Are You ready

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Well it's mid-November and for the most part the tournament season is behind us. Basketball season as well as 4 good months of winter lie ahead. For most players, that signifies that baseball season is over. How wrong !

I'm still getting daily e-mails from college coaches as well as showcase people asking me to pass along information. This is where the issue arises about your season being over. If your dream/goal is to become a college or professional player, there is no real down time. You are or want to be a baseball player. That means 11 months of the year, you have to work at "BASEBALL". I have no problem with multi-sport athletes and in fact I encourage it. However, if you want to be a baseball player you need to continually work at your skill even while playing soccer, basketball, hockey etc. You can not and should not ever think of attending one of these camps or showcases if you have not stayed in baseball shape.

We just got back from Jupiter,FL at the Perfect Game WWBA Championsips, which is the must attend event, at least once in your career. As Mr Tom Rizzi stated "It is the Woodstock of baseball". Coach Gallo from Iona Prep called it "A Baseball junkies heaven". For me, It's just a great time and I have great memories of being there with my boys.  At the end of the event I have the same speech with all our players. I encourage them to now begin the tough work. They have all just watched games featuring the best players in the country, many of whom are bigger, stronger and possibly more skilled. It's time to narrow the gap. There are not many players from the Northeast who get the opportunity to play in this event and our guys are fortunate that we are able to take over 40 of them. I hope that they learn a lesson and fully understand what we are asking of them. The joke has been, work hard, round is not the shape I'm asking you to get in. Find a workout for yourself and get involved in it. Go to GNC and ask for supplements that will help with your workout routine to add some muscle and get bigger and stronger all while you continue to do some hitting, light throw and running. It works, trust me.

So what is the off season? It's a time to slow down your routine. It's a time to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. It's a time to figure out what needs to be done to be a better player. It's a time to do your school work, better grades open up more doors for you. It's a time to research schools that peak your interest and send the coaches emails, be proactive. No summer coach is going to be able to do it all for you although there are many parents/players who think we can. it's a time to schedule some un-official visits, see what size school appeals to you. The off season is not a time for the couch and video games.

I had a player last year who used the off season to do just that, sit around. He missed winter workouts to watch football games and by looking at his size, he obviously missed the part about hitting the gym. I tried to keep an eye on the sports pages during the HS season to see how our boys were doing and didn't see his name in the papers at mind is wondering..Then I get a call from him right around the first of June asking what my plan was for him this summer? Had I contacted any schools for him? All because, as he stated "This is a very big, important summer for him". My reply was, not sure, no and did you realize your summer began on November 1 the fall before? Obviously I knew the answer!

The season never ends, it just slows down! If you want to play at the next level, there is no off-season.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Drinking To Fit In ??

What Are the Effects of Alcohol on Athletes in Sports?

At the college level, the average student athlete will consume in excess of 34 gallons of alcoholic beverages per year. Many athletes, even the pros, believe it is no big deal to drink as long as they don't do it before a game, competition or practice. But alcohol can remain in the body for up to three days, and after two consecutive nights of drinking, it can linger for up to five days.

Performance: Alcohol is toxic to testosterone. In male athletes, diminished testosterone affects aggression and, over time, lean muscle mass. Alcohol also slows reaction time and affects hand-to-eye coordination, both of which can result in poor performance. It affects the hippocampus, the part of the brain where learning takes place. Because it lingers in your system for days after you stopped drinking, alcohol can impair your ability to learn new plays or techniques in practice. Your attention span will remain shorter for up to 48 hours after you drink.

You might have no problem falling asleep after you've been drinking, but your body will have a hard time staying asleep and cycling through the stages of sleep naturally. If you drink on a regular basis and your sleep is frequently impaired, it will impact your body's production of human growth hormone, which is vital to build and maintain the strong muscles required to participate in most sports at a competitive level. Lack of quality sleep will also impair your mental faculties, making it more difficult to learn and retain information regarding new plays, rules and strategies.

Dehydration: Dehydration is one of the greatest dangers to drinking before a sporting event. Alcohol is a diuretic and if you drink enough, it can take your body several days to hydrate again after the binge. This puts you at greater risk for injury, and it impacts your body's ability to heal itself after you've sustained one.

Nutrition: Alcohol contains about 7 calories per gram. If you drink a great deal regularly, this can easily result in additional body fat, even with the exercise you get playing sports. And the calories in alcohol do your body no good. They're empty. Your muscles can't use them for energy. Alcohol also affects the way your body processes zinc from foods. Your body needs zinc for endurance.

Aerobic Impact: While sports like football involve periods of intense activity followed by periods of inactivity, other sports, such as basketball, hockey, biking or rowing, require that you sustain aerobic activity for longer periods of time. Participating in these types of sports while suffering from a hangover can impact aerobic performance up to 11 percent. LinksReferences
UC San Diego Intercollegiate Athletics: Alcohol and Athletic Performance
University of Notre Dame Office of Alcohol and Drug Education:
Alcohol and AthletesESPN: Drugs and Sports --
AlcoholUniversity of Georgia Health Center:
Alcohol and Athletic Performance

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WWBA Jupiter 2011

A few of the folks that had been following this blog for a while called and/or wrote me and asked why I had stopped writing. Well other then a being busy with the Clippers program, much has happened in the last 6 months that has changed some of the things around me and my feeling toward the process.

At a later time I will dive into that, but for today, it's get ready to leave for Florida and the Perfect Game WWBA Championships. As my good friend Tom Rizzi from College Select Baseball wrote recently, this even is the "WOODSTOCK" of baseball. Fred Gallo, Head Coach at Iona Prep called it, "A Baseball junkies paradise". For me, it's the end of the season, the last chance for many guys to show their stuff before the early signing period and for others, it will be the last time we get to coach them.

