Eric Longenhagen Chat: 8/16/19

1:20
Eric A Longenhagen: Good morning, all. I’m back from showcase stuff. The prospect mover piece will be up soon and that will answer a lot of questions currently in the queue.

1:20
Crackjacketityjack: Zion Bannister is apparently in the AZL now. Isn’t that quick for a J-2 guy who just signed?

1:21
Eric A Longenhagen: He is but with fewer teams doing instructional league (though I think TEX still is) this is an opportunity to get into games now, and Bannister isn’t physically weak such that I think he’s clearly overmatched.

1:21
jjjj: If you are the Rangers, what do you do with Nick Solak long term? Have him replace Odor? Try him at 1B? Put him at LF or DH with Willie Calhoun?

1:21
Eric A Longenhagen: try to make him a 4 at 2B

1:21
Azfan : Who should I be more excited for, Liover pegeuro or Geraldo Perdomo?

1:22
Eric A Longenhagen: We just moved one into the 50 fv tier, though obviously we’ve been high on Peguero for almost two years now.

1:22
John : Have you heard anything recently on Luis Medina. Seems like over the past month something may have clicked mechanically and he’s been able to throw more strikes and the results have been pretty impressive.

1:23
Eric A Longenhagen: Kiley and I talked about whether we want to trust it or not. We’re weighing it, sourcing on him as a priority, and I think Kiley may make a trip to see him (and others) soon

1:24
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m inclined not to trust it yet ,personally. Been through this a lot in the past with Yadier ALvarez and his couple weeks of strike throwing

1:25
Giants Fan In Canada: How do you feel about Logan Webb making his major league debut on Saturday? Has only made one start in Triple A

1:28
Eric A Longenhagen: i think it’s fine, if they catch lightning in a bottle it’s a good look for the org and otherwise he has time to make adjustments in a pretty low stakes way when you consider the context of expectations

1:29
WISCY: What kind of upside does Aaron Civale have? seems like a boring back-of-rotation arm, but he’s been great so far and the Indians maximize those arms as good as any.

1:29
Eric A Longenhagen: You nailed it. Think he’s a #5 but CLE has been good at maxing out these types

1:29
Koba: What do you think Spencer Howard will be 60 FV if he completes this year with results and healthy?

1:29
Eric A Longenhagen: that’s too probably too rich

1:30
Slippery Pete: There’s a lot to like in Luis Campusano’s year so far — higher level, more walks, more power, fewer Ks. Is it reasonable to expect him to debut in 2021?

1:32
Eric A Longenhagen: maybe late that year but his 40-man timeline is pointing more at 2022 and, considering he still has some receiving issues, that feels more likely

1:32
Roger: Hi Eric! Thanks for your time. Any update on Omar Cruz? I don’t see him on THE BOARD nor does his player page have the 20-80 projections. You did a DPN writeup on him last year and said he could have a mix of 50s and 55s at peak and he’s performed well at Ft. Wayne. Is he progressing well?

1:33
Eric A Longenhagen: he’s one of a lot of young pitchability arms who are on the 35/35+ fringe right now. I’ll probably take the opportunity to see who I can from that group during instructs before lining them all up.

1:33
Guest: There are rumors of Brusdar Graterol coming up as a reliever soon, how ready do you think he is?

1:33
Eric A Longenhagen: he’s probably be able to muscle up and throw fastballs past guys for an inning right now

1:33
Cubbie Blues: What do you think are the chances that Brailyn Marquez can be a starter?

1:34
Eric A Longenhagen: 35-40%?

1:34
angels: i know the pioneer league is a massive hitters environment but what jeremiah jackson is doing (about to break all time HR record) has to merit a 50 at this point or some point soon, right?

1:34
Eric A Longenhagen: nah, not soon. It’s a bad idea to move guys based on PIO stats, full stop.

1:35
Lou Bob Blues: Have you ever had a similar type of experience with a highly rated player to what Keith Law has had with Louis Robert, where every time you went to see them in person they performed poorly for whatever reason?

1:36
Eric A Longenhagen: yep, just due to sheer volume of players we’re seeing and writing up this happens a lot. Not as dramatically as it has with Keith and LouBob, which is of course hilarious.

1:36
redbird: Dylan Carlson is a ways down on the list for 50 FV on the Board.. is there something holding you back from being more excited? a 20 year old with power and speed in AAA seems like something to be excited about.

