With ranking season behind him (and the publication of the prospect book ahead), Jason stops by to take your questions.
Jason Parks: After 40 days in Arizona, I'm ready for a lengthy prospect chat.
"You gotta learn to hold ya own
They get jealous when they see ya with ya mobile phone
But tell the cops they can't touch this
I don't trust this when they try to rush I bust this
That's the sound of my tool you say it ain't cool
My mama didn't raise no fool"
Noah Braun (San Diego): is Arenado being sent down a sign of a lack of confidence in his abilities or just them trying to delay arbitration? losing out to chris nelson doesn't boost my confidence in him
Jason Parks: Money is usually a factor; Arenado's bat was impressive this spring. He showed a lot of bat speed and the ability to drive the ball to deep parts of the park. The power will play in games; playing in Colorado will help. It's only a matter of time. I think Arenado logs significant time in the majors this season.
BigHurt36 (State/Congress): Are Profar and Buxton's value higher to MLB ballclubs or fantasy franchises? I'm concerned their speed/defensive tools are skewing longterm fantasy value.
Jason Parks: They have more value to major league teams because that value is based in reality. Buxton has 80 speed; Profar is closer to 50. Not sure they should be in the same discussion.
Josh (Seattle): Is Dee Gordon a viable option as an everyday SS? It seems like a good time to make him the starter even he doesn't offer much more than speed and some promise in the field.
Jason Parks: I've never been that high on Gordon, but I do recognize what he can bring to the table. He has serious speed and he can pick it at a premium position, so you can find a home for that. I don't believe in the bat, but when you have a potent lineup around him, you can survive without his offensive contribution.
Erix (Brooklyn): Zack Mortimer spoke very highly on Lansing catcher Santiago Nessy. He mentioned that he had ++leadership. What is your thoughts on him? Does he #shimmer?
Jason Parks: He has the kind of qualities you want to see in a field general, and I'm very high on that. Big questions about the bat, but it takes time to develop on both fronts, so its too early to say he won't hit.
Cal Guy (Cali): Any chance of seeing Carlos Martinez in St. Louis this year, and is his eventual home the bullpen?
Jason Parks: I think he could be a late-season call-up, most likely in a relief role. Long term I still think he can start.
Kevin (San Diego): Does Fort Wayne (Ross, Fried, Guerreroh, Weickel, Eflin) possess the best rotation in the minors?
Jason Parks: No question. Guerrero will most likely start in the bullpen until he is 100% healthy, and then transition into a starting role. It's a sick rotation. I love the lower-level arms in the Padres system. That was one of the joys of camp for me. I was fortunate to see most of the arms multiple times, and I came away impressed each time. I could devote an entire chat to those arms.
RK (Kansas): Over/under 100 ML innings for Kyle Gibson this year? Is it reasonable to think he's probably their second best ML starter right now?
Jason Parks: I'd give him over 100. Yes; I think he belongs in the discusion for second best arm in that rotation. It's pretty thin.
lpunkari (Fort Frances): So have you come down from the Darvish game yet? Also, excited about the prospect book, I know you said a little bit about it on Effectively Wild but how much #want should I expect to be blown away by when I read it.
Jason Parks: Thanks. If you read the reports as they were published on the site, the book isn't going to blow you away. But it should serve as a more convenient resource guide, with all the reports compiled, the top 101, and excellent fantasy information provided by the BP fantasy squadron. I'm looking forward to it coming out. Should be around 130K words of #want.
Chris (Wilmington NC): I love how you romanticize some of these prospects. It makes going to the park for a good A ball game even more tantalizing. (Will be heading to watch Myrtle Beach (Rangers) and Wilmington (Royals) here very soon and will likely get to a Hickory Crawdads game or two). What are your thoughts on what a couple of lower profile pitchers Jose Ramirez (NYY) and Mauricio Cabrera (ATL) could be? Can they be top 50 or are they more 3/4 starter or relief type ceilings?
Jason Parks: I like both arms quite a bit. Not sold that Ramirez will be a top 50 type, but Cabrera has a chance to get there. He has some special qualities and could explode in 2013 if the breaking ball takes a step forward. He could have two 70 grade pitches and its all very easy.
kcshankd (Maple Valley): Did you get a chance to see Angel Baez on the backfields of Surprise?
Jason Parks: I didn't this spring, but he's yet another promising arm in the Royals system. I can't stress this enough: the Royals have a ton of talent in the lower minors.
Ray (DC): Ian Kennedy was the opening day starter for the Diamondbacks but at one time he was a prospect for the Yankees behind Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain. Both those guys haven't stayed healthy but do you think the Yankees are at fault for picking the wrong guys? Thanks for the chat.
Jason Parks: It's easy to assign fault or blame with revisionists views. Sure, they could have handled the situation better, but that's easy for me to say as I sit in my apartment and type out my answers. Player development and personnel decisions are complicated and I don't have access to all the information the team was working with at the time of the decisions. Personally, I thought Hughes/Joba were jerked around a bit.
Ricky (Seattle): What does T. Walker need to refine and how close is he to the bigs?
Jason Parks: He needs to finish his delivery and work down in the zone with the fastball. He has a tendency to elevate; not get over on his front-side. The changeup also needs to take steps forward, as it can be quite firm in the upper-80s and lacks big action.
dbrosene (San Mateo, CA): Hey, Professor! Is Profar still the number one prospect in baseball if he has to move to the keystone? Also, Tango or Cash?
Jason Parks: If he moves to 2B, which I assume he will, its an organizational need, not a developmental deficiency. I'd still rank him #1.
tlheard12 (Canada): Can Alberto Tirado be a top 101 prospect next year?
Jason Parks: Yes. I think he will. He needs to clean up the delivery, but the stuff already belongs in the 101 discussion.
xavier (texas): Courtney Hawkins - what's his ceiling?
Jason Parks: First-division corner outfielder, but I'm not as high on Hawkins as others. I know he's a Texan and I love the back-flipping aspect, but I've seen him several times at the pro level and I don't see the loud tools. He has a good approach, and he can sting a ball when it hits the barrel, but his bat has never grabbed me and forced me to love it. Sample size, I guess.
Brian (Boston): I'm a big fan of Will Swanner. What can you tell me about his prospects for sticking at catcher, and for being any good at not striking out?
Jason Parks: Reports on his defense are mixed, with some giving him a chance to stick behind the plate and others saying its just a matter of time before he's moved to 1B. He has a lot of swing and miss in his game, and I don't see that changing. He swings the bat and he can hit for power. He's perfect for the modern game.
Brian (Boston): Who are your favorite of the 2012 IFA, excluding Soler and Puig?
Jason Parks: Luiz Gohora, LHP, Mariners. It could be special. I watched him throw a 'pen from only a few feet away and I had to wear a diaper the rest of the day.
Domenic (New York): After seeing Gumbs in person roughly a dozen times last season, I walked away as impressed with him as most anyone else on what was a fairly stacked Charleston team. I was mostly impressed with his quick trigger at the plate and ridiculous bat speed, and his #want in the field was obvious. Could he find himself in the same class as Mason Williams et al after this season? Or on the fringes of next year's top 101?
Jason Parks: I've always been higher on Gumbs than Williams, although I understand and appreciate that Williams is the more advanced prospect at present. Gumbs has legit bat speed, and he's a plus athlete. I'm not sure he's a great fit at 2B; I always wanted to see him put in CF. But he can swing the bat and make things happen with his legs. His approach is very aggressive, and he needs to command his game better to get the most out of his tools. At the end of the day, I think Gumbs develops into the better ML player, but that's probably a minority opinion. I'm a bat speed junkie.
Andrew Dufresne Jr. (Seattle): Is it time for Franklin or Miller to take over for Ackley in Seattle? Is Ackley done or is it too early to give up on him?
Jason Parks: I like Miller more than Franklin, but I don't think he's ready to take over at the major league level. It's too early to give up on Ackley.
edwardarthur (Illinois): Did Justin Grimm's disappointing spring change your view of him, or do you still consider him to be ready for an extended MLB audition this season?
Jason Parks: He struggled, but young pitchers struggle. Finding consistency is what will make him a major leaguer, as he already has the stuff to make that happen. It might take time, but he will eventually find more rhythm and consistency with his mechanics and utility with his arsenal, and then he can make another run at the majors. I'm still high on him. Could develop into sold-avg 3/4 starter type.
RC (NYC): Will you be seeing Ian the Vegan and Kowloon Walled City play in Brooklyn this Saturday night?
Jason Parks: It's quite possible.
Mike (Seattle): If Maurer can stay healthy, what is his potential upside? Who has the better rookie campaign: Maurer or the much higher-rated Jose Fernandez?
Jason Parks: Maurer isn't a lightweight; he can really bring it. I wouldn't be shocked if he has a better rookie campaign than Fernandez, and that's not a knock on Fernandez.
Brian (Boston): Which if any of the following would you throw a sleeper tag on for this year: Burch Smith, Ismael Guillon, Jake DeGrom, Cody Kukuk, Mike Kickham, Asher Wojochowski, Zach Bird?
Also, what do you think of Matt Purke for 2013?
Jason Parks: Smith was excellent when I saw him this spring, and I think he's ready t breakout. Bird is another guy that could be ready to take a very big step forward in 2013.
CyMature (WesternMass): Prof,
I know you're not an amateur guy (in any sense), but I hear that Jonathan Gray of Oklahoma could go 1-1. Saw some video clips: big guy, quick arm, short stride, stiff landing leg. What have you seen or heard? Thanks.
Jason Parks: I've read several reports, talked to several scouts that have seen him in person, and watched him on video. Jason Cole will be watching him tomorrow and will write up a full report for BP. There is a lot to like with the kid, but if I had to bet, I'd bet that Appel goes 1:1.
msloftus (Virginia): Allen Webster seemed to get a lot of love from scouts this spring, any thoughts on him?
Jason Parks: He's an excellent pitcher that knows how to make adjustments and finally stumbled on a breaking ball that worked. He's a legit major league arm. I really like him.
John (Denver): Kyle Parker has put up minor league numbers that seem to justify his 1st round selection. Why isn't he cracking anybody's top prospect lists?
Jason Parks: Doesn't have a lot of projection; numbers were heavily influenced by friendly environments; hard to see him having big impact at the highest level given his position. I think he's a future major leaguer, but most likely a solid role 5 type and not a first-division impact type. He's still a legit prospect. He's just in a power position and I don't think he becomes a power monster against major league pitching.
Bob (TX): I was a bit surprised to see Alfaro back in lo-A. What are the key developmental hurdles for him this year now that's he on the somewhat slow track?
Jason Parks: I think it will benefit Alfaro to slow down the promotion schedule a bit. While the bat is ready for the jump to High-A, the overall game could use more time, which isn't a bad thing given the complexities of his position. If you want to develop Alfaro as a dual threat, you have to give him time to develop. I don't think he stays in Hickory all season; rather, he might stay a month and then move onto the Carolina league. But going slow and low with a promising catcher is never a bad thing. No need to rush.
Joe (PA): Gregory Polanco had a nice comboination of HR/SLG with a relatively low K rate. Do you feel that gives him a better than average shot to have good in game power as he moves up the ladder?
Jason Parks: I think he's going to hit for power; it might take time, but the swing has power characteristics and he's strong. He's on the way up.
leites (New York): Heard anything this spring about Onelki Garcia? A better sense yet of his ceiling?
Jason Parks: I haven't, sorry.
psugator01 (Coral Springs): What's your gut on Yordano Ventura? Rotation or relief? Keep up the good work
Jason Parks: I'm seen him hold velocity during a game, but given his size, how many innings can he log in a season without breaking down? Others have pulled it off before, but we can't assume every sub 6' sub/160 lbs pitcher is the next Pedro. Ventura has nasty stuff; perhaps the best raw FB in the minors and two promising secondary offerings. The ceiling is high if he sticks in the rotation, but its also high if he moves to the 'pen. Not many young arms profile as elite closers at the highest level, and I think Ventura could end up at that level. His stuff is nasty.
cracker73 (Florida): What is Dan Vogelbach's ceiling?
Jason Parks: First-division 1B at the major league level; capable of hitting for average and power.
