Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat, Where is Tebow?

12:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Good morning everyone, we’ll keep things tight to an hour today as I wrap up the Washington prospect list and move on to New York (AL).

12:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Here’s the Mets list: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/top-20-prospects-new-york-mets/

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: let’s begin

12:03
Slamboni: What are your thoughts on Anderson Tejada? Still young and has room to grow, but his numbers intrigue me

12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: I like him. Good bat speed, you’re right that the body has more to give and there’s already some power in there, not sure he’s a shortstop but the bat projects fine at second base and if he does stay at short he could be a star. Was raw vs any offspeed stuff in AZL but showed some ability to adjust.

12:04
Fred: Do you prefer Allard or Braxton Garrett?

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: A great question. Allard’s proximity to the bigs is enticing and I’ve seen a good changeup there while Garrett’s is still mostly projection, but Garrett has never had a back issue like Allard’s….It’s close but give me Allard.

12:05
Roadhog: Your thoughts on AJ Puk?

12:06
Eric A Longenhagen: I like him. Was up to 96 with a true plus slider during fall instructional league. Will go see him as I work on the A’s list to see how the body (which concerns me, he’s had back issues) looks and how he’s using this new curveball he’s working on.

12:06
Sandy Ravage: Why does Matt Chapman not get any love? I’ve read lots saying he plays great defense and his game power is legit?

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: I agree Chapman is good, but am confused how you can see he doesn’t get any love and then turn around in the next sentence and say you’ve read a lot about him

12:07
Jonesy: Hi Eric – Your Fangraphs colleagues are pretty high on Jharel Cotton – what do you expect from him this year and beyond?

12:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Been pounding the table for Cotton since the ’15 Fall League.

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: I thought he should have been getting all those Dodgers starts Mike Bolsinger was getting.

12:08
Yuk Yuk Puk: Jacob Nottingham seems to have fallen off the radar for a lot of people. Is he just buried on a now deep farm system or is he not looking as good as he once was? Still only 21?

12:09
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m mostly off of him. Can’t catch for me and too much swing and miss to play at first base. He has huge pure arm strength and raw power so if he can somehow move to right field despite his size, that might be interesting. He had a bad Fall League and that taste hasn’t left the industry’s mouth.

12:09
Golden Streamers: Do you think Willy Adames sticks at shorts or moves to 2B? Or 3B or 1B or OF?

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: I think he’ll be capable of staying there and would only move if Tampa found a superior defensive shortstop, someone plus or better there.

12:11
ryan: what does ‘depth’ mean when describing a breaking ball?

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: I guess it’s like describing amplitude. Deeper breaking balls have more amplitude than shallow ones.

12:12
Kyle: Where do you believe Jeimer Candelario will be playing baseball by the end of the 2017 season?

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t know but he looks fit and made some nice plays at third yesterday

12:12
Campy: Which minor league pitchers own the best curveball ?

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Touki

12:13
Nientsniew: Am I crazy to prefer amed over gleybar?

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: No, I do.

12:13
80 grade question asker: seems like a pretty wide gap for desmond lindsays hit and game power floor/ceiling (30/55 for both). is that due to a lack of professional playing time? or something

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Correct.

12:13
bl27: Bellinger (LAD) showed all his skill this week. Can you give me a comparison ? Votto ?

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s Cody Bellinger

12:14
Lunch angle: Physics tells us that the velocity at which a bat is swung is the largest determinant of the exit velocity of a struck baseball. Given that, why do I often hear it said of young prospects that they have plus bat speed but present below average raw power. Isn’t that a contradiction? If a hitter can swing the bat at an above average speed, does it not follow that they must have above average raw power? Or does “bat speed” mean something other than “bat velocity”?

12:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Would definitely agree bat speed is a huge component of raw power. The incongruity in those reports might be explained in part by your chat name as players with good bat speed but no feel for lifting the baseball in the air might have sub-optimal power output during BP.

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Also, I think the physical differences from player to player are often more distinct and extreme than people realize and other variables that factor into raw power are more influential than we assume.

