How to decipher MLB scouting scale, Guerrero Jr.’s prospect grades

Toronto Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. warms up before the 2017 All-Star Futures Game. (Lynne Sladky/AP)

Following the progression of a minor-league ballplayer can sometimes feel like deciphering hieroglyphs.

The third baseman has an 80 hit tool and 65 power, but runs and fields at 45.

OK, it’s not exactly ancient Egyptian script. But if you’re not well-versed on the numerical system that’s used to assess baseball players, it could be lost on you.

That system is called the 20–80 scouting scale and talent evaluators have used variations of it for over 50 years.


If you’ve been tracking Toronto Blue Jays mega prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr., you’ve likely come across his report cards. For example, MLB Pipeline recently handed the slugger its first-ever 80 hit tool and then, on Tuesday, offered more grades for fellow Blue Jays prospects.

We devoted our latest edition of Sports Explained to helping you understand what these ratings mean and where they come from.

You can check out the video here:


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