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FanGraphs Audio Presents: The Untitled McDongenhagen Project, Ep. 6

UMP: The Untitled McDongenhagen Project, Episode 6
This is the sixth episode of a weekly program co-hosted by Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel about player evaluation in all its forms. The show, which is available through the normal FanGraphs Audio feed, has a working name but barely. The show is not all prospect stuff, but there is plenty of that, as the hosts are Prospect Men. Below are some timestamps to make listening and navigation easier.

1:40 – Kiley takes a suggestion from Ben Lindbergh about a slogan for the podcast

2:50 – TOPIC ONE: Free Agency Preview

3:57 – Eric brings up how short the 2019 free agent class is set to come, relative to expectations a year or two ago

5:05 – Kiley gets in a solid Jeff Passan burn

5:20 – Discussing how we got here and how stock has moved in the past year or two, feat. Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw, David Price, Patrick Corbin, Josh Donaldson, Michael Brantley, A.J. Pollock, Daniel Murphy, Andrew McCutchen, Craig Kimbrel, Jed Lowrie, Nathan Eovaldi

7:00 – Eric brings up the junior college gambit Harper made almost a decade ago, specifically to pay off this offseason and Kiley speculates how much that ended up making him

8:20 – Kiley revisits how Harper, Machado and Jameson Taillon would’ve been evaluated using today’s amateur scouting methods as a way to get into comparing their markets today

11:00 – Kiley shares some buzz he’s heard about Washington’s willingness to spend on Harper (this is before the report came out about the $300M offer)

13:38 – Eric makes the case that Machado fits the Nationals better than Harper

14:50 – Eric comes off the top rope with a #RobotUmps leading to Harper being a catcher hypothetical

16:48 – Kiley comes off a different top rope with an Isaac Asimov reference

17:02 – Kiley comes down strong on Patrick Corbin vs. Dallas Keuchel

19:00 – Eric proposes a use case where Keuchel could uniquely fit with progressive clubs

21:30 – Josh Donaldson, Michael Brantley, A.J. Pollock, Yasmani Grandal, Jed Lowrie are discussed as a group of similarly-regarded hitters that are tough to evaluate

26:00 – Kiley (we now know correctly) calls Hyun-Jin Ryu being the only to accept the QO.

27:35 – Eric reviews the Cleveland outfield situation with Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall leaving, and holdovers Leonys Martin, Jason Kipnis, Bradley Zimmer, Oscar Mercado, possibly Yu Chang

29:00 – Kiley points out that Cleveland’s approach paid off in timing Cody Allen and Andrew Miller correctly, as they’re both showing signs of decline

30:00 – The Yusei Kikuchi conversation

34:40 – Why Garrett Richards is so interesting and may draw interest from the most teams in this whole free agent class

38:48 – Kiley breaks down the chatter he’s heard regarding under-the-radar clubs that may spend more than you expect this winter: Padres, Reds, Twins, White Sox, Braves. Eric sees the Padres’ window may be opening.

43:00 – TOPIC TWO: Arizona Fall League review

44:53 – Glendale (BAL, CHW, CLE, LAD, NYY) players mentioned: Zack Burdi (CHW), Jordan Sheffield (LAD), Estevan Florial (NYY), Ryan McKenna (BAL), Luis Robert (CHW), Yu Chang (CLE), Luis Alexander Basabe (CHW)

53:30 – Mesa (BOS, CHC, DET, LAA, OAK) players mentioned: Brett Hanewich (LAA), Daniel Procopio (LAA), Darwinzon Hernandez (BOS), Erick Leal (CHC), Trent Giambrone (CHC), Esteban Quiroz (BOS), Eli White (OAK), Luis Barrera (OAK), Nico Hoerner (CHC), Bobby Dalbec (BOS)

58:55 – Peoria (ATL, MIL, SDP, SEA, TBR) players mentioned: Kyle Muller (ATL), Wyatt Mills (SEA), Adam McCreery (ATL), Travis Radke (SDP), Matt Krook (TBR), Ronaldo Hernandez (TBR), Hudson Potts (SDP), Buddy Reed (SDP), Trent Grisham (MIL), Keston Hiura (MIL), Lucius Fox (TBR), Joe McCarthy (TBR), Austin Allen (SDP), Ray-Patrick Didder (ATL), Evan White (SEA)

1:06:19 – Salt River (ARI, COL, MIN, MIA, WSN) players mentioned: Jon Duplantier (ARI), Ryan Castellani (COL), Justin Lawrence (COL), Brent Rooker (MIN), Brian Miller (MIA), Monte Harrison (MIA), Pavin Smith (ARI), Carter Kieboom (WSN), Tyler Nevin (COL), Jazz Chisholm (ARI), Travis Blankenhorn (MIN), Daulton Varsho (ARI)

