I've been reading a lot of recruiting advice on this forum, and much of it seems to be specific to the level of the player.  The advice given to an elite-level D1 talent is not appropriate for a D3 level player, and vice versa.

As he is beginning his sophomore year of baseball and formulating his college recruiting plan, what is the best way for my son to get an honest assessment of his talent level?  His high school and travel team coaches are excellent at teaching the game of baseball, but they're not college recruiting experts.  His pitching coach tells him he's destined for greatness, but I can't tell if he's trying to sell more lessons.  And I'm his dad, so I'm obviously not able to provide an objective opinion.

I'd appreciate any ideas.

Original Post
knownothingdad posted:

I've been reading a lot of recruiting advice on this forum, and much of it seems to be specific to the level of the player.  The advice given to an elite-level D1 talent is not appropriate for a D3 level player, and vice versa.

As he is beginning his sophomore year of baseball and formulating his college recruiting plan, what is the best way for my son to get an honest assessment of his talent level?  His high school and travel team coaches are excellent at teaching the game of baseball, but they're not college recruiting experts.  His pitching coach tells him he's destined for greatness, but I can't tell if he's trying to sell more lessons.  And I'm his dad, so I'm obviously not able to provide an objective opinion.

I'd appreciate any ideas.

Take him to a PBR showcase. They're usually not much more than a hundred bucks and he'll get to see how he stacks up with those in and around his age group. Will also get his numbers/measurable's verified and likely posted on their web site (for college coach's to see). I believe 2 franchises recently opened in CA ( 1 north & 1 south). Google search PBR California and you should find all you need to get your questions answered by the franchisees.

As others have said, PBR is best bang for your buck. You didn't mention if pitcher or position.. IMO metrics much more straight forward as a pitcher, obviously more goes into a position player.

baseballhs posted:

Post his measurables.  By sophomore year you can start to get a pretty good idea.

Baseballhs, here are his measurables.

6'4", 205 lbs, LHP/1B/OF, FB max 86mph, FB avg 82-84mph

Here are a few other data points.

High School: played varsity as a freshman for a Division I team in San Diego.  2.50 ERA in 14 innings, 7 appearances.  .220 BA in 46 plate appearances with one HR.

Arizona Sophomore Fall Classic: 4 2/3 innings, 9Ks, two hits, no runs

Last edited by knownothingdad

A few ideas...

You have plenty of JC's in your area (Mesa, Grossmont, SDCC.).  Contact one of the HC's and ask if he will spend 15 - 20 minutes at his convenience, his field to give your son an honest assessment, purely for reasons of figuring out which pond to fish in.  A local JC coach will have enough qualifications, enough peripheral interest that they may be willing to do that for him but enough distance that they will likely do so with honest, if not harsh feedback (particularly knowing the personalities of a few of the SD JC HC's).  

Another avenue is to post his recruiting video here.  There are plenty of capable eyes that can provide feedback with no reason to sugar coat.

Side note... at this point, if his travel team organization doesn't have ties to colleges and offer direction in that regard, you may need to consider whether he is in the right place at this point in time.  

Last edited by cabbagedad

A lot will depend on where he goes with velocity. He has the size D1’s love. He needs to get his velocity to 90+ to be a D1 recruit.**

You should get him on a travel team or in individual showcases where he can be seen by D1 coaches. At his current measurables he would attract “follow” interest. He should be on a travel team with college contacts who can presell him as a “should see him pitch” recommendation before the events. 

His pitching coach may be prone to hyperbole. But “a lot of potential if he’s willing to work hard at pitching” would be reasonable based on current numbers.

** Yes, I realize many D1 pitchers cruise upper 80’s. But to be recruited they better ring the (90) bell a few time at recruiting events.

Last edited by RJM

NYCDAD and DESERTDUCK, thanks for the PBR tip.  He has played in a PBR tournament, but not a showcase.  I will look into it. 

Would he get an objective assessment at a college camp, or would it be standard boilerplate feedback (get in the gym, work hard in school, etc.)?

