1 year as a scout

Trying to learn how to learn about ballplayers

Preamble

Less than a year away from my 60th birthday, I began exploring future work outside of writing or perhaps in addition to writing.

My day job is going to quit on me when I turn 65, and having spent the past 30 years thinking about Japanese baseball, I thought something connected to baseball would be ideal. One possibility is to become a scout. It may seem fairly far-fetched, since much of the baseball I’ve watched over the past 30 years has been through the eyes of a would-be analyst. Another option was working as a freelance analyst, which made more sense, perhaps, since I’d spent the past 20 years compiling a data base about Japanese baseball and using that to answer questions about how the game works here.

So in July 2019, I signed up for two classes from Sports Management World Wide, Baseball Analytics, and Scouting and General Managers. I finished the analytics course during the summer but put off the scouting side until the end of December after the winter meetings.

Being a scout means, it seems, becoming well organized, acting quickly and becoming used to reaching out to people quickly and asking people for help. These are all things, I’m not all that good at. Let’s see how it goes. Two weeks ago, one of the instructors, longtime amateur scout Hank Jones suggested we keep a journal. This is a great idea and now it’s time to start.

Journal entries

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