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Chat: Mark Anderson

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday January 10, 2014 1:00 PM ET chat session with Mark Anderson.

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Chat about prospects and Top 10 lists with Mark.

Mark Anderson: Okay folks, let's get this thing going! Thanks for stopping by and submitting plenty of great questions already. I've got a couple of hours this afternoon and should be able to log back in tonight for some bonus chatting. Let the prospect glory begin!

ob1quigon (tampa): what's your thoughts on Erik Johnson pitcher CWS

Mark Anderson: I think he's a perfectly suitable back-end starter. He has enough raw stuff and a broad enough arsenal to work through a lineup multiple times and keep his team in the game. He's never going to be a star, but I think he's a quality #4 starter.

Rex Little (Big Bear CA): Is there any hope for Brett Jackson, or does he have a fork sticking out of him?

Mark Anderson: If there is any hope remaining, I think it is just that he's a useful fourth outfielder. He's got enough defensive chops and some pop in his bat, and that can be useful on a big league bench. The swing and miss was just too much for him to overcome.

TheKernel (Pasadena): Why doesn't Tommy Medica get more prospect love. Was hurt as a C but now at 1b/OF and raking. Sure he's older for his levels but he looks like a good player with a good eye and power. What do we have here?

Mark Anderson: I've never been a big believer in Medica; even as a catcher. The numbers in the Cal League in 2011 and 2012 are impressive, but it's the Cal League. He hit well last year in the Texas League as well, but all the reports I've received indicate the bat speed was a little on the fringy side and it likely doesn't play at a 1B or corner OF level in MLB. He's a pretty classic tweener that may have a career on an MLB bench.

Jimbo (STL): Can you tell me who you expect to be better in the short-term and long-term: Khris Davis or Kole Calhoun?

Mark Anderson: I don't expect a huge return from either over the long term, but I believe a tiny bit more in Davis' bat.

KJ (Philadelphia): Who do you view as having the biggest rookie impact in 2014?

Mark Anderson: There's going to be an impressive crop of youngsters up throughout the year, and I think you're looking at some big names putting up interesting numbers. Guys like Bogaerts, Taveras, Gausman, Castellanos, Pinto, and some others are going to be strong players out of the gate.

AJ (Phoenix): 20 team dynasty. Two of the top teams make a trade. Team A gets Pence, Darvish, Tillman, Bundy, and a top 3 prospect pick). Team B gets Stanton, M. Moore, M. Cain. Team A Needs pitching depth, has shown willingness to carry prospects and TJS guys. Team B is getting older and needs some youth injection in its lineup. fair trade for both? Which side would you prefer?

Mark Anderson: I'm not a fantasy guy so this isn't really in my wheel house, but I hear that Paul Sporer guy that's chatting on Tuesday knows a thing or two.

That said, what I can offer is a middling fantasy opinion and legitimate prospect opinions on the players mentioned in these types of questions.

As for this question...I'll take the package that includes Darvish, Bundy and a top pick.

Jonah (Redwood): I own the first overall pick in my dynasty league. I should just use it to take Buxton, but I'm considering dealing it for MLB players and try to win now. Given that Buxton is universally loved and his ceiling and floor are ridiculous: A) Am I crazy for considering trading him?; B) What should I be asking for?

Mark Anderson: Fantasy disclaimer applies...

A) Yes. Buxton has a chance to be unbelievable, whether you're considering real life or fantasy value.

B) The moon.

Tony (The tundra): A fantasy question - I am in dire need of quality SP and have been offered Matt Moore for Manny Machado. As much as I love Manny, I also have Nick Castellanos to be my 3B ... yeah, he may not have Manny's upside but Moore could be a long-term ace/co-ace of my staff for years to come. Both are signed for $5 with $3 annual incremental increases. Am I crazy to consider this? Thanks

Mark Anderson: I don't believe in Matt Moore as a future ace, so give me the studliness of Manny Machado.

MoenPDC (Boston): It seems that a lot of people are not high on Rosell Herrera despite having one of the best seasons in the minor's last year. He was relativley young for the SAL. It seemed his struggles in 2012 were from an aggresive promotion to Lo-A and adjusting. Once he was demoted to the Northwest league, he was much better. Your thoughts?

Mark Anderson: He has a difficult profile. There are legitimate concerns that he's not staying at shortstop once he reaches physical maturity, and that hurts his value considerably. I'm more optimistic than some on his ability at shortstop, but even I struggle to see him staying there. I also don't know that the bat plays so strongly as to support a move to third base or second base. It's just a really difficult profile.

chaneyhey (st. louis): How do you rank the following players: Z. Wheeler, N. Arenado, B. Hamilton, C. Martinez, Yelich, D'Arnaud, Gyorko? Which player would you draft first if you were starting a MLB team from scratch? Thanks.

Mark Anderson: Martinez, Wheeler, Yelich, D'Arnaud, Gyorko, Arenado, Hamilton.

I would draft them in that order.

John (New York): Hey Mark,would you trade Lindor,Webster and Henry Owens for Cargo and Janssen,me getting the latter,I'm almost ready to compete,hate to give up prospects,what do you think???.thanks....

Mark Anderson: Fantasy disclaimer applies...

I don't think I'd trade Lindor. It's not the same fantasy upside as someone like Russell, Bogaerts or Baez, but he's still going to be exceptionally valuable. I'd stay the course and make Lindor a centerpiece of your next competitive team.

Ace (PA): Are the Orioles really better off with Machado at SS? I know SS is the more valuable position but there is no guarantee he will be ELITE there like he is at third.

Mark Anderson: He may not be elite at shortstop, but he's got a chance to be above-average or better there, and at that position, that is exceptionally valuable. If I have to pick one -- above-average shortstop defense or plus-plus third base defense -- then I'm taking the shortstop defense; that's much harder to find. All that and we're not even talking about the difference between him and other shortstops offensively, versus the difference between other third baseman. If they have a reasonable replacement at third base, Machado should slide back over. It will make the team that much better.

