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I found these notes on a website and thought it was such good info I wanted to pass it along to this year's college NLI hopefuls.

What Scouts are looking for in a pitcher:

Movement of pitch, velocity of pitch

Breaking Ball
Type of spin and break, depth of break (proximity to hitter), deception
of release (how similar is release of breaking ball to player’s release of

Change Up
Movement of pitch, velocity of pitch (difference from fastball), deception
of release and delivery (how simliar is release of change up to a player's
release of fastball?)

Other Pitch
Combination of Breaking Ball and Change Up considerations
Control Ability to throw pitches for strikes

Skill Delivery
Balance, control of body, coordination of body, ability of upper and
lower body to work together, alignment to to the plate, plane of
shoulders, amount of effort exerted through motion, consistency of
motion, repeatability of motion

Arm Action
Path of arm out of glove, path of arm through release, speed of arm
through release, range of motion allowed and completed both out of
glove and through release, amount of tension present during arm swing,
consistency, amount of effort exerted through release
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Position players are graded on the following five tools.

Hitting - Approach to hitting (load, stride, lower body action, bat path), balance, quality of contact, consistency
of contact, hand speed, bat speed, hand-eye coordination

Power - How far the player can hit the ball, action of the ball off bat, type of swing, speed of bat through the
zone, strength in body that is translated to ball at contact

Fielding - Ability to use feet, ability to use hands, range, ability to control body, fielding position, approach to
ball, pace of play

Throwing - First 10 feet of throw out of hand (Velocity), last 10 feet of throw into target, arm angle at release,
arm action, speed of arm through release, amount of effort exerted during throwing motion, amount of time
taken to release of throw

Running - General/overall speed (60 yards), baseball/usable speed (Home to 1B)

Importance of tool by position:

1B 1. Hitting 2. Power 3. Fielding 4. Throwing 5. Running
2B 1. Fielding 2. Hitting 3. Running 4. Throwing 5. Power
SS 1. Fielding 2. Throwing 3. Running 4. Hitting 5. Power
3B 1. Hitting 2. Fielding 3. Power 4. Throwing 5. Running

1. Ability to use hands/glove - play on ball, exchange from glove into throwing hand
2. Ability to move feet - athletic ability/agility, overall quickness, life in steps
3. Arm strength - speed of the ball out of hand, action of throw into target and ability to make throws off balance and on the run
4. Footwork/body control - understanding of routes and body position on variety of plays

The most common faults among young infielders include:
1. Playing flat-footed or on heels/stationary feet. Successful infielders are able to keep their feet moving,stay on the balls of their feet and maintain an athletic position.
2. Deep and defensive play on ball - glove under body lets ball get in on body. Infielders must be aggressive with hands and use the glove. They should also make a play on the ball instead of reacting to what the ball does.
3. Exchange/Release with too much wasted motion. The game speeds up as you move up levels. Get rid of the ball quickly - no one can outrun a thrown ball so get it on the way quickly
Arm strength, player presence on the field, istinctive, competitive, poised and leader are words to describe successful catchers.

The ability to receive and handle the game separates the good from the great catchers.

A common misconception about catchers is that they are able to succeed without being able to hit. That is not necessarily true. Players with the longest careers can produce offensively.

A catcher's tools are ranked in the following order:
1. Throwing - good arm
2. Fielding - soft hands, ability to block ball in dirt
3. Hitting
4. Power
5. Running - not that improtant for a catcher but cant be a base clogger

6th tool must be present in a catcher. Must be a good thinker.

*Fielding and throwing can sometimes be reversed in order of importance depending on the scout's personal preference.

The catcher must be durable and is responsible for the teams defense. A catcher needs soft hands , quick feet and the ability to block pitches in the dirt. A good catcher can catch and throw to second base under 1.90 seconds , some catchers can break 1.75 seconds.

Catchers Release Times to Second Base (MLB scale 2-8, 8 being the highest grade)
8: 1.74 seconds - below
7: 1.75-1.79 seconds
6: 1.80-1.84 seconds
5: 1.85-1.90 seconds
4: 1.91-1.99 seconds
3: 2.0-2.1 seconds
2: 2.3-above seconds
I recently went to a MLB scout team tryout in Arizona where over 200 kids of various age groups tried out (2010, 2011, 2012). When it came to pitching I wanted to closely observe the scouts as they evaluated the pitchers because I am a HS coach and wanted to see how they rated each pitcher so I could share this information with players. Since this is the first of this kind of event I have ever attended I wanted to get as much information as I possibly could gather. I spent about 90 minutes in the bullpen standing just a few feet away from two scouts doing the observations occasionally chatting with them between pitching changes.

There were four mounds where they would have four pitchers throw various pitches one after another with just enough time for one of the scouts/coaches to get behind the catcher to radar the pitches. The pitchers threw a total of 8 pitches. They would throw in this order...5 FB's, 1 change, 1 CB and finish with 1 FB. Radared velocities were recorded on each pitch.

From what I could see there was not any observations or even a care of 'movement of pitch', 'type of spin', 'deception of release' and so on. They did not see or care if a pitcher threw a strike. In fact, some threw right over the top of the backstop, which did not seem to get the attention of any scout/coach, which again, I was standing just a few feet away from...

The number one thing that would get the scout/coach interested was when a pitcher was recorded at 85 mph or faster. Now, this got the scout's attention and he would look up from his clipboard. After the 8 pitch sequence was over for the four pitchers he would on every occasion call over to chat with the one who recorded a FB over 85. Every time without exception...

From what I could see they did not care about anything but velocity, not mechanics, movement, deception, location or whether it was a strike or a ball...nada...just velocity. I wish I could have seen something else, but I didn't. Velocity ruled the day...Period. I then followed up by checking the web site of this ‘elite’ scout team and discovered the pitchers who threw the highest velocities were selected for the various teams. Again, confirming my initial observations.

I understand the time constraints on such events and the amount of players that need to be evaluated, but I honestly, and I guess naively thought I would see thorough evaluations of each pitcher for those things you mentioned in your posting by professional scouts.

I guess it could have been the venue with the time constraints, but I have to admit I was surprised at the lack of technical evaluations.
Last edited by Coach Waltrip

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