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Chat: Wilson Karaman

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Monday July 30, 2018 11:00 PM ET chat session with Wilson Karaman.


Wilson is a senior member of the Baseball Prospectus prospect and fantasy teams, and is the proprietor of the #LateNightChat.

Wilson Karaman: Friends, children, gather round, for it is time once again to spin tall tales of tall hitters with holes in their swings, and spin yarns about spinning back-up sliders. Also beats. There will be beats here. Like this one, as we commence with the doing of this! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTCK6C1vIow

DJosephD (Cranberry ): Wilson, help a brotha out. Forever keeper, 5x5 roto, who wins: Chris Sale for Madison Bumgarner and Blake Snell? Thanks in advance!

Wilson Karaman: I love Snell, I don't expect the Rays to push him this year, I'm terrified of Bumgrarner and don't own him anywere. Chris Sale is...King of the Netherlands. He's a cold beer on a hot day. He is Vigo. He's your guy.

Ron (Texarkana): What happened to Lucas Giolito? I think a lot of expectations were tempered, but how did his numbers fall THIS much?

Wilson Karaman: Well, easiest answer is that Tommy John surgery is (still) a helluva drug. But beyond that, they've tried to overhaul his arm path and slot over the past couple months - he's throwing now from about a half a foot north of where he was at the start of the year, for example, and when you try to make those kinds of fairly dramatic adjustments on the fly against major league hitters sometimes you get your lunch money taken. It's generally just been a bumpy road back from Tommy John for him from the jump, and that does happen sometimes, unfortunately. The elite velo never came back, and both his heater variants lack wiggle. And when you combine unremarkable velo with below-average movement, sprinkle in poor command and stagnant secondaries that don't draw out enough whiffs to offset things...welp, that's how mommies and daddies make 7.66 DRAs.

Kevin (NYC): Thoughts on Alex Kirilloff?

Wilson Karaman: Yeah he's lived up to his pedigree this year. Was a bummer when he lost last year to TJ, and I think that caused him some undue dings in dynasty-oriented rankings this past offseason. He's a very good young hitter though - big dude, uses his strength well off his back leg, strong hands, good barrel, good leverage to drive pitches. He's a keeper.

I don't delve into the Ryan Seacrest wing of the movie scene very often, but let me tell you something clearly and unequivocally: this song is a straight-up banger that has earned every ounce of airplay it has received and will continue to receive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4fErC9skHE

Kurt (New Lenox): Austin Gomber looked impressive. Can he be a 3?

Wilson Karaman: I will never, ever speak ill of a high-slot funky southpaw, but that's too rich for my blood. Valuable big-league staff piece though? Sure!

Ciber The Main Man (Mexico): Construct a convincing and winning offer from Colorado for Bryce Harper

Wilson Karaman: Oh man oh man oh man oh man I'd empty their system and shake out its pockets on the sidewalk to watch Good Harper in Coors for a couple months. But I have negative feel for the going rate on that kind of short-term rental; JD Martinez was traded for a bag of used BP balls last year, yunno? How about Lambert, Daza, Rico Garcia? Or maybe they finally succesfully decouple themselves from David Dahl?

Rockie fans over there like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvyOqKhKWQ4

bob (philly): The Braves are loaded with young pitching---so how would you rank this group (Allard. Anderson, Soroka, Wright and Wentz)? And can you give some brief thoughts on each one? Thx.

