Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat: 11/7

12:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay, we’re on. Pretty sure I’m headed to Mesa for this afternoon’s AFL game (not 100% on who the starters will be, the AFL has just decided to stop posting probables, apparently) so as is typical during AFL time, we’re keeping tight to an hour. Let’s boogie.

12:02
Josh: How close are Kyle Tucker and Garrett Whitley to the majors? Both seem to be getting fast tracked

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Tucker might get there next year in the event of injury but Houston has a glut of upper-level outfielders even after dealing Teoscar. Whitley was in Low-A last year so I disagree that he’s being fast tracked. he was a raw HS bat from the Northeast, not a guy who’s typically going to move quickly.

12:03
Whatup: Adbert Alzolay (sp?) – what his long term potential?

12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Chance to be a mid-rotation starter. 93-96, was 95-97 in Fall Stars game. Has two viable secondaries. I’m a fan.

12:05
David: Anything thoughts on Yankees’ Chris Gittens and Nick Nelson? Both seem like high upside lottery tickets, anything we can get excited about?

12:06
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d be skeptical of Gittens given that he was 23 an in A-ball. I know he hit for power in the FSL but still, 23. Nelson might be something but two DL stints and below avg command means, if he is, it’s probably a reliever.

12:06
GPT: Can Duggar be an above average CF, defensively, in MLB? Can Shaw be average in LF, defensively?

12:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, no.

12:07
Clegg: What can/should we take from AFL numbers?

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably nothing. It’s about how they look here, not how they perform. The list of guys who have killed it down here and not turned into much is really long, same as the list of players who struggle and turn into monsters.

12:08
Bearry: Guerrieri gets picked up by the Blue Jays. What’s his deal these days? Big loss for Rays?

12:09
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably not. Has had a myriad of injury issues, latest reports I have on his stuff aren’t good, has had off-field issues. Pass.

12:09
Greg: What’s the deal with Naylor? Seems like most prospect writers are down on him but he still gets sent to things like the AFL and Future’s Game. Is he a real prospect or not?

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: The World Team 1B slot is notoriously difficult to fill (which is why you see guys like solid org guys like Jordan Lennerton in the Futures Game) and Naylor is Canadian, so that has helped. He can definitely do some things. He has good bat control and feel to hit, he has 70 raw power and he takes some of the best BPs here in AFL. But his approach to contact doesn’t lead to as much game power as he shows in BP and he needs that game power to come if he’s going to profile, especially as a bad defensive 1B.

12:11
Waltharius: What do you think is the reason of Groome’s regression in 2017? What are the consensus among the evaluators on him?

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Generally thought it was fine. Breaking ball is still great, maybe he filled out a bit quickly for some scouts’ taste. Velo was down a bit from high school but that’s not unusual when you’re not throwing once a week anymore. Lots of kids struggle in Year 1 and Groome’s father was arrested on multiple drug and weapons charges mid-summer so I’m sure that was a bit of a distraction. Think he’s fine.

12:13
Vinicius: Is Nicky Lopez a top 100?

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: He’ll be strongly considered.

12:13
Rabbinical College Guy: Why were the Marlins able to score the most runs in the first inning in MLB and not do very well the rest of the game?

12:14
Eric A Longenhagen: Stanton was guaranteed to hit in the first inning of every game.

12:14
Ethan Herrema: Does Boston have any impact bats left in their system?

12:14
Eric A Longenhagen: Chavis has plus raw and I think he’s going to get to a lot of it. After that… you need to hope Dalbec and Ockimey hit enough.

12:15
Mike from Tempe: Is Heliot Ramos the only bonafide superstar type talent in the Giants system? Is their lack of this type of talent due to identification of talent or development? The last really good players the Giants developed was Brandon Belt, and he came to the Giants in 2010, long dry spell.

12:17
Eric A Longenhagen: It didn’t help that the big club was so good during much of the last decade. Picking in the back of round 1 (or not at all) does your farm system no favors. I love Ramos. Plus raw power, plus speed, plus arm, a wonderful teammate and worker. He’s a star if he can hit.

12:17
Minty: If Acuna and Robles are only in AAA for a month next year, which do you think will have more initial struggles in the majors?

12:17
Eric A Longenhagen: Acuna. Robles is ready and would have been better than Werth down the stretch.