1:11:20 – Scottsdale (CIN, HOU, NYM, PHI, SFG) players mentioned: Forrest Whitley (HOU, Trent Thornton (HOU), Erasmo Pinales (HOU), Garrett Williams (SFG), Sam Wolff (SFG), Melvin Adon (SFG), Luke Leftwich (PHI), J.B. Bukauskas (HOU), Taylor Trammell (CIN), Desmond Lindsay (NYM), Shed Long (CIN), Darick Hall (PHI), Andres Gimenez (NYM), Peter Alonso (NYM)

1:14:50 – Surprise (KCR, PIT, STL, TEX, TOR) players mentioned: Scott Blewett (KCR), Demarcus Evans (TEX), Zach Jackson (TOR), Connor Jones (STL), Nate Pearson (TOR), Evan Kruczynski (STL), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR), Cole Tucker (PIT), Andy Young (STL), Lane Thomas (STL), Bryan Reynolds (PIT), Khalil Lee (KCR), Cavan Biggio (TOR), Tommy Edman (STL), Nick Heath (KCR)

1:19:30 – TOPIC THREE: A Twins scout sued the team for age discrimination and FanGraphs’ legal expert Sheryl Ring joins the show to break down this case and the efficacies of others like it

1:38:20 – We delve into the hilarious part of this case, tied to the history of the lawyer bringing the suit

1:39:40 – Kiley reads a prior complaint from this lawyer, including the passage, “vast nationwide conspiracy…to bring an end to happy hours”

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @kileymcd or @longenhagen on Twitter or at prospects@fangraphs.com.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 1 hr 42 min play time.)

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So You Want to Trade for J.T. Realmuto

Here’s what J.T. Realmuto looks like.
(Photo: Ian D’Andrea)

I decided while working on the Top 50 Free Agents post that it would make sense to also write up the top trade target on the market. Since new Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said the team plans to compete in 2019, it seems like Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard are unlikely to be dealt — or, at least not during the offseason. That points to J.T. Realmuto as the clear top trade target in the league (and No. 24 in July’s Trade Value Rankings) — and that’s before nearly half the questions in my chat on Wednesday were asking me how much it would cost for various teams to trade for Realmuto.

I could approach this from an insider-y perspective and tell you what teams are telling me the price probably is, but that approach is limited in a few ways. First off, I’m not sure anyone really knows what the price is: the Marlins have turned down strong offers for a year now and still seem inclined to try to extend Realmuto, even thoughhis agent said he’s not having it. Since Miami has this one major asset left to move in its rebuild, they may act irrationally, but the market pieces may be falling into place for someone to pay a price that justified this delay.

If forced to succinctly describe the current state of catching in the major leagues, I would say it sucks. I’ll let Mike Petriello to provide some details and point you to the positional leaderboard, but if you just tried to predict which catchers would be worth two-plus wins and remain at catcher primarily for the next five seasons, how many would you have? Realmuto is one, and if you think Willson Contreras and Gary Sanchez may play a lot more first base or get hurt or be inconsistent in this span, it’s possible that there isn’t another one. Being charitable, there’s just a handful, and they all cost a lot or aren’t available.

Putting all of this together, Realmuto offers the age-28 and age-29 seasons of the best long- and short-term catcher in the game, and he’ll cost between $15 million and $20 million for those seasons, depending on how his arbitration salaries work out. You have him long enough to make two runs at a title and get a comp pick at the end, an exclusive negotiating window for an extension, a non-risky length of a deal, and cheap enough salaries that any team can afford it.

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Kiley McDaniel Chat – 11/7/18

12:13

Kiley McDaniel: Hello all from the almost empty Atlanta house, which will hopefully be filled by next week’s chat

12:14

Kiley McDaniel: ICYMI, we posted a top 50 free agents thing that I did the rankings/predictions for: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2019-top-50-free-agents/

12:14

Kiley McDaniel: And then all the stuff Cistulli wouldn’t let in the formal rankings, including buzz on timetables and under the radar spending teams went here: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-free-agency-analysis-fangraphs-doe…

12:14

Kiley McDaniel: I’ll have one more offseason-focused article probably going up tomorrow and I’m editing a podcast with some FA talk as well

12:15

Kiley McDaniel: Now to your questions, which also appear to be offseason-focused

12:16

Tommy N.: Do you think a Donaldson three year deal to the Padres makes sense?

