Baseball movies are the best movies. Not only do they feature the greatest of sports, but they combine that sport with the high-stakes narrative of a full season -- played out in a two-hour time frame. They're perfect ... except, well, the stars often don't look anything like baseball players.
So, how would they actually fare on the field? Today, we'll answer that question. We asked a professional scout for his opinion on Ebby "Nuke" LaLoosh and Crash Davis from the classic film "Bull Durham."
Not only did he not request a restraining order, but he used his skills to write out scouting reports. Sadly, stardom isn't in the cards for either player.
These are 100 percent, real reports from an anonymous baseball scout.
Player comparison: Darren Daulton
Overall summation: Like the intangibles, and switch-hitting powerful catchers are a tough find. But Davis ultimately looks like nothing more than a 4A backstop given his long swing and penchant for spending more time at pool halls and taking batting tips from spectators/love interests. We'd have him as an Org Value and emergency acquire at best.
For those wondering, Davis' batting grades would make him about a .220 hitter with 20-plus home runs in a Major League season. If only he played in today's era -- teams would probably willing to make that tradeoff.
How did the young phenom, LaLoosh, score?
Player comp: Luis Tiant/Mark Fidrych
Strengths: LaLoosh is the classic arm-strength righty we commonly see in the Carolina League. Unlike most pro prospects, there's still some projection to the body and stuff, and clearly the "big club" pushed him to the Majors prematurely. The body and idiosyncrasies, as well as the high-ceiling/extreme low-floor probability, make Fidrych the obvious comp here. However, the exaggerated hip turn and gate-swinger delivery exude a taller Tiant for sure. We're buying a loose, big arm here, but the makeup has got to be considered -- we're talking about a volatile kid here, and not sure we have someone in place willing to hold his hand through the process like Crash Davis did.
Weaknesses: Clearly the makeup is the concern, but I have some concerns with the command, as well. I mean, anyone willing to wear garters and take delivery mechanics from Annie Savoy clearly is impressionable and coachable, but despite his 500-yard crawl through sewage in his impressive prison escape, LaLoosh doesn't repeat his delivery well. We're talking a 40 athlete, at best.
Overall summation: Big arm, fringy secondary, deuce command, wildcard character. When it's all said and done, my gut says this guy is relegated to the pen and I'm not sure we have the mentality or out-pitch to work in high-leverage sits. Mild-acquire based on his work in the Carolina League.
While the fastball is big enough that teams would continue picking LaLoosh up forever, it seems he's more a Daniel Cabrera (career 5.10 ERA) than a Kenley Jansen.
Michael Clair writes about baseball for Cut4. He believes stirrup socks are an integral part of every formal outfit and Adam Dunn's pitching performance was baseball's greatest moment.