Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat, All Eyes on Mesa by Eric Longenhagen October 24, 2016 2:05 Eric A Longenhagen: Hey everyone. I’m at Sloan Park in Mesa for BP. I’ll probably hold tight to an hour today to grab a seat. I’ll try to hustle through as many questions as possible… 2:05 Greg: I know you raved about Demeritte defensively. Have you seen any improvement offensively out in Arizona, or any reason to believe he can be an offensive contributor in the future? 2:06 Eric A Longenhagen: His approach remains over-aggressive. 2:06 Keith, Farmington, CT: Thanks Eric. Heard a report that Yoan Moncada’s infield defense is atrocious enough that Boston needs to move him to the outfield in the spring. Is that fair? Too harsh? 2:07 Eric A Longenhagen: He’s so new to 3B that you have to excuse most of the hiccups at this point. I’ve seen enough promising footwork to be optimistic of his future at 3B. 2:07 John: What is Kolby Allards Floor/Ceiling? 2:07 Eric A Longenhagen: #2 ceiling for me. Floor is his breaks and never sees the Majors. 2:07 fdgfdf: Everyone is talking about JP Crawford as a ROY candidate next year, but will he hit? Any chance his power develops and he becomes an average (or better) MLB hitter along the liens of a Lindor? 2:09 Eric A Longenhagen: Best aspect of Crawford’s offensive package is his approach. I would expect him to come up and play flashy defense but not hit all that much. He might post OBPs worthy of leadoff or #2 consideration but I don’t think he has Lindor’s XBHs in there. Lindor is on a different level. 2:09 Brandon: When is the 1st prospect list supposed to come out? 2:10 Eric A Longenhagen: This week, probably Thursday now. We’re trying to make sure everything looks nice and doesn’t also break the site. 2:10 yanks 4ever: If he stays healthy does James Kaprielian find his way to New York’s 2017 rotation? 2:10 Eric A Longenhagen: Non-zero chance for that, yes. 2:10 5 Run Homer: Do you think Schwarber will play in the WS? Do you think he should? 2:10 Eric A Longenhagen: Will reserve judgement until after today’s game. But I think he will play. 2:10 Chris: How good is Ronald Acuna? He’s pretty good right? 2:11 Eric A Longenhagen: Chance for CF and 20+ homers so…yeah 2:11 spartacus: Should the Cubs throw out all their info on Schwarber that none of us have seen and instead go by fan opinion and not activate him? (this is a thinly veiled comment directed at the commenters thinking they know more than the FO) 2:13 Eric A Longenhagen: I understand why Cubs fans are so hyper vigilant (hyper everything, really). This is it. But yeah, the Cubs front office knows more than anyone else about this situation and I’m sure their knowledge is fathoms deeper than anything that’s out there publicly. 2:13 chavez ravine: Cody Bellinger for FT corner OF role in LA in 2017? 2:13 Eric A Longenhagen: If you’re okay with letting him swing and miss a lot for a year while he develops, sure. 2:13 Gavin: Saw your tidbit about Zimmer’s swing-and-miss problem – just how significant is it? Is he still a Top 50 prospect? 2:14 Eric A Longenhagen: It’s bad enough that I have a future 40 on the hit tool but if he can play CF and hit for some power he’s still a big leaguer. 2:14 Otis Redding: What is your overall opinion of Kyle Schwarber? Is he a middle of the order bat going forward? 2:15 Eric A Longenhagen: Healthy Schwarber is absolutely a first division, middle of the order bat for me. 2:15 Robin: For clubs that are aging quickly, how long do you believe it typically takes to rebuild through just the draft. The Phillies seem to have done it quickly and it looks like the M’s and the Tigers are going to need to get younger in the near future 2:17 Eric A Longenhagen: I think rebuilding quickly occurs when a team nails a trade and acquires a bunch of prospects who end up panning out all at once. The Rangers trade of Jarrod Saltalamacchia comes to mind. You could argue the Phillies did it with the Hamels deal even though they didn’t get the huge names from Texas’ system. 