- Greg (New York): Thanks for the chat! With Hosmer's nice start in the big leagues do you see any chance the royals could put moose on the fast track and have him in the majors before september?
Matthew Eddy: Absolutely, I believe we’ll see Mike Moustakas don a Kansas City uniform prior to September. The Royals already have debuted seven players this year and they haven’t yet gotten
to Moustakas or Mike Montgomery, who rebounded from a brutal start in Colo. Springs to toss seven solid innings last night. The organization wants its prospects to get a taste of big league life — and endure their first big league slumps — so that they’ll know what to expect in 2012 and beyond.
- TJ (Rockland County, NY): What do you think Familia's future role will be? I have heard a lot say he is a bullpen guy but his results this year may say otherwise. Can he be a future SP?
Matthew Eddy: Six months ago I would have said bullpen without question, but Jeurys Familia has rediscovered the fastball command that made him a notable breakout prospect in 2009 with Low-A Savannah. Now he’s married that command with the swing-and-miss secondary stuff he began introducing in High-A last year. Even with his struggles in 2010, Familia earned high marks for his makeup and work ethic. Buy in on this kid, but don’t be surprised if he doesn’t fully blossom until 2013.
- Tim (San Diego): Hey Matt, thanks for the chat.
Any updates on Drew Cumberland's status? Really would like to see the kid positively rebound from vertigo.
Matthew Eddy: He’s working out with the Double-A San Antonio club and seems to generally feel good about his prospects for recovery from vertigo-like symptoms. That’s all I’ve got for now.
- Muggsy (Minny): What in the world is going on with Alex Wimmers? A solid command/control guy suddenly can't throw it across the plate? That's two such first round cases for the Twins in three years (Shooter Hunt).
Matthew Eddy: The Twins pulled him out of a competitive
environment in High-A and let him work through his mechanics in extended spring training. Don’t despair just yet. We’ll have a new Twins
org report on Wimmers on the site either today or Monday.
- Steve (Atlanta): Is Brandon Beach really as good as his numbers indicate so far? And how will his injury effect him going forward?
Matthew Eddy: You’ll find fewer bigger Brandon Beachy fans than me. My only concerns for 2011 would be: 1) Workload, and 2) Deception. What I mean, first of all, is that for a pitcher who worked mostly in relief in 2009-10, we don’t really know how Beachy will respond to a starter’s workload of about 180 innings. And as far as that
goes, his injury could be a blessing in disguise if it keeps him fresh for an Atlanta playoff run. As far as deception, I wonder how opposing batters will fare against Beachy once they grow more accustomed to his delivery. He derives a large amount of success from the fact that batters struggle to pick up and time his pitches. But these concerns I’ve laid out are true for any rookie pitcher.
- James (Chicago): What can you tell me about Trevor Plouffe? I see he was a 1st round pick a few years back but he's
never really been talked about much as a top prospect. Yet his numbers
so far seem pretty good following his recent call up? Does he have a shot to be the starting shortstop for a while or does he project more as
a reserve? And is his power for real?
Matthew Eddy: Big arm, solid power stroke for a middle infielder. Plouffe might be stretched as an everyday shortstop because you’re probably dealing with low average/on-base and fringy range, but he can play multiple positions and drive the ball on occasion.
- Greg (New York): How come no love for ackley? Was it because he was lacking HR's? or does the 0-5 hurt him last night? thanks!
Matthew Eddy: Take it as a positive for Ackely’s development that he’s showing us skills this year in Triple-A that were absent last year. Namely, he’s hitting for more power and stabilizing his walk-to-whiff ratio.
- David (Hartford, CT): With Darnell, Gyorko and Rincon all impressive hitters, which one (if any) do you think might ultimately play 3B in the majors?
Matthew Eddy: Gyorko is the only one of the three who profiles at the position defensively. Edinson Rincon has virtually no shot at sticking there, while James Darnell has the range and arm strength, but he’s a big dude who may simply outgrow the position. His footwork already costs him accuracy on his throws, so many expect a shift to first or to right field.
- Tom (Atlanta): Frank Wren recently was quoted as saying that he didn't care about pitch counts. Since then, Julio Teheran threw more than 120 pitches, and Zeke Spruill threw a 9 inning shutout. How do you think this will affect the development of pitchers in the Braves' system?
Thanks for the chat.
Matthew Eddy: Interesting piece of information. I missed that, so I thought I’d pass it along to other chatters. We’re seeing the Rangers get generally favorable results from loosening the reins on their young pitchers, but I’m not sure we’re far enough out yet
to draw conclusions. Given all the arms Atlanta has cultivated recently
— Hanson, Teheran, Venters, Jurrjens, Kimbrel, Beachy, Minor, Gearrin — I’d give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to pitching.
- Joel (Denver): Charlie Blackmon does nothing but rake. Will he ever be given a chance at a starting job in Colorado?
Matthew Eddy: Let’s hope he gets the Seth Smith treatment instead of the Ian Stewart treatment. Seriously, Blackmon does
many things well on the field, so as the difference between Dexter Fowler’s production and salary narrows (and then inverts), the former Georgia Tech outfielder will look more and more attractive. Colorado will add Blackmon to the 40-man roster this November, if not sooner, so he figures to get Denver look-ins late this year and at various points next season.
- Rob (Calgary): I'm a John Lamb AND Simon Castro
owner in my fantasy league... Should I be more than a little concerned (for different reasons)?
