2019 Gulf Coast League Top 20 Prospects Chat (10/11/19)
Ben Badler: Hey everyone! Thanks for joining me today, let's get started.
Aidan (New York):
- Can you rank the Yankees prospects on the list by ceiling? I figured Alcantara has the Aaron Judge starter kit
Ben Badler: Alcantara probably has the highest pure tools/athleticism/physical ability based upside. He has Judge's height, but it's more of a Dexter Fowler type body and center field profile. There's still a lot of crudeness there, but people around the league still saw the tools that jumped out right away.
Flex (San Diego):
- I traded Jackson Kowar for Orelvis Martinez in fantasy. How should I feel?
Ben Badler: Kowar's the safer bet, but I'd rather have Orelvis Martinez. I'm probably in the minority opinion on that one though.
- The Blue Jays 15th round pick, Michael Dominguez, had 29 strikeouts in 24 innings. Did he have enough innings to qualify? Also any kudos for Rafael Monsion and has WHIP under one?
Ben Badler: Dominguez qualified, but more of an intriguing late-round sleeper. Smaller frame, 5-10, sat 89-93 mph, touched 95, feel for a curveball, throws strikes and it seems to play up because of his deception.
- Does Orelvis Martinez start the season in Lansing? And what prospects are you most excited to see them make their full season debut?
Ben Badler: The Blue Jays don't know the answer to that one yet. They have a couple options between the Appy League and the Northwest League if they want to hold him back for a couple months in extended, like they did with Miguel Hiraldo this year, but there's a chance he's advanced enough for the Midwest League out of the gate.
- Pulaski Yankees OF next year Alcantara, Salinas and Dominguez?
Ben Badler: The Yankees have a ton of center fielders to figure out how to get playing time at the lower levels next year. I don't think they would do it that way, because I would think they would want to maximize the time each one of them spends in center field.
Ben Badler: I could see Alcantara repeating the GCL, because he'll still be 17 when the league starts next year. Dominguez will play in the States, TBD on where, but they do have two GCL teams to get everyone playing time.
- With two GCL teams, did the Tigers have anyone who came close to making the list - other than Greene, who didn't meet eligibility requirements?
Ben Badler: Kerry Carpenter was eligible but a tough one to get a read on because of the context—19th round pick out of college, 21 years old, playing in the GCL—but I think he raised his profile with the way he demolished the league. The Midwest League next year should be a better gauge of how real that is.
Ben Badler: Yoandy Roa is another Tigers name who drew some interest. Hit well, athletic, strong body type, more raw than the performance might suggest, but he's another guy to watch.
Ben Badler: *Rea, not Roa.
- Could you give us a read on what you saw out of Kendall Williams this year after he turned pro? Also, as a Jays fan, how excited should we be about Orelvis?
Ben Badler: Looked polished, relative to his age, in the brief time he pitched. It's not wow, in-your-face stuff the way you're getting with an Alek Manoah, but there's projection for 50+ type pitches across the arsenal.
Juan (Miami, FL):
- NO love for Luis Palacios? Also what do you Chris Mokma, Matt Givin?
Ben Badler: Palacios had great numbers, throws a lot of strikes, but does it with an upper-80s fastball and a good changeup that fools hitters at this level. Have to hope more velocity comes with him.
Dave (Grayson, ga):
- Anyone to watch out for among the Braves international players? Do you expect them to be active in the next signing period? Their media guide this year only listed a few international scouts.
Ben Badler: Pretty light there, for obvious reasons. They're going to get back to being active for prominent players again next year though.
- It was nice to see Raimfer Salinas show up on this list after sort of being the guy left behind after extended spring. Pereira went to SI, Cabello was in Pulaski, and even Madison Santos seemed to leap over him. Is Salinas moving up or down in his evaluations?
Ben Badler: About the same? He's always had good tools and athleticism at a premium position, with a split camp on his bat. Now that he was healthy this year, I think he continued to show that's still the case.
- What did you hear about Jake Zebron and Darrell Hernaiz of the GCL Orioles?
Ben Badler: Hernaiz got a little bit of attention. Solid year at the plate, young for his class, stood out defensively with soft hands and good actions/body control in the field.
- What's your overall view for both Antonio Gomez & Raimfer Salinas based on their development this past season. Defensively, I know offensively they are both still going in their body.
Ben Badler: Gomez was a difficult one to evaluate because he played so little due to health reasons, and most of that came at the end of the regular season. But all the tools are there for him to be an elite defensive catcher. He does some things behind the plate you only see from the high-end defensive catchers in the big leagues.
- Ben, thanks for the chat. Can you discuss the down year for talent in the GCL compared to the other short season leagues. Were more top signings kept in DSL this year?
Ben Badler: I think it's more randomness than anything. The AZL list this year is absolutely loaded. Players on the 11-20 on the AZL ranking and even players who just missed the AZL top 20 could have been top 10 types in the GCL this year. The Mets pushed Francisco Alvarez straight to the Appy League, then we had a bunch of 2019 draft picks just narrowly miss playing time cutoffs for the league this year, plus a lot of the premium high school draft picks went to teams with AZL affiliates this year. Could just as easily be the opposite next year, but I've been doing our GCL list for a while now, and this was as light of a year as I can remember since they moved up the signing deadline.
Dave (Grayson, ga):
- Did any of the high schoolers the Braves signed this year (besides Harris) impress?
Ben Badler: Harris was the main one, but Vaughn Grissom got a little attention as well.
- Were there any Phillies prospects besides Nava that were close to making the list?
Ben Badler: Edgar Made, Rixon Wingrove, Wilfredo Flores, Curtis Mead and Guarner Dipre were the other names that popped up a little bit from that club as players people liked to varying degrees. But Nava was the main man on that club.
Ben Badler: I appreciate the all the questions, thank you guys for chatting with me today and for being a part of Baseball America. Hope you have a great weekend.