I just got done re-reading one of the best articles on scouting called Best Tools (link). It contains some amazing information from actual scouts on what they are looking for in a prospect’s makeup. With so many prospects equally matched in talent, makeup plays a huge role in deciding who gets scholarships and/or draft and who doesn’t.
First, I just can’t rightfully cut and paste a whole section of the article, so the Scouting Makeup section (about 2/3 of the way down) should be read in full. It is a great how-to on what to and not to do on and off the field. Here are some quotes from the section.
I’m going to go talk to the bus driver, I’m going to go talk to the cafeteria lady, I’m going to talk to the janitor—the people who are around the kid the most but have no horse in the race and find out exactly what this kid is all about.
Obviously there’s always exceptions, but the good students, from a scouting perspective, are going to be able to retain instruction and figure it out.
Every guy, whatever the story is behind them, is going to hit a tough spot and you want to see how he’s going to deal with adversity, so hopefully you do see him in some sort of spot in a game where you can figure out if he’s going to rise to it or if he’s going to shrink from the moment. You see how the guy interacts with his teammates and you talk to his coaches to see what kind of work ethic the player has.
Besides the entire section on makeup here are some notable quotes from the infield defense section.
You want to get there early and watch him take groundballs and infield practice. While they’re taking batting practice, see how he shags them off the bat—if he does shag them off the bat. Maybe he’s the type of guy that doesn’t do that. That tells you a little bit about the guy, too. But maybe he’s power shagging out there, taking all kinds of balls off the bat in the infield or outfield. And then, of course during the infield practice, you really bear down on him to look at his instincts and his actions and his range and his arm strength to get a feel for the glove.
What I don’t like as a scout is when the infielders just half-ass the ball over to first and don’t show any arm strength. We’ve got to see the arm strength. When we don’t see it, we have to project it.
Every potential prospect needs to understand they are being looked at under a microscope and the little things will make a huge difference on which players will be offered college scholarships and/or drafted.