“Kid signs his NLI and goes off to college.  He will play all 4 years, unless he is drafted and signs, and never leave that school during that time.”

How often does that fairytale come true?  More specifically, how often will a kid play in 4-year D1 school if he is a freshmen?  What about as a sophomore?

Further, what’s the percentage of kids who end up transferring from the D1 school that they started with?  Is like the divorce rate, 50%?

Original Post

Those are good questions.  I'll be interested in hearing the answers

In a lot of the best Power Five D1 programs, the reality is that a college commitment is an invitation to battle for playing time & even a roster spot as a college freshman.  I would suggest that a vast majority of high school kids have no clue what they are getting themselves into, especially the kids who have never faced adversity or had to battle for a spot throughout their   High School/youth "careers".

A lot of the top players have been handed things their whole lives and are told how great they are over & over again... It can be an eye opening experience

There are three levels of D1 ball. They overlap. A competitive mid major may be better than a major conference bottom feeder. There are some programs in mid major conferences that are perennial tournament teams (Fullerton, Coastal, etc.)

There are 297 D1 programs. They are not created equal. Generically there’s major conference, mid major and the rest. Given your geographic point of reference I would call the MAAC part of “the rest.” A kid who can’t even dream of walking on at a ranked program could be a four year starter at a MAAC. 

What the prospect and his parents need to do is take an honest view of ability and target the right level. The player should be looking for a quality baseball and educational experience at whatever level it’s possible.

I watched a D3 regional this past season. It isn’t any less competitive and intense than a D1 regional. It’s just a different level of ball played at a different speed. But having seen a friend’s son in a D3 national championship dog pile about ten years ago it didn’t look any less fun than a D1 dog pile. And the two pitchers facing off throwing 90+ were both drafted. 

At the D1 level the attrition rate to first college played is about 50%. One reason is there are thirty-five very capable former all everything high school players battling for 18-20 playing time spots. A second reason is players selecting the dream school they loved that didn’t love them back (liked them as backup insurance) over a program that showed love. 

You seem very focused on D1 lately. Is your son a D1 prospect? 

That varies greatly depending on the school.  I looked at this area pretty close when we were looking at schools.  If you trace the teams roster, its pretty easy to look at but time consuming.  We only did this for schools that we were interested in seriously.  

Look at the roster from 4 years back and see how many are still there at the end of 3 years, 4 years.  its pretty telling.  there are many reasons kids leave, so if you see a bad trend investigate further.  At first glance, the more competitive the program, the quicker the turnover. The more competitive schools aren't gonna give many "second chances", they have got alot more kids that want that spot on the roster and/or scholarship.

wareagle posted:

That varies greatly depending on the school.  I looked at this area pretty close when we were looking at schools.  If you trace the teams roster, its pretty easy to look at but time consuming.  We only did this for schools that we were interested in seriously.  

Look at the roster from 4 years back and see how many are still there at the end of 3 years, 4 years.  its pretty telling.  there are many reasons kids leave, so if you see a bad trend investigate further.  At first glance, the more competitive the program, the quicker the turnover. The more competitive schools aren't gonna give many "second chances", they have got alot more kids that want that spot on the roster and/or scholarship.

This.  And this answers your question about looking at rosters/commitments.

None of it really matters. If your son is a fit for the program and conference then he should be fine. Every time I'm at a game and hear "this kid is committed to _____" my thoughts are either - makes sense/really? A lot of the time when a kid leaves a school he was never a good fit to begin with. Those are the "really?" kids. Every "Really?" player I've seen was either off the roster after the first year or ended up getting very minimal playing time -usually in mail in spots. 

If your son is getting interest from coaches and you have to ask yourself - why him - then he is probably better served a step or two down. 2019 had interest from some stellar teams. He even joked "are they sure they have the right name? There's probably some 6'4 kid in Florida throwing 95 waiting for his call from the _______ coach." It wasn't a good fit. And he knew that. 

Go to a school that suits his playing level and increase his likelihood of remaining at the school. 

Francis7 posted:

“Kid signs his NLI and goes off to college.  He will play all 4 years, unless he is drafted and signs, and never leave that school during that time.”