Herlin (Texas): Jason, I know you love Lewis Brinson. Can you compare him to Buxton? Thanks for the chat!
Jason Parks: Buxton's raw tools are louder. He could be elite; Brinson could be a step below.
Cal Guy (Cali): With Castro seemingly the SS in ChiTown for the near and not-so-near future, is Baez looking at a position change in his future?
Jason Parks: Maybe, but I think Baez can play the position; his hands are very good, and he clearly has the arm for the spot. If he moves, it will be because of organizational need. He has a chance to move fast.
edwardarthur (Illinois): Re your comment on Nick Franklin vs. Brad Miller, Franklin seems higher on most lists, including BP's, but I'm seeing lots of comments similar to yours. Is that a result of spring results/Franklin's weight gain, a new consensus, or both/neither?
Jason Parks: Coming into the spring, I had seen more of Franklin than Miller. After watching Miller a lot in camp, I came away with a greater appreciation for his skill-set and I would rank him over Franklin if I was given an opportunity. It's not a dis on Franklin as much as its a step forward for Miller, who really knows how to play the game of baseball. He's a gamer.
eliyahu (Washington, DC): Wither Josh Vitters? A late bloomer a la Alex Gordon, or a bust (relative to expectations)?
Jason Parks: I don't see it happening.
rkowna (Chicago): Midwest League ball is back and Saturday is my first glimpse of Carlos Correa. I have heard a number of comps from A-Rod to Miguel Sano. What are your thoughts on his ceiling?
Jason Parks: I don't like those comps, but he has the potential for very loud tools. The arm is an easy 7; the raw power could be extreme; he plays a premium position and should be able to stick around at that spot for a while; he's a huge makeup guy that is more advanced than people realize.
MetsFaithful5 (Syracuse): Michael Fulmer: At his best he could be a ....? And at worst, not developing the way the Mets see, he could be...? He's an intruiging arm!
Jason Parks: Number three starter/Up and down starter
Cal Guy (Cali): Other than Profar, who do you consider the best 2B prospect in the minors (including those at other positions currently)?
Jason Parks: I don't consider Profar to be a 2B prospect. I think that's an organizational need, not a developmental one. Big difference. You could say Franklin, or DeShields, or Schoop, but as far as a pure 2B, I'd pick Kolten Wong.
bmmolter (Mass.): Care to find the nearest crystal ball in your apt. and provide an early look at the top 10 next year?
Jason Parks: I can:
1. Addison Russell
2. Javier Baez
3. Taijuan Walker
4. Archie Bradley
5. Aaron Sanchez
6. Byron Buxton
7. Jameson Taillon
8. Robert Stephenson
9. Francisco Lindor
10. Austin Hedges
sykklone (IA): Who do you have rated higher, G Polanco or A hanson? Or is that too close to call?
Jason Parks: Polanco.
Jim H (Sphinx Park): Should Aldaberto Mondesi be concerned that your radar gun model is called the Stalker? Seems like foreshadowing.
Jason Parks: Every quality radar gun is made by Stalker. Everything else is just a toy.
achaik (Maine): Michael Ynoa- still hope?
Jason Parks: Sure. Big hope. I wrote a little about Ynoa today. Free article: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=20093
Christopher (TN): If Christian Yelich tears it up in AA, will the Marlins really wait until August to call him up? Especially since keeping Juan Pierre around is pointless. Thanks!
Jason Parks: Yelich is on the fast-track, and given the fact that he plays for the Marlins, I'm surprised he isn't starting the year with the major league club.
TerryRyan (Minneapolis): In your opinion, what is Max Kepler's ceiling?
Jason Parks: First-division potential if everything clicks, which it rarely does. I think he could reach the majors, which would be a huge accomplishment on its own and great for the continued spread of the sport in Europe.
Patty (NJ): being a bat speed junkie...how #wet does Addison Russell's bat speed make you?
Jason Parks: I like it. It's not on the Baez level, but not many major league bats can stand in his cage.
Kevin (SF Bay Area): Do you find that some scouts are better at identifying pitchers than position players and vice versa? What would you say your strength is: position players or pitchers?
Jason Parks: Absolutely. Every scout will have strengths/weaknesses in their evaluation skill-set. I'm not sure I can say that I'm strong or weak with either pitchers or position players, but I will say its much harder to scout position players. It takes longer looks, more detailed looks, etc. I feel more comfortable with scouting pitchers because of the tangible data that can be gathered with one look.
rsambrook (Vancouver): Has Eddie Rosario's outlook changed with a strong spring? Will he be playing 2B this season and did you get a chance to observe his defense?
Jason Parks: I wasn't in Florida camp; spent the duration of Spring Training in AZ. But I did hear positive things on Rosario. He has tools; he's a player. I'm not sure what he ends up looking like, but he certainly looks like a future major leaguer.
John (Chicago): Is BP going to do the Prospect Tracker again this year? I noticed the link still goes to the 2012 tracker.
Jason Parks: I really don't know, sorry.
Brian (Boston): Ever thought about doing a per article purchase basis for non-subscribers (aka those of us in school)? Perhaps 1.99 or something?
Jason Parks: It's not a bad idea, but $1.99 per article sounds too pricey.
Uncle John (in another country): My nephew has some, ehem!, time on his hands. He enjoyed a book by Hunter S. Thompson, so I sent him one by David Foster Wallace. He seems to be enjoying that, too. What do you suggest I send him for his birthday coming up?
Jason Parks: "The Lime Works" by Thomas Bernhard
froston (Peterborough, ON): Hey Parks, who are some of your favourite non-top 101 potential risers? (Guys who weren't on the 101 but very well could be, and maybe highly rated, by midseason)
Jason Parks: Miguel Almonte, Alberto Tirado, Matt Wisler, Andrew Heaney, Rafael DePaula, Joey Gallo, Owens, Snell, Seager
Kyle (Utah): Which Red Sox pitching prospect do you like best: Barnes, Webster, or de la Rossa (who I know isn't technically a project)?
Jason Parks: Barnes
BobcatBaseball (Athens, OH): Should Tampa be concerned if Taylor Guerreri velocity doesn't return to HS form?
Jason Parks: I don't think he's going to be a mid-90s arm, but he can certainly sit in the 91-94 range and bump higher, while maintaining excellent command. The ball is very heavy, and he knows how to mix in secondary offerings. He's going to be fine. I doubt they are concerned at all.
Kyle (Utah): Meadows or Frazier?
Jason Parks: Frazier. Not close. I wasn't overly impressed with Meadows; only saw four games and it was in late October, so take that for what its worth. Reports are much better on Frazier. Impact player. If he falls to the Cubs, holy shit the top of that system will look good.
MattWinks (Madison): Thoughts on Carlos Tocci going to full season ball?
Jason Parks: It's aggressive, but they obviously believe he needs the challenge and believe he can handle the challenge, pass or fail, which is the most important aspect of the process. Some players can't fail and respond. I like the move. Challenge those that can handle the emotional/physical demands of the challenge.
Swoon (Swoon City): Yu Darvish - 80 Grade?
Jason Parks: I took that picture
Angie (Indianapolis): Paper or Plastic?
Jason Parks: Bareback
ttt (Manhattan): Thoughts on Adonys Cardona? Seems like he's been written off after a rough first year.
Jason Parks: There were some in the industry that weren't high on Cardona to begin with. Not that its accurate, but some labeled him a "flag in the ground" sort of signing, the kind that will open up a particular market to a team for several years. I don't agree with that assessment, but I didn't think he was the top arm to ever come out of Venezuela either. He's still very young and he has bat missing potential with the arsenal. It might take a few years, but I think he develops into a legit prospect.
John (Idaho): Any hope for Angel Villalona? (Baseball wise, not personal shortcomings)
Jason Parks: Maybe, but he has to avoid shooting people.
Shawnykid23 (Newington): Thoughts that Gausman may be better than Bundy?
Jason Parks: It's possible. Both are highly driven pitchers with top-of-the-rotation stuff. It's not a stretch to think Gausman could emerge as the better arm, but both should anchor that Orioles rotation for the next decade.
Joe (DC): Rendon or Arenado?
Jason Parks: Rendon
Shawn (My Office): Bigger Impact this year and long-term- Shelby Miller or Jose Fernandez?
Jason Parks: Fernandez. I expect him to log more innings, make more starts, etc
John (Florida): How raw are the Latin American players typically when signed ?
Jason Parks: Depends on where they are from and how old they are. I'd say most 16-year-old position players coming out of the DR are extremely raw, whereas coming out of Venezuela they might be a little more game refined, most likely having played in a form of organized baseball during their youth. Depends on the individual and how much baseball (game baseball) they have played in their life.
ttt (Manhattan): How does it feel to be back in NYC? Hit up shake shack yet?
Jason Parks: It feels great. I really missed it. I rarely hit up Shake Shack. I don't have a lot of interest in standing in long lines, and I avoid Manhattan when possible. I'm a Brooklyn guy and I like to stay in Brooklyn.
Jim (SD): What is Matt Wisler's ceiling?
Jason Parks: Could be a number three starter; perhaps more if everything reaches potential. I really like him. He slings across his body a bit, and I thought the slider was the secondary offering he looked more comfortable throwing, but he does have a four-pitch mix and a fastball that can sit in the plus range and touch as high as 98, so the stuff is plenty good.
Sweet Lou (Pittsburgh): Hi Jason,
Is it too early for calls of "free Travis Snider," or is there nothing left to free there? Just seems strange that he has already been "out-platooned" vs righties by the RH Gaby Sanchez
Jason Parks: It would be like freeing a domesticated house cat. It's not likely to hurt anybody in the wild, and eventually it will just wander back home to sleep at your feet and shit in a box.
ttt (Manhattan): There's a shake shack in brooklyn right by the Jay St stop.
Jason Parks: I don't live anywhere near the Jay St stop. It would be easier for to make the trip into Manhattan.
ethan (maine): What is the deal with Spangenberg ... he seems to have rather quietly disappeared from top prospect discussions.
Jason Parks: Well, I saw him a bunch this spring, and I really wanted to come away liking his progression and his game. But I didn't like it. I did't like the swing and he looked overmatched by average stuff. Maybe it was just early, but he wasn't flashing any carrying tools at the plate.
Rafa (NYC): Have you ever been to Washington Heights? Its like D.R but less noisy!!!
Jason Parks: I have. My neighborhood in Bushwick is like the DR but the Presidente doesn't taste the same as it does in Santo Domingo. The noise level is the same.
Jon (Fla): Would Alex Colome have a better shot to stick in the rotation and get more buzz in an org that wasn't so deep in pitching? Back end of the bullpen arm or just a 7th/8th guy at best?
Jason Parks: I think he's a 7/8 type, but that's not a bad thing. I don't see him as a long-term starter. I'm sure he would get more buzz in a weaker system or an org that promotes arms more aggressively.
froston (Peterborough, ON): Parks, you're higher on the Blue Jays system than most prospectors. What guys in the system are underrated, and who are some guys that have a decent shot at rising into the 2014 top 101?
Jason Parks: I've mentioned Tirado; he's on the rise. You can't discount developmental steps forward from prospects like Davis, Smoral, and Norris. The system has a lot of depth and that depth has impact potential.
SexyAndIKnowIt (LMFAO): You have Oscar Taveras and Adalberto Mondesi on a double date, who do you take and where do you go?
Jason Parks: Taveras would get the date because he has seniority and more present skills. I'd take him to the IFC and then to casual yet charming bed and breakfast with a view of the park.
froston (Peterborough, ON): Profar for Oscar - would you do it if you were Daniels or Moz?
Jason Parks: No. It's a trade that you can't get wrong. The Rangers started scouted Profar at age 14, brought him along slowly and finally signed him at 16. Since then they've been developing him into the major league quality talent that he is today. The Cardinals are in a similar boat. You don't just throw all those years away because of positional need or because the internet thinks it makes sense. You can't get that trade wrong. It's a front-office killer. It's best to stick to the talent that you know, that you developed, that you feel confident will be what you think they will be. The trade puts a major slice of your future in the hands of a player that you aren't very familiar with, at least on a personal level. That's a huge gamble that I don't see two intelligent front offices taking.
Dave (Cal): How did Joe Ross look in Arizona?
