My son is a 2019 6'4" 205lb hit and hit-for-power 3B/RHP with 7.2 speed.  He attends an academically rigorous independent boarding school and is a solid student (3.2/ACT~25) who has taken seven AP and/or IB courses, as well as Physics, Chemistry, Calc, Econ, Stats, and Spanish 5.  He's also a very mature kid and has travelled extensively internationally.  He's been a three sport varsity athlete since his freshman year and quarterbacked the football team this past fall.  Coaches/Scouts say uniformly that he can pitch at DIII level (fastball tops out at 84 right now) but that DI coached will want him exclusively for his swing).
 
At Headfirst last year several DIII coaches told him that they would be very interested in having him on their team but that they wouldn't hold their breath, so to speak, on him not playing DI, given his size and swing.  For college, though, he's very interested in getting out of the Northeast, perhaps to the Midwest, West Coast, the Carolinas, or Texas.  So while there are some DIII programs that would be potentially good fits, he'd like to at least try his best to get some interest from DI schools with better academics in those regions (even including large, academically sound state schools.)
 
That's worked to some extent already.  After his HS coach sent out an email/video following last spring's successful season, several coaches responded enthusiastically.  Because we didn't yet understand the importance of national travel baseball at the beginning of last summer, he played for a local team and we focused exclusively on going to college camps, plus a PG showcase and Headfirst.  A number of DI coaches have asked him to send his 2018 summer schedule as soon as it's finalized.  We're trying to do that now and could use some assistance from all the knowledgable and experience folks on this forum.
 
I think we've found a decent travel team whose 16U team last summer was very successful at WWBA in GA, but we have two big open questions: 
 
1) PG 18U WWBA Memorial Day Tournament (East or West) as a mercenary, Yes or No? (Is there a large contingent of college coaches scouting these early tournaments despite the fact that many of their teams are still competing in conference tournaments that weekend?  It would entail missing a day of school and our financial resources are not unlimited, but maybe it's relatively more important for him, since he's 2019, to be seen earlier in the summer?)
 
2) What to do in July after PG 17U WWBA in GA?  (Current Option 1: Two NE regional tournaments with summer travel team + Stanford All Star Camp and CA school visits; or Current Option 2: Two NE regional PG tournaments with summer travel team + PG BCS National Championship in Ft. Meyers as a mercenary player; or Current Option 3: Stanford All Star Camp + other college camps of interest)?   Other options we should consider?
 
If PG 17U WWBA in Georgia is the only national tournament he plays in, would that be enough?
 
We're not planning to do another PG showcase this summer and it seems like it doesn't make sense for us to do Headfirst again because it's so late in the summer it seems probable that he'll have an offer (or if not, have decided to try and walk on to whatever good-fit school he chooses) and the rather large expense might be for nothing (They fill up so early!).  Also, if he does do the Stanford showcase several weeks earlier, there would be quite a bit of overlap.  We also thought about the Showball showcase on Long Island, though it would be the same issue: expensive, late in the summer, and NE heavy in attendance.
 
That said, we are planning to do a Dynamic Baseball one-day showcase in late May and a two-day PBR regional showcase in mid-June, since he's not done anything with either organization and both advertise coaches attending from schools of interest. 
 
Thoughts?
 
 
Original Post

A few thoughts that don't necessarily directly answer your questions...

Does he know what he wants to major in or what he wants to do for a living (besides maybe play baseball)?

Many come here without a wide enough net.  As an academic 2019 considering D1 states thru D3's in a large geographic area, I would propose that his net is quite wide and he will have to put sufficient time into research and searching within as to what options will be realistic for him (narrow that net a bit).  It won't be feasible to visit dozens of U's across the country and make those key events in the next 6-9 months.  You've mentioned geographic.  How about big vs small campus, liberal/conservative/Christian, rural/city, out-of-state tuition, major, proximity/ability to get home, etc.

Also, be sure to bump your thread tomorrow a.m. ...  many don't drop in on Sundays.

 

Last edited by cabbagedad

At this point a good portion of D1 commitments are filled. There is space available. But be careful not to be the non scholarship insurance policy for a position. Keep in mind a lot of faster with power shortstops will be moved to third in college. 

At this point I wouldn’t throw spaghetti off the wall to see what sticks. I would have a very targeted strategy. Where do I want to play? Does my high school or travel coach know that college’s coach so he can promote me before I’m seen. 

You mentioned the west coast and Texas. Those areas have more D1 prospects than D1 roster spots. A player typically has to be a stud to be from out of the area and play there. A lot of very good players on the west coast and Texas have to go outside the area to play D1. There is a poster on this board whose son will be an out of stater playing in the Big West who didn’t receive an offer until post junior summer. 

