Hot Sheet Chat (6/28/2022)

Image credit: Grant McCray (Shelly Valenzuela/San Jose Giants)

Kyle Glaser chatted regarding today’s Hot Sheet from 1-3 p.m. ET. You can read the transcript below.

Kyle Glaser: Hey everyone, thanks for coming out to the chat this week. I’m back from vacation and feeling refreshed and ready to go. Let’s get started.

Elliot (Youngstown OH):

     After making a repeat appearance on the Hot List, I would expect Logan Allen to make it to Columbus soon…. Guardians might be ready for an infusion of starting pitching at the big league level and with some at AAA perhaps Allen can be an answer?

Kyle Glaser: Allen is certainly showing he’s ready and worthy of a promotion. If he successfully makes the leap to Triple-A, I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be considered for a callup if the need arises.

Elliot (Youngstown OH):

     Jhonkensy Noel’s home runs alone haven’t made him a Hot prospect but did — to my surprise — earn him a promotion at age 20 to AA. He has been playing RF after previous work at 1st and 3rd. Does he realistically have more than the one power tool? Are you surprised Cleveland is moving him so quickly?

Kyle Glaser: Power really is Noel’s one and only major tool. He’s playing multiple spots in the minors but he projects to be a 1B-only in the majors who mashes against lefties in a platoon role, and that’s only if he makes enormous strides in his breaking ball recognition and contact skills. As for him being moved up, after spending time at High-A both last year and this year, it’s understandable that Cleveland would want to give him a new challenge. High-A to Double-A is the biggest jump in the minors, so we’ll see how he handles it.

Elliot (Youngstown OH):

     While I just asked why Noel is moving so quickly up the Guardians’ system, I’ll ask the reverse here and Why are they delaying the promotion of George Valera to AAA? He seems to be doing everything right and despite the discovery of some OF talent, at last, Cleveland can still use him at the big league level sooner than later.

Kyle Glaser: Valera is doing well, but this is why it’s important not to scout the stat line. He’s still learning to how to put together a consistent gameplan against the pitcher he’s facing each night and working on some behind the scenes preparation things. It’s better for him to work through and master those things at Double-A before pushing him to Triple-A, where experienced pitchers who can execute their pitches and hit their spots will make you look foolish if you don’t have an effective gameplan against them and stick to it.

Fred (Illinois):

     What’s your take on Evan Carter’s in-game power projection? Do you see it being average or above and, if so, is that more likely to show up after a few years in the majors?

Kyle Glaser: Carter is projectable, patient, swings at the right pitches and has a good feel for contact. Those are really good signs of a guy who will grow into power, and he’s already hitting for more juice this year. Average power is certainly in the cards, but just remember we’re still talking about a teenager at the Class A levels and a lot will depend on how he develops physically, which can go a bunch a different ways. Josh Norris, who covers the Rangers for us, notes the club has been getting him to eat more to gain and hold weight over the course of the season better, so things are going in the right direction so far. He just has to maintain that.

Brad (NJ):

     Kyle, in June Shane Drohan has a line of 2.28 ERA 23.2IP 37K and most encouraging a 1.01 WHIP. Has he made sustainable improvements in command/control and has this made any change to your opinion about his future?

Kyle Glaser: The improvements to Drohan’s control have certainly made it more likely he becomes a big leaguer. He’s mostly dominating with his changeup, and lefties who throw strikes and have good changeups have an avenue to the majors. His stuff is still average-ish overall – his fastball is sitting at 90 mph – but if he can keep up his control gains to go with two secondary pitches that work, he might get there.

Scott (FL):

     What’s the biggest weakness to keep an eye on that may limit the potential of Gunnar Henderson?

Kyle Glaser: There isn’t really one, big glaring weakness. That’s part of what makes Henderson such a promising prospect. He’s young, he’s physical, he can play shortstop, he hits for both average and power…he’s just a really, really good young player.

