Prospect Hot Sheet Chat With Ben Badler

Ben Badler: Last night I had a dream that Jesus
Montero and I were playing ping pong. I forget who won, but I think it
was my future therapist.

    Steve K (Chicago): Can you tell me anything
    about Carlos Perez, catcher from Toronto? Is his defense good enough to
    stick behind the plate? How far away is he from the majors?

Ben Badler: Probably at least three years away, but a
catcher who an hit, control the strike zone, hit maybe 15-20 HRs a year
down the road and play good defense? That’s one of the best catching
prospects in the game. I’ll be surprised if Perez doesn’t make our top
100 at the end of the year.

    Brandon Belt (Richmond): How did I only make the team photo? Am I a top 100 prospect?

Ben Badler: Definitely top 100, for me. I’m a big, big believer in the bat.

    Rich (NJ): Kyle Skipworth has hit better this
    year but is striking out at an alarming rate. Do you think that is
    something he can reduce yet keep his power as he moved up the ladder?

Ben Badler: He’s made some improvements, but I still think his contact issues will get exposed as he moves up.

    Efren (norwalk, ca): What's your impression of donavan Tate so far?

Ben Badler: Health issues aside, his problems making contact even in Rookie ball are a significant red flag.

    Steven Alengakis (Brooklyn, NYC): Gary Snachez
    is leading the GCL in every major hitting category at age 17, yet his
    defense seems horrific. Is his defense so bad that scouts are seriously
    questioning his ability to stick at the position? Also, offensively,
    are we looking at a potential 30-homer, high average-type hitter in
    Sanchez? Is his bat that special? I can't recal anyone as young as him
    dominating the GCL this way. Thank you

Ben Badler: I wouldn’t call the glove horrific, but
like we wrote last year, his receiving is going to take some time. He’s
17 and he has a great arm. Are there questions about his defense? Sure,
but it’s his first year getting professional instruction, his first
year learning to receive professional pitchers and he’s got a long time
to be able to figure it all out. The bat though? Yeah, that could be a
special bat. There’s not much he can’t do at the plate. I don’t want to
put a number on it yet for a 17-year-old kid, but I don’t think a 30-HR
season is out of the question.

    Boris (London, ON): With Cardona and Cenas signed, is Toronto close or in the "lead" for any other top IFA prospects other than Heredia?

Ben Badler: I don’t think they’re done. I don’t know
who else they’re going to sign because they’ve been linked to several
of the top names out there, but I’d be surprised if they didn’t land
another top player, be it Luis Heredia or someone else. The Jays have
deep pockets this year and I’m not expecting it to be any different
next year.

    Tony (Atlanta): With the way that John Lamb
    has dominated this year (and of late specifically), do you see another
    call up in his future this year and would he get any consideration for
    the BAPOY? Thanks!

Ben Badler: A promotion to Double-A at some point in
August wouldn’t surprise me. Julio Teheran might be the only other
pitcher in the minors who’s in consideration for our Player of the Year
award at this point, so yeah, it’s a pretty special year.

    cliffy jordan (chicago,il): Good to see
    Exicardo Cayonez get some mention. Do you see him growing into power in
    his 20's like so many latin guys seem to? If he's a .300+ guy with
    minimal power, would he profile as a leadoff man, worst case. Thanks!

Ben Badler: It’s possible, but it’s just hard to
project at this point. Bobby Abreu is the same height, maybe 6-0 or
5-11 or so, and was a good hitter who controlled the strike zone. He
didn’t hit any home runs when he was in the GCL and there were scouts
who wondered about his power when he was the same age, but he grew into
a 20-30 HR guy every year. Cayonez has a good swing, he has good plate
discipline and the power is in question right now, but I’d much rather
have that profile than an 18-year-old who can hit the ball a mile but
doesn’t have any feel for hitting.

    mikeyt (east hampton): what do you make of
    Wilmer Flores strong start at St Lucie, he is still hitting around
    .380. How good of a prospect is he considering questions about his
    defensive position

Ben Badler: There’s only a handful of position
prospects I’d take over him in the minors. It’s a special bat and the
power is starting to come around even faster than I expected. I’d get
him to third base as quickly as possible because that’s his ideal
position, but he’s just a natural hitter.

    Kyle (Indy): Ben, thanks for the chat. Has all hope for Dan Cortes as a starter passed? Is a move to the bullpen imminent? Thanks!

Ben Badler: I think you keep him as a starter in the
minor leagues just to give him more innings, but in the big leagues,
yes, I think he’s a middle reliever.

    Brian (Alexandria, VA): Please confirm what I already assume, the Nationals have been inactive internationally since July 2, right?

Ben Badler: I’m not expecting them to be a major
player internationally this year, but as more of a general point, I
don’t want to point to any team’s lack of international signings and
say they haven’t been active since July 2. A lot of teams have deals
with players that are just pending physicals and background checks,
which this year apparently is taking a long time for some of the kids
from Venezuela since they were investigated on a pre-contract basis the
way 40 of the top Dominican prospects were. Once a kid becomes eligible
to sign on July 2, he can sign any time thereafter. There’s certainly
some advantages a lot of teams see to wait until after the July 2 rush,
when prices fall and you get more looks at players who are still
developing at a fast rate to make better decisions.

    Mario Lopes (CA): It's nice to see SD farmhand
    Jaff Decker performing well again, he had me pretty worried to start
    this year. Do you see Decker to be an all-star type of player, or will
    he become something more along the lines of Matt Stairs?

Ben Badler: I’m not worried about the bat right now, I
think it was just a slow start after missing time with the hamstring
injury. He might be an occasional all-star, but I think the bad is good
enough for him to be at least an average or better regular corner
outfielder. He’s more athletic than he looks and he can throw well, but
I just don’t think he’s going to add much if any value in the field.

    Devin (Cincinatti): Do you think Devin
    Mesoraco starts next season as Cincy's starting catcher? After
    strugiling for 2 years, hes finally putting together an unbelievable

Ben Badler: I think that’s probably a little aggressive. Triple-A, most likely

    Marcus (Endicott, NY): You'll probably get a bunch of these, but what are you hearing with the Yankees in IFA?

Ben Badler: I think they’re waiting for the prices on
some of these players to come down to something that matches the way
they value the players. If they see a player they really want, they’ve
usually signed him—Sanchez, Vizcaino, Tabata, Montero—so to me that
says they just don’t see it as a great year in Latin America, which is
the way most teams see the market this year. You have agents telling
teams they want $2 million for their players and then the kids end up
signing for $300,000 or so. There’s a lot of teams willing to wait it
out, see what kind of money they have left after the draft signing
deadline in a month, and take it from there.

    Brandon (WV): How good of a prospect is Junior Arias? He's tearing aprt the AZL league.

Ben Badler: Good athlete, moves around well and has
good power for his size, though he could use a little more patience at
the plate. Not sure he stays at shortstop but I’ve heard good things
about him out of the Arizona League, including a blast he hit off
Michael Ynoa.

    Neil (Los Angeles): At the Futures Game, I was
    really surprised to see Lonnie Chisenhall put on the power display he
    did in BP. That bat looks like it has 30Hr potential in there. Thoughts?

Ben Badler: I don’t think he’s a 30-HR guy, but I
could see consistent 20-25 HR seasons. I’m not concerned about the
power with him or the early-season struggles, which were more about him
playing through a shoulder injury than any real cause for concern among

    Ryan (Dallas): With the re-emergence of
    Moustakas and Hosmer, and the improvement of the likes of Lamb, C.
    Robinson and D. Robinson, would the Royals farm system now rank in the

Ben Badler: Definitely. And there’s also that Montgomery fella, among others

    Scott (Fl): Scheppers didnt last more than 4 1/3 again last night.. do you see him more of closer than a starter? Thanks!

Ben Badler: I’m not opposed to him getting more
innings as a starter in the minor leagues, but he’s better suited as a
late-inning reliever at the major league level.

    Robert Goldberg (Lyndhurst, NJ): Brandon Belt
    is having a phenomenal year thus far, and while he's not Mike Trout or
    Dominic Brown, every day that he hits in AA, he's looking more and more
    like the real deal. I realize his last week wasn't that stellar (for
    him), but is he in the conversation for Minor League Player of the Year?

Ben Badler: Yes he is. I really, really like Belt.

    william myers (wilmington): how does my bat project in the big leagues and what is my ETA?

Ben Badler: It’s a well-above-average bat for a
catcher, but I don’t think he ends up staying behind the plate. I also
don’t think it’s going to matter if he has to move off the position
because his bat could still make him a star in right field.

    Aaron (Seattle): What are your thoughts on Carlos Triunfel? Do you think the power will develop?

Ben Badler: I think he’s more likely to be a bench
player than a starter. The strikeouts are low, but he needs to be more
patient, I’m not convinced he’s going to hit for much power and I’m not
sure where he’s going to play defensively because I don’t see him
staying at shortstop. I think he gets somewhat of a free pass every
year on his lack of production because of his amateur signing bonus,
which is a little silly.

    Julie (Tarrytown, NY): PLEASE tell us, Ben. How exactly did Kirk Nieuwenhuis miss out this week?

Ben Badler: He played in only four games, the last of which was on Monday.

    John (Pittsburgh, PA): The last few years the
    Pirates have been linked to top dollar LA propects but they have yet to
    close a big deal (Cayonez being their top dollar sign). What do you
    think the odds are they get it done this year with Luis Heredia or
    Elvys Sanchez?

Ben Badler: I think they end up with at least one of the top players in Latin America, be it Heredia, Sanchez or someone else.

    Andy (PA): Any thoughts on Aderlin Rodriguez? Hes just mashing in the Appy League right now.

Ben Badler: His value is mostly in his bat, but he can
hit and hit for power. Jefry Marte did the same thing in Rookie ball
though, so I’d like to see him do it in the South Atlantic League
before getting too excited, but there’s reasons to be optimistic.

    Jon (DC): Derek Norris made your not-so-hot, deservedly so, but does the hand injury play a part in the loss of power?

Ben Badler: Any hand injury is usually going to take a toll on a player’s power. I’m not worried about Norris.

    Sam (Toronto): Is JP Arencibia a top 25 prospect?

Ben Badler: His power is a legitimate plus tool, but a
player with his skill set gets a big, big boost from playing in Las
Vegas. I don’t think he’s a top 25 prospect. At best I think he’s
probably on the cusp of a top 100, but I’m admittedly the low man on
him around here, I believe.

    Jeff (Orl.): Whats the latest with regards to where Esteilon Peguero and Eskarlin Vazquez stand?

Ben Badler: Both still unsigned. They could sign
tomorrow, they could sign next month, they could sign in December. The
people who are handling them can afford to wait if they feel that’s
what’s best for the market for those guys, but as of right now nobody
has met their asking prices.

    Go Giants (The City By The Bay): Can you share
    with us about the development of Rafael Rodriguez? He was highly touted
    once signed but I have not heard much about him since... As Angel
    Villalona didnt exactly "pan out" a lot of Giants fans are hoping
    Rodriguez will.

Ben Badler: Extremely raw when he signed, and he’s
still very raw now. Great size, shows raw power in BP, but taking it to
the game is another story. He just turned 18 a couple of days ago so
he’s still young, but he’s also still very much a project.

    Jeff (Nicollet, MN): The Detroit News raves
    about Avisail Garcia at West Michigan. Granted he's playing at a young
    age there, but there are a lot of strikeouts. Is he a legit prospect,
    and what is his ceiling? Thanks.

Ben Badler: He’s got a lot of tools, but he’s still
raw. He’s been pushed pretty aggressively through that system, and I’m
not sure that’s helped him, but the raw ability is there if he can slow
the game down and do a better job of managing his at-bats.

    Blair (Mizzou): True or False, Shelby Miller is a top 10 prospect by this time next year?

Ben Badler: He’s good. I don’t think he’s THAT good, though.

    Ken Rule (Lakewood CA): Hi Ben - thanks for
    the chat. What's up with Simon Castro. Jim Callis said he was the most
    disappointing player he saw in the Futures Game. What's happened to
    him? He's performed well all season.

Ben Badler: I agree with Jim, but at the same time,
it’s just one bad game that everyone happened to see. It shouldn’t
color our views on Castro much.

    Rich (NJ): Jonathan Singleton has certainly
    cooled off which is expected - do you still think highly of him and do
    you think he could be traded since other organizations like him as

Ben Badler: Still one of the best hitting prospects in
the minors. If I’m the Phillies, I would have to be getting a premium
major leaguer with a favorable contract in return to part with

    Jake Summers (South Beach): How good is Fabio "Fabulous" Martinez? If his walks continue to regress, does he have the stuff to be a #1 starter?

Ben Badler: Maybe not an ace, but his fastball and his
breaking ball are both excellent pitches when they’re on, but we’ve
been raving about that for the last two years now. Love the arm, but
with his delivery and problems throwing strikes, he’s still got a long
ways to go to be considered one of the elite pitching prospects in the

    Dan (CA): Miguel Sano. Great player or greatest player?
    Seriously, can you relay some of the scouting reviews you've heard? Are we talking Miguel Cabrera II or...?

Ben Badler: He’s a physical beast. It’s a great swing,
simple and repeatable, and he can already hit for power and shows a
solid idea of how to manage his at-bats. I love that the Twins have
already moved him to third base to get more experience playing there
because shortstop was really never an option for him, but wherever he
plays, the bat is going to be what carries him. I know at least a
couple of teams that liked him last year who now wish they had gone
after him more aggressively before he had signed.

    Wade (Greenville, SC): Who would you take in the long run, Martin Perez or John Lamb?

Ben Badler: Perez, but it’s a lot closer than it was in April.

    Jerry (Brooklyn): Besides Romine and Montero,
    do you think any other Yankee minor leaguers are top 100 prospects? Do
    Sanchez, Betances, or Brackman has a chance?

Ben Badler: I think Sanchez gets in and Betances has a
good chance given the return of his velo and the success he’s having in
the FSL (though the medical still worries me). Brackman’s been better
this year but I don’t see him in that class.

    Michael (New York): What do you think of Eduardo Sosa? He has looked pretty good so far in the NYP league, no?

Ben Badler: Very interesting sleeper. Not a big guy, not a lot of power, but he handles the bat well for a 19-year-old.

    Muggsy (Minny): Prediction as to where Vicmal de la Cruz signs? Please say Minnesota.

Ben Badler: Could be Minnesota. I think there’s some
interest there, but if a guy’s unsigned at this point, it means he’s
asking for a lot more than what teams are willing to pay, so it could
take awhile.

    Bill (Pittsburgh): Michael Pineda - ETA to the majors with the 5th slot open and what kind of ceiling does he have?

Ben Badler: The extra velocity has really helped him
now that he’s sitting pretty regularly around the mid-90s. Ultimately I
think he becomes an above-average major league starter and opens next
year in Seattle’s rotation.

    Jeff (Milwaukee): When do you foresee Mike Trout actually getting a chance in the Angels OF? 2012?

Ben Badler: That’s possible. I also wouldn’t be
surprised if Trout is in the big leagues at some point next year. Mike
Scioscia loves him some Mike Trout, from what I hear.

    Nicky (Austin): Who's the best IFA left? Heredia or someone else?

Ben Badler: Depends which scouts you ask, but in
general I’d say the top pitcher is Luis Heredia out of Mexico and the
top position prospect is Esteilon Peguero out of the D.R.

    Shane (Atlanta): So what do we make from this Beachy kid, is this for real or just a hot-streak?

Ben Badler: He’s a real prospect with plus stuff. If
you haven’t read Matt Eddy’s report on him that’s on our homepage,
leave this chat and do it now. Well worth the time.

    Ben S (NJ): Would you take Romine over Flores?

Ben Badler: No.

    Sam (Toronto): I know Jim Callis mentioned the Jays as potentially having a top-ten farm system. Do you agree?

Ben Badler: If they can sign all of their draft picks, they’re definitely in the mix.

    PD (MS): What's your thoughts on Chris Marrero this year? Hs he the Nats furture 1B?

Ben Badler: All of his value is in his bat. He can hit
for power but I’m just not convinced yet that he’s a good enough hitter
to carry him at first base.

    Dillon (Tampa): Any chance Gary Sanchez gets bumped up to short season-A? It's silly to keep him down isn't it?

Ben Badler: He’s 17, speaks little English and he’s
been in a foreign country for less than a year. Probably best to leave
him in Tampa for another six weeks.

    Mick (California): Do you see Aroldis Chapman
    ever figuring things out or does he become the next Daniel Cabrera? And
    is he going to make it as a starter or reliever?

Ben Badler: He’s never going to have precise command
but with his stuff he’s not going to need it. I think he figures it
out, but I don’t think sending him to the bullpen so he can air it out
for four or five batters a game in Triple-A does much to teach him
command. That’s the last thing I’d want him doing right now.

    harrison (VA): Can you tell me anything about Braves LHP Carlos Perez?

Ben Badler: One of Atlanta’s top IFA signings two
years ago out of the Dominican Republic, worked with the same academy
that had Michael Ynoa. His control has taken a step forward this year
which is one of the reasons he’s been so good in the Appy League so far.

Ben Badler: There’s several hundred questions left in
the queue but that’s all for this afternoon. If I missed yours, try me
on Twitter (@BenBadler). Thanks as always for reading BA and especially
to our subscribers for supporting our international signing period
coverage over the last few months. All off the feedback from inside and
outside the industry has been outstanding, but I still think we’re in
the infancy of our international coverage, regardless of whether an
international draft comes or anyone else starts writing about this
market, so I’m just excited for what’s ahead.