We knew Cal Ripken Jr. was considered more of a pitching prospect at Aberdeen High. Learning that he was described by one scout as "built like handsome Jim Palmer" comes as a surprise, though.
In a recently unearthed scouting report, posted by Deadspin last week, that's how longtime Pirate bird dog Joe Consoli depicted the 6-foot-3, 195-pound, 17-year-old righthander.
Watching young Calvin Edwin Ripken pitch over two games, the scout characterized him as a good pitching prospect, in terms of physical tools, and an "excellent" prospect, in terms of habits and dedication. Not sure about the Jim Palmer comparison, but right on the money there, Joe.
More to the point, Consoli reports Cal "can hit," which of course the future Hall of Famer did pretty well in the big leagues. But he also notes that while Cal plays shortstop when not on the hill, a "lack of fluid mobility will limit the prospect here."
Can't be too hard on Consoli. Few people projected Cal to ever play shortstop at the Major League level. In fact, as Deadpsin adds, no one had Cal high on their draft board in 1978. And the O's only started him out in the minors in the infield because they figured that would be an easier transition to the mound — if things didn't work out — then the other way around.