Eric Longenhagen Chat: 11/18/22 by Eric Longenhagen November 18, 2022 12:04 Eric A Longenhagen: Hi everyone, hope you’ve had a good week. Please check out my East division 40-man deadline day thoughts if you have not, more is on the way next week, and then we’ll get into prospect lists. 12:04 Dan: Considering your top 100 ranks, do you see Joey Ortiz having a greater 2023 impact than Jordan Westburg? Thanks! 12:06 Eric A Longenhagen: Not necessarily. If Jorge Mateo keeps playing well but Ramon Urias does not while Westburg keeps raking in the minors, then I could see a scenario where Westburg plays and not Ortiz. 12:07 Eric A Longenhagen: Ortiz skill foundation is partially his defense (the other is all the contact), and with the shift banned that becomes more important. His 50 FV is a bet on his long-term fit as an average everyday shortstop, Westburg certainly has more power than him, and his FV may change this offseason as my thoughts on what to do with these bat-first, shift-aided infield types solidifies. 12:08 Matt: Do you buy Jake McCarthy as an every day regular? I have a hard time believing his batted ball data will allow him to sustain his performance from last year 12:10 Eric A Longenhagen: I agree, even though he’s made some changes I think you have to lean on the xSLG, etc. to gauge how real the power output is. Probably a 4th OF type now, a half grade better than he was evaluated as a prospect. 12:10 Jon: Any thoughts on new Marlin Franklin Sanchez? 12:12 Eric A Longenhagen: Yep, good get for them. 95-97 with a hard slider (85-88) in my Fall League look, though slider quality was pretty variable. Great pitcher’s frame. That org has needed more arm strength in the bullpen, they got it. Probably an up/down type initially, has the arm strength to establish a more prominent role over time. 12:12 Eric A Longenhagen: I also really like Elieser Hernandez, btw, and think he’s going to be a good MIRP for the Mets. 12:13 Mike: Hey Eric – are you planning to update the international players tab on the Board? Wondering about other higher profile players signing in January (and specifically any signing with the Red Sox). Thanks! 12:14 Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, I have a handful more bonus amounts I want to source and I have some players getting between 1 and 2 mil that I want to sift through again before publication, but updated draft and international lists will again kick off the list marathon. 12:14 Trayce: Thoughts on Nolan Jones for Juan Brito trade? 12:17 Eric A Longenhagen: Will have longer thoughts up on next week as al the transaction analysis from that day wraps, in short: I still like Nolan Jones and think he’ll be good for the Rockies, while acknowledging the hit tool risk exists. I think it’s interesting (and makes my opinion on this issue feel less good) that Cleveland seems to have the Benson/Oscar/Brennan group evaluated ahead of Jones. Or maybe they just really like Juan Brito (I know I do) and felt it was fine to part with Nolan. 12:17 Eric A Longenhagen: 12:17 Eric A Longenhagen: Was one of my favorite complex hitters in ’21, stuffed him. 12:18 Mike: Were you able to catch Nick Yorke at all in the AFL? Thoughts on his performance after a down year this season? 12:19 Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, I still don’t love the infield athleticism and defensive projection part of Yorke’s game, but his timing as a hitter is so damn good. I was compelled to slide him on the 100 after the year he had but he shouldn’t fall off the 100 completely, I believe in the bat. 12:19 Matt: The Angels have been abnormally aggressive with their post-draft minor league assignments. Is this due to their win-now urgency at the big league level, a model inflation tactic, or some other reason? 12:19 Eric A Longenhagen: I think it’s the former. 12:20 Bob: You’ve run Endy Rodriguez pretty high up the top 100. What type of player do you think he’ll be? Full time catcher? Rover? Full time elsewhere? 12:22 Eric A Longenhagen: I think it’s primary catcher, they only gave him 2B run after promotion to Double-A, no more OF after the bump. I want him to rove, though. 12:23 Eric A Longenhagen: Any time you have these plus athlete catchers with plus bat-to-ball, I’m all in. It’s so hard to find offensive impact at that position. 12:23 In There Like Fred Astaire’s Swimwear: What’s your take on Josh Lowe? He busted in MLB but then went back to AAA and destroyed the ball. Is his K rate such that he’ll never be more than he is ine majors? Or do you think he can still reach his ceiling? 12:23 Eric A Longenhagen: I’m very scared. He’s not a good CF so there’s no floor if he doesn’t hit. Struck me as someone for whom big league pitching was too much, he looked so overmatched. 