I am amazed with the number and variety of “all-star” events that select level players get invited to. Every year, it grows and grows and grows. Soon, everyone will be an “all-star”— just sign-up early before the spots sell out.
Parents and player are now asking “should I do this event or that event”. It is crazy. I am not talking about showcase events — which serve a recruiting purpose and can be great events. I am talking about 10-15u “all-star” events that are devoid of any pretense of development, college recruiting or scouting. Just pay some money and you are an “all-star”.
For all the players and parents asking me, here is the answer:
USA Baseball NTIS events are the only “all-star” type events worth doing. The reasons are simple. First, it is THE USA Baseball — you know, the one that competes in the World Baseball Classic and all the USA National Teams from professional down to 12u. Second, the USA Baseball NTIS process is an important part of the National Team selection process and the BEST players in the country participate in these events.
Want proof? — just check out the Twitter stream at @USABaseballNTIS for all the highlights of NTIS alumni. It is incredibly impressive. And, here is a stat — since 2008, 263 NTIS alumni have been drafted by MLB, with 23 First Round Picks. This is the best of the best, including #2 overall pick Alex Bergman in 2015. No other even series in the country come close to this.
If you have discretionary cash and want to spend it on a baseball weekend for your son, then maybe you should consider the multitudes of “all-star” events. Just recognize that this event will have little meaning once it is over.
USA Baseball NTIS events offer much more meaning. If you get a chance to represent your Region in Cary, NC, it is an incredible honor and a great baseball experience. After all, this is USA Baseball and you are on the field with the top players in the country. And if you get a chance to be invited to a National Team trial, or get named to a National Team … that is an experience of a lifetime.