Eric A Longenhagen: Good morning from the Valley of the Sun where they lost an Aiyuk and gained a Simmons last night. Draft rankings are updated and over on The Board (you know where that is by now), hope everyone is hanging in there, let’s chat.
Greg: Cole Wilcox seems really impressive on paper. Good frame, throws hard, good changeup and improving breaking ball. What am I missing that’s keeping him out of the top 10?
Eric A Longenhagen:
quality of the rest of the class
shorter track record due to soph elig & fresh time in bullpen
bk: The Seahawks organization continues to be propped up by having a HOF QB, and his presence has given coach/GM eternal job security.
Eric A Longenhagen: I think that’s probably true. Brooks’ tape vs is strong, the rest was just okay
Chamaco: Martin and Tork are both FV55s, but where would they rank on THE BOARD among the FV55s? Also, what are their likely ETAs?
Eric A Longenhagen: ETA-wise, I think Tork comes really fast, like 2022
Eric A Longenhagen: Martin the year after
Brandon: Do Kjerstad and Hendrick have pretty similar profiles?
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah, Hendrick is older for the class and swung and missed last summer, Kjerstad has an entire career of hitting vs SEC arms but isn’t as explosive as Hendrick. Very different other than being corner OFs.
Murdoc: Best value/favorite pick from last night?
Eric A Longenhagen: I think Gladney and Igbenoghene (i like corners who tackle) are as good as Henderson and were taken like 20 picks later.
Eric A Longenhagen: jags gonna jag i guess
T: How does Zac Veen compare to how Witt/Greene/Abrams looked in 2019?
Eric A Longenhagen: Closest to Greene as a prospect because the other two are UTM (up the middle) players but frame is better than Greene’s. Greene’s performance was stronger, though.
Nico: Hi Eric! More of a comment than a question. Number 42 (Dillon Dingler) on the updated draft list has a FV of 45, bunched with the 40+ players. So either his placement is wrong or his FV is. Thanks for the update!
Eric A Longenhagen: FV is wrong, gracias for catching it
Eric A Longenhagen: fixing now
Eric A Longenhagen: okay, will take a couple minutes to be reflected on the site but that’s done.
Murdoc: Biggest reach from last night?
Eric A Longenhagen: any of the corners who went 9-19 (though I haven’t watch Arnette tape yet and am willing to give Mayock benefit of the doubt)
Ryan: What separates Garrett Crochet and Cade Cavalli for you? Seems they are both guys with great stuff and numbers that leave something to be desired.
Eric A Longenhagen: Crochet had a “shoulder” thing this spring and a less-traditional delivery. Raw stuff is nastier, though.
Tom G: Any indication on the draft floor for Reid Detmers as of right now- any chance he could be available for St. Louis at 21?
Eric A Longenhagen: Teams picking that late think he’s long gone by that point.
BarryBondsJuicedForOurSins: Dan had a sweet Eric Davis article; do you see any players that have his type of upside? I think Abrams is probably one, but any others?
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s tough to say someone will swipe 80 bags. Abrams is on the short list. Jordyn Adams, maybe
Nico: Who do you think are the best OF who could be available early in the 2nd round? Thanks
Eric A Longenhagen: I think a bunch of the prep OFs spill over into round two. I’d be surprised if one of PCA, Hassell or Hendrick were there, but think Chase Davis, Petey Halpin, Crews, Bohrofen and Elijah Nunez are all in that mix depending on how a given team has them lined up.
Ryan: There has been a lot of talk the last week about when baseball employees will stop being paid. How does that impact the draft? Are teams going to keep people on the payroll and immediately lay them off after the draft? Will GMs be drafting without scouts?
Eric A Longenhagen: Most discussions around furloughing employees doesn’t indicate that it would be done to the entire department but to certain individuals within departments first, impacted by the length and sie of their contract among other variables. One of those variables is the draft’s timing, so I assume the amateur side is “safer” than the pro side since, June 1, they’ll need to help with a draft that month while pro scouts might not have a season to watch.
