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Chat: Christopher Crawford

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday December 01, 2015 2:00 PM ET chat session with Christopher Crawford.


Christopher Crawford: Good afternoon, good people of the baseball internet. Let's chat.

Jack (San Jose ): Of the following crew of current shortstops how many, if any, can stick at the position: Franklin Barreto, Chad Pinder, Yairo Munoz, Richie Martin, and Mikey White?

Christopher Crawford: This is a GREAT question. We are starting this chat off with a GREAT question. I would say all but Pinder have a realistic chance of staying at shortstop. If I was betting on which ones would, however, I'd say Martin and Barreto. Pinder will play it as a utility guy, and the same to White, but I can't see it regularly.

Carlos (Berkeley): What did the A's give up in Brendan McCurry? He was a cult favorite among some A's fans, but there's not a whole lot out there available on him.

Christopher Crawford: I think he can be a solid middle-inning reliever. He's funky and doesn't throw hard, but he's got a plus curveball and he throws strikes with four pitches. It's not ever something I'd want in high-leverage situations, but it can play.

Jon (Denver): What kind of contract do you think Ben Zobrist ends up getting?

Christopher Crawford: A big one. I would guess 5/80 but I am awful at this. Ben Zobrist is really, really good.

stan (chicago): cubs dont seem to like Baez (contact/k rate??), do forsee a move for a young sp? thanks

Christopher Crawford: The Cubs still really like Javier Baez, and they're not going to move him unless they get something really nice in return. That being said, he's probably their best realistic trade chip, so yeah, I think he probably gets moved.

username49 (Ohio): What are your thoughts on Mike Clevinger? Most reports say he doesn't really have an above average secondary pitch, but his stats would seem to indicate otherwise considering he doesn't necessarily have an overpowering fastball. Is he the Indians best pitching prospect?

Christopher Crawford: No there's no above-average secondary pitch, but that doesn't mean he cant start. He throws strikes with a plus fastball and two average offspeed pitches, and he repeats the delivery well. He's certainly not the best pitching prospect in the system, but he's good.

Lone Star (Texas): What do you think a reasonable expectation is for Nomar Mazara in 2016? Beyond? When is the soonest we can expect to see him in the majors?

Christopher Crawford: Setting reasonable expectations for someone like this is tough, because I do think there's some volatility here. I would say realistically we're looking at a .280 hitter who hits 18 to 22 homers a year during his peak. There's a chance he's much, MUCH more than that. There's a chance he's frowny face.

username49 (Ohio): People seem to be really high on Tristen McKenzie. I know he is young and lots of scouts think he will fill out his body quite a bit, but if you are that thin as an 18 year old, gaining a bunch of weight and adding muscle can't be as simple as people are making it sound can it? Have you ever seen a rail thin guy like him ever fill out and realize their potential?

Christopher Crawford: I'll say this, there are examples of guys adding projection for sure, it wouldn't be a phrase/the name of my column if not. But this is an extreme. He's a sheet of paper, and that makes him extremely risky. Remember the Simpsons where Homer went to hell and got force feed donuts? That probably needs to happen.

Mercy! (Hawk Harrelson's Basement): With Alexi departing, who can we expect to occupy SS? Is Tim Anderson being looked at to fill the position in spring training? If not, when do you expect to see Anderson? What kind of performance can we expect of Anderson?

Christopher Crawford: It'd be shocking to me if Anderson is up that early, but, he should debut at some point this year. I imagine a stop gap will be brought in. Who that stop gap is? I have no idea. I'd ask Sam Miller. He knows these things.

caseyj15 (Medford, OR): What do you think of the future short and long term of Robinson Cano? He tore it up the 2nd half of last year and just went through a sports hernia operation. Some say a move to first although he looked OK at second last year to me.What now?

Christopher Crawford: I think Robinson Cano is still one of the best offensive players in baseball, and a fine second baseman. Someday he'll need to move over to first or DH, but not now. I love him. And I'm biased.

Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Chris, Who do you consider the best catching prospect in baseball, mainly as a hitter, but good enough defensively to guarantee staying behind the dish?

Christopher Crawford: Boy, "guaranteeing" someone will stick behind the plate right now is tough. I would probably go Alfaro or Willson Contreras. Maybe Jacob Nottingham belongs in that discussion, too.

Chris (DC): Where does Robles rank in the top prospect rankings? His Potential is?

