Chat about prospects and Top 10 lists in the inaugural BP chat with Minor League Update man Jeff Moore.
Jeff Moore: Hello Everyone...I hope everyone in the northern half of the country is nice and safe and warm in their houses today. I'm down in south florida where it's 80 degrees. Sorry. Let's see if we can distract you from the weather a little bit today, shall we? This is my first chat, so if there are any technical glitches, it's my fault. I'd say bear with me, but you're snowed in, so where are you going?
I've got Pandora on the speaker, a Diet Coke next to me and 57 questions in the queue. Let's go!
chopper (indy): Jeff-
Please rank the following in terms of short-term (2-3 yrs) and long-term (4-7 yrs) value:
Jeff Moore: Hey everyone, 3 free bonus minutes of chatting. Lets jump right in! Chopper - Short-term: Taillon, because he could very well be up this season whereas the other two have virtually no shot of that happening. Both Stephenson and Giolito have a higher ceiling than Taillon so long-term theyíre the answer. Stephenson gets the ever-so-slight nod because he doesnít have the injury red-flag that Giolito does, but both are filthy.
Paul (DC): Does Gregory Polanco ultimately become the regular center or rightfielder for the Bucs?
Jeff Moore: Does he or should he? He probably should, and is the best center fielder of him, Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte (which is incredibly high praise), but he wonít push Cutch out of center anytime soon. Thatís what winning an MVP will do for you, and Cutch isnít exactly a slouch out there.
gilpdawg (Ohio): Billy Hamilton over/under 1.5 WARP? I tend to think that if he can even get on base enough to stick, the base running and D will get him somewhere around there.
Jeff Moore: Oof, thatís a tough one. Iíll say yes, assuming the Reds stick with him on an everyday basis the entire year regardless of whether or not he hits. I mean, he got a half a WARP last season in 22 plate appearances. His base running is that good and his defense will be good enough. The bat is a complete question mark but heíll have value just because of how freaking fast he is, and how good he is at using it on the bases. Dude is fearless.
MetsFaithful5 (Syracuse): Does Zack Wheeler still have a chance to be an ace? Looking at his numbers last year, they don't look that impressive.
Jeff Moore: No, Zach Wheeler will not be an ace. Thatís not the industry consensus, as he has the stuff that every pitcher wants, but I donít believe in the command or the control. He doesnít throw enough strikes and the ones he does throw arenít in the right spots. The New York hype machine was in full effect comparing him to Harvey last season, but thatís not fair to Wheeler. I think the control ultimately holds him back. He should be a solid starter because heíll miss enough bats to overcome it, but if he doesnít significantly cut back on the free passes, which is tough to do at this level with a track record as deep as his, he wonít be an ace.
David (Montreal): Will you be doing the MLU during the regular season? Thanks.
Jeff Moore: As long as I donít screw it up, yes. Canít wait to start working with some real content instead of the limited prospect selection participating in winter ball.
Paul (DC): If you're Rougned Odor, do you have to be thinking 'I'm gonna have to kill either Profar or Andrus in a year or two in order to crack the Ranger's lineup?'
Jeff Moore: Murder seems unnecessary. Iíd go with the eye drops in the wine glass that Sak used in Wedding Crashers. These things work themselves out though. A few months ago we didnít know where Jurickson Profar was going to play until the Rangers turned that problem into Prince Fielder.
captnamerca (Dunedin, FL): South Florida? How South Florida? Sinkhole country or Jimmy Buffet town?
Jeff Moore: Delray Beach, half hour north of Ft. Lauderdale. No sinkholes here, although there is a beach about 2 miles away.
Marissa (DFW): Who do you see being the biggest assets in MLB this year out of Taveras/Castellanos and Walker/Bradley? Who are the other top prospects to watch in 2014?
