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Do you really only need 1 pitcher in High School?

Feb 7, 2013
Curious how many Varsity pitchers you carry in HS and how much circle time does #1 get? Locally, it seems that once the regular season starts the #1 gets 90% of the pitching time since they only play 1 or 2 games a week?

The reason I ask is freshman DD wants to play Varsity this year but the Junior pitcher (committed to a BIG10 college) is very good and likely DD will have to make the team as an outfielder and/or pinch hitter/runner for a couple of years?
Jun 11, 2013
I looked at a couple of local teams and it showed the number 1 pitched 80 percent of the innings. I'm guessing most of the non number 1 innings
were in tournaments not league play. In league number 1 almost every game.
May 13, 2012
DD is #1 on HS team. Disclaimer she is not a stud D1 bound phenom but she is still a good pitcher throws in upper 50's and has hit 60-61 in lessons. She became #1 freshman yr thru attrition. Last yr and again this yr no real pitching has entered the system. While most schools will throw the #1 regular season 90+% of the time, take into consideration that they may not have another quality pitcher on the team. TB teams go and actively recruit a staff school only have what registers and there may only be one who has put the hours in. And that is theIR best chance for success.
Jul 14, 2010
Most high schools in my area use two or three pitchers. We had two last year and will have two again this year. Most do have a clear #1 pitcher who will get the majority of the innings.
Sep 29, 2014
Really depends but most of the time my guess is you see #1 getting 90% of the innings.

Two years ago we had #1 pitcher get 90% of the innings, #2 started JV and got 90% on JV innings and #3 played varsity in the field. Think reasoning here was #2 could not make varsity as a position player but was clearly better pitcher than #3 but #3 could also play in the field and contribute as a hitter. So without putting #2 on JV she would have literally sat all year and this way she could still be called up to varsity anytime if something happened to #1.

Last year same #1 got about 805% of the innings and new #2 got 20% of the innings they both played 1B when not pitching and hit 3,4 or 5 in the lineup it was #1's senior year and #2 is a freshman but she is a stud on the mound and at the plate but still has some maturing to do so was a good fit. Old #2 from last year got 90% of JV innings again but is obviously frustrated a little since it looks like with new freshman her "turn" will never come even though she is a really good pitcher and starts on her "A" travel team and I could see her getting a low D1 or D2/D3 offer.
Jul 16, 2013
Here is my DD's high school situation so far.

Freshman year -- incumbent was beginning her junior year. The assumption would be that DD would get some playing time but mostly pitch JV (16 girls on team so some girls play both JV and V -- typically freshmen). She did pitch sparingly. Probably 85% for junior and 15% for DD.

Sophomore year -- incumbent now coming in as senior. The hope was to build on the 15% circle time from freshman year, with the assumption that the senior would still get the bulk of the innings. What happened was unfortunate for the senior. Apparently she lost her focus and decided to not work very hard in the offseason. She started the high school season as the #1 but was gradually replaced by DD as a reliever, and ultimately replaced completely. DD finished the year pitching 60% of the innings to the senior's 40%.

Junior year -- DD is now considered the incumbent. Unfortunately there is no other experienced (travel ball) pitcher on the roster, so we are concerned. Our fear is that she will be responsible for every inning of every game no matter how good or bad she performs. It would be nice to have another arm available to help out. There are a couple players with limited pitching experience in rec ball, so maybe one can be developed. Time will tell.

Most other teams in our area are similar. I know of two schools that had pitchers throw 100% of the team varsity innings, but most have a 75%/25% ratio or something similar.
Jul 16, 2013
FP, I would just assume that she will pitch just about every inning of every game.
Yep. That is not my preference, but it is what will probably happen.

Rocketech1 -- If you are only playing a couple of games per week, I would assume the #1 would get a disproportionate share of the innings. We are in a different environment. We play a 20 game season is a 7 week period. Most weeks will include 3 games. However, due to weather conditions here, it is not uncommon for some of the late March and early April games to be postponed. This can lead to 4 and even 5 games per week near the end of the season. That is where my concern comes from with the 100% possibility.
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Jan 27, 2010
Lots of schools ride one pitcher all year and if they go deep into the season with county and state tournaments they often over use those pitchers. I know of a couple of that were pretty much used up the first month of travel ball due to the over use in HS.

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