It's #LateNightChat with your host, Wilson Karaman.
Wilson Karaman: Hey you! Don't watch that! Watch this! This is the heavy, heavy monster sounds...of another #LateNightChat
Jon R. (Ari): Should I know about this Jesus Luzardo? All I hear is he has his stuff back and he's going to be a riser next year.
Wilson Karaman: This question was submitted last night, before I literally made the exact argument in today's Ten Pack that you should know about this Jesus Luzardo. So kudos to you, Jon R. in Arizona, for you are a man of great vision and foresight: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=32790
Sam (Oakland): Does Brandon Marsh jump into the top 100 at this time next year?
Wilson Karaman: I've heard a couple good reports on Marsh, he'll certainly be interesting to watch in a full(er) season capacity. He hit well in the Pioneer League (who doesn't?), so that was a good professional start for him. I think just getting reps and working through the rigors of extended play will be key for him. Top 100 next year might be a bit ambitious, but he's got the underlying talent to talk about scenarios like that if he's healthy and the tools show signs of actualizing into baseball skills next year.
I've been on a Delroy Wilson kick this week, as I am periodically want to be. Let's kick some Delroy together while we chat, yeah? Yeah. Here he is ridin' the "Beat Down Babylon" riddim: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhoWYMJR0jk
Breen (NY): Do you think Florial can cut down the Ks to a 20% rate next season?
Wilson Karaman: We started our team list discussions last week (it's the most wonderfullll tiiiiiime...), and our Yankees thread is lit AF, mostly with Jarrett and Jeffrey swapping gifs of giant explosions and Chuck Norris spin kicks re: Florial. Suffice to say he's got some fans around these parts. Here's Jarrett''s opening salvo, and I suspect it won't be the last time you read about him on these pages: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=32779
Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Wilson, What do you expect from Ervin Santana and Rich Hill next season? I suspect regression from both.
Wilson Karaman: Outside of that one terrible season in Anaheim and some innings lost to injury a couple years ago, Santana has been one of the quieter 55 starters in baseball this decade. He's posted better-than-average DRAs in 7 of 8 seasons in the 2010's, over a span of more than 1,500 innings. What you see is pretty much what you get with him. I might projects a bit more conservative to hedge against him entering his age 35 season, but I've always dug him as a perfectly steady mid-rotation AL-only guy. Hill is...I mean, who knows? He has some starts where nothing works, but most of the time when he's able to take the ball he'll give you very strong production. 125 innings of better-than-league-average production seems about it line with where I'd settle for him?
This is one of my favorite lo-fi riddims, and this is a pretty rare cut of Delroy riding it (complete wi di nice version...huuuuuuh!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7SRVQguQJU
Dusty (Colorado): Buying or selling Wander Javier as a top 100 guy in 2019?
Wilson Karaman: Buying. Have loved everything I've heard about the kid, think there's serious helium potential there next year. Balloon's already inflating.
Chansen8895 (San Jose): Now that the season is coming to an end who are some prospects you'd pick up in dynasty leagues to hold in the offseason?
Wilson Karaman: Michel Baez was my favorite breakout this year in dynasty leagues, though if you're beyond like a shallow-pool 12-teamer there's a good chance that ship has sailed already. I grabbed Austin Hays in a couple leagues, he did nothing but rake this year between A+ and AA. Monte Harrison started to put it together a bit this year, he's a solid add for the upside. On the other end of the spectrum, Brian Anderson hit really well, has made his MLB debut, and should have the chance to win a regular job in Miami next year - he fits the mold of a boring but potentially overlooked contributor. In deep, dark leagues, Freudis Nova in the Houston system as a 5-tooler with a shot to stick at short.
Connor (Boston): How did Luis Almanazar look this season in your looks? Not many notes on him on the site this season
Wilson Karaman: Haven't had the pleasure yet, he's still a wee youngster who was pushed extremely aggressively to Tri-City this year. Padres are internally extremely high on him (if the $4 million didn't tip you off...). Probably better'n 50/50 he outgrows short with that frame, but if the bat does what they think it will that won't much matter.