Jeff Moore: Castellanos and Walker, simply because of playing time. Taveras and Bradley are the better prospects Ė Taveras by a lot, Bradley not as much - but when theyíll be up remains to be seen. Bradley could be up by mid-summer and will shove as soon as he arrives. Taveras, on the other hand, needs a spot to open up for him. Heís going to be in the middle of their order within a month of his arrival in St. Louis but they simply donít have a spot to play him every day just yet.
BobcatBaseball (Athens, OH): Do you scout college ball or just minor leagues?
Jeff Moore: I've done both and will be doing both again this season. I was a Div. I college coach for about three years so I'm pretty comfortable looking at high school and college age talent. I've stuck mostly to guys who are already affiliated in the past year or two, so I can't answer too many questions about the college landscape right now, but I'm getting back out there in it this spring and I can't wait.
KerryFam4 (Atlanta): Puig or Bogaerts - who will have more value over his career?
Jeff Moore: Oh man, mean question. Bogaerts? The question mark is on purpose there. Puig is just so aggressive Iím still not sold that the league wonít figure him out after a few years. Who the hell knows though. He could make us all look stupid in his Hall of Fame speech in 2035.
Paul (DC): Javier Baez makes his MLB debut on _____, playing ______.
Jeff Moore: Do you mean on, as in when? Because Iím tempted to respond with ďon a Harley playing the banjoĒ just for the mental picture. I wouldnít be surprised to see in Chicago by the end of the season. Theyíre going to leave him at short for the time being, but if the Cubs want him in the majors this fall, theyíll have to make a mid-season decision on Starlin Castro. Maybe theyíre hoping Castro gets off to a hot start and brings his value back up so they can trade him, I donít know. I donít see Baez as a SS, so even if he plays there some, I think he ends up elsewhere. Maybe the second blank is second base?
BP Chat Union Goon (Teamster City): Look at the new guy, answering questions so fast.
Jeff Moore: Am I going fast? I really didn't know if this was fast or slow. This is why I was a terrible distance runner and stuck to baseball. 90 feet at a time, my friend.
Reed (Texas): Is Matt Dominguez underrated as a 3B because he plays for Houston?
Jeff Moore: No, he has a job because he plays for Houston. Dominguez is properly rated as a very good defensive third baseman with moderate pop who will make a ton of outs, but if he doesn't hit a little bit more he'll get passed over once the Astros get better.
Sagar (Chicago): Jonathan Gray or Lucas Giolito - who has the better career?
Jeff Moore: Giolito.
Bobby Abreu (Retired?): Why do you keep hating on me? :(
Jeff Moore: Oh Bobby, I'm not hating. You were the smybol of the bad Phillies teams of my teens and early 20's, so naturally there's a little love/hate there. Plus, you had a recliner in the Phillies locker room that you wouldn't share with your teammates. What the hell was that about, Bobby?
chris hart (south georgia): What is it going to take for Fred McGriff to be elected to the baseball Hall Of Fame? What are your thoughts and insights on his chances?
Second question not related to the above question.
How do you guys project Angels prospect Kaleb Cowart going forward, he had a slow year last season so how do the Angels see him in their organization going forward?
Jeff Moore: More Tom Emanski videos and a bigger dad hat. Iíll bet McGriff comes up short because MVP voting is even dumber than HOF voting.
Jonah (Redwood): Is this the year that Andrew Cashner really breaks out? Or are we waiting a year or two for him to build strength and stamina?
Jeff Moore: Iíd say 175 innings and a 3.09 ERA was a pretty good breakout wasnít it? He got some help to get to his 3.09 ERA as his 4.18 FRA would indicate, but he threw 175 innings. Thatís huge. That was the big question for Cashner. In that park, heís going to continue to be very good, he will gain some more stamina and be able to hold his plus velocity deeper into games and the season. Iíd expect the strikeout numbers to rise some.
Ben (NY): Re: Wheeler - everyone assumes A. Bradley is going to "shove it" as soon as he hits MLB this summer, but, as you described about Wheeler, aren't you concerned about the BB rates, which are worse at similar levels as Wheeler? The "stuff" between the two seems similar, so why does Bradley get the "free pass"?
