Is my son good enough to play College

My son just graduated HS class of 2017.  He ended his Varsity Senior year with a .444 BA (2nd on the team).  The kid who was 1rst(.448) got a baseball scholarship to a Div. III school next year and I think my son is just as good as he is, truthfully.  

My son is 6'0 162lbs.  He is a versatile player that has played all the positions.  But his main position is Catcher.  He rarely allows a passed ball, & has very quick feet.  His throwing arm is slightly above average.  He is very fast and runs the bases well.  Hitting, he can hit to all fields and can hit anybody's fastball.  He rarely strikes out.  His coach says that he is good enough to play JUCO ball right now, but I don't know.  We have not measured his pop time, or any other measurements.  

He has graduated early as he won't turn 18 until late September (academically he finished early) however he only got a 22 on his ACT both times he took it.   

Should he just find a few JUCO schools nearby and tryout and see what happens.  Even JUCO schools not in our district? 

What do you think?  

James

Original Post

D3 doesn't give baseball scholarships. The player was invited to tryout for the team in the fall. It's possible the coach might have been able to use some sway if the kid was one of his top five or six recruits. If this, he's making the team.

You need a couple of unbiased, honest evaluations on your son's potential and where in the game he might fit in. At D3"s and JuCo's the number of people showing up for fall ball can be unlimited. A coach could choose to roster forty or fifty players. It's not just a matter of finding a place to get a uniform. It's finding a place where the player can get on the field.

A college coach isn't looking for high school stats. He's looking for physical skills. He's looking for metrics (sixty time, bat speed, throwing velocity, POP time, etc.) that fit in with the level of competition his team competes.

 

A baseball showcase is one place to get these stats. They happen all over the country and can really range in price. Everything from the very respected Perfect Game to more local showcases. Some of this is really regionally specific. In our area, there are a couple relatively low cost showcases that can give you the metrics and hook you up with college scouts. However, being a 2017, he's pretty late in the process. Not unheard of, just more challenging to find a place.

A couple questions that will help people help you.  Geographically, where are you located? Has your son reached out to any college baseball programs at all?

Others are on the mark.  

I know your son was sidelined for a while with injury.  Does he have any of the key measurables from a reputable neutral party?  60 time?  Throwing velo?  POP time?  bat exit?  

What is the scope of colleges he is willing to attend?  Major?  Has he had the opportunity to get in front of any college coaches?  You may want to try and find an "unsigned" camp/showcase and quickly.  Your son may also want to contact the local JC and ask if he can get a try out/work out with him now.  Some JC coaches will do that.  This way, you will know whether the local JC has any interest, he will be a good source for assessment and if he doesn't have a spot, he may have a good feel for where you may fit and perhaps have some contact to pass along.

The HS stats are going to be very limited in their usefulness.  You certainly can't say "he batted same as him and him is at school X"  Too many variables to HS stats.  Is the league he played in one of the larger, more competitive leagues?  Did he garner any all-league/ all-area awards?

We are in the Chicago area.  No he has not reached out to a College, mainly because he is not sure if he wants to go to College or a Trade School Apprenticeship (Plumber, Electrical, etc).  My feeling is that if he really wants to play, what is wrong with taking a year off school (gap year), doing an apprenticeship, while still training, lifting weights, getting stronger, faster, and after 1 year IF he decides that the apprenticeship is not for him;  then go try out for a JUCO school's team,  as he is still only 18yrs old, except now bigger and stronger.  

jamesb posted:

We are in the Chicago area.  No he has not reached out to a College, mainly because he is not sure if he wants to go to College or a Trade School Apprenticeship (Plumber, Electrical, etc).  My feeling is that if he really wants to play, what is wrong with taking a year off school (gap year), doing an apprenticeship, while still training, lifting weights, getting stronger, faster, and after 1 year IF he decides that the apprenticeship is not for him;  then go try out for a JUCO school's team,  as he is still only 18yrs old, except now bigger and stronger.  

