Kiley McDaniel: Hello from ATL, Scout is napping nearby and I’m back from a week on the road.
Kiley McDaniel: we have lots of futures game thoughts coming soon, including high speed video of every pitcher, a review podcast and updates to our rankings from futures game observations
Kiley McDaniel: the most interesting pitch in slo-mo was the changeup/screwball of Grayson Rodriguez of the Orioles, as seen in this tweet:
Going through our high-speed video of every pitcher from the Futures Game and the thing that stood out the most was how much Orioles RHP Grayson Rodriguez pronates/turns over his changeup, We haven’t seen a guy do it this well before, looks more like a screwball than a changeup.
Kiley McDaniel: so, in a fully open market, it would be something like that, or half that if there’s still an overage penalty
Kiley McDaniel: BUT
Kiley McDaniel: Moncada was an older 19 when he signed and had some track record of hitting in events, with similar tools to the 16 year old Dominguez, who doesn’t. The Red Sox spent $63 million on Moncada and that was 4 years ago. If Dominguez was in a position like Moncada to have open competitive workouts against top pitching to maximize his payday and he was good in those settings (we’ve heard he was very impressive against pro arms in workouts, but they were private, so nearly every team didn’t see them), then he’d be higher than 61st
Kiley McDaniel: so let’s say Dominguez does well, but not amazing in this setting, giving 30 bidding teams more certainty that his hit tool will translate
Kiley McDaniel: He would be 3 years younger than Bobby Witt Jr. with comparable tools/certainty, 6 years younger than Luis Robert, 4 years younger than Pache, etc.
Kiley McDaniel: So you could see some teams, in this alternate scenario, pegging him as a top 20 prospect in baseball
Kiley McDaniel: which would put him over $50M
Kiley McDaniel: and with the chance to be basically locked in to $10M, or play some games and maybe get close to $50M in an open market, I bet Dominguez plays a bunch of games and gets near Moncada-level money
Kiley McDaniel: and a year or two from now we’ll get to see if the hit tool plays in pro ball like this hypothetical posits it may
Kiley’s Inner Voice: Is cereal a soup?
Kiley McDaniel: FOH
Kiley’s Mom: When will you give me grandchildren
Kiley McDaniel: ALSO NOT THE TIME
Hooha: What are some of your favorite minor league ballparks?
Kiley McDaniel: The new ones in the downtown areas of towns in the south meant to kickstart/enhance development are all solid: montgomery, birmingham, nashville, charlotte, memphis
Kiley McDaniel: also clearwater is the best one in florida
D Back Fan: You mentioned in last chat that teams will hold back intl money for late bloomers. How likely is it to find a really good late blooming position player?
Kiley McDaniel: much less common than pitchers, unless it’s a Cuban that defects, but that isn’t a late-bloomer that was passed over. this is because pitcher development isn’t linear (the velo/stuff bump happens whenever) while hitter development is often linear (slowly improves, proves it at each level, raw tools are a smaller part of the equation), so the short-term surprises are less common. this is why hitter age matters so much for the draft and pitcher age doesn’t matter that much. physical development is one (small) reason, but constantly facing pitching that’s older is key for a hitter’s projection.
parlay: You spotlighted Grayson Rodriguez’s changeup/screwball from the Futures Game- what impact does that have on your overall evaluation of him in terms of ranking/ceiling?
Kiley McDaniel: not really? it’s more describing the flavor of changeup, whereas the weird spin doesn’t inherently make it better
Greg: Couldn’t find any information on Mahki Backstrom on the board. What do you guys know about him?
Kiley McDaniel: Big power, 1B fit, contact issues limit the upside at draft time, but worthy lottery ticket, especially with barren lower levels for ATL
Nate: Help me feel better about how bad the Giants are by talking about Marco Luciano.
Kiley McDaniel: He’s real good! Ranked him as the best 16 year old in his J2 class, consistently bumped him up as he developed well in instructs/extended games for Eric, since we had so few games looks as an amateur. I think we’re the only publication with him in the top 100? He’ll be there for everyone soon enough.
MiserableSDFan: Urias has been struggling recently at AAA and the platoon of Greg Garcia and Ian Kinsler is 11th in WAR at 2B since May 1. Think the Padres leave him down a bit longer, possibly through the trade deadline?
Kiley McDaniel: This is a good time to mention I pitched Sporer on a pro Luis Urias fantasy article titled “Feeling Buy Urias?” (hides under table)
Kiley’s Inner Voice: have you disavowed wheat and dairy yet in an effort to reduce inflammation?
Kiley McDaniel: you know i’m conducting that TB12 method train, brah. strawberries are poison, water can prevent concussions, etc.
Ben: Most embarrassing moment at FG Cleveland meetup?
Kiley McDaniel: I convinced Jordan to try the pizza with me and we deemed it not that good
Wanted: Bats: Have you learned any more about Roberto Campos since the Tigers “stealth” signing last week?
James: Would Brady McConnell have been a candidate to go top 10-15 next year given his breakout this past year? Did the royals make a genius move nabbing him one year early?
Kiley McDaniel: we don’t think so, we think it’s a 3 or 4 bat but the tools are real
J: When scouting reports say a pitcher is better fitted for a bullpen because they lack command of pitches, how does slotting one into a relief role (as opposed to starting) deal with this command issue? I get that they may be able to showcase increased velocity for one to two innings, but how does relieving as opposed to starting account for command troubles?
