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San Diego Padres 2021 Top MLB Prospects Chat

CJ_abrams_BillMitchell (1).jpg
(Photo by Bill Mitchell)

Kyle Glaser: Hey everybody, welcome to today's Padres chat. These are always some fun, marathon chats. Let's get started.

joey (Hawaii):

    Sweet list Kyle! How many padres will be in the top 100? Is Kim a top 100?


Kyle Glaser: Thanks Joey. We’re still in the process of gathering feedback from front office officials around the game on our Top 100 and will finalize the list after, but I feel relatively safe in saying the top seven prospects will be on the Top 100. And yes, that includes Kim.

Chamaco (Mexico):

    How close were Morejon and Weathers? It seems that Morejon has slightly better stuff, but Weathers has better control and command. Do you see either of them as being starters this year or long-term? If so, when would they break in to San Diego’s crowded rotation?


Kyle Glaser: Very, very close. As you’ll see when the Top 100 comes out, 4-7 (Morejon, Kim, Weathers, Hassell) are packed very tightly together. It’s tough to have a ton of confidence in Morejon becoming a long-term starter given he’s never thrown more than 65.1 innings in a season, but Weathers has durability questions as well in the sense he still has to show he can maintain his improved stuff over a full season. Morejon will have a chance to win a rotation job in camp this year, although if the Padres add more starters between now and then that could change. Weathers is going to start the year back in the minors but has a chance to come up and get some innings depending on injuries in the rotation and his performance.

Chamaco (Mexico):

    The Padres have traded away a lot of prospects in the last year to help bolster the MLB roster. How have these trades impacted the overall ranking and depth of the system. Which prospects would have made San Diego’s top 10 had they not been traded?


Kyle Glaser: The depth took a significant hit, there is no question about it, but keeping most of their top prospects is what matters. Keep the top, trade the depth is generally a good philosophy. The Padres top 10 in the Prospect Handbook, which went to press before the Snell and Darvish trades and the Kim signing, was 1. MacKenzie Gore, 2. CJ Abrams, 3. Luis Patino, 4. Luis Campusano, 5. Adrian Morejon, 6. Ryan Weathers, 7. Robert Hassell, 8. Hudson Head, 9. Cole Wilcox, 10. Blake Hunt.

Buff (Colorado):

    So on talent alone Campusano looks like a monster. But how worrisome are his off-field issues? Could you please go into more detail? And how much should we be worried about his injury history, particularly the two concussions at a young age?


Kyle Glaser: Regarding Campusano’s offseason arrest, I know people want answers right this minute, but we need to let the legal process play out. Yes we hear things, but it’s often incomplete or one-sided information and I don’t think it’s appropriate to speculate on legal matters. Regarding the concussions, those are always worrisome for any athlete in any sport, for reasons beyond just being a professional athlete. The good news is he’s avoided any the last two seasons, so we just have to hope that continues.

Billy (Best Coast):

    Snell, Paddack, Grisham and Hassell for Trout. Let's go!!!!!1!!


Kyle Glaser: I think this is the first Mike Trout trade proposal I’ve seen where the Angels don’t hang up immediately. You’d need to add a little more, but it’s a start. In all seriousness though, the Padres are best served saving their long-term payroll space for a Fernando Tatis extension.

Ryan (Washington):

    Is CJ Abrams worth more to San Diego as a trade chip with Tatis, Machado, and Kim/Cronenworth seemingly blocking him as a middle infielder?


Kyle Glaser: No. The Padres see Abrams as their long-term second baseman, ahead of Cronenworth and Kim, because he has a chance to be a star. His greatest value to the club will be as someone in their lineup every day.

Tirso Orenalas (#11-20/):

    Thank you for chatting with us today. I'm not in the top #10 but did I slot in at somewhere between #11-20? I looked very promising at the start of the 2019 season as 1 of the youngest in the HiA Cal League but faded badly. Was I at the alternate site and instructional league this past year? If so, how did I look? Did I start showing the above average hit/above average power potential that had the Padres so excited in early 2019?


