Eric Longenhagen Chat: 1/31/2020

Eric A Longenhagen: Hey, chat. Good morning from Tempe, where it’ll be a sunny 72 today and we’re a week away from relevant local baseball. Prospect Week is in two Mondays. Let’s chat.

Frank: You on board with Dylan Carlson as top 10 overall prospect? What is his 2020 outllok/Rookie of Year upside?

Eric A Longenhagen: Nah. We 55’d him on the Cardinals list (still very strong, typically somewheere in the 20-50 overall range) which is short of that. I think he ends up in left field and that the cement is dry on the power, or at least close to it. Still a very good player.

Rob: Any hope for angels’ fans holding out for one more pitching move?

Eric A Longenhagen: I think that the Will Wilson deal is an indication they’re up against what ownership is willing to do. But I also like Suarez, Canning and Barria and think it’ll be fine.

The West is Wild: Hey Eric, quick question. When a player is listed with 50-60 tools across the board but gets given an overall grade of 40 or 45, what informs that final number? I’d suppose it’s something physical or something to do with projection. Take Orioles prospect Brandon Bailey for example. 50-60 grades, 40 future value. What jives?

Eric A Longenhagen: Bailey’s FV is limited by his role. I think he’s a reliever who’s good enough not to be optioned constantly. Right now, bi,g league relievers whose option years are going to be used to keep the bullpen fresh are 35+ FVs, a tier above that (where I have Bailey) are 40 FVs and anything better than that is high leverage or lots of innings, etc.

Eric A Longenhagen: So it’s cool he has all those pitches, but he’s definitely just a reliever and I think Reliever X who has only two pitches but one of them is a 70 has a better chance of being that 40+ or above type of reliever.

Sinjin: Does the potential comp pick for a team trading for Betts factor at all into the trade proposals or is it so far in the future to have no real value.

Eric A Longenhagen: Comp picks have value. I’d point you to Craig’s work here:

Eric A Longenhagen: Ben addressed it in the Rays/Cards Libby deal here

Eric A Longenhagen: This upcoming draft is strong, teams have desired comps picks more in trades this year than is typical.

ke’bryan mays hayes: There were reports that Cole Tucker is working out with Cody Bellinger & focusing on getting more loft on his swing this offseason – do you think that poses a risk to his hit tool?

Eric A Longenhagen: The thing that made Tucker so interesting as a prospect is that he was a great defender with the frame/athleticism combo that might suddenly have big power. So, I’m excited he’s trying new stuff. I think it’s worth the risk.

Thank you for the chat!: Do you promote Bohm early in the season? Trade him for pitching/impact player?

Eric A Longenhagen: Coming out of Fall League, most of the industry seemed to think this guy is a 1B. I was a little more generous, I think he can play a 40/45 3B. Yandy Diaz stared playoff games at 3B.

Eric A Longenhagen: So there’s maybe redundancy with Hoskins that makes him more likely to be traded

Eric A Longenhagen: But also, teams that think he’s a 1B are gonna like him less, and what if those teams are the teams trading pitching?

Vic: The Reds SS by the name of Jose Israel Garcia…..Am I derelict to have only heard about him beginning about a month ago?

Eric A Longenhagen: Uh, kinda sorta. He was a top 100 guy for us coming out of Cuba, then had a horrible first full season, rebounded in 2019. College-aged, elite frame, plus athlete, plus glove at SS, 55 raw, probably a 4 bat. Top 100 prospect for me.

Joe: Just how high is Vidal Brujan‘s upside?

Eric A Longenhagen: I’m still all in, I think he’s an All Star. Top of the scale athlete, he’s short but he’s strong. Have him at 2B because of the arm but I think he’s plus there and does damage.

Luis Urias’ Mother: Any examples of hamate bone surgery affecting the development of a young infielder drastically?

Eric A Longenhagen: Short term (several months), yes. Players with hand/wrist fractures and surgeries therefrom have described and experienced lapses in power production after returning. I guess that Mark Mathias trade may prove relevant?

Larry : Who are examples of top prospects with exit velocities as poor as Nick Madrigal?

Eric A Longenhagen: let’s see…

Eric A Longenhagen: I have Madrigal’s avg exit velo as 84.4mph. Big league hitters around that mark include…

Eric A Longenhagen:

Eric A Longenhagen: It’s elite contact ability and GG-caliber defense at 2B. I think that’s very good.

Edd Theman: I’ve heard people say that some hitters have long or high-maintenance swings, and need to play everyday to keep them up to speed. Is there a similar belief with pitchers? Like, long vs. short arm action?

Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, and I tend to agree with it. Though I’ll concede lots of long arm action dudes succeed and make adjustments when they have to. People were scared of Madison Bumgarner‘s arm action, and you could argue they were correct consider what happened to his velo, but the secondary stuff anad command were so good that it didn’t matter.

Frend: new Untitled McDongenhagen Project for prospect week?

Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll be on FG Audio that week, unsure what will become of UMP.

J: Last year the Tigers and Rockies went extremely college heavy in the draft-do you think that was an explicit strategy or just a product of the class/how their board played out?

Eric A Longenhagen: Board/best available early on, more strategic on day two.

