2018 Top 100 Prospects Chat

12:01

Eric A Longenhagen: Good morning from Arizona and welcome, esteemed readers.

12:01

Eric A Longenhagen: Reminder that the top 100 is here: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2018-top-100-prospects/

12:01

Kiley McDaniel: I’m also here!

12:01

Eric A Longenhagen: You probably already knew that but, if you haven’t already, read the opening graph of the hundred which might answer a lot of your questions already.

12:02

Eric A Longenhagen: Okay, let’s begin.

12:02

Lawgiver: Acuna listed as CF, his ACTUAL position, but with a 45 present defense?  I didn’t buy into the hype from other outlets that suggest he might push Inciarte off of CF, but I haven’t heard anything about him being below average defensively.

12:02

Eric A Longenhagen: We think he could be an Adam Jones type defender in CF where it works but it isn’t great. But no, I don’t think he’s better than Inciarte or better than Pache will be.

12:04

Kiley McDaniel: And this is a bit of a situation where Acuna can choose his own adventure. He’s never gonna be better out there than Inciarte or Pache, so maybe his body goes the Justin Upton route and he adds another grade of power and loses a tick of hit knowing he’s playing a corner for the forseeable future?

12:04

Bye Ess: How do you view recent breakout players? I’m thinking Adonis Medina or Danny Jansen. You seem much higher on these folk than the unnamed other lists. Is this due to a more analytical tilt or just a small sample? How do you go about ranking players like that?

12:05

Eric A Longenhagen: Jansen definitely broke out, in part because he got corrective lenses and seeing the ball is an important aspect of hitting, obviously. We think he’s fine, defensively, and the patience and bat to ball are pretty special. He’s an upper level catcher with what we think are sustainable skills, but we don’t expect him to hit like he did last year all the time.

12:05

Eric A Longenhagen: Medina, I wouldn’t agree broke out. his stuff was great in 2016, he had strong placement on my 2016 Phils list: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/top-33-prospects-philadelphia-phillies…

12:05

Eric A Longenhagen: This is just natural progression from him, in my opinion.

12:06

Kiley McDaniel: And for future reference, we don’t really have thoughts on how other places rank guys or what we’re doing that they aren’t doing. We just kinda put them where we think they should be.

12:06

Dan: Were Jose Adolis Garcia or Justin Williams close to being on the list?   Who do you like better?

12:06

Kiley McDaniel: Jose was on the just missed and Williams is probably a 45 FV, so both are reasonably close

12:06

James: Can you mention a few guys not listed (or considered) who you are watching closely, expect will leap onto the list next year? Personal favorites or guys that have flashed top 100 tools but need to show you a little more?

12:07

Kiley McDaniel: Tomorrow we will have an article exactly about this and we were just whittling down the list on the phone before we got on here. The idea is essentially using our current FV grades (40 or 45) as their current value, which guys do we think will increase in value next year. Usually it’s due to us liking the tools/approach but thinking there will be more performance coming in the short-term

12:08

Pat: Was Pavin Smith a 50FV and just didn’t make the cut? Obviously a first base only prospect has to hit but just curious where he lie among the FV rankings

12:08

Kiley McDaniel: 45

12:08

Bob: Where would Francis Martes place on your list if he was still a prospect (heard so much about him from both of you over the years)?

12:08

Eric A Longenhagen: This is another article we’ll have this week, examining where recently graduated prospects are at on the FV continuum.

12:08

Lawgiver: I assure you these Braves questions are because you guys supply great content, they are not complaints.  I do however have an inquiry about Soroka’s 45 command.  If anything, his command/control is his calling card.  He has a career sub 2 BB/9, and spots his offspeed stuff as well as his FB.  Whaddup?

12:11

Kiley McDaniel: I’ll try to take it easy on Braves questions but this is a more general thing to address some comments I’ve seen about the list. The grades (present) are what we think they would do IN THE BIG LEAGUES, right now. So a 50 game power grade means we think the guy would hit (in a full time role) about 15-20 homers (or you could argue post 2017 that 25 HR is what an average regular does). So that means his 25 homers in the minor league season informs that 50 grade but doesn’t mean we’re wrong and it should be 60 because we’re PROJECTING what we think he’d do at a tougher level TODAY. Same for Soroka. His command is his calling card but he’s also had some bad days in AA and hasn’t been in a big stadium before. It’s probably 45 or 50 now in an MLB stadium today vs. MLB hitters and projects for 55 or 60. We kinda have to pick one of them and with pitching prospects it’s easy to go conservative.

12:11

Willy: Do you think Kristian Robinson (ARI) could make a run at the top 100 this time next year? What have you guys heard on him so far?

12:11

Eric A Longenhagen: Saw him in the fall and he’s sushi raw and wasn’t helped by Arizona’s need to keep guys like Hazelbaker and Tomas shapr in case they were needed for the playoffs. I’d say he’s a potential eventual top 100 guy but I’d be surprised if it were next year.

12:12

THE Average Sports Fan: With the changes in pitcher usage, is a guy with 4-5 starter profile less valuable than a back end of the bullpen profile?

12:13

Kiley McDaniel: Yes and we tried to reflect the changing value of these guys and guys that lift/don’t lift the ball in the list. Mike Fiers might give you 150 good innings in the regular season, but he isn’t making the postseason roster and McCullers’ is going to go out there and throw a ton. Teams want more McCullers so we feel like we should rank according to that preference. Teams also seem more inclined to draft high effort high school arms with finessee issues to this end, so it’s seeping into the lower levels of baseball. It’s probably not just a trend.

