Carson Cistulli at FanGraphs is exactly what the website needs every now and then. The other writers focus so much on critiquing baseball that Cistulli’s writings are like a breath of fresh air. If you haven’t read his posts, he is essentially a poet (without the rhymes) with words, mixing in humor to create a nice change of lightheartedness from the serious tones of the other writers.* When I see his name prefacing a new post, I immediately know that I’m in for a treat, provided that I’m interested in what he’s talking about.**
* Not that I’m saying that I dislike the other writers. Come on, I quote FanGraphs so often, you’d think it’s my favorite baseball website. Well…it likely is.
** There’s a few times where he’ll start talking about stuff that I know nothing about, which causes me to lose interest immediately. We all know that feeling.
Well, Carson’s latest endeavor starts with a little story about his trip with a handful of other FanGraphs writers to Arizona to see a few spring training games. His time with these guys led him to create scouting reports for all the writers, based on the “5 tools of a sabermetric blogger” (though I feel anyone that has a blog could certainly subject themselves to the scouting reports). Since I’m a guy that loves using numbers, I couldn’t help but try this out myself. Who doesn’t like reflecting on him/herself? First, a primer from Carson:
Number Stuff (NS) – Encompasses a few skills, including: database skills, math skills, player valuation skills, and (duh) nunchuck skills. I call it “stuff,” on account of my own rating in this tool is pretty bad — about a 30 or 35, probably.
Nerd Cred (NC) – Pale skin and glasses are important factors here, as is the possession of an advanced degree or some other nerdy non-baseball specialization.
Baseballing Cred (BC) – A measure of actual baseballing knowledge. A high-ish rating requires not only an encyclopedic knowledge of major leaguers, but also actual knowledge from the various horses’ mouths. For example, if you think Eric Byrnes will get starts against lefties, that’ll net you a 50 rating. If Tony Frigging Blengino tells you that Eric Byrnes will get starts against lefties, that’s closer to a 70 or 75.
Range (RA) – Maybe or maybe not overlapping with Nerd Cred, this measures the blogicator’s comfort in dealing with topics non-baseball. In particular, pop culture references are important here.
Want To (WT) – An assessment of the writer’s industry. Making multiple daily posts — that, or contributing to multiple sources — will help the blogicator’s rating in this category. The WT rating are generally high around here.
For each tool, I use the standard 20-80 scouting scale, a brief explanation of which you can read here via Erik Manning’s Prosect Primer at Future Redbirds:
The 20-80 Scale is a tool that is used to measure various aspects of a given player’s tools. The tools they measure would obviously vary by group. 50 would be considered to be MLB average, while a “plus” tool would be any tool that is graded at 60, and “plus-plus” would be rated 70 or higher.
Now that we know what each of the five tools are, here’s my ratings for myself, with a short explanation why at the end.
I sure hope I rate above-average in NS. I am a math major, after all. NC is a 45 because although I am tall, skinny, and I consider myself to be nerdy (well, actually geeky), I still play many sports, no longer have glasses, and I develop a tan rather easily. I soak up baseball knowledge constantly, so of course my BC would be high, though not a perfect 80 since I know I don’t know everything. RA is below-average because although I can quote many movies and I know a bit about pop culture, I still am behind many of my friends when it comes to reciting the new popular quotes and know what’s going on with the (relatively) new infusion of Disney Channel psuedo-young adults. Lastly, I gave myself a 65 in WT because if I didn’t have homework, I’d be posting stuff here almost once per day. Even with homework, my rates of new posts hovers between once per three days to twice per day.
Now that I’ve rated myself, how do you rate? Don’t turn this into a competition, and be honest. Maybe we can convince TwinsCentric to put these ratings into next year’s Twins Annual.