2:17 Jim Lonborg: What’s your sense of Luis Basabe? How close is he to Devers in Major League potential (if it’s fair to compare IFs and OFs)? 2:17 Eric A Longenhagen: He isn’t close to Devers for me. 2:18 franswag1890: How comfortable are you with a prospect like Ozzie Albies who has plus tools all over the place, but has a well below average power tool? Can someone like that still profile as a first division starter or do you worry that someone like that will struggle against big league competition? 2:18 Eric A Longenhagen: It’s case to case and depends on how little power they really have. I’m not turned off by Albies’ lack of big time raw. 2:19 Jedidiah: What do you make of Frankie Montas’s AFL performance? How should the A’s deploy him in 2017? 2:20 Eric A Longenhagen: Same as it ever was, he throws really hard, the stuff is good he just can’t throw strikes or stay healthy. I’d pen him and call it a day but given Oakland’s circumstances I’d empathize with a decision to start him. 2:20 Jedidiah: Ramon Laureano: what do we have here? 2:20 Eric A Longenhagen: An everyday player, I think. 2:21 Zonk: What is wrong with Duane Underwood? 2:21 Eric A Longenhagen: Fastball is flat despite its velocity and is easy to lift. 2:21 Zonk: Have you had any looks at Victor Caratini? You mentioned earlier catcher defense in the AFL has looked awful, was he in that assessment? 2:22 Eric A Longenhagen: He was but I really like the bat. I’ve had Caratini pop around average but the receiving and blocking are both sub par for me. 2:22 JHeb: Any Brewers prospects standing out in the Fall League? 2:22 Eric A Longenhagen: Isan Diaz for the right reasons, Jake Nottingham for the wrong ones. 2:22 CamdenWarehouse: Has anyone in the AFL greatly improved since you last saw them? 2:23 Eric A Longenhagen: Really good question. Let me think about that for a second. 2:23 Eric A Longenhagen: Brian Anderson. 2:23 Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve gotten plus run time from him, he’s hit for power and has tracked all sorts of solid offspeed stuff and still made hard contact. Looks solid at 3B, too. 2:24 Baller Status: MLB just passes an insane rule that states a World Series roster must have a player on it that has not played in the majors before. Who do the Cubs and Indians each take 2:24 Eric A Longenhagen: Also a rad question. 2:25 Eric A Longenhagen: CUbs are hard. I’d say Cease just to have another arm that throws 99+ gas out of the pen I guess. 2:26 Eric A Longenhagen: For Cleveland, Greg Allen. Defensive replacement, pinch runner, could give you a good AB in a pinch. 2:26 Zonk: What is your take on a potential IFA draft? Who would be the winners and losers under such a system? 2:27 Eric A Longenhagen: I think the idea is horrendous and discriminatory, just like the domestic draft. The winners are the owners who save money on bonuses. End of list. The losers are literally everyone else. 2:27 raj: first time here. who is the lower level Giants prospect that I should be most excited about 2:27 Eric A Longenhagen: Sandro Fabian 2:27 Baller Status: Wil Schwarber hit 9 HR in the World Series, or just 7? 2:29 Eric A Longenhagen: If the Cubs kidnap Chase Utley and extract his soul using some kind of voodoo or satanic ritual and inject it into Schwarber, then yes he’ll hit 9 home runs. 2:29 DB Cooper: Hey Eric, I’m a big fan of all your work! When you watch games on TV, are you able to gather any useful information about a player’s hit tool, such as: bat speed, bat control, swing plane, use of lower-half, breaking-ball recognition, and general approach? 2:29 Eric A Longenhagen: Bat contorl the easiest of all those to see on TV because you have an idea of where the ball is crossing the plate and whether or not the hitter can get the bat head there. 2:30 Matt: Can Harrison Bader be a starting outfielder on a contender? 