Before They Were Stars: The Entertaining, Uncannily Accurate Scouting Reports of Cubs and White Sox Notables

Kerry Wood’s “serious, arrogant look”; Carl Everett as his own worst enemy; and, of course, A.J.

A.J. Pierzynski

Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune

A.J. Pierzynski: “Has an ML ego and some showmanship.”

The website that’s consumed most of my waking hours this week is Diamond Mines, the Baseball Hall of Fame’s online archive of scouting reports. It’s a treasure trove of the actual, physical reports filed on lots of current and former baseball players, some dating back to their teens. They’re frequently eerily prescient and often great reading.

Here’s White Sox scout George Bradley on a 17-year-old pitcher from Grand Prairie High School in Grand Prairie, Texas, with a “very high ceiling,” a “franchise-type pitcher” with a fastball already clocked at 91 miles an hour.

He’d end up on the crosstown team: Kerry Wood.

(Bradley’s description of future teammate Ryan Dempster: “good personality.”)


Legendary White Sox head case Carl Everett:

Bradley added that his attitude is “not good at all—lazy, unresponsive.”


A bit of family psychology about 18-year-old high-school catcher Paul Konerko from Sox scout Mike Sgobba:

Brewers scout Russ Bove predicted that the young catcher would end up a regular first baseman (Sgobba would later observe that he “doesn’t like any contact on plays at plate") who would hit .265 with 20 home runs in the majors; he’s averaged .282 with 32 home runs.


George Bradley on who else, A.J. Pierzynski, then a 17-year-old from Orlando:

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