Baseball Prospects and the Baseball Recruiting Process
What are college baseball prospects?
Simply put, baseball prospects are players who are eligible to earn baseball scholarships and to play on college teams.
The goal for most prospects is to be amongst the group of baseball recruits. Those are the ones who baseball recruiters pursue and who are most apt to end up on college baseball rosters. To be in that group, you need to have enough promise and skills to be considered. .
How can you become one of those pursued baseball prospects and recruits who become baseball commits? Of course, improving your baseball skills to high enough levels that coaches who are responsible for college baseball recruiting at their schools will view you as likely having positive influences on their squads. However, you also want to focus on other aspects of what you would bring to the table. These include things such as your academic skills and how you handle yourself when presented with challenging situations, both on the field and elsewhere in your life. The whole package is important.
It's also essential to start focusing on the college baseball recruiting process in your freshman year of high school. If that time has already come and gone, you'll be behind your competition, but make sure to jump right into it so that you can make the most of the time that you have remaining in high school. Be proactive throughout this period while also considering that coaches need to follow a set of recruiting-related rules that, for example, might not allow them to contact you at certain times; however, you are free to contact them whenever you wish.
Baseball Prospects, Baseball Recruits and Baseball Commits
One of the simplest but most important things that you can do is understand the differences between these terms: baseball prospects, baseball recruits, and baseball commits. As noted above, being amongst the nation's baseball prospects is a low bar to hurdle. However, advancing to the point that you can be included in the group of baseball recruits is significant. This means that one or more of those who are involved in baseball recruiting have voiced interest in possibly having you join their teams.
The last step in this process is to join the elite group of baseball commits. These are the players who not only have been recruited by one or more schools but who have also been offered a spot and accepted that offer. This can either be done silently in that it has not been revealed via social media or in any other public manner, through a verbal agreement, which is non-binding but oftentimes necessary due to baseball recruiting rules, or via a legally binding contract through the offering of a baseball scholarship and the signing of a National Letter of Intent.
College Baseball Prospects: NCAA, NAIA and Junior College
To be amongst the baseball prospects who end up playing college ball, you need to impress the coaches at the various levels of the college game enough to want to include you on their lists of baseball recruits and baseball commits. Although there are always exceptions to these guidelines, do take them into serious consideration as exceptions are called that for a reason; they are exceptions to the norm.
Unsurprisingly, the expectations for D1 baseball prospects are the highest as these are the schools that compete to get to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. The squads that most players who are drafted from college ball into the pros come from these teams. For example, most D1 baseball prospects who play middle infield will be between 5'8"-6'2" and 165-190 pounds, run a 60-yard dash in 6.5-6.8 seconds, throw the ball across the diamond around 90 mph and have an on-base percentage of .500+ and a slugging percentage of .600+.
To compare, D2 baseball prospects playing those positions generally run the 60-yard dash in 6.9 seconds or faster, throw the ball across the infield around 80-85 mph and have on-base and slugging percentages of .550+ and .450+, respectively.
In contrast to D2 baseball prospects, D3 baseball prospects are usually a little shorter and lighter, run the 60-yard dash in 7.0 seconds or faster, throw the ball to first at a speed of about 78 mph and record respective on-base and slugging percentages of .400+ and .500+.
College Baseball Camps, Baseball Showcases and Baseball Combines
Some of the best things that baseball prospects can do is take part in top baseball prospect camps, baseball showcases and baseball combines.
Baseball camps can be held by colleges throughout the country as well as by other organizations, including MLB teams. The primary benefits of these to baseball prospects are being able to improve their skills and, in some cases, improve their visibility amongst coaching staffs who they want to impress. Ones held by universities that baseball prospects are considering are especially worthwhile as they also offer the ability to experience that campus first-hand.
Baseball showcases are held for baseball prospects to showcase their skills to coaches. These are generally organized by third-party groups and can provide tremendous opportunities for baseball prospects to promote themselves.
A baseball combine is sometimes directly connected to a showcase, or it can be a separate event. At combines, verified numbers of things like pitching speed and how fast a 60-yard dash can be run are recorded and shared.
It's always helpful to see where you stand relative to other college baseball prospects, baseball recruits, and baseball commits.
