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5 tool?

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    Re: 5 tool?

    Barry Bonds before he blew up
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    Re: 5 tool?

    In Response to Re: 5 tool?:
    In Response to Re: 5 tool? : i disagree, neither hits with a high enough average nor with enough power. don't dis what a 5 tool player should be. i thought most of you on this board had knowledge on the 5 tool criteria. i was wrong.
    Posted by mryazz

    I think you have no idea what the criteria is.  You probably have some romanticized notion that you cling to, but no one else does.  Tell us what you think it is.

    First of all, David Wright is a career .301 hitter! And Kinsler’s career .276 is not dazzling, but he certainly is an above average hitter even in this respect, and he keeps alternating those injury-hampered .255 seasons. When healthy, he is a solid 5-tool player.

    Not enough power? Both are 30/30 players, and Kinsler has accomplished the feat more than once! In fact, I think he is the only Caucasian player to do so more than once in MLB history. Both have very good career ISOP. And if we look into how both fared in the minors, we see they establish themselves much more in this respect. The 5-tool label is really supposed to be applied there, as it establishes abilities the player can build on (hence the word “tools”).

    The real problem with the criteria is most feel is has come down to “can hit a homer, steal a base and catch the ball.” Also, fans think it means you have to excel in all areas, and not merely have the ability. It’s a scouting notion. They probably have limits on their 20-80 scales that indicate the presence, but it’s probably not even 70 in all areas. In fact, I’d bet a score of 55 in all 5 areas would suffice. Basically, you don’t need Clemente’s arm, but you can’t be Johnny Damon, either. You need enough of an arm to be above average at your position, but the acceptable criteria is not hard and fast, and a lot more subjective, even for scouts. (However, no one would discredit a career .301 batting average as insufficient. No one.)

    Most players labeled as 5-tool in the minors don’t make the majors, or at the very least don’t excel in all the areas. Dexter Fowler, for example, was labeled as a 5-tool player in the minors, but is barely a serviceable major leaguer.

    A lot of fans don’t even know what they are. Speed is actually not one of the 5-tools, but the only term I ever see is “baserunning.” Baserunning is a skill, not a tool, and the ability to run the bases can be optimized with the use of speed, which I would think is a tool. For example, Clay Buchholz is lightning fast as a runner, and was even recruited by several Division I schools as a wide receiver. However, he is also a horrific base runner, as we all witnessed in Texas 2 years ago when he got thrown out at home trying to score from second on a double. As a pitcher, Clay rarely needs to run the bases, but he clearly showed he lacked the “skill” to run them, despite having the “tool” (speed) that makes it much easier. On the other hand, JD Drew was a spectacular base runner, especially early on in St. Louis. He was never remarkably fast (although not slow by any means, either), but he could run straight along the baselines and take the 90 degree turn without ever slowing down or breaking stride. It just looked inhuman if you ever saw it. He wasn’t as good in this respect by the time he got to Boston, as age and injuries took a lot out of him....

    Also, Chase Utley is a definite 5-tool player. That deserves mention…