Moderator: Baseball America’s Josh Norris will be here at 2 p.m. EST to chat about this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet.
Josh Norris: Good afternoon. It’s a lovely day, the minor league season is winding down for another year, and now it’s time to chat about prospects. Let’s go.
Aaron Dorman (Casino Queen): Looking back, who was the most exciting MILB player you saw play this year?
Josh Norris: This is a great question, and I’ve certainly seen a great deal of games and players this year between college, showcases and the minors. Joey Gallo was certainly up there because of his sheer raw power, but I knew what to expect going in. With that in mind, I’ll say Tim Anderson. I’d only seen him a little before, but he put on a show earlier this year at Winston-Salem hitting balls with authority to all sectors, and showing athleticism in the field and on the bases. He’s rehabbing an a fractured wrist right now, but should be back if the Dash make the playoffs and could head to the Arizona Fall League.
JP Starkey (Rection, CT): As the season is coming to a close, who is your favorite to win MILB player of the year?
Josh Norris: For me, it’s Kris Bryant. Joey Gallo has an argument, but Bryant has been outstanding for Day One to Day One Hundred.
LaBella & LeRoy, etc. (Gorilla Pit): What do we make of Peter O'Brien? He was killing the ball, but ever since the trade he has kind of stalled out.
Josh Norris: He hasn’t really stalled out. Has been on the DL for the last couple of weeks. Only got four games or so with Mobile.
Kyle (Miami, FL): Despite his lost season, would you consider Buxton to be baseball's #1 prospect, or has Bryant passed him?
Josh Norris: We ranked him at No. 1 in our midseason update, and I’d keep him there.
Harhay, Grantham, Bozzi, LLC (CT): Any chance we see Norris in Toronto, out of the pen come September?
Josh Norris: Based on the they’ve moved him so quickly, I think that’s the way it’s trending.
Susan Grantham (UHA): What do you think of Baez's first crack of chicago, what we predicted? High Strikeout, High Power?
Josh Norris: Oh yeah. He’s gonna swing and miss a lot, and hit a lot of balls very hard. This is the Javier Baez playbook for sure.
Josh Norris: Meanwhile, I just mentioned that Tim Anderson could be with the Dash for a playoff run. Wrong. He just got promoted to Double-A Birmingham.
Frank (Queens, NY): We hear a lot about Syndergaard and the countdown to his callup, but what about Matt Bowman? Did he get any votes to make this week's Hot Sheet, and what are your thoughts on him in general?
Josh Norris: First, there is no voting involved in Hot Sheet. Second, I saw Bowman a couple of weeks ago in Richmond, and he was generally unspectacular. Threw strikes with four pitches, worked quickly, but no real plusses in the repertoire. If he doesn’t hit his spots, he’ll get hit.
Mike (Virginia): What were your first impressions after seeing Manny Margot the other night?
Josh Norris: I got a very bad look at him. He was overaggressive at the dish at times, took some ugly hacks at others, and loafed his way into an out on the bases. Short, catchable fly to shallow right, it dropped. He jogged to first, then when it dropped he kicked it into gear toward second but was out.
Dan (Rochester NY): Is my city going to see Sano or Buxton next year, or double-a for both?
Josh Norris: I think you’ll get a look at both at some point next year.
Jeremy (Minnesota): Do you think Buxton and Sano are suspects, not prospects? They are tremendously overrated.
Josh Norris: This is categorically false. Both are among the best prospects in the sport.
Mike (Virginia): Who has more upside: Henry Owens or Eduardo Rodriguez?
Josh Norris: I’m going to go with Rodriguez here. I got a very good look at him the other day in Richmond, and what I saw was very good. A good hard fastball up to 96 mph with excellent plane and life coupled with a sharp slider and a solid changeup. He was aggressive in the zone and on the inner half. Owens is good, but there are questions about the quality of his breaking ball and his ability to command the fastball within the zone.
Ryan (Minnesota): Why BA writers are high on Jose Berrios? He is a undersized pitcher and fly-ball pitcher.
Josh Norris: Because we people talk to about him have positive things to say and he’s put up the numbers to match.
Kevin (New York): Josh, are scouts still high on Maikel Franco?
Josh Norris: Last I talked to them about him, yes. He’s 21 and in Triple-A. It’s going to take time for sure, but there are still questions about his approach.
Shannon S. (Shea's): What prospect on this hot sheet will have the biggest impact on the stretch run?
Josh Norris: Just looking at this week’s sheet, I’d say it’s probably Taijuan Walker and Andrew Heaney, just because their teams are closest to being in the hunt for a playoff spot. Mariners are 1/2 game out of the second wild card spot, and the Fish are just four back. Side note: I love the second wild card.