Take him to tryouts for the Top 10 or so travel ball teams in SoCal/AZ. If he makes any of the A teams that is a very good sign. 86 and size will get him D1 offers this coming summer if he has an off speed and can get the ball within the vicinity of the plate. I don't know how much he has been throwing or playing this fall but start making some phone calls to set up workouts. I know a few teams from the travel circuit, I'm sure the CA guys on here can point you in the right direction as well if you're looking for higher level teams. 

RJM posted:

 

** Yes, I realize many D1 pitchers cruise upper 80’s. But to be recruited they better ring the (90) bell a few time at recruiting events.

Agree, we know several lefties that are hitting 87-88, but even non P5 D1s are wanting the 90.  Granted, done of them are 6'4, and that plays into it.  Assuming he isn't maxed out on velo, he projects D1.  Take him to some camps at schools he is interested in.  If they start falling all over him, you know you are in the right pond.

knownothingdad posted:
baseballhs posted:

Looks to be D1 based strictly on measurables.

BaseballHS, thanks for the input.  

If this is the first time he’s hearing this, with that size and metrics I would be shocked. Where the heck are you playing ball at that this kid isn’t already on a ton of radars?!

knownothingdad posted:

NYCDAD and DESERTDUCK, thanks for the PBR tip.  He has played in a PBR tournament, but not a showcase.  I will look into it. 

Would he get an objective assessment at a college camp, or would it be standard boilerplate feedback (get in the gym, work hard in school, etc.)?

College camps - not likely unless they take a particular interest in you.  Any assessment, if there is one, will be as you said - boilerplate with probably a positive spin but not likely to be specific direction with regard to which level you should be targeting unless it is clearly lower levels, which does not apply here.  The exception would be if you or your travel team coaches know a RC or HC who will be there and ask specifically if they can take a look and give that assessment.  Again, though, if you are with the right travel org at this point in time, they should be able to tell you.

Another note regarding college camp - You will have much better luck if it is specifically a true prospect camp where the college HC and RC have invited several kids or teams they want to get second looks at.

Last edited by cabbagedad
PABaseball posted:

Take him to tryouts for the Top 10 or so travel ball teams in SoCal/AZ. If he makes any of the A teams that is a very good sign. 86 and size will get him D1 offers this coming summer if he has an off speed and can get the ball within the vicinity of the plate. I don't know how much he has been throwing or playing this fall but start making some phone calls to set up workouts. I know a few teams from the travel circuit, I'm sure the CA guys on here can point you in the right direction as well if you're looking for higher level teams. 

PABaseball, thanks for the advice.  Do you know how I might start compiling a list of the top SoCal travel teams?  

baseballhs posted:
RJM posted:

 

** Yes, I realize many D1 pitchers cruise upper 80’s. But to be recruited they better ring the (90) bell a few time at recruiting events.

Agree, we know several lefties that are hitting 87-88, but even non P5 D1s are wanting the 90.  Granted, done of them are 6'4, and that plays into it.  Assuming he isn't maxed out on velo, he projects D1.  Take him to some camps at schools he is interested in.  If they start falling all over him, you know you are in the right pond.

That is far from what I am seeing. 87-88 as a LHP will get you an offer (D1)

collegebaseballrecruitingguide posted:
knownothingdad posted:
baseballhs posted:

Looks to be D1 based strictly on measurables.

BaseballHS, thanks for the input.  

If this is the first time he’s hearing this, with that size and metrics I would be shocked. Where the heck are you playing ball at that this kid isn’t already on a ton of radars?!

collegebaseballrecruitingguide, he has heard some positive feedback from a few people, but he hasn't been in the travel ball circuit since the age of eight and has made some major improvements in the last year. 

He plays on a travel team whose coaches focus on fundamentals and getting better, not on college recruiting. Several people have mentioned more recruiting-focused programs.  Sounds like we'll need to consider joining one of them.

