“Ask Sam” – More Of Your Baseball Questions Answered By Sam Perlozzo

Philadelphia Phillies 1B coach and PBI advisor Sam Perlozzo answers your baseball-related questions. Do you have a question for Sam? Ask it here – AskSam@baseballclinics.com.

Here’s the latest from the “Ask Sam” mailbag:

Q – Sam, this question may be too soon because my son Chase is only 7. But he is a Lefty and he likes playing SS or 3B. I am trying to guide him to a pitcher hopefully but also 1st base. Should I get him a first baseman’s glove and keep guiding him towards that or just let him play wherever he like for now? If it is too soon now, when will it be the right time to specialize in a specific position? – Michael

A – Mike,

It is good your son likes to play those action spots in the infield but the reality is that it is not going to happen at a somewhat higher level..so it looks like 3rd base, shortstop, and 2nd base will not be somewhere he will play, probably even in Little League. If he can play those positions that is a good sign. There is alot of action and it seems like he digs that. Realistically, another position is going to be his spot. But let’s not limit him to first base. Maybe he can be an outfielder or even a pitcher. So there are other options that could fit him as well. Three outfield spots, 1st base, & pitcher gives him some options.

Until he plays in a higher organized league he will be fine doing what he is doing. Good for him!! – Sam

Q – Sam – my son is 15 years old, he has been playing varsity baseball since his freshman year. He is a 5’10, 210 lb catcher, arm velocity 88 mph pop-time bet 1.87- 1.93, 60- 7.1. I am aware that these numbers are great for a kid that’s 15. Although we have played in several national tournaments (Ft. Myers, Perfect Game, etc.) I have not taken him to an individual Perfect Game
showcase so that he can be rated because I feel that it should be done as a junior. I am a disabled vet on a fixed income and it’s hard for me to take him to these big events. My son clearly has alot of talent and I feel that he is losing out because I cannot do these events that clearly I know he would stand out in.

Please advise me in what I should do thats cost effective, so he can be seen. I think we have taken the first step this week; he was selected to the Bobby Valentine All-American national team. – Jose

A – Jose – Thanks for writing and let’s see what we can come up with. It sounds like your son is doing all the right things at his age. You are probably right on getting him in to be rated at a little later time. It is great that he is playing in some showcase leagues!! One thing I can vouch for is the fact that major league scouts don’t miss very many players. Those showcases usually are well scouted so I would say your son is being properly exposed at his development. What you want out of the showcases of ratings is mainly for college level ball. My son went to a showcase once and it helped him find a school and expose him to college baseball.

So at the right time,as a jJunior or even a senior, I would try and find a way to get him to a showcase if possible. It all depends on what his desires are. Getting a good college education is always a great way to go, and playing baseball along the way is awesome. Just remember, if it’s pro ball your son is leaning to, rest assured that some scout somewhere will get a look at him.

One last thing that is free are tryout camps for kids of all ages. You can probably find out from the Major League Scouting Bureau when camps are being held in and around your area. If at all possible, go to them! They will have a record of your son throughout the rest of high school and college. So enjoy the ride, stay positive and take care of yourself because it sounds like your son is on the right course to take care of you!!!

Best of Luck – Sam

Q – Sam – My 12 year old son plays ball on a travel team. A few years ago, he had a really nice coach that he liked, hanging on every word in training sessions. Everything this coach said, my son remembers. But, there is one thing that I don’t agree with, that drives me crazy at his games.

When up at bat, my son always lets the first pitch go by – good or bad. When I asked him why he doesn’t swing at good pitches, he says his past coach said to let the first one go by. Is there something I’m missing? Is there a strategy to letting the first one go by? Or, should my son swing if he knows he can get a solid hit?

Thanks – Rich

A – Rich – There is something to taking the first pitch and there is something to swinging at the first pitch (and we are going to assume that we are talking about strikes). Like anything else in your everyday life, we need to use common sense. The thoughts behind taking the first pitch is, one, to see as many pitches as you can so you will be better able to hit them, and two, to make the pitcher throw as many pitches as your can to get him out of the game. Like I said, use common sense. If there is a pitcher that is wild, you want to make him throw more and not swing at his wild pitches. And the more pitches you see from someone the better you know him and supposedly be able to hit him better. These have their merits.

On the other hand, I used to be a lead-off hitter so I had that decision to make every game. If I didn’t know a pitcher too well and didn’t feel that comfortable against him yet, I would take some pitches to get to know him better and be a better hitter later in the game. If I knew a pitcher and felt comfortable, I would swing at the first good strike. Now when your son gets into higher ball where pitchers can command the ball very well, that first pitch may be the best pitch you get all night! Therefore, swinging at the first pitch and getting a hit was a good thing. It sounds like your son’s coach is trying to teach discipline at the plate and that’s not a bad thing. Some of the best hitters in the major leagues like to hit with two strikes on them. Get to know your son, see how he reacts, and then try and make some adjustments and let’er fly sometimes!! Tie game, bottom of ninth, if you are a singles hitter, take a strike and try to get on base….if you can hit the ball out of the park, jump on the first good one!

Hope that answers your fears and thoughts. There really is no right way or wrong way all the time. The game you are playing that day will dictate the style for the night.

Best of Luck – Sam

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