Image credit: Chrisian Yelich (Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images)
Kyle Glaser: Hey everybody, hope you’re having a great week so far. Lot of fun things happening this time of year. Let’s get chatting
JoeyO (Northridge Ca):
- Is Austin Beck a big break out prospect candidate next year? He played in the Mid-West League which is one of the worst hitting leagues and still hit .300 and led the league in hits. The only question is where is all the power the scouts talked about?
Kyle Glaser: Beck is absolutely someone to keep an eye on moving forward. The biggest question with him was how much he’ll hit, and for a guy with that “raw tools” pedigree to go out and hit as much as he did is extremely encouraging. I wouldn’t worry about the power. A lot of those doubles will eventually turn into home runs, and he’s still a teenager with a lot of growth left. Turning raw into game power takes time, and at his age it’s a lot better to see close to .300 with single digit HRs than .260 with 20 HRs.
Matt (Los Angeles, CA):
- Who are you the most bullish on out of the three young Angels Jackson, Adams and Knowles?
Kyle Glaser: I’m going to go against the grain here and say Knowles. For a 17 year old from a non-traditional baseball country to go out and perform as well as he did not just in the AZL but a step up into the Pioneer League (yes, they’re both rookie ball, but the competition is a step up) is extremely encouraging. Anytime you have a teenaged switch-hitter with athleticism performing like Knowles did, it’s not hard to be bullish
- Do you see a similar progression through the minors for Wander Franco as Vladdy Jr. has had? What level could he reach next year?
Kyle Glaser: The Rays generally move their prospects a lot slower than other organizations, although that’s more true with their pitchers than position players. But just as Vlad did, Franco opening next year in LoA and finishing in HiA is what I would bet on
Justin (Tucson, AZ):
- Is Amed Rosario on an extended hot streak or is he finally living up to the hype? If his past 30 days were extended over the course of a full season he’d be like Trea Turner
Kyle Glaser: He’s figuring things out for real. That said, there will come a time when the league makes a counteradjustment, and he’ll have to come back and make another, but this is who Amed Rosario absolutely can be
Roger (Greenville, SC):
- When do the league top 20 lists start?
Kyle Glaser: Sept. 20 with the Triple-A leagues. Stay tuned
Jose (Louisville, Kentucky):
- I’ve seen a lot of people excited by Wander Franco, and the numbers and ARL are insane, but what kind of major leaguer do we think he’ll be? Is there an obvious comp from an archetypal perspective (knowing that comps are lazy and imperfect)? Is his future position clear?
Kyle Glaser: Jose Ramirez is the comp. Both body type and skillset. And his future position is probably 3B, but that could change depending on how his body develops.
Big Fish (Little Pond):
- In your opinion, is Jo Adell going to have a future outcome more like Mike Cameron, Justin Upton or Tim Salmon?
Kyle Glaser: Vernon Wells. That’s my comp for Adell. (And don’t worry Angels fans, I’m talking about the good Vernon Wells in Toronto, not the one who showed up in Anaheim)
- Michel Baez has looked better in the post season than in the regular season at AA. His season on the whole is a little disappointing though compared to what we expected. What’s your outlook?
Kyle Glaser: He has a lot of mechanical things to fix. And as far as his postseason, he gave up only one hit in 5.2 innings two nights ago but also walked four and threw four wild pitches. His stuff and command have regressed, and it’s very hard for 6-foot-8 guys to repeat their mechanics consistently, so it’s not clear it will get better instead of worse. More and more, evaluators are leaning 8th inning reliever on Baez….but I would caution to say that if he gets back on line to the plate and gets a little looser in his lower half, then we could see the guy we saw in Ft Wayne last year come back
Anthony (New York):
- Thanks for the chat! Bryse Wilson made a ridiculous climb at the tender age of 20 all the way to The Show. What’s his future look like? How would you rank the stable of young arms they have in Atlanta? (There are a lot so I’ll let you choose how deep you want to go)
Kyle Glaser: Wilson’s climb was certainly impressive this year. Long term he still ranks behind Anderson, Wright and now Touki (as well as Newcomb and Foltynewicz) but he’s a legit SP prospect who could start for a lot of teams. Soroka ranks ahead too provided his shoulder injury doesn’t linger.
