Kiley McDaniel Chat – 11/27/19

11:43

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Hello from a rainy ATL! Scout is napping in the other room and I’m scrambling to finish stuff before the holiday grocery shopping and prep. May share some finished products and more kitchen looks on my instagram @kileymcdaniel

11:43

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Also, there’s a bunch of moves happening in the last hour. Gibson to TEX, Pomeranz at SDP, Urias-Grisham MIL-SDP deal, so I’m sure we’ll spend time on that.

11:44

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Lastly, we were in NYC last week and had a live event that sold out and went really well! Eric and I joined Meg and Ben on stage for a prospects panel with a Q&A and it’s the last segment on this episode of EW: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/effectively-wild-episode-1460-live-from-ne…

11:45

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: While at that event, Eric and I revealed something we’ve been hinting at for the last few weeks: we wrote a book!

11:46

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: you can preorder it here: https://www.triumphbooks.com/future-value-products-9781629377674.php?p
and use code FV20 to get 20% through the end of the year

11:47

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: there’s summaries there and on Amazon, but the idea is this is a follow-up on the happenings of Moneyball, about the tension between stats and scouting and where things are now in baseball. Also covers how to scout, how to get a job in baseball, how to train/get a scholarship as a player and many other things!

11:48

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: we’ve also started prospect lists and have a new PROSPECTS navigation option in the top nav bar where those are easily found.

we’re doing lists by spring training pod, so ARI-SFG are done and COL will be the first after the holiday, with BOS/MIN coming after that and the east/central FL teams after that. we’re planning on 2-3 per week until they’re done now that the book is finally behind us.

okay, so there’s all your topics of interest. to your questions:

11:49

Jim Leyland Palmer: If still eligible of FV grades would you move each of these guys down a notch from their last eligible grades in 2017: Andjuar (60FV to 55FV) & Frazier (55FV to 50FV)? Or more?

11:50

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: We’ll be introducing the concept of Present Value (PV) this winter and it’s most useful for young big leaguers, since it won’t be 20 and it won’t be the FV (Future Value) number.

11:50

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Eyeballing it, I’d say Andujar is 50/55 and Frazier is 45/45+

11:50

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: maybe 40/45 on Frazier?

11:51

Guest: You mentioned yesterday the Yankees being connected (among others) to Po-Yu Chen.  Would that be for this coming July 2?

11:51

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: From now until June 15th, he’s probably the best player available that’s likely to sign in this period

11:51

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: and there’s multiple teams with 7 figures of pool left, though we never know exactly what those figures are, we can estimate.

11:51

Guest: “The Battle for Baseball’s Soul”??? What does that even mean? Excited for the book though

11:52

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: There’s a theme in the book of traditional/progressive being on a spectrum and we literally make a matrix of this (with success/failure on the y-axis) and place all 30 teams on it.

11:53

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: When you get to the furthest place on the progressive end, you tend to get firing scouts, replacing with cheaper labor, teams literally taking advice from management consulting firms and the general marginalization of traditional baseball things (sometimes smartly) which often leads to marginalization of humans and the individuality (not smart)

11:54

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: So we position that as a fight for baseball’s soul, since if all 30 teams all end up in this area, there’s a lot less humanity in the game, which in many cases is why fans like the game.

11:54

Guest: What % chance would you put Jasson Dominguez being the #1 overall prospect in 2021 (basically duplicating Wander Franco)?

11:55

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Like 15%?

11:55

Tugs: This might be way to abstract, but when I see someone has a hit grade of 25/60… what kinds of things do you see that make you go Are they more mechanical in the swing? Is it as simple as “This kids really sucks now but I see a lot of potential there”.  Or is it a “he’s got a nice swing and if he put some meat on those bones then he’ll turn those soft liners into hard liners”?

11:56

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: The present grade on hitters maps pretty well to their level in the minors. Can’t be a present 40 hitter but not have left the complex league because we don’t know enough to say that, even if the skills/tools are present

11:56

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: So a gap that big means elite hitting ability that’s already been demonstrated in games vs. good competition, but is a teenager that hasn’t been to Low-A yet

11:56

LudeBurger: I’m not really familiar with minor league clusters. Who is in the west palm cluster? What are other clusters?

11:58

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: West Palm is STL/MIA/WSH/HOU, all within like 30 minutes of each other at two complexes that each house two clubs. NYM is another hour or so up the road, ATL/DET another hour or so from there. Go much further west and you get the Tampa pod of NYY/PHI/TOR, with PIT/BAL just south of them, then the new ATL and TB are just south of that and MIN/BOS are the furthest south in Ft. Myers.

11:58

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I don’t know the Phoenix ones as well, but they’re also generally in clusters and that first one is the clubs arounds Scottsdale

11:59

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: The idea is that often instructs and minor league teams for these clubs will be clustered together and so scouts that tend to see one also see the others, so this is a good way to avoid circling back to scouts many times throughout the winter

11:59

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: and those teams will play each other, so execs for one club will know the other teams better as well

11:59

Narvain: Have you ever had an interaction with new Padres’ manager Tingler or know what his reputation is around the league?

