Got a friend that has a 2017 D1 bound lefty that has been contacted by approximately 10 scouts but up to this point the interest has been with questionnaires and schedule requests.  The last couple of weeks have brought about a couple request for in-home visits after the 1st of the year.  Before I posted this, I looked through some old posts concerning this subject and my takeaway was that home visits are intended to gauge the players interest in bypassing school and signability?  I know some of you on this board have went through this process so it would be appreciated if you would share your experience. 

Original Post

Agree with TPM.

Chances are both mom and dad as well as player is present. Just like on the field, the scout sees everything - type of house, furnishings, cars, wall hangings - and is (amongst other things his "scoutdar" thinks it sees) trying to define what background created the player.

I have been told that for certain type of schools, the scouts observations during the home visit are critical in weighing the stickiness of the school comittment. A scout walking into a home and seeing four generations of Stanford Diplomas hanging on the wall may gain a different impression in a home where that is missing.

A prepared family is one that has discussed the various elements which will impact the decision and can listen carefully to what the scout is saying (and ALWAYS keep in mind the scout is a salesman and may or may not be giving neutral unvarnished advice).  A prepared family comes out of these meeting with a few nuggets of good Intel, no illusions that the meeting meant anything more than the kid is on the radar, a sense of excitement and pride, a feel for what will unfold in the coming months. It can focus the family on the critical issue of college v. HS pro.

A prepared family is one which doesn't throw out a number which prices the kid out of the draft (unless the family realizes it).  It's too early for that - the kid hasn't even begun his senior season and a high priced kid may set the club expectations too high.

(Anecdote: I watched a potential first rounder who had set a seven figure bonus during home visits with multiple scout get heavily scouted during his first two senior starts. And I mean the decision makers showed up - dozens of them - to watch the kid just fold from the pressure. After three starts an occasional area scout would show up. The kid went undrafted and had an undistinguished college career. I know (heresy from an area scout) that had the bonus number been reasonable, the clubs would not have descended so aggressively so early and perhaps (just perhaps) the kid would have been a bit better of a chance if he had eased into his senior year.

In short, a scout visit is a time when both parties can measure the other.

  • Intended to gauge the players interest in bypassing school and signability? Yes. 
  • Testing: eye tests, psych tests, etc.
  • Medical background
  • Understand the person and the family behind the person: the scouts walk in with prepared questions, not terribly unlike job interview questions.
  • Talk about their program, and answer questions about their program

 

Recommendations:

  • Get an adviser.
  • Do not talk money, but answer that tough question with "what is fair and reasonable."
  • School vs. Draft question: "I am open to all possibilities" is vague enough to continue conversation at a later date. Ultimately, what you want to do is not lock into a stance this early, and keep the question unanswered.
  • Have questions prepared.
  • Offer to have them come see the player's winter workouts. We even had a few come watch strength training sessions.
  • Be truthful about that medical history
  • Let the player lead the conversation (and that will take training!!)

 

Note: They've seen the player multiple times, and it warrants a visit by the AS as the teams see the player as a draft pick. They just don't know where in the draft. The Spring Season is to show developmental progress, and helps place the player on their draft board in early June.

Not sure if this is off topic but with since we are talking about a home visit, how important is a having a big name school (power school per say) that you have committed too  play a part in getting the good money you are looking for?   for example we had a local kid going  to a good in-state school  and some scouts said that it was a (weak commit)  he ended up getting drafted for about $200k and his school being  paid for.

does the school you are committed too play a big part on being drafted ?

We had one. The conversation went well. Son attended their pro day before draft. In the end while we and he were up for the possibility of the draft, i believe college was the better option and the team's valuation of him wasn't quite in sync with what our number was for bypassing college. Ask lots of questions about typical day in the life of a MiLB player, bus rides will be brutal, medical support, college fund is another area they will reinforce to placate the parents who are concerned about education.  

It has worked out so far but the visit and attention for him was a cool experience. College was definitely the better route for my son as the maturation aspect is a huge factor for an 18 year old considering the draft over college. 

