Jeffrey is Baseball Prospectus' Lead Prospect Writer and foremost authority on posh dinners.
Jeffrey Paternostro: And I start laughing like a child, and I mark their faces one by one. Transfiguration's gonna come for me at last, and I will burn hotter than the sun
Jose (CA): Does Dustin May have top of the rotation potential? Should he be untouchable in a trade for a rental player?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Let's start with the Gingergaard. The short answer is yes, although you'd like to see strides with a third pitch before you sign on for that OFP. I joked on twitter about including a dotted line labeled "Below here trade for Manny Machado," and as much as we love May, he'd be below that line for me.
Dusty (Colorado): Wander Javier still > Wander Francoo
Dont @ me
Jeffrey Paternostro: I think my order goes Wander Franco, Wander Javier, Wander Franco, Wander Franco.
Alex (FL): Wow, Kolby Allard way higher than I would've expected. Not concerned about the lack of velocity?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm concerned, but it's baked in. If he was still 92-94 as a 20 year old doing that in Triple-A he'd be in the top tier of pitching prospects.
Collin (Austin): Does Alec Hansen being unranked have more to do with him just being out for most of the first half or is there anything legitimately concerning there?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Yeah, although the reports are down a little bit as well. He's a weird background guy given his junior year at college so he's sneaky risky for a dude with his stuff/pedigree.
Justin Sickle (Pottsville, PA): Who is your pick for 2018 MLB Home Run Derby champion? Sleeper pick?
Jeffrey Paternostro: This seems like an ideal showcase for Javier Baez.
Jimmy (Lexington): I feel underwhelmed by Kyle Wright's year. Am I being too hard on him?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Maybe? He was internally divisive and will be a dude for my Known Unknowns article this year. He's also probably never gonna be a guy that dominates as much as you want in the minors.
Shauncore (KC): How is Chase Vallot not on the top 50? Guy is a monster! Also, Khalil Lee might not even be one of the 50 best prospects in the Royals system. I feel like you guys are trolling me.
Jeffrey Paternostro: Man are you gonna feel trolled when the Risers and Fallers list drops next week then.
mookie666 (3,000 miles west of Wantaugh): I know minor league numbers ain't the end-all be-all, and I'm cherry-picking AA numbers here but Y. Diaz's Tulsa numbers >> Verdugo's. Better OPS, better bb:k ratio, higher percentage of FB, more steals. How confident are you that Verdugo is the better player?
Jeffrey Paternostro: They were what, 15-20 spots apart on the list? This time of year that's fuzzy enough. Verudgo is the better hitter and has a better shot to stick in CF, but my CI isn't super high here, they both feel like 60/55 types.
Chris (Rochester): Now that Lazarito is healthy, how quickly do you expect him to shoot up prospect lists? I saw that he made the "just missed" section of the midseason top 50. Could he be top 25 by the end of the season?
Jeffrey Paternostro: That seems aggressive given the positional profile. We sort of baked in future health to the ranking, and I'd expect him to be in the preseason Trammell/Sanchez range in the offseason. Obviously better performance/reports could change things.
James (NY): You guys had the Mets system at #28 coming into the year. With the jumps from Gimenez/Alonso and some decent years/health from others, is it a reach to say the system would place #15-20 currently?
Jeffrey Paternostro: So it's like 3 top 100 guys, no real monster prospect, past that is interesting dudes in short-season and a low upside arms. It's still pretty shallow (I like Stanley Consuegra and Junior Santos, but a lot of teams have those kind of dudes), without thinking about it too hard, feels like still a bottom ten system.
Tom (Boston): Best longterm dynasty investment - Sheffield, Luzardo or Mize?
Jeffrey Paternostro: The Jesus Lizard is probably the best balance of proximity and upside.
Not Dusty (Not Colorado): Wander question of course, what kind of peak does Wander Franco have? 2020 top 5 prospect potential? I realize it is only the Appy league, but his numbers as a 17 year old are quite impressive.
