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My 2018 son is seriously considering the junior college route in order to continue developing as a pitcher. He has talked to one local JC and some D2, D3 and NAIA schools in the NW. However, junior college seems to be the best fit for him right now, both academically and financially. We have a fair amount of money saved for college, but starting at a JC will allow him to choose from a wider assortment of schools to transfer to in a couple years. This will also allow him to get stronger and spend those two years playing and getting better. As a LHP, it seems this route may give him the best shot at playing at the highest level he can.

With that said, I am looking for recommendations for JCs that have a good track record for developing pitchers. I'm not even sure how to find that information, so I'm turning to the best resource I know of. Ideally, we would like to keep him on the West coast, mainly to help save money. But, I think he is willing to consider other options too if there are some really outstanding programs in other areas that would be worth a look. Thanks!

Original Post

Not answering your question directly, but...

Does he have a field of study in mind yet?  Sometimes the JC route can be quite disruptive, more so with some majors than others.  Also, there is, IMO, a much higher likelihood of needing an extra year to get your 4-yr degree when you go the JC route (due to classes not transferring, etc.) so sometimes the savings isn't what you first think it will be.  

Another FWIW, it has been my observation that many of the west coast JC's are more likely to roll guys out 'til they drop than the 4-yr schools - this includes those JC's with HC's who have extensive pitching backgrounds.  Do your homework.

cabbagedad posted:

Not answering your question directly, but...

Does he have a field of study in mind yet?  Sometimes the JC route can be quite disruptive, more so with some majors than others.  Also, there is, IMO, a much higher likelihood of needing an extra year to get your 4-yr degree when you go the JC route (due to classes not transferring, etc.) so sometimes the savings isn't what you first think it will be.  

Another FWIW, it has been my observation that many of the west coast JC's are more likely to roll guys out 'til they drop than the 4-yr schools - this includes those JC's with HC's who have extensive pitching backgrounds.  Do your homework.

Thanks Cabbagedad.

He is leaning toward the physical therapy/occupational therapy/athletic training fields, which will most likely require post grad work too. My daughter is currently taking the JC route, but her 4-year school is already identified and we know her credits will transfer. Very good point about the transferring of credits though.

We're definitely trying to avoid the play them 'til they drop scenario, but it's very challenging to find this information. I have some feelers out to coaches we know too. Hopefully, we'll be able to get some good information so we can make an informed decision. 

PT and athletic training will definitely require graduate school.  AT is changing so that the bachelors degree is not enough to be a trainer.  I don't know OT, but that might too.

The transfer of credits issue is very real.  My older guy just transferred from a high academic D1 to another four year school and not all of his courses would transfer.  It was quite a shock to us.

Any path has its issues.  Going the JC route will require beginning the college recruiting process immediately again to try to get to a four year school.

Regarding pitcher development, I don't know JuCo's specifically.  IMHO I haven't seen or heard about tremendous development under the hood of most colleges.  That doesn't mean there aren't good pitching coaches...there are and my oldest has one now.  We've seen most development done by the pitcher on his time, e.g., winter and summer programs in particular at places like Driveline.   

Well, its mostly about velocity and to a lesser extent playing in a competitive league if the velocity is so so.  It also doesn't hurt to get into a good college summer league and have good results with so so velocity. 

For the most part you are looking at just about any league in SoCal and the Big 8 in NorCal.  Yes you can find success at a school not in those leagues, however, these are the leagues that are scouted the most.

The larger the JC, the better chance you have to get the classes you need to transfer....as long at the AD gets priorty signups for its players.

CollegeParentNoMore posted:

Well, its mostly about velocity and to a lesser extent playing in a competitive league if the velocity is so so.  It also doesn't hurt to get into a good college summer league and have good results with so so velocity. 

For the most part you are looking at just about any league in SoCal and the Big 8 in NorCal.  Yes you can find success at a school not in those leagues, however, these are the leagues that are scouted the most.

The larger the JC, the better chance you have to get the classes you need to transfer....as long at the AD gets priorty signups for its players.

This is all pretty good information.  My son is a LHP at a NorCal JC.  I don't know how true the part is about looking at any league in SoCal...it seems there are a couple conferences that aren't very competitive, but definitely Big 8 in NorCal and OE in SoCal would probably be the top two conferences. 

