Frequently Asked Questions

Baseball America (General)
Subscriptions and Customer Service
Digital Edition
Mobile Site
Technical Problems
Major Leagues
Draft and Foreign Signings
Scouts and Tryouts

Baseball America

Can I work for you guys?

Baseball America is such a fun place to work that we don't have a lot of turnover. But when we do have job openings, they will always be posted on our Website. If you'd like to submit your resume for our files, you are welcome to do so either at our regular mailing address or send an e-mail to

How do I contact BA staffers?

Click here for our contact page.

How can I get a Baseball America writer or editor to appear on my radio show?

If you'd like a Baseball America expert to appear on your show, send your request to

Why don't you guys cover junior colleges and small colleges more?

One of the most common requests we get during college season is for more small college and junior college coverage. We'd love to cover these schools more in-depth, but the truth is, we just don't have the manpower. Aaron Fitt is the only one here whose prime focus is college ball, and we complement his efforts with an additional college foot soldier during the season. We do have a Small College Preview, and we wrap up the seasons with coverage of the championships, but that's as much as we generally get to each season.

The problem is the sheer number of schools out there. If you add all the NCAA Division I, II and III schools, NAIA schools and major jucos, you're way beyond 1,000 schools. There's just no way we could do a credible job trying to cover that much, so we instead focus on Division I, because that's where the greatest amount of interest—and the greatest percentage of pro prospects—lies.

To do a good job covering the small schools would require at least one, and maybe two, full-time writers. In most (but not all) cases small schools often don't have much in the way of a sports information department, which makes it difficult to find out about anything significant happening there. And there really isn't anyone out there, at least not to our knowledge, that covers small schools in-depth.

How does Baseball America compile its weekly college baseball top 25 poll, and when is the poll posted?

National Writer Aaron Fitt compiles a worksheet of about 50 teams with the help of the nation's sports information assistants containing scores, schedules and notes for teams under consideration for the Top 25. The worksheet is distributed among staffers and the BA staff convenes around 10 a.m. every Monday during the college season to caucus out the rankings. There are no votes (thus no "others receiving votes") and we try hard to have the rankings posted on the Website no later than 2 p.m.

Subscriptions and Customer Service

How can I contact the customer service department?

Call 1-800-845-2726 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday-Friday or send e-mail to Be sure to have your customer ID number ready (It's the six-digit number right above your name on the mailing label). You will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis.

How much does a subscription cost, and how do I subscribe?

A one-year subscription (26 biweekly issues) costs $92.95. You can order on line, or if you prefer you can send payment to Baseball America, P.O. Box 12877, Durham, NC 27709, or call our customer service department at 800-845-2726. We do not bill for subscriptions, so send a check or money order or use a credit card to order. We look forward to welcoming you as a subscriber.

Where can I buy Baseball America in stores?

Please review our store list and find the store closest to you.

How can I find out more about a print subscription?

Please visit our online store.

I just ordered a subscription. How long will it be until I can access the Web information?

We process orders during our business hours (Mon.-Fri. 9-5 ET) and enter orders on a first-come, first-served basis.

If I sign up for a trial issue will I gain access to the site?

No, but you will gain and keep access to the site for as long as your subscription lasts. Click here for a free issue.

I bought an online subscription on your Web site, and I received an e-mail that said my order has been shipped. Why do you need to ship something to me?

When you receive this e-mail, it means that our customer service department has billed your credit card.

I called or e-mailed to set up my online account. When will it be active?
Why can't I access my online account yet?

If you order only the online subscription through our Website, you will be granted immediate access as the computer can process the order. However, it you order the online subscription in conjunction with other products (a print subscription, for example), the order must be processed by hand. In this case, it will take 24 to 48 hours to have your online account entered. These are entered on a first-come, first-served basis.

How do I change my address?

1) Click the "My Account" link located in the top-left side of the screen

2) Login using your e-mail address and your password

3) When the My Account screen appears, click "My Profile" located at the top of the screen.

4) When the "My Account: Profile" screen appears, make your desired address changes in the appropriate textboxes.

5) After you have finished making your changes, click the [Save Changes] button at the bottom of the screen.

Digital Edition

What is Baseball America's digital edition?

Baseball America's digital edition is a replica of the print magazine. No longer will you have to wait by your mailbox for the latest issue to arrive. Every two weeks you will be notified by e-mail that a new digital edition is available to download.

With the click of a mouse you'll have the magazine spread out before you, ready to virtually flip through or to save for later use. You'll enjoy several cool features, including a robust search function to quickly find news on favorite players or teams, multiple display options, a tool to translate stories into multiple languages and more.

