Talk prospects with Mark.
Mark Anderson: It feels good to do a chat in the midst of baseball season instead of doing one with snow on the ground and freezing temperatures outside. Thanks for coming out today and let's get this thing going!
Nick (Southern California): Mark, I get frightened when I look at the Indians' relatively thin pool of future prospects - a lot of guys who could be solid contributors, but outside of Lindor nothing with real all star potential. Who is a player or two from the system who could potentially outplay their projections?
Mark Anderson: I think it is understandable that you are concerned. Clint Frazier and Francisco Mejia provide some very intriguing upside, but both have considerable risk as well.
KJ (PA): Do you have more love for Eddie Butler or Andrew Heaney, and what does the future hold for Tyler Skaggs? Separately, can you rank the three in order for me, in terms of impact?
Mark Anderson: I've come around on Heaney. I wasn't enamored with him coming out of college, but he has really impressed me as a pro. The fastball velocity has been more consistent toward his upper range, and I think he's made some excellent strides in terms of sequencing and his overall approach on the mound. I'm buying Heaney as a really good MLB starter. I like Butler as well, but given their proximity in terms of overall ceiling, give me the lefty.
As for Skaggs, I wish I knew what the future held there; I'd be a wealthy man if I could predict things like that. I'm still buying the raw talent, but even if things come together, I think he ends up more of a 3/4 starter than anything else.
Pat (Tallahassee, FL): Preston Tucker is a prospect no one seems to talk about, but he keeps hitting. 25 homers and a solid enough k/bb rate last year and he's started off hot in AA again this year. What's the take on him and his future?
Mark Anderson: Personally, I'm just not buying the bat speed. I don't think he's going to consistently handle MLB velocity, and if he doesn't absolutely rake, he's not going to be of value. There's very little defensive value with Tucker and the bat has to play to an extreme for him to be an MLB contributor.
Allen (Durham): There's a lot of time between A ball and MLB, and its VERY early, but are his numbers right now the kind of ceiling we might expect from Dahl?
Mark Anderson: Four home runs in 11 games and a .600 slugging percentage isn't somehting you should really expect from anyone. That said, Dahl is a tremendous player and one I think was severely underrated entering the 2014 season. I'm a big believer in the bat and think he can approach (if not eclipse) a .300 average with plenty of pop.
JoshC77 (Columbus, OH): Bubba Starling - most likely outcome, MLB All-Star game appearance or Heisman trophy?
Mark Anderson: I don't think either is terribly likely. It is very unlikely that he's heading back to the gridiron, and I don't see any chance that he's an All-Star at this point. Most likely, he's a fringe MLB player.
AC (Dallas America): Who are two prospects that have not received much fanfare but in a few months will start shooting up lists?
Mark Anderson: I think Alex Reyes and surprisingly, Josh Bell are two guys that are going to make some serious noise in the next couple of months. Both are Top 101 guys already, but I believe both will be easily in the Top 50 by the end of the year.
Dragonbreath (Gurnee, IL): Who hits the bigs first Polanco or Bradley? Possible trade looming for me
Mark Anderson: I think both are up around mid-season, but I think Polanco ultimately gets the call first.
brentdaily (boulder): Matt Wisler has been tagged with a #3 despite being young for his level, dominating, and 'major league ready.' Why don't you think the ceiling is higher?
Mark Anderson: Well, let's not act like being dubbed a #3 starter is some sort of slight. That's a fantastic prospect. In Wisler's case, I don't see a plus-plus pitch in the arsenal, which is something I like to see with a #2 starter, let alone a #1. I think the overall arsenal plays well together, but he still needs a full grade jump on the command to reach his ceiling, and given the quirks in his delivery, I'm not sure that is really attainable.
brentdaily (boulder): Julio Urias is often pegged as not having much projection left. Why is that? Sure, he's odd in that he's young playing full season ball, but how many 17 year olds haven't been able to get between 'high school' and the big leagues? I feel like the prospect evaluators are being short-sighted or lazy with that label. Thoughts?
Mark Anderson: Most of the questions about projection with Urias center on his physical projection. There's not much room for change in the body, unless it goes in the wrong direction (which wouldn't be good for anyone). Without that physical projection, it is difficult to project an uptick in the raw stuff. His secondary pitches already show impressive polish for his age, and when that happens, you have to legitimately question where the big step forward is going to come from.
I liken this back to Dylan Bundy when he was first hitting pro ball; I had questions about where the big step forward was going to come from, and while everyone seemed to be screaming future ace, I was left wondering if we weren't looking at more of a 2/3 type. The same holds true in many respects with Urias; the arsenal, body and command are so advanced for his age, how much can we really project him to improve up on those traits. When that's the case, you have to be careful about getting carried away with the future role.
In the end, I don't think it is getting carried away to say Urias has a #2 ceiling and a likely role in the middle of an MLB rotation.
Danielb2723 (Columbus, Ohio): Are there any leading indicators or mechanical changes that suggest Aaron Hill is regressing? Or just too soon to panic?
Mark Anderson: I haven't seen anything in the limited game action I've watched of Hill this year. Generally speaking, barring some dramatic physical change, April is always too early to panic. It's possible that at 32-years old, Hill is beginning to regress, but I wouldn't expect him to struggle to this degree all year.
Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Mark,
Two words: Gallo. Wow. Is this for real?
Mark Anderson: The progress he has made with his approach in one off-season has been impressive. That said, the big test will come when they slide him up to Double-A. If he can maintain his approach -- even with a ton of strikeouts -- and let the power play at anything approaching what his raw suggests, then you're looking at a monster. Bottom line, I like the progress, but I remain cautiously optimistic until I see him handle more seasoned arms.
Boogie (Auburn): Is Mike Montgomery's start for real?
Mark Anderson: I'm not sure how we're defining for real. I dont' believe he can continue to allow hits at such a miniscule rate, but I do believe he is better than his numbers have been the last couple of years. The key for Montgomery has always been his ability to locate in and around the zone. If that's taken a step forward -- which scouts have not suggested when I've spoken to them about his spring performance or during one of his recent starts -- then it is certainly possible he could still become a quality MLB starter. I wouldn't get too excited just yet, though.
tjco1006 (Baseball Nirvana): What are your long term thoughts on a couple short season arms, Jefry Rodriguez and Lewis Thorpe. Anything to get really excited about?
Mark Anderson: I think people should be very excited about Thorpe. When he signed out of Australia, I had some really intriguing reports, but there were some steps required for him to approach those projections. He's made those steps and then some, with the velocity ticking up better than initially projected. Twins fans should be really excited about his potential.
I'm really intrigued by Rodriguez as well. I saw him once last year and there's a lot to dream on. He's going to take more time and move a lot slower than someone like Thorpe, in my opinion, but the payoff could be substantial.
Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Mark,
Any whispers of injury for Gray or Stephenson, or just a rare bad outing for both?
Mark Anderson: I haven't heard any whispers of that nature yet, but if the struggles continue, you can bet that type of noise will be come louder.
Dan Uggla (Keystone): Do I need to be looking over my shoulder at Tommy La Stella? Will the hit tool play at the majors and will he offer enough beyond OBP to be useful in real life and/or fantasy?
Mark Anderson: I've been a big LaStella fan since his days at Coastal Carolina. I pushed pretty hard for him to be ranked in the Braves Top 10 here last year and his performance justified that ranking. The kid can flat out hit. He knows the zone, has a plan, can adjust on the fly, can barrel the ball, and has enough strengths to find the gaps consistently. That's a helluva player. The glove plays better than I think he's given credit for, but the bat is the carrying tool. If the Braves are willing to eat some money on Uggla, I really believe LaStella can step into a big league lineup an hit.
Mark (St. Paul, MN): Have you had a chance to see Ryan McMahon yet?
Mark Anderson: I've not seen him in person yet. I couldn't squeeze the Rockies into my Arizona spring training trip, but there's a chance I fit some SAL coverage into my schedule this year and I'm hopeful to see him before the year is out. Everything I heard has been impressive, so I'm eager to get my eyes on him.
brentdaily (boulder): There is finally a crop of 2B prospects. Who do you like - Odor, Betts or Alcantera?
Mark Anderson: I'm still partial to Odor among that trio.
BOSSHOG (Texas): How soon will Robert Kaminsky be on a team? What's the issue there???
Mark Anderson: I'm not aware of an issue. The Cardinals have some history taking it slow with young arms...guys like Reyes, Jenkins, etc., and everything I've been told is they are doing the same with Kaminsky. I would expect him to show up in the Appy League in June.
Ben (Racine, WI): When do you suspect Kyle Crick to be with his big league club?
Mark Anderson: If they want him to remain in the rotation, that time may not come until 2015. There's still some work to do with the control/command profile, and that may take some time to sort out. If they succumb to the idea of putting him in the bullpen where he could be completely filthy, then it could happen later this year. I'm anxious to see him in Double-A this summer.
Free_AEC (South Jersey): What's the problem with Cameron Perkins? No one ever mentions him yet he's the only guy in the Phillies system with a rock solid track record of hitting. Has size and pop and basically seems to be able to rake. Is his defense atrocious? What's the issue?
Mark Anderson: I'm not sure I'd call short-season in 2012 and 103 games in 2013 as a rock-solid track record of hitting, but I understand your larger point on Perkins. I like him well enough. He's a guy with MLB potential, but the biggest knock on him is the lack of prototypical corner-outfield power. The swing is more geared toward doubles than home runs, which I have a little trouble with given his position. If he continues to rake in Double-A this year, you'll hear him mentioned a lot more, but my best guess is he's still viewed as more of a fringe talent than potential solid regular.
Not Slim Shady (Detroit): When do we see Alex Meyer in Minnesota? Do you like him as a starter or reliever?
Mark Anderson: I would expect to see Meyer in Minnesota in the second half. I still like him as a starter. He does a surprising job of controlling his long limbs and his strike throwing has improved dramatically since college. I'd like to see them give him a chance to start, even if he's a tad inconsistent and settles in the middle of a rotation, instead of the front.
Joe (Chucktown): In a 12 team H2H with AVG and OBP, would you rather Donaldson, Alvarez, or Santana for 3B? Have Frazier, but I also have Rizzo and no place to play him. Trying to move him for one of them.
