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Chat: Scooter Hotz

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Monday September 26, 2016 8:00 PM ET chat session with Scooter Hotz.


Scooter is a member of our fantasy team.

Scooter Hotz: Currently watching: Cleveland @ Detroit on MLB.tv Currently eating: a salad for dinner Currently drinking: a Firestone Walker Luponic Distortion # 003 and a plain Vintage seltzer. Let's do this.

Bobby Baseball (Bayou Ballfields ): I respect a man named Scooter. I'll listen to his take on almost anything in my life.

Scooter Hotz: Excellent approach to life.

Everyone: listen to Bobby Baseball. He knows his stuff.

Snake Plissken (New New York): Who's future do you like better - Yohander Mendez or Cody Reed (Reds)?

Scooter Hotz: Yohander Mendez. The error bars are a lot bigger on Mendez than Cody Reed. Mendez is more likely to bust through injury or a dip in performance, but Mendez is also more likely to become a top-of-the-rotation starter. I just don't think Reed has that in him unless he undergoes a radical transformation in the majors like Cliff Lee. Reed is a lot more likely to still be in the majors a decade from now, though, since he's a big lefty who throws hard and has a better shot than Mendez at still being close a long time from now.

Chief Wahoo (Cleveland, OH): BP doesn't seem to be too high on Mike Clevinger - 45FV and no questions about him in chats. But he seems like a pretty good prospect to me. Your thoughts about him?

Scooter Hotz: I seem to like him more than most. He's not ace material unless Corey Kluber tells him his One Weird Trick to transforming from a middling prospect into a Cy Young Award winner. He's 25, he throws 93-94, and he has a few workable secondary pitches. He also has Cleveland's pitching development program behind him, which has turned several pitchers into much better pitchers than their prospect pedigrees suggested. His 4.8 BB/9 in the majors this year is ugly, though. He needs to turn that around quickly or he'll end up on the outside of Cleveland's rotation looking in.

Truganini (CO): How do contracts for players drafted work? I've noticed that players typically get around 4 to 5 years in the minors before they are released. For example, 14% Rockies drafted in 2011 are still with the organization, 32% of the 2012 class are still with the org, and 50% from 2013 are still in the org. Is this just due to giving guys a fair number of opportunities before cutting them, or is it contractually driven in any way?

Scooter Hotz: I know that there are rules about how long players can be in an organization before they become available to other teams or available in the Rule 5 draft, but I'm not that familiar with the rules. Any of the prospect writers at BP could handle that question a lot better than I can - it's not really my area of expertise.

Dan (New Jersey): Best player nobody is talking about?

Scooter Hotz: I'm not sure where to draw the line to define the population of players nobody is talking about, but the first name that came to mind is Carlos Santana. He's pretty limited defensively, but he has a .255/.361/.490 line with 34 home runs. The 1999 version of BP would have loved him since he hits for power, draws tons of walks, and his weaknesses weren't well quantified due to the relatively primitive state of defensive metrics and positional adjustments. When the 1999 A's inevitably acquired him, the 1999 version of BP would have lost its dang mind.

Cole Whittier (Pasadena, CA): Any hope for Reds Cody Reed in the future? Can he still be a mid-rotation guy or did his hopes fly out of the park with all the jacks he gave up?

Scooter Hotz: He can still be a mid-rotation guy, but his most likely outcome is as a non-closing reliever. He should be able to be more than a LOOGY, though.

JM (CT): When does Franklin Barreto emerge from the minors and take the starting shortstop position with the A's? And/or when does he get traded so the A's can contend as a season winds down? See Addison Russell

Scooter Hotz: I love Franklin Barreto and consistently rank him higher than most of my colleagues. That said, it does seem like it takes him a while to adjust to each new level after each promotion, so patience is in order. If you made me pick a month when he becomes an everyday major league shortstop and keeps the job for an extended period of time, I'd pick July 2018. He might get a shot or two at the gig before then, but he could relinquish the position if he's slow to adjust to MLB pitching. I think it's highly unlikely that the A's will trade him before he plays a few years for him in the majors, but then again, I didn't think they'd trade Josh Donaldson when they did, either, so what do I know?

BPchatsChangedMyLife (Niagara, ON): 12 team keeper league, where we roster all 8 defensive positions, 2 utility, and 8 SPs. There aren't any weird contracts or scoring rules either. I need 10 keepers. My locks are Rizzo, Stanton, JD Martinez, Todd Frazier, Darvish, Scherzer, & Sale. I'm left to pick 3 of Lucroy, Jose Abreu, Byron Buxton, Stroman, Justin Upton, Dahl, Michael Brantley & Alex Reyes. Not easy to pick 3 out of that, huh? Take a shot! Thanks again!

Scooter Hotz: I'd try to package 3-5 of those extra guys for 1 no-doubt keeper, then try to do it again with the rest of that pack of extra guys. There's gotta be some teams in your league who have a stuff or two but only 5-7 legitimate keepers that might be willing to trade one big name player for depth, right? Try to do something with the value locked in those keepable players rather than just let that value evaporate when you submit your freeze list and send several of them back into the free agent poo; And be agnostic about which of that group of players you trade - don't fall in love with your guys.

Cole Whittier (Pasadena, CA): Andrew Toles looks pretty dang good. What do you see?

Scooter Hotz: Andrew Toles looks really good to me. It's hard to tell if he'll have a starting gig next year given the Dodgers' resources and outfield depth, but I think he'd perform well if given the job outright or if he ended up on the good side of a platoon. I think he's legit.

Erik (Duluth,MN): If you had to pick five under-25 players with the best HOF chances, who would you go with?

Scooter Hotz: A few days ago, I would have led this list with Jose Fernandez.

In no particular order: Noah Syndergaard, Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Francisco Lindor

Fred (Hawthorne): So is it time to talk about Gsellman and Lugo yet?

Scooter Hotz: es, it is. I like both of them, especially in deep NL-only leagues. Lugo's strikeout rate is a little low, though, and Gsellman might need to lower his walk rate if his K/9 stays below 9.0. It helps that the Mets have done a good job developing young pitchers over the last few years.

Jake (Kalamazoo): How would you go about putting together a reasonable offer for Mike Trout in a 14-team mixed dynasty? What kind of pieces would it need to be?

Scooter Hotz: There are too many variables in play here. The biggest variable isn't the league configuration, it's the disposition of the league in general and the disposition of Trout's owner in particular. Roto owners often fall in love with their players, and Trout is really easy to fall in love with. If Trout's owner doesn't want to move him, your carefully formulated offer won't matter. Which is fine - fantasy baseball leagues are imperfect markets, with non-substitutable goods and a limited number of sellers and buyers. This means prices can be all over the place, and that variability is a feature of the market, not the strength or weakness of individual owners.

Craig (Seattle): Isan Diaz potential? top prospect?

Scooter Hotz: He's definitely a top prospect. If you're asking if he'll be *the* top prospect in baseball going into next season, then no, I don't think he'll be that. He could be that going into the 2018 season, though, if things keep going his way.

BPChatsChangedMyLife (Niagara, ON): In a 14 team, 40man roster dynasty I've grown board of winning...seriously. So I have decided to rebuild. I now roster an exciting group of high risk players: Devers, Robles, Acuna, Rosario, Isan Diaz, Kyle Tucker, Eloy Jimenez, Kilome, Keller, Allard, and Fried. Then add in young MLBers like Harper, Rizzo, Altherr, Cotton, Cody Reed, Matz, Jake Thompson, and Skaggs. With only 4 teams as suitable buyers, would you be happy with Urias & Gallo for Bumgarner, & Josh Bell & Ryan Healy for Cole Hamels? I likely could also land Giolito. I'm currently trying to convince the guy that Giolito's value has bottomed out. Any example as to how Giolito has been valued in any of your leagues, or what can you tell me about your opinion on him moving forward? Kind of a long winded question, but a fun one! Thanks in advance!

Scooter Hotz: Giolito hasn't been traded in any of my leagues, so I have no direct experience with that. I own Giolito in two of my leagues, a deep NL-only keeper league and a deep mixed keeper league. I didn't trade him in either league because in both leagues, I was more focused on 2017 and beyond than 2016.

I don't think I'd be happy with dealing Bumgarner for Urias & Gallo (assuming you're getting Urias & Gallo). I'm lower on Gallo than most. I'm not sure he'll make enough contact to be a great roto player, and I think that even if he does eventually become a productive roto player, it'll take a while for him to get there and the struggles will be brutal.

Assuming you're on the Bell/Healy side of the Cole-Hamels-for-Josh-Bell-and-Ryon-Healy trade, I'd hang on to Hamels, too. I haven't seen enough from Healy to convince me that his big step forward this year will be 100% sustainable, and Hamels is really dang good.

Ben (DC): Juan Soto - how much potential does he have?

Scooter Hotz: He has as much potential as just about anybody. He's a long, long way off, though. He's still just 17 years old, so his physical, psychological, and baseball development could go a lot of different ways. Potential, though? Yeah, he's got a ton.

Truganini (CO): What do you think of Dace Kime? Is he still an MLB prospect?

Scooter Hotz: He didn't make my (internal) list of 200+ prospects going into this season and he went on to have a bad season, so he'll go into 2017 even lower ranked than he was going into the 2016 season. He's probably not a fantasy prospect, at least not as currently constituted. He could still make it to the majors at some point, though, especially since he's a big dude. Pitchers can go from non-prospect to prospect fairly quickly, though, by learning a new pitch, a new delivery, or just by getting healthy for the first time in years. And he's in a good organization for pitchers who need to develop. He walked 34 batters in 26 innings in the minors this year, though, which is bad.

LucasDad (MN): Thoughts on Falvey taking over Twins FO?

Scooter Hotz: I have none. I don't really know anything about Falvey.

Jim (TX): Any Chance the Trout, Betts, or both get to 30/30? They are both SO close, and seem to be trying to steal more bases lately, as if it they are trying.

Scooter Hotz: Trout's probably a better bet than Betts to get to 30-30 even though he hasn't gotten to 30 in either category yet. The Red Sox need Betts for the playoffs, so they're likely to give him the red light on the basepaths to try and keep him healthy. Trout won't be in the playoffs, so the risk-reward proposition for him is a lot different. If he jams a finger or pulls a hamstring trying to steal a base, no big deal - he misses a few games and the season ends. The mostly likely outcome, though, is that neither gets to 30-30.

Thomas (MA): Curious for your take on Brandon Woodruff and Chance Adams?

Scooter Hotz: I like Woodruff. He has good strikeout rates, walk rates, and hit rates so far and he he's tall with mid-90s velocity. He's not that far away, either, after spending most of this season in Double-A.

I don't now as much about Adams, but his stat line sure is pretty.

Scooter Hotz: Thanks for the great questions, everybody. Time for me to pack it in for the night.

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