Diamond Notes Part II: Examples of Make-Up

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Compiled By: Austin Alexander – May 22, 2006

dp logo1A term often used among coaches and scouts is “make-up.” With the MLB draft less than a month away, organizations everywhere are doing last minute tests, additional research and constant probing on players on that exist on draft boards. College coaches are forever asking questions about players to determine his “make-up.”

But what exactly is it, how do you measure it and is it important?

Well, Diamond Prospects surveyed college coaches and pro scouts in the Carolina’s before the season to assist us. In part two of a three-part series, we will provide for you what examples of good and bad make-up are and how much stock is actually placed on it.

You often hear this term when deep discussions abound surrounding a quality player. For many evaluators, a players “make-up” can often make or break whether an opportunity is extended to an individual, how much money is attached to scholarship amounts or signing bonuses and line-up cards often reflect the players that possess it. 

Last week we determined what “make-up” was, but what are some examples of good and bad make-up?

Well it depends on who you ask. Diamond Prospects put this question to the experts.

According to a Division I assistant:

When evaluating a player the first thing that stands out is how they look on the field. Are they taking groundballs between innings from the first baseman correctly? Are they working through these balls? Accurate throws? They need to be hustling on and off the field and show they have energy through positive body language. They need to wear their uniform right. All these things go under a positive first impression.

According to one Junior College coach:

It can be exposed when things are going good (hitting a homerun-taunting) or when things may be going bad (booting a ball in the field after you strike out). Good make-up is your all-around effort and attitude when things are going or BAD. Bad make-up is the guy you can look at figure out that he is 0-for-4 with four strikeouts or the guy who wants to blame everybody but himself when something bad happens.

According to one Division I Recruiting Coordinator:

Good make-up is being able to perform and have confidence in your abilities after they have had failures. Also, being able to perform in big situations.

According to another Division I Recruiting Coordinator:

Good make-up is a guy that comes early and stays late for work. A guy who will take school seriously, may not have the greatest grades, but goes to class and gets the job done. Team player. Bad make-up: A guy who is on his own page. He is constantly in trouble. He cannot, or will not, conform to team rules. He is a cancer.

One Division I assistant coach used the example of a player:

I think a great make-up player is a kid we have right now. He understands the game; he understands what he can do and works to improve on his skills everyday. He also understands his shortcomings and does not try to be something he is not. He is rarely seen without a smile on his face because he loves the game and it is not a question for him to be a practice. He is the first to show up everyday, he is not scared or does not think he is too good to help set the field up. He takes what you say to him and processes it and makes up his mind as to trust you or not. That is fine with me because in the heat of battle, players have to be able to think for themselves and be able to make their own corrections. On the field, you tell him to do one thing he understands and then will give you feedback why, he agrees with the concept. I recall the time I had to teach him how to rake the cuts at first base, now he rakes it better than I could. His maturity level is off the charts. We have taken him from a third baseman/shortstop, and thrown him at first base, now he could be the first baseman of our future and he just wants to be on the field. 

Bad make-up guys are a dime a dozen. Guys that seem to put all their needs above the team and other people as well. Players that are willing to take the high road and risk the team as a whole and sometimes risk their own game as well.  Bad make-up players are not willing to take small suggestions but are quick to give you their theories on everything from, why they cannot hit and what they need to work on, yet they do the same thing each and everyday. Bad make-up comes from different experiences they might have witnessed throughout their life, and it is tough to speculate why kids react or do not react to anything. Some players actually think they know more than anyone else. Then their maturity level is low because they cannot take themselves and say, “I could be wrong in this situation.” That is bad make-up. Someone that cannot say they are sorry, and mean it, also has terrible make-up. 

One Division I head coach put it this way:

Good and bad make-up can take on many different faces. Make-up can sometimes be revealed very early on in the recruiting process. I listen to how kids ask their parents questions on the phone. When they sit in the office, how do they speak to their mom and dad? Do they give me good eye contact? Today’s generation dresses very casual but when you are on a college visit, and you know you’ll be meeting with the coaches, I believe there is a certain attire that is appropriate. Many times a player’s official visit will provide you with valuable information about his personality. When a kid leaves campus, my players can usually tell me if his make-up is up to par or not. If you ask enough questions and your own observations come through seeing a player several times, you can normally get a good feel for a kid’s make-up. People do change, especially at the ages that we work with, but if a kid is a dog, he’ll usually bark like one. If a kid is a jewel, that’s normally apparent too.

Regardless of who you ask, everyone has their own examples of good and bad make-up. Stay tuned to Diamond Prospects next week as we sort through just how important make-up is from the coaches and scouts who should know best.

Part I

Part III