Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat, Back to Work

12:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Good morning from scenic Tempe. Are you well? I hope so. Let’s begin a marvelous discussion about baseball.

12:03
chris: How worrisome is Bradley Zimmer’s strikeout rate? How does it affect his outlook for 2017?

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Definitely a bit of a red flag but one that I think he’ll overcome with the power and defense.

12:03
Philip: Which lower level padres prospect that isn’t getting a lot of attention do you think can break out?

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Michel Miliano

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s a long term one.

12:04
Philip: Any draft prospects recently get helium?

12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: No because nobody is playing.

12:04
Curtis: Will Carl Edwards ever be a starter?

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think so, hasn’t worked in the past. He’s yielding big league value in his current role, don’t think it’s worth risking a move at this point.

12:05
Shawn DC: Is Frankie Montas more valuable coming out of the pen considering the amount of middle of the pack pitchers right behind him. Seems like Oakland has a lot 3-4 pitchers in their minors.

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah, nobody is more valuable in the bullpen if they can start. I think he ends up there, though.

12:06
Boss Man: Probably a dumb question – but why don’t we see more prospects for prospects trades? Good or bad example (not sure), if COL wants MLB ready pitching and CWS is rebuilding, a trade of Giolitio for Rodgers helps both parties. Just an example I could think of off the top of my head.

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: The financial driver for many trades is gone in that scenario. Teams like their prospects, that’s why they acquired them in the first place, and like to make decisions with information. Teams always have less info about another club’s player than they do their own guys.

12:09
Erik: In the majors, it seems like a large part of walk rate is based on the fact that pitchers are afraid to pitch to a guy who has a lot of power. What then should we make of minor league hitters like JP Crawford who carry high walk rates despite below-average power? Is plate discipline still useful when pitchers have no reason not to throw strikes?

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: I agree with the question’s premise and certainly am more comfortable with a minor leaguer’s walk rate when it’s also a guy with power. But for Crawford, he’s done it at a level where the pitchers do throw a lot of strikes and has done it at upper levels for a few years…probably safe to say he’s got an idea of the zone and uses it to his advantage.

12:10
Joe: When you scout, what do you look for when judging players’ athleticism?

12:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Body control and coordination. Fast + strong ? Athlete.

12:11
Pat: Drew Finley is one of my favorite low level NYY Prospects. Obviously a looooooong way to go, but what are your thoughts on him?

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: Sturdy but projectionless body, low-90s, great curveball feel, could be plus at peak. Potential #4/5 type of arm that’s far away.

12:12
Z in Arlington: With his proximity to the majors and stellar numbers, am I wrong to think Minter should leapfrog some of the higher-upside types playing for the Rome Braves?

12:14
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s relief-only, so probably not. He’d have to be a dominant relief option to outgrade the high end guys on the FV scale. Only 20 relievers were worth more than 1.5 WAR this year, those are the best guys and they’re mostly 45s.

12:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Like, I have Robert Stephenson down at #7 on the Reds list (which was submitted to editing last night) because I think he’s a reliever and couldn’t justify putting him any higher.

12:15
Q-Ball: When Kris Bryant was a prospect, did you foresee that he would be this good a base runner and defender? We all knew about the power, obviously….

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: I thought he’d slow down quickly, move to an outfield corner and be peak Pat Burrell for 15 years. Somehow that was light.

12:16
Jimmy the Twins fan: Whats the chances we see Burdi or Chargois closing games for the Twins at some point this season? Who has the better shot?

12:17
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d say they’re decent. Burdi has better stuff but probably less a chance to do it because he’s had health issues. I know Chargois has too, but Burdi’s are just more recent/current.

12:18
cdx.: Any idea where Mike Clevinger would fall on the Indians prospect list were he eligible for it?

12:18
Eric A Longenhagen: In the 40 FV section as a reliever.

12:19
EbenezerBatflip: Should Red Sox fans expect to ever get to see Devers/Groome actually develop and play in Boston, or should we just expect they will inevitably be dealt by Dombrowski in the next 1-2 years? Should I let myself get my hopes up for prospects or just view them as trade bait?

