Next Up - A right handed pitcher that was throwing solidly in the upper 80’s. He has a slight movement on his fastball, an okay breaking ball and a fair change-up.
This player however did impress many of the coaches. WHY ????
He did not have his best control at times. At times was getting penalized by a “moving” and small strike zone, and had 5 errors made behind him, by his defense.
What caught the coach’s attention was his ability to battle and keep challenging the hitters. He did not drop his head or slump his shoulders when things went against him. He showed no expression when a ball was called on an obvious strike.
He even went so far as to walk over and speak to his second baseman, after a costly error and then pat him on the back as he walked away. The coaches I was sitting near did not miss this!
Each of the coaches that I spoke to admitted that they did not have the player on their lists of potential recruits. Each also said that they would be making a point to see the player pitch again this summer.
This player became a prospect with several “big time” schools on a day when he was the losing pitcher and did not have his best stuff. Because of his attitude and the heart he showed.
Third Example: Is a big first baseman. This young man does not run like a gazelle, does not have a great arm. (average at best) He is not what you would term “athletic” but he is not fat. However he made points with several of the coaches in attendance.
Of course you have guessed it by now …. The young man can hit with the best of them.
There is a little more to the story though. He can hit to all fields with power. He displayed a good ability to “go with a pitch.” He showed a good knowledge of the strike zone. I personally did not see him chase a bad pitch.
With runners on second and third and no outs in a one run ball game this young man hit a ground ball to the right side of the infield. He did this with a 2-strike count. He made an out and the run scored. He did his job for his team.
He hit a home run or two over the weekend, a double or two to the spacious gaps, had several “screaming” singles, but more importantly he hustled!
This player ran hard on and off the field, every inning He did not quit as most of his teammates did in a blow out loss at one point in the tournament. As one pro scout commented to me …. “A “player” never changes his game, no matter what the score. A “player” plays as hard if his team is behind seven runs or ahead seven runs, or if his team is in a one run ballgame."