Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat: 4/3 by Eric Longenhagen April 3, 2018 12:05 Eric A Longenhagen: Hi, everyone. Sorry I’m a few ticks late. 12:05 joe: What’s Vogelbach’s ultimate ceiling if his swing changes actually help? 12:05 Eric A Longenhagen: Hold on, looking to see exactly what he’s changed 12:06 Eric A Longenhagen: AH, okay. here: https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/mariners/a-changed-to-his-swing-an… 12:07 Eric A Longenhagen: My main issue has been: He doesn’t hunt pitches he can drive. If he starts doing that, sure, that’ll be better 12:07 Tacoby Bellsbury: Nice FG article on Jordan Hicks today. Does he have a future in the rotation, or is high-end bullpen role his destiny at this point? 12:08 Eric A Longenhagen: Probable bullpen and I guess we’ll see if he’s high-leverage or not. I’m not all in. 12:09 Mac from Boston: With Kingery in the majors, what’s you best case comp for him? I have been told he’s somewhere between Pedroia and Altuve. Any chance he could be that? 12:10 Eric A Longenhagen: Kingery shares stature and position with those two, little else. 12:11 Eric A Longenhagen: Like Kingery a lot, we shoved him up our 100, but those are pretty lazy comps in my opinion. 12:11 Tommy N.: Are you surprised Gore made full season ball right away? Do you think he has a chance to finish at AA this year? 12:11 Eric A Longenhagen: No, yes. 12:11 Eric A Longenhagen: If only to keep him away from the Cal League. 12:12 tyler: Have you had the chance to watch Josh Breaux out of Mclennan? I see that he’s on the draft rankings list, but what are your thoughts on him 12:13 Eric A Longenhagen: Really quick arm. 94-98 t100, breaking ball is inconsistent but flashes plus. I think he has a chance to start, lotta people think bullpen 12:14 Jon: Is there a non-injury reason to start a season in extended spring training if you already pitched in the minors the previous season? 12:16 Eric A Longenhagen: Innings limit? But probably injury. Or fear of injury. 12:16 Eddy: Jahmai Jones at 2B? Let me get Cashman on the phone and see if he’ll OK Florial at SS 12:16 Eric A Longenhagen: Jammer played 2B in HS 12:16 THE Average Sports Fan: Why bother having McMahon up if you aren’t going to play him? 12:17 Eric A Longenhagen: ¯\_(?)_/¯ 12:18 Eric A Longenhagen: It actually kind of does. They’ve yoy-yo’d around one another for the last few years but the avg 2B was not as good with the bat as the avg CF last year, so if that holds this is technically a move up the spectrum. 12:18 Eric A Longenhagen: WHoops, that was answering this… 12:18 Prospect Lover: With news Jahmai Jones will be transitioned to 2B does this help or hurt his prospect value? thanks !! 12:19 Finnegan: Any good books on scouting or player development that you would recommend? 12:20 Eric A Longenhagen: Dollar Sign on the Muscle, the BP Extra Innings book from a few years ago has some great essays on that stuff. 12:20 EbenezerBatflip: Do you think Michael Chavis would be good enough defensively to force Devers to 1B, or would Chavis end up at 1B himself? 12:21 Eric A Longenhagen: Chavis can’t play 3B for me. I was skeptical of Devers, too. Chavis moreso. He’s not as athletic as Devers. 12:22 bgkc: Three questions: (1) Who is your favorite baseball writer?; (2) Which is your favorite baseball stat?; (3) Who is currently your favorite (not necessarily the best) prospect? 12:24 Eric A Longenhagen: Gammons, FIP, Monte Harrison 12:24 Jakkie : If the entire world was as good at developing baseball players as the USA and Japan are, how much better would the league be– a little, or a lot? 12:24 Eric A Longenhagen: A lot 12:25 feech: Heard that Bryan Mata’s stuff has been noticeably better this spring, if that sticks what does his upside become? 12:26 Eric A Longenhagen: He’s throwing harder but that’s what he was expected to do as he filled out. Ceiling is the same, he’s just proving everyone right. 