Prospect Hot Sheet Chat (4/24/18)
Kyle Glaser: Hey everybody, happy Tuesday. Look forward to chatting baseball with you all. Let's get started
Slippery Pete (Alaska):
- Are you buying Jose Miguel Fernandez as a viable big leaguer? Obviously he needs an injury in LA to get a chance, but if that happens will he hit?
Kyle Glaser: Hello Alaska! Glad to hear from folks all over the map. With Fernandez the main concern has been how bad he’s been defensively. As in, the reviews were really, really bad at any position all last year before he got hurt. The fact he’s in the AL now gives him a better chance, but the Angels aren’t exactly flush with available DH at-bats with Ohtani, Pujols, Valbuena, etc. So while there is a sense Fernandez is a good enough hitter to do something at the major league level, his defensive deficiencies make it very difficult to carve out a role for him. Of course, maybe his defense ticks up and that changes, but for now that’s where it all stands.
Honest Abe (Washington):
- What's a reasonable ETA for Eloy Jimenez? Will the Sox hold him down all year, or bring him up in September (or earlier)?
Kyle Glaser: 2019 is the reasonable ETA, just because of his injury history. But Eloy is one of those special talents who can bypass all reasonable expectations, so if he pulls a Rafael Devers and catches fire at Double-A, rakes in 10 games at Triple-A and gets the call in late-July/early August, no one should be shocked.
Matt (St Louis):
- Any chance the Cards "Todd Zeile" Knizner with a position move?
Kyle Glaser: Sure. Knizner's main attraction is his bat, and with the ageless Yadier Molina still producing and locked up through 2020, moving Knizner around to get his bat in the lineup is definitely not crazy.
- Any word on why Mitchell White hasn't been assigned? Injury? Just being cautious? Also, why didn't he get a non-roster ST invite?
Kyle Glaser: White battled some general soreness early in camp, which meant he got started late and is still in the ramping up process. That's also why he wasn't invited to big league camp. He's expected to be assigned out to Double-A by the end of the month barring any setbacks
Waltharius (Chula Vista):
- Level of 0-100, how concerned are you about the shortcomings of Tatis’ production so far?
Kyle Glaser: 0. He's a young kid making the biggest jump in the minors, HiA to Double-A, except he skipped HiA entirely. The learning curve here is enormous, and Tatis for all his exciting tools is still a very young, very raw player with a lot of improvements and adjustments to make. He'll make them, but it will take time measured in months and years, not weeks.
- Granted it's a short sample size but imagine a 2017 MLB redraft today. Does Calvin Mitchell go first round? Possibility his bat is the best in the class like some thought before his senior class struggles?
Kyle Glaser: It's interesting, different teams have different feelings about how much to emphasize someone's HS senior year. Mitchell was a mid first round pick until he "struggled" his senior year, which was really just a poor start and he finished hitting .369 with 11 HR playing elite competition in San Diego's top division in a loaded year. I think, given his history and how his "bad" performance wasn't actually that bad, imagining him going at the end of the first round instead of where he did isn't crazy.
Juan Soto (Freed to HiA):
- After missing most of 2017 with a rash of injuries I understood why the Nats wanted me to get comfortable in LoA to start the season. I put up video game numbers and now have been promoted to HiA. I'm showing the same patience and have put on 10-15 pounds of muscle and now tapping into my plus power projection. If I continue performing the same way in HiA and get promoted to AA by summer, do I end the year as a top 10 prospect?
Kyle Glaser: It depends on if you actually stay healthy, which you never have, and perform over and extended sample size, which you also never have because you've been hurt. In all seriousness, Soto is incredibly talented. He's also never played more than 51 games in a season. Until he does, you can't put him in top 10 consideration
- Is it too early to sound the alarm on Jhailyn Ortiz this season? Just cold weather issues or is the swing off? Those numbers look terrible so far.
