Los Angeles Dodgers 2020 Top 10 MLB Prospects Chat
Kyle Glaser: Hey everybody, hope you all had a good weekend. Let's chat Dodgers.
Top 100 Propsects? (6?):
- Do you expect the top 6 of the Dodgers prospects to all make the top 100 out in a few weeks? Do you think they'll all end up in the top 80-85?
Kyle Glaser: I do. I think there is even a chance No. 7 Diego Cartaya sneaks onto the back of the Top 100 as well.
Jeter Downs (how much have I improved?):
- Jeter Downs' first 2019 first half was steady but unspectacular. Did something click for him later in the second half or was it a product of a small sample size? His last 125 PA split between HiA and AA produced 12 doubles and 8 HR. Doesn't his 2019 season seem eerily similar to Lux's 2018 season? Do you see further breakout coming in 2020?
Kyle Glaser: Downs genuinely improved. His approach and the consistency of his at-bats needed the most improvement, and he put in the work and got the job done. If he keeps improving as he has been, there is absolutely the potential for another jump. As far as Lux comparisons, the answer is no - Lux was better across the board in 2018, both statistically and visually. Lux hit nearly 60 points better with more than 30 points difference in OBP, while also playing a vastly better shortstop. Downs is good, but Lux was a clear tier higher at the same age and level.
GrandyisaSadist (New York):
- Where does Miguel Vargas wind up on the diamond?
Kyle Glaser: First base most likely, but there is an outside chance Vargas stays at third if he continues to trend in the right direction physically. He slimmed down and got stronger this year compared to last. If he can do that again, he has a chance to stick. Again though, first base is probably most likely.
GrandyisaSadist (New York):
- Could Downs play CF?
Kyle Glaser: It would take a lot of time and work and reps. Downs isn’t actually overwhelmingly fast - he’s only an average runner. He mostly steals bases with his advanced instincts. On top of that, he really, really struggled with fly balls at shortstop this year, so that also doesn’t bode well for a potential move to the outfield. We’ll see, but most see him as a pure infielder who moves around the dirt in kind of the Josh Harrison mold.
GrandyisaSadist (New York):
- What separates Uceta & Carrillo?
Kyle Glaser: Carrillo has huge stuff but poor control. Uceta has average stuff but great control and pitchability. Two completely different types of pitchers.
GrandyisaSadist (New York):
- What tools do Rodriguez, DeJesus, & Pages possess?
Kyle Glaser: I encourage you to purchase the Prospect Handbook, where all three are ranked with their tools laid out.
GrandyisaSadist (New York):
- Does John Rooney make a MLB start in his career?
Kyle Glaser: If I’m being honest, Rooney was extremely vanilla when I saw him at the end of last year at Rancho Cucamonga, but a lot of vanilla lefties end up popping up at some point. He has a shot.
GrandyisaSadist (New York):
- Would you rather have Estevez or McKinstry?
Kyle Glaser: Interesting question. McKinstry’s ability to play multiple positions and Triple-A success give him the edge for me, but Estevez keeps hitting enough to show there might be something more there than he gets credit for.
GrandyisaSadist (New York):
- Devin Mann: something or nothing?
Kyle Glaser: Definitely something. It’s just a matter of degree of what that something is. It might be kind of a late-career David Freese (3B/1B, solid average and double-digit HRs). It might be more. I’ve seen Mann on days when I think it’s more and other days when I’m not sure. Either way, there’s something.
GrandyisaSadist (New York):
- How does the Dodgers' catching situation pan out long-term? Ruiz has to be available via trade, right? Cartaya might be the best of all if them.
Kyle Glaser: Who gets there first is often half the battle. The job is Will Smith’s to lose for the next 3-4 years. Ruiz should absolutely be available in trades, and as talented as Cartaya is, we’re still talking about a newly-turned 18 year old catcher yet to play above in Rookie ball – there is a long, long path ahead with plenty of potential pitfalls. You hope it works out, but you can’t bank on it.
Alex (Bay Area):
- Thanks for chatting with us Kyle after a marathon one Friday. I've read Downs' hit/power tools to be more 55 hit/50 power in the past but you have it flipped. Do you think the improvements he made the 2nd half of 2019 could tick that hit/power to 55/55? It was mentioned he would lose focus and give away ABs in the past...did something click for him last summer to stay more consistently focused?