Steve (Michigan):

     Xavier Edwards did not quite have as great of a week as most guys on this list, so I understand the omission. He has been back from injury for a month and has shown considerably more power than ever before in his career. Different approach? Better hitter’s environment? Do you see him making his way back on to the Top 100 List, even if he is blocked by an army of infielders?

Kyle Glaser: Xavier Edwards can hit. He’s always hit. He was a career .320 hitter in the minors before the season and has always had the approach and contact skills to hit like this. What he’s doing should not surprise anybody. This is always who he’s been and what he’s capable of. A 70 hitter with 20 power who plays second base is a good player, and I personally believe that’s one of the Top 100 prospects in baseball.

Jeff (Idaho):

     Thanks for the chat! Oscar Colas’s power numbers seem fairly modest for a 23 year old in High A. Does he project to have average to above average pop?

Kyle Glaser: Colas is slugging .500 in his first pro season. That’s hardly modest. He has plus raw power and is showing he can get to it. Expecting him to settle into average to above-average power is reasonable. There’s really not any concerns about his bat. The area of concern is he’s only a 40-45 runner who gets by on playing CF with his instincts in the minors, but it’ll be a tough sell for him to play CF everyday in the majors with that speed.

Ben (Indiana):

     What are some of the comps you see for Jackson Chourio? His early run at his age puts him in elite Trout, Soto type company. Do you see that level of talent?

Kyle Glaser: Chourio is a really, really talented player. One thing that I implore everyone to keep in mind though, and this goes for every player in Low-A, is the caliber of the pitching at that level is way, way, way worse than it was when Trout, Buxton, Soto, Vlad Jr., etc. were coming up. The reorganization of the minors has led to a lot of pitchers who normally would have been in short-season leagues getting pushed to full-season ball before they’re ready, and it’s been really, really bad. Low-A defenses are also significantly worse than they were in years past for the same reason, so a lot more balls are going for hits than they were at Low-A in previous years. This is something very visible to just the naked eye and something scouts and executives are talking about a lot. Chourio is really talented, but the Low-A competition he’s feasting on is significantly worse than the Low-A competition previous young standouts feasted on, to the point it’s better not to even compare them.

Larry (Long Island):

     If Ricky Tiedeman continues the way he’s pitching will he enter the conversation of top lefty prospect?

Kyle Glaser: With the way Tiedemann is throwing, I think it’d be foolish to say he couldn’t eventually enter that conversation. He’s been electric and the projection everyone thought would come has come much sooner than expected.

Colin (Edmonton):

     Samad Taylor has tons of speed but hasn’t been getting any time in Cf are his outfield instincts just not good enough to cover CF? Seems like he would have a much better shot to make and stick in the majors if he could handle CF as well as the corners and 2nd base.

Kyle Glaser: When you watch Taylor play, he doesn’t really move like a center fielder or have the actions of a center fielder. He really is just a straight 2B/LF type. Which again, if he can get on base, steal bases, hit for some power and bounce between those two spots, he’ll find a home on a bench somewhere.

Sam (Connecticut):

     Thanks a lot Kyle. I saw Coby Mayo got promoted to AA even through he seemed to be struggling of late. Can you make sense of it? Also – is he one to carve out a spot in the Top 100 anytime soon?

Kyle Glaser: Mayo changed his stance and swing from a year ago and it hasn’t been good. He’s gone to a spread out stance with no stride and he’s been really late on everything. His timing is badly off and he’s not seeing the ball well, to the point it’s extremely visible to observers. He needs to get back to what he was doing before, because the changes he made have sent him backwards. He’s not really in the Top 100 conversation at this point.

Teddy H (East of the Rockies):

     Is it too much of a knee-jerk reaction to conclude Jose Salas is the best of a very talented Jupiter lineup? Would the Marlins move him to A+ this year or at 19 is he best suited to finishing the season in Jupiter? Is his ceiling a middle of-the-order reasonable defender somewhere on the left of the infield?

