbow bothered me, and again I thought it was only tendonitis. Going into my sophomore year I was 5'3" and still low 70's. Halfway through I decided to go back to the orthropedic surgeon this time for my elbow. An MRI showed that I had torn my UCL, so a week later I had Tommy John surgery. The doctor said he had been doing these type of surgeries for 10 years, but had never seen anything like mine. Usually there are still remnants of the ligament attached to the joint that doctor can go by when replacing the ligament. With mine there was nothing left.
Months of rehab and countless refills of Vioxx later, I was back on the field for my junior year. By the start of it I had grown to 5'11", 155 lbs. Going into the year I tried to pitch but had absolutely no velocity, control, or movement, so I decided to hang up the pitching cleats and devote myself to becoming the best second baseman I could be. Besides, we were absolutely loaded with pitching(two buddies in my class went on to pitch at A&M and Texas).
After graduation I decided to devote myself to school. Right. And pretty much didn't pick up a ball for a couple years. I also didn't work out at all in that time. I put on my freshman 30 and was 6'0" 185. This past summer(in between my Jr. and Sr. year), I threw with my buddy who pitches at A&M (where I go to school). Three sessions in I was really getting some good pop on my ball, and my friend said, "Seriously, you're getting it up there in the mid 80's." So I decided to try and walk on, but being an idiot, I rushed things and my arm fell apart. It was nothing serious, just a case of soreness and dead arm. So I scratched my plans of walking on, and again devoted myself to my studies. Right.
Flash forward a few months, and I've been helping my brother with his high school team. (I absolutely love helping him coach, and I think I might give it a try). He has a kid who last year as a junior was running it up there at 88-90. A few weeks in he blew out his elbow and had TJ surgery. He came back great, and we've clocked him 84-85 so far this season. The thing is I can run it up there with him.
So here are my questions:
1) It's too late for me to do anything in college, but what other avenues are available for me to persue the next level?
2) I'm still very out of shape. I probably couldn't run a mile, but I'm down to about 175. Can anyone offer any insight as to how much I can improve velocity wise if I got in shape? I've also lost all movement on my 2 seam and can't get my slider to do anything but spin. Will this come back with time?
3) For the kid that's a senior, what do suggest he do to get noticed. The summer between your junior and senior years is pivotal, and he missed it. He's 6'2"/6'3" righty with a devestating 12-6 curve. I expect he'll get his velocity back by the end of the season. He hasn't played select before, plays at a smaller school(2A), and there's not very many high level select teams in our area, so what should he do to get noticed my high level D-1 schools?
I'm a bit long winded, so I apologize for the length. I've just never known anyone that's gone through my situation with a six year break. I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.