Prospect Hot Sheet Chat With Nathan Rode And Jim Shonerd

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:

Hellickson
has been decimating hitters this season thus far. Any idea if
management plans to make him a Biscuit anytime soon? Also, when can we
expect to see Price’s debut?

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
Greetings everybody and thanks for joining us for another Prospect Hot
Sheet chat. I’m glad I can join Jim Shonerd in his chat debut as we
look to answer as many of your questions as possible over the next hour
or so. Let’s get started…

Nathan Rode: It really isn’t a
BA chat with JAYPERS from Illinois, so we’ll start with him. Hellickson
has certainly been mowing them down in the Florida State League. The
organization has been very patient with moving him along so I wouldn’t
be surprised if they continue to take it one step at a time. It seems
to be working so far. If ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

 Q:  Big Tuna from South Beach asks:

I’m
a BIG (literally) baseball fan, as you guys know—did you see my cheesy
interview on ESPN a few weeks back? Anyway, I LOVE me some Marlins, and
now that I’ll be hangin’ down here for a while, I’d like to see the
likes of Volstad, Thompson, Maybin, and Coghlan get some love! Why no
Christopher Volstad on the list??? He’s been superb lately—may give
him a chance to beat out John Beck this summer?!? Time for a mai-tai…

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
I see we’re branching out with our spectrum of fans. Volstad certainly
had an admirable week with his one start of four hits allowed, one
earned run and eight strikeouts. We like that he’s piling up some
strikeouts and he was discussed, but if you take a look at the sheet
you’ll notice that all of the pitchers that made it this week had
double digits in strikeouts. That’s tough to compete with. Enjoy the
mai-tai.

 Q:  AUTOGRAFFIX.com from Stoughton, WI asks:

How long will the Royals continue to let Mike Moustakas play in the Midwest League? Do you see him getting demoted in June?

 A: 

Jim Shonerd: We expect they’ll let him fight through it unless his average really takes a tumble, like to the .120 neighborhood.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:

What is Kozma’s timetable? Do you see him ever developing any power? Also, did Jon Jay get consideration this week?

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
Kozma will certainly need a few years of seasoning in the minors. He’s
a good defensive shortstop who might be able to fit in the No. 2 spot
of a lineup, but is probably suited for the bottom of the order. He’s
slugging .538 in the Midwest League, so he may be showing some hints of
a little power, but he has a line drive approach that would make some
think otherwise.

 Q:  Jean-Paul from Springfield asks:

Who would you say is Texas’ main catcher in 5 years – Salty, Teagarden, or Ramirez?

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
It’s a toss up between Teagarden and Salty. Teagarden is the better
defender, but Salty definitely has the ability to catch. It’s a matter
of what the Rangers want at that position, lots of offense or defense.
Also, would they be willing to move Salty to first base, even it brings
down his value some?

 Q:  AUTOGRAFFIX from Stoughton, WI asks:

Did Ian Gac (MWL) get any consideration? What’s your take on his HUGE EARLY SEASON SUCCESS?

 A: 

Moderator:
No. We’re always wary of guys repeating a level, and in Gac’s case it’s
already his third stint as a regular in Low A. Plus he’s 22, which
doesn’t help his case either. And he didn’t do enough this week anyway
(7-for-21, 1 2b, 1 hr, 3 RBIs).

 Q:  Ben from Leland Grove asks:

What’s been the primary reason for Maybin’s struggles lately? He started off great, and has since fizzled out in a big way.

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
Double A guru Ben Badler tells me that Maybin has struggled hitting
offspeed pitches recently, but the bat speed and defense are there.
Scouts said they still like him but he definitely needs more
development. He’s obviously under a spotlight because he debuted with
the Tigers last year and then there was speculation that he could make
the big league club out of spring training. But we need to remember he
just turned 21 a month ago. He’ll come around.

 Q:  Henry Stanley from texas asks:

What about the LHP from Lake County in Low A with the Indians named Ryan Miller?

 A: 

Jim Shonerd:
Miller’s the SAL’s ERA leader, so we’ve definitely noticed him. He
wasn’t considered this week since he only made one start during the
period for this week’s Hot Sheet, which was last night against
Greensboro. His line was 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 SO, 2 BB. Solid, but
to make Hot Sheet with only one start, you’ve got to do something like
Cahill or Bowden did.

 Q:  kyle from lubbock, tx asks:

Are Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson the best righty/lefty duo in the minor leagues?

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
You could certainly argue that and I’d back you up on it. Though when
David Price debuts you might find some competition at Vero Beach.

 Q:  Sandsniper from Florida asks:

Any word when David Price will start pitching for Vero Beach? I expect he will be making the Hot List after one start.

