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Chat: Mark Anderson

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday December 11, 2014 6:00 PM ET chat session with Mark Anderson.

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Prospect team stalwart Mark Anderson has time to spare and opinions to share. Ask him anything.

Mark Anderson: Tons of activity in MLB the last few days and that should give plenty of fodder for discussion tonight! Thanks for coming out and let's get this rolling....

Shaun (Orlando): There seems to be a 50/50 split when it comes to Tyler Kolek. What's your take on him?

Mark Anderson: I'm not sure I've seen a true split on Kolek. He's a potential high impact arm with tons of growth required, and I think that's a pretty universal opinion. I think the raw ingredients are there to make him a top of the rotation starter, and fans will just need to be patient as he develops.

AJ (Phoenix): Jon Gray seems to be the forgotten man in prospect land. Certainly a lot of helium got out of his balloon, but there's still plenty of skill there, right?

Mark Anderson: There's absolutely still plenty of skill there. Gray was asked to focus on some developmental needs in 2014, and as a result the performance didn't jump off the page at all times. That said, he still has the fastball-slider combo that can demolish hitters, and his changeup made very strong strides last season. I still like him as an All-Star caliber starter.

Sara (Tacoma): Joey Gallo... How much does the power play in the bigs given the limitations of the swing?

Mark Anderson: At this point I still haven't written Gallo off in terms of making additional adjustments and refining the contact ability further. Don't get me wrong, I don't think he's going to suddenly turn into someone that hits for a high average and minimizes the swing and miss, but I do think he can still make strides that will allow the power to play to an even greater extent. Even without additional development in the swing, I still think his power can play to 30+ bombs a year.

Steve (San Diego): If you had to choose one for the future, who would it be: Joey Gallo or Miguel Sano? And why?

Mark Anderson: This is a very tough question and one I've talked to many industry types about over the last couple of years. Given where Sano left off prior to his surgery, I'm inclined to lean toward Gallo. Sano is an incredible player but he doesn't have the approach that Gallo has displayed at some points in his young career, and I think that will ultimately be the difference between the two players. I do expect both to impact sluggers with modest batting averages, plenty of over the fence power, and I think Gallo could add some OBP in there as well.

MetsFaithful5 (Syracuse): Was Jacob deGrom real last year? What is he going forward? And what range for wins are the mets currently in (asked on 12/1/; answer as of the day this is answered)?

Mark Anderson: DeGrom was real in the fact that I believe he will be a strong MLB starter going forward, but I don't expect him to dominate. I think he'll settle into the #3 starter range, which is a truly impressive result given his pedigree.

Allen (Ridgewood): Who do you think becomes the better MLB player? Kyle Schwarber or Alex Jackson?

Mark Anderson: Two very different players with much different paths to the big leagues. I think it is pretty reasonable to assert that Jackson has the much higher overall ceiling, but is also at a far greater risk for flaming out. I like Schwarber as a solid everyday player, though I'm not sure at what position. I tend to prefer raw ceiling over proximity when I'm looking at prospects, and as a result, I'm inclined to give the edge to Jackson.

Bill (Tempe): How good is Yasmany Tomas? My best guess is player who'll need/benefit from a year in AAA, followed by low average/high power in the bigs? Is that fair? I feel like I've read wildly varying opinons

Mark Anderson: I think Tomas is going to be a solid player, but I wouldn't expect results like Abreu, Puig, etc. There's going to be a substantial amount of swing and miss in the game and I haven't heard convincing cases from MLB scouts that the approach is going to lend to enough quality contact for the power to play at a maximum level. It's more likely he ends up producing as a low-average, above-average to plus power guy with modest OBPs and limited defensive value.

Fighting Sagehen47 (Greenville, SC): Multiple choice question. Which of following is the best option for the Dodgers: A. Dump Andre Ethier and pay all of his salary; B. Dump Carl Crawford and pay two-thirds of his salary; C. Trade Matt Kemp, pay none of his salary and get a second-tier prospect in return; or D. Keep all three and hire a dispute resolution mediator to help Don Mattingly.

Mark Anderson: How about E, trade Kemp and some salary, and get your new starting catcher?

