Ben Badler Chat: Oct. 27

Ben Badler: Crunch time. Let’s see if I have what it takes to chat in October.

    Mike (Va): Does Gary Sanchez stay at C, and what kind of bat does he project to have?

Ben Badler: I think he has a good chance to catch, but
his receiving is going to need more work. His upside in terms of
hitting and hitting for power is about as good as you’ll find from any
17-year-old in the country.

    Avi (New Jersey): Any update on Esteilon Peguero?
    Are scouts as high on him as they were in July. Who's the favorite to sign him?

Ben Badler: He’s still unsigned and the reports I’ve
heard on him haven’t changed. For pretty much any top July 2 guy like
Peguero who still hasn’t signed yet, I’m not sure where he’ll sign. He
turns 17 next week, by the way.

    Jon (Cleveland): I'm no scout, but when I saw
    Alex White pitch in Akron this year, he looked more like a Jake
    Westbrook-type (low 90s, groundballer) than a true #1. I'm afraid his
    k-rate—6.4 K/9 in Akron—will only continue to drop as he ascends the
    ranks. Is he more rotation filler than future star?

Ben Badler: I don’t see an ace, but I think he can be
a solid mid-rotation type. And if we’re talking ’04-’07 Jake Westbrook
with 200-plus innings and an ERA in the low-4s, there’s a lot of value
in that.

    Timmy L. (San Francisco): Some have suggested
    the Giants "throw" Game 1 by pitching Jonathan Sanchez against Cliff
    Lee which would then result in the Giants have a clear pitching
    advantage in Game 2, 3, 6 and 7. Thoughts on this philosophy? If you
    think you are the true underdog, hard to not consider this, right?

Ben Badler: I think that strategy dramatically
overstates the probability the Rangers win Game 1 so no, I would not do
that. I will say I have some concern about Tim Lincecum starting after
what he showed coming out of the bullpen the other night. I still
haven’t heard an explanation why he was pitching exclusively from the
stretch even without runners on base and throwing so many offspeed
pitches instead of using his fastball.

    Bryan (Orange): Do you agree with BAs choice
    of Jason Heyward for rookie of the year? I mean Buster Posey has now
    carried his team to the world series in historic fashion. Not only is
    he hitting cleanup for the NL Champs but he is also excelling while
    catching one of the top staffs in baseball. Plus his regular season
    numbers were just as good as Heywards in less games. I mean if Heyward
    isn't being penalized for going on the DL why is Buster for being
    called up late.

Ben Badler: Yes, I do agree, and strongly. Heyward had
nearly 200 more PAs than Posey, which is huge. I’m not saying Posey
couldn’t have narrowed the gap or even edged Heyward if the Giants had
put him on the Opening Day roster, but I think you have to judge them
based on what actually happened on the field, not what would have
happened if Posey was in San Francisco from the start.

    Brad (Detroit): Is Matt Dominguez still the
    future at 3B for the Marlins? His glove gains praise but will his bat
    be adequate enough to play at the major league level? What's do you
    think his timetable is for the majors?

Ben Badler: I’m not convinced that his hitting will be good enough to hold down an everyday job in the big leagues.

    Kevin (Seattle): The Yankees signed Romero
    today. How many players from the top 33 international players are still
    out there? Particularly curious about Elvis Sanchez since my Bucs were
    originally interested in him.

Ben Badler: Peguero, Eskarlin Vazquez, Vicmal de la Cruz, Rougned Odor and Elvis Sanchez are all still out there.

    Joe (Pittsburgh): Do you think Jonathan Singleton could be a viable LF option for the Phillies in 2-3 years?

Ben Badler: I think he could play LF, but I don’t
think he should. He could be an above-average defender at first base
and, by the time he’s ready for the big leagues, I think there’s a good
chance that Ryan Howard’s skills will have diminished to the point
where he’s no longer a viable option there, regardless of how much the
Phils will have to pay him.

    Jessica (Manhattan, NY): Ben, who do you think will reach their ultimate ceiling first...Jose Iglesias or Thomas Neal?

