Draftees! Prospects! Beer! Beer-drinking prospect-draftees! Astronaut-in-the-desert Jason Parks takes you through a long, hot afternoon of adventures in scouting.
Jason Parks: Sorry for the delay. Was experiencing a computer issue. As Patton Oswalt would say, "Thanks for coming out, I'm drunk, here we go."
Tim (Portland): Nuke LaLoosh - 80 arm, 20 head? I always thought his mechanics would make it difficult to repeat his delivery, so I figure his command grade is maybe 40?
Jason Parks: If that. Looked like a reliever to me
Zach (Brookeville, MD): I realize how hard it is to become good at scouting, but is there any sort of scouting primer that can teach me to just do some very rough analysis of a swing or a delivery.
Jason Parks: I wrote a series of articles on BP on scouting. I'd link you, but I'm lazy. "U Got the Look" is the name of the series.
mef (Brooklyn): Is Matt Moore a future #1 starter? I think he responded well to being discussed on the podcast, much like Jose Altuve and Tom Verducci's hair.
Jason Parks: Yes. Moore has top-of-the-rotation talent. The command will need to get there, and the changeup will need to get there, but yes, I think they will get there.
GBSimons (Boise, ID): Jason, if Sebatian Valle "view(s) walks like (you) view a jury summons," is there any player in history who viewed walks like you view Tom Verducci's hair?
Jason Parks: I'm not sure how many players view walks like they are Greek Gods.
GBSimons (Boise, ID): So I should make an effort to see Jorge Alfaro when Spokane visits Boise, right? Anything in particular to watch for with #TheLegend?
Jason Parks: Right. The arm will stand out, of course, as will the power, so make sure to catch bp.
mef (Brooklyn): What do you focus on when looking at a catching prospect? Is it all arm and athleticism?
Jason Parks: Sure, but I also look for comfort and coordination. You want to see reflexes and reactions, fundamentals, intelligence in game action. Scouting a catcher takes a lot of time.
Brendan (Providence ): Is there still hope for Andrew Miller to develop into a good major-league starter? I'm thinking that the ace projections there when he was drafted are now a thing of the past. At what point has the ship sailed on a pitching prospect of his caliber? It's not like there have been major injury issues.
Jason Parks: Yes. Not sure how crazy to get with the expectations, but if Miller found his command, he could still end up being a good major league quality starter. Some pitchers just take a long time to figure it out. Better late than never, assuming what is happening at the present is legit.
kcshankd (Lawrence, KS): I'm starting to panic about the Royals pitching, long-term. Lamb down, Montgomery scuffling, Dwyer awful. Adam in low A. Who makes it through to the 2013 rotation?
Jason Parks: I think Montgomery will find his command, but it might take a few setbacks before you see steps forward; Adam isn't close; was never a big fan of Dwyer; Lamb is a good candidate for recovery; Duffy will be a solid #3. Don't panic.
Keith7971 (Naugy (CT)): I managed to rig an associates fridge with a cheap mp3 player so that each and every time they open it, the theme song to Indiana Jones rings out, my question is, does this new development make the fridge a true 80 on the scale?
Jason Parks: No question. True 80
ramjam36 (Dallas): Hey Jason, what do you think of Justin Grimm, and do you think he has the chance to pitch in a big league rotation?
Jason Parks: It's possible. He has good stuff and some feel for pitching. He requires more development, of course, but he projects to be a big league starter. He's a goofy kid. I like the stuff.
ramjam36 (Dallas): I've heard you say that you believe Olt is the best position prospect in the Ranger's system. How impressed have you been with Profar's patience and pop? Could he be a .285/.375/.450 SS?
Jason Parks: Very impressed with Profar this season. He continues to show a potent combo of present/future, and he is clearly developing into one of the better prospects in the game. I don't think .285/.375/.450 is our of the realm of possibility, but I do think that is rather optimistic. That slash from the SS position would make him a borderline superstar. I think his ceiling is just under that, but we shall see.
Geo (lunch break): I've heard a few experts say that it's going to take the Royals somewhere between $7 and $8 million to get Starling signed. Your take on this?
