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Hi. I would love to hear from minor leaguer families about how you handle the ups and downs of the minor league season. Having a position player, each day we await the lineup, watch performance if he’s in the lineup, learn about promotions/demotions, and console/congratulate/counsel. Don’t get me wrong, we know we are fortunate each day we are here, and are absolutely thrilled about this experience (we are also cognizant of other important world events, so we try to keep things in perspective). I would love to hear from those experienced with this incredible journey. How do you handle the stress, the disappointments, the emotional roller coaster, while also trying to stay sane? 😉 Would love to be able to lean on this group through these ups and downs. I’m excited to hear from you. Feel free to DM me if you’d like. Thank you so much!

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What I have found the most frustrating is trying to go see him play live baseball.   If flights are involved, the only time you KNOW FOR SURE where they are going to be is 1) right after spring training for their assignment, or 2) where they will be right after an injury, or 3) right when they are moved up (or down).  Any day other than those they could be up, down, traded, or out.  The Arizonal Fall League was the exception.

Therefore, we don't do airbnbs or VRBO.  Hotels are easily cancellable.

We were streaming a game on TV and my DH was watching on his phone, which was a few seconds ahead.  All of a sudden I hear him groan "oh no!" and my heart sank.  I then watched in horror my child have an on-field injury. The announcers were getting it all wrong and I knew what had happened.  I went outside to walk the dog in the pouring rain and tried to cry, thinking "is this the end?  No, it can't be.  This is NOT the end.".  It was so frustrating and I was texting son to give his phone to anyone that could communicate with us to exactly what was going on and what would be the next step.

^^^^After all that and then Covid delay, watching him and his teammates and friends go up, down, traded, or out....his BA  going below the Mendoza line and back.....I just keep taking my blood pressure meds and enjoy the ride.  We try to go see him play once a month, because "you never know which game will be his last".

Would love others to share!

Oh my goodness. First, thank you for your response. Yes…there really are people out there who can relate to our lives! Yea! Ha!

That must have been terrifying seeing your son get injured. I can’t imagine. Sounds like he is back playing.

We have not personally been caught with flights or stays during a move (I love your idea of face to face visits once a month). However, our son’s wife was visiting while he was called up. They flew my son to the away destination, and his wife was able to pack his things, and drive his truck to the away site. Then after the away series, with permission from the coach and a signed waiver, together they drove the truck to the home field. Things worked out (his wife is a trooper and is loving this ride).

The roller coaster is real. He plays quite a bit, but the sinking feeling when we don’t see his name is tough. Especially knowing he just loves to be out there playing.

Thanks again for reaching out. Hoping others will share too. ❤️

We are the infancy stages (15 games so far all in the Arizona Complex League) but we have already seen several players on rehab assignments, one top 5 pitcher from a couple of years ago working through yips, and several guys bounced up and down because of COVID at another level. It's given us a fuller appreciation for what's in store. Since we can expect him (as a HS position player) to be at the ACL for this full season, we are heading out this week to catch a few games. The hardest for us so far is 1) that 0 fer game--he's had two but luckily bounced back; and 2) when you can't watch or listen and you have to follow online. It seems like whoever is running it the gamefeed for the Padres either has ADHD or IBS because nothing will load for a while and then all of a sudden 2/3s of an inning will load at once.

I cannot imagine listening to an injury happen from a flight and a half away (we happened to be at the game when my daughter had an unfortunate run in with a Duke player's elbow).

I will follow this thread and learn from the experts!

@PTWood posted:

one top 5 pitcher from a couple of years ago working through yips,

Curious, do you know what his throwing issue is (throwing to first, fielding bunts, or actually pitching)? Do you know any of the things they are doing to work through it? Don't mean to be off topic. As the dad if a kid with bad yips (not right now), I'm always interested to see what works for others.

I can't offer experience but I can offer support.  After listening to RipkenFan talk for a game about some of the ups and downs of the minor league players on his son's team, I can see why there is serious parental anxiousness.  Minor league parents you have my full support.    Minor league rosters are constantly changing, and the evaluation process is probably different than most people understand.  RipkenFan gave me a lesson on how players are evaluated, and I learned some new things.   

