Talk prospects with Minor League Update man Jeff Moore.
Jeff Moore: OK everybody, it's chat time. Should be lots of great questions after yesterday's Future's Game. No more wasting time. Let's go!!!
Kevin (Iowa): How good is McCutchen? And, do you think he has a shot at the Hall of Fame years from now?
Jeff Moore: It's so hard to say anyone that young will be a Hall of Famer, but there are only a handful of guys in the majors who have the start to a career that even makes it possible and yes, he's one of them. Longevity will be key, but he has a profile that should age nicely. A second MVP this season, which is a strong possibility, will certainly help, as would another playoff appearance (which sadly go hand in hand, and shouldn't).
On a personal note, he is one of my three favorite players in the game to watch, along with Chase Utley and Mike Trout.
bricepaterik (Dallas): What signs would I see from Alfaro to know when he is ready for the jump to AA?
Jeff Moore: Some plate discipline would be nice, but I wouldn't hold your breath. He also needs to make progress on his receiving skills, which you won't see in the box score. Dont worry though, we have guys who will keep you posted on how that's progressing. Don't be in a rush with Alfaro, though. He's a guy who could spend a full year at each level prospects used to, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Mark (Las Vegas): Do the Indians have any parts to trade that could actually bring back legit prospects? Outside of core group they will obviously keep.
Jeff Moore: They're not making any significant moves without trading Francisco Lindor, and they're not trading Francisco Lindor.
dtothew (Atlanta ): Mr. Moore - thanks as always for the time! I was hoping you'd share your thoughts on an odd troika of prospects. Victor Reyes, Franchy Cordero, and Kennys Vargas - ceilings, likelihood of reaching them, and ETA?
Jeff Moore: I love odd troikas! Here's Ethan Purser's report on Reyes.: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_bat.php?reportid=100 Not a lot of standout tools so the hit tool will have to carry him. High risk guy but a good prospect. Franchy struggled with the adjustment to stateside ball early in the season but is now in short-season ball where he belongs. Disregard the struggles in Fort Wayne to start the season. He shouldn't have been there. Kennys Vargas is big and fun to watch, as you saw yesterday in the Future's Game. Here's Chris Mellen's report on him: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_bat.php?reportid=125He's a big time power guy that'll need it because he's stuck at first base.
Ace (PA): You sure do like these chats. I'm pretty sure you're in the lead for chats conducted in 2014. Just want to say thank you!
Jeff Moore: I wouldn't necessarily say I like them, but I don't mind them so I volunteer when needed. Also, if you haven't noticed, I'm pretty long-winded and there's no word counter on these chats, so I can really get in depth.
Ronald Jeremiah (Los Angeles): Most likely to win an mvp during their career, gallo, baez, bryant, or Corey seager?
Jeff Moore: Well, they're all probably going to be third basemen at some point (except Baez/Bryant if they stay on the same team), so that levels the playing field there. I'd say Bryant has the best chance of that group. For the record, however, the last three third basemen to win an MVP were Miggy, ARod, and Chipper, so the bar is set pretty freaking high to win an MVP at that position. You basically have to be a Hall of Famer.
Graham (Richmond, VA): How many more big call-ups do you think will happen this season, and who do you think they will be?
Jeff Moore: There won't be too many more, but a few. Noah Syndergaard should get a call. The Mets have to get that poor kid out of Vegas. Lindor could get a chance once the Indians are out of things, especially if they move Asdrubal Cabrera. Joc Pederson will get called up to the Rays when they trade him for David Price. Wait, what?
Wally (DC): Think Michael Taylor can control the Ks enough to be an above average big leaguer?
Jeff Moore: Yeah, though the strike outs will keep him close to league average offensively. It'll be his defense and baserunning that bring the whole package up slightly. The strike outs are going to be a major issue though. He could strike out at George Springer levels but without quite as much impact power.
Joe Random (San Jose): Do you think Alen Hanson will make the top 101 prospects?
Since May 1st he's hit 297/333/493 with 10 HRs and 12 SBs.
