Jeff is based in the Gulf Coast and Florida State leagues, and he is here to provide updates to today's Minor League Update.
Jeff Moore: It's August, which means the minor league season only has one month left. It's hard to believe how quickly it's gone, but that's baseball. Prospects came to the forefront at the trade deadline and we're getting our last looks at everyone else before a long winter of more talking than scouting.
Lots of great questions lined up in the queue. Let's get this thing started!
Balki (Iowa): Addison Russell 364/391/750 with 5 Homers in his last 10 Games, he is dominating AA ball. Any chance he gets promoted to AAA soon?
Jeff Moore: Remember that he missed a bunch of time this year before he got traded, so he hasn't actually had that much time in Double-A. Only 37 games at this point. That coupled with the logjam ahead of him means probably not.
Frankie (Brooklyn): Is Hak Ju Lee at risk of no longer being considered a top prospect?
Jeff Moore: He may still be a top prospect in the Rays system because their system is pretty weak right now, but he's no longer a top 101 guy. The bat hasn't adjusted to upper level pitching the way we'd hoped and the injury hurt. Far from a lost cause but not a guy the Rays can depend on right now until he proves himself again.
Chris (Baltimore): At this point, when is Buxton seeing regular at bats in the MLB? Thank you in advance.
Jeff Moore: Late next year is still a possibility. This is a lost season, but he should begin next year in Double-A, and if he's healthy and performs anything like what he was doing last year, he won't be there too long.
traindoggah (maine): Have you seen Tyrell Jenkins recently? Is he still a prospect? If he can stay healthy can we still dream on him as a no. 2-3 starter?
Jeff Moore: I have. I saw him a few weeks ago and he's very much still a prospect. He's also still very much a project. He simply hasn't thrown that much for as long as he's been around. Mid-rotation starter is still possibility because the arm is very good. I actually really like the arm. But being a starter is also still a long way off. His change-up needs a ton of work. In that system, they have so many options that they may not waste the time in trying to develop the change-up and just have him stick to the fastball/slider and turn him in to a reliever, which he should be very good at. Either way, it's yet another good arm in the Cards system.
Dick Grande (St Louis): Keith Law recently said in a chat that Jorge Soler "has lightning in his wrist." Most impressive wrist strength in the minors in your opinion?
Jeff Moore: Without having seen everybody, that's hard to say, but Soler is probably in the discussion. Law isn't wrong. I'd like to have lightning in me somewhere. That would be really cool.
Andrew (Brooklyn): Gavin Cecchini has not fared well in his first ~150 PA in the FSL. Have you seen him or talked to anyone about his struggles since the promotion? Is he being overwhelmed or is the lack of production just a small sample size issue. Thank you.
Jeff Moore: It's probably a little of both. I never get too worried about struggles right after a promotion. Sometimes it just takes an adjustment period. Sometimes it's just mental, or a lack of confidence about a new level. I'm not super high on Cecchini, though I think he'll hit. I don't think he's a SS and think he'll move eventually, but he's a nice athlete and the swing isn't bad. I won't worry too much about the bat yet. Not sure if it's an impact bat but he's got a nice collection of usable tools.
Justin (WI): Would you rather go to jail for trying to get a hug with Jeter or a selfie with Gerardo Parra?
Jeff Moore: I'm not a selfie guy. Can't get the angle right. I am a big hugger though.
Boris (Miskogee): What are your thoughts on A.Heaney, knowing that he was blown up when brought up and hasn't been doing well recently?
Jeff Moore: Classic case of a guy who made it through his entire minor league career without knowing failure. He was moved quickly, and the Marlins have a recent history of rushing their prospects to the majors far too quickly, though in his case, they had to keep promoting him just to find a challenge for him. They found it, and it looks like it may have rattled him a little. Who knows what the problem really is. He'll be fine though. Just a bump in the road. He's far from the first prospect who struggled in his first taste in the majors. He'll be fine. Don't forget about him.
Steven (Winnipeg): Hey Jeff, thanks for the chat! 2 questions.
1) Firstly, what do you make of Dwight Smith of the D-Jays? is there some potential with the bat there even if its in a corner?