Yes, your son has decided this is how he is going to make a living, but it is a tough living and in full public view.   5000 people weren't watching me do my first real job out of college.  A former neighbor of ours made it to the MLB and Korean Professional baseball for a bunch of years.  I was talking to him at his parents Christmas party and he was telling how difficult it is for him as well as his parents.   I think it takes a special parent to really understand what it is like for a son or daughter to play a sport professionally, anywhere at any level.   I look at somebody like Petr Korda and his wife Regina.  They have two daughters playing professional golf at the highest levels of the LPGA and a son (Sebastian) who is rising through the ATP ranks quickly as a 21 year old who will soon be a top 10 tennis player in the world.  They must buy Tums by the caseload at Costco.   

Best of luck to all of our minor league parents!

Last edited by fenwaysouth

I would be curious to see an updated version of how minor league players are evaluated.

Sometimes it’s just fate a player has no control over that creates their future. A friend of mine was in the Yankees system when Steinbrenner purchased the extra players he felt he needed. My friend was blocked in AAA hitting .325 with power.

At the time the Twins were trying to trade Rod Carew.  The Yankees were very interested. The trade didn’t happen because the Yankees wouldn’t include my friend in the trade. His agent told him when the trade was made he would become a starting outfielder for the Twins. The Twins outfielders we’re Hosken Powell, Willie Norwood and Bombo Rivera. On the Yankees he was stuck in the minors behind Piniella, Rivers, Jackson, Blair and White.

My friend was called up at the end of the AAA playoffs. At the Columbus airport on a rainy night he got out of his car, stepped in a pothole and broke his ankle.

Early in the next AAA season he was hit on the wrist. It broke. He had a terrible year. The following year he was demoted to AA. Guys he was better prospect than were traded and ended up in the majors. He never saw a day in the majors.

Had the trade been made he would have been starting for the Twins the following night. Imagine being the prospect your team wouldn’t trade to get Rod Carew. Then your career goes to hell.

Last edited by RJM
@keewart posted:

What I have found the most frustrating is trying to go see him play live baseball.   If flights are involved, the only time you KNOW FOR SURE where they are going to be is 1) right after spring training for their assignment, or 2) where they will be right after an injury, or 3) right when they are moved up (or down).  Any day other than those they could be up, down, traded, or out.  The Arizonal Fall League was the exception.

Therefore, we don't do airbnbs or VRBO.  Hotels are easily cancellable.

We were streaming a game on TV and my DH was watching on his phone, which was a few seconds ahead.  All of a sudden I hear him groan "oh no!" and my heart sank.  I then watched in horror my child have an on-field injury. The announcers were getting it all wrong and I knew what had happened.  I went outside to walk the dog in the pouring rain and tried to cry, thinking "is this the end?  No, it can't be.  This is NOT the end.".  It was so frustrating and I was texting son to give his phone to anyone that could communicate with us to exactly what was going on and what would be the next step.

^^^^After all that and then Covid delay, watching him and his teammates and friends go up, down, traded, or out....his BA  going below the Mendoza line and back.....I just keep taking my blood pressure meds and enjoy the ride.  We try to go see him play once a month, because "you never know which game will be his last".

Would love others to share!

Omg this made me cry. I felt this in my soul.

Last edited by NY

@TerribleBPthrower This is more third hand information so I don't want to speculate too much. From what I can surmise, it started with a blister on his pitching hand. When he came back he couldn't locate with accuracy or velocity. They pulled him out of action for 2 months and started working through his mechanics from the ground up--shortening his leg kick, working on repeatability of his actions (I'm a hitting Mom so forgive me if I've muddled some of the terms). The crazy part is prior to COVID he was slated for an MLB debut  so it just highlights how precarious and fraught this journey is (https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/...35055/mackenzie-gore).  Apparently it was a huge surprise to many that he pitched in the ACL as soon as he did...and did as well as he did even though, in their words not mine, it's expected for an almost major-leaguer pitching against a bunch of rookies. :-)

One of my son's old teammates also is battling through a bad case of legitimate yips. It started with a non-baseball related health incident in the fall that took him off the field for a while and shook his overall confidence. His first outing on the mount once he was back, he hit 6 batters in a row...and this is a kid known for being able to place pitches and for pitching in high-stress situations. He red-shirted. To work through, he's had to discover himself outside of baseball and start from the beginning.  The parents just want their self-confident kid back healthy and whole. If he can figure out the pitching part, even better. Luckily his coach is being very understanding (D1). I know some programs would not be as patient. He pitched a few innings in the Ripken league but it has been months and each outing is still a big deal.

