Kiley McDaniel Chat – 1/29/20

12:08

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Hello from ATL! Scout is perched beside me watching every owner walking their dog outside and somehow choosing to bark at 10% of them

12:10

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: We put up the Tigers list yesterday: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/top-38-prospects-detroit-tigers/

12:11

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: and we’ve got a couple of other list in progress, some prospect week/top 100 as well. amateur draft season is just around the corner, with JC games already starting, so keep an eye on our draft rankings here: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2020-mlb-draft/summary?s…

12:12

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: we have exactly 1,225 players in the 2020, 2021 and 2022 draft rankings so I feel like you can’t want more than that

12:14

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I also added some notes to the scouting reports with notes from scrimmages last week. Emerson Hancock, Cole Wilcox, Tanner Burns and Carmen Mlodzinski are ones I can remember that are potential first rounders with new notes/tools/ranks as a result

12:14

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: to your questions:

12:14

Rox Fan: Odds that Jeff Bridich and Nolan Arenado are both employed by the Rockies come Spring Training?

12:15

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: This whole situation continues to be hard to parse

12:16

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I don’t understand why COL would let it be pretty public that they were entertaining offers for their franchise player right after he signed a huge extension. When there’s so many other things to fix, why try to blow up the thing that’s working? And why not immediately say the reports are premature and/or false when it first leaks and shut it down? Him being pissed off is not worth it.

12:18

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: That said, COL holds on the GMs much longer than most teams in similar situations and I don’t know how COL can get a face-saving return for a retail-priced franchise guy with an opt-out when they also don’t have a ton of leverage. I assume Arenado opts out if he keeps raking and if something goes sideways, he take the money and stays and it turns into a Stanton/Marlins situation

12:19

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: This whole thing was super avoidable and I think I’ve addressed this at least in every other chat since it came up and said that this makes no sense and won’t go well and here we are

12:19

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: So, to answer your question, I’d say 92%

12:19

TDK: Thoughts on the Pirates trade of Marte and how Cherington looks to build a winner?

12:20

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: PIT did well to get Malone/Peguero/J2 money and, while it’s only one deal, it makes sense to target higher variance prospects when you’re rebuilding in a smaller market, since the odds are higher of getting a 3+ WAR guy, as opposed to getting a bunch of 1-2 WAR guys in AAA with a very small chance of breaking out.

12:21

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: In lieu of a bangin’ core or insane system depth, the micro payroll teams have to take some chances with variance to try to get an outsized return, which is the only way to be able to afford a winner

12:22

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: which is why TB having both of those things allows them to be more moderate and take low-cost risks like Avisail Garcia since they’ve got a nice replacement level internally

12:23

LS: Robles had a solid rookie year. Do his exit velos concern you at all since they’re bottom of the barrel? And if so, in what way are you adjusting expectations? Thanks Kiley

12:24

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: They’ve always been low and it’s been a profile that’s mostly speed, defense, position and contact, so there’s a clear road to 2.5-3.5 WAR even with lower exit velos. Limits the upside, but he’s also 22 so he could grow into more.

12:25

Tim: Can you tell us about Brennan Malone and Liover Peguero and your thoughts on them?

12:25

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: we provided notes to Jay for his breakdown: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/diamondbacks-add-a-full-time-center-fielde…

12:26

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: and we already wrote up the Arizona system: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/top-47-prospects-arizona-diamondbacks/

12:26

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: so anything I can say will just be in a longer format in one of those places

12:26

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: they’re both guys we like with solid growth potential

12:26

Duchhess: It’s been interesting to read some of the recently published lists and seeing McKay’s stock sort of dragging a little, with some suggesting he lacks a true out pitch to be successful in the majors. This is coming off a very quick (and perhaps unexpected) rise to the majors last year ahead of schedule. Is the star truly dimming here, or is this a case of just being surrounded by #newshinythings

12:28

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Haven’t paid super close attention to this, but important to note that anywhere from like 15 to 35 on the big list isn’t that different and I think readers assume there’s big swings from the top to bottom of that range. McKay’s profile is a bunch of 55s and a 60 or two on some days. You’d rather have that Cole or Strasburg stuff, but most reliable, non-ace starters are much more like McKay than most prospect fans realize. And a guy that’s a solid #2/3 starter and bench bat for 6-7 years is insanely valuable. If he hits that, he’ll be right in the top 5-10 of any backward-looking review of these lists.

