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The Five Tools in Baseball

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  • pattar
    replied
    Originally posted by pthawaii View Post
    The Five Tools in Baseball Are:​
    1. Speed
    2. Arm Strength
    3. Fielding Ability
    4. Hitting for Average
    5. Hitting for Power
    My son attended a showcase and one of the college coaches said something I had never heard before. He said that if you are strong in one tool, develop that tool, it will help you stand out. I just wanted to share that, since prior to hearing this, I was always under the impression that you need to work on your weak tools (and of course you have to do this as well, but make sure you can really show off your strength, don't focus on your weaknesses at the cost of letting your strength become only above average).

    Okay, here is the challenge. For college recruiters, order the 5 tools above in order of importance. I realize it differs for each position so you'll need to take an average of all positions minus P and C. If you must, you can categorize by corners, middles and OF's.

    One reason I ask is because even though speed is listed first above, I've heard that college recruiters don't really worry about speed as long as you are average or better. Looking to cut through the rumors and hear from those that have experience through the process.
    I know I am not directly answering the question, but imo if one works efficiently there is plenty of time to develop everything so the question is sort of irrelevant. In an 1.5 hours of work you can get in 150 to 200 swings and 100 to 150 ground balls. You can get track and lifting work done in probably 1.5 hours. Do each of those 3 or 4 times a week and that still is only 9 to 12 hours of work...If you can get a kid to put down the cellphone/playstation remote (is that what they use now??) it shouldn't be an issue. Related to that every kid (9-11 YO) on my daughter's 12U softball team has a cellphone with the exception of my daughter..smh.
    Last edited by pattar; 08-30-2019, 05:08 AM.

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  • AdamInNY
    replied

    Of course it's easier to change mechanics, but not always for the better. I think coaches drool over the 6"3" 165lb 15yo throwing 82mph because they know if he adds muscle he'll likely add velo. Lots of people like to talk about better mechanics will help with velo/command/injury prevention, but people can't agree on what those mechanics are.

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  • JettSixty
    replied
    When discussing velocity development there needs to be some qualifiers. If you start with two young teens of equal potential, train one properly and not the other chances are one will throw recognizably harder than the other. But at some point how much harder a pitcher throws will be due to increased physical development and mechanics improvement. Given only half of college pitching recruits have to pan out to have a successful season coaches prefer velocity. While not always successful, it’s easier to change mechanics than increase velocity.

    What can’t be taught is how college players mentally adapt. One day I was watching BC play Harvard with the BC pitcher’s father. The kid was smoking Harvard. It was the third straight year he smoked them. The father lamented when his son pitched ACC games he seized up. It wasn’t just the hitters were better than Harvard’s. The kid lost velocity and his pitches flattened out. This is nothing but his mind playing tricks on his body.

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  • AdamInNY
    replied
    Originally posted by bbrages View Post

    Velocity can be developed too, though... can't it?
    Yes it can.

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  • JettSixty
    replied
    Originally posted by bbrages View Post

    Velocity can be developed too, though... can't it?
    By college velocity is improved by mechanics or continued physical growth. Coaches believe if they recruit velocity mechanics will fix control. You can teach mechanics. You can’t teach velocity. At any given time a college roster will have sixteen to eighteen pitchers rotating through. Only eight to ten have to succeed to have a successful season.

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  • bbrages
    replied
    Originally posted by AdamInNY View Post

    I think the reason for this is *most* coaches think they can fix/develop control and command, but not velo, or at least fix control and command a lot easier.
    Velocity can be developed too, though... can't it?

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  • AdamInNY
    replied
    Originally posted by bbrages View Post

    Pitching is not a "tool" however...

    Along with the five tools, good pitching is generally considered to consist of:

    Velocity
    Location
    Movement
    Deception

    These four attributes are also not tools, but I think it's similar to the idea of five tools, in that you must develop your strengths and overcome your weaknesses to be effective, and that velocity opens a lot more doors than anything else on the list.
    I think the reason for this is *most* coaches think they can fix/develop control and command, but not velo, or at least fix control and command a lot easier.

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  • andre8
    replied
    Originally posted by JettSixty View Post

    The original post was about getting to college baseball. Most college baseball players don’t grade out at 60-60-60-60-60. You must not be familiar with the grading system. 60 across the board is a solid prospect. It’s a pitcher throwing 93. It’s a 6.7 60 with the projected potential to hit .280 with 25 homers.
    I understand the grading system and I stand by my post.

    Also grading can be relative. Some are graded on current skills against current level, some are graded on projection of skills at future levels. It all remains though. A college coach will choose the 80-55s kid over the 60s kid all day. or even a 80-45s.

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  • JettSixty
    replied
    Originally posted by andre8 View Post
    You have to work on and hone ALL the baseball skills. You can't be an 80-10-10-10-10 player. You could be a 70-40-40-40-40 player. But what I'm saying is that an 80-55-55-55-55 is generally more desirable than a 60-60-60-60-60 player.
    The original post was about getting to college baseball. Most college baseball players don’t grade out at 60-60-60-60-60. You must not be familiar with the grading system. 60 across the board is a solid prospect. It’s a pitcher throwing 93. It’s a 6.7 60 with the projected potential to hit .280 with 25 homers.

