MLB tryouts: Your one chance to show up to the yard, put on a good show, and go home with a signed pro contract. Right?
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Not exactly. This is probably the most common misconception about major league tryouts that we hear. MLB open tryouts, from a major league organization’s standpoint, are basically events where young players can get their names on the radar. In other words, scouts use MLB tryouts to look at players that are eligible for future drafts.
It is possible for a player to get signed out of an open major league tryout, but this is rare. It typically only happens in special cases. Here are two examples:
1. A player who caught a scout’s interest in the past, then sustained an injury, show’s up to a major league tryout and shows that he’s back to 100%.
2. A major league organization is thin in a very specific area in the lower levels of the minor league system (such as left-handed relief pitching) and a player arrives at an MLB tryout that can fill this void.
For a high school or college athlete, a major league tryout could be a great way for you to get on a scout’s “follow list.” This means a scout from the organization will make it a point to come check you out in action during your spring or summer season. This should be your goal out of a major league tryout.
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