Eric Longenhagen Chat: 11/1/18

2:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Good morning from Tempe. Let’s begin our final pre-prospect list chat.

2:02
mark: Do you know if Anderson Espinoza has started throwing, and if so how he looks?

2:03
Eric A Longenhagen: He did not throw during Padres instructs. He may be throwing off a mound but, if he is, it’s private, so I don’t know how he looks.

2:03
Josh Nelson: Hey Eric. How do Luis Basabe and Luis Robert look so far?

2:04
Eric A Longenhagen: LouBob has been fine, Basabe has not been great.

2:04
mark: Do you guys have any planned draft coverage coming up?

2:05
Eric A Longenhagen: We’ll have a Board tweak based on Jupiter and fall scrimmages (and a companion article), but that’s probably it.

2:05
Tommy: Thoughts on Nico Hoerner‘s quality AFL?

2:05
Eric A Longenhagen: He looks good, the same as he did in the spring. You still have to be okay with the throwing to project him at shortstop but I think he’s functional enough in that regard to be a 45 or 50 there.

2:05
Fidrych: What is your outlook on Carlos Rincon? Have you heard about a change in approach that might have helped him to increase his walk rate?

2:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Nothing explicit from an eyeball source about an approach change, just the statistical evidence.

2:07
Biscuit: Hey Eric, do you think Freddy Peralta has a place in the Brewers rotation long-term?  How about Corey Ray in the outfield?

2:07
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think he’ll be a 170+ inning guy unless the strike throwing gets better

2:08
Pad Squad: Why should we Padres fans be optimistic about their future when their farm system is notable for its depth rather than star-power? It’s not like they have future position players like the Astros, Cubs, or Red Sox developed.

2:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Some of them will be stars. What constitutes a ‘star’? 4 WAR annually? Some of them will get there.

2:11
Francis: Tell me I’m really stupid for falling in love with the Cubs AZL teams and Eugene roster. I can’t help it.

2:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Not stupid, I like a lot of those guys, too.

2:12
Larry: Madrigal had a 35% hard hit rate in the low minors. How does he improve on that going forward while facing better pitching?

2:12
Eric A Longenhagen: Way too much is being made of his summer performance. The guy was coming off a broken wrist injury and played competitive games from February through mid-October.

2:13
Carl: Hi Eric. What’s your impression of Keston Hiura in the AFL? Thinking mainly about defense, as the man sure can hit. Though should the high(ish) SO rate be a concern?

2:13
Eric A Longenhagen: He looks great. Defense at 2B has been fine, 45/50 arm.

2:13
Alex: If the A’s build a new stadium and more consistent revenue stream, could you foresee them moving near that “first tier” of organizations you and Kiley discussed on the podcast?

2:14
Eric A Longenhagen: If ownership turns on the faucet after all that stuff happens, sure.

2:14
Steve: when will Fangraphs’ team prospect lists start rolling out?

2:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Primers/2018 Review and other big picture stuff starts rolling out late next week, then lists once those are all out there.

2:15
Anthony: How has Nate Pearson looked in Fall League? Are you on him as a true starter or is he more in that grey area of hybrid, multi-inning reliever?

2:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Has been up to 101, generally inconsistent, delivery isn’t great. I bet he lights it up on Saturday, though.

2:16
Peter: I know Rocchio has shot up the BOARD this past season, so the Indians try and put him on the fast track this year?

2:17
Eric A Longenhagen: I guess I’d speculate that he gets the Tyler Freeman treatment and is pushed to Mahoning Valley

2:18
MJ: Is the best course of action to get a job or more advanced internship in baseball to just send a ton of Cold emails out ? Having been stuck in MiLB video two years now, I’m really against doing it again and it’s turning me away from the industry

2:20
Eric A Longenhagen: Hmm, that’s tough. It’s probably a better question for the folks with hiring power in the orgs you’ve worked for. Heading to places with high concentrations of decision makers (winter meetings, scouting showcases, analytics conferences) and poking around there to learn and rub elbows with new people is good, but those payoffs are long term.

