Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat 6/27

12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Good morning from Tempe, everyone.

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Here are today’s notes: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/instagraphs/daily-prospect-notes-627/

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Had upload issues with the Norge Ruiz video overnight. I’ll tweet a link when it’s up so you can all get a peak.

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Alright, let’s do it.

12:05
Sour beer: Who are some of the biggest non-top-100 prospect movers this year so far?

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Bo Bichette, Jesus Sanchez, Jack Flaherty, some of Philly’s arms probably move into the 100. I could sit here and come up with another dozen or so that moved up because of graduations ahead of them.

12:08
CT: Hey Eric, thanks for doing this. Do you see Chance Adams or Luke Weaver (pending injury) making a big impact ROS? Are there any other pitching prospects you see making a bigger splash, especially with trade season looming?

12:09
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, I’ve heard NY is shopping around for a starter and some scouts think Adams is the guy they’re looking for. They both have big league stuff and some semblance of pitchability, though Adams needs another trick or two to get through a lineup 3 or 4 times.

12:09
Jake: Hey Eric. Have you seen Brault this year? Does he project more as a SP or RP? Thanks

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Still hold out hope he can start but, as athletic as he is, scouts I know who have seen him this year say he still has release point consistency issues that limit his command.

12:10
Sour beer: What does Dillon Tate need to show to have his value rebound?

12:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Maintain health/stuff for 20+ starts

12:12
GPT: Is Miguel Gomez a major league starter? He continues to just hit at every level.

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: Has more of a bat-first utility profile for me.

12:12
Russell: What type of future do you ultimately see in Chase Vallot? 16.8% Walk Rate, 35.6% K Rate, and has a .225/.368/.450 slash line.

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Depends almost entirely on whether or not he catches and I don’t think he can.

12:14
Larry: Kyle Wright fits in where on your Braves rankings?

12:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Well, I have a 60 FV on him. Swanson (1 on offseason list) graduated, Albies (2) is still a 60 and Acuna (3) has moved up from a 55 to a 60, so Wright is probably 3. You could make an argument for Gohara, Allard or Soroka as a 60 too, I guess.

12:16
GPT: Malique Ziegler is off to a great start in NWL. Did you see him in XST and thoughts?

12:18
Eric A Longenhagen: I did. Swing has some natural loft, hands/wrists are sneaky strong. He runs well. Mid-western pedigree means development might come late. He’s kind of interesting.

12:19
Gavin: This offseason, you had Aiken, Hillman, and Kaminsky as the 2-4 pitchers in Cleveland’s system. If you did it again today, would three new names be in those spots?

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: The strike-throwers, in some order. Julian Merryweather probably tops them. Shane Bieber, Matt Esparza, Tom Pannone deserve consideration.

12:21
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: Eric, you mentioned in a recent chat that you played MLB Showdown by Wizards of the Coast. What years did you play? Any particular favorite cards?

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: Most heavily 2001-2004, the 2001 aesthetic was my favorite.

12:22
Buff: Shed Long, Bryan Reynolds,and Christian Pache all got consideration for you preseason top 100. Add Taylor Trammell to that list. Top 100 by now? Who looks best?

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: Pache probably has the highest ceiling of that group, Reynolds struggled early and made adjustments.

12:23
Dan: I’ve seen a lot of hype about brandon marsh recently with his hot start. Is the hype legit?

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: I ranked him #2 in that system, ahead of the guy they took ahead of him in last year’s draft, so yeah I’m in on Marsh.

12:23
Matt: How much has Cub SP pipeline improved in the last year or so? Any of those guys have front-end of rotation ceilings?

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe as an absolute perfect-world outcome, yes. But it isn’t likely.

12:24
Paul: A number of the Padres 2016 Intl signees (Justin Lopez, Luis Almanzar) are at Tri-City and performing well in the early going. How aggressive is this placement? Who should I be watching for on that Tri-City team?

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: Not uncommon for J2 signees to make their affiliated debut in short-season ball, but definitely a sign the org feels good about those guys. Anyone on that roster born ’98 or later is a name to watch.

