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Kyle Glaser Chat (3/15/19)

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Nick Senzel (Photo by Bill Mitchell)

Kyle Glaser: Hey everybody, happy Friday. Been another interesting week with all the rules changes. Let's get chatting

Phil (Buffalo): 

    Do you still think Dom Smith will break out this year? What type of offensive output do you expect - is .280/.350 with 25 HR a reasonable ceiling, or too optimistic?


Kyle Glaser: I think if Smith gets the chance – and that’s important here, that he gets a legitimate chance at consistent playing time – I think we’ll see a lot of improvement. .280 with 25 home runs right off the bat might be a little much, but I think we could see him settle into a perfectly solid everyday player.

Frederick (Boston): 

    After tearing it up this spring, do see either Kyle Lewis or Bo Bichette reaching the majors before September this season?


Kyle Glaser: I think we’ll see Bo at some point this season, especially with the Blue Jays lacking bodies on the left side of the infield. Lewis faces a bit of a stronger group of players in the majors he’d have to jump (the Mariners outfield is pretty strong) and we also need to see how his knee holds up over the course of a full season. It’s certainly possible we see Lewis, but Bichette at this point is more likely.

Derek (SD): 

    I put money on Paddack to win rookie of the year. Smart bet?


Kyle Glaser: Every SP to win Rookie of the Year since 2000 (Fulmer, deGrom, Fernandez, Verlander, Hellickson, Willis, Jennings) pitched at least 140 innings. You have to remember Paddack is still on a post TJ buildup plan and threw only 90 innings last year. He’s still going to be on a plan this year that takes his workload into account. Adding the 50 innings (and likely more) he would need to win ROY would be a big, big increase that is unnecessarily risky. I’d be surprised if he pitches enough innings to vault over the ROY field, as good as he is.

Derek (San diego): 

    What are your thoughts on Exavier Edwards? I hear the padres are high on him. Thanks!


Kyle Glaser: The Padres are high on *Xavier Edwards, and so is everybody else. I talked about him a bit in the Padres Top 10 chat in January. Check it out https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/2019-san-diego-padres-top-10-prospects-chat/

Molly (Burlington): 

    Are there any current top starting pitching prospects that you see becoming elite late inning guys or closers, instead of sticking in the rotation?


Kyle Glaser: Alex Reyes absolutely can stick in the rotation, but if he ends up in the bullpen he could be ridiculous. As in a top 5 reliever in baseball. Justus Sheffield is another guy that, while I think he can stick as a starter as well, would be really, really good out of the bullpen too, and there's a lot of scouts who think that would be his best role.

Friars on the Farm (San Diego): 

    With Xavier Edwards healthy do think his bat could have him leap Gabriel Arias?


Kyle Glaser: He already has leapt Gabriel Arias. You can see for yourself in the Padres Top 30 here https://www.baseballamerica.com/teams/1016/san-diego-padres/organizational/

Spencer M (Massachusetts): 

    Do you have any thoughts on Brandon Bailey with Houston? Not sure he'll ever be a high end strike thrower but I really like his fastball/breaking ball combo and the change is a pitch as well, I think he's going to continue to be really hard to get comfortable against and could be a long-term starter. Too enthusiastic?


Kyle Glaser: Bailey is seen more as an organizational arm by scouts at this point. It's a fastball that projects average with a good changeup. That can work, but it's more the package of an up-down guy or swingman than someone who takes a turn 32 times through a rotation year after year.

Bob (Mo): 

    How would you rank UF alum Faedo, Singer and Kowar? Does Kower have #3 starter upside?


Kyle Glaser: Singer is highest of the three on the BA 100 for a reason. He's more the No. 3 upside. Kowar is considered a tick below, but still a fine pitcher who may eventually get there. Faedo's velo drop has been concerning. I'm going to be curious to see if it comes back this year.

JP (Jenks): 

    KG! Sup my man? Nick Tanielu was on the recently released article on BA about guys who have turned heads in ST. Any chance he's a "guy" and makes the Astros roster out of camp?


