Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat, 8/15

12:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Good morning from Tempe. Summer updates to org top 10s have been going up this week, you know where to find those. Let’s get right into it.

12:02
groucho: Have you seen Adolis Garcia, in the cardinals system? Seems like he’s built, and plays, like a Puig type

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, power/speed, very aggressive approach combined with fringe feel to hit had scouts projecting him as a fourth OF when he was in Cuba. I still think he’s likely to be something between that and a low-end regular but he’s hitting better than that at Triple-A.

12:03
Jim Lahey: Thoughts on Raul Mondesi? Still young, hitting well at AAA

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes and not looking so erratic at the plate. Hit a homer the opposite way from the left side last night, hit one from the right side with no stride (something he eliminates with two strikes) two days ago. I think he’ll be frustrating at times but there’s still prodigious physical skill there and I think he’ll be the everyday guy next year.

12:05
Buff: Stick a fork in Delvin Perez?

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Far too early for that.

12:06
Depressed Mets Fan: Hey Eric. That Mets’ system huh? Not too pretty anymore. Q on Peter Alonso. What’s his ceiling? RH 1B obviously going to have to hit a ton. No shot he can move off position correct?

12:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Realistic projection there is an average everyday regular. And 1B-only for me.

12:07
Jim Lahey: Why does Miguel Andujar not get more love? Amazing contact skills, power breakout this year, and has always been young for his level

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Too much talent in that system? He has the bat speed to hit for power but hits the ball on the ground a lot. Defense can be inconsistent, too. He’s a good prospect.

12:08
Dre: I’ve watch every Tyler Glasnow start ever since he’s been sent back down to AAA. He looks like a totally different pitcher – commanding his fastball, pitching more from the stretch, drastically cutting down on his walks. Are you hearing good things?

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe not that he’s ‘commanding’ the fastball but definitely has simplified things enough (he’s essentially throwing from the stretch at all times now) that he’s throwing strikes.

12:09
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: You remain high on Jose De Leon while I’ve seen multiple midseason 100 lists that have him right around 100. Are you less worried about the injuries than others?

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: No? He’s had injury issues in the past, that’s always been an aspect of his profile, and was baked into how I wrote him up last year. That hasn’t changed. I think what you’re identifying is not a thing specific to DeLeon but rather how I’m approaching the process overall. If DeLeon comes to Fall League and shoves, is he suddenly going to fly back up other lists? Will I be the low guy on him again after he does?

12:13
Nick: What did you think of Turang, De Sedas, and Gorman at the PG game in San Diego?

12:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Turang is a plus athlete, future plus glove at short for me even with just average hands. Arm is plus. Not sure what kind of impact he’s going to have with the bat. I do think he’s very difficult to strike out. He ground out a great AB vs Rocker Sunday night. But there’s some length there, he pushes the ball the other way an awful lot, not sure there’s enough for him to be 1-1 or anything like that.

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: De Sedas: Love the raw power from both sides of the plate, looked fine at short during in and out but didn’t see enough of it in games to know if he fits there. That’s something that will play out next spring but he’s got first round tools. Worst case scenario for that kind of power with infield actions is what happened to Luis Curbelo two drafts ago where, once clubs started really watching him, he struggled to hit and fell.

12:17
Eric A Longenhagen: Gorman was probably the best performer of the last few weeks. Hit in games, homered and doubled the opposite way in the last week, made some nice defensive plays, throws well. Looks great.

12:18
Eric A Longenhagen: Cistulli just messaged me to say the next round of updated top 10s are up.

12:19
Tommy N.: What’s holding back Tatis Jr. from entering the top 15-20 prospect lists?

12:19
Eric A Longenhagen: Can’t speak for others but I suspect similar talents who are just much closer to the majors occupy most of those spots just ahead of him.

12:20
Anthony: You’ve mentioned before that you like to watch other sports’ drafts, which I find fascinating. What do you specifically look for, and are there any “universal” qualities of scouting, independent of sport?

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s more to watch and see what coverage is like, but things like makeup and athleticism are universal goods in scouting, I think. Some things, like scheme fit, impact the way players are considered in other sports but have nothing to do with baseball.

12:21
Eduardo: Billy McKinney is obliterating triple-A as a 22 year old. How much has his stock risen? What’s your opinion of him?

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah he’s on an absolute tear. Like 10 homers in 40 games? Hadn’t had 10 dingers at a single level since 2014. Haven’t heard of anything mechanical changing that would indicate this is real, so for now I’d say it’s a small sample thing, but I’m not totally sure.

12:24
MM: Austin Beck was never going to be a fast mover, but I’m still kinda worried abut his AZL performance. Have you seen/heard anything, good or bad?

