The Chatter

Found: Cal Ripken’s High School Scouting Report

Longtime Pittsburgh scout compares Ripken as pitcher to "handsome Jim Palmer."

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.

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.