Prospect Hot Sheet Chat With Matt Eddy

    JAYPERS (IL): I'm curious as to how Nolan Arenado missed out this week. Can you clarify this for us? Thanks.

Matthew Eddy: No mystery. No conspiracy. He’s a fine prospect, but in going 9-for-26 (.346) with three doubles in Low-A, Arenado did not crack a 1.000 OPS, as did every hitter who made the cut this week. Recognizing just 20 prospects as “hot” in any one week is going to exclude plenty of good players.

    Ben (Leland Grove): What led to Garrett Richards' exclusion this week?

Matthew Eddy: Richards had a fine a week (6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 11 SO, 0 BB against cellar-dweller Wisconsin), but we’d like to see the Angels challenge him with a bump to High-A. He’s 22 and has carved up the Midwest League in May, going 4-2, 2.04 with 37-9 K-BB in 40 IP.

    Nate (Maryland): Maybe I'm just nitpicking, but
    how is teheran ranked lower than minor this week? He's three years younger than minor, just one level below him, and had more impressive numbers this week (setting the myrtle beach single-game record for strikeouts).

Matthew Eddy: Not really a correct answer here. I sided
with Minor because of level of competition, because he 3-hit a quality Montgomery club, and because he has less experience in pro ball. It sometimes takes time for even college pitchers to get used to starting every fifth day and the different seams on the ball.

    Nate (Maryland): Who's your pick to win the NL East this year?

Matthew Eddy: Not really prospect-related, but I’ll bite. I’ll take the Braves.

    Terry Hogan (Venice Beach, CA): What is your take on Chris Lubanski? Does the former 5th overall pick have a chance to be a productive MLB regular?

Matthew Eddy: Nothing I love more than a minor league free agent sign made good, but in this case I’m not terribly optimistic.
Signing with the Blue Jays has allowed Lubanski to play half his games in Las Vegas, a hitter’s paradise, but it’s the other half I worry about. In road games thus far, Lubanksi has batted .203/.257/.438 in 64 at-bats. Now, that’s a small number of at-bats, and I’d expect the average to come up, but Lubanski’s overall Triple-A track record does not scream big league regular.

    Grant (Miami, FL): How close is Stanton to paying us a visit?

Matthew Eddy: Many who follow the Marlins closely suggest that a promotion for Stanton is imminent. He’ll supplant either Chris Coghlan or Cameron Maybin. But the bigger losers will be us minor league devotees. Now we’ll never know how many home runs could he have hit in 550 plate appearances for Jacksonville.

    Jean-Paul (Springfield, IL): No Dustin Ackley? He's never had a better week so far than this week. Was it a lack of XBH's that led to his missing out?

Matthew Eddy: Ackley’s fine week did not go unnoticed. He had his best week as a pro with Double-A West Tenn, going 10-for-19 (.526) with two doubles and seven walks. But to answer your question, yes, the missing extra-base hits sealed his fate.

    Eric K (Chicago): What can you tell me about Reese Havens?

Matthew Eddy: Lefty-hitting second sacker with above-average power for the position. Not a lot of speed, and probably more of a .260 hitter with plenty of walks. Enough range to play up the middle but not a Gold Glove contender.

    Brandon (So Cal): Where would you rank Mike Trout in the top 100 next year?

Matthew Eddy: It’s tough to say right now, but with natural prospect attrition due to big league callups, plus a mediocre-at-best draft class, I think Trout is, at worst, a Top 20 prospect. And even that’s conservative.

    paul (seattle): Who do you think has the better
    potential in the long run Noland Arenado or Matt Davidson?

Matthew Eddy: I may be biased, having ranked Arenado in
the Pioneer League last year, but I’d go with Nolan. You may not be buying as much power, but what you are getting is a strong hitter and third-base defender. Arenado has the size, but we may be looking more at
15-19 HR when he’s fully mature. That puts him at 50 on the scouting scale.

    brian (washington dc): Feel for hitting from a high schooler? How about Joe Mauer? He batted .400 with a .498 OBP in the appalachian league at 18 years old fresh off of high school baseball.

