When people think of Junior College Baseball, for some odd reason they generally view it as either a final destination, or a place where talentless players migrate towards when they can not reach a higher level. Well, I’d like to tell these naysayers that their mindset could not be further from the truth. When you look at all of the JuCo numbers across the country, compared to the 4-year universities, the opportunity to get school somewhat paid for is much more substantial.
All these numbers I have provided in this piece are rounded. At the Division 1 level, there is 300 School that can offer up to 11.7 scholarships, Division 2 has 275 schools that can offer up to 9.0 scholarships, Division 3 has 390 schools that have no athletic scholarships, and then there is the NAIA which has 185 schools that can offer 12.0 scholarships. Which roughly breaks down to 1150 Schools with about 8,195 Scholarships.
If you were to look at the JuCo level in this same realm, there are roughly 500 schools that at most can offer up to 24.0 scholarships per team but not all have that amount. This ultimately would break down to about 12,000 guys getting some part of their education paid for, not to mention playing time, exposure to the next level, development, etc.
But, these statistics are not intended to suppress attending a 4-year University at all, rather the goal is to showcase where guys that go the JuCo route end up after their time is done at this level.
To start here is the break down of roughly 500 different commits across all levels of Junior College Ball this season, and where they are heading next year:
The statistics show just under 75% of these guys are committing to play at a Division 1 school next year. This supports the idea that you can still get to the highest level of college baseball even if you go the JuCo route. Regardless if they are a bounce-back guy, or a guy that went straight out of high school, you can still end up back at the Division 1 level one way or the other.
If you then take that chunk of Division 1 commits and see what levels they come from at the Junior College level:
You are still able to see that yes, you can still get to that level regardless of what JuCo division you are coming from.
If you look at the other divisions of baseball, it is quite simple to see that regardless of where you are at at the JuCo level you will have a chance to move on and continue to play. Here is a full overview of the success rate for each JuCo level when moving up to play at another level:
NJCAA Div 1:
NJCAA Div 2:
NJCAA Div 3/Other JC Levels:
The statistics are really striking in terms of proving the idea that if you are a JuCo player that wants to move on and play at another level, you have a really great chance of being recruited. Regardless of where you go, the numbers showcase that there will be exposure at every JC level. So, when people say that the Juco Route is a viable option, make sure that you really listen. Coaches all across the country like what they see/get from Junior College players because they have matured, have playing experience, and already have the inside track at knowing the life of a student-athlete.