Ben Badler: I’m trying to think of anything those two guys have in common . . . but, Iglesias.

    Sang (Chicago): How legit are Cubs prospects
    Chris Carpenter, Trey McNutt and Chris Archer? Ace potential or more
    back end starters? Do any of them have a standout pitch?

Ben Badler: As a group, that might be the most
underrated (or at least unheralded) group of pitching prospects of any
organization in baseball. I don’t think any of them is a future ace but
they all could be solid, above-average starters in the big leagues.
Archer and McNutt especially have knockout stuff at times, anywhere
from 60 to 70 grades on their fastballs and breaking stuff.

    Oscar (Phoenix): Hi Ben, thanks for the chat. Can Phillies fans expect Dominic Brown to be ready to play everyday in 2011?

Ben Badler: I don’t think he’ll kill it out of the gate quite like Heyward did, but yes, I think he’s ready for the job.

    Paul (St Pete): Which minor league lefty has the most upside right now?

Ben Badler: Matt Moore. Might have more upside than any RHP, too.

    Antoine (Illinois): Who's the better prospect. Brett Jackson Or Eric Hosmer

Ben Badler: Hosmer, and I’m a big Brett Jackson fan.

    Ben (Dallas): Have you seen or talked to
    anyone who has seen E. Beltre play in the AFL this Fall? Noticed he has
    is walking more than usual for him. Bad pitching or is he developing
    some sort of patience at the dish?

Ben Badler: It’s been 10 games, I wouldn’t read much into the AFL walks. Plate discipline still sounds like a work in progress for him.

    Tanner (Wilmington, NC): Ben, a lot of talk
    about Wilmer Flores when compiling the league top 20's. Assuming he is
    moved from SS, do you think he has enough bat to profile at a corner

Ben Badler: Yes, I think his ability to square up the
ball is extraordinary for his age, and I think the power will come down
the road. I know I’ve said this before (not sure if it was in a chat or
somewhere else), but I think we’re going to get to the point very soon
where Latin American prospects who were high-profile amateur players at
16 (like Flores) end up getting picked apart by the time they’re 20
years old because “prospect fatigue” begins to set in on these guys. I
think we’ve already seen it with guys like Fernando Martinez and Jesus
Montero to some extent, and with more guys getting seven-figure bonuses
at 16 and getting more media attention from such a young age, it’s only
going to happen more frequently. The reality is that most of these kids
take six, seven years to become reliable big leaguers, but even a guy
like F-Mart just turned 22 this month.

    Kyle (Fort Lauderdale): Ben, You don't think
    Matt Dominguez will hit enough to be an everyday player, is that the
    common thought at BA or your view? A .745 OPS wasn't great this year,
    but wasn't he one of the youngest players in AA? He also OPS'd .901 the
    last month of the season.

Ben Badler: I think it’s mixed in the BA offices and
mixed in the scouting community as well. My concerns stem from his
ability to handle offspeed stuff and the concerns from scouts I’ve
talked to about his hitting mechanics. He did make some strides at the
plate this year, but there’s still a large gap between where his bat is
now and where it needs to be for me to be comfortable projecting him as
a viable regular at third base.

    Bryan (MA): In 5 years, Cox or Castellanos?

Ben Badler: I like Cox, but I’d go with Castellanos. Love his swing.

    Casey (Hawaii): Before the playoffs started I
    tried to figure which would be the single best world series to watch as
    a baseball fan. I came up with Braves winning in 7 over the Twins, at
    home, last game for Cox, and bringing back memories of one of the, if
    not the greatest world series of all time. Which would you like to see?
    This is coming from a Twins fan who grew up in Dallas and roots for the
    Rangers (when they are not playing the Twins)

Ben Badler: Giants-Rangers works for me. New teams,
new story lines, the Giants with one of the game’s best young players
in Posey, a terrific young pitching staff and a nutjob closer, and the
Rangers with Cliff Lee, one of the toolsiest players in the history in
the game in Hamilton and young talent like Feliz and Andrus? I’ll take

    Ken Rule (Lakewood CA): Hey Ben - thanks. I'm trying to figure out the catcher for the future for the Red Sox. Who would you put your money on?

