14 year old Freshman with Varsity Aspirations


#1

The son is currently the youngest kid on his current JV Winterball Team. He just turned 14 and throws the hardest on the team. Currently topped 80mph in a tourney at UNLV and throws in the mid 70’s throughout the game. This was a surprise to me since we try to avoid Guns and overthrowing. Even though I tell him to throw his fastball like it is his last. He has a shot at Varsity but I would like him to really dominate in JV and get all of his at bats. For those who were in similar situations or witneesed this situation please reply. It has been a fun ride and finally leaving the Travel Ball state is a good thing.

I have seen two kids go down with elbow Injuries and I have been my son’s coach for the better part of 4 years. He has never had elbow problems and throws at least 3 times a week. There are alot of "quacks " around these parts and I would like to hear from peopel with experiences at the HighSchool Level . Thanks.


#2

Dear Sir:

I have been around this conversation for a number of years and have seen both sides of the equation. First, the best players have to be on the varsity team, no matter how old they are. If older players are playing just because they are older, than your son’s baseball program is not ever going to reach their potential. If your son does make the varsity team your biggest question should be how big is the team going to be? If the team is 13-14 players and your son will have to COMPETE for a spot, than I think it would be a good situation. I problem with him dominating the JV is he would never have the chance to compete for his spot, at least the way you describe the situation. If their is no competition, how is your son going to get better? Just playing against inferior opponents is not going to raise your son’s level of play. Now, if the squad has 18-20 players and he is only going to play once a week, I would suggest he play JV.

But the big question is how is his development going to improve while helping the team in the role they need him to play. It is not an uncommon situation for a lot of players and coaches. Sometimes, the role a team needs a player to fill is not what they want. It is a constant battle. Most importantly, I hope your son plays at a school where you can simply trust the coach to do what is right for the team and players. If he has a coach like that, you should not worry because the best interest of everyone will be taken into consideration.

Good Luck!!!


#3

Bum!!! Whats up!
Coach Kreber, what can I say, his points are valid. I would mearly add the following.
JV isn’t bad if the quality of play is there. Having seen many clips of Bum Jr. I feel I’ve watched him for a while now. He does have quality mechs. One of the recurrent themes that my boy has heard, particularly at the freshman level were the need to get stronger. Based on Bum Jr’s mechs I’d say he’s gonna get much faster, but unless the body is there it’ll take a toll. My son was told by the varsity coach that he wanted him on the JV team for the reps and the body development. He brought him up during the season last year (sophmore) as he cruised at the hi 80’s and in spots I believe he cracked 90. You live in a very competitive area so I have to figure he’s going to get limited opportunities on varsity. The quandry is that if the varsity coach says varsity well he’s varsity and you play the cards you are dealt, if given the choice, you are indeed lucky and I hope you chose the way Bum Jr. gets the most out of it. Darn hard to call without seeing what he’s up against.
Great to see you posting
jd


#4

My son is fifteen and was the #1 pitcher on the JV team this year as a freshman. It sounds like your son is similar to mine who probably gets it up to 80 on a good day. He’ll be looking for a pitching slot on the varsity team in the spring as a sophmore but we have a senior and a junior that will carry the bulk of innings.
You said:

My thoughts about my son are now that I’d like him to compete for innings with the varsity and throw extra bullpens if he has to to keep the arm in shape. Last year he threw around 1500 in game pitches and when he is a junior and senior he’ll pitch alot of games. Our coach has a tendency to stick with a pitcher for the entire game even if they exceed 100 pitches. With this in mind I feel the sophmore year can be a little more controlled. If he would pitch for JV, he’d be on the mound every other game and I’m not sure that’s in his best interest at this point. There’s alot of baseball left before college.

Those are just my thoughts…your situation may be different.


#5

JD good to see you around again as usual, I hope your son is doing well.

Guys thanks for the feedback. What I really wanted to say was that he can get plenty of opportunities to play on JV as opposed to Varsity. Varsity will call many more players and being in a limited role in my opinion will diminish his progress.

On the pitching front he is doing very well. But what I see in him and his body he is getting much stronger and his hitting as taken off. He may very well be a Middle Infielder/Lead off hitter/ Reliever. I have seen many kids get used up at the HighSchool Level so I am hoping if he does pitch he will be used in a reliever role.

I will try and post clips a bit later as well. Hey JD this side of the board is a bit better than some of the other stuff going on.


#6

baseballbum,
Given where you are I would assume that the baseball is a similar quality to what we have around here. Your son throws at a velocity very similar to our JV pitchers at this point in time including one freshman they’ve brought up. Personally I don’t think any of ours will dominate week in week out at the JV level. For example, we played a strong team two weeks ago and every one of them was hit fairly hard. Their starter was throwing consistently 81 on a stalker and I’d guess maxing out at about 83 or 84. He also had good command and good breaking stuff. He was dominant for JV ball and that is what it takes to be dominant in our league at this point in the year. We played a weak team this last weekend and none of our regular pitchers was hit much at all.

We have a relatively weak team this season and should finish in the middle of our JV league at best. Our pitching is a little above average but nothing special for JV in our league. We’ve got one kid throwing 81 max and consistently in the high 70s with a good breaking ball. We’ve got one kid throwing about 1 mph less with better control and mound presence. We’ve got another throwing mid to high 70’s, max at 79 or 80 and another that I haven’t gunned but probably mid to high 70s max 80. Our injured pitcher would probably be throwing as hard as the the first or second ones that I mentioned with more fastball movement. I don’t think any of those pitchers would benefit from being on varsity for more than a brief stint to eat innings during a tournament.

