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Kyle Glaser Top MLB Prospects Chat (3/8/19)

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Reds prospect Taylor Trammell (Photo by Bill Mitchell)

Kyle Glaser: Hey everybody, happy Friday. It's been a fun week in terms of getting back from spring training, lots of season preview stuff coming out, draft calls starting to heat up and of course all the experimental rules changes announced in the Atlantic League today. Let's talk about all of it

Taylor (Corona, CA): 

    Kyle, will you be attending any Atlantic games this year to see these rule changes first hand? If so, which of these new rules are you curious to see in person?


Kyle Glaser: Let's start here. I will make an effort to get and out see an Atlantic League game or two to see how these changes actually look in real-time. For the record, I'm opposed to most of them. The only one that I think should actually be implemented is the time between innings and pitching changes being dropped from 2:05 to 1:45. I'll mostly be curious to see how Trackman being used to call balls and strikes works in practice. The varying strike zone in MLB (and the fact it's not often called correctly high to low) is problematic and something I would be interested in seeing fixed. But most of the other changes - namely moving the mound back and banning shifts - are way out of bounds in my opinion.

Matt (Va): 

    Where can we expect Casey Mize to open the season?


Kyle Glaser: High A in Lakeland, with a slight chance of Double-A Erie

Spencer M (Massachusetts): 

    Abraham Toro-Hernandez has really gotten me excited with his AFL and Spring Training showings. If he can be an average hitter, it looks like the rest of his profile is strong enough for him to be a regular. How is his bat looking in person? Is he making strides at the plate that could carry over into 2019?


Kyle Glaser: Toro's bat is very real. He has power to all fields and gets the bat to the ball with authority consistently. No one really questions his hitting ability. He shows you the hands and arm for 3B, but there have been some inconsistencies at times that leave some evaluators skeptical. Personally I think he can stick there, but he's not going to beat out Alex Bregman, so he probably rises to Houston as a 3B/1B bench bat or is a trade candidate. But he can hit, the bat is real.

Tiffythetitan (Oakland, CA): 

    @PavlovicNBCS Farhan Zaidi said he’s still looking to add to outfield before Opening Day. Does not sound like Giants are too interested in remaining free agents. His preference is to find another right-handed bat, and focus right now is more on trade options. Throw me a SF Giants trade scenario for an outfielder. :)


Kyle Glaser: I'd be curious to see what it would take for the Giants to possibly pry Clint Frazier from the Yankees. Still young, has upside, doesn't have a path to playing time in NY. Obviously you have to be wary of the concussion issues, but he's worth at least looking into.

Mobby (Detroit): 

    How do you weigh spring training performances in adjusting top prospect rankings before the season?


Kyle Glaser: Not much. You take note of velocity increases or of is someone is visibly bigger/stronger/more coordinated and showing in the field, but spring training is such a small sample size against players at differing levels of readiness you don't want to go too crazy.

Nick (New Jersey): 

    It seems like Nolan Jones and Mark Vientos are very similar profiles. What separates them to you?


Kyle Glaser: Jones projects as a better hitter down the road by a full grade. Both are talented, but Jones' bat is ahead by a decent margin. That's not a knock on Vientos. That's a testament to Jones.

Travis (Omak, Wa): 

    Thoughts on Kyle Lewis this spring? He looks like a completely different player. Seems like he could be poised for a breakout year.


Kyle Glaser: Having a healthy knee really makes a big difference huh? But seriously, if Lewis' knee can stay 100 percent, he has the physicality and athleticism to return to Top 100 prospect status in a hurry.

Old Timer (Raleigh NC): 

    Does Dustin Fowler start at AAA? Given his struggles at the MLB level, do you still see him as a first division regular? Thanks.


Kyle Glaser: I answered in a previous chat that I think Fowler does begin in AAA, and I stand with that. Fowler has projected for the most part to be a solid player (50 grade) than a bonafide first-division guy (55 grade). I lean more toward that being his potential even if it all clicks. That BB-K ratio has always been a bit scary.