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s a tough one. Dombrowski sat 3 rows behind me at the Fall Stars Game and saw Michael Kopech look absolutely vicious for a few innings and then deal him a few weeks later. The dude is ice cold. Don’t get attached to your new toys.

12:21
Fat Kenny G: From a scouts perspective, would it be bettter to try and find high contact guys and get them into a strength training program for power rather than have high power guys and just hope they learn to make contact?

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll take the hit-before-power prospect if he has physical projection and hope he naturally grows into the power. I’d have to be more convinced that one can substantially improve their power through weight training. You can get stronger, sure. But can you add bat speed that way?

12:23
bart: Where do you stand on Rowdy Tellez? Despite putting up great numbers he is ranked quite low on prospect lists and there is a popular opinion that his bat won’t translate to the majors.

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m skeptical because we all saw him struggle with good pitching for six weeks last fall but I’ve talked to scouts who saw him this year and they’ve said he’s improved. I think Jays fans are allowed to be cautiously optimistic that they might have a big league contributor coming up to replace the power they’ve lost but this isn’t a player I’m targeting in dynasty leagues or anything like that.

12:25
Curtis: Could Keon Broxton pull a .250/12/25 with above average defense in CF this year?

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: That seems like a reasonable line, yeah.

12:25
Q-Ball: What team is your next prospect report?

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Reds, they’re done and in the queue. Pirates in production.

12:26
Jimmy: Eric, are there any top prospects that you think are more likely to have a rebound year in 2017? What are some of the most commmon criteria you assess when coming to these conclusions?

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Guys who had lost years due to injury. Tyler Stephenson, Lewis Thorpe….there are many

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d say try to find guys who had bad years because of something other than a deficiency in skill

12:28
Dennis : How excited should Met fans be for Amed Rosario? Apparently he’s the best Mets prospect in the last 10+ years.

12:28
Eric A Longenhagen: Very excited, one of the top prospects in all of baseball.

12:29
Carlo: Thoughts on Brewers’ SP Brandon Woodruff? Seems to check all the boxes but isn’t getting a whole lot a love that I’ve seen.

12:29
Eric A Longenhagen: I like him. The velo, breaking ball, I think he throws strikes but doesn’t have great command.

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Scouts don’t like the arm action and Woodruff has a history of health issues dating back to college, so there’s that.

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: And not everyone thinks the control profile works in a rotation

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Mid-rotation stuff, though.

12:31
Doug Otto : Which Reds prospect do you see having the biggest impact at the MLB level for 2017?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably Winker, just because he’s on the doorstep.

12:32
Jimmy: How do you grade Honeywell fairly when he has an offering that is so unique? Do you think he’s a legit rotational candidate or more of a novelty due to his screwball?

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: You more or less have to interpolate a grade based on how scouts deal with the pitch. They have a hard time with that screwball. I put a 6 on it this Fall and think he’s a future #3 starter.

12:33
John S: your note on Phil Maton seemed to suggest that the Padres should stretch him out…. or did I read that incorrectly?

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: You either read it wrong or I did a poor job of writing it. Pure relief, terrific sleeper prospect though.

12:33
Zonk: Low to Mid-90s fastball, developing secondaries, fringy command. Did I just describe 1/2 the pitchers in minor league baseball?

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: You did, no sift through them all and tell me which ones are going to be better than that.

12:34
Sonny: What is a realistic timeline for Yadi Alvarez in LA? Is 2017 too early?

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: 2017 probably way too fast, more like 2019 or 2020.

12:34
Ed: As their careers are inextricably intertwined (in our imaginary narrative world) due to the 2013 draft – who ya got now? Frazier or Meadows? Has it played out about how you would have expected when they were drafted?

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Meadows. I was more on Frazier at the time because I was less educated about the importance of physical projection. Liked them both, though.

12:35
Zonk: What is your take on Albert Almora; does he add enough power or patience to contribute as a regular CF, or is he more a 4th OF type to you? Is that the complete range of outcomes?

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Don’t think power is coming. If he’s more than a 4th OF (I don’t think he is) it’s because the defense is so good that he’s worth playing every day.

