Eric A Longenhagen: Hope everyone’s as well as can be, let’s dive right in because the first question requires a sizeable answer.
Other Eric: please explain these draft models we hear about
Eric A Longenhagen: So yeah, I can’t recall ever explicitly talking about this, so while I assume a lot of our readers know, I’m gonna give a crude overview right now…
Eric A Longenhagen: If you were to take a ton of data inputs from years and years of draft prospects (this can be anything, like their stats, TrackMan data, size, run times, tool grades, anything) and run a regression to determine which of those inputs correlated with their big league success (or failure) and *how much* they drive it, you’re building a crude model. You can then put this year’s class’ inputs into the model to help line up your board.
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s absolutely a valuable tool to make/have, but of course I think religious adherence to it in the room is probably not advisable.
Sam Horn: Assuming Torkelson goes 1 overall to Detroit, is he in the major sometime in 2021? Where would you rank him in your top 100 compared to Andrew Vaughn. (Yes this is a blatant who would you add to a minors slot for fantasy question:))
Mike: If the minor leagues ends up being turned into what happens during spring training, do you think the complex fields will be open to fans? I live in Scottsdale, would be great to watch the Giants system for an extended period of games.
Eric A Longenhagen: Nope
Insert Clever Name Here: Found the Dodgers prospect list interesting overall. Out of curiosity, re: Yadier Alvarez, was his being left off the list due to a combination of command problems and effects of his suspension (makeup-wise and lost development)?
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s a combination of everything. His trade value (objectively 0), the injury history, the lack of control.
Eric A Longenhagen: His stuff is unbelievable, it sucks that this is how things transpired.
Sandy: Hey Eric, thanks for chatting! Robert Broom has a career 0.9 ERA and WHIP as a pro. Passed the AA limus test with hitter ma Obviously, he’s got an 80 grade name as a reliever sweeping through the minors, but what about his stuff? Hope he made the Indians list
Eric A Longenhagen: He’ll be on there as an Honorable Mention (list runs Monday) as part of a pretty large contingent of sidearm/funk relief types in the system. He’s 88-92 and it looks like this:
Eric A Longenhagen: With relievers like this, they just have to keep proving that it works at the next level, and then the next one, and then the next one….He’s done that so far. Pretty interesting.
Jeff: Andrew Abbott or Burl Carraway: who ya got? Who makes the MLs first? I like Abbott
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m on Carraway. Abbott has the starter’s profile but I’d rather have the dude with huge stuff.
Mike: Any thoughts on the direction the Red Sox will go? They could potentially try to save some money at 1-17 for a later pick given the lack of a second, or just take BPA?
Eric A Longenhagen: I think we’re in for a wild year for all teams. Club financial security and the financial situation of players’ families, case by case, are going to impact who teams draft and where. It might get kind of ugly. So no, don’t have great feel for who’s going to be there for Boston at 17 right now. That’s smack in the middle of round 1 where I have the prep outfielders and a big chunk of college pitching evaluated pretty much the same. You could make a case they should try to cut and get another player from this tier later on, but it’s harder to know who might be there because every pick between your first and second is subject to the chaotic stuff I mentioned above.
Seth: How does Patrick Bailey compare to someone like Langeliers? Both are 45FV, but is Bailey likely to have a higher offensive ceiling, but lower defensive?
Eric A Longenhagen: I think that’s a fair characterization. I also think the way I’m thinking about projecting catchers has changed fairly substantially in just the last twelve months and the gap between Langeliers’ glove/arm and Bailey’s is probably less meaningful now than I’d have told you a year ago.
CouchScout: Are Robert Hassell or PCA moving up your board?
Eric A Longenhagen: Hassell I do need to slide up. They’re both in that tier of college arms and prep OFs I mentioned, that basically runs from pick 10 (where Hassell seems to be in clubs’ mixes) to the back of round one. I’m climbing uphill with PCA because most of my looks came last summer, when he wasn’t playing as well as he did on Team USA. Hassell I just think I’d rather have than some of the guys I’ve currently ranked ahead of him.
Buford: Regarding the upcoming CBA negotiations, is there a realistic possibility that all draft choices become tradable?
Eric A Longenhagen: Based on how eagerly MLB/owners seem to be removing nuance from player eval and acquisition, I’d guess not.
