Jeffrey is the Senior Prospect Writer at Baseball Prospectus and co-host of the BP Mets podcast, For All You Kids Out There. Ask him about the prospect lists that start to drop next week.
Jeffrey Paternostro: Prospect List Staus: Lists start Monday with Atlanta, and I have already made a sizable dent in the 1.75 of Buffalo Trace I bought.
sykklone (IA): What can we expect from Ryan McMahon??
Jeffrey Paternostro: I liked what I saw from McMahon this year in Hartford (https://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/article/32512/the-call-up-ryan-mcmahon/), but I still wonder if the platoon and strikeout issues make him more of a second-division type or good bench piece. This would be less of an issue in an org that would let him play third base, as he's struggled at first (it's incredibly hard) and he's stretched at second. He's young enough that the Rockies could let him be more of a super utility type for a couple years before slotting him at the hot corner full time if Arenado leaves.
Cole Whittier (Pasadena, CA): Are Kyle Freeland, Jake Junis, Antonio Senzatela mid-rotation guys, back-end guys or fellers that will end up in relief? Any of the 3 stand out for any reason?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Senzatela probably has the most growth possibility just because of his unusual development track. I liked him the best as a prospect too. Freeland I have no idea how he pitched as well as he did given the underlying peripherals, but I always liked him as a backend starter. Junis, I don't know what the major league out pitch is there long term, but he's got enough in the arsenal to be a back-end guy. I guess Senzatela is my favorite of the group, but he is also the most likely to be a late-inning reliever.
a.j. (las vegas): what could Gimenez and Vientos get the Mets in the trade market for more of a 3 year win now window?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I mean, they are nice prospects. Gimenez probably makes the 101, and Vientos could break out next year. That said, they are so far away that I don't know you are getting much more than a decent, durable arm with some years of control. Which granted, the Mets could use. Mets are very much a "run-it-back" roster right now given the lack of pieces to move and lack of willingness to spend in FA.
Carlo (SD): Heard anything on Jeisson Rosario? What does his profile look like?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Tools'd up outfielder that had a pretty good stateside debut. It's easy to get lost in the shuffle as a teenager in the Padres system, but he's one that we like.
Dusty (Colorado): Should the Mets trade for Wander Javier?
Jeffrey Paternostro: The weather here has been weird. It's humid again, but chilly enough overall that I have started to go for more Fall/Winter cocktails. That means the rye comes out more for me. I have really been enjoying a Sazerac variation with equal parts rye and cognac, a riff on the drink's history.
1 oz Cognac (I use Pierre Ferand)
1 oz rye (Rittenhouse)
0.5 oz simple syrup
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
2 dashes angostura bitters
Mix all ingredients, stir with ice
Strain into a cocktail glass washed with Herbsaint. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Marvin (FLA): Has anyone done anything in the AFL to change their outlook a decent amount?
I know many preach that they don't give much weight to AFL performance...and then those same people rank Gleyber Torres #1 after what he did in 2016.
Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't really put much stock in Fall Ball past seeing if guys are healthy (Albert Abreu for example). Wide variety of competition level, pitchers are gassed, run environment akin to the surface of the moon. If you need the league to tell you Ronald Acuna, Estevan Florial, and Justus Sheffield are really good prospects, I wonder what you were doing all Summer (and in some cases, in 2016).
temple (Madison WI): Do you see any of these pitchers as likely to be a #1: Michael Baez, Mitch Keller, Forrest Whitley, Mackenzie Gore, Michael Fulmer, Justus Sheffield. Which ones? I’ve got them listed in my draft order . What do you think?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I'd probably drop Baez behind the first two (and we have people that lurrrrrve Gore internally as well), but I also maybe wouldn't argue he has the best chance to be a #1 there. You could also argue Fulmer is actually the closest to *being* a 1, and you would of course be right, but his elbow situation is worrisome.
Eric (Norwalk, CT): Is it fair to say that the Braves have legit, double digit SP prospects?: Gohara, Wright, Allard, Soroka, Anderson, Fried, Toussaint, Wentz, Wilson, Davidson, Muller, Ynoa?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Well, as you slide down that list the reliever probability goes up quickly, but yeah, they are absolutely loaded to the gills with arms.
