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MLB Scouting

Ep. 46: Do You Want To Work In Baseball With Bill Geivett | A Baseball Podcast

Geoff Rottmayer March 16, 2020 2


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Do You Want To Work In Baseball? With Bill Geivett

Welcome to The Baseball Awakening Podcast, where we dive into the raw, unfiltered, unsexy side of player development

Guest Bio:

Bill Geivett, is a former MLB Executive who currently has a scouting business called IAMAPLAYER as well as writing the book Do you want to work in baseball?

Summary:

On this episode, Host Geoff Rottmayer sits down with Bill Geivett to talk baseball from a player evaluation standpoint.

Show Notes: In this conversation, Bill talks about:

  • His youth days playing baseball and participating in karate.
  • Going to college to play for Jerry Weinstein.
  • The transition into coaching after having a great foundation from mentors.
  • The difference between scouting and college recruiting.
  • Learning how players learn and what that process looks like.
  • The difference between tools and skills.
  • His new business IAMAPLAYER
  • His book Do You Want To Work In Baseball.
  • Player Development and what that means
  • and much more.

Website: www.baseballawakening.com

Facebook: Baseball Awakening Podcast

Twitter: Baseball Awakening Podcast

Instagram: The Baseball Awakening Podcast

Email Address: geoff@baseballawakening.com

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Today’s guest, Bill Givat is a Former MLB executive. And we go back and talk about his youth they playing baseball, going to college and playing for Jerry Weinstein and what that was like. We also talked about the difference between college recruiting and scouting. And on today’s show, we talk about hidden path in the scouting his new company. I’m a prayer hit book. Do you want to work in baseball, and much, much more?

Intro
Welcome to another episode of the baseball awakening podcast where we dive into the raw, unfiltered unsexy side of player development. Get ready for some knowledge bombs with your host Geoff Rottmayer.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Welcome to THe Baseball Awakening Podcast. I’m Geoff Rottmayer. Today, we sit down with business Guy, Ben, Bill. How are you, sir?

Bill Geivo
Great. How about you, Jeff?

Geoffrey Rottmayer
I’m doing great bill. You know, I’ve been a follower of yours since I got your book, your book, do you want to play? Do you want to work in baseball, and you also caught my attention with your company. I am a player. And as I looked you up further, you had a successful executive career in Major League Baseball as well. So I’d like to kind of get into all of that. But let’s just start way back in the beginning when you were a young boy, because you had a pretty successful amateur career. Well, professional career in baseball, what you kind of talk about you you days, and where that led.

Bill Geivo
Okay, well, it seems like it was in the 40s when I play your best bet bar, but now I’m just kidding. Now the younger, the younger kid, I just I played baseball. It’s all I played myself. parents wanted me to play one sport. So all I did was they did let me do karate as well. So I did play baseball. You’re basically around and will do karate at night, especially in the offseason. And that’s the way when I was played in high school back then it seemed like I can’t remember one kid in Sacramento, getting a college scholarship when we were playing out there because a lot of the schools didn’t recruit back West. So we all went to Sac City College, and we played at Sacramento City and it was like a baseball factory. Jerry Weinstein was the head coach, you know, great baseball man and very, very connected in the baseball world is a big league coach now and all that type of stuff. I ended up hiring him a few times. Afterwards, but playing their way when we had 16 players drafted off of June. Your college team won here when I was there. Wow. So it was it was a factory. And then from there I got recruited basically all over the country but went down to UC Santa Barbara when I saw the beach and the weather and all that I was in and Erin sign with the angels and played until I blew out my knee. And then from there, got into college coaching and thought I was going to be a college coach for the rest of my working career and was at Loyola Marymount in Long Beach State, the original dirtbags at Jason Giambi, Steve Trachsel, and a bunch of big leaguers on that team. And then from there, then Yankees came and I was looking to get out of college baseball because he didn’t get the player practices much anymore in the fall in the Yankees called and I went with them and I’m gonna I gotta tell you, I’m the only man that took a pay cut to go with the New York Yankees on this plant, the only one. And then from there, yeah. And then from there after scouting, I was area scout and player development instructor they sent me out to coach in the summer with the teams. And then, you know, as it worked out, they just from there, Montreal called and I was they wanted me to be the farm director and I just kept on getting dragged into the office, kicking and screaming, but I was in the turnoff. Basically, from there, there are times where I did get out. He was farm director, I’d be out on the road a lot because I like to watch kids play. But other than that, you know, and more like front office type of positions.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
So awesome. But you’ve done it all. Bill. Let’s go back to when you were a kid and you said that your parents let you do karate you know I tell kids all the time that karate would be a great activity to pick up for a lot of different reasons. But do you think that it played a role in your development of your athletic ability?

