Kyle Glaser Chat (4/21/20)
Kyle Glaser: Hey everyone, thanks for coming out. Look forward to chatting with you today. Let's get started.
Chris Rodriguez (Anaheim):
- I know it's a small sample size, but any reason to believe that I can be a starter later this year or next?
Kyle Glaser: Not this year. Maybe next year if he's able to build up enough innings in relief this year. Although even then, sending him down to make some starts at Double-A/Triple-A this year would be beneficial. Rodriguez hasn't thrown more than four innings in a game since 2017. He's going to need to show he can throw five, six innings consistently in order to start in the majors, and the only place he's really going to get a chance to do that is in the minors.
Ray (Shippensburg, PA):
- As an O's fan, I continually see Adrian Del Castillo as their projected pick in the draft. Your thoughts on other players who could supplant him at #5.
Kyle Glaser: Assuming Leiter, Rocker, Lawlar and Mayer are gone, the catcher Henry Davis at Louisville and Boston College outfielder Sal Frelick are two particularly interesting options. I will say if somehow Mayer is still there (assuming Leiter, Lawlar and Rocker go 1-2-3), that's the pick. A player of his caliber would be a steal at No. 5.
Ray (Shippensburg. PA):
- Assuming Leiter and Rocker are gone, if the O's were to take a pitcher at #5, who would be the most likely choice? Hogland, Madden, or someone else?
Kyle Glaser: Madden has the slight edge in our rankings right now, but there is a longstanding belief in the industry that Mike Elias won't take pitcher with a pick that high after the Mark Appel/Brady Aiken experiences. (The Astros did take Forrest Whitley and J.B. Bukauskas with their first-rounders at No. 17 and No. 15 in 2016 and 2017, respectively, but those haven't quite worked out as hoped, either.) There is an expectation the O's will always take a position player with their top pick as long as Elias is in charge.
- Who finishes with a better record--the Mariners or the Royals?
Kyle Glaser: I give the edge to the Royals, but the Mariners are playing well enough I don't think you can completely discount them. The offense should be better now that Kyle Lewis is back (and with a likely Jarred Kelenic callup later in the season) and the pitching has been a pleasant surprise. The Royals I still think are the better team, but the Mariners are worth watching.
Justin (Tucson, AZ):
- Where can I find consistent news and stat updates on minor league players at the alternate sites? I’d love to read about the development of 2019 & 2020 draft picks but I’m having a difficult time finding anything.
Kyle Glaser: I believe Josh Norris is working on something for us highlighting the standouts at alternate sites and minor league spring training so far. Stay tuned.
- What’s wrong with Amir Garrett? He’s been one of the most unreliable high leverage guys in the game so far this year.
Kyle Glaser: His fastball has less movement on it (both vertical and horizontal) compared to years past and batters are teeing off on it. He's also been leaving his slider up a little higher in the zone. It's only been five appearances so I wouldn't panic yet. He has time to make some adjustments and you trust Derek Johnson and the Reds pitching infrastructure to help him get right.
- Just under 20 games into the season--re-pick the order of finish in the AL West. Does anything change from before the season started?
Kyle Glaser: Not yet. I'll stick with my preseason prediction of Astros, Athletics, Angels, Mariners and Rangers in that order. Once the Astros get everyone back and in mid-season form, they have the most talent and you trust Dusty Baker to get the most from them.
- Do the Phillies like Nick Maton as their top infield prospect at this point?
Kyle Glaser: Maton's a nice player who certainly has a future in the big leagues, but Bryson Stott is their best infield prospect. Stott has a chance to be an everyday player, Maton is generally seen as more of a versatile utilityman.
Harry Slith (Long Beach):
- Been told that Matt McLain has a younger brother that is at Beckman High School. Wondering your take on his overall skills
Kyle Glaser: He does indeed, and I actually went out and saw him play yesterday before heading up to Anaheim to cover Ohtani's start. Nick McLain is his name and he's a good player. Switch-hitting center fielder who's a 65 runner, can play the heck out of center field and has plus arm (I saw him gun down a runner at home plate from medium depth in CF with a perfect one-hopper on target in the fall.) His lefthanded swing is starting to come around, which is why he's rising fast. There were about a dozen scouts at his game yesterday, including some high-level folks. He's generally seen as a third-fourth rounder at this point, but he's sneaking into the second round range for some.
- You are BA's Mr Dodger. Outman or Vogel to have a better career?
