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Chat: Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday July 25, 2017 8:00 PM ET chat session with Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham.


Nathan and Emmett are members of the BP Prospect team, focusing on the Midwest League.

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: Hello all, thanks for joining us for our first chat. Ask us your prospect questions and we'll do our best to answer them.

Dusty (Colorado): How is Wander Javier looking this year? Is it wrong to be excited?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: With Emmett and I both working the Midwest league, we have not seen him. However, I don't think it's wrong to be excited about a 18 year old toolsy shortstop. Look forward to seeing him with Cedar Rapids next year.

Ben (SD): Is Keston Hiuraa a future top 10 prospect?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: Top 10 is a bit optimistic, but top 50 looks very possible. Until he plays the field however, his ultimate ceiling will be limited.
- Emmett

Eric (TX): Fernando Tatis Jr - top SS prospect in 2 years?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: He's definitely in the discussion. I think it depends on the status of Amed Rosario, Brendan Rodgers and Bo Bichette.

Craig (CT): Top prospect in 2018, 2019 and 2020?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: You can't really project out three years with any confidence, but I'm going to say Victor Robles, Vlad Guerrero Jr. (if he's still eligible), and Kevin Maitan. - Emmett

Slaphappy (Indiana ): Overall, who is the best pitching prospect in the Midwest League?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: The league is deep in pitching this year. A few weeks ago I would have said Dylan Cease. I think Emmett is high on Dustin May, I like Reggie Lawson. - Nathan

CCA (LA): Is Keibert Ruiz a top 100 prospect?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: I don't think he's quite there yet, but he is making an impressive case for himself. Depends on what kind of power numbers he puts up the rest of the season I think. -Emmett

Keith (Farmington, CT): Thanks guys. How much improvement would you say Fernando Tatis Jr. has made with the hit tool this year? Even with a 26 percent K rate, his overall performance at 18 seems amazing.

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: What he's doing at 18 is amazing. He's went from being a borderline prospect when the White Sox traded him to a legitimate top prospect. He needs to cut down on the strikeouts but the power is real, two hardest hits I've seen all year have been by him.

Tony (MKE): Is Keston Hiura the #1 2b prospect right now?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: He needs to play 2B before he's the top 2B prospect.

Mike (NYC): NEXT big prospect nobody is talking about

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: Not sure the parameters of nobody but I know there is quite a bit of excitement about Jeren Kendall being promoted to the Midwest League.

Daniel (San Diego): Fernando Tatis Jr - the real deal, top 10 prospect soon?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: Quite possibly. In my looks at Tatis this year, he hasn't looked all that great, and I still have my doubts about his hit tool, but it's hard to question the results. Doing what he is doing at 18 is very impressive.

Ceej (Pittsburgh): Would you rather stash Robles, recently promoted, or Eloy in an OBP dynasty? Either up mid next summer?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: I am kind of clueless about fantasy. I do know that Eloy is a monster but I think next summer might be a bit aggressive for a call up. -Nathan

Elias (NJ): Fantasy wise - Bo Bichette or Fernando Tatis Jr?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: Bo. I think he'll provide more production with the bat. -Emmett

cracker73 (Florida): What is the upside of Jesus Sanchez, and do you think his ultimate position will be OF or 1B?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: I got a look at Sanchez earlier this year and was impressed, real sleeper prospect. I think he is definitely an OF prospect.

Michel Baez (Ft. Wayne): Should I be in the Cal League by now?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: You will be soon.

Jeff (Bay Area): What are the odds that Fernando Tatis can stick at SS long-term?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: Hmm, maybe 60/40. Opinion on him varies quite a bit, but with the wave of big shortstops we have now, his chances are higher than they would have been 10 years ago. I have had scouts tell me they don't think he's a shortstop though.

Andrew F. (LA): Melvin Jimenez is a guy who shot through rookie ball pretty quick, only pitching a couple innings in the AZL before getting bumped up to Great Lakes at 17 last week. Any inside info on a young, big arm like that shooting up?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: No, unfortunately not. I caught a couple of Great Lakes games over the weekend but didn't get a look at him. Being in the MWL at that age bodes well though.

