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Chat: Chris Rodriguez

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday July 01, 2014 1:00 PM ET chat session with Chris Rodriguez.

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Talk prospects with Chris in his inaugural BP chat.

Chris Rodriguez: Hello everybody, and a very pleasant good morning to you wherever you may be. Lets get this chat poppin'. #ibelieve

Nordub (Seattle): Robert Stephenson is missing a lot of bats, but the walks are a bit concerning. Thoughts on him projecting well in MLB?

Chris Rodriguez: Stephenson is an electric arm that has a bit of rawness to him. While some like his approach to pitching, I believe he can benefit from dialing it down just a tad to find a bit more command. I saw him twice last year and it was clear that he was the pitcher with the highest upside in the Cal League I would see that season (also saw Kyle Crick and Eddie Butler). But, he's 21 in Double-A. I think he'll be fine for now as long as he continues to find consistency with the breaking ball and change. #3 starter with a #2 starters upside is what I had on him last year and I'm sticking with that.

Joe Random (San Jose): what are your thoughts on Gabriel Guerrero ?

Chris Rodriguez: ooohhh, Gabby. I really, really like him. If you've ever seen him, he's almost an exact clone to his uncle. Same size, same legs, same ass, same swing, same approach. He won't hit for the same power as Vlad, but I believe he'll be close to a .300 hitter at the major league level, regardless of the strikeouts. The hand-eye coordination is insane.

AJ (Phoenix): I'm in the playoff race in a 20-team dynasty (5x5's with OBP, XBH & QS, HLD): I gave Byron Buxton, Jon Gray, and Alcides Escobar. I received Justin Upton, Doug Fister, and Neil Walker. Essentially the type of trade you want to make as a Buxton owner, or did I sell short?

Chris Rodriguez: #ibelieve

Rick (New Mexico): How good is Ramiel Tapia? Big Jump into the Mideason Prospect rankings?

Chris Rodriguez: Tapia has a chance to be a stud. The #BPTop50 isn't out yet, but he's on there. There's still some risk involved and you have to remember he's 20 in A-ball. But man, I was able to lay eyes on him in the Spring... he can do it all on the ball field. The power potential is real. He hit a ball in BP that made myself and Jason Parks look at each other... Ryan Parker has a blurb on him in yesterday's Monday Morning Ten Pack which is some great stuff. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=24028

Sak (At a field): Sup boo?

Chris Rodriguez: Sup baby, just chattin' here. Pay attention to the field Sak, you never know when you're going to find another Derek Hill. #Daz

FantasyFrodo (Washington): Rank these pitchers: Jose Berrios, Daniel Norris, Marco Gonzales Rank these hitters for their bats: Hunter Dozier, Michael Taylor, Rio Ruiz, Jesse Winker Thanks!

Chris Rodriguez: Norris, Berrios, Gonzales. #BullDozier, Winker, Ruiz, Taylor.

Billy (Beantown): ROS in a 11-team mixed 6x6 with offensive OBP and Ks: Stanton/Perkins or Choo/Tanaka?

Chris Rodriguez: #ibelievethat

Dustin Nosler (Stockton, Calif.): What are your thoughts on Tony Kemp? He's been great and was impressive when I saw him against Julio Urias in May. First-division 2B potential?

Chris Rodriguez: Tony Kemp can hit. Plus hit tool going forward, with good speed and surprisingly good feel for 2nd base. First-division may be a stretch- he doesn't have power and he'll need to be a 6+ hitter or 7 with his small stature. He basically needs to be Altuve. How many Altuve's are there? I wrote him with second-divsion potential with a really good chance to become a utility guy that plays LF, CF, and 2B. Here's the report: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_bat.php?reportid=90

Drew (Ohio): What potential/upside do you see in Jesse Winker? Could he be ready to contribute next year ?

Chris Rodriguez: Nah, I can see him getting up the big league club late next season but I'd go 2016 to be safe. He's young and he can hit. Let him find some success first before pushing him.