Kyle Glaser: It's closer than you might think. Both are really athletic outfielders with swing questions. This might seem like a cop-out, but I want to wait and see what Vogel's swing adjustments look like this year before answering. He should be out in Rancho Cucamonga at some point this year. Let's circle back on this in a few months.
- Which 2021 MLB draft pitcher do you think makes their MLB debut first?
Kyle Glaser: Tough to say, because a lot of that has to do with team need as well. I don't think anyone would have picked fourth-rounder Joey Lucchesi to be the first pitcher from the 2016 draft class to debut, but he was. Leiter is certainly very polished for his age and Rocker could be a guy who comes up and helps a team in a bullpen quickly before transitioning to starting. But again, a lot of it is going to depend on who drafts them and where that team is, not just the player's individual talent levels.
- Do the Dodgers still see Michael Grove as a SP or will he begin transitioning to becoming a reliever?
Kyle Glaser: They're starting to view him as a more of a potential long man, simply because he hasn't shown he can maintain anything for more than 2-4 innings at a time. This year will be big for him to prove he can.
- Long term, will Chris Rodriguez make it into the rotation or stay in the bullpen?
Kyle Glaser: Given his injuries and the path they've put him on, I think you have to say reliever at this point. We'll see.
- Things still lining up for the minor league season to start in early May? Which prospects are you most looking forward to seeing this season?
Kyle Glaser: So far so good, although we have to keep in mind everything is still fluid and can change at any time. Couple guys I'm particularly interested to see - MacKenzie Gore (see if the timing issues in the delivery have truly gone away); Kody Hoese (if he's more the great hitter he was at the alternate site or the mediocre one he was in instructs), Gabriel Arias (if the improved pitch recognition and plate discipline he showed at the end of 2019 carries over) and Kyle Bradish (see if the stuff truly has ticked up as much as the Orioles said it did or if they were just pumping him up to make the Dylan Bundy trade look less bad). Quinn Priester is also a pitcher I'm really interested to see after the rave reviews he got in instructs last year.
- Is the Giants Sean Roby a guy that the Giants see as a potential impact bat?
Kyle Glaser: They really like the raw power, but he's seen as more of an impact bat off the bench type rather than an everyday player.
James (Fayetteville, GA):
- Hello Kyle, Especially considering the park he plays in, is Tyler Stephenson's *very* small sample size of a .986 OPS in 39 AB telling that he will eventually mature into the offensive star we all thought he would when coming out of high school?
Kyle Glaser: I've liked Stephenson since I saw him in the AFL a few years ago. While I don't expect him to keep up a .986 OPS, I do think he he can be a very productive hitter in the middle of their lineup for a long time. All that depends on him staying healthy, of course, which has been an issue in the past. But purely on talent, it's in there for him to be an above-average offensive performer.
Andrew (Sedona, AZ):
- Huascar Ynoa has had a good start to the season as an SP. What do you think his ceiling is and do you think he can remain a starter? Thank you!
Kyle Glaser: Ynoa has the stuff to start, it just comes down to command and control with him. If he can maintain the command and control he showed in his starts against the Marlins and Nationals, there's no reason he can't be a mid-to-back-of-the-rotation starter. We just have to see if he can maintain it.
Lonely Pirates Fan (Pittsburgh):
- In Order rank: Alford, Fowler, Tom, Oliva
Kyle Glaser: Well, Alford just got DFA'd today so he's out of the picture. Fowler is the one with the most potential out of him, Oliva and Tom, but none of these guys are really a starter on a good team.
Roger (Washington DC):
- Kyle Haines said recently that he's unsure how the different levels are going to play going forward with teams reacting differently to assignments following COVID and elimination of short season. So Low A might be more like short season, High A play like Low A, etc. Is this something you hear player development people talking about and how could it impact players?
Kyle Glaser: Even without COVID, the way the minors were reorganized is going to lead a change in the caliber of play we see at each level. I do expect Low-A to look a lot more like the short-season/advanced rookie leagues did and High-A to look more like Low-A used to in terms of the caliber of play on the field. It is something player development officials are talking about and it's going to be one of the main things they'll be watching this season. As for how it could impact players, my biggest question is if teams will compensate by cutting more guys at the lower levels because they can't make the jump to Double-A from the new, lower-caliber of High-A ball, or if they'll cut the older guys in Double-A and Triple-A and thus bring down the caliber of those leagues as well, which will have adverse affects on how prepared the players at those levels truly are for the majors. I don't have the answer, and I don't think teams do either yet based on the conversations I've had with player development officials. It's uncharted territory for everybody.
