To athletes seeking "exposure"

One of the most commonly cited reasons for spending big money on youth travel baseball is "exposure". In most cases, this is an empty promise from the team unless you've been blessed with the ability to play for a team with truly elite talent that competes on a national level at a tournament like Perfect Game's East Cobb Invitational where MLB scouts and college scouts will actually be.

Even if the promise of exposure is actually kept, you have to ask yourself: how much is that exposure actually worth?

If the athlete hasn't reached high school yet, is there any value at all? After all, if you aren't any good at 16, it doesn't matter how good you were when you were 12, and if you are good at 16, it still doesn't matter how good you were when you were 12.

Are tools present that will impress a scout? Kids without a single standout tool are frequently convinced that all they need is exposure because they are good youth baseball players. Without standout power, speed, or throwing velocity, you will simply blend into the game. Scouts are after guys that will perform at the next level, not guys who perform at their current level.

The types of player that are helped by "exposure" are late bloomers, elite athletes that changed sports in high school, position players transitioning to the mound, and a very narrow subset of fringe players that scouts haven't made their minds up about. More athletes think they are in that last group than reasonably should.

If you have the talent to be noticed, scouts will find you wherever you are. It's their job, and the internet is making it easier than ever for them. Your tools are all the exposure you need.

None of this is an argument against paying big money to play travel ball. Just don't do it for "exposure".