Kiley McDaniel Chat – 9/19/18

12:19

Kiley McDaniel: Hello! Slight delay today for some paperwork issues but we’re all good now and Scout is napping. Let’s see what you people have for me

12:20

Kiley McDaniel: Oh, and in the way of promotion, we have a couple fun things coming, I will guess, on Monday. We have a new weekly podcast about prospects and the big leagues, from a front office POV. Here’s episode 2: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/fangraphs-audio-presents-the-untitled-…

12:20

Kiley McDaniel: We also did a refresh of THE BOARD, as our last update before we get into the offseason list time of year

12:21

Kiley McDaniel: As always, THE BOARD is here: https://www.fangraphs.com/scoutboard.aspx

12:21

Kiley McDaniel: and the article detailing why some guys are rising is here: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-final-pro-side-update-to-the-board…

12:21

Oyster Burns: roansy have better upside than justus?

12:22

Kiley McDaniel: That’s Yankees pitching prospects Roansy Contreras and Justus Sheffield

12:23

Kiley McDaniel: Justus’ stuff has backed up a bit this year, more 55 stuff from the left side. Roansy is a pop up power arm in short season and he’s mid-90’s with a plus-flashing slider and usable CH but rough command. Roansy could explode, but there’s tons of risk and he’s 3-5 years behind Sheffield. Roansy could be better, but they aren’t close in overall value right now. There’s a 5% chance, maybe less that Roansy could be Luis Severino, which is why I’m hedging a bit.

12:24

The Workday is Half Over: Do I devote my time to work, this chat, or watching the Braves game at 12:10?

12:24

Kiley McDaniel: Both!

12:24

James: Can Josh James stick in a rotation? Off to a good start.

12:24

Kiley McDaniel: Feels more like multi-inning relief command to us, but he’s already blown away expectations

12:24

Fogcode: Watching Genesis Cabrera last night made me think he could be like Josh Hader if the command and third pitch don’t come around. Lazy comp or in the realm?

12:24

Kiley McDaniel: That’s a pretty big difference. AAA is littered with high-90’s guy that are just waiting for that.

12:25

Kyle: Do you think Nolan Gorman can debut in 2020?

12:26

Kiley McDaniel: Given what guys like Acuna or Vlad Jr. have done lately, if there’s a guy with big time tools, and Gorman would generally fit in that category, there is some chance he could go thru 4 levels in 2 years. Would never bet on it, since the team needs to be aggressive w/promotions in addition to the player going nuts. It’s very unlikely

12:26

Ash: Where do you stand on Jeff McNeil? Obviously it’s not a huge sample, but it looks right—absolute elite bat control. (Not saying he’s a .340 hitter, but maybe .300-.310)

12:28

Kiley McDaniel: Eric and I discussed this recently (off-air) and decided he’s a 50 FV until we have more. He’s been totally generic until recently and he’s 26. Some guys that do this generally (Whit Merrifield) turn into dudes, but there’s way more guys that have a crazy season and come back to Earth, especially that break out at this age. McNeil played 30 games in High-A as a 25 year old last year. This is nothing close to normal.

12:28

Oyster Burns: prefer tireso orneales or dshawn knowles?

12:28

Paul: Where does Owen Miller rank in the Padres’ system?  Seems like he advanced pretty quickly.

12:28

Tommy N.: Is Andres Munoz a 45 FV reliever?

12:28

Jason: Any idea of some deep dynasty pitchers to look for next year, guys like Junior Santos of the Mets saw some time in the GCL?

12:29

Kiley McDaniel: Here’s this week’s plug to THE BOARD, because it can answer these questions more comprehensively than I will here, in terms of comps, how close a guy is to a certain level or listing every 18 year old pitcher we kinda like: https://www.fangraphs.com/scoutboard.aspx

12:29

Braves Fan: Time to start sweating yet? Atlanta sports have left me anxious…

12:30

Kiley McDaniel: I mean I’m not a Sarkisian guy, so that limits the upside of the Falcons with boy wonder in SF with Jimmy G

12:30

Philosoraptor: Any idea what the Jays are doing with their scouts? Restructuring?

12:30

Destino: Thoughts about Kingery?

12:31

Kiley McDaniel: Addressed both on recent podcasts and this is the reason we include timestamps, so you can skip around and find what you want

12:32

Kiley McDaniel: 20 min of front office talk here. The audio dropped out a bit when we talked about Toronto. We’ve heard conflicting things on if they’re just going to hire 6 more pro guys to fill the 6 spots, or maybe 4-5 and make a spot in the office, but this isn’t an Astros thing.

