Eric Longenhagen Chat: 6/17/22

12:01
Eric A Longenhagen: Howdy, might be a shorter one today so I can get things together to go to the Combine.

12:01
Guest: How are your cats doing?

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: (thumbs up) Fran has settled into middle age and is now very chill, barely leaves the yard. Archie spends most of the day across the street in my neighbor’s yard but she’s cool with it. He hasn’t been in a fight that has warranted a vet visit for many months now.

12:03
Joe: Any feed back on the Braves Elian Corrorreal?

12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Sadly no, he wasn’t part of their Extended group and so I don’t have anything on him. Flagged him just for hitting near the top of the DSL lineup but couldn’t find anyone who saw him.

12:05
James: Esteury Ruiz is popping off this year. Eye, power, base running, OF defense – he is just killing it so far. How much of the helium is legit?

12:06
Eric A Longenhagen: There’s enough slider chase and letter-high fastball swing and miss happening that I still think that hit tool is going to be below average. Most all of his home runs have come on sliders that didn’t quite finish. I think he’s in position to be a big leaguer, just not their every day CF.

12:07
Sharp: You mentioned several times in your article that the Braves prefer to keep their starting pitching prospects at AAA for as long as possible, rather than trying them in a big league relief role. Do you have any preference on this? What are the pros/cons to this kind of organizational approach?

12:09
Eric A Longenhagen: I think a lot of it is situational, more about how badly you need starter depth (everyone needs so many to get through a season) than anything else. It’s easier to fill the middle of your bullpen with vets than it is to find reliable starters who are willing to hang out at Triple-A. There are probably some individual cases where I’d have cut bait by now, like with Muller, whose stuff is nasty enough that he could be a real weapon. Guys like Tarnok, etc… let them start

12:09
Wiz: Think DL Hall is ready to come up and compete against big league lineups? Stuff has been looking filthy. Zimmermann just got.optioned and Hall lines up with his turn in the rotation.

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Hell yes, his stuff is vicious.

12:10
Larry: Are you at all concerned about Ryne Nelson‘s fastball velocity? For most of the season it’s been way down from last year (although it’s been a bit up lately)

12:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Yup, you’re on it. Given that it’s been up again a little bit I’m inclined to hold serve. It perhaps adds to his relief risk but he’s been on the starter fringe this whole time

12:12
Padres: I assume the jump from AA to MLB with so few minor league at bats was too much for Abrams. Have you seen him in AAA and how does he look? When is it realistic to expect him to make an impact in the majors?

12:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Chasing some breakers that are nowhere near the zone, still showing all-fields spray down both base lines and in the gaps, most of his pull-side damage is him golfing out breaking balls. Doing really well for a 21-yr old in Triple-A, inclined to leave a 60 on him. I think there will probably be more of a big lg adjustment period, more likely to really take off in yr 2 or 3 rather than from day one.

12:15
Guy McDude: If minor league EV #s were more readily available over the past few decades would a guy like Victor Robles have had a harder time climbing prospect rankings?

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Those metrics already existed for teams and it was a failure on the part of prospect writers not to have sourced that data and known there wouldn’t be as much power as we thought.

12:17
Eric A Longenhagen: but yeah, if all that was just on a leaderboard for us and we could access it without effort, i bet we’d have been closer to correct.

12:17
mike: Better prospect – Maddux Bruns or Ricky Tiedemann?

12:17
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll take Bruns but not by a lot

12:18
Ryan: I saw a few Blake Walston highlights on Amarillo’s Twitter account the other day. The fastball hit 94 a couple of times. Is his velocity up this year?

12:18
Eric A Longenhagen: Have him sitting 90.8 last year, 92 this year.

12:19
Cory: I know you talked about him last month, but has Gunnar Henderson changed your thoughts at all since moving to AAA? Is he moving closer to the top tier shortstop prospects in all of baseball?

12:19
Eric A Longenhagen: Wrote about him earlier this week. In short, yes.

12:20
Joe: With gaps in their pro coverage so you see the Braves adding more pro scouts eventually? What’s your opinion on their current pro scouting approach? Thanks

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: No, I think they’re Lunhow’ing

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: I obviously don’t like it but am extremely biased

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe it’s correct to say they’re Fasting?

12:21
Joe: Any other updates on Ambioris Tavarez since writing up the list? Thanks

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: No, I was still messaging people trying to find out what’s going on at like 11pm before I have Meg the okay to run with what we had

12:22
Hunter Jesus: Someone told me Casey Mize‘s value in dynasty leagues actually goes UP with his TJS , since ” he’ll throw 2-3 mph faster when he comes back” . Do you think this is a real thing?

12:22
Eric A Longenhagen: fantasy baseball players are the best

12:22
Romulus: Is this a lost year for Brennan Davis (CHC)? Impact to his ceiling?