Mark Anderson: I'm not the guy for this type of advice....suggest you email one of the Fantasy Cadre as opposed to asking the prospect guy.
Brian (Oregon): Any plans on changing your twitter avatar?
Mark Anderson: It's entirely possible that it changes. That was the remnant of a fun evening at the BP house in Arizona this spring. I'm not sure what I'll change it to next, so in the absence of a better idea, I'm going to stick with Larry Legend.
Silverback38 (VA): Who is the best 3B prospect of Nay, McMahon, or H.Dozier? Reason?
Mark Anderson: I'll take Dozier right now, but McMahon is really close and could pass him by the end of the year. I'm hedging towards the more polished player here -- which is unusual for me -- but I think he can be an above-average guy at the hot corner, both with the glove and the bat.
Luis (Brooklyn): What are your thoughts on Maikel Franco? I've heard mixed reviews on his hitting tool. I've been encouraged by his low K rate, which was why I picked him up in a dynasty league draft. Bonus question: what do you think the ETA is for Justin Nicolino?
Mark Anderson: I love Franco; loved him since the day I saw him in Instructs as a 16/17 year old. He swings the bat way too much, but he's got that knack for getting the barrel to the ball, and driving it to all fields. I think he's an occasional All-Star.
On Nicolino, I think he probably gets a taste late this year or next year at the latest, but I don't really like the profile that much.
Neal (SMU): If you were the Dodgers, how would you handle the OF situation/Pederson time table?
Mark Anderson: These things tend to sort themselves out. As long as they're sitting in first place, I don't see much urgency to make a change. They have a lot of money tied up in Crawford, Kemp, Ethier, and Puig, and I think they're going to give those guys time to settle in and lead that team this year. If by the second half there's no progress with guys like Kemp or Ethier, they could look to give Pederson a shot, but I don't think they have to do that necessarily.
Drifter (Long Branch): Hi Mark: What are your latest estimates for the Major League promotion schedule for the Cubs Fab Five - Baez, Bryant, Soler, Almora, Alcantara?
Mark Anderson: Baez and Alcantara should be up later this year, though Alcantara may not get as many chances to play; arguably the same schedule for Bryant. Soler is likely on a 2015 timetable, which is sooner than I expected when he signed. Almora is probably on a 2015 schedule as well, though likely late 2015.
Silverback38 (VA): Any newfound higher expectations of Daniel Norris?
Mark Anderson: Not really; I still see him as more of a #4 starter. I'm admittedly on the lower end with him.
Peter (Toronto): Has the recent success of Joey Gallo made you believe he is making progress with his pitch recognition or just a SSS.Thanks for the chat.
Mark Anderson: Gallo is absolutely making progress. How much will be revealed in time, and more importantly, when he faces Double-A pitching for the first time. I think he knows the strike zone well enough, he just has to improve his approach to his at-bats to maximize his other tools.
Jeff (Seattle): At 19 years old Victor Sanchez skipped the Cal league for AA because (1) they didn't want to subject him to that environment or (2) he was ready for AA ?
Mark Anderson: I'll go with a little bit of both. He's advanced for his age and can likely handle the aggressive assignment, and personally, when you can avoid the Cal League, you try to do just that.
Jack (SC): Homer living up to his name. Still like him this year? Would you move him for Cashner?
Mark Anderson: I do still like him this year. He's not a dominating guy, but he's a quality arm that can log innings. The homers don't bother me over a couple of starts though, as I'd expect that to calm down a bit.
Jimmy (Madison,WI): Are you buying or selling Tyrone Taylor ?
Mark Anderson: Buying him as a very intriguing player with first-division potential. He still has plenty of work to do and could require a lengthy stop at each of his remaining three minor league levels.
chris (phoenix): Is Mookie Betts getting even better or has his profile remained unchanged?
Mark Anderson: He's still the same player for me. The early season numbers haven't changed anything.
John (New York): Is Robert Stephenson an impact player for the Reds in 2014? What are your thoughts on his future?
Mark Anderson: Not sure he's a 2014 impact guy, but I certainly view him as an impact player long term. I think we're looking at a really good #2 starter that could make himself into more if he puts it all together.
Jerry (San Jose): Is Andrew Susac anything more than a backup or do you think SF moves Posey to 1B or possibly 3B if Panda leaves and inserts Susac at Catcher ?
Mark Anderson: I like Susac as an average everyday catcher. Unless the Giants are just trying to move Posey for the sake of moving him (or prolonging his career), I don't think you move him to make room for Susac.
Brian (Mass): Have you seen Alex Reyez yet? if so, what are your initial impressions. Also, all these guys are far away but what do you know about Lewis Thorpe and Devin Williams?
Mark Anderson: Haven't seen Reyes yet, though everything I keep hearing from scouts is extremely impressive. Touched on Thorpe in a prior answer, and let's just say I really like him. Williams is probably the most raw of the trio, but he has the physical characteristics I like and there's plenty to like if he can add strength and begin to gain some feel.
Brian (Wis): do you know enough about Rafael Devers, Manuel Margot, and Gabby Guerrero to assign ceilings/floors, or are they just too young/far away?
Mark Anderson: I don't go there with Devers yet, having never laid eyes on him and given his distance from even the high minors. On Margot, I really liked him last year in SS-A, and I think there's a chance he evolves into a role 6 type of player at a premium position. Guerrero is an extreme risk (all three of these guys are, actually) but he could be a first-division type with very good power, or he could never make it out of the high minors.
Jim (Pittsburgh): % Chance of Nick Kingham being in the starting rotation next year ?
Mark Anderson: I think he'll be in the rotation at some point next year. I have my doubts that they'd run him out there on Opening Day.
Brian (Wis): When Sano went down, I started to hear from a lot of people that it almost guaranteed a move to first. I don't have any idea why TJ would increase/decrease the chances of that. If a pitcher can come back from that, you're telling me a 3B's arm is going to be gone?
Mark Anderson: Tommy John surgery wouldn't be a reason to move him to first in my opinion. There was at least a 50-50 chance he ended up there before the injury, so saying this suddenly changes those odds seems off to me. I think he's still a 50-50 bet to move long term, but much of that will depend on how well he maintains his body and agility during this rehab process.
Nick (New Jersey): Thoughts on the potential of Corey Seager/any chance he sticks at ss?
Mark Anderson: Seager has a chance to stay there as one of the bigger shortstops in the game; all depends how the bat develops and whether he maintains at least passable range to both sides. The tools can work at the position, and they can also work at third base if he doesn't hack it.
John (CT): Please place in order of future success: Gausman, Bundy and Harvey
Mark Anderson: Gausman, Bundy, Harvey. I love what Harvey's doing, but I still do believe Bundy can be a very good MLB pitcher once he comes back. Gausman is the alpha dog here for me, though.
Ryan (chicago): What kind of upside do you see Adalberto Mondesi having?
Mark Anderson: In terms of pure upside, I think we're looking at a potential All-Star caliber shortstop. In reality, he likely comes up a bit short of that projection and "ends up" a really good everyday player.
Tom (St Louis): Raimel Tapia - Stud?
Mark Anderson: There's certainly a good chance of that outcome. The kid can hit, and he has some raw pop in that bat too. He's got a long developmental road ahead of him, but guys that can hit like that at a young age don't come around that often.
DF (Wilmington, NC): Where is the love for Tom Murphy? Seems to get higher offensive marks than nearly any other catching prospect and his receiving skills have evidently improved. From a purely offensive perspective, assuming he does stay at catcher, isn't he a Top 3 guy at the position?
Mark Anderson: I think he gets plenty of love for what he is; a potential above-average catcher that contributes on both sides of the ball. The biggest knock in my eyes is the lack of pure bat speed. He's more on the fringy side for me when it comes to bat speed, and that's always a concern when trying to project how the bat will play against MLB arms.
Mark (IA): Is Nate Karns anything other than a back of the rotation or bullpen arm?
Mark Anderson: Not for me, no. I think he's a bit of a swingman that can fill the back of a rotation on the right team.
Chris (Phoenix): Which player in the lower minors now exicte you the most with power and speed?
Mark Anderson: Clint Frazier. I'm really excited to see what this kid can do over the next year or two as he adjusts to the pro game.
Baltimore Steve (MD): Any chance that when Gausman gets the call it's in the role of closer, as opposed to starter??? Either way, when does get to the bigs?
Mark Anderson: Outside of a dire need, I just can't see bringing him up in a relief role. Gausman has a starter's arsenal and approach. His potential in the rotation is incredible and he needs to stay there. He'll be back in the bigs this summer.
G Man (San Fran): Any update on the Addison Russell injury (severity, recovery time, etc.). Thanks for the chat!!
Mark Anderson: I haven't seen an update since the initial reports. Everything I keep reading suggests at least a month on the shelf, though it could easily stretch beyond that.
dancini (Pgh): Mike Olt or David Freese better season for a CI?
Mark Anderson: I still believe in Olt.
Andy (Rockies): Give me some D.Dahl hype. I've read he's started the year well & I believe 3 hr's as well. Any chance he's up in 2015, or is his arrival time still a couple years out?
Mark Anderson: 2015 would be a surprise to me. I think he could be in the Opening Day lineup in 2016 (barring service time concerns) though. Dahl's a tremendous talent and I think he's going to blow up by the end of this year.
mockcarr (Arlington, VA): What's the likelihood of J.R. Murphy getting to show much in the majors this year? It seems like the Yankees are going through a lot of catchers already, but he's still behind Romine, and McCann will be the starter.
Mark Anderson: He may get a cup of coffee this year, but without a major injury to McCann, Murphy isn't likely to get enough time to make much of an impact in 2014.
Gary (Irvine, CA): Which prospects are at the top end of the scale when it comes to locating their pitches?
Mark Anderson: The guys that came up the most during our off-season Top Tools (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22959) discussion were Kyle Hendriks, Dylan Bundy, Ty Blach, Justin Nicolino, Rafael Montero, Marucs Stroman, and Noah Syndergaard.
Jack (Peioria, IL): What can you tell us about Pedro Fernandez KC pticher ? Thanks
Mark Anderson: Could be the next guy to make the jump squarely onto the prospect radar in the Royals system; similar to what's happened with someone like Miguel Almonte over the last couple of years. Fernandez can reach back for a plus fastball now and has the quick arm to suggest he could find more as he matures; possibly sitting in the 94-95 mph range with a quality slider. He's got more feel than you'd expect for a kid his age, and there's a very real chance he makes a big leap this year. Keep an eye on him.
