Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat: 6/6

12:01
Eric A Longenhagen: Good morning from, pretty sure it’s Tempe? Yes, it must be.

12:01
Eric A Longenhagen: Mock draft went live yesterday, it’s here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/fangraphs-2017-mock-draft/

12:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Today’s daily notes have a few more rumors. I’ll link that here when it goes live.

12:02
Hobbs: At this point are you moving Acuna up? Rather have him or Eloy Jimenez longterm in real life and fantasy (if you answer fantasy questions)? Thanks.

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d give it another month. Probably have those two on equal footing at this point. Easier to see elite power from Eloy, Acuna has a better defensive home, might steal you 15-20 bags.

12:03
Estuve : How much cheaper would Gore have to be than Greene for you to draft him if you were in charge of a team with a top pick (let’s say the Reds)?

12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m just taking the one I think is better. More uniform bonus amounts from pick to pick means under slot deals are harder to come by.

12:04
Estuve : Who was a better pitching prospect coming into the draft, Aaron Nola or Brendan McKay?

12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Depends on what you thought of Nola’s delivery.

12:04
Troutmageddon: Is Kopech looking more like a reliever given the walk issues?

12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah, he’s still just 21. Give him another 4 years to harness that stuff.

12:05
GPT: Is there an arm linked to the Giants at 19? Your mock has three hitters there, but was wondering about pitchers.

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Not that I’ve heard, or else it would have been on the mock.

12:05
dupu: best change up you’ve seen in Braves minors? also thanks for answering my Albies vs Demeritte question on the Twitterz yesterday.

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Best I’ve seen is the 55 Allard will flash.

12:06
adam: TCU doesnt have any names in a top 50 list despite a nationally ranked program. no exceptional talent or talent just not ready?

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: They have some underclassmen who might be early picks in ’18 and ’19. Baker (for some, I’m still not sure) and Nick Lodolo are two

12:08
Ted: Your mock mentioned crazy Braves rumors. Can you give us an idea of what rumors are out there?

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: That sounds irresponsible and click-baity.

12:08
Patrick: Eric,

If you were in the Phillies war room, who would you suggest they take at #8 (making reasonable assumptions about who will / won’t be there)?

12:09
Eric A Longenhagen: If Haseley is there he’d be a fine pick, if not I’d be on Peterson, I like Baz, Hall.

12:10
Troutmageddon: Is Bo Bichette a top 50 prospect at this point?

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: This question is essentially, “Is Bo Bichette either a low-risk above average regular or high-risk potential star?” and I think there’s an argument that he’s the latter. Not sure where he falls on the continuum of other guys who fit those descriptors or if it’s within your arbitrary endpoint, but I was certainly too low on him.

12:13
Steve : In your first mock, you mention that Braves have interest in McKay. The Coppy regime has been notorious for targeting high upside players. Is McKay a high upside play?

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: If you have him in as a bat and think he has a chance for plus hit and power, yeah.

12:13
Kyle: You, Klaw, BA, and MLB.com have all had the Brewers taking Adell or Beck in the latest mock or in recent mocks. Is it known the Brewers are targeting high-ceiling prep OF or is this just how the board is likely to fall for them?

12:14
Eric A Longenhagen: Have heard them on OFs, unsure who they prefer. Adell has some teams that love him and others who don’ t have him in their top 30.

12:14
Ayye: How do you think exit velocities at the NCAA Baseball Tournament compare to MLB exit velocities? Metal bats but inferior athletes/swings.

12:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, I wonder how the bats impact the exit velo but I saw too many guys with 30 and 40 bat speed last weekend to think the velos are higher than in big league games.

12:16
banksy_: When your sortable draft board came out, you said people told you to move Austin Beck down from 7, does a private workout really change that much, is there more to that? I kinda just saw the A’s bringing in Beck as standard operating procedure, but I could be wrong.

12:17
Eric A Longenhagen: Not really. The board is just a composite picture of lots of different opinions. It’s easy to see why a team picking in the top ten would like Beck, he has insane tools. There are just lots of people who are worried about him hitting. If you think he hits he’s a top 10 pick, no doubt.

12:17
Larry: Any signability concerns with UF recruits — Carlson, McConnell, Mace, Leftwich, Ruth, etc?

12:17
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve heard a little bit on McConnell, but nothing either way on the rest of them.

12:18
banksy_: No Faedo? No “Gage” Canning? I’ve heard them both being top 15 picks, is there a reason you dropped them out of the 1st?

