Brian: Luis Oviedo on fire. Have you heard anything new on him the past few weeks?
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s Indians 19 y/o righty Luis Oviedo, who is in short season ball. He’s in today’s Daily Prospect Notes, linked above.
Actually in ATL: After a slow start, Brent Rooker has hit .318/.392/.664 since the start of June. Heard anything on him this year to change your report? Thanks!
Eric A Longenhagen: Twins 2017 draftee who went back to school after being drafted too late for his liking in 2016 and had a huge uptick in power at Miss St. Haven’t seen him in person, had a scout tell me he thought the breaking ball recognition was poor, that was a few weeks ago now.
Eric A Longenhagen: Abreu (Yankees prospect acquired from HOU in McCann trade, 94+, will touch 100, nasty change and breaking ball) is healthy, Sixto is not, so I’ll say Abreu. No idea when, lots of promotions occur in July, though.
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll take Castro (CLE SS at Double-A). Freeman (2017 draftee hitting at an affiliate while other HS draftees are in AZL) is a 2B for me.
Billy: Who are the most prospect-y guys on Pawtucket to look out for?
Eric A Longenhagen: Boston’s system is bad. Several relievers on that team are worth watching (Buttrey, in particular) but I had a scout tell me last week he thought Rusney Castillo was the only guy in the system with everyday tools. He’s 30.
Eric A Longenhagen: Can’t get his fastball over the plate, some of it has to be mental. Velo was all over the place when they tried to get him right down here in AZ.
careagan: Does the price for Floro, Neal, and bonus money seem steep to you? Marinan seems like he could be a guy.
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t dislike Marinan, but he’s maybe a #4/5 starter
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s not steep when you’re adding pieces to contend for a ring
Dan: If it’s not too much trouble could you provide one example each of a pitcher with a 45-50-55 breaking ball and/or change up. I often have trouble identifying what is average and slightly above/below for offspeed pitches.
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m trying to think of the best way to do this quickly and visually..
Eric A Longenhagen: It might jsut require an entire post
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll come back to this later in chat, I promise…
Owen: What is the reason for the lack of MILB.TV broadcasts in high A and more specifically the FSL?
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t know. Most of those stadiums are spring training facilities fully capable of handling a broadcast
Charlie: Hey Eric! I have a general scouting question about Victor Victor Mesa. In the video he appears to start with a very open stance, but then his step seems fairly efficient. Is there anything inherently wrong with his open stance as long as his step corrects it?
Eric A Longenhagen: I would say there’s no universal good as far as mechanics are concerned and that whatever works for you is fine.
Bored Employee: Has Oneil Cruz made any visually-apparent changes to account for his performance this year?
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s 6-foot-8 PIT SS Oneil Cruz, having a strong year. No, in fact he still looks like a baby deer a lot, which is part of why what he’s doing is crazy.
Rob: Did Luis Garcia just get promoted to High A? Is this worthy of a hot take? Or a lukewarm take? Seems aggressive, but what do I know.
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s advanced, bat to ball skills are for real. Don’t see him being an impact regular unless the bat is special. I guess there’s a chance for that, but he’s more of a low-end regular for me, maybe an average everyday player.
Chris: What are your thoughts on Luchessi and Lauer this year?
Eric A Longenhagen: Think Lucchesi is a #4, Lauer is a #5
Johnny: Arizona State’s baseball program has gone from elite to very good to mediocre. What’s caused that decline, what would it take to turn it around, and how likely is that to occur?
Eric A Longenhagen: They have player dev issues, especially on the pitching side. Most of Tracy Smith’s first recruiting class signed (Bichette, Lawson, Lux etc.) which created a talent vacuum for a year at the program. It’s hard to dial in your use of the recruiting power that comes with a hueg program like ASU. I think he’s starting to figure it out, but it’s been frustrating to watch gys go there and plateau, too.
Rob: Is Micker Adolfo still DH only due to the elbow injury? Does something like this hamper evaluation?
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s DH’ing this year but, long term, still an OF prospect. It makes him slightly more difficult to evaluate but, because he’s corner only, you’re mostly interested in the bat anyway.
Chris: Who has made the biggest jump in the Padres system this season?
