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

AZL and GCL Chat with Allan Simpson

 Q:  Cris from (providence, RI) asks:
Were any other red sox GCL players under consideration for the GCL top 20?
 A: 

Allan Simpson: Let's get started. We're dealing with the most obscure level of the minor leagues, where no attempt is made to draw fans, but the interest level is still pretty high. Several Red Sox players were considered beyond catcher Jon Egan, notably OF Moises Santa, who was the most improved player on the roster, and LHP Yulkin German, who was effectively wild and used a breaking ball as his out pitch. RHP Michael Bowden, a supplemental first-round pick, almost certainly would have made the list if he pitched sufficient innings to qualify. He has a power arm, with a fastball up to 93.

 Q:  James Patterson from Tampa asks:
I know you guys can't have seven million Yankees on the list, but the likes of Jose Gil, Wilkins De La Rossa, Francisco Castillo, Angel Fermin & Domingo Cabrera had better GCL seasons than most of the kids you put on the list. Anyway can you please give me a run down on the players i listed?
 A: 

Allan Simpson: The Yankees won the league title and had their share of prospects, but remember we're judging these players on the basis of their future worth, not present performance. It's hardly fair to say Wilkins de la Rossa, who was 20, is a better prospect than fellow outfielder Jose Tabata, who played most of the season at 16. De la Rossa, however, barely missed making the list. Castillo, whose fastball touched 94-95, and Gil, who was converted from a first baseman to a catcher this yea and displayed a quick releaser, also narrowly missed selection.

 Q:  nick from fl asks:
How good do you see Chris Volstad being? Possible number 1 starter, because it seemed like he put up good numbers especially his strikeoutwalk rate?
 A: 

Allan Simpson: As you would expect from a pitcher from a good high school program in Florida, Volstad was a pretty polished product when he started his pro career in the GCL. He lasted only a half year before being promoted to the New York-Penn League, where he also excelled. He's got command of three pitches but projects more as a No. 2 starter in the big leagues. His fastball was only 91-92, though scouts had him at 93-95 during the high school season.

 Q:  Tim from Orange, Ca asks:
How has Adenhart looked thus far? Any thoughts on his cieling and how good he'll actually be?
 A: 

Allan Simpson: Adenhart started slowly in the Arizona League after having Tommy John surgery just before the 2004 draft, but got better and better with each start as the Angels increased his pitch count. He pitched especially well in his final AZL start and in his only Pioneer League start. He regained most of the velocity on his fastball, peaking at 94, but the command of his pitches was inconsistent. He has a great feel for pitching and should fully return to his old form by next year.

 Q:  Kiley from Orlando, FL asks:
What kind of opinions did people have on Austin Jackson vs. C.J. Henry? Henry looks to me to have more upside because he centers the ball well and plays SS--and I think he'll play in the majors there, while Jackson is basically Mike Cameron waiting to happen.
 A: 

Allan Simpson: Jackson and Henry were two of the best athletes in the entire draft this year and could become five-tool players. Both are pretty unrefined still, but we felt Henry has a little more upside because he's bigger and plays shortstop. Jackson's probably a little better hitter than Henry at this point because he has a good path to the ball, but he doesn't have a very good approach at the plate because he chases a lot of breaking balls. Henry generates great bat speed and should have power potential, but his swing is a little rough. It's not unfair to compare Jackson to Mike Cameron defensively because he is excellent at running balls down in the gap and has a 60-level arm.

 Q:  Jon from Peoria asks:
How did Billy Paganetti look in his brief stint in the AZL? Is he finally fully healthy?
 A: 

Allan Simpson: Paganetti is a fascinating name from the past. After being a big-name prospect for the draft out of a Nevada high school, he barely played in college (Stanford, Nevada) because of an assortment of injuries. But he was signed by the Cubs (Paganetti's dad and Cubs exec Gary Hughes were former college roommates) as a free agent this summer and re-surfaced in the Arizona League, though he worked in only five games. Our reports had him up to 95. It's hard to say where he goes from here, but he's definitely worth keeping an eye on.