Matthew Eddy: Ah, a worthy candidate. At the conclusion
of the ’02 season, Mauer had amassed 606 PA in the Appy and Midwest leagues and had a .322 average. That Trout sits at .363 underscores what
a remarkable ride it’s been. But we also have to put Mauer’s average in
context — he didn’t benefit from the Arizona League, as Trout did, and
he also had to learn to catch every day. And this is just a hunch, but I’m guessing his Quad Cities pitching staff had more quality stuff than his St. Paul, Minn., staff.

    Chris (Pittsburgh): When my Pirates finally get
    around to calling up Brad Lincoln, what kind of ceiling does he offer? Could he profile as a #2 starter?

Matthew Eddy: Not sure what Pittsburgh is waiting for. They traded for Dana Eveland, which might buy a Triple-A reprieve for Charlie Morton, but surely there’s room elsewhere in the big league rotation. Lincoln’s ceiling? I think more along the lines of No. 4 starter or a power reliever, because he’d have better velo out of the pen.

    BLUE (Dallas): Hmm, Engle he a punk
    or was that just a weak moment?

Matthew Eddy: In case you missed it, Bakersfield’s Engel Beltre incited a brawl with Visalia after hitting a walk-off home run yesterday. (Link below.) Well, taunting the opposing dugout, the opposing pitcher and the opposing infielders on a romp around the bases does not argue strongly for his competitive makeup. Plus, his resume as a
power hitter is not such that he should be jawing with anybody.

    Greg34 (Palm Springs): The middle infield prospects getting some love this week. Of those mentioned, just looking
    at their bats, who would you prefer long-term between Franklin, Havens,
    Cumberland and Green?

Matthew Eddy: Tough call at this stage, but it’s hard to argue with the overall package that Franklin offers . . . switch-hitter who makes good contact and hits for power.

    Koko Ware (Detroit, MI): Where is James Darnell?

Matthew Eddy: He’s on the San Antonio disabled list. A friendly notice: You can stay current on minor league injuries by perusing Minor League Transactions each week.

    Brian (Milwaukee): Any consideration for Brett Lawrie? Only 20 at AA, seems like he's having much better command of the strike zone lately, walking more, striking out less, with plenty of extra base hits. What's his power projection?

Matthew Eddy: Along with the Astros’ Koby Clemens, Lawrie is one prospect who just missed the cut this week. He went 8-for-25 (.320) with a homer, a double and two triples this week for Double-A Huntsville. Not bad at all for a 20-year-old with no High-A experience. Clemens batted 10-for-23 (.435) with three homers for Double-A Corpus Christi this week.

    Savage (Toronto, Canada): You asked about he last HS hitter to have such a good feel for hitting as Trout, was Ben Revere good enough in 07-08?

Matthew Eddy: Jim Shonerd, is that you? This is a good contribution, seeing as Revere batted .360 in 590 PAs in 2007-08, plus he gets bonus points for having played in the Gulf Coast League.

    Jay (Madison): Adam Loewen is playing pretty well at AA but he's 26. Though it's a nice story, I'm surprised you are
    projecting him as a MLB corner outfielder. Are you expecting a jump in

Matthew Eddy: Note the absence of the words “big league” in that sentence. But playing well in Triple-A, and maybe making
some money and getting a few cups of coffee while doing so, is not out of the question.

    Tim C. (Chicago): What are you thoughts on Johnathan Singleton long-term? I have heard he had a rough senior year and that really hurt his prospect status.

Matthew Eddy: Yes, this is true. Also true, Jon Singleton is quite possibly the most popular prospect in Hot Sheet history. Thank you, Jayson Stark for singing his praises. But yes, the Phils were able to grab Singleton in the eighth round last year because he hit just .321 as a high school senior. They had seen him much better than that, though, as an underclassman and on the showcase circuit. For Low-A Lakewood this week, he went 8-for-23 (.348) with three doubles, six walks and three strikeouts.

Matthew Eddy: Hey, that’ll do it for today. We’ll be back next Friday to answer more Jon Singleton questions.