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Chat: Christopher Crawford

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday August 18, 2016 1:00 PM ET chat session with Christopher Crawford.

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Chris is our lead prospect writer and proprietor of bad puns. Please don't egg him on.

Christopher Crawford: It's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you, without a dope chat to step to.

Drew (Cincy): What are your thoughts on Dilson Herrera ? Did you like the trade for the Reds ?

Christopher Crawford: I thought they did fine. I don't think Herrera is an everyday player, but I think there's enough here for him to be a nifty utility player that can help you with the bat and not kill you with the glove. Max Wottell was the better prospect in that trade, in my opinion, but Herrera was a fine get, too.

Greg (AL): I know it's not the sexy name, but do you know much on Kade Scivicque? Seems like the consensus is that he's a backup if anything?

Christopher Crawford: That's definitely he consensus, and I'm not going to disagree. I haven't seen a ton of him, but the reports I got are a lot of 40 and 45 grades. And I disagree that it's not a sexy name. It's just not pronounced sexy.

Greg (GA): It seems like the 2017 draft class is loaded with arms. What hitters are in the 1-1 conversation? If you consider Hunter Greene a pitcher like most do, is Jeren Kendall the only hitter who is a 1-1 candidate?

Christopher Crawford: Kendall is the only hitter I could see going 1-1 right now, unless someone took a massive step forward next year. We've seen that in the past, though. Mickey Moniak and Dansby Swanson were never 1-1 candidates before the season. Jo Addell is the other guy I guess I could see entering that conversation, if someone thinks the hit tool is going to get to average. The rest of the tools could be plus.

Peter (Ontario): I see a lot of questions regarding who will be the #1 prospect, 2017/18/19. Yet to see Vlad jr mentioned as a possibility. Looks like a more powerful version of Victor Robles.

Christopher Crawford: I mean, it's not impossible. I like Vladdy, Jr a lot, I just don't see a skillset that rivals Robles. Also we really shouldn't be talking about best prospect in 2017. We should just enjoy today. The prospects of today are where it's at.

Brian (Parkland, FL): What are your thoughts on Desmond Lindsay based on his play this year? Still a power/speed guy? Ceiling if everything goes right? Top 5 Mets prospect next year? Thanks

Christopher Crawford: Gotten a ton of good reports on Lindsay. He might be a Mets top five prospect right now. Always had a ton of upside, but he's really impressed with his approach and acumen.

Dan (DC): #1 prospect in 2018, 2019 and 2020?

Christopher Crawford: WHAT DID I JUST SAY?

Tim (Jacksonville): What are your thoughts on Franklin Perez of the Astros? Is he the next pitching stud to climb the ladder for Houston? Any rumblings amongst scouts on the success he's had this year....stuff tick up? Thanks

Christopher Crawford: He could be. He's not going to miss bats like this at the higher level (probably), but there's a plus fastball and two average secondary offerings that he throws for strikes. If he does this at the High-A or Double-A level, we can talk about him being one of the top five-seven prospects in that system.

Nate (SLC): I know they're completely different players, but between Richard Urena and Rowdy Tellez who do you think contributes more at the big league level? Thanks

Christopher Crawford: Oh that's a pretty good question. Next year? Probably Tellez. Urena is a MUCH better prospect, but not sure how much he's going to play in 2017.

Matt (Buffalo): Does Lucas Giolito get called back up in September? Thanks

Christopher Crawford: I don't know for sure, but I'd be surprised if he's thrown his last big league pitch in 2016. He was outstanding last night, by the way.

kcshankd (Cascadia): Have you heard anything on Khalil Lee? He didn't make your draft 125 on BP but is off to a nice start in AZ.

Christopher Crawford: Lee juuuuuuuuust missed the top 125. I think he ended up like 126 or 127, and to be honest, he should have. I was just unsure because scouts were so torn on where he was going to end up. It sure looks like the Royals made the right call in making him an outfielder. In a system without a ton of offensive upside, he offers it.

Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Chris, Besides having an 80 grade name, how does Sandro Fabian grade as a prospect?

Christopher Crawford: Amazing name, but I haven't heard much about him. I'll get a report on him and include it in either this or the next Monday Morning Ten Pack. Sorry about that. I failed you.

