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Chat: Mark Anderson

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday September 27, 2013 1:00 PM ET chat session with Mark Anderson.

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Mark talks prospects.

Mark Anderson: I'm just a couple of minutes late but let's get this show on the road. I'm ready to talk prospects, playoffs, anything baseball, and who knows, I might even talk bourbon!

jdadelman (New York): Jake Thompson had a pretty nice year in 2013 as a 19-year-old in full season ball, but I remember his selection in the amateur draft being considered an overdraft by some. Has the stuff improved at all since he turned pro, or was this more a case of an unusually polished teenager with adequate stuff?

Mark Anderson: There hasn't been a significant change in the raw stuff since signing, but he has tightened the body a bit and improved his stamina. The Tigers put him on a good conditioning program prior to sending him to West Michigan this year and it certainly paid off. The fastball still sits 89-92 throughout his starts, and he will touch 94 at times. The slider was very good this year and was frequently too much for MWL hitters. I didn't hear of much progress with the changeup or command, but I do believe they will come with time. He still looks like a future #3 or #4 starter.

Clint Frazier (Georgia): Do you think I am better than Byron Buxton or George Springer?

Mark Anderson: I don't think there is anyone in the minor leagues better than Byron Buxton right now. He is incredible. I am a huge Frazier fan and have struggled with Springer going back to college. Right now I would take Springer just becaues he's done it throughout the minor leagues, but Frazier has the potential to be better.

Mellens (Boston): Who has higher upside betwwen Blake Snell and Henry Owens?

Mark Anderson: I will take Owens. I think he has a better feel for pitching and the top two pitches will end up being more impressive than Snell.

izzy2112 (New York): BA ranked Amed Rosario as the #1 prospect in the Appy League. What have you heard about Rosario?

Mark Anderson: There were some strong reviews from international scouts heading into the year and everything I heard from scouts covering the Appy League this year was positive. He is a very talented kid with a decent chance to stick up the middle and impact offensive potential. He is still extremely raw and comes with a massive risk profile, but Mets fans have every reason to be excited.

steve (Santa Fe ): Could you talk about about your favorite secondary pitch or pitches and maybe a few guys in the minors that best represent those pitches?

Mark Anderson: I have always been partial to the slider just because that was always the secondary pitch I had the most success with, but I have come to love the true hammer curveball even more in my scouting days. Between Jameson Taillon and Archie Bradley, I don't think you can really go wrong with their curveballs.

Bill (Ontario): What kind of MLB impact do you see Masahiro Tanaka having next year?

Mark Anderson: I haven't seen much of Tanaka, but I have heard impressive things from scouts in the Pacific Rim. I think he will have a bit of an adjustment period in the big leagues, but he has the raw potential to sit in the middle of a big league rotation.

Behemoth (Scotland): Where does Rosell Herrera's season leave him? Is he a top 100 contender, or does he have to do it again at a higher level first?

Mark Anderson: I'm not sure he's Top 100 for me, but he could be in the conversation at the back end. I haven't really looked that deeply at a list of that magnitude yet this year, but his season was certainly impressive. There's a solid player in there and he made some very real strides in 2013, but not every report was glowing, so I am tempering my enthusiasm.

Dandies3 (Pa): Best guess on Indians closer next year?

Mark Anderson: Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen are both guys that could fill that role, though I'd put more money on Allen's ability to find success in the ninth inning. If the Indians fancy themselves a contender entering next year -- which they likely will -- then I could see them signing somebody to stabilize the late innings.

Behemoth (Scotland): Is James McCann ever going to be more than a solid backup catcher?

Mark Anderson: He has the defensive chops and the ability to make enough contact, but he has to start impacting the ball more to cement himself as an everyday guy. I'd place his odds at 50-50 right now, but the more I watch him, the more he grows on me.

Nick (Baltimore): In one of your early 2013 scouting reports on Kohl Stewart, you stated that his fastball "Doesn’t blow you away with movement." Is that a major issue?

