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Chat: Christopher Crawford

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday August 12, 2015 1:00 PM ET chat session with Christopher Crawford.


Christopher Crawford: Hello, everyone! Let's get this show on the road. Apologies if I'm a little slower than usual, it's a bit of a hectic day.

suwpbshu (1): 1

Christopher Crawford: It's the loneliest number, but sources tell me two can be as bad as one.

John (Oakland): At this point, shouldn't the A's just cut Billy Butler? A designated hitter who gets paid a lot of money, can't hit, and takes up a roster spot is worse than a designated hitter who gets paid a lot of money, can't hit, and is no longer on the roster.

Christopher Crawford: Nah, there's just too much money involved for them to cut -- especially when you consider their market..umm...inefficiency.

Mike (TX): Is Tyler White a prospect, as in, potential for MLB regular at 1B or DH?

Christopher Crawford: I think MLB regular is asking too much. A bench bat who mashes left-handed pitching is a realistic possibility, though. Pretty solid for a guy they took somewhere around the 30th round.

Andrew (DC): What are your thoughts on Victor Robles' potential? Big potential?

Christopher Crawford: Ceiling is as high as any position player in the Nationals system. The question is what is the floor/can he reach that ceiling. Until he's facing full-season pitching, that's a pretty big question. A lot of intrigue, though.

Tyrus Tomas Perez (Chicity): I have seen multiple reports in the past week that say a batters swing is rotational (Goetzman?). Can you explain what that means? Isn't it good to be rotational or is there another component there?

Christopher Crawford: Here's a fantastic article linking what exactly rotational hitting is: http://www.chrisoleary.com/projects/Baseball/Hitting/RethinkingHitting/Essays/RotationalHitting.html

George (St Louis, Mo): What's industry buzz around Cardinals 3B prospect Patrick Wisdom of late?

Christopher Crawford: There was never any question about the defense, he's a plus defender there with an absolute cannon for an arm. The bat still has a lot of question marks, but the power is starting to come and the approach has seen some improvement. Probably not a regular, but maybe a Jack Hannahan with pop type?

Peter (Toronto): Will the Jays regret selling Chase De Jong for Pool money?

Christopher Crawford: I think that's really going to depend on how good Vlad Guerrero, Jr. ends up becoming. If he's a regular, no. It was a nice get for the Dodgers though, for sure.

Jeremy (Philly): Fantasy wise how would you rate JP Crawford?

Christopher Crawford: A great question. The real life value is higher, because you aren't going to get his defensive value. That being said, a shortstop who can hit for average and give you some steals isn't anything to sneeze at. He'll be a competent starter I think, just not one that is going to win you a league.

username49 (Ohio): Clint Frazier's stock was down at the time of all the midseason lists being published, but he has put up possibly his best month of professional ball since then, and that includes his rookie year in the AZL. If he continues his stellar finish, does he become a top 50 prospect once again?

Christopher Crawford: He's been better, no question. I still have a lot of questions as to what his upside is; there's no doubting the bat speed and the feel for hitting is improving, but I still don't think he's a center fielder. A competent regular is definitely possible, but to me this is medium-high reward, medium-high risk. Those aren't guys I'm usually putting in my top 50.

howling wolf (Bethesda MD): Hello! What are your thoughts on A.J. Reed of the Astros? Legit candidate to be a starting 1B in Houston sometime next year? Neither Singleton or Carter seem to want the job. Thanks!

Christopher Crawford: It's certainly not out of the question. I still don't think this is a guy who is going to hit for high average at the big league level, but the power is real and the approach is very solid. If he performs in Triple-A next year he absolutely could be in Houston next year.

Zebraheaded (Boston): I noticed the other day that a question has never been asked in chat about Jose Peraza, so how do you see his prospects in LA? A cup of coffee this year, then a solid chance for opening day 2B in 2016?

Christopher Crawford: I think he'll get called up pretty soon. Probably right around Monday.

This question was asked a long time ago, I know. I like to have fun. I'm a big fan of Peraza, and if he can show a semblance of patience at the plate he can be an all-star.

Trace (Dallas): How's Grandma holding up with this Seattle season?

Christopher Crawford: Ugh. Grandma is NOT happy. And when Grandma ain't happy, no one is happy.

KileyMcD (The Rich Part of Atlanta): Why?

Christopher Crawford: I thought you lived in Alabama.

JBlair (Astoria): First of all, I really enjoy the content here at BP. Been a daily stop for a decade. I'm a big prospect nerd and I read everything I can about younger talent. What would you say is the biggest difference between guys like Keith Law, Killey McDaniel, Jim Calis, and you? I know everybody has a different approach. I love all the work. Do you attend more games than those writers or do they attend more games than you do? If so why do you attend more or why do you attend less?

Christopher Crawford: Salary.