JoJo (SD): Thought experiment - you can choose one tool from any player in the minors to construct the perfect player. Who do you choose? Me: Power - Gallo, Hit - Almora, Run - Quinn, Field - Lindor, Arm - Soler.

Mark Anderson: Power - Joey Gallo
Hit - Oscar Taveras
Run - Billy Hamilton (he's still a prospect, after all)
Arm - Lots of guys with huge arms...Alfaro, Betancourt, Gallo

Peter (Canada): Will Andy Burns be an everyday player-Average regular?

Mark Anderson: I don't see that. I think he's more of a bench bat/utility guy, but I do think he's got a chance to provide some value to a club.

MetsFaithful5 (Syracuse ): A few mets questions here, and good ones at that. Travis d'Arnaud: still on track to be an all star catcher? Is it possible Matt Harvey can come back throwing HARDER than before? And how soon do we see Dominic Smith in the top 100? Thanks!

Mark Anderson: The ceiling still remains at that level for d'Arnaud, but at some point you have to wonder if injuries aren't going to keep him from achieving that level. He's going to be a very good player, but the All-Star projection may not materialize because of the lack of durability.

I've always been a firm believer that TJ surgery survivors throwing harder after surgery is a myth.

With Smith, it all depends on the bat. He could force his way into that discussion next winter by posting impressive numbers with the scouting reports to back it up in 2014.

Marlin Scurti (Clinton Township, MI): Hey Mark, Give me one name in the Tigers organization who will be in A ball or lower next year that's a sleeper, and why. Thanks.

Mark Anderson: Ben Verlander will get talked about because of his name and bloodlines, but he should be talked about because of his skills. He has a chance to bust out a bit if he can take to playing everyday.

A couple of other names worth nothing include Harold Castro, Javier Betancourt, Steven Fuentes and a big one is Joe Jimenez.

anthonyjoseph (il): what order for scoresheet keeper league: fernandez, wacha, cole, walker, salazar, wheeler, gausman, c.martinez.....

Mark Anderson: I'll give you prospect/player order because again, fantasy isn't my thing...

Fernandez, Cole, Gausman, Wacha, Martinez, Wheeler, Salazar.

baseballjunkie (CA): Hi Mark, What do you think is Rendon's ceiling and how long will he stay at 2B?

Mark Anderson: Rendon is an All-Star caliber player. I struggle with the move to second base for him. On one hand, if they aren't going to move Zimmerman off third base, then they had to make room for Rendon somehow, because he's ready. On the other hand, he's been a bit injury prone and he's put at more risk at second base. If I'm in charge, I move him off second base as soon as I can.

baseballjunkie (CA): Mark, If you were forced to choose between Walker and Bradley for careers, who would it be and why?

Mark Anderson: I'd take Bradley. I think there's more ceiling there. Walker is going to be really, really good, but Walker has a chance to be absolutely exceptional, in my opinion.

cracker73 (Florida): Some Chris Carter 2013 stats: Home - PA 285, BA .164, OPS .605 / Away - PA 300, BA .279, OPS .925. This is about the most extreme Home/Away split that I've ever seen! I expected him to benefit from Minute Maid Park, yet the reverse was true; he was a wimp at home and a stud on the road. Do you have any thoughts on why this happened? It seems to me that he had too many plate appearances for it to have happened by chance.

Mark Anderson: Those are some pretty impressive splits! I wouldn't rule out that it was a freak thing. It's entirely possible he could come back this year and flip them.

Ashton37 (World): Who impacts more in 2014 for fantasy, Tanaka or Abreu?

Mark Anderson: Interesting. Both carry substantial risk this season for fantasy owners. I don't believe Tanaka is going to enter the league and dominate on the mound, so I suppose I'd have to say Abreu, as I at least expect him to slug and provide value that way.

Obi-Wan (Hoth): That Pirate's outfield in 2016 looks pretty insane, maybe historic. But who's taking over for Cutch when he leaves for the Mets in 2018? Would LF-CF-RF look something like Meadows-Marte-Polanco, and how would it stack up to that impressive trio in 2016? May the Force be with you.

Mark Anderson: You could see Marte or Polanco in center field at that point (assuming McCutcheon is gone). Both have the skill sets to play there. I'm not convinced Meadows will be ready to go in 2016, so there may have to be someone else bouncing around out there in the interim.

Jason (NY): Thoughts on a couple of Mets OF prospects: Cesar Puello and Brandon Nimmo. And yes, Nimmo can stick in center.

Mark Anderson: Puello's not a big prospect for me. He had a nice season, but I've soured on him over the last couple of years and don't see him profiling as an everyday guy.

I don't necessarily buy the idea that Nimmo's sticking in center field. I didn't like the center field play when I saw him in the NYPL in 2012 and I didn't have glowing reports on the ability in the SAL in 2013. I think he ends up in a corner and could be a solid player, but he's extremely risky.

JoJo (SD): Enjoy your work. Please give me 5 SP prospects you like more than the industry does. Thanks.

Mark Anderson: I'm assuming you mean more than the prospect ranking/analysis indutry, and not Major League baseball...with that assumption, I'll say Taillon, Meyer, Barnes, Berrios and J.Crawford.

fishersehorn31 (VA - The 540): Addison Russell comp - Tulo? Jeter? better than both?

Mark Anderson: Addison Russell will be a really good version of Addisoin Russell. Suggesting he's going to be better than both Tulowitski and Jeter at this stage of his development is crazy talk.

Nate (Brownsburg): Deep dynasty draft, and I'm looking at taking either Taylor Linsey or Mookie Betts with an upcoming pick. Which of these 2B do you prefer and why? Thanks!

Mark Anderson: Betts has more upside. Lindsey is more of a solid guy to have around.

Brad (Seattle): Thoughts on Blake Swihart's ETA? What kind of numbers do you expect from him, as far as BA and power numbers go?

Mark Anderson: I think you're looking at the second half of 2015. He needs some polishing yet. As for production, he has a chance to hit .280-.285 with 10-15 home runs and a good amount of doubles.

