Angels Baseball


Spend Wisely - Part 1

Scroll through Twitter and you’ll find an occasional tweet from a High School kid stating their commitment to some college.  These social media posts feed the fire that is burning deep inside thousands of kids across the country looking for a chance to play College Baseball.  Many kids see their friends, teammates, opponents, etc committing and they begin to grow anxious, wondering when they will get the opportunity.  And unfortunately, the anxiety usually leads to bad decisions.  

Many parents have become zombies; following the masses towards Travel teams, Perfect Game Showcases or signing up with a recruiting service.  Understandably many do so because their kids are asking, or begging.  Many register for these events/services because they just don’t know any better.  They see travel teams advertising the number of kids that have played in their program that have gone on to play collegiately.  Many sign up for a Recruiting Service because the sales pitch is so enticing.  Many register for Perfect Game or PBR Showcases because of the rankings; and feel their kid needs to be ranked (not knowing what that even means!).

The bottom line is that parents are WASTING THOUSANDS of dollars chasing the College dream.  Sure, many will say that it was worth it; but do they say the same thing behind closed doors; or are they beating their heads against the dining room table wondering why the letters or calls aren’t coming.  Families can’t continue throwing a bunch of wet paper towel against the wall, hoping something will stick because the paper towels aren’t cheap!  If you’re a family that has the cash to spend, go for it.  Pay the thousands in Travel team fees/expenses.  Go to as many Perfect Game Showcases as time allows.  And add your child’s resume to as many Recruiting Service websites as possible.  But, if you’re interested in a more targeted approach, continue reading.

The Road to Getting Recruited

  • Development: Between the summer after 7th or 8th grade and the summer after their freshman year, your child should be focused on Development.  They need to eliminate weaknesses and enhance strengths.  They can develop playing for a rec team or an inexpensive travel team (that doesn’t travel much out of the area).  The key is PRACTICE.  If the team is heavy on games…find a new team.  This is a critical time for your child to improve because when they start getting in front of college coaches, they want to be playing at a high level.  
  • Do your Research: Throughout your child’s freshman year in HS (or even in 8th grade), find the schools that best match their academic state; their social desires; and your financial status.  Assume your child is not going to get more than 25% scholarship for baseball, if that!  You’ll need to make sure you can afford the school.  You also need to identify areas of the country that are of interest to your child.  Does your child like the country or do they prefer big city?  How about weather?  These are all questions you need to be discussing as a family.  This sets the stage for what you will do next.
  • Summer After Freshman Year: Attend 1-2 showcases and 1-2 College Camps.  Showcases are great as you get many college coaches in attendance.  Begin looking for showcases in areas where your child will want to attend school; and see which colleges have attended in the past.  Do the same for College Camps.  You’ll have less Coaches at the Camp; but you get direct activity with the coaches that do attend.  At the end of the summer, you will have a pretty good sense of how your son stacks up against other kids; whether any schools may have an early interest in your son; and some direction on how you should proceed with your son’s Sophomore Year.
In our next post, we will take a look at what should happen in your child’s Sophomore Year.  But before we end, I want to briefly mention Travel Teams.  I personally do not see any need for Travel Teams.  I have seen some VERY GOOD players on travel teams not get interest from College Coaches.  And they’re playing for teams that do go to tournaments where some college coaches do attend.  So, what’s the problem?  It’s simple.  Many coaches that attend these tournaments go there with a pre-defined list of players they are going to watch.  They are not going to a game and sitting in the stands looking for someone to catch their eye.  THEY JUST DO NOT DO THAT!  It’s a waste of their time to attend games without knowing if someone will be there that is of interest to them.  Also, multiple games are being played at the same time.  Those coaches cannot see everyone.  So there is a very good chance your son won’t be seen by any coach.  Also, your son may be playing in front of coaches; but he may never get a ball hit his way.  And when he hits, he may see nothing but balls.  So coaches never get a sense of your son’s ability.  That is why I strongly recommend Camps and Showcases.  Games are simply not a great way for your son to get noticed.  

We’ll be posting our recommendation for Sophomore year in about 2 weeks.