Prospect Hot Sheet Chat With J.J. Cooper: Aug. 10

Moderator: J.J. Cooper will answer your Hot Sheet questions beginning at 2 p.m. ET.

    Murph (San Diego): Is Rymer Liriano a top 25 prospect? He's really turned it on in AA the past few weeks.

J.J. Cooper: Hey everyone. Thanks for coming out. We’ll
start it off with a Padres question. No, Liriano isn’t a top 25 prospect. I couldn’t find much support from scouts to make him a top 50 prospect for the midseason update, with multiple scouts saying that they
believed his approach would not work well at higher levels. He’s done a
good job of bouncing back and adjusting after a rough July, but there’s
nothing yet there to say that the midseason assessment needs to change significantly.

    Paul (Tampa): It was my understanding that once
    a player has been called up to the Majors, he could no longer qualify for the Hot Sheet. How did Manny become the exception?

J.J. Cooper: Once you are no longer prospect eligible, you can’t be on Hot Sheet (except for Blast From the Past or Man Among Boys). And what you do in the big leagues doesn’t help your case for making the Hot Sheet, but in Machado’s case, he earned the top spot based on what he did in the minors this week before his callup.

    Aaron (Dallas): With Manny Machado being called up... how long before Profar gets the call to Arlington?

J.J. Cooper: One has nothing to do with the other. The Orioles had a gaping hole at third base and decided that Machado is their best option to fill it. The Rangers have one of the best shortstops in the AL, one of the best third baseman in the AL and one of
the best 3B prospects in the game backing up the best 3B in the AL, so there’s not exactly the same need/opportunity for Profar right now. That
doesn’t mean the Rangers won’t call him up in September, but if they do, where will he play?

    Ben (Leland Grove): Why has Michael Wacha been used only in short stints? He's not going to be a RP fulltime, is he? (Please say no.)

J.J. Cooper: No. Just limiting innings for a college pitcher who threw a lot this year. In the past 5 years under the old CBA, Wacha would likely not have thrown at all this season. Zimmer, Stratton and other college first-round picks are on the same plan.

    Ian (Newark, CA): Is there a scouting report posted somewhere on NC State's Carlos Rodon? Thanks.

J.J. Cooper: We’ve written a lot on him: Try http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2011/03/game-report-carlos-rodon-with-video/
and http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/college/awards/freshman-of-the-year/2012/2613644.html
and http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/college/on-campus/2012/2613223.html

    Itto (PR): Will Don Vogelbach be a BA top 100 player at the end of the year?

J.J. Cooper: Probably not. He’s a power-hitting first baseman who has yet to play full-season ball. The margin for error on those kind of guys is pretty small because of the lack of position versatility. I like Vogelbach as a prospect, but he’s likely to have to do it at higher levels to crack the Top 100.

    Tony (St Louis): Who is your absolute favorite impact future southpaw that has not yet reached the majors yet(HS, College, Intl or Minors)?

J.J. Cooper: Rodon. I think he’d have gone 1/1 in the draft this past June if he had been eligible. There are some good lefties in the minors, but the best pitchers in the minors are righthanders (Bundy, Bauer, Cole, Fernandez).

    Mike (Philly): How close was Jameson Taillon to
    making the Hot Sheet? 2 starts this past week, solid numbers, surprised
    he wasn't "In the team photo"

J.J. Cooper: Not all that close. Not many K’s this week
and he had one very good start and one OK one (hit an inning, 3 runs, 1
earned, 2 walks, 3 Ks).

    Chad (Montgomery, AL): Has anyone ever had a season like Delino DeShields is having? Approaching an .850 OPS and 100 steals to go along with 10 homers? Pretty impressive no?

J.J. Cooper: I thought this was Billy Hamilton bait to get me talking about Hamilton’s amazing season, but thinking about it, you’re right. Now you’ve got me wondering if DeShields would have the most home runs by anyone to steal 100 bags if he reaches the century mark. No one in the top 10 in minor league steals had more than 5 home runs in the year they stole 100, so it is pretty unique.

    Steven Alengakis (NYC): If you're the Yankees, would you rather try and re-sign Russell Martin following this season, or take your chances with Austin Romine/Chris Stewart next year?

J.J. Cooper: I think you first look and see what’s available on the free agent market. I don’t think Romine gets the job next year without them trying someone else first.