Your son has the frame and measurables to be a sure fire D1 prospect.  I would make a list of schools he would like to go to and get in front of them ASAP.  6’4” LHP hitting 86 MPH at such a young age, will have coaches falling over themselves.  

Personally, I would also convert him to a PO so he can focus on all the small things related to pitching.

collegebaseballrecruitingguide posted:
baseballhs posted:
RJM posted:

 

** Yes, I realize many D1 pitchers cruise upper 80’s. But to be recruited they better ring the (90) bell a few time at recruiting events.

Agree, we know several lefties that are hitting 87-88, but even non P5 D1s are wanting the 90.  Granted, done of them are 6'4, and that plays into it.  Assuming he isn't maxed out on velo, he projects D1.  Take him to some camps at schools he is interested in.  If they start falling all over him, you know you are in the right pond.

That is far from what I am seeing. 87-88 as a LHP will get you an offer (D1)

2 LHP kids we play with have documented velos 87-89, and aren't getting anything.

Last edited by baseballhs

Do you know how I might start compiling a list of the top SoCal travel teams?  

If you can't find a PBR event in California you could try Trosky Baseball - they do a lot of events and do measurements.

If you do not know who are the top travel teams in SoCal, and you don't know anyone who does, this is what I would do -- I can't promise it will work 100% but I bet it will be close.

I would open up MaxPreps in one window, and I would pick a few of the top SoCal baseball teams in the state rankings, or just take a few you already know, like even a NorCal dad like me knows about Harvard Westlake. Then I'd look at their top producers from last year, and look them up in Perfect Game and see what's listed there for travel teams, particularly for those kids who are reported as being committed. Those teams should give you a pretty good idea.

Last edited by JCG
He plays on a travel team whose coaches focus on fundamentals and getting better, not on college recruiting. Several people have mentioned more recruiting-focused programs.  Sounds like we'll need to consider joining one of them.

If he went to the AZ Sophomore Cassic I’m guessing the program is somewhat focused on college recruiting, that’s the point of the Classics.  

LousyLefty posted:
He plays on a travel team whose coaches focus on fundamentals and getting better, not on college recruiting. Several people have mentioned more recruiting-focused programs.  Sounds like we'll need to consider joining one of them.

If he went to the AZ Sophomore Cassic I’m guessing the program is somewhat focused on college recruiting, that’s the point of the Classics.  

LousyLefty, good point.  He was asked to play as a guest player on a more recruiting-oriented team.

JCG posted:

Do you know how I might start compiling a list of the top SoCal travel teams?  

If you can't find a PBR event in California you could try Trosky Baseball - they do a lot of events and do measurements.

If you do not know who are the top travel teams in SoCal, and you don't know anyone who does, this is what I would do -- I can't promise it will work 100% but I bet it will be close.

I would open up MaxPreps in one window, and I would pick a few of the top SoCal baseball teams in the state rankings, or just take a few you already know, like even a NorCal dad like me knows about Harvard Westlake. Then I'd look at their top producers from last year, and look them up in Perfect Game and see what's listed there for travel teams, particularly for those kids who are reported as being committed. Those teams should give you a pretty good idea.

JCG, I'm going to try this.  Thank you.

knownothingdad posted:

 Do you know how I might start compiling a list of the top SoCal travel teams?  

I would take a look at teams that attended (and did well) Perfect Game WWBA and Jupiter, and USA Baseball Team Championships.  The list will include BPA, CBA, GBG, SD Show for starters.

baseballhs posted:
collegebaseballrecruitingguide posted:
baseballhs posted:
RJM posted:

 

** Yes, I realize many D1 pitchers cruise upper 80’s. But to be recruited they better ring the (90) bell a few time at recruiting events.

Agree, we know several lefties that are hitting 87-88, but even non P5 D1s are wanting the 90.  Granted, done of them are 6'4, and that plays into it.  Assuming he isn't maxed out on velo, he projects D1.  Take him to some camps at schools he is interested in.  If they start falling all over him, you know you are in the right pond.

