We are heading into the final days before the draft and a lot of teams have been taking advantage of pre-draft workouts. These are private events that are often held at the club’s MLB stadium. They can be individual showcases or programs that bring in as many as 25 players. It really just depends on what the team’s needs are. Teams have a variety of reasons for holding these workout sessions. Sometimes, it’s simply a way to get to know key players on their radar, other times it’s to see high-profile players, and in some cases, a club will just focus on regional athletes. One of the most important aspects of a pre-draft workout is for some of the main decision makers to get one-on-one time with a prospect and to get a feel for them as a person, teammate and competitor. All players, however, have to be out of their collegiate or high school seasons per NCAA and State High School rules.
For players who get invited, these workouts are a great experience to showcase athletic talent in a big league park. It can be quite surreal to walk out onto the field as a college or high school athlete and get a glimpse of what is possibly to come. It is a great experience to take advantage of and can certainly elevate a player’s position and likelihood of getting drafted if he performs well.
During these events, a lot of teams will take the time to educate players about life as a professional athlete. Take notes and listen. This is important. Life as a pro athlete is hard work. There’s lots of travel, and trades happen frequently
in the minor league system so being prepared is critical to success.
Some clubs also give physical tests as well as vision tests to attendees and the purpose is to put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together as they try to determine their full draft picture.
Always remember, however, especially with the advent of advanced analytics that it is a game played by people, coached by people and scouted by people. Analytics are a part of the puzzle but certainly not everything.