Eric Longenhagen Chat: 9/26

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Good morning from Tempe, where the heat just won’t quit.

12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: I have two links for you

12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: The first is our updated draft rankings which shifted based on the summer festivities on the Cape, showcases, etc.  http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/fall-equinox-draft-board-update/

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: The next is https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects which is where you can find all our prospect resources in one place.

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: I think I might be having some technical issues with the chat software right now, so please be patient if there’s a gap between responses today as I might be playing with stuff to try to get things running smoothly.

12:07
GPT: Are you still going to be visiting Giants camp during fall instrux even though they won’t be playing games?

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Nope

12:07
JH: Given the plan to have Ohtani DH more or less full time next year, do you think there’s anything to be gained in the minors by having highly regarding pitching prospects spend some time during years lost to TJ develop as hitters? For NL teams, getting them a few hundred PAs at DH in the low minors (even in the complex league) might marginally improve their hitting when they get to the bigs. For other teams, maybe there’s a small chance they discover guys with legitimate 2-way potential during an otherwise lost season.  

Thoughts?

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Sure, I think that’s pretty interesting.

12:07
Kristen: Expectations for W. Calhoun in ’19?  Didn’t really wow this year.

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Still think he’ll be a solid everyday DH.

12:08
Mi Padre: What are your thoughts on Chris Paddack? Can he make the rotation sometime next year?

12:09
Eric A Longenhagen: Really like him. Plus fastball, plus-plus change, lots of strikes, breaking ball is very vanilla but he knows how/when to use it. Think we see him sometime next year.

12:09
Matt : Why is it that strong seasons from Red Sox prospects Darwinzon Hernandez and Denyi Reyes hasn’t generated any more buzz on these guys? They both seem like they could help the team long term.

12:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Hernandez has big stuff but he’s more likely a reliever than not. Reyes is one of those guys whose fastball plays up because of its angle and I do think he’s an interesting prospect, but realistically ya backend guy. Maybe in Boston’s horrendous system that’s noteworthy, but not really worth buzzing about as far as our global prospect coverage scope is concerned.

12:11
Sharp: 300 Ks seals the Cy for Scherzer?

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: Depends on the way NL Cy electorate is shaped, if that makes sense.

12:13
Kristen: C.D. Pelham has displayed a nice arm during his brief time up.  What does he need to work on next year?

12:14
Eric A Longenhagen: General command. Will be a monster if it comes

12:14
Anthony: Is Taylor Widener a starter?

12:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably, or at least I think he’ll be given every opportunity to be one considering Arizona’s lack of pitching depth.

12:15
Tommy N.: What is Owen Millers ceiling a 50?

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Not on that guy, sorry.

12:16
Pio: For whatever reason, the Padres are interested in extending Freddy Galvis. Is this a sign that they think Tatis needs (much) more to develop, that he needs to move to third or just that they’re big fans of Freddy Galvis?

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: I think they just like Galvis as a utility guy and clubhouse presence, and so do I.

12:17
Raking Rooker: Rooker doesn’t make the BOARD.  Just wondering if you have any quick thoughts about his future.  Is he a Twin in 2019 or 2020?  Or just another quad A masher in the making?

12:19
Eric A Longenhagen: There’s risk that he’s a 4A guy, sure. Realistic upside is a solid everyday DH/1B/LF type

12:19
Eric A Longenhagen: Striking out at that rate at his age in Double-A is not a great sign, but the power is real.

12:19
John S: I know he’s not throwing in instructs but by any chance have you been able to see Espinoza? Two years away from throwing is a long time.

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: Have also been told he’s unlikely to throw, which means I haven’t seen him.

12:20
Jay Hey Kid: David Paulino has looked..  decent so far.  Is he a useful big league rotation piece in 2019?  For the Blue Jays, that is!

12:22
Eric A Longenhagen: He has that kind of stuff, yeah. His issues have not been related to his talent.

12:23
GSon: Eric..just up the road from you is a wonderful driving range (in Scottsdale) called Top Golf..you can really hone your game there..

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: Hard pass

12:23
Nick: Do you think William Contreras has a better chance to stick at catcher than Brett Cumberland does? I liked Cumberland and was surprised when Atlanta traded him.

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes

12:24
Mike: I am in a 12 team keeper/dynasty auction league.  We are allowed to franchise 2 players to keep their salaries that they had this year for next season.  Which two would you choose between Lindor ($31),  Jose Ramirez ($30), and Yelich ($29)? I know I am splitting hairs here, but I am interested in differing opinions.

