Kiley McDaniel Chat – 3/20/19

2:10

Kiley McDaniel: Coming to you live from ATL a little later than usual because I’m moving onto my third contractor now. Scout has chased all the squirrels and chipmunks and is taking a nap next to me. On to your questions:

2:10

Ben M: It feels like to date we aren’t getting the same type of negative reports on the high schoolers that caused players like gorman to slide last year. Is that accurate?

2:12

Kiley McDaniel: Not a question I get very often. I think Gorman may have stood out more because he was a top 10 overall prospect for us wire to wire but had some clear deficiencies that got a little worse during the spring

2:12

Kiley McDaniel: That said, we kept him in the top 10 (we settled on him at 7th, he went 19th overall) because we thought those things were fixable and the strengths were too good to pass up

2:13

Kiley McDaniel: So I wouldn’t say that was a unique amount of negative info on a top prospect. We have said Abrams probably can’t play SS longterm, Witt has real hit tool questions, Espino has a really long arm stroke and may throw too hard too early, etc. which is on par with the Gorman stuff

2:13

shf9: What’s going on with Carter Stewart?  He’s falling fast down your draft rankings.

2:15

Kiley McDaniel: two quick draft questions, then I’ll get to some pro stuff. The reports on Stewart are notably worse than this point last year. Around this point last year, Stewart was 93-95, touching 97 mph, flashing a 70 curveball and showing starter traits. Now he’s mostly 90-93, touching 97 but not in the strike zone, curveball is flashing 60 and the body/delivery/command have regressed. The main concern about the wrist last summer is the quality of the breaking ball would regress and that has happened along with some athleticism, which is likely unrelated. Could still bounce back, but he’s a clear tier lower now

2:15

Jeb: Is Ke’Bryan Hayes a future star? Could he turn into a Matt Chapman type of player?

2:21

Kiley McDaniel: Wouldn’t call it likely. Chapman is something like 55 or 60 hit and power and 70 or 80 glove. We have Hayes at 55 hit, 45 power, 70 glove. Hayes’ raw power is about a 50 or 55, so there’s a shot he puts it all together and there are signs he’s lifting the ball more. In terms of the guy most likely to have those three tool grades that Chapman has, Hayes is probably the most likely in the minors. Tatis and Senzel both seem capable, too.

2:22

Kiley McDaniel: In the top 100 package: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/2019-top-100-prospects/

2:22

Kiley McDaniel: we pegged Hayes chance of being a perennial 4-5 WAR player at about 15-20%, so call it 1 in 5 or 1 in 6 that he pulls something like Chapman off

2:22

AA: Which youngin wins the starting spot (or two) for the Bravos

2:25

Kiley McDaniel: Seems pretty muddled at this point and there’s a chance Gausman, Folty and Soroka all miss the first couple weeks, while Newcomb has been awful today. Seems like Kyle Wright then Touki Toussaint are the leading candidates among the youngsters. Max Fried and Bryse Wilson can both do bullpen things. Allard, Gohara, Anderson, Muller stay in the minors.

2:25

Kevin: Between Adonis Medina and Spencer Howard, who has a higher floor? What about bigger upside?

2:25

Kiley McDaniel: Howard higher floor, Medina higher upside

2:25

Vslyke: Has framing been an emphasis of scouting catchers? If not, has that started to change recently?

2:26

Kiley McDaniel: It’s hard, especially below the SEC/ACC levels, to really have a sense for that because the umpiring and instruction for catchers is so bad. From a scouting perspective, you’re looking for elements to frame more often, which is flexibility, mobility, hand strength and intelligence.

2:26

Hunter Bishop: Could I go as high as 3rd?

2:26

Kiley McDaniel: I don’t see that, with Abrams and Witt right there, but if you keep going nuts, maybe 8-10?

2:27

Will: Too early to panic about the direction of the White Sox rebuild?

2:31

Kiley McDaniel: I would say yes, but things haven’t been going super well the last year or so. Kopech was going well then he blew out. Eloy is still going well but the body is pointing to 1B/DH pretty soon. The college corner bats in the draft (Collins, Burger, Sheets, Fisher, Call) haven’t done much. Dunning, Burdi, and Adolfo blew out. Robert hasn’t had a breakthrough yet. We believe in Madrigal but his debut raised some questions that weren’t really there before. Basabe and Rutherford don’t look like likely regulars to us anymore. Hansen got hurt and regressed. Moncada, Rodon, Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez haven’t been as advertised.

2:33

Kiley McDaniel: So, yes that a lot of bad fortune all strung together and not necessarily bad planning or picking the wrong players, as we were on Kopech, Eloy, Moncada, Dunning, Burdi, Adolfo, Robert, Madrigal and Rodon too. But when you’re trying to have a bunch of assets appreciate and form a core and most of the top assets depreciated, that’s just making things harder, even if it isn’t necessarily any one person’s fault.

