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Chat: George Bissell

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday May 02, 2017 1:00 PM ET chat session with George Bissell.


George is the host of Flags Fly Forever, our flagship fantasy podcast, and a fantasy staff writer at Baseball Prospectus.

George Bissell: Hey everyone, whats up? I hope you all survived April. Before I forget, make sure you check out the new episode of Flags Fly Forever, which will be out tomorrow. We'll have Jarrett Seidler talking Mets and then Ryan Bloomfield of BaseballHQ talking Paxton & more. Right now, I'll be taking your fantasy, prospects, and random questions for the next hour or two. Let's get this chat rolling!

Chansen8895 (San Jose, CA): Is it time to hit the eject button on Gsellman? hes been very painful to watch and almost looks hurt.

George Bissell: In a shallow re-draft, I would consider alternative options. Long-term, I'm holding onto Gsellman for now. The velocity drop on his sinker, especially the in-game fluctuations, and the fact that he didn't record a strikeout last night against Atlanta (and gave up five runs in five innings) have me concerned that there is a legitimate injury issue. It's a disappointing outcome, but I think the process (why we liked Gsellman in the first place) was correct.

treynay3 (Tampa): Hey George, thanks so much for the chat! Wondering what kind of upside Manny Margot can have for fantasy. Do you think he can be a .300-10-30 guys for years to come? Sorta like an AJ Pollock lite? Or is that a stretch. Thinking about going after him in a deep dynasty league.

George Bissell: No problem! Glad to help out! I think Margot's reasonable floor for the immediate future is a .260 hitter with 20-25 steals. He feels a lot like Kevin Kiermaier to me offensively. I think there is batting average upside eventually, but counting on him to make a major impact right away is probably a mistake. He's a great target in dynasty formats, but the real payoff might be a few years away.

Craig (CT): Ronald Acuna - the next big thing?

George Bissell: Acuna is slashing .278/.330/.456 with eight extra-base hits in 98 plate appearances at High-A. The answer is always "maybe." It's hard to find a 19-year-old outfielder (with his size) that hits for this type of power at such a young age. He shot up our dynasty rankings after a stellar start in Rome last spring before getting hurt. He's most likely going to finish the year as a top-10 fantasy prospect.

Danny (Chicago): Juan Soto - a top 10 prospect by the end of the season?

George Bissell: Yes. He's slashing an absurd .361/.430/.518 in A-ball right now. He might be there already.

Dan Quisenberry (KC): I roster Glover, Capps, and Dyson. Which one of those do you think ends up with the most saves at the end of 2017?

George Bissell: Great question. I think it's Glover. I don't trust Capps elbow. I love Carter Capps, but I can't do this to myself again. It's Glover for me.

Rob Deer (Milwaukee): Are we seeing the breakout of Mike Foltynewicz?

George Bissell: Considering that he owns a 4.38 DRA (descriptive) and a 102 cFIP (predictive & also below the league-average mark of 100), I would say no. The strikeout rate is still around 8.0 per-nine. I'm just not interested. I'll throw darts at the Andrew Triggs of the world before I bet on someone like Folty.

James (Sherbrooke): I am stuck with Aledmys Diaz as my shortstop in a 15-team dynasty. Should I be looking to upgrade, or should I ride this out a little longer?

George Bissell: I'll admit the batting average and the sudden evaporation of his on-base skills are a concern. If you believed in him a few months ago, I'm not sure how you can bail on him after four weeks. I think he's still a .260 hitter with decent pop (10-15 home runs). The real problem is that the position is crazy deep and the replacement level is so high. I'm not cutting Diaz yet, but if he's still hitting .230 in May, I start to look around.

Brett (Calgary): Is Pedroia finished?

George Bissell: Stop it. That's a ridiculous overreaction to a bad few weeks. He hit .318 last year. The real concern for me: how much has the offseason knee surgery impacted him? We'll never know, but it might take him awhile to really get going.

Greg Vaughn (Milwaukee): Ryan Schimpf? Buying or no?

George Bissell: What are you buying? I absolutely buy that he's going to post a 25-30 degree average launch angle, hit an absurd amount of fly balls, and probably eclipse 30 home runs with a .200 batting average. It's just not an attractive fantasy profile. Fun player, zero fantasy value for me in the current offensive landscape where home runs on contact are at an all-time high.

