Now, yesterday I mentioned that I'm not the biggest fan of college baseball. Don't take that to mean I despise it or anything, I still enjoy it quite a bit. As has been mentioned, that is a college stadium at the top of the page, and quite possibly the nicest college stadium in the state. I sadly only made it to one game there this year, but I came away so impressed with the stadium. But, as a whole, NCAA baseball is not great. And that is no real reflection on the players. Here are all the factors that lie mostly out of their control.
First off, most of the cream of the crop goes straight into minor league baseball. Baseball has an unrivaled minor league system, and that is great. Hockey is the only one close, and even that doesn't reach half the depth of baseball. There could (and I'm sure have) be entire volumes filled with reasons for this and the history of baseball's minor leagues, but this is not really the place for that. The important part here is that, while there are many top-flight players in the college ranks, the majority of those players choose to start making money at their craft out of high school in the low minors. So, this does mean there are lesser athletes in college baseball. That, though, is not the biggest deal to me. I watch Wabash football and basketball religiously, and I know Division III athletes, while very good, are not top of the line.* And it has never bothered me. So, while it does have some impact, definitely not the major factor.
*The best description I've ever heard for D3 athletes is they are D1 athletes minus one thing. Maybe they aren't quite fast enough, not quite strong enough, not quite big enough. They'll do everything on a D1 level except for one major category. That said, if you haven't watched two good D3 teams play (especially football and basketball), you might want to think about it. Basketball is typically free, and football is cheap. And the quality of play I think will surprise you.
Secondly is the metal bats. I wouldn't call this a major issue, but I would say it's bigger than the player pool. Metal bats, as I'm sure you're aware, don't break. That takes out a whole element of the game and pitching inside. There is also the issue of performance. Studies are conflicted, but most (along with all field studies I could find) say the ball jumps off metal bats faster, which turns into balls going further. The better distance could possibly be attributed to faster bat speeds and bigger sweet spots, too. A good summary can be found here. But, again, the big thing to me is bats don't break, which totally changes pitching philosophy, and thus the game itself.
The biggest factor in all of this is the weather. Baseball is a summer game, meant to be played outdoors in the heat (or at least semi-warm). The ball moves differently in the warmer air, the players move differently in warmer weather, and the fan experience is especially different in warmer weather. The problem with college ball is most of it is played during the late winter and early spring. There's not a whole lot to be done about that, as the school year only lasts so long and starts much earlier than it used to, which also pushes the season up. Maybe if I lived in California or Florida, I wouldn't see this so much. But, living in Indiana, I can definitely tell you this makes a huge difference in college ball. High school, too, for that matter. The weather is generally too cold for baseball, too wet for baseball, and then by the time the players are in peak baseball form, the season is over. All growing up, I was one of the best baseball players in town. In high school, I had trouble getting off the bench (for varsity, anyway). There were some politics involved, and I didn't hit for power, which our coach is inordinately in love with, but I think there was also a big part of not being nearly the same player in cold weather that I was in warm weather, which youth leagues are played in.
Except for maybe player pool, summer wooden bat leagues, like the Prospect League that the Danville Dans play in, fix all these problems. Weather is much better, played with wooden bats, and the player pool is probably (I haven't really researched this) better, as there aren't as many teams, thus not as many spots. Another plus to summer leagues: Most colleges play 50 to 60 games. The Prospect League has a 56 game schedule. But, the summer league games happen after those initial 50 games, so players come into that season already in full swing and in "game shape."
So, to summarize, June needs to hurry up and get here so I can watch some good college baseball on the cheap.