Kyle Glaser: My pleasure Alex. I always enjoy chatting and talking baseball. With Downs, what clicked was just maturity. That comes with time and can’t be rushed. As far as the grades, the improvement is what makes the hit and power grades 50 and 55. Before the improvement they were 45/50.
Logan Field (MI):
- As a tigers fan I see a lot of similar prospects in the Tigers and Dodgers system. Long term would you rather have Mize or Lux? May or Manning? Ruiz of Greene? Skubal or Gray? Downs or Paredes? Gonsolin of Faedo? Please no bias since this is a Dodgers chat! I appreciate all your hard work!!
Kyle Glaser: Thanks Logan. Downs and Gonsolin are slam dunks over Paredes and Faedo, no questions asked. You take May over Manning too, given May is where Manning hopes to be in a year or two. That’s three clear edges to the Dodgers. Skubal vs. Gray is interesting, you probably give the edge to Skubal at this point. Lux is a position player without injury concerns, which gives him the edge over Mize. Ruiz/Greene are very different and could be a wash. So that’s four edges to the Dodgers, one to the Tigers and one tie. You’ll see when our organization talent rankings come out, that while the Tigers system is good, the Dodgers are in another tier.
- Are the Dodgers unwilling to trade Edwin Rios or can they not find a suitor?
Kyle Glaser: The Dodgers know what they have, and that’s a really good hitter who can help them off the bench. They’re not going to trade him for nothing, and players like Rios (older, corner only) are often way, way, undervalued by opposing teams in trades, who spend way too much time focusing on the profile and not the skillset. Why the Rangers or Red Sox haven’t traded for Rios yet is beyond me. He’d be an immediate upgrade at first base for both of them.
Brandon J (Altadena, CA):
- What do you expect from Edwin Uceta this year? Is he a bullpen arm moving forward, or can he be a rotation piece?
Kyle Glaser: It’s rotation or bust for Uceta. He doesn’t have the power stuff for relief, he’s more of a mix his pitches, keep you off balance guy. The next step for him is getting stronger and adding another tick or two of velocity. If he does, his path to a rotation spot gets a lot clearer.
- What does the future look like for two 2018 Dodgers draftees - Devin Mann and Michael Grove? Was Grove just working off rust or a slight disappointment? Was Mann as good as he looked last year at Rancho?
Kyle Glaser: Mann is real. There is something there, although he was never quite as good again as the first three games I saw him. Grove’s stuff was way down early. It was a little better at the end of the season, which is understandable given he was coming off of TJ, but it was still not what you wanted to see. He also was kept on a tight leash innings and pitch count-wise, so you never got a feel for how his stuff played the second or third time through a lineup. He’s a big question mark, with a slight lean toward the pessimistic category for most evaluators.
RAH RAH (MD):
- I'm a big fan of Gonsolin and wish he got more pub across the various prospect lists. Do you think it would help if he got a haircut and didn't look the bass player in an '80s metal band?
Kyle Glaser: I’ve been singing Gonsolin's praises since I saw him at Rancho in 2018 (and I’m still mad the Dodgers told me to push him down off their Top 30 the year before when I had him on there before anyone else). He’s a good pitcher who will get his due. If anything, the ‘stache and hair add to the allure.
- Are there any hopes left for Morgan Cooper, Yadier Alvarez, and Jeren Kendall? Thanks
Kyle Glaser: Cooper has yet to throw a professional pitch and had his second shoulder surgery in two years over the summer. Poor guy just can't stay healthy. It's hard to feel optimistic with his health record. Alvarez is the same guy he's always been, someone with a strong right arm and no command and way too many noncompetitive pitches. As for Kendall, he improved some, but the track record of outfielders hitting sub-.220 in repeat years at HiA becoming big leaguers for any extended period of time is zero. None of the three made the Top 30 in the Prospect Handbook. None had particularly strong cases or much support from evaluators, either.
- What kind of role do evaluators see Devin Mann playing at the major league level?
Kyle Glaser: Most see Mann as a 3B/1B part-timer who may get some playing time in LF and can do damage at the plate. Nothing sexy, but valuable for an NL club. There are a few, mainly in the Dodgers organization, who are higher and think he's an everyday guy. Either way, he's a universal future big leaguer in evaluators' eyes.
Michael Stern (Rochester NY):
- Where do you see Downs playing in big leagues? With Dodger roster being so loaded - what's the best position for him to have a shot to get to LA? And what is the time frame you see before he potentially arrives? Thanks for the chat !
