Finding out a players 'accurate' playing level and ability becomes difficult because most make the fatal mistake of overestimating their abilities and as a result target the wrong schools. Coaches see thousands of players a year. You are either the right fit ability-wise or you are not. There is no way to "mask" this, so it is important to be as realistic as possible.
For example, a senior high school right-handed pitcher throwing an 82-84mph fastball with an above-average change-up and breaking ball and very good control. This type of player has a good chance of finding a school to earn a baseball scholarship and play some level of college baseball. Statistically, it would be foolish to target top 20 Division I baseball programs or Division I baseball programs in general. Has there ever been a RHP (right-handed pitcher) throwing 84 mph that has played at a major Division I university... sure.
But statistically, the chances are extremely low. So, if your player's goal is to play college ball, or earn a scholarship you should target schools where there is a probability of getting selected. Make sure you get an honest, unbiased opinion about your ability. Don't rely on the wrong sources, who have an emotional or personal interest, don't have the skills to assess accurately, or simply don't want to hurt your feelings. The hardest part of getting an "honest" evaluation is getting a party that does not have anything invested to give their opinion. Recruiting services and some tournaments often times have "agenda's" because they are all making a bid for your MONEY! Finding the right private instructor without select teams can be an excellent resource because they are a neutral party who can usually give a fair evaluation.
Academic Standing & Grades
The other factor which goes hand in hand with playing ability is academic standing. The NCAA has strict guidelines which must be met to be NCAA compliant. Once they are NCAA compliant they must meet the academic standing for the college. Junior Colleges and the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) have different standards that are usually much lower than that of Universities.
It is also important to keep in mind that just because the NCAA declares you eligible for a Division I university, the actual university you want to attend may have higher standards. Contact the admissions department on campus. College coaches do not have the time to answer questions and complete every detail for each player interested in their school.
Narrowing Down The Search
Once you have established your ability level and academic fit, it is important to research the schools you are most interested in and target them. Again making a "fit" a priority and not spending time, energy, and money on statistically low percentage fits. It is important to make a physical list of possible Junior Colleges, Division I Universities, Division II Universities, Division III Universities, and NAIA schools. As you develop the list, you may have certain factors that are most important to you. Here are a few that may be on your list: distance from home, cost of attendance, and scholarships available.