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Chat: The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday February 14, 2017 12:00 PM ET chat session with The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro.

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The title seemed self-explanatory, but ask Jeff about the Top 101 and anything about the preceding 30 team lists.

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Really excited to talk about the BP 101 and our number one prospect Alex Reyes today. Let me just take a big sip of coffee and open this chat...

Ditka (Chicago ): Last year I was excited for Oscar De La Cruz to take the next step. Unfortunately that didn't happen. This year seems it could be Jose Albertos. Should I get my hopes going again or should I remember he is a pitching prospect?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: He's also a pitcher.

I think you can still be excited about both, while acknowledging the risk profiles--especially Albertos's--are extreme. Either is a healthy season away from making next year's 101. But that applies to a lot of pitching prospects in that range.

Robert (Kentucky): You are probably getting more Vlad Jr. snub questions than any other player right?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Yes, if only because the people that want to complain to me about Dom Smith won't actually do it. I talked about Vladito in the comments below the list and on the Replacement Level Podcast (and surely in other places in the coming days), but I'll summarize again. We really like the bat, but he's a 17 year old that looks like he is going to end up at first base. That's a tough profile and I need to see a full-season ball resume before I jump on board. I fully expect him to be on next year's list, and he was on various iterations of this year's.

Chipshot212 (MA): Where would Joe Musgrove rank on the list if he still had rookie eligibility? And going off of that, how does he compare to fellow Astros Francis Martes and David Paulino in upside and overall outlook, relatively speaking?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I am not a huge Musgrove guy, but internally we split pretty hard on him around midseason list time. He's safer than Paulino but he doesn't have the upside there, and Martes is just a tier or two above as a pitching prospect. I would guess he would be in that general 80-120 range where you find a lot of 55/50 arms (and riskier guys like Paulino). The exact location would have depended on how much I let Wilson harangue me about including him.

Terrance (Holliswood): What beverages are accompanying this chat? :)

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Unsweetened iced tea. I may have drank a fair bit since the last team list went up Friday.

Hank (Durham): Did Desmond Lindsay get any consideration for the list? How heavily impacted is his stock by injury risk?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Smith, Lindsay, and Dunn all would have made a top 150, maybe even a top 125. If this was my personal pref list, I could have found a way to get Lindsay on the 101, I don't know he is that far off Jahmai Jones and Anthony Alford as a prospect, but the risk profile here is so extreme. He was a corner infielder in high school, moving to center on the fly, and he's lost a ton of development time already to hamstring issues. And he still only has a short-season resume. A healthy 2017 in Columbia could really jump him into and up next year's 101 though, because while this isn't a personal pref list, I'm not afraid to blow up a guy I really like.

Either way I don't think he is the 137th best prospect next year or whatever.

Mike (Chicago): Percent chance Dylan Cease stays a starter?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Between ten and fifty percent, depending on who we talked to.

Ben (Maine): Why so low on Isan Diaz? Is a second baseman who hits .280 with 20 home runs just nothing special anymore?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Are we that low? I honestly don't know where he ranked elsewhere, but I thought we had him pretty high given the swing-and-miss concerns and the horizon to major league impact. Obviously if he is a 6/6 offensive guy, yes that will be low.

Eddie (Orlando): So the Top 101 was made in early January. Any prospects you'd move up/down by 10+ spots today?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I said to Craig that there were seven rankings I hated shortly after submitting it. It's closer to a dozen now. The ones bothering me the most currently is I'd have Carson Kelly and AJ Puk higher and Ian Happ and Nick Williams lower. This might change in another two weeks of course.

Chuck (Boston): Difference between Dansby Swanson simply a positional thing because Bentendi is surely the better bat correct?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Yeah, we went back and forth with them on our calls about the list. As I recall it literally came down to figuring out what Swanson would have to hit as a shortstop to get him below Benintendi, and we thought the likelihood is he'd beat it more often than not. It's very close and I could see the top three in any order (top five really).

