Eric A Longenhagen: Hi from Tempe everyone, I’m back from Area Codes/PGAA and chatting again. I’ll get right to it so I can finish today’s prospect notes and get those up this afternoon.
Gerald: Do you like prospects? Baseball prospects to be clear.
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve been called a ‘Prospect Pragmatist’ so I guess not. I’m interested in them, though.
Snooker: If you were to rank the various organizations based on player development, who would be up top, who would be at the bottom, and where would the Tigers fit?
Eric A Longenhagen: Top ones for me are CLE, LAD, NYY, hard not to put BAL at the bottom. Some orgs, and I think DET falls into this category, are tough to evaluate through this lens because their roster situations have made it difficult.
Eric A Longenhagen: So for DET they’ve moved a bunch of players in trades or acquired them and two dev groups have touched them, so it’s hard to say who’s responsible for success/failure
connor: What do the Brewers do with Domingo Santana ROS? He seems to be getting more power in AAA
Eric A Longenhagen: Consider the hitting environment. He’ll be a power reserve bat in Sept.
Ford: Thoughts on the A’s trio of teenage prospects in Beloit (Beck, Allen, Lazarito)? Encouraging seasons, neutral, disappointing?
Eric A Longenhagen: Beck (6th overall pick in ’17, raw toolsy HS) and Lazarito (high-profile Cuban signee with power/speed, risk regarding the bat) both encouraging, Nick Allen (overslot ’17 draftee, small, elite glove at SS, no bat) neutral
Josh Nelson: Have you seen Zack Burdi pitch this week? If so, is his velocity coming back?
Eric A Longenhagen: Elite CWS closer prospect coming back from TJ. Have been travelling and have not, was way down when I saw his ’18 debut last week.
Jim Lahey: I’m surprised Albert Abreu wasn’t included in Kiley’s “next Glasnow” article yesterday- especially in Glasnow’s specific category. Has his stock fallen that far? I thought he was still a top 100 guy in the most updated BOARD rankings
Eric A Longenhagen: You can lump him in with the Touki group on that list, wasn’t meant to be a comprehensive list I don’t think, just some examples spread around the minors.
Neil: Lewis Thorpe since 6/13: 28.9 K-BB%, 2.33 ERA, 2.07 FIP. Is he a 50FV yet?
Eric A Longenhagen: No and with his injury history he won’t be. Was 90-94 with plus curveball and avg slider last night. Chance to be a #4 (which is a 50) but gotta bake risk into the FV.
Jenna: Other than the fact that he hasn’t been doing it for very long, are there any concerns about Nathaniel Lowe and his lightning quick ascension through the Rays system?
Eric A Longenhagen: Lowe is a 13th rd 1B/DH from 2016 who is having a huge season and has reached Double-A. The power is for real. He’s not a good 1B and might be DH-only but that’s fine. He’ll be a good big league piece as the larger half of a 1B/DH rotation.
Jim Lahey: What has happened to Franklin Barreto‘s hit tool the past few years that has seen it drop from 55 to 45? He used to be consistently under a 20% K rate, its now skyrocketed since he got to AAA
Eric A Longenhagen: Body has gotten away from him a little bit and his aggressiveness has been exposed by upper level pitching. Still probably gonna be an up the middle player with power, though.
Ford: Any idea/speculation around who the top guys will be in the AFL this year?
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d guess there’s a good chance we get Fernando Tatis, perhaps Vlad Jr for a little while until winter ball starts in the Dominican. Forrest Whitley makes sense if HOU doesn’t stick him in the playoff bullpen (he’s back from his oblique thing, threw two innings the other night)
Eric A Longenhagen: LouBob, probably
Jeff : Alonso is going *off* at AAA right now. What kind of line do you think he can put up in the majors?
Eric A Longenhagen: .260/.350/.480, kinda Smoak-ish I guess
Mike: DO you think Nick Gordon will turn it around in the minors and go on to be a big time player? And will Dustin Fowler and/or Ahmed Rosario have a bounce back year next year?
