Kiley McDaniel Chat – 1/15/20

12:28

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Hello from ATL! Just wrapped up some calls and I see that we have new font options in the chat software now.

COOL DOPE

12:29

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: We did the Cardinals prospect list today and the Braves should be coming either this week or on Monday. Handy nav bar under prospects at the top of the screen for the other lists we’ve done so far.

12:30

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: THE BOARD is always changing and I’ve been adding draft guys the last few weeks, so there’s dozens of new guys on all the lists if you haven’t checked in for awhile :https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2020-prospect-list/summa…

12:30

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I wrote this week about the Rays roster churn and unique posture: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/instagraphs/rays-continue-their-roster-chu…

12:31

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Jay wrote about the Houston sign stealing stuff: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/rob-manfred-hammers-the-astros/

12:31

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: and I’ve got something in for editing now about how the Astros will proceed from a baseball ops perspective

12:31

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Eric and I are also planning Prospects Week 2020 content, so let us know if there’s past feature or new suggestions you’re really into

12:32

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: and lastly, Eric and I wrote a book and you can preorder it for 20% off right now!

 

Kiley McDaniel
@kileymcd

 

Proud to announce that @longenhagen and I wrote a book: FUTURE VALUE, coming in April 2020.

We explore the tension between analytics and scouting along w/the state of the art & old school ways teams find superstars.

Preorder now triumphbooks.com/FutureValue for 20% off w/code FV20

22 Nov 2019
12:32

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: To you questions:

12:33

Jack: What did you guys see out of Travis Swaggerty last year that gave you guys enough reason to maintain his ranking on THE BOARD at midseason?  I’m a big fan of the player and the person, but felt like he really didn’t show much at all in Bradenton last year

12:33

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: 120 wRC+ in High-A as a 21 year old from a small college, who is a plus runner/thrower/defender with plus raw power…uhhh what else were you hoping for?

12:34

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: the best publicly-available defensive ratings had him at +13 runs in CF last year and teams tell us that’s about what they have: http://claydavenport.com/stats/webpages/2019/2019pagePITrealALL.shtml

12:34

Jake: If you were AA, where would you pivot from Donaldson

12:37

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: They have a unique situation with Riley/Camargo representing a decent tag-team (if not a true platoon) at 3B, but they both could fit in a corner OF/utility role as well, so the replacement can be a corner OF or 3B. You could argue that moving Markakis/Duvall to the bench is more important than putting Riley there, depending on how his contact ability progresses. With Waters/Pache both coming at some point in 2020 and some money left in the payroll, none of these are giant long-term concerns.

12:38

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: But I’d probably look at Ozuna first as the bopper solution. If that gets out of my price range, then Castellanos or Bryant could make sense. Arenado doesn’t seem likely at all.

12:40

Joe: Did the Braves have any sleeper Prospects that you were suprised to learn about when you did their list?

12:40

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Yep! You can wait for the list, but the 2019 draft crop is looking better so far than many expected.

12:40

Mike: Can you help me understand why Martin and Torkelson have the same grade coming into the season? Martin’s numbers last year weren’t much below Torkelson (100 points less SLG, but 40 points more OBP) despite facing tougher comp. Even if he can’t play SS, he likely can play 3B or 2B compared to Torkelson at 1B only. What am I missing that makes it close?

12:41

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Well 50 FV covers prospects ranked roughly 45th to 130th overall, so that’s a pretty big range when most people only care about the top 100ish prospects

12:41

Big Fan: So Donaldson to the Twins…Remind us when Pache and Waters might be ready?

12:42

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I think they’ll come when they’re ready. With some combination of Riley, Markakis, Inciarte and Duvall standing in their way, the upside of a ready-for-big-league-time Waters or Pache is a pretty easy decision

12:42

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I would guess around mid-season?

12:43

Kyle: The BOARD has three 2020 prospects MLB draft prospects with 50 FVs, followed by seven with 45+ FVs. Do any of those seven seemed poised to move up or is it all team preference within that block. To that point, it’s extremely early, but do you see any fits (rumored to be scouting, or stylistically) for the Jays at #5?

12:45

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I’d say Zac Veen and Nick Gonzales probably have the best change to be a 50 FV by March/April. Veen has some Yelich starter kit qualities and will face good competition early and often in the Orlando area (he got on the radar when he took Matt Allan deep last year) and Gonzales isn’t amazingly behind Torkelson/Martin as college bats, which is the main demographic that gets pushed up.

