2022 Top 100 Prospects Chat by Eric Longenhagen, Kevin Goldstein and Tess Taruskin February 23, 2022 Prospects Week 2022 Week 1 College Baseball NotesHow To Use The Board: A TutorialA Conversation With Orioles General Manager Mike EliasProspect Week PrimerA Conversation With Red Sox Amateur Scouting Director Paul ToboniCatchers '22: The Changing Catcher Prospect Landscape2022 Top 100 ProspectsA Conversation With Baltimore Orioles Prospect Grayson Rodriguez2022 Top 100 Prospects ChatPicks to Click: Who We Expect to Make the 2023 Top 100Fantasy Update: 2022 Re-Draft Top 27/Dynasty Top 130ZiPS 2022 Top 100 ProspectsA Conversation With Arizona Diamondbacks Prospect Corbin CarrollManaging Prospect ExpectationsExploring 40-Man Roster Timeline DynamicsHow We Built the Top 100 1:00 Kevin Goldstein: Hi everyone. I’m here. Tess is here, Eric is here. We hope you’ve enjoyed Prospect Week and our Top 100 list. Thanks to Eric and Tess for all the work they put it, and thanks to behind the scenes folks on this like Meg Rowley’s gigantic editing load, Sean Dolinar’s crazy great tech work, and Luke Hooper’s wonderful design work. 1:00 Eric A Longenhagen: Hello from Tempe and thanks for joining us 1:00 Kevin Goldstein: Anyway, let’s chat! 1:00 Tess Taruskin: Hey everyone! 1:01 Guest: Luis Medina at 60 overall seems to suggest at least a reasonable chance of becoming a starter? 1:01 Kevin Goldstein: Reasonable chance, yes, but it’s far from a guarantee . . . very far in fact. Stuff is fantastic. 1:02 Eric A Longenhagen: Also, it’s clear in the post we have him evaluated as a reliever 1:02 Eric A Longenhagen: i think elite relievers are very valuable 1:02 Jared: Any reservations on Kwan being so highly ranked? Seeing how he doesnt have much of a track record with the numbers he put up? 1:03 Eric A Longenhagen: Perhaps a tiny bit of reservation, in that there’s a fair chance he’s just a 45 instead of a 50, but what the heck are you talking about that there’s no track record? 1:02 Kevin Goldstein: Really, no. The underlying metrics are so overwhelming that we actually ended up quite comfy with it. 1:02 TStats: where do you guys think MJ Melendez and Pratto Play with Slavy on C and Santana being paid to play 1st? Cycle DH, 1B, C, off? 1:02 Tess Taruskin: Melendez and Pratto both saw time out of their primary position this season (Melendez at 3B, Pratto in RF). Could mean the org is trying to find a way to get them up there before 1B/C are vacated. 1:03 RF: Quick thoughts on Taj Bradley, and mostly what kept him off? 1:03 Kevin Goldstein: His pitch data is merely good. He did have some support from the industry, but not enough to get him over the top. 1:03 Eric A Longenhagen: yeah, mixed opinion, def close to the list 1:03 Scotty: Hey all, Triantos as 55 game power and 50 raw, how does that happen? Thanks! 1:04 Eric A Longenhagen: with so much contact that you outproduce your raw (how far hit ball) with game (how often hit ball far) 1:04 Eric A Longenhagen: [plenty of big league examples, Altuve doesn’t have 7 raw but he’s had years of 7 gamne because of all the contact 1:04 Jack B: Love the estimated probability for each player. Is that new this year? 1:04 Eric A Longenhagen: nope, it’s many years old 1:04 Matt: What happened to JJ Bleday? Was #35 last year and didn’t even make this list 1:04 Kevin Goldstein: At some point, the hype and the draft slot and the Q factor has to turn into performance, and that just hasn’t happened. 1:05 Eric A Longenhagen: just a 45 for me, is Bleday 1:05 Eric A Longenhagen: based on the Fall League look 1:05 Eric A Longenhagen: still valuable, corner platoon guy 1:05 Brian: How does Matt Allan’s outlook change with the reports of a 2nd elbow surgery? Was he on the top 114 before? 1:05 Kevin Goldstein: He was, and it’s a big reason he is no longer. 1:05 Eric A Longenhagen: timing of his surgery also bad 1:05 Eric A Longenhagen: means missing most of ’22 1:07 Arsene: Hi Guys, How far from top 100 list is M Brash? is his relief risk putting him away from the list? Thanks! 1:07 Kevin Goldstein: Lots of Matt Brash questions. He was on the list for a long time and definitely had some industry support, but it just wasn’t enough in the end. Definitely on the just missed list. 1:08 Matt: Request: In the future, can the ETA be included in the blurbs? Sucks to read something intriguing and then have to scroll back to the top to get an idea of when they might get the call 1:08 Eric A Longenhagen: Noted, it seems to be the thing people care most about. ideally in the future we can do something like e2022, m2022, L2022 to be more specific about the ETA when we think it’ll be within the year. 1:08 Matt: Any insights into Ty Madden or Sal Frelick? Usually 1st round picks tend to at least make the back end of the list 1:08 Kevin Goldstein: Not necessarily, that would mean 30 guys on the top 100. I said about 15 hours ago, “Should Sal Frelick be on this list?” So he’s definitely just missed. I’m a huge Madden cheeseball, but he did fall for a reason. He could get there in