Eric Longenhagen Chat- 4/23/21 by Eric Longenhagen April 23, 2021 12:16 Eric A Longenhagen: Howdy howdy from lovely AZ, where I’m debating either hanging here in the Valley today and tomorrow to see more minor league spring stuff or making a last-minute SoCal drive to see amateurs. 12:17 Eric A Longenhagen: I only have a couple days of minor league spring left and then what will probably be a little gap between that and Extended (no schedules yet), which may be the best time to skip town for amateur stuff… 12:17 Eric A Longenhagen: anyway, chat… 12:17 Toshi: I remember you were concerned about Julio Rodriguez’s approach at plate during winter ball. Has your opinion changed since then? Thanks. 12:17 Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, still thirsty for sliders. Looks leaner and is running a full grade better now than the winter, though. Still making hard contact when he picks something good to swing at 12:18 Mike: Hey Eric – when do you plan to make your next update to your draft list on the BOARD? 12:18 Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah we need to update it pretty badly. Probably within the next couple of weeks. Having only AZ-based org lists on my plate now (even if they’re deep) is just easier for me than the Florida teams, so we should have time. 12:18 Vince L.: Hi Eric, How much are prospect rankings a product of information asymmetry, as an old colleague used to say? In other words, do teams give ball writers a different take for external publications, than they have for internal rankings? And why? 12:19 Eric A Longenhagen: For sure they do, they know some publications’ rankings feed other teams’ pro scouting models and they want to influence those models. 12:19 John: Has the Rice University Baseball ship sailed, or might they return to national prominence? 12:20 Eric A Longenhagen: They can get back there, Texas is so dense with talent. Won’t be easy, because it’s also dense with good athletics programs. 12:20 Mike: Do you buy into the idea that there is a consensus tier of Leiter, Rocker, Lawlar, and Mayer” at the top of the draft? Anyone you would include/not include in that tier? 12:20 Eric A Longenhagen: Davis 12:20 Eric A Longenhagen: Henry Davis, C, Louisville, for the newbies. 12:21 AA: If he were still eligible what FV would you put on Huasker Ynoa, and would he be in the top 100? 12:22 Eric A Longenhagen: I think we’d still 45 him, which isn’t an insult. Maybe we’d 45+ him to indicate “hey this dude’s new arm slot might enable him to pop in a big way” 12:22 Eric A Longenhagen: Also, folks can access reports to last year’s graduates via this page on The Board: THE BOARD | Prospects | FanGraphs Baseball 12:22 Josh: Do you think Brandon Marsh is major league ready right now? Or would calling him up now be the Angels making the same mistake they made with Adell last season? 12:22 Eric A Longenhagen: I think he’s more ready than Adell (especially on defense) but I haven’t been in to see Angels alt site yet. 12:22 MarinersFan: any chance George Kirby arrives this year? Apparently hit 102 MPH, and is sitting 95-99 mph with his elite command. Does he have good secondaries? 12:24 Eric A Longenhagen: Had him sitting 96-99 two weeks ago, thought the secondaries were closer to average, but huge heater and three solid secondaries is still a really good rotation piece. Full report and video here: A Wednesday Scouting Notebook – 4/7/2021 | FanGraphs Baseball 12:24 Eric A Longenhagen: And yeah, if the M’s are in the division mix and he’s shoving, they should push him. He’s slated to start in Everett, so he has to climb quite a bit. 12:24 Jon G: Cubs pitching prospect Max Bain has sort of become Cubs Prospect Twitter’s darling between his story and social media engagement. AZ Phil had him throwing high 90s and dominating low-A level hitters in one of his recent reports. How likely do you think it is that he tastes the high minors this season, especially given his age (24 by year’s end)? How remote are his chances of starting long-term? 12:26 Eric A Longenhagen: AZ Phil is tireless and thorough and people should trust what he says. I start on Cubs today (if I’m not hauling ass to Long Beach) in a couple hours, and have been told they suddenly have several guys bumping mid-90s and above. 