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Chat: Jeffrey Paternostro

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday March 17, 2017 1:00 PM ET chat session with Jeffrey Paternostro.


Jeffrey Paternostro is the senior prospect writer at Baseball Prospectus and is slowly digging out of the crater that was our Top 10 Prospects lists.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I sort of forgot I scheduled this, and my schedule is actually blissfully quiet for two more weeks. I have a Gabriel Ynoa Spring start and time to kill, so let's get weird.

Broxton's Butt (Ohio): Hey Jeffrey, What's your down time in a year?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm in it right now. Since lists wrapped on the site, I have had Futures Guide edits--which took a bit longer than I expected, thanks Jerry Dipoto--and we are staffing up now, since we sent seven prospect writers to MLB teams this offseason. I don't have any regular writing, so I get to do things like deal with the non-functioning microwave and wall heater in my house, be vaguely social again, and write 3200 words on Gabriel Ynoa. That ends with League previews and a trip to New Hampshire for Opening Weekend. Then it's #riseandgrind through to September and then it is list season again.

Eddy (Orange County): How often, if at all, do you look at other top 50/100/200 prospect lists? For some of the more 'serious' publications (e.g. Law, FG, BA), do you ever reach out to someone when there's a vast difference in opinion on a player and have a conversation on the discrepancy?

Jeffrey Paternostro: When I'm actually inside the process, I don't read any other sites. It's impossible to completely avoid that stuff of course. It's splashed all over twitter, and I get pinged by people with the occasional "did you see where X had Y?" But even now I couldn't tell you where anyone else had, like, Corey Ray. I only barely remember where I had him. And that's the answer to your second part. While this was my first year doing the full national thing, I've been in the prospect-ranking industrial complex for long enough to just not really care if I have someone just off the list that others have in the 70s or 80s, or that I have at 33, that someone else has at 53. It's not interesting to me, although it fuels a million comment sections of course. Like I just can't get worked up over what amounts to a half-grade of disagreement. Others may disagree with that stance.

(in the interest of full disclosure, I did ping Eric about his also having Clifton listed at 185 pounds, but that was convivial)

Richard (US): So you guys end up being the low ones on Amed Rosario. Bet you didn't see that coming, huh?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Nope. We were the high source at midseason too. Again, this isn't even a half grade of disagreement really, just ordering. I could get him as high as 6, as 6-8 is a tight grouping to me. Past that, I just personally can't do it, although I get why he is over Crawford and Swanson on lists.

Ceej (Pittsburgh): 10 team OBP/QS dynasty. Trade my Benintendi for his Fulmer/Bellinger if I have Betts/Springer/Polanco already?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Michael Fulmer, yes. Carson Fulmer, no.

Bob G. (D.C. ): Lucas Giolito didn't get a swinging strike and his fastball was sitting 92 in his most recent outing. What in the world is going on?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I briefly considered just reprinting my Giolito spiel in front of the White Sox list as well, but that might have been a bit too lazy even for me. Beats me, but this happens sometime even outside an obvious injury. Pitchers, man. And really Giolito wasn't THAT much better a prospect as an amateur or minor leaguer than Archie Bradley, just played in affiliates closer to the critical mass of public evaluators. Pitchers, man.

(It's also March 17th and he could show up fine in Charlotte in three weeks)

AJ (Canada): Hey Jeff! Firstly, SWFC, currently still in 6th after last weeks loss - confidence levels of staying there for rest of the season? And back on baseball, thoughts on whether Jared Miller gets a chance in the Arizona 'pen later this year? Any chance he picks up saves if (when) Rodney implodes?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Ask me again in five hours.

I think we've kind of ignored how literally half there best XI have missed significant time (Lees, Lee, Hooper, now Hutch, Fessi, Wallace), and it sure looks like it is going to come down to the last day against Fulham. A comfortable 2-0 home to Reading today will calm my nerves.

I am the last guy to ask about closers-in-waiting, but I wouldn't be shocked if AZ just goes with Rodney if they aren't really in it. I guess Jake Barrett might be the guy after if the shoulder is okay?