Wilson Karaman: I'd go Soroka, Anderson, Wright, Allard, Wentz, with a big fat asterisk scrawled across Soroka's shoulder blade. I'd slot Gohara and Touki in that order in between Wright and Allard, too. Soroka's just a solid pitcher - commands a solid three-pitch arsenal, real advanced ability to add and subtract, play around with shape, and still hit spots. Really hope he's able to show his stuff for a long time while right physically. Anderson's not quite as good on the command front and still has some body and strength to grow into, but is a similar three-pitch upside guy, good cambio. You could make the case for Wright at #2, and if you catch him on the right day it'd look like a no-brainer. Little less consistent with his command tho, not as much projection remaining. Excellent at spinning the baseball though, ill FB. Allard's a prototypical lefty with good secondaries and a fringier fastball, and that is extremely My Shit. Chronic back issues are concerning, but he's on his way up, so we'll all learn soon enough how valuable he can or can not be in his current form in a playoff race. Wentz is the least exciting of that bunch and he's STILL a potential rotation arm, so yes, deep pitching ranks!

Logan (Syracuse): To follow up on the last Kirilloff question, is he a top 15/20 dynasty prospect right now?

Wilson Karaman: We had him 40th a couple weeks ago, but wouldn't shock me to see him pushing the top 20 by the winter if he can close strong. Mid-season list: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/article/41407/the-2018-midseason-top-50-dynasty-league-prospects/

John (Washington): Top 2019 draft prospects you've seen?

Wilson Karaman: You should follow our man on the Cape Alex Rosen for those goods, my 2019 season doesn't start yet. He's got a bunch of Notes From the Field up on site for '19 and '20 guys, here's his Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/asros213

Xavier (Flushing): Is Peter Alonso gonna mash in the bigs ?

Wilson Karaman: I am inherently likely to answer yes to this question on principal, and indeed, I am going to answer yes to this question. On merit, though. Dude's a good hitter in addition to being build like something you'd read about in a bigfoot erotica novel.

Man, that Chiffons tune got me detouring now. All-time desert island 45 for me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjydOI4MEIw

Kevin (Channahon): Dustin May worth getting excited about?

Wilson Karaman: Very much so, yes. I wrote about him most recently a couple months ago, with links to a couple other recent looks. He added some strength this year, and has generally just been more crisp and consistent getting down the hill on line. He's a unique physical specimen and is just kinda tough to time, plus the top two (mid-90's gas and a tight, hard low-80s curve) is really good in raw stuff terms: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/article/40248/monday-ten-pack-may-29-drew-waters-jo-adell/

Steve (Philly): Favorite minor league promotion you've been to?

Wilson Karaman: The one where it's a cloudy weekday afternoon game with like 12 people in the stands.

This cut has absolutely owned my headphones over the past 10 days or so. It is bubbly and a little trippy and positively delightful for summertime consumption: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKFd2-435sw

Roy (Indy): Who are the top 5 shortstops in a dynasty format?

Wilson Karaman: Kinda depends on eligibility, I guess, but Lindor, Machado*, Turner, Correa are the core 4, and beyond them there's an absurd upper-middle class with Baez*, Bogaerts, Gregorious, Story, Andrus...Gleyber probably sneaks in there, too, Tim Anderson. There's just an incredible amount of depth at the position right now, what a time to be alive. Like, nothing below DeGrom-Nola level.

Joe (Charleston): In a dynasty league what kind of SP would you trade Victor Robles for?

Wilson Karaman: A really, really good one. Context would have to be juuuust right for me to consider moving a dude of his caliber, like say "I need an ace and have a ton of awesome OF depth and will become a 90% favorite to win my league if I acquire said ace." In that case, and probably only that case, I'd move him for a top 7-8 starter. Like, nothing below DeGrom/Nola level.

Wonderswonders (Nashville ): Will MacKenzie Gore turn into Glasnow 2.0?

Wilson Karaman: Sorry for the glitch in the matrix on those last two answers. Anyway, no, I don't really see much of a reason to suspect that at this point?

Speaking of summertime syrup pop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEHTtOM_hvY

Kevin (Channahon): When I'm not watching baseball or reading Baseball Prospectus material, I'm struggling with getting my kids to bed. Any tricks to share?

