Jason talks prospects, scouting, and Top 10 lists.
Jason Parks: I have a few hours for prospect questions. Dim the lights. Spark the candles. Get comfortable. It's love time.
Liam (Dallas): Best pitcher in baseball in 4 years: Kershaw, Darvish, Fernandez, Harvey or Giolito?
Jason Parks: Fernandez
msloftus (Virginia): Is 285/350/500 a reasonable line for X. Bogaerts' celing?
Jason Parks: Yes. It might be low. Scary potential.
Ben (Bryant Park): What does a guy have to do to grab a beer and chat with you in Brooklyn? #want confirmed; #rig will have to be a mystery
Jason Parks: BP is currently working on a NYC event for late January. Details coming soon.
padremurph (San Diego): Does any system have more pitching depth than the Padres?
Which Padres arm has the highest ceiling?
Jason Parks: They have a lot of depth, but there are other teams that can stand with them when it comes to pitching (the Jays, for example). The highest ceiling arm in that system is probably Fried; although you can't ignore the potential of Ross or Wisler, the latter possessing the highest floor of that trio.
padremurph (San Diego): What are your thoughts on Gosuke Katoh?
Jason Parks: It's a tough profile; a hit tool second baseman with below-average power. He will have to hit a ton, and despite an impressive debut, there are still a lot of questions about how his swing will play against better arms. I like him, but again, its not the easiest profile and the bat really has to develop into a plus tool for him to make it work.
Mike (Texas): Is being named the white sox top prospect equivalent to being named the least ugliest girl at the ugly fair?
Jason Parks: Ugly to some, acceptably attractive to others. To stay with the theme, the White Sox have several prospects with promising bpne structure. Give them a few years and they just might shake the wounds of adolescence and blossom into beauties.
Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Jason, Are there any elite speed prospects who hit well enough that you are confident they will be full time starters in the majors?
Jason Parks: Buxton is an elite speed prospect, so yes. Other than Buxton? Its thin. Terrance Gore is one of the fastest humans I've ever seen, and doubt he hits enough to be a full-time starter. Hamilton has the best chance of the speed-first types.
Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Jason, Who would you rather have, K. Bryant and his potentially elite power or G. Polanco and his potential 5 tools?
Jason Parks: I really like Polanco, and I see a potential first-division player. I think Bryant is going to have some swing and miss issues and struggle with contact, but he could hit 35+ bombs. I'll take that player.
Cal Guy (Cal): Jason, Did Rendon impress the Nats enough with his play at 2nd that he is the long term starter there?
Jason Parks: Because of his injury history and the physical demands of playing 2B, I'd rather see him playing 3B, a better position for his skill-set/physical capabilities.
David (Montreal): Where would you rate the Blue Jays farm system? Also, what is Anthony Gose's realistic role? Thanks.
Jason Parks: Jays list coming up next week at BP. I think Gose can be a major league regular; a frustrating player that flashes a lot more potential than he lives up to.
tjco1006 (Up n In Rehab Center): Better reports lately on Tirado or Alex Reyes? I know coming into this season you were quite high on Tirado. Still the case?
Jason Parks: Quite high on both. The reports have been excellent. Both are projectable with good now stuff. You have to dream on the secondary stuff and command, but the ceilings are high.
Tim (NYC): Will you now revise the Angels top 10 list after the Freese trade and loss of Grichuk?
Jason Parks: I would move everybody up and add a guy like Borenstein.
Jared (Plano): The Dodgers were aggressive with their full season assignment of Zach Bird. He struggled out of the gate but seemed to get better as the season went along finishing with a couple of pitcher of the week awards in August. Did he take a huge tumble in the prospect world and does he still wear the sleeper tag?
Jason Parks: The prospect world is fickle and prone to quick judgments, so any statistical setback can sour the public on a player. Developmentally speaking, I fully expect to see inconsistency from a young player, and I try to keep that in mind when forming evaluations. Did his stock slip? Probably a little. Is he still a sleeper? Yes, I think is. The process of development operates at different speeds for different players, and with a guy like Bird, you aren't going to see a big step forward until he finds more consistency in his delivery and improved secondary execution. At that point, yes, he can go from sleeper to serious prospect. He isn't there yet, but I think he has the profile to step forward in the next few seasons.
