Minor League Update author Zach Mortimer talks prospects in his inaugural BP chat.
Zach Mortimer: Well I'm hear ready to talk prospects for a few hours!
Momma Hawkins (Behind you): THREE??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!??!!?
Zach Mortimer: I assumed I would start with this one. Yes, I graded Courtney Hawkins as an organizational player. I can recognize the plus raw power, but I have severe doubts on how much of the power will be used against quality pitching. Hawkins' pitch recognition is to the level that pitchers are able to exploit him in every at bat. Physically, Hawkins has a body that has the potential to get worse.
Going forward I hope Hawkins is able to make the necessary adjustments, improve his hit tool, and jump back onto the prospect radar. For me, it just is not there right now.
Fred (WI): DJ Peterson or Trea Turner?
Dominic Smith or Alex Jackson?
Zach Mortimer: Give me Trea Turner and Alex Jackson. This is not a knock on the two that I did not select, I just tend to always take the prospects that can stay up the middle. The prospects that are selected with the idea that they will end up at 1B always make me very nervous.
trigger1583 (CA): What kind of player do you see Joc Pederson as?
Zach Mortimer: Joc Pederson is a solid-average Left Fielder for me. The hit tool and baseball IQ will be enough to keep him in the lineup. However, he showed in the Futures Game batting practice that he has more raw power than people give him credit for.
Roger Dorn (San Mateo): Many talk about the Mariners lack of ability to develop their hitting prospects but couldn't you say the same about the Orioles on the pitching side? Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz, Zach Britton along with the struggles of Kevin Gausman (SSS I know) and the injury to Dylan Bundy. Should the O's be mentioned in the same breath in regards to their lack of development skills on the mound?
Zach Mortimer: I don't know if I'm ready to say that the O's do not know how to develop pitching just yet. However, I will admit a lot of their pitching prospects have had different prospect paths than I would have predicted. .
boneil33 (Boston): I saw you tweet about Franlkin Barreto, and I got the sense that you were fairly high on him, and that he might be a top 5 prospect in the Jays system. Could you elaborate? What type of player do you see him becoming?
Zach Mortimer: I saw Barreto take a limited amount of at bats this spring. I believe he has the potential to hit, and from what I can gather he can really run. Defensively it looks like he will end up either at 2B/CF. Overall, Barreto is going to profile as an offense first type player who uses his speed to swipe plenty of bases, and remember power is usually the last thing to come for prospects. Barreto does not have the frame that leads me to believe he will have huge over-the-fence power, but he will provide enough to be fantasy relevant.
Mike (South Bend): What scouting grade would you give a 4Loko?
Zach Mortimer: I consumed a 4Loko, with caffeine, in 2010. It was an eventful night; 70 potential for making bad decisions.
AJ (Phoenix): Dynasty League: Giancarlo Stanton for Yu Darvish & Hunter Pence. Team Trading Stanton is loaded with offensive talent, but lacks MLB-ready starting pitching. Team trading Darvish is ravaged by injuries or suspensions, and has a deep rotation? Fair? Buying/Selling someone on the cheap?
Zach Mortimer: Stanton will be at the top of HR lists for years to come, and Darvish will be at the top of strikeout lists for years to come. I'll take the hitter over the pitcher in fantasy every time.
John (San Francisco): If Bartolo Colon decides to come back next season (and why not with how he's pitched so far) and there is minimal concern about PED suspension, how much will he command on the open market -- in dollars, not sandwiches?
Zach Mortimer: I really wish I could answer this seriously, but I can't. I went to the parade in NYC before the ASG and my girlfriend saw Colon her statement was, "Wow he's really---large."
Andy B (Wisconsin): Curious your thoughts on 2 guys, V Roache and Z Borenstein...thanks
Zach Mortimer: Roache has big time raw power, but scouts that I have spoken with question how much of his power will be applicable at the higher levels. I have not seen Zach Borenstein, but the numbers suggest that he's most likely a non prospect. Hitters sure do love pumping the numbers in the California League.
Dave (Madison): Of the potential AL teams, which do you think is best constructed to make a run in the postseason? It's got to be Tampa with its pitching, right?
Zach Mortimer: I picked the Rays to win the World Series preseason, and why change now. The pitching in Tampa is top notch. I fear for Wil Myers' safety if he keeps utilizing the 80 bat flip as one scout explained in a text yesterday.
Donald Loria (Miami): I feel as though Matt Adams should have a full-time 1B job (or at least full-time DH duty). With The Wrench entrenched at StL's cold corner, and the OF corners manned by Holliday and Beltran (and soon to be Taveras), that doesn't seem likely on his current club. I assume Adams is dealt, but where?
Zach Mortimer: I have no idea, but the depth that St. Louis has is amazing. Adams, Wong, and Taveras are all MLB level players, and they can't get regular playing time.
Dr. Mike (Milwaukee): I know Matt Moore is no longer a prospect, but what's preventing him right now from David Price (typical David Price, that is) domination? I know I'm nit picking.
Zach Mortimer: Hey, be happy Matt Moore is fun to watch. The Price-like domination will come in time. Just let Moore continue to develop his stuff, and the domination will ensue.
Sara (Tacoma): Among others, Cole Hamels, Justin Verlander, and CC Sabathia are #1's having more mortal 2013 seasons. Fluky seasons, or reasons to be concerned?
Zach Mortimer: Add Matt Cain to this list also, and yes I would be very concerned. The teams made major investments in these pitchers and the lack of performance is always a reason to be concerned.
dtothew (Atlanta ): ZM - no question here, just wanted to drop a note to let you know how well appreciated your work is. The MLU is officially an important part of a balanced breakfast.
Zach Mortimer: Thank you very much!
Derek (Buffalo Grove): 80 tools are rare. We hear a lot about guys with 80 power (Gallo, Sano), 80 speed (Billy Hamilton and less speedy 80-speedsters), 80 defensive profiles (Hedges), 80 bat speed (Baez) and 80 arms (Bethancourt). Are there any guys you can think of who have 80s that are a bit unheralded?
Zach Mortimer: Not really, I've seen Roman Quinn an 80 runner, but most guys with 80 tools you hear a lot about.
hknova (Hong Kong): Any word on Victor Gonzalez (17 year old Dodger prospect from Mexico) showing some real stats in AZL league (39k/9BB in 32 innings?
