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  • How to get recruited by a college baseball program

    After gaining the strength, speed, and skills to actually play college ball, what do you feel are the key steps to getting recruited by a college baseball program? What's a must have and what's a nice to have? What tournaments and camps are must or nice to do?
    Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

  • #2
    you're in a different boat than the majority of the board. up here on the continent, it often seems like HS performance is less important and mainly serves to confirm, to recruiters, what they saw at the showcase/travel events. In Hawaii, with fewer opportunities for "travel" as we know it, I think HS performance is most important. that's what gets you an invitation to participate on one of the handful of teams that come across the pacific to events like PG, Phil Singer, Arizona Fall Classic, etc.

    get to know people in the Hawaii baseball world. just knowing your son won't get him on a team but, if and when he does perform, he'll be on their radar already. He already plays for a big name school. DM's word is well respected. work hard for him and ball out in games. You don't have to make a name for yourself as a rising freshman but it doesn't help to start with a positive reputation (work ethic, attitude, etc) and build from there.

    Comment


    • #3
      When we played vs Waipahu, I sat next to 4 scouts looking at a stud (forgot his name) who played for Waipahu. He was an all star football player as well. One of the scouts said that he wasnt going to college because of his grades. These scouts were from pro teams.
      I saw Kodi Medieros (Waiakea) his senior year. No less than 12 scouts at that game.
      The Stanley Costales tournament in Hilo has many college and pro scouts in the audience. Even the State championships have alot of them.
      Maui holds a tournament prior to the season at Iron Maehara Stadium. Big name schools ( D1 and D2) I am sure they have scouts there.

      Parents and coaches in this forum did say that colleges hold camps and that if you wanted to go to that school, it would be a good idea to attend those as the coaches see you directly.

      Comment


      • #4
        First, a player has to be objective about his potential. He has to understand what level of potential he has. All a lock, potential high draft choice, pro prospect has to do is keep showing up at the field. He will be discovered. Scouts will come out of the woodwork. Then, there’s everyone else. If a kid is a top player in his area and wants to stay home for collefpge ball all the colleges in the area will know who he is. These players typically play for top travel programs because they want to play against the best.

        If a kid wants to get out of his local area he has to do showcases or tournaments with a travel team that are considered showcase tournaments (lots of college coaches attend). The first thing is the player understanding his potential level of play for college ball. You can waste a lot of time and money attending the wrong showcases.

        The player should attend games at the three levels of college ball. Get a feel for the speed of the game and the skills needed to compete. Then make a list of all the conferences (at the correct level) he believes he can play. Then decide which colleges in each conference is an academic, geographical, financial, social and cultural fit. By cultural fit a northeast urban kid may be uncomfortable at a southern, rural college and vice versa.

        The list should be at least fifty colleges. The list will change quickly. Some of the schools won’t be interested in the player. After gaining more information the player may lose interest in the school.

        Now on the player has to get in front of the schools on his list. He needs to get on a travel team that plays in tournaments the coaches attend. And/or he has to attend individual showcases the coaches attend. One way to find out is email the head coach and the assistant in charge of recruiting. Express interest and the college and the baseball program. Ask where to get in front of them other than their own camps. You could include a two minute skills video (do not confuse a highlights video with a skills video. Provide stats (sixty time, throwing velocity, hitting exit speed, gpa, sat/psat scores). If an article has been written about the player in the paper it can’t hurt to provide it.

        You do not have to travel to Perfect Game in GA and FL (unless you live in the region). There are plenty of regional showcases coaches attend. By the time my son attended two PG events in GA and FL it was nothing more than validation of what they had seen in regional events.

        There are showcase case events geared towards D3 players. There is Head First for top academic programs at every level. We lived in the Mid Atlantic area. My son did individual showcases, Select Fest in NJ and Atlantic 100 in PA. Both required signed recommendations from pro scouts. He also did the big PG tournaments with his travel team in GA and FL. He did a showcase tournament in Cary, NC, another in OH, PG Northeast in MA and a showcase tournament in NJ. He would have done Head First. But he was already discovered by the academics he was interested. I sold his registration to another player. He also played in a local scout league during the week.