Wilson Karaman: My daughter just wrapped up a roughly 45 minute session where she was really exploring the space with her high-end vocal range, it was a delightful underlying soundtrack to the proceedings here. Yeah, I feel you, and no, not really. Distraction is your most powerful ally - we'll try to make her stuffed animals do silly things, or act stuff out with puppets, etc. to try and refocus her. We also try to tag team when we can, run a little good cop, bad cop style. That only works sometimes though. All of it only works sometimes. Mostly it's just a shitshow, though.

Zamzow (Naperville): What excitement level should I have about Yordan Alvarez?

Wilson Karaman: Man, he's one of my favorite dynasty prospects. He's gotten love, but I think between injuries and nobody quite believing he'll be as viable in the outfield as he will be, I don't think he's really entered into the pantheon-level discussions among dynasty players yet. That's a mistake though, cuz he's that good a bat.

What's that? Oh, you're chilling poolside? Cool, drop this beat on loop and continue chilling indefinitely: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HzxlcrLHQ0

Ryan (San Diego): Best Lake Elsinore Storm prospects you've seen this year? Where does Hudson Potts rank?

Wilson Karaman: That system is just stupid deep. The pitching's been the unquestioned class of that squad (and the league) this year. Paddack, Morejon, and Baez were all comfortably Top 50 prospects on our mid-season list. Buddy Reed's really a physical specimen to behold, too. I like what they've done with his swing, there's some pop there, and he runs like a gazelle on the hunt. I'm still not sold on Potts' hit tool, but he's a very good defender and he'll get to enough pop to make it work. Solid player. Edward Olivares is a fun dude to think about the ceiling on, too. I also recently wrote up Torrens and Cordoba, the two post-Rule V guys currently doing time in Elsinore, and they're both interesting in their own ways too: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/41583/flu-like-symptoms-the-padres-rule-5-trio-one-year-later/

a.j. (dallas): How about this trade offer: Mike Trout and Andrelton Simmons to the Phillies for J.P. Crawford, Sixto Sanchez, JoJo Romero, Adam Haseley, Ranger Suarez and Adonis Medina.

Wilson Karaman: Mmmm throw in a nice bottle of chianti and a couple pulp mags of bigfoot erotica with that package going back to Anaheim and you might just be on to something. Short of that though, mmmmmm yeah no.

cracker73 (Florida): Do you think Elehuris Montero will make the 2019 Top 100? What is his upside as a hitter if everything develops perfectly for him?

Wilson Karaman: He'll be in the discussion, absolutely. 19-year-old has raked in full-season, may very well sniff High-A down the stretch here. Nathan just wrote up a nice picture of him in last week's 10 Pack: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/article/41480/monday-morning-ten-pack-july-23/

The Chris (Mexico): How much should I give up for 2 months of Clayton Kershaw? Is Florial, Adonis Medina, and Franklyn Kilome too much? Mostly worried about Florial!

Wilson Karaman: If you're in it with a chance to win it, heck yeah, go for it. I'd be more worried about Kershaw's back, honestly, but no guts, no glory.

Deep cut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLA9hAlrMUU

jgaztambide (Jo Adell's basement): Who's the last HS batter to make AA the year after his draft? Unrelated question: how good is Jo Adell?

Wilson Karaman: It's really uncommon! Justin Upton did it, he's the most recent one that comes to mind...uh...Eric Chavez...Ken Griffey Jr. dominated San Bernardino just like Adell and forced a AA promotion in his first full season after the draft in 88 too, if you wanna get old skool for a parallel post-draft trajectory. Technically Bryce Harper got drafted out of a JuCo, but by age he probably warrants a nod given particular circumstances? Um...uh...Royce Lewis could theoretically pull it off if he keeps raking and forces the issue next month. I'm sure there are some others, but bottom line is that it's a super rare feat of strength and a testament to the fact that Jo Adell is really, really good: https://twitter.com/vocaljavelins/status/1022322974379073541

Chansen8895 (San Jose ): Who are your favorite CA league prospects who are overlooked by the box score scouts?

