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The Major League Scouting Bureau was created in 1974 in an effort to centralize major league scouting. The rationale behind the formation of the scouting bureau was that a single firm, operating independently of Major League Baseball, could find, observe and create reports on potential prospects, and then make that information available to every big league team that wished to pay for it. This would make scouting considerably more cost effective for organizations that decided to use the scouting bureau, whose information would be available for a fraction of the cost of hiring more full-time scouts of their own.
Actually, a couple of teams took use of the scouting bureau to the extreme and all but eliminated their own scouting systems soon after the scouting bureau was formed. But the MLSB was created to supplement existing scouting systems, not to replace them.
Today, based in Ontario, California the Major League Scouting Bureau continues to operate as an integral part of baseball scouting, both in the amateur and professional ranks. Each summer, the scouting bureau conducts a number of open tryout camps throughout the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, in preparation for future First-Year Player Drafts. The scouting bureau normally holds these tryouts in geographical areas that their scouts don’t get to spend a lot of time in throughout the spring and summer.
You can find out where and when the scouting bureau tryouts are held online at MLB.com. You must be at least 16 years old to participate in a tryout, and if you’re under 21, have a parent or guardian sign an official liability waiver (also available on the MLB website). The scouting bureau, like every major league team, uses the 20-80 rating scale to grade a player’s potential.
The Major League Scouting Bureau also scouts every level of minor league baseball from full-season A through AAA; as well as the Arizona Fall League and a number of winter leagues. If a player from one of these circuits is released or becomes available, information on that athlete is easily accessible for any club that may request it.