Kyle Glaser: Sixteen games is too early to sound the alarm on any player. Especially teenagers jumping to full-season ball for the first time. Give it til June, then circle back
Braves Fan (A-Town):
- With Austin Riley's hot start, is he on the verge of launching himself as being discussed as a top 25 prospect? It seems that he's put in a lot of work and improved every aspect of his game. He's in better shape, worked hard to become now an above average 3rd baseman, and refined his hitting to be at least average hit (if not better) with plus power. Seems like the makings of a future top 10-20 prospect to me. Agree?
Kyle Glaser: Riley is certainly getting better and better and the reports are very good all around. There are two things to watch. The first is he's more of a strength and timing bat as opposed to bat speed, which isn't a terrible thing (you can make up for average bat speed with timing and athleticism in your swing, which he has), and his defense is still not great when he's on the move, which is important for a third baseman (charging in on balls, throwing on the run, etc.). A power bat with 30+ HR potential is always valuable, and you can dream on him hitting .260-plus. That would be a Top 25 prospect, although again, he's still working his way there more than that right now
- Hi! Thanks! Shane Bieber's ceiling? Most likely outcome?
Kyle Glaser: Shane Bieber keeps raising his ceiling. It was a back-end touch and feel starter, but now he's sitting at 92 and touching 96. With his control and feel to pitch, that's a mid-rotation guy, maybe more. How he holds his velocity bump over the course of the year, as opposed to pitching at that with a fresh arm in April but falling off by June, will be telling.
Keith (Farmington, CT):
- Thanks Kyle. When should the Padres be worried that AA was too much for Fernando Tatis Jr. at age 19? A .488 ops, 32.9 % K rate and one walk in 73 PA is ugly. Small sample size, or should they consider a move to Hi A?
Kyle Glaser: They've put him at Double-A for better or worse. I don't see them bumping him down. It was very, very aggressive, and there is a very legitimate argument to be made he wasn't ready, but they're stuck with it now. He'll figure it out eventually, but he's always been a very raw kid who learns to adjust after some time, not a polished, beyond-his-years player like Vlad Jr. It will take time
- Give me a guy not on the BA 100 you can see vaulting into the top 25 to start next season.
Kyle Glaser: Brandon Marsh. Dude is a mix of size, athleticism, tools and skills that are scary, and if he stays healthy we're talking about one of the top OF prospects in all of baseball
- Vlad Jr. is the consensus top 3rd base prospect in baseball. However, has Austin Riley closed the gap on Nick Senzel as the #2 best 3rd base prospect? Would some scouts now rather take Riley > Senzel long-term because of Riley's power and his much improved defense?
Kyle Glaser: Senzel is still a much more refined hitter as well as a better defender than Riley. He's the clear No. 2 behind Vlad. Even the scouts who really like Riley, we have yet to find one who takes him over Senzel.
Jason (Atlanta, GA):
- What is the ceiling for Austin Riley? With early concerns over his bat speed or timing at the plate, will a high K-rate always lower his potential? Or can he truly be an All-Star 3B?
Kyle Glaser: He can be an All-Star 3B hitting .260 with 30 HRs. He might not get there, but that's not a crazy potential outcome. His timing at the plate actually isn't a problem. He's on time, has really good barrel awareness, gets his hands to the ball and there's more athleticism in the swing than you think. He's got a very bright future ahead of him as long as he continues to improve
Josh (Tampa FL):
- Can you see Joe Dunand and Edward Cabrera top 100 prospects in the near future?? Also, when in Jorge Guzman suppose to debut?? Lastly, what is Pablo Lopez ceiling..thank you Kyle
Kyle Glaser: No one sees Dunand or Cabrera being that level. More potential contributors than standouts. Guzman is TBD, and Pablo Lopez has a chance as a control-oriented fifth starter but is more likely to end up in a swingman role if he makes it
- Any word on when Luis Robert will be back ? I read a few days ago he will start ramping up baseball activities shortly. Mid May ? I know he is scheduled to play with Winston Salem in the Carolina League
Kyle Glaser: It was a 10 week diagnosis when he hurt his thumb back on March 7, which would put him at a May 16 return. Winston-Salem was where he was tentatively ticketed, but now some if it will depend on who is where roster-wise by the time he returns.
