10U Waves Take 2nd Place At Franklin Invitational

2012 10U “Lil Waves”, Franklin Invitational Finalists

The 10U Waves came in as finalists in their inaugural tourney at the Franklin Memorial Day Invitational!

Playing in their first tournament together, the Waves earned an undefeated 6-0 record and challenged the undefeated Franklin Tornadoes for the championship.  They only lost 2-3 in the 7th inning after forcing  an International Tie-breaker.  Originally down 0-2 in the 5th inning, the Waves came back to tie on a screaming 2-RBI shot by Meredith into center right-field.

I’m completely hooked on tournament softball now. It plays faster than baseball and the action never stops. Go Waves!

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Maximizing Exposure to College Programs

Following is some great advice regarding maximizing exposure to college baseball programs from The BBR.com:

  • Only elite players (1% student-athletes) receive full-scholarships. Most receive 10% to 50% of full-tuition & must pursue other financial-aid / scholarships.
  • Student-athlete & family must be realistic & should not focus entirely on Division I programs.
  • Student-athlete with lower-division ability should concentrate on local exposure at college camps.
  • Student-athlete & familiy pursuing college baseball scholarship must be persistent & pro-active while following the steps outlined below:

Play High School & Summer Baseball

  • The best way to get noticed is to play & show tools.
  • Student-athlete should not transfer schools to play for a more competitive team.
  • Play on high profile, competitive summer travel team. Local leagues don’t provide enough exposure.
  • College baseball coaches scout high school baseball student-athletes during summer because college baseball season takes place during spring.
  • Play weekend tournaments in larger towns, allowing college coaches to cover more games, teams, & players.

Contact College Baseball Coaches

  • Student-athlete & family should be proactive and contact college coaches during summer after 10th grade.
  • College coaches begin evaluating student-athletes during junior year (50% of all baseball scholarships awarded during fall, before senior season).
  • Local coaches may know student-athlete, but family must contact out of town coaches.
  • Have professional scout or coach for opposing team contact program on student-athlete’s behalf to provide unbiased & qualified evaluation of student-athlete’s ability.
  • Good coaches follow up with all contacts and see student-athletes that request evaluation.

    Contact Guidelines:

  • Never contact college baseball coach at home.
  • Student-athlete should contact baseball office, not parents.
  • Personalize contact letter to coach using correct title & last name.
  • Keep contact letter concise (1 page max).
  • Contact letters must be typed or neatly written & double-checked for errors.
  • Don’t be discouraged if coaches don’t respond.  Follow up aggressively with letter & phone call.

     General Information: 

  • Name
  • Age
  • Contact Information (Address & Phone Number)
  • Height / Weight
  • Current photograph
  • Personal statement describing student-athlete’s academic & athletic goals and desire to play college baseball at specified institution.
  • List jobs & volunteer / community work.

Academic Information:

  • Graduation Year
  • Academic Transcripts
  • GPA
  • Class Rank
  • SAT or ACT standardized test scores
  • Academic Honors
  • Name of high school guidance counselor

Athletic Information:

  • Position(s)
  • Bats / Throws
  • Honest description of athletic performance history, statistical info, & athletic awards.
  • Limit local media.
  • Evaluation & reference from opposing coach or professional scout.
  • Current schedule of high school, summer team, camps, & showcases that student-athlete will be attending (date, time, location, & directions).
  • Send performance updates after tournament games & showcases.
  • Name of high school coach.

Attend Professional Baseball Tryout  

  • Contact professional baseball teams to locate open tryout schedule for each area.
  • Attend professional baseball try out camp during summer after 10th grade.
  • Professional baseball teams & MLB Scouting Bureau host tryout camps, open to amateur baseball players.
  • Professional baseball tryout camps attended by college coaches & professional baseball scouts.
  • Players can attend as many tryouts as they choose.
  • Tryouts are free.
  • Players must be at least 16 years-old to participate.
  • Players can tryout at one (best) position.

Tryout Camp Overview:

  • Bring own equipment.
  • Administration
  • Warm-Up
  • Position players run timed, 60-yard dash.
  • Infielders & Outfielders field & throw from position.
  • Catchers throw to 2nd base in simulated stolen base situation.
  • Pitchers throw 20-25 pitch bullpen & 1 inning simulated game.
  • Selected players hit.
  • Play scrimmage game, which provides scouts opportunity to evaluate game reactions & instincts.