Certain schools have reputations for being difficult to pry kids away from their commitment. While each case is a uniquely personal decision, Vandy, Duke, Stanford, and the Ivies come to mind. (And there are no hard and fast rules about the amount the kid throws out; I have known kids from wealthy families ask for the moon and kids from more humble backgrounds take huge discounts and vice versa. Again, the better understood the process, the more educated the family, the more research done, the better each kid and family lays out reasonable goals and expectations, the better. This HS/pro decision is a one way fork in the road - with far ranging and permanent consequences.)

C2019, yes, each HS draft contact has a college scholarship component, that will not come close to covering college when (and if [since the minority of players do not graduate]) the player decides to use it. (There are several threads discussing the MLB scholarship program and its intricacies.)

One big challenge for the scout is to determine whether the player is (a) slot round material, (b) what the player's number is, (c) whether the two match up close enough. For example, one kid may look at Big U as the culmination of a dream college experience, while another could look at the same school less enthusiastically.  An organization which miscalculated the strength of the commitment may either waste a slot pick (unsigned and lose the amount) or chose not to draft the player only to see another organization grab him.

These early in-home visits are part of the process to rank the players in some semblance of draft order (perhaps 2000 players on the board for 40 draft picks).  Come the Spring season, a good scout is a well organized scout, and a well organized scout is one who did lots of preliminary leg work. 

c2019 posted:

Not sure if this is off topic but with since we are talking about a home visit, how important is a having a big name school (power school per say) that you have committed too  play a part in getting the good money you are looking for?   for example we had a local kid going  to a good in-state school  and some scouts said that it was a (weak commit)  he ended up getting drafted for about $200k and his school being  paid for.

does the school you are committed too play a big part on being drafted ?

 

It all comes down to the players signability and leverage, and the above that you describe indicates the player had no leverage and the team knew it.  Just committing to a power program doesn't improve your draft status, it only improves the players choices.  Having a large commitment ($$$$) gives you leverage.

Everyone feels differently but IMO, 200k as a signing bonus and money for school ( the scholarship plan isn't as wonderful as it sounds) vs attending a power program with a good baseball program wouldn't be a good choice for my son.

 

Joe pretty much covered it. I will second the idea about an advisor.  If the other side says you don't need one, then you do. My son's advisor helped him and us tremendously (and still does even though he is in college). After the first couple of visits, we could have filled out a form as all the teams were very similar, ask the same questions, etc, etc.  It was an enjoyable, yet stressing, experience.

One other piece of advice that we were given was to set a cut off date (ours was a date in January) so the visits did not progress through the baseball season. We also chose one night a week and tried to see two in an evening so that several evenings were not occupied.

Goosegg posted:

One big challenge for the scout is to determine whether the player is (a) slot round material, (b) what the player's number is, (c) whether the two match up close enough.

Agree with Goosegg. And let me add this...

All factors at your disposal are a part of your overall effort to create leverage, so it's how you position yourself using the leverage at your disposal. Some hypotheticals:

  • Player is straight A, high ACT/SAT going to UVA. Given UVA's hold on its recruits, the club knows it will take a lot to free up that player. The family/adviser uses that as an advantage.
  • Player with poor grades from below median income going to JUCO. Given that a JUCO player can leave after the first year, it's leverage, i.e., "if we don't believe the offer is good, we'll go to JUCO."

 

NOTE: all is meaningless without competition for that player from other clubs! So what's the action item? Make sure you invite everyone to winter and spring workouts! Why? So that the scouts can see each other. They ALL know each other, but they don't know who is looking at whom. That information will be in their weekly scouting reports, e.g., saw player X on Wednesday, workout also attended by Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Orioles, etc.

FWIW, offering school paid in full as part of the incentive is not worth anything unless you use it.

After almost 10 years son returned to finish his degree, and thankfully Clemson paid everything from tuition to room and board for 2 semesters.  The school didn't care if they were reimbursed or not, and the wonderful woman who runs the Tiger Fund Program told me it was like pulling teeth from a tiger (literally).  Be prepared to pay in advance and wait forever for reimbursement. If room and board isn't covered, there is more money out of your pocket.

