Eric Longenhagen Chat – 2/26/21

12:01
Eric A Longenhagen: Good morning from Tempe, AZ. Spring training is upon us. Hope folks can stay as safe and healthy as possible, please don’t fly here to see any of it.

12:02
Fate: Noticed that Will Craig and Resly Linares were not mentioned in either PIT’s or TBR’s list respectively. Time to abandon ship on them?

12:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Linares was released and I’ve never been on Craig.

12:02
Billy Beane: Will Aaron Antonini make the bottom part of the STL list?

12:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes

12:02
Not Evan: Hey, Eric. Where do you think Royce Lewis would rank on the Top 100 now, since he tore his ACL? Thanks!

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll just move him exactly where I think he belongs soon, I don’t think I need to wait to finish org lists to do it. Just eyeballing it now he probably moves close to 70th overall

12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: in front of some other high-ceiling types with injury questions, behind some MLB-ready SS types

12:04
Not Evan: I noticed Travis MacGregor dropped off the Pirates list entirely. Did you hear his stuff didn’t return well from TJ surgery?

12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: correct, and he’s barely pitched, ever

12:05
Mucho: Do you think Kelenic could thrive if he started in the majors, or would it hamper his development?

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: I bet he’d hit

12:05
BarryBondsJuicedForOurSins: Reading between the lines it seemed like you think the year off hurt Kristian Robinson more than any other guy on the top 100.

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: I think some of that is because of how much I saw ARI in the fall

12:05
szakyl: With the Indians presumably using RF and 1B to give Josh Naylor full time PAs and Jordan Luplow PAs against lefties, how would you use the rest of the PAs against righties. Try Jake Bauers at 1B again, try Danial Johnson in RF, or see if Luplow might be serviceable against righties?

12:06
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d platoon. Bauers deserves the first shot since he’s out of options. Then Zimmer and Johnson

12:07
The Darkness: Is this the year that Jerry Dipoto finally follows through on his promise to draft an “athletic, up-the-middle player” in the first? I would really like them to get one of the HS shortstops or maybe even Harry Ford…

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: no idea, it’s february

12:07
Insert Clever Name Here: As the guy who does all the prospect lists on here, how surprised were you about some of the placements on the ZiPS Prospect list, such as Shewmake at 29?

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Guys’ statistical cases are considered for my stuff, too, so it’s not unusual to see guys who have a good one on the ZiPS list.

12:08
The Darkness: Could Benny Montgomery or James Wood sneak into the top 10?

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: I seriously doubt it

12:08
Keibert Ruiz: How far into the year is it until I replace Barnes?

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: I think you’re underrating how much the Dodgers pitchers love throwing to Barnes and how relevant that is

12:08
Guest: Other than the guys you listed in your article with Kevin (Fabian, Mace, Mederos), what other takeaways did you have from the Miami v Florida series?

12:09
Eric A Longenhagen: Toral sucks and cost Rosario a much better debut start, Rivera’s body looks better, gotta figure out where Hickey belongs on the draft list, Barco velo was down from the 2020 summer, leftwitch no bueno

12:09
thy kingdome come: thoughts on Astros prospect hunter brown? does he have the pitchmix and stuff to be a solid rotation piece for them soon?

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: he’s on the top 100

12:10
El Zilcho: Have you heard any buzz on Bachman or Cusick? It sounds like their underlying metrics are pretty exciting.

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: Lotta variability on Cusick’s spin axis from 2020 (as you’d expect given his poor command). Bachmann is a lower-slot guy so not as obvious that his stuff has the bat-missing traits

12:12
Scott: Does MiLB use the same baseball as MLB?

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: each minor league ball has a different label, so I have a bunch of “Arizona League” balls from the AZL. I don’t know if the core of the baseball is the same or not.

12:13
Guest: When scouting how do you adjust for the enlarged strike zones in high school and college? Just from watching, guys like Fabian had really good takes that were called strikes which probably would have been balls in pro ball

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: yep

12:13
The Ghost of Bobby Thigpen: With all of their anticipated graduations this year, how bleak does the White Sox farm system look next year? Kelly will probably be their #1, but after that, barring a breakout from Bailey and/or Cespedes, it doesn’t look like there’s much.

