We ran across this great article by Conor Glassy for Baseball America back on August 18, 2010. Thought you might enjoy it.
Tools are a basic building block of our coverage at Baseball America. We begin assessing players’ tools from the time they become prominent high school players, and we continue to do it through college and the minor leagues all the way to the majors. It culminates with the Best Tools feature that we unveiled last week, but we really write about tools all year long.
That makes sense because tools are a basic building block for players as well. Many other factors enter into the equation of whether a player will reach his potential in his career, but without the basic physical skills the player’s career will never get started in the first place.
With that in mind, BA assistant editor Conor Glassey spent the past year interviewing area scouts, talking to them about specific aspects of their job, with a specific focus on the skills they look for in players and how they judge them.