Ben Badler: The Hot Sheet is back. I’m going to see two
first-round picks from the 2010 draft later tonight. Let’s squeeze in some baseball talk in the meantime.
- Alex (Dallas): No Royals?!?!?! But really, thoughts on Moustakas, and Lamb's struggles? Rey Navarro for Helium watch?
Ben Badler: Does seem a little strange to kick off the Hot Sheet without a Royal, doesn’t it? Lamb’s had some problem throwing strikes early, but I think he’ll be fine, as will Moustakas. My only concern with Moustakas is that if people expect him to by in KC by the all-star break and making an impact at the big league level, they’re going to be disappointed, because his pitch selection is still an issue and I’d expect his transition to the next level to take some time. As for Navarro, it’s a nice start, but I need to see more before I believe in his bat being for real.
- Frankie (Pittsburgh): Did Wily Peralta get any consideration for the list? thanks Ben
Ben Badler: A final cut. He wasn’t facing the most daunting lineups, but when he’s right, he’s got solid-average or better stuff across the board. With the shape the Brewers’ farm system is in and my lack of faith in Mark Rogers becoming anything more than a serviceable reliever at best, you could make a good case for Peralta being the best arm in that system.
- Keith (Tennessee): Mesoraco looks ready for the show. Do you see the Reds moving Ramon Hernandez to make room for him?
Ben Badler: I think he’s very, very close to being big league ready, I’m just not sure if the Reds will bring up a rookie catcher to supplant a veteran in the midst of what should be a post-season run. We saw it last year with Buster Posey, who was just a special talent, but I could see a manager being reluctant to make the move. If he’s killing it to a .900 OPS through June though, yeah, I’d bring him up if it were up to me.
- MJ (Chicago): Is Darwin Barney really good enough to win the starting second base job for the Cubs? Will he be able to hit .300 this season?
Ben Badler: I think he’s bound to come back to Earth soon. Not a guy who’s going to strike out too much so he could hit .300,
but he’s not a power guy and he hits the ball on the ground a ton, so he has to rely on a lot of those balls sneaking through the infield for hits. More of a bottom of the order hitter, for me.
- Brent (Appleton): So what's the over/under on Brett Lawrie surviving, let's say, five seasons at 3B in the majors?
Ben Badler: I know some scouts who saw him in spring training who thought he looked better at third base than he ever did at second, but I’m not keen on putting too much stock into spring reports. His athleticism and his arm aren’t in question, but the hands, the ability to read hops, the internal clock that an infielder needs to have
aren’t easy to bring along. My bet is he ends up in right field very quickly.
- David (Toronto): Is Michael Taylor still a decent prospect. Is there any hope for him ever have a significant role with the A's?
Ben Badler: I still hold out hope for him, if he can play healthy. I know in in the minority with that answer, though.
- David (Toronto): Long term solution at 3B in Chicago, Viceido or Morel...and who has more upside?
Ben Badler: Morel. Nothing flashy, just a solid all-around guy. I don’t know where Viciedo’s future is, but he doesn’t have the defensive skill for third base and his complete lack of pitch recognition doesn’t play too well at first base or DH either.
- H. Levine (The Dancefloor): Tough break on Oscar Taveras' hamstring, but two home runs in 12 at bats for the 18 year old in the MWL? Does that REALLY small sample size reveal anything that the Cards may have a legit prospect there?
Ben Badler: Very disappointing injury, although not one
I’d expect to keep him out long or hamper him much going forward. Definitely a possibly breakout guy, not sure he has any carrying tools but a solid guy across the board who can do a bit of everything.
- JAYPERS (IL): What's your early assessment of Harper thus far?
Ben Badler: Same as before the season started. World-class talent that’s going to come with some strikeouts early in his career, but he’s essentially playing his senior year of HS in Low-A.
There are only a handful of kids on the planet who could handle that, and he’s one of them.
