Matthew Eddy: Welcome one and all to another installment of the Prospect Hot Sheet chat.
- Brian (Greensboro, NC): How huge will it be for Teheran to develop an effective slider?
Matthew Eddy: I like the idea of expanding Teheran's repertoire to give batters something else to think about. He has uncanny
fastball control, but despite regular velo readings in the mid-90s he just doesn't get many swings and misses with the pitch. His changeup is a
legit plus offering, which he sells with plus arm speed and generates swings and misses, so pairing that with a slider and perhaps an occasional early-count curve will give the weaponry needed to take the next step. I'm anxious to see how he fares in 2013.
- Brian (Greensboro, NC): If you were to re-rank or redraft the pitchers from the 2011 draft, what would your top 5 pitcher list look like based on their performance to date?
Matthew Eddy: Gerrit Cole's numbers haven't been eye-popping, but I'd still give him the benefit of the doubt in the top spot just based on his physicality and the grades his raw stuff merits. Beyond Cole, I'd go Bundy 2, Bauer 3 and maybe round out the top 5 with Archie Bradley and Jose Fernandez. No 2011 draftee has made a louder debut than Reds lefty Tony Cingrani, a Rice senior drafted in the third round.
- Matt (Philly): With breakouts like Asche, among
others, coupled with trades as the Phillies farm system gone from terrible to at least average?
Matthew Eddy: I've been impressed with how well Asche and third-round lefty Adam Morgan have performed in their full-season debuts. Each has earned a promotion to Double-A. Add them to LHP Jesse Biddle, a legit rotation candidate in two years, and trade acquisitions like C Tommy Joseph and RHP Ethan Martin and yes I agree the Phillies have taken a big step forward, both in terms of prospect depth and potential impact.
- Jeff (California): Where would Pederson rank among Dodger prospects?
Matthew Eddy: It's quite possible that Pederson would rank with 2012 first-rounder Corey Seager at the vanguard of Dodgers position prospects, in all probability a peg or two behind Zach Lee and Allen Webster. Keep in mind that Pederson is who he is to a great degree, and you can't hang a lot of projection on him. But his hitting approach ought to at least get him to the big leagues.
- Casey Kelly (San Antonio, TX): Aren't I a bit young to make your Blast From the Past section, Matt? I mean, I still have all my teeth.....whippersnapper.
Matthew Eddy: A tongue in cheek selection, I'll grant you that. But Kelly has ranked so high on so many Top 10 lists that it feels like he's been around forever. Bigger picture: the Padres have really had to turn to recycled goods in the big league rotation on account of injuries to Kelly and all the system's most advanced pitching
prospects. Consider that the core of last season's Texas League-champion San Antonio staff all have missed most of this year. That's Kelly, righty Joe Wieland (who reached Petco before going down), lefty Robbie Erlin and lefty Juan Oramas.
- Corey (Cincy): There's been speculation on Billy Hamilton being called up to the Reds just to be a pinchrunner. Do
you agree? Also, he is more than holding his own at AA with the bat so
far, are you encouraged by his overall offensive game?
Matthew Eddy: I think Hamilton would add a valuable skill/dimension to the Reds' September/playoff roster, and I hope they do decide to call him up when Pensacola's season ends. Who wouldn't want
a baserunner who could potentially score on a single (especially in 2-out situations)? As to his performance . . . I'm encouraged by his walk rate this season, but the strikeout rate (about 18 percent of PAs) is elevated for a player with so little power. Hamilton's also not impacting the ball at all as a lefty hitter — .314/.421/.421 which works out to an isolated power of .079 if you count his nine LH triples as doubles. That's akin to Luis Castillo with more SB impact and a lot more strikeouts.
- jon (boston): Nick Franklin - struggling a bit in Triple A, but does he still get a september call up? really, what better options does seattle have?
Matthew Eddy: The Mariners could go either way with Franklin, I guess depending on whether or not he goes to the AFL. He won't have to be protected on the 40-man till after next season, so why sacrifice a minor league option in 2013 unless he's absolutely earned his way to MLB?
- nik (Philly): What's Code Asche's possible power projection? 10 HRs? 15?
Matthew Eddy: At this stage, it looks like 10-12 HR would be a good year. He kind of reminds me of a more athletic, better-defending version of the Mets' Daniel Murphy.
- Remy (Birmingham): My name is Javier Baez.....do you think I am a top 50 prospect in 2013 BA handbook?
Matthew Eddy: On most prospects I'd hedge, but not Baez. He's going to be a legit MLB hitter.
- Norse (Pittsburgh): Could Cole be a Sept. callup in the pen, ala Price?
Matthew Eddy: That's not the worst idea in the world, the only drawback being that I don't think Cole's control is as refined right now as Price's was down the stretch in 2008. But it sure would be fun for prospect-watchers to get a sneak peek at Cole out of Pittsburgh bullpen this September.