Well, James, in theory that can work.  Here is the first thought that comes to mind for me, though...  college baseball is a serious time commitment and grind.  He has to really want to do it or he ain't gonna make it.  You have to be good enough.  But, even more important, you have to want it enough to be willing to sacrifice.  At this late hour, If he's not sure if he wants to go to college and play baseball or if something else holds a higher priority, it probably ain't gonna happen.

I'm not saying at all that there is anything wrong with that.  If he wants to go down the trade school path, that is awesome.  And, who knows, maybe in a year or two, he will miss it and re-prioritize.  I'm just sayin', many think it can happen that way but it almost never does.  Doesn't really matter about chronological age... once he gets off that playing cycle and into a normal life routine, maybe making a little money with a side job while schooling, it's really tough to get back on.

Here's another question though... our local JC has construction tech and electrical tech degrees and a really good baseball program.  Is that not an option where you are?  Could be best of both worlds unless the shop classes interfere with practice/game schedules, which is entirely possible.

Cabbagedad brings up an interesting point that I've never got total clarification on... If a kid goes to JUCO/Community College and maintains 12 or more hours per semester, does it MATTTER what type of classes he takes???

Some kids are interested in welding, machining, plumbing, construction, electrical, etc... Of course, these aren't college transfer courses and won't lead to a BA or BS. They are terminal 2 yr degrees or 1 yr diplomas.

One community college coach told me that as long as the kid is taking 12 hours, he can take whatever he wants. Another said that the kids need to be in college transferrable courses. 

From what I can tell, yes, a kid can take vocational coursework at a CC or JUCO and be eligible to play. And if the kid is interested in playing two years and going to work in that vocation, or is sure of getting drafted, then it is perfectly fine by NJCAA guidelines (I think). However, if the kid decides to transfer, then it won't work.

The reality is that most kids go the AA or AS route in hopes of transferring to a four year to play. I wonder how many, if any, actually take the vocational classes if that is what they're really interested in?

One kid I know started out at a 4 year Liberal Arts private D2 and didn't like it at all. After his first fall, he left and transferred to a CC. He pitched there and did very well the following two years while taking AA transfer courses. His dad said his plan was to stop playing after his sophomore season, come back home, attend the local community college, and take welding courses. Of course, he pitched very well and was recruited by an in state D2, so he went and pitched instead. I wonder if after 5 years of college classes and baseball, will he go back to the local CC and learn to weld?

 

JAMESB,

Your question is impossible to answer by anyone that doesn't know who your son is or haven't seen him play.  It does sound like he is a good HS player based on your description.  But even batting .444 isn't a lot of info.  I mean .444 could be 4 for 9 or it could be 44 for 99.

Once again,  sounds like he might be able to play at some level of college baseball.  But agree with CABBAGEDAD, if he doesn't know for sure if he wants to do it, he doesn't really want to do it. IMO

Jamesb. You might want to contact PBR (prep baseball report).  They are based out of McCook here in IL. While they have pretty much finished up showcases for the 2017s they do have a few events over the next couple of weeks for 2018s. They might be willing to fit you in and give you his measurables as well as an evaluation. 

Im in Chicagoland as well. Either post up here or DM me if you have questions 

 

He had 144 at-bats, the most on the team.  Thanks for all the information guys. The bottom line is HE(my son) has to want it badly enough. I believe that he does have the physical and mental game skills, and if he trys out I believe he'd make the team. I know he is AS good (baseball skills wise) as his teammate who got the scholarship, but I don't think he thinks he's as good, and I don't know why as their numbers on everything (hitting, defense, speed, throwing) are almost identical.  So I don't want him to waste an opportunity to play some college ball. I will get him out to a showcase for evaluation. Thanks guys.

JAMESB, as mentioned HS stats from his team don't mean anything.  And comparing his stats to another players doesn't mean anything as well.  The college recruiting process is very difficult to interpert and you will drive yourself mad comparing your son to others and wondering why this kid was tapped while your son was not.  Coaches look for different things.  Some coaches may want the tall lanky kid while others may want to see a specific action on the kids swing, or they may look at his approach at the plate.  Comparing statistics between your son and others will not overcome any of the non-measurable nuances the recruiters maybe looking at.

