It’s October. That means post-season play for Major League Baseball and “fall ball” for college baseball and travel teams. It also means another informative and entertaining issue of Inside Pitch magazine.
One of the themes of this issue is near and dear to my heart…recruiting. I was intrigued to read the comments about recruiting from some of the top coaches in college baseball. It’s obvious that even though you must be a highly skilled player to compete at the next level, academics and intangibles such as character, attitude and respect for the game are extremely important, as well.
One year in the recruiting process, I had a partial scholarship reserved for an outfielder. After evaluating dozens of outfielders, I narrowed my search down to two players, both left handed hitters with similar skills. On their visits to campus, one of the recruits made my decision easy. While in my office talking about a particular game I had seen him play, his very quiet and very pleasant mother made a comment. This young outfielder proceeded to tell his mother that she didn’t know what she was talking about. His lack of respect for his mother helped me to offer the other outfielder the scholarship. In the end, integrity, competitiveness and respect will make a positive impact on a college coach.
Technology has changed the landscape of recruiting. Coaches can get to know prospects much better through video, emails, text messaging and social media. Speaking of social media, it can work for a prospect or it can work against him and expose a lack of maturity. Just this week, I have talked to both a college baseball coach and a college basketball coach who have all but eliminated certain recruits because of unsavory comments on Twitter.
Whether you are a coach, player, parent of a player or a fan, there’s something for you within the pages of Inside Pitch. If you are reading this magazine, you are probably interested in getting better as a coach or a player. If that’s the case, Coaches’ Corner with Jack Warren, the Informed Athlete and exciting new information about ABCA videos in the Last Inning is just for you. Also, you will hear from a plethora of outstanding coaches, two of the most respected orthopedic doctors in the world and our own former major league player and analyst, Chris Burke, breaking down the powerful stroke of Giancarlo Stanton. Hats off to senior editor, Adam Revelette on assembling information from some great baseball minds in the game.
So, if you can’t be at the park, open up Inside Pitch…it’s the closest thing to being in the game.