Kyle Glaser MLB Prospects Chat (9/13/19)

Image credit: Pete Alonso (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Kyle Glaser: Hey everyone, Happy Friday. Let’s get chatting

Old Timer (Raleigh):

    Seth Brown. Not a top prospect for anybody but having instant success at the MLB level at the ripe old age of 27. What is the BA prognosis on Brown going forward. Thanks.

Kyle Glaser: There is a very real sense Brown can help the A’s moving forward. More in a play both corners off the bench type of way than in a true everyday capacity, but a valuable lefthanded bat who makes frequent contact and provides some pop off the bench is something every team would love to have on their roster. He’s a good player, and a legitimate major leaguer.

Old Timer (Raleigh):

    Austin Beck. Two years of full season ball and the numbers have been meh. He doesn’t walk, doesn’t hit HRs, and K’s too much. Very disappointing for the 6th overall pick especially when Hiura and Adell were available. Did the A’s scouting department miss on this pick? And as an A’s fan, hopefully you can tell me something more positive. Thanks.

Kyle Glaser: I’ve been digging in on Beck a lot with scouts and managers for the Cal League Top 20 that comes out in a few weeks. The tools are very present. He can really run, he can really throw, he can really play center field. There’s just a lot of overswinging at the plate and very, very few adjustments being made. There’s not a great feel for hitting. There is still a sense there is something there in terms of Beck being a potential major leaguer, but it’s more in a defense off the bench type of way, which obviously a lot lesser than what Hiura and Adell project to be.

Elliot (Youngstown OH):

    Ka’ai Tom just completed a remarkable breakout season [after 4 years and 1 month of mediocrity], winning the MVP award in leading Columbus to a sweep of the Governor’s Cup series. Is this 5-7 slugger for real?

Kyle Glaser: Tom is for real in the sense that evaluators think he’s a big leaguer, just more in an up-down utility role kind of way. The power isn’t expected to hold, but he’s got a good swing, he can run and he can play all three outfield spots. There’s some depth value there, for sure.

Bob (Kcmo):

    Hi Kyle, what do you think of the royals collection of power arms that they are developing now? When do you think we will see them in bigs? Thanks for awesome work!

Kyle Glaser: Hey Bob, my pleasure. Thanks for joining us. The Kowar/Lynch/Singer/Bubic group is certainly a good one (and there are some more interesting arms down below them) but you have to remember pitcher attrition is pretty high. The old rule of it takes five pitching prospects to get one starter in the majors. It’s reasonable to expect Kowar and Lynch to debut sometime next year, maybe Singer and Bubic too (health depending, of course). The Royals have a good group of arms to work with, and we should start seeing the first wave hit KC next year.

James (McHenry, IL):

    If you could name one Hitter and one Pitcher that you are most excited/interested to see play in the Arizona Fall League, who would they be and why?

Kyle Glaser: The hitter has to be Julio Rodriguez. The types of things scouts, opposing managers and players are saying about this kid insane. I have not had the opportunity to see him for myself yet, so I’m looking forward to watching him play. Spencer Howard and Shane Baz are two big-armed righthanders I haven’t seen in person yet and are probably the pitchers I’m most curious to see.

Jeff D (Alexandria):

    Hi Kyle thank you for making time for us. In regards to Ethan Hankins the 19 year old 1st rounder who made it to Full A ball. 18 Ks in his last 7.1 innings says a lot. Like most 6-6 19 year old SPs he needs to improve his control. But I was curious what are the scouts thinking about him after his first full season as a pro? Thanks!

Kyle Glaser: Hey Jeff, my pleasure. The initial impressions Hankins made on scouts was pretty positive. Big fastball with life, can spin a breaking ball, clean mechanics with a big, strong body. They see the starter look and the stuff to match.

Jeter Downs (Keeps Raking!):

    Thanks for the chat today Kyle! Jeter Downs has continued to rake during the TL playoffs, with his 3 HR game a couple days ago. With May, and Gonsolin all set to graduate early next year, is Downs now the #3 prospect in the system behind Ruiz and Gray? With what the Dodgers have done developing toolsy guys, do you see Downs possibly being the next Lux in the system? People forget that Lux’s 2017 was less than inspiring before breaking out in 2018. Downs seems to have partially broken out this year. Can he take it to the next level in the top 100 in 2020?