the end. 1:09 David: Hunter Brown felt like someone last year that was going to pop more than he did. Is this fair 1:09 Kevin Goldstein: I think this is fair. 1:10 Eric A Longenhagen: We’re taking the long view there 1:11 Eric A Longenhagen: coming out of wayne state, missed year w/ pandemic….lotta context backed into that FV 1:10 Dennis: Noticed the absence of Michael Harris in your rankings despite the buzz as a potential five-tool player. What is your concern there, is it primarily regarding the hit tool? 1:10 Kevin Goldstein: Another guy getting a lot of questions. He certainly has the potential to make a future list, but for now, we need to see more. 1:11 Eric A Longenhagen: The approach, for me. It’s not as bad as Waters’ approach but it’s at least a yellow flag 1:12 Eric A Longenhagen: Though you could argue that’s true of a bunch of the young shortstops on the list 1:12 Birdland: Looking at the outcome chart (love the feature btw) for DL Hall. Expected the risk of being a bust to be higher with his injury concerns. Is it low because of the thought that worst-case scenario he could turn into a reliever and be Josh Hader-esk? 1:12 Eric A Longenhagen: yerp 1:13 JRap: A process question, curious on how a recent injury would affect FV. Using Josh Jung as an example, let’s say his recent labral strain injury requires surgery and he miss most if not all the season. Would you still have him as a 60 FV or would the risk cause his FV to fall and to what extent? 1:13 Kevin Goldstein: This was a late-nite discussion last night. If we knew that he needed surgery, we would have slid him, but it’s still an unknown and we didn’t want to make an assumption. 1:13 Ben Hessler: What keeps guys like Cody Morris out of the top 100 after seasons like last year? Is it age? or do you just consider them late bloomers? 1:13 Eric A Longenhagen: Really good prospect and big leaguer, he’s likely to be in the 45 tier of the Guardian list 1:14 Jimbo Jackson: I’ve gotten a sense from my fellow Cleveland fans that there’s some disappointment surrounding George Valera’s evaluation. Could you try to explain why his exceptional performance at levels for which he was quite young wasn’t enough to improve his standing since the last list? 1:14 Kevin Goldstein: There are still very fair questions about the utility of the hit tool. 1:14 Jack B: You’ve got Soderstrom at 1B, what chance would you say he has of catching or playing a COF? 1:15 Tess Taruskin: He’s mostly caught so far (even though he didn’t much in high school) but 1B route is a quicker one to the bigs. 1:15 Clearwater Revival: Is the worry with Jose Tena that his swing-friendly approach just won’t translate as he makes up higher levels? 1:15 Eric A Longenhagen: correct. Again, Gabe Arias (performed at Triple-A at age 21) and Ronny Mauricio (huge frame, more power projection) are examples on the list where they are also aggressive but there are meaningful separators between Tena (who I like) and those two. 1:15 Eric A Longenhagen: swing-friendly is cute 1:15 Eric A Longenhagen: swing-positive, maybe? 1:16 Billy G: Fill in the blank: on opening day, the A’s will have _ 50 FV prospects? 1:16 Bo Callahan: Considering your write up, why don’t you just list Adley Rutschman as a 75 FV prospect? 1:16 Kevin Goldstein: No 75s, no 25s. 1:16 Tess Taruskin: 1. Just Soderstrom for now, but Gelof and Pineda could get there soon. 1:16 Kevin Goldstein: Whoops! That’s gonna happen with three of us in here, but we’ll try our best to keep the orders well, bear with us. 1:16 Tess Taruskin: jinx! 1:17 KevinT: I am curious on what seems like an uptick in catchers in high tier rankings over the last few years. 10 in 2020 (out of 120), 11 in 2021 (out of 133), 13 in 2022 (out of 113). By comparison, 2015 had 9 catchers out of 143, and only 1 has become anywhere near the 50 FV he was projected for (alfaro). It feels like the evaluation industry is trying to make “fetch” happen at the catcher position. Or is there a new found focus in baseball to drafting and developing this position 1:17 Kevin Goldstein: Yeah, I’m not a big find of reading too much into trends like this. I think these kind of things are cyclical and in three years you could be asking us “Where are all the catchers?” 1:18 KevinT: I dont think you guys do this, but some other outlets define a pitcher as #2 upside. How does that definition work when you have a spike of #1 starter years. Thinking of a Jake Arrieta type who had elite seasons but lacked longevity. Was he a #1 guy and then regressed or was he always a 2/3, who had a few years of 90% 1:18 Eric A Longenhagen: the latter, for me 1:18 Eric A Longenhagen: same as anyone else, like is Carlso Gomez a 7 because he peaked there? I don’t think so. Still good! 1:19 Ed H: How much time do you spend looking at other lists (e.g., Baseball America, Keith Law) to see the amount of convergence/divergence with your own rankings? 