S D'eh (Cali Chrome): So far who is this years most disappointing player(s)?
Josh Norris: I’d say that’s Mark Appel by a longshot. Historically bad results for a No. 1 overall pick.
Jake L. (The Gateway Arch): Should I be worried about the Cubs in a year or two, as a Cardinals fan?
Josh Norris: Very much so. Their collection of talent is unrivaled throughout the sport.
Jake L. (Dewing the Dew): Sup?
Josh Norris: Just chatting about ball. You?
Brett (Brigantine): Will Dilson Herrera be ready to make the jump to the big leagues start of next year? Or does he still need another half season of seasoning before being called up?
Josh Norris: I think Daniel Murphy is still your second baseman come next year. He’s not a free agent until after next year, and Herrera could use some more seasoning.
Frank (Neilsvill): Who do you think are the best future closers in the majors/minors?
Josh Norris: I’m a big fan of Kenny Giles as a future closer in Philly. Derek Law with San Francisco has a mid-90s heater and a hammer breaking ball. Hunter Strickland with San Francisco was up to 99 when I saw him with a solid slider.
P "Tulip" Tullar (Bishop, Canada): How can the president of the Phillies say Amaro's job is not on the hot seat? When is the last time the RAJ did something good for Philly?
Josh Norris: Regardless of his performance as a GM, I think it’s just bad form for an owner to come and say publicly that the GM could be fired, regardless of what he actually believes.
Ben (TX): Nice to see Norris #1 this week. Is their another team in baseball that has 3 young pitchers with the ceiling of Norris, Sanchez and Hoffman? That does not even include names like Stroman and Hutchison in the ML or Osuna and Reid-Foley in the minors. Thanks.
Josh Norris: That’s a pretty good trio, for sure. The Rockies have a nice trio in Gray, Butler and Freeland. That group might stack up with Toronto.
mike miller (harrison nj): who is responsible for teaching the batting stance with hands held high above the shoulder? It is killing batting averages! Old TIme Greats held the bat head near the strike zone where the ball comes. Hold Hands Low! ty ty ty
Josh Norris: There’s always a coach out there on the Internet. Always.
Sean (Mass): Of all the top prospects , who can you see opening 2015 in the majors and contributing the most consistently?
Josh Norris: I could see Kris Bryant filling this role.
T. Bilodeau (Levine, NY): As a Red Sox fan, what should I think about the Castillo signing? I know he is not on the Hot Sheet, but wow!
Josh Norris: You should be excited. Your player development group is very good. He’s an excellent addition to an already enviable group of prospects.
Shannon Starkey ("Potato"ville): what's your favorite ballpark to watch a game at this time of the year?
Josh Norris: Around here, I’m partial to Winston-Salem. It’s a great park, sparkly new and shiny. The 90-minute drive is a little taxing, but the view and background are perfect for video work.
J "Honey" Hamlin (Perryman, Texas): Do scouts favor the hit or power tool more? It seems that players with power can learn to hit but have a larger fail rate, but those that can hit but have no power never really go anywhere unless you are playing a position up the middle.
Josh Norris: Big power from a hitter is a lot like big velocity from a pitcher. If you have it, you’re going to get a lot more chances than someone with more pedestrian skills.
Scollard Greens (Tubby, RI): How come the nats have not promoted Giolito to AA this year, yet?
Josh Norris: Well, they haven’t promoted him to high Class A yet, either, so there’s that.
Scollard Greens (Tubby, CT): whats your all-time favorite ballpark food?
Josh Norris: Believe it or not, I don’t eat ballpark food all that much, but … I will say this: When I covered Trenton my favorite food there was Cal Ripken brand beef jerky. There were three flavors and I loved them all. Sadly, and predictably because my taste in food is weird (I like salsa on popcorn and matzo and I don’t eat cheese), Cal Ripken jerky seems to have gone the way of the Dodo and Carly Rae Jepsen.
J "Honey" Hamlin (Perryman, Texas): How long will it take before we run though this era of pitchers getting TJ so early in life, obviously some of the effects started in HS, so now that everyone is aware can we expect better advice for developing arms to reduce injuries in the next 5 years or so?
Josh Norris: I don’t think anybody has any concrete idea of how to stop this wave of Tommy John surgeries. There doesn’t seem to be one overlying variable. Heck, it’s not even just a pitching thing anymore — Miguel Sano, Matt Wieters, Mac Williamson.
Yahtzee! (Levine, NY): What prospect on this week's list has the loudest hit tool?
Josh Norris: Addison Russell
Josh Norris: All right, folks, that’s it for me today. Thanks for all the questions. Someone will chat with you next week.