Baseball America apologizes for not responding to questions Tuesday in this week’s Hot Sheet correspondence. Josh Norris answered a number of chat questions on Thursday morning, which you can find below.
Al (Long Island, NY):
- It’s great to see Kjerstad not only making his professional debut but also hitting as well as he did. How do you envision the O’s handling his progression through the system (assuming he keeps hitting, of course)? I can see them wanting to put him on a bit of a fast track, considering he’s been so short of time and he’s already 23. But at the same time, it’s the first exposure to the professional ball, so it might not be the safest thing to do. What do you think?
Josh Norris: Without knowing anything about how to treat a player who has just returned from these special circumstances, I would say play it safe. If his performance warrants it, move him up, but don’t speed up his timeline just because of his age and wasted time. The whole situation is unfortunate, but the best thing for the player and the club (IMO) is to play everything as normal as possible.
Elliot (Youngstown Ohio):
- Daniel Espino, where are you?
Josh Norris: He is unfortunately recovering from a knee injury suffered at the end of April. I hope he will be back on the mound soon.
- He’s missed so much time, but is Anthony Siegler a hope again? Is he the Yankees’ best catch prospect given Antonio Gomez’s mid-season struggles and the non-Yankee ratings of the Austin Wells defense?
Josh Norris: After watching the Renegades for four games in three days, I don’t think he’s regained much prospect status, and the scouts at this series weren’t impressed with the level of effort either. he showed behind home plate. The caveat, of course, is that he’s had terrible luck with injuries, but not much has changed in terms of reviewers’ opinions at this stage.
Jose (San Diego):
- Josh, In the hot sheet and podcast, you highlighted Yankees pitcher Angel Benitez on the helium watch. Who has more helium, Benitez or Jarlin Susana? Which of the two pitchers is the most popular prospect?
Josh Norris: I would take Susana. He’s already ranked in the top 30 of the Padres, and has been skipped on DSL and in the States (where he’s been pretty impressive) due to his already electric mix of pitches. He drew backcourt raves yesterday from what I hear and could make it to Low-A at some point this season. Both guys are fun, but I’d take Susana.
Kahlil W. (Jupiter, FL):
- What happened to my ball bat skills? Were they worse than advertised? Why do I keep swinging and missing?
Josh Norris: There were two big questions about coming into the draft: where would you play on the pitch and could you find a two-shot approach? The answer to this last question, so far, is: no. The Marlins, of course, are working with him now to make him more selective, as he certainly still has the skills to do damage when he comes in contact. Now he just has to really, really work on figuring out when to swing and when to let pitches through.
- Meads or Gunnar if you had to choose one?
Josh Norris: Gunnar. Scouts love Gunnar Henderson for a combination of skill and polish that could make him truly elite. According to this year’s graduates, he has a shot at being the game’s top overall prospect in 2023.
Joseph (New York):
- Who would you add to your fantasy farm team?
Josh Norris: My fantasy farm team is provisioned because my list of fantasy big leagues wasn’t good enough (despite having Aaron Judge and Trea Turner!) If I could add a prospect that’s not currently on my farm and currently in the minor league candidates would be Jackson Chourio, Gunnar Henderson and Jordan Walker off the top of my head. (I already have Francisco Alvarez, Eury Perez, Kyle Harrison, Ezequiel Tovar, Jordan Lawlar, Marcelo Mayer, Elly De La Cruz, etc.).
Mike (Oconomowoc, WI):
- I’m curious why Gabriel Moreno is considered a better prospect than Francisco Alvarez? Alvarez smashes the ball at 20 in AA while Moreno struggled in AAA at 22. They also look good but not great behind the dish. Is it just a ranking adjustment that hasn’t happened yet.
Josh Norris: I’m curious about your definition of wrestling. Was he hitting for a ton of power? No. But he ended (?) his time in Buffalo with a slant line of .324/.380/.404. Additionally, it had begun to show more power as the weather became less frigid in the northeast. Additionally, we projected Moreno as a potentially above-average receiver who is also athletic there. Alvarez’s defense has more question marks surrounding it.
- Which successful prospects do you think are most likely to be fantasy mainstays five years from now?
