Moderator: J.J. Cooper will answer your prospect questions beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Elliott (Portland, OR): How much longer do the Rockies let their million dollar investment sit out from games? Just fine him and get it over with already. Man, I really hate that organization.
J.J. Cooper: Hey everyone. We’ll get this started with a David Dahl question, someone who was definitely not going to make the Hot Sheet after being demoted one game into the season. As far as Dahl he’s not actually sitting out games, he’s just playing them in extended spring training. One can argue he’s not nearly as tested there as he would be facing low Class A pitchers, but this isn’t a case of playing/not playing. I would expect he’ll be back in Asheville before too long and that this won’t really have a long-term impact on his development.
chase (chicago): where is the man among boys section
J.J. Cooper: We retooled the Hot Sheet a little this year to try to get it in your hands a little faster. Blast From the Past had gotten a little tired (how many times can we honor Mike Hessman?) and Man Among Boys some weeks had to be forced a little bit.
Greg (ohio): How about Cingrani throwing a cutter if slider still inconsistent?
J.J. Cooper: Always an option down the road, but no need to do that yet. He’s yet to hit a level where the hitters are telling him he needs to do something different. No real reason yet to change what’s been working.
Tony (MN): Did Rafael De Paula get any consideration? His ERA isn't pretty, but 16 K in 6.1 IP for his stateside debut is pretty hard to ignore.
J.J. Cooper: It’s hard to ignore and if it had come with an ERA under 5.00, it would have made a case for the Hot Sheet, but he did give up 11 baserunners in 6 IP, so he came by his bad ERA honestly. It’s just great to see him finally at a level where he’s getting a chance to develop instead of simply overpowering overmatched hitters.
David Yuen (Portland, OR): After Jorge Soler's incident it has been mentioned that he has been dealing with emotional issues. Does he still have family in Cuba? If so, are they, or the family of any recent defectors, facing any repercusions of player defection?
J.J. Cooper: I haven’t heard about families facing repercussions from a player coming to the U.S., but there is always an understandable feeling of isolation. Travel restrictions for players to go back to Cuba are starting to loosen, but the reality is still that a player coming from Cuba to the U.S. knows he may not see his family for years. That’s tough to take.
Harvey T (St Louis): I know he's young, but any chance Addisson Russell sees Oakland next season?
J.J. Cooper: It’s not out of the question, especially late next year as he’s already in high Class A. Of course the first thing is he needs to get healthy so he can rack up the ABs he needs.
Peter (Toronto): Was Jorge Soler left off the list due to the incident the other night?
J.J. Cooper: Yeah. Good enough week to make the Hot Sheet, but we think the “can’t make the Hot Sheet the same week your suspended for a bat wielding incident” is a good rule.
Steve (California): Any thought of including Nimmo or d'Arnaud on the Hot Sheet this week?
J.J. Cooper: Nimmo was in consideration more than d’Arnaud. D’Arnaud’s week was nice, but not really Hot Sheet worthy in a week where 150+ players posted 1.000 OPS or better. And many of them were playing in less hitter-happy environments.
Steve (California): Kevin Plawecki is off to a very hot start for Savannah....any thoughts of including him?
J.J. Cooper: Thought about it for a little while. Working against him was the fact that he’s a tick old for the Sally League, but the Mets like to take it slow with their draft picks. He still looks to be most likely a backup catcher at the big league level, but he is an intriguing guy to watch.
Donn (Southern CA): Any updates to how Sheffield's TJ surgery went? Do you think a club will still draft and pay him like Angels did Nick Adenhart? Is Vandy just to hard to walk away from?
J.J. Cooper: Hard to walk away from Vandy and with the new draft rules, it’s hard to see a team breaking the bank to try to convince Sheffield to give up the scholarship. Giolito was considered a candidate to go No. 1 overall pre-injury. No one was saying that about Sheffield.
Jeff (Houston): Do you think it's a mistake for the Astros to leave a guy like Folty in a place like Lancaster? How much good can really come from pitching there?
J.J. Cooper: If you can survive Lancaster, pitching anywhere else will seem like child’s play in comparison. That being said, it’s often hard to accept as a pitcher than a 4.50 ERA can mean you pitched very well, and that there are night’s where getting knocked out in the third inning may be unavoidable. That’s the problem of having an affiliate in Lancaster or High Desert. Going back to low Class A would do nothing for Foltynewicz and a jump to Double-A might be asking too much for him. It’s a no-win situation.
