Ben Badler: Zack Greinke sounds like he's not too excited about the Royals' farm system, but he might be the only one.

    Andrew (York, PA): What are your thoughts on the Astros promoting Jordan Lyles to AAA? Too soon, or does he have nothing left to prove in AA?

Ben Badler: I don't see the argument against moving him to Triple-A. Sure, he's 19, but that doesn't matter. He's already mastered Double-A, so what else is left for him to show at that level?

    Truck Starkey (117 Grissom): When will we finally see a Dellin Betances promotion to AA?

Ben Badler: From what I've heard, 2011.

    Larry W (Michigan): Seeing as KC has no other good options behind the plate, doesn't Myers still have a good shot at sticking?

Ben Badler: I don't think that matters much. What matters is whether Myers can catch, and I don't think he will be able to, not unless you want to keep him in the minors for another three or four years, and even then it's not a guarantee. It doesn't mean he WON'T be able to do it, but if I had to put money on his future position, I'm going with right field.

    Elliot (Youngstown OH): Ben, I think Bo Greenwell made the list early in the season when he had a power surge in the Midwest League. He has kept hitting, in the 320 range, after promotion to High A Kinston. But the power has gone away. Serious prospect or not quite?

Ben Badler: He's worked his way to become a prospect. Not a great one, but a decent one. He's got a good approach, a short stroke and he can use the whole field, but to have success at higher levels he's going to have to develop more power.

    Dan (Work): Yorman Rodriguez, best 17/18 year old in baseball? .340 average, .808 ops, potential top 100 prospect next list? If not him who is the best 17/18 year old?

Ben Badler: I don't see him as a top 100 guy. He's a great athlete but the approach has a long, long ways to go before I get that excited about him. Raw Pioneer League numbers need a heavy discount for hitters because of the offensive environment of that league. The second part of your question is easy: Mike Trout (18) and Bryce Harper (17), although if you want a 17-year-old in pro ball right now, it's either Miguel Sano or Gary Sanchez.

    Theodore Logan (San Dimas, CA): Where would Brandon Belt rank / project? I keep reading conflicting things on whether he's playing over his head or whether this is a real breakout. If this is a breakout, what's his ETA?

Ben Badler: Can't it be both? I think it's a real breakout, but nobody's true talent level is a .471 OBP/.639 SLG. He should be ready to contribute next year, but I'm not going to play the guessing game with big league ETAs for the Giants.

    Mudcatsfan (Raleigh): From checking Box Scores over the last month, I have Jesus Montero at 8 for his last 22 runners CS for a 36%. This seems like a vast improvement and even mirrors his improvement toward the latter half of last year at AA Trenton. Have you heard anything about this, and is it legit or a fluke?

Ben Badler: It's a small sample size that doesn't change anything. I know one scout who did call Montero's agility behind the plate "surprising" in a good way, but you can't read much into those numbers.

    Jeff (New Hampshire): Is Wil Myers a top 5 talent in terms of pure hitters? Thanks!

Ben Badler: Definitely. Frankly, he's in the discussion for the top five among ALL prospects in the minors.

    Elliot (Youngstown OH): Ben, Jason Kipnis keeps appearing on the Hot List with regularity. Meanwhile Cord Phelps is hitting in the mid-300's in AAA and Jason Donald is swinging a solid bat with the Indians. What does Cleveland do with all these 2nd basemen? Trade bait? Position switch?

Ben Badler: These things usually work themselves out. Weren't the Rangers supposed to be loaded with catchers like Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Max Ramirez and Taylor Teagarden just a couple of years ago? If it comes down to it, sure, they could move one of them, but second baseman usually don't seem to have great trade value, and my money is on them not all reaching their perfect-world scenarios.

    Randall (Seattle): Is Yonder Alonso going to be able to handle LF in the bigs?

Ben Badler: It wouldn't be pretty, but if they absolutely had to, he might play out there. You would be talking below-average, maybe -10 to -15 defense out there, though.

    Patrick (Fort Wayne, IN): Ben, Robinson Chirinos is having an outstanding year in AA. Since he took to catching last year, he has becoming a late blooming prospect for the Cubs. Do you think he will play ML baseball? If so, does he have the ability to start?

Ben Badler: I don't see him as a starter, but I do see him as a major leaguer at some point, probably as a reserve. I thought someone would Rule 5 him last year.

