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Scouting 101: DATA COLLECTORS

Scouting 101: DATA COLLECTORS

Long gone are the days where scouts chased players in order to truly evaluate a young player in hopes of signing an unknown talent.  In the Information Age, everybody is in THE KNOW.  Data, video and statistics is the scouting game.  

When I was working in the scouting department for the Blue Jays, I remember a game where there was my, an area scout, cross checker, video department and special assignment scout from the GM's office.  The conversation was not about skill but a cross reference of data which needed to be confirmed for the front office.  It wasn't a scout signing a player, it was a bunch of baseball educated and experienced data collectors who did not make decisions.  The only old school operating system involved was the job of getting to know the player and family for mental and character evaluations.

https://youtu.be/NORko4RshTw

Scouting has changed and its only going to get more intense.  See the ball, hit the ball days are gone.  It's a new game of learning how to be productive, with decisions being more about the  ability to create extra bases by hits calculated with exit velocity and launch angle, not the look of fearlessness in a players eyes as he rounds first base.

We’ll see how the game evolves as the front office faces change. You won’t see two GMs sitting at a bar over a few drinks and making a deal. Some of the greatest deals in baseball history were made that way.  Now its a kid with a laptop shooting the GM a text.

Today there will is enough data shared to launch a missile. And in the end everyone will likely have the same, or pretty close to the same, data.

What has always separated teams is how their scouts evaluate players. Their job is not only to evaluate talent, but to recognize heart, desire, makeup, toughness, resiliency, adaptation to the team culture and the city. All of the things that can’t be quantified but may be the most important traits.

Scouting has changed, like it or not, it's time to embrace the future of baseball

CBS Sports Baseball Scout Jason Rutherford