Hi, everyone. While we chat, we've got three day games going on. Can't beat that.
Interesting line from last week: Michael Tonkin, RHP, Twins (Rookie-Level GCL Twins)Thursday's stats: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 15 K. Was this a fluke start or will the Twins have a legit starting pitcher in the upcoming years?
Tonkin is a legitimate prospect. He dropped to the 30th round of the 2008 draft because of signability, but the Twins signed him away from USC for $230,000. He touched 94 mph as an amateur and showed a promising changeup, too.
Strasburg will get signed, right?
I think so. I saw the report last night that a source told ESPN's Pedro Gomez that the Nationals weren't close and weren't on pace to sign No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg. How can they not be on pace when serious negotiations won't begin until August--just like they almost always do for a player who's going to get well over MLB's slot recommendation. That report was much ado about nothing. I still believe, in the end, the Nationals will offer Strasburg more money than he can risk turning down. And while there's talk that Scott Boras may take him to Japan to make him a free agent, remember that a) there's no guarantee that will work and almost certainly would have to be determined by an arbitrator and b) there's no obvious reason for a Japanese team to let itself be used in that way.
What's your opinion on Tommy Hanson? I've read that the way he pitches could cause him to break down in a couple of years, which, as a Braves fan, is not something I want to see.
No one I've talked to has expressed grave concerns over Hanson's mechanics. There are a lot of different ways to throw a baseball, and a lot of guys with orthodox deliveries get hurt. A lot of pitchers get hurt, period. I don't think anyone has figured out the mystery of how to keep a pitcher healthy yet, or what the perfect mechanics would be, or if they even exist.
Am I the Rookie of the Year in the National League so far?
Yes. But I think Colby Rasmus passes Happ by the end of the year.
Whats your take on Micheal Burgess' season? He's only hitting 236 with a K/game, but hes got a decent 335 OBP and 450 SLG with 16 HRs. Do you think his contact issues will doom him at higher levels, or do you think he can overcome them? Thanks
That's Burgess in a nutshell: big power, big strikeout numbers. I do question whether he'll hit consistently in the majors with his contact issues.
Better outfield: Ibanez - Victorino - Werth vs Ramirez - Kemp - Ethier ?
Give me the Dodgers trio.
Jim, please help settle an argument. Who would you rather have right now and for the long term, John Danks or Gavin Floyd? If you could, please give a couple reasons for your answer so I can rub my choice of Danks in my friends face. Thanks!
Danks. He misses more bats, he's younger, he's lefthanded, he has a more consistent track record of success.
How about this trade: SD gets Mazzaro, Donaldson, Henry Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Simmons and Carter plus prospects from Braves, Atlanta gets Peavy and A's get AGON and Escobar. Sounds good to me
That's great for the Braves and Athletics, but terrible for the Padres.
The Cubs really seem to have some exciting SS prospects now in the system, Hak-Ju Lee, Junior Lake and Starlin Castro have all performed quite well this year. What's your take on the what type of prospects they are?
I'd rank them Castro, Lee, Lake in that order. They're all intriguing guys. Castro has done a nice job of handling the jump from Rookie ball to high Class A at age 19, while Lee has bounced back nicely from Tommy John surgery.
Do you expect the A's to sign Max Stassi and Grant Green?
Green, yes. Stassi, maybe. I'd give Stassi the $1.25 million or $1.5 million he wants.
Jim, Can you give a quick scouting report on the prospects that Pittsburgh got for LaRoche?
It's Argenis Diaz and Hunter Strickland, right? Diaz is a slick fielder who's probably not going to hit enough to be an impact player in the majors. Strickland is a young righthander who locates his fastball well and is working on his secondary stuff. The Red Sox loved his makeup and he was a favorite sleeper prospect of some of their front-office officials.
Which recent catching draft pick has been more disappointing: Kyle Skipworth or Devin Mesoraco? Better bet to turn things around?