Eric A Longenhagen: I love the deep dive Cleveland questions. Burgos is a 35. 40 fastball, 40 athlete but stills throws strikes, change and breaking ball are 50s, shot to be 55s. If they are he’s a depth arm. Hillman is not on there. Scott, Nelson will both be on. McCarty is on the bubble.
Mike: Plans to update your J2 2020 rankings soon or are things kind of in flux given they may push back the signing period?
Do you want KBO prospects integrated onto the Int’l Players tab on The Board?
Yes (48.7% | 19 votes)
Nope, just the J2’s, I’ll care about the KBO guys when they’re posted. (43.5% | 17 votes)
WHat’s The Board? (7.6% | 3 votes)
Total Votes: 39
Jeff: Did Brailyn Marquez throw enough strikes or show quality enough offspeeds (plural) to start taking seriously as a SP last year?
Eric A Longenhagen: He certainly closed the gap between where he was and what it’ll take for him to start, but I still think it’s more likely he ends up in relief.
Greg: As a Florida fan, what are the chances Halter, Mayo and Manning get to campus? Any other UF commits you could see signing (besides Veen obviously) from lower in the ranks?
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d set the over/under at 1.5 of those guys getting to school.
Daniel: How likely do you think we are to see a team draft 1 or 2 college seniors and then throw basically their entire pool at 3 overslot guys?
Eric A Longenhagen: Some teams who have $carte blanche$ to do as they normally would might do something like that but I don’t think it’s an option for some teams and there are just more new strategies to be explored this year.
Larry: Do you have any feel for how we should expect the post-draft signing period to go? I really can’t wrap my head around it. Will it be just college seniors and low leverage guys that sign, or do teams end up signing a ton of players? And since $20k is the bonus limit, do teams with larger fanbases end up signing better players? Like do kids throughout the southeast end up signing with Atlanta because they grew up rooting for the Braves?
Eric A Longenhagen: You’ll probably see some juniors and juco players who need the $ signing, but mostly I think it’ll be seniors. Teams with better dev track records are more likely to net the best UDFAs, I’d guess.
Uncle Spike: What is stopping the Rays from trading some of their prospects for a young, cost controlled MLB ready player? They have a flush farm system and an MLB team that is only a piece or two away from having the best line-up in baseball. They seem to have holes at 3B and catcher. Thoughts on sending something like Vidal Brujan (I know, he’s one of your faves) and Shane McClanahan to the Marlins for Brian Anderson?
Eric A Longenhagen: In my opinion they’ve already been doing a lot of that. Solak and Sanchez for relievers, etc. I agree with your assessment of their needs, though, and think they’ll continue to cash in prospects for present big leaguers if only because the system is so flush that they have no choice.
Gumble: Kaden Polcovich needs more love, he’s good
Eric A Longenhagen: I dig him. 2-year JUCO stud in Florida, looked good with the bat for Oklahoma State early this spring but not good at 2B. Might be a CF?
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah, Richards has elite stuff, he’s a unicorn.
Other Eric: Appreciate your answer. What normally makes players model friendly or not model friendly?
Eric A Longenhagen: Depends on the team, but based on how clubs who clearly take a more analytics-driven approach to the draft have operated, these are what I think are driving variables: age (younger is better), up-the-middle positions, fastball spin axis & vertical approach angle, multi-year college performance
Scrap Irony: What NL Central team benefits most from having a taxi squad of (mostly) AAA players? The Cards have 18 OF but little else, the Cubs have Hoerner, Milwaukee has Corey Ray and little else. The Pirates aren’t going to compete anyway. Surely, it couldn’t be Cincinnati– Schebler, Jankowski, Matt Davidson, and a whole host of NRI relief arms.
Eric A Longenhagen: Hmmmm, I think it probably helps teams whose 26-man wasn’t built for quite as much flexibility. The Brewers and Cardinals have guys they can move around, lots of flex just on the active roster. The Reds have a bunch of big corner guys so I think the taxi squad/theoretically expanded rosters help them out and let them roster more bats? Also gives the new pitching dev staff lots of time with two rosters worth of players rather than a whole system’s worth, might accelerate some improvement there?
James: Does the Arizona Fall League happen this year?
Eric A Longenhagen: I guess it wouldn’t surprise me if there were “a” fall league but not “The” Fall League, catch my drift?
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay, I’m gonna split. Thanks for chatting with me today, please stick around and enjoy the live stream.
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.