Kyle Glaser: Not too much of a knee-jerk reaction at all. Salas is pretty clearly the best position player on that team – yes, ahead of Kahlil Watson. He has a chance to be an above-average everyday shortstop who hits for average and power. He’s really good. A promotion at some point this year is certainly a possibility. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in Beloit at some point.

Jay (Macon, GA):

     Could you please compare Carson Williams vs Colson Montgomery?

Kyle Glaser: Carson Williams is a better defender with more power. Colson Montgomery has the more projectable body and is a much better hitter with less holes. Mongtomery is the better of the two for me.

Jim Paciorek (East of the Rockies):

     This question probably gets asked and answered every year: Is is much more difficult to evaluate and develop players within the extreme hitter friendly confines of the some of the PCL and Texas League parks? It seems this would change typical game outcomes? Arizona and Oakland AA/AAA come to mind.

Kyle Glaser: This is where it becomes really important to have really good coaches, so that hitters don’t fall into bad habits and get results in those environments and then carry those bad habits over to the majors. There are plenty of guys who raked in places like Reno and Salt Lake in the PCL who went on to continue raking in the big leagues – Mitch Haniger and Jared Walsh are two recent players that come to mind – so it really just comes down to making sure you have the coaches in place to ensure hitters are doing things the right way that will carry over.

Cristian Hernandez (CHC – someday!):

     What are your early impressions on my rookie ball games?

Kyle Glaser: The strikeouts are higher than you’d like, which is something that is carrying over from extended spring, but at the same time we’re talking about 14 games of Rookie ball in an 18-year-old’s first season stateside. I really wouldn’t try to draw any major conclusions yet.

Bill (San Diego):

     Evan Carter getting back on track it seems. Top 30 prospect next year? or higher/lower?

Kyle Glaser: That’s a little rich for me, but I can see Top 50. He’s a good player.

Oddibe M (East of the Rockies):

     Cole Winn has struggled mightily for May and June. More walks than strikeouts and an unsightly ERA. How concerning is it in his development? Is it possible that 2021 was the outlier in his control metrics and that he is a pitcher that will carry command/control issues with him to an eventual bullpen ceiling?

Kyle Glaser: So, the story here is Winn took a comebacker off his ankle earlier this season, wasn’t able to really put weight on it and got into some bad mechanical habits trying to overcompensate. His delivery is overly rotational right now and his command has suffered as a result. When he’s right, he’s a polished pitcher who fills up the strike zone and hits his spots, but he’s not right at the moment. Sitting him down and focusing on getting his delivery right is probably the best thing for him right now, and I don’t know why the Rangers haven’t done that.

Dangerous Dale Sveum (East of the Rockies):

     What to make of Xavier Edwards? He’s up to .350 in Durham. Can his hit tool translate to success in the majors? Is he athletic enough to be a super-utility player (without power)? He looks like an old-school #2 hole hitter.

Kyle Glaser: Edwards doesn’t have the arm for the left side of the infield, so that limits how much of a true super-utility he can be. To be honest, he should just be an everyday second baseman. He’d be more than fine in that role.

Buff (Colorado):

     Has de los Santos done enough to move himself up into the prospect status of, say, James Wood and Kevin Alcantara?

Kyle Glaser: Wood and Alcantara are significantly more athletic than de Los Santos, which is a separator, especially when you’re talking about players this young. Having seen all three, Wood is the clear-cut best of them all. I think there is an argument for de Los Santos over Alcantara because of his edges in his swing decisions and pitch recognition, but Alcantara has a lot less concerns about how his body will age. They’re all good players though, and you’d like to have all three.

Matthew (Colorado):

     Is Case Williams a legit pitching prospect for the Rockies? Outside of a few outings, he’s pitched fairly well this year.

Kyle Glaser: Williams is. He’s not a frontline stud type, but he’s a legit prospect who is absolutely one of their top 30 guys.

DB (San Francisco):

     Welcome back, Kyle! I hope your vacation was restful! I was just curious about the complex leagues and if any names are jumping to the top? I know it’s pretty early. Thanks!