Neal (Columbia, SC): 

    Looking forward to seeing Ronny Mauricio in person this season. What is his ceiling and who is he similar to? Also, any news on Joe Perez's progress and recovery for 2019?


Kyle Glaser: You can dream on Mauricio growing into an All-Star infielder but he's a long, long, long way away. Seeing him in spring training, even though he's tall, he still has a lot more physical development ahead than I would have initially thought based on his reputation. It's going to be 4-5 years, and let's hold off comping 17 year olds. As for Perez, I have not heard anything.

Brandon (Albuquerque): 

    Which of these young prospects has the biggest breakout this year: Kristian Robinson, Marco Luciano, George Valera, or Julio Rodriguez?


Kyle Glaser: Everything you hear about Julio Rodriguez is pretty exciting. He and Valera would be the two picks on my end, but all of these are very talented kids who no one should be surprised if they have the "biggest" breakout.

Travis (Omak, Wa): 

    Do you think Sheffield makes the mariners rotation to start the year he has looked electric this spring.


Kyle Glaser: He should, but he won't unless one of Gonzales, Leake, Kikuchi, Felix or LeBlanc gets hurt.

Old Timer (Raleigh NC): 

    I am curious about the reasons behind can't miss prospects who are expected to be productive major leaguers and who actually miss. Excluding misses due to physical issues, how important is that "burning in the gut to succeed" for prospect success? And how big a factor is that intangible in your rankings of prospects?


Kyle Glaser: One big reason hitters fail is they never figure out an approach against big league pitching. You can have all the raw tools you want, if you don't have a consistent, sustainable approach, you're not going to be successful. On the pitching side, sequencing and command are two areas guys get tripped up. You can have all the nasty stuff in the world, if you can't spot it or don't set hitters up, you're going to get hit. Approach and sequencing are hugely mental, and mental composure/makeup/etc is a huge part of teams' evaluations. We do take makeup reports into account in our prospect rankings, just as MLB teams do.

Bill (Oshawa, Ontario): 

    What is the outlook for Luis Torrens, C, SD? The 2017 Rule 5 draftee spent the full year in the majors as a 21 year old, so he doesn't fit traditional prospect eligibility. Hard to find anything about him.


Kyle Glaser: He can hit, defense has a ways to go. He's a backup profile but there's a lot of work to be done in blocking, receiving, etc. He's below-average defensively but you can see some ingredients to project improvement. Those that like him don't see him in the majors until 24 or 25 however. It's going to take time, if it happens at all

Michael Dean (Regina, SK): 

    Did Jorge Mateo do enough in spring training to erase his poor 2018 and earn a major league look in 2019?


Kyle Glaser: It's going to take more than 21 spring training plate appearances to "erase" all the negatives people saw on Mateo last year (and previous years, for that matter). If a major league look comes in 2019, it's going to be because he shows sustainable changes and improvements in his pitch selection, approach and swing length over the course of a lot more PAs than what he'll have by the time camp breaks.

Bobby (Best Coast): 

    So now that Bryce Harper has committed to recruiting Trout to the Phillies, should LAA just get ahead of that and trade him? Would Bohm + Moniak + Cornelius Randolph + Scott Kingery + Gowdy (bring him home) get it done?


Kyle Glaser: Let's get our weekly Trout trade question out of the way right now. No, that package would not even come close. What it would take to get Trout (Nola and Hoskins-plus) is something the Phillies wouldn't part with. That's the dynamic at play here. What Trout is worth is something no team would part with. He's not getting traded, so let's just stop. And for all future trade scenarios, if the package you propose in your head starts with anything less than two cost-controlled, All-Star potential big leaguers in their 20s, the answer is no, it's not enough.

Jimmy (The Block): 

    Should Trout sit out the next two years to protect his chance at a $500 million deal?


Kyle Glaser: No.

DR (Baltimore): 

    Cole Tucker put on quite the power display against the Os. Is that power development real? He hinted at a swing change..could there be more to come?


