Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat, Fall League Eve

2:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Good day to you, baseball fan. Let’s talk prospects. Gonna keep things pretty tight to the hour mark today as I’ve got scout calls scheduled and Fall League prep to do for tomorrow’s opener. Also, you know…playoffs.

2:03
Stenzy: So Christian Arroyo is off limits to Giants management but do they have enough prospects to pull off multiple deals this offseason for an outfielder or closer like Wade Davis? Beede and Shaw but what else?

2:05
Eric A Longenhagen: They certainly have the pieces to make a deal but probably not the ammo to outbid some of clubs with top-tier systems should they be motivated to pursue the same players. I think Arroyo and Beede are their best prospects, Bryan Reynolds probably just below them. Beyond those they have arms but most are either relievers or back end starters and some young, far from the bigs prospects who some teams might be hot for.

2:05
Travis: Is a player like Albies less valuable with the power surge the 2B position saw this year?

2:07
Eric A Longenhagen: You could argue this year’s homer spike is so extreme that a regression almost has to happen, but I know the idea that I need to consider the power in my own valuation processes has at least crossed my mind. It all depends whether or not you think the spike is here to stay.

2:07
joe: Thoughts on James Kaprelian’s return?

2:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Other than telling you I’m excited to see him throw this fall, there’s not much to say right now because I have not.

2:08
Jordan: Update me on Walker Buehler

2:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Spoke with a scout who saw him at instructs and it remains as impressive at it was in the AZL, better than anyone saw him at Vanderbilt, at least velo-wise.

2:08
Web: Who will be the breakout prospect next year no one has heard of?

2:11
Eric A Longenhagen: I really liked what I saw from Abe Toro-Hernandez at instructs.

2:11
Eric A Longenhagen: You may have heard of him, though.

2:11
sam son: it seems the AFL batting leader is in the majors and contributing the next year, can we expect the same and who do you think it could be

2:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Lots of Fall Leaguers, regardless of how they perform statistically, have MLB impact the next year.

2:12
Eric A Longenhagen: But remember, Dustin Ackley hit about .400 when he was here and turned out to just be okay.,

2:13
Eric A Longenhagen: From this year’s group? Ian Happ, Austin Meadows…lots of possibilities.

2:13
Robert from LA: Can Dylan Cozens be a regular for the Phillys next season and can he cut his k rate down to a respectable level to help owners in OBP fantasy leagues?

2:14
Eric A Longenhagen: Let’s see how well he hits at Lehigh Valley first. Power we saw from past Phillies prospects at Reading in the past hasn’t shown up the same way in Triple-A. Michael Taylor, Dom Brown…long list of guys who look like middle of the order bats in Reading and don’t turn out to be.

2:14
Joe: Who are your favorite prospects or the prospects to watch in the Orioles farm system?

2:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Just favorites to watch and not the best? I like Jimmy Yacabonis and Itchy Xu.

2:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Oh and when Tanner Scott is on I really like to watch that.

2:16
Robert from LA: I hear conflicting reports about Jordan Patterson. Where do you stand?

2:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Not a regular for me.

2:16
Nietsniew: How would you help Will Benson’s swing? Such an athlete with a mess of a swing.

2:17
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d let the kid try what he’s comfortable with until the player recognizes that it isn’t working. If/when that happens, with Benson specifically, I’d try to get him loading his hands lower and see how he takes to that.

2:17
Nietsniew: Any nats prospects you are higher on than most?

2:17
Eric A Longenhagen: Noll. I like the bat to ball skills.

2:18
Seth: Cody Bellinger an elite prospect for you?

2:18
Eric A Longenhagen: Depends what you mean by “elite” but as far as 1B prospects go I like him quite a bit. A top 100 guy for me.

2:19
Dan: What are your thoughts on Victor Robles and his potential ETA?

2:21
Eric A Longenhagen: Four potential plus or better tools at the big league level. We’ve seen guys start the year at Hi-A and finish it in the big leagues semi-frequently, right? So I think there’s a non-zero chance you see him in WAS at some point next year, but of course it might depend on things like injuries at the big league level for that to happen so it’s not an easy thing to forecast.

