Eric Longenhagen Chat- 2/21/19

2:00
Eric A Longenhagen: Hey everyone, looks like they’re gonna try to play this A’s/Mariners game so this may be a shorter chat, but after last week’s marathon I’m sure you’re all cool with that.

2:00
Trent: What would it take for the Cubs to get into the top half of MLB farm systems this year? A miracle?

2:01
Eric A Longenhagen: It probably means Roederer and Davis take huge steps forward, maybe one of the young pitching prospects, too. That’s a good start toward a climb.

2:01
Tommy N.: Where would Tatis and Machado rank in the best SS/3B combos in baseball?

2:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably top 5 once Tatis is fully formed, right? Turner/Rendon, Ramirez/Lindor, Correa/Bregman, Arenado/Story…kinda run out of obvious ones in tthat area after that.

2:03
Twitter Handle: If you had to choose one of the Padres pitching prospects likely to turn into a 1/2; who would it be? Gore, Morejon, Paddack, Patino, other

2:03
Eric A Longenhagen: I think the way we have them ranked indicates what we think about that

2:03
Yuri: How did Charles King look when you saw Lodolo’s start last week? He was fairly highly ranked coming out of high school but haven’t heard much of him since he made it to TCU.

2:03
Eric A Longenhagen: 90-92, above avg slider, good command. Looked good, but that’s a 40/45 fastball so can only like him so much.

2:03
Tom: Any opinion on Santiago Espinal? He got no mention on the Jays list, but he seems at least a little interesting

2:04
Eric A Longenhagen: good peripherals, lifts the ball some, just didn’t think he had big league tools/physicality during fall league. Sorry, Carson.

2:04
Bryce Harper: Bill James doesn’t think I’m a superstar. Discuss.

2:05
Eric A Longenhagen: The world around us evolves faster than we can as individuals. Nobody can keep up forever. Also, superstar is not an objectively defined term. Tim Tebow is arguably a superstar. Kyler Murray might have been the most recognizable face in baseball immediately, is he a superstar? Who cares what Bill James says about stuff like this? His contributions to the game are significant, but they’re mostly done with.

2:06
Billy E: Who do you think of Jahmai Jones or Brandon Marsh has a better chance of breaking out and becoming an elite prospect this year?

2:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Marsh

2:06
Tim: How many total prospects do you think you’re familiar with?

2:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Double whatever is currently on the Board for pro teams, then add in the draft guys. Whatever that number is should be pretty close.

2:07
Sad Trombone: Thoughts on Moncada being moved to 3rd while Madrigal is only in A+ ball?

2:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Get the growing pains out of the way now rather than when you’re actually competitive.

2:08
CWS: Heard anything on Burdi?

2:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Not from this spring. Velo was down in the fall.

2:08
J: Is Trackman data from private pre draft workouts held in Major League stadiums shared among all teams or is it privatized to only the hosting team?

2:08
Eric A Longenhagen: just that team

2:08
Pete not Peter: Assuming most the industry is bearish on Quantrill, do you think he is a sneaky guy to regain some velocity now that he’s had another offseason to continue to heal from injury?

2:09
Eric A Longenhagen: maybe, but I’m not betting on it

2:09
mike sixel: No longer prospects, but who do you like more for the next 4-6 years, Buxton or Sano? Thanks…..

2:09
Eric A Longenhagen: Buxton’s floor is Billy Hamilton so I’ll say him. I’m disappointed Sano let his body get to where it has.

2:10
Jeremy: How do MLB teams determine the number of affiliate / minor league teams they want to field? Will we ever see a team with two AA or AAA squads?

2:10
Eric A Longenhagen: 40-man space probably nixes that idea

2:10
Eric A Longenhagen: but yeah the lower level affiliate number is more variable depending on the size of some signing classes

2:10
CWS: With Basabe hurt, who’s the Sox’ OF prospect to watch after Ely and Robert?

2:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Luis Gonzalez

2:11
Sizzly Suzan: Margot seems like a good candidate to breakout still only 24. What say you? Can he be a table setter 300 hitter with a lot of run production? or do you think he continues to be mediocre at the plate?

2:12
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d probably cut bait on trying to get him to hit for power (look at his pull% in ’17 compared to ’18) and prioritize contact at this point.

2:13
Garrett: Dustin May has a ceiling of plus command, three plus pitches, one of them being a potential plus plus breaking ball. Those pitches are setup to get righties and lefties out. He has been healthy. If you were to give me this information, I would peg him higher than just a 55. I must be missing something here or I’m overestimating the impact future grades have on the overall score.