Rich (CrazyTown): Jonathon Singleton was at the top of many position prospect lists as recently as a year and a half ago. His pot issues and uneven 2013 minor league season obviously hurt his standing and now his Winter season play has earned some respect back. How do you see his chances for 2014 and beyond? Does he still have a high ceiling? Houston seems willing to let him fight it out with like 5 guys for playing time this Spring. How do you think it will turn out? Thanks for your time!

Mark Anderson: I'm not sure the ceiling is huge, but he could still be a quality player. I'm not putting too much stock in winter ball. I want to see him do it back in the states before he's completely repaired his stock in my mind. I think he'll get some time in the minor leagues this year and get a look later in the season.

Cleon (FL): What is your top Top Ten List so far?

Mark Anderson: Personal Top 10....Buxton, Bogaerts, Taveras, Correa, Bradley, Baez, Lindor, Gausman, Walker, Giolito.

RotoLando (Cloud City): Hi Mark, What's your opinion of Erik Johnson? His team and his home park don't do him any favors, but can he be a decent source of strikeouts?

Mark Anderson: Touched on Johnson earlier. He's a decent #4 starter for me...should miss some bats along the way.

RotoLando (Cloud City): Power-hitting prospects Marcell Ozuna and Oswaldo Arcia didn't really do very much last year, and now they find themselves in outfields that are filling up. Do either of them step up and claim a spot in 2014?

Mark Anderson: Ozuna shouldn't have been in MLB last year, and frankly, I'm not sure he's ready to be this year. I think he can grab a spot in 2015. Arcia should have a spot and should be let to develop in that spot this year while the Twins aren't really in contention.

treynay3 (Indy): What do you think of Chris Owings bat for this year? What might his numbers look like, and do you think he beats out Gregorious for the majority of the plate appearences?

Mark Anderson: I like Owings more than Gregorius and think he should beat him out. There's some upside with the bat but I'm not sure you'll see it consistently in 2014. I think he's going to struggle because of his approach, but his glove should be good enough to keep him in the lineup and let him secure the position long term.

John (Oakland): When do we see Addison Russell in the majors? Do you see him as an All Star someday at a position that seems to be getting deeper?

Mark Anderson: Russell could be up this year, as crazy as that sounds. They don't need to push him that hard, but he's forcing the issue by dominating every challenge they put in front of him. He has a chance to be one of the best players in the game.

Frank (Detroit): What's your prediction for Rookies of the Leagues this year?

Mark Anderson: Xander Bogaerts and Kolten Wong...that's my early guess.

Carl (Houston): What are your thoughts on George Springer? Are you in the "too much swing-and-miss" camp, or the "he's going to mash like he always has" camp?

Mark Anderson: I'm very much in the former camp. I've always been the low man on the totem pole when it comes to Springer, and I think I'm going to die on that ship.

Harry (St Paul): I'm worried about Miguel Sano. It seems that guys who strain their elbow ligament and try to rehab always end up having surgery. Do you know of cases like this where rehab worked?

Mark Anderson: I can't think of a player off the top of my head, but it does happen, and it is far more likely to happen with a position player than a pitcher. Even if he requires surgery, I wouldn't be too worried.

Paul (DC): Josmil Pinto ain't gonna hit 342/398/566 like he did in September last season. But can he be a league average starting catcher?

Mark Anderson: You're right, he's not hitting that over the long haul, but he absolutely can be a solid everyday catcher. He's really underrated nationally right now, in my opinion.

Mark (Arizona): What kind of a ceiling do you see for Braden Shipley? Could he be a role 6/#2 starter?

Mark Anderson: That may be his ultimate ceiling, but he's probably more of a High-5, #3 starter, which is still really good.

Clint Frazier (Cleveland): Am I a top 10 prospect this time next year?

Mark Anderson: Next year might be a bit early because the top is really talented and really crowded, but nothing is impossible. I'm a big believer and I can see that type of ranking come the end of the 2015 season.

dipotonotdipoto (brooklyn): Stepping in the bucket: Super bad thing or flaw that can be overcome?

Mark Anderson: I don't like it when I'm scouting hitter and it always draws a red flag from me, but I don't write a player off because of it. Some guys can make it work, but those are rare and extremely gifted hitters.

Goose (Chicago): With Middlebrooks, Bogaerts, and possibly Drew in Boston, where does this leave Garin Cecchini? Where does he ultimately play in the field?

Mark Anderson: Cecchini's going to have a tough time finding a spot, particularly if the Red Sox bring back Drew. He's not a slam dunk to be better than any of those three players, so its not the end of the world from an organizational talent perspective. He may end up being valuable in the sense that he can move around a bit and provide them some depth at all four corner spots, but that remains to be seen.

Paul (DC): Almora, Meadows, and Frazier are three smoking hot young CF prospects. Please rate which one has the highest floor and which the highest ceiling.

Mark Anderson: I don't really consider Meadows to be a center field prospect. He's more of a left field prospect for me. Regardless of that, Frazier has the highest ceiling and Almora the highest floor.

chopper (indy): What eta do you expect for Buxton in Target Field? Has Fujikawa's ship sailed, in relation to save chances for the Cubs? Thanks!

Mark Anderson: I'm not sure I would put anything past Buxton, even in a notoriously conservative Twins organization. He has the talent to reach the big leagues in 2014, but it is far more likely he arrives in 2015.

I don't think Fujikawa's ship has sailed, but that has more to do with the volatility of relievers than anything else.

Bill (New York): How much of an impact do you think pitching at Coors will have on Jonathon Gray and Eddie Butler? I realize it is a difficult place to pitch, but these two guys are filthy!

Mark Anderson: There haven't been many arms that have come through Coors Field with that type of talent, so it is difficult to project the impact the environment will have on the two pitchers. I do think are exceptionally talented and have a chance to put any remaining Coors Field Effect questions to bed by demonstrating that if you put really talented pitchers on that field, they'll find a way to perform.

Roger (Michigan): I'm a bit concerned about Nick Castellanos chance of sticking at third. You've been down on his defense in the past and know that system as well as anyone. Can he at least be as good as Miggy at the hot corner?