Tony (USA): How much did Kyle Lewis' knee injury factor into his rating? If it did, where do you see him landing on next year's list if he recovers without issue?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: It was a big factor. The uncertainty there--especially w/r/t his ability to play center now--makes him a tricky prospect to rank. The general consensus of the staff was a healthy Lewis would have been #1 over O'Neill, so that should give you an idea of where he could land.

Greg (Oakland): What was your decision process in having Crawford over Rosario? My impression is that Rosario has the higher ceiling so I guess Crawford is viewed as just more likely to reach his potential?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Crawford is a better defender, and I'm a little more confident in the hit tool/approach at present working in the majors. I'm not going to poo-poo Rosario too much, because he's a potential all-star at the six, but he was repeating Advanced-A, and he did struggle a bit with spin and fade in Double-A at times despite the gaudy triple slash. He has an unusual hand path that he has calmed down some since he came stateside (and offseason workout video suggests it may have been smoothed out even more), but I want to see more sustained offensive performance in the upper minors before I put him over Crawford. I wouldn't be shocked if he is the best prospect in baseball going into 2018 though. Also wouldn't be surprised if he isn't eligible.

Doug (Long Island): Can you list in order of overall potential and general preference: Michael Fulmer, Steven Matz, Robert Gsellman

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Ooh. It's really close once you factor in Matz's durability/injury questions. If forced to order them, I'd go Matz/Fulmer/Gsellman, but it's well within the fudge factor.

Jojo (SD): Not asking you to speak to others' lists, but BP is higher than industry on Amir Garrett. Can you expound a bit on what your staff likes about him? I assume you believe in the change/command more than others and he can avoid a relief profile. Thanks for your tireless work!

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: We love athletic pitchers--especially basketball players (RIP Mau). Given how late he committed to pitching full time and his athleticism, we suspect there is more in the tank here than your average 24-year-old arm in the upper minors.

I would add that he is in the general range of guys that are broadly described as "mid-rotation starters or late inning relievers," that tier just starts earlier that it has in past years since the middle of the list feels shallow.

Sam (Brooklyn ): Because you brought up Justin Dunn- I was a bit surprised, but not shocked to see him miss the top 101. After the season ended, I read how a few scouts were really impressed by him (athleticism especially) and were shocked that he fell to the Mets at 19. Was he really that big of a steal?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I think he can both be a bit of a steal at 19, and not quite a top 101 name. We ranked 15 draftees this year. College arms coming off the draft in short season are particularly tricky to evaluate. When I saw Dunn he was throwing three innings at a time, not really using his full four-pitch mix, just getting some work in. It's sort of akin to evaluating a major leaguer on a rehab assignment. We'll know a lot more about him next year, but he doesn't have ideal size for a starter, there is some effort in the delivery, and even in three inning bursts he was sitting more 93-95 than upper 90s.

Dave (Queens): To put a guy like Gsellman at 17 overall has to mean he has Ace upside right? Or is a guy with the high floor of a #3 starter ranked in that range too? Basically, do you have to have Ace potential to be a top 15/20 prospect

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: A few different ideas to unpack here.

I haven't done my most recent check, but I'm guessing there's maybe 10-12 "aces" in the majors right now. So in any given year, they might not be an "ace" in the minors. Alex Reyes is the closest to that now, hence his ranking, but I couldn't quite pull the trigger on an 80 OFP there because of the control and command concerns. A sure shot #3 could definitely rank there though, and if you want to talk about *ceiling*--which isn't a word I love to discuss--is it impossible Gsellman gets another grade of change and command and turns into Jacob deGrom? No, it isn't, but that wasn't the line of thinking that led us to rank him there. And you could say the same things about Josh Hader, Anderson Espinoza, Brent Honeywell, plenty of pitchers in that same area of the list.

There aren't that many more #2 starters either, so guys with that potential should be top 25 guys.