12:32

Kiley McDaniel: Talked about Kingery for 7 minutes in episode 1 here: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/fangraphs-audio-presents-untitled-mcdo…

12:33

Kiley McDaniel: and we’re mostly confused and assume it’s a mental block or he’s hurt, since this doesn’t really make sense

12:33

Duder: Ballpark contract guess for Kimbrel this off-season?

12:34

Kiley McDaniel: Don’t have anything on this yet, but I will be taking the Dave Cameron mantle here and being the FG-employed human that guesses contracts for our top 50 FA. WIll start that soon and will have answer for you then! Also, front office/agent people reading this, I will be texting you about this, so kick around some numbers

12:34

NattyIce: pretty surprised to see Rocchio ranked in the top 100. That would have placed him within the top 10 in the last draft. Is his upside really worth that? thanks

12:36

Kiley McDaniel: The question you’re asking is valid, but it also represents a style of thinking (a rookie ball guy that doesn’t have huge tools/size can’t be an elite prospect) that I, and I think Eric, think has been a blindspot in prospect analysis for years. That includes us, the media and scouts/execs alike. Jose Ramirez is one of the top 5 players in baseball and there’s lots of other examples of especially smaller infielders drastically outplaying their tools/projections, with athleticism/bat control/feel for the game seemingly being the separator that wasn’t factored in nearly enough.

12:37

Kiley McDaniel: So, we’re leaning more into 1. MLB-ready guys 2. hitters over pitcher when it’s close 3. athletic/advanced little guys and possibly 4. above average command/stuff guys more than I’d guess other lists will.

12:37

Kiley McDaniel: Rocchio fits into this perfectly and we’re a little out there since we didn’t know anything about him until a few months ago, so there’s some volatility in the projection. That said, sometimes a small amount of only positive info is better than more, but mixed info.

12:38

Jake Junis Priest: So the BOARD looks great, except that the Orioles prospects rank really low and are terrible. So I guess what I’m saying is: I hate the BOARD!

12:38

Kiley McDaniel: They’re improving tho!

12:38

Oyster Burns: in terms of pure upside, you like brujan or madrigal better?

12:39

Kiley McDaniel: Also discussed some in THE BOARD changes and episode 2 of the podcast. Madrigal is a little twitchier and has a little more track record to go off of, but we have them reasonably close and the upside is reasonably close. I’ll lean Madrigal for now.

12:39

John S: It seems like we know what teams should be doing with the wunderkind position players (promote them service time be damned), but not so much with the pitchers.  legit reasons we don’t see calls to advance the Luis Patinos of the world up the ladder?

12:39

Kiley McDaniel: Gotta manage innings, so you have fewer games in the season to justify moving them up late

12:40

Oyster Burns: Is Erik Swanson an mlb starter?

12:40

Kiley McDaniel: He may start a big league game, but no

12:40

Guest: Has the Yankees system been gutted like how Boston and Chicagos was? How were the Dodgers able to avoid this sudden falling off in prospect quality?

12:41

Kiley McDaniel: Top end of the NYY system is thinner, but they’re pretty good at accumulating depth type prospects via player development/scouting. LA didn’t make huge trades like BOS and CHC did, they moved smaller pieces.

12:41

Oyster Burns: are shorter players more likely to find command because of their shorter levers, or less likely as they would tend to get tired more quickly?

12:42

Kiley McDaniel: In super broad terms, yes, but in reality you only really hear about the super elite smaller guys, so the outlier little dude will do outlier things with his littleness

12:42

bosoxforlife: Glasnow for Archer even up, who says no?

12:42

Kiley McDaniel: Well, I mean Huntington would get fired if he did that, so I’d guess he would say no.

12:43

Sammy: Buying Amed Rosario breakout?

12:43

Kiley McDaniel: Yep, maybe not the 60 or 65 FV people were hoping for, but a solid above average everyday guy

12:45

maineball: Any thoughts on the LIDOM draft? I’m surprised how late players like Deivi Garcia and Pedro Gonzalez went. Link to draft here: http://www.lidom.com/home/draft-pick-2018/

12:46

Kiley McDaniel: Agree, there’s some pitchers in decent spots on our rankings that went 9th to 15th round here

12:46

maineball: Outside of Baltimore and Miami, who could you see signing Victor Victor?

