The page you are looking for does not exist or has moved

Sorry, the page you're looking for is either like Sidd Finch and does not exist, or like Josh Hamilton and has moved. Where would you like to go instead?

BaseballAmerica.com Home

The latest news from our top sections:

Majors, Minors, Stats, Draft, College, High School, International or Viewpoint

Oakland A's Top 10 Prospects

Moderator: Casey Tefertiller will begin taking your A's questions at 2 p.m. ET

 Q:  Dan from RockMan asks:
i have a question for casey tefertiller for the 2 o'clock chat. what is your take on john mccurdy? after a slow start last year at kane county, he really poured it on in the second half. i think he hit over .400 in august. his power is developing, and the A's seem to like him at short. midland's infield last year was pretty sloppy. with stotts gone and bynum headed for the outfield, will the A's put mccurdy at midland? by the way, who exactly compiles the top 30 prospects?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Welcome to everyone in the chat. And thanks to Kevin for moderating. The A's have a most unusual and interesting organization, which makes it fun to watch and analyze. Dan, As you say, McCurdy showed great improvement toward the end of the season. However, he is still and advanced player at low-A, and it is hard to tell where that leads. It will be interesting to see if he can continue at Modesto this year. There are some in the A's who think very highly of him and believe he will emerge as an offensive force. I doubt many believe he can stay at shortstop, and he will more likely move to second or third in the near future. The full top 30 will be available in the prospect handbook.

 Q:  Kris from Burlington asks:
Does anyone other than Blanton and Swisher from the Moneyball draft project to be a big league regular?? Thanks
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Kris, Really too early to tell with much certainty. Among the most interesting are third baseman Mark Teahen and catcher John Baker. Teahen spent IL working on developing his power, and if he can hit for average power he has an excellent shot of becoming a regular. Baker, from Cal, will probably manage in the majors someday. He is competent, but the question will be whether he has the arm to catch. He is one of the brightest young players I have ever spoken with. The jury is still out on everyone from the draft. The A's remain very high on Jeremy Brown, though scouts outside the organization have a different view. This draft will be very interesting to watch over the next couple of years to see what develops.

 Q:  Malcolm from Modesto, CA asks:
I think its time for our As to gamble and roll the dice on drafting a few power pitchers in the 2004 amateur draft. The Cubs and Diamondbacks have proven in the last few playoffs that power pitchers can dominate a short series and equalize the advantages that the rich clubs like the Yankees and Red Sox have with their hitters. Whats your take? Has the organizations philosophy changed as far as drafting pitchers?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Malcolm, Every team wants to draft power pitchers. The difficulty is finding the right ones. Everyone thought Todd Van Poppel would emerge as the ultimate power pitcher for a generation, and it did not quite work that way. I really like the way the A's have drafted top pitchers over the last decade, and I certainly believe that HudsonZitoMulderHarden can hold their own with the Red Sox in the postseason.

 Q:  john from miami asks:
How good of a prospect is OF Alexi Ogando and what does his future look like?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Ogando is an exciting young outfielder, with the emphasis on young. It is really too early to get much of a read right now. He appears to have legitimate power, but watch what happens this year and we will know more.

 Q:  Ryan Baker from Cleveland, OH asks:
What has happened to John Rheinecker's outlook? What about the other 5 "2002 Moneyball" draftees (not Swisher or Brown) that we don't hear about that often?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Ryan and Kris both asked about Rheinecker. The big lefty had a year where he kept winning, but did not do so impressively. Here is an excerpt from the prospect handbook writeup: well. Despite all this, he did not earn many accolades along the way. Rheinecker allowed a whopping 233 hits in 180 13 innings, enough to raise questions as to whether his stuff is too hittable for an effective major-league starter. The big lefty is a good battler on the mound who fights his way out of trouble. When he has command of his fastball, he can dominate games, but that has been highly inconsistent. He pitches at 88-89 with the fastball and his slider can be superior at times.

 Q:  Kris from Burlington asks:
What happened last year to Jon Rheinecker and how does he fit in long term?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: See above

 Q:  Trent from Oaktown' asks:
RHP Shane Komine has done nothing but succeed in College at Nebraska and again last year with Kane County and Double-A Midland. How come this guy gets no respect? Where does this guy rank amongst our top 30 Prospects? Can we expect him to take Jim Mecirs bullpen spot after the end of the 2004 season?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Shane, Because he stands only 5-9, Komine will have to continually prove himself at every level before anyone believes he can be a quality major-leaguer. This is the curse of the short pitcher. However, Jeff Brantly had a darned good career, and he is about the same height. It is hard to project when he will reach the majors, since he will have to convince at each level. He ranks in the lower third of the A's top 30, but he is one of the reasons the A's system is so unconventional this year. He could emerge as something special in the future.