12:24 TJJ: hey, eric! have you had a chance to see samuel zavala play? was four years young for the level and seemed to hold his own in the california league. pitch recognition maybe not there yet, but a homer per twenty plate appearances was a nice surprise. do the pads have something? thanks! 12:25 Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, saw him mostly during minor league spring training and extended ST before they sent him out. Not a ton of physical projection but has advanced feel for contact, physical enough to do doubles damage right now, sprays it all over. Third in the system entering the offseason: 2022 Top Prospects | THE BOARD | FanGraphs 12:25 Eric A Longenhagen: Click the clipboard there and you’ll get more info. 12:25 Taylor: How did Deyvison De Los Santos look in the fall league? 12:26 Eric A Longenhagen: 70 power, 20 baseball feel. Tons of procedural errors on defense, bad footwork at first base, zero approach at the plate, just not a good baseball player right now, though he’s incredibly talented. 12:27 Sodo Mojo: Where do you think Cooper Hummel fits in the Mariners next years? Insurance incase Murphy or Raleigh can’t get back to health? Last guy on the bench to displace Torrens? Something else? 12:29 Eric A Longenhagen: You try like hell to make him a part-time catcher, but mostly I think he just has a better chance of sustaining viable offense than Haggerty and Trammell in that extra OF role. If you get the part time catcher aspect as a bonus, great. 12:29 Sharp: Before the 2022 season you said Elly De La Cruz was a boom or bust guy. Did his 2022 season instill more confidence in you? The projections are looking good for him. I know the strikeouts are quite high but boy that power/speed/switch hitter skillet set is looking pretty sweet. 12:30 Eric A Longenhagen: Love him, he’s a top 10 prospect now. Defense in LIDOM has been bad, and yes there are approach aspects that make him scary. Of all the minor leaguers though, he’s on a short of guys who can be a 7 or better. 12:30 Dave: Chance that Maddux bruns starts? 12:31 Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think he’s Sandy or anything, but as a five and dive type? 60%? His stuff is so nasty they have to try for as long as possible. 12:31 AAAA Marvin: Eric, thanks for the chat! Just how concerning was 2022 for TBR SS Greg Jones? Still listed as a 50FV, but this is a 24 y/o who struck out at a 36% clip in AA. Is the best realistic scenario that the speed gets him onto a roster as the 26th man? 12:34 Eric A Longenhagen: Jones has been a, “this guy’s tools are so huge but he’s raw” type of player for a while now, and there are people around baseball who simply think it won’t ever come together for him, which I think at this point is a reasonable opinion to have. But I think the impact he would have if things do click is big enough that you just protect yourself for a year. 12:34 Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t expect him to be a big leaguer in 2023, purely a dev year on the 40-man 12:34 Ryan: Hi Eric! Of all the major prospects sites, you seem to be the low man on Jordan Lawlar. I’m just curious why you are so reserved on his future outlook. 12:35 Eric A Longenhagen: When I last updated the 100 I mentioned none of the Fall Leaguers would move since I was just about to see them all for six weeks. He was among them. He’s really good. If I was reserved initially it was because I hadn’t seen him handle pitches in on his hands, which he did in the AFL. 12:36 Nook Logan: You sounded fairly bullish on Cristian Hernandez (Phillies Pitcher) after AZFL, and you mentioned a pretty deep repertoire. Any sense in stretching him back out to start, or is he definitely destined for relief? 12:37 Eric A Longenhagen: If you pop him in the Rule 5 it’s definitely as a reliever. Could be stretched out over time if you (by that i mean a team) have a clear idea as to why his pitches aren’t playing and how to correct it. It is not obvious to me what that might be. 12:38 Resolution: Grant Lavigne seems to be doing a lot of things well EXCEPT hitting for power. Any updates or reason for optimism here? 12:39 Eric A Longenhagen: I’m tough on 1B/DH types so, nah. Maybe he’s a bench bat? Rowdy Tellez and Vogelbach are dangerous bench bats, Lavigne isn’t on that level. 