Eric A Longenhagen: I’m not really on any of the three guys you mentioned but wanna see more Pomares. Ghordy Santos has been interesting, I mentioned Caraballo in that tweet, Ricardo Genoves has 6 raw right now, PJ Hilson is super tooled up. It’s a pretty interesting group.
Joe: How many teams still have an advance scout that goes to watch live games regularly?
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s dwindling but they still exist, i don’t know how many off the top of my head
Jared: Last year you helped me out sending me some names of possible dominant high leverage RP’s in the upper minors. You mentioned Alvarado last year at around this time. Who do you got for me this year? Thanks a lot for your work
Eric A Longenhagen: We’ll have a similar list of guys like that who we love during Prospect Week (Feb 11 – 15) but for now I’d say you should use the sort functionality on The Board. Find guys we have the highest FV on but who have future command grades beneath 50.
Mac: So far in your partnership, which prospect have you and Kiley been furthest apart on, and who’s grade became the official Fangraphs opinion?
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s pretty rare that we’re super far apart on individuals unless one of us is working with insufficient information, and I can’t think of the last time it happened.
Eric A Longenhagen: It wouldn’t be a good sign if it were a thing that happened frequently
GW: NL only 5×5 2-C with OBP, I have pick #3. Looking at Gorman, Bart, Gimenez as my top 3, not sure of order. Outside looking in are Mejia, Chisholm, India, Kristian Robinson. As of now, think I’d go Gimenez, Bart, Gorman. Favoring proximity + C scarcity. Thoughts?
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d take Jazz
WASBAPPIN: What’s abt the minimum height/velo for a high school RHP to be a ‘prospect’ or even just ‘a guy’?
Eric A Longenhagen: Height I really don’t care about. The low-end guys we write up are typically 87-90 and either give us reason to believe they’ll eventually throw harder or do something else really well. I think Josh Tols is the slowest-throwing pitcher we’ve written up this year.
Justin: It is looking more like Erik Gonzalez will get first crack at Pirate SS. Back on the Gonzalez/Luplow trade writeup, you mentioned Gonzalez’s raw thump, inability to lift the ball, and breakout potential with a swing change. What does a Gonzalez breakout look like? .250/.300/.460 with good D? 3ish WAR?
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think the power manifests like that if he’s impatient as your suggested OBP implies. Good Egon is probably a 2-2.5 war guy. I guess the change of scenery might be good but I’d imagine CLE tried to get he and Yandy Diaz to lift the ball, ya know?
Sir Nerdlington: Do you believe in the changes Gavin Lux made? He’s not on the 40-man but is there a chance he plays in Chavez Ravine this year?
Eric A Longenhagen: Buy that he’s made offensive progress, don’t think he’s a SS anymore tho
Richie Poor: What did you think of the Giants instructionals overall? Were they doing anything interesting? Any rumblings about player development? I’m guessing the pitchers weren’t doing anything notable.
Eric A Longenhagen: Nothing super interesting that I saw, just a lot of BP and infield drills, which of course I love and will watch all day.
Titus: Btw Deivi Garcia and Luis Oveido, who do you think has a better chance at becoming a successful STARTING pitcher? What realistic ceiling does each have?
Eric A Longenhagen: Garcia is the better athlete, Oviedo has the prototypical frame. Give me the athlete.
Lilith: What kind of value would India gain if he showed that he could realistically stick at SS? Conversely, how much would his value drop if he couldn’t and was thus forced to a corner outfield spot by Cincinnati’s depth and 3B and 2B? Thanks
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s a good question. I don’t think he can play SS, but if he could we’d probably bump him up to a 55 FV. He has simialr offensive tools to KeBryan Hayes and we have Hayes up there basically providing defensive value akin to a SS because he’s so good at 3B. That’s a quick and dirty way of gauging where he’d be but I think it’s pretty close.
Eric A Longenhagen: In the OF, he may still be a 50 FV, just lower in that tier
Ben: From a scouts perspective, can you tell when a young prospect such as Wander Franco has peaked early or has a super high ceiling?