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: The mock is about the teams, not the players. Those guys (especially Griffin Canning {did I mix up nomenclature on that somewhere? Gage is an OF at ASU and they blend together in my aging brain}) are going to be gone and maybe as early as 10 overall. But I haven’t heard them with anyone, specifically. And that’s what the mock is about, trying to decipher who teams like, who they’re chasing. Someone will look at their board and say, ‘welp, Canning is the best guy’ and take him.

12:21
old timer: reminder from last week for more about Aaron Whitefield

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: Been told he runs well enough (especially underway, big strides) to stay in CF and, while he’s 6-4, he’s of barrow build and not likely to fill out so much that he can’t stay in CF. Pretty extreme pull-heavy approach, so there are questions about the bat. Sounds like a tweener/bench OF type of prospect right now but another interesting Australian prospetc in Minnesota’s system.

12:24
Patrick: Does anyone have a system with players who have better names than the Phillies?

Sixto Sanchez
Seranthony Dominguez
Ranger Suarez
Cornelius Cleopatrick Randolph
Arquimedes Gamboa
Adonis Medina

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: Nope

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: You missed Jojo Romero

12:24
It’s Science : Thoughts on Nick Williams? Has he made real adjustments at the plate or just a hot streak?

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: When I saw him like 10 days ago I thought he looked as though he was making a concerted effort to, at the very least, lay off of breaking balls. I don’t anticipate him ever being an above average OBP guy, but he could play everyday with like a .260/.310/.480+ line.

12:26
Vandy Guy: Any chance Will Toffey could jump to the second round? He’s been on quite a tear.

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s probably a little rich, but I do like him. More rounds 4-5 for me.

12:27
Scruffy-Looking Nerf Hurler: Early July 2 question: Daniel Flores, what are your impressions? Everything I’ve read says top-notch C potential, but only 16(?).

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, have heard best tools on a J2 catcher since Gary Sanchez.

12:27
jack : Cody Reed and Robert Stephensons going to be starters in the league or are the bb/control issues that both have relegate them to late inning arms

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Stephenson is a reliever for me, still hold out hope for Reed.

12:28
seth: Vlad Gutierrez–good enough secondary pitches to stay a starter? loving the K:BB ratios

12:28
Eric A Longenhagen: The curve? Yes. Changeup? Scout I’ve spoken with who has seen him says no. Still early, though.

12:29
Arnie: Can you compare the tools/upside for Royce Lewis, Austin Beck and Jo Adell?

12:30
Eric A Longenhagen: Lewis has the best bat of the three and more favorable defensive projection in CF. Beck and Adell have more power, Adell’s arm has been down this spring, Beck’s is plus, but I’ve seen Adell mash good high school pitching and not Beck.

12:31
seth: Any thoughts on Gavin LaValley–mashing in a very pitcher friendly league

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: 1B-only for me, not sure if there’s enough pop there.

12:31
Dan: Short season starts soon–who are some guys to look out for in NYPL?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: Haven’t seen assignments, been working the draft.

12:32
Brent: With a year of hindsight, which team(s) had the best draft in 2016?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: Still way too early for that.

12:32
Burt Macklin: Do you have a personal cheeseball in this draft class? Someone you like more than the industry that you would have ranked higher based on just your evaluation, but was pushed down the list based on what you were hearing from others.

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: Evan White and Keston Hiura are my favorites.

12:32
Asdrubal: Tyler O’Neill is only treading water in AAA bit.

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, the bat to ball issues are real. He has time to make adjustments of course, but this is why he wasn’t on my 100.

12:34
Buff: Thoughts about Cards’ shuttling of Magneuris Sierra this year? Any changes in your evaluation of him?

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: Just that I was bummed he wasn’t in the starting lineup in Springfield on Sunday.

12:35
Mailman: So what do you make of Scott Kingery‘s recent success? New player or approach? Are the results sustainable?

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Wrote about him last week: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/instagraphs/daily-prospect-notes-61/

12:35
Hank: Brett Phillips was having a great year in AAA this year, but the K rate and BABIP suggest that he may not be as successful in the majors. Do you think he could stick in Milwaukee this year? Brewers don’t have many true OFs available right now and he only has to outplay Nick Franklin

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m still skeptical of Phillips’ ability to hit

12:36
Colin: Carson Kelly is mashing right now. Is he being blocked by Yadi, or does he legitimately still have things to work on in the minors?

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: Just blocked.

12:36
banksy_: Early Review on Dinelson Lamet?

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: Haven’t watched a big league game in over a month. Might go see him tonight, though.

12:37
J: How does spin rate and all the new data change a player’s grades if it does at all?

