Where to start for college Recruiting?

My son is currently a sophomore (2021 Grad). He's a power hitter with 90 Exit velo. He also pitches with fastball around 82. He is ~5'11", 200lbs.

I expect him to be around ~3.5 GPA by the end of his Junior Year (given his academic performance)

He attended a couple of showcases in his freshman year where a few of the college coaches asked him to keep performing/hitting the same way.

We have his video done and he also has a far idea on the major that he wants to pursue.

Given his profile, how should we start going about reaching out to colleges? We are based out of CA.

1. Should we start by looking for colleges solely based on his GPA, which could be selective D1's and mostly D2's? 

2.  I read in the forum here is to look at the Roster for location. Should this be another criteria to look at colleges to reach out to? 

3. He is definitely looking into Showcases & College camps this summer and fall. Are there any events that he must attend given during that time frame for maximum exposure?

4. Should we focus on out of state colleges given his profile?

Any other areas that we should consider

 

 

 

Original Post

The first thing you need to do is figure out what kind of schools your son is interested in. Does he want any school? D1? D2? D3? Does he want to stay local or go out of state? Big or small? Private or public? What you should start doing now is have him research colleges on his own time and see what he likes. 

As for the baseball. The best thing you can do for your son is find a reputable travel organization that has connections to colleges your son is interested in. Ask some of the parents of the better players on his school team who they play for or who they think he should take a look at. If nothing happens there maybe do some research about the better organizations in your area. Hold off on the showcases and camps until the travel ball circuit doesn't pan out or he has a more narrow view of which type of school he would want to attend. 

GPA doesn't matter until later down the line. So don't disqualify any schools yet. You have to establish yourself as a baseball prospect before grades matter to the recruiter. His exit velocity looks good. Only the D1s recruit until summer heading into senior year, then everybody joins.  So if he wants D1 schools to notice him as a pitcher he's going to have to get the velo up. But keep playing, see how he's doing at the end of the HS season and go out of your way to talk to some of the more knowledgeable parents who have been thru it or are going thru it.  

Determine what conferences he can potentially compete. Then decide which schools fit. The list should be large. It will shorten quickly due to your son deciding he’s not interested or the program’s coach not being interested in him.

Appreciate the response.

He plays for a recognized travel team in the area.

Will  asl him to start researching on college rosters, majors to make a list.

Should the next step be to start sending emails to college coaches as we build up a list? 

 

Raj posted:

Appreciate the response.

He plays for a recognized travel team in the area.

Will  asl him to start researching on college rosters, majors to make a list.

Should the next step be to start sending emails to college coaches as we build up a list? 

 

So, the "recognized travel team" in the area should be able to help you with the process of identifying schools and a strategy to reach out to them.  In my experience this will get you started in the recruiting process.   What I would strongly encourage you to do would be to have your son create his list and compare it to the travel team's list.   These lists (are a starting point) and may or may not be what your son is looking for, in which case you are going to have to do some additional research on your own and figure out a strategy from that point.    Prepare your son because this is going to be something new to him and it is very time consuming.

In addition, CA recruits have some additional challenges given the supply and demand for roster spots in that state.   So, I would include CA,  however I would also look beyond CA as you start the process.

That is where I'd start.  Let us know what we can do to help.   Good luck!

You said you have a video?  There's nothing wrong with sending that to some RC's of the schools he's interested in.  Also include measurables....size, weight, exit velo.  I'm not sure I'd include the 82mph just yet...unless he's a lefty.   If you have your summer travel schedule, I'd also include that and a contact number for his travel coach.   If it's a school he's particularly interested in, tell them....if it's a "maybe"...send it anyway.   The odds of being a 2 way guy are long....my son was an all-state SS and also threw 90 in HS.  He had a couple schools recruiting him as an IF and a couple as a pitcher....right up until the day he committed, so you may want to keep both options open at least for now.  Once recruiting starts, you'll know where the coaches see him fitting and can adjust the thought process on where he may want to play at that point.

Lots of good info so far as usual.  Know that you can also search topics here.  You will want to make sure the video is done in a way that RC's will want to watch.  He will want to find a good format for his letters that includes some personalization as to why he has interest in each particular school and why he would be a good fit.  A lot of Calif. players go the JC route and then off to 4-yr schools in-state or elsewhere.  These are just a few of the topics that can be searched here or you can ask, specific to your son's situation.