Gerard (Beaverton): Lee Hazlewood: what kind of grade would you hang on him as an entertainer? I would put an 80 on his mustache tool and an 80 on his turtleneck tool, but he doesn't seem to have the ceiling of someone like Prince. Also, can you think of any players comps for him besides a shirtless Dennis Eckersley?
Jason Parks: Nobody has the ceiling of Prince, so I wont knock a performer if they fail to achieve those heights. Hazelwood was a solid-average type; gives the smooth, velvety voice and some good songwriting, but he doesn't pack a huge punch. He's a hit tool second baseman. It's a good option but it lacks power.
Mark (KC): Do you think Mondesi will end up being as good as Lindor offensively? Defensively?
Jason Parks: Chance to be better offensively; highly unlikely to be a better defender than Lindor.
Kevin (Kansas City): Is a .315/.360/.485 slash line with 20+ HR and 20+ SB seem like a potential season for Albert Almora in his prime? Thanks for the chat Jason!
Jason Parks: I think Almora is going to be a very good major league player, but I don't see a .315 average (that's extremely impressive) and I don't see 20 SBs. He's a fringe-average runner at best, and even though he has a ton of instincts and run the bases well, I don't see 20 SBs at the highest level. 20 HR might be a stretch as well, although sources are mixed on his long term power potential. Personally, I see Almora as a .285+ bat with a good approach and 30+ doubles potential with some (10-15) HR potential all from a premium spot defensively. That's a first-division talent.
Tim (Montana): Just how good could Taijuan Walker be in his prime?
Jason Parks: He could be one of the better arms in baseball, a top of the rotation force.
Greg (Utah): Jason, how high are you on Jorge Soler and his ceiling? Seems like if he puts it all together it could be star gazing.
Jason Parks: I think he has elite strength and the potential to hit 30 bombs at the major league level, but I do worry about his adjustment ability and overall feel for the game. I think he has the type of profile where the tools play down a bit, making him a solid-avg type rather than an all-star level player. Still a big time prospect because of the power potential, but I don't see a star.
Julio Urias (LA): Just how good could I be if I reach my ceiling?
Jason Parks: I'm not even sure we know what your ceiling is yet, to be honest. That's not to say its so high that I can't bring myself to envision such heights; rather, you are so young and the exposure is so limited that its still very cloudy at the top. Maybe a number two starter? Maybe a one? The talent is precocious, but how much better does it get?
Nick (My Couch): Tyler Glasnow or Jesse Biddle? Is it close?
Jason Parks: Glasnow. Nope.
Fred (Detroit): Other than the top talents from the most recent draft class, who has jumped up prospect boards after their first season of pro ball? Phil Ervin? Ryan McMahon? Billy McKinney?
Jason Parks: Those are nice choices, but don't forget guys like Hunter Harvey, Shipley, Kaminsky.
Vince (San Fran): Who is your favorite Giant prospect to watch?
Jason Parks: Adalberto Mejia
casejud (Bothell, Washington): Do you have sense of what your strengths and weaknesses are as a prospect evaluator JP? I am not saying you even HAVE any weaknesses either, I am just asking. This interests me.
I make a prospect list every year and, the ballplayers I miss the most on are usually players that I haven't got a chance to SEE a lot of, and I relied upon other eyes to make my evaluation, or relied too much on a small amount of video. It is almost like these players were abstractions.
Do you feel stronger, or more kinship even, with ballplayers you have seen more often on the backfields in ST, or during the minor league season? Or, do you just trust your instincts, your sources, and not worry about any kind of bias.
Jason Parks: I think watching players in person is the most important part of the evaluation process. I feel confident in my abilities to identify what talent is and what it could be, but its an art not a science. We all view players through a subjective lens, but the more talent you watch, the sharper and more refined that lens becomes. I have sources with every team, from the amateur side to pro to Latin American, and I value the opinions of those that have more experience than I do or a sharper/more refined eye for talent. But if I didn't have feel for scouting--feel that can mature under the right guidance, exposure, experience, etc--I could talk to every scout in baseball and not really understand the reports I'm propagating.
