What to Look for in a Baseball or Softball Showcase

Written By: Andy Partin

andy

Premium Contributor - Andy Partin, CEO, Impact Baseball

Andy Partin is the owner and founder of Impact Baseball, Inc. (est. 2001) and Dirtbags Baseball, LLC (est. 2002). Partin pioneered the Dirtbags baseball program to becoming one of the top and most recognizable in the country.

In 2001, Partin started Impact Baseball, Inc. and brought to life his idea of promoting high school baseball players through an online presence and on-field showcase events to help them reach the collegiate and professional levels of baseball.

Partin has seen over 1000 alumni move on to college baseball and 217 go on to be drafted by MLB teams including 29 Big Leaguers. Partin piloted the Dirtbags to the 2016 and 2010 World Wood Bat Association “Jupiter” Championship crown bringing the rings home to North Carolina. He has also guided the Bags to eight IMPACT World Series titles and two WWBA National Runner-Up finishes.

Do You Think Your Ready to be Showcased to College Coaches?

A showcase can be beneficial in marketing yourself as a baseball or softball player.  It can also be detrimental to the success of your recruiting process.  There are a few things that you need to take into consideration before you go and sign up for a showcase.  Doing your homework and understanding yourself as a player are two main topics you need to consider prior to attending one.  Like we said, as much as a showcase can help one player it can hurt another just as much.

The Format

A showcase is simply that, you are showcasing your tools.  What you must first understand are the tools that you bring to the table.  As a position player, you will be tested in footspeed, arm-strength, fielding ability, and hitting.  The footspeed portion of the showcase is usually the 60-yard-dash and a home-to-first time.

Arm-strength will be making throws from rightfield or throwing balls across the diamond from the shortstop position.  Fielding ability is usually tested by 5-8 ground balls at your desired position.  Hitting is in a batting practice format where you will probably get anywhere from 8 to 10 swings.

 

pic.twitter.com/mDPg5exexQ

— Impact Baseball (@IMPACTBASEBALL_) November 7, 2018

Generally, the format for pitchers is simple.  You will throw about 15 pitches.  The majority of them will be fastballs.  You will also showcase your off-speed selection, such as your curveball or changeup. You need to make sure that the pitches you are showcasing are ACTUALLY pitches you have thrown in a game before. Please save yourself the embarrassment of trying to throw a new pitch in a showcase

It’s quick and simple for pitchers.  Coaches are trying to read arm speed, arm action, and determine the worth of your off-speed pitches. 

Check out the video from one of our previous showcases to see all the action!

☀️ Preseason Showcase Camp
? Jan 12 - S Alamance HS (NC)
⚾️ Want to Play College Baseball?
⚾️ 30+ College Coaches Attending Camp!
⚾️ Get Noticed & Get Recruited!

? https://t.co/QhxYvlUxTD pic.twitter.com/wAZVxCdSnA

— Impact Baseball (@IMPACTBASEBALL_) December 3, 2018

Separate Yourself

What you need to understand about yourself is how you will fare in these tests.  Doing well in any of these tests doesn’t mean that you’re a good player.  Not doing well in these tests does not mean that you are a poor player.  But what it does do either way is leave an impression.

The goal of a showcase for players is to stand out.  Being “okay” at all of them doesn’t really push you ahead of the competition.  It’s hard for a coach to remember or even notice a guy that doesn’t excel in at least one of the areas.  You may be a much better player than many of the people who excel more than you at a showcase.

They may have a tool that stands out when grouped with a lot of people.  Chances are the college coaches and pro scouts are going to notice them before they take a look at you.

How You're Graded

College coaches will generally have a rating system that they use to rank players in certain aspects.  Showcases can contain 100-200 kids at a time.  They are simply assigning values to players and their tools.  Maybe a coach uses the professional 20-80 rating system.

  • 20-30 is well below average
  • 40 is below average
  • 50 is average
  • 60 is above average
  • 70-80 is well above average

I always just used my own 1-5 system.  A 3 on my scale was given to an average Division I player.  A player that tested out for me as all 3’s might end up being a great player.  But in reality, a guy that scored a 5 in one of the categories might ring louder in my head after the showcase.

Again, if you stand out in one or two categories, you will stand out more than the others.

Large Group of Coaches at Impact Baseball Showcase

Are You Ready to be showcased?

Another thing that you must do is make sure that you are ready for the showcase.  In these settings, you only get one opportunity to perform.  You must make sure that you are 100% physically and mentally ready to perform.  If you are not in baseball or softball shape and you go to a showcase you can really hurt yourself.

Showcases are about snap judgments on players.  No recruiter in the stands know any extenuating circumstances that you’re going through.  They only understand that you are here to perform to the best of your ability.  If your arm is worn out, they don’t realize that.  They only see that your best fastball was 84 (for baseball).  If your hamstring has been bothering you they don’t see that.  They only see that you ran a 7.40 in the 60 yd dash.

Don't use these as excuses. Not only will the scouts or coaches not know if something is bothering you or if you're not prepared, but they also won't care either. They only care about how you perform.

Do Your Homework

Last and certainly not least you need to do your homework when it comes to selecting a showcase to attend.  These events are not usually cheap.  If you’re going sink money into one you need to understand the potential that comes with it.  Do as much research as possible on the event before you go diving into it.  Find out what schools are attending.  Many showcases provide a list of the schools that are attending online.  At IMPACT Baseball, we actually employ college coaches to work the showcase, so you know exactly who’s going to be attending.

Another thing that we believe separates Impact Baseball is how we use data collection at our showcases.

Thanks @BRrebellion for participating in today’s Impact College Coach Camp. @BRrebellion provided data numbers to kids and coaches.. pic.twitter.com/OlUOeBg5FN

— Impact Baseball (@IMPACTBASEBALL_) January 13, 2019

We want to give our student-athletes who attend our camps the best chance at getting seen and making it to the next level. By providing them with swing, batted ball and pitch data we believe we are helping them achieve that goal. More and more college coaches are diving into data and the numbers that Blast Motion, HitTrax and Rapsodo provide. Because of this, they are wanting to see where high school players stand in relation to their players on campus.

Click here to register for our June 18-19 camp in Glen Allen Virginia where over 30+ colleges will be attending.

Bottom Line

If you follow these guidelines, you should have a positive experience at a showcase.  Make sure that you understand yourself as a player.  There can be a big difference between a good showcase player and a good baseball player.  Good showcase players stick out at these events.  A good baseball player might not.

Make sure you’re ready to go physically and mentally.  Make sure the showcase will bring in coaches.  If the event host can’t produce an accurate list of which schools are attending, I’d suggest staying away.  That’s the whole purpose of the showcase.  If schools that you’re interested in aren’t going to attend then it defeats the whole purpose, be realistic when it comes to setting your school list.

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