The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has unveiled a new Diamond Mines exhibit and website, which honors some of the best scouts throughout baseball history. Many baseball fans, however, are most excited about the plethora of historical scouting reports that have been scanned and made available online.
One can easily spend hours perusing through hundreds of scouting reports of players such as Ken Griffey Jr. and Gary Sheffield, but here’s a scouting report that should jump out to Brewers fans (click to enlarge):
This is just tremendous. It’s full of shorthand comments and will make grammar-heads squirm, but it reads, “Because of his frame believe he will get bigger stronger. Has real good actions & agility plus shows he love to play. Has to be my best prospect at this time…”
Scout Joe Stephenson filed this report in 1973. Just one year later, Yount played 107 games for the Milwaukee Brewers — hitting .250/.276/.346 as an 18-year-old shortstop on his way to a Hall of Fame career. It’s fascinating to read scouts’ perspectives before he was even selected by the Brewers in the first round of the 1973 Draft.
The Diamond Minds database is a joy to explore. It consists of many scouting reports of many beloved Brewers players. Here are some other tidbits:
Paul Molitor: “This kid is a winner. He can run, field, and throw. I feel he will hit with power in time and will be a high average hitter. This kid stood out above everybody else in the Midwest League.” (source)
Jim Gantner: “He’s a better fielder than Sal or Don but he doesn’t measure up with the bat. He has done better hitting as far as making contact, but he doesn’t have the power you would like to see. Has a good arm, runs alright for a 3rd baseman, and his attitude is good. I like him and think he can play in the big leagues defensively. But, of course, the question would be his bat.” (source)
Greg Vaughn: “Drafted several times, said he will sign for reasonable offer or will go back to schl. Could have wt problem in future.” (source)
Jeromy Burnitz: “Fourth or fifth type OF, who has power, on a first Division team. Starter on a Second Division team.” (source)
Those are just some of the scouting reports available on the website. Do yourself a favor and explore the database. It’s a side of the game we don’t often get to see — a sneak peek into some of the brightest baseball minds the game has to offer. It’s also an opportunity to see how difficult scouting high school and college players can be, as it’s as much intuition and projection as it is science.
Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to get back to reading these historical scouting reports. Get back to me in a few days. I might be through 0.1% of the information available.