Nick is a news writer for Baseball Prospectus. He has many interests, including big game hunting, windsurfing and debating the historical significance of Emily Dickinson. Ask him about baseball or one of those other things that he definitely does.
Nicolas Stellini: Hello, everyone! We'll start in a few minutes. Feel free to submit questions (Trade deadline! Playoff push!) about stuff as we go along.
Steve (Philly): Several part question: When you are out there windsurfing and perhaps the Dickinson quote "How strange that nature does not knock, and yet does not intrude" pops into your head, do you ever consider adding a harpoon to your board to go big-game hunting on the ocean? Do you think you could kill a dolphin? A marlin? Will Jose Fernandez get traded before his contract runs out in Miami?
Nicolas Stellini: 1. Yes, all the time.
2. No, they don't screw around. Dolphins will mess you up, man.
3. Well it's the Marlins, so it's never off the table entirely. However, if the strides that the team has made this year are real, it's possible that they maintain a presence in the division for years to come. Or they sell everyone off. One of the two.
Mike (NYC): Do you think Sano gets to 40 HR? Will he lead the AL in HR soon?
Nicolas Stellini: He's certainly got the pop in his bat to do it. It's only a matter of him making enough contact (which he should be able to do).
Sean (NJ): From your perspective, what's the absolute best return the Yankees can get in a trade for either Miller or Chapman? Obviously SP and OF depth are two of their bigger needs right now.
Nicolas Stellini: There's been talk recently of the Yankees telling the Cubs that they'd want Kyle Schwarber in exchange for Miller. That would certainly be nice. However, the Indians represent the most logical landing spot for me. They desperately need a lefty presence in their bullpen, and Chapman would sort of automatically be the closer and not have the flexibility that Miller offers them. Yanks have also been scouting their system of late, per reports. Regardless, they'd want top-flight young talent in a trade for either of those arms.
Briane (Tarth): Whats your take on Dom Smith? Scouts seem to be pretty split
Nicolas Stellini: I adhere to the Jeff school of thought here. The body is soft, the swing is too flat. Power has shown up a bit more this year but let me see him face some real pitching.
This is also a good time to put out my usual blanket "I'm not a scout/talent evaluator" disclaimer. So, a few grains of salt and all that.
T-Bone (Odenton, MD): Do you see Nats trading Gio Gonzalez to a team that needs starting pitching?? He could be an upgrade to teams like, let's say, the Orioles
Nicolas Stellini: Maybe? The Nats would need to be assured that they can plug someone like Giolito into the rotation for the duration of the stretch. But even then, Gio hasn't exactly been great this year, and while a team could hope for a post-trade rebound, I wouldn't be too keen to make that move. Also, Gio's giving up more homers this year, so a move to Camden Yards wouldn't exactly be good for him.
Travis (Temecula): Are you TeamTaylor or TeamKimye?
Nicolas Stellini: I'm TeamTrout, personally.
John (chico): How good can Lourdes Gourriel Jr. be?
Nicolas Stellini: He's supposedly got quite a bit of natural talent, perhaps even more than his older brother Yulieski. I've never seen him in person, of course, but there's reason to believe that Lourdes could be a top-tier talent in the show. Maybe.
D (Fresno): Yoan Moncada are you bullish? Wondering what I can expect if acquiring in a fantasy league for the next 3-4 years. Will he hit higher than .220? 15 HR/30SB? Or is there more there?
Nicolas Stellini: I'd be really surprised if he only hit .220. That swing is absolutely gorgeous. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that he's the next Robinson Cano (prospects will break your heart and all that), but he's really good.
BC (Urbandale): Do the Cubs get any sort of deal made for bullpen help? Weather its big or small? Whats it going to take to land Chapman/Miller?
Nicolas Stellini: They'll likely do something in that department. Addressed Miller above, but there's more out there than just those two guys. The back end of that bullpen is fairly solid, so they could get away with something from the Brandon Kintzler/Ryan Madson/Daniel Hudson group.
daffyworld (sanjose): austin hedges- your thoughts on his video games numbers in AAA?
if he had 8 less at bats in majors last year (he had 137 and buxton had 129) he would still be considered a prospect. if that was the case where would you ranks him among the other catcher prospects?
he's still only 23
Nicolas Stellini: I haven't seen Hedges in person but it's fun to see him put up these kinds of numbers (holy .759 slugging percentage, Batman!). So yeah, maybe something's clicked for him. Buuuut, this is the PCL we're talking about here. We've seen guys go ballistic in the PCL and then fall flat in the majors loads of times. I'm more inclined to believe that the formerly no-bat prospect is having a fun little 175 PA burst of insanity. But hey, you never know.