Mark Anderson: With the ability to locate, change speeds and find more velocity when he needs it, I don't think the apparent lack of movement will be the end of the world. In some cases, movement can be taught without sacrificing his other assets, simply by changing his finger position relative to the seams, or other small tweaks like that. I'd bet on this being a non-issue by the time he reaches the upper minors.

hdub (the bleachers): Brian McCann has had 2 recent incidents that led to the benches clearing...vs mia and the jose fernandez hr and the now infamous goalie act at home plate. do you think that will affect the way teams view him as a free agent?

Mark Anderson: I don't expect that to impede him on the open market at all. He is an extremely talented player that will be in very high demand. The recent incidents won't hurt that at all, I don't think.

Matt (Chicago): Much has been made among CHC fans about their Big 4 prospects(Baez, Almora, Bryant, Soler),which guys in the 5-10 range in their system intrigue you most?Btw, is Olt redeemable?

Mark Anderson: Mike Olt is absolutely redeemable. I still believe in his ability to be a very good everyday player. As for the 5-10 range, I like the progress scouts reported seeing with Dillon Maples this year. The addition of CJ Edwards and having guys like Duane Underwood and Pierce Johnson make for some quality depth outside of the top four guys.

MattWinks (Madison): You ranked Jose Pujols fairly high last offseason, have your opinions changed on him?

Mark Anderson: Pujols is extremely raw and I acknowledged that when I ranked him last year. I still like his long term potential very much, but that's not to say he doesn't carry immense risk. He will take a long time to develop and there may be hurdles he can't overcome, but guys with his physical projection and raw power potential are not easy to find. I'm still very interested in him and consider him one of the more intriguing players in the Phillies' system.

Behemoth (Scotland): I'd be interested in any thoughts you had on Tyler Marlette.

Mark Anderson: Interesting, as we have been debating Marlette a bit internally as part of our efforts ranking the Mariners prospects. The bat came alive this year and I had reports of some progress behind the dish. He's an interesting guy that fits in the discussion as one of their better prospects.

hdub (the stadium): Do you feel Bubba Starling can build upon the moderate gains he made following his lasik procedure? What are your thoughts on him?

Mark Anderson: I'm an admitted tools whore and Starling certainly appeals to me because he is absolutely loaded with tools. The only real question is the feel to hit, and even after eye surgery, I have my questions about how much he's going to hit. That said, if he hits .250-.260 at the highest level, he will have power, speed and a quality defensive profile backing up that batting average. That's one hell of a player.

Tim (NYC): If you weren't working in baseball what would you be doing

Mark Anderson: Well, unfortunately, baseball is only a side job for me; something I do because I have a deep passion for for the game and for scouting and player development, specifically. To pay the bills, I work as an engineer and project manager and environmental cleanup sites. I enjoy that quite a bit too.

baseballjunkie (SF Bay Area): Who do you like better long-term, Walker or Bradley?

Mark Anderson: Archie Bradley. His command profile is a little better for me and I think he comes closer to actualizing his raw potential. He could sit atop a Major League rotation and that's pretty hard to beat.

Dave from Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh): What are Gregory Polanco's main weaknesses?

Mark Anderson: The weaknesses aren't glaring in Polanco's game. He is an impressive talent that has made massive strides over the last two years. He is still a little crude in most facets of the game, but that is to be expected as his age. He needs to maintain a short path to the zone, improve his pitch recognition and refine his overall defensive abilities, but those are pretty typical refinemens that most 21-year olds have to make as the reach the upper levels.

Alex (Anaheim): What Yankee prospect is most likely to make an eventual impact?

Mark Anderson: Saying "most likely" puts an interesting twist on the question. Guys like Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott and Mark Montgomery will all likely have extensive big league careers, but I don't know how impactful those careers will be. I still believe Gary Sanchez's bat can carry him to the Major Leagues and I think there's some hope that he can catch well enough that you live with it because of the impact of his bat.

