Prospect Hot Sheet Chat: Aug. 1

 Q:  Shawn from Fairfax asks:
do you guys think about Kellen Kulbacki out in San Diego? After a slow
start in A ball, he is raking right now in High A. As a former NCAA
Natl POY, is he going to be an everyday ML player, or is he destined to
only be a bench player/4th outfielder? Your thoughts please

Nathan Rode: Hello again everybody. Thanks for coming out. Let’s get to it.

Nathan Rode:
Kulbacki is an intriguing prospect. His future is relying heavily on
the progression of his power. If it can translate to wood bats well,
then he could become an everyday corner outfielder. If it doesn’t, he
may be relegated to the bench. He was considered for the Hot Sheet this
week, but as you can see it was a very good list and there were several
players with outstanding weeks that were still on the board when we
filled the lists out.

 Q:  Eric from California asks:
looking at some of the enigmatic players in single A, what can you tell
me about Burgess, Stanton and Kalish that would lead you to believe
that they will or will not achieve long term success in the Majors?

Jim Shonerd: Great to be here for another Hot Sheet chat.

Jim Shonerd:
Stanton has improved tremendously. Early in the year, teams were able
to jam him inside and get him out that way. But I had a manager whose
team played Greensboro recently tell me that they tried and tried to do
that but it doesn’t work any more. Stanton has established himself as
the SAL’s second best OF prospect after Jason Heyward. Burgess has
tremendous raw power and a great throwing arm in right field, but the
strikeouts are an issue.

 Q:  Andrew from Texas asks:
a week after Allen Craig got #3 on your list while David Freese got no
mention for a week nearly as good, Freese has a 400 419 800 triple
slash week and gets another no bill. All that polishing off a month
where he hit 378 419 694 for july, and you don’t even give the guy a
monthly acheivment award . . .

Matt Eddy:
We like David Freese. Well, I do, at least. He’s played very well for
Memphis this season, showing a good all-around offensive game and
playing a solid third base. The trouble for Freese this week was that
we had so many 18-to-20-year-olds who performed well. He’s an older
prospect, but he’s still a prospect.

 Q:  Russ from Roseville, CA asks:
recent A’s acquisitions Josh Donaldson or Matt Spencer garner
consideration? I’m not sure of their stats for this past week, but both
have done nothing but produce since coming over to the A’s. Are either
or both legitimate enough prospects to be considered for the sheet?

Nathan Rode:
Donaldson was on my watch list, but again it was a tough list to make.
He and Spencer have been very good since moving over to Stockton.
Donaldson is probably more of a prospect than Spencer, but both are
legitimate enough to be considered week in and week out. I’d like to
see Spencer keep it up for an extended period of time. His FSL weren’t
very good, granted it’s a tough league to hit in. Just don’t tell Logan
Morrison that.

 Q:  Andrew from Santa Ana, Ca asks:
the Angels wont trade Wood, that means they must like him a lot. But if
they like him so much, why not give him a real shot instead of sitting
him on the bench when he is called up?

Matt Eddy:
Wood is unique in that most players with his offensive profile play
first base or the corner outfield. A few are third basemen. As a
legitimate left-side-of-the-infield defender, though, Wood should get a
look with somebody, somewhere.

Matt Eddy: The Angels are
loaded on the left side, though, and only a trade could alleviate that.
Chone Figgens, Erick Aybar and Maicer Izturis figure to be back with
the club next year, unless one is traded. Wood probably will not figure
into the first base mix because Kendry Morales figures to get the
longest look there.

 Q:  Lorenzo from LA asks:
Is Alderson ready for a bump to AA, or will that have to wait until next year?

Nathan Rode:
While I think he could handle because he’s so advanced, you have to be
careful. He’s still just 19 years old. Barely a year out of senior
prom. I’d put money on him getting bumped up next year, but would not
be overly surprised if he gets a shot at it toward the end of this
season. And, though it sounds silly, San Jose is in the playoff picture
while Connecticut is 10.5 games out.

 Q:  Josh from Louisiana asks:
What do you think of Brian Bogusevic’s chances now that he has made the switch to outfield?

J.J. Cooper:
Bogusevic was a legit five-tool prospect as an outfielder, so the
decision to move him from the mound makes some sense. Here’s his
scouting report from when he was at Tulane: The injury also kept him
out of the lineup for much of the first half, though scouts were
running in to check out his bat as the draft approached. Bogusevic’s
size, swing and bat speed give him tremendous power potential from the
left side of the plate. That power is still more raw and not as evident
in games—he hasn’t homered in 94 at-bats this spring—but it’s there and
he did have 10 home runs as a sophomore. He’s also Tulane’s fastest
player, running the 60-yard-dash in 6.6 seconds during the team’s scout
day last fall. His arm obviously is an asset on defense as well.
Bogusevic hit just .183 with wood bats in the Cape Cod League last
summer, a performance partially attributed to fatigue from the grind of
playing both ways during a long college season.
So all of that makes sense, what doesn’t make sense is sending him to
Double-A so soon. The switch from pitcher to hitter is much tougher
than the other way around. While Rick Ankiel has shown that it can be
done, he spent a season in the Appy League, and then 51 games in low
Class A before making the jump to Double-A. The Astros are asking
Bogusevic to hit in Double-A after only 8 games in high Class A. That’s
a lot to ask for anybody. And while he’s shown good power right now,
you’d have to expect that he’ll have some struggles over the rest of
the season.

 Q:  Dave from Hollywood, FL asks:
Will Brandon Wood’s Major League numbers be more like Mark Reynolds or Evan Longoria or somewhere in the middle?

Matt Eddy:
Longoria is not a fair comparison for most players; he’s an
MVP-in-waiting. Offensively speaking, Reynolds isn’t a bad comp —
high-power, low-contact — but Wood is much more athletic and probably
could stick at shortstop through his prime years.