Let's get a little later on a Studio One tip, yeah? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESxQi98M448
matzabal (CO): When will Yoan Moncada become a better fantasy 2B than DJ LeMahieu? Also, speaking of the Rockies...Charlie Blackmon....my word, what a season he is having.
Wilson Karaman: I wouldn't put that past him next year, but let's call it 2019 - when LeMahieu's counting bills from his 3/$40 deal with the Pirates - to project eclipse. The thing about guys with his skill set is that he just doesn't have to hit *that* much in order to create a bunch of fantasy value on account of the pop and speed components.
Cole Whittier (Pasadena, CA): Your thoughts on Ryan McMahon and what happens when his BABIP isn't .416? Also, is Miguel Andujar being overlooked? Hits the ball hard and seems like his HRs could increase; your thoughts on Andujar?
Wilson Karaman: Honestly, he's a guy where I still feel pretty good about my eval from a couple years ago, at least on the offensive side. He went through some growing pains in his first go at AA, where he got out of his natural swing and got into his head as the season wore on. But I feel like this season was a good one for him, because it (hopefully) taught him that he doesn't need to sell out for power to get to a decent amount of it. The swing's pretty when he stays within his mechanics, and I expect a solid hitter with solid power (along with the newfound defensive versatility).
Far as Andujar goes, not sure about him getting "overlooked" - he sat 5th on our initial cut at the Yankees list last week, and that's not exactly a thin system, yunno? But he remains a higher-variance prospect. Definitely has power courtesy of insane wrist strength, *definitely* has the arm for third, had a very good season into AAA at 22. There's still a bunch of projection in his profile, and the likelihood of a transition period between the high minors and majors, but there's a potentially above-average regular at third if everything breaks right.
sdsuphilip (San Diego): Any worries with Cal Quantrill’s meh K numbers? Is breaking ball good enough to be a 3 starter?
Wilson Karaman: That was my biggest question coming out of the two starts I caught earlier this year. His mechanics combusted on him in each look as well, though he's athletic enough to grow beyond that, and I'm willing to assign some still-not-that-far-removed-from-TJ leeway to him on that. It's a drop-and-drive delivery though, and if the timing issues that cropped up present as an ongoing issue into next year I'd be less enthusiastic about the command profile. The FB-CH combo's enough to get him into a rotation even without more than a fringe-average breaker, and the deuce'll flash much better than that. A higher-variance 6/5 still seems appropriate to me at this stage of things, because if he does indeed tighten up further removed from the knife there's a lot to like in the profile. We should be able to narrrow that window by a half-grade next year. Here's my report on him from June:
Michael (San Diego): Ignoring the TJ (difficult I know and it does hurt his probability) what were your thoughts on Chris Paddack’s stuff/control/command/future projection pre injury?
Wilson Karaman: :Siren Light: It's a Padres run! :Siren Light: Yeah, not for nothing, but reports we had on him from before the injury sounded an awful lot like what I just described in the Quantrill answer: 92-94 heat, excellent CH, developing breaker, physicality to evolve into quality command. He's an easy guy to forget about in that SD system since he was out all year, but he's yet *another* arm in this system with rotation potential if he comes back looking like he used to stuff-wise.
:Siren Light: American soul cover time! :Siren Light: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNlDaPrVyME
Istabil (San Diego): Does Logan Allen warrant top 101 consideration?
Wilson Karaman: Don't think he's quite there yet, but he did have himself a very impressive season, particularly after his promotion. Emmett just pegged him as his '18 breakout pick in today's 10 Pack: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=31984
Matt (Los Angeles): Michel Baez offseason top 101? Yay, maybe, or nay?
Wilson Karaman: If he doesn't make it, it certainly won't be because I stood in the way of it. We haven't gotten to the back half of the list in our initial conversations yet, but I think there's a pretty good chance he'll feature on it. Dudes with his size, raw stuff, and at least flashes of an ability to control it just aren't that common. Even if he never develops quite enough command/consistency to start (and, again, early returns are not skeptical), he can be a high-leverage monster. The visuals in this (excellent!) piece by Will are...well, let's just say I wouldn't feel comfortable linking 'em if this wasn't an after-dark chat: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=32699
Dan (DC): Fernando Tatis Jr a top 5 prospect next year?
