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Hot Sheet Chat Mailbag (6/23/22)

Baseball America apologizes for failing to answer questions Tuesday in correspondence with this week's Hot Sheet. Josh Norris answered a number of chat questions Thursday morning, which you can find below.

Al (Long Island, NY):

    Great to see Kjerstad not only making his pro debut, but also hitting as well as he has. How do you envision the O's handling his progress in the system (assuming he keeps hitting, of course)? I can see them wanting to put him on somewhat of a fast track, given he's missed so much time and is already 23. But at the same time, it's first exposure to pro ball, so it may not be the most prudent thing to do. What do you think?

Josh Norris: Without knowing a darn thing about how to treat a player who's just come back from that particular set of circumstances, I'd say to play it cautiously. If his performance warrants it, move him up, but don't accelerate his timeline simply because of his age and time lost. The whole situation is unfortunate, but the best thing for both the player and club (IMO) is to play everything as close to normally as possible.

Elliot (Youngstown OH):

    Daniel Espino, where are you?

Josh Norris: He is recovering from a knee injury suffered in late April, unfortunately. Here's hoping he's back on the mound soon.

Danny (Brooklyn):

    He's missed so much time but is Anthony Siegler a prospect again? Is he the Yankees best catching prospect given Antonio Gomez's struggles in full season ball and non-Yankee evaluations of Austin Wells's defense?

Josh Norris: After watching the Renegades for four games over three days, I don't think he's regained much prospect status, and the scouts in attendance at that series were not impressed by the effort level he showed behind the plate, either. The caveat, of course, is that he's had such terrible luck with injuries, but not much has changed in terms of evaluators' opinions at this point.

Jose (San Diego):

    Josh, In the hot sheet and the podcast you highlighted Yankees pitcher Angel Benitez on helium watch. Who has more helium, Benitez or Jarlin Susana? Of the two pitchers which is the more highly regarded prospect?

Josh Norris: I'd take Susana. He's already ranked among the Padres' Top 30, and was skipped over the DSL and into the states (where he's been quite impressive) because of his already-electric mix of pitches. He drew raves on the back fields yesterday from what I hear and could make it to Low-A at some point this season. Both guys are fun, but I'd take Susana.

Kahlil W. (Jupiter, FL):

    What has happened to my bat to ball skills? Were they worse than advertised? Why do I keep swinging and missing?

Josh Norris: There were two big questions about you coming into the draft: Where would you play in the field, and could you find a two-strike approach? The answer to the latter question, so far, is: No. The Marlins, of course, are working with him now to get him to be more selective, because he still certainly has the skills to do damage when he makes contact. Now, he's just got to really, really work on figuring out when to swing and when to let pitches pass.

J (Stl):

    Meads or Gunnar if you had to pick one?

Josh Norris: Gunnar. Scouts absolutely loooooove Gunnar Henderson for a combination of skills and polish that could make him truly elite. Depending on who graduates this year, he has a shot to be the No. 1 overall prospect in the game entering 2023.

Joseph (NYC):

    Who would you be adding to your fantasy farm team?

Josh Norris: My fantasy farm team is stocked because my fantasy big league roster was not good enough (despite having Aaron Judge and Trea Turner!) If I could add any prospect not currently in my farm and currently in the minor leagues, the candidates would be Jackson Chourio, Gunnar Henderson and Jordan Walker off the top of my head. (I already have Francisco Alvarez, Eury Perez, Kyle Harrison, Ezequiel Tovar, Jordan Lawlar, Marcelo Mayer, Elly De La Cruz etc. in tow).

Mike (Oconomowoc, WI):

    I am curious why Gabriel Moreno is considered a better prospect than Francisco Alvarez? Alvarez is crushing the ball as a 20 year old in AA while Moreno struggled in AAA at 22. They also seem equally good but not great behind the dish. Is this just a ranking adjustment that hasn't happened yet.

Josh Norris: I am curious about your definition of struggling. Was he hitting for a ton of power? No. But he finished (?) his time in Buffalo with a slash line of .324/.380/.404. Also, he'd begun showing more power as the weather became less frigid in the Northeast. Also, we have Moreno projected as a potentially above-average catcher who is athletic back there as well. Alvarez's defense has more question marks surrounding it.

Parakeet (Hawaii):

    Which hitting prospects do you see as having the greatest chance of being fantasy stalwarts in five years?

Josh Norris: With the caveat that I am absolutely awful at actually playing fantasy baseball, I'd simply look at our Top 100. A guy like Corbin Carroll should give you plenty of categories in terms of hittability, power and speed. Adley Rutschman, Gabriel Moreno, Francisco Alvarez and Diego Cartaya could provide plenty of offense at a premium position. Gunnar Henderson should be excellent, too, especially if he qualifies at SS.

