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Chat: Brendan Gawlowski

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday February 18, 2015 7:00 PM ET chat session with Brendan Gawlowski.

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Brendan has a history degree, the barest skeleton of a college career, and a ton of knowledge about prospects in the Northwest. This is his first chat.

Brendan Gawlowski: Hello there, I'm excited for my first BP chat. Let's talk some prospects, let talk some baseball, Arsenal, soccer, books, whatever.

Daniel (Tempe): Hi Brendan, Can you tell us about yourself? Favorite team, favorite baseball memory, philosophy about baseball, expertise, hopes dreams?

Brendan Gawlowski: Grew up in Seattle, so I'm a big Mariners fan. Can't top the two games I played at Safeco as a high schooler.

Chris (Baltimore): Aristides Aquino? Any reason to be inordinately high on him?

Brendan Gawlowski: Inordinately? Probably not, although I think he's a big leaguer and I kind of like him despite the strikeout concerns.

Ronson (On the Scratches): Biggest RED FLAGS mechanically for hitters and pitchers?

Brendan Gawlowski: The biggest red flag for me would be something that portends a future injury. So, a pitcher throwing across his body or something like that. For hitters, you can get away with some pretty goofy mechanics if you just have a good feel for the barrel.

Michael (Brooklyn): Rangers ranked 4th in the org rankings. The rest of the non-Astros AL West: 23rd, 27th, 28th. Is there a little boomlet coming where the Rangers win the division four years in a row, or is the gap between no. 4 and no. 28 not all that big?

Brendan Gawlowski: Big difference between having the best farm system in the division and then locking down the division. They're clearly in good shape though.

Jason (Malibu): "Molly Knight ‏@molly_knight 5m5 minutes ago I wonder if this Jansen news is the first domino to fall that propels Julio Urias to the bullpen this summer." What do you think?

Brendan Gawlowski: I'd like to see Urias throw more innings next season. Not that he couldn't handle big league hitters out of the bullpen, but I imagine the Dodgers would prefer to stretch him out this year.

shahekee (Urbana, IL): This is Carson Kelly's 2nd season st catcher. Assuming the Cardinals promote him to Palm Beach, what can Cardinals fans expect from him at the plate? Is he a guy we can see on top 100 prospect lists next season?

Brendan Gawlowski: I think Kelly is a slow mover, particularly with the transition from third base. I don't think he's a top 100 guy in 2016.

Chipshot212 (MA): Ignoring the Seager factor, is there any chance DJ Peterson could show enough skills to stick at 3B?

Brendan Gawlowski: He'd be well below average there. Mariners have every reason to move him to first permanently as soon as he's ready for Seattle.

Ben (New York, New York): Welcome Brendan! Looking forward to your contributions. Are there any biases you find yourself fighting when it comes to player evaluation?

Brendan Gawlowski: Trying not to over-value what I've seen in person. These players have a huge body of work and I might only see them once or twice. I don't want to ding a guy too hard for bad command or a 40 breaking ball on one viewing, just on the off chance that he's having a bad night.

Chopper (Indy): Happy first chat, Brendan! In a dynasty league that only awards points for hits, runs, RBI and SB, in what order would you rank Moncada, Mazara and Olivera?

Brendan Gawlowski: Moncada, Olivera, Mazara? I'm not great with fantasy* particularly if it isn't a standard 5x5.

* My first public writing was actually a weekly fantasy article when I was like 14. My first move was to recommend selling Rich Hill about two days before he started his nice little run with the Cubs.

Chief Seattle (Tacompton): How do you see the 5th spot and the back end of the roration depth this year? I'd like to see Taijuan earn the spot, but what ripple effect will that have on guys like Elias and erasmo who is out of options ? Any dark horse arms ?

Brendan Gawlowski: Having Walker/Elias fighting for the five spot is a good problem to have. Injuries happen and they'll both start a bunch of games this season, regardless of who makes the rotation out of the spring.

The dark horse is Danny Hultzen

Chris (Seattle): Would you rather watch a high school game, college, minor-league, major-league, All-Star or old-timers game?

Brendan Gawlowski: If I'm with friends, probably a big league game. Hard to beat a prospect heavy minor league all-star game.

Alex (NYC): Bold Prediction: Steven Matz will be a better pitcher than Syndergaard. Smart or stupid?

Brendan Gawlowski: Unlikely. Thor is awesome.

kate (texas): what are your feelings on pie

Brendan Gawlowski: It's a great sandwich.

padremurph (Los Angeles): Do you think Franchy Cordero has a bounce back year? His fielding has to improve, right?

Brendan Gawlowski: Nothing quite broke right for Franchy out of the gate last year but there's a really good bat in there, and I'll be surprised if he doesn't take it to the Midwest League in round two. He can't make any more errors than he did last year, but this is very much a bat first profile.

kiper90 (Rochester, NY): Hey Brendan, who do you have as some of your favorite Low Minor, high ceiling prospects to keep an eye on for 2015, and are looking to buy stocks in before their stock gains recognition this season, ex. Tapia last pre-season or Devers by its conclusion?

Brendan Gawlowski: Hard not to be excited by Monte Harrison, even if he doesn't ever hit for power. On the bump, I'm rooting for Keury Mella to show what he can do over a full season.

Sierra (Wenatchee, WA): Heard lots lately about A-rod and drug testing. How does the MLB determine who, how often, and what to test for?

Brendan Gawlowski: They test A-Rod every day for every thing.

Bill Clinton (Las Vegas): Congrats Brendan on your first BP chat. May it be the beginning of many more. Thanks for doing this chat man. Got a question for you. Who'd you take for the next 12 years between Jon Gray and Mark Appel? Who do you like better and why?

Brendan Gawlowski: Thank you Mr. President. Over twelve years, I'll take the guy who doesn't have to throw a ton of games in Colorado.

Chief Seattle (Tacompton): Forgot to add to that last question specifically just how far Hultzens stock has dropped and what his realistic expectations are, other than just trying not to get hurt, if any.

Brendan Gawlowski: Understandably, Hultzen's value has tanked with all of his shoulder problems. He won't have any trade value until he's pitching in games again, and it's hard to come up with any expectations until we're sure he can handle throwing regularly.

TINO (The Moon): how good are you at NBA2k?

Brendan Gawlowski: Worse than you.

Marco (From Tropoja): Saw Alex Jackson ranked #20 on Fangraphs top 200 list the other day. How good can he be? I have to imagine Safeco will affect his offensive potential. Where would you have him ranked?

Brendan Gawlowski: If it clicks, he's a middle of the order power hitter with a great arm in right field. Jackson has a great chance to climb the 101 next season; there aren't many high school hitters with a complex resume who crack the list in the first place.

Chuck (New Zealand): Have to ask. What's your opinion on Yoan Moncada? Top 15 prospect in baseball? Where do you think he'll land?

Brendan Gawlowski: Top 10. I'll guess Yankees, although I'll admit I don't have my finger on the pulse of this one. Speculating where the Cubans end up just isn't my thing.

Jameis Winston (At Shoprite stealing crab legs): Does Joc Pederson have 25/25 upside in the MLB? How much did the environment help him in AAA? Can he hit .270 at some point in his career? What type of line could he put up?

Brendan Gawlowski: I don't think 25 homers or a .270 average is unrealistic in his best seasons, although he's probably a little shy of both of those in a typical year. Good OBP though.

trex (seattle): You hate rbis and love soccer, why do you hate winning games? Do you prefer that every game ends in a tie so nobody feels bad?

Brendan Gawlowski: This is a question in the queue right now.

Brandon (Phoenix): Do you think Franchy Cordero improved anything in Eugene that will help him in his 2nd stint in the MWL? Is all the time he is spending at shortstop really worth it?

Brendan Gawlowski: I think the reps he's getting at shortstop are good for his development. He needs as many ground balls in a game situation as he can possibly get, and there's no better place to do that. Plenty of time to shift him elsewhere as he gets closer to the majors.

Carl (Seattle): Is the fact that Hultzen, Paxton and Walker have all had injury problems breaking into the Big Leagues any reason for systematic concern or is the sample size too small?

Brendan Gawlowski: If this had happened on the heels of the arm shredding factory that was the Bavasi era, maybe. I'm more interested in their cases in isolation: why are they messing with Walker's stride?

baseballjunkie (SF Bay Area): Hi Brendan, Welcome! Did any of the Giants' prospects at Salem-Keizer impress you?

Brendan Gawlowski: Mella and Beede, although the latter was only there for two starts. I'm also more bullish on Christian Arroyo than a lot of people.

Chris (Baltimore): Ramiel Tapia? I expected him to be higher on Pre Season lists....can he be a Top 25 in 2016?

Brendan Gawlowski: 45 is pretty lofty for a 20 year OF. I'll tentatively say yes, although I'm waiting to see how he'll do in a less friendly environment after spending the last three years in Arizona, Grand Junction, and Asheville.

Michael Westen (Miami): Will David Dahl explode this year? What are the chances he ends the year as a top 10 prospect?

Brendan Gawlowski: I'll buy Dahl as a top ten guy next year.

