Perhaps, at one point when these services were just beginning, a salesman for one of these companies could promise your son’s exposure to college baseball coaches with a straight face. Now, they can promise you the moon, but there’s no guarantee that you’re even going to get a fake moon rock. Not with a mailed player profile, a faxed player profile, an e-mailed player profile or the latest: a text-message sent out indiscriminately to coaches as if your son were the author. And no, it doesn’t impress the coach when he calls your son back and your kid has no idea what message he’s talking about. Around here, they’re all trashed now as soon as they’re received – as are the mailed profiles, the faxed profiles and the e-mailed profiles.
Let me put it this way: If your son is Division I material, you don’t need a player profile service anymore than Lady Gaga needs a mimeographed concert service. You and every Division I baseball team staff will be fully aware of his status. These player profiles are really more for Division II and Division III schools so that they might notice your son and his incredible prowess that has somehow escaped LSU’s attention.
Except they don’t capture anyone’s attention, not even the baseball coaches and the coaching staff at these smaller schools. This is true for a couple of reasons. First of all, baseball staff with too little time and too much to do are literally blanketed with these papers. It takes too much time to contact these kids, particularly when a coach might get one response out of a hundred. Second, that’s a response, as in a return telephone call, not an actual interest in your baseball program, your campus, or even a general idea of where your state is located.
A coach’s recognition of these player profile limitations extends to the new text-message “letters” that clog up cell phones that hardly stop humming and ringing and buzzing anyway. Your son hardly appears to be an interested player making mature queries to schools of interest when he has no idea of a text letter sent to a coach in his name.
If you’re going to spend money on your son’s future, your best bet is to send him to one of the many popular and well-known camps with pro-style workouts and a day or two of college coach observations. One of the most commonly known of these camps are the nationally held TPX programs. There is also the very well-known and quarter-century old “Best in Virginia” (BIV) held at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. College coaches know these organizations, sign up to attend them, use them to observe players under both game and pro-style workout conditions, and collect your son’s information as part of the camp’s information package.
Lastly, have your son sit down soon and write a letter to the coaches at schools that he is especially interested in. A personal letter from your kid to a coach has a great deal more impact than a fuzzy player profile and the coach can at least assume some interest on the part of the player.