Kyle Glaser: Sup JP. He's hitting his way into a potential spot that's for sure. Aledmys Diaz will be their main backup infielder, but Tanielu may just find a way onto the roster as well. He's playing that well. There's a chance

Jarrod (OK): 

    I think you were the first guy I saw that dubbed Zach Willeman as a potential break out.. seems like the rest of the industry is starting to slowly get on board. What type of pitcher do you think he becomes? #3/#4 starter, dominant RP? Or chance for more.. thanks for chatting!


Kyle Glaser: If he can really hold 94-96 with two plus breaking balls, that's a front of the rotation starter. He did that in short bursts last year. Seeing if he can maintain that over a full season with control is another challenge. But what he showed had Dodgers personnel reminiscing of what happened with Walker Buehler post-TJ. It was that sick. Now we'll see if he can hold it.

JP (Tulsa, OK): 

    Do you have anything on a couple potential breakout SP candidates in the Angels system (Stiward Aquino and Aaron Hernandez)? Thanks!


Kyle Glaser: Aquino was 93-96 with a low 80s power curve and room to grow into more velocity before Tommy John knocked him out last year. If he comes back healthy, he would be the guy

JaKob (Dallas, TX): 

    Chris Paddack... He's been legit with really only two pitches.. can that hold up in the bigs, 3 turns through an order? Can he be a #2 starter with elite control and 2 great pitches?


Kyle Glaser: It's funny, I had this exact conversation with a veteran evaluator yesterday. With the way Paddack dials his fastball up and down and the way he can manipulate his changeup, it's two pitches but it can look like four. That all said, the vast majority of evaluators still see a No. 3 or 4 starter because there is such a short track record of RHPs without a viable breaking ball having success. There are always exceptions to every pedigree though. Paddack is starting to make a few evaluators believe he might be one of them

JaKob (Dallas, TX): 

    Is Dennis Santanna going to get another chance this year? It seems like a bunch of injuries are going to have to happen for him to start.. Can you give me your opinion on him and your thoughts on him being a potential trade chip? Would he be starting in other rotations around the league. Thanks Kyle.


Kyle Glaser: He will, especially when you know Kershaw and Hill are going to go down at some point. I like him a lot (have since the Cal League when it was clear he was better than Alvarez and it wasn't close). The fastball and slider combo are great, if the changeup continues to come along he can be one of those No. 4 starters who is a little wild but gets a lot of whiffs. As far as other rotations around the league, heck, he'd be the Rangers second-best SP right now. As long as he comes back healthy, he'll be able to help the Dodgers in a lot of ways. Starting, relieving, trade chip for significant contributor. He's legit.

Rich (Maryland): 

    Do you think you guys are underestimating Victor Robles a bit now? Everytime I see him he shows home run power. Yesterday he hit a massive home run. But you guys tell us to not expect a lot of power from Robles. It seems the power is biggest knock as to why Robles fell outside top 10 prospects on here. Even with subpar exit velos there looks to be definite home run/slugging in the bat. Dare I say at some point 20 home run power. If Robles shows solid power to me with his other tools there is no question he could be a star.


Kyle Glaser: I struggle with this one because in my own personal looks, Robles has shown me power. Saw him drive balls hard to the wall the other way down the RF line with Potomac, saw him launch a moonshot to left-center in Durham last year, and of course I saw what he did in the majors at the end of last year. So I've seen it. But at the same time, I have a hard time staking my personal sample of 15 ABs or so against two full years of exit velo data we have that puts him in the Rajai Davis category. 

Fred (ATL): 

    Christian Pache just looks the part my gosh. Do you truly expect a offensive breakout from him this year or more of the same solid not spectacular?


Kyle Glaser: I was impressed with Pache in the Arizona Fall League last November, mainly how physical he was and how much he was able to sting the ball. It was a lot more so than I had been led to believe. At the same time, I've still see him swing through too many low 90s fastballs to feel 100 percent convicted on him being a stud hitter. But his youth, growing physicality and ability to handle advanced levels are all things to bank on. He's not someone I have zero doubts about, but I can absolutely see an offensive breakout happening.

Peter (Fredericksburg, VA): 

    After this season, players like Wander Franco and Jo Adell figure to be in contention for the #1 overall prospect going into next season. Last preseason, Franco was ranked in the 90s and Adell was in 40s. Is there anyone in those ranges this season you see making the same jumps into the top 10 of next season?


