Prospects Chat: Jim Shonerd

Moderator: Jim Shonerd will chat about prospects beginning at 3 p.m. ET.

    Dexter Carter (Kannapolis): Shafted once again, I see. What kept me off this week?

Jim Shonerd: TGIF, everyone. Let’s get to it.
Given that Carter is 22 and still in low A, he’d have to something
truly spectacular (7 IP, 0 R, 12 K or something along those lines).
Hopefully the White Sox will give him a shot at high A before the end
of the year to give him a better test. As detailed in the Daily Dish
earlier this week, he’s stayed in low A mainly to work on his changeup.
Getting him some starts in the Carolina League should give better
barometer of his progress.

    JAYPERS (IL): Did Jennings get any consideration this week?

Jim Shonerd: He was nominated, but didn’t really come that close. This was a loaded week for hitters, taking each of the top seven spots.

    JAYPERS (IL): Your thoughts on the Wallace/Holliday trade?

Jim Shonerd: The Cardinals needed an infusion of
offense for their outfield. But their farm system was already on its
way down our organization rankings, and now it’s gotten even thinner.
Wallace steps in as the best lefthanded bat in Oakland’s system, and
he’s no longer blocked from moving to first base or DHing should that
need arise.

    Jason (Chicago): How soon will Brett Wallace be playing in Oakland?

Jim Shonerd: I would expect him to come quickly, and certainly by September.

    William (Mobile, AL): If the Rays were to make
    a trade in the next 7 days that involved not one but several of the
    following players, which player would the Rays miss the most 3 years
    from now out of the cluster of Desmond Jennings, Jeremy Hellickson,
    Reid Brignac, and Wade Davis ?

Jim Shonerd: Jennings

    jm (pembroke pines, fl): Are morrison and stanton the best combo of middle of the order hitters any team has to offer?

Jim Shonerd: I think so.

    Sam (Charleston): Whats wrong with Andrew
    Brackman? He was a 100 MPH type guy and now is a average fastball guy.
    Is this just a matter of his still building up arm strength from Tommy
    John surgery or bad pitching?

Jim Shonerd: He didn’t look good last night, that’s
for sure. Had no fastball command and his curve didn’t fool many
hitters. I wouldn’t write him off yet. His arm doesn’t have much
mileage on it and sometimes it takes big guys longer to develop. But to
see him looking that bad in low A is certainly discouraging.

    Travis (Omak, WA): Who would you put as the #2
    prospect in the Mariners system behind Saunders and could you provide
    some insight into that prospect? Thanks

Jim Shonerd: He’s technically not in the Mariners
system yet, but Dustin Ackley could beat out Saunders for that No. 1
spot in the next Prospect Handbook. Saunders might have more power, but
Ackley has the better bat and both are athletic.

    Hu Jung Lei (Tokyo, Japan): Why in the world
    would Strausburg even consider not signing? At 20/21 years old, he
    signs his name and he is set for life. I see another horror story
    coming if he decides not to sign. Matt Harrington?

Jim Shonerd: I’m with you. If the Nats offer him $20
million, how can you turn that down? I understand the idea that
theoretically this could be his only big payday, say if he blows out
his arm between now and six years from now without reaching free
agency, but how much can he turn down and risk having something happen
to him in Japan or indy ball if he has to wait another year?

    Vincent Scuztamad (Cherry Hill, NJ): If you were Ruben Amaro, would you part with Brown or Taylor as part of a Halladay deal?

Jim Shonerd: Yes.

    Craig (Jacksonville): Just wondering when to
    expect Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison to reach the big leagues and
    what their projected stats will look like. Also what position will
    Morrison stick at. Thanks

Jim Shonerd: Morrison should hit for a higher average
and have the higher OBP. Stanton will have more power. Morrison doesn’t
have the range to move anywhere else, so he’ll have to sick at first
base, but he should be able to.

    Ryan (NJ): Good afternoon. With the Braves
    contending and Heyward tearing up AA— will we see him up this season?
    Seems like a lot of the top prospects are on contenders including Smoak
    in Texas, Bumgarner and Posey in San Francisco. Which of these guys
    will be called up to make their debut in 09?