12:14

Connor: Surprised to see Corey Ray even mentioned, seeing as he’s already 23 and there were barely (if any) positive reports of how he looked at the dish last season. Is his inclusion solely on defensive ability with the hope that he can return to pre-draft form offensively?

12:15

Kiley McDaniel: There’s some definite issues, including swing mechanics/performance and possible platoon, while he’s mostly shored up CF/LF questions. He’s on there because the tools are still goofy–above raw power and 70 speed. Not a lot of those.

12:15

Eric A Longenhagen: I go deep into Ray on the Brewers list, too: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/top-30-prospects-milwaukee-brewers/

12:15

Wes: How far out of the top 100 is Hans Crouse? What does he need to breakout this season?

12:16

Eric A Longenhagen: Not that far. Eventually he could be in the Touki/Abrey area where we think the stuff is so good that he’ll contribute heavily in some way even if it’s in the bullpen, but he’s a few years behind those two as far as time horizon to the Majors goes.

12:16

Jake: You have Tyler O’Neill higher than any list I’ve seen.  What makes you say he’s likely to reach base at an above-average rate?

12:17

Kiley McDaniel: Dude hits tanks, has massive raw, draws walks and has improved each year, especially in the 2nd half of 2017. Again, not a long list of guys that fit that description and O’Neill lucked out that his skillset is more relevant than ever right as he’s coming up. Doesn’t hurt that he’s with STL who has an excellent record of developing bats, too.

12:17

Juan Pablo: Is Franklin Perez’s ranking at 100 more of an indication of a lack of faith in him holding up and/or the development of the breaking ball? Say his breaking ball improves this year and he logs a ton of innings. Would he be a top 50 guy this time next year?

12:18

Eric A Longenhagen: We like Perez but he’s had lower body issues and we think he’s deceptively far from the big leagues because of how light his workloads have been.

12:18

JP: I’m sure there will be 1,000,000 questions on this, but you guys have Acuna’s fielding at 45/50 FV, presumably keeping him from a 70FV. Most places seem to have him as a solid-at-worst defender, some have him as a plus. What have you seen/heard differently?

12:20

Kiley McDaniel: We like Acuna a lot and he was the highest 65, almost a 70. You can call that a 67.5 FV if you want. And I know when I was at FG in the past I would call an average CF (0 runs in a metric) 55 to signify he would be above on a corner and provides positional value being average in CF but now we just say the position (CF for Acuna) and grade it what we think it will be. I don’t think many scouts think Acuna will be an above average CF, but most think he will be an above average RF. So, in the old system we’d call that a 55 future field tool and now we call it a 50 in CF. Either way it’s roughly 0 runs in CF, +3 to 5 or something in RF over a full season.

12:20

Abomb: Has there been ANY progress with Demi Orimoloye? So many tools, but at some point he’s got to put things together

12:21

Eric A Longenhagen: No, really no developmental progress. Saw him in the fall and was the same as he has been since being drafted from a polish standpoint.

12:21

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Last week Kiley asked where on the list we’d put a prospect who was with absolutely certainty going to become Kevin Pillar. What’s become of that question? Will we get an article on it, or at least your thoughts?

12:22

Kiley McDaniel: Not saying that’s what Pache is, since there’s obviously bust risk due to the offense, but Pache was the target for that thought experiment. Now that you can see how we grade his tools, you can probably see what I was getting at.

12:23

He Hate Me: Some have speculated that BOS has targeted college arms in the draft upper-middle rounds of the draft — guys that don’t have sky-high ceilings but have relatively quick paths to being to big-league-bullpen-ready — to have them available as near-future July 31st trade chips. Two guys from the 2016 draft, Shaun Anderson and Stephen Nogosek, fit this profile and yielded Eduardo Núñez and Addison Reed, respectively, in July 2017. Is this really a thing? Do other teams consider this during their drafts? Do 2017 draft picks Jake Thompson and Zach Schellinger (or even Kutter Crawford, Dominic LoBrutto, Hunter Haworth) fit that profile?

12:23

Eric A Longenhagen: I think, yes, teams will alter their draft strategy to serve the big league club’s place on the competitive spectrum. Cubs have done this, too.

12:23

SALLY fan: No Ryan Vilade, even on the honorable mentions?  Younger, better defensive value, more productive, and better bat speed than Lutz.  What’s missing from him right now?

12:24

Kiley McDaniel: High 45 FV that we discussed for the top 100 and both like. Probably ends up in tomorrow’s article of sub-50 FV guys we think go up in value next year.

12:24

Dan: Out of Arias, Rosario, Barley, Ornelas and Almanzar, who is the most likely to be a top 100 prospect next year?

12:24

Eric A Longenhagen: Arias, but I like all of those guys.

12:24

JP: Kyle Lewis didn’t even get a mention. Is this all injury-related? How much hope does he still have?

12:26

Eric A Longenhagen: Certainly it’s injury-related. Dr. Martin didn’t exactly instill confidence when she wouldn’t commit to all three of Lewis, Carlson and White being ready for ST in a press conference last week. How many times did Lewis start up and shut down last year, four? Five?

12:26

Vic: Being that M Andujar raised his FV from 45 in 60 in one year, is there a remote possibility that Shed Long could see a +10 jump in his FV with a strong 2018?