The Clippers Coaching staff will be responsible for approximately 40 players on 2 teams. The PG-Clippers and the Northeast PG Maroon team. Both squads have a variety of talented players from the NY, NJ, CT and RI area as well as a players from North Carolina (They played for my son Joe this past summer), 1 from Alabama and 2 from California. This is a great chance for these guys to meet and become friends with other players from other regions but also the opportunity to experience a great event.

This tournament will feature almost 250-300 Pro Scouts as well as another 300-400 college recruiters from across the country all with open check books (Just a term as far as I know). We have had great success at this event both on the field and with kids getting recruited and pursuing their college baseball dreams. For all high school players, this event is a must if you can find a team to take you along.

I'll try to write as the weekend progresses but that's all for now...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Well the high school playoffs have gotten underway here in the Northeast while I'm sure the kids in the south have finished up their school year. What's great about the high school playoffs is that for a good player on a lousy team, it's usually 1 loss and summer ball begins. For the guys that play for the teams who are in it year in and year out it means a shot at the title and a championship ring. This is really what you hope for as a senior. A title that no one can take away.

Having spent some time the last week watching games it still amazes me how the outcome of playoff games are often decided off the field. What I am saying here is that there are still coaches who think they can hold out their #1 arm for a later date and get by with #2 or #3. Wake up coach. If you don't win today, there is no tomorrow. This book was not written yesterday, it's a fact that some guys just continue to try and disprove all the time. Yes, every now and then it works, but more times then not, coaches look foolish. If your #1 is ready, let him pitch and short count him if you can jump out early on a weaker team. Win to advance. If he's not ready, #2 better be

While teams are getting eliminated everyday, I know I get more excited to get the summer started. Guys that we saw workout during the winter have grown and matured some. It is really great to see the improvement. Letters from colleges arrive daily and relationships with coaches begining. Parents start to get a case of the nerves since they are hoping their son plays well and thus can benefit from the exposure that playing on a quality team can bring.

Playoff time has now ended for the college players and the NCAA selection committee announced the field of 64 yesterday. While there are no regionals up here this year (why the NCAA calls is REGIONAL is beyond me, there is a Northeast, Mid West etc) there will however be plenty of baseball on ESPN networks for high school players to sit in and watch. From our area, St John's, Manhattan College, Sacred Heart, UConn, Maine, Central CT are all in the tournament and have plenty of players from the area representing us. There are also guys from the area playing on UNC, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Clemson that will be on TV. Make it a point to watch and learn. It's great to see players on TV that are giving 110% every play.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

That Time of Year !!!

Well folks MAY is here. It's that pivotal month where so many things happen/change and some are bad, some are good and some are very good. So, what am I talking about?  Lets start with the bad things and get that out of the way first so we can dwell on the positive.

MAY marks the end of the college seasons and for many, the end of the high school season and for some the end of their baseball careers. It's usually around this time that colleges finish up final exams and have a few weeks left in their seasons. What that means for players is that if you have not been a contributor, the coaches often have meetings to let you know where you stand for next year. Is your scholarship renewed or not? Do you have to look to transfer? How did I do with my grades and am I still eligible for the remainder of the season and playoffs? Can really be a downer.
MAY marks the end of the high school season with playoffs set to begin in 2 weeks. Is this it for my playing career? Will I try to play at the college I have chosen to attend? For more then half of the high school players the answer is no and now it's over and I'm just a student headed off to a new school. For the underclassmen MAY means an evaluation of, what do I need to do to play more next year or will I be playing a new position next year. MAY means summer ball is right around the corner. Am I prepared? Did I work hard this spring to get myself ready for long days in high heat? Am I going to line up the excuses if I'm not ready or will I use these last few weeks to change something?
For JUCO players, MAY means uncertain times. Where can I transfer to? How many credits do I have? Am I a better player? It's all about the recruiting process all over again. Whats next?

OK enough of that craziness.... Lets move on to the positives

MAY means nice weather and for the first time in the Northeast a high school player can get a feel for the game and may actually be able to get loose. It's about short sleeve shirts and fans coming out and watching a game from start to finish. MAY means summer travel programs are set to start, new uniforms, new schedule, showcases, different teammates, quality opponents, travel, recruiting. A reason to really get excited. MAY for a high school player means that the plan that I've laid out is set to begin. Ask yourself if your ready? Did you send your application in for the showcases or camps you wanted to attend ( ) Have you written e-mails to college coaches? Have you set aside any time to research schools or planned visits with your parents? It's time.. It's MAY. It's that exciting time of year

For high school seniors in MAY, the grind is over, it's easy street, the "I GOT MINE SYNDROME" sets in right?  (WRONG). It's time to really get serious about playing baseball. Graduation is coming up as well as the Prom and just beyond that is August and reporting to college to show the coaches that they made a right decision in recruiting me. That means 2 months of really hard work to get ready, lifting, running, training like never before.You want to be ready....It's the most exciting time in your baseball career up to now..

For the college player MAY is an exciting time. Exams are over, classes done. Sleeping in, great weather and the last 3 weeks of conference play before the tournaments and College World Series begins. Now this is really a great time. It also means that Collegiate Summer Leagues ( ) are about to begin soon too. Host families, new teammates, new opponents, new ball parks, hot days, summer job, night games, big crowds, groupies. Oh man does it get any better?

Then there is me and MAY means another college or high school season ends. Summer is set to begin and there is plenty of work to do. Schedules and rosters are done and now have to be sent out to colleges. Phone calls begin from and to college coaches and and the e-mails pile up. My boys get set for their summers as a player and the other a coach and I wonder when I'll get to spend some time with them like before? My wife and daughter are working and I have time to sit and ponder the next few months. I try to re-assure nervous parents about the summer, help some high school players and give advice to some college players/parents many of whom never played for me but it's what we do. Many months of planning are about to end and the reality begins. Hopefully we are all prepared. MAY is a great month.