1:19 Kevin Goldstein: I haven’t looked at either of those lists to this day. And that’s not an insult. I think both BA and Keith do fine, very fine actually, work, but I think it’s exceptionally important to avoid groupthink or any kind of matching mentality when evaluating players. 1:20 Jake: Who’s one or two 50 FV guys you’re very confident will be at least 55 by this time next year? 1:20 Tess Taruskin: Not sure I’d throw the word “very” in there, but I think Luis Matos could make the jump if his ’22 is anything like his ’21. 1:21 Eric A Longenhagen: i’d second that 1:21 Eric A Longenhagen: and the group of 20 year old ranked right there with him 1:21 zurzles: As an Orioles fan I’m glad to see him there, but I was certainly shocked to see Rodriguez at 3 (or ANY pitcher that high after the bit about Whitley/Gore/etc in the Primer). Is there any concern over his low pitch counts in the minors/that he could be exposed after being stretched out? 1:21 Kevin Goldstein: Sure, maybe a little, But the quality of his stuff is absolutely overwhelming. 1:22 Dan: My first grader just started his first season of “coach pitch”. How soon will you be adding him to The Board? 1:22 Kevin Goldstein: The three of us have a call on lining up to 2034 board this afternoon. Please send video. 1:22 Johnny Boi: Steven Kwan’s Hit FV is eye opening, don’t see that too often and don’t see another on the top 100. Are there other notable prospects with 80 Hit FV? 1:22 Eric A Longenhagen: I think Wander Franco and Willians Astudillo, and maybe Madrigal? are the only guys I’ve ever done it with. 😉 1:22 Eric A Longenhagen: David Fletcher maybe should’ve been an 80 but wasn’t 1:24 Ms Fan: Brandon Williamson ahead of Brash or Hancock? 1:24 Kevin Goldstein: Clearly, we are monsters. But seriously, Williamson has really good pitch data, like REALLY good and definitely has a chance to start. 1:24 JR: Wasn’t Johan Rojas originally a 50FV on the Phillies list? If so, what was the reason for the drop? 1:24 Eric A Longenhagen: Nope, he was a 45+ 2022 Top Prospects | THE BOARD | FanGraphs 1:25 Jefferson: I love the hit tool breakdown of pitch selection and bat control grades, but I don’t understand why the don’t correlate more with the overall hit tool grade. Josh Smith has 55 selection and 60 bat control, but only a 50 hit tool. Liover peguero has 50 selection and 55 bat control but a 60 overall hit tool. Is this strictly a judgment call about the “sum of the parts”? 1:25 Eric A Longenhagen: contact quality is part of it, like is Kevin Newman an 80 bat even though he has 80 bat control? probably not 1:25 Eric A Longenhagen: but we tend to be pretty consistent at considering the components in the way you’re describing, deviateing once in a while when we thin kit’s appropriate 1:26 Ken Giles Right Hook: How gloomy is the forecast on MacKenzie Gore? 1:26 Kevin Goldstein: I don’t know if I would say gloomy as much as I would say there’s just so much unknown. We just haven’t seen the pitcher we once loved for a VERY long time, and for a variety of reasons. 1:27 szakyl: Nolan Jones’s blurb lists him as having begun to play RF and eventually move to 1B. What’s the reasoning behind listing him in LF? 1:27 Eric A Longenhagen: Ah, it should probably say RF, will fix on The Board 1:27 Matt: Which guys on the list have the biggest bust/boom potential? Ie 50% chance of being a bust and 50% chance of 70+FV? 1:28 Eric A Longenhagen: there’s a distribution graph under each player that outlines this, and if you look on The Board each player has a “variance” grade (high, medium, low) that also illustrates this across the entire player population 1:28 Eric A Longenhagen: it says “risk” on The Board because “variance” doesn’t fit nice and snug in the column header 2022 Top Prospects | THE BOARD | FanGraphs 1:29 Sammy’sCork: What chances do you all give Shane Baz of starting vs relieving? I noticed you had him as a single inning reliever and I was curious because it would seem to me he has the stuff and command to be an effective starter + it seems the Rays intend to use him that way, at least initially… 1:29 Eric A Longenhagen: i goofed and didn’t change his designation from last year, we have him in as a starter 1:30 Liam: Has Quinn Priester not developed as expected, or is it more a case of alt site hype was a little overblown 1:30 Kevin Goldstein: Quinn Preister’s fastball shape is a glaring concern. 1:31 Critical Cubs Fan: How was lower minors performance evaluated “post” pandemic v pre? 1:31 Kevin Goldstein: There are definitely some things to consider, especially how some of the rules in some leagues have effected the cadence of games, and how the reduction of short-season ball has changed the talent levels. 1:31 Jimbo Jackson: How do you recommend thinking about a guy like Bo Naylor, who completely falls off a cliff? 1:31 Eric A Longenhagen: If you want to be optimistic about it you should look at MJ Melendez’s 2019. 1:32 Jack B: Did any of you have anyone over Adley? 1:32 Kevin Goldstein: Don’t think so, but we did hear from some industry people who didn’t have him No. 1….unanimity is pretty impossible when you talk to as many folks as this group did. 1:33 Eric A Longenhagen: yeah, even the Trout, Harper, Moore year, right? 