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Moderator: J.J. Cooper will take your Hot Sheet and other prospect questions beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET.

    Matt (VA): Should the Nats sign Anthony Rendon do you think he sees playing time this year? If so where do they start him off?

J.J. Cooper: Do expect to see Rendon sign, as top 10 picks don't often go unsigned (although of course the Nationals are one of the rare teams to see that happen). Just speculating, I'd guess he plays third base to start off (if he's healthy enough to play in the field) with a look at second base in instructs. It's only going to be a week or two of games at most, but considering the Nats-Potomac feud, I would guess low Class A Hagerstown.

    Henry (Cincy): Where will Mesaraco rank next season in the top prospects? Could he potentially be a top 5 prospect?

J.J. Cooper: Not top five. He was 15th on our midseason list, and that's before we add the 2011 draftees. I'd say he's a pretty safe bet to be in the Top 20.

    Jaypers413 (IL): Recently scouts seem down on Wilmer Flores yet he's only 20. Why is everyone so down?

J.J. Cooper: The body is getting worse, as expected, but the bat isn't getting better, which is unexpected. If Flores ends up as a left fielder/first baseman which is what a number of scouts think, there are more and more doubts as to whether his bat can handle it.

    Len (Minnesota): Sano has been good this year, but is it because he is playing in rookie league or is he really proving his value?

J.J. Cooper: Next week we'll be posting a story I wrote largely about Sano. The quotes about his potential are pretty amazing. He's very age appropriate for the league he is in, and his potential at the plate is scary. He's proving his value. Getting to see him in person last week, his size jumps out. He's not sloppy by any means, but he is a massive teenager.

    Ben (Leland Grove): Did Blue Jays' arms Syndergaard and Hutchison come close to sniffing the list this week?

J.J. Cooper: Syndergaard made is last week and Hutchison was oh so close this week. Wish I had room to get Hutchison and Brett Eibner onto the list somewhere this week, but we can only pick out 20 guys a week. The Blue Jays farm system sure looks a lot better these days than it did two or three years ago, doesn't it?

    Inside JJ Cooper's Mind (Limbo): Did I make a mistake by omitting Tyler Skaggs this week? Hmm....

J.J. Cooper: Hey brain, please remember I'm supposed to run by the post office on the way home ... wait, I'm back. No mistake, but I did stare at his stats an awful long time this morning before deciding not to include him. Very good week, very good prospect.

    Jim (West Virginia): Montero has been hitting well since coming back. Will the Yankees let Posada go next season and bring him as the full time DH/Part-Time Catcher?

J.J. Cooper: It's hard to believe he couldn't produce as well as Posada is right now. Posada is a veteran and all that so it likely won't happen, but if I was the Yankees, I'd be thinking hard about a callup now. Next year? Definitely. It makes no sense to have Montero spend a third year in Triple-A.

    Eric (Illinois): Who projects as the better offensive catcher, Grandal or D'Arnaud?

J.J. Cooper: D'Arnaud. Second best catching prospect in the minors right now as I see it, behind only Mesoraco and that's a pretty close battle right there.

    Ryan C (Toronto, CAN): Rank these jays catching prospects: JP Arencibia, Travis D'Arnaud, AJ Jiminez and Carlos Perez.

J.J. Cooper: Rank them how? likelihood of having major league careers? Arencibia (he's already there), D'Arnaud, Jimenez, Perez. Ceiling? d'Arnaud, Perez, Arencibia, Jimenez. Now here's the thing, I think Jimenez will be a big leaguer, so that gives you an idea of the Blue Jays catching depth.

    Ryan D. (Moorpark, CA): J.J. you are the man at BA. Can you please explain to me what the progress is with Twins 2010 1st round draft pick Alex Wimmers? Also, what is the time table on Gibson's injury?

J.J. Cooper: Everyone's waiting for results from Gibson's MRI and exam, if he needs Tommy John surgery which is at least feared then we're looking at a 2013 return. As far as Wimmers, he's actually throwing strikes again. In his recent outings he's shown no signs of "the thing" that caused him to lose his ability to throw it to the plate early in the season. If Wimmers can keep throwing strikes, the Twins' approach may become a model for how to handle pitchers with Steve Blass disease. They shut him down almost immediately and let him work it out far away from any games that count.

    Jack (Washington): Alex Liddi, Vincent Catricala or someone else is our long term answer at 3B? Why didnt we select Rendon?

J.J. Cooper: I'll say recent trade pickup Francisco Martinez. Still a little ways away, but he has all the tools to handle the position and even if he repeated Double-A next year he's still be young for the league.

    Eric (Illinois): How concerned should we be with D'Arndaud's back problems?