What type of system is required to view the digital edition?

To fully enjoy the digital edition, your computer must have an Internet connection with a browser, with the Adobe Flash Player installed.

Can I view the Digital Edition on my iPod, iPad, or iPhone?
I am trying to view the Digital Edition on my iPad but unable to. Why?

Baseball America is available on the iPad. Please visit the iTunes store to get Baseball America. You'll be able to purchase a single issue or a 6-month or one-year subscription.

Please note that Baseball America on the iPad it's a standalone product and it's not tied to any print or online subscription that you may already have with Baseball America.

Click here to get Baseball America on the iPad

Support Email:
Support Website:

How do I subscribe to Baseball America's digital edition?

If you have access to the premium content on (either through a print or Web-only subscription), your e-mail and password are already registered in our system. Click on My Account at the top of any page to sign in. You will be able to view your current subscription status and choose to subscribe to the digital edition.

If you don't have a subscription with Baseball America, please visit our subscribe page and choose from our digital edition subscription or other options.

How do I get the digital edition if I'm already a print magazine subscriber?

As a print subscriber you also get access to premium content on If you already take advantage of that option, your e-mail and password are registered in our system. Click on My Account at the top of any page to sign in. You will be able to view your current subscription status, and you'll have the option to read the digital edition for just $2.00 per subscription term.

If you have not already taken advantage of your opportunity to read the premium content on, then we may not have an e-mail and password associated with your account. Call customer service at 800-845-2726 (Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET) to set this up, and you'll have the option to read the digital edition for just $2.00 per subscription term.

How do I get the digital edition if I'm already a Web-only subscriber?

Online subscribers can read the digital edition for just $5.00 per subscription term. Click on My Account at the top of any page to sign in. You will be able to view your current subscription status, and you can choose to add the digital edition. You can also call customer service at 800-845-2726 (Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET) to set this up.

How long do I get access to the digital issues in my subscription?

Whether or not you have an active digital edition subscription, you will have access to a minimum of 26 issues previously received via single-issue purchases or previous subscription.

How do I find each section and stories that are of interest to me without flipping through each page?

By clicking on the What's Inside? tab at the top left of your display, you will be able to see the table of contents, click on your favorite section and select an excerpt or the full story.

How do I make the text larger?

Click on the (+) to zoom in or the (-) to zoom out at the top of the display. You can view single pages or double pages on your screen and make pages fill the entire width by clicking on the arrow (fit to width) button.

How do I search for a particular section or article?

Click on the Search tab at the top of the display. You will be able to search by articles, ads, pictures or all content.

How do I translate an article into a different language?

Double-click on any article so that it will open as a text document. Then, click the Translate button at the top of that window, and the page will automatically be translated into Spanish. To choose a different language, use the Google Translate menu at the top of the display.

Can I e-mail an article to another user?

This is a subscription service available to Baseball America: Digital Edition subscribers only. You can e-mail people to alert them to an article, but in order for the recipients to view it, they will be asked to sign in to Baseball America, or to subscribe. NOTE: This service is for personal, non-commercial use only. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Can I print an article?

Yes; just click on the Printer icon at the top of the display. NOTE: This service is for personal, non-commercial use only. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Can I download and save the magazine?

You can download the entire magazine for offline reading that is saved as an offline bookmark. You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to read it in PDF format. Please note that the search and other online functions are not available in the PDF format. The magazine will NOT be saved to your computer in the traditional sense. You will be allowed to read the issue through the web browser of your choice without having to be connected to the Internet. NOTE: This service is for personal, non-commercial use only. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Mobile Site

What is Baseball America's mobile site?

This is mobile enabled content from the website. Mobile BaseballAmerica is not a separate App or download.

Why is Mobile Baseball America asking me for a password when I click on some stories?

Some of the links provided by Mobile Baseball America click to stories that are premium content stories from and require a premium content web subscription.

If you have access to the premium content on (either through a print or Web-only subscription), your e-mail and password should provide you access. This mobile service does not require an additional user id or password. For further information, please contact or call 1-800-845-2726 to register.

I'm interested. How do I locate Mobile Baseball America on my mobile device?

Your mobile browser should find it when you type in "" but if it doesn't, the location is

I am looking for content that is on but I cannot locate that content on Mobile Baseball America.

The content on Mobile Baseball America does not contain all of the content on Some of the website content is not available on Mobile Baseball America. Under Mobile Baseball America, you may click on the last link called, 'Regular Site' and it will take you to

Technical Problems

First step for any problem with the site and if you get a blank screen or only the copyright paragraph when you click a link.

