Prospects Chat With Ben Badler

Ben Badler: Thanks for stopping by. I’m heading out
later this afternoon to watch Martin Perez pitch for the Rangers’ low
Class A club, so let’s see what we’ve got here in the queue.

    Nick (New York): Do you think that Josh Bell
    and Brandon Snyder will be the future 1st and 3rd baseman for the
    Orioles in 2010? Which of the two has more upside and what can O's fans
    expect out of their major league production?

Ben Badler: I’ve seen both, albeit briefly, and was
more impressed with Bell. His defense has improved at third base, his
pitch recognition is solid and his power is legitimate, even if it’s
showing up now more as doubles than home runs.

    Jason (New York): I know its still early, but
    have you heard any recent news on Jarrod Parker? It can't be good news
    that he is going to see Dr. James Andrews.

Ben Badler: Just that he’s most likely done for the
year. It would be a shame if he had surgery. He had the best stuff I’ve
seen in the minors all year.

    Miller (Vegas): Is Tyler Colvin still a legit prospect? 4th outfielder or big league regular?

Ben Badler: Don’t see enough plate discipline for him to be a starter.

    Jeff (New England): Thanks for taking my
    question. Has Chris Carter now cemented himself as the A's 1B of the
    future? Or does the presence of Brett Wallace complicate matters?

Ben Badler: I think the A’s will give Wallace a chance
to play third base, probably moreso than most other organizations
would. Even if Wallace does move to first base, the A’s could slot
Carter in at DH. Mostly I’ve been impressed with the degree to which
Carter has cut his strikeout rate this year, which is probably a lot
less common to do than people realize.

    Joe (California): Hosmer or Freeman?

Ben Badler: I like both, prefer Freeman, who is only about a month or so older than Hosmer.

    willy (pitt): Which player would you most want
    to build a team around: Evan Longoria, Tim Lincecum, Stephen Strasburg,
    Zack Greinke, or Bryce Harper?

Ben Badler: Longoria, and his steal of a contract makes it even better

    John (Denver): What do you make of Juan Francisco's big week? Is he ever going to be the Reds 3B of the future??

Ben Badler: When you have more errors than walks,
that’s usually a bad sign. I don’t see him playing third base and I
think his approach is going to prevent him from becoming a good big
league hitter.

    Eric (Chicago): Besides Posey and Santana, who
    are the best offensive catchers currently in the minors that are good
    enough defensively to stick at the position? Are Norris and Castro the
    best of the rest?

Ben Badler: Norris, Castro and Tyler Flowers are all
in that next group. And he’s WAY down the ladder right now, but keep an
eye on Carlos Perez with the Blue Jays’ GCL team. He’s probably the
best Latin American prospect in that system.

    steve (Boston, MA): Read the BA story on Rowdy Hardy becoming a submarine pitcher. do you think that move will help him reach the big leagues?

Ben Badler: Who knows, but it’s worth a shot, and give
him credit for making the change. I don’t understand why organizations
don’t have a full-time coordinator in charge of sidearm and
submarine-style pitching overseeing a sidearm and submarine program.
Think about how many pitchers there are in the minor leagues who either
have essentially no chance at a major league career or former prospects
who can’t hack it in the big leagues with an overhand delivery. It’s
obviously not getting them anywhere, so why not provide them with a
specialized instructor and program to help them carve out specific
roles in a major league bullpen?

    Chupas (Dayton,OH): Who will get their call to
    the big league's first, Matt LaPorta or Nick Weglarz? And when? They
    have a high on base percentage, and Cleveland really likes these guys?

Ben Badler: LaPorta. Weglarz has outstanding plate
discipline, but still has work to do at the plate. I think LaPorta’s
ready for the big leagues right now, although I was saying that in
April too.

    Andrew (Georgia): Compared to earlier in the season when he was really struggling, what do you think about Pedro Alvarez now?

Ben Badler: Same thing I said at the beginning of the
season: expect a lot of strikeouts, but he’ll draw walks and hit for
plus to plus-plus power. Since he puts fewer balls in play than most
players, he’s going to have big years when those batted balls fall for
hits and watch his OBP take a big dip when they don’t.

    Carl (Buffalo): Do you think Josh Thole will be able to stick as a productive major league catcher?