- Matt Manning continues to look better for my tigers. Did he start to answer some of the control questions? I want him to be an ace.
Kyle Glaser: Expecting an ace is a little much and not something evaluators see in Manning right now, but he absolutely moved in the right direction with his control the second part of the year. He’s still just a 20 year old kid with a lot of development left. He’s 91-95 without a plus secondary, so quite a few steps have to be taken, and most evaluators see him more mid-to-back of the rotation right now, but he’s a good athlete with a good arm and if he blossoms to more in the next year or two, no one should be shocked
- Brusdar! has been all over prospect sites all summer. He’s making good strides for his age. There’s talk of front of the rotation upside. Scouting the stat line that doesn’t seem entirely accurate. I know scouting the stat line can only tell me so much, so what am I missing with Graterol?
Kyle Glaser: Not quite sure what you mean? He advanced to high A as a 19 year old (just turned 20 in August), posted a sub-3.00 ERA and struck out more than a batter an inning, allowed less than a hit an inning and kept his walk rate in the 2s…that’s exactly the type of season you want to see from someone with his stuff, which is front of the rotation caliber.
Adam (Land of Funk):
- Would it be the worst idea for the Twins to consider trading Byron Buxton? What type of value does a player with his ceiling/production have?
Kyle Glaser: It wouldn’t be the worst idea, no, but you also don’t want to sell super low, which is what you’d be doing right now. It’s time to be frank about Buxton – he has over a 1000 PAs now and is a career .230/.285/.387 hitter—there’s nothing production-wise that is of huge value, no matter the defense. It’s all based on perception of ceiling…if that Twins can find a team who still values him super high because of the flashes he’s shown, sure, make the trade, but most teams are going to be wary of giving up anything huge for an oft-injured, well below average bat who plays a really good center field, which is what Buxton is right now. It probably makes the most sense for the Twins to hold onto him and hope he can figure it out, that possibility is more valuable to them than what they could probably get in a trade right now, barring another team paying for his perceived ceiling rather than his production.
Adam (Land of Funk):
- #PadresTwitter is currently ranking Paddack and Patiño ahead of Mackenzie Gore on their team’s prospect lists. Is there a legitimate argument to be made that this is the case or is this just putting too much emphasis on results?
Kyle Glaser: I’ve dug into this one a bit in prep for the Padres handbook. Short version – no one who actually scouts for a living has Paddack or Patino ahead of Gore. They’re all darn good, but when Gore is on he’s the best of all, and there’s really no debate from either inside the Padres org or the outside
Adam (Land of Funk):
- Is the “catching controversy” in San Diego being overblown? Austin Hedges’ career high in games started is 120 and that’s also the only season in which he’s caught over 100 games. There seems to be plenty of playing time to go around.
Kyle Glaser: Competition is a good thing. Bring in talented players, see who can win a job. That’s something that’s been lacking in San Diego for some time. It’s not a controversy, it’s sports. Let them play, see whose better, and make a decision from there, it’s really not that complicated.
- Is Hudson Potts a top 5 3B prospect in the minors? What is his ceiling and how close is he to MLB ready?
Kyle Glaser: No. There are still a lot of holes in the swing that have evaluators concerned (and are very visible when you go watch him). There’s a lot to like with Potts, and he adjusts very well, but he’s not close to one of the top 5 3B prospects in the minors (more 10-15 range) and he’s going to need another two years before he’s really actually ready…He’s a good player, and the Padres 3B of the future, but he’s not an elite prospect.
Jose (Louisville, Kentucky):
- Had this debate with a friend, hoping you can help settle it. Who was the more hyped prospect pre-MLB debut: Vlady Jr, or Jesus Montero. There were 80 hit/power grades put on Montero, but he didn’t have Vladdy’s insane season and was slightly behind on the ARL. Fair to say that Montero was behind but not significantly so?
Kyle Glaser: Vladdy. Montero never ranked as the No. 1 prospect in baseball. Vlad is
- Your thoughts on the following Phillies prospects: Jhailyn Ortiz, Cornelius Randolph, Mickey Moniak and Jose Pujols. Thanks !!