- Does the Robles injury affect his long term prospect status in any way?
Kyle Glaser: Probably not, but personally I am a little concerned how often he has some sort of injury. He's missed at least 25 games every full season, gets hit by pitches a lot....tools are great, but you gotta be able to stay on the field to produce, which is what matters at the end of the day
Mr. Fister (Arlington):
- Is Rodgers the "opening day" 2nd baseman for the Rockies in 2019? And by opening day, I mean he is called up as soon as the Rockies gain an extra year of service time.
Kyle Glaser: Yes. Especially with LeMahieu hitting free agency after this season.
Mr. Fister (Arlington):
- Will we get to see Delvin Perez stateside this year? What are the Cardinal's plans for him at the moment?
Kyle Glaser: Perez was stateside last year and remains so this year. He's in extended. Right now the plan is just work with him in extended, then send him out wherever his extended performance justifies. The goal is to have him playing for a full-season club by the end of the year, but he's going have to earn it. Perez is starting at square one, he's got a lot of work to do, and the Cardinals are just trying to get him to where he needs to be as a hitter
Adam (Las vegas):
- At what point is it decided that a player is a platoon-only fit? Should a guy like Hunter Renfroe, who is 26, still be given time to figure things out or is this pretty much who he is?
Kyle Glaser: The general rule of thumb is about 1500 at-bats (2 1/2 to 3 seasons worth) is when a player really is who he is, and Renfroe is still way short of that. So no, this isn't who he is always destined to be. But it's on him to make the improvements he needs to. If he doesn't, then platoon is what he will be.
Mr. Fister (Arlington):
- Despite the injury, is Robles still penciled in as the starting CF on opening day 2019?
Kyle Glaser: That's going to depend on Robles recovery and how he responds. Keep in mind even though major damage was avoided, a lengthy recovery is still ahead of him. I'd say err on the side of caution and say no, but we won't really know until we see if the "couple of months" means two or four.
- How much longer will we see Kyle Tucker in AAA?
Kyle Glaser: He's hitting .270/.360/.392. Not like he's pulling a Cody Bellinger and forcing his way up by tearing the cover off the ball. He'll get his shot this year, but take a deep breath Astros fans and wait until he's actually ready
MiLB Top 10 Prospects Flashback: 1987 Southern League
The Double-A Southern League has a rich prospect tradition, none better than the class of 1987 headlined by two Hall of Famers and a future MVP.
- Is Freddy Peralta close to getting a shot in the bigs?
Kyle Glaser: Peralta has earned it, and he is on the 40-man so that makes it easier too, but you'll need to see an injury in the Brewers rotation, and then Woodruff is probably the first guy back up too, so you may need to wait a bit. But Freddy Peralta will get his shot
Jarrod (Jenks, OK):
- Do you see Trevor Oaks getting a shot in KC soon?
Kyle Glaser: I think it's hard to imagine him pitching worse than Eric Skoglund is right now, so there is no reason he shouldn't
Dean Gulberry (Jenks, OK):
- Hey Kyle, thanks for the chat! Hopefully people will actually ask about THE HOT SHEET, in this chat and not just random questions.. How close is Trevor Oaks making it to KC?
Kyle Glaser: Hey Dean, my pleasure. I mentioned in the question before Oaks probably deserves to be starting over Eric Skoglund right now, but even if you don't make that call there really is no reason for Justin Grimm and Blaine Boyer to be pitching in big league games right now. So whether you want him in the rotation or bullpen, yes, Oaks should be there soon. Emphasis on should
Christian (Chicago, IL):
- Do you think the lack of power from Rutherford will improve as he ages a bit more? Can he survive in a White sox 2020 lineup without that power or will he be replaced?
