Player Development


Iowa City has proven to be a place where student-athletes can showcase their talent against Big Ten foes and opponents across the nation. But Iowa City is also the perfect place to get better and improve. Of Iowa’s 21 recent MLB Draft picks, only two were previously drafted.

Physical Growth

At Iowa, student-athletes are able to become physically stronger and better with the help of strength and conditioning Zach Walrod. In the off-season and during the season, workout plans are put in place to maximize performance on the field and for the future.

Smart Baseball

Iowa baseball coaches, players, support staff, and managers are equipped with not only the best technology and equipment in the country, but with the some of the best knowledge on how to use data and science to become the best ballplayer possible.


The Iowa Baseball program boasts one of the best — if not the best — manager program in the country. A manager staff of nearly 20 people, the managers are an integral part to team and individual success. Each manager owns a unique skillset — from data analytics, graphic design, you name it — that enables coaches and players to get the most out of each practice and game.

Cole McDonald's Growth

A small town kid turned MLB Draft pick.

"The coaching staff at Iowa is the best in the country when it comes to player development. Their ability to use technology and the information provided to effectively implement a player development plan, which creates consistent improvement, is what makes Iowa the gold standard in college baseball. If I was not a part of Iowa Baseball, I know I would not be the player I am today."

Cole McDonald -- Pitcher in the Houston Astros organization

In Cole McDonald’s last career start as a Hawkeye, he went a career-high eight innings with nine strikeouts to help Iowa to a victory over the number-one seed in the Big Ten Tournament.

It was the perfect ending to McDonald’s career. The New Hampton, Iowa, native bought into Iowa’s player development program since day one and it paid off each and every day after that.

Not only did McDonald fulfill his lifelong dream of pitching for the Hawkeyes in Black & Gold, he reached new heights. He tallied 203 strikeouts, the fifth-most in school history, and tossed a no-hitter overseas, among many other unforgettable moments.


"At Iowa, the coaches don't use technology as a recruiting tool, but actually teach you how to understand the information provided, which helps speed up each player's development process. If you are a current high school player looking to join a program -- where Coach Heller and the rest of the coaching staff are at the forefront of player development in college baseball -- then Iowa is where you should be."

Cole McDonald

Robert Neustrom

A walk-on turned power-hitting pro.

A elite, three-sport high school athlete at Sioux City Norther, Robert Neustrom joined the Iowa Baseball program as a preferred walk-on 2016.

Three years later, Neustrom made the jump to the pros after putting together a decorated career in the Black & Gold. He started the final 116 games of his career, hit a career .310, improved his home run total, and left Iowa as the highest position player drafted since 1992.

The 2018 fifth-round MLB Draft pick by the Baltimore Orioles and two-time All-Big Ten used his time in Iowa City to prepare for the next level.