Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat, April Finale

12:01
Eric A Longenhagen: Is this thing on?

12:01
Eric A Longenhagen: Indeed.

12:01
Eric A Longenhagen: Now we chat.

12:01
Nomar Picnics: WHAT TO DO WITH GARRETT. Please advise. Yours, in a panic.

12:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Amir? He’s fine. That HR rate isn’t going to be that high forever.

12:02
Doug: What the hell should KC do with Kyle Zimmer going forward (after this most recent setback – or normality)?

12:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah at this point I guess you just ‘pen him and hope he stays healthy enough to move quickly. Huge bummer, he’s very talented.

12:03
The Real Snoop Dogg: Which of the next wave of SS prospects is most likely to impress at the big league level? Adames, Barreto, G Torres, other? Thank you!

12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m on all three of those guys, Snoop. But of the three I think Barreto is a CF, not a SS and the other two are bat-first guys. I’d add Amed Rosario to your list and probably put him at the front.

12:04
Andrew: Is Carter Kiebooom gonna be a top 50 prospect by the end of the year?

12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s a little aggressive for me right now.

12:04
Guest: I know that Jason Groome is on the shelf right now. In his incredibly limited innings so far as a pro, have you seen anything that worries or excites you? (beyond health concerns)

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: He was mostly 90-02 when I saw him last fall, which obviously isn’t great. But it was instrux for a high school kid so not really all that telling.

12:05
Jason: Is seranthony Dominguez someone that could be a top 100 prospect this time next year?

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: If he’s throwing strikes with 95+ all year, yeah.

12:06
Scott: What’s wrong with Dansby Swanson?

12:06
Eric A Longenhagen: He has Smallsamplosis

12:06
Jim: Austin Hedges or Gary Sanchez? And not just because one is hurt and one is crushing it. Legit question, Hedges was always considered the better catching prospect and now he can hit…

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Still Sanchez. Hedges has grown into power but not the kind that Sanchez has.

12:07
Ira: One of the guys not talked about much in the White Sox off-season move was Dane Dunning. But he’s mowing guys down in A. When’s his ETA and what’s his ceiling?

12:09
Eric A Longenhagen: I really like Dunning. Was mostly relegated to Florida’s bullpen because they had a surplus of talent on the staff. I think he has a chance to be a #3/4 but keep in mind he’s an advanced college arm at Low-A which is a big part of why he’s carving. No idea on ETA, nobody does.

12:09
Big Tuna: Who are your sneaky prospects to watch this year that you think might come out of nowhere to be MLB relevant?

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Relievers with big stuff who suddenly start throwing strikes.

12:11
Jack Law: Carlos Rincon’s stats amaze – 19 yo in loA, slashing 333/415/719(!!!) so far, but along with 25 K in 64 PA. Anyway this will work?

12:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Definitely has power but yes, swung and missed a lot in AZL last year, too. Scouts were luke warm on him as they were on Ariel Sandoval the year before.

12:12
David : What’s the deal with Eddy Julio Martinez? Real prospect or just a guy?

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s a prospect just probably a fringe regular type of dude rather than a potential star.

12:12
Paulie: A’s list eta?

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s in the can so probably tomorrow? I saw Chris was in there this morning adding his pieces.

12:13
caesarsolid: I am in Chicago for two months before I return to a country where baseball barely exists and I want to see as many interesting games/prospects as possible. What are some of the minor league teams within a couple hundred miles of Chicago with the most interesting prospects to watch?

12:14
Eric A Longenhagen: You’re closest affiliates are all Midwest League teams with Kane County being nearest. I’d cross reference my Dbacks list with their roster. Jazz Chisholm, Anfernee Grier and Jon Duplantier probably the best on that club but Marcus Wilson and Jose Herrera are favorites of mine too.

12:15
Matt: Who have been your biggest surprises and disappointments so far?

12:17
Eric A Longenhagen: I guess I’m bummed that Brady Aiken has been bad but maybe not surprised by it. Scouts barely saw him cresting 90 this spring.

12:18
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s still so early.

12:18
Kevin: Any lesser known prospects gaining helium in the first month of the season?

12:19
Eric A Longenhagen: I try to write about guys that might be in those daily posts, so check those out. But largely players are piquing curiosity and garnering extra evaluation at this point, not truly moving up anyone’s rankings.

12:19
Eric: Hi Eric, thanks for today’s chat. As an Astros fan, I’m looking forward to see Brady Rodgers in the Majors, maybe this year. What do you think of him longterm? Starter or reliever?

12:19
Eric A Longenhagen: Starter for me but more backend/org depth than a big league mainstay.

