By Jason Shetler
MLB.com prospect guru Jonathan Mayo was kind enough to take time off from his busy schedule to do this interview. I asked Jonathan about some of the Pirates better prospects and here’s what he had to say.
JS: What are your thoughts of Barrett Barnes? And, are the Marlon Byrd comparisons pretty accurate?
JM: I want to see what Barnes does in his first full season before getting a real sense of who he is. I can see the Byrd comps, especially with body type, strength, etc. Barnes probably has more speed and should be more of a base-stealing threat, but the power and the bat might be similar.
JS: Would moving Alen Hanson over to second base hurt his prospect status in anyway?
JM: Obviously, sticking at shortstop improves any prospect’s value because it’s such a premium position. Take any player’s offensive upside and put it at short, and he’s a better prospect. But even if he has to move over to second, he’s still pretty darn good, middle infielder with power and speed who looks like he could be a dynamic player at the plate regardless of where he plays defensively.
JS: Where would you rate Luis Heredia’s secondary offerings right now?
JM: Both his curve and his changeup show flashes of being outstanding pitches. Both could be above-average to plus offerings when all is said and done. They’re just not consistent yet. It’s mostly a matter of repetition and refinement, from what I’m told, nothing unusual given his age. In many ways, he’s way ahead of the curve developmentally and most are confident they will come in time.
JS: Would you consider Gregory Polanco a Top 10 outfield prospect in all of minor league baseball?
JM: Few made a bigger jump up prospect lists than Polanco did in 2012. And he’s rapidly approaching that kind of top 10 OF prospect status. Right now, he’s probably not quite there, largely because there are a ton of talented outfielders in the Minors right now. But assuming he picks up where he left off in 2012, he’ll climb onto that list in 2013.
JS: Which Pirates prospect would you consider “under the radar” going into 2013?
JM: Assuming you mean someone not on our Pirates’ top 20, I’ll go with Tyler Glasnow, a big right-hander the Pirates got in the fifth round of the 2011 Draft out of the California high school ranks.
Be sure to check out Jonathan’s work on MLB.com. You can also follow him on twitter @JonathanMayoB3