Kiley McDaniel Chat – 7/3/19

12:28

Kiley McDaniel: Hello from North Carolina! Following around college Team USA and the Cubans for a few more days before I head to Cleveland for the Futures Game and our FG live event

12:30

Kiley McDaniel: some details on the saturday event, if you’d like to attend: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/instagraphs/announcing-the-fangraphs-all-s…

12:31

Kiley McDaniel: here our J2 coverage links in one tweet:

 

Kiley McDaniel
@kileymcd

 

For those of you looking for a handy spot to review how your team did on July 2nd or just see the top guys in the class:

Our February preview: blogs.fangraphs.com/updated-july-2…

Preview from last week: blogs.fangraphs.com/instagraphs/ju…

Our top 40 w/reports+video+bonuses: fangraphs.com/prospects/the-…

2 Jul 2019
12:31

Kiley McDaniel: the J2 edition of THE BOARD has confirmed, non VZ bonuses and the minor league version has all 35+ connected players (even if they haven’t signed yet) added to team lists

12:32

Kiley McDaniel: including Jasson Dominguez at 61 overall and 1st on the NYY list

12:33

Kiley McDaniel: lastly, we have some fun stuff planned with the high speed video and Eric has seen Greinke, deGrom and Kershaw, so here’s his article trying to figure out other guys that do stuff similarly to Kershaw using the video: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/lets-find-some-clayton-kershaws-to-scale/

12:33

Kiley McDaniel: oh and if you’re a first timer, lots of your questions could be answered by THE BOARD for J2, draft or minors and the draft and MILB stuff specifically is changing almost daily if you’re into that: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2020-mlb-draft?sort=-1,1…

12:33

Kiley McDaniel: to your questions:

12:35

Josh Nelson: Question about Yolbert Sanchez. If he meets his projections, do you think he’ll be a better SS than Tim Anderson, or better 2B than Nick Madrigal?

12:37

Kiley McDaniel: No. We were intrigued early when he defected and he hadn’t been seen that recently and some people liked the bat and the athleticism/glove wasn’t in dispute. Since BAL had the bonus hammer and passed, even in the $2M range, the reviews on the bat are a little more mixed and one scout said that BAL passing tells you all you need to know.

Often, there’s a version of the winner’s curse in the J2  market that the players everyone loves get locked up at 14 and when teams lose out on them, they start picking nits on the player. Then, players that emerge/sign late everyone is picking nits from the beginning and Yolbert is an example of that. Either way, we’ll know what he is pretty quickly since he’s 22

12:38

Steven: Is Jasson Dominguez at No. 61 the highest you’ve put a J2 prospect in rankings directly after signing?

12:39

Kiley McDaniel: I wasn’t doing the top 100 when Sano signed and Matian was fringe top 100-150, Vlad Jr. had the Maitan body at like age 14, so guys were skeptical and he wasn’t in the top 100, Franco was 100-135 then moved up the next fall in extended then kept moving every month or so, so yeah that’s at least tied for the highest

12:40

CamdenWarehouse: Is Scout allowed in the scout section at games?

12:40

Kiley McDaniel: She came to one game to watch Parker Meadows in HS and stand down the side but I don’t think sitting still around strangers for hours is exactly her jam

12:42

Buff : Given Marco Luciano’s amazing start, which got even better last night, can we bump him up even beyond the 50FV/#84 slot on the BOARD already?

12:42

Kiley McDaniel: You can’t really put a guy with a handful of pro games much higher than that, especially when there’s some contact risk and a likely corner fit. I mean find an amateur player with 1ish year of track record and that profile that’s above him. Gorman couldn’t do that until he went nuts for a full year in the minors

12:43

Kiley McDaniel: Abrams, Rutschman, Witt, Kelenic are all up the middle, older, years of summer track record, etc.

12:43

Kiley McDaniel: Being on the top 100 isn’t bad!

