Kyle Glaser Chat (5/5/20)
Kyle Glaser: Hey everyone. Happy Cinco De Mayo. Hope y'all are safe and healthy and able to celebrate tonight. Let's get chatting.
Dalton (Little Rock):
- Hey Kyle, thanks for doing this chat. What is a taxi squad exactly and how might it work in a shortened 2020 season? Also, what do you see as the most likely scenario for how minor-leaguers will play games/continue to develop this year?
Kyle Glaser: Hey Dalton, my pleasure. A taxi squad is generally a certain number of players who are only eligible to play on certain days of the week or under other restrictions. For example, in the Arizona Fall League, each team has a "taxi squad" of five guys who can only play on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Theoretically, you could see it work in a shortened 2020 season where clubs keep a taxi squad of five or so prospect/bench guys just to keep them with the major league club and mix them in, especially if there is no Triple-A for them to go play at. Which leads to your next question: I think it's highly unlikely we see games played in minor league cities and stadiums this year. Whether that means clubs do something formal with their prospects at spring training sites or the players end up just informally training on their own the entire year, it's hard to say. A lot is going to depend on the growth rate of the coronavirus and the availability of testing, as it will with MLB.
Roger (Greenville, SC):
- What are the easiest aspects of player development to work on under lockdown conditions? Obviously strength and conditioning would be at the top of the list, but how about swing changes and pitch design? Are there other aspects that can be done during this time?
Kyle Glaser: Players can still work on swing changes and pitch design/mechanics. The spread of video technology, even just using an iPhone camera, has allowed for coaches to keep tabs on guys and still provide instruction based on what they're seeing.
- Do you think we have minor LG baseball this summer?
Kyle Glaser: Based on the information we have today, I think it is very unlikely. We'll see if the information (read: the virus growth rate, the success of vaccine/antiviral drug tests, increased availability of widespread testing with quick turnaround times) changes. If it does, then the equation changes. For now, based on where things stand and what it means in terms of fans being able to attend games, which minor league teams can't survive without, it appears very unlikely.
- What is your take on MLB potentially running the minors?
Kyle Glaser: There are a lot of pluses. Some minor league clubs are run very professionally, others are shockingly poorly run and are badly in need of a takeover. I think developing some consistency across the clubs and levels in terms of facilities quality, staffing and general operations is a good thing. Now, in practice is MLB truly going to cure all those ails? Probably not. But the idea isn't coming from the wrong place.
Alley Cat (USA):
- How would a shortened season affect prospects we see in the MLB? Do you think teams would be more or less likely to add prospects to their active roster. I could see them using it as a tool to supress playing time even more
Kyle Glaser: It's going to depend on the roster sizes. If MLB expands active rosters to 29 (an extra three players as they did at the start of the last delayed season in 1995) then we'll see a couple of extra prospects but not an overwhelming amount. If they enlarge the size even more, then we'll see more. Until roster sizes are firmly set, it's hard to give a definitive answer.
Tommy (Los Gatos):
- How close is Andy Pages to being a top one hundred prospect?
Kyle Glaser: He was not particularly close. A lot of evaluators expected him to have trouble once he reached Low A and then have to work through those struggles. He's very talented and you can see the tools for a bright future, but he's also an extremely risky prospect given his age, swing and general wildness on the baseball field. He's more of a long-term hope type of guy than a bona fide stud at this point.
BMcB (San Diego):
- Is Max Meier’s height keeping him from being selected as top college pitcher?
Kyle Glaser: No. Asa Lacy would still go ahead of Meyer given he's a lefty with a third plus pitch. Meyer is either going to be the No. 2 or 3 college pitcher selected. His height isn't really holding him back here. People love him and he's going to go good in the draft.
Casey Dana (Ny):
- I am a college junior ... my Sean and summer season have both been cancelled... is there anything I should be doing to increase my chances of getting drafted
Kyle Glaser: Hey Casey. For the record folks, Casey is a third baseman at Seton Hall who was off to a really nice start this year. Most of the scouts and front office officials we've spoken to have said they're really going to have to go off what they saw in the short looks this spring and their past history with guys. That doesn't mean there isn't anything that can be done (teams are always interested in data from workouts at home, etc), it just seems like for the most part, the past history is going to be the overwhelming factor in getting drafted.
Joey (Northridge, Ca):
- If you had to pick one Athletics prospect to make a jump into the top 100 by the end of the season(if we do have one). Austin Beck, Robert Puason, Nick Allen.
Kyle Glaser: I'm curious to see what Austin Beck can do fully healthy (he was hampered by a recurring quad strain last year) and Robert Puason certainly has some interesting tools. That said, I wouldn't go out on a limb and predict them to jump into the Top 100.
- Phil Hughes made some comments yesterday on Twitter about a proposed July 1 Opening Day. A July 4th Opening Day would be pretty cool for America! Have you heard anything?