Kyle Glaser: Ornelas is actually in the 20-30 group, and most evaluators actually said he should drop off the list entirely. I kept him on because some of the adjustments he made to his swing at the end of 2019 were encouraging enough to keep an eye on him. Ornelas was not brought to the alternate site or instructional league this year, but he went down and played in the Mexican Winter League before he broke his forearm diving for a ball in the outfield. As for his potential, above-average hitter isn’t really in the cards. It’s just a long, slow, steep swing that doesn’t really work against good pitching. The Padres are hopeful he can be a fringe-average hitter with some of the adjustments he made to shorten up at the end of 2019, but the number of people who are skeptical outnumber the people who are optimistic by a fair margin.

Warren (New London):

    So where are you on CJ Abrams, SS or 2B or CF? Physically he reminds me of Michael A. Taylor.


Kyle Glaser: Abrams has the range, actions and hands for shortstop, but his arm slot and general arm strength have both the Padres and opposing evaluators projecting him to second base. That truthfully is his most realistic landing spot, but if Cronenworth or Kim establish themselves as a bonafide first-division second baseman in the coming years, a move to CF is possible. He’ll continue to play shortstop for now, as he should.

Greg (Los Angeles):

    A lot of people seem critical of AJ for trading so many prospects, but I would argue that almost all of the prospects he traded were blocked at the major league level or wouldn't contribute to this team in the next 3-5 years. I applaud AJ for his strategy even if one or more of the prospect we give up become stars for other teams. What is your opinion?


Kyle Glaser: This is why you build organizational depth, so that you can trade good players other teams want without negatively impacting your long-term future. The Padres were absolutely right to make the trades they did, especially the Darvish trade.

Drew (GR, MI):

    How are the top pitching prospects going to find their way into a now very crowded rotation? Of course, Gore will get an opportunity, but what about the others? What about recent graduate Morejon? Is he a RP now? Things will get even tighter next year with the return of Clevinger. How do you see all this shaking out?


Kyle Glaser: The days of teams surviving a season using only 5-6 starters in a season are long over. I went back and looked a few years ago and found the average team uses 11-12 different starting pitchers per year, with 7-8 getting more than just a few starts. Injuries happen, and especially with the unknowns about Lamet’s health status and how effective Clevinger will be coming off a second Tommy John surgery, a lot of the young guys will get innings in some form or fashion, whether it be spot starts or consistent rotation turns as an injury replacement. As for Morejon, the Padres are going to try and stretch him out to get five innings out of him. Right now he’s really only shown he can go three or so at a time, but they’ll give him a shot to show he can consistently turn in five innings and be starter.

Mike (Honolulu):

    What tidbits can you share from the alternate site and instructs? Anybody stand out at either place? Any surprises or deep roster guys?


Kyle Glaser: Abrams was spectacular at both the alternate site and instructs. He has the look of a future star. Campusano and Weathers were very impressive at the alt site as well, which is what led to their callups. Hassell struggled a bit at the alternate site but eventually got his feet under him and really stood out at instructs. A lot of people felt he was the Padres’ second-best player there behind only Abrams. Efrain Contreras, Omar Cruz, Reiss Khner and Mason Thompson were the main pitchers who stood out at instructs. Blake Hunt and Ismael Mena were drawing some particularly strong reviews at instructs as well, which is part of what made them attractive trade pieces.

Mike (Honolulu):

    Outside the Top 10, which prospects are you keeping a particularly watchful eye on in 2021? Also, how about a less talked about prospect that may get noticed in 2021?


Kyle Glaser: Joshua Mears. He’s a monster physically and, after making an adjustment to get on time, hit .306/.398/.583 over his final 28 games in the AZL in 2019. He broke his hamate bone over the summer and missed most of instructs, but any time you see a kid with his physicality make the kind of adjustment he did and produce like he did, it’s intriguing.

Mike (Honolulu):

    Can you go over the catching depth in the system? Does Luis Campusano see a call up in 2021 and get significant time at Petco? What else can you tell us about catchers in the system?


