Kiley McDaniel Prospects Chat – 9/8/15

11:58
Kiley McDaniel: I’ll be back in a few moments to answer your fantasy football start ’em/sit ’em questions for week 12. Thanks!

12:13
Comment From Fitch+McTeer
Have Archie Bradley, Jon Gray and Henry Owens held firm on their FV grades or have any slipped? Do any of these three have a high risk to bust?

12:16
Kiley McDaniel: Preseason, Gray was the lowest 60 and Bradley/Owens were the high end of 55, just a few slots behind. So, basically there were all the same in the 55-60 area. The only slight change is Gray slid down a few spots to a 55 and all three missed the in-season update since they have big league time but not enough to graduate and just missed the top 26, which includes all the 60’s and a few 55’s http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…Being power-based righties, Bradley/Gray have more risk than Owens, but trying to guess who will bust even with AAA/MLB arms isn’t very easy.

12:16
Comment From Emmett
Theoretically, if a hitter had an 80 grade hit tool and 50 raw power, could the power actually play up in games because of the amount of quality contact they would make?

12:17
Kiley McDaniel: Yep and that happens with some big leaguers like Mauer, but it’s very rare and to project a 70-80 bat that would make this happen, means it’s very tough to predict in advance since 70-80 bat projection in the minors means top 10 prospect in the game.

12:17
Comment From Fitch+McTeer
Can Richie Shaffer be the starting 1B in TB next year? Or will they re-sign superstar James Loney to block him?

12:18
Kiley McDaniel: I don’t think TB would be happy with either of those as the opening day 2016 first baseman, but they seem to focus on other positions ahead of 1B as offseason priorities, so that could be what happens.

12:18
Comment From The Ghost of Dayn Perry
What’s your go-to conversation starter with a stranger? What if she’s a hot chick?

12:19
Kiley McDaniel: “Want to hear a theory about sub-6-foot college right-handed starters?”

12:19
Comment From Andy46
Besides Mateo, who is the fastest rising prospect in the Yankees system?

12:19
Kiley McDaniel: Tyler Wade is getting lots of love this year from scouts, who were a little cautious with him last year. Could be a 50 FV.

12:20
Comment From Brandon G.
After 20 ab’s with the new approach, are you still as pessimistic about Javier Baez as you were last week? Only 3 k’s in 19 AB’s, one against Chapman.

12:21
Kiley McDaniel: I think people read too much into what I said last week. I basically said he has to make a big adjustment that he’s never made before he matters. He could make that adjustment tomorrow, I just wasn’t going to waste time parsing his swing or projection if he’s still out of control, since we know that doesn’t work. Haven’t watched him in this latest callup yet, but lower K rate is a good indicator.

12:22
Comment From Andrew
So Wilson Contreras, has he vaulted himself into a legit top prospect? Is the top 100? 150? in the realm of possibility?

12:23
Kiley McDaniel: I still have him below a 50 FV, so more in the 150-250 area on a big list. Always had tools and is hitting now, but scouts I talked to are still a little dubious on the offensive projection/consistency.

12:25
Comment From Keith (Manchester, CT)
Thanks Kiley. Mazara’s plate discipline, given his age at AA/AAA seems very impressive. Based on his 2015 performance, could we be looking at plus-hit and plus-power in the majors? His ceiling seems very high.

12:26
Kiley McDaniel: Yep, could happen, but I’d bet the hit falls a little below plus and power plus or better. But hit tool is just batting average rather than OBP, so yeah he’s really good.

12:27
Comment From Francesca
Something new on Verdugo? Maybe I’m foolish but he looks like he could handle AA next year.

12:28
Kiley McDaniel: He’s really good. I would bet he gets some AA time next year.

12:28
Comment From brad
Age 20-21… .330/.402/.602 across 3 levels with 20 bombs and 17 steals… and great CF defense. Has Lewis Brinson earned his way into the T25?

12:29
Kiley McDaniel: He was probably the last cut from the top 26, so yeah he’s right there. Saw him two games last week and the swing is so much better than high school its kinda staggering. Still plus runner, plus defender, big power…he’s got almost everything.

12:29
Comment From Stephen
Any 2015 draftees that might get a cup of MLB coffee this month?

