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Chat: Ronit Shah

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday March 21, 2014 2:00 PM ET chat session with Ronit Shah.


Talk prospects with Ronit before he heads to the park to see Long Beach State play Cal State Fullerton.

Ronit Shah: Got your March Madness right here. Let us chat.

David (Indiana): What do you think about Justin Nicolino. Personally, I like him, but not sold on him yet.

Ronit Shah: I'm not sold on him either to be an impact player. There's things to like, but the overall package doesn't overwhelm me.

Kevin Brown (NY): Waffles or Pancakes?

Ronit Shah: I prefer the texture of pancakes, so I will go with pancakes.

Joel Embiid (Hospital (Broken back)): royals making a playoff run this year?

Ronit Shah: I don't have the onions to pick them as division winners, and I don't know who does. However, this year seems like their best shot in a long time at winning a wild card spot. I say yes.

Silverback38 (VA): I hear Vaughan Bryan and Jose Martinez are great? Are their fans biased with their endless love or is it for real?

Ronit Shah: Bryan is in the 1% of athletes. He may never put it together, but who is betting against the Cardinals player development? It is absolutely remarkable how the Cardinals find these talents then develop them.

AB (College): Is there a cheaper, legitimate (scout-approved) radar gun option out there?

Ronit Shah: Yes. It's free, actually. Just peak over at other scouts' radar guns. I don't own one.

Max (not the gym): Best workout for your traps??? Mine look like a 12 year old anorexic girl's

Ronit Shah: Military shoulder press. It's fantastic.

Chris (a couch ): Any thoughts on Brady Aiken? Been hearing some good things about him.

Ronit Shah: Any thoughts? I have too many. Could write at least 1,000 words on his last start. Good things is an understatement. Aiken is the top talent in the draft, in my opinion.

Rob (Baltimore): Brady Aiken has been blowing up lately specifically Keith Law stated that he could be in contention for being picked #1 in this years draft. Have you seen him or heard anything about him?

Ronit Shah: I was sitting next to Keith at Aiken's last start. To say there was tons of heat there is an understatement, nonetheless, there was tons of heat there. I'll be writing about Aiken for the draft ten pack, and will be including that I strongly believe he should be the #1 overall pick. I don't think the Astros will take him, but whichever team he falls to will and should be doing back flips.

Roy Hobbs (Buffalo): What players in this years draft crop do see you anticipate making a big splash and factoring in to next years top 101, or at least close? Thanks

Ronit Shah: You'd have to figure more 2014 draftees will be included if more prospects within the top 101 graduate to the big league level. I'll be making the case for Brady Aiken. Carlos Rodon could be ranked pretty highly.

Ace Black (PA): Francisco Lindor definitely starts the season at Double-A right? The answer determines if I get to go watch the plus-plus defender or not...

Ronit Shah: Sounds like it. I haven't seen the official word, though.

Ace Black (PA): Lindor Question #2: Why haven't the Indians traded Asdrubal Cabrera yet?

Ronit Shah: Because, as you just said, Francisco Lindor will likely be starting the season in Double-A.

Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Ronit, Who has the higher ceiling and what are their ETA's- Frazier and Dahl?

Ronit Shah: Both are just getting started in pro ball, so it's hard to nail down an ETA, but I'll say 2016. Even though we ranked Clint Frazier higher on the top 101, give me David Dahl. The guy is a toolbox.

Vic (Baltimore): If I'm looking for a minor leaguer to produce from 2014-2018 and I can only choose one.....do I go for Polanco, Bryant, Franco, or Correa?....others like Russell and Buxton are already taken.

Ronit Shah: I'd cross of Correa given your window. It's between Polanco and Bryant for me, and I'd take Polanco.

Jose (PA): Thanks for the chat. Have you seen Aiken pitch? What are your thoughts on him and how he fits into the top of this draft class?

Ronit Shah: Saw his last start. 1.1 candidate that shouldn't be getting out of the top 5. The present tools are amazing, but you can still project some given his athleticism, feel for pitching, and age. He's one of the youngest prospects in the draft. They don't make 'em like this.

Jose (PA): Do you have intentions of getting to Rancho to see Urias early this season? Not sure how far away it would be for you.