Jeff Moore: I'm not ready to give Bradley a "free pass" on the BB's, but you make a good point with the pure numbers. At some point, however, it's more about what I've seen in person. Sometimes there's just a scouting feel to it. It's just my opinion.
AMetsGuy (NYC): Keep hearing that Jeurys Familia has looked good in Winter Ball. But what exactly can Mets fans expect from him out of the bullpen? Can he be consistent and develop the command and secondary stuff to be a real force or will he just be a hard thrower?
Jeff Moore: I've heard reports of serious velocity from him this winter, which is fantastic news. If he's healthy, he should be consistent enough to be a reliever. Hopefully the Mets will just let him be a reliever instead of trying to force him back as a starter and creating another Jenrry Mejia fiasco.
Tyson Ross (San Diego ): Do you believe in me?
Jeff Moore: I've seen you pitch. I know you exist.
RotoLando (Cloud City): Everyone has a podcast these days. Where is yours?
Jeff Moore: I've thought about having one, but would anyone listen to me talk to myself for hours? No one else has asked me to be on theirs. At least here, I have you guys.
Hey,Hey (Chicago): What are your thoughts on A.Alcantra of the Cubs? Is he in Chicago by June?
Jeff Moore: 80 name: Arismendy? Thatís gold, Jerry. Gold! He gets overlooked in the Cubs system because he doesnít have the power of Bryant or Baez or the ceiling of Almora, but heís a solid prospect. I think he ends up at second base where he could have plus power for the position. In another organization heíd get a lot more press.
RotoLando (Cloud City): How often do you use the term "Booya!" in real life?
Jeff Moore: More often than you'd think and more often than a grown man should.
ddivi23 (Bartlett): What are your thought on Marcel Ozuna? Do you see him as the starting CF in Miami?
Jeff Moore: He may, but he shouldn't. The Marlins botched most of their prospect promotions last season, with Ozuna being perhaps the most egregious. He wasn't anywhere near ready for the majors. There's still talent there but he needs more time in the minors. He's also best suited for RF. He's got a hose and plus power but he is way too aggressive at the plate and that was badly exploited by major league pitching.
captnamerca (Dunedin, FL): Are they really thinking about using Carlos Santana at 3B? Is there any possibility of this happening?
Jeff Moore: The Indians are playing it pretty close to the vest, but he has played a ton of 3B this winter and they have a need there. Of course Sal Perez has been playing a lot of 1B this winter too and he's not going anywhere. Sometimes these things just happen in winter ball, especially with catchers. Still, I'll be they take a look at him down there this spring. Not counting on a whole lot of starts there though.
John (CT): Is Zach Britton fixable or is he no longer a viable pitching option in Baltimore?
Jeff Moore: He wonít be the quality starter we had once hoped, but heís probably still fixable. Not by the Orioles, though, who havenít developed a pitching prospect of their own in years. Could turn into a reliever like they did with Matusz.
Trevor Bauer (Minors): Am I ever gonna live up to my potential?
Jeff Moore: Only if you stop insisting on doing things your way. Clearly they aren't working.
Paul (DC): Has there been enough Cuban participation at International baseball events that scouts now have a good grasp on the elite players who defect?
Jeff Moore: I'm not the best on this subject, but I believe, if anything, the Cuban national team has been restricting its best players from competing in the lesser international events because of the increasing frequency of defections. Change seems like itís coming.
Tommy B (ChiBeria): Do you believe M. Olt can rebound from a terrible 2013? Reports say his eyes are fine. Seems like the Cubs are begging him to win the 3rd Base job out of spring training.
Jeff Moore: He'll be better in the majors in 2014 than he was in 2013. That's my prediction. You'd think he could win the Cubs 3B job this spring. If he can't, that should be a pretty damning sign for his future. On a related topic, how much did the Rangers give up for Matt Garza. My goodness.
Peter (Springfield ): Most memorable moment while as a college coach?
