Prospect Hot Sheet Chat With Matt Eddy

    MJ (Toronto): Who do you like better long term, Wil Myers or Dominic Brown?

Matthew Eddy: I prefer Brown because of the wheels, but you could really argue either way. The hitting and power figure to be fairly similar.

    Chris (Chicago): Do scouts still think Wilmer Flores will live up to his potential, or is he destined to go the way of Carlos Triunfel?

Matthew Eddy: Prospect fatigue has settled in on the 19-year-old Flores, who now has played 131 games for high Class A St. Lucie and has batted .285/.319/.396. At a similar stage of his development, Triunfel batted .287/.335/.390 in 158 games at high Class A. The key different, however, is that Triunfel did so in High Desert, a
much, much, much more favorable hitting environment than St. Lucie. In this case, I’d trust the tools and scouting report, and I believe evaluators favor Flores in terms of hitting and hitting for power. Triunfel might have an edge on defense because at the very least his arm
is awesome. (Also, don’t look now but Triunfel may be figuring things out as a 21-year-old in Double-A. He’s on pace for a career best season for Jackson.)

    Brett (Toronto): How fast does Holmberg throw and what is his ceiling? Thanks!

Matthew Eddy: The Diamondbacks report that they’ve seen
Holmberg up to 94 mph this year, which if you know his history, you know that’s a 3-4 mph jump. Arizona coveted his feel for pitching, so any additional velo will make him that much more effective.

    Rob (Kalamazoo): Any reason that Cleveland went
    with Phelps over Kipnis for the recent promotion? Does it have to do with it being a reserve roll over a full time gig? My impression has been that Phelps would be the uber utility player with Kipnis being the full time second baseman.

Matthew Eddy: If I had to guess it’s because when Cleveland calls up Kipnis they want to make sure he has a clear path to playing every day. They don’t want a Jerry Sands situation, like the one
in Los Angeles.

    Raoul (Tucson, Az.): Matt, have you heard a reason for David Holmberg's increase in velocity this year. Like maybe better mechanics, better conditioning or ???? I always thought of him as
    a "he is what he is" kind of guy. But it sounds like something changed since last year.

Matthew Eddy: He’s a fascinating case. I think you’re on to something — those pitchers who have clean mechanics and can repeat their deliveries, those are the guys who tend to improve. It’s an
old scouting maxim. Not that those with effort are doomed to regress, but they just might not *improve*. Love those D-backs minor league lefties — Holmberg, Tyler Skaggs, Pat Corbin.

    Joe (Louisville, KY): How would you rank these 6
    arms overall the next 5 years: Jacob Turner, Matt Moore, Shelby Miller,
    Martin Perez, Julio Teheran, and Jeremy Hellickson. Thanks.

Matthew Eddy: My top 3 would include Moore, Miller and Teheran, probably in that order. Turner has shown better command than has Perez, so that gives him the nod for me. You picked just about the only sextet of your pitchers where Hellickson would rank last. Has anyone out there seen him enough to explain his dip in strikeouts this year? Hits are down too, suggesting he’s changed his approach to get lots of easy popups and grounders.

    ryan (dc): who is still down in the minors that get the call and make a nice fantasy contribution for the 2nd half?

Matthew Eddy: Now that Rizzo and Ackley are up, I think
Jason Kipnis is your best bet. Chance to help you in average with more power as he gets used to life in the AL. If he bats at the top of the order he also could be a good source of runs. And while I do not endorse
his selection in fantasy formats, I do marvel at Wily Mo Pena’s run with Reno. He’s up to .360/.438/.738 through 60 games. You Strat-O-Matic
players might want to keep an eye on him if the D-backs do call him up — he’ got a 1.485 OPS versus lefties with nine of his 21 home runs.

    John Havok (Lethbridge AB): Henderson Alvarez, best pitcher in AA that nobody seems to have heard of? How close is he to pitching his way to Toronto's rotation and where do see his ceiling?

Matthew Eddy: Alvarez ranked in our Blue Jays Top 30 in
2009, following a year in which he ran up a 5.63 ERA in the Gulf Coast League. He’s always been a strike-thrower with a strong changeup, but this year he’s really dialed up his velo. He might start in the Toronto rotation, but to me he’s got the perfect late-inning reliever startup kit with mid-90s heat and a strong change of pace.

