2021 Top 100 Prospects Chat

12:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Good morning from Tempe. Thanks for coming to the chat and, I assume, checking out the Top 100. Let’s get to your questions.

12:03
MB: Can you talk more about Ashby being the top Brewers prospect? Wasn’t expecting that.

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Sure. Turang was a fairly late cut from the list. He and Ashby were very close on the ordinal rankings. I think Turang has a shot to be a 50 based on his glove and OBP skills, but I think there’s real risk of him just getting blown away by velo at the top of the zone because of how deep those hands load, and that his “patience” my by passivity. So he fell out but you could argue him as a 50. Taylor Trammell same thing.

12:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Garrett Mitchell still has his pre-draft 45+ FV grade. Basically he’s Travis Swaggerty (speed, CF, raw power, not sure if he’ll get to it in games) just several levels behind Swag.

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Ashby was nasty in the Fall. If you put him in Milwaukee’s bullpen tomorrow, I bet he’d be awesome in a leveraged role, and he has a long-term chance to start as a strikeout-heavy five and dive type

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: and I’ll just take that guy rather than bet on Mitchell’s swing changing

12:07
Scotty: Is the Cubs farm really that bad? 1 top 100 prospect?

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: No, it’s not bad. And there are three guys on there, two of them are barely south of 100 which, if you read the post, is basically the same as being 80th or whatever.

12:09
Eric A Longenhagen: Their young dominican players are awesome. Kevin Made is really exciting. They’re building a really fantastic group of young, up-the-middle guys who I like, they’re just not up in this tier yet.

12:09
Dave: Do you think Miguel Amaya could be a league average C?

12:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Sure. He had been in the 50 FV tier for quite a while but lost a lot of steam on the list as I passed it around for feedback. Teams just don’t think there’s actually impact power there. I had a really hard time moving him off because I’ve been on him pretty heavy for so long, and his swing is sweet-looking, but it’s definitely 4 bat speed.

12:12
Dave: How close was Ryan Pepiot to cracking this list?

12:12
12:12
OC: Given the impact covid had on scouting/prospect development, I imagine there will be more pop-up prospects than usual this year: any suggestion on what league/level we should look for to best identify these guys?

12:14
Eric A Longenhagen: Because of how impactful just a few months of physical development can be for teenagers, the backfields will be the place to find guys who’ve changed a lot in the last year. But I also think there’s the group of 23-year-old 2019 college draftees who would’ve gone out and performed and rocketed to Double-A in 2020 who we also don’t know about yet, and deciding when to  buy into those guys as they do well at Hi-A or Double-A this year, but look older for the level on paper is going to be difficult.

12:14
Montreal Tampa Bay Rays: Im assuming Arozarena is number 4 because he’s established some at the major league level, not because he has this huge ceiling, right?

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: No, I think there’s real ceiling. What he did was amazing, if any of the hitters just behind him on the list came up and did what he did, I don’t think we’d say “well, that’s a nice safe big leaguer without a huge ceiling.” We’d be going nuts.

12:18
Cashman: are the yankees system and prospects overrated when their system produced 2 above average players in 10 years judge and severino and they are always hurt

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah. That’s not exactly an easy lineup to crack, their system has enabled them to trade for a bunch of guys they have right now, and I think the Rule 5 results every year are an indication that this org has pitching depth other teams really want a piece of.

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: Cavalli will be on the Picks to Click as a guy KG and I expect to move into the 50 FV tier within the next year. Just want to see him hold the velo he showed in the short 2020 and refine his breaking stuff. I really like him. Rutledge is nasty, too, if you thought he belonged with Ashby and Canterino I’d buy that. Guys like him, Francisco Morales, and other guys with two 60+ pitches could fit toward the back of the hundred with other relief risk types, but I prioritized guys with 3 or 4 impact pitches rather than two.

12:23
George: Hey Eric, thank you so much for the list. What is keeping Cavalli and Rutledge out of the 50 FV tier for you? It’s disheartening as a Nats fan to not have a single 50 FV so I was secretly holding out hope for them.

