Image credit: Jarred Kelenic (Photo by Tony Farlow)
Ben Badler: Hey everyone. Thanks for joining, let’s get started.
Old Timer (Raleigh):
- Thoughts on Julio Rodriguez’s amazing start at High A Modesto as an 18 year old?
Ben Badler: I love it. He has top 10 overall prospect in baseball potential within the next couple years.
Ben Badler: Everything you want to see in a future middle of the order masher.
Ryan (Clinton, MA):
- Saw you were at the Red Sox DSL complex. Which player or two has the most buzz down there? Anything on their Tricky League team?
Ben Badler: Luis Perales, RHP out of Venezuela
Frank (St. Louis):
- Do you have any comps for Dylan Carlson?
Ben Badler: A switch-hitting Michael Conforto.
Ben Badler: Good eye, polished hitter, similar sweet swing from the left side.
- Any early reports on how Ismael Mena has looked in the tricky league?
Ben Badler: He’s looked good. Athletic center fielder, runs well, not a big power threat but puts the ball in play.
- Its just a 6+ week stretch but its hard to ignore Luis Medina’s tools- does this stretch/tool kit elevate him into the top 10 (or even 5) of Yankees prospects in postseason lists?
Ben Badler: He’s one of the more difficult prospects to pin down, because the gap between his pure stuff and his performance (until recently) might be the biggest in baseball.
Ben Badler: There are still a ton of red flags there, but it’s good to at least see some signs of progress with him.
- Orelvis Martinez has been on a ridiculous tear, and is one of the best hitters in the GCL at 17. Think he could open up in full season ball next year?
Ben Badler: Unless he’s hurt in the spring, I’d be surprised if he’s not in Low-A to open 2020.
- Who are some FYPs (J2 included) that you could see rocket up the top 100 next season?
Ben Badler: D-backs OF Corbin Carroll. I don’t know if Mariners SS Noelvi Marte counts as a first-year player based on the definition, but I’d put him in that group too.
- Can players play in the Tricky League if they aren’t under contract?
Ben Badler: Yes. A lot of teams supplement their rosters with “tryout players” who are either eligible guys or in some cases 2020 players.
Ben Badler: Pitching especially is a lot of tryout players, since teams keep tight workload restrictions on the pitchers they just signed and sometimes just have them shut it down entirely for the summer.
- How would rate the Orioles international class
Ben Badler: I think they tried to make the most of a difficult situation, since when their new regime came in, most of the top 2019 players had already committed elsewhere. Luis Ortiz is a good lefty out of the DR though, and they still have money left, so there’s room for them to maneuver if a Cuban player jumps out later in the process.
Ben Badler: But 2020 and really more 2021 are the big years when things can start turning around for them in a bigger way in Latin America.
John Paul Jones (Maryland):
- How worried are you about the careers of constantly injured pitchers Triston McKenzie and Alex Reyes. Do they still have top of the rotation upside?
Ben Badler: Very. I don’t know that it changes the upside as much as it decreases the probability of them getting there. I think Reyes in particular would probably be better suited for short stints out of the bullpen.
- I know there have always been unexpected superstars (David Ortiz comes to mind), but I feel like it’s become less and less predictable, with older players seizing jobs and becoming all stars, when they might have been viewed as clear tweeners or written off as too old for AAA a few years ago. Is this just my perception, or have you noticed changes in scouting/development too?
Ben Badler: I think this has always happened, and I don’t know there’s any evidence it happens more now than in previous years. I do think those cases may get more attention now, for different reasons.
- No idea if you saw him in DR, but is Jasson Dominguez playing in the tricky league and if so, has he looked as advertised?
Ben Badler: Yankees didn’t participate in Tricky League, but he should be there for instructs.
- Gilberto Jimenez was perhaps a bit under-the-radar when he signed but is tearing up the Penn League at 19…is there an everyday OF upside there?
Ben Badler: Yeah, and it’s scary because he’s such an explosive athlete with big, big tools, and given how limited his baseball experience was before signing, I’m amazed how well he’s performed this year while skipping a level. Everything seems to be getting better in a hurry with him.
Nate (Parts Unknown):
- Seems like injuries have held down Jordan Groshans prospect status. If he’s healthy next year, what kind of ceiling does he have in the rankings?
Ben Badler: If he just stays on the field, I think we’re talking about a top 25 overall prospect in the minors at this time next year.
Owen (Lancaster, MA):
- Is Dalbec a better prospect than Chavis?
Ben Badler: Chavis. I like some of the adjustments Dalbec has made this year, still not sold on him being an everyday guy.
Nate (Chula Vista):
- What is the story on San Diego’s new July 2 shortstop Reginald Preciado from Panama?
Ben Badler: I liked what I saw from him in the DR this month. He’s 6-4, still really skinny, looks a little awkward and gangly at times, but he’s a really smart player with a knack for being on time at the plate and a good performance record as an amateur. With his body type, once he gets stronger, he could take off.
Peter (Rhode Island):
- Of these AAA-mashers but potential tweeners, who are you most optimistic about: DJ Peters, Jared Walsh, Lewin Diaz, Sheldon Neuse? I know LAA really likes Walsh, but he’s also currently blocked. Thanks for your time.
Ben Badler: Lewin Diaz
Ben Badler: I’ve got to head out, thanks for all the questions today.