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Chat: James Fisher

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Monday June 27, 2016 8:00 PM ET chat session with James Fisher.

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James is a member of the BP Prospect Team, focusing his coverage on the Midwest League.

James Fisher: Arizona is up 1-0 on Coastal Carolina so lets bear down on some prospects while we're watching...

Brett (Calgary): Isan Diaz is starting to come around. What is a realistic outcome for him?

James Fisher: I'm still extremely high on Diaz despite the recent struggles. The bat has a chance to be special with people throwing large numbers around, I'm comfortable putting a 6 on the bat but the barrel awareness and bat speed could lead to it being even better. You're looking at a realistic outcome of an offensively minded second baseman with plenty of pop (15-20 homers annually).

Minny fan (Minny): I think he's been promoted, but can you tell us what you've seen/heard about Fernando Romero?

James Fisher: He has in fact been promoted but I managed to catch one of his starts in Beloit prior to the promotion. Here's my report on him http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_pit.php?reportid=389 but I really like the arm. You're looking at a no doubt 70 fastball with a slider that is at least a 60. The key for him will be throwing enough strikes to stay a starter and if the changeup comes along. Lots to like with the profile. I'm in on him.

Jeff (Des Moines): Do you expect to see Dylan Cease this year? If so, how excited are you?

James Fisher: I'd love to get another look at Dylan Cease and there are rumors swirling that he will get a chance late in the year. I saw him as an amateur and the armstrength alone was impressive but he also showed the ability to spin the breaking ball. It will be interesting to see how he comes out this year but I am sure you will start to see reports on him as soon as the prospect team can get eyes on him.

padremurph (Los Angeles): Gettys has come out blazing for Lake Elsinore. Obviously is a SSS, but he looked solid at Ft Wayne, right? I saw him in taking spring training BP and the power was obvious.

James Fisher: I saw Gettys early in the year when he was scuffling but the bat speed and physical tools were still there so I put a good report in on him. When I circled back on him later the bat had taken a step forward. He made an adjustment to shorten his swing slightly and it really paid off. He could be a monster manning CF, lots to like here.

madjockmcferson (Norton, MA): I feel dirty talking about 20yro pitching prospects, but here goes.... Franklyn Kilome...I hear his stuff is great but his command can let him down; is this typical of guys his age? How do you feel about him this yr...still looking like a possible (aren't they all) top of the rotation guy?

James Fisher: I don't know much about Franklyn Kilome looking at the profile I wouldn't be too concerned with the lack of command at this point. He is striking almost a batter per inning and he has plenty of time to figure out the command. I hesitate to call him a top of the rotation guy but I'm more cautious than most with that term.

James Fisher (Peoria, Ill): Higher ceiling: Sandy Alcantara or Junior Fernandez?

James Fisher: Couple of question in the queue about Sandy Alcantara and Junior Fernandez so I'll tackle them together. I've seen them both and would take Sandy Alcantara if given the choice. He is the more projectable guy at this point and the command will come because the delivery is cleaner.

sdsuphilip (San Diego): Why do people pretend onions aren't terrible?

James Fisher: I'm a fan of onions so I think we may just have to disagree on this one...

misterbob (pa): I read today that stud prospect Trae Turner is starting in Center for Syracuse because the Nats are satisfied with Espinosa at short right now so they're taking a look at TT in center field------are they serious about keeping this kid down because a career .230 fill in player like Espinosa is playing OK???? Makes no sense to me at all------Turner is ready right now IMO and can be a .280 50 SB leadoff hitter for the next 10 years-----what are your thoughts??? Thx.

James Fisher: I think your opinion on Trea Turner is correct, he's a hell of a player that can contribute at the ML level right now. As to why the Nationals aren't moving Danny Espinosa off of SS for Turner is that they really are happy with the way Espinosa is playing. Turner will get some playing time in CF for them and it's an OK way to get him playing time. #freeturner

Tim (OK): Kevin Newman seems to be able to just hit, and hit, and hit. Will he shoot up prospect rankings soon?

James Fisher: Kevin Newman has really opened my eyes (and some evaluators) this year. The profile is one that doesn't always succeed at the ML level but as long as the bat continues to play he will shoot up a lot of lists.

Mark (NY): What do you think of Nick Williams? Has his stock dropped at all since the off-season?

James Fisher: Phillies fans are going to be very happy with Nick Williams. He has a chance to be a very special player at the ML level. I know the results at AAA aren't jaw dropping but he will come around. His stock hasn't dropped at all.

Steve (Seattle): Is Luiz Gohara finally starting to take a legit step forward?

James Fisher: I would be cautious with Gohara because the walks are still a large part of his game. The stuff is still big with a fastball that grades out in the 70 range but he just doesn't fill up the strikezone enough yet for me to say he took a step forward. An arm to keep an eye on but don't get too fired up about him yet.

illwilmyers (SD): Willy Adames has been raking and no one seems to be talking about it. What do you think of him? 2nd coming of Jhonny Peralta?

James Fisher: The glove is a bit better than Peralta but the bat is a similar profile. The power he has been flashing this year has been a nice surprise though.

Sam (Colorado): Is Amed Rosario going to be a fantasy stud?

James Fisher: Another popular name in the queue... Amed Rosario is not someone I've put eyes on yet but I asked around on him. Glove first guy who is going to stick at short with a bat that is a touch long at times and doesn't lead to much hard contact. I'm not a fantasy baseball expert but I wouldn't invest too much yet.

