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Baseball Evaluations Overview

Evaluations Template for Youth and School Coaches

There are different ways to make a practical evaluation of baseball players; however, in all scenarios considered, prior preparation is always recommended in order to obtain better results.

The process of directing an evaluation does not begin on the field when all of the players are ready to act. On the contrary, this process starts with planning. It goes from the analysis of the field and the place where the evaluation will take place to the number of repetitions at each station the players will have to perform when being evaluated.


Evaluate Where the Evaluation (Tryout) Will Take Place

It is important to evaluate the terrain where the evaluation will take place for several reasons, among which is that we should ensure that it is appropriate to perform the activity.

Why is it so important to know the structure of the field?

To be aware of what the field offers us at the time of planning is extremely important because it can define the order and flow in which we perform the activities during the evaluation.

We must have an inventory of the equipment necessary to run the practical evaluation.

It is important to know which equipment we will use, taking into consideration the number of players expected. It is recommended that you have more equipment, so that you are always prepared for more players than expected and project this in the counting of the equipment.

On the Field

  • Meeting with the coaches:
    • Before starting the tryout, it is important for the coaches involved to hold a meeting, in which the work plan to be carried out during the tryout will be discussed.
  • Meeting with the players:
    • The focus of this meeting is to collect information on the players to be evaluated. Players should also been made to have pre-registered for the tryout where basic information can be captured, so as to save time on the day of the evaluations.

The Evaluation

It is important to explain to the players how the evaluation will be conducted, the order of activities that will take place and what the evaluator expects from them.

Choosing the area where the 60 yard dash will take place

Most tryouts start with a 60 yard dash, which represents the distance from the plate to the second base. Regardless of the location, the measurement should be exact. The field should be selected based on the criteria that are most appropriate for running. It is extremely important that the 60 yards be run in an area of the field where there are no deformations in order to avoid injuries.

Defensive Evaluation of the Outfielders

The number of throws toward each of the bases should be determined by the coach. In addition to other criteria, such as the players' age, the time available for the tryout, etc.

In the throwing section, it is not always easy to determine a player's fielding capacity. Therefore, depending on the variables we spoke about previously, such as time, availability, etc., many evaluators decide that once the throwing round is over for the outfielders, they move to the center outfield to receive fly balls from all angles, in order to see their footwork, reaction and other elements.

Defensive Evaluation of the Infielders

Once the defensive evaluation of the outfielders is complete, the defensive evaluation of the Infielders takes place. They will make throws from all angles from their respective position to the first base.

It is recommended that the players should wait for their turn off to the side behind the line, in order to avoid colliding with the player having his turn or get hit by missed balls.

The format of the throws will vary depending on the criteria of the coach. Please see below one of the formats used for this evaluation:

  • 2 ground balls from the front
  • 2 ground balls to the left
  • 2 ground balls to the right
  • Release ground ball (Short ground ball)

The number of ground balls may vary depending on the elements mentioned above, such as time, number of players, or other objectives not mentioned, etc.

Defensive Evaluation of the Catchers

Once the Infielders evaluation is finished, move on to the defensive evaluation of the catchers. Generally, during the defensive evaluation of the Infielders, the catchers begin to warm up their arms to maintain the flow of the evaluation and immediately begin once the Infielders ground balls are complete.

Before starting the evaluation of the throws, the catcher is permitted to make two warm up throws to the second base using the movements. The number of warm up throws will be determined by variables such as time, number of players, etc. Once the warm up is finished, move on to the throws. The number will vary depending on the evaluator.

The format generally used is:

  • 3 throws to second base.
  • 2 throws to third base (optional)

The number of throws may vary depending on the elements mentioned above, such as time, number of players, or other objectives not mentioned, etc.

Batting Evaluation

The batting evaluation will be determined by the conditions available on the day of the tryout, for example: Is the field dry? Is there a batter's box? Are there a lot of players? Etc.

Generally, if we have all the necessary elements, such as a field, protective screen, balls, etc., we proceed to divide the players into groups. The division of these groups is at the discretion of the evaluator. There are those who prefer to begin with outfielders or catchers, and those who prefer to divide players into specific groups.

It is important that the groups be divided in such a way that there are enough field players to collect the balls.

The number of throws recommended may vary based on the criteria we have mentioned from the beginning of this section. Generally, there are at least 3 rounds of 5 to 7 pitches per group.

Evaluation of the Pitchers

The evaluation of the pitchers can take place on two areas on the field, the mound on the field and in the bullpen. When we don't have a bullpen and only one coach is available, the evaluation of the pitchers will have to be postponed until the end of the position players' evaluation. In order to maintain the flow of the tryout, it is recommended that the pitchers begin to warm up their arms well in advance.

The number of pitches is determined by the evaluator, who should make a point of knowing each pitchers recent pitching history, so as to determine how many pitches they are available to throw.

Ending the evaluation

  • Meeting with the players:
    • The focus of this meeting is to wrap up the day's activities. Be sure to commend all of the players for their effort. It's also important that we clearly communicate when players will receive the results of their evaluation and stick to that timeline.
  • Meeting with the coaches:
    • Before breaking as a staff, we need to collect evaluation notes from all staff in attendance. This is also a good opportunity to share thoughts on the players and begin sorting through evaluations. Decisions made regarding player feedback or roster inclusion should be a collaborative effort from all staff who participated in the evaluation.