12:30
Kiley McDaniel: Haven’t heard any buzz of that happening, but it only takes one and there’s some decent candidates for relief innings like David Berg, Carson Fulmer, Tyler Jay

12:30
Comment From Mike
Wanted to ask you about a few live arms: David Paulino,Justice Sheffield, andDomingo Acevedo … Seems like all three may be destined for the pen, but know that’s a wild card and hard to project

12:31
Kiley McDaniel: Sheffield is a starter, Paulino we wrote up today on the site and he’s more in the middle while Acevedo is huge and throws hard, but is older for his league and command isn’t there, so is likely a reliever.

12:31
Comment From Xavier
With a season of data, does Forrest Wall still look the same or better?

12:32
Kiley McDaniel: This is about what I expected him to do, but I was already the high one on him at draft time and stock raises even when you do what’s expected since you’re closer. So, I guess he looks better.

12:32
Comment From Xavier
Is Daniel Robertson the Rays’ long-term answer at SS?

12:34
Kiley McDaniel: I’m still not sold on him as an average defensive shortstop, but if he can figure that out, the bat will fit. Adames and Velazquez are also in that mix, but Robertson and Adames are the two guys to watch most closely.

12:34
Comment From Z in Tempe
Do you have any thoughts on Isranel Wilson?

12:36
Kiley McDaniel: Good size, lefty pop and numbers in the GCL as a 17 year old, but swing and miss issues, so more of a keep-an-eye on him than fly him up the list. Probably 35 or 40 FV. Ronald Acuna is the short-season Braves prospect to watch: big tools, CF fit.

12:36
Comment From leonhard14
Thoughts on Braden Shipley? Had a decent season in AA but it seems like his hype has died a little. Still relatively new to pitching coupled with those numbers gives me a little hope.

12:37
Kiley McDaniel: Changeup was nonexistent the day I saw him, probably a 45 and coming into this year it was getting 60-65 grades. Sounds like it’s been a 50-55 most of the year and command/consistency has been coming and going. He’s in his third full year of pitching, so that stops being an excuse pretty soon.

12:37
Comment From leonhard14
Jose Berrios non call up: Anything other than salary/service time related?

12:39
Kiley McDaniel: Combination of that and IP limits. Notice how the Cubs held down their top guy last year for what was mostly if not all service time, but called up some second tier guys.

12:39
Comment From Bryce
How much has Cincy’s Cody Reed upped his stock over the past month or so? Is this SSS or a sign of a breakthrough?

12:40
Kiley McDaniel: Breakthrough. He’s ranked in the in-season prospect update http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…and report in the trade writeup: http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

12:41
Comment From Fitch+McTeer
What hit & power grades would you give Preston Tucker’s bat?

12:42
Kiley McDaniel: I did that before the season here: http://www.fangraphs.com/st…Probably 45/50 hit and 50/50+ game power as of now

12:42
Comment From MSW
Has Conforto’s FV gone up with his strong showing in the majors? He was tabbed as having 15-20 HR power, but with how comfortable he seems going to the opposite field, is 20-25 possible?

12:44
Kiley McDaniel: I gave him 20-25 homer raw and game power before the year (60) and said the hit tool could play better than graded (50+) due to the approach. And the defense is good now, as opposed to hilariously bad at times in college. He’s really good and still may be the lesser player between him and Schwarber, who were compared a lot pre-draft.

12:44
Comment From some guy
Thoughts on Brandon Finnegan since his trade to Cincy? Still going to be a SP?

12:46
Kiley McDaniel: Saw him a few starts after the trade and I’m still not sure. His velo was down at around 90-93, but you could chalk that up to late season being stretched out. The size is the concern, because maybe this works for 4-5 innings at a time and 150-180 innings a season, but that isn’t a starter. Size can be the difference between durability for 150 or 180 innings, which is the gap between starter and not.

12:46
Comment From dudley
what does alex reyes have yet to prove in the minors?

12:47
Kiley McDaniel: Consistent good strikes and health with the increased arm speed

12:47
Comment From Zonk
If we re-drafted the 2014 draft right now, who would be the top 3? Schwarber, Rodon, Conforto in that order? Maybe Turner in there?

