Baseball Prospects and the Recruiting Process


"Do you think you are good enough to play college baseball?" " "How talented do you have to be? "These are the two most frequently asked questions by student-athletes. Less than 2% of high school players go on to play Division 1 college baseball, but opportunities abound in the lower divisions. Understanding what college baseball scouts look for in position players in terms of height, weight, and skill can help student-athletes narrow down their school search to programs that offer the best level of competition for them.

How to Apply Baseball Recruiting Rules

Arm strength, fielding range, speed, and hitting for power and average are all factors considered by college baseball scouts. Recruiting guidelines provide a good baseline against which student-athletes can compare themselves to athletes competing at the college level. What qualities do college baseball scouts look for at each position? What skill sets should position players have? This section deconstructs divisional recruiting guidelines to help recruits and their families understand what is expected of them at each position. Keep the following in mind:

  • Recruiting guidelines are just that: Guidelines. These are general guidelines for what coaches look for, but there will be exceptions. Coaches are looking for the best possible fit for their team.
  • Travel ball experience is an important source of recruits for coaches, especially at the Division 1 level.
  • Having a recruit evaluated by a trusted third party or a current coach will provide an objective assessment of how a recruit compares to scholarship-level athletes in terms of these guidelines. Recruits and parents can contact our team at info@mygotgame.com to assess and improve their recruiting status.

What qualities do college baseball coaches seek in recruits?

When college coaches watch prospects, they are constantly attempting to project how well they will perform at the collegiate level. The most common objection that recruits or parents have is that while a recruit may be extremely talented at the high school level if they aren't competing against the college-level competition, they aren't much help to a coach. The game moves much faster at the college level. To make the jump, recruits must demonstrate strength, speed, and general athleticism. 

How serious a prospect takes their sport is often what separates recruits in the eyes of coaches. Coaches are watching prospects before, during, and after games to see how they conduct themselves. They will check in with their coach(es) to see how seriously they take their training. All else being equal, a prospect who is willing to work hard will be recruited over one who has the ability but not the work ethic.

Scouts look at baseball players at what age? 

Prospects will be evaluated by coaches as soon as they are physically developed enough to provide a reliable estimate of how they will project as an 18- to 21-year-old player. What makes it difficult for many recruits is that some coaches are willing to project earlier than others, and athletes develop at different rates. Prospects who want to be recruited have no control over how they develop or what coaches think of them. Prospects, regardless of age, should focus on improving and positioning themselves against the best competition available. More information about AAU baseball teams and tournaments can be found here.

Division One Baseball Player

  • 3–4 years of high-level travel baseball experience at the club level
  • Honors and awards include multiple All-Conference, All-Area, and All-State selections.
  • Varsity starting seasons: 3–4 

Division Two Baseball Player

  • 2–3 years of high-level travel baseball experience at the club level
  • Honors and awards include multiple All-Conference, All-Area, and potential All-State selections.
  • Varsity starting seasons: 2–3 

NAIA and Division 3 Baseball Player 

  • Club experience: 2–3 years of travel baseball experience
  • Honors and awards include multiple All-Conference and All-Area selections.
  • Varsity starting seasons: 1–2 

Junior College Baseball Player 

  • Club experience: 2–3 years of travel baseball experience
  • Honors and awards include multiple All-Conference and All-Area selections.
  • Varsity starting seasons: 1–2

What characteristics do college baseball scouts look for in a pitcher? 

Division One Baseball Pitcher 

  • Consistent pitch velocity of 84 MPH, with a top speed of 95 MPH.
  • Ability to command at least three pitches
  • ERA: less than 2.00
  • At least one strikeout per inning pitched
  • Walk no more than one batter every two innings pitched. 

Division Two Baseball Pitcher 

  • Pitch velocity: 82–90+ MPH
  • Consistent control of one off-speed pitch and one additional pitch thrown to spots
  • ERA: less than 3.00
  • Approximately 1 K per 1 inning pitched
  • One batter is walked every two innings by the pitcher. 