Kyle Glaser: Mike from Honolulu coming in strong with the chat questions. Assuming his legal situation gets worked out, Campusano will begin the year in the minors. There is still some development left before he’s ready for a full major league season. The good news is the Padres won’t need to rush him. Austin Nola and Victor Caratini are a perfectly capable catching duo. I don’t anticipate Campusano getting significant time at Petco unless injuries hit or the DH comes back to the NL. As for the catching depth behind him in the system, it’s pretty light following the trade of Blake Hunt. Brandon Valenzuela and Jonny Homza show some good things defensively, but both have some work to do offensively and have yet to play full-season ball. Those are really the only two other catchers of note in the system.

Freddy Friar (San Diego):

    Is there any recent updates on two youngsters - OF Joshua Mears & RHP Brayan Medina? Do the have the upside to be two top prospects one day or do reports suggest otherwise? Thanks!


Kyle Glaser: I touched on Mears earlier. He and Medina both have the potential to be top prospects in the system in the coming years. Medina just turned 18 and was sitting 92-94 on his fastball with some really good spin characteristics on his breaking ball. He's already 6-2 with some more room to grow and is a plus athlete. These are two guys to watch in the next wave of Padres prospects, for sure.

Zak (RI):

    Thanks for answering questions. Other than Patino, do you think any of the prospects that were traded in the Snell and Darvish trades would have made the top 10?


Kyle Glaser: No problem. As mentioned above, Cole Wilcox was No. 9 and Blake Hunt was No. 10 in the system before they were traded.

Mike (Honolulu):

    What do you think of the trade that sent OF Taylor Trammel, RHP Andres Munoz, 3B Ty France and C Luis Torrens to the Mariners? Can you comment on what holes, if any, did it create in the Padres minor league system?


Kyle Glaser: It's very, very difficult to find catchers who can actually hit. It was a somewhat steep price, but one worth paying. France was a valuable hitter to have on your club and Munoz was their potential closer of the future, so losing those two hurts somewhat. Torrens makes for nice catching depth but is not a significant loss, while they have other outfielders in the majors and minors who project to be more impactful than Trammell. Getting Austin Nola was worth it. If Austin Adams comes back healthy and throwing well, it will make it additionally worth it.

Mike (Honolulu):

    Should we consider Jorge Mateo as a prospect bust? Where does he rank in the Top 30 (if there at all)?


Kyle Glaser: I think it's hard to consider someone who has a chance at a steady major league role a bust, and Mateo has that as a speed and defense utilityman. Make no mistake though, it's a true bottom-of-the-scale bat and he's firmly a 26th man on the roster type of player. He's in the Top 30, although that's a function largely of the fact he's in the majors and the Padres traded so many prospects away.

Mike (Honolulu):

    Is Jorge Ona simply a one-tool (power) wonder? Does he really belong in the AL as DH if he ever gets "good enough" to get regular at bats?


Kyle Glaser: Ona's swing looked better this year after his shoulder surgery, so there is some more hope he'll make enough contact to get to his power. But yes, power is his only real impact tool and he'd be best served as a DH. The thought is he might hit .230 with 20 HR if he gets 600 ABs, and the only way he gets that many ABs is if there is a DH. There are still some big holes in his swing and questions about if he can get to upper-end velocity.

Mike (Honolulu):

    With several SP prospects close or having MLB experience (namely Adrian Morejon, MacKenzie Gore, Michael Baez, Anderson Espinoza, Ryan Weathers, and Reggie Lawson), which ones do you expect to see notable time at the big league level in 2021? Would you expect Joey Lucchesi to get the call before any of the prospects?


Kyle Glaser: Lucchesi is the only one of those guys who has actually shown he can throw 150+ solid major league innings and should be the first one to get the call, but the Padres seem down on him and I don't know if he will. Morejon and Baez are the next two in line. Gore is going to start back in the minors, probably Double-A, and will see if he can work through some of the mechanical issues that set him back in 2020. Lawson won't be back from Tommy John surgery until summer and Espinoza is back but still has a long way to go in terms of getting back to previous form.

