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This website has provided a lot of great tips for me in the past, so I figured I needed to join as it would be a good place to come to for recruiting advice. I've had a really slow start to the recruiting process because of a minor injury early this fall (had consistent contact with one school), but I thought now would be a good time to really get the recruiting process going.

To start, I'm a 6'4" Left Handed Pitcher. I don't have too much room to fill out because I'm already weighing at 225 pounds, but there's definitely some muscle to gain. This summer, my 2 seam fastball was sitting at 85-87 mph and topping at 88. My change up is very good, but my curve ball will need some work this off season. As of now, I have a 29 on the ACT but I'm hoping to get it a little higher.

I have no experience with going to showcases/pg tournaments, and I haven't really had success with trying to reach out to schools(I've sent out some emails unsuccessfully). I would like to stay in the midwest/south because it's close to home, but I'm really willing to go anywhere if I got the opportunity to play(I don't want to sit for 3 years just to say I'm going to a good school). I really have no idea what I'm interested in or what I want to study, so I guess I've just been searching for schools because they look cool, which probably won't benefit me at all. Also, Based on what I've seen on this website, it seems like D1 schools won't be giving out many scholarship offers to the 2022 and 2023 class. I know many of you have had experience with the recruiting process, so I was hoping to get any advice that you think might be helpful in beginning it. Specifically, are there any groups of schools/conferences that I should target? Thank you for any advice! (sorry if this was long)

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hbaseball,

Thanks for the background.  The first question that pops into my head is are you on a travel team/high school team?  Second question, does your travel organization or high school coach have experience with college baseball recruiting.   If so, and they are willing to help you this could be a great starting point.  The reason it is important is that a respected travel coach or high school coach can open many more doors than you can by yourself.   If other people say wonderful things about you, it is significantly more valuable than you saying wonderful things about you.  Make sense?

Additionally, if they can get you on the right track they can help you identify the types of schools looking for someone like you.   The college baseball universe is huge.   There are subtle and not so subtle differences across the NCAA, JUCO, NAIA organizations.  Figuring out where you best fit is only half the battle.

Good luck, and keep updating this thread.  Others will chime in to offer their experience and wisdom.  If you keep the thread updated, more people can help you.

Last edited by fenwaysouth

By summer of ‘22 most D1 recruiting is done. Being a pitcher, and more so a lefty could make your situation different. However, it’s not like college programs are beating your door down.

With your size you have the potential to be a D1 pitcher. A little more velocity wouldn’t hurt. As Fenway suggested, a lot more help from a travel or high school coach would definitely help.

Going against you right now for D1 is the one time transfer rule, the transfer portal and extended Covid eligibility. Let’s be honest. If you were a college coach would you take an 18yo marginal high school prospect boy or a 20-22yo college transfer man with college experience?

You do need to give some thought to what you want to get from a college education. If you’re not sure about a major look for colleges that provide a diverse range of study for a couple of years before you have to pick a major.

It’s also not essential to pick the right major. Plenty of college graduates go into a field completely different than their major. You can use a summer internship in college to pave the way for your first job regardless of major. Just don’t pick a useless major.

Unless your coaches can get you references and exposure to D1s at this point you should be thinking D2 or D3. What is important is to get a quality education while having a quality baseball and social experience regardless of division level.

If you can’t get help from existing coaches you need to make contact with college coaches, find out where they will be next summer and get yourself in front of them. Don’t just go to showcases to throw spaghetti off the wall hoping some will stick. However, being a lefty pitcher you might get away with it.

Make a list of conferences you believe you could compete. Then, choose school within those conference that could be a good academic, financial, social and cultural fit. By cultural fit an urban/suburban kid might not be comfortable in a rural area. And vice versa. A list of fifty is not too many. Some won’t be interested in you. Some you will lose interest as you lean more about them. The list will quickly shrink. Then get to contacting them. If you call have a thirty second promotion pitch prepared. If you get through chances are they’re going to ask why their school is a perceived choice of yours.

Remember baseball may last through four years of college. Your education will get you started on your next forty years. If all goes well you get both. Good luck.

Last edited by RJM

A  2023  6 ft 4; 225 lb LHP with a 2 seam sitting 85-87 is likely a D1 prospect.  What does your 4 seam run?  Typically it would be 1-3mph faster.   Sounds like you just haven't had the exposure other kids have had.  I say work out hard; have your mechanics tweaked; then go to a PG showcase in winter or early spring.  Light up a 90 mph and I bet you get A LOT of D1 calls! 

I definitely didn't think I'd get all these responses so quickly, but thanks everyone! To answer fenway's question, both my high school/summer team coaches don't have a ton of experience with getting people recruited(they only have contacts with the local colleges), but it would be a good place to start and I know they would definitely help if I guided them in the right direction. It's definitely something to note that people coming from JUCOs could have the same eligibility as me due to COVID, so obviously most D1 coaches would take them over a kid coming out of high school.  I'd say at this point in time, I've realized that using baseball to help me get into a good school will help more than going just for baseball to get nothing academically and be stuck, so thank you for the tips RJM. For my four seam velocity, I never throw it because for some reason it is slower than my two seam(fingers might be spread too far apart on the ball?). However, I will start getting a big list of schools together and asking my coaches to reach out to the ones that interest me the most.

Also, it might help for me to say that my summer team is 18u, and I don't know if it decreases the amount of colleges that would show up compared to a lower age group. I was born pretty late for my grade, so technically this year I could've played 15u.

-thanks for the replies and I will continue updating this thread as the process continues

Last edited by hbaseball

You should plan this coming year carefully.  Presumably you will shut down in the winter, then ramp up toward the HS season?  Doing a showcase during shut-down or ramp-up is not a good idea.  Maybe shoot your own video with a radar gun just before the season starts and send emails to schools.  Probably you should aim for a showcase at the end of the HS season, when your arm should be in top shape, that will get you a verified velocity.  PBR (much cheaper than PG) hosts these in many states, often colleges show up to the late spring ones.