Tony (MN): Wouldn't Rafael De Paula be an easy choice for Man Among Boys? 22 year old with 16 K in 6.1 IP in Lo-A.
J.J. Cooper: And nearly two baserunners an inning. He hasn’t mastered that level yet.
Steve (California): Is Billy Hamilton a boom or bust guy? As in, if he hits enough he'll be a star because of his speed; if he doesn't, he'll be a glorified pinch runner?
J.J. Cooper: I think the floor for him is better than that. At worst, he’s a useful utility guy who can pinch run, play all 3 OF positions, SS and 2B. That’s not nearly as much as what you hope to have from him if you’re the Reds, but I think even if he is one of those guys who has the bat knocked out of his hands (and I don’t think that will be the case) he’ll do enough to earn a roster spot.
dave (erie pa): is tyler naquin shin soo choo comp fair?
J.J. Cooper: Interesting. That’s not a bad best-case scenario comp for him. Sweet swing, not a whole lot of power, but should get on base. Faces questions about whether he can handle CF long term.
Cal Guy (Cal): Not on the Hot Sheet but, Rendon played 2B the other day and then was back at 3B the next game. Any plans for a more extended look at 2B?
J.J. Cooper: Nationals told me right before the season began that they want him to get majority of ABs at 3B, but he will play elsewhere throughout the season. The plan is to move him around both for his versatility and also so that Matt Skole can play some third base, since he’s limited to first base on the days Rendon is at third.
Ben (Leland Grove): Any cause for concern yet with regards to Bubba Starling?
J.J. Cooper: Absolutely. There was cause for concern last year when he was in the Appy League. It’s one week, so the .077/.143/.077 line is more of a rough week than a reason to go to Defcon 1 panic, but Starling is still vulnerable to the same things that could get him out in Burlington last year. All the power and athleticism he has isn’t going to matter if he can’t figure out how to square the ball up more often.
William (DC): What are your thoughts on the starting rotation for the San Jose Giants? From a minor league perspective, it seems stacked...Crick, Blackburn, Escobar, Mejia and Stratton. Any change of opinion on Blackburn, given his recent starts?
J.J. Cooper: It is a very stacked rotation, one of the better ones in the minors. No real change of opinion on Blackburn because of two good starts. He’s still a potential solid No. 4 starter if it all comes together for him.
Cal Guy (Cal): ETA on Lindor, and could he have a Renteria-like career?
J.J. Cooper: He’s the second-youngest player in the Carolina League, so there’s no reason to think he won’t spend most of the year there barring him absolutely destroying the league. Maybe a Sept. callup in 2014? Renteria’s a very lofty goal for any young shortstop, but since you ask “could he have a Renteria-like career?” Absolutely. That’s within the range of reasonable possibilities for Lindor, who has speed, plus defense and a good swing from both sides of the plate.
Matt (Madison): Struggles for Cloyd were to be expected, but between Spring and his first two starts Pettibone has not looked good. Is a #4 ceiling stretching it right now?
J.J. Cooper: He’s had a bad start, that doesn’t change his ultimate ceiling. Guys like Pettibone often have adjustments to make because they are teetering on a fine line between success and being rocked. When you don’t have overpowering stuff, you’re always trying to stay one step ahead of the hitters. In his first start this year, Pettibone wasn’t a step ahead.
Sylvan (Brooklyn): Given all the angst over the effect of extreme parks on player development, do teams ever try to cajole their affiliates into moving the walls in or out? Or is this just not a big concern except to prospect hounds?
J.J. Cooper: Moving the walls doesn’t make all that much difference in an extreme park situation as it often is just the difference between a lot of doubles and triples and a lot of home runs. When the wind is blowing out in High Desert or Lancaster, you could turn CF into a Polo Grounds’ 450 feet and all it means is you’d turn regular home runs into inside-the-parkers.
Cal Guy (Cal): How would you rank the following as projected pros: Cole, A. Bradley, and Walker?
J.J. Cooper: As big leaguers? Floor: Cole, Walker, Bradley
Ceiling: Cole, Walker, Bradley.