12:40 Lavin: Really appreciating the series you’re doing on the Rule 5 deadline. You’ve mentioned that with the FG prospect team whittled down to you alone, you might change your approach to building and publishing offseason lists. Curious if you know how that might unfold this year. Thanks for the great work! 12:41 Eric A Longenhagen: It might be that players with 2023 ETA’s are pushed to The Board sooner, to ensure pre-season access to info on those guys. 12:42 Romorr: How would you handle DL Hall to start 2023? Give him a rotational spot, reliever, or to AAA to start every 5th day, then, when the results get there, promote him? 12:42 Eric A Longenhagen: Nasty MIRP 12:42 Not Evan: Did Oswaldo Cabrera impress you in his September (and October) call-up for the Bronx team? Like I’m guessing the team is willing to spend for better, but he seems like he could be a perennial 2-win dude in another lineup, and that’s a 50. 12:42 Eric A Longenhagen: Agreed, think the 45 I had there will be light. Everyday corner OF. 12:43 MM: MERVIS….sorry hard to get past him as a cubs fan…but what’s the outlook for Miles Mastrobuoni? Can he hit enough in the bigs? 12:43 Eric A Longenhagen: Love Mastro as a do-it-all bench piece. Low impact, but belongs in the bigs. 12:43 Insert Witty Name Here: Will Jhaylin Ortiz ever get a cup of coffee? 12:45 Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, but I’m not on him very much over the long haul. Huge juice, 33% ponchados at Double-A is pretty scary. 12:45 In There Like Fred Astaire’s Swimwear: Do you think Keibert can still tap into his hitting potential? Or is he destined to slap a hollow 260-280ba with weak obp and slg from now on? 12:45 Eric A Longenhagen: The latter 12:46 Galen: Do we see Tyler Soderstrom this year? What’s his landing spot for position? Ceiling? Floor? 12:46 Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think so. Above-avg everyday 1B. 12:47 DBRuns: You’re report on George Valera notes there’s rampant industry agreement on whether he’s actually going to hit. Can you please elaborate? Has that changed in his 2022 evaluation year? 12:49 Eric A Longenhagen: In-zone contact rate is 73% (lower than any qualified big league OF in 2022) and overall whiff rate is also bad. Can his feel for the zone and power balance his profile enough for him to be an everyday guy? I feel like he’s trending toward a platoon role, which is still good. 12:49 Rusty: Does Jordy Vargas still feature a knee-buckling parabola of death? Tale of two halves at the complex and in single-A, curious if you got looks. 12:50 Eric A Longenhagen: Saw him thrice, looks awesome. Fastball shape isn’t great and obviously the org’s track record of pitching dev isn’t great, but he’s on the Top 100 fringe in my opinion. 12:50 Fangraphs Humour: I don’t understand Fangraphs Humour – are you leaving? 12:52 Eric A Longenhagen: No, even as I watch over the hotel for the winter I will be writing the prospect lists. The isolation of the hotel is a feature not a bug. Five months of peace is just what I want. 12:52 Aman: Reese Olson’s stats were pretty impressive, but I don’t often hear him mentioned as a potential impact starter. What about his arsenal plays in the minors but might not in the big leagues? 12:53 Eric A Longenhagen: Gonna point you to The Board for this one as I try to rapid fire a few more before leaving for a call. 2022 Top Prospects | THE BOARD | FanGraphs 12:54 benjamin: edouard julien bat for real? bat first utility guy..? 12:54 Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, think he’s an everyday LF. 12:55 Harold: Did Kumar show anything in the AFL to warrant a grade bump? 12:55 Eric A Longenhagen: Nah, maybe to his slider but not to his FV/role 12:55 TooDamnTall: If your schedule wasn’t so jammed, where would you direct some extra effort in your work? 12:55 Eric A Longenhagen: Yeoman’s Work 12:56 Not Socrates: Are the Guardians on to something? Is Brito somebody dynasty owners should be looking hard at? 12:56 Eric A Longenhagen: Look at him so hard 12:56 Andrew: If Bellinger is non tendered, where is a good fit for him? and what kind of contact does he end up getting? 12:57 Eric A Longenhagen: Toronto, no idea on the contact. 12:57 Fred whitfield: The pitch clock _ wondering who you think it will impact more-pitchers or hitters? 12:58 Eric A Longenhagen: Think it will push pitcher usage in a direction it was already headed and we will see hitters on their heels rather than meditating between pitches. 12:58 Get Two, Brute?: Hey Eric, love your work. How do you think the Pirates handle Davis/Endy going forward? A rotation between C/DH/OF? Will it be a 50/50 split? Thanks! 12:58 Eric A Longenhagen: Davis looks bad. Scouts think his makeup is bad. 12:58 Roger: Does Yiddi Cappe make a short list of potential 2023 risers? 12:59 Eric A Longenhagen: oh yeah 1:00 Eric A Longenhagen: Okay, there are many good questions in the queue but i need to spilt to hop on a call regarding list rollout. Thank you for being here. Bye bye.