XENIA — As Clayton Brandt ranged to his left and fired a routine bullet throw to first base, a couple dozen Major League Baseball scouts began scribbling onto their notepads and pecking information into their laptops. Such was life at Wednesday’s Great Lakes Summer Collegiate Baseball League Showcase event.
Approximately 25 Major League scouts — including the Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers and Colorado Rockies — were on hand to assess the talents of 75 of the league’s top players, including Brandt and eight other Xenia Scouts.
Players were selected to the Showcase by their GLSCL coaches, and each had to be a junior or older in eligibility with their respective college team. They were evaluated on their hitting, fielding and throwing abilities, and pitchers were assessed for arm strength and control.
“This is the third scouting showcase that I’ve been to,” Brandt said, moments after his fielding assessment at shortstop. “You just try to go in and do what you’ve always done. Do what you can do, but you don’t try and do too much. You’ve got to stay within yourself and what you are capable of doing.
“You get a scout or two that will tell you they are interested. And you just hope that you can catch on somewhere.”
Xenia Scouts team manager Bobby Randall says one interested MLB scout is all it takes. A veteran of more than 100 scouting combines, both as a player and a coach, Randall says each Major League Scout could be looking for his own particular player that fits his team’s mold.
“They’ll all be looking to see whether you can throw, run, hit and field the ball. And pitchers, they’ll be looking at their arm strength. But they might each have a different idea of what they’re looking for out of a prospect. One team might favor a long and tall type of kid, and another scout might be looking for a strong and thick looking player,” Randall said. “Clayton’s right: You just have to go out there and do what you know you can do. You can’t worry about what others think.”
Randall first drew interest from the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, where he played in the minor leagues for seven years.
“But then one guy with the Minnesota Twins showed an interest in me, and they brought me up to the Majors where I played for five years. At a showcase like this, that’s all you need. You need that one person to like you.”
Seventy five of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League’s finest where looking for that one Major League friend on Wednesday.