It sounds like your son is a position player.  If I am correct then these are the things the college guys will be looking at.  They are also the skills that will be measured / evaluated at a showcase:

  • 60 yard time
  • Batted Ball Exit Velocity
  • Eval of a batting practice that will consist of 8-10 pitches or so
  • Eval of a fielding session.  If an outfielder, fly balls and ground balls followed by a throw to a specific position.  If an infielder, grounders to left and then grounders to right with a throw to first.  Figure 8 to 10 balls for each skill.  If an infielder some of them will need to be backhands.
  • Position throwing velocity.

 

At this point, your son is way behind in the recruiting process.  Most of the better players committed to their colleges before the start of their Sr year of HS.  Most of them signed their NLIs in November of last year or April of this year.  This would have covered the NCAA D1's and NCAA D2's.  After the April signing period the D1's and D2's are usually fully committed.  This leaves the D3, Juco, and NAIA schools as options for those who did not commit.  Yes their maybe some exceptions, but for the most part D1 and D2 are off the table once the Sr year of HS starts, unless they are already recruiting you.  By the end of the Sr. year baseball season most of the D3's, Juco's and NAIA schools have also stopped recruiting the 2017s and focus on the next year players.  

My advice to you would be this.  Find a place to get your son evaluated.  As I mentioned earlier PBR Illinois maybe good.   Elite Baseball Training in Chicago is respected and offers an eval service.  Make sure its the one owned by Justin Stone.  There are a couple of other programs in the area calling themselves things like Chicago Elite, Illinois Elite, etc.  You can check with The Bulls Sox academy and see if they can help, but they mostly specialize in training not evals.  Or you could check with some of the top travel teams in the area (Elite Baseball (again Justin Stone), Sparks, Longshots, or 29ers) and see if they can you evaluate your son.

I would also put together a video of your son.  It should only be about 3 minutes long or so.  There is no need for game footage.  Take him to some place where he can take BP.  Film 8 to 10 balls from the side looking directly at him.  Film 8 to 10 balls from behind.  Its ok to edit the video down and show his best stuff.  When we did this for my son we just filmed an entire 30 minute BP session and edited it down to his best looking swings.  You will then need some video of his field position.  If he is an infielder 5 balls right at him, 5 to his left, 5 to his right.  Some should be backhanders and all of them should show him throwing to the 1b (unless 1b then throw to 3b).  If he is an outfielder.  5 pops right at him, followed by 5 pops over his head, followed by 5 grounders.  All of them should show him deeper in the outfield with him throwing to a cut.  If he is a catcher, you are going to want to show 5 good caught pitcher and 5 down in the dirt that he has to block, followed by 4 pitches he catches, pops up and throws down to 2b.  All of this sounds like a lot but you should be able to cut it down to a 3 minute clip.  No music, no talking, etc.  At the beginning of the video you should have a splash screen showing his bio info.  Name, HS, travel team, contact info, position, height and weight.

Once you have the eval and the video put together you can then start contacting coaches.  I would concentrate on the area D3's.  Try Augustana, Illinois Wesleyan, Milliken, Carthage, WI-Whiteware etc in the area.  I would caution that many of the D3 programs will carry 50+ players and only about 20 get to ever see the field.  Its the nature of D3 baseball.  They can bring in as many kids as they want so many will over recruit.  If you kid is as good as you feel they can prove it at make the active roster.  Another avenue would be the Juco's in the area. Im not as familiar with them but its pretty much the same.  Finally, there are still some(not many) D1's looking to fill in holes by players lost to the draft.  As many of them already had a recruiting depth chart my guess is many of them have already filled the gaps. 

Good luck to you and your son.

 

 

jamesb posted:

He had 144 at-bats, the most on the team.  Thanks for all the information guys. The bottom line is HE(my son) has to want it badly enough. I believe that he does have the physical and mental game skills, and if he trys out I believe he'd make the team. I know he is AS good (baseball skills wise) as his teammate who got the scholarship, but I don't think he thinks he's as good, and I don't know why as their numbers on everything (hitting, defense, speed, throwing) are almost identical.  So I don't want him to waste an opportunity to play some college ball. I will get him out to a showcase for evaluation. Thanks guys.

