Prospect Hot Sheet

Q:  Ben from Leland Grove asks:
Did Arencibia garner love with any of your staff? A surprising no-show in my book.

J.J. Cooper: We debated putting Arencibia near the back of the list, but in the end, his strikeout-to-walk ratio (38-to-7) was the blemish that kept him off the Sheet. He's having a heck of a year however.

 Q:  Simon from Toronto, Canada asks:
Who is your favourite for minor league player of the year with kershaw and bruce in the majors for what looks like the rest of the year. My bet is David Price. Also I am wondering if Zack Daeges got any consideration. I know the power isn't impressive but the walks and the batting average are superb?

Ben Badler: Thanks for joining us today everyone. We always appreciate your loyalty to BA.

Ben Badler: It's hard to bet against Price, but Cahill, Gamel and LaPorta are all loaded with talent and have a bit of a head start on him. Daeges wasn't really in the conversation for this list, but his approach at the plate is outstanding and makes him an interesting guy to follow.

 Q:  jeremy from fl asks:
any sign of luke hughes popping up on the hot sheet radar anytime soon?

J.J. Cooper: We gave Luke Hughes some helium earlier this season, but he wasn't really that close to making the top 20. It's a great season, and he's established himself as a much more interesting prospect than he was at the start of the season, but his prospect profile doesn't compare to the guys who made the top 20.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
Did Maybin get any consideration for the Hot Sheet, and what are your thoughts on his 2008 thus far? He seems to be having a yo-yo type of year. What does he need to improve upon before he sees Miami, and is it realistic to give him a cup of coffee before season's end?

Ben Badler: Maybe it's because I passed down two of my favorite poker books to another BA staffer today now that my online poker career has gone dormant, but I'd classify Maybin as a loose-passive player right now, which isn't a winning formula for hitting (or poker). Ideally you want a hitter like Maybin to be more tight-aggressive or even loose-aggressive given his bat speed, foot speed and raw power, but he's still getting used to the quality of the offspeed pitches in Double-A, particularly changeups. He's still probably the top prospect in the Southern League, he just needs time to adjust to the caliber of pitching at this level.

 Q:  Geovany Soto from Chicago asks:
Do I have any chance at NL ROY now that Jay Bruce has arrived?

Ben Badler: Yes, because you're in the midst of (and yes, I know it's early) one of the greatest seasons by a rookie catcher ever.

 Q:  Kyle from Middletown asks:
Do you think that Jay Bruce will play right or center next year? Does he really need to play right long term, even though he doesn't look bad in center?

J.J. Cooper: As far as next year, I think it all depends on what the Reds need, which means he'll probably be in right field as soon as Griffey leaves. For the next couple of years Bruce could handle either position, but long term, it's expected that as he matures, he'll get too big for center field. He has the speed now, but with his power potential, the Reds will be quite happy if he keeps filling out and adding muscle, which may mean he slows down too much to play center long term.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
Are the O's in no hurry when it comes to Wieters' and Arrieta's timetables, and could you approximate when both will see action in Bowie?

Nathan Rode: Greetings everyone. Try to keep up...It doesn't look like the O's are in any sort of rush, but I doubt they'll take their sweet time. Wieters should be in Double-A in the second half of this year and could certainly find himself in Baltimore by the end of 2009. You don't want to rush such a high investment, but at the same time, he won't be held back. Arrieta might not rise as quickly as Wieters, but I think he's a viable candidate for Double-A to finish this year and maybe a September call-up for 2009 at the latest, barring injuries to him or the major league staff.

 Q:  Chad from Dallas asks:
I've seen a lot of people stress that minor league pitchers should be on a strict pitch count. I know the main reason is due to injury, but won't allowing pitchers to pitch 100+ help their stamina and allow them to pitch more than 6 innings? Or are the days of complete games officially over?

Ben Badler: They are mostly over, unless you have a pitcher like Roy Halladay who can minimize his pitches per out. The notion that a starter has to be able to last deep into the game—especially in the National League—is overrated. Give me the fresh arm out of the bullpen over the tired starter.

 Q:  Kyle from Middletown asks:
Does Daryl Thompson belong in the same conversation as Bailey, Cueto, and Volquez? Do you think he will find a home in the Reds rotation?