Let's say I call a team and they feed me a bunch of horseshit about a player. Do I just believe them because its coming from a team source? Way too many people in the online prospect industry just vomit up team sourced information without running it through the context filter that is established when you actually watch the players you write about. The best evaluators are information whores. But if eyewitness accounts don't form a healthy percentage of that information cache, your product is at the mercy of the opinions of others. If you attach your name to something, you can't run and hide behind a source when things go to shit--"Well, a scout told me he would be awesome. I'm just passing that along." It makes it much easier to stand by your work, attach your name to a product, and stand up and face the outcome (good or bad) if you first put eyes on the player and trust your ability to make an evaluation. Too many people in this industry are on a mission to be "right." Its not about being right or wrong. It's hard to script human development. I care more about the overall process and if I can learn from both my hits and my misses. I'll proudly wear both outcomes.
suterhawk (North Dakota): How many Twins make your top 100?
Jason Parks: Could sneak as many as eight in the top 101. I haven't constructed the complete list yet.
Connor (New England): True or False: you'd dump your gf if Verducci would date you/lift the restraining order?
Jason Parks: False. I've moved on.
Josh (Port Charles): Post-TJS, do you think Harvey can be that brilliant again? Can Bundy flash the same dominance? Can Giolito reach such a cathedral ceiling? Or does TJS dampen moods on such futures?
Jason Parks: I like the futures of all three players you mentioned. TJ isn't a sinus infection, but with work ethic, modern medicine allows for so much in terms of recovery. I feel confident in all three players.
Sara (Tacoma): Higher ceiling/floor between Noah Syndergaard and Robert Stephenson, ETA irrelevant?
Jason Parks: Both have number two type ceilings (which is crazy high); Syndergaard with the higher floor right now; ETA for Noah is late 2014; Stephenson the following season.
tjco1006 (Ky): Your tweet on Francisco Mejia was very interesting. What type of power potential are you hearing? Obviously a long shot dream being so far away. But you sounded like a beleiver.
Jason Parks: Plus power potential. The bat speed is very legit; natural from both sides of the plate; good bat-to-ball; will need to refine (obviously) but its a very good package when you factor in his near-elite arm from behind the plate.
AJ (Phoenix): Settle a debate: Roadhouse Swayze or Point Break Swayze?
Jason Parks: Roadhouse, but I celebrate his entire catalog.
Wes (The Office): Am I way in over my head thinking that Nick Williams could be something really special in the MLB someday?
Jason Parks: He has the potential to have a special hit tool, no doubt. He lacks skills at this point, and his overall feel for the game is very suspect. But you could put a blindfold on this kid and he would still be able to put his barrel on velocity. He has something you can't teach. You might be able to coerce a grade jump on his glove, improve his reads and routes, teach him how to run the bases better, but you can't teach that natural ability to put the bat on the baseball. Williams has that. It buys him a lot of potential and developmental patience.
Kyle Crick (San Francisco): Just how good could I be if I refined my control?
Jason Parks: Frontline arm. Not sure you can refine enough to make it work, but its possible. I see a late-innings role at the end of the developmental day, but its far from over.
ZuoBing (NTU): After Reading your Twins Top 10 prospects, I just wanted to ask why you wrote Kohl Stewart about "more polish than projection" as a weakness. Thanks!
Jason Parks: Because unlike most HS arms, Stewart doesn't give you as much to dream on. He has a lot more now stuff than most arms his age, but how much better is it going to get? It's not a knock as much as its a reality.
Kevin Goldstein (Houston): Hello, Jason. I think you are wrong because Houston Astros has the best farm system. You overrate Buxton's stock and underrate Correa's stock. Buxton sucks, he is not good. OK?
Jason Parks: I'm surprised you didn't tweet this first.
Freddie Gonzalez (Cobb County ): Now that McCann is gone, does Bethancourt have the bat to succeed at the highest level? Or is it going to be all defense with him?
Jason Parks: I don't believe in his bat. Love the defensive tools, but I don't see more than a backup at the highest level. I might be low on him.
Phil Gunther (Unemployment office ): Does Billy Hamilton still have time to improve his hit tool and become the best leadoff man in the league? Is 80 steals a realistic possibility ?
Jason Parks: He has time, but I don't think he has the bat to jump a full-grade. With his speed, he just needs to put the ball in play to impact a game. He should be able to do that. Will he be a great hitter? No. His approach needs a lot of work if he is to develop into a true leadoff type.
Llewellyn (Portland): Has Jameson Taillon's ceiling/floor changed at all based on his somewhat down 2013?
