Kiley McDaniel Prospects Chat – 6/16/15

11:05
Kiley McDaniel: Dropping in a little early today since I’m hitting to road to drive to Florida right after today’s chat. St. Lucie v Clearwater, then begins a week at PG National with lots of Florida State League mixed in. Should get Alex Reyes and Jeff Hoffman this week as well.

11:06
Comment From Mike
What with Buxton, Correa, Lindor and now Schwarber in the big leagues, is your job more interesting or more boring with fewer big names?

11:08
Kiley McDaniel: I think it just means you guys will ask about when I think more and more obscure players will get called up

11:10
Comment From Shawn
With all the hitting prospects getting called up, who is your current top 5 in the minors?

11:11
Kiley McDaniel: Hadn’t thought about that in awhile and would need to make calls before I have a firm answer. Of my preseason top 20 (plus Moncada who signed right after but I said would’ve been top 10), less than half are still in the minors: Seager, Crawford, Giolito, Urias, Moncada, Glasnow, Sano, Norris, Appel. I’m not sure anyone has played their way into this group that wasn’t there, but lots of guys have played into the group just below this.

11:12
Comment From Oren
Hey Kiley – seems like some tangible improvements for DJ Davis from a statistical perspective – hitting for better average, less Ks, more walks. Has he improved his stock as a prospect?

11:13
Kiley McDaniel: Would appear that way. Haven’t asked any scouts about him, so could be for real, but he’s also repeating a league and is a year old to be a prospect there, so I’ll need a full season of that or confirmation from a scout that he’s different to get excited

11:13
Comment From Me
Planning to go see Moncada?

11:13
Kiley McDaniel: Yeah, I’ll get back up to Greenville soon, detouring to Florida for this week and part of next

11:13
Comment From TF Fredrik
Keep hearing how an international draft is inevitable at some point…What would a rough outline of an international draft look like? Would South Americans and I guess all foreigners for that matter, now have to wait until the same age as U.S. players to be eligible?

11:19
Kiley McDaniel: The draft is just the buzzword for controlled costs. I think the people not involved in scouting (owners/MLB) think they should all be in the same pool like NBA/NHL but that would create more problems than it solves. Judging a 15/16 year old with no leverage and no physical maturity from a third world country versus an 18 year old prep player that’s been on the showcase circuit forever with a scholarship to Vandy…that’s almost impossible to compare and it will lead to certain classes of players getting screwed when you expand the options that widely. Also, to make the comparisons easier, making int’l players wait until 18 to be eligible means two classes would be awful and the buscones that train the players from 12-15 when they would start going to MLB showcases have less incentive to train, thus the players will be even more raw.

If that is what happens, I bet it’ll get changed quickly to two separate drafts, which is a much better idea. THe issue with that is what if the Marlins get the top pick, which has a hard slot of $3M+ and they’ve never spent that much in an entire year on int’l players? You have to let them trade picks….and then you’re in a soft cap where teams get to pay something approximating how much they want to spend, with some restrictions….which is exactly what we have right now.

If MLB’s goal is hard-hard slots with no give to further lower costs, then they can do that with this current system. The draft concept doesn’t have to be applied just because that’s what we do in America.

11:19
Comment From Matt
Have you heard anything about ruddy giron from scouts?

11:20
Kiley McDaniel: Yep, good young SS with some feel to hit, more than a trivial amount of pop and some quick twitch. I liked him at 15 and sounds like he’s added some strength and more feel to his game.

11:20
Comment From Straw Man
The Rangers have Tyler Ferguson and Chad Smith left to sign, and my rough calculations need to save around $50K to stay under their draft allotment + 5%. Think they get it done?

11:21
Kiley McDaniel: I can’t really add much to these types of questions. I would assume every team had it worked out that all 10 sign, they have some extra money for later overpay guys that may or may not happen and, in Texas’ case, I think all their big overpays were in the top 10 rounds, so it should be a snug fit. I can’t project what the unannounced bonuses will be, but I’d bet they all fit in the pool, unless the kid changes his numbers after being drafted.

11:22
Comment From Xolo
What’s happened to Austin Hedges’ value after spending the majority of the year on the bench in San Diego?

11:23
Kiley McDaniel: Don’t think it changes. It may generally go up since player are graduating and he’s inching closer to a regular role, but he performed about how I’d guess he would before the season if you told me he’d get sporadic MLB at bats. THe AAA numbers were better than I thought they’d be, but that’s the PCL and 79 PA, so can’t get carried away there

11:27
Kiley McDaniel: Appel, Moran, Phillips, Fisher are the top guys still in the minors from my preseason list and Moran has been hurt, so one or both of those guys may jump him.

http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

11:27
Comment From Jay
Who is the Astros top prospect post-draft/callups?

