Kiley McDaniel Prospects Chat – 10/6/15

11:57
Kiley McDaniel: I’m making a few calls but will drop in at noon eastern to baseball chat with you

12:04
Comment From Tim
Best college hitter in the 2016 draft?

12:05
Kiley McDaniel: Either Florida CF Buddy Reed or Louisville CF Corey Ray, both from Team USA this summer. Slight edge to Ray right now, but Reed has more upside and could overtake him this year. Both in the top 5-6 picks at this point for me.

12:05
Comment From Mike
The Orioles received some grief for taking Ryan Mountcastle with their 1st round compensation pick. But he performed pretty well in his first professional experience. What is his longterm outlook?

12:07
Kiley McDaniel: I like him as a prospect, I thought he was more of a 3rd round talent, but right before the draft there was buzz of a few teams looking at him in the early to middle 2nd round, so I think Baltimore had to take him there to get him.

Projectable frame, above average raw power, average to slightly above runner, makes a lot of contact, has had some trouble getting to the power in games but he’s still just 18. Most scouts say LF fit, but BAL thinks he can play 3B. Fringy arm and just okay feet/hands.

12:08
Comment From CoolWinnebago
Hi Kiley, have you written any in depth pitcher scouting articles? Specifically what you look for in throwing mechanics?

12:10
Kiley McDaniel: Did mostly hitting in the series that’s I’m about 1/3 of the way through here: http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

Pitching mechanics is a tough thing to write authoritatively about. For every rule, like have your arm pointing toward the plate when you lead foot hits the dirt, there’s 2-3 big exceptions that haven’t gotten hurt despite breaking the rule. There’s so much genetics and personal factors involved that any “rule” is more a suggestion, so even going over the rules would be more letting you know the stuff most teams are paying attention to, but it’s clear some are not.

12:11
Comment From DrBGiantsfan
Was Eddy Julio Martinez‘ signing bonus a lot lower than expected? If so, was their some reason why his stock dropped?

12:24
Kiley McDaniel: It’s a complicated but a common situation in a July 2 setting: scouting momentum yields higher and higher offers, then the agent gets greedy, teams get tired of the runaround and move on, then the agent has to settle for 25-35% of what he’d already been offered.

Happens all the time in the 16-year-old July 2 setting. The true value of the player is probably between the peak hype value one team put on him and the discount version, but people tend to say the highest number was never real and the signing bonus was reflective of the talent, when neither is really true.

From what I was told, Martinez had three teams that offered at least $7 million, with a good shot of $10-11 million coming. Then, the agent got greedy (was then fired), teams moved on, the market was reset at $5 million or less by the new agent and teams came back, the new agent opted to take the now money, rather than wait and maybe get a few million more.

Kinda silly to say he was only a $5 million player (the bonus+penalty SF paid for him) when a few teams clearly valued him closer to $15 million. These values are dictated by the team that ends up with him, so if you’re trying to find market consensus (the 15th highest valuation), you’re playing it conservative and almost always going to be too low/shocked at the price.

12:25
Comment From Guest
Who is the first pick in next years draft?

12:26
Kiley McDaniel: Draft rankings should be coming in days, the names are all set, just adding the info to the sortable board. There isn’t a top consensus guy right now, more a group of 6 guys that are the top tier now and will certainly change in season.

12:26
Comment From Sir Nerdlington
Question about small sample sizes. When in the pro ranks, even short season, scouting experts don’t put much stock in performance of their first taste of pro ball. Yet, the several months leading up to the draft can swing a draft picks selection by a round or more. Why the discrepancy where small samples matter in April, but not September?

12:30
Kiley McDaniel: Statistical performance when players are often tired can’t tell us much after a summer in pro ball (but it sometimes does). The player (even in one game) looking different in a scouting sense in the spring can justify moving him up because the projections shift when velo goes up a few ticks, or raw power is better, etc. The draft stock is based on scouting observations when small adjustments can shift the projection, the prospect stock in pro ball for a few months often doesn’t have scouting changes behind it, it’s just numbers, which can lie.

12:31
Comment From Chris
Who would you rather have: Blake Snell, Joe Ross, or Raisel Iglesias?

12:31
Kiley McDaniel: Snell

12:31
Kiley McDaniel: Man, that was so much easier to answer

12:31
Comment From The+Dude
Do teams ever draft relief pitchers (or starting pitchers they plan on converting to relief pitchers) in early-ish rounds?

