Schmidt Interview

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Major League Baseball Scouting

Bill Schmidt
Director of Scouting
Colorado Rockies

Bill Schmidt began his direction of the Rockies scouting department on Oct. 1, 1999. He is the second scouting director in club history.

Schmidt, 40, also joins the Rockies from the Indians, where he served four seasons (September, 1995 - October, 1999) as the organization's only national cross checker. Before his time in Cleveland, Schmidt supervised the Southern California, Arizona and Nevada regions for the New York Yankees (1988-95). He worked for the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau from 1987-88, and launched his scouting career as an associate with the Reds (1982-84). All told, he has 14 years of scouting experience.

Question: At what age do you start watching a player? (i.e. youth summer tournaments / varsity high school baseball)?

Answer: It can be as early as their freshman year in high school, but usually as high school juniors.

Question: How important is it for a high school player to attend a professional team's open try-out day?

Answer: It's a way for young kids to get exposure.

Question: At what grade in school should a player attend their first "try-out" day? (i.e. 9th grade, 10th grade, etc.)

Answer: I would recommend the 9th / 10th grade.

Question: Is it a good idea for a high school player to send a letter of introduction to a professional team? Much the same as he might to a college coach.

Answer: Not really.

Question: Is it a good idea for a high school player to make a videotape, of himself, in baseball situations and give it to a professional scout?

Answer: It can't hurt

Question: With the increasing number of "Showcase" events, in recent years .... How important is it for a player to attend this type of event?

Answer: What the showcases provide for the players is exposure. A lot of scouts in one place.

Question: How do you decide (as an organization) which showcase events to cover?

Answer: We basically try and cover all the showcases with at least one scout

Question: Which showcase events do you personally consider to be the best? From a professional MLB team's perspective.

Answer: Area Code Games

Question: What is the best way for a high school player to get noticed by a professional scout?

Answer: To play as much as he can

Question: How important is a player's physical appearance? I do not mean is he 6'-1" tall and weigh 200 pounds. What I am referring to is tattoos, body piercing, odd hair styles, manner of dress, etc. Are any or all of these a "negative" when a pro scout sees a player ?

Answer: Scouts look for physical ability, but physical appearances can raise questions about character

Question: If a player has a bad day ... when a professional scout is in the stands watching him for the first time .... Does that mean it is "over" as far as that pro team is concerned?

Answer: No

Question: How important is a player's "attitude appearance" when in a game and at practice?

Answer: A lot of players have the ability. A players "make-up" plays a big part in our decision making

Question: Do college coaches and professional scouts ever talk to one another about prospective high school players?

Answer: Yes -- All the time

Question: How important are the psychological tests in regard to where a player may be drafted, in which round, or if he will be drafted at all?

Answer: A psychological test is just another tool to use in making a decision. With the dollars $ being spent on players today we want to have as much information about them as possible

Question: How important is a player's past medical history in regards to a potential draft round? Same question for the vision tests.

Answer: Again we want to know as much as possible about the player

Question: How important is it for a player to attend a "pre-draft" workout - if he is invited? Is it possible for a player to be drafted in the first 5 rounds without attending a pre-draft workout?

Answer: A player can be drafted even by not attending. But if a player is invited he should make every attempt to attend.

Question: How important is the "draft and follow" method to your organization? Do you utilize this process much?

Answer: We will draft players with the main purpose to watch their play through the summer or to watch them the following year in junior college

Question: How important are junior college players to your organization's draft strategy each year?

Answer: Probably we look at the frshman in junior college more as a potential draft and follow player than we do the hgih school kid

Question: If a high school player has the option of attending a very good junior or community college versus a small four (4) year school what factors make one choice better than another? ( I am referring to baseball programs -- not the academic institutions)

Answer: The better junior college programs are probably going to play a lot more baseball than the small 4 year programs

Question: Do players get drafted that have not been seen by an individual team's cross checking ("cross checker") scout? In other words on the recommendation of an area / associate scout only?

Answer: Yes quite often

Bill Schmidt
Director of Scouting
Colorado Rockies


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