John (Washibgton): What would u rather have in fantasy baseball great pitching or great hitting ???

Mark Anderson: I'm far from a fantasy baseball savant, but I'd take the great hitting. I think you can cobble together a pitching staff a little easier than you can a lineup.

baseballjunkie (SF Bay Area): Assuming all have healthy careers, please rank Bundy, Rodon, Giolito and Stephenson.

Mark Anderson: Well, health is already out the window for Bundy and Giolito, but I get where you're going with this. As a lefty with his stuff, I tend to lean toward Rodon at the top of this list, followed by Stephenson, and then Bundy/Giolito. I think they are all pretty closely grouped though.

Dave (Tampa): Based on anything you've seen, read or heard does Tanaka help put the Cubs over the top?

Mark Anderson: I think the Cubs are quite a bit further away than one starting pitcher. Tanaka could be a nice piece for them if they are able to land him, but he's not suddenly going to vault them to the top of the NL Central.

DETfan (Michigan): Do you think Jake Thompson can be #3 in the future?

Mark Anderson: I touched on Thompson earlier in the chat, but if he can make progress with the changeup and refine his command, he could max out as a #3.

Paul (St.Pete): What is Tim Beckham's likely ML role?

Mark Anderson: I think he fits nicely as a solid utility player. The offensive profile isn't enough for me to view him as a regular at any position, but I think he has the defensive chops to handle shortstop, second base and third base.

Reed (Seattle): Will Austin Wilson prove all his doubters wrong next year?

Mark Anderson: The physical package is certainly impressive, but I have never been a big believer in it all coming together for Wilson. The swing needs a lot of work and the pitch recognition would need to follow suit as well. I think he can get to the big leagues eventually, but I don't think it is going to be as an impactful everyday player.

Wesley (Dallas): Which prospect would you prefer to have, one with a plus slider or plus curveball

Mark Anderson: The answer depends on the rest of the package and the type of break on both pitches. In a perfect world, I want to see an arsenal that varies speed and type of movement across the range of pitches. If the curveball is adding a necessary vertical element and change of pace, I may opt for that. If the slider is adding some horizontal element and deception from the fastball, I may opt for the slider. There's no clean answer here without knowing the entirety of the arsenal.

Paul (St.Pete): Who will be the new Rays #1 prospect?

Mark Anderson: The top buy might still be Taylor Guerrieri, even with Tommy John surgery.

Mike (tampa): What have you heard about Curt Casali? Tore it up in AA Montgomery, cna he be the future catcher?

Mark Anderson: I like Casali. He's a great makeup guy, tremendous leadership ability, good receiver with a solid-average arm, and some ability in his bat. I don't know that there's enough there to be an everyday catcher, but he's a big leaguer for me; without a doubt.

Paul (Lansing): What's the best care scenario (production, playing time, etc.) for Castellanos in 2014? Do you see him as trade bait this off season?

Mark Anderson: I think you'll see him spend a lot of time roaming left field for the Tigers next year. I don't think he's going to be the everyday guy because I think they will still run Andy Dirks out there a fair amount, but he should get at least 50% of the playing time over the course of the season. He's required time to adjust to every level (well, except for High-A) and I expect the same in the big leagues, but once he gets rolling, I think he'll hit a lot and the power will slowly start to show.

mmcd (ottawa): Can you think of any player with low minors strikeout numbers comparable to Lewis Brinson's who overcome them to become a big league regular?

Mark Anderson: Nope. Brinson is a fascinating prospect. I don't hold out much hope for him figuring it out and approaching the ceiling his tools suggest, but he is going to be a really fun test case to follow.

Shawn (Chicago): Would love your opinion on Avisail Garcia now that we've seen him play 40 games in MLB.

