Thursday, August 30, 2012

The 5 Tool Player

There was a 16 year old dominican in 2006 that I thought was a potential 5 tool guy. I knew he would lack power but for a shortstop, I thought he could have enough pop to be a good hitter for the position. His defense was stellar and would get him to the bigs quick. His speed was solid average, his contact was 55-60. He was a solid 53-55 type of player. This is a 5 tool player to me. Solid average to slightly above across the board. This is a guy that would have been a 1st rounder or a supplemental pick in the draft if he weren't an international guy.
This guy made it to the bigs by 20 years old, has 896 MLB AB's and has hit .271/.338/.336 in those AB's. He has 3.3 career WAR over these 3 partial seasons and I think he is a success as a big leaguer but if you expect more than this out of a 5 tool talent, you are mistaken. There are so few players that make it to the majors and make an impact, that anyone who puts up these kind of numbers is a clear success of scouting and development in my opinion.
My example 5 tool talent here is more of a 3 tool talent now. It is Ruben Tejeda. I loved him in 2006 and am impressed by the player he is now. To me, these are the types of players that every team needs to succeed. Guys with a lot of potential that will likely regress from what you expect them to be but still be good enough to get AB's. That is why I draft high end athletic guys that are high risk. Even if they don't get to 40% of their potential, they will still be MLB'ers with positive results.

A lot of college players that make it to the majors and put up these kind of numbers are guys who reached above what the tools look like they could achieve. These are a lot harder to find because most of those players do it on mental toughness and making adjustments. These are two very unpredictable elements of a player. Without talking to players in person and sitting on them for months, it is almost impossible to know. I'm kind of rambling here, but I never said I was a good writer. I just love baseball and the intricacies.


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