Hey - it's me, Jack! The creator of Baller Builder.
Baller Builder is the result of my own story.
I've been through the recruiting process twice.
I've been to hundreds of tournaments.
I've been awarded multiple scholarships.
I've had a scholarship taken away.
I've played in the Pac-12 and the SEC.
I went to Junior College (and did the whole transferring/bounce-back thing)
...and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Here's my point...
You're not on the site of some SUPER-DAD-COACH-OF-THE-YEAR who thinks he's God's gift to travel ball.
You're on the site of someone who has been in your shoes, who's experienced the pain, heartache, and confusion of the recruiting process, who's had highs and lows...
...and who came out the other side.
I've had a number of people ask to hear my recruiting story.
Each time, they want "all the details."
Well, here you go. It's detailed and CRAZY.
I hope you find it comforting and motivating.
For those of you in high school or junior college dreaming to play college baseball or softball...
I'm going to tell you a story.
This was me in high school.
A senior with very few scholarship or walk on opportunities.
Ouch, this transfer is taking place way too far back!
I ended up committing to the United States Military Academy at West Point.
I was SO excited!
But, when I arrived at West Point for my first day of training,
I was medically disqualified.
Because I had committed to West Point before I sent in applications elsewhere, I didn't have any school to attend or play for when West Point fell through.
I had 1.5 months to find a school before
classes started in the fall.
The night of my disqualification, we called every high school and travel ball coach I knew.
In a bizarre turn of events...Oregon offered me a scholarship.
4 days after the West Point fiasco, we visited the University of Oregon.
This is a photo of my dad (right) talking to the Director of Baseball Operations (left) on that visit.
I committed the next day.
I started my very first college game.
That's me catching at the University of Hawaii.
The following summer, Oregon pulled my scholarship.
And by the end of my sophomore fall, I was 4th on the depth chart.
I wanted more out of my career...
So I took the risk and transferred to a junior college (Orange Coast College) to play for the legend, John Altobelli.
I played with some AWESOME dudes, and we won the Junior College State Championship.
After learning from our mistakes in the high school recruiting process, we devised a bulletproof strategy to ensure recruiting success in junior college.
The strategy worked like gangbusters, and I had more options than knew what to do with.
This is the strategy we share in our programs at Baller Builder.
When all was said and done, I committed to Mississippi State.
MSU was INCREDIBLE for a lot of reasons, but it was especially amazing because...
We won an SEC championship!
And in case you were wondering...
Yes...playing in the SEC is as fun as everyone says it is!
In 2016, I was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels.
This is a photo from my first season of professional baseball in an Advanced Rookie league.
We won a championship that year, too!
I've been incredibly blessed to be on some amazing teams and play alongside a few really good players.
And this is a more accurate picture of what I look like today.
Though, I'm usually smiling.
But I want you to notice something...
This is what my college recruiting process looked like.
It wasn't conventional.
It wasn't easy.
But it got me to where I am today.
For those of you in the recruiting process, remember this...
I was the kid who played JV baseball as a freshman.
I was the kid who hit .172 on varsity my sophomore year.
I was the kid who struggled to get division one baseball offers in high school.
I was the kid who hit .208 with 1 homerun at the University of Oregon my freshman year.
I was the kid who was 4th on the depth chart at catcher at the U of O my sophomore year.
I was the kid who lost his scholarship.
I was the kid who played junior college baseball.
There will always be ups and downs in your journey.
Some people will tell you that you're not good enough to play in college.
Some will tell you that you're not good enough to play Division 1.
Some will tell you that you're not good enough to play professionally.
I heard all three of these comments numerous times.
The truth is... WHO CARES?!
Put in the work, give it everything you have, and see what happens.
It may work out - it may not.
Some of my greatest triumphs came right after my toughest failures.
Keep grinding - you never know what opportunities are right around the corner.