Who Is The Best Travel Program In NJ?

Who is the best travel baseball organization in the state of New Jersey?

9ers Baseball Club
All Out Baseball
Apreda DiChiaro
Atlantic County Outlaws
Baseball Warehouse
BaseballU
Buchman Baseball Academy
Bullets Baseball Academy
Carteret Nighthawks
CK's Cardinals
Combat/Scanzano Sports
Diamond Jacks
Elite Squad
Faigin Select
First Move
FTB Tuccu Northeast
Full Count Baseball
Gallagher Sportika Frazier
Hamilton A's
Hit & Run Outlaws
In The Zone
Intensity Baseball
Jersey Giants
Jersey Seminoles
Jersey Shore Prospects
Langan Baseball
Legends Baseball
Locked In Expos
Lumberkings
Mid-Atlantic Red Sox
Mid-Atlantic Show
NJ Axemen
NJ Marlins
Nj Renegades
NJ Select
North Atlantic Evoshield Canes
Pro Skills Baseball Academy
SJ Elite
Tristate Arsenal
Wladyka Baseball
Zoned Redhawks
Original Post

We have played for some and played against many on this list. I will send you a PM, but Tri State Arsenal was always the best. 

Baseball U, Farrah Builders, 9ers, and SJ Young Guns were always good teams as well. This might have changed, but these are the teams I'm still seeing down in Georgia, FL, etc. 

There are some regional teams with bigger rosters as well if your son is looking for more exposure, especially to bigger schools 

There's no doubt that Arsenal is the top of the food chain.  

That said, here's a story: 

Two years ago, I met a guy whose kid was playing for the 9ers.  Kid was a pitcher.  The dad told me that he left Arsenal to go play for the 9ers.  And, further, it was a haul for him to go the 9ers.  It would take them hours to drive to the 9ers practices and workouts, etc.  Arsenal was much closer to them in terms of geography.

So, I had to ask "Why did you leave Arsenal?!?"  And, this was his answer:  "When he made the team, we went to all the practices and he worked out with those guys.  He was always there.  And, he worked hard.  Then, when it was time to play in a tournament, we had to travel all the way to wherever, get a hotel, etc., and then he never played the whole weekend.  Some kid who we never saw before would show up at the field, they would give him a shirt, and then he would pitch the game and leave as soon as he was done.  And, then we would never see him again.  Every tournament was the same deal.  Some ringers would fly in, pitch, while my kid who paid all the fees and was at every workout, sat and watched.  It happened all the time."

Personally, I get it.  You want to build a brand, then you do what you have to do, etc.  But, that's not what I would look for in a program.  Doesn't matter much if you're Mike Trout.  But, most are not Mike Trout.

 

 

 

 

Beating Arsenal on Saturday was not the same as beating them on Sunday when we played them from 13u to 16u. The faces would change on Sunday. My son disliked their arrogance so much he said he would rather play against them than for them.

My son pitched a great game against Arsenal in WWBA last year and they called the next week and wanted him to come play with them at no cost.  We had already committed and stayed with our commitment.  I understand why teams do this but it is frustrating to the players and families of the team plus the ones they pick up.  I understand it in big tournaments where they need pitching but in other tournaments it is just bad for everyone. I know it is big business but still tough.

My son currently plays 13U baseball in NJ - I can say for sure that most of the teams who win at his age level (and it's not always Arsenal anymore) are showing up stacked with guest pitchers. There are franchise teams moving into the tri-state region as well, like the Canes and US Elite. There aren't going to be enough baseball players to stock all of these teams! 

It's happening already.  My son was 14U this year.  We played in various level tournaments.  Baseball Heaven, MSI, Perfect Game, Diamond Nation, Richmond County, Tag'em, BSE, etc.  And, I lost count on how many times I saw a team playing where they had someone batting last and playing 2B or RF and the kid was a 12U or 11U player.   It was obvious that it was a younger kid and he was way smaller than anyone else on the field.  And, it was obvious that they were playing the younger kid because they couldn't enough 14U kids to play.  

Then, on the flip side, you had teams playing with kids who were too old.

We played a US Elite team in MSI.  Got crushed.  Later we heard that they had two kids thrown out of the tournament because they were 16U playing in a 14U.  The funny part was that the rest of the team was so good that they didn't need to have two 16Us to beat anyone.  

"Who Is The Best Travel Program"

Speaking from experience, this is generally the wrong question entirely.  It leads to parents and kids getting frustrated, and wasting money.

"How can I get my son to 90mph?" should be the question for pitchers.

"How can I get my son to 90mph exit speed and 30 deg launch angle?" should be the question for hitters.

The next question should be "Who measures those results with radar, instead of making me/kid feel good or get to meet former pros/college players?"

My last child, after I knew better, never played summer "travel" in HS. (Of course, if your kid is a top draft pick, that's a different situation, he will have to do top travel/showcases, etc. to improve his draft number). He played D1.

Time is your enemy.

(Most of you won't heed this advice. Print this out and tuck it away.)

Francis7 posted:

Who is the best travel baseball organization in the state of New Jersey?