Mark Anderson: My opinion hasn't changed much. I've seen Garcia play since he was 18-years old and just arriving in the US. He is an ultra-talented kid with the ability to flash five average or better tools. He can handle center field in a pinch but fits oh so well in right field long term. The contact ability is there -- almost to his detriment -- and I still believe he's going to run into 25+ doubles and 15-20 home runs a year when all is said and done. Not to mention his makeup is off the charts; great kid. He is an impressive player and a good get for the White Sox.

Jim (Fargo): Would you call Oswaldo Arcia's 2013 a success, failure, or something in between? What did we learn?

Mark Anderson: I think it was an absolute success. At 22-years old he proved he had nothing left to do in the minor leagues and got nearly 100 games in the big leagues to make adjustments, learn and prepare for when the Twins will actually need him to be a centerpiece in their lineup. What did we learn? I think we learned he is going to hit, show good power and be a quality MLB player overall; it just takes time and doesn't always happen instantaneously.

Ryan (Little Rock): How many "plus" pitches does Carlos Martinez own, and do you still think he's destined for the bullpen?

Mark Anderson: I have seen three plus or better pitches from Martinez at various times. The fastball is obviously near elite. The breaking ball has shown plus or better in the past and the changeup looks positively filthy at times. If it all comes together, that's a monster package. I think he can make it work in the rotation long term, but if he gets a taste of the bullpen next year and excels, I'm not sure he ever truly gets the chance to prove he can handle starting long term.

Jim (Houston): Rio Ruiz had a great second half (and playoffs). Do you see him as a .280 BA, 20+ HR third baseman ?

Mark Anderson: I think that's the ceiling and there is plenty of work to do to get there, but he is a very interesting player.

MKPJ (Chicago): Us Cub fans are pretty excited about our top 2 SP prospects: P. Johnson and CJ Edwards. Can you talk a bit about how good they can be?

Mark Anderson: Pierce Johnson is a good #3 starter for me if it all comes together, and I tend to think Edwards fits in the same range, but he could surpass that by a little bit. I haven't seen much of Edwards yet so I'm going solely on second-hand reports. Fellow BPers Jason Parks and Jason Cole will have more to say about Edwards.

Josh (Louisville): Have you scouted Austin Meadows? Thoughts?

Mark Anderson: I have not seen Meadows play personally. I've spoken to plenty of people that have and I come up a little shorter than some on his overall potential. I think he slides to left field long term, and while I like the bat, he's going to have to reach his offensive ceiling to be the star-level player he's been billed as in left field. I think he will be a fine player and he actually carries less risk than many high school draftees, but I don't think we're looking at a future superstar.

Shane (Boise): You once said of Nick Franklin that he's a "potential .280+ hitter with 15-20 home runs, tons of doubles, and 10-15 steals." Still see that in him?

Mark Anderson: I think he can get there. I may end up being high on the ultimately development of the hit tool, but the rest of his game should come along to around those levels.

Bill (Chicago): Can you compare/contract Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Albert Almora? They sound similar both offensively and defensively.

Mark Anderson: I think Almora has the higher ceiling. His raw tools are a little louder than Bradley's. I like both players and think both will be very good everyday big leaguers, but I think Almora ends up a little better long term.

Ian (Columbus): How long will the blue jays give Anthony gose a look for? Does he get traded? Converted to pitcher/pinch-runner?

Mark Anderson: Unless he is preventing you from playing a clearly better option or his holding your club back from contention, I think you give him a pretty long leash. His tools are absurd and Major League teams are smart to give those types of players plenty of time to try and figure things out.

SC (Humboldt): Where does Trevor Bauer go from here? Terrible at the MLB level (though 8.5 BB/9 IP is impressive in its own way), and not much better in AAA.

Mark Anderson: Bauer has to decide he is willing to take take to coaching and change his approach while on the mound. He needs to trust his stuff, attack more and stop believing he has to strike every batter out. Until that happens, he is going to continue to fail consistently, in my opinion.

Seth (Detroit): What major league position player would you most like to see on the mound?

Mark Anderson: Yadier Molina or Andrelton Simmons.