11:59

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Nope, but all the buzz is positive

11:59

Kevin McReynolds: Thanks for the awesome AZ list and congrats on the book. If still eligible, where would Kevin Cron and Josh Rojas rate? 40?

12:00

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Rojas I believe was a 40 before graduating. You can see older version of the lists by changing the year in the dropdown menu. Cron is a 4A/emergency type for us, so a 35.

12:00

TJ: If I wanted to reach out to teams regarding baseball ops positions who would likely be the best person in each org to reach out to (Director of baseball ops, Assistant GM, etc)? Also would mailing them a resume and cover letter be more effective than an email? Thanks

12:01

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: This is covered in the book in more detail, but the asst. director level is your best bet and an email with a sentence or two and resume and a sample of work is the best thing to send

12:01

Interested Consumer: Hi Kiley, I heard about a very interesting book that I would like to preorder. It is called Future Value: The Battle for baseball’s soul and how teams will find the next superstar. Do you have any information about who wrote it, when it came out, or how and where I can pre-order it?

12:01

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I have that information but cannot recall it off the top of my head

12:01

Billy Beane: Does the scouts getting fired thing make it difficult for you to get as many sources in the upper minors? It sorta makes sense to have lots of scouts far from the majors and use mostly data close to the majors, but that must make sourcing more difficult for a public team like you and Kiley.

12:02

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: It just moves the information subtly from scouts to front office people and we talk to both, so it’s not amazingly more difficult. If anything, it’s easier since front office people with info tend to have it across the whole game while one scout will be limited to where they’ve actually been to games and the days they were there.

12:02

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: (I am Kiley, btw)

12:02

FJM: Lauer and Urias for Grisham and Davies.  Please discourse.

12:03

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Urias seems to never have been fully appreciated by SD since they’re a more traditional shop and he’s not a traditional player. Making him a SS and thinking they can figure out a way to optimize his offensive approach around the lack of pop is a very MIL and generally progressive team opinion. This is essentially what OAK did with Semien as well.

12:04

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Grishman is LF only and needs to mash, but took a step forward and has mashed, so he’s got a lower-variance set of outcomes without much margin for error

12:04

SJ: Can Urias pass at SS?

12:04

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: If you don’t have a SS, will shift a lot and work on trying to get him a little better, he will not be the 30th best defensive SS, but there’s a reason SD hasn’t tried this and it’s not just because they have Tatis.

12:07

KileyKitchenQs: What are you making for Thanksgiving?

12:08

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Gonna do a brussels dish and sweet potato dish but looking at a few different sauce options and some appetizers for a sense of turkey day intrigue

12:08

Matt W. : What type of impact will Jaylin Davis  make in 2020?

12:09

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: We like the raw tools and he’s been performing lately, so we’re cautiusly optimistic. That said there’s a “demoted in May” lower outcome and a “Aristedes Aquino” higher outcome, so the gap is pretty wide

12:09

JD: Kyle Gibson for 3/$30. How’d I do?

12:09

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Like the deal! Lower guarantee than I was expecting.

12:10

No Pepper: Do you love Arraez as much as Steamer loves him? (proj. wOBA of .337), 540 PA

12:11

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: He’s that type of player that prospect lists tend to underrate and stat engines tend to overrate. Zach Granite and Willians Astudillo also had extreme contact rates, but the secondary skills and way they do it are more relevant for us. Arraez was a 50 for us before he graduated b/c we think there’s a Nori Aoki-ish sneaky average everyday player and some non-zero chance of one of those Jose Ramirez holy shit how did we miss this kind of things.

12:12

Bobb: Take on Evan White contract ?

12:12

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Very cheap given what it could be after a year or two, but locking in that much cash is hard to yell at the kid about, even if that’s likely all he makes his entire career. Lowers the variance of career earnings significantly.

12:13

The Ghost of Wade Boggs: If one were to go to the Winter Meetings looking for a job, what sort of dress code would be appropriate to adhere to?

12:13

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I’d do button up and slacks, have a coat but under no circumstances should you bring a tie

12:14

Xavier: Ljay Newsome has to be at the top of most Rule 5 draft boards, right?

12:14

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: the ability to predict this sort of thing on the public side is almost zero and the interest is also approaching zero

12:14

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: (excepting JJ Cooper)

12:14

SpicyBoy: Wouldn’t it make more sense to evaluate prospects on an OBP/SLG tool, rather than the standard Hit/Power tools? Seems like that could get rid of a lot of the confusion with the current methodology (eg: overrating empty BA guys, underrating guys who strike out a lot but walk a ton) while essentially rating the same thing.

12:15

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Well there aren’t physical tools, so that would make it hard to watch a guy and say “that’s a 70 OBP tool” because you’re summing up like 15 different abilities. The hit tool is already hard enough on it’s own. Any good report has enough info that you can do this after the fact.