Kyle Glaser: Don’t have anything to offer on Pujols. Randolph and Ortiz are bad bodied guys who can’t hit. (Ortiz was maybe the worst guy I’ve seen this year that was supposed to be a guy). Moniak is the best of them all but he’s tracking as an extra OF at this point.
- What would you do next year in Padres OF? Need to make a trade right?
Kyle Glaser: I’m going to say something kind of controversial but it’s the truth….it’s going to depend on Manny Margot. You can’t have the guy you hope to be your leadoff hitter batting .255 with a .301 OBP (his career numbers after more than 1000 ABs). Even as your No. 8 hitter, given the Padres are seriously talking about going into next season with Javier Guerra as their SS until Tatis is ready, and Hedges is still a sub. 300 OBP guy….you can’t have three guys like that at the bottom of your order plus the pitcher spot, not if you’re serious about taking a step forward and winning games. If Margot shows up next year looking great and getting on base like he should, then you make a trade. If he shows up and hits like he is this year, you send him down to Triple-A and go with a Cordero/Jankowski/Myers/Renfroe/Reyes outfield rotation.
Richard (So Cal):
- What are you hearing on Luis Robert ? I know he was hurt most of the year so the numbers don’t mean much, but did the scouts like what they saw ?
Kyle Glaser: Not really. His swing was all upper body and he was struggling with mediocre stuff. It wasn’t good. At the same time, he missed so much time due to injury you give him a pass. Seeing what Robert looks like next year, full healthy, will be one of the most interesting subplots of the season
Richard (So Cal):
- Who do you think ends up as the better hitter out of these three prospects ? Carter Kieboom, Yordan Alvarez and Luis Garcia (Nationals) ?
Kyle Glaser: Alvarez the most impactful hitter, Kieboom the best player
Richard (So Cal):
- Ronald Acuna has 25 HR’s in 95 games. That projects to more than 40 HR’s in a full season. Did BA under estimate his power or did his power just continue to develop quicker than anticipated ?
Kyle Glaser: We put a 70 on his power, which with the new power scale translates to 38-44 HRs a season. We were right on with his power grade.
- What can you tell us about Malcom Nunez? Too early to get excited about a 17 year old in the DSL?
Kyle Glaser: He’s a real dude. Plus power, plus arm, really strong track record in Cuba’s junior leagues. It’s always very, very wise to be wary of DSL numbers, but you can feel better about Nunez than you would a lot of other players
- Who are some unheralded candidates in the high minors who could be the next Ramon Laureano?
Kyle Glaser: I wouldn’t exactly call Laureano unheralded. He’s ranked in the Prospect Handbook each of the last two years and ranked in the Cal League Top 20 as well (although in each case he was ranked too low in retrospect). But as far as guys who are good athletes with improving swings who get on base—a skillset that crazily gets way underrated today as people overly focus on minor league power numbers—keep an eye on Royals SS Nicky Lopez and Indians CF Oscar Mercado
Adam (Land of Funk):
- What does it mean for a pitcher to be a “junkballer,” and is there a difference between that and someone with a “kitchen sink” repertoire?
Kyle Glaser: Some of this is open to individual interpretation, but for me a junkballer is a guy who can’t top 86, 87 and thus just throws a whole bunch of offspeed/secondary stuff to try and survive, while a kitchen sink guy can still get it up into the 90s but just has like seven different pitches in his arsenal and throws them all
- Ryan Hartman led the Texas League in almost every pitching category. Just another soft-tossing lefty or is there something more there?
Kyle Glaser: Let me put it this way…in both our Astros organizational calls and Texas League calls, no one inside or outside the organization brought up Hartman as a guy who should rank for them. Of course, it’s always possible the Astros are trying to hide him, and lefties tend to have a long shelf life, but right now he’s not someone seen as a long-term ML prospect in the Astros system
- Thoughts on the A’s high minor pitching prospects? Anyone there help for the rotation in 2019. I am thinking/hoping Parker Dunshee.
Kyle Glaser: Dunshee had the better numbers, but Brian Howard is actually the better prospect of the two. Throws harder and has the plus secondary. He’s the guy, although at 6-9 his mechanics and control are always going to have to be watched carefully
- Wander Javier a name to file away to look at progress next year?