Kyle Glaser: Interesting question. Gavin Lux and Carter Kieboom at 40 and 41 are two guys I could see making huge jumps (maybe not No. 1 overall, but a big jump). Luis Garcia with the Phillies at 88 is someone who could rise quick too from that area of the rankings.

Brett (Georgia): 

    Carter Kieboom has looked excellent this year offensively in spring training. Definitely above average power maybe more. Would I be off base if I said he ends up being a better offensively than Brendan Rodgers and Gavin Lux?


Kyle Glaser: It's certainly feasible. If Rodgers doesn't walk more and Lux regresses into his 2017 form, it's entirely possible. They're all good players though. I think they're all going to hit. If any of the three ends up being slightly better than one or the other, no one should be shocked

Roger (Oklahoma City): 

    Does Oscar Mercado win a starting job?


Kyle Glaser: He should be the Indians opening day left fielder. Whether he will be, hard to say. But he should be.

Jerry (Texas): 

    Tampa Bay never moves their prospects up the ladder fast. Do you think Wander Franco could change their conservative ways?


Kyle Glaser: They've already moved him fast by putting him the Appy League last year. They certainly won't rush him, but I think he'll be on the track of LoA/HiA this year, AA/AAA next year that we typically see from prospects of his caliber. Then AAA/MLB debut in 2021

Roger (Oklahoma City): 

    Where does Austin Hays start the year? He looks like he is playing the best out of all OF options for the Os. Does he rebound this year?


Kyle Glaser: All signs point to Hays being better this year than he was last year, so I would expect a rebound. Even if he starts in AAA, he'll be in the majors quick enough we'll forget he was even there.

Gilbert (Natoma, KS): 

    How does Shed Long get on the field in Seattle this season? Even with Kyle Seager getting hurt, they have depth.


Kyle Glaser: If things go the way they're expected to in Seattle, trades of veterans around the infield will open up playing time in August, if you get my drift.

Gilbert (Natoma, KS): 

    Which player with control issues do you think has the best chance of having a career as a big league starter between Luis Medina, Alec Hansen, Bryan Abreu and Jorge Guzman?


Kyle Glaser: Abreu for me.

Gail (Tulsa): 

    With Buck getting the stanky boot and Chance Sisco's Spring Training play, does Sisco cement his status as the Os primary catcher?


Kyle Glaser: Yes. Sisco should be their primary guy, now and for the future.

Pablo (New York): 

    Does Clint Frazier need out of New York, like yesterday? And can the same be said for Alex Verdugo in LA.


Kyle Glaser: Frazier you can at least see the potential avenue to playing time with Gardner a free agent after this season. I get why they're holding onto him. Frazier, Hicks, Judge and Stanton as the OF/DH rotation beginning in 2020 can work. Verdugo though, I'm not convinced he's better than any of the Dodgers' other options, and he comes with a whole lot of baggage. Going somewhere else with less OF depth would be beneficial to his career. I'm not sure he ever gets to his potential with the Dodgers

Michael (Regina, SK): 

    The Padres rotation looks like a mess on paper. With that being said and the way Chris Paddack has pitched is he really a realistic option to start opening day?


Kyle Glaser: It's as if everyone forgets Joey Lucchesi exists....

Barry (DC): 

    Do you expect a breakout from Lewis Brinson?


Kyle Glaser: I think he'll be better, I don't know if I would qualify it as a "breakout"

Craig (Rochester): 

    All Pete Alonso does is mash everywhere he goes. Yet there appears to still be great skepticism on the bat. Why such hard critique on him?


Kyle Glaser: The concern is he beats up on vanilla stuff. He did get to Nate Pearson's 103 mph fastball in the Fall Stars Game, and that was impressive. But it's mostly a lot of 88-93 mph straight fastballs he crushes. When he faces stuff with hard break or spin, it often goes downhill real fast. That's not to say he can't eventually adjust, but he's going to have to.

Old Timer (Raleigh NC): 

    Do Alford or Tellez actually make the Blue Jays major league roster? Your article, which I enjoyed, is ambiguous on the OF who is most likely to be traded. Who would you trade if you were the GM?


Kyle Glaser: Seeing as the Blue Jays aren't going anywhere this year, I'd trade whichever guy brings you the most back. That might be Pillar. I'd also move Justin Smoak as well if the return was right.