12:45

Mike: Do you think the service time issue is addressed in the next CBA? If yes, what do you think the likely compromise is?

12:46

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I’m sure it will get tweaked but there isn’t an easy answer. There’s always going to be a cutoff and teams will always wait to call someone up when it’s close.

12:46

Nate: So any predictions on who the next manager and GM in Houston will be? Any realistic candidates for each besides Espada and Putila? And if it’s Putila as the GM…feel like he’s ready for it?

12:46

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I cover the GM situation in some detail in the article that should come later today or tomorrow

12:46

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: for manager I would expect Espada

12:47

Slothrop: Do you agree that Patrick Mahome’s baseball experience enables him to make passes that other QBs cant make or do you think he’s just uniquely talented

12:48

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Mostly b, but some a is likely a factor. Mahomes and Kapernick played at the Area Codes showcase in high school, btw. Justin Fields went to PG National, Jake Fromm is also listed on our draft board, the Red Sox have baseball rights to Jeff Driskel and Feleipe Franks…there’s lots of QB/baseball overlap.

12:49

Matt D: Hi Kiley, can’t say enough how I appreciate the prospect coverage, especially the Red Sox list you published a while back. Do you see any differences in the way the Sox development program will operate under Bloom? They seem to have a strong INTL program, even if their draft history has been spotty, but will we see more changes to either?

12:49

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Don’t think there will be any significant changes in the short-term

12:50

Bob wehada baby itsaboy: I asked Eric last week what the oldest age he ever saw a body transform he named Brandon Lewis you got anybody?

12:50

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Kumail Nanjiani

12:50

Purple Mays Haze: Do teams ‘generally’ view $1M on the International market as essentially equivalent to $1M in MLB draft bonuses? Or are they widely disparate…? This feels like a dumb question with an obvious answer…

12:51

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I think teams generally prefer the draft since the investment is almost always closer to the big leagues and there’s more uniformity across the league. I bet some teams would prefer J2 money or it would depend on the situation, but that’s definitely a minority.

12:52

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: They’re generally pretty similar since they’re both capped and there’s more money in the draft overall, so that compensates for proximity. In situations like Ohtani is about to sign, every team with any shot would prefer J2 money obviously.

12:52

Trumbo No. 5: BA just put a 70 grade on Julio Rodriguez in their Mariners Top-10 list. Obviously FV/OFP/other prospect scales have varying criteria, but do y’all ever see a player graded one way at a publication and reconsider your own perspective on them?

12:53

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Nope. We’re generally aware of the prospects that other publications are outliers on, since one of us is probably missing something, but a specific opinion on a consensus top 100 guy isn’t really novel to us.

12:54

gcarter: Did you ever or do you currently collect any baseball cards?  Do you have a favorite card or player you collected?

12:55

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Yeah used to do it a lot then just kinda stopped and gave them away, same with video games. Held onto the handful of cards that have some value and actually found them recently. It was kinda funny because some of them were like $15-20 cards that were Bowman rookies of top prospects when I valued them/put them in protectors, but I don’t remember when that was. Don’t think that Jason Stokes Bowman Chrome is still worth that much, but the Greinke one is probably doing okay. Have Griffey and Peyton Manning rookies that are probably my favs?

12:56

Cito’s Mustache: What do you predict Manfred’s punishment will be for Cora? It has to be more than what Hinch got, right?

12:56

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Yeah, I’d guess it’s probably 2 or 3 years with a nonzero, but very unlikely shot at a lifetime ban

12:57

Fangraphs Reader: Do you think MLB will/should investigate sign stealing for organizations beyond Boston, or does this end with them?

12:57

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I don’t think they want to announce investigations to other teams and continue the bad PR, hoping everyone is scared and stops now, so I think the media may drive that happening. I’m certain it wasn’t just two teams doing this.

1:02

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: If we use the Red Sox version of this, that is something that I’d bet the majority of teams have done at least once.

You’ve got a guy or two in the replay room with not a whole lot to do most of the game other than to pay attention. Decoding signs is a pretty logical time-passing thing to do, even just using the normal TV feed or whatever and doing it as a game to keep you engaged, tying to guess the pitch.

That’s not illegal to do until they pass it along to the dugout. Even if you know and follow the rules but make one stray comment about how you knew what was coming two games ago and someone is gonna ask for advance word and you do it once and now you’re crossed the line. You’re telling me no other teams did that (a casual version of what BOS did) over the last five years? I’d bet at least 20 have done that at least once, even just one video guy telling one hitter one time during one game to see if it worked.

