In this article, Juco baseball Head Coach Ryan Beckman shares everything you need to know about junior college baseball.
Most baseball players view junior college (juco) baseball as a last resort option.
They focus on playing Division-1 baseball at a large college instead of actually playing baseball.
So today, Coach Ryan Beckman and I take a different approach.
Rather than focus on the baseball recruiting advice you want to hear, we will give you the advice you need to hear.
Table of Contents
- Juco Baseball Advice from Head Coach
- Juco Baseball Recruiting
- Preparing for Juco Baseball
- Stigma of Juco College Baseball
- Keys to College Baseball Success
- College Divisions Explained
- Frequently Asked Questions
Juco Baseball Advice from Head Coach
In this interview, Head Baseball Coach Ryan Beckman from St. Petersburg College provides everything you need to know about juco baseball.
Similar to my interview with Juco Softball Coach Andy Lee, Coach Beckman and I talk about juco recruiting, player development, stigma surrounding junior college baseball, player attitude, academics, and much more.
If you want to know if juco is right for you or simply want to learn more about college baseball, this video will provide you with a ton of value.
Although Coach Beckman’s candid advice may not be what players necessarily want to hear, it is certainly what they need to hear.
Juco Baseball Recruiting
The reason why recruiting seems like a mystery is there is no right way or best way to recruit baseball players.
I tend to find players via camps, referral, high school, office visits, and many more places.
Each player waits for the D1 program, so NJCAA baseball programs need to target the right player at the right time.
Ultimately, I target players between their junior summer and senior summer.
Juco baseball recruiting rules are more flexible compared to NCAA schools.
For example, NJCAA (junior colleges) were able to recruit during the pandemic.
However, NCAA Division 1 schools were not allowed to start recruiting until late April/May of 2021.
Video for College Baseball Recruiting
In this post 2020 era, players should take the bull by the horns and send video to college coaches.
First, coaches look for specific things in a video.
For example, I notice the body, athleticism, and physicality of the player.
Additionally, players should keep the video short as Coaches rarely watch the entire video.
Lastly, players should include their contact information within the video.
Preparing for Juco Baseball
Ultimately, Baseball players preparing for junior college baseball should focus on getting better each and every day.
Most young players only want to hit and lift, but these 2 things alone are not enough.
Take Care of the Little Things
Essentially, the little things done consistently over a period of time make all the difference.
First, get in the weight room to improve speed, strength and mobility.
If players don’t have access to a weight room, push ups, burpees, box jumps, sprints, and jump rope work well.
Obviously, There are plenty of exercises players can do without a dedicated strength and training facility.
Equally important, players should adopt a healthy diet with lots of protein and hydration.
Finally, players need to get an adequate amount of rest.
ATP (Annual Training Plan)
Ideally, all players should create an Annual Training Plan (ATP).
An ATP schedules the important aspects of baseball players’ training program for both in season and out of season.
The ATP helps you focus on all aspects of your game the right way at the right time.
Most importantly, it lays everything out so the player simply executes the plan.
Stigma of Juco College Baseball
Despite the reputation of Florida juco baseball, a negative stigma surrounds the programs such as:
- Players must not be good.
- All Players are NCAA D1 or D2 rejects.
The people who believe these negative stigmas are simply misinformed.
For example, a pitcher out of high school has great stuff and his FB sits in the low 90s.
He gets drafted in the later rounds b/c his FB needs to increase by 2 to 3 mph.
If it does, he will be picked in the 5th round of the MLB draft at worse.
So, why would this player go to a D1 or D2 school and get locked in for 3 years?
Juco baseball gives him one year to increase his FB velocity.
Is Juco College Baseball Right for You?
Obviously, not all players are ready for D1 baseball after high school.
Some need 2 years of Juco baseball and need 2 years of Juco to develop.
Also, some young players are interested in the swag and attention that come with a D1 baseball program. So, these players should attend a D1 program if possible.