Bill Geivo
I think so. I think that you know, the one thing that that I talked about in the book is, you know, they call it the eye test a lot and you go out and watch players and you really, in that eye test is gauging body and athleticism. And that’s basically all it and then level of strength, I should say, as well. So when you’re evaluating that and looking for that in a player, that’s basically the idea so you can see who the players are before a balls ever in the air. Right? And because you can kind of gauge who might fit into being a major league player one day, those guys are big and strong. They’re fast. They’re they’re very good athletes, that people don’t give them credit for And so you can tell that so with our when you’re going out and scouting, you’re looking for that well, karate or any type of other sport. I’ll put it this way. This is why some people talk about two way players they like a two way players but two sport athletes. A lot of college coaches and professional baseball, people will look and say I like kids to play football to. And I like kids to play basketball or another type of sport. And in this world of now, everybody’s just gonna play one sport. I think the benefits that I got out of karate, or the same thing that you would get out of basketball, football, soccer, right? Even though you have to move and adjust and react in any different direction. Those sports are reaction sports are speed, agility, quickness, sports, and that’s the thing you don’t get being A year round baseball player. And so if you are going to be a one sport baseball, only that you better be training your athleticism. And that’s the thing I think I got from karate is still training my athleticism. You know, some guys trying to kick or punch it, you got to be able to not get kicked or punched. And you got to be able to move and react and think and and think really, really quickly when you’re reacting. And that’s the thing that I think some people don’t get, when they think they’re just going to invest all their time into baseball, the athletic, the athleticism, part of it, I think gets missed. Yeah, and that’s the train. If you’re going to be at the highest level of competition in baseball, you better be a good athlete, and you better have quick reactions and quick feet. And those are the things that you definitely gained from these other sports or activities.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Yeah, Absolutely I agree, you know, we’re in a time where we tend to focus on one sport for, you know, all the reason that you say, and that’s why I’m kind of a push you for karate for those type of guys. So, it was kind of really interesting when you said that. So let’s talk about now let’s talk now about, you know, playing for Jerry Weinstein. You know, what was that? Like? You know, this is a very highly respected man in the industry for you know, all the reason that he is, but what what made Jerry what he is

Bill Geivo
just meticulous about every aspect of the game. I mean, he’s probably the best clinician of technique and information about any aspect of baseball. This guy’s been studying his entire life. I don’t think he does anything else. It’s his work. It’s a hobby, it’s whatever, that’s all it does. Yeah. And, and he’s out running around the country presenting that information to everybody and trying to help them learn from all the stuff he’s learned. So he’s trying to give back and do it as well. So we have a lot of respect for Jerry, but I think it’s just as determination to learn and adjust with the game. I really do. That’s, that’s the biggest thing for him. So that where you get it a little bit, I don’t want to say trouble or whatever. But a lot of times as a younger player, you’re going and this guy knows so much. So you get a lot thrown at you in a short amount of time, and that helps you and it definitely helped me in the long run. But it was a little different, early, to be honest with you as a high school player coming into this program. But now I got a you know, you can teach how to tie your shoes and do this and do that and whatever else in your painting. intention to a lot of stuff. And it’s not just rolling out there and playing a ball game anymore. You know, over time those things become second nature to you. But Jerry was really the guy that, for me was the first one to really ingrain and teach me a lot of aspects of baseball that that you just did not going to get in high school or whatever, and even in a lot of college programs, so you’re very well prepared to go anywhere and play at any level, and offer and know how to operate as a player and how to handle your business and what to do on the field. Because Jerry is just so meticulous and training us.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Awesome. So what about his communication style? How did he get everyone to perform at their best?

Bill Geivo
You know, I think his style was just a lot of communication. A lot of talking. Even in the written stuff, we’d have a practice plan available for us to pick up in the morning and 715 in his office, so that we knew every word be during the day. And a lot of people do that now now have one off or whatever. But Jerry was doing this. I mean, that was there in 1982. Yeah. And it was you could still smell those things. Can you remember what to call it where they run them off on the wheel and the smell the ink, but yeah, Jerry would would have those out there. For us. It’s 715. And if you had a o’clock class, you’d swing by you wanted everybody to grab one of those practice plans, but also what you would do is you had to go into the office to go get it. So his communication style was one of there could be a casual encounter because you had to go pick this up. Yeah, and that’s what I don’t think people really understand. When we’re that communication style. We’re planning Salt River fields, and I was basically overseeing all the baseball stuff. But the big spring training complex and Scottsdale, which is the nicest one Rockies share with the Diamondbacks. But in doing that one of the big focuses for us because it was so big was that Where are people going to run into each other and trying to create casual encounters, so that there could be communication? Yeah. And I think looking back on what Jerry was doing with that practice, plan, it was not just that we knew he was communicating to us what was going to happen during the day. It was also one he got to communicate with us when we came into the office or with one of the assistant coaches so they could see us in the morning or know who’s coming in and getting their practice score. And or whatever, but being able to talk to us that there were some and then every time it seemed like you almost saw him in there, you wouldn’t see him all the time. But when you did, he’d always have something to tell you. Yeah. So I think he’s used that as a time away from the field, that he could get a message across to you. And then certainly in practice, and whatever, there was always an explanation for why we’re doing something. And you know, you felt like you could for some of us anyway, you felt like you could say something uh, why are we doing this and whatever and Jerry, whatever response for

Geoffrey Rottmayer
that, that’s awesome. And I wish there were more of that out there. And there are there are guys out there doing a great job. But Jays seem to have you know, a very approachable way of teaching the game and it’s cool to see a guy like that. That is so open and sharing.

Bill Geivo
Yeah, now he’s a Based basically my first mentor, as far as learning, all that I’ve had a lot along the way, but he’s definitely a first mentor and really the first one to go over a lot of the baseball stuff on the field. And then how you handled the game. He set that foundation for me. Awesome.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
So so so from there, you went to the University of California, Santa Barbara. What What was that transition like going from a code like Jerry, and how detailed he was with everything, how particularly wide with everything. While we did like going to the neck plate University of California, Santa Barbara, knowing that you were probably very well prepared.

