Friday, September 9, 2011
Don't Fall Back!
Just because it is nearing Fall, doesn't mean that baseball players that want to play at the next level fall back on their daily routines. In fact...this is the time to move forward and step up the conditioning and hone your skills for some of the best showcases this country has to offer.
The Arizona Senior, Junior and Sophomore Classic are the most important showcases that players will attend this year. Literally hundreds of scouts from all NCAA divisions will converge on the spread-out Peoria, AZ complex, home of the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners Spring training camps next month. The complex is comprised of the main stadium and twelve perfectly manicured practice fields. The Senior Classic is October 13-16th. The Junior Classic is October 20-23rd. The Sophomore Classic is October 27t-30th.
The format of the "games" are designed to showcase players and pitchers only. No real scores are tallied, (they keep score, but it's not recorded) and teams play until time runs out. However, scouts do keep stats of the players individual performances. Teams from New York to Alaska are pitted up against each other in predetermined contests.
The ideal player that the scouts are looking for are Juniors that have just completed their summer seasons and showcase circuit. For many scouts, this is a time to do their follow up on what they saw this summer. There have been many cases where a college scout will use this venue to narrow down his choices and to ramp up the interest in their prospects. Many players even will give their verbal commitments to colleges a few months after this event.
College scouts also use the Senior Classic to look for high school seniors that haven't committed or may have been under the radar all summer. Many 2012 graduates have already verballed by this time, but not all colleges get the players that they made offers to. This is the college scouts opportunity to fill those holes left by MLB signees and other needs and hopefully get the right uncommited senior for his college program to sign an NLI on November 9th.
Which event should your son attend? Many 2013 and uncommitted 2012 graduates will go to the Senior Classic. Both the Senior and Junior Classic are well attended by scouts, but many of the top travel programs choose to send their 2013's to the Senior Classic and then have a younger 2014 team with a few 2015's at the Junior Classic.
For 2013 players, the Junior Classic is a great kick-off event to get seen. Some 2011's may have participated in some regional showcases this summer, but this event is the best national event in our opinion. A good showing in this event will put your son on the radar and set him up for a more extensive schedule in the 2012 summer season of showcases and camps.
For teams from the cold weather states, this is a great opportunity to extend your season with 5-6 additional games and a lot of reps at the plate. Pitchers are rotated every two innings and will have an opportunity to pitch two-three games. For everyone else, the competition will be fierce. Just because they aren't counting scores in the games, doesn't mean that players don't want to win and compete. The scouts come to this event for one thing only...to find players with the heart, drive and talent needed to play at the next level.
So players, don't fall back. There will be hundreds of serious players in Arizona in October that will be competing for the same roster spot on the same college you desire to go to. The fact that they are in Arizona in late October shows the scouts that they know what it takes to get to the next level. DO YOU? These players know baseball is a 12 month commitment and will never fall back...neither should you.