Baseball Recruiting Comes at a Cost


Unlike football and basketball, high school baseball players rarely get the attention or publicity in the national headlines that other blue-chip athletes may receive. That in which is mainly derived from two variables that each high school baseball player and even collegiate coaches are faced with year in and year out. Baseball, in contrary to the 85 full scholarships given to FBS football programs, is only allowed to have 11.7 scholarship players per every 35 man roster. Not to mention most are on partial scholarships ranging from 20-30% due to the lack of money being brought forth by NCAA baseball revenue and in some cases even the Title IX ruling.

Another variable in collegiate baseball is the option for prospects to forego college and enter the annual MLB Amateur Draft. Over the past 3 years, Florida State has had a total of 11 players vacate their National Letters of Intent to enter that year’s draft. National prospects such as DL Hall, Daz Cameron, and Joshua Lowe were all top 50 players in their classes that never saw the field at FSU. And that’s only the blue chips who received the majority of the scholarship money that most players on active rosters were never presented; if they were presented any at all.
The dilemma hovering over college baseball lingers over more than just the head coaches of these universities. Players are now faced with signing professional contracts with signing bonuses as little as $50,000 or an NLI that in most cases lead them to thousands of dollars in debt over the course of 3-4 years depending on if they stay injury-free while improving their draft stock.

Therefore, in the long run, the college baseball recruiting scene is left with a depleted amount of scholarship money available for prospects that aren’t as high on some programs big boards as others. For example, FSU’s 2018 pledge Nander De Sedas is the #3 player in the nation according to Perfect Game USA 2018 player rankings. With that being said; the 90-100% scholarship was offered to a kid that will more than likely never step foot in Dick Howser Stadium. Besides, it is very rare that someone like Mark Appeal comes along that turns down top 10 money to play 3 years of collegiate baseball.

Some say when recruiting in collegiate baseball, coaches have to think like a GM would for a big league ball club. Offering a big-time talent a full ride is a high-risk move that some are willing to take; while others are firmly opposed to the proposition. Coaches and recruiters now have to take a salesman’s like approach when recruiting. Aside from Top 50-100 type players, coaches aim for in-state kids that have good value who can accept smaller scholarship offers. In NCAA baseball it’s about who sells the biggest check instead of selling the school at which they coach at.
Among all the television contracts, sponsors, and even tournament bids for most schools college baseball programs falls at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to yearly revenue. ACC and SEC powerhouses such as Virginia and even Vanderbilt struggle to break even when looking its yearly revenue and expenses. Sadly as far as money wise college baseball is a losing sport and recruiting budgets aren’t any more promising.

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