Kiley McDaniel FanGraphs Chat – 11/21/14

12:03
Kiley McDaniel: You wanted a snappy intro and you won’t get one because I always set expectations low

12:05
Kiley McDaniel: I should mention the FG Youtube page is growing, with videos of 2 of the 4 players that were traded last night, including Jose Dominguez who hit 100 mph in that video:https://www.youtube.com/user/FanGraphs/videos

12:05
Kiley McDaniel: I tweet these out when they’re posted so check me @kileymcd for the latest

12:05
Comment From Tyler
Do you think the Yankees go stop-gap at SS b/c of Mateo or is it too early to be thinking of him as a potential future SS for them

12:07
Kiley McDaniel: Never underestimate how quickly NYY fans can get ahead of themselves. Mateo has only played in Rookie Ball. He’s their best SS prospect and I’ve seen him a good bit and he’s really good, but you didn’t call Cito Culver the future when he was the same age and was just taken in the 1st round. Years and years away from the big leagues, so stop gap is underselling it.

12:07
Comment From Tom
What would be your best guess for Moncada’s timetable to reach the show?

12:08
Kiley McDaniel: Still a lot to learn about him before he signs, but I would guess Hi-A/AA for year one, then MLB at some point in year two. If not for injuries I believe that’s pretty close to age/level that Soler has done

12:08
Comment From Doug
Hey Kiley – you mentioned that you’d gotten some new/better reports on Dalton Pompey at the AFL. What did you hear?

12:09
Kiley McDaniel: Well it was my eyeballs since I was out in the AFL for a week. I was told he’s a 60 runner with 40-45 raw power and I saw 65-70 speed and 50 raw power. Also a little more feel to hit than I was told about.

12:09
Comment From AL Pitching Coach
My two favourite young pitchers are Alex Meyer and Kevin Gausman. Do you mind giving me your thoughts on their respective futures? Thanks.

12:10
Kiley McDaniel: Probably a closer with a slight chance to start and probably a mid-rotation starter with a chance to end up frontline or back-end

12:10
Comment From Bookie Metts
Hi Kiley. This is the first time I’ve been able to join one of your chats, so my apologies if this topic has already been covered a million times. My question is about Mookie Betts, and primarily what your thoughts are on his ceiling for 2015. Also, if you think he’ll stay put or get dealt this offseason. Have a great weekend!

12:11
Kiley McDaniel: I think he’s one of the pieces the BOS won’t move unless a guy like Stanton is on the board. Dave comp’d his early MLB statistical profile and defensive versatility to Ben Zobrist and he could turn into something like that pretty soon, though I wouldn’t quite expect that next year.

12:11
Comment From PR
what should I expect for Rusney Castillo? Is he really playing CF and batting leadoff over Mookie?

12:12
Kiley McDaniel: I would expect him to start in right field, maybe left. BOS has some questions about his defensive instincts

12:12
Comment From semperty
Have you seen Ty Kelly play? If so, any thoughts?

12:13
Kiley McDaniel: He was in BAL the same time I was. Good kid, plays a couple positions, makes contact, good feel to hit bu not a ton of power, solid bench type guy

12:13
Comment From Billy
Kiley, you said Justin Williams (the one Tampa got for Helickson) had an average arm in left field. What scouting grade does “average arm” mean? 45-50ish?

12:14
Kiley McDaniel: 50. He’s been a 55 arm in the past, but the grade can wander a bit early in guy’s careers.

12:14
Comment From mtsw
How young do you think it’s possible to judge whether a kid has potential to play baseball at a high level, apart from kids who are just unusually big or athletic for their age?

12:15
Kiley McDaniel: That’s why scouts are paid the medium bucks. I’d say around 14-15 it becomes obvious for some kids, but for others its 18-20 before they look like any kind of pro prospect. Kids are committing to top colleges as early as 13 now, so really whenever puberty is, college recruiters think they’ve seen enough.

12:15
Comment From Ceej
Do you see anything coming from Jose Peraza this year with La Stella being dealt? Is his realistic ceiling a poor man’s Altuve?

12:17
Kiley McDaniel: It goes in cycles, but Altuve sure is a popular comp for short infielders these days. I think I’ve had someone comp’d to him about a dozen times in the last few weeks. Peraza is more a Luis Castillo type that’s speedy with some feel to hit gap to gap. Don’t ever expect anyone that looks like Altuve to become Altuve. It’s like expecting a lefty with fringe stuff and command to become Glavine (another popular comp for awhile). Buehrle is another annoying one for a mid to upper 80’s lefty.

