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Chat: Scooter Hotz

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday June 21, 2016 8:00 PM ET chat session with Scooter Hotz.


Scooter is a fantasy writer at BP. Fire away with your fantasy questions.

Scooter Hotz: Hellish commute home from my day job, but I'm home now and have lots of people here who want to talk about baseball, so things are looking up in South Philly.

Steve (SF): What's up Scooter. Dynasty league, obp and slg. Would you trade Dillon Tate and Dahl for Hosmer? Thanks!

Scooter Hotz: I don't play dynasty, so I'm not the expert, but if you're going for it this year and need an upgrade at 1B, it's pretty good for you. Dahl is having a great year, but Tate is a long way off and consequently has a lot of variance in terms of what he could become.

Joey (Michigan): Please rank for Dynasty: Taillon, Paxton, Duffy. All same tier?

Scooter Hotz: Taillon, Duffy, Paxton. Although if Paxton is still throwing 100+ in September, he could vault to the head of this list

J. Tuttle (Battlecreek, Michigan): In a dynasty, I traded away Miggy for McCutcheon: please whisper me some sweet nothings about the Dread Pirate.

Scooter Hotz: McCutchen will be fine. He might never steal 20 bases again, but he's still young-ish and athletic, so he should age well. Miggy might be better this year, but he's closer to the end, plays a less premium position, and seems like a bigger injury risk due to his less-than-athletic physique.

Jake (Chicago ): Is it to early to give up on Addison Russell?

Scooter Hotz: Absolutely not. I love Addison Russell. He's a 22-year-old shortstop with more than a full season in the majors already.

Kevin (New York ): Do you think Archie Bradley can be a top of the rotation arm?

Scooter Hotz: No. I think he tops out as a 2 due to his control and the fact that his strikeout rate has never seemed to catch up to his stuff. A more realistic outcome is a good 3. If they switch him to the bullpen, though, pay extra attention. He could be a lights-out closer. That's a disappointing outcome for a guy who used to be the best pitching prospect in baseball, but it's still plenty useful in fantasy.

David (Atlantis): Cody Reed (the Reds one) was just promoted & made his debut. Seemed like an OK start but decent amount of K's so what do you think we should expect going forward this year & into the future? Ceiling #2 fantasy starter?

Scooter Hotz: I think Reed's ceiling is a number 1 fantasy starter, but like most pitchers with that ceiling, he's unlikely to reach it. I like him. He's a big lefty who throws really hard and has a potentially plus slider. If he can keeps the walks down and maybe develop a third pitch to use against righties, he could really be something.

I actually saw him pitch last year in Wilmington against Lucas Giolito. Like all of the scouts sitting around me, I was there to see Giolito, but by the third inning, I was wondering who this guy pitching for the Blue Rocks was. I had never heard of him, but he was consistently hitting 97s and 98s on the scout's guns and making hitters look silly with that slider. SUre enough, by the end of the year, he had gone from unknown to # 47 on the BP Top 101 Prospects list.

Jim (California ): What do you expect from Dee Gordon when he returns?

Scooter Hotz: About the same, although I wouldn't expect him to win another batting title again since that involves a bit of luck on top of the skill.The steals might never reach those lofty heights again, either, although for me, that will be due to the fact that players slow down as they age (see Bourn, Michael) rather than getting off the PEDs.

Paul (Not Sure): I decided to get younger at SS this year so went out & traded for Addison Russel. Do I need to be patient with him or he is likely to be something along this line for his career?

Scooter Hotz: Be patient. I gave a longer answer above, but he's 22 years old and has been a major league shortstop for over a year already.

Max (In a Uber): Future position eligibility aside is there much difference between AJ Reed & Dan Vogelbach? What do you expect from them this year if anything at all & going forward?

Scooter Hotz: From what I've heard, Reed's upside is higher, and Reed has more defensive utility as well. Vogelbach sounds like a guy who will be stretched defensively at 1B, so he'll probably have to move the the AL so he can take his 5-6 plate appearances per day without having to play defense. Vogelbach might be a better hitter if both were promoted tomorrow, but Vogelbach has been developing in the minors since 2011 compared to Reed, who started his professional career in 2014. The most likely outcome is that Reed overtakes Vogelbach by the end of this year or early next year and never looks back.

bsgallo (Tucson): Good evening! Do you believe Francisco Mejia has taken a step forward in his offensive development? Do you see him as the number one prospect in Cleveland system in 2018?

Scooter Hotz: It certainly seems like Mejia has taken a step forward offensively this season, but that's just me scouting the stat line. Still, he's in low-A and a lot can happen between now and 2018. The player Cleveland takes in the first round in 2017 will probably be their top prospect in 2018.

madjockmcferson (Norton, ma): Do you think andrelton simmonds is a nice buy low in dynasty? Is there a chance current owners might be losing patience? I'm rebuilding to challenge in 2-3 years and I think Simmonds could be a late bloomer.

Scooter Hotz: He's an OK buy-low target in dynasty if you're thin at SS and it's a deep league. I don't think there's much if any offensive development left, though. He's 26 and he's been in the majors for a long time now. I think he's probably just the guy we've seen for the last couple of years. You need counting stats in deep leagues, though, and his glove will definitely keep him in the lineup.

Alex (Austin): Does Adam Duvall fall of a cliff Joc Pederson style after the all-star break? Or can he sustain the power?

Scooter Hotz: If by "sustain the power" you mean keep hitting home runs at the pace he has so far this year, then no, I don't think he'll sustain the power since that would put him at 45-50 HR for the season. That said, I think he's good and he's here to stay. The power will fall back to earth a little bit and the average could take a bigger fall, but that's a long way from cratering like Joc Pederson did last year. He won't fall off that badly in AVG or HR. He probably won't contend for MVP, though, which he would if he sustained this HR pace.

FutureIsNow (Right Here): Top prospect in 2017, 2018, & beyond?

Scooter Hotz: 2017: Yoan Moncada
2018: Rafael Devers
2019: Gleyber Torres

Tommy (Texas): Please tell me that the Rangers don't trade away Jurickson Profar this summer. Or Joey Gallo.

Scooter Hotz: Can't tell you that. If I had to pick one as more likely to be dealt, I would pick Gallo.

Cory (Ohio): Where do you foresee Clint Frazier ranking next year on prospect lists? And what do you currently see his ceiling as?

Scooter Hotz: Frazier should be pretty high on prospect lists next year. He was anywhere from # 23 to # 72 on the most popular lists this year, and I'd guess is range would be something like # 13 - # 60 on those same lists next year. The fantasy upside for me looks a lot like peak Mike Cameron if he puts it all together: some power, some steals, some walks. Frazier has a little more AVG upside and a little less SB upside than peak Cameron.

Jerry (Earth): Who would you rather have in a dynasty league: Mike Clevinger or Zach Eflin & any particular reason?

Scooter Hotz: Clevinger. When it comes to pitching prospects in roto, I like to bet on stuff. Strikeout rate is the best proxy for stuff in the stat line. Clevinger's strikeout rate throughout his minor league career has been much better than Eflin's.

Jake (Kalamazoo): So where are we at with Jurickson Profar? Is he a top 50 dynasty player going forward? I feel like the two most likely outcomes here are: super-utility for Texas (the Zobrist model) or starting SS for somebody else. Thoughts?

Scooter Hotz: I honestly have no idea. He doesn't have a clear spot to play in TEX and there aren't enough off-days to go around and get him in the lineup every day. However, it also seems like TEX loves him and doesn't want to let him go for fear of seeing him kick butt elsewhere. I know that an answer with more certainty would be more reassuring, but I think anyone who says they know what's going to happen with Profar and the Rangers is full of it unless they're a member of the Rangers' front office staff.

Phred (Philly): What is wrong with Wei-Yin Chen? What are the odds of him turning it around ROS?

Scooter Hotz: I don't think anything's wrong with Chen. I think he's at the bad end of possible outcomes for himself, so his numbers the rest of the way will probably be a tiny bit better, but not much. The peripherals are all fairly close to where they were last year. His strikeout rate is slightly better this year, while his HR rate and his walk rate are slightly worse, but none of them are that far from where they were in 2015.

Dan (Philly): Best International Prospect for 2017?

Scooter Hotz: I don't know anywhere near enough about prospects before they sign with major league teams to comment on this. That said, if Shohei Otani comes over from Japan (and if he's included on lists as a prospect), it's him.

Dwayne (B Town): Top Prospect in 2018? 2019?

Scooter Hotz: I gave this answer earlier but I'll repeat it:

2017: Yoan Moncada
2018: Rafael Devers
2019: Gleyber Torres

Joey (Michigan): Which two of these second basemen would you suggest for a competing team in a 10-team dynasty league: Jon Schoop, Devon Travis, Steve Pearce, Joe Panik?

Scooter Hotz: Schoop and Panik, although I thought about replacing Panik with Pearce for a second.

Jared (Florida ): Hi Scooter I'm in a h2d points league. 10 team. I have room for 1-2 streamers(maybe). My question is this: Should I play match ups with pitchers who haven't yet proven to be bonafide ownable or try and hang onto a guy who could go from streamer to legit weekly contributor for me? If a pitcher averages 20-25 points a start,isn't that worth a roster spot for more than just a week? This is my first year playing so I value your opinion on this. Thanks!

Scooter Hotz: There's too many variables here to give a full answer. It depends a lot on the depth of the rosters and the depth of the FA pool in your league as well as the activity level of your fellow owners. That said, if you like a guy, lean towards hanging on to him. Fantasy is supposed to be fun, and all else being roughly equal, it's more fun to have guys you like. It's why I still stubbornly have Matt Moore in every league I'm in except my NL-only league.

cracker73 (Florida): Can you tell me a few prospects, outside the Top 101, with the highest upside for fantasy? Thanks for the chat!

Scooter Hotz: Bobby Bradley, Cornelius Randolph, Kevin Newman (credit to Keith Law for nailing that on his preseason list), Frankie Montas. ANd I'm going out on a limb here, but I still like Carson Fulmer despite his atrocious walk rate.

Jim (Omaha): Gregory Polanco is turning into a beast. Future MVP candidate?

Scooter Hotz: Definitely a future MVP candidate. Potentially a 2016 MVP candidate if he steps it up a little bit and nobody else emerges and runs away with it.

Jessie (Boston): Which young catcher (Contreras, Swihart, Sanchez, Alfaro) would you want to build your fantasy team around and what kind of potential can they be with the bat?

Scooter Hotz: I would put Swihart in last place in that group, well behind the others. Alfaro is the riskiest and the farthest from an everyday major league job, but he also has the craziest tools. Contreras is the safest bet to be an above-average major leaguer. Sanchez still has big upside with the bat as a catcher but has probably fallen behind Contreras in terms of his offensive upside. If you made me rank them right now, I'd go Contreras > Sanchez > Alfaro >>>>>>>>> Swihart.

Igor (At a bar ): Hey Scooter. I drafted Francis Martes but he seems to be just OK this year at AA. Any opinion as was hoping I could use him as a trade chip but seems he has scuffled a bit this year or am I just over reacting?

Scooter Hotz: You're probably right that his struggles have hurt his trade value in roto. So, don't trade him, but he's worth holding. He's 20 and in AA already, striking out roughly a batter per inning. His struggles have mostly been due to walks, and throwing strikes is often the last thing to come around for young pitching prospects. Hold on to him, either until hi trade value comes back around or until he starts producing for your team.

Danya (Portland ): Starlin Castro has been a disappointment and Jhonny Peralta comes off waivers overnight. Is Peralta a better bet ROS? And if so would you use a #3 waiver priority on him in a 14 team points league?

Scooter Hotz: Castro has more upside, but he also has more downside. Peralta is safer.the 50th percentile projection for each is about the same. Go with the one that matches your risk tolerance best. If it's a keeper league, lean towards Castro since he's younger and has a less Miggy-ish body type.

Jeb (IC): What are your thoughts on Austin Meadows and Josh Bell and their future upsides?

Scooter Hotz: I like both of them a lot, although I went to a BP event a couple of years ago in NY where Jason Parks wasn't that big on Meadows' future potential. I think most of those concerns have been wiped away by what Meadows has done this year, though. I like the slow burn of Bell's ascent through the minors. I think he might struggle a little initially in the majors, but he should be pretty good in the medium- and long-term.

While I'm at it, here's a link to a Washington Post article that prominently features a guy named Josh Bell. It's by Gene Weingarten and it won a Pulitzer a few years ago:


J (LA): What can we realistically expect for Yasiel Puig for this year and beyond? The talent is clearly there so is it just a matter of health?

Scooter Hotz: I honestly don't know what his talent level is any more. He hasn't produced big numbers since 2014, so it's hard to tell which Puig is the real one and which is the outlier. He's maddening. And the health concerns are real - the frequent muscle strains remind me a lot of Rondell White, who had a few decent seasons but is mostly remembered as a gy who never reached the heights that his tools suggested he would.