Jason Parks: He looked very sharp and extremely nasty in the burst I saw. Sat 92-95 with a mid-80s slider; both were crushing.
Brock (Nc): Big league comp for Tyler Austin?
Jason Parks: Brian Austin Green
Eric (Costa Rica): After d'Arnaud and Zunino, who do you see as the next potentially great catching prospect?
Jason Parks: I'd take Hedges over both of them
Derek (Florida): Best defensive shortstop in MLB ? Simmons, Crawford, or Andrus ?
Jason Parks: Crawford wouldn't be in my top ten best defensive shortstops. He makes some dramatic plays on balls that guys like Andrus and Simmons get to without all the fanfare. Simmons and Andrus are near the top of the list, but I still like Brendan Ryan.
Steve (IL): How far away from the big leagues in Gary Sanchez? Does he have a chance to stick at catcher for the Yanks?
Jason Parks: He does have a chance to stick. With his bat, even a 4 defensive profile makes him a monster. He will need a few more years in the minors, I think, but could be ready to push for something at the highest level in 2015.
Gooner (North London): We will catch you- hope you're ready for 5th place!
Jason Parks: I don't like you or your team.
AG (Long Beach): Higher professional upside at the keystone: Dorssys Paulino or Delino DeShields Jr.?
Jason Parks: DeShields. More impact potential.
johnorpheus (st. louis): I have a question about actual velocity v. effective velocity in pitchers. Specifically in regards to scouting prospects. Whether it's arm extension, deception, etc, it seems like some prospects' heaters don't measure up with the velocity readings. For example, Shelby Miller consistently sits 91-93, but hitters seem to swing through it likes it's 95-98, while a prospect like Joe Kelly can hit the high 90s but batter's rarely swing through it. I also feel like this would be a good idea for an article about scouting effective FB velo in amateurs. Thanks, as always, for your work. Loving BP more than ever since you took over the prospect side!
Jason Parks: In the minor leagues, velocity is king. At the major league level, every hitter can square velocity, so movement and location take a larger slice of the grade. Extension is very important; releasing the ball closer to the plate really makes that heater jump on the heaters as it has more punch than the gun might suggest. But movement is the big separator here. A little late life can throw the ball under or away from the barrel. Lots of things go into a good fastball, from extension, to deception, to plane, to movement, to velocity, to command, and the best ones can bring it all.
Kyle (Utah): where does Iglesias rank in your top defensive ss list?
Jason Parks: At the minor league level, he ranked number one. If he can stick around at the major league level, he has a chance to claim that prize as well.
Greg36 (Tacoma): Great article yesterday Jason! On Gabriel Guerrro, a lot to dream on, but where would he rate compared to someone like Sano at the same age? Where will he start the year?
Jason Parks: Guerrero should be starting in the Low-A Midwest League. He's not really Sano-like, but the power is impressive. He's a free swinger with crazy hand-eye coordination. I hate comps, but the Vlad comp is apt. They look the same in the box, the swing is similar, and off-the-field, they both have the same casual #swagger.
Bubba (STL): While you ranked the Cardinals as having the top farm system in MLB, they still don't have any legitimate SS or LHP prospects. This has seemed to be a trend for the organization, what gives?
Jason Parks: It'a hard to find premium shortstops and premium left-handed arms. Not everybody with money and fame will also have a handsome face or a child with precocious talents or erectile proficiency. You cant have it all. Even the best have weaknesses.
BobcatBaseball (Athens, OH): Do you watch a lot of college baseball games? Lots of quality teams around you in the Brooklyn/NYC/Long Island area
Jason Parks: I don't watch a ton. I know I need to watch more, but to be honest, I can't stand the sound of aluminum bats hitting a ball. I dislike the ping, and I'm not a fan of the college rah-rah stuff that seems to infect most of the crowd.
Rafa (NYC): You like Tottenham? man I'm disappointed I thought you would like a good team like Internazionale Milano!!! hahaha
Jason Parks: They haven't been the same since Forlan and his magic Colonial wig departed.
Vic31 (San Diego): Are you more confident now than a year ago that Addison Russell will stick at SS? Does he have enough speed/base smarts to steal 20+ bases, at least initially?
Jason Parks: I dont know or care about the stolen bases, but I think he can stick at SS and I think the bat is very real.
Short Shorts (Venice Beach): Luiz Gohara: what excites you about him?
Jason Parks: His arm is very fast and the release is very easy. The body is high-maintenance, but it makes it work at present. The fastball is lively and has serious zip, and he already shows good feel for repeating and hitting the target. He can spin a breaking ball and has a changeup, so he's way ahead of the curve for his age/level of development.
CalMcEwen (New Britain): True or False, Dilson Herrera will be among the top MI prospects by end of year? Offensively, where would you rank him right now?
Jason Parks: False. I think he could take a big step forward, but even with a big step I wouldn't put him in the top tier with guys like Baez, Russell, Bogaerts, and Correa.
chrisbarncard (Madison, Wis.): Can fastball movement be taught?
Jason Parks: Sure. It can be encouraged with different grips, arm angles, etc. You can't teach longer fingers, though. That always helps.
PaulVilma (LA): Any reports on Kaleb Cowart? Seemed like he handled the bat pretty well during camp. If he rakes this year, think he has an outside shot next spring or call-up in June?
Jason Parks: I'm high on high. If he rakes this year, which he might, he will be on the doorstep coming into camp next spring, Very good major league quality talent.
Dave (Texas): Would you trade Profar for Giancarlo if you were Daniels?
Jason Parks: I'd think about it. The decision would probably make me drink a lot.
Josh (Chicago): Who has the biggest #rig in baseball? I'll guess Matt Holliday and go with 10".
Jason Parks: Holliday would not be my first guess.
Alonso (Miami): What did you see from Rafael Devers while you were down in D.R? Rumor has it the Red Sox are very interested in him, did you like him?
Jason Parks: I saw him. I liked it. Not sure where he plays on the field, though. I don't think its a 2B profile; maybe 3B, but the arm wasn't impressive. The bat was very legit. Best bat speed I saw at the showcase. The swing comps to Cano are extreme, but they make sense from a visual perspective.
Matt (Austin): What do you think is the reason some teams are better than others developing pitchers? What are the keys to have a good developmental system?
Jason Parks: Teams that are better at developing pitchers are usually the teams that start with better talent. The key to a good developmental system starts with talent and the ability to craft each developmental plan for the individual.
Transplanted Texan (Oklahoma): Jason - You are building a franchise right now, all intangibles included, one position and one pitching prospect. Or, two for each if you so choose.
Jason Parks: Profar/Taveras as the positional talent; Bundy and Cole as the arms. I'd love that franchise.
Kyle (Utah): Garin Cecchini supposedly came to camp having added significant bulk; if the added bulk translates to in-game power the way you hope it would, how high could he move up prospect lists?
Jason Parks: Added bulk doesn't always translate to more in game power; depends on the bat speed and the characteristics of the swing itself (plane/lift, back spin). If he does start putting more balls over the fence, I assume his prospect status will be elevated. Power numbers always seem to help.
Vinny (NY): There are some reports that Domingo Tapia's arm angle could make it difficult for him to develop a consistent breakng ball. How often is that an issue with pitchers? Do you think that will ultimately push Tapia to the pen?
Jason Parks: I've heard similar, but its not a lost cause by any means. He can struggle to stay over the ball from that slot, especially over the breaking ball, which makes it get slurvy and flatten out. I think he might end up in the 'pen, most I wouldn't put him in that box yet.
Jeff (Houston): Stephen Piscotty did not make your top 10 for the Cards, but they've had some great success with modest ceiling college players. Do you think he has a reasonable shot to be anything more than a solid regular?
Jason Parks: I don't. It might be a stretch to assume he hits the ceiling of a solid-regular. I'd put his ceiling a little below that.
DF (Wilmington, NC): I don't know that I've seen any post-spring commentary from you on Teheran. I know it's only spring, so stats aside, what are your/scouts' takes on his stuff and command? Could this be similar to Shelby Miller's struggles last year before returning to form?
Jason Parks: He was excellent this winter, and I know the Braves really believe in the kid, He's added some movement to the fastball by throwing more two-seamers, and even though the curve isn't a wipeout offering, it has improved and he will also mix in a slider. I don't think his struggles were similar to Miller, who arrived in camp a bit out of shape and was overly reliant on his fastball at the expense of his secondary arsenal.
Gaillimh (Dublin, Ireland): Hi,
Any thoughts on Brandon Workman. Think he could make it as a starter in the bigs? Also, can you see Boston having a shortstop 'problem' in a couple of years with Vinico, Bogaerts, Iglesias, Marrero and Tzu_Wei Lin?
Jason Parks: I think Workman ends up in the bullpen, most likely as a 7th inning type. I don't think the SS problem will be a legit problem. You can never have too much depth at a premium spot, and in the unlikely event that every shortstop prospect in the org develops into a shortstop at the highest level, the team can trade from the depth to fill a weakness elsewhere on the field.
Cal Guy (Cali): You can have one hitter and one pitcher for the next 10 years... who do you choose?
Jason Parks: Clayton Kershaw and Bryce Harper
Accountant (1040 Land): Are there any good books/web-sites/etc. for someone looking to get an intro to scouting?
Jason Parks: I would recommend reading Baseball Prospectus for the 2013 season.
Shawnykid23 (Newington): Are Miguel Sano and Joey Gallo both Adam Dunn types- or will one actually be able to hit for a solid average?
Jason Parks: Gallo is an Adam Dunn type; Sano might be able to hit for more average down the line.
Paul (St. Paul): Hak Ju Lee - what's his upside, and how likely is he to reach it? Can he be a left-handed Jose Reyes with a touch less power?
Jason Parks: With a shitload less power. He's a slappy, speedy type, with a good glove/arm at short. He's not going to be an impact offensive threat. He might hit for average because of his legs, but I don't see any power potential
Alex (Houston): What are the chances Robbie Grossman makes it as an everyday CF/lead off hitter in the bigs?
Jason Parks: Highly unlikely
Goose (Chicago): Long-term ceiling for Rafael Montero? Is he a prospect that could move up the rankings in 2013?
Jason Parks: Absolutely. He has something.
Mark (Utah): How likely are the Astros to tak Mark Appell this time around? Did they have Carlos Correa rated higher last year, or was it purely sign-ability, or saving draft pool money by picking Correa?
Jason Parks: Correa was still one of the premiere talents in the draft, despite costing less than a few other top players. I don't think the Astros regret that decision on any level. I assume they go for a safer college arm in this draft, but its still early and things can happen to change that opinion as we get closer.
Bubba Stutes (Bama): Who has better taste in movies, you or Chris Mellen?
Jason Parks: Mellen likes Swayze, and that's good enough for me.
Fantasy (Anywhere): Who are your top 3 picks in a fantasy girlfiend draft?
Jason Parks: Oddly enough, I don't really fantasize about potential girlfriends. I'd probably say: Eva Green, Tom Verducci, and the moody girl that I occasionally run into near the subway stop that is still reading Proust like an undergrad loner. She might be number one.
Kyle (Utah): assuming Jackie Bradley stays in the majors what would you expect from him this season?
Jason Parks: He's going to make pitchers work. He might not hit for a high average in his first year, but he isn't going to give you outs. I think he could hit .260+ with good secondary skills while playing a very, very good CF.
bonsaisuperstar (Dublin, Ireland): Hey Jason, During spring training people started talking about Red Sox catching prospect Christian Vázquez and his electric arm for throwing people out. I noticed he wasn't in Boston's Top 10 Prospects on BP.
Did he arrive out of the blue? How do you rate his overall game or is his arm his only tool?
Jason Parks: His a glove first type that might be able to carve out more than just a backup role if everything clicks with the bat. It's not as sexy as people make it out to be.
Mark (Utah): Any chance the Astros take Craig Biggio's son in this draft? I have heard he is a 2nd round talent, but is also committed to Notre Dame. How much of a role do connections play in the draft?
Jason Parks: Connections are always important, but the association can't prevent other teams who value his talent from popping him early in the draft. Im not sure how committed to Notre Dame he is, but that's another factor in the equation.
Dobbs (Delaware): Why does the Orioles front office hate cut fastballs? Do you think they'll reverse their stance and let Bundy throw his highly touted cutter eventually?
