My son is a lefty pitcher that is a natural. He has been playing baseball for 3 years, and started pitching 2 years ago. He is a freshman and played JV for his high school. He did a great job pitching for them. Now, it’s travel ball season, and a top team wants him as a PO. my concern is that he hasn’t even reached his potential as a defensive player. He is a good hitter. He has hit home runs for every team he has been on. He also does a good job at first. His future will be pitching, but he can do other things. Should we allow them to push him into only being a pitcher?
It really depends on his goals and overall potential. You said it yourself, his future is on the mound. If he wants to play college ball, and that is the tool to get him there, at some point you have to go all in unless he is one of those unicorn athletes that can truly do it all at the highest level.
So, do you allow him to play up to his best tool, the one that will likely determine his future in the game, or do you sacrifice maximizing the development of his impact tool to hold onto parts of the game that will eventually go away? If the latter, how long? One more year…two?
That is exactly what I’m trying to decide. I feel like he should give it this year to develop all his tools, before he focuses only on pitching. Does he get more opportunities to be scouted if he can also hit, and play first, or do they not care about that if he is a great lefty pitcher?
Unless he is a shortstop or catcher they only care about two things for position players at the college level. Can he rake and can he run? I don’t mean hit .300 at the high school level. I mean absolutely smash the ball consistently against top level pitching and/or run a sub 7.00 60 with glove skills and a big arm.
As a lefty first baseman they will only care if he is a big kid who hits 3 or 4 hole and makes consistent loud contact with plenty of bombs from the left side of the plate.
With all of that said, if he is good enough to pitch at the college level they will not care at all about his fielding or hitting. He will not be a two way player in college.
When to specialize is dependent on a lot of factors, not the least of which is what level of college competition does he project at? What are his current measurables? Height, weight current velocity? I have to think pretty good if a top level travel team is seeking him out.
He is 15, 6’, 160lb. Haven’t had a radar on him recently, so I’m guessing around 80 ish. He just leveled up his velocity and movement. No one gets a good hit off him, because his ball movement is ridiculous, and they can’t see his line to set up. He strikes a lot of players out, and he is still developing his game.
If he is truly touching 80, on a good gun consistently, forget about fielding and hitting in the summer. Go pitch against the best competition he can on the best team that will take him. Get to work on his physical development…eat, lift, sleep and repeat. He can always bat and play 1st base during the high school season. Just my opinion…
Thank you for all your advice. We definitely will follow it.