 Q:  Jeff from Los Altos, CA asks:
Does Brad Sullivan have the stuff to be a number 1 or 2 type guy? Is there someone in the majors right now that reminds you of him? How long before we see him in the majors?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Jeff, Sullivan has hardly pitched as a professional, and when he has the A's have tried to get him to rely on his fastball rather than using his superior breaking pitch. He was almost burned out when he joined the organization, and there is really little upon which to evaluate. Based on his college reports, he could very well be a 1 or 2, but the question remains whether he was tired or damaged, and there is no way to know that until he has more professional experience. It is way to early to guess when he will arrive in the majors.

 Q:  john from miami asks:
What is the outlook on OF Javi Herrera after the horrific accident he had. Does the organization think he can make a rebound and if so what kind of player can he be?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: John, Hernandez appears to be just fine and to have completely recovered. He looks really, really good right now, with great potential. Again, he is so far away that it is impossible to know much, and he will have to move up before anyone can get too excited. Many of us remember Mario Encarnacion at the same age, and he was super. Oh well.

 Q:  Jon from Peru asks:
Hi Casey! What type of role do you anticipate Graham Koonce having with the A's this year? Also, could Brant Colamarino develop into a similar type player?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Jon, Baseball fans in Peru? I guess it beats llama polo. It will be hard for Koonce to make the team out of Spring Training, now that Karros has signed. I would expect him to wait in Sacramento and get the call up when a need arises. He has also been troubled by being a slow starter, which makes it more likely he will start in 3A.

 Q:  Jeffrey from San Ramon, CA asks:
Boy, I sure would like to see Triple-A Player of the Year Graham Koonce play for us every day at 1st base in 2004. How come Beane wont give up on the Scott Hatteberg experiment and just hand the 1st base job to Koonce? I mean, cmon, 10 HRs and a .250 batting average are not exactly the numbers As fans expect from their 1st baseman. At least with Koonce there is a chance to get some power. Hatteberg doesnt offer power, stolen bases, or a high .300 batting average so why does he get to play every day? Who cares if Scott sees 10 pitches per at-bat if the end result is a ground out to 2nd base? I dont see any value in our hitters seeing a lot of pitches to get into the other teams bullpen when our major league hitters couldnt hit relief pitchers any better than they hit starting pitchers in 2003!
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Wow, Jeffrey, I think you said it all. Hatte is a superior clutch hitter, doing his best work with men on base. At some point, I would expect him to evolve into a solid pinch-hitter, and that point might come this year. Hatte is also a leader type who is really good to have on a team with young players.

 Q:  Joey from North Hollywood, CA asks:
Would you consider Joe Blanton, one of the top ten right handed pitching prospects in the game.
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Joey, Yes, I would. But I am not sure Jim Callis or Josh Boyd would agree. Blanton has had one pro season, so we must see what lies ahead. Right now, he appears very, very good.

 Q:  Kris from Burlington asks:
Would it be fair to say that Oaklands system is the weakest its been in the last few years? It dosent look as deep this year as the past.
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Kris, You have touched on the substance of a continuing discussion at BA and around baseball. The A's system is not so much weak as it is weird. The A's may have more players who will reach the majors than does any other organization. The question is how many will be real impact players. There is a vast difference of opinion on the ceilings of many A's players, ranging from Swisher to Stanley. The system has the likes of Komine and Dan Johnson, who do not excite scouts, but their performances are nothing short of dazzling. It is a very difficult system to evaluate, since it is unconventional. My guess is that it will turn out pretty decently, but we will have to see. What the system lacks is that top half-dozen or so players that make scouts drool and have other teams coveting trades. We shall see.

 Q:  Ryan from Vancouver, WA asks:
out of the pitchers who were taken in 1st round of the 2002 draft, who do you think is the furthest along at this point?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Ryan, Blanton, no doubt about it.

 Q:  Jason from Castro Valley, CA asks:
How good is RHP Joe Blanton? As good as Rich Harden? How soon until he replaces Mark Redmond as our 5th starter? I noticed that he had both more Innings Pitched (169) and Strikeouts (174) last year than total base-runners allowed (157). A rare feat indeed. A rotation of Mulder, Hudson, Zito, Harden and Blanton sounds nice to me!! Thanks!
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Jason, Rich Harden is a special talent. I expect that you will see a much different Harden this year, with Curt Young along as pitching coach and a year of experience. Blanton need more minor league time to work out the kinks and develop his change. There is no need to rush him, and he and the A's will both benefit by giving him time.

