Kiley McDaniel Chat – 8/8/18

12:11

Kiley McDaniel: Hello! I’m now stationed home for a nice stretch after seeing East Coast Pro (2019/2020 draft class high school showcase in Hoover, AL) and Eric is currently taking the tail end of HS showcase season on at Area Codes in Long Beach, then the PG Game in San Diego.

12:12

Kiley McDaniel: Draft stuff takes a break after the Cape wraps up so the chillins can go back to school, then some HS stuff fires back up in october for a few events before they basically disappear until Late Jan/early Feb

12:13

Kiley McDaniel: I’ll be taking in some FSL, including seeing Brusdar tomorrow after being rained out twice already.

12:14

Kiley McDaniel: If you want to know where we rank any notable figure in non MLB baseball, we have a fresh update of THE BOARD right here: https://www.fangraphs.com/scoutboard.aspx

12:15

Kiley McDaniel: Lastly for the intro, I’m working on some stuff related to what should change about baseball–so throw some stuff at me here. I’m thinking changing the draft, int’l signings, marketing the players, salary cap/floor vs. luxury tax, blackouts on MLB.tv, pace of play, all the stuff that bothers you lemme hear it

12:15

Kiley McDaniel: Now to your questions

12:15

Guest: Any insight as to what range in THE BOARD the prospects in the Fiers trade might land?

12:15

Kiley McDaniel: I would guess 35/40 range, nothing too notable, but don’t have inside knowledge there

12:15

Greg: Hey Kiley, how hard was Allard throwing when he was drafted? I remember seeing mid 90s numbers for him, and if that’s true, is there any reason his velocity has dropped so much? Maybe the back surgeries? I know it’s only two outings, but I’m trying to figure out how he even made it to Triple A with his current stuff.

12:15

chattachop: Braves have a deep farm system with lauded prospects, but we just saw Allard struggle in his 2nd game of work. It seems like our depth is primarily in the middle rotation and that we have few top of rotation arms in the wings. Would you say that Kyle Wright is our sole projectible TOR starter?

12:15

Five Finger Freddie: Thoughts on Kolby Allard’s first couple starts? It seems like his command is off and his fastball is a pretty flat 90 mph. Seems like he pitches with a razor thin margin for error.

12:16

chris: A Braves writer defended Allard’s shellacking by saying he’s a consensus top 100 prospect — but it seems he’s been trending downward for two years despite decent numbers in AA & AAA. Has he ever shown a plus fastball since debuting as a pro and does he even project as a 5 at this point?

12:16

Joe simpson: Is it reasonable to think that kolby Allard could still add a tick or two to his FB at this point? Is that even his biggest problem?

12:16

Kiley McDaniel: So this week’s contrived problem with the Braves system is fans freaking out that Kolby Allard might not be good. This was like 1/3 of those questions. Let’s take these in order:

12:18

Kiley McDaniel: Allard was 90-93 as an amateur and was 92-96 for one inning in the PG All American game in August before the draft. He’s basically been 88-94 every outing of his life except for that one, but he was an athletic 16-year-old with three pitches and feel so, despite not being projectable, some thought he would mature into more velo. The back issue didn’t help, but that was always a bit optimistic. This is about what he is.

12:19

Kiley McDaniel: If you define top of the rotation as #1 or #2 starters like how scouts define those things, there’s about 10 #1’s and like 20 os so #2’s. A system can’t have a bunch of frontline guys when there’s 30 on Earth, so a bunch of mid-rotation, 2.5-3.0 WAR pitchers is as good as you’re going to do.

12:21

Kiley McDaniel: Eric and I are wrong about plenty, but Braves fans seemed catatonic that we didn’t have Allard and Bryse Wilson higher. I hope both succeed but Allard sits 88-92 with solid average stuff and feel and Wilson’s two off-speed pitches are average to a hair above on good days. These sorts of things typically don’t work for even mid-rotation starters. Now, they both could end up being that or even better, but this is why scouts (and generally us) prefer to have more raw stuff, or at least projectability to get that stuff, when we’re projecting impact arms. Both will be productive big leaguers, though, because feel and makeup and competitiveness still matter.

