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View Full Version : The Dayton Game: 60+ Tools



Cyclone792
06-11-2008, 04:55 PM
Wanna play? Here's how:

http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2008/05/30/the-dayton-game/


OK, so Royals general manager Dayton Moore showed me this fun little game you can play with your team. It begins with a scouting question: How many 60 tools does your team have?

I probably donít need to explain that concept to the brilliant readership of this blog* but, I will. As you know, scouts judge playersí tools (hitting, power, speed, defense, arm) on that famed 20-80 scale, which as I understand it goes like this:

20 ó Sucks beyond belief. Travis Hafnerís defense would be a 20. Barely knows which glove goes on which hand. Tony Pena Jr. is a 20 hitter. Bengie Molina is a 20 runner. Jason Kendall has 20 power. Andie McDowell is a 20 actress. Carrottop is a 20 comedian. Roger Clemens is a 20 liar. And so on.
30 ó Just plain sucks. Johnny Damonís arm might be a 30. Itís a 20 on the strength scale ó itís ASTONISHING how weak his arm is ó but Iíd say itís a 30 overall because he is usually accurate with it at least.
40 ó Doesnít suck, but is still a tick below average. Iíd say Kevin Youkilis is a 40 runner. Maybe Jermaine Dye. Maybe someone in between them.
50 ó Exactly major league average. In 2005, Brandon Inge had almost the perfect 50 season. He hit .261/.330/.419 with 16 home runs, he stole seven bases and was caught six times, he had a .957 fielding percentage which was precisely the league average, and so on.
60 ó All-Star Level. Placido Polanco is probably a 60 hitter. I think that Carlos Beltran ó when healthy and engaged ó has 60 power and 60 speed.
70 ó Above All-Star Level. This is the superstar category. Lance Berkman has 70 power. Torii Hunter is (or certainly was ó I donít know if heís fallen off at all) a 70 center fielder. Jose Reyes has 70 speed.
80 ó Superhuman. There are scouts that just wonít give the 80 to anyone. An 80 would be ó Albert Pujols or Ted Williams would be an 80 hitter. Mickey Mantle or Big Head Barry would have 80 power. Cool Papa Bell would be an 80 runner. Roberto may have had the only 80 outfield arm in baseball history (though Ellis Valentine should be heard). Ozzie at short, Mays in center, JB behind the plate are 80 defenders.

*Sorry to go off on this bloggy tangent, but I donít know if you saw this list of the most valuable sports blogs. Our little site did not make the list, which is not surprising since, as I may have mentioned, I have so far made precisely $0.00 from this blog (have you bought this book yet? Well, have you?). On the other hand, of course, I had to look up the presumed value of this site, and as it turns out Ö it should have been on the list. According to DN Scoop ó and if you canít trust DN Scoop, who can you trust? ó this site is worth $37,900 (and rising!). I appreciate this isnít exactly the $16 million that Deadspin is worth but Ö where do I cash that check? Could that buy me a good ice cream maker?

ANYWAY, to play the Dayton Game you simply go through your lineup and count how many 60 (or better) tools you have. Remember: Weíre not talking here about 60 players ó just tools. For instance, I think we would probably all agree that Juan Pierre is a well below average baseball player. But he certainly has 60 speed. So you would count that tool (however, if you call Juan a 60 hitter Ö you are disqualified from playing this game).

To give you an example, Iíll go through the Royals lineup because, as you will see, it wonít take long.

60 Tools on the Kansas City Royals

1. Joey Gathrightís speed.
2. Tony Penaís defense.

And Ö no, thatís it. Two. Thatís all. There are two All-Star tools on the Kansas City Royals. There isnít anyone on the Royals who has All-Star caliber power. Could Alex Gordon develop that? Maybe. There isnít an All-Star caliber hitter on the team ó I think Billy Butler projects to be a 60 hitter, but he was just sent down to the minor leagues*, and my personal charge Mark Teahen is just not getting there. Nobody has a 60 arm on this team ó Jose Guillen has a very strong arm, but itís more erratic than Amy Winehouse. Teahenís arm is accurate and probably above average, but not a 60. Nobody except Pena comes close to playing 60 defense in my mind ó heck, Pena might not play 60 defense either, but heís close enough and we need SOMETHING to talk about here. Mark Grudzielanek won a Gold Glove and has a good arm for a second baseman, but I donít think heís a 60 defender. Maybe a 55.

Let's apply the Dayton Game to the Reds. But before we get started, let's make one change which is adding in plate discipline so that we're accounting for the "six tools" rather than the standard five. And rate the players for what they are *right now* ... not what you think they might develop into later in their career.

