Good week for top-flight prospects. Let's
get started a few minutes early. Already many, many questions in the
queue about Braves pitchers, so while they're worth the ink, you have
better odds of being recognized with a different line of questioning.
Eric K (Chicago): What can you tell me about
Jordan Pacheco? He seems old for A+, but he was only drafted in 2007.
Does he have a future behind the plate for the Rockies?
It's probably best to keep expectations
in check until Pacheco proves himself at the highest levels of the
minors. He converted to catcher after turning pro, having played middle
infield at New Mexico. He's a natural leader, but his arm is average and
his other defensive tools merely adequate. Pacheco has hit very well in
full-season ball, but remember he played in Low-A Asheville's bandbox
last year (943 OPS at home; 788 on the road) when he won Sally League
MVP honors. This season, he's gotten a Cal League boost. If he has to
move off catcher, will his bat play on a corner?
Old Truck (Warehouse, CT): Around what time
should we expect to see Carlos Santana in the show?
Mid-June I'd wager. Santana has fierce
power, especially from the left side, and a discerning batting eye.
Those qualities make him a rare commodity among catchers, so if his
glove can be merely adequate, the Indians have just about the best
possible Victor Martinez replacement.
Ryan (So Cal): What are you thoughts on Tyler
Optimistic that Skaggs can develop into a
mid-rotation starter for the Angels. He's got a great pitcher's build
and great arm speed and mechanics. If his fastball velo sits in the
low-90s when all's said and done, he definitely has the breaking ball to
succeed. That scenario is quite possible, given Skaggs' athleticism. An
Angels' supp. first-rounder last year, he's logged a 35-8 K-BB ratio in
33 innings for Low-A Cedar Rapids this year.
Scott (Florida): Arrieta not on this week's top
sheet after striking out 10 last night.. Im a little surprised..
Arrieta or Tillman, which pitcher do you think the Orioles will bring up
Arrieta was the final cut. While true
that he fanned 10 and walked 2 in 7 innings last night (at the Triple-A
level, no less), he had been coming off a bit of a rough stretch. In his
previous four starts, Arrieta had allowed 13 runs in 24 innings, while
collecting more walks (18) than strikeouts (16). Two good starts next
week and he could be Hot Sheet material next time out. As to Arrieta vs.
Tillman . . . Even though he's about two years younger, I think Tillman
makes more sense. He's already on the 40-man, he's got a wider
repertoire and he's been just about unstoppable lately.
Marc (Buffalo Grove, IL): Will Mike Stanton be a
40+ Home Run guy per year?
It's possible, but I'd still bet the
under. Hitting 40 home runs is a rare feat, even in our high-offense
era. Ryan Howard is the only player to hit 40 or more in each of the
past four seasons (that's 2006-09). Adam Dunn hit 38 last year to just
miss the cut. AS LH batters, those two sluggers also have the platoon
advantage so much more often than Stanton will when he plays for the
Marlins. (Not to mention more favorable home parks.)
alex (tampa): is desmond jennings good
enough/ready enough to take carl crawford's spot in LF if crawford does
Yes and yes. There will be growing pains
as Jennings adjusts to the big leagues, of course. But as with the
Indians and Carlos Santana, the Rays have just about the perfect
internal solution for the departure of a franchise player.
Jake (south orange, NJ): Once Moustakas reaches
the MLB, will that finally put the caboosh on Alex Gordon?
Interesting question. Assuming a normal
development path for Moustakas (let's say big league debut in second
half of '11) and that Gordon is still around, then yes I think Moustakas
will play 3B and Gordon the outfield. Moustakas' arm is more than
strong enough for the left side of the infield, and now we're catching a
glimpse of the type of offensive player he can be. And perhaps Eric
Hosmer will push Billy Butler into a full-time DH role.
Ryan (So Cal): If you were to redo the top 100
for this year where would Mike Trout rank now? How does his power and
speed rate on the scouting scale?
I think it's safe to say that Trout has
surpassed early expectations and that he would rank higher in a Top 100
now than he did coming into the year (No. 85). Evaluators graded him as
at least a 70 runner last year, and with 20 steals and five triples
already this season for Low-A Cedar Rapids, I would expect that present
grade to remain static. As you know, power was the big question coming
into the season — not really long-term power potential, because he had
the strength and bat speed to hit home runs. But would he learn to pull
the ball with authority in the Midwest League? Could he learn to stay
balanced and stop diving over the plate? So far the answer is a
Mike (Ontario): After hitting under 240 in A
ball last season, Derrick Robinson is now hitting over 300 in Double A
and has already stolen over 20 bases. What's changed? Is this
something that you think he carry forward with him for the balance of
The answer to all your Derrick Robinson
questions can be found in J.J. Cooper's excellent, recent Prospect
Jamie (MN): Better to hold on to Jarrod Parker
than dropping for Arodys Vizcaino, Randall Delgado, or Alex White in
long term keeper league?
Tough call. Vizcaino is tempting because
he already has two excellent pitches and has not had a major arm injury.
But I would hand onto Parker and pass on Delgado and White.
JP Starkey (HT, CT): Why not movie Frazier back
to his original position(SS)?
