Hot Sheet Chat (6/7/22)

Image credit: Francisco Alvarez (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Geoff Pontes chatted regarding the Hot Sheet from noon-1 p.m. ET. You can read the transcript below.

Zak (Boston):

    Gunnar Henderson has been really impressive this year, and as a result moved up to #37 in the newest BA’s top 100. With that said, there are bunch of other short stops ranked ahead of him. In your opinion, what would Henderson need to do to jump over these other guys?

Geoff Pontes: Simply put, continue doing what he is doing. There were plenty of internal discussions around moving Gunnar even higher than 37. Lots of incoming graduations, I’d anticipate he’ll climb higher if he continues to show the bat-to-ball, on-base skills, power, and athleticism in the field. He’s 20 at Triple-A, so there’s potentially some speed bumps early.

Steve (Tampa):

    When will the Rays promote both Baz and Aranda?

Geoff Pontes: I’d anticipate Baz could be any time now. He’s eligible to be activated from the 60 day IL now. Aranda sort of feels like he’s in the same boat, could happen at any point. They’re both on the 40 man roster so it’s really just a matter of a spot opening up.

Brad (NJ):

    Geoff, How high do you expect Gunnar Henderson to rank on next years top 100 list? is top 15 realistic? What kind of potential do you see for him on offense?

Geoff Pontes: If he’s not in major leagues and still a prospect, I think top 20 is a possibility. If he hits at Norfolk the way he did with Bowie, it’s tough to argue against it. Once again, he has to handle the assignment first, but he’s exciting. O’s fans need some good news.

Elliot (Youngstown OH):

    It looks like time for Cleveland to promote a bunch of pitchers: Logan Allen from AA, Gavin Williams to replace him and Rodney Boone and Will Dion from Low A to High A. How do you rate that quartet?

Geoff Pontes: Highly. I have been a fan of Logan Allen since I saw him on the Cape back in 2019. It’s a really good fastball shape wise and he has a bag full of average or better secondaries. He gets a ton of whiffs on the fastball, slider and splitter. Uses the cutter to get weak contact. Williams is one of my favorite pitchers in the minor leagues, great fastball, he’s got the hammer curveball, a harder slider and he’ll flash the change. There’s a case to be made he’s as good as any pitcher from last year’s college draft class. Boone has tremendous feel for his changeup, a good slider and a lot of hop on his four-seam, he just doesn’t have much velocity sitting 86-88 mph touching 89-90. He’s someone who had some helium heading into the 2021 draft but didn’t show the low-90s velocity people hoped to see. Dion is a lefty with a deep arsenal of pitches, tons of depth on the curveball and a good changeup. The Guardians have a knack for finding these guys.

Zak (Boston):

    Spencer Steer, a potential helium candidate? What have you guys heard from scouts about him?

Geoff Pontes: He was a potential hot sheet guy, had a big week and was one of the final cuts for me. He’s probably even beyond a helium guy, he’s a legit prospect. Above-average power and contact, good swing decisions and he hits lefties and righties well. He’s versatile defensively as well.

Shawn (Wisconsin):

    If Jackson Chourio maintains this pace through the rest of the season, how high does he get in the top 100?

Geoff Pontes: He has top overall potential, but I don’t know about this off-season. I’ll put it this way, it doesn’t seem impossible.

LTC Smooth Gooch (Ret.) (Crabtown):

    Does Chourio force a promotion to High-A this summer despite being the youngest player in the minors?

Geoff Pontes: If he keeps producing at this level and adjusting, I’d be surprised if he’s not. That’s purely speculation on my part.

Alan (Toronto):

    How close was Emmanuel Rodriguez to making the latest top 100? What is holding him back from being part of that group?

Geoff Pontes: He’s been discussed as a possible addition with upcoming graduations. My goodness, a 203 wRC+ entering today and he turned 19 in February. There’s still swing and miss but it’s improved a lot from last year and he gets on base at an absurd clip.

Mark (Greensburg, Pa):

    A few weeks ago I went to Altoona to watch the Curve play. On the mound was Michael Burrows. What I saw was electric. I saw a plus fastball, curve and change up with plenty of swinging strikes on all three pitches. He does not belong on the list this week based on a bad outing but this season he has been dealing. Am I missing something as to why he is not being talked about more in prospect talk!

Geoff Pontes: Mark, you’re spot on. He’s a guy just outside or on the back quarter of the Top 100 for me. Cold weather prep arm that’s done nothing but shove since turning pro. He has a plus fastball, and a very good curveball and changeup combination. Let’s talk more about Burrows!


    What kind of comp/upside does BA have for Jackson Chourio? Lorenzo Cain 2015?

Geoff Pontes: We’ve gotten really heavy hitter names as comps from scouts. I don’t want to throw out names but they’re all superstar types. That’s the upside at least, 2015 Cain was a 6 WAR guy, and that outcome would be a major win. That said, I think Chourio’s power could exceed that.

