Eric Longenhagen Chat-11/29/18

2:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Good afternoon from cloudy Tempe.

2:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Let’s begin this week’s chat, which I’m totally 100% focused on and not at all distracted from by current trade rumors.

2:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Oh, hey! Brewers list came out today.

2:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Pirates were Monday, if you missed it

2:04
Eric A Longenhagen: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/top-35-prospects-pittsburgh-pirates/

2:04
Eric A Longenhagen: The Reds are next. Okay, let’s start.

2:05
Bearry: Wendle had a significantly improved batted ball profile and plate discipline in the second half of the season. Do you believe he made substantial changes to his approach that will move forward?

2:07
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think Wendle is a true .435 slugging guy and think he’s due for a bit of regression. More .390 SLG type for me. I do think he’s an everyday big leaguer, but not a 3+ WAR one.

2:07
Corey: Time to give up on Daniel Brito? Hasnt hit in two years?

2:10
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think so. He’s still only 20, I think the hands work really well in the box and he’s still got growing to do. I still have him ahead of Gamboa, but Gamboa is further along, defensively, and I think he’s more rosterable right now, which could be why Philly protected him.

2:10
GPT: How are the Giants prepping for their Jan instrux with the exodus of Player Development people, mainly the head David Bell?

2:12
Eric A Longenhagen: I have no idea but that’s a great question. I’d guess a lot of the camp probably had some kind of blueprint that can still be followed. Whoever they hire or runs it in the interim probably aren’t starting from scratch.

2:13
Michael: What’s your take on Nick Green? His ground ball rate is astronomical.

2:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Yup, it’s way up there. Sinker, cutter, curveball, #4/5 starter type.

2:14
Tims Pajamas: What did Cody Ponce do (or not do) to go from a 40 FV last year, to not getting a mention on the Brewers list?

2:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Stuff was down and several injuries dating back to days at Pomona.

2:16
Eric A Longenhagen: I loved him at Pomona, was 92-96, plus cutter, 50 curveball and change. What I have from scouts who saw him in ’18 is down compared to that and he got hurt again.

2:16
Bo: Grant Lavigne a top 100 spec next year? Was great for a cold weather kid

2:17
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d throw out his PIO stats because PIO stats are always nutty, but yes he’s the a sleeper top 100 guy for like a year from now.

2:18
Dennis: What do u make of the Mets hiring Adam Guttridge and officially bolstering their analytics?

2:18
Eric A Longenhagen: thumbs up

2:19
Anthony: Why do scouts evaluate defense relative to positional averages? If a guy’s a 45 at SS but a 60 at 3B, wouldn’t it be more informative to call him a 55 defender generally, especially in an era of positional malleability?

2:21
Eric A Longenhagen: I agree that the way defense gets talked about is flawed, but disagree with the way you mushed the hypothetical grades together. The way I think I’d like to do it is splitting it into Range, Hands, Arm and just grading those.

2:23
Nils: Was Andres Melendez under consideration for the Brewers list?

2:24
Eric A Longenhagen: He was. Good body, avg bat speed, at-bats this fall weren’t great. Catching was mixed. He’s catching in a lot of the video we uploaded this week if you’d like a look.

2:25
Dave in London: Calhoun is plummeting in the Fangraphs prospects ratings. Will the Rangers give him a chance for significant playing time this year, maybe as the everyday DH? How many AB would you estimate he’ll get this coming season?

2:27
Eric A Longenhagen: I wouldn’t say he’s plummeting, He’s always been in that 50 FV tier for us, just sliding around in there. I still like him but there’s a DH/corner OF logjam in Texas that probably needs a trade to clear the way.

2:27
Fangraphs reader: Thoughts on Astros LHP prospect Ryan Hartman?

2:28
Eric A Longenhagen: Fringe fastball, plus change and command. Spot-starter type

2:30
DC: Predictions on who gets 1. Machado, 2. Harper and 3. Corbin?

2:30
Eric A Longenhagen: PHI, WAS, NYY

2:31
Jim Leyland Palmer: Why would the Mariners weigh down the potential return for their top trade asset by attaching him to Cano? That’s indefensible

2:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Clearly you can see the logic behind it while disagreeing with its competitive morality.

2:31
Jake: Which Division will be next on the prospect lists?

2:32
Eric A Longenhagen: NL East. Very excited to write about Osiris Johnson’s ability to rotate

2:33
Wade Smiley: Would it be fair to say Mitch White’s upside wasn’t greatly affected this year, but the risk/uncertainty surrounding him have increased?

2:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Agreed.

2:33
Dave in London: Thanks for chatting Eric. Have the A’s soured on Barreto? I think Heyman said that the team is in the market for a 2B. Your thoughts?

2:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Meh, maybe they’ve just come around on him in CF. He doesn’t have good hands, I don’t think he’s an infielder. I don’t think they’ve soured on him, he’s too young for that. I do think the approach will be an issue but he’s still an up the middle player with huge power.