Jeff (San Francisco): Hi George - are you trusting Matt Garza for a spin in deep leagues after a decent start to 2017?

George Bissell: Absolutely not. No. No. No. In 44 starts over the last two years (2016 & 2015) his DRA is over 6.00

Buddy (Peoria, IL): How soon does Lewis Brinson get the call, and what kind of impact will he have?

George Bissell: I've been relatively low on Brinson compared to the rest of the BP staff. So, I'm not going to get you all excited about him. I think the Brewers are trying to sort out their options at the moment, but it wouldn't surprise me to see him get the call this summer. I don't think the fantasy impact will be there for 2017. He's an outstanding defender. That will ensure playing time. I'm not getting crazy bc of his PCL numbers.

Hector (Kansas): What do you think of the Big 3 in Pittsburgh? Cole, Taillon, and Nova should be very good for the next 2-3 years for them.

George Bissell: I don't want to be a buzzkill. I'm trying not to be. I love Taillon. He's poised, competes his tail off and has what it takes. Cole has to stay healthy. I loved Nova coming into the year based on the Pirates making some minor changes, enabling him to throw more strikes, gain confidence, etc. I think we're reaching a Gladwellian tipping point with him. You can only throw so many strikes without getting hammered at some point. The ballpark and league eliminate risk of a total collapse, but he's not going to do this indefinitely. Let's be real.

JJ Hoover (Arizona): When do I get my shot to close games? Mr. Bow and Arrow has been awful.

George Bissell: Rubby De La Rosa will lead the Diamondbacks in saves this season. You heard it hear first.

Sir Nerdlington (Colorado): Amy MiLB pitchers you've circled to help in the coming months? Pitching arms have blown up, on my team at least, and I need more upside than the MLB waiver wire flotsam.

George Bissell: Brent Honeywell is the obvious name. He struggled in his last start in Durham, but I think he's going to get a taste of major-league competition this summer. Nobody has more confidence than him. I'm going to throw out a weird name. Nik Turley. He was just promoted to Triple-A. The Twins bullpen is a mess & he's been transitioned to a left-handed Devenski-type multi-inning role in relief. I think he's a weird, but potentially useful guy in a crazy deep league.

Mark (New Hampshire): If you were forced to drop one in a very deep standard league, who would you choose: Odorizzi Manaea Porcello Morton

George Bissell: Come on, Rick Porcello has been really good this year. The Sox defense hasn't done him any favors. I'm fascinated by Charlie Morton. He's throwing like 96-97 with movement and getting swings and misses consistently. I'd probably cut Odorizzi, but I'm sure you could deal him to another team for something.

Loonies (Tampa): Keeper question: trade Scherzer (final year) for archer (extendable) and a top prospect? Still chance of competing.

George Bissell: Yea, I would probably do this just because of the extra year of control.

Jim (Chicago): With Jeimer Candelario off to a great start in AAA do you think the Cubs move him for pitching help this summer ?

George Bissell: They moved Dan Vogelbach last summer, but I think that had more to do with him lacking a natural position and they liked the return in Montgomery. I don't think they're trading Ian Happ, but I was saying that about Gleyber Torres at this time a year ago...

Ombudsman (NY): Would you trade Danny Salazar for Kyle Schwarber? 10-tm h2h standard scoring with OPS and QS

George Bissell: Yea, I would. Schwarber is getting tagged as "overrated" or a "disappointment" at the moment, but he's the type of guy you don't want to write off. There is too much talent there for him to hit .220 for an entire season. The power will be there in the summer.

wbaker0621 (Connecticut): George, I am in a unique 13-team 5X5 ROTO league. We use all of the AL teams and 2 of the NL teams (Cubs & Nationals this year). I have 2 offers I'd love your thoughts on: 1) Derek Holland for Michael Taylor; 2) Ervin Santana for Avisail Garcia. My pitching is strong, but bats are lagging behind. Thanks so much in advance.

George Bissell: I'm probably taking the deal for Taylor (power/speed with huge batting average risk) but keeping Ervin.

Chansen8895 (San Jose, CA): with the first month in the books are there any FA veterans you're adding in dynasty? Like a David Peralta if you believe hes back to 2015 form.

