01/27/12 4:00 PM EST
Mayo chats Top 100 Prospects with fans
By / MLB.com
Jonathan_Mayo: Thanksk to everyone who's here for this chat. It's great timing for me as I needed a break from working on the Top 20s for each team. (Coming week of Feb. 6)
Jonathan_Mayo: Let's get started shall we?
yankeepros: Q: Is Bryce Harper over rated?
Jonathan_Mayo: Figured we should start with a question about the most hyped prospect there is.
Jonathan_Mayo: Is he over-hyped? Maybe. Is he over-rated? No way. The amazing thing about Harper is he's actually lived up to the hype for the most part. His power is legit, he's going to be a good hitter to boot, he runs well and has a plus arm. All he needs to do is reign in the aggressive play a touch.
timmythegiant: Q: What kind of impact is Devin Mesoraco going to have this season on the Reds?
Jonathan_Mayo: I think he's going to start the year out in a quasi-platoon with Ryan Hanigan, but that Hanigan will be relegated to backup status by midseason at the latest. I'd put Mesoraco on a short list of NL Rookie of the Year candidates.
jonathanho: Q: Why is Pax so low? And No love for Chesler?
Jonathan_Mayo: I didn't think being considered the 77th best prospect in baseball as "too low," but I understand your point. James Paxton had a great first full season and could compete for a big league job this spring.
Jonathan_Mayo: But keep in mind he spent the first chunk of the year in the Midwest League and was a bit older for that level.
Jonathan_Mayo: As for Chelser... do you mean Cheslor Cuthbert of the Royals? Interesting player, but not close to top 100 worthy in my book.
hombrej: Q: Where did you have O. Tavares? Close to top 100?
Jonathan_Mayo: Hombrej sent in a bunch of questions about missing Cardinals: Taveras, Adams, Jenkins and Cox, so I figured I'd answer them all in one fell swoop.
Jonathan_Mayo: Cox and Jenkins were probably the closest to making the top 100. Jenkins is the one who could be on the move quickly. Once he starts pitching at higher levels, he'll rank higher, I'm sure.
Jonathan_Mayo: Taveras was with them in that "close" group.
Jonathan_Mayo: Adams is a little bit further away. Very intriguing bat, but doesn't belong in the same conversation. And don't forget about Kolten Wong, too. The Cards' system has come a long, long way.
bautista23: Q: Most websites that I've read have Justin Nicolino ahead of Noah Syndergaard. Why did you include Syndergaard in your top 100 and not Nicolino?
Jonathan_Mayo: Well, I'm not most websites, am I? In all seriousness, there isn't that much separating the two of them. Syndergaard's pure stuff -- mainly his fastball -- grade out a bit better. But you could certainly make the argument that Nicolino is right there.
bautista23: Q: Why is it that when i refreshed the page to this chat, I doesn't show me all the questions people have asked that you've answered?
Jonathan_Mayo: Not exactly a follow-up from bautista23, but it provided an opportunity to let people know that the entire transcript of the chat will be available afterwards on mlb.com/prospects.
kjsmlb: Q: What SP in the top 20 do you personally think has the highest ceiling? Not the most sure thing #2 or whatever, but the best stuff to equate to the highest ceiling..
Jonathan_Mayo: Boy there is a ton of upside on the mound in that top 20. It's hard to pick. But ifI have to pick just one with the highest ceiling? I'd say either Jameson Taillon or Archie Bradley.
jonner77: Q: What seperates Baneulos from Martin Perez at this point? They seem to be very similar prospects in terms of age, size, and stuff..
Jonathan_Mayo: They are fairly similar in those regards. I think scouts like Banuelos' pure stuff a bit better, though Perez's changeup is a plus. Both have the potential to be outstanding if they can harness command.
bosoxfan40: Q: Do you think Christian Yelich will be able to bulk up enough in the next year or so to become more of a real power threat? And, is that even necessary for him to do? He seems like an excellent hitter as-is. Thanks.
Jonathan_Mayo: He is an excellent hitter as-is and I don't think the Marlins will do anything to change that. Sure, he's hitting the weight room this offseason to get stronger, but I don't think he'll do anything different than he would normally.
Jonathan_Mayo: The power is going to come for him. He may never be a big basher, but with his all-around bat and his speed, that's more than OK.