2:30 Eric A Longenhagen: Sure, Pete Kozma was the starting SS one one. 2:31 TD: Who would be your top 3 starting pitching prospects that have yet to reach the majors? 2:32 Eric A Longenhagen: Anderson Espinoza, Yadier Alvarez and Otani. 2:33 ohioastrosfan: Most interesting AFL prospect? 2:33 Eric A Longenhagen: Lou Lechich 2:33 junior: What is the process like when you are doing prospect lists? Do you start from 1 (the best) and work your way down, or vice versa? Is your process similar to other writers? 2:33 Eric A Longenhagen: The recipe for Sprite is lemon and lime 2:34 junior: Where does the Padres farm system rank among the other teams? 2:34 Eric A Longenhagen: Top 3-5 2:34 Kevin: Is Kyle Schwarber eligible to play today? I thought taxi players had limitations that would prevent him from playing today. 2:34 Eric A Longenhagen: So did I, alas he is in the lineup. I’m not complaining. 2:35 Trevor : Any under the rader padres prospects you like? 2:36 Eric A Longenhagen: Michael Miliano. If you want a really deep sleeper then Omar Fernandez. 2:36 J: How much does velocity account for a fastball’s grade? 2:36 Eric A Longenhagen: Lots of teams split the pure stuff grade and movement into different grades. 2:36 Bill: Any word on the Phillies prospects in Scottsdale? Kingery seems to be struggling. 2:37 Eric A Longenhagen: He’s gassed. First full season and it’s been a long one. 2:37 Roger: Do you plan to do any articles about your instructional league travels, or will they simply inform the prospect lists? 2:37 Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve been doing semi-daily blogs on instagraphs but most of it is for the lists. 2:38 Roger: Can Christian Arroyo be a plus defensive 3b? 2:38 Eric A Longenhagen: That’s a little to optimistic for me. 2:38 Eeick: Which Mets prospect interests you the most? 2:38 Eric A Longenhagen: Gimenez 2:38 Vanimal: LaMonte Wade…. Your thoughts? 2:39 Eric A Longenhagen: 2B/OF type with good bat to ball skills and some speed but probably not enough power to play everyday. 2:39 Brian: is there any comparison between Luis Arias of the Padres and Jose Altuve? 2:39 Eric A Longenhagen: No, Altuve is a unicorn. No comps allowed there. 2:40 Ryan: Hey there Eric — Andrew Benintendi more or less single-handedly knocked my high school team out of the state playoffs two years in a row. As such, my friends and I can’t help but be invested in his career (especially one friend who thinks he should be pulled out of his accounting office and onto the mound, after keeping Benintendi 1-6 lifetime against his high school stuff). ANYWAY, what’s your long-term projection for him? 2:40 Eric A Longenhagen: I think he’s a star. Proabbly not going to hit 25+ homers or anything like that but viable D in CF or plus D in a corber with a great OBP and 40+ doubles. Really, really good player. 2:40 Lila: Big fan of yours!! Can you tell me what you see in Thomas Szapucki? I hear everything from ace to bullpen 2:41 Eric A Longenhagen: “Ace” is a little overzealous in my opinion. He has velocity and good breaking ball feel but some are turned off by the delivery and command. 2:41 Roger: How does the general talent level in the AFL this year compare to years’ past? Especially the hitting/pitching balance. 2:42 Eric A Longenhagen: Much lighter on pitching than it was last year but average compared to other years. Hitting probably a tick below average this year even with some insane names. Scottsdale’s roster is unspectacular and some nights the lineup only has two prospects everyone likes. 2:42 Ben: Braves fans are lucky to see some big OF arms (Lien, Didder, Pache). Your best outfield arm in the minor leagues is… 2:42 Eric A Longenhagen: Monte Harrison 2:43 Roger: How close is Tyler Beede to being ready to be a major league contributor in the rotation? 2:43 Eric A Longenhagen: Wanna see how things go at Triple-A. Keep in mind RIchmond is a lovely place to pitch when viewing his numbers from this year. Check out his home/road splits. 