My wild guesses at 14U turned out pretty wild. I was informed that the Blue Water Attack 14U dissolved and the players have found other teams – so they have been removed from the list. I guess there’s nothing like going out on top I know several joined the 14U HitDogs, who I know will be very strong.
I’m trying my hand at 14U predictions for the first time here. These are *WILD GUESSES* I’m no ratfink Since most teams aren’t together until end of May or June its hard to really make any guess early on.
But I’m going to start with another prediction before I rank my teams. As some know I am not a fan at all of Michigan’s MHSAA rule prohibiting a player from being on a travel team and a school team simultaneously. Old timers will strongly disagree I’m sure (and I am looking forward to the discussions), but in my opinion that rule will eventually hurt HS ball.
My prediction is that sooner or later the top players will want to stay together and play year round. They will also want to play down south in the Spring against better players. The MHSAA prohibits HS teams from playing in national events so warm weather competition will be impossible for our 15U-18U players. The top players will realize what a competitive disadvantage they are at on a national level when compared to Southern players. The MHSAA is looking out for the interests of the lowest common denominator rather than the elite players.
The people that self select as “elite” will skip the HS experience and look for a better baseball experience than most HS teams can provide. I am guessing this paradigm shift will start to occur in the next 2-5 years as the baseball training facilities start paying travel coaches more money, and recruit more experienced coaches. The top travel programs already employ coaches as qualified or more qualified than a lot of HS coaches. Ultimately parents will start to see how the antiquated and draconian the MHSAA is and how it is hindering their athletes progression. The elite travel teams will provide the top players a viable alternative, that offers better training, equipment, facilities and competition.
So my prediction is that ether someone will talk some sense into the MHSAA and let players participate on multiple teams or HS baseball will be relegated to a second class baseball experience. Until then here are my thoughts on 14U – I’m probably WAY off though so I’m really hoping that some folks more educated than me chime in. I do know the HitDog team will be very tough – but I will refrain from ranking them because of my connection sot the organization.
|1. BC BullDogs – At 13U they had an impressive run starting with the Memorial Day SNIT. Look for them to build on last season.|
|2. South Oakland A’s – Another strong program that is always competitive at the older levels. They were 18-5 at “AAA” last season. Look for these guys to take it up a notch.|
|3. Michigan Bulls – These guys finished strong last season, and I have heard good things about the program.|
|4. Saline Stix – Saline folks love their baseball, they consistently home grow a lot of talent. This age group is no exception. They were 8-2 in class “AAA” and had a winning record against major teams as 13U in 2012.|
|5. West Michigan Broncos – I really respect their program. They always seem to be well coached, fundamentally sound and competitive.|