League Top 20 Prospects

2012 Pioneer League Top 20 Prospects Chat

Bubba Brown: Alright, everybody. I'm excited for this, so let's get going.

    @Jaypers413 (IL): Between Dahl and Trevor Story, whose tools are louder, in your opinion?

Bubba Brown: Hey, Jaypers. Matt Eddy did last year's list, where he ranked Trevor Story #1, so I'm not quite as familiar with Story as I am with Dahl. However, I really feel like Dahl's tools are superior. I mean, Dahl has a chance to be a legitimate five-tool threat, with all five tools ranking at least a tick above average, and some tools well above average.

    Ben (Leland Grove): How far off this list was Michael Roth? Do his pitches and delivery remind you of anyone?

Bubba Brown: First, Roth fell a few innings short of the minimum limit to qualify for the list. So in that sense, he was very far from the list. Even if he had qualified, though, he didn't get much support among managers/scouts for the list. If you look at all the pitchers on this list, Roth's stuff doesn't really match up, though that's not to say Roth can't/won't find success in the pros.

    Sammy (DC): How many of the guys on this list do you believe are worthy of making BA's top 100 list next year?

Bubba Brown: This is a tough one, as I have no input on the BA top 100, nor do I have the encyclopedic knowledge of prospects that the people who do have input on the list possess. My guess is that Dahl and Stephenson will definitely be there, and that Mondesi, Seager and Winker each have at least a chance, as well. Past that, I'd be a little surprised if anyone else made the overall top 100.

    Zach (Denver): If you stacked this list of 20 against last year's, which one wins out?

Bubba Brown: I think this year's list would win out. As has been the case with each of the short-season leagues, the earlier signing deadline allowed top picks to spend a significant amount of time in the Pio this year, where that just didn't happen in the past.

    MJ (Valpo): Was Dahl's season one of the best ever for a player drafted right out of HS? I mean, I can't remember a guy who hit with power, and for average, and took walks, with a LOW K rate, in recent memory!?!? Is there a guy in the bigs he kind of reminds scouts of right now?

Bubba Brown: Like I said in an earlier question, I'm not the encyclopedic prospect guy that basically everyone BA full-timer is, so I'm not the best person to ask to put Dahl's season in historical perspective. Certainly, it was one of the best ever seasons from a prep player in the Pioneer League's recent history. Really, there was no debate among managers/scouts as to who the best player in the league was. As for the second part of the question, Dahl's manager threw out a Grady Sizemore comp, which seems pretty fitting to me.

    @Jaypers413 (IL): Do you see a possible future in the bullpen for Sam Selman, or does he have the attributes to remain a SP?

Bubba Brown: Really, it wouldn't shock me to see him end up as a set-up man or closer, but the people I talked to believed he has a pretty decent chance to start. If it weren't for the chance to start, he wouldn't have been quite so high on the list. The big thing for his is the change. If that develops, he's a starter. If it doesn't the pen is probably in his future.

    Kyle (DC): What is the upside on Jon Moscot? He sounds like a polished college guy who could move quickly.

Bubba Brown: Moscot just missed qualifying for the list, and he would have ranked in the 9-11 range. I think you're correct in your assessment that he could move quickly, and it wouldn't be surprising if the Reds were aggressive with him. He doesn't have the upside of a front-of-the-rotation starter, but he does have a future in a major league rotation, I think.

    Kyle (DC): Do you think there's a good chance Guillon develops at least an average third pitch, and if so what kind of ceiling does that give him?

Bubba Brown: I'm a believer in Guillon. The improvement he made from last season to this season gives me hope that he'll be able to develop that curveball. If he does, I think he has the ceiling of a No. 3/No. 4 starter. Left-handers with three good pitches aren't exactly a dime a dozen.

    David Bowen (Brushton, New York): What kept Jeremy Rathjen off the list? Did Delvis Morales get any consideration??

Bubba Brown: The biggest thing that kept Rathjen off the list is the depth of the league this year, caused by the earlier signing deadline. His age (22) didn't help his case, but it wasn't the ultimate thing that kept him off. I covered Ogden this season, and I believe in Rathjen, and I think his package is intriguing. I'll be curious to see if he plays center as he moves forward after splitting time between center and right this season. Morales was considered, but while he put together a fine season at Ogden, he didn't get enough support from managers/scouts.

    Allan (Wi): Bubba, were there any prospects from the Helena Brewers worth a mention?

Bubba Brown: Really, the best prospect from Helena was Tyrone Taylor, who only played in 10 games. He's a toolsy 2nd-rounder, who would have certainly made this list if he had qualified. Other Helena prospects who got serious consideration were Christopher McFarland, Michael Reed, Adam Giacalone and Damien Magnifico.

    Mike (Cleveland): Just curious as to what is meant by "needs to work on reading balls off the bat"?

Bubba Brown: Basically, that means he needs to work on getting better jumps on balls in the outfield.

    Armando (Maui): Seems to me like Dahl is the easy #1 pick for this group. How do you think he would stack up compared to yesterday's Hawkins & Buxton? Still an easy#1 choice?

Bubba Brown: Indeed, Dahl was the clear Pio #1. I'm not as familiar with Hawkins or Buxton as I am with Dahl, as I didn't do the Appy list, but my order would be: Buxton, decent-sized gap, Dahl, Hawkins.

    Frank (Chicago): Did the guy with the coolest name on Missoula's roster, Socrates Brito, get any consideration for this list?

Bubba Brown: He did get consideration, especially considering the name reminds me of my favorite player from when I was, like, four, Bernardo Brito. Socrates put together a very good season for a 19-year-old in the Pio, and he has tools, including some power and a good arm in the outfield. He's still very raw, though, and his development doesn't look like it will be quick.

