Kiley McDaniel Chat – 6/13/18

11:52

Kiley McDaniel: Hello from a McDonald’s in Tampa where I’m setting up shop for a bit before I hit a few games today, then hit PG National starting tomorrow, which is the first stop on HS showcase season for the 2019 Draft

11:55

Anonymous : When evaluating college players, what specific stats, if any, do you look at when trying to figure out if the player will be a productive player at a higher level?

11:57

Kiley McDaniel: BB/K ratio and ISO for hitters are both big. BB/K for pitchers too also tells a lot of what you need to know. If you’re bad at controlling the strike zone at the amateur level, it’s an uphill climb

11:57

Kiley McDaniel: Also, this chat will run a little shorter than usual, but I usually go over the alotted hour so I feel like we’re all okay with this every now and then

11:57

Teddy: Hey Kiley, can you expand on the Brett Cumberland just to the top 100? Is it about the defense taking a step forward? The offense doesn’t look very impressive this year on paper.

11:59

Kiley McDaniel: It’s a 120 wRC+ in basically a full year in Hi-A at age 21/22 with plus raw power, a late-count, lofted power approach and the frame/defense have improved this year. He was also in the top of the 45 tier, so he was around 150-200 already and like 20 guys graduated, so he would’ve been right around 130-150 if he hadn’t improved at all.

11:59

John: Do you prefer that starting pitchers throw a curveball or a slider?

12:00

Kiley McDaniel: Depends on the arm slot and their feel for the pitch. In general I prefer a slider since it’s a little easier to control, but it has a wider platoon split.

12:00

Mike: Do you like Cumberland over Contreras as the Braves’ catcher of the future?

12:01

Kiley McDaniel: We have Cumberland ranked higher but they aren’t the same sort of guy. Cumberland is more of a catches for 4-6 years then probably ends up more like an offensive backup that you DH or find a spot for in the lineup. Contreras has a chance to be the bell cow everyday type, it’s just early. Talked to a scout a few days ago who didn’t love the approach/swing with Contreras but said he thought he could catch.

12:02

Kiley McDaniel: I liked the approach/swing when I saw him last year, but these things shift around early in careers

12:02

Matt: Thanks for taking the time to chat. Maybe this is nitpicking, but I feel like Soto should be ranked third at the lowest. He’s killing it in the big leagues right now, in contrast to all the guys you have ahead of him- Robles, Jimenez, Bichette, etc. Woud you say you have some doubts about his defense, lack of power ceiling, etc?

12:03

Kiley McDaniel: Not an insane point. We also like to try to keep things in perspective, like we were high on Soto to put him in the top 50 with almost no pro track record, then he got promoted faster than any teenager has ever, now he’s had a fast couple weeks…this isn’t gonna keep happening at this level and he isn’t a speed/defense guy, so when it settles down, we think it’ll be in the same area as the Kyle Tucker/Bo Bichette types who are also gonna get a taste this year and probably will have a scorching hot week or two at some point early in their careers and have comparable tools but more track record

12:04

Max : So Nick Madrigal is Luis Urias with more speed?

12:06

Kiley McDaniel: Something like that. If Madrigal performs the way we think he can, he’ll be ranked in a similar if not higher area than Urias.

12:06

Josh Nelson: Last year at this time, Brice Turang was a popular choice last year to go #1 in the 2018 MLB Draft. While Bobby Witt is the popular pick for 2019, will prospect fatigue hit Witt like it did with Turang?

12:09

Kiley McDaniel: It wasn’t prospect fatigue, he was a lesser player. I’ve seen this with commenters/tweeters talking about Hankins or McClanahan too. We don’t just get tired of prospects and move them down. Go look at the comments under some of our mock drafts about these guys and how we’re nuts to have them going almost exactly where they ended up going. We aren’t always right, but we don’t move guys down a ton based on some fleeting info or feelings, it’s coming from a lot of places. In the same way we’re hesitant to say Juan Soto is Acuna, we’re hesitant to move a guy down when there’s a couple years of people saying a player is a top tier guy. The industry is the same way and more than one team’s draft model accounts for this sort of thing.

12:09

Devon: Big fan of yours, Kiley! What are your thoughts on Eric Pardinho? Will his size limit his upside?

12:10

Kiley McDaniel: I think so, the stuff is average to a little above and you have to bank on physical maturity and natural gain of strength getting it to where it needs to be because there isn’t physical projection

12:10

Tommy N.: Weathers just miss the 131 list?

12:11

Kiley McDaniel: Yeah, if you look at the draft board here https://www.fangraphs.com/scoutboard.aspx?draft=2018mlb&type=0&pos=all…

12:11

Kiley McDaniel: we put FV’s on each player and the updated top 131 here https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-updated-top-131-prospect-rankings/ is all the 50’s

12:11

Kiley McDaniel: So you can get a general idea of where a guy would slot, look at the MILB board to get an idea of how many total 45s there are, etc.