12:18
Kiley McDaniel: Oh and Peraza may get a late season callup, but not really a 2015 guy to rely on

12:19
Comment From Tony G.
I’m obsessed with the American League. Who are a few of your favourite prospects to watch in 2015?

12:20
Kiley McDaniel: I think you should contact the producers of My Strange Addiction because you might be able to get on TV because of this. I’ll go with White Sox SS Tim Anderson as a fun to watch guy

12:21
Comment From Reg
I have heard Moncada be compared to Puig & Robinson Cano. What player if any does he resemble skill set wise? What’s position will he end up at?

12:22
Kiley McDaniel: Probably 3B, but 2B and CF are still possibilities. I like to try to go cross-racial with comps since nearly all scouts are terrible at doing that, but unfortunately Puig is the best comp for his size, speed and hitting tools. Moncada is a switch hitter but is much better from the left side,

12:22
Comment From Bruce
Is it a real thing or just my imagination that there are less top pitching prospects now than in the past 4-5 years? The supposed top ones now all seem so underwhelming.

12:24
Kiley McDaniel: Are you suffering from seasonal pitching prospect fatigue? Try PITCHBILIFYOPRAMAMINEAGRA

12:24
Comment From mtsw
It seems like catchers have much more trouble sticking at their position through the minors than other position players. Do you feel that’s because of failures by the player or organization in development, or just that certain guys don’t have the talent or ability necessary?

12:25
Kiley McDaniel: It’s because catching is really hard. It’s not easy to find the raw tools for a potential everyday guy–you often have to find guys with no catching experience to do it. And the physical rigors are unlike any other position, so of course the attrition rate will be different. Also all the game calling/mental stuff is a big contributor to attrition.

12:25
Comment From Johnny Walker
Your thoughts on Gary Sanchez? Some of the shine is off I suppose but I think people tend to forget he’s still very young, bat has been solid at every level, and he’s a catcher so his bat should be developing a little slower than normal.

12:27
Kiley McDaniel: The problem is that there have long been maturity concerns and I’ve been told for years, even by people that have no reason to tell me this, that Sanchez just doesn’t want to catch. He’s 21 and has 70 raw power and hit pretty well in AA but he has trouble getting to that power in games, has a loose approach at the plate and if he’s at 1B (his only other fit as he’s a 20-30 runner) this is pretty unspectacular.

12:27
Comment From Hank the Tank
I played against Ben Lively growing up, and it was nice to see him ranked a little lower than I expected. Thank you for doing that for me.

12:27
Kiley McDaniel: You’re welcome? Give Paul some room to breathe, Hank.

12:27
Comment From Bruce
Any good restaurant/bar recs from Phoenix?

12:28
Kiley McDaniel: Barrio Queen for tacos, Citizen Public House for slightly upscale, Pizzeria Bianco is an easy one, Little Miss BBQ

12:29
Comment From Pacific Slope
Do you have any perspective on Tomas vs. Moncada in terms of skills? Moncada seems far and away the favorite of the two. Besides being Cuban, are there similarities between Cespedes, Moncada, and Tomas and could you coarsely/quickly break them down?

12:29
Kiley McDaniel: Already covered Moncada, but here’s my thoughts on Tomas, which haven’t changed since I wrote this http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

12:29
Comment From Humpty Dumpty
If you’re a betting man, do you think Devers or Margot will turn out to be the better player? (So by extension of that who are you more comfortable trading)

12:30
Kiley McDaniel: Lucky for you, this is the reasoning I use for all my prospect lists so just take the higher ranked player and that’s what I think. Slight edge to Margot right now for defense and level/age http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

12:30
Comment From Reese
Who do you think signs Moncada?

12:32
Kiley McDaniel: I think the real competitors are NYY, BOS and LAA, ranked in order of likelihood, according to me. Lots of teams hoping the bonus is around $25-30M but I think these three will push it to $40M, which will narrow the field a lot.

12:32
Comment From SF Dave
Kennys Vargas is a monster who can’t run or field much but can he 280/340/500 his way into a decent, full time career?

12:33
Kiley McDaniel: That’s way more than decent, that’s like a 140 wRC+ (40% above league average). He won’t do that but he might be a 50 FV.

12:33
Comment From Bruce
Is there anyone in the minors that plays another pro sport? If not, will we ever see that again?