1:39
Eric A Longenhagen: IDK he was on our pre-season picks to click article, so we’ve somehow gone from the high guys on him to the low because (no offense) Cardinals fans are how they are about their own players. I don’t think his level of statistical power production matches what he’s actually capable of, but hey the baseball makes a real difference so maybe I’m wrong. We like him as a good everyday player and maybe he’ll be at the top of the 50s or even a 55 in the offseason,

1:39
angels: Trent Deveaux was a favorite last year, has the tinkering finally stopped? Looks like his statline is back in a good spot

1:39
Eric A Longenhagen: timing is better, swing is still comically noisy. I think he’ll just stay a 45 FV

1:39
Cubbie Blues: Is Brennen Davis hitting better than scouts expected?

1:40
Eric A Longenhagen: it’s come together more quickly yhan everyone expected

1:40
Slothrop: Do you buy the idea that a player with good Defense/”meh” offense but a great clubhouse presence is a plus contributor down the stretch?

1:40
Eric A Longenhagen: yes

1:40
Mike: Were you surprised by Marco Luciano’s promotion? Will he start next year at Salem-Keizer?

1:40
Eric A Longenhagen: No, he was crushing the AZL. I’d start him at Low-A next year.

1:41
Amir: Hi Eric. Have you had a chance to see Brayan Buelvas of the A’s out in Arizona? There seems to be some buzz building around him. What do you think/have you heard about him? Thanks and keep up the great work.

1:42
Eric A Longenhagen: yes, as you might be able to tell I was adding him to the board right before the chat but need to write his scouting reports. Good frame, advanced from a technical perspective, strength in the hands and more power than usual for this age, runs well enough for CF. He’s pretty good

1:43
Brad: Any thoughts/buzz on the Cubs’ Pedro Martinez who is tearing up short season ball at 18?

1:43
Eric A Longenhagen: limited physical projection but there is power right now. Tough to project a position because of the body but may end up as a power-hitting infielder of some kind. Threatening to move past Garcia who’s having a lost year

1:44
Cubbie Blues: I’m a blogger in a different field. Two questions: Have you ever calculated how much you made per hour? And how much did you drink afterwords?

1:45
Eric A Longenhagen: no but, while FG does take good care of us, i expect given the hours it would probably be low. But some of that is me not being able to hit the breaks when I should, the passion just overrides other impulses.

1:45
mmddyyyy: How long have you been with Fangraphs now?

1:45
Eric A Longenhagen: 3 years and some change

1:45
Cass: Oakland’s Marcus Smith is putting up good numbers, especially for a supposed raw HS player from the Midwest. What did you think of him before the draft and have your thoughts about him changed since his pro debut in Arizona?

1:46
Eric A Longenhagen: all that’s changed is confidence that the feel for contact he showed at Area Codes was real

1:47
Adam: If Joey Cantillo’s velocity spike is sustainable, what does that mean for his long term outlook?

1:47
Eric A Longenhagen: his outlook is dependent on strikes, not the velo. the fastball will play at mediocre velo because of the vertical movement

1:47
Jason N: What would you FV Luis Torrens? He was a Rule 5 guy (so not on THE BOARD!) but seems to be playing really well in AA-ball.

1:48
Eric A Longenhagen: he’s on the list of guys we’re sourcing on so we can answer this, but because he isn’t list eligible it isn’t a priority.

1:48
Setve Yourgins: You guys ranked Logan Gilbert a little more aggressively than other publications. What’s his ceiling to you?

1:49
Eric A Longenhagen: above average big league starter, chance to be a #3 which is an all star type arm

1:49
GPT: Was there any consideration to change Seth Corry’s FV? He has had an absolutely ridiculous last 6 weeks or so.

1:50
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s three impact pitches but concerning control, another guy I think we were just in the right spot on initially as a high 40. Maybe he moves into the 40+ tier? I’d still take the high upside bats before COrry, much as we like him.

1:50
Appa Yip Yip: I’ve seen in a few places that K/BB is the only stat that you should really be looking at for pitchers in A ball because it’s the one that seems to correlate with guys reaching the bigs. Is this actually true, or have I just seen it enough times that I’ve internalized it as true?

1:52
Eric A Longenhagen: as far as publicly-available stats are concerned, I do think strikeout and walk rates are the most stable, inoffensive stats to consider when thinking about lower level prospects. But the most important things — statistical or otherwise — at that stage are *stuff, frame, athleticism*.

1:52
Giants Fan In Canada: Who of the Giants non Luciano/Canario low minors bats is the most interesting to you?