As a Mom, my heart feels for each and every one of these situations. Whether a kids is struggling at the youth, HS, college or professional level...they are all still essentially kids. You just want them all to be able to put their best foot forward no matter what that may be.

@KG posted:

Hi. I would love to hear from minor leaguer families about how you handle the ups and downs of the minor league season. Having a position player, each day we await the lineup, watch performance if he’s in the lineup, learn about promotions/demotions, and console/congratulate/counsel. Don’t get me wrong, we know we are fortunate each day we are here, and are absolutely thrilled about this experience (we are also cognizant of other important world events, so we try to keep things in perspective). I would love to hear from those experienced with this incredible journey. How do you handle the stress, the disappointments, the emotional roller coaster, while also trying to stay sane? 😉 Would love to be able to lean on this group through these ups and downs. I’m excited to hear from you. Feel free to DM me if you’d like. Thank you so much!

It's not easy for a parent. Son often says how baseball is a game of frequent failure and constant need for adjustments. As KG says, it is an emotional roller coaster for us and him. We often tell him that he can only control what's before him and involves him. I know as a fact that I look at stats more than him (with players in a similar position that he is, both up and down the organization). He'll usually tell us if he's out that day or playing a new position/spot of lineup, etc. I often breathe a sigh of relief when he gets a hit in his first AB. We (my wife and I) tell ourselves not to get caught up in an AB or bad game, as the season measures more of the body of work. Even with this mantra, I'll admit, three pitch strikeouts are hard for me to view.

When he was last promoted, he was coming off a 2 week road swing, and about to start the second two week road trip with his new team. He was facing the best staff ERA of the league. He started out 0 for 17 with several strikeouts. We offered words of encouragement as did a few of his former college coaches. He started his college career, college 0 for 21 and ended up with the second most hits in school history and 6th highest number of hits in league all time. I thought he could turn it around. He explained how some ABs were "good" with hard hit balls. He often is leadoff hitter so the organization likes for him to take/see a lot of  pitches. Again as a parent, "It almost always seems like he has 2 strikes."

Son has many followers/fans/writers that are intrigued by his background. He probably gets the question , "What will you be doing after baseball?" more than anyone else in the minor leagues. I told him he should say that he doesn't look at 15 years into the future.   He prefers to lay low on the radar; many pundits have been surprised with his rise through the organization. His instagram is appropriate as he calls himself as the "Little Engine that Could." He shares some of the sabermetrics of his batting with us , which he gets and absorbs given his scientific and analytical mind. We try to point out some positives and offer to be a sounding board, which often revolves around "bad calls." Sometimes his calls involve mundane matters like how to acquire renter's insurance.

Fortunately now at his current level, all league games are on Milb TV. I try doing other things while the game is going on and he isn't up. My wife worries that we are spending too much time on the games- I counter with , "You never know when his last one will be." Our other son is a senior in college; we text often in family group chats. But there is something neat, different and peculiar about knowing where my other son is and watching him at work a few hours a day. I teach, and don't have 5,000+ observe me daily!  It was tough to watch/listen to games on the opposite coast which would end after 1 AM sometimes. But I didn't want to miss a special moment.

RipkenFanSon seems to perform well in front of family/friends, hitting .375 in one 6-game series and .348 in another 6-game series that I attended along with family, friends, former coaches, etc. He did manage a hit in each of the three games I saw on his home field this past week. Things will probably get emotional for me when he concludes the year with a series playing in my hometown, the place I lived my first 20+ years. I plan on going to 2 games. My parents are laid to rest there, but they'll be looking down from heaven. I also know that they'll be plenty of friends of theirs in the stands, pulling for my son (And helping me keep it together, that first game).

Last edited by Ripken Fan

@Ripken Fan I laughed out loud at the first at bat comment! Me too. The rest of the game is so much easier if I know he will at least be 1 for something.

I also completely agree with @fenwaysouth about doing your first job with 5000 people watching. Can you imagine? Especially a job where you are supposed to fail most of the time??!! I mentioned this before but my kid went through a horrible slump last spring heading into the draft. At the beginning there were a lot of horrible calls (verified by video) but then he completely lost his confidence in the strike zone in front of 30-50 scouts every game. It was so painful. He's a quiet guy. Holds everything in. Some teams appreciated that about him. Some thought he didn't care. He got ripped to shreds by Keith Law...like to the point where it was lazy BS reporting. The accusations he made could have been easily refuted by one call to any of his coaches who knew how hard he works, how baseball was always his first love (Law inaccurately reported that he had to be talked out of playing basketball his senior year where nothing could be further from the truth--he never considered playing baseball his senior year)...all this to say, the attention was brutal for just a high school kid. It's cray to think how much harder it gets...and I know this is true as you make your way up the minors but also true with college if you have a vested fan base.