Mark Anderson: He will be better than what Cabrera provided defensively at the end of last year when he was hurt, that's for certain. It will take some work and continued development for him to be better than what Cabrera provided when he was healthy, which in spite of the jokes, wasn't all that bad. I think he ends up a fringe-average defender at third and if he hits, they'll let him stay there.

Pete (Dallas): Which Texas Rangers QB would you rather have, Russell Wilson or Jameis Winston?

Mark Anderson: I'll take Russell Wilson.

lee (Wisconsin): I read a report yesterday that Luis Heredia is in better shape. How much did last year hurt his stock and what is his ceiling?

Mark Anderson: Last year hurt, but it's part of the developmental process. He has to learn how to be a professional, all while being a teenager and dealing with a maturing body and a foreign lifestyle. If he really is starting to take control of his body, then that's a fantastic sign for a talented pitcher. I think he's got a shot to be a quality mid-rotation arm.

Omar (Oakland): What are you going to do with BPN?

Mark Anderson: I wish I had a solid answer for this question, because I get it a lot. I loved what I was doing with that site, but it was a ton of work and with a nine-month old at home, a new promotion at my real job and the work here at BP and over at TigsTown, there's just not enough time in the day. For the forseeable future, I'm going to keep the site open/active as a resource and archive of those reports. If time frees up at some point, I may dive back in and do some work there; we'll have to see.

Reed (Austin): What would be your number if you played pro baseball?

Mark Anderson: I was number one throughout my high school career, but when I moved to the mound full time that just didn't see right. I went with 22 after that and I would have had a lot of preference to keep that number.

Luke (Los Angeles): Are you down on Trevor Story like Jason Parks is?

Mark Anderson: I share many of Jason's opinions on Story. He struggled in 2013 and I had similar reports from scouts. There's still some upside there, but he has some work to do.

Ob1kenobi (Tampa): Jimmy Nelson can he be a number 2 starter where do u see his ceiling?

Mark Anderson: I don't see any scenario where Nelson is a #2 starter. That's a lofty ceiling and he just doesn't have that type of profile. I think he could be a workhorse mid-rotation guy if everything comes together.

JoJo (SD): Speaking of swing and miss too much to overcome, does Joey Gallo stand a chance to figure it out? That power is tantalizing. I've seen that Russ Branyan-type is his best case scenario.

Mark Anderson: Gallo is going to be such a fun prospect to watch develop, and he's going to be a blast to debate over the next couple of years. If you talk to guys like Parks and Mellen that have seen him plenty, there's more feel for hitting there than his strikeout numbers show. If he can get it into his head that he doesn't have to come out of his shoes and sell-out for power to show off 30+ homer potential, then he's got a chance to really take a developmental step forward.

Alex (Boston): You are hired as the new Farm director of the LA Angels, what do you do first?

Mark Anderson: I think the answer to this is the same regardless of the system you're hired into. You evaluate the talent you have on the field and among your developmental staff members, and learn what you have to work with. You can't do anything else until you understand that.

JoJo (SD): Have you seen Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez at all? Thoughts?

Mark Anderson: I have not seen him. I've heard wide-ranging reports from some scouts that have, though.

Dave from Pittsburgh (Boston): Pick one of three following Pirates prospects to shoot up lists next year: Heredia, Hanson, or Bell

Mark Anderson: I'll take Josh Bell in that scenario. The reports really transformed in the second half of the season and he appeared to be getting back to what made him such a highly thought of draft pick.

Brad (Burlington): What minor league teams do you see the most during the season?

Mark Anderson: The teams I see the most are a function of the parks I go to the most. I see Lowell, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Britain and Pawtucket the most, just because they are always there. Those venues afford me a pretty good vantage point for seeing the bulk of the International, Eastern and New York-Penn Leagues as they come through. On top of that, I pick up some orgs when I hit spring training and then again in the instructional league in Florida, and catch other MiLB clubs as I travel for my real job.

Rated Rookie (Atlanta): How concerning is Miguel Sano's elbow to (a) his 2014 arrival in MN and (b) long-term potential?

Mark Anderson: I'm not sure he was arriving in 2014 without the injury, so that shouldn't be impacted much at all. Long term, unless the elbow injury impacts his swing, I don't see a huge impact. The recovery process and how he plays after should be watched, but I'm having a hard time getting worked up over this injury.

Brian (MA): What's your take on Danny Salazar? Future stud if everything breaks right?

Mark Anderson: Not sure about stud, but I think he'll be a very nice #3 starter over the long haul.

Matt (Jackson, Mi): Why are expectations so low for Jarrod Parker in Oak and Martin Perez in Tex?

Mark Anderson: Parker just doesn't have the stuff to miss bats and get himseld out of jams. I think he's going to be a nice rotation piece that is extremely useful, so I'm not sure I would say those are low expectations. As for Perez, the inconsistency that has plagued him his entire career is a genuine concern, but I still think he finds a way to be a quality guy, and possibly a mid-rotation piece.

fishersehorn31 (VA - The 540): How much will Austin Hedges hit? What will be his average slash line?

Mark Anderson: With his defensive abilities, I'm not sure it really matters how much he hits. That may be a slight exaggeration, but not much. In reality, I think he's a decent hitter that can hit .260-.270 with gap power; combine that with his defense and that's a helluva player.

Paul (DC): The first Top 10 prospect to be promoted to the Show in 2014 will be ... ?

Mark Anderson: I expect Xander Bogaerts to make the Red Sox Opening Day roster, so I guess it would be him.

fishersehorn31 (VA - The 540): best long-term overall catching prospect (balancing risk vs. ceiling)?

Mark Anderson: Austin Hedges.

Paul (DC): Want to take a stab at what Jose Abreu's rookie season will look like as the White Sox starting firstbaseman?

Mark Anderson: If I knew that I'd be a rich, rich man. Honestly, I expect there to be some struggles along the way, particularly as he begins to see teams/pitchers a second and third time. I do think he'll do enough to show good pop and a respectable average, but I really don't know. The scouts I've spoken to are just so split on him.

