Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat: 12/5

12:01
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay, believe we are ready to go here. Thanks for coming, everyone.

12:01
Tommy N.: Hypothetically if the Padres acquired Ohtani would this elevate them into the best farm system in your opinion?

12:01
Xolo: If the Padres land Ohtani, do they have the best farm system in baseball?

12:01
Nolan: If the Padres manage to sign Ohtani, does that change their long-term plan at all? Should they still be looking to trade guys like Hand or Solarte, or should they start to consider going after controllable MLB talent? Yelich comes to mind, and they certainly have the prospects.

12:01
Go Go Gadget Hamate Bone: True or Flase: Adding Ohtani to the Padres gives them the best farm system in the game.

12:02
Eric A Longenhagen: We could have a philosophical debate about whether you even include Ohtani on a prospect list, but yeah off the top of my head I’d say adding Sho gives them the top system. You could argue they have the top two prospects in baseball at that point.

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: As for Nolan’s question, Ohtani alone doesn’t make you competitive.

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think it would drastically alter their plans.

12:03
Johnny: Have you seen Giants outfielders Malique Ziegler, Aaron Bond, and Logan Baldwin? If so, thoughts on them?

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: I like Ziegler’s swing but am not sure he has the physicality to do a whole lot of damage with it. Bond is a plus-plus runner with a very strange swing. Has some raw power, too. He was old for the AZL and his speed was a lot for AZL defenders. Baldwin was another old-for-level hitter.

12:05
Carlo: Your thoughts on Eric Lauer? Did he do anything this year to change his back-end projection?

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Still a 4/5 for me at the moment.

12:05
Sox Fan: Reports on 2nd Rounder CJ Chatham (FAU)? Have not heard his name much and starting to get a bit concerned.

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Multiple hamstring injuries this year, he played like 7 games.

12:05
Juan: Your thoughts on Anthony Alford? He had another solid year statistically but dealt with injuries again. Has his projection changed at all?

12:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Nope, still an above average regular for me.

12:06
Duhbear: After looking at the catcher’s available for the Rule V draft, I’m immediately struck by Anthony Bemboom. The Rockies theoretically took him last year for his defense and the way he works with pitchers. After being a sort of organizational soldier for a couple years, it looks like he might have changed his approach as he doubled his BB% and his ISO at AAA. He also hits left handed, which is nice for the catching platoon. Have you heard anything on him?

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Albuquerque is a nice place to hit. He’s 27 and was the ‘Topes backup catcher. Probably not a guy. Does anyone have a glaring hole on their 40-man at catcher?

12:07
Mike: Question about a couple of possible Rule 5 guys, Burch Smith and Brett Graves, can they stick in the majors and actually provide positive value?

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, have seen both and think they’re big league relievers.

12:08
Duhbear: Is Garrett Hampson the next Trea Turner? He seems to hit well and his early numbers seem like his speed could help his power “play up” with hustle doubles and triples like KK.

12:09
Eric A Longenhagen: I like Hampson as a hit-first utility guy but don’t think he’s a SS and I think Turner was a much more explosive talent as a minor leaguer.

12:09
Dan: Has Tyler Wade’s stock dropped considerably?

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Not for anyone who knows that sample sizes are important to consider.

12:11
Lark: Just for reference, what would peak Jose Bautista’s hit tool grade out as? Hitting.220 or so cuts things down, but does the approach get factored in at all? I know a lot of low contact guys have more trouble getting to their power than he did too- does that success and the overall selectivity factor in to a hotbed tool eval, or does that come through in other parts of a write up?

12:11
Eric A Longenhagen: 40 bat. The approach and his ability to get to his power while still striking out are in other parts of the report.

12:11
Duhbear: Can McMahon convert back to 3B if he were traded? Seems like he has more value to another organization than as a potential 1B for the Rockies, especially with so many 1B options on the FA market.

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: For me and the scouts I speak with, he wasn’t a 3B prospect even before the move.

12:12
christaylor4mvp: best chance of being future starting of for dodgers: diaz, peters, or heredia

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Diaz has the best chance because he’s well-rounded and the most polished of that group, but Peters and Heredia have more upside.