Jason Parks: I haven't heard those figures, but whatever it takes, it's going to be extremely pricey. It's going to hurt. But the Royals will pay, Starling will be good, and the world will rejoice.
ted (the cubicle): Someone wake up the Professor
Jason Parks: Was having computer issues.
LoyalRoyal (LV, KS ): Jason, I have just recently been hearing buzz about Neil Ramirez. What are your thoughts on him?
Jason Parks: Never heard of him.
Matt Adams (Texas League): Hey, Jason! I know I'm a fat, 22-year-old first baseman, but does my line of .354/.397/.677 (roughly .380/.440/.790 since April) vault me into your personal top 75-100 prospect list? Thanks!
Jason Parks: It doesn't, but I'm writing about you for an upcoming piece, and I did have a scout tell me a few nice things about you. You are quite fat
LoyalRoyal (LV, KS): Jason, what's your take on the Braves decision to promote Randall Delgado over Julio Teheran? Just a timing thing or does this speak to how highly they regard Delgado as well? What is Delgado's ceiling? Thanks...
Jason Parks: Delgado is a very nice prospect (some scouts actually like him more than Teheran long-term), but I'm not reading into the promotion.
Preston (Texarkana, Tx): David Perez is making his stateside debut today..what exactly are we to expect of him? i know very little about him.
Jason Parks: I write about him frequently, both at BP and on my Rangers specific site www.texasfarmreview.com. I think he could become a top tier pitching talent; his command is sharp, his FB can sit in the low 90s and touch much higher, he can spin a good CB, and he has a ton of projection. Crazy talent.
BillHicksRIP (Daintree Australia): .393/.422/.689 Jose Altuves' numbers in Double A so far, I'm so hoping he continues to hit. I know you guys have him as the official BP Podcast prospect, but in all seriousness can you see him cracking the majors in 2 or 3 years time?
Jason Parks: At this rate, Altuve could reach the majors in 2012. I'm still not sold on his long-term future, but he continues to hit and I continue to be pleasantly surprised.
dianagramr (NYC): How's your back?
Jason Parks: Better. Thanks. It was worth it. Mavs!
Dan (Dallas): Expectations for Jorge Alfaro's debut?
Jason Parks: Probably a couple of bombs and a few back-picks at 2B. You know, the usual.
Bill Simmons (LA): Thoughts on grantland.com?
Jason Parks: Haven't read it. Not really a big Simmons fan. I do enjoy the idea of the site, though. It's smart.
Marissa (Las Vegas): Which team is going to win the Stanley Cup?
Jason Parks: The DeKalb Goldsteins
jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): You might have answered this before, but do you find yourself grading other things in your life on the 20-80 scale? I highly recommend it.
Jason Parks: I grade everything. I'd give this question a 40, but I see room for improvement.
Aaron Sorkin (LA): Thoughts on the Moneyball trailer?
Jason Parks: It looks stupid.
John Doe (U.S.A.!): Love your work, J.P.! Would your template for "perfect pitching prospect" give much weight to high GB rates? Or do you place more value on low HR numbers? Thanks!
Jason Parks: I don't really pay a great deal of attention to HR numbers. That said, I do look at GB rates, as I prefer pitchers that keep the ball on the ground.
jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): Derek Norris = Mickey Tettleton?
Jason Parks: That was KG's comp, and I think it makes sense.
Mike (New York): Do you know much about Jake Marisnick, also what's your early take on Luke Jackson?
Jason Parks: Crazy good athlete, but the process of turning those raw physical tools into baseball skills could take some time. Jackson is a very promising arm, with a low 90s FB that can reach the mid-90s (has touched ~97), a good hard CB, and a developing CH. COmmand will take some time, but the arm is crazy fast.
Adam (NY): Does the Bear Coat play any shows in NY?
Jason Parks: Nope. Just a studio project.
Greg27 (Milwaukee): Jason - If you could, what are you hearing about Jurickson Profar's bat? Is it better than expected and has it changed your view on his hit/power tool, if so what grades would you give him?
Jason Parks: I always hear good things about Profar. He is offering more production than I expected, but I wouldn't change my future grades for him. I think he will end up with solid-average power to go along with a 65 hit tool. That's a big projection for a player that can stick at SS.
jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): Since Moneyball isn't it, in your opinion- what is the best baseball movie that needs to be made?
