Mark Barry is a member of the Baseball Prospectus fantasy team.
Mark Barry: There's basketball on TV, but there's baseball in our hearts. Let's have a good chat.
touchstoneQu (Minneapolis): What's up with Yandy Diaz? Prospect reports all have him as an outstanding defender -- but spring training reports make it seem he's never seen a glove before.
What's going on? And am I wrong to feel giddy about him? (I'm in a 12-team AL-only Scoresheet league that factors in defense and OBP.)
Mark Barry: It looks like BP had him at 6.7 FRAA last season in Triple-A, so he's above average on D for sure. He has hit everywhere, so I wouldn't be surprised if the Indians give him a shot this year. They could pretty easily move Jose Ramirez to 2nd base while Kipnis is hurt and that would open a spot for Diaz.
Mike (Toronto ): Is there a possibility of Leody Taveras going away from switch hitting. Looks very unnatural from the right side. Do you know if hes got more power from one side or is it even?
Mark Barry: I haven't heard anything about a change like that, but by just glancing at his splits it does look like he's a lot better against right-handed pitching, more power (well, at least a higher Slug%, anyway).
Dan (ATL ): Is Ronald Acuna the next big prospect?
Mark Barry: It would certainly appear that way. I love what I'm hearing and reading about Acuna. The Andruw Jones comps out of spring training have been fun. PECOTA likes him too, his top three comparable players are: Mike Trout, Carlos Correa, and Jurickson Profar. So, um, we like him.
Nathan (Vienna (Austria)): Would you trade Sonny Gray, who I could keep 4 more years after this season, for Lewis Brinson (H2H, points-based league)?
Mark Barry: That's a great question. Man, I wish Gray was healthy, because he's fun. I'm not sure I'd count on him to be a fantasy #1 or #2 anymore, though. In that case, I'd probably go with Brinson who is going to steal a bunch of bases and could eventually hit a bunch of homers too.
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?
Mark Barry: My answer is I don't have the first d*** clue. I'm an educated man, but I'm afraid I can't speak intelligently about the travel habits of William Santiago.
Chris (MD): In a 15 team 2 catcher league, Posey in the 2nd round (Pick #29) is a smart decision, correct?
Mark Barry: I think drafting him that high would make some sense in a two-catcher league, yes.
R.J. (LV, NV): When a commentator is asked in a chat like this about a potential MLB trade of an established star for prospect(s), the expert will invariably say something like "Team A won't trade Star Player X to Team B without getting back at least Top Prospect Y and Team B will never do that". What is going on here? I mean, both teams can't be right? It feels a little like a cop-out for the expert to not say which side is wrongly overvaluing it's asset. Or perhaps more generously, is it simply a concession to human nature's tendency to over-value what it already possesses? Even if it is that, it would be nice if sometimes you could hear an expert say which team is wrong (or more wrong, anyway) -- and perhaps give an informed opinion about what Team A or Team B should be taking or giving up to get the deal done. Thanks.
Mark Barry: I definitely agree that there's a natural tendency to over-value your own guys, which makes sense because you know them better than anyone else. I can't speak for everyone, but sometimes I don't know, so that's when the hedging starts. I'm working on it.
Ben (LA ): Is the hype real on Luis Robert?
Mark Barry: Lots of Luis Robert questions tonight. Admittedly I don't know a ton about him, so I had to call in the big guns.
Bret says "Five-tool athlete with mini-Moncada upside. Probably A ball once he signs, maybe 2 years away. Top 30 prospect right now for me, similar to Kyle Tucker."
Also, Wilson wrote about him a bit in a recent "Ocean Floor" piece. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=31191
Andrew (DC): Is Juan Soto about to jump up the prospect rankings?
Mark Barry: He's got a lot of helium behind him, for sure (btw I love that term, it makes me feel so scouty). He's super young, so I'd like to see him play full-season ball before moving him up a ton, but he's definitely exciting.
Daniel (CT): Fantasy wise - Ronald Acuna or Juan Soto? or both?
Mark Barry: If you can swing it, both. If I'm forced to pick, I'll take Acuna and right now it's not particularly close.
grimoren189 (Houston): Any concerns after Soler's terrible spring? He's shown plate discipline and power in the past separately, hoping he'll put it all together this season.
Mark Barry: Not really. Soler really hasn't gotten the chance to play every day yet in his career. If he's bad a couple of months into the season I'd maybe start to have second thoughts.
CW (ND): 10 team Hth keeper- mix of 10 standard and saber offensive stats. 3 keepers allowed, I'm keeping kershaw and Bryant for sure. For my 3rd keeper should it be Goldy or Story? Thanks
Mark Barry: Definitely Goldy. I'm not all that sold on Story, at least not comparatively.