Jake Cutter (Sweetwater, TX): Bought a share of Michael Lorenzen recently in a deep league. What odds would you put on him becoming the Reds closer?

Scooter Hotz: Betting on anyone in the Reds bullpen is a good way to drive yourself crazy. Pick a number from 1 to 6, then roll a six-sided dice. If that number comes up, write that number and Lorenzen's name on a piece of paper, wrap it around the dice, and set it on fire. Then go after someone in any other bullpen. Steer clear of Cincinnati's relief core until a clear closer emerges, which might mean waiting until 2017.

Mason (Texas): First time to this chat, where do you have Austin Meadows in your top prospects rankings going forward?

Scooter Hotz: Higher than I had him going into this season, and I had him ranked at # 23 overall going into this season. Don't worry about the Pirates' outfielders at the major league level and bet on the talent.

Donny (Alaska): Is this version of Leonys Martin legit?

Scooter Hotz: Yes, it's legit. He's still an injury risk, but none of his peripherals suggest that his success is due to an unsustainable run of good luck. Plus, he's right at his physical peak in terms of the traditional aging curve (he's 28), so it's not that unusual to see him reach the ceiling that folks predicted when he was still a prospect.

Big Jake (McCandles, TX): Will any of the following high K, high heartburn for their owner starters figure it out and finish strong? Nathan Karns, Nathan Eovaldi, Wei-Yen Chen, and Archie Bradley

Scooter Hotz: Bradley is the best bet due to his young age - he could still figure a thing or two out and take a big step forward. He's also the biggest risk from this group. Eovaldi is frustrating since the premium velocity is there but the results rarely match the radar gun readings. Not sure why you included Chen as a high-K guy since he's posted a sub-8 K/9 every season since he came to the US.

Joey (Michigan): How would you order these OF prospects in a shallow dynasty league, and are they all basically the same tier? David Dahl, Austin Meadows, Andrew Benintendi, Victor Robles... Thanks.

Scooter Hotz: Excellent looking group. I like your suggestion that they're all in the same tier. Meadows is the only one to reach AAA so far but he probably has the least upside of the group. Robles is the youngest of the group and the only one who hasn't reached the high minors yet but he probably has the most upside (and the highest likelihood of flaming out and never reaching the majors).

J.T. Chance (Rio Bravo): Tommy Joseph has cooled considerably lately. Does he have the chops to make as 1B in the majors? What do you see production wise ROS and in 2017?

Scooter Hotz: Not a big fan of Tommy Joseph' chances to be a top-10 guy in fantasy at 1B at any point. His approach leaves a lot to be desired, and once MLB pitchers figure that out, he'll struggle. It looks like that's already happening. He's going to have to make a big adjustment to his approach to hit enough to stick at 1B long term. Most players who need to make that dramatic a change to their approach can't actually do it. I'm rooting for him, though - I'm a Phillies fan and I live in South Philly.

Alex (Austin): Assuming Cody Reed stays up for the rest of the season, what do you think of him as a fantasy starter?

Scooter Hotz: I like him. I gave a longer answer about Cody Reed above - scroll up or do a FIND to check it out.

Jeff (Chicago): Lourdes Gourriel Jr's potential?

Scooter Hotz: No idea, since nobody has sen him play anywhere stateside. By all accounts, he'll be a top-5 prospect the second he signs, so that's a good starting point. Beyond that, I'm not big on WAGs.

Richie (Cleveland): Obligatory Byron Buxton chat question: Still at least a future role 7 in your books?

Scooter Hotz: Yes, I think he'll figure out an approach that works at the major league level. Although, never underestimate the Twins' ability to ruin a can't-miss prospect.

Rawnie (Boston): Who are the 5 best players in A ball not named Victor or Yoan (since he's called up anyways)?

Scooter Hotz: Rafael Devers, Gleyber Torres, Ian Happ, Bobby Bradley, Cornelius Randolph (obligatory homer pick)

Zack (NY): Amed Rosario - a top fantasy stud?

Scooter Hotz: I don't know if he'll ever be a top fantasy stud since that's a very high bar to clear, but he's showing real progress and looking very good so far this year. If I had him as a minor leaguer on a roto team, I'd be happy.

Bob (Northern Hemisphere ): Do you have any short season or summer league players your keeping an eye on this year for dynasty purposes?

