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Greetings to all,

its been a while since I updated on juniors progress. For those who were not part of the conversations, my son was a tall gangly RHP with aspirations to play college baseball. Given where he always was (physically and otherwise) with respect to his peers, we always had D3 or low D1 in mind. Last summer he topped out at 79-80 and things were not looking too good, but he persevered and kept working hard. In the Fall he caught the eye of a few coaches in the ODAC conference (mostly because of his height and his breaking ball) and was eventually offered 4 roster spots in that conference. His top school in that conference eluded him, but he nevertheless happily selected one of the programs with a good long history, even though it was in the middle of a coaching change.

Once he made his college decision, he started working even harder, and topped out at 85 a couple weeks ago. He now stands 6 4 (185) and his growth curve hasn't flattened yet. His college program will no doubt thicken him up, so he hopes that Freshman year he will be able to live near 85 rather than just peaking there and earn some quality innings. 

The big jump in velocity has been due to a driveline styled workout program that focused less on under/over weight throwing and more on core and overall strength growth. These were deficiencies in his physical build and while the metrics are still not where they should be, he has moved them closer to "athlete" levels.

He only threw in 3 games this past summer, focusing mostly on his strength program, but the uptick in velocity has been a bit challenging from a control perspective and so he has more work to do to bring that in line. Both Ks and BBs up... ;-)

Its been quite a ride for both of us. Lots of ups and downs, but through it all he knew that hard work was the key to making it to the next level. He didn't start playing ball until he was 12 so was always behind his peers. Hard work was how he was able to claw his way to each of the next levels, and it seems as though the physical and baseball skills are starting to finally align. 

Thanks to all on this site for the insane amount of advice.  I started out clueless, and while that hasn't changed too much, I was able to guide my son through this process with your help. 

I'm immensely proud of him and his stick-to-it. I hope he translates that to life as well.

I move him in next week... not sure what I'll do with my time now...

Original Post

Congrats cluelessDad2019! These are great stories the hear and definitely reinforces the advice regarding work ethic that others here so often provide.

I'm in a similar boat with trying to figure out what to do with my time. My son's drop-off date is two weeks from tomorrow and I've already got a list of hobbies I want to pursue (if I can afford any of them). Best of luck to you guys!

Great story, happy for you and your son.  Important for folks to see that not everyone has to get that tap on the shoulder as a Freshman or Sophomore.  If the talent is there, it will likely be needed and recognized even later in the process. You hear stories about "if you aren't signed by Junior year you're done" and that's certainly not always the case. 

CluelessDad2019,

Congrats!  Great news.   I live in the middle of ODAC country, so your son is going to be playing some very good college baseball.   One of the big challenges is the early season (early February).   I went to a couple games with a family friend to watch his son play at Hamden-Sydney, and froze my tookis….more tailgating was definately in order.   Dress very warm and enjoy your college baseball time!

For most baseball playing kids the goal is to get into the best college possible and have the opportunity to play some ball. Congratulations to your son for achieving this. 

I know and know of two 6’2” kids (they’re thirty-two now) who threw about 80 when they received offers from high academic D3’s. By the time freshman year ball started two years later they were throwing 84/85. When they were drafted senior year they were at 92/93. They kept filling out and getting stronger. 

Obviously this is anecdotal. It doesn’t happen for every kid. But as the saying goes, “why not me?” Good luck! 

fenwaysouth posted:

CluelessDad2019,

Congrats!  Great news.   I live in the middle of ODAC country, so your son is going to be playing some very good college baseball.   One of the big challenges is the early season (early February).   I went to a couple games with a family friend to watch his son play at Hamden-Sydney, and froze my tookis….more tailgating was definately in order.   Dress very warm and enjoy your college baseball time!

VA resident (who grew up in the NE) complaining of cold weather baseball...  Cmon Fen know your audience !  

Howdy folks, long time no update... I had so many supremely helpful individuals on this site helping encourage and steer my son and I back when he was in HS. He is the definition of a late bloomer, so I thought i would let y'all know how he has done.

in HS he was an 80 mph sinker baller pitcher and had some success as a senior. They won their conference. But he was never the overpowering guy, just the dude who hit his spots and never walked anyone. He started a growth spurt in his Sophomore year and never put on a pound. Ended up 6 2 and change at the end of his senior season and 175 lbs. He had been lifting pretty regularly and eating me out of house and home, but with no apparent effect.

He enrolled at an ODAC school and turned in a good Freshman (shortened) season, finishing with a 2.5 ERA. He was predominantly used out of the pen to relieve our hardest throwing starter. Still never threw more than 82 in a game.

When he came home, he was 6' 3.5" and 180 lbs, even after 6+ months of team lifts.

After getting home, he started really eating and lifting, and one silver lining of COVID crap is that his PC, a single-A PC, was also stuck at home, so he started working with him twice of week.

Between lifting, working with his coach, and gaining 20 lbs (now 200), he went from 82 to 87. He is sitting 85-86 and hits 87 a few times per bullpen. This is an amazing jump that will see him getting even more innings in this D3 conference.

I attribute it to a couple things. One, his body is finally starting to catch up with his height, but two, his intent on the mound is so much more physical and focused compared to his HS years. He really fed off playing college baseball and wants so much to be the guy that starts the big games. It has infused how he works out, how he approaches nutrition, and how he attacks his bullpens. 

Who knows if he will be a 90+ mph guy, but he is working it like I've never seen. I'm obviously very proud of the man he is becoming. He is still the introvert that never says anything (his teammates ask me if he said anything at home ... hah) and is always on the outside of the pack looking in when they gather, but there is a fire in him now that was never there before... in fact I wondered if it even existed.

For those of you hoeing this row with your son... it can happen, but it takes a lot of grinding and dedication before the rewards pop out.

All the best...  Still Clueless.

The development continues... two weeks before he heads back to school. Hit 90 twice and 92 once in bullpen (6 4, 205 lbs). He certainly doesn't command the strike zone when he is throwing with that effort, but it is still a remarkable transformation. Typical of him, he hasn't said a word to his coach... he wants to "surprise" when he throws his first bullpen. 

Sadly, I may not be allowed on campus this Fall to see their scrimmages. All the best to you and yours...

Clueless

The development continues... two weeks before he heads back to school. Hit 90 twice and 92 once in bullpen (6 4, 205 lbs). He certainly doesn't command the strike zone when he is throwing with that effort, but it is still a remarkable transformation. Typical of him, he hasn't said a word to his coach... he wants to "surprise" when he throws his first bullpen. 

Sadly, I may not be allowed on campus this Fall to see their scrimmages. All the best to you and yours...

Clueless

Flippin' Awesome!  Stuff like this REALLY makes me hope this spring season happens.

 

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