Kyle Glaser: The best position for Downs will be 3B, which is probably where he's best suited because he has an above-average arm but not quite the range you want in the middle infield. That's his clearest path to an everyday role in Los Angeles. He has a chance for a callup this year, a lot will depend on what happens in front of him injury-wise.
David r (San diego):
- Why so few prospect for prospect deals?
Kyle Glaser: Because GMs (and their staffs) have become terrified of being the guy who gave away a prospect that turns into a stud. The thing is, to win, you have to make those deals. The Nationals traded Jesus Luzardo, among others, to get Sean Doolittle. Luzardo blossomed and looks like a stud, but guess what - the Nats don't win a World Series without Doolittle. Same goes for their Adam Eaton-Lucas Giolito trade. Same with the Cubs' Gleyber Torres-Aroldis Chapman deal. You have to be careful and choosy on which deal you make, but if you want to win, you have to make a deal like that at some point. As far as what that means for the Dodgers right now, Lux and May are the only two prospects they should really have any hesitation to trade for a frontline player. Everyone else needs to be on the table, and frankly should be a no-brainer.
MIchael Stern (Rochester NY):
- Is Hoese LA 3rd baseman of the future? How high is his power potential? When do you expext him in the majors? Thanks for the chat !
Kyle Glaser: He has a chance to be. There's real 25+ home run power in there. Maybe more. If things go well he has a chance to move quickly as a college bat, possibly make a 2021 debut and settle into a consistent role in 2022, but that assumes everything goes according to plan. He already had some elbow trouble last year, we need to monitor if that continues this year.
Carl (San Antonio):
- Is there anything to suggest Connor Wong tool a step forward towards the end of last season when he was on fire? Is he destined to strike out too much to be a productive major league hitter?
Kyle Glaser: It was more motivation-based. Wong, DJ Peters and Keibert Ruiz all had the same problem: they were sent back to a level they had already conquered and struggled to stay motivated. All three took steps forward when they finally got promoted, Wong being the biggest and loudest. As far as his swing and miss, there is too much there to project him to be an everyday guy, but he has enough defensive ability, power and athleticism to be fine in a part-time role.
- I'm seeing some buzz on Micheal Grove? Is he a potential breakout starting pitching prospect in 2020 after one more year removed from TJ?
Kyle Glaser: Maybe. He was 89-93 without a swing-and-miss pitch early, ticked up to 92-95 later in the year as he moved farther away from TJ. The problem is he never maintained that velocity and was often pulled too early to ever get a read on how he adjusted the second or third time through an order. There are still a lot of question marks on him. This second year will be more illuminating.
Michael Stern (Rochester NY):
- Andy Pages had big numbers last season. Is he a legit prospect? Was he close to top 10? What would eta be for the power hitting OF? Thanks for the chat!
Kyle Glaser: He's very much a legitimate prospect, although he was not in Top 10 consideration yet because there is still a lot of rawness to his game and he has a lot of development left. He's going to be more of a slow mover. Think 2023 or later.
- What is Ryan Pepiot's ceiling? Seems like he has elite stuff and could be a fast mover.
Kyle Glaser: Pepiot has big stuff, but he has never demonstrated the consistent command needed to project as more than a mid-rotation starter, and that's on the absolute high end. Most think he's a future reliever. He could move fast if the Dodgers make that move to the bullpen. If he remains a starter, it's going to take time for his fastball command and execution to get to where they need to be.
Sean (Virginia Beach):
- Understood that Josiah is in the Dodgers pitching plans with two all stars and other uber prospects. If we put him back in the Reds system or another middle of the pack rotation, where could we see Josiah?
Kyle Glaser: Gray would probably project as the Reds' future No. 4 starter. That No. 3-4 range is pretty much where he settles in for most teams. He's a legit mid-rotation starter candidate in general. He's a good one.
Matt (Boulder, CO):
- What's the feeling about Miguel Vargas? Seems like another potential breakout in the making for the org.
Kyle Glaser: Vargas can absolutely hit. He's the same age as the 2018 draft class. If we were talking about a 2018 high school pick who hit .308/.380/.440 while advancing to HiA in his first full season, people would be going ga-ga. That's what Vargas did. Now, where he fits defensively is an open question and something that will need to be figured out. But he was a very, very popular ask at the trade deadline last year, and the Dodgers know they have a very talented young hitter on their hands.
Matt (Boulder, CO):
- You guys have Santana as the closer of the future, but it has sounded like everything has backed way up since the injury. Is there seriously still room for hope after his move to the pen? Is his sinker still +/++?
Kyle Glaser: Santana had an 8.00 ERA as a starter and a 1.72 ERA in relief this year. The bullpen is where he's long projected to end up, and when the Dodgers finally just put him in that role, he excelled. His sinker is still a plus-plus pitch that touches 97 and his slider will work just fine in relief. Now that they've put him in the bullpen where he belongs, he can just focus on doing what he does best.
Matt (Boulder, CO):
- A lot was made last year of the team remaking DJ Peters swing in the offseason and outside of a remarkable couple weeks in AAA, his season was marred with the same issues from years before. Was there signs of improvement or is his swing still a work in progress?
Kyle Glaser: Still a work in progress. He's just a big guy with long arms and a lot of holes, there's not a whole lot you can do about that. Every year the Dodgers have talked about the swing work he's done in the offseason, and every year it's the same result. This is kind of who he is - big power, big strikeouts, ability to play all three outfield spots, more speed than you think. That's a player who can help you, but you have to be careful not to overexpose him.
- Keibert Ruiz's down season did not seem to dent his prospect status much - was this factor of giving him benefit of doubt as so young at a tough position? From write-up there are hints at makeup issue (use "motivation" two different places) for him - is it serious concern?
Kyle Glaser: As mentioned before, Ruiz, Peters and Wong all struggled with motivation/disappointment after they were sent back to levels they'd already conquered. Ruiz's talent is still there, and we saw some things tick back up briefly in Triple-A before the foul ball off his fingers ended his season. Ultimately, you're still talking about a catcher with supreme contact skills who reached Triple-A on basically his 21st birthday. Big picture, that's still an excellent prospect.
- Any word on Hyun-il Choi - good debut, is he someone who can climb into top-10 down the road?
Kyle Glaser: Choi got a lot of good reviews down in the AZL this year. Has three pitches, very composed, strong body, good command and feel for pitching - everything was pretty positive this first year. He's only 19 and has some velocity gains to make. If he does, a swift prospect rise is very possible.
- Jeter Downs is still listed at 5'11" 180 that he was when drafted back in 2017. Looking at his film, he looks closer to 200-210. Is his body maxed out or do you see some additional power gains in his frame? Can you see him tapping into even more power this year?
Kyle Glaser: He's not the biggest guy. I'm 5-10, 180 and he was not much bigger than me when I stood next to him for interviews this year. It's always possible to get stronger, but it's not like there is an overwhelming amount of projectability in there. Him tapping into more power is going to be more a function of him continuing to learn to pick out which pitches he can drive, fine-tuning his approach and playing with the Triple-A/MLB ball than pure strength gains.
David (Brushton, NY):
- What can you tell me about Andy Pages? Where does he rank? Is he legit?
Kyle Glaser: There are a lot of Yasiel Puig comps thrown on Pages, both for his skillset and his lapses on the field. He's in the 11-20 range, but he's legit. Most think he'll be a slow mover because he has things to iron out both mechanically and from a game awareness standpoint, but there is a lot of raw ability there both at the plate and in the field.
Brandon (New Jersey):
- Do you see the Dodgers trading Keibert due to the fact that Will Smith is young and has been decent through his first year?
Kyle Glaser: I think the Dodgers should not hesitate for a second to trade Keibert Ruiz as the top piece in a deal for an All-Star caliber major leaguer.
Warren (New London):
- Is there hope left for Jeren Kendall? He had a good August, he hit for more power in 2019, and he still has a lot of tools.
Kyle Glaser: Kendall did look better this year, but that's not saying a whole lot. Tools are great, but you've gotta translate them into consistent skills and performance. He has yet to do that. It's hard to bank on him doing so.
- One year from now who has the best system? Dodgers, Tigers, Marlins, Mets, Indians, Orioles. Thanks so much!
Kyle Glaser: Interesting. The Orioles are about to add the No. 2 pick in the draft and should have Rutschman, Hall and Rodriguez all as prospects still next year. That might be my pick. The Tigers will be somewhat dependent on if Mize and Manning (and Skubal) have graduated to the majors or if they're still prospect-eligible.
