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Kyle Glaser MLB Prospects Chat (5/21/19)

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Dylan Carlson (Photo by John Williamson)

Kyle Glaser: Hey everybody, welcome to the chat. It's been a while and I look forward to talking to you all. Let's get started

Adam (Boston): 

    Has Zac Gallen's ceiling changed or is he still looking like a back end rotation type guy?


Kyle Glaser: He’s got command of four pitches that are all at least average, which isn’t easy to find. His fastball sits at 92 and most evaluators won’t go more than a back-end projection on a guy with a fastball at that velocity, but he certainly wouldn’t be the first guy to pitch above that projection with everything else he has going for him.

Tom Shea (Boston): 

    How would you compare Xavier Edwards, Tyler Freeman and Ronny Mauricco to Royce Lewis? Do you think any of these 3 will rank in the top 20 of the top 100?


Kyle Glaser: They’re all really good players and athletes. Lewis’ athleticism is just considered on another level. As for top 20 prospect in the game, that’s a long way off from happening if it happens at all.

Frank (Maryland): 

    Is it time to be worried about Luis Garcia (Nationals) hasn't hit alot at AA and no power with 0 homers? Was the move to AA this soon a little ambitious?


Kyle Glaser: High A to Double-A is the biggest, most difficult jump to make in the minors, and he’s doing it at 18 (he just turned 19 last week). He’s younger than some of the guys who are going to get drafted next month as high schoolers. It was ambitious, but he also performed well at HiA, so it wasn’t completely unreasonable. Just keep an eye on him and look for small improvements month over month. It's a very difficult level he's playing at, at a very young age

SBNY (Philadelphia PA): 

    Anthony Kay has been dominant at AA over the last few starts. What us his ceiling and when does he get to Citi? Any projection on Gerson Molina? Does he have potential to be a starting outfielder in the Majors?


Kyle Glaser: Mid-rotation has been seen as his potential for awhile and remains intact for now. It wouldn't shock me if he's in NY at some point later this year and I can't imagine he's not in New York by next year as long as he stays healthy. As for Molina, played 15 games of Low A as an ex-Cuban professional. It's a small sample size of him beating up on lesser competition. We need to wait until he gets to HiA to see what's real or not.

Stan (Buffalo): 

    How does Logan Gilbert compare to another first round pick from last year who is breaking out this year, Grayson Rodriguez?


Kyle Glaser: They're both big boys with power fastballs at their best, although Rodriguez has been seen as having a plus fastball while Gilbert's has generally been seen as more above-average. Gilbert's breaking balls are much better, which is to be expected from a college guy compared to a high school guy. They're both good pitchers with a lot of promise.

Shaun Anderson (SF): 

    How good am I? What are expectations this year? Comparable guy in bigs?


Kyle Glaser: You're very good. A quality, No. 4 starter who should stay in the Giants rotation for a long time. As for comps, pick your favorite solid, durable, competitive No. 4 righthander

Devin (Columbus): 

    Tyler Clifton has had quite a good start to the season. Is he ready to help the Cubs rotation or bullpen?


Kyle Glaser: Assuming you mean Trevor Clifton, you'd like to see the walks come down a little more, but there's certainly a good chance he'll see Chicago in some capacity this year. A lot of it is going to depend on factors out of his control in Chicago (injuries, guys taking steps backward, etc).

Drew Waters (Top 50 Soon?): 

    I had an amazing start to the season in AA as the 2nd youngest player in the Southern League but did not move the needle during the May top 100 update. With my combination of elite athleticism, defensive value, and production vs age for my level, should I expect to move up higher when June's rankings are out next week?


Kyle Glaser: It's interesting. There is a bit of a disconnect between how good Waters looks on paper (20 y/o, performing at AA) and what evaluators are seeing. A lot of them - and I mean a lot - have come back this year saying they really don't like Waters swing and see plate coverage issues they think will hamper him at higher levels. It's been different scouts, from different teams, at different times all reporting the same issues. You have to respect how Waters is performing, but it's going to be hard to move him up into the top 50 until he answers some of those questions.

Taylor Trammell (Too Patient?): 

    Thanks for chatting with us today Kyle! Am I being too patient at the plate to the point that it's actually hurting my offensive output? a 19% BB rate is great, but would it be better if I traded off some walks to attack the ball earlier in the count to unlock my offensive upside? A change in approach has really benefited Yoan Moncada this year.


