Kiley McDaniel: Hello from ATL, an unusual time to chat but here we are.
Kiley McDaniel: Scout is watching the front yard studiously, barking at anyone that dares walk by on the sidewalk
Kiley McDaniel: The Phillies list went up earlier this week, the Mets list is done but will go up Monday and we’ve a good ways down the road on BOS and TB for next week
Kiley McDaniel: Draft list also is basically done but not time sensitive, so that will go up soon enough along with a new podcast
Tommyboy: With the announcement of Koby Perez as international scouting director, how long do you think it’ll take for the Os to be players in the international market?
Blazeball: Any word on late bloomers in the int’l market that the Orioles could sign?
Kiley McDaniel: BAL appears to be making all the right moves to have an actual fully-functioning and fully-funded international department, which is good that now all 30 teams are doing that. There still aren’t any names clearly/consensus above the $250K or so area.
Toshi: Hi, if you have to guess, based on the MLB roster and the state of the farm, how long do you think will take for the Mariners to contend? This is of course assuming that Dipoto does not do anything crazy. Thank you.
Kiley McDaniel: It sounds like the plan is a power rebuild where 2020 they make strides then are in the mix in 2021. If they thought they wouldn’t contend for 3-4 years and Haniger has 4 years of control, they would’ve traded him.
Dane C: Is there any concern around Alec Bohm’s power outage in his brief stint in the minors last year? Or are we talking about a too-small sample size?
Kiley McDaniel: Yep, too small. And also, as detailed in his report, he has a flatter-planed swing that’s more contact focused than most guys with that kind of raw power, so that could just be what his stats look like until that adjustment is made…and it doesn’t necessarily have to be, but I would guess he moves in that direction.
Kiley McDaniel: With a different bat and pitching quality, earlier in the season fatigue-wise, etc. in college it’s easier to muscle balls out. There’s an example in this video from when I saw him in March:
Jeff Sullivan : What happened to me?
Kiley McDaniel: What happened to us?
Brian: Geraldo Perdomo, anything to get super-excited over, or way to soon?
Kiley McDaniel: Too soon but he and Blaze Alexander both were very solid for the D’Backs in the short season leagues this year, better than expected
Brodie: Do you see starling marte as being available? How about JBJ? should I be interested in acquiring either?
Kiley McDaniel: Don’t think either is particularly available
Just some ignoramus: Are you the one that I should be asking about Jarred Kelenic’s HOF odds?
Kiley McDaniel: I’d like to take that bet in the FanGraphs Sportsbook lol you’d get good odds and we get to keep your money for 25 years if you have any chance of collecting
Maker Bayfield: What is the likelihood of Khalil Lee breaking into the Top 100 this season?
Kiley McDaniel: 35%? Needs to make more contact.
hooha: How do the Phils manage to keep their Venezuelan pipeline open? Are any other teams set up to compete there?
Kiley McDaniel: Their int’l director, Sal Agostinelli, is the lynchpin there, along with a strong staff. He’s generally regarded as one of the top int’l guys, particularly with small bonus types.
Favid Dorst: Most enjoyable system to evaluate so far and one you’re looking forward to the most?
Kiley McDaniel: I always like sorting through the really deep ones, so doing TB right now is pretty fun, SD is probably the other one where the list itself will be the longest. Sorting thru the 10 dudes in the top 150 overall for ATL was challenging, flipped those names a lot
Favid Dorst: How much do analytics departments have to “start over” when a new GM is hired? I’m assuming a new GM will likely fire most if not all of the previous analytics staff. Does the work of the previous analytics staff stay available to the new ones? Do the new ones typically use it or just completely build out their own infrastructure?
Kiley McDaniel: Analytics staffs generally don’t get changed if it’s a moderate to progressive GM coming and going. Director may change, but the changes come in scouting depts where there’s approach differences person to person. Analytics staffs are more homogenous team to team. Differences are more a function of resources than personal touch
Homer Dome: Is Austin Beck a good Corbin Carroll comp? Similar draft range too?
Kiley McDaniel: Different kind of player. Carroll is in the Kelenic area of an above to plus tools, good feel/track record, a little more pop than you expect from prep CF type.
Ben: At what point do we take seriously the possibility that the owners/GMs/both are colluding to not sign free agents? Twitter has passed around the graphic detailing how league-wide, revenue is up while payroll is down.
Kiley McDaniel: Just need to tease out that causality more. Are owners doing it and telling GMs/setting payrolls to dictate this? Are GMs communicating directly with each other? Are there just bad incentives/player pay structure and everyone is indirectly landing on similar strategies? Without subpoenas or drastic CBA changes, how would we ever know what it is/isn’t?
Bob: If Madrigal disappoints will it be because he never demonstrates any game power (ie bad fit for modern game) or because his hit tool isn’t quite up to the challenge of MLB pitching?
