Thursday, October 20, 2005

Mystery Player

I was looking over my bookshelf and found an old copy of the Stats Inc Scouting Notebook. It has player profiles for every player in the majors, as well as top prospects. Thumbing through it, I was surprised at how accurate some of their descriptions still are even though the book is a few years old.

Let's see how accurate their descriptions are. Are they good enough for you to guess them? Post your guesses in the comments, and I'll let you know how you did. All players played with the Nationals this season. For bonus points, take a guess which year the book is from.

Player 1
(Player 1) is neither a very patient nor disciplined hitter. He swings at most everything....He has a relatively quick bat and decent power, so when he does hit the ball, he can drive it into the gaps and over the fence. At times he tries to pull the ball too much and gets caught up in trying to hit home runs. His performance with runners in scoring position and in the clutch was brutal, forcing (his team) to hit him down in the order.

Player 2
Was once considered one of the best fastball hitters in the game. But whether it was the injuries or advancing age, he didn't look anything like the (player 2) of old. His bat was slow, and he rarely showed the form he was known for...He was so bad at times that some observers wondered if he was done....

Towards the end of last season, (player 2) told reporters he would be the Comeback Player of the Year. Unless someone takes him off their hands, the (team) can only hope he's right. His injuries gave (team) a chance to look at prospect (studly prospect), and the team liked what it saw.

Player 3
(player 3) opened last season by batting .290 in April, courtesy of a new approach at the plate. He connected for four home runs in May, however, and returned to bad habits. He rebounded to hit well in July and August, and was rewarded with a long-term contract. Although he played very poorly after signing the new deal, the (team) was generally happy with his development.

He adopted a new hitting style in spring training, reducing his movement at the plate to provide better balance for his swing. The results were very positive: he showed much more pop with the bat than he had during his rookie campaign. But he occasionally fell back into his old habits, and his strike-zone judgement remains mediocre at best.

He possesses decent range and a very strong arm, but lacks concentration on routine plays and commits too many sloppy mistakes.

Player 4
Hits for average and demonstrates good plate discipline, and he should develop above-average power.... Look for him, one of the game's top young hitters, to fine-tune his bat and a defensive tendency to get caught between hops at Triple-A.

Player 5
Despite all the strikeouts, he has a fairly solid approach at the plate. He tends to chase high fastballs and good breaking balls away, but he no longer tries to pull everything.

The former high school running back has an awkward running style. His routes can make things exciting at times, but his speed enables him to outrun mistakes.

Player 6
A power pitcherwhen he first arrived in the big leagues, he has evolved into a crafty veteran. He throws three quality pitches: a fastball, curveball, and changeup. He will mix their velocities and types of movement depending on the situation... He is a severe groundball pitcher who focuses on keeping his pitches low in the strikezone.

Player 7
As the lanky righty made his way up the ladder, he looked like he was worth every penny of his bonus. He has the mid-90s fastball of the most dominant power pitchers, yet also can summon the hammer curve and change to knock hitters out.

Player 8
He has never met a pitch he didn't like. He rarely walks and rarely strikes out. He has excellent hand-eye coordination, but he does get himself out.


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