- Who is likely to get demoted; Tarik Skubal or Andrew Vaughn?
Kyle Glaser: Vaughn. The White Sox are trying to win and he's just not ready having never played above High-A (and barely playing at that level). He's going to be a very good hitter in time, but he's not ready yet.
Kismet (San Diego):
- What’s going on with Roberto Osuna? Is it the elbow or his past keeping him off a ML roster?
Kyle Glaser: Both. He's recovering from Tommy John surgery and frankly, we don't need to see Roberto Osuna in the majors ever again. (Correction: Osuna was recommended to have TJ but opted against having it. My bad on the initial answer).
Roger (Washington DC):
- Jazz Chisholm seems to be making much more contact this year than even his minor league time. And hard contact. What's causing the difference?
Kyle Glaser: To the naked eye he's leveled out his swing more. At times in the minors he just had such an uppercut and all-pull approach, he couldn't hit anything even remotely elevated. Seeing his HR against deGrom where he leveled out to get to that high fastball, that's a huge development and something he didn't used to be able to do.
Sal (Flemington, NJ):
- Where do you see Marco Luciano at the end of this year?
Kyle Glaser: I'd bet High-A Eugene (that feels weird to type), with an outside shot at Double-A Richmond. A lot of player development officials, including some with the Giants, have talked about taking it slow with players this year, so that's something to consider.
- Were obviously a 2 weeks away from milb season. But what teams do you think will be most prospect loaded on opening day?
Kyle Glaser: This is going to sound like a cop-out, but it's hard to say because we don't know how aggressive or conservative teams are going to be with their assignments. In a normal year you can reasonably predict where a guy is going to be based on where they finished last year. This year? Teams are all over the board on how they valued the alternate site and/or instructs. Some will treat it like a normal year with certain players and start them as if they had played a full season last year (i.e., the Astros reportedly planning to send Jeremy Peña to Triple-A before his wrist injury after he finished 2019 in High-A - that would mean they basically treated his 2020 as if he had spent the year in Double-A) while some other teams have said they're going to start certain players at the level they would have been at to start 2020. It just varies so much from team to team and player to player, it's hard to make any "loaded roster" predictions at this point.
Roger (Greenville, SC):
- Is there any public insight or BA reporting into milb spring training? Especially for teams like the Braves that opted out of data sharing?
Kyle Glaser: Josh Norris has something in the works. Stay tuned.
- Ben Cherington typically tries to not draft arms high, taking college arms with later picks rather than the top. While there is no "top level college bat", could the Bucs take an Astros approach and take the best Prep hitter in Lawler and grab an arm over-slot later?
Kyle Glaser: Playing slot games at the top of the draft would be the worst thing the Pirates could do. Take the best player, and pay him. If the Pirates think Lawlar is the best player in this draft, that's the reason they should take him.
- Jon Gray finally becoming the Jon Gray we were promised?
Kyle Glaser: Maybe. Keep in mind he was pretty damn good in 2017 and 2019 as well (especially when you take Coors into account). It's been an issue of consistency with him. Pitching well in an odd-numbered year is kind of right on schedule for him.
- Javier Baez's o-swing and z-swing percentages are in line (actually a little better) than his peak years, and he's swinging at the same rate overall, but his contact rates have just collapsed. On the surface, he doesn't seem to be making worse swing choices, and he's only 28, it doesn't seem like the bat speed has fallen off. So what is happening? He could be "pressing" following up a miserable 2020 with his contract year, but that would just be an assumption. Thanks.
Kyle Glaser: His approach has gone from bad to terrible. He's swinging from his shoes on every swing. Even just in his first at-bat against Taijuan Walker yesterday, he got ahead 3-1 and and got three pitches over the heart of the plate and took giant, men's softball league-style hacks. Foul, foul, swing and a miss. His swings in his second AB against Walker (and his ABs against Barnes and May) weren't particularly competitive either. He's always been a guy who swings hard, but now he's just swinging hard indiscriminately. As for the reasons why this is happening, only he knows. But it's happening, and he's got to fix it.
- Since BA’s last mock draft, Colton Cowser has gone on a huge power surge hitting 12 HRs with his batting average rising as high as .380 at one point. Where do you realistically see him going in the draft?