Nat Man (DC): Gioloto - I'm hearing top prospect in the game when next years list come out. Agree or disagree? Early reviews this season seem to be stellar.
Mark Anderson: He has the type of talent that he could vault himself into that conversation, but so do guys like Correa and Buxton; two guys that are unlikely to have exhausted their prospect eligibility. Giolito has everything necessary to be considered the best pitching prospect in the game, and if he just gets through this year healthy while showing off his impressive arsenal, it's going to be very difficult to deny him a spot among the top few prospects in the game.
Dan (Chicago): A.Vizcaino, sounds like the Cubs are taking it easy with his routine coming off injury. Is there any way once he does make it back to the bigs they throw him right into closing duties? Or is that too much, too soon?
Mark Anderson: There's two schools of thought here for me: 1) ease him back in and let him throw lower leverage innings to gain experience and prove he's healthy, or 2) trial by fire on a bad team and try to get some value out of him before his arm explodes again.
I've always felt there's something to the theory that some guys have only so many bullets in their arm, meaning you need to get value out of them while you can. Joel Zumaya was one guy that I always felt that way about. That said, Vizcaino has missed so much time, I'm not sure you can just thrust him into that role. I think they have to take a slower approach, even if it means risking him to yet another injury before he gets a chance in those high leverage situations.
Max (Oaktown): Billy Burns, does he have a chance sometime soon to see some big-league level action? The A's OF is underwhelming at best right now. I think Burns can out "Hamilton" Billy Hamilton. What's the delay???
Mark Anderson: I don't see it with Burns. He's an incredible runner and he controls the zone well, but I don't think he'll hit against advanced pitching and he's not a true center field defender. He's an extra outfield/bench guy for me and I don't see any reason the A's should be pushing to bring him up quickly.
Victor (Dumfries): Who is the real Caleb Kowart, last year's bum or this years solid performer?
Mark Anderson: This year's solid performer. I still think Cowart's an everyday guy at the MLB level. The hit tool won't be sexy, but it'll play enough for him to show off some pop, and his defnese at third base will be enough for him to play every day at the position. I think he's going to come into his own a bit as a prospect this year.
Jack (AZ): Jose Martinez had a lot of helium during the winter, but is nowhere to be found. Have you heard anything about his status?
Mark Anderson: Last I heard he was slated for extended spring training. Depending on his progress there, he could head to the Midwest League at some point this summer, or he could go back to the Northwest League for another tour.
Sumner (Atl): Do you think Heaney, Gausman, Butler, and Bauer will be up by June 1?
Mark Anderson: I'm not sure all of them will be. There's not a ton of incentive for the Marlins to call up Heaney at this point, but that may not stop them. The same can actually be said of the Rockies. Gausman and Bauer could impact their MLB clubs and push them up the standings this year, so those two would be more likely to be up early in the year.
Jon (La Jolla): Jace Peterson is off to a great start. DO you see him as an above average SS and quality table setter?
Mark Anderson: I'm not there on Peterson. I think he can be an MLB player but I don't see it playing to that degree.
Chris (Phoenix): What are your thoughts on Aaron Judge?
Mark Anderson: Exceptionally large man with serious thunder in the bat. I don't believe he will hit MLB-caliber pitching enough for the power to manifest at full potential, but then again, he could be a serviceable MLB player without all of his power coming out in game action.
Frank (Denver): I've read widely varying accounts re the White Sox' Tim Anderson. What is your own assessment of him as a prospect?
Mark Anderson: Really good athlete that has the hands to hit at the highest level, and the tools to stay at shortstop. I'm a believer, though I do think it could take some time to come together.
Jack (MO): Stephen Piscotty does nothing, but hit and hit. And hit. Has his pro performance surprised you? What do you think is a reasonable expectation for a peak season?
Mark Anderson: He has surprised me some so far. I thought he had a chance to be a solid player, but the more he performs and the more I hear from scouts that are watching him every day, he sounds more and more like an above-average guy that can really contribute to a championship level club.
Walker (Dallas): Do you think that the Marlins are waiting for Super 2 to pass before they bring up Heaney? He looks to be one of the best 5 pitchers in the organization including the Majors team.
Mark Anderson: They could be waiting for that, and realistically, they should be waiting for that. Even when that time comes, I'm not sure it makes a whole lot of sense to bring him up now. I don't see them competing this year and not every pitcher in your organization needs to gain their polish at the MLB level. I think he'd be fine if the left him down for a while and called him up in August/September.
dancini (Pgh): Tyler Glassnow, will he be in a Bucco uni this season?
Mark Anderson: No, I don't see him coming up this year. 2015 is far more likely, and probably later in that season.
Daniel (OH): It feels to me like Gary Sanchez has been a prospect forever, but I guess he's not that old. He's steadily fallen in the rankings, but i also have read that Cs can take longer to develop offensively. Do you think he makes it as a catcher or is going to end up a 1b/dh? When do you think he makes it?