I think Skipworth has been the most disappointing, because he was more highly regarded and a higher pick. His bat was supposed to be a LOT better than this. I guess he's a better bet to turn it around than Mesoraco, but I don't have a lot of faith in either guy.
Based solely on his bat, how soon could Jesus Montero hold his own in the majors? What do you think his "slashline" would look like if he were promoted today?
He could probably hold his own in the majors offensively right now, hit around .250 with some power.
Who is a better prospect for the Reds: Drew Stubbs, or Drew Sutton?
What's your take on Marc Rzepczynski? His groundball strikeout rate in the minors was nothing short of incredible and he has looked good in his first three starts in the majors.
He doesn't have overpowering stuff, but he misses bats and induces groundballs. That's a good recipe for success. I could see him being a solid mid-rotation starter.
Joe Mauer is listed at 6-5/225. Jesus Montero is listed at roughly the same and will probably wind up weighing a bit more (I doubt he'll get any taller, if at all). How and why are there so many doubts about him "growing out of the position" if Mauer, whose value is sky-high because of his bat, can handle the position at roughly the same size?
It's not that Montero will grow out of the position. It's that he's not very athletic or agile, not a great receiver and has a slow release. Mauer is MUCH better than Montero in every aspect of catching.
Is Garrett Jones a late bloomer for simply a flash In the pan? 8 homers in 16 games is pretty impressive.
Can he be something in between? He has homered again this afternoon and has legitimate lefty power. He's also 28. There are a lot of decent hitters in Triple-A who don't get much of a shot or don't take advantage of it when they do. Jones is seizing this opportunity, and maybe he can have a Brian Daubach-like career.
Gordon Beckham is hitting .304/.371/.452 after starting just 2 for his first 24. He's going to be a multi-time allstar, right?
Yes. I also think he'll get a lot better defensively at third base, and the White Sox should consider moving him to short and use Alexei Ramirez to solve their center-field problem.
What should I expect from Carlos Torres spot start tonight for the White Sox? He's never listed as a prospect of note but his numbers the last two years have been impressive. Also, is Gordon Beckham AL ROY?
But he was in your 2009 Prospect Handbook, at No. 25 on your White Sox list. He works mainly with a low-90s fastball and a cutter, keeps the ball down. If Beckham keeps hitting like this from here on out--and he's talented enough to do it--he'll be the AOL ROY.
Jim are we going to hear harder talks about a real draft slotting system in the next CBA with trade pick options etc ?
I believe so. Draft talk has been table repeatedly in the past, but it could be the most important issue on the table (along with the signing of international players) in the next CBA talks. The union doesn't want to just sell out draftees, who aren't union members, but I wonder if the owners could agree to eliminate free-agent compensation as a carrot to get the union to agree to strict draft slotting.
Rumors recently that a Buchholz for Beckham trade was being discussed by Sox and Sox. Would Epstein do that? Would Williams?
I don't think either team would consider trading those young players.
Hey Jim,Does Neil Walker have the range to move to 2nd? He seems blocked at 3rd, and the Bucs really don't have any replacement for Sanchez. My understanding is that he's a good athlete and good glove at 3rd, but doesn't have the bat for it.
He might. That's worth a shot.
Do MLB teams hold off on announcing the signings of top picks until the last minute if they are signing them over slot in order not to make MLB angry and messing up the slot for other teams picks?
No. MLB holds off approving them in the fear that other agents/players will negotiate off those figures.
Tim Beckham or Starlin Castro?
What is your impression of Wieters so far in the majors? Nobody seems to talk about him anymore now that he is up.
That happens a lot, especially from the Baseball America perspective. He hasn't done much yet but I still think he'll be a superstar.
How does Alonso compare with Smoak?
For me, Alonso is a little more of a pure hitter, but Smoak is no slouch and has more power and plays better defense. I prefer Smoak.
Of the rookie starters pitching well this season - Romero, Anderson, Wells, Happ, Hanson, Porcello, etc. (not to mention Uehara and Kawakami) - which in your opinion are the best bets to have long-term success?
Brett Anderson, Tommy Hanson, Rick Porcello.
