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Batting Cages ...so fun

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by qtlaw, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. Webster

    Webster Well-Known Member

    My now 11 year old was having trouble early in our town season so we have been going to the cages 3-4 times a week. It’s so much fun — I was a no hit-all glove first baseman and even at almost 50, I’m giddy like a kid taking swings.

    It’s also crazy to see the local HS and club players turn on the super fast pitches.
  2. Twirling Time

    Twirling Time Well-Known Member

    In high school these days you either have to touch 80 with your gas or have some plus junk.
  3. Junkie

    Junkie Active Member

    A high school kid who hits 85 with any control will dominate most teams. High-80s will get D1 scholarships. At 90 or above, they get drafted.

    MLB BP is about 60 mph, but from 45 feet or so. If guys threw harder than that their arms would fall off.

    As for batting cages, I had forgotten how much fun they are. A friend’s kid had a birthday party a couple weeks ago at a putt-putt course that had cages. Went into the 80 mph cage and sprayed them all over the place from both sides. With a house bat. Made me want to drive home and dig out my old Easton, which for some reason I have saved for 25 years.
  4. swingline

    swingline Well-Known Member

    When I covered preps way back when, I saw at least two pitchers who hit 90, but I never heard of either getting drafted or even being offered a D1 scholarship. Being able to throw 90 mph is great, but if it's straight it's going to get hit, even at the high school level.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  5. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Control is everything in high school. You can throw 78 and if you're able to change speeds and control where it's going you'll be highly effective. I've long had a saying that 70 is as good as 90. You can totally flummox a team at that level with a pitcher who can't break a pane of glass because it throws off the hitters' timing so bad. Or at least you can for three or four innings before they adjust to it, and then the pitcher will get pummeled unless he can actually pitch.

    Maybe I live in a good state for high school baseball, or maybe they're juicing the radar guns, but in my neck of the woods 85 is about average for a decent high school pitcher. It's certainly nothing special in terms of raw velocity. Even 88-90 is not uncommon. I have seen really good ones in the low 80s, though -- guys who have gotten college scholarships -- because they were able to pitch and not just blast it by batters.
  6. Junkie

    Junkie Active Member

    It may depend more on the size of the school. A big-school power I covered had all kinds of good arms, but all were high-70s/low-80s guys. They won a lot, though. Once in a while a kid can go 90 or so and he's unhittable. At smaller schools, kids who can throw in the mid-80s are a threat to throw a no-hitter with 17 strikeouts every time out. One kid I covered pitched his team deep into the tournament and they ran into a similar kid. The score was 0-0 after 10, at which time both pitchers were lifted due to inning restrictions. The final score after 11: 4-3.

    Back 100 years ago when I played, if a kid threw 85, he was Nolan Ryan. It was unheard of. That was a while ago, but not that long in the big picture.
  7. Junkie

    Junkie Active Member

    That's strange then. Usually guys with live arms like that will get taken, even if only in the late rounds, in the hope they can be "coached up" with their mechanics to develop better movement and more pitches.
  8. MTM

    MTM Well-Known Member

    We all faced that one guy in youth baseball who threw really hard but had no control. He would either walk or strike out every batter as most of us cowered in the back of the batter’s box hoping he wouldn’t hit us with a pitch.
    ChrisLong likes this.
  9. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Yeah, maybe 10 or 15 years ago if a kid threw 90 it was absolute gas and everybody was agog over him. Now he's probably the ace on his team but he's not that unusual. Our local Class 6A team (a good team that got put out in the second round of the playoffs by the eventual state champs) had four or five guys at 85 or above this season.
    Their ace last year was 82-84. He got a scholarship to a solid juco program, but even he admitted that his fastball was slow as hell for the league he played in.
  10. BadgerBeer

    BadgerBeer Well-Known Member

    For about 4 or 5 years (in the 2005-10 range) we had a Pitching Machine League among friends. I was by far the oldest participant (43-48 yrs old) and the rest were local kids that I coached in basketball over the years. The one kid had just started his NBA career but when he was young his dad bought a pitching machine so his little league group could hit inside all winter (they owned a bar with indoor volleyball courts). We played on a slowpitch softball diamond so the fences were 300 feet and we played with wood bats. The games were 7 on 7 or 8 on 8 with base running and played as a regular game. This was soooooo damn fun. We kept stats and had a weekly recap printed out. I was never a good baseball player but we would get the machine up to 80 mph or so and I actually hit a pretty good .375 or so. The weirdest part was running the bases as I used to be very fast but by that time it felt so odd/awkward. I think we might have to visit the local putt putt and play a round then hit the cages this weekend.
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