Kiley McDaniel Prospects Chat – 7/21/15

12:07
Kiley McDaniel: Have some late summer high school-geared 2016 draft trips coming up soon: East Coast Pro in Tampa and Area Codes in Long Beach. I hit the road tomorrow, have a big project in the works and will have 2016 draft rankings coming when I get back in mid-August.

12:07
Comment From bpqa
If I’m sitting in the seats next to the scout’s section, what’s the etiquette on talking to a scout during the game?

12:09
Kiley McDaniel: About the same as him walking into your office when you’re busy to talk to you. Wait for a lull and don’t expect much. Best to chat before/after the game when they can actually pay attention to you, though scouts often rush out before the fans do to skip traffic. It will be very obvious if he doesn’t mind talking to you.

12:10
Comment From John
Hey Kiley,
I was wondering about what the difference is between watching a minor league game on TV versus in person? For example, am I going to learn less about a player and their tools/ability when watching a game on MiLB.tv instead of being at the actual ballpark? It seems like if anything the multiple camera angles should help, right?

12:11
Kiley McDaniel: Less. The multiple angles, from my limited milb.tv experience, don’t help because they aren’t the two angles that scouts want (behind home and open side) and if they are, they’ll cut away too quickly, etc. Not worth the time for me, unless I’ve literally never seen a top 50 prospect in baseball.

12:12
Comment From Joe
Highest rising prospect in Brewers system this year outside of Arcia?

12:13
Kiley McDaniel: Jungmann has been a little better than I expected, just talked to a scout that said Jorge Lopez has take a step forward this year. Michael Reed has been good. Talked to a team that has great reports in Gilbert Lara in rookie ball, so he’ll be moving up as well.

12:13
Comment From Matt
What are scouts looking for when they watch guys like Cueto and Hamels? How, if it all, is it different than scouting prospects?

12:17
Kiley McDaniel: The argument for having MLB scouts at all (rather than just doing advance scouting via video or pitch f/x and such) is that some of the MLB scout vets have seen these guys regularly for a decade and can tell you after one game if so-and-so veteran player in his first game of the year looks out of shape or stiff or injured and basically predict the next 100 plate appearances for you. That’s the value of a big league scout.

Grading raw power or a curveball or whatever could be done with 90% accuracy by a young scout by watching on TV and using the extensive history they have with each player. Plus those numbers aren’t really relevant to trades or waiver claims because you’ve seen the guy in the minors for years. More than a few orgs don’t have any MLB scouts at all and do advance scouting via video and pitch f/x or trackman

12:17
Comment From Colby
Would you move Albies up a level at the end of the season to see how he fares?

12:18
Kiley McDaniel: Maybe. That sort of thing normally matters more about how the kid will handle it internally, what his head will be like if he falls flat on his face and then go face the offseason with that taste in his mouth, moving while in a foreign country, etc. I get the impression these things aren’t issues for Albies, so I probably would but there’s a lot I don’t know before I’d be confident in that pronouncement.

12:19
Comment From groucho
why call up aaron nola now??

12:19
Kiley McDaniel: Because he’s been big league ready for months

12:20
Comment From Neal
How high has Anthony Alford rose to on the top prospects list? Is he a legit top prospect?

12:23
Kiley McDaniel: I had him 9th in a very deep system, behind big leaguers like Devon Travis, Robert Osuna, Daniel Norris, Dalton Pompey and Miguel Castro. So, with almost no minor league experience, I had him behind only Hoffman and Pentecost among pure minor leaguers in the system.

Pentecost had shoulder surgery and hasn’t played this year, Hoffman has been fine and Alford has been awesome. He’s a priority guy for me to see in Florida later this month and I think he’s at least a 50 FV now, good chance he ends up higher than that when I make more calls.

12:23
Comment From adam
is josh bell in a power drought or does he simply not have power?

12:23
Kiley McDaniel: It’s 55-60 raw power. It’s there.

12:24
Comment From Fleek Bro
I assume Cistulli has sent you on assignment to scout Jharel Cotton, right?

12:24
Kiley McDaniel: If he would say my wiiiiife when I told him to, then maybe I would

12:24
Comment From Tommy
In light of the Harrison/Mercer injuries, the pirates are moving Alan Hanson to third base? Do you think he has the bat to play there or does this perhaps mean he is a utility player going forward rather than an everyday guy?

12:25
Kiley McDaniel: He’s a 2B fit that can fill in at SS but if he’s the best offensive option at 3B, I’m sure he can figure out the defense so this isn’t a weird choice to me, especially since he’s kinda blocked until Neil Walker leaves, so this gets Hanson some big league ABs

12:25
Comment From Will Graham
Is Mark Appel going to show results at some point? He’s not exactly a young prospect at this point and yet he keeps being listed in top 50s and so forth.

