Mike is the lead fantasy writer and valuation guru at Baseball Prospectus.
Mike Gianella: It's 60 degrees here in Philadelphia, so that means it's time for baseball. Not in March, but right now. Hey, I don't make the rules.
mauszahn (Germany): Please put in order the following players in terms of upside within the next 3 years, (head to head 16-team league):
Florial, Bichette, Mountcastle, H. Ramos, Soroka, H. Greene, Alcantara.
Mike Gianella: Keeping in mind I tend to weigh more heavily toward hitters: Bichette, Soroka, Alcantara, Mountcastle, Florial, Greene and Ramos. Those last three aren't exactly long shots to make it the next three years but you have to weight against them in the short term.
Rasco (San Antonio, Texas): Thanks for the chat!
I have 8 prospects in a 6 minor-keeper league. Would you please rank these players in order of long-term upside/production.
Mejia, Hiura, Tatis Jr, J. Sanchez, Ramos, Kopech, Greene and Luzardo.
Mike Gianella: Tatis, Hiura, Mejia, Luzardo, Sanchez Greene, Ramos, Kopech. Greene and Ramos are close and with Kopech it's a big question mark until we see what his recovery looks like.
Dusty (Colorado): Thoughts on Twins prospect Wander Javier? What's his upside. Thanks!
Mike Gianella: I love him long term but I Wander what he'll do in the high minors.
PM (Toronto): Better dynasty upside: adell or wander franco?
Mike Gianella: Upside is Franco.
Vic (Baltimore): Please help me organize my target in a round of my draft that allows for keeping the player for 5 years with no increase in cost.
Odor, Inciarte, Mazara, Peraza, Tim Anderson, Profar, Hampson, McMahon.
Which 4 should I focus on?
Mike Gianella: Assuming Roto, I'd go Peraza, Hampson, Odor and T Anderson.
spotted cow (ROCKFORD IL): In or dynasty league we have multiple prospect drafts a year and because one is around the mlb draft we have loose wording of drafting prospects before they have signed. This year adley was picked due to having previously been drafted and technically through the wording is allowed. Do you recommend closing the loophole or continuing with it. League wasn't thrilled split almost evenly down the middle
Mike Gianella: Depends on what you want. My preference is not to allow players like that to be drafted.
Stuck (A Quandary): I'm in a 12-team standard mixed H2H league that keeps five players every year. My top two are stud hitters, but after that it's a fog of guys I'm not super big on as top-60 values: Greinke, Paxton, Clevenger, Donaldson, Eloy, Chapman, Eduardo Rodriguez, Aaron Hicks, Dee Gordon. I'm leaning towards the first three pitchers I mentioned, but it's like the opposite of Sophie's choice. Thoughts?
Mike Gianella: yes, I'd probably go with those three. Eloy over Clevinger is OK too though.
Rob (D.C.): I'm a big fan of your auction values work, both the spreadsheets and the analysis pieces that accompany them. This year I'm taking a stab at my own custom sheet for a dynasty league. The league features salaries that make players from our minor-league system available fairly cheaply in their early years. As with the arbitration years in MLB, this dynamic means each team has cheap young players and the prices for free-agent veterans get inflated. (You can also sign veterans, for a premium on top of the price you paid for them at auction.) For purposes of my spreadsheet, the setup leaves me (and some other players) with lots of leftover auction dollars to spend on free agents. In this context, would you recommend padding the auction price of the top guys, or distributing leftover funds more evenly among the tiers?
Mike Gianella: It depends on how deep the league is. I play in a 12-team Ottoneu where I distribute that money to the top of the food chain...there's so much churn and variability at the bottom that it doesn't make sense to pay players in the middle. In a deeper formats (18-20 and/or long reserve lists) you want to definitely make sure to add money to the middle and bottom so you don't wind up waiting forever on prospects.
Rob (New York): Hi Mike,
Keeper question for you. 12-team mixed 5x5 standard roto. I can keep up to four players at these round values. What do you think?
Trevor Bauer - 19
Yasmani Grandal - 12
Randal Grichuk - 15
Nomar Mazara - 12
David Peralta - 29
Carlos Santana - 14
Eduardo Rodriguez - 21
Mallex Smith - 22
Mike Gianella: Bauer, Peralta, Smith and E-Rod. If it's a two catcher league, Grandal instead of E-Rod.
Jake (SD): Who is going to be the starting right fielder for the Padres (without Harper)? Will it be Renfroe or Reyes?