2:20
Deep Blue: Who’s more likely to be the Orioles CF in 2020, McKenna or Mullins? Can you give us a quick updated scouting comparison?

2:20
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll say McKenna. He covers more ground.

2:21
KW: Erick Leal has yet to give up a run in the AFL. What’s your take on him? Should the Cubs protect him on the 40-man from the Rule 5 draft?

2:21
Eric A Longenhagen: Jeez, I did not know that. Up/down guy for me.

2:21
Colby: Has Keibert Ruiz grown on you in the AFL?

2:22
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, I have a 7 on the bat now.

2:22
Steve: Do you think Peter Alonso as more of an AL DH or do you forsee him improving enough to be a FT 1B ?

2:22
Eric A Longenhagen: He’ll be an NL 1B but he’ll be a 4 defender.

2:22
Queens: Any truth to the idea that prospects with high hit grades show more than expected power in the majors? How about prospects with high grades for their throwing arms?

2:24
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes to ? 1, though I don’t know how much of it is/has been the baseballs themselves and how much is us underestimating how much quality of contact leads to game power. On throwing arms: anything with less informative input (for grades pitches we have our eyes, trackman, etc, but for arm strength we just have what we see IF we think it was a max effort throw we just saw) is going to draw grades closer to 50, it’s just human nature.

2:24
Anthony: Any idea when the next podcast comes out? Are you still recording for the offseason?

2:25
Eric A Longenhagen: We’re recording this weekend. Once Fall League is done and Kiley’s move is complete I’d assume we’ll each have a more regular schedule.

2:25
Colby: Will Gavin Lux be a top 5 ss prospect for 19 or does he have to move to 2b?

2:26
Eric A Longenhagen: 2B, still like him, though.

2:26
Moose_Bolton: Do you have any opinions on Braxton Garrett? He only pitched 15 innings and is recovering from Tommy John now so it may be too soon to tell.

2:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Same as pre-draft: Low-90s, has three pitches right now, could be a good mid-rotation guy.

2:29
Ozzie Ozzie Albies Free: Say one positive thing about Kiley. Say one negative thing about Kiley. Say one indifferent thing about Kiley.

2:29
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s a tireless worker. He is from Florida. He is right-handed.

2:30
Tommy: Ian Happ for Jon Gray…..Who says no?

2:30
Eric A Longenhagen: Cubs

2:30
kyle: has Jahmai Jones raised his stock during AFL/what tool or adjustment stands out? stats look great.

2:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Not really, he’s the same guy. The bat isn’t really a question: he’s somewhat vulnerable to breaking stuff away from him, but mostly he’s going to mash a ton of doubles and hit like .280. What was important to see from him here was the defense at 2B, which has only been okay.

2:31
Brodie: Is Andres Gimenez good enough to where I don’t want to trade him for JT Realmuto?

2:32
Eric A Longenhagen: No, purely because of how good Realmuto is, no knock on Gimenez

2:32
Tommy Bahama Mama: Have you gotten a look at Jesus Castillo? Reports from mid-season said he was only 84-86 most of his time in Mobile.

2:32
Eric A Longenhagen: (fumbling through notes)

2:33
Eric A Longenhagen: 88-90, 40 slider/cutter in the 84-87 range.

2:33
bob villar: Mondesi or Aguilar in an OBP Dynasty?

2:34
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s tough. I’d guess they’re each as likely to regress as the other, the ceiling is way higher on Mondesi if he’s real, so I’d take him.

2:34
James: How many innings do you think Whitley and JBB get to pitch next year?

2:37
Eric A Longenhagen: I thin Houston’s approach will be more touch and feel than adherent to a predetermined number of innings.  I think each of them will end up around 90 innings, give or take 15-20 innings? The big club wants to win, so if they feel good in September and they’re needed in Houston, I bet they’re pitching.