12:36
Generic Sports Man: I only know baseball, but I started learning about basketball since that’s all my brother cares about. I’m now of the opinion that basketball fandom is culturally similar to baseball. Way more so than football, at least. In particular, there’s an embrace of analytics and rational thinking. It feels like there’s unclaimed territory out there for a Fangraphs of Basketball. Not exactly a question, but I wanted to share that.

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Zach Lowe is the NBA writer you’re looking for. Henry Abbott, too. Basketball essentially had a Statcast before baseball did, it’s just not data that’s made available to the public with as much pomp as Statcast is. For football, go to Football Outsiders, that’s as close to sabermetrics for football as I’ve found.

12:37
Frank: I know he is not on a minor league team but do you have any thoughts on Seth Beer?

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Great feel to hit, power plays naturally, chance for a middle of the order bat. He’s very good.

12:37
Matt: So Eric…Does Patrick Weigel have #2 upside, if his 2016 command is real?

12:38
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s probably too rich for me.

12:38
Joe: Getting ready for our rookie draft. What order do you like these guys? Trying to find guys to target in rounds 2-3. Jorge ona, daulton jefferies, Connor jones, Eric lauer, tj zeuch, Joe rizzo, Ronnie dawson, Jameson fisher and Lucas erceg. Sorry for the long list and thanks for answering our questions. Greatly appreciated. Feel free to toss any other sleepers in there that you might like. 16 team 20 man minors.

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: Erceg head and shoulders above the rest of those guys.

12:39
Q-Ball: Charlie Tilson…..what do you project for him? CF is certainly wide-open now for the White Sox, so he has an opportunity

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: 4th OF.

12:40
Matt: Hey Eric! Talk to me about Christian Pache…Is he the next Victor Robles? Who is a good comp for his skill set?

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m a fan. Great body, plus run, feel to hit is okay, probably plays CF long term.

12:41
CarrotJuice: To what extent does spin rate factor into your prospect analysis?

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: Somewhat. If I have the data and it’s notable for one reason or another I’ll tell you, but I also acknowledge that we’re trying to nail down how important spin rate is and I think context is essential.

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: Like, Jeff Hoffman. Good spin rate on the fastball (measured at the Futures Game) but it’s very hittable in the zone, much tougher to square up above it.

12:43
Zonk: What organizations do feel are particularly good right now at getting the most out of their talent? Cards and Giants maybe, anyone else?

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: I think you identified the most obvious ones. Yankees keep making pitching prospects out of fringe guys but they’re all Rule 5’d or traded before they’re big leaguers.

12:44
chet: Thomas Szapucki or Robert Gsellman, better mets prospect? not necessarily for 2017

12:44
Eric A Longenhagen: Gsellman. Good chance Szapucki is just a reliever.

12:44
another bad dynasty manager: Hi Eric: does Rhys Hoskins have a legitimate shot to be a major leaguer in a year or not? If so, do you rate him as better than Nick Williams as a prospect?

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, legit shot to play 1B every day in the big leagues but give me Williams. I’m lower than most on Williams and don’t think the gap is that large.

12:46
Justin: Any injured 2015 draftees coming back that you want to see healthy?

12:48
Eric A Longenhagen: There are a lot. Dillon Tate looked amazing in the spring and then that went away. I wonder what an offseason did for him. There are others like Nathan Kirby.

12:48
Justin: What are the chances of Tilson, Engel, and/or May being long term solutions in CWS outfield?

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: They’re all bench OFs for me.

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: Here’s the White Sox list: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/top-21-prospects-chicago-white-sox/

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: Updated with Giolito, etc.

12:50
Me: Brett Phillips really disappointed in 2016. Do you expect a bounce-back and a promotion to Milwaukee at all in 2017?

12:50
Eric A Longenhagen: I do not.

12:50
You idiot: Prospects ARE playing. There are winter leagues and some players, notably Jorge Lopez, Ronald Acuna, and Renato Nunez have all gotten some helium lately. Or at least that’s what the other prospect sites are reporting…

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: He asked about the draft, schmuck.

12:51
Southern Doodle Dandy: Which is the most impressive fastball, breaking ball, and changeup that you saw in the minors last year?