        One size doesn’t fit all. I know of two mostly D3 showcases held in the northeast. Other posters have kids who were recruited in other regions of the county. There’s a poster on another board from Hawaii. His kid did Head First. The objective was Ivy League baseball or top academic D3. The kid is now playing at a ranked NESCAC (D3). It’s one of the hardest colleges in the/country to get accepted. Baseball got him over the top.

        Re: emailing colleges ... Do not have the emails come from dad. It looks bad. Either have the kid do it or dad does it in his kid’s name. I’ll admit I did all the intro emails. My son already had a heavy schedule. We did response emails together. Create an email address specifically for recruiting. An example of my son’s was ... [email protected]. It made it essy for the college coach to recognize. It made it easy for us to have everything in one place.

        Legion was not quality baseball in our area. My son probably could have played Legion and still be recruited by the D1’s in the area if he wanted to play for losing programs. But I believe college ball would have overwhelmed him without the level of competition he saw in a national travel schedule. He left back to back PG events with the attitude he may not be a top 500 recruit but he belongs on the field with them. I don’t know of any D1 recruit in our area who didn’t at least do the two top regional showcases.

        Pitchers do have an advantage. It doesn’t matter where you throw ninety if you throw ninety. Position players have to go where they can prove they can hit quality pitching.

        Warning about camp invites ... Most colleges you email will place you on a mailing list for their camps. The only events worth attending are prospect camps. At other camps the head coach and recruiting coach may not be in attendance longer than to give a rah rah, welcome speech.

        A parent of the 16u team I coached was telling everyone a top ranked program was recruiting his kid. It was nothing more than an invitation to an instruction camp. I filled out the online recruiting form on behalf of my dog and received the same invite. The dad calmed down.
        Last edited by JettSixty; 07-20-2018, 08:50 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Specific to a place like Hawaii ... Do you know someone on the mainland your son could live with for the summer? Find a travel team for him there.

          Comment


          • #6
            Great stuff. I've heard about a few players from the HS program who just graduated. I'm not close to them since their kids are 5 grades older than mine, but one was the starting short stop who got offered as a sophomore. The other two weren't even starters but they played travel ball for a month or two in the summer and I guess did well. I'll have to look into the travel ball thing, I do have a place he can stay (San Francisco Bay Area) for the summer, but he may not be able to go until after his senior year (seems too late). I may try to gather all this great info and put it in cliff note format on the first post.
            Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

            Comment


            • #7
              Pay attention to what Jett says. His posts have helped me/us tremendously.

              DO NOT forget academics. Sure you have to have the talent to play, but if all things are equal, they take the better student. Not to mention there is more academic than athletic money available. Athletic money is nice but it's an appetizer. Academic money is the main course.

              Ty Cobb-"Every great batter works on the theory that the pitcher is more afraid of him than he is of the pitcher."

              Comment


              • #8
                Advice:

                Step # 1: Listen to JettSixty

                Step # 2: Repeat Step # 1 (If you don't listen to JettSixty, you're a dimwit and really don't deserve advice...)

                Good luck.
                I don't like my balls to smell like pickles.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm sure your son participates in the Kado Baseball camp and possibly Nate Trosky's. They do select local talent to travel and play mainland tournaments throughout the Summer. Being an MPI alum, Donny Kadokawa may give your son an extra look.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Totally agree with Jett.

                    One thing that really helps too is playing for a travel team that is relatively high profile and that has a coach who has a relationship with college coaches (so, usually, picking the best team your kid can play for). I will say, I've personally seen that make a huge difference with players being seen and offered. Players who are borderline for a school, get offered because the travel coach highlighted positive attributes about the kid and understood the college program, and colleges offer because they see a feeding frenzy for a player and are worried about being out-offered by another school. The best travel coaches know how to work that system. So, if you have the opportunity, play for the travel program with the most exposure, rather than being a big fish on a team with relatively no exposure and experience placing players.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mcloven View Post
                      Totally agree with Jett.

