Someone on another site posted a thread about why less kids are pitching. The lack of pitchers is what killed the men’s game and I fear we are headed the same way for the women’s game.
The following is a cut and pasted response- the handle of the guy who posted it is gtq and those of us who hang around that site know exactly who he is and that he knows what he is talking about. The following is what he posted:
“I don't know that there are less total pitchers than there used to be, but it certainly is harder to be a pitcher than it used to be.
1. When they moved the mound to 43 feet from 40 feet back in 2006 for ASA Gold, think it might have been 2008 for high school, the 56-58 mph pitcher changed from "somewhat effective" to "punching bag". The 53-56 mph pitcher changed from "okay" to "total punching bag". One of the reasons kids pitch is so they can be a focal point of the game. When that focal point becomes "punching bag" the line of volunteers gets shorter. It takes a lot for a young pitcher to have success these days because in my opinion the odds are stacked against them (see the points below).
2. Hitters hit 12 months a year now. Back in the 2000s many hitters did not have full time instructors or indoor facilities they could use regularly. Now kids have exercise gurus at age 8 and there is a hitting cage on every block. These are definitely not favorable factors for aspiring pitchers.
3. Bats are hot. I am getting old and I can probably fungo with one hand with the modern bats. You see 12 and 13 year olds hitting balls over 200 feet now. That wasn't happening ten years ago.
4. The Chicago area has improved tremendously in the last ten years. I would venture a guess that back in 2000-2008 era the Chicago area produced 20 D1 players in a given graduating class. Now there are travel teams in the Chicago area with whole lineups of D1 commits. Only the better pitchers can work through a whole lineup of these kids.
5. I would argue there are more D1 caliber pitchers in the Chicago area than there have ever been. But 43 foot mounds, year round hitting instruction, hot bats, and stacked lineups make pitching a much tougher position choice for most players than it was in the past. If you start getting beat up on the mound as a 14 year old you may not have the persistence to work through it. I would say rotten fathers and the failure of travel coaches to develop pitchers is no more an issue than it has ever been. There are simply physical limits on how hard a pitcher can throw and unlike hitters, there is no equipment available that can help inflate that.”