Kyle Glaser MLB Prospects Chat (9/14/21)
Kyle Glaser: Hey everyone, hope you're all having a good week so far. Let's chat.
- Do you think the Yankees' decision to move Torres to 2B is based on how well Anthony Volpe has played this year? Defensively, how would you rate Volpe as a SS?
Kyle Glaser: It has zero to do with that. The Yankees moved Gleyber because they’re trying to make the playoffs and having him at shortstop runs directly counter to that goal. The move has nothing do with Volpe. This was about winning now. To answer the second part of your question, Volpe has a chance to stick at shortstop and be an average defender there. Nothing flashy, but a sound defender with solid hands, footwork and arm strength. He’d be fine there based on what he showed this season.
Justin (Tucson, AZ):
- How similar is Luis Matos to Julio Rodriguez at the same age?
Kyle Glaser: Matos has nowhere near the same power, but he has less swings and misses, too. They’re two pretty different players. J-Rod is a big, physical masher who has a chance to top 30 HR annually. With Matos you’re looking more at a 15-20 HR guy, but potentially with a higher average (although J-Rod has a chance hit for plenty high averages, too).
- From the minors' best tools preview, it sounds like Shea Langeliers' offense has taken off this year, perhaps even more than is shown in the stat line. Is he tracking more like an impact offensive player? Or is it more like, his offense should be league average, allowing his defense to shine as an everyday player?
Kyle Glaser: More the latter. Think lower averages with solid on-base and slugging percentages and his fair share of home runs. There are some questions about how Langeliers handles high-velocity fastballs as a hitter, but his ability to control the strike zone and do damage on contact gives him a chance to be a solid offensive contributor overall.
- Thanks for the chat, Kyle. I appreciate you giving us your time! My question is about Yohendrick Pinango. He is hitting very well this season at both Low and Hi A at age 19. How close would you say he is to the top 100 conversation and what does he need to do to jump into that top tier of prospects? maybe next season?
Kyle Glaser: My pleasure Frederick. Always happy to talk baseball. Pinango is a really good young hitter and someone to be bullish on. He’s already a corner outfielder in the low minors, so seeing how much power he’s able to add over the next few years will determine whether he jumps into that tier of prospects. He’s still young and has time to add strength. We just need to see him do it before he projects as one of the 100 best future major leaguers in the minors. Keep in mind, even if he doesn’t cross that threshold, that doesn’t mean he’s not a good prospect or a future everyday major leaguer. The Top 100 threshold is generally guys who project to be All-Stars at their peak. A player can still project to have a plenty bright future and not necessarily be in the Top 100.
- Thanks for the chat. Hypothetically, if the teams were to redo the 2019 draft, do you think there will be major changes on the players selected in the top 10?
Kyle Glaser: My pleasure. Thanks for joining. Alek Manoah and George Kirby would go in the Top 10. JJ Bleday and Hunter Bishop would not. I don’t think the top eight would change hugely aside from Bleday dropping out.
- Thanks for the chat! If you had to predict who the #1 overall prospect would be this time next year, who would you go with? And any surprise entrants into the top 10?
Kyle Glaser: You're welcome. Thanks for joining today. I expect our top five prospects will all have graduated by this time next year. That leaves C.J. Abrams as the guy who would be No. 1. My sleeper pick outside of the top 10? Tyler Soderstrom. We’re talking about a really, really special young hitter.
Pippin (St. Pete):
- The Rays' Jonathan Aranda has broken out this year, with a 160 wRC+ across A+ and AA, a double digit walk rate, and a sub 20% k rate. BA's report notes he's somewhat positionless, but his performance looks like that of a Dude. I was wondering what the reports on his tools looked like. Does he have a carrying tool? Or is he more just preying on minor league pitching?
Kyle Glaser: Aranda can be an everyday corner infielder. He can really, really hit. That’s his carrying tool, and the most important one. It’s a legitimate everyday-caliber bat. Excellent approach, knows the strike zone, above-average bat speed, good swing and bat path, has some pull-side power. He’s one of those guys who will hit enough to be in the lineup every day and the team will find a position for him based on what else they have around him, whether he's at first base, third base or something where he bounces between both with maybe a little second base sprinkled in. Either way, he projects to hit enough to be in the lineup every day.