All this to say, keeping them focused on what they can control, reminding them that they are not the sum of their pitches or hits or plays in the field, and taking their mental health seriously has to also be part of the conversation at any level.

Mine is rehabbing now but is healthy-er than this past season. I guess we've been through it all to a degree, summer ball in short-season A ball after his draft in June of 18, then rose 3 levels from High A to AAA in his first full season in 19....made the alternate site group after having one of the best big league camps in 20 for a reliever and sat in Brooklyn bored to death waiting for a call-up. I tell him all the time, think about all the players who missed last year. Anyway, started off in AA this season and knew something was wrong from spring training but wanted to try and make his best effort with the goal of a 40 man spot. Needless to say, he is upbeat now that he knows there was an issue and is hyper-focused on rehab and next season. For me, after all of this...i don't watch him much if at all. My wife on the other hand will diligently follow his every outing/inning. I talk baseball with him when he wants to talk baseball, otherwise, we talk about other things. He says his whole life (since 4.5) has been defined by baseball and that is not All of who he is....i get it. He's still dream chasing and I'm fine with that, a partner, kids, house, and picket fence will always be there and who wants to look back with regrets? Not me and I've hopefully taught both of my kids that.

I will admit to re-watching his Clemson outings, the ones that end well and others that don't, and ones that weren't even a save outing. I think I miss that as we were at most of his home games and many of their aways games over the years.

Here's to all the MiLB Grinders and their parents!!!!  LOL

This is a great thread. First, I think I can speak for all of us, we are happy and feel lucky that our sons have made it to the professional level. They are in a VERY small group of guys!!  With that being said, it is a roller coaster life.  My son is a pitcher. I know there are stresses with position payers, but when you are on that mound, it all begins and ends with you. There is no where to hide. You can pitch your butt off and crazy things just seem to happen.  

Speaking of travel issues, we had booked a trip to go see son. 3 weeks prior to trip, he was promoted. So I scrambled to change flights and hotels. Son took a 1-0 lead into the 9th inning. Ended up getting hung with the loss after lasting 8.1. He pitched great but had a guy reach on an infield single then score on a fly ball to RF that the throw home bounce off the catcher’s chest protector and the guy scored from 3rd after initially retreating. By the way, the catcher is his roommate and best friend. That kid was sick for son. The first half of the season in Hi A, all the breaks seemed to go son’s way. He was leading the league, or in top 3,  in every category. Frankly, I was shocked it took so long to get promoted. But AA has been a different story. It just seems he can never get run support when his starts. He feels like he HAS to be perfect and I’m sure that leads to more stress. I realize things tend to “even out” over time.

Like others have said, I just try to talk about other things unless he wants to talk baseball. I support him and tell him I love him every day!  Like ShoveIt, I miss LSU and the college days badly. Felt like family. I also go back and watch those old games. I don’t know what the future holds. He is grinding and believes he has the talent to get called up. I just pray for health at this stage. The performance is what it is. I remind him often that GOD has a plan for his life and he just needs to do all he can to control the things he can control and try not to worry about the others. That is MUCH EASIER SAID THAN DONE!!

Last edited by younggun
@2022NYC posted:

Just curious, are there any parents here who had/know of 17 year olds in the minors? My kid knows a couple via the international route and knows one who will most likely get drafted next year.

The kid two shortstops before my son at the high school was seventeen when drafted in the first ten rounds. His options included HA D1’s. He chose to sign. I chatted with him the year after he was released. He called signing the biggest mistake he made in his short life (age twenty when he said it).

He was raised by his grandmother. He felt he owed her to help put her in a better situation. So he signed out of high school. He didn’t receive what I call life changing money. But, to each his own perspective.

This kid was so athletic he would have been a D1 recruit in baseball, basketball or football. He quit football after running for 1500 yards freshman year. He told the college basketball coaches it’s all about baseball.

A physical problem became a mental problem. He never thought about being a high school player competing against twenty-one and twenty-two year old college men. He was 6’2” 170. He was physically overwhelmed and overmatched. Being physically dominated turned into mental domination.

He hit .170 and made a lot of errors in short season Single A. He lost weight from stress.