12:17
Andrew S: How has Jordan Hicks looked in the Fall League? Hard to come by newer scouting reports that talk about his secondary pitches, very curious to know how he’s developing

12:17
Eric A Longenhagen: 98-100, average slider.

12:17
Guest: With a slight bias to restock AL prospects (cabinet is bare) over NL (Soroka, Newman and Y Alvarez on the roster), how would you lean between Tatis, Jr. and Bichette in an upcoming farm draft?  Thanks.

12:17
Eric A Longenhagen: Tatis

12:18
Jeb: Rank the following pitchers in terms of highest ceiling: Jordan Hicks, Jorge Guzman, Fernando Romero, Seth Romero. Thanks!

12:19
Eric A Longenhagen: Romero, Guzman, Romero, Hicks

12:19
Eric A Longenhagen: (wink)

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: I think Seth has the highest ceiling but you can make the argument for any one in that group. Huge arms, all.

12:20
David: Any under the radar players Yankees fans can look forward to next season?

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: Thairo Estrada

12:20
David: Who will get to the majors first between Sheffield, Adams and Acevedo?

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: Adams, I’d guess. Sheffield is the better prospect, though.

12:20
Mark: Too early to talk about Reynaldo Rivera?

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably, but I’m not one to stick up for 1b-only college bats (though he’s still very young)

12:21
bsg: His still a long ways off but do you see an all-star ceiling for Nolan Jones?

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: More of an avg everyday guy than a perennial all star

12:22
Paul: Any thoughts on the lesser known Braves guys in Arizona — Jared James, Corbin Clouse, Josh Graham?

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: James has above average raw and performed in Double-A after being picked in the 30-somethingish round back in 2016. He’s something, though his feel for OF and strikeout issues are concerning. Still a nice late pick. Clouse and Graham are relievers. Graham has a 70 changeup, he’s pretty nasty.

12:24
Oliver: I had the impression that Lourdes Gurriel was on a trajectory to be a fourth outfielder but he’s shown power, albeit with no walks, in the AFL, and he’s playing in the left side of the infield. Has he shown you enough to boost his stock this fall, either offensively or defensively?

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: Still a 45 for me. Utility guy.

12:24
Ted: If Dansby continues to struggle could Albies move back to SS?

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: He could but I think Swanson will be fine.

12:25
Guest: The next Rhys Hoskins… who is it?

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Depends what you mean by ‘next Rhy Hoskins’

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: If you mean R/R college 1B who gets there, maybe it’s Peter Alonso. If you mean “guy who comes up late next year and goes apeshit” then I don’t know. Whoever the balls are nicest to, I suppose.

12:26
Mr. Density: What professional wrestling gimmick do you wish you could pull off in real life?

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: Haven’t watched wrestling in a while but I’d like to repel down from the rafters and into the scouting section like Sting.

12:28
Adam: What sort of Top 100 prospects are more valuable as trade chips than as players? Starters who may end up in relief? Infielders who may end up utility players?

12:28
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably the arms. The fallback there seems better.

12:28
Trent: Hey Eric, when interviewing with a team for a MiLB video coordinator position or Baseball Ops internship, what can I do as a candidate to stick out from the rest of the pack? Thanks

12:29
Eric A Longenhagen: Show an ability to communicate, be organized and have a trick up your sleeve that shows you want to push Job X forward in some way.

12:29
Adam: You often refer to Jordy Barley of the Padres as “one of the most tooled up guys in that system.” Beyond that, what sort of scouting report do you have on him and does he have the best shot at being next years breakout player in the Padres farm system?

12:29
Eric A Longenhagen: abv avg raw power, plus speed, super twitchy. He’s an odd kid but has a chance to hit for power and play up the middle. He might break out, yes, but so could like 12 other guys in that system.

12:29
Rockie Dangerfield: Does David Dahl still have enough shine left after this lost season to be the centerpiece of a deal?

12:30
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah but probably not the kind of deal you’d be psyched to make.

12:30
Ozzie: Based on what you are hearing, do you believe the Braves will lose impact prospects due to this scandal?  As a fan that is fully invested in this rebuild, it would be devastating to have this process adversely impacted by inept leadership.

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d be completely speculating.

12:31
Devon : Eric, who do you prefer offensively: Acuna or Eloy?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: I guess Eloy. Acuna is still so young that he gets his lunch money taken by guys who can sequence well (go watch what Stinnett did to him in the Fall Stars game) where as Eloy’s approach is more MLB-ready.

