Kiley McDaniel Chat – 5/8/19

12:11

Kiley McDaniel: Was slightly delayed by some Scout shenanigans in the backyard, then I cornered a wasp and smothered it with a towel, then tough talked it like a real hero.

12:12

Kiley McDaniel: but also hello from ATL! heading out to check in on CJ Abrams playoff doubleheader later today, working out a mock draft and getting industry thoughts, but don’t want to spoil too many of the scoop-y nuggets we have

12:12

Kiley McDaniel: draft board was just expanded today to 350 players and it’s getting updated daily at this point: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2019-mlb-draft?type=0&so…

12:13

Jorby: Scout’s take on the upcoming storms?

12:14

Kiley McDaniel: she feels it in her bones but also I’m going out of town this weekend for a crazy run of draft prospects so we haven’t covered it in much detail

12:14

Greg: When’s the next mock?

12:14

Kiley McDaniel: Maybe Friday, probably Monday

12:14

Jeff: Any new buzz in the top 10?

12:15

Kiley McDaniel: the projected picks in the top 10 will mostly stay the same, but lots of machinations are becoming clearer, about who has been seen where, what the likely choice is between at each pick and one club in the top 10 that looks like they’re gonna do something you guys wouldn’t expect

12:17

Jim Leyland Palmer: All things equal, would you rather have Mize or Gore in your org?

12:17

Kiley McDaniel: they were within 8 spots of each other preseason and both have been really shoving. Still probably lean Gore but you can easily make the case for either.

12:18

Steve: Does Logan Wyatt have the ability to play anywhere other than 1b? Is a swing change needed to reach his power potential?

12:19

Kiley McDaniel: Louisville 1B Logan Wyatt had some day one buzz over the off-season and early spring, but has fallen off a lot, hasn’t tapped into the power but it’s also 5 raw power, so there wasn’t much to begin with. I didn’t like the look I got at Clemson and sounds like he’s more 4th-5th round at this point.

12:19

Paul: Is Michael Toglia back in the discussion for the top half of the first round?

12:19

Kiley McDaniel: Had the look and the Cape to be that guy, has not been good this spring and even as he’s playing a bit better, no one seems too eager to pop him high. I would guess late first to early second

12:20

Recca: Any speculation on the signability on some of the lower tier HS arms? Fitterer, Dalquist, Maxwell,  Brett Thomas, Rascon, and Kendall Williams?

12:22

Kiley McDaniel: Becoming a little more clear who the signability guys may be. Jack Leiter has been the leading name there for awhile and the chatter is $4M+ and maybe only a couple teams would interest him, so he likely won’t be in the next mock. Matthew Allan also may be a roughly $4M pricetag and has a real chance to go Kumar Rocker/Cole Wilcox and go to Florida if he slides past the middle of the 1st round. Some talk on Corbin Carroll and Blake Walston, but not as likely as the first two. Of those guys, Thomas (S. Carolina commit) may be the one that’s asking for more than the industry figures he’s worth, Maxwell (Ga Tech) may also fit.

12:22

Dan: Redraft today: where ideas

12:22

Kiley McDaniel: Indeed

12:23

UGAGUY35: Going to the SEC tourney? I am heading over, who should I watch for 2020/2021 drafts? Asa, and Emerson are two that I know of

12:23

Kiley McDaniel: Tentative plan is to go for at least a day, but not positive yet. Lucky for you we have a whole mess of guys ranked for the 2020 and 2021 drafts right here: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2020-mlb-draft?type=0&so…

12:24

Kiley McDaniel: They may be the most extensive 2020/21 rankings out there but I can guarantee you they’re the only ones with regular updates on the whole class

12:24

Kiley McDaniel: and the SEC is loaded for both years

12:24

Ghelsson: Are most scouts confident that Witt Jr. will hit enough to carry the rest of the package (which is outstanding)? He won’t have to hit a ton necessarily, but when you put him next to the other top position players in this class I find him pretty scary. Am I off base?