Kiley McDaniel: I would say if pitch selection doesn’t progress. As pitchers he faces gets better, if he swings as often as he did in college, you’re gonna get weak contact and neuter the effect of bat control
Kiley McDaniel: It’s a dangerous game, but Roederer is much better. Benintendi was an old (19 year old) prep prospect who wasn’t really a draft type and after his freshman year at Arkansas (20 year old and I saw him that year) he was a solid contact CF type. Made a huge jump at 21.
Kiley McDaniel: So Roederer is ahead of Benintendi, but also any prep outfielder that got 7 figures is also ahead of them and a tiny percentage will actually get close to what he is….so Roederer is like dozens and dozens of players in that regard
Kiley McDaniel: It’s fun to get excited about a good debut/good prospect but comparing a Roederer type to a fringe MVP candidate is generally really misguided. Matt Carpenter wasn’t even close to a prospect at 21, so anyone in the top 10 rounds as a college junior is ahead of Carpenter at the same age…does that seem instructive at all?
Homer Dome: Who is the best low-minors prospect nobody has heard about?
Kiley McDaniel: Nobody has heard about is really vague so I’ll give a few answers
Kiley McDaniel: Teenagers with no full season experience
50 FV or higher
Kiley McDaniel: And if you already know all of those names, then just look around THE BOARD until you find one you don’t
Bob: How would you approach Forest Whitley’s development and timeline this year? I’m assuming you think he’s good enough to contribute in Hou down the stretch.
Kiley McDaniel: He doesn’t have much to prove as far as effectiveness. Really moe function of service time and having a role. Wouldn’t shock me if it was an 11 days and up for good or 2 months for super two, then up for good.
Kiley McDaniel: Also limiting innings, so he’s not going to be in the rotation all year. Maybe a Walker Buehler in 2018-like usage so he’s fresh for the playoffs
Kiley McDaniel: Also, here’s a cover of a Nirvana song that I’m digging:
I’m into it (46.6% | 21 votes)
Nah, I’m good (53.3% | 24 votes)
Total Votes: 45
Kiley McDaniel: And if you’re not a Nirvana fan, this sounds nothing like them, give it a couple seconds and you’ll see what I mean
Chris: Who ends up being a better pitcher Luis Patino or Mackenzie Gore?
Kiley McDaniel: Still got Gore, but it’s a conversation now
Kurt: What are the odds that Casey Mize debuts this year for the Tigers?
Kiley McDaniel: 75%
Darren Rovell: What’s your take on the Rays eliminating seating on the upper level?
Kiley McDaniel: Gotta create demand somehow
Darren Rovell: What is the easiest, quickest to learn, and most lucrative progroamming language to learn?
Kiley McDaniel: For baseball, SQL
Kiley McDaniel: For other industries, I’m not the guy to ask
Canadian Jesus: Adames or Gurriel jr. ?
Kiley McDaniel: Adames
Jake: Which STL 3b do you take – Montero or Gorman?
Kiley McDaniel: Gorman, but I think Elehuris Montero may get adjusted up early in 2019. Thinking he’s more 45 FV than the 40+ we put on him
Benjamin: Akil baddoo has an 80 grade name right?
Kiley McDaniel: yes
Benjamin: Can a curveball be plus with a below avg spin rate?
Kiley McDaniel: Yes, but it’s unlikely
Benjamin: What do you make of a pitcher with low 90s heat, plus splitter and changeup (2 distinct pitches) and 2 average breaking balls. Average command
Eric: I know you don’t want to comment on other teams rankings or reporting, but Baseball America’s JJ Cooper said on the Braves podcast today that among their Top 10 prospects, Atlanta is pushing Cristian Pache in trade talks with other teams. Have you heard the same thing?
Kiley McDaniel: I’ve heard a different name as the one they’d like to move if they have to move one
Andrew: Where does India fit in the Reds plans if Senzel is destined for 2B when Scooter leaves?
Kiley McDaniel: I still laugh every time I get a question like this. The scenario you’re scared of is your team who isn’t very good right now has too many good players. Senzel, India and Suarez all fit best at 3B. Suarez won’t get moved to another position. Senzel’s next best spot is 2B, maybe CF. India is 2B, maybe RF.
John Farell: Junior Santos of the Mets had a great year in the DSL, and has a monster frame at 6’8″. Is he a guy to know?
Kiley McDaniel: He’ll be a 40 FV. The 6’8 guys don’t have a great track record of improving, having great command, staying healthy, etc. but they also can do the Jon Rauch/Chris Young thing and don’t have to get that much better
Poised: Given foresight of the pro debut Grant Lavigne would have, would he have been a first rounder?
