Scout Says: Freiman Is Undervalued, Brown Is Not
I checked in with a veteran National League scout who covers the Western U.S. for his MLB organization. Here is what he said:
Blog: Tell us about one undervalued prospect you scouted in 2011.
Scout: Nate Freiman in the Padres’ organization. He can be Mark Trumbo lite — lite because he doesn’t have Trumbo’s versatility or speed. He is probably stuck at first base or designated hitter, but he has the Trumbo-like ability to hit 30 home runs and drive in 100 runs in the Major Leagues. (Freiman hit four home runs in WBC action late last month.)
Blog: And how about one prospect that is overvalued in your mind?
Scout: Gary Brown, the center fielder in the Giants’ organization. He will be a Major League player in the future but as an extra outfielder, base runner and defensive replacement. (Brown, ranked 79th among MLB.com’s Top 100 prospects, is seen by many as a impact bat atop the order.)
Blog: We live in a world where scouting terminology is used more and more in the public sphere. What are some of your most-used terms when discussing players with fellow talent-evaluators?
Scout: We like to say that the athletic guys that “do it easy” are going to be the best players. A burly, non-athletic power hitter can make a contribution for sure, but a Mike Trout can help you in every way now, makes better adjustments and has the potential to get even better. He does it easy.
Blog: With recent flicks Moneyball and Trouble With The Curve baseball fans (at least the movie-going ones) might think we know a thing or two about the job of a scout. What might be flawed about our perceptions?
Scout: The biggest misconception about scouts is that they all act like Clint Eastwood — that they don’t pay attention to, or appreciate, statistics and sabermetrics.
Blog: Alright, a couple of lighter questions before we let you go. What is the highest number you’ve ever seen on your radar gun?
Blog: And who hit the longest home run you have ever seen?