12:24
Charlie: Can you explain the relationship between tools and overall grade? Franco is an 80 yet only one 80 level tool (nothing else close to 80). Is there value in grading tools if there is such a difference between value and actual tools?

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: A quick way of doing this is to say that: not all tools have the same level of importance (Franco’s 80 is the most important tool) and defensive fit is a really important part of this. So if I have two hitters and their tools all grade exactly the same, but one plays shortstop and the other is a left fielder, there’s a clear gap in value there, right? Even if the lF is a good defender and the SS can barely stay there, there’s still a gap in value. But that’s not illustrated in the tools.

12:27
Not Evan: Could you explain long and short levers? My fairly uninformed guess is that longer levers suggest more power but greater whiff risk, while shorter levers suggest a compact swing geared toward contact. Thanks!

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s also my hypothesis and general industry thought, but I don’t know. That’s why I’ve started tracking it.

12:27
Guest: I noticed Issac Paredes isn’t listed in the 50 FV prospects. Did he get bumped down in to the 45 FV tier?

12:29
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes. Love his feel for contact, just don’t think there’s real power there, and have concerns about his athletic longevity. All the big league 3B, especially the unathletic, porrer defenders, have more power than Paredes

12:29
Not Evan: Hey, Eric, thanks for the list! I’m not sure but I think the previously highest-ranked player to drop out of the 50FV tier is Taylor Trammell, who at one time was as high as #6 overall on your list. Could you talk a bit about what’s up with him?

12:30
Eric A Longenhagen: Just terrified that he can’t hit velocity at all. I don’t know if something about him changed or if we were just wrong when we stuffed him.

12:31
sam: Why so low on libatore? other people see him as becoming a #2 and in the top 60

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: I really don’t want this to turn into me emphasizing what makes players less than perfect for an hour but…

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: As I wrote in his blurb, his fastball doesn’t play like a plus fastball. A lot has been written about what helps/hurts fastball playability (spin axis and approach angle) and Libby doesn’t have those things, and that also hurts how his curveball plays. I still like him as a four-pitch 50 which is really good.

12:33
Brad NJ: how much of Marsh’s ranking is based on defense vs potential offensive output.  Most of us use these lists for fantasy baseball so we couldnt care less about defense…

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s a combo of both. His swing finally looked ready to produce in game power in Fall 2019. We haven’t really seen him since then.

12:34
Darryl: I’ll ask an obvious question, but can you list a couple guys who were late cuts from the back of the list? Thanks!

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Turang, Paredes, Trammell, Ryan Vilade, Ryan Rolison (got unenthused fall reports on both), Amaya…erm…hold on there are couple more…

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: Dunning, and Luis Toribio

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: man, I love Toribio

12:36
Luis Medina, NYY: Chance Luis Medina ends up starting versus being a MIRP? Trending a certain way according to your sources? I take it the stuff so good, they rush him to the MIRP role and he never leaves it. Thanks.

12:38
Eric A Longenhagen: I think it’s 50/50, and if he starts it probably looks a lot like Loaisiga, right? Huge stuff, three real weapons, but he’s gotta grind through 5-6 innings due to command.

12:39
J: About where would Kumar Rocker fall in the Top 100 if he were eligible?

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d have Rocker and Jack Leiter pretty close to where Hancock is. Matt McLain somewhere between Ozzie Peraza and Geraldo Perdomo.

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: If the two Vandy arms come out and shove then they’d move toward Lacy/Meyer for reasons I hope are obvious

12:41
Matt: I recently read a report that MacKenzie Gore “didn’t look sharp at the alternate site” in 2020. Do you know anything about this? And if so, do you think it will impact his development or are you confident he will bounce back since you have him at #2?

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, I wrote about it in his blurb. I’m excusing it as a weird hiccup rather than a long term concern, which might be wrong. But if I had to pick a prospect who I think has the best chance of carrying a 200+ inning load, it’s still that guy.

12:43
Pete: What are examples of guys with long levers and short levers in the majors? What tool best defines approach? How great do Jazz Chisolm and Drew Waters have to be to overcome terrible pitch selection?