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m not sure how to factor this injury and surgery into how he lines up, can’t think of anyone who’s had this before. Purely a “wait and see” how he looks when he comes back situation. I didn’t change his FV but slid him to the back of the 55 tier.

12:23
jas: Do you have the order you’ll be releasing the rest of the prospect lists?

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: Marlins next

12:24
Gronch: Should Giants fans start getting concerned about the new regime’s ability to develop young hitting? Your latest reports on Ramos, Bailey, etc. plus Barts struggles raise the question

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: No, if anything the Giants dev is pretty incredible

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: the ability to turn day 3 picks into dudes all of a sudden is more telling, in my opinion, than a guy or two falling short (or just being over-valued publicly)

12:26
Bill DeWallet: Masyn Winn changed his swing this spring, and he’s been on a tear terrorizing pitchers ever since. Is he a top 50 next year?

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: will have to show more power for that sort of thing

12:26
Bill DeWallet: Why does FG give Jordan walker a 25/50 on hit?  Power aside, he’s shown + bat to ball skills this year

12:28
Eric A Longenhagen: I just haven’t been able to update the hit tools for the guys who are close to the big leagues. It’ll update when I do the Cards list. I standardized present hit and power grades for low-level hitters, 25 would mean an advanced teenage hitter. Once guys are at AA, I change it to whatever I think their actual present hit tool is, which for Walker would be a 40 (still more than average in-zone whiffs happening there)

12:28
Brian LaFebvre: Do you think the Phillies will continue their recent trend of drafting highly touted prep RHPs in the 1st? Have they figured something out or just lucky so far?

12:29
Eric A Longenhagen: I think their approach has been more opportunistic than it is focused on getting that sort of player.

12:29
Nat: Have you thought about quantitatively evaluating body-type descriptors for prospects (e.g. “projectable frame,” “soft-bodied,” “low center of gravity”)? To see if these terms correlate with later performance, or moves in to lower or higher FV tiers, or anything else? I feel like you’ve been doing this long enough that there might be some interesting findings just looking back to your work. Or maybe looking at the other public prospect evaluators.

12:30
Eric A Longenhagen: I have and actually wanted to change the “Frame” column on the board to “ectomorph”, “endomorph”, “mesomorph” classifications during this list cycle but got pushback from others at the site (some of which aren’t here anymore). So you just have the lever length and athleticism descriptors for now

12:30
Ben Schneider: How much stake do teams put into the combine?

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s still so new, you not only need multiple years of data from the event, but years of the players’ performing afterward to see what might correlate/be meaningful

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: it’s just nice to see this tier of prospect all take BP, infield, and air it out for an inning at a time. Probably seen half a dozen guys who I’d give mid-six figures to

12:32
D backs fan: Buddy Kennedy. Statline in Reno seems just ok, but I see he has the blue arrow and moved from 35+ to a 40 and is now getting called up. What changed from off-season on him and what is the expectation?

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Don’t think anything has changed with Buddy, more just me realizing this guy’s done nothing but hit his whole life and buying that he’ll find a way to be a big leaguer even though he may not  have a position.

12:33
Brian LaFebvre: What would it take for you to move Painter into the top 100? Phillies moved him up to High A pretty quickly.

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: I think everyone’s evaluation of Painter, their assessment of his ceiling, is about the same, but our “valuation” of low-level pitching is different. Been burned too many times (Puk, Whitley, Reyes, Alvarez, Martes, and on and on forever) to keep stuffing pitchers who are playing russian roulette with their arms once a week for the next half decade. Folks can get a better idea of where Painter falls among his peers by doing age-related searches on The Board. Like this:

12:35
12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: SO, i think he’s one of the 3 or 4 vest teenage arms in pro ball, i just value that group lower than most (i guess) because i’m adjusting to having been incorrect about this stuff in the past

12:37
Mike: Obviously it’s just two early complex league games, but given that Jarlin Susana is already 18, he’s probably headed to Lake E at some point this summer, right?

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes

12:37
DF: Casey Schmitt and/or Masin Wynn likely Top 100 guys for you now? Thanks!

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Wynn was added this week, did some work on Schmitt too and got more of a mixed bag from scouts/analysts

12:38
Doug Melvin: Been cramming draft content trying to get a read on what the overall feel is on the pitchers. Are a lot of these injured college arms going to be going in the 2nd round range? Seems fairly possible that a team might get rather lucky rolling the dice on one of these arms later on the draft possibly in the late 2nd? or do you think they mostly all go by the late comp rounds to early 2nd?

12:38
Eric A Longenhagen: I bet Lesko and Pallette go in the first

12:38
Guest: I know defense is a big question, but do you think Oneil Cruz’s bat is ready to contribute in the majors?

