With the end of the season approaching, it’s time to look back at some of the season’s best junior performances. I want to apply the way that scouts evaluate the tools of specific players – for the big fans of the game of perspective, you are very familiar with the scout scale 20-80 – to work with a perspective in the spirit of the year.
Here’s the basic idea: A score of 50 is the average of the major leagues for any given instrument (quickball, hitting, field play, etc.), and the scale shows three standard deviations up and down. One standard deviation equals 10 points, so 80 (the best estimate) is three standard deviations better than 50 (the average).
The concept of “better than 80” has always fascinated me. The scout will tell you that it doesn’t exist, as they are trained that the Grade 80 tool is incredibly rare (one of the best pairs in the league) and also has the highest Grade possible. In fact, they know that there are players who are a whole notch better than the number at the top of the scale – like Billy Hamilton’s speed at his peak.
So, what if we extended this concept to every player in the minor leagues so that the seasonal results were so good that they exceeded my wildest expectations?