Eric Longenhagen Chat: 5/3/19

12:18
Eric A Longenhagen: Hey from Tempe, folks. I’m going to try to move through questions quickly today as I’ve much to do before UCLA/ASU (which should be dope)…

12:19
Reid: Hi Eric, thanks for the chat. I’m curious as to what you think is the least common 20-grade tool at the major league level. My first thought was hit, because it’s incredibly difficult to be valuable as a .200 hitter, but I also can’t really think of what a 20 grade arm would look like.

12:22
Eric A Longenhagen: I guess *someone* has to have a 20 arm somewhere (Kris Davis, maybe?) but even the wettest of noodles I can surmise (Ben Revere, Juan Pierre) I’d probably 30

12:22
Eric A Longenhagen: but yeah, i think you’re right, it’s probably arm

12:22
GraphsFan: Question about weighting tools… All else being equal, is a 70 Hit / 40 Game Power prospect = 40 Hit / 70 Game Power? Is there a hierarchy to which tools are more valuable than others when rolling it into a FV?

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: hit uber alles, there are probably better ways to show, with a number or two, the way the this and power tools interact for a given player through the use of batted ball data

12:24
Danny: Which prospect would most benefit from even an average changeup?

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: Scott Blewett? I think his other stuff really plays because of the extension and he’d be quite good with a better change

12:26
Gregory: Does Aaron Ashby have the best combo of ceiling/floor in the Brewer’s system?

12:30
Eric A Longenhagen: I still thin it’s Lucas Erceg just because, at worst, I think he’s a lefty utility bat with power who can play several corner positions. And the physical tools are bigger than that

12:31
Rox Fan: One name in the Rockies system that isn’t getting much pub but we should be aware of.

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: Julio Carreras and someone crypticly alluded to a lefty I need to see there who I believe is Helcris Olivarez

12:32
Jon: I got offered deGrom for Yates in a fantasy league. Would you take that deal after deGrom’s last start?

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d do what you think gives you the best chance to win the league, which is probably acquiring a resurgent deGrom. I think it’s worth the risk

12:35
Dennis: Are there stats on foul balls? I would think just because a ball goes a bit foul it is still useful information whether it be exit velocity launch angle…. the more data the better

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: i’m pretty sure foulball exits come up on the Savant gamefeed

12:36
Oliver: You and Kiley must be wrestling with how much to let April sway your pre-season judgments. On the Rockies list for example, have you seen enough to drop Garrett Hampson, or boost Terrin Vavra, Willie MacIver and Rico Garcia in your ranks?

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: I liked Vavra a lot in my looks this spring, we need to talk about MacIver, the others haven’t moved, for me

12:37
LouWhitaker4HOF: If the Tigers select Riley Greene in the draft this year, does he instantly become their best hitting prospect or does Daz still hold that spot?

12:38
Eric A Longenhagen: It would probably depend on who you asked, it’s pretty close. I’d take Daz

12:39
A’s FanADDICT: Any word on how Daulton Jefferies is looking? Finally healthy and just promoted to AA. Thank you for the chat!

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: Stuff was down when I saw him this spring but it was pretty early

12:40
BlueJayMatt: Chances any of the following make it to Toronto at pick 11: Bryson Stott, Hunter Bishop, or Alek Manoah?

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: yes, i think one of those three is probably there but not sure which one. They’re all in that general area.

12:41
Timmy: Should Kelenic be pushed up to High A already? He’s destroying low A…

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d give it a couple weeks yet but I think you’re right to ask the question based on how well he’s played.

12:43
John: Is Ljay Newsome’s breakout legit? Added velocity coupled with pinpoint accuracy – hIs lowest strikeout total in a game this year is 8…

12:44
Eric A Longenhagen: some extra velo and better pitch design. had more on it in here; https://blogs.fangraphs.com/daily-prospect-notes-4-15-19/

12:44
Casey Mize: Everyone expected me to throw a no-no in my first AA game, right? Seeing anything different/improvements from preseason grades or am I pitching as expected on my fast track through the minors?