    Kyle (Maine): Does Andrew Miller still have a chance to be a quality major league starter?

Matthew Eddy: Given what pitchers like Phil Humber and Jeremy Guthrie have accomplished after being written off, I would say just about anything is possible for Miller if you pair him with the right pitching coach and in the right situation. He’s a tough look for lefty batters, so I could see him thriving in a relief role the rest of the way. Miller’s three primary pitches have distinct velos and shape to
them, and I have to say I’m kind of intrigued.

    Zack Cozart (Louisville): Hey there - just hanging out here in Louisville, continuing to smack the @#%$ out of the ball while my ML team has a SS with a SLG % lower than my batting average......*sigh*

Matthew Eddy: Given the state of shortstops in the big leagues, it seems only natural that there’d be 20 GMs contacting Walt Jocketty on a daily basis.

    Don (Aspen, CO): Do you guys worry at all about
    being mouthpieces for organizations? It was reported by 2 separate sources that Gary Sanchez was not actually injured as you listed here in
    the Hot Sheet, but rather was being disciplined for "make-up concerns."

Matthew Eddy: We’re even more concerned with making factual errors, believe it or not. But sometimes we make mistakes. Now if you’ll excuse me, Brian Cashman is calling and he wants to pump up the latest round of Yankees prospects.

    Jarrod Parker (Farm System): Do I now rank third behind Tyler Skaggs and Goldshmidt as top prospects in my organization?

Matthew Eddy: Hard to find fault with Skaggs right now,
but Parker generally seems to be suffering from poor control and not diminished stuff. If he ranked No. 1 before throwing one post-op pitch, then I think he still ought to get benefit of the doubt.

    tim (kentucky): With his good start this year where does Travis D'Arnaud rank on the catching prospect rankings?

Matthew Eddy: He ranked third behind Jesus Montero and Gary Sanchez coming into the year, and he certainly won’t slip any further based on hie early showing.

    Joe (Louisville, KY): Hellickson is the one I know best. Just moved from Tampa and watched every start. Seems to just simply be pitching to contact unless he gets to a 0-2 count. Something Garza never did when he was here.

Matthew Eddy: This answers the Hellickson question from before.

    Kevin (NJ): RE: Hellickson. His fastball command has been a bit off so he isn't getting to 0-2, 1-2 counts to bury the change-up. He's had to throw it more earlier in counts so a hitter gets a look at it and can foul it off next time.

Matthew Eddy: And another Hellickson response . . .

    Kevin (Sacramento): Does Patrick Corbin have front of the rotation stuff? What's his upside at the major league level? Thanks!

Matthew Eddy: Corbin will be the subject of Tuesday’s Prospect Bulletin. I see enough positive indicators that suggest a No. 3
ceiling is possible, but he hasn’t been pitching as long as many of the
players with which he’s being compared. He could be a special case.

    Jon (Pennsylvania): Now that Adam LaRoche is out for the remainder of the season, what are the chances we see Chris Marrero up in the bigs before September? As a 22 year-old hitting rather
    well in Triple A, is Marrero actually slightly ahead of the curve?

Matthew Eddy: Yeah, but you’re forgetting that Mike Morse rules the universe. Only the NL’s elite first basemen — Fielder, Howard, Pujols — have more home runs, and Morse has nearly 100 fewer PA.

    Rich (Sacramento): Can you please explain how Goldschmidt is not the # 1 prospect in the D'Backs system right now. Jarrod Parker ?? Are you serious ? It seems BA is living in the past big time.

Matthew Eddy: With all players, we’re most concerned with future value, and many evaluators are simply not convinced Goldschmidt will be a masher at the highest level. He can be beat with good fastballs inside, and that might cap his home run totals at 18-20 (speaking for the old, pre-2010 levels of offense anyway). Factor in the
limited defensive value and no speed and those homers are everything. I
probably hold the dissenting opinion here, and I know this answer won’t
satisfy you, so we’ll just have to wait 3-4 years down the road and see
how it plays out.