Steven (Orlando): I think we know that Lindor is a great defensive SS in the making, but what kind of offensive upside does he have? More Andrus or more Profar?

Mark Anderson: Everything about Lindor is going to be solid. He's going to hit for a decent average, show good gap power, pop a few over the fence, steal a few bases, get on base at decent clip. It's all going to be there when he peaks.

Jake (Boston ): If you play well in the cape cod league, how much does that improve your MLB draft stock

Mark Anderson: It can help a lot. There is a long list of players that have played well for one summer on the Cape and parlayed that into a high draft position. There are teams out there that will draft guys a round or two higher than their consensus projection just because they've seen them have some success on the Cape. Having success against the top collegiate talent in the country with wood bats is a big deal in the amateur scouting community and it can make a big difference in your draft stock entering your draft year.

Larry (Boston): Anthony ranaudo or Henry Owens or Blake swihart. Who do you ask for in a trade with the Red Sox

Mark Anderson: Owens or Swihart would be my choice. I'm not an Anthony Ranaudo believer.

Ben (San Antonio): Would like your thoughts on Jonathan Singleton for 2014? Will he have any impact in MLB for the Astros?

Mark Anderson: I've soured quite a bit on Singleton, for a variety of reasons. If he gets everything together in advance of next season, I could see him finding his way to Houston late in the year, but that's stretching it if I am being honest in my evaluation.

Hank (Cincinnati): Describe your reaction when you saw billy Hamilton being thrown out by the mets 4th string catcher Juan centeno

Mark Anderson: To be completely honest, it was awesome. Those are fun things to see. Hamilton is a freak of nature on the bases. His ability to steal bags is ridiculous and to see a catcher put together an absolutely perfect sequence to nail him; that's just good, fun baseball.

Ed (Jacksonville): When all said and done, who will have the best MLB career between O. Taveras, X. Bogaerts, and M. Sano?

Mark Anderson: Wow! This might be the impossible question. I think Taveras is a potential batting champion with plus power. Bogaerts could pop 30 bombs a year and hit very well in the process, all while playing a premium defensive position. Sano...well, Sano is one of the few players in the minor leagues that you could actually say has a chance to hit 50 home runs some day. I'm a huge believer in Sano and I can't quit now. I think he's going to be fantastic.

Peter (NY): By 2015, Noah Syndergaard will be _____ than Zack Wheeler and ______ than Matt Harvey?

Mark Anderson: I'll go worse and better, but that's misleading. I think Wheeler's time in MLB this year will give him a leg up throughout 2014 and into 2015; an advantage Syndergaard could overcome by the end of 2015, thereby surpassing Wheeler at that point. With Harvey, I'm still convinced he goes under the knife so if we assume Syndergaard is on the mound in the big leagues at the end of 2014 and Harvey is rehabbing, then I'd have to say he's "better" at that point, but now I'm just playing with words and probably getting myself in trouble. Let's just say that's a tremendous rotation.

Luke (Fresno): How much college ball do you get to watch a year? What schools?

Mark Anderson: It depends on the year but I typically see at least one college game a week throughout the spring season, and then a bunch on the Cape and in the NECBL throughout the summer. Most of my college games are at either Boston College (ACC) or UConn (Big East), but I will occasionally catch other teams/conferences throughout the country when I travel for my real job.

JR Murphy (Alone in Yankee stadium ): Why didn't I get a hug from mo?? :(

Mark Anderson: Don't fell bad JR; I didn't get one either. I'm sad too.

Tim (NYC): It's been talked about on BP as well as other places a lot this year but Yankees catchers hit pretty poorly. Was Chris Stewart really that valuable with his defensive skills and receiving skills to be looked at as a good player?

Mark Anderson: This is a better question for our esteemed EIC, Ben Lindbergh, but I have a hard time believing his glove was worth enough to compensate for his bat. It's possible, but I think calling Stewart a good player this year was akin to putting lipstick on a pig.

Matt Daley (NYC): Is my career now a trivia question?