12:21

17 year old, Wander Franco: Am I the future No.1 prospect in baseball?

12:21

Kiley McDaniel: Certainly hitting all the checkpoints so far

12:23

Andy: How often do prospects develop the skill to take walks?  Is this skill projectable from the minors?

12:25

Kiley McDaniel: There’s been a number of studies that show that walks at the lower levels of the minors aren’t too predictive, since those pitchers have trouble throwing strikes. The list of players who improve walk rates from the low minors to high minors is pretty short and is largely toolsy, wild swingers who tone things down and get to around average walk rates when they mature.  This appears to be easier to accomplish when you have limited baseball reps (multi-sport athlete, J2 guy that didn’t play many games), which is why I sometimes refer to pitch selection as concrete and you want to change it before it dries.

12:25

:/: What’s a good way to get started writing about prospects without being able to travel and see them? Just see who you’re able to?

12:26

Kiley McDaniel: Yep, even if you want to be more of a reporter type and less of a scout. Being around the game helps you get better at writing about it, meeting people, seeing if it’s worth it to you to throw a decade of your life at trying to make it, etc.

12:28

Eric A Shortenhagen: Based on performance thus far, where would you draft Nolan Gorman if the 2018 class were re-drafted?

12:28

Kiley McDaniel: We had him ranked 7th predraft https://www.fangraphs.com/scoutboard.aspx?draft=2018mlb&type=0&pos=all… so we already think he was really undervalued on draft day

12:30

Miley DcKaniel: Is Joey Bart the best catcher in the minor leagues?

12:31

Kiley McDaniel: We have him as 3rd best, but it isn’t a huge margin between them https://www.fangraphs.com/scoutboard.aspx?draft=2018updated&type=0&pos…

12:31

TopCat: Would you consider putting together a piece that provides the “Trading Value” of prospects? I thoroughly enjoyed the “Trade Value” series. I know the proposed endeavor may be a tall order, but it would be so intriguing. Not just based on FV, but the whole needs and demands part of the value.

12:31

Kiley McDaniel: Not sure how different it would be than our rankings already. Sure, there’s some types of players the industry or specific teams tend to value differently than us, but our base for the rankings is industry-wide trade value, which we then tweak based on what we think

12:32

DRL: Im not sure if I missed it or if it was ever said, but now that he’s signed, what caused Liberator to slide so much and end up signing for under slot?

12:32

Kiley McDaniel: Short version is the agent did an awful job, according to at least a half dozen sources. Didn’t want to say anything until he had signed and didn’t have the NCAA to worry about.

12:32

steve: thoughts on DERMIS getting converted to a two way guy?

12:34

Kiley McDaniel: Had heard a few weeks ago a conversion could happen, didn’t realize they would do it both ways, at least for a bit. It’s more common than you’d think with big bonus J2 bats that have huge power/arm strength and never quite work out the contact part.

12:34

Dunt: SSS, but Bryce Bush has been absolutely dominating since being drafted in June. What kind of reports did you have on him pre-draft?

12:35

Kiley McDaniel: Some questions on the contact/mechanical consistency, but plus raw and a chance to play 3B

12:35

DJ Tanner: Which 2017 International prospects (not named Wander Franco), look to be better than advertised and should rise up the ranks quickly?

12:35

Kiley McDaniel: Another handy use for THE BOARD! https://www.fangraphs.com/scoutboard.aspx?draft=2018updated&type=0&pos…

12:36

Dan: Trey Wingenter a potential closer?

12:36

Kiley McDaniel: Up to 100 with life, but not sure the command is there for that

12:37

TopCat: How much of the soccer system (having academies that identify young talent from very early age and develop them) can be integrated into the international market? Instead of having the IPL & and the buscones per say. I understand that  we have the academies already, but imitating the soccer system will cut the middle man. These MLB academies will be open for parents to sign up their kids. They can have different categories of tournaments and teams within the academy. Such competition will help filter the talent. Scholarships for the academy is granted  based on talent. I know the business part is way more intricate than what we see over the surface. Growing up in the DR, I saw it every day… but there must be a way. Do you think taking a page from soccer is the way? Thanks for chatting Kiley. Sorry for the long post.  Greetings to your pup Scout.

