About the Major League Scouting Bureau

The Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau was founded in 1974 by the major league clubs to provide a centralized scouting department to allow teams to get the best available information on baseball prospects. It was initally an independent entity but was brought under Major League Baseball’s wing in 1985 by the commissioner at the time, Peter Uebberoth. It was done to cut costs by teams who found that it was much less expensive to use the scouting ureau than to operate their own scouting departments.

Function

  • Scouts are always working hard looking at the players eligible for that year’s draft. After the June draft each year the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau sends its scouts out to view younger prospects that they did not have time to see prior to the draft. Many are 15- and 16-year old kids that play in special events pitting the most talented baseball players that age against each other. From this scouting lists are compiled of players to follow more closely before the next draft–hundreds of names in most seasons.

Considerations

  • The Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau will receive letters, phone calls and faxes from parents of players, as well as the players themselves, in an effort to get noticed. Coaches, agents and even girlfriends will contact the bureau to have scouts sent out to take a look at a kid. Videotapes and photos of a player’s swing are sent in in an effort to get a prospect a chance to be seen. in the summer the bureau conducts a number of tryout camps throughout the country where players can go and showcase their skills.

Effects

  • The Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau holds a scout school each year in Arizona for those individuals who wish to learn about and work in the area of player development. Former players and baseball club employees who want to become a scout or player development director attend the school. Almost three quarters of these people wind up with some sort of job in baseball, including Kenny Williams, who went on to become the general manager of the Chicago White Sox and won a World Series with the team in 2005.

Potential

  • The bureau has a strict system to evaluate a position player’s ability. They rate prospects on a scale of 2 through 8 in five categories. Hitting, hitting for power, running, fielding, and arm strength are all looked at. A 2 is the low end of scale while an 8 is outstanding. Scouts are taught to try to envision a player’s potential in a few years, and they include this in their ratings and in their reports.

Types

  • Pitchers are graded on their types of pitches ranging from fastballs, to curveballs, to sliders and other breaking pitches. Scouts need to rely on their instincts with pitchers and attempt to project what type of player the young man will become in the majors. To obtain more information on the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau’s tryouts you can call 1-909-980-1881.