12:27 Mike: It’s early, but any thoughts on what the Red Sox might be thinking at 4? Just whoever is left over from the top guys? 12:27 Eric A Longenhagen: I think that’s an approach that makes sense at 4 and 5, yeah. 12:27 Mordecai and Rigby: Hey Eric, hope all is well. So, this year’s draft class is considered somewhat of a down year (but w/ very good depth) by most scouts. It’s pretty early, but how would you compare the 2022 draft class against the loaded 2020 draft class? 12:30 Eric A Longenhagen: Eh, I guess there’s not an Adley up top but I think there might be a thicker group of 50s than usual. 2022 is really exciting. Already a bunch of preps I could see as top 10 dudes, you have Preilipp at ‘Bama throwing lefty gas with a great curveball and healthy again, with Logan Tanner and Kevin Parada you arguably have two Henry Davis types in the class, I love Peyton Graham at Oklahoma as a long term frame projection guy who has performed in college…lots of guys 12:30 KyleKam: Did you get to see Cristian Javier last night? His starts are still pretty short but he’s really outdoing himself so far this season. Wondering if it can last. 12:31 Eric A Longenhagen: I did not. Definitely think he can keep up the rate stats at this workload but think it’s likely this workload is always the workload. 12:31 Darren: Jackson Jobe seems to have a lot helium. Where is he at for you? How does he compare to HS pitchers in recent years (Abel, Priester, Allan)? Any feel for who might be the earliest team willing to take a risk on a HS RHP? 12:32 Eric A Longenhagen: Could see him sneaking into the middle third of round one like those guys. Doubt he goes back of top 10, but maybe the lack of college hitting makes that more feasible than my gut says right now. 12:32 Lars: Hey, Eric! I know I should just be patient for the Cubs list, but can you preview how you might grade their SS candidates behind Preciado, including some helium guys like Ed Howard, Cristian Hernandez, and Kevin Made? Thanks! 12:33 Eric A Longenhagen: Pretty sure they’ll all be stuffed. Hernandez will just be where he was on the Int’l list, Made I saw a bunch of last fall and really liked him, will at least be a 40+ maybe a 45. They’re as deep with teenage MIFs as any org, including CLeveland. 12:33 Babyfarts: Did Weathers somehow bypass Gore? Haven’t really seen any glowing reports about how Gore has looked in a while. 12:34 Eric A Longenhagen: Gore threw at Padres alt site last night so maybe I can get an updated report, but I saw him twice this spring and spoke with a scout who saw him more recently than I did and we all saw him struggle with command. I still think his chances of being in the rotation, long-term, are better than Weathers’, so I’d still take Gore, but the time is coming to slide Gore down the rankings at least a little bit. 12:35 El Jefe: I am looking for a way to get a daily digest of how a watchlist of minor league players performed the previous night for dynasty purposes. I had a service that did it but got discontinued and it’s a big part of the fun. How do people in the industry find out how Gore’s start went or what Wander did at the plate last night (once games start obviously)? Or do they not care about small samples? 12:35 Eric A Longenhagen: They have proprietary system of information that they can access remotely. 12:35 Eric A Longenhagen: I wonder if Sean can make a minor league custom leaderboard, though… 12:37 Babyfarts: Do you think Freddy Peralta could join the ranks of Burnes/Woodruff or is his control too much of a problem? 12:37 Eric A Longenhagen: My shoot-from-the-hip answer is “no” but Burnes also had control issues for a couple of years and now looks like a god. 12:38 RAH: Eric! I couldn’t help but notice the addition of Tess Taruskin as co-author of the National’s list. Will this be a regular thing? And what can you tell us about her contributions? Her new contributor blurb didn’t say much about scouting/prospecting other than some video skills. 