Eric Longenhagen Chat- 9/11/20

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Good morning, let’s dive right into it.

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: ah, let me tweet a link i guess….

12:07
Matt: How would you rank: Tatis, Acuna, Bellinger, Soto going forward? Ignoring contracts

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: the way you have them listed.

12:08
Philip: I know teams are especially secretive about what’s going on in alternate site but have you heard anything that would make you change a prospects ranking in either direction?

12:09
Eric A Longenhagen: Some. I moved up Rafael Marchan based on how he’s looked in camp, but I’ve seen that on video myself which is why I felt comfortable moving him already. Other teams video from the camp wasn’t published like Philly’s has been which means any opinions coming from camp are from the team in question, which should be heavily scrutinized because of their incentive to say their players are good.

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Sourcing relevant data from the sites is going to be more influential (for me, anyway) than team source fluff.

12:10
Tim: What was David’s preferred feeder material?

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: ideas

12:10
Jeff: Are you buying Teoscar’s breakout? Statcast does support it

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Kinda? He’s always been a talented but frustrating player with this kind of capability. I expect there to be a little regression, though.

12:13
fuz: Looking at the Board, 2017 Report Indians: lots of graduates in particular the 40 types. Fluke? And is grad rate tracked by someone?

12:15
Eric A Longenhagen: A combination of me/my industry niche underrating those types of pitchers (smaller guys who operate like power pitchers with 40 velocity but have a plus secondary pitch and command) and the org being great at maxing those types out. I have grads stashed away but need several years of careers playing out to draw anything from them

12:15
Mark: Jarren Duran supposedly made a swing change to allow him to reach high fastballs and tap into his raw power. Does this change his ranking/FV?

12:15
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d like to see what the results of the swing change are. I’m not inclined to move him at all. Doesn’t have impact raw power, don’t think his defensive instincts allow him to play CF even though he’s really fast.

12:16
TKDC: Looking at the Braves rebuild as a whole, do you think it is fair to characterize their pitcher development as a disappointment?

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: yeah

12:16
George: Am I wrong to think the Nats are in a really bad place with their system? Kieboom hasn’t looked great (weirdly his defense has looked way further along than the bat) Garcia has been great for a 20 year old but projects as basically an average regular. The pitching feels further away and besides maybe Cavelli, Rutledge, and Lara lacks true upside. They don’t seem intent on rebuilding, as their core is still strong, but what’s the hope for this system if they try to continue to compete?

12:17
Eric A Longenhagen: I think you’re underselling the upside of those pitchers, but otherwise I agree. There was a point in February where I wondered if Vanderbilt had more talent than the Nats system (they didn’t). Here are the live farm rankings: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2020-in-season-prospect-…

12:17
Rodney: Is it possible CJ Abrams is the top prospect in baseball this time next year?

12:17
Eric A Longenhagen: yes

12:17
Jerry: What’s your take on Kyle Lewis going forward? This real?

12:19
Eric A Longenhagen: I think so, but just like with Teoscar I have to think the guy who K’d 30% of the time as a 24y/o at Double-A has some natural strikeout tendencies that will be exposed at some point. I think he’s a really good player, but not an annual MVP candidate or anything like that.

12:19
BeefLoaf108: The White Sox have 3 minor league OF (Adolfo, Rutherford & Gonzalez) and 3 Catchers (Collins, Mercedes & Zavala) of negligible major league value right now on their 40 man roster. Is it pretty common for a contending team to have this percentage of their 40 man invested in parts with so minimal utility.

12:19
Eric A Longenhagen: yes on the OFs, no on the catchers. Every team is dying for better catching.

12:20
Saint Jhn:: Big game from Lux against the Snakes this week. Do you think his throwing issues push him to the OF eventually, like Gurriel Jr. or Knoblauch? It feels like they’ll give him time to figure it out. But then there’s Mookie playing 2B…

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: Yup, probably LF.

12:20
Lark: As you’ve mentioned, Jo Adell has been a little rough starting out. Is this a case where skipping a level can account for some of the gap, or is he more in the Barreto mold of having an approach problem that might not be fixable?

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: combo of swing and miss that was already there and the leap you describe. I slid him a half grade but still think he’ll be a star eventually.

12:20
Gold Glove committee: I noticed that Evan White, who has a 70 future fielding grade and I watch make great plays seemingly every night, has a -2.0 Defense rating. Where is the discrepancy?

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: Please read about positional adjustments

12:22
Eric A Longenhagen: White’s rating comes after it’s adjusted down for position, which means ONLY -2.0 for a 1B is freaking incredible.

12:22
YardGoat: Is there any hope for Cole Tucker to develop into a 2 -3 WAR type player? Would that require going somewhere that lets him play shortstop?