12:54
Kiley McDaniel: Probably Schwarber 1st then (pick almost any order) Zimmer, Turner, Conforto, Rodon. Next group would probably be Nola, Newcomb, Wall, AJ Reed. Others guys that would be in contention are Reid-Foley, Gordon, Jackson, Hoffman, Verdugo, Blandino, Weaver, etc. There’s still a couple 50 FV guys I don’t think I mentioned.

12:54
Comment From Zonk
What 2015 draftees have really stood out for you so far, positive or negative?

12:56
Kiley McDaniel: I don’t really evaluate them any differently in this short a window after the draft. Allard being healthy is new information that helps his stock. Benintendi had very little track record against top pitching with wood bats, so he’s up, but the top couple rounds can’t really move much unless there was a huge question they answered, but most of these guys were scouted for multiple years, so it’s hard to erase that in a few months unless it’s a special situation.

12:56
Comment From Mandatory High Socks
Have you looked at Bowdien ‘Bubba’ Derby? He put up ace numbers at SDSU, turned around and blew up Vermont, something like a 12 K/9, 0.8 BB/9, 1HR for a 0.83 ERA. Does he stick as a starter? Is he back-end bullpen? As a college guy, I’m expecting him to move.

12:58
Kiley McDaniel: Enough stuff to be dangerous, mostly average to slightly above with some moxie and feel but is only 5’10. Stuff plays up in short stints so assumption is multi-inning swing guy/spot starter, which explains why he slid in the draft. He should sail through the lower levels, but the Cal League should be his first real challenge.

12:58
Comment From Matt
Have you had a chance to watch Anderson Espinoza live this year? If so, is his stuff as special as some are saying it is?

1:01
Kiley McDaniel: Just watched him a few days ago and tweeted a lot about it @kileymcd. Short version: 17 years old, good delivery, 95-99 mph with above average life for 50 pitches, curve flashed 60, changeup is 50 to slightly better, shockingly good feel for pitching for his age, making adjustments, holding runners, etc. Would be top 5 draft pick in almost any class, comparable to top prep arms at the same age, only real concern is size (6’0/180 or so) and arm moving so fast at 17 means risk for injury, even if he does nothing wrong mechanically or usage wise, because that’s fast for a fully mature, 6’5/200 25 year old’s arm to move.

1:01
Kiley McDaniel: And here’s the video I took a few days ago https://www.youtube.com/wat…

1:01
Comment From Eli
Does Moncada have 80 speed? Pure stats-scouting question.

1:01
Kiley McDaniel: 70 speed

1:01
Comment From mike wants wins
The Twins say Kepler isn’t ready to face MLB breaking balls. How does a minor leaguer get ready to do that in the minors? He can make progress, but can he ever be “ready”?

1:03
Kiley McDaniel: Not really, but it’s also a matter of will his confidence fall apart in the majors when he hits .120 for 40 PA, or can we have him go to AAA and maybe make that more .220 when he gets a chance next year and that’s good enough for him to stick around MLB and learn and not get buried. Development isn’t a math problem, it’s dealing with people and psyches.

1:03
Comment From Johnnie LeMaster
Has Greg Bird’s solid year raised his 50FV grade at all for you? Do you think he can hit 25+ jimmyjacks in Yankee Stadium?

1:05
Kiley McDaniel: Like Conforto, I gave him a 60 raw/game power grade preseason and that converts to 22-25 homers annually in a neutral environment. And true talent of 22-25 for 6 years (if that is indeed how this plays out) means he’ll almost certainly hit 30 one year as a fluke. Whether he gets to that level for that long is the question.

1:05
Comment From Jake
Doing more to validate their upside projections, Severino or Bird?

1:06
Kiley McDaniel: They’re both playing at the high end of what I’d project them to do this year, so both are doing about the same level of proving the tools play in games at the highest level.

1:06
Comment From Julio Pepper
Is Brinson the Rangers top prospect? He seems like he has the most upside of anyone.

1:07
Kiley McDaniel: I have Mazara and Gallo both slightly ahead of him, but Gallo may lose prospect eligibility soon. I have Mazara 10th on this list from a few weeks ago and Brinson was 27-30 http://www.fangraphs.com/bl…

1:07
Comment From Matt
Come on answer a Red Sox question, we need the hope

1:07
Kiley McDaniel: You got it!

