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J.J. Cooper Chat (7/17/18)

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Peter (Bethesda): 

    When will mid season top 10 rankings by ORG be released?


J.J. Cooper: We've got a little surprise for you all. With a possible Manny Machado trade coming potentially very soon, we're posting a Machado trade pack later today with the Top 10s for the four teams most likely to trade for the O's SS (Dodgers, Phillies, Brewers and Yankees). We'll roll out the rest of the AL East tomorrow as well as an updated Top 100 (with draft picks) tomorrow morning.

Andy (WI): 

    Hi JJ. Two projectable HS bats that were drafted in the 1st round competitive balance were Jeter Downs and Tristen Lutz. Both had great starts to their careers. Downs has been consistently productive in 2018 while Lutz really struggled. Both have started to take off in the 2nd half. What do scouts think about both? Is 2019 top 100 potential too rich?


J.J. Cooper: Right now I'd say Downs is closer to being a Top 100 prospect than Lutz. He has positional/defensive advantage and he's shown a little bit more well-rounded bat.

Taylor (My couch): 

    How far off is Jazz Chisholm from being a top 100 prospect? The dude is having a great year in A ball!


J.J. Cooper: It's very good year (and he had an amazing Monday) with some caveats. He's hitting for power, but not for a lot of average/OBP and he's 20 in low class A. The reason he's still a little ways away from the Top 100 is just how many impressive young bats there are in the low minors.

Dave (Cincy): 

    Is Michael Brantley a good comp for Taylor Trammell? Trammell will most likely trade some of his plus speed in the future but still looks like a potential annual 20+ SB OF. Would FV 55 hit (plays up b/c of walks) / 60 power / 60 speed sound about right? Wouldn't that translate to roughly .275-.290/ 25-30 HR/ 20-25 SB?


J.J. Cooper: That sounds like a realistic set of grades. He could end up as a better hitter than that though.

Alex (Bay Area): 

    Who were the hitters at the Futures Weekend you came away the most impressed with?


J.J. Cooper: A lot of guys stood out. Peter Alonso's power is apparent. He's a walks/power slugging first baseman, but if you're going to be that guy, be a guy who can absolutely mash and Alonso can mash. Miguel Amaya showed impressive oppo-field pop for a very young catcher. Taylor Trammell has legit power to go with a very advanced approach. Alex Kirilloff is a very good young hitter. And then there were guys who did what is expected because they are already elite prospects. Jo Adell is tooled up and can hit. Fernando Tatis Jr. doesn't have a whole lot of holes to his game. I could go on.

Captain (Marlinspike Hall): 

    If the 2017 draft were re-done today, who would you take #1? Has Royce Lewis justified his position, or would someone else earn the top spot? (Greene, Adell, Gore?)


J.J. Cooper: I'd probably say Jo Adell would be the re-draft No. 1, but all those guys are still in the mix. There was never a time when Lewis was clearly a notch above the rest of the top 5, so saying he isn't the clear No. 1 right now doesn't change a whole lot. If you re-drafted the 2017 first round, I think 7 of the top 10 picks would still go top 10.

Eric (USA): 

    It seems like Andy Yerzy is jumping into the next tier of elite hitters. Granted it is Low A, but still something special here?


J.J. Cooper: It's not low Class A, it's short-season ball, which means Yerzy (who is 19) is two steps behind some of his draft contemporaries who are in high Class A (or in Bo Bichette's case, Double-A). It's a very solid season so far in a hitter's league and Yerzy was young for his draft class, but nothing we're hearing yet says he's taken a giant leap yet.

Steve (Tampa): 

    Rays Wander Franco top 50 at years’ end? Top 25?


J.J. Cooper: We have a new Top 100 coming out tomorrow...check it out.

Richard (So Cal): 

    Where would you put Carter Kieboom on the top 50 right now ? He seems to have really moved his status up this year. And does he stick at short ?


J.J. Cooper: We have a new Top 100 coming out tomorrow. Check it out.

Jon (Charlottw): 

    Eloy was in the OF last night for the Knights and was not pretty. His bat is beautiful but he was taking some poor poor routes and was certainly not fast. Yet, Is he just destined for DH?


J.J. Cooper: I think he'll be able to play LF perfectly adequately. He's coming off of a two-week stint on the DL. He's a big guy already, but scouts have long thought he will be a power-hitting, perfectly adequate LF.

Chris (Boston): 

    How good is Fernando Tatis Jr?