The next season he was held back in camp and sent to short season again. He has got a little bigger and stronger. But his body wasn’t ready to pack on bulk. He repeated his .170 and error filled season. He stressed out and lost weight.

He repeated the act in a third season. He was released on the last day of the season at age twenty.

He then went to work teaching baseball waiting for the Indy season to start. After two decent Indy seasons but no MLB organization offers he gave up playing baseball at twenty-two. He then attended the local JuCo for a couple of years and proceeded to a local college.

The moral of the story is understand coming out of high school you will be competing against mostly those who are physically and mentally men.

There’s a kid local to where I live now who might have struggled with college based on what I’ve heard. He took the money. He signed out of high school at about the same size. After struggling in short season in 2019 (50% whiffs) this summer he spent 2021at camp playing with mostly sixteen and seventeen year old Caribbean players.

We have been riding the roller coaster for 6 seasons now. The entire milb process can be frustrating, confusing, entertaining and rewarding. From a few championship celebrations, injuries, trades of teammates,  to the releases, the emotions felt every day for players can be overwhelming. Roster changes are too numerous to keep track of, trying to justify some of them are mind boggling.

This is the first year since short season that his team has provided housing at no costs to the players, probably one of the few organizations to do so. Imagine getting a call at 9:00 at night that you are catching a plane at 6:00 am the next morning to a new work location and once you get there you have three days to find a place to live. With no time to do it and no vehicle because its 2,000 miles away. Providing housing should be mandatory for every team.

Son is a relief pitcher, so we never have much of a clue when he will be coming into a game. The other night during a mid-game nap (he’s playing out west and the late nights are killing me) I awake to see him on the mound. Usually a sibling texts me but she fell asleep also. Late night calls or texts after the game further disrupt the sleep pattern…. We utilize the archive feature on the milb app a lot.

Being evaluated and judged on every pitch whether a position player or pitcher has to be nerve wracking. The 2020 season really affected player movement, being added to the 60 man list that was able to practice and be able to be added to the 40 man roster benefitted some younger players that were able to bypass some levels. Injuries forced some teams to move up players that typically would not be added to mlb rosters and as a result a few were released due to roster constraints. A full season is now starting to show its toll on pitchers arms, the next few months will be interesting to see who remains healthy. The tools/tech that players have access to are great to see, every once in awhile I’ll get a text or video that the son shares, I pretend to know what he’s talking about!

Timing is such an overlooked aspect of moving up the ladder, who is in front of you, who gets hurt, traded or released. Is the parent club tanking for the next season, or are they trying to win. Seeing DFA’d teammates get signed and moved up to mlb squads is encouraging and disappointing at the same time.

We did a trip earlier this year, typical pitchers parent trip. Plane was to land at 10:30 am, doesn’t land until 5:30pm. Driving like a madman, we are 80 miles from the stadium when son comes into pitch….. the day we fly out, watching on the plane and he comes in again….I did get to see him throw in the bullpen for a while only to sit back down.

Visiting during games is so much more than being baseball related, first respect the players work schedule…remember they typically work from 3 pm to well after midnight. Wakeup is by noon, getting a brunch together and a few hours after the game together are pretty special. A lot of towns that we have gone to close down at 10:00 at night, finding a decent place to eat is near impossible at times, but just spending those times together are great for parent and player. Players are together 24/7, being able to escape that for a few hours during the season is always appreciated. Players have such a grind with the travel and the schedule, true days off are few and far between. Like others we try to keep away from baseball discussions when we are together or talk, always letting him dictate if he wants to talk about the game.

The one thing that truly impresses me is the overall number of really talented players in the game, and the difference in talent at the different levels. Seasoned pros make the game look effortless at times, and how anyone can hit a slider is beyond my comprehension!

https://community.hsbaseballwe...47#71415507270770347

@2022NYC there were quite a few young guys in this years draft. Some are adjusting well and some of them are really struggling. This is one of those cases where there is no one answer that works for everyone. You really have to analyze the maturity (both mental and physical) of the kid. Physically because they are playing AGAINST grown a$$ men. This week my 18 year old was rotating between CF and RF with a 31 year old with 60+ games in the big leagues who is on rehab assignment. He also faced a 6'7" 27 year old pitcher...and that was just through Tuesday and in the lowest level of the minors. So it's not how they stack up physically against their peers. It's how do they stack up physically against players 4, 6...13 years older? Mentally, it's because they are playing WITH grown men. My son's response when I asked him how the guys in the dugout were...he said "They're old." LOL Even the redshirt senior from Arkansas is 6 years older than him and my son is an older 18 year old. His roommate is a very young 18 and they are glad to have each other.  They keep to themselves, practice, play and play video games. How does your kid handle peer pressure? What is his internal motivation? How is he about choosing his circle of friends? If he's not successful initially or for periods, how is he going to handle that?