Zach Mortimer: I've heard positive things about Victor Gonzalez, but I always try to let the players prove it outside the complex before I jump in.
hdub (the stadium): I am addicted to MLU, like many Im sure. Given that, I need some help with Jesus Montero. Not sure what to make of him at this point and need expert advice on a) if he will be back up this year and b) new assessment of his ceiling/floor.
Zach Mortimer: I know Montero has struggled with an injury at Triple-A. I saw Montero a lot when he was a Yankees prospect, and I really thought he would hit and hit for power. I still think he can be a useful regular, but as I'm sure you've assumed his star dimmed a bit.
Thank you for kind words about the MLU!
seabass77 (Milwaukee): What kind of future does Rosell Herrera have with the Rockies? Has he passed Story in the organization?
Zach Mortimer: Rosell Herrera gets a lot of love from those that enjoy looking at his numbers. I want to see Herrera do it against advanced pitching.
Jeff (Michigan): Are concerns about his defensive readiness what's keeping Nick Castellanos in AAA? I know he's had some struggles at the plate as well over the last month or so, but the unicorns and rainbows surrounding the Matt Tuiasasopo/Andy Dirks experiment are going to fade away sooner rather than later, especially if (when) they lose Peralta from the lineup.
Zach Mortimer: Castellanos is simply not a good defender. All of his value is in his bat, but I agree he will either be traded or given the shot to help the big league team in the near future.
Cal Guy (Cali): Welcome, Zach! What is your ETA on Russell and Correa and what odds do you give each of staying at SS in the bigs?
Zach Mortimer: Thank you for being come welcoming! I think that both Russell and Correa will be in the big leagues come 2016. I personally haven't seen enough of either to give my percentage on them staying at SS, but those that I speak with talk positively about their potential to stick.
Steve (Ewan's drunk mind): What happened with Sanchez the other night, lack of aggressiveness showing, or command issues clearly not solved?
Zach Mortimer: I've spoken strongly about Aaron Sanchez. I believe he has top notch stuff, but is unable to command it at that level. If he can develop better command of the stuff it will be very positive going forward, but something tells me he never will hit projected ceiling.
Cal Guy (Cali): He is no longer an official prospect, but is this what we can expect from Myers or is he playing a bit over his head?
Zach Mortimer: Wil Myers can hit, he really can hit. I wasn't sure he would hit this much this fast, but I never doubted the ability.
AJ (Phoenix): Please rank in order of ceiling: Carlos Martinez, Kevin Gausman, Jameson Taillon, Robert Stephenson, Noah Syndergaard, Lucas Giolito.
Zach Mortimer: On ceiling alone: Gausman, Giolito, Taillon, Syndergaard, Martinez, Stephenson.
Cal Guy (Cali): 5 years from now, how would we be ranking Cole, Walker, Bradley and Stephenson?
Zach Mortimer: In 5 years, Cole, Bradley, Walker, Stephenson.
Steve (Winnipeg): Did you hear anything, or watch Jennry Mejia shove vs. the Nats last week?
Zach Mortimer: I did not watch, but I heard Mejia was filthy. If Mejia can be useful as a starter the Mets have a crazy amount of starting pitching going forward.
Cal Guy (Cali): Rodon is the projected #1 draft pick for 2014... how do you rate him compared to recent number one picks Price, Cole and Appel?
Zach Mortimer: From what I've heard Rodon is Jr. Price. I really believe in Rodon's stuff, and he is going to be be a better prospect than Cole and Appel were.
jlarsen (chicago): Did the Astros just give away Jose Veras for basically nothing?
Zach Mortimer: No, Danry Vasquez is a very real prospect.
Kyle Matte (Ottawa, ON): Do you think the Blue Jays regret giving up Noah Syndergaard yet? I didn't mind trading d'Arnaud but I knew the day it was announced that Syndergaard was going to make our front office look foolish.
Zach Mortimer: Yes the Blue Jays regret giving up Syndergaard. I understand why the Blue Jays made the deal for R.A. Dickey, but Syndergaard is really really good.
sjdigio (Chicago): Thoughts on Kyle Zimmer? Do you think he can be in the Royal's rotation as soon as next year?
Zach Mortimer: Kyle Zimmer turned the light switch on like few prospects I've seen. I wrote Zimmer up as a potential number 2 starer, and I believe he can contribute in Kansas City next year.
The Dude (Office): This was asked to Parks on his chat, but do you prefer Starling Marte or Gregory Polanco (aside from the fact Marte is already in MLB)?
Zach Mortimer: I'll go on the opposite end for this. I prefer Gregory Polanco. I think that Polanco has the potential to be an All-Star Level player.
ThatOneGuy (North Jersey): What do you like the least of your current job at BP?
Zach Mortimer: Absolutely nothing, I love Baseball Prospectus. I really do I'm always thankful to be able to express my thoughts on such a great website. I get to work next to the smartest guys on this side of the industry.
Shawnykid23 (CT): Do you see Yordano Ventura as a SP long-term in the MLB? Seems like the Royals are at least going to try him there first?
Zach Mortimer: I saw him a lot last year and I thought he was a dominant closer. However, scouts that I've spoken to this year say the changeup has improve to the point where he will at least earn the chance to try it as a starter. Ventura has a very small frame and I'm not sure if his body can log 200 innings a year.
Shawnykid23 (CT): In your opinion has Addison Russell's stock risen, dropped, or stayed the same this year?
Zach Mortimer: I actually think Addison Russell has improved his stock in 2013. The Athletics challenged him by putting him in High-A, and he has made necessary adjustments at the plate. Defensively he continues to show that should be able to stay at shortstop.
Joe (The Joe): Hi Zach!
Which teams do you think have the best stash of hitting prospects? I see that Houston, Minnesota, St Louis, and Chicago (cubs) get a lot of love. For your money, who has the most dynamic collection of hitting prospects?
Zach Mortimer: I think the Twins have the best and most dynamic collection of hitting prospects. Buxton, Sano, Rosario, Walker, Polanco, Kepler etc. are all real prospects.
BobcatBaseball (Athens, OH): Favorite tool in a prospect? Pitching and Hitting
Zach Mortimer: Pitching: Velocity and Hitting: Bat speed. I always tend to like prospects with these tools because in my opinion teams can do a lot to mold prospects, but you can't really teach those tools.
AnthopoJays (Houston ): Two questions in one:
Have you put eyed on Blake Snell this year? any concern about his big walk rates?
