Eric Longenhagen Chat- 7/10/2020

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Good morning from Tempe, where I remain very isolated as our summer heat peaks. Hope everyone is doing okay (covid-adjusted).

12:06
Harry: If the virus remains a serious issue in FL/ARZ and fall league/instructs are cancelled how do you plan on adjusting The Board going into next season with so little new info?

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll have to change how I source info. There will be stuff to glean from the offsite camps (though it’ll require filtering team’s info/thoughts on their own players, which is typically more favorable than comes from external sources) and guys who stayed at the spring facility all throughout this time may have changed in relevant ways even though they haven’t played in games. Kids in Latin America are also playing sandlot ball on their own accord and, it’ll be tough, but surely I can find people who’ve seen that and move some guys based on that intel.

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: There’d almost certainly be less movement than a typical offseason, but that’s fine because it isn’t a typical offseason.

12:10
Zay: Is there any realistic way to add more revenue to MiLB?

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: Via improved streaming. I think MiLB knows that and that’s why they cracked down on online video from affiliates last year, sent cease and desist letters to some publications.

12:12
AJ: Is there a name in MiLB that has the potential to cause more chaos than Will Vest? Imagine the Tigers sending him down to make room for Miggy on the roster and getting the headline “Tigers Activate Miguel Cabrera, Option Will Vest”

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: This is in Rowley’s wheelhouse

12:13
coco: Who is more likely to stick at the hot corner, Torkelson or Vaughn?

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: neither

12:15
Brian: What impact do you expect the lack of minor league games this season to have on prospect development? Do you think there are certain types of prospects who will be impacted more/less than others?

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Players who would have been 2020 40-man/Rule 5 candidates are hurt the most. More egenrally, hitters hurt more than pitchers, especially guys who are a little older relative to their peers.

12:16
RS: Who is better defensively, Bart or Bailey?

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Bart

12:17
Small Samples: Is there any skill related info that we’ll get out of the taxi squads this year that’ll be useful for updated prospect ranks?

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: Media is not allowed at the campsites. I recall that, when big league locker room access was threatened at the onset of the pandemic, that many beat writers were upset at the potential loss of access, but now I’m locked out of my entire beat and there’s been zero outcry from my peers.

12:21
Euroball: Hendrik Clementina and some other MiLB players recently signed contracts with Italian league teams. Do you think we’ll see other foreign players be given the go-ahead from their MLB clubs to sign in other leagues to continue with their development?

12:22
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes but their geographic location will dictate who/where.

12:22
Go Bigge or go home: I really enjoyed your Cubs list and was sad we didn’t get a chat for it before the draft took over. Does Bigge have any other pitches besides his FB/CB combo? Thanks again for all of your work with the lists!

12:22
Eric A Longenhagen: I have no notes on Bigge as a starter at Harvard and only have notes from him pitching out of the bullpen after the draft, which is just heater/breaker.

12:23
nb: Got my Fangraphs tee-shirt last week…makes me look great and smart! Prospect question – 2 highly ranked HS OF’s drafted closely to each other, but 1 to SD and Petco and the other to Colorado and Coors. When ranking these guys, do you take ballpark into consideration? Thanks!

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: I do not

12:23
John: Do you have rollout plans for updating the July 2 (well, Jan 15) international prospects BOARD?

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s not a priority because of the altered timeline. Probably sometime in the fall after the season is over and the spotlight is no longer on actual baseball.

12:25
Joe: Do you think most teams that don’t already have 2 GCL/AZL teams currently, will add a second team when minor league contraction occurs?

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, I think more will occur on the complexes. Whether that’s an explicit GCL/AZL team or just more dudes working out I’m not sure.

12:26
PB&Js: Greg Jones was left off of Tampa’s 60 man. Does this have the effect of setting his MLB eta back?

12:28
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think it impacts his ETA because his ETA (especially with TB) is going to be dictated by his 40-man roster timeline, but he’s exactly the kind of prospect who needs reps (huge tools, K issues, inconsistent defense) and isn’t getting them, and who this layoff is impacting more significantly than most players.

12:28
Nick: When Cody Bellinger was a prospect, I saw a lot about how even though he was a capable outfielder, he was so good at 1B that he should just play there. In the majors he’s had amazing defensive numbers in the outfield while being just above average at first. Is this just a function of it being easier to rack up DRS/UZR in the OF than it is at 1B?

12:28
Eric A Longenhagen: I think so

12:28
PB&Js: The A’s have three really intriguing young catchers, Murphy, Allen, and Heim. Who do you think ends up with more career WAR?

12:28
Eric A Longenhagen: the guy I have ranked highest on their prospect list

12:29
Brad: What have your thoughts been on the NDFAs so far? More than you thought? Less? Any surprises?

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Most of the players signed are NPs, guys who might be in the honorable mention section of a list if at all. San Diego’s group is kind of interesting (I like Adam Kerner). I’m more disappointed that nobody decided to go overseas and play.