Kyle Glaser: Absolutely. Got hurt this year, but he’s a Top 100 guy when healthy
Rick (Vista, CA):
- The Padres are super deep in prospects can you give us a sleeper pitching and position prospect that we may not know about yet?
Kyle Glaser: Omar Cruz LHP has a little Barry Zito look to him and OF Agustin Ruiz is a darn advanced hitter for his age
- I know this is a silly, way-too-early question, but in the comparison between Soto and Acuna (which will be super fun for the next 15 years), Soto’s skillset will age better, right? In 2028 when they’re both approaching 30, may Acuna lose a step in quickness, whereas Soto’s ability to barrel balls and control the strike zone stay relatively static?
Kyle Glaser: Not necessarily. Bill James did the famous study where he found “Old Player Skills” i.e walks and power decline faster than speed and contact. That said, Soto has plenty of pure contact ability too, so it may not matter. Either way, these guys both have so many good years ahead of them, I wouldn’t worry about their decline phases for a long, long time
Jason (Harrisburg, PA):
- We’ve seen a lot of young, toolsy OF prospects make big jumps in the rankings over the past 2 years (Soto, Acuna, Sanchez, Trammel, etc.). Who are some OF, or other young players, who aren’t in the top 100 or a teams top 10 right now that you could see making similar jumps?
Kyle Glaser: Moises Gomez in the Rays system is making some noise, although he’s not quite the athlete those other guys you mentioned are. He’s got the potential to make a sizable jump sometime next year
- I recently looked at what Carlos Rincon did in High A this year. 220 WRC+, .491 ISO, .818 SLG, and a .513 WOBA. I know it was only 131 PA, but WOW!. Any chance he’s a guy trending up in prospect circles?
Kyle Glaser: What Rincon did at Rancho was absolutely crazy – and also really out of whack with what else he’s done in his career. There’s a little bit of a holding pattern here, but he certainly caught some people’s attention
Jason L. (Pleasant Hill, CA):
- Kyler Murray is playing awfully good Football for the Oklahoma Sooners. Should I be worried as an A’s fan that some NFL team is going to Draft him early in 2019? His future is on the Diamond and not the Grid iron, Right?
Kyle Glaser: You should be very worried that Murray is going to go high in the draft and kiss baseball goodbye. The unsaid statement the A’s made was “We don’t think he’ll be good enough to play in the NFL, so we’ll draft him and be fine waiting”. Well, there’s a lot of time left, and conference play is a different animal, but yeah, if Murray keeps this up and gets taken in the top couple rounds of the NFL draft, you better believe he’s taking that additional signing bonus and living the NFL life rather than riding the bus in Beloit.
- What went wrong, is wrong with Adrian Rondon?
Kyle Glaser: It’s the risk you take signing teenagers, especially 16 year olds. Kids peak at all different ages, sometimes that’s 14, other times it’s 16, other times it’s 19 and beyond. In Rondon’s case, what doomed him was a long swing path and zero strike zone discipline. If you swing at everything and can’t get the barrel to the ball against good pitching, your raw power and defensive tools don’t really mean much.
Eric Neander (Tampa):
- Ryan Hartman = Ryan Yarborough
Kyle Glaser: Interesting, although it should be pointed out that Yarbrough did get plenty of consideration as a prospect (he was in the Handbook four years in a row). But if Hartman can follow that path, more power to him.
Dan (East Coast):
- Prospect ranking question: Of the current Top 100, who are the three players who are the worst at baseball, and who are the three that are best at baseball? I realize that rankings is a fun stew of proximity/projection/present ability, but in terms of solely present skill, who are the best/worst?
Kyle Glaser: In terms of present skill, Vlad Jr., Eloy and Nick Senzel are the top three. I’m not going to say “worst” because that suggests these guys aren’t good, and they are, but the guy who is farthest away and has the longest way to go to turn his tools into Top 100 worthy ML performance is probably Leody Taveras.
- Can you offer some insight into Tucupita Marcano? Seems to be a name generating some buzz.
Kyle Glaser: The opinion of at least one Padres front office official is that Marcano might end up being the best player out of that entire huge J2 class they signed. He’s really, really good. That zone control with his level of athleticism…he has a chance to be special
Kyle Glaser: All right everybody, that will do it for today. Thanks for chatting, hope you all have a great weekend