DJ (Dallas ): Mark, Thanks for the chat!! You guys are the best in the business!! How do you expect the Elvis Andrus, Jurickson Profar, Rougned Odor situation to be resolved for 2015??

Mark Anderson: Thanks for the kind words! It's really amazing how these things always tend to work themselves out, and I think this one will as well, as the Rangers will have opportunities to flip some players throughout the remainder of the off-season. If they have confidence that Profar is healthy and ready to play, then he has the highest ceiling of the trio and should play every day in some fashion or another. His partner in crime up the middle will depend on what the Ranges need to move to improve the rest of their roster, but if I'm in their shoes, I would be inclined to see what I could get back for Andrus and turn the reigns over to the kids.

Chuck (Miami): Thoughts on Yoan Moncada? Hearing he's getting Bryce Harper hype. When is he supposed to sign? This winter? Sometime after the season starts? Have you heard anything about him as a player? Thanks Mark in advance. These chats are awesome man.

Mark Anderson: Moncada is a tremendously talented player that is almost universally loved across the international scouting community. He should sign this winter and will need a pretty typical minor league developmental path. I'm not prepared to put him the same level as someone of Bryce Harper's ability and potential, but that could simply be a relative unfamiliarity on my part. I'm excited to see what he can do when he signs and will be looking for opportunities to see him in person next summer.

Andrew (KC): I've heard reports of Tyler Kolek only sitting between 91-94 on his FB in the GCL. I thought this kid was supposed to be hitting triple digits on the gun. Do you think this is a precursor to a major injury? Have you heard anything about the velocity drop? How concerned are you and what would you attribute this to?

Mark Anderson: I certainly have reports of him in that range during some GCL outings, but I wouldn't call that the norm. He noticeably dialed it back in some starts to throw more consistent quality strikes, but the peak velo was still in the tank. I have minimal reservations about his long-term velocity, and if I were to be concerned, I would spend more time worrying about his overall crudeness and extreme risk profile.

Paul (DC): Prior to the 2014 season I thought of Nick Markakis as a reasonable comp for Christian Yelich's career path. With a first full season now under Mr. Yelich's belt, is that still a reasonable comparison? Or is there another player whom Yelich reminds you of?

Mark Anderson: I think the early portions of Markakis' career are a reasonable expectation in terms of performance, but I'm a Yelich honk and I wouldn't be surprised if he surpassed that type of production. Yelich has a chance to be a star in this game...as early as this year.

Cleveland Clown (CLE): After hearing so much about his quick wrists & power, I see very little written about Clint Frazier? Do you feel he has the ability to refine his approach? What can we expect in 2015?

Mark Anderson: Frazier struggled at times during his full-season debut, but most that maintained realistic expectations for him entering the 2014 season could see that coming. He's a high risk player with a ton of potential. The swing is positively electric and while the approach is hyper-aggressive, I still think he's going to develop a bit of a plan and will make enough contact to be a force in the batter's box. His developmental path is going to be long and will have some bumps along the way, but with patience, he has a chance to be a monster.

allangustafson (Sun Diego ): For 2014, who do you buy for a more productive year, Kolten Wong or Mookie Betts?

Mark Anderson: I expect Wong to bounce back with a strong season in 2014, but Betts is the more talented player and I have faith in his approach at the plate. I think he's in for a very good campaign. Give me Mookie.

Tommy G. (milwaukee): Brandon Finnegan or Jeff Hoffmen long term?

Mark Anderson: Presuming health, I'm a big believer in Hoffman as a frontline starter. Finnegan is going to be a quality guy, but Hoffman should pass him by a fair margin.

j (Oregon): Which Yankee lower-level "lottery ticket" do you like better: Jorge Mateo or Luis Torrens?

Mark Anderson: Both have massive risk profiles as you allude to with the "lottery ticket" reference, but I'll take Mateo. He has a chance to contribute in all phases of the game in a considerable way, and I'm not sure Torrens can pull that off.

Steve (Toronto): Hey Mark, thanks for the chat! Now that JA Happ has been traded, who do you think has a better chance of success in the 5th starter role for the Jays this season, Aaron Sanchez or Daniel Norris? Who in the long term?

