VEB Knowledge Nest: The 20-80 Player Evaluation Scale

Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of posts that will make up the Viva El Birdos Knowledge Nest, a hub for definitions of all the terms, metrics, stats, and analysis that are used throughout the blog to measure, discuss, and debate players.

When scouting individual players on the field, it's important for the scouting community to have a consistent list of attributes that relate to professional success. In addition, utilizing the same rating scale is important to assist player evaluation personnel when comparing different players. This post will look at the 20-80 evaluation scale that professional scouts use for player evaluation.

The 20-80 Scale

Some organizations use 2-8 rather than 20-80, but the purpose is the same: 50 is MLB average and every ranking below or above 50 is one standard deviation below or above the MLB average for that attribute. A player receiving a 70 rank for arm strength is thought to be 2 standard deviations above average, making the scale probabilistic in nature: That players arm is, in the scout's opinion, in the top 3% of all arms he's ever seen in his time evaluating players.

Keep in mind that less than 1% of all players a scout sees will ever see an inning in a professional uniform, much less Major League Baseball, so the top 3% of arms isn't nearly as limiting a factor as it sounds. An 80 on the scale would be extremely rare, an attribute that only 1 or 2 players in a population of 1000 would possess.

Some scouts will also give two rankings for each player scouting category (Ex. Arm: 40/60; Hit 50/60). The first is the rating for the players current level of ability. The second is a projection, based on years of experience, about what that player's level of ability could be after a few years of professional coaching and instruction. That's the scout's professional opinion on whether the player can improve his tools (raw ability) into valuable baseball skills (refined ability).

Next time: Defining the tools and skills that professional scouts use for evaluation.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Viva El Birdos

You must be a member of Viva El Birdos to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Viva El Birdos. You should read them.

Join Viva El Birdos

You must be a member of Viva El Birdos to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Viva El Birdos. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker