Prospect Hot Sheet Chat (June 20)

Chuckie (Florida): When will Jose Berrios be promoted? He seems to be dominating the FSL.
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Hi Chuckie. We’re wondering that, too. My colleague Josh Norris put it perfectly when he called it one of the great mysteries of the minor leagues. Berrios is dominating and there doesn’t appear to be anything left for him to conquer at Fort Myers.

Brett (Chicago): When will Futures Game Rosters be announced? With Buxton and Sano injured and Taveras and Polanco promoted to the majors, who are the top names we should see playing in the game?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Hi Brett, The rosters will be unveiled in the next week. Some of the top names COULD include Atlanta’s Jose Peraza, Francisco Lindor of the Indians and the Rangers’ Jorge Alfaro, aside from the obvious picks of Gallo, Bryant, et al.

Timothy Spangler (Vancouver): Why no love for Adam Duvall? I can't recall somebody leading all of professional baseball in homers getting so little recognition? 4A player? DH only? What does his future hold?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Hi Timothy. I like Duvall and the Giants like him. His power is hard to ignore. But if he doesn’t hit for power, he doesn’t have much other value. Now power is a valuable and rare commodity these days, so it’s nothing to dismiss lightly. He could be a DH for a second-division club, yes, but he has no position. The Giants did once toy with him as a Jeff Kent-like second baseman. But he’s a subpar defender.

John (Chicago): Vince, which bat did you personally prefer heading into the draft, Schwarber or Conforto?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Hey John. I didn’t see Schwarber in person as Aaron Fitt did, but it was hard to ignore Schwarber’s loud contact tool. Conforto has plus raw-power, but Schwarber has present man-strength, as evidenced by his slugging four homers in five games in Boise.

John T (New Braintree, MA): Is Blake Swihart the best catching prospect in the minors?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: My colleague J.J. Cooper made a great case this morning that he is, or could be. Catching prospects are so difficult to rate and rank because of all the moving parts and elements. Bat-first, glove-first, calling games, handling pitching staffs, framing pitches, pop times and arm strength. All of the buzz about Swihart is that he is a dynamic force behind the plate and in terms of that buzzword of all buzzword, intangibles.

Stacy (Paris, Fr): I love the Red Sox. How legit of a plan to is it to move Betts to CF to give him big league opportunity? Will that opportunity come in 2014?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Hi Stacy. With Dustin Pedroia entrenched at second and Bogaerts at short or third (and Mookie’s not a third baseman or SS), it’s at least somewhat viable for the Sox to try him in center field. One evaluator recently called Jackie Bradley an extra outfield, so clearly there’s a need in the outfield. I’m not sure there’s any urgency to try Mookie out there at Fenway this season, but going forward, he’s going to need a position.

Warren (Knoxville, TN): What are the chances that Domingo Santana comes up this year, and what would you expect from him if he does?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: There’s no doubt the Astros are very happy with Santana, but he is still very young. In fact, at 21 in Triple-A, he’s nearly six years younger than league average. That’s a long way of saying I don’t believe he’ll get the call this season. At some point, there’s a tipping point of how many first-year players you have on a roster. Singleton’s still learning his way around. There’ll be plenty of time for Santana.

Jason (Houston): Michael Taylor is having a breakout season and appears to be improving his pitch recognition with a decreasing K rate (but still high). Has he surpassed Brian Goodwin on the Nats depth chart and what can we expect from him in the majors?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: The consensus in the BA offices is a resounding yes. Taylor is really having the season the Nats dreamed on. His power-speed combo is rare. That swing still is a bit choppy, though, and the strikeouts still come in bunches. As for the majors, it’s just so difficult to project. This is his first taste of upper-level pitching and he’s doing well. But he could get manhandled by off-speed stuff at the next level and higher.

DH (Pittsburgh): Who is the Braves 2B in a few years, La Stella or Jose Peraza?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Oh Peraza, fer sure. The Braves love everything about him, as should you. All he’s missing is power and big deal. Great baseball instincts, good hands, smart baserunner, handles the bat well and has a keen awareness of when to push the limits.

Elliot (Youngstown OH): At the midpoint of the season wouldn't it be appropriate BA to modify the list of guys who are featured in the daily Prospect Report? Some have graduated to the majors, some are on the shelf with injuries, others have regressed. Meanwhile some good seasons are under-appreciated for players have broken out this season. I vote Giovanny Urshela on to the island from Cleveland's system. Great fielder was equally a great hitter in April for Akron and is still pounding doubles and homers for Columbus in his AAA debut.
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: I think it’s neat that everyone with prospect-eligibility is still on there. Sure, you might tire of seeing them every day, but not everyone can read the BAPR every day. Which is a shame.

