Kiley McDaniel Prospects Chat – 9/15/15

1:04

Kiley McDaniel: Kiley’s here, get used to it

1:08
Comment From James
Will AJ Reed’s power and hitting ability translate to the majors? Seems the Astros have a black hole at first base right now. Thanks.

1:12

Kiley McDaniel: In college it was a bit of a concern that there was some stiffness to his swing, but he had a good approach and he hit all while pitching each Friday. So, there was a slight concern about contact but it was more that he was 1B only and weren’t quite sure what he was, with most scouting looks coming in his one big year in college.

He’s obviously answered those questions. It isn’t a perfect swing and I think expectations are getting a little too high given his numbers. He won’t be Schwarber just because the minor league numbers are the same–there’s a reason they were drafted so far apart.

All that said, it’s possibly 30 HR power (70 raw) and he should be able to hit around the .250 or .270 range and draw some walks, so he could still be really good. This is why a bit of a mystery player went in the top 50 picks as a college 1B–if it was 60 power he slides another 20 picks lower.

1:12
Comment From Limp-Wristed Liberal
Hey Kiley! Can you give a current MLB comp for an average outcome for Max Kepler? Blackmon? Polanco?

1:13

Kiley McDaniel: He’s a bunch of 50 and 55 tools that’s an OF tweener defensively. A name doesn’t come to mind for a comp, but you can probably figure that one out.

1:13
Comment From James
Colin Moran has put together a good season in AA at 22 years old. Will he see a rise in his stock this off season? Does he have enough power potential to make an impact at MLB level?

1:15

Kiley McDaniel: Don’t think a rise, probably stay put around 50 FV. Still just 50 raw power entering the year and haven’t made calls on him, but wouldn’t expect that to have changed this year. If he hits, he’s an everyday guy and if he doesn’t, then he’s a platoon type. He’s hitting, so thumbs up.

1:15
Comment From Andrew
Is AJ Reed the Astros’ everyday 1B by May 1? Does Moran take over 3B by July? Need to fill these black holes…

1:18

Kiley McDaniel: Finishing up those two thoughts on Moran/Reed. Both should get to AAA early next year if not start there. 1B looks a little more open right now and Reed is probably a little farther along, so I’d guess he gets there first and it could be that 2 weeks after the season starts Kris Bryant thing if there isn’t a good option. I think a few weeks or a few months will come down to who else is in the mix. If HOU wants them up soon, it’ll be fungible non-roster invitee guys, if they want to wait until midseason, it’ll be a vet on a one year deal.

1:18
Comment From MSW
Are you as bullish as Keith Law about Dom Smith? Will his raw power start to translate to games anytime soon?

1:20

Kiley McDaniel: Not sure where Keith haw him, but I like Dom Smith, I think he’ll be a 50 FV this offseason. 60 raw power but more gap to gap in games right now. Doubles at that age against older pitching in two (Savannah and St Lucie) parks that suppress homers is not something to worry about. It’s in there.

1:20
Comment From S
In a 2015 re-draft, is there any picks you would change in the top 5?

1:24

Kiley McDaniel: I think you mean from my order, since I already would change some picks if I repped all the teams (Rodgers over Bregman at 2). I think I’d move Benintendi and Allard both up a few spots. For Benintendi, we had questions about top pitching with wood bats since he hadn’t done it (and all the other picks had) and he’s really succeeded so far. For Allard, there were injury questions and he hadn’t pitched for months before the draft, but reports are everything was right when he pitched last month. So, in the top 5 no and guys only move up in this short of a time span if there a real questions answered, not if they just perform a little better than expected in rookie ball.

1:25
Comment From Mike P.
On average, how many times do you see each top 100(ish) prospect a year?

1:30

Kiley McDaniel: It comes down to geography, since I’m in Atlanta. The goal is to see each elite guy at least once a year, but some elite guys are an hour from me all season, so I’ll see them a lot.

I’ll see all the guys at the Futures Game, I’ll see a handful of Cal League guys when I’m out there for a week. I’ll catch a PCL series or two in Nashville/Memphis. I’ll see the a good bit of IL at Gwinnett/Charlotte/Durham and SAL at Greenville/Rome, among others. Lots of Southern League at Chattanooga/Montgomery/Birmingham. I’ll swing into Florida a few weeks a season and see FSL and GCL. I can also get a couple teams of MWL in Bowling Green and a series or two of Carolina League when I’m up there.

