Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat Meets the Wolfman

2:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Good morning from Scottsdale Stadium where I’m getting one last look at the Padres Fall Leaguers before I write them up as part of the SD list.

2:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Giants went live today, that’s here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/prospect-reports-san-francisco-giants/

2:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Please take two questions a piece so the kids who get here late can still have some.

2:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay, let’s begin.

2:05
Zonk: Has Eloy Jimenez’s performance in the AFL changed your opinion of him at all? He’s been OK, but an AFL assignment was aggressive for him given age/experience, is that right?

2:05
Eric A Longenhagen: He looks great, no change of opinion. Monster raw power, probably a little tired right now.

2:05
Minty: How much will the recurring bumps and bruises slow down Moncada’s raw development?

2:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe a little bit. Most of his injuries have gotten him out of things like the PR Winter League, Fall League, traveling to CA for an All Star Game…I just think the kid wants to be at home, personally.

2:06
Thomas: I know we’ll see specifics when your blue Jays list comes out, but generically – how high are you on Vlad Guerrero Jr?

2:06
Eric A Longenhagen: I like him but am a little apprehensive about the body and effort in the swing.

2:06
Jon: What’s the ceiling for a guy like Brandon Woodruff?

2:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably a #3

2:07
Nientsniew: How do you feel about driveline and their way of developing pitchers?

2:07
Eric A Longenhagen: I think it’s interesting and worth monitoring and learning more about, as do several big league teams.

2:07
Zonk: Ian Happ is struggling in the AFL, after a so-so end to his AA season. Do we read anything into that?

2:07
Eric A Longenhagen: I wouldn’t. I think he’s going to be quite good.

2:07
Ryan C: Has the fork thoroughly been stuck in the idea of Jake Nottingham being the starting catcher for Milwaukee in the future?

2:07
Eric A Longenhagen: In my opinion, yes.

2:07
Woah Dave: Dodgers’ Alvarez and Buehler in your top 100?

2:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Yup.

2:07
Q-Ball: In what order are you going to roll out your prospect reports? The first two were awesome, can’t wait for my team!

2:08
Eric A Longenhagen: By division, NL West then AL Central. Doesn’t make sense to tie my hands beyond that and tell you that, say, the Yankees list will be done on January 18th or anything, too many variables in play.

2:09
Jon: Can you explain the struggles that Brett Phillips has had at the plate this year, and has this tarnished his prospect status?

2:09
Eric A Longenhagen: Excessively deep load, noisy feet that leave no margin for error, timing-wise. Still has power , can still run, I just don’t think he’ll hit.

2:09
Rodgas: Very interested to hear your take on Robert Gsellman. This guys ALREADY looks like a #3-4 at the very least. What kind of pitcher do you see him settling into and do you think he fits in the 50-75 range of top prospects?

2:10
Eric A Longenhagen: I think you’ve identified the likely outcomes and offseason list placement.

2:10
Jon: Kodi Medeiros, Montee Harrison or Jake Gatewood…which of these three Brewer draft picks from a couple of years ago has the best chance to still live up to their high ceiling?

2:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Harrison, his tools are by far the most insane of that grouping.

2:10
Q-Ball: How much better is the package the Yankees got for Miller (Frazier/Sheffield), vs. the one they received for Chapman? (Torres, McKinney). Did the Cubs overpay?

2:11
Eric A Longenhagen: Torres has star power but the CLE package provided more viable contributors. I put a 4 on McKinney at the time of the trade.

2:11
Wolfman: Hey Eric it’s a real pleasure. thanks for getting together today I’m a big fan

2:12
Eric A Longenhagen: I had fun, too. Thanks for breakfast and for not disemboweling me.

2:12
Q-Ball: What is your take on some former top picks in danger of busting? Thinking of Appel, Kolek, Alex Jackson. Can any of these guys turn it around?

2:13
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve never really been on Kolek to start with, Appel I liked in college but not as a 1-1 guy and I’m pretty much off it at this point. Jackson I loved as an amateur but haven’t seen improvement there and am closer to closing the door than I am to re=opening it.

2:14
Sonny: How much sway can an AZL have over promotions? Does Torres’ performance push his timeline to NY forward?

2:15
Eric A Longenhagen: It might make them comfortable with pushing him to Double-A earlier if he comes out on fire next year, yes. But while he’s hit quite well here his defense has been bad.