Please verify that you are using a compatible browser. For optimal viewing of and its features we recommend using Internet Explorer 5.5 or above. Netscape Navigator 4.7x and above also works. If you are using a different browser or an older version of the recommended browsers, you may experience some technical difficulties. You can obtain a free upgrade for your browser at one of the following links:

Microsoft Internet Explorer for Windows

Microsoft Internet Explorer for Macintosh

Netscape Navigator/Communicator (all platforms)

AOL (America On Line)

I enter a user id and passwword to get an online subscription but I keep getting error messages.

Make sure you entered your full e-mail address as the user ID (, for example) and submitted a password of at least six (6) characters.

I have tried to set up a login with my customer ID number and it won't work.

This feature is no longer valid. If you are a magazine subscriber and have not set up an account with your e-mail address you should call customer service. If you are not a subscriber, you can get an online subscription by clicking here.

I have forgotten my online password. How can I find out what it is?

We have created an online tool to assist subscribers in finding their user name, password, as well as changing their password and/or e-mail address.

If you are still having troubles after using the online tool, e-mail your request to Be sure to include your full name and zip code to expedite your service. You will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis.

I keep putting in my login name and password, but can't gain access.
When I sign on, the login box keeps popping up instead of taking me to the subscriber's portion of the site.

Make sure you enter your entire e-mail address (, for instance) and password. These are case sensitive, meaning that normally you should be using lower case letters.

You may have entered the wrong information in one or both fields of the login box. When you next try to sign in, clear out any characters in the User ID and Password boxes. Then retype both and try signing in. Your browser may have stored information that previously was entered incorrectly. If your browser allows you to check on stored passwords, make sure they are stored correctly.

If you are following this and it still doesn't work, try clicking on an article marked with the BA icon for subscribers only before you proceed to the login screen. This will take you to the login screen.

If you are still unsuccessful, contact customer service.

I use WebTV and I have problems with the site.

We are unable to officially support WebTV because it is only compatible up to HTML level 3.2 and our site uses HTML 4.0. We regret that WebTV users may experience difficulties because of this.

Other online subscription questions.

I can't read Prospects Plus links.

You need to have an updated version of Adobe Acrobat Reader software. Some computers have older versions of Acrobat Reader, but the older versions can have bugs in them. Version 3.0 or lower will not work.

The download is free and does not take much time. Make sure you install it on your hard drive after downloading. Downloads, often by default, go to your desktop. To install, just double click on the icon that was downloaded and follow the instructions.

You can find Adobe's download page, which is also linked on the Prospects Plus table of contents page, here:

Minor Leagues

How do you guys come up with your prospect ratings? I know lots of players who have better numbers than the guys you call top prospects, but they never get any respect. What makes a prospect, anyway?

Our prospect ratings are based on our own research and conversations with scouts, managers, instructors, front-office personnel and others in the game. Obviously all of that input is very important, but we make the final determination about where players fit on our various lists.

We pay the most attention to a player's long-term potential, and his chances of reaching that potential. A pitcher who could be a No. 1 starter usually rates higher than a guy who's seen as a No. 4 starter, for instance, even if the second player has performed better in the minors. Others who rate prospects often pay more attention to a player's present value—what he can do for an organization right away.

That's why even players who haven't lived up to expectations yet can be so high in our prospect ratings. Based on their ability and potential, if they put it all together they could be major league stars. Another thing to pay attention to is a player's age. A 19-year-old who's putting up decent numbers in Triple-A is much more impressive than a 22-year-old who's tearing up a Class A league.

Of course no one can ever predict with certainty whether a player will reach his potential or whether an unheralded player will come through and surprise everyone. But we think Baseball America has a solid track record, which is why most people regard us as the best source of prospect information in the business.

Why are some players ranked higher than others in the team rankings, but lower on the Top 100 Prospects list? Do you use different criteria when doing the Top 100 Prospects list?

We have about 10 different people who do Top 10 Prospects lists for us. Those lists are put together based on our own research and talking with scouts, managers, front-office people and the like. When we meld that all into the Top 100 Prospects list, we all rank a personal top 150 and combine those in a raw list. We have a long discussion and make adjustments to the list, and we bounce it off other people as well. You end up with different results than the Top 10s sometimes because we each have our own opinions about where players should go in relation to each other. When you put them all together it inevitably brings results that are sometimes different from the Top 10s.

We think that's OK because these are all just tools to help you and us determine the most promising players. Besides, things can change even from when a Top 10 list is put together. Some players get traded from organizations we hadn't yet done Top 10s for, to organizations whose Top 10s were already completed. So we have to figure them in.

