Moderator: Baseball America’s Vincent Lara was here to chat about this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet.
Augustus (Fairbanks, Alaska): Who was the best prospect traded at the trade deadline?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Great question, because the esteemed John Manuel answered it yesterday, right here. http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/ranking-trade-deadline-prospects/ No doubt it was Addison Russell. If you want to be technical and say July 31, then it would be Miami’s Colin Moran.
Mike (Tampa, FL): Could you enlighten us angry Rays fans as to who this Willy Adames kid is, and (if you know) what was going through Friedman's mind at the time when he pulled the trigger on this fire sale?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Ben Badler smartly wrote about Adames about 10 days before the deadline as a great “add-on” player in any deal. According to international guru Badler, Adames’ stock has blown up this year; he’s a good athlete with a quick bat, and a guy who at 18, already drives the ball for gap power and takes his share of walks, though he’ll need to tone down his strikeouts.
Boxy (Toronto): I'm currently last place in a 20 team dynasty league with few bright spots in my future. Can you say something positive about Jesse Winker's outlook so I don't go jump off a cliff?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: He’ll be back next year for sure, if not in late August.
Henry Owens (Pawtucket, RI): Wow, I'm digging the scenery here! Can't wait to start pitching for this team. So tell me, who are you higher on in terms of ceiling between our two newly acquired "E's" - as in, Edwin Escobar and Eduardo Rodriguez?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Seems evaluators are down on both; perhaps Rodriguez slightly? The Giants still liked Escobar very much because of his strike-throwing ability, but obviously not enough to hold onto him; his slow-looking arm at the Futures Game didn’t help. The Orioles felt as though Rodriguez was a long way away and they gave him up for one of the most coveted lefty relievers.
Ben (Indiana): With the acquisition of Allen Craig and Yoenis Cespedes, does Mookie Betts get an opportunity to play next year? Will Bradley Jr, even with his stellar defense, be the odd man out? Seems like Boston took on a bad contract in Craig that will put them in a position to not play their young talent.
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Yeah, it’s a question we were debating yesterday in Chez BA. I don’t see Boston moving Bradley out of center because he’s such a tremendous defender. Craig can play first, Cespedes can go free after 2015 and remember Mookie’s very young. Even if 2015 doesn’t turn out to be the year of Mookie, he’s not far off.
Ben (Leland Grove): Your thoughts on the trade that sent Pete O'Brien to the DBacks? What do you see his role being?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Another hotly debated issue here. Scouts and opposing managers point to all the holes in O’Brien’s swing and his lack of a defensive home. One evaluator said he was adequately defensively at first. But his power is massive. One fair comparison seems to be Shelley Duncan, who was a very effective DH/part-time player for the Indians for a three-year period.
Trevor (Denver): What's your take on Ryan McMahon, a guy merely being helped out by his home park, or truly a guy to be excited about as Rox's fan?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Listen to one scout and he’s a guy the Rockies should be very excited about. This evaluator said McMahon was the real deal, a better prospect than David Dahl and a guy who, even at his age, crushes mistakes. The future relies on Arenado. If Arenado stays, the Rockies can look to move McMahon as a big piece to acquire another big piece.
Frank (Chicago, IL): What are the chances of Gallo getting a September cup of coffee?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Very minimal. It’d be fun, though. He’s not on the 40-man roster yet, so no need to start that clock.
Ben (Indiana): Noah Syndergaard. MLB comparison for basement and ceiling? Does he get called up this year?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: A month and a half ago, I would have said yes. But the Mets don’t lack pitching, especially starting pitching, and Syndergaard is stabilizing at Vegas after an up-and-down season. Make no mistake, he’s a scout’s dream. 6-6, 96-97 with sink, deceptive change.
Ben (Indiana): With the trade deadline past, do you see Joc Pederson being dealt this winter, or do you see anyone bailing the Dodgers out by taking on Kemp, Ethier, or Crawford?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: I really expected he’d go yesterday for Price. That said, I do think the Dodgers’ most prudent action would be to try to find a buyer for Kemp (by paying some of the freight) and finding a place for Pederson in center. The swing-and-miss is a concern, but he’s can play center well enough before eventually moving to left and he’ll be a run-producer.
Shannon S. (Shea's): What up? Surprised that no top 50 prospects were moved at the deadline?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: A little, yep. Especially with players such as Lester, Price and Cespedes moving. But general managers are loathe to part with controllable talent, so it’s take real fortitude to tell your scouting director and his team, ‘you know that guy you drafted and love, well, we’re trading him.’ Remember, though, Addison Russell did get traded, it was just three weeks ago.
