When do pitchers today usually start focusing on pitching instead of both position/hitting and pitching? My son (12YO LHP) excels at pitching in travel ball with good velocity and control and could pitch up an age group. Hitting is solid but not near the level of pitching.
It was high school ball for me.
For school ball I have been a pitcher only since Middle School (7th grade), but for travel ball I played a position (outfielder) and pitched until just last year. Last summer on travel ball - I pretty much pitched only. I am a junior in high school. I wouldn’t like being just a pitcher at 12 years old - I always want to play everyday - pitchers don’t get to do that.
If your son does very well at the pitcher’s position, then try and follow a club that uses pitchers in a rotation mainly. In other words, these clubs limit the exposure to other postions.
Some of the more competitive clubs understand the use and benefit of resouce management with respect to pitchers, better than others. For example - on less clubs, it’s not unusual for a field player to be called in to replace a pitcher on the mound who is in trouble or is just not with it for that particular day. Now this in itself isn’t so bad - but, asking a youngster to take eight or so warm up pitches, then go at it, isn’t exactly my definition of using a youngster wisely, not to mention the lack of proper preperation.
A club that has a rotation (bullpen) of pitchers and calles them in when need, only after each has been called to “get up” and start working, if far superior.
On the other hand, playing another position AFTER an appearance isn’t all that bad, as long as the youngster isn’t completely beat.
I’ve seen dedicated position play at the 15 year old level and beyond, but not below that age group. But, I will admit that my experience with this age group is limited.
I made the switch at the college level. I could have been a two way player in DIII and DII ball, but i chose to play DI which made me focus on pitching.
I was a pitcher from the get-go. When I was a fifth-grader and we would play catch in the schoolyard during recess, one day I discovered that I had a natural sidearm delivery, and that was it. The funny part was that I had a natural curve ball that came attached to that delivery, and when I realized this I said to myself, okay, I’ve got a curve ball, let me see what I can do with it. And that started it. I worked on things, and I got into playing at age fourteen, and at sixteen I met a most incredible pitching coach and learned the slider, and I ended up winning a lot of games and rescuing a lot of games, and I pitched until I was in my mid-30s when I had to stop because I lost my free weekends. But it was fun. 8)