Cole: Reagor seems like a freak athlete, with a good makeup. To me his combine is the outlier from a physical judgment perspective. Were the eagles right to get their guy and not wait to see who lasted? Feels like a big drop-off in ability after the first 5 WR’s went.
Eric A Longenhagen: I think you have to be skeptical of Philly’s ability to evaluate receivers based on how Agholor, the Stanford kid from last year, Josh Huff, Jordan Matthews, etc have panned out
Tyler: 40 grade on Crochet’s command makes it seems like he can’t make it as a starter. Is he pretty much destined to be a reliever?
Eric A Longenhagen: In my opinion, yes. But it’s vicious, late-inning shit.
Jabroni: When are you going to take a shot at a mock draft?
Eric A Longenhagen: When there’s enough actual info. In the past that has been around now, even if it’s just for the top ten picks, but I don’t feel that’s the case at the moment, give our circumstances.
Replacement playa: With nothing going on, will MLB orgs be watching the KBO and CPBL more closely, and, if so, do you expect it to result in more Korean and Taiwanese players signing contracts to play in the US?
Eric A Longenhagen: I actually haven’t asked anyone if they’re focused on baseball over there more than usual, it’s a good question.
Uncle Spike: If Kumar Rocker was in the years draft class, would he be the consensus #1 pick?
Eric A Longenhagen: No, and I have him behind Leiter for next year
Nick: Why is Tork considered a better prospect than Martin when Martin has a track record and will play a position (or multiple) that’s not 1B or DH? Is it based on Tork having a higher chance an impact player? It seems to me I’d rather take a chance on a guy who could be a 60-70 bat with average power at a premium position than a R-R 1B/DH-only type.
Eric A Longenhagen: There are people who think Martin’s early-season defensive performance squashed his chances of playing the left side of the infield, and it’s not like we had a nice long look at him in CF to be sure he’s good at it. That’s a reasonable knock. They’re 1, 1a for most people I spoke with so your argument is also pretty reasonable.
Carlos: Hi, thanks for the draft board update! What caused Crews, Walker and Soularie to drop?
Eric A Longenhagen: Crews’ slow out of the gate enough that he’s clearly in the tier below PCA and Hassell now, so he went from 45 to 40+, Walker’s body went backward and he’s now more 3B/1B projection than SS/3B projection, Soularie I was just too high on from the jump and was more correcting myself than something changing with him.
fangraphs reader: do you have any thoughts on the Red Sox punishment?
Eric A Longenhagen: I was actually so wrapped up in other stuff yesterday that I haven’t read the report or sat and thought hard about it at length. It’s also not my instinct to be outraged at something that seems meaningless in the context of the pandemic and economic instability left in its wake
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: I don’t think I’ve seen this anywhere–has it been decided how this season will count for minor league service time? (E.g. for Rule 5 eligibility.)
Eric A Longenhagen: It has not
Colt: Hi, Eric- What resources would you recommend for those who want to improve their visual scouting skills in baseball?
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d try to watch a lot of baseball that is of mixed quality (seriously, purposefully watch bad baseball) and read relevant literature, in which I’d include Dollar Sign on the Muscle, the BP Extra Innings volume 2 for Parks’ essays, and yes, the McDongenhagen tome ‘Future Value’
Ted: Curious about fastball shape, like you mentioned with Cole Wilcox. How much can that be changed in player development?
Eric A Longenhagen: Depends on how workable you think a pitcher’s slot or hand position are. For Wilcox I think such a change would alter his mechanics pretty considerably and so I think it’s less likely that it is with someone like Charez Butcher.
SuspendedTommy: Which player in your top 7 do you think has the best chance of sliding down the board a few spots?
Eric A Longenhagen: Uh, I guess the logical way to answer that is to point to the only high schooler.