Kyle Glaser: My pleasure. Thanks for joining. Keep in mind Lux is still be on track to be prospect-eligible next year and May and Gonsolin might be, too, depending on how the Dodgers use them down the stretch. The highest Downs will be is No. 4 behind Lux, Ruiz and Gray, he could be No. 6 if May and Gonsolin don’t graduate either. But Downs has made significant, significant strides on both sides of the ball. His approach, frankly, was not good early in the year and neither was his shortstop defense. Both have grown tremendously, which is a testament to the kid and his hard work. He’s getting a lot of comps to Josh Harrison – a bat-first everyday guy who moves around the diamond and is an All-Star at his peak— although it likely will be less average and more power. That would be enough to put him into Top 100 consideration.



Justin (Tucson, AZ):

    Eloy Jimenez has underwhelmed with his batting average and OBP, at least relative to the hype. Do scouts still project him as a .300+ hitter?

Kyle Glaser: Keep in mind Eloy was battling injuries throughout the year. Since getting (and staying) healthy, he’s hit .283/.317/.509 since Aug. 1. They’ve also had him a way, way more crouched stance than he was in the minors and it’s pretty visible that it’s not the stance he should be in (James Fegan wrote about this a few weeks ago). It doesn’t make a lot of sense to have a big guy like that as crouched as he’s been. Even with that, he’s hit .280+ since getting healthy. As he gets into a better stance and gets more familiar with the pitchers and major league life in year 2 or 3, it’s not hard to envision that jumping to .300. That’s assuming he stays healthy, of course, which has been a fairly consistent issue in his career.

DH (PA):

    I looked up knuckleball pitchers recently and so many of them have great WAR’s. Wakefield, Candiotti, Hough, and obviously Niekro- really all of them, are such valuable innings eaters. Why don’t teams try to develop those guys? You could give the top 100 college pitchers who didn’t get drafted a couple thousand for a month. Bring them to a spring training facility and give them instruction. Keep the best 10 around to see if they can improve, and let the rest go. You could do that every year and if you hit just once, the whole thing pays for itself many times over.

Kyle Glaser: It’s just very, very, very hard to control a knuckleball. I’ve seen a couple of guys in the minors experiment with it, but in almost every case they slow their arms down so much you see it coming and they can’t control it and eventually have to scrap it. It takes a lot of time to teach and a lot of time to master, more than a new slider or changeup grip. Your idea isn’t terrible, there are so many guys in camps now there’s certainly no harm in seeing if someone clicks with it, but it’s a very time-consuming process to teach it that I understand teams being wary of devoting time and resources to it with their minor leaguers.

Justin (Tucson, AZ):

    Is this what we should expect from Andrew Benintendi going forward or do scouts think he still has that .300 average with 30/30 upside?

Kyle Glaser: The average certainly hasn’t been as high as expected, but the home run and stolen base expectation was always 20-20. Go back and read the reports. It was never 30-30. He got to 20-20 in 2017, got close last year in 2018. This year obviously has been down, but he just turned 25 in July and there is a long list of guys who take it up a notch at ages 26-29. It’s certainly not impossible he gets to .300, 25 HR, 15-20 SB in the next couple years. If more happens awesome, but 30/30 was not the projection if you go back and read the reports.

Taylor Trammell (Rollercoaster 2019):

    What happened to me in 2019? I started off scorching hot only to slump badly over the next 3 months. I started to heat back up as the season wound down and has been on a tear during the TL playoffs. What are scouts thoughts on me now?

Kyle Glaser: Evaluators still are high on Trammell. They saw a lot of things in his stance and setup that needed to be tweaked, and the Padres identified that and started that process and we saw some of the results follow at the end of the year. As long as those offensive improvements hold, there’s still a sense he can be an above-average everyday outfielder in the majors, if not more.

Christopher (houston):

    Is Cionel Perez still considered a prospect? Do you think he can factor into the Astros’ BP next year that is losing several FA?

Kyle Glaser: Yes, Perez is still prospect-eligible. He’s a pure reliever moving forward and should factor into Houston’s bullpen next year, but that 40-grade command has to come up some.

Jim (New Jersey):

    Thanks for the chat, Kyle. What is it in the Elihurus Montero package that keeps him in BA’s Top 100? Multiple injuries derailed his 2019 season, and I know he was only 20 playing in AA. But when he did play, it was contact-challenged ugly. Mulligan? Any cause for concern?

Kyle Glaser: Hey Jim, it’s the potential plus hit, above-average power that keeps Montero in there. This was a completely lost season. He was playing at a level he wasn’t ready for and was hurt almost all year. Everyone still saw the tools and expects good things from him, that’s why he stays in and gets a mulligan.