                      One thing that really helps too is playing for a travel team that is relatively high profile and that has a coach who has a relationship with college coaches (so, usually, picking the best team your kid can play for). I will say, I've personally seen that make a huge difference with players being seen and offered. Players who are borderline for a school, get offered because the travel coach highlighted positive attributes about the kid and understood the college program, and colleges offer because they see a feeding frenzy for a player and are worried about being out-offered by another school. The best travel coaches know how to work that system. So, if you have the opportunity, play for the travel program with the most exposure, rather than being a big fish on a team with relatively no exposure and experience placing players.
                      Mc brings up an important point I forgot to add. Players aren’t discovered. They’re presold. A travel coach with credibility and college contacts goes a long way. The travel coach calls the college coaches on his player’s lists and presells the player before the showcase or tournament.

                      When my son got injured and had surgery all the interested schools disappeared. His offer came sight unseen after his travel coach called the college coach and vouched he was 100% physically.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Okay, then that begs the question... How do you get on one of these special travel teams? Do you just go to the tryout when they occur? Do many of them just recruit based off of word of mouth? I expect that these showcase travel teams are a complete different animal than those at the younger ages. What age should kids start seeking these teams out? After 8th grade, 9th grade, 10th grade, or before? I know some coaches who push potential future College recruiting to youth players in trying to get them to come to their teams, but I call BS on that one. Thanks

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          More great stuff! Is it possible to go a little deeper? Viking0, I have heard before that if you are a complete man-child stud, you could start working on recruiting at 14. Otherwise, 16-17 for most students. Unsure how you get on a good travel team (although I think I can find out locally by talking to peeps). Unsure how to determine if a travel team is any good. How do people define a "good" travel team and a "good" tournament or showcase to attend? There is so much info out there, how do you determine good from fair/poor, to scam?
                          Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JettSixty View Post
                            First, a player has to be objective about his potential. He has to understand what level of potential he has. All a lock, potential high draft choice, pro prospect has to do is keep showing up at the field. He will be discovered. Scouts will come out of the woodwork. Then, there’s everyone else. If a kid is a top player in his area and wants to stay home for collefpge ball all the colleges in the area will know who he is. These players typically play for top travel programs because they want to play against the best.

                            If a kid wants to get out of his local area he has to do showcases or tournaments with a travel team that are considered showcase tournaments (lots of college coaches attend). The first thing is the player understanding his potential level of play for college ball. You can waste a lot of time and money attending the wrong showcases.

                            The player should attend games at the three levels of college ball. Get a feel for the speed of the game and the skills needed to compete. Then make a list of all the conferences (at the correct level) he believes he can play. Then decide which colleges in each conference is an academic, geographical, financial, social and cultural fit. By cultural fit a northeast urban kid may be uncomfortable at a southern, rural college and vice versa.

                            The list should be at least fifty colleges. The list will change quickly. Some of the schools won’t be interested in the player. After gaining more information the player may lose interest in the school.

                            Now on the player has to get in front of the schools on his list. He needs to get on a travel team that plays in tournaments the coaches attend. And/or he has to attend individual showcases the coaches attend. One way to find out is email the head coach and the assistant in charge of recruiting. Express interest and the college and the baseball program. Ask where to get in front of them other than their own camps. You could include a two minute skills video (do not confuse a highlights video with a skills video. Provide stats (sixty time, throwing velocity, hitting exit speed, gpa, sat/psat scores). If an article has been written about the player in the paper it can’t hurt to provide it.

                            You do not have to travel to Perfect Game in GA and FL (unless you live in the region). There are plenty of regional showcases coaches attend. By the time my son attended two PG events in GA and FL it was nothing more than validation of what they had seen in regional events.

                            There are showcase case events geared towards D3 players. There is Head First for top academic programs at every level. We lived in the Mid Atlantic area. My son did individual showcases, Select Fest in NJ and Atlantic 100 in PA. Both required signed recommendations from pro scouts. He also did the big PG tournaments with his travel team in GA and FL. He did a showcase tournament in Cary, NC, another in OH, PG Northeast in MA and a showcase tournament in NJ. He would have done Head First. But he was already discovered by the academics he was interested. I sold his registration to another player. He also played in a local scout league during the week.

