20-80 Scouting Scale

The 20-80 scouting scale is numerical grading system of a players’ tools. Hitters are graded in five categories — hitting for average, hitting for power, arm strength, speed and fielding — which are referred to as the five tools. Pitchers receive a grade for each of their pitches, their control, command, and mechanics.

The scale is as follows:

20: Very Poor
30: Well-Below Average
40: Below Average
45: Fringe-Average
50: Average
55: Solid-Average
60: Plus
70: Plus-Plus
80: Top-Tier

An 80 grade is rarely handed out.

Scouts often assign grades in increments of five, and could give a grade of 45 to a player who is between below-average and average (fringe average).

Some scouts, and even entire organizations, operate solely on a 2-8 scale, which is essentially the same as the 20-80 scale but does not run in increments of five.

When scouts grade amateur players or prospects, they give each player’s tool a number for its present grade and its projected future grade, which is the expected level the tool will reach when the player gets to the majors. Future grades are added and then divided by the number of tools graded to determine a player’s Overall Future Potential (OFP).

What follows are two examples of the 20-80 scouting scale in action. The table on the left is Don’s grades from his pre-draft Dylan Bundy report. The table on the right is Don’s grades from his pre-draft report on Anthony Rendon.

Dylan Bundy
Grades (Future)
Fastball: 65 (70)
Cutter: 50 (60)
Curveball: 55 (60)
Changeup: 40 (60)
Mechanics: 55 (60/65)
Command: 50 (60)
Control: 50 (60)
Anthony Rendon
Grades (Future)
Hit: 60 (70)
Power: 55 (65)
Speed: 50 (50)
Defense: 50 (55/60)
Arm: 55 (55/60)
Intangibles: 50 (60)