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The Free-Agency Analysis FanGraphs Doesn’t Want You to Read

I ended up writing a much longer introduction than Carson Cistulli would permit for the free-agent post made available earlier today. Instead of abandoning all that content, however, I’ve badgered him — against his better judgment — into letting me publish all the ideas too hot to be included in the most read article on the site for months. Do not operate heavy machinery while reading these takes.

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Kiley McDaniel Spooky Chat – 10/31/18

12:12

Kiley McDaniel: Coming to you from Florida for one last time, it’s Kileychat

12:14

Mets: We hired an agent…. WTF? honestly, I don’t see how even a regular GM would see anything but a full teardown as the only option.

12:18

Kiley McDaniel: The Brodie Van Wagenen hire is definitely one drawing some conversation around the game. It’s definitely not normal to have a GM that is recused from talking contract extension with your best player. The game has also changed so much in the last 5-10 years and agents have almost no exposure to all of these new facets.

I’m not saying they/Brodie don’t understand the stats we talk about here, but you’ll need to staff up/direct an R+D department, know their blind spots, hire scouts, hire coaches, etc. Not every GM is good at this, but how can we expect BVW to be good at this right away with no prior exposure to any of it, working with people he essentially doesn’t know? We also don’t know what sort of personnel decisions he’ll make, whom he’ll hire/fire in the front office…there’s just a lot of questions.

12:19

Kiley McDaniel: He could be good–I don’t want to be cast as knocking the hire just due to lack of information about him–but it just seems like an odd decision and one that’s impossible to judge for awhile.

12:19

Walter O’Malley : Which is worse for pitcher health? Throwing 100 mph or throwing 100 pitches?

12:20

Kiley McDaniel: 100 mph. That’s the biggest known cause of arm injuries. Rest between starts would go way ahead of pitches per start in terms of importance for predicting injuries. There’s a reason relievers get used 2-3 days in a row and blow out more often.

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Kiley McDaniel Chat – 10/24/18

1:28

Kiley McDaniel: Kiley is here. Some quick plugging of things I’ve done lately

1:29

Kiley McDaniel: Podcast with
1. Jeff Passan on sign stealing
2. Eric and I about structuring a scouting dept
3. Jake Mintz of Cespedes Family BBQ on the ballad of Barbecue Yee
https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/fangraphs-audio-presents-the-untitled-…

1:29

Kiley McDaniel: The even orgs most likely to win the next 5 world series: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/heres-who-will-win-the-next-five-world…

1:30

Kiley McDaniel: I tweeted this morning that it sounds like Doug Melvin is the favorite for the Mets job (though it obviously isn’t a done deal yet):

 

Kiley McDaniel
@kileymcd

 

Heard from multiple sources last night that Doug Melvin is now the clear favorite for the Mets GM job
24 Oct 2018
1:30

Kiley McDaniel: Lastly, I just bought a house and am currently dealing with contractors. May not recommend that one, but it’s what I’ve been doing

1:30

Tommy N.: Do you think the Reds will eventually trade Eugenio Suarez with Nick Senzel and Jonathan India waiting in the background?

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Here’s Who Will Win the Next Five World Series

Pending a healthy return, Corey Seager will resume his role at the heart of the Dodgers’ roster.
(Photo: Arturo Pardavila III)

On a recent podcast episode, Eric Longenhangen and I discussed the premise for this article, which is another way of asking which organizations are healthiest in the short-to-medium term. The factor that goes furthest towards answering that question is present on-field talent, although salary, controlled years, the presence of impact minor leaguers on the horizon, and front-office quality are all relevant — as is payroll ceiling, which serves as a proxy for margin for error. With the World Series starting tonight, it seemed like the right time to look ahead at the favorites for the five World Series beyond this one.

I’ve experimented with some objective ways of measuring organizational health. I think it’s ultimately possible to produce an algorithm that would do a solid job, ranking teams objectively in a number of key categories. It would also require considerable time. Eager to arrive at some kind of answer, I’ve settled for subjective assessment for this version of the post, but I intend to work on something more systematic in the winter.

Here are the criteria I’ve considered to produce these rankings: short-term MLB talent, long-term MLB talent/upper-minors prospects, lower-minors prospects/trade capital, payroll ceiling, MLB coaching/front office, and amateur signings (draft and international). You could quibble and combine or separate a few of those groupings, or argue some of these can’t be quantified properly. You may be right, but we’ll keep tweaking things until they are.