One year the coach kept a mid to high 80s kid on JV as a junior. He signed with a D1 before playing varsity ball and was the ace of the staff as a senior. He was a star in his freshman season at the D1 reaching the mid 90s. If being on JV as a junior didn’t hurt him I don’t think being on JV as a freshman is going to have a negative impact.

Unless you happen to be in a weak league for the area I think he’s much better off playing JV this season.


#7

Yes we are in SOCAL (san diego ) and it is very competitive. I believe his bat is grooming him for a INF position as well as the CF job. He has a cannon for an arm and I’d rather see him pitch in Relief for JV rather than start. Around these parts if you are a pitcher , you are pretty much stuck at the pitcher position nothing more. He is going to have to make a choice since he has 4 out of the 5 tools and he also has good speed. (leads the team in SB’s).

We are going back to a throwing program on wednesday which will last until late january. He currently maxes out at 80 mph and his goal is 84. I think he can get there since his work ethic is very good.

I hope your son is healing well and doing well.

take care,
Bum


#8

Yes we are in SOCAL (san diego ) and it is very competitive. I believe his bat is grooming him for a INF position as well as the CF job. He has a cannon for an arm and I’d rather see him pitch in Relief for JV rather than start. Around these parts if you are a pitcher , you are pretty much stuck at the pitcher position nothing more. He is going to have to make a choice since he has 4 out of the 5 tools and he also has good speed. (leads the team in SB’s).

We are going back to a throwing program on wednesday which will last until late january. He currently maxes out at 80 mph and his goal is 84. I think he can get there since his work ethic is very good.

I hope your son is healing well and doing well.

take care,
Bum


#9

how tall is your son? and what does he weight?


#10

My son is a 6,1 155lbs freshman at hudson(east texas) where baseball is king…and he has a good shot at making varsity…he is a pitcher and throws consistently in the low to mid 80’s (80-85 87 his hardest) he is also and extraordinary hitter…he works hard and works on sholder exercises everyday after school and eats healthy…does anybody have any advice thats been through somthin like this before…whats somthing he should do to prepare for upper level baseball…

Hudson Hornets


#11

htown,
A freshman in Texas? That means he’s 19yo?

Just kidding, those are very impressive numbers even if he’s a relatively old freshman (15 going on 16) as is rather common in Texas. If he’s a young freshman, 14yo, then it would be downright incredible. Take good care of his arm and it may take good care of him in the future. The important thing is to not let a HS coach destroy his arm to try to win a championship.


#12

We had a freshman start in centerfield and hit leadoff on a very good AAA varsity team last year. He was respected for his athletic ability by the upperclassmen. He’d probably admit to feeling some pressure to produce since he took an older player’s position. I think your son should let his hitting and pitching do the talking for him and keep a relatively low profile at first. I would think it might be hard to break into the pitching rotation as a freshman. Will he start or fill in some innings?

As the father of a pitcher my biggest challenge is accepting the coaches decision to keep my son in games longer than I would prefer. Pitch counting is not universally accepted at least in this part of the country. I’ve heard a pitcher being told to “suck it up” when their arm was tired and hurting.

Good Luck
Enjoy Watching Him Play


#13

The son is a true 14 yr old FROSH. He believes they are grooming him to play alot at 2b and CF. He will bat lead off and I am happy that he isn’t a SP. The majority of SP just pitch and thats about it. AS a Freshman he will play JV and pretty much get all of his AB’s. Right now looking at his options he will pitch some in Tourney’s in Relief.

Just a word for all of you dad’s out there. If your son is a pitcher the most important thing is what he does between starts. Pitching requires you to throw a lot and sometimes they do not get that at practices. Make sure your son/daughter throws often between starts and long toss.

Also the son was tracked on his velocity last week at a camp. His velocity was down and he told me that he doesn’t feel the zip he had in August. This is primarily because we are not throwing 3 times a week, and when I say throwing I mean not on a mound but throwing on flat ground or into a net or fence.

Good luck everyone and Happy Holidays!


#14

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#15

[quote=“CoachKreber”]Dear Sir:

I problem with him dominating the JV is he would never have the chance to compete for his spot, at least the way you describe the situation. If their is no competition, how is your son going to get better? Just playing against inferior opponents is not going to raise your son’s level of play. Now, if the squad has 18-20 players and he is only going to play once a week, I would suggest he play JV.
Good Luck!!![/quote]

well i would have to agree with coach kreber on this. first if he plays jv and dominates he wont have that motivation to get better b/c he would think he is the best there and he would start getting lazy. but if he goes to varsity he would have to compete for innings so that would motivate him to work even harder. my suggestion is b/c he is only 14 maybe let him play JV get some innings in and hopefully get called up. but if he does decide 2 play JV maybe you should give him more motivation to pratice hader with the team and by himself or with you. That way he doesnt start getting lazy and not get a shot at playing varsity later in the year. So basically let him play JV then if he gets called up then thats good. thats my suggestion


#16

They tried different positions for Bum Jr. He went from 3b, to Lf, to 2b(which he performed very well) to CF (where he is staying). He is still a very good pitcher but they realzied that he can be more valuable playing everyday and using his speed and stick. I am totally cool with it since he still throws with me via long toss and mound sessions. He may still pitch in some elite games and camps in the summer.

How valuable is long toss? Very valuable, probably helped him solidify the CF spot since he has the strongest arm out there as a freshman. He will not play Varsity but he will be the starting CF/Leadoff hitter at JV.

I remember requesting a long toss program for Bum Jr. thru CADAD and we stuck with it!

Take care and good luck to everyone on tryouts!