Welcome one and all to another installment of the Prospect Hot Sheet chat.
Brian (Greensboro, NC): How huge will it be for Teheran to develop an effective slider?
I like the idea of expanding Teheran's
repertoire to give batters something else to think about. He has uncanny
fastball control, but despite regular velo readings in the mid-90s he
just doesn't get many swings and misses with the pitch. His changeup is a
legit plus offering, which he sells with plus arm speed and generates
swings and misses, so pairing that with a slider and perhaps an
occasional early-count curve will give the weaponry needed to take the
next step. I'm anxious to see how he fares in 2013.
Brian (Greensboro, NC): If you were to re-rank
or redraft the pitchers from the 2011 draft, what would your top 5
pitcher list look like based on their performance to date?
Gerrit Cole's numbers haven't been
eye-popping, but I'd still give him the benefit of the doubt in the top
spot just based on his physicality and the grades his raw stuff merits.
Beyond Cole, I'd go Bundy 2, Bauer 3 and maybe round out the top 5 with
Archie Bradley and Jose Fernandez. No 2011 draftee has made a louder
debut than Reds lefty Tony Cingrani, a Rice senior drafted in the third
Matt (Philly): With breakouts like Asche, among
others, coupled with trades as the Phillies farm system gone from
terrible to at least average?
I've been impressed with how well Asche
and third-round lefty Adam Morgan have performed in their full-season
debuts. Each has earned a promotion to Double-A. Add them to LHP Jesse
Biddle, a legit rotation candidate in two years, and trade acquisitions
like C Tommy Joseph and RHP Ethan Martin and yes I agree the Phillies
have taken a big step forward, both in terms of prospect depth and
Jeff (California): Where would Pederson rank among Dodger prospects?
It's quite possible that Pederson would
rank with 2012 first-rounder Corey Seager at the vanguard of Dodgers
position prospects, in all probability a peg or two behind Zach Lee and
Allen Webster. Keep in mind that Pederson is who he is to a great
degree, and you can't hang a lot of projection on him. But his hitting
approach ought to at least get him to the big leagues.
Casey Kelly (San Antonio, TX): Aren't I a bit young to make your Blast From the Past section, Matt? I mean, I still have all my teeth.....whippersnapper.
A tongue in cheek selection, I'll grant
you that. But Kelly has ranked so high on so many Top 10 lists that it
feels like he's been around forever. Bigger picture: the Padres have
really had to turn to recycled goods in the big league rotation on
account of injuries to Kelly and all the system's most advanced pitching
prospects. Consider that the core of last season's Texas
League-champion San Antonio staff all have missed most of this year.
That's Kelly, righty Joe Wieland (who reached Petco before going down),
lefty Robbie Erlin and lefty Juan Oramas.
Corey (Cincy): There's been speculation on
Billy Hamilton being called up to the Reds just to be a pinchrunner. Do
you agree? Also, he is more than holding his own at AA with the bat so
far, are you encouraged by his overall offensive game?
I think Hamilton would add a valuable
skill/dimension to the Reds' September/playoff roster, and I hope they
do decide to call him up when Pensacola's season ends. Who wouldn't want
a baserunner who could potentially score on a single (especially in
2-out situations)? As to his performance . . . I'm encouraged by his
walk rate this season, but the strikeout rate (about 18 percent of PAs)
is elevated for a player with so little power. Hamilton's also not
impacting the ball at all as a lefty hitter — .314/.421/.421 which
works out to an isolated power of .079 if you count his nine LH triples
as doubles. That's akin to Luis Castillo with more SB impact and a lot
jon (boston): Nick Franklin - struggling a bit
in Triple A, but does he still get a september call up? really, what
better options does seattle have?
The Mariners could go either way with
Franklin, I guess depending on whether or not he goes to the AFL. He
won't have to be protected on the 40-man till after next season, so why
sacrifice a minor league option in 2013 unless he's absolutely earned
his way to MLB?
nik (Philly): What's Code Asche's possible power projection? 10 HRs? 15?
At this stage, it looks like 10-12 HR
would be a good year. He kind of reminds me of a more athletic,
better-defending version of the Mets' Daniel Murphy.
Remy (Birmingham): My name is Javier Baez.....do you think I am a top 50 prospect in 2013 BA handbook?
On most prospects I'd hedge, but not Baez. He's going to be a legit MLB hitter.
Norse (Pittsburgh): Could Cole be a Sept. callup in the pen, ala Price?
That's not the worst idea in the world,
the only drawback being that I don't think Cole's control is as refined
right now as Price's was down the stretch in 2008. But it sure would be
fun for prospect-watchers to get a sneak peek at Cole out of Pittsburgh
bullpen this September.