1:03

DC: Surprised the Astros penalties didn’t include int’l bonus pool money?

1:04

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Yeah it seems really weird to take draft picks for a scandal that had nothing to do with that department, and not touch the J2 money. It sorta indirectly implies that MLB thinks the draft is more important than the J2 period. That’s especially weird since both are tied to FA compensation now, so there’s no logical way to land on not including pool money in the punishment. Pretty small issue, but weird nonetheless.

1:05

Parts and Gleyber: Welp…the Mets unsurprisingly find themselve in another quagmire.  They have to fire Beltran, right?

1:05

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I don’t think they have to, but you certainly have to consider it. And they have some messaging around why they chose to keep him, if they do.

1:06

Desperate Times: Saw the Cards list.  Fantastic work.  What are your reservations on Dylan Carlson?  Is he more like Stephen Piscotty than superstar?

1:06

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Lack of big raw power/exit velos for a corner guy. That’s really it. He’s still young and has some projection, but the data matches the eyes thus far.

1:07

Billy Beane: Hey Kiley, we can do font stuff now. I think you’re going to get harassed by idiots really like it.

1:07

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I only consent to font stuff with a significant list of preconditions

1:07

Henry: Still thinking Bryant over Arenado for Atlanta?

1:08

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Just fits what they’re doing so much better in terms of term/cash/certainty/flexibility

1:09

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: If the Arenado price is low in trade and the contract is paid down a good bit and the Bryant price is comparatively sky high, I can see why they’d pick Arenado, but I don’t think any of that is true

1:09

Ralphie: The astros are not prohibited from the international market . Whats to stop them from going huge there as a way to mitigate the loss of picks

1:09

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: It’s hard-capped so going huge would be their pool plus however much of 50% over that they can trade for

1:10

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: and HOU doesn’t spend at the top of the market, so they’d run into roster spot issues at some point

1:10

Afternoon Delight: I can’t believe I’m sticking up for the Dodgers, but I’d be pissed about Manfred’s gag order.  “Yeah, you got beat in the WS in consecutive years by a bunch of dirty rotten cheaters, but if you could go ahead and not comment on it, that would be great”  (In Lumberg voice)

1:10

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Yeah it sucks for the Dodgers and it broadly sucks for baseball but also if you’re the commish, what would you do?

1:11

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Finally the national media talks about baseball regularly during the offseason and it’s only about the biggest scandal in some time

1:12

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: It’s easy to bag on the commish and I did that yesterday and he earned it, but he had an impossible task with this since continuing to be employed for 8 figures a year by the 30 owners is pretty high on his list of things to accomplish

1:13

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: That’s what you get with $11M/year. Goodell seems to think it’s still worth it. After the China thing, Adam Silver seems to think it’s still worth it.

1:13

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: to quote Don Draper: “That’s what the money is for.”

1:13

Ball Five: Anything less than stripping Houston of its title is insignificant. Cheaters still win. Why won’t MLB go there?

1:15

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I mean who cares if someone vacates titles or wins? It’s such a waste of time and it’s a nothing punishment. You have an asterisk now and aren’t part of that trivia question anymore and take down that banner but also keep the tens of millions of dollars and other ill-gotten gains. Now you’ve learned something!

1:16

ResumeMan: Sheehan raised the question today as to whether Hinch, Lunhow and eventually Cora will be considered as serving their suspensions after they’re fired. That is, will they need to serve the period of their suspension *after* they’ve been re-hired, as players do?

1:16

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I understand it as “can’t work for a team for x amount of time, then you’re free and clear”

1:16

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: it wasn’t a games suspension, it was a period of time

1:16

SpicyBoy: I have a question about the prospect EV data. Most of the data so far has everyone below a 92 avg EV and a 110 max EV, which is approximately average for major leaguers. Would you think this is because of difference in machinery, smaller sample sizes, minor leaguers not being at max physicality yet, or something else? My assumption is that looking at a prospects EV data in relation to their age and level is probably the best way to interpret it

1:17

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Yeah teams will casually quote stuff like “the best average EV in this league/level/age group” because the physicality is the issue

1:18

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: That’s why when I saw 18 year old Acuna hitting it over 110 mph while playing CF it was like WTF

1:18

Jimmy from Vallejo: Hey, I was curious, about what it was like to work in baseball. I listened to podcast that involved a few people that worked in basketball and now do media, and they mentioned that working in basketball front office is miserable a great deal of the time, and most prefer their time in media. Do you think there is a similar dynamic in baseball?

