Think Along With the College Coach

Have you ever wondered what a college baseball coach is thinking during the recruiting process?  Why are they recruiting you?  If they have a position filled but are still recruiting you, will you consider trying a different position?  Do you have a strong resume and SAT scores?  All of these questions play a role in the way a college baseball coach is thinking during the recruiting process.  Read on to find out exactly what they are thinking!

Part One: The resume…

The first thing a college coach will look at when receiving a player profile or resume is the SAT / GPA score. Here are some thoughts that pass through a coach’s head when he or she reads an SAT/ GPA.

– “Does this player have a chance to be admitted on their own academic merits? If we are his/her number one choice, the invited walk-on scenario might work and save me some spots for other players I need.”

– “Does this player have a chance to be admitted with my support at admissions? If so, will they commit to me?”

– “Can this player be admitted early decision/action with or without my support?”

– “Will these grades get this player some academic money? If so I won’t have to dip into my scholarship dollars and I can save money for the kids I want who don’t have grades this good.”

– “This better be the best player I recruit, a real difference maker, who also plays a position I need, in order for me to get them in school. If he is not, no chance admission will give me a shot.”

– “Not a chance this year, but if they do a year of Prep or Junior College and show improvement, they might have a chance in a year or two. I wonder if they will consider that route?

Position…

– “I have no need for that position this year. Unless they are willing to go JC, I don’t have an interest.”

– “Pitcher? I always need pitching. Can he throw 2 pitches for a strike and change speed and location?

– “Pitcher? Need to see him throw. If you can start on the weekend for me I have some money to spend. Mid week pitcher? Maybe a little with more in the future if you develop as a reliable weekend pitcher.

– “Catcher – I have three, don’t need any more. Next.”

– “Catcher – I have a need, let’s follow-up and call the reference or “I have a need, but not at this size, lets look elsewhere first unless something else about this kid is exceptional”

– “Short Stop – every kid plays short and I am all set, but maybe they can run and hit and play the outfield, or move to third/second? Need to see them play.”

– “Outfielder – show me you can hit and run and I might be interested if you will come without a baseball scholarship, if you can hit for power and run down balls in the gap, I might have some money for you.”

– “First Base – must rake the ball and have a smooth glove, can hit for power and some money becomes a reality. If you can run, then I really like you – that is, if I need a first baseman this year.”

– “Position? Unless he pitches or catches, I just need players who can run, hit and throw. If they do, I’ll find a position for them.”

Stats…

“I don’t read the stats, they tell me nothing.”

– “I an unfamiliar with the quality of play in this league/region – can’t tell much from this”

– “I know this league and it is competitive – these stats make me a little curious.”

– “This league is weak – need to seem them in person before I can draw any conclusion.”

– “Stats are a small part of the pie, I’d rather speak with the coach to get a better idea of what they mean.”

MPH Data

“90 MPH? If it’s true, what’s not to like…if it’s true. I know a scout in that area, maybe they know.

– “Pitcher, Lefty – 88 MPH – probably get drafted if he has any character and a good body. Hey, you never know.”

– “Pitcher, righty – 88 MPH, pretty good, need to see his body and mechanics to project if he has another 6 pmh in him, or is capped. Does he have great command and a good off speed pitch? * This is a D-I coach talking, D-II and D-III are more excited.

NOTE : While MPH is very important and you won’t see too many Division I pitchers with less than and 85 MPH fastball (esp. RHP) it is not the only thing coaches look at. Command, ability to change speeds, second and third pitches, upside, coachability, competitiveness, etc. all factor into evaluations.

College coaches will tell you that there is so much to what makes a good pitcher or a good pitching prospect that you can’t quantify it. True enough, but the better your velocity and command of the fastball, the better pitcher you will be. If you are never going to over power people, you’d better be a smart pitcher, change speeds and have a breaking ball you can spot in any count.

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Coaching Philosophy Continued - Baseball Before We Knew It

[…] Coaches will take an interest in each and every player on the team.  They will talk to them individually as much as possible in order to get to know them as a person and not just a player on the team.  The players are important and the coaches care about what they have to say. […]

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