12:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Good morning from AZ, let’s chat.

12:02
Seth: Is the Dodgers list coming this week?

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Submitted to editing at 2:30am so should be today or tomorrow.

12:03
Twins Fan: Thoughts on Fernando Romero?

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Good stuff, up to 100, relief delivery.

12:03
Jeremy: Is Brett Phillips still a top 100 prospect?

12:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Doubtful, too much swing and miss.

12:03
Tacos: Is Willie Calhoun destined to be a DH?

12:04
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably. Dodgers hoping he’s passable at second base but I can’t find a scout that thinks he more than a 40 there. Doesn’t have the footspeed for LF.

12:04
z: Is Isan Diaz a potential top-50 prospect next spring? Also, any thoughts on Lucas Erceg?

12:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Top 50 might be high but almost certainly top 100, because of the potential with the bat. I like Erceg’s tools. 7 arm,, potential plus D at 3B, 15+ homer potential. He was a steal based on talent.

12:05
Jaime: Gleyber Torres has looked very good in fall league. Any idea where he’ll be on top prospect lists? 10-20 range? 20-30?

12:06
Eric A Longenhagen: His numbers are good but he hasn’t always looked good. The talent is undeniable and yes, he’s probably a top 20 prospect in all of baseball. But his defense and approach have been very sloppy here.

12:06
Erik: The Phillies have a lot of money to spend but aren’t ready to contend just yet. Are they better off spending that money on free agents who will still be around in a few years, or taking on other teams’ bad contracts along with prospects? Are there any opportunities for that sort of move this offseason?

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably the latter because this year’s free agent crop is so weak. I don’t try to milk sources for trade buzz or take the time to read the roster tea leaves and try to unearth situations where that might be a potential scenario though.

12:08
Chris: Which white sox pitching prospect has the best chance to be a reliable starter moving forward?

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably Adams, still risk that Hansen is a reliever.

12:08
Eric A Longenhagen: But Hansen’s stuff is better.

12:08
Avery: What is your opinion on the Screwball? Do you think Honeywell is going to hurt his arm early because hes throwing it?

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: If it misses bats I like it. No opinion on the injury possibility, don’t see how anyone could have one.

12:10
Steve: What’s your take on an International Draft?

12:10
Eric A Longenhagen: I think it’s a bad idea for everyone involved except the owners who get to save some money.

12:10
Steve: Even if MLB decided to stay with the current international signing system, shouldn’t the minimum age be raised to 18? I’ve always thought it was silly that teams are giving away these bonuses to guys who aren’t developed and are basically high school sophomores.

12:12
Eric A Longenhagen: “Silly” isn’t justification for change in my opinion.

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: If you’re worried about young kids having money they don’t know how to handle then teams should put support systems in place to help them handle it, not take a bunch of it away.

12:13
Erik: Why is raw power a grade separate from the ceiling of a player’s game power? What is the ceiling of game power other than what the player could do if they tapped into all their raw power?

12:13
Eric A Longenhagen: Guys with gaps in raw/game power typically have an approach to hitting that prioritizes contact, hence the gap. BP swings and game swings are often quite different.

12:14
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve seen Xavier Paul hit third deck homers in BP.

12:14
Erik: Do you grade approach as part of the hit tool? Or is hit mostly about swing, while approach is left ungraded along with things like makeup?

12:14
Eric A Longenhagen: Approach is not factored in.

12:14
Kiermaier’s Piercing Blue Eyes: Thoughts on Brent Honeywell after a dominant Fall Star Game start?

12:15
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s a lot of fun, potential #3 starter for me, aka a 60 on the scale.

12:15
Justin: Can Gomber be anything more than back-end starter? Impressive fall performance so far. Also – what’s your ceiling for Carson Kelly?

12:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably not more than a backend guy but I do really like him and that’s still valuable. Low-90s, plus change potential, average curveball and he’s been one of the more visibly competitive guys out here. I like Gomber.

12:16
Ken Phelps: If Vogelbach winds up in a DH or 1B platoon, do you see him having success, speaking bat-only? Those stats are pretty, pretty nice. What’s the one worry that you have for his bat (besides not hitting Ls)?

12:17
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t think his approach gets the most out of his offensive tools. Below avg regular for me.

12:17
Erik: From all your chats and articles, it seems that you’re more interested in low-level prospects and amateurs than those about to break into the majors. Would you agree with that? And if so, why do you feel that way?

