Prep Baseball Report

Recruiting Essentials: Showcasing Tools

By Brandon Hall
North Carolina Director of Scouting

This time of year, players are working to showcase their skills in the most positive manner to as many schools and coaches as possible.  For the rising senior class, many are getting ready to make a decision.  For the rising junior class, many are trying to figure out where they fit into the baseball landscape.  For the rising sophomore and freshman classes, the next goal is within reach and it is time to start climbing that ladder.

When players and coaches are evaluating themselves and others, they will often refer to baseball “tools”.  Generally, the five tools are hitting, power, throwing, speed, and defense.  These words by themselves are very generic and can take on a whole new life when the words “plus” and “outstanding” are inserted into sentences with the word “tool”. 

Today we are going to look at each of the tools, defining what they mean, what scouts may be looking for, and how to showcase your tools in the best light.


The first tool we look at is the ability to hit.  When pro scouts are evaluating a player’s ability to hit they may eventually be able to put a grade on that player’s ability.  The grade, on a 20-80 scale used by most pro organizations may translate into what that player would hit today at the big-league level or a projected future grade of what that player may hit.   The 20-80 grade can be subjective, but when you talk to pro scouts, many will be in the same ballpark in their evaluations. 

Swing path, balance, bat speed, and quickness may all be taken into account when evaluating a swing.  Scouts will also want to see the player face velocity and a pitcher that can spin it.  The hit tool is an all-encompassing tool, working to gauge whether or not the player has the ability to find the barrel against high level pitching.

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