Scout (sport)

Last updated
Baseball scouts using radar guns at a game at Turner Field in 2008 Scouts.jpg
Baseball scouts using radar guns at a game at Turner Field in 2008

In professional sports, scouts are experienced talent evaluators who travel extensively for the purposes of watching athletes play their chosen sports and determining whether their set of skills and talents represent what is needed by the scout's organization. Some scouts are interested primarily in the selection of prospects, younger players who may require further development by the acquiring team but who are judged to be worthy of that effort and expense for the potential future payoff that it could bring, while others concentrate on players who are already polished professionals whose rights may be available soon, either through free agency or trading, and who are seen as filling a team's specific need at a certain position. Advance scouts watch the teams that their teams are going to play in order to help determine strategy.


Many scouts are former coaches or retired players, while others have made a career just of being scouts. Skilled scouts who help to determine which players will fit in well with an organization can be the major difference between success and failure for the team with regard to wins and losses, which often relates directly to the organization's financial success or lack thereof as well.

Kinds of scouts

Scouts tend to have to perform one of two tasks, either scouting opposition teams to research the opposition's players and tactics, or scouting individual players to identify their level of skill and to keep track of potential new signings. [1]

Contemporary Major League Baseball teams usually classify scouts and their differing responsibilities as follows:

According to Tony Lucadello, considered by some to be the greatest scout ever, [2] [3] [4] [5] the four kinds of scouts start with the letter 'P':

Lucadello estimated that five percent of scouts were poor, five percent pickers, 85 percent performance scouts and five percent projectors. [6]

Computer-aided scouting

Modern day scouts are becoming more and more reliant on computer programs to aid and assist in the evaluation of talent being scouted.[ citation needed ] Many professional sport clubs now use computers to organize their collected information and data.[ citation needed ] Most sports still depend on human management to decide which players their organization will draft or sign.[ citation needed ]

Notable scouts


American football


Association football (soccer)

Ice hockey


  1. Owen, Gareth (17 December 2011). "Scouting missions broaden horizons during injury absence". The Sentinel . Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  2. Robbins, Mike (2004). Ninety Feet from Fame: Close Calls With Baseball Immortality. Pp. 99–100.
  3. Jordan, David M. (2004). Occasional Glory: The History of the Philadelphia Phillies. Pp. 163–164.
  4. Spivak, Jeffrey (2005). Crowning the Kansas City Royals: Remembering the 1985 World Series Champs. P. 36.
  5. Joyce, Gare. Wall of Dreams.
  6. Winegardner, Mark (1990). Prophet of the Sandlots: Journeys with a Major League Scout. P. 97.
  7. "Gil Brandt". Pro Football Hall of Fame Official Site. Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  8. Bruce, Aubrey (February 11, 2010). "Incomplete journey". New Pittsburgh Courier . Retrieved 12 March 2010.

Related Research Articles

In Major League Baseball, the general manager (GM) of a team typically controls player transactions and bears the primary responsibility on behalf of the ballclub during contract discussions with players.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joe Cronin</span> American baseball player and manager

Joseph Edward Cronin was an American professional baseball player, manager and executive. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a shortstop, most notably as a member of the Boston Red Sox. Cronin spent over 48 years in baseball, culminating with 14 years as president of the American League (AL).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Judy Johnson</span> American baseball player, manager, and scout

William Julius "Judy" Johnson was an American professional third baseman and manager whose career in Negro league baseball spanned 17 seasons, from 1921 to 1937. Slight of build, Johnson never developed as a power threat but achieved his greatest success as a contact hitter and an intuitive defenseman. Johnson is regarded as one of the greatest third basemen of the Negro leagues. In 1975, he was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame after being nominated by the Negro Leagues Committee.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bob Montgomery (baseball)</span> American baseball player (born 1944)

Robert Edward "Bob" Montgomery is an American former professional baseball player and television sports commentator. Nicknamed "Monty", he played his entire career in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a catcher, and also played six games at first base, for the Boston Red Sox from 1970 to 1979. He batted and threw right-handed.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Toby Harrah</span> American baseball player and coach

Colbert Dale "Toby" Harrah is an American former professional baseball player. He played as a shortstop and third baseman in Major League Baseball from 1969 to 1986. Harrah played the majority of his career for the Texas Rangers franchise, including his rookie season during the team's final year as the in 1971. He also played for the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees. In 1992, he briefly served as manager of the Rangers. Harrah most recently served as the assistant hitting coach for the Detroit Tigers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Frank McCormick</span> American baseball player (1911-1982)

Frank Andrew McCormick was an American baseball first baseman who played fifteen seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). Nicknamed "Buck" in honor of Frank Buck, he played for the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Braves from 1934 to 1948. He batted and threw right-handed and was listed at 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) and 205 pounds (93 kg).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ripper Collins (baseball)</span> American baseball player

James Anthony "Ripper" Collins was an American professional baseball player, coach and scout. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. A switch hitter who threw left-handed, Collins was listed as 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m) tall and weighed 165 pounds (75 kg), during his playing days. Despite his stature, he was a power hitter who in 1934 co-led the National League (NL) with 35 home runs (HR).

