Kiley McDaniel Chat – 12/19/18

12:13

Kiley McDaniel: Hello from ATL. Nationals list coming soon, I would guess tomorrow with the Mets and Phillies both being worked on right now, but may be held until post Christmas. Sounds like AL East will come next.

12:13

Kiley McDaniel: Also the winter meetings pushed back the draft list update but that’s also basically done and coming soon and I think we’re recording a podcast in the next 24-48 hours

12:13

Kiley McDaniel: Now to your questions

12:14

Lilith: Who from the Reds system are you most excited to see break out next year who might not be a well known prospect (yet)?

12:16

Kiley McDaniel: There’s the list. Some higher variance guys to keep an eye on would be the top righties from the last draft class (Josiah Gray moreso than Lyon Richardson), SS Jose Garcia, RF Danny Lantigua, RHP James Marinan, 2B Cash Case

12:16

Kiley McDaniel: Mike Siani and Jeter Downs would be guys to watch possibly moving onto a top 100 during the year

12:17

Sam: Is there a reasonable explanation for why scouts are so under-paid? And how much variance is there amongst teams in willingness to pay a bit more for better scouts than going as cheap as possible

12:17

Kiley McDaniel: There’s no competition for them since there isn’t a parallel baseball industry that needs scouts. Some scouts become college coaches, but a tiny percentage and the ones that are qualified often make that move.

12:19

Kiley McDaniel: There’s lots of areas where teams underpay b/c they have pricing control, like most front office job under AGM level, interns, minor league coaches, any entry level job, minors leaguers by a lot…but then we saw SEC/ACC are using TV money to pay elite coaches and that’s now directly driving up the price for first time MLB coaches since there’s now a pipeline between the two and some direct substitution. And we’re seeing Driveline being used to consult on PD (but not hiring away top Driveline employees to be a team employees) since there’s demand for that kind of work, but a small workforce that matches the description

12:20

Kiley McDaniel: Competition is good for everyone, but MLB orgs have most of their employees by the short hairs and they know it

12:20

Dan: Like the Mets offseason so far?

12:22

Kiley McDaniel: In general I do. I wasn’t expecting a ton from BVW since he seemed behind the 8-ball with lack of experience and all the things that come with the Mets. But there’s a clear vision of competing in the short term while not completely ignoring the long term, beefing up analytics and giving them a voice (a very important distinction behind just making hires). I have some gripes, but having a clear direction is a nice change if I’m a Mets fan.

12:22

NotGraphs Revivalist: So, about that Atlanta FanGraphs Meetup…

12:22

Kiley McDaniel: LOL ok so poll time

12:23

Kiley McDaniel:

Best time for an ATL meetup

Jan/Feb pre spring training (5.5% | 9 votes)
March while everyone is optimistic (11.0% | 18 votes)
April/May early season (5.5% | 9 votes)
I’m not in ATL/will not attend any of these (77.9% | 127 votes)

Total Votes: 163
12:23

Ballsandgutters : struggling to see how “catching is hard to find” in minors and majors, but Erik Kratz’s are always available and catchers don’t seem to ever get big money (Ramos).   Risk of injury outweigh lack of numbers?

12:25

Kiley McDaniel: That’s kinda true of everyone position, though. Bo Hart, Shane Spencer, Kelby Tomlinson, Bryan LaHair, etc. there’s always org guys that pop up and have a good half season or so. Seemed like reasonable money for me on Ramos. Given his ACL/size/age and not having a DH and having Alonso/Dom Smith/Cano at 1B makes me a little nervous, but it’s not a 5-year deal.

12:25

Mike: Great work on the Marlins top 30. What odds do you actually put at Monte Harrison figuring something out and considerably improving his hit tool enough to be a 40-45 there.

12:27

Kiley McDaniel: We talked about him a lot internally. I don’t think the hit tool is the thing to pay attention to here. If he hits .220 or .250 isn’t a huge difference. He’s not a huge bat control guy and will never be elite there. The key is if his pitch selection is good enough that he finds the right pitches to drive, doesn’t chase and draws walks. The position/defense/arm/power are all elite, but if he chases a ton, the whole thing breaks down and he won’t get pitches to hit. If he has a good approach, guys will nibble due to the power and he’ll get pitch-around walks, then punishes mistakes. That could still be a 3 win guy. I’d say his range is 40/reserve to 60/3-to-4 win guy.