Matthew Eddy: Yes, you should be concerned. But even pitchers with great stuff and great results get hurt — you’re talking to a Strasburg owner. Those are just the risks associated with pitchers.
A big payoff from only one of your young arms can make a huge difference in your team’s standing. Hang in there.
- Larry (DC): Hey Matt, I have the usual Harper question. When do you think he gets moved up to High A Potomac and where
does he finish this year? Thanks for chatting.
Matthew Eddy: Look to Mike Trout last year as the blueprint. Harper figures to spend most of the second half in High-A before tackling Double-A at the outset of 2012.
- Andrew (Winnipeg): Was Travis D'Arnaud stongly considered for the Hot Sheet?
Matthew Eddy: No, but I did strongly consider his brother Chase d’Arnaud, a middle infielder with the Pirates’ Triple-A Indianapolis club. He went 12-for-28 (.429) with a double, a triple, a homer and four steals. As to Travis, a catcher for the Blue Jays’ Double-A club, he saw limited action but made the most of it by batting 7-or-13 (.538) with three doubles.
- Kevin (Oxnard): Thanks for the chat. Your thoughts on Michael Blanke, Catcher for the White Sox? Fast mover?
Matthew Eddy: I like Blanke as sleeper catcher prospect. Seems like he could be a sleeper but we have to temper enthusiasm until he carries his Sally League production (.833 OPS, strong contact skills) to Double-A.
- Chris (Chicago): Which minor league second base prospect will have better major league success: Johnny Giavatella or Jemeel Weeks?
Matthew Eddy: I’d put my money on the Athletics’ Jemile
Weeks because he has louder tools. Of course, he also has a much louder
disabled list rap sheet. If he can take a cue from his brother Rickie and learn to stay healthy, I think he’ll win the battle easily.
- Brandon (Georgia): Speaking of fantasy and Beachy....he is available in my league. Is he worth the gamble now that
he is hurt? Atlanta has so many pitchers it seems like he is destined to lose his rotation spot...
Matthew Eddy: He’s an easy pickup in NL-only leagues, especially if you can stash him on the DL. But then he’s probably already rostered in all such leagues.
- Nick (SF): Who does Gary Brown compare to? I fear that he will go the way of the speedy low power guys like Jason Tyner...
Matthew Eddy: He’s a cut above the class of Tyner/Joey Gathright speedsters. Brown may not be the 70-80 defender that the Angels’ Peter Bourjos is, but he could compensate for that with gaudier stolen-base totals and a better feel to hit.
- Roger (Greenville, SC): I own Zack Cox, Matt Davidson, and Mike Olt in a 5x5 fantasy league. Which high-A 3B(s) should I keep and why?
Matthew Eddy: I think Mike Olt has the potential to be most well-rounded of the trio. He’ll give you more power than Cox and more defense than Davidson. While Davidson might have the most power of the group, he faces questions as to future position.
- Shoshana (Baltimore): It's depressing enough being an Orioles fan. Any hope for the future from the farm system besides Machado? Throw us a bone and at least answer a question on the Orioles
Matthew Eddy: Baltimore has the fourth pick in the draft, and that’s only three weeks away. Don’t forget that the O’s have a
lot of young major leaguers who could still improve — Matusz, of course, but also Arrieta and Reimold and Tillman.
- @Jaypers413 (IL): Did Taijuan Walker get any love for the Hot Sheet this week?
Matthew Eddy: Great week for Mariners’ top pick last year: 6 1/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 11 SO, 0 BB. And he’s been outstanding for Low-A Clinton with 20 whiffs in 12 2/3 innings.
- Eury Perez (Potomac): I'm feeling a bit slighted, Matt. Why didn't I make the Hot Sheet? (sniff)
Matthew Eddy: You have a strong case: .538/.538/.769 (14-for-26), 3 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBIs, 5 SO, 2-for-2 SB.
- Jeff Chisholm (New York): Can you give me a quick scounting report on juan nicasio?
Matthew Eddy: No, but Ben Badler recently published an exhaustive review of Nicaso’s career and stuff to this point in his career. It’s filed under Prospect Bulletin at BA.com.
- Jeff (CA): Why was Zach Lee demoted to Rookie Ball? He seemed to he handling Single A quite well
Matthew Eddy: The Dodgers will shut Lee down for 3 starts or so. He had an MRI on his elbow two weeks ago, and while the test showed no damage the Dodgers are being cautious.
- John Anderson (BHFB): I have a question about a
couple of AAA hitters.
With the Diamondbacks needing a 1B and Brandon Allen hitting .313 with 6
HR, is his defense at 1B so bad they can't call him up or is it something else?
Also, what is the outlook on Adrian Cardenas this year? It looks like Weeks is their 2B and Cardenas has been splitting time between 3B and DH. Is there even room for a 3B/DH that hitting well (.359) but with minimal power (2 HR)?
Matthew Eddy: The D-Backs seem to be taking advantage of the fact that Allen has options remaining to see what they’ve got in Juan Miranda. But once he or Nady or Branyan leaves, then Allen can return to Phoenix. The A’s actually have moved Cardenas to left field most of the time with Sacramento, and you can probably expect him to be that rare high-average third baseman/left fielder. No natural comp comes
Matthew Eddy: Thanks for the great questions. I believe J.J. is up next week to take the Hot Sheet.