Prospect Hot Sheet Chat With Matt Eddy

    Chris (Seattle): How concerning are Bauer's abundance of walks? He can't be dominant if he's at the top or leading the league in walks can he?

Matthew Eddy: Trevor Bauer’s walk rate in Double-A (5.4
BB/9) is a bit disconcerting, but he’s missing bats and keeping the ball in the yard, suggesting he may be a slight mechanical tweak away from finding the strike zone more frequently. That’s an interesting thought, though — what’s the ceiling on a 4 BB/9 righthanded starter in
the big leagues?

    Matt (Los Angeles): With the promotions of Mike
    Trout and Bryce Harper, are Christian Yelich and Wil Myers the best outfield prospects in the minors? Can you see either one handling center
    field in the majors?

Matthew Eddy: I think you’ve got the top contenders in Myers and Yelich. (Some might add to the mix the Cardinals’ Oscar Taveras or Royals’ Bubba Starling.) Neither Myers nor Yelich has enough reps in center field to declare with confidence that they can play the position at the highest level, though given Yelich’s average speed he would seem to have a higher probability of sticking.

Matthew Eddy: Sorry for the delay. We experienced prolonged technical difficulties.

    EVAN (FREAKING) GATTIS (MISSISSIPPI): another week of destroying minor league pitching and another hot sheet without mention of my name!!!

Matthew Eddy: For further evidence of the grudge we bear against the Braves’ Evan Gattis, be sure to check out the April 20 Hot Sheet, where we rank him No. 8.

    Roger (Greenville, SC): What do the Dodgers have in Joc Pederson? It's unusual to see a high school kid skip low A and hold his own.

Matthew Eddy: I like what we’ve seen from 20-year-old Joc Pederson thus far. He’s got a good lefty swing and an idea of the strike zone. Because he’s probably not a center fielder for the long haul, we’ll need to see more power as he continues to mature physically.
Note that Pederson technically didn’t skip Low-A. He appeared in 16 games for Great Lakes last year prior to heading to the Pioneer League. But still that’s not much time in the Midwest League for a high school draft.

    Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Was Reds AA CF Ryan Lamarre considered for the list this week? He raised his batting average over 75 points, walks a ton, and runs the bases well (even if he
    is no Billy Hamilton, but who is?). Could he be a potential lead off hitter for the Reds in a couple years?

Matthew Eddy: Double-A CF Ryan LaMarre had a fantastic week, going 9-for-22 with eight walks and five steals in six attempts. The only thing keeping him off Hot Sheet was a lack of thump (one double), and if that trend continues it may limit his upside to outfield
backup in the big leagues. That goes double with Billy Hamilton facing a
likely shift to center field if he plays his way off shortstop.

    @Jaypers413 (IL): What did Betances do differently in his last start, if anything?

Matthew Eddy: For Yankees Triple-A RHP Dellin Betances the difference between good outing and bad often comes down to his delivery. When he’s not over-striding and losing his release point he can be deadly, as he showed against Columbus this week.

    T HAM (Walnut Creek, CA): Please rank these guys in terms of overall projectability: Xander Bogarts, Miguel Sano, Oscar Taveras, Eddie Rosario!

    Thanks and have a good weekend!!!

Matthew Eddy: Based on where they’ll probably settle in
the big leagues: Sano (as a third baseman), Taveras (right field), Bogaerts (third base) and Rosario (second base).

    Dan (Israel): What should we know about Arismandy Alcantara who had a monster offensive week at SS in the FSL?

Matthew Eddy: Cubs 20-year-old Arismendy Alcantara possesses some loud tools — he can field, throw and run — and the shortstop reminded us this week that he also has potential with the bat,
going 12-for-29 with two doubles and three triples for High-A Daytona. He very nearly made the Hot Sheet in the Helium section. If the offensive gains are real, then he’s a prospect. Even if they’re not he might make a fine utility player or quality system depth.

    Bob (NYC): Does Olt have a higher ceiling than Moreland? More likely to be used as trade bait or called up to man 1b? and when? Thanks for the chat.

Matthew Eddy: It would be awfully hard for the Rangers to part with Double-A third baseman Mike Olt, given his potential on both sides of the ball, though he would make make a fine centerpiece of a
potential trade. After all, the Rangers have a chance to join some pretty elite company if they win a third straight AL pennant (especially
at a time when both Boston and New York have been consistently competitive, which was not really the case when Oakland or Baltimore won
three AL flags in a row). If they keep Olt, then yes he could give them
a reasonable facsimile of Moreland at 1B by the second half of next season (while also being able to spell Beltre when needed.)

    Billy (KC): Any concern that Wil Myers success is due to playing at Avrest?? Should we be concerned about his elevated
    strikeout rate? Thanks!!