Kyle Glaser: Adding power to skinny high school kids with feel to hit is always a multi-year process, not sure why fans expect it to all the sudden be there after one or two seasons. No, Rutherford won't be in a starting lineup without more power, but 2020 lineup is way too optimistic regardless. He's 20 years old, he wasn't going to be the White Sox's starting left fielder as a 22 year old on Opening Day. Give him time, let him grow, change your perception of a timetable to 2021 or 2022, when he'd be 23, 24
- Willy Adames has caught fire. Do you anticipate TB calling him up soon?
Kyle Glaser: Considering nothing the Rays do makes any sense anymore (and not just because it's not "traditional" but because it has zero justification or basis in reality) I have no idea. They should, but then again they "should" have done a lot of things they didn't
- How long is Buddy Reed going to need to hit well to change impressions of his bat? I would think a full season.
Kyle Glaser: Two, really. One full season hitting well in the Cal League won't change the impressions (although in fairness Lake Elsinore isn't overly hitter-friendly). He'd need to have a big year in the Cal League and follow it up with a big offensive season in Double-A to convert everyone, most likely. But he's doing all he can do right now, and that's a testament to him and the work he's put in to get better
- The Cardinals seem to have a surplus of outfielders, starting pitchers and catchers. If you're a GM whose team is out of the race in June, who do you target in exchange for your Machado or J. Abreu or J. Donaldson?
Kyle Glaser: The best you can get. Reyes, Flaherty, O'Neill, Hicks, Kelly, Garcia, Hudson, Knizner, Arozarena...all guys you want and target.
- Piggybacking on the article about kids from the Bahamas. Who do you see as having the highest ceiling? How would you rank Chisholm, Robinson, and Deveaux right now?
Kyle Glaser: Considering Chisholm is the only guy who has actually faced live pitching in actual games, it's him. Beyond that, he's a very real prospect with a lot to like about his future.
- Similar to Juan Soto, all Jesus Sanchez done is hit everywhere he's been. He's flown a little under the radar when discussing best OF prospects in baseball. If he puts up the same numbers in HiA as he did in LoA in 2017 and gets promoted before the end of the year to AA as a 20 year old, do you think he can open 2019 as a top 15-25 prospect?
Kyle Glaser: I wouldn't put it past him. Jesus Sanchez has everything you want to see tools-wise and he keeps performing. Another month or two like this - in the FSL no less - and it will be tough to argue him not as one of the top 25-30 prospects in the game
Alex (Bay Area):
- Who is a good comp for last week's hot sheet member, Colton Welker? Even though Welker has had the luxury of playing in very hitter friendly leagues since being drafted, he shows advanced patience with his high BB% and acceptable K%. Do you see him as Austin Riley with a better hit tool and less power?
Kyle Glaser: Scouts like Welker in the sense they see a big leaguer, but they are actually quite a bit lighter on him than fans and the numbers. A lot of it is playing in Grand Junction and Asheville and Lancaster. There is a sense that some of the funkiness in his swing will prevent him from hitting enough to be an everyday guy, and they see him more as a 3B/1B/LF platoon corner bat who provides some thump. Still a big leaguer, which is a heck of an outcome for 4th round high school pick, but the sense within the game is he's not quite the hitter the numbers bear him out to be. Still a good prospect
Slippery Pete (Alaska):
- Are you buying Sean Murphy's power this year in Double-A? And if it's real, isn't his upside as one of the better catchers in MLB?
Kyle Glaser: Yes. He's a big, physical dude who brings the barrel to the ball with authority. Just needed to incorporate his lower half a little better, and he's made the adjustments. And yes, I believe he is one of the top 5 catching prospects in baseball, maybe top 3. If you told me you lined it up as Mejia, Ruiz, Murphy...I'd personally buy it
Tom (Santa Barbara):
- Wow, high praise for Marsh! Would you take him or Adell if choosing today?
