Harry Pavlidis: let's go, maybe we can talk Futures Game now that the rosters are out.
Mike (Ottawa): Harry - Thanks for doing the chat. I'm wondering if you have any commentary on Jeff Hoffman's mechanics post-TJ.
Harry Pavlidis: Hey Mike - Thanks for the question. I haven't seen Hoffman but all reports I've heard on him are glowing. The issue, as expected, is not the stuff but the command and consistency. That's the way TJ recovery often goes...so this is all good and exciting news, because Hoffman is electrifying.
dan22ke9 (Mom's basement): Braves question: Peraza @2b,why do you think Braves are waiting to promote? Is he a 30SB guy or just good vs. minor league catchers? Where do you rank him in terms of projecting him vs. other 2b prospects? Top 5? 20?
Harry Pavlidis: What's the rush? If he's going to be a top of the order guy he's going to need to take a few more walks (that is something that could blow up in his face in the majors). So letting him work that out in AAA is fine. I won't attempt a ranking, I'll leave that to the experts :)
Shawn (Cubicle): How comfortable would you be using mainly cFIP to make decisions on your staff from a fantasy baseball perspective? Do you see any major issues that could arise in using it for fantasy purposes?
Harry Pavlidis: Pretty comfortable. When it comes to a league with WHIP in the mix I'd still look at stuff like the defense behind them etc, but overall it is a pretty good place to start. I like looking at it along with DRA (which we continuously work to tune and improve) and try and figure out which way the needle will move if they don't match up.
kd (on the tollway between dallas and frisco): What's the best thing you've learned in the last three months about baseball?
Harry Pavlidis: How much catchers put their own success aside and focus on their pitchers' success. It truly changed how I look at the position and how we evaluate it.
Dan Rozenson (Washington, DC): Do you think A-Rod's fantasy stats should have an asterisk?
I'll hang up and listen.
Harry Pavlidis: Yes. And that asterisk would indicate "wow this dude is awesome and I got him off free agent market"
DBITLefty (gym): So yeah, who should I pick up in my fantasy league?? I really would like YOUR input.
Harry Pavlidis: I suggest someone who is good at baseball, is available, and fills a need on your team.
Joe From (Yonkers): Hey Harry, first time long time. I love Baseball Prospectus but would love to see more lovable characters invented like Gompers the Elf and John Daly the Bartender. Any plans for more fictional characters in the future?
Harry Pavlidis: we don't work with elves after the fiasco in 2006.
John Daly will serve drinks for you anywhere anytime for a nominal fee. He will offset that fee in drinks consumed, so it's like having a free bartender for an hour.
brentdaily (colorado): You are the president of baseball ops and have 5m to spend. Where do you see the biggest bang for your buck? Pay all your minor league players a living wage so they can eat real food, sign Aaron Harang, buy a few Crays, or have a bobblehead night for your radio only announcer? For the life of me I can't figure out why the relative paltry sum isn't invested in minor league pay to help them focus on baseball instead of, you know, surviving.
Harry Pavlidis: I'd invest in tracking systems (installed and portable), nutrition (MiLB and MLB) and I could use a new flat screen TV, too.
RatedRookie (Atlanta): What's the ETA for Jose Peraza? Do you think he is ready for a big league debut? And do you think that debut is with the Braves or have the performances of Jace, Mallex, and Cameron made a trade likely?
Harry Pavlidis: As noted a little earlier, I think he's not quite ready. I suspect a lot of the ETA will depend on the Braves W-L record. The better they are the closer he'll be, assuming they don't find production at second in the mean time.
brentdaily (colorado): Time value of money, short GM tenures and all that, but why aren't more contracts front-loaded like Lester's? Seems as though owners rarely (ever?) roll profits over to the following year so structuring contracts for aging free-agents who are all but guaranteed to be sea anchors down the line creates a known future handicap. Can any team really sign multiple high end free agents? In a couple years you'd be looking at two mid thirty year old players who can easily consume 40-50M (~1/3rd of most budgets) and produce a tiny fraction of that.
Harry Pavlidis: doesn't inflation dictate back-loading works out better for the organization, all else being equal?
I think there are several teams in baseball with multiple 'high end' contracts on the books. There's also a trend of locking guys in earlier, buying out some arb/free agent years, at a discount by taking on more risk.
padremurph (Los Angeles): Renfroe figuring out AA pitching? Few homers this week and almost has the average up to .250. Think he gets a Sep call up?
Harry Pavlidis: A week means nothing. And he's not on the 40-man roster, so he's going to have to start hitting to deserve taking a spot there and getting a call-up. And not just for one week in the Texas League.
The Dude (Office): Please Rank: Italian Beef, Chicago Dog, Deep Dish Pizza
Harry Pavlidis: Beef, Pizza, Dog
JP (TX): Is DRA somehting that can be put in place for the Minors or are there just too many different contextual factors at different levels to make it accurate?
Harry Pavlidis: we think it can be done, when the data isn't available we simply go without it. Right now we're focused on nailing down all the loose ends, but we'll be turning our attention to the minor leagues before too long.
Starlin's Newborn Baby (Chicago): My dad is struggling (badly) and people have some #HotTakes about him, but he's not done, is he?
Harry Pavlidis: Hi Bubula's bubula.
Daddy is a space cadet, one with a lot of baseball talent. He will battle his bad habits in the field and at the plate, but he's hardly done.
Brian (Mass.): What do you think Matz's ceiling is based on stuff and mechanics? There seems to be less industry consensus on what his ceiling is than other top pitching prospects.
Harry Pavlidis: I dunno about his mechanics, but his stuff is tasty and from the left side it's extra delicious. Plus we are graduates of the same high school (like decades apart) so I'm naturally biased in his favor.
Patrick (Texas): Any idea when Mazara will be up with the big club? He seems to be ready right now.
Harry Pavlidis: I asked Kate Morrison (who follows the Rangers prospects very closely), she thinks there is no reason to rush and 2016 appears to be his target, for at least a cup of the proverbial coffee.
Alex (Anaheim): I somehow managed to add Strasburg a few weeks ago, and he looked good enough in his first start back. Do you expect more of the same going forward?
Harry Pavlidis: I do. I'd like to write off the beginning of this season as an aberration, due to injury. But I think my positive expectations will be tempered by the recent memory of him missing locations and getting lit up.
Alvin (Chicago): Hi Harry,
Is there any report from Rangers prospect Yohander Mendez recently? Dude starts to stretch innings from bullpen and has ridiculous number so far.
Harry Pavlidis: Nothing recent that I have handy. I think the book on him is 'mlb potential'. He's young, he's tall, and his numbers may suggest he's due to move up a level before long.
Josh (Minnesota): Who in your opinion will make a better major leaguer, Max Kepler or Adam Brett Walker? Will either of them be up any time soon?
Harry Pavlidis: Walker has the power but oh so much swing and miss. I think Kepler is the choice long term, but neither is ready.
Mark (Houston): Is Tony Kemp for real? He seems to play a mean defense and his bat has been on fire all year. What can we expect from him in the majors and when do you think he'll get the call? Thanks!
Harry Pavlidis: I think this is a reasonable take http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_bat.php?reportid=90 ... role guy, good, but not an everyday player.
DBITLefty (leaving gym): Alright - Futures/other MiLB for that matter. For pitchers, whom would you point to as someone whose results are lagging behind their stuff, and conversely, who's getting it done without a big time out pitch?
Harry Pavlidis: well, I am a Cubs fan so two guys come to mind from that org. Duane Underwood, the Ks will come next, and Jeremy Null, he's doing very well in the MWL but he's not any kind of stuff guy that I can tell.
Matt (Chicago): Do you think Epstoyer will remain stingy with their elite prospects(Schwarbs, Bryant, Soler, Baez, Russell) in their ongoing quest to improve pitching staff?
Harry Pavlidis: Yes
Matt (Chicago): Kyle Hendricks has had very volatile performance this year. Are you finding anything analytically insightful, with regard to his successes and failures?
Harry Pavlidis: He's the poster child for "digital scouting is hard". So, when I can answer this question intelligently I will likely shout about it from the highest mountain (in Chicago, so no one will hear me but still).
rookie319s (Saint Louis): What team has the best set of players going to the futures game? I say Texas with Williams and Mazara...
Harry Pavlidis: Giolito/Turner are kinda good. Reyes the only Cardinal???
GoTribe06 (Lynchburg): Good afternoon. What are your thoughts on Blake Snell?
Harry Pavlidis: in a nutshell, he's one of those "when he finds his control/command the light switch may be flipped" guys.
brentdaily (colorado): Other than installing Spanish speaking coaches at all levels of the minors, do you know any more about what Gabe Kapler is doing to for the Dodgers farm? Miss him on the site.
Harry Pavlidis: I think he's making sure they are fed properly. That's a big thing for Gabe and I'd be utterly shocked if that hasn't been a focus of his efforts.
Kingpin (Grinnell, IA): Granted it was just one start, but Strasburg looked much better in his return from the DL. Is there anything to suggest he has fixed his mechanics (or whatever the problem was) with runners on base?
Harry Pavlidis: if he was hurt ... maybe we don't need to look any further than that? I didn't see the start, but his data looked nice. Didn't throw many changeups, not sure what that means (probably nothing, just a short outing).
Charlie (NatsReview): What to do with Ian Desmond? The Nats have enough middle infield to shop him, but does anyone want him (Royals?). And with the other injuries, should they be trying to?
Harry Pavlidis: someone will need a rental for depth, right? Maybe the Nats feel that's just fine for them, too.
Brian (MI): top of your head...top 5 offensive and top 5 pitching prospects left in the minors?
Harry Pavlidis: ahhh I won't be able to do that to any satisfaction. So I'll punt and just say guys like Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito and Alex Reyes are some of my favorite guys pitching in the minors.
seddrah (Seattle): Time to give up on Dylan Bundy?
Harry Pavlidis: I don't think you ever give up on a guy with his potential until he gives up. But, sadly, his medical issues make it very hard to have much hope for it coming to fruition.
Harry Pavlidis: thanks everyone! Until later this summer, try and behave yourselves and get out and see some games!