Jason Parks: His ceiling has fallen for some. Again, the developmental process ebbs and flows, and as a player moves through this machine, its quite common (and likely) to see their once lofty ceiling shrink in the reality of the process. Taillon doesn't look like a future number one starter, but its a rare outcome to draft a HS arm, develop him through the system, and see him emerge in the upper minors with that ceiling still intact. Reality is a bitch. He's probably closer to a number three. That's still a very acceptable outcome.
Matt (Omaha): Is this the off-season David Price gets traded, or is July a more likely timeframe?
Jason Parks: I think he gets moved this off-season.
mike (utica): With mccann signed by the yankees does this suggest the future of gary sanchez is bleak in ny?
Jason Parks: I never thought his future was rosy in New York to begin with, especially as a catcher.
mike (utica): Is giolito the only arm in the minors that has an 8 ceiling?
Jason Parks: For me, yes. Giolito will be the only arm I throw an 8 future projection on. The risk is higher than most, but the ceiling is frontline.
Paul (DC): Is it closer to a 10% or a 50% chance that Addison Russell gets a cup of coffee in Oakland next year?
Jason Parks: I think he plays in Oakland in 2014, quite possibly before September
Kyle (Ottawa, ON): After watching Noah Syndergaard blossom into one of the best pitching prospects in baseball, could the Blue Jays actually be stupid enough to consider sending Aaron Sanchez or Marcus Stroman to Chicago for two years of Jeff Sarmfhugjhkhjiza?
Jason Parks: I hope that doesn't happen. It seems a bit reckless to me. For what its worth, I would take Stroman over Sanchez.
Jason (Baltimore): Do you have a good comp for Hunter Harvey? What kind of ceiling are we looking at here?
Jason Parks: Could be a number two type if everything clicks. Chris Mellen loves the kid. We are going to blow him up in the rankings this year.
thrillho (minneapolis): The Twins are reportedly interested in Saltalamacchia. I'd personally like to see that money spent on pitching (and more pitching). It seems like Josmil Pinto would be a solid option, especially for a team that's still in a rebuild mode. Am I missing something?
Jason Parks: With Pinto on the scene, I don't see any reason to pursue Salty.
David (Seattle): I know he's not the sexiest prospect, but does Stefen Romero's hot AFL and the possibility of playing time in the outfield make him a potential sleeper?
Jason Parks: No. I don't see a major league regular. He's a 4 for me.
Max (Springfield): Randal Grichuk:
1. How many Randal Grichuk questions do you expect to get?
2. Is he even worth someone talking about?
Jason Parks: I've received a lot. He will play in the majors, most likely developing into a below-average major league regular. He can beat your mistakes and can handle a corner spot, so he's not without value. It's just not anything to get worked up about.
DrFadde (illinois): How do you evaluate pitch recognition ability apart from usual batting stats?
Jason Parks: I watch them at the plate, paying attention to how they trigger the bat (reading the ball and reacting). After a while, you can start to tell which players are late, why they are late, if its a product of bad mechanics or just a slow reaction.
rmunter (Washington DC): Fill in the blank: Giants group of minor league arms (Crick, Escobar, Mejia, Blach, Blackburn, Stratton, Flores, Agosta, Gregorio, Mella) ultimately produces _____ major league starters?
Jason Parks: four
TulaneCubs (Chicago): How many industrial sized bottles of lotion will you need when you do the Cubs' system rankings if they trade Samardzija for a package of, say, Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman and DJ Davis?
Would a deal like that move their system ahead of the Twins? What do you think about Sanchez and Stroman?
Jason Parks: That's not a realistic package for David Price, much less for Shark.
higgsboson (Guelph): Top 10 SB leaders for 2014?
Jason Parks: I'd rather watch Japhet Amador take a bubble bath than answer questions like this.
Scott7015 (Houston): Is Fringe-Average dead or are you guys just showing a Hall of Fame level of slack?
Jason Parks: Coming back in December
Sara (Dallas): Now that Jason Cole is gone who is your right-hand man now when it comes to prospects?
Jason Parks: We have a very strong team on the prospect side, and new hires will be announced soon. Stay tuned.
labambasaurus (who cares): "Best pitcher in baseball in 4 years" question was a good one. who would you have said would be the best pitcher in baseball today, 4 years ago?
Jason Parks: Kershaw. #Texas
richardkr34 (Saint Paul, MN): Does Gonsalves have much projection left? I heard that he's thin, but I also read somewhere that his frame isn't conducive for projection...
