One of the common questions we get from players is, “How can I become a college baseball player?” Successful college prospects must meet the academic requirements of the institution and have the physical talents to intrigue college baseball coaches.
Over the years, I’ve helped over 75 young baseball players reach the collegiate and professional levels. Based on this experience, here are five critical points high school baseball players need to consider when attempting to play in college.
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1. What is Your Grade Point Average and ACT/SAT Test Scores?
Your answers will help you find out whether a college will accept you as a student. If you have the desire to play at an NCAA program, you should review the information at NCAA eligibility. If your ACT score is below 18 and/or your GPA is low, you may have to consider a junior college for the first two years of your college career. With that being said, some baseball players choose to pursue the junior college ranks for different reasons, such as cost, location, great baseball program and/or draft eligibility.
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2. Set Priorities
To help you identify your program of choice, rank these topics in order of priority: playing time, program history, size of school, location and major. After you understand your eligibility requirements and set your priorities, you should be able to find the right programs to pursue in your efforts to be recruited.
3. Physical Attributes
Baseball is considered a five-tool sport. Players are evaluated on speed, fielding, arm strength, ability to hit for contact and ability to hit for power. Some college programs have predetermined rankings to ensure they get players who will be good fits. The NSCA has a page devoted to information and guidance for potential college baseball players. Playing for a nationally ranked travel team (our team is No. 3 in the country) in addition to playing for your high school—and your accolades—are among the criteria colleges look at.
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4. Social Media
The prevalence of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media sites can have either a positive or negative impact on your search for a college. We encourage our athletes to present a positive environment with the topics, quotes and especially the pictures they post on their social media accounts. College coaches will do their homework and research each player they are recruiting.
When a player is looking for a baseball scholarship, we encourage him to determine with his family what is an acceptable dollar amount before he makes his decision. Many college baseball programs have limited scholarship money available, although academic scholarships are available for deserving student-athletes. Recently, one of our players received an academic scholarship offer of 75 percent, which far exceeded his baseball scholarship offers. He decided to play for the college that offered him the academic scholarship and continue to play baseball as a walk-on.