I had originally intended to limit this list to five teams for purposes of symmetry, but the top tier looked like seven teams to me, and the sources by whom I ran this list agreed. In the same way that the I approached the Trade Value Rankings from the point of view of a medium-payroll, medium-term-focused team, I’ve undertook this exercise by asking which team would be most attractive to a prospect GM if his or her only interest is to win the most World Series possible (and not have low state income tax, run a childhood team, or live in a cool city) over the next five seasons.

Without further explanation, here are the organizations most likely to win the 2019-23 World Series.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

The top-three teams on this list all have some reasonable claim to the top spot, but I ultimately went with the Dodgers, as they have a little more certainty in terms of on-field personnel than the Yankees possess, while both clubs feature similar built-in financial advantages. (Houston lags behind on the second count.)

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FanGraphs Audio Presents: The Untitled McDongenhagen Project, Ep. 5

UMP: The Untitled McDongenhagen Project, Episode 5
This is the fifth episode of a weekly program co-hosted by Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel about player evaluation in all its forms. The show, which is available through the normal FanGraphs Audio feed, has a working name but barely. The show is not all prospect stuff, but there is plenty of that, as the hosts are Prospect Men. Below are some timestamps to make listening and navigation easier.

0:23 – What games Eric and Kiley have seen lately: Arizona Fall League and the Diamond Club showcase for Florida high school prospects, featuring a Tyler Callihan update.

2:19 – TOPIC ONE: Yahoo’s Jeff Passan joins us to talk about the Astros cheating scandal and its many facets.

7:15 – Eric reviews the Chinese phone the Astros were using, which should be called the fruit calorie counting machine.

14:50 – Jeff inquires about the status of Kiley’s backyard and dog while Eric reveals how revealing he currently is.

23:08 – We lose Jeff due to technology, and he returns via a time jump, feat. flight attendant announcements.

24:30 – Jeff reveals who is more petty than him, but only by a small margin.

25:23 – Jeff’s antisocial plane tips.

26:54 – A mini topic about Manny Machado’s playoff behavior affecting his free agent market.

29:00 – A mini topic about the Luke Heimlich/Dayton Moore connection living on.

32:48 – TOPIC TWO: How we would put together a scouting department in today’s baseball.

33:56 – Options for structuring the pro scouting department.

34:50 – The biggest factor we don’t have access to: minor league TrackMan.

36:25 – Pros and cons of the different pro scouting department structures.

38:12 – How Eric would structure his pro department.

38:58 – Something to keep in mind in terms of allocating scout days on the amateur side.

40:15 – Kiley jumps in to ask about DSL coverage.

41:39 – Introducing the concept of dynamic pro coverage.

44:00 – Kiley jumps in again to clarify the pyramid of scout experience/assignments.

46:05 – What sorts of scouts can beat the TrackMan data at projecting prospects in the upper levels?

49:10 – When are the robots coming for us?

52:20 – The structural question the guys aren’t sure about

55:46 – TOPIC THREE: The saga of Barbecue Yee with Jake Mintz of Cespedes Family BBQ

56:16 – Jake makes the worst pun in the history of the podcast.

1:00:53 – Jake and Kiley laugh uncontrollably for the first time.

1:03:40 – Is varsity baseball a constitutionally protected right? You heard me right.

1:07:50 – Jake’s first great free idea for the Yee family.

1:16:26 – Jake’s second great free idea for the Yee family.

1:20:09 – The best outtakes portion we’ve ever had.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @kileymcd or @longenhagen on Twitter or at prospects@fangraphs.com.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 1 hr 22 min play time.)

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Kiley McDaniel Chat – 10/16/18

2:12

Kiley McDaniel: Sorry for the delay and the weird day but I’ll be traveling tomorrow so here we are. Still working on some projects behind the scenes that you guys will see soon. Have some preliminary FA projections (105 of them!) if you guys are into that, starting work on prospect lists, doing some work on THE BOARD and new features with Sean Dolinar, podcast is coming weekly and working on some research for the THT annual and some stuff with Craig Edwards that will be coming in the next week or two that I think you’ll really like. Warning: we will quantify everything, even the stuff you don’t want us to.

2:12

Tommy N.: How much do you think Eovaldi gets this offseason? 3 years $40M?

2:12

Kiley McDaniel: My guess was 3/45 at first blush, so yeah something like that

2:13

Nate: How do scouts balance the “eye test” and analytics when evaluating talent?

2:15

Kiley McDaniel: Well that’s about a 5,000 word article if we’re breaking down both how the execs and scouts do it. In short, scouts are instructed by most teams to avoid analytics and allows the professionals in the office to apply them, since some scouts will see tiny sample size hitter split data and apply that info incorrectly and skew the report, for instance. In reality, most teams show scouts exit velos and spin rates so they aren’t in the dark, but they generally don’t know how to use it, so they’re given very basic instructions like “round up if the curveball spin rate is x and you graded it y but it’s a borderline grade,” and stuff like that. On the amateur side it’s almost not used at all by scouts other than the basic stuff you can see like this college hitter is striking out 30% of the time, we all know that’s bad.

