Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat, Dies to Removal by Eric Longenhagen January 17, 2017 12:03 Eric A Longenhagen: Good morning, everyone. Let me tweet a link to this thing and we’ll get started. 12:05 Eric A Longenhagen: Okay, just a heads up that my Diamond Mind draft is currently going on. If I step away for a minute it’s because I’m aggressively trying to move up. 12:05 Eric A Longenhagen: Also, Cubs prospect list is done and being edited so expect that in a day or so. Brewers are next. That system is fun. 12:05 JimLindeman15: Have you scouted Jordan Hicks, RHP in the Cardinal organization? If so, thoughts? Made two League Top 10 lists, but doesn’t crack anyone’s Cardinal Top 10-20 lists. 12:06 Eric A Longenhagen: I haven’t seen him but it’s 90-93, will show you 95 and it comes in at kind of a funky angle. Flashes above average slider. Good body, delivery is okay. He’s a solid prospect, 45 FV type of arm. 12:06 DR: How much does age of a player factor into your draft ranking? Looks like more and more HS players are 19+ at the draft. Do teams discount for age? 12:07 Eric A Longenhagen: It’s certainly a factor and always worth noting if a prospect is especially young or old for his class but it isn’t a huge factor. 12:07 John: Who do you feel are the Indians top 5 prospects (in order if you can)? Thanks! 12:08 Eric A Longenhagen: Wrote up the whole system here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/top-18-prospects-cleveland-indians/ 12:08 Mike: Who do you think has the most upside in a dynasty league: Jose Albertos, Ariel Jurado, German Marquez or Trevor Clifton? 12:08 Eric A Longenhagen: Albertos has the most upside but Marquez is really good, ceiling maybe a half grade below Albertos, and is a much safer bet. 12:09 Joey: Does Julio Urias have much more projection or is his stuff his stuff at this point given mature body? When he settles in is he closer to a super Ricky Romero or a David Price type stats wise? 12:10 Eric A Longenhagen: I think you’re right, not much projection on the stuff because the body has nothing left to give. I think the command will come, though. 12:10 AlphaCino: Who has the highest power on your top 100 prospects? 12:10 Eric A Longenhagen: Eloy Jimenez has 80 future raw. 12:10 Joey: Is Kevin Maitan extremely risky? Given accolades and early comps has there ever been an international player flip completely with this level of hype? 12:11 Eric A Longenhagen: He’s pretty risky because he’s 17 but so elite among his peers that he’s likely to produce some sort of big league value. Miguel Sano was just as hyped, if not more. 12:11 Zonk: Opinion seems divided on Eddy Julio Martinez. What is your take on EJM? 12:12 Eric A Longenhagen: Not in love with him. Big league regular tools (6 arm, 55 run, 6 raw power) but a lot of swing and miss in the zone and the quality of contact is bad. I think his swing is grooved. 12:13 Erik: Arquimedes Gambia seems to be considered a real prospect in Phillies circles, despite posting a wonderful .200/.250/.292 slash line at Williamsport this year. I get that he’s young and plays good defense, but is there anything there to project enough offensive growth to get him up to an average regular eventually? He seems to be starting from such a low level that he can’t be anything but a non-prospect. 12:14 Eric A Longenhagen: It’s a projectable body with a swing that looks amazing at 5 o’clock. If you think his in-game issues are strength driven and that his body will naturally solve that problem as it fills out, then yes you project heavily on that guy. 12:15 Eric A Longenhagen: And I’m not trying to be pedantic, but it’s Arquimedez, not Arquimedes. No rap name will ever be better than Arquimedez Gamboa. 12:15 Eric A Longenhagen: Or worse than Meek Mill 12:15 Phil Maton: When do I become a starter? 12:15 Eric A Longenhagen: Never, I’m cashing in my chips there. 12:16 Daniel: Thoughts on the Seattle/Atlanta/Tampa Mallex Smith trade? It sounds like Atlanta “won”, Tampa “lost” and Seattle made a decent deal. 12:17 Eric A Longenhagen: I guess that depends on what you think of Drew Smyly. I wrote up the rest of the deal here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/scouting-the-braves-and-rays-new-prospects/ 12:17 Eric A Longenhagen: I thought Tampa did okay. Don’t sleep on Vargas. 12:17 Steve: Will Tyler O’Neil hit enough to be a real force, or do you see more of a .230 hitter w/ K problems? 12:17 Eric A Longenhagen: I think your concern for the latter is legitimate but still enough power/speed/defensive value that he’s a regular for me even if he does K somewhat excessively. 