- Jon (Philadelphia): How do you determine where to rank guys with lower ceilings that are closer to the majors (Cody Asche, Jon Pettibone) versus guys with bigger upsides but farther away (Roman Quinn, Shane Watson). For example, how would you rate these four guys in the Phillies organization?
Matthew Eddy: We attempt to balance players by their realistic ceilings and their likelihood of reaching that potential — but each year we're reminded that ranking prospects is more art than science.
- Tom (Boston): The comment about Asche's position being "TBD" makes me nervous. Do you think he can stay at 3rd or is there no chance?
Matthew Eddy: Asche can handle the demands of the position. The question is will he produce profile power that teams look for from corner players? If the Phillies are getting 20+ HR from first and both corner outfield spots, it may not matter.
- Ben (Leland Grove): Would you still consider Teheran to be the top overall arm in ATL's system?
Matthew Eddy: With the graduation of Randall Delgado and the trade of Arodys Vizcaino, I'd be inclined to give Teheran the nod as the Braves' top arm. The org's most recent first-rounders — Sean
Gilmartin and Luke Sims — could give him a run, but Teheran still has a
floor of quality set-up reliever and absolute ceiling of No. 2 starter.
(However far away that seems now.)
- Robert (Secaucus, NJ): Is Chris Heston doing it with smoke and mirrors, or is he is a potential big leaguer?
Matthew Eddy: Giants Double-A righty Chris Heston's pitches grade out as 45s and 50s across the board, but his command and poise helps them play up. I wouldn't be surprised if he spends a number of years at the back of some team's rotation. He could be next season's Mike Fiers!
- Dan (Vegas): What is Kevin Comer's potential? Is he the best prospect the Astros got in the trade with the blue jays?
Matthew Eddy: At this stage of the game, I'd give best prospect nod to either High-A righty Asher Wojciechowski or High-A catcher Carlos Perez.
- Jason (New York): Piggy backing the Kevin Comer question, what happened to him? Any explanation for the loss of velocity?
Matthew Eddy: Most high school pitchers have trouble maintaining velocity after going from pitching once a week as amateurs to once every 5-6 days as pros (with a side session mixed in). It's a matter of course, and I wouldn't read too much into it.
- Fantasia (Milwaukee): Can Jean Segura be a good
starting shortstop for my BrewCrew? His defense seems very good and he looks like he has some decent pop in his bat- but can he team up with Rickie Weeks and be a productive defensive/offensive keystone combination? We gave up Grienke for him, and hope he can fill the shortstop position for years to come.
Matthew Eddy: You came to the right place for pie-in-the-sky Segura projections. I don't know that Segura ever will be
a top-5 overall shortstop based on his defensive inconsistency, but it wouldn't surprise me to see him rank as one of the top *offensive* shortstops in the game. Segura's overall profile screams second baseman to me, and that's the position he played in the low minors with the Angels. In short, I'd expect high averages, 15 HR and 30 steals from peak Segura.
- Nathan (PA): Walker really has been inconsistent at AA. Would you say Fernandez of the Marlins is a better prospect or equal to him?
Matthew Eddy: I think most orgs would take Mariners Double-A righty Taijuan Walker over Jose Fernandez, but Fernandez has closed the gap thi season. With Walker, it's not so much what he's done,
but what he might do in the future once he grows accustomed to pitching
every five days. Remember, he didn't really become a full-time pitcher until 2009 and already has flashed a plus fastball-curve combo.
- Chris (Missouri): Royals and Cardinals fans have to be happy. Wil Myers or Oscar Taveras for minor league player of the year?
Matthew Eddy: We've had our POY discussion internally, but my lips are sealed. Myers and Taveras definitely were two of the names discussed. That much should be evident. Who gets your vote?
- Zane (Ohio): Mike McDade, legit prospect?? or just another player in the loaded Jays system??
Matthew Eddy: The Blue Jays added McDade to the 40-man after a solid Double-A campaign last year, so they certainly like him as
a prospect. The scouting community at large is of a divided mind, however. McDade hits for power, but is it enough for 1B/DH, because at 250+ pounds there really isn't any place else for him to go.
- John (Pittsburgh): I'm curious about another Pirate RHP Kyle McPherson. He missed a lot of time this year but has since been very good at AA/AAA with excellent K:BB numbers and reportedly a low 90's fastball. Is he a legit rotation candidate or am I
Matthew Eddy: Yes, McPherson is a legit rotation candidate — or maybe a reliever — but his fastball and change grade out as major league pitches, and his control allows his stuff to play up.
- Mike (Orlando): If you select one Center-Fielder from the minors to patrol your outfield, which would you pick?
Matthew Eddy: If we're not counting Myers or Taveras as
long-term CF options, then I'm partial to the Marlins' Christian Yelich
or the Blue Jays' Jake Marisnick or the Red Sox' Jackie Bradley (though
he lacks the power potential of the other two).
Matthew Eddy: Thanks for all the great questions. The Prospect Hot Sheet countdown continues next week, but not for too much longer after that.