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Chat: Harry Pavlidis

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday October 17, 2013 1:00 PM ET chat session with Harry Pavlidis.


Ask Harry about pitching and the playoffs.

Harry Pavlidis: let's kill some time waiting for the game to start

Aceathon (TX): Is there any benefit to expressing pitchs in terms of a Taylor Series to express release point, velocity, acceleration and jerk, or is the technology not there?

Harry Pavlidis: I was told there would be no math.

From what I can glean from this question, I suspect the answer is "yes". Perhaps this is one to ask Doug Thorburn, our biomechanics expert.

vampires (michigan): Harry, Would like your take on the upside of Rick Porcello going forward?

Harry Pavlidis: mid-rotation guy. I think his improvements in getting more strike outs and ground outs could be lasting. He made a change (more curves, fewer sliders) that may give this year's performance a little more weight than normal, relative to the recent past. If he's not with Detroit, he could fetch something nice in a trade. Think of him like Edwin Jackson, although a very different style. He'll eat a ton of innings, occasionally look awesome, sometimes awful, but mostly alright.

J. Baez (Mesa, AZ (probably)): Hey baby

Harry Pavlidis: hey pumpkin bear

Ashitaka1110 (Houston, TX): What are your thoughts on the Astros' new pitching coach, Brent Strom? Is he the right man for the job as they begin to bring up their young pitching prospects?

Harry Pavlidis: I don't know much but I like what I know. He comes out of the St. Louis player development system, has big league experience as a pitching coach and a pitcher. Sounds like a solid veteran guy who knows how to work with kids in the Lunhow way.

Doc Brown (Future): I write this from the future...don't let the government default!

Harry Pavlidis: We have (had? will have?) good news -- celebrate with a Pepsi Free

J. Samardzija (Chicago, IL): My ERA hurts.

Harry Pavlidis: it hurts me, too

Nick (Farmington): Who will be a better pro: Clint Frazier or Kris Bryant?

Harry Pavlidis: Two of my favorites, so this is a brutal question. Bryant is closer so I'll have to go with him.

Javier Bryant ( Wrigleyville): What's your opinion on C.J.Edwards?

Harry Pavlidis: when the Cubs got him, I think I was higher on him than most. That's reversed after his last season performance. Not that my opinion changed, it's that everyone else seems to have gotten very excited. Not everyone, but quite a few if not most observers I've noted. He has a nice fastball/curveball combo along with a changeup. I'm not sure the changeup is anything better than average, so it's hard for me to push his projection past mid/back rotation at this time.

Cartoons Plural (City State): Who do you think will acquire David Price via trade? Who do you think SHOULD?

Harry Pavlidis: Rumblings on the twitter machine this morning were about the Rangers. Who should get him? Any immediate contender with the prospects to spare and the budget down the road to overpay him a bit on an extension.

Brett (Harrisonville): Give me a list of possible under-the-radar closers for next year. Thanks!

Harry Pavlidis: every relief pitcher in baseball

Lyle (Georgia): What is your drink of choice?

Harry Pavlidis: Liquefied essence of Verlander's curveball command. Or Filbert's Root Beer. Or Half Acre's Space IPA.

jlarsen (Chicago): Looking through defensive stats of Rays outfielders & witnessing Hellickson's season go from bad to gasoline on a tire-fire horrible, it serves notice that Hellickson's regression & increase in BABIP could have been caused by a bad-fielding OF. His periphreals weren't out of their norms & adjustments to the OF could fix what ailed the young SP. Thoughts?

Harry Pavlidis: I'd say his decision (?? inability ?? failure ??) to work inside was his problem. For those who haven't seen it, Jason Collette had this piece on the topic http://theprocessreport.net/inside-information/

Daniel (Cleveland): What do you think of Danny Salazar?

Harry Pavlidis: Stud. And if he ever develops a fourth pitch, he'll have a long and outstanding career. For now he's gonna be really good for a good while.

Derek (Kansas City): Do you think Ivan Nova can build off his late season success? Thanks!

Harry Pavlidis: I sure do. 2012 was probably the outlier (lots of gopher balls). He's using his curveball more and more and added sinker. A bright spot for the Yankees heading into 2014.

Francis (Florida): Do you think Julio Teheran will build off his success this year, and possibly use his change up more next year?

Harry Pavlidis: I think he's arrived, at last. Without the changeup. It seems like yesterday that was supposed to be his meal ticket. And early this year I was excited about his new sinker, which he threw less and less as the year went on. All this says to me he's still not fully formed. Does that mean the changeup finally returns? Who knows, but maybe if he's not working on a second fastball or refining his breaking stuff as much, he can focus on the changeup in the Spring. /speculation

Justin (Saint Louis): I am in a dynasty league, would you trade Matt Adams for Craig Kimbrel? (already have Freeman at 1st)

Harry Pavlidis: I don't pay for saves.