Wilmer (Vinegar Bend): Eloy: more homers than Rafael, considering raw power AND feel to hit?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I assume Devers? I could see it, but I would be more due to raw than feel to hit. Jimenez could be a very, very strong kid at 22. And he has plenty of raw now.

alexcushing (NYC): what are the skills you look at most closely when trying to put future value on young raw hitters like Kalil Lee, Thomas Jones, Starling Heredia ,etc. Is it bat speed,raw power or just tools?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Bat speed is good. I'd say barrel control is better, especially against off speed--even short-season-level off speed. What I usually use as a catch-all is "Show me something that doesn't look out of place in the majors," even if the competition level clearly isn't that. Can be as simple as tracking and staying back on a slider and swatting it into the outfield for a hit.

Tony (USA): If you threw out defense, which hitting prospect would make the biggest jump on the list?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Calhoun probably. Vladito too. A bunch of guys that Ben comped to CJ Cron.

Paul (DC): What does Oakland do with Chapman? Is Chapman good enough to push Healy off of Third?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I can honestly say I did not expect Matt Chapman to get pushed as high as he did, but our staff really went to bat for him. I could see the A's moving Healy across the diamond.

A check of roster resource reminds me the A's signed Trevor Plouffe, which I don't remember at all, but makes perfect sense as an Athletics signings. I think they could rotate those guys through 1B/3B/DH to get them all at-bats, which I guess is something you do as the 2017 A's. I don't think Yonder Alonso will be blocking Chapman from that rotation.

Sammy (Conn): Was it tough to justify putting Maitan on the list and not Andres Gimenez?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I think Maintain's superior offensive tools made it less difficult, but I get the general point. And on both we are dart-throwing to an extentuntil there are stateside reports.

Dave (NJ): Gleyber Torres is 3yrs younger than Swanson. I assume GT has more upside than Swanson?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I could see the argument for that. I don't think it's significantly more though. There's a Casey Stengel quote about prospect age that applies here as well.

Tony (USA): Does Ronald Acuna have the chance to jump Victor Robles in the rankings by this time next year, or is he just Robles Lite? (Barring any moderate/major injuries)

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Robles could get hit by a falling jet engine.

(we really like Victor Robles...and Donnie Darko I guess. I honestly haven't rewatched it in years)

Robert (Kentucky): Do you think scouts use the radar gun and stop watch as a bit of a crutch? I was looking at a different top 100 list (sorry BP didn't give individual tool grades on the list), and there were far more 70 grades on fastball and run on the list than the rest of the tools combined.

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I think those are the easiest things to grade. Not that they are unimportant at all mind you, but it's easier to say a dude has a 70 fastball than a 70 hit tool (and there are far more 70 fastballs)

Tim (CA): Rank the following for 2017 and beyond: Blake Snell, Robert Gsellman, Jameson Taillon.

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Taillon quietly had a very good season at two levels, and I wouldn't be shocked this year if he takes a step forward and is at least a major league 2 (with the usual health caveats, and there's more there than with the other two). Past him I like both Snell and Gsellman, would take Gsellman today, maybe Snell tomorrow.

Jeremy (Topeka): Thanks for the excellent work this offseason. The prospect coverage is the only reason I re-up my subscription each year. At the risk of sounding slightly ungrateful, when can we expect the Dynasty 101?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: They keep me far away from the fantasy coverage for good reason, but I heard within the next two weeks.

Riley (Boston): Refreshing to see the overhyped Gleyber Torres to not be in a top 5. Did you guys discuss his ranking a lot, and was there a consensus that he was being overhyped by others for whatever reason (classic Yankee overhype)?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I mean, we still have him as a top 20 prospect in baseball, so we like him. There were some divergent opinions even among staff that saw him in the AFL this year. And yeah, he got discussed a lot.

I think how you judge the profile comes down to how much power you think he ultimately develops--and the desert air and gassed marginal Double-A arms of the AFL may not give you that much insight on if something has changed there--and what the major league defensive profile is, both in terms of position and value of the glove.

