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Chat: Scooter Hotz

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday April 14, 2016 8:00 PM ET chat session with Scooter Hotz.


Scooter is a writer on our fantasy team. So yes you can ask all of your fantasy questions here.

Scooter Hotz: Hey, everybody. Let's do this. It's my first time, so be gentle.

Kristen (Canada): How will/should TEX deal with their surplus of OF'ers once Hamilton and Choo return to go along with Mazara, DeShields, and Desmond? It'd be a shame to send Mazara back down the way he's hitting. Thanks!

Scooter Hotz: Sending Mazara down seems to be the plan for now. If he tears the cover off the ball, Desmond struggles, or Choo's rehab doesn't go smoothly, that could change. I'm uncomfortable answering the "should" side of the question because the Rangers know a lot more than I do about the health of everyone involved, whether Mazara is ready, how he's handlin the promotion, their own budget considerations, etc.

Greggy (NY): Noah Syndergaard!!! Can't tell if this guy is the second coming of Doc Gooden or Nolan Ryan. What do you make of this guy??

Scooter Hotz: No need to make comps with Thor. He doesn't have Doc's curveball or young Nolan Ryan's control problems. He's a beast, though, and looks ready to contend for a Cy Young award right now.

Jarrett (Gainesville): Can I get a pat on the back for acquiring Zack Greinke for Trevor Story?

Scooter Hotz: Sure, you earned it. For what it's worth, Story went for $19 and Greinke went for $34 in my NL-only 5x5 keeper league on Sunday.

Truganini (CO): I own Freddie Freeman and Albert Pujols in an OBP league. Given how cold both have started, should I drop one and pick up Mark Teixeria, Carlos Santana, Lucas Duda, or Mark Trumbo?

Scooter Hotz: Probably not. The one I'd consider is Carlos Santana, but for me, the difference between AVG and OBP leagues doesn't move the needle enough to ditch Pujols or Freeman for any of the guys you listed. Plus, it's only been a week and a half. Calm down. It's baseball, not football. You have ~150 games left.

dylanrox (New Orleans): Hey Scooter, I need to pick up an RP 3 in a points lg where SV=8 HLD=4 K=2. Etc. My options include Dyson, Madson, Zych, Strickland, Treinen, Kelley, Castro, May, Kela and Feliz. What would be your pecking order to help sort out this group? Also I need to drop a damned good bat in order to make room for this RP. Options include Matt Holliday my OF 6 in a 3 OF format, or one of my two C- Gomes or Grandal. Trying to trade one of the catchers but my league is not filled with major traders. Thanks for the help. D

Scooter Hotz: Those bats are pretty valuable. I think you need to try to trade one because there's just too much value there to drop. As for the RPs, I'd rank them Dyson, Strickland, Zych, Madson, Kelley, everyone else.

Rob (Alaska): Have we written off Matt Cain too soon? How deep a league to safely roster him?

Scooter Hotz: He's definitely rosterable in standard 5x5 23-man $260 NL-only auction leagues. He went for $5 in my NL-only keeper league that auctioned on Sunday, so he's not just an interchangeable $1 guy i those formats, either. Be ready to cut him if he starts setting fire to your rate stats. However unlikely, a former near-ace has a better chance of reverting to form or close to it than a pitcher who has never shown above-average production over the course of a full season.

Jerry (Earth): Hey Scooter, what should we think about Vincent Velasquez after these 2 starts to the season?

Scooter Hotz: He's a great gamble, although there isn't much profit available with him because he's not exactly a secret and he hasn't been for a while. The stuff is obviously legit. His ultimate value this season will depend on his command & control and whether or not he can sustain his stuff over the course of a long season. And wins might be hard to come by in Philly, of course.

I live in Philly and most of the leagues I play in are Philly-based, so if anything, Velasquez went for a higher price or at a higher pick than he should have because everyone here watched him during spring training and fell in love with his upside.

Chris (Chicago): Given concerns about Swihart's defense and the presence of Vasquez, where do you seat Swihart in the catcher hierarchy from a dynasty perspective?

Scooter Hotz: I like Swihart in the short- and medium-term. I don't think Vazquez will ever hit enough to be a full-time starter, no matter how strong his arm is. Swihart's bat is solid and his defense & framing are good enough for now and could develop over the next year or two. He's not good enough to prevent the Red Sox from trading for someone better or signing someone better in the offseason, though, and the Red Sox definitely have the money and/or prospects to make a move if they want to.