12:33
Brad: Is Will Banfield’s special defense + bat enough to warrant a first round pick despite the risky profile that comes with a prep catcher?

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: I actually have some questions about the bat. Maybe toward the back of the round.

12:34
Satya: Not really a prospect question, but could a Matt KempRusney Castillo trade work?

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe? I’m scared to acquire another bad makeup guy after what happened with Olivera, tough. But not sure what Kemp would fetch. I wouldn’t take him.

12:35
Mark: Austin Riley: above average regular?

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: More a chance to be average. Jake Lamb is an above avg regular. Has many of the same issues Riley does, but more raw power, better handedness and he’s a 55.

12:37
JaAm: How legit of a prospect is Jojo Romero?

12:38
Eric A Longenhagen: ‘Legit’ seems binary to me, not something you can be more or less of. He’s a potential #4 starter, in my opinion. Athletic, good changeup. I’ll let you decide on the level of legitness.

12:38
Chase: Is Bobby Witt Jr the best high school player regardless of class?

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: If you think De Sedas sticks at SS, no. But Witt can play SS and has more offensive potential than Turang.

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: Witt is 2018, btw.

12:39
Andrew : Thoughts on Eric Haase? What can Tribe fans expect of him if he makes the show!

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: Reports I got during the season were very good, good shot to stay at C and doing something with the bat. Chance to be a regular for some of the scouts I’ve spoken to.

12:40
Who you got?: Jesus Luzardo (OAK) or Jose Albertos (CHC) and why?

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: Luzardo. Light years better present command and pitchability.

12:40
Meji-haw: Are we looking at a big league 3rd basement or big league catcher with Francisco Mejia?

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: Hands and feet are clearly a work in progress at 3B but I think he’ll be okay there and it looks like CLE likes their current big league catching situation with Haase on the way as a viable alternative.

12:41
Davell: Eric, what kind of impact pitchers are Shintaro Fujinami and Yusei Kikuchi? I’m guessing they’ll make it over to the US at some stage, just curious what they’d project as, in the majors?

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: Fujunami is probably a reliever. Low-90s might play up out of the ‘pen. Plus split. Kikuchi is like 92-94, touch a 6, avg changeup and curveball. I like him.

12:42
speedwell: Brent Honeywell have  #1 upside?

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: Love him, but that’s a little rich.

12:43
Tumbler, Whiskey: Victor Reyes is in the AZL and doing what he does: hit for average and sprinkle in some extra-base knocks. Is he ever more than a 4th OF or up/down guy? I know he *has* played center, but should he ever see more than emergency time there?

12:44
Sox in 7: Do you think Domingo Acevedo can work out as a SP still?

12:44
Eric A Longenhagen: More of a bench OF based on my looks this fall.

12:44
Eric A Longenhagen: I have Acevedo projected to the bullpen.

12:44
The Average Sports Fan: How bleak is the Royals situation?

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: On the farm? It’s not terrible despite what’s gone on with some of their recent pitcher draftees. Scouts love Melendez, Matias and Pratto.

12:45
Bobby Evans: Tyler Beede… part of the 2017 rotation for me?

12:46
Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe, but looks like more of a backend guy here than a mid-rotation stalwart.

12:47
Ryan B: Hey Eric – thoughts on Mickey Jannis? Put up some impressive AFL numbers in a small sample size, but does he have any MLB potential?

12:48
Eric A Longenhagen: Knuckleballers are tough to evaluate. He may be upper level emergency depth. He’s 29. It’d still be a wonderful story if he got there. Dude was in Indy ball.

12:49
Adam: Are Jack Flaherty’s secondaries good enough to make him a #3 starter?  Seems like his FB got tee’d off on as a rookie.

12:50
Eric A Longenhagen: Finishing up Cards system this week. I have Flaherty in as a #4. Think the slider is average, curveball maybe a tick above, slider command is going to be key. Repertoire and approach to pitching looks an awful lot like Jason Hammel.

12:50
Meh: I’m down on Verdugo & Alvarez, and it feels like the rest of the Dodgers system either graduated or was traded. Give me some hope!

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: They chilled out this dude’s swing and he’s raking now:

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: But god, I’ll miss that swing.

12:53
Mahatma Gagne: Favorite Brand New song, GO

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably something off of Devil and God. Welcome to Bangkok would be my bullpen intro music, but Not the Sun is probably my favorite song on that record.