Ben Badler: Depends on the depth of the conversation. I'll take all three of those guys over Thompson, who doesn't have an offspeed pitch that can match what the other three have in their arsenals.

 Q:  Josh from St. Louis asks:
How close was Mariners' OF prospect Greg Halman to making the list? I saw some video of him recently and was amazed at his combination of size and athleticism. Is there a more tooled-up prospect in the minors this side of Cameron Maybin?

Nathan Rode: Halman was considered, however, he would have been in the team photo at best had we done that this week. He's having a good year, but when you compare the numbers straight up he doesn't really fit in with these first 20, especially since the Cal League usually inflates numbers and his aren't very inflated. That's no discredit to him though.

 Q:  Ryan from NY asks:
What kind of ceiling does Charlie Morton have?

Matt Eddy: Let's peg him as a potential No. 4 for now, because of his age (24) and lack of a track record. On the other hand, if his fastball command improves a bit, Morton's got the secondary stuff, particularly a curveball and changeup, to be better than that.

 Q:  Seth from Cali asks:
Nice list, but no Adrian Cardenas? Granted, he missed almost a month due to injury, but he has been raking before and after. Was the injury the only thing that kept him off the list?

Nathan Rode: I would say yes, the amount of time missed kept him off. He's having another great year and its even more impressive that he's done with all that time missed. He'll be making plenty of Hot Sheets throughout the year and would definitely be a candidate if we do something like this again. He can flat out hit.

 Q:  Navin from Pasadena, CA asks:
How bad is the Cubs system now with Soto and Gallagher gone and guys like Colvin, Donaldson and Samardzija struggling?

Ben Badler: It's safe to say it's been a disappointing year for the Cubs farm system. On the bright side, Tony Thomas is starting to turn things around, Dae-Eun Rhee is off the DL, and they just signed a nice-looking 17-year-old shortstop from the Pacific Rim.

 Q:  James from Warrensburg, MO asks:
Do you think Matt Antonelli will start hitting the ball in AAA? He is getting the walks and has a good eye, but he is hitting horribly. Do you think he can turn things around? Also how many strike-outs do you think Cody Johnson will have this year?

Matt Eddy: Expect the batting average to come up for the reason you cited (batting eye), and because Antonelli won't go hitless against lefties all year, and because he entered the year as a .298 career hitter. His power numbers may not be salvageable this season, but look for his average to rise.

Jim Shonerd: Johnson has 87 strikeouts in 55 games, which would put him on pace about 220 in a 140 game season, and he hasn't slowed down much lately either.

 Q:  Jason Verdun from Louisiana asks:
What prevented Wes Hodges from being on the list?

Nathan Rode: Hodges has been good, but not outstanding like the first 20 guys. An improvement in strikeout-to-walk ratio wouldn't hurt, but it could be worse I guess.

 Q:  Snapper Bean from Greater Kensington asks:
What would have got Adrian Cardenas on the list? Another 50 ABs at the same level of production?

Ben Badler: Probably. No on here doubted what he's done during his playing time, he just didn't have enough PT to make this list. It's probably between him and Chris Coghlan for best second base prospect in the minors, which is somewhat faint praise, but I think they will both be productive big leaguers.

 Q:  Bill from Dallas asks:
What do you make of Neftali Feliz? Obviously he has a tremendous fastball, but is his secondary stuff and command coming along? Or is he just dominating the league with his fastball. Also, I know it is early, but if you had to bet on his future, would it be at the back of the bullpen or near the front of the rotation?

Jim Shonerd: A high-90s fastball like his is certainly enough to dominate hitters at the Low A level, but he is coming along. He's only allowed 34 hits and 19 walks in 52 2/3 innings, so guys aren't reaching base against him at all. I personally would keep him in the rotation, but it's very early like you said, and we'll have see how he handles higher levels of competition.

 Q:  Lanny from Davis, Ca asks:
If Cahill keeps it up, can he be a top 10 type of prospect by the end of the year and can Italiano be considered in the top 100 if he keeps up his performance?

Ben Badler: Top 10 is absolutely enormous praise. I'm as high on Cahill as anyone, thought it was a great pick by the A's, but I think top 10 is a little rich for my blood.

 Q:  Eli from Incline Village asks:
Did Moustakas get any consideration on this list at all? Obviously he had a terrible April, but he's been turning it around, and there's no arguing that the power isn't there. He's walking a fair amount, too. Will he be an elite prospect next year?