12:27

Eric A Longenhagen: Part of the reason we shoved Andujar is because we think he’s making substantive launch angle changes. Shed already has a swing that produces loft and has less room for growth in that specific area. I do think Shed will be top 100 next year, though. Just maybe not a 60.

12:27

Ben: What’s keeping Chance Adams from being a top 100 prospect?

12:30

Kiley McDaniel: Lots of Chance Adams questions from Yankees fans. I feel like it’s important to look at this in terms of expectations. Adams was taken in the 5th round with almost no expectations, immediately took to a starting role and moved quickly, turning himself into a prospect. We have heard that his stuff ticked down a bit and is now more solid average than swing and miss. That means for a pick with almost zero expected value, NYY got a 23-year-old MLB inventory arm that will probably be a back-end guy. That’s really good! Be happy!

12:31

Eric A Longenhagen: Also, here’s a full in-person Adams report from the summer. https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/instagraphs/daily-prospect-notes-61/

12:31

screwball: Is Honeywell’s screwball actually a changeup? this would make me very sad

12:31

Eric A Longenhagen: Changeup and screwball butwe didn’t want a screwball column on our spreadsheet which populates the grids you seen on the list just for Honey, so it says splitter.

12:31

JP: Corey Ray was placed over Lutz on the Brewers top 10, but then Lutz made the top-100 and Ray was just a mention. Quick change of heart I guess?

12:32

Eric A Longenhagen: This is just a function of me doing those ealry lists on my own and then adding Kiley’s info/sourced opinions, etc. It made more sense to make some small tweaks than to just stubbornly ignore this new info we had.

12:33

Kiley McDaniel: And there’s also been some questions about why was a guy ranked here in a list a year ago and is here now. We’re always gathering new info and calibrating the FV system for how many guys should be 50 or 55 and now there’s a new person with new information to mix in. So it isn’t some vendetta against your team or some guy got worse in the 2 months when he wasn’t playing. This won’t be quite as jarring going forward.

12:33

KyleTucker watcher: Pleasantly surprised to see how bullish you were on KTuck, much more than other lists. Is the AZFL showing nothing too read deep into?

12:34

Trey: Surprised that Keibert Ruiz isn’t in the Top 100. What was the reason why? How close were other Dodger prospects like Yusniel Diaz, DJ Peters, Mitch White and Jeren Kendall to making the list?

12:35

Kiley McDaniel: Always been a big Tucker fan, easy plus raw and plus bat control with good enough pitch selection. In 2017 he essentially just made the adjustment many players around baseball have been making to tap into their power more in games with more loft in his swing and he was athletic enough to do this and also hit the ball with more authority without swinging and missing much more.

12:35

Tim Tebow’s Thunder Thighs: Obligatory “Otani is not a prospect” complaint

12:36

Eric A Longenhagen: We had Keibert on the Honorable Mentions section. We think he’s a 50 and that you can slide him anywhere in the 50 FV tier if you argue for him the right way (again, please read the intro to the list, folks) which in Keibert’s case means heavily weighing his minor league framing metrics. Diaz I think is a flat 50. White’s velo was down in the fall, Kendall and Peters are 45s with swing and miss issues. Kendall’s are mechanical (and more fixable) while I thin kPeters’ are more approach-based.

12:36

JP: Moniak completely off the list, no mention. Was his year truly that bad?

12:37

Kiley McDaniel: We discussed this, but Ohtani is an unknown entity with no MLB experience and will be treated like an Acuna type by his club–we know he has tools and performance but we don’t know exactly how good he’ll be and he’s had enough injury issues to make his short-term future a little murky. Very different than say a Jose Abreu type who wouldn’t be on this list.

12:37

Eric A Longenhagen: He’s a 45 that I’m buying to bounce back next year. Just on this year’s reports he projects to something like what Manny Margot did in the big leagues last year which, when you back out some FV due to risk/proximity, made him a 45. We discussed him.

12:37

Eric A Longenhagen: ^Mickey Mo

12:38

Jay: The hype for this chat is so real rn

12:38

ATCQ: Okay, so I’m clearly having some trouble with “present” scouting grades.  How can it be that near-ready, top-20 prospects such as Gleyber, Tucker, Bichette, Vlad Jr, Tatis Jr, Eloy all have a “present hit tool” of 30-40?  Isn’t the whole point of these guys that they can hit MLB pitching in an above-average fashion?

12:39

Kiley McDaniel: Nope! If we and their teams were sure that they would do that, then they’d probably be up now. The idea for many of those guys is that they will have 50 present hit/power maybe at the end of the year but very few players can jump from High-A to MLB and not miss a beat.

12:39

Anthony: Do you see Wander Javier being a realistic threat to be in this range midseason? I assume he’s a 45 right now?

12:39

Eric A Longenhagen: Yes to both

12:39

Anthony: Do you two prefer McKay on the mound or at first?

12:40

Kiley McDaniel: This will be covered in a feature of prospect week. I have him top 100 at both and prefer the bat, whereas Eric prefers him on the mound

12:40

Eric A Longenhagen: In short
Eric: as a pitcher
Kiley: at 1B
But we both think TB is going to try to do both and will at least be able to figure out which one is best at some point.

12:41

Jay: Yu-Cheng Chang made your list but it’s kind of a mixed bag in terms of where (and if) he shows up on prospects lists around the industry. I’m not asking you to talk about other outlets lists but rather what you think it is about his profile that might cause this variance.