2:15
Mike: Has Kaprielian continued showing the improved stuff you saw in his first Arizona start?

2:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Was mostly 92-93 second start after sitting 94+ the first but otherwise okay.

2:16
Mike: Domingo Acevedo, Starter or Reliever?

2:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Reliever for me

2:16
Q-Ball: How hard is it to find IFA talent when restricted to the $300K bonus? Can you still build very nice depth, while only losing out on the absolute top guys?

2:17
Eric A Longenhagen: Some teams avoid bug money guys and spread multiple smaller bonuses out across lots of players. Philly and Pittsburgh have done this with great success, so yeah I think it’s possible.

2:17
Kyle: Do you see Tyler O’Neill as a contributor for Seattle in 2017? Will he overcome his strikeout problem?

2:18
Eric A Longenhagen: Not sure yet. Looked good the first week of AFL but I’ve seen stuff since then that I question. quality of contact has not been good and I wonder if he has good hand-eye? Still evaluating.

2:18
Patrick: If his control doesn’t come around, do you see AJ Puk moving to the pen in hopes of becoming the next Andrew Miller?

2:19
Eric A Longenhagen: Well yeah, in general failed starters move to the bullpen. But I expect Oakland to give him every opp to start and probably do so past the point where others would pull the plug because extracting 200+ innings of value from draft picks is more important to an org like Oakland than it is a team that can buy starting pitching.

2:20
jim: has the fall league always been a time for certain players to experiment with positional versatility or are we seeing more of it in recent years with teams looking to get their impact rookies into the lineup even at unconventional positions?

2:20
Eric A Longenhagen: Because there are so many players with overlapping positions, yes, it’s a regular thing here.

2:20
Mike M: When will we see Eloy Jiminez?

2:20
Eric A Longenhagen: Saturday if you watch the Fall Stars Game.

2:20
Benny: What do you think about Gavin Cecchini? Seems like a guy who could be currently wildly undervalued

2:21
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m not on him. Can’t play SS, not enough power for anywhere else.

2:21
Matt: Have you seen Riley Pint at all? Have any thoughts on his potential success in Coors?

2:21
Eric A Longenhagen: I have, was up to 101 on the team gun during instructs. Report here:

2:22
Eric A Longenhagen: rather, video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHwmwNMieek

2:23
Stan Kasten: Which Dodgers prospects (if any) do you see making a contribution to the 2017 big league club? Or is the next wave of players more likely to come in 2018.

2:23
Eric A Longenhagen: De Leon, maybe Verdugo and Walker Buehler as a darkhorse candidate.

2:23
Robin: How much of player development is mental and how much is physical? Does it help to explain why the Giants and Cards are able to continually develop kids? Some reason I feel better about the Mariners system after this first year or a heavy mental side of thing player development director

2:23
Eric A Longenhagen: Depends on the player. Some clubs do have better infrastructure for nurturing talent than others.

2:24
Matt: Has Tyler Wade looked like his possible transition to the OF might work out well?

2:24
Eric A Longenhagen: Positional versatility is always good, especially when your bat really only allows for a UTIL profile.

2:24
forever it: What/when is the next list coming out?

2:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Padres, planning for late this week.

2:25
Andrew: What do you think about Corey Taylor in the Mets’ system? Great stats, but 23-year-old relief pitcher in high-A isn’t terribly inspiring.

2:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Upper 80s with abv avg slider, no phys projection. Middle relief for me.

2:26
John: What’s been your impression of Isan Diaz thus far in the AFL? I know he’s one of the younger guys there, but has he held his own?

2:26
Eric A Longenhagen: Big bat speed and power, can run, will strike out. Top 100 guy for me.

2:26
forever it: Where would Lucius Fox have slotted if he was still a Giant?

2:26
Eric A Longenhagen: Top 5 for sure, probably 4 after Reynolds.

2:28
Ignatius: What is your impression of Adrian Morejon? Where would he slot with the 1st round arms of the ’16 draft?

2:28
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m a huge fan. Was 93-96 during instructs, feel for slider and change, easy delivery, short but not small. He’d be a top 15 pick.

2:28
David: Any Tigers prospects have a chance of making it into your top 100 list when it comes out? Do you have concerns about Burrows low strikeout rate this year?

2:29
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably Manning, maybe Stewart.

2:30
Greg Bird: How does an international draft impact future prospects and teens in the Dominican and Latin America in your opinion? How does it impact draft-eligible prospects in the US?

2:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Not enough time to discuss all of this in the chat. I think it’s going to be horrendous for baseball in those countries and think capping the bonuses the kids receive even further is vile.

2:31
Eric: What kind of ceilings/player comps do you put on either AJ Puk or Tyler Jay?

2:31
Eric A Longenhagen: I try to avoid comps unless I really like one, both are potential #2/3s for me as a ceiling.

2:32
nb: Hey Eric – Met you last year at FPAZ at session you were part of at Salt River. In your SF column today, you mentioned one of my favorite pitchers from last year, Ray Black who throws smoke but is often injured. Wondering about your thoughts on another pitcher I liked last year – Josh Hader. I know that some see him remaining a starter, others see a move to the pen. What do you think?

2:32
Eric A Longenhagen: Starter for me, think the fastball and slider command will be enough to play as a starter.

2:32
Steve: Were you able to see Lucas Erceg this fall in instructs? If so, what’s his ceiling?

2:33
Eric A Longenhagen: I was. He could be an above average regular. Great defense, 7 arm, plus power potential. He’s good.

2:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Was actually playing some SS too but I don’t think that will hold.

2:34
Robin: In your short time at FG, what’s been the biggest difference you’ve noticed?

2:34
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t go to my old insurance gig anymore?

2:34
Cliff: Do we see Barreto in Oakland next year? If so, when and at what position?

2:34
Eric A Longenhagen: No.

2:34
JH: Jorge Ona’s bonus was way lower than I expected given publicly-available scouting reports. Is he really that much less of a prospect than guys like Y. Thomas, or is his bonus evidence that the bubble has burst on free agents from Cuba?

2:34
Eric A Longenhagen: He was subject to bonus pool limitations unlike Tomas.

2:35
Liam: Chances that the hawk will ever die?

2:36
Eric A Longenhagen: Dr. Jack has been dead for a few years.

2:36
Eric: Has your opinion on Morejon changed? I remember you Tweeting doubt that he has ace-type upside, but isn’t that where a top-15 pick would land?

2:37
Eric A Longenhagen: No. “Ace” is thrown around too frequently. Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole are potential aces as amateurs. They go 1-1.

2:37
Andy: I remember you saying Lou Lechich has been intriguing in AFL so far. How so?

2:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Conversion guy. Was an outfielder a few months ago and is already 90-92 with an above average change.

2:38
Ronk: What’s your opinion on the accuracy of the Eric hosmer and Dom smith comps

2:38
Eric A Longenhagen: Like most comps, no es bueno.

2:38
Donny Baseball: What’s the ceiling on Bryan Reynolds?

2:39
Eric A Longenhagen: I just wrote about this, dude.

2:39
SMOD ’16: How much does fan base size translate into traffic for your prospect lists? I tend to skim lists that arent for my team but deep dive into my team.

2:40
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t look at pageviews but based on interaction on Twitter it’s a huge deal. I never had a Marlins prospect question until last chat.

2:40
Ron Swanson: What’s your take on the Angels’ Michael Hermosillo?

2:40
Eric A Longenhagen: Interesting two-sport AND cold weather background. If guys are going to bloom late it’s guys like this. He looked good in CF before being shut down with an injury but the bat is raw.

2:41
Eric: Obviously not a prospect any more, but is Buxton’s ceiling still crazy high, like a role 70 player, if things come together?

2:41
Eric A Longenhagen: Oh yes.

2:41
forever it: Similar question to Morejon, where would you have taken Ona in this ’16 draft

2:41
Eric A Longenhagen: Sandwich/2

2:42
Eric A Longenhagen: He didn’t look quite as good during instructs as reports indicated before he left the island. Still good, though.

2:42
Donny Baseball: Can Nick Solak be an everyday player?

2:42
Eric A Longenhagen: More of a UTIL for me.

2:43
Carlos: Gary Sanchez used the AFL as a jumping board. I know most guys are at a different stage of development, who is that guy this year?

2:44
Eric A Longenhagen: Good question.

2:44
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ll say Ryan O’Hearn. He’s been pretty good out here.

2:44
Nientsniew: Is late movement a real thing? Can a ball move later scientifically?

2:46
Eric A Longenhagen: You’d have to ask Dr. Nathan or consult his research. But if a pitch is perceived to be moving late or if the path the hitter thinks its taking changes late, then practically it’s moving late and I’m going to write it.

