Prospects Chat: Sept. 4

Conor Glassey and Matt Eddy chatted about prospects

Moderator: Matt Eddy and Conor Glassey will begin chatting at 3 p.m ET.

    Chuck (Wichita): What's your take on the Royals-Rangers minor league trade? Did KC get enough for Gutierrez?

Matthew Eddy: The Trade Central review for this trade is set to be published this afternoon, but it's being held up while we verify the accuracy of one piece of information. My initial reaction, under the circumstances, is that yes the Royals did OK in this transaction. That's despite Manny Pina being perhaps only a fringe-average big league catcher and Tim Smith projecting as more of a part-timer.

    Jeff (England): Joe Serafin has made a great start to his pro career, especially for a 37th rounder, with a 4.14 K/BB, 1.67 BB/9 as well as an improving K/9 since his jump to Low-A, but is he is for real? And do you know much about what he throws?

Matthew Eddy: White Sox lefty Joey Serafin works in the mid-80s with a fringy breaking ball, but the University of Vermont product shows poise and command, which often can be enough to dominate in Rookie ball and low Class A.

    Rob (Alaska): Wow, Hector Gomez is almost a blast from the past despite being only 21. How high is his ceiling and what do you see from him going forward?

Conor Glassey: Yeah, he signed in 2004 and has been in the states since '06. Missing nearly all of last year certainly didn't help anything, but hitting .274/.311/.418 in the Cal League isn't very encouraging and the OBP was one of the lowest on the team. His defense gets good reviews, which could at least earn him a bench spot on a big league roster, but I don't think his ceiling is very high.

    JAYPERS (IL): Since next week's Hot Sheet will be cumulative, will this tip us off as to who will be annointed BA's Minor League Player of the Year? If not, when will this be officially announced? Also, was the voting much closer this year than in recent memory?

J.J. Cooper: We'll be announcing the Minor League Player of the Year next Friday, so it will be a pretty big tip.

    Josh G (Sacto, CA): Who is a better LHP for KC: Mike Montgomery or Danny Duffy?

J.J. Cooper: I'll go with Montgomery because his stuff is better, but both are pretty good.

    Nick (NJ): Im surprised Kyle Allen never gets even a mention in the Prospect Hot Sheets... hes had a very good month of August and in fact his year as a whole has been very good. Maybe a bit overshadowed by fellow Savannah ace Jeurys Familia? Anyway in his latest start he outdueled Mike Minor going 6.2 IP and striking out 9 while only yielding 1 run and 1 walk.

Matthew Eddy: A 24th-round pick last year from The Pendleton School in Bradenton, Fla., Allen is an athletic 6-foot-3 righty who's enjoyed a strong first full season. He already throws a plus changeup and, according to the Mets, he's added 3 mph to his fastball this year to sit in the low-90s. He, Familia and Robert Carson are the starters from that staff who get mentioned the most.

    Gregory (Smith Falls, Iowa): Matt/Conor, What's Casey Kelly's ceiling for you guys as a pitcher? Presuming he begins next year at High-A, is 2012 a realistic ETA for him?

Conor Glassey: Kelly's an interesting player and I think the .227/.306/.351 line he's put up over 154 at-bats might put an end to the two-way experiment because he gets great reviews off the mound. I did the Carolina League Best Tools list and Kelly was just edged for best pitcher by Brian Matusz. Uber-intern Matt Forman is sitting here with me while I'm answering questions and he's currently working on the Sally League Top Prospect list and said Kelly has gotten some great praise from league managers. One manager called his delivery "poetry in motion," and the stuff is good too. With a four-seam fastball in the 93-94 mph range and a 90-91 groundball-inducing two-seamer as well as a changeup and curveball, Kelly profiles as a definite top of the rotation guy, probably a No. 2.

    Ben (California): With the graduation of Cahilll and Anderson, the injury to Ynoa and the success of Carter, who do you see as the A's top prospect heading into 2010?

Conor Glassey: Probably Brett Wallace

    Josh G (Sacto, CA): Better Prospect: Scott Barnes or Kevin Pucetas?

Conor Glassey: I'd take Scott Barnes because he's lefthanded and has shown a better ability to strike guys out.

    Joe LeCates (Easton, MD): Hey, Matt, I was curious who has really caught your eye/ear so far in the Appy this year?

Matthew Eddy: Joe, Wilking Rodriguez, our Helium cat this time, is probably the biggest riser. I touched on Princeton righty reliever Scott Shuman in the Tuesday Dish this week. He could move quickly as a power reliever with two plus pitches. Also, The White Sox have an 18-year-old Venezuelan catcher named Miguel Gonzalez with Bristol. He's got a bit of a thick body but he impressed observers by hitting .300 and by driving the ball consistently (15 doubles). If he can stay at catcher, he's got a shot. Keep an eye out for the Appy League Top 20 prospects list, which will be published online in a few weeks. (Don't have a date yet.)