Jim Shonerd: If it was just for the month of May, he would've gotten strong consideration. Hitting six home runs in one month in the Midwest League is nothing to sneeze at. But we can't erase that tough April he had, so that cost him any real consideration for this Hot Sheet.

 Q:  Greg from San Francisco asks:
Thanks for putting Madison Bumgarner on the list. The kid is having one heck of a year. Are you suprised by the control this 19 year old has displayed thus far this season? I though Alderson was the one that didn't walk anybody!

Ben Badler: Very surprised, especially for someone who throws as hard as Bumgarner. I'll be the first to admit I like Alderson more than Bumgarner given the questions about Bumgarner's breaking ball, but he's just been outstanding this year and he was one of the youngest picks in the draft last year, even for a high schooler. I'll get a chance to check him out in person in a couple of weeks at the SAL all-star game, which should be a treat.

 Q:  john from ct asks:
Does John Whittleman have a chance at a regular spot in the majors. He's still very young

Nathan Rode: He has a chance to be a corner guy, but is still a project. The defense needs to improve. He has 13 errors already this year and he still strikes out a ton. Maybe he'll figure it out, maybe he won't. I wouldn't go picking him in a keeper league just yet.

 Q:  Jason Verdun from Louisiana asks:
Is Sean Doolittle a legit prospect or is it the inflated numbers of CAL League?

Nathan Rode: Legit prospect yes. Inflated numbers yes. Doolittle has answered some questions about his power, but the Cal League obviously helps. He's striking out a lot, but its his first full season and he still draws a lot of walks because of his patience. I think the most telling thing about him is his versatility. He may only have average speed, but he's made some appearances in left and right this year and hasn't embarrassed himself yet.

 Q:  Kevin from California asks:
The Dodgers have already called up Kershaw. Do you think they will also call up McDonald?

Ben Badler: McDonald could get a callup, though I might like to see him stay in the minors a little longer to work on his fastball command. He doesn't walk too many guys, but I saw him leave too many balls up in the zone, and that's been something scouts would like to see him improve upon as well. He doesn't have an overpowering fastball—he sits at 88-90, maybe some 91s here and there, so he's going to have to command the pitch down in the zone, especially with his flyball tendencies. Maybe a stint to Las Vegas would help? Regardless, his changeup is a downright nasty pitch that comes in anywhere from 10-14 mph slower than his fastball but with the same arm speed. Bugs Bunny would be proud.

 Q:  Bill from Memphis asks:
I understand that Jeff Clement didn't have a great 15 games with the big club, but come on. He has done everything he can at AAA, more so, the Mariners are done and why wouldn't they bring him up and let him get his feet wet. Clement is too good to not hit even at the big league level. What are they waiting for?

Matt Eddy: Clement has established himself as a major league-ready talent, especially when you consider Tacoma's park significantly favors pitchers. Unfortunately, teams that are failing to meet expectations, like the Mariners, often don't give their young players a long leash. We saw it this year with Adam Lind in Toronto.

Matt Eddy: Wladimir Balentien is batting just .213/.286/.393 for the M's, but with a lack of viable alternatives, they're sticking with him. If Vidro and Sexson continue to play poorly, expect Seattle to reach the same conclusion.

 Q:  Patrick from Philly asks:
Is Michael Taylor someone who will rise quickly through the organization? Do you think his performance is more reflective of his age for the league, and is he inline for a promotion soon?

Jim Shonerd: We're inclined to believe it's a product of the league he's in. Hopefully he'll earn a trip to Clearwater soon enough so we can get a better measure of his progress.

 Q:  Derek from Little Rock asks:
What about Luis Marte's season so far?

Nathan Rode: He's an interesting one. He dominated in the FSL and was recently bumped up to Double-A but is currently on the DL. He's one to keep an eye on for helium. He'll need to turn around the K-BB ratio in Double-A, but we'll wait until he's made some starts after his return to pass judgment on that.

 Q:  lantz from ca asks:
do you think ryan tucker has the stuff to crack the marlins rotation or is he destined to be a bull pen guy?