Eric C: How difficult of a sign would Tanner Witt be if he were to be selected in the mid second round? Thanks!
Eric A Longenhagen: I think you’re poking right around the point where slot might not do it
Carlos: With over 200+ players mentioned, I’m surprised to not see Vandy’s Friday SP Mason Hickman on the draft board. Pedigree, performance track record, height, secondaries, command. Only FB Velo is missing, but considering his body, there’s projection left. It’s basically the Shane Bieber profile
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m not a Hickman guy, think he’s a 35. Don’t think the stuff and *def* not the command belong in Bieber territory
Chamaco: Thanks! Missed that. Also, thank you for doing these chats – in such trying times, baseball and sites like FanGraphs are a welcome distraction. Please support FabGraphs if you can.
Eric A Longenhagen: Thanks, Chamaco. And thanks to anyone who’s subbed in the last month, it’s given us a better chance of making it through baseball’s eventual return.
Roger: How badly impacted do you think MLB scouts are going to be by the various changes that are in the wind (to both minor leagues and draft). How much reduction in number of scouts are we likely to see in coming years on pro and amateur sides?
Eric A Longenhagen: I do think there will be a shrinkage. There probably would have been eventually anyway, but the milb team reduction and how the pandemic alters our collective relationship with travel is likely to accelerate it.
Roger: For this year’s college pitchers, where would you separate between Tier 1 guys and Tier 2 guys (if it makes sense to think about it like that)?
Eric A Longenhagen: I have Lacy and Hancock in their own tier, then the 45 FV tier is thicc
Larry: Is it going to be easier or harder for you (and other media guys who do mocks) to connect players and teams this year?
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes because a huge part of how I/we’ve done it in the past is spotting decision makers at games, and that just ain’t happening this year.
There is no spoon: Aaron Bracho’s chance of staying in the dirt? Is the stick good enough to play in LF?
Eric A Longenhagen: I have him in LF and think it has a chance to be enough, yeah. He’ll be a 40+ on the CLE list.
Jay: Max Meyer, longterm injury risk or increased injury risk with the slight build?
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think so. I don’t think Small Pitcher = Injury Risk. The formula for torque includes length of the lever from the fulcrum, which means taller pitchers may actually put more stress on their ligaments than smaller guys if you think about injury risk in those terms.
Tony B: Hi Eric, not a question just wanted to say I’ve recently discovered your content and I have absolutely devoured it. Just picked up future value as well. Really enjoying reading your stuff I am learning alot. Thanks for all your hard work its making this time alot more enjoyable for me at least!
Eric A Longenhagen: Thanks dude, I know we’re all forcing our brains to not constantly think about what’s going on, and the severity of it is warlike but the action surrounding it is not (we’re all quietly sitting at home) and that dichotomy is also weird. I’m feeling that stuff too and trying to push through and think about Yermin Mercedes vs Zack Collins like I normally would and am not always successful, so I’m glad that people get lost in the work because I seek to get lost in it too
Mike: Do you see CJ Van Eyk was a first rounder? He has good stuff but his mechanics seem a bit inconsistent.
Eric A Longenhagen: I think he’s back of rd 1 in a typical year but maybe not this year. I agree, the delivery is not great, think his lower half is kinda stiff.
Billy Beane: I get what you’re saying re:corners but it seems like the research suggests corners are probably more important than we have historically been giving them credit for in terms of sacks and generally the increased focus on pass defense. Might be the NFL starting to catch up.
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t discount the importance of the position (Miami took a corner late rd 1 even though they have a couple good ones and I loved it) just not loving the individual taken mid rd 1. If that’s who you’re willing to take then trade back and get them or a comparable talent in the 20s while picking up something else (easier said than done I know)
Jose: Why aren’t teams leveraging their protected top 3rd picks more and carry them over to the next draft?
