Chris is a Senior Minor League Writer, stopping by to answer all of your prospect questions.
Christopher Crawford: Hi. Quick promotion. Buy the draft guide. Please. It's awesome. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/baseball-prospectus-mlb-draft/id1090576351?mt=11
cooldude (Mpls): Do you think Kepler takes over for Rosario sometime soon this season, and if so do you think that's going to be permanent? What's the future of MN's outfield?
Christopher Crawford: I think Max Kepler definitely gets a call up, but it's probably going to be injury-related.
This question was asked before the call-up. I don't feel bad.
BC (Urbandale): Will Kyle Schwarber ever be the same? Will this injury ccause any loss of power in that swing?
Christopher Crawford: This is a good question, if an (obviously) unfortunate one. It's really too soon to say. I will say that there's a strong chance that he might not be able to stay in the outfield now. But, I hope I'm wrong.
bobemullen (Maine): Mychal Givens in an AL-only league with 6 pitching categories that include holds: be happy with his 3 holds in a week and dump for someone more established or (like say Brad Brach) or ride the wave awhile longer?
Christopher Crawford: Could be just me, but I'm a fan. Hold for the holds. See what I did there? Good.
Fielding (Manhattan): BP seems to be hyping Luis Carpio, with Dilson Herrara getting lost in the shuffle. Your 2016 Organizational Rankings mentioned the injured Carpio, not Herrera, and Herrera somehow got left off your list of the top 175 players under 25 years old, which seems more like an oversight rather than an intentional snub. I think Herrera is a victim of not having Rookie status, so he was left of the Mets' top prospect list. Herrera looks to me like a 3 win player in a few years. Am I missing something?
Christopher Crawford: Carpio has substantially higher upside than Herrera, in my humble estimation. Herrera is a nice player, I think a three-win player is asking for a little too much.
Jimbo (SC): I'm curious about your thoughts on a few of the guys on the Charleston RiverDogs: Hoy Jun Park, Trey Amburgey, and Jhalan Jackson. Thanks.
Christopher Crawford: I like Amgurgey, double-plus runner with average offensive tools across the board. Probably not a regular? But could be a nice fourth outfielder.
Drew (Cincy ): Who are your early top 5 draft prospects as of now? Any insight on Reds target at #2 ? Thanks
Christopher Crawford: The Draft Guide goes into the rankings a bit (don't wanna spoil! GOTTA MAKE THAT PAPER!) but I'd say the Reds are probably targeting guys like Ray and Senzel, at this point. It's so flippin early, though.
Honkey Dojo (way back in the woods): So nick senzel sounds a lot like colin moran to me. How's this right/wrong?
Christopher Crawford: Well for one thing, their names don't really sound that similar. As for the comp, I get it as a "fear" thing, but Senzel is a more advanced offensive prospect, in this guy's opinion, AND he might be able to play second base.
Bob (OH): Walt Jocketty recently stated Jose Peraza would be playing SS in Lousiville. Thoughts on if he can be average there and does his bat profile as top of the order w/ solid OBP?
Christopher Crawford: I think there's a decent chance he can stick there in the short-term, but I don't believe it's his long-term position. No one can blame the Reds for trying, though!
Joe (Cali): re: Rutherford, do you think the age 19 issue is a concern ?
Christopher Crawford: For non draftniks, that's Blake Rutherford. Maybe a little bit, we've seen studies that suggest older drafted prospects don't fair so well, but I still think Rutherford is the second best prep bat in the class.
Cubby Bear (Chi-Town): Atlanta assigned Ozzie Albies to AA to play SS and Dansby Swanson to A+ to play SS. Which of these elite middle infielders do you think has the defensive chops to man the SS position long term for the Braves?
Christopher Crawford: Both! But if you're asking me who the shortstop of the future is, it's Swanson. Albies will be JUST fine at second base and the bat will play there? But Swanson has a chance to be special.
Bill (Usa): Which side would you rather have? Dom Smith or Amir Garrett and Touki Toussaint
Christopher Crawford: Dom Smith. Dom Smith, Dom Smith, Dom Smith.
Lark (Wisconsin): Hi Chris, What do you think the chances are that Cody Reed has a better career than Mike Leake?
Christopher Crawford: 45 percent. Leake has had a good career. Reed has more upside, but, pitching is hard. Baseball is hard.