Ben Badler: I wouldn't send him out there this year. His fastball is a great pitch but he still needs to command it better. His slider seems to have made progress over the three or fours starts I've seen him pitch, although that could just be the time-series of the starts fooling me into think it was true improvement. I think his stuff would play up in the bullpen, but obviously you leave him as a starter now for his development. The real stud on that staff is Chris Volstad—one of the heaviest sinkers in the minors and two out pitches in his curveball and changeup.

 Q:  Zack from Ft Worth asks:
How close is Neftali Feliz from making a Hot List? He is 5-1 2.05 ERA 58 k's in 52 IP for a 19 year old in Class A.

Jim Shonerd: Feliz has been in the conversation several times over the course of the season, and this week was no different. What's kept off past Hot Sheets was the fact that he's rarely gone more than six innings in a start, which makes it tougher to get on the Hot Sheet when you're only pitching five innings in a given week. We like him again this week, but there just wasn't enough room for everybody. I'm sure he'll break through at some point though.

 Q:  Ryan from NY,NY asks:
Why isn't Neftali Feliz in your hotsheet? He's given up 1 er since April 26th. ONE!?! That's not enough?? Stingy crew over there.

Ben Badler: One of the last cuts... who would you have removed?

 Q:  John from Denver asks:
Speaking of upside, what kind of ceiling does Jhoulys Chacin have?

Jim Shonerd: Very high. He actually had his roughest outing of the year a couple days ago against Rome, but he's legit. Like Bumgarner, he'll be at the Sally League All-Star Game in Greensboro in a couple weeks, so I'm really looking forward to getting to see him in person for the first time.

 Q:  Paul Lopes from Fall River, MA asks:
Did Ross Detwiller get any consideration and is he a top of the rotation pitcher?

Nathan Rode: He didn't get much consideration as he hasn't been overly consistent. However, I'll hand it to him that he doesn't get a lot of run support. He's got an ERA over 5.00 right now. Not very Hot. No need to worry though. He's still a top of the rotation candidate.

 Q:  Ryan from NY,NY asks:
This is a weekly list right? Kershaw's been in the majors for what 9 days now? I'd bump Clayton for Feliz who has given up 1 ER in more than a month! Aside from Price (who hasn't given one up period), that's impressive stuff.

Ben Badler: Normally it's a weekly list, but today we're taking more of a macro look at the entire season to date. We thought about throwing a "just missed" group of players, but there were just too many guys that we knew someone would still be left off. Consider Feliz in that group though anyway.

 Q:  Dennis from Delaware asks:
In 4-5 years from now, who will be the O's best hitter: Markakis, Jones, Wieters or a draft pick this week?

Ben Badler: Give me Wieters, perhaps even ignoring positional value

 Q:  Chris from Chicago asks:
When will Hellickson and Price be moved up to AA? What else does Hellickson have to prove for that promotion? A 60something to 5 k/bb ratio is unreal.

Nathan Rode: Hellickson will probably spend the year at Vero Beach. He's made a full stop at each level so far and has maxed out at 111 innings in a season. They're in no rush to push him. However, imagine this...Ben Badler brought to my attention that if those two were called up you'd have a rotation at Double-A Montgomery of Davis, McGee, Price, Hellickson. Um, wow.

 Q:  Nicole from Oregon asks:
Where would Sean Doolittle land within this year's 1B crop (Hosmer, Smoak, Wallace, Alonso etc)

Nathan Rode: If the same questions were there about his bat as last year, he's behind all of those guys. In fact, I think he's behind those guys anyway. No knock on Doolittle. I like him, but the four you mentioned have unquestionable power.

 Q:  Jake from Missouri asks:
Did Bryan Anderson receive any consideration for the list? He's mashed all year.

Matt Eddy: It's astonishing that Anderson has reached Triple-A at age 21 and has served as Memphis' everyday catcher. But to say he's mashed is an overstatement. He's a terrific hitter for average (.351 this season; 314 career), but the power has been lacking thus far. Of course, that's to be expected from a 21-year-old backstop in Triple-A.

 Q:  Mike from Tempe asks:
What about Max Scherzer? 23 innings, 38 k's, 3 bb's, era about 1. Not enough innings? Or discounted like some do because they view him only as a reliever?

Matt Eddy: Not enough innings. He ranked as our No. 1 Hot Sheet prospect in one of the two weeks he was eligible.

 Q:  Jose from San Diego asks:
Who is this Bourjos guy? Is he legit?