Suggestion Box (BP Desk): Have you guys considered moving the chat bar notification on your home page above the main picture? I feel like chats tend to get lost now within the homepage. Almost missed this one.
Jeffrey Paternostro: This is a good point, and I will run it up the flagpole. Do note the general timeframe for website changes is around 20 years.
UB (Georgia): Any prospects causing internal strife within the BP team?
Jeffrey Paternostro: We've gone through about half the teams so far internally. Would say the longest discussions so far have been over Kevin Maitan, Monte Harrison, and Peter Alonso.
Peter B. (Mass.): In a brand new dynasty league, who should be the first five picks?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Assuming no weird rules/scoring, and with the caveat that I don't play roto at all anymore, and limiting it to prospects (because I don't play roto anymore):
5. Tatis, jr I guess
Jose (Miami, FL): Can I get excited about Brian Miller in Miami?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm not gonna stop you, and it is slim pickings in that system, but wait until the polished college bat does that in the upper minors before throwing a party.
Cole Whittier (Pasadena, CA): Christian Arroyo had some hype going into the season and tore up AAA but really struggled in MLB. Do you still see him as a 55 and top 100 talent? I have a hard time determining his talent level.
Jeffrey Paternostro: I think we have likely 55 or higher on like 30-40 guys all the minors. Arroyo is not one of them. I've never loved the profile (or ranked him as a top 100 type). See him more as a useful bench piece, maybe average starter.
Jim (GA): How many pitchers are in the 21 guys you wrote up for Atlanta?
Jeffrey Paternostro: 13 pitchers / 8 position
Lukas (Washington Heights): The Mets' system, top to bottom, seems pretty bereft of impact talent. Do you think there's even a single piece left that makes major contributions to this (barely still open) window of contention for the major league team?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Your best bet here is Dunn puts it together in 2018 or Peterson moves really quickly (although they have been loathe to push guys like that). Speaking of which...
Pete (Bronx): What are your expectations for Justin Dunn in 2018?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I could have included Dunn on the most contentious internal prospects, but it hasn't really been an argument as much as general befuddlement. Could go any number of directions, Familia-like breakout early while repeating the FSL, shoulder injury lingers, more inconsistency as a starter, breakout after a second-half 2018 move to the pen. It's all on the table. The reports on the stuff are fine, it's been more command/efficiency, which you could view as more or less concerning than a stuff dip depending on your mood.
Lougle (Queens): Do you think Michael Chavis will have enough bat to play at 1B or is he trade bait this offseason? He lowered his K rate in AA which is promising but he posted only .800 OPS (likely driven down by low BABIP).
Jeffrey Paternostro: Dombrowski prospects are always trade bait. Uncle Jack saw him in the AFL this week and liked what he saw, FWIW. And with a nod to my earlier rant, that jibes with the 2017 reports generally.
Juan (ATL): What kind of offensive ceiling does Cristian Pache have? Thanks!
Jeffrey Paternostro: It's a very boom or bust offensive profile, backed by a more stable up-the-middle defensive one. Pache has a really quick bat, but there isn't a ton of loft in the swing, and he is very aggressive at the plate right now. He's fast enough, and the body's projectable enough that if it all comes together I could see some .290, 15 bomb seasons in there, but he's a long way from that right now and the delta is huge.
temple (madison): Do you think that Robert Stephenson has turned the corner. His control seems much better. What are your expectations for him in 2018?
Jeffrey Paternostro: It was *better*, but even in the second half he was walking way too many guys for me to feel confident he's even a medium term major league starter. And I'll need to see it for more than half a season before I am buying there was a real concrete change here.
Cole Whittier (Pasadena, CA): Could you rank these 4 and give any insight into their future: Sean Newcomb, Erick Fedde, Max Fried, Anthony Banda.