Each family has to make the best decision they can. But I encourage your friend to look at some of the games in the Arizona or Florida Complex leagues (you can watch live or look at box scores). Click on some of the players and read their bios. Read the book "Where Nobody Knows Your Name." Consider the social benefits of college. Evaluate the remuneration. So far we feel as though my son made the right decision but in his favor were: 1)  he already lived away from home for 1.5 years; 2) physically his pretty advanced; 3) his money was what we considered life-changing; 3) he's got a good support network both there (as a kid he actually played with and is friends with the other HS pick for his team and they room together) and home; and 4) he walks to the beat of his own drummer and it not easily influenced.

I think if your friends is going the international route it is a bit different as they go through the DSL before the ACL or FCL so he would be surrounded by younger players who are in more of a similar situation for a least a year. DSL box scores and game threads are also available online where you can look up players and see their journey.

I hope that helps.

Last edited by PTWood

one of the things that are really affecting the younger players is the elimination of the short season teams. My sons first two teams were short season teams, Those teams and leagues have been eliminated, the reasons given was the teams said they could better prepare players by bringing them into their complexes and train them.

I was surprised this year when I noticed so many 2021 drafted players being sent directly to Low A teams.... that's a big step up from high school ball.

PTWood mentioned the book:

Where Nobody Knows Your Name, by Jon Feinstein.  It is a great account of life in the minor leagues, especially at the AAA level.  Most of the accounts are in the league my son is in.  I am slogging through it now.

The other book I will mention is:

I Should Have Quit This Morning, by Kathy Diekroeger.  She chronicles her two son's journeys as well as 26 others that played in the minor/major leagues from Stanford University.  BTW, the first reference in the book is from hsbaseballweb!  The high academic drafted players have such a unique opportunity to leave baseball and go into the workforce at high paying jobs at any time, and mlb knows it.  Lots of quotes from experiences from these players!

(Having the organization pay for housing is quite a bonus, especially this year.  Son has to pay $70 per night for homestands for a hotel.  MUCH BETTER than having a lease, although they have to pack up everything and check out of the hotel when they go on the road.  Plus, they don't have a kitchen to cook.)

Last edited by keewart
@2022NYC posted:

Just curious, are there any parents here who had/know of 17 year olds in the minors? My kid knows a couple via the international route and knows one who will most likely get drafted next year.

In A ball, son had a player on his team that was drafted out of HS.  They were the same age, on the same team, but my son had 3 years of college under his belt while playing ball and having college fun.  This particular player was committed to a nice D1 college, but instead took the 4th-5th round money.  Apparently he slept in one too many times (from late night shenanigans) and missed the bus to the game.  Head office asked why he wasn't in the line up and he was out the next day.  If he were in college, he may have had to run poles the next practice and sit out a game or two.  Maturity is key.

A note on coming through Stanford …

A former poster’s son came through Stanford. Part of the recruiting pitch to prevent him from signing out of high school was, “Do you want your son to meet his future wife at Stanford or a waitress in some podunk minor league town?”

Boarding in the minors … The Red Sox find single players homes with families through AA ball.,

Last edited by RJM

Son's roommate during his rehab stint in St Lucie is Matt Allen (owns the house), drafted out of HS. Ryley considers his role mentoring him since they have grown close from spring training to now both rehabbing from injuries. Probably more of the exception than the rule of reference on this thread from the OP but still a young guy transitioning to pro ball.

First visit out to Rookie league. Nice laying eyes on him and his roommate. Still very young men off the field but very professional on the field and when talking about the game. I am super glad they have each other.

Third at bat last night faces a kid throwing high 90s but wild. Gets hit in the chest, the wrist and then the ball hits the bat and the ump calls a foul ball. Try to revenge crank a HR next pitch (goes foul). Pitch after that gets nailed with a fast ball to the outside of his leg just below his knee. Tries to run for himself but it gimpy and comes out of the game. Not playing today. As the thread is titled...ups and downs...