All of those guys -- and yes, even you Kiley -- are amazing. They are guys that I hope to someday be on the level of. I don't think I'm there yet, I'm really trying to be, but I'm not there yet. Unfortunately because of some family stuff and some health things, I haven't been able to get to as many games this year as I like; but normally I try and be out there as much as possible. Luckily the prospect team is amazing, and I think our coverage is as good as anyone's. Appreciate you checking out the work.

Carl (Chicago): Who do you prefer long-term Amed Rosario or Ruddy Giron ?

Christopher Crawford: Rosario. But a fairly substantial margin. Giron has really improved, but I just love Rosario's skillset.

JG (Sacramento ): Kyle Molnar threw 124 pitches in a game recently. Are these types of pitch counts common in Summer Leagues?

Christopher Crawford: Just common enough to really grind my gears. There's no reason for it. None. The lack of accountability there really, really upsets me.

Julian (Los Angeles): Have you recieved any reports on Yankees outfield prospect Carlos Vidal?

Christopher Crawford: He's your typical Yankee outfield prospect (outside of Aaron Judge) -- tons of athleticism, questions about how those tools will transfer over. He's performed very well this year though, so there's a chance he's a regular. Several years from contributing though.

Chris (Gary, IN): Pierce Johnson has had many injuries the past couple of years though none arm related. If he shows he can stay healthy do you think he's an option as a 4th or 5th starter next year or does the Cubs keep him in AAA ?

Christopher Crawford: That's a pretty big if, Chris. That being said, the stuff is certainly there to be a backend starter. I think summer of '16 is a realistic landing period, but that's really going to depend on his health.

username49 (Ohio): Where do you see the Indians farm system ranking at this point? The Lindor promotion hurts, but the addition of Kaminsky helps and the performances of Zimmer/Frazier/Bradley have been very positive thus far while Mejia is finally starting to turn it on at LC. Do Sheffield, Aiken, McKenzie, and Hillman have enough potential upside to push this system to the top half of a top 30 ranking?

Christopher Crawford: I think so, yes. What Cleveland has done the past few years in rebuilding that system is really impressive; though I wasn't a huge fan of either the Frazier or Naquin picks. Still, keep in mind that system was once a cesspool, and now I think it belongs in the top dozen or so.

JG (Sacramento): IIRC both Arenado and DJ LeMahieu were considered poor defensive players as prospects. How much of their improvement is their own (ie make up) and how much credit does Colorado's coaching/PD staff deserve?

Christopher Crawford: A great question. I think you have to give the Rockies a little credit -- particularly with Arenado -- but ultimately it comes down to the players doing the work. The improvement Arenado has made is just...it's borderline unreal. He's sensational.

Jack Z (Seattle ): How much longer will I have a job? Why do I still have a job? How is it possible that I still have a job? Who are candidates for my job? Somebody please take my job!

Christopher Crawford: New phone, who this?

I think that's one of the reasons you saw Seattle not make any "major" moves this deadline, but I don't know. Barring something miracle-ish I think there's a new GM in Seattle in 2016.

R.J. (Charlotte): You are a gentleman and a scholar for taking my question. Has Aaron Altherr turned tools into performance and become a future building block for the Phillies? Or is he a 5th OF/AAAA player having a really nice season? Thanks. I really appreciate the great work you do.

Christopher Crawford: Building block is definitely too strong. That being said, I think the assertion that the tools are starting to turn into tangible baseball skills is an apt one. I think he's a fourth outfielder, but fourth outfielders are valuable. And thanks for reading!

Joe (The Keys): What is the better long term investment : Blake Snell or Joe Ross?

Christopher Crawford: Ooooh, good one. I would say that Ross is the "safer" long-term investment -- not that Ross doesn't have upside, I just think he's the less volatile prospect. Snell's got the better stuff though, and the command is so much better than it was a year ago. I'd probably go Snell. They're both good.

Bruce (Gotham City): Appreciate any help, even if no one cares about MY team;) 12 team H2H, 5x5 OBP, keep any 6 forever. My locks are Correa, Bryant, and Betts, I think. But, have several other options, in Schwarber, Russell, Yelich, Soler, Eaton, D. Peralta (dare I say?)...but, also have been over-patinetly holding on to C. Seager, Gallo, and Baez. (I value OBP/Power the most, then age, the position.) What other 3 should I keep (with current knowledge), and what should I do with the 3 blocked dudes flip now or hold? Thanks.

Christopher Crawford: Good gosh, that's a lot of talent. I'm definitely keeping Seager and Schwarber. The rest I'm trying to move -- not because I don't like them, but because someone has to love those other guys and you can get help now.

The Dude (Office): Hey Craw, (do people call you that? I'm gonna call you that). What is your prospect fetish (plate discipline, toolsy guys, etc.)?