    DJ (South Florida): Gregory Polanco... The speed, the power, the contact ability... The size! What an intriguing prospect. With his output this year and all those tools, is he a potential top 25 prospect? What's his upside?

J.J. Cooper: I could see putting him in the top 25, but
then, I’m trying to sign up to be the conductor of the Polanco bandwagon. When I started talking to scouts for the midseason Top 50, I’ll be honest, I didn’t have him even on the list of guys to consider, but scouts kept bringing him up. I did a little more digging and really haven’t found anything not to like. He has plus-plus speed, good plate-discipline, some oppo field power already, plays a very good CF with an excellent arm. And he has great makeup from what his coaches say. He’s a stud who should only get better and better.

    Mike (Orlando): Most people say Bogaerts will have to move off of SS, but what's the down side of him playing 2B?

J.J. Cooper: Well 2B has been a position that some scouts view as an injury-prone position. The other question with Bogaerts is whether he’ll fit as a 2B. I know that 2B is becoming more and more offensive, but if Bogaerts moves off of shortstop, it will be because he’s too big and his feet aren’t quick enough for the position. Usually that means a move to third instead of second. Usually shortstops
move to second because of their arm strength or arm slot.

    Manny the Cab driver (Bronx, NY): Does the Tigers RHP Bruce Rondon = Bruce Jenks ????

J.J. Cooper: If you mean he could be a Bobby Jenks type power arm out of the pen, I can buy that.

    bk (Hong kong): I'm a bit confused on Vogelbach's weight. you mentioned in this week's hot prospects that he's
    lost 30lbs since high school. he's listed at 240lbs in the 2011 Draft profile. his BA player card has him at 250lbs. how much does he weigh?

J.J. Cooper: I haven’t heard an exact weight on him recently, and do know that those weights comes from the official statistician, but often teams don’t update them often (for example, Gregory Polanco is still listed at the same 170 he was when he came to the States, he’s at least 195-200 and probably more than that now). The best way to put it is Vogelbach is, was and always will be a big man.

    Brandon (Toronto): In 2009 Mike Trout debuted at #85 on BA's top 100 - two years later he was #3, Jurickson Profar went from #74 after 2010 to a likely #1 or #2 spot after the 2012 season, Oscar Taveras was #74 after 2011 and will likely wind up top 15 after 2012. I realize this is hard to predict, otherwise these guys would be ranked higher from the start. However, my question for you is who do you see being the next big jump from barely top 100 prospect to stud prospect? Any sleepers we should look out for right now?

J.J. Cooper: Gregory Polanco? OK, I’ll slow down on my Polanco love, but seriously, I could see him being in the top 50 heading
into next year and climbing into the top 10 in 2013 with a really good year.

    Ben (Denver): David Dahl's rookie-league offensive numbers compare favorably with Mike Trout's at the same stage in his career in 2009 (both are awesome). Trout didn't get the hype in the press until the following year. What are the scouts saying right now
    about Dahl?

J.J. Cooper: No offense, but we’re not hearing he’s the
next Mike Trout. What made Trout stand out wasn’t just the numbers he was putting up, but the tools that went with them. Dahl is a very good prospect, but Trout is in a category kind of by himself.

    Roger V. (NJ): Trayce Thompson seems to be starting to make more contact recently. His numbers on the year are starting to look real impressive. At only 21yrs. Old, do you see him being a top 25-50 prospect next year? Thanks

J.J. Cooper: Heading into 2013? No. I’d guess he doesn’t make the Top 100. He has cut his strikeouts, but that means he’s
only struck out once a game this week.

    Rich (Ithaca, NY): JJ,

    One of you at BA suggested Trevor Story may become a "50" in all cetegories. What does that mean in laymen's terms? Thanks.

J.J. Cooper: That he’s average across the board. If you’re looking for a current big league shortstop with a lot of 50s, I’d
point you to Zack Cozart. Cozart’s power may be a 55, his bat may be a 45 and his glove may be a 55-60, but if you said that all of his tools were right around 50 you wouldn’t get a whole lot of arguments.

    Frank (KC): Any reports on why Elier Hernandez has struggled so far in the Pioneer League?

J.J. Cooper: Because he’s a 17-year-old in the Pioneer League. He’s way younger than the guys he’s facing. The fact that he shows flashes is a positive sign.