12:26
LudeBurger: You ranked jeisson Rosario ahead of Luis almanzar in the offseason on the padres prospects list, but almanzar is hitting well to start his career in short A while Rosario is just starting in DSL. Did anything change or just the padres know more about their guys?

12:26
Eric A Longenhagen: Rosario is here in the AZL. Timing and bat path looked wonky in Extended. Bat speed and strike-zone feel still there.

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Just remember development is non-linear.

12:27
SOS: What are your thoughts on Estevan Florial’s year so far? Not sure if you have seen him but just scouting the statline, seems like the K% a major danger. But performance so far is excellent.

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: You’re on it. Power, speed, strikeouts. Typical RF profile. Big tools, substantial risk.

12:27
Jimbo: Anderson Espinoza has been sidelined for the first half with elbow issues. He’s supposedly begun his throwing program. What might be better for him … to throw 30-plus innings this year, or essentially take the year off and work on strength, flexibility, etc.?

12:28
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s gotta throw. A year off doesn’t help him develop better command or build his work load. Could see him in the Fall League or a winter league.

12:29
Lloyd Braun’s Freezer: Saw Brady Singer last night, does he need to add significant weight to convince teams he’s 1-1 caliber?  Looked pretty skinny to me.

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah, if I’m pinpointing one thing that prevents him from going 1-1 I’d say it’s medical/delivery related. It’s fine that he’s thin now, he’s 20. The weight will come.

12:31
Arizona: I hope your AC is working!

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: It is but entire chunks of center city Phoenix were without power the other day and I know Chase Field has had AC issues.

12:31
Matt: If you’re  Hoyer/Epstein, would you be more reluctant to move Happ or Eloy to land the controllable SP they’ll need?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d be more reluctant to part with Eloy but that’s who teams are going to want.

12:32
Paul: Josh Naylor has had some success in Elsinore of late. Is he a starting 1b long term? Or more of a Matt Stairs-y bench bat?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m not a Naylor guy.

12:32
D4: How legit is Corbin Burnes? Smaller sample size at AA but he’s been even better up there and that’s always the toughest jump

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Legit in that he’s a prospect but, realistic ceiling, he’s a #4 starter. Which is great for where they got him. Athletic, competitive, four pitch mix.

12:34
michael: Is there anyone Brewers prospect-wise that you are concerned about their development? Perhaps surprised?

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: Gilbert Lara gives me a huge sad. He looked very special that first autumn he was in AZ, just hasn’t hit since then.

12:34
Josh: Tyler Wade projection? Assume he plays 2B everyday right?

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: UTiL

12:35
BR: Do you think Charcer Burks will ever be a guy? 22 y.o. center fielder raking in AA, but doesn’t get much prospect hype

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Limited ceiling, probably a bench OF, but yes he’s on the radar as some sort of big leaguer at this point.

12:36
976: What’s the word on Daniel Johnson in the Nationals system?  In the off-season, you said he could be a dude if he hits.  I think he’s hitting.

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Obviously you’d like to see him promoted as even a small school college hitter at Low-a is a college hitter raking at low-a. But yeah, he has above average bat speed, is a 7 runner, fine in CF, etc etc. He was just raw as a draft prospect and his numbers were inflated by hitting environment.

12:39
Ned Yost: David Paulino has been pretty good in his short stint in the majors (26 Ks to just 7 walks) but his fastball velocity has been all over the place. Can you give any insight on that?

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: I have him mostly 91-95,pretty consistent. Anything below that could just be a pitch that was released poorly or a get-me-over strike or a pitch he’s manipulating a little differently.

12:40
Jaime: Thairo Estrada has put up great numbers in double-A as a 21 year old. I know it’s important not to scout the stat line, but it seems like he deserves more recognition than he’s gotten, no?

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: Utility profile.

12:41
Goody: How much movement does Hunter Greene’s fastball have? Related, would you ever advise a guy with 100ish to throw a 97ish two-seamer? I do be a Reds fan and I’ve often wondered what it would be like if Aroldis went with a two seamer.