Christopher Crawford: They do call me that. You can call me that, just don't call me late for supper. When I see a guy hit the ball hard the other way, I get the tingles. So extension/willingness to go to opposite field is my jam.

Mike (TX): Is Alcantara going end up being a quad-A guy?

Christopher Crawford: Nah, I still think he's a big leaguer. Maybe not a regular? But a guy who can be a Mark McLemore type. Maybe that's disappointing but there is defnitely value in that.

Cosmo (Chicago): Outside of Pint, who are some players I should watch for at the UA game in Chicago this weekend?

Christopher Crawford: First of all, whomever decided to make the UA game and the PG event the same weekend is evil. Evil I tell you.

But Pint is definitely the best name to watch there, also watch for Delvin Perez, a few people have used the word "stud" in describing him. Seth Beer, Jesus Luzardo, Bo Bichette. THere's a lot of talent there. Also say hi to Mauricio Rubio. He'll be there.

Prich (WA): The Brewers GM job seems like a less than desirable thing... Aging roster, barren farm system, apparently going to be dictated who the MGR will be. I know there are only 30 GM jobs, but do they really think they'll get a great candidate with all of these warts they have?

Christopher Crawford: There are certainly more desirable jobs, but at the end of the day it's a chance to be a General Manager for a MLB team. There will be plenty of quality candidates to choose from. I just hope they don't go the retread route.

Rob (Philly): Has you outlook on Maikel Franco changed?

Christopher Crawford: I was definitely lower than many on Franco, and I assume you know that since you're asking if my opinion has changed. I still think he's a first baseman, but the approach has been better and he's squaring everything up. He's certainly been a bright spot.

James (Kansas City): In your opinion, who has the best chance to become a fantasy ace of these pitchers: Taijuan Walker, Steven Matz, Noah Syndergaard, Tyler Glasnow, or Kevin Gausman? Maybe rank them please! Thank you

Christopher Crawford: Well, since you said please.

Syndergaard, Glasnow, Walker, Matz, Gausman. I only list Gausman last because I hate what the Orioles have done with his development.

Bobby (Houston): I'm curious...what kind of fantasy impact could you see Derek Fisher having? Could he possibly be a 20-20 player at his peak? Thanks for the chat!

Christopher Crawford: I think he could be a 30-30 player at his peak, honestly. Now, I'm not saying it's likely he reaches that peak, but there's a lot of upside here. There's a reason he was going to be a top ten pick before the injuary, and the Astros did very well to procure his services that late. I like him a lot.

Happy Guy (Happyville): Speak for yourself!

Christopher Crawford: You can't tell me what to do.

Cutch is Christ (Iron City ): One statement. Three questions. Love BP. 1) Favorite place to scout? 2) Do you want to be a professional scout? Do you ever talk to the other scouts that started at prospectus?

Christopher Crawford: 1) There are so many places I love picking one is too hard. I go Tacoma because it's home. 2) Yep. 3). I do, they're all nice. They all love their jobs.

Kyle (the windy city): What do you think of Tim Anderson so far this season? As a 22 year old in Double-A he seems to be man-handling the competition with a .313 AVG to go with 45 SBs. Could this kid be something special?

Christopher Crawford: Very impressive, but the lack of walks is really concerning for me. He could be fantasy stalwart because of the ability to hit for average and steal bases --and the defense is coming around -- but man oh man take a pitch or two, Tim.

Ben (CT): Do we have proof that Eddy Julio Martinez is still on earth?

Christopher Crawford: Admittedly, I do not follow the space program as closely as some; but I think I would have heard about him taking off for orbit. I have no idea when he'll sign. I still think it'll be the Dodgers who sign him.

Paul (DC): What does Domingo Santana's future path to the Bigs look like now that he's joined the Brewer's organization?

Christopher Crawford: A good question. I think he's ready to play right now. I can't imagine why he wouldn't be a September call-up, and assuming he performs okay, I think he competes for a corner outfield job this spring.

Dan (Dallas ): What is the distance between Gallo and Adam Brett Walker, and is it something that can feasibly be closed? Assuming that taking walks is the only difference right now.

Christopher Crawford: I think it's a pretty substantial difference. Think Seattle to Norfolk. Why Seattle to Norfolk? Because I had to make that drive four times and I hated it. But yeah, ABW is certainly performing well, but I think the talent difference is pretty substantial.

Steve (Evanston (IL)): How would you go about ranking a July 2 signee? Its clear that Vlad Guerrero Jr., is a top prospect, but being just 16 years old and not playing this year, how would you rate him compared to other prospects this Winter? Placing a player in a top 10 list doesn't seem to be an issue when a HS draftee signs late, for example, but I'm curious about your thoughts.