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Seen him a bunch and he’s clearly pressing and frustrated. He looks fine, physically, just needs to catch up to pro pitching. It’s going to take time and patience from all parties involved.

12:27
Anthony: Has anyone from the most recent draft changed their outlook in pro ball, or do all of your pre-draft reports still stand?

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Predraft stuff is still gospel for like 95% of the guys.

12:27
Nate J.: Which players have you been most impressed with from this last draft? Any late round guys catching your eye?

12:28
Eric A Longenhagen: Just a random guy I’ve heard good things about is Wyatt Mills. 3rd rounder out of Gonzaga. Pure relief prospect, but a source I spoke with think he could pitch 8th inning or later.

12:28
ECinDC: Any word on what’s going on with Giolito?

12:29
Eric A Longenhagen: I go into it in the AL Central update: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/updated-top-10-prospect-lists-al-centra…

12:30
Big Skinny: You had Soroka ranked as the Brave’s #9 prospect yesterday. Is that speaking to the Brave’s depth, a lack of ceiling, or something else?

12:30
Mike: Betts, Bogaerts, Bradley Jr., Benintendi, Devers: how have the Red Sox managed to draft and develop so many good young players?  Or is it luck?

12:30
Eric A Longenhagen: Depth

12:30
Eric A Longenhagen: Luck is a factor but mostly just good scouting, player dev. The athletes deserve significant credit, as well.

12:30
NYPL guy: Like the mention on Resly Linares. Saw on of his starts and that is strong stuff. Any word on his teammate Vidal Brujan?  I know he’s repeating but he always seems to be making strong contact and noise on the base paths

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: I love Brujan. More polished than he is toolsy but most scouts think there’s enough there that he’ll be some kind of big leaguer. It might require elite secondary skills to get him there as a regular.

12:32
MM: Funkhouser, Wentz or Medina longterm?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: Wentz, Medina, Funk

12:32
The Average Sports Fan: What should people expect from Ryan McMahon?

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Power, to all fields. Sketchy defense at 2B if he’s asked to play there often. He’ll be goofy at Coors. Still somewhat skeptical about how much he’ll hit but he’s done a ton of that this year.

12:37
Luzinski’s Sweaty Gooch: Are there rules to the kind of contact scouts can have with draft-eligible players? I’m curious if a scout can take a prospect to (as just one example) a batting cage to see if the prospect can make a technical adjustment on the fly

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: Varies scout to scout, player to player, but some of the relationships are quite personal. Building a relationship with the player and his family is often a high priority for scouts especially if they like the player. Texting, etc. I’ve seen players come home after being drafted and hang with scouts from teams who didn’t draft them because they had built friendships with those scouts.

12:39
Benjamin: In one of your daily prospect notes you talked about Akil Baddoo and if he shows more power he is a potential top 100.

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: Well, yeah. He’s a 70 runner who plays CF. If that guy starts hitting and hitting for power in games then he’s a very good prospect. Baddoo is just 18 and is doing that, in a small sample.

12:41
Clever Name: Is there a schedule/process for tool grade updates on a player page?  Are they updated during a career or will Bo Bichette always be a 20/40 hit tool?

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: They’ll be updated based on the offseason lists.

12:42
Colby: Astros being too aggressive with Forrest Whitley or was the promotion warranted?

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s a stud, I think it’s fine.

12:45
Q-Ball: Are the new IFA pool rules, which more or less equalize what every club gets to spend, driving any changes in how much clubs invest in scouting and development in the DR and other places?

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: It means that acquiring slots from other clubs is more valuable than it previously was, even if clubs are only speculating that they might be able to sign another player or two during the signing period. Not sure how much it’s impacting staffing or if it will.

12:47
Shawn: Who is the prospect who has helped himself the most this year to go from nothing to legit?  My vote Yordan Alvarez.

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s a good one. Don’t think he was nothing (I think I picked him to break out on the Astors list? I forget) but went from a low-level 1B-only guy who largely hadn’t been seen, to the beast he’s been this year.

12:49
Keefths: any thoughts on Moncada’s early struggles ? Seems like it might take 1-2 years to settle in

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: Agreed, and that’s fine.

12:50
sm: What do you see for Kyle Cody?  Rangers just bumped him up to High A and he shoved last night.

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: Has long had big stuff but terrible control. Many more strikes this year. Don’t think anything different, mechanically, and I still think he’s more likely to be a reliever than starter, but stock is certainly up.

12:54
Keefths: Austin Hays is crushing AA but you don’t seem to be fully aboard the Hays train … explanation ?

12:58
Eric A Longenhagen: Just apprehensive about how aggressive he is. I don’t think baseball players have to walk at an 8% clip or better to be good big leaguers but Hays swings indiscriminately and 43 great games at Double-A with a .365 BABIP just hasn’t swayed me quite yet. He has big league physical tools and, in the offseason, when these players get a more thorough audit, that could change.