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah you just have to be able to decipher what success is a result of maturity and what is real talent that plays in the big leagues. Like if I have a 50 curveball and can throw it wherever I want, I’m going to crush rookie ball. But in the big leagues it’s still just a 5 curve. Nothing about Franco suggests this is a mirage, he’s a generational talent.
3 Lindors Down: You get three prospects to build your team around, who would you pick?
Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe this spoils a small bit of the 100, but Franco, Vlad, Tatis.
Marc: Hey Eric, do the prospects in the Padres’ system have enough star power to beat a team like the Royals or the Orioles without any help from the major league roster? What chance do you give them of taking a best of five series?
Eric A Longenhagen: The big leaguers would lay waste to the prospects.
MrMet: Brayan Rocchio: I fell in love with your write-up. Is he really someone I can dream bigly on?
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d be surprised if he grew into huge power, he doesn’t have Ronny Mauricio‘s frame or anything like that. Rocchio’s is a profile that used to sneak up on everyone and we’re trying to change that. Same reason we were smitten with Brujan immediately.
Walugi Time: Do you think there’s a value in getting a “clubhouse guy” maybe more than ever based on the current climate of player/management relations?
Eric A Longenhagen: I think work culture and environment are really important things and good teams value it regardless of the labor relations climate. I’d object to the notion that a ‘good clubhouse guy’ keeps the peace during labor strife and in fact I think the opposite.
Mountie Votto: Is there another gear to Tony Santillan? He found the strike zone last year but lost some Ks. More there?
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think there’s another gear unless his stuff (which was sneakily down a bit last year) bounces back and he retains this control.
Adam: Sooooo, what do we now know that we did not know in October?
Eric A Longenhagen: About prospects? Fall League, instructs here and in Dominican, DWL, VWL, PRWL, guys playing in Australia, autumn college scrimmages, post and pre-season high school tournaments, some teams did instructs in January, JUCO ball started last weeked…
Salty: Eric – Is it possible for Jesus Sanchez‘s plate discipline to improve from 30-45/50 strictly from the added experience of seeing advanced and better quality breaking pitches, or is it more of a skill where either you have it or you don’t, and rare to show that great of improvement over time?
Eric A Longenhagen: Minor league walk rates tend to be pretty predictive, though they show more change during big league careers
Jim Leyland Palmer: Eric, what do you think it would cost to acquire Clint Frazier at this point? He’s had the concussions and he is still surplus to the Yankees, but he still has upside. I don’t really have a good sense of what his trade value would be nowadays
Eric A Longenhagen: Also like last year’s I’ll do an update on players like Frazier who are in ‘prospect limbo’ and what I have right is a that scouts still think he’s an average everyday player.
Mountie Votto: Any of last year’s DSL guys in the Reds system you’re paying particular attention to this season? Looking for specific improvements, etc?
Eric A Longenhagen: Really just Allan Cerda, though I was surprised by Fidel Castro‘s numbers and haven’t seen him since before he signed, so I need to do that.
Halo: Kevin Maitan, destined for 1B? and if so, is his bat enough for that position?
Eric A Longenhagen: Context-free evals by pro scouts indicate he’s not a prospect. If I didn’t know who he was when i saw him, he’d be on the Others of Note section on the Angels list and that’s it.
Beef: The Indians are typically pretty conservative with their minor league assignments of young players. Do you think guys like George Valera and Brayan Rocchio advanced enough in terms of skill level to make it to Low-A to start the season, or are we looking at short-season ball debut’s this summer for some of their guys from that crop?
Eric A Longenhagen: Full-season ball is too much of a push for me. If I had to pick one with which to do it, I’d say Valera. Body is more ready for full-season grind, in my opinion. But he’s also barely played.
Brad: Do you still have Cionel Perez as a 50 FV? Wonder if he could be a factor in the Astros rotation this year
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes and yes
The Masked Brady Singer: Sometimes you guys refer to prospects having issues that you can’t talk about. Without naming anyone specific, what’s that a reference to? Bad work ethic, likes ice cream too much, or something worse?