Kyle Glaser: Thanks DB. Appreciate it. We’re still so early in the complex league season I hesitate to raise the flag anyone quite yet. Anyone can have a great week – or in the case of pitchers, a great outing or two – and it turns out to be a fluke, so I’m going to hold off for now. Especially when you consider the draft hasn’t happened and a lot of the guys who will be the best players in those leagues haven’t even been picked yet.

Brian C (Cleveland):

     I elected to keep Austin Martin on my roster in a dynasty league instead of picking up Jackson Chourio earlier in the season. Do I have a shot of redemption?

Kyle Glaser: Odds are you’re going to have to take the L on that one.

Oliver (Boston):

     Thanks for another spicy hot chat. Tampa Bay has yet another towering hurler piling up strikeouts in 6’8″ Austin Vernon. He’s seemingly being groomed like a follower with 53.2 IP over 14 appearances, just two 5 IP games and no starts. The walks have been plentiful but he’s managed to suppress hits to less than half his inning total and a .140 BA against. Do you think he has the stuff and do you expect the Rays to groom his as a more conventional starter in time?

Kyle Glaser: Vernon has been really good. He’s also a 23-year-old college draftee in Low-A. We need to hold off and see how his stuff plays against more age-appropriate hitters in High-A before we make any judgments here.

Sam (NYC):

     Hi Kyle – Thanks for the chat – Vaughn Grissom is having a very good year so far – I would imagine a callup to AA should happen shortly, no? Also, is he being considered for the next Top 100 update? Thanks –

Kyle Glaser: Grissom is having a nice year but he’s not really in the Top 100 conversation. He has some feel for the barrel, but he mostly beats up on bad stuff and his defense is pretty rough. He’s going to be more of a “prove it” guy at Double-A before people fully buy in.

Lloyd (Lakewood):

     How soon do the Cards call up Burleson, and does he get PT?

Kyle Glaser: To be honest I’m a little surprised they didn’t when Bader just went on the IL, but I understand them calling up Capel because they needed someone who could play center behind Carlson with Dylan moving over. They have options for the corners right now with Donovan, Nootbar, Yepez and we’ll see when O’Neill comes back, so it’s a crowded situation. At the same time, Burleson is doing everything he can to show he deserves a shot, and I think if another injury hits, he’ll get it.

Ryan (My basement):

     The Dbacks have been criticized in other places for their inability to develop pitching. Do you agree with this assessment? And do you see any changes that have been made since Brent Strom was hired?

Kyle Glaser: Well, considering the D-backs haven’t developed an effective homegrown starter since Chase Anderson – who was drafted in 2009 – they objectively have struggled to develop starting pitching. Even if you give them credit for guys like Patrick Corbin or Zack Godley who they acquired as prospects, that’s still 7-10 years ago. Things have certainly been better in the major leagues this year under Strom – it’s good to see Bumgarner and Gallen get back on track – but in terms of developing starting pitching in the minors, that’s going to come a lot more from the minor league coaching staffs and pitching coordinators. Ryne Nelson, Drey Jameson, Brandon Pfaadt, Blake Walston and others all have a lot of promise, but ultimately what they do in the majors is what will determine whether any changes the D-backs have made were effective.

Orelvis Martinez (New Hampshire):

     How would you rank the 2018 top international signings of Martine, Luciano and Marte? And can any of them stick at SS long term ?

Kyle Glaser: The way they’re ranked in the Top 100 is how they rank. Luciano is a maybe, Marte is a no with how his body has gone this year and Martinez has always been a future 3B.

Carl (Dallas):

     Ryne Nelson is interesting. It seems like when his FB averages 94 or higher in a start, he dominates. But when his FB averages below that, he gets his hard. Do you know why his velocity has fluctuated? And can he stick as a starter?

Kyle Glaser: Nelson can start, but he’s going to have to find a way to be more consistent. I’ve seen him 94-97, I’ve also seen him 91-93 and barely touching 94. Some of it is mechanical, some of it is mental. I’ll be curious to see what adjustments he makes here in the second half of the season.