Mark Anderson: It very well might be, and that's not a bad thing.

Zane (Indy): How much can sidearmer a contribute to a ML team?

Mark Anderson: That depends on the quality of the pitcher. If he can get guys out consistently, then he can contribute quite a bit. Just because you throw from a sidearm angle doesn't mean you automatically provide something of value to a Major League roster, but if you have th stuff to miss bats or at least induce weak contact, that's valuable and you will have a role in the big leagues eventually.

Kevin (Houston ): Let's say Chicago or Detroit called saying they want my players and are willing to offer prospects. Who should I ask for? Both farm systems I think stink.

Mark Anderson: Considering you can't yet ask for this year's draft picks, the pickings are going to be pretty slim. From Detroit, the obvious answer is Nick Castellanos, but you could also be intrigued by players like Endrys Briceno, Drew VerHagen, Brian McCann, and Steven Moya. From the White Sox you can look at Courtney Hawkins, despite what Mortimer says, and I still believe in Trayce Thompson a little bit.

nictaclacta (Glendale): Help, Mark. Do you believe that Julio Urias is worth holding onto in a dynasty league with 10 Minor slots? Thanks

Mark Anderson: Our top notch fantasy team would be better suited for this, but given that I think Urias is a fantastic prospect and easily a Top 100 guy, I'd say you should hold onto him.

Reed (Toronto): Will Marcus stroman be a ML starter? He has a full house of doubters right now

Mark Anderson: My current residence is that house of doubters. I don't see him working in a rotation long term. The fastball and slider are wonderful, but I don't think the control/command profile works well enough and the changeup has never really impressed me. Give him to me in the ninth inning and I'd be thrilled.

Pete (Chicago): Do you ever cook with your bourbon or just drink it?

Mark Anderson: I do cook with my bourbon, while drinking it! I have made several things with bourbon, including using it in soups and chilli, making BBQ sauce and other items. You can do some interesting things with the smokey flavor that bourbon brings to the table.

Carlos (San Antonio ): Why aren't you in a scouting role within an MLB team yet?

Mark Anderson: Opportunities have come up in the past but it just hasn't worked at the time. I love scouting and I love baseball, but there's a difficult leap from being ten years into a stable, well-paying engineering career, to starting out as a scout. Now with a nearly six-month old at home and many other priorities in life, scouting for BP is a preferable alternative. Who knows though, there may come a day down the line when scouting for an MLB team is a viable option again, and if approached tomorrow, I would always have to consider the possibility.

izzy2112 (New York): Noah Synderaard is the __th best pitching prospect.

Mark Anderson: 5th or 6th for me right this minute.


I have to take a little break from answering questions and there are still plenty in the queue, so I will pick this back up later this evening. Keep submitting those questions and I'll hammer through them with a little bit of bourbon in hand later tonight.

Tim (NY): Mets might have a solid rotation in 2015, but what about the offense? What have you heard about Dom Smith?

Mark Anderson: Baby's asleep, two fingers of Basil Hayden in hand and it's time to get back to your questions!

We'll start with Tim...you're right, the offense could be an issue at the time when the rotation starts to really come together. Smith has some serious upside but I doubt he's going to be ready in 2015. I like Puello as well, but I'm not sure he's a true impact player when all is said and done.

Matt (Chicago): Despite the outstanding overall numbers for Baez this year, the K rate remains somewhat,if not very much, of a concern. What's your take on the issue?

Mark Anderson: I think Baez is always going to strike out plenty, but he's also going to do a ton with the contact he makes. He has 70 raw power and even with the swing and miss, he could hit .280-.290 when he settles in. It won't come easy and it won't come right away when he gets to the big leagues, but he's going to be a serious offensive force.

Evan (KC): Is an international draft inevitable? Will it be harmful for the league? Do you agree or disagree with the new international spending policies

Mark Anderson: If Selig can't get it done before he leaves after next season, then there may be hope that an international draft can be avoided. I don't think it works very well logistically and I don't think it helps grow the game in any way, but there are smarter people than me working on this...who knows.