2:33

Jason N: Even if/when Paddack makes the opening day roster, is he likely to spend enough time in the minors to get an extra year of control?  With his innings limit in place, there’s enough reason to get him some mid-season rest for a few weeks.

2:35

Kiley McDaniel: I don’t get the impression that SD thinks about this the same way or at least to the same extent as other clubs do. It’s also less likely to matter 6 years from now when it’s a pitcher with a TJ in his past. But yes, midseason rest in AAA for a few weeks after a few bad starts is still on the table.

2:35

Danny: Do you think Kevin Alacantra starts in DSL, GCL or Appy?

2:35

Kiley McDaniel: I’ll say 60% GCL, 40% DSL

2:35

Kevin Jacobs: What round do you see Josh Wolf going?

2:36

Kiley McDaniel: Saw him last week for a few innings, 94-96, touched 97 with plus life, 55 flashing curve, some effort but chance to start, 6’2/175, a little smaller than most clubs like to take a HS righty, so more 2nd round than 1st

2:36

James: How do former South Carolina pitchers Wil Crowe and Clarke Schmidt compare at this point?

2:36

Kiley McDaniel: Both above average stuff, starter look, no true 60 qualities so more innings eaters. Crowe could be up this year, Schmidt more 2020, I’d guess.

2:36

Bill: Does Adrian Morejon stick in the rotation or does the plethora of young arm talent in the Padres org have him destined for the bullpen?

2:37

Kiley McDaniel: Rotation. Gore, Patino, Morejon would be the best three that won’t get MLB time this year. Wait and see if Baez, Espinoza, Weathers can get to that level.

2:37

DJ Tanner: When these Minor Leaguers are getting optioned, is it announced which level they are heading as well? Any idea if that information is available yet?

2:37

Kiley McDaniel: Nope, just to minor league camp, then we generally find out MILB club assignments right around MILB opening day

2:39

Jake: What do you think are the chances of the Rays moving Brujan off 2B?

2:39

Kiley McDaniel: Almost 0%? They think he’d be fine at SS, there’s just always been a more traditional SS on his team

2:39

Marc: Analysts often use average launch angle to evaluate performance, but wouldn’t another good stat to use be standard deviation of launch angle?  Figure that a guy who can more consistently hit at a certain launch angle could be better poised for a breakout by raising that angle

2:41

Kiley McDaniel: I think launch angle is more used to either 1) talk about a specific ball in play or 2) used in average to show an obvious change in approach. There’s better ways to describe how a player is hitting over a longer period with a couple numbers than just avg exit velo or launch angle. what you suggest would be one in a suite of options, depending on what specifically you’re trying to measure

2:41

Slurve: Reasonable line for Christin Stewart?  Can he avoid DH-only?

2:41

Kiley McDaniel: Eh, it’s gonna be Schwarber-like in LF. So, in the AL, no reason to force yourself to do that.

2:41

Lyle: What do Beau Burrows and Franklin Perez need to do to regain 50 FV status?

2:41

Kiley McDaniel: Perez just needs to stay healthy and maintain his stuff. Burrows’ stuff has backed up a bit, so he needs it to come back some.

2:41

NotGraphs Revivalist: CATCHER FRAMING STATS! WOW! Is framing the most important defensive trait for a catcher to develop? It seems like it has a pretty massive impact defensive WAR

2:42

Kiley McDaniel: In terms of WAR calculation, yes. Most on-field people would say game calling and blocking because that affects every pitch as well and limits what the pitcher can do in ways that can’t be quantified from the outside.

2:43

Babyfarts Mckeezack: Is Paddack’s base case scenario still considered a #3? Spring training stats mean nothing I know. Just seems impressive  anytime I see videos of him pitching.

2:43

Kiley McDaniel: Best case scenario is probably James Shields. FB/CH guy who hits the ground running in MLB, then finds another tick or two of velo and that helps his CB play consistently avg to above. Maybe #2 for a couple years at peak?

2:44

Chris: Is there a chance the White Sox will switch to a HS player this year given Rutschman is off the board at 3?

2:45

Kiley McDaniel: I’m hearing college bats and it’s now looking like Rutschman and Vaughn are gone, so then it opens up a lot after them. Stott, Busch, Misner, Bleday, Jung, Wilson are all candidates but probably only the first three are reasonable that high. It’ll be tough to pass on Abrams and Witt, so I’d imagine they get discussed as well

2:45

Dieter: what is julio rodriguez’s ceiling? could he be a top 30 overall prospect by next year?