12:44

Chris: Was AJ Reed overhyped? Didn’t develop correctly in the Astros system (they’ve struggled with first basemen) or was him being waived because of his own work ethic?

12:45

Kiley McDaniel: Good example of no margin for error in projecting a bat/power only 1B that doesn’t have the frame/athleticism to age well. There were always scouts saying his swing was stiff but he kept hitting and looked like he may be able to make it work. Guys like Andrew Vaughn and Torkelson are much more hyped as amateur prospects but still the same general profile

12:45

boredlawyer: Hi Kiley, thanks for the chat.

12:45

Kiley McDaniel: you’re welcome

12:45

Jason N: What more does Xavier Edwards need to do to earn one of those sweet up arrows on THE BOARD?

12:45

Kiley McDaniel: well he would have one if we ranked him as an amateur where a lot of others had him. we already stuffed him pretty good so we’ll need to see something new (not speed, contact, defense) like power or a full year of performing well to nudge him up further

12:46

Mike: What do you make of the Orioles’ J2 signings? Was the motivation in signing ~30 guys to improve their relationships with other international talent because they didn’t have an int’l presence prior to Elias? Did they get some quality guys despite none of them being on THE BOARD?

12:47

Kiley McDaniel: They also got started late enough that the top players weren’t available and also the BAL DSL club had been stocked for years with lower-tier prospects and a couple 200k types, so the talent base was very low. other than yolbert/cubans, this was their only option

12:48

Sparks: Time to admit you guys are way low on Ethan Hankins? Dude looks like a young Kerry Wood

12:48

Kiley McDaniel: Gonna need more than 15 pro innings on that one, broseph

12:48

Safety Stegosaurus: So Khris Davis is definitely going to finish at .247 again right?

12:48

Kiley McDaniel: (crosses fingers)

12:49

Jason: How strong is Cappe to the Marlins, whether this year or next? Like if a team is willing to offer him the rumored $3-3.5mil or so right now, do you think he takes it? Any other teams possibly in the running that could swoop in? I’m a Rays’ fan, and it really seems they fit. Should have pool space.

12:51

Kiley McDaniel: By our quick math, TB spent about $3M yesterday, so they’d have right around $2.5-3M left and we’ve heard the MIA deal with Cappe is for $3.5M 12 months from now, so yeah seems like TB could do it unless they have other deals that will be done soon. Scouts seem more convinced that Cappe/MIA works than Vargas/CIN last year b/c there’s not many teams that can top it/the number is pretty high. Also, evals vary pretty widely at those top levels, so I know there’s a few clubs that wouldn’t give Cappe $2M or maybe even $1M.

12:52

BarryBondsJuicedForOurSins: Two-parter: who is the fastest player in the minors you’ve seen and haven’t seen.

12:52

Kiley McDaniel: Buxton and Billy Hamilton

12:52

Kiley McDaniel: the fastest I haven’t seen was almost Hamilton/Buxton bc boy they’re fast /dad joke

12:54

Kiermaier’s Piercing Green Eyes: You and Eric mentioned in a writeup that Wander Franco should be promoted aggressively so he can encounter adversity before the bigs. As of July 1, he had as many walks as swings and misses while raking in his latest promotion. Get this young man to Montgomery.

12:54

Kiley McDaniel: I tend to agree

12:55

Joe Don: Should J2 signee Bayron Lora become one of Texas’ top 30 prospects?

12:57

Tom: What will the first date be when the Braves OF is Acuna, Pache and Waters?

12:57

Kiley McDaniel: August 1, 2020

1:00

hypo: A team has a longstanding deal with a J2 kid, but he’s stagnated or regressed and the team has an opportunity to better spend the pool allotment elsewhere. Can they just give the kid the money promised without signing him, so it doesn’t affect their pool?

