Prospect Hot Sheet Chat (Aug. 25)

Dave (Grayson, ga): The Braves have several less-famous teenagers hitting well in Danville: William Contreras, Juan Carlos Encarnacion, Raysheandell Michel, and Jeffrey Ramos. Are any of these guys prospects going forward in a crowded system?

J.J. Cooper: Hey everyone. Thanks for coming out. Contreras has been the breakthrough prospect of that group. He was known to be talented coming into the year but he’s taken a significant step forward.

Jim (New York): JJ Spencer Adams, Sean Reid Foley and Grant Holmes are 3 RHP's who were all highly ranked within their respective organizations but have not done well in Double A do you see any of these 3 having Mid Rotation or better stuff or would you say they probably won't be fantasy relevant. Of the 3 who would you think has the best chance of surprising us? Thanks JJ.

J.J. Cooper: I would say Adams has the best chance to be a starter but has the least stuff. Holmes has the best combo of stuff and chance to start. Reid-Foley has the best stuff but is most likely to end up in the bullpen because of control/consistency issues.

Andrew (Los Angeles): Is Hudson Potts a top 100 prospect? If not, how close? He's had a great second half and his season is proving to be impressive as an 18 yr old in the MWL. Preller picking him in the 1st rd doesn't seem like such a reach any more.

J.J. Cooper: I would say not all that close. He has had a very good second half, but he’s already slid from shortstop to third base. If I’m ranking Padres prospects, he’s not in the Top 10 right now for them, but then, that’s a really good Top 10.

Barry (Halifax): Is there a pitcher in the Blue Jays' system with the potential to match the excitement over Vladju and Bichette?

J.J. Cooper: No. Which is to be expected since Guerrero and Bichette are generating more excitement than any Blue Jays prospects of the past 20+ years. You’d have to go back to at least Shawn Greene and Carlos Delgado to find similar expectations.

Paul (Guelph): Hi JJ will Bluejays have top 10 farm system by next year at this time thanks for info.

J.J. Cooper: Pretty good chance. The most important thing a farm system can have is elite prospects. More important than depth and Guerrero Jr. is a very elite prospects.

John (Oregon): Who has the better career: Dominic Smith or Rhys Hoskins?

J.J. Cooper: Hoskins.

Chris (Newport Beach, CA): Esteury Ruiz was involved in one of the smaller deals at the trading deadline. He's looked pretty good so far. Will he make the Padres top 10 prospects? I know their system is pretty loaded with talent.

J.J. Cooper: He’s not likely to make that Top 10, but then you have Tatis Jr., MacKenzie Gore, Quantrill, Baez, Morejon, Espinonza, Logan Allen, Luis Almanzar, Gabriel Arias, Joey Luchessi, Eric Lauer and many more to compete with.

Clay Drury (Burlington): Is Parker Diunshee not a Prospect? He has pitched 35 scoreless innings here in Vermont since being drafted out of Wake Forest in June. I don't know how you can List Pearson but not Dunshee?

J.J. Cooper: Here’s why Pearson is on the list and Dunshee is not. This is a list that has a sliding scale of prospect status on one end and weekly performance on the other. Both are important for this list. Dunshee has been outstanding, but he’s a $25,000 senior sign seventh rounder with solid but unspectacular stuff. Some of those end up being useful big leaguers, but the best of these bargain senior signs in all of baseball is Zack Godley. After him the list tails off to relievers very quickly. Pearson is a first rounder with a 100 mph fastball and immense potential. Dunshee’s success is notable but Pearson is the better prospect.

Timmy (Houston): Taylor Trammell is an impressive athlete...outside of the throwing arm and power (even though the contact is very loud) everything else looks plus to me...why does it seem people are just paying attention now? What are your thoughts?

J.J. Cooper: A lot of these questions seem to say “why is he just getting attention now.” Trammell ranked 5th in the Reds Top 30 coming into the year. He’s a potential Top 100 Prospect this offseason. He’s a definite dude.

