Eric Longenhagen Chat 5/22/20

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Howdy, letting the coffee drip a few moments more and I’ll be right with you…

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: thanks for stopping by, let’s do the thing

12:05
Mike: Is draft intel starting to flow or is it still pretty sparse given all the question marks leading up to the draft?

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s starting and you’ll get a mock when we’re back from Memorial Day, though it’s a lot of potential strategy stuff now and less about players tied to teams. It’s clear teams just don’t have some guys on their board competitively because they didn’t see them this spring, which I don’t like.

12:07
Pete: If Carlos Colmenarez and Cristian Hernandez we’re available for the draft where would they likely go? Would this demographic be considered as risky as HS Pitching?

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: I think they’d go late first at the earliest, probably comfortably in the second round.

12:08
Other Eric: who are the top senior signs? do you expect a large amount of them to be picked in this draft?

12:09
Eric A Longenhagen: Landon Knack? I think the seniors will be 20k targets, less likely to be selected.

12:09
Murdoc: What PV are you giving The Last Dance?

12:09
Eric A Longenhagen: 55

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: the timeline shifting undercut narrative elements

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: OJ Made in America is an 80, btw

12:11
Connor: Eric, which systems have the most prospects not currently in the top 100 that seem poised to make the top 100 before graduation? It seems like the Rangers, Indians, and Dodgers would be up there.

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: yup, i’d also point to AZ and still SD

12:12
BarryBondsJuicedForOurSins: Jorge Guzman is more than likely a reliever- what % would you give him on being a impact reliever?

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: 30% impact, 30% middle, 20% up/down, 20% total bust?

12:13
Reds Fan: Reading over your write-up, Reds system seem like one that is getting especially hurt by a lack of playing this year. Lots of guys with something to prove/development to be had. Is that fair to say or are am I letting my bias get in the way ?

12:15
Eric A Longenhagen: No I agree with you and had the same thought last night. All the older HS’ers they’ve drafted age another year without proving they can hit age-appropriate pitching, the Bautista/Zabala fallen stars types can’t bounce back, the entire pitching contingent goes unexposed to the new dev group.

12:15
Ryan: If the draft included J2 players, how many J2 players would typically go in the 1st round? Would they likely be considered the riskiest demographic due to their age?

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: The best J2 players are in typically in the 45-50 FV range so that means top 5 for the very very best of them, more mid to late rd one for the top of the class in a usual year.

12:16
Appa Yip Yip: If Babe Ruth were drafted this year as a kid out of high school, would he make the majors? He’d obviously have the talent, but making it past even double a takes so much dedication, discipline, focus, and work – things Ruth was infamously bad at – what are the chances he’d flame out in double a once things got hard because he didn’t want to do the work?

12:18
Eric A Longenhagen: I understand why we’re asking questions like this and they are interesting. I’m glad you’re dropping him in as a high schooler, which I think would give him a much better chance than if you transported him at age 27 or whatever.

12:18
Reid: Book is great, thanks for all the hard work. You mentioned how you missed on some guys before you “understood” how fastballs worked, like Cotton and Sanchez. Anyone come to mind in the upcoming draft/a prospect of note who you’re lower on now based on that knowledge? Detmers seems like someone who could benefit from a fastball tweak.

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: I won’t go nuts with Justin Lange because it was a little lower slot when I saw him last summer, Carmen Mlodzinski’s heater cuts so I’m lower on him, a little lower on Kyle Harrison (who I like but probably as a long reliever, he’s an awful lot like Packy Naughton) because he’s a sinker sort who needs the changeup to do damage.

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: It has raised new questions, thinking about fastballs like this. Charez Butcher’s spin axis is such a mess, don’t I have to project on it pretty significantly? So do I like guys who throw like this more now?…

12:21
12:22
Amir: How do you compare Nick Loftin to when Kevin Newman was drafted in 15?

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: Hmmmm, I had Newman’s bat in really strong. Probably over-projected his game power some and think Loftin willl clearly have more, but I had like a 7 on Newman’s bat and I’d probably still take that guy.

12:23
Guest: What are some places where the BOARD’s Farm Rankings (crudely by $$$) differ from your own personal Farm Rankings for teams?

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: I tend to like the deeper systems. I’d take ARI or CLE over CHW, for instance

12:24
Ryan: Is the draft board finalized since there are no games being played?

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: nope, still sourcing data and video and there’s just gonna be some info lag no matter what.

12:25
Fuzzy: Do you think the scouting industry as we know it is going to be one of the things that doesn’t survive these present circumstances? Even if some teams pay through the year, I imagine they’ll be looking to cut expenses like that in the short term to make up for “losses” they have this year. Trying to be optimistic, but I don’t see it..

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, wrote a whole book about what might happen with scouting and now it all might be accelerated.