Nathan Rode: Peter Bourjos was taken out of Notre Dame HS in Scottsdale, Ariz. in the 10th round of the 2005 draft. Notre Dame has a great program and the Angels took a chance on Bourjos. He had a freak injury in 2007 when he tore a ligament in his finger, but has recovered just fine. He has above-average speed and good bat speed, but there are concerns about whether he'll hit because of his busy setup at the plate. Yes he's legit. He was No. 9 in the 2008 Top 30 and the Angels will figure out a way make use of his tools.

 Q:  Josh from Atlanta, Georgia asks:
Could Jason Heyward be the #1 prospect at the end of the year?

Jim Shonerd: For the Braves? It's quite possible, given that he was No. 2 before this year and with what's happened to Jordan Schafer, he could well be No. 1 next year. He checked in a No. 28 on the list of the Top 100 Prospects and it's probably a safe bet he'll be moving up that list also.

 Q:  Bron Bron from Cleveland, OH asks:
How would you assess Phillipe Aumont's debut season so far? I see he's back to starting games again.

Matt Eddy: Things couldn't be better for Aumont. For a kid whose high school team didn't offer baseball and who signed too late last year to play, Aumont has been very impressive. The fastball will always be there, but can he make strides with his breaking ball? Can he keep the same arm slot with his secondary pitches? Don't bet against him.

 Q:  Rick P from San Francisco asks:
What do you expect from Nate Sheirholtz in SF

Matt Eddy: Look for league-average production -— or maybe a hair below -— in right field, once the Giants let him play. He'll never be the most patient batter in the world, and it could take him years to put together consistent at-bats against big league lefties, but Schierholtz has some pop and is a very good defender with a cannon arm.

 Q:  Chuck from Phoenix asks:
With the Bill Hall situation not panning out at third in Milwaukee, and with Mat Gamel ripping it at .384 in Double A, have the Brewers considered a callup? And what is Gamel's long term as a prospect, will his defense (or lack thereof) prevent him from being a regular at the ML level?

Ben Badler: I was surprised and impressed that the Brewers realigned their defense to a more optimal manner this year, but certainly Hall has been disappointing. I'd still stick it out with Hall for now and let Gamel work on his defense because it sounds like he's still either below or well-below average defensively at third base. The defense isn't going to prevent him from being a regular because that bat would still provide significant utility as a corner outfielder. He'd still be a valuable player at third base too, it's just a cost-benefit analysis you have to do to calculate the tradeoffs between putting him at third base or sending him to the outfield, and part of that is dependent on the team's roster construction, which means the Brewers will probably try to give Gamel every chance possibly to stick at third.

 Q:  Justin from Seattle asks:
What's the outlook on Cole Rohrbough?

Nathan Rode: Rohrbough was my No. 1 in the Appy League last year after he posted some filthy K-BB numbers. He has great work ethic and when he keeps his arm angle up, he dominates hitters. The injury this year was a bit of a setback but it shouldn't be a concern. Can't wait to see him in the Atlanta rotation.

 Q:  Simon from Toronto asks:
What can you tell me about Kyle Ginley? He has had an a great year but is it a mirage? The Sub 2 era and the 10 wins or is it another Shawn Marcum?

Matt Eddy: Ginley doesn't have the feel for his secondary stuff that Marcum does, but he is one of the more intriguing power arms in Toronto's system. Take the Lansing numbers with a grain of salt (he was repeating the level), but his performance thus far in Dunedin argues well for his future as, at worst, a reliever.

 Q:  Jackson from Springfield, OH asks:
Juan Francisco: stud to be?

Nathan Rode: Define stud. I don't know what his dating scene is like, but the guy can crush a baseball. He needs to cut down on the strikeouts and draw a few more walks, but if he keeps hitting like this, that could be ignored. The plus side is that he knows he's very aggressive and has already taken it upon himself to develop more patience. That kind of work ethic stands out. Even if he doesn't drastically improve that aspect, he can still have an impact.

 Q:  Chris from Las Vagas asks:
How damaging is Tommy John surgery for De Los Santos, a preseason favorite among many? He's already 22 and is in an organization loaded with arms at both the major and minor league level.

