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Prospects Chat: John Sickels Top 20 Prospect Lists and Jason Parks Chat at Baseball Prospectus

Before I get into some excerpts from Tuesday's Jason Parks chat over at Baseball Prospectus, I wanted to make sure everyone knows that SB Nation's own John Sickels is working on his Top 20 prospects for each team, so please make sure you check out his great site his Top 20 Prospects lists. He will begin his lists by posting the Twins, Braves and Royals Top 20 lists first.

John posted a review of his Top 50 Hitting Prospects for 2011 yesterday, and here is an excerpt:

39) Jerry Sands, OF-1B, Los Angeles Dodgers, Grade B: Hit .278/.344/.586 with 29 homers in 94 Triple-A games, .253/.338/.389 in 198 major league at-bats. He showed some signs of life and I think he will improve.

I also wanted to let you know he is starting to take orders for The Baseball Prospect Book 2012, so click the link and order his terrific book.

Excerpts from Jason Parks chat after the jump:

If you aren't reading Jason Parks over at Baseball Prospectus, you are missing out. He is fast becoming one of my favorite reads amongst the prospect experts next to Sickels and Keith Law. And he chatted for about 4 hours on Tuesday.

Onto the chat excerpts:


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 @ 2B1B? 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.

Jason makes a good point about Rendon moving to second base. I think another prospect expert mentioned that recently as well. I guess if Rendon moves quickly through the minors, I would say he could play left field, with Jayson Werth in center field and Bryce Harper in right field. Then again, Harper played left field in AA Harrisburg this season, and GM Mike Rizzo had a hard on for trading for a center fielder at the trade deadline and almost traded closer Drew Storen to the Twins for Denard Span.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.

Here's one for those of you in deep dynasty leagues. Bethancourt is just 19 years old and split his time between Low A and High A this season, hitting .,289-.304-.385 with 5 HRs, 53 RBI, 9 SBs and a 62-11 K/BB rate in 387 at bats. 

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.

Here's another for those in keeper leagues or dynasty leagues. Cole as a Top 10 prospect in baseball? You have to like the Pirates farm system with Cole, Jameson Taillon, Josh Bell, and Starling Marte.

John (IL): Who do you like more: Shelby Miller or Matt Moore? And why

Jason Parks: Moore. Lefty with a better all-around arsenal. He also has bushier eyebrows.

Parks also said that Matt Moore is the best pitching prospect in the game since some guy named Clayton Kershaw. I have to agree with him.

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.

If Gordon hits .290-.300, how many bases can he steal? 60? Fantasy owners will drool over that. As a Gordon owner, I would be ecstatic to get a .290 season from him as I know he will run. Gordon stole 24 bases in 224 at bats, and attempted 31 steals in 64 stolen base opportunities (assuming I calculated his SBO correctly).

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.

Ok. I own Norris in the UBA league also, and its great to read his comments here. Norris hit just .210-.367-.446 with 20 HRs, 46 RBI, 13 stolen bases!, and a 117-77 K/BB rate in 334 at bats. He strikes out too much, but walks a ton also. I wonder what the Nationals will do with him in a few years as Wilson Ramos appears to have settled into the Nationals catchers job very nicely.