Warren (New London):
- It drew a lot of comment when the 2013 Hickory team with Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara, Lewis Brinson, Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro et al struck out 1403 times. Rancho Cucamonga struck out 1529 times last year, and they had a good season anyway. Do the Dodgers see this as a problem?
Kyle Glaser: This year's Rancho team got into a lot - and I mean a LOT - of deep counts. A lot of scouts and officials even in the Dodgers organization commented how they hated going to their games at Rancho because they knew they'd take 3 1/2 hours, in large part because of how many of their guys had loooonnnnggg at-bats. But from a player development standpoint, the fact they were working pitchers into deep counts is a good thing, it's not like they were just going up there hacking. It's one of those cases where *how* they were striking out makes a difference. In this case, there isn't much concern because it was through a good process.
- How do you and the scouts you talk to view Andy Page and what level do you think he will start/finish next year?
Kyle Glaser: He's going to start at Great Lakes. Some actually think he'll have a slow start and a rough year at the level because his swing will get exposed some, but they think he'll eventually figure it out. A couple of individuals in the Dodgers organization have commented to me they think Pages will have a better 2021 than he will 2020. They expect this to be a learning year for him. I would expect Great Lakes most of the year, with a chance to touch Rancho at the end of it.
- It is hard to sallow that one of the top ten choices goes to a player that has not proven himself stateside. Who then, if selecting a stateside player, would you have been chosen for that tenth slot instead?
Kyle Glaser: I'm glad you mentioned this. I was skeptical, too, of putting a just-signed international player as the No. 10 prospect in one of baseball's best farm systems, but the reports on Rodriguez from our international guru Ben Badler, combined with the Dodgers internal reports, were too strong to ignore. You'll notice there is a pretty big grade on him. The raves were loud and frequent, and especially given the Dodgers track record at identifying and developing talent, you bet on it clicking. As for who would have been No. 10 if not for Rodriguez, I encourage you to buy the Prospect Handbook and see who we ranked No. 11. That's what the answer would be.
Dylan (Ajax, Canada):
- How close were Andy Pages and Miguel Vargas to making the top 10?
Kyle Glaser: They're not quite there yet, but they're in the next tier.
- With all these high end prospects it can be easy to miss the young "beating expectations prospect." Is there any one in the lower minors or international that may be getting attention in your 30 list? Maybe a bullpen guy or someone that would get more noise in a lesser organization.
Kyle Glaser: Leo Crawford is the classic beating expectations prospect. Small body, light stuff - and he just keeps doing it. Lefties have a way of surpassing all expectations. He's someone who might kind of fit that mold.
Dylan (Ajax, Canada):
- You see Will Smith as the Dodger catcher in 2023...does this imply that Keibert Ruiz will be traded? Or that his realistic profile in 2023 will not surpass Will Smith?
Kyle Glaser: Will Smith got there and performed. Getting there first is half the battle. It's his job to lose, and I don't think he'll lose it.
- Will Lux or May ever be sent back to the minors?
Kyle Glaser: If they struggle, sure. But I think it's safe to assume both will be on the Opening Day roster and given every chance to stay in the majors.
Scott E. (Cali):
- What should we expect from Jeren Kendall in 2020, and will he be worthy of Rule 5 protection next winter?
Kyle Glaser: He'll go to Double-A. He probably won't be unless something massive changes. The thing is, based on talking to other teams, there wouldn't be much interest in even picking him in Rule 5. There's just not enough bat there to survive or invest in at this point. You have to hit, period.
Jeff H (Up North):
- Who would be the best potential high level relief pitcher option in the system?
Kyle Glaser: Dennis Santana is the main one. It's closer stuff and now that he's in the right role in the bullpen, he has a chance to flourish. A lot of evaluators think Mitchell White would be best off in the bullpen too and has a chance to be a 7th/8th inning guy.
Ty (Los Angeles):
- Thoughts on zack McKinstry’s jump and is jeren Kendall pretty much done as a legit prospect?
Kyle Glaser: McKinstry did the classic Dodgers thing - always made contact, reworked his swing to add loft, and now has double-digit HR power. It's the same formula over and over, and the Dodgers keep doing it over and over. He's following the Matt Beaty 2.0 track. As for Kendall, never say never, and he did improve at the end of the year, but there is still a long, long way to go.
- Do you personally feel May has a chance to take a leap this year or is he what he is as a mid rotation piece? Read numerous articles this offseason and they all seem to peg him as a strike out an inning max with massive ground ball tendencies which is definitely a nice piece but seems underwhelming considering the hype around him.