Ronit Shah: He's absolutely atop my unofficial list. Rancho and Lake Elsinore is where I'll mostly be for minor league games.

Aaron Fox (Mass): Any rumors about the Red Sox in the early draft season? Thanks in advanced.

Ronit Shah: I've heard one or two things, but it's too early to make anything of it, especially given where the Red Sox are picking in the draft.

Scott (Connecticut ): What do you think of Corey Seager's potential? Do you think he makes a big jump this upcoming season and can he actually stay at short?

Ronit Shah: I only saw him for a game last year, so I don't have any strong thoughts as of now. I will after I see him with Urias in Rancho. I already thought he was massive when I saw him last season, so I'm very interested to see how much he's grown since. Don't see him as a shortstop.

Tom (New Jersey): Do you think Raimel Tapia makes a big jump in the prospect rankings this season? Who would you compare him with?

Ronit Shah: Yes. We were already aggressive with him despite his lack of pro experience. No one doubts the tools.

Gravybill (New York, NY): Who do you think is the best long term option at third base for the Phillies, Franco or Asche? Who do you think will be the starter for them?

Ronit Shah: Asche by default since I don't think Franco can hold down third on an everyday basis.

Cranberry (New York, NY): What kind of year can we expect out of Drew Stubbs in Colorado? Will he hold on to the job all year?

Ronit Shah: Stubbs is what he is at this point from an offensive standpoint. That isn't changing after you factor in for Coors. Rockies are just hoping he can play some defense.

KJ (penn): Power-wise, Bryant or Fraizer?

Ronit Shah: Kris Bryant.

Mike (NJ): Jon Gray or Eddie Butler: who do you like better for 2014 and for the future?

Ronit Shah: I like Eddie Butler and think his arsenal is a great fit for Colorado. But the answer is Jon Gray. Higher ceiling; higher floor.

Kevin (Philadelphia): Tell us all that you know about Oswaldo Arcia. Im looking for a book.

Ronit Shah: Ha, I don't have that much time! He's part of Minnesota's present and future lineup. Regular, everyday outfielder that is going to hit the ball for average and power. He was rushed last season, and is ready to go now.

KJ (Yardley, PA): Ben Lindbergh said that "...even if everything goes well, [Tommy John surgery] often fails in 8-9 years" How, if at all, will this affect guys like Gioloto, Bundy, Harvey, Strasburg, etc. down the road? What happens after that 9th year?

Ronit Shah: I don't disagree with that statement. Pitching is a violent act. Every team is trying to predict injuries that would lead up to Tommy John surgery, and try to prevent it. People think Tommy John surgery is the cure, when it may just be a band-aid or a gauze pad. I think the rate of attrition is higher in post-TJS pitchers than those without it, especially for those that have underwent surgery twice.

For those pitchers that you named, we should be concerned, since they've already underwent surgery. But we should be concerned about every pitcher that throws hard and is manipulating their elbows to throw wicked benders.

gotwins0912 (Minnesota): #IdesOfAiken: Give me your thoughts after watching Aiken.

Ronit Shah: I'll be writing about him for the draft ten pack, so I don't give it all away, but he's a 1.1 candidate. Four pitch athletic southpaw that can command the ball. Can't get enough of Aiken.

flashtheleather (deep in the hole): Who are some of the lower level SS that stand out most for their tools? Who do you have your eye on?

Ronit Shah: Only get to see High-A guys since I haven't been able to make it to Arizona for spring training. Carlos Correa and Corey Seager are shortstops right now, but both may have to move over to third. I can't wait to see both of them once the season gets going.

bobbybal16 (Cape Cod): Better pitch- Aiken's curveball or cutter?

Ronit Shah: Curveball is plus now. He only threw a few cutters in his last outing.

padremurph (Los Angeles): Any news on Kyle Dean's senior HS season thus far? How's his draft stock for next year?

Ronit Shah: Sorry, but haven't heard anything. I'm having a hard enough time keeping up with 2014 to find out anything about 2015.

padremurph (Los Angeles): How quickly can Hunter Renfroe move through the Padres system?

Ronit Shah: I'll be able to better answer this question after seeing him, but I'll predict he isn't in High-A for very long. He's another guy I cannot wait to see though. California League definitely has more talent this year than last.

