1 team...12 pitchers! Say what?

My 10yRHP is getting called up…and hes thrilled ofcourse.
Only the new coach (wc international) says that everybody has to be able to play all postions…which could ultimately mean that he wont get as much playing time as a pitcher.

I see my boy as a pitcher and my boy shares that view.
The coach says its dumb to see one as solely as pitcher or catcher or whatever.
In his view one should view him as a baseball player!?
I think all kids should be able to play all positions and alot of good players can do it kinda…but a born pitcher is also a born pitcher imo?

What do you guys think?

tnx!

At 10 years old, in my opinion, he should play multiple positions. Playing more positions is going to benefit him in a lot of different areas, one of the most important being in the knowledge of the game.

Trust me there will be plenty of time in his future to concentrate solely on pitching.

I don’t, however, agree that every kid should play every position. Some kids, for example, are built for outfield and some just don’t have the speed. Yes, I’m speaking from experience. :slight_smile:

If you’re playing tournament ball have to have a lot of pitchers to be competitive. Based on experience with my own son; difficult to know at 10 years old where best position will be over the next few years & I’ve always wanted him to play multiple positions. If he’s good he’ll get plenty of mound time. Downside of only having 1 or 2 pitchers on a team is overuse, I’d rather let him do some of all and save the arm for when it really matters.

I think it is great that everyone plays all of the positions. Once you are 12 and above, then you can narrow down your positons. I am a pitcher and a 3rd baseman only but my minor coach made sure every one played every position. Therefore I can be a 1st baseman, catcher, shortstop, or a centerfielder. So when you are at a higher level and the coach wants you at a different position, you will know what to do instead of being completely lost. Plus, your kid’s arm will be less tired and fielding well is a HUGE aspect of the game. You will have less errors and win more games.

Those words should be branded into the forehead of every dad with similar beliefs about a kid who hasn’t yet even seen hair grow under his arms! :wink:

I agree that not all players have the “tools” to play ever position, but experience notwithstanding, every player should be given the opportunity to play every position, and that should happen many times over their baseball “careers”, not just when they are little kids. People change over a period of time, so the kid who didn’t have the tools to pitch as a 9YO, may well possess them as a 12, 14, 16, or 18YO.

One of the main purposes of organized baseball up to and including the ML, is development. It’s a constant and ever-evolving process of trying give every player the tools to perform and contribute at the next level. Sure its important to win lots of games, but in reality, that doesn’t mean a whole lot when compared to how much it means to develop players.

In fact they play double headers.
So my boy will get plenty of time to play whatever position imo.

But in short i guess you guys kinda back the idea of multiple postions for all players?

At 10, in a word, Yes. :smiley:

[quote=“CoachPaPa”]In fact they play double headers.
So my boy will get plenty of time to play whatever position imo.

But in short i guess you guys kinda back the idea of multiple postions for all players?[/quote]

Definitely. I would suggest multiple positions (i.e. at least two if not three) through Middle School.

As an example, my son is a natural pitcher. He’ll be a pitcher through HS and beyond, assuming he continues as a pitcher. He also plays 1st base and outfield. Could be that at some point in his life, due to his size, speed and arm strength, he would be converted to centerfield or 1st base. Knowing and playing these positions now allows him to make whatever transition us required later. My son is not an infielder, and doesn’t want to be, so he doesn’t play infield.

But in short i guess you guys kinda back the idea of multiple postions for all players?[/quote]

At 10 years old my son was one of top league pitchers and somewhat of a weak fielder. I truly believed he would always be weak fielding and was a “natural born pitcher”. He’ll soon be 14 and has highest fielding percentage on his travel team (for non 1st basemen). Along the way he played EVERY position. He’s now limited to 2nd, 3rd, & Short; plenty of pitching time also and a top pitcher. In short; don’t know where he’ll be when he gets older but he’s become a very strong fielder. I don’t see it being anything but a benefit.

What are the traits of “a natural born pitcher” as opposed to a natural born catcher, shortstop, or any other position?

When the FPcts for that team are computed, are they broken down by player, position, error type, something else, or something else I didn’t list. The reason I ask is, I’ve been doing defensive numbers for HS and below for almost 2 decades now, and unless they are broken out by more than just FPct, they really don’t tell very much. And there’s a reason for that.

