Joe Posnanski, a writer for the Kansas City Star and a great Royals blogger, has a post up about The Dayton Game.
It’s apparently called that because Dayton Moore, Royals GM, showed it to Posnanski. But here’s what it is: Just list off all the 60 tools on your team. Not 60 players; 60 tools. (Based on the scouting 20-80 scale. A 60 tool is an All-Star caliber tool.)
Given that Posnanski’s list for the Royals had two tools on it (that’s right … two), I’m kind of stunned that Dayton Moore described this as a “fun little game.” For him, isn’t it more along the lines of “depressing little insult?”
So I decided to play the game for the Twins:
- Mauer’s hitting
- Mauer’s defense
- Morneau’s power
- Cuddyer’s arm
- Young’s arm
- Gomez’s speed
- Gomez’s defense
- Casilla’s speed
- Casilla’s arm
I considered Mauer’s arm … but he’s only thrown out 7 of 27 base stealers this year. I know they’re stealing off the pitchers, but that’s still pretty pathetic. So Mauer has to earn that 60 back.
I considered Morneau’s speed — gotcha! I thought that was a good one.
I considered Young’s hitting and power and speed; after all, he’s supposed to be a 5 tool player and the scouts love his tools. Except he can’t hit, when he does it doesn’t go anywhere, and he runs like his shoes are too heavy. So … no. He can throw.
I considered Kubel’s power. I did. But until he starts showing it off more consistently, I can’t put him on this list. A big part of that probably has to do with increased playing time. But he’s not getting that, so I’m not just going to put him here as if he deserves it. Hit some home runs, Jason. Make Gardy look like even more of an idiot, and you’ll get your power listed on here. (But that grand slam was awesome.)
Gomez probably has the best tool on the team — in fact, some scouts say he’s the only 80 speed in baseball. And his defense has proved to be awesome out there. His arm is strong enough, but it doesn’t make this list until he can hit the broad side of a barn.
I think it’s funny that Casilla makes up 22% of this list. But he can really run, and every time he throws the ball I wonder if it’s going to put a hole in someone’s glove. (Honestly, Alexi, you’re 10 feet away. Take a little heat off those throws!) He hasn’t learned how and when to use it, but a strong and accurate arm has to be a 60. Casilla is grossly misused as a second baseman.
But … nine tools? That’s it? I was really hoping for more. And I find it especially worrying that only two of them (Mauer’s hitting and Morneau’s power) have to do with offense. I mean, Loose Cannons I & II have the speed to cause chaos and help the offense, but they’re not strictly offensive tools. I think you need more than nine 60s in order to field a playoff caliber team. (I don’t know how many you need. But nine doesn’t seem like very many.) We could add a few offensive tools to this if/when Kubel and/or Delmon starts hitting — but that’s beginning to look like it’s no guarantee.
So, before I get too frustrated with this, I’m just going to think about how Gardy would play this game. Punto and Tolbert, the perfect players, obviously have 10 tools between them. So Gardy already won the game, I guess.
Did I miss any tools? Overrate any?