by Michael Williams
Thread is here.
I forgot that Baseball Prospectus has me hosting my first prospect/MLB Draft chat today at 1 Eastern/Noon Central. Weams was kind enough to okay me posting a link here. Please stop by, say hello, and drop a few questions on O's, prospects, draft, or baseball in general, if you are so inclined. I'd greatly appreciate the support.
Tell us why you love Kevin Gausman so much.
Nick Faleris: I could write a LOT about my love for Kevin Gausman. I saw him throw a very strong game against Arkansas last spring at Alex Box stadium (was is an incredible experience I strongly encourage every baseball fan to fit onto their bucket list. Well, the game part -- you can't see Gausman throw there anymore, obviously.
Gausman has size, showed a good amount of improvement in both his mechanics and stuff in just two years with Coach Mainieri and staff, a big arsenal, and has maintained his stuff deep in games and into the summer with Team USA. He creates tough angles, gets downhill, has an even demeanor on the mound and knows how to attack hitters. He has some kinks to work out, but is a potential beast in the making. Additionally, everyone from the Athletic Director down to the ushers in the lower box seats to a guy on the food service staff did nothing but sing Gausman's praises as a player and as a man. He's a guy to watch and a guy to root for.
Mike (Bmore): Which team has the best top two prospects in the game right now?
Nick Faleris: Cole/Taillon or Bundy/Gausman. Strong arguments for both.
BrooksyBoy (Bmore): Does Dylan Bundy have any growth left in terms of his body and pitch velocity. It seems like he's such a fitness freak that in a strange way he has already peaked physically.
Nick Faleris: I think Bundy is essentially maxed out physically. If he's not, I'm afraid for what he might unleash on the world.
You're right; his selling points are 1) current stuff, 2) refinement of implementation (how he delivers that stuff, including execution, placement, and sequencing), and 3) a top shelf work ethic. He's a guy; so long as he and the organization stay on the same page working towards making Bundy the best pitcher he can be, he'll be a big part of Baltimore's future.
Jeff (Tampa): Do you think the success at an earlier age that Trout, Harper and Machado have enjoyed is causing teams to reevaluate the potential impact of elite HS bats?
Nick Faleris: I think history shows us that high school bats have always been highly valued. If you're a potential star, the odds are someone is going to pop you before you get to college. That said, I do think up-the-middle talent has been placed at a particular premium, recently, with good and bad effect.
Nick Faleris: I like both as potential mid-rotation guys that should fit comfortably as good #4s. Obviously more room for growth with Rodriguez; he will need to see another uptick in stuff to miss bats at the higher levels, but lots of good reports so far. Wright could be a late inning arm, as well, if Baltimore wants to bump his stuff in shorter stints and make use of a heavy fastball.
Nick Faleris: I like Schoop as a potential second baseman. The lower half works okay and the bat really profiles well there. No reason to rush him, so I'd expect Baltimore to take it's time in giving him instruction and reps. If he eventually shifts to third, I assume it would be in conjunction with Hardy leaving and Manny shifting over, but that's a decision for Mr. Duquette and staff.
BrooksyBoy (Bmore): Given the Orioles improbable playoff run last season, do you believe that leadership has an over-inflated perception of the team's talent level relative to the rest of the division?
Nick Faleris: If I had to guess, I'd say there is probably a disconnect between moves available to the team and the types of moves the team would like to make. I do think, generally speaking, the org will need to really find surplus value in order to make a $100MM or so payroll play in the division. They can do it if Machado, Bundy, Gausman, Schoop come up and start producing pretty quickly. It would also help to have Arrieta, Matusz, Britton, Tillman all throwing well so that they have some trade fodder in the coming couple of years.
Visit the Orioles Hangout Message Board