1:52
Eric A Longenhagen: for giants dudes or overall? Giants it’s Pomares. I’m lukewarm on Pomares but kindof on a island there. I

1:53
Eric A Longenhagen: I prefer Hilson because the tools are so loud, but I’m interested in Pomares because I’m trying to figuer out if I’m missing something.

1:55
Marlins Fan: What do you think is an everyone-is-mostly-happy solution to the problem of young superstars getting paid way below what they’re worth and aging veterans being paid significantly more than they’re worth? Seems baseball is trending away from the overpaying part of the equation but will that leave a lot of players getting squeezed(i.e. no money on the front or back end)?

1:55
Eric A Longenhagen: yeah, i suspect a sweeping change to the compensation system will leave some guys currently in their mid-20s high and dry

1:56
Adam: If you’re a rebuilding team like the Orioles or Tigers, would you be open to trading a quality 50+FV prospect to a team with 40-man concerns (Yankees, Rays, Padres, etc) for as many high upside 40s and 45s as you can reasonably carry?

1:58
Eric A Longenhagen: uhhhh, that’s an interesting question. Would you trade Ryan Mountcastle for several lower-minors 40+ types….I guess the asset value calc indicates how many you’d need to get back in that situation and it’s a pretty high number. Mountcastle might have more pull in trade after he’s performed for a while….it’s a tough to answer question. My instinct is to say yes because I just prefer depth in a system to top heavy value.

1:58
Walter Sobchak: Is Ryan Vilade’s power output more likely to be limited by the way he fills out or his swing plane?

1:58
Eric A Longenhagen: Both, but one has a chance to be tweaked.

1:59
mmddyyyy: Your cure for hiccups?

1:59
Eric A Longenhagen: I exhale all the way then take take sips of water, swallowing after each one, before I inhale again. It works some of the time.

2:00
Jason N: What keeps Ty France at 40FV? I know the AAA ball is juiced but he’s still the only guy hitting .400 and doing it with power. And he’s always had a good track hitting track record.

2:01
Eric A Longenhagen: we’re indicating what role we think he’ll play: corner utility bat a la Wes Helms or someone like that. Maybe with a more obvious path to playing time we add a + to indicate there’s a chance this is a freaky guy we’re low on, but not something we’ve been inclined to do right now.

2:01
Roger: Have teams become more open to pushing HS hitters to low A in their draft years? In 15 years of prospect watching, I don’t recall it happening before the past 2-3 years, and I know of at least 4 guys in the past 2 years (Gorman, Abrams, Greene, Michael Harris).

2:01
Eric A Longenhagen: gotta whisper sweet nothings to other clubs’ models

2:03
Matt: Any thoughts or reports on Dedniel Nunez? As a Mets fan, it looks on the surface like he’s one of the better pitching prospects in the org at this point.

2:04
Eric A Longenhagen: 89-93 t95 with big spin and vertical movement on the fastball. yeah, he’s got a shot despite being old for the level. Injured now, though.

2:04
Roger: When we talk about swing changers and launch angle, we usually think fly balls to try to get home runs. Is it possible/reasonable to optimize for line drives? Are teams doing so?

2:05
Eric A Longenhagen: yeah I think it’s smart to make contact-oriented changes at this point since the ball is supplying power of its own

2:05
Guest: Kris Bubic’s last two starts: 18 IP, 22 K, 2 BB, 4 hits 1 R. At 21 (almost 22), he doesn’t seem too old for Hi-A ball. He’s been great all season. Is there something more here?

2:05
Eric A Longenhagen: very encouraging after he was bad as a junior at Stanford, wish they’d give him a cup of coffee at AA…

2:06
DJ Tanner: Saw you slapped a 40+ on Luis Matos, which seems like you guys must have heard some very positive things on him out of the DSL to give a 17.5 y/o such a positive FV. Give us the scoop!

2:06
Eric A Longenhagen: it’s all in his board writeup

2:06
Brian: Is Aaron Bracho closing in to that Valera/Rocchio level? He is a league behind, but power and plate discipline are awfully good thus far

2:06
Eric A Longenhagen: no defensive value there, but yeah he rakes

2:06
Tweeter: Did Sano have FV 80 power as a prospect? Can’t remember back that far

2:06
Eric A Longenhagen: i had a 70 on his raw, i think

2:07
Jonathan: How likely do you think it is that Helcris Olivarez’s athleticism eventually nudges his fastball command to where it needs to be for him to start in the majors? Or is this more than just him needing to grow into his “big boy” body and he’s going to be too wild to stick in a MLB rotation?

2:07
Eric A Longenhagen: I think nudge is the right word, if it happens. It’s a graceful delivery but he didn’t strike me as an elite athlete or anything.

