Ai, ai, ai, ai
É o canto do pregoneiro
Que com sua harmonia
In South American Way
(and prospects, too!)
Jason Parks: I've never been this handsome. Here we go.
Shaun (Intercourse PA): Did you purchase a PS3 console yet? What is your FIFA12 grade?
Jason Parks: I finally made the purchase. My FIFA '12 grade is 40/55. I'm not very good, but I have #want
Jake (Kalamazoo): This question is kind of a dick move so I apologize in advance, but....please list every 16 year old prospect you have ever seen so we can fully evaluate this statement in its proper context. Thank you.
Jason Parks: Not a dick move. I listed several in my article. To name a few: Jurickson Profar, Luis Sardinas, #TheLegend. Those are three high dollar prospects that impressed me at a very early age. I was more impressed by Guzman.
pjbenedict (MN): I used to have an office that overlooked Spring Training in western Phoenix... your AZ tales give me flashbacks to life in the hostility of the sun's fierce hatred.
Do you see differences in how teams handle the youngest talent? Do organizational philosophies filter down to instructional league action, or is the talent so raw everyone's focusing on basics?
Jason Parks: Absolutely. Basics are just that, but the means of curating the talent will differ based on the org and the player. Some teams are more aggressive than others when it comes to young talent. Not every team in the league will have rosters full of 16/17 year-olds.
JT (Michigan): With a guy like Ynoa, do we move along to the next big signing, or is there still a lot of hope yet?
Jason Parks: Both. Still lots to like with Ynoa, but moving along to the next big signing is a good idea as well. When/if Ynoa can get on a field and show the promise, then we can join hands sing his name. Until then, let's turn our attention to the hot new model until they flame out. Rinse/Repeat
ian the vegan (Oakland): What can we do to get Verducci more screen time? They show that fop Craig Sager twice an inning, but the Duch' gets like 2 minutes of postgame camera time. IT'S NOT FAIR.
Jason Parks: It's a shame. I know the country is dealing with an economic crisis, but this should be priority number one. Verducci should have his own show. Verducci on Verducci
comish4lif (Alexandria, VA): Guzman better than Bryce?!
Jason Parks: No. I didn't see Bryce at 16. Harper is the best prospect in recent memory. Guzman tickled my fancy during the instructional league.
Lloyd (IL): We know that you evaluate players' tools differently based on them being 16 vs. 19, but are there also different things that you actually WATCH FOR in 16 yr. olds vs. older players?
Jason Parks: This is a good question. When I evaluate immature talent (very immature), I'm looking for more than just the physical characteristics. I want to see how the player responds to situations and environments, how they handle pressure or how they handle failure. At that stage of the development, identifying the necessary makeup for success is vital. It takes a special talent (both physically and mentally) to handle professional baseball (stateside) at 16.
Jack (San Clemente): Did you get to see any Padres prospects at Instructs? Anyone standout good or bad?
Jason Parks: I didn't, but I did see the Padres a few times during the AZL...and the team was pretty rough. Some good young talent, but still quite raw.
faztradamus (My Couch): I have not followed soccer/football since 2006 World Cup (which was my first time watching), is FIFA '12 for me?
Jason Parks: Yep
Lucas (Baltimore): Any O's prospect(s) you particularly like aside from Machado, Schoop, D. Bundy?
Jason Parks: Yes. All of those guys. Lots of good athletes in the system as well: Avery, Hoes. Parker Bridwell is a good RHP prospect. Not a great system, but a few top tier pieces and a decent middle tier.
Bill (ON): What happened to Wil Myers?
Jason Parks: Assorted injuries and developmental hurdles. Didn't set the world on fire and the ball didn't explode off the bat in '11 like it did in '10, but he's still super young and his projections haven't changed (at least for me).
Silv (NY, NY): Kind of an odd question for a perceived prospect guy, but nonetheless: much has been made of Atlanta's usage of both Venters and Kimbrel during the course of the year (riding them like 50 miles of bad road), but aren't pitchers by their very nature fungible assets (and relievers even more so)? If the Braves were out of the race, I could understand pulling back the throttle a bit; however, Atlanta was fully contending for the postseason and potentially burning out a pitcher is worth a chance at a championship...isn't it?
Jason Parks: Great question. I don't have a problem with it at all. Perhaps its not great baseball, but if you have a strong horse and you have a shot to win in the immediate, you ride that horse as hard as you can, assuming the horse is still able to assist in your goal of winning a ring.
RMR (Chicago): "Makeup" is often treated like a static characteristic, but it seems to me that it is malleable -- presumably moreso for a 16 year old than for a 23 year old. Is there such a thing as projecting a guy's makeup? Does this guy have the potential to mature, to develop better habits, a better attitude, etc? Is that too meta?
Jason Parks: No; its accurate. Projecting makeup is extremely important, especially with the young talent. A team has to look at a 16/17/18 y/o kid and project whether or not that player can handle an aggressive assignment. The physical is easier to pinpoint; can he hit/run/throw at this level? But can he fail at this level? Can he overcome the isolation and cultural hurdles that might exist? Can he work hard in the face of disappointment? These are key questions that teams have to ask when projecting makeup.
GBSimons (Boise, ID): Professor, would you be so kind as to remark upon some youthful Cardinals prospects to keep an eye on over the next 2-4 years as they move up through the system? Gracias.
Jason Parks: Carlos Martinez and Tyrell Jenkins (Texan) are both going to be monsters. Taveras on the other side of the ball is already on his way. Not the deepest system, but the top tier have very high ceilings.
Dutch (NE): You were recently in AZ, how's your tan?
Jason Parks: It's pretty solid: 55/60. I'm not a man who can hold a tan, so I'm enjoying the color while it lasts.
