- Marc Krauss' Clone (Next Door): Shoot! You mean
my 19-31 performance with 6 HR and 11 RBI this past week has been for nothing? (cue rimshot) Can you at least tell me where I would have ranked?
Matthew Eddy: How about that! D’backs OF Marc Krauss destroyed the Cal League last week, batting .631 with six homers and would have been odds-on favorite for No. 1 honors.
- Ben (Leland Grove): Would it make sense to you to demote Wade Davis and BJ Upton, and replace them with Desmond Jennings and Jeremy Hellickson?
Matthew Eddy: I’d be feeling out trade offers for Upton
with an eye toward replacing him with Jennings on Aug. 1. I’d stick with Davis for the rest of the month, then re-evaluate.
- Nate (Maryland): No mention of freddie freeman?
He's putting up somewhat lesser numbers than hosmer, but a full 2 levels higher at the same age. He's also 1 level higher than Belt, while
2 years younger.
Matthew Eddy: Fair point. Freeman at age 20 in Triple-A: .283/.348/.476, 8 homers, 21 doubles.
- Scott (FL): What is your assessment of Jacob Turner so far this year? Thanks!
Jim Shonerd: Turner was hit hard in his second start for high Class A Lakeland last night (3.1 IP, 9 H, 5 ER). He held his own at low Class A West Michigan (3.67 ERA in 54 innings), but was a little inconsistent and thus wasn’t as dominant as some of the other premium arms we’ve seen come through low A over the years. But he can still be a guy that moves quickly for his age, and pitching in the FSL should suit him well.
- William (Salt Lake City, Utah): When will SS players start getting consideration for the Hot Sheet ?
Jim Shonerd: They already do. It’s just that this edition recognizes guys who’ve excelled over the whole first half. We had a couple short-season guys make the Team Photo last week.
- Nate (Maryland): No mention of Arodys Vizcaino?
a 40-inning walkless streak to go with a sparkling ERA doesn't even get
him a mention here?
Matthew Eddy: His elbow injury scared us off. And whether injury-related or no, Vizcaio had been fairly ordinary since his
bump to High A.
- Joe (Toronto): Thoughts on JP Arencibia's season?
Jim Shonerd: Offensively, he’s doing everything he can to show he’s ready. I have my doubts about how much average he’ll hit for in the majors, but to his credit, he’s hit more homers on the road (10) then at Vegas’ launching pad (8). The problem is defense, where he leads the PCL in passed balls (9) and has thrown out just 22 percent of base stealers.
- Jason (Long Island, NY): Where do you anticipate Nick Franklin falling in next year's top 100 list? Does he have the upside to be a top 25 prospect?
Matthew Eddy: Great first half for Franklin, but to me he’s got to prove he’s a shortstop and that his power is for real before
earning a ranking that lofty. He also has to keep going over the last two months. The minor league season is a grind that not all first-year pros can handle right away. And that’s OK. He’s shown plenty already, but his numbers will take a significant hit if he continues along the lines of his June. But at this stage, you’re looking for spurts of success, not necessarily prolonged ones.
- Jason (Chicago): Who would you say have been the biggest surprise/disappointment of the first half?
Jim Shonerd: For me, the surprises are the resurrection
of Devin Mesoraco and the emergence of Jonathan Singleton. Biggest disappointment has to be Michael Taylor. I might’ve gone with Jesus Montero, but he gets some slack due to his age.
Matthew Eddy: Hard to argue against minor league HR leader Jerry Sands for biggest surprise. Going into the year, I would have taken the under on 20 home runs with Great Lakes. But here he is in
Double-A with 22 HR, and he still has two more months. Plenty of disappointment candidates, including Tim Beckham (I know the FSL is tough, but .633 OPS?), Eric Arnett, Double-A duds Aaron Crow and Brad Holt, and the surprising travials of Oakland’s Michael Taylor and Chris Carter with Sacramento.
- Virgil Dahl (Waterloo, Iowa 50702): in trying to stash a future basher...Wilmer Flores, or Donvan Tate?? thanks
Matthew Eddy: Tough call. To me, Flores seems more certain to hit his way to a few big league opportunities. Can he make the most of them? I’m optimistic, but in the end he doesn’t have as much
raw power as Tate, and never will. But can Tate keep the strikeouts in check to harness his power? If you’re a gambler, go with Tate, or you can play it safe with Flores.
