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Prospect Chats: Marc Hulet of Fangraphs

Marc Hulet of Fangraphs recently completed a prospect chat, and here's some of the excerpts for that:

Comment: Please rank your personal Top 10 pitching prospects. Here is a list of some possible guys: Bauer, Hultzen, Bundy, Bradley, Cole, Teheran, Moore, Miller, Skaggs, Wheeler, Parker, Banuelos, Betances, Turner, Odorizzi, Harvey, Martinez, Cole.

MH: Matt Moore, Trevor Bauer, Shelby Miller, Dylan Bundy, Tyler Skaggs, Julio Teheran, Gerrit Cole, Danny Hultzen, Zack Wheeler, Jarrod Parker... in that order, I think.

Hard to argue with that order for pitching prospects, although I tend to weigh performance slightly more. I do think it is interesting that he places Skaggs ahead of Teheran.

Comment: Will Middlebrooks and Alex Liddi, the opposing starting thirdbasemen in the 2011 Futures Game, are like-aged, similarly sized, righthand-hitting prospects with comparable minor league numbers (although Liddi walks more and is a level ahead of Middlebrooks). Who is the better prospect?

MH: Middlebrooks and it's not close. He's a much better athlete and a much better all-around hitter.

I recently put Middlebrooks behind Liddi for the 2012 season as a part of my fantasy 3B prospect rankings, but put him ahead of Liddi long-term. The Mariners don't seem sold on Liddi either, so we'll see if he has a shot long-term to stick there.

Comment: Any word on Matthew Purke and the health of that left shoulder? What level do you think he will start out at this season?

MH: I haven't heard good things. I wouldn't be shocked if he begins the year in extended spring to try and build up the shoulder.

The Nationals gave him overslot money to get him signed in the 4th round, and if he is healthy he could jump right back up toward the top of the prospect rankings. Realistically, he's probably a few years away still, especially if this season ends up being a rebuilding season in terms of his shoulder.

Comment: So who would you keep between Rizzo and Alonso? Related: Which one would have more trade value to a team in need of a 1B?

MH: If I were the Padres... I would keep Alonso. Cameron pointed out quite well that Alonso has opposite field power while Rizzo is a dead pull guy so he doesn't fit SD as well. I think he'd be a good fit for Chicago... The Cubs being linked to Fielder doesn't make any sense. The probably with Rizzo is that his value was hurt a bit by his struggles at the MLB level...

Rizzo's name keeps coming up in trade discussions, and a move from Petco would most likely increase his value even further. I have to imagine that if the Cubs don't end up signing Prince Fielder, they would definitely try to acquire Rizzo from the Padres.

Comment: Middlebrooks, Arenado, Rendon who has the best career?

MH: Rendon, Middlebrooks, Arenado

I'm not sure if I have seen anyone have Middlebrooks ahead of Arenado on their 3B rankings at this point. The key to this still though is that he has Rendon ahead of the both of them. Rendon seems like he has the best combination of high-floor and high-ceiling, especially compared to the other two.