Kyle Glaser: If you're underwhelmed by a mid-rotation starter who keeps the ball on the ground and strikes out a batter per inning, you need to readjust your expectations. To get that out of any pitching prospect is an excellent, excellent outcome. That would be a smashing success. If there's more, cool. If not, that's a great pitcher the Dodgers need.
- Can Busch play a passable 2b? He reminds me of what Dustin ackley should’ve been
Kyle Glaser: That's the hope. It would be kind of a Max Muncy level of 2B. It's not always pretty, but it's passable in the early innings and you make some positional swaps late.
Jason Repko (OF):
- Beyond the 7 you mentioned might crack the top 100 this year, who are some guys deeper down the list that you could see making the jump to that territory over the next 2-3 years?
Kyle Glaser: Miguel Vargas and Andy Pages have chances to click in a big way down the road. The club's second-round pick this year, Jimmy Lewis, certainly checks a lot of boxes you want from a young righthander, but all the caveats about the risks of HS RHPs apply.
- Are there any relievers coming up the ranks for 2020 or will the Dodgers have to buy FA in case of injuries or gaps?
Kyle Glaser: They have arms in the system, but they need to make some free agent additions as well. Attacking it from both sides is the best course of action.
Ray (La Verne, CA):
- What’s the word on Joel Ibarra?
Kyle Glaser: Ibarra, who formerly went by Jesus Ibarra, has a scouting report here from Ben Badler's international reviews https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/2018-19-international-reviews-los-angeles-dodgers/
Randy (So Cal):
- For the Dodgers to get Lindor would they have to give up Lux or May?
Kyle Glaser: Depends how badly the Indians want to move him, but assuming it's not a burning desire where they'll just take the best deal they can get as opposed to the right deal, the answer is yes.
- How much better would the Dodgers system be if they had signed JT Ginn? Why did he decide to go to school instead of signing?
Kyle Glaser: I mean, any time you add a premium arm like that it's going to enhance your system. And it was always going to take a big number to lure him away from Mississippi State, especially considering he was going to be a draft-eligible sophomore, and it just didn't happen. That happens. FWIW, he's making it look like he made the right decision and may be a top 10 pick this coming year.
Tyler (LA, CA):
- Are Wong and DJ Peters two guys who strike out too much to be regulars?
Kyle Glaser: On a first-division team like the Dodgers, yes. They'll be fine as part-timers though, which is valuable and something teams need to win.
Stacey (United States):
- Mitchell Tyranski had some absurd numbers in his first taste of pro-ball. Could he be a fast riser?
Kyle Glaser: He could be. He has that swing-and-miss curveball that could carry him up the ladder. At the same time, it's always wise to not go crazy on college guys beating up on teenagers in Rookie ball. They're supposed to do that.
- Is Andre Jackson ready to take the next leap towards where Gray is now?
Kyle Glaser: Jackson is certainly interesting and there are some similarities as converted position players who really only have 1-2 years of pitching under their belts. Gray has a lot more natural feel and command, Jackson is still very raw in those regards. I think Jackson can certainly take a leap, but Gray is on a bit of another level. I wouldn't predict Jackson to reach quite the same heights.
Ben D (Oakland CA):
- In the Dodgers system what pitchers that have not been brought up to the MLB team do you see being potential solid major league starters.
Kyle Glaser: Josiah Gray is the only one you feel confident about. Edwin Uceta has a chance, while Jimmy Lewis certainly has a shot but again has a long way to go.
Brett Jones (Indiana):
- Where would Zach McKinstry fall on the prospect list and what do you think are the chances he plays in the big leagues this year?
Kyle Glaser: He's in the Top 30. You can see exactly where in the Prospect Handbook. And he'll be in the majors this year as soon as injuries hit.
Jason (So Cal):
- Is Zach Willeman your typical great stuff, no command guy?
Kyle Glaser: His velo actually backed up at times a little bit this year, too. There's likely a bullpen shift coming. When it does, it should allow his stuff to tick back up and his command/delivery/repeatability shortcomings to be minimized somewhat.
- With May rumored to be the top prospect LA would trade, how do you compare his upside to Clevinger?
Kyle Glaser: A No. 2 caliber starter on a contending club, as Clevinger is, is right in line with the hopes for May.
