Wilson is a member of both our prospect and fantasy teams, and a true late night chat enthusiast.
Wilson Karaman: "History is-a made at night. Character is what you are in the dark!"
Tonight we talk about ball, with a sweet Jamaican soundtrack. Dropping from the top, a big tune from the man they called Don Drummond. Rare, non-Studio One, one-take session for WIRL, and off we go with a Reburial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyxzoSqOwxM
Infrancoeurgible (New Jersey ): Seeing certain players in this draft dropping due to the nebulous makeup concerns, I have a scenario:
A potential top-3 draft talent has a mental illness and he is debating disclosing it to teams scouting him because it can affect his play. Twofold question a) if you're his agent and you know how certain teams operate, do you advise him against disclosing it and b) if said player does disclose it, how many teams will be scared off by this admission?
Wilson Karaman: Right into things, damn. In general re: makeup, scouting departments have much, much more insight into this stuff than we the people do. Far as your specific question, it's tricky, and it gets into some of the grey area between personal/private and proprietary to team that Rian Watt examined in an excellent piece recently (linked below). If I'm his agent my sole job is to get as much money and stability for my client as possible, so I would advise him according to which scenario would likely net more. And I have no idea re: part 2. I'd like to think we've reached a point where mental illness wouldn't be a make-or-break issue, provided a proper course of treatment and maintenance is available, but I really can't say how that kind of scenario plays out evaluation-wise on a team-by-team basis.
nkunke1 (BR): Chris Paddack now has 31K against 2BB in 18.1 innings so far this year. I know the changeup is his calling card, but have you heard anything on his fastball and slider? Seems to be fairly projectable based on his frame, but haven't been able to find much re: his velo, etc.
How would he compare to Mike Soroka? Its obviously early, but do you see either of them as quick risers? What're the ceilings there?
Wilson Karaman: Have a couple very good reports courtesy of our Sally guys on the prospect team: big strong kid has been 90-94 with the fastball, up from 88-91 when he was drafted, excellent change as you note, more room to fill out a prototypical frame. The curve is lagging still, apparently, but the tools are there between size and a solid 1-2 for a similar mid-rotation ceiling to Soroka.
Chesty (New Bern,NC): Wilson thanks for the help.Old guys are ready.
1) Jose Reyes should be close.With Story striking out with the league leaders is Reyes worth an add
2) Tim Linceum is also ready is he worth a roster spot .I have room for both and need some help.Injuries have hurt my roster.
Wilson Karaman: Thanks for hanging out! Both of these questions depend to a big degree on league size/depth, but I'd err to the bearish side with Reyes. The Rockies really have no incentive to prioritize playing him at the expense of big league reps for Story, outside of maaaaybe short-term to show he's healthy and at game speed so they can sell him off for a bag of balls (if anyone'd even pay that for him). Lincecum in that park is decent speculation for deep leagues as a potential matchup play, but again, deeper the better if you're thinking of investing any FAAB on him.
Justin (Iowa): Meadows is absolutely killing Double-A ball. What is his ceiling? I'm kinda hoping the Pirates trade McCutchen in a year or so and bring Meadows up.
Wilson Karaman: Always been a fan of Meadows, he has a very solid across-the-board skill set that I think can and will translate well at the highest level. Let's not get ahead of ourselves re: trading the former MVP and franchise cornerstone, though. Cutch's no-doubt option means he's locked in affordably through 2018, so unless Pittsburgh craters it makes little sense to be kicking him out of town for prospects and handing the CF job over to a rookie, no matter how good a prospect he is.
Mmmmm, Ken Boothe time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQXziJq0h00
John (Indiana): What are your thoughts on Taillon and Glasnow? How good could both be?
Wilson Karaman: They're both very good pitching prospects. I like Taillon nominally better, as 90% of the time I'll side with the better command projection. Both Adam Hayes & Grant Jones gave him two 7 pitches after viewings last month (Eyewitness links below). Both can offer stellar, cost-controlled production in the Pittsburgh rotation for the next half-dozen years, and either could potentially lead it. Not too shabby, Pirate Player Development staff.
BC (Urbandale): Do you think Schwarber could be on Babe Ruth's level? Almora like a Ricky Henderson type? Pierce Johnson like a Greg Maddux. I really like these comps.
Wilson Karaman: Sure, why not. Year a the Cubs, baby.
Dalty (Texan): What did you think of the Indians draft?
Wilson Karaman: Tight, man. It was tight. Benson may have been a bit of a reach, but I liked Jones at 55, and they should be able to balance the scales and sign both. Ice at 72 was solid value, and I dig the pair of UCSB guys they grabbed - reports on Bieber and Calica below, the latter saw his stock fall this spring, but man I think he's a solid player. Ben Baird in the 20th was an interesting gamble too. Doubtful they can pay him enough, but he was one of the better SoCal infielders this spring.
Dan (nyc): Thoughts on Amed Rosario's potential?
Wilson Karaman: I just wrote about him in the MLU the other day, he's one of the best SS prospects in baseball at this point. The bat has really shown impressive progress in one of the worst offensive leagues in the minors, and the defensive projection hasn't changed from being very good.
Craig (Philly): #1 Pick in the 2018 draft?
Wilson Karaman: I dunno, David Ortiz's kid eligible yet? I'm gonna say David Ortiz's kid. Speaking of David Ortiz, join me in the post-game suite later, won't you?
Eric (Florida): This summer's Victor Robles?
Wilson Karaman: Too early to say really, short-season ball hasn't even started yet. Odds are a couple of former J2 guys'll start lighting it up in the GCL and/or out in Arizona, and the reports'll match the production, and then poof, he'll appear in our hearts like he was never not there.
JR (DC): What do you know about Mark Vientos? Potential Stud?
Wilson Karaman: Man, he just finished his junior year of high school AND he's young for the class! All the limited info I have on him is that he's on the short list of 2017 prep bats heading into showcase season, but I feel kinda dirty even talking about him already.
Mmm, too much deep dark future talk, I Can't Stand It (no no no nooo no):
Gary (Indiana): When does Joe Jimenez come up; do you foresee him having the stuff to continue to be productive?
Wilson Karaman: Could easily be a stretch run guy, what he's done this year is supported by steady stuff in line with his pre-season grades (80 FB/60 SL).
ROSS (TORONTO): what can we expect from Daniel Mengden ROS
Wilson Karaman: Honestly never been the highest guy on him and was surprised by his outburst in the high minors earlier this year. At least when I saw him last year he presented as a sum-of-his-parts guy, with no real knockout pitches and better control than fine command projection. He's got a deep arsenal though, and seems like he may have figured out a couple more things about how to use it over the past year. Wouldn't get too crazy with expectations, but the A's seem to get the most out of similarly-profiled guys, and I wouldn't be shocked if he can stick in the rotation for a good bit with something approaching league-average performance.
Dave (PA): Dylan Cozens has had a breakout year in the Phillies org. How much are you buying into what he's doing?
Wilson Karaman: Bunch of Cozens questions in the queue. Adam Hayes wrote him up recently, was not optimistic that quite enough of his ++ raw ends up playing at the big league level to facilitate a starting gig down the line. From what I've seen on video the swing looks long and a little mechanical. I haven't heard great things about his glove work, from Adam and others, so the bat will really have to max out to carry the profile.
Tyler Wilson (Vancouver): Which of the top draft prospects would rank in your top 100 prospects? where would they slot in?
Wilson Karaman: I'll use this question as an opportunity to not answer this question. Please donate to my political campaign. Instead I'll pivot to teases out our upcoming coverage over the next month, in which we'll roll out a Mid-Season Top 50 that does NOT include recent draftees but WILL come with plenty of auxiliary coverage talking about who might fit in where come the next BP101.
Anyway, let's listen to some Derrick Harriott now and pretend I answered your question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETaFuTS2nxc
RDBL2014 (Concord, CA): Thoughts on Francisco Mejia? Future starting C in the mlb? Seems to be taking a major step forward this year.
Wilson Karaman: Yeah Mejia seems to be taking the kinds of steps forward with the bat that scouts have been anticipating for a couple years now. The trajectory is always a little slower for catchers, but the ingredients of a future starting backstop are here, it'll just be a while still before he gets there (he is, after all, still in A ball).
smelmoth (Falmouth): You a Will Craig guy? Should the Pirates be excited?