Christopher Crawford: Thank you for asking this in every chat.

misterbob (brookhaven pa): I know its still early but the Phils have the 1st pick in the draft----if you had that choice, who would you pick if you had to do it today based on what you know? They also have the first pick in the Rule 5 draft-----do you see anyone available there that could really help their rebuilding process? They've done pretty well with Rule 5 players in the past.

Christopher Crawford: Really, really early, but I'd probably go Jason Groome. Puk doesn't have the upside to me, Rutherford still some upside questions, and Hanson having a screw in his elbow is pretty darn concerning. It's not perfect and this will play out, but right now Groome. As for the Rule 5, I really haven't looked at the list real hard but Wullmer Beccera is the best player left unprotected so that guy.

Dan (Philly): When do you think JP Crawford will be up in the majors and will he be better than Francisco Lindor?

Christopher Crawford: I think Crawford has a really good chance of being in Philadelphia before the All-Star break -- assuming things go well, of course -- but better than Lindor? After what I saw from Lindor this summer I have a hard time saying that, and I LOVE Crawford. Especially his last name.

Viktor (MD): Of the hyped pitching prospects of Anderson Espinoza, Jose de Leon, Francis Martes, and Blake Snell, how would you rank these guys in obtainable upside?

Christopher Crawford: Very good question. Well, I think we have to list Snell first, because he has the least volatility right now. I'd actually say Espinoza has the most upside of any pitcher on this list, but he's also the least likely to reach it because, well, baseball is hard. I'd go Snell, de Leon, Martes, Espinoza. I love all four. Go get all four.

Carlos (Berkeley): Any word on Dillon Overton's velocity? Can he succeed as a major league starter if he never actually rebounds to pre-surgery velocities?

Christopher Crawford: Sure, he can succeed. I just would like one of the offspeed pitches to flash plus on a more reliable basis. 50-55-55 is nice, it just doesn't belong in the top 10.

Craig (NYC): Corey Seager or Miguel Sano?

Christopher Crawford: Seager, just based on positional value, really. I love both. I think I might love everyone. This is a bad thing as a prospect guy.

Eric (Chi Town): Eddy Julio Martinez - What kind of Potential are we looking at?

Christopher Crawford: Big. Really big. Andruw Jones comps still come up here and there. Again, we have to see how it plays in the big leagues. But the potential is up there with any prospect in the Cubs system.

Erik (Plano, Texas): Do you envision that A.Benintendi will become an All Star, despite being only 5'11? Skills to overcome?

Christopher Crawford: I think he can become a very solid starting outfielder. I assume you mean perennial All-Star. I think that's asking a lot, but a very nice player either in center or right.

Joe (Ohio): What would a Todd Frazier trade to the Indians look like ? Zimmer + ?

Christopher Crawford: I would think that's a solid starting point. Maybe Zimmer and someone like Sheffield? That's what I'd be asking for, anyway.

Kevin (Cincy): Weekly trade question with Aroldis Chapman. What realistic prospects would make sense from Astros and Nationals ?? Thanks !

Christopher Crawford: From the Nationals, anyone but Giolito, Turner and Robles would be on the table I think. For the Astros? Maybe a Mark Appel scenery change makes sense. Or a Michael Feliz or Colin Moran. Trading for relievers is tricky, even when they're stupid good like Chapman.

Matt (Cambridge): Puig for Carassco, who says no? The Dodgers then go crazy and sign Heyward.

Christopher Crawford: Oh man, I think both teams might say no to be honest. But...I think I'd rather have the position player, as frustrating as he may be, Yasiel Puig is still a special talent. And I love Heyward.

JustinPerline (NY): Any sleepers from Oakland's draft class?

Christopher Crawford: We mentioned pretty much everyone I liked in the top 10/chat. I will give another mention to Skye Bolt though because I adore the name and still think he's a guy who could be a starting outfielder someday. I will not give up on you, Skye Bolt.

euqubudhp (Seattle): Ryan Yarbrough, Chris? Ryan Yarbrough.

Christopher Crawford: Ryan Yarbrough. I like him. I don't love him, but I think he might be the safest pitching prospect in the system. Throws strikes with three pitches from a repeatable delivery and he's shown some ability to miss bats. Mariners Top 10 comes soon.

Derek (Nashville): My younger girlfriend is only 29 and never seen any Star Wars. Do I get her caught up before we go see the new Star Wars?