Mark Anderson: I like Sanchez as the superior prospect, but I think Norris has a better chance for success in the rotation in 2015. Sanchez's game still needs to make some strides, most notably with his control/command and overall consistency, something that will lead to a lot of short outings and overall scatter shot performance, while I think Norris can at least grind out 5-6 innings on a consistent basis, even if he's not completely ready for big league turns every five days.

Alex (Anaheim): Greg Bird impressed in the AFL, but I've heard some less than glowing things from prospect experts. What do you see in his future?

Mark Anderson: I think Bird is going to struggle to hit top line pitching on a consistent basis. I think there's enough there with his pitch recognition and strike zone knowledge, and some natural bat to ball ability, for him to be a second division type or platoon player, but I wouldn't peg him as an everyday slugging first baseman.

Chris (Baltimore): Last year with my last pick in a 475+ draft I picked up Urias. Always like high upside/far from majors choices with that pick? Who might be one to dream on with the last pick in 2015? Tapia?

Mark Anderson: I'm certainly not a fantasy guy and there are some on our prospect staff like Goldstein and Rubio that may be better off giving advice on prospects as they relate to fantasy baseball, but I would have to believe that if Tapia is around he would be a nice gamble.

Tiger (Roseville, MN): Is Willy Adames a top 100 guy in your mine?

Mark Anderson: I have had a fair amount of exposure to Adames during his brief Stateside career, and I'm having trouble seeing him as a Top 100 type of player. I can see flashes of impact tools on occasion, but more often than not everything looks like it is going to come together as a fringe to average Major League infielder, and that just doesn't excite me the way I believe a top 100 talent should.

Anthony (Bronx): Have heard a ton of hype around Raimel Tapia, and rightfully so. Pretty solid year this past season. Do you think this is the season we see the power start to emerge? If everything goes as planned, how many HR's do you think he'd be capable of hitting in an MLB season in his prime? He seems to remind me of Gregory Polanco from what I hear, but I haven't been able to see him play. Accurate player comparison or not? Sort of stat comparing here, so probably not the best thing to do, but they seem similar. Anyway, thanks Mark and have a good day dude.

Mark Anderson: I actually think 2015 might still be a year too early on the power front for Tapia. I believe we're going to see above-average pop from him at his peak, but the natural hitting ability is going to carry the load for a while here, and that power isn't likely to manifest for another 18-24 months, in my opinion. I don't see the Polanco comp, very different offensive players for me, with different natural gifts.

Paul (DC): Which 2015 Cuban import excites you the most?

Mark Anderson: Very much Moncada, mostly because he's such a unique caliber of very young prospect to come out of Cuba.

username49 (Ohio): How would you rank Margot, Dahl, and Almora. Cases can be made to rank any of them above the other and I expect opinions to differ when the top 101 comes out. I also just read a really informative and persuasive comment on another site arguing Margot's case to be a top 20 prospect in baseball despite having a Low A/A ball resume. Would someone having Margot in their top 20 be crazy to you, or could you respect the placement?

Mark Anderson: I'm going Dahl, Almora, Margot, if I'm ranking them right now, and I'm pretty firm on that order.

I can understand the case for Margot pushing that high, though I think that's a pretty aggressive interpretation of what he's going to become, and on what schedule. It's certainly not a case I would make at this point, but I do believe he is solidly in the Top 101.

Myrick (Charleston, SC): Any chance Giolito could throw a pitch in the majors this year? Who was the last comparable pitching prospect to grade 80, 80 60 potential pitches?

Mark Anderson: If the Nationals truly take the kid gloves off, there might not be much that can stop him from throwing in the big leagues next summer. He's a beast and if they want him to help the big league club, he certainly could. As far as the last guy of that caliber, probably his future rotation mate....Strasburg.

Rem (Rembuild 2015): I am a fan of SS Sergio Alcantara but what is his likely ceiling with the bat?

Mark Anderson: I think the bat is going to come up a little short in the end. He's going to make contact and there's a chance for some batting average here, but the bat speed doesn't overwhelm and I think MLB pitchers are ultimately going to work him over pretty good and turn him into more of a second division SS or utility player, unless a team wants to hang with a plus glove, minimal bat shortstop.