Sir nerdlington (Colorado): Is there a working list of guys who are trying to change launch angles? I'm starting Duda at util and he makes me nervous. I need a deep sleeper. Anyone you like?
Mark Barry: That's a cool idea. I don't know of any catalog of those changes, but it could be interesting to compile. Duda will be good, if he's healthy. I guess that's a pretty big if. For some reason I kind of like Tyler Saladino. He sneakily hit .282 last year with 8 homers and 11 steals, in maybe half a season of plate appearances. He's going to play a lot more this year.
Michael (Atlanta): Is Ronald Acuna a to 20 prospect by the end of the season?
Mark Barry: I think he's probably already there.
tomhauck (New Jersey ): Thoughts on Kyle Seager in Seattle and Kim in Baltimore this year?
Mark Barry: Seager is boringly really good. I think he'll continue to hit .265-.275 and approach another 30 homers. It will be interesting to see how much Kim plays. He's been pretty solid and will give you a great average, but for some reason it doesn't feel like Buck's totally confident in him. And he's not a great defender.
Cubs Fan 69 (Illinois): Who are some lower end top 100 prospects that could really shoot towards the top of the 2018 top 100?
Mark Barry: Kevin Maitan feels like an obvious answer. I could see Walker Buehler, Jahmai Jones, and Delvin Perez making some big leaps as well.
misterbob (pa): Who do you think has the most positive impact this year: Gsellman, Lugo or Folty? Who of those 3 do you like more long term? Thx.
Mark Barry: I know our prospect guys really like Gsellman, and I think that's probably the right answer. I'm really interested to see what Folty does this year, though. He could be good as well.
Igor (At a Bar): What prospects are you looking to buy a bunch of pre-season stocks in this year so this time next year their stock will be drastically higher so you can say to everyone "Look I got in on the ground floor on ___"?
Mark Barry: Ooohhh I like this question. I think Acuna or Cody Bellinger was probably the answer last season. I think Anderson Tejeda could shoot up prospect lists pretty quickly, but there's been some buzz on him already. Non-top 101 guys, I'd go Lucas Erceg, Greg Allen, or Luis Alexander Basabe.
DJ (Dallas): Thanks for the chat Mark! Can you share any thoughts about Leodys Taveras?? Likely year we see him in Arlington? Upside?
Mark Barry: We hit on him a bit earlier, but I like Taveras a lot. He's super fast and I think he could end up having some decent pop too. He's crazy young, I think he's still just 18 years old, so it will be awhile before he's in Arlington. Even still, sky's the limit.
tjohnstone3 (Des Moines): 12tm h2h 5x5 keeper (3 OF and no CI/MI). Can keep 6 of these in the round listed. Keeper cost increases by around each year.
Goldschmidt - 3
Bogaerts - 4
Benintendi - 12
Pollock - 15
LeMahieu - 15
Syndergaard - 18
Polanco - 19
Swanson - 21
Mark Barry: Thor and Polanco are no doubters. Then probably Pollock, Goldy, LeMahieu. I love Bogaerts, and he's going to be a ton better than Swanson, but that value is really good. Toss up between those two for the final spot. I'll take Xander.
David (Atlantis): Hey Mark. Which prospects are you higher on than your colleagues & why? Vice versa which ones are you lower on & why?
Mark Barry: I don't know that I have any outlandish rankings, but I like Blake Rutherford higher than his position on the top 101. Same for Zack Collins. Austin Meadows is consensus top 10 in most places, but I might have him in the top 3.
As far as lower, I'm just not sure I get it with Manuel Margot. In fantasy, at least.
SNDestroyU (Middle Of US): Any cant miss up & coming guys coming in the next few years that have the Bryce Harper/Strasburg hype? Can be minors, college, High School, or international.
Mark Barry: I think it was probably pretty fluky to see that in two consecutive years. I think the answer might be Shohei Otani, but we don't really know if or when he's coming over. Other than that, probably no immediately impactful guys in the queue.
Cubs Fan 69 (Illinois): Who are the top 5 prospects in 2018?
Who are the top 5 prospects in 2019?
Mark Barry: The correct answer is I have no idea. But this is fun. Let's say 2018: Victor Robles, Eloy Jimenez, Brendan Rodgers, Gleyber Torres, and Nick Senzel. 2019: Robles, Anderson Espinoza, Acuna, Michael Kopech, and Anderson Tejada.
Mark Barry: Looks like that's it for tonight. Thanks for hanging out! 10 more days!