Mike (Honolulu):

    Can you tell us more about Robert Hassell? How can he get the vote as system's Best Strike-Zone Discipline when he hasn't had a professional at-bat? Did he wow folks at instructs, perhaps?


Kyle Glaser: Indeed, Hassell wowed folks at instructs. I was surprised too that player development officials and scouts overwhelmingly said Hassell had the best strike-zone discipline in the system, especially when you consider Campusano had nearly as many walks as strikeouts in Lake Elsinore and Tucupita Marcano has more career walks than strikeouts, but Hassell had more than double as many walks as strikeouts at one point during instructs and "knows the strike zone better than the umpires" in the words of one official. It was nearly unanimous amongst Padres officials that Hassell is the pick for best strike-zone discipline, which is what ultimately gave him the nod even in spite of the fact he has yet to take a professional at-bat.

Mike (Honolulu):

    Emilio Pagan is listed as the 2024 closer. If you had to pick amongst the current Padre prospects, who would you choose as the most likely 2024 closer candidate if you are restricted to choosing only amongst the prospect eligibles (current starter prospects included)?


Kyle Glaser: The reason Pagan is listed as the 2024 closer is because there isn't really a great 2024 closer candidate among their prospects. It was pretty much either him or Austin Adams. Morejon projects more as a bulk reliever if he's in the bullpen and Baez more of a middle innings guy. Dauris Valdez is probably the best Padres closer candidate among their prospects, but at this point the guys with big league experience are more likely.

Ken (Lakewood CA):

    Looking forward to reading all of your chat on these prospects and the Padres deep system. Thinking their 11 thru 20 guys would easily be top 10's for some other teams. Must be fun for you to analyze these guys, yet difficult with so much talent to rate them. Drafting HS players doesn't always result in success. But with Abrahms, Hassell & Head, Padres future looks promising. All exciting guys for you?


Kyle Glaser: After all the trades actually, the Padres 11-20 is pretty light. It's still a great top 7 prospects, and Hudson Head is interesting at No. 8, but after that it quickly drops off into potential relievers, part-time bats, utilitymen or guys who have some upside but are super far away. In terms of the three high school players you mentioned, all are very impressive young talents I look forward to seeing play in 2021, for sure.

Ken (Lakewood CA):

    How much would it surprise you if Weathers ends up in the Padre rotation in 3 years instead of Morejon. I get that projecting line ups is just an exercise for us readers. But just asking. Thanks.


Kyle Glaser: Wouldn't surprise me at all.

Fat Tub of Goo BDay (San Diego):

    Many pundits and fans alike were surprised to see the Padres select Hassell over Veen. Long term do you project Hassell to be the superior talent over Veen?


Kyle Glaser: Hassell is the better pure hitter and has a better chance to stick in center. Based on that, as well as the glowing reports on Hassell from instructs compared to the more solid-but-not spectacular ones on Veen, I think it's fair to say Hassell projects to be the better future major leaguer at this point.

Matt (San Diego):

    Was there any news on the progress Tirso Ornelas made after the Padres revamped his swing after his struggles in 2019? Initially there were reports from the 2019 fall instructs that he looked a lot better but I haven't heard anything since. How has he progressed in 2020?


Kyle Glaser: I addressed Tirso Ornelas earlier, but I just wanted to take this opportunity to say I did not expect there to be more questions about Tirso Ornelas in the chat than MacKenzie Gore. It's kind of fascinating, to be honest.

Michael Stern (Rochester NY):

    C J Abrams looks like a bonafide star - how soon do you see him in SD? And what will be his eventual position - does he stay at SS or move to 2B or even CF? Thanks for the chat !


Kyle Glaser: The Padres think Abrams might be ready to jump straight to Double-A to start 2021. If he does that, in theory he's within striking distance of the majors, although I'd still lean toward more of a 2022 debut, when he'd still be only 21 the entire regular season. As for his position, the Padres see him as their long-term second baseman of the future, although that's going to depend as much on what happens around him as what he does himself.

