Kiley McDaniel: Hello from ATL, just wrapped up a call and now I’m here to chat with you while Scout is busy in the other room eating what the food robot provides
Jay: Does the Machado signing move up a potential Tatis callup from June to say, late April?
Kiley McDaniel: Will be interesting to see how SD handles this situation. Do you speed up Tatis’ 2019 look so he’s ready for the 2020 push? Same with the pitching? If they aren’t ready, do you trade some depth for now help? Or is Machado just a solid piece and he’ll be there when the kids show up? Do they have a bunch more money to spend or was this all of it?
Lots of questions and I do not have those answers right now. I would assume this means more aggressive in the right spots and so Tatis may move up quicker, which shifts Kinsler to utility.
tommyboy: 2019 draft question. How concerned are you about Logan Davidson’s lack of wood bat performance and how much higher would he have ranked if he at least performed a little on the Cape?
Kiley McDaniel: Think he may just always be a 4 bat, 5 power shortstop, which is fine.
JH: You and Eric have mentioned about adjusting the top 100 list after getting feedback from teams.
Any players where you got that sort of feedback but decided “nah, we’re good?”
Kiley McDaniel: Well if we gets responses from 15 people on the same list and only one person says “maybe move this guy down a few spots” with no other info, that’s probably not gonna be enough to move a guy. Or if someone says move a guy down and it’s for a reason we’ve already considered (TJ, etc) and there isn’t further rationale for why we mis-ranked him before, we can usually look past that
tommyboy: What are the odds that Hunter Bishop hits enough to be an everyday big leaguer?
Kiley McDaniel: Sounds like he was good opening weekend and the tools are there to play everyday. Eric will see him a lot and I’ll get him in a few weeks, so check back
Randy: Would the implementation of the universal DH increase the value of bat first prospects such as Seth Beer and Yordan Alvarez since they’d in theory have 15 additional starting opportunities/have more use to 15 additional teams?
Johnny5Alive: I am sad that my teaching schedule this semester does not allow me to attend your chats.
Kiley McDaniel: Just give the kids a pop quiz and grab your phone
Kiley McDaniel: I assume that’s what millennial teachers do anyway
Kretin: Hey Kiley, what did you think about the Angels putting on the “College Classic” series? I’m assuming this is a way to get exclusive numbers on college players for the draft?
Kiley McDaniel: I think so? I know if there are tickets sold and it’s an MLB stadium, all 30 teams get it and there’s StatCast. I know minor league stadiums is private and teams can trade amongst themselves (I made one of these trades and it was exhilarating). For spring training stadiums I am not sure, but would guess other than Salt River (ARZ/COL and has StatCast) that the ST stadiums fall into the minor league/private end of things
Xolo: Now that Machado’s locked in for the next 5-10 years, should the Padres go ahead and move Potts to the outfield or leave him at third for trade value reasons?
Kiley McDaniel: Leave him where he’s best and figure it out later
tommyboy: I was surprised to not see Tyler Baum on your board. Was he under consideration at all?
Kiley McDaniel: Yep, him, Bergner and Dalatri are all fine, but more average stuff types at this point, which is typically rounds 4-6, maybe 3rd if they really perform. Baum and Bergner used to be 55-60 stuff types in HS but Bergner’s arm slowed and Baum had to dial it down a bit/is still a bit slight.
Troutmaggedon: Michel Baez had a huge drop in your rankings feo
Kiley McDaniel: Back issues, velo down, breaking ball disappeared. He’ll move back if it all comes back
Kiley McDaniel: Scout is barking at a delivery guy who is literally delivering her food to the door
Bob: Last year after the Top 100, FG released the rest of the team lists pretty quickly. Can we expect an expedited release this year as well?
Kiley McDaniel: Almost the whole AL West is dialed in right now, so that division should go quickly. Eric is very dialed into the NL West in general since he sees them so much, so those should also be pretty quick. And now the top 100 types are all ranked and tools/reports are done
Go O’SS: O’s bring in Alcides Escobar. Does his tremendous upside mean the Rule 5 Crew of shortstops aren’t going to stick, or is it insurance? Do you think they’ll keep either? Both?
Kiley McDaniel: Well all three have pretty marginal value right now, so since short term production isn’t as important, they’ll keep the ones with the most value, even if they have to sacrifice a little short-term performance
Kiley McDaniel: Also, if you’re gonna tank, what SS would you want?
Kiley McDaniel: Like, hypothetically, which guy has proven he can’t really hit so much but managers will keep running him out there
Duder: Will there ever come a day where genetics play a role in player evaluation?
