What I find lacking in much of the recruiting process; especially in all the attendant “stuff”; the showcases, camps, tournaments, and worst … the database driven activities … is a failure to recognize and acknowledge the single most important element and that is that each player is a UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL.
Players and families need to understand this and proceed according to their own self interests rather than listening to and acting upon all the “noise”.
We have been consulting players transitioning from high school to college and college to professional (and yes, also WITHIN college and pro ball); meaning “transfers” … different teams, leagues, organizations, etc. for some time now. We work very hard to serve the needs of each athlete as an EXTREMELY unique individual. Each athlete has a unique set of skills and circumstances and environment surrounding him/her and most importantly a special set of “needs” that have to be fulfilled in order to be successful.
Baseball at both the college and professional levels needs to be a “fit”. It is, in fact, much like a marriage except of course, in marriage you can do it more than once (Ask Kim Kardashian and Tom Cruise. They’re both up to 3 apiece … or “Marriage Superstar” Mickey Rooney who repeated the sacred vows 8 times). Ooofah … !!!
Factors other than baseball need to come first. Academic specialization, finances, geography; i.e. “near or far from home”; school size (and I’m not just talking about DI, II, or III; I’m also describing the experience of being in a lecture hall with 300 students versus a lecture hall with 30 students for the same subject dependent upon the school, and finally "social environment" are all infinitely more important than baseball.
Why? Simple; if you’re not happy and comfortable in your environment you are not going to be productive; in class, on the field … in life. Period.
As far as baseball is concerned it comes down to whether you’re going to get an opportunity to play and develop.
Interestingly enough, this issue can be dictated by the individual athletes “compatibility” with a specific program; the coaching staff, and the program’s goals. Individual personal DEVELOPMENT is key. It is my experience that even so called “average” players with good foundational skills and fundamentals can find an appropriate program if they are willing and committed to the work and the process.
The “timeline” for the school’s program may be different from an individual athlete’s. You may PROJECT to throw 90 but if you are still at 82 as a senior you are not going to get interest from DI schools.
You need to go where you can GET and EDUCATION; PLAY and GET BETTER!!!
This is very specifically why most athletes and their families need help; they need OBJECTIVE evaluations of their current and projected needs and skills; baseball AND school