Hunter Dozier's plate discipline looks good so far in the Pioneer league. What do you expect as he moves up to A ball? Also does his defense profile anywhere but 3b?
Zach Mortimer: I haven't seen Snell personally, but I talked to a scout who really believed in him. Snell is still working on mechanics and the command should improve going forward. Dozier is putting up solid numbers in the Pioneer League, but from the video I've seen it looks like he's a 3B going forward.
CollegeProf (NYC): How are your SQL skills?
Zach Mortimer: I wish they were better.
boneil33 (Boston): Thanks for doing the chat! Who are some fast-rising/surprise prospects that might show up on the BP101 next year?
Zach Mortimer: Tyler Glasnow has shot up prospect lists this season, and look for Arismendy Alcantara to get a serious look for the top101.
R.A. Wagman (markham): More of an article suggestion than a question. Who in your mind has made the biggest leap this year - team by team? The same could also be done in reverse (regressed). Enjoying your work.
Zach Mortimer: Twins have made the biggest leap, and Baltimore has taken the largest step back, because of how dependent they were on Bundy.
Mario66 (Pittsburgh): Akron has an interesting double play combo in Jose Ramirez and Ronny Rodriguez. Neither look to start for Cleveland because of talent at the big league level (Kipnis, Cabrera), and talent lurking behind (e.g., Lindor, Paulino). Do either Ramirez or Rodriguez project as big league regulars (for another team)?
Zach Mortimer: Well Lindor is now in Akron, and I think Ronny Rodriguez has the potential to be an everyday player. I've never seen him, but from what I gather Jose Ramirez is a very solid utility option.
Gary (Long Beach): Thoughts on 16 yo Julio Urias and his ultimate upside?
Zach Mortimer: Julio Urias has a frontline starter ceiling.
Julian (Carmel): What have you heard about Yankees DSL import Luis Severino? I know GCL numbers don't matter much, but man are they something filthy.
Zach Mortimer: I only hear the Yankees' brass talk very positively about him when I make the trip up to Trenton.
Shawn (My Cubicle): What type of ceiling do you see for Danny Duffy? Seems to have huge K potential
Zach Mortimer: I saw Duffy a lot as a prospect, the stuff is real and he has the chance to be a very solid mid rotation starter.
Eric (Matttapan): Is Eric Jagielo's power outage cause for concern? Is Gotsuke Katoh's hot start cause for celebration? Should I stop caring so much about draftees debut stats?
Zach Mortimer: I hear very good things about Jagielo, but yes I would let the draftees get some sort of sample size before I was going to analyze.
harry (MA): What goes into projecting power in very young players who aren't showing it in game yet? What do you think the power is going to look like for Russell and Buxton?
Zach Mortimer: Swing path, natural strength, bat speed are all things that go into projecting power. Buxton is a very smart hitter and takes a very advanced batting practice by spring line drives all over the field. I think both Buxton and Russell will develop their power going forward (20-25 HR).
Joe (NY): Does Bogaerts get called up this season? Which position will he play? What kind of numbers do you think he'll put up next year? Thanks!
Zach Mortimer: I think Bogaerts has the ability get called up this season, but barring a trade to create an opportunity he will not get the call.
Carlin (Los Angeles): J.R. Murphy: above-average MLB backstop, stopgap until Sanchez arrives, or something in the of those?
Zach Mortimer: Murphy has taken steps forward in 2013, and I think he has a spot on an MLB roster. I think he profiles best as a second division catcher.
Jeffery (NY): Thanks for taking the time to chat, Zach. Is Greg Bird currently a top-10 prospect for the Yankees?
Zach Mortimer: From those that I speak with Greg Bird is not a top-10 prospect. He has the raw power, but most worry about how he will hit against quality pitching. That being said Bird's raw power is real.
Mario66 (Pittsburgh): I find Donn Roach to be very interesting. Please share whatever thoughts you have about him, or pass along the thoughts of others'. Thanks.
Zach Mortimer: Sinkerball profile who relies on plus command to create tons of groundball; classic back-of-the-rotation starter profile.
Matt (Springfield): I know prospects are meant to be traded, but please tell me that a team who hasn't had a regular 2B since 2001, and has a natural 3B playing there this year, wouldn't be foolish enough to trade Kolten Wong, would they?
Zach Mortimer: The Cardinals are one of the top organizations, trust their Front Office they will not let you down.
RotoLando (Cloud City): What's the latest on Miguel Almonte? It seems like he was hot for a week, then kind of faded away.
Zach Mortimer: He's still very good, Almonte has the stuff to pitch in the front of a rotation.
Donald Loria (Milwaukee): I'm in deep, dynasty league and am currently competitive for this year. I own Bundy & may move him for a piece, but can't seem to come to agreement on his "worth" long term...
Where does Bundy rank as a MiLB SP prospect currently, factoring in the injury?? Relative to Walker, Syndergaard, Bradley, Giolito, Sanchez, Stephenson??
Zach Mortimer: I think Bundy is behind Bradley and Walker. He is pretty much a similar prospect to the rest of the list. I don't know how much it hurts for him being out all of next year.
Steve A (Detroit): Let's flip it around. Did the Tigers give up too much for Veras in Danry Vasquez?
Zach Mortimer: Danry Vasquez could be a solid-average regular you tell me?
KC (KC): Any recent reports on Elier Hernandez?
Zach Mortimer: No I do not have any recent reports on Elier Hernandez, but I talked with a Latin America scout earlier in the year who was unimpressed with Hernandez's baseball ability. However, the same scout was very impressed how Hernandez looked physically.
Andy B (WI): Have you seen Miguel Almonte? Some stuff I read is he could really jump up lists next year...thanks
Zach Mortimer: Yes; Almonte has an easy plus fastball, potential plus-plus changeup, and a developing breaking ball. He could be a number 2 starter.
Gary (Long Beach): Best minor league stadium food?
Zach Mortimer: The press box in Bowie, MD is absolutely fantastic. That being said the Press Box in Delmarva is a great time.
jlarsen (chicago): Richie Shaffer, what's holding him back?
Zach Mortimer: Shaffer needs to provide more punch at the plate. If he wants profile as an everyday regular Shaffer is going to need to hit for the power that Third Base requires.
GrinnellSteve (Iowa): How do you feel about making the winning bid for Peavy? How close do you think your offer is to what the Pirates might actually consider? Thanks.