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
We haven’t heard any major changes to the six week timetable that was
given in March and that is supposedly up next week so you’ll probably
see him sometime this month if everything goes well. He will be watched
for the Hot Sheet, no question there.

 Q:  Sandsniper from Florida asks:

With Laporta’s hot start, does he get called up to Nashville or Milwaukee next? What’s the timeline on his next promotion?

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
I’d expect him to get a shot in Nashville first, unless the Brewers
make him a September call-up before anything else. He can obviously
hit, but he should get some time in the outfield before he’s thrown out
there in a big league situation. Plus, the Crew is pretty well set
right now with Braun/Cameron/Hart patrolling the grounds. Let LaPorta
get his cuts and practice at a new and challenging position.

 Q:  David B from Sewickley asks:

How
long before we need to adjust our expectations of Moustakas and
Vitters? There are plenty of other 2007 HS draftees that are doing well
in the same leagues.

 A: 

Jim Shonerd:
Vitters has definitely had an interesting last few weeks. Let’s see how
he does when he gets back in the lineup, which shouldn’t be long.
Moustakas’ struggles have been surprising since he held his own in his
stint in the Pioneer League last year, but lets give them the rest of
the season at least.

 Q:  Jake from South Orange asks:

Is there any chance we see Jeff Locke in AA this year, or do you think that next year is more likely?

 A: 

Jim Shonerd: He’s only in Low A now, so it’s pretty unlikely he’ll make AA before the end of this year.

 Q:  Jay Bruce from Louisville asks:

How long before I’m called up to Cincinnati? The Reds need an offensive boost and Patterson is struggling.

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
A lot of people thought you should have been there to start with,
myself included. It’s not an outrage, though, given your age, but if
you keep hitting the ball in AAA and the Reds want to contend, you’ll
force yourself into the lineup pretty quickly. Joey Votto has already
done it. Why not you next?

 Q:  Dale from Virginia, Minnesota asks:

I
like to prospect on baseball cards. Who do you think will be can’t miss
prospects? Do you think Matt LaPorta will be with the Brewers by
seasons end?

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
I think he could be a September call-up. Especially if he keeps hitting
like this. He’s probably a safe bet in the card industry. Glad to see
someone is still interested in them…I’ve got a closet of about 70,000
cards that I’m looking to clear out…

 Q:  Marcus from Silver Spring asks:

What
does a Nats prospect have to do to get on the prospect sheet? Burgess
has been killing in the SAL leading the league in homers as well as
being top 10 in SLUG, and RBI’s; While Zimmerman and VanAllen have
gotten off to hot starts in high class A. Yet no Nats prospect has even
been in the helium watch! Whats the deal?

 A: 

Moderator:
I saw Burgess play in Greensboro last week and while he did hit a bomb
of a home run, he also went 1-for-7 with a couple of K’s in a 14 inning
game. He would’ve been a Hot Sheet candidate that week, but going
1-for-7 killed him. Zimmerman had one strong start this week and one
shaky one, and all the guys that made it were pretty dominant. Don’t
worry though, Zimmerman is definitely on our radar and when he has that
dominant week, he’ll be there.

 Q:  john from ct asks:

Lotsa of names not included this week: Wieters, Montero among them. John Whittleman had a great week. Was he considered?

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
Wieters only had four hits this week and is hitless in his last 11
at-bats. It shouldn’t cause any alarm because he is human. Whittleman
did have a good week and was on my watch list but just missed the cut
because of some very loud weeks from others. Montero also had a solid
week, but just missed. He had a couple of one-hit games and an 0-for-4
night that helped his average drop about 20 points.

 Q:  Andrew Shpigel from Washington asks:

Glad
to see Bastardo make an appearance, but when are we going to see more
love for the Phillies organization? Cardenas, Savery, or Drew Carpenter
aren’t worthy of even a mention?

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
More love? Let’s see…Cardenas is on the DL so it would be a little
tough for him to make the list. Savery has given up a total of 10 ER in
his last three starts and here’s Carpenter’s line for the week (two
starts): 0-1, 8.68, 9 1/3 IP, 5 BB, 9 K. Not exactly Hot Sheet worthy.
Remember this is a highlight of prospects on a week-by-week basis, not
a re-ranking of our Top 100 or Top 30s. When those guys start
performing to expectations they’ll be in discussions, there’s no doubt
about that.

 Q:  Tom from Bermuda asks:

No love for Purcey and Ginley of the Blue Jays? Both pitchers are tearing up their perspective leagues.

 A: 

Jim Shonerd:
Purcey had a great start this week, and he’s been great all year so
far. Unfortunately, that facts that he only made one start and that it
was against the woeful Lehigh Valley IronPigs probably didn’t help him.
Ginley was also on the watch list, and he’ll continue to be as long as
he’s up there among the MWL’s ERA leaders. He’s been great all year
too, he just wasn’t dominant enough this week, which is really saying
something about the guys that did make it when a guy with his numbers
doesn’t make it.