GBSimons (Boise, ID): Howdy, Professor! Who have you seen in the AFL that has caught your eye? Also, how's the knee healing up?
Jason Parks: I was only able to catch a few AFL workouts, but Christian Bethancourt was crushing in the cage. In drills, he was showing off his 80 arm, but it was his swing that really impressed me. He's very easy and fluid, using his hands very well. He was sending ropes to all fields, showing plus-plus power potential. If he can bring that to game action, he could become something very special. He has a chance to be the complete package. Long way to go, though.
steve (rain): What were your thoughts on Jemile Weeks as a prospect and now. Finally had a pretty healthy year.
Jason Parks: I think he has a chance to be very good. Love the Weeksian bat speed. You can't teach what he has.
BillJ (New Mexico): Any tips on what to watch for in the AFL? Given that most teams sent their grade-A position-player prospects and their second-string pitching prospects, what can we learn by watching what may be mismatches in talent level?
Jason Parks: Honestly, not much. You can watch individuals for physical characteristics, but 60+ hitters should be able to rake against 40+ pitchers in a friendly hitting environment. For me, it's interesting to make notes on which players struggle against which pitchers and why.
Ross (Lubbock, TX): Jamey Newberg raved about both Guzman and Jordan Adkins. You may have already done so elsewhere, but can you comment on Adkins progress?
Jason Parks: I wrote an OFP on AKins over the summer which pegged his future at the all-star level. Long way to go, but he has progressed in the last year. Akins might be the best all-around athlete in the Rangers' system, with 70 speed, a 65/70 arm, and tons of raw power. Out of the box (and to 1B), Akins is a 4.2 -4.3 type, but his second-gear is absolutely incredible. D-1 football recruit that is starting to learn how to play baseball. He could be a beast.
LP (San Diego): Thanks for taking my question. Have you seen any of the following Padre prospects, and would you consider any of them to have "all-star" upside: Gyorko, Fuentes, Rincon, Galvez, Liriano.
Jason Parks: I have seen all of those guys, and I wouldn't throw all-star on any of them. Fuentes is loaded with physical gifts; Gyoroko can rake; Rincon and Liriano are legit as well. In that system, I still think Tate has the highest upside, from a tools-based standpoint. If he actualizes, he could be an all-star.
Seth (PA): I saw that Gerrit Cole was hitting 100 in instructs. I know Taillon is younger than Cole but who do you think ultimately ends up the better prospect?
Jason Parks: Cole is the better prospect, with better now stuff and a higher floor. Top 10 prospect in baseball before he throws his first professional pitch.
Jack (San Clemente): If you are looking at very immature talent are you ever hesitant to have a large gap in present and future tools? Power seems the most obvious tool that could be a present 40/future 65, but what about the hit tool?
Jason Parks: When looking at immature talent, very rarely is the gap between present and future not wide. With some tools, like speed or arm strength, the gap might not exist. But power is rarely actualized during the early stages of development, so if the player has projection the separation between present and future should be extreme.
comish4lif (Alexandria, VA): If Bryce is not #theLegend, who is?
Jason Parks: Jorge Alfaro is #TheLegend
Mike (Utica): Who has the higher ceiling Taijuan Walker, Tyrell Jenkins, or Justin Nicolino?
Jason Parks: Walker's ceiling is stupid high. I'll go with Walker.
Bill (Texas): If you were to assemble a Rangers top 10 list right now, how would it look? Profar and Perez are the easy 1-2, Martin and Olt have to be in the mix, we all know about #TheLegend and his #want, and you recently said that Guzman is the most impressive 16-year-old you've ever seen. How do they stack up with one another, and what does the rest of the top 10 look like -- Buckel, Scheppers, Akins, Perez, etc.?
Jason Parks: Off the top of my head: Profar, Perez, Martin, Guzman, Ramirez, Olt, #TheLegend, Jackson, Perez, Mazara
Charlie (Bethesda): What did you think of AJ Cole's first full pro season? Potential #1 or 2?
Jason Parks: #2. Very good.
dianagram (NYC): Matt Moore .... best pitching prospect to hit the majors since __________. (Prior? Wood? Verlander? other?)
Jason Parks: Kershaw
JT (Michigan): Song and drink of the day?
Jason Parks: I'm drinking iced tea. Listening to Brian Eno's "Here Come the Warm Jets"
JT (Michigan): Plenty of reason to still hope in Allie despite the sky high walk totals?
Jason Parks: Yep. Sky-high walk totals and a sky-high ceiling if everything comes together.
John (IL): Who do you like more: Miller or Moore? And why
Jason Parks: Moore. Lefty with a better all-around arsenal. He also has bushier eyebrows.
Matt (Chicago): Is there ANYTHING to get excited about in the mid to upper levels of the Cubs' system?
Jason Parks: Jackson is a very good player.
faztradamus (still on my couch): I know you profiled Cole as the better prospect when you did some draft scouting at UCLA, but has your opinion of Bauer changed since then (since he has professional experience under his belt)?
Jason Parks: I'd still peg his ceiling in the 2/3 range, but I think I undersold his arsenal a bit. It's really good stuff, and when the command is sharp, he can overwhelm hitters. Looking forward to seeing him at a major league park next season.
Neil Carter (London): Professor,
On my first sighting of Matt Moore on TV for Game 1, I thought he had the most relaxed throwing style for a 97mph fastball I've ever seen. Is it as effortless as it looks?
Jason Parks: Sure. It's very easy, and with his extension, the 97 looks even faster than that to the hitters. Neftali Feliz might have the easiest FB velocity I've ever seen, but Moore is in the discussion.