Kyle Glaser: Finding that balance of aggressiveness and patience is tricky and not something I would have expected a 21 year old to have mastered by now. Figuring out the right approach for you is a big part of the development process. In Trammell's case, you look at the tools and the makeup and bet on him eventually figuring it out. Don't panic if there are some bumps and bruises along the way.

Alex (LaLa Land): 

    Jeter Downs got off to an incredibly slow start after being traded to the Dodgers over the winter. However, he's heated up to a tune of .292/.329/.528 line in May with 4 HR. If he can stick at SS with his offensive ceiling (on track for a 20/20 season), do you see him having a chance at eventually cracking the top 100?


Kyle Glaser: First thing, he doesn't project to stick at shortstop. For anyone. His range will even be stretched a little at second base. That said, he's got a nice swing and he's another guy who has been too passive in the past and is still figuring out that right mix of patience and aggressiveness. Want to see him keep this up over more than a few weeks, but he's certainly moving in the right direction.

Matt (TB): 

    With Wander Franco getting all of the attention in the Rays system, nobody has been talking about Jesus Sanchez. After struggling in his first taste of AA in 2018, he's off to a much better start in 2019. Only 21 for all of 2019 and slashing .304/.364/.437 in AA, has his offensive profile changed over the past year? Would a FV 60 hit/60 power to unrealistic or in the realm of possibilities?


Kyle Glaser: We have him as the No. 56 prospect in the game. That's hardly unheralded. The tool grades on him are 55 hit/60 power. Certainly not unrealistic for something to jump half a grade as he continues to polish himself as a hitter.

Kelsier (Luthandel): 

    Will Muller beat Anderson to the show?


Kyle Glaser: Based on the level of excitement and buzz I sensed around Braves spring training in March, yes. They both have some control issues to work through right now though, and given the control issues already hampering the Braves (third-highest BB/9 of any team in baseball), I'm not sure either is really a solution at this point in time.

BlueJayMatt (Toronto): 

    I know you guys are big fans of Alejandro "El Capitan" Kirk, what are you hearing from scouts? How is the framing and defense coming along? The plate discipline and approach for such a young player seems elite.


Kyle Glaser: Josh Norris is chairman of the fan club. I haven't seen Kirk for myself but I've made some calls on him. To be honest, the scouts I've spoken with are not high on him. They see a future AL 1B/DH type, except he's too short to play 1B. He's got a good swing and gets the barrel to the ball - that will carry him. The scouts I've spoken to just see him as a hard guy to fit on a roster because they don't see the catching skills.

Frank (Miami): 

    What is Jarren Duran’s upside? Can you see him as a leadoff hitter with big on base skillls and speed in Boston in two years?


Kyle Glaser: Most evaluators right now see him as a No. 7-9 hitter more than a leadoff type. An everyday player and a good one, just more bottom of the order than top.

James (Buffalo): 

    What are the chances Alejandro Kirk stays at catcher? And how special is that bat?


Kyle Glaser: I had an evaluator put a 20 on his catching (the worst possible grade on a 20-to-80 scale)...so yeah, that's where that is.

Ryan (Rangers Fan): 

    Leody Taveras was one of the most highly heralded international prospects before the start of 2018. After a rough year as a 10 year told in HiA his stock fell significantly. Only 20 for all of the 2019 season, Taveras is starting to tap into the potential many scouts previously saw. If he continues to produce this summer, do you see him getting back into the mix of the top 100?


Kyle Glaser: That would have been amazing if he was 10 years old in HiA :). It's certainly nice to see Leody performing, but at the end of the day there still isn't a whole lot of impact in the bat, which makes it tough. We'll see how he progresses through the rest of the summer.

Benny Funk (Loxahatchee, Florida): 

    The Red Sox had a bottom ranked syestem coming into 2019, but Chavis looks like he's in Boston to stay, and Dalbec has a shot to be the everyday guy in 2020 with Moreland and Pearce off the books...and Jarren Duran looks like he could be in the OF in 2021, either in place of JBJ or (gasp) Mookie Betts. I know the system depth is still weak, but does the emergence of these guys a potential productive big leaguers change the view of the outlook of their system?


