Eric Longenhagen Chat 7/17/19

12:08

Eric A Longenhagen: Hey, sorry you guys had to wait. Wrapped a call about the international stuff just now, let’ get to it…

12:09

Eric A Longenhagen: Only big thing to point to is that we put spin rate for most of the 2019 draft picks on The Board: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2019-in-season-prospect-…

12:09

CJ: Michael Baumann has been really good in Double A, including a no hitter last night. What is his ceiling?

12:11

Eric A Longenhagen: He’s working really heavily with his fastball and a harder cutter (new pitch this year) while other pitches take a back seat. There may be a repertoire depth issue that makes it hard for him to be a traditional starter, but he looks like a good big league arm of some kind now. He’s broken out, certainly, I just wouldn’t expect him to be a star rotation piece.

12:11

CJ: Any DSL guys that you are excited about that may not be well known?

12:13

Eric A Longenhagen: There’s relatively no lag on when we know about someone and stick them on The Board, so almost everyone we have info on is on there. I have two more Blue Jays DSL names I need to ask around on (Montero and D’Ozoria). I guess Alvin Guzman is one we have stuffed really good

12:13

Jacob: Gotten a chance to see Jon Bowlan lately? Is there a big jump in stuff that’s led to the numbers he’s putting up?

12:16

Eric A Longenhagen: So, his stuff popped late in college, right before the draft. Then it was down post draft. It’s back up again. 91-95, touching 97.

12:16

Josh Nelson: Hey Eric. Ben Badler wrote about MLB’s pursuit of having a 20-round International Draft, maybe as soon as 2020. How do you think this would impact players, and is this a better direction for the league from their current signing format?

12:22

Eric A Longenhagen: So, the early details/reactions we have on this are largely frlmo the scouting community and they are very negative. The structure of the draft (hard slotting, tradeable picks to name two) can be screwed with quite a bit by motivated teams and there’s distaste for how soon it might be implmented given that some dealsare already done (which is admittedly kind of funny). So yeah, it was an eventful int’l director meeting in Miami

12:22

ZZ Bottom: Give me a couple of under-the-radar guys you like in the AZL

12:25

Eric A Longenhagen: I put the Rangers guys on The Board. Heriberto Hernandez, Ovalles, Florentino. Keyber looks better Jorge Juan, big righty from Oakland, was 90-94 last time I saw him after he was 88-92 during extended. He’s a rare physical presence, he’s young, the arm is getting better. He’s interesting. Fabian Pertuz with the Cubs has a swing suited for catching fastballs up in th zone. His 2018 statline was not an accurate representation of his tools but he’s kinda sleepery

12:26

fangraphs reader: Do you think any of Enoli Paredes, Brandon Bailey, or Cristian Javier could factor into the Astros bullpen down the stretch, since they’ll all be Rule 5 eligible this offseason?

12:27

Eric A Longenhagen: I do. I don’t know which of those three the org prefers and so I don’t know which of them is most likely to get the first big league look should they need someone, but your logic is sound and those guys all have big stuff.

12:28

John: On the Nats’ system: Can you share a few “likes” and “dislikes” that might surprise us? Thanks!

12:31

Eric A Longenhagen: I think Sterling Sharp has done enough to expect him to be a backend piece, and a rare sort of one. Sinker/command guy. There’s a lot of bullpen depth. Bourque, Mills, Pena, Guillibeau. Dislike? Just the system’s depth in general

12:33

Pete: Julio Rodriguez seems to be handling his aggressive low-A assignment with aplomb. Any chance he moves into the 55 FV range by the end of the season?

12:33

Eric A Longenhagen: yes

12:33

fangraphs reader: Do you buy that Marisnick didn’t intend to hit Lucroy?

12:34

Eric A Longenhagen: I buy he didn’t intend to injure him and that he made a bad, split-second decision

12:35

Kendall Rogers: Any update on FG hosting college stats?

12:36

Eric A Longenhagen: Unfortunately, no. It’s still a thing that I anticipate will happen eventually, though.

12:36

fangraphs reader: How likely is it that the Astros had the Dodgers sign Yordan Alvarez to get around international restrictions so they could trade for him 6 weeks later?

