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What To Do When A College Coach Or
Professional Scout Comes To Watch You Play

 


Coach Rich Hofman
Westminster Academy
Director of Baseball Operations

 


These questions assume that the visit by a college coach is after the July 1st contact date, of the player's junior year.


Question: If the prospective player is a position player should he receive extra batting practice pitches and a longer infield or outfield warm-up period? (more balls hit to him)

Answer: He should not receive extra if it's during pre-game warm-ups. If it is during batting practice extra ground balls could be hit to him?

 
Question: How important is a players "hustle" on and off the field ... to positions during the "warm-up" period, etc. ?

Answer: They are watched from the time they leave the clubhouse, until they return ..... It is very important!!

 
Question: Is the player's physical appearance a significant factor to a scout or coach? (I do not mean is the player 6'-0" tall and weigh 185 lbs) What I refer to is facial hair, dress, tattoos, body piercings, etc.

Answer: There is a common code that is usually adhered to by both professional and college baseball people. It usually includes being "clean cut"

 
Question: Should a player display a vocal leadership when a coach or scout is in attendance? Even if it is not his normal make-up (nature)?

Answer: No ... he should do what he normally does. Hustle and discipline will be seen.

 
Question: What is your recommendation regarding whether a player or parent should introduce themselves to a professional scout?

Answer: The scout will find the parent or player. No need to be over bearing.

 
Question: Should the high school coach be the contact point for college coaches and professional, regarding a prospective player? This assumes that the coach wants this responsibility.

Answer: Yes. He knows the player best. If he doesn't know or want the job, the parent should take over.

 
Question: Should the player send a letter to a college coach (after his visit) thanking him for coming to watch him play?

Answer: Absolutely. The more conversation the better.

 
Question: If a player and his coach know, prior to a game that scout(s) or coaches will be in attendance, is it a good idea to provide them with the player's current statistics?

Answer: That is not necessary, unless requested. Stats are not that important

 
Question: Is it important to display a variety of pitches, or to "stick with" what he throws best and display his best control and location?

Answer: Velocity (1st), Movement & Location (2nd), Variety (3rd)

 
Question: What advice would you give your pitcher's to keep them from "over throwing" in an attempt to impress a radar gun?

Answer: He must try to get the batter out and win the game. He has to forget about the radar guns. It is hard, but necessary.

 
Question: Should a pitcher display his pick-off move to first even if the runner is not a threat to steal, or has a short lead?

Answer: He may use it once. If he doesn't need it during a game, so that a coach or scout can see how good it is.

 
Question: Should a team's pitchers be instructed to always give the catcher an "easy to handle" fastball to throw down during between inning warm-ups? In order to allow the catcher the best opportunity to display a solid "pop to pop" throwing time to second base?

Answer: The pitcher should throw his last warm-up pitch as if he were throwing to the first batter of that inning.

 
Question: Should a high school coach talk to a player about the scout(s) or coaches being in attendance or just treat the situation as "just another game"?

Answer: If the scouts do not attend often it puts too much pressure on the player. If the scouts attend regularly there will not be additional pressure.

 
Question: Please list any mistakes, or a do's and don'ts listing that you might suggest as beneficial.

Answer:

  1. The game is the most important goal, don't let the player stray from that goal.
  2. Don't make exceptions for scouts. It's their job to evaluate talent. Don't disrupt normal game or practice plans.
  3. Be courteous and have rosters, schedules and team stats available

 
Question: Other thoughts and / or ideas that you believe in, regarding the subject of college baseball recruiting?

Answer: Always write personal letters with the coaches name on the greeting. Follow up calls are important. Be honest otherwise it will hurt you later.

 


Coach Hofman has 30 years of coaching experience and has produced many great college and professional players, including Alex Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners. Coach Hofman's teams have won eight Florida State championships and two National Championships. As well as being the head coach and director of baseball operations at Westminster Academy (Fort Lauderdale), Coach Hofman runs the successful "Rich Hofman Baseball School."

http://www.wcad.edu/athome/baseball/brochure.htm

 

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