Eric Longenhagen Chat: 3/27/20 by Eric Longenhagen March 27, 2020 1:18 Eric A Longenhagen: Howdy from Tempe. I’ve got a busy day today so I’m gonna keep this to the 45-60min territory. Hope you’re all hanging in there, executing your scientific, humanitarian and patriotic duty of social distancing relatively free of mental imbalance. 1:19 Noah: Do you have an I-Love-You-Even-Though-You-Always-Hurt-Me prospect? 1:19 Eric A Longenhagen: I assume it’ll be Monte Harrison when all is said and done 1:19 Andrew: If there is a minor league “season”, would it be played at spring training sites? 1:20 Eric A Longenhagen: I have no idea. If I did I’d report it in a way that fed my ego and sense of self importance and you’d already have heard about it. 1:20 Old guy: A few weeks ago you mentioned wishing you could have seen Barry Bonds at ASU. I got that chance during a college visit. Incredible physically. Obviously stood out even on a quality college team. 80 grade arrogance. Warmed up apart from the rest of the team. Legendary coach Brock called everyone in, and everyone but Bonds hustled over. Bonds kept playing catch with a ball boy and later sauntered in when he felt like it. 1:20 John: Do you think Justus Sheffield might unlock something with switching from a 4 to a 2-seam fastball to play off his good slider better? Or is he destined for the bullpen anyway? 1:22 Eric A Longenhagen: I think the two-seam adds length to the fastball but doesn’t change its movement shape, but that length dovetails (very literally) nicely against the shape of the slider, especially that bastard slider he located down and out of the zone this spring. The control is still the variable dictating the role, though. 1:22 Vander: Considering that sports leagues partially use expansion as a tool to provide an influx of cash (expansion fees), and that MLB has already been considering expansion, do you think this pandemic could accelerate their plans to expand to 32 teams, and maybe even beyond? 1:23 Eric A Longenhagen: Sure, assuming that’s true and keeping in mind that owners’ desire is to make more money. In my opinion the global talent baseline has come up, so to speak, and expansion is viable for other, more basebally reasons, too. https://blogs.fangraphs.com/more-data-more-prospects/ 1:23 Bored Lawyer: Is the delay of the J2 just a naked liquidity move by teams? They all know who they’re signing. Only other rationale (besides normalizing an international draft timeline) is to save some money short term. 1:23 Eric A Longenhagen: yes 1:23 PatEdMartin: I’m about 220 pages into the book. I can tell that it’s not going to be a one-and-done read for me, but more of a reference book going forward. I don’t have a chat question, just wanted to send kind words about the book. Thank you for making this weird time a little easier to deal with. 1:24 Eric A Longenhagen: Gracias. People who pre-ordered the book from the publisher seemed to have gotten it early, which means Kiley and I haven’t totally completed the visual index for those people yet, but we’re working on that now and it will be done by the release date. 1:25 Jacob: Highest upside bat and arm in the draft? Veen and Lacy? 1:25 Eric A Longenhagen: Won’t argue with those, I think Bitsko, Abel, Crews have arguments, too. 1:26 Matt: You had Zac Gallen at 40+FV last year; fantasy analysts were higher on him as a performance prospect. Given his stint in the majors, how are you projecting him moving forward? Better than the 40FV? 1:26 Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, he’s a 50 1:27 Chris: Can you expand on why Sam carelson is a 35+? He’s 20 years old and was a first round talent prior to tommy john. Is it all injury concern? Or do you/industry folks think that he won’t return to the talent level he displayed out of high school? 1:30 Eric A Longenhagen: One of the questions I ask myself as I’m FV’ing is “would I trade for this guy? or, Would I trade X for Y?” and in Carlson’s when you ask that question you have no choice but to move him down because unless you saw a spring bullpen from him (I did) or his live BP two days later (I did not) your org hasn’t had eyes on him for a couple years now. He also didn’t look great in the bullpen, in my opinion. I kept him on the list at all because of the reasons you described. I’d rather have a near-ready reliever at this point, though. 1:30 Chris: Will the red Sox losing picks be pushed to next year because of the round limitations of this year or do you think they will lose picks immediately? 1:30 Eric A Longenhagen: Great questions. I don’t know. I’d expect the Sox would rather be docked the picks immediately because everyone seems intent on limiting spending 1:31 Brendan: Do you think that MiLB/amateurs/scouts/other baseball employees should organize in some fashion so their interests aren’t just determine by owners and the MLBPA? 1:33 Eric A Longenhagen: That’d be great. Actions to prevent that from happening are as old as our economic system, the Northwestern football team being the most prominent recent example. 1:34 Chris: When will top college players like tork start signing or at least be advised by a specific agent? Also when can teams start negotiating with those agents? 