Chat queue is loaded up. Let's get started.
Kevin (Duluth): Ben, are Miguel Sano's 69 walks
a sign of real on-base ability or just a product of the level he's at
and/or pitchers fearing his power? Also, what do scouts think the
ceiling of his hit tool is, can he hit .280 at the Major League level?
Thanks for the chat.
He'll run some deep counts because he gets
pitched around and because he's not a high contact hitter. There's
thunder in his bat and big offensive potential, but the strikeouts are a
Harry (NJ): Would you consider Bundy ready for Bowie?
Yes, but I don't think there's any rush there either.
Itto (PR): Will we see Cubs RHP JC Paniagua pitching this year?
His contract still has to be approved by MLB, so 2013 is more likely.
Chris (NJ): Is Gregory Polanco on pace to be a top 100 prospect next year? Could you give us a quick run down of his tools?
Absolutely. Potential to hit for average and power, with 60-70 speed and average defense. Huge breakout guy.
Diego (Portland): Great to see Torreyes' bat
coming around. How does his glove rate, and is Altuve a fair comp for
what we might expect to see from him?
He's a good defender at second base. There
are some similarities to Altuve, but there just really aren't any comps
for a guy who's maybe 5-6, makes contact like he's hitting off a tee and
can do some decent damage when he connects too. At the same age,
Torreyes is more advanced than Altuve was, both offensively and
Itto (Puerto Rico): Christian Villanueva hit
2HR in his first game with Daytona. Is he still a BA top 100 player by
the end of the year? Is his prospect status increase this year?
Solid prospect, but there's enough
questions from scouts on how much impact is there with the bat that I
think he's on the periphery of that list going into next year.
Ryan (Chitown): Once Vizcaino recovers, do you believe he'll be a SP or RP? Would you consider him the Cubs' top minor league arm at present?
The track record of his inability to stay
healthy just screams reliever. That said, his stuff is absolutely
filthy, so there's potential for him to be a dominant reliever. Given
the lack of pitching in that system, yeah, I'd say he's the Cubs top
Gary (Oakland): Love your work at BA. What's Addison Russell's ceiling? Does he have a good chance to be a superstar?
Superstar is getting a little ahead of
ourselves. I want to see how the swing mechanics play at higher levels
still, but there's big-time hitting and power potential there.
Mike (Orlando): Do you see Oscar Taveras getting a call up this year?
Seems unlikely. Triple-A time maybe, but sounds like he may just finish the year in Double-A.
Jeff (Arizona): Who has the greater upside, Miles Head, Jackie Bradley, or Tyler Austin?
Bradley. Not going to make many outs at the plate and he'll save a ton in the field.
Matt (Jacksonville,FL): Hi, Where do you think Billy Hamilton would start 2013 at: back at Pensacola, Triple-A, or leadoff for Cincinnati?
It's going to depend on what they do with
Gregorius and whether they're going to leave Hamilton at shortstop. I
would just stick Hamilton in center field and let him fly, but the Reds
want to let him figure it out at shortstop. So if Gregorius is in
Triple-A next year, Hamilton's probably going back to Double-A unless
they want to put him in the outfield.
Danny ('Joisey): He hasn't had a wow week yet,
but what are the reports on mega-bonus baby Adalberto Mondesi, who
turned 17 this week? I thought he was a glove only guy at signing but
have heard the opposite now?
A lot of surprise from international scouts
when he signed for $2 million, but the only reports I've gotten from
guys who have seen him this year have been positive.
Yoan, no wait, Yeison (Ft. Wayne): Given the
age revelation last winter, are you surprised I'm still out here in Ft.
Wayne rather than getting a bump to Elsinore to finish out the season?
Would you try to jump me straight to the Texas League next spring even
if I finish the season in Low-A?
You have to promote players based on
talent, not age. The reality is that there are a whole bunch of players
in the minor leagues right now playing with fake ages and even fake
identities. I could see Asencio getting a bump to Double-A next year
based on talent, but I wouldn't let the jump in age affect that
esteban (miami): ive heard some good things about baez's power.. would you call me crazy if i compared it to sano's power?
I've gotten 70 grades on his power, but I'd still give the edge to Sano there. As a complete hitter, Baez all day.
Regurgitating Gordon Wood (New Orleans): What happened to Cheslor Cuthbert? Is it time to temper our expectations? Thanks!
I guess, if the expectations were that a
19-year-old with his baseball background would come out and rake in a
tough park for hitters in the Carolina League. I did think he'd show
better than this, but all the underlying talent is still there, so I'm
still high on Cheslor.
BleacherCreature (NY): Ben,
is it officially time to jump ship on Teheran? there has to be more here than normal ups and downs for a prospect...right?
Jump ship? No, but if you want to start
eyeing the life boats, I think it's fair to be ready. There just hasn't
been a lot of progress there.
john (ct): UConn's George Springer..is he the
next Rob Deer or will he eventually cut down the whiffs and become a
solid hitter with speed?
Love the tools, but Lancaster is doing a lot to mask the contact issues.
