Tim Kendell – Looking at your game through the baseball scout’s eyes

Tim Kendell – Looking at your game through the baseball scout’s eyes

When recruiting, there are certain aspects of the game that scouts notice and often place at a higher value on than others. Give yourself the best chance for success by developing a thorough understanding of what it is that scouts are watching for.

Scouts want the ‘whole package.’ They want a prospect that is well-rounded and holds a strong knowledge of the game. So, think about your game. What are your strengths? Your weaknesses? Where do you think you need to improve?

Here are a few tips on what scouts look for in a prospect:

Overall Athleticism.

The first thing they will take note of is a player’s overall athleticism. Speed, power, and size all play a part in this evaluation and small advantages can have a big impact on your career. So, train hard. Aim to get stronger and faster through training and practice.

Passion.

Playing on an elite baseball team comes with a grooling schedule that can be mentally and physically exhausting. Top prospects need to have a passion for the game. It takes heart to stay fully committed.

The fundamentals.

Never underestimate the importance of having a solid foundation of knowledge on the game. Understand the strategy. Know how to take second lead or where to go in a double cut-off situation. If you don’t know the strategies, you will get passed over for someone who does.

Running speed.

Of course speed is an advantage. The ability for a player to earn singles and steal bases puts the team in a scoring position and the difference between ‘out’ and ‘safe’ is only a fraction of a second away. The 60-yard dash is often used as a quick measure of speed and stealing ability. The Major League average for the 60-yard dash is 6.9 seconds. Practice. Practice. Practice.

Throwing strength.

Arm strength can make the game easier but it is also a tool that gets noticed. For pitchers, focus on speed and control. For those in the the infield, place a target at first base and don’t stop until you can make 10-of-10 consistently.

Defensive skills.

Scouts are going to examine your stats, focusing in on your errors, chances and field percentage. But, they are also going to be watching for your body conditioning, your instincts, your reliability and consistency in making good plays, and your arm strength. Do not neglect your long toss.

Hitting for power.

Practice hitting the ball to 450 feet consistently. Scouts give high points for power and speed.

Hitting for average.

When it comes to stepping up to home plate, scouts are going to be watching your hand path, head movement and general decision making. Your batting average is important but so is your walk/strikeout ratio. This stat shows a lot about discipline, eye and hand coordination and knowledge of the strike zone.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to make sure that you don’t focus solely on one area of your game. Being well-rounded is essential.

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