12:27 John from Peru: Has a top tier of the draft formed yet? Who’s on it and how deep is it so far? Is there anyone just on the outside of that tier who could potentially sneak in by draft day? 12:28 Eric A Longenhagen: Kiley and I were talking about it yesterday as we’re prepping an draft board update. We agree Mize, Bohm and Madrigal are tier 1, Libby, Swaggerty and the rest of the premium college pitching are tier 2. Still time for some of the NE high schoolers to start playing and really blow up. 12:29 Jeff: Thoughts on Joe Gray Jr? 12:29 Eric A Longenhagen: I’m skeptical about his bat but he had a solid NHSI 12:29 Spencer: If you had to put odds on Hans Crouse sticking as a starter, what would they be? 12:29 Eric A Longenhagen: 30% 12:29 El Jefe: Worried about Jansen? Word is he was grabbing at his shoulder 12:30 Eric A Longenhagen: Kenley? Kind of. He was 91-92 for me this spring. But Ohtani was only 92-95 each time I saw him, so…. 12:30 Jeff: When I first started reading about the 2018 draft, the HS P convo seemed heavy on the Kumar Rocker. What happened since? Dude seems like a ferocious talent, is Carter Stewart really better or is he just shinier? 12:31 Eric A Longenhagen: I like Rocker more than Stewart. Rocker popped up earlier than his peers because he hit physical maturity soonest. He’s still very talented and is a middle rd 1 talent for me. 12:31 Moltar: Now that he’s in the no-longer-technically-a-prospect-but-not-yet-established-major-leaguer category, where would you have put Dom Smith in your Mets ranking? Do you think he will get a fair shot this season or is he soon to be passed on the depth chart by Alonso? 12:31 Eric A Longenhagen: Dom is a 50 12:33 Eric A Longenhagen: Had a back issue during the offseason and was slow to get underway this spring. He’s just behind from a throwing program standpoint. He was 92-95 for me on Saturday in an intrasquad game. I’m not worried. 12:33 Michel Baez: Michel Baez starting in extended spring training. Reason for concern? 12:34 Chicken pot pie : How are you feeling today, Eric? 12:35 Eric A Longenhagen: Clearly I’m struggling to click and answer in the correct order. Otherwise, fine. 12:35 Dale: Any 2017 J2 signees peak your interest in Arizona. Apparently Mauricio is looking much stronger in Florida. Wondering if there were any guys you are noticing in Arizona. 12:37 Eric A Longenhagen: Kristian Robinson BPs are supposedly nuts. Other than him and the kids Cleveland signed, Arizona didn’t get much in the way of July 2 guys. The best ones from this period are in FL. 12:38 Christian: Local Kansas City media outlets like to talk up Richard Lovelady. What’s his stuff like? Is he a legit prospect or is the KC area media desperate for any sort of positive story to write about this team> 12:38 Eric A Longenhagen: He’s a good relief prospect. 12:41 Oliver: Of all the skills that go into catching, which do you think are the toughest to develop? Trying to get a feel for what kind of potential an older guy like Chuckie Robinson has, I wondered whether plate blocking is less likely to come late than something like pitch framing or controlling the running game. Any thoughts on Robinson’s defensive future? 12:43 Eric A Longenhagen: I know people in front offices who don’t think arm strength and ball blocking matter. At all. I think those aspects of catching have been prerequisites for MLB catching and they don’t have proper context for saying that. Minor league games get very ugly when the catchers can’t do those things. It seems like a universal skill if you just look at the big league population but it actually isn’t. And I don’t think it’s easy to teach those things. You can make someone exit their crouch more efficiently and shave some .01s off the pop time I guess. 12:44 tekky: Does Luis Medina end up in the Yankees top-5? 12:44 Eric A Longenhagen: Probably. Some combination of graduations and/or FLorial not hitting gets him there by mid-year if he pitches well. 12:45 Oliver: Please rank Jorge Alcala, Taylor Hearn and Dennis Santana in order of likelihood to develop average or better command and in order of impact if they actually do. 12:45 Eric A Longenhagen: Santana, Hearn, ALcala 12:46 Anthony: Are there cases of prospects fixing a head whack? Seems like that’s something that could be coached out, but I’ve never heard of anyone cutting that out. 12:46 Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, Dylan Cease doesn’t have one that is as severe as it was in HS 12:47 Finnegan: Would you consider drafting a player knowing that you are going to make a major swing change the start? 