DrTannin: Q: The Angels OF is crowded with RH bats; Is Trout the odd man out this year [until September]?
Jonathan_Mayo: It's a good problem to have. There would be nothing wrong if Trout spent a good amount of time in Triple-A this year. Given his age and the fact that he hasn't played above AA, it could be good for him.
Jonathan_Mayo: That being said, I think he'll play his way into that outfield in some fashion during the season.
ryanpboyer: Q: I'm interested to hear your thoughts on why you only dropped Seth Blair from No. 4 to No. 5 in the Cardinals' rapidly improving system. Many lists I've seen no longer even have him in the top-20 after his terrible showing in 2011. Are you predicting a bou
Jonathan_Mayo: The team lists you guys are looking at are still the top 10 lists from the end of 2011. New team lists -- top 20 for each team -- are being worked on as we speak (or type)
bfitzge44: Q: Do you think Jacob Turner will start the season in the Tigers rotation?
Jonathan_Mayo: It certainly looks like he'll be given every opportunity to do so and I think he'll break camp as the No. 5 guy in that rotation, soaking up knowledge from Mr. Verlander all year.
mattyb92107: Q: What type of season do you see Alonso having for the Padres?
Jonathan_Mayo: I'm excited to see what he can do now that he'll finally be given the opportunity to play every day in the bigs. In that park, I wouldn't expect a ton of homers, but I think he'll hit for average (over .300 could happen) and a ton of doubles (over 50 could happen).
fielderk: Q: If you had to take one for your future third basemen would you take Will Middlebrooks or Mike Olt?
Jonathan_Mayo: Can I take both and move Olt to first?
Jonathan_Mayo: OK, if i have to get off the fence, I'll take Middlebrooks. I think his overall hitting ability is better than Olt's, though Olt may have him in the power department.
jcb124: Q: I don't Trout will be any good as a hitter in MLB. based on seeing him play in the AFL, What do you think?
Jonathan_Mayo: A couple of things on this. The first is sample size. You should never read too much one way or the other into a player's AFL stats.
Jonathan_Mayo: Usually it means not giving too much credence into big hitting stats there, but it's the same the other way. And with Trout (point # 2), keep in mind he had played a whole lot of baseball in 2011, including in September when most in the AFL were off. He was out of gas.
schrem: Q: I'm curious about Bubba Starling at No. 17. I know he's a great athletic talent, but is that a little high for a guy who has never really focused on baseball before? I'm curious if you think it will be a long road to the bigs for Starling.
Jonathan_Mayo: It's all about upside for a guy like him. He has as high a ceiling as any hitter on this list. Will it take him a while to put it together? It might, especially since this is the first time he's focusing on baseball.
Jonathan_Mayo: At the same time, he has better baseball instincts than you might think. He has the tools to be a superstar.
danq22: Q: What do you think Gary Brown's chances are of making it to the Giants this year?
Jonathan_Mayo: I think you could potentially see him in September, especially if they need his speed and defense off the bench in a playoff race. He didn't get a promotion last year, but if he's lights out in Double-A, he could move up to Fresno and then maybe get to San Fran at some ponit this season.
mysterio2: Q: Who's your best prospects farther down the list who could eventually have greater impact than those at the front?
Jonathan_Mayo: I like this question, making me turn things on its head...
Jonathan_Mayo: I will give you four names, two pitchers and two hitters. The pitchers are Taylor Guerrieri of the Rays and A.J. Cole of the A's.
Jonathan_Mayo: The hitters are Josh Bell of the Pirates and Xander Bogaerts of the Red Sox.
juicedx20: Q: Casey Kelley had kind of a downer in '11, chances he bounces back?
Jonathan_Mayo: Why was that a downer year? His ERA improved dramatically, as did his H/9 rate, his BB/9 went down and he continued to be a grundball machine. And keep in mind he was going from a pitching-friendly league (Eastern) in 2010 to a hitting-friendly one (Texas) last year.
Jonathan_Mayo: So, to me, there's nothing to bounce back from. He'll be just fine.
bfitzge44: Q: Now that the Orioles signed Hardy to a multiple year deal will Machado start learning to play third in the minors?
Jonathan_Mayo: Hardy is signed through 2014, if I'm not mistaken. I wouldn't worry about moving Machado to third just yet. Let's let the bat develop. if it looks like he's going to be ready way in advance of Hardy's contract expiring, then you move him. For now, leave him at short, where he's been just fine.