2:21
Rob : Who’s the most impressive Astros prospect you’ve seen?

2:22
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably Kyle Tucker, but if I get to isolate a “Most Impressive Single Tool” in that system I think I’d pick Jake Rogers’ defense.

2:22
Matt: It sounds like you saw some Brewer prospects this last week. Any highlights to share?

2:22
Eric A Longenhagen: Oh yes.

2:24
Eric A Longenhagen: So, Monte Harrison has long been a favorite of mine and has had trouble performing in games and staying healthy. We saw EVERYTHING he can do on Friday. He homered from his knee a la Adrian Beltre (which I have on tape so you’ll see that on the Brewers org list) and then threw a ball from left field that I thought was going to rocket through the backstop fence. It’s a 7 arm, 5 run, huge raw power he just doesn’t make consistent contact in games. Could be a star.

2:25
Dan: What are your thoughts on CIN’s Cody Reed’s bad MLB performance in terms of his long term future. He looked very rough, but the stuff still looked strong. Still a mid rotation guy,

2:26
Eric A Longenhagen: I stand by my in-season evaluation. Has mid-rotation stuff, still think he ends up as a starter even if it’s an inefficient one whose value ends up more in line with a 4/5th starter because he’s not throwing strikes and only working 5-6 innings per start.

2:26
nb: Hey Eric – Thanks for the chat. Looking forward to seeing Verdugo and Bellinger in the AFL. Do you think that they could see Dodger Stadium next year? Seems like BEllinger could be blocked at 1B for a year or 2, but I hear he’s good in the OF as well. Thanks!

2:27
Eric A Longenhagen: An excellent scout once said to me, “If a guy is a good athlete with baseball instincts, position changes are a much easier undertaking” and I think that could be applied to Bellinger should the need arise.

2:27
Daniel: I remember you saying you are willing to change your mind on Dubon. What will you be looking for?

2:28
Eric A Longenhagen: Louder contact than I saw with Portland.

2:28
Dean: Do you think Riley Pint has the stuff to succeed in the thin air of Colorado?

2:28
Eric A Longenhagen: Hell yes

2:29
Zonk: There seems to be alot of opinion on Ian Happ. He will/won’t hit, he can/can’t play a decent 2B. What is your take?

2:30
Eric A Longenhagen: I think he could be passable at 2B but not great. Think he hits enough to play anywhere, though. I’ve long been a huge fan.

2:30
Dan: Alright, cliche question.. but which prospect can be the next Mike Trout?

2:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Depends on what you mean by that. If you mean “what prospect can one day be baseball best player and a historically great one at that?” then just look at my top 100 later this winter and whoever’s #1 is who I think has the best shot.

2:32
Eric A Longenhagen: If you mean, “what high schooler is going to be under scouted because of circumstances beyond our control and turn into a really good player that was drafted too late?” then I could see someone like Andrew Papantonis becoming a player like that.

2:32
Pinstripe Wizard: Is a guy like Hunter Greene more valuable because of his versatility, or would it behoove him to focus on one area? Which position to you prefer him at? Is your opinion the consensus across baseball?

2:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Mound. I think some like him more at SS than I do but I haven’t spoken with anyone who prefers him there rather than on the mound.

2:33
Rich : Head to head dynasty league meadows , brinson , Jimenez , Frazier in order?

2:34
Eric A Longenhagen: Love all those guys but Frazier would be fourth for me on talent but is the safest option. The other three probably in the order you have them but you really can’t go wrong with any of them.

2:35
AJ: Did you see the umpire piece on Real Sports a few weeks ago? What are your thoughts on using PITCHf/x?

2:35
Eric A Longenhagen: I did not but I’m anti-robot umps as far as balls and strikes are concerned if that’s what the question is getting at.

2:35
Robin: What percent of a team’s top 20 prospects play in the winter leagues and how much development is down there versus playing to stay sharp?