John (Chicago): In what order would you rank Rafael Montero, Luis Mateo, and Domingo Tapia?
Tapia, Montero, Mateo. The first two have the best chance to start, but that's three big league arms.
Chris (Texas): Profar's ceiling?
At this point, it would be disappointing if he didn't turn into a perennial all-star.
Jon E (Iowa): If Nick Castellanos were summoned to Detroit tomorrow what is your guess at his slash line over about 200 PA's?
.270/.275/.400? He's going to be good, but he needs more time.
Brian (Chicago): Jorge Bonifacio or Gregory Polanco?
You know I love Bonifacio, but Polanco has
the greater range of skills and projectable tools at this point. With
Bonifacio, its all in the bat, but yeah, it's a good bat.
brad (nj): I understand that Tijuan Walker is
young for AA, but his numbers are just ok. I am worried that he will
become Julio Teheran and not the next King Felix. What are the worst
and best case scenario's for Walker, in 2014?
Walker's breaking ball is much better than
what Teheran has ever shown. There are some concerns from scouts about
Walker's command and whether his arm action will impede that, but with
his stuff, even if it's just average command, you've got at least a No. 3
starter with the upside for a true frontline guy.
Shannon (Atlanta, GA): Obviously Lindour is too
young so do the Indians have any position players at AA or AAA that are
worth bringing up if they cut Johnny Damon? Can they get any MLB
quality contributions from Goedert, LaPorta, Canzler, etc?
You still run into the scout who sees
potential still there in LaPorta, but there are holes in his swing that
big league pitchers have exploited that he needs to prove he can cover
Michael (West Virginia): Hanson and Polanco get
the all the hype as far as WV Power players and deservedly so, but what
about 1b Jose Osuna? He's younger than both (few months on Hanson) and
had a monster July to follow a solid showing last year in the GCL. Is
he a top 20 prospect in the Pirates system? 15? 10? Is he the best 1b
prospect in the system, with Alex Dickerson and Matt Curry being the
Osuna's a hard guy to figure out. It's a
very limited profile, the hit tool is there, but the question scouts
have is whether the power will be enough to carry him at first base.
Then he goes out and hits nine home runs last month. You've got to be a
monster at the plate to be a first base prospect, but Osuna is
Steve (Canada): With the recent voided contract of Luis Castro, do the Blue Jays have any links with any other international prospects. Thanks
Haven't heard them on anyone else yet, but
that's because they weren't planning to play on any other pricey
international players the rest of the year with Barreto, Urena and
Castro tying up all their pool space until deal with Castro fell apart.
Jason Pennini (Boston): What will it take for the Royals to call up Wil Myers? When do you expect his call-up?
Given where the Royals are in the standings, might not be until April 2013.
Navin (Pasadena, CA): Would you add Michael
Ynoa to the 40-man if you were the A's? If not, do you think a team
takes a risk on him? The reports on his stuff in BA yesterday weren't
Only if there are no other close calls to
make. Understandable given the injuries, but I really haven't heard a
great report on him since July 2, 2008.
Brian (Greensboro, NC): Speaking of hard to figure out guys....Marcell Ozuna - a legit prospect with power or power only prospect??
Definitely a power over pure hit with
Ozuna, but the bat has made real strides over the last two years.
Absolutely a legit prospect, but it may take some patience for him to
make more adjustments at the plate before things click.
Mike (TO): Any details about Castro? Have voided conracts happened frequently?
Just that he failed his physical. It's
happened before, in the draft and internationally, but the draft just
throws a different dynamic into it and guys either sign with the team
that picked them for a reduced bonus, go to school or have a case like
Barret Loux. Wagner Mateo's probably the most famous example for an
Bryan (Cincinnati): Is Dylan Bundy a better
prospect than Matt Moore was? Based on the reports on Moore at the
beginning of the season, Moore seemed to be regarded as better than the
typical #1 pitching prospect and I was wondering if Bundy is in that
same class. Thanks.
At the same age, Bundy was well ahead of
where Moore was at 19. I'd stack 2011 Matt Moore over 2012 Dylan Bundy,
but it's also a bit of semantics since those are both No. 1 starter
dave in ny (ny): Jesse Biddle or Adam Morgan?
Biddle, but wow has Morgan come on and narrowed that gap this year.
STU (St. Joseph, MO): When is Hultzen getting the call to the bigs? And has Chris Archer finally worked out his control issues?
Woah, I think Hultzen has to find a way to
throw a few more strikes and get his ERA under 5 in Triple-A before he's
in the mix for Seattle. And he should, but he may end up back in Tacoma
to start 2013. Archer has had a nice stretch, but the control is still
very much a work in progress. There's mid-rotation starter potential
there, but given the control and the way his fastball would play up in
the pen and complement his slider, that has to be a very tempting option
for the Rays.
Jonthan Singleton (CT): Will I be the starting
1b next year or will Brett Wallace give me more time in the minors? The
DH and Brett being able to almost play 3rd base may help me.
Well they have been playing Wallace at
shortstop . . . but long term, Singleton is the answer at first base.