 Q:  Ryan Baker from Cleveland, OH asks:
Are Duchscherer, Wood, or Blanton in the bullpen picture out of spring training? If Mulder isn't fully recovered which of these 3 is likely to get the first shot and does that guy have enough to stick in the bigs (with the A's or another team)? If Harden struggles with his control will he get pushed aside for any of these 3 or anyone else?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: I would think Duke and Wood would be in competition for a bullpen job, but more likely they will be in Sac to start the season. As said, Blanton will be in the minors. If Harden or anyone else falters, I would expect Duke to get the first call.

 Q:  Mickey from Lougin' like a Lizard in the Arizona Sun... asks:
Can you tell us more about As minor league pitcher Brad Knox? He had a successful season at low Class Vancouver last year and hails from nearby Central Arizona Junior College, the same college as Rich Harden went to. How about a scouting report on Knox?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Mickey, Right now, Knox is knocking the eyes out, but he is a long, long ways away. He will probably make the Kane County team this year, and we will have a better idea.

 Q:  Greg from LA asks:
News out is that Chavez is closing to signing a 5 or 6 year deal. How does this affect the organization?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Greg, If this happens, it will have a dramatic affect on the organization. Most players really enjoy playing with the A's, and this would indicate there is a chance they can keep the team together to some degree.

 Q:  Jon from Detroit asks:
Where is the great Jeremy Brown, who you ranked number 4 last season, ahead of Joe Blanton and Dan Johnson. He had a respectable .388 on base percentage in AA, with everything else being the same.
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Jon, As players advance, deficiencies can become more apparent. In A ball, Brown's significant ability became visible. In double A, a problem emerged -- the same problem scouts forecast when he was a college player. The enormous question is whether Brown will have the athleticism to be a starting catcher; whether he can block balls in the dirt and the like. He is doing flexibility training and working to increase his abilities. If he succeeds, he could become a sold major-league catcher. If not, it is hard to see him as more than a backup or swing player. Offense does not appear to be an issue. He handles pitchers well. A's officials believe he will develop his flexibility, and if they are right, he could be a star. Outside the organization, there is great skepticism. We shall see.

 Q:  Mike from Orrville, OH asks:
Casey, Thanks for your time. Can you give me the real truth on Jeremy Brown? Is he a prospect? Can he be a regular catcher in the big leagues, or is he destined to be a 1BLFDH? I hear so many conflicting reports and figured you would know the true feelings of the A's organiztion.
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Mike, I just answered this, but wanted to make an addition. The A's really like him as a player and a person, but the question of athleticism is discussed within the organization. Inside the organization, there is more optimism than with scouts outside the organization.

 Q:  Craig M from Fargo ND asks:
Hey Casey, thanks from the frozen tundra, where we REALLY appreciate baseball talk. Anything you can tell us about OF Alexi Ogando? Prospect guru John Sickels seems to really, really like his potential - he goes so far as to utter the name of the V-man. I've never seen mention of him elsewhere, though. Can you fill us in?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Craig in Custer Country, Tools, tools, tools. As said earlier, I was around when Mario Encarnacion came into the organization, so I would prefer to see what evolves rather than lust for tools on such a young player. The package is there, so we have to see what comes from it. He did not make the top 30 this year, and most of that analysis comes from within the org itself.

 Q:  mike h. from honolulu, HI asks:
hey casey how are you doing? i have a question about shane komine. I played against him in high school, and I thought when he went away to Nebraska he would flop. then he became a three time all-american there. what do you project for him on a professional level, and how does his stuff grade out? any plus pitches? will his height have anything to do with him not making it? thanks!
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Mike, I already answered this, but I thought your comments so interesting that I wanted to include them in the chat. He has superior control, and he can throw his fastball, change and curve at any point in the count. None would grade out as above average, but the package with superior control works so far.

 Q:  Kris from Burlington asks:
I know he isnt a prospect anymore but does Chad Harville have the stuff to close in the majors? Thanks
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Kris, Harville still is a prospect, and there is a real difference of opinion about his potential. The only way to know if he can close in the majors is to see how he does. He has succeeded at closing in the minors. The problems are that injuries have stunted his career, and his control has evaporated when he has pitched in the majors. Scouts outside the organization say that he throws on a flat plane -- that height problem -- so the downward angle is not there to bother hitters. I think he has a real shot of being successful.

 Q:  dan from saskatchewan, canada asks:
does bobby crosby have 25-25 potential?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Dan, No one on the A's has 25-steal potential because they will not run 25 times. If you are referring to errors, I see Crosby as a very steady shortstop who will make few errors. I do think he might hit 25 homers, but probably not the first few seasons.

