Prospect Hot Sheet Chat With J.J. Cooper

Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:

your own admission, Revere has been knocking on the Hot Sheet’s door
for several weeks now, yet didn’t quite make it in this week. He’s had
7 multihit games in his past 10, and is batting over .400. What kept
him off?


J.J. Cooper:
Hi everyone. Thanks for stopping by. Revere was on last week’s Hot
Sheet, but he was edged into the Team Photo this week largely because
while he hit, he didn’t hit for power (which isn’t surprising as power
isn’t his game) and he didn’t steal bases particularly successfully
this week (2-of-4). He still was close to making it, and the Twins have
to be happy with how quickly he’s gotten comfortable in the Midwest

 Q:  Ben from Leland Grove asks:

Did David Price get any consideration? I loved listening to his debut last night – once the game finally got started, that is.


J.J. Cooper:
Two innings won’t get you on the Hot Sheet, no matter how good they
are. But it was great to see Price out on the mound. The Rays are
understandably going to take it slow with their top prospect, but I’d
expect to see him on the Hot Sheet several times before the year’s

 Q:  Todd Gack from New York, NY asks:

What is Mike Hessman’s ETA? 2014?


J.J. Cooper:
Actually his ETA was 2003, since that was his first taste of the big
leagues. It’s both an honor and a curse to be the active minor league
home run leader (272), and I’m sure Hessman wouldn’t mind trading that
crown for a year or two in the big leagues. But as a 30-year-old,
there’s no reason to think that Hessman couldn’t keep doing this for
another six or seven years, which means 400 home runs is within reach.
Btw, bad oops in my Price question. Five innings won’t normally get you
on the hot sheet, but I shouldn’t have said two.

 Q:  Luke from Des Moines asks:

does Jhoulys Chacin compare to Deolis Guerra at this point? They’re
both young, fastball-changeup, Latin American pitchers. Who is better,
and could Chacin make the Top 100 next year? Thanks.


J.J. Cooper:
Interesting question. Obviously the logical answer is Guerra, but I’m
kind of inclined to think that Chacin compares favorably to Guerra.
He’s actually a year older, but his fastball is better (90-92, touching
96 mph) and he’s shown a better ability to spin a breaking ball than
Guerra. The concern with Guerra is that the profile for a righthander
with just a fastball-changeup combo isn’t very promising. Chacin has
the same combo, but the addition of the breaking ball makes him more
advanced in a way, even if he is pitching in low Class A. I’ll have a
scout’s view on Guerra next week with more on the Twins prospect.

 Q:  Scott from Massachusetts asks:

Billy Rowell is having a fine year in A+ at a very young age how soon till he makes the list?


J.J. Cooper:
After hitting .212 in his last 10 games, Rowell was not really in
consideration for this week’s Hot Sheet. He has excellent power
potential, but we’re still waiting to see it turn into production, as
his two home runs and nine extra-base hits attest.

 Q:  Chris from Chicago asks:

it anything short of ludicrous that Dusty Baker is playing Patterson
over Jay Bruce? Could Bruce have a Braun-like impact when he finally
gets up?


J.J. Cooper:
I don’t think he’ll hit 34 home runs this year over the final four and
a half months of the season like Braun did, but he definitely could
step right in and produce. It’s understandably easy to pick on
Patterson, but Ryan Freel is producing in center field. The big problem
for the Reds right now is Ken Griffey Jr. is turning his quest for 600
home runs into an epic, while the pitching (Arroyo, Cueto and Belisle)
is faltering.

 Q:  Jorge V from Bronx, NY asks:

In’s website, they state Kershaw could be ready to hit the Bigs by
Tuesday. How do you think Kershaw will do this Tuesday vs. the Cubs?
Would he do better than Boston Redsox’s prospect Justin Masterson? And
might we see a no no by Kershaw after two starts in the bigs?


J.J. Cooper:
When the Dodgers didn’t call Kershaw up a couple of weeks ago, the
speculation at the time was that he’d still be up in late May. We’re
right on schedule for that. With rookie pitchers, it’s pretty much
throwing darts to figure out what they’ll do initially. A lot of guys
will have a couple of great starts as hitters try to get a feel for
them, then go through a rocky adjustment period for a little while as
they adjust to the hitter’s adjustments. Clay Buchholz’ success last
year made it easy to forget how many rookie pitchers struggle, even the
good ones. I’d expect to see flashes of greatness combined with the
occasional rocky start for Kershaw, but no, I don’t expect a no-hitter
in the next month.

 Q:  Brian from New Jersey asks:

Is Angel Villalona progressing as the Giants would hope and what would be a good time table for his mlb debut?


J.J. Cooper:
You have to expect that a 17-year-old in the South Atlantic League will
have ups and downs. The fact that Villalona is getting better as the
season goes along is a very good sign. Considering the state of the
Giants lineup, Villalona could move quicker than expected, but a
2010-2011 ETA still seems likely to me. Big V could be a really good
one, you don’t want to screw that up by rushing him too quickly.

 Q:  tj from philadelphia asks:

Hi Thanks for taking my question. My question is related to the regional draft previews, when are they going to be up?


J.J. Cooper:
State-by-state rankings and scouting reports will go up next week. The
101-200 rankings and scouting reports will be leading the site as soon
as a wrap up this chat.

 Q:  mike from Atlanta asks:

How does Matt Harrison not make this list after throwing a no hitter?


