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There is so much experience here on these boards, I just wanted to see what people thought who have gone through the process before.  


My 2015 LHP has a 4.35 weighted and a 4.O unweighted GPA.  He just took the SAT in January and scored a 1900, and he is going to retake it in May of this year.  So far he's taken 5 AP classes and gotten all As, plus he has passed all his AP exams with 4s.  He class rank is 43/570 or top 7.5%.


All that being said, his goal is to go to an academic school and hopefully still be able to play baseball..He's plays on a top SoCal HS team that has won league the last two years. The top pitcher this year is committed to UCLA next year, plus one is at CSLB and a 2015 SS going to USC, so it's a competitive program.  He's pitches in a relief role and will likely get about somewhere btw 8-12 innings this Spring.  He will pitch in a lot of tournaments with the HS team this summer and next fall and we'll see how it shapes up for his senior year.  He doesn't throw hard (76 mph as a Junior), but has good off-speed pitches and good command of the strike zone.  His career ERA as a relief pitcher is under 2.0, but as always, doesn't always pass the eye test (he's only 5'10 and 150).  


So that's where he is at.... we are trying to do something this summer (get him to a camp) to get him in front of some D3 college coaches that would like his academics, and may need a lefty arm.  My questions are:  I'm assuming his grades are fine for camps like Headfirst or Stanford, but since he isn't throwing 85-90, am I just waisting money and time, attending one of those?  and if so, are there better ways to go?  Any feedback would be great...thanks!

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Your son has a great academic record!  He's a fit academically for many, many schools...easily.


Both Headfirst and Stanford have an extensive number of D1 and D3 academic schools. Either (or both) camps are a fit academically from my experience with our 2012 and this year with our 2016.  Go to the camps/showcases where his schools are attending.  Likely both of these camps could fit if his list is a national list of top D1 and D3 academic schools.


The primary challenge I see based on your post is the 76 mph.  If he's at 83 mph as a LHP junior, and projectable higher mph as a Senior and college Frosh, then from my experience he has all academic D1's and D3's as legitimate targets.  He doesn't need to be a 90 mph guy...83-85 mph would do the trick at many academic D3's and undoubtedly some D1's.


BTW, high school stats matter little or not at all.  It's great he's on a competitive team in a competitive league, but we found that to matter little too.


Can your guy be 175 lbs. throwing 83 mph by Headfirst New York mid Summer?  That would open doors.  76 mph and 150 lbs. is like a lot of kids everywhere unfortunately.




Thanks Branson....yeah, that is what I was afraid of.  Not sure it would be worth the $1k to send him to HeadFirst if he's still under 80mph.  Wouldn't do a lot of good to spend that kind of money if he won't draw any Interest.


Maybe just pick a few individual college camps and go to them.  I think 78mph and 155-160 is a possibility by summer, but not sure if that wld spur any interest from schools like Tufts, Emory, or Liberal Arts schools like Haverford, Amherst or Middlebury, etc.


i was even wondering about local D3s like Occidental, Pomona, Claremont or Cal Lu.  I saw that Army sends a rep to Head First....does anyone know besides for the grades, what kind of talent Army looks for.  Do they recruit like public D1 schools or more like an academic D3 because of their academic rigor and service requirement?

The Stanford camp is not only about being seen and getting on the radar, but it is a learning experience about what college baseball is all about, living in a dorm, etc. For the value I would recommend Stanford over Headfirst. You can do a search here and see all kinds of information on both of them.


I would also look into the Academic Game at the Arizona Fall Classic. He may not make the team but just trying out and getting on their list will get him exposure.


You are actually in a great position since you are focused on D3 schools, so I would have him (together with you) make a list of schools he is interested in and have him contact them directly. Send them a short profile. LHP will always get coaches attention. You should also discuss what major your son might be interested in since this will direct him to particular schools as some may not have the major your son is interested in. 


Your son would likely be a target of the service academies, but this is something he needs to think about and discuss. Decisions for these schools go well beyond baseball, so if he is interested in one he could also contact the recruiting coach.