12:18 Andy: If Eloy Jimenez were drafted in 2016, where would he rank among the first year players? 12:18 Eric A Longenhagen: Probably #1? I have a 60 FV on Eloy right now and think every other J2 and draft pick from 2016 maxes out at 55. 12:19 Jimmy: When does a player’s arm strength fully develop? Do AAA outfielders, for example, see their arms get better as they progress into their mid 20’s? 12:19 Eric A Longenhagen: Depends on the player’s developmental background and body. 12:19 Gest: Can you explain prospect writers’ belief in Aquino? I’m worried by seeing his slow progression through the low minors. But has something clicked recently that bodes well? 12:20 Eric A Longenhagen: If you’re talking about Aristides then it’s because he’s been really good when he’s been healthy and his injuries have been of the freak variety, not really something that I think will be chronic. 12:20 Conrad: Did you see Hunter Greene at the dream series? Anything new to report? Thanks. 12:22 Eric A Longenhagen: He just threw a bullpen and looked fine. I left before he threw. 12:22 Erik: Where do you stand on Scott Kingery? Some Phillies fans/writers seem to like him more than Cesar Hernandez as the second baseman of the future, but 2080 Baseball has him as a future 40 (utility man). 12:23 Eric A Longenhagen: He belongs in that huge bucket of 2B-only prospects who have very little game power and either need to hit a ton or play amazing defense to profile everyday. I think Kingery can do both. 12:23 Jake: Which prospect would you take if you were the Twins GM? 12:24 Eric A Longenhagen: Either Kendall or one of the college arms. Faedo atop that list for me right now. 12:24 Q-Ball: From 2014 through last year, the Cubs system graduated Bryant, Russell, Schwarber, Contreras, Baez, Hendricks, and Edwards. Can you think of another cadre of equivalent impact talent? Or is that unprecedented? 12:25 Eric A Longenhagen: Howard, Rollins, Utley, Hamels, Bourn, Happ+? That’s as close to a home grown core like that as I can surmise off the top of my head. From this century anyway. 12:25 Olly: Can Tatis, Jr. make the bigs as a shortstop? 12:26 Eric A Longenhagen: 3B long term for me, maybe is a SS when he first breaks in but I doubt it. 12:26 Tom: With the news of Alex Jackson moving back to catcher, what is the potential there? The floor seems to be a MLB average catcher, but what is his potential? 12:26 Eric A Longenhagen: The floor is he never plays in the big leagues. Probably a 55/60 extreme ceiling at this point. A worthy gamble for ATL. 12:26 David: Do you think there’s any chance Josh Naylor will ever tone down his swing enough that it will work on pitches that don’t accidentally arrive on the one and only one plane that he can get to? 12:27 Eric A Longenhagen: There’s a chance but I think it’s small. 12:27 Chaz: Dynasty minor league draft…About right on this ranking? T.O’Neil, M. Keller, Z.Collins, S.Reid-Riley. 12:27 Eric A Longenhagen: Keller ahead of the other three. 12:28 Eric A Longenhagen: Can we talk about Sean Reid-Foley’s look and decide whether it’s okay for me to dock him FV based on it? 12:28 Eric A Longenhagen: 12:28 Julie: If Anderson Espinoza gains a couple ticks velocity wise, is he closer to a 7 overall grade? 12:28 Eric A Longenhagen: Sure but he doesn’t have the kind of physical projection that portends more velocity. 12:29 Erik: Is turning pitchers from starters to relievers a one-way street? Or should more teams move borderline starters to relief early to be able to extract more immediate value, knowing they can turn them back into starters should they develop command and a third pitch? 12:31 Eric A Longenhagen: I was talking about something like this with someone (a scout? I forget who it was) and it’s hard for relievers to get reps with that third pitch and it often doesn’t develop. Lefties are moved to the bullpen much more quickly since the value of a lefty reliever is higher than an up and down rotation arm. Righty relievers are so readily available and easy to create that moving a fringe RHP from the rotation is often a valueless move. 12:32 baby bull : Please Rank… Quantrill, Flaherty, Jorge Lopez, Luke Weaver, Fedde 12:33 Eric A Longenhagen: Quantrill, Weaver, Fedde/Flaherty however you want, Lopez 12:33 baby bull : Brett Phillips and Nick Williams hurt their stock enough for me to let them go back into free agency.. dynasty lg 12:33 Eric A Longenhagen: Hold on Williams, I’m out on Phillips 12:34 David: Opening day rotations between the two San Diego Single-A clubs probably include Logan Allen, Pedro Avila, Ronald Bolanos, Enyel De Los Santos, Anderson Espinoza, Henry Henry, Eric Lauer, Joey Lucchesi, Adrian Morejon, Jake Nix, Cal Quantrill, Mason Thompson and maybe more (with a piggyback in Fort Wayne). Are there any other organizations that will have something like that depth in young pitching? 