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  • Writer's pictureWayne Mazzoni

Evaluating College Baseball Programs

When you are in the market of shopping for a college baseball program, you should have an idea of what you are looking for, otherwise, it’s hard to know what your being sold.  Think of going in to buying a new car, but not having any idea about the car maker, model, or the competition.  Same with the world of college baseball recruiting.  Of course, it is the coaches job to explain to you how the program is run and what your experience as a student-athlete will be like at the school, however, here is an overview of what you should find out.


Academics

Your goal of going to college in the first place is to learn, get a degree, and get a job after graduation.  While you might hope you get drafted and play baseball for a living, we all know that education should be your main focus.  So your overall question regarding academics should be – “what system is in place to keep me in good academic standing and on pace to graduate in four years?”    Thus items like study halls, progress reports, class selection, missed class policies, academic tutoring and advising should all be answered as you are evaluating the program.  In addition, what departments/programs are in place to help you get career support and land a job after you graduate. 


Coaching Staff

You will spend a lot of time with your coaches during your college career.  From lifting, practice, travel, games, you should know your coaches BEFORE you get to the school.  What are their strengths and weaknesses, how long have they been or plan on being at the school, what is their track record on the field, in the classroom?  What do the current players think of the coaches?  How about parents?  Alums?  Take time to do your research so you know the type of staff you will be playing for.


Recruiting/Role

         It is important to know from a coach who is recruiting you, what they like about you, where they saw you, and most importantly, what your future role is on the team. Will you play right away or have to earn your spot down the road?  Who on the team now is your competition? Who else is being recruited that might be your competition?  Is your position going to change? Will you be red-shirted?  Coaches don’t have a crystal ball, but it certainly is important to know what they expect your role will be should you go to that school.


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         There are also so many things you should be getting answers to that will help you decide what the best program is for you.

·       Facilities:  Field, cages, weight room, locker room.

·       Training:  Trainers, team doctors, insurance policies, strength coaches.

·       Finances:  baseball scholarships, academic scholarships, grants, loans.

·       Equipment:  What’s provided for you?  Is there an equipment manager who handles, wash, etc?

·       Fundraising:  What’s to be expected of you in terms of raffles or other ways to raise money for trips, equipment, etc?

·       Travel: What types of trips does the team take?  How do they travel?

·       Summer: Does the coaching staff place players for summer ball?


Believe it or not, the list can go on and on.  It’s important that even though you are the one trying to get recruited, it is your job to find out what life is like at each college for a baseball player.  If you are too shy to ask or don’t bother to do your research, you may show up in the fall of your freshman year, only to find things totally different than what you had expected.

Waye Mazzoni was a college coach from 1992-2022 and now helps high school baseball players reach their dreams of playing in college.



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