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Chat: Jeffrey Paternostro

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday April 13, 2018 12:00 PM ET chat session with Jeffrey Paternostro.


Jeffrey is the senior prospect writer at Baseball Prospectus, and co-host of the BP Mets podcast, For All You Kids Out There.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Okay, this one will be a little abbreviated since I am off to New Hampshire this afternoon for more Vladito and Bichette, so let's dive right in.

Erin (City): Is Justin Dunn fixed?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I wouldn't have said he was broken after two starts last year, won't say he is fixed now. Obviously it's encouraging, but the reports last year were always "fine" so far as it goes. Still not convinced he is a starter long term.

Jeb (Iowa): What is Mitch Keller's upside? He seems to be a future #2 at worst. Thoughts?

Jeffrey Paternostro: No pitcher has ever been a future #2 at worst. Well, maybe Strasburg. We think Keller is one of the best pitching prospects in baseball, but the likely range of outcomes here is more #2 to #3. Is there ace upside? Of course.

Sam (Ny): At what point do we start talking about Peter Alonso as being the Mets best 1B prospect and potential top 100 guy?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Jarrett has been beating this drum since last year. I was slower to come around as my Penn League looks were awful, and I thought he needed major swing changes. Well, he got them, and he's unlocked the 70 raw power in there. The R/R first base profile is a rough one (and his defense there isn't great) but we ranked Ronald Guzman, so if he mashes Double-A this year, it would be difficult to leave him off even if I don't see a ton of upside in the profile.

Miller time (Napping): Just ran to burn off the pizza hut i just scarfed down, can monte harrison be a potential 20 20 guy in the future ?

Jeffrey Paternostro: He's very boom or bust, but that would be the boom.

Danny NJ (NJ): So Robert Gsellman is Chad Green?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Maaaaaaaaybe.

Jake (Minnesota): What is Shane Baa's upside? Could he turn into another Mitch Keller type prospect in a year or two?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't know if the breaker has the same projection as Keller's did, but as a guy who could eventually jump into the top tier of pitching prospects, sure.

Jack Mehoff (Bunkleytown): Who are your picks for AL and NL ROY?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I believe I picked Acuna and Calhoun for the staff post. Would like that Calhoun pick back now please and thank you. I suspect Senzel might end up getting the nod in the NL. These things end up playing time projections more often than not.

Buddy (Peoria, IL): So how many times have you been asked, "Are the Mets for real?"

Jeffrey Paternostro: Once a day, in the mirror.

Jake the Snake (Cobra Kai Dojo): If you had to bet on it, does Casey Mize go 1.1 to Detroit?

Jeffrey Paternostro: With the caveat that I pay almost no attention to the draft until guys start landing in pro ball, he does seem their type.

Quackadilly Blip (Liberty College): In my life, I've talked so much crap on sports that allow ties. I am 36 years old. Please tell me that in my lifetime, I will never have to watch a baseball game end in a tie.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I think they will try a whole bunch of dumb weird fixes before we get there.

Justin (Kansas): Who are some Pirate prospects that could shoot up the rankings this year?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Man it's a weird system not now. Not bad, just kind of boring? The three short-season arms from 2017 (Ogle, MacGregor, Jennings) would be the logical picks here. Maybe Lolo too.

Tim (Texas): Tell me about Hayes, Tucker, and Newman for the Bucs. What are their potentials?

Jeffrey Paternostro: We ranked them Tucker, Hayes, Newman for the offseason list. Don't think anything has really changed there (although Tucker and Hayes were close enough to be within the fudge factor). If this is a fantasy question Tucker, speed and positional advantage will likely carry the day for you, although I expect both end up solid regulars. I've never been a Newman guy, and I don't even remember how I got talked into ranking him in 2017, but it's one of the ones I immediately regretted. He's fine, mind you, just more of a good utility type for me.

Seth Lugo (Nyc): Wait, Am I really this good?

Jeffrey Paternostro: The skill set was always a better fit to blow it out for 30-40 pitches, and there is the matter of your partially torn UCL, but Lugo doesn't get enough credit for being a secret Warthen guy. Mostly because the velo/command/slider jump took him from a 3 to a 5 and not like a 5 to a 7.

Kat (ARI): I wish Jose Suarez were a little bit taller, but he’s looking really nice early on. I know Wilson had eyes on him last night and said his fastball was up to 95.