2) Are there any players in the FSL that you think can be picked up as rule 5 guys and stick its early and we dont know who will be protected, but just interesting to hear speculation on!
Jeff Moore: I like Smith, but he's a tweener. He's not a center fielder but his bat would play best there. He's a left field only guy which is a tough profile. What he does have going for him is that he looks like he'll be a decent on-base guy, which gives him a chance to be an everyday bat even without the power. He'll be a third/fourth outfielder, but it's a nice stick. He'll be a major leaguer.
Grabbing an FSL guy as a Rule V guy is a risk because they're still pretty far away, and the ones that aren't will be protected. It will have to be someone with strong defensive skills, because you never know about the bat from that far away.
Cris E (St Paul, MN): I know you're not typically a Midwest League guy, but have you heard anything about these new guys Cedar Rapids added for the week, Mauer and Nolasco? They seem a bit old for the level. Seriously, rehab appearances have to be a high point in the year for a lot of these single A teams: bigger crowds, famous guys buying dinner, stories in the clubhouse, etc.
Jeff Moore: I think that Mauer guy is related to the manager. Sounds like standard nepotism to me.
Bernard (Albany): Do you think Jacob deGrom's unexpected emergence means it is now more likely the Mets will be willing to trade Thor or Wheeler for a big bat? Should they?
Jeff Moore: NO!!!!!!!! Never trade young pitching!!! See the Diamondbacks if you need an example as to why. Hoard all the young arms you can find and hope a few of them don't break. That's the only hope.
Repeat after me: never trade young pitching.
Chuck (K City): Worried about Adalberto Mondesi?
Jeff Moore: Yes and no. I only got one look at him but I hated the approach and pitch recognition. On the other hand, I like the mechanics of the swing and raw ability. I absolutely loved the speed and the defense. He'll be a major leaguer just based on those skills, and he's a talented enough hitter to get it together. He's been pushed incredibly hard and has to hit at Wilmington, which doesn't help, but it's not enough of an excuse for how poorly he's performed. I think he'll always be a low-OBP guy who makes a lot of bad contact, but his defense and speed will be enough to make up for some offensive shortcomings. He's incredibly talented but I worry about the approach and plate discipline.
It should be noted that I am admittedly lower on him than most of our team and have only seen him in person one time, so I haven't finished formulating my opinion and will defer to the guys in that area who have seen a lot more of him and who I trust. I also tend to shy away from guys with terrible plate discipline no matter how skilled they are.
Erik (Fayatteville): Do you have confidence that Jameson Taillon will return from surgery to achieve pre-surgery prospects or is he now projected to be a middle of the rotation guy?
Jeff Moore: I think he'll recover just fine and I still think he's a mid-rotation guy. I don't think he ever had the command to be an ace and his change-up wasn't good enough to make him a number two at the rate he was going. He had two plus pitches and a body that should log innings, so that's a number three assuming it all comes back, which I'm not to worried about. A very good prospect, but just never made the jump to the upper echelon guys.
Kyle (MA): Soooo Andrew McCutchen used to be a prospect.....your thoughts on retaliation in baseball? And chances that McCutchen's injury could threaten his season too?
Jeff Moore: Man, I could go on a rant here. I'm going to try not to. But here are my thoughts: I hate it. Its dumb. It's archaic. I've heard all kinds of talk about increasing suspensions and things like that but it won't work. It's the machismo within the game that makes players and coaches think it's necessary to throw at guys, and it won't go away until there is a philosophical shift, no matter how many games are at risk. Some coach or player has to have the balls to say "no, I'm not throwing at this guy and it's not because I don't have your back, it's because we're in a freaking pennant race and I'm a good pitcher who we can't afford to have miss a start." Someone has to put some intelligence ahead of just trying to be tough. McCutchen didn't even have a problem with the fact that they threw at him. He was mad that they missed and then pretend like they weren't then hit him. That's dumb. He should have been pissed because his guy didn't hit Goldschmidt on purpose then he gets one in the spine. It's a freaking joke.
So much for not ranting.