Gilbert (Natoma, KS): 

    Can Alex Faedo regain his velo and become the player he was when he entered the pros?


Kyle Glaser: I generally believe in Faedo based on what I saw with Team USA, but truthfully I'm in the minority at this point.

Will (Philly): 

    What is Scott Kingery at this point? Do you think he can become what we thought of him as a prospect?


Kyle Glaser: He is, and has always been, a second baseman. He'll only get to his potential if the Phillies stop messing around and actually put him at, you know, second base. He was never a shortstop. He was never an outfielder. Obviously the presence of Cesar Hernandez complicates that, but if the Phillies wanted Kingery to learn other positions, they should have let him do it in Triple-A. The way they handled Kingery is a textbook example of what not to do with an up and coming prospect, on about 18 different levels.

Celeste (Waldo, KS): 

    Who is your favorite prospect that most of the industry isn't talking about and why?


Kyle Glaser: I dislike the term "favorite". I will say that Sam Hilliard is a better prospect than a lot of other outfielders people seem to go ga-ga over. I also think Jack Kruger has something going for him as an athletic catcher who can really, really hit, although his arm strength needs to improve. I think both of them are better players than a lot of others typically ranked about them in prospect position rankings.

pat (kc): 

    Is Raimel tapia a trade candidate or will he finally stick on the roster?


Kyle Glaser: He should finally stick on the roster now that Cargo and Parra are gone. Whether that means a true everyday starter or someone who gets a more 4th OF amount of ABs, I'm not sure due to the Rockies insistence on keeping Ian Desmond on the field.

Terry (Asti, CA): 

    Daniel Lynch had a dominant 2018 pro debut. Why is he not mentioned with the top pitching prospects?


Kyle Glaser: He is. He finished just outside our Top 100 and is slated to be on with some graduations

Jimmy (New Orleans): 

    What is the competitive equivalence for College D1 Baseball in comparison to MiLB? I'm sure there is no exact measurement for this. Example: are College D1 teams/players equivalent to Rookie Ball level, Low-A, A, or High-A? Where would leagues like KBO and NPB stack up on this imaginary competitiveness scale?


Kyle Glaser: Division I college baseball is generally seen as equivalent to Low A, although some would disagree. NPB would be above Triple-A - it's the best league in the world that isn't MLB. KBO is below that, somewhere along the Double-A to Triple-A spectrum.

Celeste (Waldo, KS): 

    Who are some of the RPs in the minors that could come up and make an impact in the bigs this year?


Kyle Glaser: I think Justin Lawrence has a chance to be pitching in the Rockies bullpen by summer.

Tiffythetitan (Oakland, CA): 

    Hi, So, Joey Bart...doing as expected being the #2 overall pick or surprising a little bit?


Kyle Glaser: Doing as expected in the sense he was supposed to be a stud and he's performed like one since day one. At the same time, anyone scouts feel could be in the majors by the middle of their first full professional season is by default exceeding expectations.

Bort (Austin, TX): 

    Anderson Tejeda is a switch hitter now. Does that raise his offensive ceiling?


Kyle Glaser: Not unless his righthanded swing makes more contact than and provides the same impact as his lefthanded swing.

Brett Phillips (Kansas City, Mo.): 

    A little worried I won’t make the team ...


Kyle Glaser: I mean this is what competition is for. Gotta earn it. Even so, if you don't break camp with the big club don't worry, you'll be the first guy up as soon as injuries hit.

Colin (DC): 

    Any word on how Anderson Espinoza has looked?


Kyle Glaser: Espinoza threw a live BP Wednesday and came out of it looking good. Next step was deciding whether to give him one more live BP or roll him out in a game for his next outing. Either way, he'll be facing live hitters soon.

Old Timer (Raleigh NC): 

    I assume Parker Dunshee will be on the shortlist for starter callups in Oakland. Do you have any confidence his package of tools can succeed at the major league level? Thanks.


Kyle Glaser: Two years ago I would have said yes, but seeing Andrew Moore's struggles, I lean no. It's just very, very, very hard to succeed in the majors at 87-90 without a plus secondary.

Shauncore (Kansas City): 

    There's no way you like any Royals prospect, right? It's a wasteland with zero talent and zero direction. If I could rank the Royals system 38th, I would.


