Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat: 3/13

12:01
Eric A Longenhagen: Hello from Tempe. Just got back from seeing amateur ball in Southern California. Quick link drop before we start:

12:02
Eric A Longenhagen: In which I attempt to approximate Matthew Liberatore’s likely draft range by comparing him to other recent prep lefties: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/a-glance-at-matthew-liberatores-draft-…

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: In which I dump some relevant big league scouting notes on Corey Kluber and others: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/scouting-corey-kluber-as-an-exercise/

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay, let’s begin…

12:03
Bernie: I’m intrigued by three Cardinals prospects who seem to get little publicity: Andrew Knizer, Adolis Garcia and to a lesser extent Harrison Bader. What are your thoughts on them?

12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: I think they all have a chance to be everyday players. Knizner as a bat-first catcher, Garcia needs to be more patient to get there, Bader is sneaky fast and viable in CF.

12:04
Josh: Does Carter Kieboom stick at SS?

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s 50/50 for most of the scouts I’ve talked to which probably means some clubs would play him there and others would not

12:06
Cole: Former top prospects… Is there any chance Tyler Glasnow and Dansby Swanson can fulfill their elite prospect pedigree this year?

12:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Sure, Swanson has a better chance than Glasnow whose command issues look more permanent every year

12:06
mikecws91: What are the odds of Dylan Cease sticking as a starter? What’s the single biggest hurdle he’s got to jump to get there?

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Think he does enough to start from a repertoire and strike-throwing perspective, just needs to stay healthy. We’re pretty far removed from it at this point but remember he was a high school TJ guy with a terrible head whack.

12:07
Andy: Do you think a guy like Jose Siri is being overlooked? High average, tons of sbs, and hits for solid power… but crowded outfield and lots of ks/no walks.

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: He was on our overall 100 so, no

12:07
Joe: Is David Paulino a good prospect at this point?

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Not technically a prospect due to big league roster time but yeah, he’s pretty good. The stuff is there. Velocity, comes at you from a weird angle, curveball and changeup are both good. Command and pitchability are both below average, not the sharpest on-mound presence.

12:08
Willy: Jeff Sullivan likes Wilmer Font. Do you?

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: As a reliever, yeah.

12:09
Josh: Chances Jeisson Rosario is a sure top 100 prospect by midseason?

12:09
Eric A Longenhagen: 10%

12:09
Shane: Guys like Michael Chavis, Jake Bauers, Austin Riley, Chris Shaw, and DJ peters are ranked so differently, yet I see a similar skillset (offensively). Why is Bauers ranked the so much higher?

12:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Disagree that their skillsets are similar. Bauers has the best contact skills among them by far and the reasons the rest of the guys swing and miss (Chavis: swing violence; Riley: load depth; Shaw: scouts aren’t sold on the bat speed; Peters: lever length) are different. And then we could get into their respective defensive profiles which are also all different…

12:11
Jordan : Is the MiLB community sleeping on Taylor Trammel ? This guy looks like the real deal . Have heard next Acuna .. might be a bit of a stretch .

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: I like Trammell a lot but he might be LF only and he’s a polished hitter with a conservative approach to contact, not the explosive, unkempt athlete typical of high-profile two-sport guys. I think he’s a 50 or 55 at maturity.

12:13
Commish: Roberts, Jo Adell, Kingery, Lewis and Julio Pablo Martinez.  Please rank from a purely upside point of view..Thanks

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Flip Kingery and Lewis and you’ve got it

12:13
RonJon: Hi Eric! Thoughts on Chris Paddack upside? His #s before TJ were staggering.

12:14
Eric A Longenhagen: He was supposed to throw live BP on Sunday but I was in LA. I think Keith saw him but I as either in a car or at a game virtually all weekend and haven’t doubled back on that stuff yet. He looked great in the uniform when I saw him walking around the backfields during Gore’s start early Saturday, though.

12:14
Rox Fan: Do you like Colton Welker as a potential replacement for Arenado if he leaves in FA after ’19?

12:14
Eric A Longenhagen: If he can stay at third, yes.

12:15
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: I loved the piece on scouting Kluber and would enjoy reading more like that. Really helps put tools in perspective, especially because most number 3 types with upside look like they have ace potential if you squint.