Zach Mortimer: Ehhh I knew I gave up to much once I hit send. I just really wanted to win. I'm not sure the Pirates consider my offer, but it wouldn't surprise me if they don't try to add a few pieces before the deadline.
redguy12588 (Pittsburgh): I'm a huge Polanco homer, his plate discipline tool has to be top 10 in the minors, right?
Zach Mortimer: I love Polanco, and he can recognize breaking stuff. He has fantastic plate discipline, I'm really not sure where it ranks in the minors though.
smitty99 (Federal Way WA): Speaking of Severino, have you seen or heard anything regarding Phillies' pitcher Severino Gonzalez? He's at Clearwater.
Zach Mortimer: I saw him oppose Tyler Glasnow, Severino Gonzalez is an interesting type pitcher with a very small frame. The cutter he throws is intriguing, but overall it was more solid minor league pitcher than major prospect.
Andy (Wi): you said earlier Giolito has potential, how high of potential?
Zach Mortimer: As an amateur some thought Giolito could be a 1. He had to get TJ, and if everything comes back the way it should he still has the same ceiling. He is significantly further from his ceiling than the other prospects, but Giolito is poised to dazzle in the near future.
redguy12588 (Pittsburgh): Which Pirates team would you be more interested in seeing next year: AAA (taillon, polanco, hanson, kingham) or high A (bell, herrera,jhang, glasnow, heredia)?
Zach Mortimer: The Triple-A roster, I am really not on Josh Bell and have heard underwhelming reports about Heredia. The Triple-A roster has major talent that is very close to the majors.
Alex (Anaheim): Is there a "best prospect nobody is talking about" out there?
Zach Mortimer: I would love to give you someone here, but if I did that it would mean my Minor League Update is not getting the job done. I try to vary it around and talk about all the real prospects in the minors.
jlarsen (Chicago): For hitting prospects, what is harder to do: Learning to be more patient/take walks & pitches OR translating doubles or "raw" power into in-game HR power?
Zach Mortimer: Good question, I believe it is more difficult to develop HR power. Pitch recognition is something that is very difficult to learn, but translating doubles into homeruns turns good prospects into great prospects.
The Dude (Office): Who are some good buy-low prospects for dynasty leagues who may be struggling that you think will bounce-back or are under the radar?
Zach Mortimer: Lewis Brinson if someone is giving up on him because of his K-rate. Brinson's skill set is serious, and I believe they can tone down his swing a little in order to make more contact.
JOARGE9481 (NY): Who out of Bryant and Olt do you see making a position change, provided that they both wind up on the MLB roster in the next 3 years or so.
Zach Mortimer: I think Bryant will transition to the outfield. Olt plays a very solid third base, and will get to the majors first.
captnamerca (dunedin, FL): Are the halcyon days of Will Middlebrooks as the next great Red Sox 3B over for good? With Bogaerts and Cecchini behind him, is there any hope left for Mama Middle?
Zach Mortimer: I would love to spread some positive words about Middlebrooks' future, but I'm not sure he will ever be a regular in Boston's lineup again.
Gary (Long Beach): Who's your favorite bat in the big swinging (and oft missing) Hickory lineup?
Zach Mortimer: I loved watching the Hickory team. I really liked Nomar Mazara at the plate. Joey Gallo hit a homerun that made an impession on my mind, and I really still believe in Lewis Brinson.
dave (Latrobe): Why is everyone projecting Sanchez to be a backup catcher at this point in his career? Injuries cost him strength and time at AA, this is his first full season at AAA, and he's killing it, he's only a year older than d'Arnaud and yet d'Arnaud is a (former) top 10 prospect and Sanchez is a NP, what gives?
Zach Mortimer: Sanchez does not posses the same skills as d'Arnaud. Every scout that I talk to does not believe Sanchez is anything more than a backup catcher.
captnamerca (dunedin): Not a prospect, but I'm trying to figure out if Mark Trumbo is legitimately prone to slumping in the 2nd half of the year. Is this a disturbing trend, or a small sample size problem (only two real MLB years to compare)?
Zach Mortimer: That is interesting. I would assume the sample size is severely to small currently, but I bet you are not the only one looking in on it.
Sean (Chicago): Over under on how may more homeruns than singles Javy Baez finishes with at AA? Right now 10 HRs and 6 1Bs
Zach Mortimer: 10%, but that is an incredible stat line.
Dave (Ny): Which system would you rather have Cubs or Mets?
Zach Mortimer: Minor league alone: Cubs, but if I get the current Major League club as well I'll take the Mets. The Mets future rotation is going to be very good.
Liam (Hartford, CT): Any NYY sleeper prospects you like?
Zach Mortimer: A lot of very intriguing relief prospects on that Trenton team.
Brent (Laguna Beach): Hey Zach,
Glad you enjoyed my first-hand photo I took of Keon Barnum last week. Who do you think takes over for Jose Veras? Jose Cisnero or Hector Ambriz?
Zach Mortimer: That was a great picture I sent that around to a couple scouts they got a good laugh. From what I hear Jose Cisnero is going to get the first crack at it.
dcapofari (Staten Island): What are the chicks like at a minor league games? I love women with a 3 upside
Zach Mortimer: Haha this is great, according the the great Mike Ferrin I'm dating very much out of my league so I try to keep my focus on the field at all times.
D (NY): is there anything Marcus Semien can do to get some respect? 17.4% BB%, 13.6% K%, 189 ISO, 19 SBs in second season at AA!
I understand he isn't "toolsy", but sometimes scouts are slow to catch up to just out of the blue.
Zach Mortimer: Hey I pumped him in the MLU the other day!
RotoLando (Cloud City): Speaking of Mike Olt, do you think he turns out to be as much of a whiffer as some others are saying?
Zach Mortimer: He has serious swing and miss potential in that swing. I think he will make enough contact to hit in in the .260s.
Tristan (Smithstown): Thanks for answering so many questions today! With his recent hot streak, has Mason William's stock bounced back? As you say in MLU, he has the tools.
Zach Mortimer: Mason Williams has tools, I just wonder if he has the makeup to utilize these tools effectively. Williams needs to show consistent production for the rest of the season to fully restore his prospect status.
bkobs (Massachusetts): What is CJ Edwards ceiling?