I don't think it is specifically Yankees hype (and we think they are one of the best systems in baseball and they had 9 101 guys, so some hype is warranted), but you do get more attention on the big prospects dealt at the trade deadline generally. Captive media audience that doesn't normally talk prospects.

Mark (US): Favorites for 2018 top prospect?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Moncada, Robles, Rosario, Jimenez, are the highest guys most likely to still be list-eligible. I could see any of the four taking it. If you want someone further down, how about a crafty quid on Leody Taveras?

Steve (Maine): Where would Michael Conforto and Gary Sanchez have fit on this list if eligible?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm trying to think of a good argument against Gary Sanchez at #1. I don't know that I have one.

Conforto I said would be top five at midseason, if you just assume he never gets called up last year, or gets sent back down post-Cespedes trade, and keeps doing the same thing in the minors. Let's assume he gets that same late season cup of coffee and post an .817 OPS in September. I don't think he's that far off Benintendi. The actual truth is a little more complicated of course.

Dan (Fl): God the Marlins system is miserable. Are we going to be the only NL East team without a young, stud SS in 3 years?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: There's always the 2017 and 2018 drafts. May certainly have a shot at one.

And you think you are miserable about it? I had to find two more names for the Futures Guide after the Straily deal.

Josh (Sacramento): Reports that Alex Reyes may have a season-ending injury (Craig Mish from Sirius XM reporting this). That would really, really blow.

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Also, he's a pitcher.

BBPAlan (NC): Where would Otani rank?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm trying to think of an argument against him at #1, and I...

Oh I have one, Alex Reyes is getting an MRI.

JS (Rural NJ): Who would rank higher on this list, Shohei Otani or Kazuchika Okada?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Okada doesn't even top the best Ultimo Dragon trainee list.

Rick (Savannah): Does a healthy and productive Luis Carpio become a sleeper for the 2018 top 101?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: The 101 is not a personal pref list, and I think the shoulder injury may move him off shortstop--where he wasn't a slam dunk to stick anyway--that makes it a tough 101 profile without like Isan Diaz's raw, Happ's floor, or Barretto's broader base of skills.

Drew (Boston): You would really take Otani and his who knows how long stay overseas over guys who will be potential all stars while he is over there? Guys like Dansby Swanson and Andrew Bentendi?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: The question was if he was eligible now. Which means he would have to be signed to a major league org.

someguynamedkenn (NJ): Why isn't Willy Adames getting more hype? Dude was like the 3rd best hitter in the Southern League last year despite being one of the youngest players in the league. His BP write-up for this year's annual seems to think that he has a good chance of sticking at SS. Just curious why he hasnt received more hype.

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Craig hates the Rays.

(The real answer is we like him a lot as you can tell by the ranking, but he isn't the type of guy that inspires particularly purple prose)

Liam (Parts Unknown): Chris Jericho once said, "It's art, you don't need pants." So in the same vein as this quote, what tool would you rather a 3B in the low minors show, Glove or Arm? In terms of percentile difference, what is the skill gap between the #30 and the #200 prospect?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: #30 on our list was Reynaldo Lopez, who isn't an ideal example for this exercise, but we'll go with it. The 200th best prospect who is also a pitcher is probably...oh, let's say Chih-Wei Hu since I have Rays on the mind now. So that's a pretty significant stuff advantage even if the output is only a half grade of OFP/Likely. Pitchers tend to be more volatile though. On the position player side it would be Cody Bellinger and one of those guys Ben comped to CJ Cron. So again, a grade of hit and power. really. That seems small, but it's a very tough jump to make. Not that it doesn't happen which is why these lists can be volatile from year to year, especially on the back end.

I was really hoping they would do Jericho/Owens for the belt if they were gonna break them up this quickly.

Daquan (Tristate): Would Seth Lugo make a list if eligible?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Lugo is a nice story and may be a quite useful major league arm now, but I don't think he'd be a 101 guy. More akin to like Matt Strahm.

