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Chat: Paul Sporer

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday September 26, 2013 1:00 PM ET chat session with Paul Sporer.


Ask Paul about pitching and fantasy baseball.

Paul Sporer: Good afternoon everyone! We'll get started in just a second, thanks for participating!

Your twitter followers (Inter webs): We demand more dog photos

Paul Sporer: Become my facebook friend!

Jason (New Jersey): I'm in a keeper league where we are allowed to hold onto 3 players from the previous season. I'm at a crossroad and need some advice. Which 3 of this group would you keep for 2014: Harper, Encarnacion, Myers, Puig, King Felix, Wainwright, Harvey and J-Fernandez. As you can see I'm torn.

Paul Sporer: That isn't easy! I think Harvey is out automatically. He seems to be delaying the inevitable by forgoing surgery so I just can't do the risk. Harper/EE are automatics for me. I don't love the idea of making a pitcher essentially your third round pick, but I'd go with Fernandez here.

MetsFaithful5 (Upstate NY): You know I'm watching the Mets Reds game right now (have the fortune of having today off) and I notice that Mat Latos has a very similar body and delivery to Noah Sydnergaard.. I know Latos is a number two. So, any chance Sydnergaard could become a Mat Latos type, but with better control ? That would be a very very good pitcher.

Paul Sporer: I don't think I'd peg him for any sort of trajectory that is *better* than Latos. Mirroring Latos would be a remarkably successful prospect. Synder *could* top Latos, but I don't think I'd hang that expectation on any young arm. I prefer to be more on the conservative so I'd tab him as Latos-lite.

BStephen (Milw): Is This Tyler Thornburg for real? Awful in moniors this year!

Paul Sporer: He's living on a run of great command in the majors this year. Homers demolished him a year ago in his MLB callup and at Triple-A this year, but he's allowed just 1 in 66.7 MLB IP. The other skills aren't terribly impressive, so I can't really get behind saying the 2.03 ERA is legitimate. Even at 3.03, I'd expect some movement up. That said, he is a solid prospect who can continue to grow and become a worthwhile asset.

BobcatBaseball (Athens. Oh): Why didn't I see you when I was in Austin? :(

Paul Sporer: You're not spending enough time looking for me. I'm the super-skinny one.

Tim (NYC): How's the new website going?

Paul Sporer: Great, thank you for asking. For those wondering it's my all-pitching site located here - http://painttheblack.com/

bmmolter (Mass): has something changed for Y. Petit or is it just a small sample size thing?

Paul Sporer: It's an SSS of really good command. He's always had horrific command (2.0 HR/9 coming into this year), but now he's allowed just 2 homers all year and he's spotting his modest stuff quite well.

Bill (Ontario): What kind of impact do you think Masahiro Tanaka could make next year?

Paul Sporer: I haven't seen enough to make an educated answer there.

George (Cali): Describe your baseball playing experience...also how hard did you throw on the bump?

Paul Sporer: Uneventful, ended in high school ... not very fast. I didn't get my lank until my career was mostly done.

Matt (Springfield): How do you feel about Jeff Luhnow following you on Twitter? Will you be following Goldstein to the front office sometime soon?

Paul Sporer: Jeff is awesome so it certainly doesn't bother me. It's a path I'd consider, but I'm a loooooooooong way from anyone knocking on my door for that.

Sara (Tacoma): Matt Harvey... For dynasty purposes, good time to buy or sell?

Paul Sporer: The time to buy would've been RIGHT at the injury, but the buying period is still upon as most feel he's just delaying inevitable by forgoing surgery. I'm chief among them so I certainly wouldn't buy without a discount.

Saul (Columbus): Will Danny Salazar cost a lot of money in auction leagues next year?

Paul Sporer: Depends how prospect-houndy your league is, but he shouldn't be up at any sort of egregious price. I'm a fan, but I wouldn't go overboard at all.

Alex (Anaheim): Do you think Nova will carry his second half success to 2014?