Jonathan (New York): You've given us multiple snapshots of Dilson Herrera over the course of the season. One thing I haven't read much about, though, is whether the Mets are still experimenting with him at shortstop. I don't see that working thanks to the arm, but would be interested in reading your take.
Jeff Moore: He's played a little bit of SS in Double-A, so I guess the experiment isn't over, but it should be. He's not a shortstop, but he could be a good second baseman defensively. He's a great athlete. He could play SS in a pinch (he'd be better than Wilmer Flores there), but he's overmatched there. The only reason he should still be playing SS is if he ends up in a utility profile rather than an everyday player, which is a possibility, so in that regard, it's not the worst idea to work him out there from time to time. He's not an everyday shortstop though.
Steve (Winnipeg): WHY OH WHY Wont the Mets actually give Wilmer Flores a shot, does Sandy Alderson need to take Ruben Tejada away from Terry Collins?
Jeff Moore: I don't know, Steve. Ive been saying since this past winter that they needed to give Flores at-bats, even if it meant having to watch him butcher things at SS. Who cares? It's not going to be a competitive season anyway. Let's see just how well the kid can hit. But instead we're getting more confirmation that he can rake in Vegas. Big whoop. I don't get it. He needs to play regularly in the majors and I don't care at what position. The Mets are going to go into next year still not knowing what kind of bat he is at the major league level, and that's a travesty.
Matt (Chicago): If you believe that your maxim about not trading young SP holds, how do you imagine that the Cubs will acquire their rotation of the future?
Jeff Moore: Because GM's make bad trades all the time and none of them are listening to me.
edwardarthur (Illinois): Have Vogelbach's struggles and adjustments this year substantially changed your view of him as a prospect, or is he still about what he was coming into the year?
Jeff Moore: He's still about what he was, but as he moves up, that's not going to be enough. He needs to continue to progress, not stagnate. At this point, the bat isn't enough to carry his profile, which offers no other skills. It needs to be a plus-plus bat to make up for everything else and it's not there yet. Still, a lot to like though and time to grow.
Brett (Baltimore): Can you talk to me about Dylan Bundy and make me feel better about the situation?
Jeff Moore: What are you worried about? A few bad starts on the way back from TJ? Step off the ledge, my friend. It's far too early for that. Remember, just because he got a taste of the majors before he got hurt, he wasn't all that close to being major league ready. He had just 12 High-A starts and 3 Double-A starts under his belt before he got hurt. He still needed a full season in the minors, or at least a half of one. He never got it, and now he's getting it while still working his way back to full strength.
The road back from TJ is a long one and his struggles right now are nothing to worry about.
NervousHabits (PGH): At the point where the Pirates selected Cole Tucker, it immediately appeared like the club was drafting for positional need and reached for a kid with strong ties to the team (Jay Bell, et al). Has his play in rookie ball made this pick any less absurd? Or is 27 games of rookie ball just too small of a sample to determine anything?
Jeff Moore: Far too small to determine anything. He also has 10 errors, but we're not going to rule him out as a future SS just yet. It was a stretch, and even if he ends up being an all-star it will still have been a stretch because it doesn't sound like any other teams were going to take him anywhere near that high. But who knows. Until we can trade down in the MLB draft, there's something to be said for grabbing the guy you want no matter where you're picking. The Cubs did it with Schwarber and got their man. So be it.
NStellini (New Jersey): Is Aaron Judge's plate discipline this season for real? He seemed like a massive swing-and-miss risk coming into the season but he's been walking prodigiously. Is it more that pitchers are trying to work around him, or is he just being really patient?
Jeff Moore: It was assumed that Judge would have big time strike out numbers because tall hitters tend to have a hole in their swing that they can't do anything about. That hole is still there and will probably get exploited at higher levels, but his approach limits it as much as is possible. He has a small-mans approach in a really huge body. He's patient and tries to hit line drives back up the middle and to the gaps. It's a great approach, and while it would limit most people's power, he's so big and strong that he'll still run into his fair share of home runs. I was impressed.
