This is part two of a conversation I had with Jason Parks about top Dodgers minor league prospects. We already discussed Yasiel Puig and Zach Lee, so let's move on to left-handed pitcher Chris Reed, outfielder James Baldwin and right-handed pitcher Garrett Gould.
Parks ranked Reed as the fourth best prospect in the system and projects him as a reliever in the back end of a bullpen, where Reed can hit the batter with that hard fastball and hat slicing slider, Reed can be a good traditional fastball, slider set up man.
As for his development , Parks says the scouts are pretty mixed. "He's a low mileage guy arm and he has some injury issues." Plus "he is not the guy who has been logging 100+ innings years and years and years."
On the plus side, Parks says "despite the injury concerns, he is a big strong kid and he has something you can't teach, he's left-handed." "That's always a nice attribute but we are mixed to whether he is a starter or reliever. He's had some success as a starter."
On the minus side, Parks says "I don't think he has the type of arsenal that can be effective multiple times through the lineup at the highest level. It's not a given that he can't, I'm not trying to suggest that's it an impossible idea."
Parks finishes by saying that Reed "was kind of a surprise pick when that got him, he was an affordable guy, if they can develop him into a front line set up guy, again another win for them. I like Chris Reed."
Parks was not very optimistic about the next two players we talked about: James Baldwin and Garrett Gould.
Parks saw what everyone sees when they see the outfielder play and said, "When it come to a guy like Baldwin, the tools are obvious, you can see he has physical gifts, the problem is I never saw a lot of baseball skills, a lot of natural baseball instincts and that's not something I think he will pick up."
Parks is a big believer in you either have or you don't, you can either hit or you can't.
"We could disguise prospects a number of different ways but sometimes it's can you pitch or can you hit, it's that simple," Parks said. "I think we can complicate things with scouting reports and mechanical tendencies. Some guys just aren't, some guys are not good enough, and Baldwin falls in that category."
Parks had more hope for Gould, his No. 9 Dodger prospect, because he sees some of the problems Gould had were due to playing in the hitter's paradise known as the California League.
"It is tough tough task to pitch in California League and when you get absolutely brutalized, you hope they come out okay," Parks said. "Some pitchers go to California League, they learn to avoid all of the middle, they avoid their fastball because guys can make weak contact and it flies out of the stadium.
"From a development standpoint, I can see some positives [in playing in the Cal League] but I see more negatives in an environment like that."
Parks said Gould developed some bad tendencies in the Cal League.
"It's not a shock his stock is a little depressed. You don't really challenge hitters in that environment, plus I thought his body got really sloppy," Parks said. "I saw him in the instructional camp and I said to myself [his] body doesn't look very good."
That said, Parks still sees some hope for Gould.
"Ultimately it comes down to can you execute, but his body didn't look athletic when I saw him. Certainly there were mechanical struggles, a lack of intensity in arsenal, lack of pace," Parks said. "When you get [Gould] out of the Cal League, get him to Double-A, let's see if he is a different pitcher this year. You don't want to base your evaluation off one little snapshot but from what I saw last year, I was not impressed, especially with the body."