PitchSmart vs MLB


If MLB endorses the PitchSmart guidelines, why do hundreds of MLB scouts commit to attending Fall and Winter showcases? These showcases are held within the time period where baseball players are supposed to be shutdown from throwing.

If MLB were serious about reducing injuries and supporting arm health guidelines, the scouts would shun these October through December showcases. I think this is laziness on the part of MLB. Any of the top prospects don’t need these showcases and do not attend. This takes care of the arms of a select few, while putting the majority of arms at risk. I guess they don’t mind risking the arms of the players least likely to ever be signed.

The scouts use these showcases to find that rare individual who slipped through the net cast by the scouts. They opt for the shooting fish in a barrel approach over doing the work of finding that unknown talent the hard way–watching them in the HS or American Legion seasons.

It’s proven that more prospects are found in warmer climates than in colder ones, but injuries are more common in the warmer climates because the seasons begin earlier, include more games, and logistically limit athletes’ options to participate in other sports–another risk factor in arm health.

There should be nationwide start and end dates for HS baseball that puts everyone within the protection of the PitchSmart guidelines and MLB should be leading the charge!


MLB does not care.
Most college coaches/programs do not care.
Many high school coaches do not care.
It sucks, but, it is how it is.
MLB is a business and nothing else. MLB doesn’t care about most of its minor league players either, just names on a piece of paper with a number ($) next to them. MLB, generally, is terrible about player development as well. They dont even care enough about players they draft to really invest in developing them. Why is that? Because they dont have to.
They get to pick 40 players a year (or however many rounds there are in the draft now), plus of FA signings ect to build their rosters…from all over the world. Why invest brain power, resources, man hours and money into developing players when you can discard guys like pieces of trash and bring in 40 more the next year.
The two darkest businesses I have been exposed to are the music industry (made my living in it for a while) and pro baseball (I am not personally involved in it, just have friends ect). If you want to go into baseball as a profession as a player expect to be lied to, mislead, used, abused and then forgotten.
I agree the top guys who are going to get drafted highly dont need the showcases anyway.


You mean $howcases?


They should care!

Just read this in a regional newspaper:

Nationally, participation in team sports has been in steady decline, with the number of youth baseball players, those from 6 to 17 years old, dropping from 7 million in 2009 to 6.7 million in 2014, according to the most recent annual study published by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.

“As popular as baseball is, it should be stable at worst,” said Mike May, a communication specialist with the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, a trade group based in Silver Spring, Maryland. “The downward trend is concerning.”

The pool of available players has been shrinking, too. The number of children 5 to 14 years old dropped by more than 10 percent in the past decade, according to census estimates.

Add high injury rates to declining participants, and baseball has a real problem!


Steven, Do you know if the figures used include only local leagues or travel also? Can’t help but think with so many organizations it’s possible there is an undercount. So many more options of places to play than in the past.


Not entirely sure about travel ball, but assume it applies to both. I’ll research a little more and report back.


I have seen the opposite where I live…a mid size city of about 180,000 and a county of maybe 230.000.
8 or so years ago there was one travel ball organization, now there are 4. Little league has seen a decline in favor of travel ball model teams.
Is it regional?
Are Little League/Pony/Babe Ruth leagues in decline? Maybe.
Again haven’t seen that here.
Im sure the monolith that is MLB cares about the game and doesn’t want to see kids injured and wants to develop its future fan base. What I mean is they are not going to change what they do out of concern for injuries of its players.


MLB does care about $$$ and if you were to convert to dollars the number of innings missed by pitchers due to injuries, you’d see that MLB organizations are losing millions of dollars. You would think this would be incentive enough to push for limiting year-round pitching.


Our town has only one Senior Babe Ruth team due to decline in registrations, however, there are two travel ball teams with kids of the same age group. All together, participation has declined by 50% since the town used to support 5-6 Senior Ruth teams. As recently as five years ago there were two SBR teams in addition to the travel teams. The decline has forced the SBR teams to become travel teams just to scrape together an 18-20 game schedule. For the past two years that participation has dropped to a single team of 15 kids. This composite league consisted of five towns with two teams each. Now 3 of the towns enter only a single team. To keep the schedule near 18 games, the team’s play each other 2 or 3 times each. This year, the league announced that kids who graduated out of the program would be eligible to play this year. Normally, their baseball careers would be over since there is no next level up in recreational baseball. The hope is that by keeping these older kids, the numbers will grow to the point where towns can enter 2-3 teams apiece into the league and reduce the amount of travel required to complete the season.


Coach Paul, What has been the age group for Sr League Baseball in your area? What age are they going to extend? Is this a league that runs during a school season or another time of the year? Just curious.


Babe Ruth Minors 12-14
Babe Ruth Majors 15-17
This year, Majors will be 15-18.