Scooter Hotz: Mostly just the guys who were drafted earlier this month. As a Phillies fan, I'll be paying extra attention to Mickey Moniak, but I probably would have done that anyway since his profile is so unusual for a 1.1 pick.

Tom (DC): How good is Lourdes Gurriel, Jr? Whats his potential?

Scooter Hotz: (check out my answer from a few minutes ago to a different user)

Rob (Chicago): Next BIG prospect nobody is talking about?

Scooter Hotz: Carson Fulmer, since his numbers this year stink? Ian Happ, since anything short of reaching the majors the year after being drafted is a disappointment for a college hitter drafted by the Cubs thanks to Kyle Schwarber?

Todd (Ohio): Is there a prospect that your colleagues are particularly high on but you are not?

Scooter Hotz: Good question. I'm not nearly as high on Joey Gallo as everyone else. Usually it's good to take that as an indication that I'm wrong rather than an indication that everyone else is wrong and I'm right, but something about his profile makes me think he'll never put it all together as a hitter.

Gallo has a huge arm, apparently, so if I'm right and the hitting thing doesn't work out, maybe he could go the Kenley Jansen / Sean Doolittle route and become a premium closer.

fawkesmulder (Zzyzx): Is Josh Staumont a bullpen arm or does he have a chance of starting?

Scooter Hotz: Given his ludicrously high walk rate this year, my guess would be bullpen with a decent chance of never-makes-it-to-the-majors.

Kenji Johjima (seattle): would you trade Jason Heyward for Derek Fisher and Khris Davis in dynasty?

Scooter Hotz: No. Not a huge fan of Khris Davis for 2017 and beyond.

Tim (San Diego): Is Michael Gettys giving us reason to believe long term, or is there still a lot of reason for skepticism?

Scooter Hotz: There's plenty to like with Gettys. The main reasons for skepticism would be: (1) he has a lot of steals this year, but he's also been caught stealing quite a bit, and (2) his OBP is being propped up by a lot of HBPs, which might not be sustainable if he starts getting out of the way or if those HBPs take their toll and either put him on the DL or keep him banged up enough to prevent him from performing up to his capacity.

Cole Thornton (El Dorado): Josh Hader... What are you thoughts on him, does he start 2017 in the rotation and what kind of numbers do you see? Lover or Hader on Josh? ;)

Scooter Hotz: I didn't think much of Hader coming into this season but his performance and some touting by a friend of mine from a home league has turned me around. I think there's a decent chance he makes at least one start for the Brewers in the majors this season, and he should be in the mix for a rotation spot coming out of spring training next year unless the Brewers decide to limit his service time. He could be a decent # 3 starter option in roto next year if he's up with his K rate and his decent control, but Miller Park could make his ERA look subpar.

FYI, I'm probably going to end this in about 5 minutes, around when the US-Argentina soccer match mercifully ends.

Justin (Iowa): What do you think of Ke'Bryan Hayes and Kevin Newman?

Scooter Hotz: I like Kevin Newman a lot. He could be a 4-category producer at a premium position. As for Ke'Bryan Hayes, the fact that he's not getting dominated at low-A at age 19 speaks well for him. Beyond that, he's a long way from the majors and there's a lot that could go right, wrong, or sideways over the next few years.

Jim (Kansas): Deep league, MI woes. Is Carlos Asuaje worth a stash?

Scooter Hotz: Maybe? His numbers this year are great and in line with his numbers from 2014, but his 2015 numbers were not encouraging. I don't know whether the real Asuaje is the 2015 version, the 2016 version, or where in the middle the truth lies.

Cole Thornton (El Dorado): What's up with Dalton Pompey? Was surprised with all the injuries the Jays OF has had, he hasn't been made an appearance. Know he was dinged earlier in year, but why did he get passed over when Joey Bats went down? Thanks

Scooter Hotz: Not really sure. My guess is that it has something to do with the fact that Pompey hasn't been off the DL too long himself. The Blue Jays might also think that maybe they rushed him last year, making them want to let his development dictate his promotion schedule rather than injuries at the big league level. Lastly, Pompey's bat doesn't profile too well in a corner OF spot, but compared to Ezequiel Carrera, that argument doesn't hold a lot of water.

Scooter Hotz: OK, that's all for tonight. Just noticed that I hit the three hour mark. Way to go, me. Thanks for the great questions. I had a great time chatting and I hope you did, too.

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