A Sockmonkey (Baltimore): Can Jonathan Schoop win the Orioles 2B job next year?

Mark Anderson: I think it is possible, but I also firmly believe he could use half a season in the minor leagues to continue polishing his offensive game. He has work to do with pitch recognition and consistent hard contact. A half a season in Triple-A could help accomplish that and he could then come up and make a difference in the second half.

Brian (Mass): What do you think the ceilings are for Danny Salazar, Kyle Zimmer and kevin Gausman, and which do you think is more likely to reach it?

Mark Anderson: Salazar and Zimmer are #2 starters for me. Gausman has a chance to be a #1 guy. I'm about as big a fan of Gausman as you're going to find and I think he can get to his ceiling with innings and some continued work on his command.

Paul (DC): Addison Russell stays at SS???

Mark Anderson: I'd give him a decent chance to stick at the position. If not, I think the bat plays if he moves to either side. He's a legit prospect.

andygamer (Boston): Has Mike Zunino's outlook changed going into this offseason after growing pains?

Mark Anderson: Not much, if at all. In my experience, catchers don't develop as quickly as other position players and I don't believe growing pains are a bad thing for a kid learning how to handle a Major League pitching staff and how to hit Major League pitching. I still think Zunino is going to be a solid Major Leaguer with occasional big years.

Matt (Charm City): What do you think of Adam Brett Walker? I've read a lot of concerns about his hitting ability but he seemed to handle his first full season well.

Mark Anderson: I'm in the camp with concerns over Walker's hitting ability. As he moves up the ladder, I don't believe he is going to hit quality pitching and I think he is going to have more and more trouble with quality secondary pitches. I think he might be a low-average, decent pop Major Leaguer, but that's not enough to get me really excited at this point.

dawson950 (cape cod): What positions will Mookie Betts and Garen Cecchini end up playing for the Red Sox?

Mark Anderson: I'm not convinced either will ever actually suit up for the Red Sox. Neither has a clear path and neither stands up as a top flight prospect if they're moved off their current position.

Matt (Charm City): You've done great work on the BPN website! Will you be doing your annual team by team top 15 lists this year? You seem like a busy guy with work, Baseball Prospectus and baby making... is this the end of Baseball Prospect Nation?

Mark Anderson: Thanks, Matt! I won't say it is the end of BPN, but for the time being -- with all that you mentioned -- I'm going to be focusing my scouting and writing efforts at Baseball Prospectus and my other Tigers-specific venture. I think that's where my time is best spent and I can provide the most value to the readers. Maybe as I get settled in more with my family and such, BPN will come roaring back, but for now I'll keep it available as a reference point for fans.

dawson950 (Cape Cod): What does Matt Barnes need to improve upon to demonstrate 2/3 rotation status potential.

Mark Anderson: Like a lot of young pitchers, Barnes need to gain some consistency with his mechanics to allow him to locate his fastball and curveball better than he does right now. The changeup needs to take some steps forward as well and I think it can become an average pitch in time. He's not arriving as quickly as I think many Red Sox fans would like, particularly after a dominating 2012 season, but he's still going to be a very good Major League starter.

dawson950 (Cape Cod): Can Henry Owens become the next John Lester?

Mark Anderson: That's a tall order for any prospect. Lester is a damn good pitcher and putting that kind of label on any young kid is dangerous. I won't got that far with Owens but I think he can be a 2/3 starter if it all comes together.

justarobert (Santa Clara): Have you heard any buzz about Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez?

Mark Anderson: Reviews I have received have been a bit mixed. The fastball is there and the splitter is a positive pitch as well. I'm not sure how much progress you're going to see with the breaking ball, and that may hold him up from sticking in the rotation at the big league level.

Mario66 (Canada): Two questions about Colin Moran: Does he stick at third? Does he hit for power (say low 20s HRs)?

