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Kyle Glaser MLB Offseason Chat (1/31/18)

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J.T. Realmuto celebrates after hitting a home run during the Japan All-Star Series game against Team Japan. (Photo by Yuki Taguchi/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Kyle Glaser: Hey everybody, hope you're all staying warm somehow. Look forward to chatting with you, let's get started

Riley (Las Vegas): 

    With the owners unwillingness to spend what needs to be done to change free agency for the better? Is it a salary floor to prevent teams like the Marlins and Pirates from fielding a $65 million dollar squad? Or are we doomed to see generational talent not sign until pitchers and catchers report every year?


Kyle Glaser: The fundamental issue is teams largely don't want to pay players into their 30s anymore, which, frankly, is generally wise. So you have that sentiment combined with a years of control system that ensures the vast majority of leaguers won't even reach free agency until their late 20s or possibly even 30, when their market value is now mostly shot. What's going to have to change is the years of control system, and that's something a lot of people in the game I've spoken to are talking about. Making it so a team has a certain number of years of control of a player based on when they sign their first contract, not when they first make the majors...say, an 18 year old HS draftee, a team gets eight years of control of him total. That ends service time manipulation (if he signed in 2019, he'd be free agent after 2027 no matter what you do, so as soon as he's ready for the big leagues he comes up) and ensures players still enter free agency at an age they still are seen as valuable on the open market. Of course, the owners would never go for this, but there's a growing sense that it may be an issue worth going to battle for as far as the players are concerned, particularly on the part of their agents. Unless the years of control gets changed in the next round of collective bargaining, it's hard to see the current situation being any different moving forward.

Nutter (Fort Wayne, IN): 

    I love your chats! Thanks to you and your team for all the work you do! How do you weigh Tommy John surgery into the rankings? Chris Paddack came back and was dominant in 2018 and rose up the rankings. For someone like Anderson Espinoza is it a case of needing to come back and show he's healthy with same stuff as before? Thanks for your time!


Kyle Glaser: We weigh injury for all of our prospects. It's important to note that while Tommy John is seen as almost routine by some, the great Jon Roegele has broken it down and found that that 1 in 5 minor leaguers who have TJ never make it back to their previous level, and the median career innings for those who do return is 100 innings. Guys who haven't made it back to the mound yet (like Espinoza) will always be looked at way more warily than a guy who has made it back to the mound, advanced past his previous level, and shown his stuff is back (like Paddack). Guys like Puk and Kopech who have reached the upper levels but had TJ will also generally get more wiggle room than guys yet to pitch above low A as well, simply because of how much further along they were on the development ladder. In Espinoza's case, coming back and showing he's healthy with the same stuff as before is what is needed, yes.

Nutter (Fort Wayne, IN): 

    Is Wander Franco the guy (that should play) in MWL this season that I need to tell my friends to come watch this year because they will see him in the MLB in the next 2-4 years?


Kyle Glaser: Assuming Franco goes out to Bowling Green to start the year, he will be the highest-ranked prospect in the Midwest League. So yes, he's the guy

Cindy (Charlotte): 

    Ian Anderson, Christian Pache and Tyler Flowers for JT Realmuto and Steckenrider from the Marlins. Would the Marlins really turn that offer down?


Kyle Glaser: The Marlins have made it pretty clear they want a big leaguer with at least three years of control left in any package for Realmuto. As talented as Pache and Anderson are, they are 20 year olds with only partial seasons in Double-A, and neither is a top, elite-level prospect. It's hard to say definitively unless you're in Derek Jeters head, but by all accounts that would be a package they probably would turn down (and I wouldn't think they're crazy for turning that down, FWIW)

Dan (Cali): 

    Watched Vlad Jr. in the AFL. He is a great hitter! His defense at third did not look great. Perhaps a bit better than Alonso’s at first. At what point do you just let him play and deal with the defense? Or just DH him?


Kyle Glaser: They'll let Vlad Jr. play as soon as they get an extra year of control, whatever that deadline is. The defense is never going to be good enough to be an everyday 3B the rest of his career. He'll come up as a 3B, move to 1B/DH, and mash. That process will start when they get that extra year of control

Norm Chouinard (Connecticut): 

    Got my Prospect Handbook Tuesday. One of the best days of the year. If I could somehow force you to do so, how would you rank Vlad Jr, Soto, Ohtani, and Acuna at this point?


