Author Archive

Kiley McDaniel Chat – 8/7/19

12:21

Kiley McDaniel: Hello from ATL! Scout is eating her lunch and I’m still experimenting with grilled/smoked meats and various formulations of frose

12:22

Kiley McDaniel: I was at the East Coast Pro showcase this past week, so I’m updating the draft rankings this week, along with some pro adjustments while Eric is at Area Codes and the PG All-American game this week

12:23

Kiley McDaniel: There was some important content on the FG prospects social channels today

 

FanGraphs Prospects
@FG_Prospects

 

One of the top prospects we’ve captured on the high speed is Kiley’s puppy Scout
7 Aug 2019
12:23

Kiley McDaniel: All of our rankings and stats and content and whatnot can be conveniently found here: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects

12:23

Kiley McDaniel: to your questions:

12:24

Yay: Levi Kelly ranked top 10 for D Backs on other sites. Not on board for you guys. Isn’t he at least a 35+ at this point even if he’s just a reliever?

Read the rest of this entry »


Called Up: Bo Bichette

Bo Bichette was ahead of his time. When he first hit the national scouting radar on the summer showcase circuit after his high school junior season, it was before the fly ball revolution had fully penetrated the big leagues. The 2016 draft class included a number of players who would be looked at differently just a few years later, as front offices saw the value of a big leg kick and an uppercut, high-intent swing (when it came with tools and performance). Bichette, Kyle Lewis, Alex Kirilloff, and Joe Rizzo all come to mind, with a number of others partially-qualifying like Josh Lowe, Will Benson, and Pete Alonso.

I remember talking with some scouts in 2015 who only got on Bichette, Kiriloff, and Rizzo at end of a summer of positive performance because their swings were of the aforementioned type, the kind scouts didn’t want to like until it was proven that they should.

Bichette got the short end of the stick even from this group, despite having the most defensive value, a pro lineage from his father Dante, solid game performance, and close to, if not as much raw power as all of them. Lowe went 10th, Lewis went 11th, Benson went 14th, Kiriloff went 15th, Rizzo went 50th, Jones went 55th, and Alonso went 64th; Bichette went 66th.

The other variable was the career of Bichette’s little brother, Dante Jr., whom the Yankees took 51st overall in 2011. Dante had a similar-looking swing and similarly solid amateur performance; he played the infield and by draft day 2016 was in Double-A, one full season of plate appearances from being out of baseball. Just 12 months after Bo Bichette’s draft free fall, scouts still pointed to Dante Jr.’s career and Bo’s loud swing mechanics as the reasons they missed on Bo so badly. Here’s video of Bichette playing in a high school tournament that was held at the Blue Jays spring training facility near his home:

Read the rest of this entry »


Kiley McDaniel Chat – 7/24/19

12:59

Kiley McDaniel: Hello from ATL back on my normal chat day. Scout is napping nearby after some solid pre lunch zoomies.

1:00

Kiley McDaniel: Most importantly, my smoked wings really came out well, but also dabbled in some bacon wrapped ricotta dates and grilled peach burrata the last few days. Gonna try to smoke some ribs at some point this week, too.

1:00

Kiley McDaniel: on the baseball end of things, some cool stuff dropped today

1:00

Kiley McDaniel: video from Luis Patino from the Futures Game:

 

FanGraphs Prospects
@FG_Prospects

 

Padres RHP Luis Patino is our 10th-ranked pitcher and 31st-ranked prospect in the minor leagues. Here’s our footage from the Futures Game when he sat 96-99 mph w/cut, mixing in a plus slider, at least an average changeup and starter traits, despite his youth (19 y/o) & loud stuff
24 Jul 2019
1:01

Kiley McDaniel: lots more of that at that twitter account and @fangraphs in instagram

1:01

Kiley McDaniel: also we unveiled our dynamic farm rankings and they are very purty after some hard work from Sean Dolinar: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/instagraphs/farm-system-rankings-are-now-o…

Read the rest of this entry »


Kiley McDaniel Trade Value Chat – 7/19/19

12:34

Kiley McDaniel: Hello from ATL! Scout is sitting in her bed next to me, resting after we Trade Valued so hard it affected our sleep patterns.

