February 27, 2021

What Ken Griffey Jr. trade teaches us about scouting Lindor, Arenado and Bryant (ESPN)


Twenty years ago, when the Cincinnati Reds were trying to trade for Ken Griffey Jr., it wasn’t as though they had discovered a toolsy phenom playing semipro ball in a sugarcane field. Griffey was probably the most famous, most popular and arguably best baseball player in the world. He had just been voted, by his peers, the Player of the Decade. He had just won the Gold Glove and the Silver Slugger award — which pretty much covers it all — for the fourth year in a row. His dad was the Reds’ hitting instructor.

“You don’t scout Ken Griffey Jr.,” says Jim Bowden, who was the Reds’ general manager at the time. “You just look and say, ‘Oh, there’s a Hall of Fame player.’ So when you’re making a trade for Griffey — I never looked at a scouting report. I never needed to.”

And yet, the scouting reports for Ken Griffey Jr. were written. As trade talks heated up and Bowden prepared for the winter meetings, the Reds’ front office produced three new reports on Griffey, to go along with the two that had been filed by scouts at…

Read “What Ken Griffey Jr. trade teaches us about scouting Lindor, Arenado and Bryant” at ESPN