12:43

Kiley McDaniel: He’s a unique guy in that he’s power over hit and an infielder but not a no-doubt SS. Never been a big pedigree guy or have huge tools but has figured out how to get the most out of his tools. Look at HOU and CHC and tell me a .250/20 homer shortstop/every other position guy doesn’t post 2-3 wins and be an important piece there. We were definitely on the lookout for future Jose Ramirez types since we feel that the prospect game should be better at finding those guys

12:43

konoldo: What are some differences to how you two approach prospect evaluation?

12:43

Eric A Longenhagen: We haven’t tried to drill down deep into philosophical differences. I’m thirsty for tools and projection while Kiley prefers closer guys who have more stable profiles, but that allows us to balance out in a way that we both liked as we went through the list. And teams value guys differently depending on what they’re trying to do (rebuild, retool, compete right now, etc)

12:43

Dan: No Jake Rogers?  Elite defensive catching isn’t enough to warrant a mention?

12:43

Eric A Longenhagen: He was heavily considered and will be on this week’s 40s and 45s we’re buying for next year

12:44

Barry Badrinath: Are you guys sitting next to each other doing the chat, using the same computer, or in completely different parts of the country?

12:44

Kiley McDaniel: He’s in Tempe, AZ and I’m in Orlando, FL trying to and mostly letting each other take turns in a clean fashion lol

12:44

Paul: Can we get a sneak of the 2019 list? How high will Toglia, Langeliers, and Wallner be?

12:44

Kiley McDaniel: Coming monday and all three of those are in the top 30 right now

12:44

Connor: Arm grade is given on just sheer strength, correct? (re: Andujar)

12:44

Eric A Longenhagen: Yes

12:45

Kiley McDaniel: Agents are so excited to see where we rank their 2019 clients ahem advisees that no one is talking about right now

12:45

ryan: Were any Mariners prospects close to making the list?

12:45

Eric A Longenhagen: I have their team list basically done and Carlson, White and Lewis are all 45s

12:45

Wills: Soroka command and control was viewed by many last season as already above average with an ability to possibly end up as plus plus when a is said and done. What are you guys seeing differently that makes you bearish on this tool?

12:46

Anthony: It’s rare to see A-ball prospects who project for a 7 glove at third. Could Ke’Bryan Hayes realistically play an above-average SS, and would either of you consider pushing him up the defensive spectrum?

12:46

Kiley McDaniel: Never thought I’d be accused of being low on Soroka but here’s an exercise for you. Who has 70 command in the big leagues right now. How many of them could you have predicted when they were in the minor leagues? Does it seem a little silly to *expect* a guy to have 70 command and then he’s a letdown when it’s just a 60?

12:46

Eric A Longenhagen: For Anthony: This is a great question that I think is even more valid consider what batted ball data allows you to do with your infield. Like what StL and Tampa seem to do at SS. Hayes is a candidate for that kind of thing but some would wonder why the hell you’d move a 7 glove, the same as they did with Bellinger and CF last year.

12:47

Keith: This off-season Eric alluded to Josh Lowe’s extreme upside (and risk), and in the past has mentioned his high defensive ceiling as well. How close was he to making the list? And what kind of 80th/90th percentile upside do you think he has offensively? Question for either of you. Thanks!

12:47

Kiley McDaniel: Probably 5 hit, 6+ power is the upside. Still has a ways to go

12:48

TopJimmy: Thank you for providing excellent prospect info! I have done quite well with my past prospect selections (thanks to FG) by focusing on high FV guys with a great hit grade/tool/pitch recognition skills and cross referencing those guys on KATOH and my own analysis. Any drawbacks to this approach? Any way to improve? Thank you, again, for excellent info.

12:49

Kiley McDaniel: This is a smart approach, use the FV tiers, if it’s fantasy then throw away the defense and adjust the FV to your uses, probably adjust further for closer to big leagues, maybe once more for SB vs. speed grade and HR vs. 2B/3B power. Do a stats sanity check via KATOH. Maybe have some specific types (like contact-oriented) that you think will play more quickly when called up.

12:49

Nate: Why so few 55 FV prospects compared to last years?

12:49

Eric A Longenhagen: Just random variance

12:49

CapnZippers: Not one Mets prospect in the top-100 or honorable mentions.. Is it really that bleak in the Mets farm right now? It sounded like Gimenez, Pederson, Dunn and Nido were all at least decent guys?

12:50

Kiley McDaniel: Not sure I’d say bleak. We discussed all 4 of those for the 100 and the Mets have lots of young players that recently lost eligibility. I think my message in this chat is don’t be angry or depressed.  We’re talking about baseball, people.

12:50

Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, I’m on Gimenez and Peterson as 50s

12:51

UncleWeez: What makes you so confident that Jose Siri’s tools can make up for his near total inability to take a walk? As a Reds fan, I love the tools, but I’m haunted by the ghost of Yorman Rodriguez

12:52

Eric A Longenhagen: There are multiple Yorman/Siri comps in the chat. We buy Siri’s bat control (which we think is insane) allowing the horrendous approach to work, but we agree he’s a high variance prospect with some red flags.

12:52

Mike: Was Ronny Mauricio considered for the list?

12:52

Eric A Longenhagen: Another 45 I’m buying for next year’s list

12:52

Ricky Bobby: I wanna go fast!

12:52

Zihuatanejo: Of the Dodgers’ catcher prospects, what put Will Smith ahead of Keibert Ruiz for you guys?

12:52

Eric A Longenhagen: Okay!