Hunter (NY ): Whats your take on this Amed Rosario craze? What kind of big-leaguer do you see him becoming?
Nicolas Stellini: He's good! The insane numbers at Double-A should come down soon (he's only 82 PAs into the level after all) but if it all clicks, he's a solid top-of-the-order guy with good defense up the middle. Probably a bit more valuable in real life than in your fantasy league, but we'll see.
PGHPadre (Pittsburgh): Is it about time to yell "Free Christian Bethancourt?"
Nicolas Stellini: If by free him you mean put him in the bullpen, then hell yes. If you mean his suddenly useful bat, I would remind you that this is a 113 PA sample.
Sean (NJ): Who would win in a bike race, Peter Sagan, Mark Cavendish, or Jacoby Ellsbury?
Nicolas Stellini: Ozzie Smith
Jack (Sacramento): How can there be so little trade interest in Danny Valencia? Even if his glove is terrible, he's still hitting .304/.354/.490!
Nicolas Stellini: I'm not sure that interest in him has suddenly evaporated, and we'll probably see him get moved before all is said and done. I was sure that the Mets would go for him before they brought back Reyes. He'll find a new home.
cracker73 (Ohio): Phil's prospects,Cozens and Hoskins, are destroying the Eastern League but get no love from prospect experts. Why is that?
Nicolas Stellini: I've seen them get plenty of notice on Phillies prospect twitter, at least. Give it time. There's plenty of pop-up guys every year and sometimes it just takes a while for people to get around to writing about all of them.
Dave (San Francisco): What kind of return do you think the A's will get for Rich Hill?
Nicolas Stellini: This is a tricky one. I think we can safely say by now that Hill is for real. And that's awesome! But, he's also on an expiring contract and he keeps getting hurt. Each times he comes up with another little injury, his value takes a small hit. I expect that the A's will get something nice for him, just not necessarily a gold-star kind of return.
Chris (Hamburg): Please rank in order in terms of fantasy value over the next two years. I'm trying to trade some to make a run at title.
Moncada, Dahl, Otani, C Frazier, Mondesi Jr, Robles.
Nicolas Stellini: Stick Robles between Dahl and Otani and that order seems about right.
alexohconnor (Chicago): Did you agree with Melania Trump when she said "Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical?"
Nicolas Stellini: I can't believe she stole that quote from me, Yogi Berra. Sad!
tj (dc): Mitch Haniger -- I realize he must be considered over-the-hill at 25 but it seems like he is really showing something the past year since being healthy. I thought his defense has always been considered strong and goodness knows this could be helpful to the Dbacks OF. Any chance they give him a real shot, even this year?
Nicolas Stellini: I mean the DBacks aren't exactly going anywhere in a hurry, so there's always a chance he gets a look. He'd need to get added to the 40-man roster, though, and the PCL has a habit of making people look like Stan Musial.
JT (NYC): Seems ridiculous to say about a 22 year old, but has the Dilson Herrera ship at least partially sailed? If they don't think enough of him to find some creative way to try things this year, then this has to say something about their long-term plans. His strikeout/walk numbers do seem like a concern and maybe he just doesn't have the eye or the patience to make even some marginal adjustments?
Nicolas Stellini: The Mets certainly seem to be acting like he's not an immediate source of help. His bat isn't exactly forcing the issue either. That being said, there isn't an absolute need for him in the majors right this instance. Reyes isn't hitting a ton but Herrera's primary position is at 2B, where they have Neil Walker, Kelly Johnson, and Wilmer Flores playing some serious heroball off the bench.
Sean (NJ): Are the Baltimore Orioles going to win the Tour de France, and if not will they keep playing at this level and win the AL East?
Nicolas Stellini: It's going to be a pitching-deficient race to the finish line between them and the Red Sox. With David Price showing occasional signs of life and the Pomeranz trade going down, they may have to settle for a Wild Card if they don't add an arm or two soon.
Nicolas Stellini: Welp, the question well seems to have run dry, so I think we'll cut it off here for now. Hopefully we'll get to do this again soon.
You can find my writing and other stuff on Twitter at @StelliniTweets. Have a good one, folks!