DaviD F (Miami): Besides Rodon, which White Sox prospects can we be excited about, and how many do you expect in the top 100 next year?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Micah Johnson’s terrific and my colleague Josh Norris adores Courtney Hawkins. Johnson’s getting warmed up at the beautiful new park in Charlotte while Hawkins is still in Winston-Salem. Hawkins has a higher ceiling, but Johnson has some explosivity.

Satchel (Las Vegas): Will Tujuan Walker make it to Seattle this year? Should there be lasting injury concern in the SEA? Peace
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Last week, I would have said yes. He sure seemed like he was right on track to return by the end of the month as he looked dominant against Nashville. But he got knocked around by Colorado Springs last night, giving up homers to Michael Ramirez and Angelys Nina. Still, reports say his velocity is ticking back.

Satchel (Las Vegas): What is the latest on Daniel Carbonell signing? Where and when you anticipate him playing? thanks
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: The excellent Ben Badler said Carbonell has the tools to play center and that his speed translates to 80 on the 20-80 scout scale. If you mean at what level of the minors, I have not seen that reported.

Brian (Greensboro, NC): Greensboro had a remarkable finish to the 1st half coming back to win the first half title in the SAL. Any legit MLB prospects in Greensboro now?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: As JJ Cooper chronicled, Matt Milroy was hitting 93-94 in the SAL all-star game. Also watch lefthander Jarlin Garcia and righty Domingo German.

Steve (St Louis): Impressions from Heaney's debut last night?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: He was terrific. Maybe not the velocity I expected (Marlins say he’s comfy at 91-92), but still exhibiting outstanding control. His slider and change are both potential plus pitches. I don’t expect he’ll be heading back to New Orleans.

Arthur Fonzarelli (Milwaukee): What is the timetable on Derek Holland getting through rehab back to Texas?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Fonz, I thought you were on your way to Waukesha. If you listen to Holland, he’s ready to go now. But it sounds like he’ll have at least two more simulated games or BP sessions and Ron Washington said recently that the lefty just wasn’t ready for competition. Looks like at least after the ASG.

Tatum (Clearwater, FL): What MLB team (IE farm system + need for front-line starter) matches up with Cubs desire to move Samardzija? Thanks!
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Boston has the prospects to get any player it wants, within reason. I mean, the Dodgers aren’t trading Kershaw, for example. But not sure the Red Sox need or want Samardzija. The Yankees have the need but not the prospects. The Mets have the prospects, but not the urgency. The Diamondbacks have interesting pieces (Bradley, Owings, Shipley); the Jays certainly do, but it’ll cost Sanchez and Stroman.

Mark (Akron, OH): Looking at the Yankees farm system. I don't see any future all-stars, am I missing someone who has that type of potential? Missing the 90's when our farm system was awesome.
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Future All-Stars? Tough to predict. Interesting guys? Sure, RHP Luis Severino, giant outfielder Aaron Judge, SS Abiatal Avelino. The Yanks haven’t turned the page on Manny Banuelos, who’s still just 23. And Robert Refsnyder made some loud contact in the presence of BA’s Josh Norris.

Steve (St Louis): What can you tell us about Yosmain Tomas. Is he the next big thing out of Cuba?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: All I can say about Tomas is repeating what the excellent Ben Badler wrote earlier today, which is that Yasmani has 70 power on the 20-80 scouting scale. He’s a big dude capable of mashing the ball a long way.

Steve (St Louis): Maikel Franco...what's up with him this year? Was last season a fluke?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Too soon to say. The Phillies certainly believe this is the fluke year and very much believe in his future. They like his defense almost as much as his offense.

Warren (New London): Is Schwarber done with catching? He had throwing errors in his first two games and hasn't caught since. I'm also wondering about his Boise teammate Justin Marra, who's off to a fine start and hit well two years ago. What kind of a prospect is he?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: The Cubs had expressed when they drafted Schwarber that they saw him as an outfielder and would let the catching process ‘play itself out.’ Marra’s a good receiver and a decent lefty bat, but this is the third straight year at Boise. He admitted recently he has mixed feelings about still being in short-season ball, but hopes to get more chances this year.

tim (Los Angeles): Does Peraza push La Stella off 2B when he's ready? Where would he fall in Atlanta's top 10 for you...#2 behind Lucas Sims and top 100 guy?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Absolutely. Yes, probably No. 2 behind Sims.

Ken (Raleigh, NC): There has been some terrific World Cup match-ups on the pitch in Brazil. These matches made me think of pitcher-hitter match-ups. Particularly dominant pitchers v. dominant hitters. What prospect pitcher-hitter match-ups would you pay to see?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Fun question. Gallo vs. Giolito would be fun.

Tyler (Nj): Wondering ur thoughts on kingham having a quietly very steady year ? Number 1-2 in the show?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Kingham’s very good, but it’s difficult to throw numbers like that around. Organizations will tell you that, internally they have similar metrics and they hear the prospects noise, but they are not comfortable articulating those, especially with the media.

