What Do College Coaches Look For in Baseball Players?

Ever wonder what do college coaches look for in baseball players?

Here are five things Coach Corbin (Vanderbilt University) looks for in a ballplayer.


“I like a kid with personality. I like kids with a sense of humor. 

Sonny Gray had it. 

David Price had it. 

But there’s a fine line between acting like a clown and simply having good comedic timing, which conveys a sense of being at ease with who one is as a person and as a player. 

“There are kids who can do that, and it’s natural... 

...when it’s manufactured, it doesn’t come off the right way.”


"If you want to be coached at this level, you have to understand the difference between a personal attack versus constructive criticism.

This might be the first time players need to have that teachable spirit—the first time they get criticized.”


“I watch how he engages with other players both verbally and physically...

it’s imperative that they get along with their teammates. Baseball is a team sport. You have to like other people to play it. If not, go play golf. Or go fish.”


“It points to a care level and an awareness level that doesn’t exist in every kid,” he says. 

“It’s a good thing and often an indicator of the type of kid he is.”


“It carries over to other areas. 

Taking care to follow up with tutors, following up with your coaches—that to me is a huge predictor of success, both on the field and in life. 

You have to be organized.”


Sometimes, as players, when we think about "What Do College Coaches Look For in Baseball Players?" we tend to focus on the skill-sets and abilities that allow us to stand out on the field so much that we underestimate the value of having great "intangibles".

The wonderful things about the list above are that it requires ZERO talent to develop.

We can all learn how to take ourselves less seriously and to have fun.

We don't need to be the next Mike Trout to have a clean locker.

Being a good teammate doesn't require that you lead the team in batting average first.

Having thick skin gets easier when you establish a growth mindset instead of taking things personally or letting adversity on the field defeat you.

When you use baseball as a tool to build character, there is a direct carry-over into your overall performance on the field as well as the good-will established between you and your coach.

As far as I can tell, it's that simple.

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