Truganini (CO): What tool can I use to see a players earning year to date? The PFM works for past seasons and for projecting the rest of the season, but I'm not sure where to find earning season to date.

Scooter Hotz: I'm not aware of any that would give you those numbers yet because I've never looked. The sample size is so small right now that the numbers would essentially be nonsense. Trevor Story, Tyler White and Jeremy Hazelbaker would probably be worth $50+ each right now. That knowledge is worth exactly $0, though.

Alex (CA): Dynasty pick 2 between Addison Russell, Corey Seager, and Eugenio Suarez. Thanks.

Scooter Hotz: Easy call. Russell and Seager. They're both worth massively more than Suarez.

Cory (Ohio): How long can the Rangers keep Gallo in the minors if he keeps hitting home runs in AAA?

Scooter Hotz: Not long if that was the only factor. It isn't, though. There's his arb clock, which they started last year. There's also the organizational depth charts, which have Beltre ahead of him at third and include, at the very least, Desmond, Choo & Mazara ahead of him. A lot of the timing with regards to call-ups has more to do with injuries to or poor performace by players ahead of the given prospect than the actual prospect's performance.

Besides, if you're a savvy owner, you know not to put too much stock in a two-week hot streak or a two-week cold streak. The Rangers know this, too.

Ronnie (Wisconsin): Worried about Tulo?

Scooter Hotz: Not any more worried about Tulo than the normal level of injury-reated worry I've had for Tulo for the last 3-4 seasons.

Tommy (New York): Any lost faith in Buxton?

Scooter Hotz: No, but it'll take a little longer with Buxton than some of the other top prospects we've seen. He's not Correa or Trout, crushing everything and everyone shortly after his debut. The developmental time he missed last year between the two injuries he had certainly hurt, and it'll take a little time to recover from that.

One thing that worries me a little with Buxton is his organization. I'm worried about the instruction he's getting since unlike Sano, he's not a natural born baseball obliterator needing little or no development. Buxton needs some guidance and the Twins might be able to provide it, but they don't have a great track record with developing players with Buxton's profile at the plate. That might just be bad luck or a small sample size, but it's in the back of my mind. Not enough to keep me from owning Buxton in multiple leagues, though.

Alex (CA): Give us some sleeper guys who could lead MLB in saves this year. Guys who aren't rostered in most standard leagues. Thanks.

Scooter Hotz: Fernando Rodney? I'm not sure how many full-time closers would be available in standard leagues, and to lead the league in saves, someone would have to be the full-time closer starting, well, right now, roughly.

Eddy (Tennessee): Are you bullish on Richie Shaffer?

Scooter Hotz: Not very. I'm not a scout myself, but I tracked 200+ prospects with regards to their rankings across as many sources as I could find and trust, and Shaffer didn't appear on any of those lists. He could hit some bombs in TB should a perfect storm of injuries hit the Rays, but that's a long shot.

Winston (Indiana): Mychal Givens next RP ace in your eyes?

Scooter Hotz: Next in all of MLB? No. A lot of pitching-oriented analysts really like his stuff, but he's more of a long shot than a lot of guys out there. Like my colleague Mike Gianella, I like Trevor May a lot this year.

unbigote (nether world): Can you give me a rank ROS? Eovaldi, Teheran, Tropeano, Conley, Lamb, Snell.

Scooter Hotz: Eovaldi, Snell, Teheran, Conley, Tropeano, Lamb. I'm probably way too high on Snell, though. I like him a lot.

Alex (CA): If both Desmond is still struggling and Deshields is meh by June 1, who do we see. Gallo or Brinson? Thanks.

Scooter Hotz: Probably Gallo, only because Brinson only played 36 games above A+ last season and might need more time. Gallo isn't much of an outfielder, though, so if the Rangers are looking for someone in center, it's gonna be Brinson. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if Gallo spends most of the season down on the farm if Mazara stays up, Choo comes back healthy and Beltre stays healthy.

Speaking of bombs, did anyone see the one that Josh Donaldson just hit?

