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The rest of this 'How to' introduces you to scout players, write reports, add video, etc. If you have additional questions or comments not covered below, please use our feedback link - located at the left of the screen on desktops and in the footer when using a mobile device.
The 20/80 scale has been used for decades by baseball scouts to evaluate players at all levels. It now acts as a universal scale within the game but such a scale does not exist in the other major sports. For this reason, we are making 20/80 the method for evaluation across all sports.
It all revolves around 50 which is considered average for a player’s tools at the highest level of their respective sports - MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, etc.
Half grades (25, 35, 45, etc.) are used to help further separate the quality of the tools. Think of this like a bell curve where the majority of players’ tools at the top levels of play will fall somewhere between 40 and 60. The truly standout tools will be 70 and up, while the poorest will be 30 and below. It is important to mention that 50 is a quality grade. If you’re evaluating a young player and consider him to have several future 50 or better tools then that player has a chance at sustained success at the highest level of play.
This is where teams, even in baseball, don’t necessarily agree on language. At Scoutland, we decided to follow an overall grade description across all sports. Keep in mind the wording for each description may be slightly different depending on the sport. Below is our grading for Baseball.
If a player has already been entered into the system, he will appear as you type and you can select him to start your evaluation. If the player is not yet in the system then you can choose to Add New Player. You will then be responsible for entering him for the first time and it is imperative to spell the player’s name correctly. Use the name as it appears on an official roster. You will then be prompted to find his current team, school or league and choose his position. If the player is an amateur then year of draft eligibility is required as well. Follow the instructions on screen to select the correct draft eligible year.
For each position in every sport we have determined there are tools most critical to success. Every time you write an evaluation it will consist of grading out each of these tools using the 20/80 scale. Scouts are tasked with predicting a player’s future impact at the highest level of play and therefore the tools need to be evaluated as both present and future. The younger the player the more potential there is for variance in present and future grades. A veteran player, at or beyond his prime, or a young player that lacks projection may have identical grades for both present and future. A player that you predict will decline in the next year may have lower future grades than present. Again, remember that these grades are based on how the player’s tools compare at the highest level of the sport, so for very young players it will be rare to have high present grades. The exceptions may be "raw" tools such as speed or arm. Note: Hover over the tool name, the or info button to see the tool description.
The overall grade reflects the level the player will reach at the peak stretch of his career. If evaluating a player at or beyond his peak then a grade is assigned that reflects this player’s current value. For example: Player X has had a first ballot, hall of fame career (A+), however, now at 35 years old he is playing at an average level so he is a C. The overall grade is the most important part of the report. There are many factors that go into determining an overall grade but there is no set formula to determine it for you. Use your instincts.
No half grades this time. The majority of players at the highest level of play fall between a D and a B. The truly standout players will be an A or A+ and the poorest will be an E or even an F. The further you get from the top levels of play (minor league, development league, college, high school) the more rare it is to find high grades and the more common it becomes to find F’s.
In this section we allow the scout to link to videos hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, Instagram or Daily Motion. It may be a video you have taken or perhaps someone else has done it better. It is a great way to add to a report.
This is your opportunity to go into more detail about the player. Paint a picture. There is no “right” way to construct a summary. Some things you may want to include: physical description, note if there is any physical projection (especially important with young players,) description of the tools, what will the player’s future role on the team be, compare the player to current or past players both in terms of physical traits and overall ability or an estimated timetable for the player to reach his peak if applicable. The summary is where scouts can separate themselves from their peers. A good summary is short, descriptive, direct and to the point. We have limited summaries to 1000 characters which should be more than enough.
After submitting a report you’re not done. You get one more chance to make sure everything looks right. If it is, hit the publish button. If it isn’t, hit edit and go back to make the necessary changes.
If you feel you didn’t get a player right you have the option to go back and write up a new report on that player. The data for the new report will override the old one. However, the old report will always be a part of your history. No running from your past mistakes.
Every scout has an overall +/- grade and a +/- grade in each sport. Within your reports other scouts can evaluate you. If they agree with what you’ve written or how you’ve written it they may give you a plus, if they don’t they can give you a minus. This will help show what scouts are most well thought of by their peers. Just slapping grades on a player may not get it done. Those that can articulate how they came to their conclusions can separate themselves.
At the bottom of reports is where you can leave comments. Agree, disagree, tell the scout where they went wrong or how they are right. Good place for debate.
The follow feature allows you to keep tabs on other scouts. Follow a scout to get notified when any activity involving them occurs. The watch feature keeps you up to date with any activity involving a player or team of interest.
Share your reports with the world using Twitter, Facebook or Google+
This is an opportunity to write evaluations on players of the past. A place to compare greats across different eras. Were you a Sandy Koufax or Walter Payton fan as a kid? This is your opportunity to write them up. If a player is currently retired, or nearing retirement, they are eligible to be written up here. When evaluating a historical player, grade them based on the peak stretch of their career. No present and future this time. One grade per tool that illustrates what they brought to the field/court/ice at their best. The overall grade should also reflect the type of player they were during their prime.