Kiley McDaniel Chat – 12/4/19

11:59

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Hello from ATL! Scout and I are sitting on the bed while the kitchen floor gets sanded and refinished, which she is somehow sleeping through.

12:00

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: We’re in list season, so hit the new PROSPECTS dropdown at the top of the page to see the latest. Red Sox should be out tomorrow, Twins early next week while we’re all in San Diego for the Winter Meetings. We’ll be doing the WSH/HOU/STL/MIA spring training pod next.

12:02

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Eric has written up:

The Profar trade: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/instagraphs/padres-add-profar/

40-man decision day: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/on-40-man-decision-day-and-the-prospects-w…

MIL/SDP trade that happened right before last week’s chat: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/analyzing-the-brewers-and-padres-swap-of-y…

12:02

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I wrote up the Nestor Cortes/SEA swap right before last week’s chat as well: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/mariners-add-cortes-for-international-bonu…

12:03

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: and I think you guys will find some interesting sleepers and an overarching development in the BOS list tomorrow

12:03

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: to your questions:

12:03

Jeremy: I recently learned about Mahki Backstrom. What’s your take on him? Seems promising.

12:03

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Big power, 1B only, young for the class, contact/getting to power in games will be the issue

12:04

Joe: How would you order these far,far away Outfielders, Luis Matos,Alexfri Planez and Luis Rodriguez?  Thank you Kiley

12:04

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I think we’d go Matos, Rodriguez, Planez

12:05

JSDee: Can we start questioning the Padres 2016 J2 class yet?

12:05

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: So they spent a ton of money and so far have:

12:07

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Luis Patino, 55 FV
Tucupita Marcano, 45+ FV
Jeisson Rosario, 45+ FV
Adrian Morejon, 45+ FV
Tirso Ornelas, 45+ FV
Michel Baez, 45 FV
Gabriel Arias, 40+ FV

12:07

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: like, what else are you looking for?

12:08

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: three of the sub-50 FV guys were 50’s at one point and they all have a chance to be one day

12:08

Elf on break: Matt Allan or Blake Walston, better lotto ticket arm?

12:09

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Basically a toss up at this point. Both will be 50 FV with a strong spring and are a half-notch below that now

12:09

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Walston is more projection, athlete, feel style LHP and Allan is now-stuff RHP, so very different flavors

12:10

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Hamels/Walston and Verlander/Allan would be best-case scenarios of what they could be, to illustrate the differences

12:10

BIg Cheese: Who are some of the biggest risers from the 2019 updated list to the new 2020 lists? What kind of things do you look for when you move guys up more than one level?

12:12

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: It’s usually guys where something real changed from mid-summer to end of season and it happened a bit below the radar.

Brenton Doyle for COL made a big jump b/c he was a D2 tools guy with zero track record that crushed short-season in his pro debut, which is more meaningful than SEC or Cape experience and no one had seen him play above the D2 level. So that’s a huge change from draft time to the end of the season.

Some J2 kids that haven’t really been seen since they got locked up 18 months before signing have gotten more physical or were not well known to us when the signed. Adael Amador with COL is one. There’s two on the BOS list tomorrow.

Other examples would be guys that performed and it looks even more impressive when we get the trackman data at the end of the year to see how real it was.

12:13

Draftnik: When do you and Eric expect to write something on the 2020 draft?

12:13

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Now that the book is out of our hands and the prospects lists are rolling, maybe as soon as next week? The 2021 and 2022 lists have been updated behind the scenes but not pushed public. The 2020 list is basically done and public right now.

12:14

Brad: What did you think of Austin Beck prior to the 2017 draft and what do you think about him now? Is there still hope for him?

12:15

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I was very skeptical of him as a top 10 pick given the lack of summer/wood bat/quality pitching track record for the stakes that come with a pick that high, but liked the kid and the tools.

12:15

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: The performance has been fine, but not enough to materially change my opinion at this point. Curious what we find on the OAK system deep dive

12:15

Diley KcManiel : Seems like Jose Israel Garcia made some serious strides this year? What’s he looking like moving forward?

12:16

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I would guess top 100

12:16

James: Service-time manipulation question: Michael Kopech came up for a month in 2018 then got hurt. So his clock was running during his rehab (2019). But could the Sox start him in the minors and keep him down for a month to recoup the days/time from 2018 and add another year that way? (Very shady as he’s ALREADY proven he can pitch at MLB level, but Reinsdorf has always felt all is fair when squeezing labor.)