12:28

Darren: What are your thoughts on Kameron Misner? Is he not on your draft board because of health?

12:29

Kiley McDaniel: He’ll be on the update in the late 2nd range. Big tools, hasn’t been seen a ton, some questions on the hit tool. He and Hunter Bishop at Arizona State are similar guys, like Harrison from the last question, with really good tools and will soar up the board if the hit/pitch selection or some combination comes together

12:29

Kiley McDaniel: I guess I should’ve figured most people reading this don’t live in ATL haha

12:29

Alex: What shelf life do you have for Vlad Jr. at 3B?

12:30

Kiley McDaniel: I’d guess a few years but it’s really up to him. If size/position is his top concern, then longer. If Vlad Jr just wants to bang then it might be late-20’s/early-30’s Miguel Cabrera pretty quickly

12:30

NotGraphs Revivalist: Now that the Astros have Brantley, do you see them trading Kyle Tucker? If so, is Realmuto the only plausible target, or could a team have him for pitching?

12:31

Kiley McDaniel: That’s more possible now. Adding Nelson Cruz makes it much more possible. Still unclear how they’re going to approach their lineup construction and it seems like the J.T. Realmuto market has been in the “playing chicken” phase for awhile now.

12:31

chet: is bryse wilson a legit option for ATL? seems like he’s better than touki

12:32

Kiley McDaniel: Touki has much more stuff, Wilson has much more command but may not have the stuff to go three times thru the order, while Touki may not have the current command for it. They are both currently very qualified to be 2-4 inning relievers that could grow into more.

12:33

Kiley McDaniel: and it would be hard to find pitchers of that caliber for reasonable prices in free agency. with those two and Max Fried and a few others, you’re basically guaranteed to have at least one really valuable arm all year

12:33

Matthew Damon: What are your opinions on the Matt Harvey signing? $11 million seem a bit rich?

12:34

Kiley McDaniel: For a guy with a TJ and long-time makeup problems (fingers crossed for the future) who had a nice bounceback second half after being terrible/hurt, yeah.

12:35

Darren: Did Bobby Witt’s Pan Am performance do anything to answer questions about his hit tool?

12:35

Kiley McDaniel: Not the greatest pitching, but it’s better than not hitting or not playing, so yeah it helped

12:35

chet: is Corbin Burnes an obvious rotation choice for the brewers in April, or was he too valuable in the pen?

12:35

Kiley McDaniel: I think you have to give him a chance to see if he can be that 180+ IP guy

12:35

Steve in Chicago: How are PTBNL decided on? Are there groups of players based on tiers of performance by the acquired player or is there a single player that’s selected by the value that the acquired player brings? Is all of this relatively established at the time of the trade or is it all entirely backwards looking once a certain period of time has past? If the trade is entirely retrospective how long do teams have to name the player? If it is all relatively determined at the time of the acquisition, what happens if the potential PTBNL are traded in subsequent moves? Thanks!

12:37

Kiley McDaniel: Yes, it’s decided as part of trade negotiations who the group of players are and when the deadline to decide is. Pretty sure 6 months is still the max amount of time you can take, which is why you don’t see PTBNL a ton in the early offseason, since it’s normally used so you can go scout the players more.

12:37

Mike: Kiley in a down year I think the Jays should be as unconventional as possible.  How about trying Luciano as an opener?

12:37

Kiley McDaniel: lets get weird, toronto. embrace your inner cistulli

12:38

Kiley McDaniel: teenage opener sounds like a 70s rock song

12:38

Anthony: Obviously based on your estimates you thought Brantley would do better and McCutchen worse, but what are your personal opinions on each player?