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m still hopeful that he’ll be that eventually because I’m hoping the fact that he’s a big, long-levered switch hitter means the offense will develop later. I’d like to see him play SS again but don’t mind them letting him branch out during clear rebuild time.

12:25
JJ: Trent Grisham a legit CF? The metrics are loving him so far by all measures.

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d say he’s “fine” there, not LouBob level or anything like that

12:26
James: Morejon has looked really good this year. Long term do you think he slots in the rotation or bullpen?

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Rotation

12:28
PTBNL prospects: are the multitude of PTBNL prospects informed that they are moving teams? It’s weird that we know a few names but not all of them. Are they allowed to train with the team given the inability to up and move out?

12:29
Eric A Longenhagen: Some probably know, others may be true PTBNL in that they aren’t PTBNL’s in order to circumvent 2020 roster rules (ie. traded players need to be in the pool) but they’re actually on a list of several guys who teams hope to see in the fall. Yes, it’s weird.

12:30
Childish Giambino: Why is Yusniel Padron-Artilles not one of the Red Sox top 36 prospects? From what little I can find on him, he holds the record for most consecutive Ks in NA baseball history with 12 (!!) set last year. Seems like you have to some talent to do that, even if it was in short-season ball

12:30
Eric A Longenhagen: I sleeper I like. Fastball deception guy in the honorable mention section of the list article: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/top-33-prospects-boston-red-sox/

12:30
Brian: Will only watching big leaguers for a year make you more conservative with ranking prospects next year (i.e. after having only seen finished products you may be inclined to downgrade those that are a long way off).

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: No, I’m not sure if it’ll have an impact across the whole population that I can separate from there not being minor league games all year. I do think it’s instructive, though.

12:32
Agent Dale Cooper: I know this year has been a mess but have you scouted/seen/heard of a kid named Mason Albright? HS kid from Maryland?

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Mhmm, he’s okay. Upper-80s lefty without a ton of projection, good breaking ball feel for a HS kid from the mid-Atlantic region, longer arm action. Probably a 35+ FV for me.

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Hmmm, so many other contenders have a lot of free agents coming off the books which will take 40-man pressure away. Maybe Philly? Again, buncha free agents.

12:35
rule 5: looks like the padres consolidated as you expected. any teams surprise you with moves (or lack thereof) to resolved their rule 5 issues?

12:35
Davis: What FV would you have put on Austin Nola at the end of last year vs now?

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s a tough one. How you you weight the years of control he has left with his age? I think he’s an everyday catcher, a 50, but will he be something like that for all 6 years when several of those years are in his mid-30s? Tough call.

12:36
Chaise: Pedro Martinez + one more PTBNL for Jose Martinez? Is this another example of “don’t trade with the Rays”? Jose was optioned to South Bend after no hits in a small sample with the Cubbies.

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah, part of the reason Martinez is a little extra valuable is that he’s optionable. But yeah, the Rays are good at this.

12:37
catchers: the royals have 6 catchers on their practice squad! madness

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: yeah, I think some of that is a byprodict of them having like none after their campsite covid outbreak

12:37
Turk: Who has the higher ceiling among the Angels’ fringe 1B guys, Matt Thaiss or Jared Walsh? Do you buy Walsh as a late-round Napoli-esque surprise for the club? Game power seems fairly legit, if he can get to the ball a bit more.

12:38
Eric A Longenhagen: Walsh is swinging the hell out of it right now and I do wonder if he has a chance to be a sneaky low-end regular like Christian Walker. I’m interested in their continued moving around of Thaiss but think that multi-positional thumper role is probably his ceiling.

12:39
RAH: What are your expectations for Yadiel Hernandez? Do you think he could get lots of PT in LF the rest of the season, with Soto DHing?

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t have expectations as much as guy like Nola and Yaz have opened my eyes to the possibility that someone this age might come up and be real. Hernandez was mentioned enough to me (and Kiley, I think) when we did the Nats org list that I think he’s worth monitoring.

12:40
Rob: How long do teams usually wait to announce a “PTBNL”?

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: it can vary based on a number of factors but it has to be before the fall roster deadlines, and probably well before that.

12:41
Not John: Hey, Eric! One thing I’ve never quite understood about FG’s prospect valuation series is that an FV45 pitcher, for instance, is worth the same in WAR as an FV40+ batter. (Same for an FV45+ pitcher as compared to an FV45 batter.) My instinct from your rankings, though, is that everyone in the FV45 tier is worth more than everyone in the FV40+ tier. That’s kind of what it means to have a tier, no? Just curious about your thoughts, thanks.

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah it’s odd, but when Craig did the research that is what the results were. It’s either coming from variability in the middle of that pitching population or just the ranking industry being bad at making correct calls on pitching.