What are the qualifications for a player to be on his organization's Top 10 Prospects list?

For a player to appear on a Top 10, he must not yet have reached the rookie minimums for at-bats (130) or innings (50) in the major leagues. Service time does not factor into this decision, so a player could spend three months in the big leagues while playing sparingly and still be eligible for a Top 10 list.

How long before draftees report to their assignments? When are assignments handed out?

Most draftees will report to short-season leagues, which begin playing June 20-23. In most cases teams will send college players to the Northwest and New York-Penn leagues and high school players to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast and Arizona leagues. Teams in the advanced Rookie-level Appalachian and Pioneer leagues are stocked with both high school and college players. Some advanced college players, mostly from the larger Division I schools, will go to full-season Class A teams.

For how long is a player unavailable to be traded? For one year after he signs? For one year after his draft day?

A player can't be traded until a year after he signs his first pro contract.

How long do players stay in extended spring training and what is the daily ritual?

Extended spring is like a combination of spring training, instructional league and the regular Gulf Coast League season. The exact ritual varies a little from team to team, but basically you're talking about drills and practice games. There are a couple of different types of players there: players rehabbing from injuries and players who are not ready for full-season assignments. Most of the players in extended spring will be there until June, when the short-season leagues begin play.

How can I get in touch with a Minor League Baseball team?

The Baseball America Directory is a great resource for locating teams, team information, and club personnel. You can also locate club information at

Major Leagues

Can you explain how the free-agent compensation process works?

Every offseason, the Elias Sports Bureau compiles rankings of all major league players, based on the previous two years' stats. The players are ranked by position groups: catchers; designated hitters, first basemen and outfielders; second basemen, third basemen and shortstops; starting pitchers; and relief pitchers. The players are then broken down into Type A, Type B and unranked free agents.

Type A players are players rated in the top 20 percent of all players at their position. Type B players are players rated in the 21-40 percent bracket at their position. Because players are only compared to others at similar positions, some players might be a Type A but seem to be not as good as some Type B players, etc., but that's how the system works.

When a team loses a free agent who is ranked in one of the two categories, it receives compensation as follows (if and only if it offered the free agent arbitration before he signed with his new team):
  • Type A: Team losing player gets signing team's first-round pick as well as a supplemental first-round pick. If the signing team is picking in the first half of the first round, it loses its second-rounder instead of their first-rounder.
  • Type B: Team losing player gets a supplemental first-round pick.
If a team doesn't offer arbitration to its free agent, it gets nothing when he signs with another team. This brings up the next question of why don't the teams always offer arbitration? The answer is, they might simply be afraid he'll accept it. It's a gamble some teams aren't willing to take, even if it seems likely the player is heading out of town.

When is a player eligible for free agency and salary arbitration?

For a player to be eligible for free agency, he must have a minimum of six years service time. This is different from the arbitration rules, where the top one-sixth (in terms of service time) of the players between two and three years of service are eligible for arbitration.

How do options work?

When a player is added to a 40-man roster for the first time, the major league team is permitted three optional assignments of his contract, or three "option years." This gives them the option to assign that player to the minor leagues without requiring him to clear waivers. For each season thereafter in which the player is assigned to a minor league team, one option is used up.

When a player is out of options, he can still be assigned to the minor leagues, but first he must clear waivers.

A player can receive a fourth option if he has less than five seasons of pro experience. Draftees who immediately sign a major league contract will qualify unless they reach the majors quickly and stick there. Otherwise, they'll have their three options exhausted after their first three years in pro ball. A season is defined as any year in which the player spends 90 days on the active list. Short-season and Rookie leagues don't last 90 calendar days, so a player assigned to those leagues for an entire year won't accrue a season of pro experience. Also if a player has a long-term injury, he usually won't be credited for a season that year. (The exception is if he goes on the disabled list after spending 60 days on an active list, in which case the DL time counts as service time.)

How do waivers work?

A waiver is defined as a permission granted for certain assignments or for the unconditional release of a major league player.

A team asking waivers must notify the commissioner's office by 2 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. The commissioner's office will then notify all of the other teams of the waiver request. The other teams then have three business days to file a claim. If no team claims the player, the waiver is granted and the player may be assigned as the team desired. If a claim is filed, the team may withdraw the waiver request and keep the player if they so choose. Otherwise the player shall be assigned to the claiming team. If more than one team files a claim, the priority goes to the team with the worst record within the same league as the team filing the waiver request.

Waivers are required for assignment to the minor leagues for any player who does not have options remaining.

