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Chat: Jason Parks

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday August 23, 2012 1:00 PM ET chat session with Jason Parks.


Jason puts on his tailored jeans just like the rest of us, except once his jeans are on, he chats at BP.

Jason Parks: Howdy. I have 90 minutes and I;m going to get to as many questions as possible. Thanks for showing #want. I'm wearing a Puyol shirt and I just poured a glass of water over my hair. Let's get to work.

edr577 (NJ): Dominic Brown has gotten off to a decent start offensively (minus significant power) with a .282/.364/.397 slash. He also is walking as much as he strikes out (10.2% each). Do you see power coming out of his current swing? Will he work out as a corner of? Thanks -Ed

Jason Parks: I don't see big game power coming despite owning some of the qualities necessary for power. I think his game swing is a better fit for hard contact and a gap approach, and I think he could develop into a big doubles hitter with a strong batting average. Is that good enough for a corner? Maybe. Depends on the makeup of the team. I think he will have value as a major leaguer. I've always been a fan. I hope he exceeds current expectations.

Mike (utica): are we seeing mike trout's ceiling or is there more to come?

Jason Parks: I don't know what we are seeing, and I doubt anybody else knows either. He is a superstar at age 20, a moster on all sides of the ball. If he gets better, which is entirely possible, we could be looking at one of the best players to every wear a uniform.

michaelmcduffe (ottawa): Hi Jason. How's Ronald Guzman been doing? Are you still sky high on him?

Jason Parks: He's doing well; making developmental progress. He's very young, but he's showing a lot of offensive skills and that's a big positive. He has a long way to go, but his ceiling still pulls the heart strings. I'm very high on him.

Martin (Koveian Review): Why am I so quiet?

Jason Parks: After I finishing moving into my new apartment, I'll call upon Kove to review some life.

A. Jay (Phoenix): I just moved to Arizona and am thinking about attending spring training next season (I'm broke, so no AFL for me). What's a good strategy for someone new to the area and seeing spring ball?

Jason Parks: Just show up. You can watch minor league backfield games (Mid-march) for free. Its the best thing about spring training. Standing in the sun, watching the players of tomorrow make errors on the fields of today.

geo (lunch): Clearly Eric Hosmer is having a rotten second year, but I haven't heard too many scouting assessments as to why. What do YOU think?

Jason Parks: I think his swing mechanics have been inconsistent. I've noticed him look hitchy in his load and leaking before the swing. He hasn't been as easy and quick to the ball, and as a result he has been susceptible to quality velo inside and good off-speed stuff. It could be a number of factors, but his mechanical profile hasn't been consistent enough to stay in rhythm and stay on balls. I think he will be fine. It's quite common for sophomores to tinker with their swings in the name of adjustment.

Puyol (#wet & #want): What does a season line for Taijuan Walker look like in say, 7 years, during an all-star season. Better/worse than A. Bradley and J. Fernandez?

Jason Parks: Not sure. Would depend on the team playing behind him. He has the stuff to pitch near the top of a major league rotation, as does Fernandez and Bradley. I think Walker is the more advanced prospect and among the best arms in the game. If I were starting a team and you offered me one of Walker/Bradley, or Fernandez, I'd take Walker every day of the week. I love his athleticism, his length, his competitiveness, his nasty stuff, and his developing feel. He could be special.

Scott G (Staten Island, NY): Who was cooler, Steve McQueen or Lee Marvin?

Jason Parks: Steve McQueen. No question for me.

lexer (Rome, Italy): Which of these young pitchers do you see having the best career? Skaggs, Cashner, Straily and Turner?

Jason Parks: Skaggs. Best combination of stuff, feel and polish. I really like him. He keeps getting better. This is a true developmental success story. His velocity has been a steady climber since his amateur days and the secondary stuff continues to refine. He's a badass.

temple (madison wi): maybe i missed it, but it seems like nearly a month since you raved about f lindor. I am counting on him to be my fantasy shortstop of the future. Are you still very high on him? How does Carlos Correa's bat compare? Does Correa move to third?