2:15

GPT: Updated thoughts on Giants front office search?

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FanGraphs Audio Presents: The Untitled McDongenhagen Project, Ep. 4

UMP: The Untitled McDongenhagen Project, Episode 4
This is the fourth episode of a weekly program co-hosted by Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel about player evaluation in all its forms. The show, which is available through the normal FanGraphs Audio feed, has a working name but barely. The show is not all prospect stuff, but there is plenty of that, as the hosts are Prospect Men. Below are some timestamps to make listening and navigation easier.

0:25 – What the guys have been up to

1:34 – TOPIC ONE: Playoff Thoughts with Jack Handey

2:14 – Plans ahead for eliminated teams

2:20 – Colorado Rockies: which prospects are ready, players headed to free agency or one year away, what sort of moves do they make given their competitive situation, featuring Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, Brendan Rodgers, German Marquez, Garrett Hampson

8:34 – Atlanta Braves: the various ways to approach this offseason, featuring Nick Markakis, Kurt Suzuki, Johan Camargo, J.T. Realmuto, A.J. Pollock, Bryce Harper

14:05 – Who is the NL East favorite in 2019?

16:43 – Cleveland Indians: solving the big holes in the outfield, building on the rock solid rotation, possibly trading from the strength of elite international program

20:50 – Breaking down how Cleveland fell short in the series vs. Houston, including Kiley’s thoughts about an article from The Athletic

24:24 – We make ill-advised World Series picks

25:34 – TOPIC TWO: The Mesa brothers + Sandy Gaston workout

28:30 – Kiley’s adventure in Miami and why this even was different than other open Cuban workouts

30:42 – Eric gives his take and we get into the FBI investigation

36:48 – Does an international draft solve some of these problems? Will the FBI investigation impact the next CBA? What’s the track record of MLB and the player association fixing these sorts of issues?

43:56 – TOPIC THREE: The Kyler Murray intrigue is increasing!

44:18 – Eric usurps Mel Kiper’s draft coverage hair throne

44:50 – Eric is steamed at the football draft illuminati

50:26 – Cal quarterback/center fielder Brandon McIlwain is back on the radar in both sports

51:20 – Kiley has some beef about Kyler Murray as well

53:22 – The guys audition to be football scouts, finding some similarities with baseball

1:00:45 – Eric has to leave to go have his mind blown by Forrest Whitley

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @kileymcd or @longenhagen on Twitter or at prospects@fangraphs.com.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 1 hr 1 min play time.)

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Kiley McDaniel Chat – 10/10/18

12:15

Kiley McDaniel: Hello from Florida! Think I just saw my last instructional league game yesterday, have a podcast and big Victor Mesa article both going up later today, we’ve already started work on offseason lists and new features for THE BOARD

12:15

RS: How do you scout for useful spin rate? Trackman just provides raw spin rate, but not all 3000 RPMs are equal.

12:16

Kiley McDaniel: Well you wouldn’t be scouting at that point, that’s data analysis. But if a curveball has a huge raw spin rate and also really big movement, then you can assume there’s a good ratio of useful spin. You either need a fancy camera or Rapsodo to know useful spin and neither is really practical in game situations.

12:16

Rbrewers : No love for  Brandon Howlett on the board? He’s looked great as a pro for the Red Sox so far.

12:17

Kiley McDaniel: Big swing and miss issues this spring, but he may end up on there when we do the Red Sox list

12:17

Ryan: Hey Kiley, what do you think of Dbacks shortstop prospects Geraldo Perdomo and Blaze Alexander? Thank you!

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Kiley McDaniel Chat – 10/1/18

11:23

Kiley McDaniel: Apologies for the delay, ran late on a scout call

11:24

Kiley McDaniel: We’re chatting at this odd time since I’m traveling this week and we have day baseball today in 90 minutes

11:25

Kiley McDaniel: I’ve been around instructs this week — ATL, DET, TOR, NYY, TB, BOS — and put out the most recent podcast last week: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/fangraphs-audio-presents-the-untitled-…

11:25

Kiley McDaniel: we also have a new prospect land page where you can find all of our content: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/

11:26

waks: does nick senzel’s bout of vertigo do anything to his projections? i forget how nick esasky dealt with it, but can it be a recurring thing?