- The Pirates seem to be drafting better under Ben Cherington,but player development doesn't seem to be improving.What are your thoughts?
Kyle Glaser: This is the first minor league season the Pirates have had since Cherington took over. It’s way too early to judge whether Pittsburgh's player development is improving or not, especially given the circumstances of the season with everyone so rusty after more than 18 months away.
- Financial/service time considerations aside, think J-Rod could be making a difference in Seattle's quest for a playoff spot? He seems to have the feel of a Juan Soto, someone that's ready much sooner than his age would indicate.
Kyle Glaser: No. Rodriguez still gets too big in his swing at times. The best thing is to let him finish out the year crushing Double-A, start next year in Triple-A where he can learn to adjust to guys changing speeds, hitting spots better, etc. and then bring him up next year. He’s a special player, but he’s not ready yet. His approach is nowhere near as advanced as Soto’s was, which is more about how much of an alien Soto is than any knock on J-Rod, who is a stud in his own right.
ShaDynasty (Niagara Falls):
- Thanks for the chat. This is more of an administrative issue...why did BA get rid of the ground outs and flyball outs columns for pitchers when displaying their stats? I loved it. I mean, I still love the K/9 and BB/9 as well, but can't we have both?
Kyle Glaser: My pleasure. That’s a good question. I’m not sure why they went away. I’ll ask our web team and see if we can get GB and FB info displayed again.
- What are scouts saying about Bo Taylor this year. I've had the impression that many have been high on him in the past, but his (offensive) stats have always been rather meh for me. What say you?
Kyle Glaser: Assuming you mean Bo Naylor, scouts see the poise and talent and believe he’ll be a good offensive player eventually, but it’s clear he just wasn’t ready to be at Double-A this year. He’s got plenty of bat speed and he can turn a fastball around, but his rhythm, timing, and zone awareness all need work and his swing decisions are inconsistent. He needs to repeat Double-A next year. He frankly just wasn’t ready for the quality of pitching he was seeing this year.
Tyler (North Carolina):
- Any chance Quinn Priester sees a rise in the rankings after a successful year as a young player in High-A?
Kyle Glaser: Yup. Priester’s a good one. Showed big stuff early in the year and even when his stuff declined as the year went on and he got tired, he still found a way to get outs and pitch deep into games. There is a special blend of physicality, stuff, aptitude and poise there.
- Thanks for the chat! I enjoyed the new update. Loved the additions of some arms at the backend of the top 100. Curious why Ryna Nelson and Taj Bradley over Roansy Contreras? Is it a health question mark issue? How does Contreras stack up to pitchers inside the top 100?
Kyle Glaser: Yeah, it’s health with Contreras. Talent-wise he fits with those guys at the back of the Top 100.
- Who do you think has a higher ceiling and who do you think has a higher floor, Brennen Davis or Cristian Hernandez?
Kyle Glaser: Ceilings are similar. Davis is the much safer bet having shown he can translate his tools into production in full-season ball, especially Double-A this year.
- How close were/are some upper level pitching prospects to making it in the top 100? Andre Jackson, Kyle Bradish, Josh Winder, Graham Ashcraft, and perhaps others that may be close to taking a spot in the top 100? Any others that you like more than them outside of the top 100? And how would you rank these 4? Thank you!
Kyle Glaser: None of them were really in the Top 100 discussion. They're all talented and have promise, but again, the Top 100 threshold is No. 3 starters or better for SP prospects. Those pitchers all do good things, but they project more to be No. 4 or 5s or, in the case of Jackson and Ashcraft, are seen as likely relievers. Winder is the one who was probably closest.
- What is a realistic projection for a guy with the hitting ability of Miguel Vargas?
Kyle Glaser: Vargas is a special hitter. .280-plus with 20-plus home runs annually with a chance to even be a .290, 25-HR guy. The only question about his hitting ability was if he could pull the ball in the air. He answered that question, loudly, in the affirmative this season at Double-A. There is no hesitation putting plus hit, above-average power on him.
- Hey Kyle, before Oneil Cruz's injury he looked very good and that he was able to put the legal distractions behind him. He has also shot up the top 100 ranks at BA as well. Do you think he makes an impact next year in MLB? What are your overall thoughts on him? Thanks!