This Sunday is Mothers Day. Don't forget it. It's the way to make sure your month of MAY starts out right. Happy Mothers Day to all the moms and especially to mine and my wife.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gave Myself a Quiz

First let me say "Thank You" to all who sent emails regarding Michaels injury. he's doing better and slowing working himself back into baseball.

While traveling this weekend, I was asking myself "How many D1 college coaches are from the Section 1 area"? I started running names of my contacts through my mind and was very surprised to see that there are quite a few.

Dan McDonald, Head Coach at the University of Louisville is from PortChester
Sean McNally, Head Coach at Duke University is from Rye
Kevin Leighton, Head Coach at Manhattan College is from Brewster
Mike Gambino, Head Coach at Boston College is from Garrison
Mike Cole, Head Coach at NJIT is from Arlington
Pat Carey, Head Coach at Iona College is from Rockland
Jerry DiFabia, Assistant Coach at Fordham University is from Pelham
Joe Mercurio, Assistant Coach at High Point University is from Brewster
Bob DiToma, Assistant Coach at Iona is from Yorktown
Myckie Lugbauer, Student Assistant at Maine is from Mahopac

This is a pretty good group of guys working at some solid schools. If you can think of any additional ones, drop me an email and I'll add them to the list.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Some Recent Observations

Well first off I apologize for being absent this past week. Mike Mercurio was hit in the face with a bad hop ground ball on Sunday afternoon and broke his jaw in two places. As you can imagine, there was a lot to do travel wise and patient care wise over the past week. 1 lesson learned > parents, trust your intuitions and don't let anyone change your mind.

Having seen my share of college games this year and another half dozen high school games, the change in bats has definitely had implications. At yesterdays Brewster vs Carmel game there were 3 home runs hit and all traveled over the 350 sign in right center. With the BBCOR bats that will be used next year, home runs will be few and far between unless of course you play your games at JJCR. The days of Alex Martinez and a few of the other sluggers who had hit 10 or more home runs as high school players will be long gone. I spent a good part of the morning looking at college websites and just the lack of extra base hits is interesting. I can only imagine how the bats along with the lack of pitchers velocity and hitters physical strength will impact the high school game.

Our summer program and most of the others in the area, play the season in wood bat leagues and tournaments. The results will be comparable. A player with a sweet swing like Scott Hagan will still have success just as Colin Moran has had at the college level. Just do some research and take a look at the guys from Section 1 who were the big home run guys the last 3 or 4 years and see what they are doing now. What you'll see is some of the guys still have pretty good averages (they were and are still good hitters) but the number of extra base hits and home runs are either non-existent or diminished. It will definitely be interesting.

With that being said, hopefully I can get back on track next week.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Great to See ...

Just got back from another trip down to North Carolina and had the opportunity to check up on a few of the players from the area. I'll be doing the same next weekend and with High Point playing night games I have had the opportunity to drag my wife to a few other games. You can click on the players names to see their school profiles.

This past weekend Winthrop University came to visit High Point.  Tyler Donovan (Iona Prep 09') and   TJ Olesczuk  (Hen Hud 10') are on that roster. While Tyler is injured and not playing, he'll get a medical red-shirt this year, TJ is and boy is he playing well. The coaching staff at Winthrop has moved TJ out to RF where it's obvious that his shoulder is healed because he is showing some arm strength. He also showed a serious stick. We all knew he was a solid hitter for Hen Hud, but he is doing it as a college freshman in D1 baseball. Unofficially, I'm going to say he has at least 8 hits in the 3 game series including a 4-4 on Saturday. Great to See..

High Point also has a number of Section 1 players with Sr  Kyle Mahoney (Carmel 07') and  Mike Mercurio  (Kennedy 09') seeing the line-up everyday as starters. Mahoney was hitting .333 going into the weekend while Mike Mercurio was at .355 and an on base % of almost .500. Great to See...

On Saturday I ran over to watch Elon play UNC-Greensboro. Ken Ferrer (Pleasantville 07') was on the hill for Elon and pitched very, very well. He was victimized by a few outfield miscues that were caused by gusting winds. As many may know, Ken was selected in the MLB draft last June but chose to return to Elon to finish up his schooling and re-enter this years draft.Great to See ...

While watching these games, I continued to follow the Tweets coming out of Chapel Hill where  Colin Moran (Iona Prep 10') is still on fire and got the game winning base-hit and Rbi for UNC on Sunday. He leads the ACC in Rbi's. Great to see..

Running into a few of the Iona College players who I have known for a few years throws a mention out to Coach Carey and his Gaels. While the program has fallen on tough times the last few years. It looks like the once MAAC contender is getting back on track. A few of the locals,  Joe Smith  (Kennedy 10'),   Anthony Muccio (Stepinac 09'),  Eric Capowski (Stepinac 08') and  Anthony Castellitto  have all played major roles in the Iona resurgance. Great to See..

Today I stopped over at Iona Prep to watch practice and see if there was a game. What I got was a mixed bag. The JV was playing Malloy but the varsity was practicing as was the freshman team. It's no wonder Coach Gallo is in the mix every year. The fields were loaded with players. No shortage of talent this year for Gaels and there won't be for the next few years. Each teams roster was filled to the max with guys who I thought looked like good players. Coach Gallo's assistant coaches sure bring a lot to the table. Phil Salustio (Former Fordham U pitcher) and Ryan Mahoney (Carmel/ St John's catcher/1B) provide a wealth of baseball experience, from the Section 1 area to D1 baseball careers.Guys giving back. Great to See.....

I hope to see another local game over the next few days but on the weekend I will see Guilford Tech play JC powerhouse USC-Sumpter on Saturday. On Guildford's roster you can find 3 former Mahopac HS players. Joe Mercurio and Chris Erker (Mahopac 10') and Matt Petrone (Mahopac 09'). Matt his having another solid year hitting in the .400 range with enough stolen bases to lock him up for 10 years. Erker is the #2 starter GTCC and is posting an ERA of 2.76. He has a 2-1 record and 3 no decisions. Guilford plays in Region 10 NJCAA D1, one of the top JC conferences in the country. Great to See...

