Here is a basic outline of the recruiting timeline for all divisions of College Baseball
Top athletes will be playing for competitive high school and summer teams. Communication from college coaches will take place through these high school and summer team coaches. The college coaches will give notes to the high school and/or summer coaches to tell the student-athlete to give them a call to talk further about their college programs. These phone calls with college coaches encourage the student-athlete to set up visits over the summer and fall. Top level college coaches are definitely beginning the process of recruiting sophomores going in to their junior years.
Top Division I athletes will receive letters over the summer and at the beginning of their junior year to telling them to call the coach anytime to talk further. These players will be asked to come on unofficial visits during the fall and winter as well as to come out to a game during the spring season. They might be extended offers during this time. Top Division I players will begin to verbally commit over the summer before their senior year. Other student-athletes who are beginning to be recruited will receive personal emails, letters, and information starting September 1st of junior year.
Will receive personal emails, letters, and information starting September 1st of junior year. Contact will not be as heavy as Division I recruits, but top level division two programs will try to align themselves with the same timeline as many Division I programs to compete for the same student-athletes. Coaches will try to set up unofficial visits throughout the year, but won’t give as much pressure as Division I coaches.
Very similar to Division II in many aspects, but lower level programs will fall in line with division three timeline.
Will be receiving recruiting information (camp invites, questionnaires, emails, letters, etc.) throughout junior year. Coaches will not seek it out, but try to set up unofficial visits during junior year to your top schools. Top level Division III schools will begin recruiting over the spring and summer of the student-athletes’ junior year. It is important for student-athletes to try to be evaluated by higher level academic colleges over the spring and summer because of application deadlines in the winter of senior year.
Top level junior colleges will begin evaluating student-athletes during the spring and summer of junior year. These programs will finish their recruiting earlier than other JUCO programs because they are bringing in top level Division I student-athletes who may be looking to be drafted after one or two years of college or to transfer to a high level division one program. Other JUCO programs usually do not begin recruiting until middle of senior year getting ready to evaluate student-athletes in the spring season.
Solid Division I recruits will start receiving phone calls on and after July 1st after their junior year. These recruits have probably already visited the campus, spent a night with a member of the team, and met the coach. They will receive phone calls from the coach fairly often and will be e-mailing consistently just to check in. Recruits will set up Official Visits for the fall. If the student-athlete has not done so already, many will verbally committed by fall of senior year. These student-athletes will sign the National Letter of Intent during the early signing period, usually the second week of November. Most Division I coaches ideally would like to have their incoming recruits committed by the end of this period. Many top level college programs will over-recruit (have around twenty student-athletes commit) because they will be affected by the MLB Draft that takes place in June each year. Top recruits and top level college players will elect to play professionally versus go to or stay in college. Other, borderline, division one prospects may commit later, after June and their senior year wraps up, because spots open up due to the draft.
May start receiving phone calls on June 15th after junior year. If they are a top recruit many will receive calls from colleges that have already seen them play. They will set up Official Visits for the fall and throughout the year. They will be extended offers throughout the year. Many recruits will commit during the early signing period, but some coaches will wait to see how the spring plays out. The regular signing period normally begins in April and the rest of the Division II recruits will sign after that. Again, the MLB draft will affect the top level division two programs each year.
Very similar to Division II in many aspects including the offer timeline and being affected by the draft, but lower level programs will fall in line with division three timeline. NAIA programs can call anytime, but many will not begin making phone calls until after the July 1st deadline for division one programs. At that time their previous year’s recruiting class is usually wrapped up and they can now concentrate on the upcoming year. Official visits are not as prominent at the NAIA level because many colleges have limited recruiting budgets, but many still offer these. Tryouts are a useful tool for coaches to evaluate student-athletes and they can take place anytime during senior year, but not during the spring season.
Technically coaches can call at any point, but most Division III coaches start making phone calls on July 1st. If the recruit has been in contact via email and has been evaluated prior to this date, they will most likely receive phone calls if they are a top recruit. Will set up Official Visits for senior year (most likely fall, but anytime during senior year). The majority of commitments happen during and after the senior spring season because most coaches want to see the student-athlete play one more time. Early applications are usually completed by January.
Top level junior college recruits may commit as early as the fall of senior year, but most coaches’ timelines are just beginning at that time. Many coaches will want to see the student-athlete play in the spring and possibly the summer. Tryouts after the spring season of senior year are very much a part of the coach’s evaluation of the student-athlete. A big percentage of student-athletes will commit to junior colleges in the spring and the summer after senior year.