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Jonathan Mayo -- Top high school prospects for '22 Draft

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4 hours ago, Ruzious said:

I'm no expert, but I think Jones is a better prospect than Green.  Have you ever seen a more effortless looking short power swing - coming from a guy who's maybe 180 lbs?  His father might have become an all-time great if he had stayed in better shape. 

Johnson looks like he will hit for power and average. Do you take a smaller stocky 2B at 1-1 or 1-2? IDK. Maybe. 

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1 hour ago, Jammer7 said:

Johnson looks like he will hit for power and average. Do you take a smaller stocky 2B at 1-1 or 1-2? IDK. Maybe. 

If we are interested in taking a likely 2B that high, Jung will be the safer pick.  I like the idea of a high upside CF like Green or Jones.

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3 hours ago, Hazmat said:

If we are interested in taking a likely 2B that high, Jung will be the safer pick.  I like the idea of a high upside CF like Green or Jones.

If it is a HS pick, Jones is more polished and the son of a possible HOF CF. Green is exciting, but it’s a lot of swing and miss. Elias probably taps a college bat again, but long way to go. 

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10 hours ago, Jammer7 said:

Long way from the draft. Johnson may not stick at SS, but the bat is special. Green can show amazing athleticism, but he is not Bo Jackson. A lot of swing and miss with Green, but we’ll see. Drew Jones might end up on the top of the heap. No weaknesses in his game. 

I get that feeling about Jones too. 

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On 9/10/2021 at 9:06 AM, Jammer7 said:

Long way from the draft. Johnson may not stick at SS, but the bat is special. Green can show amazing athleticism, but he is not Bo Jackson. A lot of swing and miss with Green

Bo Jackson struck out 841 times in 2626 PA (32%}, in an era when the average strikeout rate was 14-15%.   Just sayin’.

I understand the Jackson analogy, but people should remember that baseball is not only about athleticism.  Bo Jackson was a good but flawed baseball player, who undoubtedly could have been better if he’d concentrated solely on baseball.  And, his career was cut short by a football injury.   But personally, I don’t think he would have been a great player under any circumstances.   Just a good and hugely entertaining one.   

If I thought Green’s upside was Jackson if he’d been healthy and had only played baseball, I wouldn’t necessarily pick him no. 1.    There might be someone I like better than that.   
 

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17 minutes ago, Jammer7 said:

Bo was the athlete he was, in part, because he played football. Sports like football help create competitive athletes. Baseball does not create athletes, it only utilizes them. That is why every college baseball coach wants players that played other sports like football and basketball. It is the first thing every coach asked my son after a brief introduction. 

I really liked your whole post.  I’m only quoting this part because I find it worthy of separate comment apart from the Bo Jackson discussion.   It suggests that the best way to develop a good player is NOT to have them specialize and spend all their time developing the specific skills they need for baseball (at least, through high school), but to develop athleticism by playing all the sports.   That’s interesting and I wonder what the ratio is (specialists vs. generalists) among the current crop of successful players.

One thing I noticed in high school is that there were some guys who were really good athletes in every other sport who for some reason couldn’t hit a baseball (or even a softball) with any consistency or authority.   And, there were some guys who were only slightly above average athletes who were absolutely great at baseball.   And baseball was kind of unique that way.

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2 minutes ago, Frobby said:

I really liked your whole post.  I’m only quoting this part because I find it worthy of separate comment apart from the Bo Jackson discussion.   It suggests that the best way to develop a good player is NOT to have them specialize and spend all their time developing the specific skills they need for baseball (at least, through high school), but to develop athleticism by playing all the sports.   That’s interesting and I wonder what the ratio is (specialists vs. generalists) among the current crop of successful players.

One thing I noticed in high school is that there were some guys who were really good athletes in every other sport who for some reason couldn’t hit a baseball (or even a softball) with any consistency or authority.   And, there were some guys who were only slightly above average athletes who were absolutely great at baseball.   And baseball was kind of unique that way.

Thanks. We could write books on this very topic. It is a strange dichotomy in youth sports right now. Here in Florida, we can play baseball for about 10-11 months a year. Doctors tell parents that kids can get overuse injuries, and that kids should take at least four consecutive months off every year with no throwing a baseball. Travel Coaches want their money to continue to flow year round, and tournament outlets like Perfect Game and USSSA want your money as well. So there is tremendous pressure to keep your kid playing all year. The travel ball teams will tell you that your kid will lose his spot on a prestigious team he is on if he takes a season off. 

High School coaches often tell kids that if you do not play on the Fall team, you cannot play on the team in the Spring. This is after your son plays the Spring season and then plays in showcases all Summer. It is too much. 

For aspiring college and/or pro players, some of the biggest scout showcases occur in the Fall, like the PG Wood Bat Championships. And then there is the tenuous relationships between high school coaches and many travel ball coaches. The egos of both groups are enormous. 