I know you arent supposed to scout the stat line, but if he was even a passable SS do you think he would have made the #BPtop50?
Jeff Moore: If he was going to stay at SS, then he'd have been in the discussion for the 50, most likely, but probably outside of it. He's going to move to second base most likely, so it's not like it's a huge drop off, though there are guys who prefer a player with a left-side profile better. I like guys who can stay up the middle (were talking the difference between second and third basemen, here). He is bouncing back this year, however, so he may be in the Top 101 discussion at the end of the year.
Shawnykid23 (CT): Any significant differences on any prospects from the BP top 50 to what your personal top 50 would be?
Jeff Moore: No, in general, I agree with the order we have. We could all argue a few spots here or there, but even Parks would change things today from what he finalized on yesterday. It's so fluid, and when you get in the 30-50 range, there's not much difference in spots. I did argue for Berrios to be a little higher, but understand why he wasn't. I also argued Nimmo's way on to the final list after he wasn't on early editions. You wouldn't believe the discussions that take place behind the scenes. They're great.
cxtorpey (Annapolis): Fantasy question: 6 team rotisserie keeper standard scorign; votto and polanco for altuve and hosmer?
Keepers would then be Votto Tulo Cutch Cargo and either sherzer/fielder and polanco.
Jeff Moore: Ok, here's my one fantasy response for the chat where I tell you that I don't know the ins and outs of fantasy baseball, differences in leagues, styles, etc. I know the players. I won't hit you with a movie synopsis, but I will point you in the right direction. It sounds like you need the Bat Signal, which is our personalized fantasy advice. Our fantasy guys are great and will answer your questions. Here's the subscription page. It comes with our biggest package.
Ok, sales pitch over. Back to chatting.
Craig (Queens): Was very impressed with my 1st look at Thor - is there any reason whatsoever to worry about his performance this year? That's one heck of an arsenal he has....
Jeff Moore: Let's just say that, when organizations play their game of minor league affiliation musical chairs every few years, there's a reason that the last team standing ends up in Vegas.
Jake (Minneapolis): What's your take on Nick Kingham? What's his ceiling in the majors?
Jeff Moore: Mid-rotation starter. He'll spend the rest of the year in Triple-A then get a mid-season call up after the super two deadline. The Pirates blueprint down to a science at this point.
Matt (KY): I hear people talk about Schwarber's limited defensive ability. In regards to OF play, are we talking Adam Dunn bad?
Jeff Moore: It's certainly not as bad as Dunn is now, no. Back in the day, though, Dunn was a decent athlete. He was never an above-average defender, but he wasn't the abomination he would be now if you put him out there. Schwarber won't be great out there, but he's not going to be that bad, especially while he's young.
Josh (Kansas City): What do you think the Pirates do with their surplus of outfielders? Bell, Meadows, H. Ramirez, they don't have room for any of these guys...
Jeff Moore: It always works itself out. All three are way to far away for them to worry about yet. Bell could move to 1B. Guys could get traded, hurt, not develop properly. That's not even the worst logjam in their division. The Pirates aren't worried about it yet, I promise you.
Tim (Madtown): Jorge Lopez's change up looks to have the good arm side movement you want from the pitch but as you have noted is too hard at 87 MPH.
My question, is that an easily fixable issue. Like is it a positive he has the movement down and just needs to do a little adjustment to get the speed down or is it a complete scrap job and start over trying to get the speed and movement?
Jeff Moore: It's not a bad pitch, it's just not a change-up. I was heading in the direction of putting a future potential 5 on it when I thought it was a two-seamer. The movement wasn't bad. It's not an easily fixable issue, no. If he thinks that's a change up, then his feel is way off. I would imagine he'll have to scrap it and go with a whole new grip if he wants it to be a change up. Again, I only got one look at him, so maybe that was just a really bad day for it, but the only guys throwing 87 mph change-ups are the Steven Strasburg's of the world whose fastballs sit in the upper 90's and that's not Lopez.
nmccurley1 (LA): How concerned should I be about Edwin Escobar after yesterday's subpar performance and a less-than-stellar year in AAA so far?
