2012 Pioneer League Top 20 Prospects Chat
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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
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?
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.
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?
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??
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?
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"?
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?
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,
Frank (Chicago): Did the guy with the coolest name on Missoula's roster, Socrates Brito, get any consideration for this list?
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)?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.
Awesome questions, everyone. I had a blast, but must be on my way. Thanks for stopping by.