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Chat: Brendan Gawlowski

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday September 21, 2016 1:00 PM ET chat session with Brendan Gawlowski.


Brendan is a member of our prospect team, stationed in the Pacific Northwest, and an Edwin Diaz enthusiast.

Brendan Gawlowski: Hey everyone. Let's talk prospects, Mariners, Hall of Fame draft, Arsenal, whatever. Don't worry about asking who the next BIG prospect is: Someone has already taken care of that.

Frank (Maine): Next BIG player nobody is talking about?

Brendan Gawlowski: People are starting to talk, but Anderson Tejeda is a shortstop in the Rangers system who could be special. 18-years-old, effortless power, clean actions at short, can drive the ball to all fields. It's a tantalizing profile and while there's a lot of swing and miss in his game, he's very advanced for his age.

Sam (CA): If Clayton Kershaw spent a season as a one-inning closer in the Pioneer League, what would his final stats look like?

Brendan Gawlowski: Man. I think he'd give up a run or three, but he'd have a K/9 over 18 and I'd guess he posts more ten pitch, three strikeout innings than runs allowed at the end of the year.

ColeWhittier (Pasadena, CA): Edwin Diaz's BABIP is in the .350s? Is it possible he could be even MORE dominant??? Zoinks!

Brendan Gawlowski: I think this is the peak, but he's really freakin' good out of the bullpen.

Philip (San Diego): Anyone in the Padres system you like more than most minor league evaluators?

Brendan Gawlowski: He got a little lost in the shuffle on their prospect-heavy rotation in Fort Wayne, but Enyel De Los Santos could be a decent starter and he doesn't get a lot of love. I'd have said Luis Urias a few months ago, but I think people are coming around on him.

Sam (NJ): Juan Soto's Potential?

Brendan Gawlowski: Three of these questions as well, bonus points for using a slightly different question format and a different username.

Juan Soto could be a first division starter in right field and hit 30 homers at peak maturity. He's a long ways off, and he doesn't have Victor Robles's floor, but that's a realistic potential outcome.

Sam (CA): Split the difference and say he allows two runs; how do they score? Kershaw loses his command for an inning and walks a couple guys? A mistake carries out of the park at one of the altitude parks? Or BABIP luck gets him, especially with lousy defense behind him? Also, what would the collective batting line be against him? If it helps, MLB hitters are batting .184/.204/.268 against him, as a starter, this year.

Brendan Gawlowski: When big league pitchers give up runs in rehab outings, it's usually because a few guys managed to stick the bat on the ball and it happened to find the outfield grass. Call it getting BABIP'd. I'd say minor leaguers hit .120/.150/.180 but this is all guesswork now.

ColeWhittier (Pasadena, CA): Is Hunter Renfroe's MASSIVE home/away splits make you think he might be a major league bust? Can you tell us about his swing and if he can succeed in the bigs.

Brendan Gawlowski: I'm less worried about the splits than the approach. I don't think he's a good OBP guy, so he really needs to hit and hit for power, and I think he's just a bit light with those tools.

Slippery Pete (The Sea): Can Zunino be a > 800 OPS catcher going forward?

Brendan Gawlowski: I'll take the under, which is still a damn good pitcher and much better than anyone could have hoped for six months ago.

Tommy (NYC): Lourdes Gourriel JR lands where in next seasons prospect rankings?

Brendan Gawlowski: Top half of the top 50? For obvious reasons, he's tougher to peg than just about anyone else we'll look at.

@outfieldgrass24 (PDX): I'm always trying to explain minor league baseball to people who don't understand it. From a talent perspective, how does the NWL matchup to college competition? Would you say the talent level is as good as the SEC? Would it be more appropriate to equate the Pioneer League to good D1 divisions? How can I make a good comp?

Brendan Gawlowski: Think of it like a college all-star game. The NWL as a whole is much better than the SEC or any team in college baseball. Just about every American on the field was one of their college team's best prospects, and the guys from Latin America are playing at a similar level (and often at a younger age, no less). Now, that's not to say that Hillsboro would have automatically swept Florida in a three game series. It's always possible that Shore and Puk could have had great days and the Gators take two of three. In general though, the best college team would be outclassed in even the lowest minor leagues

Philip (San Diego): Zunino switched to pitcher?

Brendan Gawlowski: Dammit.

Dustin (Arlington): Does Richie Martin ever hit enough to be a full time player for the A's?

Brendan Gawlowski: I don't think so.

Ben (Connecticut): What are your thoughts on Rick Porcello and why is Craij wrong?

Brendan Gawlowski: For reference, Craig and I got into a friendly discussion about his Rick Porcello article, which you should go read here, if you haven't already: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=30387

The argument was over how similar Porcello is now to what he was last year, and we got into a bit of a philosophical discussion about command and luck that would be much more fun in an article than over a few tweets.

rolewiii (Rust Belt): What hat will Rowdy Tellez wear on his Hall of Fame plaque?