If you have information on some of the guys from the area that you would like to see here, drop me an email at

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Congratulations !!

I had to write this one in Carolina Blue !

On behalf of "Lets Talk Baseball" , The World Yacht Clippers Baseball Club, Our family and I'm sure all the folks in the Section One area, Congratulations go out to COLIN MORAN, named "NCAA NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK". Colin is from Rye, NY and played his high school baseball at Iona Prep and his summer ball with the Clippers. He is now a standout freshman starting at 3B for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. 

This past week in 5 games, Colin hit 4 homeruns and had 13 Rbi's.  For the week Moran hit .529 (9-17) with eight runs, 25 total bases and slugged a remarkable 1.471. Moran also drew five walks, including two intentional free passes, and reached base at a .636 clip. To rub it in, he hit a homerun vs High Point on Wednesday in front of at least 8 former Section 1 players and over the weekend vs Duke and a few more locals he hit 2 more, the last one coming off a former Our Lady of Lourdes Pitcher. Great stuff isn't it?

Congratulations to Colin, great young man, great baseball family and he's got a great future ahead of him. Here is the link to the story:
 UNC Article; Colin Moran

Monday, March 28, 2011

Transitions !

This is kind of an interesting topic since it runs the spectrum from Little League Baseball up through college and possibly beyond although I have no experience with the beyond. By TRANSITIONS, I'm speaking of moving up from one level of baseball to the next and the problems that arise when doing so.

Go back to the start of Little League, T-Ball and how there was always that one kid who was bigger, stronger and could hit the ball further at 6 but by the time the kids were 12, he wasn't the biggest or the best. I can remember there being parents who kept track of their son's home runs through the first few years of coach pitch and minors, pretty funny stuff. Then came "Majors" with it's tryouts, practices and playing on a fenced field, complete with dugouts. All really neat stuff. The reality is, at 12 years old, playing on a field with 200' fences was the last and only time that a player can dominate a small field. Even the LL World Series has had to move the fences back in Williamsport to 225' because of the equipment and the fact that the kids are bigger and stronger. Here lies problem #1. When I played LL there was 1 All-Star team selected from the best players in the league that were 11 and 12 years old. Now we have 10U, 11U and 12U All-Stars, and then there is some All-Star "B" teams as well as the summer travel All-Stars. So just about every kid in the league who wants to play beyond the regular schedule is put on some sort of All-Star team. This is where the nightmares start for the high school coaches..

The following year is the big move to the big field, 90' bases and 60'6" mound all fit in a field with 400',370' and 330' dimensions. Those 200' home runs now land 30' out beyond second base. The hot shot SS with the rifle arm, struggles to get the ball across the diamond and the pitcher who through smoke or had the nasty curve can barely reach the plate. Tryouts come for the school teams, modified, jv and varsity. Lots of changes and of course cuts.

As a high school assistant coach for 12 years I heard plenty of times about the kid who didn't make the school team and "how was that possible? He was an All-Star!" Sorry but the field outgrew him. He did not make the TRANSITION from small field to big field or he was a big kid at 12 and just hasn't grown as much as the others. Rarely will you find the big homerun hitter at 12 to be the same slugger at 17. Parents however, they don't see this. They still have little Larry going to the HS tryouts with his town All-Star shirt on.

It doesn't stop there.

A player who has really enjoyed success in his baseball career, has worked hard and made those first few transitions. He's now a HS senior who has played varsity 2 or 3 years and gone from the timid underclassmen to the kid who's name is in the paper all the time and in fact he has a baseball scholarship to a nice school. It's only a partial as most college baseball scholarships are but the numbers are exaggerated by mom and dad. We hear "full rides" and other such percentages that most times are false. Here in this situation, Larry is fortunate, he's had a great high school career, All League, All County, All State etc etc, school Wall of Fame, Prom King and the accolades go on and on. Off to college we go.

Larry steps on campus and fall ball starts. Larry is now playing and competing with MEN 4 years older then he is. It's the first time that he has had to do this. In LL it was 11 and 12's. In HS it was Jr's and Sr's. Now it's 4 years worth of players between the ages of 18 and 23 years old. Men who can go out at night, go to bars, buy a beer and some may even be married with kids all playing with Larry. Mom and Dad however just remember all the letters and accomplishments from just a few months ago and they expect their son to jump right into the starting line-up or pitch the Friday night opener. Guess again..... TRANSITION.... New school, new coach, new classes, new teammates who were all the best players on their respective, LL, HS and Summer teams, New system, new signs, new schedule (50+ games), study hall, women and of course mom and dad and their expectations.

Most freshman do not play much the first year in college and even fewer start any games at all regardless of what the college coach said during the recruiting process. Remember these words, "If he told you that you would not play until you were a junior, would you chose his school". The answer is "NO" and the coach knows that. He tells you what you need to hear to chose his school and he will continue to, so that you stay. Is he a coach, politician or counselor? All of the above.