John (Chicago): Austin Hays has had a nice season showing a lot of power. Kind of reminds me a bit of Conforto (minus the walks). Fair comparison? Any chance he gets significant tim in Baltimore next season?

J.J. Cooper: Yes. I would not be surprised if he got 400+ at-bats in Baltimore next year as a regular. He’s one of the best outfield prospects in baseball now.

Johan (Miami): Why haven't the phillies called up Kingery? They've been bringing everyone else up...any specific reason for that?

J.J. Cooper: He’s not on the 40-man roster and he doesn’t have to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason. With a very crowded 40-man in Philly and players who will be tough to fit on it this offseason why add to the problems. Philly is not going anywhere this year. While adding Kingery to the big league roster would make the team more interesting to watch, it really doesn’t do anything to make the team better in 2019-2020 (when it would matter).

Larry (New York): I know its very early but barring injury is Pearson the first pitcher to reach MLB from 2017 draft?

J.J. Cooper: No. I’d actually be shocked if he was because he has a lot of refinement ahead of him. If he moves to the pen he could move fast, but it’s going to take longer as a starter and there is no reason to move him to the pen until he proves he can’t start. I’d suggest Brendan McKay, Alex Faedo or J.B. Bukauskas.

Nick (San Diego): Everybody thought Potts was a reach in the first round but his second half in the Midwest League looks like he changing some minds. Top 20 prospect in the Midwest League, but where?

J.J. Cooper: Potts wasn’t a reach. He was a second/third-round pick picked in the first round to save money. That’s different. This isn’t the NFL where you can trade up or down. Potts served a very useful purpose for the Padres where he signed for a lot less money than the average first-rounder but got good money. For the Padres it meant they landed other players later for more money they couldn’t have signed otherwise.

Jeff (Arizona): What do you think of Danny Jansen C Toronto? He's hit .455 over 14 games since being promoted to AAA. Why is a catcher hitting .455 not in the Prospect Hot Sheet? Will he be called up in Sep or have to wait til next year? Thanks.

J.J. Cooper: Can really hit. Some questions about the glove. Breakout season.

Ricky (Frederick, MD): What are your personal thoughts on Austin Mays? He's been destroying AA ball since he showed up. What kind of progression do you see over the next season or two?

J.J. Cooper: I’m a real big fan of Austin Hays. You have stumped me on Austin Mays.

Mike (Ixonia, WI): So, are you guys at BA ready to admit you made a mistake with both Rhys Hoskins' and Luke Weaver's midseason prospect rankings, both in the mid-60's?

J.J. Cooper: You can call it a mistake, but the way I would frame it as we have explained many a time, these rankings, especially in the midseason, are snapshots. Our midseason rankings were compiled/put together in late June. If we re-ranked now, with another two months of games and reporting, we’d have a lot of rankings changed because of further information.

Davis (Austin): No love for Dillon Tate this week?

J.J. Cooper: Not this week, but he has done a great job of getting back to the stuff that made him a top 10 pick.

Tim (Hoboken, NJ): Is there any chance we see Hunter Greene in Dayton next year or is he destined for AZ Ext. ST + Rookie Ball in Billings?

J.J. Cooper: I’d expect to see him in Dayton. He’s pretty polished and he’s already in Billings to wrap up this year.

Mark (Atlanta): I've read Hunter Harvey reports that say his stuff is all the way back 93-97 post TJ surgery. Can you confirm and what type of prospect is he at this point?

J.J. Cooper: We have heard the same and that his curveball is back too. Obviously durability concerns hurt his prospect status, but he still possesses legit stuff.

Bryn (ND): What kind of potential does Vlad Jr have? Are we talking about Harper, Trout or more along the lines of Correa, Machado and Bryant?

J.J. Cooper: You listed five guys who all have a chance at Hall of Fame careers (Trout is most of the way there already). Correa probably has the furthest to go to be a Hall of Famer and he’s a 15 WAR SS as a 22-year-old. It’s really hard when you get to that level to project a player as being that good. He’s one of the best prospects in the game, I’ll go that far. I am not ready to differentiate between Vlad Jr. being an inner circle Hall of Famer vs. a potential Hall of Famer. But if he is as good as the worst of these five, Blue Jays fans should be thrilled.