Mike Gianella: My guess is Renfroe, though if the Pads don't make a trade it could be a messy rotation at the corners.
Stash (Chicago): If Manny Machado lands in Chicago (White Sox) or Philly, what does that mean for his offensive numbers, if anything? Do you expect him to be used at Shortstop or back at 3rd base? Do you have any concerns about this character after last year?
If he has to accept a shorter contract than he wants, does that motivate a guy like him, or would you expect him to pout?
With so much uncertainty, how do you assess his fantasy value?
Mike Gianella: It wouldn't really impact him much. He might see a slight power increase/decline, but the skills are going to be elite nearly everywhere. I think he really wants to play short but given the tepid market he might wind up back at third. No. I have no idea if signing for a shorter contract would impact his play or not. I still have him as a near elite option at short but I'll admit I've moved him down a $1 in AL-only and half a round in mixed because of the uncertainty.
Ralph (Virginia): Can only keep one (or zero) in 12-team NL-only rotis: Winker ($10), Heyward ($6), Joc ($4)?
Mike Gianella: Winker.
Cheapo Bob (US): Mike, I find that most BP writers are kind of cliquish on the social medias and only really interact with other current/former BP writers. For someone like me who is both cheap and not a writer, can you convince me why I should subscribe to this site when I'm not someone who's going to fit that pre-existing mold?
Mike Gianella: Funny, I don't interact much with the non-fantasy BP writers so maybe you're right. But the website isn't social media. The articles are accessible to everyone and offer both a high quantity and quality of fantasy and prospect advice. To me, someone who isn't the biggest prospect guy, the scouting insights would be worth subscribing for if I didn't already work for the site.
Nick Stellini (Jersey): Hi Mike, first time long time. What is the soup equivalent of Justin Turner? Thanks.
Mike Gianella: tomato bisque.
ksmille2 (Chicago): 12 tm H2H keep 10 forever league with OPS and TB added to the normal 5 offensive categories. Pick two of Travis Shaw, Mondesi, Gallo, Pham, Clevenger and Puig. Thanks.
Mike Gianella: Gallo and Puig.
sportsguy21792 (Madison): So who wins the #5 starter job in Atlanta?
Mike Gianella: Touki, but Soroka is up sooner rather than later.
balticwolf (Bethesda, MD): Hi Mike:
I'm in a keeper points league where deductions for K's for hitters are minimal (-.25).
I've gotten a lot of offers for Corey Seager. One of them involves W. Franco and J. Upton and a move up in the 4th rd. of the draft. 16 teams, 12 kprs.
Should I stay put? My current OFs are: D. Peralta, A. Hicks, R. Laureano and Joc Pederson. (One of them goes back into the draft pool.)
My prospect bench also had C. Kieboom, but it doesn't look like he'll play SS if and when he's called up. My other four kpr prospects are T. Trammell, Riley, P. Alonso and Hiura.
Thanks for your time!
Mike Gianella: I think I'd take that deal, although I don't know how deep your reserves/minors are and who you're runnin out there at SS/MI if you move Seager.
Jonathan (CLE): What do you think of Jake Bauers this year - anything to suggest a break out? In terms of fantasy, for OBP leagues, similar to guys like Bour? Choi?
Mike Gianella: I think he could be OK, but he really got exposed in the second half and even in OBP leagues that 281 OBP isn't good (small sample size, i know). I like him as a platoon player. I think of those three I lean Choi. I'm not sure how much Bour is going to play unless the Ohtani injury/recovery really drags out.
tomhauck (NJ): Mike, how do you feel the move from AZ to Washington will impact Patrick Corbin? I am still disappointed the Yankees couldn’t nab him...their SP concerns me
Mike Gianella: I don't see much of an impact...his stuff played better on the road than home last year so it's not like the humidor make a big change for him. He's still a second tier pitcher for me whose K rate probably slips a little in '19.
Floyd (St. Louis): NL 5x5 league last keeper - $1 Albies for 2019 only or $7 Tatis for 2019 & 2020? - thanks
Mike Gianella: I'd say Albies but I'm guessing if those are your choices then either a) your freeze list is stacked or b) everyone has cheap options and you should keep the prospect. Nah, I still think you have to go with Albies if you're trying to win this year.
bdoyle978 (seabrook.nh): do u wander anything about wander franco?
Mike Gianella: I wander if he'll have a wandering eye as he wanders into the upper minors.
Dave (DC): Any advice for converting rounds to dollar values for purposes of, e.g., deciding on keepers/evaluating trade proposals/identifying draft targets?
