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Timing was everything with Chipper's scouting report

CLEVELAND -- A Twitter account known as @DugoutLegends recently ran an old scouting report from Oct. 23, 1990, on baseball great Chipper Jones, filled out by former White Sox scout Alex Cosmidis.

The report was especially interesting because it seemed to miss on the analysis of this potential Hall of Famer, grading him overall at a 50/C and adding notes such as "displayed nonchalant attitude at times," "he was a disappointment to me" and "showed slap type swing from (left) side."

Jones, of course, went on to become one of the most prolific switch-hitters in the history of the game, retiring after 19 years, 468 homers and 2,726 hits. But as pointed out by White Sox senior director of baseball operations Dan Fabian, who worked closely with and admires Cosmidis, timing is everything.

This report was filled out during Instructional League action in 1990. It came at the end of Jones' first professional season with the GCL Braves, where he hit .229 with one homer and 18 RBIs, and arguably was a bit worn down after being selected No. 1 overall in the First-Year Player Draft. In 1991 with Macon, Jones hit .326 with 15 homers, 98 RBIs, 40 stolen bases and a .407 on-base percentage.

So Jones' Instructional League performance was a bit of an anomaly.

"We cover [Instructional League], but more as a heads up to see these guys next year," Fabian said. "It's more for me to know these are guys we need to have our scouts see.

"It's not real baseball. The lights aren't on. Guys are there working on stuff. As an example, some of our guys that are there will throw nothing but fastballs and changeups."

This defense from Fabian aims solely to support Cosmidis, who was named East Coast Scout of the Year at the 2009 Winter Meetings. The recently retired Cosmidis worked well into his 80s, as a Major League scout since 1982 and with the White Sox since 1987. In the same year of this report, Cosmidis signed James Baldwin and Ray Durham, who went on to become All-Stars with the White Sox.

"He was a stitch in the meetings, because he would tell us that a player reminds him of Whitey Ford or Jim Bunning," said Fabian of Cosmidis, who was signed by the White Sox as a player in '50 and spent eight seasons as a Minor League manager. "He is one of those guys that was fun to talk to -- a baseball lifer in the game, 50 or 60 years."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.
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