Eric Longenhagen Chat – 3/15/18

12:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Hi everyone. Links to all the prospect stuff can be found at fangraphs/com/prospects so let’s get started. This will be my new chat time for a while since it doesn’t conflict with minor league spring training.

12:02
Mike from Tempe: I’m going to go to Giants minor league spring training games next weekend, at their facility. Any advice on where to sit or any other pro-tips? Also when does BP happen? 1.5 hrs before game? Thank you Eric!

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: My advice is to not go to the Giants facility for their minor league spring games. It’s not a viewer-friendly place to watch games for you or I, I’m just staying away. Go to their road games.

12:03
Santa’s Reindeer: You guys listed Josiah Gray and Michael Grove as potential top 100 guys on next year’s list. What’s the biggest thing you guys are looking for from each/both of them this year that would move them up?

12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Gray would be development of a third impact pitch, Grove is a blind dart throw based on LA’s track record with injured college arms.

12:04
Anthony: Did you read Ben’s piece on the old Reds scouting reports? If so, how different do you think current scouting infrastructures look now than they did 20 years ago?

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: I have not read all of it but you can imagine how different everything is now than 20 years ago, not ‘everything scouting’ but ‘everything societal’.

12:06
Crash Davis: I’m in a league that will have the following players available in our draft: Rutschman, Vaughn, Abrams, Witt, Juan Pablo Martinez, Victor Victor, Marco Luciano. What would be your top 5?

12:06
Eric A Longenhagen: the Cubans would be my last two of that group

12:06
Crash Davis: Rumor is the next wave of baseball rule changes will implement trampolines, whiffle balls, and ghost runners. Thoughts?

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s ‘Wiffle’ and I’m all for it, because I’d be rosterable.

12:07
Anthony: You’ve been really critical of ASU’s program in the past, but they’re obviously on fire so far (albeit in nonconference), and guys like Tork and Bishop have actualized their tools in-game. Do you think they’ve done anything differently this year as a program, or is this just a stroke of luck that sometimes happens with talented players?

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: I think they have a talented lineup and I hope everyone stays healthy on the pitching side. Very interested to see how they hit against Pac12 arms

12:08
Lilith: How big is the current “top tier” of the draft and who’s in it? Obviously, Adley Rutschman is above everyone right now, but please consider the “top tier” to be Adley+everyone who is one step down.

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe just Vaughn right now but we like a lot of the top of the draft: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2019-mlb-draft?type=0&so…

12:10
RR Kevin: If Kyle Zimmer is actually healthy and further to keep him healthy he has to stay in the pen, then what would his FV be?

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: maybe a 40? Hard to trust that he continues to stay healthy even if he is right now and he’s also in his late-20s. If he’s 92-96 with a 6 slider in relief, wouldn’t you rather have a 22 yr old with that exact stuff and a better medical than Zimmer? There are a lot of those guys. Great story, I hope he shoves, but as part of the prospect coverage we have to look at him as a late-20s reliever. We 40’d Ray Black last year and his stuff is better than Zimmer’s.

12:13
DJ Tanner: Who’s the youngest prospect getting reps in Spring Training? I’ve noticed Julio Rodriguez has gotten some AB’s for Seattle (and hit well). Any other 18 or younger players?

12:15
Eric A Longenhagen: 18 and under? There have been about 30 players who have taken big league ST at-bats. Luis Garcia (WAS) has taken the most, Julio and Brice Turang have like 6 each.

12:15
12:15
Hakuna Machado: Aaron Eden has been pitching well for San Diego St so far, you thoughts on him as a prospect?

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s interesting, looked okay against Texas Tech last Tuesday. Breaking ball command was pretty advanced, as was usage. Certainly worth following.

12:16
Purple Mays Haze: You have a 45/60 on Jake Bauers‘ hit tool right now. Is he more likely to get that 45 up to 60 in AA or MLB? Wondering if development gets stunted or accelerated if ‘pushed’ into MLB…

12:18
Eric A Longenhagen: Keep in mind that’s from his report last offseason. Generally I think more dev happens at big league level than is talked about. Guys are rarely ‘ready’ from Triple-A.

12:18
PA in SC: Has Luis Urias always had the large leg kick? Has he made that work successfully in the minors. Watching him in spring training this year, I’ve been surprised at how much swing and miss is in his game for a potential 65/70 hitter.

12:18
Eric A Longenhagen: he’s had it for a while but i think his utilization of it with two strikes has changed.