Ron (Texarkana): Long term- who projects to have better offensive output, Vladimir Guerrero Jr, or Eddy Julio Martinez, and are they far away from being regulars in MLB?
Christopher Crawford: The better prospect is Martinez, but the better "hitting" prospect is Vladdy Jr. Both are a half a decade from seeing their debuts in the big leagues.
Number27 (Milwaukee): Chris,
Again, as always, thanks for the chat and for being an 80 grade twitter follow.
Question for you is twofold. One part much more in your wheelhouse than the other one.
First, I have a keeper league outfield of Souza, Joc, and Mazara ( and mixing in J. Upton when he's hot.) My question, is that a young/good enough OF in your mind moving forward? Or should I trade in some established assets to target a player like Springer or Polanco. Would there be that much of a difference.
Second question then: We just graduated a huge wave of prospects and MLB is flush with young talent. Outside of just staring at the top 10 of your 101, who really should we be looking at for a "next" Correa/Bryant/Buxton type talent? Or are we gonna be without for a few years.
Christopher Crawford: Fantasy answer: I love Mazara, I like Joc, I don't think Souza is a GUY, to steal from my mentor. I think it's good, but can be improved.
Those guys were special. I don't think you're gonna see that in a few years. MAYBE Swanson and Moncada are those type of guys. Mazara might very well be, too. It's just...you don't see things like what we saw very often. Appreciate it. It's fun.
Bill Clinton (Las Vegas): Chris, I just received credible information confirming that a hot dog is indeed a sandwich. According to Dr. Schmendel Fish III, "the components of a hot dog along with it's chemical composition closely resemble that of a sandwich, therefore, it will be classified as such." What do you think of his historic discovery? Not sure I could eat another hot dog after hearing this, but that's just me.
Christopher Crawford: We are doomed.
Eddie (Carolina): Are you a Sean Newcomb believer? Can he get the walks under control?
Christopher Crawford: I am a Sean Newcomb believer, so yeah, I believe he can at least keep the walks to a dull roar. If he's going to be a TOR guy, he's going to have to improve the fastball command substantially, but the stuff is good enough to "overcome" the fringe-average command.
George (Bama): Thor or Fernandez?
Christopher Crawford: Why must we choose? WHO ARE YOU TO TELL ME I MUST CHOOSE?
Alex (Atlanta): Give me a Braves guy outside the top 20 not named Ronald Acuna who could break out this season.
Christopher Crawford: I'll go with Max Povse. Plus fastball, shows a change that flashes plus, throws strikes with those pitches and a so-so curveball. That's my guess.
Chase (U.S.A.): Do you think Gilbert Lara stays at short and what do you think his upside could be?
Christopher Crawford: I would say it's unlikely that Lara is a long-term shortstop, but again, I can't blame the Brewers for giving it every shot to work. The upside at third or shortstop is immense. You can't even see the floor, but the upside is up there with any prospect that wasn't in the 101.
Alex (Austin): Please convince me David Price's drop in velocity is not real.
Christopher Crawford: My answer to any pitcher's velocity in April is that it's April.
Leonard (None of Your Business): Mr. Crawford. I am always interested in who could be some pop up Low Minor arms this year. Two names that come to mind are Franklin Perez, and Oscar De La Cruz. Any chance you can shed some light on them?
Christopher Crawford: Don't have a real good feel for Perez, but got rave reviews on De La Cruz, and many thought he belonged in the Cubs top 10. Two plus pitches, repeats his delivery well, third pitch is coming along at an okay pace. He could be a big jumper in the 2017 rankings.
Truganini (CO): The top 4 picks of the 2016 MLB draft will be....?
Christopher Crawford: Announced in June of 2016. I AM FREAKING HILARIOUS.
Paul (Savannah): When Albies and Swanson are up, am I imagining them correctly with Albies hitting second and Swanson third? Or is Albies a better fit leading off, and Swanson a better fit hitting second? Thanks
Christopher Crawford: Albies to me is that prototypical leadoff guy, foul off a bunch of pitches, work counts, get on base and steal a ton of bases. I want my best hitter hitting second. I think Swanson MIGHT be the Braves best hitter pretty soon.
Timmy (SoCal): Who died and made you president of BP?
Christopher Crawford: I became president of batting practice in 2013. Thank you for asking.
Gary (Indiana): Is Jeren Kendall positioning himself to be at top of next year's draft?