Jim Shonerd: In order of likelihood, I’d go Bumgarner,
Posey, Smoak. But I think all three of those guys make their debuts
before the end of the year, with Bumgarner adding to the Giants bullpen.

    Scott (Houston): Which one would you rather
    own (as an owner of a ballclub, of course) of these outfielders: Aaron
    Hicks, Michael Taylor, Dominic Brown, or Desmond Jennings. Are these 4
    considered the best OF prospects in the game not named Heyward or

Jim Shonerd: Taylor. On our midseason Top 25
prospects, the top OFs not named Heyward or Stanton (in order) were:
Brown, Jennings, Matt LaPorta, Taylor, Michael Saunders.

    Nick (Philadelphia): What is your opinion of
    Connor Graham? He seems old to be pitching in high A but his numbers
    look pretty good outside of his walks.

Jim Shonerd: Probably a future power reliever.

    Brad (Detroit): Did any Tigers prospects get consideration this week?

Jim Shonerd: Casey Crosby was one of the last names cut, he threw five no hit innings and fanned eight for West Michigan.

    Nick (OAKLAND): Brett Wallace - does he end the Daric Barton @ 1B era in Oakland?

Jim Shonerd: If he doesn’t, Chris Carter will.

    Brad (MO): Who brought in the better prospect package Holliday or C.C.?

Jim Shonerd: C.C.

    Eric (Virginia): It seems either Brian Matusz
    or Madison Bumgarner are on the list every week. Are these the two best
    pitching prospects, and who gets the call first?

Jim Shonerd: Tillman should get the call before
Matusz. I had Bumgarner and Neftali Feliz as my top two pitching
prospects for our midseason Top 25, although if I had to do it over I’d
at least put Tillman ahead of Feliz and maybe both of them.

    John (San Francisco): Do you think Austin Jackson has a shot at CF for the Yankees in 2010? Why have opinions on him come down so much this year?

Jim Shonerd: I don’t know that opinions have come down
on Jackson so much as opinions on Jesus Montero have gone through the
roof. Hitting .320 as a 22-year-old in Triple-A is pretty darn
impressive, but Montero is truly having a special season, hitting .307
as a teenager in Double-A and playing the most demanding position on
the field.

    Ernie (MA): With the yankees having what seems
    to be a lot of depth at Catcher, why aren't they considering moving
    Jesus Montero to another position?

Jim Shonerd: Oh I’m sure it’s being considered, but
the most natural move would be to first base and he’s obviously blocked
there. The leaves moving him to left field, but he’s most valuable as a
catcher and they’ll give him every chance to stay there, even though
that’s an uphill battle.

    Virgil Dahl (Waterloo, Iowa 50702): Morrison and Stanton...How about Heyward and Freeman??

Jim Shonerd: They’re very close for sure. I’d take
Heyward over Stanton but Morrison over Freeman. On the whole, I’d stick
with the Marlins duo.

    adam (Lakewood, NJ): to follow up on the taylor/brown for halladay question, which would you rather part this point i would say brown?

Jim Shonerd: I would agree with that. Brown has more
upside, depending on whether his power comes around, but Taylor is the
safer bet right now.

    Jay d (Stl): Matusz or latos. Who will have a better big league career

Jim Shonerd: I like Latos’ stuff better, but Matusz
doesn’t have the injury history or makeup concerns Latos does either.
Plus Matusz is lefthanded and has plenty of weapons himself, so I give
him a small edge.

    Joe Clancy (Toronto): Hey Jim, what's the word
    on Henderson Alvarez, I see that BA has done two features on him but I
    never hear his name mentioned in up and coming big ceiling prospects.

Jim Shonerd: I’ll wind it up with this one. Alvarez is
becoming one of my favorite under the radar guys. His fastball gets up
to 94 and his changeup is firm but has wicked movement. His record and
ERA (6-5, 3.49) are hindered by not having a very good team behind him
(Lansing has the MWL’s worst record). His low strikeout rate (6.4 K/9)
is a concern, but he could be something special if he gets his
curveball going. Come back next Friday for another Hot Sheet and
Prospects Chat. Have a great weekend everyone.