12:12

Kiley McDaniel: But all those guys will be folded into the board in the next week or two. And the July 2 and 2019/2020/2021 draft boards will all get updated too. And I’m doing the trade value list damn I have a lot of work to do

12:12

Hannah Hochevar: Sadface not seeing any O’s on the 131 list. I know it’s cause there’s so much great, generational young talent already graduated to the majors, but can you give me some hope?

12:13

Kiley McDaniel: You’re gonna trade Machado and Britton soon.  I mean I hope you are.

12:13

Rick C: I was surprised by some of your Braves rankings on the recent prospects list update.  Mainly, the inclusion of Cumberland (and that he would be ahead of Contreras), and the exclusion of Wilson.  Can you elaborate on those decisions?

12:14

Kiley McDaniel: Some ardent Bryse Wilson fans out there. Still have the same thing on him as in the offseason: plus fastball, plus competitiveness, above control, the rest is mostly average. He’s a high 45 that you could tag on the back of the list if you want, but we lean towards hitters in general.

12:14

Mike: Do draftees generally not sign until they’ve bowed out of the NCAA tournament? Still waiting on Singer & the like to sign

12:14

Kiley McDaniel: Yes, can’t sign until they’re done. Well, they can, but they couldn’t play college ball anymore.

12:15

Parts + Gleyber: Last week you posted Pusha T as an inducement to happiness, and I just wanted to say that it worked.

12:15

Kiley McDaniel: Pusha T brings happiness and one other thing to the party

12:15

Christian: Seuly Matias has a HR rate of 10%, not HR/FB rate, HR rate.

12:16

Kiley McDaniel: He’s really leaning into the whole chicas dig el long ball thing

12:16

Ozzie A.: As a Braves fan, I can’t help but feel a little more than slightly entertained about the outrage over the rankings of certain prospects. But tbh, I can see where some would question based solely on their stat lines, but regular readers of this site and your prospect coverage should know those aren’t always indicative of past or future success in the minors, much less the majors.

12:17

Kiley McDaniel: Also the deluge of questions about why the guy they think should be 16th is actually 12th and the guy that should be 10th is 13th. It’s kinda confusing.

12:17

Ozzie A.: Btw, thanks for the hard work.

12:17

Kiley McDaniel: you’re welcome ozzie

12:17

Amir: Seeing that Austin Beck failed to crack your Top 131 – is it time to label that pick a mistake?

12:18

Kiley McDaniel: lol no take it easy guys. I mean I wouldn’t have picked him there but it’s far from a mistake right now

12:18

Nicky: What prevented David Peterson from making your updated list? was a 50 FV guy preseason and his stats doesn’t look bad

12:18

Kiley McDaniel: So it turns out he was #130 and I now notice #130 is missing from the grid. That’s supposed to be him!

12:19

Mo Bamba: Can you compare and contrast the top catcher this year in Joey Bart and next year in Shea Langeliers and Adley Rutschman. Who has the higher ceiling and who is the better player right now?

12:20

Kiley McDaniel: Haven’t seen Langeliers but I will in a few weeks and I’m told it’s 50 hit/power with 55 defense, 60 arm. Bart is 45 hit/55-60 power, 55-60 defense, 65 arm. Rustchman is 45-50 hit/55-60 power, more 50 defense, 55-60 arm. All slightly different, Bart is probably the best of them but it isn’t a huge difference the 2019 kids can’t make up.

12:20

Guest: Brendan McKay moved up a lot in your updated rankings.  Do you think he could be a two-way player, like Ohtani?  What do you realistically expect from him?

12:21

Kiley McDaniel: I’ll be seeing him tonight so I’m interested to see what it looks like. Chance to be both ways but that’ll be hard to figure out exactly how that will work. Definitely good enough to do that.

12:21

Greg: Huscar Ynoa and Jasseel de la Cruz in Rome — anything to watch there? Ynoa especially has been dominant lately.

12:22

Kiley McDaniel: Ynoa’s stuff has been the same to a little better since I saw him last summer, still on the fence of SP/RP. Interested to track down DLC this summer when I’m around Rome.

12:22

greg: Reds have some bonus pool gymnastics to do. How far under slot do you think India would sign for? Does he really have much leverage considering there’s not much room to improve if he sat out until next year’s draft?

12:22

Kiley McDaniel: I’m told India had a deal before the draft for a cut rate

12:22

PDX: KMcD – How does the process of acquiring ballplayers look for an expansion team? Seems like it would take a long time to become competitive. Also, have you heard any news regarding baseball coming to Portland?

