The value of mid-week matchups
Updated: April 7, 2010, 1:50 PM ETBy Jason A. Churchill
We have talked a little bit about the mid-week matchups in the college game and what they mean -- i.e. not a lot in terms of results -- but scouts don't downplay these games. "Not at all. I see a lot of games on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays," said one area scout. "I'm not basing my take on any one guy on the numbers, so I need to see players regularly. Check in to see if they are getting better as the year goes on, and look in for consistency. And the high schoolers, they usually play during the school week only, so that's all we have." For pitchers, it can be about pitching up or down to the competition and showing consistencies in mechanics. For hitters, it's a chance for a lefty bat to show he can hit left-handed pitching or prove he can be a steady defender game-in and game-out. "Consistency is very important, especially with the college kids," the scout added. "The actions, mechanics -- at 21 there shouldn't be a lot major problems." Scouts look for physical skills, something to show them the player can succeed in pro ball, but results do matter. One thing to watch for, however, is how players are putting up the numbers. Are they struggling against good competition and beating up the small-college opponents during the week to achieve his high-end statistical status? As the season moves along, we'll examine how some of the top prospects are handling the better competition, just as we will continue to borrow data from our friends at collegesplits.com to update how these players are faring in splitsville.
Now that you know what a scout is looking for mid-week, do you want to know what scouts have been seeing and are looking to see this week? You can -- if you're an ESPN Insider. (PS -- Bryce Harper at No. 1 still a virtual lock.)