12:17

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I guess they COULD, but to option him after he’s off his rehab, he would have to look materially different in some measurable way (stuff isn’t back, etc.) to justify that. That would be a case where the player’s grievance would have a good shot to win

12:18

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Signing him to an extension once the arm seems back to what it was seems like the way to monetize the uncertainty

12:18

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Not sure what Kopech’s appetite for that would be

12:18

Joe: Are you still working on a glossary that gives a job description for all the various baseball operations job titles? If so, will it be available soon? Thanks

12:18

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: It is in the book

12:19

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: You can preorder it here at 20% off with coupon code FV20 for the rest of 2019: https://www.triumphbooks.com/future-value-products-9781629377674.php?p…

12:19

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: (probably should’ve mentioned that at the top)

12:19

Avatar Kiley McDaniel:

 

Jeff Passan
@JeffPassan

 

Left-hander Cole Hamels and the Atlanta Braves are in agreement on a one-year, $18 million deal, sources tell ESPN.
4 Dec 2019
12:19

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Some news!

12:19

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: from seconds ago

12:20

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Makes sense to add length to rotation without a long-term deal that limits flexibility or chances for youngsters that emerge, given how ATL has been acting lately

12:20

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Basically takes the Teheran spot

12:20

claylink: Kiley, is wheeler’s likely nine-figure payout a sign of things to come for free agent pitchers whose stuff is more persuasive than their résumé or is his proximity to strasburg and cole just making him more appealing as a way to save face with fanbases with high expectations?

12:21

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I think some teams (during the FA research it was clearly not all) see Wheeler as a potential frontline type that they can get for 1/3 the price of Cole, who is at a price many markets can’t really consider because it eats up all their margin for error.

12:22

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: And I think the FA market this year will be a little better for players as we saw what happened to teams that tried to be good in 2019, since teams are kinda sheep when it comes to trends and lots of GMs are on hot seats whereas two years ago very few were…partly because some weren’t trying to win primarily the last few years

12:23

Roy Hobbs: Hi, From those that you have talked to can you give us a synopsis on Tsutsugo?  Current Value/FV….. What you see him as based upon any info and perhaps an idea about destinations.  Thanks, Ill hang up and listen.

12:23

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: 45 or 50, more likely a 45 along the lines of Corey Dickerson, but enough uncertainty it could be a little more impact with the bat

12:23

Kiley Boras: If you hypothetically started your own agency, how would you differentiate yourself from everyone else?

12:24

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Not easy to do since every lane is kinda taken and doing the whole “we’ll treat you better” human touch thing doesn’t really work until you have a bunch of players of some import that can vouch for it. Just have to have better employees than everyone else, at some level.

12:25

Sean: How much variance is there in how teams are acquiring international free agent prospects? Are some teams way ahead of others or is it pretty close among the teams?

12:26

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: There is a two chapter stretch in the book about this that’s over 20,000 words. We talked to multiple int’l directors, have tons of wild stories about how they land players (that you’ve heard of) and what their process is, what they suspect rival teams are like, enough that most of them went off-the-record when it got to that part of the conversation.

12:26

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: the short version is there’s a good bit of variance team to team but there seems to be a “correct” answer that the best teams are all doing their own flavor of

12:27

UpInArms: Are you higher on Brendan McKay or Dustin May? Does Zac Gallen outpitch McKay or May, both, or neither next year?

12:27

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: May
McKay
Gallen

12:27

Jason: Any insights regarding Red Sox international signing Chih-Jung Liu from Taiwan?  He seems like a bit of a pop-up guy having taken time off from pitching, then reemerging this year with newfound velo and a coming out performance at the Asian Baseball Championship (i.e., touching upper 90s with FB, dominant in relief, MVP honors).  I know he’s older than most J2 prospects, but had that performance been a year earlier, are we looking at a guy who may have ranked favorably on the board for the 2019 J2 class?

12:28

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Writing up that blurb today to be on the site likely tomorrow. He’s in a good spot on that list and when we ranked the J2 class even the clubs that signed him were lower than before that tournament.

12:28

Chaise: In regard to the dollar values associated with FV (ie a 70 bat is “worth” $112M), is this considered surplus value? I’m struggling to compare players with years of control/arb values to prospects and don’t know if it’s a good comparison to look at the worth of FV compared to surplus value of controlled players.