Kiley McDaniel: It’s already kinda a tiebreaker, but I assume it will be more of a factor going forward, if players/MLBPA permits
Kiley McDaniel: Eric saw tons of dudes around Phoenix, I saw a new 1st rounder and we have lots of notes on underclassmen and prep pitchers rising into the first round
Kiley McDaniel: and after next weekend, the draft boards will get an update, with a new TREND arrow up/down
Kiley McDaniel: very snazzy stuff from the snazziest site on the internet. also big thanks to meg and sean dolinar for tolerating our nonsense
CWS: What college baseball match-up should I be watching this weekend?
Kiley McDaniel: I will be at Georgia Tech/UCLA and Eric will be around Phoenix I think seeing Oregon State? The early matchups aren’t great until conference play except from random trips/tourneys like we lucked into
HK: Thanks for the prospect week, really enjoyed it. On prospect stock movement, have you tracked the stock movement of non top 100 prospects? Are 45 or 40 FV prospects more stable, or more volatile, and if the latter, more likely to improve?
Kiley McDaniel: We will be looking more into things like this and have some extra firepower around that may be able to do it pretty soon!
CWS: Considering level of in-season competition, how do top tier High School bats silence hit tool questions between now and draft day?
Kiley McDaniel: well some of those guys play at huge schools that face lots of D1 arms or will be going to big tourneys with such arms, or play at an IMG/TNXL type academy with lots of D1 guys that play other academies
Kiley McDaniel: short of that, you have to rake, have a good approach and have a swing that looks like it’ll work against velo. but not substitution for not facing velo
Flappy: Hey Kiley,
Kiley McDaniel: Hey
DR: Is there a sense of which 2018 J2 guys may be able to go right to stateside short-season, like Franco, Pereira, and Pardinho, or is it way too early for that?
Kiley McDaniel: It’s early but I will guess! hold on
Kiley McDaniel: So Victor Victor and Yolbert Sanchez are easy ones
Kiley McDaniel: Marco Luciano is a safe bet
Kiley McDaniel: I’d say Kevin Alcantara (NYY) and Diego Cartaya (LAD) are around 50/50
Kiley McDaniel: Luciano is SFG, Mesa MIA and Yolbert TBA but probably BAL
DJ Tanner: I’ve read a lot of places that Kelenic has an incredible work ethic. Do you think this means he is peaking early because he has worked harder than others to reach this point, or is this something that means he will get to a higher level because you trust his work ethic will push further than others?
Kiley McDaniel: probably reaching potential earlier than cohort and more likely to reach ultimate upside
Kiley McDaniel: and I would agree
Flappy: Hey Kiley. I saw a suggestion on a change to avoid service time manipulation by starting the service time clock when the player reaches AA. Would it work?
Kiley McDaniel: Then they just wouldn’t be sent to AA. Or if 1 day = a year then they come up opening day instead of September. Clubs are always gonna move to where the limit is. Incentive them to ignore that, like an extra pick for teams that give the most playing time to 0+ service time guys
CWS: Can Kameron Misner climb into top 5 consideration? If so, what does he need to do?
Kiley McDaniel: Excited to see him this year (OF, Mizzou). Late 1st/Comp now, big tools, some health/contact issues, didn’t play over the summer, but top 15 potential
Sean: Kiley, I’ve been reading a lot about how “most teams” are involved in the bidding for top J2 players, but it just seems like if your team (the Tigers, for instance) never brings in any of the top guys, it’s just window dressing.
Kiley McDaniel: Well fans always look at this as (# of $1M+ July 2nd signings) = (how much my team cares about int’l stuff)
Kiley McDaniel: Now it’s easy to look at Wander Franco and Vlad Jr. from the tops of their classes and think your team doesn’t have access to those players b/c they’re lazy or don’t care
Kiley McDaniel: but Victor Robles was low 6 figures, Tatis was high 6 figures, tons of top shelf dudes were there for everyone
Kiley McDaniel: so be more angry if your team doesn’t sign players that have value b/c every team can do that
Yusei Tomato: How would Jasson Dominguez stack up against recent J2 guys like Luciano and Mauricio from a rankings perspective? Does he have a higher ceiling than last year’s top guys?
Kiley McDaniel: A good way to remind people about Prospects Week
Hank: What approach do you take to projecting the hit tool of really athletic but raw guys with current swing and miss issues?