12:34 Eric A Longenhagen: The Braves 12:34 Matt: Hey Eric, The Fire Frogs should have a ton of legitimate prospects next year…Touki, Allard, Soroka, Gohara, Fried, Ricardo Sanchez, Riley, Acuna, Didder, Davidson, Seymour, etc…Are they a candidate for the best team in MiLB? 12:34 Eric A Longenhagen: The Paadres 12:34 Bob: Any under-the -radar stolen base artisits you like? Whose the next Jarrod Dyson or Rajai Davis? 12:35 Eric A Longenhagen: Sure, Zach Granite. Dawon Burt (you can just dig through KC’s system for guys like this) 12:36 Ronnie: Any chance Troy Stokes sneaks on the back end of the Milwaukee list as a 40 FV? 12:36 Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, good eye. 12:36 Henry VIII: Did you give up on Judge and Severino? 12:36 Eric A Longenhagen: No way. It took Danny Duffy nine years. 12:36 Jim Lonborg: Who is the youngest player you’ve seen whom you considered a prospect? Are preteens projectable? In other news, David Ortiz’s son D’Angelo started switch-hitting at 6. 12:37 Eric A Longenhagen: I saw a 2020 kid this weekend who hasn’t played varsity ball yet that I thought was too good not to tweet about. 12:37 green monster: Is Basabe getting underrated because he’s the third guy in the Sale deal? Seems to me that he has some serious helium potential this year, but isn’t talked about much because of Moncada and Kopech. 12:38 Eric A Longenhagen: There are scouts I spoke with that didn’t think Basabe was a prospect at all because his feel to hit is so raw. I thought that was a little extreme and hyperboliic, but concerning. 12:38 BJ: Thoughts on Emrakul ban? 12:39 Eric A Longenhagen: Standard hasn’t fired at FNM the last two times I went so I’m for whatever works to prevent that. 12:39 Jim Lonborg: What’s your take on Rusney Castillo? Scouting failure, development failure, or just one of them things? 12:39 Eric A Longenhagen: This is one I’m putting on the player. 12:39 Josh: I am 17 and completely healthy. Will I see a woman playing major league baseball before I die? 12:39 Eric A Longenhagen: I hope/think so. 12:40 ks: Isn’t the phillies system more quantity than quality? As a phils fan, I still hate the return for hamels. Missed a golden opportunity to get a star prospect 12:40 Eric A Longenhagen: I think it’s a good mix of both. They got the best deal they could, TEX wasn’t budging on Mazara. 12:40 Eric A Longenhagen: Unless they could have had the foresight to ask for Leodys Taveras, who the Rangers were loathe to deal this summer. 12:41 SHF: On paper (stats and scouting reports), Kevin Newman‘s bat sounds a lot like Dustin Pedroia’s. Is that a totally outrageous comp or something we might see if he taps into the 99th percentile of his talent? 12:42 Eric A Longenhagen: Pedroia is just one of those guys you never comp someone to. Total freak, nobody like him before or since. Newman is more like…maybe Michael Young? Not peak Young but career-average Young? 12:43 Sean from Tampa: In your write-up on San Diego’s system, you mentioned that Logan Allen projects as a no.3-4. Is that his best case scenario? 12:43 Eric A Longenhagen: More like 75th percentile, combo optimism/realism. 12:43 ks: mitch hansen project to be an everyday OF? 12:44 Eric A Longenhagen: Has the tools for that but has been too inconsistent to expect that. 12:44 Stuafoo: Most unsung (insert laugh track) Mariners hitting and pitching prospects? 12:44 Eric A Longenhagen: Bryson Brigman and Aneurys Zabala 12:45 Eric A Longenhagen: AL West are the last divisional lists I’m doing and those two will be sung. 12:46 JH: What kind of draft range would you put on L. Robert? Is he a first-round type talent? 12:46 Eric A Longenhagen: Oh yes. Top 10. 12:46 Jose: Any work being done by major league teams on adaptability and coachability for young players, i.e. the mental side of the game? Feels like there’s a chance to bring some real rigor to the ‘makeup’ component of scouting 12:47 Eric A Longenhagen: There is. Mental skills tests are commonplace now and even analytically driven teams place a high value on makeup. 