Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat: 2/13

12:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Good morning, all. Prospects Week is over at FG but you can check out all the links to our work near the bottom of the FG homepage.

12:02
Eric A Longenhagen: So please do that.

12:02
ChiSox2020: Which team has the best relief pitching pipeline?

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: The Yankees. Multiple Rule 5 picks every year, trading 40-man crunch relievers for actual prospects.

12:03
Dan: Any thoughts on Fernando Kelli (Cubs CF)?

12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Can really run but that’s it right now. Needs reps in CF and I’m confused about whether or not he’s actually a switch-hitter anymore or if he ever was because I’ve never seen it.

12:04
THE Average Sports Fan: Eric, last week’s content was great.  What has received the most positive and negative feedback?

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: From people in baseball? The overall 100 was praised, the draft rankings elicited more mixed responses because, well, it’s draft stuff and we’re just getting underway so opinions are naturally all over the place.

12:05
Anthony: With data becoming available in more minor-league parks, does that make scouting any easier? Are there guys where something like pitch data (spin rate, etc.) really doesn’t jibe with what you see in person?

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Not for us since all that stuff belongs to the teams and isn’t publicly available. Question #2: Yes, because spin axis is important and we know even less about that. Bryan Mitchell is a great example of this. Mid-80s curveball with 2700rpm is like Jose Fernandez metrics, but the axis means it plays like a 45 slurve.

12:07
LAD: What does Yadi Alvarez need to do this season to get back on track.  Stay healthy?  Show elite K%?  Improve control?  Better body language, attitude and fitness?  Can he prove the doubters wrong with a bounce back season?  Does he have top 25 prospect potential if he does?

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s been in AZ for a while working on command and changeup. Yes, he has front end potential if he gets his sh*t together.

12:07
Your Name: Eric, simply reporting here…that Wendy’s on City Line near SJU during the Eagles parade…INSANELY packed, took over 45 mins to order…and it was all worth it…

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: I used to smell that Wendy’s from class and one of my freshman floormates ate a LOT of those….

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Baconators

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: that’s it

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: they were new at the time.

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: pretty gross

12:09
Monsignor Martinez: I know you live in AZ.  Have you seen CFHS senior Dante De Niro?  Any thoughts on him?

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, catcher committed to GCU, right? Battle-hardened b being the youngest of three similarly aged brothers. Can catch, decent athlete, swing has some natural loft. He’s interesting.

12:10
A big dumb idiot: He’s not a prospect anymore but Teoscar Hernandez is likely to start the year in Buffalo despite an impressive showing last September. Do you think he can be an average corner guy?

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: I believe so

12:10
Ziggy: How much did Justus Sheffield’s fall league performance affect his FV? Could he be a #2 or is he still capped at that mid rotation SP territory?

12:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Ticked him from a 50 to a 55, more about his pitchability than his uptick in velo, which I’m not sure he holds through a season.

12:11
Stros Double Clutch 2018!: One graduated prospect you didn’t cover was 1B/DH A.J. Reed. It just seems like he can still make the jump to the majors but doesn’t have opportunity now. How does he get rated, and what kind of trade value does he have to the rest of the league?

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, talked about him with some execs and scouts for that Prospect Limbo piece and there’s some 4A hitter talk surrounding him but I couldn’t get enough to write anything definitive. He needs an opportunity.

12:12
Slurve: Has there been any research done to the “Change of Scenery” theory for “failed” prospects?  Or are there too many factors that contribute to the success/failure of the dudes with tools?

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: The latter.

12:12
Andy: Haven’t seen much of him other than some highlights and looking at stats, but what is the biggest hole in Seth Beer’s game preventing him from being a top-15 guy in this year’s draft?

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Little defensive value manes he has to rake, numbers slid as a soph has some wondering if this is just someone who peaked, physically, at 20.

12:13
George : Should any value be put into prospect performance in MLB Spring Training Games?

12:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Not from an avg/obp/slg type of performance standpoint, but you can get decent scouting looks. Pretty valuable to see a prospect and big league hitter swing back to back.

12:15
Isaac Paredes: What do I profile as? Jhonny Peralta type player?

12:15
Eric A Longenhagen: That’d be a terrific outcome, yeah.