I can obviously miss some guys in each of those leagues depending on timing and there’s a couple leagues I didn’t mention, but the idea is to get a look at each elite guy at least once a season.

1:30
Comment From Kileys Fanboy
You like Anderson Espinoza and recently mentioned that by tools, you may prefer him over Julio Urias based on the pitch grades (Espinoza 6/6/6, Urias 5/6/7). Did I get that correct? What is your estimated timeline for Espinoza coming up the chain?

1:34

Kiley McDaniel: May prefer him over Urias at the same age, they’re roughly similar in value. Right now, Urias obviously has more value. Here’s the pitch grades for Espinoza: http://www.fangraphs.com/st…

I would guess he goes Low-A most/all of next year, then High-A/AA in 2017, then you reevalute based on age, usage, injuries (hopefully there are none), use of pitches, general development, etc. and make a plan about MLB role and all that stuff when you get there.

Sometimes an arm is ready to contribute in an MLB bullpen when he’s, say, age 20 in AA, but maybe he’s near his innings limit for the year and making him go from pacing himself to max effort in by far the most challenging environment could be a disaster for his arm and his psyche. In that case, the best move may be to bring him back the year after, work on some stuff and then do that bullpen thing the next year, even if the stuff grades say he’s ready and he hasn’t failed yet. It’s always best to be cautious with precocious arms for a number of reasons.

1:35

Kiley McDaniel: Noticed I’m going really long on the answers today for some reason, lemme try to speed this up.

1:35
Comment From Ringo
who started this whole “is a hot dog a sandwich?” kerfuffle anyways?

1:35

Kiley McDaniel: don’t care

1:35
Comment From Jay
What do we need to know about Lucas Sims? He was great in AA the second half after a disappointing year and a half at Lynchburg.

1:35

Kiley McDaniel: just talked to a guy that saw him and said the stuff is still there, so now we’re in the command/bullpen question area

1:36
Comment From Amazaraing Grace
Best pure hit tool in the minors right now?

1:36

Kiley McDaniel: pick from the guys in the first list here, there’s basically all the candidates: http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

1:36
Comment From Frank
Do you think an increase in the minimum wage for minor league players would increase the quality of prospects for the majors?

1:36

Kiley McDaniel: nope, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen

1:36
Comment From Hannah
Checked out a couple Helena games recently to see Trent Clark/Gilbert Lara and emerged relatively impressed by Troy Stokes. Is there everyday regular upside there or more of a 4th OF?

1:37

Kiley McDaniel: chance to be a low-end everyday guy if he keeps hitting. plus runner/CF fit, enough pop but very short

1:37
Comment From Ringo
who are some of your favorite fast rising helium players this year?

1:37

Kiley McDaniel: Lucky for you that I listed basically all the guys that fit that definition in the first two lists here: http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

1:37
Comment From Nick
Big year for Trey Mancini? Is he an every day guy at the MLB level?

1:38

Kiley McDaniel: Don’t think so, but he’s creeping toward that being possible

1:38
Comment From Ringo
why did it have to be this way kiley?

1:38

Kiley McDaniel: it’s not me, it’s you

1:38
Comment From Adam
If the Braves wind up with the #1 pick, who should they take?

1:39

Kiley McDaniel: right now, I’d take Blake Rutherford, prep OF from SoCal

1:39

Kiley McDaniel: Short report on him is OF tweener, 55 runner, 55 raw power, 60 bat, LH has hit everywhere for the last three summers. If you have read me for awhile, you know I don’t put 60 bat on almost anyone, even in the minors.

1:40
Comment From Chris
Why McCullers over Iglesias in your mid-season update?

1:40

Kiley McDaniel: Stuff is more electric and he showed the ability to make adjustments to use it this year. Iglesias shouldn’t be much better than this. McCullers could be frontline.

1:40
Comment From yolo
So Yairo Munoz got mentioned in Cistulli’s Fring Five this week, and I know Keith Law had a big ol’ crush on him in the pre-season. You seen him play at all?