There’s nothing wrong with playing at a ranked D3. In the end when it’s all over you want to be able to say you had a quality baseball experience. A really good player can sometimes play both ways in D3. 

Good luck.

Last edited by RJM

Jfnnyc

is your son invited to the Yankees Area Code tryout?

Bob

founder of Area Code Baseball 1987 and Goodwill Series 1983

Go to the events where the schools on your son’s vetted list will be.  And those events should be ones where he will be seen by those schools.  

Vetted academically and athletically.  At a minimum, trusted third parties (e.g., scouts, guidance counselors, et. al.) have said your son could be admitted and could play baseball there.  

Does he have a vetted list that he’s working now?  If not, he should ASAP.

For the vast majority of players, college baseball recruiting is not a crap shoot where a player hopes to be seen by random coaches at some massive tournament and then get offers to play.  It’s about putting together a realistic list of schools and then getting in front of those coaches (and oftentimes admissions reps).  

It’s also about connecting regularly with those coaches on the vetted list (and again, oftentimes admissions reps) via phone, text, email, and in person. 

Good luck!

 

My wife complained that I made the initial post way too long!  Sorry for that.  For sake of brevity, hoping to find out two questions:

1) Do D1 coaches heavily scout PG national 18U Memorial Day tournaments?

2) Is PG 17U WWBA tournament in GA enough for a kid that is interested in playing DI?  What's the next most important 17U national summer tournament as measured by D1 coaches in attendance?

Bob- thanks for the question.  Yes, he already has an Area Code invite lined up from a Yankees scout.  Will finalize after March 1 registrations open.

RJM- Great point about supply and demand in TX and on West Coast.  Seems like Midwestern schools may be more likely source of offers, or that we will have to work very hard to cultivate CA/TX schools.  At the same time, also heartening that at a large camp down in Houston last summer one Texas mid-major coach expressed some (mild) interest.  Agree completely about D3 schools, as does my son!

Cabbagedad- Interested in economics/diplomacy/int'l relations, which is one big reason why he wants to know some part of America besides where he grew up and goes to school.  Other metrics: in terms of size >3,000 (He'd be very happy playing ball for a 25,000 student Big Ten school!) . OOS tuition, okay, since it will be equal to D3 private school tuition on the East Coast, though he is cost conscious since he'll be paying for grad school on his own.  Will 'bump' Monday AM if I can figure out how!  Good advice.

Finally, forgot to mention- Exit velo = 91 in recent summer team tryout.  Arm from 3B = 85 last summer.  Skipped basketball this season to focus on strength training.

Many thanks to everyone.  This is incredibly helpful.  Will be happy to have summer scheduled and start making travel plans.

Out of state cost may not matter to you. But the percentage that becomes an athletic scholarship has to fit into the coach’s budget. This goes back to the stud value. But some state universities need to recruit out of state due to the limited talent base in their state.

Last edited by RJM

If he participates in the AC tryout, there will be over 80 major college coaches and 40 pro scouts. Your cost is zero and an opportunity to play in Los Angeles and Fenway Park. All the East Coast scouts are great talent evaluators. We travel to Australia as the Yankees.

Bob

Regarding the Memorial Day tournament you mentioned, I don't know anyone that's gone to that (from CA).  At least in CA, HS teams are just finishing up and players are taking a breather and getting ready for JOs.  Also, colleges are still playing so not sure how they'd be on the recruiting trail.  I don't think it would hurt to miss this, IMO.

Regarding the 17U WWBA, this is a great tournament no doubt.  But, that's a lot of eggs to put in one basket.  What if the coaches you are interested in don't see your son play?  What if he doesn't do anything to stand out?  What if the game the coaches come to gets rained out?  There's just so many things that have to go right to make this your only event.  I think it should be on the list, but it shouldn't be the only thing on the list.

I should add - regarding the 17U WWBA, you'll only play a couple games at Lake Point where the majority of coaches hang out.  Most of the games will be on fields up to an hour away and very few college coaches make the trip in my experience.

Smitty28 posted:

I should add - regarding the 17U WWBA, you'll only play a couple games at Lake Point where the majority of coaches hang out.  Most of the games will be on fields up to an hour away and very few college coaches make the trip in my experience.

Concur with Smitty here.  Depending on which travel team he's able to get on, they may have preferred access to Lake Point (turf fields where the majority of coaches are).  I believe the preferred access comes from teams having played in the WWBA tournament for a number of years.

 

We only got one game at Lake Pointe last year and due to rain delays, it didn't start until almost midnight.  I only saw one coach there at that point.  I wouldn't put it all in that.  Area Code should be a good opportunity.