Jeffrey Paternostro: I will punt these for three weeks until I see Princeton,
Actually in (Minnesota): Two non-Wander Javier questions about Twins prospects:
First, Brent Rooker started slow but has been crushing the ball over the last two months. Do you think he's capable of taking over the Twins 1B job within the next 18 months?
Also, Akil Baddoo is pretty good, right?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm writing a longer form thing about right-handed hitting first base prospects (well have been for a while, midseason list and Futures has swallowed everything). The margins for this profile are just so thin. Like the .797 OPS he put up this year so far isn't really good enough? These guys have to be 55s or there isn't a major league roster spot for them.
Greg (GA): Can you expand on the Austin Riley writeup? The "an advanced approach with good awareness of the strike zone" confuses me. I'm admittedly scouting the stats only, but his massive K rates don't scream advanced approach to me.
Jeffrey Paternostro: It's swing and miss in the zone more than chasing basically. We can debate which is worse. I've basically held the line on Riley for two years with my staff yelling at me to stuff him, but I finally gave in.
G Money (Boise): Soooooo Mountcastle can't play 3B, you concede he may not even be able to play LF, and he walks like twice a month. He's ranked 26th.
Meanwhile Cristian Pache is unanimously the best defensive CF in the minors and already has 8 bombs in the notoriously power-suppressing FSL at age 19. He might not've cracked the top 75.
Riiiiiiiiighht.........cuz that makes sense.
Jeffrey Paternostro: Mountcastle can really hit and nobody consulted us on that unanimous poll.
Coach Swinson (parts unkown ): Michael Chavis has 2 bombs since coming back already. If the power is there again, will he be thought of as similiar to before the PED suspension?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I only got a one-game look at him on rehab, but it looked like mostly the same dude for good and for ill.
Ryan (Montreal): Is it fair to assume Will Smith's value is at least on par with Keibert Ruiz's right now?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Well one made the top 50 and one didn't. Mostly because one is a better defensive catcher and four years younger. Smith is probably a 101 dude though.
Chad (DC): Where does Wilmington rank in terms of favorite MILB parks?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I don't really get down to Wilmington, so this is a better question for Jarrett or Victor. I've heard good things though. My personal favorites at the moment are Greeneville and Lakewood.
Josh (LF): Do you think that a year from now we could be talking about Cristian Javier as a top 50 prospect, and the second best prospect with the last name Javier (behind Wander, obv).
Jeffrey Paternostro: Wander Franco, Wander Javier, Cristian Javier. Man the next year of my chat queues are going to be miserable,
Greg (GA): So re: Riley, I realize we can argue which is worse, but it's not really concerning that he swings and misses through stuff in the zone? Putting that guy as his as BP does seems kind of crazy with that being an admitted flaw of his. I'm genuinely not sure how he is a top 100 prospect with his strikeout rate, and it's not like he hits an absurd amount of homers to make up for it.
Jeffrey Paternostro: Yeah, I just don't get worked up about minor league strikeout rates much at least not on their own. Brendan Rodgers is perfectly fine but I have fairly serious concerns about the swing. Quality of contact tends to get overlooked too much when talking about hit tool, especially in this era. (I'm not saying you are wrong, but I defer to my staff when they see him and pump him)
Jordan (Dakota): How close to making the list was Enyel de los Santos? He is good.
Jeffrey Paternostro: Ineligible since he was still in the majors. More a Top 101 than a Top 50 guy though. (This will be a common refrain)
Kevin (Channohon): Will the Rockies be buyers at the deadline? They have some interesting prospects and a guy like Jeff Hoffman, who would seem to explode with a change of scenery.
Jeffrey Paternostro: They probably should be! But they also haven't recently been great at identifying which of their own players to play. It's not a *great* system, but they have pieces to get dudes below the Machado/deGrom tier for sure.
Neal (BottomOftheStandings): You have Willy Adames ranked highly. Is he good enough offensively to be the savior of my dynasty league team, which has pretty much been a disaster for three years now?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Adames is a better actual prospect than fantasy prospect. I also yelled at Craig for like an hour after they demoted him the day we locked the list.
