Prospect Hot Sheet Chat With Matt Eddy

    PD (Miss.): What do you see as Tyler Skaggs' ceiling?

Matthew Eddy: Big Skaggs fan from his Angels days, as brief as they were. Let’s say No. 3/4 type if his stuff remains the same
as it is now. However, that’s a big “if” given his athleticism and fluid arm action. If Skaggs in his early 20s sits more in the low 90s and hones his changeup, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a No. 2
starter. He definitely has a chance to offer the most value of any player received in the Haren deal.

    PD (Miss.): Rank these 3B please. M. Davidson, B. Borchering, M. Moustakas, L. Chisenhall...

Matthew Eddy: Crediting the players who’ve gotten it done in the high minors: Chisenhall, Moustakas, Davidson, then Borchering. This is partly because Chisenhall seems like the safest bet to stick at third base and have positive defensive value there. His offensive profile is as good or better than the others, too.

    Benny (NYC): No Hot Sheet love for the Mets' Mejia and Familia this time?

Matthew Eddy: Familia was literally the final cut. The 12 whiffs are fantastic, but the 4 walks in 6 2/3 innings not nearly so much. Still, it’s encouraging to see him pitch well for the past few weeks after a miserable first four months.

    Charles Denoncourt (Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada):
    Will the Mariners call up Greg Halman in September? Is there any chance
    he can compete for a spot in the majors next spring training?

Matthew Eddy: I’m the joker who ranked Halman as Seattle’s top prospect following his ’08 season, in which he nearly went
30-30. So I say this with a fair amount of perspective: I don’t think Halman will be ready for the big leagues to start 2011. He’ll have one more option and I think the Mariners will take advantage of that to get him more reps in Triple-A. Anyways, Gutierrez and Suzuki are locks as starters in Seattle, while Saunders has his foot in the door with a mediocre debut. As to Halman getting called up this fall, that’s possible but certainly not assured.

    Jordan (Milwaukee, WI): Does Nolan Arenado sit towards the top of the Rockies top-ten at this point? What is his ceiling and do you have any reports on his defense?

Matthew Eddy: Arenado’s bat is for real — potential high-average, 20-25 home run hitter. Reports on his defense remain mixed. He played shortstop in high school, and he’s thick-bodied, but people who know him best believe he will put in the work required to be an average 3B defender. His arm would be a plus there, as opposed to 1B or LF.

    Lori (Boston, MA): Did Kolbrin Vitek's week open your eyes when putting this list together? Would you consider him the best young hitter from this year's class so far?

Matthew Eddy: I lack the proper perspective to stack up
this year’s draftees, but yes Vitek was cut at the last minute from the
Hot Sheet in favor of the Padres’ Jed Gyorko. And I think when you consider the context – Vitek in short-season, Gyorko in Low-A — that Gyorko has a clear advantage.

    Rob Studer (St. Joseph, MO): Two parts: In your opinion— Will Ed Nunez and Mike Trout make the 2011 Yanks and Angels respectively? Possibly as starters?
    Thanks and Peace out-

Matthew Eddy: Probably not to Nunez and no to Trout. Trout is simply too young and needs most of a full year in Double-A. Nunez will provide a lot of his value from defense and baserunning, and I’m not sure his bat will be ready for prime time. I guess it depends on
how highly the Yankees regard Ramiro Pena’s utility work. Keeping Pena on for ’11 would allow Nunez to get more reps with the Dunder-Mifflin Yankees. You’re not thinking about Jeter leaving as a free agent, are you?

    Tim (GA): I realize you almost never print questions anymore about deserving players who miss the Hot Sheet, but I'll try anyway. Hector Noesi. Discuss.

Matthew Eddy: You wouldn’t want our list to be Yankees overkill, would you? Noesi had a fine week for Double-A Trenton, going 7
innings while giving up 2 hits and striking out 9 versus no walks. In the end, he just didn’t pitch enough innings or notch enough strikeouts during the week to supplant those pitchers who did make it. But what a year for Yankees pitching prospects, including big steps forward by Warren, Nova, Noesi, Andrew Brackman, Dellin Betances and others who I’m
sure chatters will remind me of.

    Devin Mesoraco (Louisville): Am I the best catching prospect still in the minor leagues?

Matthew Eddy: Devin, you just might be, if we assume that the Royals will shift Wil Myers to 3B or RF to get his bat in the big leagues sooner rather than later. I did a double-take when I looked at Mesoraco’s numbers this morning: .315/.388/.622 with 23 2B and 25 HR.
To top it off, he’s gunned down 41 percent of basestealers. He recently
joined the prospect-studded Triple-A Louisville club, so I look forward
to seeing him in the IL playoffs, maybe against Durham. On a side note,
I love that Louisville roster: Mesoraco, Todd Frazier, Yonder Alonso, Zack Cozart, Chris Valaika, Aroldis Chapman. Too bad they won’t have Travis Wood and Logan Ondrusek for the playoffs.

    John (KC): Is Wil Myers a top 5 prospect for the 2011 Top 100 Prospects? Also do you think his power will develop more than it is currently?

Matthew Eddy: Top 10 is a near certainty. Yes, Myers will hit begin hitting more home runs as soon as next season. He’s got the raw strength, the quick bat and the discerning batting eye to identify his pitch. Plus, this season he’s played in 2 brutal hitting parks.

    Robert Goldberg (Secaucus, NJ): It's great to see Ackley get recognition for his performance offensively, but have you
    heard how he's fairing at second base? Could he be the M's opening day
    second baseman in 2011?

Matthew Eddy: All signs point in that direction, what with the aggressive promotion to Double-A while learning an entirely new
position. It’s not hard to envision the Mariners punting on Jose Lopez (moving him to the bench, trading him or non-tendering him) and moving Chone Figgins back to third, where he’s had his best season, to make room for Ackley next season.

    Andrew (York, PA): True or false: Next season, Ross Seaton has a bounce-back year in Corpus Christi after escaping the pitching nightmare that is Lancaster?

Matthew Eddy: True. Give Seaton credit for gutting through a hellish assignment to Lancaster. He’s averaged nearly 6 innings per start and has a 4.46 ERA on the road (compared with 4.6 innings and 8.82 ERA at home). Sixteen of the 22 home runs he’s surrendered have come in 11 starts at home. Seaton has a major league caliber arm with a solid low-90s fastball and a quality breaking ball. Don’t sell just yet.

    Mary (Boston): Seriously, how was Anthony Rizzo
    excluded from your Hot Sheet this week?? The guy has been on a tear. Another question, did you see Kalish handling the majors this well this soon?

Matthew Eddy: For Double-A Portland this past week, Rizzo went 6-for-20 (.300) with 2 homers, a double, 6 walks and 7 whiffs. That’s a nice week and a fringe Hot Sheet contender, but I don’t
see it as automatic. Rizzo has done exactly what he needs to do this season to further his development. As to Kalish, I don’t have a long history with him, but his play in Double-A, Triple-A and the majors has been impressive. He strikes me as a solid contributor: a player without a
single huge tool but someone who does lots of things well. These players may be a bit more elusive than we realize.

    Keith (Quincy, MA): Is there anything wrong with Tyler Flowers this season? He isn't hitting this season and that is the one thing he has always done well. Do you think the White Sox still see him has their catcher for next year and the future? Do you think he will be able to hit once he reaches the majors?

Matthew Eddy: I think he’s just getting exposed a bit by Triple-A pitchers. He’s a muscular, stiff athlete who has a great batting eye but maybe not the swing path or quickness to hit top pitchers. I’d feel better about his chances if he were a surefire catcher.

    Larry W (Atlanta): Freddie Freeman or Eric Hosmer? Freeman should have the starting job next season for Atlanta but which projects to be the better prospect?

Matthew Eddy: This is a tough question. It’s one of the
first ones in the queue and I kept meaning to come back to it, but I just don’t know. My first instinct is to say Hosmer, but it’s close. At his best, I think Hosmer will have just that much more offensive value.

    Victor (St. Louis): Gary Sanchez promoted to the NYPL as a 17yr old, thoughts on his ceiling?

Matthew Eddy: Aaron Fitt better make room near the top of his New York-Penn League list.

    ryan (braves country): does d. lee make the braves the champs???? or in 5 years do they regret losing robinson lopez for a 1.5 month rental???

Matthew Eddy: I’m skeptical that Derrek Lee alone makes
the Braves World Series favorites. However, he fits a clear team need in giving them RH power and a legit infield corner bat. They could have been in dire straits with the injury to Chipper and Troy Glaus not hitting his weight in the second half. Granted, it’s a lot of weight.

    Todd (Chattanooga): What's your feeling on the Derek Lee trade? I know Robinson Lopez is the wildcard... Do you all still see him as a high risk/reward type player? Any idea what the other prospects might bring to the Cubbies? Thanks!

Matthew Eddy: My first reaction is that the Cubs did very well in turning the final 1.5 months of Derrek Lee’s time in Chicago (plus a lot of cash) into something interesting. We’ll have to wait 2-3 years to fully evaluate Robinson Lopez, but Jeff Lorick could move fairly quickly on a situational relief track.

    Jon (Bakersfield): Kind of an under-the-radar prospect, but what are your thoughts on Brent Morel. He's been very good
    in AAA in just his second full season. Good defender, has been playing
    a lot of SS lately. Any chance for a September callup? Thank you!

Matthew Eddy: A definite sleeper. The White Sox have shown no hesitation to promote players when they’re deemed ready, so I’d
look for Brent Morel sometime next season. An infield featuring Morel, Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez could be a good one.