There are some positions, 3rd base for instance, that are notoriously difficult to play, and thus typically produce lower FPcts. So, while comparing the gross numbers of say a Left Fielder with a 3rd baseman can be done, it really doesn’t tell much about how the two players really compare. That’s why I do an overall FPct by player and break it down by the different positions giving an FPct for each, plus an overall for each position broken down by players. That way its much easier to compare apples to apples.

What are the traits of “a natural born pitcher”

In many cases it’s what’s seen though the eyes of a parent and open to debate (spoken from experience).

  1. natural ability to throw hard and accurately
  2. an ability and desire to perform “in the spotlight”
  3. mental toughness, the ability to stay focused through adversity

IMO, as someone who never pitched, dad of an 8-year-old.

(My guy is a “natural pitcher” IMO, but plays other positions well. Anything except catcher…)

  1. natural ability to throw hard and accurately
  2. an ability and desire to perform “in the spotlight”
  3. mental toughness, the ability to stay focused through adversity
    quote]

Well said.

Add

  1. Athletic.
  2. 6’-4" 225 lbs

OK. As long as everyone understands there is no such thing. :wink:

[quote=“bbrages”]

  1. natural ability to throw hard and accurately
  2. an ability and desire to perform “in the spotlight”
  3. mental toughness, the ability to stay focused through adversity[/quote]

Most players can and will display those traits if they have the same kind of background and opportunities. IOW, IMO they are traits that can and are fairly easily developed.

So in your opinion, genetics play no role in pitching?

I agree that multiple positions for younger players is not only good, but essential. Few reasons.

  1. Even pitchers are fielders, and need to interact with the rest of the infield. I believe that playing those positions will give them a better ‘baseball IQ’ and make them better fielders even on the mound.

  2. Bad things happen. If your kid loves baseball but his arm gets hurt enough to keep him from pitching (temporarily or permanently), but he could still play field and bat at another position, wouldn’t he want that opportunity. If he has no experience, it’s a tougher transition.

  3. No matter how good he is at 10, he may have the bad luck to end up on a team later on that simply has better pitchers. Anyone who doesn’t believe this about their 10yo is probably in denial. So again, flexibility means opportunity.

I have met a lot of older players, high school, college and minor leaguers, who came up as one thing and ended up an entirely different position. My son’s pitching coach (who I think is fantastic at it), came up as a shortstop to the minor league system and converted to a relief pitcher. Similarly, look at a guy like Rich Ankiel. He was a successful pitcher until his spectacular meltdown and reinvented himself as a very successful hitter. Why limit yourself now.

I’d throw out two exceptions. I think if your kid doesn’t want to catch, I wouldn’t push that. Catching is one of those things I think you either like or hate. Second, lefties probably shouldn’t bother with 2B, SS, 3B, except in a pinch. It’s awkward for them and there’s really little chance they’d play there at a higher level anyway. My son has worked on becoming a good defensive 1B and OF and he’s proud of that. His biggest problem is he often has to compete for 1B time with the big, slow right-handed kid who hits but can’t run.

That would be an incorrect assumption, and not one I stated or even implied. Golly but I get tired of needing to post things twice because people either won’t bother to read them or read something into them that wasn’t there.

Here’s what I said:

Most players can and will display those traits if they have the same kind of background and opportunities. IOW, IMO they are traits that can and are fairly easily developed.

“Most players” means exactly that. Not ALL players, but a majority of them.

“Will display those traits” doesn’t mean they will all have those traits equally.

“The same kind of background and opportunities” is a qualifier that makes sure not everyone is included willy nilly.

“IMO” means in my honest opinion”, not that I believe it to be an unequivocal fact.

“Can and are fairly easily developed” means just what it says. Any of those traits can be developed, of course to what degree depend on the person, and “fairly easily” doesn’t mean without some degree of work.

Now where in all that did I say anything about genetics, one way or the other?

[quote]That would be an incorrect assumption, and not one I stated or even implied. Golly but I get tired of needing to post things twice because people either won’t bother to read them or read something into them that wasn’t there.

Here’s what I said:

Most players can and will display those traits if they have the same kind of background and opportunities. IOW, IMO they are traits that can and are fairly easily developed.

“Most players” means exactly that. Not ALL players, but a majority of them.

“Will display those traits” doesn’t mean they will all have those traits equally.

“The same kind of background and opportunities” is a qualifier that makes sure not everyone is included willy nilly.

“IMO” means in my honest opinion”, not that I believe it to be an unequivocal fact.