As an aside, there's nothing more annoying in Northwest League culture than Colorado always sending their top short season guys to Grand Junction instead of Pasco. Missed out on seeing Dahl, Tapia, Gray, McMahon, Dahl, Wall, etc.

Alex (Anaheim): What's the soonest Jeffrey Baez will see the major leagues?

Brendan Gawlowski: 2018. Slow climber with a lot of talent ahead of him.

Nick (LA): Does Joey Gallo develop enough in his hit tool to ever hit .240 in the MLB? Will be break the K record in one season during his career or does that future title belong to Javier Baez?

Brendan Gawlowski: If he does, he's a star, and I'm encouraged by his rapid progress since he was drafted. There will always be a lot of swing and miss, but the progress he's made with fastballs suggests that a .240 average is realistic, especially in that yard.

Carl (Seattle): Who would the MLB Manager comps be for Mourinho, Van Gaal, Wegner?

Brendan Gawlowski: Mourinho is Billy Martin. The first name that comes to mind for Wenger is Tony La Russa, but that makes me like him a little bit less. I think I'll stop here.

brenly (arizona): Welcome Brendan. Thoughts on Braden Shipley after (potentially) catching him with Hillsboro? Seems to be a big helium guy this year. What's changed since 2013?

Brendan Gawlowski: Shipley was drafted on the strength of his fastball/change up combination. There were a lot of questions about his curve because he didn't throw it much at Nevada, but it wound up being a better and more advanced pitch than most people were expecting. He's risen up prospect rankings accordingly.

Walt Coug (Everett Memorial): Who is your favorite sleeper Mariners prospect? Also, Bainbridge HS can add a famous alum to its list!

Brendan Gawlowski: I think I might Austin Wilson's biggest fan among the BP crew. He's a slow mover, but I love his work ethic.

He's not really a huge sleeper though so I'll take Dan Altavilla. Small school guy who significantly improved his curveball once he got to pro ball. Wouldn't be surprised to see him crack next season's top 10.

dhorrell1956 (Winston Salem, NC): Hey Brendan. I'm honored to be part of your first chat. Look forward to many more. What are your thoughts on guys coming off their second TJ surgery? Kris Medlen in particular.

Brendan Gawlowski: I like to see teams get creative with their brittle but effective arms. If you're concerned about durability, why not maximize the ~100 innings you expect out of a guy like Medlen by using him when he's fresh in high leverage outings?

reasonable person (seattle): pick the division winners and wild card teams heading into spring training

Brendan Gawlowski: Angels, Indians, Blue Jays for the AL divisions. Seattle and Detroit will battle in Felix's only career playoff appearance.

Dodgers, Cardinals, Nats and Pirates/Cubs for the NL

Not Bret (Somewhere in Oregon): Thoughts on Clint Frazier? What do you see him doing this year? Does he ever live up to the hype?

Brendan Gawlowski: Big year for determining his ultimate ceiling. He's going to have to improve his approach to be any kind of impact player, and maybe it's just because I'm a sucker for a second half improver, but I think he bounces back a bit next year.

Rick Rude (St. Peter MN): So it appears as if HilRod is a lock for the democratic nominee, even though I'd be psyched to see Elizabeth warren go for it. My question is, however, who would you handicap as he favorite for the republican ticket? Before bridgegate I would have gone with Christie, but now it looks like Jeb has the deepest pockets. How would you rank the Rand Paul's and Marco Rubios in likelihood of landing the spot?

Brendan Gawlowski: As much as I'd like to be the next Nate Silver...

Ryan (CA): Thanks for the chat, Brendan! And welcome! As a Dodgers fan, I'm very intrigued by Julian Leon. Sure, he's a long ways away, but the bat looks very good. What's your take on him?

Brendan Gawlowski: I'm concerned that he could grow out of the position. It's a nice bat but he needs to be a catcher to have big value for the Dodgers.

Dragonbreath (Gurnee, IL.): How do you see josh Bells' transition to 1st, do you see in the bigs at some point in 2015? Have to think the bat plays... Thanks in advance, for doing the chat! Have fun with it! David Dahl potential rookie of the year 2016?

Brendan Gawlowski: Pittsburgh will probably be in too much of a playoff fight to give Bell extended at bats. I think he gets to the bigs in 2015 but he probably won't be a significant part of the roster until 2016. As for the transition, I wouldn't worry much about a player getting used to first. No, not everyone can do it, but if Jesus Montero can develop into a playable option at first, Bell shouldn't have a problem.

Brendan Gawlowski: Thank you for all of the questions. I hope we can do this again some time.


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