Showcases are Good for a Select Few Only
By Flint Wallace, Colorado Rockies
I’m just going to be blunt here. Showcases make sense for only about 15-25% of all baseball athletes actually attending them. The top 5-15% do not need a showcase. Athletes of this caliber are going to be noticed and get attention regardless of where they live. Therefore, showcases are actually a waste of money for the very top performers. Showcases covet these top athletes because they bring in scouts and other interested parties, which in turn bring in the masses who make up a vast majority of their revenue stream.
The bottom 55-65% of all baseball players currently do not have the skills necessary to compete at that next competitive level. Let me be clear. That doesn’t mean they NEVER will have those capabilities. It simply means that at this moment in time, they do not. Granted, it is true that a vast majority of them will never develop those abilities, but that is distinctly different, in my opinion, than the fact that they currently do not possess those capabilities.
For example, if you are an 18-year old senior looking to play in college and you happen to throw a baseball 78 mph (especially if you are a pitcher who is not a knuckleballer), a hitter with 78 mph ball exit speed off a tee, a catcher with a 2.5+ POP time or run a 7.5 second 60-yard dash, I highly recommend you skip the showcase. It will not matter how scrappy you are, how great your attitude or how incredible your baseball acumen. You will be wasting your time and money.
I find that so many parents naively believe that the primary reason their son hasn’t garnered more attention from college or professional scouts is exposure. While that is possible, it is almost never the case. The primary reason is that the athlete lacks the specific skill set required at the next level.
Flint Wallace is the Coordinator of Pitching Strategies for the Colorado Rockies. He was most recently the Director of Player Development at the Texas Baseball Ranch in Montgomery, TX, and has served as Director of Baseball Operations at TCU and pitched for the Oakland Athletics from 1996-1998.