1:33 Rutherford Ke’ Hayes: You all sniffed out Matos (the prospect, not the former Oriole who receives a brief nod/mention in The Wire) really early and noted some of his risk points in his write-up. If he could demonstrate that one thing was not a concern (ball/K recognition, patience, ability to remain a CF), which would elevate him the most? 1:33 Eric A Longenhagen: only Wander overwhelming unanimity since I’ve been doing this 1:33 Tess Taruskin: “All the pieces matter.” -Lester Freamon 1:34 Andy Cardamone: As former Fangraphs top 100 pitchers, what can we expect from Jhoan Duran and Yerry Rodriguez moving forward? 1:34 Eric A Longenhagen: Duran was throwing hard but not quite as hard as peak in the Fall, Yerry we have a 45 on 1:35 Ferguson: There’s been a few reports that Austin Martin had a wrist injury for most of 2021, very well could be a reason for the lack of power … If he shows a little more pop to be closer to 50-55 , does that change his ranking ?? 1:35 Kevin Goldstein: If he adds power, or I guess more accurately, re-finds his college power, yes, it will change that ranking. 1:35 Guest: Prospects #33 through #100 and change are all the same FV, so the individual ranking placements seem very subjective. 1:35 Kevin Goldstein: It’s a prospect list. How can it not be subjective? 1:37 Jacques Pederson: Is a 80FV pitching prospect possible? 1:37 Kevin Goldstein: Anything is possible. Prior and Strasburg the last to get some 80s? 1:37 Mucho Maas: I watched a handful of Julio’s at-bats with Arkansas and it seemed like when he was hot he was getting an awful lot of infield hits by beating out choppers while the fielders were playing back or by smashing a grounder off of a fielder’s glove. Should Seattle fans be concerned that his average isn’t representative of his actual hit tool? 1:37 Eric A Longenhagen: Good eye. Don’t think I’d say they should be “concerned” and his bat path has been altered over the last year or so (tough to remember exactly when Julio started loading his hands that way) and he might still be getting comfy with it. . maybe you round round down the hit grade by a half? 1:38 Eric A Longenhagen: This is when i noticed it but i don’t know when it was enacted: Eric Longenhagen on Twitter: “Julio Rodriguez swing change. Hands set up out away from his body. Has changed his bat path and, to an extent, his posture. Hopefully it helps with the plate coverage issues exposed last year. Kind of embarrassing it took me this long to catch. https://t.co/atSfzHZf2g” / Twitter 1:38 Pos: Who is the prospect you left off the list that industry sources were most passionately positive about? 1:38 Kevin Goldstein: If the majority of the industry was passionate about a player, that player would have made the list. 1:40 Ben Hessler: Follow up question to the question with the Cody Morris example. At what age do you switch from a prospect with potential to a player that gets pats on the back for being a “Late Bloomer”? 1:40 Eric A Longenhagen: I just view them all the same. There are 27-year-olds on The Board. Julian Merryweather was damn near 30, but he had been hurt a ton and stuck in the minors forever, so he was still rookie eligible. I’m not going to ignore a guy throwing 97 with plus secondary stuff just because he has a receding hairline, you guys should know about him. 1:40 ugotwilcocksed: Why so low on Cade Cavalli? Very low mileage on his arm in college and was a workhorse last year. I haven’t heard delivery concerns from other outlets. 1:40 Tess Taruskin: His delivery is violent enough for his college injury track record to be of concern. Enough so that he seems more likely to end up in the ‘pen. 1:41 Guest: Considering that all prospects from #33 to #100 and something have the same FV, the individual ranking placements come off as a bit subjective to me. With this in mind, who would subjectively choose a defensive minded C Korey Lee over George Valera? Valera hit .267 as a 20 yo in AA. It would seem that list factored the subjectively of outside evaluators a bit heavily on Valera considering his write up and stats don’t convey the concern that outside parties may carry. 1:41 Kevin Goldstein: the non-bat value between a plus defensive catcher and a corner outfielder is quite large. 1:42 Eric A Longenhagen: His ability to tuck his hands in and barrel stuff on the inner third of the zone mitigates the lever length issues that plague other guys this size. Of course, the same was true of Lewis Brinson. It happens in his first two swings here: Kevin Alcantara, OF, Chicago Cubs – YouTube 1:43 Eric A Longenhagen: to be his size and have this kind of looseness and capacity for movement is incredible. he’s ranked where he is knowing he may bust, the ceiling is gigantic 1:43 Critical Cubs Fan: I see position player similarities between Kevin Alcantara and tall, lean HS pitchers like Volstad and Chaz Roe drafted due to the projection for velocity. KA hit lots of groundballs while repeating the Rk level, granted at 18. I’m skeptical? BtW <3 yous guys 1:43 Eric A Longenhagen: whoops^ 1:44 Juan M: Is there really a big difference between Witt and Jrod? 1:44 Kevin Goldstein: They’re both in the top four in all of baseball, they both have 65 grades on them. It’s nothing to be upset about. 