Jeff Moore: Don't concern yourself with anything based on one inning in the Future's Game, where guys react differently to the big spotlight, trying to overthrow/swing, etc. I wouldn't be too too worried about his year in Triple-A either. the PCL can be tough.
While we're at it, let's not get too over-excited by anything good that happened in the future's game either...
The Dude (Office): JOEY GALLO's BP! JOEY GALLO's BP!JOEY GALLO's BP!JOEY GALLO's BP!
Jeff Moore: Nevermind.
MP (Bluegrass State): Bat only... what are the upsides of guys like Preston Tucker, Kennys Vargas, Christian Walker, and Dan Vogelbach? I know a couple may profile as DH types, but what kind of ceilings are we looking at?
Jeff Moore: At least Tucker can play the OF. For guys at low positions on the defensive spectrum, they really have to hit. Most of these guys should be good for 20-25 homers, but at 1B or LF, that alone doesn't get you much past second-division regular territory. They also have to hit closer to .300 and show strong on base skills, which may or may not happen.
Sam (Denver): If you weren't doing a chat, what would you be doing?
Jeff Moore: Today, I'd be at a GCL game. I'll be back at it on Wednesday.
nottes (work): If everything goes right for Joey Gallo in the majors, are we looking at something like the 2013 Chris Davis season?
Jeff Moore: I can't believe I'm saying this, but yeah, that might be within range. Not his prime or average, but as a peak year, yeah, it's a possibility. He's not going to hit near .300 very often like Davis did last year, but with BABIP randomness, I'll bet he gets up in the .280's a few times. If it comes in a year where it clicks, he's healthy, etc., then yeah. If there's anybody we can put a possible 50-homer tag on (and that's not really fair to do), then it would be him, plus the strikeouts, walks, etc. I see where you're going with this. I'm not comfortable doing it because it's such an extreme season, but it's not the most ridiculous thing I've heard.
danrnelson (Mpls): Jeff, you've been a big supporter of Jose Berrios this year. Law and a few other evaluators think his FB is too flat and that he has trouble repeating his delivery. What's your take on those criticisms of Berrios? Thanks!
Jeff Moore: I wonder how much they saw him this season. That may have been the case last year, but I had no concerns about it when I saw him this season. There is some effort in the delivery, but not enough to cause major concern or throw off his mechanics. I though he repeated well enough and he throws strikes. What's the concern? Because of his size, the fastball doesn't have a ton of downward plane, so I understand that, but he gets on top of it well. It's not a huge issue for me, and the change-up keeps hitters honest. It may keep him from becoming an ace because of some home run susceptibility, but he's a solid number 2 for me in the long-run.
Mikeleelop (wmkl): Pompey had four good AB's yesterday but does his start at AA cause for concern?
Jeff Moore: No, it's far too early to worry about him in Double-A. That's the hardest jump in the minors to make and it's only been 15 games.
GCL guy (Sunshine state): As a Gulf Coast League observer, which position players have caught your eye, Jeff? Thanks for chatting!
Jeff Moore: The Nationals GCL team has a strong crop of athletic Dominican players from their international signings the past two years. Tools galore at various stages of development, which is always fun to watch.
One name to keep an eye on is Malik Collymore, of the GCL Cardinals. Stocky second baseman that moves well and can hit. I wrote him up on Thursday. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=24109
Steve (NJ): One of my favorite aspects of BP is the Minor League Update - can you talk about your process as far as who you pick to highlight? Any idea who's been on it the most?
Jeff Moore: First, there's the caffeine intake. I don't usually start the update until 12:30 or 1 am because of the west coast games. I try to get it done by 2 am for our editor's sake, but it doesn't always happen.
I go through literally every box score every night. I use Daren Willmen's MLBFarm.com site because it loads every easily and has them broken down by organization. It's an extremely valuable tool.