Clint Dempsey (Calexico): Do the Dodgers have the most handsome Outfield in baseball? Of all time?

Chris Rodriguez: There is little doubt. Ethier is losing a little bit of his luster, but Kemp still has an elite face. That chest tattoo of his grandparents really must be awkward for women. Puig is just ripped without even having to workout. Which is unfair and wrong. Lionel Messi is really good.

Steve (Jersey): Biggest Sleeper dynasty prospect?

Chris Rodriguez: #ibelievethatwe!

Mello Mike (At the quad): Sup brother bear, is it 8:40 yet? Anywho, any chance Renato Nunez gets some PA's on the futures game over the AS break or should I take my a's colored glasses off?

Chris Rodriguez: Sup Mello. Oh, he'll get an AB or two. I haven't been able to lay eyes on him this year, but I'll have some #buddies in Minnesota for the game and they should get some reports on him. DVR the game, he'll play.

Shawn (Cubicle): #Ibelievethatwewillwin! #Ibelievethatwewillwin! #Ibelievethatwewillwin!

Chris Rodriguez: I'm so pumped for this game, you don't even know guys. #Ibelievethatwewillwin

John (MN): Keith Law recently tweeted on Jose Berrios: "6' max RHP who doesn't get fastball plane or life and gives up a ton of flyballs." Are those legitimate concerns?

Chris Rodriguez: These are certainly important observations to Berrios' profile, but the reports I've gotten on Berrios have all been positive. Fastball 94-95 T98; plus curve; developing slider and change. He's on our #BPTop50, up quite a few spots from the pre-season Top 101. I haven't seen the player, so all I'm going by is what we've reported this season, but it's a high-upside profile.

Travis (CA): Would Mark Appel still be in your personal top 50 prospects?

Chris Rodriguez: Yes; I was present for his best start of the season in Lake Elsinore and I wrote a relatively positive report on him. Unfortunately, his velocity dipped considerably the start after (like 10 mph) and he never really regained what I saw in that one start. He's back now and I'm anxious to get a look at him. The stuff is much better than the number indicate when he's on... but he's going to have to start putting up the number eventually. After all, Harold Reynolds said he could start in Houston after getting drafted last year.

Peter (NYC): If teams know about the issues in sending players to the Cal League why do they still do it? Why not get another affiliate in another league?

Chris Rodriguez: There are certainly benefits to the Cal League. Last year the talent wasn't that strong, but this year before the promotions it was very strong. Teams want players to play against the best. Sure, if you have a pitching prospect I might avoid a spot (like Stephenson in Bakersfield), but it's a good place for hitters. I wouldn't mind sending my boppers there. The only park that I personally disliked was Bakersfield because it's built like a missile silo, with concrete everywhere, the center field fence is like 375 feet away, and it's facing the sun... so they need to wait until 7:45 pacific to start the game.

Bobby (Boston): Thanks for the chat!! Any concern about the recent struggles of Xander Boegarts!

Chris Rodriguez: No problem!!! No!!

Carlos Flores (Hell): Everyone says Corey Seager will HAVE to move to 3B, but we are talking about an organization that has Hanley Ramirez at SS. Do you think it's that inevitable or have you seen any hope he could stick it out there?

Chris Rodriguez: I don't think he needs to move, at least not now. The Dodgers and Logan White have been adamant that he stick at shortstop. His glove is a 6 and he makes all the plays he can reach. The range is fringy but man, he could play shortstop for me any day. He's a better SS than Hanley is at this point.

Mark (Naples): What do you think of Jose Rondon? Future utility infielder or even a starter in the bigs?

Chris Rodriguez: I just wrote a full report on him, actually. Good player, good stick. Nothing grades out as plus. Check out my report. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_bat.php?reportid=120

irish (DSP): under what circumstances (if any) would you consider trading prospects like lee, pederson, urias and/or seager to strengthen the current team? funny, i hated when we didn't have the prospects to offer in prior years, but now that we have them we're reluctant to part with them.