Matt (Chicago): In reference to your Brett Jackson response, he possesses "the face", no? He's Verducci meets Eckstein.
Jason Parks: Great face. I'm hesitant to throw a Verducci comp on him, but he has a good face.
steve (heavy rain): Talk about Dom Brown a bit if you will? Doesn't he have a plus arm that will be wasted in LF? Thought the big arms generally went to RF? Thanks
Jason Parks: Plus arms are never wasted in the outfield. I think he profiles better in RF, but he can certainly be an asset in LF.
Kenny Williams (Chicago): How much longer do I have my job?
Jason Parks: I'm surprised you still have one. You should hire me and really go for broke
faztradamus (getting off my ouch): Well I'm off to the store for FIFA '12. Can't wait to pop it in after class this evening.
Jason Parks: I'm middle table with Tottenham right now. They lack #want
Bruce (Ajax): What do you think of Addison Reed and what role do you expect he will play in the White Sox bullpen next year?
Jason Parks: I think very highly of Reed. He has closer stuff and the mentality to forget mistakes. I think he could be closing at some point next season. If not, he could be a frontline 8th inning guy.
Francois (Toronto): Gerrit Cole and Danny Hultzen will both pitch in the AFL, should we expect big numbers right away?
Jason Parks: Nope. Hope for health and look forward to next season. The AFL is just going to offer a taste, but not a meal.
faztradamus (Chicago): What's your AFL plan: see specific players, see as many games as possible, or getting beat by Jorge in FIFA?
Jason Parks: I'm going to play Jorge in FIFA while in Mexico City. I've yet to score on him. We live in a sad time.
Kevin (Davenport): Does someone other than Trout or Harper win the AFL MVP (not that it's that meaningful).
Jason Parks: No; Harper wins it and then beats a fan to death with the trophy. #makeup
Jake (Los Angeles): In a dynasty league who would you rather have? Chad James or Jeurys Familia?
Jason Parks: Edward James Olmos
Oscar Taveras (Arizona Fall League): Thanks for the "best hit tool" shoutout, J.P.! Based on my age, projectable size, and back-to-back .200 ISO's while very young for my leagues...is there any credence to the talk of my power regressing to *below* average down the line? (A scout told Goldstein my swing looked like Mr. Power Bryce Harper's, right?)
Jason Parks: Opinions vary on Taveras' power potential, with a range from 40-60 (that I've heard). The swing is very aggressive and strong, but I can see the argument (based on some of the reports) that Taveras will struggle to hit for average power, which is still quite impressive when you factor in his 70 hit tool. So Taveras could only end up being a .300 hitter with 10-15 homers? Not bad. Cards will take it.
Pujols (Cardinals): How did you grade me back when I was in the minors?
Jason Parks: I didn't. How did you grade me?
Josh G (Stockton, CA): Are you excited that Arrested Development is (planned) to come back?
Jason Parks: As my head hangs in shame, I will admit that I've never really seen the show. I'll show myself out.
RichW (New Jersey): After the promising season of Taijuan Walker, is his ceiling quickly catching up to that of Jameson Taillon?
Jason Parks: You know, I think it is. Walker is a gifted athlete with top-of-the-rotation potential. Taillon is a Texan and therefore better than most, but Walker isn't a prospect to sleep on.
Nathan K (San Diego): Who do you see as the future closer in PHI? De Fratus, Mathieson, or Aumont?
Jason Parks: Aumont is nasty. I'd love to see him step up and claim that role.
Steve (Seattle ): Hey Jason,
Do you follow MLS at all? What's your assessment of the talent level?
Jason Parks: I keep an eye on it, but I wouldn't say that I follow it. The talent level is improving, but it's still inferior to Europe.
Duke Kahanamoku (Big Island In The Sky): Aloha Jason! My homey Kolten Wong: is he a .310/.375/.460 guy in the majors? Can he be an above-average fielder at the keystone? Thanks J.P.!
Jason Parks: First of all, I love the name Duke Kahanamoku. It's almost an 80 grade name. it's aggressive, Wong could be a .300+ hitter with some secondary skills. He can really hit. First-division talent.
gerrybraun (SD): what role do you see Mat Gamel having next year? could he take over for Prince Fielder if he leaves next year?
Jason Parks: He could, but it wouldn't be all sunshine and roses.
Donald (Oak Park): Did you ever watch Firefly (albeit Fox screwed up the episode order from the get-go)?
Jason Parks: I watch Degrassi and Breaking Bad. That's about it.
Charlie (Bethesda): So you're saying Matt Moore and Clayton Kershaw were both better prospects than Stephen Strasburg?
Jason Parks: No, I'm not saying that. Strasburg is in his own class. Just using a lefty as the comp.
Pujols (Cardinals): Well, Mang. I graded you as a 70 with 80 potential. You are a very handsome young scout. If you had a little more #want, you would be an 80. Also if you ever score a goal off Jorge, you will get an 80 grade.
Jason Parks: This is excellent.
raygu1 (Burlington, NJ): Xander Bogaerts-you rated him as an "in the shadows" third base prospect back on July 7th. Has your ranking on him changed since then?
Jason Parks: Nope. Still a very good prospect. He won't be in the shadows in '12.
JT (Michigan): Who are some very good buy low prospects for fantasy baseball players in dynasty or keeper leagues?
Jason Parks: Jeily "Jelly" Arias. He was born in July of 1995.
Michael Keaton (The Ether): I think its time you spill the beans.
Jason Parks: Listen, Keaton, you know what I know. You know what I saw.
Or (DENTON!!!): How do you explain Ian Kinsler? He was never seen as a very toolsy guy when he rose through the minors. But his power/speed/defense combination is among the best in all of baseball.
