Bird dog baseball scouts are normally not full-time employees of a major or minor league team. They are typically a component of the professional network of an area or regional baseball scout. Basically a volunteer position, bird dog scouts may earn expenses or fees if the full-time scout or major league baseball club has an interest in players they recommend. Here's a potentially workable plan to become a bird dog scout.
Prepare your baseball resume. List your credentials as a player, coach or player evaluator. Unlike your typical professional resume stating the entire life book of your working career, only list your verifiable credentials that relate to the game of baseball.
Make a connection with a local or regional area scout. Find the identity of the area or regional scouts who live in your local area. Call or email them to express your desire to become a scout. They are normally very approachable and willing to talk. The key is to catch them when they are at home or near their computer, as they spend much of their time traveling locally, regionally or nationally for their team.
Tell the full-time scout why you want to be a bird dog, or associate, scout. Often the "why" is just as important as all other factors. Otherwise, this becomes just another hobby, like golf, fishing, or stamp collecting.
Advise the professional scout what value you might bring to his efforts. You must convince the scout that you can provide useful evaluations of players the professional may not be able to view. Further, you need to give the scout reasons to believe your opinions will be useful.
Be prepared to view games and players and prepare reports on your findings. Desire must translate to action if your scout contact becomes interested in your input. Ask if the scout wants your findings on a pre-printed form, a specified report format or a freehand analysis.
Clarify whether you are a pure "volunteer", an associate scout for whom expense reimbursement may be available, or a classic "bird dog" scout, which typically means you could receive a fee from the scout or the team for identifying players in which they have interest. If both you and the professional scout are in agreement, get bird dogging a future major league baseball superstar.
Tips & Warnings
- Be willing to act as a volunteer at first, since neither the area scout or major league team may have no verifiable reason to value your initial opinions.
- Become familiar with the "tools" that professional baseball values in potential prospects. Typically there are five tools that are rated: the ability to hit for average, hit with power, run well, fielding ability and arm strength.
- Stay confident in your ability to evaluate players regardless of your initial feedback from the full-time scout or team.
- Don't "fall in love" with a player who doesn't exhibit the level of tools that might interest professional evaluators. Remain objective at all times to increase your credibility.
- Don't be too anxious or concerned about getting an offer from the major league team for a full-time position. Major league teams are very particular about their scouting staff members. It can take some time to gain their confidence to become an employee.
- Photo Credit im4cubs.com/
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