Hero (Spring Valley): Lance McCullers SP or RP and if RP why not stream line him to the majors?

Mark Anderson: I'm not buying McCullers as a starter at this point. I just don't see the progress with the command or the third pitch, and I think that ultimately shoves him to the bullpen; though he could be a high leverage arm there. There's a case for shifting him now and pushing him through the system, but I prefer the argument that you see if something randomly clicks that can maximize his value as a starter, if not, you can always make the shift later.

username49 (Ohio): I can't remember where, but pretty recently a credible source stated that Francisco Lindor is not rated as highly by scouts and officials employed by major league team as the national prospect writers and media seem to have him. What are your thoughts on this? Is there any validity to it?

Mark Anderson: I've certainly talked to some within the industry that view Lindor as a good prospect, but not on the same level as Correa or Russell, but I haven't really found anyone that dislikes him as a prospect. Still, the majority of talent evaluators and front office folks I speak with still firmly believe Lindor is potential All-Star caliber player that contributes in every possible way.

LoyalRoyal (Kansas): Does the Michael Saunders signing in Toronto stymie Dalton Pompey's chances of being the primary CF or do you see Saunders sliding into the LF opening? What kind of numbers do you expect from Pompey this year? Cheers!

Mark Anderson: As I understand the current situation, Pompey is going to be given every opportunity to win the job outright in spring training, regardless of Saunders. In reality, Pompey probably needs a little more polishing after rocketing through the minor leagues last year, but he could handle his own in the big leagues right now. If he were thrust into the lineup on Opening Day and left there all season, I would expect steady improvement and solid overall production driven by an improving batting average and steals over the course of the season, with power coming to bear in 2016.

LoyalRoyal (Kansas): While it's still early, what odds do you give Christian Walker of earning regular AB's through the 1B/DH spots now that Markakis and Cruz have left? Does this put Pierce in play for spending time at a corner OF spot? Happy Holidays!!

Mark Anderson: I know the reports have been improving and I should probably be jumping on board with Walker, but I haven't been able to get there yet. I haven't been overly impressed in my personal observations and several scouts I trust quite a bit remain skeptical of the ultimate production as well. Heading into the season, at least in terms of how the Orioles roster shapes up today, Walker should get some ABs, but I don't necessarily anticipate overwhelming results.

Cream (Madison, WI): There was a lot of positive buzz about Andrew Heaney going into 2014. Yet his debut with the Marlins was rather disappointing. Should we revise our expectations of this young southpaw? How much will Heaney contribute at the major league level in 2015?

Mark Anderson: Now with the Angels, I would anticipate Heaney getting plenty of run in 2015. He should get a turn every fifth day and has a chance to pile up 25-30 starts if he pitches reasonably well. I still like Heaney as a mid-rotation guy, but then again that's all (all, as if a #3 is something to scoff at) I ever really saw him as. I didn't really see anything last summer that shifted my expectations in any substantive direction.

Archie Bradley (Wild West): I know I just learned a new pitch in the AFL but does it really help with no control? I know I'm a prized prospect but no control = relief pitcher.

Mark Anderson: Patience people. Control can take time to develop, and Bradley has shown some flashes that he could still develop this trait. I adore Bradley and I'm still firmly on board with his prospects as a big time rotation asset.

Ryan (Hey Dennis): Was Barreto the main target in the Donaldson deal, and if so, can he be good enough to make this a win for Billy Beane?

Mark Anderson: It's hard to say a guy like Barreto, who is so far, far away from the big leagues, was the main target, particularly when the deal included someone like Brett Lawrie. I think the A's are banking on Lawrie being healthy (risky) and producing for a few years, and anything Barreto provides 3-5 years from now is just icing on the cake.

Pizzy (A is for Alpha ): Is Jesse Winker going to get to the show this year? Guessing it's tough to gage now without knowing their outfield on opening day but I love his approach and think he could be a Yelich type bat.