12:54
Eric A Longenhagen: FB: Kopech/Alvarez
BB: Anderson Espinoza
CH: Quantrill? This one’s tough for some reason

12:54
Jim Lonborg: Do you go to the DR or Venezuela to scout at all? Is that something you would want to do if Fangraphs had the money to send you?

12:54
Eric A Longenhagen: I haven’t but plan on it. Maybe not this year as the showcases are kind of up in the air.

12:55
seth r: any recommendations for a trip to phoenix for spring training? food, lodging, etc?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: First I’d say to skip ST and go to all League instead. I’d stay in the East Valley (Tempe, Scottsdale, Mesa) and try to be relatively close to at least two of the complexes.

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: Lodging I don’t know. There’s a hotel in Tempe called Moxy that looks bizarre from the outside (I thought it was a strip club art first glance) that a scout stayed at and said was alright.

12:57
Erik: With the recently rising value of relievers, will more teams start transitioning more pitching prospects to the bullpen earlier, instead of trying to keep them as starters just in case it works out for as long as possible?

12:58
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think reliever value is changing all that much, the playoffs allow for them to look more valuable on a high-profile stage and clubs that feel good about making the playoffs are likely to value them more.

12:59
Matt: Does the Dbacks’ top pick in next year’s draft immediately become their top prospect?

12:59
Eric A Longenhagen: Almost certainly.

12:59
Joe: How does a guy like Isan Diaz compare to other 2b prospects? Does he have star potential? What’s the likelihood of him reaching it?

1:00
Eric A Longenhagen: Plus bat speed, power plays in games, strikes out a lot, defense can be sloppy. I think he’s a top 3 or 4 2B prospect in baseball, probably a top 100 in baseball because of the power/position combo.

1:02
Alex: Who makes a MLB impact first, Kopech, Aiken, or Otahni?

1:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Otani

1:02
Lee: Andrew Stevenson looked good in the AFL. What are the odds he is playing for the Nats this season? And do you think he projects any better than a 4th outfielder?

1:02
Eric A Longenhagen: 4th OF for me

1:03
Dr Morris: Christin Stewart — LF or DH at the big-league level?

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: DH

1:03
Gavin: Yandy Diaz has played CF almost exclusively in winter ball this year…any chance he could get a look there in Cleveland?

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes but I think he’s a UTIL not a regular.

1:03
Paul: Do the Yankees have something with Kyle Higashioka? Decent backup C at mlb?

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: I think they do but I also thought Ryan Lavarnway was going to be a thing…

1:04
YOLO: Which of these super young catchers do you think has a better shot of becoming a “dude”. Keibert Ruiz or Meibrys Viloria?

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Ruiz but I like them both

1:04
Jeff: Have you heard much about Isaac Paredes of the cubs? He wasn’t really a highly touted international signing but he put up good number as a short stop in AZ rookie league and the Cubs thought highly enough of him to push him to low A and the end of the year when there was a need.

1:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Body is very mature, not much projection there, probably 2B and not sure the bat fits there.

1:05
ZMP: Re: judging player’s athleticsm. I couldn’t agree more with your statement highlighting athleticsm’s foundation being body control and coordination. Do most scouts know this? And do former or current multi-sport HS athletes ever receive “bonus points” from scouts? (Such as Benintendi, Garrett, etc.)

1:06
Eric A Longenhagen: I think most scouts have similar views on athleticism (that’s where I learned mine) and yes, they love multi-sport athletes.

1:07
Danny: Strahm headed back to the bullpen for KC. Think that’s his now permanent position (one though he’s in because of success there)?

1:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Hadn’t seen a story about that, can you shoot me a link on the Twitter? I think Strahm can start. Wouldn’t begrudge KC for leaving him in the bullpen (as you said, he’s had success there and he has a weird injury history) but I think the breaking ball and breaking ball command are enough to mitigate whatever issues people think he’s going to have against RHHs because the changeup isn’t that great.

1:08
Duffyrules: I own Rowdy Tellez and Rhys Hoskins in a 3 year keeper league, both at league min salary. Thoughts on keeping them for the next 2 years?

