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Behind the Backstop: Scouting 101: The Five Tools

Tory Hernandez

Tory Hernandez

Tory's experience in the baseball industry includes a four-year stint as the Manager of Baseball Operations for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, where his responsibilities were comprised of contract negotiation, advance scouting, and the development and implementation of the organization's statistical research methods and use of analytics. Most recently, Tory served as the Director of Pro Scouting & Recruiting for Boras Corporation.

Consider this Part II in our Scouting 101 series. In Part I we discussed some basic scouting tips covering the body and arm. In Part II, we will examine some of the five tools. The five tools consist of arm, speed, hitting ability, power, and fielding. The five tools are used to demonstrate the ability of a position player and while the tools themselves donít tell the entire story, they are a compass used to tell a narrative about one's ability.

The easiest tool to identify is speed. Technology, in the form of a stopwatch tells us just about everything we need to know about a player's running speed. At scouting combines and showcases, players will generally run the 60-yard dash. Now, you may be asking yourself why a player runs 60 straight yards when nothing in the game of baseball actually requires a player to mimic this specific activity. It does, however, present an opportunity for scouts to know exa

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