Bill Geivo
It was it was it was good. It was good too. You know, In your study of how you do every little thing, to then go and have some freedom and I play for owl forever is great and is in a different way. Right is he was more of a game type of, you know, very organized detailed practice wise, but didn’t have a lot of the same limitations on you technique wise as a player. So you get your mechanics and how you hit or how you feel did what did you kind of do what you wanted, you wanted you to be comfortable there, but he wanted you to execute what he wanted in the game. But he was more of a game type of manager real good feel for the game real good feel for data. And that was my first indoctrination into like statistical analytics because that was way back then. And we had all kinds of stats and percentages and whatever up on the board, for us to know and where we rank. relates to the team and certain aspects of what we’re doing. And then absolutely, that was my indoctrination in that, but I was great in terms of handling the game, very good feel for the game. I also during that time, you know, we didn’t go to the cape back then nobody went to the cape because they paid you more in Alaska to go up to play. Yeah. So we would go, Alaska and all US college. So we’re up there. I mean, it was. I mean, you run down the list of who was playing for the Alaska gold pan, or a teacher or whatever with us. I mean, I’ll tell you our two catchers or Todd Zealand, Chad, cruder, both played in the big leagues. I know Mark McGwire and an anchor is with Randy Johnson. Barry Bonds played a little bit. He played he would have been last couple weeks. And then they brought him up for the last couple of weeks and then to go to to Wichita. The MDC tournament, the national tournament. But, I mean, there’s big leaguers all over that leak, because, you know, they get your job and the jobs paid pretty good. And in the case, they got your job didn’t pay as much. So we don’t go up there. And up there I get to play for Mike Gillespie, who is kind of a cross between Jerry and Al. But his excellent baseball guy. So my foundation now I go from you know, Jheri curl, and then with Coach Gillespie. I mean, I don’t know how anybody does better than that. And at the end of that Alaska League season Dave snow picks me up with Chad cruder Bobby SIG pen. I don’t know if people remember these names, but and we went to the national tournament because they could add some point. from some other teams, and Dave so so I got to play for Dave snow as well. And I don’t know how you beat that, right in terms of a young are coming up and you’re playing and learning from these guys. It was It was great. I knew it at the time too. Yeah, I mean I on fire, you kind of know who can coach and who are the guys and you know players are you always got something to say about somebody? Right? And you know, we we we knew who those guys were and I was very, very fortunate.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
That’s awesome. You know that lineup of coaches that you had is is special. So for now, when you go into coaching, having all of this foundation on to you from the great coaches. What would your approach like as a coach, did you try to replicate anyone in particular, or did you take a little bit from everyone and develop your own coding style, what was that? Like? What would your coaching approach like?

Bill Geivo
I think you take it a little bit from everybody. And I think I had a diverse foundation of game guys, Jerry with technique and, you know, his meticulous nature, man at the same time, the feel for what it felt like to, you know, play for our it wasn’t as technique oriented, it was more of the game, and what that felt like as a player. So I knew that if I could be somewhere in the middle of all of them, that I’d be doing pretty well. Yeah, as a coach. And that’s really what I tried to do, but my experience of just going through all that, and playing and whatever really, really helped to define how I would be as a coach and that was definitely guy in there with the players. And I was doing it for a reason because I wanted to help players and help them get better. And I was studying, but also knowing that each individual is different. So you kind of react to or treat them how you think their learning style is and what’s going to be better in terms of getting information across to them. And that’s what a lot of coaches I don’t think understand. They just are they’re this type. And that’s what they do. Right? Well, if you’re trying each player to perform at their best you get to know how they learn and how they do things. I mean, I’ll tell you a story at the Clint hurdle went over to Texas as a hidden coach. And so Clint calls me and says, Hey, we got this. Vladimir Guerrero guy. I know you had him with Montreal. What uh, you know, how do you think I should deal with him? or treat him or do whatever because I don’t really don’t know him. And we’re gonna start spring training couple weeks. And I told Clint a few things of how to deal with him that might be a lot different than point whatever be. And he called me at the end of the year and told me you know what? You nailed it. Because this guy had a great year. He responded well, to me the whole time. It was like he knew me from the beginning, and that was Dan. But you don’t get that type of insight unless you’re really digging in and studying players and trying to learn how to get the best. as an individual. It’s not about you and your coaching style, right? It’s about getting to players. So you’re going to be different. Some of them are going to want to talk stats and be analytical and other guys want to keep it simple and you know, you can’t really tell them much are you speaking language, it’s more conceptual than then you know, talking targeted? And that’s, that’s what you do. You’ve got to be a chameleon in a lot of ways to get across to players across spectrum. The players aren’t just players, and that’s how I deal with them. And in a lot of cases, I see that way too much. Yeah, I think it’s, it’s easier to it’s lazy to just be I’m this type of coach. And I go out and the players, I need to get players that will fit into that instead of I need to get the best players and I’ll handle each one of them in a different way to collectively form this group. That is going to be you know what we want?

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Nice. I love it. So when you say you are trying to learn how someone learns, what does that process look like?