Chris Rodriguez: It would have to be an elite, or close to elite talent for me to consider it. The Dodgers are already getting old, and they're going to need a young infusion of talent in the near future. If you want to go all-in this year, they have the prospects to get it done but I'd be against it unless it's someone amazing.

mbovie (Baltimore): What are your thoughts on Monte Harrison?

Chris Rodriguez: Haven't seen him since the Perfect Game All-American Classic last year, but the tools stood out tremendously. Crazy athlete. It's an extreme risk, but if he puts it together he could be special. IF.

Jaypers (My mom's basement ): Actually going to games isn't important right?

Chris Rodriguez: Going to games is very important, Jaypers. If you don't go to games, how can you truly know the raw power? How muscular the player is? If he taller than his listed height? Does he have certain tendencies that other people might miss, that you pick up on? Box-score scouting isn't scouting. It's reading.

Shawnykid23 (CT): Best Offensive 2B- Alcantara, Odor, or Betts (even though he isn't playing 2B)?

Chris Rodriguez: Odor, Alcantara, Betts.

Wesley (Utah): How can Adam Law have a potential plus hit tool while hitting under .300 in the CAL??

Chris Rodriguez: Law hits the ball on a line and is consistently depositing the ball into the gaps. Hitting. 300 in the Cal League (any league really) is not a co-requsite for having a potential plus hit tool. Don't box-score scout. I have no problem putting a plus potential on his hit tool going forward (55). Full report coming soon.

Mark (Dallas): Do you think Nick Williams will eventually improve his approach at the plate and become a star in the major leagues?

Chris Rodriguez: Haven't seen him, but this guy certainly does. #mortblood

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_bat.php?reportid=84

Kevin (Colorado): Corey Seager - a Stud?

Chris Rodriguez: True stud. 6 hit potential, 6 power potential, 6 glove, 6 arm.

The Dude (Office): Corey Seager or Addison Russell? They seem pretty similar?

Chris Rodriguez: Different players. Russell the more athletic type, Seager more calm, cool, and collected. Both project to be plus shortstops, Russell a better chance to stick. I joked with a friend that Russell might have Derek Jeter ceiling and then a front office executive said the same thing last season, so that was cool. I like Addi a bit more.

Billy (Beantown): Your thoughts on Choo ROS? Good buy low?

Chris Rodriguez: #Dempsey

Jeff (Houston): How do you prefer between Dahl and Tapia?

Chris Rodriguez: I prefer Dahl a little more, just because I like his bat to reach his potential. Both could be absolute studs. Also holy shit, #Messi

Scott (AZ): Any concerns with Raul Mondesi performance lately? Is he still a top 10 ss?

Chris Rodriguez: Yes, he's still a top 10 SS. Any concerns should be put on the back burner for now. He's still super young and I don't see any reason to sour on him quite yet.

Joe (New York): Another prospect guy who refuses to answer fantasy questions? I hope guys like you and Parks realize a huge percentage of the subs to this site are here for fantasy related reasons. At the least you guys could appreciate us.

Chris Rodriguez: I play fantasy baseball, but not well and certainly not well enough to know what the hell H2H means or whatever. We have a dedicated fantasy staff including Bret Sayre, #Craij Coldstein, and Mauricio Rubio. Ask them.

Also, #ibelievethatwewillwin!

Brian (MI): Professor Parks has lead me to believe that 4 Cubs will be in the BP top 50. In what order would you personally rank Bryant, Baez, Alcantara and Almora? Any other Cubs warrant consideration for the top 50 in your opinion?

Chris Rodriguez: Bryant, Baez, Almora, Alcantara. Baez's bat scares the shit out of me, but that's my opinion. The upside is still enough to keep him in the top premier crop of prospects, however.

scott (az): Hunter Dozier starting 3b for KC next year?

Chris Rodriguez: 2016.

scott (az): What can you tell me about Joe Ross, SP, SD?