12:25

Kiley McDaniel: Trevor Story is a name that comes up a lot. The idea of a prep bat in the top 10 having to be a 50 bat (.260 to .270 average) to take him is a little dated now since there’s plenty of ways for Witt to hit .250 with walks and power and play at least an average SS and be a 3+ WAR guy every year.

12:27

Kiley McDaniel: Witt now is seen as the more polished of the two between him and Abrams because he’s closer to what he needs to be stylistically, whereas Abrams is faster and a superior athlete but could stand to have some tweaks to his game. It’s kinda unusual for the projected hit tool to be higher on the guy (Abrams) who is seen as more raw/needing more work, but that’s where we are.

12:27

Big Nate: What does it mean “control over command”? That seems like an issue somebody pointed out for Nate Pearson after he had his AA debut (5IP, 2H, 0BB, 8Ks)

12:28

Kiley McDaniel: Control is throwing the ball in the strike zone, command is throwing it to the specific location (like quarter of ninth of the zone) that you intend. For guys with bonkers stuff, control is usually fine until the big leagues, but if you have average stuff, you need at least average MLB command to get by in AAA.

12:29

Kiley McDaniel: and if you have like Kimbrel-level stuff and are pitching one inning at a time, you can have 40 command and 50 control and still be good, since if you miss a location but it’s near the zone, the hitter still can’t really square it up but probably has to swing.

12:29

Billy Beane: Kiley, did you think you would get away with your weird, baseball-like 12:05 start and think we wouldn’t care about the five minutes? Because… You’re right. I don’t think it matters.

12:29

Kiley McDaniel: good to know

12:29

Ben: Any thoughts on the UCSB baseball team? Players that look promising?

12:30

Kiley McDaniel: both are on THE BOARD but giant LHP Ben Brecht and conversion C Eric Yang are the guys we’ve heard with day 2 potential on that team

12:30

Time Baby: Is Greg Jones a possibility for the Sox at #45?

12:30

Kiley McDaniel: yeah, if they take Vaughn at 3, I could see them going for more upside with the 2nd pick

12:30

Kiley McDaniel: And Jones may get there

12:30

Peet: Trout

12:30

Kiley McDaniel: right?

12:31

Bryan: Can you tell us about the reported swing changes for Austin Riley? Saw something about him shortening the swing to better hit velocity?

12:32

Kiley McDaniel: Not really swing changes in the way the internet talks about (launch angle stuff). His issue has been his hands getting too deep and being late or barring (locking his front arm) and limiting his ability to get to inside pitches

12:33

Kiley McDaniel: here’s a slo-mo HR from April where he gets deep but keeps the front elbow flexed and tucks his hands inside to barrel the pitch for a HR. He wasn’t consistently doing that at the lower levels but if you have big power and weaker pitching, you can still post numbers with a flaw that would be exposed even in AAA.

12:34

Sir Nerdlington: Who is the most “can’t miss” prospect for you right now?  Would Eric agree?

12:35

Kiley McDaniel: would have to say Vlad Jr given that he’s the most celebrated hit/power combo in awhile, even tho most fantasy people would see his tough first 10 games and be freaking out already. Having adjustability, tools and makeup are pretty good indicators of improving, so I’m not worried.

12:35

Hank: Balazovic has been filthy early on.  Candidate for a big mid-season evaluation bump?

12:35

Kiley McDaniel: May track him down when I’m in FL, hearing good things

12:36

Gary: Misner from Mizzou a lock for an early round selection?