 Q:  Kris from Burlington asks:
Dan Johnson seems alot like Jason Hart part 2. Is this a fair comparison or what are the differences??
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Kris, I don't think so, but there is no way to tell until DJ advances. He has worked hard to develop a short stroke so that he will not get beaten inside. We will know much more by what happens in Sacto this summer.

 Q:  jimmy from texas asks:
What do you see Don Sutton becoming down the road, possible 40+ HR hitter in the majors? Where will he start next year in the minors?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Jimmy you dreamer. Sutton is an intriguing hitter without a position. The A's are trying to work him in at catcher, but an injury limited his time there in IL. He is expected to go to Kane County as a 1BC to see where his bat will carry him.

 Q:  Mike from Orrville, OH asks:
If Eric Chavez leaves as a free agent, will Mark Teahen or Brian Snyder be the heir apparent to the hot corner in Oakland? Can you briefly talk about each of these players?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Mike, First, it appears there is a good chance Chavez will stay, so the question may be moot. Teahen is my next organizational report, so there will be more in the next issue. He is well ahead of Snyder right now. He is very good defensively, and he has excellent hand-eye, which is the makings of a good hitter. The question is power, and that seems to be improving. Snyder got off to a rough start, then improved at IL. He will need much developing before he can really be considered a prospect. Other possibilities are that McCurdy may move to third and that Adam Morrissey may wind up there as well. Morrissey is a fine 3B, but the question is whether he will have the bat for the position.

 Q:  Wes Cox from Dallas, TX asks:
What kind of year do you expect Rich Harden to have?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Wes, I expect Harden to win about 18 and beat Pedro in the ALCS Game 7. For what that is worth. I think he will be fine, and he is ready to be a fourth starter in the majors.

 Q:  Eric from hiding in my garage because my wife says I'm an internet addict asks:
I noticed that the As were the first team last year to quit drafting. They quit drafting in the 40th round when they could have selected players until the 50th Round. How about just drafting Junior College players from Rounds 41 through 50 if the As dont have enough roster spots on their rookie teams? Whats wrong with that? At least they would retain those players rights leading up until the next draft. Maybe they get lucky with one of those picks and they develop into a prospect during the course of the college season.
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Eric, Yep, you present a good argument. The counter argument is that the A's had just about everyone they thought had potential, so there was no reason to keep drafting and overfill teams. They could fill their weaknesses with free agents and be as well off.

 Q:  James from Guthrie OK asks:
Hi Casey thanks for taking my questions today. This is a two part question. First whatever happen the Prospects Freddie Bynum and Jose Ortiz? Are they Still Prospects or what?? 2nd part of the Question is where do you see Rich Harden in the Rotation this year, Next and the year after that? Thanks.
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: James, Bynum is still around and making progress. The progress is not coming as quickly as the A's would like, but he remains a prospect. Ortiz was traded a couple of years ago and has never nailed down a major-league job. Harden is probably going to start this year as the fifth starter. I believe he has the makeup and ability to become a top-of-the-rotation pitcher, a 1 or 2, as he develops. He could be special.

 Q:  Big Daddy from Salem asks:
Hi, Casey. Jeremy Brown was able to maintain his batting average and plate discipline at a pretty advanced level last year, but for some reason, his power completely disappeared. How much of that was due to his thumb injury, and how much was due to the fact that he was just overmatched?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: BD, The A's believe that the power drop was mostly because of the thumb injury, and that offense is not much of an issue in Brown's future. They do not expect a Bench, of course, but they think he could be a 15-20 HR guy if he can develop the flexibility to be an everyday catcher.

 Q:  Joe from Newport News, VA asks:
Are Francis Gomez and Marcus McBeth, who played well last season at Kane County after having played at High A in 2002, still prospects?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Joe, Absolutely yes on McBeth, maybe on Gomez-Alfonseco. McBeth has outstanding tools and a plus makeup, but he just has not advanced in hitting for average. The A's are hopeful that offseason work will improve that, and some of those answers will come this season. He is a terrific defensive outfielder, and the A's could use him. Scouts outside the organization really like Gomez-Alfonseco. He missed nearly a whole season with visa problems, and he will have to prove himself.

 Q:  Marty from Da' Village, NY asks:
Can you tell us more about this outfielder the As picked up from Fargo-Moorhead of the Independent Leagues, Jon Weber?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Marty, Weber showed he can hit in A-ball, and the A's liked him enough that he is going to Midland for the summer this year. As an outfielder with limited power, it is hard to project his future, but he will have the shot to show he can play.