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Thanks, the response to that piece has been good and I’ll do a few more during ST.

12:16
Rockie Dangerfield: Have any of the Rockies’ starter prospects looked particularly good this spring?

12:18
Eric A Longenhagen: (grabbing notes)

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: Castellani I’ve got up to 95 flashing an above-average change, Sam Howard did some nice things in a game I saw vs SEA. 90-92 from a funky slot, 50 change, 45 cutter, located

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: Yency Almonte has been throwing really hard all spring, too.

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: Jairo Diaz (not a starter and not technically a prospect) 98-99 with a plus slider out of the bullpen

12:21
Actually from ATL: Do you have any strong feelings about Raimel Tapia? I’m disappointed the Rox brought back Cargo and pushed his timeline back.

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: Same. Has looked more comfortable in CF this spring than when I’ve seen him in the past, looks like he’s in great shape, the bat is there.

12:22
Blue Jay Matt: Where does Lourdes Gurriel profile best defensively? Is he best deployed as a super utility/Ben Zobrist type player?

12:22
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes but he’s not as good as Zobrist. Lourdes is a classic utility type for me, a 45 FV

12:22
James: What is a good comparison for Kyle Tucker? Is Christian Yelich setting my expectation too high?

12:22
Eric A Longenhagen: Tucker’s kind of strange, so probably no comps. think he’s a 3 WAR guy, though.

12:23
DKR: Is MacKenzie Gore’s velo up this spring? If so does that change his upside?

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: He was 93-96 on Saturday and it played up against lefties because of the unique release point. Also missed bats with his change and slider. He’s among the top 3-5 pitching prospects in baseball.

12:25
Bun B: Hey Eric, hope all is well. So I watched Casey Mize do his thing last Friday via watchespn…to me it looked like he had 4 potential AT LEAST average-above average pitches with potential for them all to comfortably sit there and a couple of them even touch plus down the road given his athleticism…Is this dude as good as it gets? Should he be in the discussion for T3?

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: If his medical is clean he goes top 3-5

12:26
Anthony: Could Erich Uelmen be fast-tracked as a reliever? Seems the delivery concerns probably mean he won’t start, but his college performance was stellar

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah but I’d develop him as a starter and see how it goes. Cubs have other upper-level relief options.

12:27
George: How much does the concussion Heliot Ramos suffered in August cloud his future?

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: None. If he were a catcher perhaps I’d be more concerned

12:27
Me2theev: Jhonleider Salinas P/TB and Kenny Rosenberg P/TB, do either have a shot at making some noise as a legit starting pitcher prospect?

12:28
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably not as starters but definitely as reliever. Salinas is an extreme arm strength guy who needs polish, Rosenberg has a dandy breaking ball.

12:30
Anthony: Is Vasil the only interesting draft prospect in the Boston area?

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Ryan Cusick. Big 6-6 righty from Sudbury. Shane Smith, another righty, Governer’s Academy.

12:31
Charles Finley: Did Gleyber’s poor spring play a role in the Walker signing?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe a little bit? Walker is probably just the better ballplayer right now and NYY is going for it, so why not?

12:32
Kyle: Chances Eloy can stay in the OF?  Would they consider a move to 1B once Abreu leaves after this year?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m not sure Eloy has the feet for 1B. If he’s so big he can’t play OF then he’s probably just a DH.

12:33
Hodge: Does Bo Bichette continue to hit his way to the majors?  Or does his swing need to change before then?  Not as much movement as Javier Baez had but Baez never had those kind of results..

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Wouldn’t proactively change what Bo is doing if he’s hittign like this

12:33
George: What might prevent Tyreque Reed from making a jump into top 100 range next year?  His numbers are pretty bonkers.

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: 1B-only guys need to start proving it in the upper minors and Reed is eons from that.

12:34
Go Dills!: Hello Eric!  What do you think of Yadi Alvarez, Sandy Alcantara and Trent Grisham?

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: Yadi: Big year for him. I’m still in and have heard his camp has been good, he was in early and is in shape and working on the right things.
Sandy: StL was going to ‘pen him, MIA is going to take a step back and work him as a starter again. let’s see which breaking ball they move to the front of his repertoire. I liked his curve better than his slider, StL took his curveball away in the bigs last year and both were a mess in Fall League.
Grisham: weird profile. Think he’s a craxy three true outcomes guy who plays plus D in a corner.