2:37
Eric A Longenhagen: If you count instrux as a winter type of league then about half. The purpose of these vary depending on the player but most fall/winter leagues are for those who lost time due to injury or need reps for one reason or another, not just maintenance.

2:37
Andy: Who were the A’s players that you were most impressed with at their instructional team?

2:38
Eric A Longenhagen: Yerdel Vargas, Puk was good, Lazarito looks less raw than I expected, Marcos Brito’s bat to ball is as advertised.

2:38
Dan: Do you think Yadier Alvarez can reach Alex Reyes level? or betteR?

2:38
Eric A Longenhagen: I do and maybe better if Alvarez can harness his entire repertoire, which is deeper than Reyes’.

2:38
Sonny: If every AZL team is scheduled but you can only watch one/two teams play who is it and why?

2:39
Eric A Longenhagen: Dodgers and Padres

2:39
Eric A Longenhagen: Most talent.

2:39
The Lure of the Animal: Did you play ball beyond high school? If not, how did you become so knowledgeable about mechanics, tools, etc.?

2:41
Eric A Longenhagen: I didn’t play ball past 8th grade, actually. I was the weird kid who was taking scouting notes as a middle schooler and refined those skills through adulthood by remaining curious in the right ways.

2:43
Andy: did you notice any noticeable changes with AJ Puk from his college days?

2:43
Eric A Longenhagen: Delivery looked a little bit more fluid.

2:44
Brett: Do you think Miguel Andujar taps into his power and becomes a starting third baseman?

2:44
Eric A Longenhagen: I do not.

2:44
And That: Do the Brewers need to protect Taylor Williams from the Rule 5 draft this winter? Or has it been so long since he’s been healthy that teams probably wouldn’t risk a 40-man spot on him?

2:45
Eric A Longenhagen: He was touching 99/100 this week and teams were there to see it. He’s worth a Rule 5 flier in my opinion.

2:45
The Lure of the Animal: Re Trout: what were “the circumstances beyond our control”?

2:46
Eric A Longenhagen: It was a rainy spring in the northeast and decision-making executives like scouting directors were in to see him less often because of it.

2:46
Brett: Do the Angels have a potential star in Jahmai Jones??

2:47
Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe not a start but an everyday big leaguer who makes a ton of contact and plays CF. I think he’s the best prospect in that system.

2:47
CapnZippers: I feel gross asking this, but do you consider Tebow a prospect? Will you be keeping an eye on him in Arizona, or mostly ignoring his presence?

2:48
Eric A Longenhagen: There were several scouting directors at his workout so I’d be a fool to just dismiss it. I’m also aware that we’re talking about a 1B.LF-only 29 year old with a decade long gap in his development, which isn’t exactly a good place to start when you’re talking about a prospect. I’ll see him and evaluate him the way I do every other player in Fall League and try to keep an open mind. The situation is nothing else if not fascinating.

2:49
Brett: Adrian Rondon. Yay or nay?

2:49
Eric A Longenhagen: Can I do a “meh”?

2:49
The Lure of the Animal: Have you seen Cornelius Randolph at all this year?

2:49
Eric A Longenhagen: I did not.

2:50
Nick: What happened to Forrest Wall? Supplemental first round pick who was 25% better than league average offensively during his first full season in A ball, as a 19 year old. Not very good in the Cal league this year, and I read recently that some scouts consider him a non prospect at this point.

2:51
Eric A Longenhagen: Would not consider him a non-prospect but I get why people are down on it. He homered and tripled in consecutive at-bats on Saturday morning. Bat speed is still there as is his ability to turn on and punish pitches on the inner half. But he’s a 4 runner with a 3 or 4 arm, can’t play CF and probably doesn’t have enough game power to play in a corner somewhere. Likely scenario for him is a bat-to-ball 2B or 2B/OF utility type unless more power suddenly comes because he makes an approach change that gets to it more often.

2:52
Stlscott: IF you saw A. Aquino in instructs then what was you opinion?

