Kiley McDaniel Chat – 10/2/19

12:38

Kiley McDaniel: Hello from ATL! Scout is asleep sunbathing on the back porch, so I’m left to field your questions.

12:39

abgb123: First day time chat this week and it’s you, blah!

12:39

Kiley McDaniel: thanks for coming by, mom

12:39

Mary Anning’s Monster: Is it fairly clear that Hancock, Martin, and Tork are going in the top 3 and then what happens next is not clear?  If you were in the 4-10 range and needed a bat, who would you prefer?  Hassel?  PCA?

12:41

Kiley McDaniel: Good chance her to plug THE BOARD, which is our personal opinions of who to take amongst minor leaguers, draft and July 2 folks. It’s always being updated and the 2020 draft stuff has one more set of tweaks left before we announce “hey guys, come look at this, it’s new” but there’s over 500 guys on there, so you could say we’re pretty well informed

12:41

Kiley McDaniel: Hendrick-Veen-Hassell is 6-7-8 so they’re all very close

12:41

Kiley McDaniel: and PCA at 10 isn’t far behind

12:42

Kiley McDaniel: I think 7/8 could be flipped but that’s an industry consensus view of those four as well

12:42

Kiley McDaniel: some think PCA is a low first rounder, but typically up-the-middle, bat-first performers rise around draft time so I think he’ll end up closer to 10 on draft day than 30

12:43

Kiley McDaniel: this is pretty close to what the draft rankings will be for the offseason, so feel free to jump in now ahead of the announcement

12:43

Mary Anning’s Monster: Was the rise of Juan Soto unexpected?  Why is Juan Soto seemingly not as exciting or as hyped as his inferior contemporaries (e.g. Bryce Harper)?

12:45

Kiley McDaniel: He signed as a 10th-15th overall type guy in his July 2 class, then had a loud short-season debut, but injury-shortened, then he went full-season debut to MLB so fast that we had to scramble to get him into the top 10 overall prospects before he lost prospect eligibility. It’s rare for a guy to change from good to amazing that abruptly in terms of plate appearances

12:45

Kiley McDaniel: Acuna did a version of it and had an injury just before the explosion into the top 10 overall. We were early on Acuna for obvious reasons, but lots of teams waited until the full season debut before they totally bought in

12:45

Jake: Nick Loftin: Keston Hiura 2.0?

12:46

Kiley McDaniel: Not even close

12:46

Kiley McDaniel: Hiura is arguably a 6 hit/6 power bat and Loftin is a 5 bat/maybe 4 power type

12:46

Connor: What will it take for the Sox to keep Mookie and JD?

12:51

Kiley McDaniel: They’re making it tricky by

1) trying to get under the CBT this year so it resets (understandable)
2) one bad year after a WS title is unacceptable so DD is fired (barely understandable)
3) we have to hand out extensions to everyone the year after the WS so we can continue to compete (not really understandable)
4) we can’t go over the CBT in the season where we need to resign arguably our two best players, which should’ve been the priority at the beginning of the handing-out-of-money process (unbelievable)
5) we so recklessly spent money to stay competitive right before what we knew would be a key time that it’s now dead money and we have to eat a lot/include prospects we don’t have to clear it (like, c’mon guys)

It’s hard to tell from ownership quotes what the intentions of a club truly are and how much of this was blindly letting DD make decisions after the title and firing him b/c the error in the approach/moral hazard is now very obvious

12:52

Kiley McDaniel: The number is $208 million for 2020

12:53

Kiley McDaniel: and looking at the Red Sox roster resource payroll chart: https://www.fangraphs.com/roster-resource/payroll/red-sox

12:54

Kiley McDaniel: they’re at $151M now without arb salaries

12:54

Kiley McDaniel: Mookie is $27-32 for this year via arb

12:54

Kiley McDaniel: JBJ is another $10M+

12:55

Kiley McDaniel: there’s another $15M or so in guys they likely keep

12:56

Kiley McDaniel: that has you right there at the threshold and that’s if JD Martinez doesn’t opt out

12:56

Kiley McDaniel: he likely does and could cost more, but you could restructure some things to be low in 2020 to stay under and balloon later to buy some wiggle room

12:56

Kiley McDaniel: you’ve also got a couple spots to fill of FA’s leaving

12:57

Kiley McDaniel: presumably you could dump a few deals and fix all this, but eat money in future years, trade prospects, etc. then go into the tax again next year and just have no margin for error in 2020 if guys get hurt

12:57

Kiley McDaniel: it’s a tough tight rope to walk, but doable if they’re committed to that direction. And I tend to think BOS is, since I can’t imagine a full rebuild or even a non-competitive year

12:58

Kiley McDaniel: So it’s doable, but DD left you quite a mess

12:59

Kiley McDaniel: and just not signing Eovaldi would’ve made it much more doable

12:59

DJ Kitty Tears Down the Trop: ***WANDER FRANCO QUESTION***

12:59

DJ Kitty Tears Down the Trop: But seriously… would Franco be the first guy called up among all the playoff teams to be on post-season roster assuming different MLB rules regarding service time, etc?