Jeffrey Paternostro: I think you probably have the right order (I am ride or die with Newcomb). Could make a case for Fried over Fedde and I think that's the tightest tier here. Fedde and Fried more likely to be relievers than Banda, but the stuff is just better. I still think Newcomb can be a no. 3 (and yeah I know what I just said about Stephenson)
Dan (Nj): what does a Dee Gordon -> Mets trade look like? Can you see it happening?
Jeffrey Paternostro: MetsTwitter has gotten obsessed with Dee Gordon lately, and I get it, he's fine and offers a different look offensively. He also has a contract with an attainable vesting option (esp. since he is gonna bat leadoff forever) that would make it 4/51 for the early 30s of a guy who has been an above-average hitter once in his major league career and is very dependent on his legs.
Anyway, assuming this is mostly a payroll dump for the Marlins and the Mets are taking the full contract, it shouldn't cost much more than a couple mid-tier prospects I'd think. I also have no idea how the Jeterian regime is gonna approach this.
Samuel (Minn.): Should I be excited more for Brent Rooker or Lewin Diaz? Why?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Probably Rooker, similar big raw, more advanced, should move faster, a better chance he isn't a first baseman.
Jimmy K (WAS): Akil Baddoo -- is it OK to be irrationally excited? His performance in the Appy league at that age, with that patience, is pretty awesome, no?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Okay here you can get irrationally excited.
Amanda Hugnkiss (Springfield): Hey, JP. Last year B-Pro had the pitch-framing numbers for every catcher at Double-A or above. Maybe I'm blind, but I don't see any framing numbers this year, except for MLB backstops. Am I overlooking something? Thanks!
Jeffrey Paternostro: I just checked and found them all the way at the bottom of the relevant player cards.
JS (Rural NJ): Wander Javier or Miguel Sano in 2023?
Jeffrey Paternostro: The original Sazerac is of course a New Orleans classic and has official cocktail status or whatever marketing bs Diageo or whoever came up with to sell more rye. My favorite New Orleans cocktail is actually the Vieux Carre, which I find more balanced, while still suitably bracing for a cold New England winter.
3/4 oz rye
3/4 oz cognac
3/4 oz sweet vermouth (get something with a bit of a bitter undertone, though not full on punt e mes)
bar spoon benedictine
Stir over ice and strain into a herbsaint-washed rocks glass with one big cube.
Nick (Jersey): Have you written a player comment for this year's annual specifically designed to stump me?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I only have the 101 this year, which we generally don't use. There is one I know of that I have earmarked already though.
Drew (Atlanta): If you didn't stop at 21, how many Braves prospects could you have kept writing up? Anyone from the Danville or GCL clubs that should be included?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Steve told me he easily could have found a few more guys from the GCL and Jack loves the Danville roster, so yeah, there were a few more. Livan Soto and Jasseel de la Cruz were two of the names that were among the last cuts.
Ryan (St. Louis): You guys missed on Andrew Knizner as the Cardinals Devil Magic guy
Jeffrey Paternostro: The whole point of the Devil Magic is to confound those that try to understand its ways.
Peter (Pittsburgh): Does Kevin Newman still have a future with us? Will he just be Ryan Theriot?
Jeffrey Paternostro: The comps I got on him this year are in the Theriotan genus, yeah.
Sam (NY): What conclusions can you draw from the debuts of Dom Smith and Amed rosario?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Rosario: If he was going to struggle, that is what it was going to look like. I'm not too concerned for 2018.
Dom: I think Dom will be more or less what I expected. That said, if you want to compete in 2018, given the corner bats available, I don't know if you want to bet on him being what I expected *in* 2018, given how bad it looked. And I never thought that was a role 6 1B anyway.
Davis Sinclair (Lodi, CA): What is Austin Hays' hit and power tool now? Does he start in RF out of the shoot for the O's?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Greg wrote him as 5/5 in June. I think there is maybe a half tick more pop in there. That's not ideal for RF, but he has a broad enough base of athletic skills you might as well give him a full season to see if we are low.
Xavier (Ct): Who’s your pick for 2018 mets breakout prospect?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Usually this will be a dude coming stateside or a guy blowing up in full season (or if you are Andres Gimenez, both). Mets don't have an obvious candidate for the latter (Maybe one of the arms like Kyle Wilson, Christian James, or Daison Acosta, but I don't see any of them as *big* prospects). So the chalk here is probably one of the seven-figure J2 guys getting pushed and showing well in Kingsport.
