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Infielder -

In my opinion..

You are a prospect to a school when the school shows interest in you.

You are a prospected recruit when the school contacts you numerous times, contacts coaches you have played for and invites you to their school. They may also come to see you play, but don't count on it. They are now in season.

Pattern doesn't seem to change for any division (I, II, III, Juco, etc.)

"Baseball, it is said, is only a game. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole."


Justmom and TR are absolutely correct. You will know based on who recruits you.

But let me say this - approach the game & play the game like you're a D1 prospect. Dream the highest dream, but with a touch of realism. Work hard as if you'll attain what you really want. I believe that people have a realistic chance to attain the highest levels if they believe they can and set that as their goal.

Listen to what experienced/reputable people tell you (don't be afraid to ask) and adjust your goals if you need too. I asked a lot of people what they thought about my son's talent - I always felt that as long as I had the "truth," then I'd know what to do with that, no matter what the "truth" was.

"Pitching is the art of instilling fear," Sandy Koufax.
If you are getting multiple contacts from several D1 schools you are a D1 prospect.
Does that mean you will get a D1 scholarship offer?
Perhaps not.
You are only a D1 recruit (not prospect)when a particular D1 coach says you are his guy.
Therefore, don't burn those D2, D3 and NAIA bridges.
The roadway is littered with guys who did.

Our family has the same philosophy as "justbaseball", and also agree with Justmom and TRhit. But, also remember that schools also would like to know if your interested in them as well.

I don't know what your graduation year is, but consider going to a camp at one of the schools that your interested in. Talk to the coaches at that camp, and get some feedback from them. Sometimes you need to be aggressive, pro-active, and let them know about your interest in their curriculum/baseball program.

"You observe a lot by watching."
One thing that no one has mentioned is that a recruit can network with the colleges he is interested in once another school gets serious with him. For instance, a left handed pitcher I know has really come on over the last year. The University of Miami saw him at PG in Ft. Meyers and called his HS coach who is a relentless promoter of his players. Now that Miami is interested and requesting transcripts the player and the coach can begin to let several other schools know about him, especially that he is being recruited by Miami. I would call it the snow ball effect. If everyone does their homework and he has a solid Jr. year he may be able to parlay the Miami interest into lots more interest and eventually the coveted D1 offer.
Our offers were likewise non-written, until the NLI came.(the censor wouldn't allow the word "o- r-a-l)

Good advice above. My son had some D-1's stay in touch, but certainly not to the extreme, saying things like "we want to see you in the spring" or "we'll stay in touch". On the other hand, a number of D-2's sent very strong letters, called to set up visits, contacted our school's coach-clearly, they were very serious from the get-go. The interest level made it clear my son was a marginal D-1 prospect, but a solid D-2 propspect. He signed with a D-2 last fall. Hope this helps.
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All good advice,

I would echo the statement that "Justbaseball" made...ask knowledgeable sources. Most players interested in playing college ball do as TR said....they play on summer/fall teams and or go to showcases. In these experiences they will be around coaches etc who can tell you what level to pursue. Make sure to ask these persons if you may use them as a reference.

Once you feel like you know what level your talent is, and have some good references, be proactive. Let every school your interested in, and that's a feasible fit to your ability, know you want to go there.

Don't wait for them to call you...many will that your not interested the one's YOU want!!!!!!
Buck8 - I think it will depend on the school and your son. If your son is a recognized top recruit, he probably doesn't have to go to any college's summer camps if he doesn't want too. If you're not sure, he probably isn't one of those top recruits. If he's not (and almost all are not) I think he should pick out the 1-3 schools that he really likes and has a realistic chance of attending and go to their camps.

As for the schools - I cannot comment on all schools, but I know that Stanford takes their camp pretty seriously and often signs kids they "find" at their own camp.

"Pitching is the art of instilling fear," Sandy Koufax.
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We've always heard that the junior year was the most important! Problem is we moved from a very good baseball situation where my son was excelling both in hs & in summer Connie Mack. Then the move...he is at an awesome ball school but is a jr & is a new kid. Hasn't looked like himself in the first 2 games. the coach & players know what he's capable of, he just hasn't shown it during a game yet. My question is this...If he has a mediocre jr. high school season but plays well in the summer, at showcases, and in his senior year does he still have the chance (that he has been assured of in the past) to continue to play??
mhs and TrHit:

I believe that is too broad of a statement -- that the high school season is less influential in college recruiting than other venues.

Depends on the program and the established nature of the competition. Here in AZ, the high school season is every bit as important as summer teams and showcases and, in many, many cases, far more so, particularly with the teams that have gained a reputation for high-quality year-after-year and play schedules that are recognized from the start as very competitive.

Horizon High School, which has one of the top programs in the nation, doesn't even allow its players to play for summer teams in nearly every instance -- yet those kids play across the nation and in the pros. Brandon Wood, the shortstop, was a first-round pick last June, and this year they are even better.

I know of many similar examples of players making in based on high school performance out of California, Virginia and North Carolina.

In regard to the Showcases, I have seen them have impact, for sure. But what seems as important as the performance in the showcase is the invitation to the showcase, if it is the right showcase, especially the Area Code games and Team One.

Certain summer tournaments also have great impact, particularly with high level fields. College camps can be the ultimate deciding factor, too, especially after a coach has developed an interest in the player. But the bottom line, I believe, is this:

You just never know what will make the difference.
What we have found is that TR Hit had given good advice regarding contacting coaches at programs that the player feels he will fit, or the school he wants to attend. D-1's and D-2's are allowed to work the player out once..on campus. Sounds simple,is a longer process, but is definitely the key. In our situation, this workout was the key because the coaches do not have time to go to games. They may send their recruiting staff to showcases and tourneys over the summer, but when my son lit up the top 3 pitchers at this particular D-2 that he thought was a good fit, that was all the coach needed to see. No politics, no alumni involved, no heresay, no rumors. NLI being prepared now.
I also must give TRHit credit for his advice on us(my son and his parents)getting past the D1, D2 or D3 stigma. Although classified as a solid D1 prospect, my son's ego allowed him to choose a better "fit" and have an opportunity to contribute right away, rather than go D 1, possibly red shirt and sit and wait his turn.

We got a late start in this whole process and this web site and people like TRHit and It's in the Game etc.. should be commended. They truly are here to help, with nothing to personally gain. Use their experience!!!
Nortre Dame 42...well done...congratulations to your son for his choice and for taking a level headed approach...

I know of a kid who was so set on ONE school that he and his family did not pursue any other avenues. He did not once get calls from this school even though he thought it would just happen...he found his place (thankfully) at a DIV 11 school for next fall (thanks to a high school coach who knew he could play)...

Setting one's sights high is good but as one poster mentioned we do need a dose of realism thrown in on occasion...

Is that school showing the same excitement in return?

That is always a good question...

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