12:44
Eric A Longenhagen: slider shape has changed, has more demarcation from the cutter, more vertical action.

12:45
Mark: Brian O’Grady – anything there? No spot on the Reds, could they trade him for anything?

12:46
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve never thought so (just based on spring and fall league looks), but I did see his line the other day and should probably ask around.

12:46
Nick: Riley Adams is hitting well to start off the season. What are the odds that he is able to stick as a catcher?

12:46
Eric A Longenhagen: He has the arm it’s just a receiving/long term mobility issue. He’s huge, he’d be one of the biggest catchers in baseball.

12:47
Andy: Why do some people say Josh Naylor can run? Is he just expected to lose a step as he gets older?

12:48
Eric A Longenhagen: he’s mobile but not coordinated. Like, he runs pretty fast in a straight line for how big he is, but his footwork and hands at first are not good. More explosive than athletic, in my opinion, but people in baseball have described him as athletic to me.

12:48
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: How does switch hitting affect the grades on the hit tool?

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: there may be a bigger gap between present and future hit tool, on average? The present grades for teenagers/college-aged hitters are standardized (25 on advanced teenage bat, 35 on advanced 20-22y/o bat)

12:50
Overbearing Padre: If the Pads hang in there this season and wish to trade for a bat, who would you like for them?

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: I suppose someone who’d be an obvious upgrade in CF, ideally with a trade that would let you consolidate those upper-level outfielders creating a logjam of meh

12:51
Dave Mc: The Orioles drafted Greg Jones a couple years ago. Would he make sense now in the comp round?

12:52
Eric A Longenhagen: i don’t think that’s New Baltimore’s type of college hitter

12:52
Matt : Happy Friday Eric, it seems like Red Sox INF Michael Chavis is off to a strong start at the MLB level, is this indicative of what he may become/has your valuation of him changed much in the short time frame?

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah, still have a 45 on that guy. We have 50s on Alonso, Yordan Alvarez types of 1B. Chavis is a tier beneath that group.

12:54
purplemini: how common is the Nate Pearson schedule of 2 IP one start, 5 IP the next among teams trying to build up arm strength/confidence in their young arms?

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: I know of teams approaching innings limits by shortening outings over the whole season rather than shutting someone down once they hit a certain number. So instead of 15 6-inning starts, you pitch all year with some short ones mixed in. That may be what’s up here.

12:56
Mickey: Are you one of the ones ready to jump off of the Jazz Chisholm bandwagon?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: Nope

12:57
Draftnik: Ryan Garcia has been dominant for UCLA. What round do you expect him to be drafted?

12:58
Eric A Longenhagen: will see him tonight, was told he’s okay, more of a mid-round guy.

12:59
TyX: Do 11:00am games in the MiLB skew statistics at all? That’s just not a time of day when major leaguers are expected to perform. Reminds me of how NBA day games are often pretty bad, or Thursday nights in the NFL.

12:59
Eric A Longenhagen: it is kind of weird to play that early in front of screaming children but so much other stuff already messes with minor league numbers that (shrug)

1:00
Max: Any updated thoughts on Griffin Canning after a few great starts in AAA and his MLB debut? Do you think he’ll be better than a #4 starter as stated in the write up or no change? Thanks

1:00
Eric A Longenhagen: Nope, think we’ve got him in the right spot

1:01
A Dude: Would the Nationals be wise men to promote Rhett Wiseman? Do the A’s have any use for Sheldon Neuse?

1:02
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d stress test Wiseman’s start, yes. Neuse is hitting okay right now, looks like he’s bounced back some.

1:03
Christopher Nolan Reimold: It is the Cal League, but Nick Allen has been off to a good start. Any new info there? Is he showing enough power to bump up those grades a bit?

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: He looks stronger (as in, strong enough to play in the big leagues now) but it’s very unlikely he’s an impact bat. I like his chances of being a 7-9 hole hitter and playing a damn good shortstop for 10+ years.

1:05
Danny: Leaving aside specific names, do you have a sense of the profile the Yankees are scouting for their first 2 picks (i.e. college hitter, pitcher, prep IF, etc.)

1:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Kiley and i have mostly seen their director at college games

1:06
Reid: How do you go about evaluating non-standard/unique pitches, like Brent Honeywell’s screwball? Almost everyone throws a fastball that can be compared against, but there aren’t really any screwballers.

1:06
Eric A Longenhagen: i guess you lean on what kind of damage it does vs hitters rather than a visual eval of its movement

1:07
Winston: Any updates on Ethan Hankins from XST?

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: think he’s supposed to throw today? But no, nothing as of yet.

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: brb grabbing a beverage

1:08
Kevin: Will we ever get to the point that a Culberson-esque ability on the mound breaks a roster-spot tie among bench guys?

1:09
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d love a mopup two-way guy, yes. If it means carrying one extra hitter, especially if that hitter is an Austin Barnes type who can catch, I think you can play matchups very well all game.

1:10
Rusty Spur: Braxton Garrett looks sharp early. Any reports on him?

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: yes, let me dig for it…

1:11
Eric A Longenhagen: he was 89-92 in his first start of the year. Very curveball heavy.

1:12
Chris : Who’s the best prep arm in your opinion?

1:12
Eric A Longenhagen: Matthew Allan

1:13
Ethan: How would you compare the offensive upsides of Miguel Amaya and Diego Cartaya?

1:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Amaya >

1:13
Gregory: Could Dylan Carlson be a 25-HR hitter?

1:13
Eric A Longenhagen: yes

1:15
Daniel: When scouting hitters during the launch angle generation, do you view length in the swing a little differently. Obviously a guy who is trying to lift the ball is gonna have a little more length to his swing than normal. Has this made scouting hitters easier or more difficult?

1:15
Eric A Longenhagen: hmmm, it’s easier to see if someone can do something that teams like right now but it complicates the guys who don’t, since it forces you to consider *how* they might start to.

1:15
Matthew: Deivi Garcia is back in double a. How quickly does he make the majors and how likely is he to fix his control issues and does that come at the expense of his crazy strikeout numbers

1:17
Eric A Longenhagen: Klaw saw him this week and said it’s an average heater that guys just don’t seem able to see, and the secondary stuff is great. I don’t know how NYY will handle his timeline. They have so many arms that they may feel comfortable taking it slowly, so I have no feel for ETA.

1:18
JH: Can you give a bit more detail on the “palpable buzz” you mentioned in your Gabriel Rodriguez writeup? Better tools than advertised, or more just good in-game looks on the backfields?

1:20
Eric A Longenhagen: He showed up for camp looking strong, people see him working hard at the complex. It’s a feel/instincts amateur who’s working to improve his physical tools. That’s exciting.

1:20
Donald: Jarren Duran is really looking like a steal in the draft last year. Is he moving up to a 45 or 50 FV soon?

1:21
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s crushing it and yeah, Kiley and I have already talked about probably having to move him.

1:21
Christopher Nolan Reimold: Ti’quan Forbes – still only 22 (almost 23 though), and off to a nice start in AA, but wasn’t on Chicago’s list. What kept him from making it even as a late mention?

1:22
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah maybe he should have been on as a 35 FV you keep alive because he’s got the long term body, some pop, is still young. Ceiling is probably jsut a 40, though.

1:23
Scout: If you had a dog, what would you name it?

1:24
Eric A Longenhagen: ummm, Stromile? maybe Petunia or something?

1:24
Nils: In response to earlier question, what kind of ceiling does Aaron Ashby have? Is he likely to remain in the rotation?

1:25
Eric A Longenhagen: I think so. I think he can get by with fb/crv/sld as long as he commands the breaking stuff.

1:25
Brady: How often can we expect to see updated mock drafts?

1:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Based on the number of questions like this, I’d say we do too few of them. But it’s just when we have enough new info to make it worthwhile in a way that’s not clickbaity.

1:26
Mason: Patrick Sandoval promoted to Triple-A. Dude is racking up the Ks. Thoughts on him?

1:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Don’t think he’s a top 100 type or anything, but the fastball will play above its velo and his changeup has gotten better. Could be a #4/5

1:27
Mario Mendoza: Zac Gallen excelling in AAA. Have you seen any of him this year? Any reason to bump up FV?