12:54

Kiley McDaniel: We’ve both liked Will Smith for awhile and he’s the rare catcher where he’s above average at everything. He’s steadily improved and his weakness was lifting the ball which he’s really doing now. Like Keibert too and some think he’s an elite framer which could be important or maybe we get robo umps and it doesn’t matter, but the other tools don’t really match up with the fresh prince

12:54

AT: Where would Roman Quinn fit on the list of top x players?   Just curious – he seems to have fallen off the list of prospects everywhere.

12:54

Eric A Longenhagen: Really love Q and think he has 50 FV tools. But he can’t stay healthy. We seem to have this discussion every year.

12:54

Doug: You guys seem pretty down on the current crop of pitchers. Seemed like everyone outside of Whitley/Ohtani are projected as mid-rotation pieces.

12:55

Kiley McDaniel: This isn’t necessarily being down on all pitchers, since you can see the pitch grades. My issue, at least, is that these lists have been proven to always have too many pitchers at the top of the lists and too many at the very top. There’s inherently more risk and so we’re trying to reflect that reality, since clubs do this too. Also, there were lots of hitters we liked.

12:56

BK: Also agreed with Lawgiver, you guys supply great content and we’re definitely not complaining

12:56

Neal: Is command measured by command of the FB or command of the entire arsenal?

12:56

Kiley McDaniel: whole arsenal, but it obviously varies by pitch

12:56

Max: Never gotten comment through

12:56

Billy Beane: What is your rationale behind putting players at a projected position even if they’ve never played it?

12:57

Eric A Longenhagen: ‘member when Miguel Cabrera spent his first two pro seasons at shortstop? It’s just subjective projection on guys like Vlad and Chavis, you can either buy that we have good feel for that kind of thing or not, totally fine.

12:57

Kiley McDaniel: Going back to an earlier comment: we are projecting. We know Chavis and Vlad Jr. haven’t played 1B before. If we think they’re both below average 3B that move and could only fit in a regular role at 1B…do you want us to list them at 3B when we think they won’t play there? You can look up the hard data about where they played, we’re trying to tell you what’s going to happen.

12:58

Stupid McStupidface: Likewise, Bo Bichette has a current 30 Hit Tool. Is this because if you were to put him in the show now, his hit tool would be 30? If so, that’s kind of confusing and seems incredibly low even if that was the case.

12:58

Kiley McDaniel: I feel like your name undercuts the question a bit

12:58

DB: What happened with Tigers’ pitchers this year? Manning, Perez, Burrows all at the bottom or off the list. Are they hitting bumps in the road, or is this just one of those cases where it’s hard to rank 50-ish FV guys consistently?

12:59

Kiley McDaniel: Also these hit tool grades can change a lot for players like these. Carlos Correa was probably a 20 in Low-A then a 40 in Double-A then like a 60 right when he got called up. Tippy top prospects can prove themselves very quickly when we know the tools are present. it would be silly to call Correa a 60 hit when he’s in Double-A even if a month later it would look like that may have been correct.

12:59

Eric A Longenhagen: Manning hit a bump but we still like him. Burrows had a huge mechanical change last year (his stride direction is totally different) so we wanna see more of what that changes, and we also like him, just not quite enough to slam dunk him on the 100. Perez I touched on already.

1:00

Joe: What kept Chance Sisco out of the top 100?

1:01

Kiley McDaniel: For a guy without standout speed or defense that moves to 1B if he can’t catch, you need to really rake and we’d like to see more in that area.

1:01

Ryan: What about Dane Dunning keeps him from being a 50?  He has pedigree (FL and 1st rounder), results, and good stuff across the board. Is it just the lack of something exceptional?

1:01

Eric A Longenhagen: You nailed it exactly. We like him as a #4 starter, think he’s a 50 without much ceiling above that.

1:01

Vladmir Putin Jr.: Only a 65 for Vlad Jr’s hit tool? Seems low relative to industry consensus and his stat line last year.

1:02

Kiley McDaniel: Answered this one on twitter, but projecting guys in A-Ball to be 70 or better hit or power is super dupe rare and obviously not much margin for error. I also feel like people aren’t talking as much about how Vlad Jr. doesn’t lift the ball that much, so his K/BB and average profiles will likely change when he starts doing that because I bet he will. Can’t just scout the stat line, even when it’s historically good

1:03

Tom: Can Eric Haase be an everyday MLB C and if not, does the bat play anywhere else? Power spike last year in limited ABs, but not sure if the receiving is there.

1:03

Eric A Longenhagen: We talked about Haase near the back of the list. We think the power is real but teams I talked to thought he was old for the level, thought he stuck out too much and had a 40 or 45 on him. I do know scouts who think he’s an everyday player but industry opinion overall is a bit beneath that.

1:03

Scott: You guys seem more bearish on Mackenzie Gore than other sites. Obviously you like him, any particular reason you see mid-rotation potential though?

1:04

Eric A Longenhagen: Was 90-93 once a week last year, I don’t know that his velo spike in the summer holds.

1:05

Kiley McDaniel: Agree–he isn’t huge and velocity tends to go down as you age anyway. Most command-focused starters will choose to dial down as well. Velo isn’t the calling card here.

1:05

Francona : Would like thoughts on George Valera, Indians’ big ticket international signee, realizing he has yet to play an organizer game. Thanks

1:05

Kiley McDaniel: Not much speed or defense but a really pretty swing and real power. I mean you could squint and say it could be Kyle Tucker, another celebrated teenager with comparable tools but Valera has obviously a long way to go to reach that.

