League Top 20 Prospects

2011 Northwest League Top 20 Prospects Chat With Conor Glassey




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Moderator: Conor Glassey will answer questions about Northwest League prospects beginning at 3 p.m. ET.

Conor Glassey: Hey everybody. Thanks for joining me for my third-consecutive Northwest League Top 20 chat. I'm listening to my favorite album of 2011, Action Bronson's "Dr. Lecter" and I'll probably let it loop two times. So let's get to the questions!

    Grant (NYC): How does this list compare to last year's?

Conor Glassey: Good question to start off with. I like Profar better than anybody on this year's list, but Choice and Nicolino are pretty close. I think this years list is overall a little stronger and deeper.

    Roger (Greenville, SC): Is it just me or is there a disconnect on where Panik will play eventually? The quotes in the scouting report say SS, but the tools are screaming 2B, and I don't see from the stats how the bat would be pressured at 2B.

Conor Glassey: It wouldn't shock me if Panik wound up at second base, but I disagree that the tools "scream" that he needs to move there. He's not a defensive whiz, but he makes all the plays, has enough arm, positions his feet well. He's solid. As for the bat being pressured at second base, scouts didn't think Panik has an impact bat. Obviously he's a lefthanded hitter, but Panik got compared to guys like Gary Disarcina and Mike Bordick and in today's game, second base is a more offensive position than shortstop. The average SS and 2B hit about the same, but this year, for example, there are four everyday shortstops with an OPS above .800 but there are seven second basemen.

    Ben (Leland Grove): Thoughts on Marcus Littlewood's lackluster campaign?

Conor Glassey: It was a disappointing debut for Littlewood. He hit .158/.236/.211 in the Midwest League before being sent down to Everett. His numbers there were better, but there are still obvious concerns. He slugged .168 as a righthanded hitter this year and now the Mariners are putting even more on his plate by testing him out at catcher at instructs. Littlewood has the makeup to play catcher and I talked to a scout when he was coming out of high school that thought that would be his best bet, but I also spoke to a scout who saw him this year that said he didn't see the arm strength out of Littlewood that made him confident he could catch. Basically, Littlewood has a looooong ways to go.

    Elliot (Youngstown OH): BA Schedule says its the NYPL today. I have to wait all weekend to find out if any Mahoning Valley Scrappers are prospects! The anxiety will ruin my weekend,

Conor Glassey: Sorry, Elliot! We switched it up on you. But, Aaron Fitt (who did the NY-P list this year) told me you can count on seeing two Scrappers on the list on Monday. Have a good weekend!

    Matt (Scranton): Can you explain why Spangenburg was picked over Campos? I'm a big Spangenburg fan, but see him as a future above average starter with a limited ceiling and high floor compared to Campos who has ace potential. On another note a Seattle rotation featuring five of Felix, Pineda, Paxton, Walker, Hultzen, and Campos is just scary.

Conor Glassey: Campos is very good, but I don't think he has ace potential. I think he's more of a No. 2 or 3 starter. Spangenberg was one of the best pure bats in the draft, has a great eye at the plate, very good speed, a little pop and a great work ethic. Nothing to be ashamed of being ranked behind that guy. And yeah, the Mariners do have a nice collection of premium arms.

    Roger (Greenville, SC): Before he signed, the knock on Spangenberg was that he was a "tweener" who would struggle to stay at a premium defensive position or hit for the power expected of a corner. To what degree has Spangenberg's debut answered the question?

Conor Glassey: I don't think "tweener" is a fair word to describe Spangenberg, just because his pure hitting ability is so good. If you can hit like he projects to, a team will find a place for you. He might not be the prettiest defender, but Pat Murphy said, "He just finds a way to get it done."

    Reggie Golden (Midwest League 2012): Conor- I faded the second half of the season, but I showed all 5 tools right?

Conor Glassey: Golden didn't fade too badly, but calling him a 5-tool guy is stretching it. Power is his best tool and his raw power is above-average, but I don't see him becoming an above-average hitter because of his contact issues. His speed is like a 55 now, but he could slow down and he's just okay defensively.

    Mike (Fort Wayne, IN): For all of the negative press the Padres got for Matt Bush and some of it deserving, at least Bush is pitching in AA. Will Donavan Tate ever play AA ball?