Rich (Missouri): Which 2013 draftees have improved their stock the most since the draft?

Mark Anderson: It's pretty hard to argue with the excellent reviews on Hunter Harvey since the draft. There were a lot of questions about him entering the stretch run before the draft, and while there are still questions now, the scouts that saw him after signing were blown away.

Ron (Boston): Luis Sardinas often seems to be overlooked because of Odor and the higher ceiling guys in the Rangers system. Do you think his hit tool and defense are good enough to make him a first division player?

Mark Anderson: If the hit tool maxes out then yes, he has a chance to play at a first division level. If that comes up a little short, the rest of the package isn't enough to carry him to that kind of ceiling.

rmunter (Washington DC): Is Ty Blach a guy who projects as future plus command at the big league level, or just a minor league strike thrower?

Mark Anderson: I do think he has plus command projection once he rounds into form at the highest level. That said, I'm not a huge fan and think he's more of a 4/5 starter in the end.

Mario66 (Pittsburgh): How much separates the following three wonderfully named 2Bs (in terms of their expected future performance, not their names): Rougned Odor, Arismenday Alcantara, and Taylor Lindsey.

Mark Anderson: Odor is considerably better than the other two. I like Alcantara and Lindsey, but they're not in Odor's class in terms of future potential.

vegetto712 (Florida): I have 3 top picks in the 1st round of my upcoming draft. In a vaccum, which 3 would you take for a 18 keeper league and in which order? Tanaka, Lucas Giolito, Clint Frazier, Jonathan Gray, Jose Abreu, Rougund Odor, Rymer Lirano, or Mark Appel?

Mark Anderson: From a prospect perspective, your top three there are Giolito, Gray and Appel.

JoJo (SD): I know Parks is a big fan of Yordano Ventura. Do you think he has the stuff to overcome his small frame and stick as a starter?

Mark Anderson: The stuff is certainly capable of carrying a starter profile. He showed he could handle 150 innings across three levels last year without any degredation in his stuff, which is a great sign. If he can duplicate this year, which I think he can, then I think those questions have to start becoming whispers instead of serious concerns.

OB1kenobiI (Tampa): I have Eddie Butler and Heaney in a keeper league points. Where do you see the ceiling for Jarred Cosart and Tyson Ross?

Mark Anderson: Neither Cosart or Ross rates with Butler and Heaney for me in real life.

vegetto712 (Florida): Realisitic expectations for Maikel Franco? Was last year a fluke?

Mark Anderson: Last year was not a fluke. Franco can rake. There's some development in the offensive approach that has to come yet, otherwise he's going to get worked by experienced arms that can exploit his swing-happy approach, but the offensive upside is considerable. I'm one of the few that remain standing when it comes to him doing enough to handle third base. It won't be pretty defensively, but I think it can work there; though I do see why people are so skeptical, and they could well be right in the end.

Mr. C (Milwaukee): Please rank the following diminuitive right-handers: Sonny Gray, Carlos Martinez, Marcus Stroman, Peter Dinklage, Yordano Ventura,

Mark Anderson: Ventura, Martinez, Gray, Stroman, with Dinklage last just because he's from Jersey and is probably friends with Mort. (I kid, I kid)

Shawnykid23 (CT): Who has the best career of Matt Barnes, Allen Webster, and Henry Owens?

Mark Anderson: I'm still a believer that Barnes will figure it out and settle into the middle of a big league rotation. Owens likely ends up in that same realm and I think they look like similar MLB contributors. Webster probably settles in behind the two in terms of career production; mostly because there's a decent chance he ends up in the bullpen.

OB1quigon (Tampa): What do you see in Khris Davis and Oswaldo Arcia are they the hitter everyone says he is we just have very little to go by?

Mark Anderson: I don't expect Davis to mash long term. I think he can be a useful piece for the Brewers, but not a centerpiece. Arcia can rake and I expect him to hit and hit a lot for a long time.

vegetto712 (Florida): Overall thoughts regarding Alen Hanson? Probability of putting up 15/30 seasons in a few years? I adore him and think he's going to be a breakout player this year, and want to hear your thoughts!

Mark Anderson: I don't see 15 home runs in his future, but that doesn't mean he's not going to be a nice player. I think he's a second baseman at the end of the day, but one that can be above-average offensively and defensively at the position.

dipotonotdipoto (brooklyn): Re: Franco I've read Parks saying he throws from the hip ... does that just mean sidearm, like most infielders, or does he have an even lower arm slot ... ie literally releases the ball at/below his hip?

Mark Anderson: Franco can do both of what you describe at various times. He gets careless with his throws and will drop his arm frequently, and when you have iffy footwork to go along with it, that can lead to some pretty wild throws.

Matt (WA): Of the SS prospects projected to move off the position, how do you rate in-game power tool of Sano, Bogaerts, Baez and Correa?

Mark Anderson: Just in terms of power, I'd say Sano, Baez, Bogaerts, Correa. Baez's power may play at a higher level than Sano's because I think he'll be a better hitter long term, but I hate to doubt Sano's ability to translate his 70+ raw power to games.

rmunter (Washington DC): On a scale of 1 to "Get a Medic" how crazy is it to look at Jeremy Sy and see a potential for a David Freese sort of development arc?

Mark Anderson: You're getting very close to needing a medic.

Dan (Idaho ): Fantasy question (yes, I know, I know) - can only keep four prospects going into 2014 and I need help all over the diamond. Which four would you keep: Russell, Mondesi, Folty, Stephenson, Franco, Crick, Schoop, Soler, Hanson? Thanks, Mark.

Mark Anderson: Russell and Stephenson are locks. Even though Mondesi may be duplicative from a positional standpoint, he has to be considered at the top of this group. Beyond that, I'm not sure there's much separating the group. If you're looking for pure upside, then Folty, Soler, or maybe Crick may be your cup of tea.

Mr C (Milwaukee): How likely/unlikely is it that Yorman Rodriguez will have a decently long career as an at least league average outfielder in MLB?