Erhan (Kansas): Potential season ending injury for Alex Reyes. Assuming he's out for the season, how far back would you move him on the top 101?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Well, the book's already shipped so...

This was baked into the ranking. My Annual comment specifically spells out that this was a risky move for exactly this reason, but worth mentioning that there was a day or two where we all thought Benintendi blew out his knee, so it can happen to bats too.

If this happened before deadline? I guess he'd drop out of the top ten, but not a ton further than that, and without knowing exactly the issue I can't really pin it down more than that.

JS (Rural NJ): Sanchez argument: he's only done it for a half-season after five years as a tantalizing prospect that just never put it together? (That's a crappy argument because he clearly, clearly put it together from every possible perspective, but...)

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Sure. This isn't all that different from what we thought he might look like as a prospect though. Dial's turned up to 11, but he also doesn't have to be nearly that good to be a role 6 catcher, which is crazy valuable.

Zach (NJ): I have an odd one for you- If you had to bet, and were given 50/50 odds whether or not Andres Gimenez would be on the top 101 in 2018, which side of the bet would you choose?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Without putting my finger on the scale here--since I am the one theoretically signing off on that list--I'll say he gets a just missed entry.

Buff (Colorado ): I'm interested in the timetable for Delvin Perez. Some say he gets left behind in instructs and starts playing in short season, others say he starts at low A and might even make high A later this year. What's your best guess/info?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: This is the kind of thing that really works itself out on the minor league side in Spring Training. There's not a ton of track record here either since the last high school bat the Cardinals took for comparison purposes here is Pete Kozma (who did go to the MWL). If you view Perez as a top ten talent in last year's draft class, those guys usually go straight to full-season. Perez was a young prep though, so a lot of variables. I still suspect the only one that matters is how he looks in March.

Sean99 (Chicago): Can Giolito get his fastball back?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: If I had the answer to this I'd have a job with the White Sox...or the Nationals. Guess it depends on the answer. I think there are worse landing spots for him to find it certainly.

delatopia (the 415): They're not Top 101 guys yet, but in a dynasty sim league who's more likely to be an impact player, Cristian Pache or Jesus Sanchez? Thanks for all your hard work this winter.

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Okay, lighting round time.

At present I'll take Pache's tool set for fantasy purposes.

Julio (NY): I'm looking at current Mets prospects and trying to figure out who can jump onto the list next year (obviously I cant predict a out-of-nowhere breakout like Szapucki). Am I wrong to think that any from Gimenez, Lindsay, Molina, Carpio, Becerra, Nido and Alonso have a decent shot at making it next year provided they have a "good" year (maybe not even a true breakout)? Am I rating some of these guys maybe too high?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Lindsay's the most likely. Then Gimenez. Maybe Nido. We struggle with catchers I think, but I should also see a fair bit of Nido this year across the Eastern League.

Steve (Philly): With so many Cuban imports coming over each season, how difficult is it to include these players into rankings? Most have rust on them, you haven't had someone look at them firsthand, and the developmental path may be different than we're accustomed to. But there's an expectation that they all slot in somewhere based on what people have read about them. I'm sure you'll get questions about Lazarito, Morejon, and the younger Gurriel, all of whom missed your cut, so I hope this is relevant. Also, where would Luis Robert slot in if he got a time machine and signed somewhere two months ago?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Morejon has come up a fair bit and he's one of the just missed guys we didn't write about for the just missed. You can usually get reports, but the time off makes things trickier.

Chipshot212 (MA): Were Brock Stewart and Brandon Woodruff considered at all? Both pitched extremely well in 2016, so I'm curious about their outlook.

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Performance over stuff guys. Both should pitch in the majors and may even have long careers at the backend of rotations, but not enough upside to get much list chat. I will say I think we were probably too low on Woodruff w/r/t the Brewers list in hindsight.

Ralph (NJ): I love Thomas Szapucki. If he can put together a season in A ball (more innings- say 110-120) that is consistent with his peripherals from last year, how far up this list will he shoot? top 30?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: He'd have been close to that without the back issues in 2016 (could say the same about Allard and Puk too). A full healthy year at Columbia with that stuff could get him that high, sure.

