Bryan is an author of Baseball Prospectus, and our lead Transaction Analysis writer.
Bryan Grosnick: Hey there, everyone! I'm Bryan, BP's lead Transaction Analyst ... I'll do my best to answer your questions without being too glib.
Ben (Colorado): Top prospect in 2020 and 2021?
Bryan Grosnick: So, I have to say this every time I do one of these: I am not a specialist in prospect / amateur stuff. Any answers I give you on those types of questions are going to come from my filtering of the information from BP's prospect team and other resources ... not my own looks.
With that having been said, I think there's a puncher's chance that Sixto Sanchez is the top prospect for the site's Top 101 2020. I think there's the potential that the Phillies move him slowly even if he's dominant.
As for 2021, it'd just be guessing. That's a long way away.
Craig (FL): Bobby Witt Jr - the next big thing?
Bryan Grosnick: ...
Sam (NJ): Is Bobby Witt Jr the next big prospect?
Bryan Grosnick: (If you want to insert Bobby Witt Jr. into the 2021 spot from the question above, go right ahead. At this point, he looks great, but three years is forever away.)
Jim (Kansas): Blue Jays have been revolving OFs all season. Barring injuries, who do you see them settling on for the 3 spots this year and next? Do you think they start a youth movement? Thanks...
Bryan Grosnick: Ah, now here's a question that fits in my wheelhouse. I'm all aboard the Teoscar Hernandez hype train after getting a live look at him in Pawtucket last year after the trade. I think his power and athleticism will play, and he should be on the field every day. And while Kevin Pillar has his warts, I'd like to see him continue to get reps in center even though he's hitting way above his head right now.
For the third spot, I think this season should be a Curtis Granderson / Anthony Alford platoon. I'd like to see Alford continue to get big league reps, and Granderson is likely to be an amazing influence in the clubhouse who can also still hit a little ... sometimes. (Steve Pearce should play super-sub and Randal Grichuk should play golf.)
For 2019, I'd probably go out and get an outfielder unless all three of Alford, Hernandez, and Pillar have breakout years. Preferably, it'd be an upper-tier guy and I'd love to see them land Charlie Blackmon.
a.j. (las vegas): once adrian beltre shows he is healthy for a few weeks would he be able to top 101 type prospect like Stephen Gonsalves?
Bryan Grosnick: So, the way I'm reading this is that you're asking if Beltre could return a Top 101-type player in a pre-deadline trade once the Rangers decide to start stripping the team down? Honestly, I kind of doubt it. Most of the teams that I'd guess will be in contention for playoff spots will be well-positioned at the hot corner, not to mention the fact that Manny Machado is likely to be on the trade market as well. Combine that with Beltre's injury woes recently and the fact that he's a really important part of Texas' clubhouse, and I'm not certain he'd pull back enough value to make Texas willing to deal him. (And that's even without Joey Gallo's reticence to return to third base.)
The one team where *maybe* I could see a fit would be Cleveland, and I'm not sure they'd give up a player of Shane Bieber's caliber in that rental dea.
Peach (GA): Peter Alonso is going bananas. Will the Mets call him up this year or pretend he has defensive liabilities in order to stall his clock?
Bryan Grosnick: It's really tough to say with the Mets and their front office. I agree with Jarrett Seidler's statement on the For All You Kids Out There podcast that bringing him up early and letting him sink or swim might give the Mets the most information early ... but I think it'll be July before the Mets are willing to cut bait on Adrian Gonzalez.
Look, I too want Alonso to be Rhys Hoskins. (Even though he's a University of Florida guy.) But with so many options (good or no) at or near the majors in Wilmer Flores, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith, and Gonzalez, I absolutely see the Mets slow-playing Alonso until this fall, even though it's probably not best for business.
Juan Soto (Harrisburg): Are you not entertained?!?
Bryan Grosnick: More like "Brothers, what we do in life echoes in eternity."
Dylan (Hartford): Just how good is Juan Soto?
Bryan Grosnick: Really great, so far. Our prospect team has been out in front of that hype train, but I think he's got a very high ceiling thanks to his hit tool and approach. I'd love to see him as a Christian Yelich type in the bigs ... with a chance to be better ... but I do have a little concern about early-career leg injuries. For sure, he'll make Bryce Harper's impending departure from Washington a bit more palatable.
Robert (California): Bichette and Keller for Soto. Forever keeper league. Which side would you prefer?
Bryan Grosnick: Ah, Robert California. The Lizard King himself.
I'll take the Soto side, provided we're talking usual 5x5 categories. I always want the highest-end talent in a trade. I do like both Bichette and Keller a lot ... and I think Bichette actually stays at short. But I like Soto's upside.
