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Discussion in 'Softball' started by racerx5908, Nov 14, 2020.
The last 3 classes signed under Connie and under Mike:
Been getting excited about the 2021 signing class and started thinking about the trend under Mike.
Background: I went through the last six years of the Texas sports press releases after signing day. From there, I cherry picked the highest ranking for each player under the various softball publications. To be fair, there are many more of these sites then there were in Connie's day; Extra Innings, Softball America, etc... didn't exist a few years ago.
(I didn't include the obvious transfers in my list since I don't have that much energy)
But the data bears out my general thoughts about Connie's recruiting goals and Mike's recruiting style.
Get a "bellcow" pitcher every 3-4 years. In the past, the bell cow was Cat, then Blaire, then Tiarra? Nope, then Erica? And then for sure, Shealyn.
Get a lot of quality pitchers and let's see what cream rises to the top. Obviously, Elish, White (Miranda clone), and Simpson (Shealyn clone?) as well as taking in transfers. Grace Green, an example of a recruiting miss but then he keeps recruiting more pitchers anyway.
As for catchers, she liked to have highly ranked catchers spread out every 2 years. In the last couple of years, the catchers were adequate, and you had to live with the mediocre catches for 2 years until the next one popped up. Mandy Ogle, the last catcher that could reliably gun down steals of second.
More catchers! He's beefed up the number of pitchers on staff and need catchers who have to be able to HIT, to catch those pitchers. At this time, none of them have shone out in defense. But if you have more, you have a better chance of finding one. If they can all hit, then who is best at defense?
All other positions, we'll find players who are hidden gems (Jenae Jefferson) or who have dreamed of playing here (Cat O's legacy) and coach them up. To her credit, Connie's years had good defense because our offense was so lame.
Going to search the country for the best fielders and I'll swipe them from other schools they're already committed to. Oh yeah!
The rankings are a beauty contest and a bit self-serving. It's players or their club coaches promoting the player to these softball sites in hopes of getting some recognition (like they should). Does having a bunch of ranked recruits guarantee better results? Of course not. But starting with "better ingredients" is better than starting with "honorable 2nd team in their district" rankings.