Leonard (None of Your Business): What can you tell us about Franklin Perez. I bought a bunch of stocks on him before the season & seem like a solid investment so far. Should I continue to try & buy more, hold, or sell his stock?

James Fisher: Definitely a solid buy at this point. Saw him earlier and there is plenty to like, quality armspeed with the ability to spin the breaking ball. Would like to see him again because I have some questions with his delivery but definitely an intriguing guy for me.

Jason (NY): Thoughts on Aaron Judge and his MLB potential?

James Fisher: I haven't seen Aaron Judge in person since his AFL stint a couple of years ago but I am confident in saying that his power will always play. He has continued to make adjustments with his swing and has improved his pitch recognition but there will always be swing and miss in his game. I think a realistic projection at the ML level would be .240ish with 25 homers annually.

Jerry (Earth): What should we look out for of prospects who are young for their level? I.E. Eloy Jimenez is tearing the cover off the ball with Luis Alexander Basabe is struggling?

James Fisher: My focus is the Midwest League so when you're looking at guys that are still in the early stages of their developmental curve are bat speed, the ability to recognize spin, and athleticism. If a prospect is struggling but still possesses those skills I would give them a decent chance to come out of it.

Todd (Westchester): Ariel Sandoval's favorite player Is Carlos Gómez. How does he compares To him?

James Fisher: Sandoval will never be the defensive standout that Carlos Gomez is but at the plate they share a lot of similarities. They both are free swingers that are prone to expanding the zone. Ariel Sandoval also has plenty of power but he will need to refine his approach going forward.

Paul (Not Sure): Is it to early to give up on Addison Russell?

James Fisher: It's way too early to give up on a talented player like Addison Russell. Not all young players come up to the bigs and dominate like some of the other Cubs lately. Just trust the #process.

Jose (Dominican republic): 3 Nice arms in milwaukee low a ball. Miguel Díaz freddy Peralta and Marcos diplan. Biggest upside, who Rather Stay as Starter?

James Fisher: The Brewers really have a nice pitching staff in Appleton this year with plenty of velocity and upside. Miguel Diaz is the guy that has the best chance to start. The fastball is big with armside run and he flashes the ability to command it from side-to-side. The breaking ball will develop into a plus pitch and the changeup flashes average already. Could be a monster.

John (TX): Who do you think is the better fantasy baseball prospect: Ian Happ or Willy Adames?

James Fisher: Give me Adames, his glove is better and I'm not sold on Happ's bat as much as some.

sdsuphilip (San Diego): Do you like Peaches or Kiwi on pizza more?

James Fisher: Can't say I've ever had peaches or kiwi on a pizza... I'm originally from the South so I enjoy peaches.

David (Atlantis): Cody Reed (the Reds one) being just promoted & made two starts. Seemed like an OK start but decent amount of K's so what do you think we should expect going forward this year & into the future? Ceiling 60 starter?

James Fisher: If you would have told me that Cody Reed was up this quickly in his draft year I would have called you a crazy person. That being said he has done an excellent job repeating his delivery so far in the bigs and he has the stuff to get to that 60 ceiling you reference. The issue for him will be managing his walks and continue to progress with his consistency.

Tom (MO): Any thoughts on Luke Weaver? Future 3 or better? You'd hardly tell he missed two months with the way he's dominating AA over the past month. Have to love the low walks and strong K totals.

James Fisher: Another popular name in the queue and although I haven't seen him since his amateur days he seems to have added a cutter. That will be an important pitch for him because his breaking ball is below average and he will need it to keep hitters honest. The fastball/change combination is above average but he must have a third pitch to continue to succeed.

Mike (Springfield): Can Luke Weaver hold up as starter? He's listed at 6'2, but just 170 pounds. Appears to be as scrawny as the ht-wt suggests. Does he have the frame that will support lots of innings at the major lg level?

James Fisher: He's listed correctly. While that profile does give me pause, the arm action is clean and his injury wasn't arm related so I wouldn't be too concerned.

Yes Cheese (Nation): Seems you catch a lot of Rattler games - thoughts on the recent hype surrounding Marcos Diplan? Lots of Ks! Forgetting his frame, he just looks all arm action, and the secondaries didn't look special. He looks like a future reliever. That fastball though, and commanding it. Wow. What's your big league projection on Diplan?

James Fisher: I'm based out of Milwaukee so Appleton is an easy get for me. I have an eyewitness report in the queue for him so it should be coming soon but I agree with you, his frame screams reliever. The breaking ball has a chance to be average to a tick above and the changeup at times flashes average. I'm still in the starter camp with Diplan but time will tell how he handles the innings going forward.

Nick (Chicago): Earlier in this year when discussing Eloy Jimenez, one site noted that disparate SO and BB rates have been stumbling blocks for young RH corner players like Joel Guzman, R.Liriano, Willy Mo Pena, etc. Would you lump Jimenez into that group?

James Fisher: "When in doubt, stat 'em out" was a piece of advice I received early on in my baseball career and strike out to walk ratio is definitely one to keep an eye on. I wouldn't lump Jimenez into that group yet because he is still in A-ball and he shows the ability to make adjustments with his swing and approach. Let's give him some time to make adjustments and then we can revisit the conversation.

James Fisher: Alright it's been a blast but all good things must come to an end. Send me questions through the BP site and I'll get to them as I have time. Thanks!


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