- MJ (Chicago): Moustakas is off to a bad start with a terrible 1 walk to 8 k's. He seems like he is going to end up being a low on base guy who hits for good power. Does that sound about right?
Ben Badler: I don’t think anyone should expect him to be a HIGH on-base guy because he’s never going to walk a lot, but the majority of your OBP comes from hits, not walks, and Moustakas should be
OK there. He’s got plus-plus power but he doesn’t pack the strikeouts along with it because he’s got a great, efficient swing and can use his bat speed and strength to drive the ball. If he can keep his average up,
he’ll be fine, and the power will be where he gets a lot of his value from.
- MJ (Chicago): No love for David Sappelt? The Reds have a crowded outfield, any chance Sappelt gets a chance and wins a job?
Ben Badler: Not going to be a star, but I think he fits
in somewhere along that fourth OF/occasional starter role, whether it’s
with Cincinnati or another team with a better fit for him to play.
- Justin (Cali): Your thoughts on Jays P prospect Aaron Sanchez and his potential?
Ben Badler: Love the upside. Has all the ingredients you can ask for in a pitcher just out of high school.
- Alex (Toronto): Rank them in order....
JP Arencibia, Travis d'Arnaud, Carlos Perez.
Ben Badler: d’Arnaud, Perez, Arencibia, but Perez has the most upside of that group.
- James (Dallas): Thoughts on Martin Perez. Should we expect awesomeness with consistency? What could he be with that combination
Ben Badler: The early returns were great with reports of him getting into the mid-90s with his fastball, which wasn’t always the case last year. He’s not a large-frame guy, but if he can hold that kind of stuff over the course of the season (and I think he can, at least eventually), that’s a frontline No. 1 or No. 2 starter.
- Ben (Leland Grove): Was Swagerty one of your final cuts? What does he best project as - SP or RP?
Ben Badler: Absolutely a final cut, very impressive start between all the strikeouts and groundballs he’s gotten early on. I
know a lot of the scouting community thinks he’s a reliever, but at this stage I think you have to let him start until he shows he has to be
moved to a relief role.
- Matt (Whippleville, NY): With Jenrry Mejia off to a solid start and the Mets' pitching abysmal, do you think the Mets FO will stick to their guns and keep Mejia in AAA all year, or do you think they'll promote him?
Ben Badler: Given the unlikely chance the Mets contend for the playoffs this year, I think they leave Mejia in Triple-A as long
as possible. Guy has a tremendous, tremendous fastball, but he needs to
be throwing more than 100 innings in a season and have the freedom to work on his offspeed stuff and command of a fastball that darts all over
the place, and the best place for him to do that is in Buffalo.
- Chris B. (Delta, BC): Who are the two first-rounders you're gonna see tonight?
Ben Badler: Manny Machado and Christian Yelich, assuming they’re both in the lineup.
- Elliot (Youngstown OH): How do you like Lonnie Chisenhall's debut in Columbus ? Lots of xb hits.
Ben Badler: Yup, the guy can flat-out hit. And I think he’s going to surprise people with those extra-base hits now that his shoulder is healthy. It’s not Moustakas-type power, but I’m counting on 20-25 home runs this year.
- Joseph (Bozeman, MT): Is the prospect hot sheet
graded on the curve? If so, was there any consideration for Gorkys Hernandez. An .810 OPS for him pretty much translates to about a 1.800 OPS for a Jerry Sands or Jesus Montero, doesn't it?
Ben Badler: It’s a balance of performance, age, position, prospecty-ness, but I’ll say there are scouts who’ve seen Hernandez this year who say he’s made strides with his swing. It’s Gold Glove defense, but cutting down on the length of his swing has been a problem for him back to his Tigers and Braves days. I want to see him keep this up for more than a week, but there’s definitely a chance he’s in store for a real breakout.