12:47 Alex: Anderson Espinoza or Michael Kopech and why? 12:48 Eric A Longenhagen: Espinoza. Repertoire more well-rounded, better command profile. Kopech throws harder and is bigger but I only care about one of those things. 12:48 Timmy: Kyle Tucker = Christian Yelich? 12:50 Eric A Longenhagen: Doesn’t have Yelich’s speed but there are swing/body similarities. Good eye. 12:50 Tommy: What under the radar international signing do you think has a chance to make a splash with the Padres? 12:51 Eric A Longenhagen: If Michel Miliano is under the radar, then him. 12:51 Alan: Do you expect Ronald Acuna to end up in your overall top 50? Maybe 30? 12:51 Eric A Longenhagen: Top 50, I do. 12:51 Keith: What allows a pitcher to get better at commanding a pitch? Simply more repetition? Muscle memory? 12:52 Eric A Longenhagen: I think athleticism /body control allow the muscle memory required for command to be built. 12:52 rich101682: Dies to removal? If that’s the case, do you think Tragic Slip can overtake Doom Blade? 12:53 Eric A Longenhagen: I think you mean Fatal Push and I know at 11am on Friday I’m going and buying a playset. 12:53 Q-Ball: What are your favorite “scouty” terms? 12:54 Eric A Longenhagen: “Tools goof”, “catalytic qualities”, the verb “to carve” 12:54 Matt: When teams are overloaded with young back end starters what are the main factors that determine who starts and who goes to the pen? Is it totally different between organizations, or are there some key characteristics that pretty much always give one guy the leg up? 12:55 Eric A Longenhagen: Good question. Let’s take the Cubs since I just did that list and there are a lot of guys who qualify as interesting case studies for this question in that system. 12:58 Eric A Longenhagen: Arms with two good pitches but who lack a third or viable starter’s command (like Jake Stinnett, Felix Pena, Bailey Clark) are more likely to be good relievers than others because you care less about the command in the bullpen and that stuff might tick up in shorter bursts. 12:59 Eric A Longenhagen: Pitchers like Pierce Johnson and Rob Zastryzny have deep repertoires and could pitch through a lineup several times but either don’t have an out pitch or enough command to squeeze the most out of their stuff. Those guys don’t play as well in the bullpen because an 89mph fastball that ticks up to 92 in the pen still isn’t missing bats. 12:59 Jim Lonborg: So with Fagerstrom gone, I guess it’s between you and Sawchick for best FG name. You both need to change your first names to something more interesting, though. At least they’re not collecting more Daves. 1:00 Eric A Longenhagen: I love my last name but it is a huge pain in the ass to spell for people every time I’m doing something clerical. 1:01 BK: Rumored Cutch package: Biagini, Vlad Jr, Reid-Foley, Tellez, Harold Ramirez for Cutch and Watson. How do you assess this offer by the Jays? 1:01 Eric A Longenhagen: Vlad and Reid-Foley are the only real prospects in that deal. I’ve spoken with multiple sources over the last week that think Vlad Jr. is in the big leagues before he’s 21 and/or that he’d go 1-1 in this year’s draft. 1:03 Eric A Longenhagen: In other news, I’ve failed to move up to #6 in my Diamond Mind draft and Julio Urias (my target) was taken. Let us all observe a moment of silence. 1:03 Tumov: If otani was eligible, does he No.1 prospect or behind Moncada? 1:03 Eric A Longenhagen: #2 behind Moncada but a 70 FV right there with him. 1:04 RMR: What does it mean when you say a swing is “grooved”? 1:04 Eric A Longenhagen: It means the hitter doesn’t move the bat around the zone, his swing is his swing and he needs to run into a pitch that just happens to be in the way of hit bat to hit it. 1:05 ryan: when ranking prospects do you weight tools or proximity to majors more? what annual years-from-majors discount rate do you apply to FV? 1:06 Eric A Longenhagen: Tools uber alles. There’s no formula for dialing back a player’s projection into a FV, you need to have a feel for curating it based on risk/proximity. I full grade of dilution is the most I’ve done this winter. 1:06 Guy: Besides bat speed, height, and weight, what else can tell us about a hitter’s raw power? I always read about young hitters filling out their frame, but wouldn’t hand/wrist strength be as important as height and weight, if not more so? And is there a way to measure that? Thanks. 1:07 Eric A Longenhagen: Wrist strength is important and I don’t know of a way of measuring it or even evaluating it short of noticing it over a sizeable number of looks at a player. But I think it’s why I missed on, say, Joe Panik. 