Jason Parks: I wrote about Lindor today at BP.com. I'm still very high on him.

Correa is a completely different prospect, and yes, I think he eventually moves to 3B. Is the bat that legit? We shall see. Reports are mixed. He's a premium talent, but is he an elite talent? His age is a monster attribute at this point, as the younger you can get a player into the developmental system the better your chances to develop a stud.

Mark (Madison ): Im going to my first minor league game tonight (Peoria @ Beloit) anything specific I should look for?

Jason Parks: I'm glad you asked this. I get one of these questions once a day, so this is a good platform to address them all. I encourage people to remove the burden of expectation from their minor league game experience. Instead of showing up with a list of players to watch (and expect prospect (y) goodness), just show up and allow yourself to be surprised by the action on the field. Almost without fail, the best talent will prove to be the best talent, but sometimes you discover a hidden gem just by keeping your head on a swivel and your eyes on the entire field. I think the experience will be more rewarding if you "discover" these players on your own. We can always discuss them after the fact, even if the players you liked aren't the players we champion as prospects.

BoBBy V (Boston): Who do you see leaving red sox nation in the offseason?

Jason Parks: You.

Short Shorts (Venice Beach): Taijuan Walker has drawn a lot of positive comments about make-up and stuff. Where does he rank for starting pitchers?

Jason Parks: For me, he's in the top tier with Bundy and Cole.

sanchez101 (Ventura, CA): What's the deal with Zach Lee? No one seems concerned about the high ERA, low K-rate, and it seems like he's got fairly average fb velocity. What's the big selling point? Why should I believe in his future?

Jason Parks: I've been critical of Lee this season, but I still think he's a quality prospect and future pitcher. He's just not going to be the ace that the Dodgers thought they were buying. His FB is solid, but not a consistent plus pitch; his slider could develop into a steady plus offering, but its not a killer; he can locate his CH, but it doesn't wow observers, and neither does the CB. He has a solid command profile and a good feel for his craft, and in combination with a strong body and a solid-avg arsenal, he could end up logging innings in a number 4 type of role. Don't discount that. That would be a very valuable player at the major league level, and worth every dime of the original signing bonus.

Steve A (Detroit): I recently saw Cheslor Cuthbert play. His swing appeared busy and top-heavy. He made solid contact in an at-bat, but it certainly seemed to be all arm power. Is this a concern going into next season? Do you think he's ready for a jump to AA?

Jason Parks: I don't think he's ready to jump to Double-A based on his '12 performance, but I'm not on the developmental team so I can't speak to his goals in that department. His swing has been iffy, with sloppy mechanics which hinder his bat speed and ability to drive the ball with authority. I haven't been thrilled with his overall effort at times this season. Not sure what that means.

Greg36 (Feeding Seagulls): It seems Kaleb Cowart has emerged as one of the better 3B prospects in the minors. Who would you have ahead of him at this point?

Jason Parks: I recently wrote about Cowart and where I would have him ranked in the minors. I would have him in the ~30 range in baseball. Are people not reading my articles?

Lastblues (BDP): Africa by Toto vs Land Down Under by Men at Work

Jason Parks: Men at Work.

ddufourlogger (Louisville, KY): Hey Professor! Tell me about what you see in Billy Hamilton. Besides the obvious! I see little reason for the Reds not to stick him in CF next spring (or this winter) and see if he can get it down defensively. He's got to move off of SS, yes? 2B is locked up for the Reds for awhile, and CF seems the best spot to get him in the lineup, especially if Drew Stubbs is what he is at this point...

Jason Parks: Changing positions isn't as easy as just penciling him into the lineup at the 8. Hamilton is a well above-average athlete, and I agree with you that his skill-set might be better suited in CF, but the process of transition isn't an overnight situation. It would take time to acclimate to the routes/angles/responsibilities of the position, and that would need to occur as the bat continues to develop. It's a lot to put on a young player. I'm still not sold that his bat is going to provide much at the highest level. If you want the best Hamilton possible, you keep him in the minors for at least another season (and possibly two) in order to properly develop the bat and make the necessary transition to the outfield. If you want a big result, the extra patience will be worth it.

