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Chat: Brendan Gawlowski

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Monday June 15, 2015 7:00 PM ET chat session with Brendan Gawlowski.

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Brendan Gawlowski: This goes out to all the West Coasters still at work. Let's all slack off and talk a little baseball.

kiper90 (Rochester, NY): Hey Brendan. 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?

Brendan Gawlowski: I like it when prospects start putting it together after going through some early struggles. So, seeing guys like Matt Chapman and Carlos Tocci start to hit is exciting.

I got this question before the season, and answered with Keury Mella and Monte Harrison. Mella has been great; Harrison has... well, Mella's been great. Still have my eye on both.

Craig (Philly): What are your thoughts on Eddy Julio Martinez

Brendan Gawlowski: There's such a wide range of opinions on him from the people close to the Cuban situation that it's tough to tell. There are more who say he's a future first division starter or better than those taking the under, so wisdom of the crowds and all that. I'm not one of the lucky few who has had the chance to see him personally, so this is all second hand. If he really isn't quick enough for center field, as some have reported, that dampens the profile considerably.

Tommy (Colorado): From a Fantasy prospective - Corey Seager or Byron Buxton?

Brendan Gawlowski: I'll slip in the caveat that I only play a little fantasy baseball, but I'll take the positional scarcity and grab Seager while he's still a SS.

Alex (Anaheim): Texas can't demote Joey Gallo if he keeps this up, right?

Brendan Gawlowski: I can't imagine they will. Delino DeShields just hit the DL and I imagine the Rangers will use that to sneak Gallo into the OF once Beltre returns.

dave (Atlanta ): Bobby Bradley has been putting up.some impressive power numbers. What are you hearing about him?

Brendan Gawlowski: I'm concerned about the whiffs. He's striking out a third of the time, and he hasn't seen good offspeed yet.

Jon (Battle Ground, WA): Any names to watch in Missoula this summer? Might catch a game out there.

Brendan Gawlowski: Rosters for the short season teams are still coming out, but Matt Railey, Marcus Wilson, Jose Herrera are all intriguing. Don't think you'll get Dansby.

Ian (seattle): For underachieving teams like the indians and mariners does it make more sense to throw in the towel and sell high to desperate teams or go for it at the deadline with so much parody in the al?

Brendan Gawlowski: It all really depends how far back they are at the deadline, and how many teams they have to pass to nab a wild card spot. Assuming both play better going forward than they have so far, I wouldn't be looking to sell if I was within five games or so.

Mark (Pomona): The Astros still have some intriguing hitters left in the minors - Brett Phillips, JD Davis, Derek Fisher, and AJ Reed come to mind. How would you rank these players and who (if any) has the best chance of being an above average regular?

Brendan Gawlowski: Fisher, Phillips, Davis, Reed. Fun to see a team have so many prospects going off at once, although I want to see all of them hit outside of the Cal League before I get too excited.

Shane (NJ): How good can this Eddy Julio Martinez kid be?

Brendan Gawlowski: If it clicks, he's an all star CF who steals a lot of bases while chipping in 15-20 homers. Mouth watering, but there's a long way between now and his big league debut.

jeffbroyde (Socal): Brendan, if you were a GM and you were in position to sign any of Dansby Swanson, Alex Bregman, Trea Turner, Orlando Arcia or Wilmer Difo, who would you take and why?

Brendan Gawlowski: With respect to the rest, I'm debating Swanson and Arcia. I like Arcia's glove, and think he'll start at short for several years, but I think I'd cave and go with Swanson's upside. Hard to pass up a SS with plus speed and 15-20 homer power potential.

Benny (Franklintown): Would the Dodgers trade Julio Urias or Cory Seager for Hamels?

Brendan Gawlowski: No.

Juanita (Portales, NM): Thoughts on Jon Gray?

Brendan Gawlowski: Saw him Thursday, and I'll have a full report sometime later this week. It was an odd outing for him. He sat 95-97 in the first four innings, but was a little wild. He noticeably slowed himself down after that, and even though he rarely topped 91, he had a much better outing because he was throwing better strikes and wasn't missing arm side as often. If he meets in the middle, he could be a two, and his best sliders are 70 grade wipeout pitches.

Will (Medina): Which of the Tacoma players that have played for the Mariners in the past can contribute to the Mariners this year

Brendan Gawlowski: A lot of them could contribute in a part time role. Jesus Montero could hit lefties really well right now. James Jones just got called up and he's a legitimate weapon on the bases. I've heard from a scout who thinks Stefen Romero would do well, although I don't really see it. Franklin Gutierrez is Tacoma's best player but he can only play the field a few times per week.

trex (seattle): Does carlos santana ever do anything?

Brendan Gawlowski: He's one of a handful of guys walking more than they strike out, so that's fun. Is it just me or is his BABIP always much higher in the second half of the year?

Q (Brooklyn): Is it a good idea to weather out the storm with Colin McHugh?

Brendan Gawlowski: If you're the Astros? Absolutely, and it starts by curtailing his use of the cutter/slider thing that keeps getting launched into orbit. In fantasy? Depends on your league particulars, but I'd be benching him for the time being, at the very least.

traindoggah (Maine): Have Nick Williams & Brett Phillips passed the likes of Clint Frazier in the Top 101 with their respective performances this year?

Brendan Gawlowski: Well, Williams was already ahead of Frazier in the off-season list, and I don't think anything about their respective seasons will change that. I would say no on Phillips. Statistically, he's having a better season, but Frazier has better raw tools. Phillips may be safer, but he probably tops out as a good fourth OF.

Ryan (Seattle): When will Mariner fans finally be free of Jack Z?

Brendan Gawlowski: August, at this rate.

Q (Brooklyn): How were the following guys as prospects: Joey Butler, Joe Panik, Steven Souza

Brendan Gawlowski: Panik was seen as a second division second basemen or utility player as late as this past winter, in some circles. Souza's a late bloomer who ran the gamut from toolsy prospect to malcontent to bust to legitimate bat first prospect. Butler was generally viewed as an org guy coming up, although I think some had him as a role 40.

Arthur T. (Mobile ): Ryan Parker is obviously very high on Kopech. Do you share th e enthusiasm?

Brendan Gawlowski: Absolutely, he's awesome. He's throwing 99 and after overhauling his delivery, he's throwing strikes. That's the kind of adjustment that leads to a legitimate breakthrough, and that appears to be happening for Kopech. He may always be on the wild side, but he has a better chance to start now.

Sierra (Seattle): Will James Jones ever earn a solid spot with the M's? Spry little guy, but he's been such a wildcard both at bat and on the field...

Brendan Gawlowski: He's a casualty of the 12 man pitching staff. He's a better fit in the NL, where teams still have a place for a fifth outfielder who can pinch run and cover center.

Alex (Baton Rouge): Who do you like better from the 2014 draft class, Brent Honeywell or Michael Kopech?

Brendan Gawlowski: Honeywell. I like both, but prefer the guy who throws more strikes.

Stanton Smith (Houston, TX): Is Joe Musgrove just a late bloomer or is this year a case of SSS?

Brendan Gawlowski: He's only 22, so I'd say he's more of a slow starter. He's worth getting excited about, although I'm concerned that his cutter won't induce often whiffs and that his change won't come along enough to start. Could be a good reliever.

Aidan Miller (Seattle): Any guys in this years draft you think have to make it to the majors before the season ends?

Brendan Gawlowski: Why would they have to? I don't think any will, if that's what you meant.

Personal bias: draft eligible 'major league ready' relievers are a bad investment early in the draft. There's a long list of guys like that who took much longer to reach the majors, and a lot of them never developed into impact relievers. Plus, there's so little upside with a pick like that.

Mike (Jersey): Thoughts on the 2016 draft?

Brendan Gawlowski: Chris Crawford says it's shaping up to be one of the best he's ever seen and that's good enough for me.

Rob (Austin): Vince Velasquez or Lance McCullers long term? Both seem to have high ceilings.

Brendan Gawlowski: Give me McCullers; I'll go with the guy who's killed it since reaching the majors, although I think both could struggle in a hypothetical future where the strike zone shrinks (maybe) or they lose velocity (likely), as neither is a great command guy.

Anne-Marie (Vancouver, WA): Who've you seen that has impressed you most this year (MiLB)? Greatest disappointment so far?

Brendan Gawlowski: Joey Gallo; I've never seen a player topspin a line drive as far he did this year in spring training. On the pitching side, I'll go with Gray.

Randy W (Las Vegas): Brendan- what one player's tool has surprised you the most so far this season?

Brendan Gawlowski: I'm surprised that Alex Jackson didn't hit at all in Low-A. Hopefully it was just the shoulder, but his issues with contact have been exposed.

Matt (CHI): To the question regarding underachieving teams like CLE, can you see them trading one of their young arms @ deadline , in order to add some depth & thump to lineup?

Brendan Gawlowski: No. I think that's a core they'll want to keep intact, especially since they have reasonable deals with Kluber and Carrasco and plenty of years remaining with Salazar and Bauer. It's risky to build around pitchers, but if they can put any kind of defense and bullpen behind those arms, they'll have a very interesting team.

Savage815 (New Jersey): Is it time to stick a fork in Dominic Brown? Or still to early to give up on him?

Brendan Gawlowski: No reason for the Phillies to give up on anybody with upside at this point, although APR-JUN 2013 is only looking like more and more of an aberration at this point.

Bill (New Mexico): Alex Reyes: 5-WAR major-league career. Do you take the over or the under?

Brendan Gawlowski: Well, he's a Cardinal, so over.

In all seriousness, I'll take over because he's got a good chance of topping that mark as a reliever if the command never comes around. Jeff Moore gave his fastball and curve 70 future grades; that's a lights out reliever if he stays healthy.

Matt (CHI): Although most of the minor-league focus of Cub fans is currently on Schwarbs, what are your current thoughts on Alcantara & his projection. He's fallen off radar a bit with the successes of Russell & Bryant.

Brendan Gawlowski: Still a good utility player for me. He got wrapped up in the Russell/Bryant/Soler/Baez group last summer, but he never had that kind of ceiling.

