Jeffrey is the lead prospect writer at Baseball Prospectus and is currently drowning his list-related sorrows in a lot of bourbon. He also co-hosts the BP Mets podcast, For All You Kids Out There.
Jeffrey Paternostro: We're 20% done with lists and I am less than 20% of the way through my liquor cabinet. So there's that.
Cole Whittier (Pasadena, CA): Whose bat do you think will ultimately be better, Franklin Barreto or J.P. Crawford?
Jeffrey Paternostro: We have JPC ranked a good bit higher on the current draft of the 101. I can handwave gaps in ranking as insignificant at times (the vaunted "fudge factor"). but Crawford is definitely a shortstop, and a very good one at that. That matters.
llama (Peru): From a fantasy point of view, how large of a gap is there between Mike Soroka and Tyler Beede for the next few years? (30 team dynasty league)
Jeffrey Paternostro: This is well within the fudge factor. Soroka is a better real life prospect than a fantasy prospect (and a better real life prospect than Beede), but he isn't likely to post huge K numbers and the park difference here sure appears to be notable.
Dave (Williamsburg): Does Juan Soto become a consensus top 10 prospect next season?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Assuming he stays healthy in 2018 and there are no lingering effects from the hamate surgery, sure. If he'd been healthy all this year, I don't think he would have been too far off Eloy as it is.
matzabal (CO): The Reds have 14 or so guys vying for a rotation spot, none outside Homer Bailey, Luis Castillo and maybe Tyler Mahle seem worth getting excited about. Who do the Reds finally decide is better suited shoring up their awful bullpen and move from the rotation in 2018? Some names to consider: Amir Garrett, Robert Stephenson, Brandon Finnegan, Cody Reed, Rookie Davis, Jon Moscot, Jackson Stephens, Tim Adleman, Sal Romano, Keury Mella.
Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't know that a lot of those guys will be great bullpen arms either (Tim Adleman is still around, eh? Good for him). Garrett, Romano, Stephenson, and Finnegan are the obvious ones here, and the guys most likely to have a real impact in the pen. Also are we still excited about Homer Bailey? I will defer to actual Reds fans on this, but I am...not.
A.J. (Las Vegas): By the 2018 draft signings could you see the Tigers system as a top 5 system. With the August trades last season, no top graduations expected and the #1 pick they seem to be doing well with their rebuild.
Jeffrey Paternostro: That seems a bit for rich for my blood. The system is certainly better, but it isn't as deep as the current pool of top ten or so orgs, and there really isn't top 50 prospect talent in the Tigers system yet. 1.1 helps, but they don't have much left to sell now, and when you look at an org like San Diego, which is unlikely to graduate it's Top five, all of whom are Top 50 types, the contrast is pretty stark.
Jordan (South Dakota): When Jorge Guzman makes his first all-star team will we look back at 2017 as the year BP couldn't even give him an honorable mention in the Yankees top 10?
Jeffrey Paternostro: He was in discussion, especially for the low minors sleeper, but we liked these 20 guys more. It's a very deep system.
(That is all true of course, but he's also an overaged IFA in the Penn with a big fastball and not a ton else.)
Eric Rodriguez (Puerto Rico): Heliot Ramos is a top 100 prospect?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Yep.
Dave (Williamsburg): What can we expect from Raul Mondesi Jr?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Maaaaaaaaaan, I don't know. It's such a weird, aggressive development path, and he's never hit outside the PCL. Age-relative-to-league is great, but at some point you need to show a sustained major league hit tool? I think the athletic tools are strong enough that he's probably at least down-season Esky Magic, but he's a pain to project.
David (West Lafayette): Acuña or Vlad Jr?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Vlad likely won't get an OFP 8 from us. Now if this is a fantasy question, I think he is probably the best fantasy prospect in the minors, but it's close.
Cole Whittier (Pasadena, CA): I have not read your opinion of Anthony Alford. I would very much like to hear it.
Jeffrey Paternostro: I liked what I saw from Alford this season. He's a plus runner, future above-average center fielder, liked the hit tool. Should be more power than there is and it might still come. I think he'll be a solid regular if he can ever stay on the field for a sustained period of time. Unfortunately that continues to be an issue.