12:26
Kiley McDaniel: Well he still hits 97 pretty often and his SL and CH both flash plus semi often. That said, his delivery looked to have regressed in the Futures Game and he been flat to regressed in general over the last few years. Even with all the promotions ahead of him on these lists, he may be moving down.

12:27
Comment From Wilson, King of Prussia
Is Dalton Pompey untouchable?

12:27
12:27
Comment From Dan
What’s the word on Victor Robles’ D and power potential? I’m wondering if he can be elite.

12:28
Kiley McDaniel: Talked to a scout that saw him recently and dropped a 60 overall grade on him. That scale is pretty close to my scale, so he’s at least a 50 FV, maybe better. Moving WAY up the list.

12:28
Comment From Brian
Seems like the Braves have a dilemma in CF, 2B and maybe 3B with Cameron Maybin, Jace Peterson, Jose Peraza and Mallex Smith. How would you solve that?

12:30
Kiley McDaniel: Usually this question is when some team has like 6 elite prospects for 3 positions and I say that things happen, guys get hurt or traded or don’t work out, so you’ll be fine. You just gave me 4 ok to solid players for 3 positions. That’s not even a dilemma. Also, I feel like every week I have to say that

HAVING TOO MANY GOOD PLAYERS ISN’T A PROBLEM

12:31
Comment From Bret
Hey Kiley – in your article last week, you talked about how Jeff Hoffman’s new mechanics resemble Aaron Sanchez’s. Does that stuff resemble his, too? I just ask because Hoffman seems to – from minor league numbers at least – have much better command/control than we ever saw from Sanchez. Although maybe it’s not an overpowering ace, Sanchez + Command seems like a pretty good package.

12:31
Kiley McDaniel: Pitch grades for the peak versions of both are here http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

Hoffman currently has more command and less breaking ball than peak Sanchez, so there’s some merit to what you’re saying, but I think Hoffman will change again once TJ is in the rear view

12:31
Comment From adam
Who had/has a better value, Rodon or Berrios?

12:32
Kiley McDaniel: Rodon by a good margin entering the season http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

Now it’s much closer but still Rodon slightly

12:32
Comment From Wily Mo Money Mo Problems
Obviously, A.J. Reed has barely spent any time in AA, but he’s still raking against better competition. What is his ceiling?

12:33
Kiley McDaniel: Ceiling is 5 bat and 6 or 7 power. Could be legit, bro.

12:33
Comment From Andrew
Austin Voth seems to be having a pretty good season at Harrisburg. Is he just fooling minor leaguers or does he have a chance to be an MLB starter?

12:33
Kiley McDaniel: All of your answers can be found here: http://www.fangraphs.com/st…

12:33
Comment From Mike C
Folty, A. Sanchez and Alex Meyer…starters or relievers long-term and could you rank them based on estimated future success?

12:34
Kiley McDaniel: Folty is by far the most likely to be a long-term MLB starter, so he’s the best of the group. Meyer’s stuff in relief is absurd. It could end up being a 70-80 fastball and 65-70 breaking ball, which would be a good bit better than Sanchez’s relief stuff, so I’ll take Meyer 2nd

12:35
Comment From KyleZ
Max Pentecost hasn’t played much due to injuries. Is he a worthy deadline trade chip or does he have more value to the Jays just holding on and hoping he recovers?

12:35
Kiley McDaniel: Won’t get retail price until he proves he’s healthy, so not smart to move him now

12:35
Comment From E
Any thoughts on Luis Severino’s strikeout rate decline moving from Double-A to Triple-A? Just small sample size and adjustments, or is he missing a enough of a swing and miss pitch at the highest levels to keep the rates he was previously posting?

12:36
Kiley McDaniel: Tricks that work on 22-24 year olds in AA don’t work on 26-30 year olds in AAA. Totally different animal. Necessary growing pains plus Severino’s off-speed stuff isn’t as consistent as it needs to be yet.

12:37
Comment From Colby
what would it take for you to go back to a mlb front office?

12:37
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12:37
Comment From Yetty
Tyler Kolek has been pitching well of late. But I’m curious on your thoughts about his velocity drop. Is this something that can be attributed to mechanics adjustment and working on secondary pitches? Would you expect to see him back in the 96-98 range a year from now?

12:38
Kiley McDaniel: He’ll throw hard again, but having new velo (he didn’t throw hard until 2 summers ago) and being young means this sort of thing happens, especially in a long season and going deep into games…takes some time to stretch out and find that peak FB for the whole thing.