9ers Baseball Club
All Out Baseball
Apreda DiChiaro
Atlantic County Outlaws
Baseball Warehouse
BaseballU
Buchman Baseball Academy
Bullets Baseball Academy
Carteret Nighthawks
CK's Cardinals
Combat/Scanzano Sports
Diamond Jacks
Elite Squad
Faigin Select
First Move
FTB Tuccu Northeast
Full Count Baseball
Gallagher Sportika Frazier
Hamilton A's
Hit & Run Outlaws
In The Zone
Intensity Baseball
Jersey Giants
Jersey Seminoles
Jersey Shore Prospects
Langan Baseball
Legends Baseball
Locked In Expos
Lumberkings
Mid-Atlantic Red Sox
Mid-Atlantic Show
NJ Axemen
NJ Marlins
Nj Renegades
NJ Select
North Atlantic Evoshield Canes
Pro Skills Baseball Academy
SJ Elite
Tristate Arsenal
Wladyka Baseball
Zoned Redhawks

All Out Baseball is top notch...I've seen them publicize their players consistently and they've partnered with PBR i think.  Their teams are always competitive, but won't have teams A thru Z like Arsenal.  Pro Skills has one of the best coaches I've ever seen run their 17U program...

Francis7 posted:

There's no doubt that Arsenal is the top of the food chain.  

That said, here's a story: 

...So, I had to ask "Why did you leave Arsenal?!?"  And, this was his answer:  "When he made the team, we went to all the practices and he worked out with those guys.  He was always there.  And, he worked hard.  Then, when it was time to play in a tournament, we had to travel all the way to wherever, get a hotel, etc., and then he never played the whole weekend.  Some kid who we never saw before would show up at the field, they would give him a shirt, and then he would pitch the game and leave as soon as he was done.  And, then we would never see him again.  Every tournament was the same deal.  Some ringers would fly in, pitch, while my kid who paid all the fees and was at every workout, sat and watched.  It happened all the time."

... But, that's not what I would look for in a program.  ... 

 

... and so, brings up a very important part of the equation.  Whatever program you get your son involved in, make sure you ask all the questions up front and have a clear understanding of what to expect.

phillyinNJ posted:

 Pro Skills has one of the best coaches I've ever seen run their 17U program...

Coaching doesn't matter much on the travel circuit. They're pretty much there to make pitching changes and set the lineup. It is much more important for a coach to have college connections than to teach proper footwork or hitting mechanics. A coach can be great, but if he can't pick up a phone and have colleges my kid is interested in show up - it doesn't do me much good

Understand this before writing that check..my son has played on a NJ travel team for the last 3 years...a mostly positive experience as he started as a catcher..but if you're not an outright starter chances are you will be viewed as a cash cow or a mark to finance lots of players that will be brought in to play for free while your boy rides the pine..

I think a lot depends on the age of your player and what you are looking for from the program. Are you looking for development or exposure or both. Are you in north or south jersey?

If its exposure then look and see which of these teams have invites to the elite PG events. See where their players are committed and how many each year are committed. Is it just a few or is it the whole team. 

If its development make sure you see how many kids have been there for a while and have they committed. There is a lot of turn over and " daddy ball" in some of these organizations. Coaches come and go and come back again.

None are perfect. Have dealt with several - PM me if you want

 

baseball mom2020 posted:

I think a lot depends on the age of your player and what you are looking for from the program. Are you looking for development or exposure or both. Are you in north or south jersey?

If its exposure then look and see which of these teams have invites to the elite PG events. See where their players are committed and how many each year are committed. Is it just a few or is it the whole team. 

If its development make sure you see how many kids have been there for a while and have they committed. There is a lot of turn over and " daddy ball" in some of these organizations. Coaches come and go and come back again.

None are perfect. Have dealt with several - PM me if you want

 

Elite PG events are only relevant to the top 500-1000 players. Given there are over 3000 D1 players recruited each year 500-1000 is a small group. Everyone else better not be expecting anything more than a good time for their time and money.

When looking for exposure a player has to be looking for the right exposure. A D3 prospect is wasting time and money attending an elite PG event.

PABaseball posted:
phillyinNJ posted:

 Pro Skills has one of the best coaches I've ever seen run their 17U program...

Coaching doesn't matter much on the travel circuit. They're pretty much there to make pitching changes and set the lineup. It is much more important for a coach to have college connections than to teach proper footwork or hitting mechanics. A coach can be great, but if he can't pick up a phone and have colleges my kid is interested in show up - it doesn't do me much good

the coach was realistic and has connections...current scout and college coach should qualify in addition to understanding the strength and weaknesses of a player to ensure they hone in on the strengths and work on the weaknesses.  this is what all coaches should be doing.

PABaseball posted:
phillyinNJ posted:

 Pro Skills has one of the best coaches I've ever seen run their 17U program...