Big Time Timmy Jim (SF): Looking for fantasy value in the late middle rounds of a keeper league Which player offers the most help this season and which has the highest upside over the next couple years Gausman Ventura Carlos Martinez Archie Bradley? Gausman and Martinez do offer dual eligibility which is valuable in our points format.

Ronit Shah: If you need help this season, I'm inclined to go with someone like Ventura or Bradley. Ventura made the rotation and Bradley should be up sooner rather than later after Corbin's injury. I'll suggest you take Ventura.

Tall Dark Stranger (Laredo): Looking for the top emerging bat in the late middle rounds of a keeper league Which player offers the most help this season and which has the highest upside over the next couple years - Javier Baez, Taveras, Polanco, Springer. Stashing till July not really an option.

Ronit Shah: Baez possesses the highest upside over the next couple of years. Springer will be up once the Astros can delay the clock, if you need someone immediately.

dan (cincy): Do you think Javier Baez could end up at 2nd or 3rd? Which is more likely?

Ronit Shah: The most likely outcome with Baez is he hits a home run, but I'll say he does them as a third baseman.

Ed (Cranford, NJ): What's your take on Roman Quinn? If or when will be become a regular and what does he bring to the table?

Ronit Shah: A guy whose game is predicated on speed ruptured his Achilles. To say the least, I am not optimistic right now.

Alex (Anaheim): Who's the most intriguing player in the CSUF/LBSU matchup?

Ronit Shah: That's what I'm asking too! J.D. Davis. Huge power. Huge.

DB (Pittsburgh): Who do you view as most likely to get booted from Colorado's rotation if/when Butler and Gray get the call-up? and what are the odds that both young pitchers are up this year?

Ronit Shah: Odds are in their favor to make it to the big league rotation. Rockies have some pitchers in their rotation that can't stay healthy. The others guys aren't blocking either Butler or Gray.

Shawnykid23 (CT): Is Billy Burns a legit prospect? Or just a guy with some speed?

Ronit Shah: Just a guy with some speed.

DB (da burgh): do you think Kyle Crick and Jessie Biddle are destined for late-innings relief, or whats the odds on them being fixtures in rotations?

Ronit Shah: I've seen Crick, but it sounds like his stuff improved after I saw him. I thought his changeup lacked immensely, but heard it improved late in the season as well as his fastball velocity. If he can get that changeup working consistently, he can start.

Victor (Dumfries): How far off is Luis Ortiz from Aiken's abilities?

Ronit Shah: I'm the low guy on Luis Ortiz when talking with others and the high guy on Brady Aiken. So, you can figure out I think they are pretty far off.

Will (Carmel, IN): How impressive has Baez look so far in spring training? Obviously room for improvement chasing the breaking ball, but the hitting ability has been legit.

Ronit Shah: I haven't seen much spring training, but have obviously seen the videos and GIFs of him crushing balls. Thank goodness for technology so I could see the bat speed before he heads to the minor leagues.

Joe (Chicago): Do the sox take jackson given their glaring hole at catcher? or do they go with hoffman/rodon?

Ronit Shah: Lots of teams have glaring holes at catcher, and you don't draft for major league club needs. I hope Jackson wants to be a catcher, and would like him more if he stays there than a move to the outfield. But some just pegged him as moving to the outfield immediately during the Area Code Games.

SenatorsGuy (Montana): When you're looking at the pure stuff of a guy like Tyler Kolek, it appears the ceiling is as high as anyone in the draft. What about Aiken's total package convinces you he's the better bet?

Ronit Shah: I don't think Kolek possesses better pure stuff than Brady Aiken. Though I haven't seen Kolek since the summer. He throws harder, yes. But Aiken is left handed, younger, with a better body and athleticism with the better command profile. Kolek keeps getting bigger, and bigger, and doesn't have four pitches.

Jon (LA): In keeper league would you trade Sano for Chris Sale?

Ronit Shah: Absolutely. Sano could be a star, but you're getting a guy that is an ace right now. You could just flip Sale for more.

Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Ronit, ETA on J. Alfaro, and what are the chances he becomes the best all round catcher in MLB someday?

Ronit Shah: He's starting in A ball, so he's still a few years out it seems. Absolutely could be the best best all around catcher in baseball someday. The tools are special.