12:18
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d agree with that simply because the “amateur and low-level” prospects make up a substantially greater portion of the prospect population than guys at Double and Triple-A. Not really a preference thing for me. Also, I think it’s important to write about prospects people don’t know about instead of the billionth article about Joey Gallo‘s raw power.

12:18
Ken Phelps: Will Jorge Alfaro be an above-average all-around C by 2018?

12:19
Eric A Longenhagen: Certainly has the tools for that but I’d expect a longer period of adjustment before he’s that kind of player.

12:19
Nientsniew: What did you think of bellingers huge swing at the all star game? Does he always swing like that?

12:19
Eric A Longenhagen: I love it but acknowledge that an approach like that has drawbacks. Yes, he does that all the time.

12:19
Nientsniew: What’s your take on Ryan mcmanhon? He can murder the ball

12:20
Eric A Longenhagen: Fatal swing and miss

12:20
Erik: 70 grades are probably the hardest to picture for me. I think I imagine most tools higher than “very good” (60) as “elite” (80). Could you give some examples of major leaguers with tools that are definitively better than 60 but also definitively not 80?

12:23
Eric A Longenhagen: A lot of runners like Cesar Hernandez are 7s, Corey Seager‘s hit tool, Rizzo’s game power, Adeiny Hecchevaria’s glove, Maikel Franco‘s arm,…

12:23
Max: Do you know what the deal is with Royals 2015 first rounder Ashe Russell? He pitched just 2 IP this year and his velo was reportedly way down, but no reports of injury.

12:24
Eric A Longenhagen: I do not know what the deal is but I’ve asked.

12:24
Dubon Guy: What’s made you change your perspective on Dubon? What do you think his Big League production will be like?

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Scouts I trust told me to take a good hard look and I have and I’m coming around but not diving in just yet.

12:25
NutButters: My dad reports from the AFL: Greg Bird will need at least half of 2017 at AAA, looks like a future .260 hitter with questionable D. Thoughts?

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Your dad is on it.

12:25
DR: Is Wilbeto Rivera creeping up draft boards? Mature body and high velo is something scouts like in the Top 50, right?

12:25
Eric A Longenhagen: Yeah , with that kind of velo (even though scouts don’t like the delivery) he’s probably a top 2 rounds guy just on the stuff.

12:26
Erik: What would the FV of a hitter with an 80-grade hit tool and absolutely nothing else be? How high would the rest of the tools have to be for such a player to have a 50 FV?

12:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Depends on the context. 80-hit at age 23 with no physical projection has a different FV than an 80-hitter who is 19, 6’2, 170. Latter question depends heavily on defensive profile. I’ll say that I’ve scouted guys I thought had 70 hit tools who weren’t prospects because the rest of the tools were 30s and 40s.

12:28
Erik: For the past few years of prospect lists I’ve seen, every pitcher destined for relief was seen as essentially a non-prospect. I’ve noticed a few relievers in the lists you’ve published so far receiving rather positive grades. Is that due to a change in the way relievers seem to be valued in the MLB over the last year or so?

12:29
Eric A Longenhagen: Somewhat. Middle relievers are 40s on the scale and I’m writing up all 40 FVs or better for my lists, so high-probability relievers make the cut.

12:29
Erik: I believe you’ve mentioned before that rather than introducing an international draft, you’d be in favor of scrappy the existing domestic amateur draft. What would you replace it with that would ensure that struggling teams still have an advantage over powerhouses when trying to rebuild? Or do you not care about that, and would advocate a free for all instead?

12:30
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m for doing what’s best for the prospects which is an open market where they can choose their employer.

12:30
Buddy Biancalana: Do you think Raul Mondesi ever hits decently? He’s so young but looked pretty bad. What FV grade would you give him now?

12:30
Eric A Longenhagen: I do not think he’ll hit.

12:30
Chapman: Your thoughts on CIN SP Rookie Davis? Is a top 100 type?

12:30
Eric A Longenhagen: Nice FB/CRV combo, may not have a way to get lefties out, stuff doesn’t merit top 100 consideration for me.

12:31
Tondo: Hi Eric! Any notes on the Indians prospects in the AFL? Greg Allen looks more and more like a legit CF starter kit, right? Can Yu-Cheng Chang stay at SS and did you see overall improvement? Thanks

12:31
Eric A Longenhagen: I wrote both those guys up mid-year and my thoughts on them are the same. I love Allen, like Chang but think the latter is probably a 2B.