1:36 Eric A Longenhagen: Not sure I exactly get the first question. Tork has been advised by Boras since at least his freshman year. Negotiations at this point are typically not occurring but that’s partially because there’s still so much baseball happening, I’m not sure if prelim talks with DET and A Player have begun, I bet not because of how the world has been on fire and stuff. 1:36 Jabroni: Did the future of baseball fundamentally change for the worse with last night’s agreement? 1:38 Eric A Longenhagen: If this is used as a cudgel to make permanent changes to amateur talent acquisition, changes that limit spending (hard slotted bonuses, an Int’l draft) then yes, at the very least you’re removing incentive for players like Kyler Murray to choose your sport any time during their career when they’re weighing their choices and desires and one of them is money. 1:38 Dominik: Could mlb use this shortened draft to establish a shortened draft to stay? Teams want to streamline player dev anyway and replace quantity with quality including a MILB contraction so wouldn’t they use this chance to establish that? 1:39 Eric A Longenhagen: ……..yes! 1:39 Dominik: A year after a 5 round draft a 20 round draft doesn’t feel that bad, doesn’t it? 1:39 Eric A Longenhagen: Eat 1/4 of your dinner tonight, then tomorrow only eat half and tell me if you’re full 1:39 kiley: whats the difference between jesus and yourself 1:40 Eric A Longenhagen: There are more than twelve people in this chat 1:40 Random JUCO player: In your opinion, how do I get my name out there to colleges when no scout is on the road scouting?-i’m a transfer from Indiana 1:41 Eric A Longenhagen: The Flatground account on twitter? Something with video of yourself online to pass around? Having velo readings (if you pitch) would be helpful. 1:42 Dilly Dilly: If Kikuchi’s FB averages 94-96 (spring training #’s) instead of 91-93 (last year’s #’s) – does he take a big leap forward? Or are the secondaries and control just meh? 1:42 Eric A Longenhagen: If he holds it, yeah, but it was all over the place last spring so I’m not sure I’m all in yet. Eric Longenhagen @longenhagen Yusei Kikuchi was 92-93 in the first inning of his debut, 89-92 in the second. Today has held 93-94 thru 2ip. Secondaries (cutter, curveball, few splits) look great. 2 Mar 2019 1:43 Brian: How does the agreement on service time impact your thoughts on Nate Pearson, Spencer Howard, and Dylan Carlson starting in the MLB? 1:43 Eric A Longenhagen: I think a shorter season means more variance and I’d take advantage of that by having my best 26 players up immediately. 1:44 Eric A Longenhagen: Dan wrote about it recently. It’s the same concept as fewer possessions in football or hoops = more variation in outcome. Why not try to take advantage of that? 1:46 Cole: Eric, hope you are doing well. Any information on Manuel Urias deep in the Phillie’s system? Thanks 🙂 1:46 Eric A Longenhagen: huge 6-foot-6 kid who threw strikes last year, heater sat 86-89 1:47 RAH RAH: Just wanted to say thank you for continuing to crank out prospect lists. They are an eagerly welcomed respite from the baseball content we are otherwise left with; writers speculative drivel of what could change with a shortened season, and Twitter videos of big leaguers homering off their toddlers. 1:49 Eric A Longenhagen: different strokes for different folks. I wouldn’t expect big leaguers (anyone, really) to be more creative or interesting during this time. Understand baseball sites are hurting and people are searching hard for what to discuss with more desperation and less precision than usual. I’m taking wiffle balls and the high speed camera to a park later today so it’s not as if you’re getting 100% serious Eric, either. 1:50 Eric A Longenhagen: but also, thanks. I’m working the Royals and Padres lists right now so look for those next week 1:50 Ryan: Do you anticipate that less HS players will be selected in the first round of the draft due to the lost HS season? How much do you see this impacting the stock of a guy like Howard? 1:53 Eric A Longenhagen: Great question and one that I’d like to have shoehorned (does anyone still use shoehorns?) into last night’s post if I had room. I think there’s probably a different answer for each player whose varsity season hadn’t yet begun. For Howard, most of what we needed to know about him we learned last spring. How he does against prep pitching in Illinois is less telling than how he did against elite guys last year. As long as his body hasn’t changed dramatically, a lot of the performance-based evals are done. 1:53 Eric A Longenhagen: But for others, like Nick Bitsko, it’s tougher for teams to have a real idea and their stock may be hurt by a lack of confidence. 1:54 Eric A Longenhagen: That was supposed to be the case with Tre Fletcher last year but the Cardinals were one of few teams who felt really comfortable with their look at him, so they popped him. ALl it takes is one. 1:56 Chris: Why didn’t the league allow trading of draft picks for one year only as a test since there are only 5 rounds? 1:57 Eric A Longenhagen: Ooooh that is a great idea. Sadly, the recent alterations to the draft process have sucked nuance and creativity out of the process and at this point I think MLB prioritizes simplicity over things that might stir public interest in the process. 