Mike Gianella: Alex Chamberlain (dolphhauldhagen) posted a rough conversion that's pretty reliable. It's mostly a $2-3 dip in the first 4-5 rounds and then a $1 dip thereafter.
kvamlnk (Thawing North): For Catchers and the infield you assign 30 players to the tiers. Is this because of the 30 ML teams or is there a fantasy rationale?
Mike Gianella: we gear our coverage toward deeper leagues/formats, so we're trying to address 15-team, two-catcher leagues (even though we know a lot of people who are smarter than us don't use two catchers)
Dave (DC): What do you prioritize in shallow-ish keeper leagues (12 team/5 keepers per)-- chance for elite performance or value in the keeper price? The specific decision around which I'm considering this is a first round Kershaw vs. an 11th round Eddie Rosario.
Mike Gianella: I think I prefer the elite performance. You have a shot at finding something comparable to Rosario in the draft or even as a FA. You won't find another Kershaw (although maybe he's a bad example given recent health/performance trends)
Mr. Fister (Arlington): AL ROY....are you taking Vladito or the field?
Mike Gianella: it's Vlad.
bdoyle978 (seabrook.nh): see any progress from L.Gialito this yr?
Mike Gianella: we won't know until Spring Training. And even then, a few people got sucked in after a strong spring last year (I kinda got sucked in).
Brusdar Graterol (Minnesota): Am I a future reliever or do I have the skill set to remain a starter?
Mike Gianella: Relief.
Salty MFer (Mom's Basement): Are the Reds trying to assemble the most "Meh" team ever?
Mike Gianella: I like their offense. Their pitching fits your description and maybe that's being kind.
Yusei Tomato (Seattle): Over/under for IP by Charlie Morton..if set at 155, what's your bet?
Mike Gianella: I wouldn't put money on that because that's around where I have him but I'll take the under.
Derek (Chicago): Do you think Yu Darvish is worth keeping if you have the slot for him? Can he in anyway come back and resemble his former self?
Mike Gianella: if you have the slot, sure. He should pitch again. It's more likely he's just above average and not what he was pre-injury.
Yonny or Laurel (TB): Is Chris Paddack destined for mediocrity due to his lack of a quality breaking ball? Hard to see him beating major league RHH with only FB/CHG
Mike Gianella: Thanks Laurel. I still see some development coming from him and would like to see a full season post-Tommy John.
Mike Gianella (Sitting in your chair): Inception
Mike Gianella: don't drink my beer.
Adam Ottavino (New York): No disrespect meant...but Babe Ruth still ain't got shit on me!
Mike Gianella: sir this is an arby's
6'11" Bottom (Getting butt surgery): Touki or Josh James for fantasy?
Mike Gianella: James. And gross.
Neil and Bob (On our knees): Which SS named Luis Garcia has the higher offensive ceiling, WAS or PHI?
Mike Gianella: the washington one.
marcrenton (Newcastle): Hey Mike, from a fantasy perspective what would your top 3 MLB organisations be taking both their MLB rosters and farm systems into account? Thanks!
Mike Gianella: Astros, Yankees and Dodgers. This is not scientific and I won't be accepting any follow up questions at this time.
Juan (Illinois): Trade Suarez, Blackmon, and Albies and get Walker Buehler and W.Marifield? I also get a #3 pick this year. a 3 and 5 next year.
this is a 12 team H2H keeper league. We keep 10 players.
Current Roster - abreau, moncada, torres, Albies, Suarez, Blacknon, Hicks, Mazara, Snell, Severino.
If i make this trade, who is my best 10th keeper? Treinen, Bader, Sano, or Tanaka?
Mike Gianella: I'd hold unless the pitching FA pool is really thin. It's probably Bader.
sportsguy21792 (Madison): Should I punt on McNeil with the Mets stockpiling 2B and OFers? What is his path to 400+ ABs?
Mike Gianella: yeah, probably. His best path to ABs is a super utility role or an injury, which is certainly possible.
Dave (Philly): Brandon Nimmo- production fell off after he suffered the hand injury last year. With a full season of health can he be .260, 25hr, 15 sb?
Mike Gianella: 20/10 feels more realistic. .260 AVG is reasonable.
Jonathan (CLE): How close are Hiura and Hampson in OBP leagues (keeper/dynasty)?