2:46

Kiley McDaniel: If he goes nuts as an 18-year-old in Low-A, then yeah he could be in the 25-50 range overall

2:46

Chaise: Okay, Ethan Small has to get some love, right?  He’s striking out almost 2 per inning!  Struck out 11 in six innings against Florida!

2:47

Kiley McDaniel: Was added to the draft board a couple days ago. He’s 22 and pitches with a fringe fastball, but he’s performed and has feel

2:47

Meltor: How would you rate these guys on future fantasy impact:nico hoerner
nolan gorman
victor victor mesa
jon india
kebryan hayes
vidal brujan

2:47

Kiley McDaniel: hayes, brujan, gorman, india, hoerner, mesa

2:47

JT: How does Hunter Bishop compare to Conforto when he was in college?

2:48

Kiley McDaniel: Conforto had a better approach and hit tool by a pretty good margin. Bishop has a little more raw and speed and has a chance to play CF. Conforto at draft time is still better, given the offensive track record

2:48

bubbf: Saw on twitter that you were in Waco recently. Any scouting thoughts on some of Baylor’s less heralded guys like Davis Wendzel and Nick Loftin?

2:48

Kiley McDaniel: Wendzel is another 22 year old college guy, fringe power, sticks at 3B, some feel to hit, 5th round or so

2:49

bubbf: I notice that Jackson Rutledge dropped a bit after you saw him in person. What did you see that led to him sinking down The Board?

2:50

Kiley McDaniel: Doesn’t pitch with much conviction, kinda sailed on pure ability for me and others have seen the same thing. control over command that wasn’t punished much vs. lesser hitters, doesn’t seem to have the mentality/aggression to relieve, which may be the best use of his ability. Lots of size and stuff and it comes out easy, but not sure what it will be

2:52

Kiley McDaniel: Scout just saw a blue jay in the backyard and asked to go outside, then sprinted after it and barked “coward” when it flew away

2:52

pelkey: i think touki’s CB used to grade at a near 80. it’s now listed as a 65. in the most recent write up, it says that he usually throws a 60  but will occasionally break off a 70. as this metamorphosis occurred, touki’s command took a step forward. so my questions are, did he dial back stuff in exchange for command? is this a typical trade off. if there was a conscious preference for location over movement, and that choice was made to make the pitch more effective, then why are the grades downgraded? or does a grade really focus on things like velo and movement, and ignore effectiveness? thanks!

2:53

Kiley McDaniel: I only saw 70, but CB is maybe the hardest pitch to see a true 80 in my experience in part because a true 80 would break from out of the strike zone on one side to out on the other side

2:54

Kiley McDaniel: Yes, the CB was dialed down some when his command got better, so there’s a direct connection between effort/arm speed/command

2:54

Kiley McDaniel: kinda like in golf, you can’t swing max effort every time and still be effective, but you can maybe pick a couple spots a round and make it work for you

2:54

Smith > Vogelbach?: If a prospect’s main negative is that he has a “bad body”, couldn’t that be viewed as a plus in that it should be pretty easy nowadays to get someone to drop some weight if they can stick to a conditioning plan?  It’s certainly got to be easier than teaching someone to swing and miss less, right?

2:55

Kiley McDaniel: But it also reflects poorly on their work ethic/makeup if, in this era, they put on a bunch of weight when they knew how to avoid it. If the weight add/loss comes with a mental change, then sure, but a swing change could also qualify for a “didn’t know what I was doing then someone taught me” and that’s the best way to improve, in these terms.

2:56

Matt Sanders: I’m considering going to see Georgia play LSU this Saturday. I watch Georgia pretty often, but is there anyone from LSU I should pay special attention to? In particular, is there anyone flying under the radar now who you think could end up being a big name in the Draft?

2:57

Kiley McDaniel: They have a ton of draftable talent, which is all on the three years of THE BOARD here: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2019-mlb-draft?sort=-1,1…

2:58

Kiley McDaniel: best prospects on the team would be
2019: 2B Josh Smith, RHP Zach Hess, CF Zach Watson, RHP Todd Peterson, CF Antoine Duplantis
2020: LF Daniel Cabrera
2021: RHP Jaden Hill, C CJ Willis, RHP Landon Marceaux

2:58

Angelus Novus: Mike Elias made an interesting comment the other day about hoping Hays will be the Orioles future CF. Do you think Hays is better defensively than Mullins?

2:58

Kiley McDaniel: Closer than you’d think but I’d still lean Mullins

2:59

Cardinal90: What is Drey Jameson’s ceiling in this year’s draft?