Jeff Moore: Winning a conference championship at Div. III Franklin & Marshall in my first year of coaching, the year after I got done playing. Had players older than I was.
RMR (Chicago): Two Reds questions: 1) Assuming he gets 5 starts a week, what kind of line do you expected from Billy Hamilton? 2) ETA for Robert Stephenson?
Jeff Moore: Hamilton: .242/.305/.350 with 75 SB's. Stephenson: June 2015
JJ (MPLS): Are you sick of Chris Cotillo yet? :)
Jeff Moore: Nope, that kid is awesome. Bet he drives his teachers nuts tweeting in class.
Paul (DC): Clint Frazier and Austin Meadows, two eighteen year old 2013 first round draft picks, both played CF in their Minor League baseball debut seasons. Looking in your crystal ball, which is more likely to still be playing center when they make their Major League debuts?
Jeff Moore: As Jason Parks wrote about Frazier in our Indians Top-10 in November, ďsources are mixed on his ability to stick up the middle.Ē Of the two, Frazier is the better prospect but Meadows probably has the better chance to stick in center.
RotoLando (Cloud City): Did you see that Craig guy's wallet? What a maroon!
Jeff Moore: Men carry a wallet. Important things go in a case. http://youtu.be/yoPf98i8A0g
bcreagh (Chicago): Where do you think Andrew Chafin ultimately ends up - bullpen or rotation?
Jeff Moore: As a LHP with a plus slider and command issues, he smells like a reliever to me.
Ian (NYC): Do you trade for Maikel Franco if your team needs a 3B?
Jeff Moore: No, he's not ready yet and will be a defensive liability there. I think he'll be just good enough to be a bad defensive third baseman rather than a bad defensive 1B.
Jim (Tampa): I have 4 rookies on my starting staff Heaney Cosart, Jim Nelson, Eddie Butler, Erik Johnson or I should say I own there contracts who are the ones that show the best chances of being the better pitchers this year and next?
Jeff Moore: Butler and Heaney are head and shoulders above the other three.
Adam (TN): How do you grade Cardinal first round picks, Marco Gonzales and Rob Kaminski? Thanks.
Jeff Moore: Thereís not much projection left in Gonzales, but heís a college arm with a great idea of what heís doing on the mound, so he should move quickly and profiles as a back-end starter. I didnít get to see any of his four starts at Palm Beach at the end of last season so I selfishly hope he returns to the FSL at least to start the season. I should get a good look at Kaminsky this season, but I always have a soft spot for players from the Northeast, having been one myself.
Frank (Washington): Danny Hultzen was considered one of the best LHP prospects in the game. Now, with his rotator cuff, should he even be considered to ever make the majors or to make any impact ever in the majors?
Jeff Moore: His abilities haven't changed, so if he returns healthy, there's no reason he can't. His career isn't over. That being said. shoulder injuries are an entirely different beast than elbow injuries. We take Tommy John for granted now, but even that's not guaranteed. Shoulder injuries have a much longer recovery time and tend to have lingering effects. This really isn't good for Hultzen.
Jacob (Minnesota): What do you think the 50 game suspension means for Eddie Rosario? I mean major league in general and ETA.
Jeff Moore: It probably means the end of him as a 2B. He was fringy there as a defender anyway and needed all the reps he could get. If you've been following the Minor League Update, you've seen that he's been really terrible all winter, and even worse since the announcement of this suspension actually came down back in November. He's a 2015 guy at best, but there's some real questions about him.
Derron (ATL): Do you see Christian Bethancourt taking the full time gig from Evan Gattis at anytime during this year?
Jeff Moore: Could depend on the rest of the Braves offense. If BJ gets it in gear and is a productive hitter, Uggla bounces back, etc. then the Braves will be able to go defense first behind the plate. If not, they'll need Gattis' pop. My guess is that injuries create plenty of at-bats for Gattis in other spots than just as the C.
BStephen (The frozen tundra): Can you rate the new pitchers for future?
Jeff Moore: Fernandez, Cole, Walker, Wacha, Wheeler, Cosart.
Jesse (Santa Paula,Ca): Is CJ Cron going to have similar MLB Career to Mark Trumbo?
Jeff Moore: CJ Cron wishes...
Shawn (Lynchburg): Good to here Polanco may be the best fielder of the three in PIT, but where do you come down on his ultimate offensive upside?
Jeff Moore: He'll be the dynamic leadoff hitter that Starling Marte isn't patient enough to be.
Chad (OKC): What do you expect out of Avisail Garcia this season? The Cabrera comparisons of last season were ridiculous. I am looking for a more reasonable voice.
Jeff Moore: The Cabrera comparisons are last year's best example of why I hate comparisons the way most people do them. Why was he being compared to the greatest right-handed hitter of the past decade? Because they both play for the Tigers, bat right-handed and are baby-faced Venezuelans? He has some pop but maybe never enough for a corner outfield spot. He's ultra-aggressive and will make a ton of outs. He needs to hit .300 to be a productive major league corner outfielder.
Reid (Upstate): Better offensive player, Polanco or Correa?
Jeff Moore: Man, tough question. Different kind of hitters. Correa is a better pure hitter. If you factor in speed, it's closer because Polanco can do a lot with his legs, but Correa is going to be a stud.
Scott (Lincolnshire): What's playing on the Katy Perry station on Pandora?
Jeff Moore: Katy Perry wishes. Went with 90's pop today. Two Princes by the Spin Doctors right now.
Aaron Hicks (Minnesota): Is this the year I break out?
Jeff Moore: Well breakout is a relative term, and you set the bar low enough last year that you'd almost have to, wouldn't you? You shouldn't have been in the majors last season, and it showed. Hopefully it didn't screw you up permanently.
Ned Flanders (Springfield): Mookie Betts or Alen Hanson?
Jeff Moore: Mookie
Dave (LAA): Why did my angels sign Mark Mulder?
Jeff Moore: It's worth a shot right? Not costing them much if he fails.
Rex Little (Big Bear CA): Roughly where would Mike Foltyniewicz (sp?) and Taylor Guerrieri rank on a prospect list right now?
Jeff Moore: Foltynewicz would be above Guerrieri. Guerrieri has a suspension and some makeup concerns to deal with. It's taken Folty some time to gain some traction as a prospect, but that's one live arm right there.
Kenny Bania (Mendy's): What's you opinion on Aaron Sanchez? Keith Law seemed to love him but then noticed some changes to his mechanics he didn't like. Jason doesn't even see him as the best pitching prospect in the Jay's org.
Jeff Moore: He's not. I like Stroman better. I freaking love Stroman. Sanchez has the whole package, but there are questions about his control (even bigger questions than with Zach Wheeler - you're welcome Mets fans).
Dan (Idaho): Which 3B has the better 2014, offensively: Middlebrooks, Moustakas, Dominguez? Thanks.
Jeff Moore: Middlebrooks, but how much he plays will depend on whether or not the Red Sox resign Stephen Drew.
Pete (Boston ): Are the Red Sox going to bring back Stephen drew?
Jeff Moore: On that note, you're guess is as good as mine. If the price comes down low enough because there isn't enough interest in him, the Sox will grab him. Cherington is a sucker for a good bargain and he could get one in Drew. Of course, the Mets have been rumored to be interested in him and media/fan pressure to make one more move could be enough to get them to overpay.
sykklone (Iowa): How many AB's do Taveras and Polanco get this year? Thx for the chat.
Jeff Moore: I would imagine Polanco is up in mid-June, much like the Pirates did in 2012 with Marte and last year with Cole. Their track record is pretty strong for abiding by the service time/super-two clock pretty strictly. With Taveras, it's based on health and production, both his and that of his outfield counterparts. If Borjous hits even a little bit, he's a solid player and everyone is healthy, that leaves no place to put him. If someone gets hurt, however, he is ready to slide right in. What the Cardinals absolutely should not do, however, is start him in the majors this season if he's not going to play. He needs to play, no matter where that is.