    Kirk Nieuwenhuis (Binghamton): Will I be a regular MLB outfielder one day?

Matthew Eddy: Kirk, the raw tools are good enough across the board to suggest regular play as a complementary player, but probably not as a star.

    Joe LeCates (Easton, MD): Conor, this may be pushing the envelope for a Prospect Hot Sheet question, but I recently saw your write-up on the East Coast Pro. Showcase and I was wondering if you could expound a bit upon your impressions of Justin O'Conner?

Conor Glassey: Thanks for reading, Joe. O'Conner is an exciting prospect´┐Żone of the best in the country (and our College and HS Top 25 lists will debut very soon). O'Conner is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound two-way prospect from Cowan HS in Muncie, Indiana. As a position player, he's a good shortstop that hits the ball hard from the right side. He has a good arm because he also pitches and is 89-91 off the mound, though he's been up as high as 94. I was impressed with O'Conner at PG National in June and he played well at Tournament of Stars, but he's faded a little as he's tired out from the long summer showcase season.

    JAYPERS (IL): Did Wilson Ramos get any of the staff's votes this week?

Matthew Eddy: We followed Ramos, sure. He went 8-for-19 this week with four doubles and four RBIs for New Britain. He played in just 5 games and, because of the nature of the position, catchers seldom rack up enough playing time to stand out from the pack on these lists. Josh Thole, Mike McKenry, Austin Romine . . . all have struggled to make the cut simply because they don't play enough. We ought to have a separate Catcher Hot Sheet.

    Adam (Miami): What's Matthew Ways ceiling (Phillies)?

Conor Glassey: I like Matt Way. I cover Washington for the draft and I ranked him fourth in the state. His fastball is 88-90, but it's his changeup that got rave reviews from scouts this spring. Way has a unique grip on the pitch and scouts say it looks like it "flutters" up to the plate. You can't argue with a 38-2 K:BB over his first 32 IP, but I think he's going to have to be a guy that goes out and proves it every year. His ceiling is at the back of the rotation.

    Russell (Davis, CA): At the beginning of the season BA ranked the Padres' minor league system near the bottom. This year they've added a ton of talent through the draft and trades and the talent they had at the start of the season seems to be developing nicely. Where would you rank the Padres now? Do you expect the system to continue to improve now that Sandy Alderson is gone and Jeff Moorad's new ownership group has made it a priority?

Matthew Eddy: A very encouraging year for the Padres on the development front. Their top 2 guys coming into the year, Blanks and Latos, have performed in the big leagues; young players like Headley and Venable have improved in the second half; Decker has been perhaps the finest hitting prospect in low Class A; the Double-A squad is reminiscent of the '07 version in that its flush with prospects; the org added a pair of high-ceiling outfielders in the draft; they cashed in Peavy for a quartet of young arms . . . yes, it's been a good year in terms of player development for the Padres.

    Dave (Charlotte, NC): Casper Wells has appeared a couple times this year. How about his teammate Brennan Boesch at Erie. He seems to be having a more consistent and all around better year.

Conor Glassey: Yeah, after slugging .378 in '07 and .379 in '08, it's nice to see Boesch finally hitting for some power. But he's also 24 in Double-A with a .317 OBP...

    William (Mobile, Alabama): Most dissapointing minor league player this year for both of you guys ?

Matthew Eddy: For me, it's Greg Halman, simply because I ranked him No. 1 with the Mariners. The power's still there, but the hitting approach simply hasn't worked against Double-A competition. I posed the question to the office pool . . . a few responses: Lars Anderson, Eric Hosmer, Dayan Viciedo and Jeremy Jeffress.

    Joey (Denver, CO): Ike Davis or Danny Murphy 2010? after?

Matthew Eddy: Ike after the break. Delgado, Chris Carter or Murphy before then.

    Christian (San Diego): Does Chad Huffman profile as a regular or more a fourth outfielder type?

Matthew Eddy: He would seem to fit best as more of a platoon or part-time option. A righthanded batter with some pop who can work a count, but with precious few other supporting tools.

    phil (scottsdale stadium): Can you explain why Kevin Pucetas has been so bad?

Conor Glassey: He was actually putting together a good season in Triple-A, he just had back-to-back horrendous starts this week.

Conor Glassey: Well, that's all for this week. A bunch of us are headed out to the Team USA complex to watch the World Cup team play!