2:59

Kiley McDaniel: Maybe late 2nd, probably more 3rd-4th

2:59

Guest: I’ve been thinking about Osiel Rodriguez (and, to a lesser extent, Antonio Gomez) getting way less from NYY in signing bonuses than might otherwise be expected. Is this likely an instance of getting taking way less than others might have subsequently offered because they developed late (seems unlikely here), taking less to be in the desired org, something more nefarious, other?

3:00

Kiley McDaniel: Clubs generally don’t try to poach other clubs’ early deal guys. NYY has been good about locking guys up early that in the next 1-3 years appreciate in value.

3:00

Yeah Bouy: If you were drafting with the next few years in mind, who do you take at 3B….India, Brohm or Gorman?

3:00

Kiley McDaniel: You could really put them in just about any order. I have a feeling our order will flip a lot over the years.

3:01

Tom: What is a good comp for Jasson Dominguez? And removing the incomparable Wander Franco from the discussion, how good is he in comparison to previous J2 signings?

3:02

Kiley McDaniel: Probably better than Maitan at the same stage? Right around there. Not really a good comp, maybe what we though Moncada was going to be?

3:02

Harrison: What’s your usual approach for players who weren’t huge prospects out of high school, but are doing great in their freshman year of college? Thinking of Sal Frelick at Boston College, specifically. How long would someone like that need to keep it up before they make it on the 2021 board?

3:02

Kiley McDaniel: Not long. We’ve heard he’s emerging and he may be on there soon when we can get a few opinions. Robby Martin at FSU is a guy like that and he’s shot up the board

3:02

Gest: Are you saying you don’t view Fried as a starter or that the Braves probably don’t?

3:03

Kiley McDaniel: Him and Wilson can both do SP or RP in the short term, so they’re easy to carry in the pen rather than AAA

3:03

Jay: Weird that apparently Eloy has nothing to work on in AAA and ready for a ML contract, just a few weeks after needing work in AAA

3:03

Kiley McDaniel: It’s amazing how that worked out

3:03

Tommy Hunter Bishop: Brandon Lowe is available for some reason in my ottoneu league. Should I pick him up?

3:04

Kiley McDaniel: Unless it’s like a 10 team mixed league with no bench

3:04

Tommy Hunter Bishop: How is Kyren Paris’s increased physicality manifesting itself on the field?

3:04

Kiley McDaniel: Yep, he’s the best NorCal prep prospect and is super young, so seems like a lock to go in the top 2 rounds now

3:04

christian: What are you hearing on Tommy Henry at Michigan?

3:05

Kiley McDaniel:

 

Kiley McDaniel
@kileymcd

 

Michigan LHP Tommy Henry is an interesting popup college arm, covered in his blurb on THE BOARD. Velo up from 86-91… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
14 Mar 2019
3:05

Kiley McDaniel: I could type a quick report, but it’s all in these two tweets

3:05

Bret: $65-$70M extension for Eloy Jimenez over 8-years, per reports. Insane? Fair? Brilliant?

3:08

Kiley McDaniel: We pegged his 6 years of control as being worth about $55M via Craig Edwards research

3:08

Kiley McDaniel: so that seems like a nice chunk of change for Eloy and a nice discount for the good part of Eloy’s career for CHW

3:09

Rick C: Considering the decline in Carter Stewart’s stuff, do you think the Braves made an error in 1) drafting him in the first place, and 2) failing to sign him?

3:09

Kiley McDaniel: Drafting Gorman would’ve been the best decision, but getting a 50 FV hitter and having multiple good options for such this year is the 2nd best option

3:10

Idris: I don’t see a player page for Victor Victor Mesa, did he not qualify for your top 100 prospects or do you just not see him with a future impact?

3:10

Kiley McDaniel: Doesn’t get a player page until he plays a game

3:10

Kiley McDaniel: and also wasn’t on the top 100

3:11

Victor Victor Victor Mesa: Hello. I am the other brother

3:11

Bicurious George: Kiley, get a dog door. You  and Scout won’t regret it.

3:11

Kiley McDaniel: This house came with one and she’s scared of it

3:12

Alex: Could you explain the weights for each of grades for prospects (Hit, power, etc). I couldn’t find anything explaining that and I just wanted to be clear whether the hit and power tools have more weight in the overall grade then the other tools).

3:12

Kiley McDaniel: It’s not a formula, we consider all the tools and then the other stuff not captured in those grades (health, performance, age, etc.) and how the market values that type of player in landing on an FV

3:13

No one in particular: In deep space, which way is up?

3:13

Kiley McDaniel: Oh I think we’re there

3:13

Matt Damon: MATT. DAMON.

3:13

Kiley McDaniel: there it is

3:13

Kiley McDaniel: see you guys next week

We hoped you liked reading Kiley McDaniel Chat – 3/20/19 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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