Prospect Hot Sheet Chat: April 11

Q:  ScottAZ from Phx, AZ asks:
this going to finally be the year Dex Fowler shows off all 5 tools
(power esp) or are we going to be teased with the promise until he is
out of baseball?

Ben Badler:
Hello folks, and welcome to our first weekly Prospect Hot Sheet chat.
We’ve tweaked a few things this year, both in terms of Hot Sheet and
the other daily minor league content we’re bringing to the web. As long
as I have you guys here, what do you guys like? Scouts views?
First-person reports? What do you want to see more of? Less of
(hopefully not me!)? Let’s get going…

Ben Badler: The
tools and the athleticism are all there for Fowler to break out, and he
has the size at 6-4 to project for more power, something he hasn’t done
as a pro, and his broken hand last year didn’t help. Injuries are
tricky with hitters because you have to account for them when
considering they haven’t performed up to expectations, but they also
may be warning signs of a guy who might struggle to stay healthy.

 Q:  Ben from Leland Grove asks:
Any reason to be concerned with Kershaw’s starts thus far? What’s been the main reason for this?

Ben Badler:
I don’t know about concern with Kershaw, and he was in the running for
the Hot Sheet this week with his 12 strikeouts in eight innings as a
19-year-old in Double-A. The command looks like it might still need
some refinement, and people got a little carried away from seeing his
raw stuff in spring training and saying he needs to be in the big
leagues now. Let him get his command on track before calling him up.

 Q:  ScottAZ from Phx, AZ asks:
Maybin is ripping the ball, Almezaga and Ross suck. How long before Maybin gets the call for good?

Ben Badler:
I’ve seen Maybin’s last two games, and as much as I’ve been impressed
with him, he still needs time to develop in the minors. Especially if
you’re the Marlins and you’re only going to keep a player for three or
four years before you trade him anyway. He puts on a show in BP, but in
the games sometimes he doesn’t get as much loft in his swings. No need
to push him through yet.

 Q:  Snapper Bean from Greater Kensington asks:
Adrian Cardenas? Please tell me he was at least considered.

Ben Badler:
Cardenas did get consideration. With our baker’s dozen, there’s room
for an average of about three, maybe four guys at each level to make
the Hot Sheet (although we don’t break it down by league’¦ we just pick
the best 13). So it’s hard to make the list, and Cardenas was in
consideration. He’s getting a lot of hits, but they’ve mostly been
singles, and he’s drawn one walk, so he just missed the cut this week.

 Q:  Brandon from Charleston, WV asks:
Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez in the majors and Homer Bailey in AAA,
do the Reds have the best trio of young starters in baseball?

Ben Badler:
Maybe. I think the Dodgers’ Billingsley/Kershaw/McDonald is in the mix.
So is the Yankees’ Chamberlain/Hughes/Kennedy. Then there’s the Rays
with Kazmir/Garza/Shields, with Price, McGee and Davis behind them not
too far off, so it depends how far down the line you want to go.

 Q:  Todd Frazier from Dayton, Ohio asks:
What’s up Ben? With the hot start I’m off to, how long do you think I’ll be in Dayton?

Ben Badler:
Todd, the Reds think you’re a shortstop (everyone else seems to think
you’re a third baseman), and they have Chris Valaika at short in High-A
off to a hot start himself. Your bat definitely belongs in Sarasota
right now. It’s a challenge in asset management for any farm director
when there’s a prospect jam like the Reds have, but it’s definitely a
good problem to have.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
arguably has had the best season of any hitter on this sheet
(especially his 2 HRs to kick off the first game), yet ranks below
Frazier and Maybin. What was your reasoning behind ranking him where
you did?

Ben Badler:
Because he’s played less. These are all small sample doses here, but
Wieters just didn’t get as much PT as the other guys with only 18 or so
trips to the plate. He’s still the top catching prospect in baseball,
and No. 7 is no slight, the other guys just had the combination of the
rate stats and the playing time. For the record, my BA coworkers wanted
Wieters a bit higher, but I dinged him a bit for the playing time.

 Q:  Ian from NH asks:
Hey Ben. How close was Reid Engel to getting on the list? Any thoughts on his early-season start?

Ben Badler:
Engel was close, but he’s not as prospect-y as the other guys (he was
No. 28 in the Red Sox rankings), and he’s doing it in the Cal League.

 Q: from Stoughton, WI asks:
Did Yohermyn Chavez (Lansing – MWL) get any consideration?

Ben Badler: Yes. Definitely a potential helium guy to watch.

 Q:  Sunny Reiser from Brooklyn, NY asks:
Hansen—seems to be going about his business in Pawtucket. with Kyle
Snyder and now Bryan Corey gone by the wayside, any chance we see
Hansen in Beantown anytime soon?

Ben Badler:
We had good reports on Hansen coming out of spring training in terms of
his raw stuff, 90-96 mph with his fastball, 84-87 wit his slider, but
he still needs to do a better job commanding the zone. I’ve never been
a fan of drafting college relievers, but he’s still worth following to
see if he can hone his ability to throw strikes consistently and early
in the count.