Kyle Glaser: I do think Cruz will make his MLB debut next year. As far as impact, I think it's going to be more of a slow burn where it takes him a while to dial back his aggressiveness and close his holes against MLB pitching. I do think in the end he'll be an impact power hitter and someone who will be in the Pirates lineup the next time they're competitive, probably a No. 5-6 hitter in the order with a lower average but plenty of homers. It might just take a year or two for him to adjust.
- Why no love for Jairo Pomares in the top 100 prospects? The kid can flat out rake for a 20 year old in High A. What's not to like?
Kyle Glaser: Pomeras is raking in the low minors, but he has an EXTREMELY aggressive approach that even Giants player development officials are skeptical will work once he faces upper-level pitching. His approach to hitting is just “swing”. He goes up and looks for anything that looks close and just whales away. There is something to be said for his ability to get the bat on the ball even on his ugly swings and he absolutely destroys mistakes, but he's going to have to rein in his approach to project to hit against Double-A pitching and above. Giants officials are actually more impressed with his defense and baserunning than they are his bat, which is a positive development that speaks to his work ethic and desire to improve and be a complete player. If he can take that over to working on his approach so he won't get eaten alive by better pitching, then we might have something.
- Klye, Please say nice things about Shane Drohan, ERA is now under 4.0 and walks have been slightly better and we are talking a tall projectable lefty SP, why couldn't he be a #3/4 SP?
Kyle Glaser: Drohan's stuff is short for a No. 3/4 starter. Most see an emergency depth starter with a No. 5 as the best possible outcome. He's 90-91 with average stuff across the board and is prone to yanking his fastball. We're still talking about a college guy in Low-A averaging nearly five walks per nine with average stuff. There is a lot that needs to happen before he projects to take the ball every fifth day in the majors, even as a No. 5.
- Will Jeter Downs get a chance at the MLB level in 2022? Does he still have a chance to become Boston's second baseman of the future?
Kyle Glaser: That's going to depend on the swing work Downs does this offseason and what he shows next year back at Triple-A. He has a lot of work to do as a hitter.
- Which Cubs prospects do you think will pop in future years? Are there any recent trade acquisitions you're particularly high on?
Kyle Glaser: Owen Caissie raked during extended spring training and has continued to impress since the ACL season started. He's someone to keep an eye on.
- long term, please rank, Logan Webb, Nate Pearson, Nathan Kirby, Emerson Hancock?
Kyle Glaser: If you really mean Nathan Kirby, then it'd be Webb, Pearson, Hancock, Kirby. If you meant George Kirby, then it'd be Kirby, Webb, Pearson, Hancock.
- What are your thoughts about Gunnar Henderson’s promotion to AA? Is it too soon or were the reports about him making loud outs and running into bad luck accurate?
Kyle Glaser: The fact he was promoted to Double-A despite his surface-level stats tells you the reports about him making loud outs and running into bad luck were accurate.
- Who are some of your favorite power prospects in the minors? Preferably outside of the top-50 prospects
Kyle Glaser: I just want to clarify something. We're reporters. We don't have favorite prospects. We're professional journalists who report what's happening without bias or preference. There are no favorites here. Now, if the question is which prospects currently outside of the top 50 do I think have a chance to be better than that ranking when we look back at their MLB careers 10 years from now, I would say Miguel Vargas, Josh Lowe and Blake Walston jump out to me. (Edit: I see now I initially missed the word "power" in the question.)
- Who will be the next candidate for top100 from Toronto Blue Jays? I think the system has been devastated and there's only work left to go down.
Kyle Glaser: There probably isn't one, but that's really not an issue. The Blue Jays system is going to drop soon for the right reasons - they graduated a ton of prospects to the majors (Vlad Jr., Bichette, Gurriel, Manoah, Kirk, Jansen, Biggio), traded others to get impact veterans (Martin, SWR) and now are in playoff position. That's exactly the point of prospects - to turn them into major leaguers. If the Blue Jays system goes down and their MLB win totals go up, their farm system ranking is irrelevant. What matters is winning in MLB, not farm system rankings.
