MLB Scout School: Day 3
“Words equal numbers and numbers equal words.”
-MLSB Scout Development Handbook
I had walked this path between the parking lot and the A’s practice fields before. Back then the media was photographing every step my daughter and I took. I remember that feeling of wanting to hide but yet knowing that I couldn’t. Because I was on a mission. I was going to become the first woman to throw batting practice to the Athletics. And with each pitch, I would tell the story of how much women and girls love the game of baseball.
Today, I was at the A’s spring training site as a participant of the MLSB Scout Development Program. We were there to practice our evaluation skills on the instructional players. We would then go back to the classroom and write a scouting report.
The job of a scout is not only to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a player but also to be able to tell what he or she sees. A player report must be concise and paint an overall picture of the player, including what the player can do now and what he or she may be able to do in the future.
A report will include both a number that rates the overall future potential of the player (OFP) and a worded summation that answers questions such as what future role that player may have a with a major league team. The scout’s words must support the numbers and the numbers must support the words.
My 13-year old daughter, Jasmine, bashfully put her head down in an effort to avoid the cameras as we walked from the A’s parking lot to the field. I remembered whispering to her to, “look up; it’s the one thing I have learned in life.” I thought of Jasmine and my BP journey as I walked back to the bus with my fellow scouts. And as I looked up, I felt a sense of community. My story was no longer linked with each pitch I threw but now with each scouting report I wrote. Now it is not just my dreams and the dreams of girls and women who love baseball but also the dreams of each player I scout and their own aspirations to one day play in the Big Leagues. I am not alone; I am in a community of baseball dreamers.