1:45 Jason: Do you have more confidence in Luis Matos or Marco Luciano cutting their K% down? 1:45 Tess Taruskin: I’m going Luciano on this one. Matos’ Ks have always been low so there’s not much room for them to keep getting lower. Luciano’s spiked after his A+ promotion. Still plenty of time for him to adjust to those outside breaking balls, and his track record implies he will. 1:45 Guest: I have to imagine jobe is difficult to place with no pro data at all yet. Is it safe to say this is a placeholder and next year he would be much higher or lower? 1:45 Kevin Goldstein: Yes, but you could say that about most teenagers on this list . . . 1:46 KevinT: Why does Raw power matter? Does it help teams evaluate home run capability regardless of ballpark? If so, is it an antiquated idea with todays technology? 1:46 Eric A Longenhagen: It can indicate who might benefit from a swing change to unlock more game power. The tech often helps feed into the grade but it doesn’t exist at every baseball field in the world, so you need to have a visual means of assessing that tool. 1:46 Me: It seems like you weighed proximity to majors a little bit more this year than the past. Is that just me seeing things, or a more conscious decision? 1:46 Eric A Longenhagen: It was a conscious decision with regard to pitching. 1:46 Jacob: What differentiates Nolan Gorman and Jordan Walker? I feel like Gorman’s profile and tools are very very similar. 1:46 Kevin Goldstein: Walker’s power for his age is nothing short of special. 1:47 Ed H: How do you resolve serious descrepancies among the three of you on how/where to rank a player? 1:47 Kevin Goldstein: We talk it through like adults! Ok, sometimes I get a bit childish, but for the most part, like adults. 1:47 Actual Evan: Thanks for all the grades, friends. Which team lists should we expect next? 1:47 Eric A Longenhagen: The rest of SW Florida: Rays, Twins, Red Sox 1:48 Critical Cubs Fan: How does Jordan Wicks compare to Brady Singer out of college? 1:48 Eric A Longenhagen: Singer: sinker/sliderWicks: 4sm/changeup Both plus command guys 1:49 Muse-ee-all: Hi! Can I thoughts on where Parada, Susac might rank? 1:49 Eric A Longenhagen: not on the hondo, but their FVs on the draft board give you an idea of where they’d be on any org list: 1:49 Eric A Longenhagen: 2022 Draft Prospects | THE BOARD | FanGraphs 1:49 Steve: % chance, Sam Bachman can start for the Angels? 1:49 Kevin Goldstein: 18.72937% 1:50 barry b: with P bailey at 76 and J Bart at 113 you guys are telling us that expect bailey to run away with the C job at SF? 1:50 Kevin Goldstein: 76 and 113 really isn’t a very big gap in the grand scheme of things. It merely says Bailey is now the favorite to do so. 1:50 daeve: What will we need to see from Elly this year to crown him the next Oneil ? 1:51 Eric A Longenhagen: He’d need to reach Triple-A while staying at SS, right? 1:51 Me: The Vidal Brujan drop seemed a little far. Are we worried about his path to playing time or the small sample from last year? 1:52 Eric A Longenhagen: I’m worried about his Durham numbers against good velocity. 1:53 Joe: When I open a new tab and type F my browser auto completes to fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board. Not really a question. I just wanted to say thanks for all the great work! 1:53 Kevin Goldstein: This makes us very happy. We’re glad people are enjoying the work. 1:54 >this guy<: How far off the list are guys like Bleday and Downs now- and what happened? 1:54 Eric A Longenhagen: We never should have been on Downs. That bat path doesn’t work. I don’t know how it worked until Triple-A and then suddenly stopped working, but I thought it was weird when he was a prospect and weighed his performance more than my subjective concern. Bleday also has issues getting to stuff on the outer third because of his bat path, which a more experienced me now feels resolve around even though as I was getting a better sense of said issue he was crushing the AFL for six weeks. 1:54 matt: What do you mean when you say a pitcher has good/bad “pitch shape”? 1:54 Kevin Goldstein: Here’s a brief primer: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-importance-of-fastball-shape/ 1:56 anonymous: First off, apreciate all the hard work that goes into these lists. Having said that….While I realize that you guys always must get a million “How come my team’s prospect isn’t in the top 100?” As a Red Sox fan who is in no way, shape or form a Dodgers fan…. how is Miguel Vargas not in your top 100. The guy just hits and exhibited in-game power? How is his FV still at 45 value? 