12:32
Kiley McDaniel: Sure, these days it’s usually one in the 2nd, maybe a few in the 3rd, then more common the 4th-6th range. Unless you throw 100, it’s hard to be a consensus reliever and go in the top 2 rounds.

12:32
Comment From Skip
I was surprised to see Jake Bauers as high as he was in the end of season rankings. Is this mostly a reflection of his age vs. Level, or is his stock that much higher today?

12:33
Kiley McDaniel: The bat is very advanced, the power isn’t great but it’s enough if the bat keeps playing like this. Those numbers, hitting tools and age vs level all start adding up to better prospect status when you’re at AA

12:33
Comment From Another Draftkings Commercial
Anderson Espinoza had a crazy high GB%. Is that a trait you usually see lower level arms carry with them as they move up the ladder?

12:34
Kiley McDaniel: I think (I’m not sure) that it typically degrades as you go up the chain and face better hitters. But Espinoza is throwing a 95-99 mph sinker, so as long as that’s the case, he’s probably always going to be a groundball type

12:34
Comment From Chris
Who is the group of 6 guys at the top tier of the 2016 draft?

12:37
Kiley McDaniel: RHP Alec Hansen (Oklahoma), LHP A.J. Puk (Florida), LHP Jason Groome (HS in NJ), CFs Corey Ray (Louisville) and Buddy Reed (Florida) and RF Blake Rutherford (HS in CA). No one I talked to specifically referenced that as the top tier, or called it a big 6 or whatever, but I think that’s mostly bc it’s really early. There’s some consensus that those are the top couple guys.

12:37
Comment From Ricky Linares
Is Jason Groome in the Kolby Allard/Brady Aiken tier in terms of talent and same age stuff?

12:37
Kiley McDaniel: Yep

12:37
Comment From billford
How exactly does instructional league work? Is there competition? How many games? Should we be concerned in news out of instructional league?

12:40
Kiley McDaniel: It varies in size (some teams have one team, some split it into 2) but you have camp days (instrasquad/practice) and games (usually 4-6 days per week) against the local teams, based at the ST homes. It’s players from rookie ball to usually about AA and it’s almost all prospects and guys that either need to work on something, need more reps, or the teams just wants a wide swath of scouts/execs to see a new player. It’s scouted heavily by all teams but can be disorganized at times. Some breakout guys end up being huge prospects by December that weren’t huge prospects in August. Jurickson Profar is one prominent example of this. The top July 2 guys make their debuts here, so some of them can shine against guys in their mid-20’s and raise their profile. Gilbert Lara (MIL) and Brayan Hernandez (SEA) were two examples from last year.

12:40
Comment From pat
Do you think Rookie Davis could be a number 3 starter in the bigs?

12:41
Kiley McDaniel: More backend starter stuff, no consistent plus secondary pitch, but plus fastball, some feel and workhorse frame.

12:41
Comment From Derek H
If you had to choose one for CF which would you go with: Michael Reed or Domingo Santana?

12:41
Kiley McDaniel: Reed, even though both are better fits in RF. Not sure Santana will make enough contact.

12:42
Comment From Q-Ball
There’s no way the owners aren’t going to implement an IFA draft, isn’t there? And wouldn’t a draft punish teams that have invested heavily in DR, while rewarding lazy/cheap teams?

12:42
Kiley McDaniel: I think it’ll happen, but your simplifying it a little too much. I just wrote a long article about this for the THT Annual, so go get that book when it comes out in a few months.

12:42
Comment From Jon
FV on Michael Fulmer?

12:43
Kiley McDaniel: 50

12:43
Comment From Hi-A Curious
Would you rather have Tucker or Benintendi?

12:43
Kiley McDaniel: Still Tucker, but it’s pretty close.

12:43
Comment From Fred
What about Dakota Hudson of Mississippi State? First rounder next year?

12:43
Kiley McDaniel: Late first round to sandwich area right now

12:49
Kiley McDaniel: Sorry, just stepped away for a minute

12:49
Comment From Hi-A Curious
How close to say Schwarber is Benintendi as a hitter?