John (Oakland): True or false, the best power hitting prospect below AA is Matt Olson?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: False. Ryon Healy.

Tyler (Nj): Wondering what mookie profiles as bc he's having just an insane year. Is he this good?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: If you watch the Scout’s Video View, one evaluator said he now profiles as a .300 hitter who could have 20-homer power. So yeah, good.

Tyler (Nj): K rate for pederson has been crazy time to get worried ?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: He’s still making good, solid contact when he does make contact. Still, yes that’s an alarming amount of swing-and-miss. Let’s see what adjustments he makes and whether that costs him power.

Carlin (Los Angeles): Besides Leonardo Molina, is there anyone Yankee fans should be following in the GCL?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: As a matter of fact, Josh Norris tweeted this earlier: GCL rosters: D. Acevedo, J. Foley, T. Hensley, A. DeCarr, J. Lindgren, J. Montgomery. L. Torrens. Mateo, Molina, Palma. So yes.

John (PA): I have a free spot and want to pick up a prospect that will be called up soon. Which one do you think will be the next one up of these players: Jonathan Gray, Noah Syndergaard, Archie Bradley, Alex Myer, Dylan Bundy, and Jimmy Nelson.
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Just my educated guess I would think Jimmy Nelson. He’s been the most stable of the prospects you mention, the healthiest and the Brewers have a need.

Tyler (Nj): What's up wit edwin escobar having a bad year ? Still same projection ?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Yes. I can tell you the Giants still love Escobar’s three-pitch mix and remember he’s still just 22. San Fran is not afraid to promote assertively, let’s say. He’s velocity is still where it was (92-93).

Tyler (Nj): Mookie top 7 2B next year in fantasy?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Oh, without question, unless he doesn’t qualify as a second baseman.

Matt (KY): Vinnie, who are some guys we should see creep into the top 100? Pompey seems to be making a case... anyone else?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: haha, have to answer a question when someone calls me ‘Vinnie.’ Shades of Brooklyn … Anyway, Jose Berrios for sure will be on there and Jesse Winker seems a slam dunk.

Jon (Georgia): Though none of these players are apart of the Hot Sheet anymore (though had frequent appearances) which of the following would you trade in a dynasty league or, in other words, who has the lowest potential: Oscar Taveras, Gregory Polanco, Joc Pederson?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Wow, good question. I think I’d part with Taveras. He has the lowest ceiling of the three, even if that ceiling is first-division regular.

Junior (Denver): Isn't Trevor Story ready for AA yet? He's got the best stats (minus the K's) in the CAL league...and is he Colorado's 2B of the future...maybe 2016??
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: The Rockies like Story very much. He’s four-tool guy with righthanded pop. Where he plays is the question. Second baseman of the future? Maybe. It certainly won’t be at short, even if the Rockies didn’t have Tulo. One evaluator says Story could play short and “wouldn’t kill you.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Noah (Kalamazoo): Surprised Trevor May didn't make the list with his last outing running 8.1 innings and 11Ks, what do you make of the Twins promoting Pino over May?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: May was nosed out at the last minute. As for the promotion, that’s a simple case of development over fitting the major league temporary need. Pino is 30. He’s a fill-in. The Twins want May to continue to polish his command and get regular starts.

Matt (Vancouver): What's happened to Lucas Sims so far this season?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: If you listen to evaluators, they’ll say it’s simply a matter of the selectivity of Carolina League hitters. Sims’ K-rate has dropped precipitously, but his velocity is steady.

Greg (Ohio): Short and Sweet a good description for both Joey Gallo's swing and stay in AA?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Haha, yes. JJ and Josh Norris nod in approval.

Adam (NYC): thoughts on justin williams?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: So, so young. I’m sure my pants are older. Still figuring things out. Hard-worker though and the ball really screams off his bat.

brett (harrisburg, pa): can you tell us about a couple prospects that were not on any top 100 prospect lists but have jumped up the prospect boards?....thanks
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Sure, Jesse Winker and Jose Berrios are two who quickly come to mind.

a.j. (las vegas): How soon can you see Domingo Santana being called up? The Astros seem to need one more OF after Springer and Fowler.
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Not this season, I don’t believe, unless the Astros are suddenly thrust into the wild-card race. No real urgency. He’s really young.

SK (Boston): Is Kevin Plawecki the NYM catcher of the future?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: In my opinion, yes. The Mets love his plate confidence. Guy never strikes out. His arm’s not great, but he receives the ball well and provides a good target. D’Arnaud, now 25, must be hearing the footsteps.

Joey G. (Frisco): Can a 25+ % K rate in A Ball really be justified by high BB rates and 80-power?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Haha, asking for a friend, Joey G? Yes. Power’s in short supply and in high demand.

Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: And on that happy note, let’s sign off. Thanks for all the questions. Now I know where Friday productivity goes to die. See ya next time!