Originally Posted by dougdirt
I guess the question is this: He was working with professional level coaches almost from the beginning. He didn't have long formed habits to break out of. He was taught the correct way, or at least a correct way, to do things, almost from the beginning of his baseball life. So what is it that he didn't learn from ages 6-14 that is holding him back at this point? That is where this whole conversation gets lost on me. What is it that he didn't have then that is holding him back now that he might somehow get in the future? Yeah, I am sure his learning curve was much steeper at 16-19 than other guys that age. But now?
What didn't he have? Oh, maybe 3,000 practices, for starters. That may sound a bit overstated, and maybe it is, but think of a typical 16-year-old Dominican who gets signed at the age in which Lutz was trying to figure out which hand he throws with. That Dominican kid has conceivably been playing ball every day of his life since he was six. Let's round that low to 300 days a year for 10 years--3,000 days on the ballfield. Granted, American kids typically don't play that much. But if not, a lot of them certainly watch the game a whole lot. They're constantly picking things up.
Think of it this way. If you had a kid with aspirations to play in the big leagues, would you advise him not to pick up a ball or bat or watch a game until he was 16?
Now, imagine you're a coach. A 16-year-old comes to you for instruction, and he's never put on a baseball glove. He's never held a bat. Are you going to start by teaching him how to inside-out a fastball to the opposite field? By showing him how to guard the line in the late innings of a one-run game? Where to line up as a cutoff man? How to pick up that red dot on the slider?