2:35
Eric: Hey this has nothing to do with you whatsoever, but if you could relay the message, I’d appreciate it: the amount of times when I open fangraphs on my phone either via the Chrome app or directly through a Twitter link and get annoying pop-up adds is pretty frustrating. And it seems like I only have this problem with fangraphs.

2:37
Eric A Longenhagen: You’re not the first one who has had this issue (i’ve had it, too, with FG and milb.com, and others) and we have looked into it. It’s browser-related, not something coming from FG. Bill Mitchell turned me on to FIrefox Focus on my phone and that stuff almost completely stopped.

2:37
Drew: Curious to hear your thoughts on the importance you’d place on prospect surplus value during trade discussions

2:39
Eric A Longenhagen: I think it’s a fine sanity check to make sure you’re not Stewarting, but it shouldn’t be the driving reason anyone makes a trade.

2:39
Jake: With so many teenagers on the Indians AZL roster, is Wilbis Santiago really a prospect?

2:41
Eric A Longenhagen: His age should make you doubt, for sure. I love the swing and think he has great feel for impact contact despite limited raw power.

2:41
Man: Any thoughts on LSU? Josh Smith? Zach Watson?

2:43
Eric A Longenhagen: Like them both. Watson has a 4th OF look at first glance but there might be enough power to play every day. Smith was a SS who could lift it, but I haven’t gotten notes on him since he was shut down with the stress reaction in his back and don’t know where he’s at right now.

2:44
Jay: How good can Chris Paddack be without a true third pitch? Does it make sense for the Padres to give him up in a package for Thor?

2:47
Eric A Longenhagen: You can do it. German Marquez was a two pitch guy as a rookie. Luis Castillo was, too. Young Hamels was a two-pitch guy. If they’re both dominant pitches, it can work. Paddack’s FB/CH are really good, the curve is a 45 but he can dump it in for strikes. I think it’ll work. Yes, I’d trade him for Thor but it depends on what else is in that package.

2:47
Rox Fan: Does the 2018 play of Garrett Hampson open up the real possibility of a blockbuster trade involving Brendan Rodgers, say to Miami for Realmuto?

2:49
Eric A Longenhagen: I think it’d be fair for COL to conclude they’ve got an upper-level infield surplus on their hands and that they could move one of them to fill another need. And for ‘Muto, yeah it’d probably take Rodgers.

2:49
Thomas: What are your thoughts on Willy Adames moving forward? Does he stick at SS? Or is he a 2B? Will the hit/power tools continue to improve?

2:50
Eric A Longenhagen: I think he’s a SS and yes

2:51
Dr. Frank Jobe: Considering his being name dropped in rumors of a certain very large possible trade, what is your/the industry’s opinion of Jared Kelenic. Stats look pretty decent but that’s about all I know.

2:52
Eric A Longenhagen: I like Kelenic a lot. Well-rounded tools, chance to stay in CF. Was 8th on our pre-draft board: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2018-mlb-draft?type=0&te…

2:53
Tumbler, Whiskey: Best brewery in the Phoenix area? Still AZ Wilderness, or have others caught up?

2:53
Eric A Longenhagen: A better question for Bill Mitchell or Eno.

2:54
Tumbler, Whiskey: How close is Peter Alonso to being MLB ready?

2:55
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s ready. The defense isn’t good but I don’t think it ever will be, and the bat is way ready.

2:55
Jimmy: Do you have a take on polish vs tools? As a cubs fan I’ve seen their front office focus on a lot of polished hitters with less upside and almost exclusively college pitching. While I get the concept they are going for it feels like they need to start targeting more toolsy types with higher upsides now. I suppose you could argue Davis/Roederer are that but do you see that being where they go?

2:57
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t dislike polish and I think any good system finds ways of adding guys with both. I think the Cubs wanted to feed as much quick-moving pitching into their system as possible while this position player core is in place at the big league level.

2:58
Eric A Longenhagen: I think the money with Roederer and Davis worked out in a way that let them take a gamble or two in this situation.

2:58
Eric A Longenhagen: Just like the Cease/Steele/Sands draft

2:58
NotGraphs Revivalist: You prefer not to answer hypothetical trade proposals, right?

2:59
Eric A Longenhagen: Right, but I understand why people like them and I’ll entertain them if I think it’s relevant for broader discussion.

2:59
Jake: You obviously like the Indians system. Sneak peak on a surprise prospect?

3:00
Eric A Longenhagen: Not really. I showed you my hand over the summer with that system. Kinda wish I hadn’t.

3:01
Doug: Could Zack Greinke to the Angels be a potential fit?

3:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Sure, that org has shown a willingness to spend money to patch holes around their stars every year, it fits a need for them.

3:02
Aaron: Care to scout the guys the Braves lost to the 40-man crunch (McCreery, Ricardo Sanchez)?

3:04
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll get McCreery video from Fall League up today so you can see the delivery/size because it’s pretty extreme. Avg fastball, plus breaker, below cmmd. Sanchez has three 55s as a first-year pro guy but hasn’t really developed with ATL, really struggles to throw strikes.

