If you are looking to extend your baseball career beyond high school and are not a candidate for a Division I program, you have plenty of options to land a Division II baseball scholarship. Though scholarships can be hard to earn in Division II programs, with 235 schools fielding teams, you have a wide selection to choose from, with many teams playing a solid brand of baseball.
Division II Baseball Scholarships
Each NCAA Division II College Baseball program can offer a maximum of nine full athletic scholarships. However, according High School Baseball Web, landing a full scholarship is rare. In many cases, schools do not have the funding to offer their full allotment so, while the limit is nine, usually a fewer number of scholarships are granted annually. However, many schools have enough funds to offer partial scholarships, mixed between academic and athletic scholarships for those who apply for both.
Division II Baseball
Division II baseball is composed of 235 schools in 26 conferences. According to Hardball Times, division II baseball is played on somewhat of an uneven playing field with schools in the South and West getting started in January while northern schools get their seasons under way in March due to lack of proper facilities to practice indoors during the cold, winter months. As a result, Division II baseball tends to be dominated by warm weather teams while northern teams have a disadvantage. Division II, though, can produce top-tier talent as evidenced by the 66 players reported as being drafted by Hardball Times in the 2009 major league draft so baseball talent exists in Division II at a high level.
When going through the recruiting process, you will need to gain a handle on the requirements you will need to meet to even enter into the discussion for a scholarship. You will need to make sure your SAT scores are solid enough for entry into the college of your choice as well as your grades. All schools have different SAT score and GPA averages for entry requirements. In addition to academics, baseball recruiters are looking for talented players. You will be measured by your arm strength and speed, running ability, hitting skills and fielding talent. Most college scouts are looking for players who have the majority of the five major “tools” – hitting for average, hitting for power, fielding, throwing and running.
Other Baseball Scholarships
If the school of your choice does not have the funds to offer you a scholarship or the room on their roster for another scholarship player, consider getting your education partially funded by private scholarships. Common scholarships include those offered by the American Legion and Dixie Youth baseball, both national organizations. Scholarship sums can reach as high $2,000 as is the case with Dixie Youth baseball awards granted in 2009.
John Zaphyr is a marketing and sales manager with the Oncology Nursing Society. He has written professionally since1999 and also has editing credits with Friedlander Publishing Group. His articles have appeared in the "Pittsburgh Tribune Review." John earned a master's degree in English education from the University of Pittsburgh.