Jason Parks: He's a big kid, but I think the projection comes from a better delivery and better utility of his long levers. He's been an inconsistent arm, working in the mid-upper 80s at times. But he will also show you 92+ when he stays in his delivery and finishes, so you project more consistency in that regard.
terencem (Atlanta): The Phillies hurt a lot of people's feelings in the past with their complete lack of faith in Dom Brown. Is there any organization at the MLB level that you feel doesn't give its young players enough opportunities? Any orgs that you feel give their players too many opportunities?
Jason Parks: I think it depends on the climate at the major league level. A team like the Yankees won't give a young player the same kind of time that a team like the Royals can.
Ben (Norfolk): Are you hiring new members to join the BP prospect team now that you lost Mort and Cole?
Jason Parks: Already hired several new writers. Announcing them next week.
Back in a few minutes. I need to make a call about the Indians system.
cracker73 (Florida): Who is the better catching prospect between Jorge Alfaro and Gary Sanchez? And which one has the greater offensive upside?
Jason Parks: Alfaro. Not close.
Brian (Cincy ): Yankees now have a backload of catchers with JR Murphy, Austin Romine, Cervelli, and Gary Sanchez. Who are you trading for assuming you need a catcher
Jason Parks: I'd call another team.
TPX2 (Taiwan): Austin Hedges or Jorge Alfaro?
Jason Parks: Alfaro has the highest ceiling. But if I'm starting a team, I'm taking Hedges.
Dave (Pittsburgh): Love your podcasts, can't wait for them to start up again. Do you think Glasnow actualizes as a bullpen arm or a mid-rotation starter?
Jason Parks: Thanks. Mid-rotation.
Tim (NYC): Are you a curveball guy or a slider guy?
Jason Parks: I love a good hammer curve
Gavin (NYC): Stretch to say Noah Syndeergaard is a top 10 prospect in baseball?
Jason Parks: No. He's in the top ten mix.
Big Tex (San Antoine): Who do you prefer out of two young foreign arms in Julio Urias and Lewis Thorpe? Both quick movers or more so the first than the second?
Jason Parks: Urias. Even more advanced.
Brandon (Dallas): In three years the Rangers infield looks like??
Jason Parks: Gallo, Profar, Odor, Prince
Brian (Brooklyn): More #rig - Prince or David Bowie?
Jason Parks: Prince. He has the most #rig.
Chris (Phoenix): Love the chats. Can you think of a prospect that had an elite bat but was so bad everywhere else that it derailed any promise that he could have had?
Jason Parks: Elite bats usually have a way of making it work, despite shortcomings elsewhere.
Scott7015 (Houston): Does Akeem Bostick have a starter's profile or is it to early to project? What has he shown since draft that was unexpected?
Jason Parks: He profiles as a starter. Its raw, but as mentioned in the On the Rise section of the Rangers list, Bostick is the type of highly projectable arm that could put it together and develop into a monster prospect.
Martin Kove (Hot Stove): I feel you neglect me.
Jason Parks: I've been very busy lately. I miss your reviews.
Scott7015 (Houston): Did Rangers acquire enough talent at J2 this year to be worth the penalty this year?
Jason Parks: I'm not sure yet. I like the crop. Hard to say if it was worth it yet.
Chris (Phoenix): When Jose Fernandez was drafted and came through the minors,there was a concern about his body type. After watching him pitch in the majors last year, he didn't look overly large. Did he trim down or grow taller? And does those concerns still exist?
Jason Parks: He had a thicker build and there were some concerns about how it might look years down the line, but I don't recall it being a big issue.
Scott (Lincolnshire): Jeimer Candelario of Cubs: Top 100 potential?
Jason Parks: Not this year
Chase (California): Looks like the Padres and Pirates just struck a deal. Jaff Decker and Miles Mikolas to the Pirates for first baseman/outfielder Alex Dickerson. Have any hot takes on the swap or the players?
Jason Parks: It doesn't do anything for me on any level.
Kyle (Canada): Regarding your Blue Jays comment, I'm guessing you have upwards of seven pitchers in mind for their top 10? (Sanchez, Stroman, Osuna, Nolin, Tirado, Norris, DeJong)
Jason Parks: Yeah, that looks right.
Rich (Evanston): Is Clint Frazier an elite, possible top 10 prospect, or the best of a mediocre draft?