Mark Anderson: His offensive game is still so crude that I have a hard time seeing a lengthy MLB career as likely. That said, he's 21 and will be heading back to Double-A with an impressive set of raw tools. I wouldn't bet against him, but I also wouldn't put a lot of money on him finding sustained MLB success.

Mr C (Milwaukee): Folks seem down on Tyler Skaggs this off-season. What think you?

Mark Anderson: I still think he's a solid #3 starter in the end. He has some adjustments to make in terms of controlling his fastball, sequencing his pitches better, and just making an overall adjustment to the level of competition in MLB, so he may not approach that #3 level for a couple of seasons but I do think he will get there.

Brian (MA): At this point, although still early, do the concerns about Starling's hit tool mean that his best case MLB outcome is a 2013 version of Chris Young? Low average, solid defense, occasional power and speed?

Mark Anderson: I think that's the floor at this point, not the best case scenario. Despite the strikeout numbers, there's some feel for the barrel there and I think he could continue to develop his approach as he gains experience against MLB arms. I don't think he's ever going to be a pure hitter in any sense of the word, but I think he can hit enough to have a better best case scenario than Chris Young.

MarkSwartz (Altoona): is gregory polanco the real deal and how many balls will get past that OF of Marte, Cutch, and Polanco? pretty speedy OF

Mark Anderson: He's very much the real deal as far as prospects go, but he has some work to do on his game before he's truly ready for prime time. He could be ready this year, but there's no reason to push him if they aren't certain he's ready. And yes, that outfield is going to be tremendous defensively when all three players are out there.

Matt473 (Austin): I hear mixed opinions on Vincent Velasquez. Is he a 2 starter or more of a back end guy for you?

Mark Anderson: I never got a#2 vibe from him when I saw him pitch in the NYPL, and the reports I've received from scouts that saw him in the MWL all considered him more of a #3/4 type.

Jeff (KC): In regards to Chris Archer, has the control really improved that much or should we see regression in 2014?

Mark Anderson: In the starts I saw last year -- both in Triple-A and Tampa -- I saw progress. Some things clicked for him last year and the control of the fastball and slider were both significantly improved. Whether that growth holds this year remains to be seen. Control can come and go in young pitchers, but I would expect at least some of the progress to be sustained this year.

Chris (Phoenix): When do we see Oscar?

Mark Anderson: I would like to say Opening Day because I think he's capable of stepping in and hitting imemdiately, but with a near lost season in 2013, I do think there is some value to making him to to Triple-A and mash his way to St. Louis. I'll say you see him by July.

Kevin (Penn): How truly inferior is the Phillies farm system? Everyone knows it has been depleted, but how many level 5 guys do you see?

Mark Anderson: The system is depleted, there's no doubt about that. At the top with Franco and Biddle, there's two very legitimate prospects. I like the early returns on JP Crawford, and while I'm not sure what to expect from Miguel Gonzalez, he has a chance to help the rotation now and moving forward. Beyond that things thin out in a hurry, unless you want to talk about extreme risk guys like Tocci, Altherr, and Severino....

CaptnAmerca (Dunedin, FL): 2 hours of answers. I salute you, sir! 2014...Year of the Peacock?

Mark Anderson: Year of the Peacock...well, possibly, if him being a 4/5 starter in 2014 means its the Year of the Peacock.

I will also use this question as a bit of a transition...I've been going for 2.5 hours strong here, with 87 questions answered and over 100 still in the queue. I have to pick up my daughter and take care of some other things, but I am promising to return to the chat room later this evening to answer many more questions. I even cleared this little hiatus with management...so, I will be back later tonight and will try to answer as many questions as I possibly can!

sportznut (Clinton Township, MI): Do you expect Nick Kingham to take his game to another level?

Mark Anderson: It is much, much later than I expected to be returning to this chat, but as promised, I am back after some significant issues required my attention...I return with a glass of Four Roses Small Batch and just enough energy to knock out a few more questions.

I think Kingham is a fine prospect with impressive potential. He's already broken out for those that pay attention, but he could emerge as a more popular national name throughout the 2014 season.

Peter (Des Moines): What do you think of Aaron Sanchez? Potential #2?

Mark Anderson: I think the raw ceiling suggests more, but in the end I think that is a realistic ceiling for Sanchez. He may still not get to that level and he wouldn't be a huge disappointment if that happened.

Robert (California): Do you think Trout will slow down this year production wise?

Mark Anderson: Nope. He's a monster.

Frank the Tank (Ny): Chris Anderson or Marco Gonzalez? Who has the higher ceiling and better career?

Mark Anderson: I think Anderson has the higher ceiling because the raw stuff is more impressive, but Gonzalez is a helluva pitcher and has fewer question marks. Anderson -- though I don't think this is likely -- could still end up in the bullpen.

DS (LA): Thoughts on Starlin Castro going forward? Further growth or is basically Erick Aybar?

Mark Anderson: I still think Castro can be a fine player and I hope he'll get back to what made him successful in the first place. Something went wrong last year, whether it was what he was trying to do or what the organization wanted him to do, but in the end, he has to be himself and play ball. He's incredibly gifted as a ball player.

Brad (Bean Town): How does Leury Garcia have a plus arm given his size?

Mark Anderson: Arm strength knows no bounds. Some guys can just let it fly thanks to arm speed and the way their anatomy works. Dixon Machado is about as thick as a #2 pencil and when he unleashes a throw it's like a freakin' carnival ride; you just sit back and say "Weeeeee!" Some guys are just blessed with the ability to chuck it.

Hal (Baltimore): What do you think of Johnathan Schoop? Can he become the O's starting 2B by end of season?

Mark Anderson: You could see that by the end of the season, but I'd bet on 2015 as more likely. Schoop has great physicality and an intriguing set of tools, but he hasn't really put it all together and I think he needs another year of advanced level development to be truly ready for the big leagues.

Dave (Chicago): Is there anything else, besides Addison Russell, worth getting excited about in the A's farm system?

