Baseball America Hot Sheet Chat Transcript (4/19/2022)

Image credit: Jordan Lawlar (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Geoff Pontes answered questions regarding the first Hot Sheet of the 2022 minor league season.

Tim (SLC):

     Any consideration for Max Muncy or Denzel Clarke for the prospect hot sheet? Any general buzz around those guys?

Geoff Pontes: Absolutely considered both, Clarke in particular is a name I heard a lot of buzz about post draft. Muncy leading up to the draft had substantial helium. Both good athletes which is typical of Oakland. No pun intended, I leave the puns to Josh.

JC (Philadelphia):

     Hey Geoff, Results for the slew of Cubs prospects down at Myrtle Beach have been very poor at the early going. Preciado 20ks in 30 ABs…ouch. Anything to report on the cast?

Geoff Pontes: It’s early and I think we all knew this was a talented but unrefined group. Cubs are one of the systems that could really go completely opposite directions depending upon how their lower level players perform. That’s said, it’s early.

Dusty (You know):

     Thoughts on Wander Javier and what’s his upside ?

Geoff Pontes: Sup Dusty!

Neal (Johnny Cashville):

     I was hoping to see Triston Casas on the Hot Sheet. Do you expect him to debut soon, and do you think his struggles vs. LHP will lead him to a strong-side platoon role in Boston?

Geoff Pontes: The Casas debut I’ve gone back and forth on. If the right injury or set of circumstances happens, he’s very likely to be promoted. They have to make a 40 man decision this winter so there’s really not much holding them back from adding him if needed. He’s a big, long-limbed lefty bat, I think those struggles are expected, but I’d maybe anticipate some sits early against tough lefties. Long term, he’s an everyday guy.

Eric (Brooklyn):

     How would you rank/compare Harrison with Maddux Bruns and DL Hall?

Geoff Pontes: It’s Harrison, Hall, a gap and then Bruns. The latter looked great in his season debut but there’s still some kinks to work out as we saw the other night. Hall there’s just significant health questions even if it’s the best stuff on the planet. Harrison’s low release and movement give him the opportunity to be one of the world’s best eventually.

Jermaine (Fayetteville, N.C.):

     Some people are saying Jordan Lawlar is like the J. Cole of hitting. Two questions: would you not agree that Cole is the GOAT and how would you line up the 2021 top shortstops (Mayer, Lawlar, House, Watson) at this point?

Geoff Pontes: Is J Cole even top 50? Lol For me it’s probably Lawlar, Watson, Mayer, and House but I could swap Watson and Mayer.

Corey (Seattle):

     How quickly are you willing to change a HIT grade with someone like Emmanuel Rodriguez? He holds a 45 after a good showing with a lot of strikeouts (36.6%) in 153 PA’s in the FCL. Now in 37 PA’s he’s sporting 16.2% K%, 8.5% SwStr%, and 1.448 OPS. Do the 37 2022 PA’s tell us more than the 153 2021 PA’s?

Geoff Pontes: The reports from evaluators have been that he looks like a “different guy”. I’d like to see these changes hold and yield results for a long period of time. It’s a great development for him.

Derek (SD):

     Now that we have seen two pretty dominant starts from Daniel Espino how have expectations changed? Passant said scouts described watching him as a “religious experience” which is interesting considering he often doesn’t talk about prospects. Seems like the next great arm and is about 1-2 years closer than eury perez

Geoff Pontes: I mean, we knew his fastball and slider combination were this good. I wasn’t at that start, I hope to see Espino soon. I’m not sure he’s separated himself that much from others but it’s been great so far. Expectations change on pitching prospects all the time.

GSteve27 (Long Island):

     What do you think the dodgers do with Clayton Beeter. I traded brash and bobbly miller which in hindsight was a mistake for Eury Perez. Looking to recoup my pitching prospects. Have only Eury and drew Jameson. I know u spoke of beeter as a closer last year over at your old stomping ground but it looks like the dodgers are having him pitch 3 innings which leads me to believe starter. Thanks for all the insight.

Geoff Pontes: I still don’t know what they’ll do! Haha, he’s always seemed more like a relief arm to me but that’s could change. Not a bad add though I’m sure. Give Calvin Ziegler from the Mets a look.

Evan (NYC):

     Jared Shuster has been impressive. Has he made any changes that will stick and when can we realistically see him helping the big league club?

Geoff Pontes: I’d have to dig in more, but based on the numbers it looks like he’s getting more hop, and more dynamic drop on his changeup. The velocity separation is important but so is the vertical break separation between fastball and changeup (talked about this in my best changeups outside the Top 100 article). I’d like to see Shuster’s FB velocity back up to what it was Pre-Shutdown at Wake. The velocity was up a few ticks.

Brock Anderson (United States):

     Thoughts on Shenton and Mead?

Geoff Pontes: Two good acquisitions for the Rays, Shenton is an all-time Cape player for me was an absolute stud with Wareham. Has a great back story too, check out the Miami Herald (I think that was the paper) on him. Just a top notch human. Oh, and he can hit! Good power, and has converted as a pro to more of a power hitter than a contact first guy. Mead is a stud, one of the better combinations of contact and power in the minors. I think he’s a future middle of the order bat if it all breaks right. Both are likely first baseman long term.

GP Burdell (ATL):

     Is this going to be the year Hunter Brown takes a step forward with his command and cements himself as a legitimate starting pitcher?

Geoff Pontes: I hope so! The Astros have definitely focused on trying to tighten it up a little because the stuff is so good.

Reggie (Boise):

     Who is Sean Roby (3B, SF)? Six home runs in 28 ABs and a 1.000 slugging percentage. I don’t see much on him. Any consideration for the Hot Sheet?

Geoff Pontes: A former Juco bandit taken in the 12th round of the 2018 draft. He’s always hit in pro-ball as his career .821 OPS shows. He’s still age appropriate for Double-A in the post-COVID minors. The big issue is the swing and miss. There is A LOT.

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