Kyle Glaser: People across the game (front office officials, players, agents, etc) are throwing out all sorts of different scenarios and ideas. Most of them are just that, ideas at this point. We hear a lot of things and a mid-June spring training and an early July start has been one of them. Again, it's possible, but it has not been decided yet and should not be advertised as a firm decision that has been reached. It's one of many hopeful thoughts/ideas/proposals on the table.
- Is Joey Gallo a good best-case-scenario comp for Oneil Cruz?
Kyle Glaser: Cruz doesn't swing and miss nearly as much as Gallo did. Gallo struck out 35 percent of the time in his minor league career and struck out 40 percent of the time in his first stint at Double-A as a 20 year old. Cruz has a career 25 percent strikeout rate in the minors and struck out 26 percent of the time in his first stint at Double-A as a 20-year-old. Cruz has some holes that will keep his average down, but nowhere near as many as Gallo did. Like Gallo, he has a lot of potential and it's going to depend on the adjustments he makes as he gets older.
- If there are no MiLB games this summer, do you foresee any kind of stateside fall/winter leagues in certain areas of the country that are equipped and have weather conducive to hosting? Also, how quickly do you think Maximo Acosta can climb the ladder to make his big league debut? Thanks!
Kyle Glaser: Our JJ Cooper posited this on Monday. Again, it's going to depend on things outside of baseball's control and where the country is as a whole in the fall whether it's feasible or not. As for Acosta, the absolute best-case, outlier international signees (Bogaerts, Devers, Soto, Tatis, Acuna, etc) make their ML debuts 3-4 years after they sign. If he's like them, it'll be 2022-23 before we see him. If he's still a really good player but not an outlier, we're probably looking more 2024-25.
- Do you see Veen breaking into the Top 5 or do you think the top 5 have separated themselves from the rest of the class?
Kyle Glaser: The upper-level, national evaluators I've spoke to have the top five of Spencer Torkelson, Austin Martin, Asa Lacy, Nick Gonzales and Emerson Hancock as the clear top five in the class with a clear separation between them and the next group, which includes Veen. That said, all it takes is one team to feel differently for Veen or someone else to sneak into the top five.
Jack (Denver, CO):
- With the extreme production Heriberto Hernandez has had the last two seasons, I am surprised he isn't on the list of guys with a lot of buzz. Is his terrible defense to blame for this, or does his above average swinging strike rate portend to a player like him declining quickly as he ascends the minors, and dampen his future outlook?
Kyle Glaser: We ranked Hernandez as one of the top prospects in both the Rangers system and the Arizona League, so we're clearly giving him some love. I also highlighted him at the Padres-Rangers On-Deck Classic last year. https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/heriberto-hernandez-leads-rangers-comeback-in-on-deck-classic/. Yes he needs to find a position and there are some concerns about how he'll age as a corner-only guy already in Rookie ball, but he's a talented young hitter we're certainly paying attention to. Don't take the fact he's not on one particular list to mean he isn't getting any buzz.
Logan Field (MI):
- How many rounds do you expect the draft to be? 10? 5? More? Thanks
Kyle Glaser: Most scouting directors and team officials are just hoping they can get 10 rounds. I would be very, very surprised if it's more than that. 10 rounds appears to be the best-case scenario right now.
Logan Field (MI):
- Who are some good prospects that will be available in the second round of the draft?
Kyle Glaser: I would encourage you to check out the BA 500 and take a look at the list of players in the 30-60 range. https://www.baseballamerica.com/rankings/2020-mlb-draft-top-prospects/
- Reid Detmers reminds me of Paul Maholm. Is that a fair comp?
Kyle Glaser: In the sense of a back-end lefty starter who doesn't throw overly hard but is durable and effective, sure. The general thought is he can pitch above that and be closer to some of the soft-tossing lefties who are more in the 100-110 career ERA+ range (Maholm was 95+).
- Will Ke'Bryan Hayes hit enough to profile at third? Was there evidence of him getting the ball in the air more during Spring Training?
Kyle Glaser: That's the million dollar question. Everyone keeps expecting that he will, but he never quite does. That fact he hit .265/.336/.415 with 10 home runs at Triple-A last year when the ball was absolutely flying is very, very concerning. As for spring training I had not heard either way. I will say a 25 AB sample in the early part of spring training should not be considered definitive proof of a long-lasting change in any event.
Logan Field (MI):
- What round will Parker Chavers and Tyler Keenan go? Thanks as always
Kyle Glaser: Again, I would refer you to the BA 500 where you can see where the players rank and how that corresponds to an overall pick number. https://www.baseballamerica.com/rankings/2020-mlb-draft-top-prospects/
Kyle Glaser: All right everyone, that will do it for today. Thanks for stopping by. Stay safe out there and hope you all have a great week.