12:16
Bork’s Unborn Son: Can Judge make enough contact to be a regular?

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: I think so

12:17
Mike in EV: In a hypothetical deadline trade for Dellin Betances given continued health and expected development paths, would Erick Fedde, Juan Soto, Tyler Watson & Pedro Severino be an overpay? My thought was that the NYY could then flip Severino & some other pieces to the CHW for Robertson & some $$$.

12:18
Eric A Longenhagen: I do think that’d be a lot but I thought last year’s deadline deals for relievers were goofy too so what do I know about the trade market?

12:18
Eric A Longenhagen: Also, I think Koda Glover might be the tonic Washington is looking for at the back of the bullpen.

12:19
Ron: Stephen Gonsalves had a great 2016. What do you expect going forward and when do you see him in Minneapolis?

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: I like him despite the mediocre velo, think he’s a solid rotation piece, full report here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/top-24-prospects-minnesota-twins/

12:20
Erik: Could you talk a bit about what made JP Crawford fall behind Amed Rosario? They have very similar grades across the board, but Crawford has slightly lower power. But Rosario hasn’t actually shown much power, with 5 HRs across A+ and AA last year as a 20-year old. Crawford had 6 at the same levels and age the year before. Aren’t they on the same track, with Crawford being a year closer to the majors?

12:21
Eric A Longenhagen: I think Rosario’s power potential is way up above Crawford’s.

12:21
Alex : If you could compare pre-2016 AJ Reed with current Cody Bellinger, who would be the better prospect? Is Bellinger destined for the same struggles Reed had after making his MLB debut?

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s important to note that I’ve never been a huge AJ Reed fan compared to others, though I think he’s a solid prospect. Bellinger is just better. Better defender, more athletic. Yes, he might struggle upon callup because of the aggressiveness in the swing and just because Major League Baseball is very difficult.

12:23
Big Joe Mufferaw: I know it was a SSS, but Judges’ exit velocities have been literally off-the-charts. Given 500+ AB this year, what should we expect, 30HR?

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: I think you’re getting ahead of yourself a little bit, but that’s what I’d project from Judge at peak. Not in his first full year, though. Pitchers in the division are already scheming ways to get him out.

12:25
Drew: What is the success rate on moving catchers to first base? It seems they are all 4 hit 5 power guys. Everyone acknowledges that 1B only prospect are risky so why draft a guy like that?

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: There’s probably an objective answer to this question that I simply don’t have. But I think you’re right to guess that it’s probably low.

12:26
ChiSox2020: Reaction to Giolito’s outing yesterday?

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: He was 90-93, tough to hit when it was down but not otherwise. Curveball low-80s, had good shape but nobody offered at it. It was the Cubs’ starting lineup so that was probably a factor. Change was 80-84, about average, he goofed Miguel Montero with a couple of those. It was okay for a first go.

12:28
Eric A Longenhagen: Body looks great. I’m uploading video from the outing now, so that will probably be done in May #CenturyLink

12:28
Moltar: Am I wrong to think Rosario will be up by september, if not sooner? if he’s mashing in AA and the Mets have an injury in the infield I am certain they’d call him up before spending money on a trade.

12:29
Eric A Longenhagen: I could see that happening, sure. So much of prospect promotion is the result of random injuries, it’s why I’m not a fan of projecting ETAs. We really don’t know and neither do teams.

12:29
Babe Lincoln: Why isn’t PJ Conlon a top-20 prospect for the Mets?

12:30
Eric A Longenhagen: Couldn’t find scouts who bought into the stuff. Results have been great, stuff is fringey. If he pitches well at Double-A, it’s time to consider whether there’s something truly sustainable going on there.

12:30
benjamin : does hunter greene have a very good chance to remain a starter?

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: I think so. Elite level athlete for a pitcher, delivery is gorgeous, prototypical size/strength, there’s nothing not to like.

12:31
Drew: What is the quickest that you can NP a 1st rounder? Do they never totally fall off the radar no matter how poorly they perform?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably by the next year’s Instructional League. I’d have enough respect for the club and its scouts to give 16-18 months for the kid they all believed in to make me believe, enough with guys like Cito Culver or Zach Cone who were clear overdrafts.

