D3 vs JC baseball

Hi - My son has options between D3 and JC baseball programs in our area.     As a dad, the decision is his.  I want to help guide him to make sure he is considering all aspects.

Appreciate thoughts/feedback between going to and playing at a D3 school vs a Jr College.

Original Post

That's a very broad question as stated.  Can you  narrow it down a bit:

What are his goals?  How much does baseball fit into his plans?  How mature and driven is he?  

One big difference  is finances, but your original post implies that you're able to pay for either.

Hi - His goal is to play baseball in College and get his business degree. He's 17 - there are days he wows me with his maturity and drive and there are days he's a knucklehead teenager.  He would love to play D1 but knowns that's not where he is right now.   He is heavily leaning towards JC.  He feels better opportunity to play, allows him growth opportunity to possibly move to a bigger program after his 2 years, and get his basics done for transferring to a 4yr school.

 I want to give him the pro/cons for each path he is considering.  

If he wants to go JuCo to D1 don’t just go to any JuCo. Go to one with a reputation of being a feeder to D1 ball. Research where the players go D1. Typically it's where the connections are.

But if the kid isn’t a D1 talent now there has to be some introspection on why. Is he a late bloomer or just doesn’t have the talent? Talent isn’t going to just appear out of nowhere in the next two years.

biesbol123 posted:

Hi - His goal is to play baseball in College and get his business degree. He's 17 - there are days he wows me with his maturity and drive and there are days he's a knucklehead teenager.  He would love to play D1 but knowns that's not where he is right now.   He is heavily leaning towards JC.  He feels better opportunity to play, allows him growth opportunity to possibly move to a bigger program after his 2 years, and get his basics done for transferring to a 4yr school.

 I want to give him the pro/cons for each path he is considering.  

If his goal is to play baseball in college, and he's not expecting to play as  pro or fixed on playing D1, it may be that D3 offers better opportunities to see the field. You'll have to compare the specific programs he's looking at, but in many cases JUCO ball is more laden with talent and competitive.  Read the other current Juco thread for some stories and details.

One big consideration for me, especially for a knucklehead, would be that the  graduation rate for a  Juco is typically far less than the graduation rate of a 4 year college, and keep in mind that the Juco rate only includes graduation from the Juco, not completion of a 4 year degree. (you can look up these numbers here or just use google: https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/)

So for me, even though I'm a strong advocate of Juco as a path, I would prefer to see my kid have the 4 year experience, especially if that increases his/her odds of completing a degree.

If you're in CA the Jucos are currently playing fall ball. You and your son should try to get out and watch their scrimmages and see if and where you think your son would fit in talentwise. 

And then there is lifestyle.  Except for commuter schools, 4-year students live in dorms, at least  for a year or two, and don't need to learn life skills like shopping for food and cooking it. But Jucos don't usually have dorms, so the lifestyle tends not to be so cush and a kid needs to be more responsible.

RJM makes a great point about knowing his skillset now and what he will be as a Freshman.  It is more important to be ready to play as a regular as a Freshman in a JuCo than it is in a four-year program like a D3.  The window of opportunity in JuCo is very short, and like it is now as a HS player, your son needs to be seen playing in games before a college coach is going to want him.  There is this perception that kids will go to JuCo and get bigger and stronger and better and then get recruited to a D1, but that is a wrong expectation for most kids.

Yes it is important to find a JuCo that has a reputation as a feeder of talent to D1, but then lots of kids on those teams ride the pine just like they do at the 4 year programs.  After their two years are over, so is their baseball career for college if they sit the bench.  If a kid does not get on the mound or in the field as a Freshman, they may never get an option to play after the JuCo.  Here in SoCal, the JuCo teams are loaded with top talent that would be in D1 schools were it not for inadequate grades/test scores (and these are not poor classroom performers for the most part--the UC schools and even many of the Cal State schools are getting harder and harder to get into, so JuCo becomes the alternative).  It is really hard to break into those rosters and get playing time.  Those schools already have D1-level talent--they are not giving playing opportunities to kids who hope to become D1 players.  Keep that in mind when scouting JuCo options for your son.

 It is more important to be ready to play as a regular as a Freshman in a JuCo than it is in a four-year program like a D3.  

Not always. The Juco near us, which is one of the most successful programs on the west coast, redshirts and even "greyshirts" a lot of players, many of whom go on to become starters.  Baseballwise, this can be very good for the players. Academically and financially, not so much.

Welcome to the site.  Lots of good feedback here so far but you can also search past threads by topic and there are volumes on similar topics.  On the reverse side of that, you can get very specific.  I see you are on the west coast.  There are many posters here from the west coast that are likely quite familiar with the school options your son is considering.  We may be able to provide specific feedback in that regard.  You can PM and individual poster or ask the group to PM you if you don't want to mention the schools on the public forum.  

There are so many things to consider that are unique to each player, each family and on the other side, each school.  You can learn how to really drill down on those things here.  A general question will only get you so far.

But here is a general answer... pay attention to the 40 year plan when you are making the  4 year plan.  

A question...  you say "the decision is his.." and then later, you say "some days he is a knucklehead teenager".  To what extent do you think a knucklehead teenager should have liberty to be making a decision that will likely have such a huge impact on the rest of his life?  I don't say that to criticize.  I think we all have to figure out where the line is drawn and you have expressed that you want to help guide him and consider all pros and cons.  I ask more as food for thought... at what point are we satisfied that our knuckleheads have made an intelligent enough decision? 

I have 1 son at a Jr D3 and another Soph  in Juco here in SoCal.  Very personal decision for both. D3 wanted a 4 year academic program where he could continue to play. Juco had 4 year D3 and NAIA options but just not the right fit at the time for him and was counciled by his HS coach to go to JUCO to get better grades and more exposure, if able.  Now competing for playtime and hoping to get better options. PM me if desired. 

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×