 Q:  Snapper Bean from Greater Kensington asks:

What
sort of critical analysis does BA do of its own ratings? Does it ever
go back and look at its Top Prospect lists and determine whether some
organizations are consistently underrated and others consistently
overrated? Certain types of prospects consistently overrated and other
consistently overrated? Does BA do its own scouting or are evaluations
based strictly on what organizations say to BA and looking at the stat
lines? Just curious. Thanks.

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
We do go back and look at our lists and see guys we missed on, whether
they were rated really high, low or not at all. Jim Callis does a
column guys that have become big league regulars that were never on a
Top 30 list. Our evaluations come primarily from talking to people
throughout the game, but at the same time stats are a key aspect as
well. There is A LOT of information coming in from A LOT of people.
It’s no small feat.

 Q:  Nick from Princeton, NJ asks:

Is Anthony Bastardo for real or is he just picking on weaker hitters? Could he become an effective set up man/reliever?

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
Scouting reports say he’s probably better suited in a relief role. His
changeup is really doing a number on those guys in High A. I don’t want
to take anything away from him, but it is a decent advantage.

 Q:  Tom from Cincinnati, OH asks:

How good of a prospect is Todd Frazier for the Reds?

 A: 

Jim Shonerd:
We like Frazier here, although it’ll be interesting to see if the Reds
will be able to find him a new defensive home. The only reason he’s in
Low A to begin with because there’s no room for another shortstop on
Sarasota. His bat is ready for more advanced competition.

 Q:  Jack from Dayton asks:

What is the ceiling for Chris Valaika? If not SS where will he end up?

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
He could probably play SS in the big leagues, just not every day. He
would probably make the move to 2B where his bat would be his best
weapon.

 Q:  JP from Warrenton MO asks:

Where is Volstad? Where is the love, the love, the love?

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
Again, his week just wasn’t as good as the pitchers that made it. He
was in the team photo last week. It’s no knock against him. We love
him, but we can’t rank a guy solely for that. That’s where the love is.

 Q:  Jason from St. Louis, MO asks:

Any reason Brett Anderson didn’t make the list? Other than one bad start, he’s been phenomenal.

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
There sure was. He has been great this year aside from that one bad
start you mention. But also, he had one start this week in which he
gave up three earned runs and only struck out three. Not a terrible
outing, but definitely not better than the guys we listed.

 Q:  Ben from Leland Grove asks:

When can Pirates fans expect to get served a dose of CUTCH?

 A: 

Jim Shonerd:
Probably not before the All-Star Break. On one hand they can’t keep him
down too long. On the other hand, Nate McLouth is hitting well and they
have Nyjer Morgan or Chris Duffy to serve as defensive replacements.
Plus McCutchen isn’t on their 40-man roster. He’s only 21, so more
minor league experience won’t hurt him. If Bay or Nady get moved by the
trade deadline, that’s when you should expect to see him in Pittsburgh.

 Q:  Paul from Washington State asks:

Any
love for two Tiger pitchers signed out of their Latin American
scouting? Luis Marte is 2-1, 1.24 0.83 WHIP in High A and Ramon Garcia,
a lefty knucklecurve thrower is 3-2, 0.96 WHIP and a 28/2 K/BB in Low A.

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
Luis Marte was a helium guy last week and I kept tabs on him this week,
but his line just didn’t jump out like the others. He’s an interesting
one to watch. As for Garcia I’m not as excited. His 23 years old in Low
A. That’s pretty old for that level.

 Q:  Andrew from washington asks:

With Scherzer being promoted to Arizona where do you ultimately think his best spot is? Rotation or bullpen, this year’s Joba?

 A: 

Moderator:
Personally, bullpen. Others think differently. I have questions about
his long term health because that violent head scares me. I guess you
could say he is “this year’s Joba” in terms of a call up that shuts
down the opposing hitters. But remember Joba rocketed to that status in
his first full season. He’s had one outing. He’ll be interesting to
watch.

 Q:  Steve from State College asks:

Any
consideration for two Oriole pitching prospects, Radhames Liz and
Brandon Erbe? Liz has recovered nicely from a slow start and Erbe is
dominating the Carolina League the second time around.

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
Brandon Erbe was on the watch list, but just couldn’t quite match some
of the performances we saw this week. The same with Liz. He had a
pretty good start that was one day out of our range for this week’s
list.

 Q:  Noah from Victoria, Minnesota asks:

What areas does Twins prospect Deolis Guerra need to improve in, before he makes it to the majors.

