David is an editor and author of Baseball Prospectus.
David Brown: Who's ready to chat?!
Hi, I'm new. My name is Dave Brown and I am an author and editor for Baseball Prospectus. I have mostly edited fantasy articles so far but I will field questions in all manner of baseball (and perhaps outside of baseball if you like).
RDBL2014 (Concord, Ca): Ryan McMahon is off to a great start. Showing power and his K's down as well. He dropped off several prospect lists, is he back on?
David Brown: Haha, OK, I didn't mean to actually submit that question, so we're off to a great start!
answerdave (here): just who do you think you are?
David Brown: But, I would say this: Confidence is everything in this game. You look at a guy like Matt Davidson who lost his ability to hit for, like, two years. But he seems to have gotten it back after getting a shot to play with the White Sox. I don't know if McMahon rises on the prospect list YET, but his continued improvement bears watching.
Rob (Alaska): So I will admit I had to search the site to figure out who you were. Having done that, and read your stuff, care to offer any fresh insights into the Royals after the first few weeks of the season?
And can you also tell me what to do with Eric Hosmer in my fantasy league?
David Brown: Understandable, Rob. I'm new here, as I said. Do I have FRESH insights into Eric Hosmer? Not really, other than he's been struggling for about 162 games. One of the worst performers in the majors, based on playing time and results. I would not cut him yet from your team (knowing nothing else about your league) but realize that this is not a little slump he's in. I don't know if he's pressing or what, with free agency approaching. There seems to be no injury. I just don't know. The Royals would like to know too.
Charles (Toronto): Bo Bichette going to be a top 25 prospect by the end of the season?
David Brown: I will defer slightly to Wilson Karaman, who has written about Bichette a couple of times. As a hitter, he seems to be a force. Check out this post on how he generates bat speed http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=31601. It used to be PAY ONLY but for you, the chatters, I have made it free (for a while). The question with Bichette seems to be, will he play short in the bigs? The answer at the moment seems to be "maybe." Scouts are mixed on the answer. He played second in high school, which seems odd to me, because he's a shortstop now, but HE says he's more of a SS kind of guy on D. To answer the question finally, I'd say there's a good chance of him being top 25.
Buddy (Peoria, IL): Think the Cubs may go shopping for starting pitching in the near future?
David Brown: Let me tell you, Buddy, they probably better go shopping. Maybe not near future, but by the deadline certainly. Not just to get them through the season, but to get another bat-misser for the playoffs. They have the organizational depth to pull of at least one big trade, and they'll want to do that for a No. 2-type of guy. And the pitching market should be rich, so perhaps the price won't be too high.
Greg (Cleveland): Do you think Villar rebounds from his slow start? Please say yes.
David Brown: YES!
Greg (Cleveland): Do you think Villar rebounds from his slow start? Please say yes.
David Brown: Yes, but he was a little over his skis last year, right? If you're expecting 20 homers and 60 steals, it's wishful thinking. But he's another guy who just needed a chance. And if you'll be happy with 14 homers and 40 steals, well, you'll be happy!
Cal Guy (Cal): Hi David, are there any non-closers who will be closing by mid-season?
David Brown: Hi, Cal Guy in Cal. Not trying to be flippant, but of course. There's going to be changes made, trades made, things shaken up. Managers seem to have a shorter fuse than ever with the closer spot. You probably want to know WHO and WHERE so let me reach for my crystal talking magic 8-ball and....
Gregg (Cali): Does Koda Glover lead the Nats in saves, or will it be Kelvin Herrera?
David Brown: Let me continue here. This SEEMS like a natural landing spot for Herrera. Pair him with Lorenzo Cain (I stole this idea from a twitter follower) and can the Royals get Robles back? He's heretofore been untouchable, but for that package, perhaps a deal could be swung. So, that gives Soria a chance for saves. Who else... Nate Jones on the White Sox (unless they trade him AND Robertson, which might leave... Tommy Kahnle?! Who else... I have this feeling about Archie Bradley, who also could go into the rotation.
Brett (Singapore): 15-team dynasty. Do you prefer Jordan Montgomery or JC Ramirez?
David Brown: Montgomery seems like more of a prospect's prospect, and Ramirez came out of nowhere-ish-sorta, so in the longterm I still like Montgomery. I'd like to see Ramirez continue a little longer. He does seem better RIGHT NOW though. Maybe not all caps right now.
James (Lennoxville): Do you think the Royals give Staumont a shot soon? I know the command is iffy, but what do they have to lose?
David Brown: A year of free agency? I dunno if that's going to factor in with him. He might be profiling more as a reliever at this point, which I only know because I read BASEBALL PROSPECTUS. I think he's a September call-up guy, or perhaps once they decide to punt. And I think they will. I thought the Royals could be second wild card before the season, but they can't hit and don't pitch well enough. Seem like good guys, which is nice, but I think they'll be selling when it's time. Then bring up the kids.
bryand (San Francisco): Just finished the Ty Cobb Terrible Beauty book, and was struck by how much worse the level of play had to have been back in that time. What would the majors of 1910's equate to today, and any estimate of how hard the pitchers threw? Feels like a really good HS program or low A ball
David Brown: Gosh, I love this question. Three words can answer it: No black players. MLB of this era was horribly incomplete. We were all robbed when the league was segregated. (Some more than others) But, perhaps more to your point, like how hard did they throw -- it's a little later, but Bob Feller conducted some famous experiments with motorcycle odometers in the 1930s (I think) and he was getting it upper 90s. The biggest difference in velocity today, probably, is the sheer number of pitchers who throw 95, 99, even 100. There are more "good" pitchers in total because, with relievers, they don't need to go so many innings like in the olden tymes. It's much harder to hit now, I'm convinced. Field conditions are better. Lights. Diet. Travel is different. You could sleep on a train.
Trumbo (Baltimore): To continue the closer theme. Do you think Sam Dyson grabs the closer job back this year? It's not like Bush or Jeffress is pitching great.
David Brown: Hey, Trumbo. Get that slugging percentage up, OK? I think there's a chance that Dyson gets it back, yes. I do like that Leclerc fellow, too. A lot of this depends on how the Rangers season goes. Do they punt, when do they punt, how bad dos it get and how soon? I would say it's a fluid closer situation, yes. It could be, you know, months, until Dyson gets the job back. So, patience?
Stan (Cleveland): Thanks for the chat. Who has the brighter future, Jose Ramirez or Josh Donaldson?
David Brown: This is a great question, perhaps has the makings of a good bet. I mean, if Donaldson's injuries aren't recurring and he's healthy, you're still talking about one of the most dominant players in the game. But I think we also collectively underrated Ramirez a ton. I think this is a career season, and he's going to be a great, great player IRL and fantasy. Not 40 HR power, but high on base, speed, good RBI opportunities. Can't think of a great comp, but he's really fun.
George (Stanford): Do you own any shares of Danny Salazar? Could he be the most frustrating pitcher to own in fantasy?
David Brown: I do NOT this year, but I have in the past. He's still got the walkies from time to time and it limits how deep he gets into games. I don't see him being as consistently very good as Carrasco and Kluber. Those guys are a step above (with Kluber a half-step above Carrasco). Maybe a short peak that's really good. MAYYYYBE one year where he seriously contends for Cy Young, but I see limits. As do you.
Justin (Des Moines): What are your thoughts on Austin Meadows? What is his upside?
David Brown: He's had a run of bad luck with injuries. It happens. He's obviously got nothing to prove in AA. Is he going to be as good as Peak Cutch? Probably not. There's a chance right now he evolves into a disappointment for some. Let's give him a chance to hit for a while when healthy before there's any reason for concern, but it might be ok to lower expectations a little.
Tom (NJ): If eligible where would Luis Robert rank in the prospect rankings?
David Brown: Great question. "They say" he's the top international prospect. http://m.mlb.com/news/article/216971522/cuban-luis-robert-top-international-prospect/ I mean... it's a bit of a guessing game of course, but at his age and perceived talent level, you're looking at someone more hyped that Yoan Moncada. Are we talking top five major league prospects? It's kind of fluid, but there's an idea.
Ron Kittle (Chicago): Is Thor a good buy-low target or should we be worried? I mean, not even the Mets medical staff knows what's going on there.