Anyhow, let's see these lists. I'll start with mine:

60+ Tools on the Cincinnati Reds

1. Adam Dunn's power
2. Adam Dunn's plate discipline
3. Ken Griffey Jr's plate discipline
4. Brandon Phillips' defense
5. Brandon Phillips' speed
6. Brandon Phillips' arm
7. Jay Bruce's hitting
8. Jay Bruce's power
9. Jay Bruce's arm
10. Jay Bruce's defense (in right field). In center field it's probably around 50ish.
11. Corey Patterson's defense
12. Corey Patterson's speed

I think the above may be the only sure-fire ones, and I'm struggling for more. There are a few I didn't list that I'd either term borderline or we haven't just seen a large enough sample to accurately rate, such as:

1) Jeff Keppinger's hitting
2) Joey Votto's power
3) Joey Votto's hitting
4) Joey Votto's plate discipline
5) Paul Janish's defense
6) Paul Janish's arm
7) Jay Bruce's speed
8) Jerry Hairston's speed
9) David Ross' arm

If Jeff Keppinger really is a .313 hitter, then he'd probably rate on the 60+ list. But we need more playing time to be sure, I think. Same goes for Paul Janish's defense and arm. I think Votto's offensive characteristics are right under 60 - say 55s across the board currently - but could soon hopefully develop further into the 60+ range.

dougdirt
06-11-2008, 05:01 PM
Edinson Volquez - Fastball is a 65. His change up is a 70. Aaron Harangs slider has to be a 60. Francisco Cordero's fastball is a 65.

RedsManRick
06-11-2008, 05:05 PM
Cyclone, I'm curious how you define the 5 skills, especially if you break out plate discipline.

Hitting: Frequency of good contact when swinging
Power: When you hit the ball well, how far does it go
Plate Discipline: Swinging only at balls which the hitter is capable of hitting well and all strikes when necessary
Fielding: Both range and reliability
Speed: Pretty straight forward (does this include baserunning judgment/ability?)
Arm: Strength and accuracy

Because if "hitting" means the ability to put the bat on the ball, Keppinger isn't a questionable 60, he's more like a questionable 70. Obviously the power isn't there, which is why his batting average isn't .340, but he's got Tony Gwynn-like ball on bat ability and that's been reflected in very high contact rates, very low strike out rates, and high batting averages throughout his professional career.

Also, I think you'd have to put Freel and Hopper's speed at 60+, though I know neither are on the 25 man at the moment. I would include Janish's arm and Hairston's speed in the sure thing category. Ross's arm would go there if accuracy weren't a key part.

BuckeyeRedleg
06-11-2008, 05:10 PM
Cyclone, I'm curious how you define the 5 skills, especially if you break out plate discipline.

Because if "hitting" means the ability to put the bat on the ball, Keppinger isn't a questionable 60, he's a questionable 70. Obviously the power isn't there, which is why his batting average isn't .340, but he's got Tony Gwynn-like ball on bat ability and that's been reflected in contact rates, low strike out rates, and high batting averages throughout his professional career.

Probably not enough AB's.

With that said, if Kepp is a 70 for hitting, would Hopper be a 60?

Cyclone792
06-11-2008, 05:10 PM
Cyclone, I'm curious how you define the 5 skills, especially if you break out plate discipline.

Because if "hitting" means the ability to put the bat on the ball, Keppinger isn't a questionable 60, he's a questionable 70. Obviously the power isn't there, which is why his batting average isn't .340, but he's got Tony Gwynn-like ball on bat ability and that's been reflected in contact rates, low strike out rates, and high batting averages throughout his professional career.

Simply the standard tools: hitting for average, hitting for power, baserunning skills and speed, throwing ability, and fielding abilities. I added in plate discipline as the sixth tool.

So hitting, in other words, is really moreso hitting for average. I suspect Keppinger rates a 60+ in hitting for average - he definitely will if he keeps hitting well over .300. I'd just prefer a larger sample size before reaching a more concrete conclusion.

Rojo
06-11-2008, 05:13 PM
Majewski had 60 facial hair.

RedsManRick
06-11-2008, 05:27 PM
Probably not enough AB's.

With that said, if Kepp is a 70 for hitting, would Hopper be a 60?

That's sort of the basis of my question. Are we measuring the ability to acrue a given statistic or are we measuring an underlying skill? And if we're measuring underlying skills, why group two things that are not necessarily related, like being fast and running the bases well, or throwing far/hard and throwing accurately.