Likelihood of reaching ceiling?: Walker, Bradley, Cole.
Don (Redding, CA): "Did _____ get consideration for the this list?" Do you hate this reoccurring question? .....NO, he wasn't good enough. Get over it! It's just one list (a long one too none the less)among many others. Why read too much into the BA hot sheet list?????????
J.J. Cooper: Understand people want to know why their team’s prospect didn’t make the list. Can get repetitive, but really I know that people are generally trying to ask “what was your thought process for leaving my guy off the list.”
Roger (Greenville, SC): Cory Spangenberg has had a good start, with 8 SB in 34 PA. Should we chalk last year up to the concussion?
J.J. Cooper: Nine steals now to lead the minors which has to get Billy Hamilton fired up. It’s one week so I’m not ready to say that all of last year’s struggles are behind him. To be honest a .737 OPS in a week at Rancho Cucamonga and Lancaster isn’t exactly destroying the baseball. It’s a nice week, but really besides the steals Spangenberg was pretty much hitting around the league average this week.
Josh (Texas): What consideration did Matt Wisler get? Couldn't you just do a 7a and 7b for Ross and Wisler?
J.J. Cooper: He wasn’t far off. That’s a great pitching staff to sit on for a week. See great arms night after night after night.
Josh (Texas): Everett Williams has had a nice start to the season. Do you see a full, healthy year vaulting him back to relevance?
J.J. Cooper: Sorry to be the skeptic, but he posted a sub .300 OBP in the California League last year with way too many strikeouts for a hitter with limited power. A good week or a good month isn’t going to vault him back onto prospect lists yet. There is plenty of existing data fueling some healthy skepticism.
David (NY): Most impressive pitching debut at new level (non-Montero) for Mets? Thinking maybe Mateo or Ynoa?
J.J. Cooper: Mateo. He was in serious consideration to at least make the team photo. Very nice first outing after a healthy jump up in level of competition.
Jim C (Pittsburgh): Where do you think Evan Gattis settles in at? 250-300 ABs in Atlanta, or in AAA.
J.J. Cooper: If you’re a guy trying to break in with a big league club, the first two weeks there can make a big difference in how long you get to stick around. A bad first two weeks for Gattis could have seen him being sent back down when McCann returns. Now with the first couple of weeks he’s had, he’s likely earned himself a more comfortable spot in Atlanta. I’d guess on 200-250 ABs in Atlanta.
Michael (Brooklyn, NY): Any chance if injuries pile up that Mets bring Rafael Montero to the bigs? Looks like he could be a decent 4 or 5 starter.
J.J. Cooper: Let’s slow down a minute. I know the Marlins just rocketed Jose Fernandez to the big leagues, but that’s a rare case. Montero has two starts in Double-A and only 10 pro starts above low Class A right now. A full season in Double-A is probably best for his development.
Steve (California): I understand completely on d'Arnaud....I just love seeing a 7:4 BB:K ratio to open a season for a guy's who's major weakness was supposed to be plate discipline.
J.J. Cooper: It’s been a good first week for him. But the big thing with D’Arnaud is to get through the season fully healthy. That’s been his biggest challenge.
MJ (Indiana): Any more details about the demotion of David Dahl? Seems Rockies' brass would have to be pretty disappointed in him to send him down so quickly. Will he back in full-season ball shortly?
J.J. Cooper: The Rockies are one of the clubs that really emphasizes makeup and doing things the right way in the minors so it very well could just be that they wanted to teach him a lesson for missing the flight. Twenty years ago these things happened and we didn’t hear as much about it because we were in the pre-Internet age. I expect he will be back before too long.
Michael (Brooklyn, NY): Do you think that St. Lucie's rotation (DeGrom, Syndergaard, Tapia, Mateo and soon Fulmer) may end up being the best 1st half rotation in the minors?
J.J. Cooper: No. It’s good, but would rather have Durham’s (Archer, Odorizzi, Colome among others), Tacoma’s (Hultzen, Paxton and now Maurer) and Fort Wayne (Ross, Fried, Weickel) to name three.
J.J. Cooper: Hey everyone. Thanks for all the questions and thanks for all the interest in the Hot Sheet. We’re glad to be able to bring it to you every week.