Craig (B Town): Worried about Anderson Espinoza? Still a stud?

Christopher Crawford: Yep. Not gonna let a 20 inning sample deter me/anyone.

JR (CT): How good is Seth Beer - top prospect in a couple of years?

Christopher Crawford: Certainly one of the best prospects for the 2018 draft. Because he's a corner outfielder, there's a ton of pressure on his bat, so I'm not sure I could call him the top prospect even in the class (yet), but he's really, really good.

John (Chi Town): If eligible where would Yulieski Gourriel JR rank in the prospect rankings?

Christopher Crawford: Good question. Top 10? I don't think he'd make my top five. Like him a lot but I do have some questions about the age and where he's gonna play.

Chris (TX): BEST prospect nobody is talking about?

Christopher Crawford: I don't know if no one is talking about him, because I've talked about him a lot, but Jaime Schultz isn't getting enough love. Plus-plus fastball, plus curve, good enough change. I think he can either be a mid-rotation starter or a filthy reliever.

Jeb (Iowa): What are your thoughts on Meadows, Newman, and Bell? What are their upsides?

Christopher Crawford: Well, I think you have them ranked in the right order. I think Meadows is a top of the order hitting centerfielder, and I think Meadows is a top of the order hitting shortstop. So, uhh, those guys are pretty good. Bell can be a solid starting first baseman, still. I just don't think he matches up with those other two names. That's okay. Not many do.

Brandon (SF): Will Dom Smith finally start getting some prospect love this offseason? .296/.359/.454 as a 21 y/o in AA with 42:70 BB/K ratio. And he's finally developed the power that people have been waiting for/that's been limiting his profile.

Christopher Crawford: I love you.

Dalton Leslie (EMC Insurance (Downtown Des Moines, IA)): Who would win in a world series match up of Cubs- Indians? Cubs- Red Sox?

Christopher Crawford: Fox. Fox would win in those matchups. Especially the latter.

I think the Cubs are the best team in baseball, so them.

Kyle Seager (Bob's Burgers): What do you make of Sandy Leon? I know tge BABIP is unsustainable but do you see a MLB regular? What sort of slash line is reasonable to expect going forward?

Christopher Crawford: First of all, great chat name and thank you for following me on twitter. I didn't see this coming, but the sample size is no longer that small, and he's killing the ball. You mention the BABIP -- and for sure regression is coming -- but he's making a ton of hard contact. I think he be at least an average regular.

DD (LA): Is Yadier Alvarez the best prospect in the Dodgers system?

Christopher Crawford: Not yet. I'd still say De Leon, Verdugo and Bellinger are ahead. At this point next year, it wouldn't surprise me at all if he was.

Arsenio (Brooklyn): I have gotten a chance to watch a lot of Cyclones games this year (just moved to Brooklyn from Atlanta and I am a Braves fan). Nonetheless, I really enjoy MiLB and go to as many BK games as I can. It pains me to say it, but I really think the Mets somehow have A LOT of talent on this team. I've gotten to watch Dunn, Szapucki and both Gonsalezes start. They all look like major league arms (especially the first two). Hitting wise, Desmond Lindsay and Peter Alonso look like studs. Woodmansee looks solid too. Can you weigh in on my evaluation/tell me what you think of these guys who I've been consistently watching? I really appreciate it and I love these chats. Thank you!!

Christopher Crawford: I think you're onto something, Arsenio. I wouldn't go so far as calling Lindsay and Alonso "studs" but they're good prospects, particularly Lindsay. Szapucki has been sensational, I'm excited to see that stuff face full-season hitters. That's a good team. I'm glad you're taking advantage of the chance to see it in action.

Festivus313 (Nick): Do you see Jake Junis becoming a successful MLB starter?

Christopher Crawford: I think he certainly can be. He's one of the more pleasant surprises of the Kansas City system this year. He pounds the zone with all of his pitches, and two of those pitches (fastball and curve) flash plus. There's not a ton of upside, but he has as high of floor as any pitcher in the system.

Elbo (Altoona): Your thoughts on control specialist Thomas Eshelman? He seems to have figured something out after a bad stretch at Reading. Future up-and-down guy or something more?