But when you get down to it. The parent has the control. My advice, after going through it once, have your athlete play many sports when young. Play at least two sports as they go through their middle and high school years. One of those sports should be one that develops explosiveness and competitiveness. My will against your will, so to speak. Personal trainers are necessary either way. 

My son trained with a group called Body Tech, which is where Ryan Mountcastle and many others have trained. They increased his athleticism exponentially. For instance, his box jumps went from 46” to 64” in one year. His body fat disappeared and he was exceptionally quick. He never played better, though he thought he was too skinny, lol. These workouts were difficult to maintain with the baseball team commitments and his AP classes. 

Kids need balance. Age is a huge factor, certainly. My son burned out at the end of high school because, in his words, it was a job now. And it was. He misses it now, just three years later. He played only baseball in high school, and he was a higher level prospect. Stanford, Florida and Virginia were recruiting him, among many, starting as a Freshman. But college attention eventually waned with some bat struggles and a bad HS coach experience. His team won a state title, and lost in the title game the following year. He was the starting 3B. He hung it up, despite a few D1 offers, including Duke. He wanted to be a normal young man in college. He had lost his confidence and his drive. 

Good athletes who play baseball at early ages, and get solid fundamental coaching, can usually play baseball whenever. We had guys like you wrote about in my high school. But none of them had the coaching that is available today. My son had a teammate in HS who had not played baseball in seven years, until his junior year. He began playing again and became HM all state his senior year. He was raw defensively, but he was an explosive athlete and he could hit. Where he suffered was game speed decisions and fundamental execution, but he was solid overall.

I am not sure I answered your question directly. It is my experience that most good players played other sports growing up. It depends on the factors that I wrote about earlier in this post. Some HS programs resent doing anything outside their program, but that is way out-dated. Successful pro and college players that we know are a mixed bag, but most played other sports growing up. I do think, in general, that most baseball players should focus on baseball beginning their junior years. Pitchers especially. There is too much work to be done in year round throwing programs, which include periods of rest. I will stop now, but I could go on and on. I have a passion for youth baseball as I coach my youngest little fella. Keeps me very busy. 

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Great answer, thanks.   None of my kids were elite athletes, though one gave up baseball at about 16, took up tennis and was good enough to play varsity tennis two years later.   I always felt that he stuck with baseball as long as he did because he knew I loved it, and that if he’d started tennis sooner he’d probably have risen a little further in that sport.   But he had fun doing it and that’s the main thing.   

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53 minutes ago, Jammer7 said:

Kids need balance. Age is a huge factor, certainly. My son burned out at the end of high school because, in his words, it was a job now. And it was. He misses it now, just three years later. He played only baseball in high school, and he was a higher level prospect. Stanford, Florida and Virginia were recruiting him, among many, starting as a Freshman. But college attention eventually waned with some bat struggles and a bad HS coach experience. His team won a state title, and lost in the title game the following year. He was the starting 3B. He hung it up, despite a few D1 offers, including Duke. He wanted to be a normal young man in college. He had lost his confidence and his drive. 

Good athletes who play baseball at early ages, and get solid fundamental coaching, can usually play baseball whenever. We had guys like you wrote about in my high school. But none of them had the coaching that is available today. My son had a teammate in HS who had not played baseball in seven years, until his junior year. He began playing again and became HM all state his senior year. He was raw defensively, but he was an explosive athlete and he could hit. Where he suffered was game speed decisions and fundamental execution, but he was solid overall.

I am not sure I answered your question directly. It is my experience that most good players played other sports growing up. It depends on the factors that I wrote about earlier in this post. Some HS programs resent doing anything outside their program, but that is way out-dated. Successful pro and college players that we know are a mixed bag, but most played other sports growing up. I do think, in general, that most baseball players should focus on baseball beginning their junior years. Pitchers especially. There is too much work to be done in year round throwing programs, which include periods of rest. I will stop now, but I could go on and on. I have a passion for youth baseball as I coach my youngest little fella. Keeps me very busy. 

Really good post. 

Playing after high school is very, very different than playing in HS. It's easy to believe that coaches beyond HS will be so much better. It's not always the case, in college or pro baseball. I personally know some guys who had that bad coach experience post HS. And it is most definitely a full time job after HS, and without the pats on the back or praise lavished on high school kids.

All the guys I'm aware of that played in college or were drafted fairly high played more than one sport in high school. It's not insignificant that all were good athletes with that natural athletic ability allowing them to be good at more than one sport. 

And you're 100% accurate with the year round stuff. Kids with the ability to play in college or be drafted have events at least 10 months a year they could enter or should enter. Late October, November and early December seem to be the only non-active months. Colleges have showcases in late December where they're trying to get the HS kid on their campus during Christmas break. It's hard to turn down those "invitation only" showcases when that college coach is calling you personally. 

Thanks for your post and good luck to your youngest guy. Hope he loves playing. 