J.J. Cooper: Obviously you never want to hear "back injury" and catcher in the same sentence, but he's held up pretty well this year. It's a concern, but not an overriding fear.

    mick (at the computer): Please rank these prospects over the next 5 years in a keeper league: S. Miller, Teheran, J. Turner, D. Bundy, C. Martinez. Thanks!

J.J. Cooper: Teheran, Miller, Martinez, Bundy, Turner.

    Mick (Cali): Who gets to the majors first, Harper or Rendon, and who makes the bigger initial impact?

J.J. Cooper: Harper, as he's already in Double-A and Rendon will likely need at least most of next season in the minors, especially if he moves positions, which we can assume since Ryan Zimmerman has 3B covered in D.C. If Rendon is on a Dustin Ackley career path which seems reasonable (two polished college hitters) we'd be looking at a mid-2012 call-up. I'd expect to see Harper there quicker than that. Harper also is likely to make a bigger impact.

    Jeff S. (Woodland Hills, CA): J.J. thanks for the chat! Please explain how a .180 hitter like Kelly Shoppach for the Rays gets to play everyday. There has to be a better alternative. What about Durham C Stephen Vogt? I know he's 26, but he swings the bat.

J.J. Cooper: At the big league level, defense is the first requirement of a catcher, and Vogt just isn't an everyday catcher defensively. He's made strides, but he's more of an excellent utility backup not a guy to put behind the plate five days a week.

    Ben (Miamisburg, OH): What are your thoughts on pint sized Reds 2B, 18 year old Ronald Torreyes who has put up a .394/.438/.497 line in 165 at bats in the pitcher friendly midwest league? He is small but fast, is a plus defender and I recently saw him hit a ball out of the stadium in Dayton just going foul to miss the home run so he obviously has some pop. Is he a good comparison to Jose Altuve?

J.J. Cooper: We love the Lil Red Machine around here. He ranked 22nd on our preseason Reds Top 30 despite having a grand total of 24 games in the U.S. coming into this season. As a very short second baseman it's hard not to comp him to Altuve, but there are some differences. Altuve has more power, but Torreyes runs better and is better defensively at second.

    Johnny (Twin Cities): Is Jesus Montero a backup catcher/full time DH when he makes it to the show, or is he strictly a DH?

J.J. Cooper: I could see him catching an occasional game or coming in to catch after a substitution (although since it's the AL you won't see a whole lot of that). But he's more a DH who owns a mitt rather than a catcher who also DHs.

    Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Dave Sappelt has quietly and methodically put together an excellent year for the Reds AAA club and with his good contact rates and stellar outfield defense along with the Reds woes with the leadoff spot in their batting order, wouldn't he make more sense to have up in Cincinnati than Yonder Alonso to play in LF?

J.J. Cooper: I'd agree with you if the Reds were using Alonso as a regular left fielder, but for now it seems like Alonso's more of a bench lefty bat rather than anything else, and in that role Alonso fits better than Sappelt because the Reds are looking for a lefty bat. Sappelt's more blocked right now by Chris Heisey, another righty bat with a similar profile but better defense than Sappelt.

    Ben (Miamisburg, OH): Billy Hamilton has made giant strides at the plate this year as the season has progressed and has also drastically cut down his error rates at SS. With his improvement and solid stats since the all star break, do you think Hamilton moves to High A to start 2012 or gets more time at Dayton?

J.J. Cooper: I'd expect to see him in high Class A next year.

    Dale (Denver): Was Bichette Jr. considered for the list this week? He has really taken off after a slow start to his pro career.

J.J. Cooper: Bichette was high on the list last week. He cooled down, although only slightly, this week, but yes it's an outstanding GCL season he's putting together.

    David (KC): To get an idea of how the nex guys might fit in: If you were to take the top 3 SP prospects from this past month's MLB draft, and throw in 4 random names near the top of your current lists, can you rank them all together in order as you see them now? (say ... S.Miller, J.Teheran, C.Martinez, J.Parker) Thanks.

J.J. Cooper: I'd suggest re-asking this question next Wednesday for Jim Callis' chat, as he has a better handle on the draft guys, but I'd go Matt Moore, Julio Teheran, Shelby Miller, Carlos Martinez, Gerrit Cole, Trevor Bauer, Danny Hultzen.

    Raymond (New York): Hi JJ, thanks for taking my question and for the chat. who is the Braves SS of the future after Gonzlez is gone -Pastornicky or Simmons? can either move to 3B if needed ?

J.J. Cooper: I'd say Pastornicky gets the first shot, Simmons has to prove he can hit enough, although defensively he's better than Pastornicky. Neither is a 3B. In Pastornicky's case he's either a SS or a utility infielder and in Simmons case he's either a shortstop or a bullpen arm (he could be 95+ off the mound).