David Brown: I would be super worried, he's gonna be out three months or something! And when pitchers are out for months, you never quite know what you're gonna get back. The Mets have, let's say "bad luck" with injuries. And then there's the time they made Ryan Church fly with a concussion...Long time ago. I'm sure Thor will be fine!
James (Hartford): Do you go to many games? Have you ever heard racist comments?
David Brown: You buried the lede here, James. I have heard what I thought was the N word once or maybe twice -- from a fan toward a player -- but I couldn't be sure. I have interviewed many players and asked this question and a good deal of them have heard comments like what Adam Jones said he heard. There's no place for it. It's very upsetting to me, and I'm supposed to be a dispassionate third party.
Jeff (Wash DC): You watching this Red Sox/Orioles game? Holbrook behind the plate is absolutely clueless.
David Brown: I am trying to hold the chat together mostly but I did see the 77 mph curveball that hit Bogaerts and got Gausman tossed and it was a big mistake on Holbrook's part. BUT, I think reasonable people also could say that MLB and the players themselves set us up for an ump to make a mistake with how this has been handled.
Carey (Ankeny): Very hypothetical trade. What would it take for the Cubs to get Glasnow? What would be the price?
David Brown: VERY hypothetical trade, Carey. I don't see the Cubs adding a great prospect who is struggling when they're trying to win the World Series again but then, that's JUST what the Cubs would want us to think. Maybe there's another guy with a little better MLB track record who could surprise us on the trade market with the Cubs, but I don't see Glasnow being the guy.
Hal (Montreal): Alex Avila or Stephen Vogt? Thanks
David Brown: God bless Alex Avila, but... no. Vote for Vogt.
Ryan (Ottawa): Do you have any favourite teams? Players?
David Brown: I grew up in Chicago, a White Sox fan, but I also happened to love the Expos. Tim Raines getting in the Hall of Fame was overdue. About as overdue as Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell getting in the Hall. Travesties, particularly Trammell.
Brody (Calgary): As an Orioles fan, it is disheartening to see a barren farm system, no interest in the international market, and an owner not willing to spend on free agent pitching. That's all i wanted to say.
David Brown: Angelos is a strange owner. They go to a certain point but they don't spend the big-big bucks like it seems they should. Is the TV deal a problem? I should probably know the answer to that. Duquette seems to do a great job with what he has.
Matt (Atlanta): With teams valuing defense more, will we see the catcher position continue to get weaker in fantasy baseball?
David Brown: Great, great question. But I think this stuff is cyclical. One thing we need to watch for is how Statcast and stuff like it refines how well we measure catcher framing. There seems to be a limit as to how much value teams put into it, and I wonder if it's because we could be doing better measuring the framing than I think we are. The technology is great, it will get better, but we might have jumped the gun on it a little.
Thom (Allentown): Does Brad Miller hold any value for you in deep leagues?
David Brown: If he had figured out how to hit home runs like he did last year in 2013, then maybe. But it's almost like too many players are doing the upper-cut, get-the-ball-in-the-air thing, and his contributions just aren't that rare.
Florida man (Florida): Do you see Tony Zych getting the 8th inning role in Seattle?
David Brown: I like him a lot, or I did before he got hurt. He's recovered now, but before Edwin Diaz, it was Zych who seemed like the closer in waiting. So he certainly could recover that. There's been talk the M's might break out Diaz into an Andrew Miller role, which could open up Zych (or Nick Vincent?) for saves.
Ryan (Niagara): How great has Big Erv been this year? Do you think he's a sell-high candidate or should I ride the wave?
David Brown: He's going to come back to earth to some degree, but I also don't know how much you get for him yet, because fantasy players seem cynical to Big Erv. I think the best course is to wait until July, and if he's an All-Star or borderline, sell him, because more will believe by then. He's a guy, I mean I like him, but he's also two starts away from being a streamer.
jb (iowa): Would Happ and Eloy be enough to get just about any sp out there on trade market?