Eric A Longenhagen: I guess it’ll be Austin Allen for us. Lawson’s changeup development has moved him, too.
Anthony: Do you “scout” makeup or is it more word-of-mouth? How easy is it for a player to drop a bad-makeup reputation?
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s one of those things that finds its way to you. If it’s not obvious (visually) or constantly discussed (by people in baseball) then I dismiss it. Lots of gray area there.
Billy: Ernie Clement has taken High-A Lynchburg by storm. Is he a utility infielder projection or more?
Eric A Longenhagen: 2B/OF for me. He can fly and make contact, don’t think he can play SS
Human Windmill: Thanks for the chat Eric! Any new impressions of Carlos Rodriguez on the Brewers DSL squad?
Eric A Longenhagen: Nothing new. Last year at this time I anticipated he’d be here in AZ given how advanced his baseball skills were compared to his peers, but when I saw him last fall he was so clearly behind everyone from a physical strength standpoint that it seemed likely I’d have to wait another year to see him.
Chris: Any prospect going to push Hedges for the starting job before the Padres start competing?
Eric A Longenhagen: One of the many catching prospects in the system might. Hunt, Allen, don’t forget about Torrens
GPT: AZL Giants, two squads, what has caught your eye so far? Saw the note on Julio Rodriguez‘s curveball.
Eric A Longenhagen: Alex Canario (#2 guy in the system for me when I wrote it up in the spring) finally starting to hit has been good, Seth Corry‘s (2017 3rd rounder) changeup has come on strong and he’s now a legit three-pitch guy. George Bell is an impressive psychical specimen who has hit the hell out of some balls. Still early here.
Scott: Do the Red Sox even have the prospects to get Realmuto or is it a situation with, between Groome and Chavis being out, they couldn’t get him even if they wanted to pay the price?
Eric A Longenhagen: Kap got hurt again and I assume Jefferies has too, as he hasn’t pitched in about two weeks.
Wily Mo Pena: I’m tired of opposing pitchers throwing me off-speed junk…I was born to mash fastball. This is bush league psych-out stuff…what’s the story?
Jon: Would Hiura, Burnes Woodruff and Phillips be enough for deGrom?
Eric A Longenhagen: Holy shit, yeah I’d do that if I were the Mets.
George Valera, OF, CLE: What are your thoughts on me so far? Any reads on the hit tool so far?
Eric A Longenhagen: Feel for CF might let you stay there, not much room for growth on the frame but you’re gonna get to whatever raw power you have because the feel for contact is so good, so it doesn’t matter. You also seem to be hurt right now.
Mike from Tempe: PJ Hilson, interesting pick by the Giants, what do you think of him?
Eric A Longenhagen: Super raw, but agree he’s got unique twitch.
Sarah: Why are the Dodgers trading for 40 relievers like Floro? Don’t they have better depth than that? Is this for the bonus pool, and if so, why?
Eric A Longenhagen: I agree Floro doesn’t really move the needle but think ARI and LAD are going to be in a literal arms race the rest of the summer. Neither has great pitching depth (especially ARI) and both seem to be constantly dealing with injuries. They each need as many viable arms as possible.
ice_hawk: Is Ryan Borucki flying a little under the radar? seems to have good stuff (92 from the left side, good changeup, at the very least good control if not command).
Parts + Gleyber: Encouraged by your notes on Mountcastle today. Do you think the change in approach can stick?
Eric A Longenhagen: Anecdotally, one-year improvements to approaches regress. Nick WIlliams is the first example I think of like this.
Bored Employee: Are you sad to see Dominaria go? Excited for M19?
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve barely played the last few months due to draft July 2, etc. Just don’t have time. I like the m19 art, though.
JFL19: Look like Garrett Cooper is going to be activated soon. Do you see him as a true talent 190 wRC+ guy?
Eric A Longenhagen: Cooper was sent from MIL to NYY for a reliever last year at the deadline (Tyler Webb, right?) after crushing the PCL. Then was sent to MIA with Caleb Smith for pool space and Mike King (who’s throwing well in Tampa). I buy Cooper has a chance to be a late-blooming masher like Bour and think he’s more than a 4A guy. 190 wRC+ is a little sttep, though.