2:46
Biscuit: When you use the term “average bat speed”, how much faster is that than what the average 25 year old, non-prospect can swing?

2:47
Eric A Longenhagen: I saw random ASU kids swinging on campus Saturday night and it was hilarious. I can’t quantify it for you but the difference is very noticeable.

2:47
Baloo: How do you like JaCoby Jones? His solid AFL performance so far improving his stock at all?

2:48
Eric A Longenhagen: Tools are definitely better now than they were last Fall before his suspension.

2:48
Eric: Have you gotten to see much of Armenteros? Where do you rank him in upside/ETA/top 100?

2:50
Eric A Longenhagen: I saw a lot of him and if there are no videos of him on the FG YouTube page right now I’ll upload them as soon as we’re done here so you can see it. He’s a physical specimen and takes good at-bats but drifts very heavily to his front side and has no shot against breaking stuff right now. He’s not a great athlete, more explosive than athletic. Not a top 100 guy for me right now, needs to get to that power to be one. Maybe if he destroys the AZL next year.

2:50
Eric A Longenhagen: BTW, AZL is Arizona Rookie League. AFL is Arizona Fall League.

2:50
Gleason: Champ Stuart having pretty good season in AFL. Do the Mets have something with this guy?

2:50
Eric A Longenhagen: 8 runner, raw at the plate but has looked better at the AFL has gone along and I kinda think something is there.

2:51
Steve: Where does Anthony Alford fall in your top CF prospects?

2:51
Eric A Longenhagen: Not sure where he lines up compared to all the others right now but I can tell you he’s a 7 runner with 6 raw power and is probably pretty high on the list.

2:51
Eric A Longenhagen: On pure upside, maybe just behind Brinson?

2:52
Steve: Who are a couple of guys that you could see jumping from the bottom top 100 into the top 10 in the not so distant future?

2:52
Eric A Longenhagen: The guys who are down in the 75-100 range because of age/risk/proximity to the Majors like Maitan, Morejon, Moniak, etc.

2:53
Jim: Scouting report on Lewis Brinson? Does he have the tools there to potentially turn into a star player at the MLB level if he lives up to them?

2:53
Eric A Longenhagen: Indeed.

2:53
Infrinjinsin: Is acuna a top 100 guy? maitan?

2:53
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes to both for me.

2:53
Donnie: Are you optimistic about Michael Gettys?

2:54
Eric A Longenhagen: Maybe not optimistic but hopeful. As we were chatting he took BP and has 55 raw right now to go with those wheels and arm.

2:54
forever it: How has Houston’s Martes looked in AFL? Do you think it’s likely he makes it to the Astros next year?

2:54
Eric A Longenhagen: Was not good for me in the start I saw but has been Jekyl/Hyde throughout his whole career so not drawing conclusions from that.

2:54
TGT: Bucs deal Cutch to make room for Meadows?

2:55
Eric A Longenhagen: No idea but I’d be trying to buy low on Cutch if I were an org looking for an outfielder.

2:55
Eric A Longenhagen: I think he has a few good years left in him.

2:55
Cinny: Is the Mets farm system as underrated as I feel like it is? Seems like most people think it’s in the 15-20 range while I feel like it’s more 11-13

2:55
Eric A Longenhagen: Are you a Mets fan?

2:56
mikeael: Who do you believe in the brewers farm system is the most underrated? overrated? thanks

2:56
Eric A Longenhagen: I think it’s good, no superlatives required.

2:57
Eric A Longenhagen: Gonna wrap things up in a few minutes so I can grab a seat.

2:57
Nick: is there anyone in the Orioles system beside Cisco with a legit chance to be an MLB starter

2:58
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, Mountcastle maybe. Reyes. Just not as likely. It isn’t a very good system.

2:58
Lex: Number one prospect you’d start an organization?

2:59
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably Moncada. Talent level is just so high.

2:59
v2micca: Mallex Smith was just cut from a Mexican League team. As a Braves fan, how concerned should I be about this?

2:59
Eric A Longenhagen: I wouldn’t sweat it. This stuff happens in winter leagues sometimes where development is not the priority.

3:00
Eric A Longenhagen: Okay everyone, thanks for stopping by today. If you’re looking for something spooky to watch tonight I suggest Eraserhead. See you next week.

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Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at ESPN.com. Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.

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