That is far from what I am seeing. 87-88 as a LHP will get you an offer (D1)

2 LHP kids we play with have documented velos 87-89, and aren't getting anything.

Varies greatly depending on the region of the country we are talking about. Texas is full of hard throwing pitchers from both sides. Some other areas not so much. 

knownothingdad posted:
PABaseball posted:

Take him to tryouts for the Top 10 or so travel ball teams in SoCal/AZ. If he makes any of the A teams that is a very good sign. 86 and size will get him D1 offers this coming summer if he has an off speed and can get the ball within the vicinity of the plate. I don't know how much he has been throwing or playing this fall but start making some phone calls to set up workouts. I know a few teams from the travel circuit, I'm sure the CA guys on here can point you in the right direction as well if you're looking for higher level teams. 

PABaseball, thanks for the advice.  Do you know how I might start compiling a list of the top SoCal travel teams?  

GBG, CBA, BPA, SD Show, SD Stars, Trosky. There are more, the CA guys on here might be more help - these are just the teams we've run into over the years. You can also go to some of the D1 pages in the area and see who some of the pitchers on UCLA, USC, LB, CSUF, etc played for over the summer in their roster bio or search some of the guys on Perfect Game and see. 

baseballhs posted:


2 LHP kids we play with have documented velos 87-89, and aren't getting anything.

Just browsing PG's rankings for TX 2020s, it looks like at least 90% are committed to colleges in TX, OK, LA. Lots of uncommitted guys (on PG anyway) who on paper could get scholarship offers in the northeast/midatlantic and maybe midwest. What do you think are the main reasons more TX kids don't pursue those opportunities? Weather, finances, level of baseball, juco options, culture?

MidAtlanticDad posted:
baseballhs posted:


2 LHP kids we play with have documented velos 87-89, and aren't getting anything.

Just browsing PG's rankings for TX 2020s, it looks like at least 90% are committed to colleges in TX, OK, LA. Lots of uncommitted guys (on PG anyway) who on paper could get scholarship offers in the northeast/midatlantic and maybe midwest. What do you think are the main reasons more TX kids don't pursue those opportunities? Weather, finances, level of baseball, juco options, culture?

I think most Texas kids attend regional tournaments because quality is good. Most of those schools don’t travel that far regularly. I also think those schools don’t try to recruit Texas kids as much because there are so many schools right around here. Arizona (not northeast but same idea) told us that they typically never recruit Texas kids because they can’t get them, they will go somewhere closer to home. That’s all I can come up with. If the schools made the trip out here, strong arms are a dime a dozen.

Last edited by baseballhs
MidAtlanticDad posted:
baseballhs posted:


2 LHP kids we play with have documented velos 87-89, and aren't getting anything.

Just browsing PG's rankings for TX 2020s, it looks like at least 90% are committed to colleges in TX, OK, LA. Lots of uncommitted guys (on PG anyway) who on paper could get scholarship offers in the northeast/midatlantic and maybe midwest. What do you think are the main reasons more TX kids don't pursue those opportunities? Weather, finances, level of baseball, juco options, culture?

Great question.  I noticed this when Collegebaseballinsights was posting all the data.  You would think Texas would be an outlier like California and Florida, sending more of the surplus of good players beyond in-state and neighboring states.  Since so many of the other variables are similar, my guess would be that culture moves up the list.

It looks like TX has 36 Juco's with baseball.  California has 88 - not terribly out of line with population differences, but if anything, that would push more kids further away.  Plenty of wealth in CA but in TX as well.  Both show up consistently at the top for best talent and good travel programs.  

What do ya'll from TX have to say?  Sorry, this should probably be it's own thread.  See what you started, Mid !

cabbagedad posted:
MidAtlanticDad posted:
baseballhs posted:


2 LHP kids we play with have documented velos 87-89, and aren't getting anything.

Just browsing PG's rankings for TX 2020s, it looks like at least 90% are committed to colleges in TX, OK, LA. Lots of uncommitted guys (on PG anyway) who on paper could get scholarship offers in the northeast/midatlantic and maybe midwest. What do you think are the main reasons more TX kids don't pursue those opportunities? Weather, finances, level of baseball, juco options, culture?