Luke (Glendale):

    Deynison De Los Santos is doing well in June as an 18 year old in the Cal league. Did he receive any consideration for Hot Sheet nomination? Do you think he will able able to stay at the 3B long term?

Josh Norris: Just a quick note here on Hot Sheet: The exercise is an attempt to rank/list the 20 best prospects (plus a Helium guy). Lots of players have excellent weeks every week, so it is natural some will get left out. De Los Santos had a good week (.400/.409/.550 with three doubles) but wasn't quite Sheet-worthy this time. As for his defense, there's a chance he moves over to first base, but there's still plenty of time to prove he can stick at third.

Matt (VA):

    How does one watch Arizona Development league games and are they open to the public?

Josh Norris: Basically, you have to be in Arizona and go to the games. They aren't streamed (at least publicly) and, as far as I know, the public is allowed in to watch if they so choose. No tickets are needed. When you see me tweeting about those games, it's just me reading box scores.

Corbin Carroll (MLB in 2022?):

    I'm not on the hot sheet this week but should be on a 2 month hot sheet obliterating AA. With what I've showed this year, has my tools ticked up in every category except speed? Is a 70 hit/60 power/70 speed/60 defense/55 arm a realist view of what my tools look like today? I know the DBacks have intentionally been overly conservative with me since I've only played a handful of full season ball before the 2022 season but what's the point in keeping me at a level that I'm not challenged at all? Do I eventually get a cup of coffee in the big leagues come September?

Josh Norris: There is so much trickiness involved here. Is Corbin Carroll going to be a stud? You bet. Could he be the No. 1 prospect in the game entering 2023? Pretty good chance. Are his numbers going to get a little bit inflated because he plays in Amarillo (and then in Reno when he gets promoted?) absolutely. We have him with plus hit and above-average power, which is pretty darn good, too! The moral of this story is: Hitters at Amarillo (and other parks in the Texas League) will put up huge numbers and pitchers at those parks will get dinged pretty good by the same conditions. I think you'll get to the big leagues in 2023.

Joseph (Connecticut):

    What are your thoughts on Evan Carter? Do you see him being a MLB regular or something more/less?

Josh Norris: I like Evan Carter a lot. He's young, has a great idea of the strike zone, can play center field and shows hints of power as well. Other scouts see it similarly and predict a future as an MLB regular. He just went through a bit of a cold stretch caused somewhat by a foot injury he was playing through. Now that he's healed, I wouldn't be surprised to see him take off again.

AL (Toronto):

    Long-term best hitting catcher ranking Melendez, Kirk, or Moreno? Also does Melendez catch well enough to stick behind the plate part-time?

Josh Norris: Hard not to take Kirk at this point, no? Dude is a stud. After that I'd take Moreno and then Melendez.

Allen Buller (Portland OR):

    ETA Joedan Walker

Josh Norris: I could see him making his debut sometime next season.

Zak (Boston):

    As always, thanks for the chat. Do you think Torkelson could use a demotion or is it for the best to have him figure it out in the majors?

Josh Norris: I think it's best to keep him in the big leagues and let him figure things out there. Failure and adversity are parts of the development process, so how Torkelson responds the rest of the way might go a long way in determining the arc of his career.

Jim (Dayton):

    The Reds have a lot of exciting prospects a notch or two below de La Cruz. who among Rece Hinds, Allen Cerda, Austin Hendrick do you see having the best chance for success in the Majors?

Josh Norris: I'll pick a different set of players. On the pitching side, Andrew Abbott has been really intriguing given the way he's started this year, and in the ACL, I really think a guy like Carlos Jorge has the tools to become an exciting piece in a couple of years.

Tom (Cypress, CA):

    What is the latest you hear on the status of Brailyn Marquez? Is he still a potential ace?

Josh Norris: I do not see him as a potential ace. Even before the troubles of recent years, Marquez always had a split camp of whether he would be a starter or a reliever. Given that he hasn't thrown an official pitch since 2020, it's hard to see an easy way for him to get re-built into a starter's workload.

Neal (I-70):

    Thanks for the chat. Casey Schmitt is not on the list but had a nice week at the plate and has been filling in at SS with Luciano out. Any chance he could be more than a part-time fill-in at the position?

Josh Norris: I don't think so, but he'll be a stud with the glove over at third base!

Rob (Alaska):

    Say more words about Jackson Chourio - you know you want to!

Josh Norris: Three more words: He's really good.


Prospect Report: Lawlar Looks Locked In

Arizona SS prospect Jordan Lawlar is having an excellent 2022 season.

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