3:04
LioneeR: Can we get a THE BOARD link at the top of fangraphs?  I never seem to be able to find it.

3:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Hover over “LEADERS” and it’s not far from the top

3:05
Rob D: Did I really hear you say on the podcast that Tyler Nevin might be a 7 bat? Care to say a little more about that?

3:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, he does a lot of really great bat-to-ball things. He raked all fall. Braking balls, pitches away from him, pitches in, good velocity. It’s not big game power right now and he’s not a 3B for me, but he hits.

3:07
Safety Stegosaurus: Compared to the players, how prevalent is dip in the scouting community?

3:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Less than players but still pretty common.

3:08
Rob D: I’m curious about Julio Rodriguez in particular and about how the DSL is scouted generally. Do you guys get reports from down there? How many scouts are down there relative to stateside leagues? Did Rodriguez do anything this summer to move the needle in any way? Thanks.

3:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Question 1: Sometimes, if it’s necessary to dig on a guy like Malcom Nunez or Miguel Hiraldo or someone else who’s really crushing it down there.
2. It’s very few and often we’re better off just waiting to see guys during instructs to actually see them
3. Not really, he’ll still be a 45 FV for us this offseason, but we really like him and he’ll probably be one of the top players his age that we write up

3:10
Matt: Has Darwinzon Hernandez’s AFL performance done anything to change your evaluation of him?

3:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Nope, he looked as advertised.

3:12
La Cheeserie: What’s your favorite number between 5 to 7? Mine is 6.

3:12
Eric A Longenhagen: 5.7

3:13
Neck tar slider: Any insight into what went wrong in the Mariner international scouting department (or domestic) leading to the spate of firings?

3:14
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think anything was wrong with it and that it was just part of an org-wide shakeup. Like all of Tim Kissner’s signee were traded, they were valued around baseball, those are good otucomes.

3:14
John Kreese: Would a Brandon Wood type player still be considered such a high prospect or would the Ks be a much bigger concern these days?

3:14
Eric A Longenhagen: He’d be red flagged, but so was Judge, remember?

3:15
Eric A Longenhagen: And Moncada was not (at least by me)

3:16
Jerry: I’m looking for an undervalued catching prospect blocked in current system. Do those exist?

3:17
Eric A Longenhagen: One of Knizner/Kelly? Connor Wong? Austin Allen if you think he catches? Michael Perez?

3:17
Mr. Fister: Who do you think will ultimately have the better pro career between Bart and Ruschman from Oregon St.?

3:18
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d take Adley #PlayBadlyForAdley

3:18
Jeff Luhnow: With the Blue Jays recent hire of Carson Cistulli, is it likely that other analytically minded Front Offices will follow and introduce their own Poetry Departments to utilize melancholy as a tool for player development?

3:19
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes and then we’ll lose Meg

3:19
Dazed and Confused: How confused were you by the Flyers action of firing Ron Hextall??

3:20
Eric A Longenhagen: The other sports have kinda melted away and I know more about Gritty than I do the defensive pairings

3:20
James: I’ve seen several people say that they think Harper stays home in Washington recently. Any particular reason that this thought is becoming more common?

3:21
Eric A Longenhagen: I guess I’ve just always assumed he’d re-sign. I may have answered that in a previous chat.

3:21
Ben: Love the lists so far. You guys have Keston Hiura’s ETA as 2019. This is faster than I expected, what’s the rationale behind it? Is it his performance that demands promotion or is it the Brewers’ need at 2B (with the Schoop news)?

3:21
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes

3:22
Mark: I was surprised to see you thought Mauricio Dubon might get a chance to displace Arcia as the Brewers’ everyday SS next year. I’ve thought their bats were fairly similar, with the definite defensive advantage to Arcia. Do you think Arcia’s bat will continue to be first-half-of-2018 bad, or is Dubon better offensively than I’m giving him credit? (Or both?)

3:22
Eric A Longenhagen: If Arcia is what he looked like in October then I’d take him.

3:23
Pete: Chances that Alec Hansen turns it around? Any other similar cases where a guy just dominated competition(Non age related) and then completely fell off a cliff?

3:23
Eric A Longenhagen: I think 2017 was the anomaly.

3:23
Sammy Sooser: Have you ever revised projectability on a guy? For example, a guy is drafted as a bit of a bad body guy, poor work ethic, and is what he is. The following offseason, he leans up big time, and shows up with room to add muscle. I know this is probably an incredibly rare circumstance, but has someone wowed you like this, had you flipping the eval on its head?

3:24
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, a director called this ‘reverse projection’ where the body, etc. are bad and get better through a pro conditioning program, etc. Forrest Whitley is an example of this. Bo Bichette, too. Soft-bodied guys as rising seniors, worked hard and the talent exploded.

3:26
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay, well I’m over time so that’ll be it for this week. I think we’ll chat next week but not the week after due to Rule 5. See you then.

We hoped you liked reading Eric Longenhagen Chat-11/29/18 by Eric Longenhagen!

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Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at ESPN.com. Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.

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