Prospects Chat With Matt Eddy

Moderator: Matt Eddy will answer your prospects questions at 3 p.m. ET.

    Tom (NYC): Given the rash of NY Mets injuries
    at the major and minor league level, as well as the apparent fading of
    some of their higher prospects' value, can you please give me an idea
    how you would now rank their top 10 prospects? Thank you

Matthew Eddy: Let’s begin with a ranking question.
Given that this year he had his most sustained success since he played
in the Sally League, Fernando Martinez would have to top the list
(again). He qualifies by virtue of his latest injury. I might go with
Holt next, followed by Flores, Niese and Mejia. Next up: Ike Davis,
Havens and then probably Steve Matz (assuming he signs). The final two
spots would be a bit up in the air . . . Marte? Thole? Duda?

    JAYPERS (IL): Is Matt Moore going to climb the
    rungs of TB's farm system at about the same pace as Hellickson did? Any
    chance he sees action as a Stone Crab before season's end?

Matthew Eddy: Expect him to move s l o w l y, as all
of the Rays young arms do. Hellickson, Wade Davis, Niemann, Talbot,
Hammel. They have an enviable level of depth now, and it’s hard to
quibble with their developmental plan with the results they’ve gotten.

    Ben (Leland Grove): With V-Mart out of the picture, is Cleveland going to give Santana a looksie next month at the Jake?

Matthew Eddy: Signs point to yes. Not only would it be a reward for a very fine minor league season, but he’s already on the 40-man roster.

    mark (il): do you think Gordon Beckham will stick at 3B or be moved to SS or 2B next yr?

Matthew Eddy: People tend to run out of glowing
adjectives to describe Beckham, but few of those admirers think he’s a
shortstop long-term. Second or third seem like equally likely

    kelly (mo): pick one to build your team around: smoak, alvarez, heyward, stanton or posey?

Matthew Eddy: Heyward. He has a chance to be that rare
hitter for average and power. And he’s a strong enough athlete to be an
asset on an outfield corner.

    Fred (Ohio): What are your thoughts on David Cooper's season as a whole? Where do you think he starts next year?

Matthew Eddy: The low average must be viewed as a
disappointment (he’s been hovering near .250-.260 all year), given the
feel for hitting Cooper demonstrated at Cal and in his pro debut. The
development of his power (7 HR in 103 G, .383 SLG) is still in progress
as he refines his weight shift while batting. A repeat of Double-A
probably is in order.

    Brandon (Rancho Cucamonga,CA): Matt, what do
    you think the Angels do with my boy Brandon Wood next year? He is
    tearing up AAA and the Angels still don't have a spot for him

Matthew Eddy: The good news for Wood is that he will
play in the big leagues next season for somebody, if not the Angels. A
2003 first-rounder who made his big league debut in ’07, he’s on his
third minor league option this season. So if the Angels wish to send
him to Salt Lake next year on anything other than a rehab assignment,
he’ll first have to clear waivers. And that scenario is unlikely. Wood
will be 25 next year, and dig this: he’s hit 74 homers and slugged .554
in 300 Triple-A games.

    Henderson Alvarez (Lansing): Any chance I'm a Top 100 prospect next year?

Matthew Eddy: No, but look for him in a Blue Jays top 10 near you.

    Randall Delgado (Rome, GA): Am I the Braves best pitching prospect? I've made the hot sheet a couple times. More than I can say for Spruill or Teheran.

Matthew Eddy: Teheran has a better raw arm, but much
less experience than Delgado. Tough call. At this point, go with the
bigger arm. Choose Teheran.

    Bill (Atlanta): Who do you take in September? Heyward, Ryan Church or Anderson

Matthew Eddy: If the Braves hang around in the wild
card race (and there’s little reason to believe that they won’t),
expect to see more of the two veterans. But Heyward might get a few
spot starts to audition for ’10.

    Jason (Washington D.C.): What are your
    thoughts on Derek Norris still being in low A ball. Do you think the
    Nationals are doing the right thing by holding him back?

Matthew Eddy: Developmental paths for catchers and
pitchers tend to be a bit slower than those for infielders and
outfielders. And because Norris is unrefined on the defensive side,
there’s absolutely no reason to rush him. If he continues to crush, he
could be in Double-A by the end of ’10.

    john (ct): Are you encoraged that Angel Morales is catching on witness his recent hit spurt?

Matthew Eddy: He has shown marked improvement. Thanks
for the tip-off to this ’08 Appy League alumnus. Since bottoming out
with a .140 June, Morales has hit .365/.393/.606 with 4 homers and 11
doubles in 104 at-bats. A Twins’ 3rd-rounder in ’07, Morales has turned
his season around in low Class A Beloit.

    Tommy (New York): Not a prospect question for the week, but for the season: Who would your top five candidates be for MiLB Player of the Year?

Matthew Eddy: Jason Heyward, rf, Braves; Mike Stanton,
rf, Marlins; Brian Matusz, lhp, Orioles; Christian Friedrich, lhp,
Rockies; and Jesus Montero, c, Yankees.

Moderator: Sorry for the delay. We’re just beginning
research on our postseason top prospects list, so we sometimes receive
phone calls pertaining to those lists . . . even during chats.

    Andrew (York, PA): Better prospect: Bud Norris or Brad Lincoln?

Matthew Eddy: Excellent question. On raw stuff and
track record, I’d take Lincoln. But then Norris hasn’t suffered a
serious arm injury as a pro. Even still, I’d lean toward the former.

    Larry (Dayton, OH): How much does Yonder Alonso's hand injury set him back in development, and does it affect his prospect status much?

Matthew Eddy: It does not affect his long-term
potential much, if at all. It does, however, play into short-term
expectations. It take many batters a long time to recover power after
wrist/hand injuries.

    Tristan (California): Who is the better prospect, Chris Carter or Brett Wallace?

Matthew Eddy: I like Wallace: lefty bat, better feel for hitting, a shade more defensive value.

    mike (warren, MI): Ca you give us a prospect
    injury update. Any word on Jarrod Parker he has not pitched since 7/30?
    any word on Kelvin DeLaCruz (P Cle) he has not pitched since APR?
    Thanks again

Matthew Eddy: Parker’s done for the year with a sore
elbow. It’s a precautionary thing at this point. De la Cruz has
grappled with elbow / forearm problems.

    RJ (Pittsburgh): With Neil Walker starting to
    hit, would you expect him to get a September call up this year?Do you
    see him as a future ML thirdbasemen?

Matthew Eddy: Walker has had an awesome couple of
weeks with Indy, he’s got a couple years at Triple-A under his belt and
he’s on the 40-man. That’s a combination that could warrant a Sept.
callup. But the Pirates’ new regime has less incentive to call him up
than did the old one. They have less at stake.

    NickM (NJ): Wilmer Flores or Tim Beckham?

Matthew Eddy: The battle rages on. Last year, Beckham
and Flores vied for top honors in the Appy League. This year, their
rematch takes place in the South Atlantic. From what I can gather, both
players have solid hitter instincts, but neither may be a shortstop
long-term. The power tool might end up separating the two when all’s
said and done. Right now, Beckham has more present strength and a shade
more present power production.

Matthew Eddy: That’s going to do it for today. Check back next week for another Friday prospect chat.