- Mike (Indianapolis): How about Hak Ju Lee at shortstop? He is having a solid year in the Midwest League as a hitter,
and he shows plus speed and defense.
Jim Shonerd: Lee’s been solid (.262/.322/.328), but Franklin and Cumberland are both having louder years. Chris Owings, who’s hitting .298/.323/.447 with the Diamondbacks’ low Class A club, likely would’ve been the third-team shortstop if we’d gone that deep.
- Mike (Pitt): I think Bryan Morris should have made it, his numbers are very similar to Jordan Lyles, but he spent the season between A/AA
Matthew Eddy: And he’s about four years older, and he’s
had major arm surgery, and he’s had his makeup called into question. Not saying Morris is a bad prospect, not by any stretch, but I don’t think it’s fair to Lyles to make that comparison after his seamless move
- JAYPERS (IL): Would it be a safe assumption for
both of you that Brown and Hellickson are considered the best overall minor league hitter/pitcher combo at this point?
Matthew Eddy: From a performance standpoint, absolutely, but I wouldn’t be surprised if players like Trout and Hosmer
and Pineda ultimately have more big league value.
- richard (brooklyn): whats with lucas duda? has he turned the corner and finally tapped into his raw power?Ty
Matthew Eddy: Good hitting prospect, but a bit of a man
without a position now that Ike Davis has taken the reigns at first base for the Mets. Duda has put himself in the discussion for a future bench role — maybe a lefty-hitting, less streaky version of Nick Evans.
- Neufeldt (New Berlin): At 22, is Jerry Sands old enough to merit a callup to the Dodgers this season, assuming he continues his assault in the minors?
Jim Shonerd: Tempting as that might be, it’s still just
the first year he’s played in full-season leagues. Let’s see how he holds up over the long term in Double-A. Plus there’s nothing wrong with
letting him have a full successful season under his belt. It doesn’t look like the Dodgers really have a place for him either, unless this Matt Kemp situation really spirals out of control. Or Manny keeps getting hurt, which, granted, seems more likely.
- Jon (Houston): What is Jason Castro's ceiling?
Matthew Eddy: Average big league regular at catcher, which is actually quite valuable seeing as most teams don’t have such a beast.
- Ben (NJ): Will Brown still be eligible for the off season top 100 list?
Jim Shonerd: Yes, unless he gets over 130 big league at-bats before the end of the season.
- Chris (Hauppauge, NY): What are your thoughts on Grant Green? It seems like he is gaining confidence with every game,
and look like he is putting any question marks about his ability behind
Jim Shonerd: Won’t be surprised if he’s in Double-A before too long. It looks like he’s got the Cal League pretty well figured out. He’s not going to hit for a ton of power, but he’s a natural hitter and that’s showing through.
- Richard McMurray (Chi-Town): Tim Collins isn't your typical MLB pitcher, based on his size. He has been K'ing a ton of hitters in the minors. Does he have a shot at making the Blue Jays in the next year or two?
Matthew Eddy: Assuming Collins pitches well at Triple-A, it really would be a travesty if the Blue Jays don’t at least give him a look. At 5-foot-7 and featuring a 12-to-6 curve, he’s far from a traditional power pitcher, but then unlike George Costanza, lefties often don’t count count conformity as an obsession. And it may be ludicrous and off base, but I wonder if short pitchers have an advantage when it comes to locating their breaking balls and changeups down in the strike zone. They’re delivering the ball from a lower starting point, so it seems at least possible that they’d be less prone to hanging offspeed stuff up in the zone.
- Ben (NJ): Rank these four prospects... Ackley, Trout, Brown, Jennings.
Jim Shonerd: Brown, Trout, Jennings, Ackley. Brown’s performance at higher levels of the minors gives me just a little more confidence in him.
- LeMarcus (Virginia Beach): Lawrie's K rate for the month of June shows great improvement in contact and plate discipline. However, his defense at 2B is reportedly bad as ever. Do you think he'll stay there long term or is a move to the OF more likely?
Jim Shonerd: I’m sure the Brewers would love for him to
work out at second base, but if his bat keeps developing that much faster than his glove, he wouldn’t be held back just for his defense. They’ll have to live with him at second or settle for finding him a place in the outfield.
Jim Shonerd: Thanks for the questions, everyone. We’ll see you back here next Friday.