12:39

Kiley McDaniel: I have to assume it’s all about the medical records/projections of health. Obviously Brantley has had more issues looking backward as well and he’s only getting older, but 2 years seems overly cautious given that he played 143 games last year with the same medical

12:39

Kiley McDaniel: McCutchen is good too, he’s just older and more clearly declining and a little less with the bat

12:40

Kiley McDaniel: You’re paying for 3 wins from Brantley over a 2-year period and his injury history was the same for 2018 and he posted 3.5 wins. Like I said, seems overly cautious.

12:40

Matt: General Muir…great lunch place or greatest lunch place?

12:41

Kiley McDaniel: Just tried it for the first time this week and for dinner. Very solid! had the pastrami poutine, cheeseburger, deviled eggs and lentils w/cauliflower. Okay there was another person there

12:41

Kiley McDaniel: I’m told it’s great for brunch

12:41

Joe: Did Connor Joe make a swing adjustment or change his approach before last season?

More FB%, less GB%.  ISO in the .200s.  Is this an actual change or just noise?

12:42

Kiley McDaniel: Eric (feat. Kiley) dove into that topic here: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2018-rule-5-draft-scouting-reports/

12:43

Joe: Ryan Noda currently sits with a 35+ FV on his player page–is that still accurate or will he get a bump up when the Blue Jays review comes in?

12:43

Kiley McDaniel: Older 1B so probably that or 40 FV

12:44

Kiley McDaniel: Also BB rates from lower minors ofter crater in the upper minors as pitchers are better strike throwers and you aren’t getting as many “this guy literally can’t throw three strikes before four balls” walks

12:46

Kiley McDaniel: but he seems to be more selective than average so I think he’ll stay in the double digits in walk rate

12:46

Mac: Would it make sense for a rebuilding team who has extra cash to give a heavily front-loaded 2-year deal to a FA? That way in year 2, he has a below-market contract and can be traded for prospect profit.

12:47

Kiley McDaniel: Yes, I can’t think of an example but I know this happens some, like the 2-year TJ recovery deals would be one version of this

12:47

Ronnie: You always have struck me as a libertarian and Eric seems like a socialist. Does that strain your relationship?

12:47

Kiley McDaniel: lol i’m just publishing this so the FG staff can read it and respond

12:47

MKay: Thought experiment: Is there any scenario where you prefer to have Buehler long term instead of Robles?  If you’re pushing all the chips in, in 2019?

12:48

Kiley McDaniel: I had Buehler 4 spots ahead of Robles on the trade value list and this was before Buehler shoved in the playoffs: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2018-trade-value-1-to-10/

12:49

Kiley McDaniel: so they’re still very close in value. If Buehler misses a few starts in April/May and Robles goes off, it might flip

12:49

David: I know straight prospect challenge trades are rare, but (with all limited respect due to Tyler Flowers), wouldn’t Mejia to ATL straight up for Riley help both clubs reallocate talent to positions of need better.

12:49

Kiley McDaniel: There’s a real chance Mejia isn’t a catcher and then it’s not accomplishing much

12:49

Kiley McDaniel: Contending team doesn’t have the patience for a guy to figure out how to catch on the fly. SD does, for now.

12:50

Anthony: Brandon Lowe for Jose Martinez make mutual sense? Does Lowe have the instincts to be a 2B/3B/COF type?

12:50

Kiley McDaniel: I think the Bauers/Yandy deal showed that the Rays prefer positional flexilibity if the bats are comparable and Lowe looks like a 100-120 wRC+ type that can play corners and 2B. I would prefer him and I think TB does, too.

12:51

Matt: Why don’t teams like the Tigers spend $15mm on international FA or the draft and pay the penalties vs. signing guys like Ross and Moore with hopes to flip them for a 40 FV come July?

12:52

Kiley McDaniel: Hard cap on int’l spending now so can’t do that. Teams did it a lot when it was a soft cap and that’s why the rule changed. In the draft you lose a first round pick (I think multiple picks?) if you go way over, so you need to not be giving up a top-10 picks next year and also have a rare opportunity of many picks to scoop up 1st round talents later. Really have to thread the needle to pull it off and have it make sense.

12:52

pelkey: Why are player opt outs considered bad for teams? If thetheres one after every season, then the contract is basically a 1-year deal, and everyone says there is no such thing as a bad 1-year deal. If they aren’t exercised, then they are the same as a contract without opt outs.