Mark Anderson: Wahl, Robertson and McKinney are at least intriguing guys. Ynoa is still a lot of fun to watch and has the potential to still become an interesting piece.

Matthew (UT): In your opinion, can Olt rebound to be the 250 average/high BB power guy that people envisioned before last year? Or has the horrendous season caused a re-evaluation of his skills? Can he still be a MLB regular?

Mark Anderson: i still believe in Olt's long term prognosis. Last year was a lost season but I didn't have reports of a significant degradation in his tools, which means that player is still in there for me. It is a make or break season for him, but he's got a chance to impress and reestablish himself.

sportznut (Clinton Township, MI): Predict Nick Castellanos stats this year.

Mark Anderson: I'll go with .270, 14 bombs, 30+ doubles if he stays in the lineup all season.

Alex (Anaheim): Do you see Gary Sanchez as a potential star?

Mark Anderson: Nope. He needs to stay at catcher to be a star and I just don't see that happening.

TheKernel (Chico, CA): 2B/OF Cesar Hernandez had a nice little year. Can he ever start at 2B or does he wind up a UTIF? (yes, it's the l

Mark Anderson: I think you're looking at a super utility type with the ability to play the infield and outfield.

Ryan (St. Paul): Let's dream for a second and assume M. Sano becomes an All-Star one day. What kind of career best season would you expect?

Mark Anderson: Career best could be a monster season....we're talking .280, 40+ jacks if he puts it together at his peak.

Tim (Boston): Are the expectations for Bogaerts getting out of hand? What's a realistic 2014 and career expectation?

Mark Anderson: They're both out of hand in many cases, and in other cases he's not being given enough credit. Bogaerts has ridiculous potential. I think he'll hit for average in 2014 and the power will slowly start to show up more and more, but mostly in the form of doubles this year.

Simon (St. Louis): Do you see Piscotty as a potential .300/20 HR OF in MLB in the future?

Mark Anderson: That's a bit of a stretch for me, but I'm coming around to the idea that he's going to be a useful everyday guy; something I didn't think he'd be coming out of the draft.

Jon (San Francisco): It feels like nearly everything clicked for the A's the last two years. They've made a lot of moves this offseason, but it doesn't feel like they've improved. Kazmir in, Colon out. Sign Punto to be what, a utility infielder? Johnson in, Balfour out. Gentry in, Smith out (and Michael Choice traded). And of course, the Rangers have gotten a lot better. Do you see the A's contending for the division again?

Mark Anderson: I do think the A's will still contend. They have a good roster and they'll piece together a competitive club that will hang around.

Ulf (Hartford): What are your thoughts on Mike Zunino? Is there any chance of him reviving the shine that was there a year ago or is the guy that we saw in AAA and MLB last year what we are going to see for the future?

Mark Anderson: I still think Zunino is going to be a fine player; possibly one of the better all-around catchers in the league. I think he somehow got blown up into a star in the making, but in reality, he's more a solid player that throws together a really good season here or there. He'll make strides this season and could really come alive in 2015.

SJLedet (Alexandria, La): What is a likely ETA for Julio Urias? Ceiling? Floor?

Mark Anderson: Urias is a freak, and it's hard to figure out how to project freaks. He could race through the minor leagues and reach the LA in 2014, but I'm not sure that's what is best for his development. Residing somewhere in reality, I think he makes his debut in 2015. He could be a #2 starter and as far as his floor goes, I think you're looking at a back of the rotation arm. The big question that must be answered is just how much projection he has in his body/stuff...there are scouts that rightfully question whether he can really get THAT much better, and if that holds true, he comes in closer to his floor than his ceiling.

Micah Johnson (stealing 2nd): Am I legit? Will I get any love this year? After all, I'm the MiL Stolen Base Champ for 2013, ahead of Billy Hamilton!

Mark Anderson: Going back to his time in college, I've never been a huge believer. I think he's more of a fringe MLB player that gets a little overrated at times. He has enough bat-to-ball ability and speed that I could look like a moron in the end, but I'm not buying him as a guy worth giving a ton of love to when looking at him as an MLB regular.

Lord Boobzit (Des Moines): Bryant, Baez, Alcantara, Volgelbach around the horn this summer?

Mark Anderson: In Chicago? Hell no. Vogelbach won't move quickly enough for that.

sjdigio (Chicago): What are your thoughts on Alex Meyer? Concerned about the shoulder issue? Can he be a legit #1 or #2 SP?

Mark Anderson: The shoulder requires some hesitation, but I had good reports at the end of the season and there appears to be some confidence in his health heading into 2014. I really like him but I don't see a #1 or #2 starter; more of a #3 with tantalizing raw stuff.

Aidan (SoCal): Thoughts on the Tigers Devon Travis and why he didn't make the BP Top Ten list?

Mark Anderson: He's more grinder that maxes out his ability/tools than he is an everyday guy. He's got a good approach and good bat to ball ability, but the thump comes up short and he's just a solid glove. I just don't see it playing everyday for a first division club.

Manny (LA): Do you have any player(s) that you know have zero chance of making the big leagues but you just like watching them play?

Mark Anderson: I absolutely loved watching Jon Connolly pitch when he was coming up, but he had absolutely zero MLB projection.

Tuco (STL): Were you in agreement with Barnes over Owens on the Sox list? It seems to contradict the consensus.

Mark Anderson: I'm a sucker for Barnes so I tend to agree with the decision.

Chris (New York): Will Tanaka become a top-5 prospect once he signs? Would you take him over Gray/Appel if you had the option?

Mark Anderson: Based on what scouts have told me, I don't see a top five guy. I would take Gray ahead of him and I'd have to put some serious thought into whether I'd take Tanaka or Appel.

Rated Rookie (Atlanta): Will Robert Stephenson arrive in enough time to lessen the impact of Homer Bailey's free-agent departure?

Mark Anderson: Stephenson's an outstanding prospect and he could arrive very quickly. I think they'd be wise to make the entire 2014 season a developmental year and then give him a shot in 2015.

matt (parts unknown): Curious to hear what you think about Marisnik. He seemed to be making real strides in AA last year before the marlins made the (in my opinion) bad decision to call him up. He has a history of needing time to adjust at each level. I assume he starts at AAA this year but wonder what you think his ceiling is.

