Many of our authors make a habit of speaking to scouts and other talent evaluators in order to bring you the best baseball information available. Not all of the tidbits gleaned from those conversations make it into our articles, but we don't want them to go to waste. Instead, we'll be collecting them in a regular feature called "What Scouts Are Saying," which will be open to participation from the entire BP staff and include quotes about minor leaguers and major leaguers alike.

Major Leagues

Orioles 1B/3B Chris Davis: “His timing is off; his hands and wrists aren't working; he's a mess. It's to the point where you hope he's been playing with some sort of undisclosed injury this year, because even the batting practice displays are uncomfortable.”

Nationals OF Bryce Harper: "He's only 21 years old and there is a lot of talent there, but we are starting to reach the point where there may be cause for concern. He has not had a good year, and his hitting mechanics are all screwed up. It's as if he is almost jumping at the ball. He comes out of his swing so hard and fast. He plays out of control all the time, in every facet of his game, and it's clear he has become a distraction to Matt Williams. It would not surprise me if they end up trading Harper for a young arm and hold on to Denard Span."

Minor Leagues

Twins Double-A RHP Jason Adam: “He profiles as a good back-end starter who can eat innings. He needs to develop a go-to secondary offering, but is a high-volume fastball user who can fill up the zone.”

Twins Double-A OF Byron Buxton "(Prior to his injury.) He's is getting his timing back. The last few games he's looked significantly better than he did last week."

Yankees High-A OF Aaron Judge: "Judge is a beast. I had him top out at 116 mph off the bat. He destroys left-handed breaks, and you cannot beat him upstairs either. He eats any fastball and mistake in the zone. Level swing that is not forced, power to all fields, overall hitting tool is approaching a 6. He is a very good athlete for his size, moves well in all phases. One thing to check on … has he adjusted to quality breaks from the RHP and has he learned to stay back when either side pulls the string?"

Royals High-A LHP Sean Manaea: "Something to watch is his ability to hide the ball against RHH. They do not chase him as often. I did not think his break was crisp enough for professional RHH to be enticed, as they would easily lay off it out of the zone. Sometimes he would let the break hang trying to pound inside on RHH, thus floating in the wheelhouse. But he has good plane and life on the fastball that he gets leverage on and can keep it down. He should be a decent groundball-producing arm."

Orioles DSL RHP Ofelky Peralta: "Funky mechanics are a nice way of saying he cannot locate his pitches at all."

Padres Double-A OF Hunter Renfroe: "He's showing big tools. There's easy plus power, plus arm, and he shows the ability to swipe a bag. The hit tool progression is going to determine whether he is just an everyday guy or an all-star."

High School

Eagle's Landing Christian Academy (Georgia) OF Dazmon Cameron: "The perception being perpetuated by some out there that Daz Cameron has gone backwards is completely misguided. He was being touted as a 1/1 candidate from his sophomore year of high school onward, and while there wasn't a more obvious player at the time. There's a reason very few scouts will make such proclamations that far out. He has developed at a steady rate and is still clearly one of the best prospects in the class. If the draft were today he'd be off the board in the first half of the first round. The fact that a couple of other players have emerged as top of the draft talents takes nothing away from what Cameron is, and those doubting him right now will be proven wrong come June."

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I am astonished that a scout actually thinks the Nats might trade Harper. There is a 0.0 percent chance of that happening. That's just a room full of crazy.
Maybe the scout didn't know that Harper hit .272/.353/.481 in 1,094 PA as a 19-20-year-old MLB player, and he's just now seeing Harper play for the first time.

Maybe he thinks that the .233/.324/.372 that Harper has put up in the 149 PA since coming back from mid-season thumb surgery is his true talent level, and that the previous 1,185 PA don't really count.