12:13
Bill: Do either or both of Alford (Toronto) and Dustin Fowler (Oakland) become starting OFs in second half of 2018, assuming they are then fully healthy? What do you expect long-term from these two when healthy?

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: I think so. Fowler is an average everyday player for me, Alford above.

12:13
OneTrueDan: I’m having a hard time finding some Cubs prospects to follow–any recommendations?

12:13
TumbleWeed: Hi Eric, who do you see as a better starter prospect: Mitchell White or Dustin May?

12:14
Eric A Longenhagen: May

12:14
RAS: Heliot Ramos had a ridiculous .297 ISO, but also 32 K%, what made up those Ks? Late on fastballs, breaking ball recognition, hole in swing? And do you have any heavy concern over it long-term?

12:14
Eric A Longenhagen: Just lack of exposure to pro-quality pitching.

12:14
Alex: What do you think of new Royals prospect Yefri del Rosario? Remind you of anyone? He immediately slides into the Royals top 20 prospects, IMO.

12:14
Eric A Longenhagen: Wrote up all the Braves prospects cut loose here: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-braves-punishment-is-in-and-its-ha…

12:15
Home Run Baker: Is Acuna now likely to be your number one?

12:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Not likely but he’s a candidate. I’m not sure there’s a heavy favorite.

12:15
Alex: Buying or selling on Royals Raul Mondesi Jr.? I’m really excited for his future.

12:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Not on him, sorry.

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Think they should give i t a try, though.

12:16
Jay: Rafael Devers VS Rendon next 5 years. Will Devers surprise with the glove?

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: I prefer Rendon but he has more injury risk than Devers.

12:16
Hoppy: If Dansby were still a prospect, would he still rate similarly as you had him two years ago?

12:17
Eric A Longenhagen: I wasn’t here two years ago so I don’t know if you’re referring to where Keith and I had him on the draft board at ESPN or if you’re talking about Kiley’s list here. I’m still in on Dansby, think he’s a plus regular, 3 WAR guy at peak.

12:18
Alex: Is Royals Josh Staumont a big league starter? Really struggled with his control in 2017.

12:18
Eric A Longenhagen: Has struggled with it dating back to college, consider him a reliever.

12:19
Tumbler, Whiskey: Did you have any major takeaways from Anthony Banda’s debut? The FB is legit, but the secondaries seemed to hold him back. Has your opinion of him changed from his prospect days?

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: Still think it’s the same (#4 starter) but the reviews on both of his secondaries always seem to be mixed.

12:21
Cornelius: Is Xander Bogaerts a realistic offensive ceiling for Gleyber Torres?

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: 2016 X is very plausible, yeah

12:22
Pb&Js: Hi Eric, Garret Stubbs looked interesting a year ago but fell flat this season. What are his chances of becoming a featured backstop for Houston now, and when might that happen?

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: I still like Stubbs but think 2017 was further evidence that his lack of physicality might make him a backup

12:23
Dunt: Jason Martin is an intriguing name to me available in the Rule 5 draft, do you have any reports on how he is as a defender? Seems like the bat could play in a corner OF spot.

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: 4th or 5th OF type of prospect

12:24
Andy: So the Cards traded for yet another young OF prospect.  Where are they going to put all these guys?

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Woodman probably going to repeat Low-A, right? SEC college guy who struck out as much as he did in Low-A…not really close to the upper-level guys.

12:25
botchatheny: cards have signed the big japanese free agent pitcher.  what do you know about Miles Mikolas

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: I have 90-94, t95 with above average curveball, average slider, fringe change. Those are fresh reports, not from his days with TEX.

12:26
Alec Asher Wojciechowski: Have you heard anything about Toro-Hernandez being able to play catcher?

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Has the arm for it, the rest will take time and I don’t have anything recent  on other parts of the profile

12:27
ZMP: Hey Eric, big fan of your content. Despite Triston McKenzie’s universal status as a highly ranked prospect I feel as though he’s a tad underrated. Is it a fair argument to say that he’s the top SP prospect not named Alex Reyes?

12:29
Eric A Longenhagen: I won’t say ‘no’ but would ask you to make that argument. I think Wright, Greene, Kopech, Buehler, Honeywell all have better stuff and several of them are further along.