Jason Parks: Deliverance Part 2: The Up and In Podcast
Kate (LA): Jason, I really enjoy your work. I don't have a question but as long as you work for BP, I will remain a member.
Jason Parks: I hope the powers that be are reading this. Gracias.
jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): How would you grade the Vancouver riot on the scouting scale?
Jason Parks: I'm not sure. I go out of my way to ignore Canada.
Steve (Moose Jaw): Brett Lawrie Career All Star Appearances, 2.5. Over or Under?
Jason Parks: Over. Excellent hitter.
Kolten Wong (StL to be....): Hey, Jason! My park-and-schedule-adjusted OPS was 1.200+ this year (.454 average); am I a future .310/.390/.450 guy in the majors? Thanks!
Jason Parks: You better be, given where you were drafted. I don't think you reach those heights, though.
Santino (Deerborn, MI): After a slow start in the MWL, Nick Castellanos seems to be turning it on. What are your thoughts on him, does he project to have enough power for 3B?
Jason Parks: Yes. He has excellent power. Solid-average to plus power potential.
jhardman (Rangerland): Love your stuff and thanks for the chat! With good news being reported on Tanner Scheppers, can you give your insight on whether he will be in Arlington by the All-Star break? Do your scouting reports differ for him becoming a reliever vs. a starter?
Jason Parks: I've never spoken to anybody who really likes him as a starter. He's a reliever, and if he's healthy (a big if), I think he can see Arlington this summer.
Matt (0.9er town): Jason. Two questions: Who has the higher ceiling Travis D'Arnud or J.P Arencibia (think I spelled both of those names wrong)? Second, I don't get Jackson Pollack. Can you explain why his art is good, or am I just hopeless? I thought seeing it in person would wow me, but I still felt nothing but confusion.
Jason Parks: d'Arnaud has the higher ceiling. Better all-around catcher. As for Pollock, well, I'm not a big fan either, but the work is still important. Feeling confusion is a good thing. The last thing you want to experience while looking at art is an easy answer. Art should present a challenge. I'm not sure all of Pollock's work is challenging, but his period was important and he helped bring more focus on it. He was a lot better than some of his AbEx contemporaries, but I do find his work to be overvalued and one note
jtanker33 (Dayton OH): Hi Jason. Loved the SP, RP, and C columns. Which position are you doing next?
Jason Parks: Thanks. 1B is up next.
Kyle (Maine): Does Swihart have Mauer kind of upside?
Jason Parks: No. Mauer is elite. Swihart could be a very nice player, but Mauer isn't a comp that should be placed on anybody.
TannerDerks (Valpo): How much should we read into Jarrod Parker's struggles? The velocity is there, but the command/control would seem to be way off. Still ace potential for you?
Jason Parks: I never saw ace. I think he will become a solid #2 type, but there aren't many aces in baseball. I wouldn't worry about the command/control issue yet. Takes time to harness the stuff after returning from an injury.
Trebor (Austin, TX): Can you get a radar gun reading on a swing? Would getting velocity data on bat speed be useful for scouting or not so much?
Jason Parks: You can read exit velocity coming off the bat, but I've never really given it much thought. I measure bat speed with my eyes. It's not an exact science.
Kyle Burkhart (Chicago): Matt Szczur has had a real nice season so far. Is his ceiling a 20/20 type with a decent average, and has he moved ahead of Brett Jackson for you?
Jason Parks: Close. Szcuzur needs to do it at a higher level first. Love the tools.
Mike (STL): Is Shelby Miller the best pitching prospect in baseball right now? Seems like he's pushing up his timetable with every start.
Jason Parks: Yes. I think Miller is the best arm in the game right now.
Kyle (Maine): Is Iglesias really the best defensive shortstop in a generation, or is that hyperbole?
Jason Parks: It's hyperbole. He's very, very skilled, but I wouldn't say he is a generational talent.
MJ (Boston): Are you being serious regarding the Moneyball trailer? I thought it look quite good...
Jason Parks: I'm serious. I thought it looked ridiculous.
DS (LA): Major league ETAs for Gerritt Cole, Danny Hultzen, Sonny Gray, and Matt Barnes?
