Your athlete needs to take accountability for their athletic journey. Getting recruited is the responsibility of the individual athlete, not necessarily a tournament/showcase organizer. Some showcases/tournaments are selling dreams more than actual substance, while others can be very useful. Just make sure you do your homework. At play.travelbaseballrankings.com we focus on high quality games and tournaments. Several athletes have that played in TBR tournaments have also committed to a number of excellent institutions around the Country(See Graphic Below). This speaks to the high-level competition in TBR Tournaments more than anything. We do not take credit for the hard work these kids put in to get themselves recruited-there are multiple ways to get noticed.
The Showcase Model
Let's say a tournament/showcase organizer is able to get multiple college coaches to come out. What is the value of this really? Some of theses showcases are flooded with talent and coaches (Oftentimes coaches are paid $1k stipend to be there) We attempted to get one such college to a TBR event and the head coach said he receives a $1k stipend and a free hotel for the weekend from another showcase company. The cost for this to get 15 coaches is astronomical and raises the question: Are coaches always there for the right reasons? The Showcase/Tournament will take credit for the player as if they were the only reason they got recruited. Rinse and repeat. Finally, an example of a TBR event last year we had 1800+ athletes. This can make it extremely difficult for college coaches to find the right players and/or players differentiating themselves.
College Coaches Have a Plan/So Should Athletes
College coaches have a plan, and their time is extremely valuable. Athletes playing in a high-level tournament (See Graphic Below) might want to contact a prospective college representative/coach and say,
"I throw 88mph and was hoping you might be interested in taking a look at me in action. I will be on the mound this Friday at 6PM. We would love to see you or an assistant coach watch me in game action against a very good team".
Then send the message out to five local colleges(near the tournament) the athlete is interested in. This targeted approach could prove to be very fruitful.
What if a coach is interested in the athlete, but cannot make it to the tournament? What do you do? Utilize the extremely competitive environment of a high-level tournament (See Graphic below) and technology to make game videos and highlights and include relevant metrics and achievements. Did you get three hits off a Louisville commit? Did you strikeout a Duke Commit? These things can ultimately boost your resume. College baseball is a job, and you are applying for it. As a player you should attempt to stand out, just like a potential job applicant would. FieldLevel and Ryzer are both great resources and we highly recommend getting acquainted with both to help you in your recruiting journey.
Your athlete isn't going to get noticed by colleges unless they are proactive. There are camps and showcases, but the price of attending several of these camps or showcases can really start to add up. Target which colleges are logical and a good fit. Ultimately performance in these camps matters. Get in front of colleges and perform and you will find a spot. We also recommend attending the college camps in the Fall.
Sometimes it Happens Organically
Additionally, some college coaches are also travel baseball parents/coaches. Of course, they may also use that time at tournaments to look at talent. At a TBR event last year, two 2025s were offered by a college coach who was simply watching his son play. These two kids received offers right when the recruiting cycle started. The moral of this story is that sometimes these things also happen organically. Fate and destiny have a funny way of working things out.
A D1 Camp Breakdown
College coaches love their own data. They don't care about player rankings. They also aren't relying on interns to get bad data. The typical camp goes like this. Warm up. 60 time (Race another kid). Fielding practice for Infielder/outfielders with metrics. Batting practice off two pitching machines about 40 feet away(25 swings). Then live game reps(2-3 teams) A position player may get 7-8 ABS. If you barrel up all of them or go 4/8 you may leave an impression. If you paid for the pitching spot you will probably only get 4 ABS. If you are under 85 mph skip the pitching for now. Also, make sure the intangibles are there: body language, hustle, being a good teammate, etc.
Hmmm lets see here. How often do you see the interns at "scouted events" goofing off and not getting good data and/or video. Example: they read only 5 pitches in the first inning, then kick back and discuss what party they went to last night. When organizations have so many "Scouts" at each field it is really hard to control quality, The majority of parents/coaches see this for what it is. Like individual player rankings, it is more of a player/parent ego boost than anything. It really has no value in recruiting. At TBR our main focus is competitive baseball and getting players games in.
Don't Let Genetic Constraints Hold You back
We did a small study about height. Of course colleges like taller frames for pitching because of how they project at the next level. However we did a small sample of 5 Big Ten Colleges(See Graphic Below). We cross-referenced rosters in the SEC/ACC/MAC and the results seem to be very similar across the board.
67 % of all pitchers were over 6'2
33% of all pitchers were 6'1 or under
24% of all position players were over 6'2
71% of all position players were 6'1 or under
48% of all position players were 5'11 or under
37% of all position players were 5'10 or under
We were surprised at these numbers. Even the number of kids 5'10 or under was much higher than anticipated for D1. From this an athlete should not be dissuaded from pursuing their dream. Coaches want athletes.
As mentioned earlier, an athlete should treat the recruitment process like a job search. Coaches want kids that perform, have good attitudes, grades, etc. Playing in high level tournaments gets them ready for the next level and could get them seen. If you enjoy this content, please like the Travel Baseball Rankings Facebook page and/or try out one of our excellent tournaments! Please feel free to share comments below about your experiences to help others. Good luck in your recruitment process.
***In the above graphic commits have been cross-referenced from TBR's Database of players/teams from TBR Tournaments with PBR's/PG's individual profiles to see where they committed. There were also several D2/D3/JUCO/NAIA recruits. For privacy purposes, we do not disclose player names...