Wilson Karaman: He's had an underwhelming year statistically, but I still think Jahmai Jones has the chance to be a really solid player. Connor Wong has gone thru some stretches of looking lost at the dish this year, but I like his physicality and there's some raw material there in the bat. Olivares who I mentioned earlier is one of my requisite "fun tools! maybe it'll work some day!" guys this year. Reggie Lawson's numbers don't jump off the page and he kind of gets lost in the shuffle of that insane Padre system, but he's had a really solid year of growth and development. Fastball's ticked up with better strength and conditioning, curveball's got some yak to it. Can make a run at the rotation or be a potentially lights-out relief arm down the line. And Justin Lawrence in the Colorado system has to be just gross to step in against. Command's gonna be hard for him to master, but boy is his stuff gnarly: https://twitter.com/vocaljavelins/status/1018681746999525376

Tony (The Couch): Would like to hear more about Drew Waters. I know some evaporators really like him but there's not a ton of information out there. Thanks!

Wilson Karaman: Lucky for you you're in here and not out there! David Lee wrote him up in delightful detail a few weeks ago: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/article/40248/monday-ten-pack-may-29-drew-waters-jo-adell/

Also lucky for you we got even DEEPER cuts up in here tonight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNyrM231sWs

Harold R (Seattle): Hey Wilson... Give me a list of 5 prospects in A-ball that you have the most confidence in becoming an All-Star at some point in their career. Thanks!!

Wilson Karaman: Well, A ball's a big ol' zip code, but since he hasn't played a game at AA yet I'll still count Jo Adell at the top of that list. Behind him: hmmm, let's go Royce Lewis, Jesus Sanchez, Tirso Ornelas, and Oneil Cruz

Nolan (Boston): What is the best way to rebuild in a 12-team dynasty league that keeps 25 each season? I'm in dead last and I'm having trouble moving some of my older veterans (Edwin) for younger talent.

Wilson Karaman: Good question! Especially in shallower formats and/or leagues with a more limited keep roster like yours, the name of the game is all consolidating to elite talent. So if you gotta throw together a bunch of veterans (Edwin + 2-3 other dudes in that vein) in order to pry loose elite prospect talent, then do it. And ask for a 2nd-4th round pick get tacked on to any deal you make. Squirreling those non-elite picks'll help you build out your depth quicker on the upswing. Get rid of your pitchers first, and every player coming back to you should be a bat. Build off the bats, then trade out for arms when your offense is ready to compete.

Clint (Saugahatchee): If anyone, who's the next Gleyber Torres coming up through the minor leagues? i.e., the prospect underrated by most due to purported lack of power?

Wilson Karaman: I dunno if you can really make a case that Gleyber was ever really underrated? We were "conservative" on him last year and had him 15th overall, and then we were "bullish" on him heading into this year as the #3 prospect in baseball. He's been pretty universally regarded as an elite dude for a while now, though, regardless of power. But I guess Willy Adames might count for that kind of vein if you're looking for another MLB-ready six-spotter a step or three behind that level? Yusniel Diaz maybe?

Lucky (Moon): What are your thoughts on Touki Toussaint reaching the Braves this year? How about 2019? His numbers this year in the high minors seem to suggest he could be a really good #3 or even #2, don't they? Thanks for the chat!

Wilson Karaman: You're welcome, thanks for chatting with! I dig Touki, man. The stuff's been an aphrodisiac for a long time, and while the command's still such that it's likely to always present challenges for him that'll get magnified in a starting role, the quality and depth of the arsenal is such that he might be able to make it work regardless. I still think a consistent #3 starter's a stretch for eventual outcome, but where it looked inevitable he'd have to shift to the pen as of last year it's probably fair to upgrade that to a "probable" fate as opposed to a definite one at this point. I'd expect Atlanta to give him an audition for a primetime 'pen role in the here and now at some point in the second half, with more starting chances to come next spring?

Ill beat, this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2R2ticmolk

Adalberto Mondesi (KC): Am I any good?

