Kiley McDaniel FanGraphs Chat – 1/9/19

12:21

Kiley McDaniel: Hello everyone! After a quick technical issues, we’re off and running

12:22

Kiley McDaniel: The weather is now solid in ATL and I might go outside and rake some leaves later. Red Sox list is finalized and Eric and I are writing up the capsules today

12:23

Harris: Very surprising to only see Matt Vierling in the honorable mentions on the Phillies list. Could he make his way on by mid season?

12:23

Kiley McDaniel: Most 5th rounders don’t make the list the summer after they sign. There’s some tools there, so if he performs again, he’ll be on there

12:23

Larry: What do you expect from Amed Rosario this year? O/U 2 WAR?

12:23

Kiley McDaniel: Over, still big tools and made some 2nd half progress

12:24

Wander Franco: What needs to happen for me to see the majors in 2019?

12:24

Kiley McDaniel: Would have to be so clearly not challenged at every level that it would be a negative to leave him in the minors. The kid hasn’t failed at anything in baseball in his whole life, but that feels like a 95% or 100% outcome.

12:25

Jimmy: I know this is kind of a late question, but I was wondering how much the information the cardinals got via the “hacking” of the astros matters from a evaluation stand point. It seems like on the surface it would be a giant deal. But having listened to a lot of talk from you and eric it seems teams largely know how other teams feel about players. So, that has me wondering if it’s not as big of a deal. I can imagine at the very least it’s more data/looks on guys which is always a good thing and I can also imagine it might give them a better idea where Houston’s board was in that particular draft. Is that all it really effected in your estimation?

12:26

Kiley McDaniel: It would be more double-checking outlier reports your team has, or a guy you don’t have a report on, but mostly knowing what they think about their own players and yours would be the majority of the value.  And for most players everyone kinda already knows

12:26

Kristen: What are BOS’ plans for Chavis who’s blocked by Devers?  If they’re looking for a closer on the cheap, Chavis fits with TEx

12:26

Kiley McDaniel: Chavis is 1B, maybe corner OF going forward and may be more of a platoon guy. I would guess his best years are not with the Red Sox

12:27

Kiley McDaniel: They don’t really have patience for a young everyday guy whose ceiling is 2ish WAR when they can just sign a vet that’s much more likely to do that consistently

12:27

Logan: Questions regarding spin rates on THE BOARD. One column is “breaking,” how is that handled for pitchers with multiple breaking pitches? Also, is the FB spin rate just one type of FB or lumped 2S/4S?

12:28

Kiley McDaniel: best breaking ball spin rate. 4s has higher spin so it’s normally that if there’s multiple. Some pitchers’ fastballs are very hard to separate, so many are lumped together already

12:28

Trent: What’s Josh Naylors upside? .280/.360/.500 25-30hr? To optimistic?

12:28

Kiley McDaniel: South of that

12:28

Joey: Kyle Dohy graduates multiple levels with video game numbers and only a 35+. How good does a minor league RP have to be to be considered an asset?

12:29

Kiley McDaniel: He didn’t throw many strikes, then higher level hitters laid off the chase pitches and his walks spiked. We’re not sure yet that this will work and it’s a non elite reliever even if it does.

12:29

SEAfahrer: Hi Kiley,

12:29

Kiley McDaniel: Hello

12:29

Matt: Is Kristian Robinson essentially untouchable given the current context of the Dbacks?

12:29

Kiley McDaniel: In the sense that ARI isn’t really packaging young players for now MLB types and he’s in their top tier of young players, yes

12:29

Elias: If Adley Rutschman was in an MLB organization right now, where would be land on a top-100 prospect ranking?