Kiley McDaniel: By looking at the components of the hit tool: bat control, bat speed, pitch selection
Kiley McDaniel: if the first two are premium and the third one is bad, that’s fixable in that you can improve, but will always be a Starling Marte type that swings a lot and would be better if he swung less
Kiley McDaniel: If the bat speed is premium while the bat control is average
Kiley McDaniel: then you have like Monte Harrison where it’s never gonna be a 50 hit tool, but if there’s power, he could still get to all the power
Kiley McDaniel: we’ve discussed grading each of these abilities for each prospect, but that’s a lot of detail and, for the guys these distinctions matter for, we break it down in the report. Estevan Florial is a good example.
Dodger Depth TM: How’d you get involved with scouting and prospect analysis? What was your first step towards doing this for a living?
Kiley McDaniel: Worked some connections to get an internship with the Yankees baseball ops group in Tampa 14 years ago. Did a bunch of grunt work and copies and whatnot but learned how to scout and write reports in the downtime. Shouts to Mark Newman, Jackie Williams and Billy Eppler for giving me a shot
Tom Ricketts: “That Dad email thing” is really getting in the way of all the reasons we should be excited as Cubs fans, such as the new propogandic subliminal messaging system Sinclair developed to play during our broadcasts.
Kiley McDaniel: Cubs fans sound really excited about the season
SAL fan: Is it just me or are international prospects becoming much more advanced over the past few years? I know back in the 80s it was not unusual to have Latin IFs in the high minors at 18/19, but the skills that a lot of these players have at a younger age seems striking these days. Is there something different going on with the training nowadays?
Kiley McDaniel: They started playing a lot more games as amateurs in the last 10 years
Kiley McDaniel: Yep and will prob hit some pumps at Reading this year
Turd Ferguson: Could Elon end up with two SPs going in the top half of the first round this summer? Kirby looked really good on Saturday.
Kiley McDaniel: Kirby is in the first round now, Brnovich is later, maybe 3rd-5th and Adcock maybe 4th-6th? Really good group for a mid-major
Kiley McDaniel: Kirby was a nice projection arm on the showcase circuit, so he was kinda known in HS, the other two not so much.
Adam: The Marlins passed up on Victor Robles at last seasons trade deadline before eventually trading for Alfaro/Sixto+. Which deal would you have preferred if you were calling the shots?
Kiley McDaniel: I don’t know for sure that Robles was offered, but I’d take him over those two
Weenie: Do you think it would be a competitive advantage for teams to actually pay their minor leaguers so they can train rather than work offseason jobs? This doesn’t even cover the moral aspect, but I feel like more prospects would be able to break through if a team allowed them to focus solely on training rather than having to work in addition to pro ball
Kiley McDaniel: I’ve thought about this and I think it’s because once one team does it, then a few more will, then eventually everyone will and then the clubs will give away a financial advantage. A couple clubs would get a benefit for a few years
Kiley McDaniel: Now it should still happen in large part b/c it wouldn’t cost much and will make your players better, but I think it isn’t because owners/GM can see that you’d only get a slight advantage and piss off the other owners/MLB
bigcheese: How is Luis Urias impacted by the Machado signing. What is your outlook on him heading into 2019 fantasy wise?
Kiley McDaniel: He’s in the core. If he’s good, he slides over to 2B and he’ll stick there for awhile
Manny’s Stylist: Which of the Padres top prospects do you think are most likely to be dealt for MLB reinforcements? Perhaps they prefer to trade one of their MLB OF and hang on to those prospects instead?
Kiley McDaniel: Well Hudson Potts is roughly 100th on the top 100 and is totally blocked, so he would seem to be the most attractive one that’s available, unless SD is convinced he’s gonna hit so much they need to keep him and put him in RF
Jim Bob: Not a question – great work on Prospect week! !
Kiley McDaniel: Thanks!
Turd Ferguson: Is Doug Fister a decent comp for Dustin May? Tall, lanky groundball pitcher with some ks, but not quite a k per inning guy?
Kiley McDaniel: I mean May has 3 plus pitches but otherwise they both are tall and command the ball
SpeedRacer: If you were tasked with rebuilding a team’s farm system from nothing, what do you think the most effective strategies would be? Signing veterans to flip at the trade deadline, international talent, or something else?
