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Longenhagen Prospect Chat 7/11
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Eric A Longenhagen
Ferrin asked me this on live radio yesterday and it was like asking me to pick my favorite ice cream flavor on the spot. I said Bregman. More confident that he can play SS than I was pre-draft and I think the uptick in power is sustainable, though probably not to the extreme level we've seen him SLG in the minors.
Are any of the hot AAA bats guys that can help their MLB team this year? (Margot, Renfroe, Winker, Dahl, etc)
Eric A Longenhagen
Probably just Margot, and most of that would be with the glove.
dominic smith finally with some power this year... think there's more to come, or will he be a james loney type
Eric A Longenhagen
I could probably talk for 20 uninterrupted mins about Smith. There's not more power to come in that traditional, physical projection sense (the way there is with Eloy Jimenez or a there was with a 17 year old Sano) where you think the player will grow into more power. Smith's power projection has always been cloudy because he's already a big kid who everyone thought would just learn to create more lift in his swing. I think it's coming and I think he'll hit 18-22ish homers annually.
But every time I see Smith, he looks bigger and bigger and it's getting to the point where I don't have many comps for that body in the big leagues, and that scares me a little bit.
Jack Glasscock's Cup
Clint Frazier has not been promoted intra-year. Does he at least get a taste of AAA in the second half to (hopefully) prepare him for a run at the majors next year?
Eric A Longenhagen
I think so. I think he deserves it. Josh Norris from BA told me a story about Frazier's interest in scouting and learning about his prospect peers, presumably so he's armed with knowledge to destroy them. I really liked that.
What is your process for projecting guys that are so far from the majors and/or are so young?
Eric A Longenhagen
It's almost easier to scout those guys because you're just worried about tools and athleticism rather than the functionality and utility of those tools.
The hard part comes when you say, "Okay, I think this guy is going to have #3 starter stuff and command" and then you have to adjust your FV grade based on risk and that 18 year old you really like becomes a 45 FV on paper.
Hunter Renfroe has had a massive year at AAA, how do you think his game plays out at the big league level?
Eric A Longenhagen
Love the power, think there's more effort to the swing than I'm comfortable with and that he's going to swing and miss a lot.
Big D
Pittsburgh really going to send Bell back down after his nice weekend showing? What do you think about that situation?
Eric A Longenhagen
I think he's going to hit enough to play every day. I also think the weird platoon splits he's shown over the years have me way deeper into his callup piece than I anticipated being and I haven't sent it to editing yet as a result. Seriously, go look at his year-to-year splits, it's really odd.
Is the reason Josh Bell isn't starting 1B for the Pirates because they don't fully trust his glove there?
Eric A Longenhagen
I don't know for sure, but it would give me pause. He was horrendous there initially. It's gotten better but Pitt is fighting for a playoff spot and baseball decision makers are risk averse so I get why they're apprehensive about sending him out there.
Any thoughts on Anthony Banda? I know he got rocked by Moncada in the game itself, but he seems a little under the radar prospect-wise
Eric A Longenhagen
I like the velo and the breaking ball has been better, albeit inconsistently so, this year. But I'm skeptical. He's a fastball/changeup reliever for me, though his success this year at least forced me to revisit that.
Austin Hedges hit two more home runs last night. What exactly is happening here? PCL + SSS mirage, legit improvement with the bat or something in between?
Eric A Longenhagen
There's definitely real improvement here. He's gotten stronger and there's been an uptick in power beyond just what the PCL is doing for him but last I checked he's slugging over .800 and that ain't happening in the big leagues.
I don't think he's suddenly become a middle-of-the-order hitter or anything like that.
Is Daniel Palka a legitimate prospect? What's different between him and AB Walker?
Eric A Longenhagen
Palka: Pull power, swing path is such that he'll need to time everything out in front of him to pull it and create lift. That's hard to do in the big leagues but is easier for LHH like Palka to do because he'll see more RH pitching. Think he's more of a platoon type than a regular but that's a solid prospect.
Walker: The power is crazy but I don't see him making enough contact and it's LF only, though some of the guys at the Futures Game yesterday told me the 20 arm we saw in Fall League has improved.
Fernando Tatis is doing well in AZL so far, hear anything?
Eric A Longenhagen
Saw him again last week. Made some acrobatic plays at SS but he won't stay there long-term. 7 future arm, could be really good defensively at 3B and hit some. I like him, wrote a full report after the trade if you wanna dig that up on the site.
Yadier Alvarez... How's he looked so far?
Eric A Longenhagen
Was up to 100 on Friday night, I posted video on the FG Youtube page from that start. He struggled to throw strikes and I think he and the Dodgers are trying to figure out some stuff with the slider/cutter/curveball combo he's got going on. Breaking stuff has been different every time I've seen him this year.
Chat software is being weird, give me a second to play with this.
Sorry guys, I can't dig up any new questions in my queue. We did 1:15 today, excellent questions two weeks in a row. Hit me up on Twitter if you guys want to and I'll try to respond there. See you back here next week and every week until the end of time.