Chad (DC): Brendan Rogers reminds me- favorite EPL team?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Ugh. I'm a Sheffield Wednesday fan so most of the EPL is not of interest to me. Obviously as a neutral Pep's Man City and Klopp's Liverpool are fun to watch, but I have a soft spot for Watford and Burnley as well since they provide a model for what Wednesday could do.
Rudy (China): Buddy Reed is having himself a breakout year. Do you think he can be a top 50 guy by next midseason or is that pushing it?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Did Michael Baumann put you up to this? (probably pushing it)
G Money (Boise): So who's better than Pache in CF?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I mean Victor Robles for one.
Collusion Joe (TBD): Has Cedric Mullins surpassed Austin Hays as the best Orioles OF prospect? How close was Mullins to crack the top fifty?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Probably? Hays is a guy I will have to dig into more when team list time starts up. We've always liked Mullins though and he was a long list guy for the 50.
Slippery Pete (Moscow): Wait, Ruiz is the better defensive catcher? Not Smith?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Projects better if probably not present better.
Ferns (PA): What would you say is the ceiling for Yordan Alvarez?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Man I hate the word ceiling. The good outcome here is good everyday corner outfielder that makes an all-star game or two.
victorfiloromo (Philadelphia (Wilmington tonight)): Can confirm Wilmington is a good park. Haven't exactly seen a TON of places, but it's well maintained, they just replaced the seats within the last few years, good sightlines. Everything you need out of a MiLB park.
Jeffrey Paternostro: There ya go, I believe they also have a Chickie and Pete's
Montecristo409 (Michigan): Have there been any recent reports on Jon Duplantier's injury? He was supposed to be out a week to 10 days and it's going on 5 weeks. I like the potential but his injury risk is huge.
Jeffrey Paternostro: I've been told it wasn't particularly concerning, but given his injury track record, I'd probably be concerned about everything
spwood (DC): Most likely met farmhand to crack the top 100 next year? (Not named Giminez, Alonso, or Kelenic)
Jeffrey Paternostro: So I guess it could be someone like Vientos blowing me away in the Appy. We obviously aren't afraid to stick a rocket up short-season guys. The college arms have been fine, but not Top 101 fine. And it's probably a year early for the Newton and Mauricios.
Kyle (Evil Otterville): Some guys are better real life prospects than fantasy prospects. Is Hudson Potts the opposite type player?
Jeffrey Paternostro: A fun running thing in chat is you guys really not liking Hudson Potts. I feel like tends to be more like good but not great first baseman, or other corner dudes, with counting stats, but also you guys probably shouldn't be asking me fantasy baseball questions anyway,
Gaut (Nurse's Office): Will Nate Pearson pitch again this year? Is he a buy low?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Man, it's such a traumatic injury I'd probably hold off, but I guess by the time I feel better about buying low you won't be buying low.
Justin (Kentucky): What info can you give on the Reds Tony Santillan? What kind of upside does he ultimately have with his improved control this year?
Jeffrey Paternostro: You can bump him into my ol' favorite "mid-rotation starter or late-inning reliever" tier.
Jefferson Airplane (Canada): Were there any guys you really pushed for in the Top 50, or that you were notably higher than other BP staff on?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Taylor Trammell is probably the big one. It's just a profile I love even though I fully admit it might not be huge upside. I got plenty of uh feedback from the staff on Leody Taveras too, but I'm gonna be ride or die there for another year. We're obviously very aggressive on May as well and that is mostly, though not entirely, me.
Chad (DC): WOW. Been a Blades fan since I was a kid and I don't think I've ever encountered a United or Wednesday fan. Really wanted to see Wednesday promoted this season to see what Forestieri could do amongst the big boys, so here's hoping both teams move up.
Jeffrey Paternostro: ...why do you have to be so damn nice about it?
