As a baseball fanatic who grew up around nothing but baseball, I have always found it interesting as to why college baseball is not even close to being as mainstream as college football and college basketball.
One could make an argument that college football and college basketball are more popular than their professional counterparts, yet when it comes to recognition, college baseball can't hold MLB's jock. (Pun intended)
What is the reason for this? It's not as if great players don't come from the college ranks.
Well for one thing, it's our fault. That's right, the media pays little attention to college baseball. Unless you are watching the local news and see footage of a local team, how often do you see college baseball highlights on television. If the leading sports networks started to make college baseball a bigger part of their coverage, it would help the popularity of the game; however, I don't blame them for their lack of coverage, because their is currently not a big enough market for the college game.
Another reason for a lack of interest in the college game is the nature of baseball itself. Baseball is such a difficult sport that there is a huge gap between the skill level of college athletes and professionals. If you record a hit 30 percent of the time, you are considered a good player. If a point guard shot 30 percent from the field in basketball or a quarterback completed 30 percent of his passes in football, they wouldn't be playing very long.
This is the reason baseball has a farm system or better known as the minor leagues (Single-A, AA, AAA). Rarely do you ever see a college athlete on a major league roster after getting drafted. He starts in the minor leagues and has to work his way up, and while some make a quick climb, the majority never make it out of the farm system. In the NFL and NBA draft, the first round picks are not only most certainly going to make the team, but they are expected to be future Pro Bowlers and All-Stars. College baseball players disappear for a few years before resurfacing in the major leagues, while basketball players and football players maintain their popular status.
The influx of talented players from the Caribbean and South America may also be a problem for college baseball. MLB scouts start following these kids when they are 15 years old. They don't think about going to college and who can blame them.
I'm not sure if college baseball will ever gain as many die-hard fans as football and basketball, but I saw a flicker of hope when the MLB Draft was broadcast on televison for the first time in 2007.