Ben Badler: Any prospect having any arm surgery that keeps him out for a full year should have his prospect status dinged significantly. I don't care if the comeback rate from TJ is better than it was years ago for established major leaguers, it's still a year of developmental time lost for a pitcher, there's no guarantee that he will return to full strength or regain his command, and there's an increased future injury risk to account for. The quality of pitching in Oakland's farm system is irrelevant to Fautino's future expected value, which certainly has dropped now.

 Q:  seamsplitter from SF asks:
What numbers do you see Angel Villalona achieving by year's end?

Jim Shonerd: My guess is he'll end up in the .260-.270 range. But he improved across the board in May (with the exception of drawing fewer walks), so that could be conservative if he keeps going at the same rate.

 Q:  Matt LaPorta from Huntsville asks:
Do you think I will be HOF worthy when I'm done with my career?

Ben Badler: No. The answer to any "do you think ___________ will be in the Hall of Fame one day?" question for any prospect is no, and that response will be correct 99 percent of the time. Of course it's possible, but still, no.

 Q:  Matt from Boston asks:
How would you rate David Purcey as a prospect? Is he getting too old for Triple-A? Excluding his short stint in the majors, his numbers at Triple-A are pretty impressive.

Matt Eddy: Old to be a frontline starter, maybe, but he could still fit as a power lefty reliever, as soon as this year. Looked like he had a tough time getting the ball in on righthanded batters during his big league trial, though that could've been jitters. He's been consistently strong in Triple-A.

 Q:  John from San Fran CA asks:
Jason Heyward ... You mentioned maybe the best prospect on the Braves ??? Isnt he easily the best Braves prospect my a mile. I think everyone is talking about # 1 prospect in the game right now. If he keeps this up, he will have one of the best seasons an 18 year old has EVER put up in A ball. I mean he looks a LOT BETTER than Jay Bruce did at 19 years old. Every stat he looks superior for his age. Why wouldnt he be the # 1 prospect in the game if he keeps this up ??

Ben Badler: There's no doubt in my mind that Heyward is the best prospect in the Braves system, no matter how high I am on Cole Rohrbough. But easily the No. 1 prospect in the game? David Price, Matt Wieters and Colby Rasmus belong in that conversation off the top of my head, looking forward to next year. And I know Travis Snider's battling some elbow problems too and has limited (or perhaps negative) defensive value, but we haven't forgotten about him either. Heyward's in the conversation, but Dennis Green won't let me crown him just yet.

 Q:  Jim from Washington, DC asks:
Why was there no love for Carlos Rosa in your Top 20? Is he too old at age 23?

Matt Eddy: We bounced his name around, but his numbers weren't *quite* loud enough at Triple-A and he wasn't *quite* young enough. Good arm, though.

 Q:  Max from Florida asks:
When do you see Gaby Sanchez being called up and what will his major league impact be? Same question for Chris Volstad?

Ben Badler: Scouts I talk to like the bat but question the glove. He's not a third baseman in the big leagues, so he's going to have to play first base. The guy can crush a fastball, but he really, really struggles with offspeed pitches, and I think that big league pitchers will be able to exploit that weakness with more regularity than Double-A pitchers.

Ben Badler: I could see Volstad as a frontline starter, but his bread-and-butter is his heavy fastball that gets so many groundballs. The problem is that the Marlins have Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla as their middle infielders, and they are two of the worst fielders in the game at their respective positions. That could really take toll on Volstad's luck in the big leagues, but like I said, what's underrated about him is that he still has two out pitches he can use to get the strikeouts when he needs them.

 Q:  Jim from Toronto asks:
With all the bats at [Lansing] (Chavez, Ahrens, Jackson, Tolisano), is it time to be excited about the Jays' farm system?

Matt Eddy: Feel free to throw Lugnuts center fielder Eric Eiland into that mix, too. And don't forget about Travis Snider, Brett Cecil and J.P. Arencibia further up the chain.

Matt Eddy: But yes, this is as good a group of prospects as the Jays have had under GM J.P. Ricciardi. It may not be better than the wave that counted McGowan and Marcum in its ranks, but it could be close.

 Q:  Jeff from Oakland asks:
Corey Brown- legit impact pro? if so when?

Jim Shonerd: Brown is a great athlete and does have impact potential, but he hasn't fully shown it yet. He was noted as having issues making contact with wood bats in the past and that hasn't changed this year. He's already fanned 66 times in 54 games for Kane County, but his .476 SLG is excellent by Midwest League standards.