12:28

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Yes, $112M in NPV of the value above the cost for the 6-7 years of control

12:30

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: So, Wander Franco would cost (broadly approximating the figures)  $40M for his controlled years and return $152M, in NPV terms. NPV means adjusted for time value of money, so 40 and 152 are lower than the actual numbers, but we’re giving you what those numbers in the future would be worth today.

12:30

Donut: If you had to give a most improved front office award to an org who has had the biggest improvement with analytics/scouting/player dev integration, what org would you give it to for this past season?

12:31

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Maybe it’s over the last two years, but the Twins came to mind first. Brewers did a similar thing just before, Rays/Yankees/Dodgers did it just before them. Arizona and SF are in the midst of doing it now.

12:31

Jim: General question about odd prospect profiles. Why don’t pitchers with a plus plus secondary get little love only because their FB is subpar? Isn’t velo separation as important as pure velocity? Eli Morgan is a an example that comes to mind. 70 change, easy 60 command, but 40 FB buries him down lists even though the combo works.

12:34

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: The hesitation is because MLB hitters can sit on the changeup and react to the fastball unless the velo improves or the command is consistently plus. Only as good as your weakest pitch. Some pitchers can get by with a weak third pitch by not throwing it much, so it isn’t really part of the chain/link metaphor, but having one standout quality and fringe everything else doesn’t really work except in specific roles, like low-slot matchup relievers, or Luke Gregerson as the slider sommelier. Kyle Hendricks would be the contemporary example of the Eli Morgan path, but there aren’t many others, especially as RHP and the trick can’t work forever.

12:35

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: (side note, the concept of the gun sommelier in John Wick 2 was interesting and I think Gregerson playing that role with sliders in a video about pitch design could be funny)

12:35

Hottub: What do you think about the Orioles inability to get more than a fringe name for Villar? A tactical mistake or a true lack of interest at the predicted arb cost?

12:36

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Arb is pretty broken process for multiple reasons. The one that applies here is it forces you to pay average players with big bulk stats more than they’d get as FA, or with RP that rack up saves. If there was a big surplus value, it would’ve been reflected in the trade market.

12:36

Smiley McKaniel : Is Hunter Greene just Alex Reyes part II?

12:36

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I think Greene is better than that, but that would be the disappointing/scary lower-tier outcome

12:36

Kiner’s Disembodied Hands: Any scuttlebutt on the sort of direction the Pirates might be headed? How’re their recent hires in the FO and manager perceived within baseball circles?

12:38

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Cherington was seen to be looking for a lower profile/payroll spot where he can control the process and take a long-term view and everything he’s done so far seems in line with that. I wonder how different his approach will be this time, in this setting. Anthopoulos obviously changed his GM POV with the LA stop between TOR and ATL. Wonder how much Cherington’s changed after his time in TOR.

12:38

Matt D: While the Red Sox system is generally ranked in the lower third of all system overviews, do you seem the potential for them to jump up the rankings in the near future? I would argue that most of their top prospects had positive progressions this year.

12:38

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: This (potential to jump) is the overarching thing you’ll see in the list tomorrow

12:38

Royce Lewis: Stats wise struggled this year,  but finished with a strong AFL. Interested in how your view of him has changed through the year (if at all) and what your view is on future position

12:40

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: We decided to stay bullish on him because we thought he’d bounceback from the down statistical year for a number of reasons and it already started happening in the AFL. If we just mechanically downgraded guys for having bad stats, then upgraded them with the stats got better, a model could pretty easily replace us, so we put some chips on Royce in our bid to not be replaced by computers. Royce, don’t let us down.

12:40

Jon G: Who is the most memeable prospect in baseball?

12:41

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: No one immediately came to mind, but the gf and I think Henry from the most recent season of GBBS was extremely memeable

12:41

Ryan: A few months ago I asked you if you’d be bumping Corbin Carroll up to a 50 in the off season, and you said probably not. I’m just curious what changed in your evaluation of him? Thank you!

12:41

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I think the exit velos from his debut was the strongest new piece of information

12:41

Leave Me In: Hi Kiley – Do you think three-batter rule is definitely coming next season? Are teams already factoring it in (e.g. in contract of Diekman, who has very even splits)?

12:42

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I think it’s already been announced? Or is very likely?

12:42

Kiley McAuthor : What was the most surprising thing about writing a book after actually doing it?