1:06

JaKob: Was Brent Rooker even considered for the top 100? He claimed the SEC Triple Crown and came out of the draft on fire.

1:06

Eric A Longenhagen: As we talk about 40 and 45 guys we like for next year and try to put them into buckets we can write about, one of my groups is ‘The guys who are staring us in the face’ and I think Rooker and LaMonte Wade are two of those guys.

1:06

BK: Who’s the best defender on this list?

1:06

Eric A Longenhagen: Pache

1:07

Generic Fan: Why are you so biased against my team?

1:07

Eric A Longenhagen: I hate everything (sips PBR)

1:07

Patrick : Looking to this year’s draft, how do Brady Singer and Kyle Wright compare as prospects?

1:07

Eric A Longenhagen: (rides away on fixed gear bike)

1:07

Kiley McDaniel: I would prefer Wright but not amazingly far off

1:07

Kiley McDaniel: (puts on vest and goes back to being a mixologist)

1:07

Eric A Longenhagen: I think Wright and it’s more clear to me

1:08

Hannah Hochevar: Thanks for the excellent list and info!  Thoughts on Ryan Mountcastle? High on ba but off fg.

1:08

Eric A Longenhagen: We have concerns about the approach. Same reason we left off Alfaro. Has the bat to ball skills, though.

1:08

Luke: Favorite pure 2019 college bat? Just looking at hit/power, not factoring in defensive and baserunning considerations.

1:09

Kiley McDaniel: Okay not top 100 prospects but here’s some names for you. Matt Wallner, Bryson Stott, Bobby Witt Jr., Drew Mendoza, Andre Nnebe, Adley Rutchman

1:10

Bob Cooter Jim: It seems like you value relievers significantly more than most other lists (i.e. Zack Burdi making the list), what’s your reasoning for that?

1:10

Billy Beane: So question: J.P. Crawford appears on the list with ‘average’ speed, but he was the 32nd fastest player in baseball last year and has the same sprint speed as Jarrod Dyson. Similarly Matt Chapman had a 40 slapped on his speed metric and he has the same speed as the average CFer by statcast. Is this because of acceleration? Like you think Crawfod doesn’t get to his speed quickly enough? I’m not trying to criticize, just understand.

1:10

Eric A Longenhagen: For Billy: Yup, this is a great question. Remember what sprint speed measures: The fastest single second a player posts after they’ve accrued a baseline of max-effort runs. It literally measures JUST the fastest second. I think that’s too narrow to be useful in the middle of the sample where acceleration and sustaining speed over great distance makes a huge difference when we’re lining up runners.

1:11

Kiley McDaniel: BCJ: Again, the comments on Burdi explain why we like him and we also valued RP and SP/RP guys more than in the past due to factors discussed before. Still not many slam dunk relievers on the list but we’ll have a list of 45 FV relievers we like coming tomorrow.

1:11

Rockie Dangerfield: Is this the first time y’all have set a prospect’s PV on a tool higher than its FV?  I can’t recall ever seeing that before.

1:11

Kiley McDaniel: Common for teenage power-type guys or catchers to have speed projected to slip a tick or two

1:11

Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think measuring speed with a stopwatch from home to first is perfect, but I think it’s combination of relevance, application and ease of measurement makes it king of all speed measurement, still.

1:12

VampWeekAtBern: Former 1st round pick, Nick Travieso, missed 2017 with a shoulder injury.  If he rebounds 100%, do you see him as a 45 FV or better?

1:12

Eric A Longenhagen: Was a reliever for me pre-injury so probably a 40

1:12

mikecws91: Listing Zack Collins as a 1B is fightin’ words! In your eyes, what are the odds he sticks at catcher? 25% maybe?

1:13

Kiley McDaniel: I think he’s mid career Carlos Santana. Bat you want in the lineup, 1B/DH and maybe once a week at catcher, more of a 3rd catcher than a backup since you don’t want to wear him out multiple times a week.

1:13

The Man With No Name: I’m curious about the relationship of league-wide trends at the MLB level and in the minors, specifically the flyball revolution.  Did that arrive in MLB first?  If so, how far down has it filtered in terms of instruction (i.e. teaching batters to get more loft)?  Or was that something that was happening, for one reason or another, at lower levels (minors or even below) that has filtered up?

1:13

Eric A Longenhagen: I think we’re at the point now where it has trickled down into player dev for low-minors players and that we’re going to see real effects on the big league game in the next tree years

1:13

Eric A Longenhagen: and not all of them will be good

1:14

Eric A Longenhagen: And at some point we’ll reach a critical mass of the Ur Swing and everything will collapse, which I’ll enjoy because I don’t like to watch three true outcomes baseball.

1:14

Giants fan: give me hope?

1:14

Giants fan: give me hope

1:15

The Laser Show: Approx. how many more 50 FV prospects are there besides the HM’s on your list?

1:15

Kiley McDaniel: Just the ones in the list and listed just below it. 136 I think was the count?

1:16

Eric A Longenhagen: I still think there are a couple that, when we deeply examine the orgs, we’ll feel they’re a 50. But that’s maybe 5 guys?

1:16

Cuyahoga Skin: How close was Lowther, drafted 2nd round Baltimore last year?

1:16

Eric A Longenhagen: Not especially close, but I do like him and so does Chris Mitchell.

