Scouting Baseball jobs

By Michael Rosenthal

I've also had a very good acquaintance that was a career baseball scout for over 30 years. Though he passed away several years back, the one thing I will always remember was that he claimed that other than being a ballplayer, nothing is more gratifying or satisfying than finding that diamond in the rough as he called young ballplayers with big league talent. And I would have to agree with him since I tried my hand at it for a few years when I was younger.

Scouting involves being a trained talent evaluator and a tolerance for a lot of traveling. There is huge responsibility in that you have to be able to determine whether or not the athletes you observe meet the talent criteria of the team that you are scouting for. You can scout for hot new prospects and future stars, or you can scout the opposing teams to assist your team and manager for purposes strategizing against them. In a lot of circumstances, baseball scouts were former ballplayers or coaches and managers, but on the other side of the coin there are career scouts who have done that exclusively from start to finish.

Tony Lucadello, who was considered to be one of the greatest scouts in pro sports, was quoted as saying that there are four types of professional scouts all starting with the letter 'P'.

They were:
  • Poor -- wastes time looking for games rather than having a planned itinerary
  • Picker -- emphasizes a player's one weakness to the neglect of all strengths
  • Performance -- bases his evaluation on what a player does in his presence
  • Projector -- envisions what a player will be able to do in two or three years

According to him, five percent were poor, five percent were picker, 85 percent were performance, and five percent were projector. It would appear to me that the best type of baseball scout would fall in that five percent categorized as a projector. If you look at how Mr. Lucadello defines each one of those categories, it makes perfect sense that the projectors are the ones with that much needed insight required to find true talent.

Scouts have become more and more dependent on computers to assist them in the evaluating talent that is being scouted.

All professional sports franchises are using computers to help organize their all of the information that they collect on the athletes. As of this past season, most franchises are still relying on the human factor when it comes to talent being assessed by a baseball scout. But with all the programming 'pioneers' that are around today, this may very well change the way scouting is done and reported in the near future.

Whether it's scouting for talent or scouting for teams against their opposition, one truth always exists. The baseball scout is the single factor that can determine success or failure for that team. There is a huge amount of responsibility that comes with scouting. Mistakes and failure is not often tolerated.