12:33
Kiley McDaniel: Can’t rule it out but seems unlikely, especially in light of the thing I wrote today: http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

12:34
Comment From Guy
Clint Frazier or Ramiel Tapia…Do either become MLB stars in your opinion?

12:34
Kiley McDaniel: I prefer Frazier, but they’re totally different prospects, so hard to saw something is true of both of them. Odds are that neither become stars but Frazier has star-level tools.

12:34
Comment From baseball
Where do you think Brady Aiken falls in the draft?

12:35
Kiley McDaniel: All depends on the medical. If it’s one of those up for interpretation type things (as I’m led to believe), he’ll easily go top 5. If it’s an off the board for 10 teams type of thing, then more middle first round.

12:35
Comment From Tom
Speaking of the AFL, what are your thoughts MVP Greg Bird? Is he a legit middle of the order bat?

12:35
Kiley McDaniel: 60+ raw power, patient approach, feel to hit. yes, could be a dude.

12:35
Comment From Jays fan
Can Pompey be the Jays starting centerfielder next year or is he better suited to starting in AAA?

12:36
Kiley McDaniel: I’d say AAA is better for his development, but I also wouldn’t have called him up last year, so who knows what TOR will do

12:36
Comment From baseball
is that for mookie or Castillo?

12:36
Kiley McDaniel: corner for rusney is what i meant

12:36
Comment From Badison Mumgarner
friedmen is saying seager sticks at ss, what do you think kiley? he’s a pretty big guy, but then again ARod was too big for ss for a while and made it work

12:37
Kiley McDaniel: He’s isn’t A-Rod. I can’t see him being better that -5 runs at SS and I think he’s more -10 to -15. I think this is a trade value thing like the Yankees leaving guys at catcher too long.

12:37
Comment From Mike C
which SS prospect do you prefer, Crawford, Anderson or Gordon?

12:37
Kiley McDaniel: I’d say Crawford but Anderson is pretty close

12:38
Comment From Mickey Morandini
I remember the graphic Carson put up about judging raw power a few weeks ago, and I was wondering if/how you could judge opposite field power that same way

12:38
Kiley McDaniel: Nope, varies way too much player to player. Some are just pull power, so you have to ignore where they hit it to CF and focus on how far they pull it.

12:38
Comment From Robert
Roberto Baldoquin. What did the Angels get for their money? And do you seem them as a favorite for Moncada?

12:39
Kiley McDaniel: Lots of 50s and 55s. Similar to Alex Blandino on the Reds list. Once exec told me his team was in the mix until the end and would’ve taken him in the 1st round.

12:39
Comment From Dan
Can Schwarber stick at catcher?

12:39
Kiley McDaniel: Probably not, but he can contribute as a backup or 3rd catcher

12:39
Comment From Enos merkin
After reading your Reds prospects write-up, I was wondering if you had more insight on Dan Langfield. Pre-injury, he was getting a lot of hype. The ability to miss bats is still there, but what else does he need to do to succeed in the bullpen?

12:39
Kiley McDaniel: Arm strength reliever, needs to develop consistent secondary stuff/feel

12:40
Comment From Reg
Any chance a team takes a flyer on Delino DeShields Jr. in the rule 5 draft? Could he stick w/ a club the full year and be a utility guy (CF/2B) as well as a late inning pinch runner?

12:40
Kiley McDaniel: The makeup reviews are atrocious, which is getting to the point that most think he can’t play 2B b/c he doesn’t want to, so I’m inclined to say no.

12:40
Comment From Jesse
Rosell Herrera repeat high A again this year or could he possibly start in AA?

12:40
Kiley McDaniel: I would guess repeat

12:40
Comment From SF Dave
Maikel Franco. Is he capable of taking the job from Asche or in for a position change/trade/2015 in AAA/UTL role

12:41
Kiley McDaniel: He’ll play 3B, chance to stay there for a few years and way more impact w/bat than Asche

12:41
Comment From Dan
Baez is only 21 and hit 9 homers in 229 PA last year; should we be trading him?

12:41
Kiley McDaniel: So many assumptions, so few words

12:42
Comment From VU Commodores
I have seen your Twins and Reds list. I know the Reds are giving Howard a chance to start but if you had to chose between Howard and Burdi to be your closer who do you take? and why?

12:42
Kiley McDaniel: I like Howard’s consistency, delivery and feel to pitch better. The slider is about the same and only a couple ticks less on the velo. It’s close, but Howard.