    Trader J (Indy): Wilin Rosario has been on a quite a tear since July 1st, though it looks like his season could be over with an injury. What's his prognosis and is he a top 50 candidate?

Ben Badler: Torn ACL, done for the year, not a top 50 guy for me.

    James (Whittier, CA): What is Jordan Lyles upside overall? Solid #3 or possibly a number 2 and is he a top 20 prospect overall? Thanks

Ben Badler: He has the stuff to be a top-of-the-rotation starter. He's 88-93 but he locates it incredibly well for his age to both sides of the plate, his breaking stuff has improved to become more usable and his changeup is a swing-and-miss pitch that could be a 70 down the road. You know I'm not crazy about comps, but in some ways, he reminds me of a taller, more athletic version of Jeremy Hellickson.

    Kevin (Phoenix): Thoughts on which one of Bochering or Davidson sticks at the hot corner? Body wise, it appears that Davidson is more athletic. Which bat do you prefer?

Ben Badler: They're both going to have to put in a lot of work to stick at the position, and sitting on the bench while their team is in the field half the time really isn't an ideal situation. It sounds like Davidson might have a small edge there, though. Not a flashy defender, but he has the arm for the position, he can make the routine plays and he shows some aptitude for charging the slow roller.

    Koy (Columbus, Oh): Doesn't really have to do with the hot sheet but is it time for Braves fans to write off Jordan Schafer? What has been his problem all year?

Ben Badler: I wouldn't dismiss him completely, but I will say he was one of the hardest players for scouts to get a handle on when he was in the minors after his HGH-related suspension. I know there were guys who liked him, but I know a lot of scouts who told me they thought he was more of a part-time platoon guy, and right now those scouts look like they might have been on to something.

    Jani (Toronto Canada): Ben, What will Nolan Reimold become, a star, just another guy, a flop???? Thanks

Ben Badler: Could be an average regular, but there are some holes in his swing he's going to have to figure out how to make the adjustment now that the league has a handle on him.

    Ryan (Toronto): How on earth does Anthony Gose get caught stealing so often? He's obviously fast, so what's going on?

Ben Badler: He's just going on raw speed right now, which isn't uncommon for a raw player with his wheels. Once he learns how to read pitchers better and get better jumps, you'll see his success rate go way up.

    Steve (Philly, PA): Why does it seem like international free agent signings have completely ground to a stop?

Ben Badler: Sorry for the delay, but my computer just crashed. They have slowed, but I think that's typical. Teams know who they want to sign for July 2, they lock those players up quickly, and then you're left with players who are still asking for far more than what teams are willing to spend. I think we're going to see some more official signings in the next week, and then after the draft signing deadline goes by, we'll see some more high-profile guys find a home.

    Mike (NJ): As far as pitching prospects go, where would you rank Matt Moore? Top 5 in minor league baseball? He has tremendous stuff, and seems like he is getting his control in check as of late ... Is he a true #1 starter?

Ben Badler: I don't think he's a top five pitching prospect right now, but I think he has the potential to be there at this time next year. You're talking with a lefty who has the potential for three plus pitches and possibly a plus-plus curveball. All he has to do is show more reliable control, and I don't see anything in his delivery to make me think he won't be able to repeat it more often once he gains more experience.

    Bill (Galloway, New Jersey): Given the season that Mike Trout has had in Lo A and the way he is performing in High A. If the Angels are still in the race in September do you see them calling him up to the Big Club. If not for anything then to take advantage of his speed as a late inning pinch runner in a close game.

Ben Badler: This might sound crazy, and I still don't think it will happen, but it wouldn't surprise me if they did bring Trout up in September. It sounds like Mike Scioscia is about as high on Trout as anyone (and Trout does almost seem like a player created in a lab made specifically to Scioscia's specifications), so I wouldn't rule it out. Unless he struggles next year, I'm expecting him to be up at some point in 2011.

    Todd (Santa Fe): Do you see Michael Montgomery as a no. 1 or 2 considering all of the quality young pitching in KC, majors and minors?

Ben Badler: Between Montgomery, Aroldis Chapman, Matt Moore, John Lamb and Martin Perez, those guys for me are the five lefties with the best stuff in the minors. Montgomery could be an ace, but he comes with a lot more risk than we thought a few months ago given his inability to stay healthy.

