Major League Tryouts Declassified: The Inside Story on Major League Tryouts

Mar 2


Eddie Aucoin

Eddie Aucoin

  • Share this article on Facebook
  • Share this article on Twitter
  • Share this article on Linkedin

A major league tryout is one avenue for you to get on the radar of professional baseball scouts. But before you decide to attend one, learn exactly what major league tryouts are all about.


Where are all the scouts?

That’s a question thousands of baseball players and parents ask each spring as they show up to the ballpark,Major League Tryouts Declassified: The Inside Story on Major League Tryouts Articles heads filled with million-dollar dreams. What most of these people don’t understand is that drawing the interest of professional scouts is not a waiting game, nor is it a roll of the dice. The superstars that throw in the mid-nineties can relax in their basements and play Wii all day; the scouts WILL come to them. As for the rest of us, we have to go to the scouts! That’s where open major league tryouts come into play.

The word “tryout” here is somewhat deceptive because it sounds like the scouts select certain guys that they want, and inject them directly into the minor league system. But major league tryouts, from Major League Baseball’s point of view, are avenues to evaluate young athletes that may be chosen in a future First-Year Player Draft. MLB clubs use major league tryouts in hopes of adding a few kids to the list of players that they’ll check out in action before the next and subsequent drafts.

On rare occasions, an athlete is signed out of a major league tryout, but it’s highly unusual. Ok, if some six-foot-six giant shows up and throws 98 MPH, he’ll get inked. But signing out of a major league tryout realistically only happens in two situations: 1. A player that drew attention from a scout before, but then got hurt, shows up to a major league tryout and demonstrates that he’s completely healthy. 2. The low minor league affiliates are short on talent in a specific area (like left-handed pitching) and an athlete with extraordinary ability shows that he can fill that void at a major league tryout.

Regardless, the chances of walking out of an open major league tryout with a contract are minute. Does this mean you won’t play pro ball if you don’t get drafted? Heck no! Check out "Live The Dream: Get Paid to Play Baseball" to learn exactly how to find and take advantage of the WORLDWIDE opportunity available today!)

The talent level at a major league tryout is a mixed bag, so don’t be scared to go because you think you can't hack it. This isn’t an audition for the big leagues. You won’t be hitting off of C.C. Sabathia or pitching to Josh Hamilton. You’ll see some talented college athletes that are hoping to sign. But you’ll also see teenagers that are nowhere near ready for pro ball. In fact, you’ll likely see a few dudes out there that haven’t picked up a ball since little league. That’s what the scouts expect, so DON’T be afraid to show up.

Major league tryouts can take place anywhere from a major league stadium to a spring training complex all the way down to a local field in the middle of nowhere. You may go to a major league tryout conducted by the MLB Scouting Bureau or by an individual big league organization. At a Bureau tryout, there’s usually a collection of bureau scouts effectively running the camp. At an individual team’s major league tryout, there are occasionally only one or two guys trying to run the whole show. This can mean a lengthy day for the players in attendance. You never know how many athletes will attend a major league tryout. There may be anywhere from 10 to 300+ depending on the venue and how well the camp is hyped in the media beforehand.

Now you know what major league tryouts are all about. If you’re hoping for a contract ASAP, a major league tryout probably won’t pan out; unless you were specifically invited by a scout that made it clear he's looking to sign a player right away. Does this mean that the dream is over? Absolutely not! (Click here to learn exactly how to capitalize on the WORLDWIDE opportunity that exists to play pro baseball today!) But if you’re still eligible for the draft, a major league tryout might get you on the radar, and eventually lead to a minor league contract.