Keppinger hits for such a high average because he puts the ball in play well with such regularity. Hopper hits for a high average because he bunts and runs very well. Those both result in a lot singles, but they achieve it in different ways.

919191
06-11-2008, 05:27 PM
Jim Coombs is actually like a 90 player. He broke the scale.

OnBaseMachine
06-11-2008, 05:41 PM
This is all based on potential, but scouts say Juan Duran potentially has 80 power on the 20-80 scale.

Highlifeman21
06-11-2008, 06:54 PM
Based on the current 40 man roster


Hitting
Keppinger
Votto
Bruce
Hopper

Power
EE
BP
Votto
Bruce
Dunn
Griffey

Speed
Hairston
Janish
BP
Bruce
Dickerson
Freel
Hopper
Patterson

Defense
Janish
BP
Bruce
Dickerson
Patterson

Arm
EE
Gonzalez
Janish
BP
Bruce
Dickerson


Plate Discipline
Keppinger
Votto
Bruce
Dunn
Griffey

Redhook
06-11-2008, 08:43 PM
Dusty gets 65 in managerial suckitude.

IslandRed
06-11-2008, 10:18 PM
60+ Tools on the Cincinnati Reds

1. Adam Dunn's power
2. Adam Dunn's plate discipline
3. Ken Griffey Jr's plate discipline
4. Brandon Phillips' defense
5. Brandon Phillips' speed
6. Brandon Phillips' arm
7. Jay Bruce's hitting
8. Jay Bruce's power
9. Jay Bruce's arm
10. Jay Bruce's defense (in right field). In center field it's probably around 50ish.
11. Corey Patterson's defense
12. Corey Patterson's speed

I think the above may be the only sure-fire ones, and I'm struggling for more. There are a few I didn't list that I'd either term borderline or we haven't just seen a large enough sample to accurately rate, such as:

1) Jeff Keppinger's hitting
2) Joey Votto's power
3) Joey Votto's hitting
4) Joey Votto's plate discipline
5) Paul Janish's defense
6) Paul Janish's arm
7) Jay Bruce's speed
8) Jerry Hairston's speed
9) David Ross' arm

If Jeff Keppinger really is a .313 hitter, then he'd probably rate on the 60+ list. But we need more playing time to be sure, I think. Same goes for Paul Janish's defense and arm. I think Votto's offensive characteristics are right under 60 - say 55s across the board currently - but could soon hopefully develop further into the 60+ range.

If we are really sticking to the 60 as "All Star" caliber tools -- meaning, literally, one of the best few in the league measured against his peers -- your first list is pretty close IMHO. Like you, I think there are other guys with specific above-average talents but I'm not sure if they're elite. I mean, I like Janish's defense but is he one of the best few glovemen and throwers in the NL? Not sure.

Mario-Rijo
06-12-2008, 01:23 AM
7. Jay Bruce's hitting
8. Jay Bruce's power
9. Jay Bruce's arm
10. Jay Bruce's defense (in right field). In center field it's probably around 50ish.

I have to ask, do you really believe that Bruce is an All-Star caliber hitter right now? I might agree on the power it's pretty close. But his defense isn't a 60 right now and his arm may not be either. I haven't seen every throw he's made but the ones I have seen aren't all-star caliber. His arm hasn't looked above avg in strength or accuracy since his call-up. I thought I saw him show a strong accurate arm in ST but I don't recall if he did or if I am remembering Hamilton the previous ST against Philly I think. If anyone can verify that last part I would appreciate it.

I don't wanna split hairs but you did suggest this.


And rate the players for what they are *right now* ... not what you think they might develop into later in their career.

dougdirt
06-12-2008, 03:05 AM
I have to ask, do you really believe that Bruce is an All-Star caliber hitter right now? I might agree on the power it's pretty close. But his defense isn't a 60 right now and his arm may not be either. I haven't seen every throw he's made but the ones I have seen aren't all-star caliber. His arm hasn't looked above avg in strength or accuracy since his call-up. I thought I saw him show a strong accurate arm in ST but I don't recall if he did or if I am remembering Hamilton the previous ST against Philly I think. If anyone can verify that last part I would appreciate it.

I don't wanna split hairs but you did suggest this.

Jay's defense in CF was rated out as a 55 last year. I don't think its a stretch to mean that its a 60 in RF. His arm is absolutely a 60. He hasn't had to really uncork one yet. When he does, you will go 'oh, ok, yeah thats a 60'.

dfs
06-12-2008, 08:51 AM
I have to ask, do you really believe that Bruce is an All-Star caliber hitter right now?

Look at the field of national league outfielders....Yeah. I think Bruce is as much an "all-star" as anybody else.