This is a big question for almost every prospective college player. As college baseball approaches, it is important that you find ways to evaluate your skills in order to find out where you are most likely to play (D1,D2, D3, NAIA, or JC). The most important thing to know is that if you want to keep playing baseball in college, there is a place for you. Here are a few tips that may help you get a realistic evaluation.
1). Find someone you trust who will give you an honest and objective opinion of where you stand. This may include your coach, opposing coaches, a local scout, or someone you know who has played college baseball.
2). Don’t be discouraged if these trusted people tell you something you don’t want to hear. You can use what they tell you as motivation. They can also tell you where to focus your efforts to get better. It is important to look at yourself in the mirror and ask, “Am I standing out against the guys on my team and other teams in my league?” The D1, 2, 3 route isn’t right for everybody. As a 15- to 19-year-old, you are still growing and things can change quickly. Playing at a junior college has helped a lot of players get better. An average of 326 junior college players are taken in the MLB draft each year.
3). Compare yourself to past players from your area who have moved onto the college ranks. Check their high school statistics, and ask coaches about how those players moved onto college baseball.
4). Do not trust anyone who tells you that they can guarantee that you will play or be offered a scholarship at a particular school or that you will be drafted for pro ball. It is important you get an evaluation from someone who has watched you play for an extended period of time.
5.) If you are realistic and you keep an open mind, you can keep playing baseball in college. Instead of asking yourself if you are good enough, you might ask yourself if you are willing to put in the work it takes to make it happen.
“I had a little different route than most people. I was always a really strong academic guy, and for me, it wasn’t whether I could or if I was good enough, it was how bad I wanted it. That’s why I went the junior college route, where I could continue my academic success and work toward building my skills and trying to get there. For me, because of my size, I knew it was a high goal, but I knew I wanted it really bad. So it had to be more of a self-motivating thing.“ Justin Andrade, Infielder, Hartnell Junior College (2008-2009), UC Davis (2010-2011)