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Amir Garrett (Louisville): Do I have #2 starter stuff or am i the next Tony Cingrani?
J.J. Cooper: Hey everyone. Sorry for the delay. Garrett is more likely a No. 3/4 than a No. 2 and you will find scouts who see him more as a back-end starter. The power reliever projection is a good fallback option for Garrett. Garrett has a longer track record of success as a starter and does it with better stuff than Cingrani had at the time. Cingrani pitched off a fastball with great deception while Garrett's slider is better than Cingrani's was. But Garrett does need to show better control, which is one of the same issues that bedeviled Cingrani. Jeremy (DC via Cincy): Did Keury Mella or Rookie Davis factor into the top 100 debate at the back end at all? Mella was formely on the list while a Giant had has performed well this season. Is it a ceiling issue for him? Davis also has pitched well however isn't getting the swing and misses. Does he project as a middle of the rotation guy? Will any of the Chapman trade guy amount to anything? J.J. Cooper: Neither really were in the mix at all. Mella has not answered concerns from scouts who see him as a future reliever. Davis has not pitched really pitched well. He's battled a groin issue that has sapped his velocity but scouts who have seen him in the last couple of months have seen a guy pitching with a lot less fastball than they have seen in the past. His ERA is solid but that strikeout rate is simply not one that can build to big league success. Eric Jagielo has also been disappointing, although again the hope there is that he's still recovering from knee problems a la Jay Bruce. The Reds traded away Aroldis Chapman at the point where his trade value was the lowest it has ever been. That's not a recipe for getting good return. WBG (Philippines): Hello JJ. How does one impressive or unimpressive performance in the Futures Game hurt or benefit a top prospect? One example is Bickford who struggled with his command, didn't threw a changeup and the fastball was in the low-90s. J.J. Cooper: It wasn't a good look for Bickford, but that's one game. Bickford's command is usually better than he illustrated in that game. Also he was throwing one inning, so why would he throw his changeup much? The fastball velocity is a little concerning but there are mixed reports on where he's sat this year. I'd say the same with Ryne Stanek. Bad look. But he looked a good bit better just the week before for those of us who saw him in Durham. Jack (San Diego): How is Stephen Gonsalves not in your top 100 ? J.J. Cooper: Because we couldn't find anyone who thought he should be there. We talk with 35-40 scouts and front office officials and run our preliminary Top 100 by them. There was very little support for Gonsalves as a Top 100 guy. There are scouts who like Gonsalves as a back-end starter. He's a fastball-changeup lefty with a deceptive fastball that gets more swings and misses than one would expect for its fringe-average velocity. He doesn't have much of a breaking ball yet. The track record of those pitchers at the big league level is very hit or miss. Biscuit (Seattle, WA): Chih-Wei Hu looked great in his futures game appearance. Any consideration for the MST100 and what do you see for him going forward? J.J. Cooper: We heard great things from scouts about Hu before the Futures Game and he lived up to those expectations and more in his brief Future Games look. Not Top 100 yet, but wouldn't stun me if he makes it into the Top 100 next February. Aaron (Allentown): Brewers Pitcher Jorge Lopez has had a very rough start in AAA. Is it due to the effect of Colorado Springs or have his mechanics wavered? Or something else? J.J. Cooper: His stuff has backed up as has his control. It's not been a good look. Now Colorado Springs can mess with any pitcher's head but right now he is much further from Milwaukee than he was at this time last year. Alex (Nc): Delvin Perez has how high of a ceiling? J.J. Cooper: Still has one of the higher ceilings of 2016 draftees. The PED test is not a great intro to pro ball but he's a legit shortstop who has a chance to hit. Those kind of prospects are few and far between. Dave (Brooklyn): Ode to Dickens, Part 3: Future Game: Past: Does Miguel Almonte still have the potential that got him to the Futures Game in 2013? How badly is he pitching in 2016, and what, if any, is your understanding of how much of his 2016 underperformance is due to injury, vs. 'loss of stuff'? J.J. Cooper: The stuff is still there, but the problems are still there too. He has plenty of fastball velocity but little fastball command and his lack of a quality breaking ball remains a significant issue. If I was to guess at this point, he ends up as a big league reliever. a.j. (las vegas): In the last chat I offered Ben Badler Gioloto and Turner for Trout and he said no way. With Robles ascension how could the Angels turn down 3 top 15 prospects for Trout? J.J. Cooper: Nope. I pass every time on that offer. You have the best player in the game and he's signed through 2020. The only way I trade him if I'm the GM is if the offer is so absurd as to make me say yes. And it's going to have to include some young big leaguers with MLB success in it. When you ask how could they turn it down, ask the Marlins how trading Miguel Cabrera for Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin worked out. Generally, if you trade an MVP-caliber talent who is signed for years to come, you will lose the trade. Ask Billy Beane and Josh Donaldson. MJ (Valpo): Will Chance Sisco be moved from behind the plate anytime soon? He's not going to usurp Weiters, so why not put him in the OF where the O's need the most help? He seems athletic enough to handle either corner spot, doesn't he? J.J. Cooper: Wieters contract is up