Brady House 'made some money tonight': How one high school game could change the MLB draft

Tim Morse/Georgia Dugout Preview Magazine

Scouting amateur baseball players is tricky because an extra blooper every other week can make a solidly below average hitter into a solidly above average one. Spotting a subtle mechanical difference, a slightly better batting eye, or marginally better coachability when a player is 18 years old that will then lead to that extra bloop every other week at age 26 and cause him to go from a bench player to a starter seems almost impossible, especially judging from just one high school game.

On Monday, I went to what I think will be the most important single high school game in this calendar year for impact on this summer's 2021 MLB draft.

Hitters typically improve linearly, because they have to adjust to pitchers of various types, so a scout would need to see a hitter succeed against some different types of pitchers, get a decent sample size of performance and a sense of the raw tools to really tell whether the player has improved in a meaningful way.

A pitcher will throw close to 100 pitches per outing, and you can usually tell after about 50 pitches what he is. Half a game from a starting pitcher can give you a pretty good signal, whereas you could watch three games of a hitter and barely even see them swing, leaving you to make decisions based on batting practice and only swing decisions in the game.

It seems almost impossible for a single regular-season game for a high school hitter to be the most important prep game of the year. It would almost certainly have to be a late-rising pitcher who has one pivotal game against a good lineup with a ton of scouts in attendance, right?