11:26

Kiley McDaniel: don’t have a ton of experience with this in baseball, so we’re just assuming he returns back to where he was until there’s evidence to the contrary

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FanGraphs Audio Presents: The Untitled McDongenhagen Project, Ep. 3

UMP: The Untitled McDongenhagen Project, Episode 3
This is the third episode of a weekly program co-hosted by Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel about player evaluation in all its forms. The new show, which is available through the normal FanGraphs Audio feed, has a working name now, but barely. The show is all prospect stuff, but there is plenty of that, as the hosts are Prospect Men. Below are some timestamps to make listening and navigation easier.

0:43 – BONUS TOPIC #1: Eric runs down some instructional league notes starting with the Brewers: RHP Nash Walters, LHP Aaron Ashby, RHP Caden Lemons, RF Larry Ernesto and CF Carlos Rodriguez

2:20 – Eric continues with Rangers notes: RHP Cole Winn, RHP Owen White, RHP Michael Matuella, RHP Emmanuel Clase and briefly on RHP A.J. Alexy, RHP Reid Anderson, RHP Hans Crouse, CF Julio Pablo Martinez, CF Leody Taveras, CF Pedro Gonzalez

4:21 – Royals RHP Brady Singer, guys that seemed to increase their FVs in instructs thus far, feat. Rangers RHP Yerry Rodriguez

5:38 – Kiley shares notes from his first instructs game: Braves CF Cristian Pache, C Alex Jackson, 3B CJ Alexander

7:00 – Kiley moves on to the Tigers, SS Wenceel Perez and RHP Carlos Guzman

8:02 – And back to the Braves arms: RHP Odalvi Javier, RHP Patrick Weigel, RHP Tristan Beck

9:30 – BONUS TOPIC #2: Why instructional league games are starting to dry up

12:31 – TOPIC ONE: Draft rankings update to THE BOARD

13:23 – Adley Rutschman (C, Oregon State) as the top prospect for 2019, vs. Giants C Joey Bart (#2 overall pick in 2018), the historic comparison to Matt Wieters and the path to an amateur 60 FV

17:00 – Candidates to pass Rutschman by draft day: shortstops galore

18:30 – Will Bobby Witt, Jr. be able to hit? How will we know? Why do we hate him (according to the commenters)?

21:35 – The other elite shortstops: C.J. Abrams, Bryson Stott and Greg Jones

23:46 – Explaining the concept of Future Value (FV) tiers briefly

23:34 – Exploring the elite corner bats: 1B Andrew Vaughn, 1B/RF Michael Busch, 1B/RF Michael Toglia, RF Riley Greene

26:35 – Eric breaking down rising prep CF Corbin Carroll

27:43 – Who would we compare Carroll to historically?

29:02 – Talking about the most unique player we ranked, LHP/1B Spencer Jones

31:05 – TOPIC TWO: top organizations to win the next 5 World Series

34:44 – Eric proposes another top tier organization

35:28 – A quick conversation about manipulating service time and the non-economical approach sometimes being best, featuring Peter Alonso, Eric Lauer and Joey Lucchesi

42:25 – Kiley talks about the Yankees, what makes them successful and what teams in the top tier have in common with them

45:54 – Working through the second tier of clubs, finding the ones most likely to break through

48:39 – Kiley pinpoints a division in transition to keep an eye on the next 12 months

53:54 – TOPIC THREE: Super Mesa Bros. feat. Sandy Gaston

54:22 – Sorting through the background and context for the Cuban market

56:04 – Running down all three players’ from a scouting perspective

57:03 – Handicapping the teams with int’l pool money to spend

1:04:32 – Factoring in MLB’s ban of signings from the Mexican League, including short discussions of Isaac Paredes, Tirso Ornelas, Jose Albertos, Luis Verdugo, Reivaj Garcia

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @kileymcd or @longenhagen on Twitter or at prospects@fangraphs.com.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 1 hr 9 min play time.)

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Kiley McDaniel Chat – 9/19/18

12:19

Kiley McDaniel: Hello! Slight delay today for some paperwork issues but we’re all good now and Scout is napping. Let’s see what you people have for me

12:20

Kiley McDaniel: Oh, and in the way of promotion, we have a couple fun things coming, I will guess, on Monday. We have a new weekly podcast about prospects and the big leagues, from a front office POV. Here’s episode 2: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/fangraphs-audio-presents-the-untitled-…

12:20

Kiley McDaniel: We also did a refresh of THE BOARD, as our last update before we get into the offseason list time of year

12:21

Kiley McDaniel: As always, THE BOARD is here: https://www.fangraphs.com/scoutboard.aspx

12:21

Kiley McDaniel: and the article detailing why some guys are rising is here: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-final-pro-side-update-to-the-board…

12:21

Oyster Burns: roansy have better upside than justus?