12:32
Drew: What does SSS mean? I see you use it in some chats and I must have missed its inception.

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: Small Sample Size. Welcome to the club.

12:33
Big Joe Mufferaw: Saw Gio Gallegos pitch yesterday. He seems to have a sneaky fastball and a pretty nasty breaking ball. Is a David Robertson comp fair?

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: Yup, 90-94 with a 6 curveball and throws strikes. Wouldn’t comp him to Robertson just because I generally avoid comps.

12:34
Nick: I often hear of the limits of a linear swing plane. Which prospects would benefit the most from getting away from a linear swing and how difficult is that transition?

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Prospects with swings like that but need game power to profile at their respective positions would benefit from a change but you’re right to assume it’s a difficult change to make. There’s a litany of hit-before-power second base prospects who’d benefit from a change.

12:36
Jake: when you say that fernando romero’s stuff is “mean”, what does that mean?

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: Just that it’s good. Mid-90s, hard slider.

12:36
Jon: Tigers will likely need to pick one of Dixon Machado or Steven Moya and DFA the other due to roster spots. Who would you keep?

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: Machado

12:36
976: What can you tell me about Jio Orozco? Does he stay a starter, and what’s the ceiling there?

12:38
Eric A Longenhagen: Saw Jio in high school and then 5+ times with Seattle before the trade. 88-93, a little bit of sink, plus changeup, below average curveball. Took well to the changes Seattle’s staff made after they drafted/signed him, he looked a lot different as a pro than he did in high school. He’s a nice little pitching prospect, potential #4/5 starter.

12:39
Ronnie: Any thoughts on Tristan Archer as a sleeper relief prospect? I saw him in a ST game the other day and the movement on both his sinker & slider looked pretty nuts. 9:1 K/BB ratio in AA last year & has done a decent job suppressing HRs throughout his minor league career.

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: Was not on my radar as an elder statesman in Double-A but if I run into him this spring I’ll write him up for you.

12:40
The Tone: Nice work on the Mets list! This is a general question, but I thought of it in reference to Justin Dunn: when a pitching prospect is already sporting a potentially plus breaking ball, is it generally preferable for him to scrap any other breaking ball that is lagging significantly behind? With Dunn I just wonder if he should stick to the slider and focus on perfecting his changeup (which you noted has good potential). I’ll hang up and listen.

12:42
Eric A Longenhagen: There are those in baseball who think mixing two breaking balls, especially ones that are similar in shape and velocity to begin with, is a bad idea. If a pitcher shows no ill-effects from throwing both and indeed uses them both in effective ways (like we’ve seen Maeda and Darvish do when everyone talked about them scrapping their loopy curveballs when they signed) I’m fine with it. As far as Dunn goes, the Mets know more about that situation than I do and they’ve successfully developed pitchers with both a slider and curve before.

12:43
Jack: Jose Albertos vs Sixto Sanchez. Who do you like better?

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: Please don’t make me.

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: We’ve seen Sixto do it for a full pro season of innings so I’ll say him but that’s the only reason I can conjure off the top of my head. They’re both really fun prospect to write about.

12:44
Mike: Any under the radar prospect you see climbing up the Yankees lists a year from now?

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: I like Jeff Hendrix

12:46
Toki: How is Tebow even considered a prospect? He is 29 1/2 and at rookie ball. If he makes it to the show at a normal progression he won’t be to the show until he is 32-33. So he can hit in bp. That’s cute, but it doesn’t mean he can hit at a major league level. Why would any team bring the circus to town like this and have a rookie ball player overshadowing the team? Does this take pressure off the team or is it an unneeded distraction in your opinion?

12:48
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s not considered a prospect. The Mets clearly have some notion that he can help the team in some way whether it’s selling jerseys or teaching young players how to deal with external noise and still go about their business.

12:48
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s a prospect if you’re thirsty for page views.