12:39

Kiley McDaniel: So MLB is making moves toward something like this with their rule changes the last few years and having MLB-sanctioned events BUT they don’t seem to have the stomach to upend the whole system and also use that $100M+ in int’l bonus tax money to actually affect the system in a meaningful way. They seem more interested in marginal improvements, which in this market, come with plenty of unintended consequences

12:42

Kiley McDaniel: It would be complicated to basically put all the buscones out of business and run player development from ages 12-18 for every notable talent thru MLB instructors and academies until the clubs sign them. I mean that’s tons of personnel and buildings and shutting down the existing system that has enriched so many agents.

12:42

Kiley McDaniel: It may be “better” for the kids, but you have to wonder if that drastic of a change would affect the incentives for training kids before they get in MLB’s program and does the talent back up a bit? Currently, passable instructors (buscones) are heavily incentivized to make kids the kind of players that teams want. In general, I tend to favor the free market competing over one governmental-type situation taking over everything.

12:42

Rick Hahn: So, looks like my last several high draft picks have been pretty lousy – Fulmer to the pen, Anderson maybe average (flawed) player, Burger injured, Collins can’t catch, Hansen struggling and injured.  Madrigal the savior?

12:44

Kiley McDaniel: lol we have another rebuilding fan base hitting the panic button. A mid first rounder like Anderson turning into an average player is a success. Collins could be a 2-3 WAR DH/3rd catcher type. That’s a pretty average track record on first rounders, not something to worry about per se

12:44

D: Does Jordan Groshans have any top 100 buzz? Or is it too early in his career?

12:45

Kiley McDaniel: Little early but has the tools. Some elements of Carter Kieboom, so that’s a best case scenario, but I’d say less feel to hit than Kieboom.

12:45

Jack: Who You think will be the more productive first baseman long term at the plate between Jake Bauer and Peter Alonso?

12:46

Kiley McDaniel: Very different sorts of players, Bauers the better bat, Alonso with more power. I would tend to lean to the more athletic type (Bauers), but if you’re jonesing for power, I could see taking Alonso.

12:46

GSon: A nooner with Kylie.. does life get much better?..

12:46

Kiley McDaniel: Man I hope so

12:46

Dave: How good is Tatis?

12:47

Kiley McDaniel: In the same way that Alec Bohm has a CHANCE to be Kris Bryant (maybe 5-10%?) and that’s why he was taken so high, Tatis has a great chance to be a Machado type. Obviously the industry is missing Jose Ramirez types and Cliff Lee types left and right, but a real chance for a teenager to be among the best in the game in a few years is pretty damn rare, even if it isn’t likely

12:49

Just A Dude: Do you think the Braves might choose to retain Markakis until Pache is ready and use their funds on pitching or could Pache be ready as soon as next year?

12:50

Kiley McDaniel: Wouldn’t expect that, but sure, at the right price. I think Duvall will slide in there and if Camargo and Riley are both hitting maybe one of them heads to the OF. Pache is more 2020 for me, he’s still working on stuff and don’t want to stunt that by bringing him up too soon.

12:51

Pine Needles: Do you buy Brandon Lowe’s new power output?

12:51

Kiley McDaniel: We do! 72 on our recent top 100, just ahead of the other two also solid hitting prospect Lowe brothers in the Rays system: https://www.fangraphs.com/scoutboard.aspx?draft=2018updated&type=0&pos…

12:51

Jesse : FG isn’t as high on Adell as other outlets. Is that due to the K% or more the fact he’s still 12 months into his pro career?

12:52

Kiley McDaniel: Corner guy, still some contact questions. Could be Justin Upton.

12:52

DSL > Dialup: What do you do with a 16-17 y/o who you want to promote out of the DSL? Can you send a true minor to the GCL?

12:54

Kiley McDaniel: Most 16 year olds sign on July 2 with a contract for next year. But yes, you can send kids that young to the States. Profar was in the Northwest league at 17, for example.

12:54

Guest: Some guys are “trending up” on the board who haven’t played much or the stat line isn’t really great- I’m referring to Raimfer Salinas and Ronny Rojas on the Yankees list- are they trending up based on ExSt performance or something else?