Vic31 (Boston): Is it time to get excited about Rafael Devers? What are you guys hearing on his development so far?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Oh yeah. Ben Badler, for example, is very excited about Devers. He’s just 17, but he has a mature approach at the plate and recognizes spin well. He also hangs in well against lefties, another example of advanced feel. He’s far off, but the Red Sox have been impressed with his defense and expect he can be a third baseman.
Mike Papi (Lake County): Am I a College Flash in the Pan, or a legitimate prospect?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Way too soon to say, Papi. No one is giving up after 47 at-bats. He had a streaky junior season after a big sophomore year.
Ben (Indiana): Cubs 2016.... By then will they move a MI or OF for stud pitching prospect?? C WCastillo 1B A.Rizzo 2B A.Alcantara SS S.Castro 3B KBryant RF Soler CF ARussell LF Baez Bench: Vogelbach / Almora / Schwarber
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Not sure I see Addison Russell in the outfield. I would imagine they will leverage their middle-infield gut—and outfield surplus for that matter—into a pitcher or catcher.
Shannon S. (Shea's): Hey there. Big Cardinals fan here. What do you make of the Redbirds' trades? What player in the system can give them a BOOST to the PLAYOFFS?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: They did well, I believe. They took their outfield surplus and added two reliable righthanders who should do well in St. Louis. I would expect Oscar Taveras will move into their lineup and could give them a boost.
Matt (IL): I think it is only fitting that this chat be dedicated to Jim Bowden.
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Hashtag Ralph.
Ruin Tomorrow Jr. (Philadelphia): Gentleman, where is Maikel Franco? He's got the floor of Mike Schmidt. I'd expect to see him on this list after the week he had. Regards, RTJ
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Franco had a great July. It made the season somewhat palatable. But he ended up on the cutting room floor of Hot Sheet, where many a prospect goes. There’s only so much room.
Mick (Chicago): Is Daniel Robertson a capable replacement for Addison Russell as the A's SS of the future?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: He’s not that level of prospect, but he’s a capable shortstop and replaced Russell as the team’s top prospect in our Midseason Prospect Update (Buy it now!). He’s an average runner, however, and long term he faces a position shift.
Ken (Raleigh, NC): What major league team got the best haul in prospects for their trades?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Just based on Russell, it’s the Cubs. Russell and McKinney and personal cheeseball/strikeout king Dan Straily? That’s pretty good for Samardzija and a guy they signed on a one-year deal.
Matt (Houston): What happens to Brady Aiken: 4 year college, junior college, or becoming a free agent? Thanks!
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Remains to be seen, but in my opinion—and just that—I don’t see UCLA in his future. It seems most likely he’ll go to a JC, perhaps in Florida, and re-enter the draft.
Mike (new jersey): Are Aaron Judge, Ian Clarkin and Dante Bichett Jr. good prospects?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Remember the old Meatloaf song, “Two Outta Three Ain’t Bad?” Anyway, Clarkin and Judge, by all accounts, are good prospects. Bichette has done a good job rebuilding his stock by going .279/.360/.424 at Tampa and he’s still just 21, but it seems Eric Jagielo’s surpassed him in the eyes of the organization.
Brad Pitt (Chicago): Is Javier Baez going to get a September call up
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Funny you should ask because we’ll have a “What To Expect” on Baez on Monday. In my opinion, he will. It behooves the Cubs to give him a shot before they embark on an important offseason. He’s playing second base at Triple-A to see if it’s a viable position going forward.
Rich (Solvay): Fantasy question...Micah Johnson (White Sox 2B) or Jose Peraza (Braves 2B)? Thanks
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Long term? That is tough. I’d say Peraza, who has better bat-to-ball skills. I think he’ll make more consistent contact.
Casey (Atlanta): Were you as shocked by the rather meagre return for Price? I mean, worst case for Detroit, they make a deep playoff run this year and if thing go south next, they can deal Price for a similar, if not better package, no?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Yes, a little, but Andrew Friedman’s a lot smarter than I am. I think the Rays’ desire not to trade Price within the division cost them perhaps a “starrier” package, but Franklin does have power and Adames is very well-regarded, if just 18.
Paul (DC): What about the C the Cubs got from ATL? What is his ETA? Late 2017?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Really tough to say; he was a second-rounder just last year. He’s an athletic-enough guy to play a different position and he brings an advanced approach to his at-bats. But again, 2017? Maybe.
Rich (NJ): Do you think the Phils will try to bring Biddle back to Reading/Clearwater this season?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Biddle’s return to a mound this season is really an unknown. More likely, with just a month left, that the Phils will shut him down and let him return fresh next spring.
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Seems like a good question on which to end. Thanks everyone for spending some part of your Friday with BA. Until next time.