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Have any of you given thought to the summer 2021 season? As weird as it sounds, we only have one more fall tournament. I was talking to my son about whether he wants to stay with this team or look at some of the other teams that have been asking about him. Then I started thinking about whether to skip the summer season and just do a showcase or two and some college camps. It might be a nice way to work in some vacations since this summer was so abnormal. My son is a 2023 and will be focusing mostly in HA schools. I doubt many of them will be making the rounds at the tournaments we'd normally do on his travel team.

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We did IOWA HS season, then travel ball that ended this weekend. Next year college coaches asked where he want to play in the Northwoods League before college. Told them our plan was to play HS ball for his last season. And them travel ball until college starts?

Thought about skipping HS ball because it is not competitive enough and uses aluminum bats, but could not bring ourselves to tell his teammates we were not playing.

@Good Knight posted:

We did IOWA HS season, then travel ball that ended this weekend. Next year college coaches asked where he want to play in the Northwoods League before college. Told them our plan was to play HS ball for his last season. And them travel ball until college starts?

Thought about skipping HS ball because it is not competitive enough and uses aluminum bats, but could not bring ourselves to tell his teammates we were not playing.

If you get an invite to play in the Northwoods Collegiate Wood Bat League, please don't turn it down.  I was not aware they would take rising freshmen for the roster, but if your college coaches are willing to place you there, I would go.

Minnesota places most of their players in the Norwoods league and usually a couple in the Cape Cod. Their coaches actually coached several of the teams previously. I was also not aware that they would place incoming Freshmen until the call. A very tough decision especially with the virus issues. 

After playing HS ball this year with 80 mph pitchers and aluminum bats, he was slow to transition on his travel team with 90's pitching and wood bats.  

@Good Knight posted:

Minnesota places most of their players in the Norwoods league and usually a couple in the Cape Cod. Their coaches actually coached several of the teams previously. I was also not aware that they would place incoming Freshmen until the call. A very tough decision especially with the virus issues. 

After playing HS ball this year with 80 mph pitchers and aluminum bats, he was slow to transition on his travel team with 90's pitching and wood bats.  

What you get in high school depends on where you live and where the team sits in the standings. As a team that came in second once and first twice in three years my son’s high school team faced mostly future D1 pitchers. From a pitcher’s perspective most of the hitters he just reared back and challenged them. Only some of the three, four hitters were dangerous. The bats are still the same weight regardless of material.

My 2022 is looking at HA schools. He played for a strong regional program that has good relationships with the local schools and at time competes well in national tourneys. He is happy with the decision and will play with them next season as he is developed a good relationship with the coaching staff and they really both pushed him and mentored him. They played up in some tourneys to improve the competition since southern travel was out. Next year they will play more national tourneys it will probably help his profile but his targeted schools are up north so they will eventually see him at camps and local games.

@TerribleBPthrower, I had the same thought around this time last year. My advice is that it was too soon to think about that last year, and it's DEFINITELY too soon to think about that in this climate.

Beyond that, I believe your son is a C, correct? My thought is that he needs to catch velo from high level pitchers, and catch in high leverage situations. Plus, he needs to hit velo. He needs to be playing to do this. Interest from schools won't matter if he isn't improving. 

Finally, son's rising sophomore year, he played on both his HS team and his travel team. It was tiring, but it was extremely rewarding to him. 

 

@Senna posted:

@TerribleBPthrower, I had the same thought around this time last year. My advice is that it was too soon to think about that last year, and it's DEFINITELY too soon to think about that in this climate.

Beyond that, I believe your son is a C, correct? My thought is that he needs to catch velo from high level pitchers, and catch in high leverage situations. Plus, he needs to hit velo. He needs to be playing to do this. Interest from schools won't matter if he isn't improving. 

Finally, son's rising sophomore year, he played on both his HS team and his travel team. It was tiring, but it was extremely rewarding to him. 

 

Yes, it is too soon to make any decisions, especially since there really isn't any clarity on whether schools will be allowed to recruit normally and whether they will be able to do camps.

You bring up some great points. My son somewhat jumped up a level this fall to a new team and so far it has been pretty fun to watch. They went 3-0 in the sophomore WWBA in pool games and finished the weekend 4-1. He gets to catch P's that are all very good and hit against some of the best arms in his class. 

Do some searching on HA schools and camps and showcases. Plenty of reviews on which are good and not so good. Also depends on the region you're in.  If you want to be seen outside of your region, you'll need to travel to where you those types of schools attend tourneys to see teams and in game action more-so than showcases. 

Others my have different opinions and your results may vary. 

My kid's team made it to bracket play at WWBA. The weather has been somewhat cooperative but they clipped pool play from 7 to 6 games. His team beat a solid nationally ranked team in a close and highly emotional game. The team really bonded and grew from this trip and regardless of today's outcome I think the summer was a success as almost everyone on the roster will be committed or have an offer. My kid was hit on the hand during an at bat, the good news he hit a HR in the previous AB but he had to sit out a couple of games with the injury. The good news is he has an offer from the HA D3 he absolutely wants to go to and they have a plan for him so the outlook is positive.

