Why College Baseball Recruiting seems “random” to Families

College baseball recruiting is very exciting and very frustrating for all players and coaches.  Understanding why a college coach recruits one player over another can be very confusing.  You have to remember that it is very subjective and that each coach has their own view on the type of player they want to recruit to there program.  Here are a few key points to help you understand what the typical college coach is looking for.

  1. Athletes! The most common term used in recruiting today is “athletic”.  You will here coaches say, “he is an athletic hitter” or “an athletic catcher”.  With recruiting taking place earlier and earlier every year, coaches do not have a crystal ball that can tell exactly what position a player will be best at in 2/3/4 years out.  They do however know if a player is “athletic” which means he can adapt and adjust to new positions and level of play.
  2. Metrics are super important to validate your potential.  Whether we are talking running speed, pitching velocity, bat speed, quickness or strength numbers, you can be assured that the better your metrics are, the better chance a coach will like what he is seeing.  You will hear coaches say “I cannot teach him to run fast but I can teach him how to steal bases” or “I cannot teach him to throw hard but I can teach him how to pitch”.
  3. Your swag or lack of can make a big difference.  No one likes a cocky or arrogant player but coaches love a CONFIDENT player.  Playing your game with energy, tempo, aggressiveness and fun are essential to being recruited by colleges around the country.  If you are not that type of player currently then you need to work hard on your game this off-season to feel like you can command your position next spring.
  4. Potential! Does the player have more room to grow with his body, his skills and his overall game.  Potential is a hard thing for parents to understand and for coaches to predict.  Trying to guess at what the future player could be is the art of evaluating and the best college coaches make their living do it well.

Potential recruits must remember that the college coaches are going are taking all of these characteristics, academics, referrals and much more into make their decision to offer a player.  The coach wants the best players he can recruit that are hard workers, stay out of trouble, help the team win and are enjoyable to work with for 4 years!  Do a reality check on yourself and figure out what areas you need to work on to improve your recruiting chances.