J.J. Cooper will answer your Hot Sheet and prospects questions beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
@Jaypers413 (IL): JJ, you know I respect BA's
staff and their choices for the Hot Sheet on most weeks, but I gotta say
you dropped the ball BIGTIME with respect to Hudson Valley's Jason
McEachern. His past 2 starts this past week are Hot Sheet worthy to say
the very least - 11.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 16 K. I am DYING to hear your
explanation for his omission this week.
Hi Jaypers. I'm going to start the chat a
little bit early. In the case of McEachern, there's a simple
explanation: context matters. McEachern is an '08 draftee who made 11
starts in Hudson Valley back in 2009, and he threw 120 innings in the
Midwest League last year. The stats are great, but when a guy is
essentially repeating the NYP (or a higher league in the case of the
MWL) for a third year, it's more a Man Among Boys consideration than top
of the Hot Sheet consideration. The Rays are as patient as anybody when
it comes to young pitchers and it works quite well for them, but we
need to see McEachern do it for a couple of more weeks before he's
really in Hot Sheet consideration for the main sheet.
Jason (Patterson): Who's a better prospect Jerry Sands or Trayvon Robinson?
Was just talking to a scout who once again
repeated the mantra, tie goes to the athlete. Robinson plays a tougher
position defensively, and while he's not the hitter that Sands is, it's
not as significant a difference as some may believe. I'm still going to
go with Sands because of his power, but it's closer than one might
Ike (DC): No Jason Kipnis? You've gotta be ribbing us.
Looked hard at putting Kipnis on the list
this week, but he also had nine strikeouts in 27 at-bats. Striking out
in a third of your ABs was enough to keep him off the list.
Dee (GA): Far be it from me to question your
choice for #1, but there were pitchers who put up better numbers than
Holmberg this past week. If I didn't know better, I'd think you were
taking more than his past week's start into account - such as his entire
scoreless innings streak? If so, that defeats the whole purpose of a
WEEKLY list of hot players. Let's hear from you now.
It's a weekly list, but overall
performance does matter. Go back a couple of years and check out Tommy
Hanson's appearances on the list week after week. Partly it was because
of Hanson's dominance that week, but part of it had to do with the
consistency with which he was doing it. If we have two prospects who
have similar weeks, one of whom is having a great month and one of whom
is having a bad month, I'm going to generally go with the guy having the
great month. But as far as his numbers, Holmberg's numbers this week
also match up pretty well with pretty much anyone else on the list. He
allowed one baserunner while striking out a batter an inning.
Matt Dominguez (Florida): When will I get the
call? I've been playing well until recently. And what numbers do you
see me producing in a full season starting in 2012?
I think Dominguez can battle for a Gold
Glove in the big leagues, he's that good defensively. I also think he'll
struggle to hit enough to be more than a bottom of the lineup hitter.
There are some scouts who believe he will put it together offensively,
but more of the scouts I talk to think he's never going to be an impact
bat. And yes, he's hit better lately, but a .257/.321/.417 line in
Triple-A isn't screaming for a call-up.
John Havok (Lethbridge AB): Drew Hutchison was
on a lot of sleeper lists this year, is it safe to say that he's now a
legit prospect worthy of top 100 status? Where would you slot him today
on the Jays farm rankings?
I've been screaming his name since spring
training. He's legit. A definite Top 10 prospect in the Blue Jays system
and a guy we're talking about for our Midseason Top Prospects update.
Chris (Long Island): It seems like more and
more scouts are hopping on the Carlos Martinez train. We have heard the
"Pedro-like" comparisons, so who would you say has better pure stuff
over Carlos Martinez that is currently pitching in the minors?
I'd throw Matt Moore out there as having
better pure stuff—better secondary pitches, nearly as good a fastball
coming from the left side. You could put Shelby Miller and Jameson
Taillon up there with Martinez as far as pure stuff from the right side.
Maybe Julio Teheran. It's a short list.
Eric (VA): Which pitcher has a higher ceiling, Jacob Turner or Carlos Martinez?
Martinez. He may have a higher ceiling than the Sistine Chapel.
Matt (Whippleville, NY): Is it just me or has
this been a poor year for the Mets' farm? It seemed to start out well,
but the hitters have been completely underwhelming and only a few arms
look mildly promising.
I think several arms have taken steps
forward. At this time last year, Brad Holt and Jeurys Familia were
completely lost. Now they are either back on track (Familia) or at least
not a disaster (Holt). Matt Harvey is having a very good year. As far
as the position players I'd agree with you in the case of Flores and
Puello, but Nieuwenhuis has been just as good as before and Duda keeps
improving. It's a pretty mixed year on the farm for the Mets.
Kiefer Higgins (Lynnwood, WA): How did Kyle
Seager not make the top 13, I know he made team photo but I want to
understand why he didn't make the top 13 please elaborate thanks.
It's a great week, but in his case it
somewhat comes down to his future projection. Seager projects as a
utility infielder. The guys ahead of him generally project as regulars.
If you're asking why doesn't he project as a regular, it's largely
because he's a tick below average defensively at second base. He doesn't
profile at third base and his arm may be a question over there as well.
Madison (Chicago): Why a #3 starter for Peacock when he's showing front of the rotation stuff right now.
Because he isn't showing front of the
rotation stuff. The scouts I've talked to say he's got a 60 fastball,
but neither his curve or changeup is plus. And to be a No. 2 starter,
the profile is two plus pitches, an average third pitch and average
command. The profile for a No. 3 is one plus pitch and two average
pitches—that describes Peacock very well right now according to the
reports I've received.