JJ (MPLS): Did you like the Twins signings of Hughes/Nolasco/Pelfrey? Or would you rather have spent that 84MM on 1 guy like a Garza?
Jeff Moore: I'll always take what's behind door number two over $84M for Garza. That trio won't make them much better this season, but they could be good before the end of the Nolasco contract.
dianagram (VORGville): Welcome to the chativerse, Jeff!
Danny Salazar .... rushed to the Majors? He does need to work on his secondary stuff, but the fastball is real, concur?
Jeff Moore: Perhaps rushed a little, but he's not just fastball. That splitter is legit. Two plus pitches may be enough to stick as a starter, especially when it's a FB/split combo. That's lethal when it's on.
Jason (NY): Noah Syndergaard is obviously the cream of the Mets pitching crop in the minors but what do you think of Rafael Montero?
Jeff Moore: Montero is a nice prospect. He probably unfairly gets grouped in with the Harvey/Wheeler/Syndergaard conversation because he is on a similar timetable to the majors as those three, but he's a notch below. Back end starter, which is nothing to sneeze at.
Sam (Candy Land): What do you make of Jenrry Mejia's erotic stuff and 80 grade hair? Do you think he can stick as a starter?
Jeff Moore: The hair and arm are fantastic. If the Mets try to make him a starter again, I'm just going to laugh at them. Literally, out loud, to people who don't care.
Rex Little (Big Bear CA): I knew Folty > Guerrieri, but where are they overall? Top 50? Top 100? Worse?
Jeff Moore: Folty is in the 100. Guerrieri is not.
Kenny Bania (The Gym): I'm Huge!!!
How much longer can I hold out hope that Moustakas will live up to the hype?
Jeff Moore: Moustakas is quickly becoming the Roundtine of former prospects.
fletchgriz (Iowa): What are the chances that Bubba Starling turns things around? Still a chance to be a star?
Jeff Moore: He still has a chance because he's still supremely talented, but that chance is getting smaller and smaller. There are some major holes in his swing, and they may prevent him from ever hitting better pitching.
Kris Bryant (New Blue Eyes): Can I break into the majors this year? I want to hit 35 home runs!
Jeff Moore: I wouldn't put anything past you after the show you put on this fall, but that would be a rush. Let's spend the entire season in the upper minors, get a cup of coffee this September and win the job in 2015 when the Cubs could be more competitive.
Cliff (NC): Is Matt Moore still gonna be an Ace?
Jeff Moore: Solid number 2, which is not a disappointment. Aces are rare.
Joe (Amherst): Noah Syndergaard a top 3 pitching prospect for you?
Jeff Moore: You can ran the top 5-6 pitching prospects in almost any order you prefer, but yes, he is among them. This is why I secretly hate prospect rankings. Syndergaard, Walker, Bradley, Gausman, Ventura, Giolito...they're all studs. Who cares who is ranked one spot above the other? I wish my team had any one of them
Daniel (Evanston, IL): Hey Jeff,
Was just wondering how much you planned on going out and scouting this year? Or is that not your thing?
Jeff Moore: I'll be at as many games as possible. I'm trapped down here in south Florida (trapped only being applicable from the standpoint of minor league geography. Otherwise, it's awesome.) so it's tough to get to a lot of different venues. I'll have the Florida State League covered like a blanket and will spend a lot of nights in Jupiter. I also have tentative plans to head up north at some point this summer and to AZ for spring training, so hopefully that will help broaden the pool of players I get to see.
Derrick (NJ): So you don't think Wheeler can improve his control and command? For what it is worth, he was steadily improving before he got hurt.
Jeff Moore: He can improve it, I just don't know if it's going to improve enough. Remember, the question asked to me was whether or not I think he'll be an ace. I said no. He should be a perfectly good starter. Not every pitching prospect becomes an ace. There are only a handful in the entire league.