Mark (Los Angeles): Is Jorge Guzman a diamond in the rough? He's looked like a strong starter in the making, but a little old for low A?

J.J. Cooper: Guys with arms like him usually at least end up as semi useful relievers for a while. He could be a lot better than that.

Joe (Lebanon, OH): When do the Reds consider getting Senzel time at another position? Safe to assume he could man LF but what about 2B?

J.J. Cooper: Eugenio Suarez is having a very solid year. Yes, he’s in the big leagues, Senzel as of yet is not. But I think your question is reversed. Senzel is the long-term 3B. Suarez might play another position or be a valuable trade piece.

Jon (Philadelphia): What's a reasonable expectation for Anthony Santander moving forward?

J.J. Cooper: The Orioles work the Rule 5 draft very well. With Santander, his DL stint works out well for him sticking in Baltimore long-time. He won’t get enough time to meet full Rule 5 requirements this year, but he will not need to be on the active roster for very long to start next year and with a stint in winter ball this winter, he shouldn’t be all that far away from being able to compete for a bench spot as a bat on his own merits by 2018.

Dan (VA): Who has a higher ceiling/floor, Lewis Brinson or Ronald Acuna?

J.J. Cooper: Ceiling: Acuna. Floor: Acuna. The roof: Acuna.

Jacob (Springfield, MO): I was curious where Jose Adolis Garcia stands in a crowded line of outfield prospects in St. Louis (Sierra, O'Neil, Bader). He has impressed me with his speed/power combination and has hit respectably over .300. Just kind of curious why he's really gotten no attention and what do you see as his ceiling/floor potential?

J.J. Cooper: I think I could predict the powerball numbers better than predicting how the Cardinals outfield logjam will shake out. I actually think St. Louis’ opportunity (massive amount of upper level outfield prospects) is actually a drawback in a way. If you have 2 outfield prospects you have the opportunity to figure out what each of them can do in the majors. That’s actually how Tommy Pham proved that his minor league breakthrough was legit (same with Jose Martinez). But if you have 8 or 9 young outfielders to fit into 4 or 5 spots, you have to make decisions with less than full information. Garcia is a very legit outfield prospect to me. But I don’t know how he’ll step in front of the combo of Pham/Piscotty/Grichuck/Sierra/O’Neill/Bader/Mercado/Martinez.

Mark (Atlanta): How do you explain DJ Stewart? Was seen as a bust by many but seems to have made real strides in AA.

J.J. Cooper: Legit strides. Interesting if a little unusual set of skills. He’s short and wide but runs well. You wouldn’t think he would be a solid defender but he is. The Orioles farm system is better than you might think.

brian (iowa): Just wondering if you could give an update on Royce Lewis is doing. I heard he got called up to low A ball and that's not very common for high school draftees?

J.J. Cooper: He’s been great. He’s shown so far everything one would hope to see in a pro debut from a No. 1 pick.

Loren (San Diego, CA): First and foremost thank you for doing these every week, they're a great source of insight and information. You mentioned Fort Wayne having a heck of a collection of talent "once in a generation". Is Fort Wayne possibly the most talented team in the minors? How would you rank such?

J.J. Cooper: This is the kind of question I should expand on for Ask BA. Could you email me at with your name/hometown and I’ll try to answer this in depth with some research?

Loren (San Diego, CA): The yankees have (and had) a great collection of hitting talent but they're a bit limited in pitching. Are there any pitching names to be excited about and would they consider maybe a prospect for prospect trade to get some high impact prospects (e.g. Anderson Espinoza or Adrian Morejon from the Padres?)

J.J. Cooper: Here’s a few to watch: Albert Abreu, Frecier Perez, Chance Adams, Domingo Acevedo, Dillon Tate, Justus Sheffield and throw in Clarke Schmidt when he gets back from TJ surgery. It’s a pretty good group.

J.J. Cooper: Thanks everyone for coming out. I hope you all have a great weekend and stay safe everyone in South Texas.

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