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John Sickels of did an extraordinarily long prospect chat at Amazin’ Avenue Tuesday afternoon. Here are the three most interesting answers as far as I’m concerned:

Q: Is Jenrry Mejia a top-50 MLB prospect?

A: Yes. He’d be top 100 for sure. top 50….I don’t know. I’m going to do a new prospect list for Rotowire by the end of the month, so I’ll have a decision for that soon. He’s certainly taken a big step forward this year.

I missed Mejia when I was in Binghamton last week because he was out with a middle finger problem, but the reports on his stuff were very encouraging.
Q: What is Wilmer Flores’s ceiling?

A: Well he could be a superstar. He could also be just average, or he could flame out in Triple-A. His absolute ceiling would be as a .300, 30 homer guy. But it remains to be seen if his power will fully develop, and where he will fit defensively.

I think Sickels nails this. Flores has a high ceiling, but he’s far away from it, so the uncertainty about his eventual outcome is high.

Q: Regarding Francisco Pena, does he have a chance to become a decent hitting major league catcher? And how good his he behind the plate?

A: He sucks. He can’t hit and I don’t think he’ll start. He has a good arm but is still raw behind the plate. Maybe he’ll make it as a backup, but I don’t buy him as a regular at all.

I get that that he's trying to be provocative, but I think this is odd at best. If Sickels thinks he’s an MLB backup, that makes Pena more valuable than all but a handful of his teammates. On the actual performance issue, Sickels is right, it’s hard to be excited about a guy hitting .231/.277/.322 in advanced-A St. Lucie even if he is still just 19. The only positive I can find in Pena’s stat line is that he’s striking out less than at any point in his two seasons in Savannah, so if you were going all crazy optimistic, you would suggest that now that he’s chasing fewer pitches, he’ll start making better contact and his average and power numbers will rise.

Tags: John Sickels , Toby Hyde
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