                            One size doesn’t fit all. I know of two mostly D3 showcases held in the northeast. Other posters have kids who were recruited in other regions of the county. There’s a poster on another board from Hawaii. His kid did Head First. The objective was Ivy League baseball or top academic D3. The kid is now playing at a ranked NESCAC (D3). It’s one of the hardest colleges in the/country to get accepted. Baseball got him over the top.

                            Re: emailing colleges ... Do not have the emails come from dad. It looks bad. Either have the kid do it or dad does it in his kid’s name. I’ll admit I did all the intro emails. My son already had a heavy schedule. We did response emails together. Create an email address specifically for recruiting. An example of my son’s was ... [email protected]. It made it essy for the college coach to recognize. It made it easy for us to have everything in one place.

                            Legion was not quality baseball in our area. My son probably could have played Legion and still be recruited by the D1’s in the area if he wanted to play for losing programs. But I believe college ball would have overwhelmed him without the level of competition he saw in a national travel schedule. He left back to back PG events with the attitude he may not be a top 500 recruit but he belongs on the field with them. I don’t know of any D1 recruit in our area who didn’t at least do the two top regional showcases.

                            Pitchers do have an advantage. It doesn’t matter where you throw ninety if you throw ninety. Position players have to go where they can prove they can hit quality pitching.

                            Warning about camp invites ... Mist colleges you email will place you on a mailing list for their camps. The only events worth attending are prospect camps. At other camps the ahead coach and recruiting coach may not be in attendance longer than to give a rah rah, welcome speech.

                            A parent of the 16u team I coached was telling everyone a top ranked program was recruiting his kid. It was nothing more than an invitation to an instruction camp. I filled out the online recruiting form on behalf of my dog and received the same invite. The dad calmed down.
                            Wow! This should be locked at the top forever. So years from now, when someone asks a similar question, this can greet them!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Viking0 View Post
                              Okay, then that begs the question... How do you get on one of these special travel teams? Do you just go to the tryout when they occur? Do many of them just recruit based off of word of mouth? I expect that these showcase travel teams are a complete different animal than those at the younger ages. What age should kids start seeking these teams out? After 8th grade, 9th grade, 10th grade, or before? I know some coaches who push potential future College recruiting to youth players in trying to get them to come to their teams, but I call BS on that one. Thanks
                              around here (norcal), there are programs that are nationally ranked, going back into diaper ball, that continue to be good into high school ages. there are also top programs in youth ages that, traditionally, break up at 12. For most players/teams, the big shakeup seems to happen around 14 (8th grade). there's a lot of movement between 12u to 13u as a lot of the 12u teams don't continue on (rec league affiliated, cooperstown is the ultimate goal of the program, some other reason). there's a scramble to place kids on 13u teams by clueless parents who go only for name recognition and a lot of kids end up on B or C teams in a name program. at 14u, serious kids seem to alight upon the team that they will stay with for a few years. many kids who switched programs between 13 and 14 find that they didn't have the right fit or that the grass is greener in some other pasture.
                              around here, 14u also coincides with the jump to the big field, so maybe that has something to do with it (duh!!).

                              as to how to get on one of the top teams (or, ideally, a team that's a good fit for your player)...grassroots is the way to go. all the friends and contacts you make up to this point can come into play. for my son (13u rising 8th grader), we're looking around right now. he's locked into a great spot for the summer and fall with a great coach but the coach may pull the plug in the spring (not for any bad reason...his own son is just getting to the age where he'll start playing travel so he wants to spend more time with him) so there could be 12 very good players looking for spot, come spring. This is the time to talk to old teammates and see how they like their situation. talk to parents you know and see how they like the team their kid is on. talk to coaches you've run into in the past. My son is a good player but not the best in his age group in the area. if I had a gun to my head, I would estimate his ceiling as low to mid major D1 (absolute ceiling, not "he's a D1 player). So he's known to many coaches and would be welcomed on a number of teams but he's not the flat dude that everyone is scrambling to pick up. maybe puberty hits him hard in the next couple of months and he becomes a dude. then, all of this is moot. otherwise, it'll be text messages, phone calls and face to face talks to see where he would fit best.

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