Prospect Hot Sheet

Ben Badler and J.J. Cooper chatted about the Prospect Hot Sheet

 Q:  Rick from FL asks:
If Tampa Bay stays in the hunt for a playoff spot. Do you think the would trade any of their top prospects (Brignac, McGee, Davis, etc.) for a MLB ready impact player in trade?

J.J. Cooper: Hi everyone. Ben Badler and I will both answer questions in a shortened version of the Hot Sheet Chat. So while it may not last as long, hopefully we'll get to nearly as many questions. At this point, one of the Rays biggest assets is that they have numerous trade chips if they need to strengthen a weakness. That being said, I don't see them dealing off any of their top prospects (Brignac, McGee, Davis or Price) for help. This team is built to be good for the next five years, not just this year. They have enough lesser pieces (Chris Mason, Fernando Perez, Alex Cobb, Heath Rollins, Ryan Royster, Jeff Niemann, etc.) that they could make roster tweaks without harming their long-term outlook at all. And crazy as it may sound, where do the Devil Rays need a clear upgrade right now?

 Q:  George from NYC asks:
With melancon, cox, and david robertson heading the list, do the yanks have the best relievers in their farmsystem than anyother team?

Ben Badler: Hey guys. Like JJ said, it's a shortened chat, so we'll try to make up for it by doubling up on chatters.

Ben Badler: It's a bit of faint praise to say a farm system is rich with minor league relief talent, but those are all interesting guys for the Yankees. The Mets are pretty solid with relief talent since that's what they've focused on in recent drafts. I'll take Casey Weathers over any of those guys though, and the Rockies also have Juan Morillo and Pedro Strop, so I'll go Rockies here.

 Q:  SBE from Nashville asks:
Wow, no Moustakas? 3 HR, 2 2B, a triple, and 7 RBI last week. Not bad for a 19 year old in the Midwest League. How close was he to getting mentioned?

Ben Badler: Moustakas had a nice week and was in the conversation, but a .300 OBP and four errors on the week aren't enough to crack the list. No worries though... what he's doing in the MWL is impressive.

 Q:  James from NY, NY asks:
Do you belive Jesus Montero, Austin Romine, and Francisco Cervelli can reach the majors as catchers or as first basemen?

J.J. Cooper: Montero has the bat to be a first baseman potentially if he can't stick behind the plate, and there are concerns about his ability to stay back there. Romine is somewhere in between—most of his value is tied into his defensive potential, but there also is some value in the bat. Cervelli's value is based on the glove. He should be able to be a backup catcher if nothing else because of his catch-and-throw skills, but there are some questions about his offensive upside.

 Q:  Sandsniper from Florida asks:
Please rank from top to bottom. With all the excitement this week with Jay Bruce, David Price and Clayton Kershaw...Who's the best of the bunch?

Ben Badler: Bruce 1, Kershaw 1-A and Price 1-AA. You're talking about three potential superstars.

 Q:  Brian from Vero Beach, FL asks:
Now that we're about 2 months in to the season, who would you say have been the biggest surprise prospect breakouts down in A ball?

J.J. Cooper: I think the big one is Asheville's Jhoulys Chacin. He's shown outstanding stuff and the results to match. Last year Fautino de los Santos was the pop up prospect in the Sally League, this year's it's Chacin, although Chacin (No. 18 in the Rockies system heading into the year) was much more known than de los Santos at the same point because he had already pitched in the U.S. But Chacin has gone from the back of the Rockies Top 30 to become the talk of the South Atlantic League. Expect to see him much higher on the Rockies Top 30 next year.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
I have a hypothetical situation that I hope you'll answer. Prospect A ranks in the 1-5 range for his respective team's Top 10 Prospects list in the BA Handbook. He goes 8-20 for the week, with 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 2B, 2 BB and 6 K's. Prospect B ranks in the 6-10 range on his team's list. He goes 14-20 for the week, with 5 HR, 10 RBI, 5 2B, 1 3B, 4 BB and 2 K's. Which prospect would rank higher on the Hot Sheet?