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FanGraphs Audio Presents: The Untitled McDongenhagen Project, Ep. 2

UMP: The Untitled McDongenhagen Project, Episode 2
This is the second episode of a weekly program co-hosted by Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel about player evaluation in all its forms. The new show, which is available through the normal FanGraphs Audio feed, has a working name now, but barely. The show is all prospect stuff, but there is plenty of that, as the hosts are Prospect Men. Below are some timestamps to make listening and navigation easier.

0:15 – Uncomfortable Paul McCartney discussion, feat. questionable impressions
1:12 – Update on the guys not from Liverpool
2:38 – Deciding on the name of the podcast
4:00 – New recurring segment: TV Talking Head Auditions
6:00 – Eric’s Take
8:40 – Kiley’s Take
10:30 – Satire is over, as PTI possibly should be
11:45 – TOPIC ONE: Updates to THE BOARD
13:12 – Vidal Brujan (2B, TB, Hi-A) and Brayan Rocchio (SS, CLE, RK), briefly Kristian Robinson (RF, ARI, RK)
19:38 – Luis Patino (RHP, SD, Lo-A), briefly Carlos Vargas (RHP, CLE, RK)
23:15 – Bryse Wilson (RHP, ATL, MLB),
24:11 – Bubba Thompson (CF, TEX, Lo-A)
24:43 – Nolan Jones (3B, CLE, Lo-A)
26:50 – Michael Kopech (RHP, CHW, MLB)
27:21 – Wenceel Perez (SS, DET, Lo-A), Carlos Vargas (RHP, CLE, RK), Cole Roederer (CF, CHC, RK), Josiah Gray (RHP, CIN, RK)
30:22 – TOPIC TWO: Front office scouting staff intrigue
31:03 – How cavemen invented scouting
33:00 – How different team philosophically approach their pro scouting department
34:03 – Something that should really surprise you
39:59 – Houston is the leading example of restructuring a staff
41:38 – Where Houston could get outflanked
43:48 – Delving into makeup and how important it is
47:07 – Running down some staffing changes in the industry
50:15 – Pennsylvania impressions!
53:55 – Minnesota accents!
54:42 – TOPIC THREE: Acuna, Soto, Vlad and the next teenage sensation
58:00 – WHO YA GOT?
1:02:00 – Who are the next potential teenagers in the big leagues?
1:08:00 – Kiley’s first scouting experience with Wander Franco…when he was 14.
1:10:38 – the 2017 July 2 class is looking prettay prettay good so far
1:11:46 – Kiley discovers the limits of technology
1:12:15 – The guys discuss Jibarito (the Puerto Rican KFC Double Down) and discuss Kenan Thompson doing David Ortiz talking about mofongo

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @kileymcd or @longenhagen on Twitter or at prospects@fangraphs.com.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 1 hr 16 min play time.)

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Kiley McDaniel Chat – 9/14/18

12:16

Kiley McDaniel: Hello, I’m coming to you people on Friday since I was on the road Wednesday. Let’s get to your questions

12:16

I hate avocados: When will we see rankings updates next?

12:17

Kiley McDaniel: I’m guessing Monday? We have one more update of about 15 players to shuffle around before we head into the offseason. We’ll probably lock all those in this weekend as far as where they go exactly, but the list is done

12:19

Arms: Long term who makes the better MLB Pitcher? Shane Bieber or Chris Paddack? Or will both be exceptional?

12:19

Kiley McDaniel: Similar kinds of guys, but Bieber is already there and performing and hasn’t had a TJ, so I’ll take him, though Paddack has a little more ceiling

12:19

Matt: are you buying the Luis patino hype? I believe he should be considered a top 100 prospect, plus velo, athletic, throws strikes, 3-4 usable pitches

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FanGraphs Audio Presents: Untitled McDongenhagen Project

Introduction to the McDongenhagen Project
This represents the first episode of a weekly program co-hosted by Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel about player evaluation in all its forms. The new show, which will be available through the normal FanGraphs Audio feed, doesn’t have a name yet, but reader input is invited. The show won’t be all prospect stuff, but there will be plenty of that, as the hosts are Prospect Men. Below are some timestamps to make listening and navigation easier.