Wilson Karaman: He was firmly within the top 20 of our initial 101 cut (spoiler!) for this winter, so I think it's safe to say that if he crushes it again next year he'll have as strong a case as anyone, sure. That's the last Padre question for a while, I promise.
Moving on to Channel One... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmcVRjpBBwI
James (NYC): How big of a jump do you see Luis Robert making in the prospect rankings next year?
Wilson Karaman: No idea. He's a really difficult guy to peg right now, because we just simply haven't seen him even up against appropriate competition yet. Once we get some stateside looks and figure out a legit level of competition for him, we'll have a better sense of how advanced he is or isn't. The DSL games he played this summer, while important for getting him some reps and easing him into things, weren't really all that helpful for determining any of those things.
Carlo (Oakland): Your thoughts on Mauricio Dubon?
Wilson Karaman: Nice little player. I caught him for a couple games last year and dug him: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=30311
May end up more utility guy than starter, though I think the latter role's still on the table, and he could provide really nice value in the former.
Cole Whittier (Pasadena, CA): Do Flaherty, Woodruff and Mahle all rank about the same for you?
Wilson Karaman: Yeah, broadly they all pose similar value projection for me, albeit in different ways. I think Mahle gets a bit miscast as a command/control guy, as the FB's better than that. But the secondaries are more quantity than quality to round out the arsenal. Flaherty's probably got the least command projection, but he's the only one of these guys where I've seen scouts hang a 6 on one of their secondaries (CH). I think they're all generally in the 55/50 mid-rotation range.
Here's some original wee baby Delroy, early Studio One cut with a classic-smooth Roland Alphonso solo in the middle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhzKtMtRC9A
TrickDaddy14 (Nippon Ham Fighters HQ): Gun to your head, where does Shohei Otani sign?
Wilson Karaman: If I had a gun to my head, where Ohtani signs would not be on my mind. Honestly, the answer here is wherever he wants. He's walking away from tens, nay hundreds of potential millions by coming stateside this winter a opposed to waiting until after his 25th birthday. So outside of abstract considerations about future earnings potential in a given market that may or may nor even be relevant to his calculus, he's pretty much going to be looking at a, what, $8-10 million signing bonus and 6 years of control regardless of where he signs. It'll be a really fascinating process to watch unfold once he gets inked, as the litany of potential issues on the back-end (how long until he can sign an extension? How will MLB treat efforts to buy him out of his pre-arb/arb/FA years? What if he comes over and dominates as both a hitter AND pitcher, how does that impact his arbitration process?) will present a never-before-crossed bridge.
nschaef (NYC): Any White Sox prospects you are higher / lower on than the general consensus seems to be?
Wilson Karaman: Luis Alexander Basabe fell on some rough times this year, and runs the risk of falling thru the cracks of that system, but I still buy the breadth of that base of tools. He just turned 21 like 3 weeks ago, I'm not jumping off that bandwagon yet.
On the other side, I've never been a huge Fulmer guy. There's just a bunch of violence in that delivery, and I have a hard time seeing the command ever get there with him.
As a bonus, I'll note that Hansen is one of the most interesting arms in the minors IMO. The stuff's just filthy, but the mechanics are still high maintenance even after some edits by Chicago since he signed, and I reactively wince every time I watch him throw a pitch.
Po Boy (NO): OK, time to make some declarations with the MiLB season almost done.
Biggest surprise (for better or worse) of any prospect this year? Why?
Wilson Karaman: Hmmm...I'll go with Yadier Alvarez's struggles to control the strike zone. He's still growing into his (large) body, so I'm not surprised he had *some* trouble with repeatability and inconsistent command in the here and now. But the delivery and the stuff is just so easy that I was a little surprised that he didn't demonstrate more feel and timing than he did. The delivery needs a better flow than it has, but perhaps we just need to wait a little longer until he harnesses his man body before we can start to see that.
Here's what I'm talking about w/r/t timing/command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2YyLLMwJaU
On the positive side, it's hard not to point and devolve into profanity-laced marvel at what Ronald Acuna did this season. Kid's been an utter and complete monster, and I'm not sure anyone quite saw THAT level coming from him (or anybody), especially on the heels of injury last season.
scottski45 (Detroit): For a keeper league, I have the option of retaining Y.Diaz for 2 years and R.Quinn for 3 years or can release them to draft new prospects with four year contracts. 160 prospects are owned in the league. Is either worth hanging onto?
