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Chat: Mark Anderson

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday May 30, 2013 1:30 PM ET chat session with Mark Anderson.


Mark talks prospects.

Mark Anderson: Alright folks, let's get this chat started! I'll be around for at least a couple of hours right out of the gate here and I will try to answer as many questions as I possibly can. Let's go!

Eddie Bajek (Jacksonville, FL): George Springer or sliced bread?

Mark Anderson: I don't hide the fact that I'm a bit of a Springer skeptic. I think he's going to be a find Major League player but I don't believe he is a star in waiting. I think the swing-and-miss will get in the way of the hit tool development, and ultimately the power fully translating to MLB game action.

Alex (Anaheim): Do you think Heathcott will hit for power at the major league level?

Mark Anderson: I do think he will have some power in the big leagues, but not a ton. I think you will see 10-15 home runs and a fair number of doubles. From a scouting perspective, I project him out for roughly average power long term.

alecdopp (Stevens Point, WI): Brewers RHP prospect Jimmy Nelson continues to impress in the double-A Southern League this season. What is his ceiling as a major league player? What does he have left to improve on while in the minors?

Mark Anderson: Nelson has been very impressive early on this year. I'm still not completely buying him as a starter because I don't think the delivery will allow for long-term command, but he is starting to convert me. If he can stick in the rotation, he can be an inning-eating #4 starter. If not, he looks like a quality setup guy. There's a lot of consistency that he needs to gain at the minor league level yet, meaning he probably isn't ready for prime time until sometime later next year.

Ken (Washington DC): Who is your favorite 2014 HS draft prospect as of now?

Mark Anderson: I'm partial to Tuiko Toussaint and Alex Jackson right now, but that situation is still very fluid with a lot of high school players (Bellinger, Sabino, Smith, Sheffield, Hockin, etc.) all very good prospects that could still rise up the rankings a bit.

Michael (SF): What's the latest on Kyle Crick?

Mark Anderson: The last I heard the oblique injury was still plaguing him, but it shoudln't be anything to be worried about long term.

Cal Guy (Cal): The jump from Hi-A to AA is said to be the toughest promotion for a prospect. How would you quantify the difficulty of the various jumps up the ladder. In other words, if Hi-A to AA is a "10" in difficulty, how do the other jumps rate?

Mark Anderson: The toughest promotion for any prospect is from any level to the Major Leagues. That should be your 10. High-A to Double-A is pretty close for me though, probably in the 8 range as that jump separates many of the pretend prospects from the real prospects. The jump from rookie ball to full-season ball is also very substantial. The differences in A-ball levels (short-season, Low-A, High-A) isn't in the same league as the other jumps as far as I'm concerned.

Fin (NY): Better future hitter: Dom Smith, Austin Meadows or Reese McGuire?

Mark Anderson: It's a tossup between Smith and Meadows for me. Both have the potential to be plus hitters.

Oscar (Atlanta): Seems to be some serious love out there right now for Kohl Stewart. Do you think he's top 5 worthy and who would you comp him to? Thanks for doing the chat. You need to do these more often.

Mark Anderson: It's my pleasure to do this, Oscar. Thanks for stopping by! I like Stewart quite a bit and I think he fits right on the edge of that Top 5 range in this draft. He has a ton of upside but comes with considerable risk because of his overall inexperience on the mound.

Kim (Westlake Village, CA): If NC State's Trea Turner was in next week's draft, where do you think he'd be worthy of going? THX!!!

Mark Anderson: Turner would fit in the top half of this draft pretty easily.

Wade (Dwight): Who will be drafted in the first round next week that should not be?

Mark Anderson: Marco Gonzales (LHP, Gonzaga) is a guy I just don't like in the first round. He's a nice prospect and all but touch and feel lefties don't excite me in the first round, even with a relatively weak draft class.

Pete (San Diego): Do you think Quackenbush should be called up?

Mark Anderson: It certainly couldn't hurt if the Padres were in need of a reliever, but given his long-term profile, I don't think calling him up is imperative for the organization. He's an interesting arm but not someone they shoudl be going out of their way to make room for.

Jay (Northridge): Have you ever seen hs ss Nick Gordon play? If so, what are your thoughts? Thank you very much.

Mark Anderson: I haven't seen him play live but I have heard lots of good things from scouts in that area. He's an athletic kid with very good instincts for the game and he's not short on tools either. He's going to be a high selection in next year's draft.