Chris Rodriguez: Athletic; dream pitchers body; FB 91-93; SL 79-84; CH 81-84; all flash plus; high 3/4 so it has a tough plane; hides the ball well; would like to see more extension to the plate to make better use of his long body. If the stuff ticks up, he could be a #3 starter. Now, I have him pegged as a back-end guy.

Steve (Chicago): Is Jen-Ho Tseng always going to be an injury liablity, or do you think the shoulder has been a fluke? What's his ceiling in your mind?

Chris Rodriguez: Shoulder's are never good, and pitchers break. Don't think any pitcher injuries are flukes. #3 starter upside.

fahlstrome (San Diego): What is up with the Padres minor league development? Players who look to be studs continue to either get hurt or completely regress. Would signing Logan White as GM make a huge difference?

Chris Rodriguez: I think it's just bad luck at the moment. They still have some talent with Hedges on the way and Renfroe behind him. They've shown the ability to acquire talent and the next step is getting it to the major league level. I liked the way they ran their camp in the spring, so it's just a matter of time. For the Dodgers (homer) sake, I hope they don't snag him. He knows his stuff.

scott (az): Who has been the biggest disappointment this year so far?

Chris Rodriguez: Have to go with Mark Appel.

Joe Random (San Jose): how much of rio ruiz's production is Cal league influenced? do you think he can be an impact talent?

Chris Rodriguez: Rio can play. The batting average might be a little inflated, but the hit tool and power grade out as slightly above-average and average respectively. He may settle a little below "impact" but he's approach at the plate it very advanced for his age. I like his outlook.

Another Chris (cube farm): Hey Chris, thanks for the chat. No question, but wanted to say that a lot of people come here for the prospect coverage and couldn't care less about fantasy. So I think it's great that BP has prospect chats for us to enjoy, AND fantasy chats for the fantasy people to enjoy.

Chris Rodriguez: We're here to serve, fellow Chris. 80 name.

Myrick (Charleston, SC): Out of the 2014 draft class, is there anyone who if they hit their ceiling becomes the next offensive superstar?

Chris Rodriguez: Derek Hill.

Nils (CT): Has Brinson turned a corner this year? Ks still high, but not crazy like last year. Top 50 guy yet?

Chris Rodriguez: Not a top 50 guy, but he's an extreme risk kind of guy so it's very positive his K's are slightly down. Still has 7 upside. Needs to continue to improve the contact rates.

Steve (Philly): Which areas do you usually travel when scouting? Do you have certain leagues that you're frequenting most often? Just gauging so I know which prospects you've more likely seen first-hand.

Chris Rodriguez: I live in Los Angeles, so I hit the Cal League often. Rancho Cucamonga, Lancaster, Inland Empire.

Ed (San Diego): Really? Hill not Gettys?

Chris Rodriguez: Gettys has crazy tools and I liked him when I saw him in the amateur circuit, but Hill could be a ridiculous talent. Have heard some really positive things coming out of the draft.

scott (az): Who are some players that people are sleeping on?

Chris Rodriguez: Jairo Diaz could be in the Angels bullpen by August. Here's his sequence in a recent game: 99, 98, 99, 98, 99, 98, 99, 99, 89 (slider), 99, 88 (change). Nasty shit.

Bob (Cincy, OH): Overall thoughts/potential on the Reds Double A rotation of Stephenson, Lorenzen, Lively, Moscot ??

Chris Rodriguez: Stephenson has the chance to be damn good. Lively was impressive despite not having his best stuff in the start I saw. Our own Ethan Purser has a report on Lorenzen sent to editing (spoiler alert, 55 OFP).

Steve (Anaheim): So as someone who frequented those games, just how many doubles does Alex Yarbrough have to hit in order to get some love as a prospect?

Chris Rodriguez: I really liked Yarbrough last year. He just doesn't game-changing tools that stand out. Solid player, good chance to become a 2nd division starter/utility guy.