Bill Geivo
Well, I think it, it goes into, you know, certainly a lot of nerves. visual, auditory tactile learners, you know, we go got that learning style. So for me, the big thing was that I would talk first and really want to see who could do what I was telling them. And all assure you, I could tell by the even the level of students that have GPA, I could probably go down there when I was coaching in college and figure out who I could just talk to and who I couldn’t. But GPA is very interesting that the kids you can tell the kids that are good in school are used to taking in information and listening to it and be able to spit it back out and understand that conceptually as well. And those are the students that are you know, always at the top of the class that were good, opposite of me, Jeff to the truth, but in any case, And so I would see that then you’d see the guys that couldn’t really you could tell them something, maybe being their technique or hitting their mechanics or something else or do on the field. And you’d say it and then I’d watch and then the kids that weren’t quite doing what I said, I knew they were probably guys that I had the grab hold of, no, here’s what you do, and I’d move their hands around or move their glove position, or do whatever, then I’d figure in my mind, okay, this kid’s probably gonna learn better for me, moving his body into those positions, then meet talking to him about those positions. So when I deal with him now I’m going to talk to him and move his hands or his glove or whatever it is to put them in the proper spot so that he can see it. Right and it goes back to the old little teaching model of you know, they hear it they forget it. They See if they remember if they do what they learn it. And so that was a whole thing with me is I had that teaching model kind of in my head, and I would talk to them first see who could remember it, and just do it. And then, you know, show it to them or whatever and really put their bodies in the positions and, and then make them do it that way. And then hopefully they’ve learned it that way. And that type of model went all the way through when I was a farm director. You know, in our workouts and planning our workouts and how we’re doing our instructional programs. That model is basically the framework of how we did everything. we’d give a lecture card at the beginning. And if we’re going to do a drill out there on the field, there would first be a lecture part where we’re explaining what we’re doing. So they hear it and we’d go out on the field and and actually have a Team, like if we were doing bump defenses, I would say get the guys that know how to do the bumpy fences and get them out first. And then let everybody see how the bump defense works correctly properly. And then we’d run it so then I know they saw it. So if you’re on kinda on the side, you really don’t know what these Bundy says how it really works. It’s a watch your position and this guy knows what he’s doing and this Monday, so then they see it. And then after that, then we’d go out and actually do it, so they could learn it. And then at the end, we’d wrap it up with a review at the end always had some time where the coach could talk to him about the drill and what they were doing, to make sure before they took off, that we ironed out any issues or questions that they might have. And so it can be I mean, that’s what I mean you can you can coach anytime you want to coach but you You’re teaching basically, if you’re going to teach, what’s your plan for construction? What’s your plan for teaching? You got to know how to teach. And for me, I just fell back on that model. You see it? Here, you’re here, you see it, you do it and then wrap it. I think the review Part of it is the big is the big thing as well. But making sure people really understand what you’re doing.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Oh, man, that’s that’s money right there. So part of being a college coach, you had to go out and find guide recruit guys, which could be similar to scouting guy. Is that correct in your mind?

Bill Geivo
Well, I can just a lot Asli tell you when I was recruiting, I didn’t know how to scout when I was going to grow today is until you get involved day to day player evaluation. Yeah. You don’t know how to scalp. You really don’t know how to evaluate pliers. You think you do. When I was in college coaching, I thought I was best baseball guy around, I could go out and find suppliers. When I went with the Yankees It was like my world got turned upside down. I didn’t know what I was doing. They were telling me to do this. And I’m trying to do that run this program of how to how this is how you evaluate players and I’m looking at it so I didn’t know. Well, in the book, I tell a story about me and Jim Benedict is a really good pitching guy. Now, and Benny and I were two young area scouts, both former college coaches out there and I told a story in the book about we looked at each other one day I’m gonna goes, I need to ask Lenny if I liked this guy and when he was his boss, it is valuable. Know what I like it after trying to figure this out. And it’s the truth when you get in a systematic, programmed way of how to evaluate players and then once you come out of the transition of going from coach to scout, that’s that’s the hard thing. as a as a coach recruiting, you’re going out and you tend to watch a lot of technique. So you tend to because you’re a coach, you’re trained to see technique, your study technique, you’re looking at technique when in actuality, you’re trying to gauge future performance is what you shouldn’t be doing. And yet, a lot of college recruiters will get caught up in technique because that’s their background. And it’s not solely on player evaluation. So you know, your coach, the coach, part of you wants to see the guy play hard when a gamer Want a bass baseball guy. And that’s what you go out to look for. And if you don’t see it, then you might not appreciate what this guy can do, or maybe a little different personality or persona that he gives up playing in a game. But you’re not really looking for performance. At that point, you’re looking at personality. And that’s the thing that you get caught up in the here and now a little bit too much when you’re looking at your players trying to figure out if you want to recruit them. Whereas as a scout evaluator, there’s no motion. It’s clinical. I’m judging the body the athlete, I’m projecting out and tools of what I think they’re gonna, how hard to skate, going to throw someday what’s breakable is going to be very, very clinical and not really a lot into technique. So unless something is hindering what you think he could do some there that might be put you in a position Make some type of remark on that. But otherwise, you’re going out to study the player engage future performance. So if the athleticism body, potential for strength or strength, how much strength now then going into the tools or what they can do so it’s a clinical breakdown that you just don’t do when you’re in college, or very few guys do.

As a relates to putting together a team.And that’s the thing of how you look at that team and what you do and our new company, I’m a player. I had a softball coach was the only one so far because I’ve gone into some university programs will bring me in and I’ll give a presentation on how to evaluate players. And I’ll have them write up some questions for me I’ve had what they want me to talk about. I’ll do my presentation. But give me some questions so that I know I’m addressing what your needs are when I come in. And so they’ll write these questions. And invariably, they’re, how do you scout at shortstop? What do you look for and to capture this that the other thing when I’m telling them, Look, that let’s start where we need to start. And there was one coach, one coach baseball, softball colleges as a softball coach told me, well, Bill, I want to talk about player evaluation with you. Here’s the way I do it. I figure out what kind of team I want to build. And I said, Wait, stop. You’re the first one. You’re the first one that started where you’re supposed to start. And so that’s, that’s outstanding. So I can tell right now you already know what you’re doing as far as player personnel Type decision making that professional player personnel type decision making. They had it because they’re starting with what type of club do I want to build? How do I profile the positions? What’s important to me for each one of those positions, then you can go start worrying about what you want to look for in shortstop. Or what you want to look for in a catcher, you got to know what the end game is. And that’s what so many people just go out and do that. And then they throw them all together and try to figure out what they’re going to have a good team or not. And so yeah, maybe you can be lucky and do whatever Bill lipsy my old boss with the Yankees, he said the best a lot of people can have a good year but who can repeat us. And you know, he was basically the architect of getting all those kids in there, whether it’s Peter solder headed Ribera You know, Bernie, all those guys that pad I think they repeated some success. Yeah. So that’s the difference between recruiting and scouting much much to