12:29

It’s Ashton Kutcher: Jordan Groshans is supremely interesting to me. I have heard rumblings he would be ranked around Kelenic if he had stayed healthy last year. What type of ceiling are we talking about?

12:30

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: A bunch of 55s and 60s and performed better than we expected in first year-plus of pro ball. As an amateur, some people would squint and see a Donaldson starter kit and that–a 4-6 WAR 3B–is still the optimistic outcome. I’d expect 2-3 WAR type until we see a little more performance.

12:31

Chris: Who would you say have the best fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup respectively in the minors?

12:31

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I would just be picking one of the top names from the searches of our end-of-2019-BOARD: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2019-in-season-prospect-…

12:31

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: props to Sean Dolinar for putting together that functionality

12:32

Jim Leyland Palmer: How much disagreement was there between you two with the Manning > Mize ranking?

12:33

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: They were always going to be within like 10-12 spots of each other on the top 100, so that’s already really close. It’s basically all tied to Mize’s injury history and what that may portend. Aaron Nola had zero arm issues at draft time and has had a couple durability hiccups in pro ball. Mize’s history is much more checkered and Manning is basically how you would draw this stuff up in terms of frame, athleticism, improvement, etc.

12:34

J: You’ve mentioned recently that a downside of working in a front office is people with individual agendas/office politics etc. I’ve had an entry level baseball ops role for a few years now, but I know enough about myself that I’m not/wouldn’t be good at dealing with those office politics, so do you think I should keep trying to move forward or maybe look at a different industry?

12:39

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Once you’re in a front office full-time (which takes most people, including me, many years, among other sacrifices), I’d recommend riding things out and seeing where you end up for at least a few years.

The real key to advancement is a sponsor and, for all you know, your superior could be on the verge of 3 promotions in 5 years and bringing you along for all of them. Once you’re in your 40’s, that sort of thing is a little less likely if you’re still at the lower levels of an office.

I’m describing it in pretty cold, economic terms, but I think that’s helpful in broad terms. Sports are similar to the entertainment industry, where there’s lots of people trying to get in and the very top is a cool job with lots of money/power.

12:40

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: So, if your goal is one of those top jobs, proactively put yourself in position for it and if you get no positive feedback for five years, then the odds of getting there are even lower than you initially expected and considering other avenues is a rational decision if you aren’t liking the work/life balance and upside. We cover this sort of stuff in the book, too, which reminds me!

12:40

Avatar Kiley McDaniel:

 

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
12:40

Doug: What does it mean when you write that a hitter’s swing is grooved?

12:41

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Also a book thing! It means it follows a similar path on every swing, where they can only hit certain pitches in certain parts of the zone. Usually it’s a muscled-up hitter who can only hit center-cut stuff and struggle to adjust their swing/timing for wrinkles later in the count

12:42

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: So it usually means they can hit for most of their raw power when a ball is in that zone, but don’t hit for average because even higher level colleges can pound certain regions of the zone

12:42

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: then every swing, they’re trying to adjust/cheat and it can get real ugly against good pitching

12:42

Jason: What’s the risk the Jasson Dominguez turns into Maitan? I know he’s been getting a ton of hype, but he seems like someone who will slow down a lot as he gets older. Do you see a better skill set, especially with the bat, than Moncada when you were scouting him 5-6 years ago?

12:43

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Well if you just line up all of the OMG J2 prospects from the last 10-20 years, Maitan is the only one that’s gone that path. So it’s like a 5-10% chance for any of them? Moncada is probably the closest comp for Dominguez.

12:47

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: That list would include: Gary Sanchez, Miguel Sano, Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert, Wander Franco, Vlad Guerrero Jr., Kevin Maitan. You could argue Rafael Devers, Gleyber Torres and Eloy Jimenez were just a hlf notch below that. Daniel Flores, Amed Rosario, Nomar Mazara also in that range. Yadier Alvarez may be the next biggest bust?

12:47

dan: If Luis Roberts had Wander Franco’s hit tool, how much would his scouting report change?

12:48

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: almost completely?

12:48

Tom Glavine: Do the Braves have enough of what the Reds are looking for to make a deal for Senzel?

12:48

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I’d think CIN is looking for controllable, MLB-ready pitching like CHC is for Bryant, so ATL has some options

12:49

Joe: The Braves split their analyst into two departments, Major League Operations and Research & Development. What is the difference between the two?