This to me is the toughest year and believe me I have heard from my share of parents on this one and I have heard all the BS from the coaches. It's ego, history and the lack of knowledge that really hurt the situation. I wrote last week about going out and watching games and pre-game. See for yourself. Can your son play at a top 25 program when he wasn't the best player on his HS team? Should he be starting for 4 years in college when he only started for 1 in high school? His high school only had 15 players, now his college team has 35, where does he fit? The college coach is giving him scholarship money, he likes him and wants him to succeed, it's just going to take time. I'm not sure of the percentages but the number of players who transfer within the first 2 years do so because of the failure to make this TRANSITION. It's around 30%

Enjoy the ride! Your son has made the team now let him make the TRANSITION. Don't make it harder or make it worse. Help him to understand that at each new level there is a new beginning and a clean slate. Once you're there, no coach cares what you did last year or for the last coach. He only cares what you are going to do to help his program. It's going to take time. Understand this and help your son do the same.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I have just returned from another weekend of watching college baseball games. This is my 7th year of doing so, which is 2 or 3 years before my son/sons would  play in college. It's great now because I have a son playing and the other who has just finished his playing career is now a college coach. The point today is, I talk to many, many parents, who all have the idea that their son's can and will be playing baseball in college and most think it's going to be big time D1 too. All of this generalization comes without ever having seen what the caliber of player is, at this or for that fact, any collegiate level. GO SEE A COLLEGE GAME. Can be D1, D2, D3, go see a game.

By this time in mid to late March, the high school tryouts are over, the team is selected and practice has begun. For the D1 college's  most, if not all have played between 15 - 25 games already and still have another 35 to go. The schools here in the Northeast are just coming back home and will be having their Northern openers this weekend or next. Check the college website for their schedules ( and go see a game. Look for some of the local talent that you may be familiar with and see how they are fairing. Look at how they may have changed physically from that kid you knew a year or two ago. See if their skills have changed, better hitter, stronger arm. This is what a college player looks like.

I had written previously about visiting schools, do it and try to do it while games are being played on campus. Many families take vacation over February or Easter breaks, check the area you are traveling to and GO SEE A GAME. Parents and players alike will be very surprised to see how a college team prepares for the game, BP, Infield/Outfield, pitchers all getting their work in etc. If the game starts at 7pm get their at 5:30, if it starts at 1:00, get their at 11:30. Make a day or evening of it and really watch whats going on. You may be very, very surprised at the talent and skill level on the field and how the players and coaches interact. It's no longer high school or summer ball where kids have to be coddled or mom and dad make a call. This is big time, grow up, play hard and if you fail or stumble, pick yourself up and make the next play or get a hit the next at bat. This is the educational part of college baseball.

If you have an opportunity, Take your son to a college game. Great atmosphere, good baseball and hard working ball players who by the way, still have to get it done in the classroom, weight room and the ball field. These guys are good... Good luck

Questions can be emailed to 

Monday, March 21, 2011

From a Players Perspective

The following post is from Josh Herzenberg LHP from Oneonta State U and before that White Plains HS. Josh talks about the knowledge gained from spending time on the High School Baseball Web and what it was like going through the recruiting process. Well written and well thought out. Thanks Josh

I found this wonderful website in 2005, as a high school freshman. I was the only freshman on the varsity team, a LHP with a big curveball and a big ego. I posted here trying to garner some more information about colleges, and to try to get my name out there to the people who I deemed "mattered".

It's now been nearly six years since I began posting here. I've been through my fair share of mishaps and lumps in the baseball world, and I've been through my fair share of successes. Everything comes with the territory of playing amateur baseball. I've played in four games in one day, pitched both ends of a double header. I've been in so much pain I couldn't lift my arm above my head. I've cried over baseball more times than any self-respecting college aged male should admit to. I've spent countless hours online researching schools, professional teams, techniques, mechanics, weightlifting. I've spent even more time throwing, running, charting pitches, sitting in buses, airplanes, hotels.

I am now a junior in college. My team has made it to the NCAA tournament. I've pitched in some very important games. I have a career ERA under 2. I've given up game winning home runs. I've been screamed at by coaches to the point where I feel smaller than an ant. I've been at the bottom of the dogpile, and stood in the dugout gazing at opponent's dogpiles.

There are many, many people here who have sons who dream of playing ball at the next level. Many of those players are very talented and will be able to live that dream. Over my six years as a member of this site, I can't count how many posts I've read about "finding the right fit" for a player. People are genuinely curious and stressed about the shortcomings of the collegiate baseball recruiting process. They seek out knowledge from those who have been there, and those who they feel can guide them through the difficult process.

  • Never pick a school for its name. I played on a high profile summer team while I was in high school and many of my teammates were the absolute best players in our area. During the summer between junior and senior year, college coaches began to gravitate to the fields we played at because of the level of talent we had. My teammates acted like kids on Christmas morning...REAL college coaches were there to watch them play baseball. There was grumbling about full scholarship offers, Perfect Game rankings and draft stock in the dugout. It was like sitting at an 8th grade lunch table with a bunch of girls talking about the boys that were sitting at the table across from them. "He said this to that guy, he doesn't like this guy." By November of my senior year, many of my teammates committed to college. Some had various levels of scholarship offers, some were recruited walk-ons. Many of them took the first offer they got...some never even went on a visit to the school that had offered them. They simply saw the name of the school, their name on the paper, and signed it.

  • Never pick a school for a specific coach. This is true for two reasons. #1- Coaches change. Many coaches leave schools for other job opportunities that interest them. #2- Coaches aren't always the person you make them out to be when they are recruiting. Coaches have different personalities, and many times their true colors aren't fully on display when recruiting. Good coaches do a great job painting an appealing picture of their school, and many of the things they display aren't always completely true. I am not saying coaches are liars, but they want to show you the 100% best aspects of their program and will do so in any way they can. Do your proper research on the institution and the coaching staff. There are countless resources where you can do this (this site being one of them), and formulate a strong opinion based on ALL aspects of a school, not just the appealing ones that you see at the surface.

  • You or your son are entitled to absolutely nothing. A college coach is recruiting you to become part of his team. This means that he will provide you to get out on the field and have an opportunity to be successful and earn playing time. Just because he recruited you doesn't mean you are guaranteed to play where/when/how much you want to. Just because you feel that you had a better BP session or a better bullpen than another kid doesn't mean you are guaranteed to play. Just because you ran a faster 60, or the gun read a higher velocity doesn't mean you'll see innings over a teammate. You are entitled to nothing more than an opportunity. It is your responsibility to give it your all on the field and to show the coach that you belong out there. Coaches have a lot of other players on their depth chart and are not there to worry about your emotional state or your attitude towards the game. Coaches are there to put a winning team on the field. Bust your **s, show you care, and accept your role in stride.