Great question.  I noticed this when Collegebaseballinsights was posting all the data.  You would think Texas would be an outlier like California and Florida, sending more of the surplus of good players beyond in-state and neighboring states.  Since so many of the other variables are similar, my guess would be that culture moves up the list.

It looks like TX has 36 Juco's with baseball.  California has 88 - not terribly out of line with population differences, but if anything, that would push more kids further away.  Plenty of wealth in CA but in TX as well.  Both show up consistently at the top for best talent and good travel programs.  

What do ya'll from TX have to say?  Sorry, this should probably be it's own thread.  See what you started, Mid !

The thing Texas has over California is proximity to another hotbed of baseball across the Southeast that is similar culturally to Texas.  A Texas kid is going to feel a lot more at home in AR, MS, AL, LA, GA, TN etc than they will in the North East or Midwest.  California doesn't really have a cultural equivalent so if the kid is leaving the state he is adjusting to a new culture regardless.

22and25 posted:
cabbagedad posted:
... You would think Texas would be an outlier like California and Florida, sending more of the surplus of good players beyond in-state and neighboring states.  Since so many of the other variables are similar, my guess would be that culture moves up the list.

It looks like TX has 36 Juco's with baseball.  California has 88 - not terribly out of line with population differences, but if anything, that would push more kids further away.  Plenty of wealth in CA but in TX as well.  Both show up consistently at the top for best talent and good travel programs.  

What do ya'll from TX have to say?  ...

The thing Texas has over California is proximity to another hotbed of baseball across the Southeast that is similar culturally to Texas.  A Texas kid is going to feel a lot more at home in AR, MS, AL, LA, GA, TN etc than they will in the North East or Midwest.  California doesn't really have a cultural equivalent so if the kid is leaving the state he is adjusting to a new culture regardless.

Makes a lot of sense.

MidAtlanticDad posted:
baseballhs posted:


2 LHP kids we play with have documented velos 87-89, and aren't getting anything.

Just browsing PG's rankings for TX 2020s, it looks like at least 90% are committed to colleges in TX, OK, LA. Lots of uncommitted guys (on PG anyway) who on paper could get scholarship offers in the northeast/midatlantic and maybe midwest. What do you think are the main reasons more TX kids don't pursue those opportunities? Weather, finances, level of baseball, juco options, culture?

It's not necessarily the kids choice.  Coaches recruit players and usually have the most success recruiting close to home, so this is where they spend their time.  It's not easy for kids to convince a coach from other parts of the country to take a look at a kid from CA, TX, etc.

Smitty28 posted:

It's not necessarily the kids choice.  Coaches recruit players and usually have the most success recruiting close to home, so this is where they spend their time.  It's not easy for kids to convince a coach from other parts of the country to take a look at a kid from CA, TX, etc.

Agree with this. I grew up in southern California and I can tell you from experience that I, and the majority of my friends/peers, never really seriously considered going outside of California for college. Not that that was right or wrong, it just was. Also, my son went to a few camps out there (early on), mostly because the grandparents still live there, and found that most of the top programs in socal are made up of a very high percentage of California kids. Even more so than you see on rosters in other hotbed areas. The coaches simply don't have to go far for talent.

I'm from Southern Cal. While it's a fact that Cal schools have mostly Cal kids (similar to other states), i can name dozens of kids who attended and/or were recruited by out of state schools. I personally know kids who played D1 at every Ivy school, most Patriot league schools, Clemson, LSU, New Mexico (both state and U), Arizona (state and U), Miami of Ohio, Indiana, Oregon (State and U), Charleston, Maryland, Washington, Purdue, Nevada, to name a few. As for D3, even more.