1:09
Eric A Longenhagen: Sell high on one of them.

1:09
Adam: I am dialed up to 11 right now on Yadier Alvarez after seeing how effortlessly he can throw 99. Can you talk me down from that?

1:09
Eric A Longenhagen: No, I’ve already jumped.

1:09
Bob: I think everyone is especting Bellinger to mash at OKC at get called up pretty early, how long can he sustain playing respectable defense in LF?

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: For eh ver. I’ve spoken with scouts who think he could pass in CF. Dude is a freak.

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: But he’s a 70 glove at 1B so I think that’s ultimately where he ends up.

1:10
Q-Ball: Best minor league name is__________?

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: I get asked this a lot and my answer is always changing because there are just so many.

1:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Here’s my flavor of the month: http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=sa829870&position=P

1:11
Erik: Is Domonic Brown a decent comp for Nick Williams? Seems like he has the tools to succeed but also seems likely to just completely blow it. If he busts, will it be in a Brown sort of way?

1:12
Eric A Longenhagen: I wouldn’t comp them but agree that the way Williams stalled at Triple-A feels ominous in the same way that Brown’s struggles did.

1:12
Eric A Longenhagen: And I saw Brown’s struggles every day for like two years and still forced myself to love him.

1:13
john wick: speaking of hit-before-power prospects, what is your take on cornelious randolph?

1:14
Eric A Longenhagen: An excellent example of a hut before power prospect who doesn’t have the physical projection that I like in those types of hitters. Where’s the power coming from there? He’s not growing into it and has already tumbled down the defensive spectrum since being announced as a SS.

1:14
GSon: Taking off from your DD viewing of his new toy, followed by trading him.. The Indians attempted to trade Francisco Mejia only to be spurned by the Lucroy decision to nix the deal.. Does an attempted deal that falls through define how an organization rates a prospect?. Should Mejia be considered a more likely trade candidate now that the club has defined him as expendable, once?..

1:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Man, that’s interesting. I don’t know. We probably don’t learn enough about aborted deals to know if a prospect offered in trade is significantly more likely to be dealt than one who previously has not been.

1:15
Eric A Longenhagen: I also think teams will bite the bullet and trade guys they love if it means trying to win a WS.

1:16
TKDC: Is Travis Demeritte really all that close to Ozzie Albies in the Braves’ minds?

1:17
Eric A Longenhagen: I doubt it. They got Demeritte for next to nothing, he’s a toolsy but flawed prospect. Albies is top 20 in all of baseball.

1:17
Phil: Edwin Rios seems to have a similar problem as Willie Calhoun – i.e. a bat without a position. Many scouts seem to assume Calhoun’s bat will be valuable enough to overcome the glove, but I don’t see the same optimism for Rios despite a similarity in their age and production. Why not?

1:18
Eric A Longenhagen: Calhoun’s feel to hit is better than Rios’, as is Calhoun’s feel for the strike zone. Also, Rios did much of his damage as an older prospect in the Cal League. Calhoun has hit and hit for power up through Double-A

1:19
Mike : Can you give us 2-3 prospects drafted after round 2 of the 2016 mlb draft that you think will be break out fantasy prospects? Thanks for the chat

1:21
Eric A Longenhagen: Bryson Brigman, Khalil Lee, Chris Rodriguez, D.J. Peters

1:21
Rico Brogna: Can’t wait for the TEX list– how high are you on Leo Tav and Anderson Tejada?

1:22
Eric A Longenhagen: I anticipate Leody to be #1 or #2 with Mendez in the mix there. Tejeda probably a few spots beneath them.

1:22
Michelle: What UVA baseball player has the best draft prospects for the upcoming draft?

1:23
Eric A Longenhagen: Not a great year for Hoos talent. Smith and Halseley are the two I’m following.

1:24
DTH: Either of Donnie Dewees or DJ Wilson going to wind up a regular CF in the MLB?

1:24
Eric A Longenhagen: I think both have a chance, Dewees more of a corner guy for me. You’re right to be on Wilson, he can play. Sneaky loud power.

1:25
CarrotJuice: Quick thoughts on Ian Clarkin?

1:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Not on it. Upper-80s, curveball flashes but isn’t consistent, has had injury issues.

1:25
Gary: Who is the next top Yankee prospect behind the big guys (frazier, gleyber, rutherford)?

1:26
Eric A Longenhagen: The “big guys” in that system might run 10 deep. I think Albert Abreu is a top 100 prospect

1:26
Eric: Will Zack Burdi ever have good enough control to reach his potential as a late-inning guy?

1:26
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes

1:27
Michelle: How did you learn to scout?

1:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Reps, talking to scouts and I suppose I have a natural feel for it.

1:27
FantasyQuestion: I have 1st pick in a Dynasty league. I’m a nerd. Amed Rosario, Adames, Senzel, Ray or Yunito?

1:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Rosario

1:28
Erik: Will former Phillies first-rounder (and magnet for odd injuries such as hailstorm-induced concussions) Jesse Biddle make the back end of the Braves list? I tagged him out in high school and the coolness of that story rests heavily on him eventually making the big leagues.

1:28
Eric A Longenhagen: He’ll get a mention because he’s famous but I have no idea what the hell he’s going to look like next year, he’s ajust a guy who was once up to 94 with good breaking ball feel and those guys are worth monitoring.

1:29
Bip: Prospect-for-prospect trades can happen when a new FO takes over and doesn’t like the prospects it inhereted. Dodgers FO did that in the Frazier trade

1:29
Eric A Longenhagen: Good point, would say SD did this with Turner, etc.

1:29
Alien Raines: Hey, Eric. ZIPS hates Greg Bird! .234/.307/.449 is what it calls for. How do you feel about Mr. Bird? Are you more optimistic, or no? He missed last year with a shoulder injury, but did hit .261/.343/.529 in 178 ML PAs in 2015.

1:31
Eric A Longenhagen: He sure looked rusty in the AFL. I still think he’s an average everyday player at 1B or DH, it just might take some time. But yeah it isn’t like his 2015 was BABIP driven and ZIPS would ding him for mean regression.

1:31
Oklahomabrave: Rank who will be a better SP-Fried,Weigel,Newcomb

1:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Gah, I still believe in Newcomb but if the reports I’ve gotten on late summer Fried are true then it’s him.

1:32
YOYOma: do you see the twins getting a better overall prospect than de leon in any trade scenario involving dozier?

1:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably not. They could get De Leon + but probably not a guy I have ranked ahead of De Leon. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/top-21-prospects-los-angeles-dodgers/

1:33
Draft Nerd : Are there any catchers in the upcoming draft that you feel have the potential to not only stay behind the plate but also be productive with the bat?

1:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Both Florida catchers though Schwarz isn’t as likely to stay there. Riley Adams at USD, Evan Skoug at TCU (less likely to catch though), would still love to see if KJ Harrison can catch

1:35
Brandon: What kind of power projection does Juan Soto have at the big league level?

1:35
Eric A Longenhagen: I put a future 6 on it after seeing him during instructs

1:35
Curtis: About how many legitimate #1 (Ace!) pitchers are there in MiLB? There can’t be many, right, since there really aren’t that many in the Majors.

1:36
Eric A Longenhagen: Like 8?

1:36
Eric A Longenhagen: 8 in the Majors I mean

1:36
Eric A Longenhagen: So maybe 2 or 3 in the minors?

1:36
Buford: What is bat control?

1:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Moving the barrel around to different parts of the hitting zone

1:37
Eric A Longenhagen: http://i.imgur.com/Mk1ZnHn.gif

1:38
Erik: When you say a player has a certain upside, does that refer to something like their 90th percentile outcome? 75th? 99th?

1:38
Eric A Longenhagen: 90th seems right, especially when we’re talking about the long shots like Greg Golson, Jordan Akin, etc.

1:39
Ben: I liked your responses on athleticism and physical projection. Any key insights on how to quickly judge a prospect’s athleticism or physical projection? What’s the first 1-2 things you look for?

1:40
Eric A Longenhagen: Phys projection: look at the player’s body and frame. Does it have room for more mass without sacrificing mobility? Are the shoulders broad? Hands/feet look like they belong to a clown or alien? What do the kid’s parents look like in middle age?

