Marc Hulet Prospects Chat

11:47
: Lots going on in the world of prospects… get your questions in now and we’ll start in about 15 mins….

11:59
Comment From Jay
Will the Cardinals keep Kolten Wong in the minors until he’s 26 as is their MO. Not sure what else he can do at AAA?

12:00
: Wong has solid numbers at AAA but he’s playing in a very good hitter’s league… It’s not like he’s exactly setting the world on fire. He’s not better than the Cards other options… His best hope (like Adams) would be a trade…

12:01
Comment From Freddie
Who’s the favorite to sign Miguel Alberto Gonzalez?

12:01
: Last I heard it was the Dodgers… Cubs could be a sleeper team.

12:01
Comment From RRuszczyk
Mikael Franco, Real deal or is Keith Law, et al correct in that he’s overrated?

12:02
: Probably somewhere in the middle… I’ll be releasing the FanGraphs Top 50 prospects next week and he’ll be in there, so I think he’s pretty good…

12:02
Comment From jim
Aaron Judge, Ian Clarkin and Eric Jagilo.. Rank em

12:02
: Pretty tough to rank at this point but I really like all three and feel this could turn out to be one of NY’s better drafts in recent memory.

12:02
Comment From juan pierres mustache
Unabashed Carlos Correa fan. Why does he get no love?

12:03
: He’s not flashy, he plays for a bad team and doesn’t hit a ton of home runs at this point, and that’s the stat that seems to get prospects a lot of love (deservedly so or not)

12:03
Comment From Swing and a Miss Puiggy
Any hopes for Allen Webster to straighten out his control/command or his his showing at the MLB level thus far cememting his future as a reliever?

12:04
: It’s haunted him his entire career… which is why there have been whispers about a future move to the bullpen for pretty much his entire career… He still has time to figure it out but I wouldn’t be shocked it high-leverage reliever was his long-term role.

12:04
Comment From Andrew
What’s the ceiling for Pierce Johnson and Paul Blackburn?

12:05
: A projection of mid-rotation guys is probably safe.

12:05
Comment From Swing and a Miss Puiggy
Danny Salazar: can he hold up as a SP?

12:05
: It will be interesting to see… based on what I’ve seen while watching him my gut says no, but I’m open at this point…

12:05
Comment From juan pierres mustache
Thoughts on Cosart? Expectations for him tonight?

12:07
: I really hope to watch the start. I did write about this a bit on Twitter and I think he’s going to struggle early in his career because his control is currently below average and he needs better/more consistent fastball command. The key will be throwing the CB for strikes, which is not easy when your pumped up… I like him long term and it’s good to get his feet wet now so he can iron out some of the wrinkles…

12:07
Comment From Jay
Cecchini seems to be slowing, but does how does he profile? Bill Mueller?

12:08
: That’s the kind of profile, yes… or — if you like former Red Sox players — Wade Boggs. Not to say he’s going to have 10+ .300+ average, 200+ hit seasons but he’s going to be a guy with a good average, solid control of the strike zone and below-average power output.

12:08
Comment From RRuszczyk
First 2013 draftee to make the Bigs?

12:09
: Maybe one of the relievers that Detroit drafted or Appel or Bryant — depending on how quickly those rebuilding clubs want to start the ARB clock.

12:09
Comment From Tage
What’s your take on Corey Seager? Upside?

12:10
: I loved Seager as a prep prospect so he’s a very talented player… all-star upside, not sure he’s a long-term SS… He has a chance to be the best Seager of the three and Kyle is pretty solid.

12:10
Comment From Joe D
Given Nick Williams offensive production, .315/.348/.618 as a 19 y/o in “A” ball, do you expect him be on some top 100 lists going into next year? Also, what are some of your general thoughts on him from a scouting perspective?

12:12
: He has a chance to be on the backend of some lists… He’s got tools and he’s made some adjustments, although he still has a lot of work to do on his approach, and against southpaws.

12:12
Comment From juan pierres mustache
Is Tyler Austin still a top 100 guy for you?

12:13
: Probably not, no… but I’m definitely not writing him off

12:13
Comment From Chris
Do you know much about Alex Meyer’s shoulder injury? Are you worried about it?

12:13
: I don’t know anymore than you, no, but shoulder injuries are always scary.