Baseball Player Development
Keep in mind, baseball players mature and develop at different times.
So, 2 years of Juco baseball helps players develop both mentally and physically.
Do you remember the 11 year old kid who dominated travel ball and quit baseball before high school?
This is an example of a player who matured before other kids.
Once the other kids caught up with him, he was average to below average.
Moreover, most college baseball head coaches agree that juco baseball players are better equipped to play D1 college baseball.
Baseball is Baseball
Ultimately, players should choose a college where they will get playing time right away.
If you want to play professional baseball, it makes no sense to choose a Division-1 baseball program and sit the bench for 3 years.
Pitchers won’t progress without getting innings.
Hitters won’t progress without At Bats (ABs).
Keys to College Baseball Success
Coach Ryan Beckman breaks down the factors which determine a player’s ability to succeed in college baseball.
Basically, the 3 main aspects of a college baseball player’s life consist of:
However, players can only succeed in 2 of 3 simultaneously.
- If a player works hard at baseball and have a great social life, the academics will suffer.
- Those who focus on a great social life and academics, the baseball will suffer.
College Divisions Explained
The college athletic hierarchy is sanctioned by different college divisions: NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA.
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
First, the NCAA is the most well known organization and is home to the largest universities and colleges in the United States. The NCAA contain 3 Divisions (Largest to Smallest): Division I, Division II, Division III.
NCAA Division I
NCAA Division I (D1) schools are required to meet at least one of the following requirements:
- 7 Men’s Sports and 7 Women’s Sports
- 6 Men’s Sports and 8 Women’s Sports
Additionally, the NCAA I contain 25 sports, 59 conferences, and 420 universities.
NCAA Division II (D2) require one of the following conditions:
- 5 Men’s Sports and 5 Women’s Sports
- 4 Men’s Sports and 6 Women’s Sports
In addition, Division II contain 25 sports, 42 conferences, and 321 universities.
NCAA Division III (D3) have the most member schools of the 3 divisions.
Furthermore, roughly 80% of the member schools are private.
Additionally, DIII schools are not allowed to award scholarships.
They contain 25 sports, 71 conferences, and 482 universities.
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
The NAIA schools are have 22 sports, 21 conferences, and 255 universities.
National Junior College Athletic Association
The NJCAA sanctions athletics for community colleges and junior colleges (juco).
Also, these schools are 2-year programs who offer Associate Degrees.
Within the NJCAA, there are 3 different divisions:
- NJCAA Division I
- May Offer Full Scholarships
- 17 sports, 25 conferences, 400 universities
- Division II
- May Offer Full Scholarships excluding room and board
- 10 sports, 21 conferences, 205 universities
- Division III
- May Not Offer any athletically-related financial aid.
- 14 sports, 17 conferences, 164 universities
Frequently Asked Questions
JUCO baseball is short for Junior College baseball and they are sanctioned under the NJCAA. Playing NJCAA baseball gives players 2 years to get more reps, develop, and improve athletically and academically before transferring to a four-year baseball program..
Juco baseball programs have a total of 24 baseball scholarships.
Juco baseball players can transfer to a D1 school if the athlete attended the junior college for one semester and maintained a 2.0 GPA.
You are allowed to play 2 years of juco baseball. If the athlete is redshirted, they are allowed to play 3 years of junior college baseball.
Hemo’s Recommended Gear
Players, coaches, and parents ask for my advice regarding softball and baseball equipment.
As a result, I compiled a list of the baseball, softball, and coach’s equipment I recommend below.
- Hitting Courses
- Catching Gear
- Training Gear & Coach’s Gear
- Tiger Stick
- Heavy Bag
- Practice Net
- Tanner Tee
- Atec Tee
- Total Control Baseballs
- Pitching Mound
- Pocket Radar Gun
- L Screen
- Baseball Cart
In conclusion, I hope this article answered all your questions about juco baseball and whether or not it’s the right fit for you.
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