Brendan Gawlowski: His high school cap.

Thomas (KS): How hard is it to find out what limitations a team has put on a low-minors pitcher's pitch usage? Like he can't throw sliders, or he has to throw 20 changeups a game even if it's a bad pitch? Can you just ask, or do they keep it secret?

Brendan Gawlowski: Great question. It's not usually advertised, although if it's a big name, you can poke around the internet and often find the answer. At the game, you can ask the charters if they or their teammates are on a regimen.

Al (Ramsey): Gsellman has looked every bit of a #3 SP since he arrived in the majors. Does this make him a top 75 guy now?

Brendan Gawlowski: Wish I'd got to see him this year: he was scheduled to start in Tacoma on the day he got called up, so I haven't seen him in-person, but yeah, this version of Gsellman is a top 75 guy. Incidentally, he'll probably throw too many innings to land on our list next year.

Tyler (Ohio): Any chance Brian Reynolds becomes a star? And what are your thoughts on fellow Salem-Kaizer OF Heath Quinn?

Brendan Gawlowski: I don't see a star, but he could be a solid regular. Quinn has a lot of power and a lot of swing and miss, which was kind of a pattern for SF's Salem-Keizer affiliate.

TrickDaddy14 (YT): I'm assuming Alex Reyes will be in the rotation next year, but also on an innings count... What are your thoughts on that and his future in general?

Brendan Gawlowski: I think we'll find out a lot about him in the second half of next season, when players have seen him, and are working counts and not biting off the plate as much. I like him a lot, he's one of a handful of players in the league who could conceivably be an ace some day, but he's going to have to make adjustments.

R.J. (Florida): How tall are you, Brendan?

Brendan Gawlowski: 6'6''.

ColeWhittier (Pasadena, CA): Dan Vogelbach, what do you grade his hit & power tools? Will he become the full-time DH vs. Rs next year and what type of #s do you see him putting up in his prime?

Brendan Gawlowski: I'd put 50 and 60 OFP's on them respectively, although he's another guy who will have to make adjustments. He likes to take a lot of pitches, and while he's not strictly a mistake hitter, his approach in the minors put him in a lot of situations where he was able to take advantage of bad pitches, and those opportunities will shrink in the big leagues. He'll also have to contend with a larger strike zone, which will be an adjustment in and of itself for a guy who learned the minor league version very well. I think he can be an every day DH, but it may take him a while to get going.

Max (NYC): What side of the peter Alonso vs dom smith "mets 1B of the future" argument are you on

Brendan Gawlowski: Free agency. That's not quite fair, Smith has made legitimate strides beyond what's showing up in box scores, and while I'm a little lower on him than his supporters, he could be an average regular. I'd bet on him before Alonso.

Truganini (CO): This is an odd question that bothers me, about whether or not a MLB team should make certain trades. Back in 2014 the Rockies traded Harold Riggins to the Reds for Jair Jurrjens. Riggins played a year in the minors before being taken by the Marlins in the rule V draft. Jurrjens pitched in 2 games for the Rockies, had an ERA of 10.61, a WHIP of 2.46, and a WAR of -0.3. So who won the trade? The Reds got nothing really out of Riggins, but would the Rockies have been better off with nothing rather than trading for a guy with a negative WAR? That’s my ultimate question: is it better to get nothing than to get a MLBer who stinks?

Brendan Gawlowski: Really fun question. I don't think anyone wins or loses the 'flier prospect for marginal veteran' deals. They generally work out for what both parties want/need.

Shelby (Portland): Who was the (unexpectedly) best prospect you've seen this year?

Brendan Gawlowski: Melvin Adon in the Giants system, a 22-year-old who didn't sign out of the D.R. until he was 19. When I saw he was pitching, I almost didn't go to the game, and I would have missed a late bloomer hitting triple digits. His offspeed is inconsistent, his command comes and goes, and he's not a starter, but there might be a very good reliever in there somewhere.

Sierra (Houston): HOF Draft: Altuve was taken too late, IMO. How long until you redraft? Every 5 years?

Brendan Gawlowski: I would probably re-draft every other day if people asked me to.

SweetLou (Tacoma): What's your outlook on Robbie Cano's mid to long term viability at the second base position? Coming into the season there was a good deal of concern from Mariners fans about his longevity there, but this year seems to be a good bounce back for him, both by the eye test and the defensive metrics.

Brendan Gawlowski: You take it year to year. So far so good, like you said, he looks much better there this season than last. No reason to plan on bringing in someone new at the position.