12:39
Comment From Nico
What grades would you give Robles hit, power, and speed? I’ve heard a lot about his near-elite defense, but not much about his other tools…

12:40
Kiley McDaniel: Lots of Robles questions. Here’s the whole report I wrote on him this offseason. Seriously, people, search the name of the minor league you’re interested in: odds are the report will be there

Robles is one of the most exciting players in the system and his only experience since signing for $225,000 on July 2, 2013, was this year in the DSL and a limited stint in instructs this fall. He’ll head to the GCL next year and could shoot up this list if the raw tools convert into performance, as he’ll be aged like 2015 draft high school players. He raked at age 17 in the DSL thanks to an advanced/patient approach, especially given his age and background, average raw power, and plus bat speed, foot speed and arm strength.

12:40
Kiley McDaniel: And that report is here: http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

12:40
Comment From TKDC
I get mad when people walk into my office while I’m busy perusing Fangraphs to ask me about work.

12:41
Kiley McDaniel: TPS REPORTS ARE MY BUSINESS, TOM. BUTT OUT

12:41
Comment From Candy LaChance
Who’s more likely to stick in CF if they both make it to the major leagues, Clint Frazier or Bradley Zimmer?

12:42
Kiley McDaniel: Good question. Slight edge to Frazier, but Zimmer is way ahead with the bat right now and also could possibly stick there for a bit. Zimmer is Yelich with 25 homer power.

12:42
Kiley McDaniel: And a plus arm.

12:42
Comment From Kyle
Top 5 draft classes from this year?

12:43
Kiley McDaniel: 101: Introduction to the Draft with Kiley McDaniel
103: The Thing About Drafts With Regard to Insofar As… with Carson Cistulli
203: Fantasy Drafts with Eno Sarris
304: Draft Beer with Eno Sarris
305: More Draft Beer with Eno Sarris

12:44
Comment From Brian L
Should intl guys wait until they’re 18 more often before signing? Seems like the older guys are getting paid more (often significantly) – that if the same 16 YO just continued on their most likely trajectory for 2 more years, they’d get a much bigger bonus since they’ll look more big league ready. I assume teams would rather take over development earlier, but what’s preventing the players – as simple as just wanting the payday ASAP?

12:45
Kiley McDaniel: Not a choice when you’re dirt poor in a third world country and 18 year olds in that country are lucky to get 2-3 interested teams, provided their trainer is good enough to get them a bunch of workouts with teams. Some guys will wait when they’re 16 and got offered 200K then sign for 500K months later, usually due to a clear issue like an injury or not enough teams saw him or the money was spent when he improved, etc. Just betting on yourself in that setting is really risky.

12:45
Comment From TJ
When teams discuss trades, how do they value their own prospects? Do they have a projection for future performance? How do they know a prospects value to the franchise?

12:48
Kiley McDaniel: They have OFP or FV or whatever they call it overall grades on each report of the internal prospects, usually 3-5 per year per player. They also have some sort of internal consensus list to smooth out the fluctuations of grades from report to report.

Then, the rest comes down to market size, how good the team is, past trades, etc. Can’t just say the X prospect is a future Y in Z years so we need to get W sort of player for him. Nowhere close to that level of specificity in front offices, which are still largely run by old school guys.

12:48
Comment From Julio Pepper
Do you do any kind of analysis on your previous rankings to see how well they track future performance, compared to other lists? Have you found any “types” of players you tend to like more than other people?

12:55
Kiley McDaniel: Not to other lists, but I will be reviewing my past team lists on each upcoming team list. Crazy to me that no one else does this. All I generally see is like 5-10 year retrospectives here and there and enough stuff happens in the interim that when the writer misses, people just laugh and throw up their hands, which kinda defeats the purpose.

Scouts do the same thing when looking back multiple years in the past, btw. That also kinda bothers me. Their only real job is to recommend players and hugely missing draws a “well what are you gonna do BASEBALL AMIRITE” instead of trying to figure out what actually went wrong.

There isn’t much introspection into the process by the industry in general. The idea of curiosity and finding a better way to do things is completely lost on about half of organizations–even if there are a few guys in the front office trying to do this, the dude in charge tells them to knock it off or dismisses it. That’s why you see these super positive profiles about Joe Maddon or Andrew Friedman or whoever. That attitude is hard to find in baseball from a dude with the power to actually do something with the results.

Further, that attitude and ease of communication/implementation is the #1 thing that separates smart/efficient/good organzations from bad ones. But hey, fire three GMs then hire a manager, an agent and a stooge to run your organization GREAT IDEA.