 Q:  Lynn from Danville, CA asks:
What exactly "is" the Catching Situation in Oakland? Now with Damian Miller catching what are their projections for the catchers in the farm system? Besides Jeremy Brown who else are the favorites?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Lynn, In Danville, the name John Baker should be familiar. He is coming off a shoulder injury. If he can throw well enough, he has a shot of becoming an everyday big-league catcher. That is a big if. He has made huge improvement in his skills since signing, and all we can do is watch. Beyond that, Beau Craig and Casey Myers are in the system, but neither have made major advancements. The A's do not have a Joe Mauer.

 Q:  Bren from Boston asks:
What do you think about pitchers Shane Komine and ben Fritz? Where would they fit in the organization ? 11-15? 16-20?21-30? Lower? Also, what about former Oakland property Bill Murphy, where would he have fit in oakland's system? Where would he be ranked in Florida? Thanks for taking the time for the chat!
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Bren, Already answered on Komine, but Fritz is interesting. He had a year of real ups and downs, and when he was up, he was almost unhittable. He is in about the middle of the top 30, and some expect him to emerge as a closer-type at some point in the future. Minor injuries really hampered him this year. Murphy would have been in the top 10. No idea where he fits for Fla. Ask Jim Callis when he does his next chat.

 Q:  John from San Francisco asks:
Is the fact that the A's 5th best prospect is a 28 year old 1BDH speak to the ills of their minors?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: John, Normally it would say much. In this case, it does not. Koonce could emerge as a late-bloomer who becomes a big-league force. This is an abboration rather than an indication of something else.

 Q:  Sal Bando fan from 3rd Base, Oakland Coliseum asks:
How come the As werent able to sign 1B Billy Becher from New Mexico State, who they drafted last year in the 18th Round? The guy hit 32 HRs, knocked in 118 RBIs, had a .420 Batting average and a .900 Slugging %. So what if those stats seem padded because of the thin air of New Mexico, I dont see the other players there putting up those stats so he must have some talent. Bottom line: we need guys like this in our system!!
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Mr. Becher, Good question. Wish I had a good answer.

 Q:  Brent from Chandler, AZ asks:
What? No Mike Wood? Did his bad MLB outing in September drop him off the prospect list?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Brent, Wood just missed the top 10. What happened was a change in how his ceiling is viewed. He did struggle last September, and that hurt him. He is now viewed more as a middle reliever -- a Jeff Tam type -- rather than a potential starter. He hit 90 in college, but he has pitched in the mid-80s as a pro, and the expectation is that he probably does not have enough to become a functional starter. The supersinker makes him a good candidate for that reliever role when a double-play is needed.

 Q:  Bill Mitchell from Tempe, AZ asks:
Casey --- Graham Koonce was the best minor league hitter I saw all of last season. Is there any chance the A's might realize that he's a better option than Hatteberg at 1B and give him a shot? Also, what are the odds that Jason Grabowski could fill a utility role with the big league team this season?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Bill, Already answered on Koonce. It will be hard for Grabowski to make the team this year out of spring training. He provides a good option for a callup in the event of injury.

 Q:  Chris from Huntsville, AL asks:
OK. I'll go ahead and ask the inevitable question: What can we expect from Crosby THIS year?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Chris, I think my story on Crosby will be availabe on the BA site today. While Crosby is not the second coming of A-Rod, he might just wind up being one of the premier shortstops in baseball. Solid defensively and a legitimate. hitter. As for this year, rookie shortstops always have rough patches. I would expect him to be solid defensively and contribute with the bat. This should make him a real contender for ROY.

 Q:  Rick from St. Louis, Mo asks:
Would a majority of scouts really think that Graham Koonce is a better prospect than Nick Swisher? How much of the rankings were your subjective interpretations as opposed to Scouts's thoughts? (Please don't take this as a criticism, I am just curious how the listings are made.)
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Rick, My top 30 really reflects mostly the comments accrued from discussions with A's officials. Because there was vast disagreement, I did more of the ranking myself this year than I have in past years, but it is highly reflective of organization thinking with some insights from scouts outside the organization. The concept is ceiling plus likelihood of reaching it. As such, Koonce has an excellent likelihood of being a big-league power hitter in the very near future -- if the A's can find an opening. The jury is still out on Swisher. As noted in the intro, there is vast disagreement in baseball about Swisher's potential. If the A's hierarchy is right, and he is a 30-HR guy who can play CF, he could be superior. If he becomes a .270, 15 HR guy limited to LF1B, he is below average for the positions. It is simply too early to get a better read on Swisher, and we must wait and see.

 Q:  Randall from Concard, Cali asks:
Which As minor leaguer do you predict to have a break-out season like Rich Harden and Joe Blanton did last year? Ben Fritz? John McCurdy? Dustin Majewski?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Ethier. Very intriguing hitter.