12:19
RMR: I know some orgs are piggybacking their starters, but what are you thoughts on going with a six man rotation down on the farm? White Sox seem to be doing this with their Low-A affiliate and I’m thinking they might when Jordan Stephens is ready at AA as well.

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s a great way to manage workloads and teams I’ve spoken to who do it don’t think it misleads them regarding the prospects’ stuff by giving them an extra day of rest or having them work 3-5 innings per outing.

12:21
Dylan: Do you think there’s any chance Greene or Royce Lewis drop to the A’s at 6 this year? It happened with Puk last year and I would be so happy if they got either of them

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: Perhaps Lewis but if you twisted my arm and made me do a mock right now I’d have Lewis going 3.

12:21
Chad: What’s wrong with Jahmai Jones?

12:22
Eric A Longenhagen: Has a Statisticus Insignificus sprain

12:23
some dude: anthony alford is off to a phenomenal start and looks to be making better contact than he did last year. You heard anything on him in the early going? Real improvements, or small sample size?

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: Just sounds like he’s coming into his own as a baseball player after doing the two-sport thing and being hurt earlier in his career.

12:23
Brandon Johnson: Where do you foresee Walker Buehler and Mitchell White ending the year? Could either make the dodgers bullpen this year?

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: I think there’s a chance for it, yes. Depends on the big club’s needs.

12:24
Leo: Michael Matuella makes his first pro start of the year this Thursday. Any last minute thoughts on what you saw on him in extended spring?

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: I was in LA when he threw here in AZ but scouts thought he looked healthy, was mostly FB/CH, up to 97 several times.

12:25
Kyler: Edwin Lora has gotten off to a strong start in HI A. Seems to be a good chunk babip, but he is walking more and hitting for a little more power. If you could redo your Nationals list today would he make your HM section?

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah I’d probably toss him on there. I kind of liked him when I saw him in the Fall, interesting feel to hit, good baseball body but small, probably a 2B, was tough to look at him and see that kind of power. Definitely worth following though.

12:25
Brett: Which of these fast risers you like better and which is more likely to go top-5: Austin Beck or Adam Haseley?

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: If I had to guess I’d say neither. It probably depends on the team. If the club values performance and track record, Haseley. If the team values star-level potential, Beck. Teams become very risk averse on draft day, college players always bubble up.

12:28
ReleasetheMckraken: Is Brent Rooker moving up draft boards? There seems to be more talk of some of the other ‘breakout’ players this year like Haseley and Beck but I’ve seen little on Rooker. Does he compare favorably to the players currently projected in the first round?

12:30
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah, he’s moving up because he’s really hitting in the SEC and teams are searching for college bats to like. Corner guys with swing and miss issues don’t typically go super high, though.

12:30
lexomatic: What info is public and free that will reveal changes in approach for minor league players who don’t get covered in articles? Curious if Dwight Smith is hot or doing something different.

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Free? Not sure there is any. You could hunt for upticks in FB% on MLBfarm I guess. Otherwise you probably have to do video work and that will cost you something.

12:31
Colin: Is Luis Robert the No. 2 international prospect in the world behind Mr. Otani? And what kind of a contract will he command?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: If you wanted to say that, based on how close he is to the Majors relative to the July 2 kids, I wouldn’t argue. It’ll be north of $20 mil (with the tax included) when he signs.

12:32
Squad Linkenberry: Honeywell : is that “screwball” legit, or are we looking at another “gyroball” phenomenon?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: I think it has diminishing returns if he uses it multiple times in the same at bat but it does exist and is a good pitch.

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: And it is different than his changeup, he throws both.

12:33
RMR: Any chance Matt Davidson can be Joey Gallo lite (assuming Gallo can even make this profile work in the majors)? Having some success so far, but that K rate whoa!

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Not the kind of athlete Gallo is, I’ve never been on Davidson.

12:34
Fred in LA: Edwin Rios is a guy or no?

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: 60 raw power but probably 1B-only and the K’s and approach are potential pitfalls.

12:35
976: My question WAS going to be about what Kevin Kramer had to do to get your attention, but then I saw the daily note. How much of his improvement has to be real for him to stick at 2B? Is SS really out of the question?

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: I do think SS is out of the question. He’s always been a guy who was going to have to hit his way to the big leagues and so far he’s doing it.

12:36
Scott: Are prospects aware of their actual rankings on different lists? Like, does Austin Meadows think “I’m a well regarded prospect” or does he think “I’m a consensus top 10 prospect leaguewide and probably number one in the system depending on how you feel about Glasnow”?

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: Different guys seem to read and care at individual levels.