Ben Badler: Probably gonna come from outside the organization.

    ryan (atl): you are starting a franchise and you get one minor league position player and one minor league pitcher. who you got?

Ben Badler: Bryce Harper and Jeremy Hellickson

    Casey (Hawaii): Can you break down your
    thoughts on Gibson vs Wimmers for me? I have read so many contradicting
    scouting reports/opinions about these two. Some differ in which is a
    better prospect, some say they are low level aces to number 4 starters,
    and others differ on when they will be in the bigs. Much love from a
    Twins fan!

Ben Badler: There just aren’t many pitchers at any
level of baseball who have Gibson’s combination of heavy life on the
fastball and the secondary pitches to miss bats and put hitters away
(and he’s a Twin, so of course he throws strikes). Can that be a No.
1-type starter? That’s pretty much Trevor Cahill’s skill set, so yeah,
I think he has that kind of potential. I don’t think Wimmers has that
type of upside, more of a solid starter who ideally fits in somewhere
towards the middle or the back of the rotation.

    Jay (South Riding, VA): Can Derek Norris play 1B? Does the bat translate?

    A future combo of Ramos, Norris & Harper looks pretty solid right?

Ben Badler: A good prospect who should do everything
he can to work on his defense, because he can hit well for a catcher,
but I don’t see the kind of offensive production you’d want out of a
first baseman.

    Tim (Chicago): With the Yankees depth at catching in the farm system, would you trade Montero or keep and let him DH/Catch?

Ben Badler: I would have to be overwhelmed (i.e. Zack Greinke) to part with Montero.

    Roy (Cincy, OH): Could I get your impressions
    of Dave Sappelt? What are his shortcomings, and do you see him as one
    of the Reds' top 10 overall prospects?

Ben Badler: Don’t see him in their top 10, but
probably a fourth outfielder at the next level with some speed and a
good approach at the plate.

    Ernie (New York, NY): I know he's only 16, but do you have any comps for Wilmer Romero? Is he as raw as Melky Mesa was at 16?

Ben Badler: Romero sounds like he’s more advanced than
Mesa was, but with similar tools, athleticism and more size. Romero’s
still raw but his general athleticism and tools across the board were
about as good as anyone’s in Latin America this year.

    Jay (South Riding, VA): Do you think Chris Marrero is destined for AAAA status? Seems to me he is destined to be a low BA and high strikeout guy.

Ben Badler: There’s enough there to be more than just
a good Triple-A veteran, but I don’t see much more than a bench bat.
When scouts come away with the same offensive concerns year after year,
that’s never a good sign.

    J.B. (Seattle): anything new in the Jarrod Parker camp? will he be in the rotation in 2011?

Ben Badler: Rehab sounds like it’s going well, heard
he’s been hitting the mid-90s regularly. Wouldn’t surprise me if he got
some starts in Arizona late in the season, then became a mainstay in
their rotation by 2012.

    kyle (alabama): when does the first top 10 prospects list come out .

Ben Badler: Next week! The first one should be out on Monday.

    Colt (Springfield): I should just give up on Zach Cox after 27 AB in the AFL, shouldnt I?

Ben Badler: I’m assuming you mean this in jest, but I
don’t think a handful of games to start the AFL (most of which are
coming after a lag time between instructs and the start of the season,
if the players even went to instructs at all) should alter your opinion
much on anyone in the league.

    Kevin (Seattle): Draft question... How quickly
    can Rendon, Purke and Cole make it to majors, assuming that they don't
    see any real action until the AFL next year at the earliest?

Ben Badler: The most likely path for them is sign late
in Aug. 2011, spend 2012 in the minors, start 2013 back in Triple-A to
work on refining some minor nuance of their game (a code for delaying
their arbitration clocks), then come up for good around late May/early
June 2013.

Ben Badler: I’ve reached my pitch count for the day.
Thanks for reading as always, and be sure to check back on Monday when
our team-by-team prospect rankings begin.