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: Always Lindor

12:24
Matt: What’s your take on Patrick Sandoval? Doesn’t have great stuff, but his strikeout numbers this year were impressive.

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: Chance to be a backend starter or at least have a multi-inning role. Just a solid three-pitch mix, kind of a unique delivery.

12:24
brad: Eric, What do you think of Austin Hays future?  Was this just a lost year, but he is still a middle of the order bat with power?

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m not a huge Hays guy. Corner OF with pull-centric approach, not very selective.

12:25
Probably User Error: I might just be missing it, but can you navigate to fangraphs/prospects from the homepage or the top menu?  I don’t see how – can  you point it out?  Or should we just type in www.fangraphs.com/prospects, or save that URL to favorites or something?

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: Hover over ‘Blogs’

12:26
Keith, Farmington CT: Thanks Eric. Understandably few 17-year-olds take a lot of walks at rookie ball. Is there a profile though, that hints more patience is coming. Maybe Wander Franco’s profile (great bat control, low K rate)?

12:28
Eric A Longenhagen: Pitching is so erratic at that level and I think it’s hard to evaluate strike zone feel unless you see the player a lot against arms with some idea of where it’s going.

12:28
Ryan : Opinions on the Rays farm system.. players that we don’t hear about that we should know about

12:30
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s stacked. Not sure who you do/don’t hear about. Ryan Boldt? Thin khe may have changed his swing is a relevant way.

12:30
Tommy Bahama Mama: Anything intriguing from the 48 hours of Angels instructs?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: They’re not playing games and the one intrasquad I saw was impossible to evaluate because it’s so strongly geared for development. For example, Marsh was swinging with no stride, no lower half usage at all.

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: So like, they’re working on stuff and that’s fine, but I get nothing from it so I’m not gonna go see them.

12:33
Frank Lyman from Amherst: Hey!  Anyone really surprise you (exceed expectations) after MLB promo this season?  Laureano?  Franmil? O’Hearn? McNeil?

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: All of those

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Also Profar and Mondesi

12:33
GSon: Whisperings about former # 1 overall and Indians first round pick Brady Aiken being moved to the bullpen have been discussed…any truth there?..

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: Not sure. Saw him charting in AZL but haven’t seen him throw, nor do I know what happening with him physically or developmentally. He’s just off my radar until his stuff is up.

12:34
Amanda: Boston fan here. What should we expect from Rafael Devers going forward?

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: I think he’ll be fine. Peripherals are the same as last year but the BABIP is down considerably. I had a 55 on him as a prospect and still think that’s where he ends up. DOn’t think his defensive profile is very stable, though.

12:37
Jesus: Given Luzardo’s success this year and his quick promotion to AAA will the A’s have more reason to fast track him to the majors at some point next year?

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably, especially if they’re competitive again.

12:38
Frank Lyman from Amherst: any thoughts on Torrens?  Where would you have him (if at all) in the Pads top 30 were he eligible?

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: Have seen him in the last week and he looks pretty good, defensively. Don’t think he makes a ’30’ just because of the depth of the system, which is part of why we avoid arbitrary cutoffs like that. He’d be a 40 FV.

12:39
brian: how do you insert a picture/graph/chart in articles/posts through wordpress? it says there’s an “add media” button, but my page doesn’t have that

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: I think you might be lost

12:39
Todd: How can you tell if a prospect has a propensity for making adjustments that will lead to success in the majors, versus those that perform well in the minors but stall at the majors because they can’t adjust ?

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s tough. Some players don’t ever have to make an adjustment in the minors and we don’t know whether or not they can until they’re forced to in the big leagues (Buxton) and others have to make constant adjustment in the minors (Judge) which reinforces (for me, anyway) that they’ll be able to do it in the bigs.

12:41
Mac: Whoa.  That’s a lot of Corbin Carroll love.

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: He does all the things

12:41
GSon: Does Ethan Hankins rising star excite you as much as any other pitching prospect taken in the recently completed draft?

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: Not really

12:41
Joy : Thoughts on the opener?

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: I like it because because it’s creative and clever but it also means there’s going to be a brawl in the next CBA negotiations about arb and other forms of compensation based on criteria that are quickly becoming obsolete.

12:43
John: The prospect board ranking indicates you aren’t down on Christian Pache after a somewhat lackluster year. What did you see this year to keep him high on the list?