Sam (NY): What would it take from the Dodgers to get Addison Reed? What about the Brewers?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: Not sure but the White Sox just got a top 20 prospect for Anthony Swarzak so I would think they could get similar or better even if Reed is just a rental.

Nick (Bronx): I think at this point we all know that the major league baseball is juiced. My question is, do the minor leagues use the same company to make their baseballs as the majors do? If so, has there been a dramatic increase in home runs this year in the minors?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: I don't think any of the minor leagues have had any home run spikes this year. Rawlings does make minor league balls as well, but I believe they are made in different factories. Regardless, there have been accounts from major leaguers that the ball in the minors is noticeably different from major league balls.

Todd (Phoenix (aka surface of Sun)): What to make of Jose Siri? Is he just helium, or is he approaching legit status (top 100ish)?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: Earlier in the year I went to watch Dayton specifically for Taylor Trammel, but it was Jose Siri that stood out, legit speed and defense plus a solid bat. That being said, he is a bit old for the level and I think he tops out as a AAAA outfielder.

Kyle (New York): Brandon Marsh has impressed so far, can you tell me any more about him?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: Unfortunately no, but it looks like he's gotten off to a good start in Orem.

Cam (Dallas): Keibert Ruiz is starting to get some hype in the Dodgers org. Where would you rank him for dynasty catching prospects?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: He is deservedly being hyped, but I'm not sure if he's the best fantasy prospect. I think he has a solid hit tool, but I feel there is very limited power potential due to his swing path. He looks like he is trying to prove me wrong in Rancho, but I still don't know if it's a great fantasy profile. His advanced defense is part of what makes him a good prospect. -Emmett

Steve (LA): Thoughts on the Great Lakes rotation? Obviously Dustin May is dreamy, but I'd love to hear more about A.J. Alexy. Thanks.

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: I wish I could tell you about Alexy, but I've missed him this year. I've had some misfortune with Great Lakes and ended up with Jordan Sheffield three times. I can confirm that May is very dreamy though, I saw him twice and think he's legit. -Emmett

Steve (LA): Is Keibert Ruiz the next big "catchers are weird BUT..." prospect? Seems like one of the few exceptions to the rule where the bat could play elsewhere and/or they look like they can stick behind the plate.

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: Yeah. I think Ruiz sticks behind the plate, and I know Wilson Karaman been impressed with his defense up in Rancho too. Like I said though, I think his power potential is pretty limited, but he can hit. -Emmett

Esteban (SD): Is Fort Wayne a fun team to watch play with the youth on the squad? Anything you can give me on Hudson Potts, Michel Baez, or the ghost of Anderson Espinoza would be appreciated.

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: Very fun,I've seen them multiple times this year, nice mix of young international and high drafted American players. Potts was one of the youngest in last years draft. He started slow this year but is really barrelling up the ball lately while playing a nice third base. I got my first look at Michel Baez last night. Heavy fastball with life, overpowered Kane County. Secondary stuff is a work in progress, but if he gets them right, look out. Espinoza's stuff was electric last year, hated seeing him get hurt. Check out Will Siskel's scouting report on him from last summer.

James (Columbus): Purely Fantasy wise - Keston Hiura or Fernando Tatis Jr?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: Hmm, that's a tough one. I'll actually lean Hiura, but that's probably due to my skepticism of Tatis' hit tool. Hiura has to play second though, so there's risk there. -Emmett

James (Columbus): Purely Fantasy wise - Keston Hiura or Fernando Tatis Jr?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: Sorry, not a fantasy expert and I haven't seen Hiura in person yet but I do know that Fernando Tatis Jr. has plus power and speed.

fan (TB): Garrett Whitley showing any signs of progress to you? I know the cold-weather HS players can take some time, but I am trying my best to not be impatient.