1:57 Brandon: Are there significant hit tool concerns with Austin Hendrick and Jordan Walker? Or are you fairly confident in their hit tools? 1:57 Eric A Longenhagen: Hendrick is scary to me. He’ll slide when I update the rankings. 1:58 Cole: Does Davis Wendzel remind you of Youk in any ways? 1:58 Eric A Longenhagen: Not really because Youk was such a unicorm from a skills and style perspective. But I do like Wendzel a lot. 1:58 Ryan: Do you think Hancock could fall out of the top 5 after his mediocre start to the season? 1:58 Eric A Longenhagen: Meh, that’s about the floor. His stuff was fine in his last few starts and he has a more traditional mechanical look than Lacy, whose stuff is better. 1:59 Brandon: How much of an impact will the lost season have on a guy like Garrett Crochet who has yet to prove he can start? 1:59 Eric A Longenhagen: Yup, that’s another total wild card. Crazy stuff, was hurt. 1:59 Ryan: Does Max Meyer have enough command/durability to make it as a starter or is he a likely reliever for you? 2:00 Eric A Longenhagen: I lean reliever based on my look this spring, but it was his first start of the year and it might be wrong of me to expect him to hold stuff/command for five+ innings at that point. I was low on Lodolo last year based on my Feb look, recuerdan. 2:00 Jeff: Pete Crow-Armstrong – is he more Moniak as a prospect or does he have the power to be an elite? How does he compare to Kelenic coming out beyond less power? 2:00 Eric A Longenhagen: I think there’s some Rutherford swing similarities that are scary but he’s also a better defender than Blake 2:01 RAH RAH: One of my 1st thoughts after reading your article on draft changes… funneling more players through college athletics is going to punish players without the money to go to college. Scholarships are not the answer so long as partial scholarships are the norm in college ball. 2:01 Eric A Longenhagen: Agreed, baseball players should have full scholarships 2:02 Guest: Super fun read for everyone: https://www.theringer.com/mlb/2020/3/27/21196338/baseball-reference-mo… 2:02 Cove Dweller: Will the shortened draft this year and/or the smaller drqft bonuses lead to more guys going overseas like Carter Stewart? 2:02 Brandon: Is there any chance of an mlb combine this year? Maybe even a small tournament to evaluate the top prospects? 2:02 Eric A Longenhagen: I mention both as possibilities in my piece that ran this morning 2:02 Jim: My question now is why move the draft back? 2:03 Eric A Longenhagen: So that it’s not taking place at the same time a lot of people around us have just been sick or died and that’s all we’re talking about. 2:03 JV: Bracho. No position but the cat can hit. Taking defense out of the equation, what do we have with him? 2:03 Eric A Longenhagen: He’ll be a 40+ on the CLE list 2:03 Will: If I pointed at Brice Turang at the 2016 Area Code games and read you the most recent prospect report you wrote, how would you react? 2:04 Eric A Longenhagen: I’d say it meant he was the exact same player, which is semi-disappointing. 2:04 Keith: First hs arm of the board? 2:04 Eric A Longenhagen: Abel 2:05 Keith: You are higher on crews than most publications. What sticks out about him for you? Do you view him as risky? 2:06 Eric A Longenhagen: Hitting posture. This is totally anecdotal but I think guys who are bent at the waist and hang over the hitting zone (Trout is a great example) have natural plane through the zone that enables power without sacrificing contact. Crews has other issues and the other pubs are reasonable to be lower than him if they indeed are, but I think he has rare talent and bug upside. 2:06 Keith: Will there be more or less teams trying to work under slot/over slot deals this year? 2:08 Eric A Longenhagen: Unknown. Among things cut from my piece this morning are the four theories sources had as to shenanigans teams might consider, including frontloading their entire pool and taking underslot guys rounds 3 through 5, or punting picks and rolling them over to next year when you can be more creative over a longer draft. 2:08 Kramer: Kodi Whitley has me intrigued. I’ve heard his ceiling as a late inning setup guy. How far away from that ceiling is he right now? Could Cardinals fan expect to see him in the majors early in the season and perform similar to how STL has used a lot of their young RP prospects (Boq 2:09 Eric A Longenhagen: Def has typical late-inning stuff profile when he’s throwing hard. 94-97 from vertical slot, breaker has that downward action. He wasn’t throwing as hard in the fall and is a softer-bodied guy. 2:09 Jeff: What makes Brice Turang a better prospect than Aramis Ademan? 2:09 Eric A Longenhagen: Dude, Ademan’s body has gone way, way backward. 2:09 shoehorn user: I use shoehorns! 2:10 Jeff: I wince everytime one of my Ademan homer questions breaks through. Nothing good can come! 2:10 Eric A Longenhagen: I bummed about it, too, I stuck my neck out with that eval. 2:11 Eric A Longenhagen: And with that I will bid you adieu. Hey, you, all of you, take a deep breath at some point today. Enjoy your weekend however you can. Maybe consider limiting social media time (it helps me, idk)? Anyway, please be well and come back next week. Thanks for stopping by.