at the end of the year. So that's not really a road block right now. Erik (Maine): Hey JJ, can you give us all our weekly Kyle Zimmer update? J.J. Cooper: Shut down right now. No word on when he'll be back on the mound. In other words, unfortunately for him and the Royals, situation normal. Michael (St. Paul): Stephen Gonsalves has a career 2.29 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, .204 BAA, and more K's than IP!!! He's a big, LEFTY, with above-average is he never considered in the upper echelon of SP prospects? What more does he have to prove to get some more love??? J.J. Cooper: He doesn't really have above-average stuff. He has a fastball that generally sits average, but plays up a little bit. He has a very good changeup. His breaking ball has a very long way to go. He's a very solid prospect. I haven't come across many scouts who think of him as an elite prospect. John (Virginia): I know that J2 signings were intentionally not included on the mid season top 100 but if they were where would Kevin Maitan be if he even made the list? J.J. Cooper: I answered that today in Ask BA. Juan peguero (Dom rep): Quien tienes mas potencial de ser super estrella eloy jimenez o gleyber torres?? J.J. Cooper: Jiménez tiene una mejor oportunidad para ser una estrella pero Torres es una apuesta más segura que un largo tiempo ligas grandes. En Ingles: I think Jimenez has a better chance to be a star but Torres still has a slightly higher floor, more likelihood of a long MLB career. Jimenez is catching him though. Hansford (Mansfield, Tx): How close was Tyler Male to making the top 100? Could he be in the top 100 by the end of the year or is he more of a backend starter? J.J. Cooper: He was one of the standouts of the first half. The stuff keeps getting better to go with excellent feel and control. He didn't miss the 100 by a whole lot. George (Brew City): Max Pentecost seems like he's all the way back and ready for a promotion! Is he on the short list of fast-risers into the preseason top-100 list? Thanks. J.J. Cooper: No. He's a 23-year-old in low Class A and his shoulder has not allowed him to play a game in the field yet. He actually hasn't worn a glove in an official game in almost two years (his last game caught was July 24, 2014). Pentecost was always a hit-first catcher, but his inability to play a position defensively so far leaves a very cloudy future. Maybe he switches positions at some point, but his shoulder issues are still a major impediment to him being a top prospect again. Hank Brown (Texas): How encouraging has Brendan Rodgers first pro season numbers been? Is his development encouraging? Realistic eta if he keeps this up? J.J. Cooper: It's encouraging. There are some cautionary bits in the stats--he's been much better at Asheville which is a great place to hit. He's actually slugging below .400 away from Asheville. But it's a very solid first full season and an encouraging one after a slow start last year. Rodgers has shown nothing yet to signify a much-faster than normal pace. Maybe a taste of HiA to end the year. HiA next year. Double-A in 2018. 2019 ETA is a rough guess. Johnny (PHX): Jamie Westbrook continues to get overlooked, and again doesn't even get a mention in the DBACKS write-up here, yet he's having another, typical strong season at the dish and in the field. What does he need to do to get more pub???!!! J.J. Cooper: It's a fine season, but not one that really stands out. He's been league average this year in Double-A. Nothing more, nothing less. The lack of power is a concern and he doesn't really draw a lot of walks to bring a high OBP to the table either. He is young for the league. But he came into the year as the team's No. 30 prospect. Hitting .281/.329/.358 isn't going to really change that assessment. The concerns about him are that he doesn't fit the utility infielder profile because he can't play shortstop, so it's hard to explain his path to a regular big league job. Dave (Brooklyn): An Ode To Dickens, Part 1: Futures Game Present: Ryne Stanek's command issues were apparent in Futures Game 2016. Does he still project as Closer material eventually, and how much command improvement is needed to get there? J.J. Cooper: It will likely always be fringy command/control. But Stanek's stuff is good enough for him to survive with fringy control. His slider has gotten better. The biggest think with Stanek is that his durability has been a question in the past. So far, so good with that this year. Juan (PHilly): Why haven't the Phillies promoted Cozens and Hoskins to AAA yet? J.J. Cooper: Good question. Both are hitting well enough to make the jump, although do expect both of them to see their counting numbers take a decent dip after they do get promoted. Eric (Oregon): Seems Carson Fulmer is starting to figure it out. Am I crazy to think the White Sox will be like, "well, close enough, call him up," and he'll be in the rotation at some point in the second half and learn on the job? J.J. Cooper: Wouldn't be stunning. White Sox like to move guys quickly. Also not a shock if he ends up in the bullpen to get acclimated to the big leagues. Dave (Mpls): Were Mike Clevinger, German Marquez or Jacob Faria close to the Top 100? J.J. Cooper: Clevinger made the list. He's No. 71. Neal (New Zealand): Jesse Winker's star has certainly fallen. Do you think this has to do with a nagging wrist injury or will he just never tap into is plus raw power? J.J. Cooper: The wrist injury is the problem again. Unfortunately for him and the Reds that's two years in a row. J.J. Cooper:

Lyon Richardson Shows Off Revamped Fastball

The 2018 second-rounder has experienced a jump in fastball velocity since the 2019 season.

Thanks everyone. Sorry for the late start but thanks for a lot of great questions.

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