It is very easy to walk onto a campus and fall in love with everything that it has to offer. The nice campus, great baseball facilities, awesome gear that the players get every few months. Recruiting visits are designed to make you feel like it can be your home, and most coaching staffs do a phenomenal job showing you all of the good stuff. But if there is one thing that I have learned after going through the recruiting process three separate times:
Ask the hard questions.
There are things that happen behind the scenes of each program that are absolutely critical for you to know. And most of the time (unfortunately) you won't find out those details by strolling through campus and then hearing the financials being offered by the coaching staff. If you really want to know how a program operates and what they're about, you're going to have to ask the uncomfortable questions. The ones that can potentially catch a staff off-guard and force them to really think about their answers. Here is some questions that I made sure to ask on the visits that I went on later in my career:
What is your guys' philosophy offensively?
How many guys will you have next year at my position?
Can you possibly give me the phone numbers of your veteran players and a few freshman?
Do you force all of your players to look a certain way? (Defensively, offensively)
These questions aren't usually asked by young guys being brought on visits because they spend too much time in awe of the possibility of playing there, rather than truly figuring out if it is the right fit for them.
If a coach is hesitant to send you his players' phone numbers, or only gives you one guy's information, that's a red flag. Usually this means that the coaches aren't confident in what their guys actually think of the program. In all reality, most coaches are masters at telling us what they know we want to hear, so we've got to make sure we are gathering the information without giving them the answers. But regardless of how well the staff knows the answers, you won't really know for sure unless you find a current/former player who's willing to give you the real stuff.
The bottom line is that when you are invited on campus by a coaching staff after they have seen you play, your job is done. You have shown those coaches how you play and what you're about, and if they didn't like what they saw, you wouldn't be stepping foot on their campus. Now it's their turn to show what they have to offer.
At the end of the day, this is your career. And it's your job to do the dirty work and figure out which school is right for you. It may be your favorite school who has shown interest, it might not. But trust me, going to the school that brings out the best in you trumps any amount of gear or likes you get on twitter.
Oh, and one more thing. If you are a current guy that is already on campus and a possible recruit comes up to you asking questions to find out if it's the right fit, shoot em straight. Have some courage to do the right thing.