1:00

Kiley McDaniel: He very well may be the best now player not currently in MLB, in addition to being the best long-term prospect. Doesn’t mean he’d come up and be great from day one, but that’s true of any guy abusing Triple-A pitching.

1:01

Kiley McDaniel: Vlad Jr. was slightly below expectations and still hit above league average and the odds any 4-A guy actually does that over a couple of months are pretty low, especially if they do anything more than DH/be a weak 1B

1:01

Purple Mays Haze: Will fangraphs get Hard% for the minor leagues? I believe rotowire has it.

1:02

Kiley McDaniel: That’s done by hand/eye by stringers in the press box. We can get it and didn’t because we’re dubious that its useful/accurate/predictive, but since the questions last week, we’re taking another look at it to see if it passes our smell test.

1:02

Purple Mays Haze: Are there any organizations that you know of that are using machine learning to detect pitch sequencing tendencies (e.g. on a 2-1 pitch to a lefty, if the last pitch was a FB that the batter was late on, the catcher calls for a ____ 65% on the outside corner of the time” etc.)?

1:02

Kiley McDaniel: Yes

1:02

Mike: Heard anything about Jasson Dominguez from his short time in instructs? He posted a couple clips of his swings on IG the other day, looks impressive.

1:04

Kiley McDaniel: lol guys calm down, he’s been swinging the bat basically every day since before July 2nd. Instructs is mostly instructional, so it isn’t that different. Probably more instructive to wait until he’s stateside and facing pitching like what he’ll face next year

1:04

Mike: Everything coming out of Arizona has been promising on Julio Rodriguez, with that + a great 2019 season do you see him taking a massive leap up during the off season on the board?

1:05

Kiley McDaniel: Possible, he’s roughly on the Jo Adell trajectory so it could end up there, but Eric’s the one that’s seeing him so he may be a better day-to-day source for Julio info

1:05

Matt: Is it ever going to be fall in Georgia? What’s your favorite food at Suntrust?

1:05

Kiley McDaniel: Fox Bros, Holeman burger inside. Antico outside, but haven’t been to C Ellet’s yet. El Felix was pretty solid for lunch

1:06

Fangraphs reader: Last offseason, the Brewers were a model organization for ‘rebuilding without tanking.’ Despite the Yelich immediately turning into an MVP after the trade (something other teams probably can’t hope to replicate) they seem to have a team that isn’t quite good enough to compete for a world series and not enough resources (farm or $) to change that.  Where do you think they should/will go from here, and how do you think their success or lack thereof impacts other teams that are deciding whether or not to push their chips in?

1:07

Kiley McDaniel: Just keep doing the same thing like TBR does. There isn’t really another path without a big revenue change and you can’t really do the process much better than they do. NYY is what happens when that process has more resources. They’re all in the top 5-7 in terms of best-run organizations. LAD is another example, which with Friedman running things is more obvious.

1:08

Bring Back Jeff: Kiley, have you seen Triston Casas in person? His numbers seem kind of underwhelming to me

1:08

Kiley McDaniel: 19-year-old with 70 or 80 raw power hitting 36% better than league average in a league where the average age is 21 or 22

1:09

Kiley McDaniel: if you mean it isn’t the most impressive line in organized baseball, sure. It’s easily in the top 50.

1:09

Kiley McDaniel: So, I can safely say your emotions are objectively wrong

1:10

All filler: Kiley McDaniel will manage the __________ _________ in 2020.

1:11

Kiley McDaniel: BEST NEW PODCAST IN THE WORLD (more details coming soon)

1:11

Guest: HOW

1:11

Kiley McDaniel: just watch me

1:11

Guest: When

1:12

Kiley McDaniel: i said coming soon

1:12

Not Evan: My read is that right now you have fewer prospects graded FV60 or higher than at any earlier point in the history of The Board. Is that a function of a lot of recent graduations, or do you think the preseason update is ripe for some players to be leveled-up?

1:12

Kiley McDaniel: It’ll end up close to the same by top 100 time

1:12

Not Evan: Humor me for a second. Looking to sell high, the A’s shop Marcus Semien this winter with one year remaining before he hits free agency. What sort of prospect do you think they’d get in return?