KerryFam4 (Atlanta): Can Travis D'Arnaud stay healthy?
Jeff Moore: That's the million dollar question, isn't it? The track record for catchers who have an injury history before turning 25 wouldn't seem good, but sometimes injuries are random and an "injury-plagued" label is assigned unnecessarily. There's no reason he can't be fine.
baseballjunkie (snowed in): Hi Jeff, For dynasty league purposes please predict how many seasons each will remain at their debut position in the big leagues: Bogaerts (SS), Machado (3B), Rendon (2B), Correa (SS), Russell (SS). Thanks!
Jeff Moore: Boeaerts position will be a result of personnel, much like Machado's was. It wasn't that Machado couldn't play SS, they just wanted to get him to the majors and already had a SS. He's probably staying at 3B at this point. Same for Rendon, who will probably stay at second until Ryan Zimmerman shifts over to 1B, so his time at the keystone hinges on Adam LaRoche (baseball is funny, isn't it?). Correa and Russell should be SS's long term.
CharlieWerner (Manayunk Pa): If you had to pick one of Carlos Correa, Addison Russell, or Javier Baez which one would you choose?
Jeff Moore: Correa. I'm a sucker for up-the-middle athletes and plate discipline.
tjco1006 (Ky): Do you share the Professors optimism on Francisco Mejia and Raemel Tapia? He seems quite smitten. As do others.
Jeff Moore: The Professor loves high-ceilings, and as a scout, it's hard not to. Having not seen either player (I'm not exactly close to the Indians or Rockies complexes or any of their affiliates), I'll have to defer to the reports I've seen, which are raving.
captnamerca (Dunedin, FL): Have you been to The Trop? What is your opinion of the open air stadium idea in Florida?
Jeff Moore: Haven't had the pleasure yet. I've driven past it. That was fun. Any stadium in Florida has to have a retractable roof. There are too many other options for fans to do other than go to a game, so you can't give them any possible deterrent, like a chance of rain.
Tim (NYC): Does Europe have any future as a development for MLB?
Jeff Moore: Absolutely, and I'd love to see that. The more talent we infuse into the game, the better the competition will be. All it takes is creating an interest in the sport. There's a reason our best athletes play football and basketball instead of cross-country skiing.
aaronayoung (Washington, DC): Hi Jeff - A lot of pitching prospects have been throw around in this chat. Curious where Kyle Zimmer ranks; thinking in terms of tiers, who is his peer set - the guys you would cluster around him? What is his ceiling like down the road?
Jeff Moore: He's in the Jameson Taillon, Andrew Heaney, Aaron Sanchez, Alex Meyer class. It's a good spot to be in.
Scott (Lincolnshire): Tease me this --> Cubs: Top 5 organization for prospects? Or top 10?
Jeff Moore: I haven't sat down with organization-by-organization rankings, but I would think so. Hard to come up with five better at this point.
Gamer (Hollywood video ): MLB the show or mlb 2K?
Jeff Moore: I don't know. Haven't bought a baseball video game in a few years but would like to this year. I have a PS3. I'll crowdsource this one. Thoughts?
Bubba (St. Louis): Do you approve of what Alexander Reyes did to get more money?
Jeff Moore: Sure, why not? As long as he wasn't being put in any danger. The market has loopholes that not every player is willing to exploit. Good for those who are willing to take chances.
JJ (MPLS): Most under and overrated top 50 prospects?
Jeff Moore: Overrated: Kyle Crick. Million dollar arm, ten-cent control. Of course, when he starts throwing strikes I'm going to look like a fool. I actually hope that happens. I want all prospects to reach their ceilings. Even Mets prospects.
Underrated: As I said before, I love Marcus Stroman. I think he sticks as a starter and dominates. I also love small starters and pitchers who rock single-digit numbers. #want
Sam (STL): Thoughts on Stephen Piscotty? Obviously Taveras is the first OF called up. Do we see Piscotty this season?