Jim (Sarasota): General thoughts on Jeff Hoffman and his ceiling?

Ronit Shah: Thought it was between him and Rodon for 1.1 to begin the draft season, but they have company. No. 2 starter ceiling.

SenatorsGuy (Montana): Jeff Hoffman has been struggling so far this season. But there are plenty of examples of college arms that struggled only to make it big in the majors. I also hear his defense is absolutely horrendous. Any personal thoughts on his struggles, and ultimate ceiling?

Ronit Shah: I agree with you. The struggles are real, but he's got plenty of time to correct them. I still believe he's one of the top college arms, and one of the top overall picks in the upcoming draft.

Vic (Baltimore): When is the earliest we might see Urias?

Ronit Shah: 2016? Urias makes just about everyone feel old.

Ronald? (Ronald): Trea Turner seems to have had a quiet season. Is he still in the discussion for a top five pick? What kind of shortstop could we be looking at

Ronit Shah: He wouldn't be in my top 5, but college positional players may go higher in this draft because of scarcity. Other side of the coin is maybe not, since the arms in this class are legit.

Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Ronit, How would you rank Bradley, J. Gray and Stephenson for careers?

Ronit Shah: Stephenson, Gray, Bradley.

Silverback38 (VA): Looking for young power. Should I stash Ronald Guzman now?

Ronit Shah: How deep is your league? I'd wait and take someone out of the upcoming draft.

Ryan (Kansas City): Thoughts on Adalberto Mondesi?

Ronit Shah: Another player that makes everyone feel old; prefers to be called Raul (I think); may not be a star, but that's OK.

Freddy (Kentucky): He's a year away from being draft eligible, but I'm curious if you've seen James Kaprielian out of UCLA. Are we looking at a potential 1.1 in the 2015 draft?

Ronit Shah: Missed him a few weeks ago at USC. I'll definitely catch him sooner rather than later. Again, I just haven't done much work for 2015 outside of the "famous" Daz Cameron.

Silverback38 (VA): Who is your favorite low low prospect that isn't anywhere on the top 101?

Ronit Shah: Brady Aiken. #IdesOfAiken

Nick (chicago): Thoughts on Adalberto Mondesi? Similar to Lindor down the line or better?

Ronit Shah: I think Lindor could be a star. I don't think Mondesi will be even though he is years behind his age.

DB (Pittsburgh): Given that Stanton and Yelich are fixtures, who has the better odds of playing the most for Miami - Ozuna, Marisnick, or Bogusevic? and for 2015 as well?

Ronit Shah: Ozuna is the most "ready" and I rather see him than Bogusevic.

Steve (Edmonton): ETA for Appel, Stroman, and Meyer is 2014 - who's the best bet for early success?

Ronit Shah: 2014 to all. Appel.

DB (Pittsburgh): Cubs starting hitters in 2015 - 2b, 3b, OF? And does Baez's probable move to 2b affect Alcantara's outlook?

Ronit Shah: Alcantara and Baez for 2B & 3B. Bryant in RF. Almora in CF.

DB (Pittsburgh): San Diego seems to have a glut of starting pitchers. Assuming they trade some vets or have injuries... what Padres pitcher do you like the most to claim a job?

Ronit Shah: Does Brady Aiken count? In all seriousness, they are another team with a few guys that visit the disabled list more than you'd like, so they should hold onto that depth.

Rich (Maryland): Drew Hutchinson. Does he have a roster spot because of his solid spring performance? Is he reliable or was his performance hyped up against weaker competition?

Ronit Shah: Sounds like he does since Stroman was sent down. Wonder if the contract came into play. I rather have Stroman.

dangor (New York): AL-only, who has best upside impact among Correa, Lindor, Russell, or others among middle infielders?

Ronit Shah: Fantasy wise? I'm the high guy on Russell. I think he stays at shortstop and is a 6 hit, 6 power guy that can do something for you on the bases.

Shawnykid23 (CT): With the recent outbreak of TJS, do you think we will start to see a trend of more FB-CH pitchers that focus more on location than velocity and wipeout breaking balls?

Ronit Shah: No. Harder to teach a breaking pitch than a change. Can't teach a guy to throw hard. Teams know this and so do players. That's where the money is.