12:31
Andy: On Twitter you said Trey Ball hit 94 MPH with his fastball which seems faster than what I heard with him as a starter. How would you grade him overall?

12:32
Eric A Longenhagen: It was a brief outing in the Fall Stars game so the velo may have ticked up because of that. It’s back end starter stuff for me. Avg cutter and curveball.

12:32
Erik: Cesar Hernandez just put up a 4 WAR season, which translates to about a 65 FV on the scouting scale. Would a prospect with his tools ever come close to a 65 FV projection?

12:33
Eric A Longenhagen: No and I don’t think he’s a 4 WAR player going forward. Defensive metric outlier is a huge red flag there. more of a 1.5-2 WAR player for me, a 45.

12:33
jon: Ian Happ: potential 3 war player?

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: I think highly of the bat, yes.

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: He’ll probably need to stay at 2B for that.

12:34
The Pitch Clock: Which 2016 Dodger draftee do you prefer ? Peters or Thomas?

12:34
Eric A Longenhagen: Peters but I do like Thomas.

12:34
Zack: How is it that Bryce Harper is on the cover of SI at 16, but a guy like Trout falls to 24 on draft day? What did we not see with Mike?

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Rained a lot in NJ that year and decision makers at the top of the draft didn’t see a lot of him as a result. hard to be confident taking a guy in the top 10 that you don’t have a long, deep history of seeing.

12:35
baby bull : first to make impact in MLB Francisco Mejia or Yohander Mendez? Who ends up the better player?

12:35
Eric A Longenhagen: Mendez on both

12:35
Mitch: Is Juan Soto a top 100 type guy for you do you think or is he too far off?

12:36
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably too far off.

12:36
Alex : Of all of the Braves pitching prospects who are the few that actually have a #1/2 type ceilings?

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: I think Newcomb, Allard and Fried all have the stuff to be #2s.

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Of course, the chances all or any of them get there are slim.

12:37
VaBravesFan: Would you say that Ronald Acuna is in top 10 for the Braves?

12:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Oh hell yes

12:37
A. Reitz: Hi Eric, appreciate the chat. Curious your thoughts on a player comp. for Francis Martes? And if you think he will stick as a SP?

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m not a fan of comps but there are a lot of similarities with Frankie Montas. Big body, command issues, big fastball, potential plus slider. He’s looked relievery for me in AFL but scouts who saw him pitch well during the regular season think he can start.

12:39
Bobby Blownilla: Thoughts on Dustin Fowler? I see him as a guy who can sneak up on the league and be a strong player who might look previously undervalued as a prospect even though he gets top 10 love. Especially from an offensive perspective. Thanks!

12:39
Eric A Longenhagen: I’m with you, I really like Fowler. Plays a fine center field, great bat to ball skills, good baserunner. He could be an average regular.

12:39
A. Reitz: Brock Stewarts ascension last year was fascinating to me. Do you like him as a solid #3/#4 type or was he strictly a guy who had a great singular season in the minors?

12:40
Eric A Longenhagen: Probably more of a #4/5 than a 3/4 but yes, I think he’s a big league rotation piece.

12:40
A. Reitz: Thoughts on Vlad. Gutierrez of the Reds? Seen him at all over seas and what kind of stuff does he have?

12:41
Eric A Longenhagen: Good fastball/breaking ball combination, protoype pitcher’s body. Has tinkered a lot with his delivery as an amateur and is a pretty volatile prospect. Did not pitch in games during instructs so I haven’t seen him.

12:41
A. Reitz: I’m hearing a lot of buzz for W. Buehler of the Dodgers. Missed his 1st prof. season after TJ but has looked great early on. Think he could move quickly through the minors, if so what do you think his ceiling is?

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: His stuff was electric late last summer when he returned. Yes, he could fly through the minors. I have him ranked 5th in the org.

12:43
baby bull : who is the best hitter of the bunch, Moniak, Nick Williams, Brett Phillips

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: Moniak, not close.

12:43
Jack: During a chat, a BA writer said that a legitimate argument can be made that the Yankees have the best system in baseball. Agree?

12:43
Eric A Longenhagen: Yup

12:44
Ant: What’s Victor Robles‘ upside?

12:44
Eric A Longenhagen: Perennial all star

12:44
Q-Ball: What’s happened to Duane Underwood? He was removed from AFL roster, and has really pitched poorly for the past year.

