As we move forward in the recruiting process this week is a huge reality check and solid check point for student-athletes going through this process. Seniors are able to receive phone calls, the process really amps up for juniors while sophomores and freshman begin being the target of NCAA D1 programs nationwide. More than 70% of all players offered a D1 baseball scholarship early were identified in their freshman or sophomore years.
My main message today is Social Media, however! Each November, many of the top high-school baseball prospects across the country announce formally by signing a Letter of Intent to where they plan to play college ball while thousands of coaches, alum, and boosters look on in anticipation that their favorite recruits will don a hat bearing their school’s logo.
There is no question that college recruiting has become a big business. A business in which hundreds of thousands (and potentially millions) of dollars are spent annually to attract the highest-rated recruits to universities nationwide. The challenge for baseball is that money is not spent there – it is spent on football and basketball so the things that we perceive to be happening really don’t in baseball. College baseball coaches have to work extra hard to find the right guys for their program, they still have the thousands of names to go through as well as the hundreds of videos to review with less staff, resources and money.
In the big revenue sports (football and basketball), “teams” are assembled with coaches, recruiting specialists, and data analysts to gain insight into the factors that attract recruits to the colleges and programs that they ultimately choose. Whether these prospects are attracted to the academic reputation of the school or the playing and training facilities, college athletic departments are constantly looking for competitive advantages that will propel their programs into national prominence.
In baseball facilities are important but coaches use the old fashioned network of guys they have built a relationship with. Communicating with guys they trust on players they know.