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Chat: Eddy Almaguer

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday August 29, 2018 7:00 PM ET chat session with Eddy Almaguer.

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Eddy is a fantasy writer at Baseball Prospectus.

Eddy Almaguer: Just want to say you're all the real MVPs for attending a fantasy baseball chat in the waning days of August. Way to stay active, amigos. All right, let's do this!

Dusty (Colorado): Did BP stop doing chats because of me? I hope not. I just want to know what you guys think of Wander Javier's upside. What do you think of Wander Javier's upside, Eddy A.?

Eddy Almaguer: ...

Dusty (Colorado): You know the drill Eddy. Wander Javier info. Give me info....please. Upside?

Eddy Almaguer: Two different Dusty Qs. Get act together!

MJ Melendez (KC Eventually): I just set the home run record for teenage catchers in the South Atlantic league at 18. Gary Sanchez and Jesus Montero had 17. Am I about to start flying up lists and dynasty prospect rankings?

Eddy Almaguer: MJ, I regret to inform you I am an extreme low man on catching prospects. Melendez is one of the better ones, but even then I'm not going to get hot and bothered. Even in the last month where his OPS is approaching 1.000, he owns a 30 K%. Needs to figure that out or he gets eaten alive at the higher levels and it renders his power output pointless.

evilkev (CT): If you had a choice of Acuna, Soto or Ohtani for a keeper league, would you roll the dice with one of the outfielders to have a more consistent career, or go all in Ohtani?

Eddy Almaguer: Acua. I'm not the first to say this and I won't be the last: speed matters. Soto is doing historical things right now but Acua could reasonably go 25/25 next year with upside from there. Only two players (Mookie, JoRam) can say they've done it this season with maybe three more (Trout, Story, Baez) on the way. That's super valuable.

Kevin (MI): Does Adalberto Mondesi have a 15-20hr/50 steal season next year?

Eddy Almaguer: Couple of Mondesi questions in the queue. That's probably the 95th percentile outcome. I feel better projecting 12 HR, 35 SB.

Todd (LA): How would you value Adalberto Mondesi in a dynasty league?

Eddy Almaguer: I'm hanging on. We're headed for the lowest steals total in a year in a loooong time. Billy Hamilton has made a fantasy living being an OBP drain but still performing what we need from him. No reason Mondesi can't do the same but with MI eligibility. OBP owners will have to swallow a tough pill, but it's worth it.

Steve (Seattle): If you were the Mariners, would you have brought Julio Rodriguez over to the AZL by now? I don't see the downside to having him stateside in front of more of your organization's eyes.

Eddy Almaguer: Yes, I would have. There comes a point where you're exceeding expectations and it's OK to transfer your DSL bats to your stateside rookie ball. Excited to see how he performs next year stateside where he'll be 18.

Billy (CT): What are your thoughts on Nats SS Luis Garcia?

Eddy Almaguer: You know, I'm not sure where I stand with him. On one hand, he's younger than the just-mentioned Julio Rodriguez and performing *really well* in High-A! A .737 OPS in a pitcher's league against competition four years older than you will never not be impressive. But from a dynasty perspective, I wonder what the counting stat upside will be. Is he a 15/15 guy? A 10/20 one? A 5/15 one? Scouts expect him to grow into his body a bit more and use his lower half to tap into more power. If I own him, I'm holding, but if a good offer comes around, I won't have a death grip on him.

Angelfan114 (California ): Can you pick 2 prospects. 10 team dynasty 20 prospects. Mostly looking for upside for trade chips. Roberto Hernandez c tb Deshawn knowles of laa Estreuy ruiz sd Griffin canning laa Jester downs cin Hudson Potts A’s

Eddy Almaguer: Leaning Hudson Potts and Ronaldo Hernandez.

ENVee (PA): Hi Eddy. What can you tell us about Malcom Nunez? When do we start getting excited about a 17 year old in the DSL putting up the stats he has? Has anyone gotten a look at him so we don’t get burned by “scouting” the stat line? Heard that there were some size concerns and also curious if 1 error through 30 games at 3B means he is addressing those concerns. Thank you!

Eddy Almaguer: Man, are his numbers gaudy or what? I haven't been able to find any fresh reports on him and unfortunately we're going ot have to wait until he comes stateside next year to really assess him. If your league lets you take a flier on J2 signees right now, I'd snatch him now and wait to see what happens later.