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: Above average movement

12:41
Scruffy-Looking Nerf Hurler: Does Hunter Green have a higher potential FV for you?  Since he’s so far from the majors I know you include the risks that entails. As he gets older/advances is there a chance he becomes a 65+ at normal/expected progression?

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes

12:41
976: Is Joe DeMers, RHP at UW, a first rounder for next year?

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: Not for me. Saw him in May, was 88-91, frame is maxed out.

12:42
Estuve : How does Jeremy Kendall compare to Drew Stubbs?

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: Skillset has similarities: power, speed, glove, swing and miss. But the reasons for the swing and miss are different, body types are different, Kendall isn’t the defender Stubbs was at peak.

12:44
Xolo: How do the Dodgers keep calling up star after star?

12:44
Eric A Longenhagen: They draft well.

12:44
Cole: Do the Twins have a solution to their bullpen woes for the 2017 season in the minors? If so, who?

12:48
Eric A Longenhagen: They’ve drafted plenty of arm strength relief prospects (Jake Reed, Nick Burdi, Michael Cederoth) but those guys have had issues staying healthy or just being effective. Relief prospects are volatile so it’s hard to say if internal help is coming. I think Hildenberger, Melotakis and Fernando Romero could help, perhaps Turley’s role is in the bullpen. They, like everyone else, will figure out a way to make ‘pen arms from scratch.

12:48
Coco crisp: Are you worried by Chris Rodriguez’s rocky start?

12:48
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah, first taste of affiliated ball after he’s been the king of the complex for a year.

12:48
Sterling Mallory Chris Archer: Question about prospect development: does any team provide game theory instruction? For example, last year watching Javy Baez swing at every 0-2 count was maddening to me because everyone in the entire world knew that he wouldn’t get a strike. And yet he still swung.  I get he’s a billion times better of an athlete than I am, but at some point players should be using more of their brain, right?

12:50
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, some athletes just can’t clear those mental hurdles, even with instruction.

12:50
Chris: Oscar Mercado was not in your top 24 headed into this season. Has his performance in AA this season changed that?

12:50
Eric A Longenhagen: Saw him a few weeks ago. Might be a bench OF, not on him as a regular.

12:50
JR: Gore, Groome, Garrett – can you rank them, and give a brief reason why you order them that way? Thanks!

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably as you have them. Groome is the most talented of that bunch but Gore is far more polished. Garrett is hurt.

12:51
Coco crisp: Do you think Ronald Guzman’s RAW power translate to the bigs?

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: Not completely. Approach is more geared for contact. Think he’s a good everyday player, though.

12:52
BR: Have you gotten to watch Adbert Alzolay pitch? Could he emerge as a top of the rotation prospect?

12:52
Eric A Longenhagen: Not top of rotation for me (I just don’t throw that phrase around very much and neither do people in baseball) but has three above average pitches. Delivery has some violence but he’s a dude.

12:54
Ham Bone: Did you see Albertos last night?

12:54
Eric A Longenhagen: No, saw him last Tuesday. 92-95, t96, plus curve, potential plus change, trouble throwing strikes. Been that each of the three times I’ve seen him.

12:54
David: I’ve never heard a word from any scout on Mark Zagunis despite a really impressive approach and excellent numbers. Is he a regular, platoon, 4th OF, or AAAA?

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: Bench OF for me. Was #9 on the Cubs list. Body looked like it had gone backwards to me this spring. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/top-23-prospects-chicago-cubs/

12:55
Grant: At what point after seeing major league performance do you (if ever) “update” a guy’s tool or FV ceiling?

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: They’re not mine anymore once they’re big leaguers.

12:56
Dave Mc: Who is the Orioles top prospect now? Still Sisco? Did Mountcastle or Hays catch him? Will it be DL Hall when he signs?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: Hall, then Sisco.

12:56
Professor Donaldson: Is there anyway to watch GCL games online? Very interested in seeing Maitan but not sure how.

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: Nope

12:57
Michael: Has your opinion on Nick Solak changed at all? He’s only in your honorable mentions for the Yanks.