12:49

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: MLO is advance scouting and R&D is basically everything else

12:49

SCROTE: When can we expect to see the Orioles prospect list

12:50

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: That’s one of the ones we’ve done some work on. The TB-area spring training pod of PHI/NYY/TOR and that just south of them PIT/BAL/TBR seems like they’ll go next? And the NW AZ part of SEA/SDP are also in the mix.

12:51

MZ: Would you say that kids in the 2021 international signing class have agreements right now but those in the 2022 class don’t?

12:51

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: 2022 definitely do

12:51

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: the tip of the spear is usually 3 years ahead

12:51

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: but post or in 2022, a draft looks likely, so I’d bet teams slow play 2023?

12:52

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: (as the draft would blow up all deals)

12:53

Brian: Is Dee Gordon a fair comp for CJ Abrams? Or do you see more power in that bat?

12:53

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Much more power already there, I’d bet more is coming

12:54

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: More than a couple scouts were putting 55 on Abrams’ now raw power right before the draft. I saw him put on a show in BP with the whole SD brass there, clearing a scoreboard in RF, etc.

12:55

Jo-Nathan: Got any 2021 international prospect names for us to follow?

12:55

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: we named some of the top guys in last year’s prospect week: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/updated-july-2-prospect-rankings/

12:55

Steve: Franco or Adames, who moves to 3B?

12:56

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Learned some stuff making TB calls last week. I’d expect Franco to play multiple positions in 2020 with the TB IF so deep, he could be playing 2B, SS or 3B when he comes up, since it could be tied to an injury. Maybe even OF. You don’t want him playing a position for the first time in the big leagues.

12:57

Victor Victor Victor Victor Mesa: Am I done? Reports of bad body language, bad performance. Not a good combo. Wha happ’n to me?

12:58

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: There was some very negative buzz on this topic right before/when he was signed that we couldn’t really substantiate. Now there appears to be smoke. Some teams were totally out on him before he signed.

12:58

Jo-Nathan: I just read an article detialing Nolan Gorman’s offseason training with driveline; Does the fact that a player is open to analytics and technology upgrade a prospect in your mind and vice versa if a guy doesnt belive in it does that give you pause to believe that it may be harder to max out their ability?

12:59

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: That alone doesn’t really mean much. There’s plenty of guys that excel with less info and guys that paralyze themselves with too much. We need more info in terms of how the data is changing things

12:59

Theo is as Theo does: Slade Cecconi seems sneaky good? Should I care that he’ll be a 20-21 YO sophomore or does it not matter since he’s draft eligible?

1:00

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Chance to go in the 1st round, probably more comp/2nd now. If the velo is mid-90’s in a starting role (some buzz that it will be, was 90-93 when I saw him last year, was 94-97 in summer before HS senior year) he’ll go in the first round.

1:00

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Age doesn’t matter much for college pitchers, but you’d rather have young prospects than old ones

1:01

Bob: Is the disc code for your book still valid?

1:01

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: yes

1:02

DJ Tanner: Last year the buzz around the prospect scene was about how good Marco Luciano was looking and you guys were right. Any buzz about a guy right now that hasn’t played state side that you are hearing looks to be above the rest?

1:03

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Robert Dominguez RHP w/the Mets may be the buzziest right now https://blogs.fangraphs.com/top-31-prospects-new-york-mets/

1:04

Theo is as Theo does: Zac Veen seems lean and mean. Will he or Mick Abel be available to the Cubs at 16? Ed Howard?

1:04

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Odds are one of them slides into that range for whatever reason since HS guys have a bigger variance in draft stock. Howard is most likely of those to make it.

1:04

Rob: Who are the first draft prospects (HS and college) youre gonna see?

1:05

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Looks like I’ll see some JC action next week. Not sure what my first HS/4YR action will be, but there’s lots of good early season options in GA.

1:05

Archer: It’s probably pretty likely that the Tigers take a hitter 1/1, right?

1:06

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Emerson Hancock was lights out in his first preseason scrimmage last Friday: 93-95, 65-70 CH, 55-60 SL. I think him and Austin Martin are almost neck and neck right now. Still a lot of variance in positional projections for Martin. Some SS, some CF, some 2B/3B.

1:06

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: (this was one of the scrimmage notes added to the board btw)

1:07

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Since Hancock was on the shelf late in 2019 and didn’t pitch over the summer, lots of national scouts haven’t seen him at all and he’s arguably the best P prospect in years. I’ve found he’s really underrated by the internet, since most people just assume Torkelson and Martin are the only options at 1-1 right now.