Zach Mortimer: In a perfect world Edwards is able to pack a few pounds on his frame, and he could profile as a number 3 starter.
bkobs (Massachusetts): What is CJ Edwards ceiling?
Zach Mortimer: In a perfect world Edwards is able to pack a few pounds on his frame, and he could profile as a number 3 starter.
Dave (Pittsburgh): Any reason to get excited about Alex Dickerson?
Zach Mortimer: I don't really think so, his defense is well below average, and I don't think he hits nearly enough to play first. He's most likely a solid 4A guy that is able to get a few cups of coffee.
Mrs. Mortimer (Jersey): When are you ever gonna get a real job?
Zach Mortimer: Sorry mom.
Cespedes Family Barbecue (DC): How do you go about grading catcher defense?
Zach Mortimer: Receiving, Arm strength, and I'm very big on leadership ability. Watching a game with you guys is an experience every person should have.
BobcatBaseball (Athens, OH): Since your in Wilimington a lot, what do you think of Tyler Sample and Andrew Triggs? Both pretty tall dudes
Zach Mortimer: Tyler Sample was touching 96 with a plus curveball at 84 the other night. It is a real shame he just cannot repeat his delivery and has bottom-of-the-scale command.
Jim (SoCal): I know Austin Wilson stock has been falling but whats his upside?
Zach Mortimer: Wilson is going to have to overcome the Stanford stigma, but I still believe he can be an everyday regular.
Mario66 (Pittsburgh): I haven't heard much about Chris Reed recenlty. Does he make the bigs as a starter or reliever?
Zach Mortimer: Ultimately I believe Reed will be a reliever. The fastball/slider combination should work very well in short stints.
jgoldenberg (Philly): Thoughts on Phillies' prospect Zach Green?
Zach Mortimer: Another young kid, but I've heard positive things about Green and he is inserting himself into the prospect conversation.
redguy12588 (Pittsburgh. ): Do the pirates have the best AAAA roster in the MLB? Best AAA record plus tabata, snider, and Harrison on the MLB team. I'd rather those players be complete busts than hanging around the peripherals
Zach Mortimer: Always going to be a soft spot for Travis Snider in my heart. I really thought he was going to be good.
CyMature (Western Mass): Hickory question:
Will either Brinson or Gallo learn to put the bat on the ball more than once a day?
Zach Mortimer: I sure hope so. I talked to a front office guy who said Gallo had the most impressive batting practice he'd seen all year (majors or minors). I also really believe in Brinson, he has a torqued out swing that can get away from him at times.
CyMature (WesternMass): Thanks, Zach.
Do you expect Carlos Correa to:
a) outgrow shortstop
b) grow into his power
Both? Either? Neither?
Zach Mortimer: I think Correa will grow into his power, but I also think that he has a better than average shot to stay at shortstop. Correa has very good instincts and the hands/arm/glove to stay at short. When he fills out he may give up some range, but he can be a shortstop.
Sicnarf (Mahoning Valley): Have you had a chance to see me play? Also, don't I have an awesome name?
Zach Mortimer: You have an incredible name, but sadly I've not seen you play.
Shawnykid23 (CT): Thoughts on Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez?
Zach Mortimer: He just more money than he will know what to do with. I know the fastball is real, but some question how developed the secondary pitches are.
Going to grab a quick lunch keep the questions coming! I have at least another hour until I have to wrap up.
mark (arizona): Not prospects but what are your thoughts on Henderson Alvarez and Randall Delgado? Both have looked good in the handful of starts since they've been called up - can they keep it going?
Zach Mortimer: I believe so I really liked what I saw from Delgado when he came through the Carolina League as a prospect.
Gary (Long Beach): Thoughts on Cesar Puello's season and future in NYM's outfield? PED concerns?
Zach Mortimer: I think he's going to be suspended. I also now have to wait until next year to see if he is able to continue his success in order to determine what type of prospect he
Kyle Matte (Ottawa, ON): It's December 2014 and you're helping the Professor write the 2015 Top Prospects lists. Which current Blue Jays "shortstop" prospect is highest on the list and why?
Zach Mortimer: Can I say not in org now? I am going out on a limb and saying they will acquire what will their top shortstop prospect.
padremurph (San Diego): Hunter Renfroe has looked pretty good thus far. Does he have a Jay Bruce ceiling?
Zach Mortimer: Renfroe has tools, but Jay Bruce is a monster. I'm not sure many prospects in the minors have a Jay Bruce ceiling.
Aldred (Thousand Oaks): Is Jose Ramirez a legit rotation prospect? Or just a guy with power stuff who will never be able to harness it?
Zach Mortimer: I wrote him up in the eyewitness series as a future closer, I'll stick to that.
Cubbyboy13 (Las Vegas): What are your thoughts on Kyle Hendricks? What is his ceiling and floor?
Zach Mortimer: I think he has number 5 starter ceiling and his floor is an up and down guy who can not stick on a big league roster do to lack of stuff.
padremurph (San Diego): What's the deal with Joe Ross? He's repeating the MWL and his numbers looks great in some stretches and awful in others.
Zach Mortimer: I wouldn't worry about Ross, he's a young pitcher still working things out. I talked to someone who really liked Ross a few weeks back.
Jack (Toronto): Are there any high ceiling prospects in this group: Jairo Labourt, Adonys Cardona, Dawel Lugo, Yeyfry Del Rosario, Mitch Nay, Dalton Pompey, Santiago Nessy, Dickie Thon, Jesus Tinoco, Rowdy Tellez.
Zach Mortimer: Guys that I've seen or heard enough to talk about:
Labourt: intriguing arm that needs to be looked at more closely
Cardona: may never command his stuff enough to be relevant
Nay: Impressive Raw power, still developing other aspects of his game
Dalton Pompey: smart ball player, most likely a solid organizational player.
Nessy: Raw power with some arm strength behind the plate. Excellent leadership ability, looked very good in spring training.
Dickie Thon: Always plays well when I'm in attendance.
Shawn (Office): Does Albert Almora have plus power potential? Or is he more of a high batting average guy with little power?
Zach Mortimer: I think Almora is a smart hitter who will have a high batting average, and provide ~20 HR year. Almora is a very good player and knows how to play the game the correct way. I really believe in him.
Fran (NYC): I know this question has been asked a bunch in the past, but given Javier Baez's recent showing, the need to know the answer seems to become somewhat more pressing for guys like me. What position will Baez play, and eventually settle in at when he reaches the bigs (which may be as early as next year)?
