College Baseball Recruiting
While there are numerous college baseball programs in the United States, getting recruited to play baseball takes athletic talent, academic strength, and a high potential for immediate contribution. Baseball coaches will spend most of their time and available scholarship money finding a pitcher than they will for an outfielder or catcher, so pitchers are more likely to earn scholarships their freshman year. While there is still baseball recruiting opportunities for other players, it is very competitive and high school players need to recognize this when looking for programs.
Baseball Recruiting Facts
Division I-caliber baseball players are all-around successful athletes. They have command of their technical skills and strengths, need little development, and have earned numerous honors such as All-County and All-State during their high school career.
There are a total of 1,618 college baseball programs (Division I, II, III, NAIA, and NJCAA). Each of these programs offers scholarships, but not all of them are full scholarships; many coaches like to divide the scholarships available to as many players as possible.
Doing well in school is just as important as doing well on the field; there are academic standards to meet in any college baseball program and coaches are more interested in players with strong grades and test scores.
Pitchers are the hot commodity in college baseball. Not only are they more likely to earn a scholarship, pitchers are also the most sought out for coaches’ rosters. But it isn’t enough just to be able to throw the ball to the plate. Pitchers need to have sound technique and command of at least a couple good pitches. College pitchers also need to have competitive statistics. For example, Division I pitchers have an ERA below 2.50, 3 different pitches thrown consistently, and a high number of strikeouts. In order to be recruited as a pitcher, you need to be a standout athlete and an indispensible asset to a college program. A baseball recruiting video is also really important for pitchers, and they need to supply coaches with a wide variety of footage, both practice and game film.
Catchers, Midfielders, and Outfielders
In order to be recruited to play college baseball, players need to be able to play at a high level. Coaches are looking for versatile players who understand the game and play hard. Here are some of the basic measureables that college coaches use to gauge potential student-athletes: speed, fielding abilities, hitting, and throwing. If an outfielder/midfielder can demonstrate strength, balance, and accuracy in their play, they can garner interest from college coaches. Catchers need to have a verified Pop Time included in their stats as well; Division I catchers have a 1.95 pop-time or lower on a consistent basis. Coaches also look for players who have been recognized as All-Area athletes and earned awards from their team as well.