Christopher Crawford: I think he's better than and up-and-down guy, but I'm not sure how much. He hasn't shown the same control in college, because that wasn't possible, but he throws plenty of strikes with good enough stuff to be a fourth or fifth starter. He was a nice get in the Ken Giles trade, but I don't see a ton of upside here.

Tommy (Philly): Who is the next best international prospect that nobody knows?

Christopher Crawford: I don't have a clue and I am juuuuust fine with this. Sorry.

Irvin (NYC BABY): Weird question here- If GMS had a time machine and saw the 2016 season that Andres Giminez is having (granted, in the DSL), how much would he have gotten last July? Mets gave him 1.2

Christopher Crawford: That's a fun one. More, to be sure. How much more? Probably not a ton. I'll say he gets in that $1.5, $1.6 range. And that's based on absolutely nothing. Gimenez is a very interesting prospect, though.

Gregor (Bronx): You're building a team- Judge or Conforto?

Christopher Crawford: Super close, but, probably Conforto. Like em both. Give me both.

RDBL2014 (Concord, CA): What do you see as the floor/ceiling for Stephen Gonsalves. The numbers seem to just keep getting better.

Christopher Crawford: I think he can be a third starter, and I think the floor is backend guy. He was a guy I liked in high school that slipped for various reasons, and some of those reasons had nothing to do with pitching. I think both the fastball and change end up plus, and there are two other usable pitches here.

Greggy (NC): How good is Amed Rosario? Can he be an impact regular/4+ WAR guy?

Christopher Crawford: Without question. His upside competes with any shortstop in the minor leagues right now not named Brendan Rodgers (Yes, JP Crawford is the best shortstop prospect, but that's mainly because his floor is just stupid high). Gotta give it time and there's some volatility here, but without question he has that in him.

Keith (Farmington, CT): Thanks for the chat, Chris. What are your thoughts on Tom Murphy's hit tool? Can he make enough contact to stay in the line-up and make that power play up at Coors?

Christopher Crawford: You're very welcome. Sorry that the questions aren't being answered super quick. I've had to reset my router twice. TWC is a terrible company.

I think so. I'm not sure the Rockies agree, but I think so. He HAS to start seeing more pitches, but if he does, he has a chance to be a starting catcher.

Danny tanner (full house): I very much like a matt strahm thus far, can he be a starting pitcher long term? *cues end if show cheesy song*

Christopher Crawford: Gosh I hated your character. So much.

I hate Strahm's delivery, but he has good stuff, and he throws strikes. I worry about long-term ramifications and he's probably best suited for the bullpen, but I think the Royals will give him a chance to start at some point.

Thatoneguy (Milwaukee): Any cause for concern yet for the Brewers in regards to Corey Ray's bad production in high A?

Christopher Crawford: Nope. Way too soon to be worried, and keep in mind that they sent him to High-A straight out of college. That's a massive jump.

RussHaigis (Maine): Isan Diaz: is he good?, how good is he?, let's find out.

Christopher Crawford: Gosh I love Bojack. Are you all watching Bojack? It's so good. It hurts my heart, but it's so good.

He's really good, not top 50 prospect good, but certainly a guy who I think will be in the 101. Even if he's not a shortstop, he still has a chance to be an impact guy. The Brewers are loaded.

Dan (TN): Is Isan Diaz a top 50 prospect at this point?

Christopher Crawford: WHAT DID I JUST SAY, DAN.

Kidding. Dan asked this question a long time ago. Sorry Dan. You're alright.

Eddie Ballgame (Toronto): Just how good is Sean Reid Foley?

Christopher Crawford: Potentially, pretty darn good. There's a big debate as to who the best pitching prospect in the Blue Jays system is, but I think most are leaning his way. Quality stuff across the board, and the command has taken a big step forward. He could be a third starter -- maybe even more if the command makes another jump.

BomboRiviera (Lancaster): Dylan Cease or Yadier Alvarez?

Christopher Crawford: MAN. That's tough! It's so early in the morning, why are you asking me such tough questions!

Ya know what? I'm not choosing. I am passing. This is too hard.

Fine. Alvarez.

Greg (Queens): Hey Chris. You have great stuff. I was wondering if you had an opinion on TJ Rivera and how well his skill set will/will continue to translate in the bigs.