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: FB is hard but plays way down because it’s flat and Underwood works up in the zone with it.

12:45
MeDeKe: Chances that Raisel Iglesias returns to the rotation long-term? Over/under 25%. Thanks!

12:45
Eric A Longenhagen: He’s always been a bullpen arm for me so I’ll say it’s quite likely

12:46
Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve graded out many of CIN’s high profile pitching acquisitions as relievers. Cingrani, Stephenson, Lorenzen, Iglesias, Howard. Reed’s the only one I think can start long term.

12:46
jon: Did Schwarber’s World Series surprise you, even given your favorable scouting review of him?

12:47
Eric A Longenhagen: Not really, dude’s a freak and anything can happen in such a small sample.

12:47
Zonk: How important is the Cape Cod league to scouting?

12:48
Eric A Longenhagen: Somewhere between “very” and “pretty”. Quite? Seeing a high concentration of talent, add in the wood bat component…it’s weighed heavily.

12:48
Rich : Who do you grade the highest in terms of offense Bellinger,O’Neill, and Devers, thanks

12:49
Eric A Longenhagen: Tough call between Bellinger and Devers but O’neill a distant third. The things scouts have said about Bellinger as I’ve worked on the Dodgers list are glowing.

12:49
Ethan: The Cardinals just said they are planning on having Paul dejong start at SS at Memphis next year. Thoughts on that decision?

12:52
Eric A Longenhagen: That org pretty clearly has a more liberal definition of defense at shortstop than most others and certainly they’re more forgiving than I am. I get why they see things that way, I just wouldn’t do it that way. They’ve had success running guy like Gyorko out there just like Oakland has with Semien.

12:52
The Pitch Clock: Who was you favorite under radar/2016 draftee you have seen at instructs this fall?

12:52
Eric A Longenhagen: Was it you that asked about Peters earlier? That might be the guy.

12:53
BHAM: Reds prospect Wennigton Romero had good AZL numbers this year. Does he have the stuff to play as a SP or is he destined for RP?

12:53
Eric A Longenhagen: Upper-80s with movement, advanced secondaries and better strike throwing ability than the usual AZL arm. Body has very little projection, he’s a squat 6′ if that. Maybe a #5 type, definitely worth following.

12:54
I am the walrus: What’s your opinion on Yadier Alvarez? Is he a potential #2?

12:54
Eric A Longenhagen: Potential #1, perhaps the highest upside arm in the minors.

12:54
Erik: Now that we realize how important taking walks is, shouldn’t approach be seen on all standard scouring reports? Doesn’t it tell us more about the player’s likely future success than his arm does?

12:55
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s on reports even if it isn’t graded. Tells us more than arm does yes, but you can’t see the arm on paper and with the approach you kind of can.

12:56
Tondo: I’m stunned. How can approach be left unaccounted for? Could you clarify?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: It’s not graded as a tool

12:56
Miky: Which position will Franklin Barreto play in Majors?

12:56
Eric A Longenhagen: CF

12:57
WIll: Thoughts on Andrew Stevenson? He’s been overperforming at every level, including AZFL, since he reached the minors. How does his defense translate at CF?

12:57
Eric A Longenhagen: Not comfortable enough in CF to play there long term for me. Can hit and run but lacks corner power. 4th OF in my opinion.

12:58
CamdenWarehouse: Is there any reason why the current players would use the international draft as a bargaining chip to get whatever they want? It’s not going to hurt them if it’s instituted.

12:58
Eric A Longenhagen: Correct.

12:58
Jeb: Though you haven’t started covering J2 (I know, lists!), are there even rumors yet as to who will be aggressive? Or are teams waiting for the CBA to be finalized?

12:59
Eric A Longenhagen: I have names of some of the 2017 class’ top guys but have heard very little deals have been agreed to as teams wait for the new CBA and feel kind of scared about the way MLB has become a helicopter parent internationally.

12:59
Dave: Will Jose De Leon crack the Dodgers out of ST this year?

12:59
Eric A Longenhagen: I believe so, has nothing left to learn at OKC

1:00
Bubba: You are very clearly pro-open market for all amateur talent regardless of geography and completely opposed to any sort of draft. How does that open market not give deep-pocket teams like Boston, NY, LA, Chicago an inherent advantage over teams like TB, Milwaukee, Colorado, etc.?

1:01
Eric A Longenhagen: It does but there’s no empirical evidence that a draft enhances competitive balance.

1:01
Eric A Longenhagen: That I know of, anyway.