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t know if it’s ready but I believe he has nothing left to adjust to in the minors (offensively)

12:39
Jon G: Kyle Boddy has noted that by Driveline’s xERA measurements, the Cubs have dramatically turned around the success of their minor league pitching. As the season stands now, does that success correlate to more of their guys coming onto your prospect radar?

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, really entering 2021 many guys were throwing much harder

12:39
Kevin: George Valera continues to rake. Is he still not top 100 material?

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: he’s on there, dude

12:40
Willy: Are draft boards going to be pretty set until July? Is it possible the draft combine pushes some guys into the first round? Can’t imagine that a lot will change in the next month.

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably not up high except for maybe Whisenhunt, more changes from guys playing summer ball than the combine

12:41
Factory of Sadness: Trying to figure out player development is a neverending puzzle, of course, and y’all do it generally very well. But I’m curious as to how Oscar Gonzalez seems to have been overlooked by basically everybody outside the Guardians organization. There’s still time for him to regress, of course, and it looks like it’s already happening a little, but was he ineligible for the prospects list?

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: Pretty sure he was eligible and I just thought his approach is so bad that I didn’t include him at all. Big power, arm tho.

12:42
Fangraphs Fan: Any chance you can do these chats weekly? I’m sure I can speak for most people reading this that we really enjoy them.

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: my goal has been to either do a pod segment, a yeoman’s work, a stream, or a chat every week, but as I’ve lost the other 3 people working on prospect stuff with me I’ve had a hard time finding the bandwidth to do all that stuff. I appreciate that you like these and that folks understand why it’s been a struggle for the last few months.

12:44
Josh: Should people be paying more attention to Andres Gimenez? He’s quietly been one of the best all around players this year, when he’s been in the lineup

12:44
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, surprised by the power. Had him in as a very low-variance 50 and looks like he might be better.

12:44
Slurms McKenzie: Is Jacob Berry worthy of a top-10 pick? Seems to be a lot of slipping in numerous sources because the hit doesn’t outweigh the lack of other tools in their opinion.

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: He’d go top 10 most years but there are so many good college bats who can actually play defense that he might slip out.

12:46
Scrapper: As a prospect guru, what biases do you think you have (either in favor or against a particular type of prospect)?

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: I tend to crush 1B-only types with below-average plate discipline and patience. Made me too light on Ty France but has generally been a good way to look at it. Tend to juice up-the-middle players with bat-to-ball skills.

12:47
Marty McFlyball: Not a astute interpreter of peripheral stats, but Florial’s numbers in Scranton this year don’t look much improved than last year. Is his improved surface numbers a mirage?

12:48
Eric A Longenhagen: I honestly don’t know off the top of my head, I’ve been off that guy for a couple of years now.

12:48
AL: Are you a Vinnie Pasquantino believer? Is he athletic enough to play 1B or is he a DH?

12:48
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, was on our offseason 100. Think he’s a good defensive 1B.

12:49
Slurms McKenzie: How big of a bump on the FV scale is in consideration for Ezequiel Tovar?

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: Working on sweeping update for those East Valley teams and he’ll be on their (our picks to click from the offseason are looking very good) though there’s still a lot of out-of-zone chase happening there and my gut is to put him close to where Lio Peguero and Gabe Arias are, overall

12:50
Eric A Longenhagen: (since they also have that chase element)

12:50
Mike: Hi Eric, I thoroughly enjoy your chat sessions.  I have a question about Kristian Robinson.  I have not heard much about him in awhile now.  Do you think he is still in Arizonas plans?  Thank you so much

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: Good question, I haven’t checked on his situation in a minute. I’ll try to have new info for next week

12:51
Matt: When will Ceddanne  Rafaela make the big board?

12:52
Eric A Longenhagen: After this East Valley update I’ll do Southwest Florida and stick him on there. Opinions are actually kind of all over the place, though the eyeball scouts are starting to come around in a big way.

12:52
Keefths: Curious do you have access to minor league data and do you share it with your boy Eno ?

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: I have offered my backlog of data to Eno but it would be such a bear to clean up and do anything with (because I’ve gotten it from countless different sources and every team does stuff a little differently) that he declined

12:53
Jason: Thoughts on Emmnauel Rodriguez prior to the knee injury? Numbers were insane

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: Briefly saw him in Florida, one game was against Ricky Tiedemann. Plus bat speed, can run and play center field. I’m in

12:53
Sirras: At this point, who are the prospect writers on the team? And can you say who left for what other pasture or is that private?

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s just me. The Twins hired Kevin, Pirates hired Brendan (who was a freelance contributor), and Tess (also a contributor) has stepped away temporarily due to life stuff.

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: Ok, I’ve gotta split. Thanks for coming to the site and hanging in the chat. I appreciate your readership and hope you’ll consider an ad-free sub to the site if you have the means.





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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