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Chat: Kevin Jebens

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday April 10, 2018 1:00 PM ET chat session with Kevin Jebens.


Kevin Jebens is a fantasy staff writer at Baseball Prospectus.

Kevin Jebens: Welcome to another fantasy chat. I grabbed Ohtani in several leagues this offseason, even trading up to the first pick, and trading Goldschmidt in a package. I look pretty good. Then I poked fun at Bret for picking Harper first overall in LABR. I look pretty bad. That’s the roll of the fantasy dice for you. Let’s get started!

bob m (pa): What are your thoughts on Dahl and Flaherty? When do you think either /both will be up and contributing at St Louis and Colorado respectvely? How good can they both be in your opinion? Thx Bob

Kevin Jebens: Flaherty shouldn't be down too long. The odds of injury in any rotation gives him a good chance for more time. And let's not forget that Waino is coming off his worst season, Mikolas isn't a sure thing, and Wacha is not what he once was. As for Dahl, Blackmon and CarGo are going to get a lot of playing time, leaving Parra, Desmond, and others to fight for the last outfield spot. Maybe Colorado lets Dahl work on his plate discipline, and make sure he's healthy, before they bother. Hurts us fantasy owners, but what can you do?

Matzabal (CO): Have BP done a poll to see what type of leagues their members are in? Seems like most fantasy content is geared to 15 team mixed or only leagues even though 10 or 12 teams are more popular universally speaking. If I am not the target market I get it, but it would really be nice to read more articles about guys in the top 150.

Kevin Jebens: The problem is that with so many varied league structures, we can't cover all the specifics. That's what our Bat Signal is for: send us info on your league, and ask questions about trades or pick-ups. Honestly, I feel that it's best to prepare for a deeper league, studying for 15-team even if you have 12 teams, because then you have a much stronger feel for the player pool and can make better adjustments during the season.

GBdontgivea%&^$ (Wisconsin): Do you see productive MLB careers behind the dish for Daulton Varsho and Carson Kelly? Preference and why?

Kevin Jebens: Varsho seems to profile as a much better bat, but he allegedly has a weak arm. Kelly seems to have the arm to stay behind the plate, but his bat is weaker. My guess is that Varsho gets moved to somewhere else. So if you definitely need a catcher, Kelly is your guy, but Varsho's bat is my preference.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): Assuming health of course, what do you expect from Scott Kingery over a full season?

Kevin Jebens: For this year, Kingery's best tool is his speed, where he may reach 20 SB if lucky. He's not going to help you in average, but he shouldn't hurt -- something near .250-.260 is reasonable. Power is still developing, but 10-12 HR seems right. I wouldn't project him for 15+ HR, but then, no one pegged Lindor for 30 HR, so what do we know? In redraft leagues, I didn't pay for Kingery's hype. In keeper leagues, of course he's a great investment.

GBdontgivea&^%$ (Wisconsin): Considering Yasel Antura or Ke'Bryan Hayes for 3B in dynasty league. Thoughts? Estimated arrival to Majors?

Kevin Jebens: Antuna is young, so you're gonna need patience. Right now he profiles to an average bat and power. Hayes generally has the same projected power and bat profile, but he's older and closer to the bigs, so that's always my preference. Hayes was one of the youngest at his level last year, but maybe he's up in 2020? Antuna is likely 2021 at earliest, but more likely 2022. I think Hayes has a bit more ceiling as well.

Jeff (MIL): Do you think the Brewers will regret trading Brinson? Should I move on too now that he's not on my Brewers?

Kevin Jebens: He has double-digit potential in homers and steals, and he may develop batting average as he ages. But watch his GB% and contact rate. Right now those aren't good -- in fact they're worse than his cup of coffee last year. I've said it before and I'll say it again: prospects aren't a sure thing, and they often take time to develop. I wouldn't sell for pennies on the dollar, but if you're in a win-now mode, try to move him. In redraft leagues I'd have a pretty quick hook.

Ferns (PA): Is Francisco Morales a name I should be excited about ?

Kevin Jebens: Yes, by all means get excited. Decent fastball and slider, with an improving changeup. High upside, maybe as a #2 fantasy SP if all breaks absolutely perfectly. But he's a long way from the majors. Lots of time for hitters to adjust as he climbs to the higher levels -- or for injury to strike. More likely he's a solid #3-4 SP, and that's assuming his BB/9 of 4.4 from last year improves.

Loria (Milwaukee): Dynasty trades are flying.. who would you pick for upside? Sixto, Gore, or Whitely? Hiura or Kingery?

Kevin Jebens: Gore, Sanchez, Whitley for me. Whitley would've been #2 if not for the suspension. Just don't want to risk it. Hiura has a great bat, Kingery more speed. They're also neck and neck for me, but I may give Kingery the edge because he can better stick at 2B and has speed.

GBdontgivea*%&^ (Wisconsin): Who has higher ceiling: Bruidar Graterol or Tony Santillan? Where do you see each in the rotation?

Kevin Jebens: Santillan has a plus fastball and slider, and maybe a higher floor. A #3 SP seems likely. Graterol has already had TJS, has an elite fastball but lacking in secondary offerings. High-risk, high-reward, but maybe he's a #2 SP at his best? At this very moment, I'm taking Santillan.

Don Easterbrook (Canada): Hello. Who do you think will have the biggest impact of these Torres,senzel,acuna or mejia. Thanks and have a great day.

Kevin Jebens: Acuna has to be the choice here, but all of these guys should produce pretty solidly in their prime. Just bear in mind that not every prospect hits the ground running, and at the same speed. That said, I have a soft spot for Mejia. Just not sure where he'll play in the short term.

Loria (Milwaukee): Can u rank order these SS for long term fantasy upside in a deep dynasty: Freudis Nova, Louis Garcia, Wander Franco, Yasel Antuna, or Wander Javier?

