Peter at Padres Rundown has a nice interview with Kevin Goldstein from Baseball America.
Now, correct me if you know better, but I get the impression that most of the Baseball America guys are more concerned with tools than actual production. The five tools, in case you didn't know, are as follows:
- Nice Smile
- Looks Good in Baseball Pants
One interesting bit is where Mr. Goldstein compares our man Paul McAnulty to Matt Stairs. Neither McAnulty nor Stairs are seen as traditional "tools" guys. They're short. Kinda gritty. They look like they might smell a little
. But here's the thing. Bill James wrote in his Historical Baseball Abstract regarding Yogi Berra:
But perhaps, just perhaps, the short, powerful body is actually the best body for a baseball player. Long arms really do not help you when you're hitting; short arms work better.
He then goes on to list some players with that type body, including Yogi Berra, Kirby Puckett, Roy Campanella, Matt Stairs, Honus Wagner and Rickey Henderson. Bill James doesn't mention it in that particular write up, but we know those guys as being smart about baseball and gutsy as well.
So here's the tools that I look for:
- Baseball Smarts
- Steel Balls
Maybe the list can be refined a little bit. But once I got it down, I fully expect Baseball America to be knocking on my door to help scout prospects.