 Q:  Steve from Oakland asks:
Bobby Crosby would compare best to whom? I see Rich Aurilia, but his upside higher than that?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Steve, Too obvious, but Ripken. They look alike, they talk alike, at times they even hit alike. Remember, it was not that long ago that a shortstop who hit .280 with 20 home runs was a monster. In the pre-ARodJeterMiggy world, Crosby would have drawn headlines.

 Q:  Anthony Peruchietti from Dearborn Heights, MI asks:
Can you foresee a trade of either Graham Koonce or Dan Johnson to the Dodgers since Depodesta is quite familiar with both players and the Dodgers desperately need a short term answer at 1b
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: A, Excellent idea. It would make sense for both teams.

 Q:  Chris from Huntsville, AL asks:
Who is more likely to win the AL Rookie of the Year award: Joe Mauer or Bobby Crosby?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: A dead-heat tie at the end of the year. Both should be considered great candidates.

Moderator: Casey's profile of Crosby is now available from the homepage.

 Q:  Jim E. from Austin asks:
Dustin Majewski looks like one of these guys who hits wherever he goes...good OBP...he seems like a prototype A's player. How does he stack up among A's prospects? Do you think we'll see him in the Texas League this year?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Jim, He does indeed appear a good hitter, and he has caught the attention of the organization. This is a player with a real shot for a breakout year, and someone to watch closely. I would expect him to stay in Class A unless he really explodes.

 Q:  Dale Smith from Toronto asks:
If Bobby Crosby struggles in the Majors within his first few months, who will the A's turn to?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Dale, Good question. There is no big-league backup plan, which shows how much faith the A's have in Crosby. Ellis could move to short and Menechino, Rouse or German could take second.

 Q:  Bill from Brea California asks:
Has the loss of Grady Fuson hurt more than some want to admit? It looks like Texas has had two very good drafts with Grady.
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Bill, Fuson is exceptional at his job. He did extremely well with the A's. After his departure, the org has experimented with some innovative draft techniques, and the jury is still out as to how things will work out. Too early to tell.

 Q:  Jerry from San Diego, CA asks:
What's your take on Kiger? Where is he projected to go this season?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Jerry, Kiger has really drawn attention in the A's system, and they like him very much. He is caught in a logjam of infielders in the organization, so it depends on what happens in spring to see where he will be assigned. He could emerge as a utility infielder with a good big-league career.

 Q:  Dale Smith from Toronto asks:
Will Grahaem Koonce ever get a shot to play in Oakland?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Dale, Depends on what happens with Hatte, Durazo and Karros. If Hatte or Durazo falters, Koonce could get his shot.

 Q:  Thom from Ann Arbor, MI asks:
Is the organization concerned with the complete lack of power by Andre Ethier last year? Also, how does mike rouse compare to mark ellis?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Thom, Not yet. The expectation is that he will show more power this year.

 Q:  Dale Smth from Toronto asks:
Is Esteban German still in Oakland plans?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Dale, Well .... German is limited because he plays only second base and could not really function as a utility infielder. The A's love Ellis because he does so many little things to win games. It would take some sort of dramatic change for German to get back in the picture.

 Q:  Karen Seltzer from Brooksville, Florida asks:
Before his Tommy John Surgery, Bert Snow led minor league baseball in strikeouts per nine innings. How has he progressed from the surgery? Is he ready to help the A's?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Karen, It is still in question whether Snow can make a complete comeback from the surgery. We will have to see how he does this year. He had a rough time last year.

Casey Tefertiller: I must apologize for being so slow. I still have 120 questions in the file that I have not answered, and my fingers are wearing out. I will have to skip around and answer what I can.

 Q:  Josh from Irvine, CA asks:
Please tell me now that Paul D. is our GM in LA that he isn't going to trade G.Miller, E.Jackson, Gutierrez or Abercrombie for Hatteburg??? On Base isn't everything! How is JT Stotts doing in the OAK farm systemrankings?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Josh, Worry not. It will not be all three for Hatte. I understand it will just be Jackson and Miller for Hatte. Yeah, yeah. I'm kidding.

 Q:  Garry from San Francisco, CA asks:
So much is made about Moneyball and the amateur draft but what about foreign players? How well are the A's competing for foreign prospects compared to other organizations with greater resources?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Garry, The foreign market has changed dramatically in recent years, with more competition and higher bonuses being paid. It is not the super bargain it was a few years back. The A's are competing well, with the likes of Javier Herrera and Alexi Ogando and the recently traded Sierra, but they are not pulling out the numbers of talent they did in the past.