 A: 

Jim Shonerd:
Control, for one. I talked to their pitching coordinator, Rick Knapp,
in Spring Training, and conditioning was something else he mentioned
Guerra needed to improve.

 Q:  Nick from Princeton, NJ asks:

Gut
feeling- Do you think Cardenas reaches the majors as a Philly or is he
used as trade fodder to help push the big league club into the
playoffs? Also, do you think Utley at 1B and Cardenas at 2B could work
in the future and is it being entertained by the Phillies FO due to
Howard’s insane contract demands?

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
My gut says they’ll see where they stand when he is ready to make his
debut. With Burrell being a free agent and Jenkins only around for this
year, they may be able to look at Cardenas as a corner OF option. Who
knows? He’s still young and they aren’t at a scrambling point yet.

 Q:  AUTOGRAFFIX.com from Stoughton, WI asks:

Nate
- With all of your baseball cards, have you considered AUTOGRAFFIX
Hologram Stickers? Our Innovative Product and Concept Give You The
Opportunity To Create Your Own One-Of-A-Kind Autographed Cards.

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
Haha. No. I’m not looking to enhance my collection at this point. Would
rather someone that is a little more into than me get the chance to
enjoy them and I’ll have to start paying a mortgage pretty soon…

 Q:  Mrs. Ma Pleleaf from TORONTO asks:

Lansing
has got a pretty good trio of ’07 draft picks in Justin Jackson, Kevin
Ahrens, and John Tolisano…how good can these guys be?!? All are still
19! Is this the INF of the future—say 2010

 A: 

Jim Shonerd:
We did a classification feature about the Lansing infield in a recent
issue. There are doubts about Tolisano’s ability to stick as an
infielder, he may end up in the outfield in the future, but all three
have offensive potential.

 Q:  Randy from San Fran CA asks:

At
this moment can you give me your top 5 prospects out these mega
prospects (in order) … Bruce, Heyward, Montero, L.Anderson and
LaPorta. Heyward and Montero deserve extra points for doing it at 18
and not striking out much. Couldnt they be 1-2 in next years top 100
list ? thanks

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
I like this order: Bruce, Heyward, LaPorta, Anderson, Montero. That’s
right now and is only my opinion, certainly up for argument. In the
long run, I’m a huge Lars Anderson fan and Montero could prove me wrong
on his position questions.

 Q:  David from Athens,GA asks:

Where are a couple young arms in Jhouylis Chacin and Steve Evarts on the list?

 A: 

Jim Shonerd:
I like Chacin, but he gave up too many runs in his two starts this week
(5 total, 4 earned). However, his 15-2 K-BB rate definitely got him
some consideration. Evarts is on the DL, so its kinda hard to make the
Hot Sheet when you don’t play.

 Q:  Patrick from Philadelphia asks:

No love for Zach Mcallister? Why doesn’t he get more hype?

 A: 

Jim Shonerd:
McAllister barely made the Prospect Handbook (he’s the Yankees’ No.
30), but the work he’s done so far is definitely getting him some
notice around here. You can’t argue with a guy who’s only given up 4
earned runs in 32 innings, with a 25-4 K-BB ratio, but he only made one
start this week, and even though it was really good, it wasn’t enough
to crack the list. Keep an eye out for him on future Hot Sheets though.

 Q:  Kyle from Kansas City asks:

Better lefty/righty combo – Hellickson-Price or McGee-Davis?

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
Ah! My Cahill-Anderson combo may have been bested. Hellickson-Price is
pretty good, but McGee-Davis have been doing it longer obviously. Quite
frankly, with that question, I’d rather just be a Rays front office guy
so I can sit back and smile since I have this much positive debate in
my organization.

 Q:  Matt from Tucson asks:

Between Cahill, Simmons, Anderson, Gonzalez, Rodriguez and De Los Santos, is the A’s farm system as stacked as it seems?

 A: 

Nathan Rode:
It is very stacked right now, especially in Stockton with the rotation
and their lineup that includes Sean Doolittle, Chris Carter and Josh
Horton. Billy Beane made some very good moves in the offseason to start
some rebuilding.

Nathan Rode: Thanks for all the great questions everyone. That’ll do it for me today. Join us again next week, same time, same place.

 Q:  Dellin Betances from Charleston asks:

What do I have to do to get on the hotlist? What about my Yankee friends, Zach Mcallister and Ryan Pope?

 A: 

Jim Shonerd:
Dellin, you’ve been solid this year and that’s good to see. But in the
only start you made this week, you only went five innings and lost to
Augusta. If you want to make the Hot Sheet, cut down on the walks
(you’ve given out 11 over your last three starts) and keep racking up
the K’s and we’ll find a place for you.

Moderator: Thanks for the questions everyone. This was my first BA chat, so I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. See you next week!

Minors | #2008 #Prospect Hot Sheet

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