Jason Parks: Huge scouting success and failure at the same time. It's hard to fault those that missed it, while at the same time you have to give Mike Grouse a ton of credit for finding the diamond.
Jean Seguara (The AFL): How do I matchup with Manny Machado?
Jason Parks: You don't. That said, you are still a very good prospect and I think you can stick at SS.
RichW (New Jersey): Who has the higher floor and higher ceiling between Mason Williams and Jake Marsinick?
Jason Parks: Marisnick for the sweep.
Keith (Manchester, CT): Thanks for the chat, Jason. Do you think Trout opens in the majors next April, or do the Angels stick him in Triple A to accommodate Vernon Wells big contract?
Jason Parks: At this rate, the Angels will probably trade Trout for Adam Dunn's contract.
Or (Dallas): Two years from now, who's the better prospect: Miguel Sano or Ronald Guzman?
Jason Parks: Sano. He will be at the higher level and showing production. Guzman won't be far behind.
Or (Dallas): Does Neil Ramirez start a game for the 2012 Rangers? Does Martin Perez?
Jason Parks: Both will start at some point in '12. Unless one of them is traded in the off-season, which I wouldn't rule out.
GrinnellSteve (Grinnell): Have you seen anyone in the instructional league on the White Sox that we might have reason to get excited about? The state of the Sox' farm system leaves us looking for the merest glimmers of hope.
Jason Parks: I watched the White Sox's advanced instructional roster, and they have several hard throwers. The positional side was a little shaky, although highly athletic. Jared Mitchell looks great in a uniform.
Max (Business Class): Does being as close as you are to the prospects you scout (like seeing the young Rangers so many times) make it hard to separate their personality from the skill set? Are you more likely to rate a guy highly if he's a good dude as opposed to if he's a dick to you? Love the stuff, keep it up.
Jason Parks: No. I don't care if a player is a dick (to me or to anybody else). I care if he has talent (physical) and if he prepares and works hard as a baseball player. I don't interact with the players very often, despite being around them a lot. I tend to let them do their thing and I do mine. If I talk to a player, its usually about what is happening on the field, so it leaves very little room for them to turn me off with their personality.
Kelvin (Manhattan): You get to craft an entire 5-man rotation from minor leaguers (sans Moore, S. Miller, or Pomeranz) that will make a MLB appearance by end of reg. season 2013. Who are they?
Jason Parks: Cole, Hultzen, Bauer, Paxton, Martin Perez
Seth (PA): Is Josh Bell a top 50 prospect in MLB, or was he over-hyped with the whole I'm not going to college bonus demands?
Jason Parks: Not a top 50 prospect yet, but potential to get there very quickly. Not over-hyped; rather, best all-around high school bat in the class with better defensive tools than some have suggested. 60 player at potential.
Silv (NY, NY): Turkey tamale? Sounds pretty disgusting, actually. Did Dee Gordon's performance following his recall (.348/.371/.413 with 15 sbs) give you any reason to reconsider your take on his future potential?
Jason Parks: He's going to make contact, but I question if that's going to be it. Tons of speed and great hands, which should allow for batting average. But he lacks strength so I question his projections at the plate. Is he an empty .290-.300 hitter with speed and defensive chops? Not a bad outcome, but I think some people projected more. Perhaps he will get there. I'm not sold.
JT (Michigan): Thoughts on Derek Norris?
(And by great in a uniform, did you mean that Mitchell's rounding into form again or just that his body is Verduccian)
Jason Parks: Mitchell just looks like an athlete; I didn't get a good look at his face, but I doubt he's Verduccian in that regard. As for Norris, I think he's a damn good prospect that gets mistakenly labeled as a damn great prospect. You have to love the patience/power combo, and the ability to play solid-average defense behind the plate makes him a very valuable prospect. But can he make enough contact for it to matter? The hit tool is better than he showed in '11.
Eddie (Rice Lake): So are you and KG going to do dueling top 100 lists in the spring? I think I speak for literally everyone in the universe when I say we want to see you do a list.
Jason Parks: I haven't decided. KG's the master at prospect lists. I've never been a fan of the process, though.
NL2003 (DC): A question to put the 16y.o. in perspective. Can you finish these sentences for us?
"I'd still be excited by Guzman even if he was ____ y.o. If he was ____ y.o., he'd meld in with the crowd."
Jason Parks: I'd be very excited about Guzman if he were a recently drafted HS kid, around 18 y/o. The fact that he's 16 and already showing projectable physical characteristics to go along with some present ability, not to mention he's already in the developmental process which gives him a huge advantage over incoming HS kids, makes him all the more majestic. That's right, majestic. If he were 24 I wouldn't be as impressed.
Seth (PA): How do you think the overall state of the Pirates farm system is? Is top 10 to far a stretch? It seems like they are accumulating some high end arms at least.
Jason Parks: Top 10 for me. The arms are just stupid promising: Cole. Taillon, Allie, Heredia. On the other side, Marte is a nice prospect, and Bell could become a nice prospect over time. The middle tier is a little thin, but the system is stacked with high-ceiling first-division talent, so that makes them a top 10 for me.
Donald (Oak Park): I know fantasy baseball isn't your area, but in a keeper league this season I traded Teixeira, Wells, Bumgarner and Lawrie for A. McCutchen, G. Beckham, Rauch, and Kila Ka'aihue (league uses LF/CF/RF instead of OFx3). On the 20-80 scale, how dumb am I?
Jason Parks: That's pretty dumb. I'd say 20/25.
JT (Michigan): Is there hope yet for Gordon Beckham? I have such a hard time believing he's little more than a Scrappy Anklebiter type, but wow, that's not a good line this year. Please also repeat this question with Colby Rasmus.