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  • andre8
    replied
    You have to work on and hone ALL the baseball skills. You can't be an 80-10-10-10-10 player. You could be a 70-40-40-40-40 player. But what I'm saying is that an 80-55-55-55-55 is generally more desirable than a 60-60-60-60-60 player.

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  • Scrub
    replied
    Originally posted by dominik View Post
    That is true too. Bad is relative. Even a 30 grade hitter in the minors probably hit well over .300 in high school. The pro scout will say the 30 grade hitter can't hit but that is compared to other pro players.

    And likewislike even the worst fielders have a .900 fielding percentage, it is not like in little league when every other play is booted.

    So even if we talk about a one tool player player there still is some kind of baseline skill. I mean billy Hamilton can't hit in the majors but it is not like he is swinging and missing 50% of the time and he even hits a homer or two in most years. That is terrible for mlb but you couldn't put a track athlete in there and expect him to hit 250/300/330.
    Charlie Finley tried that with Herb Washington. However, we never got to see him hit (0 career ABs) to find out if your theory is correct that a track athlete wouldn't hit .250. ; )

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  • dominik
    replied
    That is true too. Bad is relative. Even a 30 grade hitter in the minors probably hit well over .300 in high school. The pro scout will say the 30 grade hitter can't hit but that is compared to other pro players.

    And likewislike even the worst fielders have a .900 fielding percentage, it is not like in little league when every other play is booted.

    So even if we talk about a one tool player player there still is some kind of baseline skill. I mean billy Hamilton can't hit in the majors but it is not like he is swinging and missing 50% of the time and he even hits a homer or two in most years. That is terrible for mlb but you couldn't put a track athlete in there and expect him to hit 250/300/330.

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  • JettSixty
    replied
    Originally posted by pthawaii View Post

    This was the light bulb moment for me hearing the coach talk. He used a Hawaii player, Shane Victorino starting he only had one tool, speed. The rest was average, but being exceptional in the one tool kept him in the game. What's better, slightly above average in all 5 tools or average in 4 tools and exceptional in one tool. This particular coach suggested to work on your strength and be the latter. This is in contrast to the idea that hitting is the most important tool, if you can hit they will find a spot for you, if you cant, you're out of luck.
    If you don’t hit you don’t play. You can’t steal first (except in the Atlantic League). Someone was blowing smoke up your rear about Victorino. Yes, speed was his top asset. He was a state champion sprinter in high school. He was also all state in five sports. He pitched in the upper 80’s. He was heavily scouted. In workouts for MLB teams he drove the ball all over the park. He attended a MLB tryout camp at Dodger Stadium and hit several bombs. The guy was offered a baseball and football ride to a D1, Hawaii. The WAC had some very good baseball programs. You don’t get drafted in the 6th round because all you can do is run. The only reservation was his size (5’9” 170). I found this information in excerpts from his biography online.

    This Victorino only had one tool story reminds me of the delusion some people had about Pete Rose claiming he wasn’t a top athlete.Pete Rose claimed he wasn’t an athlete. He was all state in baseball and football. When he said he wasn’t an athlete he meant relative to other major league athletes.

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  • pthawaii
    replied
    Originally posted by andre8 View Post
    Better to have 1 elite tool than 5 above average tools.
    This was the light bulb moment for me hearing the coach talk. He used a Hawaii player, Shane Victorino starting he only had one tool, speed. The rest was average, but being exceptional in the one tool kept him in the game. What's better, slightly above average in all 5 tools or average in 4 tools and exceptional in one tool. This particular coach suggested to work on your strength and be the latter. This is in contrast to the idea that hitting is the most important tool, if you can hit they will find a spot for you, if you cant, you're out of luck.

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  • dominik
    replied
    Originally posted by bbrages View Post

    Do you think that hitting for average comes before hitting for power? I would think that hitting for power is the #1 tool, but maybe I'm thinking more from an MLB fan perspective.
    Definitely. A 270 hitter who hits 2 bombs per year can play in pro ball but a 130 hitter who hits 20 bombs can't.

    at the pro level they say now power is more important but this is assuming a baseline level of hitting skill (say .230 or so).

    don't forget that the lowest averages in mlb for a full year are low 200s but it is easily possible to hit .050 if you are bad enough, some NL pitchers are doing it, so the baseline for hitting really isn't. 200, it is getting hits at all.

    so in mlb power might be more important but that is because guys who can't hit 230 flame out in high A ball or earlier.

    I mean the sabermetric guys say power is more important by stating 250 with 30 bombs is better than 300 with 0 bombs but the baseline for hitting isnt 250, it is .000. Now those guys don't exist is mlb because there is a selection but put an average joe in mlb and he hits .000 with no homers or maybe .010 if he gets a couple lucky hits.

    Yeah at mlb power is the difference maker and at other high levels it is important too but the vast majority of baseball careers end because you don't hit because few HS coaches would sit a 300 hitter with no power but they will sit a 140 hitter with pop who Ks 60% of the time who occasionally runs into one in a game. And even in A ball rarely a player who hits will get released since you can hope the power comes (although if you don't project for power you might not get drafted at all)

    however still power is very important especially since at higher levels to hit you do need a certain power and batspeed to hit against good defenses so just contact ability of course doesn't make a good hit tool - in the end you can't devide power and hit completely because with a 60 mph max EV you won't hit in D1 and even a 100 mph batspeed guy needs to make some contact to produce game power.
    Last edited by dominik; 08-28-2019, 04:21 PM.

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