NAIA or Division 3 Baseball Pitcher 

  • Pitch velocity: 77–82 MPH
  • Control of at least one off-speed pitch and developing another
  • A strikeout-to-walk ratio of one to one.
  • 50–3.50 ERA 

Junior College Baseball Pitcher

  • Consistent pitch velocity of 80 MPH
  • 1 or fewer strikeouts per inning pitched
  • ERA: less than 4.00

What characteristics do college baseball scouts look for in a catcher? 

Division One Baseball Catcher 

  • 6'1" in height
  • Bodyweight: 185–200 lbs.
  • Coaches will scrutinize catch and throw mechanics, as well as arm strength demonstrated when throwing to second and third base.
  • While defense is important for a catcher, Division 1 coaches will also look for a player with exceptional leadership skills and the ability to work with the entire pitching staff.
  • Division 1 catchers have good bat control and can hit for power or average at a high level.
  • On-base percentage (OBP):.500
  • Slugging percentage:.600 (minimum 2 at bats per game)
  • Pop Time: 1.95 and below on a consistent basis (verified by a neutral source)
  • ERA less than 2.00

Division Two Baseball Catcher

  • 6'0" in height
  • Bodyweight: 180 lbs.
  • 450 OBP
    • Slugging percentage:.550 (minimum 2 at-bats per game)
    • Pop Time: 2.0 and below on a consistent basis (verified by a neutral source)

NAIA or Division 3 Baseball Catcher 

  • 5'11" in height
  • Bodyweight: 180 lbs.
  • On-base percentage (OBP):.400
  • Slugging percentage:.500
  • Pop time: 2.0 – 2.1 minutes

Junior College Baseball Catcher 

  • 5'10" in height
  • Bodyweight: 170 lbs.
  • On-base percentage (OBP):.350
  • Slugging percentage:.450
  • Pop Time: 2.1 or less 

What characteristics do college baseball scouts look for in a first baseman? 

Division One First Baseman 

  • Height range: 6'2"–6'6"
  • Bodyweight: 190–240 lbs.
  • HR: 5–10 in high school as a junior and senior
  • On-base percentage (OBP):.500
  • Slugging percentage:.750 (minimum 2 at-bats per game) 

Division Two First Baseman 

  • Minimum height: 6'0"
  • Weight: Must be at least 180 lbs.
  • Must show the ability or potential to hit for power.
  • As a junior and senior in high school, a solid 1B recruit in this tier should have a few home runs and a lot of RBIs.

NAIA or Division 3 First Baseman 

  • 6'0" in height
  • Bodyweight: 180 lbs.
  • Power Numbers: 3+ HR, 25+ RBI 

Junior College First Baseman 

  • 5'11" in height
  • Bodyweight: 170 lbs.
  • Power stats: 2+ HR, 20+ RBI  

What characteristics do college baseball scouts look for in a third baseman? 

Division One Third Baseman

  • Height range: 5'10"–6'3"
  • Bodyweight: 180–220 lbs.
  • Infield velocity: 85-95 MPH
  • HR: 5–10 in high school as a junior and senior
  • On-base percentage (OBP):.500
  • Slugging percentage:.750 

Division Two Third Baseman

  • Height range: 5'9"–6'3"
  • Bodyweight: 170–220 lbs.
  • Infield Velocity: at least 80 MPH, with the potential to increase through development
  • Human Resources: At least two HR as a high school junior and senior
  • OBP/SLG: A minimum of.400 in each category

NAIA or Division 3 Third Baseman 

  • 6'0" in height
  • Bodyweight: 180 lbs.
  • Power stats: 2+ HR, 25+ RBI 

 Junior College Third Baseman 

  • 5'11" in height
  • Bodyweight: 170 lbs.
  • Power stats: 2+ HR, 20+ RBI 

What characteristics do college baseball scouts look for in a middle infielder? 

