Kevin is a fantasy writer at Baseball Prospectus
Kevin Jebens: A late start to the chat due to some power issues. Guess being at the library means I have no distractions from your questions. Let's go!
sportsguy21792 (Dark side of the Moon): Is Votto starting the decline we all expected eventually? The OBP is nice and all but where has the power gone? Will he be a Hall of Famer when all is said and done? Sucks that he will never sniff the playoffs staying where he is. Will that be held against him?
Kevin Jebens: It's been a frustrating year for Votto owners, even if you didn't expect a full repeat of 2017. I'm willing to bet on a few factors (worse luck/results in general and against lefties, hidden injury) to partly explain this season, but he's also entering his mid-30s. You have to be cautious moving forward, but I'm willing to bet he can put up a .290 and 20+ HR season in 2019. That's still valuable in OBP leagues, but standard roto may want to drop him until he proves he can rebound. The HOF question is another issue. I don't think he gets in if he doesn't return to .300+ and 25+ HR for several more years.
Dusty (Colorado): Kevin, what can you tell me about Twins SS Prospect, Wander Javier. What do you think of his upside?
Kevin Jebens: Ah, Dusty, you ol' reliable. Missed ya in my last chat! Losing all of 2018 puts his risk at an even higher level. Still a rather high ceiling, but the chance of making it is still pretty small. As the magic eight ball would say, "Ask again later." I'm sure you'll do so at the next chat!
mikewilsonelgin (Bloomington): Why did Boston management decide that Blake Swihart could not handle catching?
Kevin Jebens: Maybe it's not just that he can't "handle" catching, but that they don't value his lifeless bat there. If Christian Vaquez and Sandy Leon were hitting better, I'd point to that. I do think Vazquez has the highest upside at this point, in terms of offensive contribution. Makes sense to give him the bulk of playing time. I can't pretend to know Boston's plans, but for fantasy purposes, at least Swihart gets multi-position eligibility, which makes him rosterable in very deep leagues with 2 catchers.
earpbartman (WC): Ignoring wins, where would you slot in deGrom and Cole among pitchers going into next year?
Kevin Jebens: deGrom is a top-5, easy. Probably even top-3. I'd go Sale, Scherzer, deGrom, I think. As for Cole, he should crack the top-10, whereas I had him at #17 for my 3-year ranks before the season started. Would like to see more BB/9 improvement from him.
Kevin Jebens: Sorry about the chat confusion, all. Hope to help you out during the offesason with keeper choices, three-year ranks, and player analyses!