    Sean (MA): I love when you guys talk up Boston prospects but what makes Bogaerts such a "great sign" by Boston? Is it the power? Will he hit enough to use it? Thanks for all the hard work.

J.J. Cooper: Don't get too worried about Bogaerts' low average, he's very young for the league. You've got to remember that a guy isn't a fully formed big leaguer at 18. In Bogaert's case, he's already showing in-game power as an 18-year-old. For a guy who could have quite easily been ticketed to play in the GCL, holding your own in the South Atlantic League is a sign of a premium prospect.

    Scott (Houston): with the influx of minor leaguers where would you rate the astros farm system?

J.J. Cooper: Much improved. Still has a ways to go. Assuming Springer and Armstrong sign I'd say it's a middle of the pack system.

    Paul (Burleson TX): I'm a Rangers fan. I like the fact that we got Mike Adams but man what type of prospect did we give in return in Joe Wieland?

J.J. Cooper: Wieland and Erlin are both solid pitching prospects, but neither projects as a future ace. Considering the Rangers' depth, it's a move the team could afford to make. Wieland fits very well in Petco, so he may put up some very solid years in the big leagues.

    Jim (Varmit Gulch, TX): Could you make an argument for taking Trevor May over Jared Cozart?

J.J. Cooper: Oh yeah. If performance means something May is having a better year and his arm is just as good. Arguments for Cozart over May? Well, he has a cleaner delivery and some think that May is a reliever long-term.

    Zach (Wilmington): How scared should white sox fans be about Jared Mitchell's 2011 season?

J.J. Cooper: Have some trepidation. I saw him this week in Winston-Salem and in talking to some coaches and scouts he's showing flashes of the explosiveness the White Sox expected to get, but he only shows that quickness and speed in flashes, not game in and game out. He is still striking out too much and he's working on taking better routes in the outfield. The big question is, are we seeing a former football player who is just behind because this is his first full year of baseball or will the blemishes in his game (strikeouts, poor arm, poor routes in the outfield) keep him from being a star.

    Alex (KC): nice chat with Mr. JJ. u watched Manuel Pina's last two big league game? I really impressed his receiving skill behind plate and approach at the plate. ha can stick a royals every day catcher next season? if u were GMDM you prefer him over Brayan Pena or Matt Treanor?

J.J. Cooper: I don't think Pina can be an everyday catcher. Salvador Perez, who isn't far away, is a better receiver and better at the plate. Pina may be able to stick as a backup catcher though. I know he's had a nice couple of games offensively, but Pina has shown little power and only decent on-base ability in the minors.

    rob (St. Joseph): What are your thoughts on Betances getting a call-up this year and where he fits into 2012 Yankee plans. He has some crazy numbers in AA, although Banuelos got the call to AAA first. Thanks

J.J. Cooper: Banuelos has a better shot to be a member of the Yankees' rotation long-term. Betances' delivery and control troubles means that he is still straddling that line of being a big league reliever or a big league starter. Banuelos is a safer bet to start. Right now I don't think Betances can help the Yankees much, as I don't think he throws enough strikes as of yet.

    Mike (DC): Hey guys, can you give me some insight into how you rank some players: How much to pro park factors affect analysts' rankings? For example, if his minor league performances remain steady, will Pomeranz's ranking be tempered by the eventuality of moving to Coors. Conversely, will Erlin and Wieland move up more quickly if they keep progressing with Petco their future home?

J.J. Cooper: Generally when talking about these rankings we're looking park neutral at the big league level. Pomeranz's numbers will likely be worse pitching in Denver than in Cleveland, but when it comes to his ultimate value, he's still somewhat the same guy—we've reached the point where fans and teams can look at those stats in a normalized environment.

J.J. Cooper: Generally when talking about these rankings we're looking park neutral at the big league level. Pomeranz's numbers will likely be worse pitching in Denver than in Cleveland, but when it comes to his ultimate value, he's still somewhat the same guy—we've reached the point where fans and teams can look at those stats in a normalized environment.

    Dan (Lincoln, Ne): With the Tigers issues with the bullpen could we see Jacob Turner being recalled towards the end of the month and filling a huge need for them( a la David Price)?

J.J. Cooper: I don't think Turner can do the Price thing in the pen, not that he can't help, but he's just not the strikeout machine Price was when he came up. I think Turner is just as likely to help in the rotation as the pen, as his approach plays well over a multiple inning appearance.

    Doug (Phx): Zack Cox got his average up above 300 with a 4 hit game last night for Double A Springfield. Is he St Louis best prospect or is it last nights starting pitcher Miller? What is the chance of seeing one or both of them with the Cards in September?

