Reality of Playing Division I?

Hey Guys,

So, I’m sure these types of questions have come up a number of times…
But I’d really like to know if what I am working for is a reality?
In short, I am working my butt off every day. Not just on the field, but also in the gym, in class, and even by reading everything I can on pitching, for ONE goal: To play college baseball.

My coach has already assured me that if I play well enough and stay injury free through the next couple years, I should be able to play at a division II or III school up north (because they love Florida players for our year-round training) or @ a JUCO school.
And, even though that is college baseball, I am striving to play Division I. I’d especially love to play for Tom House at USC.

Unfortunately, my coach has told me that the reality of playing division I is VERY slim, and not to get my hopes up.
On the other hand, my pitching coach (outside of the school) says he as worked with a player and got him to be the 43rd overall pick in the MLB draft a couple years ago, and wants me “to be at number 42” if I keep working with him throughout my junior and senior years. But I know that he could be just trying to keep my business…

Anyway… I just would like to know if there is a real chance (not just “anything is possible if you work for it”) that an average, sophomore, JV pitcher can really go on to being a Div. I pitcher? Or should I just set my sights on maybe going the JUCO route, or Div II or III?

Please be honest, I can take it! :wink:
Thanks

I am a junior HS pitcher with D1 as my goal as well.

I think you need to check your viewpoint on this…

What if I told you, you could but likely wouldn’t reach D1.
Would you stop working, stop playing hard? If so you weren’t cut out for it anyways.

If you would continue to give everything you have, why does it matter your odds?

If you want it, go for it. Never look back with regrets. If you give it everything you have, there is nothign to regret.

You know, those were really inspiring words.
And, youre right!
Because, even if you told me that i couldnt make it, I would probably just use that to work even harder. There is no way I’d stop training and working as hard as I am now, that’s for sure.

Thanks for that advice man. Best of luck to you in reaching your goals!
:slight_smile:

Fellers,

don’t forget that some people mature physically very late. Eric Bedard was 5’4" tall and weighed 120 lbs when he graduated high school AND he didn’t play HS ball.

Keep working your butt off and striving to perfect every part of your game. At this age you can make huge jumps in strength and velocity when you make it thru a growth spurt and are putting in the proper work.

I played D3 baseball and we beat many D1 schools. Always keep trying new pitches, I picked up a slider as a junior in college and a drop off the table forkball my senior year which i used as a changeup. One year can make a huge difference in progress and results.

Tdog

SP1B-
We’re up in Michigan. I spoke with a recruiting coach last summer who was looking for pitchers in the Midwest. He was from a high level D1 university in Florida.

When I asked him why he was up here looking for pitchers, he said he wanted “fresh arms”. He advised that many pitchers from southern areas have dead arms because of too much year round participation.

I also spoke with a “scholarship” kid from Michigan who was playing for a D1 program down south. His “scholarship” amounted to the school paying for his books. His parents were picking up out-of-state tuition plus room and board. It was killing them financially. The kid wasn’t getting a chance to play.

Your coach is telling you to lower expectations and your private instructor is suggesting you elevate expectations. I’d be asking your private instructor why he feels you have a chance at being a high MLB draft pick.

SP1B-
We’re up in Michigan. I spoke with a recruiting coach last summer who was looking for pitchers in the Midwest. He was from a high level D1 university in Florida.

When I asked him why he was up here looking for pitchers, he said he wanted “fresh arms”. He advised that many pitchers from southern areas have dead arms because of too much year round participation.

I also spoke with a “scholarship” kid from Michigan who was playing for a D1 program down south. His “scholarship” amounted to the school paying for his books. His parents were picking up out-of-state tuition plus room and board. It was killing them financially. The kid wasn’t getting a chance to play.

Your coach is telling you to lower expectations and your private instructor is suggesting you elevate expectations. I’d be asking your private instructor why he feels you have a chance at being a high MLB draft pick.[/quote]

lol sorry if I put it wrong; My private coach doesn’t think I have a chance at being a high MLB draft pick, he just wants to work with me hard enough to where I could be one, if that makes sense? He wants to put as much effort into me as possible, with that being the goal. Not that I think that would EVER happen…

And, about the “scholorship” kid: Are you trying to say that if in his position, it would be smarter to just go to a school where you could get playing time and at the same time keep your family from going broke over tuitions?

SP1B-
Here’s a personal story that might make some sense.

Our oldest daughter played basketball in HS.