- John (Houston, TX): Rank these Catching Prospects - Montero, Mesoraco, Rosario,
Ben Badler: I like that order, though with the oft-repeated caveat that Montero isn’t any lock to stick behind the plate.
- eastin (Louisiana): Is Goldschmidt for real? He's killed the ball throughout his minor league career and had a very nice(though small sample size) spring training this year.
Ben Badler: I saw him his first series at Carolina when
he was on that tear, and there’s some thing to like, but he’s still going to have to shake the “mistake hitter” tag from scouts. He sets up wide, stays back well and he can drive the ball to all fields. No questions about the power. He struggled some though when pitchers elevated stuff up on him and they got him to chase some offspeed stuff out of the zone, so I think he’s still going to have to prove he can make more contact against advanced pitchers.
- Mike (Wilmington): How good could this Wilmington staff be? Arguelles, Melville and Odorizzi all looked sharp in their last outing. Will Arguelles regain his velocity?
Ben Badler: It’s a good one, although Odorizzi might be
advanced enough that I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in Double-A by midseason. Arguelles is a huge question mark. Shoulder injuries tend to zap velocity and he’s not going to be getting too many guys out going forward with the velo he’s showing now, but I think we have to wait until later this summer to see how he’s throwing given that he, you know, hasn’t pitched in what seems like forever.
- Tom (Des Peres, MO): What will Jerry Sands need
to accomplish to get more respect from the prospect community? Big numbers last year, were discounted as he was old for high A. Now he gets dinged for hitting in Albq. Seems one of the better prospects with
a direct path to the big leagues with LAD problems in LF and Loney's poor start.
Ben Badler: Well, he did make the Hot Sheet, right? There’s a lot of Jerry Sands fans in the office, not necessarily as a superstar in the making, but definitely a guy who could be a solid to above-average regular. Lord knows the Dodgers could use him with the lineup they’re putting out there right now.
- Phil (Boston): Long term success - Cole or Kyle Drabek?
Ben Badler: Drabek. The cutter he’s learned is absolutely filthy. He’s going to walk his share of guys this year, but once he learns how to command his two-seamer and his cutter, that’s at least No. 2 starter potential.
- Phred (Lex, KY): Yorman Rodriguez has 2 HR so far...Too soon to call him the next Carlos Beltran?
Ben Badler: Beltran was a much more advanced player at the same age, and I’ve never heard a scout compare Yorman to Beltran. Yorman has a lot of tools but he’s a lot more raw at the plate. There’s a
lot of scouts skeptical about his bat, so I’d like to see him hit for a
full season before getting too excited there.
- Chris B. (Delta, BC): If you're the Pirates, who do you take 1-1?
Ben Badler: I’m minor league prospects and international only (only 11 more weeks until July 2), so I’d pick whoever Jim Callis and co. say is the best player, which right now is Anthony Rendon.
- Rob (Chicago): How good is Jean Segura? Is he one of the best middle infielders in the minors?
Ben Badler: Absolutely. Great tools on both sides of the ball with all-star potential.
- Paul (Atlanta, GA): I was very impressed with Jacob Petricka's debut for Kannapolis. What's the rundown on him?
Ben Badler: Great debut but I wouldn’t read too much into it. With his fastball he should be dominating Low-A.
- Al (NYC): Is Sands a better player right now than any of the 1B/LF options currently in LA?
Ben Badler: It’s close, but I would rather keep him in Triple-A to get the extra developmental opportunities before bringing him up later in the year.
- Mikey (Chicagoland): Whats the difference between Zack Stewart & Drabek?
Ben Badler: Drabek is younger and does almost everything better: four-seamer, even two-seamer, cutter, I’d take his curveball over Stewart’s slider, and his changeup has more upside too.
- David (Toronto): How far away is Wil Myers from contributing to the Royals lineup?
Ben Badler: I’d bet on mid-2012.
- Jesse (Cleveland): Will Drew Pomeranz be a top 20 prospect by the end of the year?