Jim (Granger, IN): JJ, In reading Jake
Odorizzi's bio in the 2011 Handbook, it speaks to his projected multiple
plus pitches, command, etc. The Handbook write up makes him sound like a
future Cy Young candidate. Yet, he's termed more "mid rotation" type
than frontline starter in that same bio. Am I missing something? Has his
performance this season raised those expectations?
He's definitely raised the expectations,
but if you read our writeup in the handbook we said he could develop
into a No. 2 or No. 3 starter in time. That's a pretty similar report to
what we would say now.
SS dilemma (California): Appreciate the chats.
Could you please rank these SS in terms of offensive ability - assuming
all 5 stay at SS: Derek Dietrich, Nick Franklin, Tim Beckham, Wilmer
Flores and Schoop.
The problem is there's virtually no chance
that Flores and Schoop stay at SS and I think there are significant
doubts about Beckham and Dietrich long-term staying there either. And
even Franklin is a question mark defensively, so the premise of the
question is doubtful. Offensively, I'm going with Franklin first. After
that Flores, Beckham, Deitrich, Schoop. But after Franklin there's not a
whole lot of separation offensively.
David (Tempe, AZ): Where is the Diamondbacks'
farm system headed in overall rankings? Seems like a lot of their
prospects are really moving this year (Skaggs, Goldschmidt, Holmberg,
Headed way up. They are having a great year, especially on the mound.
Tom (MA): Is there any comp for Jose Altuve? Is his upside MLB starter, or utilityguy?
No. He defies comps. But all that being
said, you still will have to search far and wide to find a scout who
believes he's a major league regular. But considering how unique he is,
it's really hard to scout him, because he's not a player who you can
compare to previous players of a similar type.
Matt (NY): Great Sistine chapel line. Does Martinez crack the top 50 next year?
Dylan Bundy (Baltimore, MD): Any word on progress of signing myself or fellow high schooler Bubba Starling?
Check back when the calendar says August. MLB is not going to allow any of those big money guys to sign this soon.
mike (Mpls): Delois Guerra - future as a reliever? I mean, that's all they have left from trading Santana....
His fastball has gotten better again, so
he at least has a chance at a big league bullpen role, but even that is
still a long shot.
ted (columbus): three of the Reds' most
promising prospects—Duran, Hamilton, and Rodiguez—are all struggling
at Dayton. Of the three, who is the most disappointing and who do you
think has the best chance to right himself and end up a productive major
To me Rodriguez is the most disappointing
because he seems to have shown poor makeup to go with his struggles at
the plate. With Hamilton, even with his offensive struggles, he still
has shown a likelihood of being a big leaguer (with that speed and his
defense he's at least a utility infielder) and if he can improve at the
plate, he still could be a very solid regular. Rodriguez has some
growing up to do to go with a need to refine his approach.
Tom (Idaho): Is Matt Harvey a #1 type starter?
No. The secondary stuff isn't good enough
to project him as a No. 1. But he does seem to be answering questions in
a good way of whether he's a big league starter vs. a big league
Navin (Pasadena, CA): I always have a tough
time getting a read on short season prospects: What are your thoughts on
the hot starts for 19-year olds Pin-Chieh Chen, Wes Darvill and Reggie
Golden at Boise?
Generally I don't get too excited about a
hot start statistically for anyone in short-season ball. Not that it's
not notable, but it's easier to dominate rookie ball or short-season
ball than it is the upper levels. So my advice is to be a little
excited, but don't get too crazy about them yet.
Joseph (Pittsburgh, PA): No Manuel Banuelos? Heard his stuff wasn't great, but the results are still there and he still the same guy.
It was a very solid start so he wasn't far
off the list, but it was hard to make it with only five innings
pitched. And yes, the stuff for Banuelos has diminished a tick.
joe (buffalo): how fair are the Daniel Corcino/Cueto comps?
Pretty fair. Stuff is similar. Builds are similar. Backgrounds are similar.
Jose (Bronx, NY): How about a right handed Luis Polonia for an Altuve comp
Sorry, can't buy that Polonia comp,
although I appreciate the fact that it made me go dig out my old
Scouting Report books from the early 90s to confirm my memory that
Polonia had 70 speed or better. The reasons I can't buy it is because
Polonia had significantly better speed, and because as you noted Polonia
was lefthanded. Polonia had a 12-year big league career, if he had been
righthanded, you could argue that career could have been shortened by
Efrim (Norwalk, CT): Speaking of steps back,
how about the Braves farm? There seems to be little talent in the lower
levels because of underwhelming drafts the last two years. Do you think
this is the year their org ranking is outside the Top 15?
The Braves' pitching depth in the minors
is still impressive. Between Teheran, Delgado, Vizcaino and Paul Clemens
(who has taken a step forward) that's a pretty impressive group of
arms. But I'll agree with you that I'd have a much tougher time listing a
lot of impressive bats in the Braves' system.
Shawn Nelson (Chippewa Falls,Wi.): What exactly
does Tyler Thornburg have to do to get a little respect from you guys?
So far all I've seen is a 'in the photo' from him. Did I miss something
or has he just been overlooked? Also, would you say he is now their top
As mentioned in the Banuelos answer a guy
with five innings pitched this week has a tougher time making the list.
Thornburg is having a great year, but there still is a lot of thought
that with his delivery he'll end up as a reliever. With that being the
case Peralta and Scarpetta are in that mix battling him for No. 1 in the
Brewers system (well at least til Jungmann and Bradley sign).
Sorry guys I've got to cut this a little
short today as I have more calls to make for the Midseason Top 50
Prospects report. I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend and
remember to listen to the Baseball America Show on MLB Network Radio
Sunday night at 7 p.m. on XM/Sirius radio.