Shawn (Office): Javier Baez seems to struggle when he gets to a new level, then adjusts and starts to crush at that level. Isn't that exactly what scouts want to see? Obviously they'd prefer him not struggling in the 1st place, but he seems to make adjustments. If he hits 35 HRs from the middle of the infield, who cares if it comes with a bunch of Ks, right?
Jeff Moore: No one will care about the K's because no one seems to care about K's anymore anyway. That's why Chris Carter still has a job. With those K's, however, has to come power and some on-base ability. If he's striking out 180 times a season with a .310 OBP, he'll really have to hit every bit of those 35 home runs. If he's doing that as a middle infielder, then it'll play. If he does it at third base, he's Mark Reynolds. There's still a lot left to figure out.
Bernard (Albany): Thanks for comforting me. There's been a lot of talk around MetsLand about trading Thor for a guy like Tulo. I, for one, am pretty hesitant to do so....
(though the Mets REALLLLY need hitting)
Jeff Moore: Ooo, Tulo huh? He sure would look good in a Mets unifo....wait, damn it! No! Don't trade young pitching!
Balki (Iowa): Javy Baez got the call, he's headed to the show
Jeff Moore: Welp, let's see what happens. No matter what it is or where he plays, it's going to be fun to watch.
Joe College (hippo campus): Any thoughts on CF Magneuris Sierra, Jeff? Possible 10-12 HR, 30 steal guy who hits .280-.290 someday? Been smokin' the ball lately!
Jeff Moore: I refuse to put statistical projections on guys in the GCL. They're just way too far away to determine anything like that. Siera is a very nice prospect, however with a bunch of tools. He's definitely a guy to watch.
jamesmcevoy (San Diego,CA): Can Betts play SS? Would the sox be crazy to move Xander back to 3rd and have Mookie play SS?
Jeff Moore: No he can't play SS and yes that would be crazy. Let's finally leave Xander alone and let him play SS and rake.
Wayne (Austin): What's up with Rio Ruiz now that Colin Moran has joined the Astros organization? I can envision a scenario where one gets traded or one moves to 1B, with Singleton moving to DH. But that is all just speculation.
Jeff Moore: Moran will end up at 1B someday, but no one is moving anybody just yet. That stuff all works itself out. Look at Baez and the Cubs. They shifted him to 2B like two weeks ago and he's fine. People have been wanting to move players in that organization for the past two years but no one moved. They'll find a spot for everyone and so will the Astros. That's why the minor leagues are so deal. No need to even worry about it just yet. Just hope they all hit and figure it out later.
The Dude (Cubicle): Any recommendations for buying a radar gun? Brands, etc?
Jeff Moore: Buy a Stalker. Every single scout in the game has the same radar gun and it's a Stalker. They can't all be wrong.
tribes fan (cleveland): could lindor become a .290 hitter with 20 homers and 30 steals? or is 15 homers more likely his ceiling?
Jeff Moore: He won't hit 20 homers. 10 is more like it.
Dave (KC): Bubba Starling: Has been doing very well in July consistently. It's one month, but he's always had hot streaks but he sustained them for the most part last month and has hit .289/.346/.483 since Mid-June. Slowly coming together? New (technically old because they are his High School) mechanics working? Think he'll make the bigs on power/speed alone like Drew Stubbs?
Jeff Moore: If Bubba makes it to the majors it's based on his CF defense (very good) and his draft status. I don't believe he'll ever hit.
Leslie (Monterey, CA): Is Joc Pederson overrated, being a product of PCL?
Jeff Moore: I don't think he's overrated, but his numbers are probably at least a product of the PCL. So are everyone's who's putting up monster numbers in that league. He's a very good prospect though and properly rated.
JasonPennini (Denver): Is Dee Gordon's performance to date sustainable?
Jeff Moore: They are now that he's hitting in the .290's. They weren't when he was hitting .340. He's a nice player and there's a reason he was a top prospect. Sometimes it just takes some time. Remember Dee Gordon when we see other top prospects struggle. He went back down, shifted positions, and turned himself into a good second baseman. Not a bad way to go about things.
Mark (Oakland): If Matt Olson proves he can play a serviceable left field, and is no longer labeled "1B-only", how much does that improve his prospect status?