2:14
Eric A Longenhagen: Based on his 2018, Walker Buehler is tracking as a 60. Like if he does five more years of what he did last year, it would have been correct for us to 60 him. Does that put things in perspective?

2:14
A’s Fan #7: Which of Holmes/Howard/Dunshee would you expect to see in Oakland this season?

2:14
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d guess Howard

2:14
Cherry Berry: Someone told me just a minute ago that Shed Long is going to be a star. I don’t believe him. Do you?

2:15
Eric A Longenhagen: We 50’d Shed, average everyday player

2:15
Jim Bob: Not a q – great job on prospects week!

2:15
Eric A Longenhagen: thanks

2:16
Jason: Were scouts too excited over Scott Kingery’s 2017 and overrated him? Should he have spent more time in 2018 in AAA? Will he bounce back?

2:16
Eric A Longenhagen: I think he’ll bounce back. Lots of prospect fail during their initial trial and Kingery was asked to play out of position for much of his

2:17
Matt: Convince me Forrest Whitley isn’t the rare #1 pitching prospect? He has 4-5 plus pitches with a plus-plus being able to be thrown on the two most important(fastball/changeup). I mean how many starters have better stuff in the majors? You could count on one hand.

2:17
Eric A Longenhagen: No.

2:17
Eric A Longenhagen: Just read the report on the 100, we clearly agree with you

2:17
Charlie Hustle: New here! How does a prospect graduate from the top 100? Do they have to reach ROY eligibility (130AB, 50IP) or is it something else? Thanks, Eric.

2:18
Eric A Longenhagen: We use MLB’s rookie eligibility rules which are the quantity benchmarks you list, or 45 non-September days on the roster (which is how a lot of relievers graduate)

2:18
TravisScottFell: Do the Dodgers still have high ceiling guys in their farm system?

2:18
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, several

2:19
Guest: 2021 RHP Slade Cecconi’s commanded his fastball well, but didn’t throw it inside to either side at all last night. His curve had good break, but didn’t locate it well. I didn’t see him use a 3rd pitch.

2:19
Eric A Longenhagen: Same, watched his start on TV and thought he was good for a freshman though

2:21
Robert: How would you compare rough total offensive output (some morph of hit/power/discipline) between Canario and Connor Scott?

2:21
Eric A Longenhagen: at this stage i’m just looking for K/BB% red flags, not trying to measure anything else with stats. Canario has elite bat speed, I want that guy even if he hit .230 last year

2:22
Owen: What did you hear about Stinson in his first outing?

2:22
Eric A Longenhagen: Velo was down but it’s early and chilly, just a wait and see situation for this weekend

2:22
Draftnik: Will you be getting out to SoCal to see any HS players this spring? If so, who is on your radar?

2:23
Eric A Longenhagen: Brooks Lee, Spencer Jones, Emmanuel Dean, Damone Hale, Mahki Backstrom

2:23
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll be out there in early March to see Texas Tech and might tag some HS stuff onto that trip

2:24
NorCalNobody: Rengifo put up some pretty nice numbers across 3 levels as a 21 year old last year, does he get to the Bigs this year and do you think his skillset (bat to ball and speed) allow him to be moderately successful at such a young age

2:24
Eric A Longenhagen: I think we see him this year.

2:24
Karen Yost: Can we have the 2019 preseason top 100 archived similar to how previous top 100s have been archived?

2:24
Eric A Longenhagen: Yep

2:24
Salty: Eric – does the likely implementation of a universal DH increase Josh Naylor’s value/prospect ranking? If not, is it due to the number of quality players currently on the roster that could potentially fill that role, or that the DH change would not lead to any changes in his overall skills?

2:24
Eric A Longenhagen: Indeed it does

2:24
Gilbert: Who ends up with the best career out of Joe Palumbo, Logan Gilbert and Jackson Kowar and why?

2:25
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll say Gilbert. Best combo of stuff and durability of those three

2:25
Dan: How good of a reliever would Durbin Feltman be at the major league level right now? From what I’m reading his stuff and command are already as good as they’re gonna get and hes just wasting bullets in the minors.

2:25
Eric A Longenhagen: could be a set-up type very quickly, yeah

2:27
Jack: Lightning round of post-prospects that didn’t get mentioned in Monday’s article: JP Crawford, Julio Urias, Willie Calhoun, Jharel Cotton, Frankie Baretto. Any 50-55’s here?

