My son made the freshman baseball team and is the only lefthander on the team. They’ve been conditioning since school started and he’s done pitching off and on in the bull pen. This week they brought all the pitchers in and they threw 20 pitches each. 5 curve balls, 5 off speed, and 10 fastballs. The first day my son threw 18 strikes and 2 balls. The next day he threw 17 strikes and 3 balls. His fastball is 68-70mph and his off speed is only 58-60mph. One of his team mates threw 19 strikes one day and 18 the next and throws 75-78 mph. But afterward the head coach told my son he was going to roster him on the freshman team and JV. The mom of the other player is very upset because she said her son should have been chosen because he threw better than my son. When I ask the coach about this he said… I only have one LH pitcher on JV. I have plenty of RH’s. I don’t mind the adversity as long as it’s justified, I just don’t understand why his being LH makes a difference when the other kid did pitch better and harder. So sorry for the long post guys, I just need to understand because parents are giving me grief.
I would have taken the kid throwing 78 mph
In all seriousness, I wouldn’t worry about the coach’s decisions as it relates to other kids. What’s most important is pitching time… if your son is going to get some good innings playing up, then that’s a great opportunity. If he’s playing up but mostly sitting the bench, then it’s not such a great thing.
That you for replying! I was waiting to talk to the JV coach when I posted the first time. I feel a little better now. He said our head coach doesn’t like to explain himself much but he would. He said the decision to put my son on JV wasn’t based on two bull pen performances. It was based on practice and conditioning, 4 scrimmage games the freshman had against JV, along with his improvement since the start. He said JV had a weak offense and my son had been hitting very well. He is going to play outfield as well as pitch. He said he pitched two scrimmage games and pitched 5 innings one game, and 6 the next. His highest pitch count was 62. His batting average was 500 for all 4 games. When I asked about the other boy, he said he overthrows which causes him to walk too many batters and he won’t listen to instruction. He said he’s not worried about my son’s pitching speed right now because he’s effective where he’s at. He said it doesn’t do any good to throw in the upper 70’s if you can’t throw strikes. So, not just because he’s a lefhander I guess.
My advice at this point would be to sit back and enjoy watching your son play HS baseball. Let the coaches do their job and let your son handle discussions with them. He is old enough now to take control of his own HS career. Try not to get involved with the drama and discussions with other parents about what they think should be happening. It doesn’t help your son. I would also suggest not having discussions with the coaches about other players. That will only cause problems. Obviously you want the best for your son and want to help, but in my opinion that is best done staying supportive of him in the background.
Grfett gave some great advice. Also, the other coach gave you a great explanation and from that you can see there are lots of trade-offs and other considerations. Another thing not said is that the coaches may be planning for the future and are recognizing your son could end up being the only lefty on varsity next year or the year after.
It is all trade offs to some degree from here on out.
Related to nothing else, talking about young kids, multiple kids throwing 86-90% strikes. Not buying that.
My only advice would be to ignore the other parents and don’t mess with a good thing. Coaches don’t generally feel they owe parents explanations. If there are issues they usually want to discuss them with the player not the parent.
I decided because many other people put advice on what to do, I’ll provide some insight as to why your son may have been chosen.
LHPs are rare as your coach said. I’ve read many articles about LHPs playing in the MLB, and being equally as good as RHPs who couldn’t get past AA ball. This is simply because lefties are rarer, so they have to be less selective. A LHP is very different than a RHP, in the sense of ball movement. They also have an advantage over Left handed batters. The coach may remember a good time with all left handed batters.
Besides this, your son may have superior movement. Some people in the MLB (Chris Young for example) don’t throw hard at all, but get loads of guys out (or Greg Maddox!) He [Young] throws high 80s . This is simply because his fastball has excellent movement and hitters have a hard time with it.