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: Two extreme examples on the lever thing: Jose Ramirez and Aaron Judge. Two less extreme examples: Keston Hiura, Nick Castellanos

12:46
Eric A Longenhagen: on the approach stuff: You have to be Javy Baez, Luis Robert, or Adalberto Mondesi type of talent to overcome a approach that bad and still be a star type big leaguer, and even then you’re year-to-year performance is volatile.

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: tools: I’ll point you to The Board’s position player tab where I have pitch selection and bat control graded: 2021 Top Prospects | THE BOARD | FanGraphs

12:47
Burt Macklin: General question: What is your process weighing out a rank between a high risk high upside prospect and a lower ceiling but higher floor one?

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: There are some players where the upside is so incredibly high that I’d just take that player even if I were less confident that they’re going to reach their ceiling. The prospects toward the back of the 55 FV tier are several of those guys. Once you start saying, “which of these two guys does my team want?” and the answer depends on if your team is rebuilding or competing, or team needs, then there’s a lot of room for arguament about how to rank them, but those guys are typically in the same FV tier

12:51
Ryan: How close was Chris Rodriguez to making this list? Was he excluded due to his health history or do you simply like other players more than him?

12:52
Eric A Longenhagen: He has stuff on par with the relief types toward the back of the list but yeah, the injuries have to factor in

12:52
Brandon: Any names outside of the top 25 that you could see being top 10 prospects next year?

12:54
Eric A Longenhagen: Any of the 20y/o outfielders ranked close to 40th overall, Dominguez, then maybe Jordyn Adams or one of the teenage SS closer to 80th overall if they really explode.

12:55
Matt: Can you talk about your Number 100 and 101 Prospects, Tahnaj Thomas and Hunter Greene? You seem higher than consensus on the former and lower on the latter.

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: They’ve been right next to eachother two years in a row. Both have perfect pitchers’ builds, elite arm strength and athleticism, both were recently infielders, both lack an impact breaking ball and need significant secondary pitch refinement. Greene has had a TJ, Tahnaj has not. I don’t see how the two can be far apart on a list.

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: just because one has been famous for a while?

12:58
Old Prospector: What are your general thoughts on the moves Ben Cherington has made  and the trade return he has gotten in his trades since becoming the Pittsburgh GM?

12:59
Eric A Longenhagen: Thought the Musgrove return was light, Taillon return was great, loved what they did in the Rule 5, like that they’ve been active in Australia and Asia recently

1:00
Evan: Your Priester write-up says it all, wondering if there’s any greater injury risk than typical with him?

1:01
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah. Not saying there’s no risk (go look at last year’s list and look at literally every pitcher in the top 50) but not more than usual

1:01
Drew: Hey Eric, Amazing as always.  Thoughts on Ryan Weathers.  Given his uptick in velocity, was he close to the list?  Much appreciated.

1:01
Eric A Longenhagen: Scared of the body and that the velo has been up and down and up again over the last few years. Love how consistently he executes that slider, though.

1:02
Vern: Which prospects on the list got the most pushback from other sources, but you just stuck to your own eval and kept them on there?

1:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Vidal Brujan

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: There was some Xavier Edwards pushback, Jazz/Garcia duo, there was support for TMac to be higher but the way his velo trended in 2020 scared me

1:04
Old Prospector: Do you still believe in Francisco Mejia as an everyday player in the majors?

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: no

1:04
Fayyaz: Given the choice right now, would you rather have Juan Soto or Wander Franco for six years (i.e. ignoring that Soto has two years on the clock already)? I feel like we forget that Soto debuted at a younger age than Franco is now/will debut

1:05
Eric A Longenhagen: man, that’s tough. I don’t have a confident off-hand answer for you.

1:05
Swinging Friar: MacKenzie Gore’s profile confuses me. He seems to lack a true out pitch (highest pitch grade is a 60) and the sum seems to be way more than the individual parts. It seems like for him to get close to his ceiling, his deceptive delivery must work on MLB batters and Gore has to have exceptional command. Is that right? Seems risky…

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Right, and then you have to ask “what about a pitcher tells me he’s going to have exceptional command, etc.?” and I think that’s a) athleticism and b) the ability/willingness to make adjustments, and I think Gore has both.