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: I agree. Lotta good young players just graduated or are likely to soon

12:14
Steven!: Cubs signee Cristian Hernandez has seemingly been getting a lot of buzz. Hard to tell if there’s good reason for it, or just internet hyperdrive. Have you heard anything new about him since you last wrote up him?

12:14
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah, won’t worry about him again until I lay eyes on him

12:14
Guest: Do you think Heliot Ramos gets called up this year?

12:14
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, at some point

12:15
Guest: What sort of overall star/ok/bust distributions an org should be happy with given the collection of prospects they have.  As a weird example, how about the Baltimore pitching collection several years ago – Matusz, Britton, Arrieta, Bundy, Gausman.  Five very highly rated prosepcts, produced one elite reliever, one briefly elite starter for a different team, two ok starters, and a bust.  Was that an organizational success or failure?

12:15
Eric A Longenhagen: failure. Gotta think the baseline has some busts, but those outcomes were below the baseline

12:16
kevinthecomic: You have any intel on Hirokazu Sawamura, RP Red Sox?

12:17
Eric A Longenhagen: sits 95, all fastballs and splits…

12:19
Eric A Longenhagen: has been up to 99, splitter is hard sits low-90s, 30-grade control, really violent delivery

12:19
Steven!: Any priority evals at spring training this year, or is that not the right environment for getting good looks? (Minimally competitive, players just getting back into game shape, etc.)

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m gonna try and see how it goes. I’ll just double-up teams whose lists I need to write. So Sunday I’m doing Rangers/Royals. Fingers crossed I get something out of it, run into a bunch of KC arms or something

12:20
Asinwreck: What might have led to Norge Carlos Vera’s signing not being official until today?

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: Cuba/US relation complications and OFAC approval? Just an educated guess.

12:21
Balto: Does Kjerstad’s ranking compared to other 2020 draft picks mean that, at least at the moment, you think Baltimore’s gamble was a poor one?

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: no, because it enabled them to get Mayo and Baumler.

12:21
froglegs_jackson: Which college baseball games will you be watching today and over the rest of this weekend?

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: Clemson/SC, the entire Round Rock Classic, Vandy’s double header Sunday (likely to be Rocker/Leiter starts)

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: North Carolina to see Thompson and Roberts (two more guys who habe very little track record, out the gate hot)

12:24
Fetch: Do you think your team sources overlap with the sources at other publications, or are you each talking to different guys? Trying to better understand what drives the differences in the various sites’ evaluations, and whether you’re ‘competing’ for information. Thanks!

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: Often the org puts forth the same person (a farm director or dev person) that they want to talk to us but I try to have at least four sources on every list (this year that’s an internal source or two, a pitch data call to talk about the alt site guys with someone outside the org {typically someone from a team who has traded with the org recently}, and boots-on-the-ground scouts who saw instructs, plus whatever I saw myself or can get off video)

12:26
Steve: If you had to forecast how well Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin would do in full time short-inning-relief, which would you prefer? Both pretty clearly belong on the roster and you probably don’t want two premium arms being kept stretched out as bullpen longmen, right?

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: Gonsolin’s going to miss more bats in that role.

12:27
David: Hi Eric, after watching that video of Justice Thompson, is he a potential fifth round guy?

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: I saw one swing, he’s played in five games.

12:27
Alex: Is the 50 FV grade on Jasson Dominguez to hedge the risk/reward profile? Or do you feel that a 50 FV is the most reasonable outcome?

12:28
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s a risk/reward balance. Who do you take, Jazz or Dominguez? Their risk/reward is roughly similar, Jazz could be in the big league tomorrow. On the flip side, we know more about Jazz because of how long he’s played relative to Dominguez, so do you project positively on the areas we don’t yet understand regarding Dominguez?

12:29
lgm: does MLB coaching staff ever influence FV value? I’m thinking of Searage who used to be with the pirates and how he was talked about almost as a miracle worker with pitchers

12:29
Eric A Longenhagen: nope

12:29
Gest: What kind of velocity does Kevin Abel pitch at?

12:29
Eric A Longenhagen: 87-89 t91 last weekend

12:29
Eric A Longenhagen: that’s where he was pre-injury, too

12:29
Owen: How much volatility should we assume we will see in the top 100 this year? Like, a month into the season, are we already adjusting tonnes of players up and down by full FV grades as we get the kind of data that just wasn’t available last year?