Jason Parks: Well, I'm not sure young arms need to be throwing a bunch of cut fastballs, especially when they could stand to work on other pitches that are more difficult to learn/command/execute. Bundy will eventually throw a form of the cut fastball, but I agree with the Orioles that it doesn't really benefit him to demolish minor league bats with it when he needs to work on other aspects of his game.
Accountant (1040 Land): Do you ever provide updates as to where/when you are chacking out games?
Jason Parks: I usually put it on Twitter when I'm headed out to a game.
TommyBoy (Boston Fishbowl): Why do you like Tom Verducci so much? Have you met him while carrying your STALKER?
Jason Parks: I've never met him. Again, Stalker is the preferred brand of radar guns used by major league scouts.
Astros fan (#sike): Is Kevin Goldstein the most handsome pro scouting coordinator in this era of handsome pro scouting coordinators?
Jason Parks: Not the most handsome. Most fedora'd, definitely.
Dan (Brooklyn): Not sure where you are in Brooklyn, but another Shake Shack is coming on Flatbush right across from Barclays Center. Doesn't figure to be too busy when there's not an event there.
Jason Parks: I'm northern Brooklyn; not close to Downtown.
BenJull (Canada): Do you think Marcus Stroman sticks as a starter or ends up in relief?
Jason Parks: I think he ends up in relief.
Cal Guy (Cali): Please rank the top SS prospects in terms of likelihood of staying at SS for the bulk of their career.
Jason Parks: Lindor
Dobbs (Delaware): RE: Bundy and the cutter. It's my understanding that Dan Duquette loathes cutters in general and doesn't want any of their pitchers throwing them. He also said Mariano Rivera doesn't throw a cutter and that's it's a bad pitch in general. I think they're going to stunt Bundy's growth with this silliness.
Jason Parks: I think they know more about Bundy and his development than we do.
doublej4725 (Hillsborough, NC): Great talking to you while in AZ, Jason. I wasn't nearly as impressed with Guerrero as you were, and I know he's raw, but what really stands out about him that isn't obvious when an amateur watches him?
Jason Parks: Same to you. Guerrero stood out for me. The bat speed is clearly top shelf, and the hands and overall coordination were equally impressive. I was able to watch him play in at least four games and several workouts, so I probably had a larger viewing sample.
Sophie's Choice (#sad): You can only pick one: Selleck's stache, Landon's locks, or Verducci's voluptuous mane. Which do you choose?
Jason Parks: In a surprise, I'll say Landon's locks. They had 80-grade flow.
Bob (Boston): What do you think of CJ Cron?
Jason Parks: Not much, really. He has legit power, but not sure how much will play against high-end pitching. He's also very limited on defense, so he might end up a better fit for DH.
Mariano Rivera (Bronx): Did someone just say I don't throw a cutter? I certainly do it's just a natural one unlike that thing Phil Hughes tried to throw that killed his heater for awhile
Jason Parks: This is the real Mariano Rivera
Dan (UK): Does Anthonu Ranaudo recover this year and re-cement himself as a top pitching prospect?
Jason Parks: Probably not.
canada (canada): What does Sanchez have to accomplish this season to get to your #5 top prospect crystal ball projection? Cut down on the BBs? Think it would be wise to get him up to AA by August if he dominates early?
Jason Parks: If the command takes a step forward, he's a monster.
Donald Loria (Milwaukee): I need you to differentiate/compare the 3 SSs taken in the 1st rd. of my deep dynasty league: Baez, Correa, and Russell. Who is most likely to stick, who's hit and power tool is the highest, any of them gonna steal many bags? In the end, who would you choose??
Jason Parks: I would prefer not to answer fantasy questions because I honestly don't care about fantasy baseball and I've never played it. Baez has the top bat that you listed; Russell next in line; Correa could have serious power, but its not likely to develop in-game for a while. Russell might be the safer pick; Baez and Correa for the ultimate ceiling.
Jim (Seattle): Thanks for the chat, Professor. You and Mike Ferrin had a good discussion on the first Fringe Average podcast. Not to force you make a comparison, but who is a #1? King Felix or Yu Darvish?
Jason Parks: Felix. He's proven it year after year. That's what separates the paper number ones from the real number ones. Darvish is on his way, but he's not there yet.
Dobbs (Delaware): Other than the Magnum PI theme song, what would be your MLB walkup music?
Jason Parks: Cowboys from Hell by Pantera or Hot Cock Annie by the Frogs
Joe (NYC): Out of curiosity. Why not a fan of fantasy?
Jason Parks: Not my cup of tea. It never grabbed me. I think it started with loyalty to my fandom. I didn't want other players on opposing teams to have success. That's the biggest reason I don't play fantasy football. I could never cheer for a positive result from a Redskins or Eagles player.
Todd (MN): What did you do before you were full time at BP?
Jason Parks: I worked as a logistics coordinator for a marketing/advertising company in Manhattan.
Broken Arrow (Texas): Zach Mortimer gave some promising notes on Roman Quinn in his Notes from the Field column. Do you think he's got a real shot to be a top 100 prospect next year? More?
Jason Parks: It's possible. He's very, very fast, and if the bat has more meat than just a slapper, he could certainly jump up prospect lists.
lmb326 (new jersey): Do you think Stryker, with Arizona, sticks as a catcher. If not, where do you see him playing? Adn do you have any player comps for him ... I've heard his power compare to Harper and Stanton.
Jason Parks: I think its very early in his development and I don't want to put him in a box. That said, the bat is clearly more developed than the glove, and he could move much faster if he were to move from behind the plate. I think you give it some time and see if he takes step forward, as the option to move him will always be there.
Ringo (Yellow Submarine): Why did you handle me you strange, strange man?
Jason Parks: Because you were in the Beatles and I had been drinking.
fantasy sports player (#fantasy): In a keeper league, Landon's locks or Steve Stone's chest hair?
Jason Parks: Wow. That's tough. Landon's locks are harder to find. As much as I like Stone's skill-set, you can find it on the open market. It's like a solid-avg corner outfielder. They aren't exactly precious unicorns that teams struggle to find.
Tony (Work): Is Cashner the best starting pitcher the Padres have? Why isn't he starting?
Jason Parks: Can he stay healthy? I think that has a lot to do with it. I do agree that he would be their best starting arm.
Klochner (MN): Did taking over prospect coverage mean that you no longer have time for the advice column?
Jason Parks: Well, the honest answer is that some of my advice column answers weren;t an ideal fit for a general audience and we didn't want to offend paying subscribers with substantial R-rated content. I refused to tone it down to PG-13, so we put it on the shelf.
Robert (Seattle): Which Seattle prospect gets on your top 100 next year? If both, who is higher: Gabriel Guerrero or Luiz Gohara?
Jason Parks: Guerrero might be a better prospect in 2013 because he's ready to take on full-season ball. Gohara will be slower out of the gate, but substantial as a prospect once he starts putting together starts.
Klochner (MN): When a prospect you expect to be huge busts, how often are you able to find a good reason? How many guys are just mysteries?
Jason Parks: Good question. It's easy to look back and point out key developmental flaws that caused a prospect to flameout. It's much harder when a player fails because of non-physical reasons, like makeup.
msloftus (VA): Eva Green?
Jason Parks: I find her to be very attractive.
johnorpheus (st. louis): A baseball writer just put a Delmon Young comp (as a downside) on Taveras. Please tell me that's not accurate former prospect comp?
Jason Parks: It's not a comp I would use. As a floor, Taveras could be a contact heavy hitter that doesn't walk a lot, but they aren't really similar players and the makeup isn't the same. It's a little too casual for my tastes.
John (Vegas): Top states for high school baseball?
Jason Parks: Florida, Georgia, California, Texas, South Carolina, Oklahoma
Nick (Hotlanta): What are the chances that Evan Gattis can actually stick as a major leaguer? Is he a real catcher, or just a rogue bat?
Jason Parks: I'm not sure. I want hi to stick around because he's from Texas and the narrative has a lot of #want, but I'm just not sure. I haven't seen enough, to be honest.
Jim (Seattle): Thanks for showing #want by sticking around! We all know Professor's passion about sexy, young bodies in minors, but I honestly could hear your scouting reports on the current big leaguers. Would that be something on Fringe Average? Assuming the direction you and Mike Ferrin said that it won't be a prospect podcast.
Jason Parks: We could do that. Send all podcast email to: email@example.com
marjinwalker (lunch break): If you could see 3 minor league teams this year, who would they be? Anything especially good in the Sally this year?
Yay for real opening day!
Jason Parks: Rafael DePaula (Yankees); Adalberto Mondesi (Royals); Javier Baez (Cubs). Just to name three that would probably be worth the price of admission.
The minor league guy (Illinois): Start of 2014 season, who will be the #1 minor prospect?
Jason Parks: Russell or Baez
Pete Lunchbox (Handsome City): If you could only watch a single league in the minors for the entire season, which would you choose? For example, the Midwest League has a large number of high upside young prospects, but could also see many of them jump to High-A. The PCL has Taveras/Profar and a number of others, but all should be in the majors shortly.
Jason Parks: It's a short-season league, but I'd watch the AZL. I love watching talent at the lowest levels of the minors right when they are starting their journey. It's not very good baseball, but its the place where the dreams are the most abstract.
1direction (uk): Since you strongly dislike mocks, how are you going to handle the draft stuff this year? "Top prospects" list with notes on what you're hearing about teams instead? Looking forward to the coverage
Jason Parks: With our partnership with Perfect Game and a very thick staff of talented evaluators on staff, our draft coverage will be the best its ever been. I'll leave the mocks to other people with more experience and expertise in that particular process.
doublej4725 (Hillsborough, NC): Second question, I really like how you included risk in with the prospects this year but what kind of risk would you put with each category. As an example: Extreme Risk - 5-15% chance it works out, High Risk - 15-25% chance it works out, Medium Risk - 25-50% chance, Low Risk - 50% or greater chance it works out. Does this sound in the right neighborhood or is it just too technical for something that is basically a guess?
Jason Parks: That's probably in the ballpark. The risk factor was basically a likelihood that a prospect reaches their potential. With the extreme risk players, 5-15% might even be too high. When the ceiling is role 7 and the player is in short-season ball, the chance they live up to the hype is very slim.
Klochner (MN): What sort of ceiling does Sal Perez have?
Jason Parks: Enormous. At least a 7 with the defensive profile and the bat keeps getting better. He's a legit role 7 (all-star) player.
Marshall Teague (Jasper, Missouri): Favorite Swayze movie, non Point Break Division?
Jason Parks: Road House
wes (Dallas): Corey Seager got a mention in the Fernandez article this morning. Does he have the ceiling to be a top 25 prospect down the line, or is he more of a high-floor type.
Jason Parks: I think he does. It's not an up-the-middle profile, but I really believe in the bat and I think he could develop into an above-average defensive 3B.
James (New Jersey): Thoughts on Mason Williams ? Will he actually be a product if the Yankees farm system and contribute eventually or just another trade chip?
Jason Parks: I think he ends up roaming CF for the Yankees. They need a new #Bernie and Mason Williams might end up being #Bernie-lite.
Rick (LA): What type of manager would you make ? Old school hard nose Larussa style or innovative Joe Maddon
Jason Parks: I wouldn't make a very good manager. It takes a very special approach to manage a room full of millionaire athletes that are all exceptional in relation to everybody else that plays (or has played) the sport, so I don't think I would have the disposition to navigate those hurdles. Trying creative shit is great, but you have to convince the players that its the right decision or direction to take, and I don't think I could pull that off. They have a very difficult job.
clay pot (#ghost): What about that movie with Whoopi Goldberg?
Jason Parks: Jumping jack Flash or Burglar?
Dobbs (Delaware): Are there any good underdog prospects like Jose Altuve or Tim Collins were? Guys that get second-guessed because of their size but keep on producing.
Jason Parks: The Rangers have two on the major league roster right now: utility man Leury Garcia and reliever Joe Ortiz. Both are very small humans.
The Dude (Left Out): Is Robert Stephenson's celing a top of the rotation arm or elite closer?
Jason Parks: I think he might have a frontline ceiling. Sure, he could project as an elite closer, but I think he can stick in a rotation. I really like the arm.