 Q:  Aaron C. from Salinas asks:
Will the A's outfield in 2006 consist of Nick Swisher in Left, Dustin Majewski in Center and Andre Ethier in Right? I like the looks of that.
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Aaron, Salinas is one of the few place in the U.S. where folks actually know how to pronounce rodeo. I grew up in Santa Cruz. Actually, the question is whether any of those three can play center. Swisher probably does not have the arm for right, and Ethier probably best profiles as a lf as well. I am pretty impressed by Kotsay and Kielty right now, and Burns could finally develop consistency. Tough call.

 Q:  Joaquin from Hayward, CA asks:
How is 1B propect Eddie Kim doing with his weight? 260 poounds? That's a big boy!! I like his stats he put up at James Madison but this guy needs to stay away from the buffet table!!
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Joaquin, You answered your own question.

 Q:  Dave from Windy City asks:
Given the Fuson-A's history (even after MBall), what are the chances the Rangers flip Soriano and his affordable contract to Oakland for Blanton, Sullivan (as a PTBNL in June?) etc..?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Dave, If it happens, you have a line on your own psychic TV network. Soriano is a franchise player with a huge upside. I would be surprised to see the Rangers move him.

 Q:  Retire Rickey's Number!! from Henderson Heights, Left Field, Oakland Coliseum asks:
If the A's lock-up Eric Chavez with a new contract this week, does that make former 1st Round picks Mark Teahen and Brian Snyder as trade bait since we won't need a 3B for a while? Love these chats.
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: I would think Teahen and Snyder would still have much to prove. Teahen really appears to have a shot at becoming an everyday big-league third baseman, but he still has to show that he can hit with power. If he does that in the early season, he could be traded for a decent return.

 Q:  Mike Marinaro from Tampa, FL asks:
Casey - thanks for taking the time out for this chat. I think Blanton is going to surprise many people this season. He's been terrific thus far, but I see him as a potential dominating pitcher in 2004. Can you see his name up there with the likes of the current top-tier pitching prospects, i.e., Cole hamels, Scott kazmir, Greg Miller, and Zack Greinke? I can.
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Mike, Yep. He really looks good, but he still has to prove himself at the higher levels.

 Q:  Doyle from Philadelphia asks:
Oakland always has a surplus of picks in every draft and continue to bring in talent via trades, but why do most of their "one-time" prospects fade so quickly? (ie: B.Craig, C.Tritle, J.Soto, A.Morrissey, F.Gomez, N.Cruz, M.McBeth, and M.Ramos). Thank You,
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Doyle, Every organization has prospect who fade and brighten as time goes on. Oakland actually does far better than most organization. Compare the A's to the Orioles, and there is just no comparison.

 Q:  matt from discovery bay, ca asks:
I like having Eric Byrnes in Center field every day. Mark Kotsay has the same stats as Byrnes but costs $6.5 Million! He's going to be hard to trade with a salary like that. How come Byrnes gets no love from Beane?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Byrnes (whose name I accidentally misspelled a minute ago) was so streaky last year that he lost his job. He has to do it over a full season to prove his worth.

 Q:  Mike Marinaro from Tampa, FL asks:
Now that Erubiel Durazo has a full season of MLB under his belt, are the 40 HR, .300+ Ave. predictions still lingering in Billy Beane's mind, or has his lack of production in 2003 diminished this hope?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: MIke, Huge question. There is some fear that other teams may have learned how to get him out, and he may not emerge as the star the A's envisioned. That is why having Koonce in reserve makes so much sense.

 Q:  Dison from Vernon tx asks:
Do you see Omar Quentanilla making it over the next few yrs. ?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Dison, He is a very impressive prospect.

 Q:  Kyle from Ohio asks:
Where does Steve Stanley fit in with the Athletics plans? Will he be traded?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Kyle, He will have to prove what he can do at every level. He has a good chance of becoming a fourth-outfielder type, but there is question whether his bunt-and-slash skills will be as effective against major-league defenders.

 Q:  DW from Durham NC asks:
What do you think about Jed Morris - is his glove good enough to stay at the position?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: That is what the A's will be watching. If he can develop as a catcher, he has a real shot. If not, he is more a DH type, and he may have the bat to advance.

 Q:  Matt Savage from Provo, UT asks:
Who's the real Nick Swisher? The one who excelled at Modesto, the one who struggled mightily at Midland, or the one who performed capably, if not outstandingly, in the Arizona Fall League?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Matt, That is the question just about everyone is asking. If the A's are accurate in their projections, they have picked off a top player. We just do not know. The A's decided to assess talent differently in the '02 draft, and he is one of the most interesting players to watch.

 Q:  Gary from Martinez, CA asks:
Justin Lehr and Mike Lockwood had surprising good years for Sacramento last year. What is your opinion of their chances for a shot in the majors in the near future?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Gary, Lehr, in particular, could make the majors in '04. He has really improved. Because of the A's more solid outfield and Lockwood's lack of power, it will be hard for him to win a job.