How often does that fairytale come true?  More specifically, how often will a kid play in 4-year D1 school if he is a freshmen?  What about as a sophomore?

Further, what’s the percentage of kids who end up transferring from the D1 school that they started with?  Is like the divorce rate, 50%?

The 50% number comes up often here but I don't recall the source. Based on anecdotal evidence it seems to be true.

I think a lot of it comes down  to this question: "Is your son a student-athlete or is he an athlete-student?"  If he's the latter, and he commits to a D1 program and gets zero playing time as a freshman, then in many if not most cases he's going to transfer or drop down to Juco, & do whatever he has to do to get on the field, as he should.  But let's say he's at an Ivy or a "Public Ivy" or really any other school he'd attend without baseball.  In that case he probably returns year after year ready to battle for playing time and also ready to stick  it out if he doesn't get on the field as much as he would like.

 

Francis - No easy answers to this one.  If it was easy, there would be no transfers, ever.   The title of your thread is appropriately titled because very few understand just how competitive it is to get ANY playing time hence the high transfer rates out of some schools.  As others have suggested the devil is in the details of the specific school, NCAA Division and their respective program.   You've got to do a lot of research.  

To answer your question directly, the closest it comes to a "D1 fairytale" (your words) is with the Patriot League (Army, Navy, Lafayette, Lehigh, Bucknell, and Holy Cross) as well as the Ivy League (Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale).   Very few transfers-out and a very high 4 year participation rate, however challenging in other ways.   Signing an NLI is childsplay when you consider what the Army and Navy guys are committing to.  Again, it is on a case by case basis.

The reality is that there is not an answer to the OP's scenarios.  Why?  Because no two situation nor programs are the same.  When my daughter played, five freshmen showed up.  They all started from day one and all played four years.  That is so rare!  As you can imagine, there were several transfers out of older girls.  

Francis7 posted:

....

How often does that fairytale come true?  ....

There are no fairytales in college baseball.  Dreams become labors of love with plenty of highs and PLENTY of lows.  You do your best, as you are doing, to try to help your son pick the best option to pursue those efforts.  Even taking every possible step to assure best choice, things change and there are things that you just won't know until you're there. 

Meanwhile, DON"T FORGET to fully enjoy your son's dream days and HS experience. 

I keep reminding you because you keep coming back with different ways to ask very similar questions about the finite points of the recruitment pursuit, which may or may not indicate you are neglecting the present a bit.  We never hear you talk about how much he or you or both are enjoying these last few years with him in the household, enjoying the experiences of life with a HS teen, enjoying the day at the ballpark today.  Maybe that's just the way you choose to utilize this forum.  I don't know.  Just seems strange so worth repeating.

In fact, I think I'll try to answer your OP question another way...

Yes, the chances that things don't work out for your son with his college choice for baseball are statistically quite high, so be sure to fully embrace and enjoy him as someone other than a baseball player... you know, just in case  

Fairytale?

Son's Ivy:

• 7 years (add in three years above him, plus his class, and the three classes behind him),

• 50 recruited (no NLIs in Ivies),

• 49 graduated (47 in 4 years, the other 2 in 5 [signed as juniors]),

• 45 played all four years (the two signed juniors played three).

• EVERY SINGLE PLAYER WHO HAD REAL PRO-POTENTIAL WENT ON AND PLAYED PROBALL.

I recall Tony Gwynn, when he was HC of SDSU, regularly bringing in classes of 20; of those 20, 3 - 4 lasted three years.

It's about your priorities. It's about understanding what you give up and what you get in exchange. It's about understanding the odds and perhaps choosing to hedge rather than being all in on a lottery ticket.

Most players can't make the Ivy academic or baseball skills cut; but every player who does can seize that opportunity  - without giving up any baseball opportunities. 

So, there are indeed D1 fairytales.