David (Not Sure): It seems lately following low minor SS's is fun. Heading into this season some names of interest are Miguelangel Sierra and Fernando Tatis Jr. I am not sure how to interpret their performances from last year and what to expect. Care to hit us with some knowledge on these players to make a informed decision?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Sierra's a polished glove, good shot to stick, the power was more Appy elevation than actual raw pop and he's gonna need some refinement at the plate. Tats is less likely to stick, but has more offensive upside. We actually had a fun internal conversation about it Tatito was Vladito and vice versa, what their respective national profiles would be.

My lightning round isn't much quicker is it?

AK (NYC): No Vlad in your top 100?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: If it makes you feel any better, I imagine I will know every time he goes 3-4 in Lansing.

Lougle (Queens): How far off was Delvin Perez?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: He was on. 79.

hoosier (Indiana): (Fill in the Blanks) The team with the most prospects in the 101 in 2018 will be ____________. The top prospect will play this position: ________.

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Braves, center field

Danny (San Fran): Royals going to go prospect-less on the Top 101 next year (not a great slot in the draft either)

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: If this is a statement and not a question, I probably concur. Not impossible someone like Lee or Viloria takes a big jump.

Joe (Minnesota): No love for the Twins? Feel like Romero and Kirilloff deserved consideration...and they weren't even in the "Just Missed" list either!

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: They were in the just missed tier, just didn't get write-ups.

Ceej (LA): Should I be excited for Bellinger as soon as this year, or is that one too early.

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I could see him getting a fairly long run out on teams other than the Dodgers, but you'll probably have to wait for 2018 barring injury. Though give the Dodgers luck there...

Chip (NJ): What does the acquisition of Phillips do to the arrival of Ozzie Albies? Who gets more MLB PT this season, Albies or JP Crawford?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm not entirely sure what the Braves are doing, though I guess if they want to bench him and play Albies and he gets loud in the media about it, they can just cut him given how little of the salary they are paying. JPC has the clearer path to a job though.

Jim (KC): Not impossible the Royals trade a couple of their big MLB pieces for top prospects either.

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Yep, could see Cain being a very enticing deadline piece even as a rental.

Tony (ND): Thoughts on Jake Bauers? How close was he?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: He's one of the better first baseman that Ben comped to CJ Cron, but probably doesn't even squeeze onto the hypothetical 150.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): How quickly does Thaiss move through the Angels' system?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: We threw a 2019 ETA on him, could see 2018 even.

henry (texas): Does Jurickson Profar still have the same tool set, at least from an offensive perspective that led him to be a number 1 prospect?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: He's gonna be 24. has a full season of PA as a well-below-average hitter. Granted the playing time has been sporadic, but sometimes the injuries blunt the tools. He doesn't look like that guy anymore, although he could still be a solid major league player at some point.

Kenneth (Qarth): What needs to happen for Tomas Nido to be on this list next year? Not impossible, right?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Do it again in Double-A.

Jim (Chicago): Is Reynaldo Lopez in the rotation this year and what kind of upside does he have there? Or is he a reliever to you? And if so, why is he ranked so high and AJ Minter is not.

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: It's possible he's a reliever, but he'd be a better reliever than AJ Minter. I don't think he breaks camp in the Nats rotation (although as first reported in this chat, pitchers get hurt in February), but I think there's a mid-rotation starter in there with command issues that keep him from more despite the stuff.

New Slang (Tulsa): No mentions of Harrison Bader...Having watched him play a few games in the Texas League last year, he seems like a very Cardinal-ly Cardinal. Make sense?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Yeah, he could be a Cardinals devil magic guy, but we liked Sierra more, for one example. He was the closest Cardinal to making it.

Chip (NJ): Does Moncada start the season in AAA?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I think so, but I don't think it matters a huge amount either way.