12:43

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: The effort that comes with trying to be comprehensive. Added a couple paragraphs after we turned it in because the article I’d been looking for (that didn’t exist) was written. Obviously I can’t just do that forever and I’m sure we’ll forget stuff that we should’ve included. For an OCD type in this area, it’s a little annoying

12:43

Balboni’s Bat: Does Julio Rodriguez have a chance for 65 FV this summer?

12:43

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: No, but chance for it in the next 12 months

12:44

A Dummy: I know this is a silly question, but I don’t know the answer. Is there a danger to concentrating too much organizational value in your farm system? It seems like a decent team, if they felt like it, could mortgage their major-league roster into by far and away the best minor-league system around, and become early favorites for the 2025 playoffs. Call it “The Process.” Are there financial or structural risks here that make it a very dumb strategy? Thanks!

12:44

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Gotta have top-notch development so the value doesn’t depreciate right after you pay for it

12:44

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: And, at some point, the number of roster spots and 40-man roster spots will become an issue

12:44

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: along with regular playing time spots

12:45

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: we see this at times from the orgs with the longest lists (SDP/TBR/NYY) where a potential MLB shortstop is on a team with three others and one of them gets to play SS once a week

12:45

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I’d say quality of PD is the first issue, 40-man roster spots is issue two, then playing time/MILB roster spots is issue three

12:46

Gumby: Are there prospect evaluation tendencies that you expect will result in changes to the makeup of the farm system between the Huntington and Cherington regimes?

12:46

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Cherington wasn’t necessarily model-driven in Boston but Toronto was when he was there. Obviously the game changed a good bit since he was in Boston, so I’d expect Cherington to be a little more on that progressive end of things than Huntington was. But, again, that’s an informed guess at best.

12:48

Avatar Kiley McDaniel:

 

Mike Petriello
@mike_petriello

 

So Atlanta’s rotation…

1 Soroka
2 Folty
3 Hamels
4 Fried
5+ Wilson, or Wright, or Newcomb, or Touki, eventually Anderson?

Not bad.

4 Dec 2019
12:48

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: speaking to the depth/options for ATL I referenced as the Hamels deal came up

12:49

Will: Reading through prospect lists for a while, it seems you and Eric have a proclivity for body comps to football players. Is this something that’s common in scouting parlance, or is it more of a personal touch that you guys think is the best way to relate frames and builds?

12:50

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Football is the second sport for both of us and maybe an area we could’ve worked in had things fallen differently. I think that’s true for many scouts/coaches, so it’s somewhat common. The Cristian Pache would be an LSU wide receiver if he was American/Yoan Moncada would be an Alabama RB, etc. just makes total sense to us while also painting a picture

12:50

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Or body-comping Aaron Judge to Blake Griffin, etc.

12:51

Spicyboy: So is it correct to say that Ryan vilade will not be a major league ss?

12:51

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Correct

12:51

Draftnik: Does Nate Wohlgemuth — who was throwing really hard in Jupiter — sneak into the first round?

12:52

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Probably comp round right now, so yeah there’s a real shot

12:52

Charlie: Ed Howard got a chance at top 10 this summer? Sox fan, we are 11.

12:52

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Yep, has a shot

12:52

Jared: Obvious caveat that “1st pro season stats don’t matter”, but seems like Bobby Witt could be concerning. Old for his class and below average rookie league performance. Should his expectations be tempered a bit?

12:53

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Huge EV in pro ball. The Trevor Story comps still apply.

12:53

Alex: Kiley, do you think we should take the fact that the Yankees brass traveled out to California to meet with Cole/Stras a week in advance of the winter meetings as a sign that they will aggressively pursue them or just that they want to do their due diligence and present good optics to the fanbase?

12:53

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I’m sure it’s 1 but 2 will also happen

12:54

Brian: Any chance that the top free agents list can be updated to include non-tendered guys?

12:54

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Don’t think many of them would be top 50 candidates anyway

12:54

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: but Jason Martinez has up-to-the-second updates to who is a FA, along with contract details, Steamer projections, crowdsourcing, etc. here: https://www.fangraphs.com/roster-resource/free-agent-tracker

12:55

Seattle Power: I know you hate comps and such….BUT Is Julio Rodriguez have a Juan Soto in his range of outcomes?

12:55

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: More Jo Adell in terms of enough contact ability, explosive raw/bat speed, athlete. Soto is more hit and power equally, lesser athlete

12:55

Hinkie: Are the Phillies still expected to sign Yhoswar Garcia despite the situation/suspension over his age?  If so … will it be for less than the originally reported ~2 million dollar deal?

12:56

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: We were told it was 3-4 years difference on age, so it’s likely 100-200K max, using other similar instances as a guide. Haven’t heard who is on him since that’s below our level of interest for int’l amateurs.

12:56

Duhbear: What makes you completely change your take on a prospect? Seems like most guys will only change a half grade from their most recent grade in an offseason, but what will push you to jump a guy from a 35->45+ or 40->55?

12:57

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Development is linear in most instances. Each list has 1-2 guys where they dramatically change and we try to dramatically change the grades to stay up with that. It can seem dry or boring to incrementally change guys, but that’s usually what’s happening

12:57

Nils: Is Eduardo Vaughan one of the pop up j2 prospects in the Sox system you were referring to?

12:58

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: He had already snuck on the list during the season: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2019-in-season-prospect-…

12:58

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I meant the class that signed in July and hasn’t played in the DSL yet. But there’s also one notable popup guy from the DSL team and a couple just below him

12:58

Cito’s Mustache: If $/WAR is not linear year-to-year, how do we go about projecting multi-year contract value?

12:59

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: It is largely, but it seems like some teams (with the best development) are treating that 1st WAR lower than the subsequent ones since they think they can create 1 WAR players reliably

1:00

Duhbear: How much do you consider platoon players when scouting? Just thinking recently, if you had only seen Harrison Bader hit against LHP he would’ve been a huge name and. 55 FV. Had you only seen him vs RHP, he’d have looked like a 40 FV. How do you interpret that sort of thing with such limited live-looks.

1:00

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Gotta trust what info we have and also channel The Book (Tango, etc.) on when demonstrated splits seem to predict an issue. Not easy, but we usually aren’t wildly off.

1:00

Jeff: Will Cristian Hernandez be your #1 J2 guy for 2020?

1:01

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Definitely top 5, it would seem

1:01

Ron Paul: Welp. I’m late.

1:01

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: Not too late to jump in the race!

1:01

3B2K: Do you make your own coffee, Kiley? What method?

1:01

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I’m so not fussy or fancy I won’t even mention it

1:01

Owen Sharts: Am I worth drafting in 2020 based off my name alone?

1:01

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: You’re also good at baseball!

1:02

Now We Dance: is there any plan to incorporate Trackman data in some shape or form into THE BOARD in the future?

1:02

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: We did spin rates last year and are doing EV this year

1:02

Mac: You only give your book an FV of 20? Any chance of a jump once it’s released?

1:02

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: fingers crossed

1:03

Sammy Sooser: Body comps, and then you talk about a small forward/wingman like Oneil Cruz. I’m glad you stick to baseball, football, and basketball. And doggos.

1:04

Guest: How do you think last year’s “most likely to make next year’s top 100” article will end up doing?

1:04

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: I think good? Checked in on it midseason and we already had like 10-12 right I believe

1:04

Spicyboy: Stop pretending the baseball players would ever like you. They’re most likely just like the jocks who bullied you in HS. But worse because their professional. Stop pretending they would never like you or be your friend or even play catch with you. If they did it would just be to have a laugh with there friends

1:04

You guys: Hi, I’m Fangraphs and I like to complain when owners don’t spend the money the way/amount that I want.

1:04

Mr. Fister: The Orioles should be penalized by the MLB for such blatant tanking…….

1:05

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: found the fun guys at the party

1:05

John Oleruds Helmet: Congrats Kiley and Eric on writin a book
After I finish War & Peace I’ll give it a look
It’ll be a best seller I know for sure
Don’t forget New Jersey on the book tour
I’ll be first in line to get my copy signed
If I ask for a selfie I’ll cry if I’m declined
Studios already callin, yea more than a few
FUTURE VALUE coming soon to a theater near you!

1:05

Haniger’s Ruptured Testicle: I’ve got an important question about Ted Williams. Say when science becomes developed enough to revive and then transplant his cryogenically frozen head onto a new body would the numbers he puts up be added onto his existing numbers or would he be an entirely new player?

1:05

Matt Damon: Am I really just fit Jesse Plemons?

1:05

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: hmmmm

1:05

Juan Soto: JUAN. SOTO.

1:05

Matt Damon: MATT. DAMON.

1:05

Avatar Kiley McDaniel: see you guys next week…AT THE WINTER MEETINGS

We hoped you liked reading Kiley McDaniel Chat – 12/4/19 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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