Kyle Glaser Chat (3/22/19)
Kyle Glaser: Hey everyone, happy Friday and I hope your brackets are still in good shape. We're only six days away from Opening Day (Japan series excluded, of course), so let's talk some baseball.
- Do you see Brian Anderson taking a step forward this year? I know ST stats mean jack, but he's been tearing the cover off the ball with a very solid approach.. thoughts?
Kyle Glaser: Hey J.P., I do expect continued good things from Brian Anderson, this year and beyond. He piqued my interest at the 2017 Futures Game (first time I saw him) and I could not have been more impressed with him when I saw him last year with the Marlins. Beyond just his bat - his athleticism, his arm, his feel for the game - this is a really good player and one the Marlins can count on as a constant during their rebuild. He's got a very nice career ahead of him.
Randall (Concordia, KS):
- The Cardinals are always logjammed with talented OFs. How does Dylan Carlson rank compared to the minor OFs? Is this a season where he could explode?
Kyle Glaser: This is definitely a season where Dylan Carlson could take a big step forward. The tools are there, the physical maturity continues, and now he's out of the offense-stifling Florida State League. We have him ranked as the Cardinals No. 10 prospect and the No. 3 outfielder in their system behind Tyler O'Neill and Lane Thomas (and I'm the one who did the Cardinals list.). That's where he stacks up compared to the rest of their prospect-eligible outfielders.
- Could you rank Corbin Byrnes, German Marquez, Joey Luchessi, Shane Bieber? What do you think is a reasonable expectation for those guys?
Kyle Glaser: Marquez, Burnes, Lucchesi and Bieber in that order for me. As I wrote in our season preview, Marquez has quietly been one of the best young starters in MLB the last two years and I think this is the year he could raise his star and put himself in Cy Young conversations. Burnes has a chance to be a really good No. 2/3, Lucchesi and really solid No. 4 who pitches at a No. 3-caliber level in his best years. Bieber I think is probably more of a straight No. 5 starter, but I'll be curious to see what adjustments he's made after his first taste of the majors last year.
Tiffythetitan (Oakland, CA):
- Hi, what do we make of all these extensions announced lately? Is this normal activity and we're just hyper aware because of the slow free agent off season or is there some cause/effect? And if it continues what does it mean for the future free agent markets? Extensions are the latest version of "moneyball"...
Kyle Glaser: I'm going to have an article up about this soon. The extension frenzy we've seen (which surpasses all previous years by a decent margin and isn't done yet) is a direct result of the free agent freeze we saw this winter. Players who aren't at the Harper/Machado level are now realizing their best chance to cash in is with an extension rather than wait until they hit free agency at 29, 30, 31. This is going to be the new normal until the CBA changes and service time measurements are adjusted.
Gilbert (Natoma, KS):
- Am I the only one thinking that Oscar Mercado is blowing the competition for the Indians Corner OF spots out of the water in Spring Training? Feels like the org is going to send him down no matter what he does especially since they just signed CarGo. What are your thoughts on the situation?
Kyle Glaser: The Gonzalez signing unfortunately does squeeze Mercado out of an opening day starting job most likely. Scouts were bought in on him as an everyday outfielder last year and he showed he deserved the chance this spring training. But given Tyler Naquin's injury history, CarGo's age and Leonys Martin coming off a very, very scary bacterial infection, I don't think it will be too long before we see Mercado up in the majors even if he starts the year in Columbus.
Tom Shea (Boston):
- Long term which second base prospect is the best offensive Major league player Carter Kieboom, Nick Midrigal or Luis Urias?
Kyle Glaser: Luis Urias has a chance to win batting titles at his peak (although I'd like to see him get back to a more consistently level approach) and that's pretty special. At the same time, if the total package of average and power on Kieboom makes him a more potent all-around offensive performer than Urias, I won't be shocked. Madrigal is a clear third in that pecking order right now.
- which rockies gets more ABs this year Hampson or McMahon?
Kyle Glaser: I like them both, but I think it will be Hampson. His edge in defensive versatility and speed will be the difference. It has a chance to be close though. Don't give up on McMahon.
- Is this the last chance for Steven Matz and the Mets? Has his potential dropped past what many originally had hoped ?
Kyle Glaser: I wouldn't go that far Nap. He's a 27-year-old lefty who just turned in 30 starts, struck out almost a batter an inning, allowed less than a hit an inning and kept his walks reasonable, if a tick below what you'd like to see. The home runs allowed obviously aren't great, but there's still plenty to work with there. His potential has dropped in that sense there were dreams of him being a No. 2 starter, but a solid No. 4-type is certainly nothing to sneeze at. He's a fine pitcher and one the Mets are fine keeping this year and beyond as long as he stays healthy, which is obviously a big if with him.
