Monday, May 19, 2014

Historical Scouting Reports - Curt Schilling

The National Baseball Hall of Fame did something really cool last year when they made thousands of historical scouting reports available to the public. This post is part of a series in which we'll look at the reports of players that have passed through Houston during their career. A lot of these are, understandably, difficult to read, so I'll do my best to transcribe them as-is while including pictures of a few of them.

Today we'll look at Curt Schilling. Depending on your level of 90s Astro bitterness, it's either easy to forget or forever seared in your mind that Schilling spent the 1991 season in Houston. He was acquired by the Astros, along with Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch, from Baltimore in exchange for Astrodome legend Glenn Davis. If Houston hadn't turned around and flipped Schilling for Jason Grimsley following that season, this trade would have rivaled the Bagwell deal as the biggest trade victory in Houston history. In his single season with the Astros, Schilling was used exclusively in relief, putting up a 3.81 ERA with 8 saves in 56 games.

The HOF scouting report repository has 8 reports from Schillings 20 year career, though none of them are from his time with Houston. We have six from 1989-1990, then one each from 1993 and 1994.

1989

11/9/89. OH DEL. FB 85-88 ENTIRE GAME. FB UP HAS RISING TAILING LIFE. FB DOWN SOME TAIL. A LOT OF STR. SL HARD AND QUICK. STR CHG. BODY THAT COULD GAIN WT. ASSORTMENT OF PITCHES. GOOD ARM.

Next two by White Sox scout Alex Cosmidis. One from AAA and one from ML.

7/9/89. Physical descriptions: Tall, well-prop. frame. Strong points: Average to Ab. average velocity 85-89 w/occ rise action thru-out game. 79-83 slider. Good fielder. Good make-up. Weak points: Inconsistent slider. Very few change-ups & lacked good motion on delivery of change. Too many pitches high in hitting zone. Summation: Aggressive style. Will go inside. 2 pitch pitcher now. Needs to improve change & mix-up speeds. ML hitters will sit on his FB now. Needs more AAA seasoning. How does he pitch when behind on count: Go with FB. When ahead of count: Fast stuff: FB or hard slider. When in a jam: Will use FB.

9/26/89. Physical descriptions: Tall, well-prop. body. Strong points: Average to ab. average velocity 85-88. Weak Points: FB lacked movement. 75-76 slider wasn't sharp. Delivery rather stiff - not free & easy - w/various release pts. Summation: Showed better delivery & stuff at Rochester as starter. Don't think he's cut out to be reliever. Still like his potential as starter.

Another White Sox scout, Mark Snipp. Clearly he missed on his assessment.

10/10/89. Physical descriptions: Proportioned big. White Sox acquire: No. Attitude: Smart. Mental Toughness: Questionable. Hustle: Lacks. Reason for judgement: Inconsistent arm speeds - slows arm in effort for command & strikes. Very hittable - predictable. Must pitch on black in & out. All pitches flat in hitting zone. Slider flat does not fool. Lacks command of all pitches. Slows arm on change floats. No average pitches.


1990

Two from Cubs scout Scott Reid

10/1/90. Plus FB & SL. Young will get better. Help: Yes

12/1/90. Young with Plus FB, SL & Split; Will get better

1993

From Royals (?) scout Tom Ferrick

Starter only. Best on club for consistency. Big strong. Best when he is down in strike zone. ????? are usually high in strike zone FB straight when up. Yes KC.


1994 

Also from Tom Ferrick

??? 23 bone spur removed from right elbow. Also left knee surgery.




3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Player careers pan out the way they do based on the circumstances in which they are put in. It's great to think about the potential that the Astros could have had on their hands with Schilling based on the career that he had...but nobody has any way of knowing that he has the same career that he had if he spent more time in Houston, if he still leaves for Arizona (or was he traded).

I like to hear the same talk when fans mention Derek Jeter.

Fun to think about.

Anonymous said...

He was traded to Philadelphia for Grimsley, right? I remember and interview with him and Francona about how he learned to pitch in Philly because Francona just left him out there to work through trouble. He learned stamina and how to pitch deep into games.

Anonymous said...

I thought his big pitch was a split finger???