12:13
Comment From Tage
Will Joc Pederson be an impact fantasy player in a couple years?

12:14
: He’s shown an ability to hit for average, power and runs well, so yes I could.

12:14
Comment From rusty
How much time/attention to you give to fringe prospects once they’ve gotten their first call-up? Thinking Corey Dickerson here — he just got optioned back to AAA, where he was hitting the heck out of the ball, after a bad first week at the MLB level.

12:15
: Once guys hit the majors to stay I tend not to focus on them much at FanGraphs. With limited time and so many prospects, I kind of have to stay focused in the minors…

12:15
Comment From jim
People seem to be forgetting about Ty Hensley, I know he had a surgery (but its not arm related). What are your thoughts on him? still future #2 starter potential?

12:16
: It’s really hard to say at this point because there are so many question marks…

12:16
Comment From RNC
How what is the HR floor and ceiling of Yelich and Almora?

12:17
: Yelich: 12-20
Almora: 8-15

12:17
Comment From Dan
Hi Marc – thoughts of Harold Ramirez (OF, PIT)? Thanks.

12:18
: The Pirates have perhaps the most underrated international scouting dept in the business… not to mention their entire scouting department… Really respect what they’ve done with limited dollars. Ramirez is still really young/raw but I love what I’ve seen/heard so far and he’s definitely a Top 15 Pirates prospect.

12:19
Comment From Andrew
Is Maikel Franco’s season legit? Is he a potential star?

12:19
: I think Edwin Encarnacion when I think of Franco.

12:19
Comment From Guest
Are Rua and Gallo going to be promoted to AA anytime soon? What kind of timeline would they have reaching the majors?

12:21
: To my earlier point about overrating the home run, neither player is going to skip over High-A and both play in Low-A right now… Gallo is in no way deserving of a promotion. The only impressive number is the HR total. Rua isn’t really a prospect but he might get a taste of High-A before the year is out since he’s already 23 and about 3-4 years too old for the league.

12:21
Comment From John
Ever seen Josmil Pinto? How does he project?

12:23
: I don’t think I’ve seen him… maybe while watching other players — but that should tell you something. He’s not someone to really watch too closely. He’s can hit a little so he has a chance to make it as a big league second- or third-string catcher but that’s probably his ceiling.

12:23
Comment From jimbo
I know very few starters have Ace potential in the minors, but does Rafael De Paula have it?

12:25
: He has the raw skill necessary to be a top-shelf guy but he’s still a ways from putting it all together. So, yes, he does have the stuff to be a No. 1 or 2 guy

12:25
Comment From rusty
In looking at Carson Cistulli’s 1st-round pick leaderboards, it seems like a lot of teams are slower to debut — are they all assigned to clubs but getting more instruction before playing?

12:26
: A lot of times teams like to have players work out first, get back into playing shape after the layoff, get used to travelling, pro life and also, for pitchers, limit the innings in the first year after their college/prep seasons.

12:26
Comment From Billy B.
Rank these A’s prospects: Muncy, Boyd, and Renato Nunez?

12:27
: I’d probably go with Nunez, Boyd, Muncy… Definitely first for Nunez.

12:27
Comment From Rich
With 2 HRs and another double yesterday it seems like Wilmer Flores is only getting hotter. Do you think the Mets are more likely to keep him or move him? And if he is moved, what type of return do you see them getting?

12:28
: I can only guess but I don’t think he fits into their long-term plans and might be used as part of a package for some young, controllable pitching.

12:28
Comment From Steve
What are the chances that Marcus Stroman can stick as a starter for the long-term?

12:30
: I’m going to watch one of his starts very shortly, but based on what I’ve seen/heard in the past I’m going to go with 40%… I think he’ll end up kind of like Tom Gordon did: a few years as a starter before moving into a high-leverage relief role.

12:30
Comment From CJ
Ceiling on Eddie Butler?

12:30
: No. 2/3 starter or high-leverage reliever.

12:31
Comment From Adam
Should Xander Bogaerts be helping out in the majors by now?

12:31
: No. I’d wait until 2014…

12:31
Comment From Plop
If a prospect (CF) has Miguel Sano Power, and Billy Hamilton speed, but hits sub 200/250/450 at an Age appropriate level, where would he rank on a top 100 list?