Paul Sporer: He was really only poor in April, otherwise he's got a 2.65 ERA in 115.7 IP since then. The skills were actually better in the first half (25% K, 7% BB) so I'd rather those carryover than his second half (17% K, 8% BB) and we'd have a better shot at seeing him duplicate the 2.80 second-half ERA. I'm definitely a fan, though. I'll be buying if the price is reasonable next year.

bmmolter (Mass): Alex wood. Rotation or bullpen next year?

Paul Sporer: Probably bullpen with spot starts thrown in.

Seth (Detroit): Will Miguel Cabrera lose the MVP because he didn't save the city from bankruptcy?

Paul Sporer: That and only that. His policies were trash.

Matt (Chicago): Paul , folks here in Chicago are beginnng to drink Arrieta Kool-Aid. Is this a fool's errand? Have you seen any changes over the last couple of months that lead you to believe the improvement is sustainable?

Paul Sporer: Not at all. He's being driven by a .239 BABIP despite a career-worst 25% LD rate which screams some very good fortune. Any .239 BABIP has some good fortune behind it, but this one is PURE luck.

R (Ri ): In fantasy baseball would u rather have no pitching and great offense or would u rather have great pitching and crappy offense? With all the good prospects in the Red Sox farm system do u see them trading away some of them or letting vets go? U have Bradley jr,Webster,Barnes,raunado,de Larosa, swihart and others? Do they resign salty or go for someone else like McCann??

Paul Sporer: Hitting for me. First off, I think it's easier to trade PLUS it's easier to find scrap-heap pitching to get on track. I'll take the strong offense all the way.

Dave from Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh): I'm from Pittsburgh, tell me something I don't know about Jameson Taillon.

Paul Sporer: Some believe he could be better than Cole. Of course that's similar to some thinking Wheeler could be better than Harvey. Both have potential, but I'm still a Cole/Harvey (and not just bc of their MLB success, I've been them over Taillon/Wheeler from the jump).

GBSimons ((IN)): Is Francisco Liriano worth keeping at $9 in an 8-team NL-only league?

Paul Sporer: Yeah, I'd think I'd roll with that.

MKPJ (Chicago): Hey Paul, do you think Travis Wood will put up similar seasons to 2013 for the next 3 or 4 or 5 seasons? Thanks

Paul Sporer: 3-5 seasons of sub-3.00 ERA? Probably not. His skills weren't really different from years past. He's a high-3.00s, low-4.00s kind of guy depending a lot on homers since he's a flyball guy.

Donnie (Atlanta Renegadin'): If I deal a pair of top prospects (e.g. Two from among Jameson Taillon, Carlos Martinez, and Kevin Gausman (let's say the first two)) what should my expected return be in dynasty (super deep rosters/size)?

Paul Sporer: If you find the right team who is in the building process, you should be able to a pretty nice bat for those two, right? Choo might be too high, but maybe Gordon or Dom Brown?

Louis Litt (Mudding): I'm going to make Harvey, Jessica, and Mike Ross pay! But you'll have to wait and see! In the meantime, what to do with Matt Kemp in dynasty? My competition needs to be LITT up, but I have significant concerns re: Kemp's health.

Paul Sporer: You can try and trade him, but you're going to take a hit. Be heartened by the 51 PA in Aug/Sept and hang onto him

bmmolter (Mass): Can Danny Salazar be a top of the rotation guy next year or in the near future? What do you like most about what you've seen from him?

Paul Sporer: It'd be a big step to get to stud-level next year, but he certainly has electric stuff. I LOVE his changeup. A young guy with an excellent changeup is drool-worthy.

temple (madison): In a fantasy keeper league would you pay attention to which team drafts a good pitcher? when i took Bundy, I thought ooh the orioles--i don't know if they are very good at developing pitchers. I'm not sure if it was the org. or bundy or nobody who was responsible. but something happened then you look at seattle or tampa bay and most of their pitchers seem to pan out. anyway i am looking at drafting either kyle crick (SF) or tyler Glasnow (PITT)do you think the teams should have a bearing on my pick and which pitcher is better?

