CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  

Chat: CJ Wittmann

Chat Home

Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday May 27, 2015 2:00 PM ET chat session with CJ Wittmann.

Printer-
friendly

CJ Wittmann: How are you all doing? I'm ready to go here today. Plenty of good content coming!

Steve (Philly): I haven't listened to the podcast yet. Who is your vote for the next Reynaldo Lopez? Also, has the hype around Reynaldo Lopez gotten even louder?

CJ Wittmann: Make sure you give that a listen. I really enjoy doing that and could not be more grateful. We are going to go deeper into pitching prospects so that's when I'll answer this but a guy I said could get some real steam was Luis Ortiz. And I think it will get louder once you see the consistency at higher levels. He is special.

agetting (Queens): Who do you like more long-term? Tijaun Walker or Noah Syndergaard and why?

CJ Wittmann: Noah because of the bigger FB and he has progressed at every level. Once he gets adjusted, I like his long-term value more. That may take time but he'll get there. But I do like Walker's stuff a great deal.

I'm working through internet issues here. Bear with me for a little bit. Thanks!

agetting (Queens): Obviously Syndergaard has reached the majors before Matz. What is the likelihood Matz is better than Syndergaard?

CJ Wittmann: I don't have Matz rated high than Noah but I know some do. Is that because they really love Matz or they are low on Noah? I'm not sure but I am not one of them.

Peter (Delaware): Having seen Swihart in the majors, do you think he becomes a top-5 catcher in the next two years?

CJ Wittmann: I don't think Catcher is at a premium right now but I don't think he will be a top 5 catcher in terms of defensive value or offensive value. I just think it takes catchers a long time to get adjusted and it could take longer than that two year window. For me, he'll never get there but some that are that high on him, I think, would agree it will take longer than two years for him to be a top-5 catcher.

Tommy (Atlanta): Hi CJ, Out of Jose Deleon, Reynaldo Lopez and Alex Reyes who would you prefer ?

CJ Wittmann: Alex Reyes. Lopez may have the biggest fastball but I would take Reyes' FB/CB future combo. OFP for Reyes would be the highest.

Paul (Youngstown, OH): CJ, Who do you like better long-term between Difo & O. Arcia ?

CJ Wittmann: Difo. Better hit/power combo and both project to stay. I had him in the top 10 SS prospects and had Arcia just outside.

Doug (Dallas): Tell me more about some Wilmington guys: Cody Reed, Jake Junis, and Skoglund. Meanwhile, Dom Taylor doesn't seem to have tools, but he's had results. 4th OF profile?

CJ Wittmann: I've seen Reed and want to see him again. Power LHP with some backend potential but think he will end up in the bullpen due to delivery, command and secondary potential. Junis is an org. arm, who mixes it up and around a bit. Skoglund is a huge lefty with below avg. stuff and I think I would be more excited about him if he was 19 year old HS arm in his 2nd year in pro. ball. Skinny hips and shoulders and I just don't think he'll really add strength.

Mike (Stillwater): If you're going to call up WILMER DIFO, play the man! Amirite or amirite?

CJ Wittmann: I would think so. I hope he sees consistent time somewhere -- even if that is back to AA or AAA.

Chris (Washington, DC): Brett Phillips is off to a great start this year. Is he a top 50 caliber prospect? What type of upside/ceiling does he have?

CJ Wittmann: I think so and a role 6 guy is the type of guy, I think, Phillips will be.

Matt (KY): Talk to me about this Jomar Reyes kid! Sounds like the bat could be special...

CJ Wittmann: I think he'll hit and hit for power. Chance to be 5/6 at the plate. I spoke highly about him on the NatsGM podcast.

Bill Clinton (Las Vegas): What do you make of Jon Gray's troubling start? Is he just not the pitcher we all thought he would be at draft time? And it's not like it'll get any easier at the big league level considering he'll face better hitters and it'll be at Coors. Thanks for the chat CJ. Awesome stuff here at BP.