12:15
Owen: Going to see the Gators vs Miami in Coral Gables. Probably Sunday (Tyler Dyson) but maybe Saturday (Jackson Kowar.) who else should I look for?

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Use the old Ctrl + F and search for the schools

12:16
greg: You had written that Tony Santillan probably needs to develop a full grade of FB control to profile as a starter. He’s still pretty young, so is that a reasonable expectation, or is that more of a pipe dream to where we’re saying, “he’s too far off b/c this is what would need to happen”?

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Don’t thin kit’s unreasonable but do think it’s unlikely.

12:17
Vincent Vega: What rookie from last year do you think improves the most in their sophomore campaign?

12:17
Eric A Longenhagen: Swanson

12:17
Anthony: Does Blaine Knight start for you?

12:18
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably not

12:18
Tawnda: How special can Jesus Luzardo be? Is he more of a high floor as opposed to a high ceiling type of guy?

12:19
Eric A Longenhagen: Quick-moving high floor guy, but think he could be better than just a #4/5 or a #4 in the way Mike Leake was a quick-moving #4.

12:19
Frank Menechino: Which low-level A’s prospect has the best shot at cracking the Top 100 next year: Austin Beck, Lazarito, or Nick Allen?

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll take Lazarito. He, Beck and Deichmann were on our ’40s and 45s to buy for next year’ list

12:20
Pat: If first round draft picks were tradable, would you expect to see many of those get traded, especially given how less likely teams seem to be willing to trade their top prospects?

12:22
Eric A Longenhagen: I do think many would be traded. Obviously there would be unintended consequences, there always are, we’re living them in this FA market, but in general I think Rebuilding Team X would want that kind of asset while Competitive Team Y can trade it without their fans having grown attached to a prospect, etc.

12:22
Dave: Hi Eric. Would you ever consider doing a post where you highlight current major leaguers and grade their tools out on the 80 scale? It may help give us readers a better sense of what the future projected tools of prospects may look like if everything pans out. Thanks!

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: I think that might soon be a part of everyone’s player page? We’ve talked about it.

12:23
Ducklin: Is Honeywell’s screwball a sideshow?I heard the explanation of you guys listing it as a splitter, but you didn’t mention it at all in the blurb. I was under the impression that it was a marquee pitch for him. How often does he throw it? Would he still be ranked as high without it?

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: When I’ve seen him pitch he’s thrown it 3-6 times per outing. It’s nasty but he uses the changeup much more.

12:24
A Boy Named Yu: Do you have any favorite Cubs prospects, not counting Ademan/Alzolay?

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Amaya, Caratini, Estrada, Marquez…

12:25
Derek: Albert Abreu or Justus Sheffield?

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: One of those guys we ranked 39th overall, one we ranked 59th overall.

12:26
JP: thoughts on sam carlson? you guys had him ranked pretty high on the your pre-draft rankings, but i know they changed drastically after that. do the mariners have a promising prospect here?

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: I love Carlson. Finishing M’s list today and he’s ahead of White.

12:26
Xolo: Should Josh Naylor join the launch angle revolution? He’s got big raw power that he’s not tapping into, he makes enough contact to survive the jump in K% and he’s far from a top prospect at this point so it’s not like he’s got a lot to lose.

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: I think he’d benefit from being selective and only attacking pitches he can really destroy. That might alter his launch angle without him needing to make a mechanical change. His is an approach issue, not a swing issue, in my opinion.

12:27
A Boy Named Yu: Is Blake Rutherford a prime candidate for higher launch angle swing adjustment?

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Saw him take BP two weeks ago and have a 45 on his raw. I don’t know where the pop went but it isn’t there right now.

12:29
Philip: Any hunter Harvey reports

12:30
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, 93-96 with a plus hook as he worked back from injury last year. Was sad he didn’t come to AFL but the stuff was good when he pitched. Needs to stay healthy

12:31
Frank Menechino’s Dog: Given his dominance at the position in 2017, backed up by all the defensive metrics, is Matt Chapman looking like he might be a true 80-grade defender at peak?

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Looks that way. I was light on him last year.

12:31
Matt: When does college baseball start

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: JUCO ball has started but D1 basll starts this weekend

12:31
ryan: How does the 2018 draft class compare to 2017?