 Q:  David Heckendorn from Andover MA asks:
Dear Allan, Eddy Hernandez: .356.424.552 Andy Hargrove: .314.464.482 Ronald Garth: .357.430.616 Oswaldo Graterol: .345.446.464 These guys all look like prime-time hitters to me- even if none of them was a top-ten draft pick. With minimal pitching, the Mariners' AZL team stayed in contention until the final day with lots of hitting. Where's the love?!
 A: 

Allan Simpson: Unfortunately, the Mariners didn't get much love from managers. All the players on your list were at least 20--Hargrove, son of M's manager Mike Hargrove, was almost 24. Hernandez, a 6-foot-3 lefthanded-hitting right fielder from the Dominican, was the only one of the four to get any measureable play.

 Q:  Kiley from Orlando, FL asks:
What would be a good comp for Jordan Schafer? He looked like a Mark Kotsay type to me.
 A: 

Allan Simpson: That's a pretty valid comparison. Schafer goes about his job the same way and has very similar tools, though he slumped badly at the end of the year. Like Kotsay, he's a L-L center fielder and was equally accomplished as a pitcher in high school.

 Q:  Deywane from Memphis asks:
If the draft was held today would Travis Wood be a first round pick?
 A: 

Allan Simpson: He may very well have been--he was that impressive in both the GCL and Pioneer leagues. Wood's fastball was 93-94 and his changeup was as good as you'll see for a pitcher coming right out of high school. He's also extremely poised. He just needs to fill out his body and develop his curveball a bit more.

 Q:  Jason from Charlotte asks:
The Braves farm system keeps on keeping. They signed Elvis Andrus earlier this season. Who is he comparable to? He hasn't gotten quite the hype Betemit did at his age and posted numbers quite similiar to what Betemit did.
 A: 

Allan Simpson: The Braves do, indeed, keep marching along. Comparing Andrus, who didn't turn 17 until after the GCL season, to Betemit at a similar age is very appropriate. Andrus is a pretty complete player already, both at the plate and in the field.

 Q:  Chris from NH asks:
Where would Michael Bowden fit on the GCL list if he had pitched enough innings to qualify?
 A: 

Allan Simpson: It's hard to say where Bowden, a supplemental first-rounder, would have fit because there were 17 players that were picked in the first two rounds of this year's draft that played in the league this year. He pitched only six innings, though didn't allow a run and struck out 10. But it was pretty evident in limited action that he had a power arm, with a fastball from 90-93. He also has the makings of a good curveball and a feel for a changeup.

 Q:  Darron Wilde from Jefferson City, Missouri asks:
With all the yankees in the top does this mean there farm system value will increase?
 A: 

Allan Simpson: That's a little premature because we're dealing with the lowest rung in the Yankees system, but there's no question there were some interesting players on the roster. What the Yankees did in adding players like Henry, Tabata and Jackson was add some athletes to a system that is very thin on athletic-type players.

 Q:  Jon from Peoria asks:
Are there any Tigers prospects of note from the GCL? Thanks.
 A: 

Allan Simpson: The Tigers didn't have a player who cracked the GCL top 20, but they had some interesting players like RHP Orlando Perdomo, SS Audy Ciriaco, RHPs Ramon Garcia and Luis Gil and C Daniel Sandoval. Perdomo, a Venezuelan, might be the most interesting because he became a totally different pitcher after being moved from a starter to a closer role during the year. He flashed two plus pitches: a 92-93 mph fastball and a dynamite split-finger. Ciriaco, a Dominican, is extremely raw but has intriguing tools. He played little baseball before being signed out of a tryout camp, but could be a power-hitting third baseman with 25-homer potential if it all comes together for him. But he got eaten alive by breaking balls in the GCL.

 Q:  Chris from NH asks:
Yuklin German and Tim Cox lead the GCL in Ks, and no mention? What kept them off the top 20 list?
 A: 

Allan Simpson: German was 22 with an 89-90 mph fastball. He got most of his strikeouts with an above-average breaking ball and by keeping hitters off balance. Cox, a 5-foot-10 lefthander from Australia, has similar stuff--a below average fastball, good breaking ball. Players with that kind of stuff have limited ceilings.

