A common myth about Junior College baseball is that it serves as a last resort to play college baseball. Poorly maintained fields, uncommitted coaches, and half the team being suspended are some of the common thoughts that come to mind when you think of Juco baseball.
The truth is that Juco Baseball is serious baseball. Many Junior College programs can compete with NCAA D1, D2, and D3 baseball programs. For many players, junior college is simply one of many steps towards a baseball career that is far from over.
1. You Will Save Loads Of Money
Division 1 baseball programs have to split 11.7 scholarships between about 30-35 players. With 24 scholarships and fewer players, many Juco players get to play on full scholarship at an already affordable school.
Your first two years at a four year school will be spent taking general education classes unless you plan on going into (Pre-med, Pre-law, or Engineering, etc.). A year of public education costs on average $9,410 and $32,405 for a private education. Why spend the extra money when you can take the same courses at a junior college and skip the debt?
2. Get Drafted Up to Two Years Sooner
Compared to Basketball and Football. Baseball is the only sport where players can be drafted right out of high school. Unfortunately, athletes who play at four year institutions won’t be eligible for the MLB draft until after their junior year.
Juco programs are always flush with fresh draft talent and are highly scouted because there are no such draft eligibility restrictions. If you were drafted out of high school, but not high enough to sign, the junior college route allows the flexibility of being re-drafted after both the freshman and sophomore seasons. Still not convinced? 326 junior college and community college players are drafted every year on average. Bryce Harper was selected 1st overall in the 2010 MLB draft after playing at the College Of Southern Nevada.
3. Playing Time
Committing to play D1 baseball and sitting the bench for two years won’t do you any good in terms of improving as a ballplayer. The reason you decide to play college baseball is to do just that, PLAY! At the Junior College Level you won’t have to worry about rotting behind a stud for three years. Consistent playing time is paramount in a players development as practice reps will only go so far.
4. You Can Still Play D1 Baseball
What if you want to play for a powerhouse D1 program like Texas, Clemson, or Vanderbilt but missed your shot out of high school? Proving yourself at a junior college may earn you an opportunity at the college or university you dreamed about playing at. Tracking back to reason #3, a lot can happen during two years. More playing time = more opportunities to improve and impress those D1 coaches that may have turned you down in HS.
5. A Second Chance Academically
Juco baseball might be an excellent place for a player to start if he needs to work on his grades. If a player is ineligible to play Division I, II, III or NAIA or simply couldn’t get into his school of choice. Junior College serves as a stepping stone for players to improve their grades and transfer to a four year institution.
In Conclusion, Juco Baseball Might Be The Way To Go!
There are far more than five reasons to consider playing Juco Baseball. From proximity to home, another chance athletically, and more practice time. The list truly does go on and on.
At the end of the day, parents and players must understand this fact. After transferring from a junior college and graduating from a four year college, your diploma will says “Michigan”, “Texas”, or “Mercer”. You will receive the same degree as your peers except you”ll save thousands of dollars. Juco baseball shouldn’t be every players first choice, however, whatever your circumstances may be, Junior College opens doors for thousands of athletes and students every year.
2016 World Series Athletes Who Played Juco Baseball