Christopher Crawford: I'd say he's going to be in that discussion, anyway. He is that rare guy who was a top 50 prospect in HS who actually did improve his stock. Good for him.
Larry (LA): How are you feeling
Christopher Crawford: I have been better, but I'm hanging in there. Thank you very much for asking.
George (Canton): To keep the Victor Robles chat question streak alive, what are your thoughts on Victor Robles?
Christopher Crawford: Thank you for keeping the streak alive! I like him.
Victor (San Fran): Is Phil Bickford a stud or scrub?
Christopher Crawford: No. I think he's inbetween those. He had a fantastic debut, though, and his upside might be the highest of any of the Giants pitchers, including Tyler Beede.
Lark (Wisconsin): Who do you think will have a better career at the plate, JP Crawford or Francisco Lindor?
Christopher Crawford: Man, these two are gonna get compared to each other for a long time, aren't they? I go Lindor, if only because there's a little more safety in Lindor now that we've seen him succeed. It's really close, though.
James (Wisconsin): Who's your favorite new addition to the BP prospect squad?
Christopher Crawford: Why you trying to get me into trouble, James? They're all great.
Ben (NYC): Was chatting with a buddy who says that teams should not sign Catchers from the Dominican Republic. What say you?
Christopher Crawford: I'd say that sounds pretty damn racist.
Ulysses (OKC): Which P would you rather have for the next 15 years: Syndergaard or Giolito?
Christopher Crawford: I go Giolito, and I would understand anyone that goes with Syndergaard because he's awesome, but Giolito's stuff is better. Yep. Scary.
WickedCurve26 (B-More): Who do you have more faith in to be successful, Mike Clevinger, Jorge Lopez, or Josh Hader?
Christopher Crawford: Jorge Lopez by quite a bit. He's the one I'm most comfortable will be starting long-term. Clevinger has his share of supporters, as does Hader, but Lopez is the guy in that trio for me.
Dan (Seattle): What is Dario Pizzano future?
Christopher Crawford: Probably a cup of coffee type of guy, MAYBE a bench bat if everything breaks right, but there's just not enough here to suggest he's a regular or anything close.
holmesp2001 (St. Louis): Will Tyler White and AJ Reed be good enough to supplant Evan Gattis out of the everyday line-up by mid-season?
Christopher Crawford: Call me the party pooper, but I'm a little skeptical on the Tyler White sustained success train. I think he could be a very nice platoon first baseman/DH, but I think Evan Gattis is the better hitter right now. When Tyler White wins the ROY and the ALCS MVP don't @ me.
holmesp2001 (St. Louis): What are the Astros going to do with Alex Bregman? Is he prime trade bait for an SP or is there another position for him in Houston since SS and 2B are filled?
Christopher Crawford: It's a nice problem to have. I guess they could move Bregman; if there was an "ace" to get that's as good of piece as you can realistically offer, but my guess is this will end up working out. These things have a way of working out.
Thomas (Stone house ): Can Franklyn Kilome harness it enough to be a front line starter?
Christopher Crawford: I think you're looking at more of a mid-rotation guy, or -- and I'd probably say most likely -- a high-leverage reliever. The secondaries and command just aren't where they need to be to suggest pitching at the top of a rotation.
holmesp2001 (St. Louis): Is Cody Reed in that next tier after Giolito, Urias, Glasnow, Snell, Reyes, and Espinoza? Do you think he could be a #2 starter down the road?
Christopher Crawford: He's in that discussion of that next group. Also I like that you included Espinoza without me having to do it. I love that guy.
Kevin (NC): Whos to blame for a high round pick failing? The area scout? The crosschecker? The player development staff?
Christopher Crawford: These are both great questions. The answer to who gets the credit for White is tough without seeing the report. OBVIOUSLY he/she gets some credit, because they liked him enough to give a recommendation. But the player-development squad has to get credit for this. The guy who gets the most credit though is Tyler White for being good. In general, my blame goes to the player-development staff for things like this, because if you get the process right of the pick, the result is really left up to those guys, and the player. It's really tough, though. Baseball is hard.
Okie (Muskogee): Are there any prospects with the potential to swipe 100 bags in a season?
Christopher Crawford: Maybe Jorge Mateo. That's the only legit one that comes to mind.
Silverback38 (VA): What is the upside of Bregman?
Christopher Crawford: A first-division shortstop who can hit .300 and be a 20/20 player.