Colin (Indy): Do Carlos Asuage or Franchy Cordero ever see regular playing time, whether in SD or elsewhere?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Have you looked at San Diego's depth chart recently? Asuaje could be a regular at this year at some point.

Fernando (Florida ): I have a chance to regularly see Alex Faedo. What's his future OFP? I want to know if I'm looking at a 50,55,60 guy so I can try to adjust my eyes and make comparisons.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I just shoveled out of 20 inches of snow, so you have made some better life choices than I have. So I don't get to see him regularly, but Steve did, and wrote him up as a potential mid-rotation arm if the velocity comes back. That's a 55/60 so keep an eye on the radar I guess.

Lt. Kaffee (Court Room): If you gave an order that Santiago wasn't to be touched, and your orders are always followed, then why would Santiago be in danger? Why would it be necessary to transfer him off the base?

Jeffrey Paternostro: So this is submitted to every chat, and I almost admire it. Does he expect us to ignore it? Is he just waiting for someone to respond with the Jack Nicholson monologue. Is it just high-concept trolling? I don't know.

Sam Ulle (Texas): How wide is the outcome of possibilities for D.Perez? Seen him as high as #33 on FG's top 100, which struck me a bit and made me wonder if I'm underestimating him.

Jeffrey Paternostro: We (well, Jarrett) wrote about this in his blurb for the Annual. If you believe he is still the 1:1 candidate he was before he pissed hot, that's about where you'd rank him. There are teams that dropped him off their board entirely, or were much lower on him to begin with. That dude isn't a Top 101 guy. We sort of split the difference, which admittedly isn't the most elegant solution. To answer the actual question, yes, he's volatile.

Preston (IO): Any Yankee prospects strike you as being more overrated than others? Judge maybe?

Jeffrey Paternostro: He's probably the biggest straight bust risk? So maybe. Jorge Mateo is one of the guys I'd probably have lower if I made the list today, but not significantly so. I wonder if there isn't a bit too much helium around Karelian before he actually shows this stuff for a full year (or pitches for a full year period).

Delilah (Maine): Is Matz more of a #2 than an ace?

Jeffrey Paternostro: It's not impossible he still gets there I guess, but he's got #2 stuff with enough durability concerns now to make him feel more like a #3. 2017 can move the needle a lot though, and he's looked healthy and put together so far this Spring.

BurleighGrimes (Madison, WI): Has anything you've seen in the World Baseball Classic moved the needle for you on any prospects / not-quite-major-leaguers? Do teams pay attention to the classic in terms of scouting youngsters?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Most of the prospects that got time, got it on teams that were three games and done, so tough to gauge. I was impressed with Nabil Crismatt's moxy against the DR.

S.H. (Land of the Free): Is it me, or has everyone completely written off Cody Reed? I get it, his cup of coffee was horrendous. But this is still a guy who had a 9 K/9 in 144 IP in A+ and AA in 2015 and in AAA and MLB still at a 8.2 K/9 in 120 IP. I know I'm overlooking his league average FIP, SIERA, and below-average MLB DRA, but it's only been 47.2 major league innings!

Jeffrey Paternostro: Sure. Part of the issue is we didn't really write about him at all, because he wasn't list eligible for us, so he falls into the nebulous "Dalton Pompey Zone" (TM Jarrett Seidler). I think there is generally more concern warranted when guys come up and implode (Reed, Berrios) than just come up and "struggle a bit" or are meh (de Leon, Musgrove). We still ranked him quite highly on the Reds 25U.

Clnbailey (VA): Is Taylor Trammell an Anthony Alford clone?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Not an awful comp, handedness aside. Alford is another tier up on the athleticism scale though.

Arty H (NJC): If Thomas Szapucki has a *similar* (sub 2.5 ERA, 10+ K/9) season as last year, but in A/A+ while throwing 100+ innings, how far up prospect lists can he rise?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I'd probably get a lot less side eye if he is the Mets arm at #17 on the 2018 list in that case.

Steve (Wilmington): Pick two to round out dynasty keepers on the farm: Dustin May, Duane Underwood, Mark Appel, Thyago Viera, Adalberto Mejia, Franchy Cordero. Thanks!

