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Looking for some honest input on what It takes to get real looks from NJCAA D1 schools.

My son is a 2021 RHP, 5’11” 180 lbs. Throws a 86 fastball. Has a great slider and CB. GPA is at 3.0. He struggled in freshman year and his transcripts show marked improvement year over year with his junior year at all A’s and high B’s. 

He’s working with a great pitching coach and expect to be sitting at 87/88 by spring. 

My question is - would he be a candidate for a Grayson, McLennan, Navarro type school. What skills do they want to see? And how do we get their attention? This is such a daunting process. 

Original Post

Welcome to the site.  I'll start with a general response.  As a 2021, his velo is plenty good to get attention with even the better JC programs.  What they will be looking for is that he has decent command, decent secondary pitches and, most importantly, that he can get good hitters out regularly.  Is he playing travel ball with an organization that plays high level competition?

Also, as general FYI, JC's are last on the recruiting totem pole, so they tend to recruit late.  So, don't panic.  You have found a great resource (this site) to make the process a bit less daunting.  You can ask questions in the forum, as you did, and you can also search threads by topic.  Your son needs to be proactive with his recruiting efforts and reach out to schools he is interested in.  He should utilize any qualified advocates as well.  This may be his P coach, travel coach, HS coach or other, depending on their reputation and how well they are connected.  He should have a good video made, particularly considering the uncertainty of any games/events happening any time soon in many areas.  There are plenty of guidelines for that here as well.

Thank you, very helpful! He joined a very strong  team this summer and has been playing against high level teams (we are in DFW).  He’s pitching against teams stacked with D1 commits. In one game for example, he struck out 8 in 4 1/3 innings. 6 in another game in 4 innings. He forces ground outs, fly outs, etc. Runs have been held to a minimum considering the powerhouse teams he’s playing against. So, having said all that, he has not seen any interest at all from any school.

I’ll have him start reaching out directly to these schools and ask coaches for assistance as well.  I just want to be sure he’s not wasting time targeting schools he’s not qualified for. 

I think you are on the right track looking at JuCo options. I would advise you to look past the very top tier programs like McLennan, Grayson & San Jac. Those programs get any player they want and are way down the road on their 2021 recruiting already. Those programs are also the target for lots of guys that will be bouncing down from D1 programs over Christmas break. The odds of getting on the field at those programs are a lot longer that most people realize - even well meaning people on this board. My advice would be to look at programs in NJCAA Regions 5 (North & west Texas) and Region 2 (Oklahoma). Keep in mind that one of the big reasons to go JuCo out of HS is so that you play as a freshman and a sophomore - not sit. There are some really good JuCo programs in the 2 regions I mentioned and also some you want to avoid. Feel free to send me a PM (as Paula suggested) if you want more detailed information. 

Might be worth a look and use as a guideline

Great JUCOs in TX to pick from

Make sure you check out @Josh Rudd (@JRudd_Scout) 's YouTube channel on what the coaches are looking for in an email and how they're recruiting right now. Lots of great insight directly from coaches themselves.

Also make sure you grab all the stats and highlight tweets and create a baseball profile. One stop shop for the coaches to get verifiable information. Keeps the intro email short and sweet. 

I'll send you one on PM. 

Good luck!!

(Austin, TX)



You've been given some great advice about the who, what and when.  My concern is more about the how.  How has your son been reaching out to these coaches/schools to discuss his interest and goals?   Has he been aggressive with his communication toward these targeted schools?   Cabbagedad touched on this and I suspect this is what is missing along with someone who will advocate for your son.  Your son has the metrics and exposure.   It may be a matter of following up with these college coaches by picking up the phone and sending a follow up email.   I'd encourage you and your son have a discussion with his travel coach so you can discuss goals and coordinate efforts.    


No-one has asked this; what does your son want out of JC?  Does he want to go because he wants the JC degree?  To improve his grades for a transfer?  Does he hope go to go a D1 school?  Does he have interest from other level schools (D3, NAIA)?  I only ask because JUCOs are going to be jammed next year and possibly the year after, the entire baseball ecosystem has been and will still be disrupted.  Several recent threads about this.  If he wants to get a college degree and play baseball, he might be better off looking at lower-level programs.

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