Eric Longenhagen Chat- 4/3/2020

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Howdy, friends. Let’s do our baseball chat.

12:17
Earl: If there is a 2020 draft in the current modified form, do you think it’ll be more beneficial or less than the typical draft for a team like the Giants who have multiple high picks? With talent pool that’ll be available, other teams’ strategies.

12:19
Eric A Longenhagen: Uhhhhh, I suppose I don’t truly know but my knee jerk reaction is that it’s bad for creativity (like there’s no way to execute what the Braves did last year, for instance) and teams picking a bunch in the comp rounds are the ones best positioned to be creative in a typical year, so those are the teams most punished by the inability to get creative.

12:19
B: What range might Jesse Franklin go in? He seems to have that ideal spine angle (ie bent close to 40°) that is conducive to a steep plane/attack angle. That sort of mechanical profile coupled w/ the possibility that he sticks at a premium position makes him seem like one of the more interesting “sleeper” college bats IMO.

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: I like Franklin. He’s relatively positionless but I agree he rakes. Does that guy get a medical redshirt in addition to his extra COVID year of eligibility? And does he use those multiple years of leverage as a reason to return to school for another year?

12:21
More Quarantine Please!: I’ve noticed that a popular type of question in Fangraphs’ chats is the best way to get a job in baseball. I thought people might like to know that Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors has a good article up today with feedback from multiple actual MLB execs:

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: Good link. There’s a Kiley-driven section of Future Value that has job-related discussion, too.

12:22
Brandon: Where would Yoelkis Cespedes rank on the draft board?

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: In the 35+ tier unless something substantive about his feel to hit has changed since I last saw him, which i guess is possible.

12:24
Purple Mays Haze: If there is no MLB/MiLB season, by how much do you think prospects’ “development” is held back? Less than a year…like half a year?

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: I think we’ll see some kind of fall dev league here in AZ, like a longer fall league situation. That’ll give maybe a third of a season of reps to a certain layer of player but everyone else probably loses a full year.

12:25
Bob wehada baby itsaboy: Does a “helicopter finish” have any relationship with being able to do a certain thing well? Like does it tell you they have super quick hands, good whip, or anything?

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s just a colorful descriptor, though finishing that high probably means you have lift in the swing, too.

12:27
froglegs_jackson: is your impression of White Sox player dev that they’re still in the stone ages?

12:28
Eric A Longenhagen: No, there are signs of life. LouBob attack angle change chief among them.

12:28
Hey Eric: You should lobby to have fangraphs include your blurbs in the prospect player profile page a la the fantasy profiles for major leaguers!

12:29
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah I might have to coordinate with the fantasy folks and check with Meg and David and Sean about whether it’s cannibalizing The Board/lists but that seems doable

12:30
Jake: In a normal year with a full season, what would a D3 pitcher have to do to get drafted top 10 rounds? Sit 93-95, with a plus offspeed and 1 or 2 average offspeed with average to above command?

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: I think a half grade lighter across the board still goes top 10 rounds. Nick Garcia from Chapman (was throwing really hard in the fall, not as hard when I saw him in Feb) is basically a layer beneath what you described and I’d guess he would go later Day 2.

12:31
John: How comfortable would you be taking Crochet in the top 15?

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Un

12:31
Jabroni: Do you think this is a good year for the Tigers to underslot 1-1. In a short draft their money pool is even a bigger advantage over the other teams. If they took Veen 1-1 do you think they could push someone like Hassell or Bitsko to the 2nd round?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: I think if you do it (you’d have to have Tork, Martin, and one or two other guys evaluated pretty much the same) then it’s because you think you can land a big fish in rounds two and three, not just two.

12:33
Tom: What do you look for in hitting and pitching mechanics?

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: There are whole chapters about this in the book, but the chat-length answer is grace, balance, athleticism, controlled variability.

12:33
Stan: How do you learn what an 80 grade pitch is? I understand that velo etc are the indicators. But is it just experience of being at games etc? Thanks and stay safe!

