MLB Tryouts 101

tryoutsEvery ball player wants a chance to be evaluated as a potential Major League Baseball player. It is a chance to chase a dream and the opportunity to put yourself out there hoping for the best.

The problem is the odds of becoming a Major League Baseball player is 1 out of 290,000. That is like winning the lottery. I am the last guy who wants to shoot down someones dream, especially someones dream to play Major League Baseball, because I had the same dream. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the MLB but some of my friends did and I at least had the opportunity to play professional minor league baseball. This means I beat the odds of playing professional baseball which is 1 out of 3,700. Not as impressive as the MLB but still an amazing experience that changed my life forever.

What to expect at a MLB tryout!

If you are planning to attend a MLB Scouting Bureau tryout then you need an idea of what is expected of you. When you arrive at the tryout you will need to check in. Arrival times are usually early in the morning and it is good to be a little early. When you check in you will be asked to fill in a questionnaire. The information they will be requesting is basic contact information, what schools have you played for, have you been drafted before and if you are under the age of 18 you will need a legal guardian to sign for you. There is a number at the top of the sign up form that is your identity for the rest of the tryout. Do not forget your number. The scouts hate it when someone forgets their number.

After everyone has checked in you will then be asked to meet on the field and organized into lines based on position. YOU CAN ONLY TRYOUT FOR ONE POSITION. Do not ask if you can tryout for two or more positions. Once you are put into your lines based on your position you must remember your position in the line. This is the order you will tryout in for your position.

The first event of the tryout will be the 60 yard dash. This is for all positions except pitchers. Pitchers will not run the 60 yard dash. Pitchers will wait on the side while all positions run the 60 yard dash.

Two players at a time will be timed in the 60 yard dash. It goes pretty quick so make sure you are paying attention when your number is called. Do not ask for your times after you run. You can ask for them after the tryout is over. If you have a good time you may be asked to run again at the end of the event.

After the 60 yard dash is finished, this is when the pitchers will pitch off of the mound in the bullpen. You will be put into lines to warm up before entering the bullpen. You must be warm before entering the pen. They will clock your velocity on the first pitch and remember that first pitch is critical to your success in the tryout. You should get about 6-8 pitches and make sure every pitch is 100%. They will ask you to throw some off speed pitches at the end if they want to see it. The worst thing you can do is not be ready!

After your 6-8 pitches in the bullpen the pitchers are done until cuts are made for the simulated game in the afternoon. Find a comfortable place to sit and stay out of the sun.

While the pitchers were throwing in the pen the position players are hitting in the cages. They are looking for bat speed. You will not get many pitches to show your skills so make sure you are ready right out of the gate.

After hitting in the cages all position players will go to their position. They will start from the outfield and work into the infield evaluating your arm speed and quickness. Once again you will not get many throws so take advantage of what you get.

Once all players have been given their opportunities to show their talents the scouts will make their cuts. They will have you all meet together and give you a speech about how it is getting close to the end of the road in your career and you all have some decisions to make, blah blah blah. Then they will call out the names of those who they would like to see perform in the simulated game in the afternoon. If you do not make it, don’t worry, because the odds of making it out of a Scouting Bureau tryout is poor. Just continue to attend any tryout you can find. I would also recommend independent minor league tryouts. If you do make the tryout then get some lunch and get ready to sit around again.

The simulated game is exactly that. Pitchers will pitch two or three batters and position players will face the pitchers and play the field. They are mainly looking at the pitcher and hitter at this point. They want to see how the pitchers perform against live hitting and vice versa. Pitchers make sure that your velocity is up and your location is on point. They are still recording your velocity and they want to see how effective your pitches are with the hitters.

The simulated game is your opportunity to show them more of what you can do. If you perform well they will stay in contact with you and if you perform poor they may not. It is really a crap shoot and if you are going to make it somewhere it will be determined on how well you persist. Just like I said to the guys who will not make the first cut, don’t give up if you really want to play professional ball. I believe if you don’t give up, something is bound to happen. Search the web and this site for more tryouts. Remember if it doesn’t work out there is always next season.

