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Scouting/ Evaluating

Hello Gamers Families,

In committing to these events, its assumed that your kid wants to excel at baseball. Part of what determines their path is how they are evaluated. It has come to my attention that there are many families that don’t have an understanding of this process. I’d like to help…One thing that I don’t always share with families is that I am an associate scout for the Detroit Tigers. What does this mean?…


Scouting is evaluating. I’m not fourth coming in identifying myself in my role in scouting and the reason for this that this identity, against that of my role as a coach or motivator, really defocuses the players I deal with. It appears that the perception of the roll of a scout is of someone who can show up at your game, offer to draft you, or offer you a contract…. This isn’t necessarily how things work… Over the past four years I’ve noticed a negative trend amongst my upper-class players in that they seem to be waiting for someone to show up to their game to tell them how good they are. I find this to be a passive and entitled approach. One of the most important character traits that a young player can develop is the ability to define themselves. Players that learn to define themselves as leaders and go-getters in most cases are the ones that prove to be successful and these are generally the players that I endorse. In the nature of the role of the scout, to identify players that offer a solid expectation of consistent, positive performance. The role of the player is to put their best foot forward in showing what they’ve got. 

My Role
Each year I write and submit evaluations on the top players in Alaska based on graduating class. This information puts these players in a database for this specific team (Detroit Tigers). That player’s value in regards to that team is based on a) the quality of their scouting report against every other player in America that has been submitted to this team in a report, and b) Reports written by higher ranking scouts that are sent to crosscheck the quality and accuracy of these reports. These reports are confidential. 

Players are rated by what is referred to as “tools.” There are five tools on the scouting scale which are:

1)Throwing Ability
2) Ability to Hit Consistently
3) Ability to Hit for Power
4) Running Ability
5) Defensive Ability

*Pitchers are evaluated on their effectiveness, velocity, command of secondary pitches, and mechanics. 

The scouting scale, at the professional level, ranges from scores of 50-80. On this scale a 50 would be the rating of a tool, of an average pro player. An 80 would be the score of someone with a tool comparable to “the best player anyone has every scene.” I’ve lived in Alaska my whole life and I’ve found that every year, realistically there are about 2-4 players per year in Alaska, out of each graduating high school class that have a tool that is ratable enough on a professional scouting scale, to be submitted in a report. 

I wanted to share this information with you as there are benefits to understanding this information. The job of a scout is to identify players that can help teams win. There are all sorts of factors involved in this such as the speed of the game at the higher level, and the durability of the player. In other word, scouts are trying to identify players that can and will perform at the next level in terms of production and longevity. 

Please take the time to look over the scouting resources attached to this email… They will give you an indication at how scouts evaluate players outside of the perception of the players that you see regularly. These resources will also offer the vocabulary that is widely used, along with mechanical “red flags’ that are identified by scouts and recruiters. Also, please share this information with your player as it may benefit their goal setting process. 

Jamar Hill