1:40

Kiley McDaniel: Haven’t seen him, but like him

1:41
Comment From S
Should Rockies fans be concerned about Rodger

1:41

Kiley McDaniel: NO

1:41
Comment From Kingpin
Andy chance Victor Robles skips Lo-A and starts out next year at High-A?

1:41

Kiley McDaniel: I guess it’s possible but I wouldn’t expect it

1:42
Comment From Mike P.
What do you think about Rhys Hoskins (1B for Phillies)? A contemporary of yours (whose name rhymes with Heath Paw) said “not saying he’s Goldschimdt, but it’s the same type of curve that Goldy had coming up – mid round pick, a little old for level, good hitter – so it’s someone to watch as not to miss on him again”. Just wondering if there is any talk about Hoskins being more than a 22 year old 1B at A+.

1:47

Kiley McDaniel: I was the high man on Hoskins as an amateur (I had him 113, he went 142: http://www.scout.com/mlb/sc…), then he didn’t do much after the draft, looked alright when I saw him in instructs, but didn’t seem to be different. I didn’t see him this year but it sounds like he made some adjustments. It’s 55 raw power and some feel to hit, but a limited defensive profile and a little stiff at the plate. He played lots of 1B this year and struggles at times with spin. He’ll need to keep proving it.

1:47
Comment From S
Should Rockies fans be concerned about Brendan Rodgers‘ less than dominating pro debut?

1:47

Kiley McDaniel: STILL NO

1:48
Comment From Straw_Man
Lewis Brinson – when do we see an extended look for him in the majors? Mazara is probably closer to real MLB action (as well as Gallo getting some consideration in LF), but can’t help but dream on Brinson’s rather unique power/speed ceiling.

1:48

Kiley McDaniel: Have to think they gets looks by the middle of last year. Not sure yet but I think I’m gonna be the high guy on Brinson and Mazara is super impressive as well. Just saw them for Round Rock a few weeks back and it was as advertised.

1:48
Comment From Kevin
To what degree does a prospects school hamper where they go in the draft. Maybe more to the point, how greatly does competition play in a prospects evaluation. Benitendi for example was off many scouts radars, but then again he played at Arkansas. If someone plays for lets say a Patriot League school, isn’t there a natural ceiling to where they could be drafted, no matter how talented or what numbers they put up?

1:51

Kiley McDaniel: Well Benintendi was an exception since people didn’t know he was eligible this year and he didn’t go anywhere in the summer, when near everyone on solid teams goes somewhere in the summer, which is a benefit of going to a big school. If it’s close to D1 or it’s undeniable early round talent, it gets seen and treated accordingly by basically every team. If It’s 4th-6th round type talent and at a D3, then you start to see teams disregarding a guy or not giving him a long enough look, but you’ll always have some teams on them. For 10th round and beyond, it’s kinda a crapshoot at tiny schools, so you better hope your coach knows enough people to get you some looks.

1:52

Kiley McDaniel: that’s also where indy leagues come into play. if you’re 22 and among the league leaders in an indy league, you’ll get signed and if that happens, I’m betting you went to a tiny school and didn’t really get scouted.

1:52
Comment From Matt
Hey Kiley, Can you guestimate what a scouting report mike look like on Kevin Maitan’s tools might be? He’s clearly the best player for the next signing period, right?

1:55

Kiley McDaniel: Consensus seems to be 3B fit but he’s young enough that he could grow into a RF. Not Sano-sized, but he’ll be big, maybe early Miguel Cabrera of Juan Gonzalez physically. Above average arm and raw power, switch hitter, good feel to hit, all the now tools you normally don’t see until 17-19 showed up for him at 14-16. There’s a little hesitation in his trigger that a couple scouts mentioned as the only real question they have, but that’s getting very nitpicky for a 15 year old, when it’s normally nothing but complaints/unknowns that a kid can’t do yet at that age.

1:55
Comment From PieTraynee
Do you foresee both/either Josh Bell and Austin Meadows being star level players?

1:55

Kiley McDaniel: Meadows could be, Bell is more solid than star.

1:56
Comment From Matt
Hey Kiley, are there any elite bats for the Braves to take at #1/2 next year?