Guest: Is there a way to add ETA to Majors in the Table Breakdowns that accompany each player in the Top Prospect Lists by team? For example next to FV or something

Eric A Longenhagen: They’re in the table atop all the lists and on The Board. Any specific reason you’d like them in the player headers?

fulltimesavage: Given the disparity in payrolls between teams like the Pirates/Rays/Marlins and the Yankees/Dodgers/Red Sox, etc. should the MLB institute a salary floor?

Eric A Longenhagen: MLB won’t self-impose one, it’ll have to be something the union wins during CBA talks. It’d be a good thing.

Mike: Daz Cameron had a bad 2019, but your report makes it sound like even his athleticism and tools backed up. Is that accurate? Or maybe he’s just never made gains in some of those areas like some predicted?

Eric A Longenhagen: He’s never been very toolsy. He’s always been a bunch of projected 50s and 55s with good instincts.

kcbg: Hi Eric! Of the six top Mariners pitching prospects – Sheffield, Gilbert, Kirby, Dunn, Williamson, Campbell – assuming a dream scenario where they all pan out and are rotation worthy, which would you prefer moving to the pen as a potential dominant closer?

Eric A Longenhagen: Dunn, because his stuff had more power out of the Boston College bullpen than it does right now and I think he should return to that approach to pitching.

Jabroni: Who is your gut feel guy in the draft this year?

Eric A Longenhagen: Nicholas Griffin. Was really wild all last summer but I’m still in, big. Huge frame, loose lefty, can spin it, heater has life. Dev project with big ceiling for me.

Bill Lumbergh: What were the biggest reasons behind Bobby Witt Jr.’s weak statistical debut?

Eric A Longenhagen: Randomness. The Trackman stuff is nutty.

Sean: Say like a player has a 50 FV in A ball. Assuming they maintain similar level of tools, production, and age relative to the league, would they be a higher FV in AA or AAA as they near the majors?

Eric A Longenhagen: Depends on the player. Andres Gimenez types could be identified as 50s early and they’re just 50s forever. Rocchio is probably like that. Low variace 50s. If it’s someone with strikeout issues that might be a problem, or who might fall way down the defensive spectrum, whatever high variance trait, that player’s FV trends up as they perform and answer questions.

AJ: Hey Eric – thanks for chatting. There are several prospects that don’t appear to be in the system (or player search at least). Guys like Max Acosta, Erick Pena, Jack Kochanowicz, etc. Is that because they haven’t played a game stateside yet? When will these guys likely be added?

Eric A Longenhagen: That’s correct. Guys don’t have player pages until they’ve played a game. it’s a long term goal to have pages for relevant individuals before (it’d be nice to have Norge Vera page, a Spencer Torkelson page, hell a Kyler Murray page) this, but yeah not right now.

Sad: there hasn’t been sunshine in Chicago for 9 days, why are you attaccing the midwest like that Eric. Please respect.

Eric A Longenhagen: Eh, but it’s Chicago.

jt: What can you tell me about Heriberto Hernandez? Any chance he stays at catcher? If not, anything more than a DH in the cards for him?

Eric A Longenhagen: Love him. LF/DH, yes. Don’t think he can catch. Maybe he can catch certain kinds of guys, and they should just keep catching him in case rule changes make him viable. He rakes. Huge plate coverage, barrell accuracy, power.

Brad: How far away is Christopher Morel from the kind of breakout season that would put him in the top 100 conversation next winter.

Eric A Longenhagen: I like Morel but that seems unlikely. Swing-happy corner guys are scary.

Bearry: Since Nate Lowe graduated and won’t be on any prospect lists, do you have any information on his minor league EVs/hard-hit rates?

Eric A Longenhagen: sure…

Eric A Longenhagen: average: 93mh (70 on the scale if you 20-80 exit velos)
hard hit%: 53% (also a 70)
8 degree avg launch fwiw

Eric A Longenhagen: (gotta go soon)

Kurupt FM: Not sure how far along you guys are in the Tampa area teams but have you noticed any Blue Jays prospects that have caught your eye or you think may be underrated.

Eric A Longenhagen: The Tampa cluster is next. Baltimore will be done first, Toronto is toward the back of the cluster. I think Thomas Hatch made changes either right before or right after Toronto acquired him that I may have underrated.

kevinthecomic: Question on former borderline prospects: Do Josh Ockimey, Nicky Lopez or Kevin Kramer ever amount to anything? League average ceiling or not even there?

Eric A Longenhagen: I’m out on Ockimey (he’s a philly dude, too) and think he’s mash overseas somewhere. Lopez I still like as a low-end everyday shortstop, Kramer is a shift-aided infielder lefty stick, a fine role player.

Eric A Longenhagen: There are many good questions still in the queue but I’ve gotta run. Thanks for stopping by this week.

Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll let you know via Twitter if JUCO action at Sloan impacts next week’s chat schedule. Peace

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 Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.

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4 years ago

Just a quick glance, there does not seem to be enough Yohendrick Pinango. Pinango is the rare prospect to have his own original theme song, called “Pinango,” and was the best 17 YO LHH in the DSL last year maybe second best overall behind Matos