Eric Longenhagen Chat: 10/18/18 by Eric Longenhagen October 18, 2018 2:01 Eric A Longenhagen: Hey there, everyone. Time to chat. 2:01 RS: Giants catcher in the AFL, Matt Winn, profile good enough to be a major league backup? 2:03 Eric A Longenhagen: Several caveats when evaluating AFL catchers: they’re probably tired, they’re catching a whole new staff of guys, they’re catching once or twice a week. So the error bar around evals of catchers here is greater. Having said that, I’d answer your question with a ‘no’ 2:03 Jay: Should the A’s let Lowrie walk and give Barreto a shot at 2B, or trade Barreto for pitching? 2:03 Eric A Longenhagen: I’d hold onto Barreto 2:03 Pip: Who’s the better prospect moving forward, the National’s, or the Phillies’ Luis Garcia? 2:03 Eric A Longenhagen: Philly 2:03 Tom: Your thoughts on Lenny Torres? Obviously long ways away. But was he the best arm in the AZL? 2:04 Eric A Longenhagen: Fastball command is below-average but his slider command is already above. He can spot that thing in an enticing but untouchable location pretty consistently. Best AZL arm? Sure, I don’t think anyone had the stuff/chance to start combo he did here this summer. 2:05 Ryan: What do you think of Darwinzon Hernandez‘s prospects as a major-leaguer? 2:05 Eric A Longenhagen: Lefties with that kind of stuff are going to be big leaguers. I think Hernandez probably ends up in relief. 2:05 Will H.: In your professional opinion, what are the pros and cons of scouting video as opposed to live action? 2:06 Eric A Longenhagen: Several. An entire dimension is missing on video, limited depth of field, etc. Teams have more sophisticated equipment than I do, of course, and they can supplement video with color from data. 2:06 Ben: What is Gabriel Arias‘ ceiling with the bat and how likely is he to reach it? 2:06 Eric A Longenhagen: Plus SS with some power. Maybe 33-40% he gets there. 2:06 Pip: Seems like the Nats position players in the AFL have struggled so far. Do you think this is mostly a result of them being “raw” and less polished, or are they truly being overmatched by better competition? 2:08 Eric A Longenhagen: I’m not worried about Kieboom or Johnson (though I acknowledge Johnson may be limited) struggling (if they are, AFL stats aren’t worth fretting over, good or bad) but haven’t been smitten by the others from WSH who are here. 2:08 Trent: The Red Sox have control of Bogaerts for one more year. Is there anyone in their system who could conceivably play SS in 2020 (e.g., CJ Chatham)? Or should they be looking for free-agent or trade targets? 2:09 Eric A Longenhagen: You have the only name one could reasonably expect to be an internal option by 2020 2:09 David: Due to the small sample size, sounds like AFL has a fairly minimal impact on the Prospect evaluations. Is there anyone who is looking like they may see a more significant improvement in their outlook? Rays and Mariners both seem to have lower evaluated hitters who are performing well. 2:11 Eric A Longenhagen: The statistical sample is small, noisy and meaningless but the eyeball scouting sample is not. Again, ditch the AFL stats. I’ll say I’ve liked what I’ve seen from McCarthy, Fox and Evan White of the clubs you’ve mentioned, though. 2:11 Other Eric: Eric, I’m looking for an update on Garrett Cooper. Projections for 2019? His trackman readouts should make him a must buy low candidate. 2:12 Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, I think he’s a sneaky late-bloomer candidate. 2:12 Anthony: Has anyone in Fall League (beyond Whitley and Vlad) stood out to you so far? 2:13 Eric A Longenhagen: Sure, Trammell looks as expected (which is good), Abraham Toro-Hernandez and Luis Barrera have been terrific. Lots of guys, it’s a great league. 2:13 Tommy N.: What would a feasible trade for Thor look like from the Padres’ side? 2:13 Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think the Mets properly scout the parts of SD’s system that SD would want to deal from in such a trade 2:14 Pip: It seems to me that Carter Kieboom is likely a high floor, player, with a fairly low ceiling. Does hitting .280 with 30 2B, 20 HR and 10 SB seem like a reasonable expectation for a “peek” season? 