12:53

Kiley McDaniel: Because you’re giving away the upside (player is good, he’s gone) and taking the downside (player is bad, you’re stuck with him). 1 year deal has little upside and downside, longterm deal has bigger upside and downside. Opt out in a long term deal is worst of those three.

12:53

Jerry Dipoto : What do you think are the odds of JP Crawford producing a 5 win season during his time with the Mariners?

12:54

Kiley McDaniel: Maybe 30% chance of 3.0 or more once in his 6 controlled years. Let’s say 5-10% chance of 5.0 or more?

12:54

Ozzie Ozzie Albies Free: When the Phillies list comes out, am I going to be disappointed considering the high draft picks we’ve had the last few years?

12:55

Kiley McDaniel: Cornelius Randolph, Mickey Moniak and Adam Haseley won’t be ranked much differently than they are now. There’s one notable guy that will be moving up since we got multiple other reports to corroborate one that we got late in the season that we weren’t sure about.

12:55

Anthony: You and Eric mention catcher conversions a lot. Beyond an above-average arm, what traits do teams look for when pulling a Carson Kelly or Josh Morgan? Bilinguality? Lateral agility?

12:56

Kiley McDaniel: Those help. Quick feet and good makeup/mental game are the main ones. We see 45 arm catchers in the big leagues now so that’s important but not essential.

12:57

Just A Dude: Jeff Francouer said the Braves are definitely in on Harper because he loves Atlanta. Is Frenchy a secret insider or has he smoked too many candy canes?

12:58

Kiley McDaniel: I don’t think they’re out on anyone, just being cautious to not overpay. If Harper never gets a 10+ year, 330M+ deal, I dont think anyone knows what he’s looking for. Could be 1-year deal with no QO for a contender or 4-5 year deal with a 1-year opt out, back to WSH for whatever they have left, etc. so you don’t know that ATL isn’t the preferred destination if the retail offer isn’t there.

12:58

Will: What do you look for in long levered players (like Taylor Jones and DJ Peters, for instance) to project on their ability to make consistent quality contact?

12:58

Kiley McDaniel: Bat speed, bat control, overall athleticism

12:59

ryan: I know you’re an objective evaluator, but what’s your subjective, aesthetic preference in terms of players you “like” to watch? do you prefer a solid all-around guy like Nick Senzel or a more toolsy, flashy guy like Trammell? do you prefer a Shane Bieber-esque pitcher to a Jordan Hicks?

1:00

Kiley McDaniel: You can talk me into any of those. I also have trouble naming a #1 favorite movie, restaurant, food, place, etc. without naming 3-4 more. I don’t really have a type in any way (shrug emoji)

1:00

Tom AND Jerry: Can you provide some clarification? Pache was a 60 FV at the end of the year but a 55 in your most recent list, but didn’t receive a downward arrow. Are the arrows use more for future indication than current jumps/falls?

1:01

Kiley McDaniel: We decided that the 55 to 60 FV cutoff is going to be defined specifically when we do the top 100, so it’s possible he ends up top of 55 or bottom of 60…so didn’t want to throw a down arrow until we decide that. Ke’Bryan Hayes is also in that range. Much easier to decide which one he is when the whole list is there and we order them all.

1:02

Jerry Dipoto : You think Evan White will become a high level player? He seems to get no prospect ranking love, despite a pretty good season with a big surge in his power late in the season.

1:02

Kiley McDaniel: RH-hitting 1B without huge power isn’t sexy or high upside, so he’ll probably never get big prospect list love

1:02

Kiley McDaniel: and 2-win 1B aren’t getting love on the FA market, like C.J. Cron

1:03

Keefths: Do you view Nick Senzel as the same type of player as Alex Bregman ?

1:03

Kiley McDaniel: Less juice in the bat, can’t play SS and Bregman can and obviously the track record post-college is pretty different

1:03

Kiley McDaniel: but as far as profile, they’re not super different

1:04

Kiley McDaniel: I wouldn’t expect Senzel to match Bregman’s MLB performance tho–nobody really thought he’d be a 5-6 win type until he started crushing in the big leagues

1:06

Kiley McDaniel: FWIW, over half the questions are Bryce Harper to ATL, Haniger to ATL or various Jerry Dipoto related questions/jokes

1:06

Trent: What’s Nate Lowe’s upside? .270 30hr guy?

