On the Road Again: Major League Scouts Get Green Light to Attend Amateur Events

Tracy Ringolsby

Major League Baseball has taken its first step -- albeit a small one -- to normalcy.

Scouts have been given permission to return to the road and do in-person scouting for the first time in more than three months, although it will be on a limited level.

NCAA scouts, however, will not be on the road, at least until August. The NCAA recently extended its ban on in-person recruiting through July 31. As well as concerns about health,there is a feeling the NCAA decisions were based in part on cost-saving measures in light of the hit NCAA schools took with cancellation of the basketball tournament, a primary source of funding for college programs.

The move by MLB comes two days before Perfect Game's National Showcase in Hoover, Ala., kicks off on Wednesday. To stay within limits of social distancing, teams, which have been known to have as many as 10 scouts at major amateur events, are limited to no more than three scouts in attendance at an event.

While the Cape Cod League, which has become the key summer scouting territory, and the USA Baseball College National Team have already cancelled their seasons, other leagues are getting ready to embark on schedules.

The Florida Summer Collegiate League announced Monday it will open practice on Monday. Two players who won't be there, however, are outfielder Zac Veen, the Rockies first-round draft choice on Thursday, and catcher Drew Romo, who went to the Rockies in the Competitive Balance round between the first and second rounds.

They are both high school players who were committed to colleges before being draft -- Veen to Florida and Romo to LSU.

The Florida Summer Collegiate League is expected to be the prime beneficiary of the Cape Cod League's cancellation.

Meanwhile, indications are the North Woods League will begin play July 1, and the Coastal Plains League will open it's season at the end of June. 

Teams will be able to assign scouts to attend games in those leagues, the Area Code games, and also events sponsored by Perfect Game, Baseball Factor, Program 15, Crossroads Baseball, Head First Honor Roll, Showball Baseball, Prep Baseball Report, I95 Stadium Series and Top 96, which focus on high school talent.

A major amateur tournament is also planned in Nashville.

The Area Code Games, which are normally held in August, are expected to delay their activity until September or possibly October.

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