1:40
Eric A Longenhagen: Athleticism is harder. How’s the footwork during infield/outfield? That’s usually pretty telling.

1:41
FGM: chris Shaw or Casey Gillaspie?

1:41
Eric A Longenhagen: Is their a third door? GIllaspie I guess?

1:41
Frank: More excited about Yadier Alvarez or Alex Reyes, long-term?

1:41
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d take Reyes because he’s basically there.

1:41
Choo Choo: Who is your favorite personal prospect find?

1:42
Eric A Longenhagen: Matt Bowman and Joe Wendle

1:42
Lyle: Is Brandon Nimmo a top prospect on the angels or marlins?

1:42
Eric A Longenhagen: Nope

1:42
Scott: Three of MLB.com’s top 4 prospects (Moncada, Giolito, and Swanson) have been traded. Is that unusual?

1:42
Eric A Longenhagen: Oh yes

1:43
Larry: As relievers prove to be more valuable in free agency and trades, does that have any impact on their placement in your prospect rankings?

1:43
Eric A Longenhagen: I considered this when those midyear deals were made but ultimately decided WAR was a more reliable and accurate way to govern the lists.

1:44
Blue: I was intrigued by this report on a low-minors Dodgers arm:
Francis Cespedes, LHP (video) – Extremely loose lefty who touches 100 and sits 95-plus with a 70 changeup, 20 control and questions about his age.
Apparently, he was also cut by Texas before last year after signing in 2013, and that’s how the Dodgers picked him up. He’s 21 as of now.
How bad must that control be for him to have two 70 pitches and still not even be close to a prospect!? I mean…jeez, I wouldn’t want to face him. Here’s what I’m picturing, basically.

1:44
Eric A Longenhagen: There’s not a question here but I’d like to remind everyone that Fran Cespedes exists.

1:44
Terry: Can D Fowler be a legit CF of the future for the Yanks?

1:44
Eric A Longenhagen: I think so, average everyday guy for me.

1:44
LudeBurger: Are you well, Eric?

1:45
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t know. Probably not.

1:45
Brock Holt!: Mejia, mckenzie, Allen or musgrove, Tucker, martes. Which package would you prefer?

1:45
Eric A Longenhagen: CLE

1:46
Blue: By the way, here’s what I’m picturing with Cespedes:

1:46
Eric A Longenhagen: Here’s what it actually is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bU0zUagBECA

1:47
Bob: Any spoilers for the reds forthcoming list?

1:47
Eric A Longenhagen: Shed Long might sneak onto the back of my overall top 100

1:47
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m as surprised as you.

1:48
Austin Meadows: Do I get called before or after July 31?

1:48
Eric A Longenhagen: Before

1:48
Buff: Please rank: Moniak, Ray, Senzel, Acuna.

1:48
Eric A Longenhagen: Acuna, Moniak, Senzel, Ray

1:48
Matt: Do you usually attend the UA All American Game in Chicago? If so, any thoughts on doing some sort of meetup?

1:49
Eric A Longenhagen: I went this year and hope to go again this summer. I’ll give the latter some thought I suppose but those events are important to be focused for.

1:51
Ben: Why is having a deep system better than a top heavy one? Wouldnt you rather have 2 potential 5+ WAR players and nothing else than say 5-6 2 WAR players? Love your work!

1:51
Eric A Longenhagen: Your risk is diversified.

1:51
Sally: What’s the scouting report on the Cuban Luis Robert?

1:52
Eric A Longenhagen: Saw him this summer. He’s really good. Power/speed.

1:53
Whiff: Does Willians Astudillo have a chance to be anything more than a back-up catcher?

1:53
Eric A Longenhagen: Nah, he’s an org player.

1:54
Dooduh: I’ve seen you dismiss Dom Smith’s weight before, but how many players of his body type (obese) have had sustained ML careers? Bottom line – there is a good reason to be concerned.

1:55
Eric A Longenhagen: I certainly take Smith’s body into consideration when evaluating him but I think he can succeed with a little extra. He’s supposedly lost weight, which I guess speaks to his makeup more than anything else.

