Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat, 4/4

12:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Mornin’. Shorter chat today since I was on for three hours last night during our opening day chat marathon.

12:03
12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: One last thing before I start, there A LOT of questions in the chat asking when Prospect X is going to be in the big leagues. Blanket answer: I don’t know. Too many variables impact that sort of thing that have zero to do with the player’s performance.

12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Let’s all remember Mike Trout didn’t get a call because of his performance, but because Vernon Wells was hurt.

12:05
Larry: I know you said moving Soroka/Allard to Double A shows how the Braves view them, but isn’t it kind of an unnecessary risk? They’re 19, and Allard only has 60 innings of full season ball. What’s the point of this for a rebuilding team?

12:05
John S: Now that prospect assignments are leaking in, can you point out a few that you’re surprised about (too aggressive or too low)?

12:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Teams know more about their own guys and what they can handle than I do, so it’s not reasonable for me to be critical of things like this. I can say, in regard to the Braves, that if you asked me to pick the two guys who could handle aggressive assignments among those arms, it’d be Allard and Soroka.

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Onil Cruz is the one whose midwest league assignment surprised me most, but I don’t know that it’s a bad idea.

12:07
Trixie: Which of the three Padres Rule 5 prospects has the highest upside?

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Diaz. 94-97, chance for plus breaking ball and above average changeup. If he throws strikes and stays healthy he’s a mid-rotation arm. But he hasn’t been able to do either throughout his career.

12:08
Alan: Where would Otani rank in the current Top 100?

12:09
Eric A Longenhagen: #1, as I said in the piece

12:09
Astros Fan: Is Jon Singleton still a prospect? Can we still expect any future value from him?

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: He is not technically a prospect any more and I just don’t know at this point. He’s had non-baseball issues that have been quite public. I thought he was very talented when he was a prospect and that he’d be very good.

12:11
Trixie: Is there any hope for JJ Schwartz to get taken in the first two rounds? How did his stock plummet so quickly?

12:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably not. Can’t catch, grooved swing.

12:11
Wendell: Does Amed Rosario have one of those 80-grade baseball bodies? Looks like a shortstop version of Heyward kinda.

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s a great frame, I think there’s more power coming.

12:13
Odor’s Horses: With all the talent the Rangers have traded away from the farm in the past few years, is it impressive that they are still middle of the pack in the rankings?

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, they have a great program. Dev and scouts.

12:13
Pops: Do you see Scott Kingery as part of the rebuild in Philadelphia?

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: I do

12:13
Drew: Does approach/batting eye factor into the hit tool? I know some organizations/scouts make it their own standalone tool. Do you feel like it only needs to be mentioned if its out of the ordinary?

12:15
Eric A Longenhagen: It is separate, but is almost certainly mentioned in every report. Of course, the merits of limited in-person looks vs. long term data collection, in that specific area, is up for debate.

12:15
Clock: How is the type of advanced data we collect at the MLB data collected, or not collected, at the MILB level?

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: It is but almost always proprietary. Teams have trackman and statcast type stuff going on at all of their affiliates and, in many cases, at their spring complexes and minor league backfields. They largely keep the data to themselves but some clubs share with one another.

12:16
Drew: Are there really only 3-5 starting caliber catchers in the minors at this point?

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: No, probably a couple more than that.

12:17
Dr Morris: Who are a couple of your draft favorites from the second tier of college SP? Canning/Crowe/Schmidt et al?

12:17
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve been impressed by Heimlich and Canning

12:17
Mark: Hey Eric, could you briefly comment on your 50 FV on Alford and the, basically, 80% bust rate by KATOH? Is it mostly playing time?

12:18
Eric A Longenhagen: KATOH and I are independent entities. I don’t think KATOH realizes Alford’s background or that he was hurt much of last year.

12:19
Travis: Do you think the hype on Luis Robert is warranted?

12:19
Eric A Longenhagen: Not sure what kind of crazy hype he’s getting elsewhere but here I consider him a top 100 type of prospect, power/speed/approach are all good, body looks great.

12:21
John: if you had to take one which farm system would you take between Detroit, Miami, and Los Angeles Angels

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: Either Anaheim or Detroit.

12:21
TooDamnTall: How much hope do you have for any given pitching prospect to develop command? Or put another way, what percentage of pitching prospects who need to develop better command, actual achieve it?

12:22
Eric A Longenhagen: Many of them. Just look at the top of MLB pitching leaderboards. Guys like Price, Scherzer, Carlos Martinez, Archer. All once had command questions. Aaron Sanchez…the list is long.