2:28
Eric A Longenhagen: Anyone who graduated last year was ineligible. Cotton I’d probably 45 now, Urias I don’t know. He was 88-91 rehabbing then the velo was back in October but it was just out of the bullpen, no clue which of those to trust.

2:28
Brian : What do you think the next “thing” is in player development? We’ve gone from weighted balls, to biomechanical analysis, to Trackman/Rapsodo taking over the Twittersphere.

2:28
Eric A Longenhagen: Neuroscience

2:29
Eric A Longenhagen: and probably something game theory-related to improve hitters’ decisino making

2:29
Larry: Alec Marsh a guy?

2:29
Eric A Longenhagen: like a 2nd or 3rd round guy

2:29
Eric A Longenhagen: maybe

2:29
B: Is there any scenario where a rival minor league could arise to pay a decent wage to the players?

2:30
Eric A Longenhagen: that’d be hard to execute but I hope something like that occurs.

2:30
Nick: Any chance for Michael Matuella to still become a MLB SP?

2:30
Eric A Longenhagen: sure

2:31
Warren: How progressively should the Padres cash in prospects for immediate pitching upgrades? Should they be moving the timetable forward by trading Paddock, Espinoza, Morejon, etc?

2:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Don’t think they’d trade Paddack, Espinoza isn’t likely to be asked for because has hasn’t thrown, Morejon probably the best bet of those three to be moved I guess

2:31
Bearry: There are a lot of lists about “Who to watch in spring training” and none of them have Yandy Diaz on them and I’m very disappointed in those authors.

2:32
Eric A Longenhagen: go write something then

2:32
JaKob: Bryan Abreu was one of the few guys in the lower minors that was added to their orgs 40-man assuming because the front office believes in him. What other notable prospects from the lower minors made the 40-man that we need to keep an eye on this year?

2:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Jean Carlos Mejia, Branden Kline, Melvin Adon

2:34
LudeBurger: just finishing the pod with you and Meg. Fun one! I heard the Fullerton fan was banned from UCI, as he was a former fan of theirs. He was at games as of last year. He’s great, but I can see why some might be annoyed by him.

2:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Thanks, yeah I at least understand the impulse for parents to be that way at games, but not random, middle-aged dudes

2:35
Keith : Thanks Eric. If you were running the Rays, would you consider sending Wander Franco straight to Hi A ? He could avoid the cold and probably handle the challenge.

2:35
Eric A Longenhagen: probably not start him there but I’d push him if he rakes for a month at Low-A

2:36
DJ Tanner: What did Jazz Chisholm show in his brief AFL showing that shot him up the rankings?

2:36
Eric A Longenhagen: rare MIF power

2:37
Fangraphs Reader: Who is the best Astros’ prospect I’ve never heard of?

2:37
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m gonna guess you know Brandons Bielak and Bailey. How about Willy Collado?

2:39
NA: Why do you guys think there are only a handful of #1s in the league at any given time instead of drawing that line at the number of teams?

2:42
Eric A Longenhagen: because of how distributions within a population work. Based on the methodology you mention, either a) Scherzer is a #1 and so is the Orioles’ best pitcher or b) Scherzer is a #1 and so is the 30th best pitcher in the Majors, which is like JA Happ or Charlie Morton or someone like that, and that gap is too big for that to make sense

2:43
Hello: What star athlete in a different sport do you think would be the most fun to watch play MLB now?

2:44
Eric A Longenhagen: Serena Williams

2:44
Fangraphs Reader: Does Willy Collado throw a high spin FB/BB combo?

2:44
Eric A Longenhagen: of course

2:45
Ray: What makes the combo of short righty + high spin so hard for batters?

2:45
Eric A Longenhagen: flat plane + ‘rise’ > downhill plane with eqaul rise

2:45
Matt: How do you view Dinelson Lamet?

2:45
Eric A Longenhagen: as an 80-100 inning reliever

2:46
Eric A Longenhagen: that’ll do it for me today, see you guys next week

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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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Ben Hall
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Ben Hall

There was a question about Dustin May and Eric referenced Walker Buehler as being a 60 if he does what he did last year consistently. Unless the implication is he only makes 23 starts a year (and I don’t think that’s what people expect) I don’t think that’s true. He had 3.3 fWAR, 4.3 RA-9 WAR. Even if you round down to 3.5, then scale up to just 30 starts, we’re at 4.5 wins, which I’m pretty sure would be a 65 or 70. Not trying to be nitpicky, just don’t think Buehler was a great example there.