Chat with Ben Badler
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, Baseball America's Ben Badler will chat it up with SportsNation. Ask any question and he will try to answer - big leaguers, prospects, draft picks ... anything goes!
Send your questions now and join Badler to chat Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Ben Badler (2:01 PM)
Hard to believe that July 2 is only two weeks away.
I read last week that Ynoa was getting checked out for a sore forearm. Any word on the results and will he be ready to play when the short season leagues start up?
Ben Badler (2:06 PM)
The SF Chronicle called it a right elbow strain, and he will probably be out at least another month or so. He will miss the beginning of Rookie ball, but he should get some innings under his belt this year.
Ben Badler (2:08 PM)
Sorry for the delay. I am finding with the new chat software here that if I type a sentence that uses an apostrophe, the chat answer does not post. So todays chat will be contraction free, I suppose.
Jim (Vero Beach)
In 3 years, which trio would you rather have for your rotation: Masterson, Buchholz and Bowden or Matusz, Tillman and Arrieta?
Ben Badler (2:09 PM)
Buchholz could be great, but Matusz and Tillman could both be frontline starters. I do not see that from Masterson or Bowden.
Would you deem anyone in the Phillies organization as an untouchable for a trade?
Ben Badler (2:12 PM)
Nobody in that system is untouchable. I would not trade Dominic Brown unless I received a star player in return. It is a good system, but nobody who is untouchable.
Kevin (New Jersey)
I noticed on your Twitter that you said that Jarrod Parker is better than Bumgarner. I agree with you, and have taken a lot of heat from my peers. Why do you think this? Is it just because Parker can potentially have 3 plus offerings?
Ben Badler (2:19 PM)
(Thanks, thats twitter.com/benbadler, btw.) Parkers fastball is already at least a plus pitch, his slider is a plus pitch and his changeup has shown flashes of being above average as well. He will mix in some solid curveballs too, but it is a fourth pitch for him. He is athletic and has clean arm action with an easy, repeatable delivery, and while he is walking a few too many batters right now, he has a history of throwing strikes and is only 20 years old in AA. Parker has nearly everything I would look for in a pitcher. Granted, he took a line drive off the right wrist the other day so we will see how that affects him. But thats no knock on Bumgarner, I would just take Parker if I had to choose one.
Ben Badler (2:20 PM)
Apparently hyphens are off limits too for this chat.
Tommy Hanson and Kris Medlen are in Atlanta, and Morton and Locke are now property of the Pirates.......are there any arms currently in Atlanta's farm to get excited about? Thanks for your time!
Ben Badler (2:21 PM)
Luis Valdez gets overlooked, but he is a quality reliever in AAA with a low 90s fastball and what one scout told me was a plus plus splitter. He could help the Atlanta bullpen soon.
I'm 21 and have an ERA under 2.50 in Triple-A, and strike out more then a batter/inning. Why am I left out of the discussion or put at the bottom when discussing the best SP prospects in the game (Feliz, Bumgarner, Hanson, Cahill)?
Ben Badler (2:22 PM)
I dont know anyone who is leaving you out of that discussion.
What are you thoughts on Miguel Angel Sano and who do you think he signs with on July 2nd? Is he worth Ynoa money?
Ben Badler (2:30 PM)
You guys know me, Im fairly conservative with heaping praise on a player, particularly a 16 year old from Latin America. Yorman Rodriguez and Rafael Rodriguez got $2.5 and $2.55 million last year, but the reports I had on them from scouts is that they have tools but struggle in games and just arent special players, and that is what I wrote up in my reports. With Sano, after talking to more people and obtaining more evidence, he sounds like he is one of the best Latin American hitters to come along in quite some time. I dont think he is just the best player on the market this year, I think hes the best July 2 hitter in several years. Where he signs, I dont know. Maybe the Pirates, but there are several teams who really, really like him.
Mike (Rutland, VT)
Any insight on who may be in the lead position for Sano? Is worth a $4 million signing bonus?
Ben Badler (2:35 PM)
How much money is he going to get? I dont know, and I dont think anyone else could give you an honest answer at this point because there are A TON of variables in play here: the down economy, small market teams getting more heavily involved in Latin America, a relatively down year in the draft for hitters, a premium prospect (without the injury risk of a pitcher) and an agent, Rob Plummer, who has a proven track record of getting maximum dollars for his clients. Some scouting directors told me they would love to sign Sano, but they are focusing on other players because Sano is just out of their budget. Teams can say publicly whatever they want about not being willing to go past X or Y million dollars (and some of them are saying that sincerely), but we will see what happens come crunch time.
Dan (Work )
With JJ Hardy struggling to say the least, what is Milwaukee waiting for to bring up Alcides Escobar? This seems to be the perfect time to be able to get him at-bats and playing time.
Ben Badler (2:36 PM)
Hardys 2009 offensive output is not indicative of his true level of ability. He is a good defender with a league average bat (his true talent, not his 2009 performance record). Escobar is a very good prospect and is already an outstanding defensive shortstop, but Hardy is good major league shortstop entering his peak years. Too many bad decisions are made if we only look at one season of evidence, let alone less than 50 percent of one season.
Danny Duffy seems to be the one that gets Royals fans the most excited these days. Does he move to the top of the Royals pitching prospects?
Ben Badler (2:38 PM)
I dont see a better pitching prospect in the system than Duffy.
The missing link (from parts unknown...way unknown)
Craig Heisley is leading the world of double-A in BA and OPS, yet no love from BA and the Hot Sheet. Where's the love and what is his upside? In saying that, who is the Reds future at CF with both Heisley at AA and Stubbs playing consistently well at AAA? Please no more Bowden-esque Corey Pattersons!