Christopher Crawford: A GREAT question. I think it really depends on the depth of the system and how much of a report I have. For instance, I would have felt comfortable ranking Anderson Espinoza in the Red Sox top 10 because I had a ton of video and a couple great reports, but, the system was too deep for me to put him there. Gilbert Lara on the other hand clearly had the talent/that system stunk, but I didn't have enough to put him in that area. It really is a case-by-case thing.

rpo (LA): What order would you rank these keepers for next year only- Kang, Revere, Gallo? Is Kang a top 10 SS?

Christopher Crawford: Just for next year? You got the order right. I'm not sure about top ten, but he's pretty solid. One of the true steals of this offseason, if there is such a thing as a steal.

Alex (California): Can you tell me any reasons why the Yankees will pull out of this?

Christopher Crawford: Because it's the ****ing Yankees.

Nah, I think they might be in trouble. I love that team for 2016, but I don't think they're a playoff team in 2015.

Congrats to the Yankees for making the postseason in 2015 since I said this. Yes it is how it works. No you cannot jinx a no-hitter.

Kyle (NM): Where would you have Dansby Seanson playing right now? Am I wrong to think he could handle himself in AA?

Christopher Crawford: I think he could? But what's the rush? Put him in Double-A to start 2016 and there's a great chance he'll be ready to start for you by that summer.

Snowborne (Pittsburgh): What are your expectations for Brett Phillips in Milwaukees system? Do we see him starting in 2016?

Christopher Crawford: I'd say 2017 is more likely, but it's not impossible. I really liked what I saw from Phillips this spring. Cannon for an arm, plus speed, a chance for above-average power and hit. Some risk there, but I think the reward is much higher than the risk.

Mike Jones (Waterloo): Rank your current early favourites for top pick in the 2016 draft: Groome, Hansen, Pint, Rutherford, Puk? Anyone I haven't listed that has the upside to jump up into 1:1 talk with a good spring?

Christopher Crawford: Keeping in mind that the draft is 11 months away and if you take this too seriously you can't come to my birthday party:

1. Hansen 2 Puck 3. Pint 4. Puck 5. Groome 6. Rutherford.

Silverback38 (VA): What is the upside of Nick Gordon and how confident are you that he can come close to that upside?

Christopher Crawford: The upside is a first-division shortstop who plays plus defense and steals 30 bases. I'm pretty confident he can reach that. A bit of an inauspicious first year, but that's okay. Lots of guys struggle in that first year.

Festivus313 (Chris Crawford): Thoughts on Kyle Funkhouser? Would you think he would be a pick in the top half of round one next year? Do you see a SP there?

Christopher Crawford: I don't know if I love your location. He's a really frustrating prospect, at times he's 65 fastball, 60 slider, 50-plus change. At times, he's nowhere close to that and doesn't know where the ball is going. IF he shows the former version on a consistent basis he definitely goes in the top half of the first round. I have very little faith in that happening. I hope I'm wrong.

Gary (Indiana): Has your projections for Jeff Hoffman lessened because of the trade to the Rockies? Can his pitching ability overcome the location?

Christopher Crawford: From a fantasy perspective? Yes. I think any pitcher going into the Colorado system has their projections dampen a bit. This is still a pitcher who has shown two 70 pitches though, so he can be a top of the rotation starter. The ERA will just be higher than it would be if he was pitching in say...anywhere else. Not that Toronto is a pitching utopia, by the way.

M's fan (Safeco): Not to be Chicken Little, but... Should I give up on DJ Peterson being any good? I know some were skeptical when he came out of college, and it has really been struggle the past 18 mos.

Christopher Crawford: I was extremely skeptical coming out of college, and I remain so. That being said, I don't think you can give up on him just yet. There's still some offensive upside here. There's no question he's been disappointing this year though, even for me who had low expectations.

Brian (Main): More MLB production this year; Gallo, Baez, and Seager? Next year?

Christopher Crawford: Gallo for this year, Seager for next. Gallo already provided some. No guarantee that Baez and Seager produce a thing this year.

agetting (Queens): Did the Mets make a big time mistake by trading away Fulmer for Cespedes? Does Fulmer have the stuff to be a #1? He's dominated AA more than anyone I've ever seen

Christopher Crawford: I think that was a pretty even deal. I don't think Fulmer has No. 1 stuff on a consistent basis, but he shows flashes of a top of the rotation arsenal. The numbers are great, but I think we get in trouble with stat scouting sometimes. He's a very nice prospect, but a future ace I do not see.

Karl (San Angelo): Do you think Roberto Osuna is the long term answer to the closer position in Toronto?

Christopher Crawford: I think so, yes. The only reason he might not be is because of Aaron Sanchez, but I think Osuna is the guy. He's really impressive.

PompeyCanuck (Ottawa): When do you think we will see Giolito in the Majors?

Christopher Crawford: Summer: 2016. I've seen the movie poster for it. It looks good.

Christopher Crawford: Thanks for hanging out with me this hour, everyone. We'll do this again very soon. Enjoy your week!

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