She went to her HS coach and asked him to help her find a college basketball program with a scholarship opportunity. The HS coach said he was sorry, but he couldn’t help her. He didn’t feel she was a good enough athlete to play at a higher level.

She got some game film and contacted schools with an education major that she was interested in. She was subsequently recruited by 21 colleges and universities. Wound up accepting a full ride scholarship at a tiny local private college.

Her college team wound up making it to the small school Final Four. She was named Captain, MVP, etc. Set school rebounding records.

She graduated, is working as a teacher, and has completed her Master’s degree.

Our youngest son is a HS freshman. His dream is to play baseball at a higher level.

Since baseball is a secondary sport, there are few full scholarships for the number of kids carried on a team at any level. That means college baseball offers many partial scholarships. A full ride baseball scholarship is the exception, not the rule.

IMHO, you should consider economics and playing opportunity as important elements in your decision.

JUCO?

Oh i understand you. And Im glad to hear she did well despite what her coaches thought :slight_smile:

You know, I would consider JUCO. It could be a great stepping stone to a bigger program, plus they even draft out of there. I think in the 06’ draft there was a pitcher out of Daytona Beach CC, which is near me, drafted in the second round…

But I guess im just going to have to work myself as hard as I can to improve and see what level I can take my game to in the next two years…
Next year I’ll be playing my first season on varsity, as a junior. Isn’t that the most important year in terms of college scouts and recruiting?

My son is facing the same thing. He is a very classy righthanded pitcher. Has command of a good sinking fastball of average velocity, a double wicked curve, and a very good circle change. Unless divine providence intervenes-he will not pitch college baseball because they will put the jugs gun on him-see what he reads out at, and then next him.

Our solution? Turn him into a knuckleballer. He holds runners well, is quick to home, and has good other pitches he can use when the knuckler wont behave or when the blue will not cooperate.

He realizes that he will proabably have to walk on. College coaches desperate for pitching will take a look. Note, that his goal is to pitch collegeball not get a 4 year scholarship. He will probably get an academic scholarship. Everyone is different, but this is our way of handling it, Ian.

where at in florida are you? im a florida pitcher to. what were your grades like in highschool also, because D1 isnt just baseball its grades to. if your grades arnt good enough you can do a 2 year juco. from there if your good enough in the juco the d1 schools will probly pick you up but grades have to be high to. consider it a 50/50 with grades and baseball ability. im goin for the same thing you are. never played HS baseball and plan on doin juco baseball for 2 years and moving up but dont really care d2 or d1 school is school and you dont gata go up to d1 to get drafted. but i went from throwing 75 when starting baseball to throwing 88-91 so anythings possible just keep working at it…ALSO…[quote]Our solution? Turn him into a knuckleballer. He holds runners well, is quick to home, and has good other pitches he can use when the knuckler wont behave or when the blue will not cooperate.[/quote] i think thats the worst possible solution you coulda come up with. no offense of anything but teams rarley want knuckleballers even if he holds runners well on a knuckleball pitch you dont really have to get a good jump to steal the base. and you say if knuckle doesnt work he has other pitches. so your establishing that he doesnt really have a wakefield knuckle which is what your gana need to make it anywhere being a knuckleball pitcher. cant just go from knuckle to all curveballs, wont fool anyone and and any curve of change thrown for a strike will get hammered because thats the only pitch the batter will see. id suggest long toss and trying to throw harder and harder…one way to do this is say a prayer before each session and hope god keeps your arm intact(if you wana learn to throw hard quick) other wise every session only work on fastballs but focus more on throwing harder than control, once u get a harder pitch then figure out how to control it

Volusia County. You anywhere near?

As for grades… Ill be completely honest, I have a 2.5 unweighted GPA currently. :oops: I know it’s awful, but here’s the thing:

I don’t know if any f you have been in or know of the International Baccalaureate Program? But it’s an intense academic program similar to AP, but instead of you beng able to pick and choose which classes you want to be AP or honors or whatever, you must take ALL IB classes. So, needless to say, its quite the struggle for me, who has a tough enough time as it is keeping my mind in the classroom (It always seems to be on the field…:P). But, I think i have finally adjusted to the demands of this rigorous program and believe that this will be my first term with straight A’s. So, im hoping colleges focus on my grade trend, as opposed to the overall GPA once i finish high school.