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16 Comments. Leave new

  • I went to a MLB tryout June 28th but that organization had 6 tryouts this summer and I made all the cuts ran a 6.6 sixty and hit well and performed in the simulated game well. But there last open tryout was July 26 when should I expect a email or call

  • Adam Emerson
    March 5, 2017 2:25 pm

    I am currently 23 about to turn 24. I played 4 years in D3 ball. I played in the Valley League for 2 summers and was invited to play in the Cape one summer. I consistently sat 93-94 topping out at 96 a couple times. After my sophomore year I tore my labrum (throwing arm – right). I had to redshirt my Junior year and came back to play 2 more seasons. I lost a little bit of Velo – now sat at 90-91 topping out at 93-94. I am 6 foot and weigh about 220. Is it worth my time to come and tryout? I have 4SFB, Circle change, and a power curve. Was contacted by few scouts while in school, filled out a medical release so they could see me history, got a letter saying I was a player of interest for the 2015 MLB amateur draft. Ended up graduating with no calls for the draft. Am typically a 1-3 inning guy. Was named top 10 valley league when I played for Strasburg.

  • I’m trying out in Wisconsin later this month, but I’m 28. I’ve always played at highest levels, 210 ball Champions for Great Lakes in 2004 or 5…I’m a pitcher with a 85-low 90 fb, 12-6 curve, 3/4ths curve, slider, split, and good location…and I’m only 5’8 so it’s unexpected what I can do…Great pick off move as well

  • What are the chances a 35 year old gets an opportunity in the minors with the possibility of playing in the majors? I remain active and run a 4.5 in the 40 yd and a 6.4 in the 60. Just would like to see where my talent level ranks among pro ball players

  • Hi i’m Robert Gaona im 19 and I had a few scholarships up in the Dallas TX, area. However, i wasnt able to pursue my college ball career due to a hamstring injury. Ive been playing tournaments on the weekends and going to school for A/C Heating and Refrigeration but i would love to give it a couple more shots since im still young and very determined. Please e-mail or call me with references to tryouts i would greatly appreciate it. 361-228-1728

  • Luis G. Trinidad
    July 21, 2012 1:17 pm

    I’m playing baseball since I was 2 years old. Now, I plays for coach Vince Maiocco at Taft College in California. In the summer time; I’m playing for coach Louis, Metro Taxi Team, for The West HavenTwilght Summer League in New Haven, Cunnetticut.
    My Gold is to play Professional Baseball. I’m working so hard to get it.
    Keep me in contact and let me know about the up coming Triouts.
    Truly ypurs,

  • Jonny, sounds like you have been through the ringer before. I feel you!

  • Jonny Estrada
    July 18, 2012 10:28 pm

    This was a good article by Brent. One thing to add is that the scouts are really out there for themselves to make money promote showcases that cost thousands of dollars to naive kids that think they will have a chance when they weigh 142 and are already 19 years old lol. If you are good you will get drafted out of your college or sign out of high school or in the DR when your 16. If they do not think you are major league talent especiallly if you are over 21 and they dont think you will make it to the bigs in 3 years they arent going to make money off of you or look good saying to other scouts around the league in which they have to report to like, ” o ya man this guy ran a 6.3 fielded three great plays “you will only get 3 ground balls with no warmups most likely on a rock hard infield from some old scout who can barely hit the ball who wants to go home because its hott probably with a towel on his neck to stay cool” lol but anyways hes not going to say to them ya this guy will be good in the minors and may have a shot one day because that doesnt equal money for anyone including the player who tried out who will be lucky to get a 14 day contract anyway even if he is as good as a major leaguer because you are at a big disadvantage here with no leverage. It is however good though to go to if you are 18 or 19 and going to college if you are running 6.6 and under and are actually somewhat big and can hit with a wood bat which most of the scrubs ive seen them let hit cant do because then they know your name. Stay hungry my friends maybe if your dad knows a scout and your rich youll get signed lol! :p

  • Sylvester Bracey
    July 11, 2012 3:06 pm

    If a 21 yr old player has an amazing exhibition and the MLSB tryout is complete for the day, if a team or teams are interested can they approach the player after he leaves the facility to discuss a pro contract or is this something they would do in the following days/weeks?

  • Marlan Chatman
    May 28, 2012 12:18 am

    Why dont the scouts see me in my area southeast texas gulf coast region


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