1:17

Kiley McDaniel: Definitely a guy to watch the surface numbers on, because the deception and whatnot won’t really show up in scouting reports.

1:17

Bryan: Brandon McKay with a 60 arm? I figured a top pitching prospect would by 70+ by default. How is arm measured for position prospects.

1:18

Kiley McDaniel: This always varies. Some guys with 70 arms get on the mound and throw 84 mph and can never figure it out. Some guys throw 95 and have a 50 arm in RF. Other times it matches up perfectly. The mechanical aspects of throwing from the field and on the mound are different enough that some guys are much better at one than the other.

1:18

Dan: Will we be hearing a lot about Vidal Brujan by the end of this year? Same with Gilberto celestino? Full season teenagers?

1:18

Eric A Longenhagen: (Sinister Jack Nicholson nod)
I’m unhealthily smitten with Brujan. Kiley, get ready to hear about him on the phone after this.

1:19

Kiley McDaniel: We may end up in a Brujajan if that happens

1:19

Pie: Is it Duplanti-AY or Duplanti-ERR?

1:19

Kiley McDaniel: Pretty sure it’s french and AY

1:19

Eric A Longenhagen: https://streamable.com/ojs5y

1:19

UncleWeez: Eric’s thirsty for tools & Kiley loves safety, yet Eric had Mahle higher than Siri, and that changed on the Top 100 with Kiley’s input. Care to discuss?

1:20

Kiley McDaniel: We aren’t that easy to pin down? Preferences get overwhelmed if we just like any one player more than another

1:21

Johnny : Who are the several most *fun* prospects to watch play and why?

1:21

Eric A Longenhagen: Just to limit it to the 100, I’ll say Bi\chette, Whitley, Calhoun, Abreu’s stuff is freaking crazy, and Siri

1:21

chance adams: where is my name :(

1:22

Kiley McDaniel: this just got real :(

1:22

Keith: I didn’t really expect him to make this list, but man, Franchy Cordero is so intriguing to me. One of the best ARLs in AAA last year. Yes, the K/BB is obviously holding him back a bit, but he seemed to be showing some positive signs in the Dominican League this winter with a better than a better than 1:2 BB:K ratio, while obviously still hitting well. I think he might be more young Carlos Gomez than current Keon Broxton. What do you guys think about him? Was he considered at all for a 50 FV/HM?

1:22

Eric A Longenhagen: We talked about him because the speed and power on contact are exceptional, but we think the tools play way down in games because of his approach and poor defensive instincts.

1:22

VampWeekAtBern: Is there such thing as a stupid question?

1:23

Kiley McDaniel: Just stupid people that ask questions

1:23

Pat: All of Baltimore is on the edge of their seat waiting for you to answer a Hays question. Please do so. I’m sure you’ve received many.

1:23

LenFuego: If Raul Mondesi Jr. was still eligible as a prospect, where would he slot in to the top 100?

1:24

Kiley McDaniel: We have! He’s good! it’s more 5-grade tools on the 2-8 scale and he isn’t very selective which we think will cut into either hit or power tools unless he changes it, which is often hard to do. Not a huge upside but has already beat expectations, so nice job by the O’s on that pick

1:24

Eric A Longenhagen: Probably a 45. Wrote about how, with Escobar back and Lopez pinching up behind him, he’s worth a look from teams hunting high-end talent in exchange for risk. https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/rebuilding-teams-should-call-the-royal…

1:24

Hal: Best 2018 or 2019 hitting prospect in the PAC-12?

1:24

Kiley McDaniel: Nick Madrigal. I think more progressive teams are gonna love him in June.

1:25

idontgiveadamn: time is up

1:25

Kiley McDaniel: I tend to agree

1:25

Fran Tarkenton: You guys smell great.

1:25

Kiley McDaniel: we’re almost there

1:25

Bill: What are your negatives on Cal Quantrill?  He consistently gets great reviews on his stuff, makeup, and projectability.  Most places and scouting reports rank him quite highly.

1:25

Eric A Longenhagen: Not from the people we spoke with. Love the changeup and the velo but the fastball plays down due to lack of movement and he has a 40 breaking ball. We still have a 50 on him and changeup/command guys get by with just those two things all the time but we think the ceiling is limited and when you factor in that he’s had TJ he just moved down as we lined him up against other guys.

1:26

Eric A Longenhagen: Tarkenton, I love you, don’t be an old curmudgeon, please. Fran Tarkenton and Morrissey, don’t go.

1:26

Ben: What are your thoughts on TJ Zuech, seems like a 50FV if he stays healthy after the AZ fall league performance?

1:26

Eric A Longenhagen: Agreed.

1:26

UncleWeez: Speaking of those list changes w/Kiley’s info, can you talk a little about what led to the swap of Mahle and Siri on the Reds’ list? Favoring upside over safety?

1:26

Eric A Longenhagen: Yep

1:27

Derb: Eric why are you drinking PBR at 10 am?

1:27

Charles: Tell me how good Seth Beer is.

1:28

Kiley McDaniel: I think both of us and scouts in general have slowly gotten off that bandwagon. Probably a 2nd rounder right now. 1B only and losing athleticism.

1:28

Shuck Bowalter: Top prospect a year from now?

1:28

Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll say Tatis.

1:28

JSDee: you seem to be the high men on Lucchesi.  any concerns that his deception won’t play at mlb level? if so, does that make him a bullpen piece?

