The early signing period has come and gone and you are still unsigned and uncommitted to play college baseball next year. With all the congratulatory messages and excited tweets going around social media, you may feel a little discouraged, frustrated, or left out. While you may be disappointed, we are here to tell you that there is still plenty of time to find a place to play. In fact, just about every school in the country is not only still looking for players to sign, many still have the bulk of their recruiting left to do. With that in mind, we have 6 reasons for you to stay positive and keep working hard.
- There is a reason why this is called the EARLY signing period. Yes, many of the top Division I schools have filled most spots in their recruiting classes at this point, but those schools represent a very small percentage of the opportunities to play college baseball. Once the season gets underway, even the schools that appear to be done recruiting your class will be looking for players. It happens every year. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with signing during the regular signing period.
- As the early signing period approaches, many colleges get antsy and push players to make quick decisions so they can sign them before the early signing period. You now have a little bit more time to make a careful decision about where you want to play. This is a BIG life decision, so having a little extra time to do your homework and figure out where you really want to play is a good thing. Take advantage of it.
- It is so early in the college season that many teams don’t know what type of turnover they will have with their rosters. There are always players who quit, transfer, or get hurt throughout the year, not to mention players who end up deciding to go to a junior college. Players might even get drafted unexpectedly in June. This opens up roster spots and scholarship money late in the year for recruits who have not signed yet.
- Many D2 and most, if not all, D3 schools are still looking to fill roster spots. Even most mid-major D1 schools will be looking for late-sign guys and their recruiters will be following players during the spring high school season. Sometimes the best things come to those who wait!
- Junior college baseball should not be looked at as a last resort. It is a great stopping point for players who need to continue to develop, players who did not get the offers they wanted (or needed) from 4-year schools, and players who need to improve their grades. Junior college offers a lot more flexibility in terms of rules and practice time than does NCAA Divisions 1, 2, and 3. Some junior college programs may offer the playing time you need to improve your skills in game situations (make sure you do your homework, there are many skill levels in the junior college ranks). If you do well at the junior college level, you have a great chance of advancing to a 4-year school. As the end of the year approaches, consider giving junior college baseball a serious look.
- Have you considered gap year training? Let’s say you love baseball and can’t imagine not playing. Unfortunately, you haven’t quite matured or your skills won’t cut it at the college level quite yet. But what if you could devote an entire year to the weight room or a specific training program that addresses your skill deficiencies? This is becoming a more and more popular choice for some recruits who either don’t like their options or have no options. It’s also a choice that works better for those who are extremely motivated and have a specific plan. If your time runs out and you don’t like your choices, this is another option to consider.
So, set aside any disappointment and get back to work. Many good players sign later in the recruiting cycle. Make sure that you are doing everything you can to be ready to keep playing baseball.