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2 hours ago, Frobby said:

Great answer, thanks.   None of my kids were elite athletes, though one gave up baseball at about 16, took up tennis and was good enough to play varsity tennis two years later.   I always felt that he stuck with baseball as long as he did because he knew I loved it, and that if he’d started tennis sooner he’d probably have risen a little further in that sport.   But he had fun doing it and that’s the main thing.   

All a father can ask is that they try their best, and carry themselves with respect for the game, themselves, their teammates and coaches. I think our sons, do play the game we love, in part because of us. It is a father/son experience that I have cherished. Like fishing, hiking or hunting, it is our time. Something passed down, and memories of growth, success and failure. It is a true form of love for one another. Sharing with your son, and son wanting to please the father. Fields of dreams, after all.

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2 hours ago, 7Mo said:

Really good post. 

Playing after high school is very, very different than playing in HS. It's easy to believe that coaches beyond HS will be so much better. It's not always the case, in college or pro baseball. I personally know some guys who had that bad coach experience post HS. And it is most definitely a full time job after HS, and without the pats on the back or praise lavished on high school kids.

All the guys I'm aware of that played in college or were drafted fairly high played more than one sport in high school. It's not insignificant that all were good athletes with that natural athletic ability allowing them to be good at more than one sport. 

And you're 100% accurate with the year round stuff. Kids with the ability to play in college or be drafted have events at least 10 months a year they could enter or should enter. Late October, November and early December seem to be the only non-active months. Colleges have showcases in late December where they're trying to get the HS kid on their campus during Christmas break. It's hard to turn down those "invitation only" showcases when that college coach is calling you personally. 

Thanks for your post and good luck to your youngest guy. Hope he loves playing. 

Great great post. The last thing you wrote, “loves playing.” The most important thing, and I know you know that. The will to succeed is born of this, and it comes from the kid, not the parent.

He is 10, a young 11U, born on St. Patty’s Day. A LHP/OF/1B who is not the dominant player my older boy was.  He does have excellent athleticism and a beautiful swing. The arm is beginning to get there, good velo, but we need to keep working on repeating the mechanics. Keeping it simple, for sure. Learning about different grips, and a change piece. 

I don’t push, in fact, I am laying back some this fall as he plays for a big organization. He wanted to play Fall ball because his Summer was a little short and football did not work for us this Fall. I stopped coaching his team this past summer. Kids are different, and I am just tired. Still throwing BP for him, hitting fungos and such. I love catching his pens, maybe my favorite thing to do these days. On the bucket until I’m 60! 

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3 minutes ago, Jammer7 said:

Great great post. The last thing you wrote, “loves playing.” The most important thing, and I know you know that. The will to succeed is born of this, and it comes from the kid, not the parent.

He is 10, a young 11U, born on St. Patty’s Day. A LHP/OF/1B who is not the dominant player my older boy was.  He does have excellent athleticism and a beautiful swing. The arm is beginning to get there, good velo, but we need to keep working on repeating the mechanics. Keeping it simple, for sure. Learning about different grips, and a change piece. 

I don’t push, in fact, I am laying back some this fall as he plays for a big organization. He wanted to play Fall ball because his Summer was a little short and football did not work for us this Fall. I stopped coaching his team this past summer. Kids are different, and I am just tired. Still throwing BP for him, hitting fungos and such. I love catching his pens, maybe my favorite thing to do these days. On the bucket until I’m 60! 

I was going to ask if you were on a bucket!! Outstanding. 

At age 10, as you know, you've got a minimum of 8 very enjoyable years ahead. Hope both of you have a blast. With you having been through it, you'll have a lot of experience and knowledge to help him make good decisions. Best of luck to both of you.

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Did not mean to hijack the thread, but thanks for indulging me about my passion for the game of youth baseball and development. It was a nice distraction for a few minutes on the 20th anniversary of the worst day in our history. Hug your kids, and play catch with them, even if they are adults. Tomorrow is promised to no one. 

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6 hours ago, Frobby said:

Bo Jackson struck out 841 times in 2626 PA (32%}, in an era when the average strikeout rate was 14-15%.   Just sayin’.

I understand the Jackson analogy, but people should remember that baseball is not only about athleticism.  Bo Jackson was a good but flawed baseball player, who undoubtedly could have been better if he’d concentrated solely on baseball.  And, his career was cut short by a football injury.   But personally, I don’t think he would have been a great player under any circumstances.   Just a good and hugely entertaining one.   

If I thought Green’s upside was Jackson if he’d been healthy and had only played baseball, I wouldn’t necessarily pick him no. 1.    There might be someone I like better than that.   
 

Not to be contrarian, as you did qualify with "if he'd concentrated solely on baseball", but if i was ever going to bet AGAINST someone in the arena of athletic excellence, that person would NOT be Vincent Edward "Bo" Jackson.

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