Paul Sporer: It can have an impact, but I'd still just draft the most talented players and go from there. With regards to your specific quandry, both teams develop pitchers nicely with SF having a really long track record and Ray Searage & Co. developing their record over the last couple of years. And the two arms aren't too far away skill-wise, either, so just take you favorite from the pair.

zack (columbia): How would you line up the cardinals post season rotation? Would you consider a three man starting rotation with Wacha and MArtinez all ready to pitch 3+ innings?

Paul Sporer: Waino, Miller, Wacha, and Lynn for me with Kelly, Martinez, Lyons, and Westbrook on hand to go long if necessary. (Maybe flip Lynn and Kelly)

Richard (NYC ): Ubaldo as keeper. Color me surprised. But I have him in AL only. Will he stay here? Thanks!

Paul Sporer: SOOOO surprised. Hard to tell where he will he be. He's earning himself lots of suitors with an excellent season so I wouldn't get comfortable with him yet until he signs. It'd be a blind guess to place him somewhere right now.

Dr. Mike (Milwaukee): What can we expect from Ryan Braun next season?

Paul Sporer: Good, not great production. I'd still draft him in the 3rd round, though he might go in a lot of 2nd rounds.

Joel T. (North Shore): "I'm a loooooooooong way from anyone knocking on my door for that." Has Heisenberg taught you nothing? You can't live your life that way. YOU must be the one who knocks to get anything done.

Paul Sporer: I'm too busy being the Danger

Neil (London ): Josmil Pinto or Derek Norris for 2014 in an AL only league? Can keep either for $1. Thanks!

Paul Sporer: Norris for sure. We might be seeing the best SSS of Pinto.

D'Arcy (Toronto): Just wondering who you think will have the most value in 2014: enny, Odorizzi, or colome? Thanks very much.

Paul Sporer: I'd go Odorizzi, Colome, Enny with the first two being very close and then Enny a bit further behind.

Zach (Ohio): Keeper for an 8th round pick next season. Cole, joe Kelly, Tehran, or Archer?

Paul Sporer: Cole or Teheran for me. I lean Cole, but I'd be fine with either.

J-Qwellin (Deplorable Future Leaders of America Club): Looking for saves in 2014, how many of these guys are capable/likely to grab 20+ saves next season: Trevor Rosenthal, David Robertson, Cody Allen, Jake McGee, Brian Wilson, Luke Gregerson, Pedro Strop, Drew Storen, Ryan Cook, Carlos Martinez, Vic Black, Joakim Soria, Neftali Feliz, Steve Delebar, Kelvin Herrera, Carter Capps, and/or AJ Ramos?

Paul Sporer: J-QWELLIN!!!! Interestingly enough, I'm working on such a piece re: 2014 closers. From your group, I'd go Rosy & D-Rob, but honestly any of them have the capability. I know that's a little copout-y, but that's the nature of the beast with relievers.

Kevin (NY): Spaul Porer, Have I gone crazy to put Paxton on my draft radar for next year or would you recommend it?

Paul Sporer: Oh he should definitely be there. He has a great chance to win a spot and he's a top prospect having a great audition. Doubt he'll be a 1.54 ERA guy all year, but he can definitely have a quality full season.

AJ (Phoenix): 20 team dynasty, h2h. I've got an elite offense say for my dh (Victor Martinez). My bullpen consists of Red Dragon and many one day/would be closers. My rotation is from heavy (Strasburg, Cain, Moore, Wheeler, Gausman, Taillon, Carlos Martinez, J. Mejia, Collmenter(???)). Pitching is king in this league, regardless of offense. I have, through various trades, the 1-1 pick next year in a 2-round, 40 pick draft. Would you a) draft Buxton; b) draft Archie Bradley, N. Syndergaard, or Robert Stephenson; c) draft Jose Dariel Abreu (will know where he signs by then); or d) trade the pick for something immediate?

Paul Sporer: Even with pitching being king, I'd still lean Buxton or trade it for a now piece. Could you get like a Hisashi Iwakuma or is that too high? Test the market for a big arm or just go Buxton if the offers are uninspiring.

Paul Sporer: And that wraps up the chat, ladies & gentlemen! Thanks as always for coming out!!!

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