‘Nothing There': How an Ex-Scout’s Evaluation Could’ve Ruined the NY Yankees
Let me get this out of the way right now: it is not easy to be a professional sports scout.
It's very straight-forward: you find good players for your franchise, you keep your job. Scouts travel to the far corners of the country, if not the world, to stay in cheap hotels and travel to run-down stadiums to watch what may, or may not be, the future stars of their team.
Every scout can list a few players that they saw in their early years that they knew would become a superstar. Conversely, every scout has a few stories about the ones who got away.
One such story has hit The New York Post, about a scout who swung-and-missed on a New York Yankees' superstar.
Ex-Yankees' Scout Admits to Incorrect Opinion of Aaron Judge
According to a fascinating story done by The New York Post, former New York Yankees' scout Tim McIntosh may have had the incorrect evaluation of superstar outfielder Aaron Judge in the years before he would end up making his MLB debut.
Let's set the scene: the year is likely 2010, when Judge is a senior playing high school baseball in Linden, California. Judge is far from being drafted in the 1st round by the Yankees. As a matter of fact, he'll first be drafted by Oakland in the 31st round, and turn them down, before choosing to head to college as Fresno State.
Before all of that, he's a tall, lanky high school player, who is being scouted by Tim McIntosh. A former MLB'er who was a small part of the Yankees' 1996 championship team, is now a scout for the club, living in California.
Wanting to do his due diligence as a scout, McIntosh heads to a few of Judge's games, to see if the monstrous teenager may be worth choosing in the upcoming draft.
What happened instead would, in hindsight, become one of the worst misreads of baseball talent that we've seen in quite some time. McIntosh would later tell The Post that there was nothing there that would've suggested Judge was worth drafting, let alone would suggest he'd become a superstar.
Fast forward to 2013, and after growing into his body, and into a star at the collegiate level, the Yankees would end up drafting Judge anyway. Even though he would wind up being a 1st round pick, 31 players were taken before him.
The pick that the Yankees used to select Judge, at No. 32 overall, was given to them in exchange for the Cleveland Indians signing Nick Swisher. It was a compensatory pick, meaning that New York wasn't originally even going to be drafting at that spot.
Judge wasn't even the first selection the Yankees made that day. It was infielder Eric Jagielo, a third baseman out of Notre Dame.
Look, I give baseball scouts a lot of credit for the job they do. Baseball talent is probably the hardest to predict out of any of the four major sports in our country. A 17-year old player will likely look nothing that same player at 21 years old. So, a scout must pair a lot of research, with a bit of evaluation, and a whole heck of a lot of luck, together in order to find a future superstar.
Tim McIntosh found one back in 2010, even if he didn't know it at the time.
Can you imagine where the Yankees would be in 2022 without Aaron Judge? I certainly can't, but I can tell you, they certainly wouldn't be closing in on an AL East title.