Geoffrey Rottmayer
receive a baseball awakening decal by subscribing on iTunes and leaving an objective review to claim your decals screenshot through review and email it to Jeff at baseball awakening.com. That’s GE o FF at baseball awakening.com. And we’ll get that your way. Yeah, I learned a lot about the scouting part when I read your book, do you want to work in baseball, you know, which shed real life experience and tell you a lot of things that you would hear otherwise so. So let’s talk a little bit more about that. Let’s talk a little bit about the scouting. When you got into that, you know, how many how many games or how many points does one have to want to kind of get the hang of evaluating priors?

Bill Geivo
I don’t know if there’s a magic number.You know, what I think is you just got to understand what plays at the Big League club. And so that’s the thing you got to understand no different than what you’re talking about with how you build the team, or how you scout you start with what you’re trying to build as a team. And it’s almost the reverse. You got to understand what players are playing at the big league level, what they look like, how strong they are, and how fast they are, How hard did it throw and then be able to go down first, the problem that I see in in professional baseball in the scouting thing, is that it I don’t think the younger scouts get enough time at the major level. to really watch the level of athleticism, and body and strength that’s at that level to really understand which young kid can turn into one of them. But you got to know who them if you don’t know who them are, how can you go out and watch a bunch of high school and college games? And what are you doing to try to figure out who can play there, you need to understand what plays at the Big League club first. And that’s where to me I think a lot of professional teams really don’t understand it is they hire somebody that hasn’t been at the big league level never played there. Never coach there hasn’t you know, been involved in that on data. I mean, you’d be better served by saying, you know what, you’re just gonna watch big league games for a month. And just go out there and get all the gun times and watch him around watching the field, look at the bodies, gates or athleticism, do all that and then you know lot, then you can go out and start watching High School players and try to figure out who can turn into one of that. In the future, get your crystal ball out or your magic eight ball, whatever you use, and figure out which one of those younger kids fit. The profile of the centerfielder. At the major league level, has the body and speed and athleticism, of defense, eventual defense I should say, to play at that position, then then you’ll really know but you have to have your bearings. You have to know what’s up there. And that to me is why scouting as probably done a disservice to a lot of people because what you end up doing then without that background is scouting for the draft. These are the best player in Southern California. So he’s got to be a first round pick. So I’m going to write a report to reflect that because the best player in Southern California today Get the first round every year for the last 40 years or whatever it was. So that’s a that’s what I’m saying you’re when you’re going out and you’re an amateur Scout, you’re you’re picking players for Big League club. That’s what you get. You’re not picking them for the graft and lining them up with who can actually be on our big league field. I think that gets lost sometimes. And all the baseball America rankings and those guys is the best one here and there that nobody really cares. I think what the rankings are, but I think that constant drumbeat of the draft and where do we have to take and what do we have to do? What gets lost is how good is it going to be at the Big League club? The guys eventually the scouting director and those guys figure out when I believe the area scouts should be taken like that, too. I’m picking our Bigley club because they got me doing Awesome. This is great

Geoffrey Rottmayer
bill, man, I can listen to you all day. So can you tell? Can you talk to our listeners a little bit? and talk a little bit about the difference between tools and skills?

Bill Geivo
Yeah, I mean, tools are just the naturalreally just gauging their, their ability level in the present and in the future. So tools are, how hard does he throw relative to a big league player. So everything is gauged off, you do a present and future. So if I’m watching a high school kid, if I threw him out in Anaheim Stadium, or out in the Yankee Stadium, what his arm be average,below average or above itand that’s really gauging the tools now the differences it might be The average right now, but he’s a high school player. So I think it’s ventually going to be plus the Big League club. So that player would be a president on a to date scale present five, future six in his tools. And that’s how you try to gauge and hit Run, throw, feel power, I think I got them off. And that’s what you do. So you put them down in a present grade in a future grade. The one you know some of these are objective, right? So if he runs the person, I get it running time. It doesn’t matter if he’s running that Yankee Stadium around at a JV high school field. He fits on the scale where he fits on the scale. He runs a four three is a right handed hitter, he’s an average runner. Doesn’t matter if he’s playing JV high school baseball. If we throw them on a big league diamond you he’d run average for the major league level.And five.And you might say, since he’s a freshman, JV player that eventually he’s gonna be a six or seven in the future great. But his tool is that we have an objective scale for that they just fit into throwing velocity for a pitcher. What’s his fastball velocity? What’s your running speed? Those are objective measures, you really don’t have to, to do anything to figure that out. I just spit on the chart. They’re very easy, but then the tools that are that are harder and when you start getting into probably what you’re talking about it more ability is now where you’re trying to gauge your hitter. Well, that same high school freshman playing on the JV team, it’s kind of hard if you turn them up the big leagues you might not get hit. So he’s well below in terms of hitting now, but what do I think he could be in the future? Because I’m I like him as a big league player. And what’s he going to hit? So these objective grades are the one what how well is he gonna play defense? When the game speeds up and all of that, how well is it gonna hit how much power is gonna have? Those are very subjective and that’s where the scout comes in. Where now you’re gauging you’ve got the the tools so to speak. Well, you have to put down the tools but ability and what they can do natural ability is going to play into how you rate that tool. I don’t know if that makes sense. So it’s kind of your tough one there. Because those are intertwined a little bit. Awesome. Bill.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
This is great stuff. When you were when you were A player developer, a director of player development, what what is that? You know, what the director of player development do?