1:11

G: Your writeups on Peguero/Malone seem to be more favorable on the return the Pirates got for Marte than most of the national media has portrayed it as. Is Peguero a potential top-100 guy this year? The 50FV glob is tough to parse

1:12

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: With Eric based in AZ and me based in FL/GA, we’ve seen those guys a lot collectively. I find the national momentum/consensus for prospects that aren’t top 10-15 overall picks doesn’t really get going until full-season ball and neither of them has gotten there yet

1:13

Spider Puig: When do you anticipate the list for 2020 international prospects to be posted on THE BOARD?

1:13

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: we generally do that for prospects week

1:13

brad: There is tons of hype around Blaze Jordan and his power, but most rankings don’t even have him in the top 30. Is this the classic bat only 1B knock on him which has underrated some big time players like Alonso and Hoskins?

1:14

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: well you picked the two good examples and ignored all the neutral/bad ones. But, yes, a R/R HS 1B isn’t a good profile to be betting on continually. I’d set the over/under for overall pick Blaze is taken at 23

1:15

Jason: The rosters for my dynasty team’s minor-league draft will be locked before Prospect Week runs, so forgive me for jumping the gun.  I have been offered a trade involving Shane Baz; not asking for his ranking, but can you reveal his FV?

1:15

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: 50 right now

1:15

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: likely stays there

1:15

Roy Hobbs: With or without your crystal ball, could you share with me, which of these prospects have the best chance of getting a 55 a year from now, (order/rank) if you wish.  Busch, Johan Duran, Harrison, Stott, Swaggerty.  Thanks

1:15

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Swaggerty then Duran

1:15

Oneil Cruz: Are you a believer he can make the swing work after what he did at HiA/AA as a 20 year old last year?  Is this the year he breaks out and becomes a monster?

1:16

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: We’re pretty bullish on Mr. Cruz. I’d assume we’ll rank him higher than anyone else, but I haven’t been keeping close tabs on other lists.

1:16

Seanto: It’ll never happen because Tampa gonna Tampa, but who says no to Arenado for Greg Jones, Moises Gomez, John Doxakis, and Joe Ryan? I suspect the Rays may say no to that, but is that kind of return about what COL could/should expect?

1:16

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: TB will never pay a player that much per year

1:16

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: the trade machine just says STOP

1:17

Bobby V’s Fake Mustache: In your conversations with teams, what are the biggest flaws with TrackMan?

1:18

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: 1/Calibration
2/Trouble w/extreme locations, like pop ups, worm-burners and flyballs into the corners

1:18

ke’bryan mays hayes: Any thoughts on where Oscar Colás might end up, and could the international bonus money received in the Marte deal make the Pirates a potential destination?

1:19

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Hearing some rumors of one team being a clear leader for him with 2020 pool money

1:19

Roger Denim: NMSU obviously inflates offensive numbers a bit… what are the odds Nick Gonzales is a clear first rounder playing at a more neutral park? Seems like half that team hit .350 last year and it’s tough to discern how real Gonzales’s numbers are.

1:19

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Fair question before the Cape. Clown question now, bro.

1:19

Bobby V’s Fake Mustache: Lots of people have asked questions about working in a FO. Flipping to the other side of the negotiating table, what are some things you’d recommend in order to become an agent?

1:20

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: not having a conscience is beneficial

1:20

Parts and Gleyber: Will Mitch Haniger’s ruptured testicle be ready for Spring training?  I’m assuming it won’t be in the best shape of it’s life.

1:21

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: dammit guys stop asking about it

1:21

6′ 11″ Bottom: Who’s your Super Bowl pick?

1:21

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Chiefs -1.5, Mahomes MVP, over on Mahomes rushing yards

1:21

Kevin: I asked this to Eric last week, and he just shrugged, but what is the percent chance that Oneil Cruz is a 65 FV or greater prospect by this time next year.

1:22

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: 11%

1:22

mc: Recently, another publication put Abrams over Witt Jr. How close do you see those 2 and are you surprised by that choice?

1:22

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: They’re very close, we’ve had them almost back to back since just before the draft

1:23

PatEdMartin: Who are some of the D1 to JUCO bouncebacks to look out for in the draft this year?  Guys that we may not have heard much about in a while.