11:27
Comment From Jon
In the Mets’ write up, you declined to include deGrom as a big league growth asset. Has his pitching to date the season changed your view on that at all?

11:29
Kiley McDaniel: The problem is that his age and build and pedigree suggested that his rookie year may have been his peak, or at least a plateau. Numbers say he’s been a little better this year and he’s already near the top of the scale…so because he improved a little this year, do you really think now we can expect him to get better again? Dave Cameron says its really hard to know what a guy’s true upside is, like in terms of WAR rather than tools, and this is a good example. This is also why I changed it from growth assets to 27 and under MLB assets, since these semantic questions from hardcore fans revealed that the term “growth assets” caused more problems than it solved.

11:29
Comment From Quinn
Quick run down on former Clemson SP Matthew Crownover? What does he project as and how much weight do you put into his (or any other players) college numbers?

11:30
Kiley McDaniel: Fringy to average stuff pitchability lefty. Had TJ as a senior in HS and stuff hasn’t gone to where scouts thought it could’ve, but the feel is good and he performs.

11:30
Comment From You
What can you tell us about Logan Allen the lefty the Red Sox got in the 8th round and are paying 2nd/3rd round money.

11:31
Kiley McDaniel: 100th on my board, more info here: http://www.fangraphs.com/sc…

Solid average stuff and command, near his ceiling but should move fast. Brian Johnson type at best, likely a notch below that.

11:32
Comment From Xolo
Is there still hope for Hunter Renfroe? He’s 23 and seems to have hit his ceiling in Double-A.

11:33
Kiley McDaniel: Kind of grim to hang on him from a bad season worth of PAs in AA, but one scout did insist this winter that he thought Renfroe was Jeff Francoeur…which is closer the direction this is headed right now than what we thought preseason.

11:34
Comment From Randall
thought on the Yanks taking Holder at 30?

11:34
Kiley McDaniel: I had him lower, but he was going to go right around there. The fact that he wasn’t a big prospect recently at a Juco underlines that he’s a popup guy later in the process than some other shortstops have emerged…which I think leads scouts to think he may learn to hit still.

11:35
Comment From Sal
Who are the next potential elite prospects in the mold of Correa/Buxton/Bryant? Hard to see anybody right now (not counting Seager). I love Mazara long-term, but overall it looks kind of barren.

11:35
Kiley McDaniel: May be a little down this next off-season, but next year’s draft is really strong, so I tend to think this is just a cycle. Can’t have the summer of the prospect every summer.

11:37
Comment From Julio Pepper
Suppose there were a 50FV player, but he was guaranteed to reach that (i.e. no variance around his projection). Would he go 1.1 in almost every draft? If not, 55?, 60?

11:41
Kiley McDaniel: Definitely not in the Strasburg, Upton, Harper type years. If you throw healthy, 21 year old Adam LaRoche into the pool with the knowledge that he’s guaranteed to be peak LaRoche in a few years, he’d go top 5 most years, though maybe not 1-1 every time. 55 FV may be enough to go 1-1 most years.

11:41
Comment From Ben
When scouts grade out a pitchers fastball do they purely just look at the radar gun readings like if pitcher A sits 95 then he has a 70 fastball. Or do they look at all aspects of the fastball like velo/plane/late life/etc.?

11:42
Kiley McDaniel: It’s all aspects. The velo is the starting point, then adjust for movement and command, usually just one tick either way, sometimes two ticks in extreme situations

11:44
Comment From Who_Is_Zorbist?
WOW!!! Cards were the one’s who hacked the Astros per NY Times!

11:44
Kiley McDaniel: This is completely nutty, ya’ll” http://deadspin.com/report-…

11:44
Comment From John Havok
With Matt Boyd who is dominating AA at age 24, but is only in his 3rd year of pro ball due to going on his Mormon mission prior to starting his career, does the age/level factor not really apply to him ? Second, have you heard anything from scouts that have him moving up from his pre-season 40 FV ranking?

11:47
Kiley McDaniel: Just talked to a scout that saw him a few weeks back. His velo jumped this year from 88-92 t94 to 91-94 t96 and the solid average off-speed is now above average, sometimes flashing better. He signed for 75K as a senior from Oregon State who had his velo bump as a senior, then again two years later. Basically unprecedented as far as I know. He’s at least a high 45 FV now, probably closer to 50 FV. When the scout was telling me what he saw, I made him repeat everything because it was so hard to believe.