J.J. Cooper: We have him ranked as the second-best prospect in all of baseball so you can safely say we believe very strongly that he is very, very good.

Danny (Chula Vista): 

    Does trading for Machado mortgage the future of an acquiring organization?


J.J. Cooper: Probably not. Depends on the org. Take the Dodgers for instance, they have enough prospect redundancy so that they could trade an outfielder, catcher and pitcher and hold onto a fellow prospect at each position who ends up being just as good.

K-Russ (NY): 

    I'm getting giddy over Jonathan India. I've seen a few really encouraging pro reports and the guy just looks great at the plate. Is there any way a guy can find himself rising up the ranks only a month after the draft? And might he be one of the guys doing that? Thanks.


J.J. Cooper: We ranked him as the No. 6 prospect in this year's draft class, so we were already very high on him. I would not say he's done anything since turning pro to change our assessment of him, but we were already very high on him so he already was going to rank in a lofty spot.

John (Norfolk): 

    How did Luis Garcia and Wil Crowe look to you Friday night (and in general)? Any other P-Nats of interest? Thanks!


J.J. Cooper: Garcia really stands out. Players that young who can handle high Class A and play a premium defensive positions are quite rare. Crowe looked solid. He was being kept on a pretty tight pitch count but he was effective with solid stuff. I will also say, you could see why Potomac has been working hard to get a new stadium. It's a team in need of one with more modern amenities.

Jason (Charlotte): 

    What are your thoughts on the improvement Touki has shown this season ? His 2 seamer had tons of movement in Futures Game.


J.J. Cooper: He's making strides with his control and his changeup has gotten a little better as well. All that being said considering the Braves needs, I have to think that there will be discussions in a month or so about whether Toussaint can help the big league club as a reliever this year. He'd be able to attack hitters with that fastball/curve combo that would play up even further in short stints. He'll have to be added to the 40-man roster after the season, so that shouldn't stand in the way of a callup.

Jason (Charlotte): 

    It seems as if Kyle Wright is getting dinged a touch for mediocre numbers. Do you think that's unfair considering this is his first full professional season at AA?


J.J. Cooper: Dig deeper into those numbers and he's made strides after a short adjustment period to catch up to Double-A. He's been really good in some of his more recent starts and he's still one of the better pitching prospects in the game.

Matthew (Toronto): 

    Yusniel Diaz is currently graded as having below-average to average game power. With his ability to produce such high exit velocities, do you see him being able to elevate the ball more, upgrading his power tool?


J.J. Cooper: It's possible obviously because we've seen so many guys hit for more power once they get to use the big league Superballs. But even if he doesn't he could still be a very solid big leaguer thanks to his hit/on-base skills and his solid OF defense.

Taylor Trammell (Futures Game MVP): 

    My power is still developing, but ever other aspect of my game continues to evolve. I'm slashing .291/.389/.415 in the FSL while having both increased by BB% and cut my K%. I'm already a top 20 prospect. Who is a good comp for me and what is my ceiling? Does future .280/.375/.475 with 25 HR/25 SB ceiling seem outlandish?


J.J. Cooper: We have a new Top 100 coming out tomorrow. Check it out.

J.J. (Cleveland): 

    With the season Eric Haase is having at Columbus does it make it more likely the Indians trade Francisco Mejia?


J.J. Cooper: I don't really think Haase is having a season that's better than the one he had last year. In fact, I'd argue it's a little worse. But the reality for the Indians is they have very good big league starting catcher who is signed for two more years plus a backup who is under contract for even longer. It's hard to see Mejia moving Gomes aside anytime soon, so if they can get solid value for Mejia in a trade to help the big league club, it makes a lot of sense. Having Haase who could eventually fill Roberto Perez's shows and maybe do even more than that makes it easier to trade away someone with Mejia's talent.

Kyle (Madison): 

    Luis Patino. Special arm? The Padres seem to have a ridiculous number of really good arms in their system (Paddack, Baez, Morejon, Allen) and now Patino.


J.J. Cooper: Yes. You can't see a Padres affiliate at any level it seems without bumping into a very interesting pitching prospect. It's why I keep being drawn back to the Padres back fields during spring training. I would end up back day after day even after I told myself I needed to go elsewhere to see other teams.

J.J. Cooper: Sorry you all I need to bail to work on the Top 100 for tomorrow. Thanks for all the questions.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/chat/?1531837555

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How Each 2018 MLB Rule 5 Draft Pick Fits With His New Team

We look at how each Rule 5 pick potentially fits on his new team's roster and their chances of sticking.

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