Jeffrey Paternostro: The Angels system is pretty good now and I am as surprised as you guys are.

dylanrox (Denver): So if not Calhoun as your AL ROY, who?

Jeffrey Paternostro: That would be Shohei Ohtani

Q (Ny): Does Conforto look 100%?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Close enough to round up.

Matt (KC): Loving Khalil Lee’s start. .333/.484/.625 in 31 PA with a homer and two steals. Yeah, wish he didn’t have 10 Ks but he’s 19 in high-A and I think isn’t mentioned enough in the prospect community.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Love the tools, but it's a profile I will want to see against Double-A arms before I fully buy in. There's an awful lot of swing and miss there.

Mr. Fister (Arlington): How will the Dodgers ultimately deploy Walker Buehler this year? Bullpen, or will he get some MLB starts?

Jeffrey Paternostro: How's the bat? That seems to be the biggest issue right now. I think it will likely come down to need, but the Dodgers do like to churn starters, so I wouldn't be shocked if they use him in that role at some point this Summer.

terryallan (CO): Jeff - how do minor league contracts work for players out of the draft? Looking at transactions, it seems like guys that aren't added to the 40 man roster get released 5 years after their draft date. Is it a standardized contract for players drafted (outside the signing bonus) before they become minor league free agents? And does that apply to IFA's and non-drafted guys like TJ Friedl?

Jeffrey Paternostro: So you can't add draftees to the 40 immediately anymore since they did away with major league deals. It's 4-5 years before Rule 5 eligibility (based on signing age) and 6 to minor league free agency. Once they get added to the 40 you get 3 or 4 option years. Friedl is treated like any other player that signed at his age even as an UDFA. That's off the top of my head without checking the last CBA which tweaked some of this stuff.

Sandy (Alderson): I have to trade Wheeler now, right?

Jeffrey Paternostro: So I'm just not going to panic over losing TDA/Plawecki. It's bad, and they need to grab some bodies to throw at the problem in the upper minors now, but they went from like the 16th best catching situation to possibly the 30th, that's bad, but you can also bounce back to the 25th or something more cheaply than that. I also think there's a chance Nido and Lobaton keep it together for six weeks.

Joe Sixpack (Hastings): I'm looking to pick up a set-up guy and need to drop a starting pitcher. I've narrowed it to Danny Duffy and Ian Kennedy, both who were picked up off the wire. Suggestions if you please and thank you. Also, Tanner Roark and Aaron Sanchez could be dropped as well.

Jeffrey Paternostro: I guess you have to wait and see on Kennedy now? He'd normally be my pick, and he still might be actually. I am a low dude on Tanner Roark, so he'd be my other option. Too much upside in Duffy and Sanchez despite rough starts.

Cajun B (Cuba): Is this the year that Max Kepler finally breaks out?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Early signs look good. Very early signs though.

Al (Ca): If Mets are true contenders at deadline, could they move Tebow to a marlins/rays Esque team for a backend top 30 org Guy? Is that a nuts question ($$)

Jeffrey Paternostro: Let's do a Mets lightning round to clear up the queue:

The only team getting that gravy train is the Mets, baby.

Hampton (Flushing): Is Gavin cecchini good now?

Jeffrey Paternostro: We know he can hit in the PCL. I don't think we will ever find out if he can hit in the majors for the Mets, too deep on the depth chart now. Weird that they never traded him.

Lars (Conn): Can Andres Gimenez put up an .800 ops in psl this year and become a top 50 prospect?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Sure, it's possible. The frame looked a little better too from what little I saw in Spring.

Avisáis (Brookyln): Nimmo, Dom Smith and Ali Sanchez for Realmuto?

Jeffrey Paternostro: They wanted Victor Robles and Kyle Tucker, even if they come down off that, don't see the Mets as an actual fit here.

Also not for nothing but how is his back?

Jorge (NJ): How would you rank the 4 bona-fide relief guys the Mets currently have in Bingo (Bautista, Hanhold, Uceta, Bashlor)? You think all of them have a legit shot to be very good at the next level?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Oh let's go Bashlor, Bautista, Hanhold, Uceta. I am not gonna move guys a ton off a week of baseball. Though Bashlor's velo dip warrants checking in on.

Phil (Long Island): The Mets successfully pushed Andres Gimenez to full-season ball at 18 - after reading all these gushing reports over Ronny Mauricio, do you think there's any chance he gets the same treatment?