12:54

Kiley McDaniel: Yes, based on scouting reports mostly if they are short season types, since those numbers can’t really tell us much in these small samples

12:54

brian eno: do we really need 6 kolby allard questions? the dude’s a swing arm/BORP, who cares

12:55

Kiley McDaniel: I mean like, a lot of people, by definition, given all the questions

12:55

David: For the “what should change about baseball” – recently heard on a podcast (can’t remember which) someone say that baseball should do away with NL and AL and move to 8 divisions of 4 hyper-regional teams. Think NYY, NYM, BOS, and PHL in the same division. Do you think it’ll ever get to that?

12:56

Kiley McDaniel: Wonder if that would work because that would probably end up with all big market teams in one division and all small market ones in another. Not necessarily a problem, but can’t think those owners will like it

12:56

Rollie’s Mustache: What bothers me the most is old dudes in the booth ranting about infield shifts and not having the faintest clue what OPS+ means (for example). If baseball wants to connect with a younger, more information-driven generation, shouldn’t improving TV broadcasts be near the top of the list?

12:56

Joe Simpson: I heard you were actually 50. True?

12:56

brad: Kiley, isn’t 90% of the pace of play come down to two issues, rise in usage of bullpens, and commercials?  And would MLB even acknowledge the commercials as being part of the problem?

12:57

Kiley McDaniel: I think you’re forgetting shifts b/c that 10 seconds for everyone to get in position IS RUINING THE GAME

12:57

John Kreese: Thoughts on D’Shawn Knowles?  He is already in the Pioneer League

12:57

Kiley McDaniel: Still prefer Beyonce but he’s on my radar

12:57

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Glasnow, more like GlasWOW. Can you expand a little on what changes you’re looking for in his fastball that will make it play better with his curve? All I’ve watched for is him throwing it up since the Rays do that and I believe the Pirates do not.

12:58

Kiley McDaniel: Those two clubs may be the most extreme versions of that philsophy, actually. Same for Astros/Pirates and breaking ball use, historically, at least.

12:58

Joe: Instead of the smug/dismissive stuff about saying Braves fans freaking out, can you tell us what you saw that was positive from him? There’s not much.

12:59

Kiley McDaniel: This guy has excelled everywhere he’s pitched his entire life and has thrown 7 MLB innings at age 20.

12:59

JH: Has any prospect ever made you totally lose your objectivity and turned you into a total fanboy? Curious if that impulse can still exist after doing what you do for any length of time.

1:01

Kiley McDaniel: Not fanboy, but there’s been some guys that I’m more invested in their success after talking with them. Chatting with Trea Turner as a sophomore at NC State had me thinking oh this guy is gonna be awesome and it was years until that was an accepted POV

1:01

Brandon M: How much attention should be paid to the 2019 draft board at this point? I know it’s still extremely in the process but I wasn’t sure if any of the summer showcases had moved the needle for the board at all yet.

1:02

Kiley McDaniel: It will get another update in a few weeks, as the summer stuff ends and we’ve seen everyone a few times, had a survey of the whole country, etc. It isn’t exactly what we currently think right now, but it’s pretty close

1:02

Jason: I’m just curious about you recent board update. Unless I misunderstand, you say you don’t really mess with rankings of recent draftees based on pro results unless you see actual change, yet on the board it seems a few guys jumped into the top 100 above some they were ranked below on the draft rankings. I’m not going to bitch about rankings, definitely something petty like that, just curious if those jumps were more from what you’ve heard post-draft, or if they have all maybe made adjustments already? Or maybe for someone like Gorman, it’s just seeing him succeed against pro velocity even if it is rookie level?

1:03

Kiley McDaniel: I haven’t gone back to check this, but I think the rankings are in almost exactly the same order as they were pre-draft expect for some lower down guys where we got new info.

1:03

Bill: What are you seeing that you like about Kieboom to move him up to 14th prospect overall?

1:03

Kiley McDaniel: Super high probability bat with power and a nonzero chance to play SS in the bigs

1:04

Ronaldo Dong Hernandez: Can I stay at catcher in the future?