Ben Badler: Yes, I think so

    nick (Rochester): Where do you think Chris Carter would slot when it comes to your top 100 list next year?

Ben Badler: I think it’s just way too early to be
making that call yet before we line up every prospect in baseball the
way we do in the offseason. He should be in there, but exactly where is
just hard to say at this point without going through our offseason

    Mike (MN): It's too early to worry about Aaron Hicks, right? Hunt on the other hand, is his head destroyed at this point?

Ben Badler: Worried? I’m more excited than worried
about Hicks right now. He’s a five-tool player, a great athlete with a
feel for the strike zone who is starting to get things going in a tough
hitter’s environment. Hunt? Well, it’s never good when your walks look
like they’ve been switched with your strikeouts. I don’t know what’s
going on in his head, but he just doesn’t have any control.

    Marc (Philadelphia): The question plaguing
    most Philadephians—Brown or Taylor? I saw Brown in his first few games
    at Reading and all I can say this wow.

Ben Badler: Brown, who apparently is now going by
Domonic instead of Dominic. I just don’t see what’s not to like about
Brown. He’s got five tools that mostly rate as 60s or 70s, either now
or in the future, with advanced pitch recognition, and he’s performed
well this year. I like Taylor too, but Brown just looks like a high
upside talent with lower risk involved than you normally get with
five-tool players.

    Greg (St. Louis): What are your thoughts on Tim Beckham's first season in pro ball? Surprised at the lack of hitting ability?

Ben Badler: Not surprised, since I saw him last year
in the Appy League and he seemed to be a bit raw, but scouts who have
seem him this year have expressed concerns about his defense at

    Greg (St. Louis): What are your thoughts on Julio Teheran? A top 50 prospect right now?

Ben Badler: Probably not. I love the stuff, but with
his shoulder injury last year and how far away he is from the major
leagues, I’m willing to be a bit cautious.

    alan (PA): I hear you guys use physical comps
    on players all the time, like Johan Santana is a physical comp for
    Martin Perez. So, I ask you, who is your physical comp?

Ben Badler: Kimbo Slice

    Tyler (Harrodsburg, Ky): Is there any concern
    over Michael Stanton's slump since being promoted to AA? His K rate
    seems to have climed to that of last seasons, however he isn't hitting
    for the same average.

Ben Badler: Not really. The strikeouts are a concern,
but his raw power is an 80, he’s a great athlete and he’s shown
progress in laying off pitches outside of the strike zone. Plus he’s 19
in Double-A. I mean, heck, he’s younger than Anthony Hewitt.

    AJ (Tampa, FL): Is Wade Davis ready to pitch in the Tampa rotation right now?

Ben Badler: Not yet. The fastball is a plus pitch and
the curve is plus at times, but he doesn’t have a good third pitch and
his command of his fastball and his offspeed stuff is below-average.
When he gets behind in the count, that neutralizes his curveball as a
weapon because it means hitters can gear up for the fastball. If the
Rays brought him up as a starter, he would get hit around.

    Ken (MLB Network Studios): Has Andrew Brackman been moved to the pen? Does he have a chance to pull a Daniel Bard?

Ben Badler: He’s pitched in relief his last couple of
outings. Given his circumstances I’m not ready to completely write him
off, but I”m not optimistic.

    Carl (Buffalo): Jeurys Familia or Julio Teheran?

Ben Badler: Teheran

    Dave (Winnipeg): No Arencibia in that next tier of catchers?

Ben Badler: I don’t see anything in his track record
or his scouting reports to suggest that he’ll ever get his OBP much
higher than .300-.320 in the big leagues, which even for a catcher
isn’t enough to cut it.

    Joseph (Fort Worth, TX): I wish I was going to
    see Marty Perez pitch today! Do you think the Rangers will jump him
    over Bakersfield like they did with Feliz, and is there any way we
    could get a write-up on what you see from him today? Thanks for the
    chat Ben!

Ben Badler: It’s possible, though I don’t know if they
will do that and my guess is that they won’t send him straight to
Double-A. You can look for the report on tonight’s start at some point
next week if you’re a subscriber.

Ben Badler: And on that note, I’ve got to head out to the park soon. Thank you as always for reading BA.