Bryan is a Transaction Analysis champ and the Editor-in-Chief at BP Mets.
Bryan Grosnick: Hello there friends and subscribers! Thanks for joining me today ... I'm the Editor-in-Chief at BP Mets and an author at BP. I'm also not a prospect talent evaluator, so prospect questions may be answered with non-sequiturs. Let's do this!
John (San Francisco): Can you explain what the A's are doing with Danny Valencia? He hits well from both sides of the plate. His bad defense can be mitigated. There are rumblings about being bad in the clubhouse, but he can't be as bad as some.
Bryan Grosnick: Well, I think that Valencia is going to be a free agent and not really part of the A's plans beyond this season ... but perhaps they didn't get the offer they wanted. I'm surprised he wasn't moved at the deadline, but since he's a solid contributor, maybe the A's just wanted to keep him around so they didn't look quite so bad in the last few games of the season.
Craig (Philly): #1 prospect in 2018, 2019 and 2020?
Bryan Grosnick: Not a minor league guy, so it's impossible for me to tell. What I will say is that the in the last five years, the top prospect according to BP's lists were Corey Seager, Byron Buxton, Byron Buxton, Jurickson Profar, and (yikes) Matt Moore. If you would've predicted three of those five from two to four years out, you're a wizard.
(Riley Pint for all three.)
Tim (Jacksonville): With Dominic Smith producing better this year and likely the 1B of the future, how do you see Peter Alonso fitting in as he rises through the system? Is he a liability in an OF corner? Do you think Alonso will be in the Mets top 10 prospects next year?
Bryan Grosnick: Well, I don't think Dominic Smith is a sure thing as "likely the 1B of the future." I'm down on him, as I have real concerns that Smith ends up more like today's James Loney than the ideal situation, which is early-career James Loney. So Peter Alonso fits in just fine! I'd love to see him get run in a corner OF slot because I value flexibility, but as a college guy, I'd be cautious about putting him in the top 10 before he gets some reps at St. Lucie.
Ester (GA): What kind of MLB players do you think the mets two top prospects, Rosario and Smith will become?
Bryan Grosnick: Not a prospect guy! For Dom Smith, I *think* he becomes a poor man's James Loney or Casey Kotchman, which is a shame because I want him to become mid-career Will Clark. Rosario is tougher for me, but I'm hoping for something resembling Alcides Escobar with more pop. (That would be crazy valuable, if not my ideal shortstop.)
modofacid (Middletown, NJ): Brian,
Do you think Juan Lagares is a first division starter in CF next year? The mets treatment of him has confused me at times. Curious for your thoughts on it.
Bryan Grosnick: What up Middletown! (I grew up there!) I'm a Lagares believer after this season, primarily because he seems to have demonstrated that the defensive issues of 2015 were mostly in the past. It's tough to post him as a true first-division starter due to his platoon split and injury issues, but ... yeah. I think a World Series team can win with Lagares up the middle. They'd probably be batting him 7th or 8th, but I think his defense carries the day.
Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Bryan, Which current non-closers do you think will be closing in 2017?
Bryan Grosnick: This is a really good one. Cam Bedrosian is the hottest name I can think of, especially seeing as how the Angels could probably run anyone out there in the AL West basement. I wouldn't be shocked if Cody Allen winds up on another team and closing next year ... Derek Law's one. Does Ken Giles count?
Brad (ATL): What are the Braves doing with Swanson? His numbers are just OK in Double A, they aren't going to compete next year, and they're starting his clock. I'm excited to watch him play but can't help but think this will hurt in the long run. What's the point?
Bryan Grosnick: My honest guess is that the team is looking for some sort of hot young star to take into their new stadium, and starting Swanson early may not matter for this team. This never appeared to be a team with a taste for a total teardown, and they've always wanted to keep some talent on the roster (see: Teheran, Julio and Freeman, Freddie). Even if they start Dansby now, he could certainly be a part of the next good Braves team. Or perhaps they're showcasing him for a trade in the next two years anyway? At any rate, I think he's up for his defense and so he can start checking out MLB pitching. I'm excited.
Asher (CP): Aaron Judge or Michael Conforto?
Bryan Grosnick: I mean, I too wish to be excited about Judge. But PECOTA still projects a better RoS True Average for Conforto (.275) over Judge (.270), and Conforto in his "bad" 2016 campaign has still been an above league-average hitter. If the Mets keep screwing with sending MC up and down, anything could happen. But unless you're talking about the rest of this particular season, I'd rather have Conforto.
Go Tribe (Fayetteville): Is Tyler Naquin a keeper, or will there be too much regression. I'm committed to him for the ROS, but unsure of his long-term value.
Bryan Grosnick: If we're talking fantasy, and we're talking like a normal keeper league without crazy depth, I'd probably look for other options. He was projected to be kind of an okay fourth outfielder (real baseball, not fantasy). There's a confluence of factors that make me think he's headed for serious regression (30% strikeout rate, 30% HR/FB rate, .424 BABIP), but he could be a solid second-division starter or fourth outfielder in real life. In fantasy? I'd look for someone else, if possible.
Brandon (Urbandale): Who are your 2 picks for the NL wild card spots? Gonna be a fun last 6-7 weeks for those teams. Im going Giants and Pittsburg, with the buccos coming up short again.
Bryan Grosnick: The Giants for sure ... and then ... the New York Mets. It's a homer pick, sure, but I think that they have better underlying factors than the Marlins or Pirates. Also, if you look at BP's projected RoS records (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/dc/) the Mets are tops among the Wild Card contenders, which should put them right back in it.
Lily (AL): What do the Mets have in Brandon Nimmo? Will he retire with more WAR than Dilson Herrera?
Bryan Grosnick: I think they have a fifth outfielder. My guess is that the team starts 2017 with an outfield corps of one of Bruce or Cespedes (likely Bruce), Granderson, Conforto, Lagares, and Nimmo. He'll be a nice fifth outfielder with some pop and patience, but not a starter. And no, I'm a Herrera backer.
@outfieldgrass24 (Portland, OR): Hey Bryan, thanks for the chat! If you had to pick a direction for the quagmire that is the Arizona Diamondbacks, what might you choose? Try to bet on rebounds? Go spend on more talent? Blow it all up? Give up and walk away? Ok, please don't pick the last one...
Bryan Grosnick: This is really, really, really hard. Gun to my head, I say that blowing up the Diamondbacks could really work wonders for this team in the long term. The problem is that I'd imagine some of their premier assets (Pollock and Greinke) might be awfully hard to deal, and their ultra-premium asset (Goldschmidt), is one of the guys that I'd say don't trade no matter what. So I go one more year with this roster (mostly) as constructed, and as such I spend like crazy this offseason. Rich Hill gets PAID. Sign Beef to a reasonable new deal. Deal for three rebounding relief types. But if the team hesitates to improve the rotation, then things will be dicey ... and they don't have much left to trade with.
@outfieldgrass24 (Portland, OR): As a #GoBeavs alum, it pains me to see Conforto struggling. What's the biggest problem with him this year? Is it mechanical? Plate discipline? The fact that he's been jerked around?
Bryan Grosnick: I think it's a confluence of factors, plus there being a book on him. Jerking him around is the one thing that makes me the angriest. He'll get over it, and end up being a solid outfielder. Have faith.
(Also, hi Jeff!)
Mo (Wash DC): TJ Rivera looks great. I think he can be a quasi-Martin Prado. Thoughts?
Bryan Grosnick: Nope.
I mean, I'd love it if he turned out great, but there's nothing behind his stat lines that make him appear to be a productive MLB regular. Sure, his minor-league numbers are solid, but he hasn't done anything yet in his cup of coffee that changes what smarter people than me have been saying for years: he's not likely a serious MLB contributor. I'd love if he could Matt Carpenter, but he's not Matt Carpenter (or Martin Prado).
R.J. (Florida): Enjoyed the trade deadline coverage, Grossy. How was it from your end?
Bryan Grosnick: It was kind of challenging! I was just getting back from overseas, so I was jetlagged and exhausted until well into August. The BP team is phenomenal, though ... particularly everyone who helped out on the fly and our remarkable prospect team. I still can't quite wrap my head around Jay Bruce in a Mets jersey or Jon Lucroy in Rangers gear, but here we are!
Justin (Iowa): Gregory Polanco is turning into a monster...
Bryan Grosnick: Should of stayed away from radioactive waste.
In all seriousness, I think he's a fantastic example of how folks of all types tend to go hard after the new, cool, prospect, look past a guy who's on a more "normal" development curve, and then get shocked that after a couple of years, it turns out that all the talent evaluators were right all along. Happy to see him doing so well, and if it weren't for the psychic costs, I would definitely say the Pirates should deal McCutchen this offseason.
Riley (AZ): How good is Amed Rosario? Top __ prospect this offseason, and at best, __ WAR per year player.
Bryan Grosnick: 20 and 3. I think Rosario is the type of guy to have a four-win season and a one-win season back to back based on batted balls and defensive metric data, all while being roughly the same player. But I don't know anything.
BrowningNagle (Louisville, KY): Does Rosario have a legit job of holding down short starting mid '17?
Bryan Grosnick: Sure. Asdrubal Cabrera has done a fine job this year, but I could totally see a world where Rosario is starting after a mid-season injury or trade this time next year. And once he gets to Flushing, he probably isn't going anywhere.
James (Atlanta ): Before yesterday were you aware of Kade Scivicque presence as a real person? What can he become for the Braves?
Bryan Grosnick: Nope, and as a result, I don't have a clue. My best guess is a catcher who eventually makes it to Triple-A.
Cal Guy (Cal): Bryan, G. Cole and Gausman are two of the more frustratingly underachieving pitchers in the game. What can we expect from them in 2017 and beyond?
Bryan Grosnick: Calling Gerrit Cole an underachiever with a career 2.89 FIP and 3.10 ERA is cold blooded, Cal Guy. I expect Cole to pitch like one of the top 30 starters in the game next year. As for Gausman, I expect him to improve in the rate stats next year as his HR rate drops, but he's one of the guys I worry a little about long-term due to injury and reliance on that wicked strikeout rate. Both are going to be fun to watch, though.
Drew (Centereach, NY): isnt the best thing the mets can do for conforto is show collins the door.
Bryan Grosnick: I mean, I would prefer another manager at this point for this reason and others. But judging a manager from an outside perspective is really hard. And it's tough to know who would be substantially better. (#NeverBackman)
Bryan Grosnick: That will do it for me today! Thanks for stopping by, check out BP Mets and the occasional Transaction Analysis column, and I'll see you around!