12:51
Kiley McDaniel: Well one played a good couple months in low-a and the other would be rookie of the year most seasons, so i wouldn’t go there yet. Benintendi also has a pretty short track record of hitting top arms compared to other college players, so hard to go out on a limb for him just yet. That said, I still had him top 10 in that class and he may be top 5 soon.

12:51
Comment From Bichettes and Hoes is where my money goes
What is Rafael Devers‘ ETA and perfect-world comp

12:52
Kiley McDaniel: It’s a lot like Panda, in every sense. Maybe late 2017.

12:52
Comment From Andrew
Desmond Lindsay had a pretty good season in the GCL, not that GCL stats matter at all. Thoughts on him moving forward?

12:52
Kiley McDaniel: Only played a handful of games this spring due to nagging injuries or he would’ve gone higher. above average tools across the board, so there’s some upside.

12:53
Comment From Justin
What would the ETA be on Lazarito’s free agency? Usual suspects in terms of team interest?

12:53
Kiley McDaniel: Basically, and it’s hard to tell when he’ll clear but it’s likely he’ll be eligible to sign this period at some point.

12:54
Comment From Bichettes and Hoes is where my money goes
Who do you think has a brighter major league future… Blake Snell or Berrios? I wonder if Snell’s control improvement in the second half is for real…

12:54
Kiley McDaniel: I’ll lean Berrios but it’s very close. Both are top 5 pitching prospects in the minors

12:54
Comment From Tim
Pint or Groome a higher pick? What makes him a higher pick than the other?

12:55
Kiley McDaniel: Groome is a lot younger, is lefty, has more command and comparable stuff

12:55
Comment From Johnny5Alive
are we ever going to have a prospects year like we just had again?

12:56
Comment From aj pierzynski
does wichita state have any draftable players?

12:56
Kiley McDaniel: Sam Tewes, RHP looks like a 3rd-5th round type, has been 91-95 this fall.

12:56
Comment From Gary
Do pitching prospects surprise less, since pitching tools are easier to scout?

12:57
Kiley McDaniel: They can also change velocity/stuff and injury status aburptly, so they do more unpredictable things. I’ve said a few times that hitting prospects very gradually show changes in almost all cases, while pitches more times than not have abrupt changes.

12:59
Comment From Hi-A Curious
How do you go about ranking someone like Olivera who will still be a “prospect” this offseason?

1:01
Kiley McDaniel: I didn’t rang Kang and Rusney and Tomas last offseason due to age and pro experience. Figured I wouldn’t do Olivera this offseason either. He’s a 55 FV for me, so he’d be (estimating) like 30-50 on a list, or something like that. Using something like FV makes it easier to slot different sorts of guys since you boiling them down to one number that correlates to WAR projection

1:01
Comment From Feebles
Do you see Travis Shaw sticking as a regular (even if its not with the sox)?

1:02
Kiley McDaniel: Still seems like extra guy/platoon guy or whatever non-starter (45 FV) for me, but maybe he turns into a 50.

1:02
Comment From Feebles
Does Devers have the weight concerns that Panda does?

1:02
Kiley McDaniel: He has a similar kind of frame that could go there and there’s some maturity to gain, but he’s just husky now rather than Panda-sized.

1:02
Comment From draft nut
thoughts on nick backs from texas a&m?

1:03
Kiley McDaniel: middle first round type. Changed his swing this summer to be more all fields but ended up being stiffer. Kinda hoping he changes it back and embraces pulling the ball. Works for Brandon Moss.

1:03
Comment From John
Obviously hasn’t been a prospect in quite some time, but is Jose Fernandez the type of player you’d consider an 80 FV, or is it more of a 70?

1:05
Kiley McDaniel: I don’t rank prospects over 70 FV when there’s no MLB time. 80 FV means expecting him (median projection) to be one of the best players in baseball. No one can be that sure of a guy’s future. Any one scout may do that as their look from a 5-day period, but I’m trying to sort of be the aggregator of a lot of scouts and give you something closer to a consensus view rather than one guy’s opinion.

1:05
Comment From Roo
Dylan Cease FV?

1:05
Kiley McDaniel: 45, maybe 45+, still needs to develop feel/starter attirbutes

1:05
Kiley McDaniel: Alrighty time for a sammich PEACE

We hoped you liked reading Kiley McDaniel Prospects Chat – 10/6/15 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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If you were an opposing GM making a trade with Toronto and were given a choice of Pompey or Alford in return, who would you pick and why?