Summer Before Freshman Year

My PO son is a HS senior committed for next year.  This past HS season, he threw 60 innings and I expect the same this year.  I'm really considering him not playing at all this summer, maybe have him work out (and work!!) and maybe start a throwing program late July, as I want him fresh and injury free going into college.

I can have him play legion and have him on an innings count, which I'm sure he'll want so he can keep playing and hang with buddies.  But, I'm not sure I want to even chance that.

Wondering what other parents are planning for pitchers in a similar situation, or thoughts from parents who have already gone through it?

Original Post

Our college coaches told us that we would talk to them after the high school season was over.  He is having the option of working to be a two-way player so they said at the least he needs to work on hitting at a high level.  He will probably not throw other than maybe a few innings this summer.  He has to be at his college on July 8th so that will determine most of the summer.  I would suggest having him contact his college coaches so they can advise him plus it also will build a relationship with them and let them know he is interested in his future and being prepared. 

He asked his coach and we agreed to discuss as the summer draws close.  He suggested legion, as we can control the innings and it allows him to enjoy one last summer with friends.

But I think I've read here that some have thought that summer was a waste and if they could do it over again, they would have focused on training instead.

We're trying to get our kid into his college's summer school program and just train.  Limited slots available so may not happen (priority given to football, basketball, hockey and all other sports it seems). If not, I thought our kids would be on the same Futures team this summer!

My son's future school indicated they would prefer he not play in the summer (he's a PO).  They would send him a throwing regimen to undertake beginning in July so that he's ready to begin pitching again in September for fall baseball.  That feels right to me, since the fall is so important in terms of evaluating what a player's role will be in the spring.  I imagine this is very pitcher-specific as there's nothing but upside for a position player to play the summer before school unless injury is a concern.

Legion? Your son is heading to college, he should not be playing against 16 year olds. Plus the good high schoolers will be traveling playing against competition. Playing against JV players won't help him get ready for his 22 year old teammates with full beards he'll be competing with for playing time starting in August. I get wanting to play with friends, but once HS ends, it ends. 

For our 2019. Coach told him to take up to July 4th weekend to take some time off and do what he had to do (make some money working, vacations, friends) and after that get on campus for summer classes and start throwing/working out again getting ready for fall ball. 

PABaseball posted:

Legion? Your son is heading to college, he should not be playing against 16 year olds. Plus the good high schoolers will be traveling playing against competition. Playing against JV players won't help him get ready for his 22 year old teammates with full beards he'll be competing with for playing time starting in August. I get wanting to play with friends, but once HS ends, it ends. 

I would agree with this...there are plenty of opportunities available for kids to play 18U baseball....especially as a pitcher.  The summer after my son's senior year he played on an 18U team that probably used 18-20 pitchers in 5 weeks just due to the fact that every kid wanted to throw some....but none wanted to throw a lot.  Most of the 18U teams are made of almost solely of kids who will be heading off to college at some level.....as opposed to Legion teams who may have HS sophomores and juniors who aren't even top level HS kids.    I wouldn't think it'd be hard to find a team willing to take on another college-bound pitcher....even if your son tells them he is on a strict innings count

Here in Iowa, we play summer baseball in HS, so the HS team was going through mid-July, followed by all-stars. And since he's going to Iowa, they obviously understand the schedule here.

Asking the coaches what they want seems like the best idea to me.

One thing I have been struck by though is that he is still throwing. All that down time that I was so adamant about when he was home, seems to be unnecessary in college.

 

Iowamom23 posted:

Here in Iowa, we play summer baseball in HS, so the HS team was going through mid-July, followed by all-stars. And since he's going to Iowa, they obviously understand the schedule here.

Asking the coaches what they want seems like the best idea to me.

One thing I have been struck by though is that he is still throwing. All that down time that I was so adamant about when he was home, seems to be unnecessary in college.

 

Yeah, that's why I want him to take it easy during the summer, because they'll be throwing nonstop once on campus.

PABaseball posted:

Legion? Your son is heading to college, he should not be playing against 16 year olds. Plus the good high schoolers will be traveling playing against competition. Playing against JV players won't help him get ready for his 22 year old teammates with full beards he'll be competing with for playing time starting in August. I get wanting to play with friends, but once HS ends, it ends. 

OP is in one of the stronger states for American Legion. Though the numbers are down from several years ago, there are still several players that go onto play D1 or otherwise college ball. Again, here is an example where pitchers and position players are handled differently summer after HS. Position players should still get swings and repetitions (unless arm is sore). Son (middle infielder) got no regiment from college coach except for come in healthy and don't try lifting/working out differently than you have (avoiding over exertion).

Ripken Fan posted:
PABaseball posted:

Legion? Your son is heading to college, he should not be playing against 16 year olds. Plus the good high schoolers will be traveling playing against competition. Playing against JV players won't help him get ready for his 22 year old teammates with full beards he'll be competing with for playing time starting in August. I get wanting to play with friends, but once HS ends, it ends. 

OP is in one of the stronger states for American Legion. Though the numbers are down from several years ago, there are still several players that go onto play D1 or otherwise college ball. Again, here is an example where pitchers and position players are handled differently summer after HS. Position players should still get swings and repetitions (unless arm is sore). Son (middle infielder) got no regiment from college coach except for come in healthy and don't try lifting/working out differently than you have (avoiding over exertion).