1:01

Kiley McDaniel: ummm that doesn’t make much sense

1:01

Kiley McDaniel: what normally happens is the team says to the trainer hey your guy is fat or whatever, they figure out a plan to get him back to where he was and if he never gets there, then they reduce the money to an agreed amount since they aren’t getting what they paid for

1:02

Kiley McDaniel: but if you pull out completely or try to screw a trainer, you can’t make early deals with them again since there’s a lot of trust in taking  a kid off the market 2 years in advance

1:02

Every White Sox Fan: DYLAN CEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1:02

Kiley McDaniel: yes, it sounds like this is exciting for them, judging form all the chat questions/exclamations

1:03

Keith: Do some GM’s prefer to avoid pitching in the early rounds of the draft? For example, Billy Eppler has only drafted one pitcher in the top 2 round since taking over as GM of the Angels (Canning in 2017). Perhaps they prefer to purchase many lottery tickets with later picks than use a higher pick on a player more likely to get injured?

1:03

Kiley McDaniel: That would be pretty close to my strategy as well

1:03

Kiley McDaniel: same with catchers

1:03

Chris: How would you rank the international classes (top 3, bottom 3)

1:03

Kiley McDaniel: i wouldn’t

1:03

kevinthecomic: What are we expecting out of Dylan Cease today?  AAA numbers not exactly off the charts.

1:04

Kiley McDaniel: 7 fastball, 6 cuveball, fringe to avg CH, command is more fringy but plus stuff in the zone needs more control (in the zone) than command (hitting spots)

1:04

kevinthecomic: So the Red Sox announced that Darwinzon will be “working out of the bullpen only” going forward.  He’s their closer by September, isn’t he?

1:05

Kiley McDaniel: we didn’t really understand why they kept starting him, because its 40 at best command but it’s big stuff from the left side

1:05

Ben: Just curious, if the Yankees wanted to trade Dominguez for SP help this month, could they? Or are internationals subject to the same rules as draftees?

1:06

Kiley McDaniel: I mean they 0% will even consider that but I’m also not sure what the rule is. I would guess it’s same as the draft, that you can trade them the day after the World Series.

1:07

Kiley McDaniel: Look at who NYY has traded from the farm in the past and the ages of their prospects on THE BOARD. They keep the teenagers with upside and trade the role players at upper levels: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2019-in-season-prospect-…

1:07

Kiley McDaniel: I believe on the offseason list, NYY has over 50% of the list under 20 years old and the next closest team was around 25-30%

1:08

PatEdMartin: What has been the industry’s thoughts on the PDP league and how it’s been run and afforded evaluation opportunities?  Is it likely to continue/expand?

1:08

Kiley McDaniel: Heard the plan is to include even more players in the future than the 80 they have there this year. I was in last week to see them and it was a well-run event with almost all of the top players

1:09

Kiley McDaniel: it’s not a secret in the industry that MLB is aiming to kill pay-for-play showcase baseball and PDP has been pretty effective in its first year to being a free alternative

1:11

georgehermanski: Prior to the 2011 draft Bubba Starling had what kind of FV and what was his rank?

1:12

Kiley McDaniel: we weren’t doing it with this grading scale back then and i was with a team that year and never saw starling but probably a low 50 or high 45 and somewhere 7-10 area

1:12

Keith: How early do teams agree to terms with international prospects? Once there is an agreement in place is it common at all for another team to swoop in with a higher offer or to those players normally not listen to any offers after having a deal in place?

1:13

Kiley McDaniel: There are a handful of 2022 prospects with deals, so somewhere around 3 years is about as far out as it goes, which yes means 13 year olds. You can see why people want this system to change

1:13

Kiley McDaniel: If the offer is like double the initial offer there is sometimes a renegotiation, but both sides are taking on risk by committing to a deal early, so the number usually stands unless something unusual happens

1:14

Lars: In honor of Dovydas Neverauskas, what are some questions you wish we’d never ask you?

1:14

Kiley McDaniel: anything relating to eastern european puns

1:14

john cale: Does Lora have the most raw power of all the J2 signings?

