Hi, everyone. Glad to be back after vacationing at the College World Series with my sons the last two weeks. Let's get to your questions.
Jim, could you please give us a full scouting report on Tim Federowicz and whether or not he will be a top catching prospect by the end of the year along with Busty Posey and Jason Castro.
I'm taking this question because my youngest son's favorite minor leaguer is Tim Federowicz. Got his autograph at the CWS a couple of years ago, when Federowicz (who played for North Carolina) good-naturedly signed his Texas hat. Anyway, Federowicz is having a very nice year but he's not a Posey-level prospect. The Red Sox knew he'd be a good defender but his bat has been a surprise.
Jim,Who gets the better of the Pirates-Nats trade made Tuesday? Can Milledge turn it around and realize his potential? Also, what can you tell me about the players the Pirates received from the Yankees for Eric Hinske? Thanks!
I'll say the Pirates, because the best player in the deal should wind up being Lastings Milledge. But scouts always have questioned his makeup, and I'm not sold that he's going to figure it all out. The two players the Pirates got for Hinske, righthander Casey Erickson and outfielder Eric Fryer, are fringe prospects. Erickson's best pitch is a sinker and Fryer is a tweener as an outfielder.
Drew Stubbs will be..... an allstar, average OF, or a 4th OF.Personally, I think a fair comparable is Scott Podsednik.
Average regular. He has good speed and defensive skills, and always projected as a guy who would hit for just a decent average, but I expected more power than he has shown.
Reds 2nd rd pick SS Billy Hamilton is hitting well and running wild with 7 stolen bases already. Could the Reds have a steal on their hands in the ultra-athletic Hamilton (had a full football scholarship to play at LSU) can hit better than advertised, and now that he is focused soley on baseball (he was 3 sport athlete in HS) could we see rapid improvements?
Hamilton very well could be a steal. He was one of the fastest players and best athletes in the draft, and focusing full-time on baseball should only make him better.
Why doesn't MLB add suspending players for All Star games in addition to the regular season games for illegal sustance use. I think the commisioner didn't think Manny Ramirez would make the All-Star game. I don't belive he deserves to be in this All-Star game, being an all-star means playing baseball majority of baseball games and not getting suspended for more than 10 games or more than once.
Ramirez won't make the All-Star Game. He didn't win the fan voting and he hasn't played enough to merit getting selected as an at-large choice. I don't get worked up about the ASG. If enough fans voted for him to be in the game, so be it.
Is Matzek the biggest question mark of the 1st round to sign, or is it Tate?
I just did an Ask BA column on this: <a href="http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/ask-ba/2009/268467.html">http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/ask-ba/2009/268467.html</a>. Unless Kyle Gibson doesn't recover from the stress fracture in his forearm, I do think Tyler Matzek is the biggest question mark. The Padres wouldn't have taken Tate at No. 3 if they weren't prepared to do what it takes to sign him. The Rockies took Matzek at No. 11 because he was the most talented guy on the board, but if he doesn't back off his desire for "precedent-setting money," he could wind up in school.
Vitters and Cashner both recently earned promotions to high A and double A respectively...your take on their progress so far? Vitters has a chance to hit over 300 with 25 HRs this year.
I thought Josh Vitters was poised for a breakout season and he has delivered. I still wonder if Cashner is going to be a power reliever in the long run, but he definitely has a quality arm. Those are the top two prospects in the Cubs system.
Will John Mayberry ever be able to hit right-handed pitching or is he doomed to a career as a platoon player? He's such a captivating talent, I'd hate for him to be stuck to the bench most nights.
I don't ever see him making enough quality contact to be an everyday player. He has four homers in his first 38 big league at-bats, but also 14 strikeouts.
What's up with Buster Posey? He hasn't played since Friday. Is he hurt?
He got hit in the head by a pitch on June 26. He's not hurt seriously, and should be back in the lineup any day now.
Any thoughts on Jesus Montero being promoted to AA and continuing to mash? In your opinion, what should be the Yanks timetable for a position switch as the bat is light years ahead of the D?