Jason Parks: I think this year's HS class is stronger, but I think its premature to discount the 2013 draft class. There are a lot of really strong players in that class. As for Frazier, I think he's a very, very good prospect; possibly a top 25 type. I don't think he's a top 10 guy yet, but he has the tools to get that high.
The Dude (Work): Who are some of your favorite new bands?
Jason Parks: The Beatles are my favorite band, but I also enjoy the Beach Boys, Zappa, Ween, John Frusciante, the Frogs, ELO, Blur, and Super Furry Animals a lot.
Matt (Chicago): Guessing you were a big fan of Kevin's Brown combination of #want and #rig. I think people forget how dominant he was in the mid to late '90s. Was that sinker a 70-grade pitch?
Jason Parks: It might have been an 80. The scale only works when 80s exist. If its elite, call it elite.
Liam (Dallas): Would you still take Frazier over Meadows?
Jason Parks: Yes. All day long. All night strong.
David (Detroit ): Why didn't micker Zapata make your white sox top 10
Jason Parks: Because the system is better than people might realize.
Wesley (Utah): Who were you more wrong on? Jeff Clement, Brandon Wood, Andy LaRoche, or Erik Hurley?
Jason Parks: I wasn't really on the national level then, so none of the above. I was really wrong on former Rangers prospect Michael Main. I loved his combination of athleticism and stuff. Back in 2008, I saw him sitting 92-95 with a low-80s hammer. He was a monster. I saw a frontline starter type, and at the time, I thought he had the type of makeup to get there. But he got sick (mono or something similar), lost a lot of muscle and added bad weight, lost some of his athleticism and ability to repeat, seemed to lose the work ethic that previous defined him, and eventually gave up the mound and returned to bat. Its a case of being wrong about the outcome but I still feel confident in why I made the projection in the first place. I liked the process. It just didn't happen.
Mike (Chicago): Do you think Starlin Castro will rebound to his previous level as a hitter?
Jason Parks: If he's allowed to return to the type of player he is and not the type of player they seem to want him to be. He's an aggressive, reactionary hitter. That's who he is.
Richard (St. Louis ): Are you always comfortable with being as public as you are now? Or would you rather de back in the baseball depths
Jason Parks: I'd rather be in the depths, but I accept my current role and what comes along with it.
Jerry (Indiana): Why didn't Eric Stamets get talked about in the Angels top 10? Can he not hit?
Jason Parks: He can hit a little, but doesn't project to be a major league regular. Utility at best for me.
Matt (Gabriels, NY): Dom Smith - can you envision a breakout in '14?
Jason Parks: The kid can hit. I really dislike the body, but it doesn't matter. He can hit. Yes. He's ready to step forward.
General (West Point): We get into world war 3 and you have to enlist, which branch of the service do you choose? Army, navy, national guard, marines, coast guard, or do you ditch and go to Switzerland instead.
Jason Parks: Mariners. Go big or go home.
Neil H. (Pittsburgh): is Pirates OF prospect Josh Bell primed for a breakout season in 2014? Is he a top 100 candidate?
Jason Parks: I think he's getting better, and that could lead to a breakout. He will be in the top 101 discussion, but I'm not that far along yet.
Bob (New York ): With pedroia at 2b where does Betts project to play and what type of player can we expect?
Jason Parks: He could develop into a solid-avg major league player or perhaps a utility option. He's not ready yet, so it doesn't matter. But I don't see a clear path for him in Boston, so perhaps a very good trade chip in the next few years.
Dan (Idaho ): Kolten Wong - the next Dustin Pedroia, or the next Fernando Vina (I'm not implying PEDs, FWIW)? Much thanks.
Jason Parks: Closer to Vina
Robocles (Allston, MA): Are there any fun games you can play with a radar gun?
Jason Parks: Not really, and I've tried.
LGBT (Evanston, Il): The choice is yours. Would you trade two Role 7 prospects for one Role 8? (health, positional need, and the such all being equal).
Jason Parks: No. Give me two 7s over an 8
Justin (Chicago, IL): If you were Rick Hahn would you trade Chris Sale?
Jason Parks: It's easy for me to say, but I don't see the talent to compete at the major league level, and I'd rather move Sale a few years too early than a few years too late. I'd move him for near major league ready talent with impact potential.
Rich (Evanston): Higher Upside- Sonny Gray or pre-injury Brett Anderson?
Jason Parks: Anderson.