“Can and are fairly easily developed” means just what it says. Any of those traits can be developed, of course to what degree depend on the person, and “fairly easily” doesn’t mean without some degree of work.

Now where in all that did I say anything about genetics, one way or the other?[/quote]

First, I read your post. I know what IMO means, that is precisely why I asked, In your opinion.

Second, the first point the poster made was about natural ability. While i agree ability, focus and toughness can be nurtured and developed, natural ability, focus, and toughness can give an athlete an edge over the competition that has to learn these traits. This is my opinion.
That is the reason I asked your opinion.

Third, I never claimed YOU said anything about genetics one way or another. I simply asked if in your opinion did genetics play no role in pitching. I was looking for an opinion. There are people who don’t put a whole lot of stock into genetics.

My post was not an attack on you or your opinion. Nor was it to question anything you posted. My post to you was, as I stated before, to simply ask a question of your opinion. If you choose not to give your opinion, that is your right. If you were offended by the question, that is also your right. That being said, I can assure you that I can read and do bother to read posts as they are written. Additionally, I certainly do not need you to explain such a simple statement.

Should you care to respond, I would still like to know YOUR OPINION on how much if any role genetics play in pitching.

What I’d advise to begin with, is that you have to understand that a reader with no personal knowledge about you has nothing other than your words to go by. Here’s what you said in a response to a post I made, that was in response to a post you made.

The only thing in any of the posts that hinted at genetics, was when bbrages said “1) natural ability to throw hard and accurately”, along with two other traits, in response to my question about what were the traits of “a natural born pitcher”.

So, I read what you wrote as more of a statement of what you thought my opinion was, then questioning it, rather than just asking for my opinion. Those are two very different things, and will often elicit two very different responses from me. Evidently I mistook your meaning, but its ok.

[quote]Second, the first point the poster made was about natural ability. While i agree ability, focus and toughness can be nurtured and developed, natural ability, focus, and toughness can give an athlete an edge over the competition that has to learn these traits. This is my opinion.
That is the reason I asked your opinion. [/quote]

WHOA there big fella. We need to have communication here, and that starts with both of us understanding what we’re talking about. Which “poster’s” points are we talking about? If you mean bbrages, here’s his 3 points.

1) natural ability to throw hard and accurately
2) an ability and desire to perform "in the spotlight"
3) mental toughness, the ability to stay focused through adversity

If that’s what you’re talking about, you’ve glommed them all together, where I didn’t see them that way a all. I saw only the 1st as talking about “natural” or “genetically” provided ability. I didn’t interpolate natural into the other two, which you seem to have done. Now are we saying bbrages meant all 3 of those items “naturally” occurring in “a natural born pitcher”, or that that’s your interpretation?

Now if its only my opinion about how much if any role genetics play in pitching, that’s one thing. If its about something else, its another. I’ll tell you my opinion on the 1st, if you want an opinion about the later, you’ll have to ask about it some other way so I’m sure to understand the question.

Genetics play a huge role in pitching, but not as much as many people think or why they think that way. Genetics provide the basic ability to walk and chew gum at the same time, as well as millions of other physical traits, but playing baseball doesn’t require players to be the most genetically superior people in order to play. It certainly makes it easier in many cases, but not necessarily impossible of one doesn’t have the “best” genes. FI, if one isn’t blessed with great eyesight, it will likely affect whether or not he becomes a great hitter a lot more than if he becomes a great pitcher.

Likewise, have the physical ability to throw a ball 100MPH will likely be more important to a pitcher than a DH. But on the other hand, having perfect eyesight won’t help a hitter who can’t master the mechanics of putting a bat in the right position to hit a ball or learn the strike zone, any more than being physically able to throw a ball 100MPH won’t help a pitcher if he can’t master pitching mechanics to the point where he can throw the ball with some regularity, where he wants to.

In the end, no matter what genetics one possesses, unless they aren’t given the opportunity to develop them through “nurture”, they don’t do anyone any good. FI, I’m sure that in a world of 6 billion people, there are more than enough who have the genetics to throw a ball 100MPH, but if they live in an African Jungle or in the bleakest parts of Siberia, the chances they’ll become a ML pitcher are pretty slim. Along with that, since there are so many factors to pitching success other than velocity, even if one has the genes to throw 100MPH, he may well be outshined by the kids who have other traits that mean just as much.

So in the end, I don’t think nature is nearly as important as nurture, but it has to be present to some degree.