Jim Shonerd: Hey everybody. No better way to end the week than with prospect chatter. Lets get to it.
Jerry (San Diego): Where would you rate Adam Brett Walker's power on the scouting scale? Do you anticipate he will make enough contact as a hitter to be a good prospect as he moves up through the minors or do you think his Ks will get the best of him?
Jim Shonerd: At least a 70 raw power. As we’ve written elsewhere, he’s right there with Sano in terms of sheer power. Before this year, I would’ve said yes, strikeouts will be his undoing, but he’s made promising progress cutting them down.
Ben (Atlanta): What does Archie Bradley have left to do before a callup is warranted? Think he pitches for the Dbacks this year?
Jim Shonerd: This question did get me thinking Bradley could follow in the footsteps of former high school rival Dylan Bundy and be a late addition to his team’s bullpen. Wouldn’t shock me if he got some bullpen time in Arizona, but I wouldn’t expect more than that. I haven’t heard of any innings limits for him, but he’s at 110 innings already and I doubt the Dbacks want him going much past 150. (He threw 136 last year)
Keith (Manchester, CT): Thanks Jim. Who has the higher ceilings? P-Sean Manaea (if healthy) or P-Henry Owens? And 2B-Rougned Odor or 2B-Mookie Betts?
Jim Shonerd: Manaea/Odor
Steve (FL): Any thoughts on Avery Romero's hot start? Is he more likely to play at second or third?
Jim Shonerd: Very impressive, and the contact rate really jumps out at me. He’s been the everyday 2b at Batavia, but third base is his most likely position down the road.
Jeff (Bay Area): How does K. Sampson project? Likely to stick as a starter given the improved command and off-speed stuff?
Jim Shonerd: His chances of starting have certainly improved. That face he’s striking out righthanded hitters at a stronger clip this year is encouraging, showing he’s closed the gap in the quality of his changeup and breaking ball.
Bill (Phoenix): What is the ETA for Matt Davidson? What kind of offensive profile does he project to have in the big leagues?
Jim Shonerd: Considering he’s hit over .300 in Triple-A for three straight months, his ETA could be any day. He’ll probably strike out too much to put up that kind of average in the majors, but he’ll bring plenty of sock in his bat, which the Dbacks sorely need. He’s not on the 40-man yet, but unless the Dbacks go into a sudden tailspin, I’d bet they bring his bat on board at some point to help them in the race, even if only in a bench role in September.
Colby (UT): Does Chris Bostick have a shot a being in the Top 100?
Jim Shonerd: Too soon for that, but I do like him.
John (SF): What kind of upside does Blackburn have?
Jim Shonerd: Solid bet to be a mid-rotation guy.
Mike (Cincinnati): A bit surprised that Seth Mejias-Brean didn't make the cut after hitting 500/.593/1.091 with 6 extra-base hits including 3 home runs and 5 walks. He is having an incredible July, what is the word on him?
Jim Shonerd: This was a really, really strong week for both pitchers and hitters. Ervin and Barnes would’ve been No. 1 some weeks, but this week they’re down at 4 and 5. Mejias-Brean was a tough one to cut, but being a 22-year-old in low A does work against him. Now, he’s got four homers in his last seven games. Is this legit or just a hot streak? That’s the question. He only had three all year through mid-July. It’s not surprising that his 2013 power numbers have fallen off given his move from an offense-happy environment in Billings last year to Dayton this year, but he’ll have to keep showing more respectable power than he did through the season’s first 80+ games. (He was slugging .387 thru July 17, before this barrage began)
Eric (San Diego): Matt Wisler, given his age, is having a pretty fantastic season but seems to be going largely under the radar. What kind of raw stuff does he have? Is his fastball a 6 or is he getting by with just good secondary stuff and an ordinary fastball?
Jim Shonerd: Yeah, his fastball is in the low 90s, which is above-average, and he can hit 96 when he reaches back. The secondary stuff is solid but doesn’t blow you away. Can be a mid-rotation guy. The fact he’s pitched so well at Double-A (3.60 ERA, .240 opponents average) as a 20-year-old is pretty impressive.
brad (catawissa pa): do you see the pirates letting mcguire or meadows play in the New York-Penn League before the season is up?
Jim Shonerd: I can see them letting those guys get their feet wet at that level, sort of as a way to set them up for an assignment to low Class A next year.
Steve (Toronto): 21 innings without allowing a run for Heaney, and not even in the team photo?
Jim Shonerd: Only made 1 start this week: 6 IP, 2 H, 4 K, 2 BB. Nice, but not enough to crack the top 20 this week.