George Bissell: David Peralta is v. good. Ryan Zimmerman got off to such a hot start that you can't get him now. One guy who has stood out to me is Shin-Soo Choo. His OBP is around .400 right now, hitting for some power. Underrated.

Rick Smith (Phoenix): James Paxton finishes the 2017 season as a top _ fantasy starter.

George Bissell: 10

ryangong (vancouver): JC Ramirez breakout in progress?

George Bissell: He's made four career starts. Let's pump the brakes. I'm interested in him as a streaming option at home, but the fly balls scare me. I want to rant about using the term "breakout" and how it's a poor heuristic for analyzing pitchers that are exceeding expectations. I'm done now.

Eric (Barrie): Deep Dynasty League, keep forever, 200+ prospects rostered - Who'd you rather have right now: Anderson Tejeda or Carter Kieboom?

George Bissell: Tejada for me.

Eric (Barrie): Deep Dynasty League, keep forever, 200+ prospects rostered - Who'd you rather have right now: Anderson Tejeda or Carter Kieboom?

George Bissell: Tejada for me.

Clown baby (Lakeland): Am I a fool for believing gausman will soon figure it out and once again become serviceable? I had such high hopes preseason.

George Bissell: I wasn't vocal about it & I'm not a fan of victory laps as a fantasy "analyst" either, but I was happy to let other owners draft him this spring. I think the secondary stuff is still a work in progress. I'm not writing him off entirely, but a really bad April.

Nate (Brownsburg): Thoughts on Amed Rosario as a fantasy prospect? I own him in a bunch of dynasty leagues and am considering whether to deal him with all the hype right now or hold him. Can he be a .280, 10 HR, 30 SB threat (full season pace) right away? Or is the power years away?

George Bissell: I really like Rosario. We had him in the top 10 in the pre-season at BP. I think you're selling him at the height of his value if you do it right now. I wouldn't have a problem with it, depending on the return. The speed and batting average are the carrying tools right now, I'm not holding my breath on the power. We said these same things about Francisco Lindor a few years ago. I'm not saying he's Lindor, but I really like Rosario.

Ed (Toronto): Bo Bichette or Carter Kieboom - Purely Fantasy?

George Bissell: Bichette

Ben (DC): Carter Kieboom - a top 25 prospect by the end of the season?

George Bissell: Probably not. Check back in June.

Jason (Chicago): Do you think Glasnow ever figures it out? What is his upside? What are the chances he pans out?

George Bissell: I talked to him last summer for BP and got the sense that his size presents mechanical issues that he may never be able to "solve." The upside is immense, but we may have to come to terms with the reality that he's just never going to harness the command and control to reach it. I'd put the chances at 5%. I traded him for Dan Vogelbach in TDGX last month. I'm not optimistic. You want honesty, there it is.

Rick (TN): Sixto Sanchez or Luis Escobar? 2 relievers?

George Bissell: Sanchez. Not close.

Dan (DC): What kind of potential does Carter Kieboom have? Future Stud?

George Bissell: Lots of Kieboom questions. He's 19-years-old and has played 56 games as a professional. I'm waiting for more data and scouting reports before labeling him a "future stud." He's years away people.

Jquinton82 (NY): Own Giolito and Lopez... how's worried are you by the results and how much faith do you have that that coaching staff can fix Giolito?

George Bissell: I'm more optimistic about Lopez. His last start was a beauty. I thought the BP prospect team did a great job of breaking down the Giolito issues during the offseason. I'm just not interested in fantasy.

Loonies (Tampa): Hi George, in a keeper league, do you value bregman over any of these guys: frazier, Franco, castellanos, or lamb?

George Bissell: I take Castellanos over all of them. I don't know what to make of Bregman's performance so far. It's so different from who he was a year ago.

jgonzales (SF): Looks like Jose Berrios is off to another great start in AAA again. Any reason to believe he's made any adjustment that will keep him from being lit up again in the majors?

George Bissell: I have no idea. I haven't thought about Berrios in a long time. If he succeeds against major-league competition, then we can start to talk about him as a mixed league option.

Ernie (San Diego): Is Luis Urias a 2B or SS when he arrives in SD and your thoughts on his upside ? Thanks

George Bissell: My understanding is that he's a batting average asset. The upside is non-existent. No power, no speed. It's very Joe Panik.

Pete (Chevy Chase, MD): Is Joe Blanton's job safe ? He's been putrid.