1:56 Eric A Longenhagen: I have him at 1B and don’t think there’s enough power to support him being a 50. The gap between Pasquantino being a 50 and Vargas being a 45 is basically their handedness, which is obviously important. Vargas is getting love from pro models because of his age but i don’t think he has the body projection of the typical 20/21 year old and that the cement is mostly dry in that regard. 1:56 Old Prospector: Great work! I enjoyed reading the list. Thoughts on Dustin Harris and what keeps him out of the 50 FV ranks? 1:57 Eric A Longenhagen: we like him. also probably 1B, swing decisions aren’t great 1:57 Rutherford Ke’ Hayes: Any scouts you 3 talk to still mention “how quickly a pitcher works” as a characteristic worthy of consideration? Or more of just a minor differentiator in the event one HAS to decide between 2 prospects who seem otherwise identical? Feels outdated as an eval criterion 1:57 Kevin Goldstein: I’m pretty certain I haven’t heard that brought up as a positive or negative for quite some time. 1:59 Jake: Did Camilo Doval miss because he’s a RP or is there something with the stuff that’s concerning? 1:59 Eric A Longenhagen: He graduated from rookie eligibility. His report exists aqui: THE BOARD | Prospects | FanGraphs Baseball 1:59 Tom: Miguel Vargas missed the top 100 despite finding his power last year and crushing AA pitching at age 21. ZiPS projects him as an average big-league regular 3B this year (2.4 WAR at age 22), and Steamer’s projections are significantly more optimistic for this year. What am I missing? 2:00 Eric A Longenhagen: I have the guy’s airborne max exits velos as 105mph 2:00 Atl Braves: Any thoughts on spencer strider or Bryce elder for the Braves? I thought both had pretty impressive years in the minors last year yet it seems like they are not getting any love from National prospect evaluators. 2:00 Kevin Goldstein: Strider had some consideration. We had questions as to the playability of Elder’s fastball. 2:00 Jake: Is Cristian Hernandez someone you could see fly up the list if he gets more consistent/high-level ABs this year? 2:00 Tess Taruskin: The high-level ABs are a big part of it, but mainly not being able to see him play in the states has significantly limited his exposure. If he looks as good in person as he has on paper and by reputation, he could see a big climb. 2:01 chilly: kwan was really a 40run in college? did he lose weight to jump up to a 60? how is such witchcraft possible 2:01 Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve wondered this myself. I would typically see Oregon State each of the first two weekends of the season when Kwan was there, so maybe he just wasn’t in mid-season form? Or my stopwatch hand was not? Regardless, he’s laying down plus run times now. 2:02 Jake: Would Jake Eder have made the list if he wasn’t injured for the season? 2:02 Eric A Longenhagen: Not for me, though you could argue he belongs next to Lacy. My concerns are that his period of actually viable strike throwing was not all that big relative to his whole life leading up to that point. 2:03 Jacob: Love the work. You guys put Vientos right behind Baty and was wondering if you could elaborate on the differences between the 2 and which bat is better in a vacuum? 2:03 Kevin Goldstein: Baty is the better pure hitter, Vientos has better in-game power. 2:05 matt: Are prospects on the 40-man at a disadvantage if spring training is delayed and condensed? 2:05 Eric A Longenhagen: Ah, that’s a good one, hmmmm… I think probably, right? There are some players for whom it won’t matter at all and some for which they might have otherwise won a job if they’d started with the other minor leaguers. Imagine being, idk, Jhonkensy Noel, and you’re trying to hit well enough to earn an aggressive assignment, but when you arrive all the pitchers you’re facing in minor league ST (Noel is probably too young for lots of big league ST, right?) have being throwing for a while and are more game ready than you… 2:06 Eric A Longenhagen: Conversely older prospects who are forced to play among the big leaguers upon arrival (rather than be part of minor league spring) might have more opportunities to show they belong? 2:06 Appa Yip Yip: Coffee or tea? 2:06 Eric A Longenhagen: Coffee, not close. 2:07 Kevin Goldstein: Coffee. I don’t understand tea. 2:07 Tess Taruskin: Depends on my mood, but the key is always to have three beverages on hand: one for energy, one for hydration, one for fun. 2:07 Guest: 3 questions in 1. Baz vs G. Rodriquez (Balt) who’s got more upside? What prospects is the closet comps to the great Jose Fernande? Lastly, cj Abrams was hurt last season. Would he be a top 5 prospect if he didn’t get hurt? 2:07 Kevin Goldstein: Rodriguez (that’s why he’s higher!); Don’t force comps; he certainly had the potential to, but he had the potential not to as well. 2:08 Matt: I’m just here to say thanks for all the hard work and the awesome prospect list 2:08 Kevin Goldstein: Thanks for reading! Thanks for supporting FanGraphs (we hope!) Thanks for joining us in the chat! 2:08 Tony Plush: this isn’t exactly a top 100 question, but anyone to keep an eye on prospect-wise at Arizona State this year? hoping to catch some games 2:08 Eric A Longenhagen: Ethan Long, Sean McLain, the pitcher who transferred from West Virginia whose name I’m forgetting, Joe Lampe can really run but maybe isn’t a prospect. Hunter Haas for next year. 2:09 Jacob: Where would Suzuki be on the list if you were to rank him. 2:09 Kevin Goldstein: This was the subject of much debate, and we’ll talk about it on this week’s Chin Music. 