Eric A Longenhagen: Two Yankees arms, both probably relievers. I guess I’d take STephan. SImilar upside from each of them and Stephan is closer.
Julian: I was the culprit behind the Arody’s Vizcaino question in a 2009 Kevin Goldstein chat: “Ok, folks. After two-plus hours, my time is done here. Sorry I couldn’t get to every question (except the Arodys Vizcaino question that the guy clicked send out 141 times)” — What’s your best dumb internet claim to fame?
Eric A Longenhagen: Blocked by Damon Bruce for constantly calling his use of Godzilla’s silhouette on Twitter as copyright infringement? IDK, I try not to be on here very much.
Larry: When is Kiley’s chat so we can get some answers on east coast prospects?
Eric A Longenhagen: I answer what I’m asked, which is basically Padres prospect spam right now.
Bennum: White sox made a surprise signing of Bryce Bush after picking him 33rd. I’ve read he has an unconventional swing but good bat speed, can you tell us anything about him?
Eric A Longenhagen: Prep HS 1B from Detroit. Has 6 raw power, very raw, tough defensive profile.
Eric A Longenhagen: I was surprised he signed, too
Chris: What is the difference between a 45 and 50 FV?
Eric A Longenhagen: Tooled up NYY prospect who is currently injured. He’s volatile. Realistic expectations would be he’s everyday player whose physical tools never play on the field. Franchy Cordero with more patience, basically.
Ddubbs: What do you think about Mike Siani? Is his defense really that good? Will he hit?
Eric A Longenhagen: Reds overslot fourth round HS CF from Philly. Yes, it’s 6 defense in CF with a 6 arm. Think there will be contact but no power.
Mature Adult: This is a bit off topic, but with the aforementioned Rusney Castillo, what do you think is going through his head as a well paid 30 yr old player who’s good enough to be in the MLB?
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve seen Rusney play and think it’s just a bear on a unicycle up there
Dansby Samsonite: Has prospect evaluation improved over the years? Are the rates of busts going down in any sort of trackable way?
Eric A Longenhagen: I think you could argue it’s gotten harder as player development has improved in a way that makes prospects more volatile.
Eric A Longenhagen: I injured Nats OF prospect. SKillset is similar to Lo Cain, body is not.
Jeff: Any comment on Kolby Allard being ranked #1 in the “Top 75 Stats Ranked Pitching Prospects” but 105 in the Updated Top 131 Prospects? Is there that much of a difference between his stats and his stuff?
Eric A Longenhagen: Jeff writes from a fantasy perspective, I haven’t played fantasy baseball in more than 10 years. Huge communication gap there.
Chaise: Any advice for aspiring prospect hounds besides move to AZ?
Eric A Longenhagen: Write more. Going to games is necessary, but it isn’t really work, is it? The travel is work, but the games aren’t. It’s the fun part you pretend is work to make yourself believe you’re working super hard.
Bobby Bradley‘s 40-time: Could ARI get a Machado deal done without Duplantier? Robinson, Widener, Jazz, Tabor, Maciel, Varsho, others… seems like there could be enough there to get a quantity>quality package done
Eric A Longenhagen: They could do it without Dup, yes. BAL had a scout at the last ARI AZL game I was at (actually might have been two guys) but it might just be part of their usual coverage, not a trade target. Not really a way of knowing that unless you’re intimately familiar with an individual scout’s coverage.
mark: Do you have any draft coverage of next years class upcoming?
Eric A Longenhagen: Yep, Kiley is seeing Team USA as we speak. I’ve got Chicago duty later this month, Area Codes and PG AA in San Diego in AUgust.
Rod: Cristian Pache (Florida) and Jean Carlos Encarnacion (Rome) got pulled from their games last night due to “injury” but it happened at the exact same time. Am I crazy in assuming there’s a trade being discussed?
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s not ‘Alex Jones conspiracy’ crazy, but surely you realize it wouldn’t be a huge coincidence for two guys to get dinged simultaneously.
Danny: Should Everson Periera and Ezequial Duran be moved down to the GCL?
Eric A Longenhagen: These are two of the NYY guys from their 2017 July 2 class. Most advanced J2 guys are in the GCL or AZL, only a few get sent away from the complex right away (Wander Franco and Eric Pardinho are doing well with aggressive assignments)
Eric A Longenhagen: No, I don’t think you demote them already. We really like Duran but that felt overzealous.