12:19
Captain America: What should the Phillies look for prospect wise if they were to trade some of their outfield talent?

12:19
Eric A Longenhagen: prospects nowhere near the 40-man, they should call Cleveland about last year’s AZ group.

12:19
Pat G: Any backfield prospects really wow you so far?

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: German Marquez threw on the backfields yesterday and so everyone else looked pretty lousy. Julio looks great.

12:22
Hulk: Any out-there predictions ahead of Selection Sunday for March Madness?

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: oh that’s right, forgot that’s happening. Uhhh, Charlie Brown drops 40 on Davidson today and 35 on St Louis tomorrow, Hawks sneak in

12:23
Daniel L: Paddack seems to be getting a some swings and misses on his curve this spring. Do you think it looks better at all from last year?

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: it’s a little better, probably a 50 now

12:24
Gary: Has Logan Gilbert’s velocity come back up? I can’t find any reports on that.

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: noted he’s been in the mid-90s during sidework this spring: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/top-25-prospects-seattle-mariners/

12:24
Johnny Levin: Are there any prospects you’d already grade differently since their team list was published?

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: nope

12:25
Johnny Levin: Thanks for chatting. Relief-only guys in the lower minors who rack up big strikeout numbers, like Tarik Skubal or Bennett Sousa: dime a dozen, or legit closer prospects?

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: I think you’re targeting names too early, you want the 45 FV relief guys we have on The Board

12:26
Reid: Can there ever really be an 80 FV “prospect”? I’m thinking of someone with Vlad Jr’s AAA performance in center field or at short, but even he would have no MLB track record to bank on

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: I like to think we’d have 80’d Trout

12:26
Carl: Jhon Torres from the Cardinals has been getting some helium this offseason. Something there?

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: uhhh yeah

12:27
12:27
Stros: How does a team like the Astros handle an organizational situation like the one they have with an immensely talented major league team and a plethora of minor league talent? Surely they don’t want to trade away talent but what’s the point of having minor league talent if there’s a massive backlog preventing it from playing in the majors?

12:28
Eric A Longenhagen: they churn guys who can’t crack their active roster into long term prospects. You keep elite talents like Whitley and trade the Trent Thornton‘s of the world to teams for which that player represents an upgrade and usually take back teenagers in return. NYY has put on a clinic in this regard for years.

12:31
Jessica: Hi, I noticed you have top 100 ranks for Adley Rustchman and Andrew Vaughn and I get that we could approximate based on FV. But about where would you have CJ Abrams and Bryson Stott?

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: toward the back, maybe Abrams would be near ONeil Cruz

12:32
Johnny Levin: Who do you is more adversely impacted by the changes: lefty relievers, or two-way players?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: two-pitch relievers

12:32
David: With all respect to the Braves system of recent vintage, is a High-A rotation fronted by Gore/Patino/Espinoza the most obscene minor league staff you’ve seen?

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: it is very good, yeah. can’t think of another one off the top

12:35
Angelus Novus: How does one know beyond a spectre of doubt whether or not a ghost runner tagged up on a flyball?

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Medium Umpires

12:36
Andy Benes: Is a Royce Lewis path (drafted in the top 5, quickly on top 100’s, up into the top 20-25 in 12-18 months) a realistic model for CJ Abrams’ future?

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: yeah, that’s how you hope he tracks

12:37
Archimedes: Which division is next for top prospects lists? NLW or ALC?

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Central

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: nearly there

12:37
John Kreese: How much of a set back is Jo Adell‘s injury?

12:38
Eric A Longenhagen: No idea, very little precedent for an injury like this. He’ll probably be in AZ for a while.

12:38
Bee: Hi Eric, there has been very little written up Akil Baddoo. I took a flyer on him in my league’s NA draft last year (2 NA slots). Have an open slot and debating whether to hang on to Akil or release him…and today’s the deadline! (the NA draft is after our auction so guys like Wander Franco will be bought at the auction I should add)

Many thanks!!

12:38
Eric A Longenhagen: he’s interesting but the likely outcome is 4th OF or platoon rather than a star

12:40
GSon: Younger the prospect, the higher the potential ceiling is the consensus of most baseball talent evaluators. Doesn’t the improvements in conditioning and nutrition along with the significantly reduced cost of a players early ML career contradict this practice/theory?

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: no because it also applies to the young guys

12:41
Kiper: Hey Eric. New here! Thanks for chatting. What is the MiLB competitive equivalent (I’m sure there is no perfect measurement for this) of the talent level for D1 College Baseball to the MiLB? (ex. are teams/players in the top25 of college baseball as good as Rookie Ball, Low-A, A, or High-A? Also where would you put a league like KBO or NPB or DWL on this imaginary competitiveness scale?