The concentration of D3 schools in the West are SoCal, the NWest, spread out in Texas, the South and then the majority are in the NEast.


I will go dig up a map that shows all of the schools and post it here to give you a visual. 


I am going to come at this pretty directly.

While I am a huge fan of the Stanford Camp, I would be concerned that, with its size and your son's velocity, he could get lost.

On the schools listed, it seems unlikely to me that most of them are a baseball fit. CLU, P-P, Emory, Tufts, etc. and baseball for your son, at this level, seems remote.

However, as BOF noted, there are top academic schools which most of us in CA. would be accused of calling fly over schools to get from our coast to the East coast.

It would not surprise me if your son could get some chances to pitch at very good academic SAA schools like Centre College, Sewanee or Oglethorpe. If your son is as competitive on the field/mound as it sounds like he is in the classroom, the baseball experience might not be too his likely, assuming the change from CA to each area would? Maybe Coach Groat at Hendrix, who loves CA. kids who have performed in the best HS conferences could have an interest. Maybe a school like Lewis & Clark in Oregon?

What my point really is relates, however, to your comments about upside by the Summer.  Is your son involved in a challenging strength/conditioning program focused on pitching, with a baseball specific strength coach, which really builds core and also uses Pilates/Yoga for flexibility/core?  If not, and he wants to pitch in college, I would spend my first $1,000 to create strength, power and explosive ability.  Plenty of pitchers are 5'10" and throw 81-83.  That velocity and being a lefty opens doors at some of the programs you have listed, not all but some.

If he is with that type of strength coach and program and is still at the velocity mentioned, as I noted, there are programs where he can play and get a great education and some are the ones I listed, rather than the terrific list you already have.

Well said infieldad.....well said.  I believe that is golden advice.  I would attend the event that your son has the best chance to stand-out, and I don't think that is the Stanford camp. HeadFirst is more focused on traditional D3 schools.   In the long run, he'll have some academic options but it would be nice to expand that universe and add some baseball in the mix as well.  


In addition, for some of the elite academic schools with low admissions rates your son will want beyond 1900.  He needs a "hook" whether it is academics, sports, music, business, etc...  These schools value uniqueness, self-motivation, and desire to learn.  Anything your son can do to seperate himself from other baseball players, or general applicants is where you want to focus your time and resources.  Adding pitching velocity and adding points to the SAT would be my focus going forward.  JMO.






I would have your son do some research on the LHPs who are currently getting innings at the DIIIs he's interested in. Some will have Perfect Game profiles with their high school ht/wt and velocity numbers. He might even find some guys who have numbers similar to his. Of course, he'll have to dig a little deeper to find out how those guys have progressed since high school, but it will give him some context.

His expectations of playing time are also a factor. His academics might help him make a team where he won't play much. If he isn't interested in that kind of experience, he needs to be clear about that.

Be aware that many D3 academics carry large rosters and/or JV teams.  Tuition is typically expensive and many coaches aren't shy about encouraging lots of academically qualified kids to attend their school and try out for the program even if they are only marginally qualified from a baseball standpoint.  If getting playing time is important to your son, make sure he has detailed discussions with each coach as to what his realistic chances are.

There is such a wealth of information here. Great stuff guys.

Infielddad's advice is spot on. The other thing to consider is the schools pitching program. My son's program routinely takes marginal D1 kids and develop's them into draft picks. What a lot of people may not see is that it also takes borderline D3 kids and develops them into solid contributors.You get that in D3 ball because of the larger rosters. They get there of course by their own hard work, which is in the weight room, throwing programs, as well as flexibility work but the program provides the framework, training routines and opportunity and it is up to the player work for the results. 

Thanks everyone...I knew I would get some great advice on here.  The baseball team has a strength coach that works with for his mechanics, he works out with a private coach and usually attends most of Jaegers camps.  Bottom line is if he gets admitted to a school like UCLA, Hopkins, or Georgetown, he will probably go...and will just attempt to walk-on so he has some closure in his own mind.  I don't see him deciding to go to some no-name school just for baseball.