    Big Dave (AR): It's interesting to see Amaury Cazana on the hot sheet. I didn't realize he was that old. I was at the Redbirds game last Saturday and Cazana hit a shot over the centerfield wall where it said 400'. The ball ended up about half way up the trees in the batter's eye, so I'd say it went 430-440 feet easy. Later I was skimming through the notes from the friday night game and it said Cazana
    had hit one that bounced in the YMCA parking lot. The YMCA is past the batter's eye, so that was one heckuva shot!

Matthew Eddy: Nothing to add, just an interesting comment.

    Ted (Altoona): Which Mets will crack the top 100 this year?

Matthew Eddy: Wilmer Flores, Jennry Mejia and Matt Harvey would be your top contenders.

    Russ (Lincoln, CA): The A's 2nd baseman of the future is: Eric Sogard, Adrian Cardenas, Jemile Weeks, somebody else?

Matthew Eddy: Weeks (if he can stay healthy) or somebody else.

    Keaton (Tallahassee): Who would the braves get better production from the rest of the season: Derek Lee or Freddie Freeman?

Matthew Eddy: I think it’s Lee for a few reasons. He knows NL pitchers, he may be reinvigorated by getting off a sinking ship
in Chicago and while he may be getting older, he’s far from done. Then factor in that Freeman has not played a six-month season before (not to mention seven, if Atlanta plays deep into October) and I think Lee is the obvious answer.

    Frank (Denver): What kind of player do you see Lucas Duda ending up as? And how do you explain his AAA power surge?

Matthew Eddy: Thanks for the set-up. I recently talked with Duda and other International League observers to attempt to answer that question. The story will run on on Monday and is included in
our just-finished issue.

    Nick (New Jersey): Has Kirk Neiuwenhius passed Fernando Martinez as the Mets top outfield prospect?

Matthew Eddy: I’ve heard this speculated on elsewhere. To me, I’d probably still lean toward F-Mart because he really does have
impressive natural hitting ability and power. However, he struggles to stay on the field, and Nieuwenhuis does have better supporting tools — better defender and runner, more patience at the plate.

    Don (Dublin, Ga): I know he's in the picture this week, but where do you rank Brandon Beachy among AAA prospects. He seems to have the tools and the approach to be a successful middle of the rotation guy?

Matthew Eddy: I’m decidedly pro-Beachy, so take this with a grain of salt. But with his raw stuff and rapid ascent this year,
I don’t think No. 3 starter or high-leverage reliever is unattainable.

    Rick (Chicago): Could or Should the Yanks considering trading Montero for some other young prospect, since the Yanks have plenty of catching prospects and Montero could switch to first base for another team?

Matthew Eddy: It’s a fair question, but what if Jesus Montero develops an offensive profile similar to Miguel Cabrera as a high-contact, high-power masher? Even with no defensive contributions, I
think you’d take Cabrera over most available players, especially when you factor in six years of club control.

    Joe D (Nashville): I have finally realized that
    the Cubs are pathetic. What is the ETA for Chris Archer & Brett Jackson and your expectations? With Colvin moving to 1B will that speed up the path for Jackson? I know there will be spots open in that rotation for Archer 🙂 Thanks!

Matthew Eddy: Unless the Cubs get good in a hurry, I think it’s safe to assume Chris Archer and Brett Jackson will make appearances in Wrigley before next season is through. Combined with Starlin Castro and Tyler Colvin, that’s not a bad starting point for a rebuild at all.

    MJ (Valpo): Please tell us that Anthony Rizzo has overtaken Lars Anderson as Boston's 1B'man of the future! He's been
    a beast this season! Tearing up AA lately at 20 years old!

Matthew Eddy: I tend to agree with you, but remember that Lars Anderson looked like a no-doubt-about-it stud during his first
taste of Double-A as a 20-year-old in ’08.

    Dave (Phoenix): No Jaff Decker? What were you guys watching last week? If his week doesn't qualify as "hot," than nothing does. 4 HR, 12 RBI, an OPS of 1.785. His stats crush every guy
    on the list.

Matthew Eddy: My advice to you and the other chatter who asked a similar question: Refresh your web browser. Decker appears in our In The Team Photo section.

    Michael (Tampa): Are giving out bonus to young international player alot more riskier than players out of highschool? For example, who should be more worth the money for the Pirates? Allie or the international player they just signed?

Matthew Eddy: No question. And then factor in that, in order to shield them from the Rule 5 draft, teams have to add premium international prospects to the 40-man roster when they’re just 20 years old. Whereas with high schoolers, they can be as “old” as 22 before they
first have to be added. And in baseball a lot can go right or wrong in two years.

Matthew Eddy: Thanks for the great questions. They keep getting better and better.