Jason Parks: Late summer of 2012
Travis Snider (Las Vegas): How many more major league AB's do you need to see before you can declare me a bust?
Jason Parks: 250
Adam (Denton): If you had to choose one beer to describe your ideal woman, which would it be?
Jason Parks: Negra Modelo: it's always warm
sanchez101 (santa Barbara, CA): Trout or Harper, and why?
Jason Parks: Trout. Can play above-average defense at a premium defensive position. Harper has the higher offensive ceiling, obviously.
Jake (Kalamazoo): What do you hear about Wilmer Flores? I know I should be patient with a 19 year old, but it feels like he's been around forever. More to the point - he seems to be going backwards in his second tour of the Florida State League.
Jason Parks: I was never a fan. He is still young, and he still has time to figure it out. Be patient, but I wouldn't be overly optimistic.
Biff (MI): The Tigers are notorious for being aggressive with their pitching prospects. Do you see Jacob Turner coming up late this year to help in the bullpen or even make a spot start?
Jason Parks: It's possible. I wouldn't do it, but I can see the allure Turner brings forth. I think he reaches the majors in '12.
Tim Carvin (Pretending To Work, NYC): Who are the teams I should want to see play in the NY Penn League?
Jason Parks: Depends on the signings, of course. Any team that can sign some talent and push them out to short-season ball becomes a good team to watch. I prefer Cyclones/Yankees because of proximity
Brad (MO): If a prospect had legit 70 hit and power tools and showed plus defense behind the plate, what percentage of teams would move her to third or right to put less wear and tear on the body if projected as plus defensively there too?
Jason Parks: I think most teams would leave the prospect behind the plate, at least in the short-term. That said, I'd much rather have a 70/70 hitter in the lineup everyday than a 70/70 hitter in the lineup 2/3 of the time.
June (July): Thoughts on Cheslor Cuthbert? Will he be the next big thing in the Royals system?
Jason Parks: He could. I've seen him play a bunch. Love the talent. Not a crazy ceiling, but I think he has legit major league projections.
April (May): How is the international free agent class this year? Anyone to get excited about a la Heredia last year?
Jason Parks: Yes. More talent this year. Roberto Osuna is the top Mexican arm this season. Watched him pitch this spring. Not the best body, but good stuff and good feel. He will definitely be a 7-figure player.
Adam (NY): Do you think scouting has advanced far enough in Mexico that a player like Manny Banuelos would go for
more than 400k today?
Jason Parks: Good question. Yes and no. I think you can still find relatively unknown talent in the region, but buying the player away from his Mexican league team is always pricey.
Mike (New York): Do you think A.J. Cole has a #1 ceiling?
Jason Parks: I don't. I think he has a high ceiling, but not many arms have legit #1 ceilings.
SaberTJ (Cleveland, OH): Thoughts on Drew Pomeranz this year? Can he be a legit #1?
Jason Parks: I don't think so. Solid 2/3 type. Not many #1 arms in the game.
Mike Trout (Arkansas): C'mon, J.P.! I've got a .990 OPS in AA as a freakin' teenager! My plate discipline is better than good, too! I wouldn't put my offensive ceiling below anyone's---do you think I can't hit .320 with 30+ homers in the Bigs? (Because, well, I'll show YOU.) Thanks for your time!
Jason Parks: Your ceiling is below Harper's. Sorry. No; I don't think you can hit .320 with 30 HR. I think you can hit for a good average (.300) but I don't see 30 HR a season. 20-25 with lots of doubles.
Insung (Pasadena CA): Greatest band of the 90's? Pixies? Nirvana?
Jason Parks: Nirvana doesn't belong in the conversation.
Carlos Martinez (Iowa): Shoot, Jason, Shelby's not even the best St. Louis pitchin' prospect! I've got more V, the same Uncle Charlie, and much better groundball rates! What's wrong with ME?
Jason Parks: Nothing. You could be just as good (if not better), but at the present, Miller is the better prospect. Bonus points for using "Uncle Charlie"
preams (San Diego): If you're the Rangers GM, what would you give up for Heath Bell? Is it crazy to ask for Profar? Would it have to be Bell + something?
