Scouting Adventure

November 15, 2010

Been putting some serious mileage on the Prius lately as I pound the freeways of southern California working my new scouting job with the SD Padres. I never really appreciated the little car pool lane stickers that I got on that car till now.

To be honest, I really have no clue what I’m doing. I mean, I obviously know what a good player looks like. But I’m just learning how to break it down into degrees of “how much I like him” and putting that in scouting vernacular. Basically learning how to make an accurate evaluation of an amateur player so the people spending money with the Padres know exactly what they’re purchasing.

How do I do that? I go to a lot of games. I videotape. I get running and throwing times with a stopwatch. I get velocities with my radar gun. I look at body makeups, watch mannerisms, watch how players interact, watch them take b.p and ground balls. I pay attention to how they throw, hit, and field. I watch to see how they handle adversity. I talk to other scouts, parents, coaches, and the players themselves. Basically I’m an information gathering machine in a Prius.

The honest truth about what I see so far? A truckload of below average players, a lot of mediocre players, and a handful of potential prospects. Baseball must be a tough game. Genetics must be a tough game. You’ve gotta have a lot of skill and luck on your side to be a prospect.

The one thing I can say without a shadow of a doubt is that in California (probably the rest of the country too), if you can play, one of us is gonna find you. Nobody’s slipping through the cracks. If you’re a parent or a kid at least you can scratch that off your list of concerns.

So after about a month of doing this gig, so far so good. It’s fun to be in the early stages of a learning curve and I’m loving getting a paycheck again. The driving hasn’t got to me (yet?). I really do enjoy going to games and evaluating. And the cast of characters that comprise the southern California scouting force are entertaining to say the least. Maybe not as entertaining as Mathew McConnaughey’s gay scout on Eastbound and Down, but funny none the less. Stay tuned…

Mathew McConnaughey as a gay scout from Texas on Eastbound and Down.

6 Responses to “Scouting Adventure”

  1. Yu Darvish says:

    Tennis and Golf only sports you make it on it merit. The 4 major sports scouts usually get it wrong. Its why If the starting qb gets hurt in the nfl, the back up is usally better and the team improves. Too much PC in baseball. WTF was Cal Ripken shoved down our throats 5 years too long? Why couldnt we have seen Barry Bonds bat another 500 times? Nice to see Korea and Japan win the WBC. There is a reason Padres cant draw fans when they have a 10 game lead. Why do 2 guards need to be 6′4? Thats why their is no shooters in the NBA. Take away Durant and Kobe and team USA comes in 4th place in Fiba.

    BTW,

    Wouldnt you rather be surfing and golfing instead of chasing 40th round draft picks around town? Did you lose your money to Bernie Madoff or something?

  2. Brent Mayne says:

    Yu, your questions are like a koan or a riddle…do they have answers or are they just meant to be meditated on? Here’s what I can respond to…No Madoff, I’m not scouting for the dough. I can surf, golf, and scout all in the same day! It’s fantastic. And I like 40th rounders, they rock.

  3. [...] but there is something about it I enjoy.  Mayne is now an amateur scout for the San Diego Padres, and in this post he writes about scouting amateurs. Its short, but you get the idea.  An amateur scout spends a lot of time looking at a lot of young [...]

  4. Michael Estrada says:

    Thanks Brent Mayne for caring about the 40th round pick because u have the power to make a kids dream come true good for you hope you love your new job and gooooood luck

  5. Justin Connell says:

    congrats on the new adventure!!

  6. Justin Connell says:

    My friend Andre Martinez was a 89th draft and he is awesome. Good thing guys like you are out there experienced and objective. You have the power to make dreams come true. That is awesome too. You have a new job where the people are happy to see you.

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