    Dick Mullaney (Glastonbury CT): No love for Melky Mesa on the Hot Sheet. This guy sure looks the part. Is he a potential Top 10 prospect for the Yanks?

Ben Badler: He was the last cut on the Hot Sheet and we had a hard time leaving him off. All of the tools are at least 50s or 60s except for the hit tool, which, you know, is sort of important. He has the bat speed and quick wrists to kill a fastball, but when the pitches start to bend, he gets in trouble. He's not in the Greg Halman category, but his strikeout rate is just on the cusp of what I'm comfortable with for a guy at that level, so I don't see him as a top 10 guy in that system if and until he makes more adjustments at the plate.

    Mike (Pitt): I know he doesn't really count as a prospect anymore, but what is new Pirates' starter J McDonald's ceiling? Higher, lower, or same as Brad Lincoln?

Ben Badler: Higher, partly because I see Lincoln as a No. 5 starter or a middle reliever, and partly because I think the Dodgers sold way, way low on McDonald. He's a three-pitch guy whose stuff wasn't conducive to a bullpen role, so I never understood the way the Dodgers used him. He could be at least an average or better starter in the big leagues.

    Larry W (Michigan): Danny Espinosa is having a nice season thus far. Any chance we see him in Washington next season with Desmond moving to 2B?

Ben Badler: It's possible, but I don't think his bat is going to be major league ready by Opening Day. He also has the type of offensive skill set (read: strikeouts) that tends to make managers pull the plug too quickly on a young player if he struggles early in his big league career, so if he does get called up, my only hope is that the Nationals give him regular playing time and stick with him.

    Dale (Denver): There was a Stanton comp for Arcia's numbers this year. Do you think he has that type of upside?

Ben Badler: Woah, no, not even close. Just to be clear, we were just pointing out how ridiculous his performance has been in the Appy League, not saying his prospect status is similar to Stanton's.

    Sam (Toronto): Do the Jays make any more significant forays into the international market this year?

Ben Badler: I think so. I'm hearing they still have a lot of money to spend in that arena.

    john (ct): Why do you think so many of the O's prospects have been slow to develop? Will Showalter help speed up their development? Don't know if would be good to promote someone like Zach Britton if he's going to get shelled.

Ben Badler: I don't think it's anything systematic as much as it is that you just have a lot of young players all breaking into the big leagues at one time. You have advanced, polished players like Buster Posey and Carlos Santana who can come in and dominate immediately, but most of the time even elite prospects like Phil Hughes, Clay Buchholz, Delmon Young, etc. come up and have to make some adjustments before they find success. I think it's more the volume of young players all coming up at once than anything the organization is doing wrong with these guys.

    Dan (East Brunswick, NJ): Rubby De La Rosa has earned two hot list mentions this year, but there seems to be little scouting data on him other than his fastball mph. What does he offer in terms of repertoire movement and make-up, and what's the ceiling?

Ben Badler: Hard, heavy fastball up to the mid-90s, a slider with sharp bite that grades out around average and feel for a changeup, although as a reliever for most of the season he hasn't used that pitch as much. He's still learning how to mix all three pitches as a starter and I know some scouts see him as a late-inning reliever, but I see him developing more feel for how to pitch with experience and sticking as a starter.

    Adam (Ft wayne, IN): How big a hit has the indians system taken given the promotion of Santana and the underperforming Chisenhall? Also, is Alex White's year better than expected or about what you expected?

Ben Badler: Losing Santana hurts but I'm not concerned about Chisenhall, who's been fine since he came back from the DL. White, Kipnis and Nick Weglarz could all join Chisenhall has potential Top 100 guys, and there's some mid- to back-rotation pitching depth behind them, so I still think their system is one of the better ones in the game.

    Doug (Brooklyn): Is Betances hot run plus top notch stuff enough to get him on the top 100 and if so, any chance he hits top 50?

Ben Badler: He'll be in the Top 100 discussion, but 50 might be a little aggressive. The medical record concerns me, but his stuff is the best in the system.

    David (Hartford, CT): Five catchers in full-season ball have posted an OPS north of 900 this season: Carlos Santana; JP Arencibia; Buster Posey; Wil Myers; and Jason Hagerty. What can you tell us about the Padres' fifth-rounder out of Miami last year who's putting up great numbers at a level that's probably too low for him.