1:07
Comment From Jeremy
At what point does consistent performance out way tools and projections when ranking prospects?

1:09
Kiley McDaniel: Different for every player, since the type of tools and history is different for each player. There’s a sliding scale. In some cases, a player needs to do it for a year or two in the big leagues before scouts realize they are wrong.

1:14
Kiley McDaniel: That’s also the beauty of the FV scale I use, because you can think I’m too low on a guy I call a 45 FV all through the minors, but this maps to WAR, so if he puts up two straight 2.0 WAR seasons in the big leagues (without some crazy BABIP or other unsustainable underlying thing), then that means he proved he was a 50 FV and I was too low. So, my grades will all eventually be correct because at some point the player has to prove what he is and at some point that’s objective and I can only have the right grade.The trick is to get that “right” grade as early as possible. And naturally they will tend to rise through the minors as they prove themselves at higher levels. For a 45 FV in High-A, I’m basically saying I think he’ll be a part-time player or 5th starter or setup guy (which is 45 PV/FV in the big leagues), but since the player is a few levels away from the big leagues, there’s a band of uncertainty that means it’s equally likely (generally speaking) that he’ll be a 40 (low end bench guy, middle relief, spot starter) or a 50 (4th starter, 8th/9th inning guy, low end starter position player). When you’re talking rookie ball, a 45 FV means more like 35 to 55 as the band of reasonable outcomes. This allows it to map to trade value, because if I just graded upside or gave a peak WAR numbers, then the 50/2.0 WAR upside in AAA and the 50/2.0 WAR upside in rookie ball aren’t close in trade value but that metric makes it seem like they are.

1:14
Comment From Julio Pepper
Will you be doing an explicit list ranking the farm systems? Are Red Sox far and away the best?

1:14
Kiley McDaniel: I will be. That was the feature that kept getting pushed back as I worked on other stuff I thought was more pressing. That will be fixed soon.

1:15
Comment From Tim
What to make of Austin Riley? Havent seen him play. Is he Cody Johnson part 2 for the Braves?

1:16
Kiley McDaniel: Nope, Riley just put things together at the plate this spring and didn’t get a ton of pre-draft hype. He was seen a lot as pitcher and hitter in the previous summers/springs but was overweight. There was at least one other team on him in the same range the Braves took him. I think he’s 45 FV for now since it’s a short track record of really hitting, but he may be higher than that in the next year or so.

1:16
Comment From My Self Esteem Is Dependent On Kileys Answers
Something I’ve always wondered: when you say a prospect “flashes” a plus pitch, what kind of frequency or consistency does that imply? If you see an 18-year old throw 9 hanging breaking balls, and one curveball that looks like Kershaw’s, does his curve have plus-plus potential? I understand it’s very context dependent, but I’d appreciate any clarification you can give.

1:18
Kiley McDaniel: Yep that’s basically right. “Flash” is the term for showed it at least once or twice but not often, and short-hand for that’s as good as the pitch could be. If he’s throwing all 55 and 60 curves and just a couple 50s, then it’s a 55/60 grade.For low levels and amateur, there’s usually two steps between future and present. So a kid throws a couple 60 curves, some 55s and is mostly 45 or 50. That would be a 50/60 curve, which is a common way to grade a teenager that throws a few 60 curveballs but is still learning the feel.

1:19
Comment From Crim
I keep seeing Benintendi described as having ‘average’ power at best. Has seeing him shred up some lower minors pitching with a wood bat for a few weeks caused some folks to reevaluate that? Or is it more of a mechanical thing?

1:19
Kiley McDaniel: It’s been 55 raw power all this year and he gets to it in games more than most guys his age. It was more 45-50 raw power last year, but he got stronger.

1:19
Comment From Justin
I prefer sit ’em or bench ’em fantasy football related questions.

1:20
Comment From Paula in Ohio
what the hell was i thinking

1:20
Kiley McDaniel: shoulda bench’d ’em

1:20
Kiley McDaniel: Alright went extra long this week, but time for some scout calls

We hoped you liked reading Kiley McDaniel Prospects Chat – 9/8/15 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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adam
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adam

Has Cody Reed established himself in the top 75?

McNulty
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McNulty

Has adam established himself in the top 75 comments to go unanswered by Kiley?