Jeff Moore: It doesn't help his prospect status much but it does help his utility for the A's. It's just one more way to get in the lineup, but it's essentially a lateral move on the defensive spectrum.
JC (CoMo): The current Cubs system vs. the Royals system in 2011. Which one are you taking? If it's the Cubs, when was the last time there was a system with as many top end prospects? Thanks.
Jeff Moore: I'll take the Cubs system because hitting prospects are more of a sure thing than pitching prospects (which was the strength of the Royals system after Hosmer/Moose/Myers) and the Cubs have more depth.
jamesmcevoy (My Office): What are the redsox doing with Betts? Why call him up to sit on the bench. They should move Xander back the 3rd and put Betts at SS. Thoughts?
Jeff Moore: One of my biggest pet peeves is calling up top prospects then not playing them every day. I think it stunts their development. If there aren't regular at-bats for him, leave him in Triple-A. It's not like he's so old he's wasting away there. Young players of his caliber should never not be in a lineup somewhere.
Larry (LA): Say something nice about the LA Angels farm system....
Jeff Moore: They have a good personality.
Ian (NYC): If MLB were to expand again, how long do you think it would take one of the expansion teams to build a good minor league system? Would you want to run that ship?
Jeff Moore: It would all depend on the restrictions within the expansion draft and how the regular draft picks are allocated. I would hope they would get a year or two to have minor league teams before the major league team began play, just to give them something to work with. I can't tell you how quickly I would sign up to run that ship. That would be a dream come true to start from scratch.
Shawn (Office): Are the Cubs prospects all deserving as the hype? Or is the fact they are in a big market cause them to be over-hyped? Would there be the same level of hype/excitement for them if they were all in the Reds system for example?
Jeff Moore: I don't know if the market has too much to do with it since the mainstream media and big league broadcasts of games barely dip their toe into the prospect pond. I think the hype has more to do with the sheer desperation of Cubs fans for something positive to grasp on to. You're right that the hype probably wouldn't be as high if it were another team, though we got pretty worked up about the Royals a few years back. Still, the Cubs system is worth at least 90 percent of the hype they're getting. It's a really freaking good system.
JOe (SC): Where'd Balki see that Baez has been called up? Can't find it anywhere so far.
Jeff Moore: The Twitter machine is abuzz with the his impending arrival.
RatedRookie (Atlanta): Does Carlos Correa have .300/.400/.500 25HR potential? How close or far off is that projection?
Jeff Moore: Incredibly, that may be within reach. I'd expect something more like .320/.380/.480 but it's all within reach. He could go a number of different directions, but he's a stud. The Astros got that one right, and yes, that may include not taking Byron Buxton.
tribe fan (cleveland): guess you and ben badler (BA) view lindor differently since he thought last year that Lindor "should be a 10-15 HR guy in his prime".
Jeff Moore: That sounds pretty close to what I just said. I said 10, he said 10-15. He's not wrong. 15 could happen. I don't think 20 will. But these are predictions. It's all far too close to nitpick.
Tom (Chicago): Has Trevor May progressed to the point where he could be a solution for the Twins rotation?
Jeff Moore: Yeah, he's probably ready. They have to make room though, and the acquisition of Tommy Milone won't help that. Neither will the money they've committed to pitchers recently.
Jagger Ropers (Seattle): I'm a Yankee fan...tell me something good about Ian Clarkin. What's the ceiling and floor?
Jeff Moore: There's a lot to like. Left-handed, throwing strikes and missing bats in full-season ball at 19? Those are all good things. It's a mid-rotation profile at best and he probably settles in towards the back end, but so far so good.
Matt (Chicago): Given the distinct possibility that the Cubs will move one of their prized hitting prospects to buttress their starting pitching, which organizations do you think would make obvious trade partners?
Jeff Moore: The Pirates seem like the best fit, given their need for a shortstop, lack of one in their system and collection of pitching prospects to work with. They probably won't do it, though, because of the inter-division thing and the Pirates reluctance to part with their prospects.
traindoggah (maine): Richard Urena - how high is the ceiling?
Jeff Moore: Everyday shortstop, and maybe a very good one.
