Greg (New York): Thanks for the chat! With
Hosmer's nice start in the big leagues do you see any chance the royals
could put moose on the fast track and have him in the majors before
Absolutely, I believe we'll see Mike
Moustakas don a Kansas City uniform prior to September. The Royals
already have debuted seven players this year and they haven't yet gotten
to Moustakas or Mike Montgomery, who rebounded from a brutal start in
Colo. Springs to toss seven solid innings last night. The organization
wants its prospects to get a taste of big league life — and endure
their first big league slumps — so that they'll know what to expect in
2012 and beyond.
TJ (Rockland County, NY): What do you think
Familia's future role will be? I have heard a lot say he is a bullpen
guy but his results this year may say otherwise. Can he be a future SP?
Six months ago I would have said bullpen
without question, but Jeurys Familia has rediscovered the fastball
command that made him a notable breakout prospect in 2009 with Low-A
Savannah. Now he's married that command with the swing-and-miss
secondary stuff he began introducing in High-A last year. Even with his
struggles in 2010, Familia earned high marks for his makeup and work
ethic. Buy in on this kid, but don't be surprised if he doesn't fully
blossom until 2013.
Tim (San Diego): Hey Matt, thanks for the chat.
Any updates on Drew Cumberland's status? Really would like to see the
kid positively rebound from vertigo.
He's working out with the Double-A San
Antonio club and seems to generally feel good about his prospects for
recovery from vertigo-like symptoms. That's all I've got for now.
Muggsy (Minny): What in the world is going on
with Alex Wimmers? A solid command/control guy suddenly can't throw it
across the plate? That's two such first round cases for the Twins in
three years (Shooter Hunt).
The Twins pulled him out of a competitive
environment in High-A and let him work through his mechanics in
extended spring training. Don't despair just yet. We'll have a new Twins
org report on Wimmers on the site either today or Monday.
Steve (Atlanta): Is Brandon Beach really as good as his numbers indicate so far? And how will his injury effect him going forward?
You'll find fewer bigger Brandon Beachy
fans than me. My only concerns for 2011 would be: 1) Workload, and 2)
Deception. What I mean, first of all, is that for a pitcher who worked
mostly in relief in 2009-10, we don't really know how Beachy will
respond to a starter's workload of about 180 innings. And as far as that
goes, his injury could be a blessing in disguise if it keeps him fresh
for an Atlanta playoff run. As far as deception, I wonder how opposing
batters will fare against Beachy once they grow more accustomed to his
delivery. He derives a large amount of success from the fact that
batters struggle to pick up and time his pitches. But these concerns
I've laid out are true for any rookie pitcher.
James (Chicago): What can you tell me about
Trevor Plouffe? I see he was a 1st round pick a few years back but he's
never really been talked about much as a top prospect. Yet his numbers
so far seem pretty good following his recent call up? Does he have a
shot to be the starting shortstop for a while or does he project more as
a reserve? And is his power for real?
Big arm, solid power stroke for a middle
infielder. Plouffe might be stretched as an everyday shortstop because
you're probably dealing with low average/on-base and fringy range, but
he can play multiple positions and drive the ball on occasion.
Greg (New York): How come no love for ackley? Was it because he was lacking HR's? or does the 0-5 hurt him last night? thanks!
Take it as a positive for Ackely's
development that he's showing us skills this year in Triple-A that were
absent last year. Namely, he's hitting for more power and stabilizing
his walk-to-whiff ratio.
David (Hartford, CT): With Darnell, Gyorko and Rincon all impressive hitters, which one (if any) do you think might ultimately play 3B in the majors?
Gyorko is the only one of the three who
profiles at the position defensively. Edinson Rincon has virtually no
shot at sticking there, while James Darnell has the range and arm
strength, but he's a big dude who may simply outgrow the position. His
footwork already costs him accuracy on his throws, so many expect a
shift to first or to right field.
Tom (Atlanta): Frank Wren recently was quoted
as saying that he didn't care about pitch counts. Since then, Julio
Teheran threw more than 120 pitches, and Zeke Spruill threw a 9 inning
shutout. How do you think this will affect the development of pitchers
in the Braves' system?
Thanks for the chat.
Interesting piece of information. I
missed that, so I thought I'd pass it along to other chatters. We're
seeing the Rangers get generally favorable results from loosening the
reins on their young pitchers, but I'm not sure we're far enough out yet
to draw conclusions. Given all the arms Atlanta has cultivated recently
— Hanson, Teheran, Venters, Jurrjens, Kimbrel, Beachy, Minor, Gearrin
— I'd give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to pitching.
Joel (Denver): Charlie Blackmon does nothing but rake. Will he ever be given a chance at a starting job in Colorado?
Let's hope he gets the Seth Smith
treatment instead of the Ian Stewart treatment. Seriously, Blackmon does
many things well on the field, so as the difference between Dexter
Fowler's production and salary narrows (and then inverts), the former
Georgia Tech outfielder will look more and more attractive. Colorado
will add Blackmon to the 40-man roster this November, if not sooner, so
he figures to get Denver look-ins late this year and at various points
Rob (Calgary): I'm a John Lamb AND Simon Castro
owner in my fantasy league... Should I be more than a little concerned
(for different reasons)?