Bill B (Glen allen va):
- Dodgers system is great every year. Better in initial player evaluation, player development, or both versus others? Thanks
Kyle Glaser: They're very good at both, but their player development is where they really stand out. That's what separates the Dodgers - they have the best player development apparatus in baseball, and it's not close.
Tanny (Vulture City, CA):
- Who will get more starts in the MLB this year, May, Gonsolin or Urias? Also, will Danny Santana bounce back?
Kyle Glaser: It's a close call between May and Gonsolin. Edge May, but it's slight. I have a very, very difficult time seeing Julio Urias staying healthy or durable enough to make 25+ starts in a season.
Tyson (OC CA):
- Can Jacob Amaya add enough to his offense outside of walking a lot to be a legitimate SS prospect?
Kyle Glaser: Yes. He shows you the ability to drive the ball, it's just about tapping into it more consistently. There's strength and a good swing in there. It would not be a surprise if it comes out this year and he explodes up prospect lists.
Craigary (San Francisco):
- Speaking of relievers, who are the prospects most likely to potentially help the Dodgers in the bullpen this year (where they seem to have the most needs)? Could Victor Gonzalez be a sleeper this year?
Kyle Glaser: Victor Gonzalez is indeed likely to help out in the Dodgers 'pen this year. The one thing with him is, with the three-batter minimum set to take effect, he needs to be more consistent with his secondaries in order to get both righties as well as lefties out consistently. His fastball alone is ridiculously dominant against lefties, against righties that CH will be key. Dennis Santana is another, as mentioned, and I think Mitchell White makes it up as a reliever at some point, too. We could also see Josiah Gray come up and pitch a little in relief and start some, as we saw May and Gonsolin do last year.
David (Yorba Linda):
- Has the shine worn off on Mitchell White's status? So much stuff there along with a lot of other warts. Maybe he ends up a pen guy
Kyle Glaser: It has, but people still like him. Just with the delivery inconsistencies and injury issues, most see the bullpen as his best (and most likely) long-term spot.
- Kyle - I love your enthusiasm and work for Baseball America. Definitely a high point when I catch one your podcasts.
Kyle Glaser: Thanks. I'm glad that comes through. We're all very fortunate to do what we love here at BA. Also, this is a good spot to mention we've got more podcasts coming this week after taking a break for the holidays. NL Central teams start recording tomorrow, so keep an eye out for those this week.
- I’m a bit puzzled by Lux. You rate him as a grade 60, with the “potential” to be an all-star. Yet he is the #1 prospect in baseball and someone the Indians would be willing to give up Lindor to acquire. Your assessment doesn’t sound like a Lindor trade-equivalent. What am I missing?
Kyle Glaser: Quick clarification, he's not the No. 1 prospect in baseball, he's No. 6: https://www.baseballamerica.com/rankings/2019-top-100-prospects/. But a low-risk, middle infield, major league ready potential All-Star is a hell of a valuable asset. People already seem to undersell just how good a 50 grade player actually is, please don't start doing so with 60 grades.
- You mentioned that the Dodgers asked you to take Gonsolin off your list years ago. Why would an organization ask this? Is this prevalent? What reasons did you have to comply with their wishes? Wouldn't ranking an underrated prospect be a good thing for both you and the organization?
Kyle Glaser: We never "ask" teams permission to rank guys. That's unprofessional and dishonest to readers. What we do is build our Top 30 lists with input from sources both inside and outside the organization. At the time, the multiple Dodgers officials I spoke to said they did not feel Gonsolin was one of their Top 30 prospects (he was relief only at Rancho at the time), and so we ultimately bumped him off. In retrospect, I should have stuck with my instincts and what I saw and ranked him anyway. So it goes.
- Matt Boyd for the Tigers showed he had frontline stuff and potentially in the NL could be even better. It sounds like low end prospects are the only thing being offered for him. Why are teams not willing to part with a top 10 prospect when you are getting a legit starting pitcher? Is there anything Detroit could add to Boyd to get a top prospect like Lux?
Kyle Glaser: No. There is nothing the Tigers have in the majors that they could pair with Boyd to get Lux. People seem to forget Boyd fell off a cliff in the second half and finished 51st out of 59 eligible pitchers in ERA this year. He's not worth a top 10 overall prospect, not even close.
