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Chat: Bradley Ankrom

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Monday June 04, 2012 1:00 PM ET chat session with Bradley Ankrom.

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The author of "The Process" processes your questions and spits out answers in an afternoon chat.

Bradley Ankrom: I shaved and showered for this, and I hope you did, too. Let's get started.

Calico Cats (Moon): Have any gut feelings on who the Rays might take tonight?

Bradley Ankrom: They're so far down in the order that it's hard to offer more than an educated guess. I like Kevin Goldstein's justification for D.J. Davis in his latest mock, though.

Glow (Memphis): Can Derek Dietrich become a second division starter in the majors?

Bradley Ankrom: I think so, maybe even a little more. I've always been a fan, though he's a longshot to stick at shortstop as he climbs the ladder. Nice pop, respectable average, solid-enough glove if he moves to third base.

cknapp34 (Whitewater, WI): Biggest name we see traded in-season is___________?

Bradley Ankrom: Cole Hamels? With the addition of a second wild card this year, more teams are going to feel like they're in the race in late-July, which could lead to a rather boring trade deadline.

Mike McDale (Dunedin): Matt Dominguez and David Coopers can be all stars right? Both are so good out there. Hard not to like

Bradley Ankrom: Absolutely. Their bats will play well in the Northern League.

Flotsam (Grimwood ): Baseball America's writeup says D.J. Davis is faster than Billy Hamilton. Do you buy that?

Bradley Ankrom: I haven't seen Davis in person, but I find it hard to believe. Hamilton is god-tier fast.

Glow (Memphis): Best arm in the Rays system that nobody talk about?

Bradley Ankrom: Wilking Rodriguez is in the mid-90s as a starter, and he could tick up if he moves to the bullpen.

Alex (Anaheim): How soon will the Padres be a formidable team, or is it debatable that they will be in the first place?

Bradley Ankrom: Have to love their organizational depth, especially behind the plate. How quickly they return to the top of the NL West will depend upon how successful they are at developing bats. I hope the aggressiveness of the Jason McLeod era carries over in this year's draft.

Ralph (Springfield): Thoughts on Stetson Allie?

Bradley Ankrom: I like the move. He wasn't showing progress in harnessing his stuff on the mound, and he was a potential first-round pick as a third baseman out of high school. Don't see any downside to giving him a try as a hitter, though I don't think he'll stick at third base. Moving to right field would make the transition a bit easier, I think, and I wouldn't be surprised if he saw time out there later this summer or in instructs.

SMcEwen (Winnipeg): To be fair on the DJ Davis-Billy Hamilton question, Baseball America is citing Track 60 yard times, not home to first times.

Bradley Ankrom: The first 30 yards are all I care about.

Paul (DC): What are the ETAs for the D-Backs triumvirate of pitching phenoms: Bauer, Skaggs, and Bradley?

Bradley Ankrom: Skaggs and Bauer should be up in September, though I think the former's superior command will make him more useful if Arizona is in the race. The Diamondbacks' pitching depth at the top ensures Bradley will have plenty of time to develop, and I wouldn't expect to see him in the majors earlier than late-2014.

Flotsam (Grimwood ): Highest radar gun reading you've ever seen?

Bradley Ankrom: My jaw dropped when Bruce Rondon hit 103 on a Stalker gun in a relief outing in Tampa a few weeks ago.

Paul (DC): According to Pythag the Mariners should be at .500, but instead are posting a 24 and 32 record. Which happens first, Eric Wedge fired as Manager or Dan Hultzen called up to the team?

Bradley Ankrom: I don't think Wedge has done a bad job in Seattle, given what he's had to work with, but he would certainly have to be on any short list of managers on the hot seat.

Paul (DC): Is there anyone stopping Christian Yelich from taking over as the Marlin's starting left fielder come 2014?

Bradley Ankrom: I think some of Yelich's timetable depends on the progress, or lack thereof, Sanchez and Morrison make. If Sanchez tanks and Morrison slides to first, left field is Yelich's for the taking. If Morrison sticks in left, that complicates things. I don't think Yelich is going to be a big-league center fielder.

R.J. Anderson (Intel): Wax poetically about Scott Shuman. Please?

