Mike is our lead fantasy writer and co-host of Flags Fly Forever.
Mike Gianella: LABR Mixed starts in about 15 minutes. It's February but we're in full fantasy baseball swing, which means it's time for a fantasy baseball chat.
Tom (NJ): Will you and BP be publishing auction values this year?
Mike Gianella: Hi Tom. Yup, My auction valuations for 15-team mixed, AL-only, and NL-only, will be published once a week until Opening Day, starting in early March.
rrydelek (Moon): Where are you on the future offensive production of young SS's Addison Russell and Dansby Swanson? What sort power/average for each in 2018?
Mike Gianella: I still have faith in Russell's power; I wonder about the batting average. He's really young and had a shoulder injury last year that no one seems to talk about.
Swanson is better than he showed last year, but I wonder how much his value will ever translate to fantasy. He's a pure hitter at his best and I could see him hitting .300, but the power probably won't exceed 15-20 home runs. And he was a complete mess last year, so I don't know when this production is coming if ever.
Ron (Texarkana): What do you see happening with Sterling Marte this upcoming season? Can he propel forward, or does his 2017 season carry over?
Mike Gianella: hey ron. That's kind of a loaded question. Marte was really good when he was on the field; he was on pace for a $28 season in NL-only, which is right in line with what he's done in the past. I don't see him hitting more than 10 home runs but he should be able to steal 40-45 bases and in Roto formats that's why we're drafting him. The loss of Cutch does hurt his runs/RBI and I'd draft him a round or two lower than last year's slot.
Alex (Baltimore): What do you think about David Price this season? Is he a "hold" in a dynasty to see whether he can be close to what he used to be, or sell for whatever I can get?
Mike Gianella: I'm sold on the skills. I do wonder about the durability. I see a jump forward this year but he won't quite match what he did in his halcyon days in Tampa. He's a second tier starter for me. I'd hang onto him in a dynasty league in case he does find that ace form. The innings that he CAN deliver are too much to pass up.
Chris (Baltimore): Being the talent gap between the top 4 (Kershaw, Sale, Kluber, and Scherzer) and the rest of the pitchers is pronounced, is it prudent to draft one and instead of a Stanton, Votto, or Correa in the 1st round?
Mike Gianella: depends on your format. I can tell you that this has been my philosophy in 15-team mixed thus far. I took Kluber at 14 and then filled out my offense for 6-8 rounds. A lot of this depends on if you have faith in anyone in the second tier. Believer in Thor, Severino, or Bumgarner? Wait and take the hitter. But if you think there's a gap (as I do) don't wait.
rrydelek (Moon): In a Scoresheet keeper league, given the chance to draft Eloy Jimenez or Gerrit Cole, which way would you go?
Mike Gianella: I'd still go with Cole. He's young and I think the Astros will mostly fix what ails him.
Carlo (Seattle): Robinson Cano remains in the top 15 among second basemen for the next ____ seasons.
Mike Gianella: Two? Three? He was fifth last year so it's not as difficult as it sounds but he's well past 30 and the end eventually comes for us all.
Loria (Milwaukee,Wi): What can I hope for (ceiling) or expect (floor) for this year for Taillon? He popped my bubble late last yr
Mike Gianella: He could be a #2 if everything breaks right. He could be a #5 if it doesn't. There are a lot of outcomes for a pitcher who had cancer last year and was clearly focused primarily on his recovery. My bet is on something in the middle, as a #3 or #4.
Joel (Lawrence): How do you think the Padres will deploy Matt Strahm this season and in the future? Any fantasy relevance?
Mike Gianella: hey Joel. I think he'll start in AAA and they'll stretch him out to start (have you seen their projected rotation). On a first division team he'd be a great super reliever candidate but I don't believe the Padres have the luxury. He's an NL-only low end guy or a reserve play in 18 or 20-team mixed.
Mr. Fister (Arlington): Gucci gang,Gucci gang, Gucci gang, Gucci gang, Gucci gang,Gucci gang, Gucci gang, Gucci gang. -Lil Pump.
Mike Gianella: ah, lil' pump.
who hasn't felt the ennui of a relationship in the twilight of its existence?
Mr. Fister (Arlington): What is the deal with Raul Mondesi? Bad makeup? Bad approach? Seems like a rebuilding team would normally find a spot for a guy like him to get a full season's worth of at bats. Is the re-signing of Escobar an indictment of Mondesi's lack of readiness or do the Royals have other plans for him? (CF?, 3B?) Thanks!