Mitchell Dean Webster is a former outfielder in Major League Baseball who played from 1983 through 1995 for the Toronto Blue Jays, Montreal Expos, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers. Listed at 6' 0", 185 lb., he was a switch hitter and threw left handed.

Mark Winegardner is an American writer born and raised in Bryan, Ohio. His novels include The Godfather Returns, Crooked River Burning, and The Veracruz Blues. He published a collection of short stories, That's True of Everybody, in 2002. His newest novel, The Godfather's Revenge, was published in November 2006 by Putnam. His Godfather novels continue the story of the Corleone family depicted in Mario Puzo's The Godfather.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nino Escalera</span> Puerto Rican baseball player (1929–2021)

Saturnino Escalera Cuadrado was a Puerto Rican former professional baseball player and scout whose playing career extended for 14 seasons (1949–1962). The outfielder and first baseman appeared for one full season, 1954, in Major League Baseball for the Cincinnati Redlegs and was the first player of African descent to appear in an MLB game for the Cincinnati franchise. He threw and batted left-handed, stood 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) tall and 165 pounds (75 kg).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gil Brandt</span> American football executive (1932-2023)

Gilbert Harvey Brandt was an American professional football executive who was the vice president of player personnel in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys from 1960 to 1988.

Anthony Lucadello was a professional baseball scout for the Chicago Cubs (1943–1957) and Philadelphia Phillies (1957–1989). During his career, he signed a total of 52 players who made it to the Major Leagues, most notably Hall of Famers Ferguson Jenkins and Mike Schmidt. His total number of Major League signings is considered to be unsurpassed, and some have called him perhaps the greatest scout ever.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paul Gibson (baseball)</span> American baseball player (born 1960)

Paul Marshall Gibson, Jr. is an American former professional baseball pitcher.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1987 Major League Baseball draft</span> Baseball draft of amateur players by Major League Baseball

The 1987 Major League Baseball draft is the process by which Major League Baseball (MLB) teams select athletes to play for their organization. High school seniors, college juniors and seniors, and anyone who had never played under a professional contract were considered eligible for the draft. The 1987 MLB Draft took place as a conference call to the Commissioner of Baseball's office in New York from June 2–4. As opposed to the National Football League Draft which appeared on ESPN, no network aired the MLB Draft.

William Livesey is an American professional baseball manager, scout, and front office executive. He is a special adviser to the general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Howie Haak</span> American Major League Baseball scout (1911–1999)

Howard Frederick Haak was an American professional baseball scout for almost 50 years, from the end of World War II through his 1993 retirement.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ollie Carnegie</span> Italian-American professional baseball player

Oliver Angelo Carnegie was an Italian American professional baseball player whose playing career spanned 15 seasons. Over that time, Carnegie played in the minor leagues with the Class-B Flint Vehicles (1922) of the Michigan–Ontario League; the Class-B Hazleton Mountaineers (1931) of the New York–Penn League; the Double-A Buffalo Bisons of the International League; and the Class-D Lockport White Sox (1942) and the Class-D Jamestown Falcons (1944) of the Pennsylvania–Ontario–New York League. In 1,539 career games played, Carnegie batted .309 with 1665 hits, 302 doubles, 48 triples and 297 home runs. Carnegie batted and threw right-handed. Carnegie also managed the Class-D Jamestown Falcons in 1944. Officially a player-manager since he also played 96 games that season, Carnegie led the Falcons to a 70–54 record which was good enough for second overall in the PONY League.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Miami RedHawks baseball</span> Baseball team of Miami University

The Miami RedHawks baseball team is the varsity intercollegiate baseball team of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, United States. The team is a member of the Mid-American Conference, which competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I.

Harry Mallory Minor was a professional baseball player, manager and scout. Listed at 6' 2", 210 lb., he batted and threw right handed.

Jared Douglas Porter is an American former baseball executive. As an executive, he has won four World Series championships. He served as the executive vice president and general manager of the New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB) from December 13, 2020, to January 19, 2021.