Players will receive two Prospect Ratings. A current rating (where he can play right now) and a projected rating (with development and age where we think he can play). Most players who go on to play in college fall within the 3-6 range. 1-2 is very rare and usually a professional prospect.
Top echelon of high school prospects. These are top tier, high round MLB prospects and Division 1 recruits for the nation’s top baseball programs.
MLB Draft prospects who can play at the strongest D1 programs in the nation. Can also find fits in the nation’s strongest JUCO or D2 programs.
Recruit at competitive Division 1 level. Can be a good fit for the nation's strongest D2, JUCO, and/or NAIA programs. Can be a fringe MLB draft prospect.
Can find fits at mid-major D1 level. A definite prospect for stronger D2, JUCO, or NAIA programs. Top recruit for strongest D3 programs.
Division 2 attention based on tool set, Best fits are competitive JUCO, NAIA, D3, and USCAA programs.
We will receive D3, NAIA, USCAA, or JUCO offers, especially with strong character and academic performance.
Could find a roster spot at some D3, NAIA, USCAA, or JUCO level if strong character, high baseball IQ student athlete.
Possible walk-on/student manager at some smaller D3, NAIA, USCAA, or JUCO level programs if shows strong character.
Not a college prospect at this time and should focus on player development if an underclassman.
Below are some examples of how the Prospect Ratings can be interpreted:
6 / 5 - A Junior with some good life in his arm but only topping out around 80 mph and not consistently. His arm action suggests that with some added arm strength through a throwing regiment he could bring his velocity up a few ticks to play at a more competitive level.
5 / 3 - A very toolsy sophomore with promising speed, soft hands in the infield, and the ability to barrel the ball. As he ages, added strength and agility, both natural and from training, will push his tool grade scores higher.
7 / 7 - A Junior; average high school baseball player. Mostly a singles hitter but works gap to gap, can work a count; not an easy out, can play just about anywhere, but no position above average. Good student. Could earn a spot at an academic D3 and work himself into a useful roster piece after a couple seasons of working hard and adapting to the college pace.
A modified version of the 20-80 scale that MLB scouts use, adjusted for high school level talent. A grade of 40 is equivalent to an average high school baseball player. Scores of 50 or higher are considered plus tools. A score over 55 is rare at the high school level and is considered a ++ tool.
Speed - - Are his hands inside the ball? Do his elbows have separation? What is his bat path? How long does his barrel stay in the hitting zone? Is he utilizing his lower half? How much torque can he generate? Does his head move? Does he let the ball get deep in the zone? Does he extend well? Does he use the whole field? Is he balanced in his swing? Does he have an effective load? Is he selective at the plate? Can he bunt? How often can he barrel the ball? Does the ball jump off his bat? Can he hit offspeed? Objectively, body type and athleticism plays an influence too. Undoubtedly, the most controversial and opinion driven tool of all the tools...unless we’re counting pitching grades.
Throwing - Radar gun, preferably a JUGS Gun or a Stalker. How does his arm play? Notice the tool isn’t titled “Arm Strength”(although arm strength is the bulk of the grade). Does the player have fade or run on his throws? Do his throws from the outfield have good carry due to a proper 4-seam grip, arm slot, and snap of the wrists? Do his throws across the infield hit the 1B square in the chest? If a catcher, what is his pop time?
Fielding - This is a scout’s opinion of how their hands and feet play in the field. Are they quick to a throwing position? Do they have bounce and timing in their step? Are their eyes behind the glove? Does he come to the ball? Does he play through the ball? Can he make the tough play? How is his lateral movement? How do his feet work around the bag on the double play? Can he track a flyball? Is his first step quick? Does he drift through his catches or does he square it up? How does his speed affect his effectiveness at the position? If a catcher, what does his blocking and receiving looking like? When projecting the player for his position, the athletic frame, muscle tone, fluidity, and body control must be considered.
Hitting - Are his hands inside the ball? Do his elbows have separation? What is his bat path? How long does his barrel stay in the hitting zone? Is he utilizing his lower half? How much torque can he generate? Does his head move? Does he let the ball get deep in the zone? Does he extend well? Does he use the whole field? Is he balanced in his swing? Does he have an effective load? Is he selective at the plate? Can he bunt? How often can he barrel the ball? Does the ball jump off his bat? Can he hit offspeed? Objectively, body type and athleticism plays an influence too. Undoubtedly, the most controversial and opinion driven tool of all the tools...unless we’re counting pitching grades.
Hitting for Power - Simply put, can he put the ball out there. This is potential home run power, and the most objective of the Subjective tools. Can he generate backspin on the baseball? Does he have 400+ foot home run power? How often does he elevate the baseball? Raw strength is objective with vision; the other half of the tool is how he uses it. Exit Velocity is a good raw data point as well.
Pitching is a completely different set of 5 tools which have more tools hidden within them. Many of these tools are Subjective in nature, with Velocity being the lone objective tool.
Fastball - This is the radar gun reading. Even if he’s pelting the back stop, 95 mph is 95 mph. Also look at movement, armside run, does it dive or rise? Does he throw a two-seamer?
Off-Speed - Velocity of these pitchers is important to record as well. Look at the shape of the pitches. Can he locate them consistently? Does he create an effective tunnel? Do they have a “feel” for the pitch? Does he change his arm slot at all or does it look like a fastball coming out?
Curveball - Is it sharp and tight? Does it break late? Can he throw it for strikes? What direction does it take (12/6, 11/5, 10/4)? Does it break planes? Does it tunnel?
Change-Up - Does he maintain the same armspeed as his fastball? What grip(s) does he use? Does it sink or fade? How many MPH does he take off of it? Is the release fluid?
Other - Sliders (if it’s really a slider) can be common. Cutters and sinkers can be listed here if they are effective. If you want to throw a knuckleball, you better be Tim Wakefield’s nephew, or it’s a waste of both our time.
Delivery - There are a lot of moving parts in a delivery. Is he fluid, does his head move, does he separate properly, and the list goes on. I find it best to break this tool down into a few more pieces in order to recognize what makes a pitcher effective, vulnerable to injury, a fixable project, etc.
Balance - Mostly speaks for itself. Is his head still while he gathers himself over the rubber? Does he have a consistent balance point? Is he drifting? Is he separating his hands on time?
Direction - How is his body when he begins his stride; square, opened, closed? Does he fall towards the mound, explode, drive? Does his stride have a proper length? Is he leading with his hip? What’s his glove side doing? Does he open up his landing foot and land in a controlled manner? Or does he land on his heel?
Arm Slot - Is he ¾? Over the top? High or low ¾? Is it a consistent arm slot? Is his hand outside the elbow before he whips it through the zone? Does it change on his offspeed pitches? Does he extend all the way through his pitch?
Finish - Does he rotate his towards the target? Is his chest over his front knee as he follows through? Or is he too upright? Does he get his weight through? Does he recoil? Does he fall off towards 3rd base?
Arm Action - How much life does his arm have? Does he create good arm/hip separation when he begins to drift towards the delivery? Does he throw a “heavy ball?” Is he loose and fluid? Is it “whippy?” Or is he a high effort thrower? Arm action hints at the potential to add velocity and, unfortunately, for judging the likelihood of arm injuries.
Control/Command - Self explanatory for the most part. How well does he locate his pitches? Does he throw all his pitches for strikes. Does he work around the zone, or does he make the catcher work too hard? Does he limit walks? Command is to put the ball exactly where you want it consistently and effectively, which is the anomaly at the high school level. Essentially placing the ball in the catcher’s mitt all day and making his life very easy.