2:14 Eric A Longenhagen: That seems like a pretty high ceiling season for a SS, and yeah that’s what we think he’s capable of. 2:14 Ben: Have you seen Nate Pearson at all in AFL this year? How did he look? Still have ace potential for you? 2:14 Eric A Longenhagen: Not yet. ‘Ace potential’ isn’t really something I toss around, more something that has to be proven for 3-4 years in the Majors for me. 2:14 Mike: Is there anything to Nick Heath other than a hot week in the AFL and a solid walk rate this year? Looks like he has zero power. 2:15 Eric A Longenhagen: 80 body, 80 run, instincts on the bases. You’re right, there’s not in-game power there. 2:15 EL: Any chance both Ramos and Bart will be ready before the end of 2020? 2:15 Eric A Longenhagen: Bart could handle a big league staff right now but would struggle to make contact. I bet you see him before you see Ramos. 2:15 Tumbler, Whiskey: Are peanut butter-filled pretzels a 70-grade snack? 2:15 Eric A Longenhagen: 45 2:15 Anthony: Did you see Robinson Ortiz at all in the AZL? I know you liked him last year. 2:16 Eric A Longenhagen: Yup, low-90s, up to 94, long arm swing and the ball sails off to his arm side a lot. Future plus change, average breaker. Ability to throw strikes is in question. Still like him but think I’d take Carrillo instead of him at this point. 2:16 Danny: What should we make of Marlins RHP Jordan Yamamoto? He has put up huge numbers past two seasons with lots of swing-and-miss, and is rolling in AFL. 2:17 Eric A Longenhagen: 87-89 with a plus 12-6 hook and an average mid-80s cutter/slider thing. He’s okay, but I wonder how that fastball will play against big league hitters. 2:17 Chaz: When something in baseball happens that causes some miserable agonizing, like the fan interference call last night, don’t you think the press should dedicate its best expert on miserable agonizing to that story? (And don’t you think that person is categorically Carson Cistulli?) 2:17 Eric A Longenhagen: No because then we’re gatekeeping, collectively. 2:17 Christian: Who has the brighter future: JP Crawford or Scott Kingery? 2:18 Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll say Kingery. 2:18 Tyler: Who is the most likely long-term solution at third base for Atlanta: Camargo, Riley, or Machado? 2:18 Eric A Longenhagen: Riley 2:19 Anthony: Are there things to look for when projecting a pitch beyond what that pitcher has actually flashed? Like, if a pitcher doesn’t currently have a slider, are there things in the arm action or profile that would allow you to project him being able to add one? 2:19 Eric A Longenhagen: An ability to spin the baseball, even if the release doesn’t create an effective spin axis right now. 2:19 Morgan: If the Diamondbacks decide to rebuild, is David Peralta a good fit for Atlanta? He seems to be a solid choice to fill-in for Markakis, and with two years of control, he could likely do so until Pache is MLB-ready. 2:20 Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, that makes some sense. 2:20 Scott of Lincolnshire: Eric! How’d Justin Steele look? 2:20 Eric A Longenhagen: Meh. 90-93, average curveball, below control. 2:20 Ben: I just moved back to Iowa after spending a long time in cities with professional franchises and am missing live baseball. Any recommended prospects to see in Cedar Rapids or the Quad Cities next year? 2:20 Eric A Longenhagen: Have to wait and see who is assigned there in March, but I say go regardless. 2:21 SBL Draft 2018: Hi Eric, Top prospect catchers crystal ball: Who will be MLB solid regular, Danny Jansen, Will Smith, Sean Murphy, MJ Melandez and Ronaldo Hernandez? 