1:14

Kiley McDaniel: yes, 70 now raw, probably will be 80 one day

1:15

Danny: What are circumstances of scouts/prospect analysts getting a look at J2 guys before next Spring? Do J2 signees go to the Tricky League now and evaluators see them there? Then they go to Fall Instructs where scouts/analysts can see them?

1:16

Kiley McDaniel: Tricky League, sim games at the complex, intstructs in US if you’re advanced, DR instructs if you aren’t, then normal seasonal schedule after that

1:16

john cale: Re: Futures Game rosters…is Sam Huff really still a 35 FV prospect at this point?  The reports on his defense behind the plate are encouraging, and the bat has taken another step forward this season.

1:17

Kiley McDaniel: Well 35+ but we aren’t bullish on the D and it’s 1B only if that doesn’t work. He may be top of the list to be re-evaluated in Cleveland as I saw him in a rain-shortened game only this year

1:17

Acuna Moncada: Any update on Mitch Haniger’s ruptured testicle?

1:17

Kiley McDaniel: still gross!

1:17

Tom: Baseball America got so frustrated with the lack of public looks at J2 guys that they threw up their hands and decided not to post any rankings or scouting reports until after instructs. Have you guys found it to be that bad, and did you consider something similar?

1:26

Kiley McDaniel: We’ve written and podcasted (https://blogs.fangraphs.com/fangraphs-audio-presents-the-untitled-mcdongenhagen-project-ep-15/) about all the topics they touched on multiple times this year and in the past.

Last year wasn’t really any different. Marco Luciano was our top 16-year-old talent and near impossible to get updated reports on. Many teams only saw him a handful of times ever and at least one of those looks everyone got was pretty weak, the latest of which was nearly a full year before he signed. There was more (unfounded) rumor and innuendo around Luciano than hard scouting data and in-person looks that we’re accustomed to having in our other rankings.

Eric stayed on top of him in Arizona and confirmed that our projections with Luciano as the top guy in the J2 class were accurate and then even adjusted him up when things starting turning north.

1:28

Kiley McDaniel: This process of saying what we have when we have it and adjusting when stuff changes seems pretty obvious to me. It’s also how we handle everything here. Our 2022 draft rankings are changing a couple times a week all summer and our 2020 draft rankings are changing daily. We don’t like the process of a giant article with rankings once every few months and only on the most recent draft class. We name-dropped the top 2020 and 2021 J2 prospects in February because we had it and what’s the point in warehousing that knowledge?

Eric and I are unique in that we cover/rank the J2, draft, MILB and MLB market and do as much of it based on in-person looks as we can, so I’m not going to act like every person that writes a word about prospects needs to do it exactly the way we do. Readers have choices in who they read just like the writers do in how they do it.

1:29

Kiley McDaniel: We respect that they’re doing the work but we have the same concerns about the market and came to a very different conclusion. They’ll keep writing about these players and so will we and so will Jesse Sanchez at MLB Pipeline and we’ll all do it a little differently.

1:30

Kiley McDaniel: We just posted our Dylan Cease Called Up feature, written by Eric and with my video from late last year when Cease was in Jacksonville: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/called-up-dylan-cease/

1:30

TJ Snedden: Hello Kiley, long time supporter here. How do you go about scouting Junior College kids?

1:31

Kiley McDaniel: It’s pretty tricky since it isn’t covered as well so scouts are more secretive about the names and the games often have passed over players that are emerging out of nowhere and often multiple teams don’t know the names of the players

1:31

Kiley McDaniel: but when it’s a top 2-3 round guy, it’s a priority to get a bunch of reports and see him in person. Rutledge was that guy this year and I tracked him down.

1:32

Syndergaardengnomes: For those of us attending the college USA vs. Cuba game tonight, anything to pay particular attention to?