Bill (Houston): Mark, Should Clint Frazier be selected with the first pick? He seems like a guy that teams will be kicking themselves for passing on. Avoid standard pitcher risk and the top college hitters don't seem to have that "special" factor. Or am I way off? Thank you. Bill

Mark Anderson: I'm a pretty big Clint Frazier fan but even I don't think he should be the top pick next week. Both Appel and Gray will be ahead of him in my own draft rankings. I do rate Frazier as the top bat in the draft, ahead of Kris Bryant, though.

gtliles82 (Charlotte, NC): Say Porcello continues his recent run of decent pitching... does the likelihood he's traded go up or down?

Mark Anderson: Unless the Tigers are blown away by an offer, I don't see him being dealt this year. What they do beyond this year will be directly tied to how their season ends. If it ends with a World Series title, owner Mike Illitch may be satisfied and the club can start to make some moves to position the roster for sustained success. If they come up short again this year, Illitch (who wants a title before he goes) is going to want to forge ahead with the best roster he can to make another run and substantial moves other than acquisition may be tabled.

Jonathan (New York): Have you heard anything about Joey Gallo's defense at third base this year? Is a move to RF or 1B (or DH) a foregone conclusion?

Mark Anderson: I haven't heard a ton about his defense this year, but that's largely because the focus of any conversation involving Gallo tends to get stuck on his raw power and light-tower shots. The little bit I have heard has been mediocre at best. Personally, I don't think he stick at third base long term.

Mark (Emmitsburg): Has Nick Williams done enough to be considered a better prospect than Lewis Brinson?

Mark Anderson: I'm certainly not the Rangers expert among the BP Prospect Team, but it's pretty hard to argue with what he's done so far this year. Brinson may have a higher ceiling and louder all-around tools, but Williams appears to be a better baseball player at this point in their development.

mike mcd (ottawa): Hi Mark. To watch prospects playing well in AA at ages 20-22 must be like watching them grow up before your eyes. Enter as boys, leave as men. With this in mind I have questions about a few AA 3rd basemen. Malkiel Franco. Is his breakout 'real' and even more impressive given it is happening in the FSL?. Is Edward Salcedo starting to put it together as a glance at his numbers would seem to indicate? Thanks

Mark Anderson: I have always been a Maikel Franco apologist since I saw him as a teenager during Instructs several years ago. I think he has All-Star potential once it all comes together. For me, his breakout is very real and he's the best positional prospect in the Phillies system. With Salcedo, I have always liked the tools but I don't think they'll ever fully translate to the game. He's made some strides this year and it shows in the numbers, but he still has a long way to go before I consider it a true breakout.

Jonathan (New York): If you had to pick the career of either Didi Gregorius or Raul Mondesi going forward, which shortstop's future would you envision as brighter?

Mark Anderson: The easy answer is Gregorius because he is already achieving Major League success and Mondesi is quite a ways away. However, Mondesi is a pretty impressive talent that has a higher pure ceiling than Gregorius. I'm a sucker for raw ceiling, particularly raw ceiling paired with an exceptional feel for the game, so though it's a risky by I would be inclined to take Mondesi.

Frank (Boston): Who will be the AL's starting shortstop at the 2015 All-Star Game?

Mark Anderson: I'll take Manny Machado.

Dave (Virginia ): Who are the top impact pitchers for 2014. Wacha? And does giolito have a shot of starting for Nats next year?

Mark Anderson: Wacha could make an impact the rest of this year, let alone next year. If they don't get too much time this year, guys like Gausman and Cole will be impact rookie arms next year as well. I also think you're going to see impacts from guys like Taillon, Bradley, Skaggs and Walker.

Jonathan (New York): I know you're very high on Clint Frazier (http://baseballprospectnation.com/2013/04/26/scouting-report-clint-frazier-of/). I'm trying to get a handle on his talent and risk. Two questions: (1) is the swing-and-miss in his game just due to the aggressive approach, or does he have deficiencies with pitch recognition? And (2) how would you compare him to other high school outfielders in the past decade or so?

Mark Anderson: I do love Frazier. 1) A little of both. He has an extremely aggressive approach and swing, and his pitch recognition is still in development. He will always have some miss in his offensive game, but I think all the tools still play in the end. 2) Frazier is a really unique player that I don't think compares well to recent high school outfielders. His uniqueness is part of the reason he's not as high on some draft boards, because there is no easy comp for him or someone you can point to as having success with a similar overall profile.