  • Never underestimate the importance of body language. I have witnesses firsthand a player being crossed off a list because he walked to his position, or pouted after a call didn't go his way. As an extension of the previous point, coaches need to put together a winning team. If a player has attitude and could be detrimental to the team's overall success, then a coach won't want that player on his team. A quick story: My freshman year I was pitching in a conference game, tied 3-3, in the 8th inning. The leadoff hitter hit a hanging curveball to the right centerfield fence and sprinted into 3b with a triple. I was backing up the back and after the player slid in safely, I let out an F bomb. Was it loud? No. But it was loud enough for my coach, who was sitting in the dugout right behind me, to hear it. My coach usually posts the day's lineup on his hotel door in the morning and when I went to look at it the next day, I wasn't even listed as a player to potentially throw in relief that day. I looked at it sort of quizzically and he saw me and said "Son, you're lucky I didn't rip that uniform off you and send you home after what you did yesterday." Coaches take integrity very seriously and will not stand to witness anything that could jeopardize the mental success of a potentially player. (FWIW: I stood in front of the team the next day and apologized to everyone for what I did. I had to do a campus run when we arrived back to campus and was on laundry duty the next two weekends straight as a punishment).

  • Don't frown upon DII, DIII, NAIA or JuCo. I've seen it all. "Division I" it's in bright lights in Times Square. Why? Why is it so important to play DI? Is it because you want to attempt to play the best competition available to you, and the perceived challenge is appealing? Then by all means, sign the NLI...that's an excellent reason. But from what I've seen, most players want to play DI baseball because they want to be able to say they play DI baseball. That, frankly, is stupid. The decision of what college you are going to attend is a decision that will have an effect on your entire life in the future. It is very obvious that you love playing the game of baseball, or you wouldn't be attempting to play college baseball (I'll delve into that in the next bullet point). So why hinder the potentially institutions you can attend to this small number? Discrediting DII, DIII, NAIA and JuCo athletics is foolish, ignorant and stupid. Just because a school doesn't classify itself as a Division I institution doesn't mean that school can't allow your son to be happy in his collegiate endeavors. Pick a school for the academic, social and athletic appeals it portrays to you, not the organizational name it comes with.

  • Don't play college baseball unless you absolutely LOVE the game. Being a collegiate student-athlete is like having two full-time jobs. I'll lay it out for you: Let's say that you take 15 credit hours, which is the average at my school. That means that you spend 15 hours per week in class. Professors suggest that you spend 2-3 hours studying for every one hour spent in class. Let's round that to a comfortable average of 2.5 hours per hour...or 37.5 hours. Add that to the previous total of 15 credit hours and that gives you 52.5 hours per week spent on academics. Well, that's a full-time job right there. On average, I'd estimate that I spend 4 hours a day, 6 days a week at practice or in the weight room (probably a bit less during the off season, a bit more in-season). That's 24 hours a week. On top of that, athletics require you to attend meetings, lectures, study halls. Athletics require you to spend time worrying about the nutritional aspect of your life, worry about having proper training techniques in order to remain healthy. All these things combined translate to, let's say, another 15 hours a week. So that gives you a total of 39 hours. Add that to the previous academic total we found, and that's over 90 hours a week dedicated to your schoolwork and your baseball team. Everyday, every week, all year. If you feel that you aren't interested in putting in the required time to be a successful student and a successful athlete, then don't do it, because that's what it takes.

    In conclusion, no one will really know what is best for you or your son except you or your son. It is very important to discuss these possibilities with a clear head, and a foreseeable future in mind. Making this decision is a stressful, time consuming and exhilarating time in a person's life, and one that could ultimately be very gratifying. I encourage each and every person that reads these message boards to continue to engulf a wealth of knowledge that can be beneficial to them in the long run. HSBBWeb is just one of many high quality resources available out there, and exercising all of them cannot hurt you. Good luck to all those high school players who are beginning to start their seasons now, or will be soon.

  • Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Just Some Links ..

    I have decided today to put some links together. Some of them are very important, some are very informative, some are interesting and all should be useful if you're a high school player, college player, parent of either or just a baseball fan. I spend time each week visiting most of these and some I visit daily for updated information about teams and players. There are many high school players from your hometown area playing college or minor league baseball and it's great to see how they are doing. That's is what most of you high school players are aspiring to do. So here goes !

    NCAA - this is the official website of the NCAA
    Eligibility Center -  Every high school player who intends to play in college must visit and fill out the forms to register. There is a fee associated with registering.
    Division 1 Baseball -  Great site for finding information on Division 1 schools, schedules, conferences, and college summer leagues. It also has direct links to the individual schools websites. Great for coaches contact information
    Division 2 Baseball - Contains all the information to follow Division 2 teams and conferences
    Division 3 Baseball -  Up to date scores and write ups on the conferences and teams in Division 3.
    National Junior College Aathletic Association Baseball -  This site should be viewed by all high school players since many if not most high school and summer coaches have much information on junior college baseball. The fact that within junior college baseball there are also multiple divisions.
    NAIA Baseball - Along with junior college baseball, not many folks know that there is another organization that rivals the NCAA that is called the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics). This organization has many member teams but remains independent because the schools do not support the number of teams that the NCAA requires. These schools give scholarships and play by their own governing rules
    The High School Baseball Web Site -  A web site with as much information as you can handle. The forums are a great place to ask questions or research questions you may have. It is a group of parents and players who have all been where you are now. Best of all, it's free
    Perfect Game USA - The premier scouting website. Tournament information, showcase information, player rankings, draft rankings and plenty of information to research regarding high school, college and professional players. Access to areas is by subscription
    Baseball America - Subscription required just as you would buy the magazine
    Minor League Baseball - Official site of Minor League Baseball. Links to team information, player information and player statistics and team schedules
    Major League Baseball - Official site of Major League Baseball. Up to date news and links to individual teams, schedule, transactions and plenty more.
    Boyds World - The one site to find all kinds of statistical data related to college baseball, RPI, Strength of Schedule and much more if your into numbers and rankings. Free Site
    Warren Nolan - Another site similar to Boyds. Free Site