12:36

Kiley McDaniel: Nope, looks like he won’t go top 15

12:36

Peet: How does CJ Abrams compare with Xavier Edwards? (Pardon racial motivations behind this question)

12:37

Kiley McDaniel: I actually talked to a scout about that last week at the Abrams game. They’re both 80 runner or close to it, both are somewhere up the middle fits, though Abrams has a better chance to play SS, both are contact-oriented approach with sneaky raw

12:39

Kiley McDaniel: Abrams is LH, 5-10 points more raw, better chance at SS and Edwards was also really underdrafted both due to a random slide and an overslot deal from SDP. We had Edwards 17th on draft day and would re-draft him 10th-12th right now in that class and he’ll probably be a low 50 FV at some point this year. Abrams is a high 50 FV, maybe like 50-or-so slots ahead of Edwards.

12:40

Kiley McDaniel: and that feels about right given what I described above

12:40

GraphsFan: Is Scout allowed to attend games with you? I know that many MLB ballparks have ‘Bark at the Park’ night, but what is the MiLB policy?

12:40

Kiley McDaniel: in general it’s a no on normal nights and some HS games are very dog friendly, some are not, so I normally don’t risk it

12:40

Peet: What does Bleday do better than Bishop? Is Bishop the ceiling playand Bleday the floor?

12:41

Kiley McDaniel: More contact, a little less raw but comparable game power, little less speed, both in a corner, much more arm, longer track record against better pitching, better approach

12:41

Kiley McDaniel: that’s Bleday I’m speaking of there

12:42

Colin : Soroka or Paddock for the the next 6 years?

12:45

Kiley McDaniel: If you set Soroka’s shoulder stuff aside, they’ve both performed like 75-90 percentile in the bigs so far, in terms of short-term expectations. Paddack has a better best pitch, Soroka has a better 3rd pitch, command is comparable, Paddack has a TJ and Soroka has some shoulder stuff but both seem fine now. 36th and 34th on the top 100 entering the year and still both right there. Paddack reminds me of the good version of James Shields, in term of rise and peak.

12:45

Kiley Quips <3: Have you seen the love of my life Cristian Pache yet? If so, why not and I still <3 you regardless.

12:45

Kiley McDaniel: Aiming to see Birmingham-Mississippi later this month

12:46

Juice: Gonna try to sneak in 2 questions. What are your thoughts on Brady McConnell and when are the J2 rankings arriving? Thanks for your time.

12:46

Kiley McDaniel: J2 will be after the draft and probably after my post-draft vacation

12:51

Kiley McDaniel: McConnell is a tough one, he’s the shortstop at Florida. Some would give him four 60-grade tools and he’s hitting in the SEC, but most would give him a 30 to 40 bat. Not the kind of guy I’d go bet big on, but this type (Cadyn Grenier/Orioles/Oregon State is another) tend to go first day and McConnell is rumored to have turned down $2M out of HS, when I wouldn’t have offered him that then, either, so clearly it is some teams’ type. (Grenier also turned down 7 figures out of HS that I probably wouldn’t have offered at that point.)

And I saw McConnell last weekend against velo at UGA and he was off balance, weak grounders on every swing. Not my guy, but probably round 2, maybe 3rd, and real potential if you can tease out a 40 to 50 bat. I feel better about offensive tweaks when they’re 18 and maybe have had bad coaching, but McConnell has also hit 12 homers in the SEC, and for most HS kids that would be beating expectations to ever do that.

12:51

Mike: Are scouts surprised by the start of Chris Paddack? He obviously put up great numbers in A/AA ball, but many projected him as a #3, maybe #2 at best, not the TOR he is pitching like. Is the success sustainable?

12:52

Kiley McDaniel: I mean it’s been 7 starts and his xFIP is 3.43 which is basically exactly what a #3 starter is, so maybe calm down a bit

12:52

Jeff: Any updates on LHPs Paul Labriola or Reggie Crawford yet?

12:53

Kiley McDaniel: Heard Labriola has stayed in the 80’s, so probably a school guy but could see him throwing harder in college

12:53

DDraft: Any signability concerns among 25-50 HS Inf group- Calihan, Volpe, Henderson, Lugo, Paris?

12:53

Kiley McDaniel: I would imagine they all sign

12:53

Gutshot: Dominic Fletcher has mostly been a center fielder but is listed as a corner outfielder on the board.  Is that because he is expected to move over as a pro?