Armie (Arizona):

    Thanks for the list, Kyle. Curious where you think recently traded prospects like Luis Patino, Blake Hunt, and Reggie Preciado would have ranked?


Kyle Glaser: I mentioned Patino and Hunt's ranking earlier. Preciado was slated to be No. 15. Although if the Padres had completed the Snell trade but not the Darvish deal, he would have moved up to No. 12 with the trades of Patino, Wilcox and Hunt.

Sergio A (San Diego):

    Jacob Nix has been hitting 97 mph per his social media feed, do you see him being a starter or reliever this upcoming season in El Paso.


Kyle Glaser: I don't see any reason why he wouldn't be a starter in El Paso's rotation. Some of that will depend on what happens around him, but he's long been viewed as a starter.

Sergio A (San Diego):

    Mason Feole who is recovering from TJ surgery in 2019 was recently seen hitting mid 90s, due you see his future as a starter or reliever?


Kyle Glaser: I'm glad you brought Feole up. He was one of the sleepers to emerge this year. The Padres like his future as a lefthanded reliever who can potentially pitch late in games. He's one to watch in 2021, for sure.

Jgaepi (Twitter):

    Why do the Padres have so many issues getting a catcher from the farm to produce?


Kyle Glaser: It's not a Padres thing - it's a baseball thing. Developing productive, major league catchers is the hardest thing to do. Very few teams have done it successfully, and the ones that do normally only have one hit and a whole bunch of others that never make it. The Padres are hoping Luis Campusano can be their one hit and he looks like he could be.

Drew P (Temecula):

    Anderson Espinoza maybe the most talented arm in Pads system but hopefully is finally healthy. I know Pads want to be patient with him but how many option years does he have since he has not pitched since 2016? Funny how MLB talked badly about Preller with Red Sox and deal with Pomeranz but he never stopped throwing but we got damaged goods who has not pitched in a professional game for over 4 yrs.


Kyle Glaser: It's a stretch to say Espinoza has the most talented arm in the Padres system at this point. They have some really, really good arms who have vaulted ahead. Espinoza came back throwing 94-96, but the CH feel has not come back and he's not spinning the ball particularly well. Give it time, but I would say temper your expectations.

Justin (Tucson, AZ):

    Abrams‘ skill set would seem to have a Starling Marte feel to him if he moved to CF. Is that a fair perspective?


Kyle Glaser: Abrams hits lefthanded and is a lot more patient than Marte.

Danny (Chula Vista CA):

    Do you see Aaron Leasher being able to contribute as a back end rotation starter or situational reliever or is he an organizational arm?


Kyle Glaser: Leasher is an organizational arm, although I guess you never want to entirely discount lefties with a good changeup. Maybe he surfaces at some point because of that.

Owen (Flagstaff, AZ):

    If we could hop in a time capsule back to 2019 draft day, knowing what we know now, would teams still take Bobby Witt over CJ Abrams?


Kyle Glaser: Based on feedback from teams around the game for our Top 100, no.

Jaime (Escondido CA):

    Does either Dauris Valdez or Carlos Belen have off speed stuff to be part of Pads bullpen in next yr or two?


Kyle Glaser: Valdez's slider has ticked up enough for him to potentially get there, yes. His changeup has come along nicely as well.

Sergio A (Chula Vista CA):

    Do you see Pads converting Esteury Ruiz to outfielder this yr so hopefully that move can help unlock his above average bat speed potential or he just looks like someone who fizzled out and will not get above high A/double A level.


Kyle Glaser: The Padres already began converting him to left field at the end of 2019. I'll be curious to see what improvements Ruiz has made to his setup and plate discipline when the minor league guys (hopefully) get back on the field in 2021. That's going to be what determines where he's at and what his realistic potential is.

Joshua (San Diego):

    What are your thoughts on Mason Fox and Reiss Knehr, do they have the potential to be late inning relievers in near future?


