What are Colleges Looking for in a High School Player
As a former collegiate coach, one question I hear the most from my players and parents is: What are colleges looking for in a high school player?
Every baseball player is judged by five tools that are outlined below, and will also be judged by their GPA. See below for some insight into what we are looking for in a high school player.
(Tools listed in order of importance)
The Five Tools
Hitting for average has to deal with several different factors. Scouts will look to see if you're quiet and maintain balance through your swing. They will look to see if you keep your hands inside the ball, and if you can hit the ball to all fields. Scouts also want to see what level of competition your results are against. For example, if you are hitting .500 against players throwing 80-81 mph, how does that translate to facing 90-91 mph at the D1 College level?
Hitting for power has to deal with a couple of factors; physical strength and BAT SPEED.
To generate power as a hitter you have to generate bat speed. There are several drills that help players with generating more bat speed. Here is an weighted bat program from my time in pro baseball... Bat Speed Program
3. Foot Speed
If you go to a Baseball Showcase college recruiting camp, we will measure your speed with your time in the 60 yard dash. Anything under 7.0 seconds is good. Once you get to 6.6 seconds and under, colleges get excited! If you are over 7.0 seconds on your 60 yard dash time, ask your high school track coach for some tips. Best thing, it's FREE.
4. Arm Strength
Arm Strength is the most important skill for a pitcher, but it comes in at number four if you are a position player (depending on the position of course). If you are a left fielder, center fielder, 2nd baseman, or 1st baseman arm strength is not as important as the tools mentioned above. If you are lacking in arm strength, here is a good way to strengthen your arm. Long Toss Program
5. Defensive Abilities
When recruiters are scouting defensive abilities they look at foot work, lateral quickness, soft hands, and a quick release on the throw. This is the one skill college's feel that they can teach a player without any real issues.
*PROJECTABLE - This is not a part of the 5 tools, but is just as important in the eyes of some recruiters. What does is mean to be projectable? Tall and lean with room to develop physically is typically what recruiters look for in a player. If you are 17 yrs old throwing 86-88 mph, but are 6' 4" and weigh 175 lbs, to some recruiters this projects very well. If we can get this kid to a good 210lbs , it's likely he will gain 3-5 mph on his fastball. If that same player is 5'10" inches and more developed physically, the majority of recruiters will think that player has peaked. If you are vertically challenged, then you have to work that much harder than the next guy. When a recruiter sees you, you need to be playing at a higher level, so instead of projecting, they see that you are ready to play college ball now.