Individual All Star & Showcase Opportunities
College & Professional Baseball has leveraged High School Showcases as an opportunity to assess a large quantity of players in a short amount of time. The Showcase type of atmosphere has trickled down to the younger kids over the years and provides a similar assessment atmosphere where they also get to play in games with players from across the country. For the younger kids, if they’ve aspirations of playing at the next level, exposing them to this atmosphere at an early age can be positive as they begin to understand not only the skills being assessed, but also the fact that they are not alone. There are numerous ball players with the same aspirations and although, Lil’ Johnny, may be the best 10U in your town, when compared to his peers from an entire state or region, his skill level might be different when compared to the masses.
Regardless, of their assessment, take it with a grain of salt. The evaluators see them for only a short time and do the best they can with the information at hand. However, the more events you attend, the more opportunities you gain to be seen.
Here are some of the organizations we’ve had experience with personally:
Aside from having team tournaments throughout the country, Gameday USA provides some of its participants an opportunity to be involved in All Star Weekends in which they further select players to participate in select tournaments in Florida & Arizona during the Thanksgiving & Christmas holidays. Our experiences have been very positive and we would recommend this tournament series to any ball player.
Baseball Youth began as a magazine many years ago. By having a pulse on the travel ball community over the country, they have used that knowledge to provide team and individual events across the country. Opportunities to play in individual events are also available and the experience and competition are also a good caliber.
Perfect Game is a leader in the country when it comes to providing college & pro coaches an inside look at a large number of players. They provide data portals to all their participants which allows coaches to keep eyes on certain individuals. As far as showcases for younger players, I”ve not seen much on that note, however, at the High School level, they are a prominent provider and one I’d consider attending if you have a ball player looking to play at the next level.
We’ve not participated in these at this point, however, they have a good reputation and cater to both the High School player as well as youth player. For youth events, I believe they may not have many options other than a state selected all star type of event near the end of the summer. But all together, they put on quality events from what I’m told.
USSSA is a national leader when it comes to putting on quality tournaments for travel ball teams in numerous sports. They implore a points system for their teams which are broken into divisions. Upon accumulating enough points, you qualify for World Series berths which are typically held in vacation destination type cities, i.e. Gulf Shores, AL. The team tournaments throughout the season are usually well run and the talent level is top notch. The key is having the teams classified which helps to promote a more balanced competitive aspect. Some states provide an All – State team which is typically handled by the state director in which they compete against other states in regional events.
Although the group does not have an event focused on individuals at this time, they do put on a quality events that provides a great experience for the kids. I believe at some point, they’ll begin to offer showcase type events and provide a similar offering to a Gameday & Baseball Youth type of experience.
These are some of the options available if you want to provide additional experiences for your ballplayer. The more they do it, the more comfortable they’ll become, try it out and if the first one doesn’t yield the results you had hoped, try another provider. The bottom line is, have fun, meet new people, play at cool and different venues!