Wilson Karaman: I am an unabashed Will Craig guy. I caught him for a couple games on the Cape lat summer, and despite his overall meh numbers I thought he looked outstanding at the dish. Puts together quality at-bats, has enough bat speed and strength to be an above-average power hitter with strong on-base abilities. I can't see him sticking at third, for he is a large man, but the bat's lovely. Here he is putting together an epic battle against fellow 1st rounder Eric Lauer last summer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN0Q53Dx_00
Chesty (New Bern,NC): 12 team one yr.league.5x5 trade.
C.Maybin and M.Estrada for T.Story .Which side do you favor.
Wilson Karaman: Re-draft? Lemme gamble on Maybin's health over Story's second-time-through adjustments (or struggles there with). I like Estrada just fine as a back-end guy with occasional flashes of more in that league depth too.
Doug (Miami): Sonny Gray or Lucas Giolito in dynasty format? How close is it?
Wilson Karaman: I'd want Giolito. He's been tinkering with his delivery this spring, but don't let the *just ok* numbers fool you. It's not a blowout, and Gray's appears to be actively trying to adjust away from his four-seam and change over his past couple starts. That might work, it might not.
Early John Holt and one of my favorite riddims. Yes, have some.
Chatwick (Roll Tide): Is Matz, Dom Smith and cecchini enough to start an arenado trade?
Wilson Karaman: Nope.
George (Ny ): Is conforto the real deal? What's up with this slump?
Wilson Karaman: Yes, he's real. What's up is baseba'l being hard and sophomore adjustments being some of the most difficult ones for a young hitter to make. He'll be fine, like the bat a lot.
Lame Guy With Early Bedtime (East Coast): Aw, man, 11 *P*.m.? Why don't I live on the West Coast instead?
Wilson Karaman: There's nothing lame about going to bed early. I don't personally do it, but my wife reports generally solid returns on investment. As for why you don't live on the West Coast, we all make mistakes.
misterbob (pa): Espinosa has had a little spurt lately but he is what he is, a .225 hitting bench guy with a little pop-----so do you think this hurts Trae Turners ETA in any way or should it? I expected him to stay up after they called him up a few weeks ago but they obviously had other ideas-----the kid's a potential .290 50 SB stud IMO----what are your thoughts?
Wilson Karaman: I'm really not quite sure what to make of the Nats and Turner right now, other than that the Nats are winning games as-is and Dusty's never been a rock the boat/trust the youth guy, so perhaps that's playing a role. Regardless, from a fan of the game standpoint I'd like to see Turner up and playing regularly as quickly as possible. I'd say that's probably the 105th percentile for him, but the fact that I'm not laughing at the suggestion speaks to the skill set, yeah.
Leonard (None of Your Business): Could you tell us what should we think about the performance of Cody Reed so far this season? (I refer to the Arizona one) Is his performance something we should be paying attention to as legitimate or is it more smoke & mirrors?
Wilson Karaman: We just did our re-draft of the 2014 Draft, which will go up on site soon (Spoiler Alert!), and I grabbed Reed with the 14th overall pick. I've always been a fan, as he checks all the boxes I tend to fall in love with: left-handed, some funk in the delivery, lower arm slot, advanced pitchability, deep and complimentary arsenal. I'm more bullish than most I'd think, but I dig the package. Now that he's at Visalia I should catch him at Lancaster the first week of July, Baseball Gods permitting.
David (Atlantis): Hey Wilson. As a member of a prospect team is there a specific type of player you seem to be more inclined to? Some former members have been more inclined towards Dominican hitters & some others with pitchers with good change ups.
Wilson Karaman: Lanky lefties with changeups hit close to home and always come with a half great of extra OFP projection from me built in. I like fat guys and hitters that manage to succeed on brute strength alone and/or defy conventional assumptions of physics with their movements. And my heart strings are generally vulnerable to giving the benefit of the doubt projection-wise to guys who play the game with rhythm and balance.
Alexei (At Work): Jacob Nottingham has started to hit as of late in AA. What should we be looking for out of his development this year & how does he compare with the other catcher prospects in your opinion?
Wilson Karaman: Heard some solid things about recent adjustments with the bat that've born out in his production, so all appears to be progressing there. Growth with the glove is the big thing, and those reports have been less impressive. I liked the raw materials I saw for him to develop into an average glove back there - big body he controlled reasonably well, if stiffly (is that a word? Let's agree that's a word). I'm still of the opinion that he'll be competent enough back there that if his bat gets to where it can he'll stick.
Haven't run any tunes from the sisters yet, my b. Speak, Sista Nancy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHFhPleh3tY
Juan Pablo (Yanus): Who are your top 10 fantasy prospects (in order) for this year's rookie class?
Wilson Karaman: I dunno if I got a Top 10 in me, but Bret'll have a Top 50 for you directly. Corey Ray's my top guy from the class. Lewis, Collins, Benson, Craig, Rutherford...Brett Cumberland's a dude whose swing I liked a LOT this spring. Peter Alonso from Florida can mash, and it wouldn't be an answer to a general question about fantasy prospects if I didn't mention at least one college first baseman.
Jerry (Earth): Care to provide any thoughts on the seasons of Derek Fisher & Ryan McMahon so far in AA? Is it crazy to say/hope of a role 6 ceiling for each?
Wilson Karaman: I wrote up both guys last year and liked both guys last year - put a 6 on McMahon, 55 on Fisher. Based on what I've heard this year I'm not sure I'd change either.
Igor (A Bar): Trying to decide who I should be ranking higher between these outfielders for fantasy in a dynasty league. Tyler O'Neil or Dylan Cozens? Any input?
Wilson Karaman: I'd have O'Neill ahead of Cozens, though they are similar profiles. O'Neill's really found a way to tap into his strength consistently, and I liked his approach a bit more last year than what I've heard of Cozens.
Man, I was really feelin' that Sista Nancy cut. Let's run another one, yeah? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zq7thrN348c
misterbob (pa): In your eyes is Moniak worthy of being the #1 pick and do you have a possible MLB comp for him?
Also, what are your thoughts on their second pick K. Gowdy? Thx.
Wilson Karaman: Moniak was one of the best players in this draft class, so I have no beef with Philly snagging him there. I think it speaks somewhat to the strength of this draft class being its width rather than its height, but he can be a very, very good player. And Gowdy was one of the more advanced prep arms in SoCal, didn't have a problem with that pick either.
Proswagonist (Liberl): Who do you prefer defensively at short, Correa or Bregman?
Wilson Karaman: I'm probably going to take a bunch of flak for this, but I might lean Bregman. They get to their value there in different ways, but I just think Bregman's max-out style ultimately plays a notch better in the field. On pure physical tools I'd give the edge to Correa, but for utility Bregman by a nose. They're both in the solid-average to marginally above range for me.
Proswagonist (Liberl): What OFP you droppin' on Rogelio Armenteros?
Wilson Karaman: 55! Seen him thrice this year, one of the most enjoyable arms in the Cal this year. Three potentially above-average pitches, mixes the hell out of 'em, adds and subtracts, manipulates his secondaries. He's a kitchen sinker. He's a wider range guy, as he's shown three different velo bands for his heater in the three starts, and I set the realistic at 45. It's a starter's arsenal though, and I think he'll pitch in that role in the big leagues. I should have mentioned Cuban deep arsenal guys in my "favorite type of prospect" answer, that was a fail.
madjockmcferson (Norton, MA): Hi Wilson,
I'm in a 15 team dynasty, with a 30 man MLB rosters and 20 MiLB roster.
4 guys in it are competing, with everyone else a year or more away from seriously competing. I have a great pitching staff but not much hitting...and its ageing.
The league is very age adverse...there is very little trading for anyone over 30. I have David Prpice who will be 32/33 when im contending.
I'm thinking of trading him for Tellez / gilbert lara / nick williams.
Tellez but especially Lara seem to be very well regarded with high ceilings. What do you think of those guys?
Wilson Karaman: That's an okay return, but I'd want a third piece with Williams/Tellez that's on a quicker timeline than Lara. Young Gilbert may turn into a top 30 guy...6 years from now. I ain't got time for that.
