I’ve heard that a majority of MLB players pitched around 85 at 15. Is this true? If not, how hard do they usually throw?
No way to answer this question.
If one was to guess it would be a reasonable guess that most threw above average for their age group, all the way from Little League to when they were drafted. But, there is no measurement across the board for this sort of thing.
I got to watch Cody Anderson (Indians pitcher) play high school ball and travel ball. He was a very good high school player for the area he was in (Reno, Nv…relatively small city). Would he have been an All-Conference or All State player in a bigger place like Los Angeles or San Diego? Maybe not.
He had no offers to play college baseball and no plans on playing. His mother convinced him to play by buying him a new glove if he promised to go out for a local JC (Quincy, Ca.)…he wanted the glove to play local mens league.
He arrived at Feather River JC, got some good coaching and his velocity jumped and he ended up being drafted.
He nearly threw a perfect game in the MLB this last year. He was not going to even play college ball until his mom talked him into it.
So, who knows? Every guy that has gone onto to pro ball at any level, let alone MLB, has taken his own road to get there. Some were “golden boys” who showed up day 1 and were always better than anyone else. Some, like Anderson or Gomes, were really given no chance until they were a couple of years into their college careers.
If a guy is throwing 85 at 15 that is way above average…but, that doesn’t mean he will be 90+ at 18.
also mark buerhle got cut from his HS team and actually threw a perfect game.
I only know two MLB pitchers and both threw mid eighties by their junior years in HS. I knew a few others who throw with the same velocity and never got a sniff.
I got cut from my HS basketball team and got in the best shape of my life to go all-in for baseball. I had the best two years of baseball in my life, once I was focused. Do what you can to make things happen for yourself. Control what you can control and don’t stress over what you can’t control.
It’s really difficult to see the future or get things to fall just the right way. No one makes all the right decisions.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s very tough to predict how people will project and everyone can use a bit of luck to come their way.
Good advice from Coach Paul, as always.
Control what you can control, which is to say work very hard and don’t have that regret of "I should have tried harder…"
My son has a friend who is a fantastic athlete. One of those kids that looks kind of awkward doing stuff but is very explosive and athletic. He also happens to be left handed. He started pitching in middle school. By Senior year he was throwing mid 80s and was getting looks from colleges. He by passed some D2 offers to pitch at a JC to be closer to home. He had an excellent year, both pitching very well and hitting about .350 with power. By the time summer ball rolled around he was sitting 86-88 and touched 90 a few times. Bigger colleges were calling at this point and he was contacted by a couple of pro scouts. His second year of school…he lost focus. His grades were so bad he could not play. All the D1 interest went away as did the pro scouts. Maybe he couldn’t handle pressure the was feeling? Maybe he was afraid of success? Maybe it came too easy to him and partying seemed more important?
Everyone faces challenges. Everyone. For guys that it comes easy to they have the unrelenting pressure of expectation. For everyone else they face the challenge of trying to good enough. Beyond high school it is brutal. The attrition rate is very, very high. If you play (which is to say make the roster) at the NCAA level baseball you are in the top 5% of baseball players. About 95% of high school baseball players don’t play at that level ever. Most guys who make it to the level of pro ball have a mix of things usually…natural ability or physical attributes that help them, luck in terms of injury, very, very high level work ethic and focus on the goal, often at the exclusion of other things. Want to go to that party? Nope, have to hit the gym. Girlfriend wants to spend the weekend together? Nope, have bullpen work to do.
My point is, it is a lot harder than looking for a random benchmark. Coach Paul nailed it. If you want to play at the next level (Varsity in high school, college or whatever) you have to control what you can control and work very, very hard.
In know a former MLB pitcher in my town. He pitched 13 years in MLB, pitching in 2 different World Series for 2 different teams. He told me he “sucked in Little League and in High School” and was “so bad in high school I almost quit.” One day he decided that instead of quitting high school ball he would focus on the game and work harder. The rest is history. My son was on his 13-14 “training team” this past summer (core conditioning, speed, agility, batting, field work, no games), and my son now loves watching videos of him on YouTube pitching in the World Series. It’s a great lesson about hard work.
Who was it if I may ask?
I will answer your question when my 2022 turns 15 in three years
He just turned 12 and is hitting 65.