You have been given excellent advise above, particularly from Dadbelly. Start using J-bands and long tossing, working out and hitting the weights, focus on the lower half, core and decelerator muscles. During long toss, use a 4 seam grip, move your fingers closer together and focus on getting a true 6/12 backspin with lots of wrist and finger action. Eventhough a winter shut-down is ideal, you do not have that luxury, you don't have the time considering your circumstances. Presumeably you didn't throw much this fall with your injury and given the fact that you haven't played for a high level travel team or gotten any exposure at PG or showcases, I assume your arm should be fresh and a shut-down may not really be necessary for you anyway. Just long toss and avoid competitive pitching for the rest of the year. Sign up for a winter, early spring showcase and start throwing bullpens a couple of weeks prior, then hit 90.

Thanks for the responses, they are definitely helping me get a better picture of the recruiting process. I actually haven't thrown since July, so shutting my arm down in the winter probably won't be as important as it might be for other players. Once I'm back to 100% (probably late November/early December), I'll gradually start to ramp up my throwing again. As my injury is core related, I've done a lot of strengthening the muscles with light weights that Calhoun mentioned but I still can't do explosive movements like pitching or lifting heavy weight.

It seems like everyone agrees that once I get a list of schools, I'll need to start getting my high school/summer coaches to email those college coaches so hopefully they'll respond with interest. After that, I'll need to find a 17u team that I can fill in for that plays in big PG tournaments where I can get myself in front of those coaches and be in contact with them before the event. Also, it might be important to get to a showcase this spring before high school ball starts.

Is going to a big PG tournament only recommended if I can hit 90 in those bullpens, or would it still be necessary for my recruitment if I come back sitting 85-88 like before? Also, how important is it to have a verified velocity on perfect game, vs just saying that it's how hard I throw? Do schools actually use the perfect game website to verify those things and scout players?

-Thanks again

With the more detailed info, make sure your core is ready before you start throwing and begin the heavier lifting. When you start thowing make sure you ramp up slowly, don't rush anything. I wouldn't think about bullpen or throwing from a mound until at least Feb. Do yourself a favor and don't break out a radar gun until you have been throwing from the mound for at least two weeks. After you are ramped up and aren't holding anything back, it is ok to go to a PG Tourney even if you aren't hitting 90 in pens. PG posts max velo and in a game with adrenaline, you may hit it, you'd be surprised. Verifed numbers are important for attracting inital attention but a coach will still have to see it with their own eyes/gun. Saying how hard you throw means absolutely nothing. Yes, coaches will use PG verified metrics to decide which players are worth investing their limited time into, particularly if you are reaching out to those schools on your own.

Did you take the ACT just once?  If so, study up and take it again.  Generally you will get 1-2 points higher with the superscore which is what most coaches care about. Not to mention you may just outright do better.  So, I would make that a priority this Fall.  If you get to 30-31 which it sounds like you will, most doors are open.

As to pitching,  if you are accurate and have decent secondary pitches, IMO you have most HA D1 and D3 on the table.  It sounds like you are interested in this route.   Patriot, Ivy and NESCAC are just a few.  High 80’s LHP will have plenty of HA D1 sniffs.  I also agree, make a short list if you feel comfortable.  Do some thinking and email them this month.  Most coaches will take an interest and someone will write you back.   Give them your background, why you like the school, your metrics, a very brief academic recap and a video link if you can (throwing mechanics without velo is fine for now).   You have the gift of being a tall LHP. That is a golden ticket in cutting through the masses.

DM me if you want more personal advice. We literally just (successfully) went through the process with a 6’4 + 2022 LHP. A lot of gathered info for just one result.

Best of luck and I really like your chances.

Last edited by BBSBfan

This may sound stupid. But it works. At PG events you’re better off rearing back and firing fastballs off the backstop at 90 than throwing strikes in the mid 80’s.  

We had a third baseman on our high school team with the yips. He went through a streak when he had trouble lobbing the ball from second the first (bounced a few). I told him when he gets out on the left side in a showcase just fire the ball at the first baseman. If it goes into the front row, so what. He showed off his arm. Colleges coaches weren’t scared away by the overthrows. They saw a gun they could fix.

Last edited by RJM

Don’t buy into the 90 or bust mindset.  If you can have control, you don’t have to be 90.  Son hit 91 last week and PC wants him pitching at 87-89.  He hit 92 last year but it got straight and flat.  I know 90 opens doors but success in upper 80s for a lefty is just as important.  Son had offers from half sec and acc without hitting 90.  

@Consultant posted:

During the Area Code games, I intentionally "slanted" the pitching rosters [50% LHP].

This what the scouts wanted. Velocity was secondary, ability to "own" the mound is #1.

Bob

Don’t you think most top half of D1’s are looking for righties that own the mound at 90+ and lefties at 88+? If a kid throws 95+ there’s some leeway on control?

Given only 18-20 players on the roster need to contribute there’s a lot of leeway for coaches to take recruiting risks.

Just wanted to update the thread again and say that I appreciate all the responses. To answer BBSBfan's question, I took the ACT twice and got a 29 both times with a 30 superscore. Hoping to get it up and prepare a little more next time. Still dealing with this nagging injury and not much progress is being made, so my recruiting process is definitely still delayed for a few months

30 is a very good score and puts you in a very strong spot. Be proud of that.  If you can squeeze another point via super score - which I bet that you will with another try, even better.  Injuries are a big part of the sport, stay positive and it will all come together at some point.  You have plenty of time with most of the HA schools still.

Last edited by BBSBfan

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