12:22
Hunky Dory: Was just reading about Rowdy Tellez, and made me wonder – does he have a 50 hit and 55 game power for 1Bs, or among all players? In other words, do the scouting grades have positional adjustment? B/c if not, I don’t see how Tellez can play 1B in the majors…

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: MLB players

12:23
Brett : I heard an interesting bit on a recent fangraphs podcast: injury-prone pitchers have a 44% chance of injury over a given season versus the 38% of injury-averse pitchers. Since pitchers are inherently injury-risk by trade, why would some be higher on McKay than Bukauskas when it is widely acknowledged Bukauskas has better stuff? Seems to me the Risk-Reward over-inflates injury risk.

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: Size and delivery. Whether or not those concerns are founded is debatable. I’m less apt to knock pitchers for being short at this point, but if a team think Bukauskas’ delivery inhibits his ability to throw strikes like they did Carson Fulmer’s, hard to take him above McKay.

12:25
Andrew: What’s the difference between bat speed and power?

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: There might be an objective answer to this question but when I get it I ask this question: If force is mass x acceleration and bat speed is acceleration, does any part of the player contribute to the mass, or just the bat?

12:26
Nick: With a good start, is Mark Vientos back into the mix as a first rounder? Has he surpassed Brady McConnell as the best Florida HS player?

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m not really on either of them.

12:27
Ben: Surprised neither Taylor Williams nor Braden Webb made your Brewers lineup. I thought both despite injury history have MLB quality offerings and intriguing statistical indicators. Any reason why you excluded them?

12:28
Eric A Longenhagen: Williams I just neglected to put on the HM section by mistake, was up to 98 for me in the fall but obvious an injury risk. Webb might be a bullpen arm, could have gone on the HM’s too.

12:28
Kev: Any thoughts on where Josh Lowe ends up position wise? Looks like he’ll be in the outfield this year being on the same team as Fox/Rondon

12:28
Eric A Longenhagen: CF

12:29
Ben: Can you rate from most likely to least likely to play in center in potential future Brewer outfields: Keon Broxton, Lewis Brinson, Brett Phillips, Corey Ray, Trent Clark, Monte Harrison?

12:29
Eric A Longenhagen: Brinson, Broxton, Clark, Ray, Harrison, Phillips

12:29
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s not to say I like Broxton or Clark more than Ray, just that Ray isn’t a CF for me.

12:30
Pat: If Jordan Montgomery wins the 5th Starter job, how do you think he’d perform? What is his ceiling?

12:30
12:30
Eric A Longenhagen: In short I think he’s a potential rotation piece, I believe i n the strides he has made. Great job by NYY player dev

12:31
daro: give me some hope for Giolito!!!

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: I say only truths, he was 90-94 in his final spring outing.

12:32
Matt: Of fringy 2016 padres draftees such as Chris Baker, Joey Lucchesi, Boomer White. Any you think have chance to give a little major league value?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: Perhaps Lucchesi on deception.

12:32
Dancing Dan Mcgraw: The Yankees were planning on drafting Trout but gave up the pick to the Angels to sign Mark Tex. They won the world series that year. Think it was worth it?

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Rings uber alles

12:33
mike sixel: Is McKay a two way player after drafted, a pitcher, or a hitter, do you think?

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s a pitcher for me but teams are on him as a bat, too.

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Haven’t heard of anyone planning to do both.

12:34
RAH RAH: How would you compare Luis Almanzar, Wander Javier and Andres Gimenez? All 3 should be in the states this summer, correct?

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d think so. Javier is more of a traditional SS, Gimenez is a polish/instincts type, Almanzar is bat-first, probably moves to 3B.

12:35
Erik: Will Kingery be better than what Cesar Hernandez was last year?

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably not, but I wouldn’t assume Hernandez is a true 4 WAR player.

12:35
Halp sucks: Which buzzy pitcher do you think moves up more this year on lists, Jose Albertos or Walker Buehler?

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: Buehler because I think LA pushes him as quickly as possible if/when the big club needs an extra arm. Albertos didn’t throw in games this spring because he’s only getting rolling in Extended, he’s being barbecued.

12:37
odapm: do you have a specific scouting routine you follow every time you scout a player? for example, bat speed is the first thing you look for, then bat control, then hand eye, etc. or for a pitcher, the first thing is fastball, then control, then offspeed

12:38
Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe not that specific, but I do have some of my own processes that I’ve made a conscious effort to refine for years now. And I still am not totally satisfied with it, to be honest.

12:38
Paul: Jeren Kendall was being talked about 1-1 coming into the year. Is that still the case, or is he more 4-6 range now?

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: Still up there for me but probably not 1-1 with questions about the swing and miss.

12:39
RAH RAH: Are you a fan of Jameson Fisher? I kind of see him as the next Jesse Winker, but that only confuses me more, because I’m not a big Winker fan, but want to like Fisher.

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: I am but you’re right, it’s a bat-only profile in LF without much of anything else, which means the bat needs to max out, like I think Winker’s will, for him to be anything.