- Thoughts on the Reds just announcing they're holding down Senzel? Do you think it's service time related or is their a genuine developmental reason for it? I was kind of surprised, thought they would start him opening day considering they just traded prospects for 1-year guys to compete now. Given how the tough the NL Central will be, I thought they would let go of the extra year in favor of extra help in 2019.
Kyle Glaser: He's trying to learn a new position and coming off elbow surgery. Sending him back down to Triple-A was absolutely the right call, independent of service time.
- How long are Orioles going to keep Hays down for? Just long enough to manipulate service time or do they want to prove his struggles from last year are behind him?
Kyle Glaser: He's already been in the majors. Service-time manipulation isn't a factor with him. The number of guys truly being service-timed was two - Vlad and Eloy. That's it. Everyone else is going to the minors for valid reasons. Hays still has to work on his center field defense and continue making strides with his approach. The best place for him to do that is in Norfolk. He'll be up when he's ready, and that will be sooner rather than later this season. I'm guessing he's up in Baltimore by May, but injuries and other factors that can't be predicted will play a role in what exactly that timeline looks like.
- When will Pete Alonso be up? is this a vlad situation?
Kyle Glaser: Following up on the last question. No. This is not a Vlad situation. Alonso is still working toward being a playable defender at first base. He's been better, but there's still work to do. You can't put someone at first base in a Major League Baseball game who misses pickoff throws - that's been a real issue he's needed to work on. He'll be up, but as I've talked about before, Mets fans have deluded themselves a bit thinking he's the same situation as Vlad and Eloy. He's not.
- Is Ichiro a unanimous first ballot HOFer?
Kyle Glaser: We only just had our first unanimous Hall of Famer with Rivera. Given how many exceptional players were not unanimous, I do not believe Ichiro will be unanimous. He'll sail in of the first ballot easy though, as he should.
- Is this the year that Jorge Soler puts it all together? Or just another awesome spring?
Kyle Glaser: Soler is absolutely a breakout candidate for this season. We saw it last year before he his foot injury. He's in his prime, he's going to get everyday ABs in a non-pressure environment, he appears healthy.... all the stars are aligned for him to continue what he did last year and take it up another notch.
- I guess what I meant was...SHOULD Ichiro be a unanimous first ballot HOFer?
Kyle Glaser: Interesting. I think Tony Gwynn should have been. I think Wade Boggs should have been. With that, I would have to say I believe Ichiro should be too.
Roger (Oklahoma City):
- Can Joe Palumbo get some big league innings this year? What do you think his long term ceiling is?
Kyle Glaser: If Palumbo does it will be three innings as a September callup. He pitched 45 innings last year coming off TJ, you're looking at a workload of certainly no more than 100 innings this entire season and probably less. It's going to be a very, very carefully managed workload on a guy who has pitched nine innings above A-ball. He's got a chance long-term to be a No. 3/4 starter, but being durable is a huge component of that and we have to see how he builds back up.
Roger (Oklahoma City):
- Hans Crouse has tons of reliever risk but 2 sick pitches. Do you think it bucks the odds and develops an avg 3rd pitch to be a starter in the bigs?
Kyle Glaser: Crouse has flashed a solid changeup, so it's in there. Fine-tuning a third pitch is something every pitching prospect does as they get to higher levels, and he's got every good a chance as anyone to do so. It's going to be more about his herky-jerky delivery and resulting command that determines whether he starts or relieves long-term. He's got time to figure it out.
- KG, sup bro! What do you think of Dustin May? Does it say a lot about what the dodgers think by him still being in camp? Is he a front of the rotation type or more of a #3-4?
Kyle Glaser: Sup dude. May is the real deal, particularly as his cutter and power curveball continue to come along. Most evaluators have him pegged as a No. 3 starter pending the progression of those two offerings. If they come, he moves into that front-of-the-rotation tier.
Celeste (Waldo, KS):
- What type of ceiling could Wenceel Perez have? Do his skill set translate to potential 2020 top 100 candidate?
Kyle Glaser: Perez is a favorite of our international guru Ben Badler. The bat control, athleticism and ability to play shortstop are definitely a nice starter kit for a potential Top 100 candidate. He's on our radar as a guy to watch this year for a potential jump.
Celeste (Waldo, KS):
- Jorge Guzman has seemed to of taken a step back last year especially from a control standpoint. Do you think that going from the NYY org, who has seemed to have a knack of developing arms, to MIA could be playing a part in his struggles? Is he of the same type of mold as Sandy Alcantara, who is getting a shot in the pros.