The best players in any state are not playing legion, they are with their travel teams. Regardless, how many graduated seniors are playing legion? Every player he faces will be younger than him. There are still 14/15 year olds playing in the league. Graduate, move on from the HS playing days and start getting ready for college hitters. If he wants innings, grab 3 or 4 college/college bound players and throw live ABs once a week. 

Depends on college he is attending and what school wants. My son (PO) was told by HC that he would place him in a collegiate league for the summer so like other people have mentioned, he can start throwing against 22 year olds and coach can control his innings. He asked my son his opinion though and when son said he would do what coach recommended, coach said hands down a collegiate league.

In line with several others' suggestions here:

(1) Strongly consider at least one summer session at the chosen college. The academic credit hours will be welcome when he starts juggling baseball time with academic time in the fall and spring; and he will be able to work out in the strength facility and with other players who are summering there. It also serves to help him get oriented to and somewhat settled in his new surroundings.

(2) Whether summer school is chosen or not, DO NOT show up in August worn out from summer activities; whether baseball-related or otherwise. Fall baseball will likely challenge him more than he's ever been challenged by a wide margin. The last thing he wants is to be fatigued going into it. He's about to find himself competing with college-veteran 21-year-olds who had equal or better credentials when they arrived on campus; and the combination of the physical demands on top of the academic (not to mention being away from home) can really take a toll.

PABaseball posted:
Ripken Fan posted:
PABaseball posted:

Legion? Your son is heading to college, he should not be playing against 16 year olds. Plus the good high schoolers will be traveling playing against competition. Playing against JV players won't help him get ready for his 22 year old teammates with full beards he'll be competing with for playing time starting in August. I get wanting to play with friends, but once HS ends, it ends. 

OP is in one of the stronger states for American Legion. Though the numbers are down from several years ago, there are still several players that go onto play D1 or otherwise college ball. Again, here is an example where pitchers and position players are handled differently summer after HS. Position players should still get swings and repetitions (unless arm is sore). Son (middle infielder) got no regiment from college coach except for come in healthy and don't try lifting/working out differently than you have (avoiding over exertion).

The best players in any state are not playing legion, they are with their travel teams. Regardless, how many graduated seniors are playing legion? Every player he faces will be younger than him. There are still 14/15 year olds playing in the league. Graduate, move on from the HS playing days and start getting ready for college hitters. If he wants innings, grab 3 or 4 college/college bound players and throw live ABs once a week. 

I agree with both you and Ripken, though our 19U does have both graduated seniors and college freshman.  I was surprised how many of our seniors played last year.  And many of our 2019 college committed players have said they'll play legion this year.

Your response seemed like your son won't play on a team.  He'll take June off and start throwing in July and go to summer class.  Not being a wise-guy, do you think that's better than playing legion?  Even if competition is light, it's still getting reps and facing live hitting.  To me that may be better than a throwing program.

It's not optional for him, all incoming scholarship players have to be there. He doesn't have to take classes, some of his teammates will work around campus, but if he's there he might as well take one or two. 

But yes I think it is worth it. His pitching coach is as good as it gets so he'll listen to whatever he says. We'll see what happens with the draft, but there should be two weekend spots open. So he'll want to be used to living on campus, going to class, and in proper shape so he's ready to compete for a rotation spot. He's never done pitching specific workouts either so he'll be learning all of that as well. 

PABaseball posted:
Ripken Fan posted:
PABaseball posted:

Legion? Your son is heading to college, he should not be playing against 16 year olds. Plus the good high schoolers will be traveling playing against competition. Playing against JV players won't help him get ready for his 22 year old teammates with full beards he'll be competing with for playing time starting in August. I get wanting to play with friends, but once HS ends, it ends. 

OP is in one of the stronger states for American Legion. Though the numbers are down from several years ago, there are still several players that go onto play D1 or otherwise college ball. Again, here is an example where pitchers and position players are handled differently summer after HS. Position players should still get swings and repetitions (unless arm is sore). Son (middle infielder) got no regiment from college coach except for come in healthy and don't try lifting/working out differently than you have (avoiding over exertion).

The best players in any state are not playing legion, they are with their travel teams. Regardless, how many graduated seniors are playing legion? Every player he faces will be younger than him. There are still 14/15 year olds playing in the league. Graduate, move on from the HS playing days and start getting ready for college hitters. If he wants innings, grab 3 or 4 college/college bound players and throw live ABs once a week. 

Senior Legion is 17-19yos with some weaker programs having some 16’s. Legion ball is weak in SE PA. But my son used the time to mostly get stronger (rehab). Legion was playing some ball without having to travel.

That spring he was high school baseball capable. But tossing the sling from surgery March 1 he wasn’t college baseball ready from a strength standpoint.

The league was too easy. But regions and states were challenging. At this point the players who played just enough to be post season eligible are present for the post season. There were in state D1 programs in attendance.

Iowamom23 posted:

Here in Iowa, we play summer baseball in HS, so the HS team was going through mid-July, followed by all-stars. And since he's going to Iowa, they obviously understand the schedule here.

Asking the coaches what they want seems like the best idea to me.

One thing I have been struck by though is that he is still throwing. All that down time that I was so adamant about when he was home, seems to be unnecessary in college.

 

Down time is important for younger players, as their bodies are still growing and not fully mature. Upon reaching college (and being physically mature) there is no benefit to a complete shut down unless an injury is involved.  Assuming good health a college player needs to be on a regular training and throwing schedule.

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