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Must-click link: Scouting report by the fans, for the fans

Sep 11, 2012, 2:17 PM EDT

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Tom Tango launched his annual “scouting report by the fans for the fans,” which is your shot to play a scout by entering in personal observations about the players you watch on a regular basis to become part of the huge collection of scouting reports compiled entirely by fans.

Take a look at the instructions and details, and then go to your favorite team’s page to mark down what you think of, say, the shortstop’s arm strength or the center fielder’s first step.

2012 Scouting Report: By the Fans, For the Fans

  1. mattyflex - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    I submitted my ratings before reading their scouting reports, and according to people who watch Kansas City baseball, Salvador Perez is the 4th best defensive player for the Royals, behind Alex Gordon, Alcides Escobar, and Mike Moustakas. While I feel they are all above-average defensively, I’m beginning to think my fellow supporters are not credible sources for scouting defensive talent.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:55 PM

      “I’m beginning to think my fellow supporters are not credible sources for scouting defensive talent.”
      Hahaha! No shit Matty. Well stated.
      Sadly…every organization is chalked full of fans who are equally as “credible.”

  2. mattyflex - Sep 11, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    But, it is “a report by the fans for the fans”, and “fan” doesn’t always mean someone who really knows the game of baseball or how to evaluate talent. Perhaps they’ve never even set foot on the diamond; “fan” could merely represent an enthusiast.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 11, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      Well stated again Matty.
      I would add that (in most cases) “fan” does merely represent an “enthusiast.”

  3. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 11, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Tango has done this for the last few years, and a lot of times the fan’s scouting report is more accurate than the prediction models (ZiPS, Bill James, etc).

  4. natstowngreg - Sep 11, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Looked at the Nats’ page, but didn’t bother to fill it in. I could make guesses, based on wathcing most of the Nats’ games (ex., Ryan Zimmerman in the “hands” category – Great). But that hardly makes me an expert.

    Also, the categories lack a bit of sophistication. There isn’t one to measure Adam LaRoche’s ability to handle bad throws to first (which is very good), or Jesus Flores’ ability to block pitches in the dirt (also very good). Position does matter in evaluating a fielder.

    • mattyflex - Sep 11, 2012 at 5:59 PM

      You’re supposed to be evaluating their raw skill set. These numbers are used to determine exactly what they say, not where they should play. For example, Wil Myers was drafted as a catcher. Now, the Royals organization could care less how well he can block a pitch in the dirt, because he’s playing outfield. They’re looking at arm strength, arm accuracy, first step speed, etc., which is the criteria you actually scout a ballplayer as.

      • natstowngreg - Sep 11, 2012 at 6:48 PM

        All well and good. An interesting exercise. Certainly don’t want to discourage researchers from collecting data.

        However, the survey I’d be interested in (and would fill out) would focus on the skills for each position. Ex., Ryan Zimmerman would be evaluated based on the attributes of a 3B: first-step quickness (very good), hands (excellent), and throwing (so-so). A player with multiple positions would be evaluated at each position.

      • mattyflex - Sep 12, 2012 at 9:20 AM

        You and I both, Mr. Greg. Should such a survey begin to exist, we’re on it.

  5. tangotiger - Sep 11, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    First, thanks to Aaron for the support and link.

    And especially, thanks to all those who took the time to fill in the ballot.

    Now, as to the particular concerns, notably for the Royals. On the Royals page, we see that the top 4 fielders are a cut above the rest of their teammates, and they are all pretty close. Perez tied with Moustakas, and barely behind Escobar and Gordon. So, in a general sense, does it bother people to see these four ahead of the rest of their team?

    Secondly, it’s tough for catchers to come out on top, simply because two of the components are speed-based. However, if you click on the “position links”, what I do there is weight each of the seven components differently for each position. Arm strength is very important for catcher but unimportant for 1B. So, at the catcher position, Perez is third in MLB behind perennial #1 Molina and Wieters. Escobar is tenth among SS.

    Finally, I would say rather than dismiss the entire thing, take the time to appreciate its strengths and weaknesses. The option on the table is not if this is better than it could be, but rather is it better than what is already available?

    And what is on the table? Ad-hoc scouting reports gathered for some players and in an inconsistent manner? Automated fielding systems that try to determine how hard and where balls are hit, and what chance the fielders had?

    They all have their place, and I’m providing one angle to the whole thing. My angle is to simply reflect the view of those willing to participate.

    I understand if you see bias there, but I still contend that it’s better to have this as-is than to not have it at all.

    • mattyflex - Sep 12, 2012 at 9:23 AM

      I think what you’re doing is wonderful, and at no point do I dismiss the survey in its entirety. I sincerely enjoyed participating and look forward to more of it moving forward. It makes more sense now that you’ve explained it a little more, thank you for the follow-up and keep up the great work.

      • tangotiger - Sep 12, 2012 at 9:43 PM

        Thank you for the reply back. I didn’t mean to suggest that I was targetting you specifically with my comment. I quite enjoyed our discussion here.

    • mattyflex - Sep 12, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      Also worth noting, I did not check the position links until you I saw you mention it, so thanks also for pointing that out.

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