Kiley McDaniel: Probably not, he’s a maxed-out first baseman that went to a super hitter friendly league/stadium
Kiley McDaniel: I’d rather him hit than not, and being from New Hampshire there’s some concern that he’ll be overwhelmed early, so he moved up some, but not dramatically
Brandon Nimmo: On behalf of all Mets fans dreading prospect list season, thank you for delaying our list as long as possible.
Kiley McDaniel: It’s not that bad? The short season guys are really interesting, especially if Kelenic was still there
AJ: So I found out my former college coach is using blast motion sensors to make sure hitters are swinging down on the ball. Sounds like I made the right decision to transfer lol
Kiley McDaniel: maybe he can’t afford a tamp for the dirt in front of home plate
Kiley McDaniel: Sounds like there’s gonna be two guys that cost essentially all of a team’s pool: Robert Puason and Jasson Dominguez. That’s the consensus top two guys, but some scouts think the top tier is 3, or 1, etc. since these kids are 15 and don’t get seen a ton after they cut deals, so lots of variance in projections
vince clortho: Why aren’t you as high on my pet prospect from my favorite team as I am and how do you sleep at night?
Kiley McDaniel: SOUNDLY
Kiley McDaniel: BETTER THAN SOME BABIES
Kiley McDaniel: SURPASSING THE SLEEP QUALITY OF MANY LOGS
Kasvot Vaxt: What on Earth is happening with Carter Stewart? The Braves aren’t going to lose their #9 pick are they??
Kiley McDaniel: Still haven’t heard a decision, so we don’t know the answer until the decision comes, but I think it’s very unlikely they lose the pick
Carl: How many current MiLB pitching prospects would you take over Adley Rutschmann?
Kiley McDaniel: you can see that we have 2 pitchers above 55, 14 are exactly 55
Kiley McDaniel: I’d say like 5 of those 55’s, so the answer is 7 for me today
Jay: Does Sixto Sanchez have the ability to be the top pitching prospect in baseball by the end of the year?
Kiley McDaniel: He might just get it by default if he’s healthy and Whitley graduates
Kiley McDaniel: Which could be before the All Star break
v2micca: Of the six pitchers that made your top ten in the Braves prospect list, how many of them to you expect to still be in the Braves organization this time next year?
Kiley McDaniel: over/under of 4.5
Matt: Hope your backyard hasn’t flooded with all this rain!
Kiley McDaniel: Nope but there’s been a lot of rain /shakes fist at sky
Matt: Think if Phillies don’t sign an out fielder Alec Bohm could see playing time in 2019?
Kiley McDaniel: No chance!
Tim Purpura: Any discussion around adding ML level asset values to THE BOARD? Even if it’s just recently graduated guys
Kiley McDaniel: Oh that’s gonna happen
John: What exactly did you and Eric mean by this in the Nats writeup: “This farm is strangely better equipped to add a star in a one-for-one kind of deal than it is to add talent with a package of 40s and 45 FVs.” Thanks.
Kiley McDaniel: They have a couple super valuable prospects and not a ton of quality depth behind them
Kiley McDaniel: Whereas most farms that have 1-2 elite guys have lots of depth behind them
Danny: What is Roansy Contreras’s ceiling? Does he have any plus offerings and does he have additional room to fill out and add/maintain higher velo?
Kiley McDaniel: Big upside, two plus pitches at times and flashes some starter traits but it’s very early
The Ghost of Wade Boggs: Do you guys scout and or grade pitcher stamina? If so, is that something you could add to the board? It’d be handy to tell which pitchers are likely to be relievers or starters
Kiley McDaniel: Stamina is really often not the think that separates that. Third pitch and command are almost always the reason. Stamina is usually tied to conditioning and most guys don’t have above average stuff and are out of shape
Trixie: Mariners have a top 10 farm system?
Kiley McDaniel: Nope
Scott: How likely is Brendan McKay to be utilized as a hitter when he arrives in Tampa? I could see the Rays using him like the Angels used Ohtani this year.
Kiley McDaniel: That’s the most likely outcome right now
Vidal Brujan: Could I be a top-25 prospect by the end of 2019?
Kiley McDaniel: I think they roll with those guys and wait for Tucker to be a superior option, likely in 2020
stlscott319: I read a comment on twitter that player X strikes out too much. It seems that alot of guys strike out a lot in the minors these days. Is there anything you look for that will give you a clue to who figures it out and who won’t> Thanks Kiley!
Kiley McDaniel: Depends on why they’re striking out. If they hit a bunch of homers and have a late-count approach (lots of K and BB) and have loft in their swing, then that’s fine and it will continue. That’s sort of an equilibrium
Kiley McDaniel: There’s other guys where they haven’t reached an equilibrium yet. Like Vlad Jr. doesn’t have tons of loft in his swing and doesn’t K much, but he’ll likely add more loft to his swing b/c he has monster power, so he’ll likely K more
Kiley McDaniel: Or if some guys get Ks due to approach, like they have a low 2-strike whiff rate but high early count whiff rate, so they get in bad counts, but have demonstrated the ability to be selective
MAC: Who’s the biggest riser on THE BOARD since the season’s ended?
