Stats count what a player has done and can place a run value on it. In general they help us better understand how much the various on-field events contribute to overall run scoring and prevention.
A scout assesses a player's ability to play, current and future.
Sure, stats be useful as a proxy for scouting. And scouting be used to estimate future stats. But are their core they aren't doing the same thing.
What I'd love to see more of in the public domain is attempts to convert true scouting information into statistical projections. That is, I don't want a scout telling me a guy is a .280/20-30 HR type of guy. I want that raw information about what he's seeing. Then I want to see a body of evidence that says "guys who have X swing plane, who have good instincts, who don't jump at good breaking pitches and who get their hands through on inside fastballs or simply have "good makeup", as judged by a scout, end up putting up X, Y, Z kind of performances.
A large part of my day job is program evaluation for non-profit organizations. We used mixed methods approaches and there's no way we could do our job well without a mix of quantitative and qualitative information. But they aren't simply different ways of measuring the same thing. That would be silly. They are ways measure different aspects of things in the most effective way.
And while the use of the quantitative and qualitative vary depending the question and the balance shift over time based on what we already know, they never fully supplant the other because at the end of the day, they both have domains where they remain the most accurate and effective way of capturing information.
All that said, I'm curious. The question WAR attempts to answer is this: Of a team's wins, how many wins can be attributed to X player's on-field production. That's it. We might try to use (and find it useful) for other things, but for that question, I'm not sure scouting adds anything other than perhaps some detail on why the player was able to do what he did (of failed to do).
Last edited by RedsManRick; 12-16-2012 at 08:03 PM.
Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.