Christopher Crawford: Thanks, Greg. I think Rivera can be a solid utility player, but expecting more than that is a fool's errand. He certainly took advantage of the friendly confines of the PCL, but, lots of people do. I see a guy who can help you off the bench at second and third, and in a pinch shortstop, but nothing more than that. There are worse things, though!

Taylor Renner (Toronto): What type of contract will Edwin Encarnacion be looking at in FA and do you think he will stay in Toronto? I feel Houston is a great fit for him. He would fill the DH spot plus crawford boxes in LF would be a chip shot for him.

Christopher Crawford: I have my doubts that Houston is going to be willing to spend the kind of money necessary to sign him. In this limited market, I think Edwin gets paid the big bucks.

RDBL2014 (Concord, CA): Better catching prospect long term: Francisco Mejia, Chance Sisco, Tom Murphy or Tyler Stephenson?

Christopher Crawford: Mejia, by a pretty substantial margin. All due respect to those other three, but Mejia. That's the guy. The total guy.

Walligator (Toronto): Rowdy Tellez is up to .295/.387/.499 after a brutal start to the season. He is walking almost 13% of the time, while only striking out 18% (with 16 homers to boot). He is just 21 years young. While he undoubtedly has a "bad body", and is likely to be a DH, is there nothing to like in his profile, given his age and inexperience at the level? Admittedly, I've only scouted his stat line--is he someone that you have to watch in person to pick out his flaws? Some have said he has a long swing or one that can't handle high velocity...is there any way he can make it work? His slash line at his age just seems excellent, and I would think some AA pitchers can hit the mid to high 90's...does Rowdy have a chance at a big league future?

Christopher Crawford: I think he has a chance to be an average DH. That's the good news. The bad news is that I don't think he has any chance to be anything more than that, because of all the things you mentioned in the comment. There are those who are higher -- plenty of them, really -- but this type of body/skillset just doesn't work out very often. I hope I'm wrong.

Mike (Miami): Who stood out at the east coast pro event?

Christopher Crawford: I was not in attendance, but I believe we have a piece coming up or is already up with a report on the event. I don't go east of Texas very often.

Jacob (Jacksonville): When scouting a game or event, are you writing up everyone? Or just the players you have picked out?

Christopher Crawford: I'm taking notes on everyone. You just never know when they're gonna come in handy. Certainly there are players you have picked out to focus on/take video of, but I take notes on everyone and everything. I'm taking notes on you right now, Jacob.

Dave (Chicago): Are Mitch Keller and Ke'Bryan Hayes the next two big time prospects for the Pirates?

Christopher Crawford: I think Keller could be, and Hayes is a good prospect, too. Keller has really impressed, though. It took some time, but he's finally living up to the promise he showed in high school. Even with the graduates, this is still a very good system.

Drew (Ohio): Any under the radar Reds prospects that you've heard good things about ? Thanks

Christopher Crawford: Dunno if he's under the radar, but Calten Daal has really impressed in the Pioneer League. Chance for plus defense at shortstop, above-average runner, and a good enough stroke to project a fringe-average hit tool. Zero power, but he wouldn't need it if he maxes out.

Steve (New jersey): M.Conforto's AAA line this year (21 games) .425/.483/.738. And 13xbh/9Ks. I get it, it's the minors (and PCL), but we've seen him have crazy success in the majors too. What's going on with him in MLB? Confidence? Not playing every day?

Christopher Crawford: I think the Mets have done an atrocious job with him this year. I know he's struggled, but he's never really had a chance to get going. I also get that the Mets are still in contention, but come on, give this kid a chance. They're not even giving him a chance, and that's silly.

Ben (WI): Do you think Albies is more or less MLB ready than Swanson?

Christopher Crawford: Slightly less, which makes sense since he's considerably (in relative terms) younger.

PFP ((Dwittercottom)): Who is the minor league prospect with the best name spoonerism?

Christopher Crawford: Oh I'd have to think about this one, but it was Gookie Dawkins. I mean...Dookie Gawkins? Come on.

Christopher Crawford: A good spoonerism is as good of time to end a chat as any. Thanks for hanging out. We'll do this again soon, I hope.


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