College pitching and what the coaches are looking for

Hey guys I Just joined this site today because I’m interested in finding out what it is College coaches are going to be looking for. I’m trying out for my college team in about 2 months or so…I haven’t played on a team in a couple years but I’ve been staying in shape as well as been throwing. I’m here simply asking what it is they are looking for. I have a great moving 2 seam fastball and a 12 to 6 curve as well as a 4 seam and circle change. My slider is weak without movement, but I’m thinking they are going to be looking mostly at my mechanics? And I wanted to know if anyone had any tips for me since I haven’t played in the longest time on an actual team. I figure I’ll give it a shot before it gets too late.

Any pointers?

Thanks

In general, they’re looking for a FB in the 80s. Obviously, 90 mph and higher is a plus and will make you stand out right away.

They’re looking for control. Against the aluminum bat, your ability to spot the FB low in the strike zone is key.

They’re looking for at least one off-speed pitch. Again, working the corners low in the strike zone is a plus.

They’re looking for consistency, consistency, consistency. Can you get outs even when your best stuff isn’t working? And when you don’t have your best stuff, what’s your composure like on the mound?

They’re looking for guys who work quickly on the mound … take charge and go!

They’re looking for strikes. Balls and base on balls (walks) are the death of a college pitcher. College coaches have no tolerance for walks. Even less in pro ball!

One final note: No matter what you do, when you’re trying out for a team first impressions can make or break you. It’s VERY important to dress the part of a ball player. I’m not kidding. Find out ahead of time whether you’ll be wearing shorts or baseball pants. Tuck in your shirt. Have the right spikes. Use a closed-web glove. Don’t be that guy who doesn’t have the right gear or isn’t wearing the right apparel. Remember, it’s a job interview. Plan and prepare accordingly.

That’s an excellent post, Steven. :applaud:

I nominate this for a sticky.

Much appreciated. I do work fast and even when I let up a hit I move on to get outs. I will let you know how I do in a month on this forum. I’m excited and glad to be back into baseball, and I think that my hard work this past year will pay off. Once again, thank you very much, that has helped tremendously.

You may find this link http://www.hsbaseballweb.com/interviews/college_interviews.htm helpful.

Papibon,

Thank you so much for sending me that link. I really am determined to make this team. I will let you all know how I do and what becomes of me. Once again, I appreciate it.

Mike

A guy who gets to the park/ area early … ahead of the crowd.
A guy who finds out ahead of time if he has to pay for parking… when and where.
A guy who doesn’t waste time … a guy who knows the value of time.
A guy who doesn’t sit on his *** with the rest of the dead weight on a bench, dugout, or on the grass.
A guy who shouts … " I’m here to be seen… LOOK AT ME NOT THEM!!"
A guy who shows up with a well stocked equipment bag – spikes, gloves, water, birth certificate, wavier forms, invitation documents if necessary, contacts if necessary, proforma applicatoins, medical forms if necessary… all in all it says I’M READY!!
A guy who doesn’t have to told to warm up, stretch, jog, get ready for a day of serious work.
A guy who’s not bashful… when asked who wants to go first? The first guy to step out of the crowd and say ME… I watch that man all day long.
A guy who knows the proper language of the game and does NOT USE PROFANITY.
A guy who looks me square in the eyes when I’m talking to him … and not looking down at the grass … I want eye contact … I want a guy who thinks I’m important enough to listen to … the first time.
A guy who doesn’t get upset when things don’t go his way … maturity, maturity, maturity.
A guy who doesn’t bring mom and dad to the side lines talking up a storm about how great he is… that opinion will soon be fact … when and to what extent I SAY SO. Mom and dad have their place, and an important place it is… but in perspective.
Leave the girl friend(s) at home. They can be a distraction that will … and I’ve seen this more often hurt some really great ball players … go against the grain of a lot of people trying to work that day … like me.
A guy that doesn’t fall into a “field click”. In other words a group that hangs around together … bad mouths others under their breath … has a good time at the expense of other players, etc…

Like it was said by Steve, your going to a job interview and first impressions are heavy weights to your future and initial career, so go with a professional mindset, pay attention to the work at hand, and show em your professional stock.

In short, when a coaching group, assistants, staffers and specialist are looking at you … they’re also looking at their job security too. So if your going to show anyone less then a professional demeanor … forget it. And on that note … let’s say that your stuff just wasn’t the thing of first round draft pick material … but there was something … just something that impressed the right person at the right time, in the right mood, looking for that certain talent that’s workable … … you get the picture.