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Deeper, still waiting for a half dozen guys or so to tick into the 55 and 60 FV range

12:32
cyarbrough: Edmundo Sosa at 12 on the Cards list? Did you see something in the AFL?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s a near-ready, stone cold 45 and the best defensive infielder on their 40-man.

12:32
The good doctor: Hey Eric – An extremely divisive prospect, Kevin Maitan is seen as both a potentially generational talent, sitting near the top of some top 100 lists, as well as a guy sitting outside many other top 100 lists. Likewise, i’ve found his values in dynasty leagues to be all over the place. Care to shed some light on the seemingly extreme variance across the industry on Maitan?

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: He was a talented amateur. He got heavy and was mishandled by the Braves. He might bounce back, but we don’t know. The talent wasn’t misevaluated.

12:33
Slurve: What do you think is the fairest way to treat young players financially in MLB?

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: Open market. No more draft, no more hard IFA bonus caps.

12:34
Deflated M’s fan: Is our system really in that bad of shape right now?

I knew coming into last week that it wasn’t going to be pretty for us but I think we may have had one person on one post.

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: It is that bad, but it isn’t because you have bad scouts.

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: Hold on….

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: This is the list of prospects traded under Dipoto. If you’re cool with other teams’ interest as a proxy for prospectdom, this list is nearly twice as long as the one we’ll publish on the current system this week.

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Why? Probably because they’re trying to compete right now and this is how they’ve decided to go about it. That’s not wrong, but I don’t think it’s sustainable.

12:37
Big Joe Mufferaw: Which prospect had the ‘ugliest’ swing that actually made it work in the big leagues? Has to be Youkilis right? Damon? Pedroia? (lot’s of red sox have ugly swings?)

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Hunter Pence

12:37
ryan: Any good draft prospects from the state of Washington?

12:38
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, in addition to the guys on the list we’re following Corbin Carroll, Koby Blunt, Matt Gretler, Kody Darcy, Dustin Garcia

12:38
The good doctor: Trent Grisham (Clark) is a guy flying under the radar in the prospecting world, but has shown up on a few deeper analytical lists (including getting some KATOH love) – thoughts on Grisham’s 2018 + longer term outlook?

12:38
Eric A Longenhagen: I stuck a 50 on him on the Brewers list, think he’s an everyday player.

12:39
Humboldt Crabs: Dodgers posted video of Julio Urias lob tossing the other day. Think he stands a chance of getting healthy and realizing that Ace or No. 2 potential?

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: I honestly have no idea but I can tell you he’s rehab Target #1 for me here in AZ

12:39
wadz: One of the few rankings having Kieboom higher then Soto, mind expounding on your thought process there?

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: Reports on the glove were too good to ignore. Not that he’s a 6 glove at short or anything, just that there’s increasing thought that he might stay there.

12:41
JP: How many ABs does Bauers get in the TB this year?

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: 350

12:41
Mike: As I read scouting reports on all the different draft guys, Travis Swaggerty seems like an interesting profile. Is his skill set just not suited to be a top of the draft guy? Or do you think he would potentially be more highly thought of if he went to a bigger school?

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: Some tweener concern. The carrying tool is the bat and you’re just more confident if the guy hits against SEC pitching rather than at South Alabama. Just a comfort thing, not a famousness thing.

12:43
Phil: Kansas City’s system is pretty devoid of talent – anyone you think has above average Major League potential that’s not a top guy there?

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: Seuly Matias and MJ Melendez

12:43
Mariners fan: How much of a difference does track man make on scouting a player like nick madrigal? Do teams have a significantly better idea of what they are drafting?

12:44
Eric A Longenhagen: Depends on the club doing the picking, but generally yes it adds significant context.

12:44
Mariners fan: Any UW prospects of interest?

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: AJ Graffanino (yup, he’s Tony’s kid) and Willie MacIver. Also both Jones kids, Ben Baird, and I hope Demers’ stuff bounces back.

12:46
Steve: battle-hardened is a really weird way to describe a high school baseball player…

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: Scale it down in your own head, I’m obviously not comparing him to someone in the military.

12:47
Dominik: Is next year’s draft a weak hitting class? Most talk seems to be about pitchers and while there are some nice hitters most have a question mark or two (like madrigals size or the development of Turang’s power). Gorman looks nice but  then again he is a corner bat. Is this more a pitchers class?

