Prospect Hot Sheet Chat With Jim Shonerd

    JAYPERS (IL): Was it strictly the lack of plate
    appearances that led to Grant Green's omission this week?

Jim Shonerd: Let’s get this party started. You pretty much said it. Green only played three games this week. Granted, they were three great games, as he went 10-for-16, but that sample was just too small.

    Nate (Maryland): As with the strike shortened season in '94, this doesn't end the braves streak, right? All star games
    kept them off this week.

Jim Shonerd: Haha, well Gwinnett and Mississippi still got to play full weeks, so I’d be inclined to say the streak is over. We’ll probably have bring the whole Hot Sheet committee together to get an official ruling, however.

    Jay (Madison): The O's Zach Britton has posted some strong numbers at AA and been consistent from the start. I don't think he's even cracked a team photo of the hot sheet this year. Can you talk a bit about what you like or don't like in Britton and his prospects at the MLB level.

Jim Shonerd: Britton’s not a big strikeout guy, so that’s often going to hold down his Hot Sheet chances. He was one of the
last cuts this week, where again his having just 4 Ks in 6 IP didn’t help him. But you’re right about his season. His 3.19 groundout/air out ratio leads the EL by a wide margin and is second to Aaron Crow’s 3.37 in all the minors. Britton’s not a power guy, obviously, but he gets could sink and keeps the ball down. He’s lowered his walk rate this year, which is big, and can be a solid middle-of-the-rotation guy.

    Jim (Notre Dame, IN): Jim, Have newborn duty at
    3pm, so wanted to submit this early. Given he has looked much better the last month...greatly reducing his walks...what are the chances Andrew Brackman gets a legit shot in The Show next season (in the Bronx or elsewhere via trade)? Thx.

Jim Shonerd: Brackman’s pro career track reminds me a bit of Brad Lincoln’s, who’s obviously made the majors this year. But I’m not going to make that leap and say he’ll get there next year, which
he would if he followed Lincoln’s timetable. Brackman’s numbers across the board have been solid for the last month, but he should be able to excel in the FSL. Let’s see how he fares in Double-A before putting an ETA on him.

    JAYPERS (IL): Now that Dom Brown has just become an Iron Pig, how long do you see him spending with them, assuming
    he continues his torrid campaign?

Jim Shonerd: I’d expect him to be there the rest of the
minor league season, unless he just keeps hitting so well they can’t keep him down or injuries create a necessity at the big league level.

    Rog (Jersey): Hey Jim, thanks for the chat. Do you see Michael Pineda as a top of the rotation starter? I'm pretty sure
    that the Mariners will bring him up to the majors this year since he's pitched well so far and since they have nothing to lose....but what's his ceiling? Does he have enough in his arsenal to project as a 1 or 2 in the future? Thanks

Jim Shonerd: I don’t think’s a front-of-the-rotation type, but he’s got four solid pitches with his low 90s fastball, cutter,
changeup and slider. He’s built to be an innings-eating workhorse as well, provided his arm stays healthy. That’s the concern with him longterm, as his ’09 season has shortened by elbow pain.

    Todd (Greenville): As a consensus, which prospect(s) have surprised the most this year so far, and/or have made the biggest jump up the top-100 list?

Jim Shonerd: Trout and Jonathan Singleton for me. Maybe
“surprise” would be the wrong choice of words, especially in Trout’s case, but those are the first two guys I think of when we’re talking about guys who’ll be moving up in the Top 100 next year (Trout was No. 85 this year, Singleton obviously didn’t make it at all).

    MJ (Valpo): So, Jim...did you put your bid in on the Strasburg Bowman RED 1/1 autographed RC yet???

Jim Shonerd: No … but on the topic memorabilia, I was
watching the Rockies-Red Sox game the other night, and the Rockies were
advertising that you can celebrate Ubaldo Jimenez’s no-hitter by buying
… a commemorative bat. Does that seem backwards to anyone else?

    RV (work): Jim, what's your take on Brad Hand? He seems to be pitching very well with good strikeout numbers this year,
    and even last year, even though he didn't have a good year. He's still young, and seems to be rising. Is he a legit top prospect in scout's eyes?

Jim Shonerd: I’ve regretted that I never got to see him
pitch in Greensboro last year. Seemed like he was invariably in the stands charting pitches every time I went. Anyway, he’s got a good arm, with a low 90s fastball that can get up to 94 and his curve and change show plus potential. He’s dropped his walk rate considerably this year (from 4.64 BB/9 last year to 2.83 this year), and he’s been pretty hot lately, only two ER allowed in his last four starts.

    Mike (Ixonia, WI): Jordan Lyles or Arodys Vizcaino??

Jim Shonerd: Vizcaino. Even though they’re almost the same exact same age (born one month apart in 1990) and Lyles is performing at a more challenging level, Vizcaino’s stuff is just too tantalizing for me.

    dave (houston): lyles has been down right impressive this year! could you please tell me his strengths,weaknesses?
    and is he in the running for pitcher of the year possibly?