2:11 Jack B: I know they’re very close on the board, but why Mick Abel over Jack Leiter? 2:11 Tess Taruskin: They are indeed very close. But Abel’s younger and has a year of professional development under his belt already. Before that was the case, he debuted on the 2021 list way lower (95) than Leiter’s ranking on this year’s list, which should give a sense for how Leiter is viewed comparatively at the start of his pro career. 2:11 Jacques Pederson: I noticed a prospect’s Throw tool doesn’t have a current/future designation. Is that because most players don’t improve their arms? Or is the throw tool the least important? 2:11 Eric A Longenhagen: A little of both. This is the single hardest tool to source on because there’s no guarantee that, if one of us goes to a game, we’ll even see a max effort throw, same goes for scouts. I stopped present/future with arm grades because we were basically never projecting on it. 2:12 Tom G: Who is your favorite OOT speedrunner? 2:12 Tess Taruskin: My older brother, but that’s biased based on live looks. 2:15 Jimmy K: It is very interesting to me that #33 – 114 are 50 FV. In a sense, definitely not surprising since it is so hard to be major league average. But quite different than past lists. I realize this is unknowable, but if you had to guess at the probabilities…what % on this being the new FG normal (a methodology change) versus what % this merely reflects the player pool in front of y’all (weird graduation stuff etc.) and we’ll see more 55 and up grades moving forward? Thanks so much guys. 2:15 Eric A Longenhagen: I addressed this in the intro a little bit. Combo of the lost year, more graduates than usual because of new rules (Nate Pearson, Jose Barrero, Keibert Ruiz all 55s who would’ve been on here if not for the new rookie eligibility rules, and I might be forgetting a few) or just a down group this year. We can actually quantify the new rookie rule thing, right? We’re already talking about 10% of the 55 FV tier and above with just those three guys. 2:15 Insert Witty Name Here: Which top ten prospect could go the Dom Brown route? 2:15 Eric A Longenhagen: Cruz 2:16 Mookie The Wookie: It’s okay Eric, I still love Brujan even if you don’t anymore. 2:16 Eric A Longenhagen: I still do! It felt horrible seeing how he performed against 93+. 2:16 Geoff: who are the names “industry people” were highest on and why? 2:18 Eric A Longenhagen: Depends on whether you mean scouts or analysts. Analysts: Lodolo too lowScouts: Priester too low 2:17 Fangraphs Reader: Gore or Whitley? 2:17 Kevin Goldstein: You’re the kind of person who puts big bets on single numbers at the roulette table, aren’t you? 2:19 Elly: Understand why the swing decisions give people pause, but seems like the easiest thing to coach when combined with the other tools. Or is that a thing that is not as teachable as it seems? 2:19 Kevin Goldstein: Swing decisions are actually insanely hard to change. 2:19 Thursten McGregor: Awesome stuff as always! Where might an interested soul find chase rate for MiLB players (if at all)? 2:19 Eric A Longenhagen: It does not exist publicly, so far as I know. It would be extremely helpful if it were public so we wouldn’t have to do so much work just trying to source that data to make decisions. 2:20 Kevin Goldstein: There’s reason to believe minor league data will be public in the next few years, and I hope that’s true. 2:20 BD: Top 5 just missed? Thanks for all the hard work to everyone involved! 2:20 Eric A Longenhagen: our bubble at the end was… 2:20 Eric A Longenhagen: hold on i’m opening the doc… 2:20 Eric A Longenhagen: Harris, Jose Salas, Brash, the other Twins arms (Duran and Canterino) 2:21 Eric A Longenhagen: Michael Harris, not Dustin, though he was on permutations of the list 2:21 Eric A Longenhagen: Jose Ramos, Foscue, Taj, Hancock… 2:23 Pepi: Why is the Diego Cartaya bust so high 2:23 Tess Taruskin: He’s only 20, and hasn’t seen a ton of playtime yet. There’s star potential there, but need more proof of concept at this point. 2:24 jas: How much does a distant ETA affect FV? Is it just more difficult to break the 60 mark? 2:24 Eric A Longenhagen: It impacts it pretty significantly, especially with pitchers. FV tries to weigh both ceiling and risk. 2:26 14343: Off-the-cuff, all-bets-are-off, first answer that comes to mind: Kyler Murray FV right now? 2:26 Kevin Goldstein: 40-45? Eric? Tess? 2:26 Eric A Longenhagen: 45+ 2:26 Tess Taruskin: 45 2:26 Eric A Longenhagen: i was all in 2:26 Jake: In your experience, would teams generally take the risk on someone like Elly DLC or the floor on someone like Kwan 2:27 Eric A Longenhagen: Depends on the team. I think the Marlins would take Elly and the Brewers would take Kwan. Philosophy and where the team is on the competitive spectrum influence decision-making. Any time you can make context-based arguments for one player or another, it’s an indication we’re talking about FV grades that should be pretty close, or identical. 