12:42
Dave: Why do colleges consistently deploy their best three starting pitchers on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in that order? For match ups? To get ahead in the series? Tradition and status? Gentleman’s agreement? Something else?

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: that’s often when big conference schools are facing other big conference schools. Tuesdays are for your freshman to gain experience vs South Tennessee Tech.

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: But you know, now that you mention it, West Coast schools often have tougher midweek games against the various Cal State schools, UNLV, Grand Canyon…maybe they should have a better midweek starter.

12:43
RAH: Does Reggie Preciado really show power potential with his swing, or is it all frame based? #Not a Scout, his swing looks more contact oriented to me.

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: Largely framed based projection at this point.

12:44
Agent Dale Cooper: Any major concerns with Brendan Rodgers? He seems to be stuck between frequent injuries and no solid opportunity. He’s still a potential star right?

12:46
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m not concerned but I am not comfortable with his eval for the reasons you mentioned. Couple shoulder injuries, barely played before graduating. Definitely less confident in where he’s at than other top 50 prospects. Did nothing but hit for like 8 years as an amateur and minor leaguer then suddenly nothing. He’s already in ‘limbo’ where he’s no list-eligible but also not an established big leaguer, and that’s the scary Profar zone.

12:46
Mike: Any word on a potential Arizona Fall League, and what it will look like if it happens? Expanded rosters? Maybe more top prospects than normal?

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve been told a Fall League is unlikely. Instructs will happen with lots of team-by-team flexibility as to how they’re done, but MLB seems unlikely to pay to have an AFL since it’s not going to generate revenue.

12:47
Agent Dale Cooper: How reasonable is it for ONiel Cruz to stay at SS? And would his secondary position be 3B, or OF? Can he hit enough to make it not matter?

12:48
Eric A Longenhagen: If he slips off SS (it’s likely that he does, but it’s remarkable someone his size even has a small chance to stay) then I think PIT tries CF, then RF, then 1B if each subsequent position fails.

12:48
Lars: What would we need to see from Sixto Sanchez the rest of the season to bump him into the FV60 tier before he graduates?

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d have to think his command is so precise that he can live, at will, in that top/armside corner of the zone with his fastball. That’s where I think he can absolutely blow people away with that heater. Otherwise I think it’s going to miss fewer bats than you’d guess given its velo, like Dusty May.

12:50
Andres: Are you worried about Spencer Howard’s ability to successfully go two or three times through a lineup?

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: Not yet, still pretty green because of his small school/relief background.

12:51
B: Tejay Antone… Future as a starter? How much has his stock risen this year?

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: Definitely has the pitch mix to start, yes. Might be a 40+ rather than just one of the top 40s in the system.

12:51
Kenneth: Who’s better for the next decade; Huira or Madrigal?

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll take Hiura’s pop

12:52
Lance: Jorge Ona got a hold of one last night against a pretty good version of Drew Smyly. Are you hopeful for him or is he just another 40 that doesn’t get much time in the bigs?

12:52
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s the sort who, for me, the next couple weeks will dictate what I think. I have him as a short end platoon corner guy right now.

12:52
Alvin: Could you remind us the expected annual WAR for each FV tier? I get excited by so many of the write-ups, and then I have to remind myself that, like, FV50 means an everyday player, not an All-Star. Thanks!

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: …

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen:

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen:

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: And that’s an average of their control years, not peak single year or anything

12:57
Scott: Is there a realistic path for Moniak to ever justify 1-1?

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: probably not. Has looked pretty good his first week of camp (again, my eyes, not a team source’s) but not 1-1 good.

12:57
Alvin: Should we read anything into the guys who weren’t invited to the training sites? Like, Freudis Nova is the Astros’ number two prospect or so, and he’s not there. Are we higher on him than they are?

12:58
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah, different developmental methods and roster priorities probably dictated he not be there rather than the club not liking him. Easier for Seattle to

12:58
Eric A Longenhagen: ‘pool’ Noelvi Marte than it is for HOU to pool a teenager like Nova because they’re not rebuildling, they need guys who can actually play big league ball right now.

12:59
Jacob: Did you see any of Singer’s no hit bid? He looks legit, yeah?

1:00
Eric A Longenhagen: Some of it. Fastball had more life than usual yesterday, let’s see if it actually did….

1:01
Eric A Longenhagen: (shrug) weird, right?

1:01
Guest: Other than his early results, what have you seen from Deivi to bump him up to a 55?

1:01
1:02
Eric A Longenhagen: He needs to figure out a way to attack lefties with that fastball. They’re not swinging under that heater up and in. He can ride that thing in on righties hands but lefties need something else.