1:27
Carl: Has something changed with Edward Cabrera? He was dominant this week and this is his first time in the Florida League. Whats his upside outcome?

1:28
Eric A Longenhagen: ^^^Is the new dev group in Miami starting to get its footing?

1:29
Jeb: Why did Matt Wieters miss expectations?

1:29
Eric A Longenhagen: They were sky-high and catchers just take such a beating that it has real impact on what they do, offensively

1:30
mike sixel: Any immediate help in the Twins’ minors for that bullpen? thanks….

1:31
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d bet on one of Quezada, Smeltzer or Moran racing up there

1:31
Christopher Nolan Reimold: Is Osiris Johnson still in extended? Any updates there?

1:32
Eric A Longenhagen: he’s out for the season but with what I can’t rememeber

1:33
Justin: Corbin Martin hasn’t even been averaging 5 innings per start. Is this a result of his own durability shortcomings, his own command/efficiency shortcomings, or do you think the Astros are just saving some bullets?

1:33
Eric A Longenhagen: probably the latter

1:33
Cows: Tyler Beede is walking fewer batters than last year, but more than earlier years in his career. What’s the long term hope for his control?

1:33
Eric A Longenhagen: 40, relief for me

1:34
dilbert: When should we start seeing promotions in the minors?

1:34
Eric A Longenhagen: at the 6-8 week mark

1:34
Eric A Longenhagen: and then after the draft

1:35
Jose: How likely is it for Zach Willeman to improve pitch consistency and be talked about in the same way that Buehler was pre-debut?

1:35
Eric A Longenhagen: not very, Walker’s stuff was so, so good immediately.

1:35
Jonathan: Zack Collins is really performing at the plate in his first taste of AAA. Anything new on him behind the plate? Will he see time at C in the Show this year?

1:36
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s a ‘no’ for me back there, sorry

1:36
Barney Fife: Whats the expected rollout for the final four prospect teams left??

1:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Padres are next (I’ m going to leave soon to work on it), then Rockies, Dbacks, Giants

1:37
Doug: Quantrill’s velocity has been up, any chance he can live up to original hype? Or is he destined to be a swing man / spot starter type?

1:38
Eric A Longenhagen: Velo is up but it’s a 2-seamer so I don’t think he’s going to be a big strikeout guy. #4/5 for me

1:38
Not: Hey Eric, has Yerry Rodriguez creeped into the top 100 convo? And have you heard anything on Ronny Henriquez? (Gonna forever mix those two up in my head)

1:40
Eric A Longenhagen: Not yet on Yerry but if he pitches like this all year, yeah. Henriquez is placed aggresively on a good Rangers list: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2019-prospect-list?sort=…

1:40
First Man on the Sun: Has Alzolay’s stuff lost anything from his injury?

1:40
Eric A Longenhagen: will be in today’s DPN which I will also work on after we part

1:40
Connor Joe Buck: Have you seen Endgame yet?

1:40
Eric A Longenhagen: i have never seen a single marvel universe movie

1:41
Eric A Longenhagen: i like Batman, and that’s it.

1:41
Eric A Longenhagen: Highly suggest the animated Dark Knight Returns movies.

1:42
angels: who is garbiel rodriguez, saw the question but after some googling only seeing somebody who played in 1967

1:43
Eric A Longenhagen: cleveland’s top $ July 2 signing from last year https://blogs.fangraphs.com/top-30-prospects-cleveland-indians/

1:43
Billy Beane: Who’s your top Batman? I feel like Bale was at least a 60

1:43
Eric A Longenhagen: Kevin Conroy

1:45
Eric A Longenhagen: that’ll do it for me, see you next Friday. Have a great weekend.

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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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RonnieDobbs
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RonnieDobbs

I can’t understand why the following would be true, “Obviously a guy who is trying to lift the ball is gonna have a little more length to his swing than normal”. Not sure we should accept it as fact. There is also the reality that hitters should learn to hit LD before they start worrying about FB – nothing has changed.