Jason Parks: Beckham's production will improve, but don't expect first-division results. Solid-avg type if he returns to form. Rasmus is going to be very good next year. I'm still a big fan.
Patrick (Ontario): Lawrie or Moustakas, long term? Do they both stick at 3B?
Jason Parks: Lawire. I think his bat is better. With continued work, Lawrie can also find a home at 3B, but he's never going to be above-average over there. Moose is a very good player and I like the bat (particularly the bat speed), but Lawrie is slightly better.
John (PA): Is Pedro Alvarez busted for good? He just looked like he had zero pitch recognition this season.
Jason Parks: Not busted for good, but not the player the Pirates thought they were getting. Let's see if he has the #want necessary to climb to his projected levels.
BL (Bozeman, MT): What are at the top of your check list when evaluating very young (16-19) pitching prospects? Velocity? Movement? Location?
Jason Parks: When evaluating young arms, I try to focus on command and command projection, as well as velocity and movement. If the frame and action suggest more velocity is available during development, you can forecast future velocity. But with the younger guys with projection, I want to see that command is a component in the arsenal. FB command in the early stages is often overlooked. It's a big seller with me.
Or (Dallas): Will Mike Olt's bat play at first base -- and if so, should the Rangers trade him as he nears major-league readiness to a team which will draw more value out of his great third base defense? Beltre doesn't appear like he's going anywhere anytime soon.
Jason Parks: Olt could be a nice trade chip in '12 for the Rangers, as his best position is 3B and the Rangers are obviously set at the position. If moved off 3B, the pressure on the offensive production increases, with 1B or LF as options on the diamond.
mfalcon (Louisiana(better than TX)): A few weeks ago you rated Smerling Lantigua as have a better name than Nerfy Nunez. What was your thought process in this? Personally I think your choice was poor. If given the opportunity would you make a different(better) decision?
Jason Parks: Actually, I just listed them. I didn't give any thought to the order. Speaking of Lantigua, he's actually a very good prospect, showing a line-drive swing in the cage and good actions and arm at 3B. I was impressed.
Francois (Toronto): This whole Michael Keaton thing is getting very "In The Air Tonightesque.
Jason Parks: Keaton can't hide from me forever.
Silv (NY, NY): And a follow up question on the Braves (which is weird coming from a Dodger fan): I feel like not enough is being made of their plethora of young pitching - assuming Lowe can be dealt this offseason (no mean feat, but still) the Braves go into 2012 with a five man of Hudson/Hanson/Jurrjens/Beachy/Minor (who was excellent after being recalled), with Tehran and Randall Delgado ready to step in at any time. With that pen and an assumed return to form for Heyward (and Freeman's continued development), they're neck and neck with the Phillies next year, if not better. no?
Jason Parks: Perhaps not in '12, but the Braves are setting themselves up to be the alpha team in the NL for a very long time. If they can stay healthy and the young talent develops as planned, the 90s Braves cometh!
Or (DENTON, BITCHES!): Elvis Andrus is the __th best defensive shortstop in baseball.
Jason Parks: one of the best
HankScorpio (Cypress Creek): How has your opinion of Sal Perez evolved this year (if at all)? I know better than to get excited about 150 ABs at the major league level, but it does seem that he's come a LONG way in the last 12 months.
Related: Is his defense as good as it looks to the untrained eye?
Jason Parks: He hit better than I thought possible. Always been a fan of his defensive skills.
Jquinton82 (NY): What are the chances Baltimore does the following: Showalter moves to GM and they hire Francona? If I'm Tito, that looks like a smarter play than the White Sox who seem likely to have a fire sale of sorts
Jason Parks: Follow-up question: Could Francona and Showalter co-exist? Can Showalter and _______ co-exist? I don't like the Buck as GM idea. Not a fan of his work.
Jack (San Clemente): How many prospects currently in the minors have 65 or better projections on their hit tool? Does contact ability trump bat speed in your hit tool analysis?
Jason Parks: Lots of hitters with 65+ hit tool projections (ex: Taveras, Profar, Wong, etc). Contact ability is one aspect of it; how a hitter controls the bat in the zone, makes adjustments while in the zone, bat path, etc. Bat speed is what will allow a hitter to maximize the ability to barrel a ball, by putting the bat in the zone in time to connect with velocity, and to turn the bat against the ball in order to drive it. You have to have quality bat speed to be a good hitter.
Or (DENTON!!): Matt Harrison's K/BB ratio in the last three months: 3.7/1. Is his breakout real? Can Harrison be a good 3/solid 2?
Jason Parks: Solid #3; he's basically showing his sustainable ceiling as we speak. As I've been saying for a while, Harrison has great stuff; even better than Holland. He just couldn't put it together. Harrison has always been in his head, not showing much fortitude in the face of failure. He was a different arm this season. He stopped nibbling and started trusting his stuff. He took a major step forward.
Trevor Rosenthal (Minors): If I get my command down, will I be a dominant closer in the majors?
Jason Parks: Probably not dominant, but you could pitch in that capacity, yes.
Johnson (Ville): Kolten Wong: what type of overall grade do you put on him? Abv avg 2b all around?
Jason Parks: 58-60 First-division potential.
AG (Oaktown): When you say "All-Star", what do you mean? Because from your comments, it doesn't seem like you mean "Someone who could make an All-Star game or two" because that bar seems lower than your standard.
Jason Parks: Just an arbitrary distinction: Players that have tool-based grades over 60 are usually pegged as having "all-star" potential, whereas players who fall just under that level are classified as first-division, and under that second-division.
kcboomer (kc): KC brought up a ton of rookies this year and as a group they did very well. Moustakis had a historically awful start, but finished strong. The only thing Moose didn't demonstrate was real power. Was this simply Moose's typical slow start at a new level and the power will come??