1:07 BJ: I agree with your rank of Strahm as a 55 FV, more bold than other prospect pundits. I’m pondering between Strahm, McKenzie, Yohander, Quantrill, Clifton, or Braxton Garrett in a dynasty prospect draft – which do you prefer? Are the other guys 55s like you’ve rated Strahm and McKenzie? Thanks 1:08 Eric A Longenhagen: Quantrill and Mendez are both right there. Garrett is a comparable talent but farther away. Clifton not on that level. 1:09 Steve: Joe Rogan said on a recent UFC event that many fighters make a leap at age 23. I assume he meant in many areas, including physical maturity. At what age does the normal MLB player reach the top of their physical maturity? 1:10 Eric A Longenhagen: Is this Joe Rogan’s first ever FG chat appearance?! It has to be, right? 1:11 Eric A Longenhagen: Every player is different. There’s some research that says power output peaks earlier in your 20s than you might anticipate. In general I do think 23 is about where the cement is dry on average, but not because Joe Rogan said so. 1:11 Choo choo: How good is Max Schrock? 1:12 Eric A Longenhagen: Below average regular foe me. Good pick by the Nats analytics department. 1:12 Electric: Is Royce Lewis a top 10 pick? 1:12 Eric A Longenhagen: He’s a top ten talent but I think this draft is deep enough up top that he falls out of the top 10. 1:13 Travis: What’s your early prediction on Luis Robert? What kind of player will he be? What team(s) will be in on him? 1:15 Eric A Longenhagen: Teams pursuing Robert will be dictated by when he’s cleared to sign. His camp’s hope is that it’s sooner rather than later so he can get a deal done before the new CBA kicks in. If he gets cleared between now and May, expect the teams who are already heavily committed to the ’16-’17 J2 class (SD, CIN, OAK) to be in. 1:15 Eric A Longenhagen: The bidding can and should be high. This is your last chance to make a splash on the Int’l market in a way that only costs you money. 1:15 Will: Did you enjoy your time at Baseball Info Solutions? Was it a valuable experience? 1:16 Eric A Longenhagen: I did and yes. Until I got this one that was my favorite job. 1:16 Sterling Malory Chris Archer: You forgot Country Music Superstar Brett Myers in your Phillies core 😉 1:16 Eric A Longenhagen: And Burrell 1:17 Will: What are the best places to check out in the Allentown, PA area? 1:17 Eric A Longenhagen: Bolete, The Bookstore Speakeasy, Cali Burrito, Blue Sky Cafe 1:18 Jordan: What do you think is the main reason why Groome COULD be kept out of a major league rotation? Attitude, development of secondary pitches? Something else? 1:18 Eric A Longenhagen: None, I think he’s an excellent pitching prospect. 1:18 Erik: I know you started off as a Phillies fan/writer. How much of that fandom is left today? Do you think you’re 100% neutral when evaluating Phillies prospects, or is there a slight bias still there (either positively or negatively) that you can identify in hindsight? 1:19 Eric A Longenhagen: Zero. I began working in baseball in 2008 and within months it was gone. I felt very little joy when they won the thing, more relief than anything. 1:19 Snapface: Do you think that fan participation in your prospect chat is proportionate to the market size of the fan/guest’s favorite team? The depth and quality of prospects of the fan’s favorite team? Or just hardcore baseball fans, with universal interest in prospects? 1:19 Eric A Longenhagen: Market is definitely a component as is the team’s place in the competitive cycle. 1:20 LudeBurger: didn’t draft SRF in my dynasty league because the ‘stache + unbuttoned shirt creeps me out 1:20 Eric A Longenhagen: Stache, no undershirt, chain, deep V. Huge red flags. 1:21 afnj: This seems like its the Erik chat 1:21 Eric A Longenhagen: He asks evocative questions. 1:21 Jolly Joe Timmer: Which cornerman from the 2016 draft do you like better Erceg or Thaiss? 1:21 Eric A Longenhagen: Erceg 1:22 Eric A Longenhagen: Watch Thaiss be sent to the Cal League, rake for half a year and then be traded. 1:22 Daniel: What do you think will be the biggest change in scouting 5 years from now? 1:23 Eric A Longenhagen: This will be our last question. 1:24 Eric A Longenhagen: I think what we’re learning about batted ball data and biomechanics right now will have a significant impact. Exactly how I do not know. My guess is that we’ll be forced to look upon pull-only power hitters more favorably. 1:25 Eric A Longenhagen: Aaand Alex Reyes went #7. I need to regroup (and start the Brewers list) so I’ll see you here next week. Thanks again for coming.