    John (Blue Bell, PA): Is Machado's move to 3B a
    long term solution for the Orioles? What third basemen are in their system that will allow Machado to move back to SS?

J.J. Cooper: I still think he ends up playing shortstop
with the Orioles because if a guy can handle a tougher position, it’s easier to fill the easier position on the defensive spectrum. Most scouts I’ve talked to about Machado think he can handle shortstop early in his career. The debate is whether he will eventually grow too big for
the position (think A-Rod or Hanley). There really isn’t a guy in the system who you can point to right now as a future regular at third for the Orioles. Jonathan Schoop played the position a little last year, but
he’s playing second base this year.

    Ian (OK): Hicks is having a breakout season at AA and Arcia is hitting just as well and is a year younger at the same level. Former 1st rounder Gibson is pitching again. Hendriks has put up
    solid numbers in AAA (if not ML). Sano and Rosario both look good in Beloit. Kepler and Goodrum are both having impressive seasons and first
    round pick Buxton has already been promoted to ETown. A lot has gone right for the Twins minor league development this year, is this a top 10 farm system now?

J.J. Cooper: There have been some very positive developments for the Twins this year, but if you wanted to be a pessimist, the same question could be phrased this way: Buxton has been promoted to Elizabethton, but he was hitting .216 in the GCL at the time
of his promotion. Gibson will be 25 all next year as he tries to return
from Tommy John. Former first-round pick Alex Wimmers just went under the knife and will miss all of next year after missing most of the past two seasons, and Goodrum and Kepler are repeating the same level they were at last year? Kepler is having a very nice breakout year and Sano and Rosario have climbed the ladder just as a Twins fan would hope. Hicks has been better and Arcia is a name to watch, but there also have been plenty of setbacks for the Twins this year as well.

    Matt (NJ): JJ heard any reports on Adam Morgan? nice AA debut last night. What kind of ceiling does he have?

J.J. Cooper: Mentioned him in a Hot Sheet recently and in Wednesday’s chat. Could be a solid No. 3. Better stuff than you might
think to go with excellent control.

    Jared (Las Vegas): I understand that Springer strikes out, but in his first full season he has done nothing but hit. I
    understand lancaster is a super hitters friendly park, but the way people make it seem its all the park. Break it down for me

J.J. Cooper: Lancaster makes it almost impossible to judge a hitter by his stats while he is there. Here’s a rundown of players with a .950+ OPS at Lancaster since 2005: Josh Reddick, Bubba Bell, Brad Correll, Aaron Bates, Zach Daeges, Mickey Hall, Mark Reynolds, Javier Brito, Miguel Montero, Koby Clemens, Jon Gaston, Lee Cruz, Kody Hinze, Jose Altuve and David Flores. Springer had a .955 OPS there this year. Maybe he’s the next Reddick or Altuve offensively, but a
lot of guys who have done nothing since then had great years in Lancaster as well. Springer has great tools and I think he’s a very solid prospect, but that’s why you hear us and others saying to discount
his Lancaster numbers somewhat.

    Ryan (miami): what do you think of Braves prospect Joe Terdoslavich's second half after the demotion to Mississippi?

J.J. Cooper: Hard to get too excited about a guy doing better after a demotion when he looked as bad as Joey T. did in Triple-A. He’s still a prospect, but there are still questions about whether he can play 3B, and if he can’t play 3B, where does he fit in a lineup?

    Jeff (NPR FL): Do the O's let Bundy unleash the Cutter at Bowie?

J.J. Cooper: My guess is no.

    B.Daniels (Buckhead): Who do you see in the AFL this year? Sano?
    Bundy? Anyone else?

J.J. Cooper: I’d say no on both of them. Bundy doesn’t need the extra work and Sano is a little young and raw. Usually most of the pitchers there are guys who missed time or signed late. John Lamb would be an example of a solid pitching prospect I wouldn’t be surprised
to see in the AFL. But as always there will be more position prospects than pitchers there.

    ot (philly): No mention of Adam Morgan in the hot sheet?

J.J. Cooper: He gave up nine hits and five runs in five
innings in a start this week. That’s not Hot Sheet worthy, even if he did have a very good Double-A debut.

    Drew (Chicago): JJ, what are your thoughts on Tommy Medica? I never hear anything on him, but he can flat out hit.