Ben Badler: What position does the player play? How old is the player? What league is he in? Is the player's home park and league favorable to hitters or pitchers? What are the player's tools? A guy in the 6-10 range for a team like the Rays or the Red Sox could be the top prospect in the Astros or White Sox system. We're not just plugging the numbers into a spreadsheet and spitting out the top names... we use that as our starter kit, but the evaluations take on more depth than the raw outputs.

 Q:  Kyle from Middletown asks:
Where do you think Daryl Thompson will fit in the Reds top prospect list next year if he maintains this level of performance? Could he potentially crack BA's top 100?

J.J. Cooper: The Reds will likely graduate their top four prospects (Bruce, Bailey, Votto, Cueto) from last year's Top 30, so there's definitely some room for advancement. Assuming that Thompson keeps this up, he's a pretty surefire Reds Top 10 Prospect next year, and likely will work his way into top five. He can command the fastball and get swings and misses on it. That's a very valuable thing. Sorry but considering the Top 100 is nine months away I'm not ready to make a guess on that yet.

 Q:  Andrew from Philadelphia asks:
How close have Drew Naylor and Greg Golson came to making the sheet?

J.J. Cooper: Naylor's come close in the past, but this wasn't hit week—4 runs, 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings. Golson has been very solid, although he had a solid but not Prospect Hot Sheet worthy week this week. Check our Ben Badler's Prospect Blog post on Golson for a lot more on him.

 Q:  Josh G from Sacto,CA asks:
As a Giants fan should I be concerned with Big V's struggles or is it just growing pains,and how concerned should I be with Charlie Culberson hitting .171 with only 2 SB'S

J.J. Cooper: With Villalona you have to remember that he's a 17-year-old in full-season ball. He's showing steady improvement and is hitting 50 points better in May then he did in April. His numbers may not be loud, but he's showing no signs that he's in over his head. Culberson has also showed some improvement in May (.260-.362-.360), but his April was so awful that it will take a while for his numbers to get back to normal. They're both very young. It's more about learning and improvement than what numbers they put up in low Class A.

 Q:  Josh G from Sacto,CA asks:
I know he's not really a prospect but can Brock Bond for the Augusta Greenjackets get some hot sheet love? he's hitting .359 how much better does he have to do?

J.J. Cooper: Sorry, but he's had one multihit game in the past week and no extra-base hits. That's not going to give him much Helium love. Heck, I can't get my own personal fave Daniel Nava (No. 1 in last year's Independent League Top 10 Prospects rankings) on the Helium list and he's hitting .479-.545-.845 this month.

 Q:  Chuck Richter ( from Seattle, WA asks:
With the way Peter Bourjos has come around with the bat at such a young age in High-A Ball, with his other skill sets (speed, defense, arm etc.) do you see him as potentially being the #1 prospect on the offensive side for the Angels come next seasons' top prospects list? Thanks

Ben Badler: Really need to stop accidentally kicking out the plug to my computer...

Ben Badler: The only positional players ahead of Bourjos in that system entering the season were Brandon Wood, Hank Conger and Sean Rodriguez. With any luck, Wood will have enough major league PAs to no longer be our problem in terms of figuring out what to do with his skill set. Rodriguez could also disqualify himself through major league playing time, while Conger's injuries are becoming more of a concern. Bourjos is definitely in the mix.

 Q:  Looney4baseball from Boca, FL asks:
What prospects not in the top 100 coming into this year have made the most progress and will be in the top 20-50 next year in your estimation?

Ben Badler: Trevor Cahill and Mat Gamel are the two that jump to my mind first.

Ben Badler: Thanks everyone. Special note for next week: check back on Tuesday (not Friday) for a special edition of Hot Sheet, which will take a more big-picture view of prospect performance from the entire season to date. See you then...