Wilson Karaman: Yusnil Diaz? Yandy? I'd drop Yandy unless it's an OBP league with, like, a bunch of weight to the OBP. I'd definitely hang onto Yusniel Diaz if that's who you mean, though the 2-year window for control is problematic. You should be able to coax some contribution out of him by 2019, though. I might look to package him in a deal given the unfortunate limitation of the contract there. He should certainly be owned, though. Quinn's tough too - the 3-year window's nice, but it's hard to trust him to stay on the field enough for it to matter at this point. Depending on the draft pool you're looking at I might cut bait there and look for something else.
Keith Hudson's one of my favorite Jamaican producers, and this tune just...mmmph.
Mike D (Chicago): Is there anything of note with Daniel Johnson of the Nats?
Wilson Karaman: Yeah, rally good season for him. He's got a pretty high floor on account of ++ speed, an idea of how to deploy it in CF, and a cannon for an arm. So the offensive performance across a couple A-ball levels was certainly encouraging. The bat speed's there, and there's good present strength with more to come, to where he may push plus raw power at maturity. It's probably going to take some time for the approach and swing to get to a point where that matters against higher-minors pitching, but he'll certainly have every opportunity to develop given the defensive package and raw tools. And for fantasy purposes he's probably worth a flier in deep-enough (>175 prospect) dynasties.
Jimmy (VT): Better dynasty stash, Corey Ray or Monte Harrison?
Wilson Karaman: Gimme Monte, for I am a gamblin' man, man, man, I'm a gamblin' man.
Ceej (Pittsburgh): Do you think that Vlad Jr go bananas and forces his way up next July like Devers did?
Wilson Karaman: Possible? I don't think anything's off the table for him, given how impressive his season was this year. 18-year-olds who hit for power and walk that many more times than they whiff through High-A don't come around that often.
Sorry Delroy, but now I got Woody Guthrie on the brain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bm5MCmwaAgk
Jake (Kalamazoo): Hey, thanks for the chat! I know you're driving the bus on Wander Javier, but what do you think about his 80 grade name teammate Akil Baddoo?
Wilson Karaman: Our fearless leader Bret is a big Baddoo man: https://twitter.com/BretSayreBP/status/907693548472074240
He's pretty fast and has shown solid bat-to-ball so far, both as an amateur and then this season. Guys who hit .300 with more walks than strikeouts while >2 years young for their level are inherently interesting (particularly for those of you who play in OBP leagues). He's probably a LF-only profile, so the bat's gonna have to carry the day.
Rob (Alaska): In your 3B on the ocean floor piece this year you wrote that Nolan Jones could climb up dynasty rankings if he shows signs of translating potential into game skills. The numbers look good but I know the limits of that. What's your verdict?
Wilson Karaman: Solid season for Jones, yeah. He's still eons away from sniffing a big-league roster still, and the body still has a whole bunch of maturing to do. But the lauded approach translated well in the NYPL, he made strides adjusting to third base and growing into that position, and he's maintaining his course developing into a well-rounded player with an above-average eventual ceiling. By this time next year he's got a shot to be one of the more intriguing young 3B prospects around for dynasty purposes, particularly in OBP formats, where the strike zone command is hella attractive as a lynchpin of the profile.
Tim (Portland): How deep a league do you have to be in to feel comfortable holding the perpetually dinged Desmond Lindsay and/or Forrest Wall?
Wilson Karaman: Yeesh, pretty damn deep. Lindsay's unowned in a 15-teamer I'm in with 20-man prospect benches. He probably *should* be owned in that league, but that's the depth we're talking about. Wall's probably worth hanging onto in, like, 175-200 prospect leagues, but I'd imagine you'd be able to draft him again next year without too much trouble if you've got a keeper limit to negotiate.
Ceej (Pittsburgh): 10 man deep keeper with OBP, 5OF. Francisco Mejia or Pham as my last keeper? Have Betts/Springer/Belly/Conforto in My OF.
