Eric Longenhagen Chat: 4/17/20

12:01
Eric A Longenhagen: Howdy, everyone. I’ve gotta record Effectively Wild a little later so once again I’m holding tight to the hour (book release week and all that), so let’s get right to it.

12:01
Greg: What’s your plan with J2 rankings? Any plan to delay it since the signing deadline could be pushed back?

12:02
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s low on the priority list right now. I imagine the top of the class which is currently already on The Board will change very little, if at all, with an update. Update will be more about adding names.

12:04
J: Daniel Cabrera seems to be dropping pretty rapidly on a lot of boards. Is it because the underlying batted ball data on him isn’t great, and the threshold to provide offensive value in an OF corner is so high?

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d guess the latter but I’s add that this class is just very good and he may have been passed while his profile remains the same. I think that question is better suited for someone who has moved him down, though. I like him the same as ever.

12:05
J: How do you evaluate someone like Landon Knack who has a very atypical dev path (only been a full time pitcher for two years, questionable frame), but seems to have made an adjustment to his posture (leaned back) that has led to an uptick in velo and results as a senior? Anecdotally he seems like a guy who could have weirdo upside, but the profile might not scream it initially.

12:09
Eric A Longenhagen: Right so for those who don’t know, Knack pitches at Eastern Tennessee State and has 50 strikeouts and 1 walk in 25 innings this year before the shutdown. And you’re right about the posture thing, his stride is a little more open now, his arm slot more vertical, velo is in the mid-90s. But he is a senior. He might be the top priority senior in the country this year, but even Jake Mangum signed for $20k last year so I’m not sure what teams will be willing to offer Knack. I’m not sure what kind of TrackMan sample is available on this guy since he’s at a smaller school, but he has 40+ FV stuff and results.

12:10
J: I saw some numbers that indicated that Warming Bernabel and Michael James had good exit velos. Are they legit prospects for Colorado or just more polished than their DSL peers?

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: let me check what I’ve got on those two guys….

12:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Neither was on my Rockies org list (and I flag guys for exit velo)…

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: Bernabel I’ve got averaging 80 off the bat, which is a 20 on the scale

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: James I have averaging 83, which is a 35.

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: So, while I certainly have prospects on The Board who only hit it that hard at this time, their exit velos are not good and so I wonder where what you read comes form.

12:13
The Islets of Ryan Langerhans: In a recent article, Law and Eno broke down the 5 tools, and when discussing hit tool, they felt a need to incorporate quality of contact beyond hit/no hit, both from a scouting and analytics perspective. In this way, the hit and power tools seem to overlap. My related theoretical question: does a legit .350 hitter who only hits singles have an 80 grade hit tool?

12:14
Eric A Longenhagen: There are thousands of words on this in the book. I agree power impacts how the hit tool plays, just look at Jose Iglesias. Selectivity impacts it, too. Same way contact ability and approach impact game power. There’s no real way of isolating that stuff if you’re only using results to measure them. In the book we take a reductionist approach.

12:14
Jason N: Do you have a book recommendation for a 10 year old?

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Hmmmmm. Let me caution you by saying I’m not a parent and believe I’m ill-suited to be one, so I recommend all of the Larry Flynt biographies.

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: No, let me think of something actually useful…

12:17
Eric A Longenhagen: Holes, I remember liking that one

12:18
Eric A Longenhagen: (totally unrelated to Flynt, I swear, it’s fine to google)

12:18
J: You alluded yesterday to some concern over Texas’ pitching development, but given the inconsistent progress of Taveras, Thompson, and Tejeda what do you make of their PD system as a whole? Does Blood only lasting 1 year indicate trouble at the top levels of the org as to best developmental practices?

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t know that they’ve had trouble developing pitchers as much as they’ve had trouble keeping them healthy. The Blood stuff and Driveline flirtation that crumbled in an ugly way, I agree, indicates a lack of stability. I don’t think pointing at those three OFs constitutes evidence, though. Those guys just strike me as high-variance sorts anyway, guys whose K issues (bubba and tejeda’s) were likely to make things messy at some point.

12:20
Jabroni: Do you think teams will get a look at players via showcase or personal workouts before the draft?

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: players have a portal to which they can post video for all 30 teams to see. I bet that’s it.

12:21
bk: Hey Eric! When’s the next draft update?

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: Early next week, next thing I do after Rangers list as promised.

12:21
Bob: I was intrigued by your comment on Gabrial Arias in the SD list. You said SD had thrown many kinds of development strategies at him and it seemed to be working. Could you expand on those strategies and what working looked like? Thanks.

12:22
Eric A Longenhagen: The most interesting thing I was told they did was use virtual reality to get him seeing a ton of pitches during the offseason.

12:23
Father Padre: Can you explain what an 80 FV really means? The expected value of a top 5 player seems illogical for anyone in the minors.

