What's a Baseball Showcase?
Author: Taylor Valentine, Assistant Coach at Centre College
Baseball showcases provide great opportunities for players to showcase their
baseball skills in front of college coaches and pro scouts. Before you arrive at camp,
email the coaches with whom you’d like to connect while you’re there. A short, simple
not to let them know that you’ll be there, how interested you are in their program.
Remember, coaches want student-athletes who want to play in their programs, and if
you’re interested in a particular school, it’s your responsibility to let them know. There is
a great deal of work that goes into planning and running a showcase.
What is a showcase?
A showcase is different than a camp/clinic. Camps are typically smaller than showcase and clinics are more for coaches to attend so that they can learn and help their teams get better. When I think of clinics, I think of the ABCA (American Baseball Coaches Association). Some showcase camps are invite only which means that players will receive an official invite to attend the showcase either through email or mail. Sponsorships are also import with showcases because it allows companies to get some PR recognition. Showcase camps will also invite college coaches to attend the event and it will be a different verity of D1, D2, D3, NAIA and Junior College.
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Early in the morning before the players arrive, there is a coaches/scouts meeting where they will go over the schedule for the day. After the coaches/scouts meeting, player check-in begins. Each player is given a number to put on the back of their shirt so they can be easily identified by the coaches/scouts. Players then put their bags/gear in a designated and the director of the showcase will give an introduction speech after everyone is checked-in. The director will talk to the players/parents and give them a quick overview of the day, then the college coaches/scouts will be introduced so the players/parents know what schools/pro organizations are in attendance for the event.
Next the players will go stretch out and get ready for the day. After stretching and warm-
up players will run the 60-yard dash. This drill gives college coaches/scouts an idea of
the players’ speed as an athlete. After the 60 yard-dash, the outfielders will go get their
arms warmed-up to showcase their ability by throwing a pro-style workout where they
will make throws to third base and home plate, while the catchers and infielders get their
bats to do exit-velocity. When the outfielders finish their workout, the groups will flip and
the infielders/catchers will get their arms warmed-up while the outfielders go to the
cages to work on their exit-velocity. Once the infielders are warmed-up, all the players
will go to the short stop field position and all of the first basemen will go over to first
base – this part of the pro-style workout illustrates the players’ range of motion and
infield velocity. They will then test the catchers and get pop-times down to second base
and they also might go through a blocking and receiving series. After the workouts are
completed, the players will be released for lunch which is usually provided. The
afternoon typically consists of splitting the players into two teams and playing a game.
This gives the coaches/scouts and opportunity to evaluate the player at a higher level.
Why Showcases are Important
Baseball showcases are a big factor in the recruiting process because it gives
athletes the chance to showcase their skills, and start a dialog with a college they have
interest in attending. College coaches and pro-scouts have an opportunity to view a
number of athletes at the same time and this aids in building their teams. As a college
recruiting coordinator, it gives us a chance to get to know the athlete better and learn
more about him as a student-athlete. Throughout the recruiting process it can seem like
things are taking forever to get into place. Finding the right school that fits you as a
student is the #1 thing. Those top tier guys that are getting big time offers from D1
programs have tools that are setting themselves up to make a big impact. There are
players that have some really good tools, but maybe they aren’t getting those phone
calls from big time programs those are the guys that have to do their homework on
Exact Sports stands out compared to any other showcase because players have
the opportunity to interact with NCAA coaches. Exact Sports provides players the
proper tools to use when communicating with NCAA coaches in person, on the phone,
or through email. Exact Sports has the highest success rate in college sports camps at
70.2% as players get to learn techniques to help them build confidence, giving them
success on and off the field. Players get to compete with some of the top players from
around the U.S. When attending Exact Sports showcases, players will receive high
quality college coaching instruction from NCAA D1, D2, D3, and Junior College. Players
will also get the chance to sit in on a mental performance talk with MLB consultants.
The MLB consultants will help players with the mental aspect of the game, knowing that
when playing this game, you are going to fail more than you are going to succeed. At
the end of the Exact Sports showcases players will receive a one-on-one evaluation
from one of the NCAA coaches. This feedback provides the player/parents with an
understanding where their son ranks on a college coaches radar. The evaluation also
provides feedback on the things that stood out and areas where the player needs to
focus on to help them take their game to the next level. Exact Sports holds camps all
over the U.S. for players to attend and the make it very affordable for family members to
be able to send their son to an event.
The five tips I would give a player when attending a baseball showcase would be:
1) Wear something that makes you stand out from the rest of the group.
2) Be personal with the NCAA coaches.
3) Leave no doubt in the NCAA coaches’ minds that they need to make you an
offer to attend their institution.
4) Don't be afraid to be the "showoff", now's your chance!
5) Be a good teammate.