12:59
TJ: MacKenzie Gore should have been the #1 pick, tell me why I’m wrong.

12:59
Eric A Longenhagen: You make literally no argument.

12:59
Eric A Longenhagen: Watch this: I should be president, tell me why I’m wrong.

1:01
Trey Ball: You mentioned Jorge Guzman in your AL East updated prospect lists. Can you expand on him a little bit? Is he a reliever in the future?

1:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, that’s the question right now. He’s certainly throwing enough strikes to start right now.

1:02
Bleh: Which fangraphs writer has the highest name grade (20-80)?

Cistulli, Longenhagen, Sawchik?

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: They’re all 40-45s. My name is a pain in the ass to spell over the phone and I’ve had several issues with things like insurance or important reservations because there are so many opportunities to misspell it.

1:05
Go Giants: What do you think of Jacob Gonzalez? Did you see him in the AZL? Do you think the 2nd round selection is worth it? Thank you!

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: I was not on him as a 2nd rounder pre-draft. Plus raw power right now and the body seems likely to grow into more. Most scouts considered him a 1B prospect and he was not good, defensively, when I saw him during the spring. The 1B profile combined with the swing and miss I saw against competition in AZ as well as against elite pitching during the previous summer was concerning to me. But he’s hitting very well in the AZL right now.

1:07
Erix: Hey Eric. How are you doing?

1:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Showcase travel and schedule finally got to me and I’m nursing a cold. otherwise I’m pretty good and I wish the same for those of you in Chat. Also, I’m starting to get excited about the stretch run at the big league level.

1:09
Jason: Just curious what you see in Jose De Leon. I see an average fastball that is homer prone, a plus change,and a meh slider/cutter. That sounds solid,but add in the lack of innings and the injuries and the stock really falls for me. I figure you must be high on him still figuring he is still in your top 10 for a Rays system you said has 7 potential top 100 guys.

1:12
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m with you, there are things to be concerned about. I wrote as much on the Dodgers and Rays lists last year. My opinion on DeLeon hasn’t changed, which is why it feels weird right now that the DeLeon vibe in Chat has gone from last year’s ‘you’re low on DeLeon’ to ‘you’re high on DeLeon’

1:12
Matt D: How good could Alec Hansen potentially be?

1:13
Eric A Longenhagen: I saw his best collegiate start and though he had #2/3 starter stuff that day.

1:14
Reggie: Interesting Giants prospects in the AZL outside of the new draftees and Camilo Doval?

1:14
Eric A Longenhagen: Layer, Rincones, Genoves

1:14
Greg: A lot of young Braves guys putting up good numbers in Danville. Any familiarity with Jean Carlos Encarnacion, Raysheandell Michael, or William Contreras?

1:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Encarnacion was a $10k signee with phsycial projection that he’s starting to realize. I’ve got nothing on Michael, Conteras has rare athleticism for a catcher.

1:16
Babe Lincoln: Is it just me, or will the Mets’ system be pretty ‘blah’ once Rosario/Smith exhaust prospect status?

1:18
Eric A Longenhagen: Agreed, and part of it is because they don’t scout much, if at all, below full season ball and the players they acquire when they sell are, well, middling. They have developed pitching in-house, so while guys like Humphreys, Flexen, traded Merandy, etc. aren’t potential superstars, the fact that they’re solid little prospects is an encouraging sign. And I thin some of the Latin American players in Kingsport are interesting.

1:18
Eric A Longenhagen: And  I think the Mets’ Latin American scouting department does an amazing job.

1:19
Bear Hands: Have you seen Michel Baez lately? Where do you think he ranks among the known top SP prospects like Kopech, McKenzie, Keller et al?

1:20
Eric A Longenhagen: Saw him before he was moved to Fort Wayne. Changeup has improved since he left here. He’s not on Kopech’s level and I think Keller and McKenzie have better breaking balls but Baez is a top 100 guy for me already and trending up. Maybe he’ll catch those guys next year.

1:20
smikey pineda: Does Yandy Diaz need a trade? Seems like he’s buried in Cleveland and now 26.

1:22
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s an interesting idea. I like Yandy but he’s a 3B/OF utility guy for most scouts. If an analytically-driven club think he can play everyday, maybe they make a move for him, but the truth is that most clubs have a guy like that somewhere near the top of their system or can acquire one on the cheap as a free agent.

1:22
Alex: Power numbers usually rise from AAA to MLB. Can we expect Senzel’s power numbers to increase as well?

1:23
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah I think GAB will help a bit. Scouts I’ve spoken to are surprised he’s hitting for as much power as he is right now because they don’t think he uses his lower half all that efficiently.