12:38

Eric A Longenhagen: there are people in baseball who believe this is what happened, but peole say all kinds of stuff about Houston and not all of it is true. Also, if this is what happened, I’m fine with it. As long as the player knew he’d eventually be an Astro and wasn’t being lied to when signing with LAD

12:39

Mariners Fan: The Mariners haven’t had an exciting catching prospect in a very long time. Do you think Cal Raliegh is that prospect and with his recent promotion to AA do you think we could see him in Seattle late next year?

12:41

Eric A Longenhagen: I would disagree and say Alex Jackson and Mike Zunino were exciting prospects. I think we’re appropriately high on Raleigh as a 40+, and he’ll probably be a 45 FV in the offseason if he keeps afloat at Double-A. I don’t see why Seattle would be motivated to push him quickly next year unless the big league team is unexpectedly competitive.

12:41

Eric A Longenhagen: Mayb next September?

12:41

Brian: What are the odds that Marco Luciano follows a similar minor league path to Wander Franco and becomes a consensus top overall prospect? Could he have as high a ceiling?

12:42

Eric A Longenhagen: For most prospects this is not even a possiiblity because they’re not talented enough, but that’s not the case with Luciano. Unless he has some kind of huge red flag like strikeouts, or something else that reveals itself over a bigger sample, he has the kind of talent to be the top overall prospect.

12:42

Walewander: Why has Mitch Keller been moved down? The major league starts have been rough, but the results at AAA have been very good.

12:44

Eric A Longenhagen: Fastball command is still below where it was for most of his early career. Two seasons of walk rates like this now. It’s not like we buried him.

12:44

Clodd: What’s the best way to glean information on DSL/AZL numbers? How do you typically draw conclusions on guys who are otherwise hard to see play?

12:45

Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t put much stock into DSL/AZL/GCL performance. Seeing Extended, AZL and Instrux helps me get the looks I need at those types.

12:45

Neal H: Who says no: Felipe Vazquez for Gavin Lux, Will Smith and Josiah Gray?

12:45

Eric A Longenhagen: LAD

12:46

Slothrop: Say you’re a high school player with MLB dreams who’s been told by an oracle that you will have 3 mediocre HS seasons and one all-time great season. You can choose to have that one good season any time between fresh-senior year. Which year would be the best to choose

12:47

Eric A Longenhagen: Junior year. You play well enough to make summer showcases and crush those, too. If you crush as a senior it may be too late for teams to be comfortable taking and paying you.

12:47

Beeno: At what point does performance start to matter for a guy like Joey Cantillo?

12:48

Eric A Longenhagen: It’s already mattered in that it got us asking questions about him, which led to us learning why he’s having success: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/lets-find-some-clayton-kershaws-to-scale/

12:49

Eric A Longenhagen: But he’s also still throwing like 87-91, so we can’t get too nuts about it until that kind of velo is beating upper level hitters

12:49

Xolo: Do you think Owen Miller can be a major league starter?

12:50

Eric A Longenhagen: He could be in that Brad Miller type of mold

12:50

Ryan: Can you tell me why Jake Fraley is all of a sudden on a bunch of top prospect lists?

12:51

Eric A Longenhagen: He’s really, really performing this year and some people weight that heavily in how they line guys up?

12:52

Eric A Longenhagen: And sometimes it seems foolish not to have trusted performance as gospel (if you weren’t on Brandon Lowe, for example) and sometimes you get excited about someone too early (Bryce Bush comes to mind, he was asked about in chats lot because of his numbers)

12:53

Go Cubs: On The Board, Scouting and Stats tab, it would be nice to be able to filter on the draft and J2 classes just like you can do on the Scouting only tab. For example, show all players in the 2019 draft class or 2019 J2 class. Any plans for this? If not, I think it would be a nice addition so you could quickly see stats or these players without having to look at each player individually. Thanks.

12:55

Eric A Longenhagen: We’ve talked about this but the problem then becomes: what happens to players frlmo that class who are no longe rprospects either because they’ve graduated or aren’t good. S like the 2015 J2 class would have Pache at the top right now because Soto and Vlad graduated. And we feel like that’s too much missing info. The solution is to just have a board that includes big leaguers, too.

12:55

Eric A Longenhagen: but that’ll take a while

12:55

G: Better long term C prospect in a dynasty league; Jansen or Will Smith?