1:55
Huh: Who do you think is the most divisive prospect in the minors right now?

1:55
Eric A Longenhagen: During my list-making process it has been Ryyan Castellani

1:55
Will Graham : Mike Gerber hit enough to avoid platoon? 270/340/440 20+?

1:55
Eric A Longenhagen: No but he might play good enough defense to avoid a platoon.

1:56
dago: Sergio Alcantara (ARI) is having a nice winter season… impressive glove he’s shown. Looks like all leather right now. What do yo see from him going forward (FV)?

1:57
Eric A Longenhagen: 35/40. 7 arm, can run, not much else going on there.

1:57
Jose: Do you do any fantasy baseball? If so, are you more geared towards prospects because of your focus here at FG, or less so because you understand their risk more so than most?

1:57
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t play fantasy anymore, just in one Diamond Mind league.

1:58
Fat Kenny G: Name a random prospect from years past that we forgot about.

1:58
Eric A Longenhagen: Brett Jackson

1:58
StackedDeck: How much did Jared Millers stock rise after his 0.00 ERA effort in the AFL?

1:59
Eric A Longenhagen: I would bump him up a half grade on my Dbacks list. Stuff plays up due to extension, I think he’s a solid relief piece.

1:59
Connor: Is Franklin Barretto a future infielder or CF?

1:59
Eric A Longenhagen: CF for me but OAK clearly doesn’t mind subpar D at SS.

1:59
Paul: Why do you still believe in Newcomb? Help me believe.

2:00
Eric A Longenhagen: Stuff is great, has late bloomer traits due to his small school, northeastern pedigree.

2:00
Ben: As fans, do we undervalue prospects with an “average regular” ceiling. Arent these guys super valuable at the big league level?

2:02
Eric A Longenhagen: I think so. People get pissed at me when I say Pitcher X is probably a #3 and not an ace but a #3 is really valuable.

2:02
Connor: How much do prospect valuations/rankings vary from team to team? Do the public lists set a sort of “market” for prospects valuations that factor greatly into trades and value considerations? Or do teams have their own league-wide lists?

2:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Teams have their own lists. Lists like mine allow teams to see what the rest of the industry is thinking about guys and they can compare a consensus to their own evals. Perhaps mine is less like that because it’s more heavily influenced by my own observations than, say, MLB,com’s are.

2:03
CarrotJuice: In another chat, Dave Cameron said:
“Pretty much everyone I talked to at the winter meetings said their internal rankings were much lower on Giolito than the public ones.”
Is there a divide between scouts and front offices evaluation of Giolito that you are aware of?

2:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Most public rankings are stale updates from mid-year. Prospect lists, in reality, are always changing and often obsolete shortly after publication. But we do them because readers love them.

2:05
Connor: Is Lazarito Armenteros a big-upside guy? Reports seem to be so mixed on him.

2:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes because if he ever gets to the raw power he could hit 20+ homers but he’s very raw and it’s a LF only profile for me. Extreme risk there.

2:06
Sam: I’ve seen several people talk about getting insane reports on Fried late in the year. What exactly were they ? Like Ace level stuff ?

2:07
Eric A Longenhagen: 60 fastball, 70 curve, 55 change, fringe control.

2:07
hooha: who is the best prospect you’ve ever seen?

2:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Trout

2:07
Nils: What does your lineup and rotation look in your DMB league?

2:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Too boring for chat

2:09
Joe Don: One of your counterparts at a different site said the Rangers now have a bottom-five farm system? Agree?

2:09
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably not, I can think of four systems I’ve already done that are worse than Texas’

2:10
Scott: Are there any guys you’ve seen where the body and the athleticism just didn’t line up? Someone who looked like a stud but was uncoordinated or someone who looked like an average Joe but had world class body control?

2:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Dom Brown

2:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay everyone, time to call it a chat. Reds list should be out either late today or tomorrow. See you here next 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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Roger Y
5 years ago

Is there a general consensus among scouts, college coaches and other baseball professionals (including writers) regarding “prospect videos” on YouTube and other social media? Are they at all useful or are guys just taking up prime real estate at games behind home plate?