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Chat: Jason Parks

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday April 27, 2012 1:00 PM ET chat session with Jason Parks.


The day after #want appeared on Baseball Tonight, the Professor appears at BP to answer your questions.

Jason Parks: I have an hour, I have some #want, I have the desire to answer questions. It's a happy marriage. Let's go.

Not Billy Beane (Fantasyland): Hey Professor P, thanks for throwing the quick chat...what are things you looking forward to see before All-Star break, albeit harassed by tweets asking about prospect ETA everyday?

Jason Parks: I want to see more of the 2011 draft arms, like Bradley, Bundy, Fernandez. I want to see how Bryce Harper responds to struggle. It might be the best thing for him (longterm). The best players respond to struggle and adjust. Does Harper have this characteristic? I can't wait to find out.

Jeff (Bay Area): Jedd Gyorko has been playing 2b this week. Can he be remotely playable there at the ML level?

Jason Parks: I don't think so. He can really swing a bat, but I don't see the necessary athletic traits to play 2B at the major league level.

mattymatty2000 (Portland, OR): Hi Jason, have you personally seen Yu Darvish throw a cut Marvin Gaye?

Jason Parks: No, but I've seen him throw a Theo Huxtable. Most people aren't familiar with that pitch, but it's pretty cool. It's not very aggressive, but its steady and everything turns out okay.

Immanuel #Want (Prussia): Has your opinion on Tony Cingrani changed at all? He's long been pigeonholed as a bullpen arm due to a lack of secondary stuff, but he is absolutely dominating as a starter (10.7 K/9, 5.6 K/BB) in the offense-friendly Cal League and a AA promotion can't be far off. Can he stick?

Jason Parks: Just spoke to a scout about him. The arm strength is fantastic, and he's shoving it right now as a starter. But everything I hear is that he profiles better as a bullpen arm. I'd like to hold off until we can see how the breaking ball develops and if he can remain effective as a starter. Helium guy right now.

pat (kc): Does wil myers push Frenchy (or franky if your rex hudler) out of right field before the end of the year?

Jason Parks: He might get a cup of coffee, but I don't see him pushing Frenchy out of the spot in 2012. The Royals don't need to start his clock.

richardkr34 (Saint Paul, MN): 1) Previously you said Ellis was an influence on your writing; were you referring to Bret Easton Ellis? 2) Where would you rate Underworld in DeLillio's canon? 3) Do you think that DeLillio's dialogue is to eloquent? I've noticed this with Updike as well, where average people speak like the author's prose. For example, the baseball memorabilia collector in Underworld is far too articulate.

Jason Parks: 1. Yes. 2. I'm not the biggest fan of Underworld. I prefer Libra, which I think packs a bigger punch despite not packing the most pages or the most words. Underworld is an interesting journey, but I found myself not caring much along the way. 3) Updike likes to create a world full of Updikes; Delillo falls victim to this as well and it can be a turn off. Good call.

FalconCount (Fort Worth): #TheLegend is back on the DL after another hamstring issue. Is this cause for concern, or just the Crawdads playing it safe?

Jason Parks: Hamstring injuries can linger. It's better to let #TheLegend heal and return full-strength.

Tim (Seattle): Hey, are you jazzed about the Dallas Cowboys draft pick? It strikes me as a shrewd pick.

Jason Parks: I was very happy about the pick. Jerry Jones the GM doesn't have my vote, so when the Cowboys are on the clock, I automatically expect the worst and gleefully applaud the best.

Rob (Alaska): Hey, Professor, thanks for the chat. Miguel Sano is taking walks - is this SSS, a new approach, or pitchers avoiding him? All of the above?

Jason Parks: Probably all of the above. It's hard to tell unless you watch every game. His approach has been called more mature, which is to say he is developing a plan that goes beyond see ball/hit ball. Pitchers might dance around him in certain situations, but at that level, pitchers might jut be struggling to throw strikes and Sano is wise enough to lay off pitches out of the zone.

The Coach (Wisconsin): Does Francisco Lindor know that you have a man crush on him?

Jason Parks: I've never had a conversation with him about it. I assume the majority of people who have seen him play have a similar crush. I just have a platform to declare my love.