Eric A Longenhagen: The scenarios are always unique and can’t be described in broad terms. A lot of times it’s not even the kid’s fault and it’s something like, the kid fell in the draft because his parents are assholes and a nightmare to deal with. It altered the way teams lined up the player, it’s an off-field issue, we need to write about it somehow, but we also don’t wanna say Johnny Curveball was busted with pot in his car because it’s not fair to the kid that it’s out there.
Captain ACAB: Any updates on the McDongenhagen podcast?
Eric A Longenhagen: You’ve lost their trust because others have fallen short of expectations
Bearry: Are Joe McCarthy and Zac Lowther cut from the same cloth? Feels like they’re the exact guys on either side of the ball that outperform expectations.
Eric A Longenhagen: Yup, they’re the pitching/hitting versions o f the same thing.
Tampa Bay Craze: What’s your outlook on Alex Reyes this year? Do you think he contends for ROY?
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m not sure how they manicure his innings. Others could beat him just by virtue of playing time.
Dalinar: What are you gonna do during the strike?
Eric A Longenhagen: Watch a ton of amateur baseball.
Adam: It seems liI’d the Padres have “pop up” prospects who shoot up rankings one year then slowly fall back to Earth; guys like Cal Quantrill and Michel Baez come to mind. This is in contrast to Braves and the Rays who have a more systematic pipeline of risers constantly breaking into the prospect lists and holding their positions. Would you say that this is the more the result of a scouting issue or development?
Eric A Longenhagen: I think it’s scouting related by not necessarily an issue. Do you assume Josh James’ uptick in stuff will regress the way Quantrill’s did? I think it’s just snapshots of where guys are at, it’s subject to random variation.
Jack: I’m a Dodger fan and my brain has been melted by the last two World Series losses, pessimism is all I know. Can you convince me that Keibert Ruiz isn’t Dioner Navarro?
Eric A Longenhagen: I have a 7 on his bat and he has the most accurate arm I’ve ever seen.
Smith > Vogelbach?: Do you guys think Yordan Alvarez moves to 1B/DH? The Astros had him play almost all of his games in the OF last year even though consensus seems to be he’ll need to move sooner rather than later
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, his body was very concerning at the Futures Game
Jenni: Yanks list today?
Eric A Longenhagen: manana, though it is done
Bobby Bradley’s 40-time: how worrying are shoulder injuries for you when ranking guys like Soroka and Loaisiga, who already don’t have ideal arm actions?
Eric A Longenhagen: frequency of injury matters. Soroka risk does not equal Loaisiga risk because one does not equal three or four. We try to adhere to mapping FV to the first sixyears of WAR production and if we think, like with Loaisiga, there will be some years where he does nothing at all, he gets moved down. But that’s why we try to have the 45+ and 40+ guys to indicate there’s peak/ceiling
The Masked Brady Singer: What team do you get asked the fewest questions about?
Eric A Longenhagen: COlorado
My Mama Says: Can baseball season please start?
Eric A Longenhagen: We had a juco arm touching 99 last weekend and the Caribbean Series starts soon, it’s here folks
BlueJayMatt: Jays farm system looks great right now but how far will it fall when they graduate Vlad, Bo & Jansen? Is it still top 10? More middle of the pack? Lower?
Eric A Longenhagen: Way down unless Groshans and a few others really break out
Eric: What division is coming next after the AL East done?
Eric A Longenhagen: AL West
Bryan: Who would you prefer to draft Marco Luciano or Adley Rutschman?
Eric A Longenhagen: Rutchsman but Luciano looks incredible here in Scottsdale
Jackson: What are your thoughts on the Rangers farm system. They don’t seem to be getting a lot of love from media outlets but they have quite a bit of depth… any idea why there’s no love?
Eric A Longenhagen: I like the depth a lot and thought Owen White looked awesome in the fall, so did Sherten Apostel. They acquire big framed athletes, I tend to like their guys.