2:52
Eric A Longenhagen: Massive kid, big power, a little stiff but he hit this year.

2:52
Sailor Jerry: Have you seen Luiz Gohara this year? Was dominant in A ball and only 20

2:53
Eric A Longenhagen: I did not but was told it’s very good. Mid to upper-90s with a hammer, body looks better. Probably top 3 in that system with O’Neill and Lewis.

2:53
Brett: So safe to say you don’t subscribe to CJ Nitkowski’s theory of having to play the game to scout the game?

2:54
Eric A Longenhagen: No and it’s pretty clear teams don’t believe that, either.

2:54
Doug: Does Bobby Dalbec make it into the top 100, or is it too soon?

2:54
Eric A Longenhagen: He does not.

2:54
Brett: Have you seen Vladimir Gutierrez recently? Where do the Reds start him next year?

2:55
Eric A Longenhagen: He’ll throw a side session this week but no games during instrux. I think how he looks in spring training will largely determine his assignment.

2:55
Shane: What do you think of Jeff Hoffman for next year? Can he succeed in Coors?

2:56
Eric A Longenhagen: I put a huge number on him when he was called up and still think he might be very good, but I saw him in the big leagues this year and was very disappointed. Very little conviction with his secondaries.

2:56
Minty: What is it about Lucius Fox that gets people so excited?

2:57
Eric A Longenhagen: Twitchy, athletic SS who stays there and could be plus there with the chance to hit at the top of a batting order if everything comes together right.

2:57
Rick C: Which third baseman prospect do you prefer: Ke’Bryan Hayes or Austin Riley?

2:57
Eric A Longenhagen: Hayes

2:58
@OutfieldGrass24: Re: Jazz Chisholm, I’m intrigued that some have suggested he won’t stick at SS. I got some looks at D-backs minicamp in Hillsboro before the season began and he looked the part to me, although he’s not admittedly the fastest guy (he’s still quick, though). Is range the potential issue?

2:59
Eric A Longenhagen: He just generally lacks explosion and I think scouts want to see a 6 or better arm or huge range to feel totally comfortable with a guy at SS but some orgs have different philosophies about what is acceptable at SS. I’m a stickler myself, but think he’ll be passable there.

2:59
Mike: Kevin Maitan… i know he’s very young but have you seen him ?

3:00
Eric A Longenhagen: I have, there’s video on the FG Youtube page from his debut and he looked rusty but the tools were obvious. I was told he hit one into the parking lot last week.

3:00
Bring back the Spos: Hi Eric. Is Alex Speas #2 starter material?

3:01
Eric A Longenhagen: Has that kind of arm strength (was up to 98 at instrux) and will show you an top-of-the-rotation slider but the strike throwing ability to way behind. Really, really raw.

3:02
Wd 40: What your opinion on Robert Gsellman? A lot of people have argued that based on his (2.6 FIP, 8.5 K/9, seemingly plus slider and plus fastball) he should be a top 50 prospect

3:03
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s fascinating case study for sure. Top 50 might be heavy but I don’t think it’s crazy to think about.

3:03
Jedidiah: Frankie Montas — does he follow the Dellin Betances career path?

3:04
Eric A Longenhagen: He might, but I give hhim a better shot to start than I did Betances who is a below average athlete and just had no chance at reigning in those limbs and that delivery in a way that would allow him to have starter’s control.

3:05
Mike: thanks for the chat!!

3:06
Eric A Longenhagen: You’re welcome. Thanks to you all for stopping by. Look for tweets and reports from Fall League shortly. Org prospect lists (starting with the NL West) begin rolling out next week.

We hoped you liked reading Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat, Fall League Eve 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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Wombaty
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Wombaty

Hi Eric, Love your work…I was wondering if it might be possible for the site to gather together all of the prospect-related articles in one place to make them more accessible. The obvious place seems like a revised version of the “Top Prospect Lists” Section on the Fangraphs home page, though to my mind a Prospects tab at the top of the site would make a lot of sense. What do you think?