2:37
Heat: Realmuto to AZ for Widener, Chisholm and Varsho. Sound about right?

2:38
Eric A Longenhagen: Oooh, that’s kind of a lot for AZ to give up if they’re just going to take a single-year shot at this thing while Goldy is still around. But it’s not far off on talent, in a vacuum.

2:38
Dystopian Future: Is there anything to the idea that veteran presences help a young ballclub?

2:40
Eric A Longenhagen: I think it can be helpful, sure. The right vet with the right communication skills and the young players who are receptive to it. It’s pretty rare. It’s clear the young Dodgers drew something from Utley, for instance.

2:41
Anthony: If you took over a scouting department that was lagging analytically, how would you go about modernizing it?

2:44
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d try to hire people who have learned from well-run orgs to build the infrastructure of data and try to make it easily digestible for all parties involved, the scouts, the players, the coaches, everyone. It would take years to go from (essentially) scratch to where the best orgs are at/headed and I’d need a lot of help.

2:44
Alex: I go to Cal. Aside from Vaughn, who do we have who’s worth seeing?

2:44
Eric A Longenhagen: McIlwain

2:44
Eric A Longenhagen: Horn

2:44
Jack: Are there any teams going through big scouting philosophical changes this off-season, whether it be the Astros route, or the opposite direction in the sense of beefing up and retooling their scouting department?

2:46
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think anyone is totally Houston’ing (Milwaukee is the teams other scouts mention as the most likely to do so) but SEA, TOR are restructuring on the pro side. CLE, MIL on the amateur side. Some teams looking to add eyes in AZ/FL/DSL

2:46
Joser: Sorry (not sorry) for a fantasy question: if you had to pick between Joey Bart, Alec Bohm, and Nolan Gorman, who do you pick?

2:47
Eric A Longenhagen: Sorry (not sorry) for just directing you to our ranking of prospects: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board

2:47
Joser: Hot take: madrigal is drastically overrated and will never have more than a .720 OPS in the majors

2:47
Eric A Longenhagen: Who let Stephen A into the chat?

2:47
Nick: Is Connor Joe‘s increased power he showed in 2018 here to stay? And how is he defense at 3rd?

2:48
Eric A Longenhagen: He has Justin Turner‘s swing now, I’m bullish on the bat. Defense wasn’t great last I saw him, though.

2:48
Nick: What would Vlad Jr be worth on the open market right now? Technically, he was worth $3.9mm as a 16-year-old.

2:51
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s a great question. Craig is writing something right now about this kind of thing. I bet someone would do $200 over 8-10 years.

2:51
Pad Squad: Follow-up: Which guys will be 4 WAR on the Padres besides Tatis, Jr?

2:55
Eric A Longenhagen: Gore, Paddack and Patino could be, Ornelas or Arias could be. Any of Baez, Morejon or Baez could be. Something weird will happen, like Tucupita Marcano developing an 8 bat or Esteury Ruiz becoming Alfonso Soriano or something, and another guy will get there. They have a lot of talent. None of them is likely to be that, individually, but this is where depth is your friend. Not all of the Royals 2011 farm system became stars, but enough of them did and they won the things.

2:55
Jonathan: I’ve been fiddling with machine learning as a means of classifying prospect value based on scouting reports.  One thing I found that surprised me was that prospect (or more generally player) value could be effectively described using a distribution instead of a flat value.  Are teams looking into describing players with curves instead of point values?

2:55
Eric A Longenhagen: Some, and so, eventually, will we.

2:55
Cito’s Mustache: What do you think of the Jays’ 10th round pick Cal Stevenson? Handled rookie ball with ease. Fast rising sleeper in a strong system?

2:57
Eric A Longenhagen: Saw him a lot at U of A. Plus speed, has contact skills, but was probably just beating up on low-level competition during the summer. There’s a chance his hand injury clouded his true skill during the spring and that he’s actually good, so you’re right to keep an eye on him.