12:15

Poppa: What would Anthopoulos have to give up to get Haniger? Would something like Riley, Wilson, and Davidson be a solid offer? Thanks!

12:16

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: that’s way too much!

12:16

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: (for ATL to give up)

12:16

a big dumb idiot: do execs just want an excuse to not help cook?

12:16

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Preller and DiPoto would be the top of my list for this. So expect a Mariners trade to come within minutes.

12:16

Ian: Pretty crazy at how much money the Braves have invested in the pen, does this mean Liberty is finally opening the wallet? They wouldnt spend so much on the pen if the money was what we normally expect…

12:17

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: They don’t *have* to spend it in other areas, could just roll with what they have. So not clear this means the payroll is jumping. Aside from adding an ace, the pen is the thing that held them back before and they addressed it and depth first.

12:17

Duhbear: Do you think Moises Gomez, Whitley, or Sullivan get taken in the Rule V? Anyone have success at the major league level this year if taken?

12:17

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Gomez would be near the top of my take-and-stash Rule 5 list

12:18

Fangraphs Reader: Are the pitch selection and bat control present grades?

12:19

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Well the idea is those won’t change, so present and future are the same. Obviously guys change throughout the minors, but these things don’t move a ton

12:20

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Like, how would we even approach projecting a pitch selection grade to improve? We think his eyes will improve? Bat control is innate and tied to athleticism, so kids of prospect age typically don’t lose or gain much

12:20

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: sometimes a swing change can unlock it, so there’s a case where it could change in season

12:21

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: and some hitters’ approaches will obscure a present ability, but I think we’ll grade the ability, not how they’re using it, so stats won’t always match them.

12:21

Ozzie: Do cats know that they’re cats?

12:21

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: and do they know the movie looks like a practical joke

12:21

Jeff: Wtf is Isaac Paredes? A secret superstar 3B or 2B? A bat first but viable first division SS? A second tier player at any of those positions? Lower than second tier?

12:21

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: soft role 5 IF with a small chance to be a 6

12:22

Arquimedes: How good is Luisangel Acuna?

12:22

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: pretty good!

12:22

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: At least a 40, maybe a 45 FV

12:22

David: Just pre-ordered the book!!!

12:22

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Thanks!

12:22

Ronnie: Eric Lauer?!?! What’s the deal with THAT guy?!?!?

12:22

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I would’ve capitalized DEAL

12:22

Guest: Do you know when the project you are working on with definitions for all the different baseball operation positions will be up? Thanks

12:22

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: That’s the book. It’s in there.

12:23

Jim Leyland Palmer: You gotta pay the troll toll to get into baseball’s soul

12:23

Joe: Do the Braves have a deal done for next July 2 for any seven figure guy(s)?

12:23

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Sounds like they have deals, don’t think for 7 figures.

12:23

Tai: What are your thoughts on motus?

12:24

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: one of the better operandi out there, shout out to M.O.

12:24

Joey the Muppet: When you see a story first break on a free agent signing, like Kyle Gibson today, how often is the source of the info an agent, versus the team?

12:24

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I’d say like 70% the agent. One of the few sizable scoops the agent has control over.

12:24

Ronald: Hello! My name is Ronald! Will Greg Bird ever play in the big leagues again?

12:25

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Yes, Ronald!

12:25

Jeff: More exciting amateur talent available in 2020: Ed Howard or Cristian Hernandez?

12:25

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I would direct you to our 2020 draft rankings: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2020-mlb-draft/summary?s…

12:25

Squirt: What do we got on Curt Mead? I really like that guy man.

12:25

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: He’s interesting! I think Eric wrote him up last week

12:26

SoSOSingle: Do you find that being this big of a baseball nerd makes it harder for women to like you?

12:27

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Everybody is a nerd about something. Better it be something that you can use to get a job that you enjoy than something like toy trains or stuff so embarrassing you don’t want to tell anyone about.

12:27

Avatar Kiley McDaniel:

Train conductor hats

fine (48.0% | 12 votes)
dude are you kidding? (52.0% | 13 votes)

Total Votes: 25
12:28

Mr. Joshua: If you were running a team, which quadrant of the traditional/progressive graph would you target?

12:28

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: all things being equal, the one with the least amount of teams

12:28

Confused Dads fan: DADS-BREWSKIS TRADE TELL ME HOW TO FEEL

12:28

Nolan: Hi I’m a Padre fan and gut response is this trade makes me want to jump off a cliff. That’s the correct response right

12:28

SpicyBoy: PS: you and eric’s prospect coverage is second to none. Thank you and please don’t ever leave

12:28

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: well thank you

12:28

Matt Damon: gooble gooble

12:29

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: what a festive way to send us out

12:29

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: see you people next week!

We hoped you liked reading Kiley McDaniel Chat – 11/27/19 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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