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: most large conferences resemble Low-A

12:41
Avila not Avila: Has the industry taken any note of the hot start by Tommy Henry of Michigan?

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: yerp:

Michigan LHP Tommy Henry is an interesting popup college arm, covered in his blurb on THE BOARD. Velo up from 86-91… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
14 Mar 2019
12:42
Dr Frazier Crane: Which northern HS player are you most excited about?

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: Biased toward the NE preps, so Kochanowicz and Newell

12:43
Jack: Do you think Clarke Schmidt is likely to be a rotation piece?

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: yes

12:44
Chaise: What’s the discount for exit velos in college since they’re coming off aluminum? Is there a standard?

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: There probably is one but I don’t know what it is

12:46
MeDeKe: Nasim Nunez is heading up the BOARD recently. What odds would you give him to grow into 50 game power? (not necessarily counting the juiced-not-juiced MLB ball). Thanks!

12:46
Eric A Longenhagen: 5%?

12:46
Hunter: Is Cal Raleigh or Anthony Seigler more likely to stick behind the plate?

12:46
Eric A Longenhagen: Seigler but both have a good shot

12:47
Oliver: Jack Kruger showed some opposite field thump the other day. Perhaps his glove is the biggest question mark. The Angels don’t seem to have a better catching prospect, but is that reason enough to think of him as having a path to an everyday role?

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: We have him evaluated as a backup

12:47
Dave: Do the rotographs guys run their takes by you or Kiley on prospect stuff?

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: no

12:48
Chaise: Have you ever graded a bunt tool? Who’s the best bunter you’ve ever seen?

12:50
Eric A Longenhagen: Dee Gordon and Jordan Schaefer

12:50
JH: Slurve is generally used as a negative on a slider or curve, but at one point it was a pitch that guys threw on purpose. Is there such thing as a plus slurve? Does anyone currently in the minors have one?

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: breaking ball shapes exist on a continuum, right? Movement and velo are factors. A slurve, for me, would be when the shape is two-planed and the velo is curvey, in the upper-70s or so. Like I’d say Clevinger has a slurve. In the minors? Maybe Luis Patino?

12:53
Ty Cobb Salad: Mariners made a lot of noise about how they really liked Jake Fraley and Braden Bishop’s spring this year. Are they both still 40-45 4th OF types?

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: yes

12:54
Ty Cobb Salad: If you’re the Mariners, do you just sit back and watch a bunch of Ryon Healy at bats, do you play Dylan Moore A LOT, or do you consider the idea of starting JP Crawford in the majors and not messing with his service time a “show me challenge” that also makes the team better (with Beckham at 3rd)?

12:54
Eric A Longenhagen: i roll with Crawford and Beckham

12:54
Ty Cobb Salad: So, let’s say Kyle Lewis ends running pretty well, playing strong RF, making good pitch selection and solid contact with a lot of power…which seemed plausible when he was drafted…does that look like a Top 100 prospect again, or has that ship sailed?

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: If he does all the stuff you outlien he’s def a top 100 guy

12:55
Guest: Will Jesus Luzardo break on the roster?

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: I bet he’s in the rotation after they return from Japan

12:55
Weenie: Why is it that draft prospect valuations are so different at the draft than march/February? Feels like there are so many guys like Mize, Bart, Bohm, India who significantly improve their stock to go in the top 5, when they weren’t valued that highly a few months prior.

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: 17-21 yrd olds are volatile athletic beings

12:55
Weenie: What effect does moving the mound back 2 feet mid season have on offspeed pitches like a curveball or a slider when they’re used to throwing it a certain distance? Or can they adjust easily?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t know but it’s a great question and I don’t think anyone has tried to consider the answer before making the change

12:56
Ty Cobb Salad: Did you have a chance to see Swanson, Dunn, or Sheffield this spring? Any news?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: Swanson was no bueno but I can see how that fastball will play. SHeff was very good. 91-92 with sink, plus slider, plus change. have th outing here somewhere….

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen:

12:57
Ty Cobb Salad: Are you still hunting around the backfields of spring training in AZ? When is the next McDonghenhagen thing due out?

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: yep, minor league ST just started. Kiley is doing an amateur run in TX/MS so probably when he gets to ground. Our travel schedules are not conducive to regular podding, which we are regrettably learning the hard way.