Kyle Glaser: We ranked Acuna and Ohtani ahead of Vlad Jr. last year and I would still do that today. Soto is interesting to throw into that mix. Behind Acuna and Ohtani, and my first thought is to leave Vlad ahead, but Soto is lefthanded and is better than a 1B/DH long-term. It's interesting. I'm not sure I feel confident on a Vlad Jr. vs Soto answer

Michael (Raleigh NC): 

    As an A's fan, I was never thrilled with their 2017 draft pick of Austin Beck. Given they passed on Adell and Hiura to take Beck, is it too soon to say he was a mistake?


Kyle Glaser: It's too soon to say anything that happened in the 2017 draft was a mistake. A lot of guys who look like studs now will tail off, and a lot of guys who struggled in their first full season (particularly teenagers from warm weather freezing in the Midwest League) will make huge strides in year two. Give it another year before attempting to draw any conclusions.

Michael (Raleigh NC): 

    Seems like there are always unheralded prospects who reach MLB and have unexpected, reasonably productive careers. Is Parker Dunshee the type of player who may be undervalued in terms of likely MLB success by prospect evaluators? In other words, could be be a case of the sum is greater than the average parts?


Kyle Glaser: Dunshee is interesting because you're right, he absolutely fits the mold of a pitching prospect who the sum is greater than the parts. If you really believe in him, he's Dan Straily. The issue is that for every Dan Straily, there are a dozen Andrew Moore's - guys who get to the majors on their guile, but when they get to the big leagues the lack of stuff catches up to them. And FWIW, Straily averages 90-92 mph on his fastball. Dunshee is 87-90. That's the worry, that even his fastball isn't enough to be fringe-average.

Rusty Shackleford (Arlen, TX): 

    Do you see either Harper or Machado sign with a team before spring training at this point? Will they end up signing a pillow contract?


Kyle Glaser: It's interesting you mention the pillow contract (a one-year deal and then they go out and try again next year). I've thought about that, but the market doesn't figure to be any better next offseason, and they will be a year older, which would make it even tougher for them to land the deals they're reportedly seeking. Especially in the case of Machado, who just had his best season, it wouldn't make sense at all. In the end, I do see both of them signing before spring training officially begins on Feb. 22.

Devin (Columbus): 

    Was Astrubal Cabrera’s contract one of the best value signings so far?


Kyle Glaser: It was fine. Fills a hole. Nothing I'd go crazy over. The best value signing far and away wasn't a free agent signing. It was the Royals' extension to Whit Merrifield. An absolute steal for one of the best middle infielders in baseball - which is what Merrifield is.

Devin (Columbus): 

    How close was Brent Rooker to making the top 100?


Kyle Glaser: Not particularly close. Cut him some slack for playing his first full season in Double-A, and his power is real, but the way he finished the year and the universally poor reports on his defense (at both 1B and LF) kept him off with quite a few other guys ahead of him.

Adam (Wisconsin): 

    Michael Baez fell completely off the top 100 with the new addition, how concerned should we be? What's wrong?


Kyle Glaser: I answered this a little bit in the Padres chat. Short version - breaking balls are way below average with how much he lost his direction to the plate and his fastball went from 94-98 to 90-94 touching a 96. He stiffened up a lot, which happens sometimes with bigger pitchers. This offseason will be big for him. If he comes back having regained the athleticism and arm action he showed at Fort Wayne, he'll be back in the Top 100. If he looks like he did last year, he's a 7th inning reliever and not in Top 100 consideration

Michael (NY): 

    My question has to do with the Yanks more recent IFA signings. Knowing they are still years away, which OF prospect of Everson Pereira or Antonio Cabello do you like more, and what is the upside there. In the pitching realm, how would you rank the young hurlers; Roasny Contreras, Deivi Garcia, Luis Medina, Freicer Perez, and Osiel Rodriguez.


Kyle Glaser: The answers to this question is in how they are ranked. https://www.baseballamerica.com/teams/1028/new-york-yankees/organizational/?year=2019

Leody Taveras (Rebound Candidate?): 

    I had a underwhelming 2018 and have dropped out of the top 100 completely. I heard scouts still see the tools but I just haven't converted into production. Did my aggressive assignments stunt my growth? Does the scouting industry still see me as a potential 5 above-average to plus tool guy? I'll only be 20 for all of 2019 but is this looking like a make or break year for me?