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: Elite CF defense. He was 19 at Double-A so the stats don’t really bother me.

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: Also, go look at how little you need to do with the bat and still be valuable if you play a great CF: https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=cf&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&…

12:45
Patrick Mahomes IV: There seem to be similarities between LAA 1B Matt Thaiss and TB 1B Nate Lowe. They’re 23, 45FV here, have shown patience, hints of power….what do you project for them in 2019 and beyond. Are they average/serviceable 1B, or do you see a chance for more from either or both?

12:46
Eric A Longenhagen: Think you’re right around where we’ll be. Average 1B/DH types.

12:46
Mike: Any thoughts on Brewer Hicklen? Surprised he didnt make the Royals board

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s a mistake on our part and I keep forgetting to fix it.

12:47
Ginny: is everyone holding back their Mike Scioscia farewell stories until the Angels officially part from him? 19 years straight managing a team is 4 games from ending, barring a shock from Arte Moreno. Haven’t seen much said about it

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, you’re right. I guess it takes a certain type of writer/host/whatever to appreciate Scioscialism and all that comes with it and I’m just not that guy. Maybe Nightengale will write something.

12:49
Tim: Scott Kingery disappointed this season.  What is your outlook on him?

12:50
Eric A Longenhagen: Still think he’ll be a 55 but dear god please let him play 2B

12:50
Sir Nerdlington: From the catcher’s POV right field is to his right but a right handed batter stands to his left. Deep thoughts.

12:51
Dan: You have Vandy’s Hansen pretty high on his draft year board.  Does this factor in the development time lost to his mission trip?

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: Not really, I just assume that, if the kid is really a strong prospect, he might not go. Some of our four corners prospects who were supposed to be going sometime in college are considered, by scouts, less likely to go now than they seemed to be when leaving HS.

12:53
Jorge Mateo: What happened to me this season? In the spring it looked like I could be a multi-tool threat. Instead, I had a terrible season. What’s behind that? And can I stick at shortstop, or am I a utility guy, with some 2B/CF mixed in?

12:54
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t know and I’m apprehensive about backing off you too much after what Pro, Mondesi, DeShields, O’Hearn and others have done in the bigs after not doing anything at Triple-A.

12:54
Phil: Is it overthinking it to consider maybe the Orioles drafting someone other than Rustchman considering they have two young rookie-level catchers on the current MLB level? Or is he tood good and you just draft the best player, regardless?

12:54
Eric A Longenhagen: For me, the latter.

12:55
Dan: Is Pete Crow Armstrong a case of a Cali kid who is polished early, so he shows better in a showcase, or does he have the potential to have real high end impact tools?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: He certainly has some ability. His in-game contact is  very loud. He was a 40 runner at Area Codes so unless that look wasn’t truly representative of his ability, for whatever reason, he’s probably a corner guy. Wouldn’t consider him elite, but he’s certainly of note.

12:57
Pickle Nick: Can bat speed ever be improved and how? Can a guy go from having average batspeed to above average? Would a guys switching to a lighter bat theoretically increase his batspeed?

12:59
Eric A Longenhagen: There are differing schools of thought on this among scouts. Those who think it can improve cite a change is physicality. There may be research papers out there about training methods that can improve it or even that it’s less influential a variable than is assumed. It’s a good question

12:59
Rick: Evan White really turned it on in the second half in High-A. Do you think the power continues to grow or do you think he’ll just be another great glove/no bat 1b?

1:00
Eric A Longenhagen: I think he made changes that moved the needle on his in-game output but I’m not sure if that will continue or if he’s plateaued. I dig him, overall.

1:01
Billy Beane: Eric, do you think there would be value if a team were to do something along the lines of purchasing an apartment building for their minor league teams and then have a common area with a chef and whatnot, almost like a dorm? I feel like, at least in the lower minors (maybe up to A+ or AA), you could gain a significant advantage by just feeding your guys better and making it easier for them to sleep and it would be more efficient than even paying them more (which they should probably also do, but whatever).

1:02
Eric A Longenhagen: I agree stuff like this would be beneficial and some teams are already doing it.

1:02
Marshall: I’m hoping to get a couple answers to questions on team draft rankings for an academic paper I have under review (not a good fit for a chat, though). Is there a way to contact you and/or Kiley?