12:35

Kiley McDaniel: Check out the series via the widget at the top of any page to see the whole deal https://blogs.fangraphs.com/2019-trade-value-1-to-10/

12:37

Kiley McDaniel: some other pieces that have come out in the last week to check out if you haven’t already:

12:38

Kiley McDaniel: Craig on some meta stuff with the Trade value list: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-trade-value-series-skews-young-again/

12:38

Kiley McDaniel: Eric on a weird TBR-TEX trade: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-rays-and-rangers-swap-prospects/

12:38

Kiley McDaniel: Herzenberg on some Cape looks: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/prospect-dispatch-cape-cod-league/

Read the rest of this entry »


2019 Trade Value: #1 to #10

Fernando Tatis Jr. rocketed onto this year’s list and into the top 10. (Photo: Keith Allison)

As is the annual tradition at FanGraphs, we’re using a week around the All-Star Game — when the industry pauses to take a metaphorical breather — to take stock of the top-50 trade chips in the sport. For more context on exactly what we’re trying to do here, see the Honorable Mentions post linked at the top of the page.

For this post, I’ll present a graphic (by way of the wizard Sean Dolinar) breaking down each player’s objective skill level (represented, in this case, by a five-year WAR projection from ZiPS), contract/team-control details, rank in last year’s series, and then year-by-year details of age, WAR, and contract through the end of 2023, although a couple players have control beyond those five years, and some, you’ll notice, show projections for fewer years to reflect when those players reach free agency. For those readers who are partial to spreadsheets rather than blocks of text, I’ll also include all of the players we’ve ranked so far in grid format at the bottom of the post.

It should be noted that the ZiPS WAR forecasts influenced the rankings a bit. For players who were bunched together, it acted as an impartial tiebreaker of sorts, but the industry opinions I solicited drove the rankings.

With that said, let’s get to the final 10 spots on this year’s Trade Value list.

Five-Year WAR +22.1
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through 2025
Previous Rank #18
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2020 21 +3.3 Pre-Arb
2021 22 +3.8 Pre-Arb
2022 23 +5.0 Arb1
2023 24 +5.1 Arb2
2024 25 +4.9 Arb3
Pre-Arb
Arb

Vladito hasn’t been the otherworldly hitter many were hoping for or expected during his first taste of the big leagues, but no one I spoke with is worried. First of all, he’s running a .270 BABIP and underperforming his xwOBA by 17 points, suggesting he “deserves” to have a wRC+ over 100, which is still below his lofty pre-season projections, but not by much. And also, it’s been 66 games and he’s 20 years old.

Given his size and eventual move to first base, Vlad needs to mash, so his profile will be more sensitive to offensive performance than others might be, but the track record of the “that guy looks like a generational hitter” and “gets to the big leagues at 20” profiles is really strong. Vlad has an extra year of control over Gleyber Torres and Walker Buehler, so the projected five-win peak seasons are a push, and I lean to the extra year. Interestingly, there were concerns raised by executives about how all three of these guys will age; history tells us (I mean it feels like it does?) that at least one of them will turn out a good bit worse than we’re expecting. Read the rest of this entry »


2019 Trade Value: #11 to #20

Francisco Lindor’s production (and smile) continue to rank highly throughout the industry. (Photo: Keith Allison)

As is the annual tradition at FanGraphs, we’re using a week around the All-Star Game — when the industry pauses to take a metaphorical breather — to take stock of the top-50 trade chips in the sport. For more context on exactly what we’re trying to do here, see the Honorable Mentions post linked at the top of the page.

For this post and the top 10 to follow, I’ll present a graphic (by way of the wizard Sean Dolinar) breaking down each player’s objective skill level (represented, in this case, by a five-year WAR projection from ZiPS), contract/team-control details, rank in last year’s series, and then year-by-year details of age, WAR, and contract through the end of 2023, although a couple players have control beyond those five years, and some, you’ll notice, show projections for fewer years to reflect when those players reach free agency. For those readers who are partial to spreadsheets rather than blocks of text, I’ll also include all of the players we’ve ranked so far in grid format at the bottom of the post.

It should be noted that the ZiPS WAR forecasts influenced the rankings a bit. For players who were bunched together, it acted as an impartial tiebreaker of sorts, but the industry opinions I solicited drove the rankings.

With that said, let’s get to the next 10 spots on this year’s Trade Value list.

