When evaluating for the draft, every major league club is looking for the top-of-the-rotation starter, the middle-of-the-order impact bat or the middle-of-the-diamond Gold Glover. After all the players have been evaluated, the tools dissected, statistics analyzed, physical ability measured and projection determined, the most important part of the player that will be discussed is his baseball makeup.
Most people think that players who have good baseball makeup are the players who have the highest character, intelligence, heart and passion. Players like Derek Jeter, Troy Tulowitzki, Mariano Rivera, Evan Longoria, Torii Hunter or Ryan Zimmerman -- the type of person you would want to marry your own daughter. On a scale of 20-80, they all should be graded close to 80 on the scouting reports. It is difficult to imagine any evaluator missing on a player's makeup (scouts normally get it right).
There is another kind of player that grades out with close to perfect "baseball makeup" and that’s players like Barry Bonds, Pete Rose and Roger Clemens. Many scouts missed on their makeup when they were young, and even more scouts will miss on their makeup today. They will blame their off-field failures, selfish attitudes, indifference to the media or possibly, in some cases, not being helpful or supportive of their teammates. Although all three players had Hall of Fame careers, it is possible that a couple of them will never get to Cooperstown.
When the draft begins Monday, if the talent is equal and there is a player with a Bonds, Rose or Clemens type makeup, the best scouting directors in baseball will be pulling the trigger and drafting them. They are the "baseball makeup" players who win championships. They live for the moment with a mental toughness, off-the-charts competitiveness and an “I will do whatever it takes” type attitude. They want to make the final pitch or have the final at-bat of Game 7 of the World Series. They will overachieve. They have a different focus. They are baseball’s version of the Navy SEALs. They are the Michael Jordans of basketball. They will find an edge, an advantage. They will get dirty, demonstrate more focus, more fight and more intensity than the rest. Their baseball IQ is off the charts. You win with these players.
Derek Jeter, Pete Rose, Troy Tulowitzki, Barry Bonds, Mariano Rivera, Roger Clemens, Evan Longoria, Torii Hunter and Ryan Zimmerman. They all have different character, values and soul. They also all have close to 80 in "baseball makeup." Draft them if they have the talent.
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