Jason Parks: It's all about adjustments. Moose will eventually show more game power. He's going to be fine.
Sarge Goldstein (DeKalb): When are we recording this week Jason?
Jason Parks: Tomorrow
Or (Dallas): Will Neftali Feliz start next year? Will he need time in AAA to develop his breaking stuff, or is he too valuable to send down?
Jason Parks: I expect another spring training of speculation and consternation, and Feliz will once again end up back in the pen. Just a guess.
Jack (San Clemente): Have you seen Luis Domoromo? Seems like he could put up a breakout season in the Cal League next year.
Jason Parks: I have. Good swing; has some pop. Lacks well above-average offensive tools. Should put up good offensive numbers in Cal, but scouting reports will probably temper some of the enthusiasm associated with the production. Good prospect, just not a special prospect.
Jake (Kalamazoo): Not exactly a prospect question, but still a scouting one: Stephen Drew's production has been significantly lower than his tools would lead one to project, right? If so, do you put that all on makeup or do some guys just never quite put it together?
Jason Parks: Hard to say; depends on the player. Makeup might play a role, or perhaps the tools were overrated in the first place. Again, its hard to say without taking a focused look at the player. I can't speak to Drew's makeup.
Shane (Miami): Jason, You've mentioned Guillermo Pimentel's power potential a number of times. Where does he rank for you, on a top 100 list?
Jason Parks: Haven't thought about it. He would definitely be in my top 100, as that type of power doesn't grow on trees. Not top 50 for me, though.
frtitans28 (Eugene): With the Northwest League being such a college heavy league, do you see the Rangers sending either Guzman or Mazara to the NWL in 2012 or do they season them in Arizona for a summer?
Jason Parks: Depends on their specific developmental plan, but I can see Guzman playing in the NWL. I think Mazara will require some complex league time before taking the step forward. With the exaggerated kick removed from his swing, finding good rhythm and fluidity with the new swing mechanics could take some time.
Greg31 (Milwaukee): Everyone talks about Jurickson's average to above average tools. IF all works out for him, does he have an Asdrubal Cabrera (the one of this year) upside?
Jason Parks: More upside than that. If Profar develops as planned, he is going to hit for average, with OBP skills and at least average pop (10-15). Factor in his above-average defensive projections and Profar could be a 5-7 WAR type.
ShaeTrimmen (Cambellsville, GA): Jim Callis said in one of his chats back in the summertime, that Matt Szczur has a very similar skillset to Jacoby Ellsbury. He might not have expected the power outburst from Ellsbury over the last couple months, but for you does Szczur have Ellsbury upside?
Jason Parks: Not quite, but I agree with Jim that the skill-set is similar. Szczur has crazy athleticism and that propels his ceiling beyond what is really possible. Lots of questions about how much he is actually going to hit, and from that, how much power is going to translate to game action. I really like the player, but he's not the baseball player Ellsbury is
frtitans28 (Eugene): Is Matt West likely to become Tanner Scheppers 2.0 (hopefully without the injuries)?
Jason Parks: With two 70 (at least) pitches in the arsenal and good feel for command, yes West has that kind of potential. Just saw him the other day and he was spotting his breaking ball to either side of the plate. It was very impressive. No-brainer 40-man roster addition this off-season.
Happy Feet (Felix PA): If Anthony rendon develops quickly, what would be the National's best play to get around being blocked by Zimmerman? Rendon @ 2B? 1B? OF?
Jason Parks: Given his injury history and the nature of the position, I think moving Rendon to 2B presents more problems than solutions. This is a good question, because something has to give. Rendon should move quickly and impress immediately, so he will have value as a trade chip next summer. But if the Nats want his bat in the lineup, its not going to be at 3B. LF could be a possibility, but the bat should play anywhere.
SaberTJ (Cleveland, OH): Even Tulo hasn't reached a 7 WAR season. You think Profar can be better?
Jason Parks: I didn't say that. I said he could be a 5-7 WAR player if everything clicks, just based on his offensive/defensive projections. As for Tulo, I don't think we've seen the best he has to offer yet. One of the best players in the game and his biggest seasons are on the horizon.
Ryan (3rd row in lecture): The opposite of a baseball question. You said you were a fan on postmodernist fiction. Thoughts on metafiction as a genre? Any recommendations?
Jason Parks: Metafiction is fun and I tend to enjoy it. I recommend anything by Barth.
James (Dallas): Is Cody Buckel any more than a back end starter? Seems pretty advanced, does he have stuff that will play in the mlb?
Jason Parks: lacks crazy ceiling, but could develop into more than a back-end type. Deep arsenal and very heady with his baseball thoughts.
Bob (College Park, MD.): With Adam Jones now two seasons away from free agency, I think the Orioles should look into the trade market for him. What would you be willing to give up for Jones in terms of prospects?
Jason Parks: I'm a bit irrational when it comes to Jones, as he's been one of my favorite players to watch for a long time. I'd give up a very healthy package for Jones. Very healthy.
Jordan Schafer (Lawyer's Office): Know any place I can score some dirt Jason? Cops took all my fuckin shit.
Jason Parks: Life's a bitch
Justin (Denver): I know you focus mostly on the Rangers, but which Dodger prospects, if any, impressed you at instructional league?
Jason Parks: I watched the Dodgers several times. One prospect didn't stand out, but I will say the teams as a whole played very well, as most of the pitchers located their arsenals and most of them showed velocity in doing so. The bats did little to impress me, but the teams were fundamentally sound (which stands out given the level).
Xavier (Macon, GA): Billy Hamilton, future SS or 2B? Does he have enough bat to hit .300 or do you think he becomes a future utility/pinch runner type?
