Youth Baseball: College Recruiting 101 – "Getting Noticed"

Many high school youth baseball players wonder, "Can I play baseball at the next level"? There are many opportunities for players to continue to chase there dreams of becoming a Major League Baseball player but few have the guidance or insight to help make that happen. College recruiting and its pursuit are not a part time job.

As a high school baseball player, your objective is to be seen. These efforts should begin once you have completed your freshmen season with the summer before your Senior year being the most critical for the showcase events. Some of those ways to be seen include:

1) Having your high school coach promote you through his contacts

2) Playing on a high school team that makes it deep into the playoffs. This helps since the longer you play, the less teams there are to see and therefore more scouts are available to see you play

3) playing on a summer team that plays in a scouted summer league

4) playing on a summer team that plays in local tournaments that are scouted

5) having your summer coach promote you to his contacts

6) playing in summer "team" showcase tournaments. These are tournaments are usually scouted relatively well by both college and pro scouts.

7) participating in "individual" summer showcase events. These events are usually run by a scout group and they are pretty successful at get other scouts to attend for evaluation purposes.

8) Consider the colleges that you might be interested in AND where you believe your skill level could be utilized and attend these schools summer camps. This will allow you to be seen by the coaching staff at the respective schools you are interested in.

These methods are the beginning in finding a place to play after your high school years are over. In addition to the items listed above, you need to take some personal steps in pursuing your goal of playing college baseball.

1) identify 15-20 schools that you might want to attend. Make sure these schools offer a curriculum that also matches your long term interest.

2) determine who the appropriate contact is for each school. Some schools use the head coach while many others have a head recruiting coach. Capture the contact information with both address and phone numbers for future use.

3) Create a DVD with a few highlights of you hitting, throwing, catching ground balls from your key position. In addition, if you are a pitcher, record yourself throwing each of your pitches approximately 5-6 times. In addition, prepare a brief "resume" on yourself that would reflect your ball speed, 60yd time, height, weight, and birthdate. Also include any special awards or recognitions you have received like: All District, All Area, All State, Area Code invitee, etc.

4) Prepare a cover letter expressing your interest in the each school. Make sure you address it directly to the appropriate contact. Do not address it to "Head Coach". Use his name!

5) Create a package to include the cover letter, resume and the DVD for each school. Address the package to the main contact person at each school.

6) Follow up with each school about 5-7 days later to determine if the package had arrived and if they have had a chance to review it. Remember, colleges cannot call you until after June before your senior year. If you're calling before then, leave a message the first time but know that they cannot legally call you back. If you can get them on the phone they can then speak with you and address any questions you might have.

7) Official visits cannot be made until after June before your senior year but this doesn't preclude you from still visiting each school. Contact the coach for an appointment and be prepared with your resume information while your speaking with them.

Your objective is to get in front of these coaches to demonstrate your skills. Don't over sell your skills and be realistic about where you can add value to the program. Remember, not everyone is Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter or CC Sabathia. Understand where you fit and go get it done.