Baseball talent evaluators, or scouts, are paid staff members of professional organizations who crisscross the country and the world attending scholastic, collegiate and amateur games to find potential prospects. Amateur players are selected annually in a draft. With or without the attention of a professional scout, a player's chances of making the major leagues are small. However, the attention of a pro scout can greatly improve a player's chances of being drafted and playing in at least the lower levels of professional baseball.
How to Get Noticed by Baseball Scouts
Send a letter or informational package about yourself to the director of amateur scouting of every Major League Baseball team. Highlight specific skills, accomplishments and goals at amateur or scholastic levels of play. In a humble fashion, document individual accomplishments, the accomplishments of your team and how you impacted it specifically. Close by highlighting your future goals as a player, areas where you'd like to improve and skills you're still developing. Include contact information, any statistical data on your play and any newspaper clippings recounting your performance or performance of your team.
Include a DVD of video highlights, including key performances and execution of particular skills. Pitchers may want to display their repertoire of pitches, savvy fielders may want to showcase their command of certain drills and players with speed may want to include video of running the bases. Consider highlighting throwing distance and accuracy. Avoid ostentatiousness and outlandish production values.
Archive an informational packet online on your personal website, and generate traffic to the site using contemporary social networking programs such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Utilize as many new media channels as possible to promote your skills; update your page with statistics and highlights regularly.
Attend an amateur tryout if you are between the ages of 16 and 22. All major league clubs hold amateur tryouts each off-season. Scouts or members of that particular club's scouting team attend and observe participants. Contact the club nearest you, either by telephone or via letter, for information on the date and location of its annual tryout. Players are required to bring their own equipment; there is no charge for attending.
Attend private camps held during the summer and during scholastic holidays. While there are usually fees for these camps, they allow you to practice and improve in the company of other elite players. They also showcase talent at a more competitive level than might be found locally. Research online for an updated list of camps in the United States.
Try out for a high-level and competitive summer league team. Merely playing on the local scholastic, Babe Ruth, American Legion or Little League level will not gain you enough exposure. Professional scouts attend the best regional and national amateur tournaments and games that have the most-skilled players.