One way I find it very helpful to get a feel for a given player's skill set is to find a few good comps. I'm not looking for a statistical twin necessarily. Rather, I want a scouting comp. Who does things similarly to this guy?
I was listening to the radio last night and the name Ian Snell came up. They described his mid 90's fastball, good slider, and passable change. They said the Pirates were always worried about his height and slight frame and feared he'd break down. Then I looked at his numbers and saw a guy missing a good number of bats and keeping his K/BB north of 3.5. Boom -- Johnny Cueto comp pops in my head.
Snell will be 26 in 2008 and has 448 IP in the majors. He's improved each year and last year was essentially a #2 starter.
How does that sit as a comp for Cueto? Other good ones for him? How about for other prospects?
Bruce: Larry Walker?
Bailey: Kerry Wood?
Votto: Raul Ibanez?
Obviously it doesn't mean a guy is going to have his comps career, but perhaps it can give us some insight in to the range of reasonable outcomes as we talk about upsides.