Five-Year WAR +18.5
Guaranteed Dollars $46.0 M
Team Control Through 2023
Previous Rank #35
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2020 27 +4.0 $7.0 M
2021 28 +4.0 $10.5 M
2022 29 +3.7 $12.5 M
2023 30 +3.5 $16.0 M

Snell signed an extension this winter that locks him up through his age-30 season, which would’ve been his first year of free agency. He really belongs as the last guy in the previous article, so you can see him on the tier with fellow possible/current aces German Marquez, Shane Bieber, Jacob deGrom, Jose Berrios, Chris Paddack, Aaron Nola and (given the late revelations I’ve since added to his blurb about the details of his contract) Max Scherzer. All of these guys rank from 20th to the low-30s, and could be put in almost any order. Most sources I spoke with moved them as a group and generally kept the same names at the top/bottom as I have, shuffling the order in the middle a bit. Once you take Scherzer off the table as the best pitcher in baseball, ZiPS essentially has Snell, Jacob deGrom, Marquez, Bieber, and Nola tied for second among those pitchers over the 2020-2024 term. Snell is the only lefty in the group, he’s on pace for his fourth straight year of 31 regular season starts, his velo has been stable year-to-year at an average of 95.7 mph, his 3.12 FIP over his last 58 starts is a sustained run of elite performance, and his extension is for reasonable money, for exactly as long as I’d be predicting No. 2 or 3 starter performance from him. Read the rest of this entry »


2019 Trade Value: #21 to #30

Like Max Scherzer, deGrom’s contract has deferrals that affect his trade value. (Photo: Keith Allison)

As is the annual tradition at FanGraphs, we’re using a week around the All-Star Game — when the industry pauses to take a metaphorical breather — to take stock of the top-50 trade chips in the sport. For more context on exactly what we’re trying to do here, see the Honorable Mentions post linked at the top of the page.

For this post and the two to follow, I’ll present a graphic (by way of the wizard Sean Dolinar) breaking down each player’s objective skill level (represented, in this case, by a five-year WAR projection from ZiPS), contract/team-control details, rank in last year’s series, and then year-by-year details of age, WAR, and contract through the end of 2023, although a couple players have control beyond those five years, and some, you’ll notice, show projections for fewer years to reflect when those players reach free agency. For those readers who are partial to spreadsheets rather than blocks of text, I’ll also include all of the players we’ve ranked so far in grid format at the bottom of the post.

It should be noted that the ZiPS WAR forecasts influenced the rankings a bit. For players who were bunched together, it acted as an impartial tiebreaker of sorts, but the industry opinions I solicited drove the rankings.

With that said, let’s get to the next 10 spots on this year’s Trade Value list.

Five-Year WAR +12.6
Guaranteed Dollars
Team Control Through 2024
Previous Rank
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2020 24 +2.5 Pre-Arb
2021 25 +2.5 Pre-Arb
2022 26 +2.7 Arb1
2023 27 +2.6 Arb2
2024 28 +2.3 Arb3
Pre-Arb
Arb

Paddack was acquired from the Marlins in 2016 for Fernando Rodney, a move that looks like highway robbery in hindsight. Paddack blew out his elbow three starts after the trade and wasn’t a big prospect at that time; he’d had gaudy numbers in Low-A at that point, but had signed for $400,000 in the eighth round and was a fastball/changeup type with feel and a below average breaking ball. Paddack has come on a lot since then and is basically a No. 3 starter in his age-23 rookie season, and looks like he’s traveling the James Shields path. Read the rest of this entry »


2019 Trade Value: #31 to #40

Freddie Freeman gives you the coveted option of accumulating a lot of wins quickly. (Photo: Keith Allison)

As is the annual tradition at FanGraphs, we’re using a week around the All-Star Game — when the industry pauses to take a metaphorical breather — to take stock of the top-50 trade chips in the sport. For more context on exactly what we’re trying to do here, see the Honorable Mentions post linked at the top of the page.

For this post and the three to follow, I’ll present a graphic (by way of the wizard Sean Dolinar) breaking down each player’s objective skill level (represented, in this case, by a five-year WAR projection from ZiPS), contract/team-control details, rank in last year’s series, and then year-by-year details of age, WAR, and contract through the end of 2023, although a couple players have control beyond those five years, and some, you’ll notice, show projections for fewer years to reflect when those players reach free agency. For those readers who are partial to spreadsheets rather than blocks of text, I’ll also include all of the players we’ve ranked so far in grid format at the bottom of the post.