Bill (New Mexico): It seems pretty generally accepted now that "best player available" is the way to go with the top draft choices rather than drafting for need. Can you think of organizational situations where that wouldn't be true, though? Big hole in the major-league roster that needs filling? Known difficulty in developing some particular skill set that the BPA has? Or should BPA override all those?

Mark Anderson: Because the vast majority of all MLB prospects are still at least 2-3 years from the big leauges at the time of the draft, I really struggle to see a situation where teams shouldn't go BPA at the top of the draft. Even the "fast movers" among a draft class can still take two years to reach the big leagues and at that point you have to believe the club has done something to fill that deficiency. I don't like the strategy of drafting for need in baseball; it just doesn't fit with the developmental models in place.

Michael Wacha (STL): Will I have a pitch limit in the 80 range when I start tonight, or will I be throwing around 100 pitches?

Mark Anderson: I would say that all depends how you're throwing. If you're shoving it, you might get a little longer leash. That said, I would expect the leash to be pretty short regardless.

cracker73 (Florida ): Is Brandon Morrow worth holding onto in a dynasty league? We can keep virtually our whole roster, indefinitely. But is he wortth taking up a roster spot?

Mark Anderson: I'm certainly not a fantasy guru but I can take a stab. Morrow remains an enigma. The stuff is legit and the command is completely the opposite. I wonder if he will ever put it together for more than a few starts at a time, and that makes him a risky fantasy play in my mind.

George (Tampa): How high is Max Fried's ceiling? Could he be a monster? Thanks for the chat!

Mark Anderson: My pleasure, George. Thanks for coming out and joining me! Fried has some crazy potential and could be a frontline starter when all is said and done. He's going to be cruising up prospect lists as this season goes along.

Jim (Detroit): I haven't heard much about Ross Stripling. What are your thoughts on him? Thanks!

Mark Anderson: Nothing about Stripling blows you away when you watch him pitch, but he's a quality arm. Solid-average fastball, decent secondary pitches, good control, more of a back-end starter projection.

Josh G (Stockton, CA): Edwin Escobar has reportedly been up to 96 this year. How good do you think he is?

Mark Anderson: Escobar is really making some strides this year and he has some potential as a #4 starter. The breaking ball is still lagging behind, which is a concern, but the fastball is Major League quality and the changeup should be at least average in the end.

gtliles82 (Charlotte): What do you make of Wacha's current PECOTA projection: 1.83 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 75 Ks in 96 IP?

Mark Anderson: I like PECOTA and Wacha, but I'm not buying that.

Chad (Florida): As a Tiger fan,nice to see Nick Castellanos's recent run.How is the conversion to LF going and do you ever see him moving back to 3B.Also,very encouraging to see Harold Castro's start in the FSL.Should I temper my enthusiasm and what do you see in Castro's future?

Mark Anderson: The transition to left field has been slow for Castellanos. He has spurts where he looks like he has figured things out and then follows that up with stretches where he looks pretty brutal out there still. Ultimately, I think he ends up an average outfielder and I don't think the Tigers have any intention of moving him back to third base. As for Castro, his success in High-A has been a very nice surprise. The kid can flat out hit the baseball. I would temper your enthusiasm a bit, as I'm still not cnvinced he will spend the rest of the year there. If he starts to struggle, he could head to the NYPL to get on a more standard developmental track. He's got some interesting tools aside from his hitting ability, with some gap power, decent speed and some projection with the glove. The second base only profile that he currently holds is a tough one to fulfill from the complex leagues all the way to the Majors, but he's going to be fun to follow.

Jarrod (Lake Forest, Ill): Arismendy Alcantara has been red hot lately, what can you tell me about him? what position do you think he'll play?

Mark Anderson: Alcantara is a very nice little player. He has some hitting ability with some line-drive punch and plus speed, giving him a well-rounded offensive profile. Defensively, he has the tools to play shortstop but I'm not sure he will settle into the position. I think he ends up at second base in the end.

Jason (Toronto): Hi Mark! I drafted Jackie Bradley Jr., Albert Almora, and Jorge Soler in my keeper league draft. Can I get excited about my future outfield? Thanks!

Mark Anderson: Absolutely, Jason. That's an impressive trio to have on your roster. Bradley and Almora are relatively low-risk guys and Soler offers arguably the highest ceiling but also the most risk. It's a group of quality players.

Bill (New Mexico): Thanks for the BPA answer; now a followup. I was really thinking more along the lines of my second case, where an organization seems unable to develop a particular skill set. Example: how long has it been since Seattle has developed a worthwhile catcher? Many years, unless your definition of "worthwhile" is odd enough to include Jeff Clement. Should that cause them to shy away from a toolsy but raw catcher with a top pick?