Coaching doesn't matter much on the travel circuit. They're pretty much there to make pitching changes and set the lineup. It is much more important for a coach to have college connections than to teach proper footwork or hitting mechanics. A coach can be great, but if he can't pick up a phone and have colleges my kid is interested in show up - it doesn't do me much good

I think the coach matters a lot.  A guy doesn't get the respect of college coaches and scouts unless he knows his stuff and has been there.  It goes beyond hitting lessons.  When a coach leans on the kids to perform the way they need to in college, and to deliver under pressure, it gets noticed.  No one sticks around to watch sloppy, lazy play, and an empty suit isn't going to get many calls answered.

My son played in Arsenal Organization from 10U-17U. New ownership this year. Mr.Barth stays on and does some instructing. My opinion on the Arsenal is this: If you are not on the “A” team, I would look at other teams because all pitching goes to the A team. That being said, if your son loves the game but is an average player Arsenal provides a team for a player who might not find a roster spot any where else. Just be honest with expectations. I don’t know about the new management, but Barth never turned down a boy if he couldnt afford the team. I think Gallager is respected and develops players the best but they are now merged with other programs. I absolutely cant stand the owner of the 9ers BUT that organization promotes their players the best. Baseball U..... Dont waste your time. I’ve heard great things about Pro Skills, SJ Elite, Locked in Expos. These are JMHO’s. Good luck moving forward.

I once asked someone about the 9ers. This is a guy who has been around the game his whole life, accomplished great things, and knows everyone. His feedback:  If I had a son who was playing age, I would never let him play for the 9ers. I've seen them for years and the way they treat young men in their organization is unacceptable.

I know another guy whose son played for the 9ers. He said that Coach M. is very difficult to deal with and he's gone head to head with him on things that he couldn't swallow. That said, he also said his son is playing college ball as a direct result of playing for the 9ers.

I've seen people run from the 9ers after one season. I know others who have played for them for several years. I guess it depends on how much you can stomach.

Francis, I can share my son's experience who played on one of the less prominent NJ travel teams on your list from 13U-17U.  I hope this provides some perspective on your question.  My son was looking for a higher level of competition than could be found by staying with the town travel team.  We didn't do a whole lot of research and chose the organization he played for based on the fact that the coaches had played professionally and that the facility is located 20 minute from my house.  Neither of these factors meant that it was a "good" program and the right program for my son, and at the time we didn't know what we doing.  We were fortunate my son received decent instruction and played against good competition so we felt that we had made a good choice.  My son's goal was to play in college. One thing that we realized early on from reading all the great info in this sight is that we couldn't depend on the travel coaches to open college recruiting doors, and this particular program really wasn't on the college recruiting map.  We were very deliberate and proactive about creating visibility for my son, and because he is a good student targeted Headfirst in his junior year and camps of certain high academic schools he wanted to attend.  As part of the travel organization he only played in one national PG event which was early in his junior year.  Several schools recruited my son, with about half of the legitimate interest from schools that had connections to the travel organization coaches, with the remainder coming from my son's legwork.  My son committed to a high academic D1 school that we targeted, and that school had no contact with son's travel coaches prior to my son committing there.  He just completed his first year of college fall ball and couldn't be happier.

From 15U-17U we received calls from Arsenal inviting my son to play for them.  We chose not to do so, partly because it would have involved driving over an hour to attend practice, and I wasn't sure that the time investment or playing for a team whose focus was on national exposure was suitable for my son.  At the time, we didn't know if this was the right thing.  It often felt like we were muddling through, but we have no regrets.  My son's summer travel team had a decent amount of talent and attracted more as time went on.  There were 6 D1 and about the same number of D3 commits on his team by the time they completed 17U.  I do think having talented players on the roster is important for creating interest for college recruiters (for my son's organization these were local D1-D3 schools).  One way to find out which travel organization attracts talented players is to look at PG commitments as Baseball Mom said.  You might also follow NJ PBR media posts to identify organizations with talent.  PBR in NJ is very active and does a good job of identifying and promoting talent in the state.  They attend travel organization scout days, but only the programs that have talent, and they tweet about their players.

I guess what I'm saying is that the "best" program will be dependent on the goals of the individual.  Even though my son was recruited to play D1 ball, I don't think the highest profile organizations like Arsenal and 9ers would have been the right fit for him.  However it is important to find an organization that provides good instruction and a track record of having players recruited to play in college.  There are several programs on your list that meet those criteria.

There are obviously exceptions (and plenty of good ones) but I try to stay away from the local academy teams. Between the long list of alumni who guest played for them once and the recent draftee who took lessons there when he was 12. I have found they are more caught up in promoting anybody marginally associated with them to bring in new business than they are trying to get their players recruited. The best players on the alumni lists usually play for other big name teams as well. 

Looking at one of the academies on the list. They have 10+ commits listed for their 2019 class. The team they took to the WWBA in Georgia only has 3, one of which played for another team. Just do your research when it comes to teams in general, they have to make their dollar too. Oftentimes they use the facilities, former minor league trainers/coaches, and alumni to try and justify the cost. 

Teams that train and partner with academies are usually a little more trustworthy than academy based teams. Obviously not talking about national powers, referring to some of more the local guys. 

 

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