Mitch (San Francisco): You think Brandon Belt's second half is any indication of what the man can do for a full year? Thanks for the chat Mr. Pavlidis.

Harry Pavlidis: no, I think his full season line is much more indicative of his upcoming performance

garik16 (Strong Island): Over a full season, predict the GB% off Carlos Martinez's two-seamer. 70%? 80%?

Harry Pavlidis: 80 is not a number I'd predict with much confidence, but he should be in that 70% club of elite worm killers. I've only got one guy hitting the 80 mark for a season on a two-seamer, and that was Justin Masterson a few years back. Check out this year's leaders, and prior years, too http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pitchfx/leaderboards/index.php?hand=&reportType=pfx&prp=P&month=&year=2013&pitch=SI&ds=gbs&lim=200

Alex (Anaheim): Was Kuroda's fade at the end of the season all about fatigue?

Harry Pavlidis: possibly some signs of that, but, oddly, his slider got firmer at the end of the year. Not sure what that means, but it seems strange and could contradict the fatigue theory

Matt (Chicago): Is CHC going be able to sustain their team defensive improvement , when the bulk of the farm crop joins the big-league club?

Harry Pavlidis: I think they'll essentially insist on it. Baez could be a plus defender if he mellows out and/or moves off shortstop. Alcantra is apparently solid up the middle. Bryant TBD, I hear mostly good but some skepticism on his defense at third. Another element of their defensive improvement is their ability to position guys well, and that won't likely change. And if McKay sticks around I feel like he has a record of success working with outfielders.

sitrick2 (Minneapolis, MN): Dillon Maples, Juan Paniagua, or a tire fire. Choose one.

Harry Pavlidis: Bread and Water

SenatorsGuy (Montana): Justin Verlander surged at the end of the year. Do you expect the 2012 version of Verlander next year, or is this a starting pitcher finally showing signs of age and wear?

Harry Pavlidis: can I say both? I expect his mechanical fixes to last (apparently his release point got out of whack) but I wouldn't be surprised if he loses a tick as 2014/2015 go by.

SenatorsGuy (Montana): Shelby Miller experienced a bit of regression at the end of the year. Can we chalk this up to simply tiring down the stretch in his first full year, or is there something else at play?

Harry Pavlidis: I think he got a little tired but I also imagine the league adjusted to him. Seems like his counter move was to bring in the cutter, but it also coincides with his struggles .... so many tea leaves to read here. Could be a good topic for further analysis.

Levi (Kansas): Have you had a chance to watch Jonathan Gray? Any preliminary thoughts, or whispers from other scouts?

Harry Pavlidis: luckily his short season club is in the MiLB.tv package, so I saw a few games. I can see why the opinions on the guy range from Ace to Reliever. Amazing power, big body, a little bit of clean-up to do in his delivery ... my stance is watch him for another year, see if he remains healthy and if he can get guys out in the higher levels of the minors.

Ike (Jersey): Alfonso Soriano just keeps putting up the HR and RBI numbers, and SB last year. Anyway he keeps it up this year?

Harry Pavlidis: It would be just like Sori to do it again. He was super hot for a lot his time in the Bronx this year, but he'll have those bursts again. Just how many and how far between remains to be seen.

sitrick2 (Minneapolis): Say by some miraculous confluence of events Clayton Kershaw doesn't get extended and hits the open market. How much would you offer, the current free agent landscape being what it is? Does the starting price start at something like 8/250?

Harry Pavlidis: I cringe at the thought of giving out that kind of money and years. It does sound about right, though.

Brian (Minnesota): Yu Darvish has been somewhat of a frustrating follow. Of course, you can't really argue with what he's done. But his command has seemed to hold him back from being a true #1 pitcher. Do you think he pulls it all together?

Harry Pavlidis: He's one of the most dominating pitchers in baseball. What you're looking for is more consistency, and that should come with maturity.

Kevin (Tennessee): Danny Duffy continued to struggle with some injury issues after his return. Do you see any red flags in his mechanics? Is he a potential #2 guy?

Harry Pavlidis: He's got that potential. But the only red flag I need to see is his injury history.

TheCookieMonster (Champaign IL): What do you see in Matt Garza's future? (contract, team, will he ever touch the production of 2011 again?)

Harry Pavlidis: oddly enough I would again bring up Edwin Jackson. Lots of innings, flashes of brilliance, but mostly mid/back type results. So I'd expect a similar contract scenario.

Harry Pavlidis: and I'm out of time ... wasn't able to get to everyone's questions but I think I did answer the ones I felt I could best provide something useful or snarky at a minimum. See you all in November.

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