Kyle Glaser: I talked about this on our org talent podcast before the season - every single system, even the ones at the bottom, has guys who are future everyday big leaguers. Just taking the 30th-ranked 2013 Angels system for example, that group contained Randal Grichuk, CJ Cron, Kole Calhoun, Mike Clevinger, Matt Shoemaker and a whole bunch of other guys who made the majors in spurts. The fact that the Nos. 1 and 2 guys in the system are producing and someone from the teens is rising up isn't really a huge surprise, and doesn't really change the outlook a ton.

Crash (NYC): 

    More likely to fall outside the drafts top 10: Bryson Stott, Hunter Bishop, Nick Lodolo?


Kyle Glaser: Stott is the one evaluators generally have the least conviction on.

BlueJayMatt (Toronto): 

    Are you in or out on Cavan Biggio being a big league regular or do you see more of a utility profile?


Kyle Glaser: It's still hard to find evaluators who see him as an everyday regular. Lot of 1B/LF type projections.

Water Bottle (King's Landing): 

    Who do you like better between Alek Manoah and Jackson Rutledge and why? Who is more likely to be a starter longterm? Are there any concerns with Rutledge's command? Fangraphs has it as a future 45, and his numbers during his brief time at Arkansas were not great. Has his control at least improved to the point that he can remain a starter due to his dominant pure stuff even without average command?


Kyle Glaser: Manoah is the higher-ranked of the two on the BA 500, so there's your answer to your first question. All of the answers to your questions can be found in our pre-draft reports https://www.baseballamerica.com/rankings/2019-top-mlb-draft-prospects/

William (Poughkeepsie): 

    Nick Madrigal hasn't hit for power yet this year. Is that cause for concern, or is his wrist still bothering him?


Kyle Glaser: He's just a small guy that's hard to project power on. Altuve stung the ball harder than Madrigal does as a prospect, so it wasn't hard to envision him getting to double-digit home runs in his best seasons as a pro (although back-to-back 20 home run seasons were definitely more than could have been anticipated). Madrigal isn't hitting like that. Smaller guys have grown into power before, but the ones who did it successfully - Betts, Altuve, etc - didn't have to thrust their entire bodies into their swing to generate impact the way we've seen Madrigal do when he's trying to generate power.

BlueJayMatt (Toronto): 

    Any new rumors on who Toronto is bearing down on for the draft? Any new names to add to their list or is it still that same group that includes Carroll, Manoah, Rutledge, Thompson, and Baty? Any chance they go under slot with Baty at 11 and then pick up his teammate Jimmy Lewis later in the draft for over slot like they did last year with Groshans and Kloffenstein?


Kyle Glaser: I know they've seen a lot of Corbin Carroll. Baty might be gone by 11.

Travis (Omak, Wa): 

    Thoughts on Logan Gilbert and does he profile as a #1or #2?


Kyle Glaser: More No. 3/No. 4

Joe (White Plains, NY): 

    Abraham Toro has lit up AA so far. Can he be a quality ML regular one day?


Kyle Glaser: He can legitimately hit, so yes.

Christopher (houston): 

    How worried about Forrest Whitley's poor start are you?


Kyle Glaser: It's interesting. I was at Whitley's one bad start in the AFL last year. He was 92-94, slider had nice spin and shape and but he couldn't locate it, and he got very, very frustrated with his defense and kind of lost his composure on the mound. You don't go crazy over it - bad starts happen - but you keep it in the back of your mind. This year, evaluators are seeing a lot of the same at AAA, that 92-94 and not keeping his composure. He's a young kid pitching in an unfavorable environment, so give him time to work through it. You just have to kind of keep in the back of your mind that while there is the super-awesome Forrest Whitley, there is also this version.

Matthew (Nova): 

    How much longer before members of Wilmington’s stacked pitching squad get bumped to Double A?


Kyle Glaser: I would imagine by the minor league All-Star break at the latest.

Erik (Canada): 

    What’s the deal with the PCL? Is the pitching bad? Weather really good for baseballs to fly? Small ballparks? How can scouts and teams adjust the results to project ML outcomes?