12:38
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s another data point to consider, but the pitch grades I use are based on eyeball scouting.

12:38
LegallyEagle: Would you support the idea of teams being able to trade future draft picks? Why/why not?

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, purely because I think it’d be fun as hell.

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: And you’d get a great look at what teams have cheapskate owners.

12:39
Alex: What do you make of Jon Harris? Baseball-Reference has him almost 17 months below median pitcher age at Double-A, but the stat line is ugly. He has what appears to be an inflated HR/FB, but the other peripherals aren’t spectacular.

I know the old mantra is “don’t scout the stat line”, but right now that is all I have. I was hoping you could complement that with your scouting insight.

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: Not totally out on him as a prospect, but I’ve heard he doesn’t look good.

12:40
Eric: Is there a chance Jeren Kendall could sign under slot if selected at 11 by the White Sox? Would being linked to other teams around that point of the draft affect that possibility?

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: I seriously doubt it. Had signability issues in high school.

12:41
Zihuatenejo: Do you have an article you can link where the rank the likely first-rounders by your assessment of their talent rather than the likelihood specific teams will draft them?

12:42
John: Do you have any sense for who the Reds are targeting at 32 or 38?

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: Nope, teams are only starting to work their way down the order and get a feel for round 1 at this point in meetings. They might have some feel for the sandwich and early 2nd round by the end of the week.

12:43
Chase Utley: I like Haseley a lot but can he stay in CF and does he hit for average? We need as much help as possible.

12:44
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes to both, 55 in CF for me, has great instincts.

12:45
Alex: I watched a lot of the Wake Forest regional this past weekend. What’s the story on Stuart Fairchild? I haven’t seen him in many mock drafts, is it the hit tool holding him back?

12:46
Eric A Longenhagen: Think he could go back of round 1, have heard him with Toronto. Speedy little ball of muscle, has some pop, very upright in the box and might swing and miss. Have him ahead of Brian Miller at this point.

12:47
Justin: Do you still see Jack Flaherty as having a 3 to 4 ceiling? He mowed through AA at 21, impressive season so far.

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe firmly a #3 ceiling at this point? That’s a 60 and is very good.

12:48
LegallyEagle: A gal named “Reality Winner” was a contractor for the NSA. What’s your favorite name for a prospect?

12:49
Pres: I have been reading a lot about Mets SS Andres Gimenez as a similar player to Gleyber. Can you provide more insight on Gimenez? Is the Gleyber comp reasonable?

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: Um….they aren’t remotely similar.

12:50
Joe: When will Morejon take the hill this year? Havent seen anything on him

12:50
Eric A Longenhagen: Had a shoulder issue and was shut down for a while, is throwing again down here in AZ. Expect him to carve up the AZL.

12:50
RP: You mentioned the Phils trying to float someone, possibly Rogers, to 45. Any names linked to them at 8 on an underslot deal? Would love Hiura there.

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: No names, just think they like Rogers but 8 is too early and the only way to get him to 45 (which would be very risky) is what you described.

12:51
Jim Lonborg: When would you want to call up Devers if you were GM? How much would the bad major league situation affect your judgment?

12:52
Eric A Longenhagen: MLB uber alles if you’re a GM with a competitive club. If you think Devers can help the team, you do it. I think he still has things to learn after what I saw last week, but I can’t speak for Dombrowski.

12:53
SC: Many view Seth Beer’s sophomore numbers as a pretty big disappointment after he set the world on fire as a freshman. Has his sophomore performance changed his scouting profile at all?

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: Sure, but most teams worry much less about who’s going in the top 5 two drafts from now than fans do.

12:55
Hunky Dory: Thoughts on Sam Carlson as a solid, mid-round pick? Yay or nay?

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: Mid first round? Yup, I’m with you. I really like him.

12:56
Dude: At what point do you change your mind about a prospect? What needs to happen? Good or bad.

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: If there’s been a substantive mechanical or physical change or if his track record of performance is long enough and at a high enough level to compel me to re-evaluate.

12:57
Nathan: Is Corbin Burnes close to top 100 for you?

12:58
Eric A Longenhagen: No. A good prospect, but he projects as a #4/5 for me. High probability #4 starters fit on the back of top 100 lists, but not ones in A-ball.

12:58
Chris: Mitch White got off to a great start in 2017, but I’ve lost track of him a bit. Any updates? Has the added velo stuck with him and Walker Buehler?

12:59
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s hurt.

12:59
Ian: Jays are the first team to pick twice this year. How would you play it out if you were in charge?

