Baseball America published their Top 100 Prospects for 2011 on Wednesday and held a chat to discuss the list. Here are more excerpts from the chat:
KyleS (Loudonville, NY): Did Wilin Rosario's injury cause the low ranking?
Jim Callis: It definitely did. Assuming the Jesus Montero won't be a big league catcher, I think Rosario is the best catching prospect in the minors. Others held back a little until they see how he bounces back from his knee injury, which is fair. Nothing wrong with ranking at No. 49 on the list .
Rosario is getting plenty of love this offseason and some think he has 30 HR power. Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta has to prove himself this year, or he could be on his way out of Colorado. And if Rosario has a good year in AA/AAA, Iannetta may be traded even if he has a good year due to his salary.
Ray (Manhasset, NY): Jim, Who is the best infield prospect in baseball?
Jim Callis: Middle infielder? I'll take Manny Machado (who's No. 14 on our list) over Dustin Ackley (No. 12), because Machado is a shortstop and I think Ackley is a second baseman better suited for the outfield.
It will be interesting to see if Ackley can stick at second base, as his value goes way down, for me, if he moves to the outfield.
More excerpts after the jump:
JAYPERS (IL): If Puello's best tool is his speed (65), what would his power rank? Hearing that he's showing some pop in ST.
J.J. Cooper: You could throw a 60 power on Puello as well, although that's all projection obviously. His in game power right now is pretty non-existent, but he does show it in BP.
Puello is a Mets outfield prospect who stole 40+ bases last year. Should the power come, his prospect status will rocket higher.
Jon Bass (Ann Arbor, michigan): I constantly hear about Aaron Hicks' tools but that he is a work in progress. Who would he compare to, best and worst case scenarios?
J.J. Cooper: John Manuel toyed around with that very question a lot in the lead-up to the Top 100. Check out the Top 100 Podcast we posted today for a longer answer, but what he found is there aren't a whole lot of Top 100 Prospects ever who have repeated low Class A. But Reggie Sanders was one of the ones who did, so it's not a kiss of death. If everything breaks right, he's a five-tool middle of the order hitter. The power has to develop for that to come true though.
I think Keith Law is still high on Hicks and ranked him at #10 in his Top 100 recently. Law thinks he can be a top 5 prospect based on his tools, but he needs to put it together this season to maintain his Top 100 ranking. As is, BA dropped him to #45 on their list.
Norman (San Jose): how is belt's power projected?
J.J. Cooper: That's really the biggest question with Belt. I know there were concerns about his swing going into the draft, but he has pretty much answered them with the tweaks he made. But his power is more of a gap power, take the ball the other way for a lot of doubles approach. One of the descriptions I got last year was a better J.T. Snow. In a best case scenario think of him as a high average, high on base guy who hits 15-20 home runs, enough doubles to keep his slugging percentage up and Gold Glove defense at first.
I guess we will have to temper our expectations for Belt's power potential a bit.