12:30
Eric A Longenhagen: I do think a bunch of pitchers will come out with either much better or much worse stuff and will move. Hitters will take longer to notice something is better or worse since (especially with a delayed minor league season and no travel for KG or I) it takes longer for them to show statistical indicators of change.

12:31
Jeff: Any thoughts on the Pirates’ Tucker now that he’s off lists? A big switch hitting SS who is more or less big league ready seems like he’ll find work for years regardless

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: agreed, still think he has a chance to pop late because of the profile (huge switch hitter)

12:32
Skillsets: When you look at a player, how do you predict whether they have a skillset that will age well (say ages 30+) or not?  Is it a skill type, or a player type (hard working etc)?  Or is it all too hard to tell when they’re prospects?

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: Nope. I think the whole “we’re projecting to their prime when they’re 29-30” is dumb. No teams looks at a free agent and says “what were they like as an 18-year-old prospect?” so why should we do the reverse? Just through pattern recognition I think I can identify guys who’ll have athletic longevity but it’s not all that relevant to the work. “let’s draft Cameron Maybin, he’ll still be a 4th OF when he’s 33″ shouldn’t move the needle

12:34
Bruce: Any reason that Drake Fellows wasn’t others of note mention on Pirates list? Fear of lack of command making more developmental? Lack of eyes? Other?

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Have seen 3 above avg pitches from him, think his control is too poor to be on the list

12:35
Ryan Tepera’s MVP Bonus: With his impending Rule 5 eligibility, should the Pirates move Tahnaj Thomas to the bullpen to accelerate his ascent or would it be better to wait and see how the starter profile develops over a full season?

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Gotta run him out there as a starter to give the secondaries the best chance to develop. He should try a split or something

12:35
Down Unda: Curtis Mead tore up the ABL for the 2nd year in a row and just turned 20.. where would he go in the draft next year if he were in the SEC? Always curious how that translates.. thanks Eric!!!

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s super duper raw, and I don’t think he’s a 3B. Maybe 4th or 5th round? The SEC is better than the ABL (or at least deeper, their top ends are similar)

12:36
Trevor Rogers: You questioned his ability to develop a quality breaking ball. Say he did. Where would that put him on the list and how would that impact his FV?

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think he will, he’s a 50 based on the velo, cambio and command

12:38
Barry: No rush and always happy at your work Eric but when will team lists start rolling out again?

12:38
Eric A Longenhagen: Pirates came out this week, Phillies (work on which was interrupted by this chat) and Orioles next week, then back to AZ. Probably Giants/Dbacks/Rockies

12:39
rawstalk: How, if at all, will the weird 6-game series on some MiLB schedules affect scouting, development, etc?

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: Might actually make things easier to scout since you get a look at the entire rotation and six consecutive days of the hitters.

12:40
Bob: Hey Eric, I’m sorry if you’ve covered this in the past, I’m sure you have at some point, but I was curious on your thoughts about Seth Corry. I see him on some Top 100 lists near the bottom. I was a little surprised to see no mention of him at all in passing on FG (unless I missed it), so I was just generally curious on your thoughts on him as a whole.

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: Really like him as a relief piece of some kind, in that 40+ FV tier as a valuable long relief or third banana. If folks really like him then you can argue to have him on their 100 where I have Canterino/Ashby I guess.

12:42
SZ: What would Mojica need to do to climb the rankings? He crushed the DSL as a16 year old. But you’re not impressed. Could you explain in more detail. Body an position explanations diminish in importance for a player who can rake. Thanks.

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: Go look at Malcom Nunez’s page.

12:43
Owen: How much does a player’s organization factor into your ranking, if at all? Like, a Cleveland pitcher seems to have a better chance at developing well than a Pirates pitcher (especially a couple years ago). So, do the rankings tell us where you think the guy is on his development path right now, or is any of your FV based on the development context in which he resides?

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: I try not to incorporate that into the FV. If a guy gets drafted by CLE, his FV doesn’t immediately go up.

12:44
Emmanuel Clase: He was just quoted as saying he’s a closer and he wants to best out Karinchak. It’s been a while since we have seen him. His stuff is nasty And he gets a ton of gbs, but he hasn’t missed bats yet. Do you think that comes along?

12:44
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s throws a cutter which is not as conducive to missing bats as Karinchak’s riser. So no, I expected JK will be the hammer in that bullpen. Still think Clase is good, though.