12:23

Kiley McDaniel: No but I would LOVE to be in the group that gets to put together an org from scratch

12:23

Austin: Was everyone too quick to give up on Braxton Davidson? The dude is still young and looks like he figured something out over the last month or so

12:24

Kiley McDaniel: I was about to do that but now I’m interested when I get home to poke my head in and see what changed. The combo of frame/bat speed/loft/pitch recognition didn’t seem like it was gonna work when I saw him a few times last month.

12:24

Sun Devil: If Spencer Torkelson was draft eligible, would be have been a 55 FV prospect? Absolutely crushed his freshman year with 25 HR.

12:24

Kiley McDaniel: LF/1B type, so probably more 45/50 borderline. Eric has seen him a good bit and I’ll see him for the first time in a few weeks.

12:24

Paul: Big jump for Drew Waters. Is he a .280 guy with 25 homers? And he can stick in center?

12:25

Kiley McDaniel: Chance for 55 hit/power, Avg D in CF, plus run/throw. The tools aren’t far from Kelenic. Tools were the same at the draft last year, but seems like everyone got fooled by the summer numbers. I think Kelenic is a better bet to hit, but not by a huge margin.

12:26

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: How do teams and players usually make bonus expectations known? You reported that Shane McClanahan emailed all teams with his demand, and in one of the chats I think it was stated that when Liberatore fell, teams weren’t sure of signability and so they kept passing. Does an agent send an email blast, or does each team have to reach out?

12:27

Kiley McDaniel: Team by team, player by player basis. Some agents only give some info to some teams on signability as a way to help the player to the team with the most money. Much easier to do w/a HS player since there are multiple cases I know about of a team calling the bluff with a college junior.

12:27

Justin: So when are we getting the best IFA coverage in this universe? Some of us are gnawing at our furniture waiting on it…..

12:28

Kiley McDaniel: A couple weeks? Don’t have a specific date. Lots of video from when I was down there in February is coming soon

12:28

Rick Sanchez: Is it right to think that drew Waters is so young that there’s a wide range of outcomes on hit and power? (Like really good hit + power to, oh man that defense better remain stellar)

12:29

Kiley McDaniel: He could be CF or RF and could choose to emphasize hit or power more. I’d tend to lean towards RF and power over hit, if I had to guess. But if he slows down and moves to RF it usually comes with more pop, so it’s not a huge difference.

12:29

jack82: Peter Alonso’s numbers and counting stats are really impressive this year, and I thought You ranked him a bit higher than You did in recent review. Do You see some red flag or limit in his number and ceiling? Rhys Hoskins translated well to the bigs with similar numbers last year.

12:30

Kiley McDaniel: Rhys is more athletic in the box and in the field, so there’s more give in his profile, but it’s hard to argue with what Alonso is doing, so we stopped arguing with his numbers. They never argued back and it was frustrating so we gave up.

12:30

Noel: Was Seth Beer a victim of overexposure, or is his true talent level closer to a late-first rounder

12:30

Kiley McDaniel: Most teams had him in the 2nd round. Really struggled with wood and vs. velo, which are pretty strong predictors. Also has no give in the profile, even less than Alonso.

12:31

Coner: Thoughts on the Jays Magnolia gambit? Seems to be a good amount of talent there.

12:31

Kiley McDaniel: Like them both, not sure I would’ve done exactly that in their spot, but we haven’t seen both bonuses yet and you can see our board, so you have an idea of what the options are we would’ve preferred when all the bonuses shake out.

12:31

john cale: hey kiley, are you guys waiting to see julio pablo martinez stateside before you slap a projection on him?

12:32

Kiley McDaniel: He’ll be a 45. Some contact concerns but 55-60 tools

12:32

Mr. Fister: Don’t you love it when people say “Singer out-dueled Mize”?  I don’t think it is fair to pitchers since they literally have nothing to do with the opposing pitcher’s performance, not to mention that the phrase de-emphasizes the impact of the opposing hitters.

12:32

Kiley McDaniel: And no one slapped each other in the face with a leather glove

12:32

Benjamin: BRUSDAR GRATEROL

12:33

Kiley McDaniel: Oh wow that came up suddenly. Well it’s time to run, I’ll have a lot of thoughts on the 2019 prep draft class next week if you are so interested. Thanks!

We hoped you liked reading Kiley McDaniel Chat – 6/13/18 by Kiley McDaniel!

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Kiley McDaniel has worked as an executive and scout, most recently for the Atlanta Braves, also for the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates. He's written for ESPN, Fox Sports and Baseball Prospectus. Follow him on twitter.

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Wegandi727
Member
Wegandi727

I was surprised to not see Ronaldo Hernandez in the top 131 especially as someone like Cumberland made it. Looking forward to J2 coverage.