12:42
Comment From Guest
How much do you include risk into a player’s FV? Is risk volatility, or is it the chance that the player doesn’t become anything, not built into his FV already? For example, you gave Jorge Mateo and Jorge Polanco both 50 FV scores. Mateo obviously has a higher ceiling, but more risk. So the risk there seems to represent volatility, built into FV. But you also said you would usually take a pitcher over a hitter with the same FV, presumably due to risk.

12:43
Kiley McDaniel: This is all correct. FV includes risk. Hopefully the ranking is the catch-all that includes everything.

12:43
Comment From mtsw
What skill do you feel teams most overestimate their ability to teach to prospects?

12:43
Kiley McDaniel: For many clubs, plate discipline

12:43
Comment From Rams
will yasmani tomas start in the minor leagues?

12:44
Kiley McDaniel: If he does, it won’t be for long

12:44
Comment From cardsjason
Is Brett Phillips a prospect Astros fans should be excited about? Could Michael Feliz stick in the bigs next season? (If he was unprotected and picked in the rule 5)

12:45
Kiley McDaniel: Maybe not excited yet, but he’s in the top 10 http://www.fangraphs.com/bl… Not sure Feliz would stick, but he’s really gifted, so DL stash and garbage time could get it done

12:45
Comment From Bomok
As a prospect, would a trade of Javier Baez for Kevin Plawecki be fair?

12:46
Comment From Mike C
what is your overall FV for Yasmany Tomas?

12:46
Kiley McDaniel: 55

12:46
Comment From MIkeleelop
Does Daniel Norris start 2015 in Buffalo? Is Kendall Graveman a #5 or do you see him as a middle reliever in MLB?

12:46
Kiley McDaniel: Probably and more MR

12:46
Comment From Mookie Hater
Can you guys “trademark” a standard response for Mookie Betts questions until there is actually anything new about Mookie Betts, like if he cuts himself shaving (does he shave yet??? What razor?). God people take a Mookie breath!!!

12:46
Comment From Rams
does nick Gordon have the tools to become an elite offensive shortstop? I know its a small sample size but his stats don’t suggest much speed or power

12:47
Kiley McDaniel: Elite among shortstops. I pegged his upside as .280/.350/.440. He was tired/hurt after signing. In general, don’t pay attention to HS kids stats after the draft; often very misleading without eyes on him.

12:47
Comment From DC Rabbi
What kind of camera do you use for the video?

12:48
Kiley McDaniel: Canon Vixia i believe is what it’s called

12:48
Comment From Enos merkin
Is Seth Mejias-Brean a future bench player, or does he have a chance to be an everyday guy?

12:48
Kiley McDaniel: Lucky for you I just wrote a lot about this. Very hard to see everyday, but good chance for solid bench bat http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

12:48
Comment From mtsw
What sort of video equipment do you use to record prospects? Is there a standard/preferable angle to record players from?

12:49
Kiley McDaniel: Behind home and low for pitchers, open side and as close to square as possible for hitters in game or BP. I use HD camera and iMovie to edit.

12:49
Comment From Zach
Were there any weaknesses in Phil Ervin’s game that were really exposed this year besides possibly mental toughness?

12:49
Kiley McDaniel: not really, all the tools are there and he’s hit every year until now. some bad habits at the plate but CIN is confident he can fix them

12:50
Comment From Gila Monster
What are some things that you wish the more statistical minded people knew about scouting/baseball? Things that are dismissed to quickly or not realized?

12:50
Kiley McDaniel: I would forget some if I tried to list them now, but if you listened to all of the podcasts that Carson and I have done, you’d pretty much get them all

12:50
Comment From Toni Morrison
Is there something unique to baseball as played in certain places, or is the fact that every asian player is compared to another asian player (and every Caribbean to another Caribbean, etc.) just the result of the, er, most obvious similarities?

12:52
Kiley McDaniel: Also the body types tend to be more consistent by region, so Japanese players are often comp’d to each other since there aren’t a bunch of tiny American players with a crazy active swing, for some Cubans there aren’t a lot of American players that look like a linebacker and run like a wide receiver, etc. Style of play and attitude or the way they carry themselves also contributes

12:52
Comment From Rams
do you like Roman quinns chances on becoming a regular for the Phils someday? I’ve seen his speed compared to Billy Hamilton

12:53
Kiley McDaniel: Hamilton is a 90, Quinn is an 80. Phillies list coming soon. Scouts have Quinn as a bench guy, still wary of the bat.