1:07
NotGraphs Revivalist: Hey Eric, awesome work! Curious to hear your eval on the Braves catchers (specifically Contreras and Langeliers) since they didn’t make the top 133. Thanks!

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Lanegliers will be a Pick to Click (more KG than me). He had some support I just doubt offensive impact still. As I shopped the list around I had like 60 hard-ranked guys and then a bunch of buckets of similar types of players (ready made 4th starters, high upside/risk up-the-middle guys, etc.) and one of them was a big group of catchers. As I’m on the phone with scouts and execs I’m asking them to rank the players in those buckets, and on Amaya, Contreras and Rafael Marchan I got consistent “move that guy down” feedback until eventually they all fell off

1:10
Mitchell: Any under the radar SP prospects you like, similar to Tahnaj Thomas?

1:12
Eric A Longenhagen: Always have trouble with the “under the radar” questions because my radar is 2,000 players. Uh….several Dbacks arms? Bailey Falter?

1:12
Bubba: Where would Andres Gimenez fit on this list if he were still eligible?

1:12
Eric A Longenhagen: Among those contact-oriented shortstops toward the top of the 50 FV tier.

1:13
Eric A Longenhagen: You can also see where all the 2020 graduates ranked as they lost rookie eligibility here: THE BOARD | Prospects | FanGraphs Baseball

1:13
Eric A Longenhagen: there are lots of similar questions in the queue about Adell, Bohm, etc. and they’re all more or less answered through that link.

1:14
Matt: JRod has been known to hit the ball very hard for his age. Is the reason you have him lower than someone like Kirilloff because JRod has higher uncertainty? It seems that if he can put it together he will be a superstar but if he continues to strikeout, he will be more of a bust

1:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Correct. I think if you compare those two players directly that they have very similar skillsets, very similar potential issues (they like to swing an awful lot) and one of them will be in the big leagues tomorrow (Kirilloff) while the other is further away.

1:15
Alvin: Do you think your grades will be more sensitive to players’ early 2021 performances than usual, after the extra-long layoff? Or were you able to source enough information to provide the regular amount of certainty. Thanks!

1:17
Eric A Longenhagen: There was no shortage of information from 2020, it’s just hard to know how much to weigh that info. I barely care about Alt site performance at all, unless I’m getting it from a source outside the org who did video work or who is looking at data. I put more stock into instructs because kids were actually competing there, and it was more open to scouts. I’ll be quick to move guys in 2021 if a change in performance coincides with a change in something else (body, swing, delivery, stuff like that)

1:17
Tim: Player comp for Ronaldo Hernandez?

1:18
Eric A Longenhagen: less athletic Alfaro

1:18
Keith P.: Thanks for your work, Eric. How close was Hedbert Perez to your Top 100 and do you see him as a threat to make the list next year?

1:19
Eric A Longenhagen: Not that close, he’ll be a 40+ FV for me this offseason. LF only, 30 arm. Chance for hit/power combo, tho. Saw him a handful of times in the Fall and thought he was pretty interesting, just not a beast.

1:20
Corbin Carroll: have heard comps of Johnny Damon and Adam Eaton. Who does he more closely comp to?

1:21
Eric A Longenhagen: closer to Eaton since Carroll’s a better glove than Damon. I’ve mentioned Brett Gardner, too.

1:21
GSon: Indians middle infield prospects/players are so plentiful.. If you had could only keep four, who of Gabriel Arias, Owen MIller, Jose Tena, Angel Martinez, Gabrial Rodriguez, Tyler Freeman Brayan Rocchio and Aaron Bracho would you regret losing the most?

1:22
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d cut Gabby and Tena. You’d have to pry Rocchio from my cold, dead hands.

1:22
Angry Fan: Why do you hate my team specifically?

1:23
Eric A Longenhagen: because of all the commercialist signage all over their ballpark

1:24
Big League Choo: In a vacuum, which skill would you most like to see in a prospect.

  1. Big in-game power.
  2. Ability to lay off balls.
  3. High contact rate.
1:24
Eric A Longenhagen: 3

1:24
Jake: Why do nearly none of the top pitching prospects have cutting fastballs?

