Athletes who are looking for college baseball scholarships need to fully understand the baseball recruiting process if they are to be successful and play college baseball. NCAA baseball recruiting starts earlier in your career than you think. If you want to play college baseball and land that elusive baseball scholarship then you must take baseball recruiting into your own hands; don’t wait for your high school coaches to help you get recruited.
The old adage, you can never have enough pitching, applies equally well to college baseball. Coaches look to recruit and give baseball scholarships to pitchers before signing other players. Pitchers can be recruited based on potential. If you have a big frame and can throw hard coaches will develop you and help you work on control. College coaches want to see you pitch in person so they can judge things such as velocity, arm speed, and movement. If you can’t get out to throw in front of college coaches you will need to have a great pitching video. Your baseball recruiting video should have footage from both behind the mound and behind the plate. If you have access to a radar gun, incorporating that in your video is a great way to depict your velocity.
Middle infielders are usually fast and athletic with quick hands and feet. Coaches recruit athletes for defense and speed first, and hitting second. Baseball teams need to be strong up the middle because that is where the majority of the balls are hit. By attending baseball camps and combines you can set yourself apart from other baseball players.
When recruiting corner infielders, coaches will sometimes recruit athletes that are great hitters and sacrifice some defense. Figure out your recruiting list and attend camps at those schools, or at the very least at other camps around those schools. Baseball scouts and coaches still share information with other coaches if they are not recruiting a particular athlete- So make sure you get out and play in front coaches as much as possible.
Outfielders are versatile athletes. Some outfielders are recruited for defense, some for hitting, and some for speed. Figure out what your skills are, and look for baseball programs that need your skills. Pay attention to college graduating classes as well as incoming recruiting classes. You will want to look for programs that are graduating athletes with your skills as well as identify programs that have not signed athletes with a similar skill set as you.
Catcher is first and foremost a defensive position. Baseball coaches are going to want to recruit athletes with good pop-time (the amount of time between the pop of the ball hitting your glove to the release of the ball). Pop-time shows a coach how quickly you are able to receive the ball and throw a base runner out. Along with pop-time, a coach will take a look at your arm strength when recruiting you. In order to make the best video possible you should showcase your blocking, throwing, receiving, as well as hitting skills.
Research College Baseball Programs
To play college baseball, you will need to figure out what schools you are interested in and where they are located.
Create a Baseball Scholarship Recruiting Resume
Top baseball recruits create resumes to get the attention of coaches. Your resume should highlight your academic and athletic achievements. Here is our Free How to Create a College Recruiting Resume ebook.
Make a Baseball Highlight Film
Coaches don’t only want you to tell them how good you are, they want you to show them! Create a highlight film with a mix of your best defensive plays, base-running highlights, and hits. If you can’t make a highlight tape from game film, make a skills tape. Then, upload your video to YouTube and include the link in your resume.
Find Baseball Coaches Contact Information
College coaches leave their phone numbers and email addresses available online to help top baseball recruits contact them.
Send your resume to coaches
You are ready to contact coaches and get your baseball recruiting started once you have researched programs, created a resume, made a highlight film, and found contact information for coaches.
Follow up and continue the conversation
Sometimes coaches do not respond to your first email. If you have not heard back from a coach after about a week, you need to send them a follow-up email. Also; give them a call. If you have already sent your resume and one or two follow-up emails, pick up the phone and call them to make sure they have received your correspondence.
This is just the start!
Getting in touch will only start your college baseball recruiting and your search for a baseball scholarship. To play college baseball you need to continue to correspond with coaches and update them on your athletic and academic progress.
Where to Find NCAA Baseball Colleges
Getting the recruiting process started is an intimidating task. If you are unsure of what programs to begin looking at, start by researching programs by region. Pick an area of the country and start by contacting those baseball programs. You can start your search small, going state by state, or look at any of these six recruiting regions.
Northeast Baseball Schools
Baseball season can get a slow start here because of the cold winters. There are 37 Division I programs in the Northeast, and only a few Division I powerhouses. The top teams in the region are Connecticut, St Johns, and Boston College. The northeast is also home to many of the top ranked educational schools with baseball programs, like Harvard, Columbia, and the College of the Holy Cross.
There are 29 Division II schools in the Northeast. The top DII programs in this region are Franklin Pierce University, Southern New Hampshire University, LeMoyne College, and Southern Connecticut State.
Mid-Atlantic Baseball Schools
The Mid-Atlantic is home to more top-level programs than the Northeast. The climate here is milder than the Northeast, so baseball season can get started earlier in the spring. There are 43 baseball programs in the Mid-Atlantic; the best teams are the University of Maryland, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Seton Hall, and Rutgers. The Mid-Atlantic is also home to several great mid-major teams, including George Mason University, Liberty University, and Virginia Commonwealth University.
The Mid-Atlantic also has 37 Division II schools. West Chester University, Mercyhurst College, Kutztown University, and Seton Hill University are the best Division II programs in the Mid-Atlantic.
Baseball Colleges in the South
The South is the best region for college baseball in terms of the number of teams and the amount of top college baseball teams. The weather is hot all year in the South, which is perfect for baseball. There are 94 Division I programs in the South. The top teams include The University of Florida, Florida State University, University of North Carolina, University of Kentucky, University of Miami, and the University of South Carolina, who are perennially competing for the NCAA Championship.
Not only does the south have many great teams from the power conferences, they also have some of the best mid-major teams in the country. The top mid-major teams in the South are Florida International University, High Point University, South Eastern Louisiana University, College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina University, and Florida Atlantic University. These schools are considered mid-majors, but they compete well almost every year.
There are also 73 Division II schools in the South, making it the most densely populated region for baseball. The best DII schools in the South are Rollins College, Lynn University, University of South Carolina- Aiken, University of Tampa, Mount Olive College, Catawba College, and Nova Southeastern University.
Baseball Colleges in the Midwest
Like the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic, the Midwest can be cold in the early spring, but it is still home to 53 Division I programs. The dominant teams in this region include major conference teams such as Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan State, Illinois, Notre Dame, and Nebraska; and also some powerful mid-major programs like Indiana State, Missouri State, and Illinois State.
The Midwest is home to 48 Division II schools, including Central Missouri, St. Cloud State, Columbus State, Minnesota State University- Mankato, and Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Some of the Best Colleges Are in the Southwest
The Southwest has the fewest number of baseball teams, but the teams here benefit from the warm weather; the Southwest has a large proportion of powerhouse baseball programs. There are 29 Division I schools, including the University of Texas, Arizona, Texas A+M, Baylor, Rice, and New Mexico State University.
There are only 26 Division II colleges in the Southwest. The best DII schools in this region are St. Mary’s (Texas), Angelo State, West Texas A+M, and Texas A+M-Kingsville.
The Best Baseball Universities in the West
The West region is home to 42 Division I programs. The West region is littered with great baseball programs. The top programs are UCLA, Stanford, California State University- Fullerton, Long Beach State University, Oregon State University, Pepperdine University, Gonzaga, University of Oregon, University of Washington, and University of Southern California.
There are only 26 Division II baseball programs in the West. The top DII programs are Western Oregon, Colorado Mesa University, and University of California San Diego.
Learn what it takes to get a baseball scholarship here.
To play college baseball you must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.
Author: David Frank