- Any idea when Fall League schedule and rosters will be announced? Have teams announced any players that will be there? Thanks for the chat.
Kyle Glaser: We have been told they're coming next week, so that's what we're expecting. And my pleasure, thanks for joining.
- Thoughts on these three please: Dustin Harris; Joey Wiemer; and Johan Rojas. Thanks!
Kyle Glaser: Harris is an impressive young hitter with good strike-zone awareness and a natural ability to barrel baseballs. He hits balls hard and the home run power is going to come as he gets stronger. He's a guy to watch, for sure. Wiemer has been a different hitter since swapping out his giant leg kick for a toe tap. He was kind of an out of control, violent swinger before who didn't project to make enough contact at higher levels. Now that he's made the switch, we're seeing him make enough contact to get to his power. Rojas is extremely aggressive on the first pitch and doesn't recognize spin. You like the wiry, athletic body and the ability to play center field and make hard contact, but he's got a long way to go with his swing and approach. He's slowly but surely been trending in the right direction, which is promising.
- How much stock do you put into a player's hot pro debut (like Brady House's)? Is there real value in seeing a guy for the first time in a pro setting?
Kyle Glaser: It's certainly always nice to see a guy go off rather than struggle, but you never want to go crazy over 13 complex-league games in either direction. I do think there is value in seeing a guy for the first time in a pro setting, mainly to see if they look overmatched or if there are any maturity issues, but I wouldn't go off the stat line to try and make a firm judgement on a guy after 13 games.
- Andry Lara recently got promoted to Low-A for a few starts before the season wraps which is cool to see. Looking at arms in Washington's lower minors, between Lara, Jackson Rutledge and Cole Henry who do you think has the best chance at impacting a future Nats rotation? Thanks for the chat!
Kyle Glaser: Lara looks like the guy right now given the injuries to Rutledge and Henry, but they're all close together and it wouldn't be a surprise if any of them ends up being the one who makes the greatest impact in the Nats rotation down the line. And my pleasure, thanks for joining.
Kismet Kid (Las Vegas):
- 1B prospects can be tough to get a handle on. Please put the following in order of expected Major League success: Dustin Harris, Jhonkensy Noel, Nick Pratto and Vinnie Pasquantino.
Kyle Glaser: Pratto is the clear No. 1 of that group. Harris is probably No. 2 with Noel No. 3. Pasquantino is a bit of a wild card, but I wouldn't count him out.
- What are your thoughts on the (realistic) upsides for two of the Dodgers 2020 pitching draft picks: Landon Knack and Gavin Stone. Are either of them potential middle-of-the-rotation starters (or better), especially within the context of the Dodgers’ pitching depth, or is that an unlikely outcome and we’re more likely looking at, say, swing-men?
Kyle Glaser: Landon Knack has a chance to be a No. 3, with a No. 4 the most likely outcome. He's had some recurring hamstring issues though (that's why he got a late start to the year and why he's on the IL now) so that's something that will need to be watched. Stone is more of a two-pitch guy who could possibly help out in relief one day.
- Was Eury Perez in consideration for the back end of the top 100? What kept him behind those who did make it?
Kyle Glaser: Perez was right on the cusp. You'll see him in the Top 100 very soon.
Nick (New York):
- What is the thinking behind pushing a guy like Jasson Dominguez into low A as opposed to letting him have some success in Rookie ball? It is not like he was crushing the competition before being promoted.
Kyle Glaser: Teams have gotten extremely aggressive with their prospects, to the point I would argue it's detrimental. Dominguez is actually one of the success stories, relatively speaking. For a long time fans have underestimated how much more difficult each level is relative to the last, and I'm starting to see it more in front offices and their decision-making in player development. Especially this year, there were a LOT of guys pushed up to Low-A that needed to be in Rookie ball. Compared to some of the others like Robert Puason (same international signing class as Dominguez), Dominguez has actually done very well.
- Why the enormous difference in ranking between Luciano and Jordan Walker? Is it the hope for average defense at SS out of Luciano?