Zach Mortimer: If they want to move Castro and let him play SS so bit it, or they can put Baez at 3B and just let him hit. I personally believe he will end up at third, playing for an organization not named the Chicago Cubs.
The Dude (Office): I know comps aren't fair, but does Michael Wacha fall in-between similar FB/CH SPs like Cole Hamels and Jarrod Parker or is he more one than the other (top of rotation vs. mid-rotation arm)
Zach Mortimer: I think Wacha is going to be a very good number 3 starter.
dianagram (VORGville): Danny Salazar for the Indians ... ETA on joining the big-league rotation for good? Ceiling?
Zach Mortimer: I think Salazar could join the Indians this year if necessary. Mid-rotation starter ceiling for me.
Shawnykid23 (CT): What do you think of Jake Marisnick? Future 20/20 Contributor?
Zach Mortimer: Really like Marisnick, I am one that believes in the hit tool. He provides all the tools, and should be a first division CF. I agree with future 20/20 statement.
boneil33 (Boston): Thoughts on Amir Garrett?
Zach Mortimer: I love the thought of Amir Garrett. Big athletic kid with an electric arm. I'm really glad he's given up or currently seriously contemplating giving up basketball. I'm sure he's a reliever at this stage in development, but he has a shot to be a meaningful if things go right.
ben philiips (next to jwo): does anthony rendon have some seasoning to do? thinking about dropping in redraft league
Zach Mortimer: In a redraft you can, but in a keeper league I wouldn't let a guy with Rendon's ability to hit get off of my roster if I had the chance.
RotoLando (Cloud City): Johnny Giavotella, whatsa matta you?
Zach Mortimer: Poor Johnny, I just don't think it's ever going to work in KC.
gerald (other side of jwo): arenado gonna have a big last 2 months you think?
Zach Mortimer: I've always liked Arenado as a player. I believe in him, and he plays in Coors which is never a bad thing for offense.
Alex (Tacoma): Thanks for the chat! The transcripts are always fun to read. Pick two to stash on a dynasty minors roster: Tyler Glasnow, Yordano Ventura and Adalberto Mondesi.
Zach Mortimer: Ventura and Mondesi. Not a knock on Glasnow, but I would want a pitcher who is closer to producing in the majors.
Andy B (WI): Hi again ZM, Deep dynasty league... What are your thoughts on Preston Tucker, Jesse Hahn or Eddie Butler?
thanks again awesome stuff.
Zach Mortimer: Eddie Butler has an impact arm I would get him on my team if I could. Jesse Hahn has two potential plus pitches, but has injury history and I wonder what it will be going forward. I'm not on the Preston Tucker wagon.
Christopher (St. Louis): Out of the two Cardinals #1 picks this year, who do you like better long term/short term?
Zach Mortimer: I'll take Marco Gonzalez in the short term solely because he was considered one of the more polished arms and able to contribute quickly. I'll take Rob Kaminsky long term because the curveball is serious and I think the fastball can play up even though he has a small frame. Also, what is not to like about Kaminsky he's from a pretty good state you know... well even though he lives in the wrong end of it.
fran (NYC): Your thoughts on Marcus Strohman? If he's (just about) universally regarded as a reliever long term, then why does Toronto keep trotting him out there every fifth day as a starter? And more importantly, why is he continuing to succeed as a starter in AA despite having relatively limited professional experience?
Zach Mortimer: Marcus Stroman is a very good pitcher with extremely high end stuff. That is why he continues to dominate Double-A. The Blue Jays keep him in a starters role, even if they think he is ultimately a reliever because they are able to have him efficiently work on developing his secondary pitches.
mbarr4 (STL): I'm assuming you say Sal Perez a lot when he came through Wilmington. What was your opinion of him at the time and how has it changed since?
Zach Mortimer: I saw a lot of Sal Perez, as Joe has spoken to Sal is one that you do not miss when you see him take the field. Sal always has a huge smile on his face and plays the game the way it should be. I liked the raw power and arm strength, but I had my doubts about how he was going to hit vs. quality pitching. I always was not sure he was going to be able to stay behind the plate. Perez has proven that he can hit and that he's a fine catcher.
captnamerca (dunedin): What would you do with Dan Vogelbach if you were the owner of an NL team? Would you trade him to an AL team or make him learn enough 1B to be useful there? Does he need a montage?
Zach Mortimer: If Vogelbach was much closer to being big league ready than I would see why Cubs would trade him to an AL team if they didn't think he could play 1B. However, Vogelbach is in Low-A and there is no reason not to let him try to develop his defensive skills, this will continue until the bat to produce in the majors.
fran (NYC): Better career in the majors, Brinson or Kepler?
Zach Mortimer: Brinson, I really believe in Brinson I know the K% is crazy high, but it's different than other cases. When Brinson swings he does not get cheated, and I think minor adjustments will be made in order to provide high contact rates.
Joe (NY): You talked already about Bogaerts' situation this year, but assuming he gets the opening day start next year, what kind of numbers would you project for 2014?
Zach Mortimer: If Bogaerts is able to start the season in the majors and play everyday he has to be the leading candidate for AL ROY. I would predict he hits ~.275 with 18 HRs.
boneil33 (Boston): Would you rank: Jesse Hahn, Edwin Escobar, Carlos Contreras, and Ross Stripling. Overall thoughts on them?
Zach Mortimer: Escobar: really doing well with FB/CH combination
Hahn: could be a starter spoke to other issues previously
Stripling: solid reliever
Contreras: solid reliever
twqueenBBP (Charlotte, NC): Long-term, do you prefer Syndergaard or Martinez as starters?
Zach Mortimer: You must not read the MLU, I might be as high as anyone on Syndergaard.
RotoLando (Cloud City): What did you have for lunch?
Zach Mortimer: Good question, plain answer very simple PBJ with fresh cantaloupe.
Alex Anthopoulos (Toronto): I give you a chance to make one move before the deadline, what do you do
Zach Mortimer: Alex you are a good man, much smarter than I. If you were to employ me I would make any move you wanted to. The move that I would make would be to sell high on some of your relief pitchers, especially Brett Cecil.
Jeff (Chicago): What are you overall feelings toward Baez's state line, particularly in Double-A? Should excitement about the raw power outweigh the concerning K rate? Or will the swing-and-miss seriously hamper the power potential?
