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Mike Alberts | Director of Player Development

“Division 1 Aspirations”


Only 5% of high school baseball players actually play college baseball.  That 5% of players is spread out over D1-D2-D3, NAIA, and Junior College (2 year schools).  Not all D1’s are created equal.  There are 301 D1 baseball programs.  The D1 schools are ranked by RPI (Rating Percentage Index).  RPI ranks teams based on wins and losses and strength of schedule.  Is it perfect? No.  However, It is widely accepted as a neutral way to rank the D1 programs.  So what does all this mean?  It basically means If you are good enough to be recruited by a division 1 program odd are you won’t get recruited by all of them.  It’s much harder to earn on a spot on a team 1-20th in RPI vs 250-270th.  To make the matter even more complicated there are several D2 programs that are as good if not better than some of the lower D1 teams.

Ok, so you want to know if you are good enough to play D1 baseball?  The simple answer is you have to be realty good or you have to have the potential to be really good.  If you are a pitcher it’s going to help if you throw hard.  Like close to 90MPH hard.  From my experience most guys getting recruited by D1 programs as a pitcher throw hard.  You will hear things like “It doesn’t matter how hard you throw”.  It does.  At least if you want to pitch at the D1 level.  What about throwing strikes, having a good Curveball or Change up, competing on the mound, putting up good stats, or winning games?  I think of that matters, but the reality is most guy getting recruited to pitch at the D1 level throw hard.

For a position player it will most likely come down to how well you can hit.  Hitting is hard to do.  Evaluating hitters is equally hard to do.  Statistics can help your cause.  If you hit .450 in high school that can get coaches attention.  If you can hit for power (Homeruns) that can really get a coach’s attention.  The fairly new metric (last 5 years) of exit velocity seems to be a good measure for hitters.  Most of the D1 recruits are high 90MPH or even 100MPH exit velo.  If you are not a great hitter all hope is not lost at this point.  However, you are going to have to do something else very good.  You are going to have to be a super fast runner (6.50 60 yard dash) or a plus defender at a premium position like Centerfield, Shortstop, or Catcher.  Most of the D1 recruits are a combination of Hitting, Defense, Speed, Athleticism.  High school players are also eligible for the MLB draft and approximately 200 high school baseball players sign every year with MLB organizations.  This opens up more roster spots for high school players.

How can you tell if you are good enough to play D1 baseball?  You are allowed to contact college coaches directly.  Every D1 program has a baseball website with coach’s email address, team roster, and statistics.  Send an email to a college coach and see if he has any interest.  If you have a player profile you can email that to the coach.  Your player profile should be one stop shopping for the coach.  It should contain video of you hitting or pitching, baseball metrics (Fastball MPH or hitting exit velo), Academic profile, and current game schedule.  Once a coach has that information he can decide if you could be a fit for his program.  No high school player is the finished product.  You must constantly work to improve your ability.  You may not currently be a D1 prospect but that can change if you get better!

Have a great day on behalf of Firecracker Sports!

Mike Alberts

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