    DAVID S (SOUTH GATE, CA): The Dodgers had two players selected to the Top 20 (SS Corey Seager & RH Ross Stripling). Were there any others close (i.e. CA Eric Smith, 1B/OF Jesus Valdez, OF Jeremy Rathjen)?

Bubba Brown: Rathjen was the Ogden player closest to making the list, followed by Scott Griggs, both of whom might have made the list last season, before the signing deadline was moved up.

    Nick (Cary, NC): Aside from Stephenson, which of the pitchers in the top 10 has the best shot at being in a major league rotation rather than in a bullpen?

Bubba Brown: While I don't believe he's as good of a prospect as the guys ahead of him, I thinK Langfield is as sure a bet to be in a rotation, rather than the bullpen, as anyone on this list, because he has so many effective pitches. Guys like Butler and Selman still have to develop pitches to assure their spots in a rotation, while it seems Langfield is already there, though he doesn't have the ceiling of those guys.

    Pete (Tucson): What can you tell me about Jake Lamb? He had a very good year, is it because he was old for the league?

Bubba Brown: Lamb was tough to leave off the list. He's a guy who can hit for both average and power, and he really plays the heck out of third base. One thing his manager mentioned is he needs to leave the college game behind, meaning he has to learn to hit off the fastball and adjust to off-speed.

    Chuck (Wichita): What was the word on Elier Hernandez?

Bubba Brown: Hernandez was another guy who was tough to leave off the list. He's got tools — his manager even said he will definitely play in the majors — but he's very raw. While a guy like Mondesi, his teammate, could move quickly, Hernandez will take a while. It wouldn't surprise me if he repeated the Pio next season.

    Jon (Charlottesville): Historically, Ogden has seemed to inflate hitting stats even above the league's tendency to do so. In that context, the pitching numbers Ross Stripling posted almost amaze. Do you think his 2- and 3-inning starts (designed not to overtax a heavily used college arm) left any doubt among scouts that he can be a rotation starter, going forward?

Bubba Brown: I cover Ogden, so I was fortunate to witness several of Stripling's starts first-hand. His stuff definitely played up in the short stints, but he improved his prospect status with his debut this season. The thing that sticks out to me about Stripling was his command. Walked only six batters all season, and he was able to work all around the strike zone.

    Dave (Atlanta): Any info on Chase Stevens, the RHP for Helena who struck out 59 in 32.2 IP after striking out 84 in 67 IP for OK State this spring?

Bubba Brown: Stevens is interesting, because he really did dominate the league. He'll sit 88-91 with his fastball, but his secondary stuff didn't get rave reviews. He's a guy I'll keep an eye on, though, just because the results have been so impressive.

    Jack (Orlando): I know he struggled this season, but what do you think about Max White and his future? How good are his tools?

Bubba Brown: Not everyone can dominate the Pioneer League at 18 like Dahl, and White is evidence of that. He's raw, but the tools are there. He has good bat speed, but his bat path can get long at times. He's also a plus runner with a good arm, which will give him value in the outfield, though he needs to work on his reads and taking the right paths to balls. Definitely has a chance to make this list next year, I would think.

    Chris (lunch): Recently a prospect analyst stated that Selman profiles as a reliever long term. What is the feeling amongst your contacts?

Bubba Brown: If I'm not mistaken I believe you are referring to Keith Law. But as I said earlier, people I talked to generally believe Selman can be a starter, though it depends on the development of the change-up. Even if he does have to move to the pen, the arm is big enough that he could be a back-end guy.

    Tony (Olathe, KS): Any other Chukars come close to making the list?

Bubba Brown: Elier Hernandez was certainly considered, as was Ethan Chapman. No one else from that team really garnered much attention from managers/scouts I talked to.

    Scott (Montgomery): Where do you see David Dahl starting the season next year?

Bubba Brown: My guess would be Low-A Tri City, but it wouldn't shock me if they sent Dahl to Asheville, given he's so advanced for his age.

    Mila (kansas city): my name is Jesus Valdez- what do I have to do to get some love from BA? I had 30 extra base hits (9 dingers) in 281 ab's, a .324 ba, and a .404 obpct, and I am only 20 years old. I have a strong arm (mid 90's as a high school pitcher) and my defense isn't so bad. I even stole 4 bases. What else do I need to do? Realistically, what kind of prospect am I?

Bubba Brown: Jesus, you're actually a decent prospect, just not quite top-20 material. Those numbers are certainly impressive, but they're not really anything to shout about in the hitter-friendly Pio, especially since you're a lefty playing in Ogden, where there's a close fence in right-center, which turned some outs into doubles.

    Raul (Tucson, Az): Bubba, any love for Misoula shortstop Pedro Ruiz from your sources?

Bubba Brown: Ruiz definitely got a long look. He's another one of those guys who would have had a better chance to make the list in years past, before the signing deadline moved up. He can hit for average, but there's not much power in the bat.

    Ben (Leland Grove): Besides a blazing fastball and a great surname, what else does Damien Magnifico bring to the table?

Bubba Brown: As you touched on, the fastball is big and the name is awesome. He also has a below-average slider. If that develops, though, it wouldn't be a stretch to see Magnifico as a back-end reliever. I think we can all agree it would be pretty sweet if he ends up good enough to close in the majors; I would love to see him sprinting to the mound with the 'Magnifico' part of Bohemian Rhapsody blaring through the stadium speakers.

Bubba Brown: Awesome questions, everyone. I had a blast, but must be on my way. Thanks for stopping by.