Eric (Seattle): Read your quip on Julio Rodriguez of the M's. You have a top 125 ceiling next year. I have seen him ranked elsewhere in top 90 right now. Do I drop Miguel Vargas (got him from you), Shervyen Newton, Canario (your BFF) for Julio Rodriguez?

Eddy Almaguer: You might have to make that spot your "Helium Flex Spot". I'd drop Vargas for Julio for now, but prepared to make a move later and drop Julio if need be. With the DSL season over, his value will remain static for the time being.

Steve (SF): Is Seth Corry a starter?

Eddy Almaguer: He's made legitimate strides on his changeup this year to give him three pitches. For now he has the foundation of a starter thanks to that. I'll lean yes for now.

Mr. Bird (Baltimore): What is your prognosis for the career of Sean Newcomb? Do you see him as the future ace of the Braves staff? What does the move to Atlanta do to Kevin Gausman's future? The early results are certainly impressive. Thank you!

Eddy Almaguer: Hard to decide what his next 10 years or so look like because so much is going to change, whether that's injury, new pitches, new tweaks, etc. I don't think he's a future ace, but I do think he can slowly hone his control and become a really good SP3 with flashes of better. Gausman has two more years of arbitration after 2018, which normally I'd say the team would ride out. But with the 583 starts in the Braves minors, I could see them shipping him out at some point for some help at right field?

bigwhitesled (Seattle): Eddy, I'm a huge fan, loved you on Ralph's chat. My question surrounds the two pitchers in Texas coming off TJS. Palumbo and Ragans. Palumbo is tearing up AA but apparently has average stuff. Ragans was a high pick and I think is starting first game back tonight in AZL. What do you think of Ragans and Palumbo?

Eddy Almaguer: Thanks for the kind words! I wrote a brief blurb on Palumbo in my most recent dynasty column. Here's what I said: Palumbo is surging in his return from Tommy John surgery. The lefty has maintained his mid-90s fastball with a curveball that has massive drop from his high three-quarters arm slot. In 10 starts this year (three in AZL, six in Carolina League, one in Texas League), he has a 57/8 K/BB in 41 innings with a 2.85 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. The 23-year-old still has a ways to go to build up innings, but hes going to rise within the Rangers system and a trajectory not unlike Chris Paddacks should be in order.

I'm a bit bearish on Ragans. When pitchers who already had a fringy fastball get TJ surgery, I tend to stay away. Also, he's not starting tonight! That'd be something, to start a game five months after surgery!

bphil2712 (The Ozarks ): What's the difference in Nick Madrigal and Nicky Lopez the profiles seem similar yet all the love for madrigal and you rarely hear about Lopez?

Eddy Almaguer: Madrigal's hit tool is more than a grade better than Lopez's and Madrigal has more speed. Not to mention the lack of strikeouts (4 in 146 PA). And I think we've all come to agree that short guys with elite bat control are worth more than we think, which is why Madrigal gets the hype. I agree that no one talks about Lopez. He can take a walk, something Madrigal is still learning to do, but otherwise is a little uninspiring.

Steve (Philly): If you could pick three players to give an aggressive assignment to in 2019, who would they be and what level would they start at?

Eddy Almaguer: Oh, fun question! 1) Wander Franco to High-A would be one. I think he gets there in 2019 but only around this time of year. I think he can handle the FSL right now. 2) Alex Kiriloff to Triple-A 3) Eric Pardinho to Lansing in the Midwest league (A Ball)

Sean (LA): Thoughts on Taylor Ward going forward?

Eddy Almaguer: I like him. I think he's been the victim of some poor luck in his major league stint. Still making good contact and his swing rates are all solid. It's a shame he won't retain catcher eligibility next year because I think he would have cracked the top 10.

Adam (Queens, NY): Seem to be seeing lots of Vidal Brujan buzz of late but conflicting opinions on the quality of his hit tool. Thoughts on him and his potential upside?

Eddy Almaguer: Was hoping someone would ask about my favorite new shiny toy! I think he can end up with an above-average hit tool, which when paired with his bat speed should generate more power than we think. Thinking mid 'teens. He's an immediate grab for me in dynasty leagues and is already a backend top 100 prospect for me.

temple (Madison): i like luis castillo and have been telling myself all year "he looked really good overall, it was just that pitch to ----" or something like that so i continue to hold onto him in my dynasty league saying he is young and i want to own him when he finally figures it out. Is that going to happen or should I look for the next Luis Castilo and then wait for him to get it together?