Dougie Fresh (Steamboat): What do you make of Devin Williams? I know Jason Cole loves his projectability and the recent refinements he has made. Realistic shot at topping the Brewers prospect list in a year or two?
Jason Parks: I might be able to top the Brewers prospect list in a year or two. But in all seriousness, the reports have been good. Long way to go, both in terms of command and secondary stuff, but he's a good prospect in a bad system.
Jim (Toronto): Is Stroman ready to pitch at the back of the Jays rotation come April?
Jason Parks: Yes. He was probably ready last season.
Frank (Houston): Despite his amazing 2013, I read recently that George Springer might start 2014 in AAA. Would the Astros really do that to their fans to save some money?
Jason Parks: Probably.
Sockmonkey (Baltimore): The Orioles farm system had a rough year, huh? Is there anything that's better in Baltimore's propsect ecosystem today than it was in March?
Jason Parks: Hunter Harvey
Matt (Chicago): Was Steve McQueen a rare,three 80-grade talent: want, rig, and , paradoxically, slack?
Jason Parks: He's a personal favorite
MarvinFerrin (Slackville): Which 2013 draftee not picked in the top 10 would you want for the future?
Jason Parks: Marco Gonzales or Hunter Harvey
Chris (Phoenix): I keep hearing makeup issues about Deshields. BA mentioned a low energy approach but what does that really mean? He showed an ability to learn and has some skills. What can be so bad about the makeup that will ruin the tools?
Jason Parks: I mentioned his makeup/low energy approach in the Astros writeup. It means he doesn't show a lot of effort on the field, and it most certainly affects his his overall game. If you scout the stat sheet, he looks like a high-end prospect, and some people will rank him high as a result. But the makeup concerns don't inspire a lot of confidence in his ability to fail and recover as he continues up the baseball ladder, and adjustments and responses to failure are what define players at the highest level.
Biscuits (San Jose State): I noticed BP gave SS Tim Anderson a "6+ Raw" in the White Sox's Top 10 Prospect Report. Can you elaborate on why that is?
Jason Parks: He can hit baseballs a long way; 6+ raw power.
Shawn (Cubcile): I think Man City just scored again
Jason Parks: This hurts. #COYS
andy (denver): What kind of potential are Rockies fans looking at in 2015 with a potential Gray-Butler duo?
Jason Parks: Promising. I wouldn't be surprised if Butler finds a way to break camp with the Rockies in 2014.
Shawnykid23 (CT): Ignoring injury risk and proximity to minors,does Lucas Giolito have the highest ceiling of any pitcher in the minors?
Jason Parks: Yes. No doubt.
ddivi23 (Chicago): Are there any Cub prospects that you think are underated?
Jason Parks: According to most Cubs fans, every prospect in their farm is underrated.
jpaternostro (CT): Just how valuable is a young, cheap, non-star shortstop like, say, Chris Owings? It seems like the market for shortstops is getting a bit crazy.
Jason Parks: Extremely valuable. Hell of a player.
Rockit (Bartlett): Of the big 4 Cub prospects who do you see under proforming is projection?
Jason Parks: Soler.
Shawnykid23 (CT): Will you be in New Britain at all this summer? They will have a fun team to watch.
Jason Parks: Absolutely. I'll make several trips to new Britain in 2014.
Paul (Vegas): A scout friend of mine recently told me he never predicts a two-grade jump for a players tools or pitches. Is he wrong for doing this?
Jason Parks: No. Some orgs will send reports back if you suggest a two-grade jump. I completely understand that line of thinking. It's not always applicable to what we do because there isn't any chance that we [Baseball Prospectus] acquire the talent we are writing about. We can be more liberal.
Liam (Dallas): Following up on your answer re: Bundy, do you think his future is limited by Duquette's insistence on taking away his best pitch (the cutter)?
Jason Parks: I fully expect Bundy to have a cutter at the major league level.
TPX2 (Taiwan): What is your expectations for Marcos Diplan?
Jason Parks: He has very good stuff from a smaller package. He can bring it. I expect him to find success in short-season ball right away.
Rob (DC): Related to the TJS question: Do you think that, generally speaking, shoulder/rotator cuff injuries are a bigger red flag than UCL injuries in terms of a pitcher's ability to make a comeback?
Jason Parks: Yes. Most definitely. Shoulders scare me.
