So, this evening I got into some lively discussion on twitter with Kevin Goldstein about scouting terms and their use in reality. It all started when he said:
Now, while I agree that Ace and #1 aren't interchangable, I strongly disagree that there aren't 30 #1 pitchers. So I asked:No, there are less than 10. RT @GilFisher: @Kevin_Goldstein do you use ace and #1 interchangably? Are there 30 #1s right now?
To which he replied:@Kevin_Goldstein Honest question that I have never gotten an answer to that I liked: Why aren't there 30 #1's? Each team needs 5 guys.
To which I replied:@dougdirt24 One is a scouting term, not a role.
And the discussion went on a whole lot further, but that last part seems to be the part that I simply can't get past.@Kevin_Goldstein I get that, but why did some scout decide that once upon a time. I can't grasp that concept.
Why do scouts, or why did one scout originally come to the conclusion that there weren't X (x being the number of starters per position needed for the amount of teams in baseball, since each team needs a starter at each position) number of players worthy of being starters?
Later in the discussion it was said that there aren't 30 guys worthy of being starting shortstops in baseball. As well as there are 10 #'1 and maybe 20-30 #2 and #3's combined.
That is simply where I lose the connection. If there are 30 teams in baseball and each team uses a 5 man rotation, distribution of talent says there are 30 #'1, 30 #2's, 30 #3's, 30 #4's and 30 #5's. While each team may not have a #1 guy on their team, there are a top 30 best pitchers, pitchers in the #31-60 range and so on. They aren't distributed evenly among the teams, but they can all be sorted in such a manner by whatever criteria you choose to evaluate your pitchers on.
It is one of the things that truly annoys me about scouting terms. They simply aren't based in reality. If we have 30 teams and need 30 starting shortstops, then there ARE 30 guys worthy of being a starting shortstop. They happen to be the 30 best guys. Is there a huge gap between #1 and #30, of course there is. But that doesn't mean guys #20-30 aren't worthy of starting simply because they pale in comparison to how good #1 is.
Anyways, that is my little rant for the night. Have a take on it?