So, son is 14 in April hit 88ev off machine pitch.  Two other kids on his team who are 9 and 10 mos older hit 94 and 91 (so already 14).  The other two are real studs - they just look good.   Now they practice more and seem to me more driven then my son at this point.  My question is, would 9,10 mos make a real difference at this age?  The one who hit 94 works out and has 0% body fat, the one who hit 91 is lean and slightly muscular as well, my son has a little fat on him.  Will the other two always be better.  I know this is kind of a silly question since you can’t see any of the kids, but I am just curious as to other experiences.  

Original Post

My 14 year old was a 5'8" 145lb solid as a rock stud entering HS.  The coach invited him to play summer ball with JV  as a 7th grader after seeing him in one practice.  My father asked me what I thought - I said two things matter and one is up to him and one is up to God.  Dad asked what do mean?  I said will he be 6'3" and put in the work.

He was all district as a Sophomore.  He was done after junior season as a 5'10" 160Lb doubles guy that hit .an honest .425 over 75ish at bats for a team that was ranked in the top 30 in a few national polls.  No interest anywhere in power 5 for a outfielder with slightly above average foot speed and arm and a buttery left handed stroke.  He was so disillusioned by the whole thing I think he faked an arm injury and walked away from the whole thing and passed on his Sr. season.

Funny part is - I never put any pressure on him to play.  He had been told by everyone he played with, against or coaches from 5 to 15 how great he was.  When the other kids became bigger stronger and faster - it was the physical status along with projections that attracted college coaches.  They could see my boy was close to his ceiling and passed.

The point of all of this is - do the work - if God makes you 6'3" or 5'10" you will be what you will be.  Any comparisons to the other guys will be done by guys who get paid to be right.  Play the game and have fun.  You may not realize it but you may have less than 100 games left to see him play.  You cannot know until that day comes how much you will miss it.

Your son can only control or affect his personal development.  There is a lot more to being successful than exit velocity in a controlled environment.  There is a significant amount of physical and mental development between the age of 14 and 18. 

If you want to track development then benchmark where your son is now on the metrics that many look at such as the 60, throwing velocity, how far the ball travels off the bat, how much carry on throws from the outfield, etc... then compare where your son is in six months.  Generally you see incremental jumps in skill as strength and timing improve.  Obviously, the measurable tools have to translate into in game execution. 

I would not bother being concerned with comparing your son to others, you can't control what others can do.  The most impressive player I ever watched was a 12 year old who cleared a 300 foot fence in a game.  Tremendously impressive player that had a good high school career but didn't stick with a D III school.  I know another player as a 14 year old who could not stick with most travel teams.  He grew to 6'5 and is a DI pitcher who is a very good pitcher.  He simply did not have any abilities at a young age that made him stick out.  He never pitched in a Varsity game until he was a Junior.  From Junior year on he was one of the best pitchers in the area. 

There is simply no way know what will happen between 14 and 18. 

luv baseball posted:

My 14 year old was a 5'8" 145lb solid as a rock stud entering HS.  The coach invited him to play summer ball with JV  as a 7th grader after seeing him in one practice.  My father asked me what I thought - I said two things matter and one is up to him and one is up to God.  Dad asked what do mean?  I said will he be 6'3" and put in the work.

He was all district as a Sophomore.  He was done after junior season as a 5'10" 160Lb doubles guy that hit .an honest .425 over 75ish at bats for a team that was ranked in the top 30 in a few national polls.  No interest anywhere in power 5 for a outfielder with slightly above average foot speed and arm and a buttery left handed stroke.  He was so disillusioned by the whole thing I think he faked an arm injury and walked away from the whole thing and passed on his Sr. season.

Funny part is - I never put any pressure on him to play.  He had been told by everyone he played with, against or coaches from 5 to 15 how great he was.  When the other kids became bigger stronger and faster - it was the physical status along with projections that attracted college coaches.  They could see my boy was close to his ceiling and passed.

The point of all of this is - do the work - if God makes you 6'3" or 5'10" you will be what you will be.  Any comparisons to the other guys will be done by guys who get paid to be right.  Play the game and have fun.  You may not realize it but you may have less than 100 games left to see him play.  You cannot know until that day comes how much you will miss it.

Thanks for putting it into perspective for me!  Sometimes it is hard to do that.

I want to say there is a big difference between 13 and 14 for kids because there was for my kid. But, I know it depends on the kid. We know one who looked like a man at 12 - and then changed little over the next 2 years. And, we know another who seemed stuck at 13 and 14 and then shot past many at 15. Puberty is not the same in terms of timing for every teenager.

My wife's brother grew 3-4 inches and put on about 25 lbs in college. I knew a guy that grew about 6 inches in college so late growth spurts do happen. Ironically if the kid were to do that it would most likely end his baseball career.

The thing about puberty is it doesn't always mean bigger, stronger, faster, like it feels some people assume it does. My kid was big, slightly chubby, athletic, and fast pre-puberty. His 7th grade baseball coach was like "Willie Mays man". He went through puberty, put on a few inches, leaned out, and lost a step or two (or three) and some athleticism. All things being equal if that hadden't have happened he'd be in the minors instead of fighting for a spot at a mid level P5 school. You'd be hard pressed to convince me otherwise.

SomeBaseballDad posted:

The thing about puberty is it doesn't always mean bigger, stronger, faster, like it feels some people assume it does. 

Bingo! Puberty effects different kids equally. Take two kids who are exactly equal in very athletic respect at age 11; after puberty they won't be -- one will get more out of puberty than the other. And it's impossible to know in advance how that is going to play out.

Dadof3 posted:

So, son is 14 in April hit 88ev off machine pitch.  Two other kids on his team who are 9 and 10 mos older hit 94 and 91 (so already 14).  The other two are real studs - they just look good.   Now they practice more and seem to me more driven then my son at this point.  My question is, would 9,10 mos make a real difference at this age?  The one who hit 94 works out and has 0% body fat, the one who hit 91 is lean and slightly muscular as well, my son has a little fat on him.  Will the other two always be better.  I know this is kind of a silly question since you can’t see any of the kids, but I am just curious as to other experiences.  

I'm with Luv... focus on the bolded.  The rest is all noise.  There are exceptions, but for the most part, between ages of 13 and 15 is when most will decide and display whether or not they are going to fully commit to being a player.  For all but the few exceptionally gifted, the habit of hard work and being driven is key to excelling.

For those who get more out of puberty, they still have to turn that commitment switch on and it becomes more difficult later if they haven't already started forming those habits and that mindset.

A friend of mine attended a nearby private school for high school. I asked how hard they recruited him compared to other privates. I knew he played SEC baseball and basketball. 

He explained when he was a 5’6” high school freshman his parents sent him there for the academic challenge. He was 6’2” at graduation. He left an SEC baseball program a hard throwing, 6’4” All American, high draft choice who made it to AAA. He also played two years of college basketball. 

My son was 5’4” 120 in 8th grade. He was 6’1” 170 when he graduated and 6’2” 195 by the time he stopped filling out in college.

My son was 5' and maybe 100 lbs when he started HS.  He had touched 90 by the end of his junior year...at 5'9, maybe 145....and graduated at 5'11 and 155.  Exit velo in the low 90's and sitting 88-89  even in the late innings. He's 6', 180 now and has been up to 93 in college.   Size doesn't matter.  Put in the work, get stronger and your son will be fine.  88 EV as a 14 year old is awfully good.  94 is ridiculously good.  Don't worry about what other kids are doing...just have your son work hard and good things will happen.

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