1:33

Kiley McDaniel: Guibert is the interesting guy in the Cuba lineup, Prieto is an older bat control veteran but it isn’t a strong club compared to

1:33

Kiley McDaniel: for USA, LHP Asa Lacy is starting tonight and is a strong first round type with plus stuff but fringy command/stiffer delivery

1:33

Kiley McDaniel: Basically the whole team is top 3-4 round types, so can’t go wrong

1:34

Kiley McDaniel: but 1B Spencer Torkelson, SS Austin Martin (who they’re playing in the OF for some reason) are the top bats

1:34

Kiley McDaniel: RHP Cole Wilcox is probably the top arm, not sure when he’s going next

1:34

Guest: Where would Adley Rutschman rank in your top 100?  What about Andrew Vaughn?

1:35

Kiley McDaniel: they are on there currently. we added them on draft day and add the J2 guys the day they’re eligible to sign, then if they don’t sign we’ll pull them off. we don’t like waiting until things are official b/c these things go as expected at least 90% of the time

1:35

Kevin: You once mentioned models for player makeup in one of your chats, can you explain how teams quantify makeup or players’ affect on team chemistry?

1:36

Kiley McDaniel: It’s a lot of guessing but you can find ways to grade competitiveness with like a written test and maybe folding in a scout’s grade. Definitely not science but probably better than nothing

1:36

Derek in LIttle Rock: After Dominguez at 61, do any of the other J2 guys crack the top 100?

1:36

Kiley McDaniel: Nope, Puason is closest but is somewhere around 150-200 right now

1:36

jack: maitan was fringe top 100-150? huh…the hype was unreal, seems like a bit of revisionism

1:37

Kiley McDaniel: I was with the Braves then, so I wasn’t ranking anyone, but I don’t think he made an offseason top 100 after he signed but everyone had him within a slot of two on the team lists of a guy who was on. I think Eric had him as a 45 FV?

1:38

Kiley McDaniel: If he was ever a 50 FV, it wasn’t in the top 100 for us

1:38

Turd Ferguson: Sup Kiley

1:38

Kiley McDaniel: sup bruh

1:38

Humberto: Any looks at UCLA Closer Holden Powell during the Team USA tryouts?

1:38

Kiley McDaniel: didn’t see him but I’ve seen him before, smaller RHP with solid avg stuff and some feel

1:38

Carter: Do (or should?) your grades account for the teams that prospects play for, given differences in their development programs? Like for instance, between two pitchers with identical skillsets, you’d rather the one in the Yankees system than the Orioles system — does that get reflected?

1:39

Kiley McDaniel: They may be more likely to improve, but I don’t think we try to anticipate the improvement, we may move a little quicker when stuff starts happening? We’re aware of these things but I don’t think it’s even perceptible in how we rank the guys, it’s more discussion behind the scenes

1:39

Guest: Any early looks at 2020 J2?

1:40

Kiley McDaniel: Top names for 2020 and 2021 are here: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/updated-july-2-prospect-rankings/

1:40

Kiley McDaniel: sounds like the top player or two for 2021 may be a bit stronger, but it’s obviously early

1:40

Humberto: Any extended looks at Nick Loftin (Baylor SS) during the Team USA set?

1:41

Kiley McDaniel: Middle infielder with limited power but contact skills. Seems more 3rd-4th round type but could go day one if it turns out it’s a 55 or 60 bat. Haven’t seen enough yet to say

1:41

Tim: W/r/t deals being done for J2 prospects several years ahead, how does the hard cap effect Cuban defectors? For example, Norge Carlos Vera might be worth a deal of a couple million dollars, but with teams locking up their pools for several periods ahead, how do teams find room for someone like that.

1:42

Kiley McDaniel: Teams intentionally save money if no one strikes their fancy so they have the hammer when a guy pops up, either Cuban or Pacific Rim or late-bloomer. Some teams have $2-3M unused right now for this reason.

1:43

jack: Drew Waters will be on another team in a month

1:43

Kiley McDaniel: I’ll set the odds at that under 10%

1:43

Big Joe Mufferaw: Obligatory Jasson Dominguez question. Is Yoan Moncada just a lazy comp (because they look alike with similar tools) or is it legit?

