“Ask Sam” Returns – More Of Your Baseball Questions Answered By Phillies 1B Coach Sam Perlozzo

Philadelphia Phillies 1B coach and PBI advisor Sam Perlozzo periodically answers your baseball-related questions. Email Sam directly – AskSam@baseballclinics.com. Here’s the latest from the “Ask Sam” mail bag.
Q: Sam, I got a chance to watch a lot of spring training games this year, plus the MLB Network’s “30 Clubs In 30 Days” series. I got to wondering if the spring training regimen has changed in recent years. When I was a kid I seem to remember pitchers and catchers reporting a full two weeks before position players. Now it seems as if they report within a few days of each other. Also, what’s your favorite part of spring training? Tom
A: Well, Tom, spring training has changed somewhat in certain areas. The most visible one is the fact that players used to come to spring training to get into shape. Nowadays, players come “in shape”and are more concerned about getting their timing down, pitch control, and other baseball activities. Players want to win jobs in spring training more than ever. Since the players come in shape now there is no need for the position players to come too much later. I think most players still think spring training is too long; their season is such a grind that they really are ready much quicker because they report to camp in shape. The day-to-day routine still remains somewhat the same. You still have to allow for time for all the fundamentals to be covered.
I love teaching, so my favorite part is being able to work with some of the youngsters who are so eager. And even some veterans want some skills to be refined. It is really fun and rewarding to see your players accept and implement your own work ethic and talents. Best of luck. Sam

Q: Hi, Sam. Thank you for this opportunity allowing us to ask you some questions. I’m a father of a 16yr old HS junior, I know this is a big year for recruiting. Right now he’s 6′ 1′ and 205lbs with a strong arm, with three solid pitches and if I had to guess his velocity is in the low to mid 80’s. He hasn’t been on the gun since his freshman year because I didn’t want him to get to hung up on his velocity. He plays in Bergen County in a Group 1 school and his team is made up of mostly under-class-men this year. His era was the lowest on the team as a sophomore with a winning record. My question is what can we do as a (parent/school) to get his name and talent out there for colleges? Not knowing if he’s good enough for Division 1, 2 or 3 and trying to find the right fit for him. Should we be going to showcases, club teams etc. to get him some attention? I don’t want to waste our time or money. Thank you. Chris

A: Chris – If your son wants to go to school and play baseball then I would suggest he go to some showcases or even better, to a place where they actually work out your son and help him get into a college for his level of play. PBI would be the best place to ask. I know my son went to one and they sent film out, evaluated his talent and suggested schools that were of his talent level so that he would be sure to get the best chance to play.

His ERA does not concern me. It’s just a number. I am more concerned about his velocity, secondary pitches , movement , and control. His size is certainly something in his favor. Scouts will project him as time goes on. If he is good enough now, trust me, someone will have seen him. Nothing beats an education though. Let me know how things progress and I will be better able to help you along the way. Good Luck! Sam

Q: Hi Sam. Question – what do you think is the best transition in weight drop for My son that is 11u ‘5 ft – 4inch and about 110lbs. At the moment he is training with a -9 30/21 inch bat for travel ball and I’m thinking about buying a -11 for in house ball? Thanks. Phil

A: Phil, I have to be honest with you…I have no idea of the weight differences that you speak of. There are certain regulations in some leagues that only allow for a certain ratio difference for safety’s sake. What I do know is that bat speed is what generates power. Therefore, the faster your son can swing a bat through the strike zone, the more power he will generate. And that doesn’t always means home run power. Good hard line drives could very well be what we may be talking about. Always, always remember that bat speed is the key. Never take a bat up to the plate that you can’t swing fast. Swinging slow with a bigger bat will not increase power!! Whatever your son swings the best….is the best bat ratio. His, nor your, ego should come into play. Hope this helps….hoping for lots of hits!!!!! Sam

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