Monte (Morristown ): Think Vientos goes late first in a redraft?
Jeffrey Paternostro: About where he was ranked on the composite big boards, no? Really just came down to bonus demands and how teams wanted to manipulate their pool.
Hank (NYC): Are you going to remind us all when Dom Smith gets DFA'ed about how you were right
Jeffrey Paternostro: If he's not at least a fringe regular I wasn't actually right.
Mike (Hoboken): What do you make of Dez Lindsay?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Every time I see Lindsay he looks like one of the better prospects on the field and at least an average regular. However, I don't see him much, because he can't stay on the field. Probably was the trickiest guy to rank on the Mets list, even moreso than Dunn in some ways.
Rob (Alaska): Curious if you think any of the non-Maitan 2016 J2 guys have moved the needle during their first professional seasons?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Probably. A year is a lifetime in baseball terms for a 16 year old. Now getting reports on who that is (given the vast majority of them are in foreign complexes) is a bit trickier.
Dr. Benton Quest (Private Jet): Thanks for the chat, JP! I checked the Davenport Peak Translation for Wander Javier, and his prime years look to be a 3-3.5 WAR regular. That's very good of course, but no better than obscure fellow teenage Appy Leaguer, centerfielder Wadye Ynfante, who hit .300/.370/.490 this year for his third straight season of a 130 or better wRC+. Can you tell me anything about Ynfante, or any other Appy League sleeper prospects? Thanks, JP!
Jeffrey Paternostro: I can tell you that running MLEs for dudes in Appy ball is not where you should be spending your precious free time.
I can give you Appy League sleepers though: Seuly Matias is likely to make the 101. Jack loves Ronaldo Hernandez, Rays catcher. Luis Medina should't get lost in the shuffle of a deep Yankees system either.
Race Bannon (On the beach, with Jade): I was quite surprise and disappointed by Isan Diaz' poor 2017 season, JP. But I read recently (KLaw, I think) that Diaz was playing through a hamate injury. Have you heard the same? Because Diaz barely missed a game, until August. Thanks.
Jeffrey Paternostro: Yep. Had surgery on it. I don't know the exact timeline of when it started to affect him, as our early-season reports were mostly in line with the strong 2016 ones. Does inject some risk into the profile since a lot depends on his pop.
Dax (Nyc): How many games does Michael Conforto play next year?
Jeffrey Paternostro: O/U line is set at 69.5 games
William (Pensacola, FL): If there were makeup problems in regardless to Nick Senzel, would we have heard about it by now ?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Man do I hate caring about vague makeup whispers. It tends to stick to certain types of players (usually not the Senzel types, mind you), and a lot of "good makeup" is eyewash.
Bobby One Slice (Pizza Joint): Is Nick Delmonico one of those guys that gets his life together and has a solid big league career? Seems to have a nice swing, no?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Sure, he's left-handed with a bit of pop and positional flexibility. Those guys have careers.
Dr. Benton Quest (Private Jet): I can tell you that Clay Davenport wouldn't have MLEs for Appy Leaguers unless there was a substantive reason to do so. In case you don't know, Grasshopper, Clay Davenport was one of the founders of a little operation called Baseball Prospectus.
Jeffrey Paternostro: Clay definitely didn't want anyone to use them that prescriptively.
(And I subscribed for well over a decade before I wrote here, so yeah, I've heard of him.)
Frank (NY): Would you be at all surprised if Guillorme turns into a 3 WAR guy?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Let's say he is +10 at second base, with pos adj. and replacement level per 150, he'd have to be like -5 with the bat to get there? Not impossible, but that is asking a lot of him against major league velo.
Amanda Hugnkiss (Springfield): Thanks, JP, for the MILB framing info! Other question: Have you ever seen a time when such a high percentage of the uber-uber-elite prospects were international signees? And is it a blip, or have American kid ballplayers slipped in quality, in general? Thanks again!