Ben Badler: Not a guy I'd put in that class. More of a fringe prospect who handles a staff well and who should have success in the lower levels, but there are questions scouts have about whether he's going to be able to hit more advanced pitching once he gets to Double-A.

    Ben (Leland Grove): Did the A's buy themselves a lemon in Michael Ynoa?

Ben Badler: I wouldn't put it that way because of how much scouts liked him in '08, but he's been healthy enough to pitch just 10 innings in two years. That's a huge concern and I'm not expecting him to come back any time soon this year. Look, obviously I like Latin American prospects as much as anyone here, but we need to exercise some caution before getting too excited about 16-year-olds with no professional track record.

    Louis (Louisiana): Jay Austin or Anthony Gose?

Ben Badler: Gose. He's still raw, but I think there's more you can project there with the bat than with Austin.

    Joe (New York): Whats your take on Dustin Ackley and what can we expect at the MLB level from him.

Ben Badler: Very good prospect, outstanding strike-zone judgment and a good hitter with feel for the barrel, but I'm not quite as high on him as some others are. Don't get me wrong, I like him, but the power right now is playing as a 30 tool and I think it's going to take more time than people realize for him to be ready for the big leagues as a result. Once he gets into his mid-20s he might become at least an above-average regular, but I don't see him making an impact right away next year.

    Travis (Canada): If Adonis Cardona were in the draft rather than an IFA, on talent alone where does he get picked?

Ben Badler: Probably the second or the third round. I don't think there's any international player from this year's class who would go any higher than that, other than possibly Heredia.

    Lou (Berlin, NJ): The Marlins can't catch the ball. Does that aid Matt Dominguez ascent? I know he's only 20, but the bat seems pedestrian for a corner guy.

Ben Badler: There are scouts who think he could be a 70 defender and save 10-15 runs a year in the field, but he's not going to be a big leaguer until he can hit. It sounds like he has made some adjustments at the plate to give him a looser swing and a simpler setup, but the numbers have to start coming up at some point.

    Nick (Long Island, NY): Cesar Puello is on a tear lately in the Sally. What's your opinion of him as a prospect? Any chance he can get some Top 100 love next year if he keeps this up?

Ben Badler: I think he's one of the most improved prospects in baseball. He's made adjustments at the plate and showing a better overall approach to hitting than he did a year ago. The reports I've heard from scouts on his bat have been surprising, given that his hitting has always been Puello's big question mark, but he has shown good plate coverage and he can drive the ball to all fields, even if he's not hitting it over the fence yet, and the speed and arm strength are obviously still there. I don't see him as a Top 100 guy, but he's definitely a breakout candidate.

    andy (san diego): is cederic hunter a legit prospect?

Ben Badler: He's a prospect, but most likely a reserve OF unless he can get stronger and hit for more power down the road.

    fjmanuel (atlanta): Could you expound on Lutz's defense at third? You say it's average; any shot he could slide to second and save us all from Luis Castillo?

Ben Badler: He doesn't have the skill set for second, but he has a chance to stay at third base. Nothing flashy, not going to make the high-value plays that come with great range because that's not who he is, but he's a steady, adequate defender who can make the routine plays.

    JC (STL): Outside of Shelby Miller who else in the Cards Org will be getting consideration for the Top 100? Let's assume that Cox signs and Wilson doesn't from the 2010 Draft.

Ben Badler: Joe Kelly has to be in the discussion with a fastball up to 99 mph and two quality breaking balls. I don't think he's going to have any problems moving up the ladder with his stuff, but I would like to see a former college player perform outside of the Midwest League and get a longer performance record of him as a starter before running him up too high just yet.

    Tug (Neosho, Mo): I must say, I expect to see Aaron Crow on the Not-So-Hot-Sheet every week. What gives?

Ben Badler: Command is a big issue for him, but I also think his stuff isn't quite as good as people think. He's got a great fastball, up to 98 mph with heavy sink, and it's a great pitch. His slider looks good at times but he just doesn't seem to miss too many bats with it and he throws his changeup too hard to be more than just a show-me pitch. With his arm action, I think he's always going to fight his command, so I see him more as a solid reliever than a frontline starter that others have projected.

Ben Badler: Thanks for blowing off whatever work you were supposed to do this afternoon to join in on the chat. Callis should be here on Wednesday to answer all of your frantic will-he-sign questions before the deadline. Until then, enjoy your weekend!