12:55

Eric A Longenhagen: Smith. Positional versatility and more power

12:55

Boggs : Who has a better chance to be an above average MLB SP- A Medina or M Baez?

12:56

Eric A Longenhagen: Medina. better chance to have either plus command or an impact breaking ball

12:57

G: Hey! For fantasy purposes (offense only) which Atl OF do you like better Pache or Waters? Are they close?

12:57

Eric A Longenhagen: Waters, not close

12:57

Z: Have you heard any updates on Damon Jones (PHI)?

12:58

Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, I made calls on Philly yesterday and will add Jones (and others) to the Board today. Velo has ticked up over the last two years and he found a much, much better slider this year.

12:58

Eric A Longenhagen: efty relief piece, at least

12:58

J: I’ve seen scattered reports that not as many teams have been able to recently scout down in Venezuela as before due to political upheaval? Is that your sense–that a more limited number of teams can actually scout there?

12:59

Eric A Longenhagen: Not really, the players from VZ are brought to other places to wok out and everyone sees them

1:00

Jaxon: Can Bubba Starling start everyday long term for a bad team like KC?

1:04

Eric A Longenhagen: Eh, he can play a competent center field for a rebuilding team, sure.

1:04

Mike: Hey Eric I saw the tweet from FG prospects ranking farm systems post-draft. Is that big bump (from 9 to 3) for the Dodgers related primarily to the breakouts of Lux and May, or is there other stuff going on at lower levels driving that surge?

1:07

Eric A Longenhagen: We’ve been high on those guys for a while now, it’s more a combo of teams in front of them having graduates. Also Gray De Jesus and Cartaya moving up

1:07

Amin: Do you have a theory as to why the A’s have a recent history of having players who outperform their prospect projections once they’re in the majors (Donaldson, Semien, Chapman, Olson, Laureano, etc)? Also, do you have a name or two amongst their minor leagues who you think could some day out perform their current prospect status? Thanks and keep up the great work.

1:07

Eric A Longenhagen: healthy Daulton Jefferies

1:12

Eric A Longenhagen: sorry, talkative centruty link technician here

1:12

Ryan : What is the reasoning behind moving Adell up to a 65? Has he alleviated concerns about his K/BB ratio with his performance this year? Maybe the bat is better than 50?

1:12

Eric A Longenhagen: continued performance a Double-A, he looked fine coming off the hammy/ankle thing

1:13

JC: Mike Minor for Brusdar and Jhoan: who says no?

1:13

Eric A Longenhagen: twinknies

1:13

odapm: what’s your read on amed rosario at this point? have you seen improvements/adjustments that keep you optimistic he’ll reach the ceiling everyone had projected as a prospect?

1:13

Eric A Longenhagen: no

1:14

Ryan : Can you provide some insight on some Angels arms not on the board, in particular Robinson Pina, Luis Alvarado and Andrew Wantz? Any of these guys have a chance to stick as SP’s or are they destined for bullpen roles?

1:15

Eric A Longenhagen: i have Pina 89-92 with life, Alvarado 88-92 touch 94 with that 12:30 spin axis I talk about in the Kershaw piece

1:15

Eric A Longenhagen: Wantz i have nothing

1:15

Jhoan Duran: Bumped from a 45FV to a 50FV, into top 100. What is it that you have seen/heard that resulted in the bump?

1:15

Eric A Longenhagen: velo is up

1:16

Roger: How important is spin rate in your evaluation of prospects? For example, can a good spin rate move some from a 45 FV to a 50 FV or a 50 FV to a 60 FV, etc?

1:16

Eric A Longenhagen: it’s more confirmation of a report or a sign we should ask about someone more rather than a driver on its own

1:16

ZZ Bottom: Has Jorge Mateo actually improved massively this year? Or is his performance mostly fueled by the MLB ball and Vegas

1:17

Eric A Longenhagen: i just won’t commit to him on a pref list. Has been consistetly inconsistent for like 5 years now, I refuse to get hurt again

1:17

Dan from NM: Hi Eric, If Marco Luciano doesn’t stick at short, is he likely to move to the outfield, or would second or third base be an option for him?

1:17

Eric A Longenhagen: OF, the issue is hands/actions not range

1:18

Eric A Longenhagen: Okay that’s all for me this week. See you next Friday.

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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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