Summer Collegiate League Assignments

My son's coach has begun discussing summer assignments with him. The boy didn't tell me much, but he was excited enough to call me, which he never does unless it's important to him...

I have researched the threads here and elsewhere about summer ball assignments.
I learned that there is a wide range of leagues both good and bad, with fees ranging from nominal to prohibitive. I also read that things change quickly - such is the on-again, off-again nature of baseball.

I would be interested to hear about other's experiences with summer collegiate ball and your North East region Freshman pitchers.

Original Post

I'll appreciate learning more about this as well.  A lot of the subject posts are dated... College freshman son just told me last week about his and the HC's effort to place him.  Considerations were Valley, Prospect, Great Lakes, to conclude with an opportunity in the Coastal Plains League.  My first rodeo.

I can only speak about the Great Lakes League. My son played 3 years for the same team. It was 20 minutes from home so he lived at home, but really enjoyed the experience.  His teams have had kids from SEC schools down to JUCO's in places I didn't even know existed.  His team was top 2 or 3 in the league every year....had a majority of D1 guys....with a few D2, D3 and JUCO.  Some teams had almost no D1 guys....just depended on which team it was and the connections the coaches had.  Overall, pretty good baseball.  Most of the facilities are good....some (Saginaw and Southern Ohio) are very good.  Travel is minimal...most teams are no more than 3-4 hours max away.  I wouldn't hesitate to let a kid play in the GL if he is asked to go there.  If you want specifics on a team feel free to PM me

You guys may have to start with some specific questions... there are so many sub-topics within the general topic. 

As far as assignments specifically, there is typically a regular pipeline that a college HC has across a few competitive summer league levels that is his first go-to.  From the other end, people from the summer league organizations are reaching out to college coaches for players.  Some college HC's are all over this early, some leave it more up to the players, and everywhere in between.  Most often, it is expected that the player follow the HC's lead unless the player has an acceptable (to the HC) alternative option available.  Some of the more established leagues already have all or most of their rosters filled out.  Some are just beginning.  There is typically a flurry of additional activity when college rosters are solidified and again, at the end of Spring when players determine they are not going to fulfill their summer obligation, whether it be due to injury, innings limits, homesick, internships, work opportunities, summer school, etc.

cabbagedad posted:

You guys may have to start with some specific questions... there are so many sub-topics within the general topic.

I want to make sure I research the league they have in mind for him.
I'm sure Coach has our player's best interest at heart, but it's still mom and dads money making it happen.

My son was able to tell me the state but not the specific league.
I have read some horror stories about revenue generating leagues and roach infested lodgings.

Anyway, I'm just obsessing. Things may change a hundred times between now and next summer.
I wish I could be a fly on the wall at his practices!

 

My son played in the Great Lakes League last year also. We were really excited to have him close to home. The GM sent out these great emails about how seriously they took their responsibility to our son's development and overall experience. 

So the team had five outfielders. The coach promised the college coaches of two of them they would get the majority of playing time leaving the three others to share playing time. To be clear at one point my son was hitting over .400 with an OBP of over .700 and was sitting the bench behind a kid hitting .120. My son's coach called and was told playing time for the kid would increase, never did, the guy lied. I don't know where the GM found this HC but he was terrible. We had a loaded team on paper, more DI players than any other team in the league and we still finished in last place I believe. Looking at other teams rosters we noticed they'd have hitting, pitching coaches etc. Some listed a seamstress. The GM was in charge of uniforms, washing them and such. The kid said they played in dirty uniforms often. I could go on. The one bright spot was the host family. They were salt of the earth. Fed the kid, made sure he didn't want for anything, had two great kids my son really enjoyed spending time with. He also did really enjoy his teammates. Even the two outfielders that received preferential treatment. He was like "it's not their fault". So it wasn't all bad.

My advice, before you commit to play find out how playing time will be allotted. If it's not merit based you better make sure the college coach has some idea of the situation he's sending your son into. 

Probably the easiest is to ask teammates where they went and how was it.  Most of the time each team has several places/teams where they can place their players, so it is pretty much established.  If your HC is giving your son an option that is great, my son was pretty much told where he was going.  The not so desirable living conditions can be an obstacle but these are young men, they will adapt.  Plus it will give a peek into the life of a minor leaguer.

Do not let the "for profit" leagues steer you away.  The Northwoods League is run very well and teams are individually owned.  Son played for Lacrosse (WI) and absolutely loved it.   The NWL most mimics the Milb in that there can be long bus rides and only one day off each month besides the 2 days at the All Star break.   If you can hack it there, you can manage milb.  I believe the cost was ~$750 several years ago which includes uniforms.  They had host families.  The 3 fields that we saw were very nice.  Attendance was better than our local AA team.   Scouts were in attendance at the games we went to.   Food was brought in every night for dinner from local restaurants and all you can eat free Dairy Queen any time you wanted.  He cooked his own breakfast.

He missed out (as well as his parents missing great vacations) playing for the Hampton's League and the Cape Cod league due to surgery then the draft.  The Hampton's  League gave us 80% of the $500 fee back and listed son on the roster on the DL, which was nice.  The CC league had a weekly fee. 

There is a lot of comings and goings during the summer on the team.  Some players sign a temporary contract and are released when other players show up after they finish NCAA regionals/super regionals/CWS.  Some get injured.  Some get homesick and leave.  Some find out in the middle of the summer that they need to go back to summer school to stay eligible.  The roster changed weekly.   Son loved it, but he hit well that summer.