2:08
Drew: Top 3 guys showing up to AFL this year I should be watching? Also 1 sleeeper

2:11
Eric A Longenhagen: i suppose we’ll get those rosters in the next week or two, right? I’ll guess we get Luzardo, Royce Lewis, and Whitley

2:11
Eric A Longenhagen: sleeper? Alex Pantuso?

2:11
BarryBondsJuicedForOurSins: With Clase and Munoz up, who are the next best strictly reliever prospects in the minors? i might spam you with this question, apologies

2:13
Eric A Longenhagen: melvin adon, edwar colina, johan quezada

2:13
Eric A Longenhagen: those types of guys

2:13
RationalMLBFan: Has Jorge Mateo regained any prospect sheen, or is he just a guy putting up big numbers with the AAA ball in the Las Vegas, who has a horrendous BB:K ratio?

2:13
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think we’ll ever move him up past a 45, he’s been so consistently inconsistent as a pro we just epect it would happen in MLB too

2:14
Miles: why don’t the rockies have a complex league team?

2:14
Eric A Longenhagen: no idea, I think it sucks and is dumb not to use multi-million dollar facilities in AZ all the time but I’m biased because I wanna see more players

2:15
Darrell: Gore shut down after 100 innings. What kind of cap next year?

2:15
Eric A Longenhagen: typically 20-30 increase is standard

2:15
Jimmy: Daulton Varsho has been on fire, what should ARI do with him and Carson Kelly?

2:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Varsho will catch less and play some OF corner is my guess

2:15
Brian: What is Ka’ai Tom? A remember a few scouts liking him quite a bit out of the draft. Is he on a hot streak, a product of Huntington Park, or legit?

2:16
Eric A Longenhagen: good defensive OF with contact skills, tools are below Greg Allen’s though if that gives you better feel for where he’s at

2:16
Sean: What do you make of Michael Baumann?

2:17
Eric A Longenhagen: Simmons should give him a raise

2:17
John Stamos: Hi Eric – maybe you can get this to the attention of Sean, but THE BOARD is not very-friendly for automated export (such as import HTML on Google Sheets or web queries). Any reason or intent behind this? Other pages on this site don’t have the same issue and was wondering if this is something that can be improved.

2:18
Eric A Longenhagen: This isn’t a thing we’ve talked about explicitly, but my concern is that it would be really easy for someone to steal and make the foundation of prospect analysis at another site.

2:18
Nick: Yusei Kikuchi was expected to be a lot better than this. What’s gone wrong and is all hope lost going forward?

2:19
Eric A Longenhagen: i wonder if the change from NPB ball to this ball (not just the power part of it, but the seam/size/weight changes, too) is a bigger deal than we thought it’d be

2:20
7uu: How comfortable would you be if you were the Rangers going into 2020 expecting Joe Palumbo and Brock Burke to your #4-5 starters?

2:20
Eric A Longenhagen: that seems fine. you need like 8-12 starters to get through a year anyway, on talent having those as my 4th and 5th best guys seems solid

2:22
Frank Menechino: What kind of floor does Nick Allen’s offense need to be at for his defense to play at the major league level? I’m dreaming of him next to Chapman some day.

2:22
Eric A Longenhagen: the wRC+ for MLB shortstops right now is 98. That’s his bar.

2:22
awg: vanderbilt had a very long season and he got an aggressive assignment in jupiter. industry consensus on bleday hasn’t changed, right?

2:22
Eric A Longenhagen: nah

2:23
Robert Puason: When will I actually be playing in some sort of affiliated league in the US?

2:23
Eric A Longenhagen: next summer, probably

2:23
Eric A Longenhagen: but you’re taking grounders and BP in Mesa right now and will probably play during instructs

2:23
Roy: How much do numbers and statistics affect changing a prospects FV value? When you upgrade a guy or downgrade is it usually numbers driven or scouting driven?

2:24
Eric A Longenhagen: numbers are just another piece of evidence, often an alert we need to see or ask around about someone. But we never just say ‘hey, this guy’s ERA is 2.5, he should be higher’

2:24
Ken Giles Right Hook: Any concern about George Valera’s meh season in the Pen League?

2:24
Eric A Longenhagen: no, he’s 18

2:25
Jc: What you know about Otto Lopez? He’s leading mdw league in batting average

2:25
Eric A Longenhagen: speedy, contact-oriented guy with defensive versatility. Lansing seems like a fun place to hit

2:25
Guest: excited for the new Tool album?

