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Chat: James Fisher

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday August 10, 2016 1:00 PM ET chat session with James Fisher.

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James is a member of our prospect team, focusing on the Midwest League.

James Fisher: The Midwest League has an off day today so let's chat about some prospects, the Northwoods League and baseball in general!

Keith (Farmington, CT): Thanks James. Given his hot second half, where would you put Isan Diaz's ceiling? Is occasional all-star 2B too high?

James Fisher: I think you nailed his ceiling Keith. I'll admit that I was a little bit light on him early in the year but the bat is a 6 with at least average power. I got a four game set with him this weekend and the batspeed is elite with good swing path and the ability to make adjustments. Defensively he can get a little lazy but he makes the plays he should. He should be in line for a promotion before the end of the year.

Angelo (NC): Just Read about Seth Beer for the first time - WOW!. Is he the next big prospect?

James Fisher: Lots of Beer questions in the queue today. I saw Beer first a couple of years ago at the Under Armor All American game and he possesses quality bat speed and some feel for hit. His swing is a little bit stiff and that started to show at the end of the year as SEC teams started to sequence him up. If he can continue to make adjustments while keeping his athleticism you're looking at a first rounder. If you want to dream on him he's a starting corner outfielder with power in the big leagues.

asarule (Lakewood CA): Brady Rodgers is a 25 year old SP for the Astro's AAA team. I never see or hear anything about him, yet he is 11-3 with a 2.67 ERA. Is he going to be in the Houston starting rotation or is he doing it with smoke and mirrors?

James Fisher: I haven't seen him in a few years but I asked around on him and it seems as though he's a back end starter at best. He just doesn't strike enough batters out to be anything more in the bigs. Quality arm but most likely an up and down guy when the big league rotation needs a guy.

BC (Urbandale): The Cubs are a run away freight train right now. My goodness. With the improvement of the bullpen, they're starting to get back to full health, rotation is gelling beautifully. Not to mention we have 2 MVP candidates and the best manager in baseball. its really nice

James Fisher: Man are they fun to watch. I had the pleasure of seeing them in person the other day and it was a great experience. They addressed their one need with the bullpen and really seem to be clicking again. Just imagine if they had Schwarber, whoa.

Joe (from Arlington): Would you want Tim TiVo in your clubhouse?

James Fisher: I assume you are referencing Tim Tebow here and honestly I wouldn't have a problem with him being in the clubhouse if he can play baseball at a high level. I doubt he can actually do that but in theory he would be fine in a clubhouse.

Kyle (Tampa): Who is the next big prospect nobody is talking about?

James Fisher: One of the guys I fought to include in our top 50 is Sandy Alcantara. He's another quality arm in the Cardinals system. He's gotten beat up in High-A since his promotion but he's 3 years younger than most of the league. The fastball is a 7 and has quality movement to it. The changeup features quality armspeed and he has feel for the pitch. The determining factor will be the curve but it has flashed average for me. If he continues to make adjustments you're looking at a possible #2 starter for the Cardinals in a couple of years. Watch out.

Jack (Nashville): If the velocity hasn't come back at this point, it's just not going to come back for Dillon Overton, right? Is he anything more than rotation depth/4-A player?

James Fisher: Unfortunately it looks as though the velo won't be coming back for Overton. He's most likely an up and down guy as A's have to shuttle guys back and forth for injuries.

JAKE (STATE FARM): What are your thoughts on Mags Sierra?

James Fisher: Nice khakis Jake. Mags has really taken a step forward with the bat this season. He has solidified his bat path and it has allowed his natural bat speed to play. Power will never be part of his game but he's shown an ability to yank the ball out of the ballpark. He can play the hell out of centerfield with his plus speed allowing him to run balls down in either alley.

Nathan (CA): As far as pitching prospects go, who should Jays fans be paying attention to in Lansing? Thanks

James Fisher: Perdomo and Hollon are quality arms. I haven't seen Kirby Snead since his days at Florida but he has a quality arm that should move quickly.

Philip (San Diego): Logan Allen or Jacob Nix? Allen is healthy now

James Fisher: Give me Jacob Nix. I have Allen down as a back end reliever just because there is too much going on with his delivery. The caveat here will be health. Nix needs to demonstrate the ability to stay healthy and regain the stuff that got him drafted. Grant Jones has written about Nix and really likes his potential.

Tim (NC): What are your thoughts on Austin Meadows and Kevin Newman? What are their upsides?

James Fisher: The camp is a little bit split with Newman. Some scouts see a no doubt shortstop with a quality bat and some pop. Others aren't sold on his defense and think the bat is a touch light. I think he can play shortstop long term but I do think the bat is only contact oriented. He just won't hit for any power and that limits his ceiling for me. Nice player but I think the hype is a little out of control. With Meadows you're looking at a corner outfielder with a solid average to a tick above arm and some pop. He controls the zone well for a younger player but still needs to work on his plate discipline. Overall a very solid player that the Pirates are happy to have.

James (Georgia): Bartolo Colon passed Pedro Martinez on the all-time wins list this year. Obviously two very different players with different styles. How is longevity assessed with prospects? Does a brighter flame always beat out a longer burn?

James Fisher: Alright Jimbo, longevity is a big deal when it comes to prospects. Obviously getting a player to the big leagues is a player development and scouting win but the longer that player stays there the better. Give me the brighter burn of Pedro here just because of the sheer talent and peak that he had.

Ront (Arizona ): When is Eloy moving up to high a?

James Fisher: My guess is that he stays at South Bend all year. The Cubs have shown patience with him and it has paid off in regards to his confidence. The Carolina League can be a bear for players with the heat and I think the Cubs want to keep him trending in the right direction.

Travis (Bos): What are your thoughts on Rowdy Tellez. Seems like he took a step forward this year.

James Fisher: This is the second straight year that he has taken a step forward and that is promising. The bat is going to play but he has started to answer some of the questions behind the plate. I won't say that he'll ever be average but he has put in the work to keep himself from being a liability. I'm in on Tellez.

Snowborne (Pittsburgh): How would rank this years June draftees and international signees for fantasy purposes? Say top 15 or so?

James Fisher: I'm not a big fantasy guy so I don't know about 15 but a few guys that are going to be ready sooner rather than later are Nick Senzel, Zack Collins, and Burdi.

muwasser (DC): Francisco Mejia has been, dare I say, en fuego. When do you think he makes his MLB debut and who would you comp him to today?

James Fisher: I think en fuego may be a little light... He's still several years away but I could see him making his debut at the tail end of 2018. He's made big strides behind the plate but he is still raw as a receiver and needs to maintain his focus. The bat isn't the question here.

LucasDad (Mpls): What is wrong with the Twins organization?

James Fisher: I don't think anything is 'wrong' with the Twins organization. This is more of an issue with loyalty than anything else. When you're winning, loyalty is a good thing because it keeps the team and FO intact. When you're losing, loyalty can become a liability because some of the under performing people aren't let go. I can't speak to the entire organization but they have some quality scouts and front office personnel. Don't give up on them.

Twin (Cali): What are some sleepers in The midwest League?

James Fisher: Here's a few... Ryan Helsley for Peoria, Ruddy Giron for Fort Wayne, Rayder Ascanio and Luiz Gohara for Clinton, Sam Hentges for Lake County and Fernery Ozuna for Kane County.

James Fisher: Alright folks, lunch hour is over for me. Shoot me more of your questions on twitter @JWalkerFisher and I'll answer as many as I can. Thanks for the great questions!


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