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When your son was a little fella was he a dominant player? Was he a late bloomer? Was it natural ability? Hard work? or both? When did you realize you had something special? Did you push your son? Or did he constantly push you?

It's nice to dream, my son excels at 9 in a select ball, okay he dominates. What most impresses me is at this age the big mature kids usually dominate, you know they throw hard or hit the ball a mile. But it's different with my son, he is above average in height and weight and he does all 5 skills well, so if I had to guess he should become a very good HS player. It's amazing to see him play, I can only hope it's his desire to continue to play and that his physical skills improve each year.
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IMHO, it's impossible to project from 9 to 12YO. Much less to HS.

I look back at the kids on my son's 10YO all-star team. Some fell by the wayside before 12YO. More by 13YO. Ditto for the best kids playing select ball at 10YO.

Just let him enjoy playing ball. Help him as much as HE wants. Enjoy each season as it comes & goes.
I think 9 is a little too early to predict anything on. My 2 did not even start playing until
10 and 11(same team) and never "dominated" at any level. However, they improved every year little
by little and were the only players from their LL teams that received scholarships to DI schools.

BTW they both still need to keep improving. Wink
I would say that nothing really matters before age 13-14, or eighth grade.

I know in the case of my oldest, he grew a lot between 12 and 13 and got much stronger between age 14 and 15. The growth spurt changed the way he approached the game (and not necessarily for the better) and, eventually, the position he played. He was primarily a catcher until age 15, and a pretty good one. But a coach watched him run once and said, 'Son, you're now an outfielder.'

He was an outfielder in high school and is one in college. He was thought of as something of a power hitter in high school, but it's clear that won't be the case in college (for one thing, he's not big enough).

I wish he'd had gotten the chance to play some middle infield (where his size matches up better) and maybe gotten a few innings as a catcher at the high school level. But that's the way it goes.

The bottom line -- let him enjoy the game and just play it. If he shows promise when he's in the eighth grade, meaning he's ready for high school pitching, then perhaps it's time to take things more seriously.

Even then, it might be too early. In the case of my son, he was on track to play hockey in college. ... until his junior year in high school.
For all those fathers that think future pitchers need to be on a mound at age 9, or before, with which I totally disagree, my oldest never pitched from a mound until age 12, and didn't really start to look like a possible future college prospect till age 14.

Younger son, a HS junior getting a lot of baseball mail, for whatever that's worth, looked like a player at age 8, just because he was one of the early coordination-type guys, but I've seen kids dominant at age 8-9 be very average at age 14-15 as other kids catch up in size and coordination.

(Moral: there is no sure sign at any early age-different kids develop at different times, so never "write off" any of them at any age, and more Little League managers need to understand that.)
By the 7th or 8th grade you should have a pretty good idea whether or not JR will have a chance at being on the HS team and possibly going off to college ball.

By that age either they can play the game or not and should show some good signs of being a up and comer athlete, along with a sixth sense in dealing with competitive sports.

Exceptions to every rule of course, just going by my own personal expierences from coaching and seeing how kids turn out as they get older.

Last edited by cvsting
I agree completely with "hokieone" and others who say "it's too early to know".

I've told this story before, but will repeat it again for those who might have missed it.

One of my older sons was one of the best players I have seen from 9 to 19 years old. He signed with the Cincinnati Reds and was out of baseball after one year.

My youngest son was the very worst player on his team from youth leagues to sophomore in high school.

He got better his junior and senior years, but was not recruited by any colleges and was not drafted. He was throwing about 84 mph at the time. He took the one offer that was given and went to junior college.

Then he was drafted by the Yankees and quickly became one of their top prospects not far behind Jeter.

He then was selected in the first round of the expansion draft by the Diamondbacks.

The same kid who was the worst player on all his youth league teams made his Major League debut in front of some 50,000 fans at age 22.

He is recovering from an arm injury now, but has been in professional baseball since 1994. He has pitched in the Big Leagues for the D'backs, Yankees and Brewers last year.

When he was 14 years old, I was hoping he would get good enough to contribute in high school.
As the parent of an 08, I wasn't coaching this year for the first time in years. With all of that extra time - and since I was sitting in the stands alot, I conducted an informal survey of other 08 parents who were former coaches.

I found 10 dads who were former all star coaches of their son's 12 year old team, and asked them a simple question - of the kids on your all star team, which are playing high school baseball now? Highest number I found was 8 out of 12, lowest was 6 of 14. In all, norm was just about where I was - 50% still playing. And, BTW - I (and most of these other coaches) know kids who did not make the all star team who are starting on their HS freshman team.

So for parents who have 12 YO who don't make allstars, this is not the end of the road - there are many other kids who don't play allstars and go on to play HS baseball. And for those who do make allstars, don't assume that you will need season tickets to the local high school team in 2 years.
I can only add more of the same above. Most of the kids on my son's HS team were not LL allstars. Most of the allstars were done by age 13. Burn out or what noidea

Of the kids who absolutely dominated our local LL program, I only recall one or two who went on to play in HS and by that time, everyone else had caught up with them. If you are dominating in HS, well that's usually another story laugh

As for my own son, he was always a better than average player in LL, made most of the allstar teams over the years and steadily progessed from a combination of natural skill, hard work and just loving to play baseball. I've given him a few nudges over the years, but nothing too much. Besides playing LL and Senior LL, he played on travel/club teams from age 12/13 and went to showcases and such after his sophmore and junior years in HS.

Bottomline, until HS age, its pretty early to predict anything and even once in HS -well then you need to look at the thread here about having a crystal ball Wink

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