12:30

Kiley McDaniel: He’s a 55 FV on the draft board: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2019-mlb-draft?type=0&te…

12:30

Kiley McDaniel: which is 20-45 on the top 100 right now

12:30

Kiley McDaniel: this question is the reason we do FV for draft prospects

12:31

Noah Syndergaard: “Several league sources have told us that the Mets don’t scout beneath full-season ball, which is the opposite of what most others teams are doing as data comes to be a greater and greater part of the player evaluation process at the upper levels of the minors.” Can you explain this a little more? What does scouting data in the upper minors mean for scouting below full-season ball?

12:32

Kiley McDaniel: A bigger part of the evaluation pie is done by TrackMan, which is even more useful the older the players are. There are some progressive clubs that only rarely send scouts to upper minors type games. So with the use of those scouts being less, it would seem obvious to send those bodies to the complex levels, where TrackMan is much less useful, especially if there’s no scouting context

12:32

New England : What lower level Red Sox prospects should we be keeping an eye on who could be the next wave of top performers?

12:33

Kiley McDaniel: List probably will be up tomorrow and the 14-25 area has about a half dozen of them. One that’s above that tier is SS Antoni Flores. Get in on that while you can

12:34

Logan: Seems like Ian Anderson’s spin rates are super low on the board. Is a 91-94 FB with a spin rate of 2175 RPM really above average? Or a curveball at 1700 RPM? I know the write up acknowledged he wasn’t a spin rate maven, but wow those are low.

12:34

Kiley McDaniel: Yes, they are. His feel for pitching will be key going forward

12:34

Purple Mays Haze: What do you think are the most important traits of a change up? Release point similarity to fastball, arm speed equivalence to fastball, movement of the pitch? I get the sense that it’s “resemblance” to the fastball out of the hand (but being ~ 10 mph slower) and movement is less important. Obviously a reductive question, but your thoughts?

12:35

Kiley McDaniel: The three things that matter analytically are movement, 10+ velo differential and spin rate close to FB spin rate

12:35

Kiley McDaniel: I’d say consistent arm speed/slot with FB is visually important too and obviously command matters, but those are harder to quantify

12:36

Purple Mays Haze: How much pro scouting is performed on one’s own team? (To identify tendencies or weaknesses, etc.). Or is that generally the coaching staff’s responsibility?

12:36

Kiley McDaniel: Coaches generally aren’t good scouts. Clubs typically send their special assistants (best scouts) through their systems multiple times per year

12:37

Steve: How do you pronounce Shervyen Newton’s name?

12:37

Kiley McDaniel: I think it’s just SHER-ven

12:37

Jeremy: What’s your feeling about the 2019 J2 class? Outside of Puason, who’s even notable?

12:38

Kiley McDaniel: Mentioned last week that Jasson Dominguez is the other name in the consensus top tier, some solid guys behind that that may be up there for some scouts

12:38

Mark: It’s insane that the Cubs won’t be able to sign a generational player like Bryce Harper because of Jason Heyward. Is there really no way to trade him?

12:39

Kiley McDaniel: This is why, among other reasons, that teams are super hesitant to give out giant deals. There is an end to the money

12:39

miley kcdaniel : how many orgs dont scout short season ball or is it only lolmets

12:39

Kiley McDaniel: As far as we know they were the only team that didn’t scout them at all in 2018. There’s more than a couple teams now covering the DSL somewhat comprehensively

12:40

Kyle: What FV would you put on Dansby Swanson now?

12:40

Kiley McDaniel: I’d go 50 PV, 55 FV

12:40

Ozzie Ozzie Albies Free: At least in OOTP, I’m always converting middling prospects with 80 arms to pitchers.  Are teams active in doing this as well and do you know of any names to look out for?

12:41

Kiley McDaniel: Yes, generally when a position player has a plus arm, they’ll have him throw a few bullpens before he gets released to make sure that won’t work. Almost every system has a mid-90’s conversion guy that can’t really do anything else

12:41

Jeremy: How do you compare FV by age and position? Is a 55 FV pitcher who is 19 really as valuable as a 55 FV catcher who is 22 and on the brink of the majors?