1:13

Kiley McDaniel: Like one top 100 prospect and some lesser pieces

1:14

Kiley McDaniel: That’s basically what half a season of Machado got

1:14

I am the Walrus: Is there research on how a player like Betts and his  5-9 stature would age?  Does that make a 10 yr contract more risky that usual?

1:15

Kiley McDaniel: Once proven in the big leagues, build and past durability seems to be more important than height for both hitters and pitchers

1:15

BackUpTerry: What should I do to get hired if I want to work in PD or Amatuer Scouting with a team, but don’t have college playing experience? I would like to think I understand analytics fairly well, and have scouted for 3rd party companies for a couple of years.

1:15

Kiley McDaniel: that’s not as important now as it used to be

1:15

Kiley McDaniel: go scout a bunch of games and network and be aggressive in sharing reports/applying

1:16

Mary Anning’s Monster: What are the Dodgers going to do with Keiber Ruiz?  Is he a trade chip or are they going to play him C/1B?

1:16

Kiley McDaniel: He was apparently on the table for Felipe Vasquez

1:17

Lake: What do you think of Bryan Mata’s season? Still seemed to struggle with BBs but not as badly as last year, and as a 19 yo in AA

1:18

Kiley McDaniel: was talking to Eric about him yesterday and put a Carlos Zambrano comp on him. Above stuff, low slot, bigger frame, starter chance

1:18

Mary Anning’s Monster: Do you draft shadow teams for fun, to see how “your guy” would do on a fictional team?  Related question:  do you feel you (and maybe you and Eric) have exceeded the “industry average” in terms of evaluation, or is that not really possible given the volume?

1:18

Kiley McDaniel: Haven’t but you could just look at our rankings and do it pretty easily

1:18

Kiley McDaniel: I’d like to think so, but feel like you need receipts to trumpet that too loudly

1:19

Kiley McDaniel: But the guys we were higher than the media/draft position on in 2018 have a pretty strong track record

1:21

Guest: Would you ever again work for a MLB team and if so what one would you choose if you had a choice?

1:22

Kiley McDaniel: I’d consider it, but for a pretty narrow group of teams and a pretty specific type of role. I love what I’m doing now

1:22

My Mama Says: How often do you bring Scout to scout with you?

1:22

Kiley McDaniel: Only once so far. Hard to focus on the game when she’s trying to smell the whole stadium

1:24

Josh: Makeup/injury issues aside, is it fair to say that ever pretty much everyone on the board could get $125k post 10th round in the draft?

1:24

Kiley McDaniel: other than seniors, yeah i’d imagine there’s a team with $125k for all those guys if the makeup/medical checks out

1:25

Kiley McDaniel: maybe just one team and they’re full at some point

1:25

greg: Any thoughts on the Kyle Boddy hire by the Reds?

1:26

Kiley McDaniel: Good for both parties. It’s absurd how traditional high level instruction still is for some clubs, so there’s a role for Kyle and people like him to fill in those holes, particularly once there’s a big league track record the MLB team can point to and feel good about like with Bauer, Boyd, other prospects

1:27

Kiley McDaniel: It does seem inherently challenging for places like Driveline to get bonafide high end hitters, which is a little surprising for MLB players…like why is there not a Bauer/Boyd-like verison of a hitter in MLB? I guess Josh Donaldson is the best example and it seems like he’s more self-taught than a disciple of a specific camp

1:28

Kiley McDaniel: and for prospects, it makes more sense. It much easier to take a generic 88 mph college guy and teach him to throw 95 mph and be a guy and thus have your first high profile client than it is to teach a generic hitter to have plus-plus bat speed and also get in-game results. Hitting development is pretty linear and pitching development is some real wacky stuff

1:29

Kiley McDaniel: which makes one Kyle kicking around the backfields for CIN more useful on the pitching side than the hitting side, in terms of one year worth of results

1:29

Guest: Any indication of what happened with NYY and Jhon Diaz? Or also what NY plans to do with the int’l money they traded for?

1:30

Kiley McDaniel: Sounds like TBR came up with the same money as NYY before NYY was able to make the necessary trades and it was long enough after July 2nd that it was socially acceptable. Wouldn’t have been on 7/2 since it sounds like the Diaz camp knew a trade was necessary for NYY to follow through, so they were fine with waiting a bit.

1:30

DJ Tanner: re: Red Sox situation. Why would firing DD be barely understandable when everything you went into after that is how he royally screwed up the financial situation for the Red Sox?

