Friday, May 21, 2010

"Junior college?? Ok, so how good are you??"

You'd be amazed how often people ask me this...  Actually, you'd be amazed at how many other stupid questions they ask too....  For example, a common question is:  "Are you guys, like, JV or something?"

Like, no, we're not...  JV teams are JV teams(AKA "fundraisers" in most cases, sadly), we're the real deal, or as Jake Taylor from Major League would say, "We've got uniforms and everything."

So then, how good are we and who wants to come to a JUCO to play baseball?

Well, we're pretty darn good.  Most of the players that come through Chatt Valley and other similar JUCO programs are guys who just as easily could have gone to a 4 year school but opted not to for one of several reasons:
  1. They are a draft-pick caliber player and don't want to wait until their junior year to go pro
  2. They feel like they have a better shot at starting as a freshman at a two year school
  3. Their grades or test scores didn't qualify them out of high school and they need to strengthen their academics
Of course, there are some guys who end up in JUCO because they weren't quite ready to play at the 4 year level, and there are even some programs that are comprised entirely of these players, but if we're talking competetive JUCO programs, one of the three reasons above is most likely.

In terms of talent, the difference is much smaller than people think.  Ok, so maybe the down the line fellas aren't quite as sporty as the back-ups at a good 4 year school, but the front line guys?  Who do you think fills the rosters at 4year schools?  You guessed it, JUCO players.  Almost every single 4 year school in the country have several JUCO transfers in their starting lineup, so the proof is in the pudding.

The real difference comes down to one thing, EXPERIENCE.  You cannot teach it, you can't earn it in practice, and you don't get it by watching.  Unless we're talking about the top 30 or 40 D I programs, the biggest difference from between our level and theirs is experience.  Our "seniors", i.e. guys that played for us and have moved on, win All-Conference awards year in and year out at their new institutions...  I can only imagine what it would be like to get to keep them together at our place for 4 full years...

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