On many an open field session I’ve seen talent that just needed the right touch of adjustments, train’g, … a little change here or there and I’ve got myself a first class prospect that everybody else missed!

Coach B.

[quote=“Coach Baker”]

A guy who gets to the park/ area early … ahead of the crowd.
A guy who finds out ahead of time if he has to pay for parking… when and where.
A guy who doesn’t waste time … a guy who knows the value of time.
A guy who doesn’t sit on his *** with the rest of the dead weight on a bench, dugout, or on the grass.
A guy who shouts … " I’m here to be seen… LOOK AT ME NOT THEM!!"
A guy who shows up with a well stocked equipment bag – spikes, gloves, water, birth certificate, wavier forms, invitation documents if necessary, contacts if necessary, proforma applicatoins, medical forms if necessary… all in all it says I’M READY!!
A guy who doesn’t have to told to warm up, stretch, jog, get ready for a day of serious work.
A guy who’s not bashful… when asked who wants to go first? The first guy to step out of the crowd and say ME… I watch that man all day long.
A guy who knows the proper language of the game and does NOT USE PROFANITY.
A guy who looks me square in the eyes when I’m talking to him … and not looking down at the grass … I want eye contact … I want a guy who thinks I’m important enough to listen to … the first time.
A guy who doesn’t get upset when things don’t go his way … maturity, maturity, maturity.
A guy who doesn’t bring mom and dad to the side lines talking up a storm about how great he is… that opinion will soon be fact … when and to what extent I SAY SO. Mom and dad have their place, and an important place it is… but in perspective.
Leave the girl friend(s) at home. They can be a distraction that will … and I’ve seen this more often hurt some really great ball players … go against the grain of a lot of people trying to work that day … like me.
A guy that doesn’t fall into a “field click”. In other words a group that hangs around together … bad mouths others under their breath … has a good time at the expense of other players, etc…

Like it was said by Steve, your going to a job interview and first impressions are heavy weights to your future and initial career, so go with a professional mindset, pay attention to the work at hand, and show em your professional stock.

In short, when a coaching group, assistants, staffers and specialist are looking at you … they’re also looking at their job security too. So if your going to show anyone less then a professional demeanor … forget it. And on that note … let’s say that your stuff just wasn’t the thing of first round draft pick material … but there was something … just something that impressed the right person at the right time, in the right mood, looking for that certain talent that’s workable … … you get the picture.

On many an open field session I’ve seen talent that just needed the right touch of adjustments, train’g, … a little change here or there and I’ve got myself a first class prospect that everybody else missed!

Coach B.[/quote]

This is such enlightening advice.
It’s really nice to see that some coaches look for more than just velocity and build.
I didn’t realize that there was so much weight put into intangibles.
I will take this to heart and use it as a check list. Thanks a ton for posting.

Your welcome. :hi:

subpitchkent … your off to a solid start that ANY coach will welcome. And by the way, these qualities not only speak well of you , but all the people that supported you along the way …

It might not seem important at the time, but coaches are people with the skills to “appraise” more than just a moment in space, and your one time shot at showing your stuff. Behind every talent , there’s a man. A man with a certain approach to things that either reinforces a positive estimate of value - or discounts it.

Best wishes with your baseball experience.

Coach B.

This is a great post guys, all you youngsters out there should read this thread.

Also, you never know who is watching you. Have some mound presence!

this is great information. When my oldest brother was trying out for colleges about 4 years ago the coach of the school he ended up signing with told my dad that they took him because they liked the way he talked. When youre talking to college’s don’t get so focused on baseball that you forget that getting an education is the reason why you’ll be there. You want to give them the impression that you’ll work hard on your school work also.

I remember Willie Bloomquist, whom I never thought would make it half as far as he did without having the type of attitude that Coach Baker stated. He wasn’t big, powerful or anything in high school, but he had a baseball field in his backyard his dad made, and he would always be practicing ground balls and hitting. He was small, but extremely determined. A perfect example of what hard work will give a guy. I mean in high school he was smaller than he is now, 5 ft 8 maybe, he is 5 ft 10 now, most likely in platform shoes. His older brother was much taller and bigger, but I remember he did not work nearly as hard or had half as much dedication. I don’t remember anyone having that much, really.

The one thing i can say on the situation is have confidence live breath eat it they dont want someone who will cower down when faced with a problem who will go run and hide even if you dont have that bulldog mentality atleast make them believe you do for that time. You want to be confident but not cocky no coach or players wants a pre madona on there team think of Terrell Owens (football i know but whatever) hes very talented but because of his attiude hes been traded quite a bit cause no one wants to deal with him. Be a team player help out others and just carry yourself in a way that says i should be here right now im here for a reason and they need to know that.

