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Chat: Paul Sporer

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday June 13, 2014 1:00 PM ET chat session with Paul Sporer.


Talk fantasy and pitching with Paul.

Paul Sporer: We'll get going here shortly! Thanks for joining. Hope everyone is well today.

Alex (Anaheim): True or False: Tanaka wins the Cy Young.

Paul Sporer: I mean... false is the safe bet because betting on a single guy with so many viable candidates is a bad idea, but he's definitely very much in contention

Mario (Texas): Paul, what are your thoughts on Raimel Tapia's home/away splits? He seems to hit lefties and righties fine, but the home and away splits are interesting considering the hitter friendly park he plays in. Is he just raw in his game yet? Is his prospect stock being inflated by inflated numbers? Or is he really good and the away split is something that will be fixed with age?

Paul Sporer: I've never seen him so it'd be too tough to speculate. That'd be a better question for the prospect team.

Steve (Los Angeles): Last chat someone talked about trading Teheran for Verlander. Despite Teheran in Colorado during his last start, he's still outperforming Verlander substantially...because everyone is outperforming Verlander. I own Verlander in several leagues. Panic level 10. I've been offered players like Charlie Blackmon for him, whom I'm hesitant to "buy high" on, but is this even a "sell-low" situation? Has the bottom fallen out on Verlander?

Paul Sporer: It's not good, but I'm not sure I'd just sell low, either. Blackmon is still producing in the counting categories even as his OPS has waned since April, but the Rockies as a whole are just flailing. At this point, you really have to let your standing dictate who you can reasonably take for Verlander. You won't get anywhere near top dollar, so if you want to sell, you have to be prepared to take a return you NEVER though you'd take back in April.

dshemie8 (Montreal, QC): Do you expect Brad Miller to bounceback?

Paul Sporer: I do. I just don't think he can be this bad. But it may take a trip to AAA or even a calendar turn to 2015

Brett (Charlotte): Not a question, just a cool note. I found BP far after 'Up and In' ended, and I found it amusing that you were just someone tweeting in questions back in Episode 6. Kevin Goldstein said you twitter handle was cool.

Paul Sporer: Hahaha, that's awesome.

Danny (Chicago): Although he got shelled last night, what have been your overall thoughts on Roenis Elias? Is he for real, or is this just some sustained flukey success?

Paul Sporer: Ehhh... he's just kinda whatever to me. I thought he'd collapse when he first came up, but after seeing a handful of starts, I think he can be a reasonable high-3.00s, low-4.00s guy with the occasional gem.

Shawn (Cubicle): Thanks for the chat Paul! Non-keeper which side- McCutcheon/Verlander or Puig/Keuchel? I'm getting less and less convinced Verlander will turn it around, but Puig has a high GB % and pretty high HR/FB% which make me a little cautious on him?

Paul Sporer: If you're unconvinced of a Verlander turnaround, then I'd take the other side. I personally prefer McCutchen and Verlander, but everyone's perception of Verlander will vary right now. He's arguably the most polarizing arm in the fantasy game right now

Shawnykid23 (CT): Mad Max a top 5ish SP going forward after last night? I was starting to get a little nervous, but he's all good right?

Paul Sporer: He's been up there all year, IMO. There is a pretty big pack of guys who can reasonably via for a top 5 spot and frankly, it's too difficult to just narrow it to 5. The top tier is thicker than we've seen in recent history.

Oscar (Wisconsin): Hey Paul, thanks for doing these chats. Carlos Correa is having a great year so far, but his stats against left handed pitchers needs work. Seems like he struggles against them. Is this something to worry about, or is it just one of those things that he'll get better with age? He's still only 19, so I'm not really concerned, but it's sort of weird how he struggles against them so much. Thanks for listening Paul, and have a good day.

Paul Sporer: I'm not particularly concerned, but I've also never seen him - whether against lefties or righties - so I'd feel uncomfortable trying to definitively comment on the matter

Jeff (Detroit): Fantasy baseball trade: Lester for Roark + Fowler + milb pick 3, fair trade? Who wins?

Paul Sporer: That's a fair deal on both ends assuming the needs meet up with the Lester recipient needing a high-impact arm and the other guy needing to cover several holes. I don't see a definitive winner

Johnny (Houston): How good can Brady Aiken be?

Paul Sporer: You don't go 1.1 without massive potential

Rup (Lorton, VA): Paul, I would think Derek Holland would be a fantastic add considering he will be fresh. What say you?

Paul Sporer: Really depends on league. You can flip it and say he'll be rusty, too. Definitely a viable add in a lot of formats because there is some nice potential, but he's far from a sure thing to be a big second half contributor

Matt (Silver Spring): I picked up Andrew Heaney when Jose Fernandez went down, but Randy Wolf seems to be holding down that slot for the Marlins. Is Heaney still worth hanging onto?

Paul Sporer: Depends on format, but in deep mixers or NL-onlys, I'd hang on for a little longer for sure

Mookie Betts (Boston Soon): Paul, can you rank ROS and for keeper considerations: McHugh, Whitley, Roark, deGrom?

Paul Sporer: McHugh, Roark, Whitley, and deGrom

Donald (Orlando): In the very deapest of dynasty leagues, would you consider Kevin Kiermaier, Jesus Montero, Brock Holt, Brandon Barnes, Bobby Abreu, Eugenio Suarez, Rene Rivera, Steve Pearce, and Juan Lagares. In what order would you rank them of those you would consider?

Paul Sporer: I'd look at Kiermaier, and Holt most among that group. Kiermaier has some nice PT with Myers down and Holt seems to be ready to play anywhere to stay in the lineup. There isn't a lot of disparity in the group, but for this year only, I'd still give Abreu a look, too. Beyond that, Suarez and Montero would be my next two.

BStephen (Madison ): Erasmo Ramirez? Still a believer? What to make of rubby dela rosa?

Paul Sporer: I'm losing faith that he can be much more than an AL-only asset. Rubby has tons of talent, but he really might not have the stamina to go deep enough into games to be a starter. I'm a huge Rubby fan so I'm pulling for him, but there'll be ups and downs as long as he remains in the rotation

Jon (Grand Junction): 20 team dynasty league, H2H format: Ian Desmond for Jed Lowrie + Tyson Ross. Who comes out ahead?

Paul Sporer: I love Desmond, but I'd take the pair in that trade. In a 20-teamer, depth is so key and two strong assets are better than one star-potential asset (especially since he hasn't been a star asset thus far)

Steve (Nebraska): Thoughts on Corey Seager?

Paul Sporer: I really haven't seen enough of these prospects to have a great opinion on them. Sorry. I'm a fan of Seager from what I've read and the limited I have seen on video, but it's a question better-suited for the prospect team

ahs430 (Anaheim, CA): Thoughts on Nomar Mazara and Gabriel Guerrero? Do both emerge as top 101 prospects by the end of the year?

Paul Sporer: I don't have any thoughts on them, sorry. The minors are not my strongest suit. I end up watching a lot of MILB.tv in the offseason to catch up on young arms, but otherwise, I'm pretty firmly focused on watching MLB.

Mitch (ATL): Brady Aiken's Potential? If he's available in a dynasty league with prospects am I an idiot for not picking him up?

Paul Sporer: See the other Aiken question. I'm surprised he's still out there in a dynasty league.

Frank (Milwaukee): Clint Coulter has really come on this year. He was drafted high, but reports weren't great, and he has a 45 overall (20-80 scale). What do you think of Clint Coulter and what could be expected in the majors?

Paul Sporer: Sorry, just too far away for me. Minor leaguers aren't my strong suit... that question is definitely better for a prospect guy. I'm more fantasy-oriented.

Cole (Texas): Nathan Eovaldi has looked really solid so far this season. Has he finally turned it around, even though he still really only has the 1 pitch, or is he just really lucky?

Paul Sporer: I disagree that he has just one pitch. He was one of my absolute favorites coming into the season. His slider is great and the curveball is coming on, too. He's one of the hardest throwers in the game and he's really added consistency to his game this year, too

iorg34 (80087355): NL only - at what point does Mike Olt become waiver bait? He's down to .151 and not playing much. I own him cheaply but worry he won't ever be a worthy keeper thanks to his putrid BA.

Paul Sporer: He already is... a handful of homers can only do so much to save your value

Scott (London): Hi Paul, thanks for the chat! ROS and career, Wong vs Odor? Lindor vs Mookie? Any difference in fantasy vs real life?

Paul Sporer: I prefer Kolten. Lindor's primary asset will be his defense, but he should still be a strong fantasy asset and his position eligibility will be a huge boon on the fantasy landscape, too. Betts will have a carrying fantasy tool (speed), but I'd still take Lindor ahead of him.

Mark (Houston): What is your take on the struggles on Mark Appel?

Paul Sporer: Injury... tiny sample... I'm not too worried overall. Expectations were high this year, understandably, but we're still only talking about 17.3 IP

rkowna (Tinley Park): I love pitching. It is why I watch games. I love the SP Guide its the best preseason reference tool and great to look back on throughout the season. In this year's guide you talk about Verlander's recovery at the end of last season.In years past Verlander was my first choice on MLBTV. It is too painful to watch him lately. Last night i bounced between Tanaka and Darvish, didn't see a pitch of Verlander. Tracking him this year, and last night against the White Sox in particular, what are we seeing? Is this a bump, or is this the flameout people have been predicting?

Paul Sporer: The command just isn't there right now. I think he can survive with lowered velocity, but not if he isn't placing his secondary stuff and that's been the big issue - http://painttheblack.com/2014/05/justin-verlanders-struggles/

Tom (New York): Which major league pitcher do you think could benefit the most by dropping a pitch and adding a new one?

Paul Sporer: Very good question, but impossible for a chat. It'd take a lot of analysis and I'll definitely put it on my list as something to dive into

The Dude (Office): Take what I can get for Shin Soo Choo? He's not running at all and the lineup is all banged up.

Paul Sporer: Ehhh, I wouldn't just dump him. He's still getting on base a ton and even with the depressed lineup, I think he can be a big asset, especially as the weather heats up

surista (London): Dump E. Cabrera for Chris Owings? 12-team 5x5 keeper league.

Paul Sporer: I'd do that unless SBs were a primary need... heck, I might just do it either way given how poor Everth been lately

NightmareRec0n (Boston): Are we getting a new TINSTAPP? It will be on a month on Sunday

Paul Sporer: Eventually, yes. I've just been absurdly busy, and unfortunately the podcasts hit the backburner when it gets especially busy. Sorry :-

Milt Cuyler (Motown): Think Billy Hamilton will pick up his SB pace? Take the over/under on 60 SB in 2014?

Paul Sporer: I'll take the over, but even if he only maintained his pace and ended up with 60, it'd be excellent

Tom (San Jose): How close are we to seeing Taijuan Walker, and what can we expect from him ROS and career-wise? If you were stashing in a keeper league, rank Walker, Heaney, Meyer, Synaagard, Bradley.

Paul Sporer: I think he'll get a few starts in AAA before coming up. I think he can be a stud. I'd go Walker, Syndergaard, Heaney, Bradley, and Meyer

RatedRookie (Atlanta): Have you watched any of Taijuan Walker's rehab starts? Does his delivery look any different now than it did in 2013?

Paul Sporer: I haven't seen any of them

Rob (Boston): What are your thoughts on Lonnie Chisnehall? Is he a sell high candidate, or has he truly figured things out? The guy is absolutely mashing right now, and I'm unsure what to do in a dynasty league. Thanks for the help Paul.

Paul Sporer: He's not really a sell-high candidate because no one is going to really pay an exorbitant price for him. I was a year early on him, scooping him everywhere last year. Overall I'm a believer, but more for a .290 or so AVG and 8-10 HRs the rest of the way.

Shawn (Cubicle): More of a request- can you or Doug post new TINSTAAP episodes on the BP site when they are out (easier for me to listen to at work that way). When does episode 24 drop??

Paul Sporer: I believe they are all posted here at BP, but your podcatcher should pick em all up immediately upon release

Fred (Frankfurt): Robbie Ray....10 words...go !

Paul Sporer: Needs injury for a chance, has a #3 upside overall

Dragonbreath (Gurnee, IL): what do you think Of an A.J. Burnett trade for Corey Dickerson in deep NL only, partial keeper league? Enoying the chat, thanks Paul!

Paul Sporer: I'd prefer Dickerson side, but it's a fair trade. I think Burnett should be better than his low-4.00s ERA thus far.

Matt (Cambridge): I just pushed the panic button on Kyle Zimmer and shipped him away as a part of deal to land Alex Cobb. Are you as worried as I am? He is set to miss close to a full year with shoulder problems. And shoulder problems are scary

Paul Sporer: I don't think that's a panic button if you got Cobb in the deal. I'm always worried about young arms even before they get injured because they are just SO uncertain, but throwing in injury concern really pushes me away. I'm often looking to deal young arms in my leagues for established pieces unless they are on the cusp of coming up and contributing. But I'm always trading the Giolitos of the world for in-season contributions

josh (boston ): Corey Dickerson or khris davis ROS? Will Dickerson have limited playing time once Cargo is back?

Paul Sporer: They're very close, but with Cargo and Cuddyer hurt, I wouldn't worry about his PT right now. I'd take Davis if power was the primary need. I'd lean Dickerson if across the board offense was the bigger concern

Josh (Boston): Hey Paul, is Dallas Keuchel a legitimate top 15 starter the rest of the season or is he going to come back down to earth?

Paul Sporer: I can't really back him for a low-2.00s ERA the rest of the way, but I do buy into what we've seen. I'd still deal him for more-established arms within that top 15-25 range assuming they were made avaialble

Shawnykid23 (CT): Dallas Keuchel is good, but not sure he's this good. Who are some SPs you would try and target for him? Alex Cobb? Mat Latos if his 1st start back goes ok? Gerrit Cole?

Paul Sporer: Yeah, I'd probably take any of those three. I'm a little worried Cobb might still be ailing, so I might actually lean toward Latos and Cole, even though both are DL'd right now. Latos is close to returning and Cole should be back after the minimum stay, while Cobb may be headed for another DL stint if he is indeed still hurt

Rup (Lorton, VA): What are your thoughts on Cam Bedrosian and Shae Simmons? Do either of these hurlers possess the closer arsenal?

Paul Sporer: Yeah, they could both close, but right now they are a long way from getting that kind of opportunity. They should be worthwhile high-K assets in only leagues right now. I prefer Simmons to Bedrock and not just because Cam was ripped in that outing against Houston.

Goldeye99 (Wpg): What?! No Joey Gallo question yet? Is Gallo anything more or less than Adam Dunn 2.0? Thanks for the chat!

Paul Sporer: I think there is the chance for more, but even if that's "all" he is, that'd be fantastic. Remember, Dunn used to be a premier fantasy asset

DJ (Detroit): Thanks for the chat!! What's your analysis of Nick Castellanos this season??

Paul Sporer: You're welcome! I think he will continue to improve as he gets more reps under his belt and end the season with 15-17 HRs, 65ish RBIs, and a .275 AVG

Shawnykid23 (CT): Which of these arms do you like to have the biggest impact 2nd half- Holland, Wheeler, Stroman, Gausman, Bauer, Meyer, Heaney?

Paul Sporer: I'd bet on Wheeler first among that group, but there isn't a ton of different between the rest of the group IMO. I'd look at Gausman and Stroman next.

The Humber Games (Somewhere in the Atlas Mountains): Given how reluctant the Orioles have been to give Gausman a rotation spot, I am now leaning towards 'very skeptical' that Bundy is going to be in the rotation for a meaningful number of innings this year. Thoughts?

Paul Sporer: I'd push it to EXTREMELY skeptical. I think they'll dip into the trade market and then go to Gausman both before Bundy

Danny (Chicago): What are your thoughts on Collin McHugh now? Is he just going to be a flash in the pan or will he have sustained success?

Paul Sporer: I'm really starting to buy in. The strikeouts seem legit, particularly with that curveball. He may be more of a mid-3.00s ERA guy by season's end, but the punchouts will keep him viable

Chesty (New Bern NC): I have Verlander and Shields both appear to be on the decline .Should I try to move one or both .My SP is faltering.

Paul Sporer: I'm not particularly worried about Shields, but obviously JV is faltering. Honestly - and I know this answer isn't SUPER helpful - but it really depends on what you can get for them. If you can really help your team by trading JV, then do so. You should be able to get more Shields as I'm sure there is at least one believer in your league.

The Dude (Office): Who are some good buy lows/sell highs right now?

Paul Sporer: That's really difficult bc no one is falling for, say Chisenhall for Chris Davis. I think you could realistically sell high on Jose Abreu. I think you can get a discount on Homer Bailey, David Price, Bartolo Colon, and Zack Wheeler. And of course Verlander, too, but that one is a bit riskier.

mattstupp (NYC): What do you make of Brian McCann ROS? How many homers does Kris Bryant hit in the big leagues this year?

Paul Sporer: I expected a lot more out of McCann. I'm still buying, though. I think we'll see a second-half surge - though he admittedly doesn't have to be THAT great to be better than the ugly first half

Shawnykid23 (CT): World Cup winner??

Paul Sporer: I'm a relatively new soccer fan (three-four years), but I'm far from diehard and I'd hate to pretend like I have any backing for this answer, but I'll go with Argentina even though Brazil is the easy and probably correct answer

Dragonbreath (Gurnee, IL): I feel like I'm looking at a rerun of Zach Wheeler while I watch Archie Bradley progress. Do you see Archies' MLB early career mirroring Wheelers'? Will Julio Urias be up any sooner than 2017? How about jos Pederson, does LA make any space for him by 2016? Thanks for the Chat! Always appreciate your insights!

Paul Sporer: That's not a bad comparison in that they are both blue-chippers (similarly sized, too) with control issues as they come up. I don't think Bradley will be instantly good upon arrival because of his control, but he'll have flashes of brilliance. Urias will take a while for sure, but Pederson can't waste away in AAA that long. If they can't really find room at any pt this year, then they have to look to trade him to fill other holes. It'd just be a massive waste for him to sit two more seasons in AAA

Frank (BK): who do you like better rest of this year: Prado/Chisenhall/Castellanos? explain please.

Paul Sporer: They really aren't far apart. I'd probably lean Prado slightly, but I wouldn't question anyone picking one of the others ahead. I understanding wanting a more definitive answer, but there really just isn't a huge chasm in this trio

The Dude (Office): How do you feel about Alex Wood ROS? I can use the Ks whether he's starting or relieving.

Paul Sporer: I was skeptical of him coning into the season bc of the HRs and BBs.

Paul Sporer: Sorry to cut short today, folks, but we had power outages throughout Austin last night that really pushed me back on work so I'm kinda swamped. Please hit me up @sporer on Twitter if you have any remaining questions that you really wanted answered and I'll be back in a couple weeks for another chat

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