Conor Glassey: Some of it's deserving? That's being kind! Tate certainly has his work cut out for him, but the tools are still there and I think he will play in Double-A.

    Mike (Chicago): Are there any other cubs pitchers that I could get excited about besides Wells, such as a Yao-Lin Wang?

Conor Glassey: Lots of questions about Yao-Lin Wang and, yes, he was close to making the list. But Wang got mixed reviews and wound up in my 21-30 range. At his best, he has a mid-90s fastball—though it's too straight—and pretty good curveball, which helped him rack up big strikeout numbers. He's a good competitor, but some scouts saw him more in the 87-91 mph range and his changeup is below average. Fringy back-of-the-rotation guy, but probably winds up in the bullpen. The Boise guy that was closer to making the list was RHP Jose Rosario, who sat 92-94 and topped out at 97. He's a small guy but has a loose arm and is working to develop his curveball.

    @Jaypers413 (IL): Had he qualified, about where would Kevin Matthews have ranked on the list? What did scouts and managers have to say about him?

Conor Glassey: I didn't like the direction the Rangers went with their first-round picks. Zach Cone had a terrible debut and I didn't get glowing reviews on Matthews, either. I think he would have missed the cut. The stuff sounded like it was okay, but he couldn't command it and pitched up in the zone too often.

    Kyle (Seattle): Does Odor's glove rank on par with Profar's, or slightly below?

Conor Glassey: Profar is special. Odor is firmly behind him in all regards.

    Bryan (Palo Alto, CA): Everyone was calling Joe Panik a overdraft but did he show the tools to be worthy of a first round pick? What is his projection and can he stick at short?

Conor Glassey: I do think Panik was a bit of a reach for the Giants. We had him ranked No. 67 in our pre-draft Top 200, which would have put him in the second round and I know some teams preferred him in the 3-5 round range. He's a high floor, low ceiling guy and I think he can stay at shortstop.

    Roger (Greenville, SC): Who's more likely to stick at SS: Panik or Peterson?

Conor Glassey: Panik is more polished. He makes all the plays, but is not flashy in anything he does. Peterson is more raw at the position, obviously, because of his football background but shows good feel and just needs more experience and is a better athlete with a stronger arm. Because of his polish, I would say Panik has the better chance to stay at shortstop, but I don't think either one is a future Gold Glover.

    Greg (Anaheim): Were there any other Giants prospects that came close to inclusion in the tops 20? Also, do the Giants have any sleeper prospects to keep an eye on for next year?

Conor Glassey: Righthander Kendry Flores was one of the two or three guys to narrowly miss the list. Young, lanky kid that shows good athleticism and a loose arm. He has a three-pitch mix (though he needs to throw his changeup more often), including a fastball up to 93 and a good breaking ball. As far as a sleepers go, keep an eye on outfielder Shawn Payne. He's skinny as can be but put up great numbers for a 35th round pick.

    Brice (Oklahoma City): Anything coming forward out of any of the arms at Tri-Cities? Looks as if Christian Bergman, Tyler Gagnon, Ben Alsup, and Kenny Roberts, among a few others, had great success up there. None of the numbers look to be eye-popping, other than the low ERA's. Anything on any of those guys or anyone else on that squad?

Conor Glassey: Nelson Gonzalez, Christian Bergman and Tyler Gagnon all have similar profiles. Strike-throwing righthanders that sit in the 87-89 mph range and scrape 92. The most interesting arm on Tri-City's roster was Venezuelan righthander Vianney Mayo who sits 92-93 and touches 95, but needs to improve his secondary stuff. The Rockies sixth-rounder, Chris Jensen, also showed good arm strength.

    Oliver (Boise): Assuming they both end up at the same position, would you take Spangenberg over Panik? They almost seem like the same player or is Spangenberg that much better?

Conor Glassey: Spangenberg is the better hitter with more power and better speed. Panik is better defensively and has more polish. I'd definitely take Spangenberg over Panik, which is why I ranked them that way and why they were drafted that way.

    Bryan (Palo Alto, CA): Since last years draft there has been some very good buzz around OF Chuckie Jones. I know he didn't have a good statistical season but what did the managers have to say about the tool set and his future?

