Hot Sheet Chat (6/13/23)

Image credit: Michael Busch (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

J.J. Cooper hosted a chat to discuss today’s Hot Sheet. You can read the transcript below.

James (Georgia):

     Although not a great defender, Jonathan Aranda has nothing left to prove offensively in the Minors and primarily plays 2B. Meanwhile, in 202 career AB Vidal Brujan has a .434 OPS and a career -1.4 WAR. Is it simply that Aranda’s glove holds him back from being on the Big League roster? I’d imagine he could start on the infield or at DH for at least a third of the League and perhaps more. Do the Rays have any plans for Aranda?

J.J. Cooper: Hey everyone. Jumping in a little early to make sure I get you all a full hour of chatting. I don’t see how Aranda fits on the current Rays roster without injuries. Brujan is able to play 6 positions (2B-3B-SS and all 3 OF positions) and pinch run. Aranda is definitely a better hitter, but he’s a below-average 2B-3B. In 6 of Brujan’s 15 games with the Rays this year, he’s been a late-inning defensive replacement or pinch runner. Aranda isn’t going to supplant any of the Rays infield regulars right now or Taylor Walls, a semi-regular who’s a great glove at multiple positions. Because of all that and the impending arrival of Kyle Manzardo at 1B as well as Curtis Mead being another AAA 2B-3B-1B, I think Arnada may be best off as a part of a trade where he goes somewhere else with less of an infield logjam. He can really hit.


     Hi JJ, thanks for the shoutouts and the chat. I am certainly keeping some interesting company. My question is, has there been less swinging at pitches out of the zone in the past few weeks to go with my lower strikeout and greater walk rates?

J.J. Cooper: Let’s look at the data. Full season: Chase rate: 46%. Miss rate: 30% Since June 6: Chase Rate: 32%. Miss rate: 27% Since May 30: Chase rate: 40%. Miss rate: 30% Since May 23: Chase rate: 42%. Miss rate: 31% So yes, there has been a recent improvement, especially during last week’s series.

Ray P (Colchester, VT):

     Sheehan may have been called up to AAA. Do you think him and or Misiorowski can be #1 SP in MLB?

J.J. Cooper: Could be? Yes. But Sheehan’s going to have a tougher road because while he is climbing quickly on our prospect rankings, he may graduate too quickly to ascend to No. 1. As a pitcher with significantly more to work on and more reliever risk, I think Misiorowski actually has a better chance to be the No. 1 SP prospect in baseball mainly because he’ll probably be a prospect for another 18 months if he’s going to remain a SP. But I also think he’s less likely to be a starter than Sheehan.

Tatum (Clearwater):

     When does Caddanne Rafeala get the call to AAA? 400+ AB in AA – seems appropriate to move up. What kind of impact can he make in Boston?

J.J. Cooper: You’d love to see a little more improvement in the chase rate and selectivity than we’ve seen so far this year. We were just talking about Encarnacion-Strand’s chase rate. Rafaela is sitting at a 42% chase rate this year. That’s actually worse than his 39% chase rate in AA last year. Since that’s kind of his big to-do item, I don’t see a giant argument for promoting him to AAA right now. He needs to improve that aspect of his game if he’s going to be an all-around star. Without it, his defense will still be good enough to make him a useful big leaguer.

Dave (Appleton, WI):

     Is this one of the most talented College World Series in history? I think that there might be at least 12 first round picks playing in Omaha this week which seems incredible.

J.J. Cooper: The combination of the covid year/shortened draft combined with the transfer rules that have created super-teams does seem to make this a truly loaded CWS field. One tidbit with that. I want to credit Jim Callis for noting this first, but do you remember where Jacob Misiorowski was committed to go play for before he was drafted by the Brewers? LSU. Can you imagine Skenes as the Game 1 starter and Misiorowski for Game 2?

Dave (Appleton, WI):

     Baseball America had Masataka Yoshida in the Top 100 to begin the year. The other two publications that make up the rankings for Rookie of the year don’t consider him as a prospect. Is that a loophole that needs to be fixed because Boston would get no additional draft pick if he ends up winning ROY?

J.J. Cooper: No. Because even if everyone else did rank him, he still would not have been eligible for a pick. Yoshida is classified as a “foreign professional” which makes the team signing him ineligible to receive any awards in the Prospect Promotion Incentive program if he wins any awards. Shohei Ohtani came to the US without meeting the “foreign professional” standards for service time/age. That means he would be eligible for the PPI program if a similar type player was signing right now. Basically any foreign player who signs as an MLB free agent without being subject to international bonus pools is not eligible for PPI.

Ray P (Colchester, VT):

     Matos has been rolling, limited HR ceiling of 20? Do you think he has enough hit tool to carry a corner position?

J.J. Cooper: Yes. I do think he does, and I think especially in San Francisco, where the Giants generally have at least one corner outfielder who doesn’t hit 20 home runs.

Rob (Stockton, California):

     Assuming Kristian Robinson missed all the midseason updates, where might you place him in the hot 100 and the Zona top 30?