SP-

Sounds like you have the right idea in keeping all of your options open and being realistic with where your abilities will take you. Just wanted to add my $0.02, as I had been down the same road many moons ago…

I think the first thing you must take to heart, understand, embrace, and use to your advantage is that all of this is a business. You are being used for a greater plan by the coaches and the university you hope to play at/attend. Make yourself something they can’t live without, make them feel like YOU are the face of their university and the athletic program. Be the feel good story, the glowing example of why going to their school and excelling is where it’s at. How to do this? Here are my thoughts-

  1. Get your grades up.

You already know this, and you’re doing a good job this term it sounds like. Get a 4.0 until you graduate. You can do it, just work as hard at it as you do with you pitching and hitting. It’s one of the easiest things to correct, and it’s completely in your power.

Why is this crucial? Easy- it will be easier for you to get academic scholarships at whatever university you attend than a baseball scholarship. Baseball has no real full rides; plenty of partial scholarships that pay for books and such, but nothing substantial, unless you’re extremely special. You make yourself an asset to a potential coach by having a great GPA; you’ll be an asset, as they will know you wont fall victim to academic probation, and things of this nature. This allows them to give you a little scholarship money (you deserve it), but it will also help you and your family financially to boot, as you will be more able to defray school costs. This will come in handy if you go out of state and have to pay OOS tuition. Plus, you keep up the good study habits in college, you’ll be on the honor roll, and setting a great example. Coaches love this, not quite as much as raw talent, but hey, it helps.

  1. Know what you want to do academically.

If you know what you want to do for a major, this will help hone your list of potential schools down to a bearable amount. Wanna be an engineer? Sweet, Georgia Tech is on the list. Savannah College of Art and Design? No. Go where you’ll be happiest, and if you hate school with all of your being, you are killing yourself. You will be miserable, you wont go to class, you wont make the grades, you wont be eligible, you WONT PLAY. If youre a long way from home, this whole cascade will be compounded 100-fold.

  1. Don’t be afraid to do the juco route.

Its a great way to figure out what you want out of life, school, and baseball. Plus, if you’re not quite there academically or athletically, it gives you 2 years to get your act together and then transfer. This was what I did, and I went from someone no one recruited to having my choice of programs to go to. Also, if you have a growth spurt and those pro scouts come knocking- you can sign after your sophomore year. Dont like your draft position? Transfer to a D1 school. You’ll be surprised how the potential to be drafted out of JC can be a bargaining chip when transferring, and selecting a school.

  1. Not all D1 schools are created equal, and not all D2,3’s are to be ignored.

I ended up at a D2 school at the end of the day; I got tired of not playing, and people telling me that a lefty that throws 86 with an occasional 89 with a good slider isnt a commodity at the high D1 level. So I transferred. Not only did I play at a fantastic program (with great competition and one that had a couple of trips to the CWS to boot), my academic future looked even brighter by moving. By graduating from where I did, playing quality baseball, and being a well rounded guy, I got into an Ivy league grad school (I tore my rotator cuff, so my future in baseball was nixed). I was a longshot applicant, but having the education and background that I did made me a wanted commodity. It never would’ve happened if I stuck around at the D1 school, as their academics aren’t so hot. Baseball wise, at every stop I have made (D1, D2, juco), I’ve been scouted, and have had teammates drafted. The point of this? It doesnt matter where you are, talent will always be noticed, so always play, study, and carry yourself knowing someones watching you. Make the most of your abilities and options and you will never fail.

So yeah, this is a bit hodge podge and jumbled, but hopefully these thoughts, and those of the others that posted, give a good idea where you should be headed mentally and emotionally. Feel free to PM me if you have questions about anything, I’m happy to share and help in any way I can.

MfM

ETA: more concise description of my velocity

na not really in in west palm beach…2.5 is better than me i got screwed by a program for this school my senior year. told me i would graduate then last 3 weeks said i was missing 3 elevtive credits and the schools program was closing. had to get GED, so pretty much i HAVE to go to juco and try to get my grades as high as possible and hope 4 best. but the pbcc team is ranked one of the best in the state…even still if i dont go D1 a scout can see you at any school if you send them a video

Uhm-the Neikros all had other pitches. Phil had a decent slider and fastball. Joe had a curve as well the other stuff. So did Tom Candiotti.

Yes some college coaches do not like or will not have knuckleballers, but some who are starved for pitching will. A college coaches goal is to win games-some do not care how.

Ian

ManFromMojave,

Thanks a lot for all the insight! It actually aided me in some goal setting for the next couple years for baseball and school.