Attend Baseball Showcase  

  • Student-athlete should attend at least one showcase during summer after 10th grade to increase exposure.
  • Unnecessary to attend multiple showcases due to prohibitive cost of attendance ($250-$750 plus expenses).
  • College coaches & professional baseball scouts attend major showcases.  (Pro scouts asked by college coaches to identify potential student-athletes.)
  • Provides opportunity to compete & compare ability against players with similar or more talent from other states.
  • Parents should investigate events before allowing student-athlete to attend.

Attend College Baseball Camp  

  • Beginning freshman year, student-athlete should attend one college baseball program camp per-year.
  • Provides coaches opportunity to evaluate & compare student-athletes.
  • Provides opportunity for student-athlete & family to meet coach and visit college campus.

Updates for 1st Week of May

The first week of May was a busy one:

The Littleton Tigers played a rematch with Ayer-Shirley in Littleton on 5/2 and lost 3-10. The highlight of that game included Matt L. striking out 7 batters in the first 3 innings before handing the mound over to other pitchers. The next game is scheduled for Thurs. 5/10. Go Tigers!

The NEB DirtDogs played a double header against the NEB 14U Blue team at Pirone Park on 5/5, taking both games 8-3 and 5-0. They played another double header against the Strike Zone at Wachusett Regional High School on 5/6, splitting the games with a 7-1 win followed by a 2-11 loss. The highlight of the 7-1 win was a complete game pitched by Matt L. in only 62 pitches, with 4 K’s, no walks and just 3 hits allowed. Go Dogs!

The 10U Waves played their first double-scrimmage in Dracut against the New England Firebirds and the Northeast Hurricanes, losing both games but gaining valuable experience and having a lot of fun. Meredith pitched her first tourney inning, striking out 3 batters.  The next tournament will be on Memorial Day in Franklin. Go Waves!

The Batter’s Box #2: The Hit Chart

Here is a Hit Chart which is a gauge of probable results based on thousands of at-bats in similar situations. To be a successful batter you need to know your hitting zones: Your hot zone and your cold zone.

When a hitter is ahead in the count with less than two strikes, it leads to high batting averages. When a hitter is behind in the count the averages drop considerably. With two strikes on the hitter the averages are lowest. Even counts like 1-1 and even 3-2 lead to decent averages. The 2-2 count is where a hitter needs to compete against the pitcher’s best stuff and the duel can still end up in the hitter’s favor.

Here’s the bottom line: If you get your preferred pitch in your hot zone, up until two strikes you will be a much better hitter. Hit what you want to until two strikes, after two strikes hit what you can.

Pitch

Count

Expected Pitch

(Hitter’s Thought)

Expected

Avg.

0-0

Fastball

(See it-Hit it)

.318

0-1

Pitcher’s Choice

(My Pitch/My Zone)

.238

0-2

Any Pitch Close

(Put in play/Battle)

.094

1-0

Fastball

(Tighten my zone)

.359

1-1

Pitcher’s Choice

(My Pitch/My Zone)

.282

1-2

Any Pitch Close

(Put in play/Battle)

.166

2-0

Fastball

(Drive it)

.373

2-1

Fastball

(Drive it)

.366

2-2

Pitcher’s Best

(Protect/Compete)

.316

3-0

Fastball

(My best Zone only)

.250

3-1

Fastball

(Drive it)

.365

3-2

Fastball

(Protect/Compete)

.263

Resizing the Strike Zone

Put another way, hitters should resize their strike zones based on the count:

A Zone: Location of the batter’s “perfect” pitch and the area immediately around it. With a batter’s count (no strikes or ahead), the batter should be only looking for a pitch they can drive. Swinging at borderline pitches early in the count gives advantage to the pitcher.

B Zone: Double the area of the A Zone and expanded when the batter has 1 strike.

C Zone: The entire area of the batter’s strike zone plus a ball up, down, left and right. Expanded when the batter has 2 strikes, a bunt assignment or hit-and-run assignment. If a batter is weak hitting off-speed pitches, then those pitches should be taken in the C Zone.

Each batter is different, and each batter must know their perfect pitch. These zones can be visually drawn for each hitter and should be purposely worked on with hitting stations.

Good Luck and Play Ball!

DirtDogs Split Again with Rose Baseball

The DirtDogs split their 4/29 rematch with Rose Baseball at Bishop Connelly High School in Fall River. The first game was a close 10-11 loss which was only due to costly errors. Hitting was strong throughout the line-up: Doubles were hit  by Kobie, Brad and Chris; and Triples were hit by Zack, Sebastian and Chris.The DirtDogs took the second game 14-12. Sebastian stayed hot and stroked two more doubles, and J.T. added another late in the game.

Stay tuned for next weekend’s match-ups against the NEB Blue team at home and the Strike Zone at Wachusett Regional High School.