It should be noted that the ZiPS WAR forecasts influenced the rankings a bit. For players who were bunched together, it acted as an impartial tiebreaker of sorts, but the industry opinions I solicited drove the rankings.

With that said, let’s get to the next 10 spots on this year’s Trade Value list.

Five-Year WAR +12.1
Guaranteed Dollars $28.0 M
Team Control Through 2024
Previous Rank
Year Age Projected WAR Contract Status
2020 27 +3.0 $6.3 M
2021 28 +2.8 $6.5 M
2022 29 +2.6 $6.8 M
2023 30 +2.1 $8.5 M
2024 31 +1.6 $10.0 M
Team Option

I get the impression that the average baseball fan might not realize that Max Kepler is good now, and may only have a vague awareness of him as the prospect from Germany who ended up being more than just a generic baseball player who hails from a country off baseball’s beaten path. Now that we have a bigger sample of UZR and StatCast defensive metrics, we know that Kepler is a well above average defender. He’s 11th in outs above average among all outfielders this year and his UZR in the last season and a half is +21.4 runs, making him tops amongst major league outfielders in that span. The tidbit everyone repeated when Kepler initially signed out of Germany at age 16 was that both of his parents were ballet dancers; to be the top outfield defender in baseball at 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds suggests Kepler may be light on his feet as well. He’s having an offensive breakout in his age-26 season while also running a .258 BABIP, and he also signed a pretty team-friendly extension before the season. Read the rest of this entry »


2019 Trade Value: #41 to #50

Max Scherzer proved to be the most difficult player to place on this year’s list. (Photo: Keith Allison)

As is the annual tradition at FanGraphs, we’re using a week around the All-Star Game — when the industry pauses to take a metaphorical breather — to take stock of the top-50 trade chips in the sport. For more context on exactly what we’re trying to do here, see the Honorable Mentions post linked at the top of the page.

For this post and the four to follow, I’ll present a graphic (by way of the wizard Sean Dolinar) breaking down each player’s objective skill level (represented, in this case, by a five-year WAR projection from ZiPS), contract/team-control details, rank in last year’s series, and then year-by-year details of age, WAR, and contract through the end of 2023, although a couple players have control beyond those five years, and some, you’ll notice, show projections for fewer years to reflect when those players reach free agency. For those readers who are partial to spreadsheets rather than blocks of text, I’ll also include all of the players we’ve ranked so far in grid format at the bottom of the post.

It should be noted that the ZiPS WAR forecasts influenced the rankings a bit. For players who were bunched together, it acted as an impartial tiebreaker of sorts, but the industry opinions I solicited drove the rankings.

With that said, let’s get to the bottom 10 spots on this year’s Trade Value list. Read the rest of this entry »


2019 Trade Value: Intro and Honorable Mentions

The industry has placed Brendan McKay just outside the top-50 players by trade value. (Photo: Keith Allison)

All-Star week has come and gone, which means a lot of things, like that the races for the 2019 postseason have begun to take shape (only a few seem over at this point) and also that many of those who work in baseball just finished taking rushed, abbreviated vacations. Around here, though, it means it is time for a different tradition — namely, the start of our annual Trade Value series.

The inimitable Dave Cameron conducted this exercise for 13 years, 10 of which were for this website. He’s since moved on to the Padres, so FanGraphs has to settle for me in his stead, now for the second year. This list wouldn’t be possible without the model established by Cameron, or the help Sean Dolinar, Dan Szymborski, and Meg Rowley provided in putting together this year’s entry. A special thanks is also due to the industry friends who put up with much rougher early versions of this list, were generous with their time, and helped whip it into shape.

For those new to the series, it represents an attempt to answer the question “Who would bring back the most in trade if he were put on the market before the deadline?” What’s notable about this list — as opposed to the prospect lists I assemble with Eric Longenhagen — is that my opinion doesn’t matter. The goal here isn’t for me to project anyone’s future value but rather to capture the opinions of the industry and express how it values players in reality, right now.

Read the rest of this entry »