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Big 12 Baseball: BBCOR spells better scouting

By John Helsley, Staff Writer, jhelsley@opubco.com Published: May 22, 2012
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The NCAA's legislation to tame college baseball's bats isn't only affecting players and coaches.

It's altering the eyes of professional scouts, too.

For much of three decades, aluminum bats have skewed the perception of power among college hitters, while also hindering the development of pitchers and defenders.

With the NCAA imposing the BBCOR standard on the game, the aluminum bats more closely resemble wood, offering scouts a clearer view in projecting players, some of whom will earn millions of dollars in signing bonuses.

“We have a much better gauge now,” said one area scout. “You now see who has legit power and who doesn't. And pitchers now have gained courage to pitch more aggressively and not fear some guy fisting one out of the park.”

With the bats changing the way the game is played, a premium on more skilled players is developing.

“There hasn't been a lot of power in the draft since 2008, but at the same time, we've gotten away from the ‘gorilla ball' mentality,” an MLB team official told ESPN.com. “Those old college bats fooled us on a lot of players, so now there's an emphasis on premium positions.

“Our collective mindset has shifted more to developing all-around games and finding better defenders and guys who can run, and I think overall it's a good thing and leading to better decisions.”


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