Many here are Calif based and have sent sons off both in state and away or both.

 

Make sure he makes plans to be at "exposure" events this summer.  The rising junior summer is an important time to start getting on the map, and when he starts email/text dialog with coaches they'll ask what his summer schedule looks like.  Depending on his talent level, tournaments such as Perfect Game, USA Baseball Championships, PBR will give him a chance to compete at a high level and be seen.  Showcases such as Headfirst and PG, and camps such as Stanford may also be appropriate.  Local college showcase tournaments are also appropriate.

cabbagedad posted:

Lots of good info so far as usual.  Know that you can also search topics here.  You will want to make sure the video is done in a way that RC's will want to watch.  He will want to find a good format for his letters that includes some personalization as to why he has interest in each particular school and why he would be a good fit.  A lot of Calif. players go the JC route and then off to 4-yr schools in-state or elsewhere.  These are just a few of the topics that can be searched here or you can ask, specific to your son's situation.

Many here are Calif based and have sent sons off both in state and away or both.

 

Good point with regard to personalization.  Include each RC's name, don't just use a form letter and send it reading "Dear Coach".  Also, include a reference to the school name and also the mascot at some point to personalize it.  MAKE SURE that when you change it that you don't end up missing one or the other and mention Ohio State and Spartans or Washington and Bruins lol.   My son only missed one when he was sending out letters so I guess that's a pretty good percentage.   Also email each one individually, not as the part of a mass email message.  No coach wants to see an email that was sent to him and 33 other coaches at the same time.

Raj posted:

Appreciate the response.

He plays for a recognized travel team in the area.

Will  asl him to start researching on college rosters, majors to make a list.

Should the next step be to start sending emails to college coaches as we build up a list? 

 

Please don't take this negatively, but if he is on a recognized travel team and has made it to his sophomore year without the travel program starting to provide guidance on how to approach college recruiting, you're probably not in the right program.  A good program will have deep college contacts and work with the kids to get them the information and contacts they need to be successfully recruited.  There is a huge difference in a good competitive travel program and a showcase program structured around college recruiting.

joes87 posted:
Please don't take this negatively, but if he is on a recognized travel team and has made it to his sophomore year without the travel program starting to provide guidance on how to approach college recruiting, you're probably not in the right program.  A good program will have deep college contacts and work with the kids to get them the information and contacts they need to be successfully recruited.  There is a huge difference in a good competitive travel program and a showcase program structured around college recruiting.

The difference between a competitive travel program and a showcase program may well be the difference as you mentioned. The program that we are enrolled into does conduct a few showcase events every year. However what Is lacking is the information, guidance on how to proceed at-least till now.

In your initial efforts of sending video and writing "introductory" e-mails to coaches/recruiters, it's also a good time to be filling out "recruiting questionnaires." These are available on each school's baseball website. It is actually an activity you can do together. My son would often ask me for specific dates, current GPA, baseball statistics, contact phone numbers, etc.

Raj posted:
joes87 posted:
Please don't take this negatively, but if he is on a recognized travel team and has made it to his sophomore year without the travel program starting to provide guidance on how to approach college recruiting, you're probably not in the right program.  A good program will have deep college contacts and work with the kids to get them the information and contacts they need to be successfully recruited.  There is a huge difference in a good competitive travel program and a showcase program structured around college recruiting.

The difference between a competitive travel program and a showcase program may well be the difference as you mentioned. The program that we are enrolled into does conduct a few showcase events every year. However what Is lacking is the information, guidance on how to proceed at-least till now.

A good travel program doesn't necessarily need to hold showcases, they need to be playing in the right events.  My son's 17U summer he played with an organization that put him in front of ALOT of coaches.  They played in the "Midwest Prospect League", which was essentially a group of 5 or 6 of the top programs in Ohio, KY & Indiana that would play a round robin type of event on 4 different weekends in the summer.  There would be as many as 50-75 of the top college program in the eastern half of the country at these weekends.  Those 4 weekends and 2 or 3 other well scouted tourneys got my son a ton of exposure.  He had friends who played in some other travel organizations that told him they didn't see 10 coaches at their games all summer. 

A video is good. Nothing wrong with e-mailing some recruiting coordinators the video in addition to position, grad year, grades, etc. Do not expect to get much feedback other than some camp invites....at first anyway.