12:48
Maddux: Which prospect evaluation are you most proud of? Least proud of?

12:51
Eric A Longenhagen: Just individual prospects? I was all over Matt Bowman when he was a two way player at Princeton. Unearthing a guy like that always feels amazing. Least? There was a time I was uncertain about Corey Seager. Back in 2013 he looked overmatched in the Fall League and I cared about it more than I should have.

12:52
El Duderino: With the deep pool of yankee SS prospects, do you think they should move Mateo to CF? He could bring plus-plus defence out there and focus more on his bat.

12:54
Eric A Longenhagen: They might. Of all the SS/CF prospects I can think of off the top of my head (Roman Quinn, Billy Hamilton) they all end up moving. But I like Mateo at SS more than I ever did either Quinn or Hamilton and I think he might be better there than Torres. But I’ve spoken with scouts who argue they prefer Torres there because he has a bigger, thicker, more durable body and that a Mateo move to CF might be to keep him out of harm’s way.

12:54
Outta my way, Gyorkass: Rank the following INF prospects in MIL’s system: Diaz, Dubon, Erceg, Gatewood, Lara

12:55
CamdenWarehouse: o I think it’s easy to say that pitching to a specific spot is a skill. Likewise pitching to a spot and being able to hit within, say, 6 inches of the spot is the same skill to less precise degree. But I really struggle accepting that someone cannot be able to hit his spot, but can ensure that his misses are within the strike zone as the difference between command and control is said to be. Can you help explain this?

1:01
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s often a product of the delivery and how simple/direct it is to the plate. An extreme example would be Ubaldo Jimenez. It’s easy to look at where that front foot lands and see why he’s had career-long strike throwing issues. Jason Hammel’s delivery is straight ahead, direct to home and even when he’s not commanding he lives around the zone.

1:01
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s just one example.

1:02
Sam: So Its not a secret that Dom Smith lost 25 pounds this offseason. Early reviews of him from Spring Training have been praiseworthy, regarding his hitting, fielding and new physique. Have you gotten a chance to look at him or hear something from a scout you trust? Anything to add in general?

1:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Have been told that yes, he looks lighter but that it hasn’t made a difference as far as his tools/mobility go.

1:03
AD: Does Gilberto Celestino and/or Derian Cruz get your juices flowing?

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: They both do.

1:03
Ben: Curious about your thoughts on the Cubs long term pitching options. Do you see one of their younger, more live arms making a significant impact (Cease, for example)? Any chance one from the Kelly, Mills, Butler group becomes a number 3 or better? Or are they destined to continue seeking outside the org help through trades and free agency in the short term?

1:05
Eric A Longenhagen: I view Mills, etc as depth arms brought on as viable big league insurance should things go medically awry with the rotation. Long term contributors are de la Cruz, potentially Cease and Jose Albertos. Trevor Clifton maube a back end guy, too.

1:06
Nick: Did you see that MLB article on Luis Robert? Thoughts on some of the comments by scouts/executives? Is he without a doubt the best international prospect outside of Otani? Also, is it true scouts are worried about the weight he’s put on and if so, how will that affect his speed? I’m just unsure of what type of stat line we could expect if it all works out. Are we talking 20 HR/20 SB type of guy? Thanks Eric. Love the reports here on FG. Keep up the good work!

1:09
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve written/talked about Robert a few times and yes, I think he’s the best non-Otani prospect available internationally. I have not read (what I assume is) Jesse’s piece but I’ve heard all of that from scouts about the weight. Cuban players have had pretty evident fluctuations in weight during defection/hiding and the video I saw from Robert’s workout put to bed any concerns I have about him being too big. He looked ripped. He’s a bit raw but a potential impact bat.

1:09
AD: Who is your favorite player to just sit there and watch play baseball?

1:09
Eric A Longenhagen: Still Utley.

1:10
Tony: Reading about Dom Smith, can you point out some MLB first basemen who are 60 hit/50 power? I can’t think of that profile succeeding very often. Hosmer?

1:12
Eric A Longenhagen: Belt, Matt Adams, yes on Hosmer, Morneau had some years like that…there are some guys but you’re right, it’s unusual.