Mark Anderson: I don't think he's a catcher in the end. He's made some progress, but he is still really rough as a receiver and blocker, and his footwork remains sloppy. I think it's a 1B/DH profile long term. Given that, and if they decide to make that move with him, it could still be late 2015 before he sees MLB time, and possibly 2016 before he has a substantial MLB role.
I've got to take a little break and head home from the office. I still have plenty of questions in the queue, and as is typical with me, I will do a little bonus chatting later tonight; resuming around 7:30. Keep the questions coming and I'll answer as many as I can later this evening!
JJ (MPLS): How would you compare Syndy and Wheeler in that Mets roto? Does one guy come out ahead of the other for you, both short/long term?
Mark Anderson: Okay folks, thanks for your patience. I'm back and ready to knock out as many of the questions remaining in the queue as I can!
I'm a huge Wheeler fan and I believe he's going to be a monster starter at the MLB level, but I have to give the nod to Syndergaard. You don't find the combination of his raw power arsenal, command projection and **ck you attitude all that often. He has a chance to be really, really good.
Scott (Buffalo): Thoughts on Brady Aiken and Carlos Rodon?
Mark Anderson: Rodon has obviously been a little disappointing this spring, given the expectations laid on him heading into the season. That said, he's still a very serious contender to go 1-1 in this draft, and I won't be shocked if he does. His talent is undeniable, even if he did have an "off" spring.
Aiken has dramatically improved his draft stock this spring, from really good prospect that can go in the first round, to a guy that could go 1-1 or at least in the top handful of picks.
If I'm picking at the top of the draft, I may be inclined to go with Rodon just because of the track record of excellence, and if you're the Astros, he's going to arrive quickly to coincide with the rest of your burgeoning core.
Bobby (NY): Will Mejia keep his starting role to learn & grow? The Mets will let him work through his control issues right? I don't want to see any part of Dice-K.
Mark Anderson: I would really like to believe this is going to be the case. He has the potential to be a nice piece behind Harvey, Wheeler, and Syndergaard, and I'd hate to see them abandon him too early.
Bob (PA): Kaleb Cowart seems to have put his lost 2013 season behind him. Does he project as a 1st division player to you?
Mark Anderson: Very much so. I argued for him to remain the top guy in the Angles system in our rankings, as I think he is one of the few guys in the entire system that has any modicum of impact potential.
Cris E (St Paul, MN): Does MN have a real major league SS in the organization? Does Polanco or Santana look like a real option?
Mark Anderson: I'm not a believer of Polanco sticking at shortstop, and Santana has never been my cup of tea. There's not a guy in the system right now that jumps out as the future at shortstop. Sorry for the bad news.
Chesty (New Bern NC): Alex Guerrero has started like a rocket.He needs time to show his range and glove.He must be equal to Dee Gordon. Doubtful Dee will stay in this groove much longer.Do you feel he is Major league ready?
Mark Anderson: If Guerrero's not MLB ready, then the decision to give him that kind of money seems a little odd. I think he is being given an acclimation period in the minor leagues and he will be up as soon as injuries strike or Dee Gordon goes back to being the Dee Gordon of old.
Alex (Anaheim): Do you think MLB will ever allow the trading of draft picks?
Mark Anderson: Aside from the currently permitted trading of competitive balance picks, I don't see this on the immediate horizon. I think MLB is more concerned with implementing an international draft. Once that is in place and functioning well -- if it can actually function will -- then they may tackle something like this.
Spirou (Montreal): Kyle Zimmer .What's the scoop on him .Is he really injured or is it just a delayed season as a matter of precaution ?
Mark Anderson: I've been led to believe that there is a legitimate injury behind all of this, but the severity has been reported to varying degrees when I've spoken with different people. I think the current aim is to rehab him and bring him back strong, but who knows how that will play out.
John (CT): Is Matt Barnes a starter for the Red Sox in 2015? He seems to be close, one pitch shy of making an impact.
Mark Anderson: I do think he'll be in the rotation next season. I still believe in him as a starter, particularly if he's competing with Allen Webster and Anthony Ranaudo for a slot. In the end, he's probably a mid-rotation guy that still carries significant value.
dan (cincy): who would you rather have long term: dahl or sano?
Mark Anderson: Interesting question. I believe in Sano's feel for the game, even though he doesn't get much credit for it, and I think he'll hit and play third base well enough to be a tremendous player for at least the first few years of his career. I really like Dahl, but even with a massive 2014 season, I doubt he'll be on par with Sano's prospect status at this time next year.
John (CT): Any concern re Buxton's wrist injury? Wrist and shoulder injuries seem to create the most problems for hitters.
Mark Anderson: Unless it is far more severe than the Twins are letting on, I'm not really that worried. They'll continue to be cautious with him -- just as they should -- and when he's back, I expect we will see minimal impact.
Silverback38 (VA): Have you seen Amed Rosario yet? Anything to the early hype?
Mark Anderson: I've not seen him live at this point, but everything I've heard from scouts suggests the hype is very real. He has the potential for above-average goals across the board at a premium position. If he begins to put his tools together at all this year, he's going to be flying up prospect lists.
Joe (DE): Ken Giles. Say something mean.
Mark Anderson: He still has to prove he can throw strikes consistently.
yimmy80 (Birmingham, AL): How important is this year for Dorssys Paulino?