Download a mail tracker for your outgoing e-mail (my son used mail tracker for GMail). It is a good tool to see if your e-mails are actually being opened and if links are being clicked. Helps narrow down things if you send info to multiple schools. 

Camps and showcases were beneficial for my son only from junior year on. Opposite of your son however - he was tall yet very skinny. Only after hitting the gym hard and gaining some weight did the real attention from colleges begin. Your mileage may vary with how early you start camps and showcases.

Different Coaches from the University my son committed to saw him 3 times:

First Time: PTW showcase (son hit well and introduced himself to coach at the end of the event and got good feedback). Event was in late summer - son was a rising Junior.

Second Time: A different assistant coach saw son at a weekend tournament (son had e-mailed schools to advise that he would be playing). This was early in his Junior Year.

Third Time: Head Coach watched son during Area Code tryouts. This was summer of senior year.

Invite to campus and offer came a week later. 

Have your son focus on getting better. Use his travel ball team contact as a tool in the recruiting process not an end all be all. The responsibility to get exposure falls on your son and you supporting him. Good luck!

 

 

I've learned that most of those recruiting questionnaires are a waste of time and are used to gather info to solicit camp invites..research the rosters of targeted schools...send videos that have in game footage..keep close contact with their recruiting coordinators...be realistic about ability and grades.

RAJ, regarding college rosters, once your son has established a list of desired or preferred schools, then examine the rosters a bit closer over a three to four-year period to see how many guys are retained on the roster and how many transfer out.  

If you find a program where a significant number of players aren't returning after their first year, that's in indication of a coach who likes to "churn" the roster rather than giving guys a chance to develop.

My son started his recruiting journey after playing varsity his freshman year. We had a list of close to 200 coaches and email addresses. We worked together on a form email that he and I collaborated on personalizing to each of those coaches. He included a link to a small web site with recommendations from coaches and teachers, GPA and academic info, if anyone wanted it, and a link to his video which was available on You Tube.

Whenever he heard from a coach — even a camp invite — he responded, asking questions or offering more details. In most cases, he heard nothing back (among other things, he was too young for them to email, which we knew, but thought he might get on their radar). 

Throughout high school, he went to a showcase before each season began and when it ended to measure his improvement, and we shot new video and then he would send another email to the list of coaches he had heard from (even those that just responded with camp invites), with links to the updated web site and the updated video.

He was very persistent with this, and his skills improved. He picked up offers from I think four D1s, a few D2s and several JUCOs. He talked to several D3s who all said "look, we know you're not coming here, but if things don't work out wherever you go, we're here." He still has good relationships and visits with some of those coaches from time to time.

He is now at a P5 that didn't respond to his first email, then invited him to a camp, then sent their RC, PC and HC to games to see him in action, and finally offered him early in his senior year.

Obviously, baseball skill matters, but so does just working hard and not closing any doors until absolutely necessary.

Thats great feedback. We definitely haven't yet started reaching out, which should be a good activity for the entire family. Its also good to know that being persistent with communication is key. Given that you started doing in the freshman year is an eye-opener, as mine is a Sophomore and we are just getting started

I also feels it brings more responsibility to the kids as they actively contribute to the entire process

We put together a list of 25 schools that my son was interested before freshman year.  Sent each a letter of interest and information.  We built a free website on wix that had schedule for summer and spring, info such as phone, grades, gpa, contact info for coaches, video, awards, etc. 

We sent an email before every week of last week's performances and this week's schedule.  They could not respond and I wondered if anybody was actually reading them.  Found out later that several P5 RC and 1 HC was putting the info into his file.  During the summer, we sent updates and emails as to when he was pitching at what tournament and what field.  We had several show up for games and others thanked us for information.  I know there are those here who say that coaches do not read these things but I would have proof from conversations with coaches who made offers that if the information is useful and unbiased they will read it.  They may not fully trust it but as one coach said, it gave me additional information that I could use. 

When he finally decided to accept an offer, we sent each of the ones that we had been emailing, which some were added and some deleted through the process, an email thanking them for the ride.  He called all of the coaches that had made offers and thanked them personally for the offer but that he was accepting one from UT.  Never burn bridges.  You may have to get over a river and that may be the only way. 

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