Big Will (Fishkill, NY): Who would you rather have in a dynasty points league once they hit the majors Jomar Reyes or Gilbert Lara?

Brendan Gawlowski: Similar profiles, but I'll take Reyes. Tucker Blair put a 60 OFP on him, and he's tough on prospects. If you can live with a batting average hovering around .250, he'll do plenty of damage in the power categories.

Jon (Billings): Any Pioneer League prospects I should be sure to see in person before they move on?

Brendan Gawlowski: There will be once teams release all of their rosters. Missoula has a few, including Marcus Wilson, who are intriguing. Billings looks a little light right now. Helena has Gatewood and Harrison. Colorado treats their Grand Junction affiliate well, so you might get to see Brendan Rodgers.

Jay (Portland): When can we expect Jose Martinez from Arizona to pitch again? He was considered a extreme upside arm before injury. IS his future still bright?

Brendan Gawlowski: Wish I could tell you. Weird injury, and I'm leaning toward the glass half empty side on his future.

Dan (Lawrence, KS): The Yanks finally gave Mason Williams a call up. What potential does Aaron Judge have of being an average everyday player?

Brendan Gawlowski: I like him as New York's future right fielder, possibly as early as next season.

Ruddious Girronious (Whales V): Who is Ruddy Girron and should be paying attention?

Brendan Gawlowski: I have two questions on Girron, and I'm sorry to say I haven't been able to track down someone who has seen him. He's definitely a name to follow.

Arios (Utah): Sean Reid-Foley has extreme swing and miss stuff. How do you view his upside? Future #2 or #3 starter.

Brendan Gawlowski: That's the upside, but I'll take the under due to control problems.

Matt (CHI): Of CHC lower-level SP prospects, which guys have a shot, emphasis on shot, @ being a #3 or better?

Brendan Gawlowski: There are plenty of pitchers who have the pitches, and thus potential, to reach that kind of ceiling (like Corey Black). Carson Sands, Justin Steele, and Jake Stinnett all could get there, although the safe bet is that none of them will.

Jquinton82 (NY): What are your thoughts on grant Holmes, Sean Newcomb and Blake Snell and whose done more to increase his stock?

Brendan Gawlowski: I'm not sure there's a prospect who's had a better year than Blake Snell. Newcomb's command has been worse than anticipated, so it's hard to say he's helped his stock at all. Holmes has met expectations; his stuff is too good for the Midwest League.

Kenny Graves (Newburgh, NY): What are your thoughts on Cubs pitcher Corey Black? He has tons of stuff and the pitches to be a starter. Is that the direction the cubs are going in? Whats his upside? #2 starter maybe?

Brendan Gawlowski: I know this sounds hypocritical because I just said something about how Corey Black has the pure stuff to be a mid-rotation starter, but he's a reliever. He struggles locating within the strike zone, his stuff gets worse as the game progresses, and he's always going to run high pitch counts. Put him in the bullpen and let him fire on all cylinders for an inning at a time.

Jquinton82 (NY): Thoughts on the walking wounded Cain, Moore, and Stras - whose more likely to not kill my stats (era,whip,k/bb)?

Brendan Gawlowski: It really just depends who's healthy. I'd gamble on any of them, although I'd probably bench them for a start or two before inserting them in the lineup.

kcshankd (cascades): Dodgers Johan Mieses is 19 and just got promoted to HiA his first year stateside. Know anything else about him?

Brendan Gawlowski: Definitely a name to keep an eye on. Flashes all five tools, has the athleticism to stick in center.

Matt (CHI): dovyou get the sense Cubs will cash in some trade chips for pitching @ deadline or wait til offseason when prices are a bit more reasonable?

Brendan Gawlowski: I'm not as close to the Cubs as a lot of the BP guys -- the BP Wrigleyville coverage is top notch -- but from a distance, I think they'd be crazy not to entertain it. They've certainly got plenty to dangle.

Brad (DC): Are you worried about Yoan Moncada's slow start?

Brendan Gawlowski: No. He hasn't faced quality pitching in forever, and he might just be one of those guys who takes a little while to get his bearings in a foreign environment. I read a good interview -- damned if I can find it now -- where Boston's scouting director was talking about how they're helping him adjust to all sorts of things on and off the field, which makes me think that the organization knows they'll have to take it slowly with him.

Owen Dyer (Kingston): Seems like Jaime Schultz is flying under the radar. I love his stuff. Looks like another stud arm for the Rays? What do you think about him?

Brendan Gawlowski: He's a nibbler with command problems; reliever for me.

Kevin Anderson (VA): Not hearing anything on Jackson Reetz this year so far. How is he looking?

Brendan Gawlowski: Not much to hear about so far. He's on the Nats GCL roster, which is age-appropriate.

Greg Morales (Croton, NY): Are we looking at t breakout season for Jordan Patterson? Future stud in the making?

Brendan Gawlowski: He's a 23-year-old in the Cal League, so the numbers aren't as exciting as they would be in another context. He's an extra OF in the end.

Brendan Gawlowski: Ok folks, thanks for all of the questions. I'm sure we'll do it again sometime.


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