12:29
Not Carson: Name a few players landing outside of your top 100 that have the potential upside to become future all-stars?

12:30
Eric A Longenhagen: Those are the guys who are in the low minors and still 45 FVs on my lists

12:30
Brandon M: In 2016 you said that Yohel Pozo had no projection and you weren’t confident in his future position.  HAs anything changed for you this season, or is the general assessment the same?

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Hmmm, gonna ask you to provide the receipt for that one, I’ve always kinda been on Pozo.

12:31
Dylan B: The more I think and read about the A’s system, the more I like it. Is it a top 5 system? They have some really good upside and serious depth

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Agreed. Very underrated system with a ton of interesting guys in the low minors.

12:32
Old timer: Daulton Jefferies; any word on his progress back from TJ and how likely is he to project as a starter?

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: I know he was playing catch at the end of September but nothing past that. I really liked him pre-injury. Plus athlete, low to mid-90s, plus change, breaking ball very much in flux but had average potential, potential plus command. Very good prospect independent of his injury history.

12:34
Running from reality: No question, just wanted to comment that I love listening to your podcast with Carson while running in the morning.

12:34
Luzinski’sSweatyGooch: Longenhagen, your prospect lists are the most thorough and detailed in the industry, your last chat was the best ever, and you have the class to acknowledge John Arguello in your Cubs list. Incredibly classy. You’re killing it on all levels.

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: Thanks to both of you. I do miss John and Mark Smith.

12:34
Bryan: How  do you feel about Brewers minor leaguers Jordan Yamamoto and Freddy Peralta, both RHPs.Do their statistics portend  future MLB success? Thanks.

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: Brewers list should be out tomorrow or Thurs (it’s done, just being edited) so you’ll get more on those guys. Peralta is mostly 89-92 but I have his fastball graded as plus because of spin, extension and somem other stuff you’ll read about. Yamamoto is another spin rate guy but scouts think his arm slot creates platoon issues that point toward the bullpen.

12:36
Mac: Regarding your prospect lists if for example the Cardinals traded prospects for Stanton or Ohtani signed with a team that you already published, are you able to edit them after the fact where you could cut and paste the prospects out of the Cardinals and onto the future Marlins post or edit in an Ohtani blurb?

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, I’ve retro-actively edited lists (the White Sox  made me miserable last winter) in the past if there are several huge trades.

12:37
Biscuit: Hey Eric, you in or out on the following prospects hitting their top 20% projection: Yadier Alvarez, Christian Arroyo, Isan Diaz, Jorge Alfaro?

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Still in on Isan, more tepid on Yadi and Arroyo, disillusioned with Alfaro

12:38
Trixie: If Esteury Ruiz was still in the Royals’ farm system, do you think he would be a top 5 prospect?

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: Not quite. Would have (not in order) Seuly, Lee, Melendez, Lopez, Pratto ahead of him at least. I do like him, though.

12:39
Graver: Vlad Jr has a ton of helium. What position do you think he plays when he makes the Bigs, and where will he end up eventually. Do you see any red flags that could cause him to fail or should I be all in on him?

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: I think there’s risk he ends up at 1B but he’s going to hit enough that it won’t matter.

12:40
Sterling Malory Chris Archer: Jhalyin Ortiz has me intrigued.  Does he end up in AA this year?

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: That would be pretty fast. I’d be impressed if he hit his way out of Lakewood and up to Hi-A.

12:41
The lone Ranger fan: Assuming my Rangers don’t go out and get a name outfielder do you think Calhoun has a chance to break camp with a starting job? If so, what kind of numbers do you see?

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: His bat is ready, but he’s a DH-only for me right now.

12:42
Biscuit: Jesse Winker had a really nice debut.  Shouldn’t the Reds get him 400 AB? Anything in his mechanics suggest the power is sustainable or at least something closer to it (say .180 ISO) than he showed in the past?