1:23
Patrick: Can the Phillies find a way to keep Cesar Henandez and Scott Kingery? Can one play 3B given how awful Franco has been? If not, who gets moved?

1:23
Eric A Longenhagen: I think they move Hernandez.

1:25
Dale: Is Jordy Barley > Gabriel Arias at this point?

1:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah. Barley has more power but Arias’ glove and contact ability still place him ahead of Barley for me right now.

1:25
My Fair Grady: Thoughts on Austin Allen? Hitting more balls in the air, but is he making enough improvement behind the plate to elevate him to actual catching prospect status?

1:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Saw him on my way to Area Codes and do not think so.

1:26
Jack: How much consideration did u give to Jhailyn Ortiz for the Phillies top 10?

1:26
Eric A Longenhagen: Very little. I think he’s a good prospect, but the top of that system is so loaded that it was hard to include a 1B-only guy so far away from the Majors in the 10.

1:26
Lilith: How do Kumar Rocker and Ethan Hankins compare to Hunter Greene?

1:27
Eric A Longenhagen: A great question and one I’ve been ruminating one for the last few days. Here’s how I had Greene graded out at this time last year compared to the other two right now:

1:28
Eric A Longenhagen: Greene: Premium athlete, prototypical size, 70 fastball, 45 slider (fufutre 55), 40 change (future 55), ceiling on the command is pretty high because of the athleticism, already has present ability to throw strikes

1:30
Eric A Longenhagen: Rocker: Average athlete, XXL frame, 70 fastball, 50 slider (future 60), 40 changeup (future 50), delivery is okay, average command projection.

1:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Hankins: 70 fastball, 50 curveball plays up vs righties because of arm slot, not sure what to make of his style of pitching, which probably impacts command.

1:31
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d go Greene/Rocker/Hankins if I had to pick from them, gap between Rocker and Hankins a little wider than Greene/Rocker

1:31
TJ: So Hiura is mashing but will he eventually need surgery on the elbow or will this just go away?

1:32
Eric A Longenhagen: I think they’re trying to mend the thing without surgery but I have no idea if he’ll need it or not.

1:32
Mike: Who is the best minor leaguer you ever saw? Not necessarily who turned out to be the best major leaguer, but simply most impressive prospect?

1:32
Eric A Longenhagen: The guys you’d think. Trout, Harper, Gerrit Cole, Strasburg

1:32
Eric A Longenhagen: Oh, Corey Seager

1:33
Glancing Glugnuts: Back in October, someone asked you in a chat who the breakout prospect no one had ever heard of would be, and you said that Abraham Toro-Hernandez looked really good in instructs. This year his numbers look really good in A ball. Prediction confirmed?

1:34
Eric A Longenhagen: Not completely, but he is playing well and I think he has some big league quality tools. Hit/power right around average, 70 arm, thought he had good defensive feet at third last fall and the arm and build for catcher.

1:34
Keith Hernandez: Thanks for chatting Eric.  Was surprised to still see Tyler Kolek still in the Marlins top 10.  Beyond those shocking walk numbers, he’s rocking a nearly 30.00 ERA and has thrown 9 wild pitches in ~4 innings.  Was the ranking purely based on the hope that this guy ultimately figures out his stuff?  He seems completely lost post-surgery.

1:35
Eric A Longenhagen: That system isn’t great and Kolek’s upside is significant if he ever figures it out. But yes, it’s been a rough road back for him so far. That I’ve moved him down as far as I have after just a few appearances post-injury should be instructive

1:36
Ben: If Mondesi comes back in September, he has a decent chance to face Colon. I think that would be Colon’s 4th father-son duo.

1:37
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s wonderful.

1:37
Matt: Just had fantasy minors draft. Took Matt Manning with a late round pick. Thoughts on him? You had him up relatively high preseason compared to other publications.

1:38
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s a bit of a project but also a plus athlete with a mid-90s fastball and potential plus slider. The Tigers have had success developing those guys in the past.

1:38
Matt: Preseason you had Forrest Whitley at HOU #4, but not on top 100. Will he hit your mid-season – and followup: why/why not?

1:39
Eric A Longenhagen: Hell yes, he should have been on the last 100.

1:39
Nick: There haven’t been many successful R/R firstbasemen but why does that matter if there are/were plenty of good R/R hitters that could profile at 1B (i.e. Trout, Manny Ramirez, A-Rod, etc.) if they weren’t good defenders elsewhere?

1:40
Eric A Longenhagen: Because as those guys age and shift down the defensive spectrum THEY take up that spot at 1B that R/R prospects would otherwise occupy.

1:42
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s going to do it for today. See you next week. Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Be well.

We hoped you liked reading Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat, 8/15 by Eric Longenhagen!

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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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