Here is a pretty standard (and sad) conversation with players and/or their families:
“I don’t understand why I’m not getting scholarship offers. I hit .470 last year during my high school season.”
“I can’t believe no one is recruiting me. I am the best pitcher on my team. I don’t throw hard, but I get outs.”
The issue is coaches don’t care about what you can presently do against high school competition.
College coaches and professional scouts only care if you have the ability or the potential to play at their level.
Unfortunately, during most players’ high school or summer seasons, they are playing competition that cannot play at a major college or professional level.
Doing well and having good numbers against sub-par players doesn’t tell a college coach whether or not you can play at his level.
If you want to play at the college level, you must have the tools necessary to play at that level.
The reason why players WITHOUT tools (bat speed, running speed, arm strength) can’t play at a high level is because the game becomes too fast for them.
Just like any game, the higher level you reach, the faster the game gets. As a player, you MUST have the ability to speed the game up and shrink the field with your tools.
Players and parents alike are always concerned with and wrapped up in the player’s overall stats. However, stats can be very misleading and do NOT always tell the whole story of the player. Other than to either make you feel good when you’re average is high or bring you down because you’re not hitting your weight, stats aren’t good for much more, especially at the lower levels of baseball.
A lot of the “recruiting” websites and all of the emails that D-1 coaches receive, the player usually had their stat line somewhere in the mix. To a college coach those stats are worthless and here is why:
• You can’t use stats as a comparison tool against other players in high school: As a college coach, I have no idea what level of competition you are playing in high school. You may play at a large school and face guys throwing 82-83 each day or you may play at a small school where a pitcher is lucky to break 70! Because of this, they don’t know if you’re .450 average is against any resemblance of a “real” pitcher. A Junior College stat sheet is a little bit more realistic since JC baseball is much closer to the higher college level, so you can see if they were able to produce or not at that level.
• Who was keeping those stats: As a college coach receiving your email, how am I supposed to know whether your dad kept the stats (obviously biased), the girl student-assistant kept them (usually there to hang around the boys), or your coach did all of the stats. If the stat lines from a high school program shows 6 out of their 9 starting players hitting over .500; either someone is giving every ball in play a hit or the competition level is pretty low!
• Coaches don’t know the dimensions of the field: A player sends me an email and says he hit 18 home runs in 19 high school games. I believe him, but what are the dimensions of the field he’s playing on? Usually in college, the fields are relatively similar in size, which is not always the case in high school where many ball fields are jammed into the “available” space on campus.
These are only a few reasons as to why college coaches are very weary regarding high school stats. When you send a coach an email, give him more factual information about you such as 60 time, velocity, bat speed, and links to your YouTube videos. One thing you NEVER want to do is lie or exaggerate about yourself and your skill set! If you say you run a 6.4 60, you better be able to reproduce that time because coaches will either come out to see it or call one of your references! The truth will always come out!
Tad Reida – ABPA Baseball