Jeffrey Paternostro: There's way more to this than I can answer in a chat window, but yeah, I think there are various systemic factors here that have impacted that. And I don't know if it changes quickly (although this might be a more extreme end of it)
Cole Whittier (Pasadena, CA): Sandy Alcantara... whatchoo got?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Springfield is a terrible place to pitch, and the stuff actually got better as the year went on. Still a decent chance he's a reliever long term, but don't think his stock has moved much from pre or mid season.
B.A. Baracus (back of a van): Are there any 3B prospects coming up behind Brian Anderson to take his position or is he going to be on the A-Team for a while? Is he a league-average bat & glove at the hot corner at least?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I like his glove a bit more than that, his bat a bit less I think?
Randall (NY): Is this line of thinking naive: The question with Dom smith has always been power. In his MLB stint, the power was clearly there but the hit tool (and defense) seemed worse than what scouts projected. It is fair to assume that his hit tool will catch up with the rest of his profile, being that its the tool that carried him through the minors?
Jeffrey Paternostro: So the risk of that line of thinking is the assumption he didn't change anything in his swing to get to that power. I think he did. He'd show 55-60 raw pull side in BP when he sold out for it. That's harder to do at 7 PM and hit .280 against major league arms. He's not a 1/2/3 hitter, of course, but I also think the people who saw absolutely zero risk in his hit tool didn't see him enough.
Wander Javier (Colorado): I’ve moved in with Dusty. What tips do you have for happy cohabitation?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Large form cocktails can spruce up any evening. Invest in a good punch bowl and a copy of the Dead Rabbit recipe book.
Jerry Hairston Jr. (LA): Do you really believe the reports that the Yankees want me to be the next manager?
Jeffrey Paternostro: It's been a weird job search overall (granted I thought firing Girard was weird). Jarrett probably still thinks it is gonna be Gabe Kepler, but if they go in that mold JHJ would fit I guess. Plenty of Eskins ready to grouse about it in NYC too.
Mike (Miami): IS there any hope for the Marlins prospects? Thomas Jones maybe?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I am obligated to mention Pablo Lopez here I think
Nils (NY): Wander Javier
Jeffrey Paternostro: Okay I have one more. My usual drink of choice while writing lists.
The Fall Back
1 oz Rye
1 oz Laird's Applejack (works just as well with the Bonded Apple Brandy if you can find it. If you can, send me a bottle)
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1/2 oz amaro (Nonino is best, but I use Montenegro because I usually have it in the house and its cheaper)
2 dashes of peychaud's
2 dashes of angostura
Stir over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist.
diehardmets (Washington Heights): Is Peter Alonso a right-handed version of the Good first baseman?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I think that's your reasonable "ceiling" or 90th percentile or whatever. Again, he's divisive, and I haven't seen him good, and I can be stubborn.
Cole Whittier (Pasadena, CA): Is Jordan Montgomery a mid-rotation guy or more of a back-end SP who will get figured out more as time goes by? What pitches does he have?
Jeffrey Paternostro: This is a cop out, but I think he will have a few seasons of each outcome there. He's a full four-pitch guy and the curve can be a weapon when he's commanding it.
Festivus313 (Phoenix): Any of Eric Filia, Jose Marmolejos or Ian Miller feel like future role 45 or better guys in the bigs? Any impact from them this year?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I could see Mamolejos getting there, but 45 1B don't really have major league roles anymore. Miller is more of a up-and-down emergency guy, and Filia needs to actually hit for power at some point, especially if he is a first baseman, which it sure looks like is the plan.
nschaef (NYC): Any personal preferences among the back-end starter types in the White Sox system? E.g. Jordan Stephens, Spencer Adams, Jordan Guerrero, Ian Clarkin.
I am exempting Dane Dunning from this list as I think he's better than this group.
Jeffrey Paternostro: I kind of like Spencer Adams despite it absolutely not being the kind of profile that usually does anything. Can I write-in A.J. Puckett?
Jeffrey Paternostro: All right, time to go back to cocktails and editing our week one lists. Braves, Yankees, Brewers coming next week, and we'll be doing more of these throughout list season.