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah you just have to see it. Seeing guys like Cole, Strasburg, deGrom and Chapman live has been instructive.

12:35
Jeff: I’m very curious about HS LHP/1B and future NCAA intern with Clemson, Cayden Grice. What kind of tools does he have as a hitter?

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m a big Grice fan. Huge frame, really athletic swing, great defensive footwork and hands.

12:37
Keith: Casey Martin is typically rated pretty highly on draft boards. Am I alone in thinking his profile is terrifying? Hit tool seems more volatile than any other 1st round prospect…

12:38
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah his approach is bad. He’s in the Jeren Kendall bucket. Can’t imagine him falling out of round one because he’s so talented.

12:38
Cliff S: 22 days in a full quarantine. Glad to have some baseball to discuss. Who is your favorite under the radar prospect?

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: Depends on you radar. Let me check my internal DB very quickly and see if a name I didn’t write up catches my eye….

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll give you a few. I like Josh Tols from Philly. Soft-tossing reliever with a 70 curveball.

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: Daniel Cope with the Rockies. Polished catcher from Fullerton, above-average arm and glove, doubles power.

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: Zach Neff from the Twins. Really heavy tailing sinker lefty, just a tough look for LHBs

12:44
PatEdMartin: Trying to take a positive outlook on recent news with the draft and college baseball: If there is a return to normalcy by the time the next college season rolls around, do you see this predicted bump in talent across the board as something that can finally push it into the mainstream?

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably not (sorry, sorry). I want it to, but I doubt a bunch of 6th-10th round types going back to school is what moves the needle. Now, three years from now, when all the high schoolers who would have signed for $500k-ish are juniors and a bunch of them have developed into top 50 type talents, *then* we might really have something. I also think streaming access is a big part of the equation.

12:46
Tyler: How has this shutdown impacted your ability to evaluate draft prospects? Do you` feel any less confident about your ability to scout these players?

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll have seen less of this draft class than is typical for any other year and, full stop, I’ll see less baseball this year than in any year since 2007. I’d rather have the in-person looks than not, of course.

12:47
Zack: Is it crazy to think Zac Veen could be the most talented player in this draft?

12:48
Eric A Longenhagen: No, as long as you’re clear-eyed about his risk versus Tork/Martin.

12:48
Jeff: That comment you made about Brady Singer‘s confidence and demeanor made me alot more interested in Singer again. I believe confidence separates people almost as much as actual skills do, maybe itself is a skill somehow. Does makeup play into ceiling discussions?

12:50
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, it’s pretty rare for an elite player to not also be kind of a hard ass. I’ve got 20 minutes of Singer pitching in his first instructs on Youtube and you can see what I’m talking about. It’s freaking instructs and he’s clearly miffed at the ump several times during the outing.

12:50
Eric A Longenhagen:

12:50
RIP Ed Farmer: When do you expect MLB to announce scheduling changes for the 2020 season?

12:52
Eric A Longenhagen: I think anything like that needs to be pushed until after we experience this wave of illness, would be tone deaf otherwise. “Hey, we know tens of thousands of you are critically ill but spring training starts in 8 weeks.” is a bad look. Everyone is just focused on doing their civic earthling duty of staying home right now.

12:53
Cito’s Mustache: If the season is significantly shortened, or outright lost, is Rule 5 eligibility affected?

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: A great question. I’m not sure.

12:53
Dean Machine: What are some examples of players (boom or bust) that were as hyped as Erick Pena before playing a professional game?

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: Jasson DOminguez, Maitan, Robert Puason, Ronny Mauricio, Vlad Jr., Eric Pardinho was hyped too…lots of dudes in the 45 or better FV range. Pretty common to have

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: …a few of these every year

12:55
BarryBondsJuicedForOurSins: Batman or Iron Man?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: Batman is the only comic book character I care about, I’ve never seen an MCU film.

12:56
Joe: What is the function of a pro scouting crosschecker?