Mike Gianella: Hampson is likely to crack the roster on Opening Day unless the Rockies sign someone else or he's bad in ST. Hiura is tougher to judge. Spangenberg starts with the job but I could see Hiura being up as early as mid-May if he does well early at AAA. He could also be up in mid-August.
bdoyle978 (seabrook.nh): where does senzel play and is he ready?
Mike Gianella: He's ready. He'll start in the minors tho and probably is in more of a utility role unless the Reds make a trade.
Mr. Fister (Arlington): Is Ke'Bryan Hayes being ranked so high on prospect lists due mainly to his defense and arm, or is there potential for hit/power?
Mike Gianella: I could see the hit tool developing where he hits for AVG, but don't see more than 15-20 HR power and that might be wishcasting.
Kurt (New Lenox): Why are you down on Touki?
Mike Gianella: i'm not.
Jim (ChiTown): The two Kyle's (Lewis + Tucker) + Hiura + MadBum for Lindor + Lamb.
SIM League Dynasty
Who you got?
Mike Gianella: i lean Lindor/Lamb but that's quite the package (giggles coquettishly)
Kevin (Chanahon): Griffin Canning make an impact in fantasy by 2020?
Mike Gianella: yes he could.
Chansen8895 (San Jose ): Thanks for the chat! How would your stategy change for a ottoneu auction league? It seems like many over adjust to the keeper aspect where it should be treated as closer to redraft.
Mike Gianella: I joined an Ottoneu auction league in 2017 and definitely made this mistake, getting too cute with future interests at the expense of the present. This is extremely contingent on freezes/roster composition, but a general rule in any keeper/dynasty format is people do tend to overemphasize future at the expense of the present.
Alex (Austin): In a dynasty league, how do you rank Alex Wood, Shane Bieber, Josh James, and Yu Darvish? Likely going to be shopping one or all of these guys on the off chance I can get some solid draft picks in our very deep minor-leaguer draft coming up.
Mike Gianella: Wood, James, Darvish, Bieber. Darvish could sit in any of these spots; it's extremely difficult to rank him rn.
Keith (Lockport): Is Nomar Mazara just is who he is at this point?
Mike Gianella: Lockport, New York? Wow, that brings me back.
Maybe. But he's still a pup at 23 (24 in April) and I have to believe there's some potential for growth here, even if it's incremental.
Kurt (New Lenox): It seems you're down on Touki. You have Soroka taking his job "sooner rather that later" and also have Josh James far ahead of him. That's stings, as I've loaded up on Touki stock in all 7 of my dynasty leagues
Mike Gianella: I'm not down on Touki. It's more a compliment to the other two pitchers.
Stash (Chicago): Who to protect going into this season in a HTH keeper league, Dansby Swanson or Starlin Castro? Thanks!
Mike Gianella: I'd go with Swanson's upside, but it's close.
Mr. Fister (Arlington): Is Walker Buehler the ace of the Dodgers at this point?
Mike Gianella: It's still Kershaw but it really is close, and it wouldn't surprise if Buehler takes that "role" this year.
Matt Damon (Film Actor's Guild): MATT. DAMON.
Mike Gianella: it's been 14 years. Let it go.
Keith (Lockport): Yes, Mike. Lockport New York, born and raised. Clint Frazier finally get a chance?
Mike Gianella: ha ha, I used to drive through there at the beginning of every semester at UB on the way to pick up my college GF in Burt, New York.
Not right away. I still don't understand the Gardner signing.
Kurt (New Lenox): It just stings. Now I have to sell off all my Touki stock
Mike Gianella: I would keep Touki so you don't get locked out at the back end of your staff.
Salty MFer (Mom's Basement): Baseball needs a FA signing period. This shit is getting out of hand. That is all.
Mike Gianella: a salary floor would be better/potentially solve for most of this.
Spoiled Rotten (Schaumburg): Does Luis Patino make a big jump this year?
Mike Gianella: He could, but there's still some work to be done and a more incremental approach might help.
roxfan12 (Rocky Mountains): Does Jimmy Nelson rebound to become a serviceable starter this year in fantasy? 140IP with a sub 3.75 sound reasonable?
Mike Gianella: I have no idea. Pitchers seldom rebound or recover from this type of injury. I see more of a 4.00 ERA at best.
bdoyle978 (seabrook.nh): does eloy eventually put up better numbers than judge? thanks
Mike Gianella: Very unlikely.
Fernando (St Louis): Should I be excited about Malcom Nunez?
Mike Gianella: yes.
Mike Gianella: It's been lovely. Until next time...