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For position players, major league scouts evaluate the “5 tools.” These are:
• Hitting for Power
• Throwing Arm
In major league scouting, each of these tools carries varying degrees of importance depending on which position an athlete plays. Foot speed, for instance, is obviously more important to a major league scout for a center fielder than it is for a catcher. When you hear a player referred to as a “5-tool guy,” it means that scouts think he has the whole package; he’s projected to be above major league average in each of these skills. 5-tool players don’t come along often, but when they do, major league scouts drool over them.
When it comes to pitching major league scouting focuses on the following:
• Fastball Velocity
• Fastball Movement
• Breaking Ball
• Other Pitch (Change-up/Split-finger etc)
• Arm Action/Mechanics
Major league scouts also place a good deal of importance on something called “intangibles.” This is a term in major league scouting that refers to the non-physical attributes that scouts evaluate before making a recommendation to the organization. Intangibles are aspects of a player’s make-up such as work habits, emotional maturity, leadership ability and other qualities along these lines.
Intangibles carry more weight at certain positions, such as pitcher (who controls a great deal of the game single handedly) and catcher (who is called upon to provide a good deal of leadership and guidance to both a pitching staff as well as the infield).
For a complete, in-depth analysis of exactly what major league scouts want at each position, and a lot more information on major league scouting, consider purchasing “Live The Dream: Get Paid to Play Baseball.” A complete understanding of major league scouting and how to make scouts notice you will greatly enhance your chances of signing a major league contract!
Next Page: The 20/80 Scouting Scale