February 19, 2015 at 10:00 AM
Today, we're pleased to announce the first stage in the rollout of a project we've had in the works for a long time: updated and expanded scouting reports for the SoxProspects Top 20!
This offseason, our scouting staff, Ian Cundall and Chaz Fiorino, is undertaking a systematic review and update of every scouting report on the website. We hate to admit it, but the fact is that some of the scouting reports on the individual player pages got a bit stale over the past year or two as we went through some unexpected staffing changes and events in our personal lives. The primary goal that this project will achieve is to bring every report up to date with our most current information, primarily from first-hand looks when we've been able to get eyes on a player.
As part of this project, we are blowing out the scouting reports for the website's top 40 prospects, and breaking those reports up into different categories, which brings us to today's unveiling. The scouting reports for the SoxProspects Top 20 have been updated in our new format, and you can check them out by going to the site's home page and using that to navigate to each player's profile. (Please note that you may need to refresh your browser on each page.)
To explain the categories we're using, here's a bit of an overview:
Physical description: Self-explanatory. A big part of scouting is using a player's current body type to project what he will look like down the road, and how that will and currently does translate into his game. Is the player athletic? Does it look like he can put on some more weight?
Career Notes: Some background information on the player. What did we know about him when he was drafted? Has he dealt with any significant injuries? Is there anything statistically significant that is worth pointing out but isn't apparent from his season lines below?
Summation: The TL;DR version of the scouting report. Getting to the chase, what the player is and projects to be down the line, and what needs to happen for him to get there.
We break down the five tools for each hitter—hit, power, arm, field, and run. These are pretty clear, but allow me to just mention the following:
Hit vs. Power: The hit tool encompasses all of the skills that go into putting bat to ball. The power tool is what it sounds like—the player's ability to drive the baseball for extra bases.
Arm vs. Field: The field tool does not contain the player's throwing ability, but pretty much everything else that goes into playing defense.
For the guys on the mound, we've broken out each of the player's pitches, including a velocity range for each offering. These descriptions will also include the player's command and control of the pitch and its movement.
We should also thank the large number of SoxProspects staffers who helped compile intel on the players that was used to supplement or check against our first-hand reports and those obtained from our sources, including Norm Cimon, Jim Crowell, James Dunne, Rebecca Fishbein, Steve Henley, John Mei, Matt Picard, Jonathan Singer, Alex Skillin, and Will Woodward.
To sum up, we hope that you will all enjoy the new format! We will be rolling out new updates approximately once a week over the next month and a half or so, and we'll be announcing those via Twitter, so follow @SoxProspects for the latest!