As for who to pick, I look for multiple hits and extra base hits for hitters and strike outs and low walk totals for pitchers. 1-4 with a homer doesn't really get it done. 2-4 with a double and a homer will. You want on without power? It'll take a few doubles or a four hit game or something like that. I try to mix up who is on it as much as possible, but some guys just earn their way on. If there's a good prospect that hasn't gotten much attention, I may lower the bar for him for a day just to talk about someone new.
That's why I eventually had to just go with the "...and Kris Bryant/Joey Gallo homered" part at the end. I ran out of things to say about them because they were on there 2-3 times a week.
John (PA): Is there anything Taillon can do this year to further his development, or is this a completely lost year?
Jeff Moore: Nope, it's over for this year. Rest, rehab, and don't overdue it. The rehab process is hard, but it's pretty well mapped out by now and these doctors and trainers have it down to a science. Don't push to hard...it doesn't work. Just follow the schedule.
Alfonso (Harvard): Did you major in English Composition, because you are one fine writer?
Jeff Moore: Nope, but thank you. I was an education major. I'm supposed to be teaching high school history. It was a ploy to hear myself talk all day and then coach high school baseball, but a college coaching opportunity opened up after i got done playing and that seemed like an even cooler job. One thing led to another and here I am.
Norm (NYC): Any reason why we won't see Kris Bryant up this year? He's raking, Cubs have nothing to play for and Olt and Valbuena shouldn't be blocking him.
Jeff Moore: I think if we see any of the big guys it will be Baez, simply because he's been in Triple-A longer. I think the Cubs are really just not going to rush things, and I don't blame them. Sure, they're not playing for anything and no, Olt and Valbuena won't block anybody once the time comes, but you can look at it the other way around too. Why use up valuable days of cheap production on games that dont matter. Even big spending teams have to have cheap production. Don't waste a single day of it.
Gary (Gary): What's for lunch today?
Jeff Moore: Man, it's a struggle over here today. I've been gone for 17 days so there's literally no food in my house. And I'm chatting instead of grocery shopping, so you can see where my priorities are.
Wally (DC): What to make of crazy BABIPs when evaluating prospects? I believe the old saw about not scouting the stat line, but is there anything to take away from it, like 'something has clicked'? M. Taylor is a great example, as is Souza. Just curious how to keep things in context.
Jeff Moore: When a guy hits 50 points higher than his career norms, the first thing I do is check the BABIP. It's not all-telling, but it's a pretty good indication. We can't be shocked that Chris Johnson isn't really a .330 hitter right? We can't use it very definitively in the minors though. There are all kinds of crazy variables. Guys playing positions they have no business being in, inconsistent official scorers, etc. It can give us some information, but we can't go crazy with it.
John (Chicago): Do you still think Profar will be an elite player?
Jeff Moore: If he was before, he still is now. None of these injuries are anything that should be lingering. Of course, if it becomes too much of a trend, he won't reach his ceiling, but it's not a talent thing.
jason (NY): Do you think Steven Matz could be a top 75 prospect in the offseason if he keeps this up? He can throw 97 with a good change and curve.
Jeff Moore: I'll argue this off-season for Matz's inclusion in the Top-100. I don't know where he'll fall if he makes it, but the back half seems about right. Setting the over/under at 75 isn't crazy, though I'd say he's just under that.
Jason (Chicago): Schwarber seems to be getting a ton of love for a guy who was originally an early teens draft projection. How much of the re-evaluation is due to him going with the second pick and how much to his explosive start?
Jeff Moore: For argument's sake, let's say it was the fourth pick, and if that's going on, it's only from people outside the Cubs organization. I've heard he was their guy all along regardless of where he was picked.
That said, I commented during the draft how much I'd like to see the ability for teams to trade picks more freely. If the Cubs liked Schwarber but knew they were higher on him than most, couldn't they have traded down to the 7-10 range, picked up a second round pick or something like that, still gotten their guy plus additional players? That's how this would've worked in the NFL. I'd love to see smart teams use this to their advantage while bad organizations watch it blow up in their face. It would make the MLB Draft horribly fascinating, even more so than it already is.