12:42

Kiley McDaniel: Yes, that’s folded in the rankings. Generally speaking, that 19-year-old 55 FV would have some real chance to be a frontline arm (think Mackenzie Gore), while the 22-year-old one would be a less risk, less upside version like Kyle Wright

12:43

Kiley McDaniel: and they also went 2 picks apart in the draft

12:43

Lucas A: Hi Kiley.  I follow the Yankees and have been absolutely obsessed with Deivi Garcia for the past few months.  Should I be?  He seems advanced for his age, and I love the spin rates and whiffs.

12:43

Kiley McDaniel: He’s really unique and interesting but also not the biggest guy…so he’ll be a challenge when we do the NYY list

12:44

ProspectHound: Can you rank the following in order of being the best future fantasy contributors: Ronny Mauricio, Brayan Rocchio, Kristian Robinson, George Valera, Freudis Nova

12:44

Kiley McDaniel: Nova is well behind those, I’d probably take Mauricio first

12:44

Winter Sucks: Why am I wrong when I think about Madigral and worry that he could be the second coming of Dustin Ackley?

12:44

Kiley McDaniel: Yes

12:44

Kiley McDaniel: Other than position and bonus, they don’t have much in common

12:45

Sammy Sooser: How quickly do draftees get ID’d by other orgs for having outlier trackman profiles, where the data might not have existed for them in college or high school? Things like 7’+ release points, 2400+ fastball spin, exit velos, etc, are teams immediately onto them?

12:46

Kiley McDaniel: I know of a couple low profile, low bonus, rural HS picks that posted standout rookie ball trackman numbers and some progressive teams didn’t have them turned in, or else they would’ve offered hundreds of thousands more than the kid ultimately got

12:47

Joe: What’s a fair price to pay if your Milwaukee for Mad Bum?

12:48

Kiley McDaniel: The back of the envelope math is $12-15M in surplus value for Bumgarner which would be between 3/Corey Ray and 4/Brice Turang

12:49

Guest: Thoughts on how the Orioles’ FO is taking shape?  Elias has said on record that there are enough good players in the system to work with, but that feels like lip service.  Can he really turn it around any sooner than 4-5 years from now?

12:50

Kiley McDaniel: Given the divisions and how sharp the orgs are, how good the players are and how much money there is…the bar to compete is 85+ wins, with a lot of games against .500+ teams…I think it’s at least 3 years away and probably more like 4-5, yes

12:50

PM: When was the last update to THE BOARD made? And I’m assuming that update was more to placement within the top 100 as opposed to FV and anything else?

12:51

Kiley McDaniel: Basically re-did the top 130 at the end of the year, didn’t really touch much below that

12:51

Steve O: How obvious is a Wander Franco/Vlad Jr type as an IFA? It seems not that obvious if they’re getting similar bonuses to other top prospects.

12:52

Kiley McDaniel: I mean those guys are obvious well in advance, but these days those types of players are ID’d at 13, often locked up at 14. So once you’re outside of the generational talents, you can see how there would be some fool’s gold involved

12:52

Kiley McDaniel: I told a story on the podcast of when I saw Franco at 14 years old and it was super obvious then

12:53

Greg: What’s the last 80 grade you’ve had for a prospect before their debut? Jose Fernandez?

12:54

Kiley McDaniel: It’s basically impossible to put an 80 on a guy before he plays a big league game. You’re saying that you expect, as a median outcome, for a guy to be a 6-7 win player at least once or twice. There’s always risk that doesn’t happen, So we tend to top out at 70, which there isn’t even one of those every year, and that’s a 5-win season once or twice…which everyone now and then there are kinda fluky seasons that get up there.