Zach Mortimer: Swing and miss will always hamper the Power potential, but I wouldn't be overly concerned I really think Baez can play.
Matt (New York): Seriously, what kind of upside can we expect for Marcus Semien on the big-league level?
Zach Mortimer: I think Marcus Semien is a utility player in the big leagues.
Steve (VERMONT): What are your thoughts on BJ Boyd? I read he started the year off slowly because he reported out of shape, but his numbers in Vermont look like he bounced back.
Zach Mortimer: I spoke with a scout that said Boyd was one of the more impressive guys he'd seen in the entire league.
Kyle (Wilmington): Whats your thoughts on Francisco Lindor making the Indians roster next year.
Zach Mortimer: I really think it is going to happen. I wonder what type of offer they will get for A. Cabrera, but Lindor is not far from being able to play everyday in the majors.
The Dude (Office): Besides Buxton and Taveras, who do you consider the next 2-3 best OF prospects?
Zach Mortimer: It was Yelich, Polanco, Almora, and with Yelich's promotion I'll put Jackie Bradley Jr. on the back of te list.
Rayyan (Toronto): I asked Parks - pre season and mid season - if you would rather have Syndergaard or Sanchez in your system. He said Sanchez pre season then changed his mind mid season. How about you?
Zach Mortimer: I've been Syndergaard>Sanchez since last spring. I respect Sanchez's stuff, but just have always believed more in Syndergaard.
Steve (Philly): If you were starting a beer league slow-pitch softball team, who from the minor leagues would fill out your roster?
Zach Mortimer: Wow GREAT QUESTION! Tons of guys, Kyle Roller from Trenton would be the best player in the league.
Dennis (LA): Thoughts on Kaleb Cowart? What do you see as his floor and ceiling? Struggles against right handed pitchers this year a bit concerning, but I'm hoping he's young enough to work through his problems...
Zach Mortimer: I haven't gotten to see Cowart, but his struggles against Double-A pitching are not what you want to see. I'm sure he will repeat the level next year and hopefully he is able to make changes this off season in order to be more successful.
Gary (Long Beach): Would you say the Dodgers' system has improved since the team was sold last year?
Zach Mortimer: I would say the Dodgers organization has improved as a whole exponentially since being sold.
Dennis (LA): What's up with Carlos Sanchez of the White Sox? I know he's young for a AAA player, but how concerned are you with his struggles with the bat this year?
Zach Mortimer: I'm concerned about Carlos Sanchez, I thought he had a shot when I saw him last year. If he is not able to make consistent hard contact he is not going to be an everyday option.
Shawnykid23 (CT): Interesting regarding your thoughts of Baez future (or lack thereof with Cubs). Have they soured on him at all? Or do you just think they have an abundance of left-side of the infield youngsters and he might fetch the biggest return?
Zach Mortimer: No I don't believe they have soured on him at all. I just think that he is the odd man out and would get them a very good pitcher in return.
DS (LA): Major league ETA for Nick Kingham and his ceiling?
Zach Mortimer: I think Kingham will be in the majors in the middle of next year and he is going to be a workhorse number 3 starter.
Shawnykid23 (CT): Are you still as high on Gausman as you were in the beginning of the year?
Zach Mortimer: Yes; I admit I saw what had to be his best start as a professional. I still believe that when given the opportunity he will be a dominant frontline starter.
Chuck (Boston): What position does Garin Cecchini end up playing, assuming he sticks with the Red Sox?
Zach Mortimer: He's a 3B, but I'm not as high on him as others are. He is an excellent bat-to-ball hitter, but he doesn't have overwhelming bat speed. Those guys make me nervous.
Marley (Jersey): How do the reports on Gary Sanchez's defense look? The numbers alone seem to indicate that he is slightly improving. Will he stick behind the dish?
Zach Mortimer: Slowly improving, Sanchez will never be a gold glover behind the plate, but he has a cannon for an arm , and if he can be just good enough his bat will make up for any defensive deficiencies.
Bored (at work): What is Nomar Mazara's ceiling? 30+hr with 240avg? or can he get closer to 270?
Zach Mortimer: I think Mazara is a ~.260 hitter with roughly 25 HR annually.
Rob (Alaska): Max Stassi is putting up incredible numbers for a guy who was supposed to be glove-first. Since I don't want to be accused of scouting a stat line, are scouts seeing something different there?
Zach Mortimer: I haven't seen him in person, but I know some guy name Goldstein regularly tweets about him when he hits a bomb.
Rob (Alaska): Clash of the Low A 3B - who ya got: Rio Ruiz or Renato Nunez? Either one look like a future first division player?
Zach Mortimer: Good question, I'll take Rio Ruiz because I think he has a better chance of staying at third. From all accounts it does not look like Nunez will be able to stick at third, and he has major violence in his swing.
Connor (Alaska): Between Machado and Myers, who has the better offensive ceiling?
Zach Mortimer: I always viewed Machado as a star, and Myers as a very good player. I don't know if that answers your question, but I'll take Machado against just about anyone.
eamuscatuli15 (nebraska): Kris Bryant ETA? #followmort
Zach Mortimer: Thanks for the endorsement. I'm going to let Bryant prove himself in the minors, but lets say 2015?
richardkr34 (Saint Paul, MN): Would you consider the pitching depth in the Twins' system lacking?
Zach Mortimer: I would consider the Twins' pitching improving. Alex Meyer, JO Berrios, Trevor May, and others are all very good options.
Shawnykid23 (CT): Highest upside out of Crick, Fried, E. Butler? Soonest to bigs?
Zach Mortimer: Highest Upside: Fried
Fist (Seattle): Is Tom Murphy a future MLB catcher? I have read both good and bad on him, and I know the numbers probably aren't meaningful in Asheville.
Zach Mortimer: He was a bat first guy coming out of college if I remember correctly. He is going to have to stay behind the plate to be relevant, but the fact that he hit very well for a good portion of the season and has not gotten promoted is not the greatest of signs.
richardkr34 (Saint Paul, MN): What kind of offensive ceiling would you put on Oswaldo Arcia in this prime?
Zach Mortimer: .290 with 23 HR.
DF (Wilmington, NC): Is Cesar Hernandez getting reps at CF a good thing or a bad thing for his chances to get meaningful PT for the Phils next year?
Zach Mortimer: I think that is more just to try to get him PT this season. Hernandez's playing time pretty much depends on what they do with Utley.
