Monday, December 12, 2005

Performance Scouting? Never.


Had an interesting lunch today. I met up with the kid in the wheelchair-- Seth Goldbaum of Performance Scouting, Inc. We ate outside at a little cafe just off a college campus in central Georgia. That was our first mistake. It was a bit chilly this afternoon, but it wasn't the food or the atmosphere that mattered. I was there to see what he meant about me being fired before the high school season.

"So tell me Cutter, where does Mac Thomas rank on my list of catchers in Georgia?"

I knew damn well because I scrambled to dig it out before making my quick exit out of Tallahassee. The curiosity was killing me to see where he ranked Mac. Interestingly Mac was number three on his list. "I don't recall." I lied.

"Number three," he answered. "All his numbers point to him being a success at the next level."

"His numbers? The next level?"

"Yeah. On-base-percentage, walks, extra base hits, passed ball percentages, and stuff like that."

"What about heart? Desire? Leadership? And extra special stuff like that? Do you have stats for those things?"

He paused for a moment. "Bottom line, isn't performance all that matters? I mean, if a player produces statistically, he's a proven commodity."

"So why have you ignored the high school players?" I asked. "They have decent stats."

"Let's face it, they don't play against top competition. I've found that their statistics are wildly skewed in their favor. It's also very risky because they have yet to be really challenged by stiffer competition."

I chuckled under my breath. "Haven't been to the WWBA have you?"

"What's that?"

"Figures. You see kid, anybody can look up someone's stats and basically evaluate a player's past performance. The real key to scouting is how well you can evaluate a player's tools, his ability to improve on those tools, and whether he has that something extra special which I call the Sixth Tool. These are the things that will carry him into and keep him in the Big Show."

Seth sighed aloud. "I can see I have a major convincing job ahead of me."

"You're damn right. And so far, I haven't heard anything that would convince me that I'm about to be fired and that you're the one that can save my job. But strangely enough, I've got a deeper problem. I talked with Logan Cooper this morning. He made an unusual demand. . ."

(continued tomorrow)

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just spent the last half hour reading your site when I should have been working. Nice job though. Extremely entertaining.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous jb said...

I also just spent a half hour reading...fascinating stuff. Keep up the good work. I'll be back to read more...

2:34 PM  
Anonymous grazilla said...

After reading more of this, this reads like a novel or something (I'm the anonymous above). But wether or not all this is true, it's still pretty good stuff. Keep it coming.

3:49 PM  
Blogger David said...

My name is David Pinto and I write Baseball Musings. I would like to link to your blog, but I'm not sure if this is a real scout writing or someone writing as if he were a scout. My email is pinto@map.com. I believe my readers would really enjoy your site, but I'd like to know that you're for real. I will protect your identity as if you were a confidential source.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Mcp9f3 said...

I have read your entire site and will be back...Keep up the good work!

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grazilla and David have good instincts.. anyone who has been around the game would know this stuff is pure fiction... perhaps the trial run for a book or something... but real scouts don't work this way... it's a joke

11:21 AM  

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