Mark Anderson: Love the glove in center field (and the arm). He makes it look so, so easy out there. There's good line drive pop in the bat too, but he still has to develop his approach to the point that he can make consistent hard contact. That's going to be a huge hurdle for him as he faces more advanced and more consistently good breaking balls. I think he comes up and turns into a solid regular but I don't think he reaches the ceiling his raw tools suggest.

CaptnAmerca (Dunedin, FL): I like Nathan Eovaldi's fast ball. Does he ever develop the rest of his repotoire and find success?

Mark Anderson: At this point I don't see it happening. The fastball is always going to be the main attraction.

Eric (Tennessee): Best sleeper rookie pitcher could be Yordano Ventura. Thoughts?

Mark Anderson: Not sure he's really a sleeper at this point, but he could have a very impactful 2014 season if the Royals give him the starts.

Eric (Ann Arbor): What do you make of Billy Burns? Little guy who got on base but have heard he isnt a guy

Mark Anderson: I've got him pegged as a 4th or 5th OF if everything goes well.

Brett (Springfield): Do we see Javier Baez and Kris Bryant in Chicago this year?

Mark Anderson: Both could get a brief spell in Chicago this year, but I won't be shocked if they wait until 2015 either.

Tuco (STL): Andrew Heaney had a nice season...can he be a legit #2 behind Fernandez as soon as this summer?

Mark Anderson: He's more of a #3 caliber starter, but he should fit nicely behind Fernandez.

Alex (Toronto): Making it out to spring training in Arizona or Florida this year? Which leagues do you figure to cover (i.e. attend ballgames at) the most during the season?

Mark Anderson: I'm planning to be in Florida for spring training (and again for instructs), catching mostly the Braves, Astros, Phillies, Blue Jays, Tigers and Pirates while I am there. During the regular season, I'll spend most of my time in New Hampshire, New Britain, Pawtucket, Lowell and Connecticut, and I'll try to catch every team in those leagues at least two or three times.

BobbyWatch (2014): Bobby Abreu....2014 Sleeper?

Mark Anderson: Of course!

Ralph (NY): Thanks for doing this chat. Rank these pitchers, Zimmer, Crick, Paxton, Glasnow.

Mark Anderson: My pleasure!

Zimmer, Glasnow, Crick, Paxton.

Chris (Texas): Richie Shaffer(TB) have a chance to be a regular 1B/OF type?

Mark Anderson: I have a hard time getting there with Shaffer. I think he's going to struggle to hit, which will limit the in-game power production. If he doesn't have that, he doesn't fit that role very well from an offensive standpoint.

Dan (Idaho): To further Obi-Wan's question - how does Harold Ramirez fit into the picture (assuming he makes it to the show) - as a CF? LF? Thanks, Mark.

Mark Anderson: Ramirez is more of a left fielder for me, but he's far enough back on the developmental curve at this point, that Pirates fans don't need to worry about how he fits in at this point. It'll all work out.

jaymoff (Salem): Do you see Allen Webster living up to the stuff and being that #1/2 type SP or is a setup guy all he becomes?

Mark Anderson: I don't think I've ever seen him projected as a #1/2 starter; more of a #3 (which is no insult). At this point, particularly because of his inability to maintain velocity deep into starts, I think he's a reliever.

jaymoff (Salem): Is there a prospect - possibly even more than one - that you differ on your outlook compared to your other BP prospect brethren? Either you are lower on a guy than they are or much higher than they are?

Mark Anderson: These cases happen all the time. If there's one thing that does not exist within the BP Prospect Team, it is group think. We've all seen guys at different times, and through different lenses, and that leads to very different opinions.

Expo67 (Montrea;): Where does Jake Odorizzi fit in with TB over the next couple of years?

Mark Anderson: He's a good bet to find some innings at the back of that rotation.

Rated Rookie (Atlanta): Is Appel's plus-command the primary reason for his "high floor"? Do you project him as ace/no. 1? And when do you think he makes it to the show?

Mark Anderson: The entire package lends to the high floor...that kind of stuff with the ability to maintain it and the command profile, gives him a lot of room for error. I don't see that type of ceiling from him at this point. I think he maxes out more in the #2 realm and that could happen very quickly; possibly 2015 (I think the Astros will be slow in bringing him up because of their current status).

TGisriel (Baltimore): Who do you rate higher, Bundy or Gausman?

Mark Anderson: Gausman, and I would feel that way if Bundy was completely healthy.

Dan (Idaho): Trying to temper expectations with Cubs prospects - is Almora likely looking at a Coco Crisp-like outcome? Some power, some steals, very good CF defense, OBP heavily dependent on BA. (Disclaimer: I am a Cubs fan - don't hold it against me!)

Mark Anderson: I think Almora ends up considerably better than Coco Crisp, and I say that with a full appreciation for the player Crisp has become. Almora is very talented and has a great feel for the game.

Dan (Athens): If Rodon were eligible, would he make your top 10 prospect list?

Mark Anderson: Not quite, but he'd be close. The Top 10 is completely loaded right now. Rodon is exceptional but I would default to guys like Bradley, Walker and Gausman ahead of him to start.

sportznut (Clinton Township, MI): Moises Sierra. Regular or 4th OF?

Mark Anderson: Barely a 4th OF.

Brian (MA): Great job on the chat, Mark! The prospect guys really set the bar extremely high for the rest of the site. You guys go forever!

Mark Anderson: Thank you very much!

With that, I'm going to call it a night...133 questions later and a late evening return to the keyboard, and that's all I have in me. Thanks to everyone for all the great questions and I'm sorry I couldn't get to the other 100+ still in the queue. I'll try to schedule another chat soon. In the interim, don't hesitate to reach out to me with questions on Twitter at @ProspectMark! Have a great weekend everybody!

Mark Anderson: Thanks again everyone and have a great weekend!


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