2:13 – What Eric’s been up to feat. reggaeton horn.
3:49 – What Kiley’s been up to feat. self-promotion.
6:31 – TOPIC ONE: September call-ups that will impact the NL races.
7:24 – Arizona Diamondbacks, including a big picture discussion.
13:15 – Atlanta Braves, including a guy you didn’t think we’d talk about.
19:30 – St. Louis Cardinals, including lots of Harrison Bader talk.
22:31 – Chicago Cubs, briefly.
22:58 – Milwaukee Brewers, including Robin Hood talk.
24:26 – Colorado Rockies, eternally confusing, including eye-level science.
28:43 – Los Angeles Dodgers, including Joe Arpaio talk.
29:46 – Philadelphia Phillies, including Scott Kingery symposium.
36:05 – TOPIC TWO: Should we change how we evaluate pitching prospects?
41:45 – Kiley tries to shoehorn more Nassim Taleb into conversation.
46:28 – Objectively measuring command: ¯\_()_/¯.
50:02 – Eric compares these challenges to the NFL combine.
52:23 – TOPIC THREE: 2019 MLB Draft overview.
1:01:50 – Eric reveals his West Coast draft fascination.
1:03:06 – Kiley brings this to a merciful end.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @kileymcd or @longenhagen on Twitter or at prospects@fangraphs.com.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 1 hr 4 min play time.)

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Kiley McDaniel Chat – 9/5/18

12:18

Kiley McDaniel: Sorry for the delay! Was going back and forth with offers/counters on a house, so that took slight precedent over this baseball chat

12:19

Kiley McDaniel: So, for those that haven’t seen it yet, I posted something today breaking down Dylan Cease (CHW), Matt Manning (DET) and Brendan McKay (TB) and which of those three types of players is normally underrated by list season

12:19

Kiley McDaniel: Now to your questions

12:19

squeeze bunt: What do you think is the best predictor of a pitcher taking a step forward with command?  Do you think there is a correlation between height/length and command?

12:21

Kiley McDaniel: Athleticism is the best single direct comp for command we have, but it’s usually a combination of factors. I’d tend to bet on longer-limbed elite athletes that are growing into their frame in the mid-20’s to improve, particularly if they aren’t a high 90’s type that’s always trying to throw it through the backstop

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Should We Adjust How We Evaluate Pitching Prospects?

Evaluating pitchers is a real challenge. A combination of experience and knowledge can help one to better understand how variables like velocity, spin, and pitch mix translate to the majors. Even with that information, though, the influence of other factors — like injury risk, like a pitcher’s likelihood of responding to mechanical or mental adjustments — creates a great deal of uncertainty.

Nor is this a challenge that faces only prospect analysts like myself and Eric Longenhagen: even front-office execs who have the benefit of substantial resources — in the form both of data and personnel — have trouble reliably projecting outcomes for otherwise similarly talented young arms.

In my role as a talent evaluator both with FanGraphs and with a few major-league clubs, the question of how best to assess pitchers is obviously one to which I’ve returned with some frequency. In my recent efforts to get some final looks at certain top pitching prospects, however, I began to rethink how Eric Longenhagen and I should approach rankings this offseason. Three prospects, in particular, help to illustrate my concerns.

Tigers righty Matt Manning was the ninth overall pick in 2016, is an athletic 20-year-old who stands 6-foot-6, and was promoted to Double-A last week. In addition to that, he sat 94-96 and hit 98 mph in my look, mixing in a spike curveball that flashed 65 on the 20-80 scale. The positives here are numerous, and very few other minor leaguers could match even a few of these qualities.

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Kiley McDaniel Chat – 8/29/18

12:09

Kiley McDaniel: Coming to you live from my desk while Scout chews on her dinosaur toy in the next room, it’s chat time

12:10

Kiley McDaniel: I went to a bunch of games in the last week, cleaning up some needed looks on local prospects.

12:10

Kiley McDaniel: Only non Florida State League game was Jacksonville (AA Marlins) and Birmingham (AA White Sox) where I was going for Dylan Cease but got a bunch of other guys as well

12:13

Kiley McDaniel: FSL looks included affiliates of MIN (Royce, Kirilloff, Brusdar, Blankenhorn), ATL (Contreras, Waters, Ynoa, Wentz, Davidson),  NYY (Florial, Deivi Garcia, D. Castillo, Gilliam), DET (Fulmer rehab, Manning, Clemens, Castro),  CIN (Fairchild, Isabel), PHI (Llovera, Moniak, Gamboa, Brito, Falter), TBR (McKay, Brujan, Lowe, Fraley, Padlo, Gray, Palacios)

12:14

Kiley McDaniel: Anyway that took longer than I expected to flip thru my notes and compile, but those are the guys I saw recently if any of them or their teammates are of special interest

12:14

Kiley McDaniel: And there’s a post going up shortly of the prospect just added to the board

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