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Chat: Jon Hegglund

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday January 25, 2019 4:00 PM ET chat session with Jon Hegglund.


Jon is a fantasy writer at Baseball Prospectus.

Jon Hegglund: Welcome to my first-ever chat at BP. WARNING: I’m not A Prospect Guy so you should expect better/more serious answers to your deep dynasty questions from one of our many experts in these matters. I’m in between picks in my 18-team, 30-round slow draft, and wherever you are, you’re obviously not getting anything done at work for the rest of the day, so let’s get to chatting.

Dusty (Colorado): Thoughts on Twins prospect Wander Javier? What's his upside?

Jon Hegglund: I wandered lonely as a cloud / That floats on high o'er vales and hills, / When all at once I saw a crowd, / A host, of golden daffodils; / Beside the lake, beneath the trees, / Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

P (deep in an excel spreadsheet): Would it be dumb to trade JD Martinez for Jose Altuve in a 12-team, 5x5 H2H league where five players are kept each year?

Jon Hegglund: This time last year, Altuve was a no-brainer top-5 pick and JD was going around the 1/2 turn. Altuve had a injury-marred 2018, while Martinez had a career year. So, if Altuve is healthy this year I think you expect something of a return to form, with maybe a bit less in the steals. Martinez will be hard-pressed to repeat his 2018. So, dumb? No, not at all. It's fine, if you need production in all 5 categories.

Loud Noises (Mexico): Where are you on Daniel Murphy? Nifty second half last year after returning from injury and now he is in the catbird seat playing at Coors in that lineup.

Jon Hegglund: Wherever I am on Murphy, it's probably making him VERRRY uncomfortable.

Loud Noises (Mexico): Where are you on Daniel Murphy? Nifty second half last year after returning from injury and now he is in the catbird seat playing at Coors in that lineup.

Jon Hegglund: No, seriously. Murphy is at a weird convergence between what may be a rapid decline of health and an ideal situation for offensive productivity. I'm not reaching for him, and I suspect he won't fall to me. If you get him around the 6th round or so (thinking 15-team here) just push up an MI replacement a round or two.

Vic (Baltimore): Please rank: My 2nd round pick in a 15 team 5 x 5 straight draft keeper….the best 5 will likely be Freeman, Stanton, Benentendi, Goldy, Blackmon. Do I have the order right? Being I drafted Donaldson in the 2nd last year, I’m worried about this pick and that's why Charlie is last on my ranking.

Jon Hegglund: I mean, this is pretty much a dealer's choice, right? None of these players are old enough that 2019 should be a concern (assuming you're already counting on a lower steals total from Goldy), and therefore I would draft keeper pretty much like redraft. I'd have it Goldy, Stanton, Freeman, Blackmon, Benintendi, but they're all close.

twodaysride (Atlanta): It looks like y'all forgot to include my main man DJ Peters... when will the revised list with him on it come out?

Jon Hegglund: I will forward to your comment to the Prospect Department.

spotted cow (Rockford peaches IL): I'm rebuilding in a dynasty league and have liquidated all the assets I wanted to but got an offer for gary sanchez. I have a line on the top c prospect through a loophole so would moving him for devers plus if I'm not competing this season make sense for me or should i wait for the other half of the league to wake up and try and trigger a bidding war/group with a redundant top 10-15 prospects in a league where roughly 150 are owned and they are coveted?

Jon Hegglund: So, you're thinking of moving Sanches for Devers and a throw-in? Depending on the added piece, that's probably about right but I'd be inclined to hold onto Sanchez into the season so he can remind people that he's the unquestioned #1 fantasy catcher in the game. I think your return will be better then.

G$ (Seattle, WA): If a prospect approached you for a walk-up song recommendation, with the only condition being that most fans in attendance would not recognize the song, what would you recommend? Looking for an answer for a better and a closer.

Jon Hegglund: This is difficult. Closer entry songs are easier, as you've got more time to work with. Personally, I've always thought "She Sells Sanctuary" by The Cult would be an ideal closer track, but my hypothetical prospect might want something more contemporary, so a close second would be "Dream House" by Deafheaven. For walkup music, this could change everyday, and also depending on one's approach in a given at-bat. If I'm up there to be patient, I'll say "Waiting Room" by Fugazi ("I am a patient boy / I wait I wait I wait I wait) but if I'm up there hacking I'll go with "Almost Had to Start a Fight" by Parquet Courts. I'm sure I'd give you different answers tomorrow.

Donald Munson (Portland, OR): With the early stages of a 3rd pitch (curveball) in the works, is it reasonable to envision Chris Paddack as a potential front line starter for SD? Also over/under on the the Giants being mired in mediocrity for the next 5 years?