1:04

Kiley McDaniel: That’s the question right now, seems like a toss up

1:04

Bearry: Did you catch Glasnow’s starts for the Rays? Looks phenomenal. Change your evaluation at all?

1:04

Kiley McDaniel: Would like to see a couple more, but sure seems like something may have changed

1:05

Roger: Maybe Eric has greater insight, but was there any particular reason for the late decision to close Area Code Games to the public this year? Are showcases/events typically open for anyone to attend?

1:05

Kiley McDaniel: ECP was closed this year until the last day. I think it’s a legal liability thing? Not sure why.

1:05

Kiley McDaniel: I know other events have continued to be open and I think these had been in the past.

1:06

Pine Needles: How would you change the service time rules to prevent Major League ready players from getting stuck in AAA?

1:06

Kiley McDaniel: I think so, the incentives to leave Acuna or Bryant down for 11 days to get another year of control is a really dumb loophole that benefits no one.

1:07

Cotty: Is there a pattern to how FanGraphs’ prospect evaluations and rankings diverge from other scouting systems – like a skill or a type of prospect you value more than others? Or is it just entirely case by case and there’s nothing systemic going on?

1:09

Kiley McDaniel: I think we lean to close to the bigs and hitters more than other rankings, but that’s just a feeling, not sure it’s entirely accurate. We also tend to be a little ahead of the curve on Arizona-based complex guys because Eric lives on those backfields and I think a little ahead of the curve for the draft on southeast-based guys since I’m down here.

1:09

DRL: So referring to Liberatore, the slide had zero to do with medicals?

1:09

Kiley McDaniel: Correct, it was just negotiation stuff

1:10

Bort: How fast can Gorman move? Is a 2020 debut unrealistic?

1:10

Kiley McDaniel: Yes. 2021 possible, would expect 2022.

1:11

GPT: FYI, Juan Sanchez is listed as a RHP on the board but is a LHP. Sent a tweet to the FG board account, but not corrected yet.

1:11

Kiley McDaniel: it is now, thanks

1:12

Larry: Regarding your tweet about UF trying to get guys to enroll early in spring, have you heard about whether or not it’s expected to work? Do scouts think a kid or two will bite? Any names?

1:13

Kiley McDaniel: Jud Fabian (possible day 1 pick as a CF) and Nolan Crisp (college RH reliever type in the low 90’s) were the two rumored names. Crisp seems much more likely, since Fabian could be passing up real money.

1:14

Mr. Fister: Getting a new pup on Friday.  Any non cliche advice for a new pup parent?

1:15

Kiley McDaniel: All they really want is attention. Like, they seem mad when you’re petting them and then grab your phone, even if you keep petting

1:15

Jeb: So, Deivi Garcia…all I see is the stat line and his height. What are your more nuanced thoughts?

1:16

Kiley McDaniel: Relief risk due to the height and approach/delivery, but the stuff has always been good. May go in that Touki/Abreu bin where there’s stuff and you find a role that suits him, which may not be 1 IP or traditional starter

1:16

Erik: I was at the Northwoods League prospect showcase last night and learned that literally every scout looks identical. Young skinny dude with an under armor polo and a baseball cap, same radar gun and notepad and identical bored/focused expression. There’s also one other version where all the words are the same except replace “young” with “old”. Have you found this to be true in your experience or do scouts have unique and varied personalities?

1:16

Kiley McDaniel: The players and parents joke that they can see us coming a mile away. Backpack is another giveaway

1:17

ATL: Is Justin Upton not a great outcome for a top ten prospect?

1:17

Kiley McDaniel: No that was “here’s the good outcome” on Adell

1:17

Kristen5: Higher floor – Leody Taveras or Bubba Thompson?

1:17

Kiley McDaniel: Taveras, more hit tool there

1:17

Erik: What can you tell me about Notre Dame’s Joe Boyle? He was at the Northwoods League prospect showcase and was the one that seemed to rouse the scouts from their stupor and start taking video. I can tell you that he touched 100 but that’s all I know.

1:19

Kiley McDaniel: I got him 97-100 this year when I saw him and I know he was that on Trackman multiple times this year. Also barely pitched because he couldn’t throw strikes. We’ve had him high on the 2020 draft list even when he was barely pitching because he showed some starter traits in HS and pulled his name out of the draft, or else he might’ve gotten stupid money.