1:24
Eric A Longenhagen: because most of the top MLB pitchers don’t.

1:26
Annie: Throw out the defense, Heriberto Hernandez is a top ___ hitter in the minors.

1:26
Eric A Longenhagen: 20

1:27
Jaiden: As far as I’m aware, Gregory Santos has never made a top 100 list. Could you talk a bit about why he made it?

1:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Are the scouting reports not showing up on the list or something?

1:27
Uncle Spike: Slightly off topic but what are your thoughts on the Red Sox/Rays trade that went down today?  You’ve got a 45 on Ronaldo Hernandez and seems like the Sox got him for essentially nothing.

1:27
Eric A Longenhagen: oh wait, I haven’t seen this yet…

1:28
Eric A Longenhagen: oh hey, look at that

1:29
Eric A Longenhagen: I like Springs. This is TB moving a guy with a bad approach for pitching depth that every contender needs. BOS has the big league PA’s to give him a shot and see if it works. Nice trade for BOS even if Ronaldo is risky.

1:29
Peter: Hi Eric. Thanks for making this week so much fun. Your deep sourcing with team scouts and officials, and ability to translate their opinions for us normies, is one of your (and KG’s) great strengths. I wondered though how much you also tried to gather intel from other players, whether opposing players or perhaps big leaguers in the same org who see prospects for the first time at spring training or an alt site. Obviously a player might not want to highlights a teammate’s flaws, but at the same time, who better to identify what will fly in the big leagues than big leaguers themselves? I remember an anecdote about Atlanta major leaguers singling out Soroka before his breakout. Do you include players in your contacts?

1:31
Eric A Longenhagen: I do not. I think you can learn a lot about players by talking with them, but it’s impossible for me to do at scale, and it might also impact my objectivity.

1:33
Evan: Yerry Rodriguez at #124 is a departure compared to other publications (BA has him 29th in org; Law did not name him at all). Could you share what it is you see in him that others may be missing?

1:33
Eric A Longenhagen: I just think his stuff and command line up with other 4th starter types toward the back of the 50 FVs. I’m betting a little bit on his unique delivery having positive effect on how his stuff works, and his ability to spin the ball let’s me  project on his breaking stuff, which needs to get better. He was back up to 98 during the Fall so I felt ok leaving him on after he missed 2019 with elbow stuff. He was a 50 FV last year, nothing new from me here.

1:34
Guest: Good morning! I was curious about your thoughts ranking Manning, Skubal & Mize?

1:35
Eric A Longenhagen: It was super hard. Teams are all over the place as to how to line them up. Ultimately I thought Mize’s health stuff had to slide him, and I feel better about Manning’s command than SKubal’s while also thinking Manning’s stuff still has a chance to take another leap because of his size/athleticism.

1:35
Matt: What do you see in Corbin Carroll to put him 22 spots in front of Kristian Robinson? I have seen Robinson in front of Carroll in a lot of rankings

1:36
Eric A Longenhagen: better at-bat quality. Several grades higher. Carroll’s fall at-bats were freaking incredible.

1:36
GK: What does a “grooved swing” mean?

1:36
Eric A Longenhagen: the bat traverses the zone in roughly the same place every time.

1:36
Eric A Longenhagen: let me see if I can get some video up for some of these quesitons…

1:36
Jeff: As someone who writes the list, is there any disdain for how these things – especially the rankings over the words – come to dominate the perception of these players?

1:36
Eric A Longenhagen: yes

1:37
bosoxforlife: The talk of Red Sox alternate site was Jarren Duran. Do you see him differently than before last summer?

1:37
Eric A Longenhagen: A little bit. I’d have been more likely to think his swing change will have real impact had he hit for any sort of power in Puerto Rico. Think he’s a big league role player sort but not and true everyday guy

1:37
JoeD: Luis Patino’s probability of FV outcomes is incredible. Same chance he never figures it out, becomes a top 15 SP or anything in between. Oneil Cruz’s really worried me, 60% chance he is a bust but same chance (10%) he is a 70+ or 40/45

1:39
Eric A Longenhagen: Right, I don’t want the %s on the distro outcomes to give a false sense of precision. There is an empirically-derived baseline applied to each hitter in a given FV tier but KG and I manually adjusted them for each prospect, and I’m fine with putting my thumb on the scale for some of them to better illustrate players like Oneil

1:39
Grant: So the Nationals’ system is um… bad?