Tell 'em Charlie! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Le3WfkG7Imw
Matt (B Town): Anderson Espinoza - #1 pitching prospect next year?
Wilson Karaman: Probably not, no. I wouldn't be surprised if he's on a short list, though. Taking the occasional lump right now in full-season ball, and that's the best thing for him.
Josh Hader (Colorado Springs): Really enjoyed the step up in competition the other night in AAA. Do you see another jump coming for me in the near future? And speaking of my future, what kind of ceiling do you think I have? There still seem to be a lot of doubters out there.
Wilson Karaman: I've already noted that I'm helpless in being objective about a guy like Hader, but kidding aside I do really, really like him. Loved his approach when I saw him in the Cal two years ago, where he just came right at guys with his heater, worked to all quadrants, trusted his off-speed stuff, finished his pitches...it was an advanced ability to pitch, even then, and he's only gotten stronger and more confident since. It's an unorthodox delivery and he's not large, so he's always going to have his proving to do. I think he can be a solid starting pitcher in the big leagues, though.
Jojo (Sd ): Why do you hate Raimel Tapia? I imagine a BP staff meet up with everyone gushing over Mucho Swagger Papi and you in a corner scowling disapproval.
Wilson Karaman: Man, I dunno where this rumor started, I put a 55 OFP on the guy last year. He was then and remains now a very wide-outcome guy, however, and I hedged with a 45 realistic. Outside of uncanny natural bat-to-ball he was hella raw in all other facets of the game at Modesto, and he remained that way with little observable progress for most of the summer. And actually, Adam Hayes wrote him up as a 50 recently, so I'm not even the corner scowler around here anymore!
Ryan (NY): Now that Carlos "Wild Thing" Estevez is closing, do you think he can be the rockies closer of the future?
Wilson Karaman: I liked Estevez when I saw him last year, certainly had the heater and the mound presence to pull it off. Effectively wild guys are still be definition effective, after all.
smelmoth (Falmouth): Highest upside HS arms after Groome from this draft?
Also, please use this platform to spread the gospel of Justin Hinds.
Wilson Karaman: Braxton Garrett, Matt Manning, Forrest Whitley, and Riley Pint in some order. I guess Anderson's in that conversation too?
And your wish is my command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuGWhe7hHCE
Dave (CA): Willie Calhoun is having a pretty impressive offensive season as one of the youngest players in the Texas League. What's your assessment of his future?
Wilson Karaman: Yeah, took him a hot minute to adjust to the level, but he's really ripped the ball of late. Not remotely surprised, I loved his bat last year. He was a mess defensively last summer at Rancho, though, and as of the latest report I heard a few weeks ago there's been progress but not a ton. Still unclear if he can stick on the dirt, but if he can there's a bat-first starting profile.
"Notes" from last August: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=27320
Kyle (TX): Do you think David Paulino is destined for the pen or can he stick as a starter long-term?
Wilson Karaman: That dude was some kind of impressive last summer, and he's been even better this year. He repeated his delivery shockingly well for a guy of his length and recency from TJ when I saw him, and the plane from his high-three arm slot was borderline illegal. Showed a nascent three-pitch mix and really easily velo that got on guys in a hurry. I think he can start.
Illiguy (Chicago): You're building a team. Kris Bryant or Corey Seager for next 7 years, knowing that Seager will ultimately move to 3B and Bryant can play a few spots (LF and 1B in addition to 3B).
Wilson Karaman: Are we still convinced Seager has to move off the 6-spot in the next half-dozen years? I'm not so sure I am. FRAA doesn't love him, but he's okay by some other metrics and by the eye test he's more agile and confident in his reads than he was when I saw him as a wee pup in High-A. I go with Seager and keep him there 'til he really forces the issue.
Klay (MO): Why is a lower arm slot appealing to you?
Wilson Karaman: Cuz they funky https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeZ-gSrtxDc
Jason (Fort Worth): Read the write up on Yeyson in the Monday Morning Pack. What do you think his upside is if everything works out for him, Miguel Tejeda ceiling?
