March 16, 2022
This is a guest post from Dean Stotz, former Associate Head Coach of Stanford Baseball (1976 to 2014). To help student-athletes get even more insight into the recruiting process and how coaches approach their task of finding the right recruits for their program, we’re going to feature thoughts from Coach Stotz over the coming months.
Click here to learn more about Stanford All-Star Baseball Camps – great recruiting camps run by Coach Stotz and the current Stanford Baseball coaching staff – which run immediately following the Headfirst Honor Roll West Sessions 1 & 2 in late June and early July: Stanford All-Star Baseball Camps
I have spent my entire adult life in and around college baseball. Over my 45 years of experience I have formulated many opinions about baseball, coaching, and recruiting. One of those opinions is that at the most basic breakdown, there are two kinds of high school baseball recruits: “tooled” recruits, and “technique / performance” recruits. To maximize your recruiting outcomes, it’s imperative that you as a high school student-athlete know which you are.
Let’s dive deeper.
The “Tooled” Recruit:
This person has something “DYNAMIC” about them. They may be physically imposing (for example: 6’4”, 225 lbs) when compared to other players. They may possess extraordinary speed and quickness (6.5-6.6 in the 60-yard dash). They might have excellent fastball velocity as a pitcher. As a hitter, maybe they demonstrate extraordinary power. I hope you catch the point I am trying to make. If you fall into these categories attending baseball “showcases” can be very productive for you. Most baseball showcases are well attended by college baseball coaches because they can see a lot of high school baseball players in a short period of time – and if you have an on-field tool that makes you stand out from other players, you’re likely to attract the attention of the coaches there. The downside of showcases is that they generally offer limited reps to players, meaning that coaches can sometimes overlook student-athletes who don’t have these standout tools.
The “Technique / Performance” Recruit:
This type of prospect is much harder to identify. Physically he doesn’t stand out. Just a normal high school player – 5’9”-6’1”, 155-185 lbs. He is an average to good runner. He barrels balls consistently, but isn’t putting balls in the bleachers during BP. His swing is simple, uncomplicated, and very efficient. A technique/performance pitcher throws a fastball in the 80s and has one or two other quality off-speed pitches that he has good command of and can throw in any count to get outs. He has a nice arm action, is effective on the mound – and he just seems to know how to win games.
If you fall into the technique / performance recruit category you have two major challenges:
If you are a technique / performance recruit and you opt to participate in baseball events outside of your summer baseball team commitments, you should choose an event where you can get SIGNIFICANT reps! Usually, the types of events that deliver sufficient opportunities to stand out and get your name highlighted will be over multiple days, and will involve drills, showcases, AND live gameplay.
Finally, worry about only what you can control. Don’t get caught up in “who is there to see me play?” or “Does he like me or not like me?” You cannot control a coach’s thoughts about you. What you can do is control your preparation and effort. If you prepare to the best of your abilities, and effort-wise you give it you all, you can look yourself in the mirror and be proud of yourself no matter what the result!
Good luck with your current season!