Thanks! They won their first round game today. Another nail biter,  kid got credited with a hit and it was also the game winning rbi. They play tomorrow morning against a southern powerhouse. I will probably not sleep as it will be an exciting game. The bbq has been fantastic but I don't think I can eat anymore of it and chikfilA too.

This journey is over. The game was great, the talent was expected. No score and extra innings. They matched runs in the first extra but gave up runs via walks in the second. As it turns out the kid was the last AB. The pitcher had gas but his velo dipped at the 2nd inning. Kid fouled a FB for 2 strikes and swung through another for a K. I could see the look of disappointment as he walked off and the opponent celebrated. Despite the hurt, everyone will look back at how successful the trip was for them, I think being one of the final 32 teams was impressive, but they kids had higher aspirations. We are feeding our sorrow at Poe's. I will remind him again later that failure will always be the best teacher.

Well summer ball didn't go so well for son. Was playing well but developed pain in shoulder and elbow. Turns out he has growth plate inflammation in both. Will be shut down for another 4-6 weeks. Then a ramp back up for fall ball if we don't take fall off. Want to make sure he is good for his first HS season in the spring. Doing his PT and lower body workouts to keep in shape until he is released to do upper body workouts again.

@TxballDad posted:

Well summer ball didn't go so well for son. Was playing well but developed pain in shoulder and elbow. Turns out he has growth plate inflammation in both. Will be shut down for another 4-6 weeks. Then a ramp back up for fall ball if we don't take fall off. Want to make sure he is good for his first HS season in the spring. Doing his PT and lower body workouts to keep in shape until he is released to do upper body workouts again.

Really sorry to hear that, Dad. Not the way you want the summer to go, for certain.

Others may disagree, but I would strongly recommend skipping fall ball in terms of position play. If he's shut down for 4-6 weeks, that means he can't start any buildup of throwing until basically Labor Day. Getting him strong enough to throw with intent would likely take you into mid-October, with few tournaments left.

My advice (based on son's summer) would be to find a team that will let him EH/DH/pinch run, and focus just on that. His hitting ability is going to be the most important thing for his spring, period. He can then not rush any onramp in throwing, and let him build a safe base for the spring.

@2022NYC posted:

Sorry to read. My kid has/had similar issues with his elbow. It was frustrating experience for him but he learned how to deal with adversity and it matured him. The lemonade is that this is a good indicator your kid is still growing. Does his HS have fall tryouts?

Thanks, and yes he is still growing. 4in and three shoe sizes since January. Doc said that is probably the issue tendons are not keeping up with growth causing tightness and the inflammation when throwing.

HS tryouts will be in January so that should not be an issue. He will be in the baseball class this fall where they do all the off season training (no throwing).

HS Coach already knows him and has seen him play. Had asked him to play with the HS team this summer in some local games so he knows what type of player he is.

@Senna posted:

Really sorry to hear that, Dad. Not the way you want the summer to go, for certain.

Others may disagree, but I would strongly recommend skipping fall ball in terms of position play. If he's shut down for 4-6 weeks, that means he can't start any buildup of throwing until basically Labor Day. Getting him strong enough to throw with intent would likely take you into mid-October, with few tournaments left.

My advice (based on son's summer) would be to find a team that will let him EH/DH/pinch run, and focus just on that. His hitting ability is going to be the most important thing for his spring, period. He can then not rush any onramp in throwing, and let him build a safe base for the spring.

That is what we are thinking. He is still going to hitting practice (no pain while hitting). And has been told he can DH with travel team in the fall if he wants.

He also still catches private bullpens. I just stand next to him and throw the ball back to the pitcher.

This has been an up and down year for my son.  He did amazingly well during varsity season, seeing the ball well and went from bottom of lineup to the top.  He caught every game and stepped up as a sophomore to fill the leadership vacuum from the upperclassmen.  Him stepping up as a leader is what surprised (and impressed) me the most.

Come travel season, he can't buy a hit.  In the first couple of tournaments, either he hits the ball squarely and it goes right to a fielder, or rolls over weakly to 3rd base (he did this a lot for some reason during travel).  As the season progressed, I think it started affecting him mentally as the hard hit squared up ball became less frequent.  The interesting (and frustrating) thing is that this was affecting the whole team.  All of them struggled hitting.

I'm thinking mostly playing up in 16u, facing much better pitching and using wood bats (instead of BBCOR) are factors.  But I'm thinking that all of the attention the team is getting from scouts and recruiters are just as big a factor (if not the biggest).  With all of the buzz around their peers committing or being recruited, I think the boys are trying too hard when the scouts are watching.

The good news is that our pitching and fielding has kept us close in most of our games.  My son has been doing great with catching.  Still no contact from any colleges though.  Given his performance during the summer so far, I think he should plan on working harder in the off season and show up better next summer.

He's always had a good amount of self confidence (without being cocky).  He's always felt that he's good enough to play for a P5 school.  Now, he's thinking mid major/D2/D3.  I honestly think this is more realistic.  I've wanted to tell him this before but refrained from doing so as I don't want him to think that I don't believe in him.  I'm not sure whether to be happy now that he has more realistic perspective or sad that he's had to face reality and lower his dream.

One more tournament to go (15u WWBA).  I hope they turn it around and finish at a good note.

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