MLB tells teams scouting activities can resume, source says

Major League Baseball informed clubs on Monday that they can resume scouting activities, ending the ban that was instituted on March 19 due to the coronavirus pandemic, a source told ESPN.

There is a limit of three scouts per MLB club for each event, as a way for clubs to ramp up scouting activity.

Although pro baseball has not resumed, amateur baseball tournaments were playing in multiple states weeks ago, with no MLB scouts or college coaches present.

With the 2020 MLB draft concluding last week, the summer showcase season begins the formal scouting of the 2021 draft class. The usual first event of the season, Perfect Game National, a showcase with hundreds of the top 2021 prep prospects, is set to begin Wednesday morning in Birmingham, Alabama.

Since the summer events are played with wood bats and feature a much higher level of competition than the spring season, clubs put more value on them. The picks in the 2020 draft were made with little to no spring season information, but clubs were reasonably prepared, given all the work that they do in the summers from showcases, tournaments and college wood bat leagues.

This comes at a key time for scouts, as there were widespread pay cuts and furloughs around the industry at a time when they didn't have any games to attend. The Los Angeles Angels made the most aggressive move in this area, telling employees on May 19 of plans to furlough their entire scouting staff.

Monday's memo from MLB also included a loosening of restrictions on international scouting. In-person scouting is still prohibited, but collecting video and data from post-shutdown activity is now permitted while MLB continues to work toward eventually allowing in-person scouting of international prospects.