COVID-19’s effect on baseball: who it helps

“For the next three or four years, we’re going to have basically five classes worth of players in the college baseball system,” said North Arkansas College baseball coach Eric Osner.

A problem that is actually benefiting community college programs.

“I think lately for my coaching staff and I, we’ve been a little more excited for what’s to come,” Osner said.

With no roster cap at the juco level, Coach Osner is gladly accepting some of this overflow.

“If we felt like, hey, we found this kid that may be able to help us late July and doesn’t have anywhere to go, we can bring him on, so, for us it’s a good thing,” Osner said.

Adding some talent that maybe would have been selected in one of the 35 rounds cut from the MLB Draft.

“Now the Draft is shortened, so they can go junior college and keep their draft eligibility and take another shot next year,” said Osner.

And for the high school seniors robbed of their final seasons, now battling 5th year seniors at the college level; junior college baseball can benefit them too. 

“Junior college is a great opportunity because they’re going to get playing time right away, because everybody’s freshman and sophomores, they’re not going up against a 5th year senior,” Osner said.

And they’re getting to play more games, sooner.

“I can tell a high school senior year of high school, hey, you didn’t get to play your senior year of high school, they can come in and get 20 games in the fall and get some of that experience back,” said Osner. “If you walk into a four-year you get two or three games in the fall. That’s a big difference.”

While the situation surrounding baseball right now isn’t great, coach Osner knows things will eventually go back to normal, and for now, he’s excited about the future of his program.

“It’s rolling in the right direction I feel, and I think good things are coming at North Ark, no doubt,” said Osner.

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