2:21 Eric A Longenhagen: I like all of those guys 2:21 Lilith: Debby Santana opinions? Is he a future 1B? Should Reds fans be getting excited for this kid yet? 2:22 Eric A Longenhagen: Plus bat speed but very stiff, upright lower half. Plus arm, he’s good at 3B for me. Think he has some adjustments to make in order to keep hitting but the foundation of physical ability to pretty good. 2:22 Mark: With his performance since his call up, are you more optimistic on the FV for Josh James? Is there more leash in grading his command because he’s only possessed this type of stuff for such a short period of time? 2:23 Eric A Longenhagen: He’s what, a 40+ on The Board right now? I suppose we might 45 him this offseason as a premium/multi-inning relief option. 2:23 Lilith: Do you think Bobby Witt Jr is going to see his stock fall due to age and prospect fatigue a-la Blake Rutherford? 2:23 Eric A Longenhagen: The age thing will move the needle for some teams. If anything else, I think his contact issues will ultimately play a role. 2:23 Roger: I don’t understand a lot of the lingo used to describe pitches. Do you know anywhere I can find a handy glossary on the interwebs? Like, what’s a “heavy” FB? What’s a “firm” change? Some of it seems intuitive, but that’s assuming my intuition is worth anything. 2:24 Eric A Longenhagen: Working on this stuff as part of our offseason list primer 2:24 Preston: Any updates on the Jays scouting turnover and any other teams expected to go through the same? And are these teams following the Astros model? 2:25 Eric A Longenhagen: Not sure. They haven’t made new hires that I know about (there’d probably be a press release if it happened) and I haven’t heard that they’re Stro’ing, but they’d be on the short list of teams I’d expect to consider it. 2:25 Kyle: I know you’re not a fantasy writer, but what do you see as likely offensive upside for Christian Pache? .280 with 18 HR and 25 steals too much to ask? 2:25 Eric A Longenhagen: Don’t think there’s going to be that kind of pop 2:25 Mark: Are you concerned at all about Peter Alonso’s bat speed and whether he’ll be able to hit major league pitching. How much AJ Reed risk is there here? 2:27 Eric A Longenhagen: Don’t think there’s a bat speed issue. He reloads his hands (they start at his right pec, go back and then go up and back again before they fire forward) which I think might make him late on some stuff, but he’s so strong that he’s going to misshit balls out the opposite way like that. He did it twice on Tuesday. 2:27 Logan: Any reports on Pache so far in the AFL, especially about his swing? 2:28 Eric A Longenhagen: It’s sweepy but workable. 2:28 Jay: Going to an AFL game tomorrow in Mesa! Any tips for having a good time? Players to watch? (Glendale vs Mesa) 2:29 Eric A Longenhagen: That’s where I’ll be manana. Not sure who’ll be in the lineups. Mesa Riverview has some good spots to eat/drink pre/post game and it’s nearby. I’d skip the ballpark food. 2:29 Logan: How has Muller’s velocity looked so far in his AFL appearances? 2:29 Eric A Longenhagen: t94, mostly 91-93 2:30 Logan: Have you heard any update on the Carter Stewart grievance against the Braves? 2:30 Eric A Longenhagen: Nope 2:30 Slurve: If you could only look at one stat to evaluate a pitcher, what would that stat be? Why? 2:31 Eric A Longenhagen: K%, it’s a distillation of stuff 2:31 Slurve: How often are top scouts hired away from other teams – or is that generally frowned upon as some sort of unwritten rule? 2:31 Eric A Longenhagen: If it’s for a promotion it isn’t frowned upon at all 2:32 Kyle: what do you see as Sheffield’s future? I feel like some are a little down on him based on how he looked in a few relief innings. can he be a #2 starter? 2:32 Eric A Longenhagen: Justus? He got so bulky and his command backed up to a point where I, too, am a little down. #2 is too much for me. 2:32 Derrick: Do you see Julio Urias eventually actually establishing himself as 1-2 big league starter? What do you see for Anderson Espinoza and Yadier Alvarez? 