12:33
: There isn’t a prospect like that with 80 speed and 80 power but it would depend if he was age appropriate 19 or 23… and what his contact rates were like… is his low average a result of bad luck (BABIP)?

12:33
Comment From Chris
With Hultzen being shut down for 10 days, will he still get the call up this yr or will Walker?

12:33
: Walker is probably more likely… I think we just need to focus on Hultzen hopefully avoiding the knife.

12:33
Comment From bird
Danny Salazar: who is this guy? how does he project in the majors?

12:35
Comment From Tommy
I’m sure you’ve gotten a bunch of questions about him already, but what are your thoughts on Arismendy Alcantara? Do you feel he will ultimately be forced to move to second and only bat left-handed? How long would a switch to only hitting from one side of the plate set him back?

12:36
: Solid little ball player, could be a decent middle infielder at the big league level but probably not a star-level player. I personally see him as a long-term second baseman.

12:36
Comment From Greg
Thanks for taking time for the chat! Do you have a preference for players with one standout tool or those who are solid across the board? And, is your preference different for projecting a floor, projecting a ceiling, and appreciating aesthetics of the game?

12:38
: I really want well rounded players but ideally, one that has average tools across the board with one or two standout tools… A player who’s a below average hitter with plus power isn’t really all that valuable. Even if it’s 70-80 power (see Adam Dunn).

12:38
Comment From Zach
Long-term outlook on Urrutia? As an O’s fan, I’m hyped. But I don’t want any irrational exuberance.

12:40
: I think the hype is starting to get out of control. He’s a good hitter, but not enough power for a LF/RF/DH guy… It’s impressive that he strikes out as little as he does with such a long body. In other words, he has one standout tool (hit) and the other tools are fringe-average or below-average.

12:40
Comment From David
Did you think Clint Frazier’s upside is the same as Buxton’s? Also, did you think he is a CF long term?

12:42
: I don’t think so, no. But he has a chance to be a Top 15-20 prospect type talent, if he reaches his potential. He has an advanced bat for his age but for me the similarities kind of end there.

12:42
Comment From dan
Cardinals rotation next year… thoughts? Wacha and/or Martinez? Does Rosenthal get a shot to start, or is he confined to the bullpen/potential closer for the foreseeable future?

12:43
: I’ve said all along that I think Rosenthal should stay in the pen… His stuff plays up there. As a starter he’s probably a No. 3/4 guy, in terms of ceiling. I think Wacha will get a fair bit of time in the rotation next year, with Martinez as the wild card — possibly another bullpen guy

12:43
Comment From rusty
How far has David Dahl’s stock dropped?

12:44
: You can’t blame him for the injury but only playing 10 games in 2013 — coupled with maturity questions — definitely takes a bite out of his value.

12:44
Comment From Zach
Have you deviated much from your pre-season stance on Gausman?

12:44
: Nope, not at all… let’s see how 2014 goes.

12:45
Comment From CJ
Rank ‘Em: A-ball 2B – Dilson Herrara, Jorge Polanco, Mookie Betts, Chris Bostick

12:46
: Polanco, Betts, Herrera, Bostick

12:46
: Nope, not at all… let’s see how 2014 goes.

12:47
Comment From Chris
Why is Churchill demanding Stephan Romero gets called up isnt only going to avg?

12:48
: Jason has a good eye for talent and I respect him a lot… I haven’t spoken to him specifically about Stefen but I imagine he wants to see what the prospect can do in the majors since the club is auditioning guys now. I see an average regular or solid backup but I also haven’t seen him anywhere near as much as Jason has….

12:49
Comment From Tommy
What were your thoughts upon hearing Javier Baez had been promoted to AA? Too soon?

12:49
: I was a little surprised but not shocked. It’ll definitely be a test for him given his approach at the plate.

12:49
Comment From JT
Where do you see Giolito on prospect lists by the end of the year?

12:51
: It’ll depend on how well his stuff comes back and will have little to nothing to do with his numbers… I’ll probably have to wait to talk to some people about him before I can guess where he belongs.