DMGMDIDWHAT (kc): could someone teach yordano ventura how to conserve his fastball (a la verlander) in order to save him late in the game and make him a lower injury risk or is that ability the reason verlander is so great (most can't do it)
Jason Parks: Verlander is a very large/strong man that seems to gain strength as the game goes on. Ventura is 5'11'' and 150 lbs wet, so they aren't starting from similar physical foundations.
Klochner (MN): Did you see Trout as a 30 HR guy before last year? Moving forward?
Jason Parks: I thought that might be his ceiling, but I was clearly wrong. The power is very real, so he could run into 30+ year after year. To be honest, I'm not sure what his ceiling is anymore. He might not have one.
Angie (Indianapolis): How long are you planning to keep this going?
Jason Parks: Six hours, thirty minutes is my record, and I'm going to best that. Just starting hour number four, the questions keep rolling in, and I'm ready to go.
tlheard12 (Canada): Stroman fall into your "good underdog prospect because of size" category?
Jason Parks: He was a first-round pick and he has a plus-plus arm, so its hard to be much of an underdog. He might be an underdog starting prospect, as I believe him to be a reliever long-term.
Kyle (Utah): Single greatest display of #want you've ever witnessed?
Jason Parks: Probably Daniel in the Karate Kid part two when he was fighting for honor and to the death
John (Boston): Zooey Deschanel, what's the report on her?
Jason Parks: She seems to have a lot of fur on her face. It's not exactly facial hair but its furry and I don't really like it.
Kyle (Utah): Bogaerts have a shot at being the #1 prospect a year from now?
Jason Parks: Absolutely.
Bob (TX): Does George Srpinger have the defensive skills to stick in CF longterm? Given the contact skill I doubt he could be a 1st division regular on a corner? Agree/disagree?
Jason Parks: I think he has the skills to play a solid CF, and despite the contact, if he can hit enough for the power to play, he has a chance at a first-division ceiling.
Neal (CA): Does Matt Smoral have top of the rotation potential? Doyou expect him to make lo-A this year or strictly an extended spring to rookie ball path?
Jason Parks: No. But not many do. It's very early, but I think a 2/3 ceiling is more realistic. I think it depends on how he looks in ext ST. I assume they will set the developmental schedule based on how he looks.
Kyle (Utah): Matt Barnes a potential #2?
Jason Parks: I can see the case for that, yes.
captnamerca (Dunedin): What is your favorite thing to do on a hypothetical day off that you don't sleep all day on?
Jason Parks: Probably day drinking with friends without an agenda that finds us hitting different places and having an adventure.
diane (utah): there is a lot of talk about baez, profar, correa ... where does trevor story rank amongs the current batch of SS prospects? Would he be in a tier with Alen Hanson/or lower?
Jason Parks: I think he has a better chance to stick at SS than Hanson. He's not a big flash guy, much like Owings. But he can play baseball (with legit baseball skills), and BP ranked him number one in the Rockies system, so we are high on him.
Joe (WI): Do hear any updates about Roache's health while you were in AZ? Does he have 30 HR type upside or more in the 20-25 range?
Jason Parks: Didn't get any updates other than he will be starting in extended. Big potential; 20-25 HR is possible.
JoeTetreault (Carrollton, TX): How much did you see of Max Fried this spring? Any new thoughts from the observations?
Jason Parks: I think I saw three starts, which is quite a bit given my schedule. He looked sharp each time. The delivery is very easy and repeatable; he worked 89-93 with ease and could get more when he wanted it; the CB is a legit plus pitch with a big break; the CH flashes plus potential. He's a very advanced arm for his age. I was impressed.
JoeTetreault (Carrollton, TX): Is it hyperbolic to consider this year vital to Bubba Starling's development?
Jason Parks: It's extremely vital. It's not a make or break year, but its a telling year. I've yet to see the loud tools play at a loud level, so it will be interesting to see if he starts to bring the high-ceiling talent to the field. He clearly looks the part, but he has yet to really show it.
Lemmy (Alphaville): What do you think Neftali Feliz's longterm role with the Rangers is?
Jason Parks: Closer.
S (CA): Any sleepers in the Giants system?
Jason Parks: Gustavo Caberera and Adalberto Mejia
Brian (Boston): Thoughts on Richie Schaffer? Can you compare his bat to Corey Seager's?
Jason Parks: I don;t like his bat nearly as much as I like Seager's. Seager is silky smooth.
Jim (Seattle): Question about (TV) scouting: as much as I love to go to the games, I started watch MLB.tv with stop watch. I can time things like home-first, pitcher from stretch, pop time...but do you time the throw from shortstop/third to see the arm? Or it's just purely on eye?
Jason Parks: Go to games. TV is a tease. You can't see the entire field. If you want to grade the arm, watching infield before a game or a bang-bang play during a game is the way to go. YOu don't need a watch to grade the arm.
John (Florida): Baseball Prospectus is deeply overlooked amongst the scouting websites and publishers. Im a 17 year old whos very intruiged by player evaluation and projection and in comparison to ESPN and Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus and Perfect Game seem to put so much more effort and detail in the content real eased. As well as the depth of knowledge on each article.
Jason Parks: I agree with all of that, except the fact that we are overlooked. People are looking. Also, thanks. I swear I didn't use a sock puppet to send this in.
Michael Wacha (Memphis): Did my profile change over the spring? What do you grade me among my excellent teammates? w/ Carlos, Trevor, and Shelby.
Jason Parks: Your profile is the same, and its a very good profile. Most likely a number three starter that can move quickly.
JoeTetreault (Carrollton, TX): Between the AFL and WBC Jonathan Schoop started getting more prospect hypelove (though I most enjoyed the struggle to say his last name). Does he take 2B in Baltimore next season?
Jason Parks: His last name is pronounced" Scope, like telescope. He's a good player. He might be ready to challenge for a major league job in 2014, although I think 3B will be his best position. He can stick it at the plate. Might have some holes on the inside, but once gets extended he can do some damage.
Marlow Green (The lonesome, crowded west): Do you have any nicknames?
Jason Parks: People have always called me J or JP or Parks. I know its a stranger when I'm referred to as "Jason." Very few people actually call me Jason.
Rafa (NYC): JulioDos2013: Is this class a bit weaker than years past? What do you think is gonna happen with the impending Int Draft? People is D.R seriously don't want it not that it seems their thoughts matter.
Jason Parks: I think the class is solid, but its not special. The upcoming International Draft is yet another piece of waste ejected from the orifices of a select group of influential owners that want to keep spending down. I hate the new CBA. It's crap.
Josh (Chicago): Biggest penis: Mailer, Roth or Updike?
Jason Parks: Roth. No question.
JoeTetreault (Carrollton, TX): Whither Jordan Akins? I still dream a little dream of him
Jason Parks: Crazy high ceiling; very little feel for the game. Not going to happen.
Kyle (Utah): Do you think there is a tangible benefit from having pitchers work faster (thinking about what Farrell/Niese are doing with the Sox starters)?
Jason Parks: Depends on the pitcher, but rhythm is very important. Some pitchers think too much and take themselves out of a good rhythm. Working fast can often solve both of those issues.
Chris (LA): Thoughts on Puig? How good can he be? Who is better Puig or Cespedes?
Jason Parks: I like Puig; huge tools. I think he could be a first-division/all-star type. Impossible to compare the players at this point because they are playing at different professional levels and are at different points in their developmental arc.
John (Austin): Which prospect would benefit from having a little bit more #want?
Jason Parks: Hard to say. Maybe Gary Sanchez
David (Atlanta): Do you think Grahmn is a starter or reliever ultimately?
Jason Parks: I actually like him as a starter. He has good feel for command, a very good table-setting fastball and playable secondary pitches.
lmb326 (jersey): Where do you see Adalberto Mondesi ranking next year .... top 10? top 20? or does he still have a lot of developing to do?
Jason Parks: He still has a lot of development to do, and his bat might struggle at the first season level. A lot of people "scout" the numbers a prospect produces, and if Mondesi doesn't rake, he might not get the love.
Schackmj (NYC): Best place in NYC/NJ area to watch a minor league game?
Jason Parks: I like Staten Island because of the view of the harbor beyond the outfield fence
royals fan (kc): Between Moustakas and Hosmer, who do you think figures it out first? Both had solid spring numbers, do you know if scouting reports were as positive?
Jason Parks: Moose might get it first, but Hosmer won't be far behind. If the focus is there, both bats should take a step forward in 2013.
Matt (Austin): Would you consider going pro like your pal Goldstein did? and Will Goldstein's mom appear on the new podcast?
Jason Parks: In the right situation I would be all for going pro, but I also have a very good thing going at BP and I'm not eager to leave it. In my current position, I can live at home in NYC and travel around the country watching the top talent in baseball. I'm not looking to turn away from such a fortunate experience.
TPX2 (Taiwan): What is the future for Luis Sardinas?
Jason Parks: Starting shortstop at the major league level. He's highly skilled. Needs to stay healthy.
Marlow Green (The lonesome, crowded west): How do you prepare, physically and emotionally, for a marathon chat? Is there are lot of meditation beforehand?
Jason Parks: I went to bed early last night and I've been exercising and eating right since I returned from spring training. My hands are cramping a bit and I need to step out and buy some drinks, but I'm in good shape.
deech (New York): Jose Ramirez, future Yankees #3 or closer?
Jason Parks: It might be a little less than a number three and a little less than closing. Not a knock on Ramirez. I really like him. #3 might be the ultimate ceiling.
Tomohiro Anraku's Arm (Japan): SAVE ME!!!
Jason Parks: I feel ya, bruh
Nick (Los Feliz, CA): Single sexiest tool you've ever seen?
Jason Parks: Oscar Taveras in the batting cage, showing off his ability to drive a baseball.
Dick's BBQ (KC): Based on your backfield note yesterday, are we closing the lid on John Lamb's boiling pot as we kissing another legit #3 arm goodbye?
Jason Parks: I don't see anything close to a number three arm at this point. I don't see a major leaguer based on the spring sample. I'd like to see him during the year before I completely write him off.
TPX2 (Taiwan): Scouting reports on Jose Valdespina?
Jason Parks: Big body; strong; from a lower slot, gets both velo and movement; can sit 94-97; touching 98; heavy life; shows good potential on both breaking ball and change; inconsistent; promising relief arm.
G Money (C'Town): How long until we see the speed of Hamilton playing in CF for the Reds? Two weeks enough time in AAA as long as he can show he can get on base?
Jason Parks: I love his speed and his potential in the OF, but I don't think his bat is ready fot the majors. He's going to put pressure on defenses, but major league arms aren't going to be afraid to attack him all over the zone and major league defenses can make plays that minor league teams can't make. He's a catalytic player with the legs, but its a one-dimensional profile at the highest level if you rush him.
Bob (WI): Texan Taylor Jungmannn - strictly bottom of the rotation fodder at this point or still a shot to be a solid #3?
Jason Parks: I don't see a number three profile. Bottom of the rotation at best, in my opinion.
Tony (Work): Didn't KG call you Jason?
Jason Parks: KG calls me all the time. We are friends.
Silv (BKLYN): Anyone that puts a question mark next to Eva Green's name needs to watch The Dreamers immediately. Girl shows serious #want.
Jason Parks: She shows serious #skin as well.
Florko (Vancouver): Name me a non pitcher situation when you would lay down a sac bunt
Jason Parks: I don't have a problem with the occasional sac bunt. It kills me when people make a big deal out of the sac bunt. It reminds me of people protesting just to say they are protesting, even though they might not fully understand the specifics of what they are protesting. Games aren't played on paper. There are times when its foolish and times that it makes sense. It's dependent on the game/players/situation at the time. I don't believe in blanket philosophies.
DJ Jazzy Jeff (Bel Air): Is it concerning that Yasil Puig didn't walk once in spring training?
Jason Parks: He was thrown a lot of fastballs in the zone and he hit them. It will only be a problem when he's thrown a lot of fastballs out of the zone and he continues to try to hit them.
JoeTetreault (Carrollton, TX): Did you see, or speak to anyone who saw Jameson Taillon's WBC start against Team USA? Any thoughts on the Texan, cleverly disguised as a Canadian?