12:44
Eric A Longenhagen: Very nice debut, actually going to do a deep dive on him today as I start the Reds list (and maybe I did some late last night after finishing Milwaukee). Note that Winker only slugged over .500 in full season ball once: when he was in the Cal League. I don’t think he has big game power but I do think the big league baseball made it look like he did. I think he hits enough to be an average OF anyway, but it’s tough projecting his power based on his big league numbers when they seem artifical.

12:44
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Eric, have you been listening to the Wheelhouse, Jerry Dipoto’s podcast?
“They had a roster crunch. If something has to give and a trade is imminent, there is a 60-40 chance you’re going to wind up with the Mariners.”

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: I have and think it’s worth listening to even if you’re not a Mariners fan.

12:47
Borat in Baltimore: I realize Austin Hays seemed to come out of nowhere but 2017 was a pretty impressive year for him. Do you think the Orioles would like to see him take a starting job in this year of retooling?

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: I do, would be nice for a talented young player to grab hold of a big league job, always.

12:48
Anthony: Are you in on Wes Rogers after he finally hit? Surprised he was left unprotected?

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: I do think he’s interesting if a team has the roster flexibility to add someone who will essentially be a pinch runner and little else. Keep in mind he’s a 23y/o who was repeating the Cal League.

12:49
Giants fan: Whqt are thw odds that at San Jose Fabian just destroys? I feel like the finish at augusta and move to hitters league are setting him up for an explosion

12:50
Eric A Longenhagen: Hadn’t considered that. You’re right, that could be fun. Really hope he becomes more patient, though.

12:50
Jim: I don’t ever recall seeing a catching prospect at that time with a 70grade glove and 65- 70 arm like Jake Rogers in last 20yrs.  In hindsight their might be one when you do a look back , but I don’t remeber a catcher that had those defensive grades when they were a prospect…were there any out there?!  Any off top of head?

12:50
Eric A Longenhagen: None off the top of my head. I know guys with that kind of arm strength (Gary Sanchez, Alfaro) but not the glove, too. Yadi Molina debuted when I was in 8th grade so I can’t say first hand, but maybe him?

12:51
Dylan: Which blue Jays prospect jumps in to the top 100 by midseason (ignoring those already there)? Pearson? Olivares? No one?

12:52
Eric A Longenhagen: If pro scouts see Pearson as a starter, him. I’ll also throw TJ Zeuch some love, that guy can pitch and his stuff is solid.

12:52
Jack: What are your current thoughts on Franklin Barreto? Seems to me that his tools aren’t quite loud enough to make up for the flaws in his game (K’s, defense)

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t like the glove either but give him time. As I sit here typing he’s still the age of most college players eligible for this year’s draft.

12:53
I am the Walrus: WAR – how is a replacement player determined for the baseline?

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: The baseline is ‘replacement level player’ which are the guys who shuttle up and down from Triple-A when someone gets hurt. We have enough of a sample of what those guys do as a group to have a statistical baseline.

12:55
Biscuit: Hey Eric, do you think Trent Clark ends up in the Majors?

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: Trent Grisham now, and yes.

12:56
Bort: Which division will you be doing next for your prospect rankings?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: The Wests are next

12:56
Ryan: What am I missing with Mike Ford?  He has hit pretty much everywhere and, to my eye, there is not appear to be a glaring issue with his swing.  Is it just that he is a 1B only and teams look at him as a Quad A player?

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, have answered a lot of Ford questions in the last few weeks, which is great. I love that our readers know who Mike Ford is. I agree he’s interesting but I think NYY’s pursuit of Cooper, McBroom, conversion of McKinney, etc at least tells us what that org thinks of Ford.

12:57
William: I haven’t heard too much about Vidal brujan, but his numbers are great. Is he in the rays top 15 prospects? thanks

12:59
Eric A Longenhagen: Aha, I dig Brujan. He’s advanced, not overly physical. He was on my Rays list last offseason and Chris wrote him up on his NYPL pref list: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/a-new-york-penn-league-pref-list-for-2…

12:59
Mitch: Is it a possibility that you might assist Rotographs with a fantasy top 100 prospects?

1:00
Eric A Longenhagen: I think I’d be doing more harm than good. Those guys have a handle on it and I haven’t played fantasy baseball for so long that my feel for how that type of list should be colored by counting stats is gone.