Jason Parks: Utility-type, in my opinion. I'm not a believer in the bat. I'll probably end up looking stupid on this one.
Cale (Cleveland, OH): Small sample size, but were you surprised by Jason Kipnis' power? Think he can go 20/20 with a solid average?
Jason Parks: I do. Very skilled hitter.
Bun B & Nas (Wantville): Professor, what shows more lack of #want? Quitting a game of FIFA at the 60th minute after falling behind 5-1 using Barca, or playing the final 30 minutes but giving up 3 own goals???
Jason Parks: 5-1 55
Joe (CA): What would you say to the idea that you don't want to do a Top 100 because it would show the irrational exuberance of a tools maven and there would be a permanent record of all the teenage busts you ranked higher than a bunch of safer AND in the end better players?
Jason Parks: I'd say that's inaccurate, although I respect the observation. I will gladly stand behind any evaluation, even if it paints me as a fool years (or months) down the line. That's why I put my name on my work. I'm going to be wrong a lot. I accept this.
Bill (New Mexico): One more Cardinals question: Matt Adams. For real or not? Likely trajectory if they don't keep Pujols?
Jason Parks: The body is really big, but the ability to hit is legit. I think he's a major leaguer, but the Cards need to re-sign Pujols.
myshkin (Santa Clara, CA): Do you think Michael Choice will eventually find an average or above-average hit tool? Is he a first-division starter for you?
Jason Parks: No; Yes. Choice isn't going to be a plus hitter, but with his power and patience, he's going to bring value to the table. I think first-division is a possibility, although its safer to see him as a solid-avg regular.
SaberTJ (Cleveland, OH): Kipnis' ceiling - Like Kinsler?
Jason Parks: Not bad.
Or (DENTON!!!): If Usain Bolt decided to become a pro baseball player, how much would the highest bid be for his services without seeing him do ANYTHING baseball-related?
Jason Parks: Can he hit? Can he use his speed on the field? I wouldn't give him money without seeing him, but I'd love to be at the workout when he did.
Jack (San Clemente): Shorter pitchers typically struggle to get downward plane on their FB. Is this moot for Moore because of his sheer velo?
Outside of freak injury, what goes wrong for Moore that he isn't a #1?
Jason Parks: Moore is 6'2'' and gets good angle on the pitch. ML hitters will adjust to Moore and it will be up to him to take the next step forward and adjust to their adjustments. It takes more than just stuff to be a sustainable force at that level. Moore is going to be a #1. I feel good about it.
Lloyd (IL): OUTSTANDING chat: 80/80. Shows a lot of #want. Do you see yourself breaking the Chat Duration record one day?
Jason Parks: What's the record? Close to 100 questions still in the queue
Eddie (Rice Lake): Reading one of your previous answers, I think you may be higher on Paxton than I realized. One of the five best pitching prospects who will debut before the end of 13? Does he look like a future #2 to you?
Jason Parks: That's exactly where I would peg him. Quality number-two starter. I'm a big fan.
richardkr34 (Saint Paul, MN): What was a good comparison for Gibson until he had Tommy John? Bob Tewksbury? Mitch McConnell? Erik Estrada?
Jason Parks: I've always been a big fan of Estrada comps.
Josh G (Stockton, CA): Brandon Belt said he's tired but he's playing winter ball per the Giants request-is this the correct call or is rest the better move?
Jason Parks: If the Giants want him to work on a few things over the winter, Belt needs to work on a few things over the winter. I doubt they really push him.
richardkr34 (Saint Paul, MN): Better all around athlete: Randy Moss or Dave Winfield?
Jason Parks: Winfield. No question.
Or (Denton): So you say you covet the fastball command at a young age. In your estimation, if a prospect does not have the command at a young age, is there an inevitable dip in velocity as he realizes the command?
I realize this comes with a disclaimer, talking generalities here.
Jason Parks: It's often the case that as pitchers attempt to refine their command, they lose a tick or two on the heat in the process. Not always, of course, but it happens. If a prospect has a good feel for command early on in the developmental process, I tend to assume that as his stuff ticks up, the command component will remain present. It depends on the pitcher, but if I see command before I see velo (assuming velo is projected), I'm happier than seeing velo without command.
asstarr1 (Parts Unknown): What are your favorite places to eat while you're down in AZ? As a person who gets through the day on malnourishment and self-loathing may I suggest avoiding El Pollo Loco. Bathrooms at most of those parks only rate 20/25
Jason Parks: Culvers makes a tasty burger. Grimaldi's is a must.
richardkr34 (Saint Paul, MN): Really? Moss was pretty awesome at basketball. Was a better player than Jason Williams at the high school level, and he went pro. Plus, I heard that Moss was a pretty good baseball player, too. Faster, jumps higher, quicker...I gotta go with Moss on this one.
Jason Parks: Winfield might have been one of the best college athletes of the 20th century. Moss is gifted, but Winfield was biblical.
Or (Downtown Dallas): Are you watching the Rangers game right now? Watching Moore, Hellickson, Harrison and Holland pitch is really, really enticing/distracting.
Jason Parks: Yes; I'm watching. I have multi-dimensional #want
Jack (Boston): What's the most "unusual" belief you've heard a scout express about predicting a player's future. Dollar Sign on the Muscle re: well-endowed pitchers (not a fan) comes to mind
Jason Parks: I don't have a comment, but I wanted people to see this.
richardkr34 (Saint Paul, MN): Okay, worse Minnesotan politician: Michele Bachmann or Jesse Ventura?
Jason Parks: Bachmann. At least Ventura was in Predator
Joe (Oshawa): Hey Jason, you do a great job covering the arizona instructs. Is there any outlets where I can find coverage of florida instructs? I'd love to learn a bit about how the Blue Jays prospects are doing.