Conor Glassey: I like Chuckie Jones. He has serious raw power but is very raw at the plate. He showed poor pitch recognition and trouble catching up to fastballs.

    Larry (San Diego): On a scale from 1 to 10, how optimistic are you that Mr. Glass....err, I mean Donavan Tate, can become the guy the Padres drafted?

Conor Glassey: Well, in a literal sense he IS the guy that Padres drafted....haha. But I know what you mean and I would say my expectations are low for Tate right now. On your 1-10 scale, I'd go with a 4. The tools are still there for him to succeed—and you always have to bet on the tools—but tools are meaningless if he can't stay on the field. Does any player have more riding on next year than Tate?

    Trabajo (Wheaton, IL): What is Zeke DeVoss' overall power ceiling? Can he hit for more power than a Ben Revere type?

Conor Glassey: DeVoss won't be a home run threat, but he definitely has more sock than Ben Revere.

    Roger (Greenville, SC): Is there any chance Odor moves back to SS? Was the move based on the guys above him (Andrus, Profar)?

Conor Glassey: I don't think so. He has nice hands and actions, but Odor's arm plays better at 2B.

    Dan (Lansing): Is Zach Britton a solid comp for Ben Wells?

Conor Glassey: I mean, they both throw sinkers. But, no. Britton's a lefty with a slider. Wells is a righty with a curveball.

    Josh G (Stockton, CA): How close was Giants OF Chuckie Jones to making this list?

Conor Glassey: Not close. Would have been in the 31-40 range.

    Phil N (North York): Hi - did scouts have any favorable comments for all-star 2B Jonathan Berti? Where there any other Vancouver Canadian's considered for the Top 20? Thanks!

Conor Glassey: The only guys scouts really liked on Vancouver were guys that didn't qualify - Aaron Sanchez and Noah Syndergaard. Both would have been in the top 10, had they qualified. Drew Permison got some support from managers, but scouts were lukewarm on him.

    Trabajo (Wheaton, IL): Does John Pedrotty or Lorenzo Mendoza have more to project on at this point?

Conor Glassey: Pedrotty is a big lefty that throws strikes, but mostly uses a fastball-changeup mix. His two-seamer does have very good sink and he got a little support. The most intriguing arm on Yakima's staff, though, was lefthanded reliever Michael Blake. He didn't pitch much at Hawaii and definitely profiles in the bullpen, but ran his fastball up to 96. Righthander Yiomar Camacho and shortstop Raul Navarro also got a little support.

    Beth (Jupitar, FL): Nicolino 1st, next best pitcher Campos. Was this decision a hard one or does Nicolino clearly stand out? Are both future high end starters? Just trying to get a feel for how good Nico really is. Thanks.

Conor Glassey: Putting Nicolino number one was a no-brainer. He's a stud.

    Jim (Earth): Trevor Story or Cory Spangenberg?

Conor Glassey: Spangenberg for me.

    Jack (Toronto): Did any Cubs just miss the list? I know Hoilman was old for the league, but he put up some sick power numbers.

Conor Glassey: Already mentioned some other Hawks. Hoilman didn't just miss the list, but he did miss a lot of breaking balls. The power numbers are impressive, but he also came within 3 strikeouts of breaking the NWL all-time record (held by current Cubs outfield coordinator Lee Tinsley).

    Jim (same planet): Nicolino or T.Jenkins? thanks

Conor Glassey: Very close! I love Jenkins, but I think I'd give the edge to Nicolino because he's lefthanded and commands the strike zone a little better. But that's one I could go back and forth on. Tough call.

    Jack (Toronto): Would "Pinchy" Chen's defense have been good enough to stick at 2B?

Conor Glassey: The impression I got was that he was fine there, but his speed was just better utilized in the outfield.

    @Jaypers413 (IL): If you had to choose between Nicolino, Syndergaard and Sanchez to pitch for your fantasy team, who gets the nod and why?

Conor Glassey: I'd line them up Nicolino, Sanchez, Syndergaard.

Conor Glassey: Thanks everybody for all your questions. Have a great weekend and come back Monday for Aaron Fitt's New York-Penn list and chat!