2:33 Eric A Longenhagen: I’d guess Urias hovers in the #3-#3/4 range if everything comes back to pre-injury form (including his command). Espinoza has that kind of stuff, too. Yadi….who knows. That guy has other issues right now. 2:33 Andy: Can scouts ‘see’ spin rate? Is there any way to tell if someone has a so called disappearing fastball? Beyond not being fast and still fooling hitters. 2:35 Eric A Longenhagen: Kinda sorta? I don’t think a scout would be able to say “that curveball spun in at about 2200rpm” but I bet they’d put a 50 on that curveball. I think the fastball phenomenon you’re describing has measurable components (extension being the biggest one) 2:35 Slurve: What will be the most commonly-used 5×5 Pitching categories in 20 years? 2:39 Eric A Longenhagen: Whiffs per Pitch, Climate-Adjusted Sweat Volume (in quarts), Bat Flips Allowed, $/WAR generated per team owner, Hitters Killed 2:39 Xam: Vogey’s Statcast data looks promising, although it’s a very small sample. Still: shouldn’t Seattle be looking to give him a shot and see what happens? 2:39 Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe in a Healy platoon, sure 2:39 Slurve: Does a Robles, Soto, Harper OF have any competition given age, hype, and accomplishments? 2:40 Eric A Longenhagen: Uhhh, I can’t think of one with that combo of youth/performance/hyp 2:40 Ozzie Ozzie Albies Free: Has there been any update on that guy who took a rocket to the dome from Vlad? 2:40 Eric A Longenhagen: He’s okay. That was a scary moment. 2:40 Andy: New Live-Action Aladdin. Will Smith as the Genie. Thoughts? 2:42 Eric A Longenhagen: No idea. Just watched the trailer and learned very little. I’ll guess it’s a 50. 2:42 Wally: Do you think a Carson Kelly can still be a starting C for a playoff team? 2:43 Eric A Longenhagen: Sure but I don’t think he’s going to make an offensive impact 2:43 Johnny Coconuts: Is there even a 70 grade snack out there? 2:44 Eric A Longenhagen: Depends on how you define snack, I guess. Give me cheese, some kind of cured meat and a bread thing and that’s a 70. 2:44 James: Is Forrest Whitley big league ready? 2:44 Eric A Longenhagen: I think he’d be fine in a one or two-inning capacity right now 2:44 Derrick: How important is player development? Do you think some styles suppress big league talent? Or a “big leaguer” will make it in any org? 2:45 Eric A Longenhagen: I think it’s a huge way teams separate from one another right now 2:45 TJ: What do you see the reds doing this off-season? Trading Votto and/or Scooter to accumulate prospects? Or sticking with their offensive core and trying to improve the pitching staff? 2:45 Eric A Longenhagen: The latter 2:46 Ricky: What do you like about Evan White in the AFL? Is he different then when you scouted him in college? 2:46 Eric A Longenhagen: Minor swing adjustments have made a huge difference in his ability to go down and scoop/lift pitches in the bottom of the zone. 2:46 Josh R: Of Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, and Corbin Burnes, who makes the best starter, and which ones will be in next year’s rotation? 2:46 Eric A Longenhagen: Burnes and yes 2:46 Mikey: I know there is still time, but early guesses on how the 2019 draft class compares to recent years? 2:46 Eric A Longenhagen: Big hitter depth, very little pitching 2:47 Josh R: Off of prospects just a bit. Isn’t the real question with the interference in Houston last night not if Betts WOULD have caught it, but if the fan prevented him from having the CHANCE to catch it? 2:48 Eric A Longenhagen: I thought a fan clearly made physical contact with him in a way that impeded his ability to make the play 2:49 Logan: Can you elaborate just slightly on a “sweepy” swing? 2:50 Eric A Longenhagen: Kinda long, with a gentle downward angle for much of its distance in the hitting zone 2:51 nb: Hey Eric, Hope you’re enjoying the Fall League. AFL participant: Monte Harrison. SSS but only 2 K’s in 22 AB’s! Has he changed anything that you can see. Instructional participant: Xavier Edwards. Just wondering about your thoughts on him. Thanks! 