Josh Norris: With the caveat that I absolutely suck at playing fantasy baseball, I would just look at our Top 100. A guy like Corbin Carroll should give you a lot of categories in terms of hitting, power and speed. Adley Rutschman, Gabriel Moreno, Francisco Alvarez and Diego Cartaya could provide plenty of attack from a prime position. Gunnar Henderson should also be excellent, especially if he qualifies at SS.
- Deynison De Los Santos is doing well in June at 18 in the Cal league. Did he receive any consideration for the Hot Sheet nomination? Do you think he can stay at 3B in the long term?
Josh Norris: Just a quick note here on Hot Sheet: The exercise is an attempt to rank/list the top 20 prospects (plus one Helium guy). Lots of players have great weeks every week, so it’s only natural that some get left out. De Los Santos had a good week (.400/.409/.550 with three doubles) but wasn’t quite foil-worthy this time around. As for his defense, there’s a chance he’ll move to first base, but there’s still plenty of time to prove he can stay at third.
- How are Arizona Development League games watched and are they open to the public?
Josh Norris: Basically, you have to be in Arizona and go to the games. They are not shown (at least publicly) and as far as I know the public is allowed to watch if they wish. No ticket is necessary. When you see me tweeting about these games, it’s just me reading the sheet music.
Corbin Carroll (MLB in 2022?):
- I’m not on the hot sheet this week, but I should be on a 2 month hot sheet wiping out AA. With what I showed this year, did my tools tick in all categories except speed? Is 70 hit/60 power/70 speed/60 defense/55 arms a realistic view of what my tools look like today? I know the DBacks have been intentionally too conservative with me since I’ve only played a handful of balls all season before the 2022 season, but what’s the point of keeping me at a level I’m not at? challenged everything? Will I end up having a cup of coffee in the big leagues in September?
Josh Norris: There’s so much trickery involved here. Will Corbin Carroll become a stallion? You bet. Could he be the game’s No. 1 prospect entering 2023? Fairly good luck. Is his numbers going to be a little inflated because he plays in Amarillo (and then Reno when he gets promoted?) absolutely. We have it with more hitting and above average power, which is damn good too! The moral of the story is this: the batters at Amarillo (and other Texas league parks) will be very plentiful, and the pitchers at those parks will be pretty well hit by the same conditions. I think you will enter the big leagues in 2023.
- What do you think of Evan Carter? Do you see him being an MLB regular or something more/less?
Josh Norris: I really like Evan Carter. He’s young, has a great sense of the strike zone, can play center field and also shows hints of power. Other scouts see him the same way and predict a future as an MLB regular. He just went through a bit of cold weather caused by an injury to the foot he was playing. Now that he’s healed, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go again.
- Ranking the best long-term receiver Melendez, Kirk or Moreno? Does Melendez also catch well enough to stay behind the plate part-time?
Josh Norris: Hard not to take Kirk at this point, right? Dude is a stallion. After that I would take Moreno and then Melendez.
Allen Buller (Portland OR):
Josh Norris: I could see him make his debut next season.
- As always, thanks for the chat. Do you think Torkelson could use a demotion or is it better to get him across at the majors?
Josh Norris: I think it’s best to keep him in the big leagues and let him figure things out. Failure and adversity are part of the development process, so how Torkelson responds the rest of the way could go a long way in determining his career arc.
- The Reds have plenty of exciting prospects a notch or two below La Cruz. Which of Rece Hinds, Allen Cerda, Austin Hendrick do you see having the best chance of success in the Majors?
Josh Norris: I will choose another group of players. On the pitching side, Andrew Abbott has been really intriguing given how he’s started this year, and in the ACL, I really think a guy like Carlos Jorge has the tools to be an exciting play in a few years. .
Tom (Cypress, CA):
- What’s the latest news you’re hearing about Brailyn Marquez’s status? Is he still a potential ace?
Josh Norris: I don’t see him as a potential ace. Even before the turmoil of recent years, Marquez still had a split side over whether he would be a starter or a reliever. Considering he hasn’t pitched an official pitch since 2020, it’s hard to see an easy way for him to rebuild into a starter’s workload.
- Thanks for the cat. Casey Schmitt is not on the roster but had a great week at the plate and filled out the SS with Luciano out. Is there a chance he’s more than a part-time replacement at the position?
Josh Norris: I don’t think so, but he’ll be a stallion with the glove at third base!
- Say more words about Jackson Chourio – you know you want it!
Josh Norris: Three more words: He’s really good.
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