Mike Gianella: his approach isn't great but he's really young, the Royals rushed him, and he still has plenty of time to turn it around. I don't know what the Royals are going to do with Mondesi. Escobar shouldn't be any kind of obstacle but these are the Royals. Merrifield played some outfield last year; I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the outfield and Mondesi at second.
Chris (Baltimore): What is the latest news with Profar? Seems like he's headed for another year of less than 300 ABs?
Mike Gianella: there is no news on Profar. He's buried in Texas and needs a trade but for that to happen he needs a couple of hot months in the minors. So I'm going to say no to those 300 AB.
Mr. Fister (Arlington): Seems like after the late season injury, Bradley Zimmer has sort of fell off the proverbial radar. What do you expect from him this season? Will he be a wire to wire starter in CF this year?
Mike Gianella: it's the combination of the injury and an extremely poor second half. I love the steals potential but wonder about the batting average and worry (a little bit) that he'll get demoted if he slumps again early.
Ron (texarkana): Is Tyler Glasnow ultimately a bullpen arm, or do you think he can settle into the starting rotation this year?
Mike Gianella: I think he'll get an earnest shot at the rotation, 100-150 innings at least. The raw stuff is rotation worthy, I have no idea if he'll ever manage to stay consistent enough or be durable enough.
Mr. Fister (Arlington): Big Poppa Pump, Esteban Loaiza is your hook-up! Who would have known? Loaizenberg! Breaking Bad 2.0.
Mike Gianella: there's a meth-od to his madness.
Ric Flair (Your Mom's House): Whooooooooo!
Mike Gianella: sorry about your Falcons.
Chris (Baltimore): Buxton took a few years to figure things out at the MLB level. Do you think it's equally likely that's the path for Acuna as well?
Mike Gianella: I think Acuna has better contact skills and should have a smoother path to becoming an elite player, although it might not happen this year.
Joel (Lawrence): My wife registered a respectable 5.2 WAR year with 3 walk off sammiches to boot, so how many roses does she deserve on Valentine's Day?
Mike Gianella: 69
Mr. Fister (Arlington): Please rank these guys who should or could have rotation jobs entering 2018....Godley, Castillo, Flaherty, Gohara, Mahle, Marquez,J. Montgomery, Lamet, Faria, Kuhl, Woodruff, Junis, Clevinger. Thanks!
Mike Gianella: for 2018 only? Castillo, Godley, Lamet, Clevinger, Montgomery, Faria, Gohara, Marquez, Kuhl, Flaherty, Woodruff, Mahle, Junis.
Loria (MIlwaukee): Can Mazara be an OF2 or 3 this upcoming year? What value do u see for him?
For 2018 would u rather have him or Acuna?
Mike Gianella: OF3 is more realistic. I can see him at the top of the three-star if it breaks right. I lean Mazara unless I'm guaranteed Acuna is on the roster opening day.
Salty MFer (Mom's Basement): Obligatory use my question to ask why you haven't answered any of my questions question. You're welcome.
Mike Gianella: i'm going in order.
Loria (Milwaukee ): What do u expect from Mazara this year? Can he be an OF2 or OF3 for fantasy?
For 2018, would u rather have him or Acuna?
Mike Gianella: the question so nice i won't answer it twice.
Mr. Fister (Arlington): Will Walker Buehler ever have the durability to be a starter? Seems like a long shot to me.
Mike Gianella: I see him as a James Paxton type. 150 innings? Maybe. 200? Nah, but then that's true for nearly everyone.
Chad (OKC): What type of season can we expect from Tommy Pham? Can he come close to repeating 2017 production?
Mike Gianella: great swing and contact rates, works really hard on his approach, most of his limits were due to injury. I think he'll come close to doing what he did in 2017 and I'll be fairly aggressive on him in most of my drafts.
Jonathan (Chicago): Happ or Taillon in a dynasty league? I think Happ has a lot of growth left in him.
Mike Gianella: Happ. I mostly agree with you but I also see more certainly with him right now than with Taillon.
Joel (Lawrence): Is Michael Kopech a top 30 MLB starter going into 2019?
Mike Gianella: doubtful.
Joel (Lawrence): Who would win in a drinking competition? Danny Duffy or Tony LaRussa?