Ashitaka1110 (Houston, TX): Your thoughts on the Roger Clemens, uh, return...story...stunt...fiasco...thing?

Jason Parks: Again, I wrote about Clemens today at BP.com. It was at the top of the page, with Clemens' picture setting up the story. I'm starting to get concerned about the people in this chat.

AMetsGuy (NYC): So can Brandon Nimmo play a good CF in the majors and what are legitimate expectations for his bat? Also, are Spurs really going to jettison Van der Vaart? That puts a lot of pressure on Bale to keep the team's quota of eurotrash haircuts.

Jason Parks: I don't think Nimmo can play a quality anything at the major league level at this point, which is fine because he's a teenager in the NYPL. I think he has a center profile now, but I'm unsure if he will have that same profile in four years when his major league future is upon us. I like his athleticism, so I like his chances to make adjustments and develop the bat. He has a lot of natural pop in that bat. He's a very interesting prospect. I'm not sure what he is yet, but he has a lot of tools to dream on.

Bill (florida ): 2 minor league pitchers have ace potential right? Dylan Bundy and Jose Fernandez...

Jason Parks: Bundy and Cole, and possibly Walker are my top three. Not sure about them developing into aces, but they have profiles that could put them in a good position to reach a high ceiling. You aren't an ace until you are an ace. Minor league aces don't exist. Those arms have monster ceilings, but you have to reach those ceilings and then prove it season after season to be an ace. Very rare.

temple (madison wi): manny machado. You see shortstops move to third, but have any third basemen moved to short? Is machado stuck at third forever?

Jason Parks: No. I assume he moves back to SS at some point in the next few seasons. I think he can handle it and he has more value there. He's playing 3B because its a position of weakness for the major league team. He still has the skill-set (for now) to play shortstop at that highest level.

TimV (DC): Bryce Harper is hitting .186 since the AS break. I can't help but have a little Trout-envy every time I see Harper flail at an off-speed pitch out of the zone. Does he need more time in AAA or is it best to just let him work it out during a pennant race?

Jason Parks: Harper's swing issues need to be worked out by facing major league pitching. Trout is ruining prospect development for the entire world. It's normal for teenagers to struggle against quality major league pitching, especially when the book on their swing has been written and passed around to other teams. He's going to be fine.

damon m. (alabama): really, your answer to someone asking for your opinion on something is to chastise them for not reading everyone of your articles? really?

Jason Parks: Didn't you read my latest chat (this one) when I mentioned a related article when asked about a specific subject? So yes. I haven't chastised anybody in this chat except you. Really.

AGray (Boston): If the Rangers could have landed Cliff Lee it probably would've meant they didn't get Darvish. If you were a fortunetelling gypsy and they asked you in the 2010-11 off season who to take, what would you advise?

Jason Parks: Darvish. No question. Bigger risk, but he's younger and I love the upside.

comish4lif (Alexandria, VA): Saw the video of Anthony Rendon's 1st AA homer. Is it me, or does he have a busy setup?

Jason Parks: He can get busy, but the only thing that matters is how he gets to the ball and what he does upon arrival. I usually don't care about a noisy setup unless it prevents the hitter from getting into a good hitting position and/or timing, etc. Rendon finds himself in a good hitting position when his hands go back, and his trigger and subsequent extension are really beautiful.

Bartolo (Fiji): Now that Melky and I have been exposed I have a question: are there still experts out there saying "we don't really know if PED's affect performance because we still don't have a double-blind study to prove it, dammit!"

Jason Parks: Yes. People love proof. Marlon Byrd's failed test didn't help the cause.

Mark (Detroit): I read your articles Jason! Interesting on Cowart, where would his hit and power tool compare to one of the other top 3B prospects like Castellanos?

Jason Parks: Good question. Castellanos is a beast. He might be a mythical beast, the kind that hit for a high average and can produce power. I would grade Castellanos' hit and power tools ahead of Cowart's, but that's not a knock on Cowart. I really like his approach and I think he's going to develop into an offensive player with multiple dimensions. Castellanos could develop into an all-star monster beast freak. It all depends on if the power becomes a big part of the game without losing much of the hit tool.