12:51
Comment From James
I know it doesn’t fit the Pirates and Neil Huntingtons MO, but if they feel the price for an upgrade in RF is too steep, is there any chance they call up Polanco? I know hes only had about 100 abs above class-a, but hes got big league plate discipline, which should help some. Do you think A. theres any chance it happens and B. he would be able to hold his own and actually be an upgrade over Travis Snider?

12:51
: I can’t see him being a MLB asset right now, no… It would probably do more harm than good…

12:52
Comment From dan
What happens for the Cubs with Alcantara coming up sometime but Castro already at SS? Does one of them move to 2B? Which?

12:52
: The Cubs have a good problem with Alcantara, Castro and Baez. I imagine of the three, Castro is the most likely to stick as SS but he needs to show some defensive improvements.

12:52
Comment From Tims Tea Bow
Trade Scenario: What would it take (hypothetically) for the Yankees to get Oscar Taveres?

12:53
: Probably more than the organization can afford. What would you offer?

12:53
Comment From Joe
Do you think Yordano gets traded this month? What do you make of his time at Omaha so far?

12:53
: Why would the Royals trade one of their best arms?

12:53
Comment From Greg
Is there one tool (or more) that carry better throughout the minor leagues and into the majors (I’m thinking power or speed, perhaps)? Secondly, does a prospect benefit from being strong in a tool that develops independently of opposition (again, something like speed) versus one that develops in response to the skill of his opposition?

12:55
: The hit tool is key for an offensive prospect. If you can’t hit, your other tools suffer (power needs contact, speed needs you to be on base, etc). In other words, for me, it all comes down to the hit tool.

12:55
Comment From James
Who has a better farm system right now: Pirates or Astros?

12:56
: Hmmm, very close. I’m an Astros fan (not to say I dislike the Pirates) so I try not to let that cloud my opinions… For me, it’s a toss up right now but I might be leaning a bit to the Pirates side, especially with their excellent draft.

12:56
Comment From Jack
Cody Martin; have you or contacts checked him out? If so, what are your thoughts & possible ceiling (with continual progression)?

12:57
: I have spoken to scouts and front office people about him. They like him but the projection is modest: No. 3/4 guy for top ceiling.

12:57
Comment From CJ
Nick Williams or Jesse Winker make the Top 100 next year? Who has the higher offensive ceiling?

12:58
: They both have a chance to be there, but it depends on the other prospects their being ranked against. Williams has a higher ceiling, Winker has a better chance to reach the majors.

12:58
Comment From Jeff Luhnow
In your opinion, is George Springer the best power and speed combination prospect?

12:59
: Off the top of my head, and if you’re discussing present power vs raw power, then yes, I’d say he’s in the Top 3 in the minors.

12:59
Comment From Jason
How good would an outfield of McCutchen, Marte, and Polanco be defensively?

12:59
: It would be a very fun outfield to watch. I’d pay to watch them.

12:59
Comment From Guest
Has Joc Pederson’s performance this season (14 HR’s, 25 SB’s in AA at 21) changed your opinion of him? Maybe he’s not a CF, but couldn’t he be an impact bat in LF with above-average defense?

12:59
: I am definitely warming up to him. He’s better than I gave him credit for in the off-season.

1:00
Comment From U.L. Washingtons toothpick
Do Joc Pederson or Matt Davidson have a future with their respective teams? Lotsa bodies in the way for both.

1:01
: The Dodgers have depth issues, but in the good sense. He might be a guy that eventually gets dealt to address other areas. As for Davidson, he doesn’t really fit the grinder mentality of the big league club so I could see him getting traded at some point.

1:01
Comment From Darren
How underrated is Jorge Bonifacio? I he a top 100 prospect?

1:02
: I think he gets a significant amount of hype for where he’s at from a development standpoint. He’s shown the ability to hit but his power hasn’t developed yet and he doesn’t run. His defense is just OK.

1:03
Comment From Mark
Is the a good mnemonic for remembering which leagues in the minors are more hitter-friendly and which ones are pitcher-friendly? I have a hard time keeping up.

1:05
: Just bookmark a webpage that has minor league park factors.

1:05
Comment From U.L. Washingtons toothpick
Who are some sneaky (i.e. not Hamilton / Gordon) elite speed prospects in the NL?

1:05
: Roman Quinn jumps to mind… D.J. Davis…

1:05
Comment From Julio
Alen Hanson manning 2B for Pittsburgh in 2015?