That's a tough sell. Frazier didn't look
all that fluid at 2B last year in Triple-A. I think he's simply too big
and too immobile (when compared with other pro shortstops, not the
general populace) to handle the middle infield at baseball's highest
levels. You have to think his bat will get going at some point and that
he'll have a big league career as a solid-average regular at third base
or on the an outfield corner.
Henry T (Sauce Town, CA): SUpposedly
Bumgarner's fastball is back and it shows. With that being said what is
the general consensus of what his ceiling is now? Would you say your a
believer again, or is it still pre-mature?
I've never had a good handle on
Bumgarner, to be honest with you. Love the size, the deception and the
fastball command. But he might need more velo or another dependable
pitch (is the cut fastball the answer?) to succeed as a starter in the
big leagues. He has big league fastball command, this much we know.
Kory (Columbus, Oh): Teheran, Delgado,
Vizcaino... does any other organization have 3 single A pitchers you
would take over these three?
The Rays would be in the discussion with
Wilking Rodriguez, Alex Colome, Matt Moore and Nick Barnese. (I might
favor the Braves' collection, if only slightly) But you've hit on one of
the dangers here. So much can go wrong with a pitcher as he navigates
the waters from Class A to the big leagues. Attrition and injury can
derail even the brightest young arms.
Kory (Columbus, Oh): If Minor can maintain his
velocity could he become a legitimate number 2 ala Cliff Lee?
Minor is a smart pitcher with a wide
repertoire. If he can continue to sit in the 92-93 mph range, then he
definitely graduates from finesse lefty to mid-rotation starter (or
Eric K (Chicago): How does Chisenhall fit into
Cleveland's future infield plans? Do they move Peralta back to short
and Cabrera to second? Any chance Lonnie moves to short?
Expect Chisenall to assume the everyday
3B job, Cabrera to remain at SS and Peralta to leave as a free agent.
The Indians can buy Peralta out for $250K this offseason. Thank you,
Cot's Baseball Contracts.
JP Starkey (IBC, Connecticut): What does Tyler
Chatwood have to do to get in the team photo? He's been excellent in the
Well, he could start by helping to save
the life of a motorcycle crash victim, as did Rafael Ynoa and Elisaul
Pimentel, a pair of Low-A Great Lakes players. Just kidding. (Though
it's a great story. Link below.) You're right. Tyler Chatwood has
excelled in the Cal League. He's age-appropriate (20). He's got a good
fastball/curve mix. He's gone 5-2, 1.79 with 53 strikeouts in 50
innings. Chatwood's walk rate is a bit high at nearly four per nine
innings, but he mitigates that a bit with a 3.4 G/F ratio and seven
double plays induced. You have a fair gripe. He was overlooked this
As promised, the Loons link:
tim (ATL): Who do you like better: Martin
Perez, Mike Montgomery, Julio Teheran, or Zach Britton?
Montgomery, followed closely by Teheran.
Scott (MA): Better chance to turn things around
Brandon Wood or Gordon Beckham?
While many of us root for Brandon Wood to
turn things around, I think Beckham is the better bet here. Stronger
contact ability and more usable power.
Vic (San Diego): Matt. Love the Friday
afternoon Hot List chats! What's been scouts take on Wilmer Flores so
far this year? For you, what kind of power/avg. does he project?
People who've seen Flores expect that he
will hit for average. That's universal. More dissenting opinions abound
when talking about his power potential. He's very skinny right now, but
if he continues to mature and add muscle as well as continue to identify
fastballs he can pull for power, well he could be a 60 power hitter.
That translates to a 20-26 HR hitter. Flores will need all the power he
can muster because he's not quick enough to play up the middle.
Will (Atlanta): Do you see Logan Morrison
making an impact on the big league roster this year considering he's
already missed a month of minor league time?
Probably not this year. Gaby Sanchez has
played capably (on-base heavy 810 OPS, as suggested by his minor league
line) and would have to fall on his face to lose the job.
Tom (NJ): Jon Singleton just made it to LowA
Lakewood this week. He showed great promise in the GCL last year and
started this week .385/.500/.654. What are your thoughts on him and was
he even in the discussion for the hot sheet?
Lots of interest in Jon Singleton this
time. Yes, he was considered for the Hot Sheet. He went 9-for-22 (.409)
this week for Low-A Lakewood with a home run and a double. He walked
seven times (once intentional) while striking out only three times. I
like to see more power from Class A first basemen, but he's definitely
on the radar for future Hot Sheets.
Eric (Minneapolis, MN): Does Simon Castro seem
to be flying under the radar a bit? Seemed like Latos got tons of hype
at this point last year. When do you predict him getting a call-up this
I think novelty played a role in Latos'
rise last year. Everybody knew he had the talent to do so, but until he
went out and dominated in Double-A, I think people retained a healthy
skepticism. But Castro is so reliable and such a hard worker that his
success is somewhat predictable. And make no mistake, he is pitching
very well in Double-A, having skipped over High-A. He's gone 3-1, 2.03
for San Antonio, while brandishing a 36-13 K-BB ratio with 3 HR allowed.
Castro has limited opponents to a .187 average while keeping his WHIP
under one, if just barely at 0.99.
Thanks for the questions. It's been fun.