2018 New York-Penn League Top 20 Prospects Chat

Snapper Bean (Greater Kensington): 

    4 years, 4 drafts, 4 Top 10 picks and I don’t have the slightest confidence that Phillies Scouting Director Johnny Almaraz knows what he’s doing. How could Alec Bohm go homerless in his debut?

Justin Coleman: These things happen, still have plenty of time to see what the hit tool becomes. I know he is touted for his power, and he showed good raw power in his short stint that should translate over time.

Dan (MD): 

    Seems like a very down year, talent-wise, in the NYPL. Any rumblings from evaluators on that?

Justin Coleman: Yeah, I think there is some merit to this. Different than last year, no question. Not a ton of impact here.

Bored Lawyer, Esq. (Law Office): 

    Any word on Michael Mercado? He got a ton of money from TB and had some reasonable hype coming into the year. Still mostly projection? Concerns about his stuff?

Justin Coleman: I think Mercado is trending positively. One of the youngest guys on the club, big make up. FB is low 90’s with arm side sink, also features a solid change-up and breaking ball. Like a lot of younger guys, needs to refine secondary stuff.

NYY0723 (NY, NY): 

    Did Harold Cortijo receive consideration for this list? What are your thoughts on him?

Justin Coleman: Cortijo shows pitchability and is very athletic. Threw a lot of strikes, low 90’s FB that touches 94. His advanced fastball command is notable, needs to work on the breaker.


    Any opinion on Brooklyn pitchers Kevin Smith, Jason Vilera and Christian James? Do they have potential to be back end of rotation pieces, bullpen or do chance at the bigs? I would have thought Vilera would have made your top 20 list?

Justin Coleman: Kevin Smith could be a lefty out of the pen, featuring a good FB with plus slider. Vilera outpitched the league, doesn’t seem like much upside is there. James is very competitive, has a sinking fastball and quick SL that he can change speeds with. Again, not too much upside there.

Tyler (New York): 

    I’ve heard nothing but good things about Israel Pineda. Do you think hes a guy who’s prospect stock could really rise especially in full season ball?

Justin Coleman: He is certainly young, but has some good tools. Advanced hitter for his age, the ceiling might be an average big league catcher or backup role. Still a ways to go.

Michael (Baltimore): 

    What was the thinking on Carlos Guzman of the Connecticut Tigers? I know he has made some impressions this year on scouts during the season and in instructs.

Justin Coleman: He did make an impression, although you have to dream on him a bit. Athletic with a low 90’s FB, future 5 grade change-up. He doesn’t throw much of a breaking ball, and doesn’t generate much angle on his FB either.


    Ross Adolph put up some nice #s for Brooklyn and has power and speed. Was he overlooked because he was not considered a top prospect, being a 12 round pick from Toledo, or do you not see him as much of a prospect? What do you think his ceiling is and how much did he miss this list by?

Justin Coleman: Don’t think there is much prospect value there. He showed a feel for hitting with a bit of pop and has some speed, as you said. The profile is more of a back up type, and fits more in a corner spot moving forward.

MikeR (Lockport, NY): 

    Did Francisco Morales get any consideration ?

Justin Coleman: He did get consideration. He has iffy command, but a good FB that touches 96 with some late movement. His SL is currently below average but is a future above average pitch. Morales needs to repeat his delivery, and is suited more for a bullpen role.

Warren (New London): 

    How hard was it to rank Alec Bohm? On one hand, 8 is shockingly low for the third overall pick just 4 months ago. On the other hand, he played so badly in this league on both sides of the ball that even that seems optimistic to this Phillies fan after the struggles of Mickey Moniak and Cornelius Randolph.

Justin Coleman: Pretty tricky! You could make a fair argument to have him higher or lower. He obviously comes with a draft reputation, but the numbers haven’t backed it up so far.

Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): 

    Did J C Escara, the Aberdeen first baseman, get any consideration for your NY Penn prospect list?

Justin Coleman: JC got some consideration. He is an offensive-minded first base type. He has a short stroke that has some power in it. Cut down on strikeouts in 2018 and performed well.

Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): 

    shortstop Adam Hall will have to be promoted, but some say 1st rounder Cadyn Grenier will repeat at Delmarva – how do you figure the situation shakes out?

Justin Coleman: Hall does a bit of everything, pretty solid player with a good feel for the game. I’m sure they will find at-bats for him regardless of how the rosters look.

Mark (Maryland): 

    Jose Sanchez has yet to perform numbers wise. But what are hearing on him both offensively and defensively? Still just 18.

Justin Coleman: Sanchez is a very good defender. Very young as you pointed out and needs to get stronger in order to develop the hit tool. Might not have much pop, but there is some feel for hitting. Sticks at SS but could move around the diamond without issue.

Elliot (Youngstown OH): 

    So as Indians fans mourn a terrible brief playoff run, it’s a good day to look to the future. I guess it’s still years before Oviedo reaches the majors but what’s your guess on where he would slot into a rotation led by Bauer and Clevinger and Bieber and McKenzie? I guess he has too many good pitches to think of as a much-needed closer!

Justin Coleman: Cheer up! Oviedo is very good, but still very far away. Tough to guess, but he has quality upside and the body is built for innings. As you know, his slot would depend upon the other members of the rotation.


    Thanks for answering my questions. I am not clear what you mean by “Jason Vilera outpitched the league”?

Justin Coleman: You are welcome! I mean that he performed very well, but there isn’t much room for growth stuff wise in the future. This leaves a profile that is lower scale upside. Hope this helps to clear things up.

Bob (St. Louis): 

    What feedback did you get from prospects on State College’s roster this year?

Justin Coleman: Not great. Delvin Perez had a down year offensively. Wadye Ynfante is a plus defender with a plus arm, has some pop but the hit tool is still rough.

Not that adolph (Nyc): 

    Why Medina over Ross Adolph?

Justin Coleman: It was a close call between those two. Medina’s tools are translating a bit more at the moment. Dirocie is a guy who also received positive reviews as a very good defender that puts the bat on the ball.

Justin Coleman: Time for me to head out. Thanks for all the great questions! Till next time- JC

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