Bill Geivo
Well, you know, when I was brought in there, I was basically the the farm director in the field coordinator. So, Dave makhmour helped in terms of doing a lot of the spring training coordination. I couldn’t have done that. I’ve been a farm director, you basically oversee all the minor teams. So from triple A, all the way down to even in Latin American Academy. You’re involved in that, not so much on a day to day but you’re involved in that and what players are coming from the academy over to the to our clubs in the States or rookie ball and you basically got it all so any player moves then happened? a guy’s going to go from double A to triple A, you’re the one that decides that release has to Okay, it. You’re also involved in the club does spring training. I mean, you might have 170 players come into spring training and you got, you know, 125 jobs out there, basically. And you got to figure out who’s going to be there who’s gonna get released from their contract. And you’re managing the rosters of all those teams. And making sure that you’re building those teams and you’re your instruction in terms of what we’re doing with all of our programs. You’re overseeing all that so your strength and conditioning program, your speed and agility, whatever it is, in terms of your bunk program. Whatever you got it You’re the guy in charge. So you have coordinators underneath you that are in charge in each one of those areas. So strengthing, auditioning coordinator, hitting coordinator pitching coordinator. Those are really the guys that’s the level of their the quality control grouping to really make sure that every all direction from the Major League club to the farm director is getting handled. And they’re designing the programs of how it will get handled in conjunction if the farm director has the type of ability, enough baseball ability, which you don’t see very often anymore, to be able to make sure that these programs are designed the way you want designed in conjunction with a Major League club. And it really works from the top down the Major League club is really got to be involved enough to drive the importance of what they want. into the minor leagues so that everybody’s on the same page. And the minor league guys have got to take, put their ego aside a little bit and say, Okay, we’re getting players ready to play for them whether we agree with some of these things or not. That’s not the issue here. You don’t have to agree. But you have to produce players that are going to fit in for them that they’re going to like. That’s where our success will be. And we don’t have to agree with her. And so the way it’s set up, the farm director really handles all that, or he has, he doesn’t have the baseball background enough, which is going on a lot. Then they have a coordinator of instruction or field coordinator, who now is his extension of trying to do all that. And so these things you have to look at it and abroad from a farm director standpoint, a broad standpoint and there are learning progressions. And different things that you would do at different levels and handle things. Because you’re trying to develop a player is no different than taking a younger kid and how are we going to develop them into a, you know, the type of adult you don’t want to see. There’s part of that there’s, there’s gonna be times where they don’t do what you want to do. And you got to understand that and take the best course of action to try to get them on the right track. That could be tough love that could be hugging them. You know, either way, you got to, you got to find a way to get them better. Yeah. So that’s a basic structure in a way with the guys, the manager and the coaches, those individual teams, that triple A or whatever the guys that are really where the rubber meets the road. They’re the guys that do all the work, to be honest with you. They’re the guys that kids had a bad outing and submit his locker at 1130 1145 at night and everybody’s Go on, and he’s still sitting in his uniform crying. And somebody can go over there and talk to those guys don’t do that work. And that’s and it’s a lot of time and a lot of effort and a lot of conversations, a lot of hard work out on the field and doing that. But it’s a lot of being there for people and trying to help them achieve their dream and they don’t get enough credit on my mind in this. Area scouts and managers and coaches in the minor leagues. Everybody wants to look at the Big League club and everybody wants to say how these guys are great. There’s some guy out of the backfield today out in spring training the guy that’s really getting it done. He’s building the big like club.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Awesome, man. I can go really deep into some of the question but I want to be kind of respectful of your time. You know, some Now you have a company called, I am a player. Can you talk a little bit about what that is and what you guys are trying to do?

Bill Geivo
Okay, well, what we do is, you know, because of a lot of the changes going on in professional baseball, there’s a lot of really good scouts that are out there. And that no professional baseball and no college baseball, but they know how to evaluate players. And they know what players need to do to be of higher status to College of Professional people. So what they do now is if somebody signs up with us, we’ll send a scout out to watch him play. The watch that player play right a full report to give the player and the parents that their their consultation after the game. Here’s what I saw. All realistic, and all very clinical. Here’s how I evaluate you now. Here’s what I see. Here’s what I think you need to do to get better, or improve your status with a guy like me. And so finally, a player is put in position to get the answers. So like, we’re gonna have a draft in June. And if we go out there today in what there’s to some college game, there’ll be a bunch of scouts or they’re going to watch a game, then they’re going to elite get up out of their seat, go to the car and drive away, a player has no idea what they think. And what we do is now we go to the player after the game and tell them what people that are evaluating players think of you and you typically don’t find that out until you figure out where you get drafted. And nobody has any idea here, this this scout talk to me and there’s all this confusion going on, in this mystery about what’s going to happen in the draft. Then, we take That mystery out basically give you a realistic view of where you’re at. Are you position to get drafted? What do you have to do to get drafted? At the same time, we do call at the high school level. And we’ll do the same thing, whether it’s for the draft, or whether it’s for you know, helping them get on a college recruiting program or college coaches, you know, what about and so that’s what we do because of being who we are. And you know, our scouts are full time guys. They’ve been full time guys, Major League clubs with that built in, they know a lot of college coaches. So collectively as a group, we know just about all of them across the country. But we’re realistic in terms of where we think the high school kids play. So basically, and what they need to do to get better so once all that gets coordinated What the scout thinks, then that goes in, whether it’s me or somebody else or look at the video, and then we’ll plan out, they sign up for that type of platform and we’ll plan out and go through with them, their routines, what they should be doing, to be a better speaker, improve status to upper level evaluators. So you get the answers and you get a game plan of how you can actually do this stuff. If you sign up for for us in our college recruiting thing, and we’ll help get word out to the programs that in the level that we think you can realistically play, and that those coaches should have you on their radar. And because of instead of chasing every showcase around hope, hoping that a college coats is going to see here, first of all, be there and then You, we actually alert them and let them know that hey, here’s a guy but you guys should be nice. And I just thought yeah, so yeah.

