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Baseball recruiting going forward with the transfer portal

Posted on 6/12/24 at 9:13 am
Posted by Ole Boy
Member since Dec 2018
736 posts
Posted on 6/12/24 at 9:13 am
Are the days of recruiting high ceiling guys with undeveloped skills over in college baseball with the transfer portal? If I'm a coach I only leave a few spots open on my team for these type players because most will jump ship with no playing time. It seems like the pro route is much more suited for these type players and college coaches are better off taking a freshman 6'5 200 lb pitcher throwing high 80s with a couple of developed pitches than the flame thrower that can't get it over the plate.
Posted by dstone12
Texan
Member since Jan 2007
31100 posts
Posted on 6/12/24 at 9:19 am to
There will be some hs guys that you cannot let go. Especially La guys.


But now Jay can pick his own algorithm on how to do this.

He may go heavy on can’t miss guys one year and go mostly portal the next.

Posted by Lester Earl
Member since Nov 2003
279964 posts
Posted on 6/12/24 at 9:20 am to
It’s been that way. LSU never really took projects anyway
Posted by LSUFanMizeWay
Picayune MS
Member since Sep 2014
5777 posts
Posted on 6/12/24 at 9:22 am to
Reyzelman was somewhat of a Project
Posted by Bert Macklin FBI
Quantico
Member since May 2013
9432 posts
Posted on 6/12/24 at 9:36 am to
quote:

Reyzelman was somewhat of a Project


Yeah but he cut his teeth at a small school.
Posted by Chalkywhite84
New orleans
Member since Dec 2016
27731 posts
Posted on 6/12/24 at 9:39 am to
quote:

Reyzelman was somewhat of a Project


No.

Reyzelman was a flame thrower. You could see it before he came to lsu.
Posted by LifeAquatic
Member since Dec 2019
1832 posts
Posted on 6/12/24 at 9:42 am to
quote:

Are the days of recruiting high ceiling guys with undeveloped skills over in college baseball with the transfer portal?




lol, no. Hell, in a lot of cases, you're recruiting "high ceiling guys with undeveloped skills" even from the portal.


Like... look at Skenes, even. He was a good-but-not-dominant pitcher in a low-level conference when we brought him in. Of course, he was a major portal recruit because of the tools and the two-way ability, but he was not a ready-made star-level pitcher. Absent the development he got at LSU he'd have probably been a solid, reliable, average-or-a-bit-better SEC weekend starter. But he wound up being a star because we took the undeveloped skills and developed them.


Posted by BilJ
Member since Sep 2003
158913 posts
Posted on 6/12/24 at 9:45 am to
the smaller schools will now effectively be farm systems for the blue bloods in college baseball
Posted by Chalkywhite84
New orleans
Member since Dec 2016
27731 posts
Posted on 6/12/24 at 9:56 am to
quote:

Like... look at Skenes, even. He was a good-but-not-dominant pitcher in a low-level conference when we brought him in. Of course, he was a major portal recruit because of the tools and the two-way ability, but he was not a ready-made star-level pitcher. Absent the development he got at LSU he'd have probably been a solid, reliable, average-or-a-bit-better SEC weekend starter. But he wound up being a star because we took the undeveloped skills and developed them.



I don't think I agree with this.

Anyone have a list of the 11 players that might get drafted?
Posted by Gnash
Cypress, Tx
Member since Oct 2015
5697 posts
Posted on 6/12/24 at 10:01 am to
quote:

Anyone have a list of the 11 players that might get drafted?

Was he referring to the recruiting class, current roster, or both?
Posted by SammyTiger
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Feb 2009
68425 posts
Posted on 6/12/24 at 10:08 am to
quote:

Reyzelman was somewhat of a Project


he was a 1 year transfer that threw high 90s and contributed immediately.

Not really a project.

Posted by LifeAquatic
Member since Dec 2019
1832 posts
Posted on 6/12/24 at 10:09 am to
quote:

Reyzelman was a flame thrower. You could see it before he came to lsu.



But that doesn't mean he wasn't a project. That's the thing with baseball--recruiting, especially with pitchers, is a LOT different than it is with other sports. If you're a pitcher, you can be a very high-end prospect/recruit even if you've never actually been good at baseball yet (relatively speaking). If you have good velocity--or even just decent velocity with projectability--and are athletic on the mound (such that command gains can be expected with good coaching), you can be viewed as an incredibly hot commodity as a prospect even if you're not yet good as a player, because you have the foundational qualities, and the rest can be coached up (in a way that's really not possible, or at least not nearly as likely, in other sports).



Reyzelman is a pretty good example: When we brought him in, he not only had never been outstanding, he had never even been halfway decent. Seriously: He was a small-conference guy with a career 5.72 ERA who was coming off a season where he posted a 6.17 ERA and walked almost a guy per inning (7.7 BB/9). The idea that he was anything other than a project is simply not true at all. It's just that "project" means something a lot different as applied to a baseball pitcher than it does in relation to, say, an offensive tackle in football.