1:00
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m mixing an aggressive upside pick with something I think is more stable. Also staying open to grabbing a player a team is trying to slip past me into the 30s.

1:00
Ted: Can McKay play outfield?

1:00
Eric A Longenhagen: In my opinion, no.

1:03
Jonathan: Is Matt Manning still easily ahead of Beau Burrows for you, or is there a chance you’d swap them if you were updating the Tigers list today?

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably have to consider a flip based on how great Burrows has been, but Manning was always going to be a long term project so I’m not souring on him.

1:04
Terry’s Sarape: In re: Adell, which player has the widest possible outcome for the draft?

1:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Cool question….Faedo’s stock is hard to nail down right now. And I think any of the high school outfielders have volatile stock because they line up so differently for different teams. Also there are several medical question marks that could dramatically impact where guys like Clarke Schmidt go.

1:06
Keefths: Would you keep your 60 FV on Willy Adames after his poor start ?

1:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes

1:07
Hunky Dory: Will Adell’s walk-up music in 5 years be Set Fire to the Rain?

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Cursory google tells me that is an Adele song.

1:08
CJL: Unsure how long this data has been tracked for amateur arms, but how does Baz’s spin rate compare to other recent pitchers drafted in the 1st round?

1:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Great question. Let me take a peek at some numbers very quickly.

1:09
Eric A Longenhagen: better than Ian Anderson and Jason Groome

1:09
Eric A Longenhagen: better than Pint

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Braxton Garrett’s are close

1:11
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s what I’ve got on hand.

1:11
Is Me? : Best name in the draft? (Jake Burger current #1?)

1:13
Eric A Longenhagen: My faves: Jeter Downs, Calvin Mitchell (just a bad ass baseball name), Tommy Mace, D’mond Lafond, Tarik Skubal, Nick Egnatuk

1:14
AyyMD: I feel like the that Brent Rookervis 1 year older than the typical college junior is being made to large a deal. He made adjustments and has absolutely raked unlike anyone else. The dude can flat out hit. His makeup is off the charts, the dude goes out of his way to improve himself. I get he is most likely a 1B only guy, but why such a disparity between him and say Pavin Smith? Thanks Eric!

1:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Smith > Rooker for me, just a better feel to hit and R/R college first baseman almost never work out (Goldschmidt and Eric Karros, end of list). But I agree with you that he has made adjustments that can’t just be ignored and the age thing is a little bit overblown.

1:16
TKDC: Do you think there is an argument to be made that projected first round pitchers should leave their teams early to avoid the possibility of injury, like Fornette and McCaffrey did with the NFL draft?

1:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes

1:16
Wambo: Where can I find the spin rate numbers for Shane Baz? I heard they are insane, but I don’t see them on Perfect Game mobile.

1:17
Eric A Longenhagen: His max spin rates are on my sortable board (fastballrpm/breaking ballrpm)

1:17
Babe Lincoln: How do signability concerns materialize? And why would they exist in the first place?

1:18
Eric A Longenhagen: A prospect’s advisor floats a bonus amount that isn’t easy to meet based on where the prospect is likely to be drafted on talent.

1:18
Squirrel: Love the chat E-Long (slap me for sayin that). Do you think Chance Adams has a…. wait for it…. CHANCE to be a 3 or better in his future? He’s been mighty impressive in AAA as a 5th round pick. I read that you pegged him as a 4 in your preseason prospect rankings. Anything change your mind so far this season, or are you sticking with the initial assessment?

1:20
Eric A Longenhagen: Still on him as a #4, chance he can be better than that but needs to find another sequence with which to attack hitters. Saw him last week and wrote him up on the 6/1 daily prospect notes.

1:20
Eric A Longenhagen: Here’s video from the look:

1:20
Eric A Longenhagen: He was 93-96 the whole start.

1:20
Hunky Dory: Hey Eric, thanks for the chat. How does Griffin Canning compare to James Kaprelian as a draft prospect?

1:21
Eric A Longenhagen: A little less physicality, similarly uses the changeup less than scouts would like to see. Similar deliveries and ability to throw strikes with the breaking balls. Kaprielian was maybe a half grade better for me on draft day. Of course he suddenly had way more fastball in pro ball than he did at UCLA, so it’s important to keep that in mind.

1:22
Jacko: Micker Adolfo looks good this year. IYO, what’s his ceiling?

1:23
Eric A Longenhagen: Pretty traditional right field profile with chance for 20+ homers, lots of strike outs, some speed and arm strength. Glad he’s finally hitting, but not sure if it’s going to stick.