Mark Anderson: I wasn't convinced of his ability to stick at third when I saw him in college and on the Cape, but I'd give him every chance to do so because he's not really a prospect -- in my opinion -- if he moves off the position. If he sticks there, he can be a solid big leaguer. I think the low-20 home run range is about his power ceiling but he could get there as he finishes the maturation process.

bb10kbb10k (Erie): Dynasty League. Better for the rest of his life: Gausman or Archer?

Mark Anderson: Give me Gausman.

fake name (fake address): What sort of future grade would you put on Arismendy Alcantara and Taylor Lindsey? Assuming both are 2Bmen, who do you prefer?

Mark Anderson: Lindsey can be a solid everyday guy and Alcantara could peak a little better than that. I'm a big Lindsey fan but I'd have to take Alcantara long term. I think he's got a little louder tool set and I think he has a fair chance of being a better Major League player.

Mario66 (Canada): Stryker Trahan. Whatcha hearin'?

Mark Anderson: I've heard some surprisingly good things about his defensive progress. He's still below average behind the plate and he needs lots of reps back there, but he made enough strides this year that more and more scouts were talking about him sticking at the position. Offensively, the tools showed pretty regularly this year and with his defensive progress, we might be looking at one of the game's better catching prospects in a couple of years.

MKPJ (Chicago): The Cubs don't have anyone in their system who rates out as an ace, Tanaka was thought to be an answer, yet you and others grade him out as #3. Tell me how they get their #1 even if it means trading Baez. thanks

Mark Anderson: I think they are a ways away from needing a true ace on that pitching staff. Not every team has one anyway, so as they continue to approach contention, I think they can do so without a true "ace" sitting atop their rotation.

MKPJ (Chicago): Do you have any idea when the futures guide is gonna come out? I know you guys are starting things early this offseason

Mark Anderson: Just texted our esteemed prospect leader, Mr. Parks, and he says we will definitely be earlier with the Futures Guide this year; before spring training and possibly as early as January or early February.

Mario66 (Canada): Rank these shades of Gray: Sonny, Jonathan, Jeff, Macy, Goose.

Mark Anderson: 1) Sonny
2) Goose
3) Jonathan
4) Jeff
5) Macy

Chuck (Philly): Thanks for the chat. Please rank Corbin, Samardzija, and Wacha for 2014 and for the next 3 years?

Mark Anderson: My pleasure, Chuck. I'd go Wacha, Corbin, Samardzja for next year, and frankly, I'd take that over the next three years as well.

Mark (St. Louis): What do you make of AZL stats and GCL stats

Mark Anderson: Very little, actually. I don't think you can really tease much out of that data.

Trevor (Washington, D.C.): You have to make a team if quad A players, who do you take?

Mark Anderson: If I have to make a team of Quad-A players, I'm crying so hard I don't care who you give me. That would just be depressing.

Pete (St. Paul): Are you willing to share your favorite bourbon bases recipe?

Mark Anderson: I'm not sure what you're looking for here, Pete, but I'm happy to share any recipes I have (for the most part, anyway), and I am definitely willing to share any recipes that utilize bourbon. Feel free to email me or hit me up on Twitter and I'll share away.

MKPJ (Chicago): would you be so kind to give us your top 5 systems?

Mark Anderson: I haven't really jumped that deep into every system yet but I think its fair to say you're going to be looking at teams like the Cubs, Twins, Astros, Red Sox, Padres, and the Royals as the big contenders for the top five on a list like that.

Mark Anderson: Okay folks, it's time to relax and enjoy my Friday night. I hope you enjoyed today's chat and thank you for all the great questions. Get ready for a fall and winter full of tons of incredible prospect coverage and more immediately, get ready for a fantastic Advanced Scouting series that should debut next week. We've got some great stuff planned so don't miss any of it! If you have questions in the future you can always email me through the site or catch me on Twitter at @ProspectMark. Have a great weekend everyone and enjoy the final days of the regular season!


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