Russ from Purple Row asks: Shouldn’t the Rockies Free Ryan Spilborghs! from the minors?
Moderator: Thanks for stopping by. Let’s get started.
Matt Eddy: Wow, my very first general prospects chat and the first question in the queue is about Spilborghs.
Spilborghs can play all three outfield spots and is a career
.292-.379-.442 minor league hitter (in some nice hitters’ environs),
but his main problem appears to be the three righthanded-hitting
outfielders ahead of him on the Rockies’ depth chart. He won’t replace
Matt Holliday or Willy Taveras, obviously, and he’s not quite the
lefty-killer that Jeff Baker is.
Erik from Deland, FL asks: Is there any point for KC to have Brian Bannister in AAA?
When you consider the Royals are giving Bannister’s starts to Jorge de
la Rosa and Brandon Duckworth, it did seem like a head-scratching move.
At 26, it’s not like Bannister has a lot left to work on in the minors.
He’s a command guy with a very good cutter. Bannister is more likely
than Duckworth to be a Royal in two years, so getting him big league
experience now would seemingly behoove the club.
Kris from Burlington asks: Matt Garza seems to have started slowly is there any reason in particular? Who gets the call first Slowey or Garza?
Garza would be first in line, based on his better raw stuff and his
prior big league time. But Slowey may not be far behind. And don’t
forget most International League games have been played in
Mark from Coral Springs, Fla. asks: Any sleeper pitchers with high K9 rates who may be flying under the radar?
Your minor league leaders in total strikeouts are Tim Lincecum (28) and
Yovani Gallardo (26), so no surprises there. The Braves’ Tommy Hanson
(25) is third, but he was the Appalachian League’s top pitching
prospect last year. And I know you all have that list memorized. Scott
Elbert is fourth (24).
Matt Eddy: The biggest surprises to
me are Carlos Marmol (24) and Devern Hansack (23), who rank fifth and
seventh. Both are doing it in Triple-A, too. Low Class A hurlers Jeff
Manship (23) and Brett Anderson (22) are also off to fast starts.
Kris from Burlington asks: When
will they start talking about Nick Adenhart in the same group as
Bailey, Hughes etc? He seems to be dominating Double A so far.
Maybe as soon as mid-season if he keeps pitching like this. There’a a
lot to like here: Command of three plus pitches, an improving strikeout
rate and decided groundball tendencies.
Tom from VT asks: Aneury Rodriguez has been all over the map in his starts so far this season. Nerves?
You could forgive the Rockies’ righthander if it was nerves. Just 18,
Rodriguez already has two U.S. pro seasons under his belt, one in the
Pioneer League and another in the Northwest. I would bet on him
figuring it out, even if it takes half a season.
Jordan from Tempe, AZ asks: Whats the ceiling on Anthony Hatch?
The absolute ceiling for Toronto’s Hatch would be as an above-average
regular at second or third base. More likely, he’ll be a good-hitting
utility infielder. (He has played a little shortstop.) The Blue Jays
had planned to try him at second base this year, but so far Hatch has
played just his natural position of third.
ScottAZ from Phx, AZ asks: Is Cameron Maybin’s sudden increase in power and walks a sign of whats to come, or is it just a good start of the season?
Sure, it’s a good sign. He’s really surpassed everyone’s expectations
to this point–including the Tigers’. Maybin’s hot start in the *Florida
State League* also gives us an indication of how difficult the Midwest
League really is to hit in.
Kris from Burlington asks: Do you see Brandon Wood and Billy Butler getting the call up to the majors soon? Which one of the 2 has the higher ceiling?
Butler is clearly the safer pick because of his high contact rate and
improving power, but Wood’s ceiling is higher because his power will be
well above-average and because he can play two infield positions.
Butler would seem to have fewer obstacles to the big leagues in Kansas
City, but the Angels’ injury situation muddles the issue.
Bob from Florida asks: How would you rank J. Chamberlain, J. McGee, D. Guerra, C. Volstad, C. Carrasco, W. Inman based on career projections?
Of this group I like Jacob McGee and Deolis Guerra the best. Flip a
coin, I guess. After them, Joba Chamberlain because he’s closer to the
majors, then Chirs Volstad, then Carlos Carrasco. And Despite his gaudy
minor league numbers, Will Inman would be sixth on this list for me.
Kris from Burlington asks: Who has the higher upside Niemann or Adam Miller and how soon do you see both in the majors?
I’ve been really impressed with Miller’s development. He added a
two-seamer that has really made him a complete pitcher, and really one
of the minors’ most overlooked righthanders. If he pitches well, the
Indians will make room for him this season.
Robert Goldberg from Lyndhurst, NJ asks: What
does Chris Carter (D’Backs) have to do to get some love? He’s been
unreal so far this year, and still doesn’t appear to be in their
So it goes for minor league first basemen. The big league standards for
the position are simply so high that only the elite can break through.
Carter’s a good hitter, to be sure, but he’s a not a big home run guy.
He hit 19 in the PCL last year.
Todd Bergeth from Willmar, Mn asks: The Yankees need starting pitching and yet they say they are leaving Phil Hughes in the minors, what gives?
Given their rash of injuries early this season, the Yankees had their
chance to promote Hughes. But they didn’t. It’s safe to say the
organization wants to see him develop his changeup and see how he
reacts to adversity in the minors. He should be up later this year,
though. Hard to believe he’s just 20.
Peter from San Jose asks: Can
Kevin Slowey’s control game translate to major league success? Should
we expect to see him starting soon for the Twins? Thanks
Yes, and maybe. Slowey’s fastball command is so advanced that he’ll
find success in some role, even if it’s relief. The Twins will give him
every opportunity to start, though.
Todd from Phx, AZ asks: And the first five impact rookie callups are…..??
Matt Eddy: A good question to go out on.
Matt Eddy: My guess . . . Ryan Braun, Tim Lincecum, Hunter Pence, Billy Butler and Adam Miller.