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2019 Eastern League Top 20 Prospects Chat (9/25/19)

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Matt Manning (Photo by Mike Janes/Four Seam)

Justin Coleman: Alright everyone, let's start chatting!

Bob (CO): 

    After a hot start, Colton Welker struggled most the year and dealt with some injuries. Did he get any consideration for the back of the list? Does he have above average regular upside?


Justin Coleman: I considered him for sure. Good line drive hitter, nice approach, plays both corners on the infield. He could pan out as a regular, but needs to prove a clean bill of health first and perform better in the upper minors.

Bob (MI): 

    I'm surprised to see Dalbec ahead of Paredes considering the 4 yr age difference and huge hit tool advantage for Paredes. I assume Dalbec's power is a separator, but I think you're underrating Paredes' hit tool and ARL. What type of offensive line would you expect from Paredes in the majors? Is something like 280/360/450 reasonable?


Justin Coleman: I think Dalbec has superior defensive value at third base. Paredes has a better hit tool, but Dalbec has much more power. In addition, Paredes has concerns surrounding his body (5-11, 225 lbs already...) Having seen him in a small glimpse, I think Paredes will be a high on-base guy. Really patient type of hitter, power should continue to come along a bit. Not sure on that type of slash line, though.

Gerry (Toronto): 

    Yennsy Diaz pitched well as a 22 year old in AA. Was he close to the list?


Justin Coleman: Not close, but reviews were positive. Up to 96 with the heater, good breaking ball as well. Looking like a reliever, maybe solid 7th inning guy.

Rod (Michigan): 

    Did Azocar or any other Erie prospect merit serious consideration for the list?


Justin Coleman: Azocar got some love. Really good defender, excellent arm. Bat is coming around a bit more but the strikeouts still get in the way at the moment.

Elliot (Youngstown OH): 

    Daniel Johnson excelled with Akron before his promotion and nearly as good results in AAA. Not good enough for the top 20? Major league prospect?


Justin Coleman: He had a nice year in the upper minors, no doubt. Not a top 20 guy but I do like him. A ML prospect with tools, sure.

Elliot (Youngstown OH): 

    While Plesac and Civale soared through Akron to Columbus to major players in Cleveland's top notch rotation, Sam Hentges had a rough year. What happened? And is he still a prospect to become a big league starter?


Justin Coleman: Sam Hentges is a tough one-- athletic, long levers, doesn't throw many strikes. There is stuff, but it was a rough year for him. He is a prospect but needs to control the strike zone better next season, otherwise it looks like a bullpen arm.

TRS86 (NC): 

    Many seemed to have labeled Gimenez' 2019 as a lost season. What did you see? I know he finished strong and was still one of the younger players.


Justin Coleman: I disagree. I think he is an elite defender and the bat will continue to come around. He got plenty of high remarks in my reporting. I think the bat will probably be near average when its all said and done. His secondary skills (feel to steal etc.) are excellent. He is really mature and it's a future big league profile for me.

Kingsley (Toronto): 

    I have been seeing mix reports on Pearsons' CH and CV. What are they projected in the future?


Justin Coleman: He could have plus offerings across the board in the future, which makes him an intriguing frontline arm. Feel to spin a plus breaking ball is there. CH, at the moment, lags behind the BB.

Steve (Boston): 

    Who is one prospect that either didn't make or didn't qualify for the list who you think is primed for a big year in 2020?


Justin Coleman: Plenty of guys fit this bill, but I might go with SS Oneil Cruz from Pittsburgh. He is really toolsy, athletic. Makes loud contact just too much swing and miss currently. Great speed, good arm. Some power potential there. Could fit better in RF down the road. Cruz has the upside of an above-average big leaguer if he can put it all together and barrel up the ball a bit more.

Roger (Washington DC): 

    Richmond had three players who I think didn't qualify for the EL list -- Logan Webb, Joey Bart, and Heliot Ramos. Did you get feedback on them from manages and evaluators in the EL? And where might they have placed had they qualified?


Justin Coleman: Yeah, those guys didn't qualify. Not sure where I would have put Webb. Bart and Ramos would have been towards the top of the list.

Elliot (Youngstown OH): 

    Aaron Civale didnt' last long in Akron and his stats have improved at each of the 3 levels he's pitched at this year. Is he capable of staying at the same level as his fellow 2016 draftee Shane Bieber?


Justin Coleman: Not sure if he is on the Shane Bieber level, but his stuff works in the rotation. It's another nice arm for them.

Jeremiah (Raleigh): 

    Love these lists. What did you learn that surprised you the most while putting it together?


Justin Coleman: Thanks Jeremiah, the crew here at BA does a great job with the reporting etc. I learn a lot each time I put together a list. Not only do you learn more about the players, but you see what value areas work for what profiles (i.e. what works best up the middle, what do evaluators really value in a corner outfielder etc.) In addition, I would say that sometimes I'm surprised at how contrasting opinions can be on players from different sources-- some may love a guy, another source may really dislike that player-- the trick is to analyze and synthesize the information as best as possible. This can be challenging but also rewarding and paints the best holistic view a player.

Elliot (Younstown OH): 

    James Karinchak wasn't here long but he strike out nearly every better he faced. Major league closer?


Justin Coleman: He was money in the EL but struggled with his control in the International League. Not ready to place a big league closer tag on him just yet, but his FB and CB combo work really well. Could be a really good pen arm for Cleveland.

Justin Coleman: Alright everyone, time to head out. Thanks for the questions, always a good time! -JC

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