1:19

Mountie Votto: Any of the low-minors Reds guys catch your eye so far? Rylan Thomas, Muriel Bautista, etc.?

1:20

Kiley McDaniel: I’m a Rylan Thomas fan, have seen him a lot the last few years. 70 raw power, plus arm and may not be just a 1B-only guy, but has some contact trouble against good stuff

1:21

Ben Jamin: Do you have a comp for Victor Victor Mesa? Trying to  understand what all the fuss is about

1:21

Kiley McDaniel: A couple int’l scouts have said Albert Almora and I tend to think that’s about right

1:21

Cotty: Have you ever suspected a player’s age is not what’s reported, and how would that suspicion affect your evaluation?

1:22

Kiley McDaniel: There is one active player that’s very widely believed to not be his age, and there’s a couple somewhat recently retired ones. I would guess at least 50% of those handful are actually older. But all of them signed a while ago. Hasn’t really been a concern for amateurs for a little while

1:23

Guest: I know the teams aren’t finalized, but how does a team like the Yankees come in and swoop on an international prospect such as Vargas?

1:23

Kiley McDaniel: Had a deal for 11.5 months from now b/c there wasn’t money available to get what he wanted now…then NYY got the money he wanted now

1:23

John: Do you think changes over the past few years to limit the advantages of wealthy teams in the draft and in international signings will lead to more parity down the road at the MLB level?

1:24

Kiley McDaniel: It’s more favoring teams that are good at scouting, which are sometimes big market and sometimes not

1:24

Smith: Will Luke Heimlich get a minor league deal this offseason?

1:24

Kiley McDaniel: Seems like that ship has sailed

1:24

Joe: Is Victor Vodnik interesting at all?

1:25

Kiley McDaniel: Was a hot name last fall, looking kinda Trevor Bauer-ish 92-95, but was more 88-91 this spring and he’s smaller

1:25

RVA Empire: What changed in Camargo between his prospect days (where he basically wasn’t considered much of one) to today where he’s hammering the ball? Evaluators missed him and/or he made a series of adjustments to balloon up his tools?

1:25

Kiley McDaniel: He got noticeably stronger right when he was getting his first MLB looks, exit velos went up, defense at SS went from average to above to below

1:26

Eric: Josh James – legit SP now or no?

1:26

Kiley McDaniel: Probably in that Touki/Abreu group of useful power arm, probably best fit is multi-inning relief rather than traditional starter

1:26

steven: which leagues get the least amount of coverage from you and eric? seems like the NW league (and the texas league) both don’t get many questions answered

1:26

Kiley McDaniel: At least for me, I get asked very few questions about those leagues

1:27

Trixie: Is there any clear answer as to why the Padres chose Weathers over Liberatore?   He did not sign underslot, as many predicted.

1:27

Kiley McDaniel: SD preferred Weathers. Preller has always been the type that can get locked onto players and ignore the industry opinion, which is usually a good thing.

1:28

Kiley’s Grandma: Come give your grandma a kiss.

1:28

Kiley McDaniel: oh it’s about that time isn’t it

1:28

Sean Burrough’s Fan Club: How do cops handcuff someone with one arm?

1:28

andy: i move to rename nolan gorman norman. can we get that done?

1:29

LudeBurger: Kiley, I choose you! Use Axe Body Spray attack!

1:29

MATT BOYD: MATT. BOYD.

1:29

Matt Damon: MATT. DAMON.

1:29

Juan Soto: JUAN. SOTO.

1:29

Kiley McDaniel: That will do it for this week. Scout is bouncing off the walls wanting to go outside so she wins

We hoped you liked reading Kiley McDaniel Chat – 8/8/18 by Kiley McDaniel!

Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.

FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.

Support FanGraphs




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.

Leave a Reply

1 Comment on "Kiley McDaniel Chat – 8/8/18"

newest oldest most voted
goyo70
Member
goyo70

Does anybody have some offhanded thoughts on college rotations that have made good in the majors? The UCLA Cole/Bauer was a good 1-2 at the time and continues in MLB. Others?