1:05
: Definitely not out of the question. I like him.

1:06
Comment From James
Is Andrew Lambo a guy you could see figuring something out this season? He is raking in AA and AAA. He is 24 and was repeating AA again, but he is still young enough and was once a pretty good prospect? Do you think he could be the Bucs solution in RF?

1:06
: The ship has probably sailed on him.

1:06
Comment From Dan the Mets Fan
Is Plawecki a top 100 prospect next year?

1:07
: Not sure he’s Top 100, maybe, but he’s definitely going to be in the Top 10 of minor league catchers.

1:07
Comment From Homer at the Bat
Hello Marc. I’m sure you’ve answered this a hundred times but I don’t make it to every chat. What is your opinion on what Johnathon Singleton’s floor would be in the majors?

1:09
: Floor: .240/.330/.390?

1:09
Comment From Keeper? I hardly know her
Another Franco question? How do you feel about him vs. Sano considering the latter’s recent performance

1:10
: Sano has legit 80 power and has been successful longer than Franco, and is also a year younger.

1:11
Comment From Keeper? I hardly know her
Danny Salazar’s first start was pretty good! Does he keep it up ROS and beyond?

1:11
: Check out the article I linked to above about him

1:11
Comment From Tom
Arismendy (no last name needed) getting consideration in the industry as a top 100 prospect?

1:11
: Maybe in the backend of the list

1:11
Comment From Greg
How do you feel about K Gausman vs Jameson Taillon in a long term forcast?

1:12
: Both should be very good starting pitchers. Taillon has the better breaking ball, which helps.

1:12
Comment From Zach
Not your classic “prospect”, but do you have any comps (or just an outlook) for Tsuyoshi Wada?

1:12
: He’s a guy that might come up and have some initial success out of the bullpen but not someone I see as a long-term impact guy.

1:13
Comment From chris
what’s kris bryant’s major league ETA?

1:13
: Could be 2014

1:13
Comment From James
Tell me that Jim Bowdens hypothetical trade between the pirates and White Sox is as ridiculous as I think it is…There is no way that the Bucs trade Polanco, Kingham and Mercer for Rios/Ramirez is there? I mean for Polanco to be traded it would have to be for more than marginal highly paid veterans wouldn’t it?

1:16
: I don’t read Bowden so this is the first I’m hearing about/reacting to it…. I wouldn’t do it but only Polanco and Kingham are really valuable. It’s not a terrible deal to be honest… but I’m not a fan of either White Sox guy.

1:16
Comment From Chris
How do you factor in age when looking at a prospect in the minors? Is being much younger than the level (Mondesi) way different than being just younger than the level (Starling)? Does age matter less for pitchers?

1:17
: Age matters a lot for everyone. Age vs level is one of the first things I look at, when considering stats/results into the equation.

1:17
Comment From Keeper? I hardly know her
Is Robert Stephenson worth holding onto or should I look at someone like Noah Syndergaard instead (12 team keeper).

1:18
: Both are extremely talented but I prefer Stephenson long term.

1:18
Comment From Mike
With his high SO rate and playing half his games in Oakland, is it reasonable to expect that Addison Russell will not be a .300 hitter in the major leagues?

1:19
: I would like to wait to see him play at the Double-A level before I get too excited about his hit tool but he’s shown some real talent at the plate and I could see him hitting .300 but not necessarily as a guy that’s going to flirt with that level every year.

1:19
Comment From Guest
What are your thoughts on Cesar Puello?

1:20
: He’s turned himself into a prospect but I don’t think he’s quite a top 100 guy.

1:20
Comment From Tage
What is alen hanson’s ceiling?

1:20
: Solid big league regular with a few all-star caliber seasons.

1:20
Comment From Vito
Alcantara or Paulino?

1:21
: The former is the safer bet, the latter has the higher ceiling.

1:21
Comment From goopa
I think Byron Buxton is overrated, he doesn’t hit a ton of power. I just think he is not a five-tool player in the future. Do you agree?

1:22
: No. Power doesn’t = top prospect… plus power is the last tool to develop…. Buxton has plus bat speed and hits a ton of line drives… he’s going to hit for more power down the line and has a chance to become a true five-tool talent.

