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Stockpiling or Over Recruiting

The New "Rage" In College Baseball

by: Bob Howdeshell
High School Baseball Web

Part 3

What Player's and Parents Can Do

If you are being recruited by a school that typically over recruits or if you think it may be happening what should you do?

First and most important Ask Questions - Ask Questions - Ask Questions

This is your future and your college education -- You have a right to answers.

The following is a sample listing of questions that you may want to ask.

  • How many players are on the current roster?

  • How many fully funded scholarships does the program have?

  • How much scholarship money is available for the incoming class -- number of scholarships available?

    The number of scholarships available compared to the amount of scholarship assistance offered to you will give you an indication about a program's interest in you.

  • How many players does the school plan to sign in this class?

    Big signing classes (15 to 20 players) means lots of competition. Ask yourself "why do they need such large recruiting classes?" Has the recruiting of the previous classes been a problem. Have several players transferred?

    Where there is smoke there is fire

  • How many players does the program plan to sign at my position?

    If the answer is more than two I would suggest considering other options. None of us expect to be handed a starting playing position but we also should expect reasonable amounts of competition. Not a group try-out situation.

    In my opinion this applies to pitchers too. Why does a school need to bring in 3 left handed pitchers in one class? The same applies to right handed pitchers. When a school brings in large numbers of pitchers I wonder if they are scouting and evaluating players or if the are just setting up try-outs?

  • How many returning players are there at my position? Are they seniors, juniors, etc?

  • How many juco transfers are going to be signed?

    Juco transfers only have two years of eligibility, if the school is bringing in a juco player at the same position as the one you play -- chances are good the juco player will get every opportunity to fail before you will be considered for playing time.

  • How many players have transferred or left the program in the last three years?

    Some coaches may want to fluff over or evade answering this question. If you don't get a straight-forward answer BE SUSPICIOUS.

Some other items that players and parents many times choose not to see.

The two most over-recruited positions by college programs are pitchers and catchers.

Many parents of pitchers fool themselves with the belief that all college programs need "lots of pitching."

Do they need 8 to 11 pitchers in one signing class? I know of schools that signed this many pitchers -- this year.

A college team plays 5 games per week usually. How do 10 pitchers all get to throw in that week? This does not even take into account the pitchers from the 3 previous recruiting classes!

How many catchers does a college program need? Many schools carry 5 catchers. How many really get into games? Maybe two?

To many coaches way of thinking an ideal roster size is 30 to 32 players, with a breakdown as follows:
12 to 14 pitchers
3 catchers
13 to 15 position players
A bonus is when a pitcher or two can also fill in as a position player, DH, etc.

Keep in mind that most of the schools that recruit the "first round" draft pick players also recruit a "safety net" player at the same time. Do you want to be that "safety net" player?

If you are going to be happy sitting on the bench for a Top 40 college baseball program then maybe stockpiling of players is not a concern to you.

However -- If your goal is to actually play baseball in college you will want to do your homework, ask questions and most of all Do Not Take A "Chance" that you may get playing time. Find a school that will give you a fair opportunity to compete for playing time.

For most players a program that limits its roster to 30 or so players will offer the best opportunity to be given a fair chance at playing time.

The programs with 40, 50 or more players on their rosters have many more tales of disappointment than they do of happiness.

Parents -- The college choice should be your son's -- your job is to help him not to make a mistake.

Part 4
The Effect of the Hope and Tops Programs

Part 5
Over Recruiting 2002

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