Kingpin (Grinnell, IA): I'm excited to go to the Quad Cities & see the River Bandits play Beloit on June 1. Even though I am a Cardinal fan I'm as excited to see Migeul Sano this year as I was to see Tavares last year. Will Sano & Rosario still be playing for Beloit by then?

Jason Parks: I don't expect to see either player promoted this early in the season, if at all.

Jack (Dallas): Jordan Akins Ks are way up and his already minisscule BB rate is way down. It's going to be a long and hard developmental road, isn't it? Do you think he has the makeup to put in the work and get there?

Jason Parks: He is trying to transition from raw athlete to baseball player, and that can look very ugly before it looks pretty. He can flash these high-end skills, but that's all it is --a flash. The makeup is there. Trust me. This kid works hard, he shows improvement, he takes to instruction, and he has come a loooong way since he was first drafted. This is a longterm project, with an extremely high payoff that comes with very long odds.

Alan (Winnipeg): If you had to pick one: Bogaerts or Cuthbert and why?

Jason Parks: This is a great question, one that I'm struggling with. Bogaerts has the power potential that can have impact at the major league level. I love his hands and the electricity in his bat. Cuthbert doesn't have the same thunder, but he can still bring it, and I like his upside on defense (some don't). Bogaerts has the higher ceiling, but I'm more familiar with Cuthbert. If I'm starting a team, I'd take Bogaerts because of the ceiling.

msloftus (NYC): Thoughts on Jake Marisnick? He was off to a slow start, but seems to be heating up. Also is Oscar Taveras the best pure hitter in the minors? If not could you give a quick top 5. Love you and the podcast (but mostly you).

Jason Parks: Thanks. Marisnick struggled to start the year and then made the necessary adjustments to take a step forward. I can't stress this enough: young prospect that can make adjustments are usually the young prospects that eventually become major league players. The ability to make adjustments is paramount to success, regardless of the level. Marisnick has impressed more than a few scouts with his ability to make the small adjustment in order to execute.

Taveras is on any list of the best hitters in the minors. Could be a .300+ hitter at the major league level at maturity.

ChoppertoChipper (Edmonton): Any early thoughts on how Bethancourt is adapting to his new level? Is there a reason to get excited about Evan Gattis?

Jason Parks: There is a reason to be very patient, regardless of the result. The raw defensive tools will make him a major leaguer. The development of the bat is what could not only keep him at the level, but make him a special player. The bat is going to take some time to develop.

richardkr34 (Saint Paul, MN): Would a prospect with Luke Scott's personal views get a mark down for make up? Or does that just relate to work ethic and such?

Jason Parks: Unfortunately, Luke Scott's personal views are more common in baseball than you might think. I don't knock a player for having opinions that I disagree with, but if those beliefs are extreme enough or destructive enough to derail developmental progress, I would knock the player's makeup. I mainly focus on the effort a player puts into their career.

AdamSilvermanWithABeardLooksLikeAlBorland (New York): 2 question, professor: 1) Don't you think Adam Silverman with a beard looks like Al Borland, the sidekick from Home Improvement? 2) Thoughts on Tomas Telis? Can he stick at C long-term? If not, will his bat play?

Jason Parks: 1) Um. 2) Speaking of makeup, Telis works his ass off. He is not a good defensive catcher, and I'm not sold he will ever be a good defensive catcher, but it's not going to be from a lack of effort on his part. I really like the bat; he has great hands, good pop, uses the entire field. On defense, he has enough arm, but his receiving skills are below-average. Without the position, Telis will struggle to find a home anywhere else on the diamond, so its basically catcher or bust.

Justin (Chicago, IL): Hey Professor, how good do you think Leonys Martin is going to be?

Jason Parks: Most likely a solid-average player; could be a 6 if everything becomes everything

Marycontardi (San Francisco): If there is one thing the BP audience could do to playfully annoy KG at the upcoming Oakland event it would be?

Jason Parks: Talk about how awesome I am

dianagramr (Value Over Replacement Grit): Hi Jason! Thanks for the chat. Altuve's plate discipline has improved, and while no one expects him to hit .370 for the year, have the Astros found their 2B long-term?