12:53
Cards Outfield Logjam: Fowler, Pham, Piscotty, Grichuk, Martinez, O’Neill, Arozarena, Garcia, Sierra… Anyone I’m forgetting?  Care to pick 5 to go forward with?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: Lol, yeah I had trouble sifting through that group. You left out Bader and Mercado. Still need to finalize his spot on the Cards list but I think I’m taking Jose Adolis Garcia, Sierra, Fowler, Bader, O’Neill. I’m not sure how sustainable Pham’s year is and haven’t really examined it thoroughly.

12:56
Curtis: Who are a couple of guys who have looked much better at the plate in the AFL than when you have seen them previously?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: LaMonte Wade

12:56
John S: Lots of twitterings about whether Luis Urias’s skills will play at the big league level.  What’s your take? And is your answer dependent on what happens with the ball/homerun spike?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s an everyday big leaguer with or without the juiced ball.

12:57
Anonymous Coward: Eno Sarris said that Acuña was the most aggressively arrogant AFL prospect he’d seen. True?

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: This year? Yeah. He’s also clearly the best guy.

12:57
Curtis: Who are a couple prospects who had a bad 2017 but you still think will be great?

12:58
Eric A Longenhagen: The two Brewers college bats, though it’s fair to be concerned about them, Yadier Alvarez.

12:58
The Rules Committee: Do you have a timeline on your org prospect rankings?

12:58
Eric A Longenhagen: They’ll start going up late this week or early next and just continue until they’re done or I/we all die.

12:59
Ben T: Can you name three Mariners prospects that intrigue you (I know that’s near impossible) that aren’t Lewis, Neidert, White, or Carlson?

12:59
Eric A Longenhagen: Juan Then! (What’s up, Bill?)

1:00
dgrussel: seen anything inspiring from the Orioles’ prospects in the AFL?

1:00
Eric A Longenhagen: Tanner Scott’s changeup is mean.

1:01
ATCQ: Best SP you’ve seen?

1:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Prospect? Ever? Strasburg. Then AFL Gerrit Cole (Friggin 98-102 with plus change and slider). Pedro Martinez has the best career of anyone I ever saw in the minors but he was tuning up for ’09 starts with Philly at the time.

1:03
Satya: Is Austin Riley’s bat speed a big problem?  Early prospect reports are conflicting.

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think it’s a bat speed issues I think it’s a load depth issue.

1:03
Ghost of Frank Menechino: What do you think of the A’s future 2B situation? Barreto, Schrock, Neuse all got skillz.

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Barretto in CF, Neuse at 3B

1:04
Eric: Any of the following look like they can be setup or closer types: Shea Spitzbarth (RP – LAD), Trevor Bettencourt (RP – PHI), Art Warren (RP – SEA)

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Warren

1:04
John: Do the Royals push Lopez as starting SS opening day with escobar leaving?

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: No, I think you give Mondesi a chance before doing that to Lopez

1:04
Craner: Is TJ Zeuch in the top 100?

1:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably not, but I do like him.

1:05
Jim: Again I ask:

1:05
Lance: Did you hear anything about Kyle Wright’s pro season debut?

1:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Heard that he never threw a bullpen between starts at Vandy and needed some workload babying because of it. Also heard he found a more natural arm slot while taking groudners on the infield and that’s when his stuff spiked ahead of the draft. He looked great after he signed, feel good about having him #1 in the class right now.

1:07
Larry David: Why wasn’t Judge’s power rated 80 in the minors?

1:08
Eric A Longenhagen: I thought it was a tick beneath guys like Stanton and Gallo. Wouldn’t have argued if you put an 80 on it and you’re welcome to yell at me for being light on it, though I will ask you to consider the baseballs.

1:09
Andy: If you’re running the Marlins and the Cardinals approach you for a Stanton trade, what 3 Cardinals prospects are you asking for in the deal?

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Reyes, Knizner and Adolis Garcia. Reyes in non-negotiable. You have lots of viable upper level starting pitching, you’ll be fine. I want the best guy. You can start by asking for Carson Kelly instead of Knizner but I think the differences are marginal.

1:11
Eric A Longenhagen: And with that, I am out. See you all next week. There are Fall League games on TV later this week and next, check your local listing. Be well, thanks for coming.

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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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