Sinka (New York): Will the Cubs trade Castro this off-season to clear the way for Baez? Will he contribute in 2015? Will the Cubs win more than 75 games next year?
Jeff Moore: At this point, known one knows what the Cubs are going to do. Did anyone see them trading for ANOTHER shortstop prospect? I don't even know if Theo and Jed know how it will play out. All they know is that they have the best collection of assets in the game. Trading Castro does seem like the way to go, given that he's re-established himself as a player and can get a big haul, but you can also look at it like this - he's the only one in the Cubs organization that we know can be a big league shortstop. I love Addison Russell, but he's still a prospect. So is Baez. Castro is a proven player, and he's only 24. Maybe he's the guy they should keep. He's the surest thing.
Shawnykid23 (CT): Where do you personally think Byron Buxton's power ends up? That seems to be the one x-factor with him.
Jeff Moore: I think he gets to the 20-home range, but the Trout comparisons ended the minute Trout started slugging .600.
The Dude (Office): In general, do you think scouts and prospect writers are too willing or not willing enough to give top tier tool grades to prospects? I think I heard that yesterday Jonathan Mayo graded Joey Gallo's power as 75, which seems absurd. If you don't give out 80's, then the scale doesn't exist. But at the same time, I see many writers (not at BP), that just label everything as "plus" and it makes me question of they even know what it means.
Jeff Moore: If Gallo doesn't have 80 raw power then no one does. That's about the easiest tool to grade in all of baseball, and it's not a 75. Now I don't know where they got that for the broadcast so I'm not calling anyone out, but it's just flat out incorrect.
I think handing out 80's is a fine line. I know some affiliated scouts within the game are extremely hesitant to do so. They will hedge with a 7 or a 75 just to play it conservatively. Conversely, 80's are handed out scarcely for a reason and there are some that do it far to liberally. It's fine line. But there's no doubting Gallo's raw power. It's an 80, and only because the scale doesn't go any higher.
Mikeleelop (WMKL): How does Pompey compare vs. Gose? Pompey seems to have a much more advanced approach at the plate while Gose is faster with a stronger arm..
Jeff Moore: They're pretty different players. Gose is all speed and arm, but has never really hit all that much, and probably won't. He certainly won't hit lefties. Pompey is a much better hitting prospect than Gose ever was, but if he ends up not hitting, his defense isn't strong enough to carve out a major league career like Gose will probably be able to do.
Derek (MO): Why is the transition from a pitchers paradise like the Florida State League in High-A to a league like the Double-A Texas League tougher to make.
Jeff Moore: I believe (and I don't have empirical evidence to support this, it's just a feeling from seeing it happen) that the jump to Double-A is harder for hitters than pitchers. Any pitcher leaving the FSL behind, however, is going to have to make an adjustment because it's an easy place to pitch. You can get away with a lot of mistakes because the parks are huge and the ball doesn't carry at night.
Dan (Detroit): What's the potential upside fir Nick Castellanos ?
Jeff Moore: What he's doing is almost exactly what I expected. If he's not hitting .300, he's below average because he doesn't have plus power and doesn't walk enough. I think he'll hit for more power down the road and he'll be better than a .260 hitter, but for now, he's making a ton of outs.
jsdspud (My Desk): Jeff, Some bloggers are suggesting that Tyler Glasnow should be promoted soon. I say my rush things. Let him finish the year in High A, then move to AA next year. What do you think?
Jeff Moore: I'd want to see strikes thrown more consistently before I promoted him. It's not about the ERA or the strike outs. I want to see fastball command. He's young enough that he can spend a full year at each level. There's no hurry.
Marcus Aurelius Greene (Spokane): Have you heard what Marcus Aurelius Greene is doing to the Northwest League, Jeff? Because Marcus Aurelius Greene is hitting .312/.481/.481 and never allows a passed ball. Is Marcus Aurelius Greene a top 100 prospect one year from today? Thanks!
