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Chat: Jeffrey Paternostro

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday December 02, 2016 1:00 PM ET chat session with Jeffrey Paternostro.


Jeffrey is our lead prospect writer and is knee-deep in our Top 10 lists. He's also the co-host of the For All You Kids Out There podcast at BP Mets.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Taking a break from writing about a seemingly endless stream of uninspiring first base prospects to chat. Let's do this.

Brady (LA Tech): Do you think the strength of a team's talent 25 & under would better reflect the strength of an organization than just their farm talent? Or am I misinterpreting the meaning of org rankings?

Jeffrey Paternostro: This is a reasonable question. We should definitely discuss it next time you are on the podcast. The Orioles look a lot better if you given them credit for Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy. Ditto the Red Sox and Betts/Bogaerts. I don't know if age 25 is more or less arbitrary a cut off point than rookie eligibility, but like with a lot of this kind of lists, you have to draw a line somewhere.

scottski45 (Detroit): What are your general thoughts on Harold Ramirez? He played so sparingly in the Toronto system due to injury, that he's a hard guy to get a read on for me. Did that set him back at all?

Jeffrey Paternostro: He's still young. He's always hit when he's been on the field. I don't think the injuries are a huge issue. Lost developmental time is never great, but he'll only be 22 next year. The issue with Ramirez is he's gonna end up in left field, and there just isn't much power there right now, and it's tough to see where he'll add it.

LGM (NY): Jeff- don't mean to be that guy, so sorry. But how is something like: Matz, Conforto, Duda, Dom Smith and Cecchini for Goldschmidt? If not? Could it make sense for them to unload Duda and trade for Abreu?

Jeffrey Paternostro: You forgot to add "I'll hang up and listen." I think if you want Goldschmidt you need a bigger #1 name than Matz or Conforto, which means Rosario or Syndergaard.

Dr. D.R.A. (Niagara Falls, ON): Over/Under: The Blue Jays farm system has a 70% chance to be top 10 by 2017's end. The Blue Jays farm system has a 25% chance to be top 5 by the end of 2017.

Jeffrey Paternostro: It's a deepish system, but it really lacks the kind of Top 50 prospect talent that gets you into the top 10, let alone top 5. I don't see that markedly changing this season given where they will be drafting and the unlikelihood they sell off pieces like, say, the Yankees did. So you are banking on Vlad jr taking a big leap forward in full season ball and maybe Zeuch or Harris taking a step as well. I still don't know if that gets you there.

The wild card here of course is Gurriel, but we aren't treating him like a prospect for the purposes of the list. I'll be writing about this at the outset.

ColeWhittier (Pasadena, CA): Who will have the better career, Robert Gsellman or Joe Musgrove?

Jeffrey Paternostro: You are asking the national prospect guy who is likely the highest on Gsellman and the lowest on Musgrove, so...

John (Nevada): Hey there, How long does it take to put together one team's entire top 10 post? Is there one section that becomes tedious?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I am already regretting bringing back the KG-inspired irrelevants. The actual writing of the lists isn't awful. I can't factor in my colleagues writing time, but I can knock out most of a list in 6-10 hours or so. Some systems are more interesting to write about, some (Marlins) are more of a slog. Before that of course, there is time spent on ranking and report discussion internally, and reaching out in the industry and what not.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): Soler to TB for Odorizzi? Soler and other prospects to TB for Archer? Thoughts on either of these options?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I was told Mike Montgomery is going be a major league starting pitcher, so why do you need Odorizzi or Archer? Anyway, the "other prospects" better be like Eloy Jimenez if you want Archer. He's really good and the contract is silly. I could see the Cubs looking for an Odorizzi type though.

Manny (Q): Is victor Robles the nats version of Amed Rosario?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Based on timing of the breakouts, it's more like Rosario is the Mets version of Robles, but both are top ten prospects, and I would bet will be ranked pretty closely on there 101.

Mitch Keller (Pittsburgh): Do I have #1 potential?

Jeffrey Paternostro: That's a little steep for me at present. The reports on the stuff by the end of the year were quite good, but I'd want to see it for a full season in the upper minors before I go tippy top of the rotation potential. Plus, I do subscribe to the Up and In viewpoint on aces. Gotta do it for years in the majors first, it's a retroactive designation.

asarule (Lakewood CA): Other than his leg injury, Benintendi hit the ground running when he came up to the Red Sox in 2016. Only 105 MLB at bats - does he pick up where he left off? Is he definitely the real deal, in your opinion?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Realer than Real Deal Holyfield

Thon (BK): Mets are saying Michael Conforto is untouchable? Is this posturing or do you think they really see him as a role 6 guy for the next 5+ years. How wide do you think the gap is between Conforto and Benintendi?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think the front office probably does. They did after all draft him in the first round only two years ago. You'd probably have to talk to the manager though.

I've sort of written about this before, but if Conforto was still "a prospect" and spent most of the year obliterating the PCL as he did in his stints there in 2016, he'd be a top five prospect in baseball. I suspect Benintendi will be there as well.

asarule (Lakewood CA): Do you see Reyes as part of the STL starting rotation for 2017, despite his control issues?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I subscribe to the Up and In theory on aces, however if I were to throw an OFP 80 on any pitcher in the minors, it would be Reyes. So yes, I would start him and let him do his thing. You may have to live with some inefficiency for a while.

Jim (Aurora): Thoughts on Taijuan Walker. I've held on to him for years in a dynasty league. Not sure I want to use a keeper slot again this year; however,it's an AL only league, he's lost if i drop him. Read he had surgery and feels better than last year. What's his future look like to you?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I was never really on the bandwagon as a prospect, it was always more an athletic projection than I was comfortable with. A healthy Walker is a useful major league pitcher, but I don't know if he is a great fantasy asset, especially in AZ. Though I half-suspect he will turn into some killer fireman relief arm in five years or something. He may also just keep blowing out.

Francisco (Maryland): Favorite breakout prospect for 2017? What about someone who you think will suffer a drop in status?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Breakouts I'll be watching for: Anderson Tejeda, Dustin May, Joey Wentz, Riley Pint
Guys I could see falling: Jorge Mateo, Adonis Medina, Anderson Espinoza, Jahmai Jones

JS (The Boonies): What are your thoughts on the Gilmore Girls reboot?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Jarrett's chat was last week.

I did actually end up absorbing some of it in the background, because my wife is a huge fan. It seemed like a reasonable facsimile of the show, so I imagine that is good for fans.

I am waiting for the goddamn Party Down "Four Weddings and a Funeral" movie to finally get made myself.

Jeff (Brooklyn): Are any of Trevor Clifton, Oscar De La Cruz, or Jeimer Candelario top 100 prospects?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Yes, no, maybe

Richard (Baltimore): Is Jay Bruce or Granderson for Brad brach a good return ?

Jeffrey Paternostro: If I am the Mets I definitely do it for Bruce and don't have to think too hard about it for Granderson. Don't know why the Orioles would make that move. A lot of downside risk in the outfield bats.

Eric (Queens): Where would you have Szapucki and Gsellman rank if they were in the Yankees system (just using a system that is deep with a ton of top guys)?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Well, based on the role grades, would Gsellman be #1? That feels wrong of course, but he's in the same general range as Torres and Frazier in the 101, so somewhere in the top three. Szapucki probably slots in somewhere around Kaprelian and Abreu, depending on how you want to weight command risk versus rawness risk versus injury risk.

ColeWhittier (Pasadena, CA): Bat only -- do you like Hunter Renfroe or Aaron Judge better?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Probably Judge. I'm a little leery of Renfroe's lack of a track record outside of El Paso, although I don't think there is a huge offensive tools gap here and Renfroe might end up with more hit.

Wade Leblanc (Pitt): I knew you were chatting now. I decided to give you a gift. You're welcome, Jeffery.

Jeffrey Paternostro: The real gift is that we had already booked David Roth for the podcast this week. Now I just need to steal the TA from Dubuque.

Dan (Left Coast): Who has the most offensive potential among Mazara, Benintendi, and Frazier?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm not a huge Frazier guy, though I get it. I suspect Benintendi has the best median outcome here offensively, and it might not even be all that close. But gimme Maz. That swing, man.

Chad (NY): What would be an equivalent prospect haul from the Jays or Orioles for Jay Bruce (compared to what the Mets gave up for him)? Think the mMets can do better than that?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Pompey has been sort of linked to a deal insofar as the Jays have been shopping him. That is actually a really good Herrera fit right down to the not-a-prospect but still sort of a prospect thing. I guess the arm flyer would be like Jose Espada or something. That seems heavy to me, but it seems the industry values Bruce more than I do.

O's are harder to find a fit, because you end up with like Schoop or Mountcastle, which doesn't seem like a fit and it seems like too much. Maybe like Reyes/Liranzo? That still feels heavy. It's Jay Bruce.

Jeff (Brooklyn): Are Soler for Jake Thompson and Candelario for Matt Wisler even trades value-wise?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I have no idea if this is a fantasy question or not. First one is a lot closer to me than the second one in baseball terms, but I think you don't want to buy or sell low on Thompson.

Marcus (ny): If you had to say, is the Mets system above average or below average, or exactly 15.

Jeffrey Paternostro: If they aren't exactly 15, I would be surprised if they are within a spot or two either way.

Riley (NJ): How many Mets would you personally put on the top 101. Would you expect that number to grow, shrink or stay the same next year?

Jeffrey Paternostro: So I got snarked for answering a lot of Mets questions last time. It was the NL East chats, and I always end up with a lot of Mets questions in the queue anyway, because I covered the Mets system for five years. There's still a lot in the AL East chat, but _(ツ)_/

Anyway, I left them mostly for last this time, but there's a lot of them left, so here they come.

Rosario, Gsellman, Szapucki are the easy ones. I could see cases for Smith, Lindsay, Dunn, but it probably ends up only being three. Gsellman is the only lock to graduate, and I'd bet at least one of the other three move into the top 101, and there is also the possibility that Andres Gimenez is a monster once he comes stateside. So I don't think it shrinks.

Greg (NJ): Assuming Rosario is no longer eligible, eho would you be on being the Mets top prospect next offseason - Szapucki? Lindsay? Gimenez? Other?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I visited my old friends at Amazin' Avenue Audio and answered this, but now I forgot who I said. I think I went with Szapucki. Seems like he could have a big year in Columbia and really explode nationally even more. It's a pretty interesting horse race though, and I don't feel particularly confident in that selection.

Anthony (Houston): Two-part question: 1) What's the prognosis for David Wright heading into the 2017 season, and 2) If the Captain is forced to retire due to spinal stenosis, could you see the Mets making a play for Justin Turner (who I hear has turned into a nice little player since he was unceremoniously waived by the Amazins)?

Jeffrey Paternostro: 1. _(ツ)_/
2 There's a lot of bad blood there, and Turner can get paid just as much (and probably more) elsewhere. It's Reyes' job.

Harry (Nyc): Hypothetically, does Jose Reyes have more value than Grandy or Bruce?

Jeffrey Paternostro: He's still an above-average hitter and he'll be making the league minimum so hypothetically yes.

Beverley (Roslyn): If sandy steps down would Ricco be a good Gm?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Ricco is probably the guy. He's been there forever, is well-liked by ownership, and is already taking some media stuff when Sandy isn't available or can't be bothered. He's viewed well in the industry and has a broad base knowledge. Unfortunately, since I don't believe he is buddies with Mark Shapiro, he can't be considered qualified to be a major league GM.

Mitch (NY): Which Mets prospect (other than Szapucki and Rosario) are you most intrigued by in the coming year?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Andres Gimenez, very curious how much I will look like an idiot and in which direction.

George (Ny): what is the Mets front office like?

Jeffrey Paternostro: We don't have a weekly card game or anything, but in my limited dealings with them they've been polite -> cordial, and usually helpful enough.

Tsarstruck (Philly, PA): Is there any chance that Phillip Evans ISO improvement is more than a fluky 400 PA thing? And who plays a better shortstop, Evans, Matt Reynolds, or 2015 Wilmer Flores? And would you advocate for an appreciation society?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think there is probably more power in there now, whether just from the normal "power comes last" cliche or that he is over his back issues, or some combination of the two. I don't know if it is more than like 10 home run pop though. Reynolds is the best defender of the three. He's below-average, but passable there which is more than you can say for the other two.

Bryan G. (Michigan): What would you do if you next if you were running the Mets? (Assume a Mets-reasonable payroll applies.)

Jeffrey Paternostro: Bruce has to go in the next week or so. If there is any truth to the Pompey thing, I'd make that move as it gives the Mets a skill set they don't really have anywhere in the system (Champ Stuart doesn't count) and there's still some upside left in the profile.

I'd like to get a Bartolo type, but they don't really have a guaranteed rotation spot for him (even if Wheeler moves to the pen in the near-term as rumored), but I suspect by June they will be lamenting not having a steady 180-inning arm on the roster. So I guess I'd grab like Tommy Milone as a priority NRI. Then take flyers on Daniel Hudson and Neftali Feliz.

And because it is me, and I am a self-indulgent man, sign Yusmeiro Petit.

Greg (Long Island): The Mets have Conforto, Grandy and Bruce - what would be your preferred method going forward of getting rid of that logjam?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think you can live with Grandy as a long side platoon CF (acknowledging that the platoon here is really Lagares/Conforto with Grandson sliding to RF against lefties) for a season. He was better than I expected there late last season. Now he wasn't good, and it could get worse quickly, but the Mets have not shown much interest in caring about team defense, and it's better than playing Conforto or Bruce (who I am trading) there. If it finally goes south for Grandson this year it isn't all that hard to make him a LHH bench OF and give Laggers more playing time anyway.

ColeWhittier (Pasadena, CA): Is there still hope for A.J. Reed?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Of course there is, but if he were theoretically a Quad-A player, it would look a lot like his 2016.

Lorenzo (Florida): Who's one prospect you've learned in your time at BP you're much higher on than the rest of your colleagues? Why?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Well it's not Brent Honeywell, that's for sure.

Gsellman is the obvious one, but I'll throw in Robert Stephenson as well. I still believe in the stuff. This may go badly for me.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Queue is empty, so you get about forty minutes back of your Friday. We'll do this again in the midst of the AL West, which I am sure will just be a bunch more Mets questions.

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