Mark Anderson: Winker may get a cup of coffee this year, but I would not be planning on meaningful at-bats. His profile is such that there are questions about how his bat will play against upper levels arms, and I've spoken to more than a few people that believe he could take some time to adjust this year at Double- and Triple-A. I don't see Yelich here at all, in fact I see more decent regular than above-average type.

tberg (Pennsylvania): Do you think Tyler Glasnow's command will "improve" when he gets to the show and throws to one of the games top framers? Obviously strong relationship between MiLB numbers and MLB numbers but seems like some pitchers make an inexplicable improvement (e.g. Harvey) in the jump.

Mark Anderson: I would look more for legitimate improvement in his skills than some significant benefit from pitch framing. Glasnow is never going to have ideal command for a starter of his caliber, and while throwing to a good framer may pick up a few pitches for him here or there, its not as though he's walking a fine line between good and bad command; there's a pretty big gap there right now, not one I'm comfortable projecting framing to compensate for.

Ryan (Choppers stink): Even though Difo was old for his league, is he someone to get excited about?

Mark Anderson: Difo turned in an impressive campaign in 2014, but I won't go so far as to say people should be getting excited about him. The entire game is still pretty raw and even with some additional growth at High-A or Double-A next season, I think he profiles as more of a utility player that may add some really nice speed off the bench.

Milo Satinsky (Chevy Chase, Md.): Thanks for chatting, Mark! Friend of mine who lives in Florida and sees loads of GCL & FSL games opined that Albert Almora and Magneuris Sierra were the two best defensive centerfielders he'd seen in several years -- though he also took pains to mention that for whatever reason Juan Lagares was playing primarily LF when he passed through the Sunshine State. Have you heard similar reports on Sierra and Almora?

Mark Anderson: I have heard similar things. Both Almora and Sierra are instinctual defenders that make covering center field look easy. Sierra is a little more explosive as a player, but what Almora lacks in explosiveness he makes up for in polish and all-around ability. Both players have a chance to be exciting Major Leaguers.

Closer to Closing (In the Bullpen): Who are your best bets to attain the title closer? I currently own shares of Dellin Betances, Neil Ramirez, and Bobby Parnell. Any probables in that group? Also, Any news on who offered Robertson?

Mark Anderson: I think you'll see Betances take the reigns at the back end of Yankees games for much of the 2015 season, and that should be a ton of fun to watch. Both Ramirez and Parnell are going to get opportunities, but I'm buying Betances more than those two.

Ryan (Denver): What happened to the NL West on your Top 10 prospect lists? The rest of the NL and then the AL East? The D-Backs and Rockies aren't even listed as upcoming anymore.

Mark Anderson: The NL West is coming very, very soon....as in NEXT! I promise! The Diamondbacks should be the next list you see and the Rockies will be right on their heels.

John (Columbus): Who has more fantasy value next year, d'Arnaud or Kole Calhoun?

Mark Anderson: If d'Arnaud can stay healthy then he's my guy, simply because it's harder to come by catchers with offensive contributions than players like Calhoun. There's risk there though, as d'Arnaud has never really stayed healthy in his career.

tomshipley75 (Chicago): Are teams pursuing Lester prior to Scherzer because they don't have to give up a draft pick to sign him (and they're viewed as comparable talents)? How much does the draft pick affect how teams are pursuing both pitchers?

Mark Anderson: I think there is an element of this that traced back to the draft pick attached to Scherzer, but I think that is a small element. More than that, it boils down to Scherzer's Boras affiliation and the typical extended duration Boras' top clients take to navigate the free agent market.

Chopper (Indy): Mark, do you see Daniel Robertson (oak) and/or Tim Anderson (chi white sox) becoming elite ss prospects in the near future? Thanks!

Mark Anderson: I don't like the word elite there, as it has some pretty serious connotations, but if we're talking about which one becomes a potential impact prospect, then I'm leaning toward Anderson. He's a premium athlete with tools to spare, and I'm admittedly a sucker for that.

Twins Fan in Exile (DC): Josmil Pinto got sent to AAA last year to work on his game behind the plate. Did you see or hear of any improvement in his catching ability?

Mark Anderson: I caught (no pun intended) a couple times after he was sent down. He's never been known for his glove, and he never will be, but I thought he showed a little progress in Triple-A. There was some refinement to the receiving and game calling, and the blocking remained solid. I still think he's a solid everyday guy.