Jeb (Iowa): What are your thoughts on Josh Bell, James Taillon, Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows, and Mitch Keller? Seems as though the Pirates have a lot of young talent in that farm system year after year.

Brendan Gawlowski: It's a very strong system. Bell could start at first next season, Taillon has locked up a rotation spot, and I'm fascinated to see what they do with their outfield this offseason. There's a legitimate case for trading Andrew McCutchen.

Frank (CT): In the few clips ive watched, it seems that frazier really relies on his ridiculous wrists/forearms to generate power. Is there any downside to relying on this rather than using his lower half?

Brendan Gawlowski: To quote Gorilla Zoe (h/t Delin H.): it ain't trickin if you got it.

Dayna Wilson (SEA): How tall are you really?

Brendan Gawlowski: That would be a weird thing for me to lie about.

Thomas (TX): Did you see any of Adalberto Mejia? If so curious for your thoughts on him. I'm much less optimistic now that he's out of the NL, out of home at ATT park, and blocked by a slew of ineffectual vets on the twins pitching staff.

Brendan Gawlowski: I have not seen him; looks like a pretty safe backend starter profile though.

ColeWhittier (Pasadena, CA): Everyone hates comps. With that out of the way, do you see Manuel Margot being a Marquis Grissom type who has a long, athletic career a bit above average but with a very good glove? Or is Margot's bat better? Wow, he's still 21!

Brendan Gawlowski: Grissom had more power, Margot should hit for more average. You have the right idea on the 'good defensive CF, ~average bat' profile though.

Rick (Tenafly, NJ): So this TJ Rivera guy had a fair amount of hit-tool hype before reaching the majors (seemingly only from people who specifically follow the Mets farm system). Since then, he has looked nothing short of Martin Prado (except speed maybe). What do you make of this guy? Classic older prospect who was widely undervalued?

Brendan Gawlowski: I don't see Martin Prado in him, sorry.

cjbuettfr (Lyon, france): Thank you for the chat. Do you have an opinion on Kyle Tucker? What kind of upside does he potentially have?

Brendan Gawlowski: Could be a first division starter, and I'm expecting him to be the top name on Houston's top 10 this off-season.

@outfieldgrass24 (PDX): Did you get a look at Anfernee Grier before he went down? If so, what were your takeaways?

Brendan Gawlowski: I did not, sorry.

Red (Redmond): I read your article about prospects getting promotions that you wrote wrote last summer. Which team does the best job of this

Brendan Gawlowski: Hmm. Marlins? Nailed it on Fernandez and Yelich.

cpernia (San Diego): Thanks for the chat. The Padres had like 8 top-10 draft pick pitch in the NWL this year, and as a group they had great numbers. How many of them did you see, and which of them can become Major league SPs?

Brendan Gawlowski: Quantrill was unfair. If two of them reach the big leagues in an impact role, you'd have to be very happy.

Wanda Rection (England): In 25 years, how will we write about the Pomeranz/Espinoza trade?

Brendan Gawlowski: A trade that made sense for both sides, if we're writing about it all. Usually, the only trades that become a significant part of the game's history are the one-sided deals, like Syndergaard & d'Arnaud for Dickey.

a.j. (las vegas): with what's happened this year who do you see as the Padres SS of the future?

Brendan Gawlowski: Probably not in the system right now.

Cashman (Bronx): Please rank these guys in order, offensive potential only: V. Robles, E. Jimenez, I. Diaz, R. Acuna, J. Soto, K. Maitan. Thank you

Brendan Gawlowski: The downside to living in the PNW, other than impending earthquakes, is that I've only seen Eloy out of that group. So, with a massive grain of salt: Eloy, Robles, Soto, Diaz, Maitan, Acuna?

Felipe (Alpine): Thomas Szapucki or Dylan Cease? Joe Musgrove or Robert Gsellman? Tomas Nido or Reese McGuire?

Brendan Gawlowski: Cease; Gsellman; McGuire.

DoubleMartinez (Tacoma): Has this season changed your outlook at all on how long Robinson Cano can last at second base?

Brendan Gawlowski: More faith that he lasts through most of the decade, certainly.

Rickie (Mesa, AZ): How worried are you about the impact of this year's season ending ACL tear to Kyle Lewis going forward?

Brendan Gawlowski: It could be pretty significant. I don't expect him to be a center fielder anymore: it was always a toss up anyway, and this is a bad knee injury. Sucks.

Gregory P (Pitt): Does Dom Smith finally find his way onto not-Keith Law top 40s this offseason?

Brendan Gawlowski: Probably at least some of them.

@outfieldgrass24 (PDX): The correct answer to the height questions is 1.2 Altuves. Just sayin'.

Brendan Gawlowski: This seems like a good point to end. Thanks for stopping by everyone!

Brendan Gawlowski: .

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