Coaches will recruit from anywhere a player domiciles - it requires a well thought out plan to play before your target schools and the skills needed to get the RCs' attention. Also, keep in mind that (at least anecdotally from posts over the years here) that there seems to be a preference to play within  a few hours drive of home. 

 

Goosegg posted:

I'm from Southern Cal. While it's a fact that Cal schools have mostly Cal kids (similar to other states), i can name dozens of kids who attended and/or were recruited by out of state schools. I personally know kids who played D1 at every Ivy school, most Patriot league schools, Clemson, LSU, New Mexico (both state and U), Arizona (state and U), Miami of Ohio, Indiana, Oregon (State and U), Charleston, Maryland, Washington, Purdue, Nevada, to name a few. As for D3, even more.

Coaches will recruit from anywhere a player domiciles - it requires a well thought out plan to play before your target schools and the skills needed to get the RCs' attention. Also, keep in mind that (at least anecdotally from posts over the years here) that there seems to be a preference to play within  a few hours drive of home. 

 

Goosegg, since this thread has gone a little off-track, care to go a little further?  What would you suggest are part of a well-thought out plan for a SoCal kid who may have to leave to leave the land of eternal summer to find a good academic and baseball fit? My 2022LHP is strong academically and projects to be D1 (6'1" still growing,throwing low 80's but doesn't have his "man body" muscles yet, 155lbs soaking wet, clearly still in puberty) but who knows...The problem is that many of the great Engineering schools that are a good academic fit are strong baseball programs as well.  Maybe he'll get up to 90, maybe he'll top out in the upper 80's, how can you project that with accuracy?  Of course we'd love for him to start throwing heat and go to UCLA, but I prefer to make a realistic plan.

Depending on his growth/strength, we were planning on a Headfirst this coming summer, before that doing a PBR event to get published numbers so that we can send those along with video ahead of time.  He plays for a reputable travel program within CA but we don't go to events further than AZ.  Players from our program are placed throughout the country, but are fewer and far between the further east you go.  

LousyLefty posted:

The problem is that many of the great Engineering schools that are a good academic fit are strong baseball programs as well.

How realistic is it to be an Engineering major and a D1 baseball player?  I am just throwing it out there because one of my son's teammates was told directly by a school (D3) they prefer not to recruit engineering majors due to the workload.....   Just relaying what I heard.   

The never ending battle for superiority between Texas and California has emerged in this thread, but thank you all for the great comments. 

For posterity, I will summarize the advice I have received so far.

*Take him to a PBR showcase to get published numbers (thanks DESERTDUCK, NYCDAD, and BASEBALLHS)

*Contact a local junior college coach for a workout and feedback (thanks CABBAGEDAD)

*Post a highlight video to this site and let the hsbaseballweb.com community evaluate him (thanks CABBAGEDAD)

*Find a top recruiting-oriented travel team with coaches who can make an informed evaluation (thanks PABASEBALL, RJM, JCG, SMITTY28, MIDATLANTICDAD, et al)

-suggested San Diego teams: GBG, CBA, BPA, SD Show, SD Stars, Trosky (3 votes)

Gunner Mack Jr. posted:
LousyLefty posted:

The problem is that many of the great Engineering schools that are a good academic fit are strong baseball programs as well.

How realistic is it to be an Engineering major and a D1 baseball player?  I am just throwing it out there because one of my son's teammates was told directly by a school (D3) they prefer not to recruit engineering majors due to the workload.....   Just relaying what I heard.   

I know it's going to be hard to find a good fit which is why I think we'll have to cast a wider net.  Already spent a lot of time looking at schools here in CA that would maybe be a good fit baseball-wise but might be a small step down academically.  Had to cross some off the list as there were zero rostered players in engineering going back 2/3 years.  

He projects D1 (maybe, who knows, I hate guessing) but I don't think he'd mind going lower if it was a good fit academically.  For now we haven't talked about it much.   He's focusing on being the best he can be academically and physically and then we'll see how many doors are open.  I'm not ready to have the conversation that he may have to choose one dream over the other, yet.

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