12:48 Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, as long as you think the player has the aptitude to make the adjustment 12:49 Jeff: Kris Bubic is doing really well for Stanford and has passed Tristan Beck as their most interesting pitcher for me. What’s the non-amateur word on him? 12:50 Eric A Longenhagen: Changeup artist. third or fourth round for me right now. Seeing him this month. 12:50 Dominic: Are there any other examples of foreign born players playing high school and then returning home to avoid being subject to the domestic rule 4 draft? Most notable of course is Lucius Fox, but are there others in recent years? 12:51 Eric A Longenhagen: Alex Reyes moved from NJ, some other kids have tried to do it and not done the paperwork correctly and have had to move back to the states. 12:51 Aaron: How much of this season do you think David Dahl spends in the minors? How well does he have to hit, or how much does someone on the Rockies need to struggle, in order for them to cut bait on one of their regular OF’s? 12:52 Eric A Longenhagen: He needs to hit more than Tapia. Saw them both this spring and have Tapia ahead of him right now. 12:53 Brendan McKay: Am I a pitcher or a hitter long term? 12:53 Eric A Longenhagen: Pitcher 12:53 GSon: Do you think Connor Scott has a chance to move into the top half dozen or so picks in the coming June first entry draft.. The kid has the wheels and a golden swing.. ? 12:53 Eric A Longenhagen: Yes 12:53 The Man With No Name: Did you see Wilmer Font pitch for OKC last year? If so, what are your thoughts on potential MLB success? 12:53 Eric A Longenhagen: Can be a solid reliever 12:54 Ben: Who has the best fastball you have ever seen, curveball you have ever seen, slider you have ever seen, and changeup you have ever seen? Prospects only 12:57 Eric A Longenhagen: FB: StrasburgCRV: StrasburgSLD: RodonCH: Francis CespedesSplit: OhtaniCut: Bundy 12:58 J: Is Xavier Edwards a 1st rounder? 12:58 Eric A Longenhagen: No but I think he gets rd 1 money 12:58 Seby Zavala: What am I doing three years from now? 12:58 Eric A Longenhagen: Hitting for power as a big league backup cattcher 12:58 Columbus: What are your thoughts on Blaze Alexander? His name’s cool 12:59 Eric A Longenhagen: Elite arm, questions about the bat, fine at SS, got hot at the plate two weeks ago and caused some re-evaluation 12:59 Anthony: Any guys whose affiliate assignments were particularly surprising? 12:59 Eric A Longenhagen: I have not perused all the rosters yet. 12:59 Jack: Jesus Luzardo got pushed to Stockton to open the year. Does he have a chance to pitch in Oakland in 2019? 12:59 Eric A Longenhagen: Yes 1:00 Hans Gruber: Can you expand on why you aren’t all in on Jordan Hicks as a high leverage guy? 1:00 Eric A Longenhagen: Breaking ball quality isn’t lights out or anything. He throws really hard. So do Thyago Vieira and Mauricio Cabrera. I like Hicks better than those guys but don’t think he’s Craig Kinbrel or anything like that. 1:00 Devil Magic: Do the cardinals really tend to find more “diamond in the rough” type prospects (Matt Carpenter, or more recently Jose Martinez), or is this just a misconception/confirmation bias? 1:02 Eric A Longenhagen: Some bias, but they do a great job 1:02 Kris Bryant’s radiant blue eyes: Eric.. I can roster only one of these guys. Better upside? David Dahl or Kyle “Ted” Tucker? Thank you. 1:02 Eric A Longenhagen: Tucker 1:02 The Man With No Name: What’s your diet like on the road? Are you able to hit good local spots, do you fix yourself meals somehow, or do you end up eating whatever fast food joint is the most convenient? 1:03 Eric A Longenhagen: I try to be good and get to actual grocery stores when I can. I haven’t had fast food in over ten years. 1:03 Greg Gregson : Thoughts on Lourdes Gurriel Jr? Do you think he ends up being a legitimate option for the Blue Jays at 2B or 3B? 1:03 Eric A Longenhagen: Utility guy 1:03 Gear: Has Glasnow always had a cutter? I saw a gif of him throwing one at 98. 1:03 Eric A Longenhagen: Fastball has natural cut 1:03 Adam: How has Adrian Morejon looked so far? Is he primed for a breakout this season? 1:04 Eric A Longenhagen: Fine. 93-95, flash 6 change, flash 6 breaking ball but less often. 