Prospect expert Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus held a marathon chat on Thursday, and discussed a ton of highly ranked prospects. Let's take a look at some of the excerpts:
Xavier (Texas): Bigger offensive upside: Gose or Marisnick?
Jason Parks: Gose lacks the hit tool to project as a plus hitter, although his power is legit and the rest of his tools make me weak in the knees. Marisnick has the potential to hit for both average and power, so Im going to give him the edge.
The debate between Gose and Marisnick seems to be nearly a push at times, and it kind of depends on whether or not you think Gose can overcome his problems with strikeouts thus far. Gose is a little closer, but Marisnick seems to be better well rounded. That said, I took Gose instead of Marisnick in one of my minor league drafts, and think he can be a 20 HR, 40 SB bat in the Majors.
Immanuel #Want (Prussia): Are you as drooly over Billy Hamilton as Goldstein? Can he make enough contact to utilize that #wantastic speed, and does he develop the arm to stick at SS?
Jason Parks: No. I think speed can get overrated in the minors. I love his speed; fastest guy in baseball. But I'm not sure he sticks at SS, and I'm not sure his hit tool is all that. What does that make him? A slappy 2B with crazy speed and little-to-no power. I think he's closer to a utility player than a starting shortstop.
I have been a huge fan of Hamilton, and am hoping like crazy he can continue to hit enough to make the speed worthwhile for my fantasy team. He stole 103 bases last season, and in my opinion if he can post a .250 batting average in the Majors, he could steal 50+.
Steve (Huntington Beach): I know you are really familiar with the Rangers, can you tell us more about Leonys Martin? What kind of speed and power potential do you see him having in Texas?
Jason Parks: Not a burner, more like a guy with quick feet who is probably a 50/55 runner. Good power, not a light-tower freak show. Should be able to utilize a gap-to-gap approach with some bombs and lots of doubles.
Based on the scouting reports, Martin is sounding more and more like he may be a better real-life player than fantasy player for a lot of leagues. I know I wasn't impressed with him when I saw him last season, but I would really need to see him more to be sure about that opinion.
Reggie (Fairfax, VA): Over/Under on mlb games played this year by (a) Harper, (b) Trout?
Jason Parks: A) (under) 50; B) (over) 100
I still think that the Nationals end up having Harper up for a majority of the season, but that could be wishful thinking on my part. Trout probably should play more than 100 games in the Majors this year, but it remains to be seen if the Angels will truly realize that they should play him and not one of their aging outfielders instead.
Dave (Oregon): I read Segura looked really slow in the AFL. In 2010 when healthy he stole 50 bags, is that an accurate representation of his speed, or did the guy just run a lot?
Jason Parks: It's not uncommon to see players look a bit slower in the AFL; after all, they've been playing since the end of February, and let's not forget what the weather is like in Arizona in September/October. It's easier to steal bases in the low minors, as pitchers struggle to control the running. Segura can run, but he's not going to be a 50 SB player at the higher levels.
Segura has been a favorite of mine since that 2010 season, but he missed a major portion of last year with injuries. I hope he can stay at SS, as I think he could be a 10+ homer, 25+ stolen base type which would almost assuredly be a top 10 SS when he gets there.
John (Denver, CO): How would you compare/contrast Rosario, Mesoraco, and D'Arnaud?
Jason Parks: D'Arnaud is the complete package and the best of the bunch,. He could be an all-star on a regular basis. Mesoraco and Rosario are close for me, with Mesoraco getting the edge because of his dreamy eyes.
I wrote about Rosario yesterday, but I agree that D'Arnaud is the better prospect, both for their real-life teams and for your fantasy team. D'Arnaud could also be in the Majors by the end of the season potentially.
Mike (Dover AF Base): Tyler Skaggs and Archie Bradley- frontline starters? #1's or #2's?
Jason Parks: Possibly. Things are going to happen along the way that make the projection more representational. Both have a chance to develop into very good starters at the major league level.
Skaggs is definitely a lot closer, having finished the season in AA for the Diamondbacks. The fact that they could possibly have 3 #1-level starters with Skaggs, Bradley, and Bauer could be really scary for the rest of the NL West. I'll be interested to see what Bradley does when he makes his debut, and where they start him at.
ajayem (LoneStarBall): What are your thoughts on Cody Buckel? Is he a pitcher who succeeds mainly based on the depth of his arsenal and his ability to sequence? How does he compare to former Rangers prospect Robbie Erlin?
Jason Parks: Solid-avg arm with good feel for craft and good (but not great) stuff across the board. He doesn't have the same type of command that Erlin has, but he has similar feel and his stuff is a little sharper. Buckel is also one of the smartest pitchers I've been around, always showing the other players how to chart, how to spot certain pitches, etc. After baseball, he's either going to make a very good coach or a very good talent evaluator.
I have seen Buckel's name start coming up a bit more since the offseason began, and the fact that he's viewed in a similar vein to Erlin definitely means I will have to keep an eye on his performance in 2012. He has only pitched at Low-A thus far, so he's still a long way away.
Bob (LA): Thoughts on Allen Webster? Will he translate as a solid 3 maybe more?
Jason Parks: I actually think he might. I really like Webster, and I've spoken to others who really like him as well.
I am just starting up my research on the Dodgers' system, and I'll definitely be taking a look at Webster. The system isn't in great shape due to some graduations and some poor results, but Webster could be extremely relevant and soon.
Jason Parks: He didn't suck at baseball. You try jumping to the Double-A level after not playing for nearly ten years. Hitting .200 was a remarkable accomplishment.
I always thought that this was a definite accomplishment, and I'm honestly curious if he would have made it eventually. I think with a couple of seasons he might have.
Bill (New Mexico): Opinions on Oscar Taveras? 19-year-olds who hit .384 at low-A don't grow on trees, but some scouts are dubious about his swing. Which side are you on?
Jason Parks: It's a very loud swing, but it works and I think it will continue to work. I'm a big fan.
Taveras emerged this season as a potential top tier prospect, and 41 extra base hits in 78 games is impressive at any level. It seems like the Cardinals could move him to their high-A affiliate for 2012, and if he takes off could be in St. Louis within 2 years.
Jason Parks: I love Lindor. I think he could be a star
Parks mentioned Lindor during the Up-And-In podcast, and it sounds like he could be a top 10 fantasy shortstop when he gets to the Bigs. It doesn't sound like he has any one part of his game (for fantasy) which will be elite, but that he should provide across-the-board above-average production. I'll be interested to see him make his debut as well.