Neil (Chicago): Can Seager stick at SS?

Mark Anderson: I just don't see it, even early in his career. Seager's a third baseman for me when he gets to the big leagues, and I think he'll be a find defender there. The first-step quickness just doesn't blow me away and without that, the range at shortstop projects to fringe or below-average.

Gravybill1 (The Heart of America): How will Wade Miley fare as a Red Sox?

Mark Anderson: I don't think he'll be all that different from what he was in Arizona; an inning eating #4 starter that doesn't blow you away but keeps the team in the game and occasionally turns in a gem.

Gravybill1 (The Rust Belt): Delino Deshields is off the Astros 40 man roster, is there hope for the former future star to be a successful big leaguer?

Mark Anderson: I don't see a substantial role for him in the big leagues; maybe some type of bench option, but that would be about it from my angle.

Isaac (Akron): Is there any hope left for Bubba Starling? Any chance of a breakout season?

Mark Anderson: Any hope? Maybe if you're a Nebraska fan. I kid, of course, but I don't really see it working on the diamond for him. The Royals would be foolish not to give him plenty of chances to put his incredible tools together, but I just don't see the feel for the game that could allow that to happen.

Kenny (Cleveland): In terms of fantasy potential, Manaul Margot > Bradley Zimmer?

Mark Anderson: With my modest fantasy knowledge/skills, I would say yes.

Isaac (Akron...Still): Does Orlando Arcia profile as a better hitter Then Alcides Escobar, or is that a pretty good comp?

Mark Anderson: I think Arcia has a chance to hit at a higher level than Escobar. I like the bat speed a little more and I believe that should result in a few more hard line drives that fall for hits and/or find the gaps. Turning out like Escobar would be a fantastic consolation prize for the Brewers....

bumphillips (.): What is your feel for the prospects the Reds picked up? Seems like there is a chance the Tiger prospects make it up. A little less excited about the Marlins trade, though.

Mark Anderson: I think DeSclafani is the best prospect the Reds received in today's deals.

Crawford has a chance to be a #4 if he finds improved control/command and develops his changeup further. He's a pretty raw college arm that still needs innings and ultimately could end up in the bullpen. Suarez is more of a utility player for me.

Dillon Overton (Oakland): I was the Ace at Oklahoma ahead of Jonathon Gray, I could sneak up on people and become a frontline starter....right?

Mark Anderson: I would argue that Gray pretty substantially passed Overton during their final year on campus, even before the injury issues for Overton. When healthy, I think Overton still has a chance to be an intriguing prospect, though I've long pegged him as more of a solid #3 than a frontline starter.

Jules (Vancover): Last year the preseason hype baby was Raimel Tapia. Has any of the shine wore off entering the '15 season? What do you see his ceiling being playing half is games at coors field?

Mark Anderson: The biggest problem with getting into the hype surrounding prospects that are blowing up, particularly those that are still in the low minors, is that they still need time to develop and manifest their tools on the diamond. Not every teenaged prospect burns through the lower levels with limited trouble, and I still believe Tapia is a big time prospect that should continue to progress in 2015 and the real explosion may come in 2016.

Harrison (Cali): Do the A's plan on trying to keep Franklin Barreto at SS. His numbers looked pretty good last year, is he someone that could be a top 50 prospect by this time next year?

Mark Anderson: There's always a dream that your top flight prospects are going to stay at shortstop, simply because other than catcher it is probably the most difficult position to find impact offensive talent on a regular basis. Barreto should continue to get a chance while he's in the low minors, but the actions just weren't that natural for me and I think by the time he hits the upper levels he will be moving to center field.

Tony (KC): From clips I have seen, Sean Manaea looks like a potential TOTR arm. Is he someone that most off the country is just late/missing or are there other concerns, or is his stuff just playing up to lower competition? Thanks

Mark Anderson: I think there's some delay in the love for Manaea because of his injuries in college, his sliding draft stock, and an up-and-down 2014 season. The raw stuff can be filthy when he's on and I'm betting that clicks in 2015 and he blows up quite a bit.