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s not something I anticipate doing a lot, but I also think there’s a gap between Franco and what our 70 FV guys did in the minors from a performance standpoint (vlad, etc.) that needed to be reflected, and *some* of these guys are going to be truly elite big leaguers, and I think this is one.

12:25
Frank Menechino: If there is a shortened season, could the A’s benefit by not needing to worry about “preserving” Puk and Luzardo for the playoffs over a full 162 games?

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes. Montas’ workload less of an issue, too.

12:26
Matt: How likely is it that Josh Jung is able to get to his power? With his current swing how many HR does he project for annually?

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: If he hit more than 20 annual homers with his current swing I’d be surprised. Could be as simple as changing his angle of attack like what the Sox did with Robert, who also had a tendency to inside out balls before they did it.

12:27
Juliana: Can you expand on the Yerry Rodriguez ranking from your Rangers farm system piece? It’s very different from what I’ve read on him elsewhere earlier this year (he wasn’t discussed much compared to Solak, Tavares, etc) and I’m curious what the difference is. Did you see him a lot this Spring?

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: I guess, I think the report in the piece is pretty thorough. Mid-90s with plus spin, has had advanced command in my looks, fastball has bat-missing tail to arm side and his delivery’s funk is off-putting for hitters without impacting his ability to locate. Changeup is already good. Curveball has pleasing movement and some present utility (backdoor for strikes) but is slower than most truly effective curveballs. I’m making an abstract projection based on his ability to spin the ball (2700rpm on the curveball, which is plus) that either that curve gets changed to something with more power or he adds a fourth effective pitch like a cutter. The mid-summer shutdown scares me, but at ahe 21, with that stuff, he’s not all that different from a lot of college arms we’re talking about at or near the top of the draft who are typically 50 FV players.

12:31
Cody: Which pitchers in the draft outside of Lacy/Hancock have the highest ceiling in this draft?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: Crochet’s stuff gives him that kind of ceiling (the delivery and 2020 injury are scary tho) and Bitsko, Abel and Winn probably have the biggest ceiling on the prep side.

12:32
Hey Eric: I have a giant excel sheet of prospects that I typically sort by FV. How would you recommend I adjust FV for people who haven’t had it updated in a few years (eg Logan Warmoth is a 45 FV still)

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Warmoth is totally off my list, he’s an org guy at this point. The Board is what you’re looking for, I think.

12:33
Sir Nerdlington: A publisher and I are trying to name my book. How’d the Future Value title come to be? It seems obvious, but that’s not always the case when you have a blank cover sheet.

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: We struggled with the title, too. We just giggled at how brazen it was to name the book after FV (which we knew we were going to talk about in the book) and thought it’d be good for the site.

12:35
Guest: Do you consider age-related production as being very important in prospect eval.? Like Is torkelson a better producer/potential ceiling than Vaughn long term (based on Tork age 19 season)?

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah I think in some situations we need to look at it with more context (for instance, I’d consider players old-young on three scales: age, reps, and body) but I do think it’s important, more for hitters though.

12:36
Murdoc: Are you going to be keeping a closer eye on the KBO than normal?

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: yes but it’s lower on my list of stuff to do with free time than cramming for the NFL Draft

12:37
Julian Casablancas: Are you a fan of the Strokes? You digging The New Abnormal?

12:38
Eric A Longenhagen: Like them a lot, haven’t gotten to the new album yet. I’ve been on a King Gizzard and Gary Numan binge (Replicas is dope)

12:39
Zack: What are your thoughts on driveline?

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: That the company is comprised is extremely hard-working and intelligent people who generate real results, and the camaraderie I’ve witnessed there is amazing and nurturing, while I sometimes disagree with their “move fast & break things” style because I think it results in unintended consequences that impact our culture negatively and I think some of their half in/out jobs create conflicts of interest.

12:44
Matt Chapman: Saw you questioning if my arm was 80 grade in a recent chat. Isn’t my arm the key to my unique positioning (10 feet further back than average 3B) and defensive dominance?

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: Perhaps, I would have guessed your incredible ability to come in on slowly-hit balls and fire strikes to first is what enables you to play back. Playing back like that means you have to backend, plant, and uncork lasers less often, not more.

12:45
Blake: Would you consider Crochet or top hs arms more risky?

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: Crochet. Delivery scares me.

12:45
Andyman: Kohl Franklin about to shoot up your CHC board, or was the sample size too small in Eugene to validate a skill improvement?

12:46
Eric A Longenhagen: Changeup is a real out pitch, definitely moving up.

12:46
Sir Nerdlington: This season will change scouting forever right? Teams relying more on video, pushing even more of the costs to be seen onto the players (travel to regional tournaments, etc.). Ultimately all families will be almost required to buy their own Rapsodos and Edgertronics to tweet their underlying metrics at teams in order to be seen or am I going to far?

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: The notion that families need a Rapsodo for their kid is probably too much, but I do think this is going to catalyze real change to scouting, changes a lot of teams were looking for an avenue to enact and now have one.