Jason Parks: He wasn't born in Texas and he played for Canada, so I'm considering removing the "Texan" from his profile and knocking him down a role grade as a punishment.
TPX2 (Taiwan): Has Engel Beltre finally figured it out?
Jason Parks: He was always a good defensive outfielder, but I don't think his approach is going to be much better than in previous years.
achaik (Maine): What do you project for Rubby De La Rosa? Sounds like you have him 3rd behind Barnes and Webster.
Jason Parks: Love the arm; just not sold he's a starter like Barnes and Webster.
Shawnykid23 (Newington): What's the hardest position to project out? Catcher?
Jason Parks: On the positional side, yes. Very difficult to develop a quality catcher.
Or (Denton): This time next year, the Rangers' best prospect is...
Jason Parks: Lewis Brinson
Frank (NJ): Jason, do you believe Wilmer Flores can hold his own at second base? Will the bat be enough to compensate for the lack of defensive chops?
Jason Parks: I don't. I don't like the defensive profile. He can swing a bat, but when I look at Flores I don't see a middle infielder at the highest level.
Schackmj (NYC): Whats happening to Spurs....? Granted its Europa but still.
Jason Parks: I'm recording it, but this doesn't sound good.
TPX2 (Taiwan): How do you feel about the Andrus extension affecting the future for Luis Sardinas?
Jason Parks: Sardinas was unlikely to be the starting shortstop for the Rangers, with both Elvis and Profar ahead of him in the queue. I don't think it changes his future. I've always seen him as a very good trade chip to have, especially if he develops into something realistic.
Mike (Utica, NY): I like Gumbs, but right now isn't he an all or nothing hitter who can hit a fastball a mile but can't hit a curveball?
Jason Parks: He has an aggressive approach, so he often looks fastball early and often and swings accordingly. I wouldn't say that he can't hit a CB, because he can.
Paul (DC): Biggest dick (of a person): Mailer, Roth or Updike?
Jason Parks: Updike would be insufferable.
Rob (Brighton, MA): Whatever happened to Matt Wieters? Is the potential for a breakout still there, or has he regressed?
Jason Parks: I'll say this about Wieters because I get this question a lot. I love Wieters. I love the player he is today, even if he doesn't get any better. He's a well above-average glove with an above-average bat for the position. That's a hell of a player. That said, I think he will improve at the plate and offer even more value to the Orioles.
Mike (Utica, NY): As good as Webster's stuff is, i've always heard he can only keep his stuff in short outings. Wouldn't he be considered to a better candidate for the bullpen?
Jason Parks: When I've seen him in longer outings, he was more than capable of holding his stuff. I think he's a starter long-term, but you could put him in the 'pen if you wanted to amplify his already impressive stuff.
Abraham (Israel): Will Nate Freiman stick it out with the A's all year?
Jason Parks: I doubt it.
BobcatBaseball (Athens, OH): How can you tell with stats if a guy is a legit prospect or just a minor league arm/non-prospect?
Jason Parks: If a prospect is able to put up good numbers in an advanced league against advanced competition at a very young age, there is a good chance he's a very legit prospect.
TPX2 (Taiwan): Realistic ceiling for Lewis Brinsonis, Chris Young or B.J. Upton?
Jason Parks: I really don't know yet.. It's very early. People love to comp Brinson to other black guys in baseball. He's just as likely to end up as the next Craig Gentry or Drew Stubbs. I think he is going to be a very good defensive center fielder, and I like the potential with the bat. He might not be a big average guy, but he has excellent raw pop. The full-season level will tell us more. Its still so early in the process.
Rob (Brighton, MA): What's the best baseball prank you've seen or heard about?
Jason Parks: I'll tell you the story, but don't repeat it. When Blake Beavan was coming up in the Rangers minor league system, he had to deal with the reality that the mid-90s gas he had in high school wasn't a part of his professional repertoire. He obviously wanted it to re-merge, but he became a better pitcher for it and now he's a major league arm.
This is a secondhand story, but it comes from a vey reliable source and I've confirmed it with other eye witnesses to the event. One night, former number one pick Kasey Kiker was charting Beavan's start, and he kept a second chart in order to pull off this prank. He filled the extra chart with fastballs in the mid-90s, and when Beavan showed up after the start to see how he threw, Kiker informed him that he was dealing with the fastball, working it back into his high school mid-90s level. Beavan, always the cocky pitcher, had a bounce in his step with the affirmation that his once dead velo had risen from the grave, just as he had predicted.
Beavan is feeling good, and goes to take a shower. When he returns, Kiker puts the real chart on his locker and makes a point to tell him that the chart he originally showed him was bogus and that he was still the same 90-91 pitcher he had been as a pro. Beavan's mood was crushed. Kiker was rolling. Cruel joke. Its one of my favorite Kiker stories, and I have a ton of them, What a character.
TPX2 (Taiwan): The best minor team to watch this season? Hickory Crawdads on offense?
Jason Parks: Yes Fort Wayne for pitching.
David (San Francisco, CA): What are you drinking?
Jason Parks: Polar Seltzer water
Fisty (Seattle): Odds the Pirates trade Cole if they're sniffing the playoffs at the deadline?
Jason Parks: Why not just bring Cole up if they are sniffing the playoffs at the deadline? Wouldn't he make them a better team?
Mike (Utica, NY): I heard a lot of bad things on D.J. Davis, is his ceiling in the Brinson range?
Jason Parks: Bad things? Haven't we determined through the years that your sources on players are usually bad?
The minor league guy (Illinois): Enny Romero #1 or #2 SP?! Or average SP
Jason Parks: I'm thinking more of a late-inning reliever
Anthony (Long Island): What separates Tyler Matzek from someone like Dellin Betances or any number of pitchers that never could really find the strike zone? Stuff? Age? Experience? I realize Betances is much older, which hurts the comparison a bit, but I have never understood why some prospects are afforded a much longer rope when they struggle. Is it simply a case by case scouting thing?
Jason Parks: Athleticism. Betances is a well below-average athlete and struggles with adjustments. Matzek has a much better chance of smoothing it out.
David (San Francisco, CA): Apparently, Polar is the largest independent soft-drink bottler in the U.S.
Jason Parks: I did not know that. Very interesting.
Mike (Utica, NY): Mortimer was the one that was tweeting that he swinging and missing on 60% of his swings.
Jason Parks: That's not really something I would consider "bad." It's spring training and he's young. You could just say that you heard he has some swing and miss in his game, which he does, much like half of the prospects in the minors.
twayda (Chicago): How hard is it for pitchers to learn new pitches? How much does age have to play in the ease or difficulty of doing so? Whats the most common way for them to learn it, is it from a pitching coach, another player, or from experimenting themselves?
Jason Parks: Depends on the pitch and the overall aptitude for pitching. Sliders and cutters are usually picked up quickly, whereas the curve is much more difficult to learn and harness. The CH is a feel pitch, so its about repetition. Pitchers add to their arsenal all the time, and it doesn't just come from pitching coaches. Players are always talking to other players about their own stuff, and if a pitch is really working for one arm, he might share the offering with another.
Mike (Utica, NY): Has anyone verified D.J. Davis's age as well, MLB.com has him at 6/27/93 and others 7/25/94, that's a significant gap.
Jason Parks: MilB.com has Davis listed as 07/25/94, as does every other source I checked.
Blake (mullens friend) (East Lakeview): What's your impression of Gausman so far this spring?
Jason Parks: Didn't see him; was in AZ all camp. Reports were good, but they always are when it comes to Gausman
Wade Garrett (The Great Beyond): I love you, mijo.
Jason Parks: Igual
Shawnykid23 (Newington): Chris Davis is the new Mike Trout
Jason Parks: Did Newington legalize marijuana?
TPX2 (Taiwan): Top five power hitter prospects?
Jason Parks: Gallo, Sano, Baez, Taveras, Mazara
curto (fresno (today)): I'm excited about my Rainiers. Do you think Mike Zunino is going to come out raking in the PCL just like he did everywhere else last year? That would be kind of amazing...
Jason Parks: I think he's going to hit in the minors; might not set the world on fire against major league pitching.
Schackmj (NYC): What % of people actually use accurate locations?
For instance I'm in Newark NJ not NYC....
Jason Parks: Liar.
Kyle (Utah): Any chance the knuckleball ever becomes a "legitimate" pitch (ie something guys learn for the sake of learning it and not just as an attempt to save their career)?
Jason Parks: I don't think so. It's too unreliable and unstable, which is basically what it says on my dating profile (should I write one)
mrenick (Little rock): Do you think Brett Jackson can cut his K-rate enough to actually be an everyday CF in the big leagues? I don't know why I care, I don't even like the Cubs.
Jason Parks: I don;t. I think he could develop into a better hitter, but I still see more of a 4th OF type than a starting CF at the highest level.
Mike (Utica, NY): What's your take on Ty Hensley having hip surgery, how far does this push back his time table?
Jason Parks: It's a setback, no doubt. Let's see how he recovers from it and how the stuff looks, but its a bummer.
Juan (Tempeh Arizona): So Roger Ebert died today, and being a terrible person i checked his twitter to see if his last tweet was embarrassing (it wasn't). What tweet would you go out on? A classic #wet? Something about Verducci's hair?
Jason Parks: Probably a tweet about my doll/son Rolfe.
David (San Francisco, CA): I'm on my lunch break. I'm bored. Any word on which ballpark events you'll be attending? Went to Dodger event last year - those are awesome. Couldn't recommend them to readers more.
Jason Parks: I'll definitely be attending the following BP stadium events: Arlington, San Diego, Kansas City, St. Louis, NYC, Cinci, and Atlanta. I might jump on a few more as well.
Deck McGuire (Richmond, Va): What went wrong, man?
Jason Parks: This is a good place to start: http://cdn.fansided.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/39/files/2012/09/deckmcguire7-300x200.jpg
Mike (Utica, NY): Adam Morgan, could he have a higher ceiling that Biddle based upon the reports from spring training?
Jason Parks: He might. Very good arm. Developing. I'd probably put him above Biddle at this point.
Brian (Road to Nowhere): Why does a guy's naked buttcheeks come up when you type Jason Parks into google images?
Jason Parks: It just means the internet is working
David (San Francisco, CA): San Diego? Not on the current list at BP.com.
Jason Parks: It will be added ( I assume) after the details are worked out. I think we are shooting for August. I'm looking forward to that event very much.
Rob (Brighton, MA): Looks like Miguel Gonzalez is starting to come undone over in the Tampa/Orioles game.
Jason Parks: He's stripping, or coming undone like in the airport scene on Mars in Total Recall?
wileecoyote121 (Larchmont, NY): Professor: What's the word on Wuilmer Becerra, the other player the Mets received in the RA Dickey trade?
Jason Parks: Very young; lots of promise; true seven-figure talent. It's a long way off, man. I'll report back on the all the short-season guys I get info on this year. We are going to be scouting more of the short-season leagues in 2013.
Jim (Seattle): If called up, Gerrit Cole can help Pirates right now since he is better than Jonathan Sanchez at present. true of false? Is he the only pitching prospect better than their no.5 in major league rotation? What about Taillon / Wheeler / Bauer / Walker / Hultzen?
Jason Parks: True. Cole could pitch in the Pirates rotation this season and represent an upgrade.
Steve (On a bus): What do you think you would be doing if you weren't writing about prospects?
Jason Parks: I might be writing a book. I still want to do that very soon.
David (San Francisco, CA): At LA event last year I enjoyed speaking with Dan Evans the most. I don't know why, but I always envisioned GM's (current and former) as corporate, shark-like, business-suit guys. Evans was incredibly nice.
Jason Parks: Evans is one of the nicest people in the industry, while also being one of the most respected and knowledgable around. I probably learned more about scouting in three days at Dan Evans' side than I had the previous three years of watching games. It's remarkable how much he knows and how much he ias able to absorb in a limited viewing.
Mike (Utica, NY): What kind of book?
Jason Parks: Probably a lengthy tale of POMO fiction that nobody would want to read. Hell, I probably wouldn't read it.
Jim (Seattle): Would you attend Seattle BP event too? Your per deim is on me if Boss Joe doesn't pick up the tap.