Timmer (Ithaca, NY): Kris Bryant is off to a "not-so-hot sheet" start. Does the fact that he's hit several prodigious warning track outs suggest that his collegiate power won't translate to the wood bats in the pros?
Jim Shonerd: Seen a few questions in the queue from people worried about Bryant (2-for-18 as a pro). In a word: don’t. Don’t go overboard getting too worried (or too excited) about short-season and rookie-ball stats. (This applies to my earlier answer about Romero as well. He’s been impressive, but let’s not anoint him yet.) Always have some grains of salt handy.
Josh (Texas): I have a non hot sheet question. With the Tigers in need of bulpen help, would a straight up trade of Luke Gregerson for Nick Castellanos work?
Jim Shonerd: I wouldn’t deal a prospect of Castellanos’ caliber for a middle reliever, whether I’m in “win now” mode like the Tigers are or not. It does sound like the Padres want someone close to contributing, which Castellanos fits, but asking for him is a non-starter for me if I’m the Tigers.
Ken (Chicago): Lance McCullers - starter or reliever in 3 years?
Jim Shonerd: I lean towards reliever.
Brian (NJ): What are your thoughts on Adalberto Mejia? Future solid No. 2/3 starter down the road?
Jim Shonerd: More of a No. 3. The stuff is solid across the board and he knows how to pitch, but he doesn’t have that one pitch that wows you. Now, he could add velocity as he matures and that would change things. To his credit, he acquitted himself well in a spot start at Triple-A earlier this week (5 IP, 2 R). It’s only one game, but it shows you something about how the organization feels about him that they gave him that challenge.
Ryan (Dallas): How does Aldaberto Mondesi compare to Francisco Lindor?
Jim Shonerd: They do have similar profiles: switch-hitting shortstops, above-average defensive tools, gap power. Plate discipline is the main thing that puts Lindor a cut above right now, and in general he’s just so ahead of the game for his age. Yes he’s older than Mondesi, who turns 18 tomorrow, but Lindor’s now a 19-year-old in Double-A. Amazing.
Kevin (Coral Springs, FL): Corey Seager is putting up some great numbers and was #3 on the Dodgers top 10 list for 2013....is there a reason he wasn't on the midseason top 50? What is his potential?
Jim Shonerd: I’d expect Seager to find his way into the Top 100 for next year. He may end up at third base one day, but he’s got an advanced bat with projectable power. Slugging .490 in the Midwest League is nothing to sneeze at.
Robert Foster (Seattle, WA): Does Sonny Gray have a future in the A's rotation or the bullpen?
Jim Shonerd: He’s gone back to starting since returning to Sacramento, and he’s got the stuff to be a starter in the majors. If he does land in the pen again, it’ll be a function of that being where the greatest need is, not a reflection of his stuff.
Scott Sahr (saint louis): Can you please give me an estimate of Greg Bird's raw power? Thanks
Jim Shonerd: Got a chance to be plus.
Tim (NY): What are your thoughts on Ciuffo? Do you think he will end up being an everyday player, or a Tyler Flowers type?
Jim Shonerd: He looks really promising to me. There were questions about his defense coming into the year but he largely assuaged those this spring.
@Jaypers413 (IL): With the graduation of Profar and the departure of Olt, who gets your vote as Texas' top overall prospect right now?
Jim Shonerd: I’m really intrigued by Luke Jackson. Rougned Odor is another guy to watch for, along with the Hickory crew (Alfaro, Gallo, etc.)
Eleanor Worsby (Helsinki): With Jonathan Singleton's recent struggles, do you think he is still a top 100 prospect?
Jim Shonerd: I would be surprised if he dropped out entirely. (He was No. 27 coming into this year) But this is looking like a lost season for him. Side note: if you’re really asking this question all the way from Finland, you win chatter of the day honors.
Kyle (Chicago): Did Adam Brett Walker miss the main list because of his age, or something else?
Jim Shonerd: Not age as much as his 0-7 walk-strikeout total. That may be nitpicking for a guy who hit .379 with four homers, but like I mentioned earlier, it was that kind of week. Had to find separators somewhere.
Erik R. (New York, NY): What's Michael Choice's upside? He's quietly having a very productive year in AAA.
Jim Shonerd: Middle-of-the-order big league bat. There’s enough swing-and-miss that he probably won’t put up high averages, but the power is in there. His 11 long balls this year don’t blow you away, but don’t be fooled. Sacramento is a tough place to hit homers.
Jim Shonerd: That’ll wrap it up for me. Fun as always. Enjoy the weekend and we’ll see you back here next week.