Eric Longenhagen Chat: 8/30/2018

2:00
Eric A Longenhagen: Hey there, let’s chat. Last Daily Prospect Notes of the year will be out later today and I’ll have Fall League roster stuff at some point, too. They’re exciting this year, as always.

2:00
Rosie: who’s the biggest sleeper in the AZL that could become a big spec one day?

2:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Depends on what kind of perspective you have. Reivaj Garcia isn’t a sleeper down here but he might be to you. I’ll say Wilbis Santiago. Old for AZL but really loose, quick hands.

2:03
Joe: Best prospect from this group? Neidert, Palumbo, Duran, Thorpe, Widener, Santillan, and poche

2:03
Eric A Longenhagen: One of those guys is a 50 FV on The Board, the rest are not (yet)

2:03
regular: DeShawn Knowles has comparable slash to Wander (albeit weaker ratios). What kind of upside are we looking at? Shane Victorino a decent comp?

2:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Pioneer League stats should just be tossed out. That said, Knowles is good. Few comps are decent comps. This is a twitchy CF with an approach and feel for the barrel. Has sneaky pop for his size but it’ll take adjustments to hit for power in games. If you don’t think he makes them he’s probably a 4th OF for you. If you do, he’s a regular.

2:06
2:08
Eric A Longenhagen: C’mon, people. Surely there are autodidacts among you. https://www.fangraphs.com/scoutboard.aspx?draft=&type=&pos=&team=ari

2:08
Eric: Hello Eric A. Longenhagen, I’m looking for the next Garrett Cooper. Preferably someone who’s older and his trackman readouts are nuts. Do you have any ideas?

2:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Brent Rooker, Luke Voit, Ryan O’Hearn, Jabari Blash, Nate Lowe, maybe guys like Bren Spillane in a few years

2:10
Tommy N.: You recently wrote about Gabriel Arias. What do you see his ceiling to be? Are you more optimistic about his hit tool now?

2:10
Eric A Longenhagen: He has an all star ceiling. Feel better about him making an offensive impact with this new swing.

2:11
squeeze bunt: How much difference do you think there is between the BOARD and the information teams keep on their own players?  How detailed are the developmental plans, are they broken down into phases i.e., work on fastball command this month, if that box is checked, work on secondaries, etc…

2:12
Eric A Longenhagen: If you saw what kind of data teams have on their own players and what the portal for access looks like, your head would explode. The Board, and our plans for improving it, are a nice way of looking at the big picture but not nearly as detailed as what teams have on individuals.

2:12
Nick: Phillies’ SS prospect Luis Garcia is tearing up Rookie ball at 17. Is there reason to be exited?

2:12
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes

2:13
regular: What is the best approach to scouting at the AFL for an amateur fan? Should I try and sit behind home or along the line

2:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Behind the plate gives you the most well-rounded look at all the players. I head down the line to focus on hitters or do side work on pitchers.

2:14
Marlyn: We know what Brinson can do defensively. Scale of 1-10, how confident are you in his ability to start showing an avg hit tool and plus power beginning next season?

2:14
Eric A Longenhagen: Next year? 4-5

2:14
Jeff: Can Javier Guerra become a viable backup middle IF, given his defense, or is the bat just too light?

2:15
Eric A Longenhagen: His glove is good enough to roster, in my opinion.

2:15
Anthony: Where are you at on Ohtani? I know you were skeptical preseason, but his year at the plate has obviously exceeded expectations. Viable two-way guy long-term now?

2:15
Eric A Longenhagen: This is more bat than I expected so, yeah I’m in on the two way thing.

2:15
squeeze bunt: What are your thoughts on spin rate?  Does is really add to pitches deception?

2:19
Eric A Longenhagen: Efficient, high rates of spin fight gravity and the ball doesn’t descend at the rate at which the hitter’s eye/brain anticipate, which is why so many hitters swing underneath fastballs up in the zone nowadays. Orgs that understand this have altered spin direction (Houston with lots of guys) and also inform their hitters how to deal with this, which is why you have Alex Bregman talking about ‘staying on top of’ high fastballs in interviews. His brain says ‘stay on top of this high pitch’ but what actually happens is, he squares it up.

2:20
FangraphsMan: Austin Meadows has hit 10 bombs in 27 games with Durham. This after never hitting more than 12 bombs in any year of his career. Did he alter his swing with the rays that caused this power spike?

2:21
Eric A Longenhagen: Ground ball rate is slightly beneath what it was with PIT early in the year so maybe? He’s always had power that hasn’t played in games for several reasons and  I’ve written about him tinkering with the swing in the past, but I don’t know if TB has really altered anything.