1:12
Jamie: Better prospect to you, Brandon Woodruff or German Marquez?

1:12
Eric A Longenhagen: Marquez but it’s pretty close. I have a 55 on German and a 50 on Woodruff I believe.

1:13
976: In your opinion, who is the highest prospect you are the high man on versus the consensus? Is it Tebow?

1:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Shed Long.

1:14
Eric A Longenhagen:

1:15
John Choppolella: Max Fried seems to be mentioned a lot lately. Where to you see his ceiling (define that as you will)?

1:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Depends on whether or not you believe he’ll remain the pitcher he was late last year. Full report: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/top-32-prospects-atlanta-braves/

1:17
Eric A Longenhagen: I assume a Braves beat writer saw him throw a bullpen and wrote about how good he looked, is that why all the Fried questions are in the queue? He’s good.

1:17
Michael: What did you think of Nick Sprengel after seeing him against Vandy? He’s had two good games now.

1:18
Eric A Longenhagen: Was 87-93 with varying amounts of movement against Vandy. 50/55 slider, 45/50 change, pitch utility is raw. 2nd round type of arm for me at the moment but pretty good.

1:18
Artie: I imagine that Luis Robert is a great prospect, but seeing the MLB.com piece made me think some of the buzz is a little overheated. Have you had the chance to see him in person yet?

1:20
Fred: You don’t seem to think Lucas Sims will stick as a starter. How do you like his chances to be a good high-leverage reliever?

1:20
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t.

1:20
Yourtitledidthistoyou: What would you actually rate Tebow and his tools on a 20-80 scale?

1:21
Eric A Longenhagen: 60 raw power, 20 hit, 40 run, 30 game power, 40 defense in left field and, I swear to you, a 40 arm.

1:22
sabrtooth: Just picked Gsellman instead of Leody Taveras in a long-term keeper draft. Did I screw up terribly?

1:22
Eric A Longenhagen: Not terribly but I’d rather have Leodys.

1:23
Joe: Who are Astros prospects that are severely underrated that you could see make it the big leagues faster than fans would expect?

1:23
Eric A Longenhagen: Is Laureano still underrated? He would have been my pick 4 months ago but he may be a known commodity among casual prospect readers at this point.

1:24
Yosemite Sam: Today’s KATOH projections has Guerrero as 2nd highest war over next 6 years. Seems like the expectation must be for him to move quickly thru the minors? Seems awfully young

1:25
Eric A Longenhagen: That’s first six years in the bigs for the player not next six calendar years.

1:25
Scott: Are you not a fan of comps in general or just have been asked about two players without good ones in recent weeks (i.e. Albies and Bellinger)?

1:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Both.

1:25
DTH: Your past reports on Candelario indicate that you think he’s ticketed for 1B, but you seemed impressed by him at 3B yesterday. Obviously one look won’t totally change your projection, but it may alter it, so what would you say is the % chance he winds up sticking at 3rd?

1:26
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s okay to take the one look and re-evaluate because such a clear, substantive improvement has been made to Candy’s body, that’s not a SSS thing. Won’t put percentages on it but I’m cautiously optimistic he stays there at this point.

1:27
Guest: Hello. Not strictly a prospect question but given his age it might be appropriate… given the quality of Roberto Osuna’s secondary pitches do you see him getting a shot at starting once Happ etc… moves on

1:29
Eric A Longenhagen: Perhaps. I agree with you he has the stuff to do it, but I’m scared away by the track record of moving guys out of that role and into a rotation. Brief bullpen stints like the one David Price had with Tampa are different than what Boston tried to do with Daniel Bard, Papelbon and what New York did with Joba Chamberlain. If you like Osuna as your closer and aren’t in desperate need of a starter, I’d probably leave well enough alone.

1:30
Eric A Longenhagen: And with that I will depart. It just started pouring here so no idea what today holds as far as spring games in AZ. Nationals list should be out later this week, then moving on to the AL East. Almost there. Be well, everyone. 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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