1:23
Joey: Your note on Kingery last week suggested you saw an uptick in his power projection. At this point do you see it as a 50? 55? Also, what grade do you give his hitting? Thx.

1:23
Eric A Longenhagen: Future plus hitter, 45 game power.

1:23
banksy_: And yeah, nomenclature got a bit messed up in the mock but honestly, not a big deal, just had to razz you bit over it. 🙂 I still understood who you talking about and I would assume those who have followed the draft class did as well. Have a good one EL!

1:24
Eric A Longenhagen: Totally understand and am glad you asked, it should have been mentioned in the mock itself.

1:24
Hunky Dory: How confident are you in the Trevor Rogers pick by NYY? Think they’re more likely to go for an arm given their position player-heavy farm?

1:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Not confident, mocks are a house of cards and it just takes one team doing something you didn’t expect for the whole thing to tumble down. I just know important people from their org have made the trip to see him, and it takes a hell of a lot to get to Carlsbad (fly to El Paso, drive to Carlsbad)

1:25
Cubs Fan Will: Hey Eric! You mocked MJ Melendez to the Cubbies and mentioned they may be interested in HS P Michael Mercado. Mercado is a new name to me, what is he like?

1:27
Eric A Longenhagen: An extremely skinny 6-foot-4 but has broad shoulders and should add a lot of weight as he matures. So now you’re projecting heavily on a fringey fastball, which feels good, he’s loose and fluid for a kid his size, has some curveball feel. Stanford commit, so might be a tough sign.

1:27
Zonk: Really astute post on Michael Recker a couple days ago. He threw 5 shutout innings last night in his first ever start, 6Ks, 1 hit. Is he a breakout candidate?

1:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Somewhat, but more of a backend guy than someone who will rank up near the top of their org list or anything like that.

1:27
Andrew: How optimistic are you on the hit tools of Mason House, Connor Uselton and Heliot Ramos?

1:28
Eric A Longenhagen: Cautiously. Care less about Ramos’ because of the defensive profile, think House has the most workable actions.

1:28
Gypsy Father: So, Luis Urias – HOF or merely multiple MVP’s?

1:29
Eric A Longenhagen: Saw him on Sunday, got in the rental car and just stared at the steering wheel for like 2 minutes, in silence, trying to figure out just what the hell I think of him.

1:29
James: This draft seems pretty blah after the top 5/6 guys. If you were any of the teams picking 7-10, wouldn’t a guy like Logan Warmouth shoot up the board over someone like Pavin Smith? SS w/ plus hit- over a 1B only with 55 ceiling.

1:31
Eric A Longenhagen: I think a given draft has like 8-12 guys who are 50 FVs or above and this one is on the low end of that number, yeah. I can see your argument and think some teams in that 10-15 range might feel the same way, but others (like me) are snobs about who they run out at shortstop and aren’t psyched about Warmoth there, just okay with it. And that isn’t who they want to be taking with a top 12 pick.

1:32
Eric A Longenhagen: The guy who I’m thinking about the way you’re thinking about Warmoth is Hiura.

1:32
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s the one who, especially if I’m an AL team with some margin for error on the defensive side with him, I just say “Hey, this guy is the best college bat in the class and has a non-zero chance to play an up the middle position.”

1:33
Hank: Is Christian Pache a guy you could see vaulting into a top-100 caliber type by seasons end?

1:33
Eric A Longenhagen: He was my last cut from the last 100 I did, so yep.

1:33
Keeper? I hardly know her: Why is game power so hard to predict? It seems like that is the factor that makes or breaks top prospects like Austin Meadows, but no one is ever sure how it all will work out.

1:34
Eric A Longenhagen: It has so much to do with hitting approaches and those are constantly changing and one of the hardest things to scout and even harder for me to source on because it’s such a nuanced thing.

1:35
Manny: Been following Montes De Oca forever. Where do you think he lands and his ultimate role? Seems like RP.

1:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, definitely a RP and the pure RPs with that kind of stuff are typically 5th round guys.

1:35
Tj: I dig Terry Fuller. What round do you see him going in?

1:36
Eric A Longenhagen: I kinda like him, too. Understand that there are defensive limitations, but that might be 80 raw power right now.

1:37
Eric A Longenhagen:

1:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Skip to 1:08

1:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe 3rd or 4th rd?

1:38
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay, everyone. Thanks for coming today. Here are today’s daily notes: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/instagraphs/daily-prospect-notes-66/

1:39
Eric A Longenhagen: Ironing out what day-of draft coverage is going to be like, will be sure to plug it once it’s decided.

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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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