How to Get Recruited to Play College Baseball: Timelines

planner showing college baseball recruiting timelineWhen looking at this schedule, keep in mind this is geared for baseball players. In many ways, your senior high school baseball season will not count. Most coaches (not all) will have already filled their recruit classes for the following year (your college freshman year) and some of the slots for the year after that (your college sophomore year.)

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There will be exceptions, such as junior colleges and some of the less academically competitive D3 schools. But in general, your junior year high school season and the following summer season are the ones that really count. For those talented enough to play for top D1 schools, coaches will start identifying you based on your sophomore year.

It is essential to see your high school timeline in relationship to the recruiting timelines for college coaches. What does this mean? Your senior season (for baseball) occurs too late to count. In most cases, you are going to have to submit your college applications before your season even starts.

If you think you’re good enough and want a coach to watch one of your games during your junior year season (remember, they are in the middle of their own season), you’ll need to provide evidence for the coach before the season starts. That generally means an excellent performance at a camp (that the coach is familiar with) from the summer before or video from your sophomore high school season and/or the following summer.

That means that you have already targeted the schools you are interested in before your junior year!

Even if you think you’ll be competing at a lower level, you’ll still need your targeted list of schools by the end of your junior year. This is why it’s not unreasonable to start visiting colleges during your sophomore year and the summer before. (The DIY College Rankings Baseball Spreadsheet can help you create your list of targeted schools.)

The following is recruiting timeline for baseball. There are some things missing from this list that you’ll find on others. The two big ones are: keep up the academics and keep up your physical training. I think that these should be givens for your entire high school career and don’t see the need to repeat it in every section.

Baseball Recruiting Timeline


Summer between Freshman and Sophomore Year
  • Play on a summer team.
  • If possible, attend a showcase or prospect camp to get an idea of what level you can play at in college.
  • Start visiting colleges, even if they are just local ones that you may not have much interest in. You need to develop a baseline from which to evaluate other schools.
  • Look up the NCAA rules about contact with coaches and grade and ACT/SAT test scores requirements. This information is free and there is no excuse not to know the information.
  • Decide if you want to use a professional service for recruiting college athletes or even just the college admissions process. You’ll get more value from these services the sooner you start using them.

Sophomore Fall
  • Take the PSAT if offered by your school. This is an easy and inexpensive way to gauge your probable SAT score.
  • Make sure that your high school counselor knows that you’re interested in playing at the college level. You need to make sure that the classes you are taking will count toward NCAA requirements. (For homeschoolers, use the course titles of acceptable courses provided by the NCAA to minimize problems.)

Sophomore Spring
  • You should be playing on your high school team. Remember NCAA rules, coaches cannot initiate contact with you at this time. However, you can contact coaches at
  • If you are shooting for a top D1 program, get video from your season to post.

Summer between Sophomore and Junior Year
  • Play on a summer team.
  • Start generating a list of potential schools. This could be as many as 50 schools. Don’t think that this is too many. Keep in mind that schools will start falling off the list for a variety of reasons: the coach isn’t interested; too many players at the position; you don’t like the coaching philosophy; the team has a low graduation rate; you don’t like the school; you won’t start; you don’t like the facilities; the team has a poor record; or you don’t have very good chances at getting admitted to the school.
  • Attend showcases, ideally where some of the schools your are interested in are participating.
  • Visit colleges whenever possible.

Junior Fall
  • Retake the PSAT. This allows you to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship program. Colleges will start sending you information based on your scores.
  • Take the SAT/ACT during the semester your sport is not in session. For baseball players this means the fall of your junior year. Coaches need to know your score to know
    if you have a chance at being accepted to their schools. You need to know your score so you can plan to retake the test if necessary.
  • Put together your athletic profile so it can be easily updated.
  • Subscribe to a service like If nothing else, it will give you a place to post your video. Of course, you can post your video on YouTube but why not someplace where you already know coaches will be visiting?
  • Register with the NCAA Clearinghouse.
  • Fill out the online recruiting form for all of the colleges you are interested in. Follow this up with an email with your athletic profile and a link to your video, if you have any.
  • If you are targeting the competitive baseball programs, call the coach now to ask him what positions he will be looking for in your recruiting class.
  • Attend fall visit days for colleges. Arrange for meetings with coaches whenever possible.

Junior Spring
  • Play on your high school team and get video. Invest in a camcorder and a stand. You can then set it up and have it record the area of the player’s position during defense
    and move it for batting. Unless your son is playing pitcher or catcher, there will be a lot of useless video to edit out. Make sure you do edit the video to be no more than four minutes, ideally less than two. You can probably get an entire season of at bats in less than four minutes. It is not difficult to edit video. You can download a program as part of Microsoft Windows that will allow you to cut video, eliminate the sound (don’t add music!), and put a splash screen with the player name and information at the beginning.
  • Send updates to coaches that you have already contacted. Let them know about a homerun, no-hitter, etc. Also, you can let them know when you have uploaded video.
    Don’t expect automatic replies since they will be in season as well. Try to use a consistent subject line for each contact, for example: John Smith, 2013 Prospect,
  • If necessary, repeat the ACT/SAT for the final sitting of the semester. It will be one less thing to worry about your senior year. The June date is also a good time to
    take any required SAT subject tests. Request your transcripts be sent to the NCAA
    Clearinghouse at the end of the semester for a preliminary evaluation.
  • Ask teachers if they will write letters of recommendation in the fall.
  • End of the semester/beginning of summer, call coaches and ask what they’re looking for in your recruit class.

Summer between Junior and Senior Year
  • Play on summer team
  • Attend camps with targeted schools attending
  • Let targeted coaches now which camps you will be attending and summer schedule.
  • Visit colleges. Schedule admissions interviews and meetings with coaches whenever possible.
  • Work on any required college admissions essays.

Senior Fall
  • Retake the SAT/ACT if necessary
  • Schedule official and unofficial overnights (you should be familiar enough with the NCAA rules to know the difference)
  • Submit college applications as soon as possible. If you have a first choice, talk with the coach about early decision.
  • Make sure all of your letters of recommendation are submitted.
  • For those getting scholarships, sign national letter of intent. For those targeting the Ivy League, try for a likely letter.
  • Let college coaches that you have rejected know as soon as possible.

Senior Spring
  • Get your financial aid form submitted as close to January 1 as possible. Consider estimating your taxes and amending the form once they do come in.
  • Keep in contact with the coaches. Those that don’t give scholarships will understand that you need to know your financial aid situation at all the schools before you can make a decision.
  • Request final transcripts to be sent to the NCAA.
  • Once you accept at a school, get the team’s summer workout schedule and do it.
  • Let college coaches that you have rejected know as soon as possible.


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