Jason Parks: haha. Thanks. I'll see what I can do. That's a very long flight. I would have to show serious #want.
Kyle (Utah): Bryce Brentz a future average major leaguer?
Jason Parks: I don't think so. I'm not that high on him. That;s the ceiling, but I don't see it.
Sam (Illinois): What are your qualifications to you know....scout?
Jason Parks: I'm incredibly intelligent and I don't mind standing in the sun and making low wages.
EDR (Seattle): Watched Jabari Blash take BP in Peoria. What's the downside?
Jason Parks: He can't play baseball. That's probably the biggest one.
Lex ((Rome)): Hosmer's ABs do not look good to me so far, his swing is all over the place and it's uncontrolled. Do you agree?
Jason Parks: Sadly, I do agree. I'm not jumping off. Never!
wes (Dallas): Sano hit .258/.373/.521 with 28 HR's and 144 K's in the Midwest league last year. This seems like a very possible line for Gallo as well, but I cant imagine it would enough to get him ranked as the 21st prospect going into next year. How long does it take a player, like Gallo in this example, to shed established doubts about certain tools. Hypothetically, if Gallo had his best possible season, could he change scouts minds about the hit tool without showing he can hit against more advanced pitching than A ball.
Jason Parks: This is what I think is going to happen. Gallo is going to strikeout a massive amount, and he might not hit for a high average in full-season ball; in fact, he might struggle to hit .250. But he's going to hit 35 home runs and walk a bunch, and I guarantee he's a top 101 prospect in 2014.
Mike (Utica, NY): Did you go to scout school for what you currently do, or you learned from some great mentors?
Jason Parks: Great mentors and hundreds over hours watching games in their presence or the presence of other great baseball minds. I've been very fortunate to count people like Don Welke, Mark Newman, AJ Preller, and Dan Evans as mentors, not to mentioned the countless other scouts and evaluators I've been able to extract things from over the years.
John Matrix (not on that plane): Remember when I said I'd kill you last?
Jason Parks: Commando. Well done. #Sully
wileecoyote121 (Larchmont, NY): Saw that ESPN Sports Science program listing the best athletes of all time. Naturally, Bo Jackson won, a fact which completely disconcerted my 12 year old son. (What does he know, though?) Will we ever see the like of Mr. Jackson again?
Jason Parks: I'm sure we will, but the myth of Bo will be hard to defeat, at least for our generation. Bo was the best athlete I ever saw on a field. Period. But athletes are getting bigger and stronger and faster, and eventually a new freak like Bo will roll into our universe. I just hope his fire burns longer than Bo's did. What a shame.
JoeTetreault (Carrollton, TX): Professor, do you know if Don Welke will be able to join in at the Rangers Ballpark visit again? His contributions last year were the highlights of the event. Though the burro was top notch as well.
Jason Parks: I can ask him. If he's in town, I'm sure he would be happy to join the stage and steal the show again. But its pre-draft and Welke is an important evaluator in the amateur market, so his services might be needed elsewhere.
Mike (Utica, NY): Isn't Trout close to Bo right now?
Jason Parks: I don't think so. I don;t think Trout could start at tailback for an NFL team. Bo Jackson probably had four 80-grade tools; hit tool might have been average. Trout is clearly a monster at the plate and has more baseball ready skills than ever did. But as gifted as Trout is, I wouldn't put him in Bo's league. Bo was a true freak.
Klochner (MN): You seem like a generally quiet and reserved guy. How did you get comfortable hitting up scouts/FO guys for information?
Jason Parks: I have good social skills and have become more comfortable talking to strange professionals at ballgames. It takes practice. I wasn't equipped to handle that aspect of the job at first. Now its different. I get just as many scout calls a day as I send out. Information is always going back and forth. I've become more comfortable with it. It took time.
Superman (Up in the sky): Imagine a prospect that's perfect in every way except one. What would that flaw have to be in order for him not to be considered a good prospect?
Jason Parks: Hit tool. Let's say a player has 8 run 8 arm, 8 glove, 8 raw, but a 2 hit. He's still a prospect because of the loud tools, but its never going to work because the bat wouldn't let the power play. All you would be left with is a very good defensive player with elite speed that couldn't swing the bat. That's a bench player. It's a prospect, but without a hit tool, even the loudest tool collection is suppressed.
tlheard12 (Canada): Sleeper prospect in Jays org?
Jason Parks: Tirado and Nessy
Mike (Utica, NY): How many years have you been doing the minor leagues for writing and for information?
Jason Parks: I started really going heavy on the minor leagues in 2002, spending the majority of my energy in that field on message board discussions, pointless debates, etc. Started writing about the minors with more focus in 2007; started hitting every instructional league, spring training, countless games; hired by BP in 2010 to work on '11 annual; full-time contributor since January 2011.
Brian (Boston): Can you name the pitchers with a real chance at being a 1P, and who are outside of the BP top 20 at the current moment?
Jason Parks: Aaron Sanchez, Archie Bradley, Lucas Giolito
wdfirkus (Bay Area): Thanks for the chat JP and all the great prospect work this year. I don't have a prospect question, but I would imagine my topic is being considered more and more in player evaluations. It seems like a fair amount of effort is being put into injury prediction in terms of quantitative modeling and biomechanics study. Do you put any credibility into this work and, if so, who is leading the way in this field in your opinion?
Jason Parks: Absolutely. I think its a huge market inefficiency. I think the Rays are leading baseball in this particular pursuit.
Brian (Boston): Did you play baseball growing up? If so, what was the highest level? What position?
Jason Parks: I played in high school; played select ball and on traveling teams. I played shortstop. I tried to pitch but I almost killed a spectator I was so wild.
Rob (Brighton, MA): Do you see more risky plays down in the minors, things like suicide squeezes or crazy plays like the hidden ball trick?
Jason Parks: Don't a ton. It's mostly about development, with less of a focus on gimmicks.
Steve (On the Bus): What do you think is the most difficult part of moving up through a front office and the scouting department?
Jason Parks: Playing the political game with efficiency without getting labeled as overly political or burning too many bridges.
Mike (Utica, NY): Would Starling still be considered a top 100 prospect if he hit .225 with 15 HRs but 150+K's?
Jason Parks: For 2014, I think he would be. The tools are still paying his way. That will dissolve with each coming year.
Brian (Boston): Who are your favorite MLB players?
Jason Parks: My favorite player is Derek Jeter. He's number one for me. After Jeter, I love watching Elvis, Brandon Phillips, Miguel Cabrera swing a bat, Drew Stubbs in the outfield, Bryce Harper doing anything. I could probably list a bunch.
JoeTetreault (Carrollton, TX): Speaking of Giolito, are fall instructs the first real throwing he'll do this year, or is it likely to wait on spring training?
Jason Parks: That's a good question. It depends on his recovery process. I highly doubt he throws this fall, but if he's ahead of schedule and ready for it, that's another story.
tlheard12 (Canada): Also, why is it the Jays have some great young pitching prospects, but can't seem to develop/draft hitters? More emphasis on drafting quality pitching?
Jason Parks: The Jays seem to grab talent when talent is available, be it a pitcher or a position player. In recent years, I think more arms have fallen in their lap than positional talent. I don't think its about not being able to draft or develop bats as much as they've been highly successful in the procurement of quality arms.
Nately's Whore (Sweden): If you put 30 identical hitters, one in each minor league system, which ones would turn out the best? Same question with pitchers?
Jason Parks: I'd like to say that all 30 would turn out the same, given the fact that they are have the same talent and the same makeup. As I've said before, the teams that develop the best talent are usually the teams that start with the best talent.
Mike (Utica, NY): Could an argument be made that Rafael Montero could be the 2nd best arm in the Mets system?
Jason Parks: Well, I wouldn't put him above Syndergaard, so no, I don't think I could make that argument. I can see the case that he's right behind Wheeler/Syndergaard, though.
bmmolter (Worcester): Thoughts about tyrell jenkins ceiling and likelihood to reach it? What must he do to move forward this year in A?
Jason Parks: Big ceiling; number two type; hasn't been focused on pitching for very long, so underdeveloped. He's a high risk arm, but man, the Cards seem to find a way. I think he just needs to pitch; log innings. He needs to find consistency with his arm slot and focus on command and not worry about velo.
Brian (Boston): I can't believe you're still here. You truly are the best! Please remember to consider the pay-by-article idea, I really am dying to know who is on that list of final backfield notes beyond Almonte, Guerrero, Walker, Mondesi... its killing me!
Thanks again for everything. I look forward to your chats most of anything aside from the games themselves.
Jason Parks: Thanks. I'll tell you what. Email me at jparks (at) baseballprospectus (dot) com and I'll send you the notes. Free of charge.
The minor league guy (Illinois): What 2013 MLB draft pick will be 1st to make major leagues?! Appel?
Jason Parks: That would be my guess. Would he even need to be in the minors? Not sure how much time he would need in the minors.
Frank (Denver): Your counterpart at the four letter network says drafting hitters coming out of Stanford is a losing proposition. Do you concur, and if so, why do you think that is?
Jason Parks: I think it has to be viewed on individual basis, like everything in scouting and player development.
Nately's Whore (Poland): I'm dense - are you saying that all teams are equal in terms of developing talent?
Jason Parks: Nope. But teams aren't all working with the exact same level of talent to begin with, like your hypothetical suggested. If all 30 teams were given the exact same player to develop, I'm going to wager that the outcome would be the same for the majority (if not all) of the teams, barring injury.
Dan (UK): Gareth Bale left the pitch on a stretcher...
Jason Parks: I was planning on getting hammered and crying along tonight, and that confirms it.
Karl (Chicago): Another top ten chat killing the work productivity, well done.
When is the last time you did jump off a prospect's bandwagon, and did it hurt?
Jason Parks: Thanks. Just broke my previous record. We are now going beyond the 6:45 minute mark. I've jumped off a few bandwagons in recent years, and it hurts every single time. You keep checking in on them hoping to be justified in your decision to jump off but oddly excited when they prove you wrong. Jumping off Snider's bandwagon hurt. I really thought he was going to make it. I was a Smoak apologist for a few years. That did't end well. I'm still grabbing onto the Vitters bandwagon even though I don't even believe it anymore.
kramer (anytown): Lenny "nails" Dykstra has the greatest nickname. Just thought you should know.
Jason Parks: Cheddar
The minor league guy (Illinois): Have you watch Carlos Rodon from Nc st?! IF he was eligible to be draft this year, would he be 1st overall pick?!
Jason Parks: I haven't, but have friends that absolutely rave about him. He has 1:1 potential.
Nately's Whore (Germany): Other than the fastball (whether velo, movement or command), which pitch being plus would result in the highest grade for a pitching prospect? For example, would folks rather see a plus change because it's easier to teach a curve (I don't know if that's true), or is there bias against a slider because it's more damaging to the elbow? That sort of thing.
Jason Parks: I value a plus CH because I think its a big separator at the major league level. It's a rotation piece. Without it, its a problem.
Steve (IL): Does Kyle Crick make a big leap in the rankings this year? What do you think his ceiling is and ETA?
Jason Parks: He does. Big power arm. Could end up as an elite closer, but I think he has the good to start. Command needs to take a big step forward. I'd say number two starter is possible if everything comes together.
Jesus Montero (Seattle): Will I ever hit major league pitching, or should Smoak and I get an apartment together near Pike Place Market?
Jason Parks: I think you will before Smoak does.
Mike (Utica, NY): You going to go to Boston College in a few weeks to watch Rodon?
Jason Parks: I'll be in Texas watching TCU and attending the BP event in Arlington.
ttt (Manhattan): You're still going? Your #want is equal to Billy Hamilton's speed.
Jason Parks: Thanks. I'm not as strong as I was a few hours ago, but still moving forward. Not sure how long I will push it, but we are approaching hour number seven and I still have 300 questions in the queue.
David (San Francisco, CA): If you were coaching High School, what would be the first pitch, other than fastball, that you'd teach your pitchers? I have friend facing this question. I suggested cutter - easy to learn.
Jason Parks: I wouldn't want high school arms throwing the cutter. I'd teach them the CH, even though the higher velo arms would be throwing it into bat speed. I'm also partial to a good uncle charlie, ones with big, knee-buckling hooks.
