Step one - chomp on cigar!
The problem with scouting is that while the general public think “OMG, if I become a scout I get to watch the best prospects in baseball play every, single day!” Well, maybe not the entire general public, but some. When a scout watches a team for several days at a time (which is usually the case) he has to file a report on either every player he’s assigned to (at times everyone who plays while the scout is in attendance) or just a handful. Not every team has top prospects. In fact, most teams, especially in the New York Penn League don’t have any, if not one at most. Johnny Scout will watch and take notes on the eight players he’s assigned to and six more. Those six are listed as “follows.” “Follows” are players to whom Johnny Scout is oblivious before having seen them play, but impress Johnny enough to list them as “follows.” The scouting director and Johnny Scout will do as such.
When a prospect website or blog compiles a scouting report, they are applying to a fanbase that has some intentions of getting to know the player as well. Those writers are in some ways storytellers as they want to present it as an article rather than just a report. When Johnny Scout writes his report the only people reading it are the Scouting Director and maybe the GM if need be. These scouts aren’t exactly national writers, but they have to be able to turn a three-hundred word thought cloud and article into a one-hundred-and-fifty word one. This is all done so the scouting director will have an almost-perfect idea of what the player is now and what he will be in the future. And of course factoring in “how?” and “why?” as well. It’s not that cut and dry but they have to be informative, considering the scouting director likely won’t get a chance to see that non-touted high-schooler in a small New Mexico town (who in reality ended up being Matt Moore) or that Wyoming farmboy who lives in the middle of nowhere.
So when Johnny Scout goes home and files reports on all fourteen players (a majority of them are non-prospects) he has to be brief and quick to the point. He files the reports to his parent scouting director who has absolutely no time to dilly dally. Furthermore, a scouting director couldn’t care less if Player A likes to eat Chicken Nuggets in the clubhouse prior the start of the game. He wants an informative, brief eight-to-ten line summary on the reported player. That summary is almost always followed by a visual of the players’ current tool grades in comparison to his future ones in addition to an OFP (overall future potential) grade.
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