First, look at where teams that you are considering rank as far as their incoming baseball commits go. Perfect Game provides some of the most respected team rankings, and they also break it down amongst universities fighting for D3 baseball prospects as well as squads at every other level of college ball. Baseball America Top 100 is another resource to review.
Also consider who the college top 100 baseball prospects are, who you are competing against for these spots on college rosters. ESPN college baseball rankings and lists compiled by US Elite Baseball, D1Baseball.com and 247 Recruiting are informative ones to consult.
It also helps to consider who the top MLB draft prospects are as many of those players are deciding whether to head to college to play or to enter the professional ranks immediately after high school. The Baseball America Top 100 is a useful tool to do this. Do note that many of these players end up realizing that the best choice was to go to college first and then become one of the college baseball draft prospects thanks to all the benefits that a college experience provides.
Top College Baseball Teams
All the best college baseball prospects should also keep up to date on NCAA baseball rankings, who the country's best teams are and how their seasons are progressing so that they can speak intelligently about those matters when talking to coaches at those schools. Those who do are baseball prospects who stand out.
Some of the simplest things that top college baseball prospects can do is to look over the national top 25. Amongst the most respected organizations that regularly post top-25 polls are Baseball America and USA Today.
If you're amongst the best college baseball prospects looking to attend a D1 school, also take a look at the latest RPI Ratings, which rank each of those 300 teams based on their win-loss records and their strength of schedules. Several organizations also put together NCAA baseball rankings for D2 and D3 teams.
And consider where the teams rank in their conferences' standings, which are ultimately the most important thing as that, or the conference tournament is what will determine who earns that league's automatic berth into the NCAA tournament and is the only thing that will guarantee a spot at that event.
Also, watch games of schools that you're considering when time allows. Some of the top teams have their broadcast on television while a vast number of schools of all sizes provide online streams of their home games, many of which can be viewed by baseball prospects and others for free.
How to Get Recruited
Moving from being one of the baseball prospects to being one of the baseball recruits is a significant one, but you can do several things to help you earn spots on lists of the best college baseball prospects and make that transition. The first thing to consider is that progressing in the sport of baseball involves many steps along that way, each of them significant in their way and essential to the complete picture.
One of the most important things that you need to consider is the demand that there is for college baseball scholarships as D1 schools are only allowed to award 11.7 of them per team while D2 schools can provide up to nine per squad. Unfortunately, these figures result in baseball teams having a much smaller percentage of their rosters getting to receive athletic scholarships as compared to sports such as football and basketball.
Also, start as early in your time in high school as possible and be proactive as well. Doing both of those not only helps you end up finding the best fit for yourself, but it also allows you to impress upon the coaching staffs who are considering you that you are a go-getter. One of the many things that you can do while interacting with coaches is sending them a recruiting video.
As you make your way through this process, start compiling a list of about 10-15 target schools, ones that seem to fit well in several aspects as well as 5-10 reach schools. These may be a stretch for you in one or more ways but that are also viewed as "dream schools" and 5-10 safety schools just in case several factors result in the other ones that are being considered falling through. Also, by the time you make your decision, a safety school may end up impressing upon you so much that it ended up being the best fit.
College Baseball Recruiting Assistance with NCSA
One of the things that you can do to help ease the college recruiting process, making it not as overwhelming and help organize it is to enlist the help of NCSA (Next College Student Athlete). This organization has been assisting college baseball prospects and other athletes ever since it was founded in 2000 by Chris Krause, who underwent this experience himself as a high school football player in the 1980s before playing for and earning a degree from Vanderbilt University. He founded NCSA to help ensure that others who followed him wouldn't be as confused by the recruiting process as he was and that they would receive the best college fits possible.
In the years that have followed NCSA's founding, a significant number of athletes and coaches have had positive experiences, and this has resulted in the company's average Google Reviews score being 4.9 out of 5. NCSA has also received a tremendous amount of positive media coverage, endorsements, and partnerships. Those who have utilized NCSA's services have often referred to its resources as ending up being of utmost importance to them and that they got much use out of them.
If you would like to join the 24,000 student-athletes who have used these services over the past year to commit to a college for sports and relate to the 35,000 coaches who are in the NCSA network, fill out a free profile today. If you have any questions about what we offer or otherwise, give us a call at 866 495-5172.