Matthew Eddy: Seems like a little prospect give and take in action with Wil Myers. He’s demonstrated in the past that he can
post elite BB/SO ratios, but at the expense of some power perhaps. Now as the big leagues loom he realizes he must step up the power to profile
on an outfield corner. Not many young players can add that power without sacrificing some contact. Watch for Myers to even the two approaches in time. As to playing in NW Arkansas, which played as a launching pad in 2010 when Hosmer and Moustakas enjoyed huge years in Double-A, I wouldn’t be overly concerned at this stage. Maybe Myers has faced better pitchers on the road than he has at home or maybe he’s just
bee feeling more mentally and physically able on days which the Naturals have home games. It’s only been 30 games.

    Josh Meyer (Fort Dodge, IA): How high of a ceiling does Miguel Sano have?

Matthew Eddy: Twins Low-A 3B Miguel Sano could be a first-division regular at the hot corner. He’s got all-star potential, though he will have to address his strikeout rate (currently about 28% of plate appearances) at some point as he moves up the ladder. That will
entail better pitch-recognition skills because we’ve seen what he can do with fastballs.

    Jason (Patterson): Now that Harper is in the bigs what prospect grade the highest on the 20-80 scale in terms of power?

Matthew Eddy: I’d go Miguel Sano here. Through 100 games in the past two seasons he’s hit 30 homers (66 extra-base hits toal) and put up a crazy .345 isolated power.

    Nick Castellanos (Lakeland): Hpw soon can I get a ticket to Erie?

Matthew Eddy: At the earliest, look for a bump following the FSL all-star game. No rush, though, because this is a player the Tigers won’t have to add to the 40-man until after the 2013 season.

    Jeff (Chesapeake, VA): What do you think Mason Williams' upside would be as a major leaguer?

Matthew Eddy: In a perfect world Williams could be a perennial all-star center fielder, and he’s ahead of the pace set by the
last top Yankees center-field prospect, Austin Jackson. Don’t expect Williams before late 2015, but expect him to be at worst a solid regular
when he does arrive.

    Dane (Florida): Do you see Matt Barnes being ranked as a top 100 prospects by the end of the year?

Matthew Eddy: Oh yeah. The Red Sox believe Barnes is improving feel for his changeup, and they like his professional attitude
and aggressive approach, and it’s hard to find fault with their assessment given his early performance in Class A.

    Rich (Philly): Whats your take on Dom Brown's struggles?

Matthew Eddy: Trust in the tools, but don’t expect miracles this season. He needs a season away from the spotlight, which might include a Double-A refresher at this rate, but the Phillies (or any team that trades for him) hold one more option year on him for 2013.

    Josh Meyer (Fort Dodge, IA): Do you see Joe Benson eventually becoming a 30/30 guy?

Matthew Eddy: In the Eastern League, maybe. I’m the wrong person to ask for bullish opinions on Benson. High-strikeout righty hitters without top-of-the-scale power give me serious pause because there’s only so many lefty pitchers to go around. A lot of these
guys end up in platoon or reserve roles (assuming we still have “platoons” and “benches” once every team begins carrying 15-man pitching

    Notmyopic (Oakley, CA): Jace Petersons personality is so magnetic he cannot carry credit cards.

Matthew Eddy: Jace Peterson has real opportunity in the
Padres system. No one else in the system at present even remotely resembles an everyday shortstop. He’s off to a great start with Low-A Fort Wayne, batting .315/.401/.460 through 32 games.

    Ike (L.A.): Do you think Mike Trout can be a viable candidate for AL ROY as the season progresses? Or is it Yu's to lose?

Matthew Eddy: Absolutely, he’s viable as a ROY candidate. Given his level of experience and talent, however, I think the award is Darvish’s to lose. Funny how the promotion of Bryce Harper has obscured Trout’s callup. Maybe that’s a blessing in disguise (or shrewd maneuvering by the Angels).

    Michael (Tampa): Love the work you guys do here. The Rays promoted Sale to the MWL, which is something they seem to
    rarely do with extended spring training guys. Sale has really come out hitting in the first week and has worked some nice ABs. Thoughts on him?

Matthew Eddy: Thanks for the tip and the compliment. That’s really a talented team there in Bowling Green with Josh Sale, Drew Vettleson, Ryan Brett, Tyler Goeddel, Jake Hager, Felipe Rivero, et
al. As to Sale, he simply needed to clean up his hitting mechanics, particularly in the lower half, because the strength and bat speed didn’t desert him even though the performance in the Appy League last year was terrible.

    Muggsy (Minneapolis): Just a note that Sano actually homered four times this week, including both ends of a double header (looks like you missed one of those games). Not sure if that would've been enough to boost him into your top 13 but his totals for the week were 4hr's, 9rbi, .313/.352/.781. Also, I have to point out that his ops for the week (1.133) is less than one hundred points higher
    than his seasonal number.

Matthew Eddy: Could you email more details about the doubleheader? I don’t see it in our game logs or MiLB’s.