Joba_the_Beast (Ya boi): Hey sexy. Give me one player in the Yankees minors I can irrationally pin my hopes of us developing an impact player on (irrationally!). Severino? Judge? Avelino? Mateo?

Chris Rodriguez: Hey ;) Judge has crazy raw power. Hit tool is not average and he'll probably move from outfield. Hits bombs though! So that's a good player to irrationally love!

Steve (Seattle): Thoughts on Patrick Kivlehan? I know he's older for a raw prospect, having turned to baseball after he exhausted his college football eligibility. But it looks like he's did a pretty good job holding his own in the California League and he's continued it through into AA. What's your read on him as a prospect?

Chris Rodriguez: Dude is a masher and swings with a purpose. Witnessed him hit a line-drive home run off the batters eye to dead center field. The body isn't the best and he'll be limited to 1st base going forward. He just needs to keep hitting. AAAA player?

Steve (San Francisco): Kendry Flores is doing a nice job striking batters out in Hi-A. You had a little uncertainty in your scouting report on him from the back-fields. Is it still mostly deception or is there more to his game?

Chris Rodriguez: It's more deception and command. That start was the only one I saw from him on the season, but in the Cal League you can rack up strikeouts by putting pitches where you want.

Nils (CT): Can Arrieta really keep this up?

Chris Rodriguez: I believe he can. The fastball command is sharp and that slider is a huge weapon. He's dropping it for strikes and for chase. Change is good also. Really enjoyed watching his start against the Sox.

answer my question (dsp): Shout out dsp

Chris Rodriguez: bestlakersfan is my homeboy.

Mike (NJ): Will we win today against Belgium?

Chris Rodriguez: Um.....

#ibelievethatwewillwin

Steve (nowhere): Which pitcher will have the highest impact in the Majors: Josh Hader, Aaron Blair, or Ben Lively?

Chris Rodriguez: Tough one. Hader is a reliever for me but could be nasty. Lively back-end guy. Blair back-end guy with a chance for more. I'll go Blair.

Jeb (Iowa): How good can Tyler Glasnow be? He has been unreal the last couple of weeks.

Chris Rodriguez: #2 starter.

Mike (NJ): Go US! Chris, why do people say Nick Williams' has a great hit tool, but then he has a close to 27% K%. Is there not a direct correlation between hit tool and K%? I feel I'm missing something here. Not trying to hate on Williams or anything, but I just don't understand it.

Chris Rodriguez: Good question. There is a correlation, but there are also exceptions to the rule. Matt Kemp is a career .292 hitter with a 23% K rate. Williams, by all accounts, has a innate ability to put the ball in play and hit it hard, it's just an approach issue. He's still young but several BP guys have and they loved it.

Tyler (Alaska): Is Trevor Story's bounce back season for real? Is he truly back? What do you see as his upside and when can he reach the MLB? K% seems a big high still, but what are your thoughts on him?

Chris Rodriguez: I spoke with a scout who mentioned his weird batting stance. He's square to the pitcher, but tilts his head and leans over about 25 degrees. He hasn't changed it, and whether that's the Rockies not doing anything about it or him just being stubborn remains to be seen. He's a SS with power potential, so I can't write him off. But I'd hesitate to expect anything more than a backup role.

Shawnykid23 (CT): I assume you have seen Julio Urias a good amount? What are your thoughts on him?

Chris Rodriguez: He's my spirit animal. Here's my report.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_pit.php?reportid=152

Balki (Bartokomous): Hey Chris, I'm in an 10 year H2H Roto Deep Keeper League and wondered if I could trade my Darwin Barney for your old Halloween candy.

Chris Rodriguez: Will get bak to you on that I have a lot of ballz in the air but I'm interest.

Chris Rodriguez: Alright guys, it's time to turn up for America. Hope you enjoyed the chat and your #want was great. Still 60+ questions in the queue. You can always ask me questions on twitter: @chrisrod13 #ibelieve


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