12:57
Weenie: Lots of the 50 FV guys have a 40% or so bust risk. What would you say are the leading causes for that happening, whether that be injuries, makeup, bad PD, or just a lack of progression?

12:58
Eric A Longenhagen: just the layers of human failure. The player, the player dev group, the scouts, us. Lots of opportunity to be wrong or screw up.

12:58
David: Will those of us who use the standard 50-entry display for THE BOARD still be looking at 40s on page two of the Padres’ list?

12:58
Eric A Longenhagen: lol, yeah

12:58
Ty Cobb Salad: Where do you think Bishop (ASU) ends up getting drafted? Late first round?

12:59
Eric A Longenhagen: yeah, comp round probably

12:59
Fangraphs reader: The Astros list had by far the least others of note prospects. Is the system particularly shallow in those types, or is the bar to get on the list getting higher as yall go on?

1:00
Eric A Longenhagen: I just think some of roster space occupied by 35s in other systems are occupied by 35+ types in Houston’s, those arms are just better than that layer of pitching in most other systems

1:00
Ty Cobb Salad: I know there’s a lot of Julio Rodriguez buzz especially from Mariner fans desperate for a sign of help, but have people overlooked Julio’s speed? In early looks, he runs really well, and did have 9 triples in 250 DSL AB. Thoughts?

1:00
Eric A Longenhagen: he’s a 45 runner

1:00
Elon: How high can Kirby go in the draft? He is dominating so far this year.

1:00
Eric A Longenhagen: mid rnd 1

1:01
Ty Cobb Salad: What’s JP Crawford’s bat speed like? Is there any reason he shouldn’t be able to hit around 10 HR and a bunch of doubles?

1:01
Eric A Longenhagen: has a hole middle away, has had it for a while, not sure it’s fixable. Might golf out 10 and walk at an above average clip. bat speed is fine ,swing has some length tho

1:02
mike: anything on Astros GCL guy Jayson Schroeder?

1:02
Eric A Longenhagen: stuff was down in fall compared to HS season but still chance to be backend starter

1:02
Ty Cobb Salad: Rapsodo, track man, weight lifting, Tommy John, platelet rich injections, etc. are all things that players 50 years ago never really had access to. It’s not cheating- everyone can do it and it doesn’t hurt anyone- but it does mean that the numbers players put up in 2020 aren’t entirely comparable to what people were doing in 1970. Should we worry about the statistical impurities of a changing game?

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: I agree advances in medicine should change how we look at individuals from different eras and I can’t explain why we’re all collectively cool with TJ (which sometimes involves a cadaver’s ligament) and not some PEDs, but I wouldn’t use words like ‘impurity’ the same way I don’t think Elvis dancing is offensive.

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Let’s let Elvis dance, let’s let Strasburg get TJ

1:04
Mike: Will I see you at the Cubs backfields next week? And may I bug you?

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: you might, and sure

1:04
Ford: How high could a JuCo player realistically go in the draft?

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: #1

1:04
oneforthree: What state’s HS baseball reputation has improved the most in the past 5-10 years?

1:05
Eric A Longenhagen: hmmm, probably one of the states in the southeast

1:05
GQ Interviewer : Biggest personal style influence?

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: probably David Lynch?

1:07
Bob : Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm?

1:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Curb has made me laugh really hard more often than Seinfeld but Seinfeld more consistent. Guess I’d take Cubr

1:08
Ty Cobb Salad: Oh no, don’t misunderstand. I want dancing and TJ for all people. I think my question about statistical comparison across eras was probably better framed as one in which we prefer the illusion of comparison across years, but the game, and the world underlying the game keep changing and invalidate a full apples to apples assumption.

1:09
Eric A Longenhagen: And I guess what I’m saying is, I haven’t thought a lot about era-to-era comparison because it’s outside the scope of my interest in baseball. Though it’s fine if it’s your jam.

1:09
Steve : If the draft were tomorrow and given their draft history and what you know about their front office/Scouting dept, if Rutschman, Vaughn, Witt, and Abrams are the first four picks, who are the top three candidates to go to Detroit at 5? Thanks and have a great weekend….

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Riley Greene

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: and with that I shall depart. Hope everyone’s weekend gets here quickly and is lovely. See you next Friday

We hoped you liked reading Eric Longenhagen Chat – 3/15/18 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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baggy40
Member
Member

Can you expand on what was meant in the Astros’ overview in regards to “topical substances”? That seems to suggest you guys are buying in to the Trevor Bauer accusations.