Chad (DC): Depressed Met fan here- though I guess that's redundant. Anybody on the farm not named Alonso, Gimenez, or Kelenic who I could get excited about? The other preseason top 10 guys like Dunn, Peterson, Lindsay seem like Role 45-50 guys at best.
Jeffrey Paternostro: I will still answer your question though, Shervyen Newton, Ronny Maurcio, Stanley Consuegra and Junior Santos would be the dudes I'd try to get excited about. We'll have deeper midseason org thoughts over at BP Mets next week though.
Ferns (PA): Reports on Drew Waters this year have been pretty amazing. He's a much safer prospect than someone like Lewis Brinson ever was, isn't he?
Jeffrey Paternostro: While I just said I care less about minor league K-rates, I perhaps should have cared more about Lewis Brinson's.
spwood (DC): Paranoid mets fan- anything to make of Alonso's AAA struggles? or small sample size and im hypochrondriast?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Take two placebos and call me in the morning.
Dan (Beach Bum): It's my Birthday Jeff! Kevin Smith seems like a buzzy name lately and keeps hitting home runs. Do you think he can keep it up?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Dan just saw him and I uh meant to ask him about this and forgot.
Elton Squidward (Northwest): Jesus Sanchez can be a top _____ OF in fantasy baseball in his prime?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Craig finally decided to answer his gchats and said "man f*** if I know." And he's told me to swear less in chats, smh. I finally got him to say 40, but Bret and Ben would probably say higher.
Rusty (Denver): How close was Wander Javier to making the top 50?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Wait a minute, you're not Dusty.
Earl (NY): If Ronny Mauricio was in high school, about where would he be projected to be drafted next year? would he be a 1-1 candidate?
Jeffrey Paternostro: A 1-1 high school dude is going to immediately go into the top 50 Mickey Moniak aside. Let's say he's a high risk 60/45 guy (hypothetically, this is not my report) That's like back half of the first round roughly, historically speaking.
JD (Vero Beach): So you're not the least bit concerned w/ Monte Harrison's 38% K rate at Jacksonville this year? He's still a solid regular in CF for you?
Jeffrey Paternostro: No, I'm a little concerned and his stock is down, although I don't want to super overreact to ten weeks of baseball given the underlying athletic tools. My larger point is just strict stat line benchmarks for prospects aren't useful. Evaluate the player and the profile. I also don't really care that Mitch Keller is striking out less than a batter per inning for example.
Chet (H-Town): Can Gilberto Celestino be a top 50 guy in a couple years?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Decent chance, sure.
JD (Vero Beach): How legitimate is Brandon Lowe's breakout this season? Can he be a ~120 wRC+ guy at 2B for the Rays?
Jeffrey Paternostro: He's on our risers list for sure, so more on that next week.
Keith (UNC): What kind of upside do you see in Yadier Alvarez?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Honestly I am pretty out on Alvarez now.
Chris (VT): Thoughts on George Valera?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I'm really hoping he gets to Mahoning Valley this Summer?
Billy (ChiTown): overall level of concern re: Aramis Ademan? Young for the level, but lotta ground ball outs this year
Jeffrey Paternostro: I guess high, but I never have been a huge Ademan guy personally.
Jimmy (Brainerd): Lewis Thorpe is striking errrrrrrrrrrrrrrybody in the Southern League out right now. Why does he not get more attention?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Probably because he just set a career high in innings pitched? I'd say we've liked him before, but those rankings literally predate my starting here and we are coming up on three years (good god). He'll be a 101 guy if he stays healthy I'd bet.
George Hirst (SWFC): If I were an MLB prospect, who would be my closest comp?
Jeffrey Paternostro: I guess it would be someone who didn't sign and went and played indy ball for a year. Aaron Crow maybe? I guess the closest actual baseball comp is Rolen forcing a move from Philly?
Jeffrey Paternostro: Okay, now that I'm depressed and reminded to check the score of the first Wednesday pre-season game, we'll sign off. Headed to Futures tomorrow and we'll have plenty of content on that and supplemental list stuff next week.