My son attended a mid-D1 school.  Looking back, in MY eyes, I would have preferred him to go to a low-D1 so he would have a chance to consistently play some ball and get a good education. I thought this would be best for him.  He had some talent yet didn't get many offers.  Son was confident he could compete at any level D1, wouldn't consider anything lower.  Compete is one thing, playing is another.  Point is, you never know until you get there and experience it first hand.  He ended up playing every game and inning for 3 years (minus a couple of games with an injury).  I would have never predicted this, he of course would have said no worries.  So many variables go into becoming a pro, some you cannot control.  For me still, the baseball reality is getting a degree using baseball as a discount.

Playing time? Earned.

My son was penciled in as a SP his first three years BEFORE each season. By the third week of each season he was in the bullpen. By the fifth week of each season he was pulling pine splinters from his tush. (An incredibly difficult time for dad; son learned to deal with the failures [he really had no choice].)

In his fourth year, he was penciled in as a splinter puller. By the middle of fall practice he was named captain; by the end of fall ball he was penciled in as a SP; by the beginning of the season he was #1 SP; by the third week, teams were bunting on him just to break up no hitters; on his last game (v Fenways team), scouts from 30 teams were watching (both pitchers were being scouted and ended up single digit draftees).

Baseball is - to our family - unpredictable; all the kid can do is his best. Lots of hard lessons were learned on the way; but, baseball was very, very good to him and those lessons transcended baseball.

 [Late add: had he been playing in ANY OTHER CONFERENCE which had approached him, his experience would have been, (cough, cough) different. Which partially explains my clear Ivy bias. He would never have had the chance for the magical breakthrough season.]

cabbagedad posted:
Francis7 posted:

....

How often does that fairytale come true?  ....

 

Meanwhile, DON"T FORGET to fully enjoy your son's dream days and HS experience. 

 

I think the is huge, college baseball is a job, period, end of conversation. Coaches will be different then what you think, you will be treated poorly at times and you have no rights. To be honest as a business owner I can tell you with virtual certainty if our company treated my employees the way players get treated most would quit, I would get sued and I would have to settle out of court because there is no way to defend the actions...at the most basic level it is supply and demand, there are many more players then the demand for them and you will treated as such. To expect anything else you are in for a rude awakening. 

That being said, the rewards can be great, friendship, experiences brothers for life. Often times players become closer because the coach is such an ass they need each other to succeed. 

there is no fairytale IMO. 

Edit - I have no frame of reference for IVY observation. 

RJM posted:

I brought the 50% number to the board. I found it in a BA article about eight years ago. 

I believe the number as a general rule.  But I phrase it is the number of kids that make the roster as a freshman, and are still there as a Junior.  It's not just transfers, but some kids let baseball go. Some to focus on school, some to general life things.

I have been surprised to see how many of my 2017-8 son's friends/acquaintances who have gone D1 are either not playing or have already transferred out of their school, and usually to a lesser situation. Also know of a guy who went to a JUCO, and has already transferred to a top 25 program after one GREAT fall season.  The attrition seems worse, the better the school is baseball wise. I think that the Big 10 schools might hold on to players a bit longer than the other P5 conferences, but I don't have any data to back that up. 

 

   Know another coupla kids who are killing it in mid majors...one threw over 80 innings.  Who cares if you are at a great program if your ass is on the bench?

     

To expand on Fenway and Goosegg, in the Ivies/Patriot many of the players potentially could have gone to a D1 Big State U and possibly play in their Junior year or more realistically hope to play in their Senior year. They may have chosen the Ivies/Patriot with more certainty of playing 3-4 years. Ivies/Patriot only recruit 6-10 players a year with 0 transfers in.  My son's recruited class experience was: 9 recruited with 1 stopped playing to concentrate on Bio-Medical Engineering Degree. The remaining 8 contributed all 4 years and all graduated while 7 obtained employment before end of the senior season.  The 8th went on to play Independent ball.

57special posted:

 

   Know another coupla kids who are killing it in mid majors...one threw over 80 innings.  Who cares if you are at a great program if your ass is on the bench?

    

For some kids, absolutely agree. The point I was trying to make above is that for others, the question could be "who cares if your ass is on the bench if you are at a great program?"

And that's not just Ivies.  Could be many schools from UNC to Michigan to Cal.  I follow Cal, and most players I have seen hang in there as long as they can, playing time or not.  They want the Cal degree.  