Mark Anderson: I'm not sure it's more important for him than it is any other raw prospect. He's still only 19 and playing in Low-A again, and the tools are still obvious, even if the results haven't been pretty so far. He's got a pretty long leash in my mind.
Magpie (AZ): JR Graham - Starter or late inning guy? When do we see him in Atlanta?
Mark Anderson: I really want to project him as a starter with his arsenal and command profile, but I have concerns over his durability. If I'm running the show, I give him every chance imaginable to start. If he stays healthy and remains effective this year, he could see time in Atlanta before the end of the season.
cracker73 (Florida): Do you think Jesse Chavez's success as a starter will continue? Why was he not used as a starter before? I mean, he's 30 heard old.
Mark Anderson: Baseball is a funny game, but I'm not buying that Chavez can maintain this run of success. If the A's found something to change so that they could coax this type of performance out of him -- even if only for a very brief moment in time -- then kudos to them.
He started out his career as a starter but was moved to the bullpen over durability concerns; sometimes when players get placed in a role, it's hard for an organization to pull them out of it, particularly when he's been bouncing around for a while.
heterodude (South Jersey): Who has more potential to stick in a ML lineup: Alex Yarbrough or Avery Romero? They each showed a good bat last year, but always seem to be under the radar.
Mark Anderson: I'm not a huge can of either player, but if I had to take one, I prefer Yarbrough.
Matt (boston): What do you know about steven matz? I've heard some good things about him in passing. I know he's had some major injuries so he's behind developmentally, but also hear his velocity from the left side is pretty sick.
Mark Anderson: Saw a lot of him in his amateur days, and then saw a little bit of him again last year. He certainly has the type of arsenal to become an impact prospect if he can stay healthy. I need to see some progress (mostly in terms of consistency) from the breaking ball, but he could get there. If that happens he's got a chance to be a mid-rotation arm.
Gordy (Torrance): Hunter Harvey, has his performance in spring training and early season accelerated his ETA? Is there a better pitching prospect trio than in Baltimore w/ Gausman, Bundy and Harvey (not to mention Rodriguez)?
Mark Anderson: I think Harvey always had a legitimate chance to move quickly through Low-A, just because his stuff can be so dominating at times. I don't think he's ever truly been viewed as a raw high school arm, so any expectations that he would take a considerable amount of time to move through the minor leagues may have been misguided. I still think you're looking at a 2016 ETA, but that's damn impressive for a 2012 prep arm that was on the young side entering the draft.
Aaron (Long Beach): Angel Villalona, what have you heard? Does he still have an MLB future? Ceiling/floor?
Mark Anderson: I wasn't terribly impressed when I saw him in the Eastern League last year, and I'm anxious to see him again in 2014. The power is obvious and he does surprisingly well around the bag at first base, but I just don't see the approach working to the point that he can hit consistently. He's an interesting case, and not one that is easily scouted because of the time missed. It's easy to get caught up on where he should be on the developmental curve because of his age, but you have to account for extenuating circumstances as well.
kfazio (WV): Does Hunter Harvey make THE LEAP this year into the elite arms in the minors?
Mark Anderson: Yes, I think he does.
If the Orioles can manage to successfully develop the starters they have on their way through the minors -- Gausman, Bundy, Harvey, Rodriguez, at a minimum -- their rotation could be obscene.
thresh50 (Boston): Thanks for the long chat! When do you expect Betts to debut in the majors? And if you wouldn't mind, could you please answer the same question for Odor.
Mark Anderson: Betts' future is tied directly to Pedroia. If he's around, and I don't see a near-term scenario where he isn't, then Betts is effectively blocked. His only real chance to debut in Boston is a major injury or September call-up. For a longer term role in the big leagues, I think he's going to have to be traded.
As for Odor, I think he could see some time this year, but it's more likely he gets considerable time in some fashion or another in 2015.
conjoinedtwins (Quebec): What's your best guess on the first date of Major Leaue ABs for Clint Frazier and Jorge Alfaro?
Mark Anderson: Frazier will require at least a couple of years in the minor leagues, possibly more. I think you're looking at 2016 at the earliest.
Alfaro very well could debut this year, but won't make it far into the 2015 season before he debuts.
Scott (Arizona): Where do you see the final landing spots, positionally, for the Cubs' prospects and current players?: Olt, Castro, Bryant, Baez, Alcantara?
Mark Anderson: There's a difference between where I personally want to see guys land, and where I think they land.
My Preference: Olt at 3B, Castro out of the org or at 2B, Baez at SS, Alcantara at 2B (if possible), Bryant in RF.
Likely Alignment: Olt at 3B, Castro at SS, Baez at 2B, Alcantara as utility, Bryant in RF.
Gary (Indiana): How big of an impact does Oscar Taveras make in 2014?
Mark Anderson: By the end of the season, I think he will be on of St. Louis' best players. He's too gifted not to put things together and impact that roster in the near term.
Silverback38 (VA): Mark, I appreciate your dedication in working overtime to answer all our questions.
Mark Anderson: Thanks for the kind words. It's the least I can do!
MetsFaithful5 (Syracuse): What do you think of Thors first three starts in Las Vegas?