Wilson Karaman: Well, you made it to the majors at Age 20, so I'd say yeah, that's pretty good. The talent's never been in much question, but between the rush job, PEDs, and injuries it's been a jagged developmental path, and the approach at the dish has been slow to mature as a result. But yes, the raw talent's still obvious, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him take off some day in his mid-20s.

Bill (Madison): my team is building with guys like bichette,guerrero, adell, robles, c kieboom, huira, soto, tatis etc. but lagging behind in pitching. i could trade luzardo for mckenzie gore would gore be just that much better in the long run that i should sacrifice more immediate gratification

Wilson Karaman: Nah, that's a lateral trade, I'm not sure what value there is in using your resources that way. You're still a couple years away if that's your core, so you SHOULD be lagging in pitching, and really there's an argument to be made to move Luzardo for another bat to add to that core.

Steve (Bigfoot): Where does bigfoot erotica rank for you in terms of absurd political news of 2018?

Wilson Karaman: There is literally no such thing as political absurdity in 2018. Also important to not lose the forest of "Denver Riggleman campaigns with Nazis" for the mighty comedic tree that is bigfoot erotica in a political campaign.

My advice? When the news gets you down, remember that Public Enemy was out there dropping insane beats like this way back in 1987: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOe7HdN7mPA

Mark (Canada): Wander Franco sure seems to be the next Vlad/Soto helium type guy. What's his actual talent say he can become?

Wilson Karaman: It's that level of projection, yeah. He's got all five tools in abundance, with the bat speed and the quick-twitch and the waistline, and everything else you could want in a 17-year-old prospect. Yes, yes, results orientation and statline scouting and other things we're not supposed to do, but! He's done absolutely disgusting things to Appy League pitching, which...just *facing* Appy League pitching at 17 is something. Rolling up a .368 TAv in your first 33 games against it is...something else.

Bob (CA): Michael Toglia: top 5 pick?

Wilson Karaman: Really too early to talk about things in those terms, but he'll enter his draft spring as one of the better college bats in a deep class of college bats. I dug him a lot this past spring, approach is legit, good barrel, power there for the tappin'.

bob (pa): David Bote looks like a "player" to me. Is there something I'm missing or do you agree that his bat is at least "interesting"---and maybe even more?

Wilson Karaman: Yeah I'm a fan too, hadn't really seen or heard much of him until his debut, that's not a system I have a lot of familiarity with firsthand. But just seems like a solid sum-of-his-parts player, does everything reasonably well, has added some loft to his swing. Second-division regular type, with a lot of modern 25-man value due to defensive versatility. Think he can have himself a nice little career.

Speaking of beauty in subtlety, this song is a gorgeous way to wind down a lovely evening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmuZOE3vltg

Dusty (Colorado): Im moving on from Wander Javier. What can I realistically expect from Adonis Medina?

Wilson Karaman: Wait, WHAAAAAA??? You really needed to preface that with BREAKING and some of those little flashing light emojis, maybe a couple a them reggaeton horns for good measure. Jeffrey & Jarrett are your resident Medina guys, the latter just wrote him up in our "Just Missed" section of the mid-season top 50: https://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/chat/

lipitorkid (Costa Mesa, CA): Can you give me two summer albums to play while I'm at home just getting my summer on? Maybe an obscure fav from the past and something new?

Wilson Karaman: I'd strongly recommend a good number of the jams I dropped tonight for your aural summertime explorations. Most of 'em are on this playlist, enjoy! https://open.spotify.com/user/xfirecornersoundsx/playlist/3JbwQoE0Y6etN6FqMlfqR0?si=g1kKaMz3TTu4GA7iE_xv-Q

Wilson Karaman: And with that, and many apologies to the robust queue I didn't get to, I most declare this chat officially past-tense. If I didn't get to you, hit me up on Twitter @vocaljavelins and try again. Bye bye for now!

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