2:21
Bored Employee: Your podcast with Carson referenced Brayan Rocchio favorably, but he doesn’t have any grades listed, and it’s kinda hard to find a scouting report. Could you give a rough idea of his skillset?

2:22
Eric A Longenhagen: Young SS with mature feel to hit. We had a lot of those in AZL this year (Marcano, aforementioned Garcia)

2:23
Sandy Eggo: Luis Urias has a beautiful swing. Followed him since A-ball, saw him for the first time in the fall league last year and saw him get his first MLB hit this week. Brought tears to my eyes. Do you ever feel like a proud papa seeing prospects you’ve scouted for so long finally debut?

2:23
Eric A Longenhagen: No

2:23
Bored Employee: Any word on the injury to Oneil Cruz and Julio Rodriguez’s absence?

2:24
Eric A Longenhagen: Julio has a foot issue and is done for the year (Seattle not doing instructional league games anyway) but not sure on Cruz.

2:24
Garrett: Eric, when you were in my city, Long Beach, where did you eat?

2:24
Eric A Longenhagen: Seoul Mate

2:24
LudeBurger: Hi, prospect-shark-fren

2:24
Eric A Longenhagen: I do like sharks, fren.

2:25
Tristan: The AL rookie of the year race is interesting. Ohtani, Torres and Andujar have all hit. Maybe on a rate basis Shohei has a slight edge there – but the Yankee kids have the counting stats and they’ve both played the field. Do voters give Shohei enough credit for those 9 starts (and for, uh, being amazing) to take it? Who’s your work with one month left?

2:26
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d probably go with Shohei but either of the Yankee bats is fine, too.

2:26
Eric A Longenhagen: And I hope Wendle and Kiner-Falefa get votes, too. Those guys have had good seasons.

2:26
Billy Beane: You have any strong thoughts about Eli White or Luis Barrera? Both guys have hit well in AA while playing up the middle.

2:27
Eric A Longenhagen: I like Barrera’s bat but don’t think he’s a CF. Have been off White for a while and need to start fresh on him this offseason.

2:27
2-D: Is Nick Sandlin going to be the first guy to make it to the bigs from the 2018 class?

2:28
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll say yes

2:28
Kris: Strictly using publicly available data, what would you look at to initially narrow down thousands of minor league players into a handful of under the radar interesting guys to further dive into? For hitters, BB/K ratio? For pitchers K-BB%? Or?

2:28
Eric A Longenhagen: That stuff plus ground ball rates for pitchers and deltas in ground ball rates for hitters over the last 50 balls in play

2:29
Wurly: Why Isn’t Ivan Herrera getting some more love? He hits extremely well at a young age in the GCL

2:29
Eric A Longenhagen: He won’t allow himsself to be emotionally vulnerable and receive said love

2:30
BlueJayMatt: Hey Eric, do you guys have any reports on 19-year-old catching prospect Alejandro Kirk? The guys is hitting .354/.443/.558 with 10 homeruns in only 58 games in the Appalachian League. He’s also throwing out 43% of runners. Don’t hear much chatter about him yet, but is he a guy to watch? Thanks as always.

2:31
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s tough because scouts have a hard time looking past his build at this age, which I understand.

2:31
Shuck Bowalter: Sort of a ‘prospect’ question – knowing what you know now would you still call Moncada a 70 grade future prospect?

2:31
Eric A Longenhagen: No, the bat is too limited

2:31
Ford: Is Nolan Jones turning into a three true outcomes hitter?

2:32
Eric A Longenhagen: Has always been that type of hitter. Where he’s moved the needle for me this year is the way he leaned up the frame and improved his chances of staying at 3B. Really in on that guy now.

2:32
Catcher’s quandry: Who do you currently view more highly amongst the Cardinals’ catching prospects – Andrew Knizer or Carson Kelly?

2:32
Eric A Longenhagen: Knizner, can’t see Kelly doing anything offensively

2:32
kyle: Hans Crouse seems to be one of the highest upside arms in the low minors right now – is that an accurate assessment and can you discuss his stuff

2:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Has been up to 100 recently, 60 slider flashes 70, will show an average changeup. He brings that gasoline. Has strike-throwing limitations and has had some injury stuff (biceps tendinitis this year) so he’s often projected to the bullpen, but there’s multi-inning ability here even if it’s not 5-7IP per outing.

2:33
Ford: How concerned should A’s fans be about Luzardo getting shut down?

2:34
Eric A Longenhagen: Not at all

2:34
kyle: Juwuan Harris is scalding hot – any reason to be excited about him? I

2:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Has rare physical gifts that need polish. Looked lost when I saw him but if he starts performing consistently then yeah, that’s good, but bear in mind he’s a 21-year-old in the AZL, too.

2:36
Matt: Any thoughts on Roman Quinn’s success this year in the majors? Is it sustainable?

