Greg Wellemeyer: Alright gang, apologies for being a couple minutes late. Let's get rolling.
unbigote (DC): Hi Greg, thanks for taking time to answer questions!
I'm in a keep 6 league. My first five guys are Harper, Donaldson, Correa, Cole and Sale. To fill the last spot I'm looking at Rendón, Thor and Sano. Who would you go with? Bonus points if you explain why. (Standard 5x5 scoring)
Greg Wellemeyer: Sano for me. How many bonus points and how can I redeem them?
Okay, okay. I do love Thor but you don't need another pitcher with Sale and Cole in the fold. Sano isn't a .295 hitter but he's not Joey Gallo either. He's had a hell of an impressive MLB debut and will be an elite power option for the forseeable future.
Cal Guy (Cal): Greg, Please choose between Brinson and Mazara for an entire career.
Greg Wellemeyer: I'll assume this is a fantasy question and go with Mazara. If it was a real-life question Brinson comes a little closer because of his ability to play a good centerfield but Mazara has been too impressive at age 20 to turn down. Besides, Craig might ruin me if I went the other way (though I'm pretty sure he's a big Brinson supporter too)
owensurett35 (NJ): Who will win the NL East?
Greg Wellemeyer: Not the Braves, Marlins, or Phils? I honestly don't know. The Mets have, what, a four game lead after today's win? I think BP playoff odds have them approaching 70% to win the division which is probably too aggressive for me. As a Mets fan, my heart is starting to get bought in to the point where I could be legitimately hurt come late September but you have to like the pitching and the way they're playing. Big series coming up against a PIT team smarting from a trip to STL and six to go against the Nats. Labor Day is going to be fun, the three games at Citi to close the season even moreso.
Alex (Anaheim): Is there a reason the Padres won't trade their pending free agents?
Greg Wellemeyer: Not a good one. Trueblood has written on this and the Effectively Wild boys did a podcast on it as well. I like the theory Trueblood put forth regarding the market changing from a buyers' to sellers' market as the deadline approached. This is based on no information and perhaps narrative-fitting but it's possible Preller just waited too long and overplayed his hand. It's also extremely difficult to get what you want when you have no leverage, which was the case for Preller with clear trade candidates and everyone expecting multiple moves. Pride is a hard thing to overcome in negotations. As Sam pointed out, though. it's entirely possible some of these guys get moved in August. Benoit and Venable seem like the clearest candidates. They'll at least get a sandwich pick assuming they offer Upton a QO.
Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Greg, Who are some current non-closers who could win the job in 2016?
Greg Wellemeyer: We (the royal we, the editorial) are pretty bad at this even on Opening Day Eve, so I'm sorry to say I don't have a great answer for this. Rondon saved a game last night so I guess he doesn't count. Have a vague recollection of Holland being in the last year of arb and even if not, the Royals might not want to pay him with Wade Davis behind him.
markdavo4 (Newcastle, Australia): Hi Greg,
I'm pondering trading Joc, Alex Wood & Realmuto for Springer in a dynasty league. For context - I'm stuck in 3rd for this year but am in win mode for 2016. I have strong SP(I only start Wood half the time) and decent Catcher depth(Realmuto is still in my minors and I have other bench options such as Susac).
Greg Wellemeyer: It's a little rich for me but I might be an honorary Relamuto for how much I like this guy. I don't think he has top-of-the-position upside or anything but I think he can really hit and will be solid for a long time, Great athlete, feel to hit, developing power, all around excellent player. Not the biggest Wood fan but he shouldn't be a spare part. Are Springer and Joc really that far apart?
Jpilgrim (Tulsa): Does Max Kepler have much else to prove in AA? With his elite plate approach and stellar BA does he get a shot in the bigs in September?
Greg Wellemeyer: That he can hit for power? If he does, he'll take a big jump forward. The Twins have rightfully been slow with him and no reason to believe he should get a cup of coffee this year this year.
Ben (Baltimore ): Best three very under the radar prospects you've uncovered this year?
Greg Wellemeyer: I had Anthony Alford in the preseason (ask Bissell if you don't believe me), I was pretty early on Nottingham and I love Ruddy Giron's stat line. Still kinda limited info on GIron but what he's achieved as the youngest player in the MWL is impressive.
Owen (St. Paul): Favorite fantasy baseball setup or scoring system for dynasty leagues?
Greg Wellemeyer: Not sure if you're asking about scoring settings or sites but if the former, I prefer separate major and minor league systems with clear guidelines and controls about how and when players graduate from minors. Probably not surprising that I prefer OBP/OPS to BA and I also like holds+saves if you have to have saves. As far as sites, I'm not into banging on other places but suffice it to say that I still haven't found a great combo of user experience, player pool, stats interface that I am super happy with.
DLB (Latrobe): Tell me where you think R. Odor fits into 2B rankings in 2016 and 2017.
Greg Wellemeyer: It seems awful quiet on Odor for a 21-year-old who has shown ability to hit major league pitching. Can't ask for anything more than the way he bounced back after the demotion either. He'll leap over vets like Kendrick and Walker if he continues hitting.
