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My son is 15. He recently attended his second showcase / tryout. The showcase team is coached by mostly pro associate scouts. The organization has a good reputation of helping kids get seen and developing players.

In the two tryouts he has attended, it is hard to figure out how a kid gets noticed...if you don't hit "bombs" over the center field fence. (incidently which hardly any do)

Most kids hit line drives, field balls cleanly, and run a respectable 60 yd.

At these tryouts, you get 8 ground balls at short, 8 pitches to hit, with no warm up pitches and 8 pitches to throw with no warm ups off the mound.

How does a kid realistically stand out in this type of setting?

As always all advice and commentary is appreciated.
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Keep in mind that many scouts and college coaches may be paying more attention to mechanics than results. Factors like great footwork, soft and quick hands, agility and athleticism, speed, a strong and accurate arm, a good swing, consistency at the plate, etc. are all noticed when assessing a player's ability and potential.
Last edited by Infield08
How do you stand out at a showcase?

When you are evaluating players at a showcase you are looking for the players that separate themselves from the group. The players that do this will show tools that allow them to do just that.

Fielding. Footwork , soft hands , athletic ability , ability to play through the baseball , fluid infield actions , arm action , arm strength.

Arm Strength.


Short fluid swing that produces consistent hard contact.

There will three types of players present at one of these. The players that are out of water so to speak. They are not at the level of the group.

The group. Many will fall into this area. They all are pretty much the same in what they bring to the table. They pretty much blend in with one another.

The last group are the guys you have come to see. They stand out above the group. They do this by showing a tool or tools that makes them stand out. For some its hard to see. For others its not as hard to see.

When you do this stuff all the time and you have been around the game for a long time it becomes alot easier to see. I never look where the baseball is going when I am watching the hitters. I am looking at the swing process , the hands , the swing path , the bat speed , etc.

When I am evaluating the fielders I am looking at the approach - do they know how to approach the baseball , fielding actions , hands , footwork , athletic ability , arm actions , arm strength.

Some kids will stand out. They will be obviously guys you will want to take a closer look at and sometimes simply no brainers. They stand out like a sore thumb. Others will be on the other end of that spectrum its just the way it is. And the vast majority of the players will all bend in together.

There will always be a couple of guys that fall into the group that can flat out play the game. They are gamers. They dont stand out in a showcase or Pro Style Workout but they just can play the game. But all of these type of kids will have solid tools but not tools that jump out at you. These guys will eventually I will eventually find because I will see them in games over the course of the spring and summer.

If your kid goes to one of these and he is not one of the fastest guys , not one of the best fielders , does not have one of the best arms , does not produce one of the best swings - he will not be one to stand out. The more of these top tools at the event he has the more he will stand out. Sometimes he only has to show extremely well in one tool to get noticed. But being just as good as everyone else will mean he is average just like everyone else. Except the 2 or 3 that they are looking for.
Blu ... Are you talking about trying out for a showcase team or showcasing at an event?

If you're talking about trying out for a showcase team just put the best foot forward talent-wise, hustle and show a positive attitude. Be aware showcase teams often have most of their roster selected before tryouts. They know the area talent.

At fifteen are you talking about a feeder team into a showcase team? Or is your son trying out for a 17/18U showcase team?

If you're talking about showcasing at an event it helps if the showcase team coach contacts college coaches of school your son is interested in ahead of time. Of course, his coach has to believe he can play at that college. The coach's credibility is on the line when he makes the call.
Last edited by RJM
From the post it appears to be a pro style tryout format where kids are trying out for a showcase team. Many programs around here hold "ID" tryouts. BP 8 swings or two rounds of 6 , 60 time , some gb's at SS , throws from rf , pitchers throw a short pen , catchers throw down to 2b and catch the pens.

Coaches of the team hold these to ID players they might be interested in.

Is this the case Blu? I would think so.
Coach May ... What percentage of showcase teams in your area hold tryouts versus invite the talent they know? If the team holds tryouts what percentage of the roster is mostly a done deal before the tryouts?

The reason I ask is in our area my observation is players are invited to be on a showcase team. Other players may be invited to practice to be quantified before being invited to be on the team. Even the one program that holds tryouts is likely to take a good percentage of their previous 16U players. But being on the 16U team isn't a guarantee of moving up to the showcase team. One program throws most of their 16U team under the bus for stud recruits at 17/18U.
Last edited by RJM
There are several ways players are selected for showcase teams in NC. I ran ID camps , showcase events and coached for the Dirtbags for a few years before stepping away before this past fall season.

#1- ID Camps - All players are invited to attend a one day pro style tryout. Several of these are held. These usually cost around 25 bucks to cover the cost of running the camp. Each player is given a T shirt with a number on it so you keep up with them. They all run the 60. Infielders are all put at SS with the 1B at 1st. They get a gb right at them. A gb to their right. A gb to their left. And a slow roller.

They are evaluated by the coaches.

The outfielders make throws from rf to 3b and to home.
Each player take bp sometimes a couple of rounds of 8 or depending on the amount of players present 1 round of 8 or 10.

Catchers throw down to second base and are evaluated while they catch the pens.

Pitchers throw in the pen and are evaluated by the staff.

From these ID camps you will pick up some kids. Its not uncommon to have 50-75 players attend and pick up only 1 or 2 players. Somtimes I have seen 0 picked up. Sometimes I have seen as many as 6 or 7 picked up.

#2- Scouting HS games. I scout numerous hs games each season. Sometimes you see a kid and there is no doubt you want to pick the kid up. Sometimes you like the kid but want a closer look. You may invite him to an ID camp or a showcase event.

#3- Showcase events held outside of the hs season. At these events there will be a pro style workout on day one. And then the players will be put on teams and they will play a couple of games. Players are selected from these events as well.

#4- Scouts , HS coaches , College coaches - Sometimes you get a call from one of these sources. You go specifically to a hs game to see the player and evaluate him.

#5- State Games tryouts or as in VA the Commonwealth games etc. You go to evaluate the players as they are trying out for these teams. Many of the best players in the state will have been nominated for these teams. Its a good way to see a lot of players in one location. Sometimes you pick up some players this way.

Every showcase team is different. But the top showcase teams in NC are constantly looking for the top players. Each year players move up and graduate off of the teams. There is always a need to ID and select the best players you can find. It is not uncommon for most to have a 14 - 15 yr old team 16 - 17 year old team and an 18u team. And in some cases a couple of teams in the 14 - 15 and 16 -17 groups.

Many times kids play football and you need to have players to come on board for the fall season. Sometimes players decide that it is not for them. And sometimes you decide they are not for you.

Once the player has been ID'd as a player you would like to have. Then you talk to the player and you talk to his coaches. You meet his parents and you evaluate what type of young man he is and what type of parent they are. You tell them what is expected and what they can expect from you. If both parties are in agreement and they like you and you like them you bring them on board.

The roster is never set because it always fluctuates. If you ID enough kids that your numbers in a certain age group will not work you start another team in that age group. Its a nice problem to have.

If I see a talented player that has the ability to play at the next level or is a young kid with the potential to play at a high level he is not going to be turned away. He will have the opportunity if he is a good kid with a good attitude and wants it. But its a situation where you have the ability to be very selective. Many times we give information on players we have seen to other coaches that are looking for players. This player may not be a good fit for us right now but a good fit for them.

And sometimes we absolutely miss on guys. A couple being kids I saw at an ID camp and they were not even thought about. And then they came back the next year and Wow! Two come to mind that started as freshman in the ACC. And then others that made you say Wow at 16 and Oh no at 18.

But those are exceptions not the rule.

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