12:46

Kiley McDaniel: He’d be leaving millions on the table if he didn’t sign with them and I know they’re both interested, so they would be heavy favorites unless another club trades for a ton of space

12:48

Charlie: Can the braves sign any age cuban players? Or are they allowed to only sign players up to the 125k limit?

12:48

Kiley McDaniel: Either no one 23 and under or no one over $10K. As far as I know, Cubans over 23 are free game for any team

12:48

Logan: There have been multiple articles in the past indicating hitters tend to be worth more in terms of surplus value than pitchers when in the same or similar FV or ranking tier (at least for 50FV and above). For example, a 55 FV bat has been cited as having more surplus value than a 60 FV arm (https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/valuing-the-2017-top-100-prospects/). That doesn’t seem to be reflected in your current rankings. Is that because you have issues with the research, or because you believe your valuation of pitching prospects will be more selective and flatten the values out going forward?

12:49

Kiley McDaniel: Well the issue is that we’re aware of this and ranking guys different as a result, so those numbers aren’t exactly correct since they reflect rankings that weren’t aware of this. It’s a moving target.

12:49

Harry : Can Abrams and Witt Jr stay at shortstop long-term?

12:50

Kiley McDaniel: Abrams could be 2B or CF, Witt is a little better bet to be SS, neither are no-doubt slam dunk or project to be above average gloves there at this point

12:50

PTBNL: Re: your tweet about Snell’s increasing velocity:

Given that we’ve seen guys like Snell, Morton, Treinen, etc. experience significant increases in velocity (likely due to improved training and mechanics), would it make more sense for scouting departments to emphasize command/make-up/secondary pitches with the hope that they can improve on the velocity during player development?

12:51

Kiley McDaniel: What if command backs up and all the new velo guys go from starters to relievers? Can’t really one-size-fits-all this stuff, have to treat every guy differently. Scouts (and now biomechanical types) will see inefficient mechanics and see value, try to acquire the player and see what they can make of him. I don’t think you can generalize much beyond that.

12:51

Logan: When are draft rankings planned for update? Any particular big risers/fallers?

12:52

Kiley McDaniel: Probably Monday? Nothing Earth-shattering near the top, just folding in more summer college pop up guys, some late summer HS risers, expanding the list overall

12:52

Logan: Could Pache use the AFL as a springboard into the top 10ish prospects in baseball? He’ll finally get a chance to show off the new swing in a hitter-friendly environment.

12:52

Kiley McDaniel: Possibly? Some people toss out AFL hitter stats given the hitter friendly conditions and uneven pitching, so probably not

12:53

Tony Plush: Hey so is Adalberto Mondesi good after all?

12:53

Kiley McDaniel: Maybe? Always had tools, so wouldn’t be a shock

12:53

Kev: Did Daniel Lynch’s pro debut increase his stock any, or was that about what was expected of a 1st round college arm in A-ball?

12:53

Kiley McDaniel: Maybe a little, but he was seen as a 55s across the board polished pitcher that should move pretty quickly

12:54

Logan: Surprised to not see Touki get much of a bump. Still don’t think there’s enough command to reliably turn a lineup over three times? His stuff is as good as anyone in baseball and the performance is finally starting to match.

12:55

Kiley McDaniel: He’s 56th on the list. You could argue him into the 30’s if you really love him, but that’s a pretty small margin

12:55

Logan: Royce Lewis is now listed at SS instead of CF on the board. Think he sticks in the dirt?

12:55

Kiley McDaniel: Looks more likely now than ever! Talked about this some of the last podcast too.

12:55

Logan: Gore is ranked pretty high for a really low level pitcher without super premium stuff or command projection, no? What is propping him up other than reputation?

12:55

Kiley McDaniel: It’s premium stuff and premium command and projection

12:56

Kiley McDaniel: other than that he’s garbage

12:56

Logan: What is holding back Muller from taking a bigger step on the board? He added a lot of velocity this year and showed multiple above average secondaries.

12:56

Kiley McDaniel: Nothing is plus and he wasn’t good in 2017. Made a ton of progress this year tho

12:57

Deathclaw: What type of player does Freudis Nova settle into…or too early to tell?

12:58

Kiley McDaniel: I like to call him Fruity Nova for the record and if the hit tool can play, he’s a potential top 100 guy. That’s the question. And I would buy a collectible Fruity Nova Snapple bottle.

12:58

The Old Buccaneer: Can Oneil Cruz stick at SS?