JL (HOU): So everyone has been talking about the success of recent graduates from the farm. But what about the rise of some other prospects such as A.J. Reed & Jacob Nottingham (before I shipped him for Kazmir). Care to give an opinion on these 2 players going forward?
Greg Wellemeyer: Love Nottingham, think he has as much upside as any catcher in the minors except Alfaro if both his hit and power tools travel to the bigs. He's been amazing all year and, in case you haven't noticed, I'm a sucker for the super athletic types...which brings me to Reed. Did you know he closed in college? Probably. I somehow didn't until recently. Reed will hit bombs.
Matthew (Twin Cities): Greg, in a points league would you rather have Jason Heyward ($12) and Jesse Winker ($1) for Rusney Castillo ($4), Matt Shoemaker ($1), and Hyun-Jin Ryu ($2)? I am looking for some long term OF help.
Greg Wellemeyer: Heyward and Winker and it's not even close
Shawn (Richmond ): Thoughts on some of the most overrated fantasy prospects heading into next season?
Greg Wellemeyer: As a general rule, the guys who are overrated as fantasy prospects are the ones for whom defense is a primary part his overall value and placement on general top 100 lists. I'm not high on Mondesi in fantasy. Amed Rosario fits that description. I'm terrified of Tim Anderson but the upside is immense. Tyler Kolek. I love Gelyber but think he'll probably end up overrated in fantasy because he won't bring power or speed.
Matt (TX): Hey Greg, trying to gather scouting info on Tyler White of the Astros ... Does he have the talent to play full time in the show? Why/why not?
Greg Wellemeyer: Good question. I don't have anything on him and haven't seen much. He played at Western Carolina, not too far from me but I didn't see him. Probably should've since he hit 16 bombs his senior year. He's been age appropriate the whole way and can't argue with the stat line. I don't know enough to give you a good answer about whether he has the talent to be a big league regular but his track record seems to indicate he'll get a call at some point and we'll find out then.
Jeff (San Francisco): If you were Oakland, is there anyone from this bullpen that you would want on the team next season?
Greg Wellemeyer: Sure, Drew Pomeranz has been pretty good since he joined the 'pen.
unbigote (Pluto): I need to activate Miguel Cabrera. Can I drop Gattis? I've got Schwarber to catch, and Gattis has been brutal for the past 30 days. I'm slightly concerned I'll miss a patented Gattis hot streak.
Alternatively, I could drop Matt Shoemaker. What do you think?
(league = redraft Roto, 5x5)
Greg Wellemeyer: Hard to tell without knowing the depth but I'd drop Shoemaker before Gattis unless you really need the pitching and there's nothing available on the wire.
Jpilgrim (Jenks): Have you heard any updates on Hunter Harvey? Seems like he's lost a lot of key development time.
Greg Wellemeyer: I haven't heard anything in a few weeks. Last I heard, Harvey was throwing but didn't have a timetable to return to game action. Seems unlikely he'll do it in 2015 at this point and there's no question the lost year dents his value.
kiper90 (Rochester, NY): Hey Greg. Any thoughts and opinions on Francis Martes & Franklyn Kilome? Any chance each have a potential to be role 6 SP?
Greg Wellemeyer: I haven't seen either one but I sure do like what I've heard. I follow way too many Phillies guys on Twitter (hate the Phils but a lot of smart guys cover their system), so I had early strong feelings for Kilome and the buzz is getting louder. Didn't know much about Martes until recently but seems every time I hear something, it's glowing. Definitely a big leap in 2015.
Scott (Pa.): Forrest Wall? Blocked eventually by D.J, or can one move to another spot on the field?
Greg Wellemeyer: He's far enough away that I'm not even considering who is or isn't playing his position in the big leagues
Matthew (Twin Cities): Greg, in that same league would you rather have $25 Chris Archer and $3 Gibson or $6 Julio Urias and $1 Alex Bregman?
Greg Wellemeyer: Archer side. I like Urias and Bregan both but always go for the established major leaguers unless it's cost prohibitive.
Chris (Dallas): I find in-season management and strategy to be one of the challenging parts of fantasy baseball. How have you changed and improved this part of your game over the years?
Greg Wellemeyer: There are a lot of good writers out there. FInd a good one or two whose opinion on players are well-founded but clash with your own and see if you can shift your process so you can uncover your blind spots. It'll help you find players for pickup and trade you might have otherwise passed on because of your own biases.
Jeff (San Francisco): If you were the A's, do you start Marcus Semien or Chad Pinder at shortstop next season?
Greg Wellemeyer: Pinder is getting pretty close but I think he probably starts in AAA. Beane will probably pick up someone but if not, it's Semien even though he's horrendous with the glove.
PJ Skizzip (New York, New York): Really sweating here, Greg. I was offered Kris Bryant and Byron Buxton for my Bryce Harper. Standard 16 team dynasty with OPS thrown on. Don't have any glaring needs. What do you think about this deal?
Greg Wellemeyer: Harper is an absolute monster at present where Bryant is merely great, but I'll go with the duo to spread out the risk some. If they can stay healthy and approach expectations, Buxton and Bryant would be a pretty lethal pair, with coverage of all categories.
DLB (Latrobe, PA): Who is the greatest drinking-hockey player of all time?
Greg Wellemeyer: I live in North Carolina. We do drinking but not hockey.
Dave (Santa Monica): Can you explain Billy Butler to me? Historically, he's hit better against left-handers than right-handers. This year, he's hitting .191/.327/.382 against lefties, but hitting .263/.302/.370 against righties. So, now he's hitting righties better, but only exhibits plate discipline against lefties. Why?
Greg Wellemeyer: Can I explain him? Sure. He's a big fella. So big they call him Country Breakfast. He was acquired in what has been a very poor year for Billy Beane and is losing at-bats to Danny Valencia.
(I have no idea what's going on with the splits.)
Ben (Manhattan): Any love for Nick Tropeano these days? Where/when do you ultimately see him fitting on the Angels roster?
Greg Wellemeyer: He looks like a guy who can strike out a whole bunch of minor leaguers but will have a hard time holding on to a major league rotation spot, even a back-end one.
owensurett35 (NJ): What makes a prospect "big league ready" or "NOT big league ready?
Greg Wellemeyer: Difficult question to answer because it's highly objective and a combination of quantitative and qualitative aspects of the game. Has a player achieved at the highest minor league levels? If so, has he been age appropriate for the levels? Does it seem like he's relaying on talent and instinct instead of being more mechanical and robotic? Can he relate to teammates? Does he carry himself like a big leaguer? He's big league ready.
Probably important to remember that there are a whole bunch of players in the big leagues that aren't big league ready. It's an enormous leap and takes time for all but the most special players.
Chris (Dallas): Hey Greg, Who do you see as potential breakout starting pitchers in the AL for next season?
Greg Wellemeyer: Still riding with Gausman, the Rays will probably slow-play Blake Snell because that's what they do but I saw him the other day and he was sensational. He's pretty close, with three plus pitches. For deeper leagues, I'm interested to see what Matt Boyd does in Detroit.
Cal Guy (Cal): Greg, Are we seeing the beginning of the Aaron Hicks breakout, or is this just a tease? What kind of production do you eventually see from him on an ongoing basis?
Greg Wellemeyer: Depends on how you define a tease. He's not a .290 hitter who can go 20/20, or whatever his current numbers extrapolate to over 162 games. He does have minor league pedigree though and a good reminder on why you shouldn't write off players based on their first 100-200 PAs.
flynnie (RI): think Stanton plays again this year (at his usual level)?
Greg Wellemeyer: No, not really. Hamates can take some time to fully recover from and he's not facing live pitching yet. There's no reason for the Marlins to rush him and if he does get back, I don't expect elite production.
markdavo4 (Australia): Is chase utley cuttable in a 16 team dynasty league? Or is there still some value there to hold for next yr or get return via trade?
Greg Wellemeyer: I just wrote a piece about giving up on vets and it's a weakness of mine so maybe take this with a grain of salt, but Utley is cooked. Depends of course on what's available but I don't see much reason to keep him.
Jerry (Wisco): I don't mean to be a jerk, but Hicks had roughly a season's worth of PAs before this year
Greg Wellemeyer: You're right, I meant to say 100-200 games
Something to Dream On (Far Away From the Show): Hey Greg. Going possible obscure prospect performing in short season. Have you heard anything about Stone Garrett? Is he a name to keep a look out for going into next year or don't bother with?
Greg Wellemeyer: I know he plays for one of the best team names in the minors, the Batavia Muckdogs. Other than that I don't know much. Stat line looks okay but I always worry about lesser known prospects who strike out more than 25% of the time in the lower minors. In general, there needs to be a prodigious tool to make up for that tendency or some compelling reason to believe the strikeouts will come down over time.
owensurett35 (NJ): When will McCullers be called back up?
Greg Wellemeyer: I don't think it will be long
owensurett35 (NJ): Should hitters swing at the 1st pitch more than they do currently? I feel like hitters are digging holes for themselves by taking the 1st pitch. id love to hear your thoughts.
Greg Wellemeyer: Maybe so. Might be an interesting thing to investigate. First pitch strike percentage is highest it's been in past 15 years (that's how far back I looked) but we're talking about a fraction of a percent year-over-year.
sebtppfo (1): 1
Greg Wellemeyer: 2
Jed (NY): If you could be any part of Jake deGrom's body, what would you be and why?
Greg Wellemeyer: Been saving this one for last. There's not much better than owning your studly favorite player on your first place favorite team in your home league. I'm reasonably sure someone from that league asked this question so I'll answer it this way: I'd be that magnificent salad because I'd look just right flowing over top of the deGrom jersey I'll buy with my championship winnings.
Greg Wellemeyer: Thanks for hanging out and submitting questions, everyone. It's been a fun time. Best of luck down the stretch.