Mike (Harrisonburg): What does Matt Olson need to do at the plate to become more than a fringe major leaguer?
Christopher Crawford: Strike out less. Really what it'll take though is him being able to handle the outfield. If he can do that, it increases his value significantly. If he can't, he can still start at first, but he's gonna have to make more contact, even with the walks.
Chris (San Diego): First off, I just wanted to say you have a great name.
Secondly, I have two questions.
Where were you at for minor league opening day? Have you seen anything that has caught your eye this early into the minor league season of the CAL?
Christopher Crawford: First off, I love your name and your city. To answer your ?, haven't had a chance to hit a game yet. Was going to go to High Desert, but with the MLU and that being a 150 mile drive and some personal stuff, it didn't happen. Bummer. Will hit em hard this week.
Doug (Cleveland): Why does the state of minor league catching always look so grim?
Christopher Crawford: I don't know if it ALWAYS looks this grim, but man does it look grim right now, with all due respect to guys like Contreras, Alfaro, Mejia, etc.. I think we're just seeing teams realize that if the guy can hit, and you want him to move fast, he can't stay at catcher.
Okie (Muskogee): Are Berrios and De Leon in the top tier of SP prospects or tier 2?
Christopher Crawford: Berrios is in tier 1. De Leon is Tier 2.
Mark (Chicago): Your take on current and future hit tool for Gleyber Torres?
Christopher Crawford: Hit tool right now -- if using it in the "what would he hit" kind of way, is 20. Using it in the more useful "how far along is the tool" kind of way, I'd say 40-45. The hit tool potential for me is 55-60.
Alex (CA): Higher ceiling, floor, and who would you take: 18 year old Julio Urias or 18 year old Anderson Espinoza?
Christopher Crawford: I gotta go Urias on all three. Love Espinoza, but Urias a slightly different level. That's the first negative thing I've ever said about Anderson Espinoza and I'm heartbroken.
Kaylee (Ohio): Bubba Starling have any potential left in your eyes or should he go back to Nebraska for that starting QB job
Christopher Crawford: A year ago, I would have said it's time to go give that other game a try. Not now. We gave up too soon.
Cory (Ohio): What kind of career do you see Joey Gallo having?
Christopher Crawford: A good one that frustrates the hell out of people because of all the strikeouts. Dave Kingman is an easy lazy comp but, sure, Dave Kingman.
Oscar (Jordan): Any new analysis of Kevin Maitan?
Christopher Crawford: No "new" analysis, but he's the best international prospect by a large margin. We'll talk more about that in a month er so.
Greg (Home ): Sir; when might we expect draft related content from you?
Christopher Crawford: Soon! But a lot of it is gonna go in the Draft Guide. That's the cool thing about the Draft Guide, we can update it and add video and mock drafts and rankings and stuff. I'm sure I'll have some great stuff for you BP folks, too, but seriously, please, check out the Draft Guide. It's $5 bucks!
Donny (Philly): Richie Shaffer have any impact in 2016 and beyond?
Christopher Crawford: I think he should be there right now, and I'm honestly a little bit confused why he's not. I like his offensive upside quite a bit.
Brett (West Virginia): Please describe to me your level of disappointment that there will be no more MLB Scout School
Christopher Crawford: I did not know there was no more MLB Scout School. If that's the case, that's a bummer, and really hurts those who are approaching the game who didn't play.
Ronnie (Texas): What are your thoughts on Trey Mancini?
Christopher Crawford: Oh, to answer that previous question, I knew the bureau was stopping. Just didn't put two-and-two together in my head. Yeesh. Sorry about that.
I think Mancini is interesting. If he was a left-handed hitter, I think we'd be a lot more interested in him. Good feel for the barrel, above-average raw power. Gets good reviews for his ability to make adjustments. Not a first-division regular, but a fringe-average starter/platoon bat is possible.
Matt (Arizona): Which MLB pitcher will have the most consecutive starts without injury in their career: Brett Anderson or Hunter Harvey?
Christopher Crawford: I don't wanna play this game.
Tommy (Wisconsin): Describe Byron Buxton is 2 words or less….GO
Christopher Crawford: Byron Buxton.
Christopher Crawford: That'll do it for me. Thanks for coming out and chatting with me for an hour. You're all good people. Again, please check out the draft guide. I'm really proud of it. Here' another link. Talk to you all soon. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/baseball-prospectus-mlb-draft/id1090576351?mt=11