12:41
odapm: you’ve talked about you’re biggest miss when it comes to failing (dom brown). Who has been you’re biggest miss when it comes to success? sorry if you have covered this before.

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: I didn’t think he was a non-prospect or anything like that but there was a time I was skeptical of Corey Seager’s stardom, which I corrected the following year. I saw him in the AFL and he was gassed. The next spring he looked like an obvious monster.

12:42
Justino37: What does the ceiling of Eloy Jimenez look like?

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: Like .280 with 30+ homers

12:42
CJ’s Eyeballs: And how do you measure bat speed?

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: Eric’s eyeballs

12:43
odapm: is the power surge from certain recent prospects once they reach higher levels (bregman and turner come to mind) just maturity progression or something else? These weren’t big power guys on multiple scouting reports, but seem to have shown it in MLB. Is there something there that you/we can better project in the future?

12:44
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d say physical maturity plays a role, and pro coaches have different priorities and philosophies than college coaches. It’s a much different game. Pro coaches are more likely to try to coax power from a player’s swing than college coaches who often prioritize contact. That might play a role.

12:44
Erik: With changes in launch angle being all the rage, will it make sense to put “if he changes his launch angle” in reports, just like you’d put something equally speculative like “if he develops a changeup” for pitchers?

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: If prospects show they can actually do that, yes. It may take a while before we start identifying it, since we’d need to see Swing 0 and then recognize Swing 1 with more loft. And do that for several hitters.

12:46
Andrew: If I had a conversation with a scout about trying to get into scouting although I haven’t played since Middle School, what questions should I ask him?

12:48
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m not sure. I guess I’d ask when/how the scout started to look at the game through an evaluative lens and go from there?

12:48
Kevin: Is Ryan Mountcastle a future major leaguer? If so, what position?

12:48
Eric A Longenhagen: I think so, LF.

12:49
David: More future big league starters: Fields 3-6 on the east side of the Peoria Sports Complex tomorrow or the combined minor league systems of the D’Backs, Angels and Marlins?

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: The former

12:49
Eloy Jimenez: Am I a better offensive player long term than Amed Rosario?

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: Independent of position? Probably.

12:49
Spicy boy: Am I wrong to think that arm strength is the least important tool for a position player? Aside from allowing a prospect to profile at a position, I don’t see how it could make or break a toolset

12:50
Eric A Longenhagen: I agree. It’s more important in some situations than in others (like if a guy can’t play SS only because he doesn’t have the arm for it) but generally the least important one.

12:50
Joe: A few years ago, you were really aggressive in your ranking of Albies before everyone else, now you’re really aggressive with Acuna’s ranking. Do you think Pache could follow if he develops like you expect?

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: I didn’t rank Albies years ago, I was working a 9-to-5 at an insurance company and horribly depressed. McDaniel ranked him aggressively, and was dead on. And yes, I think Pache could be very special.

12:51
Billy: Where were you on Ryon Healy? Is he a legit 3-hitter?

12:52
Eric A Longenhagen: 70 raw power, but 1B for me and that’s an aggressive approach. I was a little apprehensive. Probably would have been a 45 for me like Tellez.

12:52
Jake: Heard anything about Corey Ray? He didn’t make the Brewers’ A+ roster, presumably to spend more time ramping up in Arizona. But I thought he was cleared for game play a while ago.

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s been playing out here, I’ve seen him a few times. He’s terrific. Strangely detailed Corey Ray report from the weekend…..

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: He took three fastballs juuust off the plate, looked like he identified them as either balls or unhittable very early in flight.

12:54
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s up 3-0 in the count, takes strike one, then destroys 92 on the inner half. Triple off the wall.

12:54
Eric A Longenhagen: I think he’s going to be very good.

12:56
Philly Fanatic: Nick Williams‘ swing looked a lot more controlled this spring to my untrained eye. Any truth to the rumor that Matt Stairs has fixed him and we can expect big things from him?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: No idea. Williams has been “fixed” before.

12:56
Dancing Dan Mcgraw: what do you mean when you say a player has a rubber arm? like if Trevor Bauer pitched like Kershaw, he could throw 300 innings?

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: That it’s a loose, perhaps strange but low-effort delivery.

12:57
JJP: Are there any UCLA bruins that are prospects other than Griffin Canning?

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: Not for this year’s draft. I guess Bouchard is kind of a prospect but that team is largely comprised of underclassmen.

12:58
Ricky: Can Yandy Diaz be an everyday guy?

12:58
Eric A Longenhagen: I have a UT grade on him. If he’s a regular it’s because his ability to walk gets him there.

12:59
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay everyone, that’s going to do it for me today. See you next week, same bat time same bat channel. Thank you for reading and enjoy competitive Major League baseball.

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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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