The COVID climate has posed a long list of challenges for many industries, especially those in the sports world – and these 12 months have been especially interesting for people like Carlos Collazo. As a national writer for Baseball America who has covered baseball recruiting and the MLB Draft, Carlos has been able to learn firsthand how professional baseball scouts and college recruiters are finding talent, despite canceled seasons and halted travel. On the flip side, he has also seen how players can give themselves a chance to be found when the chances of getting seen in person are slim.
Without the benefits of in-person games and showcases to scout, coaches and players are leaning on a combination of training session video and verifiable data to see and been seen.
Using Video to Get Recruited for Baseball
The COVID-19 pandemic served as a catalyst for accelerating the video recruitment movement that had been in motion for years. Players and coaches have been filming themselves or their teams for their own use since digital cameras became a household necessity, but when tournaments were canceled by the masses last year, coaches and scouts had no choice but to heavily rely on video as a recruiting tool.
“When things shut down, it went from all of your guys going out and getting in-person looks, doing typical traditional scouting, to getting video reports and sitting in a room breaking down players on film,” Carlos said. “It became much more like a football recruiting role [for baseball scouts].”
Carlos added that several scouts he talked to took it upon themselves to reach out to football coaches – who typically have more experience breaking down film – to get additional insight to the way they approach film sessions.
Pairing Verifiable Baseball Data with Video
Seeing is believing… well, sort of. While players are producing more video than ever, there is only so much a coach or scout can learn from video alone.
“The game has been using more and more analytics, in terms of evaluation,” Carlos said. “So I think that combination of video and verifiable data that can be paired together is key. I’ve talked with several scouts and college recruiters about this – it’s great if you can see video of a guy who looks really athletic, but it’s hard to verify that performance if you’re just looking at video.”
This combination of video and data is a focal point of Rapsodo, which allows players and coaches to share in-depth data and analytics along with video of bullpen or hitting sessions.
The Future of Baseball Recruiting Moving Forward
The belief across baseball is that the advancements in video and data as a recruiting tool will continue to evolve, even after games and showcases resume in full swing. There is little technology can do to replicate the intangibles that separate good players from elite prospects.
“Make Up” remains the hardest thing to quantify in a player, and that is what makes in-person scouting irreplaceable. Moving forward, Carlos believes scouts and recruiters will use video and data to better target the players they actually want to see in person.
To hear our entire conversation with Carlos, check out this episode of the Rapsodo Baseball Podcast.
Did you know that you can get the equivalent of an ACT or SAT score to help you get recruited for baseball? Find out how to get your RapScore today!