Gaining an edge in the recruiting process can go a long way toward landing the baseball scholarship you desire. Amazingly, an untapped advantage for recruits isn’t a particularly hard one at all: knowledge.
The more you know, the better informed you will be when making the big decision. Working on the soft glove and the quick bat speed is necessary. So, too, are promotional materials like a video that will get the attention of college coaches.
But knowing the nuances of recruiting can, to steal infielder-speak, keep a prospect on his toes instead of his heels. And in the end, it could help you make the best possible choice.
One important aspect is to know what kind of scholarships are out there for the taking in baseball. Here’s a breakdown of grants given out across the college ranks:
NCAA Division I
How Many Schools: There are 297 schools playing Division I baseball, including perennial powers like LSU, Miami (Fla.), Wichita State, Texas and Arizona State.
Scholarship Count: Baseball programs have only 11.7 scholarships to work with, meaning full rides are rare considering roster size. Scholarships can be split up and given to up to 30 players.
Scholarship Breakdown: Division I baseball recruiting is tricky. A lot of scholarship money is promised to players who end up turning it down in the 11th hour for a professional contract. Keep that in mind to gain an understanding of why a coach may call late.
NCAA Division II
How Many Schools: There are 242 Division II schools playing baseball. This includes traditionally strong teams like the University of Central Missouri and the University of Tampa.
Scholarship Count: NCAA allows nine scholarships per D-II baseball program, which can be awarded as a full ride or partially.
Scholarship Breakdown: The nine-grant limit makes partial scholarships widespread in Division II, considering roster sizes often double that.
NCAA Division III
How Many Schools: Division III baseball features 408 schools from coast-to-coast, including annual contender Marietta (Ohio) College.
Scholarship Count: There are no athletic scholarships awarded in Division III athletics.
Scholarship Breakdown: Though athletic grants are out of the question, many student-athletes receive financial aid or academic scholarships to help with costs.