Baseball fans ought to know what the “five tools” are, but we’ll elaborate just in case.
Traditionally, this refers to the ability to hit for average. But because on-base percentage has overtaken batting average as the defining metric for hitting talent, we broadened our definition accordingly.
In so many words, a good hit tool involves taking balls, attacking strikes and making consistent and good contact.
The Pool: Mike Trout ($5), Christian Yelich ($4), Alex Bregman ($3), Anthony Rendon ($2), Juan Soto ($1)
This one is more self-explanatory, though a player’s home run total isn’t necessarily the best indicator of his power. We were more interested in power in its raw form, as translated through loud contact.
The Pool: Aaron Judge ($5), Giancarlo Stanton ($4), Joey Gallo ($3), Pete Alonso ($2), Nelson Cruz ($1)
This one is also self-explanatory, though there’s more to it than sheer speed. A player’s instincts on the basepaths matter, too.
The Pool: Byron Buxton ($5), Trea Turner ($4), Ronald Acuna Jr. ($3), Adalberto Mondesi ($2), Mallex Smith ($1)
Setting aside what he can do with his arm, this tool covers a player’s ability to field his position by way of his athleticism and instincts.
This one was trickier, but we ultimately prioritized guys who have either proved themselves as both elite and versatile defenders or who could theoretically be standout defenders at multiple positions.
The Pool: Cody Bellinger ($5), Javier Baez ($4), Mookie Betts ($3), Andrelton Simmons ($2), Lorenzo Cain ($1)
Arm strength isn’t the most important tool for position players, but it’s definitely a good thing to have. The only catch is that we excluded catchers in lieu of infielders and outfielders.
The Pool: Matt Chapman ($5), Ramon Laureano ($4), Victor Robles ($3), Bryce Harper ($2), Carlos Correa ($1)