1:32

Kiley McDaniel: Because they hired him after he did almost the exact same thing to DET. They signed up for that exact thing because they thought it increased the chances of a WS and that’s exactly what happened. To be mad at the end when it basically went to plan suggests insanity or an impossible standard.

1:32

PatEdMartin: Why is there a big HS scouting tournament at a time when these guys should be shut down or playing football?

1:33

Kiley McDaniel: because there will be events year-round of some sort since the for-profit companies like money or the scouts can scrape together enough players to make it worthwhile for them

1:33

ford: What’s holding Casey Martin back from being higher? Also when will the 2020 draft switch over to being the default on THE BOARD?

1:33

Kiley McDaniel: It’ll happen when we “announce” the 2020 rankings. He’s an 80 runner that’s got fringe-to-average raw power and a shot to stick at SS. Question is on the contact ability.

1:34

ford: Chances Ed Howard stays at SS?

1:34

Kiley McDaniel: High

1:34

Derek: Do you have an opinion either way on whether MLB should allow teams to freely trade draft picks?

1:34

Kiley McDaniel: It is truly insane that is isn’t a rule right now. Pretty confident it happens in this CBA or the one after.

1:35

Mary Anning’s Monster: How long is the commissioner’s contract for?  If the owners say “hey, Manfred, you’re a mess,” can they fire him immediately, in the offseason, or, do they have to wait a specified term?

1:35

Kiley McDaniel: I’m sure it’s like every CEO contract where you’re rarely in the last year of the deal and there’s big payouts for a firing

1:35

Nolan: How well would a RHP need to perform to get draft looks while sitting less than 90?

1:37

Kiley McDaniel: 10+ K/9, 2- BB/9 as a weekend starter in a major conference could get you into the top 10 rounds if you’re close to average stuff. Below a major conference and below average stuff, it needs to be truly bonkers numbers to even get a scout to watch you.

1:37

Kiley McDaniel: (broadly speaking)

1:39

Intl Draft: Topic I’ve been contemplating recently. If you give the worst team in baseball the number one overall pick in the domestic AND international draft, wouldn’t this encourage more tanking? Or would this, hypothetically, decrease the amount of time a rebuild takes, therefore negating the overall time spent putting a poor product on the field? How would MLB combat this, if at all?

1:39

Kiley McDaniel: It’s the main reason tanking exists. If it was the NBA, hitting a couple top picks could turn around W-L record quickly but MLB isn’t even sort of like that

1:39

Mary Anning’s Monster: Question for scout:  SQUIRREL!!!

1:39

Kiley McDaniel: oh man she was just falling asleep for the fifth time today

1:40

Mary Anning’s Monster: I know this is probably beyond your pay scale, but what’s your take on Mitch Haniger’s ruptured testicle?

1:40

Kiley McDaniel: jesus guys we were almost past this

1:41

Mac: So Kyle Boddy will be working for the Reds but will still be owner/operator of Driveline. Driveline will still work individually with other players/prospects. That seems kind of odd to me but maybe that’s a more common contract type than I’m aware of.

1:41

Kiley McDaniel: Not common, but that’s the deal their hitting guy Ochart has with PHI as the minor league hitting coordinator

1:42

Ken Giles Right Hook: 6ix9ine is testifying against you in court… What does he say about your time with the Braves?

1:42

Kiley McDaniel: That I had some great Rule 5/waivers suggestions that couldn’t quite get past the finish line

1:43

Mary Anning’s Monster: Do you ever get texts from Jeff, Dave, Carson, et al. saying “man I love this job, it is the best job” or anything to that effect, or are they dead to you?

1:43

Kiley McDaniel: I don’t know anyone named Carson

1:44

Chat Mapman: Hello Kiley. Pretend you are Mr. Dodger, the owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Do you take Gonsolin or May with you to the big boy games?

1:44

Kiley McDaniel: May

1:44

D: Re: The lack of Bauer/Boyd version of MLB hitters…Wouldn’t some of the guys who’ve spent time with Craig Wallenbrock fall under this category?

1:45

Kiley McDaniel: Yes, JD Martinez was kinda the first, but I meant more of an evangelistic presence than just learning new things in the offseason and using them in-season

1:45

Kiley McDaniel: And I think some of the swing change guys figured it out on their own/with team employees

1:46

Bring Back Jeff: You have convinced me on Casas. Thanks!

1:46

Kiley McDaniel: tough love works

1:46

MATH DAMON: 1. = 1.

1:46

Kiley McDaniel: oh, i guess it’s over now

1:46

Kiley McDaniel: see you guys next week

We hoped you liked reading Kiley McDaniel Chat – 10/2/19 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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