College Baseball Scholarships
What you need to know about college baseball recruiting:
There are more than 1,600 college baseball programs in America. All except NCAA DIII offer full or partial baseball scholarships. Even at the DIII level many schools will provide financial aid in the form of academic or other scholarships.
Help yourself out: Get good grades:
Despite a plethora of scholarship opportunities across the various baseball divisions, the competition is indeed fierce. You can give yourself a leg up by taking care of business in the classroom. Achieve at least a 3.0 GPA and you are giving yourself a better chance at landing one of those coveted baseball scholarships.
Don’t expect a full scholarship:
Baseball is what they call an equivalency sport. This means that colleges only have a limited number of scholarships to divide up between the entire roster. For instance, a NCAA DI coach has 11.7 total scholarships and can divide those up any way he wants, perhaps giving half scholarships to virtually every player or giving full rides to just a select number of players, usually pitchers, catchers or power hitters.
At the DII level there are 9 scholarships per team, NAIA schools have 12 scholarships, and fully funded Junior Colleges can offer up to 24 scholarships.
Can you play more then one position?
Being willing and able to play more than one position is a definite plus in the college baseball recruiting process. If you can play multiple positions well a coach can then go out and recruit position specialists and use you to fill in the defense.
Don’t talk to every coach the same:
Another good strategy is to customize your pitch to college coaches based on what you know they are looking for. For example, let’s say you do your research and learn that one of your target programs needs a strong-armed outfielder to bat lead-off and it just so happens that you led your league in walks and outfielder put outs. Take that highly relevant information and communicate it to the coach.
Keep track of important dates:
Once you start high school it’s never too early to plan out a recruiting schedule. Plan on attending a week-long baseball camp in the summer between your freshman and sophomore year.
Start looking into showcases your sophomore year. Your junior year you should be attending advanced camps, preferably at some of the colleges on your short list. Reserve July for showcase events. Official visits start in November.
Keep in mind that any league you choose to play in during your later high school years should give you maximum exposure. It’s nice to play with your friends when you’re younger, but as you inch closer to baseball scholarship deadlines you will want to play in front of the people who can help you land a baseball scholarship.
Junior College has serious baseball players:
Junior College baseball is a viable option out of high school, especially if you are a late bloomer or need to shore up your grades. Maybe you just need some time to get stronger and develop–a year or two more. The JC level is an excellent opportunity to play against excellent competition before moving on to a four year university.