Mike (Utica, NY): Brian Roberts hurt again, does this speed up Schoop time table to the majors
Jason Parks: From a developmental standpoint, I don't think you should rush a player who isn't ready to be rushed just because the major league level needs a body.
The minor league guy (Illinois): I want to be Professor Park's Assistant! I work for free! :) I need a part time gig when I retiring from law enforcement in 6 yrs. hook me up..... Please
Jason Parks: Okay
elongenhagen (Catasauqua, PA): What scouting caveats apply for early season games that are played in terribly cold weather? What aspects of the game can it impact?
Jason Parks: Just about all of them, from velocity to breaking ball utility to bat control. It can influence just about everything on the field.
Joe (WA): I heard Hultzen was throwing strikes and looking good in spring. Is he back on track as a future #2, maybe as soon as the 2d half of this year?
Jason Parks: I saw him a few times and the command was loose. I like the arsenal, but starts and finishes so far towards 1B that he really struggles to work back to the inner half vs. right handers. It forces him to work outside, and that can be dangerous. I like his stuff; good velo from the left-side; good movement; good secondary stuff. But the command still needs to be sharp. He doesn't have the type of stuff that will defeat major league bats unless he hits his spots. I don't see a number two starter profile.
Doug (SC): Assuming good health, Heathcott or Williams?
Jason Parks: Williams.
El Guapo (Santa Poco): Better mustache, Tom Selleck or Sam Elliott?
Jason Parks: Push
Al4TD (Polk High): Did you have an opportunity to see Stryker Trahan? Any early reports on him to share?
Jason Parks: I did see him, but it was a very short look. he can swing the bat. No question. The glove will take time.
Bubba (STL): Before Jaime Garcia, the Cardinals hadn't had a LHP starter win a game since Mark Mulder! They don't have any LHP at all that could be more than no.5 starters or 7th inning bullpen arms.
Jason Parks: Are left-handed pitchers the key to success or something? They have the prospect currency to acquire a left-handed pitcher if so needed. Its all currency.
Majestic (#sparkle): Do you believe in fate?
Jason Parks: I don't
wdfirkus (Bay Area): Gave Mezcal a try recently after hearing you talk about it a few times on Up and In (working my way through to be a point niner - not sure why at this point). What are your brands of choice these days?
Jason Parks: I prefer to drink Los Danzantes or El Tinieblo
Lex (Willemstad): What is Simmons' upside according to you in Fantasy?
Jason Parks: The only fantasy sports I play involve watching Tom Verducci workout at the gym. Simmons is a monster player; great defense and a better bat then he showed in the minors. He's an all-star talent.
lpunkari (Fort Frances, Ontario): I was doing some research on some old junior hockey draft picks the other day and came across the fact that one player, Evan Rutckyj, is now in the Yankees system. Have you seen much of him, and how does he project?
Jason Parks: I saw him in the New York -Penn League, but it wasn't memorable. I'd give him a major league valuation, but not sure I'd go beyond middle-relief as a ceiling.
Mike (Utica, NY): Why do people throw Roberto Alomar comps on Profar if he moves to 2nd, isn't he a little short on speed and the glove to be considered that type of player.
Jason Parks: Because lazy comps are the new market inefficiency
Max (Chicago): Are there any prospects in the White Sox system you think can make a jump this year?
Jason Parks: Hawkins could; Beck, Jaye are a few others. The system has a chance to take a step forward. They have better talent now.
lpunkari (Fort Frances, Ontario): Adalberto Mondesi and Gabriel Guerrero walk into a party....
Jason Parks: And shit gets real
Or (Denton): When teams designate legends as special assistants (take the Rangers with Greg Maddux, Tony Fernandez, and Pudge Rodriguez) do you think it's more on the basis of projecting their ability to instruct, or for their value in giving prospects someone to look up to and strive to emulate?
Jason Parks: I think it can have several benefits. Obviously, giving a young prospect the opportunity to stand on the same field and receive instruction from a giant at that position carries a lot of weight. I've seen Alfaro around Pudge; Sardinas around Fernandez; Martin Perez around Greg Maddux. It means something to the kids. The other major positive is that these guys are also good teachers. That's not true of every former player or every special assistant, but the ones I just mentioned know how to listen and they know how to express themselves without getting overly didactic or alienating non-hall of fame level talent. I cant stress how great this is for the players. They might be on the field, but at heart they are just fans of the game as well, and when Greg Maddux gives you pointers about a grip or a few thoughts about a release, you listen and you love every minute of it.
Tom Verducci (Tuscany, in a hot spring): I liked the new podcast, but it would never compare to mine.
Jason Parks: Thanks, Tom. Is the water cold?
tman12 (nyc): strictly for fantasy purposes which prospect would you prefer if all players reached their potential.. Manuel Margot, Gabriel Guerrero or Mac Williamson?
Jason Parks: Guerrero
Mike (Utica, NY): Luiz Gohara and Miguel Almonte walk into a bar....
Jason Parks: They get carded and kicked out.
Colby Rasmus (Toronto): Sum me up in 3 words.
Jason Parks: Well, if the
Brian (Boston): Mike Kickham or Burch Smith?
Jason Parks: Burch Smith is ready for a breakout. Get ready.
Navin (CA): Say something nice about a Cubs prospect besides Almora, Baez, Soler and Vogelbach.
Jason Parks: The 2012 short-season crew from Boise is going to make the full-season Low-A team a must see team in 2013.
GBSimons (Columbus, IN): Jason, I had a really good question in mind, but I can't remember it for anything. So if you want to make a(nother) random comment, here's an opening.
Also, it's great to hear you again on the Fringe Average podcast. I'm at the 23:00-minute mark in the first episode (I know, I need to work on my #want), and I'm looking forward to hearing what you and Mike Ferrin have to say about the game of baseball and about things that have nothing to do with baseball.
Jason Parks: Mike Ferrin is fantastic. I'm happy and lucky to be working with him
Mike (CA): Who is better? Addison Russell or Puig?
Jason Parks: They aren't remotely similar. Russell is a a better shortstop and Puig is built like a linebacker and can hit bombs.
JoeTetreault (Carrollton, TX): I'm still on the Mike Montgomery (and John Lamb for that matter) bandwagon. It's lonely here. I'm prepared to jump, but I just can't quite make myself. What should I look for to keep my seat or finally bail?
Jason Parks: Not sure what is keeping you on the John Lamb bandwagon. At least Montgomery has a fresh start in Tampa. Lamb was throwing 86-88 with an upper 60s CB and just looked bad.
Majestic (#sparkle): Were you married at one point in your life? Also, would you marry Tom Verducci or Oscar Taveras?
Jason Parks: I was. We split last year. I;d marry Taveras. Verducci seems like a very high-maintenance man
David (San Francisco, CA): Visited New York on a business trip a few weeks ago. Had a Brooklyn Ale. Surprisingly good, even after hearing your praise on podcast. I'm a California beer snob and I loved it.
Jason Parks: It's a very drinkable beer
Tim (DC): Does wearing heavy eye black help with the ladies? What about pine tar? I could use the help.
Jason Parks: It works for me 30% of the time.
George Erringer (NYC): MiLB.com wrote today that Orlando Calixte was the most exciting prospect in the Texas League and that he has the potential for a "Profar-ian breakout." Do you agree with that?
Jason Parks: No; that's ridiculous. He's a good prospect, but most exciting in the Texas League? Cmon, bruh. That's not even close.
Ben (PG): Highest ceiling for a Jays postion player?
Jason Parks: DJ Davis; could be a first-division player
Ben (PG): Highest ceiling for a Jays postion player?
Jason Parks: DJ Davis; could be a first-division player
casejud (Bothell, Wa): Hey Jason, just wanted to say that your writing (and a few others) helped me get through a dark winter and fall, holed -up in my house a lot with health issues. Getting better though. Thank-you brother.
I enjoyed your recent backfierld notes from rthe Cactus League. So, that Archie Bradley cat was pretty impressive eh?
Jason Parks: Thanks. Glad you are feeling better. Yeah, Bradley's very legit. From his pitching to the way he carries himself. Jason Cole did a video interview with him after his final backfield start. That will be up at BP next week.
Colin (Austin): Did you watch "The Bible" on the History Channel last week? It was neat to see Oscar Taveras as a baby.
Jason Parks: #want
Kyle (Utah): With all of the highly rated SS prospects in the game right now, could we see ARod, Jeter, and Nomar redux? Who would play ARod, who would play Jeter, and who would play Nomar?
Jason Parks: Baez would play ARod; Lindor would play Jeter; Bogaerts would play Nomar, fittingly
Josh (Yellow Submarine): After Puig, most exciting guy in the Dodgers system?
Jason Parks: Either Lee or Garcia.
Dan (Bklyn): Oakland has apparently traded Travis Blackley to Houston for OF Jake Goebbert. Thoughts? Goebbert seems to have some decent on-base chops, at least.
Jason Parks: Ennui
Brian (Boston): Sean Nolin or Mike Foltynewicsz?
Jason Parks: Folty is ready to step into serious prospect company in 2013. Just wait. He's moving up quickly.
Aceathon (Dallas): It's pretty obvious the Rangers are trying to trade Borbon. What kind of return can they get for him?
Jason Parks: I was thinking they would trade him for a major league utility player, but with Garcia in the mix, that might not be the case. They won't get a hefty return for him. Maybe ask for a lower level high risk/high reward type.
JoeTetreault (Carrollton, TX): For those of us uninitiated in the wonder that is Burch Smith, what makes him poised for a breakout?
Jason Parks: He's healthy; he has size; shows a plus-plus FB in bursts. He put on a "wow" performance during a backfield game. He was absolutely filthy.
Mike (Utica, NY): If Folty can dominant in Lancaster could he be a top 50 guy?
Jason Parks: I'm not sure he makes that jump, but its possible. He's ready to breakout; fastball is more than ready; secondaries getting there.
Roach (Dead in Mexico): Does your endurance while chatting translate to other areas of your life? Can you swim extraordinarily long distances or things like that?
Jason Parks: I have stamina, yes.
John Carter (Toronto): By any chance do you give preference to questions asked while the chat is live over ones entered in the queue before the chat starts?
Jason Parks: I just try to answer what I can when it pops up. As the queue swells to over 500, I do lose track of some of the questions at the bottom. Apologies for that.
Geoff (Montreal): There's a wide range of ranking for Castellanos on prospect lists this year. Is he still one of the better pure hitters in the Minors of his plate discipline a major concern?
Jason Parks: He is still one of the best pure hitters in the minors. Great swing; no batting gloves; #rig
Cal Guy (Cali): Your response on next year's projected Top Ten has Russell ahead of Baez... would you please break down your reasoning for that? Thanks!
Jason Parks: He's playing in a league that could inflate his numbers a great deal, which will make his sex appeal all the more appealing
The Dude (Still Working): Rubby De La Rosa or Robert Stephenson- who has higher ceiling and who is more likely to reach it?
Jason Parks: Rubby's arm is ridiculous, but I'm not sold he's a starter. I think Stephenson can start. I'd give the ceiling to him, but Ruby is obviously closer to making an impact at the highest level.
Mike (Utica, NY): Billy Hamilton bloop double in first AB, sick speed.
Jason Parks: Yes, he has sick speed, but I bet you aren't watching him live.
Dave (AZ): You may have answered this at some point in the past, but did you have a career before baseball? If so, what made you make the switch? Pure #want? I'm asking for a friend...
Jason Parks: I had a somewhat normal life before baseball. I spent a lot of time in my studio and I worked a day job at a marketing/advertising company.
Colby Rasmus (Toronto): You're not giving me any more chances are you...?
Jason Parks: I'd give you more chances
Drew (Chicago): I was wondering how Cheslor Cuthbert looked this spring and has his conditioning improved from last year?
Jason Parks: I wasn't really impressed. Sucks. I really want that kid to make it, but the #want never looks like #want. It often looks like #slack.
Ben (PG): Who is the best prospect you ever saw who never made it to the majors?
Jason Parks: Probably Spike Lundberg. #FBCR
Jason Parks: Eight hours. You guys asked over 600 questions. Jesus. That's #want. I'm spent. Lets do this again soon. I really appreciate it.