Ben Badler (2:39 PM)
I read this question four times and I still cant decide if you are just trying to bait me. But Chris Heisey? Yeah, he is a good prospect we have been writing about lately.
I got another Dan in the Royals system better than Duffy, Cortes?
Ben Badler (2:40 PM)
Duffy is better.
Are the futures bright for Joe Savery and Kyle Drabek for the Phillies? Both of them have been pitching well in AA.
Ben Badler (2:42 PM)
Drabek, yes, though I still am concerned about his ability to stay health. Saverys performance looks more like a mirage; his stuff is not as good as Drabeks and he is also an elevated injury risk.
This may be a silly question considering recent history but will the White Sox be active in the amateur free agent market this July?
Ben Badler (2:43 PM)
I would be very surprised if they are.
Hey Ben. Is Randall Delgado as highly regarded as Julio Teheran. Teheran seems to get all the hype, and while Delgado is a year older, he is pitching rather well for a 19 year old in Low-A.
Ben Badler (2:46 PM)
I dont think anyone is hyping Teheran right now. For now theyre both solid prospects with some upside, but Teheran in particular seems like a high risk prospect.
Hi Ben- Is there any reasonable expectation that Kyle Drabek can help the Phils this season? And is he as high a prospect as Hamels was?
Ben Badler (2:47 PM)
Way too early for Drabek to be in the big leagues. It is easy to get excited about prospects and forget just how hard it is to play in the big leagues and be successful there. Drabek is a good prospect (not as good as Hamels was), but if you put him in Philadelphia right now I dont think he would keep his ERA under 7.
Derrick (Tulsa, OK)
Are your expectations for Kyle Blanks less than, the same, or greater than they were entering the season?
Ben Badler (2:50 PM)
About the same. Should be at least a league average first baseman, but dont know where he will play if hes in San Diego.
With the Astros lineup aging quickly, do they have any prospects up and coming with some promise in the minors? If so could you name a few so I can research?
Ben Badler (2:51 PM)
Jason Castro could be the starting catcher in Houston in a couple of years, and Jordan Lyles is one of the more underrated prospects in baseball. He is making the Astros look sharp for drafting him high last year.
Any reason to worry about Wieters slow start? too many KOs and almost all his hits are singles
Ben Badler (2:54 PM)
No. Its been 13 games. He will be a star.
How about the Sanchez kid from Venezuela I think? Did the Yankees sign him already? Is he worth the big $$$?
Ben Badler (2:57 PM)
There is a Daniel Sanchez, a righthander from Venezuela who will get a lot of money, but you are probably thinking of Gary Sanchez from the Dominican Republic. I would be surprised if the Yankees did not end up signing Gary Sanchez. He is the top catcher available this year for July 2.
Are there any prospects in the Mariners system who could step into the big league lineup and contribute soon?
Ben Badler (3:01 PM)
Michael Saunders was extremely impressive when I saw him last year, and even since then he has made rapid improvement despite missing time due to injury.
Eli (New York)
Have you heard or seen anything from mets farmhand Jenrry Mejia, currently pitching for Binghamton. He's only 19 and put up some serious numbers in hiA and got promoted to AA
Ben Badler (3:06 PM)
Very good fastball, throws strikes, keeps the ball on the ground.
Have you ever heard of Guatemalan prospects being considered for the international signing period? Is there a chance a team could scour a lesser scouted country for a true find?
Ben Badler (3:10 PM)
It is not a big country for baseball, but the Padres did recently sign Marlon Calveira, a righthander from Guatemala who throws in the mid to high 80s. Teams are always looking for the newest talent markets, but right now I think more of that focus is in the Pacific Rim and in Europe.
Yes, Gary Sanchez, thanks!!! Does this mean the Yankees believe Montero will have to change positions? What do you think?
Ben Badler (3:14 PM)
They are independent of each other. Montero is in Double A, while Sanchez wont even be ready for rookie ball until next year (and still needs a lot of work on his receiving skills himself, though he has a very good arm). I do think Montero will end up at another position, largely because his bat will be ready for the big leagues well before his defense will be.
Brian (san francisco)
What about Pablo Sandoval made him do hard to get a feel on when he was in the minors. Did anybody see this kind of success coming?
Ben Badler (3:20 PM)
He is a unusual player in everything from his size to his skill set. You dont see many players with his build or who have his approach to hitting having success in the big leagues, but he has the hand eye coordination and the power to make it work for him, and he made tremendous strides in his development at the plate last season.
Rich (Bayonne, NJ)
What happened to the prospect the Yanks signed in July 2007, Kelvin Deleon. I saw that be played Rookie Ball last year. Any news on him? And is he worth looking out for?
Ben Badler (3:24 PM)
Hes good, a high upside guy with tools, especially power, but he'll need to learn to adjust to the soft stuff. He is on the Staten Island roster right now along with Eduardo Sosa.
Nick (Long Island, NY)
Are the Mets going to make a splash in the International market this summer? No 1st round pick, no big over slot picks, they should have a lot of money to spend on talent, right???
Ben Badler (3:26 PM)
I agree with everything you said.
Stewie Griffin (Quahog)
Whats your opinion on the SS prospect Boston is expecting to sign? Vinicio?
Ben Badler (3:32 PM)
I have not heard too many negatives from scouts who I have talked to about Vinicio, which is encouraging. Ask five scouts about one July 2 prospect and you could get five very different answers. But with Vinicio, the reports I have are pretty positive, that he is a solid all around shortstop who should stick at the position and be a solid hitter with good bat speed.
Ben Badler (3:35 PM)
Thanks for checking in with us today and sticking through some of the chat bugs, but it's back to the international phone lines for now. And if you're not already follow us at twitter.com/baseballamerica, what are you waiting for?