Jeffrey Paternostro: My Dustin May love is well known. The rest of that list is uh, something. Mejia I guess. Ben is psychically sending me messages to tell you not to roster prospect relievers in a dynasty league.

RJ (Boston): After watching Amed Rosario this spring, do you think you *maybe* should have put him a little higher on the top 100? Also, I think the arm is definitely a 70, but how would you grade the glove- 65?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't give 65s. 60 is the safe bet, he's still a little more athlete than gloveman out there at present, but has the tools to be a 7, sure.

JollyBee (yum): Who will ultimately be the top performer from the June 2016 draft?

Jeffrey Paternostro: He may not have one of the five best single seasons of the class, but I think Senzel will have the best career.

RDBL2014 (San Francisco): How would you rank Mickey Moniak, Kyle Lewis, Ronald Acuna, and Juan Soto for their ultimate MLB projection, and why? Thank you!

Jeffrey Paternostro: Upside

Soto, Acuna, Lewis, Moniak


Lewis, Moniak, Soto, Acuna

ranmassa (baltimore): dynasty league number one overall pick, moncada, or benintiendi?

Jeffrey Paternostro: You might end up with some future slight pains of regret if you take Benintendi, but I'd take him and punt the risk.

Jim (NY): Why don't you give 65s? Is that for any tool?

Jeffrey Paternostro: The idea with half grades is to give some granularity among larger populations (a lot of dudes have tools in the 45-55 range, so just calling them all a 5 is less helpful). At the upper end of the scale there should be far fewer players to sort. I would give a 35, but Craig yells at me if I do that.

jabloom (ottawa): Hi Jeffrey, I don't know if you answer fantasy questions but I have a prospect related fantasy question. I'm in a keep forever league and received an offer where I trade the #2 pick overall in this year's draft (pool consists of 2016 draftees and scrubs) + Ronald Acuna for A.Chapman and Basabe (ChiSox). Assuming Senzel goes #1 I'd likely draft Ray or Lewis at #2. Is this too much youth value to give up for Chapman?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I do though I can't vouch for their usefulness. If you are trying to win now and really need saves maybe. Feels like too much to me though. I'd at least try to get a better (and closer) second piece than Basabe even in that case.

steve (Ny): should the mets move marcos molina full time to the pen? Seems like he'd be a surefire good reliever

Jeffrey Paternostro: He's likely a reliever in the majors, but right now he needs starter reps coming off TJ. Mets have plenty of them to offer in A+ and AA too.

Eddy (NY): Have you been aware of any new changes in minor leaguers (velocity, batting stances, anything) this spring training that has you interested about how they perform this season? I know Mitch White and Walker Buehler were pumping serious gas the other day. Something in that vein.

Jeffrey Paternostro: These stories pop up every Spring, because there isn't much to write about. I'd pay closer attention to Buehler and White, especially Buehler since this is a continuation of how he looked late last season. But some guys also just get hot early and can air it out in two-inning stints. Jarrett does have a piece in the works on this topic though (Spring prospect helium generally)

Earl (SC): What does Andres Gimenez playing some ML spring training mean for his season. Do you think this may be a sign that he could start the season playing for Columbia?

Jeffrey Paternostro: It means he was in STEP camp basically. They have pulled a lot of guys over from the full prospect range this Spring. A full season ball assignment would be incredibly aggressive even if they didn't already have a very crowded middle infield situation on tap there. I'd expect Kingsport or Brooklyn, if he really shines in extended.

Jim (Long Island): Which Met should be the quarterback for the Jets?

Jeffrey Paternostro: This one feels like is is too much of a tee up.

Minors Man (Reading): Is there a list or a graphic somewhere that details the park factors of each MiLB park? Or at least those in A-AAA? I don't want to get too excited about prospects if their numbers look good but I don't realize that they're in hitter parks.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think Statcorner still has them. BA did multiyear park factorsl a couple years ago, but I find it more difficult to search for.

Keith (Farmington, CT): Thanks Jeff, Is it strange that Dominic Smith isn't on the Mets' 40-man roster? Given Duda's back, Conforto's struggles and Bruce being trade bait, I would have thought Smith might be in line for a June or July promotion with a hot start.

Jeffrey Paternostro: They never add a guy unless he is being called up or they'll need to protect him from the Rule 5 that offseason. No need to start Smith's option clock early. I don't think you will see him before September regardless unless there's a DL pile-up.

Josh (LA): I think LAD might be my new favorite destination for SP prospects. Mitch White was sitting 94-97 the other day. Wasn't he a 91-94 guy? What do you make of him if this velocity sticks?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Wilson will be following his starts around like the Grateful Dead. The velocity makes him a Top 101 type, but with the kind of third pitch questions that throw him in that ol' mid-rotation starter tier.

Clnbailey (Indy): Is a .260 avg and 25 HRs a reasonable expectation for Tyler O'Neill's prime years?

Jeffrey Paternostro: That's fair.

Benjammin (NJ): How would you Mets starters rank from a prospect standpoint when they were last prospects. We can exclude deGrom because he came out of nowhere and wasn't a hyped prospect, but at one point people said wheeler would be the best, then Matz would be the best, no Gsellman is ranked as one of the best prospects in baseball. Wheeler, Syndergaard, Matz, Gsellman, Harvey? I feel like everyone thought Harvey would be a 3-4 until that slider to Parra.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I would flip-flop Wheeler and Syndergaard, and plenty of others would flip-flop Harvey and Gsellman and even bump Harv over Matz.

Nailfan (Kailua Kona): I have not read anything about Brent Honeywell this spring. Is there anything new I should know before I decide whether to take him in my dynasty league draft?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Roster Resource doesn't list him as injured, which is the only new information I would be worried about.

grimoren189 (Houston): How confident are you in Lewis Brinson's ability to hit at the major league level?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I am confident he hits enough. Probably not winning batting titles, but with the rest of the tools, he doesn't need to.

Sigh-pa, not Sip-a (NY): What is your submission for the name of the Rumble Ponies' mascot?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I am currently inundated with images of two flourescent goats named Chompers and Choo Choo so

Tom Hubert (Long Island): Hey Jeff, do you think with Warthen's comments of Harvey needing up into May to gain back lost velocity, that it this point the Mets would be better off keeping Harvey in extended spring and have Gsellman in the potential 4 spot and Lugo in the 5? With so many divisional games in the first month, Lugo still ramped up from the WBC, and Harvey's game still in question, would it not make sense to go this route? At the present, would you rather Lugo take starts over Harvey?

Jeffrey Paternostro: They'd have to either DL him or get him to accept an assignment, and well, we saw how that went in 2016. I think you have to give Harvey a month to figure it out, because the past performance is ace level. I don't expect that to go great though, and I don't expect them to be too keen to move someone else in even then.

Alex (CA): Do you get food in your beard?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I have to be cognizant of soup and sauces, but actual food is less of an issue. I am starting to get bored with it again, and I try to be a bit more clean cut for the season anyway.

Ted (FL): The Santiago references in every single chat are actually quite annoying.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think I agree with you, but I am also very curious.

Bobby (Albany): Given that the Mets are handling Conforto in a Very Poor manner, who provides more WARP for their team this year: Conforto or Clint Frazier?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think given that the Mets are rostering three outfielders on the wrong side of 30, two of whom have lower body issues, and one of whom may have to slide over to first for an over-30 1B with back issues. I think Conforto gets enough playing time and plays well enough there to take this fairly easily. Don't expect the Yanks to be in a rush to get Frazier up.

St. James (DC): Sorry if I already sent this... Is Eliezar Alvarez the future starting 2B for St. Louis?

Jeffrey Paternostro: He certainly could be, but my crystal ball gets foggy around 2019. Second base prospects are a tough profile, but also Cardinals Devil Magic.

Alex (CA): 2017 Anderson Espinoza or 2015 Julio Urias?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I've never been quite as high on Urias' upside at least as others, but pretty easily him.