Kyle Glaser: Take the major league ball that absolutely flies, put it in high-elevation places like Las Vegas, Reno, Albuquerque and El Paso, and you're going to get insane, video game numbers. The weather hasn't even warmed up yet. It's only going to get worse. I commented to JJ the other day we're going to see a 31-23 football score game between Reno and El Paso sometime in July or August. I was only half-joking. And we're asking a lot of scouts that question right now. The answer ranges from "shrugs shoulders" to outright ignoring what they see in AAA and sticking with the power grade they had on guys in Double-A (for scouts that have the same org), since that's probably more indicative of their real, actual power.

Zak (Boston): 

    Is it true that Andres Munoz hit 104 mph last week? Is he the best relief pitching prospect right now?


Kyle Glaser: I have heard 103, I have not heard 104. And he's certainly in the conversation, although you want to see the walks come down so he doesn't end up like the Arquimedes Caminero's and Mauricio Cabreras of the world who threw hard as hell but didn't throw enough strikes to have sustained major league roles for more than a year or two. But he's 20 and a special arm. You take that every time.

William (Hamilton): 

    Where is your hope level on Mejia. Still a catcher long term?


Kyle Glaser: He's improved from last year. Still has a lot of work to do, but at least trending in the right direction. Just keep giving him more reps and see how he looks at the end of the year. Kind of have to see how long this injury keeps him on the shelf, though.

Brian (Arizona): 

    Who do the padres take at 6? What would be more impactful getting abrams speed to pair with edwards at the top of the lineup in the future or Getting a complete hitter like Riley Greene?


Kyle Glaser: Best player available. The Padres are in a good spot with six clear-cut guys at the top and them holding pick No. 6. Whichever one falls to to them - Abrams, Greene, Bleday - they'll be happy with. They like all of them.

Kyle Glaser: Best player available. The Padres are in a good spot with six clear-cut guys at the top and them holding pick No. 6. Whichever one falls to to them - Abrams, Greene, Bleday - they'll be happy with. They like all of them.

Tirso Ornelas (Future Top 100?): 

    Thanks for the chat Kyle! I've been pretty much the youngest in each league I've played in so far and held my own. With just turning 19 and already at HiA, how good can I be? At 6'3" with the frame to fill out more physically, is a future 60 hit/60 power the ceiling to dream on? Am I in line as the next elite Padres prospect?


Kyle Glaser: Way, way high on those grades. It's more 50 hit, with 60 power potential but more likely 55 power output because of issues repeating the swing. Ornelas is a good-looking young player with a lot to dream on and the makeup to make you feel like he'll get there, and he's a good prospect. Just not "elite" tier.

Snapper Bean (Greater Kensington): 

    How many below average drafts does a Scouting Director get before a team makes a change? I'm looking at you Johnny Almaraz.


Kyle Glaser: I don't think it's right to ever call for anyone's job. I will say it's important for all businesses - legal, finance, manufacturing, sports - to self-evaluate and focus on process improvement. The Phillies, hopefully, are doing the same when it comes to gauging amateur players' hitting ability.

Frank (A Tank): 

    Is Tyler Ivey the new Corbin Martin?


Kyle Glaser: More pure stuff for Martin. Ivey's bread and better are his breaking balls

Alex Reyes (St. Louis): 

    Do I still have Ace potential if I can manage staying on the field and they stop moving me in and out of the rotation? Need piece of mind>


Kyle Glaser: Yes, but staying on the field and taking the ball 32 times a year is a huge part of being an ace.

Fred (New York): 

    Are you bullish on Cole Winn? I saw he finally debuted last week.


Kyle Glaser: Yeah. He's got the mix you want to see of real stuff with impressive composure, durability and consistency. The Rangers are waiting for their homegrown pitching and have been hammered by injuries in their farm system, but as long as Crouse and Winn are healthy, that's two potential high-performing starters you can build with,

Zak (Boston): 

    Sorry for a broad question, but I'm curious. Which is more valuable; 100 PAs in the Majors or 300 PAs in the minors?


Kyle Glaser: Kind of a case by case basis. If it's a player who has already had a full season of PAs in AAA and did well, sending him back for an additional 300 PAs probably is less valuable than those first 100 major league PAs where he can see what he's going up against and get adjusted. If it's a guy who has barely played in the upper levels, those 300 PAs in the upper minors are probably better for his long term development than 100 PAs in the majors (Juan Soto and other freaks of nature excepted). Just depends on the player and the situation.

Kyle Glaser: Alright everyone, that will do it for today. Thanks for chatting with me, and have a great rest of your day.

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