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Sure, I’m always glad to help out with stuff like that and anyone here should feel free to reach us via email at prospects(at)fangraphs(dot)com for matters of import.

1:04
pirates hurdles: How fun are guys like Pablo Reyes? Low level prospects that burst on the scene in MLB, if even for a few weeks. Got to be one of my favorite things about Sept roster expansion.

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Agreed

1:05
Pickle Nick: Hey Eric, cool to see Corbin Carroll ranked so high. I asked you a few weeks ago if you thought he’d done enough to get up into the top 15 and you said top 15 was a little strong at that point. What changed? Did you or Kiley get a new look or hear new info?

1:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe I thought you meant where he gets drafted? I think he goes beneath where we have him ranked.

1:06
john cale: I know you only got a short look at Cole Winn and some of the other recent Rangers’ draftees, but how did he look? Any possible MORPs in that group?

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Was lucky enough to run into him and Owen White twice since last Friday. They both look great. Winn is clearly working with his changeup more often than he would be if he were just trying to get outs, which is just one of those things you have to sift through when you’re watching these guys. I’ll try to get video of him up this week.

1:07
Jacob: Have you gotten to see any of the A’s teenagers? Beck, Allen, Lazarito, Campos.

1:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Was supposed to see OAK yesterday but one of our cats took ill. It has not been a good year for pet health at Longenhagen Manor.

1:08
Joe: Do you think the Braves might have permanently screwed up Gohara and Wright by promoting them too quickly and misusing/not using them?

1:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah

1:08
Blue Jay Matt: In your view do the Blue Jays have a top 10 farm system?

1:09
Eric A Longenhagen: When Shapiro said we had them in the top 5 (was it 5 or 10? I forget, he said we had them high) I was taken aback because we haven’t explicitly ranked all the systems since I’ve been here. But eyeballing their board, yeah they’re probably up there.

1:09
Xam: What do you make of JP Crawford — can he hit at the MLB level?

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Still struggles to get to stuff away from him but I think he figures it out eventually.

1:10
mike sixel: Nick Gordon: Will he hit enough (he’s young, so I’m not overly worried)…and will he play SS or 2B in the majors? Thanks,

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: I have him as a 2B with some pop.

1:10
Ethan: Augustin Ruiz of the Padres – does he have a chance to be special?

1:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Agustin Ruiz (not being pedantic, that’s just for player linking purposes later) and I think he’s a nice sleeper in that system. Good build, just a bunch of 45s and 50s right now but could be a bunch of 50s and 55s if things break right.

1:11
Blue Jay Matt: The first pitcher taken in the 2019 draft will be __________?

1:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Barf. Umm….we have Carter Stewart as the top rated pitcher on the board, so I’ll just say him.

1:13
Frank Lyman from Amherst: Want to speak to having Rocchio so much higher than Freeman?

1:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Rocchio’s swing has lift and I think he’s a better fit at SS

1:14
Jack: Julio Urias hit 97 in his latest 2 inning relief appearance with the Dodgers. You heard any recent reports on how the stuff compares to what it was?

1:14
Eric A Longenhagen: He was rehabbing at 90-92 so this is way up, and I am super stoked about it. Finally some good pitcher news.

1:15
Reid: Is there a farm system with a lot of high-risk guys that could jump into prominence if a few of them pan out?

1:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Texas.

1:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Lotta huge bodies and guys with mid-90s fastballs.

1:15
Felix Millan: Playoff predictions?

1:16
Eric A Longenhagen: I think Cubs and Dodgers win their divisions, Cardinals get left out.

1:17
Eric A Longenhagen: That’ll do it for me, folks. Thanks for coming, see you next week. I think just Thursday, like usual, but let me check instructs schedule really quick…

1:18
Eric A Longenhagen: So looks like I might shift next week’s chat to head to Camelback. Check horrible twitter for updates. Peace

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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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DustyColorado
Member
DustyColorado

Eric, since you didn’t get to my question in the chat, I thought I would post it here. With all the updates to the prospects pages here, how about some updates on the upside of Twins Wander Javier please?

Snerd
Member
Snerd

Dude, although I respect your multi-platform commitment to this troll job, you just gotta stop. It’s well past amusing. It’s past stale. It’s really annoying and I’m frankly getting sick of seeing the name Wander Javier even though he’s been one of my favorite prospects. Just quit.

majnun
Member
majnun

It’s not even the same person, which is the saddest part. This is someone else who took up the shit crown and put it on his shit head.