For next year, given how bleak the outlook is going to be for Houston at
the big league level, I don't see any reason to start Singleton's clock
on Opening Day. Maybe by midseason if he forces the issue, but he could
spend another year in the minors.
Grant (NYC): Ben - as BA's international guru, I
wanted to know if you would consider Puig and Beras worthy of being in
their respective teams' overall top 10 prospect lists?
We're going to need more information on
Puig, but given what's in the Dodgers' system, he has a chance to be in
there. Beras has a chance, but the Rangers have a top-notch system, and
the age questions on him are significant.
Justin (Santa Clara, CA): Just another 21/almost 22 year old 6' rhp or is Rafael Montero something much more? Can you expand on him a bit?
His feel for pitching is WAY beyond his
experience level. There's no out pitch in his arsenal to hang your hat
on, but he's commanding a plus fastball and showing a very encouraging
uptick in his strikeout rate since the move to High-A. Saw him as maybe a
5th starter things clicked coming into the year, but now there are
scouts putting mid-rotation potential on him.
Matt (Philly): Any thoughts on Maikel Franco, only 19 years old and really starting to put together a nice second half?
Big fan of his defense and what he's done
the last month at the plate is encouraging. The swing is unorthodox so
I'm not sure whether the bat will play at higher levels, but the
hand-eye coordination is making it work.
Ian (MPLS): Can you suggest a sleeper in the Twins system for weary Twins fans?
We'll go for a deep cut: Felix Jorge in the GCL. Not sure if he'll remain a starter, but huge power arm potential.
Roger (Greenville, SC): Does Roberto Osuna have a top of the rotation profile, or is he a midrotation type with too much polish for short season ball?
I don't think we know at this point. If
we're talking about a 23-year-old, unless a guy learns a cutter or makes
a slight variation in his arsenal, the stuff pretty much is what it is.
With Osuna, at 17, there's still potential for the quality of his
pitches to improve, for him to grow (vertically or horizontally) or to
make changes in his delivery that it's hard to put a profile on him yet.
Scouts look at him now and yeah, you could project a mid-rotation guy
down the road, but there's so much that could change over the next few
years that you might end up selling him short.
Emsi (Washington): Should Trevor Bauer fans be worried about this time off, or glad that the D-Backs are being careful with his body?
No reason to worry, either about the rest
or the major league performance. Given the underlying control issues
Bauer was having in them minors, I was confused why there was so much
clamor to call him up in the first place.
Nate (New York): Greetings! Sleeper for the Yankees system?
Mark Montgomery is going to be a nasty reliever one day.
Scott (Montgomery): Do you think David Dahl has a chance to move up quickly in the Rockies organization? Looks like he's off to a nice start.
Yes. This guy could skyrocket up the prospect rankings next year.
Brian (Greensboro, NC): Is Jose Fernandez the real deal or just a flamethrower that was able to overpower Sally League hitters?
Oh, he's very, very real, and he's got
swing-and-miss breaking stuff too. Becoming a favorite of scouts who've
seen him this year.
J.B. (Seattle): I'm a big Trevor Bauer fan, but
it seems there are legitimate concerns with either his control or his
non-standard approach to batters (trying to K everyone, pitching high in
the zone, etc). His rap game has a pretty weak flow as well. How
worried should we be?
Long-term, I'm not worried. He has plenty
of stuff across the board to miss bats and beat hitters in the strike
zone, it's just a matter of throwing more pitches in the strike zone,
especially earlier in the count. I look at Yu Darvish and even he's
still trying to figure out how to do that against major league hitters.
Lincecum was the same way when he was Bauer's age. It's still something
he's working at, but once he gets it, there's true ace potential, and I
don't give that out lightly.
jb (Iowa): Any chance Cubs could have a top 5 system by next spring ? t
That would surprise me.
Jordan (Dallas): Does Nick Castellanos 5/46 BB/K ratio in 50 games at AA scare you?
It does, but he's one of the youngest
players at that level, and it still seems to work for him. He does some
things that are unconventional and make you wonder if it's going to work
against better pitchers, but the guy just has a knack for hitting and
making adjustments during at-bats and during the season. Once he gets
stronger and starts to be able to do more extra-base damage, pitchers
are going to start being more careful to him, his approach will continue
to improve, and that might be when he really takes off.
Andrew (NY): Rougned Odor has been slumping a
little recently, but had an impressive first half for Hickory. What do
you see the future holding for him?
Most of the international players his age,
other than a few guys like Miguel Sano and Gary Sanchez, are either in
Rookie ball, a short-season league or even repeating the DSL. There's no
in-your-face tools with Odor, but it's still a sweet, simple swing with
a great approach for his age. That bat is going to play everyday at
Jeremy (D.C.): Trayce Thompson. Bullish or bearish?
Can't write off a player with that kind of power, but man oh man is that a lot of strikeouts.
Chatting's been fun. Thanks for all the
great questions. We've got our Best Tools winners coming out in the very
near future, so be on the lookout for that soon. Have a great weekend.