1:23

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Most of the JC guys on the board have comments that outline their path

1:23

Swinging A’s: Pedro Pineda to the A’s likely?

1:23

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: yes, for big money

1:23

Reid: If Wander was a guarantee to stick at SS, would you 80 him?

1:24

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: That would mean his median/expected outcome is one of the top 5 players in the game. I feel like that’s a purely theoretical grade for a guy with no MLB time. 70 seems as high as we can go

1:24

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: even Acuna didn’t look like an 80 until the end of his first year

1:24

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: and that one seemed about as easy as it would be

1:25

HS beat boi: How far out do you actively scout guys?

1:25

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: We have 2023 HS names all lined up for when the 2020 draft signing deadline passes

1:26

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: not all intensely researched and personally scouted, but they’re lined up

1:26

Jock Jams: Clicking Robert Dominguez on the Mets list links to Mike Trout’s player page. Talk about buzz!

1:26

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: hasn’t played a pro game yet, so no player page. only on the Mets list and the board

1:26

MB: What factors, aside from money, play a role in international signings? Do clubs have reputations that help/hurt them when it comes to convincing an jnternational player to sign?

1:27

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: yes. and also processes and knowledge of how to land a top player

1:27

dorktown: Wouldn’t it follow that you guys are behind on the momentum of the dudes you don’t get to see as often/early?

1:28

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Not necessarily. It’s hard to miss on a guy when we see him a lot. Doesn’t mean we miss guys we don’t see as much. Gotta trust other eyeballs and know how to analyze their opinions.

1:28

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: But we’re more likely to be behind on guys we don’t see much, sure

1:28

D: Is there a way, on THE BOARD, to see who the current top 100 prospects are? Right now, I feel like I can only see the late 2019 update and a smattering of the 2020 grades. Thanks!

1:29

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: that is true. top 100 comes on prospects week, full lists ending is when everyone goes up. 2019 update has all the names and in a pretty good order

1:29

Michael Chavis: Do I have a grooved swing?

1:29

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: wouldn’t say that, but he’s the general type, sure

1:29

.: Is Blaze Jordan a future Cleveland Indian?

1:30

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: that’s the most likely landing spot right now

1:30

Bernie Reggie Sanders: You’ve mentioned the hours working in an MLB front office are crazier than you’d expect.  What kind of hours are you talking about for a lower level “trying to break in” type baseball ops guy?  And how many hours is a g.m. at the office/stadium each day?

1:30

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: if you’re working the stadium of the MLB team, you’re there for all the homes games in addition to something like 9-6, not counting staying later or special times when everyone stays late other than games (trade deadline, etc.)

1:31

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: GM will often come in later if they’re staying for the whole game, travel w/the team on the road

1:31

Tim: Are you guys still planning on unveiling a Present Value grade this winter? Been looking forward to that

1:31

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: that is on the agenda

1:31

dan: Where can we find top 100 lists from previous years besides for 2019?

1:32

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: https://www.fangraphs.com/

1:32

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: top prospects tab (you can CTRL+F for it)

1:32

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: oh, that just works for 2019. hmmm, probably googling is the fastest? we keep the titles of the article consistent

1:33

andy: Please explain to my full satisfaction how the Bryant grievance decision totally validates all of my opinions re all involved, whatever they may be. Thank you.

1:33

Scout: Wouldn’t you like to know how I choose

1:33

Theotesticles: Mitch Haniger just doesn’t seem to have the stones for this…

1:33

Mookie Fan: This is a depressing week

1:33

Jim Leyland Palmer: What is your favorite movie in the DCU (Dane Cook Cinematic Universe)?

1:33

Ben Affleck: I am so tired of that Matt Damon guy. What makes him so great? Seems like all he does is get bailed out by other people. Saving Private Ryan, Interstellar, The Martian. Ben Affleck is the real hero.

1:33

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: that’s a real hot take. but you had to know this was coming.

1:33

Matt Damon: MATT. DAMON.

1:33

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: thanks for stopping into this super sized kiley chat

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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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losdiego
Member
losdiego

First of all, I work in entertainment…There is no work life balance. It’s work. Exclusively. Until you are at a high enough level, your existence as a human being literally does not matter.

And holy cow, I thought long hours meant like, 8am-8pm or 9-8pm plus games or something similar. 9-6 is way less than I work, and I’m expected to be and am available literally 24/7/365 for emails after hours and on weekends, which are…plentiful.

How do I switch please someone help