Sean (NY): Anything on Chris Flexen and Robert Whalen? Do they bring the heat like Harvey/Wheeler/Syndergaard?
Zach Mortimer: They may be ok, but can we really get to talk about how good Harvey/Syndergaard/Wheeler trio is going to be?
Robert (California): Thoughts on Kaleb Cowart? Is there still hope?
Zach Mortimer: Never lose hope.
R.A. Wagman (Markham): Do you subscribe to a blanket philosophy of getting seats behind home plate for all minor league games?
Zach Mortimer: I always get a seat behind home plate for the games that I attend. I also will move around the stadium from time to time to get different views of things from the different angles.
D (NY): Any impact Cubans look like they'll come over before the start of next season?
Zach Mortimer: Not even sure they know? I have no idea I'd love to scout Latin America, but I stick to the northeast.
Ok final 15 minutes. Any personal questions or non baseball things are now in play.
Ashitaka1110 (Houston, TX): Best prospect the Astros just drafted this year not named Mark Appel, in your opinion?
Zach Mortimer: What's not to love about Tony Kemp.
Cal Guy (Cali): Do you see the O's ever moving Machado back to SS or has he been a victim of his own success and entrenched himself at 3B?
Zach Mortimer: I think when Hardy leaves it will get brought back up, but I'm not sure he ever leaves 3B now.
The Dude (Office): How would you rank Trout, Harper, Machado, Buxton when all are in their primes?
Zach Mortimer: Harper, Trout, Machado, Buxton.
Justin (Chicago): The White Sox best prospect currently is ______
Zach Mortimer: Safe: Erik Johnson
Risky: Tim Anderson
A lot of people other than me: Courtney Hawkins
Justin (Chicago, IL): Assuming the White Sox trade Rios or Peavy, do you think they get a player of quality to be their top prospect the instant that deal is done?
Zach Mortimer: If I was them I would try to deal both for a quantity of prospects that would fill out my entire top 10.
Paul (Philly): We need to have at least one phillies question in this chat. Thoughts on the future of Franco and Biddle?
Zach Mortimer: I think Franco is a second division 3B that will provide 20-25 HR annually. I think Biddle is an innings eating number 4 starter.
Cal Guy (Cal): Who would you rather have for the next 3-4 years, Rendon or Matt Carpenter (assuming both are 2B)?
Zach Mortimer: Anthony Rendon and it is not close.
Ruben Amaro (Philadelphia PA): I've decided to move Cliff Lee. I'm calling the Cardinals and Red Sox. What is a reasonable return? I hate prospect lists but want your input anyway.
Zach Mortimer: OH MAN! I won't touch what this post actually means, but I'll answer the question.
Cardinals: Wong, Wacha, Jenkins
Red Sox: Bradley Jr., Owens, Coyle.
jharrison3 (Illinois): Is there a MLB future for Tanner Roark?
Zach Mortimer: Sure maybe he can get a few cups of coffee which is something about 99.9% of the population cannot say.
Broken Arrow (Far From Philly): 2014 Phillies. Who gets the most-to-least big league plate appearances? Cody Asche, Maikel Franco, Freddy Galvis, Cesar Hernandez, Delmon Young, Michael Martinez?
Zach Mortimer: Cody Asche, just a hunch no real thing to back that up.
boneil33 (Boston): Wow, marathon chat...you are showing serious #want. Thank you for all you do. I love the MLU, and you've been a great follow on Twitter. #followmort.
You've been a believer in Sean Nolin for quite a while. Is Mark Buehrle a fair comp/ceiling?
Zach Mortimer: Thank you for all of the kind words. Yes I think Mark Buehrle is a fine comp for Sean Nolin.
Connor (Alaska): Machado is obviously a much better defender than Myers, but when talking about pure offensive ceiling, who has the higher one?
Zach Mortimer: I still believe in Machado he is going to be an absolute star and might set the doubles record.
Damon (KY): Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. Really making this Monday afternoon more tolerable.
Zach Mortimer: You are very welcome Damon.
Jeff (Bay Area): Padres RF of the future, Renfroe or Liriano (or does one move to LF)?
Zach Mortimer: As long as Liriano can come back from injury both of them have value, and can be everyday players.
Shawn (CT): Are you in New Britain frequently?
Zach Mortimer: I am not, I do all of my Eastern League coverage in Trenton, Reading, and Bowie.
Bill (New Mexico): Has the train left the station on Tyrell Jenkins? Regarded as a tremendous pitching toolkit when he got drafted, but he's hurt a lot, and hasn't been that good when he's healthy. Too late for him? Or still young enough that there's hope?
Zach Mortimer: I talked to a scout that still believes in Jenkins. It may never come but it is to early to give up on him.
Joe (NY): Rizzo or Hosmer for the next 3 years? For fantasy purposes, if you don't mind :-P
Zach Mortimer: Hosmer, really believe in the bat.
Marlin (Miami): Thoughts on Avery Romero's hot start? Have you gotten to see him yet, or heard any feedback?
Zach Mortimer: Big time power, will need to prove he can do it consistently.
Alex (Tacoma): You ranked Harper ahead of Trout in prime years, could you provide a brief reasoning for that? No arguments from me, just curious why. Thanks!
Zach Mortimer: Both top of the grade talents, but I got Mike Trout out back in the day so I had to mark him down for that.
Random Old Guy (Scrappytown): You got moxie, kid. What is the best one single item to add to a grilled cheese sandwich?
Zach Mortimer: Thanks! Bacon is usually the best thing to add to anything.
JoeTetreault (Carrollton, TX): have you seen Ryan Brett?
Zach Mortimer: I have not, but I see he is really enjoying himself in the FSL.
Steve (Runnemede): Where in SJ did you play? I heard Trout was ridiculous in high school ball from a few guys I know who coach.
Zach Mortimer: Woodstown; I didn't play him during the season it was during summer ball, and yes he was a tank.
Pete (NYC): If Wilmer Flores can play passable MLB defense at 2b, what kind of prospect is he?
Zach Mortimer: It looks like the Mets are going to force Flores' to be passable defensively. If he can do enough defensively Flores has the chance to be a solid average or better regular because he does have some value in his bat.
Zach Mortimer: Alright everyone it was a pleasure to spend this afternoon with you all. I hope we can do it again sometime soon. If anyone every needs anything feel free to contact me.