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 Billy Hatcher. Hatcher was a speedy outfielder for Houston from 1986-1989, perhaps best known for his 14th inning home run in the storied Game 6 of the 1986 NLCS against the Mets. Or, if you prefer, for his 1987 suspension for using a corked bat. Either way. Hatcher came to Houston when he was traded by the Cubs for Jerry Mumphrey and patrolled left and center while racking up stolen bases by the dozen before being traded to Pittsburgh for outfielder Glenn Wilson late in the 1989 season. All told, he hit .266 for Houston with 145 steals while accumulating 5.6 WAR. Houston easily got the best seasons of his career.
We have three scouting reports on Hatcher, two from 1985 (just before joining Houston) and one from 1990 (just after leaving Houston). All three are apparently from the White Sox organization.
I project as a .270 hitter with very little power. Good range in the outfield but arm is a minus. He showed good short stroke he had last year and should be average ML player and steal 25-30 bases. Not a plus bat (but?) can help.
*Note: Hatcher ended up hitting .264 for his career and averaged 29 steals per 162 games. Not a bad projection by scout Larry Monroe
Black, stocky strong body. 4.2 to 1st base: Not a good base runner at this time doesn't read pitchers well. Has some power but in these games was making contact but not showing me the power expected: Can play ML outfield.
Physical Descriptions: short - stocky. Injuries: Sore RT. elbow - jammed LFT Shld (cort). White Sox acquire? Yes.
Hit: 30. Contact: 40. Power: 40. Consistency: 45. Sac bunting: 50. Push bunting: 50. Time to 1st: 4.0. Baserunning: 60. Alert: 60. Arm strength: 40. Accuracy: 50. Release: 50. Fielding alertness: 55. Jump: 55. Range: 55. Hands: 50. Attitude: AGG.
Strong points: Fine spd - 3.96 - GD of. with AB AV range - Fair arm - GD bunter -Base stealer - Swings bat - Has XTRA base prod - Occ. HR PWR.
Weak points: Needs better disipline (sic) & selectivity at bat to ensure harder contact & more bases on balls (only ?timing?)
Summation: Adds GD dimensions to club - AV to AB AV FLD, arm OK, GD range, steals bases, swings bat with XTRA base PWR! AGG - tough - NDS to walk more ACQUIRE! (circled)
How would we pitch him? Jam - FB - SL Chases H O FB Trouble With O CFB.
How would we defense him? STR - MED to (OF) Deep. Corners up (Likes to bunt)
*The formatting and use of abbreviations made this one hard to transcribe. Apologies.