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: Could probably bump him up to a 40 at this point.

12:58
Pittsburgh: Does Austin Hays power look real?  Is he looking like a legit prospect that could have a future in the big leagues with him showing power and that he can play in center? Are we talking a top 5 Oriole prospect now?

12:58
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably top 5 in the system on tools, over-aggressive approach is being masked by performance right now but could be exposed down the line.

1:00
Larry: I know Pache has really impressive defense and speed. Scouting the box score, the numbers look good at the plate. But I watched him hit for the first time recently and that swing looks like it is a mess. Any hope for him to hit for even a little bit of power with that swing?

1:01
Eric A Longenhagen: Sure, the swing probably needs to change a bit for the power to come but he’s only 18 so let’s give it time to.

1:01
Gest: How mysterious are velocity gains?

1:01
Eric A Longenhagen: Becoming less mysterious as they become more prevalent.

1:02
Babe Lincoln: Any reason to think Szapucki is going to be a fast (or slow) mover through the Mets’ system?

1:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Slow. Already a little old for level, has had trouble staying healthy, is one a very conservative pitching schedule where he constantly has extended rest. Slow.

1:03
Dustin: Thoughts on Yordan Alvarez?

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Gigantic, pretty swing, huge power.

1:03
Patty O’Furniture: Should the Braves try to package Matt Adams and Jaime Garcia to the Yankees?

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes?

1:03
Ryan: Morning Eric. How much is statcast data affecting scouting. With more colleges and minor teams using it the future, will a scout have to be more of a data analyst?

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s impacting the way clubs evaluate minor leaguers but it isn’t usually the scout who’s sifting through that data. Teams have different opinions about how much of that stuff they’d like scouts to know. Maybe eventually scouts will need to be able to interpret that data as part of their job, but not right now.

1:04
Barnaby B Jones: Is Anderson Tejeda in the Rangers system a name that could make noise in the next few years.

1:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Sure, if he can make some contact. Rare power for a MIF prospect, significant swing and miss risk.

1:05
Spreadsheet Scout: Any idea how much longer victor robles has until he gets promoted to AA?

1:06
Eric A Longenhagen: I have zero clue on promotion for him and every other prospect. It’s just not priority info for me to run down.

1:06
Jon: Have you heard anyone talking about Willie Calhoun’s defense improving?

1:06
Eric A Longenhagen: No

1:06
Bobby Newport: Does Mountcastle have a chance to stick at SS?

1:06
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think so

1:07
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: The Rays traded Braxton Lee and and Ethan Clark for Hechavarria. Their player pages here indicate they’ve never gotten so much as a daily note, let alone an honorable mention. The move was a salary dump, but how do the teams, particularly the Marlins, decide which warm bodies get swapped? They’re not exactly lottery ticket types.

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Some combination of scouting and analytics. But yeah, both Clark and Lee are fringe guys for me.

1:08
ChiSox: Do you have renewed faith in Micker Adolfo? Dude is hitting bombs this year.

1:08
Eric A Longenhagen: There are some statistical red flags, I’m still a bit apprehensive.

1:08
Swingin’ Friar: After a rough start Reggie Lawson’s stat line looks better the last 3 games 24/3 K/BB ratio. Heard anything about how his stuff looks?

1:09
Eric A Longenhagen: The same. Low-90s, might creep up to 94, 95, curveball feel is good.

1:09
Chet: Is Adonis Medina one of the Phillies arms likely in your current Top 100?

1:09
Eric A Longenhagen: I think he deserves consideration.

1:10
Danny: What do you think of Matt Sauer’s chances of staying a starter?

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: 40%

1:11
Nils: Since Miguel Almonte came off the DL, he’s had 2 RP appearances.  Is this a matter of building back his arm strength or is this the beginning of his move to the pen?

1:11
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s probably a RP at this point.

1:13
Ricky: Are body type and body projection different for domestic players vs international players. Could diet and culture affect their physical growth?

1:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Good question. Physical projection plays a unique role in projecting the J2 kids. Some of them are very physically immature and others have lots of present strength, the gap can be quite vast. Giving a 16 year old $1mil and turning him loose in America can absolutely backfire when the kids discover fast food.

1:16
976: Isaac Paredes is 18 this whole season in A-ball and seems to be hitting well-enough for a shortstop.  Does he have projection left and will he have to move to 3rd?

1:17
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve heard he’s improved his conditioning but still projects to 3B for me.

1:17
Eric A Longenhagen: Some want to see him catch.

1:17
jp: Higher ceiling:  Isan Diaz, Delvin Perez?

1:17
Eric A Longenhagen: Delvin

1:18
Joe Douglas: You mentioned on the Pod that Will Craig is having a horrible season. Does that entirely hinge on the move to 1B? 140 wRC+ is not horrible at 3B, bar is just high at 1B.

1:19
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s a 1B-only college hitter struggling to hit for power in A-ball.]

1:20
Andy: What did you see from Austin Beck last night?

1:21
Eric A Longenhagen: A talented kid who needs time to adjust to pro pitching. He’s clearly never seen anything like what he saw last night, which was, in order, a low-slot righty with a funky breaking ball, 95-99 from Stetson Allie, 94-96 from Yeison Cespedes.

1:23
baby bull : have you seen Kyle Lewis yet in 2017? any update on him?

1:24
Eric A Longenhagen: Not yet. He’s down here rehabbing (again). Think I’m heading to Peoria on Wednesday so if he’s still here and playing, that’s when I’ll catch him.

1:25
Hank: I’ve noticed Lucas Herbert has began to finally hit, could he end up a MLB backup?

1:25
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s probably his ceiling.

1:26
Ducklin: How does faedo rank alongside other Det sp prospects such as manning, burrows, funkhouser?

1:26
Eric A Longenhagen: Behind them, but those guys have all been great so that’s not a knock on Faedo.

1:26
Bear Hands: Did you watch Luis Castillo’s major league outing? Do you think he can stick in the rotation now and what’s his ceiling?

1:26
Eric A Longenhagen: I did not, I’m working on July 2 stuff.

1:26
Anthony: Are you still bullish on Yadi Alvarez? His most recent coverage has seemed overwhelmingly negative. Him or Buehler ATP?

1:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Still bullish, albeit a bit dismayed. Buehler at this point.

1:27
SK: What are your thoughts on Ryan McMahon – doesn’t seem to get enough hype. How do you project he’ll perform in the bigs?

1:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Can’t find anyone who has seen him over the years that can pinpoint a reason for the improvement.

1:28
Nate: Which side of the plate will Francisco Mejia be a better hitter on in the Majors?

1:28
Eric A Longenhagen: RH

1:29
SK: Jae-Gyun Hwang ‘s release date is coming up soon – he’s not exactly a ‘prospect’ but how do you think his skills will translate in the bigs?

1:29
Eric A Longenhagen: Haven’t seen him, scouts I’ve talked to who have think he’s a bench guy.

1:29
Kosch: Could Derek Fisher be a 2 WAR player in the majors right now?  He’s gotta be better than Aoki at this point right?

1:29
Eric A Longenhagen: 2 WAR right now? Pretty agressive.

1:30
Steve: I was wondering how you project home run power off of body types as it seems like it is all over the place. For Example, Willie Calhoun is 5’8 187 pounds but it suppose to grade out well with power conversely Alex Verdugo is listed at 6’0 205 and only average with power. One would think the larger you are the more power you would have. Thank you for your time as this one has been bugging me of late.

1:30
Eric A Longenhagen: Calhoun is not 187 pounds. Bat speed uber alles.

1:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay, that will be all for me today. See you all next week, thank you for stopping by. July 2 coverage will roll out later this week.





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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RonnieDobbs
5 years ago

Re Craig: Is struggling to hit for power in A+ FSL in his first full season really all that much of a red flag? You know that a lot of those balls would be flying out of a high-octane environment or even better the MLB. FSL is not what I would call A-ball even though it is technically true.