1:07

Kiley McDaniel: We think a little less than that, but there’s some suspicion that he’s the reason TB felt comfortable moving Bauers

1:07

PD: Was Scott Kingery overrated last year or was it just a bad rookie season?

1:07

Kiley McDaniel: Needs regular ABs/position

1:07

Tyler: Do you think Carson Fulmer would benefit from a change of scenery?

1:08

Kiley McDaniel: Starting to think that way, yes

1:08

Dave: Suppose the Astros offer Tucker for Realmuto straight-up, but refuse to include anyone else. Is it time for Miami to accept that sort of offer?

1:08

Kiley McDaniel: If I’m Miami I would seriously consider it

1:08

Kiley McDaniel: since the good options have already/continue to move on

1:09

Kiley McDaniel: LA and TB make sense and have plenty of combos they could offer

1:09

Kiley McDaniel: TB with Zunino and Michael Perez doesn’t make perfect sense, but they seem to be fishing in deep water on Thor, CLE SP, JTR, etc.

1:10

Tim: Hi Kiley. What is Victor Victor Mesa’s ETA? Floor statline? Ceiling statline? The consensus seems to be there is no power there and it won’t develop, but can the hit tool compensate?

1:10

Kiley McDaniel: just wrote him up a few days ago. Probably starts in Jupiter due to weather then heads to AA if things go well

1:11

Mac: Who’s the best hitter in the draft?

1:11

Kiley McDaniel: Andrew Vaughn, 1B, Cal. Might be 6 hit, 6 game power and good approach.

1:12

Kiley McDaniel: Adley Rutschman isn’t far behind and he’s an above average catcher, so that’s why he’s #1 by a good margin

1:12

H.W. Linwood: Hey Kiley! Thanks for the chat! When scouts come up with an MLB comparison for prospects, how much of it is based on tool profile vs things like frame, position, and handedness? I’ve seen different sources place different emphases on these things, but where should/do they fall for you?

1:13

Kiley McDaniel: There are some scouts where I could give them a perfect comp by size/tools/actions/performance, but it’s a RH hitter compared to a LH hitter and they would say nope

1:14

tacopocket: i really liked kelenic.  Tell me something that makes me like him less so I can come to terms with the trade.

1:14

Kiley McDaniel: nobody seems to be 100% certain how to say his last name

1:14

Red: Is it harder to get eyes/ears on certain leagues? I look at something like the Pioneer League, where there are three Montana teams a couple hundred miles apart, and not much else. How do MLB orgs address geographically isolated affiliates and colleges?

1:15

Kiley McDaniel: More difficult, yes. Teams will use area scouts (HS/college) more often for those leagues than other comparable ones (appy) that are near other minor leagues that pro scouts go to often

1:15

Dave in London: Do you project B. McKay as primarily a pitcher, a hitter or a true hybrid a la Ohtani?

1:15

Kiley McDaniel: #3 SP that also DHs sometimes, so used similarly to Ohtani but much less chance to be a #1 SP.

1:16

Big Tuna: What on earth happened to Tyler Kolek?!

1:16

Kiley McDaniel: He still throws hard and hasn’t really improved at much else

1:16

Ducklin: Is handedness genetic? Austin/Parker Meadows  both lefties.  Now the Siani brothers

1:16

Kiley McDaniel: maybe it’s in the smoothies their mothers make in the morning?

1:17

Dave in London: I know you’re not a doctor, but do you have any idea why it took Soler so long to recover from a broken toe? He was supposed to be out about 8 weeks but ended up missing the rest of the season. Do you think his early-season break-out was for real, and is there reason to believe the injury could affect his hitting going forward?

1:17

Kiley McDaniel: you are correct; i am not a doctor.

1:17

STL Dave: What’s the comp for Nolan Gorman? Can he be more than say… Mike Moustakas?