Todd (MN): In the early days of Up and In it seemed as though your goal was to move into scouting for an MLB org. Has that changed after taking on way more responsibility at BP?
Jason Parks: Yes and no. I really love my job, I love getting to talk to every team in baseball, getting to work with a talented staff, getting to watch the prospects I want to watch (big game hunting), and getting to influence 30 teams and not one. That said, I've had offers and I really considered it this year, but decided to stay and continue to build the BP prospect coverage into something I can be proud of. I'm not looking to jump anytime soon. I really like this gig and I think we can develop the coverage into the best found outside of the industry.
Ghost of Cole and Mort (Texas/Jersey): Miss you!
Jason Parks: Miss you guys.
Shawn (Cubicle): Are scouts usually sitting behind the plate at a minor league game? In your experience are they generally approachable by idiots like me?
Jason Parks: Yes and yes. But when it comes to the latter, just be mindful that scouts are at work when they are at games. They have a job to do, and even though most of the scouts I know are affable and responsive to communication, they also have a job to do and that job requires them to focus on the action on the field. If you approach in between innings you will have a better chance of striking up a conversation.
Chris (Phoenix): Why are teams rewarding PED use with big contracts?
Jason Parks: Because production is all that matters. Do you really care if a player has PEDs on their resume?
dw (New York): Seems like most people have Lucas Sims ahead of J.R. Graham as Braves pitching prospects go. Are you with them? Is it close?
Jason Parks: At this point, I'd rank Sims above Graham, but I'm still high on Graham. He should be healthy in 2014.
jpaternostro (CT): On Dom Smith, is there something in the physique? Or is it just the lack of a track record for short first baseman not built like Bagwell or Prince?
Jason Parks: His body is very soft. It only concerns me because he's very young and it makes me question his approach. I really like the bat--and the player himself--but it concerns me to see an 18-year-old that already has a high-maintenance body.
Scott (Lincolnshire): When does the top 101 process officially kick off?
Jason Parks: We are working on it now for the BP annual.
richardkr34 (Saint Paul, MN): Wade Garrett or Dalton?
Jason Parks: Garrett
Baseball Recruiter (US): Are you more interested in working for a Major League team or writing a novel about pork?
Jason Parks: Tough call.
Tony (Work): Are you influenced by scouting reports on a player before you see them play? Are you more likely to rate a guy closer to what you've already heard about him or do you make a point to be as independent as possible when handing out grades?
Jason Parks: Information will influence the process, whether it comes from a report or a source. You always carry that with you. As a result, it might create artificial parameters when you go to grade the player. But its also important to do your job and then pool together all the information to form the best evaluation you can.
richardkr34 (Saint Paul, MN): Chances that John Lamb approaches his old velo pre-TJS?
Jason Parks: I'm not a believer.
Ian (NYC): What is the best part about your BP job?
Jason Parks: Access. Access to games, information, etc.
Chris (Phoenix): Thanks for the marathon chat and answering all my questions.
What kind of WAR will we be seeing in their prime between Polanco and Taveras?
Jason Parks: Taveras has the potential to put up a very high GWAR, whereas Polanco doesn't project to look as good in a monster costume.
Matt Trueblood (Minnesota): Do teams worry too much about draft picks lost when signing premium free agents?
Jason Parks: Perhaps they don't worry enough about it.
Bob (Seattle): I think it was you that said that you were absolutely convinced Braun was a 'roider before he admitted it. What were the signs that made you so confident?
Jason Parks: He went to Miami.
Colin (Chicago): Cubs hiring Brandon Hyde as bench coach was kinda great, right? Also, who is Matt Dorey?
Jason Parks: Matt Dorey is one of the sharpest scouting minds in the game. He's a friend, but beyond that, he can fucking scout.
The Dude (Work): If Byron Buxton were a free agent tomorrow what kind of contract would you offer him?
Jason Parks: This is a great question, one I would like to spin into something more substantial after the prospect season is over. If you think Buxton is a role 6 guy as a floor, and quite possibly a role 8 if absolutely everything clicks, would a ten year deal be out of the question? Offer ten years and $100M? I really have no idea. But I think the team wins that deal with those specifics. Great question, mang.
Jason Parks: Apologies for a shorter chat--hundreds of questions left in the queue. But I need to get back into the Indians system and get those reports finalized. Great #want today. As usual, I really appreciate the response. Enjoy the holiday.