This page should explain any questions about the grades they see assigned to players.
First, let's talk about the overall grades given out. Grades are based on a 1 - 10 scale and can be given at a half way point. For instance, a grade of 9.5 can be assigned to a player if that player is between what the specific grade describe.
Grades are usually seen at the bottom of an article or at the conclusion of a player's section. For example, at the bottom of this scouting report on Dodger's prospect Andrew Lambo, you see this:
8 Upside, Low Probability
6.5 Mid-Level, Average Probability
5 Downside, Low Probability
The scale is defined as follows:
10 - Hall of Fame Player
9 - All-Star Player, Among the Top-5 at Respective Position, #1 starter
8 - Above Average Regular, Borderline All-Star, #2 Starter
7 - Average - Above Average Regular, #3 Starter, Elite Reliever
6 - Average Regular, Left-Side Platoon, #4 Starter, Good Reliever
5 - Below Average Regular, Good Bench Player, Right-Side Platoon, #5 Starter, Average Reliever
4 - Utility Player, Average Bench Player, Swing/Long Man, Below Average Reliever
3 - Below Average Bench Player, AAAA Player, Replacement Player Level
2 - Organizational Depth, Below Replacement Level Player
1 - Career Minor Leaguer
Probability is subjective, but I give you what in my opinion is the most realistic upside and the most realistic downside. If there is a major difference between the upside and downside, the mid-level projection is given.
When you see various Low, Average, or High Probabilities, we should assume:
Low = 10% - 15% Probability
Average = 20% - 30% Probability
High = 35% - 50% Probability
So when you see this:
8 Upside, Average probability
5 Downside, Average probability
This means the player could go either way: there is an average chance the player reaches their upside, but their is also an average chance they reach only their downside.
You see the numbers on the scouting scale assigned after an analysis is done on the pitches a pitcher throws or for hitters assigned to attributes such as power, running, etc. I will outsource this explanation to Baseball Prospectus. However, to quote a key section of the Kevin Goldstein article:
Grades are given on a base-5 system (40, 45, 50, 55, 60, etc.)...A score of 50 is major-league average, 60 is above-average (also referred to as “plus”), and 70 is among the best (“plus-plus”). 80 is top of the charts, and not a score that gets thrown around liberally. 80s in any category are rare, and the scoring system is definitely a strong curve that regresses to around 50 at the major league level, but lower as you move down. Very few players have a 50 score or higher for every tool. Just being average across the board is quite an accomplishment.
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