And because of priority, obtaining classes has never been a problem. 

KANDKFUNK, don't know much about PNW JCs, but PM me if you have any specific questions about CA JCs.   

There are so many programs in CA that it's going to be a daunting prospect to research the options out  there.

If you have not found it already, this is a good central hub for checking rosters, stats, rankings, schedules, and school websites, which often have info on how grads have fared.

http://www.cccbca.com

I think Cabbage is  onto something - you might start by figuring out what might be good places to live, where the academics fit, where you can easily support him from afar, etc.  JC's don't usually have dorms so there are a lot of moving pieces.

One broad generalization I'd offer on the teams I've seen - Players on NorCal teams are a little smaller and seem to have more "late bloomers".  SoCal teams have more players with MLB-ready bodies.

Bob (Consultant) will likely chime in soon to point out at that last season a JC near us sent one pitcher to the Big 10, another to the Royals, and at least one more to a nearby D2.   But there are many more who never play past JC's. That's probably true at most schools.

 

Yeah, KandK, I think there are quite a few here with specific familiarity to several Calif JC's so if any in particular come up on the radar, you can likely get some detailed feedback.  I think there are around 90, so... 

There are recruiting restrictions - coaches can't initiate recruiting activity out of their area but a player from out of the area can initiate contact and then, the door is open.  There are a fairly small handful of schools that tend to draw multiple players from outside of their immediate area.  These schools are typically at the top of the competitive chain, so even a high caliber player may find it surprisingly difficult to earn PT.  Some that come to mind include Santa Barbara CC, Cuesta, Palomar.  Who wouldn't want to play in SB, San Luis Obispo or San Diego?

 

Thanks everyone for all the great information. It's a lot to digest, just like the entire recruiting process.

There has been some interest from a NorCal Juco, but they are not in the Big 8 league. He's had some contact and interest from Jucos in Oregon and Washington, although several people have advised that he should get outside of the NWAC, if possible. Staying in state has some financial advantages since we have a grant program that helps pay the cost of community college for residents. It's actually the only form of financial aid we qualify for. Cost becomes a huge factor if your sending your kid away to live on his own in California. Some of the NorCal Jucos do have dorms, so that is helpful, but the costs for out of state kids rival in-state tuition at some of our state schools. 

JCG - thanks for that link. I'll need to spend some time scouring that site.

My son played on a below 500 team in SoCal.  Every starter moved onto D1 and pro or D2.  It was a very competitive conference, many of the players were from out of the area on my son's team. It doesn't happen at every school, but the opportunity is there.

If you check out Chico State/SFSU etc.  you can see that most of their players come from CA JC's.  Some may imply that some schools are "feeder schools" and I would not buy into that thinking, the JC system is full of free agents and my son's east coast D1 team actually had more players from Cuesta (alleged feeder school) then CalPoly. 

In the end it comes down to performing well and being seen.   The CA JC leagues are scouted pretty good, especially in SoCal.  They set the schedule to not conflict with D1 weekday games making it easy for coaches and scouts to watch games in addition to practices.  They also schedule games before D1's can start practicing making it easy for the HC or RC to scout.

 

 

 

Son's team has a very respected pitching coach, and this last November they had 3 pitchers sign with a D-1 (2 to Purdue, and 1 to Pepperdine), and 1 sign with a D-II (Dixie State). That's pretty good!  They also play in the League with CSN, which is a great school.  They have great facilities, great coaching, and they are scouted as much as anyone. 

I would echo CollegeParentNoMore's comments about the SoCal options.  The JC conference in OC is loaded with talented teams that have starters full of potential D1 futures.  Lots of players did not have the grades to get into the incredibly competitive UC schools so they are looking for a restart at the JC.  But I've heard some parents say it is incredibly difficult to get opportunities to play, so a kid better be certain the JC coach really is committed to them.  I know one first team all league pitcher from our league who got a whopping 4 innings as a freshman on his local JC team.  He too thought he could develop at the JC and then get a second chance at the recruiting, but that chance seems remote going into his last year at the JC.

I suppose the JC route is no different than the four-year route.  Make sure you go where the love (and opportunity) is.

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