Web pick of the week: Baseball America

Web-PickThis week’s web pick is an interesting insight into the world of baseball scouts courtesy of Baseball America.

While statistical analysis has become ever more important over the last twenty years or so, all but the most ardent ‘stats’ people will admit that the numbers alone don’t provide the whole picture when evaluating a player. 

The traditional scouts still play an important part in player evaluation, and that’s especially the case when it comes to amateur players being considered for the annual draft.  An 18 year old high school pitcher might put up eye-catching strike-out numbers, but a scout needs to put that into context (what is the standard of the opposition? etc) and to assess whether his current success may translate into him becoming a Major League ballplayer 4 or 5 years down the line.

The signing bonuses received by amateurs these days, such as the $9.9m deal that 2010 Number One pick Bryce Harper agreed this week with the Washington Nationals, make it all the more important to get these decisions right (or at least to bring together enough info to give you best possible chance of making a selection that works out well).  This Baseball America article gives a great insight into how scouts evaluate players, namely what skills they are looking for and how they judge them.

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