True or False: Buster Posey will be an All Star catcher in 2010
False. I'll say 2011.
How do you respond to this from Rob Neyer?You know I love "Baseball America," but they might be the worst offenders. When they write (in this book) that Minnesota's Kevin Mulvey "projects as a No. 4 starter," I honestly don't have any idea what that means. When they write that Philadelphia's Carlos Carrasco has "a ceiling of a No. 2 starter," I don't have any idea what that means. A No. 2 starter for the Phillies, as long as Cole Hamels is around? For the Nationals? For an "average" National League team? Here's a respectful suggestion: Just tell me what the guy can do and how well he might pitch, and let God sort out the rotation slots.
If Rob would look at pages 7-8 of his Prospect Handbook, he'd find our definition. And I think our book also does an excellent job of telling people what guys can do and how well they might pitch. On the subject in general, I think it makes a lot of sense to talk about how guys project (in an average to solid rotation), so you get an idea of what kind of prospects they are.
jim, in your opinion does replay belong in baseball other than to determine HR calls?
If it doesn't intrude on the game and slow it down too much, yes. Isn't the point to have the correct call made? But I don't want to see 3-4 replays adding 15 minutes to each game either.
Porcello or Kershaw in three years?
Tillman/Matusz or Baumgarter/Alderson?
Looks like I've shifted into lightning-round mode . . . Tillman/Matusz.
Lightning Round: Mike Leake or Zack Wheeler?
Assuming Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton live up to the hype, would you rather a 3-4-5 of Hanley-Morrison-Stanton or Utley-Werth-Howard?
Hanley-Morrison-Stanton. If everyone lives up to their potential, Werth is the weak link in those two threesomes.
For the future: Gallardo or Hanson?
For the future T.Beckham or G.Beckham?
Tim Beckham or Wilmer Flores?
Long term role for Feliz....power reliever or starting pitcher?
I think he winds up as a reliever.
Looks like my T.Beckham vs. Flores answer didn't make it. I'll take T.Beckham there.
As a Reliver (Parnell or Hughes)
Next 5 years: King Felix, Brett Anderson, Zack Greinke, Joba Chamberlain?
Yes or No...can I get Halladay w/o giving up Beckham?
Bottom line -- am I going anywhere?
I'm going to guess no. Doesn't seem like there's a blockbuster deal out there that's worth the Jays' while.
Freeman or any other first baseman in the minors?
Kyle Drabek or Jenry Mejia?
Can I play left field?
Not on a long-term basis.
If the playoffs started today with the current standings, what would the WS be?
Yankees vs. Phillies. They're the two best/hottest teams in each league right now.
Could I play the outfield?
I think you could be adequate to decent, yes. The Reds will have to look at that when Yonder Alonso is ready.
How many questions are submitted before and during each chat?
I had about 150 waiting for me today. We're up to about 950 overall.
Adam Jones or Jason Heyward?
Will Beane refuse to trade Holliday across the Bay?
Not if he thought there was a deal worth making.
Lind or Snider?
Erin Andrews or Jessica Alba?
Snider or Heyward?
Ynoa? Top 100 next year?
Not if he's not healthy enough to take the mound.
Chat software is locking up on me . . . I took Heyward over Snider a second ago.
Duke Snider, Willie Mays, or Mickey Mantle?
Odds that Moustakas has to move behind the plate for his bat to play?
His bat will play fine anywhere. Wilmington isn't an easy place to hit, and his year isn't as bad as you might think.
Put together a package that is fair to both the Phillies and Jays for Doc.
Michael Taylor, Jason Donald, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Knapp.
Matt Davidson or Mike Trout?
Alexei Ramirez and Poreda for Clay Bucholz? Who says no first?
Red Sox say no.
Trout or Grichuk?
In your opinion, should Shoeless Joe be in the HOF?
Just tried to pick Trout over Grichuk but my answer didn't make it . . . No on Shoeless Joe in Cooperstown.
That's it for this week. See you next Wednesday.