2:43 Tyler: International draft good idea? 2:43 Eric A Longenhagen: No 2:43 HH: Does Justus Sheffield remind you of Johan Santana? 2:43 Eric A Longenhagen: No 2:44 JDX: Given the state of the Reds farm system (and ignoring the Reds front office), do you think fans should be optimistic about the future? Apathetic? Worried? 2:45 Eric A Longenhagen: I wasn’t on board with a lot of their pitching acquisitions of late. Thought Howard, Iglesias, Lorenzen and Cingrani were all relievers. But they nailed this last draft. Senzel is going to hit, Trammell has huge upside and Hanson looked good in AZL, has big time stuff. There is reason for optimism even if the system is on par with SD or ATL. 2:45 Lark: Does Taylor Ward have any reasonable chance at playable offense? How does he get there? 2:45 Eric A Longenhagen: I’m very skeptical of it. 2:46 Brendan: How bad is Gavin Cecchini’s defense looking so far? 2:46 Eric A Longenhagen: It’s the arm strength more than anything else. 2:46 Millers beard: Do you put a grade on baseball iq and makeup? I feel like there aren’t enough tools graded in a lot of cases. 2:49 Eric A Longenhagen: Makeup is hard for me to know about because I just show up at the ballpark and watch the guys play between the chalk lines. I’m not seeing them in the weight room or checking on how much sleep they’re trying to get. Unless I get consistent reports of poor work ethic from within the org or from other scouts (who also have a hard time evaluating makeup unless they know a guy who knows a guy) I stay away from it. 2:49 Student: Do you think a better approach to the drafts would be to institute a budget to each team, X amount across the board with maybe small deviations for mkt size and previous year record, and say you can spend up to that amount but not over on any amateur domestic and international players? 2:49 Eric A Longenhagen: I think no draft is the best solution for the draft’s issues. 2:50 neel: What can you tell me about leody Tavares and his big league future? 2:50 Eric A Longenhagen: Mature feel to hit, plus run, plays CF, projectable power. Top 100 prospect for sure. 2:51 Jesse: I really enjoy your work. You’ve been a great addition to fangraphs……..Have you seen Zack Collins yet? What are the chances he can stick at catcher? 2:51 Eric A Longenhagen: I have and I think they’re slim. 2:52 H: Any Rockies prospects in Arizona turning heads? 2:52 Eric A Longenhagen: Julian Fernandez during instrux. 2:52 leprekhan: Hi Eric! What has been the most challenging thing this past year about taking over for your predecessor at Fangraphs in terms of revamping the prospect coverage? 2:52 Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve been with FanGraphs for like 4 months 2:53 Jeb: Will you eat ice cream today? 2:53 Eric A Longenhagen: Double Points at Aloha Yogurt are Tuesdays. 2:53 Ben: Favorite AFL team logo? 2:53 Eric A Longenhagen: Salt River 2:54 Billy Beane: No draft and every small market team is boned for all of eternity. 2:54 Eric A Longenhagen: Not remotely true 2:54 Travis: Are you still planning to do a write up on the HS corner outfield bats for the 2017 draft? 2:54 Eric A Longenhagen: I am, prospect lists taking precedent over draft and 2017 J2 coverage right now. 2:54 Michael: Which Yankees prospects stand out the most to you in AFL? 2:55 Eric A Longenhagen: Torres and Kaprielian are potential stars but Torres’ defense has been sloppy and I’d like to see improvement there by the end of AFL. Adujar has a cannon, is an average runner but is swinging and missing a lot out here. Swing is long. 2:56 Randy Savage: Have you ever met Carson in person? 2:56 Eric A Longenhagen: Yes. I believe he wore black cutoff jeanshorts to the Fall Stars game in 2014. Or am I remembering that wrong in my minds eye? 2:57 Eric A Longenhagen: Okay everyone that’s all for today. I’ll be writing up a short post about how Kyle Schwarber looked today after the game. You can check Twitter for live updates and video. See you here next week.