11:48
Comment From Matt
Because of all of the call ups, do you intend on doing an updated top-200? Thanks!

11:48
Kiley McDaniel: Not a full 200, but we’re creeping towards some fresh MILB list-related content

11:48
Comment From Nick
You’ve been clear that Carson Fulmer is your favorite pitcher from this draft. How would he compare to the pitchers of the 2014 draft? A tier below Rodon but above Nola?

11:49
Kiley McDaniel: I think he’s very similar to Nola in value, they’ll be near each other on the big list if Nola is still eligible

11:49
Comment From Oren
When you worked for teams, did you ever participate in any hacking and mass-leaking of the data?

11:50
Comment From Son will be at PG Nationals. How important are PG rankings and scouting reports to MLB scouts?
Son will be at PG Nationals. How important are PG rankings and scouting reports to MLB scouts?

11:51
Kiley McDaniel: Each MLB team spends millions each year to scout players for the draft. They aren’t going off of some website’s rankings (mine included). Scouts are at all the high profile PG events that PG uses to do their rankings, so the teams can make their own determinations.

11:51
Comment From Who_Is_Zorbist?
Richie Shaffer is destroying the ball this year. Is he actually going to become a viable MLB prospect? 1st round talent at one time.

11:52
Kiley McDaniel: He’s a platoon corner guy for me right now, 40 FV, but he was thisclose to not even being mentioned among the 50-something guys I wrote up last year in the Rays system, so that’s progress.

11:52
Comment From Rico Brogna
Is their a perceptible developmental difference for college players going to the Cape vs. Team USA? I wonder about pitchers who end up in the pen for Team USA when they could be starting on the Cape, but I may not actually know what I’m talking about.

11:54
Kiley McDaniel: Cape is closer to pro ball in feel (as I mentioned in last week’s podcast) and everyday getting in your work, etc. Team USA is more HS travel ball, hang out for weeks at a time and play everyday on an All-Star team. Don’t think it changes development, but for the largely unknown player, you can do more to gain stock on the Cape.

11:54
Comment From Marshall
2017 prospect Jeren Kendall was the hero for Vandy in their CWS win yesterday. You’ve mentioned him a few times in recent months. Did he show this much power in HS? He has 24 extra-base hits in just 170 ABs

11:54
Kiley McDaniel: 40-45 raw, maybe 10 homers, not a power guy in the big leagues, but always good to see teenagers show some pop in teh SEC.

11:54
Comment From Colby
I read somewhere any money saved from draft signings under slot can be applied to the ifa budget is that true?

11:54
Kiley McDaniel: Nope

11:55
Comment From Johnson
Buxton looked really fast yesterday. But he doesn’t seem to have Hamilton’s acceleration. Will he be comparable to Hamilton in the SB department? His strides are so long…seems like his speed will be more noticed from the standpoint for scoring from 1st on a base hit to the OF

11:56
Kiley McDaniel: Buxton is bigger and smoother, so the speed sneaks up on you, whereas Hamilton is a beanpole and you can tell he’s fast from his first step. Both has posted times faster than the top of the scale for me, but Hamilton is a little quicker.

11:56
Comment From Proswagonist
Any new reports on Joe Musgrove? He now has a 69:2 K/BB rate on the year.

11:56
Kiley McDaniel: Sounds like command has progressed and the stuff may also be a little better

11:56
Comment From Colby
Tyrone Taylor anything more than a 4th of?

11:57
Kiley McDaniel: It’s moving in that direction

11:57
Comment From Miles
You’re an impressive man, Mr. McDaniel.

11:59
Comment From Jim
If a random 20 year old can throw 90+mph should he be trying to get coaching or join a team or is it not that uncommon?-

11:59
Kiley McDaniel: Very uncommon in a sense of all 20 year old baseball players. There’s a chance he’s still an undraftable guy if all he can do is hit the low-90’s, but there could also be a lot more there

12:00
Kiley McDaniel: Alrighty gonna have to cut this short so I can hit the road to get to my games on time. Talk to you people next week





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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Sam
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Sam

Corey Seager. Called up before All-Star break?

Jason
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Jason

Problem is that the Dodgers don’t seem desperate for his services at the moment, and his glove probably isn’t as good as JR’s, even if he probably can hit better than him right now. They also have several options right now at 3B. They certainly didn’t feel the need to use Joc last year. On one hand it looks like Joc has worked out, but on the other, what if he could have once them a few playoff games had he been starting for a month or so already?

I think they wait until late in the year and sprinkle him in here at there. Money should really not be an issue for the Dodgers though. You play to win now always. Service time with a handful of guys isn’t going to break them, so bring them up when they’re ready.