Kiley McDaniel: plus stuff allows you to get by with control rather than command
Kiley McDaniel: and a couple wild pitches in one inning is easier to work around than a couple wild pitches every inning for six innings
Kiley McDaniel: not wild as in to the backstop, but wildly missing a spot
Me: I saw the Astros signed James Nix who was on the draft BOARD, what can you tell us about him?
Kiley McDaniel: big kid, big tools, like a DJ Peters type with long levers, needs to prove he can make contact in pro ball before we get excited
JC: Does 45+ mean between 45 and 50? 45 with upside? Can there be a 60+?
Kiley McDaniel: Yes. We can ordinarly rank every guy 50 or higher (the top 120-150 prospects in baseball), but there are tiers of all the 35’s, 40’s and 45’s, so the + allows us to break them into sub-tiers, or the guys we think are most likely to move up a group. Would be kinda daunting to actually rank every 40 without having the + to do a little work for us.
Kiley McDaniel: When a tier has hundreds and hundreds of players with no way for a reader to objectively separate them, you need another tier
Dan: 2020 draft rankings are updated ?
Kiley McDaniel: nearly every day
Kiley McDaniel: still a group of 35+ and 35 prospects to add, but all the 40s and higher should be up to date
Andy J: Is FV adjusted to position? Specifically is Gavin Lux’s FV tied to him playing SS in the minors or would it go up/down if he plays 2B (which he would do in LA)
Kiley McDaniel: Not really that important because an avg SS would usually be plus at 2B and knowing he can play both but is just playing 2B doesn’t change much of the WAR equation
Kiley DcManiel: In your mind, how should amateur talent acquisition happen? Draft everything? Free agency for everything? Academy model like soccer?
Kiley McDaniel: Writing about this soon, but hard-capped auction domestically and draft internationally makes the most sense to me
Justin: How do you login under so many different fake names in this chat to ask yourself questions?
Kiley McDaniel: trust me, you guys are wacky enough on your own
Nick: Everything I read about Austin Martin makes me think he’s the best draft prospect next year. What’s left for him to get there? Just tapping into raw power more?
Kiley McDaniel: He kinda is what he is, but that’s 60-65 bat, 45-50 power, 50-55 run, can play 2B and maybe fill-in at SS
Kiley McDaniel: that’s really good but it also isn’t like the sexiest upside in the world, the whole package value is around Dansby Swanson, who is quicker and a better defender but wasn’t as accomplished as a hitter at Vandy
Justin: Why do you refuse to pay the USWNT more?
Kiley McDaniel: i think you have the wrong chat?
Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: Is there a list of Cape League prospects somewhere?
Kiley McDaniel: comparing the two is about the best you can do right now?
Kiley McDaniel: also the rosters change a good bit, so not super easy to keep up with given everything else going on
Keith : How seriously should DSL stats be taken? Is the level of competition similar to AZL or GCL?
Kiley McDaniel: well the best players get promoted to the AZL/GCL to play older/better players, so it’s below those
Steve O: What position would you put Jasson Dominguez at? CF might be his best position because of his 70/80 speed. But would SS be the best position to put him at because of positional scarcity?
Kiley McDaniel: I’ve also heard he’s not terrible behind the plate and his arm plays, but then you run into the Wil Myers/Bryce Harper issue. I’d tinker with middle infield but probably settle on CF
Keith : Will the J2 signings compete in the DSL this summer or will they have to wait another year to debut?
Kiley McDaniel: All the 16 year olds sign deals for 2020 so the clubs get an extra year of Rule 5 protection, so they’ll play in instructs in the fall, then DSL/AZL/GCL next summer
Kiley McDaniel: some 18+ year old kids sign for this year since they aren’t likely to matter in terms of the Rule 5
Kiley McDaniel: and sometime the DSL clubs need extra players, usually lower bonus types
Kiley McDaniel: but sometimes they end up being guys, like Braves/now Orioles IF JC Encarnacion was an 18-year-old DSL fill-in for I think $10k?
Snowy: Every report I’ve read says Dominguez is maxed out physically. Do you think that limits his ceiling compared to someone like Pauson who sounds much more projectible?
Kiley McDaniel: He is, here’s our video of him:
Kiley McDaniel: projection means he’ll get bigger/stronger and Dominguez is already stronger than most of the kids in the J2 class will ever be, so wouldn’t a lack of projection be more of a positive, since there’s fewer unknowns?
Kiley McDaniel: if it’s a 6’5/240 corner outfielder that isn’t athletic, then sure, lack of projection is bad, but Dominguez is already a 70 or 80 runner, so he could slow down and still have more raw power/speed than almost anyone in the class 5-7 years from now
Carter: Would it be possible for FanGraphs to include on player pages not just your current FV grade, but a history of your FV grades over time? That way we could see, in one place, what direction their projection has trended. Thanks for chatting!
Kiley McDaniel: it is actually on THE BOARD. just click on the FV to see the historic FVs
JVL: Just thinking the other day that your podcast isn’t really an untitled McDongenhagen project anymore, since it has a name. So I would propose:
The Heretofore Untitled McDongenhagen Project, or the HUMP for short. You’re welcome
Kiley McDaniel: hmmmm
Hugh Fisher: If Hugh Fisher stays in the bullpen at Vanderbilt is there any chance he still goes in the first round? It seems strange he’s considered so high in the draft considering he’s never really been stretched out
Kiley McDaniel: I think so, but back half of the first round. Would guess Vandy’s 4 starters (weekend, mid-week) this year are Kumar, Leiter, Hickman, Fisher in some order
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Kiley’s Inner Voice: When will I finish these trade value rankings
Dr Seuss: Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!
Dr Seuss: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.
pelkey: vladito hits baseballs the way john wick shoots bullets
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.