Francis7, My son is living a fairytale. P5 school and at the time he was being recruited they there were the number 1 team in the country. My son wanted to go to one school. His grandfather was a professor there for over 40 years. We have pictures of him back to 5 years old at football and basketball games. He was getting "love" from several instate mid majors. He was getting "I think I like you" from his dream school. Basically his offer was, prove to us we should keep you around. They guaranteed admission and it was a school he would not have been accepted on his own merits. He did sweat it out the first couple falls, wondering if he would get cut.  He has had a successful college career, both on and off the field and will graduate this spring with a masters degree and no debt. 

He bet on himself and he won, however it doesn't always work out that way. That is way everyone on this board says, go where you are loved. It is a lot less anxiety.

Go44dad posted:

Francis, everybody stops playing at some time.  No shame in going to a D1 and things not working out.  Eyes wide open.

No shame in playing JuCo, NAIA, D3 or D2 either.  Son played JuCo D2 for two years and then a year with a D2 university.

FoxDad posted:
Go44dad posted:

Francis, everybody stops playing at some time.  No shame in going to a D1 and things not working out.  Eyes wide open.

No shame in playing JuCo, NAIA, D3 or D2 either.  Son played JuCo D2 for two years and then a year with a D2 university.

Not at all. Not at any level including high school. Only shame is not trying out of fear of failure or fear of what other people think of you. This was point I was trying to convey. 

“It’s not how many times you fall, it’s how many times you get up. Except in field sobriety tests. One fall there and best just to stay down.”  Anonymous Meme from Internet. 

JCG posted:
57special posted:

 

   Know another coupla kids who are killing it in mid majors...one threw over 80 innings.  Who cares if you are at a great program if your ass is on the bench?

    

For some kids, absolutely agree. The point I was trying to make above is that for others, the question could be "who cares if your ass is on the bench if you are at a great program?"

And that's not just Ivies.  Could be many schools from UNC to Michigan to Cal.  I follow Cal, and most players I have seen hang in there as long as they can, playing time or not.  They want the Cal degree.  

I meant great baseball program, not a great academic program.

JCG posted:
57special posted:

 

   Know another coupla kids who are killing it in mid majors...one threw over 80 innings.  Who cares if you are at a great program if your ass is on the bench?

    

For some kids, absolutely agree. The point I was trying to make above is that for others, the question could be "who cares if your ass is on the bench if you are at a great program?"

And that's not just Ivies.  Could be many schools from UNC to Michigan to Cal.  I follow Cal, and most players I have seen hang in there as long as they can, playing time or not.  They want the Cal degree.  

Son’s best friend was a scholy player at Cal. He had baseball money and FA money. Basically, free. Worked hard both baseball and academically. Never saw more than 30 innings pitched, total for 4 years. Most times he made the travel squad but not always. He was a great teammate. I give Coach Esquers a ton of credit, he made a commitment to the kid, the kid lived up to his end and the coach stood by him knowing that he wasn’t going to be an impact player. He graduated with a Cal degree, was part of a great team and learned from that experience. Most kids would do anything just to get accepted to Cal, let alone with a scholarship, financial aid and a uniform. 

Picked Off posted:
JCG posted:
57special posted:

 

   Know another coupla kids who are killing it in mid majors...one threw over 80 innings.  Who cares if you are at a great program if your ass is on the bench?

    

For some kids, absolutely agree. The point I was trying to make above is that for others, the question could be "who cares if your ass is on the bench if you are at a great program?"

And that's not just Ivies.  Could be many schools from UNC to Michigan to Cal.  I follow Cal, and most players I have seen hang in there as long as they can, playing time or not.  They want the Cal degree.  

Son’s best friend was a scholy player at Cal. He had baseball money and FA money. Basically, free. Worked hard both baseball and academically. Never saw more than 30 innings pitched, total for 4 years. Most times he made the travel squad but not always. He was a great teammate. I give Coach Esquers a ton of credit, he made a commitment to the kid, the kid lived up to his end and the coach stood by him knowing that he wasn’t going to be an impact player. He graduated with a Cal degree, was part of a great team and learned from that experience. Most kids would do anything just to get excepted to Cal, let alone with a scholarship, financial aid and a uniform. 