Wilson Karaman: Tough one, but I'd lean Mejia & look to cash Pham in for a pick if that's allowed in your format
Apologies to y'all who were diggin' the Delroy grooves, I'm off the rails on a shanty kick all of a sudden (blame Alan Lomax & Woody). Here's a proper labor song from my native coast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1r_hAjieWUo
Philip (New New York): Who is a good source for info on fringe and low level prospects? For example I want to ask you about Hector Yan and Stiward Aquino, but you probably think I'm making those names up.
Wilson Karaman: It's your lucky day, or at least about to be your lucky fall/winter, as we'll be including a random teenager or two with each of our top-10 lists this year. If you're not already you should be following/reading John Eshleman, Steve Givarz, and Matt Pullman around these parts for AZL/GCL/low-lever coverage.
Adniel (nyc): Hey Wilson who are five of your favorite prospects that you personally just like?
Wilson Karaman: Edwin Rios, Tony Kemp, Garrett Hampson, Rogelio Armenteros, Jose Trevino. How's THAT for a collection?
Scooter (Philly): Who's your favorite pitching prospect who can't top 93 MPH?
Wilson Karaman: This is a great question. Of guys I saw this year who workd below that, Peter Lambert's got a really advanced command and confidence in his 89-92 heater, with solid feel for working a full four-pitch arsenal. Wrote about him here:
I didn't get the greatest look at him, but Jaime Barria showed some ingredients and I've gotten stronger reports on him from other scouts around the league out here. Words and moving pictures here:
Keith (Los Angeles): Edwin Rios made it to AAA this year and hit well. Is he going to be an every day regular for some team?
Wilson Karaman: I can't possibly be expected to resist the opportunity to expand on Rios, can I? His profile is ripe for skepticism - hell I'll still be skeptical until I'm not - but he's answered pretty much every challenge thrown at him thus far. The aggressiveness in approach and length in, well, everything he does, makes him a really difficult convince for scouts. I just love how balanced and fluid a hitter he is, though. There are few swings I've seen with more grace and extension, even if the underlying fundamentals will be challenged to work against elite velo and sequencing. I wrote him up last year as a 50/40: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_bat.php?reportid=383
But hey, even if he doesn't materialize as a legit big-leaguer, at least we'll always have arguably the most majestic home run I've ever seen hit in person: https://youtu.be/Z0vPlBfpoXQ?t=43s
Pickle Rick! (TX): If you're in H2H playoffs, are you starting Luiz Gohara tomorrow?
Wilson Karaman: Wouldn't be my ideal matchup, though the Nats offense has been a little sluggish over the last 7-10 days. I'd probably look elsewhere unless you anticipate being really strapped for volume stats.
Into the stretch we go... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWW00Vf7ZZo
Andrew (SD): Hey Wilson, hope you are doing well. I'm wondering if you've noticed any on or off the field effects of teams such as the Dodgers (and I think a few more) that have focused on improving their players' life's? Ie. Better food options in the minors, providing better services for their players etc. So that the player can just focus on playing baseball and improving as a player.
Wilson Karaman: I am, thank you! I'm speaking entirely off the cuff with no evidence at all to back this up (this is always a good idea!), but I've wondered if some of the youth movement in the game over the last few years isn't tied at least in part to this. Teams are unquestionably devoting more time, energy, and capital to developing their players as people, accommodating transition and growth, and evolving into adults with guidance. Dodgers have definitely been at the forefront of this - some interesting stuff on this subject in this interview I did with Gabe Kapler last year: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=29055
Frank (Florida): What's Peter Alonso power upside?
Wilson Karaman: I've heard 7's on the raw, and I believe that. Javier didn't get a great look at him earlier in the year (link below), but he made a good bit of contact while getting to a good bit of that pop this year across two tough hitting leagues, so the Mets have to be encouraged by that.
Wilson Karaman: And with that, my nocturnal people, the bar's closed. You don't have to go, home, but you can't stay here. If I didn't get to your question find me @vocaljavelins on Twitter and fire again. And don't forget to tun in later this week, when Nick Shaefer takes over the 1's and 2's here in the chat room on Thursday: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/chat/chat.php?chatId=1442