Jeff Moore: Is he the commander of the Armies of the North? I'll be honest, I don't know too much about him because I don't get to cover New Mexico junior colleges very often, but that's an 80 name if he uses all three, which he should do going forward if he doesn't already.
But no, 16th round picks dont usually crack the 101 no matter what they do in the Northwest League. We'll need to get some eyes on him and see how he handles full-season ball, but definitely an interesting guy.
Stan (Ft. Lauderdale): I say you drive a Chevy, and my girlfriend says you drive a Cadillac Escalade. Who's right?
Jeff Moore: Nissan Altima. You have to be at BP for more than a year before they lease you a Bentley.
Doug (Austin): Will the Rangers organization do the same voodoo for Brinson that they did for Gallo? What are your thoughts on Brinson going forward?
Jeff Moore: They can do all the voodoo they want, but it's the player that has to want to make the change, and has to be physically capable of doing it. Part of why I'm so high on Gallo personally is because he's 19 years old and made drastic improvements at the things he's worst at. For me at 19, that would have been waking up in time for class and eating something other than french fries in the dining hall. For him, it was cutting down on strike outs in the Carolina League. The team may have worked on him, but that takes self-evaluation, discipline and awareness. Few can make those kinds of adjustments so quickly at such a young age.
Brinson has also cut his strike outs way down, so he deserves credit for that, and maybe the Rangers have a system in place that is really working for hitters in that regard. He's not going to make the kinds of improvements that Gallo made, however, and will always be a guy with below average plate discipline and strike zone control. He may also be good enough to get away with that.
Chris (Phoenix): We all know the prospects that have taken a step forward but who are the prospects that have significantly gone backward and it wasn't injury related?
Jeff Moore: Well Mark Appel seems like the obvious choice here, but he may have some kind of injury thing going on in there. Who knows what's really going on with him.
Maikel Franco has really struggled, so he's definitely one.
Robert Bob (Maine): If you were the GM for a new team and had your pick of all Minor League pitchers for your Ace, who would it be?
Jeff Moore: Have the Orioles sent Kevin Gausman back down to the minors for the 10th time this year yet? If so, I'll take him. Best combination of present talent, ceiling, health and major league readiness.
Shawn (Cubicle): Do you think AAA clubhouses can be toxic for the development of a good, young prospect? If you ran an org, would you have your top prospect skip AAA altogether?
Jeff Moore: No, not at all. I think AAA is full of veterans who can be good leaders and teachers of how to act as a major leaguer. I have no problems with prospects being skipped over Triple-A, but not for that reason.
Francois (Toronto): In defense of Mayo, he said yesterday that the grade (Gallo's power) was low and that it was an 80. MLB.com (and Mayo) tend to be fairly conservative with their scouting grade.
Jeff Moore: Ok, I'm glad they were given the chance to clear it up, and I have no problem with conservative grading. In fact, I tend to be conservative myself when it comes to prospect development. But I'm glad he came out and said that it was low (and incorrect), because there's really no disputing that one. Most grades are debatable. That one is not.
Stella (St. Louis): Will Taveras be better than Matt Adams? What is his problem now?
Jeff Moore: Yes, in every possible way.
Follow-up guy (Inside my own head): Related to the McCutchen question earlier, I wonder if we -- all who attempt to evaluate prospects -- should put more weight on how healthy/durable position players are in the minors. I look at guys who've surpassed all reasonable expectations for their hitting, like 'Cutch, Matt Carpenter, Mike Trout, Yadi Molina, etc., and then look at how they never got hurt in the minors.... Thoughts, Jeff?
Jeff Moore: It's definitely weighted, but each scenario is different. Some guys are just injury prone while others get labeled as such unfairly. Some guys have a rash of unrelated injuries that don't have any bearing on one another. It's just bad luck. If a guy has a history of leg issues, that's cause for concern. Multiple shoulder issues? Big red flag. But if he breaks his hand getting hit by a pitch and misses half a year, then the next year he gets taken out on a DP pivot and misses a month, no, I'm not too concerned. That's bad luck, not a tendency. Injuries are the kinds of things were you can only lose points. I don't think you can give a guy more credit because he's always healthy because he's one play away from an injury. We all are.