Kyle Glaser: Yes. Luciano's shortstop defense has been something I've spent a lot of time diving in on and some of the reports have come back more optimistic than expected, especially late in the season as he's gotten more reps. You're looking at two similarly impactful offensive players, with Luciano someone who has a chance to stick at SS but maybe ends up at 3B, where Walker is someone who has a chance to stick at 3B but maybe ends up at 1B. To be honest, scouts and player development officials assess Luciano staying at SS as much more likely than Walker staying at 3B, which surprised me.
- Is Oneil Cruz's recent jump in prospect rank a sign that more people are buying into the idea that he could actually play MLB shortstop, or is there still the sense that he is an outfielder in waiting?
Kyle Glaser: People still have surprising optimism that Cruz can actually play short, but that hasn't really changed. What's changed is he's gotten stronger and more coordinated and is starting to control his moves more in the batter's box. Cruz's bat is what will determine his MLB success (and thus his prospect projections). His rise was a reflection of the gains he's made as a hitter.
Larry (San Diego):
- If the 2019 draft changed, Corbin Carroll wouldn't go in the top ten? Was this just an oversight?
Kyle Glaser: Carroll probably would. Rutschman, Witt, Vaughn, Greene, Abrams, Lodolo and Jung all went top 10 and still would today. That's seven. Manoah and Kirby would go top 10 as well. That's nine. If you wanted to argue Carroll would be the 10th guy over Langeliers, I wouldn't fight you. It would probably depend on the team and their organizational preferences and needs. You can also make the argument Priester would go top 10. This was a really good draft with a lot of talented players.
- What are scouts saying about Pirates 1B prospect Alex Mojica? He's very young and the stats are okay, but how has he looked?
Kyle Glaser: Not good. Even at instructional league last year Mojica was way, way, way too big. He's just a big guy who doesn't move very well.
- How close was Riley Greene to passing Tork in the Top 100? Seems like hes putting up better numbers in AAA and also a year younger.
Kyle Glaser: You can find people who prefer Greene. It's close. Both project to be stars in MLB. It'll be a fun discussion throughout the offseason as we get closer to Prospect Handbook time to get a larger sample of opinions on who should be ahead.
- Thoughts on Brayan Rocchio? He made quite the leap in BA's updated Top 100 rankings and is now listed as the secon-highest prospect on the list for the Indians/Guardians.
Kyle Glaser: Rocchio an elite defender at shortstop. As in elite elite, potential 80-grade defender. He's a smaller guy who swings big, but he's got some natural hitting instincts and makes good swing decisions. He might be a guy who plays such ridiculous defense early in his career that he'll be an everyday player, and over time he'll add strength and eventually start hitting as he gets further into his career, as we've seen many other smaller, elite defensive shortstops do.
- Chaim Bloom has gotten killed in Boston but it really looks like he nailed it with Nick Yorke and Blaze Jordan last year. What is the ceiling for both in your opinion. Thank You
Kyle Glaser: Yorke has a chance to be an everyday second baseman who hits for high averages and gets to double-digit home runs. He's just a naturally good hitter. Jordan's power is real, but there are still some questions how much he's going to hit against better pitching. As much as Bloom and Co. have a track record of success you feel good about, 28 games in the lowest levels is not enough of a sample to say someone "nailed" a draft pick.
Reggie (New York):
- Curtis Mead in AAA at 20yo, are we looking at an everyday regular or potential star in the making?
Kyle Glaser: Mead hits the ball extremely hard and makes consistent contact. That's a really good recipe for success. There are some questions about his athleticism and positional future. Most evaluators see him as a 3B/1B type on a second-division team, but if he continues to grow into more power he could be an everyday first baseman.
Jim (Philadelphia PA):
- Existential muttering: it would seem Ranger Suarez had the repertoire and guile to be the Phils 5th starter from the get. Do GMs sleep better giving $9M to Matt Moore and Chase Anderson?
Kyle Glaser: It's always tough to know which young guys are going to successfully make the jump from relieving to starting. Especially given the circumstances of the season and the worries about pitcher injuries and fatigue going from 60 games to 162 games, I understand signing a couple of veterans to fill out the back-end of the rotation. It's more about who those back-end guys are. In the Phillies case, obviously the guys they chose didn't work out.
Kyle Glaser: All right everyone, that will do it for today. Thanks for coming out, and have a great rest of your week.