Mark (Canton): Thanks Mark for taking questions today. Is Amed Rosario a future top 50/more prospects. I've been following him for a couple seasons but am not sure what insiders feel about him. Do you see his bat playing at the major league level?

Mark Anderson: I'm love Rosario. I saw him for 5-6 games in 2014 and I'm a big believe in his long term projection. I think the defensive profile stays on the left side with a strong chance of remaining at shortstop, and the offensive profile could be highly impressive. There's a chance he could hit for a high average, drive the ball with authority, and possibly develop legitimate over the fence power. He's a very real candidate to vault himself into Top 50 (or more) consideration, but that may have to wait for another 12 months or so.

JJ (Detroit): Shot in the dark, Anthony Alford has quit football to focus solely on baseball, exciting? or non prospect?

Mark Anderson: Very exciting. The risk profile is off the charts because of his inexperience and overall crude game, but he's an impact athlete with potential to contribute in all phases. He's a very exciting prospect that I can't wait to see more than the one game I have to date.

Cal Guy (Cal): Mark, Please help me with my keeper conundrums: (1) Frazier vs Longo for next year only (2) Glasnow vs Giolito in dynasty league. Thanks!

Mark Anderson: Um, Giolito all day, every day. He's one of the few prospects in the game that can even approach a potential ace tag.

brentdaily (colorado): Which of the rule 5 guys selected today do you think can return some solid value? Also, any idea when these guys are traded for "cash considerations" how much that is? 6 or 7 figures?

Mark Anderson: I like the gamble the Orioles are taking with Jason Garcia. His fastball is electric in relief and the slider played a little sharper as well. His resume suggests he should be a long way from the big leagues, but he's the type of Rule 5 prospect that could find a role in middle relief and hang on for the year, and still own the potential to do bigger things in the out years.

In terms of cash considerations, they are typically below six figures.

dvanhait (Holland): Since the acquisition of Cespedes how do you see the Tigers' outfield shaping up? Who will start where?

Mark Anderson: Cespedes and JD Martinez will see most of the time on the corners, and I expect Rajai Davis and Anthony Gose to split time in center field. There's a lot of risk around Martinez, who could still be a bit of a flash in the pan, and both Gose and Davis need platoon partners, meaning there should be plenty of at-bats to go around for all three players.

Bob (Joliet, IL): So are you the new president?

Mark Anderson: No, I'm not deserving of an attempt at filling the mammoth shoes left vacant by Joe Hamrahi's departure.

brentdaily (colorado): Given the Marlins giant suck hole at 1B, why did they not protect Mark Canha? What did the A's get in him? He seems to have above average hit and power tool likely a cheaper/better option than the Marlins incumbents who all still project for negative WAR.

Mark Anderson: Canha's a platoon bat at best and I don't see him playing to average hit or power grades at the big league level. He's got a chance to fill a niche against left-handed pitching, but that's about it for me.

fred (here): Better offensive profile, Jorge Mateo or Amed Rosario?

Mark Anderson: As I said in a prior question, Rosario's my boy. I really like the profile, even though he needs to refine the approach.

Isaac (Akron): What is the ceiling if Francisco meija? Is alfaro (at the same stage) a fair comp?

Mark Anderson: Mejia could be a plus big league catcher. He's really that impressive, but I wouldn't put him on par with Alfaro quite yet (even at the same stage). Alfaro is such a unique prospect with his arm strength, overall defensive potential, speed, and raw power; it's just a really gaudy package. Mejia is good, but I'm not there with him yet.

Tompkins (s.Rosa): Does Beebe have TOTR potential? 2 years ago it looked like a lock, can he get back?

Mark Anderson: I won't go so far as to say that Beede is a potential top of the rotation prospect, but I certainly think he could evolve into a number three starter with a step forward in his command. I have a ton of exposure to Beede, dating back to his high school days, and there's just so much raw talent there that I have a hard time not seeing him sliding into the middle of a rotation.

Brad (Colorado): Julio Urias still seems to be climbing the prospect rankings but everyone always notes that he doesn't have much projection left. What's that mean and why not pop a precocious 18-year old in the rotation to avoid 'wasting' his bullets in the minors if he already is what he is?