@Dominik85 posted:

Anyone currently has or had a kid playing under those new rules like robo ump or the stolen base rules? How did They like them?

My son (an elite runner) played in a "new stolen base" rules level to start the year. He felt it made things easier as he usually draws throws when he reaches first. He also saw that more runners (who usually didn't run) would try. While I saw more stolen bases, there were also some CS and more pickoffs than usual (from pitchers or 2-3 backpick putout for those taking too aggressive of secondary leads).  For RipkenFanSon, his current level doesn't have the new stolen base rule and his % is about the same.

As for robo umps, though not playing in a robo ump league, my son (and my wife and I) have gone a full 360 from against to FOR. Son gets print outs of ABs which show pitches called strikes in strike zone, outside the strikezone (not a strike but 25% may call it one) and "outside  the outside the strike zone" (not a strike, but may be called < 10% of the time). He has had several punchouts in the last grouping. These seem to be as a result of where the umpire sets up, son's height, and catchers pulling ball into the strike zone.

Dominik85: You didn't asked, but there's another category I would like to see: instant replay. Recently I attended a game where 5,200 set of eyes in the stands saw a stolen base attempt one way, while one pair of eyes (which counted) saw it another way...CS was call. Instant replay showed the play wasn't even close!

@PTWood posted:

First visit out to Rookie league. Nice laying eyes on him and his roommate. Still very young men off the field but very professional on the field and when talking about the game. I am super glad they have each other.

Third at bat last night faces a kid throwing high 90s but wild. Gets hit in the chest, the wrist and then the ball hits the bat and the ump calls a foul ball. Try to revenge crank a HR next pitch (goes foul). Pitch after that gets nailed with a fast ball to the outside of his leg just below his knee. Tries to run for himself but it gimpy and comes out of the game. Not playing today. As the thread is titled...ups and downs...

Wow PTWood, a similar situation happened to RipkenFAnSon!  In Friday night's last PA, he was hit by a pitch in hamstring area behind knee. Then last night's game he was hit in the left hand on the third pitch of the game. The umpire initially called foul ball, though when son took off his batting glove and showed a big purple bruise that was swelling it immediately changed ump's mind. He managed to stay in game until he scored, then replaced. He was scratched from tonight's game too- nothing appears broken and swelling has subsided some. I like your revenge "crank." Son usually gets back with a "revenge steal."  He didn't steal, though pickoff attempt from pitcher headed towards dugout so son did end up at second . I know son focuses on OBP, but I would prefer him hitting the ball rather than being hit by the ball.

@ReluctantO'sFan I didn't get video on that one but my son was a bit of a sensation the summer before his jr. year for a mammo of a Daddy hack. Apparently the kid was only throwing curve balls to him all game and the ump was calling strikes way out of the zone on him so he decided he was going to crank on the first fastball he saw. Unfortunately it was eye level. Somehow he still managed to make contact and this was the result (it was an 85mph FB and it went 400+ feet):

https://twitter.com/GGerardCHC...055917949210624?s=20

@PTWood posted:

@ReluctantO'sFan I didn't get video on that one but my son was a bit of a sensation the summer before his jr. year for a mammo of a Daddy hack. Apparently the kid was only throwing curve balls to him all game and the ump was calling strikes way out of the zone on him so he decided he was going to crank on the first fastball he saw. Unfortunately it was eye level. Somehow he still managed to make contact and this was the result (it was an 85mph FB and it went 400+ feet):

https://twitter.com/GGerardCHC...055917949210624?s=20

That has to be a 50 degree LA  😂

@PTWood posted:

@ReluctantO'sFan I didn't get video on that one but my son was a bit of a sensation the summer before his jr. year for a mammo of a Daddy hack. Apparently the kid was only throwing curve balls to him all game and the ump was calling strikes way out of the zone on him so he decided he was going to crank on the first fastball he saw. Unfortunately it was eye level. Somehow he still managed to make contact and this was the result (it was an 85mph FB and it went 400+ feet):

https://twitter.com/GGerardCHC...055917949210624?s=20

The funny thing is the video came across my social media page several weeks ago. I think it was tagged by barstool. I remember thinking man this is a small world…..  by the way I’ve been meaning to ask if the ball landed yet or did it stay in orbit? 😳🌙⚾️