Numbers/statistics don't always tell the true story. It's why coaches/scouts look at metrics for determining success at the next level. It doesn't mean they're always right. But slow bat speed and slow foot speed (an example) is a good indication a .400 hitter won't succeed at the next level. This is why you need objective assessments from honest baseball people.

A thing you need to know about baseball at the JC level is that it too  comes in many different flavors -- from super, duper competitive to less so.  Some JC teams are stocked with guys who have foregone 4 year,  D1 schools, because they want to re-enter the draft quickly and not wait 3 years.   Some  JC teams are stocked with guys who maybe lack the grades to get into any decent 4 year school, but definitely have the baseball talent to play at a very high level.  There are also guys who defer admission to, say, an elite D3 school with a decent baseball program,   because they want to take  one last shot at getting recruited by a D1.   Some JC schools regularly send guys onto 4 year programs.  Some don't.  Plus as somebody said above,  100's of players may show up for fall tryouts at a JC.   Many of them will have been very strong players in HS.  

"being good enough to play JuCo ball" is not a single standard.  And there is bound to be LOTS of competition at any decent JC baseball school. 

SluggerDad posted:

A thing you need to know about baseball at the JC level is that it too  comes in many different flavors -- from super, duper competitive to less so.  Some JC teams are stocked with guys who have foregone 4 year,  D1 schools, because they want to re-enter the draft quickly and not wait 3 years.   Some  JC teams are stocked with guys who maybe lack the grades to get into any decent 4 year school, but definitely have the baseball talent to play at a very high level.  There are also guys who defer admission to, say, an elite D3 school with a decent baseball program,   because they want to take  one last shot at getting recruited by a D1.   Some JC schools regularly send guys onto 4 year programs.  Some don't.  Plus as somebody said above,  100's of players may show up for fall tryouts at a JC.   Many of them will have been very strong players in HS.  

"being good enough to play JuCo ball" is not a single standard.  And there is bound to be LOTS of competition at any decent JC baseball school. 

And there's our local JuCo who couldn't beat the high school on their best day. 

To add to what SD says a bit.  From where I am I could drive half an hour to be on the campus of a former state champion JC, and another hour to be at a school where most starters on the baseball team might not make the roster of the first school.

But even at the first school my impression is that the coach will give every kid who shows up for fall baseball a fair look, regardless of whether or not he was recruited or what he did in high school.  So I think for Juco ball being late to the recruiting game may not be that big of a disadvantage. Coaches are looking for talent and they are pretty good at spotting it quickly.  They are also looking for guys willing to put the work in.  That takes a lot longer to find out, but time is something they have a lot of.

Also, sort of following up on what CabbageDad said, if your son isn't sure he wants to be at college one thing he may consider is what is called a grey shirt year.  Sign up for a couple classes, but not enough to be an eligible player, and spend the rest of his time working, or working out, and ask coach if he can come out for the team in the fall.  If he sees potential, the Coach would then have the option to allow him to work out with the team without losing a year of eligibility, or he could tell your son to go full time in the spring so he can travel with the team.

Great post by SluggerDad.  Don't fall into the trap or belief that JuCo ball is "easier".  It ain't.  Yes, JuCo programs can vary from the best to worse than a high school team.  I've seen a good D2 JuCo give a D2 university team a run for their money.  Good programs have large rosters while not so good programs barely have more than a HS roster. As posted some will have 4-2-4 transfers and others trying to stay draft eligible.

Son played for a good D2 JuCo program.  Freshman year there were 50+ at fall tryouts.  By spring they had self cut to about 35 due to grades, disillusionment, injury, off field issues, etc.  Once son made the team he had to compete for a starting spot and then qualify for the travel squad.  Nothing was a given.  Had to prove yourself every day.

Juco coaches are allowed to have you in for an individual "workout"  If you have a local juco maybe give them a call and see if they would run your son thru a workout and see what they say.  You'll have a pretty good idea of where he stands based on what the coach tells him.  As others have said, anything other than a Juco or NAIA is probably unlikely at this late date. 

SluggerDad posted:

A thing you need to know about baseball at the JC level is that it too  comes in many different flavors -- from super, duper competitive to less so.  Some JC teams are stocked with guys who have foregone 4 year,  D1 schools, because they want to re-enter the draft quickly and not wait 3 years.  