Kiley McDaniel: Not sure he’s THE biggest riser, but Shervyen Newton is much higher on the Mets list
Hello: As a Mets fan, seeing “Jarred Kelenic, CF, SEA” makes me sad. Help?
Kiley McDaniel: Close your eyes?
Danny: Why did Winn and Liberatore “fall” to the middle of the first round? I thought one or both were borderline consensus top 10 picks near draft time
Kiley McDaniel: Prep pitchers have lots of little things in their risk profiles that vary widely team to team, like biomechanical and injury projections, risk tolerance in general, being far from the majors, some teams want specific types of pitchers, medical staffs tend to be a little more specific about requirements medically to project health, etc.
Kiley McDaniel: And some teams any given year just won’t take a HS pitcher of any type in the first round
Kiley McDaniel: So there’s a lot of variance in a specific 1st round caliber HS pitcher’s draft projection for this reason
Kiley McDaniel: Whereas college hitters are appealing to every single team
Kiley McDaniel: HS pitcher is to running back
college hitter is to pass rusher
DJ: Who is/are the most versatile (competently play multiple positions) prospect(s) in the minors?
Kiley McDaniel: Josh Morgan, Connor Wong come to mind as guys that can be passable at every position on the field
Ozzie Ozzie Albies Free: What would be your thoughts of Grullion of the Phils being converted to a pitcher?
Kiley McDaniel: He just hit pretty well this year, but he also was passed over in the Rule 5 and has an 80 arm, so that’s where it goes before things end for good
Joe Random: To piggy back on Homer Dome’s question about little known prospects in the lower levels…Do you have any particular favorites from the list you gave? Which would you target in a fantasy league? thanks!
Kiley McDaniel: Those were all high upside handpicked guys. You can sort the board by age and see the FVs and variance/risk and see who the highest upside gambles are, but those are the ones I like
Hello: Odds Vientos stays a 3B?
Kiley McDaniel: Below average now, tools to be average, so 75%?
Kiley McDaniel: If he doesn’t progress this year, it’s closer to 50%
77 Steps: I saw you have Liberatore and Winn both in the same tier. A lot of Rangers fans felt Texas whiffed by taking Winn with Liberatore still on the board. Did Texas screw up, or is Winn over Liberatore a defensible decision?
Kiley McDaniel: Defensible for the reasons above…the margin between similar prospects at that juncture of the draft is really small
Ben: Are there any videos of you dancing on rooftops we should know about?
Kiley McDaniel: (quickly deletes dozens of videos)
Captain Moonlight: In the Haseley write up, y’all note that he was a pitcher but has a below average arm in the OF. That kinda blew my mind. How common is it for ‘game arm’ to be worse than ‘raw arm’? And I get that they’re not *exactly* the same mechanics, but they sure seem to use a lot of the same pieces, is that the only cause? Any other notable cases of this?
Kiley McDaniel: Kyler Murray has a 40 arm and I talked to scouts while we watched him at UCF and we all thought it would be a 55 when he changed his arm stroke a big. It was weird, he had zip on short throws, then not much on the long ones. It’s usually a combo of arm stroke efficiency and timing of the hips/kinetic chain. Some guys are much better on the mound or in the OF and some are way better/worse in the IF than the OF. It’s weird sometimes, often mental.
amy : Would it surprise you if Mark Vientos is a top 100 prospect at this time next year ?
Kiley McDaniel: He’s up around there right now. Probably about 100-125 right now if I had to guess, so holding serve and 10-25 guys graduate and could be a yes
Kw: Completely ignoring everything you wrote after “Roederer is better now than Benintendi was at 19” and how those types of questions aren’t fruitful: Same question but Brennan Davis and Mike Trout. How would you compare a 19-year old Brennan Davis to Mike Trout when he was 19? (I apologize, it’s been a cold winter for Cubs fans.)
Kiley McDaniel: lol Mike Trout was really good at 19, so you have to be like clearly top 100 to even be considered
Darren Rovell: When you get draft questions about a particular player, do you ever think to yourself that it’s said player inquiring about themselves?
Kiley McDaniel: I’m sure it has been at least once, but I never expect it to be
Joaquin: Will teams be able to sign any 2019 J2 prospects from Mexico this year? If so, what are the top names from that country?
Kiley McDaniel: Still not legal to sign players from there, so haven’t heard much
Heathcliff Slocumb: Kiley, we’ve got a sun sighting over here in Marietta. I have no question- just thought you should know.
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.