Mark Anderson: Solid stuff; nothing to blow you away but quality performances and the reports on the stuff have been such that he's easily moving toward his Major League role later this year.
Joe (Work): Manny Banuelos looks great in the box scores so far. Is it just SSS and being old for the level, or can Yankee's fans start to get more optimistic on him regaining his prior form?
Mark Anderson: I wouldn't get too worked up quite yet. Given how much I liked him before all the injuries stuck, I really want to jump back on the bandwagon, but I'm being cautious. Reports out of the starts haven't been overwhelming so far...
Drifter (Long Branch): Hi Mark - What does Buxton's late start this year do to his development timeline? I'd read previously that if things fell into place this year he might have arrived this summer. Does he become a September call-up? Would he be in line to start Opening Day 2015?
Mark Anderson: I always had a hard time believing the Twins would actually call him up this year, but stranger things have happened. I still think he's up in 2015, even with the injury to start this season.
Free_AEC (South Jersey): Stephen Piscotty and Cameron Perkins. Other than the spelling of their names how do they differ? Statistically they appear to be the same guy.
Mark Anderson: Piscotty is a far superior player in my mind. Much better feel for the game, better overall feel for hitting, and a better defender. I'd take him 10 times out of 10 and not even think about it very long.
Fonger (Maputo): Higher ceiling - A. Reyes or H. Harvey.
Mark Anderson: Reyes' ceiling is considerable, but give me Harvey.
Jean (new york): Better Prospect on the ss position. Franchy cordero or Abiatal Avelino?
Mark Anderson: Interesting question on two guys that are a both light years from the Major Leagues. I haven't seen Avelino but I was very, very impressed with Cordero in spring training.I've heard good things on Avelino at this point, but I'm going with Franchy's sweet swing and potential impact bat.
Scott (Sacramento): Hi Mark. I was wondering if you could tell us anything about Austin Wilson and what people are saying about him this spring. What are the chances he's a top-100 (or better) guy by the end of the year? Thanks!
Mark Anderson: Wilson is a tough guy for me. I absolutely love the physicality and the potential of his raw tools, but I've never seen the feel for the game to project him for considerable MLB success. I'd love to be wrong because there's a lot to like physically and it could be fun to watch if it all comes together.
Ryan (Dallas): Thanks for the evening encore, Mark. What are your feelings about Kohl Stewart, and how does he match up with some other recent top-of-the-draft high schoolers like Bundy, Bradley, etc.
Mark Anderson: My pleasure!
Stewart is immensely talented and has the potential to develop into that caliber of starter. He's a sizable step behind them right now and I wouldn't have rated him on par with Bundy at the same stage of their development; possibly on par with Bradley at a similar stage though.
Dwayne (Miami): How much do you believe in Mason Williams? Can he make the show in 2014?
Mark Anderson: I've never been enamored with Williams. He's a really good athlete that can play a premium position, but I just don't see the offensive game supporting the other side of the profile.He's more of a fringe guy or fourth outfielder for me.
CharlieWerner (Manayunk PA): In a shallow minor league system would you rather own Jorge Alfaro or Joey Gallo?
Mark Anderson: Wow, that's tough. You can make a case for the impact player at a premium defensive position, or you can make an equal case for the massive raw of Gallo. If it's a shallow system, give me the guy that can defend at a premium position and has the potential to be really good offensively as well.
Silverback38 (VA): The cardinals always take it slowly with their prospects. Do you think they can fix Alex Reyes problem with walks? Ceiling?
Mark Anderson: Correcting any issues with walks is part of the developmental process for many young pitchers, as opposed to some massive flaw that the Cardinals must tax themselves to solve. There's so much raw talent there that I think he'll figure it out with the instruction he'll get over the next 3-5 years.
kfazio (WV): Dan Vogelbach's hitting ability receives rave reviews, but the aura around Vogelbach is very similar to that of Billy Butler during his tenure in the minor leagues. Is that a lazy comp based or a best-case scenario?
Mark Anderson: That would be a pretty good outcome for Vogelbach; maybe not best-case scenario because I do believe his offensive gifts are THAT dramatic, but I don't think many teams would argue with that result.
Frank (BK): I know it's only been 2 starts but has Archie Bradley made any noticeable command improvements? How many AAA starts do you think he needs before he is ready to go?
Mark Anderson: I can't speak to how many starts he will need before he is ready. I'm not in the dugout/clubhouse day in and day out to discuss those type of developmental specifics. I do think he could succeed in the big leagues in short order based solely on his raw stuff.
kfazio (WV): Wrong name in prior message so re-sending: Can Jose Campos re-emerge within the Yankees system? Is a healthy season similar to his breakout campaign worthy of Top 101 consideration?
Mark Anderson: I think he's a reliever long term, so calling him a potential Top 101 prospect would be a stretch for me. He could certainly re-emerge in the system, but not as a starter for me.
John (CT): Thanks for answering my questions. Above and beyond the call after work
Mark Anderson: John, it was my pleasure. I'm glad I could carve out additional time tonight to come back and answer plenty more questions.
Mark Anderson: It's time for me to close it down tonight everyone. Thanks for all the great questions today (and tonight). If you ever have other questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@ProspectMark). Take care!