There was a Myrtle Beach league that had some bad reviews a while back.  Not sure if that has changed or not.  

There is a local collegiate league for local players that was started several years ago to meet the need for those that did not get placed, needed to stay close to home, or needed to work during the summer.  Cost was about $750, the season is not as long as the Northwoods League,  but it met a need.  

 

My two cents. This was 2009. My sons freshman year was assigned to Prospect league. Team North Coast Knights in Lorain Ohio. HC had him lined up to play in coastal plains league but son being 12 hours away at college wanted to play closer to home. Was an hour from house. We knew someone so we pulled a string to do this with HC permission. My son had a great season and got a lot of playing time, lived at home. There were kids from California, Arizona, Minnesota and everywhere. Their living quarters were broken into as field was not in good neighborhood. We took in 6 boys from the team. It was crazy but my son is still in touch with them today. Don’t remember if there was a cost. I personally know the owners and coaches for the Chillicothe Paints in the Prospect league. Great people, great team!!! They will take care of your sons. My other son who eventually gave up baseball after sophomore year played freshman year summer ball in The Great Lakes League for the Lima Locos. Experience was just ok. Moving forward. Agree with KEEWART !!!! My son played in the Northwoods League for the Eau Claire express in upstate Wisconsin in 2010 and 2011. The team won the championship in 2010. (These teams are difficult to get on. Advice is to work with HC and not be afraid to discuss.) He lived with the greatest host family for both seasons. We still remain friends to this day. Our family had wonderful vacations on the beautiful lakes of Wisconsin. The attendance as KEEWART mentioned was always sold out. The Madison Mallards a team in the league drew 10,000 to every home game. My son traveled by bus very long distances and as KEEWART said is like the milb. I highly recommend the Northwoods League no matter the cost.  My son would tell you to this day that those 2 summers were fun and great!!! Still friends with those teammates. There were many scouts at all the summer league games and would call my sons summer coach to see when he was pitching. Funny story, small world. My sons summer coach had a son who was a few years younger who now plays in milb for the same MLB team as my son. Summer ball is confusing and an unknown. Well worth it IMO!!!!

As always 

For the love of the game!!!⚾️⚾️⚾️

                 

 

 

 

 

CmassRHPDad posted:
cabbagedad posted:

You guys may have to start with some specific questions... there are so many sub-topics within the general topic.

I want to make sure I research the league they have in mind for him.
I'm sure Coach has our player's best interest at heart, but it's still mom and dads money making it happen.

My son was able to tell me the state but not the specific league.
I have read some horror stories about revenue generating leagues and roach infested lodgings.

Anyway, I'm just obsessing. Things may change a hundred times between now and next summer.
I wish I could be a fly on the wall at his practices!

 

I think you might know that one of my sons coached in the Valley League last summer and is likely headed back.  He coached in another known league out West previously and has played in or been invited to others.  I follow several of the kids that played for me in their summer stints as well.  So, feel free to PM when you figure out which league/team.  Also, I know it's your money but it can be tough for the player to tell the HC no when he is assigned.  Been there too.  Stay in touch.  

BTW, yes, there are some bad experiences and surprises.  Some can be avoided with up-front knowledge, which can be so difficult when most only go through this once or twice.  Yet another huge benefit to staying connected to HSBBW for guidance.  That said, the majority, I think, are good to great experiences.

I think some simple key questions to ask before accepting an assignment are what net net costs will be (likely to have to come from the summer organization) and what the playing time arrangement will be (should come from college HC).  Answers may not always be definitive but should offer some insight.

keewart posted:

Do not let the "for profit" leagues steer you away.  The Northwoods League is run very well and teams are individually owned.  Son played for Lacrosse (WI) and absolutely loved it.   The NWL most mimics the Milb in that there can be long bus rides and only one day off each month besides the 2 days at the All Star break.   If you can hack it there, you can manage milb.  I believe the cost was ~$750 several years ago which includes uniforms.  They had host families.  The 3 fields that we saw were very nice.  Attendance was better than our local AA team.   Scouts were in attendance at the games we went to.   Food was brought in every night for dinner from local restaurants and all you can eat free Dairy Queen any time you wanted.  ...

 

This (the bolded) is the sort of stuff you need to drill down to if given the choice.  What does the fee include?  Heck, free dinner for a 20 y.o. for a whole summer, plus host families taking the hit on utility bills for laundry loads can be worth a fortune.

On the other hand, we've seen scenarios where the costs started to approach $2K and did not include meals.   That's when it starts to really not make sense, IMO.  

The Cal Ripken League is a nice league for rising Sophomores.  Position rosters are not over loaded and there seems to be a fair amount of playing time.  Pitching is hit or miss as far as playing time.  The teams seem to carry seven starters then 8-10 relievers.  You can look at the stats online and see the typical playing time.  I guess one positive is pitchers don't over pitch so there are adequate bull pen days to work on areas.  Distance between teams is an hour or less for most.  Cost was $300 but that might be team specific.  Cost is obviously very reasonable.  Host families can be arranged and the DC area has a lot to offer from a tourist point of view. 

The Cape is a tremendous experience but if you are a Temp you will have to impress out of the gate to stick or be in the right spot.  Be thick skinned if a Temp, getting released is sometimes a numbers game.  Probably a good idea to have a back up league if cut early in the process. 

 

I can answer Valley League questions; going into my 9th year involved with the league and both sons played in it before that.  PM's are fine.       Valley League rosters for the most part are full by now but there are always changes, especially in May. 

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×