CJ Wittmann: I always thought the development of the CH was key for him. I know people who really liked it in college and I think it translated to pro. ball from what I've heard on him. There can be longer adjustment periods for guys and that's what could be going on. I wouldn't say he isn't the same guy just yet.

Matt (Kentucky): Nick Williams, worthy of the last spot on my dynasty roster?

CJ Wittmann: More than that. He's going to hit and hit a lot.

SG (Phila): What do you know about Stephen Gonsalves? Stuff to match the numbers?

CJ Wittmann: He is just outside their top 10 for me. I think he could be a little something but not what the numbers indicate. Kind of like a Ben Lively situation last year.

sykklone (IA): Is Trevor Story back on the top 100 radar for next year??

CJ Wittmann: It's possible if someone believes in the bat now and sees an everyday guy.

neph27 (The cmbl): I know you guys love you some Raimel Tapia. How concerning is approach (6BB in 183PA at high A) in determining the risk profile? I've heard he feasts on fastballs and not much else, is there any truth to this?

CJ Wittmann: I know Ryan Parker loves him. I think his overall approach needs refinement, sure. But that's not something out of the ordinary for a young kid reaching the upper minors.

Peter (Delaware): Tim Anderson - what do you think he has to show in the minors this year to get an everyday MLB job in 2016? Is it just the defense or are the lack of walks a serious concern?

CJ Wittmann: I think his speed really plays and he has shown easy power potential. I am not too concerned about his defense because I don't think he'll be a SS anyway and the hands are smooth. He could stay up the middle but I think his arm is a little light for the 5.5 hole. He's still a different kind of raw because he just started playing baseball later in HS. I think he'll refine the approach and ease into barreling spin more. They are aggressive and I think you could see in '16 if not sooner.

neph27 (The CMBL): what's the word on rockies OF David Dahl? Aggressive approach being exposed by more experienced comp at AA is what I would guess from the numbers. What do the scouts say? Aggressive assignment catching up with him?

CJ Wittmann: I know he is a talented kid and he'll iron this out. I think it was aggressive but not something he couldn't really handle. They still project the hit and power combo for him. It's a bump in the road in development; how he responds is just as important. I'm high on him.

Jeff (NY): Does the way a player respond to a promotion dictate from a front office perspective the way they handle another prospect? For instance, Roughned Odor was aggressively promoted to the MLB last year, but struggled largely there this year. Do Odor's struggles this year mean the Rangers might be less aggressive with their other prospects such as Mazara or Gallo? Or is it strictly a player to player evaluation?

CJ Wittmann: I think they consider all factors so yeah this would be one of them. When they feel Maz and Gallo are ready, they will be there. But I do think they look into why Odor was struggling and how come he couldn't get adjusted very quickly? And try to see how they can guide Maz, Gallo and even Alfaro along in their development.

Jeff (NY): Does the way a player respond to a promotion dictate from a front office perspective the way they handle another prospect? For instance, Roughned Odor was aggressively promoted to the MLB last year, but struggled largely there this year. Do Odor's struggles this year mean the Rangers might be less aggressive with their other prospects such as Mazara or Gallo? Or is it strictly a player to player evaluation?

CJ Wittmann: I think they consider all factors so yeah this would be one of them. When they feel Maz and Gallo are ready, they will be there. But I do think they look into why Odor was struggling and how come he couldn't get adjusted very quickly? And try to see how they can guide Maz, Gallo and even Alfaro along in their development.

Albert (Dallas): If Nick Williams keeps this up, he's got to be a top 50 prospect by mid-season, no? I mean, he could be a 20-20 guy with a .290 AVG now with his improved approach.

CJ Wittmann: He already is a top 50 guy but yes, I think we will see it more often this mid-season and off-season. and I agree with that assumption.

Lou (Dallas): How good is Luis Ortiz? Better low minors arm?

CJ Wittmann: One of the best ones down there.