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: I've only seen Bowling Green once, but he actually looked pretty impressive in my viewing. He showed some solid bat control and barreled up a fastball on the inside corner. He seemed passable in center as he possesses good athleticism, but there was still some trouble with his routes/reads. -Emmett

Dave (Williamsburg): Is Fernando Tatis Jr. a top 10 prospect next year? Hes making contact, and that power/speed combo is very intriguing.

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: He was #22 on our mid-season prospect list this year as an 18 year old so I think that there is a real chance he cracks the top ten next year.

Mike (Atlanta): Is Leody Taveras a future top 10 prospect? Better real life player than fantasy?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: Quite possibly, some people are really high on him. Probably a better real life player though. The glove lifts his floor up a lot. That isn't to say he won't be a good fantasy player though.

KRedman (Lafayette, IN): How do you feel about Cease being traded, and who's stepping up as the Cub's best pitcher since they don't have any Top100 prospects?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: Hated to see him get traded, really liked his stuff but that's what contenders do with prospects. South Bend is pretty depleted right now pitching wise. I think Oscar de la Cruz has a chance to be a back end of the rotation type guy in the future.

lipsgardner (The shower): So far in life, Bo Bichette has been about the best hitter (at least statistically) in every league he's played in since, and including high school. Now that he's in high-A and is doing more of the same, what kind of cap do you put on him offensively? Seems to me that he could easily be a plus hit plus power 2B if he can continue to improve even just a little bit

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: Yeah, you pretty much nailed it. I think it will be plus hit, plus power. You should read Steve's piece on him, he thinks so too.


lipsgardner (The toilet): Have you seen Michel Baez in person yet? If so, what was the stuff like and how high of a ceiling do you think he could have?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: I saw him last evening in Fort Wayne. The fastball was heavy, sitting 93-94 and touching 95. He only showed the change a few times and it looked to be legit. The curve, however, was all over the place. If the secondary develops, I see a ceiling of mid rotation starter.

Kevin (Houston): Is Forest Whitley a top SP prospect? Saw you guys think he has command issues.

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: He's not there yet, but he has the tools to be. I said he had command issues in my report. They aren't horrific, but it could hold him back. There are also report of him with higher velo than what I saw. He's very good though, probably the best pitching prospect I've seen this season. -Emmett

Oddibe29 (AZ): Favorite prospect or two who doesn't get much hype?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: I'm high on Aaron Whitefield, the former Australian softball player. The speed is real and he plays a mean center field.

CB (Michigan): Funniest/most interesting thing you heard a scout say while watching Vladito and Bo Bichette?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: Scout are usually pretty stoic when watching players, but one sitting next to me let out a grunt of surprise/approval after Vladito smoked a ball once. He's actually the only player this season that I've seen draw audible responses like that from scouts. He's good man.

JJ M. (Cleveland ): Brady Aiken have any hope? Numbers are really poor

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: The reports have been terrible as well. I am missing him this week when I see Lake County (I'm getting Juan Hillman instead), but word is his fastball is barely cracking 90. -Emmett

Ceej (Pittsburgh): Nathan, taking fantasy out of it as you mentioned, is mid next summer too soon for Robles?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: I think that would be an aggressive timetable, but if he continues to produce I think there is that possibility.

Ben (NYC): Is Jeren Kendall a future top 10 prospect? Must own in dynasty league?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: No, probably not.

Sean L. (AZ): Do you have any insight on Marcus Wilson?

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: I saw him hit a bomb off of Michel Baez last night in my first look. High ceiling type, fast and has some pop.

Steve (CLEVELAND): Were you surprised Triston McKenzie wasn't assigned to the Midwest league this year? Doesn't seem like he needed it, now.

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: Mainly disappointed. He'd looked so good last year that it made sense Cleveland would want to push him.

Emmett Rosenbaum & Nathan Graham: Well, that was fun! Thanks for all of the questions. Nathan and I will continue to cover the Midwest League for the rest of the season, so be sure to follow us on Twitter for updates and reports. Good night everyone! -Emmett

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