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: Yup. Hitters will move up artificially and some will reveal themselves the way ROoker did last year, but at this point I totally agree with you.

12:48
The Ghost of Wade Boggs: What is the oldest one could be for them to be still considered a prospect? Is there such an age?

12:48
Eric A Longenhagen: I write up a 27 year old once in a while, usually for Rule 5 stuff or someone who has been hurt or playing in Asia.

12:49
Hoser: Would any Jays OF prospects/young players be able to be converted to 2B to find playing time?

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: Just assumed Solarte, Urena, Diaz and Travis would comprise the middle infield. Nobody on the 40-man is screaming for a conversion. Maybe Max Pentecost needs a look there? Can’t think of obvious candidates.

12:51
Slurve: What percentage of the negative comments to Rian’s first “article” are people who also submitted applications to Fangraphs for the job he ultimately secured?

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: No idea, probably a few? It was an ugly day in the comments section of the site yesterday. Internet gonna internet, I suppose.

12:53
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: With Jose De Leon’s injury history, do you put him in the pen or is he a starter with a low innings limit?

12:54
Eric A Longenhagen: Gotta keep trying to start him yet.

12:54
Mark : Is Luis Medina someone that should be on the radar in the Yankees system?

12:54
Eric A Longenhagen: Yep

12:54
JP: Pache at 37 seems awfully high. I know how you feel about his potential floor being Pillar, but was any of that Kiley-Braves influenced?

12:54
Eric A Longenhagen: Pache was my prospect #101 LAST offseason so we had a good chuckle at the notion that Kiley was the one pounding the table for him.

12:55
Chapstick Free Since ‘93: Whatever happened to Ricky Romero? What’s that boy up to?

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: Was pitching for Tijuana late in the summer.

12:55
Joe: If Ohtani  was only a pitcher or outfielder, would that have changed his rankings?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: Pitcher: No
Hitter: Would have been a 45 for me and a 50 for Kiley

12:56
Bird Man: ELOY JIMENEZ…WHAT SAY YOU?!?!

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: ELOY HIT BALL FAR

12:56
WorriedCubsFan: What do you think about Tommy Pham?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: Never really dug into him to decide if I thought it was real. Aledmys Diaz I did, and decided it wasn’t. Jose Martinez, I think it’s real. Pham? No idea.

12:57
Kris: Does Garrett Hampson have the ability to be an everyday player? Average MLber?

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: Think he’s a utility guy.

12:57
Slurve: If my son was a 6’4″ lefty who consistently threw 98 in high school, and was firmly on the radar for teams/scouts, should I, as a parent,  limit his innings to just his high school season?  What would summer ball prove other than better competition (which my tools might not care so much about)  Would that make a difference in “bullets in the chamber” or injury risk?

12:59
Eric A Longenhagen: You’d want to limit his workload but I don’t have an exact answer as to how much. If the kid is already known to scout/teams that summer isn’t as important, I agree with that premise. And I agree health should be prioritized. But I don’t know exactly how much pitching is too much nor how little is too little.

12:59
Nick: Was John Aiello of Wake Forrest considered in your 2018 draft rankings?

12:59
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes but was kept off due to concerns about swing and miss

12:59
The Ghost of Wade Boggs: When looking at a catching prospect, is framing factored into the defense grade? Is that what evaluators refer to when they say something like a catcher having “soft hands”?

1:00
Eric A Longenhagen: ‘Framing’ is more of an analytics term describing a catcher’s ability to steal strikes on the edge of the zone, while ‘receiving’ is the scout term (soft hands, quiet receiver, etc) and they’re independent of one another.

1:01
Big Joe Mufferaw: How do you chose which questions to answer?

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Depends on the day, actually. Open-ended premises and stuff that requires research I haven’t done can be tough to answer in a way that doesn’t make me look stupid later, because there may be an obvious answer that I don’t have time to come to in the 10-15 seconds I have to answer your question.

1:03
Bird Man: Ortiz from the Phils…what type of monster could he be in the bank along side Rhys?

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Meh. He has huge power but is a big, stiff kid with zero margin for error on offense. Has a chance, but way too far away to start wondering where he fits into Philly’s lineup.

1:04
Shawn: Thoughts on graduating prospect from last year Trey Mancini?  I thought for sure I’d see him listed on the article.