Eric A Longenhagen: I think Gordon is an avg everyday 2B. Fowler will be a low OBP CF with pop, Rosario is a 7 shortstop with 6 raw power and a horrible swing so who knows?
Gavin: Does George Valera’s broken hamate bone hurt his long-term outlook at all?
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah
Pine Needles: Learn anything from Touki on Monday you didn’t already know?
Eric A Longenhagen: Nope
Jeff : Hiura has been a bit sluggish at aa thus far. Any notes/reason for concern with him?
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s Keston Hiura, Brewers 2017 1st rd 2B. He’s carrying more weight than last year and rememeber he spent all of last year DH’ing and didn’t play between the end of Irvine’s season and the start of pro ball so he might just be gassed right now. Heavier workload.
Tribe: Luis Oviedo and Elijah Morgan are two arms I’m interested to know more about. What’s the report on them?
Eric A Longenhagen: Morgan has a fringe fastball, 70 changeup and throws strikes.
Not Eric: Is Buddy Reed a flash in the pan? Or is there something real with the change in his hitting?
Eric A Longenhagen: Padres 23y/o OF from Florida, had big Cal League numbers but has come back to Earth since promotion to Double-A, has history of offensive issues. I buy that he’s made enough changes on offense to merit a bump on the Board. He’s a plus defender in CF pretty easily and if he does anything on offense he’ll be a good big leaguer. He has a self-aware offensive approach and knows his speed is key to reaching base. He’ll make it work but he’s not a leadoff candidate or anything like that.
Yes to the DH: There’s been talk about calling Vlad Jr up to the big leagues because he’s been tearing up the minors. How much more work does his defense need at 3B, and what’s the likelihood we see Vlad get a cup of coffee in the majors in September? If they don’t call him up, is it due to service time manipulation (ex. Kris Bryant)?
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s okay at 3B but I think his size will force a move at some point during his career, he’s not going to be playing defense like Scott Rolen until he’s 35 or anything. He should be up and I’m sure service time is part of why he’s not.
Bored Employee: Can you shed a little light on Nick Martini? It’s hard to find any sort of scouting report on him, but he seems to put together good at bats and the milb plate discipline numbers are great.
Eric A Longenhagen: Yup, corner guy with above-avg control of the zone, less power than profiles at 1B/OF spots. He’s 28, don’t think he’s a long term starter. More of a bench bat for me.
Go Twins: What is the upside for Madrigal in terms of power?
Eric A Longenhagen: Wanna see the top hand more involved like it was early in the college season so he’s scooping balls and lifting them rather than slashing them down. If he does that then he could be a 15-18 homer guy.
Andujar: Is there room for me to improve defensively, or is my range really this limited?
Eric A Longenhagen: I just think he’ll eventually be a RF
Matt: How effective do you think Luzardo could be in a relief role for the A’s during this playoff hunt?
Eric A Longenhagen: Quite
Jared: How high has Daniel Lynch‘s stock rose since the draft?
Eric A Longenhagen: Since the draft? None, I feel good about where we had him.
Alan: Resly Linares has been pitching very well lately; do the scouting reports match? I know there was some hope that his velocity would tick up as he filled out.
Eric A Longenhagen: This is a 20y/o Rays lefty pitching well in Low-A. He has strong placement on The Board as well. Projectable lefty, 3/4s slot, short-stride, fastball is actually pretty fringey 88-92 touch a 4 now and then. Curveball is plus, throws a ton of strikes. Lefties who throw strikes and have this kind of breaker are likely big leaguers of some kind, Linares is tracking like a #4/5 starter right now could be more if the body fills out and brings more heat with it.
Jerry: how do scouts know probable pitchers for high school games?
Eric A Longenhagen: Agents, coaches, parents. Other scouts. All kinds of ways. I’ve called athletic directors and high school coaches. You just find a way to figure it out.
Reese deWhat: Discuss D’Shawn Knowles‘ future power potential or I will straight dab on your entire family in Fortnite
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s a little guy but his hands have life and he’s had good feel for hitting the ball in the air when I’ve seen him. Pioneer League is accentuating things but he could have 50 pop.