12:38 Eric A Longenhagen: She was recommended to us by a scout and will be chipping in on prospect stuff as well as writing what she wants. She has playing experience, great feel, and I bet a team hires her away from us within a year. 12:39 Darren: Do you have any feel for if a team in the top 5 might try to go underslot like Kjerstad/BAL last year? 12:40 Eric A Longenhagen: If it happens I think it’s most likely to at 1 or 2, where the haircut would be the biggest. 12:41 Rich: If Dylan Crews could be drafted this year, where would he go? 12:42 Eric A Longenhagen: top 10 12:42 RAH: Are you surprised to see both Camilo Doval AND Gregory Santos promoted already? What are your expectations for them this year and, let’s say, the next 3? 12:43 Eric A Longenhagen: I was surprised. Think they’ll be volatile relievers the rest of this year. Santos was in the top 100 so I either expect him to be a no. 4 starter or elite closer within next 3. Doval I expect will always be a volatile reliever. 12:43 MrMet: Who is the real Nico Hoerner: 2019 or 2020 (or somewhere in between)? 12:43 Eric A Longenhagen: Whichever of those two years his stats were better is the one I think he is. Dude can hit and play all over the field, he’s a good player. 12:44 Guest: Thanks Eric for all you do. I am going to be in Phoenix area next weekend. Any opportunity for me to see live minor league games or anything at all open to the public…and Whats your most likely ETA and outcome for ARZ’s Justin Martinez. Thanks as always. You da’ man. 12:45 Eric A Longenhagen: Ah, last day for teams is the 28th or 29th so looks like you’ll have just missed it. Martinez is probably a slower burn guy, has to be put on the 40 after next year, so maybe late 2023 or 2024, the earlier end of that if he ends up in relief. 12:46 JP: Randy Arozarena is walking less, striking out more, and is in the bottom 10% in xwOBA. His EV and max EV are about the same. Is there reason for concern? I can’t tell if there is anything different about him 12:46 Eric A Longenhagen: Still so early, which he’d chill instead of trying to crush everything. 12:48 Daddy Weathers: What would you FV Ryan Weathers with his improved velocity and performance so far? 50? 55? 12:48 Eric A Longenhagen: Last night I saw scattershot fastball command and only two clearly viable pitches on a guy with questionable athletic longevity for his age. Like him a lot, think the ultimate destination is in the bullpen tho. 45+ FV 12:48 Ben Schneider: Hi Eric, since teenage catching is so volatile, is there any pattern as to who sticks with the position as they get older? 12:48 Eric A Longenhagen: Anecdotally, it’s the huge-framed guys with power who pop late. 12:49 indianacardinal: Please name 5 pitchers and 5 position players that you are most anxious to scout once the minor league season begins. Your reason to want to see each player can be development, injury recovery or any other reason. 12:51 Eric A Longenhagen: Jasson Dominguez, Alejandro Pie, Michael Harris, Austin Martin, Misael Urbina 12:53 Eric A Longenhagen: Edward Cabrera, Tahnaj Thomas, Lenny Torres, Eury Perez, Roansy Contreras 12:53 SC Gamecocks: I know South Carolina lets him catch on midweek games, but Wes Clarke does not look like a catcher to me. How does he profile as a draft prospect? And with that being said, has his strong showing this Spring done enough to get him in the top 5 rounds as a stick only guy? 12:54 Eric A Longenhagen: I’d guess I think he ends up getting 300k, which is just outside the 5th round bonus area. I only saw him come in late and catch in a blowout, haven’t gotten to see him do it for a full game yet. 12:55 Eric A Longenhagen: But he’s been described as DH’-only to me. Great approach, definitely ahs strength, hasn’t touched up SEC pitching like he did before conference play began. 12:55 SJ: Which “system” would you rather have, Vandy or the rest of the SEC? 12:55 Eric A Longenhagen: Mississippi St and Arkansas might have an argument. It’s the type of thing that would take me more time than chat allows to have a real opinion on. 12:56 Vern: Is there going to be a normal DSL schedule this year? Would love to start getting data on some of the IFA players from the past two winters. How do you source that info and does it come with a larger error bar than stateside stuff? 