By Noah Gatsik | firstname.lastname@example.org
Every year the Flagler College baseball team has what is called “scout day.” This is a day where several professional MLB scouts come to watch the team showcase their talents and abilities. It is a great opportunity to show professionals what they can do and to get their names out there.
“It’s the one day you look forward to at the beginning of the year when we get our fall schedules,” senior outfielder Tyler Vanover said.
Scout Day consists of multiple workouts including the 60-yard dash, batting practice, taking infield and outfield positions to showcase a player’s defensive prowess, and finally ends with a scrimmage where the pitchers pitch to live hitters to simulate game-like circumstances.
This day is particularly special for seniors, because it is their final year to not only participate in scout day, but to also try and show scouts they are capable of playing at the next level professionally.
Vanover provides some input on what the day is like in the eyes of the players.
“You know that it is one of the most important days of the fall, and it’s your first opportunity of the season to make an impression.”
Needless to say, this can be an extremely stressful process. Players may try to do too much and put extra pressure on themselves to perform.
“You just have to out there and play the game the way you know how,” said senior short stop Joe Post. “At the end of the day you’re just playing another baseball game and doing drills you have done your entire life. You can’t worry about things you can’t control. You just go out there and try to do the best you can do, and the rest will take care of itself.”
Peter Bendix, an assistant in baseball research development and scouting for the Tampa Bay Rays, says that “every school that puts together a scout day creates not only opportunities for the players, but for scouts to coordinate their scouting trips, and maybe even find someone who was never even on their radar.”
And what exactly do scouts look for? This is a question that is raised among all the players.
“You obviously are hoping to see kids with what we call five-tool players,” Peter said.
A five-tool player means a player has the speed, can hit for contact and power, can field his position at a high level and has a good-to-great arm.
“It is extremely rare to find players with five-tool abilities.” Peter explained. “You hope to find someone with at least three (qualities) with the hope that you can develop the other tools while they are playing in the farm system (Minor Leagues).”
Now that scout day has come and gone successfully for the Saints, they are inching closer and closer to the start of the regular season, where they will once again be able to display their talents to professional scouts in order to pursue the ultimate dream of signing with a Major League team.