Frederick (Boston):

    Hi Geoff, thanks for the chat! With Gavin Williams being promoted to AA, if all goes right could we see him at AAA by the end of the year? Debuting next season? and Do you think he has true ace potential?

Geoff Pontes: I think he could see some late Triple-A time, with a summer callup in 2023. I try and be conservative with those expectations because lots of stuff happens in a year. Cleveland is also deep with options. Biggest question for me with Williams is health. If he remains healthy he has top of the rotation ceiling, with a good mid-rotation arm as a realistic outcome.

JC (Nebraska):

    How absurd would a late 2023 debut be for Jackson Chourio?

Geoff Pontes: You say absurd, I say fun! Let’s say he goes crazy the next 14 months and meets all expectations it’s possible. Still it’s a hot code orange on the absurdity scale. He’s 18 in Low-A.

Jeremy (MIN):

    Emmanuel Rodriguez – Destined to be a TTO bat or is there contact in the profile that he can unlock?

Geoff Pontes: It’s fringe-average contact but he makes tremendous swing decisions. He has swing and miss but he’s gotten it somewhat under control. Left-handed power hitters that can play center are rare.

Molly (New Jersey):

    With the complex leagues getting started, who are some prospects you have your eye one and you think have a shot of busting out? Thanks!

Geoff Pontes: Hi Molly! I’m really excited for Miguel Bleis, I got some scout feedback this morning that was really exciting, sounds like a player that could bust out this summer. We have another Chourio as well in Jackson’s brother Jaison down in the DSL with the Guardians. Rayne Doncon (Dodgers), Carlos Jorge (Reds), and of course Cristian Hernandez (Cubs). Josh Norris had a great article this morning detailing some names to follow. Highly recommended reading.

Garreth (Seattle, WA):

    What Edwin Arroyo is doing for his age is very impressive. But is he more than just a few 50 tools (which I understand is still very good!). Like, is there power upside or speed upside to bank on?

Geoff Pontes: Hey Garrett – I think there’s some projection to bank on. He had a ton of bat speed from both sides of the plate when I saw him and he’s super twitchy. I think he’s a player who’s abilities probably outweigh any single tool.

Mauricio (River Town, USA):

    Who’s your favorite prospect right now? Doesn’t have to be best or anything. Just your favorite guy for one reason or another

Geoff Pontes: Honestly, it’s probably Cam Collier. I saw him in a Cape League scrimmage on Sunday and my goodness. It’s hard to believe he’s just 17 years old. I’m really excited to see what he does over the next few weeks. I really think he could be a star. On the MiLB side it’s Gunnar Henderson.

Simon (Buffalo, NY):

    Who’s a prospect that you’ve been wrong about in 2022?

Geoff Pontes: Austin Martin is one for sure, I really believed he’d take big step forward this season and not so much. On-base skills and contact are there but he needs to show impact at some point.

Jim (Philadelphia):

    Read these tea leaves please: LA turns to Hanser Alberto and Eddy Alvarez, leaves Miguel Vargas at AAA. The latter is having a solid, not spectacular, offensive season but by all accounts is a plus hitter who controls the zone. Is there no defensive home for him, or does LA think Muncy and Turner (injured and aging, respectively) find a groove soon? From a distance, LA looks like a team that would benefit from a youthful addition, like the jolt Bellinger gave them in 2017.

Geoff Pontes: They would have to make a 40-man roster move and they have no reason to hit the panic button. I think it’s more a reflection of the depth of their roster and how hard it is to crack the 40-man in LA prior to rule 5 eligibility. There’s defensive questions but he’s getting valuable time at third most days.

Taylor V. (Seattle, WA):

    Thanks for your time today Geoff! I was wondering with Ricky Tiedemann if you should compare him to HS pitchers in his class like Jobe and Painter because of his age or college pitchers in his class like Leiter or Williams because he was technically drafted out of college? Regardless of who his peers may be, is he possibly the best pitcher of the draft?

Geoff Pontes: Happy to chat with you Taylor! I’d say he’s more of a prep than an experienced college guy. He’s actually younger than Jobe! Which seems crazy. The idea that he’s the best pitcher in the draft is reasonable, and he’s in the conversation. Lefties with that level of stuff and execution at a young age are almost unheard of.

Matthew F. (Pittsburgh):

    What are you hearing about Jordan Groshans so far this year? Can he become an impact regular at MLB?

Geoff Pontes: I don’t think anyone doubts his ability to hit, but the song remains the same… where’s the impact? He’s the kind of hitter that makes a lot of good quality contact but he never just unleashes on a ball, or very rarely. Guys like that often find power as the mature. I saw him play shortstop a few times this year and he’s solid there, can handle third and second I’m sure. Everything is there but the home run power. If he finds that he’s an above-average regular.