1:00
Wes: If I wanted to pick the brain of the scouts that attend games at my local AAA park, when is the best time? Before the game, between innings, after it’s over? Not all, maybe, leave them alone to work?

1:01
Eric A Longenhagen: The time between BP and the game is your biggest chunk of time. Some are willing to talk during games, others would rather be quietly locked in.

1:01
Cole B.: Do you think Kevin Merrell can stick at SS? If so, is he a 50 FV type for you?

1:01
Eric A Longenhagen: I do not

1:02
Eric A Longenhagen: But hey, that org is willing to try things at SS that I am not, so he could get a longer look there than he would in other orgs.

1:02
J.Cricket: Akil Baddoo or Brandon Marsh for the most upside?

1:02
Eric A Longenhagen: geeeeeez. Marsh.

1:02
Gavin: Where would Shohei Ohtani The Pitcher and Shohei Ohtani The Hitter fall in MLB Prospect Rankings, respectively?

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: #1/In the 125-200 range

1:03
walewander: Any lesser-known Tigers prospects you think fans should keep an eye on next season?

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Sam McMillan

1:04
LegallyEagle: Are the low wages of minor league ball players significantly impacting their development? (Or are teams still investing enough money in prospect skill/body development?)

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Some teams have enough on-complex resources to help them but others do not, and yes I think it makes a difference.

1:05
Drew: I know you’ve commented that you don’t worry about height for pitchers/relegate shorter pitchers to relief duty. Is that view becoming more accepted around the league?

1:05
Eric A Longenhagen: I think so.

1:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Especially as biomechanics teach us that longer-levered pitchers may actually deal with more stress on the elbow since lever length is one of the variables in the formula for torque

1:07
Shuck Bowalter: What would Florial have to do in Double A to have you believing he’s got a shot to put enough of a hit tool to be a legit major leaguer?

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: K% less than 30%

1:07
Drew: Way too early thoughts: is the 2018 draft strongest in college pitching?

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Prep pitching

1:07
Drew: How different are Madrigal and Kingery (aside from height)?

1:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Ooo la la, I like this question. Swings are different. Kingery more of a pull-hitter than the Magic Man. But I can’t come up with anything else off the top of my head.

1:09
Brewers Fan: What prospects from the Brewers org do you think are the most appealing to trade outside of the top ten

1:09
Eric A Longenhagen: Feliciano

1:09
I am the Walrus: Your thoughts on Dodger OF prospect Kendall?

1:09
Eric A Longenhagen: Tooled up but needs a swing overhaul

1:10
Royals nut: What’s your thoughts on lhp Richard Lovelady of royals

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Well-built lefty relief prospect. Low slot, stuff is very good.

1:10
Steve: Is Bryan Mata more than a potential #3, or is that it?

1:11
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s it, but remember that a #3 is a 60, a 3 WAR guy.

1:12
Vic: I discovered Shed Long this time last year and wanted to know if you think he’s a viable above average MLBer.

1:12
Eric A Longenhagen: Closer to average than above.

1:12
John: Any tips for someone like me who will be doing actual scouting for the first time this spring?

1:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Go to your games, take your notes, re-write the notes in a more polished report afterward and do it for everyone, not just the big name guys.

1:13
I am the Walrus: High upside but how low is the floor for OF Armenteros?

1:13
Eric A Longenhagen: No MLB

1:13
Paul: Is Sandy Alcantara really a centerpiece type prospect in your mind?

1:15
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s a tough question. Yes, but he requires more work to be that kind of guy than you’d think given that he’s already been in the Majors. I don’t like what St. Louis did to his breaking balls last year and think he needs fixing if he’s to be more than just a late-inning reliever.

1:15
Matt: Miggy HAS to have an 80 hit in his prime right? I was just thinking about someone telling me there hasn’t been one in years and me thinking that can’t be right

1:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Oh hell yes

1:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Victor Martinez, too

1:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay everyone, I must go. Thanks for coming this week. Not sure if winter meetings will alter the chat schedule so I’ll keep you all posted on the twitter. Have a good week, all.

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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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Seattle has a GLARING organizational hole at Catcher, especially after selling David Banuelos last night to the Twins for international money.