Treat the player right with respect and honesty, maybe in return you have created a dedicated alumni who donates and gives back to the baseball program.  You never know who is watching.....I've heard this before 

I think there are a couple reasons that kids don't spend 4 years at their school....and I'll base some of this on my son's experience.   He had 7 guys his freshman year...4 of them finished their 4 years there.

1) you really need to make sure you "fit".  When my son was being recruited, I went to watch a couple games in this league...and thought he was a good fit.  Could he have played at a higher level?  Maybe, but he had a great 4 years so I guess it worked out

2) Just because you were good in HS guarantees you NOTHING!!!   He had 2 kids out of his freshman class who were already unhappy by the third week of their freshman fall.  Both had plenty of opportunities....and just didn't perform.  By Spring, both of them (and their dad's) were just fuming about their lack of playing time....though again, a look at their batting averages/K's/etc showed the coaches were making the right call.  Both kids eventually left for lower level schools...and ended up having good careers

3) If you want to play....you need to work!!!    When you show up, you were a HS stud, but guess what, now you're competing against guys 3 or even 4 years older than you.  Every kid that is there...and the ones coming in behind you were HS stud's.....you will get passed by real quick if you don't work!

4) What are your expectation?  If you walk in thinking I'm going to be the Friday starter....or starting SS by the Spring of your freshman year....you are in for a rude awakening....for reasons mentioned above.  A lot of kids have never sat on the bench....and when they do, they can't take it.  I get it, and that's why there is the option to leave.   My son went from starting pitcher his freshman year, to reliever his sophomore year to closer/part time DH his junior year, to everyday DH/1B his senior year.   He didn't care where he played....he just wanted to play.   He probably could have gone to a D2 or D3 and played everyday for 4 years....and been on a team that would have won a lot more games....but he stuck with his committment and made it work

Again there are 100's or reasons kids leave....playing time, coaching issues, school issues, grades, etc, etc, etc.   There is no one answer as to why kids leave....or if they should/shouldn't stay.  Just way too many variables

Buckeye 2015 posted:

I think there are a couple reasons that kids don't spend 4 years at their school....and I'll base some of this on my son's experience.   He had 7 guys his freshman year...4 of them finished their 4 years there.

1) you really need to make sure you "fit".  When my son was being recruited, I went to watch a couple games in this league...and thought he was a good fit.  Could he have played at a higher level?  Maybe, but he had a great 4 years so I guess it worked out

2) Just because you were good in HS guarantees you NOTHING!!!   He had 2 kids out of his freshman class who were already unhappy by the third week of their freshman fall.  Both had plenty of opportunities....and just didn't perform.  By Spring, both of them (and their dad's) were just fuming about their lack of playing time....though again, a look at their batting averages/K's/etc showed the coaches were making the right call.  Both kids eventually left for lower level schools...and ended up having good careers

3) If you want to play....you need to work!!!    When you show up, you were a HS stud, but guess what, now you're competing against guys 3 or even 4 years older than you.  Every kid that is there...and the ones coming in behind you were HS stud's.....you will get passed by real quick if you don't work!

4) What are your expectation?  If you walk in thinking I'm going to be the Friday starter....or starting SS by the Spring of your freshman year....you are in for a rude awakening....for reasons mentioned above.  A lot of kids have never sat on the bench....and when they do, they can't take it.  I get it, and that's why there is the option to leave.   My son went from starting pitcher his freshman year, to reliever his sophomore year to closer/part time DH his junior year, to everyday DH/1B his senior year.   He didn't care where he played....he just wanted to play.   He probably could have gone to a D2 or D3 and played everyday for 4 years....and been on a team that would have won a lot more games....but he stuck with his committment and made it work

Again there are 100's or reasons kids leave....playing time, coaching issues, school issues, grades, etc, etc, etc.   There is no one answer as to why kids leave....or if they should/shouldn't stay.  Just way too many variables

Agreed.  Anything can be measured.     so instead of   etc, etc, etc, etc.   it might be etc, etc. 

