Prospects Chat With Matt Eddy

Moderator: All right, let’s get started.

    Brent (Columbus, OH): Who is the best Phillies pitching prospect—Drabek or Carrasco?

Matthew Eddy: While Drabek hasn’t yet had a chance to scuffle in Triple-A, he’s still the one for me because of his power curveball.

    John (Las Vegas): Why a player like Rays 3B Kang was selected to future's game? Numbers aren't that great.

Matthew Eddy: Fair question. Two things worked in
Kang’s favor: 1) the World Team outfield ranks were a bit thin, and 2)
As a native of Korea, he gave us a chance to have one more country
represented in the game.
And keep in mind, though Kang has gotten off to just a mediocre start,
he’s actually a fair prospect in his own right, with above-average
power from the left side.

    richard (brooklyn): do you think jerry mejia,brad holt, and josh thole will be in the top 100 and if so where?

Matthew Eddy: Holt and Mejia have a bead on the Top
100 if they keep up the pace. Though Holt’s ankle injury has sidelined
him since his first Double-A start. Thole shows an impressive feel for
hitting (he leads the EL in average), but without another standout
tool, he’s probably not a Top 100 prospect.

    Riley (Denver): Thanks for the chat! Great to
    see a Tribe farmhand at the top. Do you think that Weglarz has a chnace
    to be the Indians' every day leftfielder by the second half of 2010?
    Personally, I would take him over Ben Francisco right now.

Matthew Eddy: You, and most Indians fans, I’m sure.
Francisco the overachiever has been a fun story, but Weglarz absolutely
profiles as a corner outfield regular, and paired with Shin-Soo Choo in
right, they’ll push Francisco to a more appropriate reserve role.

    Tim (San Diego): What are your thoughts on the Futures roster? Any snubs or surprises?

Matthew Eddy: Today’s BA podcast attempts to address this very question. Look for it at

    Virgil Dahl (Waterloo, Iowa 50702): lightening round...Matos or Drabek?? tks

Matthew Eddy: I’m more familiar with Latos from
covering the Padres, granted, but I think I’d still go with Mat, if
only for the fact he’s never had an arm surgery.

    jose (florida): You knew someone was going to ask.... Why is Neftali Feliz in the pen?!!?

Matthew Eddy: Sounds like the answer is, because he
can help the big league club in that role as soon as next month. The
Rangers want to ease Feliz into the role, get him used to warming up
in-game and potentially coming in with runners on base. It’s not a
terrible play for his long-term prospects. It limits his workload and
allows him a chance to succeed in short stints before asking him to go
seven innings every time out, 30 times a year.

    Chuckles (San Jose, CA): Carlos Santana or Buster Posey?

Matthew Eddy: Posey, because of his strong natural athleticism and defensive acumen.

    Super Dave (FCBville): Just curious as to why
    Freddie Freeman has gotten the snub 2 weeks in a row (although he was
    obviously worthy to be on the list)?

Matthew Eddy: Freeman cracked the Team Photo this time
and would have earned a top 13 ranking if his week hadn’t been
interrupted by the all-star game. He was great on a rate basis, but
playing in only four games makes it hard to accumulate counting numbers.

    Kevin (Fort Lewis, WA): Matt, can you tell me
    what you think about Nick Hill. All of his classmates from West Point
    stationed all over the world are following him and hoping he is the
    first West Point grad to make it to the big leagues. His last 10
    outings at AA West Tenn. he has a 1.88 ERA and 18 K's in 14 innings. I
    heard he has been released from active when can we see LT
    Hill in the Seattle!

Matthew Eddy: Though he doesn’t have the most stuff in
the world, Hill is an otherworldly competitor and someone whom the
Mariners privately harbor high hopes for — most likely in a relief
role. Remember, they drafted him as a college senior in the seventh
round despite knowing their future rights to him may be tenuous. (Only
a U.S. armed services waiver allowed him to play baseball
professionally during a time of war.)

    Kevin (Rockville, MD): What's your take on
    Pedro Florimon Jr? Is he a tool-sy prospect finally putting it all
    together, or a player who's too raw to ever make it to the big leagues.

Matthew Eddy: According to BA’s Dave Perkin in his
review of the Cal-Carolina all-star game, Florimon already possesses
big league actions on defense, but his bat is so far away that he might
top out as a Triple-A / occasional big leaguer. He’s a career .239
hitter with a few too many strikeouts for someone with such limited
If you haven’t read Perkin’s piece, it’s highly recommended:

    Juice (Houston): Has Bud Norris' season so far done anything to change his projection as a reliever?

Matthew Eddy: This is an excellent question.
Superficially, I’d say yes, he would need to be viewed more favorably
now, based on his strong Triple-A performance to date. But we have a
feature on Norris in the works, and it will attempt to answer this
question, and others.

    SprungOnSports (Long Island): What players are you most looking forward to seeing at the Future's Game and why?

Matthew Eddy: A short list of players I’ll be bearing down on most: Latos, Mejia, Stanton, Montero, Lawrie and Casey Kelly.

    JAYPERS (IL): What kept Posey off the Futures Roster?

Matthew Eddy: A deep and talented Giants farm system
that also included Futures Gamers in Villalona and Bumgarner. Had the
Reds’ Yonder Alonso been healthy, he would’ve nailed down the World 1B
starting gig, leaving us free to pass on Villalona if we felt like it.
No team can send more than two representatives — at least, not on the
initial rosters.

    Brian (Brooklyn NY): As a Mets fan am I being
    overly optimistic by liking their system? Niese and F-Mart ceem to
    profile as being contributor and Meija and Davis have both had
    excellent seasons while Holt and Havens have showns flashes when
    healthy. Throw in Flores and Marte and it would seem to me like they
    have a top 10-12 system. Am I being incredibly biased?

Matthew Eddy: Yes and no. The Mets brought on a lot of
premium talent in the past two years, especially through the ’08 draft
(Davis, Havens, Holt) and the ’07 international class (Flores, Marte),
but in terms of depth at the upper levels, they’ve come up short this
season. Consider that Triple-A Buffalo and Double-A Binghamton are two
of the worst teams in the minors and that the Mets have had all sorts
of trouble plugging holes at the big league level as injuries have
decimated their starting unit. (And the one player who has exceeded
expectations, Omir Sanots, was brought on as a minor league free agent,
so you can credit their pro scouting effort there — not their amateur

    Andre (Cologne, Germany): How close did Cubs
    RH Jay Jackson get to the Hot Sheet and what is his ceiling ? He has
    been spectacular since late April for Double A Tennessee...

Matthew Eddy: Our own Ben Badler is a big Jackson booster, so he’s definitely on our radar.

    Bob (Stockton, CA): Teams that sign NDFA once
    the draft concludes: are they just looking for a few players to fill in
    their short season rosters or do they actually think these kids could
    climb the ranks?

Matthew Eddy: It’s rare for a college player who has
been passed over in at least three drafts (high school, college junior
& senior) to make an impact in the big leagues, but it does happen
from time to time. Reds backup catcher Ryan Hanigan and Bobby spring to
mind. But in reality, many of these guys are signed to flesh out
short-season rosters. Just witness how quick teams are to release so
many of them the following year. Two minor league NDFA jokers to watch:
White Sox Double-A 2B C.J. Retherford and Twins RH reliever Rob Delaney.

    Gilligan Skip (Lake Elsinore): Has there been
    any mention of Cory Luebke possibly making any of BA's Hot Sheet's thus
    far (if he made it, I must have missed it)? Also, can you shed any
    light as to how he turned it around so dramatically this year
    (adjustment to mechanic's, possible injury he dealt with last year, or
    what)? And has he earned a spot back onto the Padres top 30 in BA's
    Handbook (if so, where would you rank him)?

Matthew Eddy: Luebke has pitched his way back into Top
30 consideration, without a doubt. His mechanics still can get out of
whack — he’s tall, skinny and lefthanded — and that was an issue that
ate him up last season. He’s got firm stuff for a lefty, though, and as
with Florimon (above), check out the Cal-Carolina ASG recap on our site
for more.

    Derrick (Tulsa, OK): Padres 3B in 2011, Kouzmanoff, Headley, Forsythe, or Darnell?

Matthew Eddy: OK, here’s a shot in the dark . . . Kouz (traded), Headley (3B), Forsythe (2B) and Darnell (RF).

    Nick (Chicago): would you rank Nick Weglarz as the best Canadian prospect and a potential top 20 in baseball by the end of the season?

Matthew Eddy: Maybe, and probably not. As good as
Weglarz’s power and discipline approach has proven to be, he’s a
defensive liability even in LF and his hittability is average at best.
If he shows an ability to crank out 30 HR and 100 BB annually, then
that would be a different story.
Other candidates for title of best Canadian prospect: Mariners OF
Michael Saunders, Mariners RH reliever Phillippe Aumont and Brewers 2B
Brett Lawrie.

    Dillon (Pasadena): Jim Callis mentioned that
    in an ask BA that he would rank Tate as SD's top prospect. Really?
    There are questions about the bat and Mat Latos has had a pretty nice

Matthew Eddy: We’ll see, but my first reaction is that Latos and Jaff Decker would have to be considered on similar footing.

    Qwertyuiop (Asdfghjkl, Zxcvbnm): Did Ike Davis get any consideration?

Matthew Eddy: Sure. He’s off to a fine start in
Double-A and seems to have adjusted to pro ball after a tough
introductory period that famously included a homer-less debut in the
N.Y.-Penn League.

    Josh G (Sacto, CA): Is Esmil Rogers a better prospect than Jhoulys Chacin?

Matthew Eddy: Given how Rogers has pitched, it’s an
issue open to debate. The strides that Rogers has made this season, in
just his fourth year as a full-time pitcher, have been remarkable. He
shows more aptitude for a breaking ball than Chacin does at this point
in time, but then Chacin is nearly 2 and a half years younger and has
much less low-minors experience.