J.J. Cooper: It’s a solid year, but there are some caveats. He’s old for the Cal League, he’s back there after playing half
a season there last year and he’s hitting in the Cal League.

    Trey (Boston): Wow Polanco, Hanson, Taillon, Cole, Heredia that's a pretty good farm. Josh Bell too. How good do you think the Pirates farm is now? Top 10?

J.J. Cooper: Yes, I think they are a Top 10 system.

    Jim (SF): Carlos Sanchez is hitting close to .400 following his promotion to AA but still strikes out a lot for a player with little to no power. What's his likely performance level in the majors, and what's his upside?

J.J. Cooper: I like Sanchez as a prospect. I think he could end up as a solid regular second baseman who will hit a little bit
and can slide over to shortstop in a pinch.

    Dm (Baltimore): No LJ Hoes? Hit .415 this week. Any chance he creeps into top 100?

J.J. Cooper: Sorry, don’t see him being close to the Top 100. Going to be tough to end up as a big league regular if he’s limited to a corner OF spot.

    Tom (NYC): Is Joey Gallo setting any type of rookie league records with those homers? What type of upside does he have?

J.J. Cooper: I can’t find any definitive AZL records, but in a quick glance, the most home runs I could come up with was Cody Decker’s 15 in 2008 (he was 22 at the time), so yes, Gallo seems to be in rarified territory.

    ():

J.J. Cooper: I guess my answer is:

    Drew (IL): It was a pleasent surprise to see Starling Peralta put together a nice game, especially with the cubs lack
    of pitching depth, I know he doesn't have Ace stuff, but could he be a mid rotation type guy? and how does he rank compared to other Cubs pitching prospects?

J.J. Cooper: He still has a long ways to go with consistency, but the stuff is there that when he has his slider, he can be a solid prospect. I think he’s more of a 20-30 guy in the system right now, but he’s taken some nice strides.

J.J. Cooper: He still has a long ways to go with consistency, but the stuff is there that when he has his slider, he can be a solid prospect. I think he’s more of a 20-30 guy in the system right now, but he’s taken some nice strides.

    Tom (Boston): Do you think Ethan Martin could make the Top 100 for 2013? He's off to a pretty good start with the Phillies.

J.J. Cooper: I guess he could if he keeps this up, but I wouldn’t have him in the Top 100 right now.

    pat (Okla. City): Will Bundy and Bradley see the majors next year??

J.J. Cooper: Bundy yes, Bradley no. Bradley has more to work on as he sharpens his command.

    Bob R. (Madison, NC): Allen Webster pitches tonight for the lookouts. What are his chances as a Sept. 1 call-up?

J.J. Cooper: I’d say pretty decent. Could be a useful extra arm.

    Justin (Cincinnati): Thanks for the chat, always appreciate it. Could you rank these pitching prospects for the Reds for me: Robert Stephenson, Daniel Corcino and Tony Cingrani? Thanks.

J.J. Cooper: I try to figure that out on a regular basis. Would probably go Stephenson, Corcino, Cingrani right now, but it’s pretty close between all three.

    Troy (Mile High): You guys seem to be poo-pooing David Dahl's numbers just b/c he's in the Pioneer League.
    You're hitting a round ball with a round bat! You still have to hit 90mph fastballs, change-ups, sliders, etc.
    You face 2-3 different pitchers a game, making adjustments that more difficult for a hitter. You're facing righties, lefties, from all arm angles. And there are weather conditions that vary every day.
    Where a guy hits is a marginal advantage (or disadvantage). He's got a 22-game hit streak, and just about leads the league in every offensive category for a guy right out of HS!
    He must have tools, he was picked #10! It's not like he's some scrub from nowhere doing all this.
    Give him some love!

J.J. Cooper: Who’s poo-pooing? He’s a regular on the Hot Sheet, and he’s a very good prospect, but the question I got compared him to Mike Trout. He’s not Mike Trout.

    Mike (St Paul): Do you see Eddie Rosario as an average major league regular or something more?

J.J. Cooper: Could be more, especially as he seems capable of sticking at 2B.

J.J. Cooper: Thanks for all the questions, but I’ve got
to wrap this up. We’ll be back next Friday with more questions, and we’ll have Jim Callis back for his regular Wednesday chat next week.

Minors | #2012 #Prospect Hot Sheet

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