 Q:  Kyle from Ohio asks:
Two quick questions... Who in the majors reminds you the most of Mike Rouse? Where will he be playing next year? Thank you.
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Mark Ellis, and probably Sacramento

 Q:  Kyle from Ohio asks:
Is there any chance Jeremy Brown will be moved to first or DH. Thanks.
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Kyle, Doubtful. While he has a great bat for a catcher, it probably does not stack up to a 1B or DH.

 Q:  John from Cedar Rapids, IA asks:
What ever happened to David Beck that was mentioned in Moneyball? He had some kind of double jointed, funky motion when he pitched.
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Released after the season.

 Q:  Kyle from Ohio asks:
With the A's depth in the 1stOF department where does Dan Johnson fit in? Thank you.
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Kyle, First base for Sacramento. Koonce will likely be the DH at the start of the season.

 Q:  DC from the TPA asks:
What's the deal with Edwardo Sierra, who the A's dealt to the Yankees in the Hammond deal? I had heard he was like Franklyn German but with control. Why would the A's trade him?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: DC, I was very surprised the A's gave up Sierra. He has a huge upside. The idea is to win this year, and Hammond makes that far more likely.

 Q:  Kyle from Ohio asks:
Who does Steve Stanley compare to? Is he a potential lead off hitter. He has a good OBP. Thanks.
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Kyle, Stanley compares to Brett Butler. Nobody gave him a chance of making it in the majors either, and he had a very decent career.

 Q:  Louief1 from NJ asks:
Who are the sleeper prospects in the A's system? Any potential 5-tool players or future Aces?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Louie, Most have already been mentioned. Brad Knox certainly fits in that category. The two Dominican outfielders could really turn into something. Matt Allegra and Chris Trittle would fit.

 Q:  Damian from Fremont, CA asks:
How much will losing Rick Peterson to the Mets effect the development of young studs like Blanton and Sullivan? Speaking of Sullivan, who does he profile with in regards to current MLB Starters?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Damian, Rick Peterson was a great pitching coach, but his personal issues forced the move and caused some difficulties. I expect that Curt Young with do an excellent job, and I expect the A's pitchers will be very receptive to the change. Rick put together a terrific program for developing pitchers, and Curt knows the program well. Too early to tell on Sullivan.

 Q:  David Malamut from Voice of A Season Ticket Holder-Kane County Cougars asks:
Ok, after the way the Cougars got all the top propsects last year, and then we lost basically everyone halfway through the second half and got taken out int he first round of the playoffs. What prospects can we assume will be in Kane COunty this year. Who might be left over from last years team. Plus how long will they be there this year?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: David, Thusis the way of the minor leagues. If a player performs, he gets moved up and the fans are left thinking of what might have been. The A's usually do not set their A-level plans until spring training, so it is hard to tell who will be in Kane County and who will go to Modesto. Ethier and Majewski are exciting young talents, and at least one will probably be in Ill. Watch for Brad Knox, a most interesting pticher.

 Q:  Nico from Philly asks:
If you could pick one young hitter in the A's system who can contribute power to the lineup in the next year or two... who would that be.
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Dan Johnson. Opinions are divided, but I really like his chances.

 Q:  Jude from An american in Belgium asks:
PLEASE get to my question? I know he's not a prospect anymore but can you tell me if Eric Byrnes is a legitimate MLB starting outfielder. His Jeckyll and hyde season realy teased us Oakland fans. Who is the real Eric Byrnes?????????
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: Jude, No one knows the answer to that question, least of all Eric Byrnes. No one works harder or puts more into the game than does he, but he is so erratic. This is why the soap opera that is baseball is so fascinating. We simply cannot predict what will happen.

 Q:  Ed from Castro Valley asks:
Do you see Dye recovering enough to boost the A's offense this year?
 A: 

Casey Tefertiller: I expected him to recover last year, but then he kept getting injured. I think the A's are deeper this year, with the addition of Kielty, in particular. All indications are that Dye is recovering well and should be ready for a big year. We can only wait and see.

Casey Tefertiller: Thank you all for coming. Sorry I could not get to all the questions in four hours, and there were some really good ones I did not have time to answer. This should be a very interesting season, and we will all be looking forward to what happens.

Page Not Found - BaseballAmerica.com
The page you are looking for does not exist or has moved

Sorry, the page you're looking for is either like Sidd Finch and does not exist, or like Josh Hamilton and has moved. Where would you like to go instead?

BaseballAmerica.com Home

The latest news from our top sections:

Majors, Minors, Stats, Draft, College, High School, International or Viewpoint