TV guy (davenport, not Iowa): Jeff! Does that Restasis commercial starring the slow motion women with the weird blue eyes creep you out too? I get scared.
Jeff Moore: When you say blue eyes, all I think of is Kris Bryant.
Matt Adams (St. Louis): Jeff, I'm batting well over .300 and popping HR whenever I feel like it. Why would you think the Rook Oscar will be better than the might Matt? He hasn't impressed so far.
Jeff Moore: Are we talking right now or long-term? Adams is clearly the better hitter right now, but it's not like Oscar Taveras doesn't have a track record of being the best hitter in the minor leagues or anything. Since when did Cardinals fans decide to turn on top prospects so quickly? I thought you were supposed to be the best fans in baseball? This is a very Cubs thing to do.
I like Matt Adams for what he is. He's a very good hitter, but he offers no defensive or base running value. He's also a big-bodied hitter, and we know those don't age well. The history is not kind for big hitters as they enter their 30's. Look at Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder, etc. The list goes on and on. He's got plenty of time before that, but if we're looking at the long-term picture, it's not close between the 22-year-old outfielder with a 7 hit tool and a strong minor league track record and the slow-footed first baseman who is probably enjoying his career year and has maybe 3 years of his prime left in front of him.
Also, has anyone noticed that Matt Adams has 9 walks this season? 9!?! That's less than Adam Jones! If he isn't hitting .330 he's making a TON of outs. Regression is going to be rough in St. Louis.
NightmareRec0n (Boston): Baez straight up for Price given an extension could be worked out: Who says no? As you just mentioned, I also think Castro could be the one to keep. Baez seems to be the guy you sell people on his ceiling,despite a even greater bust potential.
Jeff Moore: I think the Rays say no, and it's the Cubs fault. Shark and Hammel just got Addison Russell. 1.5 years of Price is at least as good as Shark and Hammel, and it's even better if you don't need the depth. And this is without the time to sign an extension that you mentioned (which I can't remember ever happening mid-season - that's more of an off-season thing). By getting Russell back for Shark and Hammel, the Cubs established a pretty high bar. If the Rays move price, they are going to need at least one prospect of Russell's caliber, and remember, the Cubs got a lot more back than just one player. Baez straight up for Price isn't going to get it done.
Relentless questioner (Annoyingville): Thanks for the chat, good sir! If you were looking at 16 & 17-year-olds to sign for your team out of the D.R. and Venezuela, would you lean towards big present power but shaky pitch recognition, or so-so punch with good plate discipline/recognition skills? I bring this up because the players who've historically gotten the huge July 2 bonuses seem to be much more the former than latter... and other than Miguel Sano they have a really poor track record. Thanks, Jeff!
Jeff Moore: I would prefer a guy with good pitch recognition, but that's really hard to determine at that age. These are young kids playing against other young kids. How many good breaking balls are they really seeing? This is why teams go for the big time power. You can see it. It's tangible. You then hope they can recognize spin and the other neurological things that can't be taught that go into hitting.
Yes, if you can find a kid and can see that he can recognize spin, pick up pitches out of the hand quickly, etc., I'll take that kid all day. It's just really hard to determine at that age against that level of competition.
Phyllis (My computer room): Long term: Buxton or Taujuan Walker?
Jeff Moore: You could ask me any two players, one pitcher and one hitter, who are of the caliber of those two guys or are comparable in caliber to one another, and I'll always take the hitter. Too much risk in pitchers.
Todd (Remington, VA): Bauer looked fantastic yesterday. Does he have it figured out now? Do you think he will become an ace someday?