1:18

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Have talked to multiple people about that this week alone

1:19

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: My quip about it is that I wasn’t paid enough or had enough power to justify having no social life.

1:19

Mitch Haniger: Here’s your update.  I’m still nut quite 100%

1:19

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: oh godammit mitch

1:19

Ricky Gervais: Kiley, nobody gives a sh*t about your opinion.

1:21

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Listen to the latest EW pod when Meg correctly explains that many men mistake being a dickhead (forgot which word she used) with having a personality. This is especially apparent on the internet.

1:21

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: also BANGING SCHEME

1:23

Larry: How do you evaluate a prospect like Drew Waters? He’s flown through the system at a young age with success everywhere. But the K/BB numbers are brutal. Are you able to scout things that make you believe someone can improve those numbers, and have you seen those in him?

1:23

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Yes. How his at bats go, how the swing looks, what the raw tools are, etc. all tell you more than the raw statline about how that may go

1:23

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Starling Marte had the exact same concerns at this stage and he made it work. Lots of other guys have not been able to do it.

1:24

Ernie: What is the status of the international draft?  It seemed like some media outlets jumped on the possibility of a 2020 draft back in July, but then have gone completely silent on the matter.  Safe to assume no progress has been made, at all?

1:24

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: MLB wants it ASAP but they have to get agreements with all the different countries and that will take awhile. They also need the MLBPA to sign off, so it’s likely for 2022 with the new CBA when all of this can be done

1:24

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: some nonzero chance they can pull it off before that

1:25

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: MLB also wants there to be a lot of rounds and a low bonus (like $10K max) for undrafted players, so having like 3 countries that aren’t subject to the draft, then a Moncada type talent pops up…that’s a problem. They need everyone subject to the draft for this cost-reducing scheme to work

1:26

Logan: Is the Liberatore move an indication that the market doesn’t really pay 50 FV prices for arms below AA, or is it more a case of the public undervaluing Arozarena?

1:26

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: maybe both?

1:26

Liam : The detail and imagery in the Marco Luciano write up was some of the best I have ever read

1:26

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: that’s the benefit of seeing the player vs. reading his stats/TM data and asking people

1:27

Ben: I’m incredibly impressed at how much writing you and Eric publish while also going to game, speaking with scouts and coordinating with each other. How do you do it?

1:27

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: (leans in to whisper) drugs

1:28

Big Joe Mufferaw: Do you think we will keep seeing an uptick in velocity? Or is 100-103 mph pretty much the limit of the human body?

1:28

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Lots of the guys that throw that hard blow out and we know that velo/stress on the arm is a big variable, maybe the biggest, in arm injuries. I don’t know what the max is, but seems like we’re near it.

1:29

Louis: Is the industry down on Kyle Wright? Does this guy still have legit #2 potential?

1:29

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Potential? Yes. 50% outcome is probably 4th starter

1:29

Asa Lacy: This site appears to be the most bearish on me. That due to reliever risk?

1:30

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I mean mid-first round isn’t that bad. Yeah there’s some stiffness but the plus stuff from the left side is undeniable. Some guys can make unconventional work in a starting role, so there’s a chance we’re too low. I’ll be able to see him plenty this spring.

1:31

john: What is Carter Kieboom’s ceiling?

1:31

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: realistically, annually like 2.5 to 3.5 WAR. I could see a peak season between 4 and 5.

1:32

GSon: Tell me two things… Blaze Jordan will be there when the Cleveland Indians make the 23rd selection in the 2020 June First Entry Draft and why it’s a great pick !  Thanks in advance..

1:32

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Good shot to be there and good shot they take him if he’s there

1:32

Jesse: Any plans for a book tour?

1:33

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Not a ton of concrete plans since they’ll likely follow some of the spring travel for games, which is often like a week in advance, depending on weather/injuries but yes we’ll be around

1:33

Brad: Nick Solak had a strong MLB debut with the bat. Fielding seems more of an issue. Is he going to have to move to the OF or do you think he could settle in at 2B/3B still?

1:34

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: He’s passable at 2B and fits better in the OF, but teams have ways to hide guys at 2B if the stick makes it worth it

1:35

Cito’s Mustache: That Clay Davenport link you shared shows Oneil Cruz +6 at Bradenton and +4 at Altoona defensively. Does that line up with other sources for his work at SS?