Tony (LALALAND): How does the Angels farm system rank in the "top 5 worst farm systems of the past 20 years?"

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: It's not the worst farm system this year.

Jeffrey (KC): Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas for Gleyber Torress, Jorge Mateo, Aaron Judge and Greg Bird. Who says no?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Me, so I don't have to rewrite more stuff for the Futures Guide. Also, the Yankees.

Hank (Texas): Kyle Tucker similar to Austin Meadows?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Man, everyone I talked to internally and externally talked up Tucker's power. Meadows finally found his, so why not. Meadows is more athletic and a better center fielder, even if the Pirates will play him in a corner. Very, very different swings though.

jgaz (DC): Where do you see Erceg ranking on this list next year? Feels like there's always a second rounder who pops up in his first full minor league season (Calhoun this year); do you like Erceg to be that guy?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Yeah, I like him to be the guy.

Chip (NJ): How are decisions made as to where a top draft pick starts (Low A or High A)?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Where they have innings/starts available, how much they want to challenge him, sometimes the weather. Better talent tends to set its own timetable.

Still Here (Somewhere): If there's one Hall of Fame player on this year's 101, it's ____________.

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Oh fun. Let's say Swanson gets 3000 hits playing his whole career as a Braves shortstop. And we all suffer through far too many Derek Jeter comps over the years.

Chip (NJ): Any glaring factors as to why Twins pitching prospects seem to continually fail? Scouting, development?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: This isn't exactly breaking #scouting work here, but I saw a lot of Twins arms come through New Britain over the years, and they sure have liked a type of pitcher that tends to not miss bats even in Double-A.

jkrangel1524 (LA): I understand contact concerns, but Bobby Bradley continues to perform at a young age in each level. Why was he unranked in your opinion?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't have a ton of confidence in the swing against major league stuff/sequencing, at least not to the level that would get him on the 101 as a 1B/DH.

hoosier (Indiana): hypothetically, if all these prospects were on the same team, what would be a fair trade for Mike Trout? 3 of the top 5 and 1 or 2 in the 50-101 range?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Given this year's cluster of the top 5 as close-to-ready guys, I could see that.

Hank (Texas): Just looked it up, what in the heck is up with Kyle Tuckers swing? It looks like his wrists break mid swing lol.

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I've been told that's how everyone used to swing before the proliferation of hitting camps and the like. Well before my time obviously.

Julia (Atlanta, Georgia): Any hope left for Alex Jackson with the move to catcher? It feels to me he is being over looked for struggling at a young age in the minors, what if he was in college and tearing the covering off of the ball like Seth Beer? Same age. Different outlooks for some reason.

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Multiple Alex Jackson questions! The flame never dies. I would worry that the move to catcher--while lowering the offensive bar--will bring a whole new set of challenges to focus on that will distract from developing the bat. But it's worth a shot.

Jake (Boston): Reynaldo Lopez is on the White Sox now not the Nats. Does that change the answer at all?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: He is. My brain is basically the consistency of Ruhlman's scrambled eggs at this point in the process. It does.

Trev (New York): For pure offense, would you prefer Rutherford or Moniak? Seems like Moniak is more of an all around player whereas Rutherford is more bat-valued. Is this accurate?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I'll co-sign that.

Chip (NJ): Hardware City Rockcats forever!

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: These cats rock!

hoosier (Indiana): anybody who didn't make the 101 or "Just missed" that you are particularly bullish on and have in your personal 101? also, what do you value more, high floor/close proximity to majors or high ceiling/more risky?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm pretty good about sneaking guys on like, say, Anderson Tejeda. Jose Albertos is the one that jumps out to me for that I guess. I wrote about this in the intro to the lists, but I think chasing upside is a necessity given how much harder it is to get above-average regulars onto your major league team nowadays.

Kris (Boston): So should the Red Sox have offered Moncada, Bentindi, Kopech, Devers and Swihart for Trout?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: They certainly could have!