Jason Parks: It's not crazy to ask for Profar, but it's crazy for the Rangers to say yes. I'd give up talent for Bell, but not premium talent.
Matt (Fayetteville): Loved your piece on catching prospects in the minors. Who does Salvador Perez compare closest to out of those profiled? Would you liken him to Bethancourt in that he is young for his league, great defensive potential, free swinger, etc? Or does Bethancourt's power potential put him in a different class?
Jason Parks: Thanks. Perez has potential, but his bat doesn't look so hot right now. He can stick behind the plate, as his glove/arm are solid. He's not really like Bethancourt. Perez can be a good defender. Bethancourt could be an elite defender.
Insung (Pasadena CA): Who would win in a fight, Rambo or Chuck Norris?
Jason Parks: Rambo. Chuck Norris is a pussy.
Geo (work): You keep saying "no, not a #1, not many of those," so I'll turn the question around so everybody can quit asking about their favorite guy: Who do you see as legit #1 type pitching prospects?
Jason Parks: A few guys have the potential, but as they develop and get closer to the ultimate goal, their projection rarely stays the same. Right now, Miller, Moore, G. Cole, Taillon, and Turner still have the elite projection, but when the music stops, I wouldn't be shocked if that crop didn't produce a legit #1 starter. Solid #2/3 types, yes, but aces are the rarest commodity in the game.
Insung (Pasadena CA): Rambo or Jose Altuve
Jason Parks: Rambo, but I can see the argument
mef (Brooklyn): Some players are moved off SS to 3B while others go to 2B. Why are they moved differently? Does 2B require comparable range while 3B requires the arm?
Jason Parks: Depends on the physical attributes of the player. If arm strength is the reason they are moved off SS, 2B is the likely destination. If range/quickness is the culprit, and the arm is plenty strong, 3B becomes an option. The offensive potential also plays a role, as you don't move an all glove/no stick type to 3B
Imperialism32 (NJ): Rays SS in 2014: Hak-Ju Lee or Tim Beckham?
Jason Parks: I don't think Beckham profiles as a major league SS. I'll go with Lee
jtanker33 (Dayton Oh): Best band of the 90s is a fight between Pavement, Radiohead, Sleater-Kinney, Uncle Tupelo, and maybe Beck.
Jason Parks: Ween
mef (Brooklyn): What do you mean when you say "spin a curveball"? Does that mean he has one but it needs to get better or does it mean that it's already a good curve?
Jason Parks: It means he has one, but it's still immature. Hands either have a CB or they don't, so if a pitcher can spin a breaking ball (regardless of how it grades at the present), you can work with it. Some arms just can't snap a curve.
Kevin (NJ): Do you believe pitchers should be quicker to the majors than hitters given injury risk and there might only be so many bullets in the gun, so to speak? Thinking specifically about Matt Moore: Sure, leaving him down to sharpen his command would be nice but what if his stuff flattens in the process? Legit concern?
Jason Parks: Has to be player specific. Some arms require more refinement, and some need to be pushed. Some arms just don't look sustainable (health wise), while others are free and easy. It all depends on the player. Development has to be scripted for the individual
Mike (New York): Will Tyrell Jenkins be the third wheel behind Miller and Martinez, KG liked him more than Martinez before this year...
Jason Parks: Jenkins doesn't really know how to pitch yet. He's a distant third out of that group. Martinez is a much better prospect. Not even close.
Insung (Pasadena CA): Ween? Seriously? Jose Altuve could be their lead singer and Rambo could play guitar and the Pixies and Pavement would crush them.
Jason Parks: I didn't say the Pixies couldn't crush them. The Pixies are superior, but Ween is extremely underrated, and yes, I like them more than Pavement.
sanchez101 (santa Barbara, CA): does your hand have a CB?
Jason Parks: It does. And on that note, I have to part, I'd love to go all day, but my writing assignments are stacking up and I need to make some calls. I know I left 75+ questions unanswered, and for that I apologize. I'll do another chat very soon, and this time I'll last all night. If you have a question that can't wait, you can always ask me via twitter/email. I might be slow in responding, but I'll always make an effort to get back to you. Thanks again. First Blood!
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