Kyle Glaser: We currently have him in the back of the first round based on scout/front office official feedback so far, but in a year where few college bats are performing, he certainly could rise higher over the final six weeks or so of the college season.
- Who is your favorite high school arm eligible in the 2021 draft?
Kyle Glaser: I haven't seen all of the high school arms (that's more Carlos Collazo's forte) so I can't compare all of them directly to one another. I will say Thatcher Hurd checks all the boxes of a high school righthander who actually works out (projectable body, velo 90-94 with room to grow as opposed to 96-100 and maxed out at 18/19, feel for three pitches, command, etc.). He's someone a lot of people like and for good reason.
- Which under-the-radar rookies do you like most this year? Thinking of lower tier guys like Marcano, McCormick, Palacios, Maton, or any other of that ilk that may come up and serve some role in 2021.
Kyle Glaser: Well, my answer would have been Zach McKinstry but I don't think he counts as under the radar anymore. I do think Andy Young with the D-backs (I guess he goes by Andrew Young now) can hit a little bit and he's going to get opportunities this year. He would be a lower-tier guy I'm keeping an eye on.
- Thoughts on Casey Mize’s tools? Thanks!
Kyle Glaser: Assuming you mean his pitch grades, we had them at 60 FB, 60 SL, 70 SPLT, 50 CB, 55 Control coming into the year in the Prospect Handbook. People talk a lot about his splitter, but I actually thought that cutter/short slider he threw in his last spring training start was pretty good and it's been a good pitch for him so far this season. He's wisely incorporating it a little more into his pitch mix so far. I'll be curious to see how everything continues to play out over the course of the season with him.
- Henry Davis has helium under his shoes. How far will climb if his production continues? Might he make it to the top three? Thanks.
Kyle Glaser: It's certainly possible. A college catcher who can hit is a very, very valuable commodity in the draft.
- Can you elaborate on that juicy Bradish comment you just made? What did the Orioles say about him?
Kyle Glaser: The reports from the alternate site last year had Bradish's fastball up to 96 with cut and ride. The Bradish I saw at Inland Empire in 2019 was 91-93 with flat cut right into the barrel of righthanded hitters. He got crushed and frankly was an organizational arm in the eyes of just about everyone. It was fringy FB, below-average control, two breaking balls that ran together and a 79-82 mph changeup. Now the Orioles said he was up to 96 with a CH in the upper 80s and two distinct breaking balls. Obviously, that's a very, very stark difference year over year, so I'm very curious to see for myself where he's really at.
- Fast forward to next year. Who you got for 1-5 prospects? Rutschman, Luciano, Abrams, Witt, Bryjan? Any dark horse prospects that make a leap?
Kyle Glaser: Rutschman, Abrams, J-Rod (I don't expect him to graduate this year), Witt and either Torkelson or Luciano would be my prediction right now. As mentioned in a previous chat Quinn Priester, Robert Hassell III and Michael Busch are my picks to make a big leap up the 100, although I wouldn't call them dark horses.
- Any thoughts on Corbin Burnes insane stats so far?
Kyle Glaser: Just watching in awe, really. This is a special run. Just sit back and enjoy it.
Mark (Seattle, WA):
- Any chance Jerry DiPoto takes a flyer on one of the high school bats (Wood, Watson, House) at #12, or are the Mariners looking at another college arm this year?
Kyle Glaser: It's still a bit early to tie teams to specific players. A lot is going to depend on what happens in front of them.
Roger (Washington DC):
- I'll predict for you that San Jose roster includes Marco Luciano, Luis Matos, Luis Toribio, Kyle Harrison and, fairly soon after OD, Alexander Canario. And I pronounce it stacked!
Kyle Glaser: I think that is a fair prediction and I agree, that would be stacked. I'm looking forward to (hopefully) watching a lot of those players in the Cal League this year.
Justin (Tucson, az):
- Who’s LAD’s second baseman in 2023, Gavin Lux or Michael Busch?
Kyle Glaser: Lux. I think Busch is either their DH (because I expect the DH to be universal beginning in 2022) or more likely they push Muncy to DH and Busch is their everyday 1B. He's gotten better at 2B and, as one veteran evaluator put it "it's not a no", but Lux at 2B and Busch/Muncy at 1B/DH is going to be a much better defensive alignment for the Dodgers.
Kyle Glaser: All right everyone, that will do it for today. Thanks for coming out. Have a great rest of your week and stay safe out there.