It all comes down to knowing what you are doing, if you have a very good advisors and top talent they will make it worth signing. Other than that, for most, going to school is a better option.

joemktg posted:
Goosegg posted:

One big challenge for the scout is to determine whether the player is (a) slot round material, (b) what the player's number is, (c) whether the two match up close enough.

Agree with Goosegg. And let me add this...

All factors at your disposal are a part of your overall effort to create leverage, so it's how you position yourself using the leverage at your disposal. Some hypotheticals:

  • Player is straight A, high ACT/SAT going to UVA. Given UVA's hold on its recruits, the club knows it will take a lot to free up that player. The family/adviser uses that as an advantage.
  • Player with poor grades from below median income going to JUCO. Given that a JUCO player can leave after the first year, it's leverage, i.e., "if we don't believe the offer is good, we'll go to JUCO."

 

NOTE: all is meaningless without competition for that player from other clubs! So what's the action item? Make sure you invite everyone to winter and spring workouts! Why? So that the scouts can see each other. They ALL know each other, but they don't know who is looking at whom. That information will be in their weekly scouting reports, e.g., saw player X on Wednesday, workout also attended by Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Orioles, etc.

Joe, thx for the info,

this is the first time ive heard of this, "Make sure you invite everyone to winter and spring workouts" how does that work?

c2019 posted:
joemktg posted:
Goosegg posted:

One big challenge for the scout is to determine whether the player is (a) slot round material, (b) what the player's number is, (c) whether the two match up close enough.

Agree with Goosegg. And let me add this...

All factors at your disposal are a part of your overall effort to create leverage, so it's how you position yourself using the leverage at your disposal. Some hypotheticals:

  • Player is straight A, high ACT/SAT going to UVA. Given UVA's hold on its recruits, the club knows it will take a lot to free up that player. The family/adviser uses that as an advantage.
  • Player with poor grades from below median income going to JUCO. Given that a JUCO player can leave after the first year, it's leverage, i.e., "if we don't believe the offer is good, we'll go to JUCO."

 

NOTE: all is meaningless without competition for that player from other clubs! So what's the action item? Make sure you invite everyone to winter and spring workouts! Why? So that the scouts can see each other. They ALL know each other, but they don't know who is looking at whom. That information will be in their weekly scouting reports, e.g., saw player X on Wednesday, workout also attended by Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Orioles, etc.

Joe, thx for the info,

this is the first time ive heard of this, "Make sure you invite everyone to winter and spring workouts" how does that work?

JOEMKT - While you are at it, can you expand upon your UVA/JUCO example?  I'm guessing you want the clubs thinking that they will have to pry you away from your commitment with just enough dollars.  A high school player's default position should be "go play college ball" until they are presented on offer that is viewed as more valuable than the college route.  Not looking for any discussion of dollars, but any real life arguments about the relative merits of pro versus college ball that the clubs most often throw out to the family.

When we set up two visits in an evening, they often would see each other or at least another car parked out front.  Competition is good as is being able to tell the scouts which colleges made offers to you. But don't lie. Baseball world is a very, very small community.

2017LHPscrewball posted:
 

JOEMKT - While you are at it, can you expand upon your UVA/JUCO example?  I'm guessing you want the clubs thinking that they will have to pry you away from your commitment with just enough dollars.  A high school player's default position should be "go play college ball" until they are presented on offer that is viewed as more valuable than the college route.  Not looking for any discussion of dollars, but any real life arguments about the relative merits of pro versus college ball that the clubs most often throw out to the family.

Not Joe, but Pros will say

1) where do you think the best coaches are?  College or pros?

2) Colleges have to win now. If you have a bad game or games, college will tend to sit you whereas Pros are interested in long term development and will keep playing you no matter what.

3) will also talk about College Scholarship Fund if the situation fits. Problem here is how often is it used ( I've read various %'s from under 10 to 30-40%). Be aware of the restrictions/rules. Once you start, got to continue. And then practically, will your son actually use it at age 24 or 26 or whenever. He may be a 26 yr old freshman and may feel out of place with other 18 yr freshman at college

These are first three that come to mind

c2019 posted:

Joe, thx for the info,

this is the first time ive heard of this, "Make sure you invite everyone to winter and spring workouts" how does that work?