Scrapper007: Q: Who gets to the majors first-- Machado or Profar? And do they both end up staying at SS?
Jonathan_Mayo: Follow up on the shortstop prospects. I'll say that Machado gets there just a hair ahead of Profar. Profar definitely stays at short (unless Andrus is still there). Machado... he'll eventually move to third.
saadsaad: Q: Is Betances and Banuelos trade chips or will they be promising stars in the yankees rotatin plans for the future?
Jonathan_Mayo: Arent' all Yankee prospects trade chips?
davespeide: Q: Jarrod Parker. He's down at 26 despite being proposed as a top of the rotaion type starter. Is that a result of the injury risk or are the other dozen or so pitchers ahead of him all that good.
Jonathan_Mayo: More the latter than the former. He's not really an injury risk at this point. The success rate of Tommy John surgery is such that I don't think people are concerned.
cnf307: Q: Out of the Mets trio of Harvey, Wheeler, and Familia who becomes the best starting pitcher, who moves to the bullpen, and who's the dud if there is one?
Jonathan_Mayo: No dud. Harvey and Wheeler start. Familia closes their games.
broncoboy09: Q: Which organization has the best starting pitching prospects in the minors?
ltw47: Q: Seattle, Oakland, Arizona and the Mets had "Big 3's" in the top 100, who has the best Big 3 ?
Jonathan_Mayo: There was another big 3 question, but I can't find it... but I thought these belonged together
Jonathan_Mayo: Oakland has: Parker, Gray, Peacock and Cole in the top 100; Seattle has Hultzen, Walker and Paxton; the Mets: Wheeler, Harvey and Familia
Jonathan_Mayo: But I think I'd probably go wtih the Diamonbacks, with Bauer, Bradley, Skaggs... then guys like Corbin, Holmberg, Brewer lower down.
dmtenneson205: Q: Is Trevor May looking at making a large jump this year? And are the Phillies set at looking in-house to develope young arms?
Jonathan_Mayo: I think he could make a big jump. Double-A is always a good test and if he continues to improve like he did last year, he could push things a bit. Will they develop young arms? That remains to be seen. They do like using the farm system for trades, don't they?
apage: Q: D'Arnaud at 25 was his long term health a concern in your rankings?
Jonathan_Mayo: Not at all. His injury with Team USA was just one of those things that happens. He's fine and doesn't pose a long-term injury risk. That's just where the scouts I polled placed him
Scrapper007: Q: Who is the fastest prospect in MLB, after Billy Hamilton?
Jonathan_Mayo: Gary Brown
bautista23: Q: Why wasn't Adeiny Hechavarria in the Top 10 SS prospects let alone the top 100 Prospects?
Jonathan_Mayo: Scouts are afraid he won't hit breaking stuff at the next level.
lfj10: Q: How far off was Jonathan Schoop (BAL) from making your top 100 list?
Jonathan_Mayo: Not too far... he might be in the 101-115 group.
chechonyy: Q: do the yankees have any other bat compared to jesus montero in AAA?
Jonathan_Mayo: Nope. But neither do most teams.
mattveasey: Q: How long until we see Cole-Taillon at the front of the Bucs rotation for good?
Jonathan_Mayo: You can see them at the front of the Bradenton Marauders rotation in April!
Jonathan_Mayo: But I'd say in Pittsburgh, 2014 at the latest for both of them.
giantsfaninthepeake: Q: Do you think Nolan Arenado makes it to the majors this year?
Jonathan_Mayo: I think a year wouldn't hurt him, but I guess the Rockies have been talking him up quite a bit, huh? Give him a half-season and if he's raking as expected, the Rockies won't hesitate to call him up.
unog: Q: were would you rank will middlebrooks on the list of top prospects
Jonathan_Mayo: Well, I put him at No. 56 on my top 100. So I'll say, umm, 56?
WVU10: Q: The Padres need offense now, what are the chances of Gyorko making the roster as a back up for Chase Headley?
Jonathan_Mayo: No way, no how. The Padres will want him to play every day and keep getting at-bats. Besides, having him be a back up wouldn't help their offense. If they need help and he's raking (he will), then maybe they bring him up. But only if he's going to play, not sit and watch.
Rayskim: Q: Do you think that Matt Moore will start the season in the majors?