I’m loving this thread and all the stories. It’s been fun and therapeutic. I think I mentioned that AA son’s offensive struggles began in mid July. Ironically, in the middle of the struggle he was called up to AAA. He continued his offensive struggles, did well defensively, and 2 weeks later went back to AA. A top prospect had been promoted to fill his AA spot, so when he returned there was juggling of positions. He was all over the board mentally, and it was tough on everyone, trying to determine what to say and how to support him. I’ve read how this road is not linear. This was his first big setback. He refocused his efforts, and found joy being back with his guys in AA. You could see and hear him slowly finding his way and beginning to hit his stride. Gratefully, after Sunday’s game, he was called back up to AAA. After 2 games, he’s 4 for 8. While he’s feeling pretty good, his focus is staying within his game, NOT PRESSING, enjoying getting on base (even with bloop hits), and simplifying. For this second call up, he has been a little more grounded. Each day we are learning more about this game that we are fortunate to be a part of. It’s great to have this group supporting us all.

I'm a little late to this thread, but I thought I'd add my $.02 on the "yips" topic.

My son and I listened to this podcast together on a long road trip, and it has lead to some great conversations about limiting extraneous thoughts during the game.

https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/stage-fright/

TLDR: Research shows that if an elite athlete thinks about mundane mechanical aspects of their craft (pitching/hitting mechanics, bat/ball grip, stride length, etc.) while performing, it significantly decreases their athletic performance.

@keewart posted:

What I have found the most frustrating is trying to go see him play live baseball.   If flights are involved, the only time you KNOW FOR SURE where they are going to be is 1) right after spring training for their assignment, or 2) where they will be right after an injury, or 3) right when they are moved up (or down).  Any day other than those they could be up, down, traded, or out.  The Arizonal Fall League was the exception.

Therefore, we don't do airbnbs or VRBO.  Hotels are easily cancellable.

We were streaming a game on TV and my DH was watching on his phone, which was a few seconds ahead.  All of a sudden I hear him groan "oh no!" and my heart sank.  I then watched in horror my child have an on-field injury. The announcers were getting it all wrong and I knew what had happened.  I went outside to walk the dog in the pouring rain and tried to cry, thinking "is this the end?  No, it can't be.  This is NOT the end.".  It was so frustrating and I was texting son to give his phone to anyone that could communicate with us to exactly what was going on and what would be the next step.

^^^^After all that and then Covid delay, watching him and his teammates and friends go up, down, traded, or out....his BA  going below the Mendoza line and back.....I just keep taking my blood pressure meds and enjoy the ride.  We try to go see him play once a month, because "you never know which game will be his last".

Would love others to share!

This post has some positive and negative feelings for me.

First, traveling to see my son's games are almost always easy to plan. (Almost - see below) My son is just about exclusively a starting pitcher. I know that unless there is a rain delay I can reliably book a flight and watch him at work. I believe that there is a law somewhere that mandates if my son pitches on Father's Day, I must be at that game. That's pretty easy to plan with the typical 5-man rotation. Around the first of June I start looking very closely at the schedule and the weather. I have been fortunate to be there for 2 of the 3 times Tim started on Father's Day. The one I missed was because his new team hadn't figured out where he would fit in the rotation and Providence, RI was just a bit to far to drive with such short notice.



The second part brings me back to reality.

In early May of son's fourth full season, his first at AA, I was able to get home from work early for an afternoon game that was live streamed. A MLBer on rehab pitched the first inning and in the 2nd Tim would continue. After an inning or two he got into a bit of trouble with a couple of runners on and one out. The batter hit a sharp bouncing ball just to the left side of the mound. Instinctively Tim reached out with his bare hand and suddenly realized the pain of visible bones and blood. Not good. The trainer was out in an instant but Tim was already on his way to the dugout and beyond without stopping. Other than the quick exit from the mound and into the backroom, he handled it like a pro.

Eventually my heart restarted and that was when I knew that this whole dream could be over.

At the end of that season he had healed and was selected to play in the Arizona Fall League. I flew out for the first week of games only to learn by the time I arrived that a new pain in Tim's elbow was a concern. In a few weeks, Dr. Lewis Yocum would perform Tommy John surgery. Talk about Ups and Downs.

I am trying to recall how I handled all this. Since it's not my dream that my son is living, I can't feel disappointed. I know he saw it as a setback but it never killed his passion. I am amazed to see his passion and drive that persists.

Bottom line: Injuries are the uncontrollable wild card that makes and takes opportunities. I think once I accepted this fate I was better equipped to sit back and enjoy the ride.

This is life. Baseball life.

Last edited by TMM_Dad

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