Eddy Almaguer: He's been significantly better in the second half (small sample size, of course), so for now it's looking up. I'd continue to hang on.

Warren (Australia): Thoughts on Lucchesi long term? Seems to be continuing his solid rookie season & was thinking he might continue to improve in the coming years with this experience under his belt.

Eddy Almaguer: He's been a nice surprise for fantasy managers, especially those in deep leagues or NL-only leagues, huh? There is some room for improvement but his stuff limits just how much better we can expect him to be. I'm not sold he's going to ever be better than a solid fantasy SP3, but that's OK!

Bad Take Guy (Arizona ): Hendricks > Nola, amirite?!

Eddy Almaguer: Heh, this is one of my league mates. We give each other a hard time with our bad takes and one guy was saying the gap between Hendricks and Nola wasn't that wide. In his defense this was a late May take. But boy, that take has aged worse than Chris Davis.

temple (madison): looking for rising stars among the prospect ranks. i've been paying attention to these chats for a while and got jo adell this year guerrero, bishette, tatis, robles, soto and many more. i've heard aremteros, jeisson rosario, but haven't bit on them yet. is there anybody who you think is going to be a big riser next time the top 100 comes out?

Eddy Almaguer: Vidal Brujan and Mark Vientos are two guys I think can rise in the offseason. With the minor league season winding down we're virtually out of pop-up prospects to snatch.

Keith (Mom's basement): Does Francisco Mejia get called up by 2020?

Eddy Almaguer: He'll probably be up when rosters expand this weekend and should get a sizable portion of ABs next year.

Kevin Kelsey (Channahon): There still seems to be some reliever concerns on this website for Touki as a starter. Where do you stand?

Eddy Almaguer: It's admittedly recency bias, but right now I'm saying he sticks as a starter. In 8 starts since July (excluding his MLB start) he has a 10 K/9, 3 BB/9, a 1.94 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. That's pretty damn good.

Kevin Kelsey (Channahon): Concerned about Yordan Alvarez slow start to AAA? Quad A whispers have emerged it seems.

Eddy Almaguer: He was running a .377 BABIP in Double-A so his numbers were bound to come down. I'm not really concerned. His walks and strikeouts are still good. He's still 21-year-old in Triple-A

Ricky (Bronx): Has Juan Soto been figured out?

Eddy Almaguer: Well, they're pitching him away and feeding him more breaking balls than when he came up. His walk rate is still beyond elite in this power drought, but now it's just time to adjust back.

Phil (Netherlands): Is Nomar Mazara a bust?

Eddy Almaguer: No. He's still 23, y'all! I still believe he has a few 30 HR seasons in that bat.

Greg (NY): What kind of numbers does Victor Robles put up next year?

Eddy Almaguer: Assuming Harper does not return and Robles carves out 500 PA, I'd say something like 8 HR, 30 SB with a .265/.335/.420 line.

Alejandro (Calcutta): How excited should I be about Jacob Nix?

Eddy Almaguer: Not very. Great control, below average strikeouts. Streamer at best in fantasy, serviceable SP5 in real life.

temple (madison): in a dynasty league. i have a team full of young hitters bichette, tatis, guerrero robles, soto, kieboom hiura adell and i only have one prospect pitcher luzardo. does it make sense to trade kershaw for some pacjkage like kopech, kyle wright, and newcomb what value do you put on an ace who is getting older and maybe going to have some injuries

Eddy Almaguer: I prefer to trade an ace like Kershaw for a stud, young bat. Only when you're entering a contention window should you trade for major league pitchers. Too much unknown with pitching prospects to move someone like Kershaw.

Kevin Kelsey (Channahon): Can Josh Bell rebound and become a .300 20 guy at the cold corner next year?

Eddy Almaguer: .300 AVG is way too rich. Think more .275 for now. 20 HR is doable.

Kirt (New Lenox): Issac Parades doesn't seem to get any fanfare. It's been an impressive year. Do you like him?

Eddy Almaguer: He might be the most overlooked teenager in Double-A. He's had a strong season but I think his fantasy upside is limited. He has no speed and might be limited to 15 HR in a major league season, which is why I'm generally 'meh' on him.

Sean99 (Orland Park): Any mlb comps for Alex Kirilloff?

Eddy Almaguer: I'm really bad at comps so someone feel free to yell at me if they think I'm too far off base, but what about Benintendi? Benintendi's hit tool is better and Kirilloff might possess more power.

uncasf1 (Raleigh NC): What can you tell me about Parker Dunshee and his ceiling?