Ferts : Any word on whether Cal Raleigh is going back to school?
Eric A Longenhagen: Mariners 3rd rd pick from Florida ST. Haven’t heard. Would doubt it. We think he had a deal waiting for him behind SEA for more money, which may be the hold up as that’s reconciled.
Ferts : Any word on where Victor Victor ends up?
Eric A Longenhagen: We have no idea beyond speculation at this point
Babe Lincoln: Was Trout 80 FV before he debuted? Harper?
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes to both, those guys were locks to be gods.
Ferts : Do you think a) Jerry Dipoto doesn’t value the prospects he trades appropriately, or B) he is appropriately concerned with bolstering his MLB team
Eric A Longenhagen: I think it’s A but given how many of the fringe roster guys he has acquired have actually played this year due to injuries, either Dipoto or anyone who disagrees with me should feel free to nana nana boo bo me
Eric: STEAMER projections have Garrett Cooper at 91 wRC+ which is terrible for a 27 year old 1B. He will be playing in the independent leagues by the time he’s 29.
Eric A Longenhagen: What if I told you his Trackman readout is nuts and that the MIA player dev staff is being guided by former NYY dev guys? Does that change how you think about him?
Spencer: Y’all seem to be the low guys on Leody Taveras, what do you think the difference is between your evaluation and others in the industry? Not as much belief in the power projection?
Eric A Longenhagen: Correct
Finnegan: Do you have any articles or resources talking about the ways teams typically cover other teams farm systems?
Eric A Longenhagen: I wrote about how I’d structure a pro department in this year’s harball times annual
Bored Employee: Does Trent Deveaux’s swing change concern you in the long run?
Eric A Longenhagen: No
desert rat: has antonio cabello jumped some of his J2 class mates at this point?
Eric A Longenhagen: NYY OF. Nope, physically mature kid with no projection.
Charlie: Would Philly part with Sixto Sanchez in a deal for Machado?
Eric A Longenhagen: They wouldnt
Babe Lincoln: Any other recent 80 FVs before debuting?
Eric A Longenhagen: I might have slapped an 8 on Lindor with a couple drinks in me
Eric: It absolutely does not change what I think about Garrett Cooper, AAAA masher. He is 100% a non prospect and your shown love for him is really jeopardizing your credibility as a prospect evaluator.
Eric A Longenhagen: Because I think Garret Cooper is a 40?
Haz: Any reports on Alec Hansen since he’s been back? Control seems to have moved backwards after a long layoff.
Eric A Longenhagen: Saw him rehab in AZ. Velo was fine, not all the way back but it was early in the rehab process. Slider was also no bueno but, again, early. I’d give it time.
Eric A Longenhagen: Angels prospect going nuts at Double-A right now. High-energy utility guy. Scouts pounded the table for him here in AZ and I didn’t buy it at first.
Lars: Is Victor Caratini a AAAA-type player, or do you see him being a possibly solid MLB regular? He reminds me of Jeimer Candelario – someone who is blocked by current talent and may prosper elsewhere with more playing time? As always thanks for the chat
Eric A Longenhagen: Tougher for Caratini to find a defensive home. Think he’s a much easier guy to roster in the AL as a DH/1B who catches pitchers with vanilla stuff once in a while. Think the bat will play in the bigs with regular reps, not an impact guy but a nice piece.
Eric: We’ll revisit Garrett Cooper in due time, Eric A Longenhagen. I soon won’t forget this.
Eric A Longenhagen: Neither will I, other Eric.
TC: Thank you for giving a small bit of background on each prospect that is asked about, super helpful, esp with the Rengifo types
Eric A Longenhagen: You got it. Someone mentioned it to me at the Denver meetup, so I’m trying to do more of it. Especially with players the avg person would consider obscure (so not Victor Robles, Fernando Tatis, Keston Hiura, etc, but def guys like Rengifo)
Eric A Longenhagen: Alright, I’ve gone over my personally allotted time. Thanks for coming again this week, see you next Thursday just ahead of my trip to DC for Futures Game.
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.