1:29

Kiley McDaniel: Always a question on guys without big stuff that rely on deception. That said, he’s always performed and never failed but never really been challenged in the sense of a mid-major conference and been old for the pro hitters he’s faced. All three pitches are at least average and there’s lots of deception and feel. In that park especially I think he’ll surprise some people that think he’s just an up/down depth arm on pure stuff

1:30

JU: The tools that Estevan Florial possesses are obvious and hard to ignore.  However, it’s his big swing and miss issues that give people pause.  Do you think it’s a problem of pitch recognition or a lack of bat to ball skills?

1:30

Eric A Longenhagen: I think it’s poor pitch recog AND swing issues, which is why I’m pretty apprehensive about him.

1:30

Eric A Longenhagen: Mira:

1:30

Eric A Longenhagen: This is what he looked like all AFL for me. The tools are insane, though.

1:31

Clint: Do you like the move of Royce Lewis to the OF?

1:31

Kiley McDaniel: Yes, think CF is the best position for him

1:31

Robert jonas: RONALDO HERNANDEZ?

1:31

Kiley McDaniel: Honored to have a JoBro in the chat

1:31

BK: Yeah, I imagine you guys have thousands of questions queued up

1:32

Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, there are over 1000 people in the chat right now

1:32

Podcast listener: Carson likes to ask, “What in baseball is like…?” questions. What in baseball is like being asked a completely random “What in baseball…” question?

1:32

Kiley McDaniel: Getting hit in the face with a liner during BP

1:32

Burritos: Which prospect goes to Chipotle the most

1:33

Kiley McDaniel: That would break any computer you asked the question too. I have a headache thinking about it

1:33

Carson: Kiley and Eric, you have fulfilled your obligation to Fangraphs chat.

1:33

Big Joe Mufferaw: You guys seem the lowest on all yankees prospects compared to other lists (other than Andujar). What is the reasoning behind that? Especially Torres

1:33

Kiley McDaniel: Oh wait one more for me

1:33

Kiley McDaniel: It’s because we hate the Yankees.

1:33

JaKob: Does LoLo Sanchez have a chance to be on this list next year?

1:33

Eric A Longenhagen: Yes

1:33

Heyzeus: True or false?  Sixto Sanchez got his name from being born with a sixth toe on his left foot?

1:34

Eric A Longenhagen: AnTOEnio Alfonseca

1:34

Clint: If you had to re-draft the top 5 of 2017 draft, how would you do so?

1:35

Kiley McDaniel: well using our Top 100 you would get

1:35

MD: Do you guys account for an organization’s developmental skill when evaluating these prospects? Such as a clubs success with a certain type of player or skill that pushes the floor/ceiling one way or another?

1:35

Eric A Longenhagen: We try not to, but I do think some orgs have better player dev than others and at some point that makes a difference. Like, Yankees player dev is very good and it’s why we’re even talking about guys like Jordan Montgomery, Jonathan Loasiga, Chance Adams, etc. We don’t talk about those guys BEFO]RE NYY player dev has turned them into 45s and 50s but we do eventually, so that’s how I think player dev impacts our lists most. We don’t do that preemptively, though.

1:36

Drew: Who on this list explodes off like Judge did last year?

1:37

Kiley McDaniel: re: 2017 re-draft
1. McKay
2. Hiura
3. Wright
4. Gore
5. Lewis
6. Greene
7. Adell
8. Lutz
9. Pearson
then, in some order, Baz, Bukauskas and Heliot
Even I may take them in a slightly different order, and some of these are very close, but those are the names I’d have near the top.

1:38

Eric A Longenhagen: Aha! Great question, Drew. Look to the HIGH variance guys on the list who also project to be in the bigs this year. Variance does not equal risk because it’s on both the positive and negative side of what we think are mean outcomes for these guys.

1:38

Eric A Longenhagen: Like, last year none of us would have predicted Judge would explode like that, but we all would tell you it was possible.

1:38

JP: chances lolo sanchez gets traded for coco crisp? just so a GM can say “i’m in love with the coco…i got it for the lolo”??

1:39

Rollie’s Mustache: What were the main reasons you had Adames ahead of Rodgers for SS prospects?

1:39

Kiley McDaniel: Mostly contact and proximity

1:39

Hunky Dory: Do you ever get enraged by how many times you have to repeat iterations of banal scouting phrases like “tap into his power”?  Does this make either of you want to jump out of a car while it’s moving?

1:39

Kiley McDaniel: that why I never chat from a moving car

1:40

Eric A Longenhagen: I get sick of some phrases, sure.

1:40

Kiley McDaniel: Alrighty that’s all for me folks 100 minutes of chat is my personal limit

1:40

Eric A Longenhagen: But there’s a line between colorful writing and whimsical writing that I don’t want to cross.

1:41

Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, we have more work to do for this week’s stuff. Remember to check back tomorrow for more #content.

1:41

Eric A Longenhagen: Have a great day. I’ll chat during this time next week, while Kiley will resume regular Wednesday hours. Be well and goodbye!

We hoped you liked reading 2018 Top 100 Prospects Chat by Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel!

Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.

FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.

Support FanGraphs




newest oldest most voted
d_i
Member
Member
d_i

I had this same argument with you years ago about Correa, but I still maintain that hit tool rationale is bogus…you’re telling me Correa got 4 grades better in two years. Give me a break.

It would be silly to call Correa a 60 hit when he’s in Double-A even if a month later it would look like that may have been correct.

Why? That’s exactly what scouting is supposed to be – not waiting until they prove it at a certain level.