2:25
Eric A Longenhagen: i’ve never heard a Tool song, is that lunacy?

2:26
Billy Beane: Is Montas-Puk-Luzardo a scary 1-2-3?

2:26
Eric A Longenhagen: yes because of all three of their injury historoes

2:26
Mike: What are your thoughts on James Karinchak? Think he could help the Indians now? The recent walks are concerning but those strikeouts are sexy.

2:26
Eric A Longenhagen: here’s another relief piece for that guy who was spamming that ? earlier

2:27
Taylor: Did you ever envision Carson Kelly being this good? Since May 4 when he hit his first major league homerun, he has batted .293/.400/.630 with a 14.9% walk rate and 17 home runs. I doubt he’ll keep that pace up, but could he be an above average offensive and defensive catcher?

2:27
Eric A Longenhagen: i did not, thought he’d make zero offensive impact. my first instinct is to blame the ball rather than do any real, reflective work, which sucks.

2:27
Larry: Have you seen Blake Walston and Brennan Malone in the AZL? If so, how have they looked so far? Thank you!

2:28
Eric A Longenhagen: mhmm, video of Walston’s last start is on the youtube page

2:28
Eric A Longenhagen: he’s very good, up to 93 with life, plus curve, average change

2:28
Eric A Longenhagen: Malone’s last starts was really bad, velo was way down, couldn’t find his release

2:28
Eric A Longenhagen: but he was up to 96 with two plus pitches the start before that, so…

2:28
Nick D: Eric, I love your work on the site. What do you think of Osleivis Basabe? Is there upside there? Is he not on the Ranger list on merit or just hasn’t gotten added yet? Thanks!

2:29
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m just not as on him, but he was hurt early in the year when I saw Texas AZL a few times in a row. I think they come east again soon and I need to see Zion now, too, and more of Keithron.

2:30
Eric A Longenhagen: so no plans on adding him now, no plans on sourcing yet because I know I’ll see him shortly

2:30
Sarah: Casey Mize had a shoulder injury and his performance has largely not been the same since. Cause for concern?

2:30
Eric A Longenhagen: one could argue, yeah

2:30
Jake, not from State Farm : Who was the first prospect you saw that made your jaw drop?

2:30
Eric A Longenhagen: Strasburg

2:30
Ollie: I was super pumped when you moved Geraldo Perdomo up to 50 FV. Any chance you may do the same for Corbin Carroll in the off-season?

2:31
Eric A Longenhagen: probably not

2:31
Brendon: Does the industry view of Simeon Woods Richardson line up with his on field performance this year? Seems like his peripherals + age/level would indicate (on numbers alone) a top 100 arm. But is there concern he is physically maxed and maybe not all that projectable?

2:31
Eric A Longenhagen: you nailed it

2:31
Eric A Longenhagen: for me, anyway

2:31
Jimmy: I keep seeing Alexander Canario’s name keep popping up, is he someone to get excited about?

2:33
Eric A Longenhagen: yes, but that’s been my opinion for 18 months https://blogs.fangraphs.com/top-22-prospects-san-francisco-giants/

2:34
Jimmy: Abraham Toro is putting up big numbers in AAA, but can he be an everyday regular at the next level?

2:34
Eric A Longenhagen: i don’t think so. 70 arm when he winds up and lets it go but limited utility in other ways may means some clubs think he can’t play 3B

2:35
Eric A Longenhagen: he’s really, really interesting tho and hits the ball hard. I like him, just think he’s more a Marwin type than a real regular

2:35
Jimmy: Brennan Davis appears to be on the board twice – just an FYI – right after Alzolay and before Brailyn

2:36
Eric A Longenhagen: thanks, that is super weird

2:36
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m gonna leave you with this link.

2:37
Eric A Longenhagen: chat complete, see you guys 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.

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Dooduh
Member
Dooduh

The idea of SWR already having a maxed out body as a detraction is ridiculous. He’s already a specimen and some want to hold that against him. Come on. The Mets trading of both SWR and Kelenic look like they’re going to sting badly. The Cano deal is an obvious disaster already and Stroman has been pretty overrated for a while.

Damaso
Member
Damaso

Add in the fact that “projectable” doesn’t even matter if he’s outpitching 21yr old top 50 prospects at the same level.

Dooduh
Member
Dooduh

I won’t charge these guys with groupthink bc they’re often not in line with the industry in general, but like in this case, there can be some overthinking at times. SWR is still 18 and has made what appears to be a seamless transition to A+ already, yet some people are reluctant to buy in. Curious.