12:56

Kiley McDaniel: But if we would put an 80 FV on a guy the day before he loses eligibility, after like 40 games? Maybe. Acuna/Soto are probably 70 FV now with a chance to move up to 80 during this season if they keep doing it. Judge basically put up an 80 season as a rookie, then a 70 the next year. People mention Josh Beckett, Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Alex Rodriguez as the slam dunk guys of the past; they would all be around there

12:56

Hypothetical pitching prospect: If I had 80 command could I succeed in the major leagues if my max fastball velocity is 70 mph? Let’s say that I have a standard curveball/slider/changeup arsenal ranging from 40-60 mph. (I don’t throw a knuckler.. sorry).

12:56

Kiley McDaniel: LOL NO

12:57

Stevil: Are there any other prospects who throw a screwball as well as Honeywell?

12:57

Kiley McDaniel: I don’t know of another screwball at all, off the top of my head, but I’m sure there have to be a few others out there

12:58

Purple Mays Haze: A batter fouls one right back to the screen: “He was right on that pitch. The pitcher got away with one.” A batter pops one up to the catcher: “He’s giving away outs. IFFB’s are like K’s.” But Batter A missed barreling the ball by MORE than Batter B. What gives??

12:58

Kiley McDaniel: A whiff is better than a weak groundball when there’s a runner on first. Life is unfair

12:59

Kiley McDaniel: But I also read an article about hitters knowing this and they talked about swinging differently with a runner on first because of this truth

1:00

Reid: Can you explain the hype around Shrevyn Newton?

1:00

Kiley McDaniel: He’s very good and projects to improve? Here’s the full report: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/top-25-prospects-new-york-mets/

1:00

Fangraphs reader: Any other J2 names connected to a specific team other than Puason?

1:01

Kiley McDaniel: I’ve heard Puason with Oakland and Dominguez with the Yankees, both for near the whole pool amount

1:02

Miami: More concerning for Dylan Cease becoming a ML starter- Injury history or development of 3rd pitch?

1:02

Kiley McDaniel: Both? Wrote at length about him after I saw him here: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/should-we-adjust-how-we-evaluate-pitching-…

1:02

Kasvot Vaxt: Is Freddy Tarnok the real deal?

1:03

Kiley McDaniel: I’d wait until this year, but the markers are there for a breakout

1:03

Danny: Soooo is BVW about to get flooded with calls on Vientos, Mauricio, SWR, Newton and Santos now? Or do you think he is conscious that he had a lot of lower level guys with upside and was comfortable trading 1-2 away because of that depth?

1:03

Kiley McDaniel: The teams generally know more than we do about their own players

1:03

Kiley McDaniel: Every now and then there’s a specific instance where we have an edge, but it’s rare…for obvious reasons

1:05

carrotjuice: Why does Bumgarner, projected for 2.1 WAR, have $12-15M surplus? Hopes that he can regain his 2016 self?

1:07

Kiley McDaniel: It’s an estimate, but 2.1 seems a little light to me. He’s making $12 million, so 2.5-3.0 WAR seems a little closer and also what the acquiring team is probably expecting/SF would require to trade a franchise face type. But yes, 2.1 WAR at $12M might be more like $8M, which would be just below Turang, but still a 45 FV type. It’s right about that area in a 1-for-1.

1:08

Noah Syndergaard: Giminez is way higher than Alonso on THE BOARD. What happened between end of the year and the Mets list?

1:08

Kiley McDaniel: They both went to the Arizona Fall League and we also talked to more people/got more data

1:08

Kiley McDaniel: And they’re still within 20-30 spots in both instances…in the middle of a top 100 that’s a tiny difference

1:09

Dan: Not including international signings, 11 of the Braves’ top 12 prospects were drafted in 1st or 2nd rounds and have 45+ FV. Is this fairly common or does this highlight the skill (or luck?) of their scouting department?

1:09

Kiley McDaniel: There’s lots of lists where the top is all top 50 overall picks and top 15 July 2 bonuses

1:09

Purple Mays Haze: Steamer600 has Tyler O’Neill as .243 32 HR/ 7 SB with a 108 wRC+ and 2.0 WAR as a 23 year old in his first real year in MLB. Should he not be a no doubt top 25 prospect?