Buddy (Peoria, IL): Does Zimmer get to Cleveland this year? Does Brinson get to Milwaukee?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Yes to both, the latter in a more meaningful role.

MoncadaForever (Chi-town): Are you planning another Futures Guide this year? If so, when can we expect it?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Yes, and we are going over the edits to the lists for it with the staff as we chat. Goal is to have the updated material into editing by the end of the month and the guide out in early March.

Eric (Delaware): If Marcos Molina looks like he did before injury (with some mechanical tweaks) and doesnt get hurt, is he a top 101 guy?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: He wouldn't be that far off the type of "probably a reliever" arms at the back of the list or the "injury questions" arms in the same range. Those are a lot of ifs though, and "mechanical tweaks" is a polite way to put it.

Don (DC): As good as Robles could be, is he one of those guys that would rank higher on a regular top 101 than a dynasty top 101? Is he projected to be more valuable in real life than fantasy?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Yes, although maybe not as much as you think given the hit tool potential and the speed.

Kris (Boston): If you were the Angels GM would have you accepted that?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I would not have. Now swap in Bogaerts...

Tom (IL): Fill in the blank.... There is a ___ percent chance that Kopech can be a long-term starting pitcher in the majors?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: 40

Buddy (Peoria, IL): How good do you think Devers will be? Does he possibly see the majors this year if Panda is a bust---again?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: He's gonna start in Double-A as a 20 year old. I don't think he's getting pushed, and I don't think he hits enough to force the issue. Maybe late 2018.

Demi (Canton): The Amed Rosario v Gleyber Torres debate is one of my favorites. Which side are you on and why?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Rosario due to the superior shortstop tools. It's another one within the fudge factor though depending on how you feel about the relative risks in the offensive profile.

sir nerdlington (colorado): Which guys on the list are most likely to make you smack your forehead at the end of the year (for good or bad)?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: The biggest "risks" we took were Gsellman and Hader in the top 20, and Vladito off the list. I could see some of the 2016 draft arms making me look bad in either direction too.

Ashley (CLeveland): Could Clint Frazier bust? Going back in time, would the Yankees swap Torres and Frazier for Jimenez and Zimmer?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Anyone can bust. Frazier probably is riskier than the average bat ranked as highly as he is though. I would personally take Jimenez over Torres, but I get why the Yankees took the present-day shortstop. I would not take Zimmer over Frazier, bigger bust risk and not a very different profile otherwise.

Travis (PA): Given his ranking, the BP team is still very high on Glasnow. But was there any discussion that last year was somewhat of a disappointment? Despite another year of experience, the walks didn't really improve. Tough to survive walking 5 per 9.

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Yeah, I don't know what to do with Glasnow. The stuff is obvious, and he's a grade of command/control from being a monster. Basically we kicked the can for another year, although he obviously won't be list eligible in 2018 barring calamity.

sir nerdlington (colorado): Do you know if an IFA has ever made a top 100 as quickly as Maitan?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: KG had Michael Ynoa 20th after he signed. All three bref sources had Sano Top 100 immediately, highest was MLB at 23. There's probably others, even limiting it to the J2 16-year-olds.

Ron (FLA): While no longer eligible for the top 101, what do you see from Blake Snell this year and going forward?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: I think he's due for a bit of a consolidation year, gets the walks a bit more under control, is a solid mid-rotation arm. Maybe a bit more in the future. I like him quite a bit.

Rick (Chicago): How would Swanson, Rosario, Crawford and Torres rank with regards to overall ultimate upside? Do you see any of them with a decent chance to enter the Seager/Lindor/Correa stratosphere?

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Rosario, Torres, Crawford, Swanson

I guess it would map something like Crawford to Lindor and Rosario to Correa for comps if we are hitting the 95th percentile or whatever. Torres to Seager maybe. Swanson doesn't fit quite as well.

The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro: Okay, that's almost 100 questions in the book and I have to return to Futures Guide edits and org rankings talk. It really doesn't end. Until next time.


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