Sure. It's as simple as an open invitation with a schedule.

Right now, your friend's 2017 LHP is working out, possibly even throwing. And this player has a schedule to which he is adhering. Send that schedule to the interested area scouts with a note to invite them to watch. This includes his throwing sessions during the season (assuming the HS coach doesn't have a problem with observers).

Suggest posting the schedule online (via Google Docs) so that the scouts can see the schedule as needed.

Keep in mind this is all relevant to the player. A top prospect can invite scouts to show up for his winter workouts and they will attend. A player who is getting interest but not on a teams top prospects list may not get that consideration.

Same goes for having an advisor. You will know if you need one or not by your prospect status. They will come looking for you. If they don't, you probably don't need one.  Don't commit to anything until you have to.

JMO

Thanks for all the great info.  My buddy tuned in to all the responses but has yet to join the fray that is HSBBW....lol.  Their plans are pretty simple.  They have been and will be honest with scouts about the players desire to go to school.  As for the home visit, that scout is aware of the strong commitment to the school but still wants to visit. 

2017LHPscrewball posted:

JOEMKT - While you are at it, can you expand upon your UVA/JUCO example?  I'm guessing you want the clubs thinking that they will have to pry you away from your commitment with just enough dollars.  A high school player's default position should be "go play college ball" until they are presented on offer that is viewed as more valuable than the college route.  Not looking for any discussion of dollars, but any real life arguments about the relative merits of pro versus college ball that the clubs most often throw out to the family.

The scouts, almost to a person, will say that it's not their job to convince a player to go pro. And that's how it should be, as that's not their job.

The area scouts' responsibility is to gather as much information as possible, and THAT'S WHERE THE PLAYER AND THE FAMILY CAN EXERT CONTROL. Not deceive, but to use all the available information to leverage so as to support a position.

Area scouts know that UVA asks their recruits to sign a pledge that they will attend UVA and not opt for the draft. For a high caliber ballplayer, that's a tough situation for all parties. But it's leverage that can be used to better position the player. PDOOMA* alert: player can use this to say that "I am committed to UVA, and I've signed a pledge to that end, so I'm strongly leaning in that direction." Note the "strongly leaning in that direction": the door is slightly ajar.

 

*PDOOMA: pulled directly out of my ass

joemktg posted:
2017LHPscrewball posted:

JOEMKT - While you are at it, can you expand upon your UVA/JUCO example?  I'm guessing you want the clubs thinking that they will have to pry you away from your commitment with just enough dollars.  A high school player's default position should be "go play college ball" until they are presented on offer that is viewed as more valuable than the college route.  Not looking for any discussion of dollars, but any real life arguments about the relative merits of pro versus college ball that the clubs most often throw out to the family.

The scouts, almost to a person, will say that it's not their job to convince a player to go pro. And that's how it should be, as that's not their job.

The area scouts' responsibility is to gather as much information as possible, and THAT'S WHERE THE PLAYER AND THE FAMILY CAN EXERT CONTROL. Not deceive, but to use all the available information to leverage so as to support a position.

Area scouts know that UVA asks their recruits to sign a pledge that they will attend UVA and not opt for the draft. For a high caliber ballplayer, that's a tough situation for all parties. But it's leverage that can be used to better position the player. PDOOMA* alert: player can use this to say that "I am committed to UVA, and I've signed a pledge to that end, so I'm strongly leaning in that direction." Note the "strongly leaning in that direction": the door is slightly ajar.

 

*PDOOMA: pulled directly out of my ass

nice,  how do you feel about Social media and connecting networking with coaches and others?

c2019 posted:

nice,  how do you feel about Social media and connecting networking with coaches and others?

The word is...innocuous. Avoid social issues, political issues, and opinions on the topic du jour. Keep your account clean of any opinion. Post gifs of puppies, kittens, etc.

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×