1:04 Adam: Is Esteury Ruiz’s poor 2B defense eventually going to force him to LF? 1:05 Eric A Longenhagen: That’s a strong possibility but he has three or four years to figure it out. 1:05 Khalil Lee: How long before he’s ready? 1:05 Eric A Longenhagen: 2 years? 1:05 Brian Anderson: I won’t be a prospect for much longer, but what do you think of my first few weeks in the bigs? 1:05 Eric A Longenhagen: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2018-top-100-prospects/ 1:05 Eric A Longenhagen: (thumbs up) 1:06 Pip: Can Jose Marmolejos be an everyday player if he adds another tick of power? Seem’s like he’s right on the edge of being a useful offensive player but just needs to add some pop given his position. 1:06 Eric A Longenhagen: Sure, but I don’t know how a guy that size in his mid-20s is adding power. 1:06 Nick Burdi: What’s my projection? 1:06 Eric A Longenhagen: Closer if you’re healthy 1:08 Hans Crouse: Why am I not a top 5 pitching prospect in all of baseball? Plus, plus fastball, plus slider, developing change, repeatable delivery. 1:08 Eric A Longenhagen: You just generically described like 75 teenage pitching prospects. 1:08 Logan Gilbert: How have I looked so far this year? 1:08 Eric A Longenhagen: Not as much heat as expected but otherwise good 1:09 Craig: Why do you think Alec Bohm is a tier 1 prospect? Do you think he goes in the top 5 picks? 1:09 Eric A Longenhagen: Crazy raw power, chance to stay at 3B. Yes, I thikn he goes top 5. 1:11 Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, Kiley and I have both seen him a bunch and his stock is down. Still a first rounder, but not a likely top 10 pick anymore. Body/mobility have gone backwards and he’s swinging and missing more than anticipated. Still has huge power. 1:11 Kristen: Which TEX 1B prospect has a higher offensive ceiling: Guzman or Yanio Perez? 1:11 Eric A Longenhagen: I guess Perez has a higher ceiling if he can get to the power but I don’t think he can and prefer Guzman as a prospect but a wide margin. 1:11 James: I remember you mentioning Michel Miliano as a guy you liked in the past. Have you had a chance to see him this year? 1:11 Eric A Longenhagen: Haven’t run into him yet. 1:12 Ford: What round would Jordyn Adams go after his solid NHSI? 1:12 Eric A Longenhagen: Teams need to do recon on his signability before we can really know that. 1:13 Todd: As tanking teams start org level talent (thinking old Astro’s or current Marlins) do you need to upgrade role 30s to 35s just because they are being used like a 35? Is this part of the dynamic nature of grading against a leage environment? Or do you still grade them as 30s even though they are being used in the majors 1:13 Eric A Longenhagen: Hmmm, this is interesting. If anything I think the 35s get bumped up to 40s in this scenario, assuming it’s true. 1:14 The Man With No Name: What are some aggregate trends in terms of hitting/pitching approach that you’ve noticed from guys coming out of HS since you’ve started scouting? Do they mirror the trends we’re seeing in MLB? 1:14 Eric A Longenhagen: They do mirror big league trends somewhat. Pitchers utilizing varied timing is becoming more popular among HS arms. Shifting is data-based and we’re seeing more of it in college. Weighted ball programs are pervasive in college, too. 1:15 Aidan: In your opinion is there anyone in the New York Mets system being overlooked or underrated 1:15 Eric A Longenhagen: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/top-18-prospects-new-york-mets/ 1:17 Eric A Longenhagen: I’d guess I’m sky-high on Mauricio. I would have thought shortstops with that kind of physical projection were up everyone’s alley. 1:17 Matt: How do you like Luis Patino as a (very) deep league high-upside arm? 1:17 Eric A Longenhagen: Quite a bit. 1:17 Mark: Is there an geographic area that you currently see as a market inefficiency in recruiting and scouting? 1:21 Eric A Longenhagen: Some teams are aggressive in Mexico due to cost loopholes created by the bonus rules there. Cold-weather areas in the US could be scouted/recruited differently in a way that identifies non-baseball athletes with good baseball traits and attempts to woo them to baseball. The Northeast hasn’t really developed an elite baseball program that scoops up all the kids from PA and northward. 