12:47
Drewsipher: Not gonna pretend this isn’t a fantasy question, but who would you pref between Braden Shewmake and Greg Jones?

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: For fantasy it’s pretty easily Jones.

12:47
Mucho: Do you think the Orioles try to go below slot at 2? Veen or Gonzales make more sense if that’s the case?

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: If they have a bunch of players evaluated the same then yes, that was Elias’ m.o. in Houston

12:48
Teddy Ballgame: With the Dbacks signing Nick Ahmed to a 4yr extension, do you think Geraldo Perdomo moves to 2B?

12:48
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah, I bet he plays some 2B for the sake of versatility but not because of Ahmed.

12:49
Hinkie: Do you like Brandon Aiyuk (Arizona St.) for the Eagles?

12:50
Eric A Longenhagen: Too rich in round 1.

12:51
Mike: Any chance that all minor league Trackman info becomes publicly available? All teams seem to have everybody else’s data, so what’s the point of the secrecy?

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe? I’m surprised what I have on The Board has been the only public attempt to do anything comprehensive with that stuff.

12:51
Busker: What’s your estimate of the likelihood there’s any 2020 season, and how has it changed recently?

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: I still think it’s greater than 50/50 that we have baseball but (and folks, this is just my dumb human gut combined with relative disillusionment about how we collectively handle crises) would say that my internal odds have fallen in the last week.

12:53
AL: a few terms in the book that i highlighted and would like clarification on: 1. getting a guy “Cross checked”, 2. helicopter swing (Wander), 3. Halladay’s “one-piece” arm action

12:54
Eric A Longenhagen: making note of these for the visual index

12:54
Teddy Ballgame: Is there a high likelihood the Rangers organization modified Jung’s swing over the offseason to get to his raw power? Have you heard anything in that regard?

12:54
Eric A Longenhagen: No based on what I saw in the spring

12:55
Xavier: What are the chances of a MILB season this year? My team sucks and I want to see our prospects develop!

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: Very small. I think a de facto Triple-A team will need to play on the backfields in the event of MLB injuries and that we’ll have some kind of extended fall league, but nothing at affiliates.

12:56
Bernabel/James: Apologies, I was looking at estimated fly ball distance not exit velo

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: I have each of their *actual* average flyball distances at close to 300ft. Where’s this coming from?

12:58
Salty: Eric – how is Arizona life these days? In New Jersey, all the parks, beaches and golf courses are closed, and there’s lots of Whattsamatta Yous to anyone not walking around with a mask. Are people still enjoying the outdoor life out there (golf/hiking/etc.), or are things pretty restricted?

1:01
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve left my house for food and to exercise, that’s it. My Tempe suburb neighborhood has had more walkers/runners than is usual, sometimes a group of college guys who clearly live together will play bocci ball at the park near me, which isn’t a great look but if they’re living together it doesn’t matter. Downtown Phoenix is a ghost town. I’d say mask use is 50/50 right now. Our problem here is the rate of testing (low, varying day to day) and data generated by it, which has been hard for analysts to clean before really analyzing.

1:01
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d suggest people on here follow Garrett Archer on twitter. He’s a local quant covering the spread here, which has implications for baseball.

1:01
Paul: Do you think a team trades up to the 3 spot to grab a QB? And for who?

1:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Only if someone has one of Herbert or Tua well ahead of the other *and* has the pick ammo to move up, which I think is unlikely.

1:02
BarryBondsJuicedForOurSins: I’m still obsessed with your Tahnaj Thomas/DeGrom comp. No question, just saying.

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: I wouldn’t call it a comp as much as I’d say if you trace deGrom’s career backward it goes through a vein that Tahnaj occupies right now, and he’s maybe the only one in the minors for whom you can say that.

1:03
Carlos: O/U Indians list: 42?

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: ooooooh, let me see

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: over

1:04
Jeff: RHP Alex Santos…did he have a shot at Grayson Rodriguezing his way into the firstbefore shutdown?

1:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, like any really lean, projectable low-90s guys with breaking balls, there was a chance he filled out over the winter and came out chucking mid-90s heaters and climbed the board.

1:06
Eric: Seems like your report on Maximo Acosta was more optimistic than what you’d expressed previously. Anything change?

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: I was just pushing back against the Gleyber Torres comps people in my chat queue kept making and, based on their omnipresence in other publications, are likely to have come from a source with the Rangers which is clearly not objective.

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay, I’ve gotta roll. Hope everyone stays healthy, even 172.58.37.112. See you guys next week.





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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Ken Giles Right Hook
Member
Ken Giles Right Hook

Doesn’t Luis Patiño track along with deGrom as well? He’s only been a professional pitcher for 3 years now? And is 20 years old.

SenorGato
Member
SenorGato

No clue, but Patino looked awesome in ST. I am on the wagon as a SP