First day of practice at DI freshman year. HC gathers the players and points around the room at each guy...you were all league, you were first team, you were drafted, so on and so on. He says, today you are just another baseball player trying to make the team. Nobody cares what you did in HS.

That’s hard for some to hear. If you don’t adapt quickly, you wont last. HC/RC are already recruiting your replacement before the ink drys and before you set foot on campus.

My son was a casualty sophomore year. Great freshman year, not so great fall next year. Five new LHP added, all of which threw harder(3 of which are playing pro ball). He became the last man out. Sat the bench all sophomore year until two weeks before season ended and was told that he won’t be in the plans for next year and will be released to transfer. 

The next three years he never missed a start at his new DII school. He graduated in the top ten in school history wins leader in just three years. He has a great job and is two semesters away from his MBA. Would he have stayed at the DI as a bench guy? I guess. He didn’t get that choice. 

The reality is that some way, some how college baseball filters out players, hopefully you land in the right spot. If you are lucky enough to play four years you can count your blessings.

Sure there are fairy tales at D1.  A kid works his tail off and eventually earns playing time - to me, that is the best possible story. 

My son's recruiting class had 9 players. Three were there for senior day. One was drafted as a junior and signed (Marcus Stroman.)  So the attrition was very high. (Some of that, perhaps most, was due to a literally mentally unwell coach who was fired after my son's junior year.)

 

Dumb (probably) question. If a kid goes to college on even a partial scholarship for baseball ... and the coach doesn't want to keep him on the field. Does he lose his scholarship? To be honest, if my kid can go to college and play baseball AND the school is going to pay him to come play baseball. He's staying unless he's offered scholarship money to play somewhere else (does that even happen)?

Not a dumb question at all.  It happens.  Others can explain better, but bottom line - the NLI is a only a one year commitment (except for P5 conferences which technically are a 4 year commitment).  For the vast majority of programs, an athlete can be "cut" or his athletic scholarship reduced or eliminated after the first year.  For the P5 programs, if the HC does not want a player he will make it tough on the player and let the player know that he won't see the field next season, and often the player accordingly will want to transfer.  The player could tough it out, but it most likely would not be the best experience for him and you only have so much eligibility.

It seems that most mid-major and lower and DII programs give the players a fair shake and don't pull athletic $$ as long as the player is working hard, keeping grades up, and doing his job.  From what I've read on this board, it appears that the P5 conference teams can be more mercenary, however.   Those programs generate $, the HC is expected to win, and if he wants to cut a player to make room for a more desired player, he'll exert pressure so the undesired player leaves "voluntarily".

Just because a kid has a scholarship doesn’t mean he can’t be cut. Any kid who wants to play would use getting cut as motivation to transfer. 

There are exceptions. A high school teammate of my son was told opening day eve of junior year he wouldn’t be rostered. By the time he transferred and became eligible he could graduate from college. If his college coach had any class at all he would have told him at the end of soph season so the player could have looked for transfer opportunities.

After a decade of coaching D1 .369 baseball the coach has returned to coaching high school baseball. The moral of the story: Don’t hire a former player just because he’s coaching at the high school level.

Yes, I sort of second what Qhead says... beyond P5, scholy's are year to year, are reviewed and often pulled or reduced if player doesn't perform to the expected standard on or off the field.  The only point where I differ with Qhead is that I have seen or heard of PLENTY of scholy's pulled or reduced at the levels below P5, sometimes only because the program recruited better players.  

And BTW, most baseball scholarships are partial.

So much great info here. Situations are so diverse across programs, coaches leaving, injuries, performance, off the field issues, academics and competition. We saw it first hand and the RC and HC brought in good players every year. Theoretically your best players are only there 3 years...although i know several Seniors who were very good and things just fell the way the they did. Control what you can control, outwork everyone else and execute.

I don't know what P5 is (sorry). I did not realize that a scholarship could be revoked. That's kind of scary. We realize it won't be much $$ and he'd be fortunate to get any, but every bit helps. He is very realistic about his abilities and where he will be applying but maybe we will reassess everything at this point. Even a few thousand dollars makes a difference and if there is a constant threat of it being revoked. Yikes. Thanks for the info ... we learn something new every day!

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