So your first question is what would a homeschool mom know about college athletic recruiting? Simple, it’s like everything else in homeschooling–once our son decided that he wanted to play baseball in college we realized that we would have to figure out the process ourselves. A lot of what we learned can be applied to anyone trying to play college sports but the specifics here will be on baseball.
The next question is probably something like, “so what big scholarship did your son get?” The answer–none. And here’s the first point about playing specifically college baseball, if you’re spending all that money on teams, traveling, lessons to get a scholarship, it would probably be better spent on SAT prep. The reality is that Division I schools are allowed 11.7 baseball scholarships while Division 2 get 9. One website takes that information and announces that means 5,423 scholarships in the NCAA alone! But don’t sign up for their recruiting service just yet. Stop and think a little about the 11.7 number. How many players does an average college team carry? That’s not 11.7 scholarships per year but for the entire team. Some teams carry more than 11 pitchers alone. Coaches aren’t handing out full scholarships, they are giving 25%, 40%, or maybe if you’re really good, 50% scholarships. Unless you’re a left-handed pitcher with a 95 mph fastball, baseball isn’t going to provide your son with a full ride to college.
Make sure you visit the High School Baseball Web Probability page. It has a great table showing the different sports and the numbers of players at each level. It shows 25,700 NCAA baseball players for those 5,423 scholarships. Of course, the players includes Division III players who receive no scholarships. But the scholarships include Division II schools which do not fully fund all of their baseball scholarships which means they aren’t offering even 9 scholarships.
Some more food for thought about baseball funding your college education. The other numbers to look at are the percentage of players moving to the next level. It shows 5.6% of high school players play at the college level. The NCAA lists 6.4% high school seniors as playing at the NCAA level. Think about it this way, during a game only one player from the combined 9 starters for the two teams will be playing at the next level. Once you take into account extenuating factors such as that not all players will even try to go to the next level or the quality of the teams players, the actual number may increase to 3 or 4 for that specific game.