I became a member of SABR at the end of 2014. As I was reviewing the resources available to members, I clicked on the scouting section of the Baseball Hall of Fame. The website is called Diamond Mines, and it can be located at scouts.baseballhall.org.
Major league scouts had been tarnished in my opinion, with their negative portrayal in the movie Moneyball. While movies are never the book, the movie portrayed the Oakland Athletics as compiled solely by a computer. Wasn’t this the team of Zito, Mulder, and Hudson? Reading the scouting reports shared on Diamond Mines has showed me there is much more to player evaluation than on-base percentage.
This wonderful resource has a ton of scouting reports on current and retired ball players. Scouting reports are usually pre-draft evaluations, but there are minor league and major league scouting results as well. Not all the scouting reports for each player are there, but there are enough to wet your appetite.
From the scouting reports I have read, there is a different style of scouting report for each scout. Even with the differences, there are similarities among the scouting reports. The reports start off with biographical information, followed by an evaluation of their skills, and completed with a written paragraph summarizing their evaluation. Grades are evaluated on a scale of 20 to 80, with grades of 50 indicating major league proficiency.
Here is a scouting report of Derek Jeter by the Cincinnati Reds organization. I like the comment that he will be a “…can’t miss talent.” Derek Jeter ended up being drafted by the New York Yankees in the 1992 draft in the first round, 6th overall. The Cincinnati Reds drafted Chad Mottola with the fifth pick. You can check out some of Chad Mottola’s scouting reports HERE.
Bob Clear is not so enchanted with Nolan Ryan, see below in this 1977 scouting report. “Not a smart pitcher and is hard headed,” not to split hairs, but Nolan Ryan had pitched four no-hitters by 1977, the same amount as Sandy Koufax.
Not every player has a favourable scouting report, but I guess its better to trashed than forgotten, eh Brent Lawrie?