Signing day has come and gone and you are still unsigned and uncommitted to play college baseball. With all the congratulatory messages and excited tweets going around social media, you may feel a little frustrated or left out. While you may be disappointed, we are here to tell you that you have no reason to be discouraged. There is still plenty of time to find a place to play and with changes to the signing period, you no longer have to wait until the spring if you do find your fit between now and then. Opportunities are still plentiful at every level of college baseball. In fact, just about every school in the country is not only still looking for players to sign, but still have the bulk of their recruiting left to do. With that in mind, here are 5 reasons for you to stay positive and keep working hard towards your college baseball dreams.
- 9 months. That’s how long you have to find a place to play. That’s a long time. There is a reason why this time of year used to be 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 later in your senior year.
- As the signing period approaches, many colleges get antsy and push players to make quick decisions so they can make the commitments official. You have 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. With the new rules, you can now sign at any point from now until August 1st. No need to rush.
- It is so early in the school year 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 very late in the year. This opens up roster spots and scholarship money late in the year for recruits who have not signed yet.
- Most D2 and 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 financially) 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 NCAA Divisions 1, 2, and 3. Junior college ball also may offer the playing time you need to improve your skills in game situations. If you do well at the junior college level, you have a great chance of advancing to a 4-year school. If the end of the year comes and you still have not signed, consider giving junior college baseball a serious look.
The main message here is that now isn’t time to throw a pity party or wallow in disappointment. Many good players sign later in the recruiting cycle and there are many, many opportunities still out there for you to seize. You have several months to make significant gains in the weight room this off-season and put yourself in a position to have a big senior year. It’s time to get back to work! We’re here to help you each step of the way.