Josh Norris MLB Prospects Chat (6/8/21)
Josh Norris: It is chat time. Let us chat.
- How prevalent is the use of grip enhancers (sun screen, pine tar, etc) in the minor leagues for pitchers? Will the minor leagues crackdown in the same way the Majors reportedly plans to?
Josh Norris: I cannot speak to exactly how prevalent it is, but it does happen. As our JJ Cooper has noted, there have been quite a few ejections and suspensions this season for sticky substances. https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/three-different-minor-league-pitchers-ejected-for-foreign-substances-this-weekend/
Ryan (Somerset, KY):
- Why is Garrett Mitchell not playing? Is he hurt or are they just being cautious with him?
Josh Norris: He was hurt to begin the year (a hamstring tweak, I believe). Now he's back and raking (9 for 19 with a bomb). One of my personal favorite guys from that class.
Kyle Weatherly (Timmonsville, South Carolina):
- I hear some "experts" saying Vidal Brujan will only be a utility player in the show despite the fact that he is ranked very highly by virtually all prospect sites. In your opinion are they right to be so low on Brujan?
Josh Norris: I think he can be a utility player in the sense that he can play a lot of positions, not necessarily that he's a backup. Brujan was one of the highest movers in our Top 100, released yesterday, and I've personally seen him play a bunch of times this year at Durham. I like him as an everyday guy who doesn't play the same position every day.
- How far off from the top 100 is Brett Baty? MLB ETA Francisco Alvarez?
Josh Norris: Brett Baty should be on the list in the midseason update, if not sooner, depending on who graduates when. Alvarez. Probably 2023 (although I will be Debbie Downer and say I don't know what the 2022 big league season is going to look like with all the labor negotiations and CBA and such)
Clint (BC Canada):
- Is Moreno finally the Jays catcher of the future that sticks and if so does that happen this year?
Josh Norris: I don't know that he necessarily gets there this year, but, yes, I do think he's their catcher of the future. The reviews on him this year have been LOUD. Put it this way: I've picked him in my fantasy league and have given him a roster spot fully knowing there's a chance he doesn't get to Toronto (or Buffalo) this season. That strategy worked out for me with Fernando Tatis Jr !
- Any rumblings on when Jasson Dominguez makes his debut?
Josh Norris: I'd expect his official debut to be in a few weeks with the opening of the Gulf Coast League season.
Tex (Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas):
- The Aviators have a glut of Outfielders that Bat left-handed and are ready for the Show = Greg Deichmann, Buddy Reed, Skye Bolt, Cody Thomas and Luis Barrera. When will they get a chance in the Big Leagues? Will it take a Trade of Mitch Moreland to free up a Roster spot for these guys to get a Look-see this year?
Josh Norris: I don't know if all of these guys are necessarily ready. Loud though their numbers may be, they play in Las Vegas, which is known to amplify guys' production quite a bit. I trust the A's PD dept to wade through each guy and make the right call about the right time to bring them up.
- You wrote up Anthony Volpe in yesterday’s hot sheet, but how legitimate is this start for him? Is it mostly a factor of his environment/team being hitter- friendly or is there a real breakout here from the bat?
Josh Norris: The unsatisfying answer is: I don't know. The league formerly known as the FSL was not exactly known as a hitter's league, but the introduction of the RoboUmps has really changed the calculus somewhat. There's also a mishmash of quality in the league caused by the elimination of the half-season leagues, meaning talented hitters like Volpe could be seeing a stats spike a bit. That said, I like Volpe and he got excellent reviews during MiLB ST.
- What is Jarren Duran’s upside with the bat?
Josh Norris: Jacoby Ellsbury is the name we've heard tossed around
Two Cent Johnny (Ontario):
- One of the biggest tumblers in your updated Top 100 is Mackenzie Gore. What is going on with him? Every time I see a pitcher fall like this, is makes me think of Rick Ankiel...
Josh Norris: He's been struggling with his mechanics, which have led to downturns in stuff and command. None of that is a good recipe for success. It's not Ankiel-esque, but it's not encouraging.
Don (Orland Park Il.):
- How close is Jared Kelly for the White Sox to being a top 100 player ?
Josh Norris: Not very. His stuff is good, but he's had an inauspicious start to the year (scouts we've spoken to said that the Kannapolis team is among the worst they've ever seen in their careers) and is currently on the IL
- How close was Roansy Contreras to cracking the top 100 in the latest update?
Josh Norris: Very close. He has a good chance to be in there at midseason or before.
Dan (Ontario, Canada):
- How close are Brett Baty and Pete Crow-Armstrong to making the top 100. I believe PCA hit 99 before the injury. S he still in the top 100 discussion?
Josh Norris: Baty is very close. PCA was indeed on the list before the injury, which is what dropped him off. Corbin Carroll had a similar injury and dropped precipitously as well, but because PCA was 99 he fell off.
Deanna Lussier (Winnipeg):
- Hi Josh did Otto Lopez get any consideration to make the top 100? I know he does not have an elite tool but he has hit very very well at every level he has played at! What are you MLB projections for Moreno? He has amazing helium right now!
Josh Norris: He didn't get much consideration for this list (which was designed to be more tweaks than major overhauls) but he's gotten some really good reviews from the scouting community, so your assessment of his helium content is accurate. His voice is probably very squeaky right now!
- Cade Cavalli saw a huge jump in the new Top 100. What about his season so far would you say is most impressive?
Josh Norris: Having seen him in person once (and hopefully again next week!), what really sticks out about him the ease with which he generates high-end velocity. To say he carved the day I saw him would not be doing justice to the word.
Ed Eddinetti (Ontario):
- Early helium watch for end of season/next years top 100?
Josh Norris: Hmmmm. One name that's been brought to our attention is Orioles RHP Kyle Bradish. Saw him Sunday and he was plenty intriguing. Lively fastball with late action in and out, and a pair of really sharp breaking balls. Sounds like the metrics really like him too. Hayden Wesneski with the Yankees has gotten some really good reviews too, and Joe Gray with the Brewers and Matt Fraizer with the Pirates have caught my eye as well.
- The Yankees just set up their middle infield prospects with the recent promotions (Peraza in AA, Duran and Smith in HiA and Volpe and Hauver in LoA). Do you think those guys will stay in those affiliates for the remainder of the season or can we expect more movement (Hauver and Smith having more experience as college guys)
Josh Norris: Peraza I don't *think* will move again (but predicting promotions is a fool's errand — which is where I come in), but they do have quite a logjam at the middle infield positions, which is exacerbated by the shutdown, so there might be guys playing at levels below their station for now. For example: Should guys like Josh Smith and Trevor Hauver with excellent track records and college pedigrees, be at Low-A? Probably not! But where, then, would you have started Ezequiel Duran and Oswald Peraza. To quote Ned Flanders, it's a dilly of a pickle.
Josh Norris: Thank you guys for all the questions. Until next time.