The 5 Tools



What is the “five-tools” player?

The “five-tool player” evaluation is the gold standard by which players are measured.  However, most talent scouts agree that all five tools can only be found in a handful of players within professional baseball.  Most of the game’s players don’t have all five tools.  Even still, every player who desires to excel in the game (no matter what level) must work hard at all five tools of the game.  LES Sports Five-Tools Baseball training isn’t about identifying whether or not a player is a “five-tooler.”  Rather, it is about challenging players to work hard on the essential tools that make baseball the most challenging game they’ll ever love.

ARM STRENGTH:  Arm strength is often rated as the “least important” of the 5 Tools, but arm strength can be a lethal weapon in any defensive position. Along with arm strength, muscle endurance is an often overlooked area for baseball players. Pitchers realize the importance of muscle endurance – being able to throw hundreds of pitches weekly – but what about the shortstop who needs to make plays day in and day out, or the outfielder looking to gun down a base runner at the plate? Arm strength AND endurance are two critical areas emphasized by LES Sports instructors.

HITTING FOR AVERAGE:  Lets face it, to score runs you need base runners. Good hitters hit for average first and power second. Hitting for average requires the ability to hit to all fields and assess defensive situations – knowing when to hit to the right side, when to bunt, or being able to make contact when the hit and run is on. Hitting for average requires good decision-making ability and good pitch selection at the plate, foundational skills that are highly emphasized by LES Sports instructors.

RUNNING SPEED:  Speed is the most “innate” (genetically predisposed) of the 5 Tools. It is possible to enhance a ballplayer’s speed, but substantial gains are dependent upon the athlete himself. Players with speed are counted on to make things happen and are catalysts both offensively and defensively in the game of baseball. Scouts look at speed, and know that if a player has it he is well on the way to becoming a 5 Tool player. LES Sports instructors work to improve running speed by improving form, efficiency of movement and first-step quickness.

FIELDING:   Scouts will often say a player has “good hands.” In reality, good hands – or good fielding position – is the result of a number of factors working together that make difficult plays look simple. Middle infielders, catchers, and outfielders must have the defensive skills required to take away base hits, know how to “read” a hitter, and know how to react and position themselves for the best chance for success. LES Sports fielding instructors start with the basics and work to develop a functional approach to fielding fundamentals at all positions.

HITTING FOR POWER:  The most obvious benefit of this Tool is that extra base hits increase a team’s chances of scoring. Power hitters also add an intimidation factor. Barry Bonds drew a record 198 walks in 2002, taking his on-base percentage to over 500. Power hitters have recently emerged because athletes recognize the importance of strength and conditioning programs, and the fact that power hitters generally demand the best contracts. Home runs and doubles off the wall are a fan, and scout, favorite. LES Sports instructors work to refine the athlete’s swing and maximize his physical abilities to hit the long ball.