J.J. Cooper:
Maybe we’re being too tough on him, but he walked six guys. It was a
no-hitter, but he still gave up more baserunners than Wood, Chacin or
McGee and Carrasco struck out four more batters in the same amount of
innings with the same number of baserunners.

 Q:  Zach Ragland from Las Vegas asks:

Who will be a better pro 5 years from now: Fernando Martinez, Andrew McCutchen, Austin Jackson or Greg Golson?


J.J. Cooper:
The safest bet to me is McCutchen. It’s hard to see him not producing
as a speedy center fielder with some pop. To me Martinez is the outlier
in this group. Jackson, McCutchen and Golson are all toolsy center
fielders whose value is somewhat tied up in their defense and speed.
Martinez is more likely to end up as a corner outfielder whose bat will
have to carry him.

 Q:  chris from la asks:

better career : austin jackson or matt kemp?


J.J. Cooper:
Kemp. Partly because I’m partial to the guy who’s already doing it in
the big leagues. But beyond that Kemp’s tools are louder than
Jackson’s. And that’s not a knock on Jackson. Few players have tools
like Kemp’s.

 Q:  Jorge V from Bronx, NY asks:

Yankees have now decided that effective 5/20, the process of Joba
Chamberlain to start as a pitcher has started and is more likely to
start the beginning or the mid month of June. Is there anybody w/in the
Yanks farm system to fill that roll since Kyle Farnsworth is not


J.J. Cooper:
No. But then, Chamberlain is one of the best young pitchers in the
game. If you’re looking for young guys who could be called up, Mark
Melancon and J. Brent Cox are both in Double-A. While neither of them
is Chamberlain, they could help out the big league bullpen over the
second half of the season. Melancon is the best bet to help out—the
Yankees love his makeup and he combines a low 90s fastball with a power

 Q: from Stoughton, WI asks:

What’s the deal with Ruben Tejada (METS)? Is he pressing or struggling? How long will he stay in the FSL?


J.J. Cooper:
Talked to a scout who saw him recently. According to him, he’s just
completely in over his head right now. Coming off of a .283-.401-.367
GCL season, it might have been reasonable to send him to Savannah, but
by sending him to St. Lucie, the Mets are asking him to battle guys
with much more experience and more physical maturity. As we all know,
the Mets like to push guys and Tejeda’s makeup is supposed to be good
enough that he can handle this, but it’s hard to see how taking an
0-for-4 every night helps his development.

 Q:  Jim from Leavenworth, KS asks:

When do see Chris Davis arriving in the bigs and who does he most remind of as a hitter?


J.J. Cooper:
I propose a steel cage match between Davis and Max Ramirez. Winner gets
to fill the Rangers gaping hole at first base while the loser is
sentenced to another month in the minors. If we don’t resort to WWE
Wrestling rules, Davis has the inside shot on the first promotion
because he’s playing first while Ramirez would need some on-the-job

 Q:  Steve from Fairfax, VA asks:

did Jake Arrieta do wrong to get booted from this week’s Hot Sheet? And
why are the Orioles dragging their feet in terms of sending Arrieta and
Matt Wieters up to AA? Are there any benefits to keeping them at a
level where they are clearly way ahead of the competition? It’s not as
if they are young for the Carolina league.


J.J. Cooper:
He didn’t do anything wrong at all. We just shuffled some other guys in
whose weeks were just as good if not better than Arrieta’s. He was
still in consideration, as he has been almost every week (two earned
runs in his last five starts). As far as promoting Arriets and Wieters,
there’s something to be said for reinforcing success. It’s still May. I
wouldn’t be surprised for them to be bumped up to Bowie over the next
month or so.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:

Stewart had virtually identical weeks at the plate over the past two
weeks, yet only made the Team Photo on last week’s Hot Sheet, and
managed to crack the Top 13 this week. Could you explain this?


J.J. Cooper:
Last week he did it at hitter-heaven Albuquerque, this week he did it
at Fresno and Sacramento, which aren’t as hitter friendly. That and we
also reward guys for consistency, which is why Max Ramirez lives on
this list every week.

 Q:  Mike from Dallas asks:

will we see Ramirez as a Ranger and how will the Rangers work him into
the lineup when he is ready? Seems like Larid and Salty are set as the
catchers so maybe DH?


J.J. Cooper:
I’d be shocked to see Ramirez catch in Texas. They just have too many
better gloves behind the plate. But Texas could use Ramirez at DH with
Milton Bradley seeing more time in the outfield. And there are
rumblings that Ramirez might be getting a first base glove broken in as

 Q:  Greg from San Francisco asks:

the tender age of 17, what would you classify as a successful season
for Angel Villalona numbers-wise? I see him repeating Low A next year
until the All-Star break, then making the move to San Jose. Sound


J.J. Cooper:
Holding his own and showing steady improvement is all that Big V needs
to do this year. But I would be surprised to see him back in the South
Atlantic League next year.

 Q:  Sandsniper from Florida asks:

Better potential and future, Stephen Strasburg or David Price? Where would they rank on an all-time list of college pitchers?


J.J. Cooper:
I’ll go Price, mainly because he’s the lefty. As far as great all-time
college pitchers, it’s way too early to say on Strasburg—let’s let him
pitch his junior year first. Price was a very good one, but I wouldn’t
rank him among the all-time great college pitchers. It’s nothing
against Price, but I’d like to see an Omaha appearance as part of the

Moderator: Sorry that I have to cut it short this week.
Between the college tournaments and the upcoming draft there’s a lot
more that I need to post to the Website before the weekend begins. Have
a great weekend everyone.