12:37
Dahl Makhani: Thoughts on Ian Happ? He seems like he’s got a Bregman profile (good power, won’t strike out too much, can take a walk, can steal a base), and the only thing keeping the buzz low at the moment is a terrible BABIP

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: I love Happ, think he K’s more than you seem to but think the quality of the contact is excellent from both sides of the plate, there will be power and the bat will play in LF even if things don’t work out at 2B.

12:38
gump: Does the statcast/pitchfx movement measurement issue have any impact on scouting the majors? Is this something that affects teams internally, or do they already know how to resolve the difference? Are teams evaluating players differently this year compared to the past five years due to the statcast rollout, or is this purely a fan facing issue.

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: It probably doesn’t impact the individual scouts who are advancing big league clubs but almost certainly impacts the way teams view other teams’ big leaguers. Teams know they need to interpret the data a little differently with the new rollout, communicating artificial velo upticks to fans is not of their concern.

12:39
Jack Law: Sebastian Elizalde is off to a hot AAA start – think he can carry that over to Cincy?

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: I believe in his bat but that’s a crowded outfield prospect situation with Ervin, Winker, Schebler, Hamilton all developmental prioirities.

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: And Aquino is on the 40 man…

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: Gonna be tough. I wonder if Elizalde is a minor league free agent after this year….

12:42
Zonk: Dakota Mekkes hasn’t given up a hit yet in 11 spotless innings. Are you buying?

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: Buying him as a potentially helpful relief piece. He’s distractingly huge for hitters, a very awkward at-bat.

12:43
Scott: You’re a hotshot international prospect, literally every team wants to sign you and is offering an identical contract. Who do you sign with? Who do you absolutely NOT sign with?

12:44
Eric A Longenhagen: You’re basically asking me “Where do you want to live?” and, of the cities with a big league team that I’ve been to, probably either Chicago or San Diego with Philly a possibility for family reasons.

12:45
Q-Ball: Is Jemeir Candelario a guy worth targeting in trade, if the Cubs are dealing at the deadline again?

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah but you’d better have notes on Jose Albertos if you can find him.

12:45
976: It’s April, I know, but do you see or hear anything on Tyler Krieger that says he’s more than the HM he got in your Cleveland writeup?

12:46
Eric A Longenhagen: If you think he hits and plays a bunch of positions you could slap a 40 on him and feel pretty good about it.

12:47
Lord of the Infield Flies: How much MPH do scouts typically expect a pitcher to add after he turns 18?

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: Depends on the body and delivery. Lots of guys never throw harder than they do in high school because the increased workload outweighs whatever gains they’ve made, physically.

12:47
Nick: Will Adam Haseley overtake Jeren Kendall as the best college position player in the Draft?

12:48
Eric A Longenhagen: If you don’t think Kendall hits, then yes. There are scouts with a 3 on Kendall’s bat right now.

12:49
Pat S: What is the ceiling for someone like Isiah Gilliam?

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: 20+ homer guy with a ton of strikeouts.

12:49
Tonti: Jose Osuna interesting at all? Can’t really play a position, but has hit at every level and still 24.

12:50
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah he might hit enough to be a low-end regular or 1B/OF bench guy. Terrific makeup.

12:50
Nick: Is there any shot Arquimedes Gamboa and/or Daniel Brito grow into 50+ power?

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: Would give Gamboa a better shot because I think the body has the room for it, but I don’t think it’s likely.

12:51
Hank: Thoughts on Luis Escobar’s 32-to-2 strikout-to-walk ratio?

12:52
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s really interesting. Old for the level? Yes, but he’s a converted infielder. He’s small but throws pretty hard and can really spin it. I think he has a shot. Not likely to have Mitch Keller helium but definitely a prospect.

12:53
Lord of the Infield Flies: Who’s the most athletic pitcher you’ve scouted? And what do you look for on the mound when judging athleticism?

12:54
Eric A Longenhagen: Hunter Greene. watching them field their position, repeat their deliveries, balance and control when they’re on their front foot, pick off move quickness from righties. Those are all points of identification for me.

12:54
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s also nice when Greene or Matt Bowman or Casey Kelly play SS for you, too.

12:54
Jake: Do you think the Mariners will regret trading Jackson or Gohara more?

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: I think they moved both of those guys for reasons independent of talent knowing full well it might look bad to the public.

12:55
odapm: when you write up a scouting report on a player in say, May, and then you see that player again in say, September. Are you building off the scouting report you pulled together in May or do you start from scratch again, and then compare both scouting reports afterwards?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: Definitely compare. Scouts are constantly re-writing reports on the same guy.