1:02
jonpaul: What’s your read on non-team personnel being allowed at the alternate sites? I see independently shot photographs from the Angels’ camp regularly and … that’s about it.

1:02
Eric A Longenhagen: they’re not allowed

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: and even media access to some of the sites isn’t suited for seeing players, it’s suited for sitting in the press box.

1:03
Nelson: With more and more pitchers finding velocity that was perhaps underestimated in recent years (Bieber is a good example) is it getting harder to say who is “projectable” and who isn’t? I am no expert, but it seems like training regimens are different now than they were not too long ago, so maybe it’s harder to project arms.

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: agreed

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: but still, all else being equal, are you taking a young player built like Tyler Glasnow or a guy built like Wil Crowe?

1:03
Guest: Do you think the Rays would be better served to make Nate Lowe and Randy Arozarena every day players and limit the at bats of Wendle, Ji-Man and Margot?

1:05
Eric A Longenhagen: I think Margot’s role (vs lefties and guys who his sweeping, down-and-in swing are suited to damage) is clear and I like Wendle as a bridge to the uber prospect infielders, but otherwise yeah.

1:05
Wilson: After there was a confirmation in a fall league, are there any details how it will operate? Pretending there aren’t outside variables.

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Fall League ≠ Fall Instructional League. The latter will be allowed but other than some minor details (for instance, I know a pod of four teams in AZ want to play eachother for 6 weeks) and vague start dates (early October) I don’t have much for you. Like MLB hasn’t yet. told teams how many players they’re allowed to have.

1:08
Chip Chipperson: Do you ever go to the Tempe Improv? I appear there occasionally.

1:08
Eric A Longenhagen: a couple times a year, yeah.

1:08
Pete: Fun fact: Last Friday Brady Singer, Dane Dunning, and Shaun Anderson all started MLB games. All three were on UF 2016 team but none made the weekend rotation (Shore, Puk, Faedo).

1:09
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s my priority eval for the weekend (AL West MLB prospect update goes early next week) and his last two weeks have been really good.

1:09
Billy G: Any thoughts on Leody Taveras‘ start?

1:10
Jake: Is there a player you watched growing up that you especially liked but doubt we’ll see again? (or see less of).

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Rey Ordonez types

1:11
cronenworth: do you think the padres will ever let him pitch an inning or two?

1:11
Eric A Longenhagen: not with expanded rosters, but otherwise I could see him mopping up a 10 run game or something

1:11
Jim Leyland Palmer: I know you guys always had a 50FV on Candelario. Up until this year, he hasn’t proved worthy of that projection. But he’s been truly excellent for almost all this year, and seems to be locked in. Where are you at with him now? Still a 50FV, average regular at the corners?

1:11
Eric A Longenhagen: still a 50 for me

1:11
lmb2020: Do you ever have concerns about lack of diversity of prospect type with teams?

1:12
Eric A Longenhagen: yes, especially on the pitching side. If you have all top-of-the-zone 4sm types, won’t it be easier for opposing hitters to make in-game or in-series adjustments against your staff?

1:14
petition: which of the higher ups do i talk to to get your prospect profile blurbs to show up on their fangraphs player page? I’ll try and make my case as politely as possible

1:14
Eric A Longenhagen: it’s been discussed but the worry is that it makes The Board redundant and less useful.

1:15
Eric A Longenhagen: couple more, than I’ve gotta split

1:15
Chris: Why is Gavin Lux and others with more than 100 ABs still on the Board?

1:16
Eric A Longenhagen: we use rookie eligibility as the cutoff: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/about_mlb/rules_regulations.jsp

1:16
Mike in SD: Are teams operating their Dominican academies at all at this point, and if so, do they have guys who would normally be stateside in the low minors working there?

1:16
Eric A Longenhagen: in some cases, yes

1:16
Eric A Longenhagen: not in an official capacity, though

1:18
Guest: FWIW, I think the Board is most often useful for sortable stuff, I don’t think adding the write ups would diminish my personal use

1:18
Eric A Longenhagen: good to know

1:18
Fatty Magoo: Is the Phillies’ current bullpen situation attributed to poor development or scouting? How can they be so bad Eric??

1:18
Eric A Longenhagen: some of it is just bad luck, fatty. Seranthony (maybe they botched the timing but they can’t help he got hurt), Robertson, Arano getting hurt (he looks heavy at the campsite, btw) Llovera not ascending.

1:19
Doug: Any change to Weather’s ceiling if the fastball stays 95-96?

1:19
Eric A Longenhagen: I guess. It’s been up and down over the last year or so, though.

1:20
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve gotta scoot. Thanks for coming this week. I’ve gotta move again in the coming weeks (COVID/landlords, man) so my chat schedule may be variable but I hope everyone is doing the best they can to stay well. bye bye

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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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