Even Skenes is a good example: He was a very highly regarded portal recruit, obviously, but it wasn't because he was a ready-made superstar. It was because he had all the stuff you need to have to become a superstar--in particular, the things that cannot be taught or cannot be taught easily--and the things he was lacking were the things that can be taught. He was good at air force, but he was basically getting by purely on elite arm strength; he was just standing and firing fastballs as hard as he could. That worked out pretty well against lower levels of competition; the velocity alone was enough to strike out his fair share, and he was able to keep the walks in check even despite the approach--but those weaknesses would have been magnified against SEC competition had he not made developmental strides with his secondary stuff and his command.


Another good example, though he never played here and was not technically a "portal" recruit, was Jacob Misiorowski. That's a guy who was good but not great against JUCO competition--2.72 ERA is nice, but 1.25 WHIP and >5BB/9 show some major cracks in the foundation--but was a cant-miss guy because of the stuff. If he'd made it to campus and pitched for us without making any developmental strides, he probably would have been a roller-coaster ride that most of the fanbase would not have liked; on balance he'd probably have been average or worse as a weekend starter. But with pitchers, and especially guys like him, you can really make significant improvements rapidly. And, what do you know, within a year of that JUCO season, he was a top ~30 prospect in all of baseball
Posted by SammyTiger
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Feb 2009
68425 posts
Posted on 6/12/24 at 10:14 am to
I mean we’re probably arguing semantics.

to me a project is a guy you see possible upside in that needs years of work.

a upperclassman transfer with a high 90s fastball and a bad era is more of a gamble. because you’re not gonna get too much time to work with him.
This post was edited on 6/12/24 at 10:15 am
Posted by Rich539
Member since Feb 2024
87 posts
Posted on 6/12/24 at 10:25 am to
Having a son who is going into his senior season getting text from Div-1 and Div-2 coaches. I am pretty much convinced that unless you are a top ~250 type player few Div-1 schools will ‘waste time’ on a high school kid.

Coach at mid-size Texas D-1 told me yesterday: Kids have all the power now with unlimited transfers. Brought in 3 freshman last year and all were gone because they didn’t get much playing time. Their focus is that lower level Div1/2/Juco Soph/Jr who has proven stats. And that kid from Major Div-1 programs that aren’t happy.
Posted by Lester Earl
Member since Nov 2003
279964 posts
Posted on 6/12/24 at 10:27 am to
Reyzelman tore up cape cod the summer before LSU. The players he faced there were way better than any he had faced at San Francisco. Jay knew he would immediately fit in for lsu. Not really a project

Jacob Misiorowski wasn’t a project either. He was a guy from juco with pro stuff who got a $3mil signing bonus.

Not sure we have the same definition of project. LSU recruits “stuff” more than numbers. But when they both jive, that is always great too.
Posted by LifeAquatic
Member since Dec 2019
1832 posts
Posted on 6/12/24 at 10:35 am to
quote:

quote:

Like... look at Skenes, even. ... he wound up being a star because we took the undeveloped skills and developed them




quote:

I don't think I agree with this.



I totally understand why someone would be inclined to look at Skenes and say he was ready-made, but it's simply not the case.


Was he a good pitcher at air force? Absolutely - no question. But if you simply drop the Air Force version of Paul Skenes into the SEC, I bet you'd get an ERA in the mid (or maybe low) 4s.


You can get there just by looking at the numbers, but it's the way he got to those numbers that's really informative. At air force he was basically just going out there and trying to rip fastballs by guys; he threw a breaker, but mostly it was his fastball doing the heavy-lifting, and he was really trying to throw hard.


Now, those things both work against lower-level competition if you throw hard enough and have decent enough command. But SEC hitters aren't blown away by 95mph if you don't have a dangerous secondary to keep them from sitting FB. If skenes had tried to rely on an effort-and-arm-strength-driven fastball against SEC hitters, they'd have hit him, and he'd have walked a fair share too.


Instead, Wes Johnson (1) got even more velocity out of him, (2) managed to reduce the effort of his delivery while doing so (thus improving his command dramatically), AND (3) made his slider a true, legitimate, elite pitch. Without those developments, Skenes is just another guy.


For reference, I found a tweet from Skenes's time with Team USA during the summer before he got to LSU, and the scout notes that his "FB topped out at 95 and sat 91-93" and he showed a "serviceable SL". That doesn't even remotely resemble the pitcher that LSU fans watched every Friday night, and while it may have been worthy of a spot in the weekend rotation, it certainly would not have been a ready-made star like you suggest.


I said this in another comment above but I'll repeat it here: This is all just a matter of baseball (and in particular, pitching) being a different beast when it comes to recruiting and development. Skenes was not a star when he arrived at LSU - but in baseball that doesn't prevent a guy from still being an enormous prospect. With skenes, a big developmental leap was the expectation, given his tools and background - but it still took a big developmental leap to make him a star. Except in the absolute rarest of circumstances, its just different from how it works with football and basketball.
This post was edited on 6/12/24 at 10:42 am
Posted by Dizz
Member since May 2008
14921 posts
Posted on 6/12/24 at 1:37 pm to
LSU brings in guys who may need some polishing. Project may be the wrong word.
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