Kyle Glaser: Mason Fox has a really good curveball. There are some people who like him. Knehr took a jump at instructs. He has the raw stuff to maybe be a late-inning guy, but his control needs to continue to progress.

Henry (Rancho Bernardo CA):

    Do you see Tirso Ornelas and Agustin Ruiz blossoming into power hitting corner outfielders?


Kyle Glaser: The power-hitting corner outfielders you see in the majors didn't hit sub .240 with sub .350 slugging percentages at the Class A levels.

Alan (NC):

    Ryan Weathers is not listed in the projected '24 rotation. Isn't he likely to be as good as, say, More on? Thanks!


Kyle Glaser: He very well could be. Morejon ranked higher so he got the nod, but it's close. No one should be surprised if Weathers ends up being the better of the two when all is said and done.

Jordy (San Diego):

    Do you see Efrain Contreras (heard he has hit 97 mph) profiling as a reliever or starter at big league level?


Kyle Glaser: Contreras' stuff jumped but he didn't hit 97. He topped at 95. He's got the three pitches and command to be a starter, but he had Tommy John surgery in November following instructs so we have to see how the stuff and command come back.

Buff (Colorado):

    Of the four young prospects traded to Chicago, is there one in particular you wish the Pads could have back?


Kyle Glaser: For Yu Darvish? None. In a vacuum, Preciado is probably the best of the four, although you can find people who prefer Ismael Mena or Yeison Santana. But for who they got, you make that trade every day and don't think twice.

Sebastian (La Mesa CA):

    Do you see either Cuban born pitcher Osvaldo Hernandez or Ramon Perez ever making it to big leagues and contributing?


Kyle Glaser: At this point, neither are seen as future big leaguers. Hernandez's stuff keeps going backward (he was 86-88 in Lake Elsinore last year) and Perez honestly isn't really seen as much of a prospect.

Jason (San Diego):

    As a fan. How much faith should I have that the Padres FO can rebuild the farm into a top 3 system again?


Kyle Glaser: The Padres draft really well and scout really well internationally, so you can have hope. But honestly, why do you care? If they win the World Series in three years and have the No. 30 farm system, it will have been a job well done. The purpose of having a top farm system is to eventually win major league games. They developed a great system, they're starting to win major league games because of that, and that's where the focus should be.

John (DC):

    After all the trades, do the Padres still maintain a top 3 farm system ranking or have they fallen? I would imagine Tampa is far and away #1 with the acquisition of Hunt & Patino.


Kyle Glaser: The Padres were sent to rank No. 3 before the Snell and Darvish trades. We still need to recalculate our farm system rankings to account for those trades and others by other teams (the org talent rankings are calculated mathematically) so once we slide all the players into their new systems we'll have a better sense of exactly where they are. It's still a top-10 system, but it will be lower than 3.

Roberto (SD, CA):

    What area do see is a weakness position wise in the system for the Padres? For the draft, what is a few possible candidates to help strengthen that area fire the system?


Kyle Glaser: The Padres could stand to add some more righthanded pitching to the system as well as some corner infielders and catching depth, but there aren't any giant glaring holes. And again, they should draft the best player available, no matter the position. Who that is at the back of the first round, we'll find out.

Buff (Colorado):

    Could you tell us a little more about Head? Given that two of the guys between him and Hassell were traded, how big is the gap between the two?


Kyle Glaser: Hudson Head is a really good athlete with a lot of promising ingredients. There is a decent gap between Hassell and Head simply because there is a lot of conviction Hassell will hit and more questions about whether Head will, but he's a good prospect worth keeping an eye on next year.

Fonz (Milwaukee):

    Where would Yeisson Santana have ranked but for the trade, and in your view what's a realistic picture of a good outcome for his future.


Kyle Glaser: I encourage you to buy the BA Prospect Handbook to find out where Santana ranked. The book went to press before the Darvish trade, so you can see where he and all the other players involved ranked in the Padres system before the deal went through. As for a realistic picture of a good outcome for his future, it'd be a solid middle infielder who lines the ball hard and posts solid averages and on-base percentages.