1:02
johnforthegiants: People ever call you Long & Hanging?

1:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, after my first high school gym class.

1:03
Eric: Any thoughts on Staumont based on AFL performance?

1:03
Eric A Longenhagen: Still a hilariously easy 96+ and his curveball usage has matured beautifully. Not sure he’s a starter because the command is still lacking but I give him a better shot to get there than I did a year ago.

1:04
Andrew: Would the A’s consider trading Puk for a CF? If so, would Jankowski and his five years of control be enough?

1:04
Eric A Longenhagen: I doubt it. Puk’s ceiling is a thing OAK can’t buy on the FA market.

1:05
Dock Ellis: The problem with letting players choose their own employer is that makes the game a business only. This game is just that, a game for the fans. If you’re tell me, if I were a Rays fan, that the only players that would sign for my team are players that no other clubs would sign…I’d stop being a fan.

1:05
Eric A Longenhagen: I think that’s selfish.

1:05
Travis: What’s your favorite Cactus League/AFL stadium?

1:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Tough call. Scottsdale has an 80-grade water fountain. 80. It’s so cold and refreshing. That carries weight for me. But I can easily ride my bike to Mesa which I also like. Toss up between those two.

1:06
Peter: Boy you sure don’t answer any Braves questions

1:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Luis Mora

1:06
Stephen Gonsalves: Is there more than a fourth/fifth starter here? Obviously has huge numbers but stuff isn’t overpowering by any means.

1:06
Eric A Longenhagen: Not for me.

1:06
Nolan: Noticed Eguy Rosario didn’t make your Padres list after a solid debut year. Does he not have the tools to projects as much, or is he just so far away that there isn’t enough probability to give him a 40 FV?

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: More of the latter. I have notes on him and you’re right to be paying attention to him. There just wasn’t enough in both my volume of notes or the quality of the reports to include him. I had to move on, that system nearly killed me.

1:07
Jim Lonborg: I assume you’ve seen Kopech at AFL? Are you buying the buzz, or do you like Groome better?

1:07
Eric A Longenhagen: Give me Kopech.

1:08
Mike: Probability Zack Collins ever plays C in the majors (assuming he makes it)?

1:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Plays? 75%
Plays well? 10%

1:08
LioneeR: Open market for prospects? That would have to include spending pools/harsh taxes based off of previous W/L record right? Interesting concept for sure.

1:09
Eric A Longenhagen: I don’t ‘have a proposed system drawn up in a word doc on my laptop or anything, I’m just opposed to what MLB is trying to do internationally as is literally everyone in the game I’ve spoken to about it.

1:10
Ted: The Cub pitching prospect with the highest ceiling not named D. Cease is ________ ?

1:10
Eric A Longenhagen: Either Bryan Hudson or Oscar De La Cruz

1:11
Mike C: Where do you rank Rutherford among the 2016 OF’s that were drafted?

1:12
Eric A Longenhagen: Among preps #2 behind Moniak, if college bats included then prob #3 with Lewis slotting ahead of him. Ray close, too. Gets tougher when you add the college guys.

1:12
Tits Mcgee: Heard aramis ademan looked real good stateside. Did u get a look?

1:12
Eric A Longenhagen: I have and yes, excited to see him here full time next year.

1:12
Mort: What do you think of Marcos molina

1:13
Eric A Longenhagen: 92-95 has touched 96. Good athlete, body, flexibility. I’ve seen a cutter, slider, curveball and changeup and think the slider is plus, change could be with time. Not sure if he has starter’s command but the stuff is great.

1:14
Michael: How do you see Kyle Holder? Great fielder, but can he hit?

1:14
Eric A Longenhagen: I did not think he would hit when i saw him with SD but haven’t seen him in pro ball.

1:15
Adam: Which farm system would you say currently has the best batch of future relievers?

1:15
Eric A Longenhagen: Weird but cool question. Give me a second to think about that one…

1:16
Eric A Longenhagen: Colorado

1:16
Anthony: What are your thoughts on Jarlin Garcia

1:17
Eric A Longenhagen: 92-95 with a head whack, plus change, fringe slider and curveball. Probably a reliever.

1:17
Andy: Speaking of the Cape, why isn’t the Northwoods taken more seriously among scouts? Too many non-prospects playing?

1:18
Eric A Longenhagen: Scouts who have it as part of their coverage take it very seriously it’s just under-reported because it’s the NIT of summer leagues