J.J. Cooper: Cox isn't the Cardinals' best prospect, as that's Shelby Miller. He's not the second best, as that's Carlos Martinez, and you could argue Tyrell Jenkins is a better prospect. That being said, he's a solid prospect, and it's a pretty good sign that the Cardinals' farm system has some depth.

    Nelly (South Carolina): Watching Moose, Hosmer, and Giavotella play in a Big League infield together is going to be awesome. Thoughts on the new guy, Giavotella?

J.J. Cooper: Giavotella can really hit, and I've been told that no one can throw a fastball by him. Quick hands at the plate. In the field the reviews are much more mixed. If he can show average defense at second base he could play in the big leagues for quite a while.

    Ken (Lakewood CA): Hi JJ. Haven't heard much about Nathan Eovaldi. It's said the Dodgers may bring him up to start a game for them soon. What do you know about him? Thanks.

J.J. Cooper: If this was Twitter I'd throw my #notascout hash tag on this, but I'm not a big fan of his delivery, and I've had scouts say the same thing. Very good arm. If the delivery doesn't trouble you, you could see him as a middle of the rotation starter, I think he's more likely to end up as a power arm out of the pen where the noise in his delivery and the control troubles it brings won't be as much of a problem.

    Cy (Youngstown): You often refer to plus or plus-plus pitches. How do Matt Moore's FB,CB,CH grade, present and future? Thanks.

J.J. Cooper: Future: 70, 65, 65. If you're talking to a more generous scout he may say 70-70-70. Yeah pretty scary. If you were looking at a present grade, I'm speculating more because I haven't asked a scout to give me a present grade on him, but the fastball is still a 70, and you could argue an 80 if you wanted to, and the curve and change are both described as current plus, so let's say 60.

    Kyle (Philadelphia): Scouts do not seem to be overly impressed with Hyatt's pure stuff but with the amount of K's in High A and Double AA, when do the numbers start speaking for themselves?

J.J. Cooper: They never completely do. Even in Double-A, pitchers can get away with stuff they can't get away with in the majors. He's in a prove-it-at-each-level mode.

    Regurgitating Gordon Wood (New Orleans): Any chance we see Trevor Bauer up in the majors this season?

J.J. Cooper: I would guess not, just because of the number of innings he's already thrown this year.

    Kevin (NYY): Grandal commited 10 Error and 17 passed ball. scouts concerned about that?

J.J. Cooper: Yes. Definitely. Before the season I didn't see a big gap between Mesoraco and Grandal, there's definitely a bigger gap now.

    PF (Calgary): Can you rank these 3B prospects for me: Middlebrooks, Castellanos, Sano, in regards to offensive ceiling?

J.J. Cooper: Ceiling is Sano, Castellanos, Middlebrooks, but if I'm ranking them as prospects I'm going Middlebrooks, Sano, Castellanos. I love Sano, but Middlebrooks is a guy doing it in Double-A.

    John (Arlington): What are your thoughts on the whole nats letting strasburg pitch now controversy?

J.J. Cooper: Is there an actual controversy? Or is just something Rob Dibble said? He had surgery 11 months ago, and this seems like a pretty normal recovery process.

    Craig (Seattle): Hey JJ, I am a big Nats fan but do not know about the Nats-Pnats feud. Was it over Harper?

J.J. Cooper: The Nationals have said they are unhappy with Potomac's field, and Prince William county officials fired back that Nationals GM Mike Rizzo should worry about his own job.

    Trey (Boston): Francisco Martinez over Catricala? Really? What is Catricala doing wrong?

J.J. Cooper: There are concerns about Catricala's defense. And as good as his numbers are this year, there are also concerns long-term about whether he has enough bat to be a big league regular.

    JayarAtx (Austin): If you had to do a list today would Paul Clemens crack the Astros top 10?

J.J. Cooper: Yes. I like Clemens as a power arm who at least should be a solid reliever could develop into something more.

    Xurlax (Mars): Who will have a better debut? Lawrie or Giavotella

J.J. Cooper: Who knows. There's no way to project that. Ted Williams could hit poorly over a 100 at-bat sample and Buddy Biancalana could hit above his ability for 100 ABs. Both of them are going to get a limited chance to play this year, so don't get too overheated if they hit or too down if they struggle.

    Josh (San Francisco): Juan Lagares - is his improvement for real? Still hitting after the promotion to AA, granted he needs to walk more still.

J.J. Cooper: Scouts I talked to who saw him in the FSL are still highly skeptical.

J.J. Cooper: Sorry everyone it's time for me to wrap up. Thanks for the questions and have a great weekend.