Mark Anderson: If there are two players that they value equally, then maybe, but if the catcher is easily the highest rated player on their board, then I would advocate they draft that player. If an organization consistently has trouble developing some type of player, then at some point you have to look at the developmental philosophy/personnel, rather than looking at the acquisition method.

Henry (San Francisco): Higher ceiling: Taijuan Walker or Archie Bradley? Thanks Mark!

Mark Anderson: That's almost a toss-up. Both players are exceptionally talented. I would give a slight edge to Walker but it just boils down to personal preference when you are trying to differentiate between these two pitchers.

JimBeau (Left Coast): So, Jose Ramirez (not HIM, the other one), started hot, faded some, but seems to have started hitting pretty well again and even went deep this week. Only 20 and in AA and at least seems to be holding his own. Have you seen him play? What's his scouting report look like? How do you see him going forward? Any comparables? Thanks.

Mark Anderson: I'm assuming you mean the Indians second base prospect. In that case, yes, I have seen him play and I've talked to plenty of scouts about him over the last few years. I'm not a big believer in Ramirez. He can hit a little bit but he lacks punch, is limited to second base defensively and just doesn't impress me. I think he's going to have a tough time becoming a Major Leaguer.

Chad (Florida): Thanks for the thoughts on Castellanos and Castro.I fear the day Miguel Sano reaches the show.Can you think of anything that might help calm my nerves,or is this guy going to be a monster?

Mark Anderson: Sano is going to be a classic power hitter. He's going to strike out plenty and mash when he doesn't. If you're a Tigers fan, you have every reason to be nervous...and you should be even more nervous about the arrival of Byron Buxton.

JimBeau (Left Coast): So, if Moran really goes 1-1, and the Twins stay on Stewart, which college guy falls to Cleveland? And do they take him? Or if the 4 college guys go 1-4, knowing Cleveland's seeming preference for the type, who would they take then: Shipley, Frazier, Stewart, Petersom, other?

Mark Anderson: I'm still not buying the 1-1 rumors involving Moran, but stranger things have happened. If he does go 1-1, I think Bryant has the best chance to fall to Cleveland, but the Cubs are a wild card in the 1-2 spot because there doesn't seem to be any industry consensus about whether they will go Bryant or whichever college pitcher lands in their lap.

If all four of the college guys come off the board 1-4, then I think you're looking at Peterson enters the mix and Frazier becomes a very real possibility if they can convince themselves to incur a little risk.

Tim (KC): Hey Mark what do you think of Avisail Garcia? I know he has plate discipline issues but any upside there? Little Miggy should learn from Big Miggy if you ask me. Thanks!

Mark Anderson: There is certainly upside there. The plate discipline is an issue in that it leads to more weak contact than you would like from a guy of his stature. However, he does have an impressive ability to get the barrel of the bat to the baseball, giving him a chance to hit for a decent average anyway. His hitting ability and defense have never really been questions. The question has always been how much of his raw power will ultimately translate to games. He can put on some impressive batting practice displays, but he has yet to unlock that in game situations, tending to suffice for mediocre contact instead of trying to unload and drive the ball. Overall, I think he can be a solid everyday guy, even though the raw tools suggest a fair bit more than that.

Mike (Springfield): Is there a next wave of Cardinals pitching prospects to look for now that practically all of the big name ones are already up?

Mark Anderson: Not sure its a wave as much as a trickle for a while. Tyrell Jenkins is the next highly-rated guy for me but even he's a couple of years out yet.

redguy12588 (Pittsburgh): Minus the Cardinals, does any team have the kind of prospect depth and talent that the Pirates have? Cole, Taillon, Glasnow, Heredia, and Kingham are all young high ceiling studs.

Mark Anderson: The Padres and Rangers both have a ton of talent on the farm as well.

smitty99 (Federal Way WA): What is your take on Jessie Biddle? I've read he has better velocity than when he started out which may move him closer to an ace type ceiling. But I've also read he is more of a number three type.

Mark Anderson: Biddle's profile maxes out in the #3 range for me. He's a nice prospect but he doesn't have frontline potential.

Mark Anderson: It's time for me to head home for the day which means this chat must come to an end. Thanks everyone for coming out and asking some great questions today. Hopefully I'll be back for another round again soon but in the meantime, feel free to hit me up with questions on Twitter at @ProspectMark! Have a great evening everyone!

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