1:36

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Maybe not +10, but it’s surprisingly good for being 6’8. Once source compared him to an octopus.

1:36

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Also the Davenport data was really down on Pache compared to past years, which appears to not match the club-side defensive metrics on him, so these aren’t perfect but usually point in the right direction.

1:37

Jack Donahue: What does Jared Kelly do better than Mick Abel?

1:37

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Velo and changeup

1:37

Big Joe Mufferaw: Is Pache a Keirmaier level defender in CF?

1:38

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Lots of 70 or 80 grades on him still. I’d expect at least a 60, which is like +5 to +7 over a full season I think?

1:38

Peter: About Ivan Herrera’s 109+ max ev: do you view that more as interesting anecdotal context, or a real reason to be excited about his ability to barrel a ball? I guess broader question is, is there a right way to interpret minor league ev data or is it all individual dependent? Thanks KM.

1:38

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Max EV maps best to present raw power

1:38

Arkon: Hey Kiley. Really stoked for Future Value. I am trying to preorder and it doesn’t seem like the FV20 promo code is working. Thank you for your hard work!

1:38

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Oh, maybe that was just through Jan 1?

1:39

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I’ll check on that

1:39

ETA: Kumail Nanjiani – at what age?

1:39

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: last month ago?

1:40

Dan: Poor Kevin Goldstein, seemed to have got thrown under the bus with that ESPN report, and it seems like his email had nothing to do with the scandal at all

1:41

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: That does seem unfortunate in retrospect and we had heard there was nothing there, but also doesn’t everyone now know that he wasn’t involved? Unfortunate but also not impactful long-term? I also worked for a team that broke the rules separate from me and people don’t really bring that up anymore, so I’m optimistic people/the industry will handle this appropriately.

1:41

Howard: Is there concern that the Astros bad front office culture spread to orgs like the Orioles with ex-Houston leadership?

1:41

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Not really any buzz to back that up, but reasonable to wonder as a fan

1:42

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: If anything, I think post-HOU people are more focused on culture now since they saw the limitations of where they came from

1:42

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: and I have heard specifically about that being the case in some situations

1:42

ETA: How is Liberatore’s curve so great with a low spin fastball?

1:43

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: spinning a fastball and a breaking ball are different skills. often go together, but one doesn’t affect the other that much

1:43

Fangraphs reader: As far as sign stealing goes, is it legal to watch tape from previous games of a team to figure out what signs they use, or is non-live video considered using technology?

1:43

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I think that’s considered totally kosher

1:44

Spicyboy: I’ve heard multiple people say this year’s draft class is one of the deepest in years, but looking at the board there are less >45fv and >40+fv guys than last year, which seemed like a leaner draft class. Is that just something that increases as we get closer to June?

1:44

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: there will be more as the draft gets closer

1:44

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: more 50’s as well

1:44

Some Insider: Do you ever get used to seeing players not in uniform? Every time I see one, they look sooooo much thicker!

1:44

Pickle Rick: Do you remember when Michael Barrett got spiked in the nuts at home plate, and tore his sack?  Pepperidge Farms remembers.

1:44

Tyrion Lannister would be proud: In my home state of Kansas, a man just asked a judge to allow him a trial by combat in which he could sword fight his ex-wife and her attorney.  Just thought you might find that amusing.

1:44

Wes: Since the Astros stole all the signs, how do people drive around Houston now?

1:44

mike: thank you for the board.

1:44

The Cardigans: Chat me, chat me, say that you’ll chat me

1:44

Tim!: So, Disney got Kumail Nanjiani a trainer and a dietician for a year and now he’s in ridiculous shape to film a tv show. I can’t imagine it cost more than, what, $200,000? The Blue Jays should do this for Alejandro Kirk. It’s a worthy investment. Unless maybe exercising that much will sap him of the time and energy to actually work on playing baseball? Anyway. Curious how any of these guys aren’t in great shape, given the money floating around.

1:45

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: man, lots to think about

1:45

Matt Damon: MATT. DAMON.

1:45

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: see you guys next week

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Kiley McDaniel has worked as an executive and scout, most recently for the Atlanta Braves, also for the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates. He's written for ESPN, Fox Sports and Baseball Prospectus. Follow him on twitter.

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Pre ordered Future Value. Can’t wait until April!