Jon Hegglund: Well, you supplied all the hedge words--"early stages", "in the works", "reasonable to envision," "potential"--so I'll say YES, absolutely. In reality, I'd probably have him as an SP2/3 eventually, but one with plenty of upside. As far as the Giants, you know how much it pains me to acknowledge that they're gonna be looking up at the Dodgers and the Padres for the next several years, but I'll take the under, just slightly. I know the Pomeranz move is but one small signing, but it signals that the Zaidi MO will not be full teardown. I think with some smart drafts the Giants will be relevant again in 2022.

spotted cow (Rock town IL): I have a 15 team 1st year dynasty fantasy draft coming up and pick 2nd.... its mookie betts right? 6x6 obp or does acuna have some obscene upside I should consider

Jon Hegglund: Yeah, Betts. Acuna does have obscene upside...of present-day Mookie Betts.

Loria (Milwaukee ): What Fantasy value do you have on Donaldson this year? Where would you rank him as a 1 year keeper @ 3B? What tier? Do you like him for a bounceback?

Jon Hegglund: I do like Donaldson for a bounceback, but the caveat is always health with him. For a one-year keeper situation, I would have him in around the back of the top 10: probably just ahead of Justin Turner and Matt Carpenter--similarly skilled-but-aging hitters. In terms of Mike's tiers, he's borderline between the three- and four-star groups.

Vic (Baltimore): Please rank: My 4th round pick in a 15 team 5 x 5 straight draft keeper….the best 5 will likely be Cain, Greinke, Realmuto, Pham, Castellanos Do I have the order right?

Jon Hegglund: I am a PHAM PHAN for this year and beyond. So, I'll go: Pham, Cain, Greinke, Castellanos, Realmuto. I should probably have Castellanos higher but I've never been a believer.

Gary Mack (in the back): First year player draft, basically all 2018 draftees and J2 guys. First pick, who should I be targeting?

Jon Hegglund: This is better asked of the dynasty specialists, but given that there's no crazy-upside prospect in this class, I'd want a polished bat with a short time in the minors. Joey Bart, despite his being a catcher, fits that bill for me. Victor Victor Mesa could be interesting but likely not a needle-mover in any category. Nolan Gorman has more upside but probably a longer road to the bigs.

Loria (Milwaukee ): What value for Fantasy will Whitley have in 2019? More or less then Buehler 2018? Which would you prefer the next 3-5 years?

Jon Hegglund: I'm always a bit cool on pitchers who haven't yet made their big-league debuts. It's pretty rare for them to come out of the gate without some road blocks along the way. Whitley definitely has the talent to come in and be excellent right away, but I'm not betting on it. I mean, we still don't know when he's coming up. So, I'll say less than 2018 Buehler but still a productive season.

Paul (Ohio): What do you make of Yandy Diaz? I don’t think the Indians ever regarded him that highly. Rays obviously must since they traded Bauers for him.

Jon Hegglund: What's crazier--that a dude in Jose Altuve's body can hit 25 homers or that a dude in Yandy Diaz's body only gets to the low single-digits? There has to be some Freaky Friday stuff happening, right? I am definitely interested in Diaz as a late-round flier but STOP. HITTING. THE. DANG. BALL. INTO. THE. GROUND. It's easy to assume that something as simple as a swing-path change could turn him into a 30 HR guy but I think we underestimate how hard it is for most players to change habits that they've cultivated for years, even decades. We only hear about the success stories, but there have to be failures, too, right? So, I'm not holding my breath for Yandy but I want a couple of shares to see if anything changes in Tampa Bay. He's definitely one I'll be watching in spring training.

Gary Mack (in the back): Do you see Freddy Peralta pitching 120 innings+ for the Brew Crew this season?

Jon Hegglund: Personally, I would love to see this. The Brewers rotation is hardly an impenetrable wall of excellence, and we have no idea how Jimmy Nelson will look. On the other hand, I would be surprised if the Brewers didn't add another starter before April. So, I'm going to hedge. I'll put him on about 110-120 if they don't add any rotation pieces. Otherwise, it's probably not gonna happen this year.

BK (Toronto): Long-term five tool upside: adell or wander?

Jon Hegglund: Gimme Jo.

Rob (D.C.): Any general advice on inflation? I've got a chance to keep Mike Trout at $63 and make him the cornerstone of a contending squad. It seems like a crazy price, but it's a pretty shallow league and cheap rookie contracts (e.g., I have Acuna at $5 for three years) mean people have a lot of cash to throw around.

Jon Hegglund: My advice on inflation is to disregard whether or not the price seems crazy in terms of redraft valuations that we're used to; it's all about the microeconomy of your league. I'm in a 12-team NL-only keeper and the top players are routinely kept in the $50-60 range. If your league is shallow, all the more reason to keep Trout. $63 doesn't seem crazy to me at all.

Loria (Milwaukee ): I'm in a moderately deep keeper league (keep 7) with prospects being free keepers for 3 yr after they're up. Acuna and Soto will be force promoted this year by league rules and will join JDM, Trout, Ozuna, and Mazara in my OF. We start 4 OF and Util. I'm weak in pitching. What level Starter can I ask for in exchange for Ozuna?

Jon Hegglund: I don't think your return on Ozuna will be a difference-maker--a fantasy SP3 type? Given your depth, I'd try to move JD to get an ace.

Jon Hegglund: We've reached the end of the hour, and now we must part, each to proceed alone on our appointed paths to our ineluctable destinies, be they filled with joy or misery. See you next time!

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