Wilson Karaman: I mean...Miguel Tejada won an MVP and hit over 300 big league homeruns, that's a touch aggressive for my taste. It's an intriguing skill set, and I agree with Jarrett's note on the Rangers' handling reflecting strong belief in his makeup and maturity, which is a great sign for a raw player.
adam hayes (allentown, pa): hey buddy,
just thought i'd pass along that i saw austin meadows over the weekend and he'll be at the top of my eastern league pref list that i submit at the end of this week.
also, i really like cozens and his power. he's a guy that i kinda hope makes me look bad for being low on him.
enjoy the rest of your chat!
Wilson Karaman: From the horses's mouth re: Cozens. Cheers, sir!
Eric (CA): Manny Margot is having a pretty solid season in AAA. Is he someone to get excited about at all for fantasy purposes or is he one of those guys who will be more valuable in real life?
Wilson Karaman: He's definitely a player with more real life than fantasy value, as the glove in center is going to be a centerpiece of his value. But he's nothing to sneeze at from a fantasy perspective either - we had him as the 31st-bet fantasy prospect pre-season, after all, and he hasn't really done anything to diminish that projection with his solid play at AAA. He's not going to carry your outfield, but he can give you something like Good Denard Span production. Especially in points leagues that'll do just fine.
Tom (Houston): In the MLU today, Chris Crawford wrote "There’s a chance we expected too much from Reed." Are you down at all on A.J Reed?
Wilson Karaman: I'm not sure that's necessarily warranted, though to be fair a dude coming off a .340/.432/.612 is bound to generate outsized expectations. He's one of the youngest hitters in the PCL and he's posted an above-average line with some power. I don't think that's cause for concern in and of itself at all. Triple-A pitching isn't something young hitters are supposed to adjust to without issue, as the leagues are populated by an army of Eddie Harris's (Harri?). Reed's a smart hitter who made really impressive adjustments last summer after a slow start, I expect him to again until he shows himself incapable of doing so.
Angry Carl (Wisconsin): Order for 6x6 (QS) dynasty Berrios Glasnow Taillon and A Reyes?
Wilson Karaman: Gimme Reyes, Taillon, Berrios, Glasnow.
And Gimme Your Love: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnfCZaUtlE0
Choppy (around): Danny Duffy looks great now that he's pitching exclusively from the stretch. Most of that success has come vs the White Sox though. How you feel about him moving forward? Can he be a 2/3 or is it too soon to think that? Thanks for the chat.
Wilson Karaman: Seems to be pitch mix-related just as much, as he's moved drastically away from the 4-seam in favor of more sinkers, and both secondaries are really playing up well off of it. To early to tell if that holds, and 2/3 seems aggressive even in a best-case scenario, though the lack of walks against offenses that take free passes at decent clips is a good sign.
fightingmoose (Manitoba, Canada): If Moncada doesn't stick at second base (Pedroia locked in right now), where is your best guess as to where he ends up on the field? Join an already crowded outfield? Third base?
Wilson Karaman: It could be one of the more interesting conundrums a big league team'll face when he's ready, though we're still a ways away from that. David Lee put a 6 on his arm last year, and the speed is impact style. CF maybe an option? The physicality suggests potential to try in a bunch of different places, including possibly third.
andrew (Rochester ): How much power does Bregman really have? Also, do you think Houston would be best off defensively by moving Correa to 3b and letting Bregman play SS (when he's ready)?
Wilson Karaman: I put a 5 raw with full utility on it last year, and ultimately I think that's probably still the range? He's shown increasing ability and willingness to turn on the ball and leverage himself against stuff on the inner third this year though, so I very well could've under-sold the tool by a half grade. He's a really good, really smart hitter, and he attacks the baseball with intent, nothing would really surprise me.
Wilson Karaman: Alas, mis hermanos y hermanas, we're coming up on 2 1/2 hours into the fray, and I'm just about tapped out for today. Huge queue remaining, which I'm sorry to leave chillin'. Next time, seen? Thanks for ridin' in style with me tonight, Grant Jones'll pick up my slack with another evening chat on Wednesday at 8 EST. Play us out, Bob... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzxhZ25ILd8