Jason Parks: Thanks. Um, I'm not sure. Most of the teams in Florida have dedicated and skilled bloggers who either watch the prospects themselves or have scouting contacts that feed them info. Can't speak on the Jays, but the Pirates have several outlets that watch FIL games and the reports are good.
HankScorpio (Cypress Creek): What do you make of Cheslor Cuthbert's total collapse the last half of the year? Just a young kid getting tired from a long year? Or is it something to be concerned about?
Jason Parks: Yes. Nothing to be concerned about. I watched him last week and his bat speed is plus-plus. He can square inside velo without a problem. His glove at 3B is also very good. He's a top 100 for me. I'm that big of a fan.
Kyle2099 (St. Paul, MN): Most scouts still rave about Aaron Hicks' tools, but what's the deal with him, why are the numbers not there?
Jason Parks: Great question. If I knew that answer, I might be able to convince a team to hire me. It's difficult to appreciate the failures of a player without seeing that player in person on a regular basis. I can look at the scouting reports and my brief in-person exposure to him and tell you that the tools are sexy, but the transition from tools to skills is a struggle. I wish I could provide a more detailed response, but the honest answer is that I'm not really sure why the tools aren't turning into production.
Dan (Boston): Hey Jason, how insulated is the profession of baseball scouting from the general public? As a 22 year old with disposable income and drive to succeed, is it possible to gain employment in the field?
Jason Parks: It's very insulated, meaning a guy like me (non-player) has a difficult journey into the game. Showing #want is absolutely necessary, as the conditions of the profession can be very difficult, and the reward not very fulfilling (from a financial point of view). I get asked this a lot, and all I can say is that if you really want to be a scout, keep busting your ass until someone takes notice. It's not easy to break in, but #want can go a long way.
faztradamus (couch): Tony Romo showing serious lack of #want. How worried are you?
Jason Parks: Very
faztradamus (couch): Who has the worst farm system? If not the White Sox, they have to be close, no?
Jason Parks: I'd go with the White Sox. It's not very good.
Joe (Oshawa): Hey Jason, you and Mr Law seem to have differing views on Kolten Wong(at least Law did pre draft). Without trying to incite a rift or taking a jab at one of you, what makes Kolten Wong such a divisive prospect?
Jason Parks: He played in Hawaii and he's kind of little. Outside of a few pro scouts this season and one amateur scout last season, I don't know many people who have had a good look at the kid. That's part of the problem as well.
Silv (NY, NY): The passing of Charlie Finley, unfortunately, took a lot of the "keep one guy who runs like lightning" theory out of baseball.
Jason Parks: Pours out a Four Loko
BL (Bozeman, MT): Early impressions of Bubba Starling? Anything else jump off the page on the Royals side of the Surprise complex?
Jason Parks: Haven't seen him. Not a crazy elite prospect or anything, but Brian Fletcher was very impressive. That kid can rake; good hands, good bat speed, good pop. He's older, but the hitting skills are legit.
SaberTJ (Cleveland, OH): Best place to get a beer that holds a chill at the AFL?
Jason Parks: Buffalo Wild Wings, I guess. Not my favorite place on the planet.
Or (DENTON!!): Going forward, pick one: Matt Harrison or Derek Holland?
Jason Parks: Tough call. I'll go with Harrison. He's reading books now. The future is his.
comish4lif (Alexandria, VA): When to the BP Top Elevens start to come out?
Jason Parks: October 20th, 2014
Brendan (Chicago): Say there are 2 prospects that start out on the opposite ends of the spectrum, you love one, and you see another as org. filler. Over time, the highly-touted player regresses and the org. player continually outperforms what's expected of him. Which of these prospects would you prefer?
Jason Parks: The one with the tools. Never surrender!
Jake (Los Angeles): In a dynasty league who would you rather have? Chad James or Jeurys Familia?
Jason Parks: Familia
Kevin (Chicago): Know much about Cubs' Jeimer Candelario, who smoked the DSL this season? Legit? Too early to tell?
Jason Parks: Too early, but reports have been promising.
Albert Pujols (St. Louis): Everyone is speculating where I go and for how much. Speculate.
Jason Parks: You stay with the Cards and they pay you a fortune. I've answered 141 questions and I still have close to 100 in the queue. Should I go for 200 or quit and go watch baseball? I'm also kind of hungry
Prince Fielder (Milwaukee): How do I not take the money and head to the Bronx?
Jason Parks: Because somebody like the Nats will offer you Amigo money and you will be forced to take it
Or (DENTON): Tell the truth: Are you keeping this chat going until the conclusion of the Rangers game because you're afraid to mess with what's working?
Jason Parks: Adrian Beltre has my back.
GBSimons (Boise, ID): You do realize the Rangers are playing right now, don't you? 3 HR for Beltre!!
Jason Parks: Yes. I have a television.
Prince Fielder (Milwaukee): What is Amigo money and can I buy cheeseburgers with it?
Jason Parks: "Three Amigos" reference. Step up.
faztradamus (couch): Say the Yankees make a big splash in FA (grab Fielder and/or SP (C.J. Wilson?)), they pretty much force themselves to trade Montero, right?
Jason Parks: Yep. Still an excellent trade chip.
faztradamus (couch): Besides FIFA, what other games do you enjoy getting schooled at?
Jason Parks: I've been schooled in NCAA Football a few times. I don't play many video games. I'm too handsome to spend time alone.
Jason Parks: Okay people, I fell just short of four hours and I left a ton of excellent questions in the queue. Apologies if I didn't get to your question. Let's do this again soon. Thanks for the 70-grade response.