Tool Time Orioles '94 Orioles Scouting Report

April 01, 1994

Those who make a living searching for amateur baseball talent don't read stat sheets, they study tools.

They look for players who can run, throw, hit, hit for power and field.

When they turn their attention to the mound, they seek four basic qualities: a fastball, a breaking pitch, an off-speed pitch and control.

At the major-league level, results play a bigger part in evaluations of players than at the amateur level, but when it comes time to pull the trigger on a trade or a free-agent signing, scouts and general managers generally revert to these tools.

Based on ratings computed after discussions with a handful of major-league scouts, here is a look at how the Orioles' tools rate, based on a one-through-five number assigned each tool for each player.

1: poor.

2: below average.

3: average.

4: above average.

5: exceptional.

POSITION PLAYERS

Brady Anderson

Hitting: 4 Power: 4 Running: 5 Arm: 4 Fielding: 5 Total: 22

Comment: Potential Gold Glove outfielder offers power and speed from the leadoff spot. Knee troubles prevented him from using speed to its fullest in '93.

Harold Baines

Hitting: 4 Power: 4 Running: 1 Arm: 1 Fielding: 1 Total: 11

Comment: Strictly a designated hitter at this point in his career because of knee problems but has lost nothing at the plate. Particularly effective at Camden Yards.

Damon Buford

Hitting: 2 Power: 2 Running: 5 Arm: 3 Fielding: 5 Total: 17

Comment: If he ever hits enough to earn an everyday job in the majors, he will show he is a top-flight center fielder.

Mike Devereaux

Hitting: 4 Power: 4 Running: 4 Arm: 2 Fielding: 4 Total: 18

Comment: Devastating high fastball hitter but got into trouble last year chasing pitches out of the strike zone.

Rich Gedman

Hitting: 2 Power: 2 Running: 1 Arm: 2 Fielding: 3 Total: 10

Comments: Doesn't have much zip on his throws. Handles pitchers well, particularly inexperienced ones. At this point, experience is his greatest asset.

Leo Gomez

Hitting: 2 Power: 4 Running: 2 Arm: 2 Fielding: 2 Total: 12

Comment: Regressed the past two seasons and no longer considered a prospect. Does not make contact consistently enough for a team to be interested in him as everyday third baseman.

Rene Gonzales

Hitting: 3 Power: 2 Running: 2 Arm: 3 Fielding: 3 Total: 13

Comment: Not spectacular in any one area. Can play any infield position well enough to fill in.

Jeffrey Hammonds

Hitting: 4 Power: 3 Running: 5 Arm: 4 Fielding: 4 Total: 20

Comment: Among the fastest, if not the fastest, right-handed hitter in the league going from home to first.

Chris Hoiles

Hitting: 4 Power: 5 Running: 1 Arm: 3 Fielding: 3 Total: 16

Comment: Makes up for lack of arm strength with quick release. Is among the most improved catchers in the game both behind the plate and at the plate.

Tim Hulett

Hitting: 3 Power: 2 Running: 2 Arm: 3 Fielding: 3 Total: 13

Comment: Versatile glove and ability to keep bat fresh despite lack of playing time make him a player who could help any team off the bench.

Mark McLemore

Hitting: 3 Power: 2 Running: 4 Arm: 3 Fielding: 3 Total: 15

Comment: How he fares turning double play is biggest key to the overall performance of infield defense.

Rafael Palmeiro

Hitting: 5 Power: 5 Running: 3 Arm: 2 Fielding: 3 Total: 18

Comment: Smart base runner who makes the most of limited speed. Stole 22 bases in 25 attempts last season. Not known for saving many errors but is solid overall in the field. One of the game's top left-handed hitters.

Cal Ripken

Hitting: 4 Power: 4 Speed: 2 Arm: 5 Fielding: 5 Total: 20

Comment: Primed to quiet talk that his hitting skills are beginning to erode. Range in the field not quite what it was but still more than adequate.

Chris Sabo

Hitting: 4 Power: 4 Running: 4 Arm: 2 Fielding: 3 Total: 17

Comment: Good breaking ball hitter who figures to benefit from move to the American League, which has more inviting fences. Arm suspect but accurate. Move away from artificial turf should help calm his back problems.

Lonnie Smith

Hitting: 4 Power: 3 Running: 3 Arm: 2 Fielding: 2 Total: 14

Comment: Knee problems have tainted his speed, but his bat is as quick as ever. Intangibles? He has played in the World Series for four different organizations. That has to be more than a coincidence.

Jeff Tackett

Hitting: 2 Power: 2 Running: 1 Arm: 4 Fielding: 3 Total: 12

Comment: Strong defensively but has yet to prove he can hit major-league pitching.

Jack Voigt

Hitting: 3 Power: 2 Running: 3 Arm: 3 Fielding: 3 Total: 14

Comment: Ability to play the corners of the infield and outfield, plus a steady bat, make him worthy of a major-league job.

PITCHERS

Mark Eichhorn

Fastball: 1 Breaking: 2 Off-speed: 4 Control: 4 Total: 11

Comment: Changes speeds well and keeps hitters off balance one time through the lineup.

Sid Fernandez

Fastball: 3 Breaking: 3 Off-speed: 3 Control: 4 Total: 13

Comment: Hard for hitters to pick up the ball because he hides it so well in unorthodox delivery, which makes his fastball seem harder than it really is.

Ben McDonald

Fastball: 5 Breaking: 5 Off-speed: 3 Control: 3 Total: 16

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