12:57 Eric A Longenhagen: Some teams make it more of a priority to scout DSL and I will bug director-level sources from those teams for dope. TrackMan data from the DR is less reliable, the units aren’t calibrated as often. Sometimes I’m just at a game with someone who has been down there and will chat me up about it and that’s how I’m getting info. Like the prominent Yankees DSL guys from a couple years ago (Escotto, Vargas, Alcantara) were pumped initially by word of mouth. 12:58 Scott: Thoughts on Garrett Mitchell? 12:59 Eric A Longenhagen: Hits the ball hard a ton, it’s often on the ground. Think he can be a good big leaguer with his swing as it’s currently constituted but not a star, even though he has star-level tools. 12:59 John: Has George Kirby impressed with the additional velocity or is he still looking like just a potential 3/4 starter? 1:00 Eric A Longenhagen: So, a potential 3/4 starter is REALLY good, that’s a 55 FV, someone in the top 50 of a prospect list. He has impressed with that velo and looks like a potential 3/4 starter. 1:00 Todd Boss: Prospect ranking question: Nats just called up Steven Fuentes, age 23. Raced through minors, solid performance at AA in 2019 at age 21-22. Not even in your just-released nats top 22. I guess I don’t understand what the FV value is; if a guy is in the majors, doesn’t he by default make your 35+ FV rating? How is it that a guy can make it to the majors get almost no prospect ranking love from the industry? 1:01 Eric A Longenhagen: He’s in the honorable mentions. 91-93 with good changeup. Feels like a low-end up/down reliever to me. Velo is up from 2019 (just a tick or two) but is still below avg, if he can keep adding then I’ll have been light by…a half grade? 1:02 RAH: IIRC, you mentioned a velo update on Owen White recently. Could you tell us how the secondaries were? Any idea where Texas sends him this year? 1:02 Eric A Longenhagen: I was on the other side of the complex when he was throwing, I just got velos. 1:02 RAH: You were high man on Sam Delaplane a year ago. Seattle struggled but never called him up last year. I read somewhere that his velo was down last summer. Any word on how he looks this spring? 1:02 Eric A Longenhagen: He had TJ 1:03 Casey: if you catch a ballgame with someone, do you prefer they are quiet so you can notice things more, or do you like to talk about the game in front of you with that person? 1:03 Eric A Longenhagen: I’d like to be locked in. 1:05 RAH: You described Yhoswar Garcia as having one of the best builds in the minors. In what way? Pics available online look like a typical skinny teenager. Okay, lean, but has he already added good weight, or do you think be is especially projectable? 1:05 Eric A Longenhagen: Dude, that kid is shredded. He looks like an abercrombie model and I get people in this chat telling me he’s skinny. He’s going to be an absolutely yoked adult. Typical teenager? IDK what kinda teenagers you’re hanging around but a “typical” teenager where I’m from eats pizza rolls and plays Madden, and they don’t look like Yhoswar. 1:05 Tyler: On the old board you were pretty high on Khalil Watson. Due to his late HS start not much he could’ve done to change that. Is he a top 10 guy for you? 1:05 Eric A Longenhagen: Top 10 toolset for sure, I imagine some teams wanna see him perform a little more. 1:06 Mordecai and Rigby: I know Peyton Stovall has major helium and is rising, but I’m wondering how the industry feels about the level of competition he’s facing in HS. I’ve heard comps to Nick Yorke, but Nick Yorke faced better pitchers in HS and I believe the swing/hit tool was better, right? Stovall appears to have more power though? 1:07 Eric A Longenhagen: I think your thinking and mine are generally aligned on this one. Differences: Stovall is a lefty stick (that matters to me, at least) and did a little more last summer than Yorke. And I also think the number of teams targetting high schoolers whose profiles are driven by the contact piece is growing. 1:07 JV: What do you predict for Heliot Ramos and Garrett Mitchell as fantasy prospects? 