Kyle Glaser: Let me put it this way. Scouts are grouping Adell and Marsh together as the top prospects in the Angels system, and the ones they want the most - and roughly equally.
- Does Josh Naylor have an NL future? How does he project at the MLB level?
Kyle Glaser: He does as a first baseman...which is kind of the problem in San Diego. Keep in mind the average first baseman last year hit .260 with 28 HR. That's the ceiling seen on Naylor, average 1B.
- Have the scouting reports on Jesus Luzardo changed at all? Seems like he's moving quickly with very positive results. Will he be a top 25 prospect in the near future?
Kyle Glaser: He came back from TJ throwing harder and everything has ticked up as he's naturally grown and matured. He's certainly rising fast and will be climbing prospect lists accordingly.
John (Santa Monica):
- Soroka and Riley both continuing their success from last year to start the season. I know neither has been seen as a particularly high ceiling prospect, but is that perception changing at all? Soroka in particular has just consistently put up amazing numbers against much older competition.
Kyle Glaser: Soroka and Riley both have plenty of ceiling. All-Star ceilings in fact. That was the perception before, of Soroka at least, and they remain.
Wander Samuel Franco (Who Knows):
- What's the deal? I was the #1 international prospect and the world hasn't heard anything about me in months. Tell me something. Anything
Kyle Glaser: Franco is in extended, like every other player who signed as a 16 year old and is making his first foray into professional baseball. We may see him go out to the GCL or maybe even the Appy League later in the year, but right now it's just the standard extended plan for him
- Outside the ATL the Yankees seem to have an abundance of intriguing arms in their system. Luis Medina in particular seems to have a lightning arm. Of the group which has the highest ceiling?
Kyle Glaser: Everyone gets so excited about the low-level arms they forget that Justus Sheffield is sitting in in Double-A. That's your potential All-Star lefthander and your highest ceiling right there.
Warren (New London):
- It's still a small sample, but has Taylor Ward's move to third base coupled with his hot start at the plate caused you to re-evaluate him as a prospect? How's he doing at third base?
Kyle Glaser: It's certainly nice to Ward hitting at the level he is. It's still early to completely re-evaluate him or anyone else as a prospect, but the nice start at least has eyes on him. We'll see how he sustains it
Mr. Fister (Arlington):
- When will we see Mackenzie Gore back on the mound for Fort Wayne?
Kyle Glaser: When his blisters clear up. Keep in mind they bothered him in spring training and resurfaced again here in season. Those aren't a timetable injury, just kind of wait until they go down and you feel good about them not coming back.
- What are your thoughts on MIN OF Akil Baddoo?
Kyle Glaser: Young, raw, wait and see.
- Do you see Juan Soto being able to take a similar path that Ronald Acuna did last year as he made his ascent up to Triple A?
Kyle Glaser: Soto started a level lower. I don't see him ending up in AAA this year, although AA at the end is possible. Again, most of it is going to do with his health
- Are the top 4 hit/power minor league prospects in all of baseball named Vlad, Acuna, Eloy, and JUAN SOTO?
Kyle Glaser: You're forgetting about Bo Bichette, Nick Senzel and Willie Calhoun. All have the same or better hit/power than Soto, all are at higher levels and have performed.
Adam (Las Vegas):
- Can I ignore the K%, SSS, that it’s happening in the PCL, and just be happy for Javier Guerra’s success this season?
Kyle Glaser: Sure. He's a good kid who no one should enjoy see failing. No reason not to be happy for these guys if you're invested in that way
- Not a prospect, but can you please tell White Sox twitter to calm down - Moncada's not only not a bust, he's valuable right now.
Kyle Glaser: Moncada is certainly not a bust, but it's not unreasonable to be concerned how often he strikes out. At the same time, he's had a great week (and a great last night) and is not in any way the White Sox's biggest problem - that would be their 6.08 ERA as a team
Kyle Glaser: Alright everyone, I think that will do it for today. Thanks for all the questions, and enjoy the rest of your week