1. Will you play right away?
Go somewhere that you’re wanted. There’s nothing wrong with going to a D2, D3, NAIA, or JUCO to play right away. If you have aspirations of playing baseball at the next level, you have to play.
2. Is the school located in an area you desire?
You’re going to be living at school for about 8 months out of the year. Make sure the school you choose to attend is located in an area you desire.
3. Who’s currently on the roster, and who’s coming in?
Go to the school’s website and look at the roster. If you’re an incoming freshman outfielder and there are already six sophomore and junior outfielders on the roster who have accumulated considerable playing time over the past year, that school is probably not a good fit for you.
4. Does the school have your major?
Once your playing career comes to a close (everyone’s will at some point), you have to earn a living. Make sure the school you attend offers classes for what you intend to major in.
5. Will they offer opportunities for you to be seen by scouts?
Many colleges now implement “scout days” for their players to be seen by professional scouts. However, there are still many schools that don’t. Find out if your prospective school dedicates time to getting you exposure, especially if your goal is to play professional baseball someday.
6. Will the coaches develop your skills?
Talk to the players that have been in the program. If they tell you the coach works to develop each player’s skillset no matter what their role on the team is, then that is a school you want to attend.
7. What’s the school’s track record for developing pros?
Go to the school’s website and see how many players have been drafted or have signed professional contracts in the past few years.
8. Will they place you in a good collegiate summer league?
Good coaches make sure each of their players are enhancing their skills over the summer by placing them in a good collegiate summer league. I think this is extremely important especially to freshmen and redshirts who didn’t get many at bats during the college season. How are you supposed to get better if you’re not playing all summer? The truth is most coaches neglect making a simple call to a team and placing a player. If you want to improve your skills, and offer yourself a better chance of being seen by scouts, make sure your college coach is willing to place you on a good collegiate summer ball team.
9. What’s the team culture like?
Visit the school. If you see no team unity, no coaching to enhance player skillsets, and an environment that looks toxic, run far away!
10. Does the school have a good strength and conditioning program?
Is there a good strength coach in place for you to enhance your on field performance? Getting physically stronger, more powerful, and more explosive will improve your on field play. Take a look at the players who are currently in the program. Are they strong, powerful, and fast? If so, they possess a good strength and conditioning coach, and that should be somewhere you should want to go.
Hopefully this post was able to help any of you who are currently going through the college recruiting process! At the end of the day, it’s your choice. Trust your gut, and go to the school that gives you the best chance to succeed at your goals in the future, whatever they may be!