12:58
Eric A Longenhagen: Crosscheckers see players after lower-level scouts and file a second report on that player, which occurs more often on the amateur side. “Pro xchecker” is more likely to be a title that enables a scout to be ‘promoted’ even if their job is relatively similar to what it was before they were given that title. I’d guess it’s a Rays thing. Those folks see a lot of the same players.

12:59
Lark: Which lists are up next after the Padres?

1:00
Eric A Longenhagen: Rangers will close out the Sun City cluster, then it’s on to the West Valley for Reds/Indians/Dodgers/White Sox

1:02
Lark: I’ve really enjoyed the new pitch recognition and bat control numbers on the board. How much can those traits develop during a prospect’s career? Seems like The Angels/Marlins approach to stocking the system with athletes leaves them with a lot of low numbers here, and I’m curious how much that might change.

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s part of why I started incorporating it, honestly, to try to track it year-to-year and see if anyone gets better and, if so, why?

1:04
Big League Choo: Is the hit tool/batting eye under-rated by most people compared to flashier skills like speed and raw power? It seems to me I’d take the guy who can lay off bad pitches everytime. Or maybe I’ve just been burned on “toolsy” prospects too many times? I ask this as a Braves fan worried that Pache is fast and strong with the jury out on his batting eye.

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah some of that is fantasy baseball driven since power and speed are so important. Approach is a huge variable.

1:04
RT: The 2020 draft class has been labeled by many as best in years with the depth, but the top is lacking in 55/50 FV guys. With limited games this season, what are odds we see more 50 FV on the BOARD before the draft? 2019 had 7, 2018 had 12.

1:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Typically that number climbs as the spring rolls along and confidence in evals grow. I’m sure a couple guys will get a bump, though.

1:05
the board: rumor has it Wilmin Candelario worked out with Wander Franco this offseason and put on nice muscle, was that part of your consideration for his valuing?

1:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Twas not, I actually didn’t know that.

1:05
Duchhess: Brief look from spring give you any hope that Corbin Burnes is still a starter?

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes but something has to be done about the way he supinates at release or his stuff is just gonna keep cutting on him….

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: https://streamable.com/0gwnp

1:08
Eric A Longenhagen: See how his hand is coming around the outside of the ball when he throws this two-seamer? That’s supination and it’s how you create cut, but for a lot of pitchers that’s sub-optimal.

1:09
sodo mojo: You mentioned that the Mariners pitcher development progressed recently in their top prospect list. What specific changes have you seen?

1:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Improved pitch design, a bunch of guys throwing harder coming out of Gas Camp, dudes plucked from nowhere who suddenly have trade value.

1:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Let me see how fast I can get a slow mo clip up so you can see the difference between Burnes and what a stock Mariners arm looks like….

1:12
Duchhess: The write up for Darryl Collins seems to imply a very exciting prospect, but the tool grades don’t look exceptional and the (small sample) stats don’t jump off the page. Interesting background (Netherlands)….think there is an opportunity for a big jump if he starts to perform?

1:12
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s a skills/body projection guy I like, so yeah.

1:12
Bob: What kind of upside does Wilderd Patino have? Table setter offensive profile or enough pop to hit towards the middle of a lineup?

1:12
Eric A Longenhagen: top of lineup catalyst with some pop

1:13
Enlightening round: Big virtual hug for continuing on with the chats, as for Fangraphs content, any way you guys can have active players join in and co-chat?

1:14
Eric A Longenhagen: Perhaps, though I have no interest in interacting with players who I also have to evaluate. Not great for objectivity and terrible optics for that reason, disqualifying.

1:15
Bryan: Deep trax request for Pittsburgh – is Gage Hinsz still in the system?

1:15
Eric A Longenhagen: He is but didn’t get going this spring yet due to injury.

1:15
Cole: obviously not on the priority list to update, but Cody Bellinger’s player page has him as a 45 hitter, has he outgrown that number? If so, by how much in your eyes and how?

1:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, that’s his prospect eval not his current eval

1:18
other Eric: hate to think this is the case but will we have to wait for a vaccine before sports is a thing?

1:19
Eric A Longenhagen: I think there’s a chance we have sports on TV without fans until there’s a vaccine, yes. I don’t think we know what kind of seasonal staying power the virus has yet.

1:20
Bowie: When’s the next draft update coming out?

1:20
Eric A Longenhagen: Let’s let you guys decide this right now…..

1:21
Eric A Longenhagen:

Eric’s order of operations should be…

Padres list, Rangers list, then draft update (55.5% | 25 votes)
 
SD, draft, TEX (8.8% | 4 votes)
 
draft update for Monday, SD, TEX (35.5% | 16 votes)
 

Total Votes: 45
1:22
Dave: Do you think we’ll see more or less SP prospects called up to the majors with a shorter season (thinking more double-headers may give more opportunities)?

1:23
Eric A Longenhagen: Oh, that’s interesting. I hadn’t considered the double header thing. I would have said fewer new guys because the shorter season, I would assume, means fewer injuries. If you’ve got a double header, do you trust Triple-A Veteran Arm (Tommy Milone types) or Fresh-Faced Prospect Debut?

1:24
Cito’s Mustache: If the coronavirus was a person and you had to pick one minor leaguer to defeat it in a fist fight, who would it be and why?

1:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Angel Villalona

1:26
Cole: when you always do it, take your time

1:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Gotta keep in mind we’re in unprecedented territory both because of COVID and because I’m flying solo while maintaining pro list depth that satisfies me. Things are gonna get weird.

1:27
Bowie: I can’t believe the draft update is losing. I need some sweet Zac Veen content

1:27
Murdoc: What PV do you give Tiger King?

1:27
Eric A Longenhagen: 70

1:27
Eric A Longenhagen: OJ Made In America is an 80

1:27
Bob: You were a bit low on Seth Corry relative to others. Is that based on not believing his 2nd half control improvement is sticky or some level of concern about his stuff?

1:27
Eric A Longenhagen: the former

1:29
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s settled. I’d say you should expect a draft list update two Mondays from now.

1:29
Bowie: *SCREAMS*

1:30
Eric A Longenhagen: I think the level of polarization in the poll is hilarious and also emblematic of every societal thing ever

1:33
George: What have you heard about team layoffs for full-time employees and the types of people it may affect (might have a vested interest in this)? What groups might be affected in front offices? Would sales/marketing/business ops be most affected, or scouts, or analysts?

1:36
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes. Most teams (and it’s possible all owners discussed this based on how uniform the team-to-team rumors are) are paying employees through April and then the potential for furlough exists starting in May. You’re going to hear a lot about that in the next four weeks as we all learn more. The people I’ve spoken with (most all in scouting or another ops department) agree that it’s possible those layoffs start in departments like accounting, or promotions or non-baseball ops, like George mentioned. Many scouts are scared this is laying the groundwork for slimmer departments, that scouts will be let go eventually and never be re-hired. I expect public outcry to be severe, perhaps similar to what happened to the Sixers, which may cause teams to reconsider.

1:36
Jeff: Chronicle is a good movie and I’m all out of weed

1:36
Eric A Longenhagen: Me too.

1:38
Eric A Longenhagen: Hey, I’ve gotta go. I’ll post a video of Danny Chang on the @fg_prospects twitter account shortly so you can comp that to the Burnes link here in chat. Hang in there, everyone. We’re probably at the end of the first quarter of this time at home, I’m thinking about it in that way. Remember we have a stream on the site today and I’ll start streaming Diamond Mind and maybe some film sessions pretty soon (once I’ve tested my lousy AZ internet).

1:39
Eric A Longenhagen:





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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SenorGato
2 years ago

Interesting to note the lack of Yohendrick Pinango. Maybe saving his FGs debut for the Cubs’ list? Gotta think either way he will dominate these chats in The Future