Kyle Glaser: No one sees more than an average hit or fringe-average power on Leody, so no, there is not five above-average-to-plus tools there. The aggressive assignments are part of it, but I think about other 19 year olds I saw in HiA last year (Hudson Potts, for example) and it's not even close who the better player was. Even by the standard of 19 year olds in HiA, Leody wasn't showing well. This is a make or break year for him.

Jahmai Jones (Bounce Back 2019!): 

    I switched from CF to 2nd base defensively in 2018 and really seemed to affect my offensive development. With a full year under my belt and a encouraging AFL what do scouts seem for me in 2019? I'm still only 21 years old and in AA. Do scouts think I'll regain my elite prospect status and make my way back into the top 100?


Kyle Glaser: There are more than a few evaluators still very bullish on Jahmai (more than there are on Leody, actually), and I share that sentiment having seen plenty of Jahmai and Leody in person the last two seasons. He lost some of the explosiveness to his all-around game with how much he was focused on the 2B transition, I think after a full season there of getting comfortable, there is a good chance we see the return of 2017 Jahmai Jones, who was a bonafide Top 100 caliber prospect

Colton Welker (Top 100?): 

    What do I have to do to finally debut in the top 100? I've raked everywhere I've played (even though they've been hitter friendly parks). I'll be 21 in AA for the entire 2019 season. I've heard rumors that some scouts believe my advanced approach will allow me to move up to AAA before the season is over. If my power starts to show up more consistently do you see me making a big jump during the in season rankings? Does a FV 65 hit / 55 power seem overly aggressive?


Kyle Glaser: Welker wasn't too far off, but your grades are high. It's 60 hit, 50 power for the most optimistic evaluators, and you'll still find some that see a wonky, flat swing that won't work once he faces better pitching in non-hitters parks (Asheville, Lancaster). If he proves he can hit at Hartford this year, including for power, he'll get on there. He's probably one of the biggest "wait and see" guys for 2019.

Luis Garcia (Nationals): 

    In a system that has produced high end international prospects in Soto and Robles, am I the next in line? I will still be 18 for the first month and a half of the 2019 season and possibly playing in AA. How good can I be? Do you see me potentially making the same leap that Juan Soto did in 2018 going from #56 to a top 3 prospect in baseball?


Kyle Glaser: The Nationals internally believe Garcia is the real deal. They've banged the drum for him to BA for two years now and they're not an organization that tends to overhype their own guys. At the same time, what Juan Soto did was unprecedented for almost a century, getting to the big leagues and doing what he did at 19. Let's not put that on Garcia, or anyone else. He's a good player moving quickly who has a chance to be really, really good. That's enough

Alex Kirilloff (Next Christian Yelich?): 

    After missing all of 2017 with TJS I came back in 2018 with vengeance! After being understandably rusty the first couple weeks of the season, I blitzed MWL and FSL the rest of the season. Once Vald Jr. graduates, am I the best pure hitter remaining in the minors? Does a FV 70 hit / 55 power seem now within reach?


Kyle Glaser: There is a strong case for Kirilloff as the best pure hitter remaining in the minors behind Guerrero, although people keep overlooking Senzel (a mistake, IMO). Those grades aren't far off what you'll find on him the BA Prospect Handbook when you get your copy.

Jake (Schaumburg, IL): 

    Hi Kyle, thank you for the chat today. Have you heard any updates on Eloy Jimenez health heading into Spring Training since reports of him straining his quad during the early part of winter ball? Jimenez certainly passed the eye test at Sox Fanfest recently. Even with perfect health, is it a near certainty that Eloy starts the season back in Charlotte for the first few weeks of the season at least?


Kyle Glaser: Hey Jake, my pleasure. Eloy should be good to go at the start of spring training, although we should note strains and pulls have been a concerningly common occurrence with him and it's always possible there's a setback or it gets aggravated. But the expectation is Jimenez will start back at Charlotte for the same reason Vlad Jr. will start back in Buffalo - control years.

Kaladin (Bridge 4): 

    What are you going to do during the strike?


Kyle Glaser: You know, I actually thought about that when I was on a run with my dog earlier this week. If one comes, I actually think the replacement players would have a lot of tremendous stories. I'd be interested in reporting on them to be honest. (I was six years old during the last strike, so obviously that was not something I was doing then).