Agree with Smitty.  Too many teams and not enough games played at LakePoint for each team to ensure he'll get seen in that one tournament.  Definitely a tournament you should ideally play in, but it's one of several you'd want to attend.   My 16u is lucky because we live in Atlanta, and his team will play in every 16u & 17u event at Lakepoint this coming summer.  And we're still not counting on that to carry the day.  Still need to target specific schools, make contact, then attend their camp once successful contact is made.  That is the lesson I learned with my 2017.  Good luck!

Patriot League, GTown type D1's will still be very active next summer - get the ACT score up.  How many times has he taken it?  A few extra points will expand his options. 

Thanks everyone.  What other heavily scouted national travel tournaments should we consider?  Maybe not a PG one?  Have coaches firmed up their summer recruiting schedules this early and are they willing to give that information to interested prospects, or perhaps better, prospects in whom they have an interest?

ACT- He's taken it once and was sick with the flu.  Tutor-administered practice tests consistently showing ~27, but I've been trying to keep our expectations low, realizing this all becomes much easier with a few extra points, and that we need more advice when it's harder!  He'll sit again for it in April and then in June and hopefully be done with it!

Given his profile, West Coast Conference schools?  Looking at PG comps that have also done PG showcases, it would seem to me his metrics are at least in the ballpark.

Select Fest -NJ

Top 100 Mid Atlantic - PA

There are well scouted regional showcases in relative close proximity. They’re elite enough to require scout recommendations. Someone else will have to chip in on specifics. It’s been nine years.

 

Last edited by RJM

I would not leave your son getting seen at a tourney up to chance.  You need to put together a comprehensive recruiting plan for your son.  Below is a cut and paste from a post I put up a few weeks ago.  It was geared toward a little different conversation, in which the player is just starting on their journey.  You are a little ways into your sons, but the basic principles still apply.  

 

Here is a high level approach.  If you have any specific questions, post your question as a separate topic, you will receive lots of advice...

-Ensure you are on the right travel team.  Not all teams are built equal.  Just because you are playing in a lot of high level tourneys and the program has a reputation for winning you may not be in the right program.  The right program will be designed for recruiting not tourney wins.  I see your in IL, PM me if your in Chicagoland and let me know what program your in.  I maybe able to provide some guidance.

-Start by putting together a list of 50 - 100 schools your son is interested in.  Make sure you are across all spectrums.  D1, D2, D3, NAIA, JUCO, etc.  The larger the list the better.  Make sure these schools interest your son.  For instance if you are not religious but you have the Uber conservative religious school on your list, its probably not a fit for your son.

-Put together an athletic resume.  This should be a one pager that is easy to read.  Include name, contact info, position info, measurable info, GPA, High School and HS contact info (consular and coach), and travel coach contact info.

-Put together a semi generic email. A couple of small paragraphs is all you need.  Make sure its easy to read.  You will need to modify this email for every school you send it to.  In the verbiage of the email you should mention something specific about the school you are sending it to.  In other words make is personable and seem like it was custom written for that school.  Have your son introduce himself, explain why he is interested in the school he is emailing, give a couple of highlights about his playing ability to catch their attention.  Let them know you have attached a resume and a copy of your HS and summer schedule.

-If you feel like his playing style is smooth and will show well, include a link to a recruiting video.  Do some research on how to make a recruiting video.  There is a specific way to shoot them.  The video should only last a couple of minutes at most.  No music, commentary or graphic overlays (other then a splash page with contact info at the beginning and end.  In general not game footage as well.  You can include some at the end.  They are actually pretty boring but if shot and produced properly can be very effective.

-Send the email out to those 50 - 100 schools.  At his age you most likely will get back a camp invite.  This is not a sign of interest.  But if the email is very personal or if you receive multiple invites from the same coach in a short period of time, their maybe some interest.  This is a very tough area to work in.  Schools use camps as a money make to fund additional coaches or programs, as well as recruit players.  The trick to this whole thing is to figure out which ones are interested in your son and which are not.  If the email contains a cell phone number for the RC at the school, have your son (not you) call and talk to the coach.  You will gain some insight as to their interest. 

-As you progress through the recruiting process you will start to narrow down you list of schools.  Hopefully at some point you will have a good line of communication to a couple of schools.  You should focus a lot of effort on those schools.  In addition as your son starts to attend additional showcases and camps you will need to email the list of schools attending prior to the camp.  Send a personal email to each school attaching your sons resume and recruiting video to them.  Hopefully this will help them remember your son when they seen him at the showcases.

At the end of the day, you control your recruiting process.  Do not leave it up to anyone else. No matter what they tell you.  Do not be afraid to ask questions as you go through the process.  Folks on this board can be very helpful.

 

 

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