Kyle Glaser: They've got some guys who are ok. Nicky Lopez is a good player. Nick Pratto looked better at the end of last year. MJ Melendez is intriguing. At least one of Kowar/Singer/Lynch should be something. The Yefri Del Rosario kid intrigues me. It's not a great system, but I've seen worse.

Doug (Chicago): 

    You mentioned Carlos Soler in the Cardinals org as an interesting sleeper prospect in a recent chat. When he signed it seemed like there were some questions about his lankiness creating holes in his swing. Are those questions still persisting or has his hit tool come along?


Kyle Glaser: It's TBD. He just turned 19 and is still growing into his body. The tools are there, that physical development is part of the next step

DH (PA): 

    What do you think Addison Russell's baseball future looks like?


Kyle Glaser: What typically happens in cases like this is the team trades the player (Aroldis Chapman, Roberto Osuna, etc) and they continue to play for someone else. I'm thinking Russell goes to the same way. Cubs trade him, he lands somewhere else and plays everyday

DH (PA): 

    Who's going to play 1B for the Mets? And if they think Alonso is ready, should they trade Dom Smith after he's raised his stock this spring? Or is it better to let him put up numbers in AAA?


Kyle Glaser: On Opening Day? It will be Todd Frazier if he's healthy. If not I think it will be Dom Smith over Alonso because Smith is already on the 40-man. What they should do, but won't do, is put Cano at 1B and let Lowrie (if he's healthy) or McNeil play 2B

Brad Upham (Chicago, IL): 

    Is 1B Nate Lowe just another "guy" for Rays or do they see him as their Future at First Base? Are they waiting to see what he does in a 1/2 season at AAA?


Kyle Glaser: All indications are they see him as their future at first base, but there is a little bit of "wait and see" just because last year was so far beyond anything he had produced before. But Lowe should be up sooner rather than later, provided he continues doing what he did last year.

Jonathan (Los Angeles): 

    Does Zach Collins establish himself as the White Sox catcher of the future by the end of this year?


Kyle Glaser: It's tough because evaluators who think Collins can actually catch are limited exclusively to the White Sox organization. No one, and I mean no one, anyone on our staff has ever spoken with thinks he's a viable major league catcher. Given that, I have to say no. There is a major league role for him, but everyday catcher does not appear to be the one

jose (Santa Ana Ca.): 

    What is your ETA for Joey Bart? Where do you see him starting this season at?


Kyle Glaser: Bart was originally slated to start at San Jose, but honestly he might be playing himself up to Richmond at this point. The Giants won't rush him, there's no reason to, but I still think he'll debut next year at the latest

Jim (Littlerock): 

    Sixto or Manning? Why?


Kyle Glaser: I would refer you to our Top 100

Jim (New Jersey): 

    Crystal Ball Time: Are Gorman, Montero, and Nunez all on the field for the Cards in 2023, and if so, where? Those are three bats to dream on, considering the team's middling record of SLG the last two years.


Kyle Glaser: The odds of all three making it are too slim to say yes, especially given how often prospects are traded even if they are successful. It would be Gorman at 3B and Montero at 1B if it came to fruition, which would make Nunez probably a trade candidate somewhere along the line

Rockies Fan (Denver): 

    Thanks for chatting with us today! Brendan Rodgers has always gotten the attention in the Rockies farm system, but does Colton Welker have the better offensive ceiling? He's received comps to Nolan Arenado when he was in the minors. The real knock on him has been his power. Even with a very limited sample size this spring, are scouts seeing his power show up? Is a 65 hit/55 power a realistic ceiling?


Kyle Glaser: Welker is a good player, but he's not Nolan Arenado. That's only come from dreaming Rockies fans, not actual evaluators. Your hit and power grades are each a half grade high. Still a darn good player, plus hit average power, and one that is on the cusp of the Top 100. But Rodgers projects to be an equivalent or better hitter, and he's a better defender as well. Not that Welker is a bad defender, Rodgers is just better.

Kyle Glaser: Alright everyone, that will do it for today. Thanks for chatting, and I hope you all have a great weekend.


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Baseball America Spring Training Prospect Report -- March 19, 2019

Alex Reyes and Dakota Hudson both post sterling stat lines, albeit in very different roles for the Cardinals, plus check-ins on three separate middle infield prospects.

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