1:10

Kiley McDaniel: Lost eligibility, was around 50th on the list until that happened

1:10

Kiley McDaniel: I believe he lost eligibility by 1 AB or something very close, though

1:11

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Do you have a link to the relevant podcast where you saw Franco at 14?

1:11

cheapskate drifter: is there a particular reason why baseball seems so more quantifiable compared to other sports?  (or is my premise wrong to begin with)

1:12

Kiley McDaniel: It is, there’s a reason Moneyball happened in baseball first. Every interaction is quantified. Think of quantifying two identical runnings backs at the same competitive level where one has the best O-Line in the league and a run heavy offense versus the worst O-Line in the league and a pass heavy offense

1:12

Kiley McDaniel: That’s still hard to quantify

1:12

Guest: When are you and Eric going to do another podcast?

1:12

Kiley McDaniel: Recording today

1:12

Beane Machine: Would you tag Kyler Murray with a “sleeper/breakout candidate” label. (Not in terms of public notoriety but rather baseball ability/performance)

1:13

Kiley McDaniel: He hasn’t been super widely scouted (no pro scout has ever seen him) and he’s played so little, that we don’t know if his instincts/pitch selection may get dramatically better or this is it

1:13

Cotty: Seems like your FV grades are often conservative compared to other publications. Does everyone use the scale the same way you do: pegging it to a future win expectancy?

1:13

Kiley McDaniel: Well the term literally was never used on the internet before we used it

1:14

Kiley McDaniel: And I took it from one of the teams I worked for because it was a foundation in WAR

1:14

Kiley McDaniel: so I’d generally say the way we use it is the most accurate way

1:14

Kiley McDaniel: We also recalibrate it pretty often as well

1:14

Kiley McDaniel: And now have a track record of being consistent so a 40+ FV is worth so many millions or whatever

1:18

Kiley McDaniel: That’s not to say that it’s perfect or we’re geniuses. We still talk about using other systems or enhancing this one

1:18

Kiley McDaniel: For instance, a system that calls a prospect 70/high risk is useful in that you know a player’s
“upside” is a 70 and it’s unlikely

1:19

Kiley McDaniel: but that same system would say Jose Ramirez’s upside when he was in Double-A was probably 45/medium

1:20

Kiley McDaniel: so you aren’t really even talking about upside, since he’s an 80 now. This is a point Dave Cameron would bring up a lot, that upside is kinda  useless term when fringe prospects become 80s

1:20

Kiley McDaniel: So, our system will give you a slotting based on his trade value industry wide and give you variance so you know if this could go up/down a lot or not

1:21

Kiley McDaniel: and that’s enough for industry types to get it, but to a novice reader, we get that this is still kinda dense. Like a 50 in Low-A projects to be a 2 win player just like a 50 in MLB would be a 2 win player, right? Eh not really, because risk and distance to the majors is factored into the minor leaguer and not the major leaguer

1:21

Kiley McDaniel: Anyway, we have another innovation to add to this that more casual reader focused that we think you’ll like. It will come with the Top 100 package

1:22

Kiley McDaniel: We think it’s kinda the missing part of this whole equation I’m describing here, especially with the asset values so the MLB to prospect comparisons are much easier now

1:22

Quinn: What does Parker Meadows need to do to reach 50 FV?

1:22

Kiley McDaniel: Tools are there, just needs to hit

1:22

Spotted cow: How likely are keiboom and rodgers to stay at ss when they are blocked by young studs

1:23

Kiley McDaniel: They’re both possible average shortstops that also may end up being a little below average and naturally moving to 2B or 3B naturally

1:24

Dr. Funk: What would a Cards trade for MadBum look like?   Munoz & Garcia?