2:51 Eric A Longenhagen: Have only seen Monte once so far so have to ask you bug me about him again in a future chat. I like X man but think he’s a 2B. plus-plus run, feel to hit, self-aware of his skills and limitations 2:51 DJ Tanner: Any word on Alex Reyes? Cards still projecting him to start or will they just put him to the bullpen? 2:52 Eric A Longenhagen: Starts a throwing program soon, still think you try to make him a traditional 200-inning starter 2:52 Andrew: What kind of package would SD look for in dealing Wil Myers? Could be another fit to replace Markakis in ATL… 2:52 Eric A Longenhagen: Yup, that’s another good target for ATL and a good fit for SD to trade for a prospect more in line with their competitive timeline 2:53 Stop the Chop: Would an offer of Gohara, Allard, Wilson, and Waters be enough for Realmuto? 2:53 Eric A Longenhagen: I’d do that if I were MIA 2:53 James: How does Jam Jones look at 2B? 2:53 Eric A Longenhagen: 4 hands, 5 arm. Still a work in progress 2:54 Frank Lyman from Amherst: “I don’t think the Mets properly scout the parts of SD’s system that SD would want to deal from in such a trade” um what the heck does that mean?? 2:54 Eric A Longenhagen: It means the Mets don’t scout the lowest levels of the minors where a lot of SD’s desirable talent was located. 2:55 Eric A Longenhagen: Why do you think the Mets get back a lot of A-ball relievers in trades? When’s the last time they acquired a prospect beneath full-season ball? 2:56 D: How much faith should Tigers fans have in the current front office’s ability to turn it around? Would you grade the rebuild a success so far? 2:56 Eric A Longenhagen: I think they have a strong collection of minor league talent and it’s just about them actualizing it via good player dev. 2:57 Rick C: Do you think Pache is too aggressively ranked on the board? As a Braves fan, I think 18 is crazy. 2:58 Eric A Longenhagen: If you buy that he’s going to play elite CF defense (we do) then he doesn’t have to do much with the bat to be a 60. just peep Inciarte’s #’s this year 3:00 Eric A Longenhagen: Have seen him twice: 93-97 t98 with big downhill plane, plus-plus changeup in the low-80s with vertical action. 11-5 curveball is a 60, slider and cutter each flash 60. Doesn’t have surgical command but he locates his stuff in general ares where they’ll play (the cutter is always to his glove side and when it misses, it misses off the plate away where he can’t get hurt, etc.) He has monster stuff. 3:00 Eric A Longenhagen: WHoops —> 3:00 Pie: Apologies if you’ve already written it up, but do have you seen any of Whitley’s appearances in the Fall League? 3:00 Charles: Roughly where would Adley Rutschman rank on an MLB top 100 right now? Is FV for draft prospects any different than it is for MLB prospects? 3:01 Eric A Longenhagen: It’s the same, you can slot him in that 55 FV tier on the board as that’d be his range right now 3:01 Lyle: How would you compare the offensive upsides of Ronny Mauricio, and Wenceel Perez? 3:01 Eric A Longenhagen: Mauricio’s frame gives him a chance to grow into a ton of raw power 3:01 Xavier: What holds back Adrian Morejon from being a 55? Seems to have the stuff, so I’d have to guess proximity to the Majors and injury history? 3:02 Eric A Longenhagen: The injury history and that we don’t think the fastball plays at it’s velo because he’s a small, short-strider. 3:02 D: When should we look for a farm system ranking? 3:03 Eric A Longenhagen: When we’ve updated our opinions of each prospect this offseason and have asset values for each FV tier and can mix each teams’ collective farm system value that way. 3:03 Pie: When will The Untitled McDongenhagen Project be Titled? 3:03 Eric A Longenhagen: I think we’re just gonna call it UMP 3:04 Eric A Longenhagen: Okay, that’s my time. Thanks for coming again this week. Hope you’re enjoying the playoffs. See you next Thursday. 3:05 Eric A Longenhagen: Oh and, NA, hang in there bud.