12:36
George: The power, speed and defense seem to be there.  How likely do you think it is that Franchy Cordero can hit enough to be an MLB starter?

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: Agreed, 30%

12:37
Anthony: Who has the best command upside among pitching prospects

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Off the top of my head I’d say Shane Bieber

12:37
Chafles O Finley: What do you know about Emilio Pagan? Any chance he gets some late inning action this year or next>

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Saw him last week, was 93-96 with a 55 change and breaking ball. Looks like a good 7th/8th inning arm.

12:37
Jeff: Thoughts on HS OF Nick Schnell? With what little I’ve looked, he’s got one of my favorite frames in the HS class

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Saw him last summer and was just lukewarm, but he’s a prospect

12:37
Charles Finley: Have you seen much of Spring Training, or are you mostly focused on draft stuff at this point?

12:38
Eric A Longenhagen: Mix of both

12:38
George: What do you see as a separator between a couple prospects who killed Rookie ball in Tristen Lutz and Heliot Ramos?  I’d think that Ramos being so young for his draft class would make him the better prospect.

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: If you like more advanced guys then Lutz is for you. Ramos is more tooled up. They’re a wash on raw power but Ramos goes 6 or 7 run and arm. Lutz is ticketed for a corner but his hit tool is more stable.

12:39
AJ: How many of the young Padre prospects have a chance to be above average big league players

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, like a half dozen of them? Of that J2 group Almanzar, Barley, Arias, Morejon could all get there. Ornelas and Lopez look more like 50s to me but I really like them, too.

12:41
Derek : Is it realistic to see more than one Padre prospect to have a Fernando Tatis like jump this year?

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: No

12:41
Isaac Newton: Amed Rosario’s perceived FV has apparently fallen some in the past year.  Can you say why?  The stats seems respectable for a 21-year-old SS.  What did he fail to show scouts in 2017, tools- or performance-wise?  Thanks so much for all the work you’ve put in this winter.  It’s much appreciated.

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: Concerns over how poor his exit velos were in the big leagues. I think they’re a little overwrought but I agree he has some mechanical adjustments to make, specifically to his base. Hand  speed to do lots of damage is there.

12:43
Phil Gurnee: Keibert Ruiz is 19, true catcher, tore up Low A, after holding his own as a 18 year-old in a tough hitting league. Just finished his first major league camp with six hits in ten at bats.  Like or love?

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: Like. Love Will Smith.

12:43
Anonymous: Will the A’s ever be good again?

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, bet they’re competitive in 2019 or 2020.

12:44
Mike : Who do you prefer, Jordy Barley or Justin Lopez with the Padres? What are their upsides?

12:44
Eric A Longenhagen: Barley has more offensive upside, Lopez is a more polsihed defender

12:44
Mike T.: Hey Eric – I just saw that Alfords biggest weakness is his arm.  I thought he used to be a quarterback?  Obviously the motion is different but shouldn’t throwing a football at quarterback translate into throwing a baseball from the outfield?

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s a good question that I wouldn’t mind diving into for an entire article. Bit let’s say you threw Alex Smith or Chad Pennington in right field. What do you think their arm grades out as?

12:45
Ned: What can you say about Boston’s big Texan Alex Scherff, given that he has yet to throw professionally?

12:46
Eric A Longenhagen: Remade his body during high school and started throwing harder. Was mid-90s with a good breaking ball for me as an amateur, delivery/command pointed to the bullpen.

12:46
John Dunn: Can Alec Bohm stick at 3B? If he could play any other position other than 1B how much higher could he go? Am I wrong to think he has the best combination of hit and power of the college players in this draft?

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: Kiley and I have been told he was too low on our pre-season list, definitely moving up as confidence he can either stay at third or hit enough that it doesn’t matter is bolstered.

12:47
Matt Damon: MATT.  DAMON.

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t know why this made me laugh, but it did. Jill and a friend watched Brothers Grimm a few weeks ago and I could hear them shredding Damon’s accent in that movie from the home office as I wrote the Rangers list.