12:53

Kiley McDaniel: Yes

12:53

Doug: Paddack still a #3 in your mind or has anything changed in his stuff/approach to lean towards a possible ToR arm?

12:54

Kiley McDaniel: If he continues to follow the Shields path I mentioned, then that’s probably a #2? a 5-win season (maybe an ace that year) and some 4’s (just behind the Cy Young types), with some 2’s and 3’s sprinkled in

12:55

Tim tim: whats the buzz on the IMG bats, Hinds and Rivera?

12:56

Kiley McDaniel: Hinds is a tough one, real tools and glimpses of the guy you want him to be, but not much consistency. Could see a team falling in love with the upside and popping him comp or 2nd round, but he’s another guy that’s not my type that high.

12:56

Kiley McDaniel: Rivera has low-end everyday upside at 3B and some teams sound interested in the late 2nd sort of area, maybe more 3rd to 4th on consensus

12:57

Kiley McDaniel: here’s Rivera hitting a HR for me last month: https://www.instagram.com/p/BwUpTYJgG2-/

12:57

jumpin’ jack flash: Kiley: when you find one wasp, it usually means a nest isn’t far away.  3 yrs. my mother got stung by several wasps because she brushed a blueberry bush that had a paper wasp nest.  I didn’t want the same to happen to me, so I took a small plumbers torch early in the morning (that’s when they’re dormant) and incinerated the entire nest.

12:58

Kiley McDaniel: wait what happened to the blueberries?!?!

12:58

Dennis: Is there a live chat or place to go online to follow along a live baseball game with analytical minded people as apposed to the old school broadcast booths most of us are subjected to?

12:58

Kiley McDaniel: Petriello and co. do the analytical broadcast a few times a year but I don’t know of a regular option

12:59

Dennis: What would u say is a good way for your average “Joe” fangraphs enthusiast to work towards some more knowledge or even a career in baseball analytics?

12:59

Kiley McDaniel: Find one aspect you’re interested in and do a really deep dive, try to become an expert in that area

12:59

Kiley McDaniel: hard to get a job as a generalist

1:00

Kiley McDaniel: unless you’ve been a generalist for 10 years

1:00

Larry Legend: Will Quinn Priester be the 2nd HS pitcher selected?

1:01

Kiley McDaniel: Allan, Priester, Malone, Goss are the order we have them in and is probably the consensus order, but it’s still really close from 1 to 4 and Allan has the signability issue, so Priester could very well be first. I would drop a few dollars in the FG sportsbook on Priester at 3-to-1 to be the first prep arm taken

1:01

Kiley McDaniel: odds just dropped to 3-to-2

1:02

Kiley McDaniel: very efficient market

1:02

SunnysideUp: Draft question:  Any word on value picks around 20 or 77 for the Mariners?

1:03

Kiley McDaniel: There is a name not ranked around 20 that’s been mentioned a lot with Seattle lately…but I’ll make you wait for the mock

1:04

Pete: Can you sell me on McConnell’s defense? I’ve watched him a lot this year, and he’s a mess at shortstop. Do scouts really think he sticks there?

1:04

Kiley McDaniel: Yep, has the tools to do it. Had a brain fart mistake in the game I saw but has always looked the part in terms of actions.

1:04

Larry Legend: I saw Drey Jameson last week.  He’s super tiny but his sh*t is live.

1:04

Kiley McDaniel: three pitches dartin all over the place brah

1:05

Billy Beane: Billy Bean and Billy Beane each combined for -1.7 WAR! the Billys Bean(e)!

1:05

Kiley McDaniel: Cistulli?

1:05

SunnysideUp: Any word on J2 prospect commits this year?  Is it true that most of these deals are already largely done long before the deadline rolls around?  Is that allowed, or is this part of what got the Braves in trouble?