Mike (Knoxville, TN):

     Matt Mervis has been playing great ball all year. Where would he rank in the top 30 for the Cubs if you did a full re-rank right now?

Kyle Glaser: You’ll find out later this month.

Owen Caissie (Future Top 100?):

     I haven’t made it onto the weekly hot sheet, but I’ve completely turned my season around in May and June. I was overly aggressively assigned to HiA to start the year and was overwhelmed throughout the first month of the year. However, I showed maturity beyond my years to be able to fight through adversity and make the necessary adjustments to thrive since the start of May slashing around .300/.400/.500. Am I still under the radar or do you see me knocking on the top 100 prospect door before the year of the end of the year?

Kyle Glaser: Caissie is still on the radar. He’s firmly in the Cubs Top 10 prospects still, as he was coming into the year. He was never really under the radar. As for Top 100, there is still a way to go for that.

Carson Williams (Re-ranking the 2021 HS SS):

     I made a few hot sheets back in April but cooled down in May and June. Even though I’ve cooled, I’m still on pace for a 20+ double/15 triple/15 HR/30+ SB season all while my hit tool being my biggest question mark coming into the year. After 1 year since the 2021 draft, do you think I’ve passed the likes of Brady House and Kahlil Watson in the 2021 HS SS class? Do scouts see me belonging in the same tier of Marcelo Mayer and Colson Montgomery while Jordan Lawlar has played his way into a tier of his own?

Kyle Glaser: Williams has promise but he also has some big, big holes that pitchers are exploiting now that they’re seeing him for a second and third time. Lawlar and Mayer remain the clear cut top two shortstops in the class, with Colson Montgomery and Jackson Merrill (before he got hurt) looking like Nos. 3 and 4 out of the group. House can hit but has plenty of SS questions. Williams is maybe fifth, potentially sixth in the group.

Alex (Lansing):

     What happened to Tyler Soderstrom this year? Since being drafted in 2020, he has shown he was able to hit anywhere he was assigned (e.g. taxi squad during the 2020 covid year, 2021 MLB spring training, and 2021 LoA). He’s still hitting for power in 2022 but his average and OBP have both cratered. Is there anything that has changed with his tools or is he dealing with some sort of nagging injury that fans around aware of?

Kyle Glaser: Soderstrom was freezing playing in 40 degree weather the first month-plus of the season. The last six weeks he’s batting .276 with an .806 OPS, and he’s done that while playing through a thumb injury. He’ll be fine.

Tim (Los Angeles):

     Bobby Miller and Pepiot get all the hype but Gavin Stone has far outperformed both this season. Does the scouting report match the stats and can he be an impact starter for LAD down the road?

Kyle Glaser: The scouting reports match the stats. Stone is the real deal. He’s going to be a big riser in our next Dodgers Top 30 update.

Mike Trout (Anaheim):

     Brandon Pfaadt has really dominated lately. Is he the highest upside arm in the system? Does he have the talent to be a number 2 starter?

Kyle Glaser: Pfaadt is a good pitcher. He’s aggressive, he’s got stuff, he goes right after guys. While I hesitate to throw the “highest upside” label on him, it would not shock me if he ends up being the best pitcher out of the D-backs group of arms. A No. 2 is a bit of a stretch, but I could see a No. 4 who ticks up to a No. 3.

JP (Tulsa):

     KG, my man! Hope you are well sir, is Mason Montgomery a legitimate starting pitcher prospect? Or is this a product of him being able to dominate lower competition, but may have trouble in the upper levels of the minors? Doesn’t seem like he was on a lot of radars prior to the season.

Kyle Glaser: Thanks JP, hope all is well on your end, too. Montgomery is a legitimate prospect. He’s got a lively fastball, his secondaries are improving, he throws strikes, he’s lefthanded…he’s got a chance.