12:49
Jeff: More likely to breakout in 2018 – Aramis Ademan or Isaac Paredes?

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: Ademan, but I like both guys

12:49
Jimmy: In terms of draft prospects, how often do guys who initially were thought of as 1st round type guys but who don’t look as good in the spring regain their original status? I’m thinking about guys like Jeremiah Estrada of the cubs who apparently early on was potentially a first round guy who fell to the 5th.

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: Good question. My summer evals typically have 5 guys who I pegged as top 50-types who just have bad springs or get hurt or kind of disappoint and end up being unsignable.

12:53
Finnegan: Do you think Nander De Sedas can stick at Shortstop in the long run, or are teams looking at him longterm at second or third?

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: That piece was largely inspired by De Sedas. I’ve been thinking more about bigger shortstops and am slowly coming around to the idea that you can stick guys there who wouldn’t have had a prayer of staying before batted ball data was being used. I don’t like to watch baseball like that, but it’s where we might be headed.

12:55
Paul: Is Kluber’s curve really a 50? It’s always seemed to me like one of the league’s best.

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: I think I explain in the piece that he probably throws just one breaking ball but he either manipulates its shape in a way that makes it look like there are two or it just has less two-plane movement when he throws it arm side. Either way, the breaking ball is way better when it has tilt. I threw a 7 on his slider, so I don’t think we’re in disagreement about anything, just using different terms for the same thing.

12:57
Solaire: I know they arent prospects anymore, but who do you see as being more valuable going forward for the Rockies, Raimel Tapia or German Marquez?

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: Marquez

12:58
JD: Nobody’s talking about Francis Martes. What do you think we’ll see from him this season?

12:59
Jeff: Speaking of a Zobrist type player – favorite switch hitting prospect in the minors right now?

1:01
Eric A Longenhagen: Hard not to say Mejia

1:01
Austin Hedges : Should I be worries about Luis Campusano or Blake Hunt? What is their upside?

1:01
Eric A Longenhagen: They’re both good and Hunt has already shown improved raw power

1:02
Branik Best: Daylight Savings Time is still messing with me.  Thought this was posted an hour early…

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Arizona doesn’t change clocks at all so my sleep schedule wasn’t disrupted but now that we’re back to three hours off of Eastern time, everything else is.

1:03
Biscuit: How would you rank the following with regard to short term MLB impact: Maikel Franco, Max Kepler, David Dahl, Brad Zimmer, Dansby Swanson.  Yes this is a thinly-veiled fantasy baseball question.

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Kepler, Zimmer, Swanson, Dahl, Franco. Dahl was a high-priority big league eval for me. Have seen him twice and he’s swinging through a lot of pitches right now. Bat speed is still there, hasn’t seen live pitching in forever, but not ready right now.

1:05
Coz: Should I be at all concerned that Luis Robert keeps injuring himself on slides?  Thant should be an easy thing to fix right?

1:05
Eric A Longenhagen: http://gph.is/2dhdTKf

1:06
Ghost of Jordan Zimmerman: How often do you scout college prospects playing at D3 schools?

1:06
Eric A Longenhagen: I did some of it when I lived in PA but haven’t since moving to AZ.

1:07
Duder: Does Jose Martinez ever win a starting job, or does he need a trade after STL acquired Ozuna? Or is he more of a good bench bat?

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Think he’s for real and will hit his way into playing time somewhere

1:07
Nick: Besides age, what helps separate Whitley from Puk?

1:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Better athlete, no injury history, deeper repertoire, stuff is a little better.

1:08
Rox Fan: Garrett Hampson comps?

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Speedy utility type. So, maybe Evereth Cabrera, Alexi Casilla..that type of player

1:11
Raj: In 3 years, Lazardo > Puk…thoughts?

1:11
Eric A Longenhagen: If his command matures to a 7 I could see that.

1:12
George: Santander… what the hell is this guy?

1:12
Eric A Longenhagen: Low-end regular at 1B

1:12
Charles Finley: Matt Damon says that every chat, Eric.  Brace yourself for an encore for every chat to come.

1:13
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s kinda weird, but okay.

1:14
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay everyone, Carson has requested I podcast today and so I must depart. See you here next week, thanks for your continued readership and support of FanGraphs.

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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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