He has worked hard to put himself in the position he is in with his grades, so I know he will want to take advantage of going to the best school he can.  His potential major a year ago was Engineering, but is now he's leaning toward International Relations or Political Science.  His goal is to work for the FBI or Govt Think Tank, so that's why he wants to learn more about the Svc Academies (Army or AF).....he knows that he can major in Military Inteligence and probaby be looking good for those jobs after his svc contract is over.  From the comments above, I think 80mph + is probably the floor to getting some quality D3 attention, so hopefully he can get there by Summer or Fall.


i did want to try to get him to Arizona this Fall to tryout for the Academic Game.  I heard the same thing as BOF mentioned...just trying out can be good.  I know a kid that ended up being seen by UC San Diego (D2) at the Academic game tryout and decided to go.  I loved that cause UCSD is a solid academic school and great location.  

AF, at the time our son got recruited, the D3 program was an absolutely "no name" to us and most everyone in his school  It was also a "no name" to what turned out to be his roommate, recruited from Northridge.  Our son went on to be drafted from the D3. His roommate is now with the FBI. The school's baseball program is now the top ranked program in D3, thanks in part to the contribution of BOF's son..

I think I understand what you might have meant about name recognition but it is also the reason so many on the West Coast end up missing so many great colleges and universities as they "fly over" to the East coast. Just a thought because the schools I mentioned in the SAA are every bit the academic equal of Oxy, CLU and others on your list.

Last edited by infielddad

AF - Go attend an Oxy and/or CMS game, take a look at the lefty pitchers, hopefully someone will be in the stands with a good radar gun.  You might be very surprised at the true velocities....sub 80 MPH for lefties is not uncommon.  There are very successful LHP in the Northwest Conference, even guys who made the All Conference team, who top out in games maybe at 81 - 82.  The key is great location, movement, changing speeds, and maybe a funky delivery/arm slot.


Good luck and keep at it!! College baseball is the best!

Definitely no disrespect meant Infield.  Yes, I probably get too caught up in the rankings myself and only think of the big names,  I myself graduated from Northridge, so I know it's not all about the name.  its just so much to think about.  We were at OU this summer visiting my dad and went on a tour.  He can get $8k/yr in merit aid which would make OU cheaper than going in-state, but as much as I love Norman, he wouldn't play baseball at that level and part of me would like to see him strive for a more selective school.  We are visiting UC Davis this spring, but don't know much about their baseball program.


thanks 2rake....that is good to know!  Now it's just trying to match up the schools he can get in academically and seeing if there's a match on the baseball side.  

UCDavis is a great school, and is at the bottom of the BigWest, however they are recruiting as high a level D1 player they can find. Infielddad knows as much about the program as any since his son coached there. I would not waste too much time considering them from a baseball, perspective. 


His target schools should be based on what major he is interested in, what you describe could be a number of the Maryland area schools, Washington College leading the pack. Fenwaysouth and some others could direct you in this regard. 


What you will find in the West is that, other than the programs mentioned to you most of the high academic schools tend to be D1's, and in general science and engineering majors that have labs are not compatible with D1 ball. (there are exceptions, Ivy's, Stanford, etc) 


You will find that he should get in the range of 50% academic money from many of the smaller D3's depending on the school. The other thing that he needs to consider in choosing a school is it's size, a UCLA or Davis is completely different experience than CMS as an example.


Good luck. 



My son had a very similar issue. He was a low 70's rhp late in his sophomore year. 

He went to throwing experts: Texas Baseball Ranch, AZ Baseball Ranch, and 212 Athlete to overcome his throwing issues, and develop a throw-training program that he could continue to work on. In 16 months his velo increased 12-14 mph.


This is where I would put your money. Build the velo, then build the relationships one-by-one with the college coaches, at the schools that he is interested in.


He attended Headfirst and Stanford camps - both are excellent. But different. My son met more coaches at Headfirst but had better one-on-one relationships from Stanford.

Perhaps you can have him work hard with one of those programs now in the early summer - then have him attend Headfirst or Stanford later this summer. Don't forget the Top96 Academic West - much less expensive, and reaches a fair number of colleges that you have mentioned.

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