Christopher Crawford: Here's what you do. You assuredly make her watch 4 5 and 6. You also make her watch 2 with the sound off and 3. You tell her Phantom Menace was destroyed. No one should have to watch Phantom Menace.

Number27 (Milwaukee): Chris, again, thank you for being a great Twitter follow, and for this chat. Let me ask; The rumored Contreras+McKinney for Miller deal, who would win that trade? Contreras is a recent upstart and Billy is a good bat, but at a corner spot. It seems like if that was on the table, and I'm Theo, I JUMP. Your thoughts?

Christopher Crawford: Well thank you. And you're welcome. I would say that's the rare win-win deal, which is why it won't happen. The Cubs deal from a position of strength, Atlanta gets two top 75 offensive prospects. Makes too much sense. Can't happen.

Gooner (Seattle): If you were Arsene Wenger, what would you do about all of these injuries in the short and long term?

Christopher Crawford: I'd probably join Chelsea as the assistant manager to see him and Jose fight each other.

Hey, I soccer sometimes.

Dylan (Pittsburgh ): I've read that Barreto has been playing CF in winter ball, and is feeling pretty comfortable there. Do you think he'd be more valuable as a CF or 2B? Also how does his overall value change if he's a legitimate CF?

Christopher Crawford: I think there's more value in him being a centerfielder. I think that could be a great landing spot, but here's my worry. Mental errors are a problem. A mental error at shortstop is worth a base, a mental error in the outfield is worth run(s). He'd still be a top 50 guy in CF I think because of the offensive upside, but I'd still do everything I can to see if this is my shortstop.

honest abe (heaven): After picking your nose in the car, try and fling it out the window or bury it underneath the seat?

Christopher Crawford: Depends on how old the car is. I bought a new one -- like brand new -- in August, so that thing is going out the window. Sorry, person driving behind me.

CR (Chicago): How close was Overton to making this list? What's his potential in the rotation?

Christopher Crawford: I don't think he was all that close. He'd make a top 15 but no one was pounding the table for it. He's a No. 5, if everything goes right. Maybe a No. 4 if everything goes right and some magic velocity comes.

Mark (Nashville): Can Athletics fans in Middle Tennessee expect to see any of the guys from today's Top-10 play in AAA Nashville this year? Last season was just brutal in terms of talent.

Christopher Crawford: For sure! Should see Nottingham, Olson and maybe just maybe Chapman. It'll be better this year. Heck, Barreto might even make a stop.

Nick (NYC): What are your thoughts on Jaycob Brugman? Has looked good the last two years and was extremely clutch in this years Texas League playoffs. Chance to be a decent MLB OFer?

Christopher Crawford: He's sort of interesting. Not five who are just interesting interesting but hes interesting. There's a lot of 45 and 50's there, which means he's probably a fourth outfielder, but fourth outfielders are valuable.

Coug Fan (Seattle): OT from baseball; but... Congrats on the AC win. Now, thank you for not being like Softy and showing you're bigger than that. Seriously, that guy is an ass and makes your fans look like idiots. Sorry to everyone who doesn't support either UW or WSU, as this question and CC's reply means nothing to you.

Christopher Crawford: I like Softy. I like Softy a lot. Sorry to those who don't know who Softy is.

DetroitDale (Florida (Eternal Spring Training)): So Detroit trades for K-rod, signs Jordan Zimmermann, and they're STILL behind the Royals? Everyone knows Ben Zobrist, Alex Gordon, AND Johnny Cueto aren't going back to KC right?

Christopher Crawford: I didn't say that. I think it's close. Detroit still has a lot of question marks, in my book. So does Kansas City. So does Minnesota. So does everyone. It's the first day of December.

Andrew (Seattle): Mark Trumbo and $2 mil for a good but not awesome arb-eligible reliever... Who wins that trade?

Christopher Crawford: Probably Seattle. I'm just not a fan of Trumbo at all. That skill-set and I do not get along. We are not friends on MySpace.

Frank (Pitt): Robles or Austin Meadows?

Christopher Crawford: Meadows. Robles is really intriguing, but Meadows less volatility and plenty of upside.

Homer Simpson (Hell): More Please

Christopher Crawford: And that's the perfect way to end this.

Christopher Crawford: Thanks for chatting everyone, and thanks for all the kind words on the prospect lists. We've got a lot more good stuff coming. Stay tuned!

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