How small is too small?

I’m a junior in high school and i’m facing a dillemma. I have pushed it away from my mind as of late but I know I need to address it. I play shortstop and pitch for my varsity baseball team, and it will be the same this summer during Legion. Trying not to sound big-headed, I expect to play college baseball. I am one of the two top starters on the mound, but I am only 5’ 8’’ and 150 pounds muscular build. My love is in pitching, but I know my size will eventually hamper my chances as I get older. I consider myself just as good on the field as pitching, but as I said before pitching is my TRUE love.

Any advice? Thanks

You probably don’t remember him because he was before your time—but there was a pitcher in the American League named Bobby Shantz. He was 5’6" if he was an inch—and he was one of the top pitchers in the league. He didn’t let his size, or lack of it, stop him. So why should you think otherwise? If you can pitch—if you have the stuff and the command to go with it—go for it. You may, or may not, be one of those overpowering fireballers, but my guess is you’d be a very good finesse pitcher who can compensate for lack of speed with some very good breaking pitches. So I say, give it a shot. And you say you can play infield—look at Phil Rizzuto, who was 5’6" if he was an inch, and he went on to become one of the premium shortstops in the majors and a Hall of Famer to boot. Again I say, give it a shot, and don’t let the naysayers tell you any different. 8)


If you have a reasonable combination of drive, intelligence, and talent…and if you focus these assets on the achievement of your most deeply-held dreams, you will achieve them.

There is an outstanding long-time assistant coach/former USF player with the Univ of San Francisco Dons, Troy Nakamura, who is at least several inches shorter than you claim to be.

Mr. Nakamura himself seems completely unaware of any supposed height disadvantage–his heart and his head and his talent are all focused on the things in baseball that he can control, all the time.

Remember the tortoise and hare fable? There will always be physically gifted hares in the game who will be undone by smug complacency. There will always be determined, focused tortoises in the game who will amaze the crowd with their seemingly impossible successes.

Note: I just saw Zita’s excellent post after posting my comments. :clapping:

laflappin, hows is univ. san fran. baseball program? how are their coaches? Pitching coaches? My friend goes to a junior college and is looking into schools on the west coast. I was thinking this could be a fit for him.

I know that the Dons have had a few kids drafted in the past few years but dont know much more than that.

My son went to a couple of their prospect camps last year–we were both very impressed with the program and the school. D1 program, very competitive conference that includes Pepperdine, Cal Poly SLO, and some other strong programs.

Their head coach, Nino Giarantano, has been named as an assistant coach to Team USA for the second time in a row, and they also have an outstanding young pitching coach.

They take a lot of interest in the development of their players and they are very competitive (they just beat Stanford in a non-conference game last week).

The players we talked to are very enthusiastic in their support of the coaching staff, the program, and each other.