He's one of the very best hitters in the entire minors. Though I don't think he's going to catch in the big leagues, and he's not going to displace Mark Teixeira as a first baseman. I guess they could try him in left field, but for now, I'd still be trying to see if I could make him a catcher.
How did Bryce Harper make it onto the Aflac rosters?
I don't think it's set in stone that you have to be a rising high school senior. He's still a high school player right now, and he's the one people most want to see, so why not take him?
With all the emphasis being placed on draft picks and cheap young talent, what are your thoughts on the level of prospects that will be moved at the trading deadline?
I don't think we'll see a lot of trades or a lot of quality prospects changing hands. Doesn't seem like there are many teams that can afford to take on much money, and prospects are more valuable than ever.
Who's got the edge in signing Sano, last i heard it was Pitt. Was sondering if anything's changed?
Ben Badler has a detailed July 2 preview up at <a href="www.baseballamerica.com">baseballamerica.com</a>, so check that out. He has Dominican shortstop Miguel Sano ranked as the No. 1 talent available, with the Pirates still the frontrunners.
Do you think Bryce Harper will be consulted by Scott Boras and if so, will Boras pull out the "he's an elite talent" like Strasburg and ask for the moon? With basically a H.S. guy that seems crazy to me.
Harper already tabbed Boras as his adviser a year ago. I suspect whatever bonus record Strasburg sets this year, Boras will look to top it with Harper. And Harper will have even more leverage.
Since cheap young talent and draft picks are more valuable than ever, dont teams like the A's (i.e Matt Holliday) actually risk him accepting arbitration if it is offered and wont teams who do not have first round picks protected be less inclined to sign those types of players (i.e. Orlando Hudson).
Yes and yes.
So it sounds like what you are saying is that its not such a good thing these days for a player to be a Type A free agent unless you are like a CC Sabathia and the Yankees are willing to break the bank for you. This has to be addressed in the next labor agreement. Its not good for anyone.
I think it will be. The owners want a true slotting system, and maybe they could dangle the carrot of eliminating free-agent compensation to get it.
Let's head to the lightning round . . .
Robbie Ross or Matthew Purke?
Pedro Alvarez - future Albert Pujols or future Adam Dunn?
You can't compare anyone to Pujols and I don't think Dunn fits either.
Carrasco or Drabek? Who would you rather have in your starting rotation?
Drabek. He's not ready yet but in the long run I'd much prefer him to Carrasco.
Logan Morrison or Freddie Freeman?
Still Morrison, but I like Freeman a lot.
The Red Sox best prospect in two years is....?
Posey or Weiters?
Pujols will finish as one of the top __ players ever to play the game.
Mike Leake will be in the majors in ___ years?
Bryce Harper or Dustin Ackley?
Tough one, but I'll say Harper because I do believe in the bat and he's a catcher.
Michael Taylor- Can we finally say hes the real deal now?
Does Slade Heathcott have more upside than Austin Jackson?
Hector Rondon or Kyle Drabek?
True or False. Strasburg will pitch in the pros this year.
I'll say true. I think he signs at the deadline and makes a big league cameo on September.
True or False? You don't care about baseball west of the Mississippi.
Pick one: Jason Heyward, Mike Stanton, Dominic Brown, or Michael Taylor?
Josh Vitters will be the Cubs starting 3B by ____?
Best MLB bat: Carlos Santana, Jason Castro, or Buster Posey?
Best 2010 Prospect not named Bryce Harper?
Louisiana State righthander Anthony Ranaudo.
C'mon, two Vitters questions? Will Mat Latos be in San Diego this season?
Probably not. No reason to call him up because he doesn't have to be added to the 40-man roster in the offseason.
If Harper doesn't stick at catcher, where's the next likely destination for him?
His bat should play anywhere and he's athletic, so maybe right field?
I am not giving up until I get a Daryl Jones question answered! Thoughts??
I like Daryl Jones. Always loved the tools but began to wonder if he'd ever figure it out until he broke through last year. Hasn't been as impressive in Double-A this year, but he just turned 22 and has a bright future.<br><br>That's it for this week. See you again next Wednesday.