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Bernie’s Baseball World – Understanding Baseball Scout’s Player Grading Scale

Baseball scouts use a very specific rating system to grade every player they scout.

Even if a scout gets only a brief look at a pitcher or position player, the scout provides a numerical grade for the player.

The scout grading scale usually has a range of 2-8, with 8 being the highest. Some MLB teams use 20-80, but it is all the same.

When a scout completes his/her evaluative report on a player, he/she generally completes a form provided by his/her club. The form varies from club to club, but it is very comprehensive, and it will be the subject of another article this week.

Included on the form is the ultimate grade for the player. From 2-8, or 20-80.

When I scouted for the Astros and Mariners, 20-80 was used.

Note: Definitions may vary from team-to-team. The scales below are most familiar to me, and are the systems I used most frequently.

Some clubs separate grades between what they observe now, and what they project the player to become in the future. They often widely vary.

So, the grading looks like this:



Grading is different for pitchers and positions players.

Here is the 20-40  POSITION PLAYER Grading Scale:

20- Not a prospect. Will have difficulty getting beyond Class-A. Should not be drafted.

30- Organizational player with no chance of being a Major League player

There really is no definition for 35

40- Emergency player only. For a limited time, could fill a hole on the big league club

45- Utility player on a big league roster. Usually can play several positions, or DH

50- A regular, every day player capable of contributing to the team effort-subject to platoon

55- Better than average major league quality player, not generally subject to platoon.

60- Major big league contributor on a regular basis-an occasional All Star

65- Major big league contributor with three or more tools, frequent All Star

70- Impact major league player. Consistent, five-tool game-changer. Consistent All Star

75- Impact major league player, consistent award winner, five tool All Star, league leader

80- Premium franchise player. Best in the game. Few peers. Superstar. MVP, Hall of Fame type

Example: For this scout, Shohei Ohtani is an 80. Mike Trout was an 80. Aaron Judge is a 75

The 20-80 Pitcher Grading Scale:

20- Not a prospect. Will have difficulty getting out of Class-A. Should not be drafted.

25- Worth another look by the same scout at a later date.

30- Organizational roster filler pitcher. Class-A floor, Double-A ceiling.

35- There is no real definition for 35

40- Emergency filler pitcher capable of providing limited outings at the big league level

45- A fringe, spot starter or long reliever, situational type big league pitcher

50- A regular, #5 starting pitcher, or a solid reliever capable in meaningful situations.

55- A regular #4 or possible #3 starter or capable late inning, high leverage set-up reliever

60- Quality #2 starter, high impact set-up reliever, closer in waiting, occasional All Star

65- Quality, #1 starter, closer, more frequent All Star. Very dependable, consistent pitcher. 

70- A a very solid #1 starter with a vast number of pitches in his repertoire, good injury history or among league’s best closers, Consistent All Star. Among best in the game. Or his way to being the best in the game, but needs a bit more time on his resume. Capable of starting All Star Games, or pitching in pressure situations out of the pen in All Star Games.

75- The best in the game over time. Starts All Star games. Consistently great statistics. Closes All Star games. 

80- A future Hall of Fame pitcher. 

For this scout, Mariano Rivera was an 80 pitcher. Justin Verlander was an 80 at one point. Spencer Strider is a 70. Max Fried is a 60.


When I do scouting reports on this site, I will grade the players.

Next Article: What scouts look for


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