12:59

Kiley McDaniel: Nope, it’s akin to young Sano, where it’s 3B if he stays athletic, but looks more likely to end up in RF or 1B eventually

12:59

Buddy,,,: I’m tired of the misdirection, the false starts, and the lies. Should Phillies fans be excited about what Adam Haseley and Mickey Moniak have done this year? Especially Haseley.

1:01

Kiley McDaniel: I’ll allow it. Moniak has had a much better 2nd half and looked better to my eyes when I saw him late as well. Haseley has performed and has a low-end everyday look, there’s just not much lift in the swing right now and he’s a tweener, so if he’s in LF that needs to come around. It’s more like Nori Aoki if he doesn’t

1:02

Baloo: Jacob Robson seems like a guy the Tigers should be looking at as a September call-up.  No prospect hype whatsoever, but has consistently put up good numbers in the minors.  Might as well see if it can translate at all to the big leagues, right?

1:02

Kiley McDaniel: He’s a 70 runner that’s outhit expectations but still doesn’t look like an impact offensive type. Could be a useful reserve OF tho

1:03

Kretin: Is there any team that does pay more than the standard minor league wage or is it consistent across all teams? Seems like it would be a competitive advantage to pay your minor players more so they have more time to train and focus on development, right?

1:04

Kiley McDaniel: Insane that no one is doing this, but I’m sure the owners see it as giving away money for nothing which will eventually force the other owners to give money away and then they’re even again, but $1m lighter on the balance sheet

1:04

DJ Tanner: How blocked is Brujan’s path to the bigs? Lowe is up and playing well, Solak is doing well in AA, then you have Wendle/Duffy/Robertson all capable of handling it as well. How do you see the Rays playing this out?

1:05

Kiley McDaniel: They have a glut of talent, middle infield especially. I think they want to retain depth, but this is now past the STL OF situation where they traded a few guys to get short term/affordable Marcell Ozuna and consolidate assets. I think that’s what we’re looking at TB doing.

1:05

K26dp: Any read on Joey Wentz’s issues this season?

1:06

Kiley McDaniel: Kinda a lost season. Both obliques and some delivery issues

1:06

schutz30: Is this a conservative timeline for Wander Franco?  2019-HiA/AA 2020-AAA/MLB

1:07

Kiley McDaniel: lol i don’t think conservative is skipping Low-A altogether. I could see Low/High A in 2019 and AA to MLB in 2020, but 11 days into 2021 seems like a more realistic debut day, if you catch my drift.

1:07

Language police: Do proper spelling, grammar, capitaliation and punctuation increase the chances of my question being answered?

1:07

Kiley McDaniel: no

1:07

JH: I’m more than a bit surprised to see Gavin Lux at a 45 FV on the Board after the latest update given past comments that the power surge looks real and that he can at least stick at 2B. What’s keeping him from 50 or higher?

1:07

Kiley McDaniel: He’s been one we’ve discussed, may get there in the offseason

1:07

Spencer Howard: How much helium do I have based on the 2nd half?

1:08

Kiley McDaniel: Lots. Talked to a guy that saw you early to middle of the season and he had 92-96, 40 offspeed. It’s been upper 90’s, some reports of 100 down the stretch, with more 50-55 offspeed

1:09

Kiley McDaniel: We moved Howard up to a 45 and 8th in the system when we first heard of the velo bump. There could be more room to rise in the offseaon

1:10

mike sixel: Odds we see Kiriloff in MN next year at some point? thanks!

1:11

Kiley McDaniel: On this trajectory, he would be deserving of at least a September look. May depend on competitive situation to see if he actually does get a look

1:11

Zach: What was your book on Trevor Williams when he was a prospect? I know he’s outperformed peripherals and isn’t a near-the-twos ERA caliber pitcher, but it seems like he can be a strong middle-of-the-rotation arm, right?

1:12

Kiley McDaniel: 50-55 stuff sinker/slider type, projected as a #4 starter

1:12

Dan: Do you think we could see an 18 year old debut in the next 10 years?

1:12

Kiley McDaniel: NOT SO FAST, MY FRIEND

1:13

Whitaker4HOF: What are the Detroit options for the sudden glut of SS/infield prospects? Paredes to 3rd, then let Willi/Wenceel/Alcantara have a fight to the death for SS while hoping the “loser” of that battle can compete with Clemens for the 2B of the future? Appreciate your time, Kiley.