- Who would you trade for betts and price Taking on all money price contract Great answers btw
Kyle Glaser: Taking on all of Price's contract obviously limits the return somewhat. In that scenario, I still wouldn't hesitate to trade Ruiz and Downs (two Top 100 prospects) plus two others in the 11-30 range (depending who they are, of course). If I'm the Dodgers and I have prospect depth and need both an SP and an impact righthanded hitter to get over the top and be better positioned to win a World Series, I'm ok overpaying.
Josh (Los Angeles):
- Michael Busch posted ridiculous walk rates (though it was a small sample, of course). Is he too passive at this stage? Is he just that discerning?
Kyle Glaser: Busch played 15 games total between the regular season and the Fall League. Let's hold off making any judgments about whether he's too passive or not. It's going to take more time (and see him at full health) before anyone can truly render that judgment.
Matt (Boulder, CO):
- Everything I read about Luis Rodriguez gets me more and more excited about the kid. Do you think that in a year or two from now, he is one of the prospects we are hearing most about in the system?
Kyle Glaser: Based on all the reports from Ben Badler and the Dodgers internally, yes.
- Hey Kyle, what are your thoughts on Andre Jackson? Seemed like he made some big strides this year, and he more than held his own in Rancho Cucamonga. How quickly can the Dodgers push him? Is he a future RP?
Kyle Glaser: This will be a telling year for Jackson and what he is long-term. Based on what he showed last year, it's pure reliever in every way. (Big arm, limited secondaries/feel/command). But given he's new to pitching and was coming off to Tommy John surgery, there's a chance all that ticks up with more experience and he has more of an SP chance.
Jason Repko (Outfield):
- Can you give us two in the 20-30 range of Dodger prospects who have top-100 potential in your eyes?
Kyle Glaser: Looking at the list I put together, I can see scenarios where any of Nos. 22-26 make a Top 100 someday. As for who those are, I suggest you place your Prospect Handbook order now.
Josh (Los Angeles):
- Speaking of relievers, Brett de Geus had a fantastic AFL campaign. Did you get to see him? AA to start this year, witha chance for helium?
Kyle Glaser: I saw him in Rancho actually. His stuff is real. He was 95-97 with a good low 80s breaking ball for me. He absolutely should start in Double-A, and I can absolutely see him breaking into the majors at some point during the year if he keeps doing what he's doing and injuries hit
- Hi, Is there any chance that the dodgers budge on trading top prospects for Lindor?? Thanks
Kyle Glaser: I think it's very, very unlikely they move either Lux or May. Never say never, and if someone else high quality is attached to Lindor the calculation obviously changes, but I have a hard time seeing them moving those two given how the Dodgers are currently constructed and what their needs are.
Matt (Boulder, CO):
- Marshall Kasowski put together another strong year, but does not seem to get much hype. Are any of his secondaries showing enough improvement to where he could be viewed as more than just a middle reliever at this point?
Kyle Glaser: Middle relief is generally seen where he's expected to end up. That's not a bad outcome in any way, especially for a 13th-rounder. A lot of games are lost in the 6th or 7th inning. You need guys to get you to the 8th and 9th, and he can be one of them.
- Who is a guy that you wanted to rank higher than industry standards but ultimately didn’t?
Kyle Glaser: I have a nagging feeling Brandon Lewis and Hyun Il-Choi might be underranked. It wasn't so much industry standards pushing them down as much as they're just in a very good, very deep system.
Mike (Mission Viejo, CA):
- With all of the hype Luz is getting it would seem like he is a can't miss all-star type prospect. Do you have him in the sure thing category or is there still bust potential?
Kyle Glaser: There is no such thing as a sure thing prospect. Every single one of them has a path to success and a path to failure. With Lux, you feel very, very confident he will get the most out of his abilities based on his track record and makeup. Nothing is guaranteed, but in the grand scheme of prospects, he's one you feel more comfortable and confident on than many others.
- In your opinion, outside of Ruiz what other top prospect is most likely to be dealt in a trade? Also how are the reports for LA’s J2 class?
Kyle Glaser: Jeter Downs jumps out to me given the Dodgers infield logjam. That's the possibility among their Top 10 that stands out. As for the the J2 class, you can see the reports on all 30 teams, including the Dodgers, here https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/2019-20-mlb-international-reviews/
Josh (Los Angeles):
- Thanks for the chat! I'm excited for the Cal League coverage, Happy New Year!
Kyle Glaser: My pleasure. And me too, I look forward to getting out there this year.
Kyle Glaser: We'll go ahead and end on that note. Thanks for coming out everybody. Hope you have a great week.