Eddy Almaguer: His season numbers are all the more impressive when you consider he rarely cracks 90 mph on his fastball and his secondaries are no better than average. I'm skeptical for that reason alone but he should make his MLB debut late next year. Thinking ceiling is SP4 for now.

Chasson (Paris): Any reason to believe what Billy McKinney has been up to lately?

Eddy Almaguer: I'm buying him for playoff runs, but long term I'd need to see this over a large sample size. His early peripheral returns are really great right now, though.

Jason (St. Charles): Lucas Giolito or Mike Soroka long term? And is this the slam dunk it seemed to be in May?

Eddy Almaguer: This is a hard question to answer. Soroka is done for the season and Giolito is surging. I'm leaning Giolito for now because his stuff is back and he's getting good results with it (and I still can't ignore his pedigree).

uncasf1 (Raleigh NC): Thanks for that answer on Dunshee. Too often chats focus on the well known minor league names.

Eddy Almaguer: No problem!

Red (70's show): Is Jake Lamb finished?

Eddy Almaguer: Nah, it's just unfortunately a lost year. Have a feeling I'll be targeting him in all my OBP/OPS leagues late next year, probably as a CI.

ENvee (pa): What kind of numbers can we expect from Harrison Bader in 2019? Can he go 20/30 stop that lineup?

Eddy Almaguer: I really like what he's done this year and if St.Louis gives him everyday at-bats, 20/30 will take some effort, but he's liable to get there. His speed is way better than I thought.

Lenny (March of dimes): Is Touki the top arm in the Braves system?

Eddy Almaguer: Hmm. I can't decide from him, Ian Anderson and maybe Bryse Wilson? OK, maybe not Wilson, I'm just really biased toward him. The first two have top of the rotation upside. Feels like every starter in that org is at worst a mid-rotation guy. Sheesh.

Alfred (Tokyo): I saw you sneakily give Hudson Potts some credit. You might me the only one. Is he better than the credit he gets? First round pedigree and has been getting it done. So what if he's ultimately a .275 hitter

Eddy Almaguer: I think so. He's struggled with his Double-A assignment, but that's OK as a 19-year-old and I think it's the biggest jump in the minor leagues. He will certainly have his hiccups but feels like people are overlooking just how much power he has.

Archie (The family): Austin Beck had a successful full season debut didn't he?

Eddy Almaguer: Yup! I have high hopes for him.

Wishy Washy (Finland): Shelby Miller a late Target next year too? I'm banking on him in my dynasty

Eddy Almaguer: He's a flier in leagues, but I wouldn't put that much hope into him.

temple (Madison): lazaro armenteros is still available in my league. Is he still a worthy draft candidate or has he faded a bit?

Eddy Almaguer: Depends on league size. In leagues with 200 or fewer prospects, I'd cut.

Kenny (Trampoline in back): Austin Gomber looks promising right? 4 on talent with some devil magic making him a 3?

Eddy Almaguer: I think you're on the right track. I'm not in on him right now and a lot has to happen for him to be an SP3.

uncasf1 (Raleigh NC): Who do you think is the A's starting CF for next year; Laureano, Fowler, or someone else? Thanks again.

Eddy Almaguer: Laureano is a way better defensive outfielder than Fowler, so it'll be him on that alone.

Sean99 (Orland Park): Franchy Cordero a good, late target next year?

Eddy Almaguer: Yup! Still has some growing pains to get through (those strikeouts are unsightly) but he hits the ball really freaking hard and usually that leads to good results!

Archie (The family): What kind of player is Beck? I've been a big fan. Hard to tell the profile by his numbers

Eddy Almaguer: I think he's someone who will be a slow burn but can ultimately turn into a 25 HR bat. His bat speed is electric.

Alexy (Tune Town): Concerned about Peter Alonso?

Eddy Almaguer: Not really. He's had his hot stretches in Triple-A and has suffered from a little bad luck. We'll see him in the summer next year if he maintains a similar pace (with a bit better average, of course)

Kelvin (Grant South): Still down on Adonis Medina?

Eddy Almaguer: Don't think I was ever down on him? He's had a great season and might legitimately have three plus pitches.

temple (Madison): thanks for the super long chat. really appreciate it.

Eddy Almaguer: Thank YOU all for sending in the questions, I love doing these. If I didn't answer anything, find me on Twitter @EddyAlmaguer. Good luck down the stretch, y'all!

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