Brian (CA):

    Gore. Can you help us understand what exactly the issues were and whether they were fixed by the end of least season.


Kyle Glaser: I was waiting for this question and was surprised it wasn't asked earlier. The short version is Gore's delivery got out of sync. His delivery is complicated and has a lot of moving parts and when everything isn't timed up right, things start to unravel. The phrase "things weren't firing at the right time" came up multiple times from multiple team officials. The Padres spent the summer getting his timing back in his delivery and smoothing out some of the mechanical issues that were a byproduct of those issues. He made strides and by the end his direction to the plate was better, his balance was better, his release point was better...it was all better, although it wasn't quite completely fixed. The Padres felt that if Gore had 1-2 more weeks, he would have been back to 100 percent, but they just ran out of time on the season. He wasn't quite "full Gore" by the end, but he was moving in the right direction and getting closer.

Chamaco (Mexico):

    Grisham looked great in 2020, Urías less so. Thoughts on the deal and their long-term potential going forward after a weird 2020 season?


Kyle Glaser: I mentioned last year when the deal was made Grisham was trending up and Urias was trending down, so it certainly looks like the Padres struck the deal at the right time. Obviously it was a shortened season and both players have a lot of time left in their careers, but there is no question the Padres appear to have gotten the better end of the deal. Grisham at the least should be a high OBP center fielder. Urias needs to realize the hitter he should be rather than try to be something he's not. What David Fletcher is right now is what Luis Urias should have been. He's still young so hopefully he realizes that and becomes the high average and OBP middle infielder he should be and stops trying to hit for power that just isn't there.

Joseph (National City CA):

    I think Justin Lopez is Padres breakout candidate this yr. Do you see him long term as SS or 3B? Please tell me your thoughts on him.


Kyle Glaser: He's a shortstop with his hands and general defensive ability, but he's going to have to hit. Not many think he will.

Drew P (Temecula CA):

    Do you see Henry Henry becoming a high inning reliever or is he an organizational pitcher?


Kyle Glaser: Henry has some things to like but high-leverage reliever in the majors is a stretch. He was 92-93 with a fair but not great slider at Fort Wayne in 2019. A lot is going to have to tick up for him to be a high-leverage relief type.

Mike (Honolulu):

    Just for you.... Tell us more about MacKenzie Gore! What are his top 3 developmental needs?


Kyle Glaser: Aside from just getting his delivery back in sync, Gore's biggest thing is getting all four pitches working at the same time. He generally has two, sometimes three. That's been the biggest thing for a few years now. Once he does that, assuming he works through the issues from this summer, he'll be ready.

Robert (San Diego):

    Do you think Darius Valdez can take the next step to be a consistent and dominant pitcher? If he does, what level do you think he can reach this year....


Kyle Glaser: He has a chance. If he does, he'll be in the majors.

Jordy A (Chula Vista CA):

    It seems like Justin Lange is a Cole Wilcox potential arm. Do you see Lange as a possible TOR starter?


Kyle Glaser: Wilcox was better, even in high school. Lange is a good athlete with a big arm but still has a ways to go with his secondaries and consistently throwing strikes. Think of him as a raw ball of clay. There's a lot to like, but a lot of work still ahead. You can dream on it all coming together, but it's a long ways away.

Chamaco (Mexico):

    In your great answer on Gore, you mentioned that his delivery is complicated with a lot of moving parts. How much of a concern is that going forward?


Kyle Glaser: Eh, he's a great athlete who has shown he can repeat it, so not a huge concern. Just a matter of wrangling it and getting back to where it was in 2019. He's shown he can do it, and it adds a tremendous amount of deception, so I wouldn't be too worried.

Mike (Honolulu):

    With the system's best fastball, tell us more about Dauris Valdez.


Kyle Glaser: He's a physical behemoth who has been up to 102 with a power slider and a hard changeup. Control has been an issue and will determine what he becomes.

Kyle Glaser: All right everyone, that will do it for today. Thanks for coming out. Stay safe and stay healthy.

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