Jonathan_Mayo: I hope so. Any other organization and it's a no-brainer, but that rotation is pretty stacked. But I think, when all is said and done, there's either a trade or someone (Niemann?) moving to the bullpen. You can't keep that guy out of the rotation.
Scrapper007: Q: You ranked Moore #1 but isn't he riskier than Harper and Trout simply because he is a pitcher?
Jonathan_Mayo: Maybe, but this isn't the "top 100 safest prospect" rankings
heeyoung: Q: Jon, who has most success in Diamondbacks uniform? Bauer, Bradley, or Skaggs?
Jonathan_Mayo: All three will be very good big league starters.
bfitzge44: Q: Do you think Matt Dominguez's bat will ever be major league ready?
Jonathan_Mayo: That's a good question and it's looking like he's not going to find out in Miami, is he, now that Reyes has moved Hanley over to third?
Yankeewolf: Q: Will Mason Williams become the next long time center fielder, ala Bernie Williams?
Jonathan_Mayo: Gotten a couple of these Mason Williams=Bernie Williams questions.
Jonathan_Mayo: That's the hope. He might have better tools than the elder Williams did at this stage, and a better feel for hitting. But I think Mason Williams has moved past Slade Heathcott as the "next Yankee CF"
davespeide: Q: Who will be the best players to make their ML debut in 2012?
Jonathan_Mayo: The easy answer, of course, is Bryce Harper. I'll throw Trevor Bauer and Danny Hultzen into the conversation , too
snoochies8: Q: when do top team prospects come out?
Jonathan_Mayo: Excellent time for a plug. Here's the schedule for the new team top 20s (yes, that's right, 20 instead of 10):
Jonathan_Mayo: NL East -- Feb. 6; AL East -- Feb. 7; NL Central -- Feb. 8; AL Central -- Feb. 9; NL West -- Feb. 10; AL West -- Feb. 11
jonner77: Q: Where would you rank Dylan Bundy as far as all time top HS arms drafted? He seems to have everything you would want , outside of the ideal size.
Jonathan_Mayo: Can we wait until he pitches professionally first? But I think he's up there, especially when you consider the combination of stuff and polish for his age. Good question to revisit 10 years from now.
fielderk: Q: ETA on John Lamb?
Jonathan_Mayo: 2014, gives him time to come back from his elbow surgery and beyond that to be full strength.
alecdopp: Q: What's your take on Brewers prospect Taylor Jungmann?
Jonathan_Mayo: Like him a lot. 3 excellent pitches, he's pitched in big situations. He and Jed Bradley should move quickly,
apic2: Q: Where did you have Matt Szczur? Anywhere near the top 100?
Jonathan_Mayo: Not far -- he'd be in the next group of 25, I think. A good 2012 should put him in the top 100
juicedx20: Q: Carlos Martinez, STL, how soon do we see him? 2013 maybe?
Jonathan_Mayo: Maybe tail end of '13, but I'd say 2014 to be safe.
saadsaad: Q: Is Matt Moore going to br a future Cy Young candidate?
rouvaldt: Q: I know Martin Perez took a hit this year. Would you take him or Neil Ramierez based on what you have seen?
Jonathan_Mayo: Ramirez was a great story in 2011, wasn't he? I still think I'd take Perez based on his pure stuff and hoping the command improves.
bfitzge44: Q: It looks like seattle was dealing from a position of strength when they dealt Pineda for Montero. Do you agree?
Jonathan_Mayo: Absolutely. Lots of pitching in that system.
zilla4: Q: When do you expect Randal Grichuk to come up to the bigs?
Jonathan_Mayo: Lets let him get out of A ball first.
goosewv7: Q: Bases Loaded. 2 Outs. Down 1. Bottom 9th. Which hitter in MiLB do you want at the plate?
cstjohn: Q: What type of player will George Springer turn into?
Jonathan_Mayo: A toolsy, 20-20 guy playing right field.
BeesGal: Q: Seeing Skaggs and Corbin makes me wince. The Angels farm system seems a bit thin in pitching prospects after trades of the last couple years. Besides Richards, any other Angels prospects you like? Shoemaker? Reckling? Brasier? Tillman? Carpenter?
Jonathan_Mayo: It is a bit thin. Tillman's the best of the group you've mentioned there.
goosewv7: Q: Is Jedd Gyorko going to stay at 3B for San Diego long term?
