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Down On The Farm: Q & A From Project Prospect Top 100 Chat

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Here are a few  Q & A from the recent Top 100 Prospect chat over at Project Prospect:

[comment from Tom]:

What three players do you think are unique to this list? As in which evaluations have you all made that clash most with other evaluators? Why do you think there is that difference? What might you be doing differently?

Adam Foster: 

Mike Leake jumps out at a lot of people. We think he could become a top-of-the-rotation starter because of his elite command of four offerings that could be above-average. His height and fastball velocity -- under 6-foot and usually doesn't get it up above 92 MPH -- don't concern us.

As mentioned in this chat and explained above, we have Fernando Martinez higher than he's been on most lists.

Then our Hellickson ranking will probably be lower than you'll see just about anywhere. Most prospect rankers don't put much energy into predicting pitcher durability. If Hellickson goes out and throws 200+ quality innings a season for 4-5 years, our ranking may not look so hot :).

We weigh floor pretty heavily along with ceiling. Our goal is to hit on as many future average or better big leaguers without missing anyone. A guy doesn't need to profile as a likely above-average regular to make our list. And some of those "average tools" guys go on to become stars. For example, Chase Utley and Dan Haren were never thought of as cream-of-the-crop prospects.

More after the jump:

[comment from Ryan H.]:

Can you give a report on Brett Lawrie, his ETA on MLB and potential position? Thanks for great content! 

Adam Foster:  Lawrie could have game-changing power, especially for an up-the-middle defender. He went from a tall stance where he could really put a jolt in the ball last spring to a crouch the helped him make contact but limited his power last summer.

The Brewers sent him to Double-A in his first full season, so it's safe to assume that they're willing to be aggressive with him. I'd give him at least another year in a half in the minors. He was still catching when I saw him last spring -- even after it had been announced that he was going to play 2B -- so I didn't get to see him much on defense.

He's an above-average runner. I don't know if he's going to be a smooth defender at second, but he could be a guy who gets the job done. If he becomes a liability at second, he could be a good corner outfielder.


[comment from drew]

I know you guys are all about high floor guys, but you have two largely unknown draft picks - Tyler Matzek and Donovan Tate - ranked higher than i expected to see. what do you feel their ceilings to be?

Adam Foster: Tate brings a lot of defensive value to the table. If he can hit, he could be an elite big leaguer. If not, he's still probably a no. 4 outfielder because of his instincts, speed and athleticism.

Matzek may emerge as a top-of-the-rotation starter. He was a bit of a polarizing guy when we discussed him with scouts and other people who have seen him. I had one guy tell me he thought Matzek was a top 25 prospect yesterday while another said he thought he was borderline top 100. I have some reservations about Matzek's command.

Ultimately, I let Lincoln decide where Matzek belonged on our list. He knows the recent draft picks better than I do.

I said to Lincoln, you realize we're giving Matzek near Porcello/Kershaw praise if we put him this high this soon. You feel comfortable giving him that strong of a backing? The answer was yes.

[comment from Mike]

How close was Borchering from making the list?

LHamilton: He was very close, lack of experience and defensive value held him down. We're big fans of the swing, lots of power potential. Could easily be in the Top 100 next year...maybe Top 50 if people think he can stick at 3B.