1:58

Kiley McDaniel: Rutherford (OF, HS) is the guy for me. AJ Puk (LHP, Florid) and Jason Groome (LHP, HS) are probably the next couple guys at this point. Corey Ray and Buddy Reed are both college CF’s that are prob top 10 at this point. Mickey Moniak is another SoCal prep CF that’s more glove and less power than Rutherford.

Two Georgia 1st round types to mention are Mercer (in Macon, GA) RF Kyle Lewis (quick twitch 55-60 across the board, best prospect on the Cape this year) and Atlanta area prep RF Will Benson, who looks really really similar to Jason Heyward at the same stage, with the only real concern that he keeps tinkering with his swing mechanics.

Three more GA guys with 1st round chances that ATL locals could go see/follow: UGA righty Robert Tyler (up to 100 mph), preps RHP/3B Josh Lowe and 3B Carter Kieboom.

2:02
Comment From MSW
Is Amed Rosario still the Mets’ SS of the future? I only have his stat line to go off of, which seems fairly meh, and I’ve heard very little about him otherwise this season.

2:05

Kiley McDaniel: He’s a dude-dude. I saw him a few times this year and he’s so quick-twitch and talented that I’m not sure he even knows what all he’s capable of yet. One AB he looked bad late on a 93 fastball, then fouled off four straight 96 mph fastballs and then hit a line drive on 95–he could clearly hit it but was guessing when he didn’t need to be.

He’s two years younger than the real prospects in Hi-A an 3-5 years younger than the fringe/non prospects in the league fighting for their jobs. And he was league average with the bat while stealing some bases and playing SS. It was a very impressive season.

2:07
Comment From Ryan
How high does Alex Reyes sit on the prospect lists next April?

2:07

Kiley McDaniel: I have him 17 on this one and I think one or two guys ahead of him will graduate, so let’s say 15

http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

2:07
Comment From Marc
Who are the top international prospects for next years singing period?

2:09

Kiley McDaniel: Maitan is the big name, but I wrote up 4 other big guys that should get $2M+ here http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

2:09
Comment From Neal
Has there been any more word on the future International Draft?

2:10

Kiley McDaniel: You probably won’t hear much about that for awhile, then you’ll hear a bunch when MLB wants plans to leak to try to win people/union over. It’s coming.

2:10
Comment From Matt P
Chris Shaw had one of the more successful debuts among the bottom half of 1st round players. Do you see him as a fast riser next year similar to AJ Reed?

2:11

Kiley McDaniel: He’s the 60 power, iffy contact guy I was referring too in the earlier AJ Reed question. I know guys that really liked Shaw on the Cape, then the hamate this spring slowed him, or else he would’ve gone a bit higher. Hamate usually take a bit to heal so maybe 2 years from now Shaw can go nuts and rise up lists?

2:11
Comment From Marc
What do you think of Gilbert Lara?

2:11

Kiley McDaniel: Big tools, 50 FV for me, faded late this season but he’s also a HS junior age-wise.

2:11
Comment From Chris K.
Do you think Javier Guerra’s bat is for real, or is he headed for some offensive regression next year?

2:12

Kiley McDaniel: He could be a 50 bat with 45 game power, but isn’t a huge difference maker type as some are assuming

2:12
Comment From Colby
Id put a 20 grade on the pace of this chat but 70 for content

2:12
Comment From Brice Paterik
What do you make of Lewis Brinson’s hit tool progression this year, is it legit?

2:13

Kiley McDaniel: I’m in. It was borderline laughable at times in high school when he wasn’t even the best hitter on his team but still went in the 1st round and he’s now handling MLB-level arms.

2:13
Comment From Fan
Who are some low minors or breakout guys that I should grab before waivers close in my Dynasty League. Anderson Espinosa just got taken 🙁

2:13

Kiley McDaniel: Get Victor Robles or Francis Martes if you can

2:13
Comment From sam
know anything about Travis Maezes? he was drafted by the Royals this year

2:14

Kiley McDaniel: Yep bat first guy that had a tough spring at Michigan

2:14
Comment From Mike P.
When you scout and give reports on guy, do you weigh the system they are in? Like, if there’s a guy in the Giants system who looks like a UTIL guy at best, but they’ve seemed to be able to develop non-special bats (Crawford, Panik, Duffy) into solid players – do they get a bump in FV? Or a pitcher in the White Sox system who may have a funky delivery that would normally lead you to think reliever – but because of what they’ve done, you might stick them with starter? Basically: does organizational player development groups affect individual prospects scouting reports?

