Scouting players is about having courage in your convictions, putting your grades on the player, projecting his role and standing by them. However, you can't be so rigid that you are unwilling to change your mind, especially if a player shows improvement or does something different that affects the way he plays.
This premise occurred to me while discussing the Cleveland Indians' Justin Masterson with another scout last week. I freely admit that in the past I saw Masterson as a pitcher who would be most effective as a bullpen arm, given his historical issues against left-handed hitters and lack of a solid third pitch. But after 17 starts this season, Masterson has been getting it done in the Indians' rotation. After many ups and downs over the past year and a half, he has a 2.85 ERA and 1.27 WHIP and ranks among the top 50 starting pitchers on our Player Rater.
For more of Jason's scouting update of Indians starter Justin Masterson, plus notes on Eric Thames and Peter Bourjos, you must be an ESPN Insider.