1:05
Eric A Longenhagen: We talked about him but ultimately got to this: r/r 1b/dh with no patience means he’s probably due for regression. He’s Trumbo all over again in many ways. Up to you how you value that guy, was a 45 for us.

1:05
Ryan: Not a prospect but what developmental expectations do you hope to see from German Marquez this season?

1:05
Eric A Longenhagen: More cambios, please.

1:06
Rex Manning Day: I noticed that on the FG list, Andujar’s tools were graded as good or better than Gleyber’s across the board. They’re essentially tied in rank, but Gleyber is widely considered the better prospect. Is it just age and the positional difference that separates them, in your eyes, or is there something else that puts Gleyber ahead?

1:06
Eric A Longenhagen: You nailed it

1:06
Big Joe Mufferaw: What was the biggest question mark on Mike Trout when he was drafted? Simply the Northeast playing time thing?

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: What I’ve been told, and this may be apocryphal, is that it rained a bunch and directors didn’t see him as much.

1:07
Andy!: Hi Eric! Are you familiar with the prep shortstop in Kansas, Cam McMillan? I believe he’s a Vandy commit. I got to see him play recently and I was wowed. He looks like an uber athlete and he was hitting 105-plus shots in BP. Curious what you think of him. Thanks!

1:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Yup, also on our list of follows. Huge 6-5 kid with power projection. 50 arm, needs a position because it isn’t SS.

1:08
James: Who will the tigers go after 1-1.  You think they will take another pitcher?  Any rumblings?

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Just too early. With executives in FL/AZ for ST it’ll be interesting to see who’s where this weekend (and all month really) and who plays well in front of them. Senzel went nuts in front of everyone here in AZ two years ago and went from middle of rd 1 to top 10. If, I don’t know, Luken Baker goes wild this weekend, maybe we’re talking about him as an AJ Reed type in three weeks.

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay, that’s my hour. See you next week. Lots of college ball on TV and streaming this weekend so check that out.

We hoped you liked reading Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat: 2/13 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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Mattabattacola
Member
Mattabattacola

DANG missed the chat. Does anyone know if MiLB.tv is worth it? Seems awesome but I could see it being underwhelming.

Astromets
Member

Depends on the home teams you’re interested in, but I love it and it really is a good deal. I’m a Mets fan/minors blogger, so I watch/cover games in the PCL (LV 51s), EL (Ponies), SAL (Fireflies) + NYPL (Cyclones), and the quality varies greatly from home park to home park. Most setups are pretty good but few come close to current MLB broadcast standards – eg, most have no or few replays, only a few offer a pitch velocity bug (some don’t have score bugs), there are a limited number of camera angles (cameramen)…
Three of those Mets affiliates have MiLB.tv available at their home park and the quality is very different at each. Columbia has a new park and new MiLBtv setup, so they offer pretty much everything except pitch velo. Binghamton is only OK, as they’ve rarely offered a CF camera angle of the action or replays, and the video quality is not great by 2018 standards. Then there’s the 51s setup at Cashman Field, which is not worth watching at all because they have a fixed camera that doesn’t even show the whole field (always worth tuning in to Russ Langer on the radio though).
Not all teams have MiLB.tv for home games (all Triple-A teams have it, almost all Double-A teams do too), so if you have specific teams in mind to watch, check that they will have it in 2018. If the team you want to watch does have it, there should be highlights of game action on that teams website, so you can at least preview the video quality from recent seasons.

Mattabattacola
Member
Mattabattacola

Thanks! For your AA or A teams do they always have a broadcast if they are listed? I am a White Sox fan and MiLB.tv listed their high A team. Does that mean their home games? Or all their games?

Astromets
Member

Being listed on that MiLB.tv page means their home games are broadcast. The announcers travel and do radio on the road, but there aren’t separate home and away MiLB.tv feeds for each game, just the home feed. In the case of the Dash, they play in the Carolina league and a few other Carolina League teams have MiLB.tv coverage too, so you wouldn’t get every game, but you’d get all the home games and some on the road

Mattabattacola
Member
Mattabattacola

Thanks again

metsindc
Member
metsindc

I don’t go to AmazinAvenue much anymore because of job/kid responsibilities, but its kind of funny that I started reading this comment and was like, “oh a mets fan who is a minors blogger” and I thought, just like Astromets. Enjoyed your analysis/insights there.