Bradley Ankrom: "There's no earthly way of knowing, where that slider's truly going. It certainly isn't showing any signs that it is slowing." I love Shuman, mostly because I have a weird obsession with guys who throw hard and don't know where it's going. He's in Double-A this year, but if he reaches the majors I'll be gleefully surprised.

michaelmcduffe (ottawa): Is there any concern about Archie Bradley's control--30 walks and ten wild pitches--or is this routine, just part of the deal with a young pitcher learning to harness remarkable stuff?

Bradley Ankrom: Part of the deal. He was a top-shelf quarterback recruit in high school, so he's still a little raw. I was happy to see Arizona assign him to a full-season club this year, and I'm more encouraged that he's held his own than discouraged by his command/control issues.

Paul (DC): Ankrom? Is that some electrical unit of physics or a magical symbol used by Zatanna when fighting the enemies of the Justice League?

Bradley Ankrom: It's Scottish for "basement dweller."

Jim (Levittown, NY): Lots of people gushing about Zach Wheeler lately, your thoughts?

Bradley Ankrom: Justified gushing. He's maintained his strikeout rates while allowing weaker contact at Double-A. Hope to see him pushed to Triple-A in the second half.

Glow (Memphis): Whatever happened to Nick Barnese?

Bradley Ankrom: Lost velocity and couldn't stay healthy.

Paul (DC): Adam LaRouche, come back player of the first third of the season?

Bradley Ankrom: Why not? Health is a wonderful thing.

DF (Wilmington, NC): Teheran continues to puzzle. He was sharp again last night, but has been wildly erratic this year. Any thoughts on if he's working on something in particular?

Bradley Ankrom: Kevin says he's been working on his breaking ball a lot down at Gwinnett. He's only a few months older than Mark Appel; plenty of time to work things out.

Jim (Levittown, NY): How would you rank Mets 3rd base prospects - Marte, Flores, Aderlin Rodriguez? If D. Wright gets locked up could any of them play elsewhere?

Bradley Ankrom: Flores may have the bat to profile at first base, but Davis is entrenched there for the immediate future. Marte could probably handle himself in left field.

Jake (Chicago): How much stock do you put in a player being "bored" in the minors, and it affecting his performance. See: Keith Law's recent comments regarding Shelby Miller.

Bradley Ankrom: I didn't see what Keith Law said re Miller, but I'm sure players get bored if they don't feel challenged. I've been bored at jobs before. Not this one, of course.

Fisty (Seattle): Do you think the Reds make a move? So far, so good, but LF remains something of a black hole and while the rotation top to bottom is decent, there is no one there who would scare another team in a 5-game series. Any chance they deal for a real ace rather than a pseudo one like Latos?

Bradley Ankrom: Do they have the depth to acquire someone of that caliber? Even if they did, who would be available? Like I said earlier, the additional wild card is going to keep teams in the race longer this year, and there are going to be fewer options for teams looking to make substantial upgrades to their roster.

jr (mass): My grandfather is very ill and doesn't have long. The one question he asks "when they gonna trade that bum youkilis?" He doesn't like him because he met him a few yrs back in pawtucket and he was arrogant and rude during a autograph session. What do u think boston could get for him. Plus what do they do when all there guys come back off dl. On a personal note thank u bp for these chats cause reading them takes my mind off him dying of cancer. Please if u know someone who smokes help them to stop. Things I have seen with him I don't want any of u guys to go through. Thank u sorry to sound "girly"

Bradley Ankrom: Don't expect a great return for Youkilis. The value will be in clearing a spot for Middlebrooks to play every day.

Cris E (St Paul, MN): When I think about the Twins picking Byron Buxton all I can see is Aaron Hicks. Can Buxton pitch? Tell me reassuring things about the great potential of youth.

Bradley Ankrom: He may have the most potential of any player in this year's draft. If Houston opts for Appel over Buxton and Minnesota takes the latter with the second pick, I think the odds of your being pleased with that selection in five years are very good.

johnny (T Hills): Chris Young is about to start his latest comeback. What can we expect?

Bradley Ankrom: He's such a unique guy to begin with, it's hard to say what to expect of him coming back from shoulder surgery. Wish him the best, though. Us tall folks have to support each other.

Bradley Ankrom: Thanks for all of the great questions, everyone. As a reminder, if you have any research-related questions, feel free to send them to me (bankrom at baseballprospectus dot com) for possible inclusion in an upcoming Research Mailbag. Hope everyone enjoys the draft festivities!


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