August (Dallas): You are awesome, that is all.

Jason Parks: No. You guys are awesome. Seriously. BP has the best posse in baseball.

dianagram (VORGville): Devin Mesoraco is having a bad season at the plate because: a) he's not getting enough PAs, b) his BABIP is .228, c) he's still young, d) Dusty Baker, e) some combination of A-D

Jason Parks: Consistent playing time is always going to be a factor, but given his age and the fact that developing a player at the major league level in the middle of a pennant chase is complicated, I'm not sure how much blame can fall on the manager. His job to win now, not develop a player for the future by playing him in the present. I'd like to see him play more, and yes he has been a bit unlucky, but the factors are what the factors are. I'd say its mostly A and C.

Mike (CT): Are you impressed with the seasons of Salvador Perez and Dayan Viciedo thus far? Is there a chance Salvador Perez keeps slugging over .500 in the future? Could Dayan Viciedo's average creep up into the 270s or 280s range in seasons to come? Who do you like more?

Jason Parks: I like Perez more. He's a guy that continues to prove me wrong. His bat is better than I thought it would be, and every time I think I have his offensive potential pegged, he shows me another aspect that I had previously discounted. Hell of a player.

Based (South Pasadena): Joc Pederson. Earlier in the year you said he projected as a LF and was a 'gamer' with no tool above a 6. Anything change? Whats his projection now and why has he killed the ball in A+?

Jason Parks: Nope. I still think he fits that profile. The hit tool is legit. He's a total gamer with solid-avg to plus tools and a lot of real baseball skills. He's not your ideal top offense prospect, but he's going to play in the majors and that is the name of the game.

Kelvin (Manhattan): Are you ever going to reveal on the podcast the "sh*t" is when you said you "know some sh*t" about Michael Keaton and Val Kilmer?

Jason Parks: Probably not the stuff on Keaton. It's pretty heavy. I've discussed my Kilmer situation. I invited him to my wedding and asked him to ride a bison down the aisle before the ceremony. He didn't show up. I still like Real Genius, but Kilmer and I have some problems with each other.

Francois (Toronto): Taijuan Walker made your top 10 prospects in the minors list a few weeks ago, as did Dylan Bundy and Gerrit Cole. Where do hurlers Jose Fernandez, Archie Bradley, and Matt Barnes factor in to your pitching prospect rankings?

Jason Parks: I would have Fernandez, Bradley, and Barnes in my top 25. Those are legit arms. I really, really like them. Barnes is the big sleeper there, He doesn't have the same extreme ceiling, but he can bring it and he's going to sneak up on people and develop into a quality major league starter.

ttt (Manhattan): Shake Shack or In 'n' Out?

Jason Parks: Shake Shack

ssimon (Pelham, NY): Professor, can you please identify the banned substance that enabled Bartolo Colon to develop that impressive physique?

Jason Parks: It was bacon in pill form.

Ben Franklin riding a Bald Eagle (NY, NY): What baseball player do you think best exemplifies the American Dream? I am guessing it is a Texan.

Jason Parks: Bartolo Colon

feebish (in Michigan today): Follow up to earlier chat. I waited a week and was rewarded with great weather and climbed Alpe d'Huez on consecutive days. Even Kove agrees that it was a fabulous trip, totally worth it. I don't have a question - just wanted to answer that nagging question in the back of your mind.

Jason Parks: Brilliant.

Nick (Michigan): You have just finished watching a complex league game. You saw, for the first time, a player you had never before heard about. He is now your favorite prospect ever, filling you with feelings of Francisco Lindor, Oscar Taveres and Yu Darvish, held together by Willie Mays' maple syrup and choir robe. What position does he play? Where is he from? What makes him so special? Have you ever stumbled onto such a prospect without any prior knowledge of the kid's existence?