Mark Anderson: Urias is a challenge for me. I agree that there's not a lot of projection left. Without that projection, and with just some polishing steps left, that suggests whatever role you project for him is a role he could essentially fill in the big leagues right this minute. I don't see a top of the rotation arm when I superimpose him on big league lineups, but I do see a really good #3 and possibly a #2; that's a helluva player. With someone like Urias, I typically end up the low man on the totem pole, just like I have been with Dylan Bundy in the past. This is one area of my own known bias that I continually evaluate and Urias -- if he dominates and shoves his way to the front of the rotation -- may be the guy that really convinces me to start coming off this stance.

kiper90 (Rochester, NY): Hey Mark, what would your order be of these prospects if you had them in your farm? Alexander Reyes, Nomar Mazara, Leonardo Molina, Jairo Labourt, Ryan McMahon?

Mark Anderson: Mazara, Reyes, McMahon, Molina, Labourt.

Bob (Seattle): Who would you rather have? David Dahl, Austin Meadows, or Mark Appel?

Mark Anderson: David Dahl is going to blow the hell up in 2015. I'm buying big time here and have been for a while.

Frank (Atlanta): Thoughts on Speier going to Detroit good pickup? Does he stay a starter or eventually to the pen?

Mark Anderson: Speier is a nice flyer in the package that shipped Porcello out of town. He's still pretty raw after just coming back from Tommy John surgery in 2014. The fastball can work in the low-90s from the left side and there are some scouts that like the breaking ball as an above-average pitch down the road. The changeup and stamina will determine his long term role. He's a bit of a project but could move to Low-A West Michigan as a 20-year old next season.

Gary (Seattle): Opinions seem mixed on Seattle's Victor Sanchez. Where do you stand on him ?

Mark Anderson: Nothing jumps off the page when I have seen him and the scouts I've spoken to seem to mirror that vision. He's more of a back-end starter at best.

Jeff (Bay Area): Do you think the Kemp trade was solely A.J Preller's decision, or do you think ownership/management pushed for it?

Mark Anderson: No team takes on salary like that without ownership/management involved in the final decision.

Evan (Chicago): In todays FA market, if Jeff Samardzja was included in this group what he ballpark sign for?

Mark Anderson: I think he Samardzja ends up going for a step down from Lester/Scherzer, probably more in the James Shields range; AAV possibly in the $18-20M area?

Peter (Florida): Just to settle a good natured bet between friends, Who do you think has a better chance for ROY next season, Kris Bryant or Jorge Soler? Bryant's obviously the better prospect, but Soler has more experience.

Mark Anderson: If Bryant spends enough time in the big leagues in 2015, I'd take him in that bet all day long. I think Soler's going to have some considerable growing pains next season.

Matt (WA): Kivelhan from Seattle ... how likely he gets a full time job with the Mariners or elsewhere?

Mark Anderson: I'm just not buying the profile here. Strength-based swing that lacks bat speed and I just don't see it working at higher levels. Third base is a pretty big question for me as well. I think he's more of a part-time or platoon player if things break properly for him.

Larry (bird): Dahl > Frazier?

Mark Anderson: At this point in time, absolutely, and I wouldn't have a hard time convincing myself it will stay that way over the long haul.

fishersehorn31 (The 540): How do you profile C Austin Hedges? If SD trades Grandal when do you see him in The Show? Does he have enough bat? Thanks!

Mark Anderson: Well, with Grandal officially dealt, Hedges becomes the heir apparent, though his time is not going to be the outset of the 2015 season. The defensive game could stand the MLB test right now, but the bat still needs to develop. With the dearth of dual threat catchers in MLB, Hedges will carry significant value whether he develops a substantial offensive profile or not. I think Hedges can post a decent average and some gap power once he fully evolves his offensive game, but it may take a while to get there. Good thing his defensive profile can carry the load in the meantime.

Mark Anderson: Okay folks, three hours in and I'm running out of steam. I'll have to pick another time for a marathon chat that can plow through all the questions still piled up in the queue...maybe January! Thanks so much to everyone for turning out with such great questions and enthusiasm. I'll see you all next month, and if you have questions in the interim, don't hesitate to catch me on Twitter (@ProspectMark)


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