Bryce Harper is one.  As others have said, Junco's can be just as competitive as NCAA and NAIA.

jamesb posted:

My son just graduated HS class of 2017.  He ended his Varsity Senior year with a .444 BA (2nd on the team).  The kid who was 1rst(.448) got a baseball scholarship to a Div. III school next year and I think my son is just as good as he is, truthfully.  

My son is 6'0 162lbs.  He is a versatile player that has played all the positions.  But his main position is Catcher.  He rarely allows a passed ball, & has very quick feet.  His throwing arm is slightly above average.  He is very fast and runs the bases well.  Hitting, he can hit to all fields and can hit anybody's fastball.  He rarely strikes out.  His coach says that he is good enough to play JUCO ball right now, but I don't know.  We have not measured his pop time, or any other measurements.  

He has graduated early as he won't turn 18 until late September (academically he finished early) however he only got a 22 on his ACT both times he took it.   

Should he just find a few JUCO schools nearby and tryout and see what happens.  Even JUCO schools not in our district? 

What do you think?  

James

Curious to know how things have worked out and what steps you took. My son does not want 4 year college right out of high school. He's a young senior (2018) and wants to go to JUCO. Like your son, he also wants to learn a trade. He's decided to focus on business and marketing while at JUCO. He has no pie in the sky dreams of "going pro" and really just wants to continue to play baseball and further his education. If, at the end of his 2 JUCO years, nothing really pans out his fall back plan is to THEN attend trade school. Then he'll have the business/marketing education under his belt. He would like to own his own business eventually so that can only help him with achieving that goal. We are doing what we can on our own. I hope things have worked out for your son. It's not an easy process to navigate.

Yes, thanks for asking.  Basically, he does not want to play College baseball at this time, at any school.  He could not give me a reason why when I asked him.  It's a shame because he is as good as one of the other seniors that were on his HS team, who got a baseball scholarship.  Who knows, he may change his mind later, but I know that when you get out of the "baseball routine", the odds are slimmer that he will play in the future.  Who knows?  He still has a couple summer HS classes that he is finishing up right now.  He is graduating a year earlier than everyone else (17 now, & won't turn 18 till late this year).  I told him to continue to keep in shape, workout, etc. just in case.  I am looking into an apprenticeship right now.  This all goes to show me that a player may have the skill and ability, but not the motivation to go on at the College level, where its more like a job (training every day, etc.).  I am a bit depressed about it, but it is his life.

JamesB.....I don't mean to sound harsh, but it's reality.  If your son "does not want to play in college".....he isn't going to make it on a college baseball team no matter how much you want him to.   My son had talked about college baseball every day since he was 3....it was going to happen, no matter what.  Well, he got to college, found out it was extremely hard juggling classes, baseball, travel, studying, etc, etc, etc and decided after his freshman year that baseball wasn't for him any more.  He was actually about 12 hours from telling the coaches when a family friend/former coach/former D1 player took him out to lunch, had a long conversation with him and convinced him to give it another year.   He did, and he's happy that he did.   I guess my point is, you're either all in....or it's just not gonna happen.  Tebow is possibly proving that you can take time off and come back, but I think it would be awfully tough of ra 17 year old kid to take a year or two off and then come back and play a year or two later.    I know how you feel.  The day my son said he was done, I was crushed....just loved watching the kid play....but in the end it was his decision whether to quit or continue and I let him make it.  I'm glad he stayed, but I'm not sure what I'd be doing with myself all spring/summer if he hadn't.   Good luck to your son whatever he chooses to do.

It's not college, But if the young man wants to stay in shape and still play. There are Men's leagues. My son is playing in one and having a blast. When he graduated from College he was done playing. He had a few opportunities for some independent baseball, but he chose not to pursue those. He was done playing.

He started coaching as an assistant at his HS. That started to get the itch back. A local men's team called and recruited him to be on there team. So he is playing again, and is no longer a PO. He is having a blast. He is in the All Star game this weekend. And me and his mom are able to go to games again. 

Add Reply

×
×
×
×