12:56
Comment From Fonz
Hi Kiley, what reports can you give us on some of the recent Cuban emigres: Luis Yander La O, Jorge Ona, Randy Arozarena or Norge Ruiz? Would any make your top 200 if they were eligible?

12:59
Kiley McDaniel: References Ruiz (under $10M, at least a few million) and Arozarena (six to low seven figure) here: http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

La O is probably in Ruiz’s range and Ona sounds like the best of this group, who may be up in that $10M kind of range.

As far as I know, none of these guys have had open workouts yet and often the talent level changes with the 3-4 months of workouts and nutrition they can’t get on the island (along with the motivation of the truck I mentioned earlier). So, the prices will change.

For comparison, Yadier Alvarez got a $16M bonus and I graded as a 55 FV and will be around the middle of a the top 100 if I had to guess, though that’s still volatile at this point given the short track record. Ona could be at that level of prospect, but the others are not.

1:00
Comment From Brian
I appreciate the snark, but I’m not saying Maybin, Peterson, Peraza and Smith are stars. You pretty much made my point. They’re all just OK. So can they bank on some of them as starters or have to look elsewhere?

1:00
Kiley McDaniel: I think ATL will trade Maybin, then wait for those 3 for 2 spots (2B/CF) to turn into 2, but play one at 3B until that situation gets solved and see which one is a dud

1:01
Comment From Jon
What kind of ceiling does Franklyn Kilome have?

1:02
Kiley McDaniel: Huge. Chris King had a recent article from seeing him, with video: http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

Potential frontline guy, but Phillies don’t have a great recent history developing arms (Nola was a finished product when they got him) and Kilome is still a long ways off.

1:03
Comment From Nelly
Is a Forrest Wall better than other, more common forms of walls?

1:03
Kiley McDaniel: I’ve gotten a better response addressing Forrest rather than The 4th

1:04
Comment From Jonathan
Is Franklin Barreto 55 FV for you now? He’s been extremely impressive this season for a 19-year old at High-A. Do you think he sticks at SS long term?

1:04
Kiley McDaniel: He ended up as the last 55 on the Top 200 list: http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

He’ll be at the top of that 55 FV range this offseason. Very positive reports.

1:05
Comment From Larry
To what do you attribute the rise in fans interest in prospects the past few years?

1:06
Kiley McDaniel: Commodification of prospect information means it’s easy to find and thus easy to talk about. Fans seem more interested in new info (stats, prospects, etc.) now than before, probably due to the internet and any random question having an answer if you put 30 seconds into finding it.

1:07
Comment From Yetty
The O’s Trey Mancini has been fantastic this year. I noticed you mentioned him earlier in the year when you posted your article on the O’s prospects. How far up on the rankings has he pushed himself potentially with this year he’s having?

1:09
Kiley McDaniel: He’s moving from interesting org guy with power (30-35 FV) to potential platoon guy (35+ to 40 FV). Given his size, age and swing, he has to lead the league in everything to be considered a potential everyday guy, so I wouldn’t look for that.

1:09
Comment From Guest
is a HS hitter the most difficult amateur to try and scout?

1:10
Kiley McDaniel: If you’re talking first look at a high school game, yes. Pitchers are way more volatile in a global sense, but easy to scout since they keep showing you what they can do. First look on a HS hitter in a HS game is like a 500 piece puzzle that’s missing 50 pieces.

1:10
Comment From Sean
Has Robbie Ray improved his FV to you? Aside from a low HR%, everything else looks pretty sustainable.

1:10
Kiley McDaniel: Yep, updating some lists now and he’s gone from 40+ when traded to 45 in spring training to 50 now

1:11
Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
Have you ever seen a player with 80 raw power and speed? Which current prospect is the closest to these tools?

1:11
Kiley McDaniel: Only Bo Jackson has had those two grades and he was a bit before my time.

1:12
Kiley McDaniel: Alrighty I’m off to pack and rank more things in my everyday life. That lamp on the end table is about to get DFA’d.





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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yetty
Guest
yetty

Comment From Big Joe Mufferaw
Have you ever seen a player with 80 raw power and speed? Which current prospect is the closest to these tools?

Kiley McDaniel: Only Bo Jackson has had those two grades and he was a bit before my time.

This question and answer got me thinking, in the history of the game, would only Bo and Mantle get 80 scores as prospects in both speed and power?

Paul
Guest
Paul

Trout has to have been close a year or two ago. He had unquestionable 80 speed earlier in his career, and he had the longest homerun in the entire 2014 season at 489 ft.