Jeff Moore: Piscotty could be ready by this season, but it may be a bit of a rush and seems unnecessary. Half of the Cardinals major league roster can play the outfield if need be.
Jeff (DC): Can you tell me what you think of AJ Cole? I keep saying he will be good and a friend of mine keeps telling me he will not be anything.
Jeff Moore: You may both be right, depending on your definition of good. He's got the big arm that makes teams keep wanting to trade for him but enough question marks that teams are willing to let him go. I'd bet he ends up being a reliever. That's certainly something.
boneil33 (Boston): RE: Podcast - yes, please. You could do one weekly recapping all the MLU highlights.
Jeff Moore: If there's an interest, I'll figure something out. I've been considering it for a few years now.
Evanishere (California): How high are you on Gary Sanchez? Think he gets a shot in 2014?
Jeff Moore: He's got a big contract blocking him now and McCann won't have to DH for a few years. No need to rush Sanchez. The talent is there but he could use at least 500 more minor league plate appearances, if not a few more.
Cris E (St Paul, MN): With all the new money flowing into baseball these days is the life of minor league players improving any? Not in terms of flying Gulf Coast league guys around, but I'm thinking quality of training facilities in the low minors or increased per diems.
Jeff Moore: Nope, not really. I've said for years that I believe the biggest oversight in the entire baseball industry is nutrition among minor leaguers. Teams millions upon millions of dollars on facilities, equipment, etc, not to mention the player bonuses themselves, but then the majority or their farm system is underpaid and eats primarily fast food. There are some clubhouse meals, not not a ton. That's why it's always such a big deal when a veteran makes a rehab appearance in the minors and buys the team dinner. They don't get good food. How they don't invest some in providing better nutrition for their players and hiring a nutritionist (even a roving one for the organization) to help teach young players what to eat and what not to eat is beyond me. Maybe some do, but I haven't heard much of this and it's still a major problem.
Matt (OBX): Has Heaney raised his ceiling after such a great year? What is it now if so?
Jeff Moore: Heaney profiles as a solid number two starter and should slot in right between Jose Fernandez and Justin Nicolino in the Marlins 2015 rotation.
creature007 (St. Louis): Does jonathon singleton make his debut, if so how does he fare
Jeff Moore: He will be up this year, but not at the start of it. He needs more time in Triple-A, but a strong winter has helped restore some confidence in him. He was once the centerpiece of their rebuilding plan but he isn't that anymore. He should still be a key piece of it, though.
Jim (Tampa): How good can cosart get as compared to Jose Fernandez?
Jeff Moore: About as close to the Sun as we can get before burning up. They aren not even in the same class. Fernandez is the best young pitcher of this generation where as Cosart is likely destined for a relief role.
John (CT): Middlebrooks or Cecchini at third for the Sox?
Jeff Moore: Xander Bogaerts
1738679 (Northern Cali..): Any thoughts about why Dan Uggla and BJ Upton had such a terrible season batting in 2013. What are the chances they might / could improve. What is is going to take?
Jeff Moore: Sometimes the league just figures guys out. Uggla doesn't have much of a plan up there, so pitchers know exactly how to attack him. What separates him from other bad hitters is how far he hits the mistakes. With Upton, it just looked like he was trying way too hard all year. The big contract, the red-hot start by his brother, it just looked like the whole thing snowballed on him. By the time he took a step back, it was too late. He's a flawed hitter, but he's not as bad as he was in 2013. Uggla may be at this point.
Sagar (Chicago): Thoughts on J.P. Crawford? The next Jimmy Rollins?
Jeff Moore: New chat rule. No making comps on guys who haven't played a full professional season yet to guys with a borderline Hall of Fame case.
John (CT): Okay,so where does Cecchini play?
Jeff Moore: I thought you meant for this season. Cecchini can stick at third. He won't be ready this year though, so a lot can happen between now and then to determine whether there's a spot for him there or not.
Jeff Moore: Ok, folks. 90 questions is going to do it for me today. This was fun and I hope to do it again sometime. Thank you for all the great questions.