Yes Cheese (Yep): Are you bullish any of these young platoon outfielders become complete players in the next 2 years? Aaron Hicks, Trayce Thompson, Anthony Gose, Adam Duvall, Avisail Garcia, Tyler Naquin?

Scooter Hotz: Absolutely no, never, not gonna happen on Avisail Garcia. I don't think he turns into anything. I'd be surprised if Trayce Thompson turns into a decent everyday player at the MLB level, too. I think Gose is a platoon player, although he's on the good side of the platoon and plays excellent defense, so he could get a little more playing time by virtue of his defense. I don't think Adam Duval will ever be a legit starter on a decent team. Naquin could get more run than most players with his offensive profile due to his glove and the lack of options in CF in Cleveland for the time being. I like Hicks, though. I'm not sure Hicks will ever be a complete player, but he's the best bet of this group. The twins really jerked him around, though, and it hurt his development, maybe irreparably. His glove and arm will give him a lot more chances to figure it out than most outfielders, though.

Scott (LA): Do you see any of the young Brewers waiting for their opportunity in AAA like Michael Reed, Orlando Arcia and Zach Davies making an impact soon?

Scooter Hotz: Reed and Davies might get their shots before Arcia, but Arcia is a much better bet to stick. Reed might get a shot before Brett Phillips, but he's unlikely to perform well enough to prevent Phillips from supplanting him. Nobody in the Brewers' rotation is going to block Davies if he performs well, but he's unlikely to have sustained success in MLB with his stuff. Arcia is coming up at some point this summer, and when he does, he's probably there for good. Even if Villar plays like an All Star, which would be an upset, the Brewers will promote a meeting-expectations Arcia and play him at SS, moving Villar to 2B or 3B and shunting Scooter Gennett or Aaron Hill to the bench or the waiver wire. There's no denying Arcia, barring injury.

Ted (Florida): Bubba Starling will have a comparable MLB career to ______________

Scooter Hotz: Billy Beane.

Lark (Wisconsin): Are you concerned at all about Chris Archer's relative lack of command in 2015 second half and the beginning of 2016?

Scooter Hotz: A little, yes. I have no idea why it's happening and I think he'll come around, but I have Archer in a couple of leagues and I'm a bit of a worrier.

Alex (CA): Does the Twins slow start make it more likely or less likely Berrios is promoted in the first half?

Scooter Hotz: I don't think the Twins' start affects Berrios' promotion schedule at all. They'll promote him when they think he's ready and when they have a spot for him regardless of the standings. I just hope they don't tell him to get Twinsier and stop striking guys out.

Donnie (Kentucky): Thoughts on Trey Mancini?

Scooter Hotz: Has legit power, not sure he'll develop enough plate discipline or enough of an approach to get to that power at the major league level. He doesn't have to walk 100 times a year, he just needs to be selective enough to lay off pitchers' pitches and attack ones he can handle.

Adam (Michigan): Do you have a prospect that you are particularly high on but many/most of your colleagues are not?

Scooter Hotz: In the AL, it might be Carson Fulmer. I think he could be another White Sox college pitcher on the fast track to the majors as an impact starter like Sale or Rodon. Most of the other owners in my AL-only league were a little surprised when I took him on Saturday, though, with a few other bats still available.

In the NL, I'm not sure if this counts, but I was surprised to get Ian Happ in my NL-only league's minor league draft. 20 minor leaguers were kept and Happ still didn't go until the start of the third round. Most of my roto-playing friends and colleagues like him about the same as I do, or at least they say they do, but the way he fell on Sunday was weird.

RJ (Nebraska): We need cheerleaders in baseball don't ya think.

Scooter Hotz: Nah, we're good.

Alex (CA): I see 4 scenarios for what the Giants can do with Arroyo (as of right now): A) Let Panik walk and start transitioning Arroyo to second, 2) Ditto with Duffy, 3) Trade Arroyo, or 4) Transition Arroyo to LF (I really hope they don't do this). Which of these is most likely at this time, or did I miss a scenario?

Scooter Hotz: Arroyo has played 7 games above A+. Working through scenarios like this is an exercise in futility. Time churns on, attrition happens, and these things work themselves out. There is no value in guessing how it works itself out, even if you guess right.

Roto Scooter (Your Toilet): Future fantasy value: Luis Alexander Basabe vs Christin Stewart

Scooter Hotz: Neither are on my radar, really. I'm not a dynasty guy, although I like non-dynasty keeper leagues. Unless your league is absurdly deep, these players probably shouldn't be rostered yet in non-dynasty leagues.

Hannah (Maine): Please tell me that Jurickson Profar will start living up to his pre-injury expectations soon!

Scooter Hotz: I would love nothing more than to tell you that. I'm rooting pretty hard for him. But the time he missed due to injury is almost unprecedented. I have no idea how he'll actually turn out. I selected Carson Fulmer over him in the minor league draft portion of my AL-only league's auction and my BP colleague Mike Gianella took Profar 5 picks later. After the draft, that was the move that I told my opponents I might regret the most.

Alex (CA): Who do you like more from a purely skills standpoint in dynasty, Brady Aiken or Jeff Hoffman? I lean Aiken even if he's further behind in his recovery.

Scooter Hotz: I lean Hoffman on pure skills, but (1) I'm not a scout and (2) Aiken isn't a Rockie pitcher.

Kristen (Canada): How probable is that with their better stuff one of Kela or Dyson replaces Tolleson as TEX's closer? And would Tolleson be attractive enough on his own or as part of a package to bring back a decent C or moderately useful SP in a deal? He's controllable for a few more seasons for cheap. We could fill his spot with prospect Luke Jackson who's throwing gas @ AAA. Thanks!

Scooter Hotz: It's not hard to imagine Dyson supplanting Tolleson as the closer in TEX. And I think Dyson would get the first crack over Kela. If Tolleson loses the closer's gig, he also loses nearly all of his trade value. I think the Rangers will acquire a catcher sometime soon, but if they do so by trading TOlleson after taking the closer's role from him, it'll be a marginal player at best.

Kristen (Canada): TEX's has both an iffy rotation and a highly-ranked farm system, so can you see them trying to deal for a starter BEFORE the trade deadline? Beyond Hamels and Darvish once he returns are Lewis/Griffin who are HR-prone soft-tossers and Perez/Holland who are health questions. And all TEX has behind them down @ AAA is a bunch of low-ceiling finesse-types and there's no one close to being ready @ AA-level. Thanks!

Scooter Hotz: I wouldn't be surprised to see the Rangers try to bolster their rotation before the deadline after last season's moves. I like Holland and Perez as decent bounceback plays this year, though. I don't think the Rangers would make any big moves involving Brinson, Gallo, or Mazara, though. I could see Profar moved if he performs well, but the return would have to be pretty big given Profar's pedigree.

Bill Clinton (Las Vegas): Name 3 prospect hitters that you believe will break out and 3 prospect pitchers that you believe will break out. Both cannot be on BP's top 101 list.

Scooter Hotz: Hitters: Cornelius Randolph (I own him in my NL-only league), Bobby Bradley, Christian Arroyo (honorable mention to Dan Vogelbach)

Pitchers: Carson Fulmer, Tyler Jay, Frankie Montas (honorable mention to Franklyn Kilome)

Alex (CA): I have Tanaka, T Ross, and McCullers on my dynasty team. It's always a feeling of impending doom, but the adrenaline is always fun.

Scooter Hotz: I have three shares of Fernando Rodney. I know the feeling. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=28888

Albert (Alberta): Since we must have at least one Victor Robles question, what do you think of Victor Robles?

Scooter Hotz: Crazy tools, not all that close to the majors. His ceiling is very high, but he has a long way to go to reach it.

Lt. Kaffee (Court Room): If you gave an order that Santiago wasn't to be touched, and your orders are always followed, then why would Santiago be in danger? Why would it be necessary to transfer him off the base?

Scooter Hotz: Haven't seen A Few Good Men but this quote has to be from it.

Alex (CA): Why is it that it seems pitch counts are getting lower? Is it more of an attempt to preserve starters or a result of better relievers?

Scooter Hotz: A little from Column A, a little from Column B, a little from column Third Time Through The Order Penalty, a little from Managers Gotta Do Something And This Is Something.

OK, I think that's a good place to stop. I'm tired and hungry and thirsty and probably one or two more things on top of that. Have a good night.

Scooter Hotz: Not bad for a first chat. Thanks for not hazing me. I enjoyed it and I'll probably do another one at some point. Keep your eyes peeled. Time to crack open a Tired Hands Alien Church.

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