Hal (Lexington ): Is it crazy to think that Joc Pederson becomes a better player than Wil Myers?
Jeff Moore: Not at all.
Bill (Lincoln, NE): Craig,
Who do you watch more and why? The ESPN Baseball Tonight crew or the MLB Network crew?
Jeff Moore: Wait, what? Do I look like I have change in my wallet?
dohogne (AZ): Did you see Luke Weaver pitch at FSU? And what indicators would you be looking for once he starts throwing at Palm Beach? Thanks!
Jeff Moore: I did not, but he's in Palm Beach now, so hopefully I'll catch him before the end of the year. At this point, I want to see if his velocity holds up at the end of a long year compared to where it was in college. That's the big test for a guy who's going to be a starter.
Shawn (Office): Thoughts on Kennys Vargas? Someone of interest in Minnesota or a Quad A type player?
Jeff Moore: Big time power and a better athlete than you'd think. Should be better than a Quad A guy, but not sure I see the point of rushing him to the majors now after a half season of Double-A. We'll see what happens though. Just stop with all the Big Papi comparisons. It's lazy and unfair to the kid.
Shawnykid23 (CT): Of the Red Sox seemingly endless string of back-end of the rotation SPs, which 2-3 do you see sticking in the rotation?
Jeff Moore: Henry Owens has the highest ceiling of the group, so he should make it. Wouldn't shock me to see Ranaudo end up in the pen due to command issues.
PG (Florida): The pub on Willy Adames has grown exponentially since Thursday. What's his realistic future?
Jeff Moore: Yeah, getting traded at the deadline will do that to you. His realistic future is to get out of his teens and then we can figure out where he'll play. He could stick up the middle or move to third. It's a good bad though. Still a long way away.
Dave (Boston): If Taillon is likely a #3 starter, is Kingham more like a #4?
Jeff Moore: No, not necessarily. They can both be threes and can get there in different ways. Taillion has the FB/CB for a 2 but command issues and a below ave chg. Kingham is a little more refined but not as explosive with the stuff. Just different profiles that could end up getting around he same result.
Greg (Baltimore): Cubs young hitting vs Mets young pitching (attrition aside).....who you got?
Jeff Moore: Always take the hitters. Plus the Cubs collection is much deeper.
Ben (Charlotte): If you were the average major league team, how many scouts better than yourself would you employ? Do you think the average reader realizes how smart teams are?
Jeff Moore: The average reader assumed all teams are stupid because that's the world we live in today. Everybody is a moron, right? If I were in charge of a major league team, I'd hope I was the dumbest guy on my staff. That's not just a philosophy in baseball, but in life. I want the people working for me to be awesome. Be better than me. That doesn't mean I can't lead you, but I want you to make me better. I want to learn from you.
Chris (Phoenix): Can you speak upon the logistics of a player being traded? I want to know the specifics of how a players entire life can be turned upside down and then be expected to show up in a new city for a new team the next day and play. I tried moving last year and the two days off from work was still not enough with planning ahead to get all the moving parts in place and I can imagine it would be even more chaotic for a baseball player, especially young minor league prospects.
Jeff Moore: It's a whirlwind. It's why we have to take these things into consideration when players struggle after getting traded. With prospects, they're given a little more time to get to their new team and get situated than their big league counterparts. Major leaguers are needed in the lineup the next day. Prospects can take a few more days. They're also younger and have less to move, typically. If you were 19 and sharing an apartment with a teammate you could pack up and move in a day. It's a lot different than being a major league veteran with a house and a family to pack up. Still daunting. Moms, girlfriends and wives end up with a lot of the brunt of the work. Go thank one of them.
Matt (Cambridge): Why is Baez up before Bryant? Are they still working on his defense?
Jeff Moore: He's ahead of him developmentally and has been in Triple-A longer.
Brett (Charlotte): Who is your favorite prospect that you don't think has any chance at making the majors?
Jeff Moore: Billy McKinney. I came away very impressed in a three-game look and will push hard for his spot in the Cubs top-10 this off-season. His addition in that trade will be a major coup when it's all said and done.
Gila Monster (Boston): Is Javier Baez a sandwich?
