What do you think? Let’s say you’ve got a soph who’s good enough to be on varsity, but would be more of a spot starter or reliever. Yet, on jv he’d be a regular starter.
I’m a guy who likes to take a long term approach on life. As a sophomore, he’s still learning his craft. Go JV so he can pitch and get the experience. It will pay off the following year as a junior on Varsity.
I was talking with a parent of one of my son’s teammates (middle school ball) from last year. Her son is a pitcher and is playing up, making the District 1 team as the backup outfielder. No chance for him to pitch or play the infield, and small chance of getting playing time. She’s envious of my son (13U, District 3 team) getting the every opportunity to start every game, pitch, play third and catch. She wishes her son played down so he could play.
Our 1 sophomore PO (pitcher only), playing up on varsity has pitched some - mainly in non-district games - but he sets most of the time. Coach makes sure he gets a little work each week mostly 2 or 3 innings in relief(sometimes 4 when he starts). We only have two leftys (he is one of them) total so this may be a reason why he is playing up. He also throws mid 80s and has a nasty change-up. I say play up & set.
Go with the team that gives them the best combination of learning/skill development and fun.
For some, its pitching one or 2 innings but access to a great coach. For others, its more time on the mound and laughing with friends.
There’s no substitute for playing time.
I would put him on the JV team for more play time and pull him up as I needed him on the Varsity team, you know you will, someone gets hurt, tweaks a shoulder, elbow, groing, pinky nail…you know. Then he will get more time at Varsity, he will have matured more and you will end up with a better seasoned pitcher then and a guy you can use more.
Our sophomore lefty started the 3rd game of the district series and pitched a 1 hitter through 5. He struck out 10 and walked four. It was good he played up with us because he was very comfortable with his infield, catcher, and all the pitchers really helped him out - by talking to him and calming him down when he walked the bases loaded in the 4th.