1:22 Ed: Hi Eric! Was wonder what your thoughts are on Edward Olivares? Seems like he could have a huge year in the Cal League to me. Thanks for the feedback! 1:22 Eric A Longenhagen: Boom or bust type who has looked good in my spring looks. 1:22 Pickle Nick : Eric, can you explain really quickly what scouts mean when they talk about “feel to hit”? 1:23 Eric A Longenhagen: Bat control, mostly. 1:23 Eric A Longenhagen: Balance/timing at the plate, too. 1:23 54: As an insider, how would you describe the relationship between the analytics community and the fantasy baseball community? And as analytics have followed fantasy baseball into the mainstream of fandom do you see the two becoming more or less interrelated in coming years? 1:27 Eric A Longenhagen: People have predictable responses to incentive. People who play fantasy baseball have incentive to be well-versed in analytics or at least trust them to guide their decision-making since that’s an efficient way to get a macro advantage on the rest of their league. I’m not sure how much room their is for analytics to fuse with fantasy because analytics in actual baseball have shifted from player valuation to player evaluation and player dev. Short of known big leaguers utilizing this stuff (like Yonder Alonso last year) the intersection of what teams are doing now (with Trackman, Rapsodo, Edgetronic, etc) with fantasy baseball doesn’t seem as relevant as stuff like FIP, xOBA, etc. 1:28 Gregg: Does Jose Siri ceiling look like Lewis Brinson ? 1:28 Eric A Longenhagen: Doesn’t have that kind of frame. More like righty Nick Williams 1:28 Eric A Longenhagen: with better defense. 1:28 Concerned Mariners Fan: Heard anything about Sam Carlson? He hasn’t received a minor league assignment from the Mariners yet. 1:29 Eric A Longenhagen: No idea. Very concerned about the Mariners minor league situation. Had to cancel some spring minor league games due to lack of pitching. 1:30 Eric A Longenhagen: I hope to see him in extended. 1:30 Pickle Nick : Swaggerty has been cooling off a bit. Is it a case of being pitched around or just a babip slump? 1:31 Eric A Longenhagen: I have some bat path concerns. Bat head drags into the zone a little bit. Corey Ray me once, shame on you. Travis Swaggerty twice…. 1:31 Eric A Longenhagen: The skillset is still pretty great, though. 1:32 Bob: Jeremiah Jackson a first rounder for you? 1:32 Eric A Longenhagen: No 1:32 King Tut: What do you see Nick Madrigal’s ceiling when he reaches pro ball and do you think he can handle SS? 1:32 Eric A Longenhagen: Think he’s a quick-moving 3 WAR player I’d leave at 2B 1:32 Aidan: In the draft should a team target the best known player or take someone at a position they think they need or will need to develop 1:32 Eric A Longenhagen: BPA 1:32 Ke’bryan Hayes: What do you think of my bat, and do you think I merit a look at Shortstop this year? 1:33 Eric A Longenhagen: Will make contact but need a swing tweak to hit for power. Yes. 1:33 Jon: Is anyone ever a 50 PV out of college? 1:33 Eric A Longenhagen: Leake? 1:33 Not Trevor Richards: Any thoughts on Trevor RIchards’s debut? 1:33 Eric A Longenhagen: That’s a 7 changeup and he should have been on the extras section of the Marlins list 1:34 Jo-Nathan: When can we expect a draft board update? 1:34 Eric A Longenhagen: Next week 1:35 Oliver: Francis Cespedes! Yet to hit full season, career EA over 10, and the best change. Wow. Does he lack everything else or is this a guy to monitor? 1:35 Eric A Longenhagen: It was an 80 change that he had 20 command of. He was released last week. 1:36 3 Ben Sheets to the Wind: Library of Congress just digitized Branch Rickey’s scouting reports. Thought you should know this: https://www.loc.gov/collections/branch-rickey-papers/about-this-collec… 1:36 Eric A Longenhagen: And with that we will end this week’s chat. 1:37 Eric A Longenhagen: HEY! This is my last Tuesday chat. We’ve gotten feedback that people would rather Kiley and I split up our chats a little bit so there’s not two consecutive days of prospect stuff (you guys can also ask us questions about non-prospect stuff if you want, btw) so I’m swapping chats with Meg. 1:38 Eric A Longenhagen: So with that, see you next Thursday, which I totally won’t forget at all.