Jeff Moore: Oh geez. This sandwich thing is dumb. Let me clear this up once and for all. A sandwich is like porn - I can't define it but I know it when I see it.
norwun (nyc): LIndor call up this year?
Jeff Moore: Yeah, that would seem likely. I'm actually a little surprised it didn't correspond with the Cabrera trade, but a few more AB's in Triple-A won't hurt him. I'll bet he's up when the rosters expand, if not sooner.
Howard (Freeport, ME): I agree you take the hitters (Cubs v Mets), but "much better"? Not sure about that. Name one other farm with a better collection of arms than New York. Molina, Matz, Meisner, Fulmer, Thor, Montero, Gant, etc.
Jeff Moore: First of all, I said much deeper, but yes, they are better too. I'll take Baez/Russell/Bryant over the top three of Thor/Matz/Montero any day. Plus, when you get into Alcantara/Almora/Schwarber/McKinney, those guys are a lot closer than guys like Molina/Meisner and a lot better than guys like Fulmer. It's actually not even as close as I had thought now that I break it down.
Brian (mass): Know this is total guesswork but wondering if you'd take a shot at ETAs for these youngsters...Justin Williams, Gabby Guerrero, Margot, Almora, Rafael Devers, Ryan McMahon
Jeff Moore: It is total guesswork so I won't guess, but it brings up a good point. The fact that we have no idea when a player like Devers, who is 17 and in the GCL, will make the majors, or whether he will at all, is why teams can't make organizational decisions based on these players no matter how good they are. It's why there is an inherent value to a prospect who is in Double-A, even if his ceiling isn't as high. He's a lot closer to the majors and a lot more of a sure thing. The Cubs can make certain decisions based on having Kris Bryant in Triple-A. The Red Sox can't make any decisions based on Devers tearing up the GCL.
Frankie (Brooklyn): What are your thoughts on Nick Franklin?
Jeff Moore: Could be a nice little second baseman. Wasn't nearly enough for David Price (or Franklin and the rest of the package, I should say).
Phil (Las Vegas): Please tell me I'm not dreaming and that Taveras will play full time in St Louis from now on.
Jeff Moore: He certainly better.
Howard (Freeport, ME): Still waiting for the farm with more pitching talent than the Mets.
Jeff Moore: There probably isn't one. That also wasn't one of the questions.
Matt (Cambridge): Will the Cubs win a World Series in the next 10 years?
Jeff Moore: History would tell us no, both that of the Cubs and of massive rebuilding projects and of super-hyped farm systems. That said, Theo is a really smart guy and they have money to work with and hire really smart people. That certainly gives them a good shot.
Adrian (Boston): Piggy backing on the Lindor question, why would CLE bring him up so soon when they just promoted him to Triple-A in mid-July? Wouldn't it be too much of a jump?
Jeff Moore: A lot of teams jump prospects straight from Double-A to the majors and the difference between Double and Triple-A isn't huge (especially compared with A-ball to Double-A), so it's not ridiculous to think. Additionally, Lindor is close to a finished product. He's been ML ready with the glove since puberty so it's just a matter of the bat getting there. He's had a good approach since he was drafted, so there's not a ton of work there. The power can develop on the fly in the majors. He's pretty much ready, but a few weeks isn't the end of the world.
wade (st.louis): Would the Astro clubhouse totally implode if Appel got called up this year?
Jeff Moore: Probably, as would Baseball Twitter. Whoever it was in the Astros locker room who had a problem with him throwing a bullpen needs to have their diaper changed. That was a joke. The front office guys wanted to get their own eyes on him and the logistics made sense to do it in Houston. Big deal. He hadn't earned a promotion, but getting a pitcher who is struggling out of the California League is all the reason I need, and I've seen reports that the Astros have more analytic resources for evaluation at Corpus Christi (something pitch f/x or trackman related, I believe). The whole thing was not a big deal, but it does speak to the general disdain that the Astros players have for the organization and the front office, which is a bigger problem.
Dave (Pittsburgh): Baseball isn't fair to small market teams, do you think they'll ever enact a salary cap?