2:37
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think this is a caricature of his ability but that guy gets hut an awful lot and so I’m inclined to say, for that reason, it isn’t sustainable.

2:37
Howie: Asked this of Jay – realized it’s a question for you. At what point can Yankees fans be excited about an unheralded pitcher who has been killing Triple A recently? Mike King is pitching out of his mind. Curious if it is even on your radar.

2:38
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d say the recent track record of Yankee transactions would indicate that guy is gonna get traded to a team that needs backend pitching depth

2:38
Georgie: What are your thoughts on Moises Gomez from Rays?

2:39
Eric A Longenhagen: Big-bodied corner OF who sells out for power. Think the 40 FV we just put on him is appropriate.

2:39
DBRuns: Christian Yelich has looked pretty good since joining the Brewers (4.6 fWAR). What’s your take on the package the Marlins received now that we’re almost a full season removed from the deal?

2:42
Eric A Longenhagen: I like the guys Miami got in that deal and think it’s too early to judge it, from a talent in/talent out perspective. But it sucks that MIA ownership forced the FO to make moves like this.

2:42
Eric: Pirates 1B of the future: Will Craig or Mason Martin?

2:42
Eric A Longenhagen: I guess if you’re asking me to take one of those guys, it’s Craig. I’m not a fan of 1B-only types in general, though.

2:43
kyle: I keep hearing about Jordyn Adams upside but am not sure what to dream about.. is he a 30/30 threat in mold of buxton or more of a 15/50 guy

2:45
Eric A Longenhagen: Depends on how the swing and body develop. Lots of potential outcomes for that guy, many are good.

2:45
Hello: Anyone in the A’s system that you’ve liked/heard good things about, but haven’t really had the chance to talk about?

2:47
Eric A Longenhagen: Umm, Jordan Diaz here in the AZL has had a good year. Tools very average but approach is plus, should be okay at 3B for a while. I’ve talke about Parker Dunshee in this space before and how it’s unclear how real this is because, based on stuff, it shouldn’t be and there’s no visual evidence that would explain why his stuff is playing up (like you can watch Yusmeiro Petit and see why his stuff plays up, with Dunshee it isn’t as clear)

2:48
Eric A Longenhagen: Jose Mora has good numbers but the reports are not as good, mostly fastball-only.

2:48
Eric A Longenhagen: Ismael Aquino has been up to 95 in AZL, will show 55 slider, probable relief.

2:48
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s what I got off the top of the dome, has been just an okay year for that system. Wish Kap, jefeferies and Holmes were healthy.

2:49
tb.25: What sort of data collection is being done by teams at the AZL and other leagues similar?

2:49
Eric A Longenhagen: Oh yes, the Trackman is on.

2:49
Bored Employee: Amed Rosario has shown some signs of life. Have you seen any adjustments to his swing or approach?

2:50
Eric A Longenhagen: Back foot isn’t bailing forward quite as badly, such that it’s crossing over his front leg. I think that’s better but not all the way good.

2:50
Fred: Chavis’ stock all the back from getting popped for PEDs?

2:50
Eric A Longenhagen: Another guy I expect to see in AFL and either shade him back to a 50 or leave him a 45

2:50
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: This has been eating at me. Last week you said cookieface is your favorite between-innings entertainment. What is cookieface?

2:53
Eric A Longenhagen: https://streamable.com/c38l5

2:54
Eric A Longenhagen: When I was with Lehigh Valley, Lindsey Knupp would make people stand and do it, which is much harder than sitting.

2:54
Tim : Did Matt Chapman being an 80 defender at 3B come as a result of some changes or were prospect analysts just a little too conservative with their 60 grades? What kind of grades do you remember Trout receiving as a prospect for his defense?

2:54
Eric A Longenhagen: I was just too light with the grade

2:54
analisa joy: dj peters an mlb regular someday?

2:55
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s in today’s Daily Prospect Notes and it’ll answer your question with more nuance than this, but yeah I think so.

2:55
Vit-D: Do you have an opinion on Joey Bart’s start to his pro career?  He has obviously shown some impressive in game power, but there appears to be alot of swing and miss in his game as well.

2:55
Eric A Longenhagen: ACC pitching > NWL pitching, just flush his stats

2:55
M’s Fan: How many questions do you get every chat that can be answered by simply looking at THE BOARD?

2:55
Eric A Longenhagen: Dozens

2:56
Bear: “Next” Garrett Cooper might be Ji Man Choi? Seems like his statcast readings are looking really good.

2:56
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s a good one, too

2:57
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay, I see Fall League rosters are being released so I need to go write. Thanks for stopping by this week. No chat next week as I’m taking time off. (peace sign)

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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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