Jeffrey Paternostro: They have reps to give in Columbia if they want to do that, they can play Fermin at 2B and he's gotten time at CF, and he's the only meaningful infield prospect there at the moment. Gimenez also didn't get assigned there, he mashed his way there in XST. Same thing applies to Vientos here.

Bob (New York): The Mets are totally taking Madrigal or Bohm at 6 right?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Swaggarty too maybe. Also it's April, this stuff changes a ton.

Chad (Tenpe ): What’s your take on what you’ve seen from Rosario this year?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Would I have liked to see a bit more improvement in his strike zone control, sure. But this isn't wildly out of line with expectations. They can let him learn on the job for a year.

Sasha (Danbury ): Remember when the reds thought they pulled a fast one by getting Dilson instead of Nimmo

Jeffrey Paternostro: Always bet on the Mets having horribly mismanaged an injury.

Smam (Nj): Is there a team out there that would trade a top 100 guy for Nimmo?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Yeah maybe, but it isn't like the Mets OF has any track record of health, and their other AAA options are Matt den Dekker, Zach Borenstein, and Ty Kelly.

Doug (New Jersey): Desmond Lindsay striking out again at a good clip early on. Is his bat control a big issue going forward? (heard this from another site)

Jeffrey Paternostro: I'd have to see him again. Approach and bat control were fine last year, but that was also another major injury ago. These things can have cumulative effect.

Calery (Manhattan ): Nimmo a 6?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Tough to be a 6 when you are mostly unplayable against same-side pitching. I also don't love him in CF which introduces some tweener issues. He's clearly a quality major league piece now though.

Zach (State): What do you mean Andres gimenez body looks better?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Lower half was on the thick side last year, looks like he dropped some baby fat, looks more like a shortstop now (might still not be a long term SS)

Gary (Ny): Is nido good enough defensively to be only slightly below average right now?

Jeffrey Paternostro: It's possible, but I don't know that I'd bet on it as a long term 2018 strategy

Bill (Toronto): Syndergaard for Vlad Jr who says no?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Always take the top tier major leaguer (but I will say I thought about it for a few seconds longer than I thought I would)

Cajun B (Cuba): I took someone's advice and decided to hold onto Delvin Perez for one more year in my long term dynasty league. Where do you think he'll be playing this year? And when? Do you still have any hope in his ability?

Jeffrey Paternostro: I would guess the NYPL? The reports I've gotten are bad both on and off the field, but I don't blame you for riding it for one more year. I'm skeptical though.

Mike (NY): Forget Wander Javier, why weren't there questions on Juan Soto in the offseason. Is he in Eloy land with a healthy year?

Jeffrey Paternostro: That was what I figured would happen with a healthy 2017, so sure, let's run it back.

Garrett (Haverford): What is your assessment of Kyle Tucker? And how likely are his skills to force his way into a regular role with the talented group in Houston by say, June?

Jeffrey Paternostro: He's a fairly safe bet to be an above-average everyday corner outfielder, there's a high end outcome possbile if the power continues to pop. He's also only 21, and I suspect his major league debut will be dictated by team need rather than his forcing the issue this year.

Jett (Skyward): Dustin May doesn't get a lot of attention, yet, appears to be on the rise. Legit?

Jeffrey Paternostro: You must be new here.

Yes, we like the Gingergaard a lot.

Erin (Ny): Have you ever felt this good about a Mets coach?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Am I the only one that thinks he sort of looks like Springsteen? That alone is going to buy him a very long leash with the Mets beat.

dylanrox (Denver): What have you seen from Nick Pivetta that can be predictive about his outlook? Everyone seems to focus on his lack of command.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Well, to be fair his command was execrable in 2017, and it was an issue as a prospect as well. Now I like to talk about how you can't just predict command jumps for guys, but when it happens to that kind of prospect, the results can be spectacular. But I also need to see it for way longer than two starts.

Dusty (Colorado): Wander Javier has a real shot to impact the Twins down the line? What's his upside?

Jeffrey Paternostro: Dusty, no joke, I actually tried to figure out what the closest Midwest League city was to me. I'd like to bring you the goods here. This will happen.

Jeffrey Paternostro: Short one this week so I can pack the remaining twenty layers of clothes I need for New Hampshire night games. We'll be back next week at the same time.

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