2:57
Joser: How much noise is there prior to J2 signings? Everyone seems to have been caught off guard by how good Wander Franco is, and how bad Kevin Maitan turned out to be. Is it about all the stuff that happens to a teenager’s body between 14-16, or are scouts purposefully over-inflating certain guys and keeping their favorites quiet?

2:58
Eric A Longenhagen: You’re right about the physical volatility of adolescence. That’s a huge part of why some of the high profile teens don’t work out. There’s not a lot of misdirection from scouts on these players because most of them have deals that aren’t changing by the time we’re writing about them, so no need to hide opinions.

2:59
Nick: Trey Supak doesn’t appear on the Brewers prospect list. I assume that means you aren’t buying him as a MLB SP?

2:59
Eric A Longenhagen: Supak is okay, could see him as an up/down guy I guess.

3:00
Colby: Are the tigers missing an impact bat in their farm system or does Paredes cover that. Should it be a priority or just keep piling arms and deal from strength?

3:00
Eric A Longenhagen: I think you have the right guy as far as hitting is concerned. I think one of Alcantara/Castro will turn into a really good, well-rounded player and that Wenceel has a shot to develop into a special player.

3:01
Nate: Does Cionel Perez have a future in the rotation? Or would he need to be traded, considering Houston’s bevy of arms?

3:01
Eric A Longenhagen: Rotation piece for me.

3:01
Cards Fan: As a Cards fan I am really excited about Elehuris Montero.  What are your thoughts on him?

3:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Big power, plus arm, moves okay at third base but lots of orgs have him projected at 1B. Some also think his pitch selection is not great. Those orgs don’t like him. If you think he stays at 3B, you really like him.

3:02
Robby: Who are some prospects you feel underrated are about to blowup?

3:05
Eric A Longenhagen: The guys off the top of my head are all Fall Leaguers. Ryan McKenna is real. Tyler Nevin rakes. The Bahamian SS’s have been great.

3:05
Mike: former prospect question. Jeff Hoffman, what’s his current outlook?

3:05
Eric A Longenhagen: (starts hyperventilating)

3:05
Harry: Is there any path to success for Dom Smith that doesn’t involve a trade?

3:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe, but I think the trade scenario is more likely than him sticking around and panning out.

3:06
JerkFace: Who was your favorite prospect who had not developed properly due to odd decisions by the team?.

3:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Again, the topical name is a Fall Leaguer. I’m not on board with Monte Harrison‘s swing right now.

3:07
Exile in St. Louis: You named Abraham Toro as a riser in the AFL. What is he showing that impresses scouts? How does he project? Is the defense ahead of the bat? Does he look like he can stick at 3rd? Would you stick a 40 FV on him? Astros fans have long nabbed him as a sleeper. Thanks.

3:07
3:07
Eric A Longenhagen: He does a little bit of everything. 70 arm, 50 run, 50 pop, he plays really hard.

3:08
Henry: What have you seen out of Jordan Sheffield in relief in the AFL?

3:08
Eric A Longenhagen: 94-95, plus change in the upper-80s

3:08
abe froman: what do you think of malcom nunez (cardinals, 3b)? was he just beating up on inferior competition?

3:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Cardinals list drops first (wink, wink)

3:08
Dylan B: Who do you think is gonna be the highest ranked prospect to be traded this offseason?

3:09
Eric A Longenhagen: Hmmm….

3:09
Eric A Longenhagen: Austin Riley? That seems reasonable.

3:10
Mac: Thoughts on Bryce Bush? Looks like a pretty good 32nd  round pick.

3:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, there’s power. 1B-ony for me. Very high-risk but the kind of flier I like in rnd 32. He’s already a good 32nd rounder if we’re having real discussions about him like this.

3:11
Kyle: Does Peter Lambert have No. 3 starter upside, or is he more of a safe 4/5 guy?

3:11
Eric A Longenhagen: For me, the latter.

3:11
Lyle: How would you compare Brandon Marsh and Khalil Lee’s upsides?

3:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Marsh’s bat >

3:11
simon: nats sign Harper – Victor Robles for Danny Jansen?

3:11
Eric A Longenhagen: We love Jansen but Robles >>

3:12
Kiner’s Disembodied Hands: Does Cole Tucker grow into any sort of power?  He’s hitting well in the AFL and did well the second half of last season.  Do you see him hitting the ground running in AAA this upcoming season?

3:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Really pounding it into the ground here, but there’s a foundation for lift if he can be more direct to the baseball. It’ll require good timing, though.

3:13
Colin: Super SSS, but how does Kieboom look at 2B?

3:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Hands haven’t been great down here, 6 arm though.

3:14
Rocco: is German Marquez the real deal, or a 1/2 season wonder?

3:15
Eric A Longenhagen: I buy it. That slider really developed during the season. In Feb, it and his changeup were both no bueno.

3:15
KC fan: What do you think of Khalil Lee? 55 a bit rich?

3:15
Eric A Longenhagen: 50 with swing and miss risk, hence the 45 FV

3:16
Ryan: Romero, Gonsalves, Stewart, Mejia–whom do you like best long term as a starter for the Twins?

3:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Romero is he’s healthy.

3:16
Mountie Votto: Have you gotten to see Mariel Bautista at all? Reds prospect hounds seem to be really high on him.

3:18
Eric A Longenhagen: Sure. Wiry 6-foot-3 guy with bat speed, can run, cahnce to stay in CF, we’ll see how the swing develops.

3:18
Eric A Longenhagen:

3:18
Jay: You mentioned Cleveland as one org restructuring amateur scouting. Any reason been mentioned, if you’ve heard anything? Is that pretty common every time a team has a new amateur scouting director as they do? Or do you think some less than ideal results from drafts prompted that?

3:20
Eric A Longenhagen: They re-assigned crosscheckers. Not an internal indictment of their draft process, sounds like they just thought there was a lot of overlap.

3:21
Craig: Re: the Bahamian SS’s.. who are they??? For those of us that don’t know these guys’ origin.

3:21
Eric A Longenhagen: Jazz Chisholm and Lucius Fox

3:22
____: How do you decide what order to do the prospect lists in?

3:23
Eric A Longenhagen: I start teams without instructional league games and/or imporant fall leaguers first, since there’s not going to be more learned about those teams from Oct. onward.

3:23
Doc: What do you think about royals INF prospect rubendy jaquez?

3:23
Eric A Longenhagen: Stocky kid with plus bat speed. He’s interesting.

3:23
Spicie Boy: Do you think that planning relief pitching in such a way that a pitcher new going into a game exactly when he would pitch, so as to limit warming up multiple times per game, warming up for games he doesn’t pitch in, pitching multiple days in a row, etc. would allow teams to get more innings out of relievers?

3:24
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, maybe not more innings (but maybe more innings) but perhaps quality of appearances would be altered.

3:25
Jake: Gabriel Arias, Kristian Robinson and Ronny Marucio.  Who has highest ceiling and who highest floor?

3:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Ceiling: If Mauricio stays at SS and hits and hits for power

3:26
Eric A Longenhagen: Floor: Arias’ glove at SS

3:26
Reagan: can anyone see this?

3:27
Eric A Longenhagen: No, go back to sleep, Mr. President.

3:28
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s all for me. Look forward to talking to you again next Thursday. Remember, the Fall Stars Game is broadcast on MLB Network this Saturday. I assume it’ll be online via the MLB.com homepage, too. There’s a lot of talent on the rosters and I think you’d enjoy it.

We hoped you liked reading Eric Longenhagen Chat: 11/1/18 by Eric Longenhagen!

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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.

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Oswald321
Member
Oswald321

FIRST

olive elliot
Member

beating Wander Javier’s 90-grade speed is an impressive feat. nicely done :p

DustyColorado
Member
DustyColorado

Wander Javier’s speed is more like a 70/80. You’re thinking of his raw power which is currently 80/90.