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Looking for some advice to guide in a decision making process. My son is a rising senior, OF/RHP. He has one solid offer from a D2 and has strong feelers, including requests for campus visits that are clearly not camp pitches, from four or five other schools, including a couple of lower level D1's. For this fall, we are looking at two options. Option 1, he stays with his travel team, which is one of the bigger names in travel ball. But they are talking about using him just as a pitcher, and a significant amount of his attention comes from his bat and outfield play. They have told us a couple of the school that have reached out to them like him more as a pitcher though, so they are funneling him that way. The schedule for the fall would take him to at least three of the schools that have expressed interest in him and requested visits.

Option 2 - He wants to play with his high school team in the fall. They made a nice run into regionals last year before losing on a controversial call. He wants to go to states for his senior year, and sees this as an opportunity to build team chemistry and make that run more likely. We would supplement his school team with camp trips and visits on our own to the schools that have expressed interest.

I am torn. On the one hand, I like having the name and reputation of the travel team behind him, and we know they have already talked to several schools on his behalf. But he doesn't want to give up outfield and hitting yet. He was all-conference as an outfielder and hit a legit .400 as a junior, so I see his point.

So, with that amount of info (and happy to provide more on request), what advise to you have? Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this and respond!

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I guess it partly depends on:


--How much you believe the travel coach's opinion that pitching gives your son his best opportunity to play at the level he wants.  There are a whole lot of college pitchers who were the best hitters on their high school teams but who didn't project as college hitters.  If the travel team is one of the bigger names in travel ball, the travel coach probably has a fairly solid basis for his opinion (BTW, I think I know who your travel coach is, and I have a very high opinion of him).  Ask him why he doesn't see your son as a position player in college.

--How content he would be to accept either the D2 offer he has in hand or whatever comes in from the visits he has been invited to take.  If you choose option 2, you make it very unlikely any additional options will materialize this fall or next spring.  

--What matters most to your son about his college choice.  You went to a very good academic school.  Is he on track to do the same?  What does he want out of college and how important is baseball among his priorities? Is the D2 a good overall match, or is it just a baseball opportunity?  


The advice I would offer is:

--Take those offered campus visits as soon as possible to find out if any of them become opportunities.  My son received several offers that way, but one school that had been very eager to have him visit turned out to have only mild interest that was dependent on other contingencies. Find out what opportunities he really has before making plans for the fall.

--Have a heart-to-heart with the travel coach about your son's interest in playing outfield and the basis for the travel coach's opinion that he projects better as a pitcher.  Also ask how much outfield time he could expect to see this fall if he decides he wants to present himself as a position player.

--Have a heart-to-heart with your son about what really matters to him and how important his goals for his high school team are compared to his long-term plans.  Your son needs to know that option 2 carries a very high opportunity cost that he may make payments on all through college.  


I'm willing to continue this conversation in a private  dialog if you'd prefer.


Best wishes, 


One coach can see things the complete opposite of others....heck, a coach can swing his view of a player 180 degrees in a matter of months.


My son had several D1's looking at him this summer......first one that he heard from had seen him throw last winter...was looking at him as a pitcher...but after seeing him play this summer....did a complete turnaround saw him as a second baseman


Second didn't consider him a pitcher at all...even though they saw him throw on what was probably his best outing of the summer.


School he eventually committed to started out seeing him as a pitcher....but after watching him hit somewhere around .500 over a 4-week period told him when they made the offer that "I still like you as a pitcher...but you'll have every opportunity to earn a spot in the IF if that's what you want"....


Your travel coach could see him as a college pitcher....but obviously not all college pitchers may see him that way...

Last edited by Buckeye 2015

You know your situation better than anyone.  Most of us can offer advice only when presented with a similar situation.  We had a similar situation.    


My oldest son (RHP) had D1 offers but decided against travel baseball in the Fall of his senior year to attend invited prospect camps that he was most interested in.  He was not getting the interest that he wanted through his travel team so he went to the specific programs   Long story, but the change in strategy worked out for him and it didn't take long.  


Good luck.

The travel team is going to get your son to college ball. The high school fall ball team isn't. I would think it's an easy choice if college ball is the objective. When my son was in high school if his travel team wasn't playing he went to the high school fall ball games, sat in the dugout, pulled for his teammates and got to know the younger players better.  


Regarding his desire to improve chemistry for the HS team, here is a different way to look at it - he was a standout player for the team last year and many of the same players must be returning if he has aspirations for a state run.  So, he played with them all season last year (and probably some the year before?) and will practice with them again in the winter and pre-season.  They likely know each other pretty darned well already.  Playing with the good travel team will only make him a better player, thus able to help his HS team more in the spring.


Key fall showcase events are so critical for an unsigned rising senior.  Don't know how he could afford to pass on that opportunity unless he really likes his current option.  Also, if he has a travel coach who is well connected in college circles and he is willing to speak to schools on your son's behalf, there is certainly value there.  I agree with Swampboy that if your son is really set on trying to advance as a position player, he should have that conversation with the travel coach right away.  At least have the conversation so you both know in more detail why he sees your son as having a better shot as a P.


All this said, I love that he feels strongly about his HS team! 

What have the college coaches said?  Pitcher, outfield or both?   If college coaches see him as an outfielder or potentially a 2-way player, I'd think that his travel coach would be willing to use him that way if it helps him with regard to college exposure....since in most cases, that's the goal of travel help kids get to college. 

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