1:40
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, it’s bad. I’m pretty sure I’d take Vanderbilt’s roster and commits before Washington’s system. But hey, while other teams are more and more focusing on depth, they’ve been good at picking the right guys. They just always find a way to piece it together.

1:41
oregonian: Was surprised neither Sabato or Busch made the list. Can you talk a little bit about those two?

1:42
Eric A Longenhagen: Busch is on there

1:42
Eric A Longenhagen: Sabato’s full report is on the Twins list

1:42
James: Favorite players outside the top 133 that could rise quickly to inside it this time next year?

1:42
Eric A Longenhagen: look for the Picks to Click article later this week

1:43
Marshall: Hi Eric, you mentioned that Arozarena transformed due to doing a lot of pushups while in quarantine, and I’d heard that narrative elsewhere too. Is it really possible for pushups to make that much difference?

1:43
Eric A Longenhagen: The dude is yoked now and is hitting the ball way, way harder in a measurable way. So, yeah.

1:44
Robert: Are they are any plans to do more live streams either by yourself or with KG? I’ve found those to be really helpful and informative, especially with the visual points you’ve been able to dive into

1:44
Eric A Longenhagen: yes, maybe tomorrow

1:45
Old timer: Can we fairly say the A’s system is really bad in part because of their top 10 selections of Kyler Murray and Austin Beck?  Or is this more after the fact analysis?

1:45
Eric A Longenhagen: Some of it is because Luzardo and Murphy just graduated. this is part of the problem with farm system rankings.

1:46
Eric A Longenhagen: those are young stars, they’re just not rookie eligibile anymore

1:46
Okra: Are you a believer in Zac Gallen now?  What FV would you put on him?  Thanks

1:46
Eric A Longenhagen: hell yes, like a 60

1:48
Okra: Got a biology question for you.  Some people have a longer index finger than ring finger.  Is this common for pitchers?  Does it lead to better spin or rise?  Thanks

1:49
Eric A Longenhagen: huh, that’s interesting, I have no idea. Just looking at my hands now my ring finger is quite a bit longer than my index finger. Never noticed that before. I can command the shit out of a wiffle ball. Hope that helps.

1:50
Greg: Have you ever considered making FV a range? Especially for guys that are a long way from the bigs, placing their FV as a range could give an indication of how high you feel their respective cielings and floors should be.

1:51
Eric A Longenhagen: yeah, Kiley and I talked about that and I think he’s working on something like that for what he’s got going on at ESPN. I think “Variance” expresses this concept enough to just keep using that.  Dan Farnsworth tried to do what you’re talking about many years ago and I think it was a little confusing to some readers.

1:52
Jim: Great job Eric! I realize this is a top 100 chat, but wanted to hear your thoughts on the projected #1 2022 pick Elijah Green. Is he in the top tier of #1 picks in the past decade?

1:54
Eric A Longenhagen: Too early for anything like that, but as I was updating the draft lists (2021 thru 2023 are on The Board) a director volunteered that he thought he was incredible. I think Green being at IMG means he’ll be seen a lot more than is typical for an underclass, since scouts are in to see 2021s.

1:54
blah: What are the odds in the next 3-5 years we get a braindrain from pro scouting/analytics departments into D1 scouting/analytics departments, like how D1 coaches can make way more than pro coaches?

1:54
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s possible for a number of reasons, but Im not sure how the downtick in football revenue impacts the $ spent on the baseball side. Probably varies program to program.

1:55
Swinging Friar: Grades and rankings aside, who do you just love as a prospect and why?

1:57
Eric A Longenhagen: oh man, so many. Part of why i write up so many guys on the team lists is because I just love watching players. I dig the glove/arm/power catchers who might not hit, MJ Melendez and Drew Romo.

1:58
Mucho: What odds would you put on Celesten signing with the M’s considering a pending International draft and the possibility of poaching you mentioned yesterday?

