I don't know much about college ball. But, I'm trying to learn.

At this point, I have an assumption formed in my head. Tell me if it's dead wrong, correct, or neither right or wrong but confused and needs to be adjusted (and how) to be more accurate.

This is in reference to the solid programs: Top to mid D1, upper end D2 and D3, and the best Jucos.

Here's the assumption:

1. Some players are great. But, everyone is good. These are the top 5% of players between ages 18 and 22 who are currently not professionals. There's no one at this level who can't play well.

2. Whatever is your primary position, there's at least one player also on the roster now who is more than capable of stepping in for you and handling the responsibilities of that position in a way that can help the team.

3. If the school is not recruiting a player to take your place this year, they will be doing it next year. You will never be on the team for more than 2 years without having someone younger behind you with the desire and skills to take your starting position.

Is this all correct or am I way off course here?

PS - this assumption is for the normal players. Obviously, if you are Casey Martin or Kumar Rocker, then you are in a different class.

Original Post

These are truths, not assumptions, except #3...they are recruiting players every year who they think can come in and play your kids position, whether they sign them or not is another story. Putting a winning team on the field that is going to keep the head coach their job is the first priority for a coach, unless they are in a really weird situation.

My two cents.

Assumption 1:  Not necessarily.  Coaches miss on players all the time, and some players who were recruiting afterthoughts exceed expectations.  College baseball teams only need around 17-18 very good players to do their jobs extremely well to carry a successful college team.  My personal opinion is leadership and team chemistry is overlooked while skills & talent evaluation is overvalued. 

Assumption 2:  Not necessarily.  Coaches make position decisions all the time weighing offensive and defensive skills.  Typically position playing time is won in the Fall.   Players have to keep their performance up or that is going to change.   The quickest way to put doubt in the coaches head is to struggle with the bat, glove or miss signs.   Different players have "varying amounts of rope" they are given.   Then it becomes a matter of time before somebody else is put in the lineup.   Also, coaches have a number of players that can play multiple positions, so there are always many lineup options for coaches.

Assumption 3:  I can agree with that.  Competition for playing time is incredible challenging in college at almost all levels.

Agree with CollegeBaseballRecruitiungGuide that coaches value their jobs above all else.   If you are looking for what motivates a coach, I'd start there.  The more competitive the conference the more motivation to find a recruiting edge.

#1 Relative to the level of competition there will be a handful of lock to play studs at one end of the roster. There will be a handful of recruiting mistakes at the back of the roster who better improve quickly. In between will be a lot of talented players competing for half as many playing spots. Some will be waiting for their opportunity to prove they should get another opportunity. In this middle ground it’s more about mental toughness and staying prepared than talent.

It’s why I’m surprised there’s so little emphasis on the mental side of baseball in development. Maybe it’s because everyone at the college level was the peacock stud and never failed before college ball.

#2 Outside pitchers and catchers there are two kinds of players; middle of the field players and mashers. Middle of the field players were typically high school shortstops and centerfielders who have the speed and athletic ability to play anywhere after some training. 

#3 Not only are younger players being recruited behind the player. A player may return in the fall to find a JuCo stud transfer or a good player who transferred in at his position. 

Interesting topics and good points. I think there are plenty of guys at top programs who “can’t play”. For any number of reasons they did not meet expectations and would hurt the team if they were in the lineup regularly. On the other hand there are plenty of guys who “can play” and for one reason or another have not gotten their chance yet to see regular playing time. As mentioned above, the mental aspects related to those who “make it” and those who don’t can be a huge factor. In college most schools/ staffs don’t have time or interest in working on such cause it is usually easier to move on to the next guy

RJM posted:

#1 Relative to the level of competition there will be a handful of lock to play studs at one end of the roster. There will be a handful of recruiting mistakes at the back of the roster who better improve quickly. In between will be a lot of talented players competing for half as many playing spots. Some will be waiting for their opportunity to prove they should get another opportunity. In this middle ground it’s more about mental toughness and staying prepared than talent.

It’s why I’m surprised there’s so little emphasis on the mental side of baseball in development. Maybe it’s because everyone at the college level was the peacock stud and never failed before college ball.

#2 Outside pitchers and catchers there are two kinds of players; middle of the field players and mashers. Middle of the field players were typically high school shortstops and centerfielders who have the speed and athletic ability to play anywhere after some training. 

#3 Not only are younger players being recruited behind the player. A player may return in the fall to find a JuCo stud transfer or a good player who transferred in at his position. 

"It’s why I’m surprised there’s so little emphasis on the mental side of baseball in development. Maybe it’s because everyone at the college level was the peacock stud and never failed before college ball."

So very true.  The mental side and becoming a student of the game can take a very good player and make him towards the top or even elite.  I've seen many P5 and mid D-1 players who are good athletes, yet their mental approach or knowledge of the game strategy appears to be lacking.  It's common in high school where some good athletes rely solely on their athleticism and physical attributes, yet their understanding of the game or even fundamentals may be lacking.  May not be apparent now but at the next level it will be difficult to hide.

Francis7 posted:

I don't know much about college ball. But, I'm trying to learn.

At this point, I have an assumption formed in my head. Tell me if it's dead wrong, correct, or neither right or wrong but confused and needs to be adjusted (and how) to be more accurate.

This is in reference to the solid programs: Top to mid D1, upper end D2 and D3, and the best Jucos.

Here's the assumption:

1. Some players are great. But, everyone is good. These are the top 5% of players between ages 18 and 22 who are currently not professionals. There's no one at this level who can't play well.

2. Whatever is your primary position, there's at least one player also on the roster now who is more than capable of stepping in for you and handling the responsibilities of that position in a way that can help the team.

3. If the school is not recruiting a player to take your place this year, they will be doing it next year. You will never be on the team for more than 2 years without having someone younger behind you with the desire and skills to take your starting position.

Is this all correct or am I way off course here?

PS - this assumption is for the normal players. Obviously, if you are Casey Martin or Kumar Rocker, then you are in a different class.

1. varies by roster but there will be considerably more then 9 position players who can play well, if there are some that can't it doesn't matter due the sheer numbers who can. 

2. yes pretty much always true unless you are on a bad team. they all different skill sets but ultimately yes there many backups from other spots that can move other positions quickly and easy. Pitchers obviously aren't normal players so I don't include them. Catching is the only spot this doesn't usually apply, most teams carry at least 4 so it isn't like there will no competition but it doesn't usually come from other spots. I say usually because it could...

3. if you are on a successful program you will have new blood every year that hits your criteria, you will never be on a team where someone younger isn't being recruited to compete for starting positions. Hell they are already recruiting your potential replacement before you get to the team. 

College baseball is a nasty cut throat business, you will learn the real business world is kinder and more patient in the long run. 

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