 Q:  Dan from MA asks:
Josh Reddick - thoughts?

Nathan Rode: In 2007 the phrase "not impressed" became a staple in this office, mainly in response to my evaluation of Reddick after I saw him in several games for Greenville. Don't worry, I'm preparing myself to take a big mouthful and swallow my words. He's having a great year in Lancaster after starting in G'ville again and I've warmed up to him. It's definitely fun to check the box score each morning to see what kind of numbers Reddick and Lars Anderson put up. His bat is going to carry him all the way.

 Q:  ryan fox from dayton, ohio asks:
what are your top 5 pitching prospects not named david price in the minors right now?

Ben Badler: Tough on-the-spot question, but I find pitching prospects far more interesting than their hitting brethren, so I'll take a stab at it. I think McGee, David, Cahill, Volstad, Porcello and Tillman belong in the mix. And I know his season hasn't been flawless, but I still think Brett Anderson ranks up there as well. So yeah, that's more than five, but there's a ways to go in the season for guys to step up, step back or get hurt.

 Q:  Nick from Astoria asks:
What do you think of Freeman? I see he wasnt on the list. He's having a great year, and he hits a ton of doubles which will turn into homers over time.

Jim Shonerd: Freeman is making fans here. He's got a hitter's frame and has a mature approach at the plate. Plus he's handled the tall order of protecting Heyward in the Rome lineup very well.

 Q:  Jim from Binghamton asks:
Rate these pitchers by future success: Phillipe Aumont Jarrod Parker Tim Alderson Madison Bumgarner Blake Beavan Michael Main Aaron Poreda Joe Savery

Ben Badler: Parker, Alderson, Main, Bumgarner, Aumont, Poreda, Savery. I'm confident that the first two belong at the front of that class, a little less confident in Main given his medical, while I'm not quite as high on the last four as most people are, especially with regards to Savery.

 Q:  Greg from Orchard Farm asks:
Will Lars Anderson be on any hot sheets by seasons end? He's been bad so far.

Nathan Rode: He was a candidate early in the season, but was recently placed on the DL with a sore wrist. He came back last night going 1-for-5 with a double. He hasn't quite put up the numbers we expected in the Cal League, but let's not write him off yet for this year. I'd like to see what he does with some time to become fully healthy and get in a groove.

Nathan Rode: That's going to do it for me. Lots of good questions today. Keep checking the site for frequent draft updates. Only a couple more days...

 Q:  Stu from Pittsburgh asks:
Michael Bowden has had a tremendous amount of success this year, so where has he improved since last year? Is he set to follow in the footsteps of Clay Buchholz and have a huge breakout year as a 22 or 23 year old?

Ben Badler: The transition to Double-A is tough for a lot of guys, and Bowden experienced some of that last year. It sounds like he's made some mechanical tweaks this year that may have helped him somewhat, though he's always had the talent. Comparisons to Buchholz though are premature, as Buchholz has much more electric stuff. Finding a guy with a true 70 secondary pitch on the 20-80 scouting scale is uncommon; Buchholz has two of them.

 Q:  Dustin from Xenia asks:
Who is the most overrated pitcher in milb? Who is the most overrated hitter in milb?

Ben Badler: Deolis Guerra, if or until he develops his breaking ball, and Radhames Liz come to mind. First hitter that jumps to mind is Carlos Triunfel, though he has his virtues.

 Q:  Jason from Cleveland asks:
Are the Dodgers almost done screwing around with Andy Laroche? What in the world are they trying him at second base for?

Ben Badler: Possibly trying to get his bat into the lineup, possibly showcasing him for a trade. I think we at BA had Blake DeWitt ranked high than almost anyone else, but right now I would try to sell high on DeWitt and put LaRoche in the everyday lineup at third base rather than deal LaRoche. But obviously it's hard for a team to tell a player who has performed so well—even if it's just over two months—that he has to sit in favor of another rookie. But I still think flipping DeWitt and holding onto LaRoche would yield better value for the Dodgers.

Ben Badler: Excellent questions... I'm always impressed by the depth and range of questions that end up in the queue. No Hot Sheet this Friday, but we'll be back with our regularly scheduled programming next week.