J.J. Cooper: He is eligible. He didn’t miss anything. He’ll be on our updated D-backs Top 30, but he’s nowhere near the Top 100 right now. Robinson had barely played in full season ball when he was placed on the restricted list. Now he’s trying to get back into action four seasons later, and he’s still just getting settled into full season ball, but now as a 22-year-old rather than as a teenager.

John (San Diego):

     Hi JJ thanks for doing the chat! I was hoping to get your thoughts on Deyvison De Los Santos’s slow start. Is he just overmatched by being young in AA? Or is there more to the story than just his surface numbers? Thanks!

J.J. Cooper: He still hits the ball hard, so that remains encouraging, and I guess you could say that isn’t showing up much in the surface numbers. Rigthhanders are really eating him up and he’s been especially bad away from Amarillo (which is a great hitters park). Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of great news for you. He’s scuffling pretty significantly.


     Interesting to see Roman Anthony promoted to High-A. I understand the helium around him, but still no surface level results have sprung. I’ve read his approach borders on too passive, is the promotion a little premature?

J.J. Cooper: It’s hard to say it’s premature, as I can’t tell you there’s any aspect of High-A pitching that will simply be too tough for him to handle. If anything it may help him, as his patient approach means in Low-A he’s racking up a ton of walks against pitchers who struggle to throw strikes. They’ll be around the zone more in High-A. The underlying metrics are really good here, but it’s also easy to get sucked in by a guy who walks in Low-A when as I had a scout put it to me, you could probably walk 20% of the time in Low-A by not taking a bat to the plate. The pitching has that much of a problem throwing strikes.

Sean (Oakland):

     Carson Whisenhunt has been dominant across three levels already this year, what’s he need to show to join the top-100?

J.J. Cooper: He’s not far away from cracking it.

Jackson (Los Angeles):

     Does Justin Foscue have a path through the majors with the Rangers? Or do you see a trade on the horizon with him?

J.J. Cooper: There’s a fun debate to be had about which is the toughest team for a MiLB INF (not a 1B) to crack into the lineup with. Your candidates. 1. Texas: Seager-Semien on massive long-term deals. Jung now is an established young big leaguer and you have Duran/Smith who have already reached the majors as well. 2. Baltimore: Mateo-Henderson-Urias/Frazier for now, with Ortiz, Westburg, Norby, Greinier, Mayo all not far away and Holliday speeding through the minors. 3. Tampa Bay: Franco-Paredes-Lowe-Walls-Diaz-Brujan all in the majors and Arnanda-Basabe-Mead in AAA and Caminero in AA. 4. Cincinnati: Elly-McLain-India-Steer in the majors with CES (who can play 3B) Arroyo and Marte in the minors plus Jorge-Cabrera-Balcazar further away/ That’s a long-winded way of saying I could see Foscue ending up as a trade chip.

Satchel (Las Vegas):

     Interesting read on Beeter on the Hot Sheet, where do you see him in the Yankee organization with the volume of arms, young and veteran, and all the injuries past and present (Rodon, Montas, Severino, etc…). Thanks JJ

J.J. Cooper: When you say injuries, you’re mainly talking about veterans who have long had injury issues. You can fault the Yankees for targeting Montas instead of Castillo last year, but it’s not like Montas had a clean bill of health before that trade and then got hurt when he was a Yankee–he’s had injury issues for years. As far as where does he line up: The great news is we re-ranked the entire Yankees Top 30 this week. So this answers your question:

Satchel (Las Vegas):

     JJ, hard to get intel on Tiedemann, what are you hearing about a return and the concern around the injury?

J.J. Cooper: Our Geoff Pontes covered that in the Blue Jays Top 30 update here:

Noelvi Arroyo (PNW):

     Ok, so, its really both of us, Marte and Arroyo, asking this question. Seems like we have to do everything we can to stand out with all these other middle IF’s around these parts. What’s the chance the both of us are starting at 3B and SS in GABP in, say, three years? The big team has some show offs up there these days — are we gonna push them (EDLC and McClain) off to other positions? Or will there be musical chairs between the four of us?

J.J. Cooper: This ties into what I just wrote about a couple of questions before. Arroyo is the best defender of the group, but it’s going to be hard to push those guys out. Marte’s bat may be able to handle a corner outfield role as well. But this is a good Reds problem, as they are loaded in infielders with another way in Low-A and rookie ball.

Brian (Denver):

     I saw Miami’s Jake Eder started pitching after a prolonged absence. What are you hearing about his stuff and what do you think his ceiling is now that he is back?

J.J. Cooper: It’s great to see him back on the mound. Stuff-wise, he seems to have been fine so far. Not overwhelming stuff but also not a “oh no where did his stuff go during TJ” situation either. Low-90s, 80 mph SL and a low-80s changeup. Not a dramatic difference from pre-injury. The key for him is to start rolling on getting comfortable again in a regular rotation and hopefully get back to AA before long.

J.J. Cooper: Sorry everyone. A crazy busy rest of the day awaits. Thanks for all the questions and thank you for subscribing to Baseball America.

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