PHIL NICOLETTI: The topic is deception, I think that's the single hardest thing to scout. It's hard to sit behind home plate in the scout section and figure out how difficult it is for the hitter to pick up that baseball. So I think when we go from a pure scouting standpoint, obviously, you look for size, you look for arm action, you look for clean delivery, you look for velocity, you look for location, you look for movement. All those things you can tell from the scouting section. You can't tell how deceptive that is and how it plays against the hitter. So I think hitters ultimately will tell you about how deceptive the pitcher is by their swings, how comfortable they look in the box. And then one thing that we encourage our scouts to do that I do is, you know, the next day, after the pitcher threw a game, go find hitters on the other team, before BP or just go up to them in the cage, talk to them about what it's like — what his fastball looks like, where'd he pick up the ball, what it's like in the last ten feet, does it get on you quick, can he trap the arm... And I think that's invaluable information. Because anyone can go and scout a guy, and you know, read the radar gun. . . . We try to measure it too. We set up a camera and tried to, you know, how many frames into the delivery you see the baseball before you pick it up — it's just something that only the hitters can really tell you.

PG: I remember in the Cape league in 1997 being told by a scout from Texas that Barry Zito could never pitch in the big leagues because he threw 88 miles an hour, I said 'Well, this is his third consecutive start with 15 or 16 strike action, no walks. Doesn't that mean something when —' 'Look at the radar gun.' So I said, 'Fine.' [crowd laughs] 128 million dollars later I guess it worked out okay. Jarrod, I'd be interested for you to talk a little bit about — Texas has developed some really good young pitchers. How much when you deal with pitchers in those organizations, how much of these conversations have you had with the pitchers and with the staff?

JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA: I mean, pitchers are always trying to find a way to get an edge on anything, so I mean that's mainly the conversation is about what's the hitter doing, what's he thinking, that type of stuff. Mike Maddux did an awesome job in Texas with just giving the guys confidence, you know, not holding back the innings, just basically saying, 'You're done when you hand in the ball. We're not going to take the ball from you.' But I mean, the deception thing is huge. Bronson obviously does a good job deceiving people with that leg kick so, you know it's just little things like that and it doesn't even have to be — you know, doesn't have to mess up your delivery, doesn't mess up make any injuries, I don't believe. But . . . deception is big.

PG: Would Feliz be a classic example of a guy of a guy with deception? At a hundred and one miles an hour? [laughter]

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