1:58
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve had folks tell me they think, if a draft were instituted, the teams would just take the players they already have deals with.

1:59
Mucho: Is this the best class for HS shortstops you’ve seen? How would it stack up against 2019?

2:00
Eric A Longenhagen: Tough one because, due to COVID and its many impacts, I saw barely any HS action all summer. It’s a hell of a group, though. You might be right, it’s so, so good.

2:00
Nate W: I’ve noticed that the number of “top 100” guys keeps increasing. Is this a result of the quality of minor leaguers increasing or in your evaluation of what it means to be 50FV+?

2:01
Eric A Longenhagen: A large part of it is because what I think it will soon mean to be a 50 FV pitcher is changing and becoming broader.

2:02
Matt: Who makes the majors first between Franco, Brujan and Walls?

2:02
Eric A Longenhagen: If Adames got hurt or traded tomorrow I bet they’d promote Walls

2:02
Mike: Young catchers are notoriously risky. When the success rate is so low what sets certain ones apart from others? Is it just a track record or performance or more just projection and a roll of the dice?

2:04
Eric A Longenhagen: there’s a push/pull happening. An individual’s risk is high, and that risk applies to the whole catching population which creates a league-wide shortage, and so catchers are very valuable because of that shortage. Essentially, I think teams should take an approach to building catching depth that mirrors what they’re already doing with pitching.

2:04
Matt: How often do you go back and look at past lists to look for types of players you get right and types you miss on?

2:04
Eric A Longenhagen: a lot

2:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Yadier Alvarez!

2:05
Kate: Thought you had said Dunning would be a 50?  What changed that moved him down? Just didn’t seem to fit with the 50 arms at the end of the list once you put it together?

2:07
Eric A Longenhagen: I think it’s totally defensible to have him in there, the age/injury combo just slid him off as I got closer to publication. And if the White Sox were to say, “we’ll take Dunning over Alex Vargas no doubt” I’d get that based on where they are on the competitive spectrum.

2:08
Tigers Fan: Do you think the Tigers farm system is 12th best like that other guy (Keith Law) on that other website?  Top 5 at least right?

2:09
Eric A Longenhagen: our farm rankings are derived objectively and tend to favor teams with top-heavy systems like Detroit’s. My natural instincts are to prefer deeper systems, though. I bet they’ll be top 5 once I’m through.

2:09
Rob: Did you get to see Josh Mears recently? This prob sounds greatly insane, but would a very early Giancarlo (before he really blew up in HiA and became a monster prospect) comparison seem similar? Tools seem crazy and wonder if they held him purposefully.

2:09
Eric A Longenhagen: Saw him in the Fall and am sliding him into the 35+ tier

2:09
Jon G: Was there any pressure to keep Preciado on the list given that you declared he’d be in the Darvish trade write-up? Did you receive any pushback on that later on in the process?

2:10
Eric A Longenhagen: I got some “hey this guy whiffed on breaking balls a ton in the fall” that nearly scared me off, but he’s still 17 and was facing unusually advanced group of instructs pitching

2:13
Eric A Longenhagen: I was there the day Buehler first came back from TJ and he was 97+ with two good breaking balls rather than one breaker and a changeup. The Dodgers and Buehler took advantage of his rehab and he had gotten stronger and started throwing harder. What’s happened with Brown is similar in that the curveball he scrapped in college is now back and arguably his best pitch, so there are two plus breakers now, and he’s on a pro conditioning program rather than in a Division II school’s weight room, so there might be a similar leap in ability coming like there was with Buehler.

2:13
Jimmy Wynn’s Toy Cannon: Was pleasantly surprised to see Hunter Brown crack the list. Can you talk a bit more about the comp to Walker Buehler?

2:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay, I need to split to prep for a pod with a basketball executive (folks will want to check out the next FG Audio)

2:14
Eric A Longenhagen: thanks for coming and reading the site’s content. Please continue to do so. Hope everyone has a great rest of their week and enjoys the college baseball this weekend!





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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carltosw
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carltosw

What happened to Miguel Amaya? Did he not look good during his time with the expanded roster last year?