Jim Shonerd: Vizcaino notwithstanding, Lyles has to be one of the most advanced pitchers for his age in the minors. Leading the
Texas League in ERA (2.37) as a teenager? Amazing. He’s not completely overpowering, working mostly in the low 90s and touching 94 mph with his
fastball, but he has a clean delivery and fine command. His changeup is
outstanding and his curveball has been coming along, but he still gets in trouble when he doesn’t get it down.

    Rex (Oakland): Since you're the resident A's expert at BA, what can you tell us about Adrian Cardenas and his progress? He was once the BA HS POY, right? Let's face it, Mark Ellis and Cliff Pennington aren't anything to brag about, so will we ever see him in the A's middle infield anytime in the next year or two?

Jim Shonerd: His struggles have been puzzling since he’s always been a very natural hitter. Heck, other than Grant Green and
Max Stassi to an extent, most of the top prospects in that system are having a tough time. Cardenas is still young though (22), and he’s been hitting better since going back to Midland (.400/.466/.511 in 13 games there). Hopefully that gets him going and he can get back to Sacramento.
That’s certainly essential, since his hit tool is what has to carry him. He’s not going to make it on his power or defense.

    Eric (Montreal): Jerry Sands just got promoted to AA and hit a homerun in his first game. With Stanton and Alvarez in the majors, who are the top power hitting prospects in the minors? Is Sands near the top of that list?

Jim Shonerd: Probably guys like Montero (even if he’s not showing it) and Chris Carter (even if he’s not hitting for average).
Sands has plenty of raw power, hitting that many home runs in the Midwest League is no small feat, no matter how old you are. But he needs
to perform at a higher level (Double-A would do the trick) before we start putting him in that conversation.

    Edgar (Madison, WI): Brett Wallace or Brett Lawrie, long-term?

Jim Shonerd: I still have more confidence in Wallace at
this point.

    Rick (Palo Alto): How can you ignore the guy with one of the best names in all of minor league baseball, Keyvius Sampson?

Jim Shonerd: He’s no Sequoyah Stonecipher … but we did consider putting Sampson on Helium this week. But he was a pretty high profile guy in the draft last year so we decided he didn’t really fit there. He had a great week though (10 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 15 SO).

    nate (wisconsin): how impressive is brett jacksons season in the fsl, also is he too old for high a or is this the
    usual progression for the year after being drafted?

Jim Shonerd: Top college draftees starting their first full seasons in high Class A is generally the norm, so he’s fine for that league, age-wise. He’s should have more power potential than he’s shown, but the FSL is a tough place to hit home runs and he’s otherwise come as advertised.

    Jim (Brooklyn, NY): Any idea what the A's are going to do with Fautino De Los Santos now that he's fully healthy again? I see they promoted him to AA as a reliever but he became a top prospect because of his work as a starter a couple of years ago. What would you do with him at this point in his career?

Jim Shonerd: They’re not going to give him too much too
soon. His recovery was agonizingly slow and I can’t blame them for not taking chances when he’s come this far. He hasn’t lost any of his stuff though, and high Class A wasn’t enough of a challenge for him.

    Peter (Wantagh, NY): Does Jonathan Singleton play any other position other than 1B? If the Phillies lock up Howard long term, who's more likely to change positions (assuming Singleton keeps progressing and makes it to the majors)?

Jim Shonerd: Singleton can move to the outfield. He wouldn’t be chasing balls down in the gap or anything like that, but they’d make it work. But as good as Singleton’s been, he’s still in low A. It’s too soon to start worrying about where he fits in the big league
lineup. Let’s just let him perform for now.

    Jim (Arizona): Will Brandon Allen be a good power hitter in the majors and when do you think he will arrive for good?

Jim Shonerd: He’s got plenty of raw power, that’s for sure, but I’m not confident in how well it’ll translate. He can be pitched to.

    Sergio Quintero (Tijuana, Mexico): What position will Jedd Gyorko play, as we have learned the guy can hit, will
    he hit for power?

Jim Shonerd: We knew he wouldn’t stay at shortstop, which he played in college, and he’s already slid over to third base with Eugene. You hit on the question though, which is his power. He’s projected as an average power hitter at best, but he won’t be able to play anywhere else but on a corner, so the Padres will have to live with
that. He can really hit though.

    Jon (DC): Is Tim Salmon a fair comparison for Mike Trout? Badabing.

Jim Shonerd: Poor Mike Trout is going to be saddled with newspaper editors writing fish-related headlines for him his whole career (“Trout Swimming Upstream To LA!”). Oh well, I’m sure he can handle it.

Jim Shonerd: I’ll hang it up here. Thanks for all the great questions and we’ll see back here next Friday for another Prospects Chat.