1:05

Kiley McDaniel: MLB has told teams they don’t care about early verbal deals at all and they’re often done 2+ years in advance

1:05

Kiley McDaniel: but it’s still illegal by the rules, which apparently only bothers me?

1:06

Kiley McDaniel: MLB cares about package deals to circumvent the bonus pools

1:06

DH: Can Jarren Duran ever be an every day guy in Boston?

1:08

Kiley McDaniel: It’s starting to move that way. An instance that will probably get over-applied to fringe prospects out west: coaches gave him a spread-out, non-athletic swing that neutered his power, then he gets a more traditional swing in pro ball and immediately is a different guy. That was the Matt Duffy story (also at Long Beach State, we’re a long way from the Giambi/Longoria/Tulowitzki days) but Duran may be an 80 runner.

1:08

jumpin’ jack flash: I only hit the nest.  We have three blueberry bushes anyway.

1:08

Kiley McDaniel: If we still have the berries and set insects on fire, I can get down with that

1:08

Billy Beane: Obviously without naming names, do you know of any players you have scouted or are scouting who are gay players who may or may not be super out because they’re worried it would impact their draft stock? Has this ever been a discussion in a FO/scouting department you were in?

1:10

Kiley McDaniel: I knew of a few that were closeted while playing the minors, but their teammates knew and didn’t care. It would be big from a PR standpoint if a notable pro baseball player came out and I’m sure the media would find the homophobic guys to keep the story going, but I don’t think it’s a big deal anymore in terms of scouts/players/execs/coaches like being scared or hesitant to play with an out player. I think that ship sailed a while ago.

1:11

Kiley McDaniel: I mean gay marriage was a huge wedge political issue like 5-10 years ago and now it never gets talked about on the national stage, so I think that’s a decent analog

1:12

Kylie McJenner: Vlad Jr is a bust right?

1:12

Kiley McDaniel: nailed it

1:13

Tim: You mentioned Abrams probably needs some tweaks to reach his hit tool ceiling. Are those tweaks sort of known by the whole community and accepted as things that can be changed, or do teams realize something is off but might not be sure what exactly or how to fix it?

1:14

Kiley McDaniel: It’s more evolution than tweaks, really. He has pretty new raw power and would be well-served to see if he can find an approach that incorporates that more. His best approach could be 6 hit, 4 power, which is kinda what he’s doing now. And there’s little stuff that every 18 year old needs to get more consistent about mechanically but often need to face 90+ everyday to actually do it

1:15

Snooker: I know last year you guys had the Tigers taking Meadows in the 2nd round in part because you saw Al Avila at one of his games…don’t suppose you’ve had similar run-ins this year?

1:16

Kiley McDaniel: Oh yeah we’ve had a lot, that’s lots of the dope in the mock and why I’m going to Abrams again today even though I went last week. Like a GM rarely goes to a game for no reason, although there’s at least one instance where I saw a GM at a game and I was told the GM went there specifically to be seen as a smokescreen…which is very NFL Draft of him.

1:16

Kiley McDaniel: We don’t have as much nonsense floated to the media or going to games just to be seen in baseball but I for one welcome some showmanship

1:17

Gas Pump: Is this a debit card?

1:17

Jonathan the zombie: I LIKE TURTLES

1:17

Cersei Lannister: CERSEI. LANNISTER.

1:17

Matt Damon: MATT. DAMON.

1:18

Kiley McDaniel: sneaks up on me every time. see you guys next week and we can chat about how you hated my mock or really have to know what I’ve heard about the second round because 34 picks is never enough. see, i know you guys!

We hoped you liked reading Kiley McDaniel Chat – 5/8/19 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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Klubot3000
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Klubot3000

Loved the chat, Kiley! One note re Paddack, in 2018, a 3.43 xFIP would place a qualified pitcher 15th overall (in between Pivetta and Greinke) and 13th in 2017 (Tanaka/Nola range). That doesn’t seem like “exactly what a #3 is.”