Kyle Glaser: Being in the right organization and getting the right instruction definitely goes a long way toward players successfully developing, but keep in mind Miami's group is pretty much all new so you can't really hold the track record of past failures against this player development staff. (And I would point out this group got Alcantara to take some real, tangible steps forward last year and got Pablo Lopez and Nick Neidert going well). Alcantara has always had a little more of that starter's athleticism while Guzman is more of a pump-and-chuck guy, and Alcantara's secondary stuff is better too. Guzman most likely is a bullpen guy long-term, but that was true in the Yankees and Astros systems as well.
- How would you rank these "waiting on a hit tool" guys for likelihood of future fantasy success? Trent Deveaux, Austin Beck, Monte Harrison, and Khalil Lee.
Kyle Glaser: I want to believe in Monte Harrison, and a part of me still does, but the swing and miss is just so bad that it's hard to have any real confidence in him. Austin Beck gets lumped into this "questionable hit" category, but he went out as a teenager from a warm-weather state to the Midwest League and hit .296 while getting on-base, keeping his strikeout rate down and showing extra-base power that should grow into home run power. That's incredibly hard to do in a first full season, and not many teenagers do it. He might be my pick, just because he's shown the ability to make contact at a consistent rate the others have not.
Randall (Concordia, KS):
- Who are some of the prospects from 3rd round or later of the 2018 draft that you think will have the biggest stock jump this year?
Kyle Glaser: Owen Miller can hit and is very, very real as a prospect. On the more long-term side, keep an eye on Braydon Fisher (Dodgers fourth-rounder). The flashes of everything are there, now having him in the system to add some strength the entire fall and winter could result in a potential uptick this spring.
- how do you grade Travis Swaggertys tools? Staying within the same org, what do you think of Tahnaj Thomas? Is he a breakout candidate?
Kyle Glaser: Swaggerty's tool grades (and those of every other Top 10 prospect in every team's system) are in our Prospect Handbook. Go ahead and grab a copy for that and a whole lot more. Thomas has a chance, especially now that the converted shortstop will be entering year three on the mound. He's worth keeping an eye on, for sure.
Neal (Columbia, SC):
- Loved the Alek Thomas homerun and then trying to get his dads attention. Those are great baseball moments. What are your thoughts on him? He was one of my favorite prospects in the draft.
Kyle Glaser: That was a pretty awesome moment. One of the highlights of spring training. Quite a few evaluators thought Thomas was better than a lot of guys who got drafted ahead of him, even with the size concerns, and you'll notice he's already in the D-backs top 10 ahead of a guy even they took ahead of him. That Kane County team has a chance to be really interesting this year, and Thomas will be a central figure in that.
- Who has more of a chance to make an impact in the bigs between Mickey Moniak and Simon Muzzioti and why? Stats and tools seem comparable. Thanks!
Kyle Glaser: Moniak ranks No. 10 on our Phillies top prospects list. Muzziotti didn't make the Top 30. There is your answer. As for why, for all his struggles, Moniak still has a nice, smooth swing that produces hard contact on a line when his approach is right. Muzziotti lacks the strength to impact the ball in any way.
- Pete Alonso, Andrew Vaughn, or Yordan Alvarez. Who you got?
Kyle Glaser: Alvarez is ranked higher than Alonso on the top 100. There is a reason for that. As for Vaughn, it's tough for me to say since I'm not part of our college coverage.
Michael Stern (Rochester NY):
- Any room for X. Edwards in SD with Urias and Tatis blocking him? Can he move to CF? Edwards looks like a future real good offensive lead off catalyst. What are you hearing as to his future in SD? Thanks for the chat!
Kyle Glaser: Xavier Edwards has yet to play above short-season ball. Urias and Tatis will be in the majors this year. We're at least three years away from having to figure out where Edwards fits in the majors. This is not a question the Padres are going to have to figure out any time soon.
- Have you seen any positive signs from Kevin Maitan this spring? Does he look like a bounce back candidate? I have him stashed on my rookie team and was wondering weather to cut bait or hold.
Kyle Glaser: More than anything this spring, it was the signs Maitan showed at the end of last season that give you some hope. He's going to have to keep his body in check very, very carefully, but there were enough signs to hold onto him for a least a little bit longer.
Michael Stern (Rochester NY):
- T. Casas - future 1B for Boston. What year do you think he arrives? How big of a ceiling for him? Thanks for the chat!
Kyle Glaser: He's at least 3-4 years away, like the vast majority of HS bats. There is a middle-of-the-order, 30+ home run, power-hitting first baseman you can dream on, but there is a long way to go.
Kyle Glaser: All right everybody, looks like that will be all for today. Now to settle in and get ready for my ASU Sun Devils to take on Buffalo. Hope you all have a great weekend, and keep it here at BA as Opening Day approaches.