Friday Five Tool Five (Jan. 7)

Introducing the Friday Five Tool Five. National Scouting Director of Five Tool Drew Bishop gives out thoughts and information on Five Topics on his mind. This new segment will be a weekly occurrence.

In today’s installment of the Friday Five Tool Five we recap the Max Muncy and Scott Wiley episodes of the podcast, talk about two uncommitted 2023s, and have information on our first S2 testing opportunity.

 

1. Episode 33 of the Five Tool Podcast with Los Angeles Dodger Max Muncy

On Monday, Dustin and I were lucky enough to have our second MLB All-Star on the podcast within the last two weeks. A DFW native and former Keller and Baylor standout, Max Muncy joined us to talk about his partnership with Five Tool, his offseason, and give some baseball advice to young listeners. As a new dad, Muncy has spent his offseason feeling his way through fatherhood much like Dustin and myself. Coming off an elbow injury that ended his 2021 campaign, Muncy has been rehabbing in hopes of being ready to go for opening day.

Muncy shared with us some of his struggles that ultimately led him to be an All-Star at the MLB level. Having bounced up and down between AAA and the big leagues and then being released by the A’s Muncy was faced with the question of whether he wanted to continue on in baseball. After painfully watching opening day from home while not on a roster, Muncy rekindled his passion for the game and was signed by the Dodgers and his career took off. This serves as a reminder for all players that baseball is hard and even some of the best players in the game are faced with adversity as they ascend to stardom. Muncy was able to find enjoyment and fun in going to the ballpark again which showed as he put up his career’s best power numbers and was a key part of the 2020 World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

One of my favorite segments of the show was Muncy explaining the importance of chemistry on winning teams. As analytics have continued to impact our game, one thing that can’t be measured is culture. Citing the personalities of guys like Keke Hernandez and Joc Pederson, you cannot put a price or number on what they bring to a team by simply being a winner. He also mentioned guys like Mike Napoli that just always seem to be on playoff teams, which isn’t an accident. I really liked hearing that because being a winner and having intangibles matters as much or more than any analytic, metric, or ranking.

One of the things I appreciate most about this interview is just the overall sense of humanity that Muncy exudes. While we often put guys of Max’s stature on a pedestal, the thoughtfulness of his answers can serve as a reminder that these athletes and celebrities are normal people going through the same challenges we all do. Max’s five month old daughter does not care yet that he plays for the Dodgers and he had to answer the same question many people do of whether or not they want to continue in their profession. On the flip side, Max’s awareness of how the game has helped him become who he is as a person is another refreshing reminder of the powerful impact that these stars can have with their platform. Max’s work with Five Tool is aimed at helping grow the game to allow young people the same opportunities to excel that he has experienced.

2. Episode 34 of the Five Tool Podcast with Founder and COO of S2 Cognition Scott Wylie

We are excited to be partnering with S2 Cognition to bring this game-changing development tool to the high school level. Dustin and I were joined by Dr. Scott Wylie, Founder and COO of this technology. In part one of a three part series, Dr. Wylie gives us a bird’s eye view of what this assessment measures and how it can benefit young players. Since baseball has existed, people have been able to detect issues with players such as a tendency to chase bad pitches, just miss a pitch, or be better as a starter or reliever. This assessment can finally help answer “WHY” a certain player performs the way he does.

With the assessment complete, the results give critical information as to how a player’s brain is wired. From these results, you will have the ability to target weaknesses and hone strengths in an efficient manner. Do these results tell you if you are a good hitter or pitcher? Not necessarily, but the cognitive part of the game is now able to be measured to help determine if you do, in fact, have the capacity to perform at certain levels. This is why MLB teams and D1 teams in multiple sports have partnered with S2 to assess not only their current athletes, but prospective ones as well. Our vision is that this will soon become the SAT for the collegiate sports world.

The difference in this product versus what is currently on the market is that you do not take the test, get the results, and then practice to get better at the test. As Dr. Wylie mentions, there are limitations on transfer pathways for countless products on the market, meaning that carryover from certain games, vision boards, and braining techniques to the actual field is in question. With the S2 results, you are provided with drills and programs to put into practice that are proven to carry over to on-field development. One benefit is that none of the drills are complex, revolutionary drills that you need special equipment for. Most of the drills prescribed can be done in the backyard in a cage with or without a pitching machine. There is, however, flexibility in achieving desired results using your own drills and creative coaching.

Over the next couple episodes we will go more in depth on those drills and how use these results in your development of the cognitive part of your game.

3. UNCOMMITED SPOTLIGHT

Garrett Schroeder | 2023 IF| Richardson J.J. Pearce HS | Dallas Tigers

A member of the J.J. Pearce Mustangs and Dallas Tigers, Garrett Schroeder has a chance to be a force at the high school level and beyond. Schroeder is known to be a versatile, athletic player that does a lot well on a baseball field. Referred to as a “gamer,” you can stick Schroeder at a number of spots on the field and he will excel. For Pearce this spring, Schroeder will play on the left side of the infield and hit at the top of the lineup. One thing that people always notice about Schroeder is his baserunning prowess. A sub 6.8 runner, Schroeder combines his speed and instincts to be a menace on the basepaths. To his coaches, Schroeder is known as a student of the game that can’t get enough baseball and will always be a clubhouse leader.

4. UNCOMMITTED SPOTLIGHT

JC Davis | 2023 MIF| Argyle HS | Dallas Tigers

One of my favorite guys in the 2023 class, JC Davis is everything that is right with baseball. This guy loves the game and goes 100 MPH all the time. A glue guy reminiscent of Jared Thomas in the 2022 class, Davis is a top of the lineup catalyst that can play middle infield at a high level. Known for his work ethic and baseball IQ, Davis is not short on talent. After putting in the effort in the weight room, Davis has added weight this offseason and looks ready to lead Argyle back to Austin. He will play shortstop this year for the Eagles where he can lead the defense and save runs with his knack for always being in the right place. Davis is one of those winning players referenced above by Max Muncy.

5. Five Tool News: First Public S2 Cognition Testing

Five Tool will be hosting our first opportunity for individuals to get tested Sunday, January 16. Those interested will partake in a roughly thirty minute cognitive assessment that will then generate scores and feedback to help improve your on-field performance. At the pro level, ten MLB teams have partnered with S2 to test their players and potential draftees. At the D1 level, programs such as Baylor, Dallas Baptist, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt already give their players the S2 Assessment. For more information, you can go to https://www.s2cognition.com/baseball to find out more about the test.

Testing will be at the Hilton Garden Inn DFW North/Grapevine located at 205 West State Hwy 114 Grapevine, TX 76051.

You can register at the following link: https://events.fivetool.org/public/events/five-tool-s2-testing-individual-registration-dallas-ft-worth-grapevine-tx-01-16-2022

For more information, email me at drew@fivetool.org.

Drew Bishop
Five Tool Baseball
National Scouting Director

@drewhbishop
drew@fivetool.org

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