Jason Parks: He plays shortstop; he's special because he's 6'7'' and weighs 250 lbs; he hits bombs, he steals bases, and he thinks Mike Trout's ceiling is a bag of #slack. He's the first of his kind; the wave of the future. Power-forward body with Venezuelan shortstop actions, Mike Trout's speed, and Stanton's power. He's also a sweetheart that has grit.

aganser (Long Beach): Is there a better music video than 'Sledgehammer?'

Jason Parks: Yes. This is the best music video ever: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKr45j6S_qQ

pavaexpress (Northern Virginia): Hey Jason, thanks for the chat. Excluding those close to you, most attractive woman you've ever laid your eyes on? I'm partial to Kim Basinger myself. 9 1/2 weeks, wow.

Jason Parks: Ever? Hard to say. I loved a young Faye Dunaway. A young Teri Garr was ridiculous as well. In modern times, I'm partial to Eva Green.

Or (Denton!): Which Rangers draft pick has been more impressive so far, Gallo or Brinson?

Jason Parks: Brinson. He plays a premium position, doing so with legit tools and feel. I know Gallo has been ripping crazy bombs, and his power is without question. But the reports on Brinson have been better (all-around).

Milt (Miamisburg, OH): Joe Ross has missed so time this year that I doubt much has been learned, but how much does the lost development time hurt him, and how do you view him as a prospect?

Jason Parks: Very much so. Lost developmental time always hurts, but you can catch up if you can stay healthy and work hard. Learning how to recover from setback is a big part of the developmental process, so a lot can be learned from this season.

Robert Niemeier (New Mexico): Shelby Miller, back on track as a good number 2?

Jason Parks: It's possible. That's the ceiling. If Miller wants it, it's very possible. He has the combo of size, strength, and stuff to develop into a very good major league starter. You want to see the secs and approach get more consistent and focused, but the total package could be very, very good.

rgatta (PA): How do you know what to grade a change up/breaking ball at? Is it deception, speed and movement? For example I saw Adam Morgan pitch recently. Heard buzz around him, but didn't read any grades. The Change-up looked fantastic in my opinion. 10 MPH less then his fastball, good deception. I would have to imagine that would grade 65-70, but I don't know if that is to agressive or to light.

Jason Parks: I don't get to caught up in the 10 mph rule with a CH. For me, a good changeup starts with the arm action and speed, as you want it to come out of the hand like a fastball. If a pitcher can provide that deception, that half of the battle right there. The action on the pitch is important as well. I like to see movement to the arm side and/or heavy life that pushes the ball out of the hitting zone after it appears to be a fastball heading into it. You want the pitch to offer velocity separation, and anything over 7-8 mph works for me. It all starts with deception, and if you can get movement and good a good velo dip, you have the makings of a very good pitch.

Matress (Across from Kevin's House): how is Bubba Starling adjusting to this whole Full Time Baseball Job? You see him getting to AA next year?

Jason Parks: I think he's been great. He has a lot of swing and miss in his game, and he isn't a very refined product, but he is showing tools in game action and that's all you want to see at this stage of the game. It's not going to be a rapid ascent to the majors. No; I don't think there is any chance he reaches Double-A in 2013. I think he plays in full-season ball, most likely Low-A and most likely for the entire season.

richardkr34 (Saint Paul, MN): Better curve: Blyleven or Kershaw?

Jason Parks: Blyleven.

richardkr34 (saint paul, mn): What Dallas Cowboy had the most #want ever? Is it Drew Pearson for that push off ?

Jason Parks: Bill Bates or Randy White

ChoppertoChipper (Edmonton): You seem to have lots of knowledge on things not related to baseball. Any plans on some sort of advice type column?

Jason Parks: I've thought about it. Not sure if people would take to it. Maybe something like this: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18118

Jason Parks: You guys have been great. Almost 200 questions submitted. Let's do this again in a few weeks. If you have baseball related questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter. I try to answer as many as I can. If you are seeking poor advice, you can email me for the advice column at: jparks@baseballprospectus.com Thanks for bringing the #want. Seriously, you guys are fantastic. Take care

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