Do your research and try not to ask anything that you could find online with some effort. For example, by looking at box scores over the last couple years you can find if they made use of freshmen in their starting lineup. The team’s website should also list all their players who were drafted to the MLB over the last five years, or you could do a quick search of the MLB Draft website to find out. You should already know how successful the team has been over the last five years? Conference tournaments? Regionals? Beyond?
Do your homework and prepare. It will give you important context to the answers the coaches provide and you’ll find yourself using the information in follow-up questions which will further show how prepared you are.
And parents, let your son ask the questions. The order does not matter. Each question is as important as the other. He can ask these during a visit (unofficial or official) or on the phone (he can ask the coach if its okay to put him on speaker so you can listen). Your job is to listen. If your son misses a question and things are about to wrap up, then feel free to chime in but let your son lead and engage with them as much as possible. He is being recruited, not you. There needs to be a fit between them.
Top 15 Questions to Ask College Baseball Coaches
- Which positions do you see me playing for your program? Which skills do you value the most for those positions? How many players will you typically recruit for that position in each new class?
- I know its 3 questions but they go together. Be open-minded as to position. You may hear something you don’t expect. Get an understanding what the coach values at a certain position.
- What are the top two or three majors of the players? Are there any majors that would interfere with a player’s schedule?
- Some coaches will flat-out tell you that certain majors will be impossible.
- Will I have the opportunity to compete for playing time right away?
- The answer should be “of course!”
- Do you reduce scholarship based on performance? Have you in the past?
- You want to know where the coaching staff stands here. D3 doesn’t matter.
- How many players have transferred out of the program in the last 2-3 years? If any, what were some of the reasons?
- Pay close attention to the reasons.
- How many more years are on the current coach’s contract?
- A Google search could probably find this out, but you need to know. If you’re a HS sophomore, it would be good if the coach’s contract extends at least into your college freshman season. Better if it continues through your entire college stay. But coaches can also get fired mid-contract too.
- What is a typical daily schedule like for a baseball player during both the fall season as compared to the Spring season?
- There is a difference between fall and spring. Ask.
- What kind of academic support is offered to baseball players at your school? Tutors? Academic advisors? Study hall?
- This will show you how serious they are about academics.
- What is the Team grade-point-average?
- This will really show you how serious they are about academics!
- Where do baseball players normally live? Are teammates roommates?
- Get to know the recruiting class. One of them might be your roommate.
- If I get injured and can’t play, will you honor my scholarship? What happens to my scholarship or admission if I get injured before I come to your school?
- Very important to understand. It happens.
- What is the strength and conditioning program? How does the program change during fall, spring, and summer? Tenured coach? Unique position specific programs? Nutrition?
- Find out what their plan might be for you specifically. Some teams even have a specific three-year plan to get you draft-ready. Watch a lift if you can.
- Which summer leagues have your players participated over the last couple years?
- Find out if coaches send both pitchers and position players to play summer ball. Some coaches want their players to get 500+ ABs a year and the only way they can do that is to play summer ball. Cape Cod League would give top exposure to the draft. Research the leagues and COST. Back to your pocket again.
- Admission requirements for the players? GPA? ACT/SAT?
- Some schools have higher requirements than the NCAA clearinghouse minimums. Find out what you need to get in.
- What type of academic scholarships have your players received recently? On average, what percent of their overall cost of attendance did the scholarship cover?
- This will give you some idea if academic money might be an option. This also helps when evaluating an offer.
I would suggest your son print out these questions and write the coach’s answers underneath. You should help him with this because he might have heard something different than you and vice versa. It will be good to compare notes. Plus if he doesn’t write down the answers, you’ll both forget some of the answers or possibly get them mixed up with other coaches’ answers especially if your son is making multiple visits! Make a file for the school and drop it in for future reference.
In a later post, I’ll go over the most common and not-so-common questions that the coaches might ask your player. Of course, your son’s play is the most important part of the recruiting process but your son’s answers to their questions will become important if they are deciding between two players with very similar skillsets.