12:31
DudeLove: How ready is Joey Bart for the show? Chances we see him on the opening day roster now that posey has opted out?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s ready defensively right now, would probably K a lot. Pushing him might put him at risk of Zunino’ing.

12:32
Intl players: how are teams keeping an eye on their international prospects and keeping them sharp with no moon season? Are those players at U.S. facilities or are they mainly working out in their home countries?

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: It varies pretty widely. Some kids decided to stay in the states, others went home. Dev personnel are Zooming or otherwise in contact with lots of their players talking about training programs, trying to touch base with their players and make the most of this time in as safe a manner as possible.

12:33
Rob: Is there a plausible non-AZ/FL site for an alternative Fall League? Could it work at the College World Series site in Omaha? I really don’t know what the setup is there.

12:38
Eric A Longenhagen: You need an area with a lot of fields within easy driving distance. PHX, FL, DFW area, North Carolina. Keep in mind as royally effed as AZ is right now, a theoretical Fall League is months away and the COVID situation changes must faster than that. Two months ago it seemed feasible that we could have a third of a bubble here in AZ and now, because my state is governed by and filled with a bunch of greedy, flavored vodka-drinking dumb dumbs, it’s currently an unpredictable mess.

12:39
Quarantino Martinez: You were one of the first to say you liked the O’s draft. Now that it looks like they’re spending pretty much all their money, it seems more legit. Any final thoughts on the haul?

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: Great combo of quality/quantity in a draft where the latter was especially hard to obtain. Thank you for reminding me I found more Coby Mayo swings from last summer and need to re-upload his video this weekend.

12:41
BarryBondsJuicedForOurSins: Is there a way a team could hype a player in their bubble to pawn off a lemon? “Oh man you guys, Florial finally put it all together. Sure, I guess we’d trade him.”

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: It’d take a gullible team/media outlet not to properly parse team incentive in this situation.

12:44
adam: Thoughts on Rangers draft? seems like they were more comfortable than other teams taking prep kids that no one had seen.

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d be lying to you if I told you I felt as much conviction about Evan Carter as I do almost every other prospect drafted. So much of how their class looks depends on him. Not really whether he turns into a big leaguer or not, moreso just whether he looks like a 1.25 mil prospect on the back fields. I like the dudes they took, just in that 35+ FV tier rather that the 40/40+ tier they could have drawn from.

12:48
Rob: Thanks for the answer on AFL alternatives. Understand the COVID situation is dynamic but don’t they need to decide one way or the other soon? Or are the logistics easy to flex because it’s built on existing site infrastructure? I’m just recalling (and I may be wrong) they usually announce rosters in early August-ish.

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: Typically late August with lots of changes between the announcement and start date. I agree they need to come up with a league structure relatively soon, though.

12:49
Nate: I saw where Forrest Whitley apparently dropped his weight back down into the 200-210 range…after spending the winter bulking up to 230 because he thought he needed to be stronger for a full season workload. Have any updated thoughts on what’s up with him? Seems like he’s been constantly making drastic tweaks to his body and mechanics the last few years trying to get back to where he was, but he apparently looked good in his appearance at the Astros camp this week. Still hope for him to finally bust out and become the TOR arm we all hoped he’d be?

12:50
Eric A Longenhagen: Yup, you’re on it. Has been all over the place physically since he was in HS. I ranked him where I did because the pitch mix is just so good but he’s certainly riskier than the typical pitching prospect because of the physical volatility, lack of innings, PED suspension, etc.

12:51
The Ghost of Bobby Thigpen: Are you surprised that Crochet isn’t on the ChiSox 60 man? Seems like he could have made an impact out of the bullpen this year if they are in the race. Or is it a matter of, “Hey, we can add him later if we need to”?

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: I think it’s the latter.

12:54
GSon: Yan Gomes was traded to the Washington Nats for Jefry Rodriguez (an RP trying to be an SP) and young Daniel Johnson. What’s your take/feeling on how #jetjohnson will contribute to the Indians in 2020?

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: Cleveland seems likely to keep platooning in the outfield so maybe he’s half of one with Luplow? Lots of options for Cleveland, though.

12:55
Nick: Who is the 2020 draft pick most likely to make his MLB debut this year?

12:58
Eric A Longenhagen: Reid Detmers? Gonna take a team with the right guy and motivation based on their competitive situation. I think Burl Carraway, Clayton Beeter and Crochet all have the stuff to make an impact right now, too.

12:58
Acuña Moncada: what happened to international signing this year?

12:58
Eric A Longenhagen: The date was pushed back from July 2 to January because of the pandemic (and because it means players from this class debut a year later, pushing their free agency a year, which means less $ on their deal, which owners like)

12:59
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay, I’ve gotta run. Thanks for stopping by. 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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