George Bissell: So you're saying a 9.90 ERA isn't good?

Kevin (KC): Thanks for the chat, George! What can you tell us about Samir Duenez?? He's young for his league, had a great year in 2016, has started well in 2017 yet has never been identified as a meaningful prospect. What's the story?? Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

George Bissell: You're welcome. I've heard nothing to indicate that he's a potential impact prospect. Sorry.

kjesanis (Worcester): who do you think is the best fantasy prospect that is not considered a good real life prospect?

George Bissell: It was Dan Vogelbach for awhile. Might be Rowdy Tellez right now. Alex Verdugo & Raimel Tapia also come to mind.

Jack (Chicago): Does Adam Conley have any upside or is he drop-able in a deep dynasty league?

George Bissell: He's extremely droppable.

kjesanis (worcester): Any minor leaguer flying under the radar as a potential 2017 contributor in your eyes? Other than Tuley?

George Bissell: Royals Josh Staumont is one guy I've been following. Leading the PCL in strikeouts. I think he could get a shot if the Royals fall out of it completely (which might happen).

Craig (Allentown, PA): Luis Castillo (Cin) or Luiz Gohara (Atl) for the long term and why ?

George Bissell: Can I say neither?

Joe (Pittsburgh, PA): Hi George, wanted to get your thoughts on Polanco. Obviously he's really struggling. This has to be the shoulder right? He was great on the WBC and then reports came out that he reinjured his shoulder shortly before opening day. Is he a solid hold in a dynasty? I know he's better than this but it's frustrating...

George Bissell: I'm pretty sure Bret Sayre had Polanco as a top 10 dynasty outfielder coming into the year. You don't trade him under any circumstance.

James (NJ): Where would you rank Luis Robert in the prospect rankings if eligible?

George Bissell: I just don't know enough about Robert to feel comfortable throwing out a number. If I had to guess, back end of the 101.

Nathan (Michigan): Any idea what's up with Xander this year? While the average is great I would love to see some power. .300-25 would be awesome but we all know he has even more raw power in there. You think there's any chance he ever gets to 30 HR or is he more a upper teens HRs, .300+ hitter?

George Bissell: Go back to last August and look at what Xander Bogaerts was on pace to do. It's incredible. My stance on Bogaerts has remained very consistent. He's going to have to trade average for power, or power for average. It's going to be hard to do both. I think he's a 15-20 home run guy with a .300 average. That's really good. Pay for the average, live with the power.

Boomer (Balt): Do you think Kelvin Herrera get traded this summer? His numbers haven't been great, but he'd look pretty good closing for the Nats, no?

George Bissell: If the Royals fail to get back in the playoff picture, there is almost no incentive to keep Herrera. The nice thing about Herrera is that he's not locked into closing. You could deal for him and have him go back to setting up ahead of an established closer for a team like the Dodgers.

Noel (Denmark): JC Ramirez has been pretty good this year. Is this smoke and mirrors, or do we need to start paying attention to him?

George Bissell: He's the guy I've circled to watch this week. I think he's put himself on the mixed league radar, but we're talking about a 28-year-old with four career starts on his resume. Exercise excruciating patience.

Todd (Charlestown, WV): Merandy Gonzalez has taken the Sally league by storm, is he a top 100 pospect next year ?

George Bissell: Where are the strikeouts?

Floyd (Denver): What do you make of Jacob Turner, newest 5th starter for the Nats?

George Bissell: Have you ever put butter on a Pop Tart?

Ombudsman (NY): Any inside scoop on Archie Bradley for saves in Arizona? Or do you think he will be headed to the starting rotation? Thanks!

George Bissell: Why would the D-backs mess with him? They're either keeping him in the multi-inning #DevenskiRole or giving him another shot at the rotation.

Chesty (New Bern,NC): George,need to move one in a one year league ,h2h,12 team A.Wood,I.Kennedy,R.Ray,M.Leake, W,k,k/9,whip,Era Thank you

George Bissell: I have an irrational attachment to Alex Wood and Mike Leake, but it's probably Wood.

brad (NJ): Colton Welker now hitting .320/.366/.490 in A ball at 19 years old and it doesn't hurt that his parent club is the rockies. What do you think of Welker, his ceiling and ultimate position/role?

George Bissell: I'm just not interested. He's four, maybe five years away from any sort of fantasy impact. Pass.