12:26
Chris: Are you hearing any lacy at 1 talk?

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: Just that he deserves to be in the mix and would be a reasonable pick, nothing concrete tying him to DET

12:26
Dave: Strategically, what rounds do you see HS getting taken? I’m going to guess 3rd or 5th? 3rd because you’ve got the pick coming back next year if you don’t sign them and 5th because you can just start making calls with whatever money you’ve got and go until a guy says yes….

12:28
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d guess it’ll be the second round. Teams will have had all night to make calls and feel good about signability.

12:28
Guest: How do you foresee the 20k targets working out? If teams can’t pay their employees won’t it be weird to see them gobbling up new players

12:30
Eric A Longenhagen: I think some teams won’t sign any extra players and some will try to sign 10-15 and go hard after players they think are better than what’s in their farm. It’s going to be highly variable, same with the draft itself. Some of it might get ugly, what if teams offer players 70% of slot unilaterally to try to protect themselves financially and from a pick value standpoint simultaneously?

12:30
Neal: What would you rather have from a player development standpoint: CJ Abrams on the taxi squad alongside MLB ready players or CJ Abrams in a normal minor league environment?

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Honestly, the former.

12:32
Covid Reports On Players: Hi Eric, with no baseball going on and training up to players, have you heard any reports of individuals guys getting noticeably stronger, re-shaping their body, etc. like how Alex Kirilloff did during his TJS season?

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: I have not. The players apt to work out on their own are the ones likely to arrive for normal spring camp looking svelte, so unless the pandemic shook someone into changing their habits I’d think we already know about most of the guys who arrived to camp with a new body.

12:34
Derek: Could you elaborate on your comment about Jose Garcia in the Reds write up that he “has a chance to be a star if his approach isn’t his undoing.” How concerned are you and is this concern similar to Drew Waters of the Braves?

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: Not as bad as Waters

12:34
Next Wave of Reports: After the Reds being released today, what are the next cluster of teams we should be looking out for?

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: Yup, they’re up. Brewers, Cubs, Angels and A’s are all that’s left.

12:34
Chris: Thoughts on Jared Jones?

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: velo in decline throughout last summer and didn’t throw strikes then, nor in his early HS starts this spring. I was not out on him because of his size, am mostly out now because of the strikes

12:36
Wadz: Any news on when J2 signing period will begin this year.. Heard it may be delayed?

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: MLB now has the option to push signing day to January. I assume they will but I’m not reporting that or anything.

12:37
Alex Powers: Was hoping to see him on the reds others of note. I know he’s 28 but dude had a killer year in the juiced PCL. Any insight on if he can be an impact RP in the majors?

12:38
Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe? 89-93, funky lower slot, had a 19% swinging strike rate on his fastball last year.

12:38
Henry: I’m a Braves fan who loves following the minor leagues, especially the Low A, GCL, etc. levels. Can you clarify what I should expect from the expected minor league changes long term? Are those levels basically not going to play seasons and lean more towards instructional level stuff?

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d expect teams to have four full-season clubs and some amount of constant activity on their complexes

12:39
Pat: Will MLB ever allow draft picks to be fully tradable? That would make the draft far more interesting.

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: I doubt it. As I said last week, most of MLB’s rule changes have trended toward removing nuance from the scouting process.

12:40
Mary: Based purely on bat, is Nick Gonzales close to Austin Martin?

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: no

12:40
Reid: Also, the made-up names for examples are hilarious. “Raul Tirarlento” literally made me laugh out loud.

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: (bows)

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: you’re the first to say anything about those, so thank you

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: (this is from the book, which somehow came out a month ago)

12:41
Dean Machine: Has there been any conversations about some sort of expanded Fall League or MLB-wide Instructs for prospects this year with the cancellation of the Minor League season seemingly imminent at this point? How many guys do you see each org realistically getting some games in for even if it’s just a handful at the complex in the fall?

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, aside from general mention that something will happen in the fall and that it might be more expanded than typical fall league, I’ve got nothing.

12:42
John: Thoughts on a couple upper level performers in Darick Hall and Jonah Heim?

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: I like Heim, not Hall

12:42
Red: How are you going to convince most HS kids to forego college for a maximum of $20k? Do you think we are going to see more HS players than usual selected in a five round draft?

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: You don’t. We’re going to see a huge wave of college prospects in 2023

12:43
Keith: Does it make sense for a team to go underslot in the 1st if they dont have a 2nd round pick?

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: If you have a group of players evaluated the same and one of them will sign under slot, and that savings enables you to pick up a 2nd round talent in the third (which, again, your staff needs to do the work and think that a player from that group will fall their) then yes

12:45
Chris: Is Jared Kelly going to be a first rounder or will he slip?

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: I think he goes in rd 1

12:45
Derek: Where would Aquino rank on the Reds list if we were prospect eligible? And what is your sense of how the Reds view the Punisher?