2:27 Eric A Longenhagen: Come hang out at Fitch, Kyler. I’ll take you to Backyard Taco. 2:27 Lawrence: If Shane Baz hits the ground running is there a chance he approaches 180 IP or will he be handled with kid gloves regardless of his performance? 2:27 Kevin Goldstein: If you guaranteed me he makes 32 starts this year, I’d set his o/u at 157.2 innings. 2:28 NotAA: I noticed Josh Lowe wasn’t on the top 100, what’s the rationale there? 2:28 Eric A Longenhagen: He’s 45th, dawg. 2:28 Conor: We’ve seen what an 80 grade position player prospect looks like, but what about an 80 grade pitching prospect? Can you give me a sketch of what combination of tools, performance and health might get you there? We know what 80 grade pitchers look like in the majors, but what would it look like for say, a 21 year old in AA? 2:28 Eric A Longenhagen: ugh, idk if we’d ever do it 2:29 Eric A Longenhagen: It’d have to be Kershaw: Huge visual stuff, all the underlying traits, workhorse body, clean delivery, enough touch and feel to really think they could start. 2:29 BarryBondsJuicedForOurSins: did Battenfield get any consideration? 2:29 Kevin Goldstein: Not really. I really like him though. Excellent pitch data guy. 2:29 Eric A Longenhagen: i asked one exec about him to make sure we weren’t sleeping 2:29 Eric A Longenhagen: they said no 2:31 Dave: What happened to Michael Toglia? Still a future fearsome slugger or closer to just a guy? 2:31 Kevin Goldstein: There’s power and patience, but you can’t put a sub-40 hit tool 1B only guy high on a prospect list. 2:31 Ryan: Jordan Walker reached A+ last year and thrived, yet his ETA is a year or two later than other players who reached that level around where he was ranked. Is this strictly a result of Walker being younger than his peers or is there something else in his development that you think will require more time than those other prospects? 2:31 Tess Taruskin: The age is part of it. He’s got some swing-and-miss to hammer out as he advances and starts facing better pitching. Just giving him the time to do that. 2:31 Matt: Happy that the Phillies have two in the top half of the list. Any comments on the trends in their org? 2:31 Kevin Goldstein: Anything we say would be moot, and they are really re-tooling most of their PD operations. 2:32 Ms Fan: Could Julio end up with the best bat of Witt and Adley? 2:32 Eric A Longenhagen: Oh, I think that’s likely. RF vs C/SS is important in terms of ordering them as overall prospects. 2:35 Guest: This might be a little touchy, but do you guys know how neurodivergence, specifically adhd, is judged in baseball? Harry Ford said on twitter he likes catching because he has ADHD, something i was recently diagnosed with as an adult. An argument could be made that ADHD could be advantageous in some ways because it encourages hyper-focus for things you care about and sports requires a different type of everyday thinking than a typical job . But also ADHD comes with a lot of struggles and obvious disadvantages that i could see apply to pro baseball. Do most teams have a take on this? 2:35 Eric A Longenhagen: Good question. I have no idea. I think we, culturally (including baseball), tend to have a pretty poor grasp on these issues. I’d like baseball to have a better one, but recognize there are probably issues that would result from people taking interest in the neurology of prospects. 2:35 Eric A Longenhagen: Also, do I have ADHD? 2:35 Ed H: How concerning is Tyler Freeman’s shoulder surgery? If I understand correctly, it’s the second surgery on the same shoulder. 2:35 Eric A Longenhagen: It was enough to slide him behind Triantos, but that’s about it 2:36 Guest: I’ve been hoping for several years to see a CLE prospect come in above the 50FV tier. Who do you think has the best chance to make it happen? 2:36 Eric A Longenhagen: Rocchio almost got there this year but then I looked at the last few years’ lists and almost everyone who busted was a player who barely walked, and then we moved Ronny Mauricio DOWN rather than Rocchio up 2:37 Dave: Roki Sasaki 80 FV in 3 years? 2:37 Eric A Longenhagen: Yamamoto is the dude over there, Sasaki’s delivery kinda scares me. 2:37 Eric A Longenhagen: We still have him stuffed 2:37 Eric A Longenhagen: International Prospects | THE BOARD | FanGraphs 2:38 Eric A Longenhagen: Okay, I think we’re going to wrap it up since we all have lots of other stuff to do. Thanks for coming to the site and for your interest in prospects. Please consider subscribing to the site, and thanks to the many parties involved with making this analysis digestible on the site. 2:38 Tess Taruskin: Bye, y’all!