Kaladin (Bridge 4): 

    Gut call, barring a trade, what is Atlanta's rotation in September?


Kyle Glaser: Foltynewicz, Newcomb, Gausman, Teheran, Wright

Eric (NY): 

    For teams that are interested in acquiring Realmuto, what is the hang up on offering big name prospects? Do the Reds think it is really feasible to get JT without giving up one of their top 3 guys? I know recency bias comes to mind when people and teams think back to the Stanton trade, but this is certainly no fire sale. Do you think a team will eventually give in or will Realmuto be in Miami on opening day?


Kyle Glaser: Teams aren't hesitant to give up top prospects. They're hesitant to give up top prospects for two years of a player. The Red Sox traded Moncada, Kopech+ for Sale, but they got three years of Sale. Same with Kimbrel. Brewers traded three Top 100 guys at the time for Yelich, but they got five years of Yelich. The holdup is that Realmuto becomes a free agent after two years, instead of 3-5. I still think in the end he gets moved and the Marlins get a top prospect for him, but I'm skeptical it will be multiple top prospects and I don't think it's crazy that he is in Miami on Opening Day as such.

Mark (San Diego): 

    Just ordered my prospect handbook because I didn't realize it was out until reading this chat...hint hint more chats! What kind of season do you expect from Ryan Weathers? For some reason I have a great deal of faith in AJ (and Logan White) in scouting pitchers, am I wrong for this belief?


Kyle Glaser: Like just about everyone else when it comes to scouting amateur pitchers, the Padres under Preller have some hits (Lucchesi, Lauer), some misses (Austin Smith, Mason Thompson) and some TBDs (Gore, Quantrill). I wouldn't say they have an especially excellent track record so far, but it's certainly not a bad one. As for Weathers, he has a real chance to move fast and hold his own in Lake Elsinore this year, which would be impressive for any HS pitcher to do. He's so advanced in his feel and poise, the expectation is he'll move quickly and hold his own at the lower levels.

Ian Smith (Florida): 

    Do you believe a deal based around India and Santillan, with an MLB piece like Barnhart plus a throw in piece be enough for the Reds to land J.T Realmuto?


Kyle Glaser: No. You're not getting him without Senzel or Trammell involved.

Brad (Memphis): 

    Think somebody picks up Gavin Cecchini? Thoughts on his outlook?


Kyle Glaser: Some middle infield deficient team like the Orioles or Marlins would make sense. He's probably organizational depth at this point, but not a terrible player to have.

Miguel Andujar (NYY): 

    What is my best long term position if this 3B thing doesn't work out. Corner OF because of the arm? 1B due to lack of lateral quickness for the OF? DH in the AL?


Kyle Glaser: Well, we really have no sense on how Andujar can read or track a fly ball, so the answer for now is 1B if 3B doesn't work out.

Brad (Memphis, TN): 

    Any players I should go out of my way to watch this year at AutoZone Park?


Kyle Glaser: Genesis Cabrera has a big left arm that should be fun to watch. Andrew Knizner behind the plate is the position player to watch, and the outfield of likely Lane Thomas, Justin Williams and Randy Arozarena should be interesting as well

Cindy (Charlotte): 

    OK, I am confused. I suggested two of the Braves top prospects in Ian Anderson and Christian Pache for Realmuto and you said it isn't enough. Yet in another answer you said you think the Marlins only get one top prospect for him because he only has two years left before free agency.


Kyle Glaser: I think the Marlins would say no to Anderson and Pache right now because they want someone closer to the big leagues (preferably someone already in the big leagues). In the end I think they may have to settle for one top guy, but it would be someone bigger than Anderson and probably closer, to go with a big leaguer.

Bradley (Memphis, TN): 

    What team do you think lines-up best for a Senzel trade? Or does he take over 2B after Gennet leaves via FA after '19?


Kyle Glaser: I think in the end he takes over at 2B after Gennett leaves. Let him hang in AAA this year and show he can stay healthy while continuing to get reps at 2B, bring him up to get a taste whenever injuries hit and then when September comes, and roll him out as your everyday 2B in 2019

Kyle Glaser: Alright everyone, looks like that will do it for today. Thanks, and I look forward to next time.

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