Los Angeles, Calif. How many players on the rosters of the 30 teams can you name? There are 26 players now on every major league roster as of 2020. On Sept. 1, all MLB teams were required to expanded their rosters to 28 players. They can also carry 29 players on their active roster for any doubleheaders played during the final month of the regular season.
That means that there are normally 780 players who’s names we have to look up whether we are at the ballpark or watching on TV. Now there are 840 out there. The point here is not so much about knowing players names and who they play for. It goes deeper than that.
I asked a major league scout, who has 40 years in this business, why the quality of play in the major leagues has gone down significantly over the past 15 years. He said, “I believe there are too many teams and thus too many players who are not the cream of the crop.”
He said, “They are rushing prospects to the big leagues too soon. Not giving them enough time in player development to hone their skills. Let them make mistakes in the minors, not at the big league level.” He also said that the game is all about numbers now. “Too many people in the analytic departments calling the shots. They fire everyone when the team is playing bad but never anyone in the front office!”
As a side note to this story. It is getting very difficult to find a scout at a major-league game during the long season because the people who run baseball think they can do without them. It’s not the money, there is plenty of that being made by ball clubs. These are incredible baseball lifers who have an enormous amount of baseball knowledge that will soon be lost.
Reporters have always gotten so much information from scouts that they pass on to you the readers. Kiss that goodbye as soon as the last of these brilliant baseball minds retire or get fired. It’s not like you can get a book and learn how to evaluate players. After a hand-shake and a conversation with a prospect or even a big leaguer a scout can tell if that player has the make-up to play in the Majors.
When they are gone there is no one to show young scouts the scouting business. They are the Bloodline of baseball. A big loss for organizations and a bigger loss for fans.
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