1:07 Eric A Longenhagen: Heliot has more playable in-game power right now and is closer..I’d prob take him 1:08 Casey: Is Julio Rodriguez also slated to start in Everett? Thats 10 miles from my house. That should be an enjoyable watch, if true. 1:08 Eric A Longenhagen: He has been in the “Everett” lineups I’ve seen so far this spring. 1:09 Guest: What do you think of Tucupita Marcano, the Padres infield prospect? I have him on my reserve list. Do you expect him back in the majors soon? 1:09 Eric A Longenhagen: Have a utility infield grade on him. Love the bat-to-ball skills, don’t think he’ll have power. Good role player, though. 1:11 Annie: What do you think of the Mariners box scores from minor league ST games? Useful or propaganda? 1:11 Eric A Longenhagen: (hems and haws) I wanna be at a game and see ho accurate the fastball velo ranges actually are. I’m just not combing twitter enough to catch those when they tweet them, Twitter sucks and I try to avoid it. 1:12 Eric A Longenhagen: Couple more then I need to pack my sturf. 1:12 Manning: What does Matt Manning need to be a frontline starter? 1:12 Eric A Longenhagen: He may just need to stay healthy. Please stay healthy, pitchers! 1:12 Dave: Based on what you have seen of Royals camp and minor leaguers, where do you think Lacy, Marsh and Murdock start the season? 1:14 Eric A Longenhagen: Haven’t run into Murdock yet. Lacy looked fine, I wrote him up for Wednesday. Marsh looks awesome. Has held the velo bump he showed last year, was 96-97 for me, slider 86 with good angle, commanded it. Curveball easier to tell out of his hand but it’s a good way for him to pitch backwards later in starts. He’s way more buff now than in college, I buy the velo is real. Delivery is maybe a little more violent now but he was still locating when I saw him. I’m working royals list now for early next week and he’ll be stuffed good on there 1:14 Jackson: Hey Eric! I have been watching loads of baseball this year after admittedly taking a year off in the weird pandemic season last year. Just from the games I have watched so far this year, it seems. like the man-on-second rule for extra innings really favors the away team. Every game that I have watched that went to extras so far this year has ended with the away team winning. I was wondering if this is a pattern or just a weird collection of games that I have seen? 1:15 Eric A Longenhagen: Hmmm, maybe someone has written about this somewhere and I’m wrong, but my first reaction is that the home team would have the advantage, since they know what their bar to clear is in the bottom of the inning. Like, if you don’t score in the top of the 10th then I know I only need one run and can bunt the runner over. Kinda like college football OT where you kick a field goal and I know what I need to do to win now. 1:16 Guest: Just want to second the suggestion for a custom MiLB leaderboard at FanGraphs. So far we can only add MLB players. Would be awesome, thanks! 1:16 Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll bug Sean about it 1:16 Draft: Why do speed grades so frequently misalign with statcast? 1:16 Eric A Longenhagen: I care much more about home to first times than sprint speed, which I think is an inferior way of evaluating speed (though it’s interesting) 1:17 Dubious: Touting playing experience for a woman is silly. She played a different sport. Do you think people actually buy that bs? 1:17 Eric A Longenhagen: She played baseball, schmuck. 1:17 barrust: I have enjoyed your twitch streams and wondered if you plan on doing one focusing on catcher defense. What types of things do you look for to determine if a catcher is “good” defensively and what can be used to predict improvement? 1:19 Eric A Longenhagen: That’s a good idea. So much of it is pitcher comfort. A lot of what scouts and dev people think drives success back there is just the player’s toughness. Catchers take such a beating. I’m looking for quiet hands, clean catches of the pitch (rarer in college and minors, much more glaring when a guy isn’t good), lateral agility, and those leadership intangibles. 1:19 Eric A Longenhagen: Ok friends, I’ve gotta split. Take care of yourselves, see you next week.