Jonathan_Mayo: Yes, I think he will. He may not have the power #'s you think of for the position, but in that park, that's fine.
brookins: Q: How are you today Mr.Mayo
Jonathan_Mayo: I'm great, thanks for asking.
ltw47: Q: Do you see a lot of Aaron Hicks/Josh Bell comparisions ? Atheletic raw tools, 4-5 year development cycle
Jonathan_Mayo: No. Hicks is more raw-toolsy, more speed. Bell is an advanced hitter for his age. I don't think it will take him nearly as much time to be ready.
35homers: Q: when should Mike Montgomery be on the starting rotation for the royals
Jonathan_Mayo: I think he'll put last year behind him, learning from the adversity, and be in KC at some point this season.
Redshot: Q: Hi, I am Sam from France. Do you think that Billy Hamilton will be a September call up this season?
Jonathan_Mayo: Sam from France, welcome. No, he won't be up this September. He has a lot of work to do both with his hitting and defensively at shortstop. Look for him in 2014.
Scrapper007: Q: How often do your viewers tell you that you look like Mr. Clean? Must be every day, right?
Jonathan_Mayo: Only if I shave the goatee off. Which I won't ever do as a result.
bfitzge44: Q: It looks like Cleveland has a nice problem on their hands with Lindor. How do you think they will resolve the Cabrera/Kipnis/Lindor potential logjam.
Jonathan_Mayo: It won't be a logjam for quite some time. Lindor's a few years away. When he's ready, he's their shortstop
Jonathan_Mayo: Folks, running out of time here soon. I'll try to squeeze in a few more.
revjesse: Q: who are some future 2b that have power upside? Besides Kolten Wong.
Jonathan_Mayo: Check out the top 10 2B list on Prospect Watch. But I think Culberson and Tejeda still could develop some power. Maybe Havens, too.
fielderk: Q: Do you think Wilin Rosario will be the Rockies catcher this year?
Jonathan_Mayo: More likely 2013, but maybe you see him late this season.
Hungie: Q: I actually played baseball against Sammy Solis in High School and I was wondering what you thought about his chances of making it big in the major leagues
Jonathan_Mayo: As long as he stays healthy, he'll get there, and quick. But health has been a bit of an issue.
snoochies8: Q: what type of upside do you see in Grant Green and Michael Choice? who plays left, center, and right out of them and josh reddick?
Jonathan_Mayo: Green in center, Choice in right, Reddick in left. How's that sound?
Scrapper007: Q: What is your thumbnail sketch of Cespedes? What would a reasonable deal be for him, in tems of years and overall dollars?
Jonathan_Mayo: I'm a writer, not an artist. I don't do sketches.
Yankeewolf: Q: How far off the list was Jose Campos?
Jonathan_Mayo: He'll be there next year is my guess.
rouvaldt: Q: With the Rangers not signing Fielder, do you believe that Mike Olt will now transition to first base?
Jonathan_Mayo: He's a pretty good defensive 3B, I wouldn't move him just yet.
bosoxfan40: Q: In lieu of my previous question, why did you say Christian Yelich was your favorite prospect in the top 100 list given the other night?
Jonathan_Mayo: I love the swing. I like guys who can just simply hit.
calev: Q: do you answer all questions or you chose? because you didnt answer mine so im wondering if it didnt go through or if you just arent posting it and answering it.
Jonathan_Mayo: If I answer your question about not answering your question, does that count?
dmtenneson205: Q: Which of your top 5 SP do you see having the most realistic chance of making the opening roster for their club?
Jonathan_Mayo: Moore, then Teheran
tapurdy: Q: Your thoughts on Kyle Drabek? Last year was a disaster, but do you still hold out hope for him?
Jonathan_Mayo: Honestly, I don't have any... seriously, there's time for him to turn it around. Still has great stuff.
pman2205: Q: Do you have predictions for the AL/NL Rookie of the year?
Jonathan_Mayo: Lets' end on this one, shall we?
Jonathan_Mayo: It's hard not to pick Matt Moore for American League Rookie of the Year, so I'll take Jesus Montero. And in the National League... I'll give the nod to Yonder Alonso.
Jonathan_Mayo: I want to thank everyone for coming to today's chat! The transcript will be available on mlb.com/prospects in a while. And feel free to keep up the chatter on Twitter (@jonathanmayob3). Thanks again!