2:16

Kiley McDaniel: Team doesn’t effect the report or ranking. If I’m categorically proven wrong on guys like those mentioned above, then I’m wrong about that certain kind of guy and I’ll adjust up, not just for the team where it happened.

2:16
Comment From Exploits
Hey man have you heard of Draftkings?

2:16

Kiley McDaniel: NO TELL ME MORE

2:16
Comment From OF Tweener
What is that

2:17

Kiley McDaniel: Not quite fast enough to play CF, would be above avg defensively in a corner. Often is used when he has enough power for CF but not quite enough for a corner meaning he’s a tweener on offense and defense, or can be used as only a tweener (between) two defensive positions.

2:17
Comment From chisox
Spencer Adams top 50 next season?

2:17

Kiley McDaniel: no

2:18
Comment From Eminor3rd
What are you hearing about Domingo Acevedo? He’s been the best pitcher in the NYPL this year. And , I know it’s the NYPL, but he’s looked like a man among boys his past few starts.

2:18

Kiley McDaniel: He hit 100 mph last year in the GCL, so I was already on him, but sounds like he’s made some feel advancement this year

2:18
Comment From Lee
Do you think Manny Margot is being a bit under-rated/ overlooked when people talk about all the Red Sox minor league talent?

2:19

Kiley McDaniel: Well I called him the 19th best prospect in baseball, so I wouldn’t say I’m doing that http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

2:19
Comment From Anderson Espinioza, AJ Reed, Trey Manchini, Sleeper Prospect, Whyd he fall, Can he keep this up, Has his FV Rose, why isnt he up yet, what is his ETA?
Why are people so hung up on old 1B prospects in the low minors? Of course they are putting up good numbers, they are old and got drafted due to their bat.

2:19

Kiley McDaniel: Well yeah but look at the sterling MLB career of Darin Ruf

2:20
Comment From MSW
Should Rockies fans be concerned about their franchise?

2:21

Kiley McDaniel: That’s more legitimate than worrying about Rodgers. Farm is good, tho.

2:21
Comment From Brendan Rodgers
Kiley, should I be concerned about my pro debut?

2:21

Kiley McDaniel: I don’t think that’s really you

2:22
Comment From Zonk
How high are you on Gleyber Torres? And do the Cubs really need another young hitter?

2:22

Kiley McDaniel: Really high: http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

I feel like you guys didn’t read that in-season prospect update.

2:22
Comment From VUHawkTalk
Kiley, where do you see the draft ceiling and floor for Vandy’s big lefties (JJ Kilichowski and Ben Bowden)?

2:23

Kiley McDaniel: Bowden could be late 1st if it all comes together, big physical lefty that flashes above avg stuff. Just talked to a guy that saw Kilichowski on the Cape and he said 3rd round, more avg stuff with feel and plane.

2:23
Comment From Zonk
If I want to see as many prospects as possible, where is the best place in the country to live, geographically?

2:24

Kiley McDaniel: That’s why I picked ATL. Easy to get into FL and have the whole southeast for amateur/pro during the season. Phoenix/SoCal, if you’re mobile enough to hit both is good but is lacking in lots of minor leagues the southeast has. Florida was good for me for a long time, but not surrounded by leagues like ATL is. So I pick ATL.

2:24
Comment From Adam
Is Austin Riley (ATL) the real deal?

2:25

Kiley McDaniel: I’m starting to think you are. Braves rebuild is going pretty damn well.

2:26

Kiley McDaniel: Other than the historic losing at the big league level. Or, really, that’s part of it. Who wants to think of this year’s tanking saying? Suck for Puk (it’s pronounced puck) is an easy one. Tank for Blake is a stretch.

2:26

Kiley McDaniel: I’ll leave you guys with a homework assignment. Badger me with terrible puns @kileymcd. pip pip cheerio





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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Dan
6 years ago

Gary Sanchez was just called up. Obviously his status as a prospect isn’t what it used to be. What does his future look like at this point? Can he be a major league catcher? If not, can he hit enough to play elsewhere?