Duke of New York (Manhattan): Bat only, could you rank Anthony Alford, Alex Verdugo and Austin Hays, all intriguing, young OFs.
Jeffrey Paternostro: This is pretty close for me. If Verdugo can even find 10-15 home run pop it's probably him. Hays probably has the highest upside, but lowest floor.
TJ (NJ): Apparently the Mets are willing to move Gsellman, Lugo or Montero in the right deal. What value do these guys have? Could one be the center of a trade for these 2Bs we are seeing rumors about?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I mean, would you trade for Rafael Montero? He is out of options and has a career 5.38 ERA and a K:BB ratio under 2.
Gsellman you are selling low on, but given the little kerfluffle between him and Alderson at the end of last season, I guess I wouldn't be shocked. Not sure Lugo could pass a medical for a trade right now. Also, the Mets don't seem to be interested in the SP market and if you deal one or more of those guys you are placing a pretty big bet on Harvey and Wheeler which seems unwise.
colonel (Oxford, Mississippi): Hello. Thank you for the information you provide in your chats.
My question is, why do you reply to certain questions by stating a cocktail recipe?
Unless it is some sort of inside joke, it seems disrespectful of the person asking the question.
I wonder if you think this is appreciated by BP's readers.
Jeffrey Paternostro: I only do it for the same Wander Javier questions that pop up every chat now for some reason. Speaking of which...
Dusty (Colorado): What can you tell me about Twins prospect, Wander Javier? Is it too early to get excited?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I recently noted to my podcast buddy Jarrett Seidler that my second year in charge of thirty team lists is going a little different than my first. Last year when I needed a pacer while writing, I'd whip up a little bitters and tonic. Now I just free pour fernet into Coke. I like fernet but can rarely find a cocktail with it that doesn't just taste of fernet. Well, I recently found one called The Good Doctor.
.25 Blanc Vermouth
.5 simple syrup
.25 lemon juice
Shaken, serve up in a coupe glass.
Buddy (Peoria, IL): Assuming Wade Davis signs somewhere besides Chicago. Thinking a deal for somebody like Brad hand makes sense. Your thoughts?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Cubs have proven to be willing to trade pieces for a closer, so sure. Wondering how much the price has actually come down there, and whether it might be better to dip into the fairly deep relief pitching market.
Buff (CO): How can a guy with almost no steals, highly questionable defense, and a likely outcome of Willie Calhoun be the #1 dynasty pick, especially in a NL-only league? I have the #1 pick, so I'd really like to be convinced.
Jeffrey Paternostro: Willie Calhoun can really, really hit? I don't really deal with fantasy baseball, so I defer to Bret, but that profile plus middle infield eligibility seems pretty great to me. It's not a great draft class for bats though.
Bob (Georgia): Has Josh Naylor really fallen from 51st best fantasy prospect to not even a top 20 Padres spec? Why is that? Just an incredible padres system or concern for Naylor
Jeffrey Paternostro: I'd say both? He's a first baseman, and not a great one at that, so that dings his prospect value pretty significantly. It is a very deep system of course, but no one that saw Naylor this year on the team really argued strongly for his inclusion.
Donthelegend (St. Louis): Provided Stanton is agreeable to the trade and Miami will eat a portion of his contract, would a package of Flaherty, Carson Kelly and Bader bring him to St. Louis?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I appear to be one of the few people who doesn't get why Miami would eat money here. Every team can afford Stanton, he's a huge difference maker, and there isn't anything close to him on the FA market. I like JD Martinez, but those are old player skills and he's close to being a first baseman. All that said, it's not a bad package. I'd assume Miami'd want a bigger headliner though, just because they need to sell the deal to the fans when you are trading an MVP and franchise star. A good glove-first catcher and a potential #3 starter don't really make for a great movie poster.
Monte Harrison (Biloxi): I think I’m going to be the best advanced minors CF when 2018 is all said and done. In terms of risky hit tools, mine can’t be the worst of the top Brewers prospects, can it?
Jeffrey Paternostro: You have strong support for that argument among our prospect team, that is for sure.