Jeff Moore: Every team got a ton of money from MLB this year. The $189 luxury tax works as a cap for all but one or two teams, and those that go over it tend to shoot themselves in the foot with the extra money as much as it helps them. I assume this is a Pirates-related rant? The Pirates are a part of the problem right now. They'll never spend $189 million but they don't have to. They're payroll is $71 million and they are making money hand over fist. There is no reason it can't be $100 million, which would still keep them middle of the pack but probably make them world series contenders. It's not the system that's broke. It's cheap owners.
Chris (Chicago): Is there a limited number of minor league teams/affiliates that an organization can have? I've seen it vary between 7 and 9 teams for each organization. Just wondering if a team like the Cubs can add another Rookie league affiliate next year to have 9 teams like other organizations do.
Jeff Moore: I don't believe there is a league-mandated cap on the number of teams, but there are only so many leagues. Only the complex leagues (GCL, DSL, etc.) allow for multiple teams from the same organization, so that alone puts a cap on things. No org has more than one team per level either (for instance, no one has a team in the FSL and the California League) though I don't know if there are rules about it. The Cubs could add additional rookie teams if they needed to, however, as long as they are in the Arizona Rookie League.
Steve (Philly): Let's say Dave Montgomery fires Ruben and hires you as the Phillies GM immediately. What August deals would you make to save our franchise?
Jeff Moore: Unfortunately, I don't think there's much anyone can do just yet. Ruben's lack of action at the deadline wasn't as appalling as it seemed. His hands were tied by his own previous actions (bad contracts, etc.). I can't believe Papelbon and Bastardo weren't moved, but whatever. I would have eaten any contracts I could in order to get something back and rebuild the system. Not sure what he can do in August. Maybe get rid of Kyle Kendrick if someone will take him? Either way, his hands are pretty much tied until the winter.
Greg (Baltimore): Just to be clear (since I wasn't) i was including Harvey, deGrom, Wheeler in "Mets young pitching.....still have the Cubs as way better?
Jeff Moore: Maybe not "way" better if you include those guys, but probably still better. I don't know. That makes it closer. It's apples to oranges.
Steve (NJ): Jorge Alfaro promoted to Frisco. Will the Roughriders need a restraining order on Jason Parks?
Jeff Moore: If Parks didn't get to him in Hickory or Myrtle Beach, it'll be tough to get to him in Frisco. In general, most prospects should have a restraining order against Parks anyway, just to be safe.
wade (st. louis): Hi Jeff. Who do you think will be the first 2014 draftee to appear in the major leagues? Rodon? Nova? somebody else?
Jeff Moore: Either Aaron Nola or Branden Finnegan. The Phillies and Royals seem pretty hell-bent on getting something out of those guys quickly, perhaps before the general managers who drafted them no longer work for the team.
maxpowers (chicago ): If that guy wants to count DeGrom (26) and Harvey (25), then Rizzo (24) and Castro (24)should be included in the Cubs "young hitting."
Jeff Moore: Ugh, Pandora's Box has been opened. I'm out.
Matt (Chicago): Given what you know about Hamels, his contract, and minor league talent, what type of return is he likely to fetch this offseason for Ruben's successor?
Jeff Moore: My general rule of thumb for trading for rebuilding purposes is, will the team be competitive during the length of that player's contract, and will that player still be the type of player we're paying him to be at that point? The former is probably a yes. I doubt the Phillies rebuilding process will take longer than through 2019, though if Ruben is in charge of it...nevermind.
He may not be himself at that point but he could still be highly effective when the team gets good again. I'd have to get some cornerstone pieces in return for him in order to move him. It would have to be better than what the Cubs got back in the Shark trade, which probably won't happen. Even though moving him may be the right decision, I just don't see the return being enough to justify.
Shawn (Cubicle): Ugh the Cubs-Mets thing- both are very good in regards to the strength of their system who cares who's "better" at least we can all agree on one thing- neither of you are the Phillies!
Jeff Moore: And Shawn with the walk-off! My sentiments exactly.
Jeff Moore: Great chatting everybody! Great questions as always. Be safe and go enjoy Javy Baez Day!