Rick (Chicago): Back to Acuna for a second. Best case scenario, starting CF in 2020? Sooner?

George Bissell: I'd give him three or four years. 2020 sounds about right.

PK (Austin): Think Bundy is a sell high or a hold? Worried that his arm could fall off at any moment.

George Bissell: The issue with Bundy isn't the stuff, it's the workload. How many innings can the Orioles risk pushing him to this year?

Max ((DC)): Carter Kieboom or Andrese Gimenez for fantasy long-term?

George Bissell: Kieboom.

brad (NJ): Logan shore now has a 2.01ERA his parent club Oakland is a great pitchers park, what do you think about Shore and his likely outcome and ETA?

George Bissell: I have zero interest in Logan Shore as a fantasy commodity. Sorry.

Piercing Blue Eyes (Tampa): Is this what we can expect from Kiermaier for the rest of the year? He's been atrocious.

George Bissell: Kiermaier is a little bit streaky as a hitter. I still think 25 steals is still on the table. I'm surprised he's been this bad. Looked like he turned a corner last year before getting hurt.

Mark (OH): Time to give up on Brady Aiken, future ace?

George Bissell: Oh yea. Check out our Indians Top 10 list.

Aaron (LA): Any reports out there on guys like Lazarito, Victor Garcia, Johan Oviedo, etc. who haven't left extended spring training yet? Anyone making noise out there to keep an eye on come June?

George Bissell: I don't know. Not my area of the store.

ironcityguys (home): Which young catcher has the better upside and why? Sisco or Swihart? And, do you think Mesoraco can regain his pre-injury value?

George Bissell: I'll go Sisco. I don't know why. He's younger and Swihart has had some serious health issues over the last year now. I don't understand how anyone could be interested in Mesoraco at this point.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): Arrieta is still striking out batters, but his velocity is down. Are you concerned?

George Bissell: Not yet. The uptick in home runs is what I'm watching closely.

Kirk (Detroit): Will Avila see more starts at first base going forward? This seems like a good idea to keep his bat in the lineup.

George Bissell: I hope not.

Greg (GA): Luis Robert or Kevin Maitan?

George Bissell: Maitan

grimoren189 (Houston): Would you trade Bundy and Ozuna for Stanton in a dynasty? Trying to sell high on Bundy and still can't help but dream on Stanton's ultimate upside.

George Bissell: Yea, I would do the trade, but thinking about Stanton's upside is exactly how the proverbial ship ends up crashing into the rocks.

Tim (Pittsburgh): What are your thoughts on Austin Meadows? What is his upside?

George Bissell: He's a potential five-category impact fantasy monster. The upside is a first/second round fantasy pick at his peak. The nagging health issues are the lone concern.

Greg (Washington): In a dynasty league, how do you balance between going for it and building for the future? I have a good team now, but could sell off a few big name prospects for a chance to win it all. Thoughts?

George Bissell: I think you have to make that decision before the season. If you have the pieces in-season and a chance to contend, you have to take it. I would be willing to sell off future assets if I believed that I could win a title. Flags Fly Forever.

Jeb (Iowa): I think Josh Bell is going to be pretty damn good hitter in the upcoming years. I love his approach. What do you think?

George Bissell: He's always impressed me. I think if you can live with a lack of home run power, you're going to enjoy having him. Especially in an on-base format.

ukbsktbll (Nashville TN ): See J Ross turning things around? Is he worth holding and seeing how he pans out if you have the roster spots? 10 tm H2h points league. Thanks

George Bissell: In a 10-team league, I'd be willing to cut him, but I'm confident that Ross will be fine. In like a 15-team or deeper, I'm holding him.

Brian (Phoenix): Hi George, Do you think Edwin Rios is the Dodgers long term answer at 3B ? Seems to be playing out of position to me.

George Bissell: Justin Turner is the Dodgers long-term answer at third base.

Myles (TX): You and Craig get drunk, apply for Naked and Afraid, and laugh at the thought of the producers sending a couple of A/C loving baseball writers into the rainforest. Sike. You've been selected and fly out to the Amazon tomorrow. Who lasts longest?

George Bissell: These are my readers...

George Bissell: Thank you to everyone who send in a question! If I didn't get to you, feel free to hit me up on Twitter! -G

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