At KPB, we lean on a network of college baseball insiders who step forward to support and help you. All the information we provide on college baseball and the college baseball recruiting process comes directly from those who know college baseball best—current and former college coaches, players, and parents of players. As part of our last two years of college coaches surveys, we asked coaches of all different levels to tell us about the most important qualities they look for while recruiting. Who better to tell you what to do to get recruited than the coaches who will be recruiting you. We suggest you listen, learn, and work to demonstrate the qualities coaches are recruiting. Here’s what they are:
Note: Some coaches preferred to remain anonymous. They are recognized by the division they coach and state. Answers were edited only for readability. KPB is not part of any recruitment efforts of any school, location, division, conference, or level.
How hard they play the game; run down the line, on/off the field, run the bases, pick up teammates, get to back up spots, etc. Competitiveness-do they play the game to win in all aspects. Skills / ability to play baseball; must be able to make the routine play on defense and show rhythm and the ability to control the strike zone offensively. Run. Attitude; how they interact with coaches, teammates and opposing team. How they control themselves when things don’t go their way.
– Mike Brown, Assistant Coach, University of Hawaii (D1)
Talent is first. Guys have to have a certain level of talent for us to go after them. Then after that we immediately check on their grades. Then we follow up with some of their coaches and try and find out about their character, work ethic and if their ability lined up with what we saw.
– Jordan Stampler, Head Coach, Pfeiffer University (D3)
Effort and tools. If a young man displays tools (speed, arm strength, etc) and plays hard then you have a pretty good player.
– D2 Coach, California
Other than the typical baseball tools, I like to look for an internal clock for speed of the game and some baseball IQ type intangibles. Feel for situations, back base throws, ability to sell a tag, etc. Also like to see how a player interacts with teammates, coaches, parents and parents of other players (pre or post game, hopefully not during). Respect for not only the game, but everybody who is a part of it is big for me. Also if everybody on the team stays away or doesn’t seem to like the guy, could be a red flag.
– D1 Coach, North Carolina
Have to be of high character. First thing our staff is going to figure out is what kind of person, worker, teammate, leader they are. There is obviously a baseline amount of talent, as long as the two line up, we will move forward.
– D1 Coach, Ohio
Speed- Hand Speed, Bat Speed, Foot Speed, Arm Strength, Size and Strength. Can they play the right the right way. Leadership.
– D2 Coach, Ohio
1. Skill set 2. Something that cannot be coached- motor, any athletic ability (tool) 3. Makeup- how does he handle failure, interact w coaches, teammates, family members etc. 4. Does it look like he thoroughly enjoys playing the game and embraces competition.
– Ben Jackson, Pitching Coach, University of Montevallo (D2)
Athleticism, willingness to learn, well rounded person.
– D1 Coach, Georgia
Priorities in line with our priorities as a college and program. Work ethic that matches those priorities.
– Coach Peterson, Head Coach, Benedictine College
Athleticism and quick twitch movements.
– D2 Coach, West Virginia
Actions, Body Language, Performance, Arm Strength
–D1 Coach, California
Want more advice from college coaches? We share the rest of the answers from our college coaches survey in What Qualities College Coaches Look For in Recruits Part 2.