Geraldo Perdomo (The Desert):

    I’m currently a physically projectable switch hitting SS that makes consistently good contact while having a rather amazing BB:K ratio. What do I need to do to hit for more power? I’ve been projected by some as a FV 55 hit/40 power guy. Is 40 really my power projection? That seems light for a 19 year old that’s 6’2″ and 185 lbs.

Kyle Glaser: Perdomo is really, really intriguing. He certainly has the frame to grow into more power, but his exit velocities have been sub-80 mph for most of the year and it’s more of a line drive stroke. That’s why it’s hard to project a ton of power even with his frame, but there’s a good ballplayer in there with his ability to control the zone, athleticism and shortstop play.


Frederick (Boston):

    I know it’s only been 3 games, but Kyle Lewis has homered in everyone (including breaking up two no-hitters). If the power he is showing so far is for real, does he have a chance to be a real impact as rookie next season and maybe live up to the lofty potential he had before his knee injury?

Kyle Glaser: Absolutely. Lewis has always been tough to evaluate just because his knee was hampering him so much. Fully healthy, that 50-55 hit, 60 power projection he had out of the draft may very well come true.

Alan (Washington):

    If you had to bet on it, who would you have starting in the OF for the cardinals next season?

Kyle Glaser: On Opening Day? Tyler O’Neill, Harrison Bader and Dexter Fowler. (Maybe Jose Martinez if a lefty is starting against them). Later in the year, Dylan Carlson will be firmly in the mix.

Carly (Chicago):

    Does Cease’s season in majors worry you at all? Have you seen any positives he can build off of for next season?

Kyle Glaser: There’s a long history of rookie pitchers getting blown up in their first 50+ big league innings and figuring it out later (Jose Berrios and Tyler Glasnow are two recent examples). The fact Cease’s slider and changeup have been so effective is promising because they were considered well behind his fastball and curveball. Just has to find a way to corral his fastball, which is no small task, but it’s doable.

Bob (Philadelphia):

    Saw that Alexander Canario made BA’s Short Season All Stars. Is his the profile of a solid major leaguer, or was this year’s showing an indication that there’s a bit more to dream on?

Kyle Glaser: He’s pretty consistently been seen as having above-average everyday potential, even before this year. This was a step in that direction.

Joe C. (Charlotte):

    Hi Kyle, thanks for the chat! Which of these pitchers do you see making their team’s starting rotation by the all-star break next season? Nate Pearson, Anthony Kay, Jesus Luzardo, AJ Puk, Triston McKenzie, Alex Reyes, Ryan Helsley, , Genesis Cabrera, Carlos Martinez, Touki Toussaint

Kyle Glaser: Pearson, Kay, Luzardo for sure. I can see Puk and Martinez. McKenzie it’s hard to feel confident about given his injuries. The rest I’d bet are relievers.

Joey (Queens):

    Thor for Mike Trout, who says no? Gotta get Pete Alonso some help next year

Kyle Glaser: The Angels laugh and hang up in about two seconds. As they should.

Sean (NE):

    Will Kirilloff replace Cron at first?

Kyle Glaser: Maybe, but Kirilloff’s body is going backward and he doesn’t have the power to profile at 1B. Scouts are very concerned. He’s dropping

Michael (Charlotte):

    Which big leaguer could you most see wearing Cam Newton’s scarf?

Kyle Glaser: Javier Baez. And he could pull it off because he’s so swaggy.

Jason L. (Tracy, CA.):

    Early thoughts on the A’s prospects recently promoted? Puk, Luzardo, Murphy, Neuse, Seth Brown, etc.? Will they all stick?

Kyle Glaser: Luzardo, Puk and Murphy will in major roles. Brown and Neuse have a shot in more complementary capacities

Joel (Minneapolis, MN):

    Looking ahead to next year, who would be your best bet to make a hard run into the top 50 from outside the current top 100? And who from the 50-100 spots do you see as a fast riser next year? Thanks for the amazing work you do!

Kyle Glaser: Jordyn Adams and Geraldo Perdomo are the guys outside the Top 100 I think have a chance to make a big jump. In the 50-100 range, Luis Campusano and Brailyn Marquez have a chance to shoot up. And thanks. Glad you enjoy it.

Brad (NJ):

    Kyle, thanks for taking the time to chat. Noting the home park, can Rodgers be a .265-270 30HR guy at 2B?

Kyle Glaser: Hey Brad, my pleasure. Little higher average, less power. More .280 with 20-25 HR. Have to see how that shoulder recovers though

Kyle Glaser: All right everybody. That will do it for today. Thanks for coming out, and have a great weekend

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