Kiley McDaniel: Sign vets with positive EV to trade, invest big in int’l program, make use of waivers/MILB deals b/c you have opportunities contenders can’t offer, trade for lots of prospects from clubs with terrible PD departments and/or getting heat from their owner to win now
Kiley McDaniel: He was the one guy that after we published, I got mad that we didn’t include him. Must’ve slipped thru the cracks. Consider him on there as far as I’m concerned
Kiley McDaniel: Now if he breaks out I can point back to this chat as my proof of genius/sloppy admin skills
Devil Ray: Seems likely that Wander Franco is the top prospect in baseball this time next year. When do you think we see him in the Show?
Kiley McDaniel: I would guess Lo-A and Hi-A this year, then AA in 2020 and possibly a look at the end of that season, but more likely I would say 11 days into the 2021 season.
Mr. Fister: Love the work you and Eric have done with the BOARD! Out of Lux, Chisholm, and Brujan, who is your personal favorite to be an above average or better major leauger for the longest? Thanks!
Kiley McDaniel: Probably Lux due to the broad base of tools but we really love Brujan like almost like he’s our child? Is that weird?
Weenie: If Jordan Holloway pitches like he did in instructs for a whole season (100 IP for him?), is he a top 100 prospect?
Kiley McDaniel: Yeah, I mean if he’s 95-97 with a plus breaker and looks like he can start that’s like just below Kopech. Wouldn’t bet on that, but it’s possible
A DUB: Why would a team that wants to win trade away a cost-controlled 4 win or greater Tommy Pham? And trade him away for so little?
Kiley McDaniel: Well I think STL thought he was more a 2-win guy going forward and I’ve heard they didn’t like when he was critical of the club
Scott: It seems people in the Padres organization really like Buddy Reed, but he doesn’t get any traction on your lists. Curious as to your thoughts on him.
Kiley McDaniel: Still not sure he hits enough. But there’s raw power and speed/defense. And he’s good a hockey!
Kiley McDaniel: (standing by for Peter Gammons tweet about Reed)
6’11” Bottom: Do you see Josh Jung as a top 100 guy for next year?
Kiley McDaniel: Looks like it. Sneaky good at 3B given his frame/long speed make you think he wouldn’t be. Classic example of a possible pro swing change guy (like Alec Bohm) since there’s hitability and raw, but very flat path
GraphsFan: Kiley, do you get information on intangibles, attitude, personality from asking interview questions of players? Or are those documented in scouting reports that you would get from teams, coaches, other scouts?
Kiley McDaniel: We talk to players but not that many. Usually easier to ask scouts we trust
Purple Mays Haze: Kiley wrapping up a call: who hangs up?
Kiley McDaniel: I have been chastised by family members for saying bye and hanging up before they say bye but I’m working on that but also i think they’re too sensitive I mean the call was over what do you want a hug get over it
Anthony: Any highlights or unexpected players that popped for you from D1 opening weekend?
AH HOLY CRAP: Having machado on my favorite team is cool
Kiley McDaniel: Baseball can be fun!
Weenie: Any funny stories about confusion between your dog being named scout and your occupation as a scout?
Kiley McDaniel: Girls especially roll their eyes until I mention that I also considered the character from To Kill a Mockingbird since my pupper is very tomboyish. Scout has already scouted a game and got universal good girl reviews from the scouts there and she’s joined me for lunch with a few scouts so that was probably a confusing sentence
Matthew: How does Antonio Cabello‘s polish compare to Juan Soto’s or other prospects who developed. I heard someone say it was equal. Do you think he can move that quickly through the minors?
Kiley McDaniel: Well Soto developed polish between his verbal deal and the GCL, so most scouts didn’t see it and his body also changed a good bit, so the tools changed, too. Cabello wasn’t a consensus top guy in his class because he was already maxed-out
Kiley McDaniel: Soto was a good hitter with tools and got $1.5 million, but nobody scouting him as an amatuer thought this was remotely on the table
Kiley McDaniel: in fact I saw him and Fernando Tatis at an amateur event and neither really stood out, same for 6’0 Oneil Cruz. Here’s the video of Soto:
Crash Davis: Assuming Rutschman is a slam dunk #1 in June, if you were drafting #2, who would you take right now out of Witt Jr, Vaughn, Langeliers, Abrams, or other?
Kiley McDaniel: More on this later this week! One of those guys looked much better than expected last week
John Oleruds Helmet: Mr Kiley gracin us with his weekly chat
Where is scout? Is he chasin a cat?
Doin great work on every prospect report
Gradin tools with Eric, his main cohort
You hear about the kid throwin 103 up in Juneau?
I ain’t surprised that Kiley already know
Writin for Fangraphs the number 1 site
F**k with Kiley and we’re gonna fight!!!
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.