 Q:  cfs from Everett, WA asks:
can we expect to see Travis Snider in the sky dome in september? The kid can mash!

Matt Eddy:
Probably not. The Jays may opt to let him get rolling in Triple-A next
season before bringing him up. Syracuse lefty Brett Cecil, working out
of the pen perhaps, is a better September bet.

 Q:  Chris from SF asks:
Villalona been somewhat of a disappointment with his low batting
average (248) and high strikeout to walk ratio (6 ks per walk)?

Jim Shonerd:
While it’s true that Villalona will probably slip to at least fourth in
the Giant’s system behind Alderson, Bumgarner and Buster Posey (in some
order), that shouldn’t be taken as a sign that his stock has dropped.
He’s held his own as a 17-year-old in a full-season league where most
of the other players are 3-4 years older than he is. Plus he just had
probably his best month of the season in July, hitting .279 and
lowering his strikeout-rate considerably.

 Q:  James from North East, MD asks:
close was it between Wood and Wieters for the top spot this week?
Wieters can’t collect hits if they keep walking him (7 BB).

Matt Eddy: For me, it was very close. One cannot construct a case *against* Matt Wieters. He’s been that good.

 Q:  Ben from Centerville, OH asks:
does Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco not even get a honorable mention when
he arguabley performed just as good if not better than Moustakas in the
same MWL?

Nathan Rode:
It’s simple actually. Mesoraco didn’t have the plate appearances. Yes,
he slugged better than Moustakas, but Moustakas had 33 plate
appearances. Mesoraco had only 16. In the end Moustakas had a large
sample size and we like to favor the guys that played a more complete
week. Had Mesoraco continued his performance in another 5-10 trips to
the plate, he’d be on here.

 Q:  dan from denver asks:
Will the Pirates move Neil Walker to another position or just move him?

Matt Eddy:
Moving from an up-the-middle position has hurt Walker because a player
has to really produce right away if he’s brought up to play a corner.
The addition of Andy LaRoche hurts Walker’s chances in Pittsburgh, but
what happens when Pedro Alvarez signs?

 Q:  Scott from Chicago asks:
Chris davis- 10 HRs already, does he compare to a Ryan Howard type hitter down the road?

Matt Eddy:
There’s something to that comp, but what’s most frightening is that
Davis is just 22. Howard debuted at age 24, but was not a regular until
age 26. That’s not Howard’s fault, of course, but it does indicate how
advanced Davis is.

Matt Eddy: If you hadn’t checked recently, Davis has 10 bombs and a .676 slugging for the Rangers in 30 games.

 Q:  JH from Bellingham, WA asks:
love for Denny Almonte? With all the talk of other teenagers who have
managed to hit for power in the Midwest League, I’d think he would get
a little more publicity. What kind of prospect is he shaping up to be?

Jim Shonerd:
Almonte is a switch-hitter with five-tool potential, but he’s only 19
and is still putting them together. He strikes out too much (12 times
in the last week, 103 on the year) and his power all comes from the
left side of the plate, where he has a more uppercut swing than he does
from the right side. He’s gotten better over the course of the season,
although for Hot Sheet purposes we like to give preference to guys
who’ve been more consistent over the course of the season.

 Q:  Lance Peterson from Barstow, CA asks:
What are your thoughts on Brandon Allen, who seems to be enjoying a breakout campaign this season?

Nathan Rode:
Good power. Good hitter. Not so much on defense though. I’ll give him a
little break since I saw a very small sample size, but he didn’t look
very good at first base in the all-star game.

 Q:  Dean from Nantucket asks:
Better future as a MLB starter: Colin Balester, Ryan Tucker, Jaime Garcia, Matt Harrison, or Yovanni Gallardo?

Matt Eddy: Don’t count out Gallardo, assuming he makes a full recovery. He has the most potential in this group to dominate as a starter.

 Q:  Nick Scala from New York asks:
Jon Niese? He had a great start for his first in Triple-A did he at
least come close? And how good of a prospect is Dan Murphy?

Matt Eddy: Niese was considered, and Murphy is set to join him in New Orleans after his promotion to Triple-A yesterday.

Matt Eddy:
Murphy is a solid batting prospect, with a plus hit tool, outstanding
bat control and average power. However, he may struggle to find a
position at the big league level. Fortunately for him, the Mets don’t
have a ton of depth at first base or left field, the two positions
furthest to the right on the defensive spectrum.

 Q:  Nick from Toronto, ON asks:
Do you think Brett Cecil should have stayed in AA until the end of the season? How do you think he will do in Syracuse?



Matt Eddy:
Minor league batters don’t see lefties like Cecil too often. He’s got
well above-average velocity, a killer slider and two other pitchers
he’ll show on occasion. Yes, Cecil should do very well in Triple-A.

 Q:  SprungOnSports from Long Island asks:
that no team is willing to give up its premium prospects anymore, do
you think the Pirates got a good haul for Bay? Neil Huntington said
that he wanted to improve the overall depth of the organization, was he

Matt Eddy:
I like what the Pirates did, acquiring two high-end guys in Tabata and
Morris and six other players they can plug into the major league mix
whenever they want. Too, Brandon Moss and Dan McCutchen have more
potential than most have given them credit for.

 Q:  phil from north carolina asks:
will dallas mcpherson or nelson cruz be big league regulars with the way they are killing the ball

Matt Eddy:
You’d definitely like to see the Marlins and Rangers give them shots in
September. McPherson might have gotten a look this season, but the
Marlins have gotten solid production from their corners. It’s a similar
case with Cruz, as the Rangers have had one of baseball’s most
productive outfields this season. It’s almost like these Triple-A
sluggers picked the wrong years to get hot.