Pablo Olivares: Am I a legit prospect? Haven’t heard much about me in a loaded Yankees system
Eric A Longenhagen: You are, instincts in CF are great, feel for contact is, too. Last year’s swing tweak moved the needle on the power a tiny bit.
Evan: You seemed pretty complimentary of Carlos Vargas of the Padres when you saw him in June. Has your opinion changed much from June, and where do you expect him to land on the Padres list? Is he still a 45FV?
Eric A Longenhagen: You mean Cleveland. Yeah, he has incredible stuff. He’ll likely be in that 45 FV tier behind Torres but ahead of Hankins.
Michael: How much money value-wise do you think a competive balance round a pick is worth?
Eric A Longenhagen: Craig is working on draft pick valuation that places the comp round in the $7mil range I think?
Eric A Longenhagen: First, I’d caution using a post-draft sample size to do any kind of eval at all, especially stat-based. Those guys outperformed Brady Singer, who didn’t pitch at all, you’re not moving them ahead of him on your pref list are you? Ashby was a midwest JUCO arm, Plassmyer is a command artist built to carve lower levels, etc. Too early for this kind of thought.
Evan: One thing I would love to see on the board, or even in writeups independent of the board, is a database of bonuses that prospects sign for. Is that in the plans at all?
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes and we’ve gradually been inputting them, it just takes forever to start from scratch and catch up to the point where we can do it as guys sign.
Braník Best: Kiley and you have discussed putting up scouting grades for MLBers; is that coming during/after prospect week? I’m most interested in graduated prospects, like Willie Calhoun and Frenchie Cordero.
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s probably a while off and I wish Kiley wouldn’t tease you all
Eric A Longenhagen: but hell yeah we wanna do that
Turtle Jetpack: Byron Buxton seduced many prospect evaluators with his speed, defense, arm, and potential to hit. The potential to hit not being manifest has rendered him a fringe major leaguer. Does this argue that not all tools are really created equally in evaluating talent? Would you agree with that?
Eric A Longenhagen: yes and if you see someone averaging tool grades to get a final grade you should ignore them
Ben: What happened to Kevin Maitan? Or what went wrong with the initial scouting reports on him?
Eric A Longenhagen: He got very big very fast and isn’t the kind of athlete who retains physical skill despite the added weight. He’s young enough that he can still fix it but he wasn’t good last year.
NotGraphs Revivalist: Very random question – which pitchers in the top 100 prospects would you expect to have the heaviest ground ball rates?
Kiner’s Disembodied Hands: Keith Law’s placement of Ke’Bryan Hayes at 18 on his top 100 list is quite a departure from the normal 45-55 range that he is showing up in on most of these lists. I have a feeling that you and Kiley will be closer to Law here than the consensus. Am I off the mark?
Eric A Longenhagen: our 55 FV tier typically runs from 20 to 50 overall and that’s where Hayes will be
Eric A Longenhagen: those boundaries obviously vary, historically that’s just about where they fall
dabo: Tell me about Jerrion Ealy. Is it MLB or college football for him next year?
Eric A Longenhagen: I think he plays football. Unlike the other two sport guys teams have been willing to pay, he’s not all that projectable physically. Has he changed his commit to Clemson officially yet?
Al Avila: Thoughts on how the Tigers rebuild is progressing? Tigers fans seem down on the progress on the farm. Is that fair, or am I doing a good job given the hand I was dealt?
Eric A Longenhagen: Seems fine to me
Jacob K.: How early can a high schooler/international player establish themselves as legit to scouts? Thinking of a guy like Blaze Jordan.
Eric A Longenhagen: as sophomores, though Jordan has the classic ‘first guy to grow into his body in his age group’ red flags
Jamie Lee Curtis’ Diarrhea: If you had to choose between Jazz, Kristian, Bart, Patino, Brujan, and Rutschman in dynasty, who would you take?
Eric A Longenhagen: I encourage more of you to take the information we provide and make your own decisions. It’s better for all of us and leads to mroe interesting chat questions.