Kevin Jebens: Antuna not my favorite but should be average; he just may not stick at shorstop. Nova has a bit more upside. Luis Garcia has higher speed upside, a nice BA floor, but power may take some time. Franco is so young that his upside seems very high, but I just don't like the long wait because a lot can go wrong. Javier is also a high-risk, high-reward guy with good speed. Pure upside, take Franco or Javier. But for a bit more safety, I'd go Garcia for speed and then Nova.

Dusty (Colorado ): You have to answer a Wander Javier question per chat. That’s the rules here.

Kevin Jebens: There ya go, Dusty. Didn't want you feeling left out in the Colorado cold.

The Rock (It doesn’t matter): Peter Alonso is mashing in his start to AA, is there a chance he could be starting 1b for the Mets this season ?

Kevin Jebens: I just don't see them reaching for Alonso unless there are several injuries. Smith will be back eventually. AGon is... a player... who holds a bat. Wilmer Flores can cover there. Even Bruce can play 1B if needed. A lot would have to go right.

Chesty (NewBern,NC): This Saturday do you see much addition of top prospects to the Majors.Torres,Flaherty,Acuna or any other prospects . Thanks

Kevin Jebens: A fellow North Carolinian! I honestly hate trying to predict MLB roster moves. Right now, maybe the Braves keep Acuna down longer because he's "struggled" in recent games. More service time for them. Flaherty seems to be the next SP in case of injury or major struggles, so I don't know he'll be up in the next few weeks. Andujar, Walker, and Gregorius should mean the Yanks don't have to start Torres soon. I do like Andujar and think he can stick.

cracker73 (South Carolina): What hitting prospect, who is outside the top 50, has the greatest fantasy upside?

Kevin Jebens: For this year? Making an impact? Maybe Jorge Mateo finds a way to get promoted, and he has some nice speed to help in a category where there are few impact guys. Luis Urias could give high BA and maybe 10 SB with enough playing time, but my guess is the Padres aren't in a rush.

Jim Bo (La): Would you trade AJ pollock for Robbie Ray? Concerned Pollock won’t last 162 games

Kevin Jebens: I am not a Pollock guy. He really needs to put everything together in one season, AND stay healthy, before I bite. Yes, give me Ray every time.

Zoilo (Stockton): Is Swanson’s fast start sustainable? He seems to be hitting the ball hard and showcasing his hit tool. Would you ride with him or hop on the Amed Rosario train in a 14 team weekly h2h points format?

Kevin Jebens: I don't trust him. His BABIP is sky high right now. Yes, he's hitting more line drives right now, but his hard hit rate is actually lower than last year, 23% to 29%. He's swinging out of the zone a bit more, making more pop-ups than 2017. I do see more of an Andrelton Simmons development path for him: not a great offensive tool until several years down the road.

Loria (Milwaukee): Drafting in deep dynasty league, care to offer the most likely Top 5 picks for the 2018 Amateur Draft? Top 2-3 from this class for fantasy purposes?

Kevin Jebens: I'll admit up front that super-deep prospects are not my thing. I don't usually dive into the Amateur Draft guys this early. But I'm always looking for pitching in one of my dynasty leagues, and I'm hearing good things about Brady Singer and Ethan Hankins. Also Shane McClanahan, if you aren't put off by his already having TJS. Maybe he got it out of the way early, and he'll be healthy for the next 20 years...?

GBdontgivea&^% (Wisconsin): Currently rebuilding a dynasty team: Who has bigger upside, more likely big league impact at the keystone - Shed Long or Esteury Ruiz?

Kevin Jebens: Ruiz is my guy. Age 19, good speed and athelicism, should be at least average across the board in roto categories with good bat speed. Higher ceiling but longer wait. Long is 22, struggled in his short Double-A stint, but was solid in High-A. A converted catcher, so maybe he gets on track quickly, and at least his BB% and contact rate improved at Double-A.

Carl (San Antonio): Which Dodgers catcher will be a top 10 future fantasy catcher. Will Smith? Keibert Ruiz? Both ? Neither ?

Kevin Jebens: I'm going with Ruiz here. Arguably a top-3 catcher prospect, and his defense and arm are solid enough to stick there. Smith is playing all over, and though he has a good arm, his offensive upside isn't as high.

Two Way Playa (Minneapolis): What's the best way to use Shohei Ohtani in a weekly league that forces you to choose him as a pitcher or batter? Is he worth the hassle of figuring out how best to use him, or should he be traded for a star one-way player while the hype is high?

Kevin Jebens: I'm in the same boat. Right now, I'm using him as a SP. It's a bit based on your team needs, but my default is to bet on his pitching upside. He'll never be a two-start option, but you saw his second game. He doesn't need a second start to earn value in a week. If you do decide to sell, don't go cheap. As I said, I traded Goldy and Arrieta (before he signed) to get Ohtani and Josh Bell. SP are more valuable in my points format. You can get someone to pay (overpay) if you are simply too frustrated.

Son of a... (Springfield): Who's your favorite son of a former ballplayer, currently sitting in the top 100 prospect list, moving forward?

Kevin Jebens: I don't know how you could pick anyone other than Vlad. Tatis is fine, but worse contact worries me.

Jake (State Farm): Who are some up and coming prospects that maybe are not on the top 100 for fantasy that we should be looking out for?

Kevin Jebens: Mitchell White has a nice K/9 in the minors, but the BB/9 has climbed as well, up to 4.2 in Double-A last year. I also like Alex Faedo in Detroit, an above average fastball and slider. Chris Shaw is a guy who doesn't have elite upside but should produce as an average contributor.

Kevin Jebens: That's all for today, folks. Thanks for the questions, and may the DL gods avoid your players.

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