Prospect Hot Sheet Chat With Matt Eddy

    @Jaypers413 (IL): How close did James Darnell come this week? You've got to be impressed with his BB:K ratio thus far, no?

Matthew Eddy: Padres Double-A 3B James Darnell came very close to cracking the Hot Sheet. He’s showing early that he’s over the wrist injury that cut into his production last year by batting .500/.596/.727 through his first 12 games for San Antonio. And how about
a 12-to-1 walk-to-strikeout ratio? Darnell went 12-for-19 (.632) last week, but his four extra-base hits (all doubles) didn’t compare with others who made the cut.

    Tom (Cinncinati): Eric Campbell (Reds, third baseman) is hitting the ball amazing this year. Does he still have a future after spending last year in independent baseball?

Matthew Eddy: Before his career got interrupted by releases by the Braves and Phillies, Campbell had stalled at Double-A, so that’s going to be the real test. But if he truly has matured, then he ought to get a shot at redemption later this season. We really can’t tell a whole lot about a hitter’s true ability when he plays his home games in Bakersfield, but of course it’s better to hit than not.

    Keith (NJ): Is Eric Thames for real and when will he be called up?


Matthew Eddy: All of the Blue Jays’ top lefty power hitters — OK, their only two in Adam Lind and Travis Snider — are clustered near the bottom of the defensive spectrum, making left-fielding, lefty-swinging Eric Thames an imperfect fit. I’ll cautiously say that, yes, Thames has a major league caliber bat, let’s say .270, 12-15 HR with solid batting eye.

    Ben (Leland Grove): What led to Goldschmidt's exclusion this week?

Matthew Eddy: The sky-high standards of Hot Sheet. Double-A Mobile 1B Paul Goldschmidt had a fine week, going 8-for-27 (.296) with three homers and eight RBIs, but he just wasn’t as productive on a PA basis as the others.

    richard (brooklyn): what is the ceiling for Mark cohoon?

Matthew Eddy: We may be witnessing the best three starts of LHP Mark Cohoon’s season — 19 innings, 20 strikeouts, three walks — but that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Like Mets big league RHP Dillon Gee, Cohoon’s best pitch is “control.” That plus control will keep him alive as a No. 5 starter candidate, but the Mets will take that
from their 2008 12th-round selection.

    DrewBoke (IL): Best case scenario for Brett Jackson, ..... a healthy Grady Sizemore?

Matthew Eddy: I really Cubs Double-A CF Brett Jackson’s
well rounded game, but I think a Sizemore-in-his-prime comp is a bridge
too far. I’m tempted to say that Jackson could be a Curtis Granderson type as a lefty hitter who’s athleticism and defensive range might be a bit undersold. Granderson had similar over-the-fence power at Jackson’s age. Oh, and the strikeouts are always going to be part of the package.

    bardin (San Diego): Any hot-sheet consideration
    given to Jonathan Garcia? Slugging over .800 as a teenager in a full-season league... that's pretty impressive.

Matthew Eddy: I’m glad you mentioned Dodgers Low-A RF Jonathan Garcia because like many of the organization’s prospects who play for Rookie-level Ogden, he seems to out-perform his scouting reports. I’m not saying he’s as good as Jerry Sands or Brian Cavazos-Galvez from the 2009 club, because he probably isn’t, but Garcia
had a fine week, batting 8-for-20 (.320) with three homers and six RBIs. As with anyone who just misses Hot Sheet, he may have the gaudy counting numbers, but he just wasn’t as productive per trip to the plate
as others were. But that’s a nice start in the Midwest League: six homers and seven doubles in 15 games.

    Brandon Wood (Purgatory): Is there any hope for me, or will I be the poster boy for why top prospects are still no guarantee?

Matthew Eddy: We’ll know a lot more about Brandon Wood after he gets a shot to play every day for the Pirates, where media reports have pegged as his next destination via a waiver claim. A change
of scenery will do him good. But even if he doesn’t quite break through, he’ll have a long Triple-A career if he wants one. It’s hard for organizations to find true power bats on the minor league free agent
market who can also play a skill position like third base or shortstop.

    @Jaypers413 (IL): Was it purely Mother Nature's fault Martin Perez missed out this week, or was it the low K rate?

Matthew Eddy: Official Hot Sheet shout-out for Rangers Double-A LHP Martin Perez: Perfect for five innings, three whiffs.

    Pauly (NJ): How did Gary Brown miss out this week?

Matthew Eddy: Giants 2010 first-rounder Gary Brown batted .448 (13-for-29) sure, but with just two extra-base hits (double,
triple) and a 3-for-6 showing stealing bases. That’s perfectly fine, but was it really one of *the* best weeks?