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: he was a 50 when he graduated

12:45
Uncle Spike: Great work on the Reds write-up! If Hunter Greene was guaranteed to come back 100% healthy with the same stuff he had pre-injury, what FV would you put on him?

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d still just 50 him for now

12:46
Mike: Would any teams that have a competitive balance pick look to trade it in order to save money given the circumstances of this draft? Or are teams barred from making such a transaction at the moment?

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: good question. Maybe they would for the right asset/player? If it’s an effort to save money (remember draft bonuses aren’t paid immediately this year, they’re deferred) then it’d have to be a very low-paid player or slot money or something. Seems unlikely

12:47
Gavin Lux: What do you think the prime reasons are for a hitter to have an expected game power above their expected raw power grade?

12:48
Eric A Longenhagen: lift in the swing and an approach that enables airborne contact

12:49
Ford: Waters approach is that bad?

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: Watched him see like 5 pitches in 4 at-bats this fall. Yeah.

12:50
Maladjusted Loser Freak: If Hunter Greene didn’t throw so hard, even a little less, would he even be a first round pitcher? A HS RH without a breaking ball? Jamon

12:50
Eric A Longenhagen: If Kelley goes round 1 you have your answer, right?

12:51
BarryBondsJuicedForOurSins: I was under the impression it was Martin’s defense that put him over Gonzales but Gonzales had the better bat.

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: Gonzales has more power but if I’m just talking hit tool, I’m more comfortable with Martin

12:51
JT: Do you think Austin Wells can stick at C?

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: nope

12:52
Billy G: If we do see a lot of top HS prospects from this year go to college, do we see teams strategize to have top picks/large bonus pools for 2023?

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: yup, I think the value of comp picks the next couple years is more significant than usual. I thought some teams clearly behaved like that’s true for this year, too (STL, TB)

12:53
Anthony: Love the book! Just have a minor clarification question on physical projection: one of you mentioned the differences in projecting on ostensibly similar body types and said you can see that more easily in basketball. Can you expand on that a bit?

12:54
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, it’s just easier to see/assess bodies in that uniform than in baseball.

12:54
Danny: Assuming the minor leagues look as you described above (4 full season leagues with complex games), when do you think we see the tippy top J2 signings (Baby Vlad, Wander, Dominguez) in Low A?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: If the Int’l signign period is moved to January then I assume they’re on the complex later that summer? It costs Latino kids a couple of months, right? Rather than sign a guy in July and bring him to the states for instructs that fall, you push it to January and the kid comes to the states for the first time for the AZL? Or maybe stayd in the DR and arrives in the fall, a full year later than previously? Regardless, it’s a year longer that it takes to reach MLB. I think MLB wants to avoid the 26-28 year old free agent and pushing a lot of high schoolers to college and by shifting the Int’l calendar, they’ve made it harder for one to exist.

12:57
Henry: Your ranking is higher on Waters than I would’ve expected after hearing your comments.

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: Kiley and I were still together for the Braves list

12:59
greg: You mentioned “towel drills” on your Vlad Gutierrez writeup. What is that?

12:59
Sir Nerdlington: Any idea if the ‘taxi squad’ earns service time? Or if the taxi shuffle requires the same 10-day stay as the AAA shuttle?

12:59
Eric A Longenhagen: No idea but that’s a hugely important question.

12:59
2020 vs. 2019 HS Bats: Would you take Veen over any of the top 2019 HS bats (Witt, Abrams, Greene, and Carroll)?

1:00
Eric A Longenhagen: have him behind CJ and Bobby, even with Greene, a shade ahead of Carroll.

1:00
Maladjusted Loser Freak: What hitter is going to start the mainstream board blow ups ala Kyler murray last year? Then again not really sure boards blew up after that

1:01
Eric A Longenhagen: It wasn’t just Kyler going it was also Libby and Gorman falling that had people scrambling. I think Dingler or some other college bat(s) get popped early by teams totally avoiding HS’ers

1:02
Guest: So are you saying Kiley had a Braves bias?

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: No, I’m saying we disagreed about Waters. Would you really expect a person to have positive bias for an org they stopped working for suddenly?

1:04
Hoagie Fest: Re: not liking how teams don’t have some guys on their boards because they didn’t get out to see them this year. Do you dislike it because it seems shortsighted on the teams’ part if they’re not sourcing other info, or more because the whole situation sucks?

1:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Some of both. We all watched Mick Abel for like two years and I think it’s kinda dumb to ignore or slide him on your board because you haven’t seen him for 7 months or whatever, but be all hot and bothered for a college pitcher who has had four good starts and who you haven’t seen for three months. Is there some arbitrary cutoff when you start/stop being comfortable? Grab your junk and take the best player.

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s gonna do it for me. Be well, see you next week

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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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