1:24

Kiley McDaniel: that would be the three headliners candidates

1:25

Cotty: Do you think Luis Patino has risen enough to jump Joey Bart in the rankings? I’m curious whether he would’ve been the #2 pick.

1:25

Kiley McDaniel: At the end of the MILB season, we had then 10 slots apart…so essentially tied

1:25

Bk: What do you think of Chavez young?

1:25

Kiley McDaniel: Likely a low 45/or 40+, but haven’t made calls on Toronto yet

1:26

Stove: Ethan Hankins seems like the exact type of arm that’s being severely underrated because of injury. Is the shoulder issue he had early last year giving you guys a lot of pause, or do you expect him to be fine and blow up?

1:27

Kiley McDaniel: He wasn’t the same pitcher afterwards and, generally speaking, when a pitcher gets injured, has been back for months and doesn’t look the same, we aren’t going to bet on them magically improving. Some do, but that’s a losing bet to make over the long run.

1:27

Brendon: Which division is next in the prospects list?

1:27

Kiley McDaniel: AL East

1:27

Kiley McDaniel: Boston then TB

1:28

Phillie Phanatic: Are you a fan of Alec Bohm?

1:29

Kiley McDaniel: We just wrote him up in a lot of detail here: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/top-36-prospects-philadelphia-phillies/

1:31

Cotty: (Just wanted to say thanks for the long response! Really like your work, it’s been super valuable.)

1:31

Jerome: Thanks for all the prospect coverage. Don’t feel bad posting a message like this one in the chat every once in a while, it’s well-earned.

1:31

Kiley McDaniel: Thanks for the nice messages!

1:31

Sammy Sooser: Why haven’t you signed yet? Collusion?

1:31

Kiley McDaniel: (pulls collar away from neck)

1:36

Bob: How has no pro scout seen Kyler Murray? Am I misunderstanding what a pro scout is? He was drafted 9 overall?

1:38

Kiley McDaniel: pro scout is minors/majors (pro players) while amatuer scout is HS/JC/College and int’l scout is basically latin teenagers (but also Cuban/Mexican pros, australia/asia/europe/africa amateurs). There’s some overlap with Japanese/Korean pro teams sometimes being scouted by pro or int’l scouts depending on the team

1:38

steve: Deivi Garcia will be a challenge when we do the NYY list. Does that mean you are hesitant to rank him high on the nyy list due to his height?

1:39

Kiley McDaniel: Balancing his build (height itself doesn’t really matter) with his ability is tough, since the ability is high upside but the build presumably limits the innings at some point, so then lowers the upside

1:41

spin guyer: and is there anywhere that I can find the spin rates for other minor leaguers

1:42

Kiley McDaniel: Not that I know of

1:42

PD: How does Nick Madrigal have 30 current game power with 50 future? What in his profile indicates that sort of pop?

1:43

Kiley McDaniel: Guys with compact/athletic frames and plus plus bat control tend to get to more than you’d expect: Albies, Betts, Altuve, etc.

1:43

Extremely Cool Commenter
FRANMIL. REYES.

1:43

Kiley McDaniel: whoa that kinda snuck up on me

1:43

Kiley McDaniel: welp i guess that’s it

1:43

Kiley McDaniel: see you guys next week

We hoped you liked reading Kiley McDaniel FanGraphs Chat – 1/9/19 by Kiley McDaniel!

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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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SenorGato
Member
SenorGato

Please don’t make excuses for the Cubs. It’s enabling comments like that from the relative comfortables outside ownership/employer circles that have basically laid waste to labor across industries, even the ones that stay relevant as tech improves. The Cubs are not out of money, just speculatively are out of a willingness to spend it. This is likely due to the owners totally definitely not colluding on how high they are willing to let payrolls go as well as individual contracts.

SenorGato
Member
SenorGato

I should have figured this would be an unpopular take at the home of the (very very likely lowballed) $/WAR. Never side with management, folks, not sure how this is not obvious.