As the baseball playoffs begin next week with teams still alive or at least home field advantage being at stake this late in the year, I've considered what makes a good team or player over a period of time or a season. The colloquial term for the highest talent is known as a 5 Tool Player. This is a position player (non-pitcher) who possesses singular athletic and intellectual talent allowing them to hit above average, hit for power, run for speed (in the field and running basses) and the more defensive attributes, throwing arm and fielding.

I see today that MLB's statistical team has found the 8 five tool players for this season. It is a simplified yet seemingly important way to view a period of time arbitrarily. As they state:

"Let's lay out the rules. We identified the following five Statcast™ thresholds as stand-ins for the five traditional tools, and sorted by only the players who have had at least three qualified recorded data points in each of the five areas. That's not the same as being above average for an entire season, but that's not the point; we want to see the players who are blessed with the capability to do these things at all, and three times over six months didn't seem too much to ask."

Hitting: Batting exit velocity of ≥ 110 mph

Hitting for power: Home run distance of ≥ 425 feet

Fielding: Route efficiency of ≥ 98 percent

Throwing: Throws of ≥ 85 mph

Running: Top baserunning speed of ≥ 21 mph

The Statcast™ "Five Tool Players

Mike Trout

Andrew McCutchen

Carlos Gomez

Yoenis Cespedes

Lorenzo Cain

Hunter Pence

Ian Desmond

Marcell Ozuna

I disagree with certain aspects of what they were measuring. Exit velocity seems more tied to power than straight hitting but I digress. This rationale seems important for viewing individual markets and the speculator population.

What traits create the Five Tool Speculator?


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