    Adam (Harlem): Why do some players excel in AAA and the rest of the minors but not the majors?

Matthew Eddy: This is a story idea we’ve kicked around for years, but all we can do is hypothesize. If teams truly knew exactly
what to expect from prospects once they reached the big leagues, I think it would take the air out of prospecting and following the minor leagues. The sense of novelty and the unknown is one of the key attractions to me.

    David (Hartford): You're suddenly in Jed Hoyer's seat. If you see another week of Zombie-Hawpe and Zombie-Cantu,
    do you go to Rizzo or Blanks first (or stick with the deadly duo)?

Matthew Eddy: The San Diego Zombies, eh? Well, I think you have to give the nod to Jorge Cantu at this point because he’s been effective more recently than has Brad Hawpe. But I think you’re right in
that one of them must go. In the world of 12-man pitching staffs, how can a club justify a first base platoon. That’s the one position where you need offensive certainty. But for Kyle Blanks’ sake, I hope he gets a
long look this season, if only because his window may close once Anthony Rizzo is deemed MLB ready.

    Adam (Harlem): Where would Brandon Wood rate on your biggest busts list?

Matthew Eddy: If you’re a BA subscriber, you can read Ben Badler’s even-handed analysis here:

    Don (Tampa): Has Josh Sale started playing this year and where is he playing?

Matthew Eddy: The Rays probably will follow the Todd Glaesmann-Jeff Malm precedent and send 2010 first-rounder Josh Sale to Rookie-level Princeton in June. That’s great news if you live in the Appalachian mountain region of Virginia or West Virginia, where the P-Rays schedule is concentrated.

    Keith (Providence, RI): I was surprised that Charlie Furbush didn't make the list. He pitched a complete game (7 innings - only 86 pitches) 1 hit shutout, striking out 9 and walking none. On the season, he has a 33.9 K%, a 6.5 BB%, and a 1.17 FIP (1.62 ERA). He really impressed the Tigers in camp this spring as well. What
    do you think about his chances to stick in the majors as a mid-rotation

Matthew Eddy: I may regret omitting him from my ranking, but you’re right in that Tigers Triple-A LHP Charlie Furbush has flat-out dominated this season, allowing just 12 baserunners in 16 2/3 innings to go with 21 strikeouts. The swing-and-miss stuff’s there, but I guess I still have reservations about the 25-year-old’s command. Last year with Toledo he got hit hard in nine starts (10.9 hits and 1.7 homers per nine innings). Soon enough we’ll know which was the fluke performance, late 2010 or early 2011.

    Ed (Los Angeles): Do you think the Padres farm players that have gotten off to hot starts: J.Decker, J.Darnell, A.Rizzo, S.Carroll and Forsythe are going to be contributing to the big league club in the next year?

Matthew Eddy: The Padres farm system seems to alternate
good years with bad, which defies logic, but so far in 2011 they’re on a
roll. My gut feeling is that the righty-swinging, line-drive types are going to have the most success in Petco, so that would be Logan Forsythe
and Jedd Gyorko. But I’m also very encouraged by Anthony Rizzo’s early showing, and as much as I like James Darnell’s offensive profile, I doubt he’ll ever play third base for an organization that has Chase Headley, Forsythe and Gyorko. Will he hit and field enough to play right

    Poolie (Big Smoke): I'm in a keeper league and I
    can only keep one hitter and one position player of these 4 ultra picks. Who do I keep?
    Tony Sanchez, Brett Jackson, Jameson Taillon and Casey Kelly. I'm not worried about a timeline, just who will be of more value for me.

Matthew Eddy: For me, in order of highest ceiling: Taillon, Sanchez, Jackson, Kelly. Injury caveats for the pitchers, of course. That’s probably how they ranked in the Top 100, I’m not sure.

    Dooby (Cologne, Germany): While the big league opening has been awful, it does seem that the number of Mets prospects appearing on this list or coming close is much higher than in recent years ? Is it more due to the talent being better or the development track slowed down by the Alderson administration vs. the ultra aggressive Minaya administration ?
    Also, would you rank the 2011 St.Lucie Mets as one of the most prospect-ladden team in the minors right now ?

Matthew Eddy: The biggest difference for the Mets is that all their power pitching prospects have gotten off to fast starts, in direct contrast to last year when Jeurys Familia, Robert Carson, Brad
Holt and Jenrry Mejia all underwhelmed. Plus, this year they have Matt Harvey in the fold. Check back at midseaosn, but so far so good.

Matthew Eddy: Thanks for the great questions. Hot Sheet will return next Friday.