Gunnar Henderson (Top 3 Propsect?):

     With a slew of top 10 prospects set to graduate over the next month, could Gunnar Henderson make his way into a top 3 prospect in all of baseball when BA’s midseason rankings come out? I’ve read from multiple outlets – including Baseball America – that scouts think he might be the most impressive prospect in 2022. He’s drastically cut his K% while raising his BB% all while consistently punishing balls in the zone. Is a prospect version of Corey Seager now a realistic comp?

Kyle Glaser: Corey Seager was a better pure hitter – see his career .307 average in the minors to Henderson’s .273, all while being as young at the same levels as Henderson – but Henderson is a really good player in his own right. We’re still in the midst of reporting and talking to scouts and executives and gathering feedback, so I don’t want to put an exact number on where he’ll be, but suffice to say he’s a really good prospect who will be very high on the midseason list.

Buff (Colorado):

     In regards to your caveat about the weakness of Low A pitching and defense, to what extent does that apply as you go up in levels? Is there a level at which it evens out? Overall, is minor league baseball weaker than it was before the reorganization?

Kyle Glaser: Double-A is where it evens out. High-A is a little worse than it was before, but not to the same level as Low-A. I would say the top levels of minor league baseball (Triple-A and Double-A) are not significantly weaker than they were before reorganization, and the complex leagues are mostly the same. It’s at the Class A levels – and especially Low-A – where it’s notable how much weaker it is than before reorganization.

Kretin (Sacramento):

     Jeremiah Jackson has been doing pretty well in AA. What’s my man got to do to get some recognition?

Kyle Glaser: Jackson’s getting plenty of recognition. We moved him up to the top position player prospect in the Angels system in our last update, and that was before he took off. We recognize him plenty, I promise.

Steve (Michigan):

     Sorry to come back with another Xavier Edwards question, but do you still see him as a 20 Power guy, seeing as he has hit 3 HR’s this month in AAA, vs 2 in 2018/2019/2021 combined?

Kyle Glaser: Yes. It’s still hard to see him hitting more than five home runs in a major league season. I can see a scenario where he gets enough road games hitting into the short right field wall at Yankee Stadium and around Pesky’s Pole at Fenway that maybe he gets to 5-7 homers. David Fletcher got to six home runs in his best season in 2019 and that was playing in mostly pitcher-friendly AL West parks, so I guess Edwards could maybe get there in his best season.

Justin (Bay Area):

     Just how much helium is Grant McCray getting with his year in SJ? Is top 100 too agressive? Would you like to see him get reps in A+ or would you rather him spend the full year settling at A ball with his injury history and the general loss of reps in 2020.

Kyle Glaser: McCray is getting lots of helium, but Top 100 is too aggressive. Seeing how he does at High-A against better competition – specifically given how much he’s striking out against really bad California League pitching right now – is the next step before we can talk about Top 100.

Brad (NJ):

     Tall me more about Will Brennan and when the “Guardians” may call him up. He may not have the stud upside, but sounds like a high ceiling player who could help a fantasy team all around with BA good BA, decent power, decent speed, .900 OPS in AAA

Kyle Glaser: Will Brennan is maybe the biggest sleeper in the Guardians system and someone who will likely outperform many of the more famous names you see in their Top 10. He can hit, he can get on base and he can play all three outfield positions. There will be a spot for him in Cleveland in the not too distant future.

Reagan (MD):

     Can Jordan Westburg be a 3-4 win player for the O’s or is it just a recent hot streak?

Kyle Glaser: Westburg fits more in the solid everyday player bucket – more of the 2 WAR range – but his defense is good that could elevate his WAR totals in some years. That said, defensive WAR is a mess and not something anyone should put much stock into.

Buff (Colorado):

     No further questions. Just many thanks for a great, long chat with full, detailed, thoughtful, and informative answers. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

Kyle Glaser: My pleasure. I’m always happy to talk baseball, and I’m glad you enjoy it as much as I do.

Kyle Glaser: And with that, I think we’ll call it a day. Thanks for coming out everybody, and have a great rest of your week.

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