    I think thats enough for now. The next Blogs of links will be about summer collegiate teams/leagues, high school summer teams, leagues and tournaments but we'll leave that for another day.
    As always, questions can be emailed to

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    College Visits

    Campus Visits are a very important part of the recruiting puzzle. Having an idea about certain schools you may be interested in will be a valuable asset when calls and offers begin on July 1 after the junior year.

    This is a great time of year for parents, players, high school coaches and summer coaches to all come together and formulate a plan for visiting colleges. NCAA rules allow for unlimited, unofficial visits to college campuses where a player can take a campus tour, meet with coaches and actually take in a game if the schedules all match up. During theses unofficial visits, all expenses are paid for by the parents even though you can have a sit down with the college staff. After the first day of classes of Senior year, a college can invite a player down for an OFFICIAL VISIT. NCAA rules allow a player only 5 Official visits during which time, the college pays all the players expenses, travel, hotel, meals etc and those expenses of the parents once they arrive on campus.

    Parents and players should approach their son's coaches with some ideas and some background information when asking for help. Have a good idea of whether or not the player is a fit academically before we factor in talent. Some of the things we hope to have you come away from these visits include, the size of the school (too big or too small), student population (male vs female, athlete vs non), academic programs (do they have what you're interested in studying), location, one of the most important decisions because of parental access and home sickness. (warm weather vs cold, access, transportation), Tuition costs (all baseball scholarships are partial, what is affordable), Game schedules (can we catch a game while there).

    The next piece of important information is when will you be going, how much time do you have allocated for this trip? driving or flying? just how much driving do you want to do? Will he miss high school games or classes? Has your son been in contact with the coaches? Do you want to see the team play?From this information we can then formulate a plan. In most cases, a schedule can be made to accommodate visits to 2 schools per day, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. Your visits with the coaches will only be a half hour to and hour but it's also nice to visit with admissions and take a campus tour. A good idea is to bring copies of your un-official academic transcripts with you to show the coaches and the admissions counselors. Planning for a 2 -3 hour visit is usually enough and this will all start by 8:30-9:00 am and allow for an hour or two of travel between schools.

    February break, Easter break and summer break are great times to visit since they take very little time away from the students class schedule. The February break and Easter break allow the student to visit campus while classes are in session and you can get a true feel for the campus. It is also a time when the baseball season is in session with practices and games. It's important to see one or the other when possible since it will give the player a sense of whether he can fit in and how the coaches are with their players. It may not reveal all but you will see some.

    An experienced high school or summer league coach will be able to help you here as they have done this in the past and you are the next player they help. It's a great tool and helps these coaches continue to establish relationships with college coaches.

    Questions can be emailed to

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    What's Next ?

    Well high school tryouts are in full swing and cuts are beginning to be made. If you don't make the team, what happens now? Well the world does not end boys. High School tryouts are a very tough time for coaches especially here in the northeast. Most coaches get 5-10 days to evaluate players and most time it's in a gymnasium setting and the players get limited time to impress. If the varsity coach has not seen the player since the year before, alot may have changed and it's up to the player to show their skills.

    Some coaches are teachers in the system and may have limited experience as a coach or even with baseball in general and sometimes, you just don't have a good tryout. This does not mean you should give up and the dream is over. Quite the contrary. It's time to work harder to prepare for your summer season. Find a spring sport that will help you condition for the summer (track), and keep in mind what your goal is, playing baseball. Spend time hitting in a cage, using an indoor facility and throwing as much as you can (long toss). It's during the summer season that you'll have the opportunity to enhance your skills. Be 100% ready for that season.

    For those of you that have made it, congratulations ! Now there is more work to get done. If your goal is to play at the collegiate level, your time studying becomes more important. Practice and games will take up much of your time and when you get home you'll be tired and school work will take a back seat to rest, eating and social networking. get it done. Spend some time talking with your parents about what your goals are and let them know, that in order to become a college athlete, you must register with the NCAA Eligibility Clearinghouse, . When you go to the site, it will step you through the registration process and will provide alot of information for you and your parents. There is a cost involved so keep mom and dad close by. What this site does, is it stores all of your information, grades, test scores etc that the colleges can look at to see what kind of student you are and whether you are taking the right classes to be able to compete at the next level. Spend some time on the website . Read and ask questions. It is a wealth of information contributed by people who have been through this before.

    Now that school baseball is in full tilt, it's also time to make sure you have a place to play in the summer and to register for any showcases and/or camps that you may want to attend. These events fill up quickly and getting a spot is very competitive. Sites like have had their showcase schedule out for 2 months already and registration forms can be found there. The first weekend of showcases is usually right at the beginning of June before your summer season gets started. It is important to get to one of these events since college coaches often attend these, in the hopes of finding a few players who will be on their summer radar who may not have been prior to the event. The Sunshine Northeast, and Sunshine East events are two in particular and again, they are not free. A few other solid showcases are Selectfest, Blue Chip and Baseball Factory. Information and links can be found at . Again, spend some time on these sites, there is so much information found here. Pass all this on to mom and dad as well. They will want to be as informed as possible because not being informed could cost them thousands of dollars in bad decisions.

    If you have questions, drop and email to Keep working hard.

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Today The World is Different !

    I had a Blog to post today on recruiting but it will have to wait until Monday..