David Brown: I don't think you have to do that based on how saturated the market is. Now, I said earlier that maybe a Herrera-Cain package gets Robles from Washington. I have no idea if Rizzo would do that, but if you're talking about moving Happ or Eloy, you better cash in double. It's not like last year where you had to give up Vogelbach (which even now, meh) for Mike Montgomery. There are better options now.
Tim Naehring (Boston): Benintendi has been exactly as advertised. Is the power gonna come, or should I just be happy with the AVG/OBP/SB?
David Brown: Tim, I always tried to get you in fantasy. Bigger power will come, probably. Maybe he's a little more of a doubles guy, but look at Mookie. Compact but grew into HR power.
Roddy (San Diego): Diamondbacks or Rockies -- which team has a better chance of upsetting LA and winning the NL West?
David Brown: I wish beyond wishing that they both keep doing this and contend all season. The Rockies have better pitching depth, even though it's younger. Certainly the bullpen is better at the end. Dahl and Desmond haven't been a part of things and they've had such a good record so far. If those guys do what they can (and there's no reason Desmond can't if he's healthy, while Dahl is iffy), then they'll be with the Dodgers at the end. D-backs have more question marks.
Jack (The lake): Are you a Haniger believer?
David Brown: totally. Only question: will this injury have lasting effects. Not surprised at all by his start. Felix bothers me though, going forward.
Paul (DC): The unsung heroes of April. Aaron Hicks for example, in a sort of everybody in the Yankees' outfield (even Judge occasionally) gets a day off a week filler role put up quite studly numbers. What other reserves have been kicking it deep down in the box scores so far this season?
David Brown: This isn't exactly what you mean, but I would love to see Ryan Schimpf hit .175, draw 100 walks and hit 45 homers. Adam Dunn would be like, dude!
John Valentin (Boston): Does JJ Hoover take over the closer job in Zona? How long can they keep going to Rodney?
David Brown: John, I tried even harder to get you in fantasy than Naehring. Maybe. But heck, how do you keep De La Rosa out of that role? Other than he's a lefty. Which might BE how you keep him out. Hoover looks like he could handle it. If the D-bax move Bradley to starter, which they are hesitant to do, then Hoover's chances increase about 40 percent.
Joel (The Library): Did I miss my chance to buy low on Foltynewicz? He's looked sharp so far this year?
David Brown: I think it depends on how good your league is. If it's a dyanastic thing like the one our own Brett Sayre started, maybe. But if you play in a more typical league, he's still out there. Problem: The Braves are so bad, he won't be in great shape to get wins. But it also hides him from prospectors a little. He's got some Danny Salazar in him a little with the command, but Salazar's still a great fantasy pitcher, so have it with Folty.
David (Denver): Does German Marquez pitch well enough to make him worth rostering in a 16 tm dynasty?
David Brown: I think so, even though Rockies pitchers always scare me because of the environment (humidor notwithstanding). There just seems to be a limit on value (at least for starters)
Jody Reed (Boston): Pomeranz is carving up the O's right now. Is he a solid option in a 10-team? 12?
David Brown: Jody, I shouldn't have tried so hard to get you on fantasy because you weren't that good. Pomeranz. I mean... he;s been kind of dysfunctional for a while. I honestly hadn't looked at him since the season started. But you have me curious...
Scott Cooper (Boston): What about Rubby De La Rosa closing in Arizona? Is that a thing, or just my own wishful thinking?
David Brown: I really liked Scott Cooper. But your imagination is really vivid if you see this happning. Although he's got a good closer's name, which of course counts for nothing really. Let's get him back in the majors first. I mean, if you do a dynasty league where there's 20 teams and 40 slots and you're not contending, eat your heart out.
RDBL2014 (Concord, Ca): How high does Juan Soto rise on Top 100 lists next year?
David Brown: We have a couple of questions about Juan. He's certainly off to a good start. More walks than strikeouts. He was born in 1998, the year I became a professional baseball writer. You guys know your prospects. I don't know how high, but I'll say Juan Soto will rise to top 69 prospects this season. A nice bump.
Jack (Iowa): Who should the Pirates target at no. 12 in the draft?
David Brown: Jack, I have absolutely no idea. And with that, this chat is OVAH. Thank you for chatting with me. I'll do better next time! Goodnight.
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