It’s it’s just interesting though the people that really gravitate to us are the people that have played at a high level that understand the process. The word I think we have to try to explain. What we do in very, in a great detail are the parents that don’t have a lot of background in upper level baseball. And they don’t, they can’t connect the dots, the pay these guys really know, they know they don’t even understand the positions of what I felt or other people have helped scout to be able to, you know, figure out this stuff. And that’s the thing that I mean, we can go out and it doesn’t matter. But standing behind Nolan arenado when I worked him out before the draft, and watching him or going on, I mean, we can basically go out at one time and tell you that’s what we’ve been doing. And we can feel where you kind of fit into whatever. In a reasonably I’ll put, I’ll say, reasonably accurate way of categorizing you. We don’t know we can’t say you’re going to be the 56th selection in the draft. But we can give you a kind of an idea of where you’re probably fit and what you need to do to get better. That’s, that’s the thing. There’s so many players you show up to, is it a game that you wish you could just grab them and say, Look, you need to do this. If you do this, you’ll increase your value in this draft. You can because maybe that’s part of the coach and me but you can’t Because you keep your opinion to yourself, because you work for one team. You can’t tell the high school coach, you can’t tell anybody. Because you have your evaluation that basically belongs to and is the property of the Major League club that you’re working for. And now people have access to that information to subjective information that that’s basically all thought of in a standardized way across 30 clubs. Because they’re all scouting for this draft. And that’s it have the answers. To me it was just so powerful for a player and a couple guys that have played at high levels. That’s the first thing they said can Yeah, no,

Geoffrey Rottmayer
I remember when I first came across your website. I thought to myself, wow, this is the this is this is great. This is a service that might not be understood but at the service needed, you know, for the for the people that are listening, to be able to get the type of information and know for sure what they’re thinking and what they’re seeing is huge. But now you have a realistic plan.

Bill Geivo
That’s right. And there’s not a lot of people that do this, your Academy coach, your Academy coach, he might even play some more but playing scouting and making real decisions. And it’s not doing that. And that’s what people don’t get to how to really have a true professional evaluator, come out and do it. You know, this world. Every company has scouts they call right. And parents with little background have tough time distinguishing. No, those guys are real scouts. These guys are just calling themselves scouts. That’s a difference. There’s a big difference there. In terms of the study of player evaluation, Doing it professionally. And that’s your full time employment. That is a different level. And, and you know how these decisions are made and you’ve worked for draft, or you’ve worked for and then recommended. Pollux coaches are calling scouts with middle clubs all the time. Yeah. And saying, Hey, I mean, I’d have people that I know when I was working, wherever I was working, you know, call me Hey, guy, was there any way that you can put out to your scouts? We need a pitcher here, this school and I’m really gonna find a pitcher. So I’m leaving a message to our area scouts. Does anybody have a pitcher does not go to college somewhere that can pitch at this type of program. So we’ve been doing this a long time to help the college.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Awesome. Yeah, yeah, Bill. I think this is it. This is great. You know, I appreciate you working hard To put the thing together. So So let me ask you, you know, when you guys are out there watching games in today’s culture, let’s just start with the high school level, what are some of the biggest things that you’re seeing that it may be hurting some of these kids today,