Yes, you should be concerned. But even
pitchers with great stuff and great results get hurt — you're talking
to a Strasburg owner. Those are just the risks associated with pitchers.
A big payoff from only one of your young arms can make a huge
difference in your team's standing. Hang in there.
Larry (DC): Hey Matt, I have the usual Harper
question. When do you think he gets moved up to High A Potomac and where
does he finish this year? Thanks for chatting.
Look to Mike Trout last year as the
blueprint. Harper figures to spend most of the second half in High-A
before tackling Double-A at the outset of 2012.
Andrew (Winnipeg): Was Travis D'Arnaud stongly considered for the Hot Sheet?
No, but I did strongly consider his
brother Chase d'Arnaud, a middle infielder with the Pirates' Triple-A
Indianapolis club. He went 12-for-28 (.429) with a double, a triple, a
homer and four steals. As to Travis, a catcher for the Blue Jays'
Double-A club, he saw limited action but made the most of it by batting
7-or-13 (.538) with three doubles.
Kevin (Oxnard): Thanks for the chat. Your thoughts on Michael Blanke, Catcher for the White Sox? Fast mover?
I like Blanke as sleeper catcher
prospect. Seems like he could be a sleeper but we have to temper
enthusiasm until he carries his Sally League production (.833 OPS,
strong contact skills) to Double-A.
Chris (Chicago): Which minor league second base prospect will have better major league success: Johnny Giavatella or Jemeel Weeks?
I'd put my money on the Athletics' Jemile
Weeks because he has louder tools. Of course, he also has a much louder
disabled list rap sheet. If he can take a cue from his brother Rickie
and learn to stay healthy, I think he'll win the battle easily.
Brandon (Georgia): Speaking of fantasy and
Beachy....he is available in my league. Is he worth the gamble now that
he is hurt? Atlanta has so many pitchers it seems like he is destined
to lose his rotation spot...
He's an easy pickup in NL-only leagues,
especially if you can stash him on the DL. But then he's probably
already rostered in all such leagues.
Nick (SF): Who does Gary Brown compare to? I fear that he will go the way of the speedy low power guys like Jason Tyner...
He's a cut above the class of Tyner/Joey
Gathright speedsters. Brown may not be the 70-80 defender that the
Angels' Peter Bourjos is, but he could compensate for that with gaudier
stolen-base totals and a better feel to hit.
Roger (Greenville, SC): I own Zack Cox, Matt Davidson, and Mike Olt in a 5x5 fantasy league. Which high-A 3B(s) should I keep and why?
I think Mike Olt has the potential to be
most well-rounded of the trio. He'll give you more power than Cox and
more defense than Davidson. While Davidson might have the most power of
the group, he faces questions as to future position.
Shoshana (Baltimore): It's depressing enough
being an Orioles fan. Any hope for the future from the farm system
besides Machado? Throw us a bone and at least answer a question on the
Baltimore has the fourth pick in the
draft, and that's only three weeks away. Don't forget that the O's have a
lot of young major leaguers who could still improve — Matusz, of
course, but also Arrieta and Reimold and Tillman.
@Jaypers413 (IL): Did Taijuan Walker get any love for the Hot Sheet this week?
Great week for Mariners' top pick last
year: 6 1/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 11 SO, 0 BB. And he's been outstanding for
Low-A Clinton with 20 whiffs in 12 2/3 innings.
Eury Perez (Potomac): I'm feeling a bit slighted, Matt. Why didn't I make the Hot Sheet? (sniff)
You have a strong case: .538/.538/.769 (14-for-26), 3 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBIs, 5 SO, 2-for-2 SB.
Jeff Chisholm (New York): Can you give me a quick scounting report on juan nicasio?
No, but Ben Badler recently published an
exhaustive review of Nicaso's career and stuff to this point in his
career. It's filed under Prospect Bulletin at BA.com.
Jeff (CA): Why was Zach Lee demoted to Rookie Ball? He seemed to he handling Single A quite well
The Dodgers will shut Lee down for 3
starts or so. He had an MRI on his elbow two weeks ago, and while the
test showed no damage the Dodgers are being cautious.
John Anderson (BHFB): I have a question about a
couple of AAA hitters.
With the Diamondbacks needing a 1B and Brandon Allen hitting .313 with 6
HR, is his defense at 1B so bad they can't call him up or is it
Also, what is the outlook on Adrian Cardenas this year? It looks like
Weeks is their 2B and Cardenas has been splitting time between 3B and
DH. Is there even room for a 3B/DH that hitting well (.359) but with
minimal power (2 HR)?
The D-Backs seem to be taking advantage
of the fact that Allen has options remaining to see what they've got in
Juan Miranda. But once he or Nady or Branyan leaves, then Allen can
return to Phoenix. The A's actually have moved Cardenas to left field
most of the time with Sacramento, and you can probably expect him to be
that rare high-average third baseman/left fielder. No natural comp comes
Thanks for the great questions. I believe J.J. is up next week to take the Hot Sheet.