Jeff Moore: Figured it out? Yes, it looks like it. An ace? No probably not. But that's ok, He'll be a valuable piece and it's why you don't give up on young pitchers or guys you just took third overall in the draft for a shortstop who won't hit enough to play everyday, no matter how off-putting you may think he is as a person.
Matt Adams (Harrumphing): Wait a sec, Jeff! Last two years I've had wRC+ of 135 and 143. I'm fat AND phat! Are you underrating my bat, or are you saying Oscar is going to be a hitter of epic quality? Thanks for chatting!
Jeff Moore: Ok Matt, you're really going to make me say it, aren't you? Fine, here goes. You're a platoon player, Matt. Your career OPS against left-handed pitching is .596 (versus .893 against righties). Against lefties, you're basically Steve Jeltz. You can do one thing - hit right handed pitching - and you do it very well. There is a role for you in the big leagues as a platoon first baseman, but you're going to get overexposed as an everyday player. You're getting away with it right now because of a .376 BABIP, but it's coming. And the huge drop in walk rate is only going to make it worse. Most importantly, you are not Oscar Taveras, who is very, very good. I'm sorry, but you brought this on yourself. Now stop calling me and I'm blocking you on Facebook.
Matt (Cambridge): Is Tyler Beede the perfect case why going going to college instead of accepting first round money is fairly pointless? He got $200k more by barely improving his stock, but he also probably delayed his development/free agency and took on risk that he didn't need to. The whole "getting an education" arguement is a bunch of crap too.
Jeff Moore: It depends on the end game. If the goal is to get more money, then yeah, it doesn't usually work out too well (though Gerrit Cole would beg to differ). But there is more too it than that. You're right about the education part of it - not that getting an education is bad, but just that most baseball players in the majors, even the ones who attended college, didn't graduate. Still, there is some growing up to be done. I'd argue that that part of college is much more important for these guys.
In the end, there are tons of examples where it worked out to go to college and examples where it didn't. Each guy has to make his own decision. I would say, however, that given the potential for injury, if I was a pitcher and someone was offering me line-changing (first round) money, I'd take it while I was sure I could.
Anthony (LA): Is Tulowitzki's injury label fair?
Jeff Moore: Yeah, at this point, it probably is.
Derek (Van City): How much power can we expect from Michael A Taylor at the next level? Does he have 30/30 potential?
Jeff Moore: 30 homers seems a bit aggressive, but also a little light on the steals. 20/40 could be within reach, but it'll come with 200 strike outs. Has there ever been a 40 SB/200 strike out guy? Someone Play Index that for me.
Kyle (DC): Name an prospect from the Futures game that was not in the spotlight who could end up being an All Star?
Jeff Moore: I was watching the game on my phone in an airport (isn't technology wonderful?) so I'm not super aware of who was getting all of the spotlight, but I like Kevin Plawecki, and J.P. Crawford as guys who didn't seem to be getting a ton of attention. If you haven't noticed, I like guys with good strikeout to walk ratios.
Dan (Toronto): Speaking of him, what are your thoughts on Gerrit Cole so far in the majors and his long-term outlook?
Jeff Moore: I love Gerrit Cole and have seen most of his major league starts (my fiance is a Pirates fan so we watch a lot of Buccos games in our house) as well as scouting him when he was in the minors. I'm still waiting for him to just start shoving it. He started to down the stretch last year and in the post-season and it was fun to watch. He hung one curveball, which he literally hadn't done all year, and it kept the Pirates out of the NLCS. He was awesome. I think he's got that laid-back, SoCal personality that allows him to cruise at times, and he does that throughout the year and he's good enough to get away with it. I was waiting for him to turn it back on this year but he got hurt, came back and went down again with an unrelated injury. Maybe all of this will keep him fresh for September and October. I hope so. With Jose Fernandez hurt, Cole has the best package of stuff of any young pitcher we have right now. When he wants to dominate, it sure is fun.
Jeff Moore: Alright guys. It's been another fun chat session but I have to run. Great questions as usual from our readers. Lots of intelligent baseball thinking going on out there, which makes me really happy. Keep it up!