Does a year spent on the disabled list count as a full season for arbitration and free-agency purposes?

Yes, time on the DL counts as service time. The only exception is that it doesn't count against Rookie of the Year eligibility. So when Chipper Jones spent the 1994 season on the disabled list, he got credit for a year of service time, but was still a rookie in 1995.

What exactly is a simulated game? You hear about pitchers on rehab participating in simulated games but I've never gotten an explanation.

A simulated game is basically a structured practice, where a pitcher will throw to hitters, simulating a real game experience. Pitchers will generally throw simulation games as one of the steps of their rehab, before they go on a minor league rehab assignment and throw in an actual game.

The Draft and Foreign Signings

What is a draft-and-follow?

Prior to 2007, drafted players who entered (or returned to) junior college remained eligible to sign with the team that drafted them until seven days before the next year's draft. Teams often signed these players almost a year later. Draft and follow is the name for this process, and such players are sometimes referred to as draft and follow players. In 2007, a universal signing date was implemented in which all draft picks must sign with the team that drafted them by Aug. 15, or they go back into the draft pool.

How is the draft order determined?

Starting in 2005, the draft is strictly in reverse order of the previous year's finish. If two teams have the same record, the club with the worst record the year before that gets the earlier pick. Before 2005, the draft alternated between AL and NL teams, with the NL team with the worst record picking first in even numbered years and the AL team selecting first in odd years.

What makes a college player eligible for the draft?

For a college player (excluding junior college players) to be eligible for the draft he must turn 21 within 45 days of the draft. So any player who turns 21 by July 20 this year (the draft is on June 5) will be eligible to be drafted as a sophomore. All junior college players are eligible for the draft.

What is the Rule 5 draft?

The Rule 5 draft takes place every year during the Winter Meetings. Players who are not on a 40-man roster and have four years of minor league service (five years if they signed when they were younger than 19 on the June 5 immediately prior to their signing) are eligible to be selected in the major league phase of the draft. In order for a team to make a selection, it must have an opening on its 40-man roster. Teams must pay $50,000 to select a player in the draft, payable to the team which loses the player.

Players selected must remain on the selecting team's 25-man major league roster throughout the next season or be offered back to the team from which they were drafted (for $25,000).

When are foreign players eligible to be signed?

Players from outside the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico may sign with major league teams when he is 16, with the restriction that he must turn 17 by the end of his first professional season.

Scouts and Tryouts

What can I do to get my teenager more exposure to pro scouts and college coaches?

The good news is that it's more likely than ever that a talented young player will be seen and evaluated. The bad news is that exposure seems to have become so important that playing becomes secondary.

At least 31 professional organizations (30 major league teams plus the Major League Scouting Bureau) cover virtually every area of the country. College and junior college programs are more sophisticated than ever in their recruiting. The major national showcases such as the Area Code Games have scouting networks that rival many pro clubs.

To maximize your opportunities, play on the best summer club you can find after your sophomore and junior seasons. This is the key time of year for college coaches and scouts. During the spring they are either bearing down on draft-eligible players or trying to win games.

If you have a college that you would like to attend, go to a camp at the school during the summer so the coach gets to know you and you get to know the staff and school better. Even if the coach doesn't end up having a spot for you, he'll be a ready resource for advice and recommendations.

The top showcases are all by invitation only, but you can call theorganizations that run them to find out about tryouts. They're all found in Baseball America's Directory, a valuable resource to find people throughout the game. If you get invited to a showcase, you don't have to worry about exposure. But be skeptical of the numerous events that call themselves showcases and charge large amounts of money to allow you to participate.

It's impossible to rate all of them here, but the buyer (you) should beware. Check out references and weigh the cost and time against the potential benefit. If you find out about a professional team holding a workout or tryout during the summer, plan on attending if possible. These are free and will expose you to the routines typical of tryouts and showcases, as well as putting you in front of scouts.

The more people who see you, the better. The bottom line is that if you play a lot and have talent, the chances are good that you will get the exposure you're looking for. Just don't mistake exposure for talent.

Can you tell me when the major league team or independent league in my area is holding tryouts?

Tryout information is sometimes posted on Major League Baseball's Website. But calling major league organizations and independent leagues is about the only method we know of to make sure you find out about them all. We don't keep up with tryout camp information, but the best suggestion is to get Baseball America's Directory, which has names and phone numbers for everyone you would possibly want to try out with. The Directory is available in most bookstores or you can order it by calling 800-845-2726 or ordering through our online store.

Still Curious?

If all of your questions weren't answered here, check out Ask BA. Or, you can head over to the Help page.