Pickle Rick (Texas): Is Acuna a trancendantly good type of prospect opposed to very good? Debating about trying to do acquire two top specs in exchange for him (Dynasty), and would be awesome to get a read on ... how Awesome Acuna is?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I mean, he's the first 8 I've given out, although maybe not the last this year. Now he isn't a *generational* prospect, and he might just be, say, Justin Upton ("just"). So plan accordingly.
Steve (Funkytown): Reynaldo Lopez show anything in 2017 that could suggest he sticks in the rotation (albeit, middle-to-back), or think he's still bullpen-bound?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I think you have the luxury of giving him one more full season to see if he can start, but I am not optimistic. Think he is a lights out bullpen arm though.
Rick Hahn (Maxwell’s): Of the current rebuilds, I must have the best system and MLB potential for 2018, right? Who could possibly be better?
Jeffrey Paternostro: It's shallower on the whole than the Braves, Yankees, and Padres, but tough to beat the upside in the top five names.
hunt4prospects (USA): A few under the radar prospects I really love: Andres Gimenez, Wander Javier, Danny Jansen, Akil Baddoo, Jorge Guzman, and Dennis Santana on the Dodgers. Any of these guys jump out at you at big risers in 2018?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Okay it's actually Wander Javier here. No joke.
I like Gimenez too, but he's more of a slow burn profile. The pitchers are likely both relievers (here's Wilson's Santana report http://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_pit.php?reportid=497). Jansen is more a good backup, Baddoo is legit too.
Fidel (Cuba): What's the upside for Monte Harrison if he keeps making progress at the rate he did in 2017?
Jeffrey Paternostro: All-star centerfielder
Floyd (CA): Do you think Walker Buehler remains a starting pitcher? And has anyone on the BP team seen Kevin Maitan to offer impressions from his 2017?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I think he is more likely to remain a starter than a reliever, but it's far from a lock. We'll have more info this time next year when he is another year removed from TJ. John saw Maitan a fair bit in Danville and has some concerns about the body and the bat, which he gets into in more detail on the Braves list.
Squids (Out West): Thoughts on Twins prospect Akil Baddoo? Only 18 last year and his rookie ball numbers were even more impressive than Ronald Acuna's. Don't scout the stat line, sure, but reports have been impressive. Is he going to shoot up ranks?
Jeffrey Paternostro: He's a legit breakout candidate, yeah. Less likely to stick in center a year ago, but if the power projection comes it won't really matter.
Clark (New York): Is Edwin Rios going to be up this year in the majors? Is he trade bait for the Dodgers?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I imagine he is likely trade bait as he isn't unseating Gonzalez, Turner or Bellinger, and I don't think you want to see him in a corner outfield spot.
Connor (Boston): Gun to your head. Who would you predict the Yankees squeeze onto the 40 man? Are the last 1-3 guys off most likely picked in Rule 5?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I will be honest and say I don't know the exacty ins and outs of the Yanks current 40-man, but I'd think Abreu, Acevedo, and Estrada are the obvious adds and any would be the first overall Rule 5 pick if not added. I assume maybe Coshow too, because why else would you let everyone see him in the AFL otherwise. We're not super high on McKinney and I wonder if he is maybe a 40-man casualty.
Frank (Wisconsin ): Is D.J. Peters a potential middle of the order bat down the line?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Wilson loves him. But Wilson loves big-bodied corner sluggers. I think if he gets there it likely isn't for the Dodgers, and the swing-and-miss may make him more corner bench pop, which is a role that is in risk of going extinct in our 13 pitcher era. We'll know more after Double-A
Shawn (San Antonio): Is Logan Allen underrated in a deep Padres system?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I think of that tier of arms (Allen, Lauer, Nix, de los Santos, Lucchesi) he might have the most upside, although I think I said Lucchesi last time I was asked. It's a very deep system
Jim (Norwalk, CT): I know you mentioned Livan Soto as a prospect in the lower minors for the Braves - what about Yunior Severino or Abraham Gutierrez?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I do know Steve liked Severino, and he wasn't that far off Soto. A very different profile. Bat carries it, might not stick in the middle infield. Jasseel de la Cruz and Jeffrey Ramos were the other guys he liked from that GCL team. And hey, might be writing them up for the Futures Guide version of the list depending on how many players Atlanta loses.
Jeffrey Paternostro: Have to keep it brief this week, but we'll be doing more of these throughout list season.