Larry G (Brooklyn): I know that you've said that if Conforto were still prospect eligible, you'd view him in a similar light as Benintendi. While I don't necessarily disagree with you (I've watched a ton of Conforto), I don't know if the majority of the industry is *quite* that high on him. So, excluding yourself, about where do you think most of the industry would've slotted Conforto on top 100s this offseason? Would he be viewed as a similar caliber prospect as Clint Frazier? or more like Aaron Judge? Better? Worse?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Can't really speak for the rest of the industry, but I wasn't as high on him as a prospect as other places, nor was BP at the time. There's enough major league at-bats now too where the apples to apples comparison is harder. I will say I think it would be hard for me to get him below Frazier on a Top 25-and-under list or whatever. Not impossible, as Frazier has a bit more upside, but that might also just be because we haven't seen him fail yet.

misterbob (pa): How would you rank these catchers for this year----Susac, Hedges, and Murphy----who might have the biggest impact and why. Thanks

Jeffrey Paternostro: Well, Murphy is out until May or so now, and a fractured hand would make me stay away for this season even with Coors. Hedges is an elite defender, but I gather this is a fantasy question. He doesn't need to retain a ton of the El Paso explosion (assuming it isn't a desert mirage) to be a valuable everyday backstop, but there won't be a ton of offense there unless he is actually now Hunter Renfroe at catcher.

I'll confess to not following the Brewers Spring that closely, but even if Susac has the everyday job, I mean, it's Andrew Susac.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): What kind of impact do you see Bradley Zimmer making in Cleveland this year? Same question for Lewis Brinson in Milwaukee.

Jeffrey Paternostro: We aren't the Shiny Happy People about Brad Zimmer, and Cleveland has some outfield depth. I think they might be more willing to go to Zimmer in a pinch than Milwaukee with Brinson, at least before ye olde Super 2 deadline. I think the first pass against major league pitching could be rough for both.

Jim (SD): How good "could? Austin Hedges be if he is Hunter Renfroe at catcher? Which is not the craziest of outcomes at this point...

Jeffrey Paternostro: That is basically power over hit Buster Posey so...

Johnny Walker Black (NJ): Who would you rather roster, Anderson Espinoza or Lucas Giolito? Giolito has really lost his luster. Can ChiW turn him around?

Jeffrey Paternostro: This is well within the fudge factor for me, but Don Cooper has worked miracles with less, and the lead time with Espinoza may be significant and we could be having this same conversation about him in 2019.

Ron (Texarkana): Bret Sayre ranked Nick Senzel, Corey Ray, Zach Collins, Jason Groome, & Mickey Moniak as his Top 5 Dynasty Signees from 2016. Do you agree with this, or have a different viewpoint?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think I prefer Lewis to Moniak, but totally reasonable to prefer Moniak until there's more clarity on how Lewis looks now.

greg (ny): i know it's dumb to base stuff off of spring but wainwright just gave up 10 runs in 1.2 innings to the mets (i didnt see it but i'm just guessing that wilmer's grand slam was dhlif) - is he truly done for good now?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Wilmer Flores hitting an absolute bomb off a righty is not the greatest portent for that righty. Also, Wainwright is 35? Jesus, truly the years start coming and they don't stop coming.

Alex (CA): What would be your best estimate of Alex Reyes' trade value right now? What about midseason? Would the Cardinals be able to trade him for significant help this year, assuming they wanted to?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I guess the only recent comp for this is the Wheeler/Flores for Gomez deal that fell through. I wouldn't make a trade like that if I were the Cardinals (and the service time difference makes it worse). I think they could definitely find some buyers for him, but you'd be selling low, because we just have zero info about the recovery yet.

Juan (NY): Who is your favorite kinda under-the-radar Mets prospect to look at this season? I suppose your last 3 (if my memory serves correct) were Molina, Carpio and Urena so, um, maybe I shouldnt be jinxing a guy i guess :(

Jeffrey Paternostro: That sounds about right, and it isn't a great track record,no. Well Luis Silva has already had a TJ, and I suspect will pop up in Brooklyn this season. That's pretty far under the radar, but I feel like all the others I'd pick here are fairly well known quantities. Gregory Guerrero I guess too.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Okay, gonna have to cut it off a little earlier than I expected (and yes I know the Wednesday KO is an hour later because of Daylight Savings), but keep an eye out for the Futures Guide which should be available soon, and we will chat again when the minor league season starts.

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