Bill Geivo
really understanding how they’re evaluated, which is no different than when I was playing. I don’t think we really understood how we were evaluated. And that’s the one thing that I look back on my career. I mean, I spent a lot of time we’re in a finally operations, either overseeing them or in their day to day where I was just a farm director, but even a system GM, I’d always have the minor leagues under my under my watch, and influence we’ll be working with on a regular basis, even with those with the you know, I’d go to the big lake club and I go to Aaa and I’ve got a bald rookie ball, I go back to the big leagues, I’d be flying around all over the place doing that. But the one thing I don’t think I ever did, that I’m kicking myself now is really explained to our specially the minor league players of how you’re evaluating. And that’s what we bring to kids now that I thought, well, if I do a presentation, I’ll explain to all the players how you’re really evaluated by a professional organization, or colleges. Here’s how you’re evaluated by the position to play in a position profile, and really understanding what’s important to you, as a player in people don’t understand that a lot of the stuff that’s in my book is directly related to what I talked about out there and getting players and parents understand that if you play in the middle of the field, you’re evaluate any defense first. So now that you’re going in every time you take a lesson, all you’re doing is hitting balls, the top of the cage working on your launch angle that you need to understand that they’re looking at, they’ll never get to hear your bat if they don’t think you can play defense. Because you’re not going to be a shortstop and you think you’re gonna be a shortstop because that’s where you’re playing now. But you’re really not in line to be that and that’s the thing that we try to get them to understand of how you’re evaluated. Now, what are we going to do to improve your status relative to the position you play? And now it’s a that’s the one thing I always wish that I could go back and say, Okay, well, I’d have a meeting with all the minor league players. I’m gonna show you how we look at this. I’m gonna show you how you’re about And this is why you might think this that, you know, you didn’t get the opportunity to go to the big leagues. Well, here’s how you’re right. Now some of those I would get into individual conversations with players, so I would do it individually. But I never really did it as a collective group. And that’s what probably what I should have done. But in any case, it’s it’s, it’s I think it’s great for players to be able to get that type of info and understanding knowledge is power, right? So if you understand, be doing and then you can then if you’re really invested in getting better at the right things. This these this is a program that’s designed to help you improve your status to to help you maximize your potential as a player to play as high as you can play. Because you’re going to fit into or plan and your program and the routines that are designed to get you as high as you can get, depending on your talent, but at least you’re working within the framework, not against it. And there are players that don’t understand why they got released or why it didn’t work out or why well, you’re going to know why. Because you’ll actually know how you’re evaluated what you have to do to to be a guide that they’ll like. Simple as that.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
Yeah. So the then that led you to writing the book. Do you want to work in baseball? So, so bill Obama guy, and I’m listening to this and I’m saying to myself, man, I really want to hear this guy talk some more. How did How does one do that? How does one get a hold of you? And maybe misty one of the presentations

Bill Geivo
love reading the book, you get that book do you want to work on that? And that’s got pretty much everything in there that I would be talking in a detailed way. You know, I wrote it is the really the impetus of the book, I wonder write something that would that is more qualitative than quantitative. There’s a lot of quantitative out there just statistical analysis, which I love, by the way, but I felt like there are a lot of lessons that I learned and a lot of things that have stood the test of time and I’ve proven to be of great value that in baseball, people are not real good at documenting all that. And I learned from besides who I learned from as a player in college, then I go to build let’s see what the Yankees building Lizzy taught me all this stuff. Yeah, I mean, isn’t me I don’t And then you go to Philippe Lu. And then I get a totally different deal to Tommy Lasorda. And all the things are trying to put all that together in a, in an organized fashion for all of these people now that are out there going to college and they want to be in the front office and they want to be in baseball, and they’re doing all their stuff to try to line up their academic history, and then go and hopefully be able to get an internship or whatever, but they don’t have a lot of baseball background. They don’t have the qualitative. They’re studying the quantitated. I wanted this book to be a resource for all the analytical stat gurus out there that are going to try to get a job in baseball, I want something for them to be able to read. So they have a baseball background and give them some type of foundation and player evaluation and player development to understand conceptually, what’s going on there in a qualitative way. Because I really didn’t see anything out there that had anything like this. And from my experiences, I really feel like I was just blessed to be with these people that really knew what they were doing. Yeah, and, you know, whether it’s I mean, you can name any one of them. They all played a part in that book.And yeah, well, I mean

Geoffrey Rottmayer
yeah, when I when I read that and then now hearing all the guide that you’ve learned from, man, you know, one One can only wish.

Bill Geivo
Yeah, very, very fortunate. So some of it’s what I’ve thought of and so but a lot of it’s wood believes a toffee and there’s Jerry and there’s days, no, Tommy Lasorda. They’re all intermixed in there in terms of things that were remarkable to me to say wow you know this this is these are key points here these guys are teaching me and to put that together as a resource for somebody that doesn’t have a baseball background but still wants to be in baseball and then for the baseball people to me when girl made a comment to me the everybody in baseball’s theory this book Not Just been. Absolutely.I agree so yeah, no so it’s uh, it’s been it’s, it’s been good and I think that’s the way you get more information I mean the presentations I do for college programs and want me to come in and explain all this. I mean, should I do I thought of doing a, you know, more of a no se podcast thing but some type of deal like that or just doing that. Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t, I don’t have much players. So these kids can be busy. But certainly, the book is the first part of that. And who knows, maybe we’ll do a show up to some clinics or something here in the future. But that’ll be on my website, which is inside baseball operations calm. So if we have events or do something, I’ll just throw it out there but right now I have nothing planned. I want to try to make people aware that I’m a player’s out there, get some scouts that can really help you in where you’re at. So

Geoffrey Rottmayer
man, I really don’t want this conversation to end but you know, I can listen to you all day but you got other thing to do. So, Bill, I appreciate you coming on, you know, and again, for the people that are listening. You know, the evaluation company that bill has, I’m a player, it’s going to be I am a player. dot us. And I would also check that out, check that out. But I would also check out his book. Do you want to play in baseball? A book that I highly recommend. So, the bill, I really appreciate you coming on. Hopefully we can do this again. Thank you, sir.

Bill Geivo
It’s great, Geoff. Anytime.

Geoffrey Rottmayer
I’m Geoff ROttmayer. Thank you for listening to our conversation on the baseball wakening podcast. Stay tuned for next week, we’re bringing you another great conversation.

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Geoff Rottmayer

Geoff Rottmayer is the owner of Athletic Mission Baseball Academy, a training facility in Tulsa Oklahoma. Geoff also host The Baseball Awakening Podcast, which was developed to provide content to the baseball community straight from the source. In addition that that, Geoff, is helping coaches and professional start their own podcast and find their own voice.

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