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Developing the 5-Tool Baseball Player - Ed Servais

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According to Lewis there are two main theories that are being used to narrow the selection process. Scouts venture out and evaluate players all over the country. They do not pay particular attention to statistics, but rather base decisions on the five tools: Furthermore arm strength evaluation is conducted with the assistance of a radar gun. A general list of guidelines that scouts look for is: Starting the bat, generating bat speed, 3.

Full arm extension and follow through after making contact, 4. Head stays on ball, 5. Lack of fear, butt stays up at plate, 6. Top hand is evident upon making contact and follow through, 8. Head of bat does not lag, 9. Aggressive, hits first good pitch, Short strokes, yet ball jumps off bat, Bat goes to ball Not a swing through a certain arc area and the ball happens to be in that zone MLB, p.

When a scout sees a player he then gives the player a certain grade. This theory illustrates the simplicity of baseball by asking two questions: Does this player get on base? His main two statistics included on-base percentage OBP and slugging percentage. These two stats combined to form a new statistic called on-base plus slugging OPS. Therefore, Beane believed that power could be developed, but patience at the plate and the ability to get on base could not. James spent years trying to decipher numbers via the Bill James Baseball Abstract, which in turn, resulted in a specific philosophy on hitters.

When putting together a lineup, managers must decide the best order in which the team has the best chance of winning. To win the game one must score more runs than the opposing team. This thought provokes the question as to why such great importance is placed on batting averages?

An Examination of the Moneyball Theory: A Baseball Statistical Analysis

James believes the job of a hitter is to create runs. James then developed a formula that allows one to establish created runs:. From this philosophy, Beane developed his theory.


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The only way to score runs is to get on base and since walks are such a vital part of the created runs formula, on-base percentage should be closely monitored. Even though this formula is very accurate, additional steps can be taken to improve the accuracy. This new formula accounts for the more minute aspects of meaningful baseball statistics. It works off the simple formula: Therefore, Beane also placed a major emphasis on what had to be done to create runs and drafted players accordingly.

The difference between these two theories leads to the following questions, what are the optimal attributes of the ideal draft pick? Are young high school prospects with the ideal 5 physical tools more advantageous to draft than the seasoned college player with high offensive Moneyball statistics?

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It is hypothesized that because of more experience, more rich statistical data, and better competition at the college level, the college baseball players will have better offensive Moneyball statistics than the high school players. The participants in this study were 60 professional baseball players. More specifically, thirty high school and thirty college players from the major league professional amateur draft were selected for participation in this study.

The age range of the participants was 18 to 23 years of age. The mean age for the entire participant sample is A comprehensive internet search was conducted to locate the high school and college players from the amateur draft. By use of the following website www. Slugging percentage was calculated as Total Bases divided by At Bats.

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Descriptive statistics included the means and standard deviation ranges overall and as a function of both major league and minor league slugging percentage, on base percentage, and OPS. A score was calculated, comparing college and high school players, for each variable using the SPSS An independent samples T-test was utilized to compare differences between collegiate and high school players. An alpha level of. An independent T-test revealed a significant difference between college and high school minor league slugging percentage.

No significant differences were found when comparing college and high school on base percentage and OPS. It was hypothesized that college drafted players would have significantly higher Moneyball related offensive statistics than the high school players. The results did not support the hypothesis in that the only significant difference was between college and high school minor league slugging percentage.

This hypothesis is due to several factors. First, college players are more mature physically, mentally, and emotionally than high school players. This maturity would enable them to handle the stresses that are involved in minor league baseball such as, long bus rides, the occasional slump, and unfamiliarity with surroundings.