Dan (Sacramento): What do you make of RHP Daniel Gossett? In two stints with the A's, he's gotten crushed. But in AAA, he's putting up good numbers. What role, if any, do you think he can have on a major league team?
Bryan Grosnick: Honestly, I don't see Gossett as a major piece on this A's team. I think he'd be a nice fit as a long reliever / swingman type who can bail you out after one of your back-end starters goes down ... but he pitched in a lot of games last year without really impressing me. Hitters don't seem to have trouble getting hard contact off him.
Sam (NJ): Jo Adell - the next Acuna?
Bryan Grosnick: BUT ALSO
Tom (Detroit ): Is Jo Adell this year's Ronald Acuna? If not him is it someone else?
Bryan Grosnick: It's mean to compare anyone to Ronald Acuna. Jo Adell is great! He's got every tool in the world, he's hitting very well, and he's young. But Acuna played at three levels last season, all of them higher than Adell's current run in Single-A. He *improved* at each level he hit at. That's just not something that happens very often. Acuna jumped from 31 to 1 on our Top 101, and of course it's possible to say that Adell could do that. But if you *expect* it, you're kidding yourself.
If not him, which mid-101 guy shoots to the top of the list overall, or to that OFP-80 level? Juan Soto's the only guy who seems close, and he doesn't / didn't have Acuna's overall conglomeration of skills and tools ... plus he was a higher-ranked prospect.
Mark (Chicago): Is Jason Kipnis droppable in a deep 15 team league whether waiver options on the wire include the likes of Descalso, Flaherty, and Priela?
Bryan Grosnick: Eeesh. Kippy looks absolutely cooked, but all those other options are *dark*. I'd probably keep him around, but on the bench which I looked to address the position via trade. Pirela would be my guy from that bunch, and might be the one I'd cut him for.
Jack (San Diego): With the expansion of the number of arms in major league bullpens, do you see MLB altering the rules where it pertains to the DH? If a DH is moved onto the field, the team loses the DH going forward and the pitcher has to bat. But with 8-man pens becoming the norm, the bench is becoming sparse and having a dedicated DH, who can't take the field, can make days off hard to come by for regulars.
Bryan Grosnick: I do not. I think that teams generally enjoy the DH and the flexibility it provides, so I don't see the league shifting that rule. What I think is *much* more likely is a 26th roster spot and some codification that the team can only roster 13 pitchers per game.
There's kind of a existential question here too, I think ... I absolutely want to see players get more rest during the grind of a long season, but I also get disappointed when stars need to rest as it keeps them from putting up their best possible numbers over the course of the season. (Fewer opportunities.) To me, the answer is a longer season with more built-in rest days, but I'm certain there's no will for that and it'd be a bear in the north.
John (Harrisonburg): The A's are hanging in there right now, but I highly doubt they are making a run as the season heads into summer. What are realistic returns for guys like Jed Lowrie, Blake Treinen, Matt Joyce, Jonathan Lucroy, and Khris Davis?
Bryan Grosnick: Man, this is tough. The four hitters you mentioned are all playing well now, same as Treinen ... but I think it all depends on perceived need by any acquiring team. Joyce probably pulls the least value of the five, in my opinion, because his role is filled by lots of other players out there on the open market. To me, he's probably a dude that pulls back a flyer-type prospect in that C+ range.
Lucroy could be a big upgrade over a team with a dire catching situation (read: the Nationals), so I could absolutely see a team dealing something from the bottom part of their Top 10 to acquire him on a short-term deal. If he punched a ball over the fence once or twice before the deadline, that'd help his cause.
Davis is an interesting case, as I think his market would be more limited to AL teams, and I think those front offices might see his low BABIP making him something of a buy-low candidate. But he's going to be very expensive in arbitration this offseason, so I'm not sure anyone would see him as a tremendous value, which will drive down his return. Maybe a Top 15 prospect in a strong system? Hard to say.
Treinen is probably the big-ticket item of this bunch, with two more years after this under inexpensive team control. A legitimate prospect could come back to the A's in exchange for his arm (and the rest of him, I guess), and probably 10-12 teams will be looking for a reliever at the deadline. I could see this deal looking like the Justin Wilson trade from the last deadline, with a Jeimer Candelario prospect coming back.
Finally, there's Lowrie. Jed! has been outrageous, and I think he remains underrated and undervalued across the board. The Indians, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, and others could be fun fits this season ... but I'd think the A's would be wise to try to pull the trigger on this deal ASAP. I think he could return a top-10 guy too, but more likely a close-to-the-majors or big-league piece that has more team control and a relatively low upside.
Bryan Grosnick: I think that'll do it for today. Thanks so much for your questions and for following along. Check out the DFA Podcast here at the site for all your transactional needs, and I hope you all have a great end to your week!