1:22
Comment From Matt
How close are the Dbacks’ pitching prospects that aren’t Bradley or Skaggs? Is it still Meo, Chafin, and Holmberg that are next in line?

1:22
: I like Holmberg more than most even if he’s just a No. 4 starter.

1:22
Comment From Tommy Joseph
How much should I worry about concussions forcing me off catcher?

1:23
: It’s always a huge concern for catchers but I was never a big Joseph guy to begin with…

1:23
Comment From Jim
What’s your take in Adalberto Mondesi’s performance in A ball at age 17?

1:23
: Very impressive.

1:23
Comment From red bird
Taveras…a lost cause for this year?

1:23
: Hopefully he can make up at-bats in the AFL

1:24
Comment From Mike in NYC
Long term, how would you rank Henry Owens, Tyler Glasnow, and Rafael DePaula?

1:24
: This is a tough one: Glasnow, De Paula, Owens

1:25
Comment From Wobbles
What kind of power does Garin Cecchini project for? he’s really hit the cover off the ball at every level so far, is he similar to Castellanos (but with walks)?

1:26
: 10-12 homers? He has the body and bat speed to hit more but his swing/approach is geared more to making consistent contact.

1:26
Comment From HTD
Who do you like better long-term, Danny Salazar or Sonny Gray?

1:26
: I give Gray a slightly better chance to stick in the rotation.

1:27
Comment From #Bucn
Do the Pirates have enough in their system to get Stanton without Taillon? Cole is worrying me so I think it would hurt them long term getting rid of Taillon.

1:28
: I don’t see Miami doing a deal with Pittsburgh without Taillon.

1:28
Comment From Nard Dawg
What are your favorite subscription free Prospect sites? Most just do rankings of TOP prospects without much insight. I’d like to find some with lower lvl prospects and some good scouting reports.

1:30
: There tough to find. Check out Bullpen Banter. MiLB.com is OK too with stuff from Jonathan Mayo… or Minor League Ball.com with John Sickels

1:30
Comment From Ian
Max Fried or Lucas Giolito, who has a better MLB career?

1:30
: Fried.

1:30
Comment From Brendan
There’s been some minor hype about Junior Lake. What is your take on Lake? Potential corner OFer with above average defense, below average bat?

1:31
: Crazy tools but has never put them together on a consistent basis… probably a perennial tease.

1:31
Comment From Jay
Do you think Olt will rebound and reestablish himself in the 2nd half? Seems mostly mental now.

1:31
: I always said he was overrated: good power, good defense, questionable hit tool… so I think he’ll be much better as time goes on (can’t get much worse from where he bottomed out) but probably just a solid regular.

1:32
Comment From Ruxin
Do you have insight on Luis Torrens?

1:32
: Too young/inexperienced for me to know much at this point but I’m excited and I’ll be asking about him in the off-season when I talk to front office guys/scouts in the off-season.

1:32
Comment From Scout Finch
Edwin Escobar just promoted to AA for Giants. Any thoughts? Top 100 potential?

1:33
: He made my Giants Top 15 list last winter but I’m not sure he’s moved up enough to be a Top 100 guy just yet.

1:33
Comment From zack
WTF is Newman?

1:33
: He’s on a sabbatical. Hunt him down on twitter if you’d like: search for rotoscouting….

1:34
Comment From Max Kepler
Hallo Marc. Where do you think I will be on a Top 100 prospect list next year, and what is my ceiling? Danke.

1:34
: In the second half of the Top 100….

1:34
: I’m a Kepler fan.

1:35
Comment From Dave
Thoughts on Gerrit Cole so far in the majors? About what you expected?

1:35
: This is what I expected (wrote after the announcement that he was coming up): http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/pirates-welcome-gerrit-cole-to-the-show/

1:35
Comment From Asking For a Friend
What do you think of Folty? Is he really a #2/3 starter?

1:36
: I do like Folty… Possible 2/3 if everything breaks right for him.

1:36
Comment From CJ
Does Luis Sardinas develop any power?

1:36
: Doubtful

1:37
: I have to go now, but thanks for all the questions… as always, hunt me down on Twitter @marchulet where you can ask me questions I didn’t get to and keep an eye out for the FanGraphs updated Top 50 prospects next week!



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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.


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