Jon (Philadelphia): How do you determine where
to rank guys with lower ceilings that are closer to the majors (Cody
Asche, Jon Pettibone) versus guys with bigger upsides but farther away
(Roman Quinn, Shane Watson). For example, how would you rate these four
guys in the Phillies organization?
We attempt to balance players by their
realistic ceilings and their likelihood of reaching that potential —
but each year we're reminded that ranking prospects is more art than
Tom (Boston): The comment about Asche's position being "TBD" makes me nervous. Do you think he can stay at 3rd or is there no chance?
Asche can handle the demands of the
position. The question is will he produce profile power that teams look
for from corner players? If the Phillies are getting 20+ HR from first
and both corner outfield spots, it may not matter.
Ben (Leland Grove): Would you still consider Teheran to be the top overall arm in ATL's system?
With the graduation of Randall Delgado
and the trade of Arodys Vizcaino, I'd be inclined to give Teheran the
nod as the Braves' top arm. The org's most recent first-rounders — Sean
Gilmartin and Luke Sims — could give him a run, but Teheran still has a
floor of quality set-up reliever and absolute ceiling of No. 2 starter.
(However far away that seems now.)
Robert (Secaucus, NJ): Is Chris Heston doing it with smoke and mirrors, or is he is a potential big leaguer?
Giants Double-A righty Chris Heston's
pitches grade out as 45s and 50s across the board, but his command and
poise helps them play up. I wouldn't be surprised if he spends a number
of years at the back of some team's rotation. He could be next season's
Dan (Vegas): What is Kevin Comer's potential? Is he the best prospect the Astros got in the trade with the blue jays?
At this stage of the game, I'd give best
prospect nod to either High-A righty Asher Wojciechowski or High-A
catcher Carlos Perez.
Jason (New York): Piggy backing the Kevin Comer question, what happened to him? Any explanation for the loss of velocity?
Most high school pitchers have trouble
maintaining velocity after going from pitching once a week as amateurs
to once every 5-6 days as pros (with a side session mixed in). It's a
matter of course, and I wouldn't read too much into it.
Fantasia (Milwaukee): Can Jean Segura be a good
starting shortstop for my BrewCrew? His defense seems very good and he
looks like he has some decent pop in his bat- but can he team up with
Rickie Weeks and be a productive defensive/offensive keystone
combination? We gave up Grienke for him, and hope he can fill the
shortstop position for years to come.
You came to the right place for
pie-in-the-sky Segura projections. I don't know that Segura ever will be
a top-5 overall shortstop based on his defensive inconsistency, but it
wouldn't surprise me to see him rank as one of the top *offensive*
shortstops in the game. Segura's overall profile screams second baseman
to me, and that's the position he played in the low minors with the
Angels. In short, I'd expect high averages, 15 HR and 30 steals from
Nathan (PA): Walker really has been inconsistent at AA. Would you say Fernandez of the Marlins is a better prospect or equal to him?
I think most orgs would take Mariners
Double-A righty Taijuan Walker over Jose Fernandez, but Fernandez has
closed the gap thi season. With Walker, it's not so much what he's done,
but what he might do in the future once he grows accustomed to pitching
every five days. Remember, he didn't really become a full-time pitcher
until 2009 and already has flashed a plus fastball-curve combo.
Chris (Missouri): Royals and Cardinals fans have to be happy. Wil Myers or Oscar Taveras for minor league player of the year?
We've had our POY discussion internally,
but my lips are sealed. Myers and Taveras definitely were two of the
names discussed. That much should be evident. Who gets your vote?
Zane (Ohio): Mike McDade, legit prospect?? or just another player in the loaded Jays system??
The Blue Jays added McDade to the 40-man
after a solid Double-A campaign last year, so they certainly like him as
a prospect. The scouting community at large is of a divided mind,
however. McDade hits for power, but is it enough for 1B/DH, because at
250+ pounds there really isn't any place else for him to go.
John (Pittsburgh): I'm curious about another
Pirate RHP Kyle McPherson. He missed a lot of time this year but has
since been very good at AA/AAA with excellent K:BB numbers and
reportedly a low 90's fastball. Is he a legit rotation candidate or am I
Yes, McPherson is a legit rotation
candidate — or maybe a reliever — but his fastball and change grade
out as major league pitches, and his control allows his stuff to play
Mike (Orlando): If you select one Center-Fielder from the minors to patrol your outfield, which would you pick?
If we're not counting Myers or Taveras as
long-term CF options, then I'm partial to the Marlins' Christian Yelich
or the Blue Jays' Jake Marisnick or the Red Sox' Jackie Bradley (though
he lacks the power potential of the other two).
Thanks for all the great questions. The
Prospect Hot Sheet countdown continues next week, but not for too much
longer after that.