12:46
Guest: please re-rank the 2020 draft top 6 as of today.  Tork, Martin, Lacy, Veen, Hancock, Meyer???

12:46
Eric A Longenhagen: those guys are all on the 100

12:46
Moose_Bolton: Hi Eric. I loved the interview last week with Luis Scott-Vargas. It’s always fun when my love of Magic and baseball come together. You said that you play as well. I’m curious as to what kind of decks and formats you lean towards.

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: i have kitchen table decks but really haven’t played in over a year for obvious reasons. I dig limited, tend to like B/G base decks, no white never white

12:47
45 blows billygoats: What is the deepest you scout? Highschool? JV?

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll be at a high school game tomorrow

12:48
Billy G: Loved the Picks to Click, especially the “This is What They Look Like” section. Great work there. What levels do you expect the two A’s on the list (Soderstrom and Puason) to be at for this season?

12:48
Eric A Longenhagen: Low-A

12:48
Guest: How much do I need to worry that the Mets PTBNL from the Khalil Lee trade might be a more significant prospect? And will Lee be worth it, if so?

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: idk but i really need to come up with a better way of tracking PTBNLs. If I put them on The Board at the bottom of the team lists, would that be cool/useful/interesting to you folks?

12:50
Eric A Longenhagen:

Should Eric figure out how to put yet-to-materialize PTBNLs on The Board?

Yes, I’d like to see that (47.3% | 18 votes)
 
No, those prospects aren’t typically good enough to care about (13.1% | 5 votes)
 
just hurry up and do the lists, schmuck (39.4% | 15 votes)
 

Total Votes: 38
12:51
Eric the Red: Do you have any worry that Jose Garcia will grow out of SS? He seems to get bigger and stronger every offseason.

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah, actions/athleticism/arm are all too good

12:51
Billy G: Were you surprised the A’s DFA’d Fowler? And then just got cash considerations and not even a PTBNL? I’m hopeful he gets a real chance in Pittsburgh

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: I guess because he was at the alt site all year I just don’t know, but it isn’t a good sign

12:51
MoonBeamMcSwine: Sam Hentges has fully recovered from his TJ surgery now and is bringing it in triple digits while filling up the strike zone..does he bull his way into the Indians pen?

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: I think so but he was touching 100 last year too and it didn’t happen

12:52
Kvn: What’s the best place to find pregame college lineups across different conferences?

12:52
Eric A Longenhagen: I comb the d1baseball scoreboard

12:53
Ken Giles Right Hook: I watched a highlight clip of TCU’s Wicks and could’ve sworn I heard your voice. Were you on the set for that game? If so, what’d you think of his performance?

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: yerp. he was good, folks can check out the stream KG and I did the other day to see video I shot and our thoughts on him and Abel

12:53
Matt (Oceanside): Hi Eric! For someone like Josiah Gray, who recently switched to pitching full time, does his FV take that into account with what he has accomplished so far? I guess I mean, does he get more credit than a guy who has been pitching 4 years in the minors with the same stat line last year (ages also being equal)?

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: yes, I think projecting on someone with that background means, all else equal, give me the guy new to pitching

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: good questoin

12:54
Shuck Bowalter: Any pitchability guys you really like that don’t have elite stuff? What does it take to get a command-forward guy to stand out as a prospect?

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: MacLeod at Mississippi State, Tyler Phillips, Nick Neidert. Helps if I’ve seen the guy carve

12:55
Guest: The top nine prospects on The Board make a complete starting lineup: C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, LF, CF, RF, SP. If you ran that team out today, how competitive would they be at the major-league level?

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: I actually think they’d do okay

12:55
Steveo: Enoli Paredes are very similar spin rates to Dustin May, do you see him missing bats at the major league level?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: totally different axis though. I think Enoli’s fastball misses more bats, still think May is the better player because of how deep into games he can go

12:56
Kate: Who do you think is more likely to develop some kind of substantial HR pop between Peguero and Gilberto Jimenez?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: Peguero, more room on the bod for it

12:56
resumeman: Any likelihood of seeing Vidal Brujan this year?

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: i think we’re more likely to see Walls if Adames gets hurt or dealt

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: message recieved. I’m off to do that now. bye everyone





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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I got a kick out of the “just hurry up and do the lists, schmuck” choice on the poll.