Mike Gianella: it depends on what they're drinking
Chansen8895 (San Jose ): Where does Acuna go tonight in LABR
Mike Gianella: I'm thinking the 9th-10th round, but I'm not surprised at all if someone reaches and he goes earlier.
sportsguy21792 (Miller park parking lot): Is the Brewers counter to the Cubs signing Darvish to make a bigger play for Arrieta? Milwaukee's free agent track record is less than stellar for pitching and by the end of the deals we cannot wait for the guy to be off the books. Back to the well or trade from surplus outfielding depth and prospects?
Mike Gianella: i don't know what their payroll situation is. I imagine they'd prefer to trade Braun or Santana for a pitcher but the slow FA market obviously hurts them. I think they'll probably hang back and hope for a bargain on Arrieta or Cobb.
Buff (Colorado): Looking for a cheap starter with upside in NL-only keeper league. Newcomb or Glasnow?
Mike Gianella: Newcomb.
Buff (Colorado): Mets seem determined to marginalize Wil Flores. Will he get enough AB's to justify a $10 bid in NL only?
Mike Gianella: I don't think so.
Joel (Lawrence): Is Didi Gregorious the most underrated MLB shortstop? Solid numbers with seemingly no hype compared to the mainstays.
Mike Gianella: he's up there for sure. In fantasy he doesn't quite have enough speed to put him in that "underrated" category and he plays in NYC.
Joel (Lawrence): Where does Hosmer end up?
Mike Gianella: I think he goes back to the Royals unless the Padres up their (reported) offer.
Mr. Fister (Arlington): My sources have told me that upon retirement, Bartolo Colon will sign a 4 year contract with Brazzers. Natural fit, am I right?
Mike Gianella: if he signs a contract, how can he be retired (glass breaking, consciousness raised)?
Salty MFer (Mom's Basement): Obligatory use my question to ask why some prospect in the top ten ranked two spots lower than another prospect in the top ten question. You're welcome.
Mike Gianella: stop saying Top 10.
Turd Ferguson (Jeopardy): Shohei Otani...over/under IP...150. ABs...250.
Mike Gianella: Hi Turd, I love your work.
slightly over and way under.
Scott Boras (Fenway Park): Hey DD, my client has a 5 year 125 million dollar offer on the table. Would you like to go 6?
DD-I'm pretty sure that is the offer I made to your client.
Boras-Nah, that was some other GM. Whaddya say? 6 @ 180? You're either first or you're last.
DD-Good point, deal!
Is this how negotiations are going right now?
Mike Gianella: I suspect Boras has told teams there's a floor for his players and teams aren't biting. As we get closer to March/Opening Day we'll see if that mentality holds among ownership or if the players (and Boras) blink.
Dusty (Colorado ): Hey Mike, really enjoying the podcast positional previews. I was wondering if you could tell me anything about Twins prospect Wander Javier? What's his upside?
Mike Gianella: incredible bat, wowed them all in rookie ball, but he's so young. Upside is a top 20 hitter, but we have miles to go on Javier.
temple (nadison): I just am here in the middle of my prospect draft. who should i choose jo adell or heliot ramos
Mike Gianella: I lean Ramos.
bob m (philly): How will David Dahl fit in a crowded Rockies OF this year?
Do you like his ceiling?
Mike Gianella: If he's healthy they'll find a place for him, with Ian Desmond moving to first. Yeah, I feel like he could be a top 15-20 OF in that park if he gets the PT.
earpbartman (West Chester, PA): Hey Mike - Deciding between my 4th keeper SP in a deep scoresheet league. #1-3 are Kershaw, Kluber, Martinez. Last spot can go to either Chase Anderson or Rich Hill. Do you lean one way or the other? Or throw them both back? Thanks!
Mike Gianella: I like Hill.
JoeRandom (San Jose): will there be a top prospect list geared for dynasty leagues on the site?
Mike Gianella: yes, later this spring.
temple (madison ): thanks for the quick answer orn the ramos/adell question. do you see either ronaldo hernandez or william contreras as good bets to make a splash in the majors in the next 2-3 years.
Mike Gianella: three is probably best case for ronaldo. contreras on the more aggressive track, has a better shot at a 2-3 year arrival.
Mr. Fister (Arlington): Jesus Luzardo seems to be a somewhat polarizing prospect. I've read reports that he is a high ceiling post TJ lefty with possible 1/2 ceiling. I've also read reports that tab him as more of a high floor 4/5. Where does BP stand? Thanks!
Mike Gianella: probably a better question for one of the prospect/dynasty guys. I'm mostly going off the same reports you are tbh.
Mike Gianella: Thanks everyone...some great questions tonight. Looking forward to a great fantasy season in 2018.