Jason Parks: I hope so. Altuve isn't an elite hitter, but he hits with his hands, he produces excellent bat speed, and as a result, can hit with some pop. I think he might be closer to a 2nd division starter than a star, but I think he's a major leaguer for a long time, and hopefully with the 'Stros

The Coach (Wisconsin): With Jesus Montero now having Catcher eligibility in Yahoo leagues, is there a better offensive catcher in the Bigs?

Jason Parks: Of course. Have you seen Matt Wieters this year? The man is becoming the monster.

Tim (Seattle): You know what is crazy about the Rangers? I don't think they are on a hot streak. I think they are this good. On the flip side, I think the Angels are on a cold streak.

Jason Parks: The Angels have a talented roster that is eventually going to start playing like it. They will get hot, and when they are hot, they will look like a top tier team. The Rangers are very hot now, but I agree with you, they are just a very good team and they are going to remain a very good team.

jsdspud (Everson, PA): Jason, thanks for the chat. How has the Pirates Josh Bell looked so far? Also, where would he have been taken if he was eligible for the draft this year?

Jason Parks: He has struggled, but it's early. He has incredible talent, but this is professional ball and 19 year-old kids playing in a full-season league (without previous pro experience) are likely to struggle. Let's see what adjustments he can make. The swing is showing some miss right now.

ChoppertoChipper (Edmonton): Regarding the couple who wouldn't give the foul ball to that howling child, what was the deciding factor there? Did the child and parents lack sufficient want, or did the smarminess of the couple create an impenetrable barrier? A want force field if you will.

Jason Parks: Here's what I don't understand: Why do adults have to acquiesce to the needs and/or wants of children that don't belong to them? Would I have given the kid the ball? Yes. But I don't care about the ball. Some people do. Do I care that some couple caught a ball and celebrated the fact that they are going to have serious sex after the game? No. I hate the fact that a kid cries and the adults who attended the game without children have to give a ball to a kid just because he's a kid. It was made worse by the media who jumped on the couple just because they looked like ambivalent assholes, which they probably were. A crying kid can sell any story, regardless of how stupid. I'm going to send a picture of a crying kid to the IRS and hopefully they will give me a break.

dantroy (NorCal): What do you think would be the ideal developmental plan for Bundy?

Jason Parks: Ideal for me? Bundy pitches every two days in the park near my apartment. I'm the only one there, I have the only radar gun, and I become Lord of all Bundy information. That's ideal. What is ideal for Bundy is what is happening right now. It's not fun for fans or for scouts, but the Orioles might have an ace here and they are taking it slow. I really don't have a big problem with it. He will get his innings and we will get to see what he can really do. BBQ tastes better than flashed cooked meat. Slow and low. Works for prospects as well.

ttt (Manhattan): Do you feel like a proud father with #want being discussed on Baseball Tonight?

Jason Parks: I felt uncomfortable at first, but then I thought it was extremely cool. Steve and the rest of the Baseball Tonight crew were fantastic. It took a lot of #want to do an entire segment on #want.

Dave (greenville): Good or bad hair day?

Jason Parks: Good, of course.

benharris (Denver): You've been to Spring Training the last two years. Which player(s) that you saw in 2011 made the most improvement by 2012?

Jason Parks: No question it was Jordan Akins. He could barely hit in batting practice when I first him. He wasn't just raw. He was rancid. He's still raw, but the improvement is extreme. It's more than just looking the part.

Cory Spangenberg (Lake Elsinore): Jason, I thought the Cal League was hitter-friendly! What is happening to me? Small sample size?

Jason Parks: Struggling big time. It's early. I really like the bat. We shall see what happens. Reports haven't been all that friendly, but the sample size is quite small. Give it a year at that level. You are only 21-years-old.

Marycontardi (San Francisco): Thoughts on Steely Dan's album "Aja"? tracks: 1)Black Cow 2)Aja 3)Deacon Blues 4)Peg 5)Home at Last 6)I Got the News

Jason Parks: Apologies for such a quick chat, but I only had an hour today. I appreciate all the great questions. They were thought provoking as usual. I promise to go for the chat record (7 hours) next time around. Until then, if you ever have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter at @ProfessorParks. I always try to respond (if possible). Take care.

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