1:14

Kiley McDaniel: Well, as I always say, too many good players is the opposite of a problem. Paredes at 3B makes sense, Wenceel is a ways off but seems like he and/or Willi make sense at SS. Clemens is more platoon bat for me right now

1:14

Nate: Are the 45 and 40 FV players ranked in order of preference on the main board like they are on the individual team boards?

1:15

Kiley McDaniel: Nope, we haven’t programmed any preference (outside of team-specific rankings) for the sub-50 FV players. We’ll be adding positional rankings so in a team or positional context you’ll know the specific order

1:15

Kiley McDaniel: and we have other ranking criteria we’ll be adding that I’m really pumped about hold on lemme grab a monster i’m so juiced guys

1:16

Ethan: Do you think Nick Senzel could play cf? Or would they be better off with Peraza in cf and Senzel at SS?

1:16

Kiley McDaniel: Senzel’s best position is 3B, but he can play passable versions of almost any position. Peraza is probably best at 2B, but can also play passably almost anywhere

1:17

Paul: I don’t see Owen Miller on THE BOARD.  Is he <35 FV?

1:18

Kiley McDaniel: He’s a 35 but on the radar. Will be in the offseason writeup where we list all the 35’s

1:18

Wet wood: In your estimation, would Edwin Diaz bring back a premium prospect in return, and is that the kind of move the Mariners should make with their current MLB roster?

1:18

Kiley McDaniel: They’re gonna keep going for it, so I wouldn’t think that’s likely at all

1:19

Wet wood: If Logan Gilbert is healthy, throwing 95, and commanding three pitches like he was for much of the year until he hurt his foot and became exhausted from overuse, is he really a FV45 starter?

1:19

Kiley McDaniel: That guy is probably a 50 FV

1:20

Ethan: Is Jeter Downs a big league shortstop?

1:20

Kiley McDaniel: I think so

1:20

David : The Cubs traded Candaleiro, Ademan, McKinney, Warren and Torres for 40 IP of Chapman + 1 1/2 years of mediocre Justin Wilson. Theo is phenominal, but isn’t some criticism justified?

1:20

Kiley McDaniel: Paredes, not Ademan

1:21

Kiley McDaniel: and yeah, those deals could’ve been better but flags fly forever and that’s why he’s there. a couple prospects for a ring seems pretty silly to complain about, no?

1:22

Person: You have Alonso as a 50 FV. He seems to me to be very boom or bust. What do you think his ceiling is?

1:22

Kiley McDaniel: Disagree, seems likely to be solid, in the 45 to 60 FV area, without a ton of other possibilities and his age/frame makes me think he peaks early.

1:23

Jordan : Why only a 40+ on Parker Meadows? Too much swing and miss?

1:23

Kiley McDaniel: Yep, some scouts thinks he just doesn’t hit. Tools are Bradley ZImmer level, so that’s an outcome if you think he hits enough.

1:24

Turtle Jetpack: Are all stats from the AFL bunk?  Is it only about what you see in terms of tools?

1:24

Kiley McDaniel: I mean not 100% true…but like 85% true

1:24

Matt Mo: Only one person’s question gets answered. Logan. This is my first fangraphs chat and I’m a bit disappointed

1:25

Kiley McDaniel: I don’t look at the names, so apparently Logan is asking good questions

1:25

Gerald: Do you like prospects? Baseball prospects to be clear.

1:25

Kiley McDaniel: Yes

1:25

Philosoraptor: Any ideas

1:25

Kiley McDaniel: No

1:25

Kool Aide Man: Who’s ready to party? OHHHH YEEEEEAAAAAH!!!!!

1:25

Kiley McDaniel: Yes

1:25

Dusty: What’s Wander Javier’s outlook now?

1:26

Kiley McDaniel: Not this again

1:26

Jon: RON. PAUL.

1:26

Kiley McDaniel: YES.

1:26

Kiley McDaniel: see you guys next week!

We hoped you liked reading Kiley McDaniel Chat – 9/19/18 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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Broken Bat
Member
Broken Bat

Can you provide any insight as to how Thor has changed this year as compared to previous seasons? It appears he has decided to pitch to contact unless a strikeout is needed to prevent a run , and to decrease his pitch count to go longer into games. Early in year he wa tossing like 18-20 pitches an inn8ng. Now he is allowing more contact and his Whip is increasing. Still very good of course, but seemingly different. Thoughts?

Cory Settoon
Member

This is not a very scientific idea, but:

His current K/9 is 9.18. He had three low K start when returning from the DL . Remove those three starts and he is at 9.69 K/9. Has a career 10.02.