1:18

Kiley McDaniel: I think he can be, but he’s a similar type of player

1:18

Anti-Chet: When will the grit metric be rolled out on Fangraphs?  Descalso must be off the charts

1:18

NotGraphs Revivalist: Re: Wilson and Touki – Could Atlanta feasibly have their 4 and 5 spots of the rotation be tandem starts? Thinking Touki/Fried for one and Wilson/Gohara for the other, each pitcher shoots for 4 IP

1:18

Kiley McDaniel: ATL: we’re getting weird, too, but without cistulli

1:19

Brooklyngail: Braves are keeping Riley, Pache and Waters, right? RIGHT???

1:20

Kiley McDaniel: Riley is most likely of that group to be traded but I’m scared to say you aren’t right

1:20

Carl: Rank in terms of trade value: Haniger, Albies, Nimmo, Realmuto?

1:21

Kiley McDaniel: Pretty sure they were Ozzie Albies, JT Realmuto, Mitch Haniger (gap) Brandon Nimmo on the trade value list in July

1:21

James: How much would a 1 year deal need to be worth for Harper to consider it? $35 million?

1:21

Kiley McDaniel: Seems like a starting point

1:22

Kiley McDaniel: He’d be giving up the chance to lock in guaranteed money if he gets hurt late in the year (which he gets with 3+ years and a 1-year opt out), so probably $40M is the realistic starting point

1:22

Twin city: If Austin Meadows had rookie status  where would he rank and what numbers would you hang on him- thank you

1:22

Kiley McDaniel: Probably still around the middle of a top 100

1:23

Snacks: So Nate Lowe at 1B means what for Joe McCarthy?

1:23

Kiley McDaniel: I think those are the two 1B options at the league minimum, McCarthy plays some LF, you have the DH spot and can chase off Choi

1:23

Ryan Freel: What are your thoughts on Auburn SS Will Holland as far as scouting/projected draft range?

1:24

Kiley McDaniel: 70 run, 50 raw, can play 2B and CF and maybe SS. Similar to Xavier Edwards from the last draft (SD, comp round overpay from South Florida HS).

1:24

Jeff: Why is everyone willing to play along and pretend the Cubs are poor? It’s pretty disgusting

1:24

Kiley McDaniel: you seem mad

1:25

Cashman: I keep hearing rumblings about the Julio Rodriguez kid in the Mariners minor league system. Is he one of these types that could bust out and really surprise?

1:25

Kiley McDaniel: The tools are monster

1:25

AJ: Think the reason TB is in on so many big fish is because Jesus Sanchez is already taking up a 40-man spot, and Brujan, Solak, Hernandez, N. Lowe, Linares, Fox, and Whitley are all R5 eligible next year. Problem is, aside from Realmuto and maybe Haniger, there just aren’t that many big fish out there. Who do you see them getting?

1:25

Kiley McDaniel: Thor, Bauer/Kluber also out there. Bumgarner maybe

1:26

Jeff: Why are sports fans so pro owner? When is the revolution coming?

1:26

Kiley McDaniel: I think common people like to think of themselves as identifying with the most successful business person in the sports area, which is always the owner. And they’re fans of the team, so good deal for the team = good deal for them, since the players change.

1:26

Warbiscuit: Are there any concerns about Will Holland? I’ve seen him ranked in the 20’s-30’s or late first round of a few mock drafts, and what does he need to do to move up in the draft?

1:27

Kiley McDaniel: you should stop reading mock drafts this early

1:27

LudeBurger: BING BONG BING BONG I AM A BELL

1:27

BIG CHUNGUS: BIG CHUNGUS

1:27

Kiley McDaniel: oh we’re there

1:27

Ron Paul: ME

1:27

JUAN SOTO: JUAN. SOTO.

1:27

Matt Damon: MATT.  DAMON.

1:28

Kiley McDaniel: And there it is. Thanks for coming out this week. And of course the people that voted for the ATL meetup are spread over the three dates oh well.

We hoped you liked reading Kiley McDaniel Chat – 12/19/18 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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kozy21
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kozy21

Sports fans pro owner? You’ve obviously never been to Pittsburgh or Cleveland.