Frederick (Boston):

    Thanks again for the chat! If Gabriel Moreno played 3B or 2B instead of C, would he still be a top 10 prospect? Is his offense that good?

Geoff Pontes: Probably not, but I can’t say he wouldn’t be a Top 100 prospect. He can hit, but it’s contact over power. I’ve seen him unleash on mistakes before, it’s in there. However, his catching defense is good, he does all the little things well.

Thomas (Boise):

    Been hearing some good things about Colin Barber’s teammate Will Wagner. Can you tell me something about Billy’s son?

Geoff Pontes: Wrote about him a few weeks ago and added a report to our Astros top 30, he ranks highly. Great bat to ball skills, plus on-base ability, and average power. It’s a good bat and he’s one of the later round breakouts from the 2021 draft class.

Michael (Raleigh):

    I am intrigued by Aaron Zavala’s 41-37 BB/K ratio at High A. Does this type of player (a non-three true outcome type) have possible future value in MLB or is the emphasis still on the HR/walk, K’s be damned. Thanks.

Geoff Pontes: I think he has the ability to find enough impact to make it work, approach matters first and he has the most important tool, the hit tool. Plays all over the outfield, and he gets on base a lot. You’d like to see a little more power from a potential everyday guy though.

Neal (Columbia, SC):

    I am a big fan of Jordan Diaz and was excited to see him on this weeks list. He doesnt strike out much and is becoming a really good hitter for being so young. Has your opinion changed on him this season and does he have a chance for the top 100 at the end of the year?

Geoff Pontes: If he keeps hitting like he has I think he’ll be in back end discussions. His issue is where he ends on the defensive side of the ball.

Corey (Seattle):

    What is preventing Emmanuel Rodriguez from getting his own runaway hype train? I don’t see any holes in his stat line aside from maybe his K%, but his SwStr% is a nice 10.2%.

Geoff Pontes: I think it’s the swing and miss, but the hype train is leaving the station. He’s a guy that’s really in Top 100 discussions.

John (NJ):

    How good is Jackson Chourio? I saw him on vacation against Kannapolis and man…he’s one of the best teenage hitters I’ve ever seen. Is he a top 10 prospect by the end of this season if this torrid pace continues? Thanks!

Geoff Pontes: I think he could be, everyday he does something else spectacular.

James (Fayetteville, GA):

    In a 16 team dynasty with 15 prospect spots, how should a guy like Colin Barber be valued? How does his breakout compare with someone like Grant McCray?

Geoff Pontes: I’d prefer McCray myself just for the upside, but Barber would be in consideration for me in that area. Worth taking the flier.

D Walker (Georgia):

    When does Masyn Winn start to show up on the Top Prospect lists? One of the youngest players at AA. Strongest MiLB infield arm (maybe MLB too). Could also pitch if necessary.

Geoff Pontes: I brought him up as Top 100 guy and I anticipate a big move up the Cardinals list coming by month’s end. So, right now is the time, I suppose.

Colin (Edmonton):

    What should the Jays do with their 3 catchers trade one to shore up a weakness, run with great depth at one of the hardest positions in the game or see if they can convert Moreno to a 3B, corner OF & 3rd catcher and try to find a way to get all 3 of them enough at bats.

Geoff Pontes: I’d keep Moreno behind the plate, give him a few more months of seasoning and see who plays themselves into the role at the big league level. Good problem to have.

Corey (Seattle):

    Not sure how reliable Fangraphs SwStr rates are, but Emmanuel Rodriguez is down to a 10.2% this year, down from 31.3% in 2021!

Geoff Pontes: He’s dropped a bit. He’s still below 70% contact but it’s hit a level I’d consider fringe-average.

Rich (NJ):

    What do see as the future numbers Logan O’Hoppe can put up?

Geoff Pontes: Good batting average say .270+, an above-average walk rate and 15-20 home run power. The approach and bat to ball are good, he gets the most out of his power but his raw juice is about average.

Jeff (Idaho):

    With Harris roaming CF at Truist these days, any other minor leaguers for the Braves worth getting excited about. Seems there are some solid guys but maybe the upside is lacking?

Geoff Pontes: Not at that level, but I do really like Vaugh Grissom, I think the power will come at some point. He’s a big strong guy and he’s young and projectable still.

Jeff (Idaho):

    What’s next for Corbin Carroll? Bump to AAA soon? Any ETA for the show?

Geoff Pontes: I’m sure you could promote him to the PCL and let him put up video game numbers. I don’t know how aggressive Arizona wants to get but I don’t see any reason he couldn’t handle the majors this summer. What else does he need to prove in the minors?

Scott (Las Vegas, NV):

    Hello, How far off the top 100 is dj hertz?

Geoff Pontes: He’s close for me personally. That last start the velocity was good on the fastball and he was showing that plus-plus changeup and two quality breaking balls shapes.

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