Kurupt FM: How much do the current trends in the bigs affect prospect evaluation? Example do guys with a good “high heat” four seamers get better grades now than they would have some years ago?
Eric A Longenhagen: I can’t speak for others but we seek to be quick to make the adjustments you’re describing and have already made that adjustment in the specific example you cite
Steve O: Have IFA and draft caps helped distribute talent evenly between teams? Or is it about the same with the kids getting less money?
Eric A Longenhagen: the latter
longenhangen fan boy: Rangers’ near ready lefties, who is your favorite? Palumbo, Hearn, Burke
Eric A Longenhagen: Palumbo
Rey Lopez: I just turned 25 a couple of weeks ago, my first full season in the Big’s was last year and I pitched 188 innings, and no starter had a better September than I did. Yet, all you Sabrematicians and Fanylists have me projected at being worth next to nothing! What gives?
Eric A Longenhagen: Surely you realize statistical projections are done by formulas, right?
Eric A Longenhagen: Also, caution against taking too much from Sept performance. The talent pool is diluted by call ups. That’s my Fanalysis.
I am the Walrus: I know it’s a crap shoot but what team (s) do a better job of finding prospects in the later rounds?
Eric A Longenhagen: The ones who identify good high school prospects signable for 125-250k by building relationships and sourcing good info, and teams who know how to target college pitching with a TrackMan
Jack: Thanks for the long chat today Eric
Eric A Longenhagen: (thumbs up)
Braník Best: Sad to hear how far away the graduated grades are, but thanks for the answer
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah sorry, it’s going to take an insane amount of work on the guts of the site to set things up in a way that we can keep maintained
Billy Butler’s Bottomless Buffet: Most likely in Oakland’s system to break out this year?
Eric A Longenhagen: Whichever of the pitchers stays healthy, finally.
The Electrician: Can you ever think of a prospect (or a few!) that for whatever reason you really really believed in, but couldn’t justify grading high, and then when he ended up a stud you felt like a knucklehead for not trusting your gut?
Goule: Tell me anything you’d like about a Dodgers prospect or the system itself.
Eric A Longenhagen: Go to the 9min mark of this video and feast your eyes on Jeremiah Vison, who is a 7 runner.
MikeM: I can’t wait to see Colin Poche in the majors. I feel like he’s a huge case study for deception. Think this might be one of the more unexplored areas of pitching?
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s a thing we can’t quantify for minor leaguers because we don’t have a full trackman readout that we can sort by extension or by a delta in expected SwStr% and actual SwStr%. All the spin rates you see on the board are individually sources from local growers.
Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe, but as a high probability 45 or 50 not a guy I think could be a 60+ who’s just far away.
B: Any consideration to making prospect valuations by level or by age? Instead of a 50 FV being worth $28M, could we get a 50 FV in AAA worth $28M +/- $5M and a 50 FV in AZL worth $28M +/- $15M?
Eric A Longenhagen: We already bake proximity into the FV, that would be double counting.
Jeff: I see Brennen Davis getting all this love on the Cubs farm. I like it, I liked him alot during the draft process, but why him over Nelson Velazquez so outright/easily? Less swing and miss potential?
Eric A Longenhagen: Nellie has a bad approah, Davis just hasn’t grown into his body
Snooker: The Tigers list seems a way off still, but any quick notes on the best spin rates in the system? Thanks!
Eric A Longenhagen: We have not gotten those yet
Rich: Knicks traded Porzingis to Dallas
Eric A Longenhagen: wait, really?
Eric A Longenhagen: Wow it’s real
Eric A Longenhagen: cool
Jeff: Kunar Rocker expectations? YUGE!!
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes and I can’t believe it but we all get to see him in two weeks here in AZ
Eric A Longenhagen: I hope
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay all, that’s it for me. Yankees list tomorrow, remember prospect week and all it’s grandeur it the week of Feb 11. Thanks for stopping by and for your continued readership
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.