Kyle Glaser: Tucker's offensive improvements, both contact and power, are real and were part of what made him so impressive in the Arizona Fall League last October-November. He's still young and there's still more to come. He's one of many prospects in the Pirates system I think are underrated and will be better than many think.

brad (NJ): 

    When you evaluate prospects, do you adjust for park factors? Ie Rodgers in Colorado, or a SP in SF, I would think so but I am not sure.


Kyle Glaser: When you evaluate any player - prospect, big leaguer, anyone - you always keep the context in mind. How the parks they play in affects their offensive stats, pitching stats, etc. At the end of the day you rank the talent, but you do that while taking into account how their current environment affects performance.

Bob (Tex): 

    When do you see Forest Whitely making his debut in Hou and how good can he be this year?


Kyle Glaser: I would expect Whitley to debut sometime this summer, but keep in mind he's not going to be ridden hard given he pitched less than 50 innings last year and he's never topped 100 in his career. He can be effective, but in all likelihood it will be in short bursts as they ease him in.

SAL fan (East Coast): 

    Any low minors guys making any noise in ST so far, that might portend some serious improvement?


Kyle Glaser: I was very impressed with what I saw out of the Nationals' Luis Garcia in Florida. 18 years old and wasn't overmatched in any way playing against guys 3-4 years older with upper-level or ML experience. Physically looked the part, wasn't fazed at all by the speed of the game. It was impressive to see someone that young playing up to the level he did.

Bob (CA): 

    On the theory that you don't give some 300M and not put your best team on the field, don't you think the Padres should get Tatis and Paddack to the majors sooner rather than later?


Kyle Glaser: Both will be up sooner rather than later.

Dan (USA): 

    Chance Sisco seems to be seeing the ball well. Could he be making a play to be the Os every day catcher? Could he be league average at the position?


Kyle Glaser: I've long been a believer in Sisco. I do think he will seize the opportunity to be the O's everyday catcher and hit enough. He has a chance to become league average at the position, but he's going to have to continue to improve his throwing.

VandyGuy (VandyLand): 

    I know the Giants are in Arizona, but Tyler Beede has shown some significantly improved stuff, up to 97, serious breaker. Is there hope he could reclaim his prospect status, and maybe be a useful rotation piece?


Kyle Glaser: Beede is a reliever. The fastball command just isn't there to start.

Joshua (Charlotte): 

    Does Whites Sox pitcher Michael Kopech start the season with the Southsiders or back in the CLT with the Knights. Also who should the Knights fans keep an eye on in AAA for 2019.


Kyle Glaser: Kopech is out all of 2019 after having Tommy John surgery. As far as Charlotte, Eloy will start back there because his service-time is being manipulated, Dylan Cease and Nick Madrigal have a chance to be there by the second half. Those would be the top guys.

Rob (Seattle): 

    Do expect Hudson Potts to grow into a t100 prospect?


Kyle Glaser: I like Potts, but no. There's too much swing and miss in the zone to project him to rise to that level.

Rob (Seattle): 

    A few years ago you nailed Urias becoming a guy for the Padres. Do you have a similar feeling for either Xavier Edwards or Tucupita Marcano?


Kyle Glaser: I need to see more of both, but both have my attention. Both good players. I can see it more with Edwards, but I'm not ready to go there quite yet.

Rob (Seattle): 

    Are you soured on Cal Quantril? Seems to have strong makeup and if he can get his stuff to play consistently is there a possible three starter?


Kyle Glaser: Apparently I'm actually the high guy on Quantrill considering we're the only outlet with him still in the Padres Top 10. Look, he struggled through bouts at Double-A last year, but also had spurts where he was very good and everyone seems to be ignoring what he showed at the end in Triple-A (92-95, plus change, slider that's much improved). There's three quality pitches plus competitive fire that you like. He has to get more consistent with his command and keep his composure, and his stock is dropped, but there's still a mid-rotation starter in there.

Marty (El Paso, TX): 

    Hans Crouse seems to be a very divisive prospect. What’s your take on him, would you lump him in with the ceiling of SP2 or better crowd? Who else is in that pack?