12:53
Comment From Pumpsie Green
Jeff Hoffman, his GM said yesterday, will be throwing by March and they expect him to advance quickly. Realistic expectation over the next couple of years?

12:53
Kiley McDaniel: That watching his curveball once in person will change your life

12:54
Comment From CecilFieldersButtPlug
have you seen Tyler Beede at all? He was all over the place at Vandy. Intriguing though- his raw stuff looks nasty

12:54
Kiley McDaniel: Into upper 90’s with above avg offspeed, has flashed plus CH in the past…still hasn’t progressed with command, some head case whispers. Tough to figure.

12:54
Comment From Brad
Scale of 1-10 how douchy are you in real life?

12:54
Kiley McDaniel: Well my name isn’t Brad, so I can’t be a 10

12:54
Comment From Rams
how good could forrest wall be if he reaches his celing?

12:55
Kiley McDaniel: Really good. I’m the high guy on him in the industry, but I feel good about it http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

12:55
Comment From mtsw
Are there still age-verification concerns with Latin American prospects? I feel like I never hear about that as an issue anymore but I’m not sure as to why that would be.

12:56
Kiley McDaniel: There have been some very under the radar year long suspensions that were never reported–one guy with big tools comes off suspension in January–but yes, there are WAY fewer than there were 5-7 years ago. Kudos to MLB.

12:56
Comment From GS1
Hear anything about local KC guy Riley Pint for 2016?

12:56
Kiley McDaniel: Either #1 or #1 prep prospect for 2016. Projectable kid already into the mid-90’s regularly and feel for above avg offspeed. Yes, there may be one guy better than that (Austin Bergner).

12:57
Comment From mtsw
Are some scouts better than others? What makes one scout good and one scout less good? Is there an understanding within the scouting community of which scouts are the best and which are closer to replacement level?

12:57
Kiley McDaniel: teams have been trying to figure this out objectively for years. scouts have opinions but no one has any proof. still lots of luck involved that drowns out the skill.

12:57
Comment From Rams
How do scouts feel about Alex Jackson’s baT? could he be a middle of the order type guy?

12:57
Kiley McDaniel: yep, legit 55-60 bat with 60-65 raw power

12:57
Comment From baseball
Carlos Asuaje had a 393 obp and a 533 slugging why isn’t he at least a top 20 prospect in the Red Sox farm system?

12:58
Kiley McDaniel: he’s small and he has limited raw power and bat speed, but most think he’s a big leaguer now with some sort of bench value. at the lower levels, scouts lean to upside. he’ll have to prove it at every level.

12:58
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
Does Luis Severino have 3 legit plus pitches?

12:58
Kiley McDaniel: No, breaking ball is way behind the other two.

12:59
Comment From Jays fan
Did you see/hear anything of Roberto Osuna at the AFL?

12:59
Kiley McDaniel: Still throws hard, still needs to fine tune command.

12:59
Comment From Rams
I saw Alex Verdugo play a loved his swing. Do you see him with a ceiling of joc Pederson- type prospect

1:00
Kiley McDaniel: I like his bat too but Joc is the perfect outcome (so far at least) for these types of prospects. Both are solid average to above average across the board lefty bats, so there’s some similarities but Verdugo has a long way to go

1:00
Comment From Guest
How can MLB fix the problems with the international signing system without going to a draft or hard cap? Both those seem like they would be disasters and destroy the talent pool a la Puerto Rico

1:02
Kiley McDaniel: Those solutions aren’t about fixing problems, they’re about managing costs. There aren’t really any problems keeping teams from signing players with the age/identity and PED stuff slowly drying up. MLB wants bonuses to have hard caps on them and to go down and that’s why all of this is happening. The Union agrees with them b/c it funnels money to current MLB players, so that’s why we keep making progress down this road.

1:02
Kiley McDaniel: Alright that’ll be it for today’s chat, I’m about to hit the road. Now a word from our sponsor, brought to you by Prescott Pharmaceuticals.

1:02
Comment From Maureen Wilson, “MD”
Today’s chat brought to you by PITCHBILIFYOPRAMAMINEAGRA. Side effects may include depression, decreased blood pressure, decreased libido, headaches, nausea, and, in rare cases, a comatose state. Ask your doctor for a prescription today!





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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VampireWeekend@Bernie's
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VampireWeekend@Bernie's

I want to have the first comment here since I likely won’t get the first question in.