I don't know. Scouts can believe some crazy $#!%.
I don't know quite how to phrase this, but I'd actually be very interested to hear some of the BP team react to these quotes. I understand that these scouts are professionals who do their job at a very high level and that the folks at BP may ultimately feel unqualified to quibble with such opinions. I furthermore understand that any analysis that appears to throw scouts' opinions under the bus could undermine BPs' access to more of these takes. But having seen Justin Upton and Colby Rasmus and other extremely talented players get traded when public opinion was that it would be absurd to do so...I wonder if the dynamic nature of human beings and baseball players isn't such that maybe the scout is more right about Harper than it seems. And maybe the guy is just full of shit. But as someone who is in absolutely no position to speculate on such things, I'd like to hear speculation from voices I trust.
I'm not on the prospecting side, but I would have a lot of follow-up questions for that scout before I printed that statement. Because it seems to ignore a lot of things.
We're providing these quotes to give the perspective that a lot of people in the industry have extremely different and varying thoughts on players. That's the goal. This isn't an article on our opinion or the value of Harper. It's to show what others in the business think. And for what it's worth, this particular individual wasn't the only one who didn't have a glowing review of Bryce. I caution people too...there's a lot more information people "in" the game know than the public or even us at BP. I'm pretty sure nobody expected a number of the guys at the deadline to be dealt either (like Cespedes), but they were.
Thanks, Joe. This is absolutely the kind of information that I'd like to see. Harper is such a high-profile -- and, apparently, polarizing -- player, that I'd love to see a longer poll-the-industry type piece about him....
LOL. Let's step back from the ledge, folks. I greatly appreciate these varying perspectives. One scout saying he "wouldn't be surprised" if Harper is dealt is still a far cry from any consensus that such a trade is likely.

I'd bet there's at least one scout out there who isn't bullish on Clayton Kershaw's near future. Opinions are gonna vary.

Thanks, BP. I can't get enough of this stuff.
"I greatly appreciate these varying perspectives … no matter how stupid they are." There, I fixed it for you.

The thing I don't get is the "for young pitching part". Because A.J. Cole and Lucas Giolito isn't enough. Nor is getting Doug Fister for nothing.
If I was a betting man, I would say it's more likely the Nationals get rid of Matt Williams than Bryce Harper.
I could understand it if they were getting a boatload of major league talent right now. I mean if I came up and offered the Nationals Stanton and Heaney.

Or that that "young pitcher" happens to be Chris Sale + more.

It really depends what the Nats think about him. They'll need to trade him by 2017-2018. And their window is from now to 2017. If you think they could get a package that is worth more to them in the short term, I could understand the logic.
I think that's well said. Obviously timing and return are important. What I should have said in my original flabbergasted snarky comment was that I couldn't imagine such a trade happening in the near term. 2017? 2018? Maybe, if they don't think they have any chance of resigning him. But the Denard Span reference made me think the scout wasn't talking that far down the road (and, if this scout WAS talking about the Nats keeping Span instead of Harper after 2017, when Span will be 33, let's just say that doesn't strengthen my opinion of the scout's insight) Trading Bryce Harper for "a young arm" in the next season or two is kind of a silly suggestion.
My point was the exact opposite:
Desmond is gone in 2016.
Doug Fister is gone in 2016
Zimmermann is gone in 2016.
Strasburg is gone in 2017.
Go Gonzalez is gone in 2017
Jayson Werth is old
Ryan Zimmerman is injuried all the time.
They stop receiving revenue sharing in 2016.

The Nationals should probably try to go for it in 2015-2016. If they have concerns about Harper's health,makeup, or development, they could trade Harper for a Stanton or Sale that is more of a sure thing to provide value in the 2015-2017 seasons.

I'm not saying it would be a good move, it would be very risky and you'd look foolish if Harper performs. But if Harper disappoints and the pieces you got back for him bring you to the playoffs for a few years and maybe a flag, it could be worth it. I think the Justin Upton comp and maybe a Jason Heyward ones are good. They are very very good players that looked like MVPs. I love Harper and he is still young, but he isn't an MVP yet. As we are seeing with Trout, getting older might not be the good thing as defense gets worse and speed disappears. Harper could be Giancarlo Stanton in two or you could have Giancarlo Stanton for two years.
I realize you can't just induce quotes out of thin air, but damn if I wouldn't just love to see this as a weekly column with more insights on major leaguers.
It should be noted that Buxton had fanned all three times he batted before the collision. He also unleashed an awesome throw to nail a base stealer attempting to go to 3rd on an wild throw
Why should the K's be noted? First three PAs at a new level, also, in a game with 13 total strikeuts for Baysox pitching.
When Harper was drafted the Pirates, who picked 2nd insisted he was not the first guy on their board. They took Taillon (who hasn't been in the biggs yet) number 2.
Did they know something that nobody eles knew?

Just sayin'...
I don't know a single person that believed the Pirates when they said that.
I think pretty much everyone in the game would prefer Bryce Harper to a likely mid-rotation starter who hasn't reached the bigs and is currently rehabbing from Tommy John, so, no, I don't think they did know something that nobody else knew.
Awesome stuff, as always! Thanks Team BP!