Kyle Glaser: Crouse's stuff is electric, and it has been since he was a sophomore at Dana Hills High School. It's No. 2 starter stuff, but the delivery has always looked reliever-ish and the biggest thing people want to see is how he responds to adversity on the mound (in the past it's been an issue). This year in full-season ball will be a good test for him to prove he has the command and composure to succeed at higher levels. We currently have him in the Top 100 so clearly we believe in him, but he will be watched very closely this year.

Rob (Seattle): 

    If we were redrafting 2017 does Nick Allen go higher, lower? Do you think he can be a big league regular?


Kyle Glaser: He would go lower. Amateur scouts loved him, pro scouts have long been more wary of his bat. He projects as a utility guy truthfully, and he's going to have to hit more to even get to that level, even as good as his glove is.

Ben (Chicago): 

    Are there any Jordyn Adams/kyler Murray type players in this draft, not exclusively football/baseball, but players who started focusing on baseball later that could explode?


Kyle Glaser: Jerrion Ealy is this year's main football/baseball standout, although the expectation right now is he'll choose football and play RB for Mississippi rather than sign out of the draft

Juan (Texas): 

    Who is your favorite prospect? Could be for off the field reasons, because they're really good, they're quirky, etc!


Kyle Glaser: I wouldn't really say "favorite" prospect. I would say that both Eloy Jimenez and Jo Adell are two players that have both physical abilities and personalities that stand out. There is star potential for them both as players and people, which is rare and special.

Mr. Fister (Arlington): 

    Which pitcher would you rather have five years from now out of Dustin May and Luis Patino?


Kyle Glaser: This is a tough one. I lean Dustin May because of the physique and demonstrated ability to log innings, but Patino is a stud in his own right. Ask me a different day and I might give you a different answer.

Turd Ferguson (Jeapordy): 

    Where would Adley Rutschman land in your top 100 prospects right now if he were eligible?


Kyle Glaser: Somewhere in the 15-30 range. Last year's No. 1 overall pick Casey Mize checks in at 16. Joey Bart, the No. 2 pick and a catcher, checked in at 29. That's the range we're looking at.

Justin (Cincinnati): 

    Anyone you have been quite surprised with that you have seen so far in Spring Training? Whether it be performance or body changes.


Kyle Glaser: Everyone likes to satirize Best Shape of His Life, and with good reason because 99 pct of the time it's irrelevant, but there are cases where guys come in with improved physiques and physical changes and it makes a difference. Seeing what Dominic Smith looks like, how much stronger and lither he is, seeing the resulting authority with which he's swinging the bat, seeing how much more confident and comfortable he is at the plate - I think there's the potential for a breakout there. I really do.

Ron (Atlanta, GA): 

    Who would you rather have 5 years from now... Kristian Robinson or Julio Rodriguez Nick Madrigal or Xavier Edwards Luis Garcia (Nats) or Luis Garcia (Philly) Ronald Acuna or Juan Soto Grant Levigne or Peter Alonso


Kyle Glaser: Ronald Acuna

Matt (Colorado Springs, CO): 

    Is this the year Riley Pint starts to deliver on his upside?


Kyle Glaser: It needs to be.

Holes_in_my_Sox (Chicago): 

    How has Brendan Rodgers' bat looked this spring training relatively to last year? The results obviously shouldn't matter, however there seems to be a cooling effect with him across the industry.


Kyle Glaser: Remember what I said earlier about spring training stats and not putting much stock in them? He's still a top prospect, he's still going to start the year in Triple-A as he always was, and he still projects as an everyday player. He's still highly-regarded, and all the tools are still there.

Rob (Seattle): 

    Do you think Reggie Lawson has mid rotation upside?


Kyle Glaser: Yes, but whether he gets there is up for debate. The potential is there.

Buck (Md): 

    How does the pirates clear the way in the future for Hayes? With Moran and Lang in the way


Kyle Glaser: Neither Moran nor Kang will stand in the way of Hayes if he develops as most expect he will. Whatever they need to do, they'll do when the time comes.

Kyle Glaser: Alright everyone, that will do it for today. Thanks for chatting, and I hope you have a great weekend.

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