It takes tireless work ethic and serious dedication to become recruited to play at the next level and meet your goals as a baseball player. Here are five essential things to focus on throughout the process.
Maintain a High GPA
- As a baseball player, you have little leeway from the normal academic standards of a college or university. Baseball coaches do not have the same clout as football or basketball coaches when enrolling players into their school. First off, a player must pass through the NCAA Clearinghouse. As a Division I player, an academic sliding scale exists for the minimum requirements of the potential player’s GPA and SAT. If the student-athlete has a core unweighted GPA of a 2.5, then the player must score an 820 combined SAT on the math and verbal sections. Currently, the writing section does not matter when evaluating whether or not a student-athlete will become eligible to play D1 athletics. For D2 athletes, there is a set standard of a 2.0 core GPA and 820 SAT score. I recommend working as hard as you can on academics while in high school. A player with high marks can leverage himself into a higher academic institution than a normal student. For example, when I was recruited out of high school, I had a 4.0 weighted GPA with an 1180 on my SATs. Although I chose my college based on baseball and not academics, I was heavily recruited by the likes of Columbia, Dartmouth, and Duke. As a normal student, I would have had zero opportunity of enrolling in that type of academic institution without baseball to market myself.
Play on the Highest Level of Travel Team Possible
- When it comes to your showcase team, I strongly recommend playing on the most competitive team that your skill set will allow. While playing travel ball as a teenager, I played with the likes of Zack Grienke, Prince Fielder, and Rickie Weeks on Chet Lemon’s Juice. Although only one of the previously mentioned players went to college, when you play with top notch players, college and pro scouts flock to watch your games. When a college recruiter came to watch Zack Grienke pitch, I knew it was my time to shine. High school recruiting has become obsolete. With the amount of college and pro scouts congregating to the mega tournaments run by the likes of Perfect Game, your travel team is of the utmost importance when trying to become recruited.
Identify Your Talent Level and Be Proactive
- Growing up, my dad thought I was a fringe D1 prospect. He encouraged me to look at D2 programs and stop dreaming of playing in Omaha for the likes of LSU and the University of Florida. Fortunately for me, my dad’s evaluation of my talent level was much lower than college recruiters’ evaluation. My dad is in the minority. Most parents’ think they’re son will be the next Derek Jeter. When you are proactive with college programs in which you are not good enough to play at, you waste precious time and money. I’m not saying a young teenage player should not dream, but you must be pragmatic with how good your son truly is on the diamond.
Stand Out in Every Way You Can
- I know Pete Rose was banned from baseball for a number of years and will most likely never be voted into the Hall of Fame while he is still living; however, the man played the game the way the game was meant to be played. Pete Rose stood out with hustle, heart, and emotion. His will and desire gave an average athlete the ability to hold the career hits record by a landslide. If you are not an uber-freak of an athlete, you must find a way to differentiate yourself from the talent pool. I stress to young players all the time, hustle is the number one way to stand out while playing baseball. Outside of my parents, my travel ball coach was the number one influence on the way I played the game. His favorite quote, “Hustle looks good and doesn’t cost a dime”, still resonates with me in my professional life. Play hard, hustle, and do all of the little things correctly, and college coaches will be sure to notice you in some facet.
- If interested in a college program, market yourself to be recruited by that program. Take a video of yourself taking ground balls and hitting BP, and then send it to the top 10 programs of your choice. The sooner you can get on a college recruiter’s radar, the better. I don’t recommend spending thousands of dollars for a “Pay to get yourself recruited” scheme; however, take responsibility in promoting yourself. Send out a formal letter to a college or university expressing your interest in their baseball program. At the end of the day, sending a video of your skills may not get you anywhere. But what can it hurt???
If you have any follow-up questions regarding the top 5 ways to become recruited, please comment on this blog. We are here and willing to answer any and all questions regarding the recruiting process.