Eric A Longenhagen: Also PUBG > Fortnite and it isn’t close.
Finding Nimmo: Hi. Started the season with Correa and Devers at SS and 3B. Picked up Chapman. My outfielders currently include Trout, Hoskins, Soto, Hicks and Nimmo. I also have Camargo, a flex bat with SS and 3B eligibility.
Eric A Longenhagen: Devers : Part of MIA return for Stanton, teen making ton of contact in full-season Wenceel: DET SS who hit his way out of GCL Really like both, Wenceel’s hand eye is nuts and I think his frame has more room to fill out
Colby: Is Kevin Kramer a bat first utility guy or can he be an everyday starter at 2b?
Eric A Longenhagen: I think you can hide his defensive limitations with better positioning but i wanna vomit when I say that what have I become?
Mike: I’ve heard Melvin Adon has the highest average fastball velocity from a starting pitcher in pro baseball, including the majors. Yes?
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t know if that’s true but I wouldn’t doubt it.
Scott: Do you think a part of the league office doesn’t mind intentional HBPs? Sort of like hockey and fighting? I get the occasional 92 in the butt for a high slide can liven up a long season. (That is of course very different than a dude just loading up and drilling an exciting player on his first pitch of the game because he’s doing what he is paid to do, but doing it too well, which risks making your product worse if said player gets hurt).
Eric A Longenhagen: I haven’t spoken with anyone who think what Urena did yesterday was kosher but there are people who I like and respect who think vigilante justice is fine, though they have differing reasons for it. Some think it’s just the path of least conflict, ultimately.
Parker: What do 17-year-olds like Kristian Robinson and Ronny Mauricio need to do to continue to rise up the top 100? Just maintain what they’re doing or more?
Eric A Longenhagen: Like if Kristian makes a swing tweak and is hitting 430ft bombs every day in the fall, he’s moving up the list. It’s a visual thing for me with prospects that young.
Yoan Antonac: Eric, Phillies signed a 6’8′ arm from the South of France: Yoan Antonac. Do you know anything about him? worth a look in deep dynasty?
Eric A Longenhagen: Have nothing on him but love that you specified it was the South of France,
Jake: If Jeren Kendall fixes his swing, how high could his FV rise to from 45? And how long before you give up on his tools?
Eric A Longenhagen: The 45 FV tier is just where boom/bust guys like that live until they’re gone. When would I give up? Hmm..if he’s like 23 or 24 and still isn’t hitting it might be time.
Eric A Longenhagen: like, in A-ball
Urena: Great chat today…too great…*throws at head*
Colby: Is Gavin Lux‘s swing change for real? Do you think he can sustain this success and will the bat play at the ml level?
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s real, peep that ground ball rate last year to this year
Eric A Longenhagen: #3/4 starter on stuff but think he falls a short of that
An aside : Chicago has two teams that can seemingly only develop players on one side of the ball, what’s the likelihood either team fixes that problem in the near future?
Eric A Longenhagen: Cubs volume of college pitching will yield something
GC: Who were the most impressive players in Sunday’s PG All American Game? Who disappointed?
Eric A Longenhagen: Brennan Malone and Matt Allan were both awesome, much better than they were for me in Chicago last month
Ace: Do you know why Area Codes were closed to the public this year? Heard a rumor that it was to keep agents away.
Eric A Longenhagen: I saw plenty of agents there
Fletcher: What is the best case scenario for Shaun Anderson? Could he be a #3?
Eric A Longenhagen: Saw him last month and thought it was a bit less than that, but he’s good.
Billy Beane: Do you and Kiley work with Marc Hulet at all?
Eric A Longenhagen: We do not nor have we had involvement with what Zimmerman has done recently.
name: Planning on a boys trip to AFL this year – any tricks or tips we need to know?
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes. Don’t come during the World Series because there are no night games during it so you can’t double up. Avoid Glendale during the day unless you wanna burn. If you stay near Scottsdale Stadium you’re walkable/cheap Lyftable distance from three stadiums and a bunch of good food.
Eric A Longenhagen: And with that, I must depart. See you folks next week…
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.