What is a Pre-Draft workout?


For draft-eligible high school and college players, receiving an offer to attend a major league club’s predraft workout is a golden invitation, another indication that their goal of playing professional baseball is oh-so-close to becoming a reality.   In some parts of the professional sports landscape, pre-draft workouts have become high-profile events that make beauty pageants seem parochial. The quintessential example is the NFL, where coaches and front-office personnel from all 32 teams descend upon Indianapolis for the league’s annual scouting combine, a weeklong, televised extravaganza featuring more than 300 of the top prospects in college football.  Area scouts guide the invitation process, recommending players they’ve evaluated but want other members of the organization to see in person. About 40 players are invited to each workout, with the assumption that only 20 to 30 will accept, some players are still playing for their high school or college teams, while others may decline because they’re attending other organizations’ workouts.  The focus of the pre-draft workout isn’t to write the book on a draft prospect; that’s already been done by scouts on the ground level, through careful and consistent evaluation of players over many games.  Instead, the half-day audition serves as an outlet for a broader group of the organization’s talent evaluators to meet with players and watch them in person, to confirm what scouts already have observed. To that end, players are given a fairly small window for showcasing their talents: Pitchers throw a total of 15 to 20 pitches, hitters get three rounds of six to eight swings, and position players field nine or 10 balls and make six to 10 throws. This simple format allows scouts to control the environment and take  an often second, third, or even fourth closer look at a list of prospects.  While this window can appear as a small sample size when compared to a full college season or even high school season, it’s a vital tool in an organizations repertoire when narrowing down their draft board.




Field of Dreams – Katie Hoss