Ben Badler: I certainly think he has that potential.
- Ryan (Dallas): With Clint Robinson's hot start and Kila's slow start, could Robinson possibly be the first Omaha prospect called up to KC?
Ben Badler: If they panic, maybe, but I’d be more inclined to give Kila a full season of at-bats.
- Cory (Minnesota): Did Joe Benson get any consideration, looks like he is off to a nice start this year? What do see for his projection?
Ben Badler: Got some consideration as a late cut. I’m a
believer in the tools and what he can bring to the table with his defense and his power, with just enough contact to make it work. Something along the lines of Mike Cameron, in a perfect world.
- Daniel (Mcallen, tx): Hi, thanks for the chat. What about Dee Gordon? he had a very good week, and with furcal injured how long do we have to wait until he reachs Majors? Thanks,
Ben Badler: Obviously a good prospect, just don’t think
he’s ready yet on either side of the ball and needs to get a lot stronger. You can’t have a guy, even at shortstop, slugging under .350, which is what I fear he’d do if he were called up tomorrow.
- Josh (Albany): Matt Harvey is a horse. He has good bloodlines to be a good closer. Do you think he gets converted to reliever/closer? Does he have a chance to make the show this year?
Ben Badler: I think the days of the Mets pushing their best starting pitching prospects like Jenrry Mejia to the bullpen are over, so no, I think Harvey is a starter and has the potential to be a front-end guy in their rotation. He won’t be there next year, but I don’t think 2012 is out of the question.
- Lorne (Toronto): Biggest suprise (Good and Bad) you've noticed this season, even though its still very early.
Ben Badler: Starting with the bad, it would have to be Wimmers. Hopefully he can put things together, because everything we’ve heard from his first start was that he was all over the place, with more
pitches going to the backstop than landing for strikes. Josh Vitters’ start has been a pleasant surprise, and he’s done it against some good arms. Joe Savery who we hit on in Blast From The Past this week, certainly wasn’t a guy anyone here was expecting to be leading the minors in hitting right now. On the mound, I think Trevor Rosenthal with
the Cardinals is opening some eyes with his fastball in Low-A and Keyvius Sampson is starting to show why the Padres liked him so much a couple years ago as well.
- Joseph (Boston): Speaking of international prospects, any juicy rumors you've heard? What are the big names?
Ben Badler: We’ll start our July 2 reports for subscribers next month. Love all the demand we’re getting for international amateur prospect reports, but these kids are still 16 and sometimes 15, so we try to be careful with how we do things there to make sure we’re being responsible.
- Brett (Altoona): What do you think of Tony Sanchez's slow start? Is he just not as good of a hitter as we thought?
Ben Badler: He’s played seven games. There’s nothing to be alarmed about.
- Tim (Colorado): At all worried about Tyler Matzek's start, particularly after an underwhelming pro-debut last season?
Ben Badler: I’m not worried about his stuff, but I yes, I’m absolutely worried about his command.
- Joel (KCK): Rough start for Castellanos. There
seemed to be some pretty high expectations for him coming into this season. How do his tools grade out on the 20-80 scale? What's his offensive ceiling? Thanks for the chats!
Ben Badler: Wouldn’t worry too much about a high school
kid from Florida in his first year in the Midwest League. Still see him
as one of the best bats from last year’s draft with potential for a high OBP and 20-25 homers a year
- Casey (Hawaii): Who would you rather have: Hosmer or Chiz? Hosmer sounds like the better prospect but Chiz is a 3B.
Ben Badler: Hosmer. He can’t play third base, but other
than speed, every tool (even arm) grades out better for Hosmer, and his
pitch recognition and plate discipline are more advanced too. He’s going to be a monster.
Ben Badler: Always fun talking baseball with you guys. We’ll be back here again next week, but there’ll be another Callis Chat on Wednesday and we’ll get rolling with our prospect updates next week. Have a safe weekend everyone!