 Q:  Petey Pablo from Carrboro NC asks:
Did Kenley Jansen (C-LAD) or D.J. Lewis (OF-SFG) garner any support for the top 20? Thanks!
 A: 

Allan Simpson: I'm curious as to the link between Jansen, who is from Curacao, and Lewis, who is from California. Jansen got more support in the GCL than Lewis did in the AZL. Jansen is 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, and may be too big to catch though he moves pretty well behind the plate for his size. He should hit for both average and power, but may end up at first base. Lewis can swing the bat, but none of his other tools stand out.

 Q:  AJ from Minnesota asks:
Thanks for taking our questions. How close was the Twins' lhp Kyle Edlich to making the list? Does he project to stay as a starter at higher levels?
 A: 

Allan Simpson: In a normal GCL season, Edlich (a lefthander from Australia) may have cracked the top 20. But the GCL was a very good league from a prospect standpoint this season. He did manage to lead the league in ERA at 1.70, but his fastball is only in the high 80s, while occasionally touching 90. He's a big strong kid with a bulldog approach to pitching and good command.

 Q:  Scott from Mankato, MN asks:
Is there any other prospects that stick out for the Twins, besides the two middle infielders?
 A: 

Allan Simpson: Unlike last year, when the Twins loaded up on high school arms in the draft, their best prospects in the GCL this year were position players, led by Kelly and Thompson. OF Richard Sojo has outstanding tools and was compared to a young Torii Hunter, but hasn't gotten the most out of those tools yet. 1B Henry Sanchez has outstanding raw power, befitting his 6-2, 265-pound frame, and puts on a tremendous show in BP, but he struggled to hit in games though he started to come on at the end.

 Q:  Todd from Kansas City, MO asks:
As you know, the Royals Organization is in dire need of any talent they can get. How quickly do you see Bianchi getting through the minors. What type of major league player do you see him becoming or would you compare him to?
 A: 

Allan Simpson: Bianchi was a great catch for the Royals in the second round. He tore up the league, hitting .400-plus with power, before being sidelined over the second half of the season with a back injury. His bat is his best tool. He's a little limited defensively and probably will face a move to second base down the road, but don't sell him short. He's a blue collar player who takes charge and should get the most out of his ability.

 Q:  Joe from Grand Rapids, Michigan asks:
Assuming C. Maybin signed and was placed in the GCL, where do you speculate he would have ranked on the list?
 A: 

Allan Simpson: I can't remember a year in the GCL where the talent in the league paralleled the draft status of the players quite as much as this year. The top three-ranked players were the the three highest draft picks. Maybin would have been the earliest draft pick in the league if he had played and I have no doubt he would have ranked No. 1. His talent is a notch above anyone else.

 Q:  tiffythetitan from Oakland, CA asks:
Whoa...I must've missed something! Where did these Giants prospects come from??? Have they been spending money on international signings?
 A: 

Allan Simpson: The Giants don't always make player development a high priority, especially with the way they sacrifice premium draft picks, but they appear to have made a concerted effort to sign some of the top players from the Caribbean. Waldis Joaquin, their top prospect in the AZL, was clocked at 98 mph. The other two players to make the list were from Curacao and have only scratched the surface of their ability.

 Q:  Steve from Chicago asks:
Does a smaller percentage prospects who start out in the rookie league make the majors than prospects who start out in a higher league, such as short season or low A ball.
 A: 

Allan Simpson: It's only natural that a smaller number of players who start out at a lower level would reach the big leagues than players who start out at higher levels. Teams typically place players at a level where they can succeed, yet still be challenged. Players in the complex leagues are not ready for the most part to compete at higher leagues initially and, where more projection is involved, the risk is higher they won't succeed.

 Q:  Brian from Rosslyn, VA asks:
Is there any ray of hope coming from the Nationals players in the GCL? Did any of the 2005 draft picks surprise? Disappoint?
 A: 

Allan Simpson: Nationals draft picks didn't make much of an impact, but don't forget that Ryan Zimmerman debuted in Class A and is already in the big leagues, the team didn't have second- or third-round picks and fourth-rounder Justin Maxwell remains unsigned. Fifth-rounder Ryan Delaughter held his own, though he can be pitched to as he sits on fastballs. He hits the ball well to the opposite field, but scouts say his swing may need re-tooling. Keep an eye on RHP Andre Enriquez, a 14th-rounder whose fastball was clocked at 94. That's all for now, thanks for all the great questions. Matt Eddy will be here tomorrow to discuss the Appy League.

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