Tremaine (City ): This is the second chat of yours in a row where I have sensed that your personal opinion of Jonathan Gray is lower than the scouting community's. Is this true, and would you elaborate, if so?

Ronit Shah: Well, I've only had two chats! My personal opinion may reflect that because I'm cautious in having strong opinions on players I haven't seen (or talked to people in the game about), even if that opinion is the consensus.

bruce (berkeley): who are the college position players that you would stash if you had space on a fantasy minors roster? let's say beyond the zimmer, schwarber, conforto, fisher, pentecost group.

Ronit Shah: In a draft like this...forget about it. But maybe J.D. Davis. He has huge power.

Cal Guy (Cal): Ronit, I know it's not really his strength, but what kind of offensive output do you think we'll see from Lindor at his peak?

Ronit Shah: I'd expect production from every category. The strongest in plate discipline.

Shawn (Desk): Are you buying into all of the Buxton hype? Is his ceiling really similar to Trout's?

Ronit Shah: Yes, I am. The makeup, the tools, the #want. Whatever you want to call it. It's all there.

Steve (Edmonton): Any chance Gausman sticks with the O's - even as a reliever - or back to Triple A and await the inevitable call-up?

Ronit Shah: Back to Triple-A. I'm really over this jerking guys around as relievers, even if it's just for a short window.

DB (Pittsburgh): With prospects that have high-upside like K Crick and J Biddle, what is the odds they solve their control/command issues and reach their potential?

Ronit Shah: I wouldn't' bet on the solving of command issues, so the same goes with their potential. I have more faith in Crick, especially if the changeup has significantly improved.

Craig (Colorado): Thoughts on Daz Cameron - worth the HYpe?

Ronit Shah: Sounds like a 1.1 candidate. Haven't seen him, but that's just what everyone is saying. And he's famous.

DB (Pittsburgh): What type of player do you see as the type that most likely will jump levels and exceed timetables for reaching the majors? talent level? maturity? organizational need?

Ronit Shah: Carlos Correa. The talent level is amazing, but the maturity and makeup is special.

Eric (NY): what are your thoughts on Corey Seager? Potential?

Ronit Shah: Potential star at third base. I'll have a better feel and stronger opinion once I see him play more than a game in High-A this year.

Eddie (California): Daz Cameron worth taking now in a keeper league with prospects?

Ronit Shah: Probably every 1.1 candidate is, but he's half a decade away at least. Will your league be running then?

Nick (chicago): So Mondesi will be no Lindor - whats his potential then?

Ronit Shah: His potential is a very good shortstop that you can rely on, but I'm not putting a star label on him as one could with Lindor. It's no knock on Mondesi.

Bob (Lombard): which minor league pitcher has the most upside? follow up question: which minor league pitcher has the best shot at reaching his ceiling?

Ronit Shah: Archie Bradley possesses the most upside. Mark Appel for your follow up question.

Dalton (P.A): Phillies have the 7th pick in the draft this year. Who do they take?

Ronit Shah: Too early to peg them on a name. They are in a good spot. Depends who falls out of the top 5; lots of candidates. Gut says a prep position player (Jackson; Gatewood).

Shawnykid23 (CT): Thoughts on Sean Newcomb?

Ronit Shah: One of the top college arm in a draft loaded with arms. Could be the odd man out for teams looking for a college arm.

Nate (Indy): Just checking on your opinion of Albert Almora. I noticed on a question above that you have Alcantara/Baez for 2B/3B and Bryant in right field w/ CF and LF not there yet. Are you not as high as him as other scouts?

Ronit Shah: No, that's my mistake; not sure how I forgot about Almora. He's absolutely the CF of the future. I blame the Cubs for having too many prospects for me to keep track of.

Victor (Dumfries): What is your thoughts on the "Famous" Daz Cameron?

Ronit Shah: Potential 5 tool standout.

BSakowski (Mount Pleasant, MI): Hi Ron: #IdesOfAiken That's all

Ronit Shah: And that is all for today.

Ronit Shah: I answered 75 questions, but there were still some I couldn't get to in the queue. Hopefully I can next time. I'm on twitter @Rontrarian. The next draft ten pack is going to be loaded.

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