Eric A Longenhagen: You lose that prospect in your system for a year, during which they’re a trade asset (the pick is not) and you push the dev timeline of that pick back a year (time value is real) plus your next pick is boxed into someone with easy signability since it can’t carry over again.
gifman: Do any (good) HS take 20k? Seems like the avg age of the AZL/GCL will take a hit next year (if they even exist next year)
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah
Packers Fan: I like the Love pick, please tell me you agree and the twitter mob is just being the twitter mob.
Eric A Longenhagen: I put on 3 games of Love and was not on it.
Kim: Is this the year you’ll finally mention the greatness of of Steven Kwan on your Indians list?
Eric A Longenhagen: He’ll be on there in some capacity, if only to help illustrate what the team looks for later in the draft
Kim: Did RHP Brauny Munoz pop up in preparation for the Indians list?
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes but I doubt he makes it on there. 86-89 with the heater, wispy little guy I’m not confident grows into avg velo
Matt: With Jared Kelley you said that ability to spin an off speed is something you either have or don’t. Why is this uncoachable?
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s littered throughout the driveline research but yeah, it’s tough to increase spin in a relevant way, more or less confirming old scout wisdom that a guy either has a good breaking ball or not. I think Kelley’s will be fine, the way Paddack’s is fine, but I’d rather have the guy who has an impact breaker now and has a better chance to develop a second imapct pitch in the change (which I think ABel does)
Andrew: Best baseball player/prospect in the NFL/NCAAF?
Eric A Longenhagen: Cole Kmet
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve gotta run shortly…
Daniel: In your opinion does a potential shortened season give a little more rope to any GM who may have been on the hot seat. Like if the phillies miss the playoffs in a 60 game season does Klentak get canned?
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah I tend to agree with that.
Nick: How do Abel/Kelley/Bitsko compare to previous prep arms such Priester, Liberatore and Gore?
Eric A Longenhagen: Gore is sort of off on his own as elite athlete and pitchability type. Bitsko, Libby, Abel and Priester are all pretty similar. Mainly fastball/breaking ball guys with varying degrees of physical projection (Bitsko is the youngest of that group on draft day but has the most mature body).
Dirk Jeter: Hearing a lot of good things about Anthony Servideo, SS at Ole Miss? Could he sneak into the top 50? Thanks.
Eric A Longenhagen: I dig him. Cocky, compact swing with lift, runs well, has played all over the field. Think yeah, top 50 is possible.
Sandy: Big fan of the PR prospects Zabala and Ondina. Young for class and high makeup. Which rounds will the Indians select them, lol. Do you have anything on another PR potential draftee, INF Sabin Ceballos? Raw but toolsy, sounds intriguing
Eric A Longenhagen: I love Ondina against my better judgement because he is a smaller guy who I’ve seen attack early-count pitches in just about every one of his at-bats, but I love his contact ability. Zabala is a tools goof whose bat I’m scared of. Ceballos has an 80 arm, agree that he’s raw.
Daniel: Reading keith law’s piece on the athletic about the risk of drafting hs pitchers got me thinking. How far would a hs pitcher have to fall for the value to be too high to pass on him? Like there has to be a certain point where even knowing the risk a hs pitcher is by far the best player available on the board. Do you agree or do you hold the opinion that you should basically never spend a high pick on a hs arm?
Eric A Longenhagen: Prep arms are now the running backs of the MLB draft. If you think you have a Kershaw, or Adrian Peterson, you just need to pull the trigger. I know Keith think those outcomes bias us toward selecting Cadillac Williams and Tyler Kolek when we shouldn’t, and I agree it means you should scrutinize those thoughts more when you have them, but at some point you need to trust your instincts or you’ll drive yourself nuts fighting them.
Pale Hose fan: what’s the ETA on the White Sox 2020 prospects list?
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s what I’m going to work on once we part.
Eric A Longenhagen: Which is right now.
Eric A Longenhagen: See you next week, same time and channel. Until then, hope you all stay well and resolved to maintain your social distance as we hit the back half of this mess.
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.