Steve (Philly): Let's say you have a freshly baked, warm biscuit. You slice it down the middle and put a bit of butter in there. Which of your BP colleagues would consider that to be a sandwich? Also, what's your favorite sandwich?

CJ Wittmann: Tucker would be. No doubt. This is a great question. And my favorite sandwich is probably a bacon, egg and cheese on bagel. I'm a breakfast sandwich kind of guy.

Peter (Delaware): Nationals SS of the future: Wilmer Difo or Trea Turner?

CJ Wittmann: I want to do a piece on this. Difo, for now. But once I see Turner, that might change.

Jose (Montevideo): Thanks for chatting, CJ! When grading fastball velocity, do you adjust for pitcher handedness (e.g., is 92-94 for a southpaw the same raw velo grade as 94-96 for a northpaw, since righties average roughly 2 MPH better than lefties at the MLB level)? Thanks again!

CJ Wittmann: I do actually. LHP 50 grade velo - 90 MPH; RHP 91 MPH. but if a sitting velocity for a LHP is 89-90 and he can command, I'll still write it up as an average pitch. Jace Fry is an example of that.

Steve (Miami): Justin Twine seems like he's turned it around a tiny bit, statistically at least. Have you seen him since your initial report?

CJ Wittmann: I haven't yet and I would be interested to see if he has made some adjustments. If he has, I'll be the first one to point them out.

sean3258 (Coatesville): Ceiling on Gleyber Torres? How does he shake out with glut of Cubbie middle inf prospects?

CJ Wittmann: Can really hit. Wouldn't say impact guy like most of them but solid-average regular is possible. I wouldn't be too worried about it because if they really think he can hit, he will play somewhere.

Adam (St Louis, MO): Have you either seen or heard any news on two KC prospects Cody Reed and Pedro Fernandez ?

CJ Wittmann: Cody Reed. Getting him again and finalizing what I think.

Pete (PA): Is Gregory Polanco having a normal developmental year at the plate? I.e. he's doing great for a 2yr young 20 yr old, but bad for an everyday OF ...

CJ Wittmann: I think it is very normal to struggle for 1000-1500 plate appearances. So that could even go into his 3rd year of development. He will be just fine.

Esteban (NJ): Has there been a player that you've seen play that made you go "That's a Role 2 guy" and then maybe made a fart noise afterwards to whoever you were speaking with?

CJ Wittmann: So many, you might not believe it.

Matt (Bluegrass State): CJ, who are some of the guys that have caught your eye recently? Perhaps they're under the radar or guys that you're coming around to of late.

CJ Wittmann: Difo is the guy so far. I think he was way overrated. And for right now, I don't really have my guy yet who isn't on everyone's radar. I'm always looking though.

Eric (Atlanta): Does Kyle Zimmer have the best power/speed/OBP combo below AA?

CJ Wittmann: Kyle had electric stuff before the injury. Bradley might have one of the best ones. I really like him at the plate.

pathard (Ocala): Jabari Blash and Wynton Bernard. Just a case of being too old for their league?

CJ Wittmann: I think you are correct. Not high on either.

kiper90 (Rochester, NY): Hey CJ. Do you have any Low Minor, high ceiling prospects your a fan of and are looking to jump on before their stock gains recognition this season?

CJ Wittmann: Luis Ortiz is my guy.

Brian (Mass): Spencer adams had silly numbers last year but has really struggled this year. Adjustment to full season ball or has his stuff taken a step back?

CJ Wittmann: I'll see him this weekend and let you know hopefully.

MP (KY): Anything to be made of Trey Michalczewki's bat?

CJ Wittmann: Didn't think regular but liked him a bit. Bench -- role 4 type ceiling.

CJ Wittmann: Sweet and short. Sorry again for the technical stuff. Hope to see some of you at the park and make sure you give a listen to Raw Projection: our new prospect podcast. Thanks again.


Baseball Prospectus Home  |  Terms of Service  |  Privacy Policy  |  Customer Service  |  Newsletter  |  Masthead  |  Contact Us