1:44

Kiley McDaniel: Moncada has come up, as has Bo Jackson and Yasiel Puig. There just aren’t that many guys with that build/toolset at that age and most of the ones that make some sense are Cuban or football players.

1:44

Big Joe Mufferaw: Is there any chance the Yankees Sign Leiter?

1:44

Kiley McDaniel: Kumar-Leiter will be fun to watch the next 2 years at Vandy

1:46

IsIt2020Yet?: Has FG ever looked at finding a Latin American 3rd prospect writer who could go watch all these kids before July 2?

1:47

Kiley McDaniel: This may be shocking to the die hards still reading this chat but spending tens of thousands to have slightly better reports on 14 year olds isn’t a money maker

1:48

Kiley McDaniel: and I think we have the most accurate reports on those kids by the fall since we aren’t depending on just scouts, we’re seeing them ourselves. In Eric’s case he’s often seeing them more than any one scout is seeing them.

1:48

Enlightening Round: Have you heard positive reports on Tarik Skubal this year?

1:50

Kiley McDaniel: Saw him in March. Up to 96, fringe to average breaker/changeup, some feel but not fine. Struck me as a 5th/6th depth/spot starter or middle reliever but I’ve seen him with an above breaker in college and the changeup has progressed in pro ball, so he’s flashed all the elements. Also had a TJ in college.

1:50

brad: Kiley, how much weight to scouts put into the Cape Cod league, I remember a few years ago, but prob like 6-8 years ago talking to a highly regarded spect and talked to agent about him struggling to transition to wood and he said he will be fine, and of course he busted.  Cant remember the spect, I think a 3B from wake forest

1:50

Kiley McDaniel: It matters. That was the main guy in Last Best League, right?

1:50

@Holes_in_my_Sox: Where do you usually go for non-sport related news?

1:51

Kiley McDaniel: oh you know i live in the no spin zone brother

1:51

Rusty: Zach Hess… only a reliever in the future, correct?

1:51

Kiley McDaniel: that’s the best fit and you hope the mid-90’s velo and plus hook and fire breathing returns

1:51

J: Why isn’t a 10% walk rate enough for you to question Cease’s ability to stay in the rotation? Obviously he’ll get plenty of shots, but all of 7 (qualified) starts have a 10+% walk rate over the last three seasons, and very few of those are mid-rotation starters.

1:52

Kiley McDaniel: I questioned it on this very website last summer!

1:52

Kiley McDaniel: “His mid-70s curve was above average to plus all night, but his control/command made it difficult to project him comfortably as a starter.”

1:53

Kiley McDaniel: still could stick, but I hesitate more than I think some other people do. TJ doesn’t make me feel any better.

1:53

R: missed opportunity, obviously the Onion

1:53

Kiley McDaniel: well clickhole, too

1:53

Kiley McDaniel: alrighty gave you the extra time I didn’t give you last week, looking for something to close with

1:53

Slothrop: When compiling info for guys, do you weigh info coming from the guy’s team less than general industry info, or do you indiscriminately accept all info regardless where it’s coming from

1:54

Kiley McDaniel: we accept all dirt, from any government that’s offering it. would be silly not to

1:54

Grapes: Kiley, your grapes are the sourest.  Your soul is full of spite.  Your breath stinks of entitlement and your accent is imperious.

1:54

Broseph : KERRY.WOOD.

1:54

Matt Damon: MATT. DAMON.

1:54

Kiley McDaniel: see you guys next week!

We hoped you liked reading Kiley McDaniel Chat – 7/3/19 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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BillClinton
Member
BillClinton

God forbid you actually had someone in Latin America getting firsthand accounts of what it was like for these players to go through this system, who was able to talk with them periodically and treat their stories as those of real people and sometimes better than crap is still… crap.