The pull-through rate for a Showcase baseball team is the number of college commitments divided by the number of players on the roster. This is really where the rubber meets the road in terms of increasing your son’s chances of getting to the next level.
Using Perfectgame.org I did a quick survey of Florida 16u Showcase organizations and separated them into two categories: Bigs and Smalls. The Bigs fielded three or more teams in the 16u age group. The Smalls fielded no more than two teams in the 16u age group.
All Showcase organizations field a top “Prime” team of their best players in a particular age group. This is the team that they’re going “all-in” to win national championship tournaments which will in-turn bring fame, glory, more college coaches, scholarships, pro scouts, more talented future recruits, additional sponsors, more income, etc.
Of the four Bigs in Florida, their top “Prime” teams currently average 14 college commitments each, mostly all D1. They roster 23 players on average. So, 61% of their rosters are currently committed to play college ball. A 61% pull-through rate is very high.
However, looking at the teams fielded by the four Bigs that were underneath their “Prime” teams, it’s a different story. Their “second-teams” currently average almost 4 college commitments. Average roster size of these “second-teams” is 21 players, so 19% of their rosters are committed to play college ball. Still a very good pull-through rate. After those eight teams are accounted for, there are 11 remaining teams fielded by the Bigs with 193 players. Only 9 of the 193 are currently committed to play college ball. That’s about a 5% pull-through rate.
So with the four Bigs, your pull-through rates go from 61% on Prime, to 19% on the second-team, to 5% with all the others.
As for the Smalls, I surveyed 13 Florida organizations. Their top “Prime” teams had a total of 268 players (about 21 players per team) of which 29 are currently committed to play college ball. That’s an 11% pull-through rate. Looking a little closer, four of these Smalls accounted for 21 of the 29 commitments. Those same Smalls fielded 86 “Prime” players. So a 24% pull-through rate for the “Prime” teams from these four Smalls.
Maybe they have better college contacts than the other Smalls? Maybe their coaches work the phones harder? Maybe they are attracting some of the better players who decided that if they didn’t make the “Prime” team from one of the Bigs, then they would be better off with the “Prime” team in a smaller organization rather than with a “second-team” with a Bigs? 24% versus 19%. But be careful with the other nine Smalls. Their pull-through rate for their “Prime” teams was only 4%.
And the “second-team” pull-through rates for the Smalls? Four Smalls fielded “second-teams.” Of those teams, there were 74 players of which 4 are currently committed to play college ball. 5% pull-through rate. However, one of those teams accounted for 3 of the 4 commitments. Certainly an outlier. Remove that team and re-calculate the pull-through rate for “second-team” Smalls, you get…1.5%.
Now let’s be clear, your player can make it from anywhere. There’s an opportunity with any of these teams. The numbers prove it. But as a parent, you need to be informed where his best chances might be. Do your research and know what it will take to increase his chances.