Nick is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
Nicolas Stellini: Hey folks, we'll get started in a few minutes. Hope everyone is well.
BT (Centreville VA): I have seen predictions all over the map, but in your opinion how good is Ronald AcuÃ±a going to be?
Nicolas Stellini: Here's a good a time as any to get my usual I'M NOT A PROSPECT EXPERT disclaimer out of the way. I'm not a member of the insanely good BP prospect team, so any of my prospect takes herein amount to little more than educated guesses.
That being said, Acuña looks like he's going to be very, very good. There's little reason to believe he won't be kicking ass in the bigs for a while.
Joao (Baltimore): Who leads the next wave of Yankee prospects to make it to the big leagues, Gleyber or one of the young pitchers?
Nicolas Stellini: I'm assuming this means who gets there first? As of right now I would say that Chance Adams may find himself in New York before Gleyber Torres, but only because they may want to keep Gleyber down for Super Two purposes. The Yankees may be losing both CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka this winter (although I wouldn't be shocked if they both come back). They may go out and get someone like Alex Cobb, but Adams will have a role to play. You'll also see Justus Sheffield at some point, but he's a little bit further off. Adams could probably break camp with the big team and be okay, but I doubt that happens.
Dex (NY): Who has a better career, Peter Alonso or Dom Smith?
Nicolas Stellini: Dom's already in the bigs, so he has that going for him, and he's generally been regarded as the better prospect overall.
Rudy (East Los Angeles): Why should we still believe in Franklin Barreto after his horrible bb/k rate and his 43% K rate in the big leagues? Is he still an elite prospect and a 60-grade hit tool or is the shine wearing off as he moves up the ladder? Stellini insight needed!
Nicolas Stellini: The dude had 76 plate appearances. Patience, young Padawan.
Dave (Williamsburg): Rank these 3 long term: Victor Robles, Gleyber Torres, Fernando Tatis Jr.
Nicolas Stellini: Torres and Robles are suuuper close right now. I'll take Torres first, but by a hair, then Robles and Tatis. It's hard to tell for sure with Fernandito right now because he's so dang young, but he could wind up just as good as the first two.
aaron (MA): Gut reaction. Where are Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich playing next season?
Nicolas Stellini: Stanton will be in Boston, perhaps, and *maybe* the Phillies finally get Yelich? They've long been rumored to have their eyes on him, and if the Marlins are truly going for a festering-mold-on-the-bottom-of-the-barrel tank job, they may not care about trading him in-division.
nschaef (NYC): Counterfactual: What happens if the Astros didn't want to part with any prospects and didn't trade for Verlander?
Nicolas Stellini: I mean they almost certainly still make the playoffs. It's just a matter of giving starts to [peers over roster] errr, Collin McHugh instead of Justin Verlander. You'd also have a clubhouse that's still justifiably ticked off about only trading for what's left of Francisco Liriano.
answerdave (MySpace): Is Gary Sanchez trouble defense a big problem, a little problem or no problem?
Nicolas Stellini: It's a problem! But when you're hitting 30 bombs, hitting for good average, throwing out a lot of runners, and rating as one of the best framers in the game, it's not as big a problem as certain people would have you believe it is.
Colin (San Diego): I just got offered Gregory Polanco for Vlad Jr. straight up in a dynasty league. How many laughing emoji should my reply inculde?
Nicolas Stellini: All of them.
John Olson (Virginia): With the glut of SS prospects in the Twins farm system, do you see them possibly moving Nick Gordon now?
Nicolas Stellini: I mean there's no real reason to actively shop him. If they can turn him into a good MLB pitcher, sure, but that's the motivation, not clearing up the position for Royce Lewis or whoever.
Jay O'Neill (Los Angeles, CA): Austin Hays came out of nowhere. How high has his star risen and what do you see his slash line looking like during his prime?
Nicolas Stellini: He looks like one of those high floor/low ceiling dudes to me. Average regular with some pop, nothing overly sexy. This is also when Jeffrey comes in to yell at me for using the phrase "high floor."
k3o3r9n0 (Boston): Who is most likely to win World Series MVP for each team?
Nicolas Stellini: Chase Utley and Derek Fisher
Skuggs (Brooklyn): What baseball conspiracy do you actually believe? For me, it's Joe Buck and Fernando Tatis
Nicolas Stellini: The Ripken/Costner incident, because it's funny as hell.
Craven Raven (Baltimore): Not baseball but you've worked all over so what are your thoughts on The Athletics owners comments about newspapers?
Nicolas Stellini: Subscription-based internet sports content is very good. Actively trying to kill local media is bad. Being an ass is bad.
k3o3r9n0 (Boston): O/U 32 combined innings for Verlander and Kershaw in the World Series.
Nicolas Stellini: So let's say Verlander and Keuchel each get two starts and go seven innings in all four. That's 28 innings right there. One of them may be summoned from the bullpen in a hypothetical game seven, but that's *if* we get to seven games. I'll take the under. If the Astros get the over, they probably win it all.
a.j. (las vegas): what do you see as the big next steps for the Yankees?
Nicolas Stellini: So they obviously will need to do something with the rotation, as I said earlier. There's also the matter of Clint Frazier likely needing regular ABs and a very full outfield, and that Gleyber Torres will need somewhere to play rather soon. I wouldn't be shocked if Brett Gardner and Starlin Castro are playing elsewhere next year, and if someone like Alex Cobb is wearing pinstripes. There's also Shohei Otani.
SJ (Oxford): Is Bo Bichette a legit top 15 prospect going forward?
Nicolas Stellini: I don't sit in on the list meetings but given where he was on the midseason update, he's in that neighborhood, yeah.
Nicolas Stellini: That seems to be the end of the questions, so thanks for participating, folks! See y'all around. Let's do this again.