Obviously teams fall in love with certain kids and start talking to them. Bring them in for workouts, talk numbers, etc. My question is how do these teams know when to pull the trigger on a Willems. Obviously they really want him but they also need to get other talented guys in rounds 2-5. How do you know the 8th round is the round to pull the trigger vs the 6th or the 10th? How much do you hold your breath as a GM worrying about other teams. My sense is unlike the NFL draft where a team can take a guy right out from under you at any time some of these prep kids are likely only going to 1 or 2 teams. Probably because they tell other teams they wont sign with them and will go to college. There still is nothing stopping a team from drafting the player and calling the bluff.
Sheer numbers. There are just too many players out there to find them all. I'm willing to bet you most pro players can tell you 2-3 guys that should have gotten a chance but never did. Maybe that obscure area the scout only got out there once, and that game was a terrible game for a kid. I can tell you there were two kids from my senior year team that should have both gone pro. One ended up getting drafted a couple years later after some JUCO time, but shouldn't have had to do that. The other, I don't know if he just never got an offer but took a different career path. But 6-5, that threw mid 90s at 16? But as you can imagine not a lot of scouts get out to see slower, lower Delaware. We lost to Delino DeShields' HS in the state tournament so people pass through there sometimes.
There's a chance with some of these kids that not a single other team is on them. That's the whole principle behind the travel sports insanity these days, because those at least will get into showcases, and tournaments which are more likely to draw scouts than a backwater HS game. Look at those local kids drafted. I know the one from AA County played for Rawlings. And those teams are like a level above "travel". The Rawlings, Gambrils Athletic Club, teams like those are like the elite. They have teams that play the local circuits and then they have like all star teams that they use for showcases that have teams from like 3-4 different states on them.
It's the same reason Club Volleyball is more important than HS these days, and why Club soccer, while watered down, isn't far off from it. It's more economical for scouts to go to a 12 hour tournament, and see 200 of the best players in an area or region than to chase down individual HS games. Usually by those points they've already seen them at tournaments and they are following up for extra looks. There are TONS of talented players that can't afford these insane travel programs and just do Rec - HS paths that slip through the cracks. A whole reason why they try to start the urban programs near large cities because there are so many hidden athletic kids that you'll never see without it.
It's a broken system, and sometimes you just get lucky.