ONE OF THE GREAT THINGS ABOUT BASEBALL IS THAT SIZE IN NOT THE FINAL DETERMINATION TO WHAT LEVEL YOU CAN PLAY!
I was asked the question today during a phone conversation on how much size comes into play in baseball and during the recruiting process.
My answer was simply: “It IS and it is NOT important! If that makes sense!” Here was my more detailed answer for both being and not being important:
Why is size important:
- Leads to projectability: Projectability is very important, especially when we are dealing with professional baseball. Many high school players have not began to reach their full physical potential. This is why coaches and scouts have to project where they will be in 2-5 years. The taller and thinner a pitcher is, for example, the more likely he will be able to add weight, velocity, and stamina as he gets older.
- A bigger player is able to use his size to create more leverage and power: The bigger and stronger a player is, the more he can use his body naturally to generate power and velocity. This is simply something that a smaller person cannot do!
Why size is NOT important:
- The best thing about baseball is you do NOT have to be 6-8 or 245 pounds of pure muscle to play: Baseball is purely about you competing with yourself, so if you have the skill set to hit, field, run, and/or throw, you can play. It’s unlike football or basketball where you have to physically guard or try to get past another person who is a large man!
- Baseball is a sport that is about generating power: While being much tougher and creating much more strain on the body, it is possible for a smaller person to generate as much power/velocity as a bigger person. Billy Wagner, for example, was a MLB closer and is only 5’10”. He was able to generate enough power to throw upwards of 100 MPH. Tim Lincecum is only about 5’11”. Offensively, Dustin Pedroia is only 5’9” and he has above average big league power!
- Baseball is a mental sport: To succeed in baseball, having mental toughness and self-confidence is just as important as physical skill. If you truly believe you are the best and you are able to ride out a 162 game schedule and 0-40 slumps, you will be able to play the game, no matter how big or small you are!
More importantly than your size is your heart and work ethic! Whether you are 6’4 220 pounds or 5’5” 150 pounds, leave everything you have on the table at every game or workout! If you can do that, you will become the best baseball player you can be!