Division One Middle Infielder

  • Height: 5'8′′–6'2′′
  • Bodyweight: 165–190 lbs.
  • 60-yard dash: 6.5–6.8 seconds. (Third-party verification)
  • Infield velocity: Division 1 middle infield recruits will throw the ball across the diamond at speeds ranging from 85 to 95 miles per hour.
  • On-base percentage (OBP):.500
  • Slugging percentage:.600 (minimum 2 at bats per game)
  • The prototypical Division I middle infield recruit can hit for a high average while also stealing a lot of bases and hitting for power on occasion. 

Division Two Middle Infielder

  • Height range: 5'8"–6'2"
  • Bodyweight: 165–190 lbs.
  • 60-yard dash: 6.9 seconds or less
  • Infield Velocity: MPH from SS in the low 80s and above
  • .550 OBP
  • Slugging percentage:.450 (minimum 2 at-bats per game) 

NAIA or Division 3 Middle Infielder 

  • 5'11" in height
  • Body weight: 170 lbs.
  • 60-yard dash time of 7.0 or less
  • Infield velocity: 78+ MPH from the second baseman
  • On-base percentage (OBP):.400
  • Slugging percentage:.500

Junior College Middle Infielder 

  • 5'10" in height
  • Body weight: 165 lbs.
  • 60-yard dash: 7.1 seconds or less
  • From SS, infield velocity is in the upper 70s MPH.
  • On-base percentage (OBP):.350
  • Slugging percentage:.450 

What characteristics do college baseball scouts look for in a center fielder? 

Division One Center Fielder 

  • Height range: 5'9"–6'2"
  • Bodyweight: 175–210 lbs.
  • Outfield velocity: 87–95+ MPH infield
  • 60-yard dash: less than 6.7
  • Outfield velocity: 87–95+ MPH infield
  • On-base percentage (OBP):.500
  • Slugging percentage:.600 (minimum 2 at-bats per game) 

Division Two Center Fielder

  • 5'11" in height
  • Bodyweight: 180 lbs.
  • 60-yard dash: less than 6.9
  • .450 OBP
  • SLG =.500 (minimum 2 at-bats per game)

NAIA or Division 3 Center Fielder

  • 5'11" in height
  • Bodyweight: 180 lbs.
  • 60-yard dash: 6.9 seconds or less
  • OF speed: 80+ MPH
  • On-base percentage (OBP):.400
  • Slugging percentage:.500

Junior College Center Fielder

  • 5'10" in height
  • Bodyweight: 170 lbs.
  • 60-yard dash time of 7.0 or less
  • OF speed: 78+ MPH
  • On-base percentage (OBP):.350
  • Slugging percentage:.450

What qualities do college baseball scouts seek in a corner outfielder 

Division One Outfielder

  • 5'11" in height
  • Bodyweight: 180 lbs.
  • 60-yard dash: less than 6.8
  • OF speed: 87+ MPH (verified by a neutral source)
  • Slugging: at least 5 home runs as a junior and senior in high school
  • .750% (minimum 2 at-bats per game)
  • On-base percentage (OBP):.500 

Division Two Outfielder

  • 5'11" in height
  • Bodyweight: 180 lbs.
  • 60-yard dash: less than 7.0
  • Velocity from the OF: at least in the low 80s, with the potential to improve
  • Slugging: Multiple HRs as a junior and senior in high school 

NAIA or Division 3 Outfielder 

  • 5'11" in height
  • Bodyweight: 180 lbs.
  • 60-yard dash: 6.9 seconds or less
  • OF speed: 80+ MPH
  • OB percentage:.400
  • Slugging percentage:.650 

Junior College Outfielder

  • 5'10" in height
  • Bodyweight: 170 lbs.
  • 60-yard dash time of 7.0 or less
  • OF speed: 78+ MPH

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