12:56
odapm: I know you hate talking ETAs because of the variability. However, you listed ETAs in your prospect lists. How did you determine those? Do you factor in the current situations at the big league level? Or is it sort of judged in a vacuum?

12:58
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah I was encouraged to add them by management. It’s a speculative, educated guess. Sometimes I’d factor in what I perceive to be a player’s polish or lack thereof, others I speculated a period of struggle and adjustment based on play style or approach that I thought there was precedent for. Several nebulous factors.

12:58
Rafe Palmieri: What’s the biggest downside to what you do? Incessant travel? Loneliness? Other? Genuine question.

12:58
Eric A Longenhagen: Projecting ETA’s

12:59
Blue Morpho: Went to a minor league game last night. 20 hits, 10 pitchers, over in 3 hours and 3 minutes. Hooray pitch clocks!

12:59
Eric A Longenhagen: Hooray!

12:59
Eric A Longenhagen: Couple more, then I’m heading out to a game…

12:59
Aron: If you were a GM would you skew more toward drafting high schoolers or college players, or does it totally depend on the makeup of the team, window of contention, etc.?

1:00
Eric A Longenhagen: Best player available. Though I suppose if I were a club like TB or OAK I’d lean upside since I don’t otherwise have ways to acquire players like that.

1:01
Pudge: Tigers fan here, which prospect in our system should I be most excited to eventually see in the D? Why?

1:02
Eric A Longenhagen: I ranked Matt Manning at #1 in the system but Beau Burrows is off to a good start and I think Mike Gerber will be a big league piece of some kind.

1:02
Pat S: Are you going to release a mock draft or just a ranking of prospects (not implying that is a simple task in the slightest)?

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Both, probably only one or two mocks close to zero hour.

1:03
greg: Do you think Austin Beck has a decent chance of working his way up to about the #2 overall spot?

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Doubt it. Very little track record against elite peers. Those top few picks need to be locks.

1:03
Sam: Some theorized that Jesse Winker’s lack of power last season was due to his wrist injury. But through 52 ABs, he has four extra base hits, all doubles. Should I hold out any hope that he’ll hit for some semblance of power or should I just understand that this is who he is?

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably the latter.

1:04
Adam: Has Royce Lewis played like the third best player in the draft or has he faded? Is he still a SS?

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Hasn’t been great but is a 70 runner with feel to hit and plus bat speed so he’s going to be drafted really high even if he’s not raking this spring. Not a SS for me, I prefer him in CF.

1:05
Nick: Tiquan Forbes, Marcus Wilson, & Justin Williams are off to hot starts. Which of them do you like the best going forward?

1:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Wilson. He’s the best athlete and I think some of his early career struggles were vision related and have been corrected? That might be apocryphal but I know I’ve seen him with rec specs at various times and not at others.

1:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Alcantara

1:06
Borkins: Where is your favorite Wendy’s Restaurant and tell us why its the one on City Line Ave across from St. Joes.

1:06
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve nearly been killed by at least 4 idiots leaving that parking lot.

1:07
RMR: Am I missing something with these reports of the White Sox being in on Robert? Seems like they would be less likely considering they’re the only of the rumored teams to have not blown their pool amount already.

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: They’re on him and have more or less set the market at this point.

1:07
Poonrod: Matt Strahm, any chance he is a starter? Much of his prospect status was based on the idea that there was a starter in there.

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: I still think he can start but if not he’s a potential elite reliever

1:08
Johnny Rocket: You spoke promisingly about Miliano when you wrote up SDP. Any update? Seen him throw lately?

1:08
Eric A Longenhagen: I haven’t but scouts out here have and he’s throwing harder than he was in the fall.

1:09
Dancing Dan Mcgraw: what grade did you have on Trout?

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: I was a sophomore in college just learning how to do this. The Scouting Bureau had the highest grade on him. I think PIT was next highest.

1:10
JD: Best infield/outfield arm you’ve scouted? Both for the last calendar year and all-time?

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Last year: INF: Lucas Erceg OF: Monte Harrison

1:12
Eric A Longenhagen: All time?

1:12
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably Anthony Gose or Aaron Hicks in the outfield

1:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Not sure on INF

1:13
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s all for me, heading to Mesa to see Luis Romero now…

1:13
Eric A Longenhagen: See you next week, have a wonderful day.





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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Danielmember
5 years ago

If I’m a ballclub with one of the highest international pools for the 2017-18 period, SHOULD I sign Luis Robert and blow my 2017-18 signs?

NickinATL
5 years ago
Reply to  Daniel

i think there may be laws against that