 Q:  Jeremy Barr from Atlanta, GA asks:
What about Trevor Cahill? All the guy does is put up quality starts and strike out a ton of batters.

Ben Badler:
Excellent young righthander for the A’s. Only had one start so far this
season, so he didn’t quite have enough to make the Hot Sheet, but he’s
got good stuff, a big-time curve with athleticism and a good delivery.
That he’s only the second- or third-best prospect in the Stockton
rotation (with Brett Anderson, Fautino DLS and Henry Rodriguez) shows
how stacked the A’s are at High A.

 Q:  Kyle from Middletown asks:
there was a blast from the past section, might we have seen BJ
Szymanski? He has gotten off to a surprisingly hot start considering
that he struggled last year in a lower league?

Ben Badler:
We’ll bring Blast From The Past back next week, but I think the guy
this week would have to be Yurendell de Caster. He’s 28, just picked up
minor league PA No. 4,000 last year, and now he’s off to a
.333/.400/.778 start in Double-A, going 9-for-27 with three home runs,
three doubles, two walks and 11 RBIs.

 Q:  Anton from Bronx, NY asks:
for doing the chat Ben. With that demotion fresh in his mind, Shelly
Duncan seems fully capable of out slugging any minor leaguer. Why isn’t
his ceiling more appreciated?

Ben Badler: Because he’s 28 years old, and he peaked last year. There’s no ceiling left there.

 Q:  Bill from Traverse City asks:
I off base to think Tommy Hanson is a back of the rotation guy while
Masterson might be a front guy? Masterson’s sinker can be straight
nasty at times and Hanson doesn’t exactly light up the gun.

Ben Badler:
No, not at all. The Hot Sheet is our weekly snapshot of the prospects
in the minors with the best weeks, not how we would rank them on
overall future value to their teams. Hanson’s FB was 92-93, touching
94, and it sounds like his CB is tighter now too. So the stuff might
have improved there. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that
either of these guys end up as back-of-the-rotation guys, especially is
Masterson can’t develop a second pitch to complement his sinker.

 Q:  Pete from Boston asks:
Osiris Matos…When will he get the call to San Francisco?

Ben Badler:
With the Giants, who knows? Maybe tomorrow? Realistically though, he
still more time to develop. Probably a middle reliever at best.

 Q:  Steve from Madison WI asks:
Ben Just wondering about Wilkin Ramirez, he had a great spring before
injuring his shoulder diving for a ball. Injuries have slowed his
prospect status but he’s back and off to a good start….any

Ben Badler:
He’s fast and has power potential, but he’s a fringy guy to me, doesn’t
really control the strike zone, struggles with breaking stuff.

 Q:  Matt from Iowa asks:
What about 1B Clint Robinson for Burlington, how far do you see him going

Ben Badler:
23-year-old first baseman in low A. He’s going to have to prove it at
higher levels against players his own age. And of course he’ll have to
hit a ton to have any value at 1B.

 Q:  Joe from Easton, MD asks:
Was Jason Heyward in the running for the Hot Sheet this week?

Ben Badler:
No, only because when we’re talking about a week’s worth of playing
time, you have to absolutely rake to make the list. Heyward’s off to a
very good start though. Lots of Heyward believers here at BA.

 Q:  Brian from the ATL from asks:
particularly interested to see how the suspensions of Brewers prospect
Jeremy Jeffress and Braves prospect Jordan Schafer affect their
development. Both these guys were pegged as studs before their
suspensions. Any thoughts?

Ben Badler:
Tough to gauge due to the lack of reliable information on Schafer’s
situation. It’s unfortunate that MLB thinks that hiding and concealing
information from the public is their best course of action. With
Jeffress, I’m more concerned about his lack of an off-speed pitch than
I am about his marijuana problems (at least from a pure baseball
standpoint). And of course missing all these games is going to hinder
their development, so you might have to knock them a little bit for
that too.

 Q:  john from ny asks:
were jon niese and mike carp considered? arp already has 3 homers in 8 games?

Ben Badler:
Niese yes, Carp no. He’s a below-average defender at first base who
probably won’t hit enough to be an everyday guy there in the big

 Q:  Mike from NH asks:
How about Nick Hagadone? After a dominating first week, how close was he close to making the Hot List?

Ben Badler:
Rough first start for him, but his second start was excellent. He was
the same last year too in his pro debut with Lowell, albeit in shorter

 Q:  Paul Lopes from Fall River,MA asks:
Is Gio Gonzalez a front of the rotation pitcher, and when do you think he will get called up to the A`s

Ben Badler:
Yes, I think so, but it may take him a few years to reach what he’s
capable of in the big leagues. I feel the same way about John Danks.

Ben Badler:
Thanks everyone for stopping by today, but I’m off to another
Carolina-Montgomery game to watch Cam Maybin and co. See you guys here
next week.