    The thoughts and energy of all should be with the people of Japan and those who stand to be effected by the tragedy of the day. Many lives will be changed forever and many lives will be lost....

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Honors Classes vs AP Classes

    Sitting around last night watching college baseball on the computer, I was thinking of how do I come up with a constant flow of things to BLOG about. Then it hit me! Just take a subject that you had discussed with a parent, player or coach on that given day or 1 of the topics that were discussed in days previous. Brilliant idea!.

    I received a call from a parent yesterday and like any smart person should do, when you're not 100% sure of the answer make a call and get it right. So I did and now here goes.

    This parent of a very talented high school baseball player, asked a question regarding his son's class schedule and course selection for next year. The player is a very good student and has been enrolled in honors classes the last 2 years and now going into his junior year, he has the opportunity to add in AP classes. His parents concern was with athletics, honors classes and now AP classes, how would he be evaluated as a student for admissions into college if his GPA suffered. Does it make a difference? Are courses weighted differently? How will the college coaches look at him dropping from a 90 avg to and 85? All legitimate questions.

    I called the VP of Admissions at a prominent University who also happened to be a pretty good college pitcher in his day and is a huge baseball fan. When I posed the questions to him he had a very solid answer that most will understand but for some it could still be cloudy. According to him, every high school has a rating for admissions, this meaning, when your taking honors courses, AP courses or just general high school classes, each school grades out differently. An example, there are schools where students with 85 averages in the general classes score well on their SAT's 1100 in the 2 part. This is a school that will grade out well since the student has a good average and has shown he can acquire good test scores. There are other schools where students with general classes have 95 averages and in the same school, honor students have 90 averages but many of the students have sub 1000 SAT scores. Get the picture?

    With that being said, he felt it was very important to maintain the GPA and in order to do so the family and high school guidance counselors should sit together and make a choice of either or, but not both. If he's doing well in the Honor courses, continue to take them with a mix of the general courses available. If as parents you want him to have a few college credits on the way in, then take the AP courses and forget the others in the Honors program. This should be the topic of discussion. As with all student athlete's, time management is a big part of the equation athletically and academically and a good understanding of that goes a long way.

    Many of the big time baseball programs in the ACC, SCC and others have started to bring in their high school recruits the summer before they become full time students and have them begin taking classes. This serves a few purposes. The opportunity to be on campus, learn your way around, meet some other students, workout on campus, in the weight room and use the athletic facilities are a bonus. If you can then find a summer team in the area of the school that you can play weekends with also helps. This has been a common practice for years with college football and basketball players with one huge difference, money. These other athletes are usually all on full rides so there is no cost to the family. Baseball players on the other hand are almost ALL on partial scholarships and the families will have to absorb the cost of the summer courses and the living expenses! Thank you NCAA.

    Getting back to your course decisions, you must keep in mind that the NCAA accepts only grades in your core courses. For D1 athletics, that's 16 core courses. Your phys-ed, cooking, basket weaving classes that you got all 100's in will not count toward your core GPA and eligibility. You can visit NCAA.ORG or drop me an email if you have questions with this

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    The Time Has Come !

    I know I'm two days late but the official start date for high school baseball in the area is now upon us. The start date of March 7th has come and gone as has much of the snow. Hopefully, you have prepared yourself this winter and are now ready to tryout. The returning players have it easier as they know what to expect and exactly what the routine is going to be over the next few months. However, they are faced with college applications, finals and proms. The juniors have to deal with fighting for starting positions and the conversations that will follow about summer ball and ideas for college. For the underclassmen, the stress of trying to impress and the thought of "have I done enough to prepare"? "am i good enough" ?

    The weather will hopefully take a turn for the better but I'm sure it will be a while before some of the fields dry up enough for outdoor practice to begin. There are, fortunately for many of you, a growing number of indoor facilities that can accommodate those that want extra work. Places like Frozen Ropes, Hardball Training Center, All Star Baseball Academy, Armonk Indoor Sports, East Fishkill Baseball, Extra Innings and some new ones in Somers and Mahopac that I don't have the names of. There are also some of the high schools that have artificial turf football/soccer fields that are already jammed up with spring sports. They are all fighting for a little "turf time", but it's a great opportunity for baseball coaches to get their players out side to long toss, field some fly balls, ground balls and work on base-running. I watched some of these exact drill at Iona College a few weeks back as they prepared to head south to open the season. What a great sight. Baseball practice with a back drop of 8-10 foot mounds of snow. This is also a great place for sons and dads and/or moms, brothers or sisters to jump out on the weekends to get some extra work

    Speaking of the college teams, their season is well underway with most teams having played between 10-25 games already. For you high school players, think about it, the colleges have almost completed 3/4 of your season and it's the first week in March ! BTW, the 20 game rule is stupid. I'll update some information on local college guys later in the week.

    Thanks for stopping by. If you have information on a college player drop me an email


    I have wanted to create a blog that can be both informational and beneficial to players and the families who choose to read it. Well the time has come and we'll see how it goes. While high school baseball and summer ball are meant to be a fun, enjoyable time for all, they can also be the most stressful, disappointing and confusing for many. My intent here is to create a forum, where information can be passed on, questions can be asked, discussions held without the usual player/parent bashing of others.

    Some of the information that I hope to be able to pass on will consist of important dates as they relate to the high school season, summer season, fall seasons, playoffs and  tournaments. I hope to be able to pass along information on college recruiting, some things you may want to know and some that you have to know. I also would like information passed along here with regard to players from the NY (Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland and Orange County) areas who have moved on to college or have made commitments to move on in the years to come.

    This blog will pass along some links to sites that most ball players and their families will be interested in if they truly enjoy the game and TALKING BASEBALL. Let's keep it clean, let's make it furn and Let's just talk BASEBALL

    If you have information (dates, events, accomplishments, accolades) that you would like published here, drop an email to . I will correspond to confirm the information.