Thats all i got i know this thread is 2 years old but its universal advice

When you first go out focus on getting in a rhythm right away. Once you do that let a few go to show him what you can do on the gun. But if he has any brains at all he will look to see that you work ahead of hitters, and can spot your fastball. These two things are a must at the college level and beyond.

This is all great advice…I am going to print this out for my son. He is going to a major (90 teams) invite only underclass tourney next weekend were there will be many college scouts. I suggested he e-mail the coaches of the DI colleges he is interested in and send them his game schedule since we know they are going to be in attendance. He is afraid that he isn’t at D1/2 level (not throwing 90) and they will just scratch him off thier list. What do you think? Is it unreasonable for a 6’4" junior throwing low-mid 80’s to get attention from a D1/2? Should he just wait until next summer when he is throwing harder (hopefully :noidea: ), before he tries to get noticed?

I would get him out there and seen ASAP. being 6’4 he can definitely get some attention of D1 coaches regardless if he is throwing mid 80s. You have to realize college coaches and pro scouts dont always look at where you are now, but they project you over time. Being 6’4 throwing mid 80’s with bad mechanics can actually be considered a plus. If he shows that he is coachable, any decent coach should be able to take him and make him a stand out player over the course of 4 years.

Thanks danarmosd, that’s what I was hoping…that they would project, but we’ve read before that some colleges want them “ready to go” , so he is worried that he has to look perfect. He just turned 16, could easily put thirty pounds more on his frame, so that plus using legs more efficiently should get him to where he needs to be velocity wise.
Another question that applies to all high school pitchers going to showcases/scouted tourneys…what should you show them besides the obvious? Also, should you throw your hardest and possibly sacrifice a little control or play it safe but sacrifice velocity? Thanks to all.

[quote=“Steven Ellis”]In general, they’re looking for a FB in the 80s. Obviously, 90 mph and higher is a plus and will make you stand out right away.

They’re looking for control. Against the aluminum bat, your ability to spot the FB low in the strike zone is key.

They’re looking for at least one off-speed pitch. Again, working the corners low in the strike zone is a plus.

They’re looking for consistency, consistency, consistency. Can you get outs even when your best stuff isn’t working? And when you don’t have your best stuff, what’s your composure like on the mound?

They’re looking for guys who work quickly on the mound … take charge and go!

They’re looking for strikes. Balls and base on balls (walks) are the death of a college pitcher. College coaches have no tolerance for walks. Even less in pro ball!

One final note: No matter what you do, when you’re trying out for a team first impressions can make or break you. It’s VERY important to dress the part of a ball player. I’m not kidding. Find out ahead of time whether you’ll be wearing shorts or baseball pants. Tuck in your shirt. Have the right spikes. Use a closed-web glove. Don’t be that guy who doesn’t have the right gear or isn’t wearing the right apparel. Remember, it’s a job interview. Plan and prepare accordingly.[/quote]

Thank-you alot, I had a couple local D3 colleges come watch me, as well as Rutgers and Pitt.

And what is the deal with a closed web glove?

[quote=“Coach Baker”]

Leave the girl friend(s) at home. They can be a distraction that will … and I’ve seen this more often hurt some really great ball players … go against the grain of a lot of people trying to work that day … like me.

Coach B.[/quote]

Are we talking about a try out on this part or games? I’m not arguing it or anything. I would think that it depends on the girlfriend and the player, right? For example, my girlfriend has come to a couple of my games, but seeing as she is a softball player she sits in the stands keeps to herself and watches the game because she enjoys it. Also, I don’t talk to her before the game or during it or anything. Sure, after the game is over and we are all leaving we go grab dinner or something and the guys on the team know she is there, but it doesn’t affect mine or anyone elses play. So my question is if the girlfriend isn’t a distraction does it matter to scouts and coaches?

One coach, when asked what was the first thing he looked for in a prospect, replied: “A good change.” He must have talked to Babe Ruth at one time; the Babe, who as a pitcher was no slouch, stated that a good changeup will cause batters more grief than anything else. That is so true. Many power hitters, who usually are sitting dead-red on a fastball they can blast out of the park, are suckers for a well-placed changeup, be it a straight change, a palm ball, a slower version of a familiar pitch. My incredible pitching coach—an active major league pitcher—told me that just about any pitch can be turned into a nice changeup, and he demonstrated several for me and showed me how to throw them. So it behooves a pitching prospect to have one in his arsenal. :slight_smile: